3 Important Things

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I sat working at the coffee shop and watched a father and two boys who I assumed were his sons walk in.  They sat together at a table, the father hunched over his phone, not looking up.  The two young boys had a phone between them and were playing a game on it.  Neither the boys nor the father acknowledged each other.  The manager came over to greet them.  The child holding the phone didn’t even look up.  They were there for about 15 or 20 minutes, collecting takeaways and then they left.  In all that time they didn’t interact.

Most of us are guilty of this to some extent.

If we keep in mind the things that are important to us, we will put our phones down, close our laptops early and switch off the tv.

What 3 things are most important to you?

When you identify what they are remember them when living your day to day life.  There’s a good chance it will feel satisfying and connecting.

With love

Eve

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The Oxygen of Relationships

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communication-oxygen-to-lifeTwo people (no matter what their relationship is) can walk around holding resentments towards each other for all the wrong reasons.  Not that there’s a right reason to be resentful but what I mean is this…

Here’s a scenario:  Bob and Sam are friends.  Once Sam mentioned something judgemental to Bob about people who buy expensive cars.  Bob, who has an expensive car, thought that Sam was talking about him.  Bob has been walking around holding this resentment for about a year and Sam is oblivious to it.  Often when Bob gets into his car and thinks about Sam, part of his driving enjoyment is lost.  Whenever he sees Sam these days he looks down on him a little bit and makes snide remarks about things that Sam does.  They are drifting apart and both of them think that maybe their friendship is past it’s sell-by date.

What is missing here is communication.  If Bob had spoken to Sam about this, he would have realised that Sam wasn’t even talking about him.

communication-resentmentThis can happen in subtle and secret ways too.  I read about a person who found out that her husband resented her for becoming overweight during their marriage.  This had come as a total surprise to her as he had never said anything to her about it.  If they had spoken about this issue they could have found a solution together.  Not only that but they could have grown closer by communicating with and supporting each other.  He had been holding on to this resentment in secret and had been taking his revenge in subtle and silent ways.

If I could give you something important to take away with you it would be this.  When communicating….

Seek first to understand

Listen to what the other person has to say.  Don’t just wait quietly until he or she is finished speaking so that you can speak.  Listening is the key to communicating effectively.  We often forget this and think that speaking is the most important part.

Speak from your own point of view

Talk from your own experience and feelings (For example…  “I feel hurt by what you just said” – rather than “you are always hurting me”).

Listen and try not to interrupt.  Then have your say.

Here’s wishing you strength to create peace in your relationships.

Eve

Be brave mighty angel

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I was in hospital recovering from surgery about 11 years ago and I was having a particularly bad day (pain-wise).  My husband was with me but he had to leave to go home and be with the children.  I really didn’t want him to go because I thought I wouldn’t be able to cope with the pain on my own.  He looked me in the eyes and said “be brave mighty angel” and then left.

Those few encouraging words lifted me from despair to hope, from agony to being able to cope.  Suddenly I was not a helpless being lying in the hospital bed, I was a mighty angel.  A mighty angel would be able to be brave and get through this ordeal.

Often we don’t realise how what we say has such an impact on others.  Negatively or positively.

Here are some guidelines for encouraging words:

Be sincere
It’s not encouraging when someone says words that neither of you believe.

Say what you want to say with a loving heart
Sometimes we need to say things that may be difficult for the other person to receive.  If you say it with a loving heart it will come across in a gentle way.

Don’t add criticism to the mix
You are beautiful but……

Offer support
Do what you can within your power (while still keeping boundaries) to be supportive.  Perhaps the person just needs an ear to listen to now and then or a hug or maybe a gift showing you care delivered to their door.

Don’t find everything wrong with the situation
Dwelling on the negative will not be helpful or encouraging.  If you think the person has a terrible idea, try and find the positives in it and guide them in a direction that would work.

Have the other person’s interests in mind, not your own
We often think we know what’s best for the other person but maybe they are not in the same space as we are.  What another person needs right now is not necessarily what we think is good for them.  It’s their journey, let them travel it.

Sometimes silence is best
Silence and a listening ear could be the perfect way of encouraging or supporting someone who is going through a very challenging time.  Especially if they have lost someone.

* * * * *

Knowing that you have someone in your corner helps people find their inner strength and courage and it can be a huge relief.

If you are always the person who encourages others, don’t forget to ask someone you trust for some encouragement when you need it.

EN – COURAGE

With love
Eve

Only 90 times!

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purpose - 90 years and call it life When I saw this quote I had a moment of shock.  If we have the opportunity to live to 90 or above, let’s use 90 as an example… then we only have 90 times to do a year.  It may seem obvious to you but to me it was one of those aha moments that Oprah talks about.  Only 90 times to try it over.  Only 90 times to do whatever it is I’m trying to do. That’s so little!  If I only have 90 times I want to make those times count.  Keeping in mind we don’t all get 90 times.

This post is not meant to be morbid, it’s meant to wake us.

What do I want to be doing?

Some people have a bucket list, I prefer to call mine “exciting things to do in my life at some stage” list but those things might take years to achieve.  So I have a “meaningful priority list” which is for everyday use (it’s not necessarily written down).  I feel frustrated with myself if a day ends and I haven’t done at least one thing in my “meaningful priority” list.

What have I done today to be proud of?

I think the key for me is to look at what is important in my life and to make sure I do one or some of those. I learned some skills on the Power of Purpose in this regard (click for more info).

Yes, our days are often filled with seemingly meaningless or routine tasks like sitting in traffic, cleaning up, standing in queues.  That’s the way it is.  However, if we see them as meaningless they will be.  But if we can somehow figure how to put them into our “meaningful priorities” list we can change them and the way we feel about them.

purpose - elderly couple eating ice creamHow can we do this?

We can gripe and groan about standing in the queue or we can make conversation with a fellow queue member or use the time to text a friend who is in need of some love.  We can hate the traffic or we can use it as a time to listen to a really good podcast or some favourite music or greet the people along the way with a smile making their days – and by the way, making someone else’s day often makes yours.

We can sit watching movies or series to switch off from our restlessness (which is really our soul saying “hey, let’s do something”) or we can make watching a movie a real treat now and then.  We can include our children while cooking even though the cleaning up afterwards will take much longer.

Let’s make the most of each year we have because it’s not just a year, it’s an opportunity, a chance.

Let’s start with today…. We don’t have to wait until the 1st of January.

With love
Eve

Babe, you got this xx

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When you are trying to do something challenging in your life for example sticking to an exercise routine or a new way of eating (or any other habit) and you keep slipping back into old habits then this one is for you.

One of the crucial elements of sticking to any sort of new habit is support.  You’ve probably tried this before and yet you find yourself sleeping in instead of going for a walk or hitting the gym.

I remember when I was on an intensive art course for a few years (a while back) and we had to hand in hundreds of sketches, numerous completed drawings and a fair amount of large drawings with board frames.  I was working full day and studying part time and it was quite difficult to come home after work, cook, clean and complete my art work and still find time to relax.  What helped me get through at the time was having support partners.  My husband and my close friend.  My husband would help me keep accountable by sometimes watching tv or reading where I was drawing or he would remind me about my goal to finish what I had started.  My friend supported me by loving my art and encouraging me even if I didn’t love it.  We would sometimes lug my art equipment to her house and I would draw while we all spent time together.  Good times.

Does it make sense to you that sometimes we just need someone who will be on our side, someone who will remind us about why we started, someone we can phone or text when we “just don’t feel like it” and want to give up?

When choosing a support partner, let it be someone who would be kind yet firm.  Discuss what  you want from them beforehand.  If you want them to push you, explain how you would like it to be done.  For me a Seargent Major type would push me into rebellion rather than motivate me.  Set boundaries from the beginning.  For both of you – maybe your support partner doesn’t want to be woken at 3 a.m. because you are dying for ice cream in the fridge and don’t want to ruin your hard work.

Don’t think you have to do it all yourself.  We are social creatures.  Sometimes the person who is always there for someone else needs someone to be there for them.  Are you feeling guilty for receiving support?  Your support partner may need your help one day too.  You are worthy of support.

Choose someone who gets you.  There’s no point choosing support that doesn’t agree with what you are doing and will constantly criticise you along the way.

Hang in there.  Goals take perseverance to achieve – ask anyone who reached theirs.

I wish you the best with your goal.  Let us know how this advice helped you reach it.

Eve
 


If you live in Johannesburg, don’t forget to register for the Power of Purpose which starts on the 16th of August

7 mistakes people make at work and how to change that

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Do you drive yourself to prove that you are a good person because you want to gain the approval of others?

So many of us do so don’t feel alone…..

Here are 7 mistakes people make at work:

  • Trying so hard
  • Working after hours
  • Taking work home
  • Saying yes to every request even if you know a fellow colleague who could do the assignment
  • Taking the blame for others’ mistakes
  • Being a “good girl” or “good boy”
  • Feeling hurt when you get moaned at and then berating yourself on top of that

Let’s look at how to rectify these situations:

Trying so hard to please
Yes of course you must work hard otherwise your boss may not value your contribution to the firm but do you have to try so hard to please his or her every whim?  Do you find yourself doing more than is necessary and then feeling resentful afterwards?  Do your best within the boundaries of your job.  Be the best that you can be which doesn’t mean bending over backwards if gymnastics is not your forte.  If you find yourself ironing your boss’s shirts when your job description doesn’t call for it, then maybe this area is a problem for you.

Working after hours
Every so often when pressure mounts it is in good form to work after hours.  But are you working late every day to prove how loyal and dedicated you are?  What you are really doing is building up piles of resentment when your boss starts taking advantage of your benevolence.  You probably ask yourself why you keep doing it and thinking it would “look bad” to stop now when you’ve been doing it for so long.  Work after hours when it is needed, the rest of the time go and do what you need to do in your own life.  If you are always the last to leave, ask yourself why?

Taking work home
Same as above.  You are not a superhero although you may wish to appear like one, so take work home when there’s hectic pressure at work but don’t make a habit of it.  Nobody ever said on their deathbed (although I don’t have proof for this) “I wish I had worked more”.  No!  They wish they had spent more time with the people they love.

Saying yes to every request
You know how you really want your boss to be happy with you so you keep saying yes and the piles of work keep adding up?  You find you can’t actually get to everything no matter how hard you try.  You fear he or she is going to think you are useless at your job.  If the work is too much for one person to handle, think of a colleague who would be able to do that task just as well as you can.  Stop worrying that he or she may do it better than you for fear that this will show you up.  If they do it better than you, that’s one more task you can tick off your list because they will be asked next time as well.  Your boss will thank you for it when you get your other work done and your colleague also gets their work done.  It’s a win-win situation really.

Taking the blame for others’ mistakes
Why?  Let people take responsibility for their own mistakes.  On the odd occasion if your department’s “life depends on it” then fine, but otherwise…. NO!

Being a “good girl” or “good boy”
The need to be “good” is derived from our childhood.  Getting into trouble when we were kids was probably normal for most of us.  But the fear of that still drives many of us to be “good” all the time – don’t step out of line.  However, it’s not good for your health if you never speak up.  If something is unreasonable at work and you don’t speak up about it, notice how your throat area feels?  (tight / like there’s a lump in it / blocked / coughing / thyroid).  If keeping quiet is your default behaviour it could affect your health in the long term.  If you need to speak up but aren’t sure how to go about it, get advice.

Beating yourself up
So, you made a mistake.  Hopefully it didn’t incur a loss of millions.  Seriously, I hope it didn’t.  If it didn’t and you accidentally did something wrong, then sitting there calling yourself names (stupid / idiot / useless / incapable / unworthy / not good enough) is not going to fix the problem.  All it is going to do is mess with your self confidence which makes making more mistakes a possibility.  Forgive yourself – after all, you didn’t do it on purpose!  Then find a way to sort out the problem, possibly own up to it or get some intra-office support to sort it out.  You are human and most likely a good one at that.

Working on these seven tips will hopefully improve your time at work and outside of work.

What other areas do you struggle with at work or out of work?  I would love to hear from you.

I wish you well.

Eve

 


Check out my upcoming course…. The Power of Purpose – Starts 16 August!


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Friction happens

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stormConflicts happen when we act or speak without thinking.  If we had to stop for a moment and consider what we are about to do or say or take a few deep breaths and cool down first there would probably be a lot more peace in our lives and in the world.

Some things you can do

  • Stop.
  • Breathe.
  • Take some time to cool off.
  • Think about what’s really going on for you.
  • Ask yourself: how important is it that I pursue this? Will I remember it in five years time?
  • Look at the part you are playing in the whole scenario because it takes two to tango.
  • What are you looking for in this relationship?
  • Ask yourself if you could handle this in a different way?
  • Then, act – with purpose and coming from a position of creating a peaceful environment.relationships - peace

 Often it’s simply about saying too much too soon.

So… Next time (because there will be a next time)

  • Make some space to listen and hear the other person out.
  • Ask yourself: What is the purpose that I want for this relationship? If you look at that, you will probably want it to be different, most likely better.
  • Think “peace”.
  • Then Act.

When you think before you act or speak you will most likely stand in your own power and be more satisfied with the results.

Try it next time, I know I’m going to.

With love

Eve

 


Just a reminder that the
early bird special for the
Power of Purpose
ends on Tuesday 19 July
(that’s next week) – click here


If you are interested I have included this
5 minute video clip from Oprah Winfrey,
“Whatever follows I am will come looking for you”.
Click here to watch.

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