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  • Goodies or baddies?

    How many things have you ever done in your past that you would prefer to forget? Have you ever been particularly unkind to someone, whether physically or emotionally? Have you been dishonest in a way you now regret? Perhaps it was something you didn’t do but had promised to. It could even be a pattern of events or a lifestyle from your past that you’re not proud of. You would be very unusual if there’s not something. Whatever it is, you do not need to define yourself by it. It is not the whole of  you or even the essence of you. Similarly you do not need to define other people ...

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    Be a voice, not an echo. Einstein

    This piece takes a look at some different ways of interpreting this phrase. What does that mean for you on first reading it?  For me, it’s about giving your own opinion not just taking on the opinions of others.  In what ways do you do that? What are the things you feel strongly about and are prepared to speak out about and when are you happy to go along with the opinions of others?  To be original on every single issue would be exhausting and maybe even impossible. Being a voice requires time for thought and consideration. Save your energy and focus for the things ...

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    Just one small change

    Just one small change can have a huge impact - but not all small changes make a big impact. So how do you know which one to make? When the big impact comes, we don’t always trace it back to that small change. Instead, we attribute it to luck or our natural ability and fail to see the chain of events that led up to it. Are you someone who’s always open to making small changes or do you tend to see them as not worth the effort, because you can’t see how they could possibly make much difference? Perhaps you’re of the belief that you should only make one small change at a time, so...

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    What causes that hole in your bucket and how can you plug it?

    Perhaps you’re holding onto an out of date negative belief about yourself and your situation. Could it be that deep down you don’t believe yourself worthy of all the good things in your life, that it can’t last forever or that these sorts things are not for someone like you? More often than not, those kinds of beliefs originate outside of ourselves. They’re often conveyed by parents or other family members, either through something they said or just by implication, based on how they lived their lives. These sorts of belief can sometimes be so ingrained in you that you barely know...

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    What’s your legacy? What example would you want to set?

    Have you ever been faced with a situation where something you set out to do proved to be more challenging than you had expected?  Maybe it was always going to be a challenge, which is why you signed up for it in the first place, but  turned out to be a bigger challenge than you’d first imagined. Perhaps the overall task was more complicated than you thought or some of the variables were less than favourable e.g. the weather, other peoples’ reactions etc. What did you do?  Did you carry on and complete the task anyway or did you give up? Chances are your life story ...

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    Have you been in the dark for too long?

    ‘It's not the light that's the problem; it’s that you have been in the dark too long.’ You know when you've had the lights off for a while and they suddenly come on again that it takes a while for your eyes to adjust - what's the real cause of that? Is it really because the light has come on, or is it actually that you've been in the dark for too long? On one level, that might seem like a pointless philosophical question. You could argue the case for both positions or you could conclude that it's a combination of the two that causes the discomfort. How might it be useful to ...

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    Who makes you feel inferior?

    No-one can make you feel inferior without your permission. Eleanor Roosevelt.  What are your thoughts on this comment? Have you ever let anyone make you feel inferior? How did they do that? More importantly, how did you let them do that?  If we explore some different scenarios where someone is apparently ‘making’ you feel inferior, maybe you can decide how much it was a case of you letting them do that and in some way giving them permission.  In an extreme case, the other person might be a bully. They might actually be using language that directly implies that ...

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    Cracked or broken?

    ‘One small crack doesn't mean you're broken. It means you were put to the test and you didn't fall apart.’ Anon.  Which way do you tend to see it when a crack appears? Do you see it as the beginning of the end or do you see it as an area for learning and/or fixing?  If we follow the analogy of a crack in a wall, it could go either way. A crack can of course mean a problem with the foundation or even the structure itself. If so, then it's time to examine the cause and put it right.  Alternatively a crack in the wall can simply mean that the building has now settled...

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    If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door

    Have you ever wished or waited for an opportunity to present itself for you to do something you've always wanted to do ? How fixed was that idea as to what that opportunity should be or look like? We hear a lot about waiting for opportunities to arise, and of course they sometimes do, but what if it's more about you creating your own opportunities and being open to recognising them when they do arise? More often than not, when you have a firmly fixed idea of what you want to happen, there's a high chance of being disappointed. The more fixed your idea, the more likely your ...

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    There’s nowt so queer as folk

    This was one of my Dad's favourite sayings. He used it whenever someone did or said something that seemed odd to him. It’s another way of saying ‘people are endlessly interesting’, which is a phrase I use a lot. What makes us all interesting are our differences. If everyone behaved and thought the same, there would be no surprises but also perhaps little growth or development. Perhaps there would be little cause for friction too, but some friction can be a good thing if it makes us look at different options and ideally work towards a collaborative outcome. There are so many factors...

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