This time last year none of us could have foreseen what the year ahead would bring. In January our lives were turned upside down as headlines around the world flashed news of the coronavirus- Covid-19.
In March we went into lockdown and witnessed panic buying. Priorities changed rapidly with toilet paper becoming the most sought after product. Maybe one day we will look back and laugh about that.
Jobs, businesses and lives have been lost. It has been painful, it has been challenging.
As 2020 draws to a close we have been hit by a second wave. We have been warned of a mutated virus that could pose more risk to children.
In all of this, let us hold on to hope. This crisis will end. The future has so much more to offer if we just hold on to thoughts of better things to come.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
Eccles. 11:4 NIVUK
I struggled with a lot of issues for most of my life before I learnt one of the best secrets to success. Like everyone in this world who wants to succeed, I worked hard but there was very little to show for my efforts. I did everything I could and fought as hard as anyone whose life depends on the outcome but somehow, I came out with “nil points” as the French would say.
Just when I thought I was about to win my battle strategy was sabotaged. I guess part of me just got used to blaming “the enemy without.” However, there came a time when I put my hands up and admitted that the enemy was within. I was my own worst enemy.
During the programme I learnt all about pitching to editors and being featured on big publications. It was an intense time with very tight deadlines but all very worth it. Everything I learnt challenged my way of thinking. There are systems, processes and networks. Nothing happens by accident. Every performance is a well-choreographed act. If you put in the hours and follow the guidance, you will reap the rewards.
Now back to the question at the back of your mind.
Your internal demons will fight you every step of the way each time you want to step up your game. The time will never be right. Therefore, the best time to take action will always be NOW!
Everyone dreams of success in their lives. We all want to enjoy the rewards of having made it in life. As a result we spend countless hours reading books on success, attending seminars that will motivate us or watching videos that will inspire us.
We leave seminars fired up to be the next big thing. But all that fire soon dies in the cold face of reality, in the form of the pain you experience as you pursue your dreams.
The secret the experts don’t tell you is that there is no “one size fits all” route to success. However, a tenacious spirit, strong conviction and hard work still produce results.
You find your path and learn to own your pain in the process.
It’s the only way you get through the valley of death experience and come out a winner.
Remind yourself of this every single day:
You have and are everything you need.
Stop searching for solutions from people who are more lost than you are. Draw from those resources hidden deep within your spirit. You are better than you think.
Whose voice are you giving your ear to? The people you listen to and believe are the ones who control your destiny.
We are daily bombarded with countless instructions, controls, persuasions, and expectations from others. Everything around us demands our attention. We are not even aware of most of the things that influence our behaviour. Our lives are very much like ships with numerous captains, all issuing instructions on which course to take. We are not even aware that the directions our lives eventually take benefit only the controlling captain, leading us on their own course and, in fact, lead our own ships astray.
If we allow ourselves to be influenced by others, consciously or unconsciously, in a way that promotes other people’s agendas, then we are not only out of control, but are headed for an unknown destiny. We have failed ourselves by failing to recognise that our own future hangs in the balance.
Take time to consider who you allow in your inner circle and whose voice you choose to listen to. Your destiny depends on it.
“Five hundred years ago people knew the world was flat. Fifteen minutes ago you knew humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow!”
I just love the above quote by Kay from the sci-fi film Men In Black. If you keep learning – imagine what you’ll know tomorrow!
As long as you are alive, there will always be opportunities for you to acquire new skills and adopt new techniques. Here are four compelling reasons why you should maintain life-long learning:
Stay Ahead of the Pack Learning helps you stay ahead of the pack. If you do not actively engage in acquiring new skills, or learning new things and putting acquired knowledge to use you are not doing yourself any favours. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re running with the pack because the painful truth is that you are falling behind.
Your learning can be in any area of your life. It can involve learning how to play an instrument, taking up a new sport, academic, professional or just disciplining yourself to keep up with what is going on the world.
Improve Your Performance Learning is the first step to becoming a high performer. There is a strong correlation between learning and performance. The more you learn the better you will be at doing your work and will become invaluable to your organisation. Infact, this can be applied in just about any area of your life. You will become more confident in discussing thoughts and ideas as you will be able to back up your views with information from what you have learnt. Everyone loves a high-performer who delivers results.
Be Adaptable People who embark on any journey that involves learning tend to adapt to new situations very quickly. People who can adapt quickly win. They don’t mourn past losses but are quick to recognise new opportunities and get on with life. They don’t stay down because there is always something ahead for them to pursue.
Stay Sharp There is evidence that keeping your mind active helps fight dementia and brain ageing. Other studies that have been conducted also suggest that the act of acquiring new knowledge produces a rush of dopamine – a feel-good hormone.
Everyday millions of people go through the same routine, while life passes them by. Don’t be like them. See every interaction as a chance to learn something new.
Apparently in Europe only 10% of adults engage in life-long learning. Nowadays with access to the internet learning does not have to be restricted to the classroom. You can learn wherever you are – in your home, car, or at work.
Finally, stop making excuses and learn something new. As someone once said, “If you wait until all conditions are perfect before you act, you’ll never act.”
Follow me on Twitter @triolette and let’s connect!
“Not all pain is equal.” We should really come up with different words for pain that helps you grow and pain that destroys.
Pain That Builds
When you go to the gym and start building muscle it’s hard work, it’s painful but it’s good pain. I remember the first time I started running. I had always run for trains and buses so how different could this be? I put on my running gear, strapped on my running shoes and off I went.
I will never forget that day. Halfway through the run I wished I had strapped an extra pair of lungs on my back. Every single part of my body ached. My eyes were watering, my teeth, even my gums hurt. The situation improved after I joined the Couch to 5k programme. With a coach guiding me every step of the way I was soon able to comfortably run 5km non-stop. Lots of sweat but no extra lungs needed. Just a bottle of water.
Pain That Hurts
People suffer and die because someone tells them that the pain they are suffering (emotional, mental, spiritual or physical) is good for them. The victims endure an unacceptable state of circumstances based on misplaced trust in people with no insight; people who don’t bother asking what the pain is or what is causing it.
When people take their lives there are always comments like, “They could have asked for help.” As if they didn’t. Let’s stop disrespecting a victim’s intelligence. The question here is, “Were you really listening and hearing what was being said?” Repeating cliches like “It’s going to be okay” is kind, it’s nice but is not always helpful.
Take time to listen to what people are saying. Their behaviour and actions speak louder than their words. If you don’t know what to say or do, refer them to someone who does.
There is a saying that goes, “Time waits for no man.” One day you are a teenager living your best life and before you know it, decades have flown by.
Our mature years can, and should be, the most exciting time of our lives. We may have envisioned this as the season when we finally pursue life-long dreams. For some it is a wonderful and fulfilling time. For others it is not so as they find themselves paralysed by fear.
Fear of being alone.
Fear of not being needed.
Fear of missing out.
Fear of being unable to support themselves.
Fear of failing health.
Fear of growing old.
In Fearless, a 21 day devotional, I share why there is no need to be controlled by fear. It is possible to break free from its bondage and live life with less fear. We know that lack of knowledge can contribute to fear. For example; if you knew that the neighbour’s dog that you are petrified of does not have teeth, how would that change things for you?
But knowledge alone is not enough. You need to put that knowledge to practice. Knowledge may be power but knowledge which is put into practice is more powerful.
It has been three years now since I made a lifestyle change and started following a plant-based diet.
I normally start my day with a glass of water followed by a smoothie. I have a few different types of smoothies I make to keep the morning routine interesting as I kickstart the day. One of my favourite ones is the spinach smoothie. I don’t add much to it – just water and fresh washed spinach. Occasionally I will add peppers – they add a lovely, refreshing taste.
When I first changing my eating habits I would follow up with a bowl of oats served with a bananas. I don’t eat oats nowadays. Something happened when I started running which resulted in changed preferences. You can read about it in my post about my running experiences. I tend to get hungry quite quickly so I eat a little, often. Fruit is a life-saver as I snack on this throughout the day.
Lunch is usually a simple salad served with Quorn meat free fillets. I have various variations which I will share with you. I don’t prepare anything fancy but I do like experimenting a lot. The end result is that each meal I prepare is never exactly the same which is why I choose to call them Ree-Creations!
I normally end the day with a bowl of soup. I think there is nothing like a hot bowl of soup to warm the heart, especially on a cold winter’s day. One thing I love is potatoes. I will have these served in a variety of ways – home made chips, mashed potatoes, roast potatoes etc. Supper is my main meal of the day so this will also be accompanied by a variety of cooked vegetables and a simple stew using the meat free range. I usually serve the mash with Linda McCartney sausages. If I fancy a curry then it will be Quorn meat-free chicken.
Do you think switching to a vegan diet will be the next big thing in your life?