We Cross To Jenny For News Just In…

August 24, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Imagine you were responsible for programming the nightly news hour. What stories would make the cut and reach the screens of all those tuning in to watch. The viewers time is precious, they have options to switch the channel or become distracted by the other responsibilities they have. I would imagine you would want to reflect the goings on for that day in your community, nationally and internationally in the broadcast. What story would you choose to lead the coverage? “We cross to Jenny for news just in”.

If you watch, read or listen to the news today, you would know that the vast majority of the stories that make the cut are reporting on tragedy, despair, disaster, pain and fear. These stories reflect a percentage of the goings on for that day in our communities, nationally and internationally. The question is though, does that percentage reflect the actual ratio of negative to positive events that are happening in our world. Shawn Achor discusses this as part of his talk around Positive Psychology. What we tune into could distort and affect our ability to connect authentically with self, others and the world around us, and the contribution that we are able to make in creating the global village that we aspire to live in.

“90% of your long term happiness is predicted not by your external world but by the way that your brain processes the world”. How powerful a thought is this. As Shawn discusses, if we are chasing happiness then we will never actually arrive. There will always be another barrier, task or success that has to be accomplished before you will be able to be ‘happy’. Finding ways to tune into the positive wavelength, or ‘The Happiness Advantage’ that Shawn discusses, throughout our daily thoughts and actions, can create a world of difference for ourselves and others who we inspire.

Watch the talk attached, considering when you feel most joyous, alive and empowered in the moments of your day. Also consider what influences, positive and negative, can impact those feelings that see you achieving your potential in the various areas of your life. Evaluate what messages you tune into, your time is precious and your potential immense. Think how you could incorporate into your day some of Shawn’s suggested activities, such as daily gratitude, journalling, exercise, meditation or random acts of kindness, to experience the ripples that won’t only be felt by you but by your connection to others and the world around us.

“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”.
– Abraham Lincoln

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Food for Thought

August 19, 2012 at 12:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Explore (the possibilities) Discover (your potential) Act (authentically)

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.”
―Alphonse Karr 

Perspective is powerful. Being able to apply it to our experiences allows us to feel empowered as we navigate our journey of potential. Rather than blame or disappointment driving our thoughts and actions, we can be guided by our awareness and appreciation of what’s possible when we believe in ourselves and others. Reflecting on how we view various areas of our lives can highlight the positive impact possible when we choose the lens that we view life through.

This short video from Tim Costello is an example of an individual’s journey of perspective. Each of us have our own experiences, passions and beliefs that provide connection to our thoughts and actions. For Tim, a man who passionately advocates for the most vulnerable in Australia and within the global village, his father’s attitude to giving and generational perspective of challenges provides the lens for which life is viewed. Consider your connection to what you need in life compared to material possessions that could distract us along our journey of potential.

Pressures and challenges are felt by all individuals at various times, personal, expectations, relationships, education, health, ageing, financial and access to opportunity. Each of us are inspired by the perspective that someone is able to demonstrate while encountering hardship. Remaining positive, open minded, grateful and appreciating the possibility of a tomorrow that can be better than today sees that individual continuing to make a difference in their own or others lives. Take time to consider what motivates your perspective and how it is affecting your daily thoughts and actions.

Perspective is just like picking up your camera and deciding which lens will produce the best shot. Sometimes we will not see the lens required as we are all very human but reflecting on these occasions can provide greater empowerment in the future. Connection to self, others and the world around us provide opportunities for authenticity, joy and the sharing of our gifts and talents.

“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.”
― Ivy Baker Priest

Smelling the Roses

August 11, 2012 at 12:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This week has been full of reminders of that old saying, ‘to stop and smell the roses’. So many of us can experience busyness within our days, the pressures and responsibilities associated with being human, personal, family, professional and everything in between. Opportunities to stop and reflect on the beauty, joy, potential and connection that exists within our daily thoughts and actions can sometimes be forgotten or pushed behind in its importance.

This has been a beautiful winter weather week. Clear blue sky days, winter warmth and bright starry nights. The night sky is a sight that can always catch my attention and imagination if I glance in that direction. I have experienced on so many occasions throughout my life that feeling of awe, as if seeing it for the first time, looking up while doing something outside at night and appreciating the beauty and depth of the universe that surrounds us. This week it was returning home after a full day, parking the car and making my way to the front door. Unconsciously the night sky caught my attention, as if to say, do not enter the house after a busy day without first taking time to ‘stop and smell the roses’.

I am very privileged to work with groups of inspiring individuals. The children in particular offer so many opportunities to reflect on what potential and connection are all about. Again this week I have been inspired by the curious minds, thoughtful questions, courageous vulnerability and openness to growth and learning that has been witnessed. These moments take place amongst the busyness of facilitating for groups of various sizes, ages, needs, outcomes, unpredictability and the list goes on. Taking the time ‘to stop and smell the roses’ within this framework is sharing a belly laugh, really listening to the group or individual, appreciating the power of shared vulnerability, and above all being present, real and authentic in our interactions with others.

My final example from this week is time spent on the bicycle. With the weather and schedule that presented itself this week I was able to enjoy more time riding between commitments. Rather than the regularity of travelling by car when time constraints exist, there is a freedom and joy to be felt when travelling by bike. The different sounds, sights, interactions and physical activity provide for a completely different experience. Exploring opportunities to ‘stop and smell the roses’ refreshes and energises us as we continue the journey of potential within our days.

Glancing at the escarpment out the window as I write this, enjoying quality time with family or friends, sunrise or sunset, celebrating an amazing feat at the London 2012 Games, sharing a cup of tea or literally walking through a rose garden, we are presented with opportunities to stop and reflect if we choose to do so. I hope that your week has been full of moments that remind and inspire you of potential, through connection to self, others and the world around us.

“Joy springs from within; no one makes you joyous; you choose joyfulness.” – Unknown

Wise words

August 4, 2012 at 6:05 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

Our life is full of experiential learning. Each day we wake up, we step out into the world, we try our best, we succeed, we fail, we build connection with self, others and the world around us, then reflecting on our experiences we alter or affirm our thoughts and actions. These alterations and affirmation can inspire positive changes, give us courage when we encounter challenges, empower as we move towards our goals or see us caught in a cycle of obstructing our own potential.

Throughout our journey we encounter wise words. Sometimes we are open and ready to listen, sometimes we are unable to process the connection because of our experiences or current thinking. Wise words resonate with something inside of us, our inner voice that connects with our vision, values and the contribution we can make when we share our gifts, talents and true self. This authenticity is the light inside each of us, that when it is shining, we and all those around us are inspired and energised by the journey. Just like the wise words above from Steve Jobs explains, this process requires courage.

Even with courage we question the path we are on at times. This commencement speech from Steve Jobs is a powerful reminder of the importance of authenticity and the trust and belief required throughout our daily thoughts and actions. As he discusses, connecting the dots looking forwards is impossible to do. We can plan and prepare but the only thing we can control is our thoughts and actions. An empowered attitude, supported by interdependent networks, and sharing and learning from wise words can assist us on our journey of potential, allowing us to connect the dots looking back. Consider who inspires you, usually it is people who are walking an authentic path. Enjoy writing your own story that will inspire others and bring joy and gratitude to your days.

 

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