Melanie’s Motivational Monday Messages

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Are you HIP or DIP?


 
I am on an eight month course with Robert Holden (& Michael Neill) and he was talking recently about the difference between HIP and DIP: 

  • Healthy Independent Person
  • Dysfunctional Independent Person 

Much of our upbringing in the West is about creating independent individuals who are strong, resilient and self-reliant. And, while there is a healthy level of independence, too many of us can end up as a DIP rather than a HIP.

A Dysfunctional Independent Person is someone: 

  • Who thinks it is weak to ask for support, advice or assistance.
  • Whose Inner Critic tends to say, ‘just get on with it’, ‘what are you making a fuss about’, ‘pull yourself together’, leading to brittle rather than healthy independence.
  • Who other people turn to for support but they never think of offering it, because they consider that person is OK as they are so independent.
  • Who thinks that their success is totally reliant on their own efforts, often forgetting the interdependence of all of us. 

When I heard about the HIP and DIP idea, I saw aspects of myself in both HIP and DIP. In terms of HIP, I have become better at reaching out and asking for support, especially in lockdown, alone and shielding. But I know that people still consider me as strong and independent and perhaps do not realise that I might need support myself, so it is just as well I have got better at asking for it!
 
HIP is also about recognising the interdependency of our lives and that we are never truly independent as we rely on so many others to support our own existence. More about that in another MMMM.
 
This week …  

  • Notice when are you being HIP: asking for support, showing appreciation for other people’s efforts, admitting when you don't know, when you need advice. 
  • Notice when you are DIP: feeling you have to be strong, must not show any vulnerabilities, when your Inner Critic rather than your Inner Wisdom is driving the show. 
  • What is the impact on you and those around you when you are DIP rather than HIP?

‘Independence is a heady draught, and if you drink it in your youth, it can have the same effect on the brain as young wine does. It does not matter that its taste is not always appealing. It is addictive and with each drink you want more.’
Maya Angelou


‘Independence? That's middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.’
George Bernard Shaw

 
‘The truth is that since childhood I had cultivated an existential independence. It came from perceiving the adults around me as unreliable, and without it I felt I wouldn't have survived. I cared deeply for everyone in my family, but in the end I depended on myself.’
Sonia Sotomayor 

Do you want support in becoming more HIP than DIP?
 
Take my Free coaching audit – explore how coaching might help you to understand, process and deal with your emotions, master your Inner Critic, and have the life you want and succeed at work, click here for details and to download the free coaching questionnaire.
 
FREE Taster Work For HR, L&D managers & leaders
 
On Tuesday 8 September, 10-11.30am, I am offering a free taster workshop on Resilience At Work for people who work in HR and L&D. Click here for more details or book your place by emailing mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 
 
Places are limited to 10 people so that you can have the same experience as a participant would – if there is the demand, I will run this more than once.
 
Take care, keep safe, be wise this week.


Melanie Greene

Occupational Psychologist
Coach, trainer, workplace mediator and writer
Inspire Transformation
Specialist in tackling stress and conflict at work
T: 01865 377334
 
For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs click here and Inspire newsletter click here or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

Are you creating or consuming?


 
I belong to the BOLD Goals Group in Oxford (see here) and, at our meeting, the other night on creativity we explored the questions: 

  • What do you do that is creative?
  • What do you do that is consuming?
  • How does one impact the other? 

It is very easy for people to think they are not creative. However, when we answer these questions, we might be surprised by what we do create. Here is an example of what I wrote:
 


I find that when I am doing creative activities, I am often in the moment, in flow, and I enjoy the process of doing it.
 
My consumption often feeds my creativity. For example, I hear a great TED talk and write a MMMM about it. Or I read something and then find creative ways to pass the ideas onto clients. Meanwhile, watching great TV after a day of creating, equals some well-earned downtime. Sometimes the two are combined: I listen to BBC Sounds and interesting programmes while cooking.
 
One is not better than the other but it feels good to have a balance between the two. And, sometimes in lockdown, we have to find creative ways to get creative!
 
This week …  

  • Notice how much of your time is spent being creative. Are there activities that you had not really associated with creativity? 
  • Notice when you are consuming and when it is mindless versus mindful. For example: choosing to sit down and watch a chosen TV programme you will enjoy versus switching on and vegging out to whatever is on. Or mindfully eating something delicious versus consuming it without really noticing it at all. 
  • How does creativity and consumption feed into and benefit the other?


‘To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination.’
Albert Einstein
 
‘It is impossible to be creative with your life and to worry about what people think of you, so the choice is – which one to give up?’
Anne Dickson – A Book of Your Ow

‘The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.’
Carl Jung
 
‘Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.’
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Free audits & taster sessions to help you at work and in life
 
Whether you are an individual, a manager, running a team, department or business, I can help you to transform yourself from the inside out.
 
Take my Free coaching audit – explore how coaching might help you to understand, process and deal with your emotions so that they do not stop you from having the life you want and succeeding at work, click here for details and to download the free coaching questionnaire.
 
FREE Taster Work For HR, L&D managers & leaders
 
On Tuesday 8 September, 10-11.30am, I am offering a free taster workshop on Resilience At Work for people who work in HR and L&D. Click here for more details or book your place by emailing mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 
 
Places are limited to 10 people so that you can have the same experience as a participant would – if there is the demand I will run this more than once.
 
Take care, keep safe, be wise this week.


Melanie Greene

Occupational Psychologist
Coach, trainer, workplace mediator and writer
Inspire Transformation
Specialist in tackling stress and conflict at work
T: 01865 377334
 

The Cathartic Effect Of Crying

Over the last few months I have had lots of conversations with clients about crying. Clients have either cried online during a coaching session and felt embarrassed, when they needn’t feel that. Or talked about the pent up anger, frustration, anxiety which is infecting their relationships, in and out of work, and that is when I talk about releasing those emotions.
 
Now, there are lots of ways of releasing negative emotions, which we discuss. However, from clients’, and my own, personal experience, crying can be incredibly cathartic. It is about letting go, when you have been holding back, releasing, admitting the overwhelm, the sadness, the loneliness, the pain or whatever it is you are really feeling.
 
We are all dealing with a hugely challenging global pandemic, which is having an impact on people’s lives, livelihoods, home schooling, shielding due to ill health, along with the long term uncertainty about the future. This is alongside any problems you might already have: aging parents, children with different needs, health or relationship problems, loneliness.
 
It is not surprising that sometimes it is overwhelming. And that is when we need to release those emotions. There are a lot of ‘oughts’, ‘shoulds’, ‘shouldn’ts’ around crying. As one client said, they have their ‘pull yourself together’ mentality, which might work in the short term, but often simply results in pent up emotions, anxiety, and sleepless nights.
 
This week …  

  • Are you holding in or suppressing emotions?
  • Are you ‘soldiering on’ when you really want to collapse?
  • How can you find the space and time to be with your emotions?
  • Think about writing in a journal, talking to a good friend, counsellor or coach.

It is telling that in looking for quotes on crying I found a lot of negative ones! But here are some more supportive ones: 

‘... you know that a good, long session of weeping can often make you feel better, even if your circumstances have not changed one bit.’ 
Lemony Snicket, The Bad Beginning
 
‘Do not apologize for crying. Without this emotion, we are only robots.’ 
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
 
‘It opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes, and softens down the temper; so cry away.’
Charles Dickens
 
‘My recipe for dealing with anger and frustration: set the kitchen timer for twenty minutes, cry, rant, and rave, and at the sound of the bell, simmer down and go about business as usual.’
Phyllis Diller

 
Do you want support managing the pressures of work and life?
 
Whether you are an individual, a manager, running a team, department or business, I can help you to transform yourself from the inside out
 
Take my Free coaching audit – explore how coaching might help you to understand, process and deal with your emotions so that they do not stop you from having the life you want and succeeding at work, click here for details and to download the free coaching questionnaire.
 
Do you want more inspiration? Click here for recordings of past webinars and short COVID videos shot during March and April.
 
Take care, keep safe, be wise this week.


Melanie Greene

Occupational Psychologist
Coach, trainer, workplace mediator and writer
Inspire Transformation
Specialist in tackling stress and conflict at work
T: 01865 377334
 
For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs here and Inspire newsletter here or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

What would a good friend say to you?


During lockdown, I have taken part in two of Deepak Chopra’s 21 Day Programmes which have daily exercises and meditations (see here). In his 21 Days of Becoming, there was an exercise which really chimed with me as I often say to clients that we wouldn't say to a good friend what we allow our Inner Critic to say to us!
 
The exercise is very simple – with an example from a client of mine: 

1. Write down aspects of yourself that you criticise the most? 
‘I am not good at coping with change. I am too reliant on others.’ 
 
2. For each one, describe a time when you showed behaviour that has been free from that judgement?  
‘I have changed jobs in the past, I have developed myself as a person, I left a marriage that was not making me happy.’
 
3. Reflect on the gap between reality and your negative self-belief and write down what you would tell a friend who held a similar belief? 

‘You do not realise how strong you are, just because you wobble when things are challenging and there are changes does not mean you are not good at coping. You have lots of inner resources and are good at asking for support.’
 
This week … notice when you are criticising yourself and use the exercise to challenge those criticisms and gain a more positive and balanced perspective on yourself.
 
Here are some inspiring quotes from Deepak Chopra:


‘The most creative act you will ever undertake is the act of creating yourself.’
 
'The highest levels of performance come to people who are centered, intuitive, creative, and reflective – people who know to see a problem as an opportunity.'
 
'Holding on to anything is like holding on to your breath. You will suffocate. The only way to get anything in the physical universe is by letting go of it. Let go and it will be yours forever.' 

FREE Taster Work For HR, L&D managers & leaders
 
On Wednesday 15 July, 10-11.30am, I am offering a free taster workshop on Resilience At Work for people who work in HR and L&D. The aim is to give them the opportunity to get a taste for my approach to: 

  • The topic of Resilience At Work exploring two key models:
  • The Zone of Optimal Performance
  • The Brain’s Threat Response 
  • Using Zoom to make the workshops as interactive and as interesting as possible.

Places are limited to 10 people so that you can have the same experience as a participant would – if there is the demand, I will run this more than once.
 
For more information or to book your place, call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 
 
Past webinars recordings - Please note that this is specifically for people working in HR or L&D rather than the general public like previous webinars, which will be returning shortly. Click here for recordings of past webinars.
 
Take care, keep safe, be wise this week.


Melanie Greene

Occupational Psychologist
Coach, trainer, workplace mediator and writer
Inspire Transformation
Specialist in tackling stress and conflict at work
T: 01865 377334
 

 The Inner Revolution

Welcome to Melanie’s Monday Motivational Message or MMMM. Today’s topic is:


 The Inner Revolution

For the last two Mondays I have been sharing Brené Brown’s, Rising Strong process: 

The Reckoning – click here for last week’s MMMM 
The Rumble - click here for last week’s MMMM 
The Revolution

As with the other two areas, there is a lot more in her book: Rising Strong (see here) but today’s MMMM will give you some food for thought. 
 
The Revolution
 
Having been honest with yourself about your emotions in The Reckoning, and really Rumbled with the stories that you tell yourself to try and make sense of the world, The Revolution is where the transformation happens deep inside of you, new perspectives on yourself and your situation, and maybe leading to major changes in how you operate in the world.
 
The Revolution is in Brené’s words:
 
‘The rising strong process can lead to deep, tumultuous, groundbreaking and no-turning back transformations. The process may be a series of incremental changes, but when the process becomes a practice – a way of engaging with the world – there’s no doubt that it ignites revolutionary change.’
 
That might seem a bit daunting to you right now and, in the final chapter in her book, she does write about how businesses, communities have applied the rising strong process to their teams, organisations and communities to bring about major change.
 
However, for us in our daily lives, what caught my attention is when she says: ‘when the process becomes a daily practice’. If you are going through this rising strong process daily, how will it change you?
 
This week … 

  • Do the Reckoning each day – check in with yourself and your emotions.
  • Are you denying how you are feeling, or are you engaging in avoidance behaviours to numb the feelings?  
  • Rumble with the stories that you tell yourself to get to a truer picture of what is going on for you.  
  • Be prepared for a revolution in your being, what you think and believe, what you do.

For some, that Revolution is what leads to new jobs, relationships, moving house or country or taking time out. 
 
For many, it will be about a new sense of authenticity, honesty with themselves and others.
 
Brené ends her book with the Manifesto of the Brave and Brokenhearted, here is an extract from it:

‘When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we run from struggle, we are never free.
So we turn toward truth and look it in the eye.
 
We will not be characters in our stories.
Not villains, not victims, not even heroes.
 
We are the authors of our lives.
We write our own daring endings.’
 
Do you want support in being the author of your own life?
 
Whether you are an individual, a manager, running a team, department or business I can help you to transform yourself from the inside out
 
Take my Free coaching audit – explore how coaching might help you to understand, process and deal with your emotions so that they do not stop you from having the life you want and succeeding at work, click here for details and to download the free coaching questionnaire.
 
FREE Taster Work For HR, L&D managers & leaders
 
On Wednesday 15 July 10-11.30am I am offering a free taster workshop on Resilience At Work for people who work in HR and L&D. Click here for more details or book your place by emailing mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 
 
Places are limited to 10 people so that you can have the same experience as a participant would – if there is the demand I will run this more than once.
 
Take care, keep safe, be wise this week.


Melanie Greene
www.inspiretransformation.co.ukMelanie Greene
01865 377334
mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk
 

Rumbling With Your Emotions
 

Last Monday, I mentioned that I am rereading Brené Brown’s book, ‘Rising Strong’ (https://brenebrown.com). And that, for three weeks, I will explore what she describes as the three parts to the Rising Strong process: 

The Reckoning – click here for last week’s MMMM 
The Rumble
The Revolution 

The Rumble … Brené says:
 
‘The Reckoning is how we walk into our story; the rumble is where we own it. The goal of the rumble is to get honest about the stories we’re making up about our struggles, to revisit, challenge and reality-check these narratives.’
 
Rumbling is exploring the shadow side of ourselves which we all try and hide from ourselves and others: our shame, blame, anger, fears, resentments, etc.
 
We make up our own stories in our heads to make sense of what is happening to us but it is rarely the whole truth. It can be full of ‘conspiracies and confabulations’.

These might be about the reasons behind: 

  • Arguments and conflicts with others.
  • Heartbreaks and falling out with others.
  • Failures and mistakes we have made.
  • And even day to day interactions and situations if we are not fully in the present but the stories in our heads.

There is a lot to the rumbling process which goes over several chapters in her book, but a good starting point is to ask yourself – in Brené Brown’s own words: 

  1. What more do I need to learn and understand about the situation?What do I objectively know?
    • What assumptions am I making?

2. What more do I need to learn and understand about the other people in this story?

  • What additional information do I need?
  • What questions or clarifications might help?

3. What more do I need to learn and understand about myself?What’s underneath my response?

  • What am I really feeling?
  • What part did I play?

Not all the questions will be relevant to your situation but I used them the other morning when I was feeling overwhelmed by dealing with my mum’s health issue from afar, and my own health, while trying to keep working. They really helped me to get a different perspective on the situation I was in and come up with wise actions to take.


'You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.’
Maya Angelou


‘Character – the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life – is the source from which self-respect springs.’
Joan Didion 

Do you want support in doing the rumbling? Then consider some help in doing this either with:  

Free coaching audit – explore how coaching might help you to understand, process and deal with your emotions so that they do not stop you from having the life you want and succeeding at work, click here for details and to download the free coaching questionnaire.


Being & Doing – Spring Into Action: This 8-week online course will give you a range of tools and techniques to assist you in Rising Strong. Click here for details. Special rates for these challenging times £49 inc. VAT instead of £99 inc. VAT. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to book your place.
Take care, keep safe, be wise this week.


Melanie Greene

Occupational Psychologist
Coach, trainer, workplace mediator and writer
Inspire Transformation
Specialist in tackling stress and conflict at work
T: 01865 377334
 

Get Curious About Your Story


 
I am rereading Brené Brown’s book, Rising Strong (click here). She says there are three parts to the Rising Strong process: 

The Reckoning
The Rumble
The Revolution

And I thought I would cover each of these in the next three weeks.
 
The Reckoning … Brené says:


‘Men and women who rise strong are willing and able to reckon with their emotions.’
 

There are two parts to this: 

Realising that you are feeling something – rather than resorting to behaviours such as keeping busy, overworking, over drinking, over shopping to avoid the feelings of hurt, anger, sadness, anxiety, etc. 
Getting curious as to what is happening – asking yourself questions like:

  • Why am I getting angry with everyone and everything today?
  • What is really going on for me?
  • Why am I going down the rabbit hole of negative thinking about X or Y?
  • What is causing the tension in my neck or the migraine?

There is so much more to The Reckoning than I can cover here, so do consider reading her book. 
 
Brené goes into the reasons why we shy away from the Reckoning. How our upbringing often keeps us fearful of ‘going there’. So, we avoid the emotions, or only show our anger, frustration, etc. When, if we stopped, got curious, we would realise we are really feeling something else.
 
This week reflect on … 

  • What are you feeling right now? Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk if you want a copy of my Mood Map to help you to do this. 
  • Get curious with some questions from the above list to dig deeper into what is really behind the emotions.  
  • If you are fearful of doing this, then explore what those fears are about. That in itself will tell you something valuable. 

‘Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.’
Brené Brown


‘Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.’
Brian Tracy 
 
‘The challenge is not to be perfect...it’s to be whole.’ 
Jane Fonda 

Do you find it hard to do this Reckoning process?
 
Then consider some help in doing this either with:  

Free coaching audit – explore how coaching might help you to understand, process and deal with your emotions so that they do not stop you from having the life you want and succeeding at work, click here for details and to download the free coaching questionnaire. 


Being & Doing – Spring Into Action: This 8 week online course will give you a range of tools and techniques to assist you in Rising Strong. Click here for details. Special rates for these challenging times £49 inc. VAT instead of £99 inc. VAT. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to book your place.

Take care, keep safe, be wise this week.


Melanie Greene

Occupational Psychologist
Coach, trainer, workplace mediator and writer
Inspire Transformation
Specialist in tackling stress and conflict at work
T: 01865 377334

Notice Your Noticing!
 
Sometimes, a throwaway remark can get me thinking, ‘that would make a good MMMM topic’. I am on an 8-month online programme with the American coach, Michael Neil, and the UK coach, Robert Holden. During a masterclass, Michael said, in response to someone talking about overthinking, beating themselves up when they notice that they are beating themselves up. He said – I paraphrase:
 
Notice Your Noticing – when you go down a rabbit hole of negative thinking, simply bring yourself back.
 
He then went onto say:
 
Your consciousness has your back. Don't give yourself shit when you notice you have fallen into old patterns of behaviour or thinking. Instead, consider it great news that your consciousness has noticed. Instead of beating yourself up, celebrate the noticing.
 
I love this idea of simply ‘noticing the noticing’, rather than analysing or beating yourself up, as many of my clients can fall into that rabbit hole of noticing, beating themselves up, then further beating themselves up!
 
This week reflect on ….. 

  • Notice what is happening within you: your thoughts, your feelings, and the impact on your behaviour. 
  • Simply notice when thoughts, feelings or behaviour are less than positive and instead of beating yourself up, simply notice, learn, let go. 

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell,
a Hell of Heaven’
John Milton
 
‘Be the master of your own mind, rather than let your mind master you.’
Nichiren Daishonin
 
‘Your own insight in your own time has the greatest meaning and value’
Anne Dickson
 

Do you want some assistance with noticing and letting go? 

Free coaching audit – explore how coaching might help you to be more resilient and achieve our goals, click here for details and to download the free coaching questionnaire. 

Free video shorts & webinar recordings - click here to view a series of COVID19 Thoughts for the day video shorts and webinar recordings. 

Being & Doing – Spring Into Action - 8-week online course, click here for details of all the tools and techniques you learn week by week. Special rates for these challenging times £49 inc. VAT instead of £99 inc. VAT. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to book your place.

Take care, keep safe, be wise this week.

Melanie Greene

Occupational Psychologist
Coach, trainer, workplace mediator and writer
Inspire Transformation
Specialist in tackling stress and conflict at work
T: 01865 377334
 

‘I don’t know, 'Yet’’

I was reminded of this idea on a free webinar I attended recently. It is a way of moving from a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset (click here to learn more about this).
 
Most of us have some things in our lives where we have a Fixed Mindset, where we think we are hopeless, not good enough, we will never master whatever it is. Here are a few of mine: 

  • I have never managed to learn a foreign language.
  • I am no good at strategic thinking and planning.
  • I am hopeless at any ball sports.

What are yours? Where you have a Fixed Mindset?
 
Now insert the word ‘Yet’ and notice how different if feels … 

  • I have not learned a foreign language yet.
  • I have not learned an effective and enjoyable way to do strategic thinking and planning yet.
  • I have not learned any ball sports yet.

Yet – that one small word makes me think: ‘Not yet, but if I do want to do X, I can get myself a coach or some training or a mentor to help me to do this’. Suddenly, things start to seem possible; that is the beauty of a Growth Mindset. 
 
This week reflect on … 

  • When do you slip into a Fixed Mindset?
  • How will using ‘Yet’ free you up?
  • Keep on developing a Growth Mindset – email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk for a handout on how to do this.

‘The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives. 
Carol Dweck


‘Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. 
Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.’
Helen Kellor
 

Do you want some coaching or training support? 

Free coaching audit – explore how coaching might help you to be more resilient and achieve our goals, click here for details and to download the free coaching questionnaire. 

Free video shorts & webinar recordings - click here to view a series of COVID19 Thoughts for the day video shorts and webinar recordings. 

Being & Doing – Spring Into Action - 8 week online course, click here for details of all the tools and techniques you learn week by week. Special rates for these challenging times £49 inc. VAT instead of £99 inc. VAT. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to book your place. 

SLT & Team Development – we are now running all programmes online with innovative and interactive ways to make our workshops enjoyable, practical and inspiring. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to discuss your needs in confidence.

Take care, keep safe, be wise this week.


Melanie Greene

Occupational Psychologist
Coach, trainer, workplace mediator and writer
Inspire Transformation
Specialist in tackling stress and conflict at work
T: 01865 377334
 

What is your one wish in the world?

Good morning

Welcome to Melanie’s Terrific Tuesday Message instead of the usual MMMM as, in the UK, Monday was a Bank Holiday.

Today’s topic is:

What is your one wish in the world? 

If you took away wishes for an immediate cure or vaccination for Covid19, or end to war, or end of inequality or solving climate change – right now, what would your one wish be?
 
This thought came to me after an experience last Sunday when my brother FaceTimed me from my elderly mum’s house, when he dropped off her shopping, so I could say ‘Hi’ to her. I speak to her twice daily and she doesn't particularly like FaceTiming, she says it doesn't look like me! So, he said, let me show you her garden. She lives in the house I grew up in from the age of 2½ and, as he walked me around her beautiful garden, tears came into my eyes (as they are doing as I write this). It was the thought that I don't know when I will next be there to see her, to hug her.
 
And it came to me that, like in 9/11, all the phone calls from the towers and from the plane were messages of love. And if someone said you have one wish for what you could do today or where you could be, what would it be? 
 
Regardless of the fact that I dream of seeing the Northern Lights, I would go to see my mum and hug her, have tea with her in her lovely garden.
 
At the beginning of the year, I had already decided that, as she is 85 and won’t be with us forever, I would see her twice a month rather than monthly (she does not live near me). But my own health issues early in the year, and then the pandemic, mean I have not seen her since January. But when it is safe, sometime in the future, I will see her, we will go for day trips, weeks away, even if in this country. Time with my family is what I value and miss most.
 
This week reflect on … 

  • What is the one thing you are missing most?
  • How will you prioritise it when the ‘new normal’ comes?
  • In the meantime, how can you stay connected with that feeling, with whatever the meaning is that you attached to it? 


‘There will be times in life when impossibility is felt, but then there are dreams - and dreams allow us possibility.’
Jeffrey David Lang
 
‘We need to hold fast to our dreams. Don’t let the enemy of doubt take them. Our hopes and vision for the future are certainly as valid as any doubt or feat. By holding to them, as in a great storm, we can actualise them.’
Barbara Cahill 

What to make a change in your life or at work? 

Free coaching audit – explore how coaching might help you to be more resilient and achieve our goals, click here for details and to download the free coaching questionnaire. 


Free video shorts & webinar recordings - Click here to view a series of COVID19 ‘Thoughts for the Day’ video shorts and webinar recordings. 


Being & Doing – Spring Into Action - 8-week online course, click here for details of all the tools and techniques you learn week by week. Special rates for these challenging times £49 inc. VAT instead of £99 inc. VAT. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to book your place.

Take care, keep safe, be wise this week.


Melanie Greene

Occupational Psychologist
Coach, trainer, workplace mediator and writer
Inspire Transformation
Specialist in tackling stress and conflict at work
T: 01865 377334
 

Have you had a spiritual tantrum?

One of the benefits of lockdown is re-reading some of the many books on my many bookshelves! I was reading a little book by Karen Salmansohn, ‘How to Change Your Entire Life By Doing Absolutely Nothing’ (see here) which I think on my first reading didn't really hit me, as it seemed simplistic. However, perhaps under lockdown it somehow took on new meaning, because it is actually very profound. 
 
One of the concepts she talks about is ‘a kriya’, which she describes as ‘something like having a spiritual tantrum that leads to an awakening’.
 
She talks about getting so sick and tired of a particular situation in your life, of thinking and talking about a situation, that eventually you have your ‘a kriya’ and breakthrough and take some action to change your life. This could be about a relationship, a friendship, a work situation, a health issue, or even a state of being or mindset.

  • This week reflect on … Have you had ‘a kriya’ in the past and what did it lead to? 
  • Are you in the midst of ‘a kriya’ or a spiritual tantrum? 
  • Are you so sick and tired of something in your life that you are ready to make changes? 
  • What changes can you make or what are the first steps to take? 

Having written this, I then listened again to the ‘Coronavirus bedtime story 2020’ and realised that society also needs to go through this process and create a new way of living, where everyone across society and the world can thrive physically, mentally and materially.

‘If you can't change your fate, change your attitude.’
Amy Tan
 
‘When the whole situation makes you unhappy and confused, choose one thing, however small, that you would like to change.’
Anne Dickson 

‘There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly.’ 
Buckminster Fuller  

Want to make a change in your life or at work? 

Free coaching audit – explore how coaching might help you to be more resilient and achieve your goals, see here for details and to download the free coaching questionnaire. 

Free video shorts & webinar recordings - see here to view a series of COVID19 ‘Thoughts for the day’ video shorts and webinar recordings. 

Being & Doing – Spring Into Action - 8-week online course, see here for details of all the tools and techniques you learn week by week. Special rates for these challenging times £49 inc. VAT instead of £99 inc. VAT. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to book your place.

Take care, keep safe, be wise this week.


Melanie Greene

Occupational Psychologist
Coach, trainer, workplace mediator and writer
Inspire Transformation
Specialist in tackling stress and conflict at work
T: 01865 377334
 

This too shall pass

One of my colleagues, Roy Leighton (see here), shared a story that, although I had heard it before, resonated much more in this time of lockdown and global pandemic. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk if you would like to hear it.

It was good to be reminded of the idea of ‘this too shall pass’ as a way of finding perspective and detachment from the good and bad times in life. 
 
The bad times will pass –

  • This pandemic, although global, feels all pervasive and will eventually pass.
  • The economic knock-on effect is, and will be, huge but it will eventually pass.
  • I have to remind myself in lockdown on my own that, although I cannot see my elderly mother now or for many months, in the end I will see her again.
  • That in a year’s time things will be different (some better, some worse) but life has a habit of moving on.

The good times will pass 

  • I was reminded of this yesterday, sat in my garden, getting the last rays of the evening sunshine after a day of working indoors. I was admiring my beautiful Aquilegia (Lady’s Bonnet) flower and wishing they would flower forever. And being reminded that I felt the same way about the beautiful daffodils and then the gorgeous rhododendron (see picture above).
  • While in lockdown, I am getting so much more pleasure from my garden but also noticing this yearning for beautiful things not to disappear, which of course they will.

I had a coaching client who is building their personal resilience and feeling so much better and more capable of managing the challenges at work. Then they said, ‘I have started to worry about the future and that, when something challenging comes up, I won’t be able to cope’. I said, of course, challenges will appear but part of resilience is that you are human; you might wobble but you have the resources to right yourself quicker than in the past.
 
This week … 

  • Are there aspects of the current situation that you are struggling with that the attitude of ‘this too will pass’ will help ease the pain?  
  • Are there positive aspects of your life which you are fearful of losing and recognising ‘this too will pass’ will help you to not attach your happiness to this? 

I am reminded of a Buddhist quote from Nichiren Daishonin – which I have paraphrased here: 


‘You are as if in winter, but winter always turns to spring. Never, from ancient times on, has anyone seen or heard of winter turning back to autumn.’
 

The fact is that spring will come again but we might be in for a long hard winter, and summer will also go ahead. 
 
And another quote from Winston Churchill, although I had always thought it was from Gandhi but the internet says otherwise:


 ‘If you're going through hell, keep going.’ 

As the only way out of it is through it!
 
Do you want to develop your resilience? 

Free coaching audit - explore how coaching might help you to be more resilient and achieve our goals, see here for details and to download the free coaching questionnaire

Free video shorts & webinar recordings - see here to view a series of COVID19 Thoughts for the day video shorts and webinar recordings.  

Being & Doing – Spring Into Action - 8 week online course, see here for details of all the tools and techniques you learn week by week. Special rates for these challenging times £49 inc. VAT instead of £99 inc. VAT. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to book your place.

Take care, keep safe, be wise this week.


Melanie Greene

Occupational Psychologist
Coach, trainer, workplace mediator and writer
Inspire Transformation
Specialist in tackling stress and conflict at work
T: 01865 377334
 

Create a spiral of personal resilience

Good morning
 
Welcome to Melanie’s Monday Motivational Message or MMMM. Today’s topic is:


 Create a spiral of personal resilience
 
I am doing quite a bit of CPD (Continued Professional Development) at the moment, courtesy of many free online webinars that are taking place. Last week, I attended the first online webinar organised by Oxford Brookes University’s Business School, for whom I run workshops from time to time, click here for future events. Diane Wilkinson (click here) shared her model of personal resilience and kindly said we can share it with others, while referencing her.
 
Her 10F Spiral of Personal Resilience starts with 5 ‘Essentials for good mental health’: 

  1. Fluid – we perhaps all know the importance of this nowadays.
  2. Food – the importance of providing ourselves with nourishment and sustenance. However, many of us who enjoy cooking are saying that having delicious food to look forward to is playing an important role in terms of resilience when there is little else to look forward to!
  3. Forty winks – research, time and again, shows the importance of this to our physical, mental and emotional health, and resilience.
  4. Friends and family – those who have healthy, supportive relationships tend to be more resilient.
  5. Fitness – even in lockdown, the Government is recognising the importance of this.

The next 5 Fs - and she says she has been told by friends and colleagues about 21 other Fs but she is sticking to these top 10: 

6. Focus – both in and out of work, having something to aim for.

7. Forgiveness - this was perhaps unexpected but she said that, if we do not forgive both ourselves and others, we become bitter, which festers and undermines our ability to be resilient. Which I have definitely seen in others.

8. Physical contact (yes, she knows it starts with a P but sounds like a F!) – and the fact is that a lot of people are missing hugging grandchildren, elderly parents, etc. right now.

9. Fun – it gives us energy, it lightens the load, it makes life easy to cope with. 

10. Forever Learning – partly, this is to do with the growth mindset and our ability to cope and be resilient in the face of changes in our circumstances, mistakes that we make, the challenges of needing to learn and grow. 

This week think about … 

  • What Fs are you strong on, how are they helping you to not just survive but thrive in the current situation? 
  • What Fs are you lacking in, do you need to develop further?  

‘The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them.’
Bernard M Baruch
 
‘The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.’
Helen Keller 

‘We need to hold fast to our dreams. Don’t let the enemy of doubt take them. Our hopes and vision for the future are certainly as valid as any doubt or feat. By holding to them, as in a great storm, we can actualise them.’
Barbara Cahill 

Do you want to develop your resilience? 

Free coaching audit – explore how coaching might help you to be more resilient and achieve your goals, click here for details and to download the free coaching questionnaire. 

Free video shorts & webinar recordings: click here to view a series of COVID19 Thoughts for the day video shorts and webinar recordings. 

Being & Doing – Spring Into Action: 8 week online course, click here for details of all the tools and techniques you learn week by week. Special rates for these challenging times £49 inc. VAT instead of £99 inc. VAT. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to book your place.


Take care, keep safe, be wise this week.


Melanie Greene

Occupational Psychologist
Coach, trainer, workplace mediator and writer
Inspire Transformation
Specialist in tackling stress and conflict at work
T: 01865 377334

Good morning
 
Welcome to Melanie’s Monday Motivational Message or MMMM. Today’s topic is:

Thrown back on your own resources 

This was a throwaway remark by Ian McDermott from ITS (https://itsnlp.com) on a free webinar that I attended last week, which got me thinking.
 
The topic was ‘Leading from within’ and the fact that only when we are in a resourceful state ourselves can we lead others, whether that is your team or your family, or even supporting your friends and community. 
 
He said that the pandemic has ‘thrown us back on our own resources’, which sparked a thought about the resources that we can draw upon at this time, both our inner and outer resources.
 
What inner resources might you draw on: 

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Humour
  • Patience
  • Compassion
  • Wisdom
  • Courage
  • Determination
  • Acceptance
  • Stoicism
  • What else are you drawing on? 

What outer resources might you draw on: 

  • People who support you, who make you laugh, who mentor or inspire you.
  • Routines, rhythm to your day that support you.
  • Activities which nurture, strengthen, support you: exercise, meditation, journaling, being in nature, music, painting, reading, writing, etc.

This week …

  • Which resources are you going to draw on to sustain you? 
  • What will make a difference to you today?  

‘Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.’
Helen Keller 

‘I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time.’
Anna Freud
 
‘In the highest civilization, the book is still the highest delight. He who has once known its satisfactions is provided with a resource against calamity.’
Ralph Waldo Emerson
 

Looking for more support and inspiration? 

  • Join me TODAY online for 8 weeks on my Being & Doing – Spring Into Action: see here for details of all the tools and techniques you learn week by week. Special rates for these challenging times £49 inc. VAT instead of £99 inc. VAT. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to book your place. 
  • Free video shorts: COVID19 Thoughts for the day I have decided to do very short, 4-6 minute, videos, 2-3 times a week about topics and thoughts related to not just surviving this period of time but how we can thrive right now, see here

Free webinar recordings:

Happy Healthy Conflict - how to communicate in these difficult times:

How to have a better relationship with yourself:


Being & Doing – how to achieve in challenging times:

 

 

 

To Do or Not To Do

During this period of lockdown, I am hearing from many friends that there are many different aspects of this period of time that they are really valuing, and other activities that they realise they are really pleased to not have to do.
 
This got me thinking that, during this time, we might want to make lists for future reference for when the world gets back to ‘normal’. Perhaps, we might want to stop and think about what we want the new ‘normal’ to be like.
 
List of things you are enjoying which either you never did before or perhaps you did not do enough of. Here are some that people have said to me, and a couple of my own: 

  • Sitting down and having family meals together every day. Sad to think that so many people don't do that but, as one friend explained, mealtimes are often staggered as children are off doing different activities.
  • Having games evenings and movie nights with the family.
  • Cycling or walking as a family.
  • Gathering something together each week to send to my mum to cheer her up – funny things from Facebook as she is not online, family photos, etc. (this is from me).
  • Painting and listening to plays on BBC Sounds at the weekends (me again).
  • Having a chance to do nothing, just be.
  • Listening to the bird song, really soaking up the beauty of nature and the spring flowers (me and many others have said this). 

List of things you are delighted you don't have to do anymore! These are either things you might want to eliminate forever from your life or reduce when things return to ‘normal’: 

  • Having a long Easter weekend relaxing rather than rushing here and there trying to visit everyone and pleasing no one!
  • Having no commitments, no places to be, people to see.
  • Not having to commute, therefore having more time to exercise, relax, read, etc.
  • Not having to worry about what you look like, what you wear most of the time.
  • For me, as I live alone, and not having clients coming to my house at the moment, I can have it how I want it and not in ‘client friendly’ mode!! 

List of things you are missing As I was writing this, I realised that there is another list of things you might be really missing and do want to go back to.

  • Hugging people - me again - I live alone and I am self-isolating alone.  Not being able to give my family a hug is, oh, so hard – little did I know how much I would miss it.
  • Commuting – a client actually said this to me, but the reason was because that was when she read fiction and she was finding it hard to build that time into her day.
  • Food shopping – for those of us who are not allowed to do our own shopping for many months to come and are reliant on others. I miss, in particular, not being able to ‘just pop to the shops’ for something extra I need. 
  • Silence – I have worked at home for decades and live in a terrace house. I miss the silence of when my neighbours were out at work and I had not realised how quiet it was – and I don't, thankfully, have really noisy neighbours! 

This week start your own lists, really use this time to pause and ponder what you want your ‘new normal’ to be like when the restrictions start to life.

‘The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.’
Helen Keller
 
‘Our attitude toward life determines life's attitude towards us.’ 
Earl Nightingale 
 
‘If your train is on the wrong track, every station you come to is the wrong station.’ 
Bernard Malamud

Looking for more support and inspiration? 

Free webinar: Being & Doing – how focussing on your Being helps you to be more productive, effective and enjoy life more What is it that you are trying to get done both in and outside of work? How can working on your mindset, mood, motivation help you to do more? 1-1.30pm Tuesday 21 April: see https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-being-doing-how-can-it-help-you/ for details. 

Free video shorts: COVID19 Thoughts for the day I have decided to do very short 4-6 minute videos 2-3 times a week about topics and thoughts related to not just surviving this period of time but how we can thrive right now, see: https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-inspire-videos-and-podcasts/ 

Free webinar recordings: Happy Healthy Conflict - how to communicate in these difficult times, click here.
How to have a better relationship with yourself:

Join me online for 8 weeks starting after Easter on my Being & Doing – Spring Into Action: see https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/being-doing-spring-into-action/ for details of all the tools and techniques you learn week by week. Special rates for these challenging times £49 inc. VAT instead of £99 inc. VAT.

Isolation: Introverts, Extroverts & Ambiverts

I am very aware that having written about Insiders and Outsider last week (https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/compassion-for-insiders-outsiders/) there is another distinction between those who are self-isolating either working from home or without work, and those who are working their socks off keep us well, fed and delivered. But today’s MMMM focusses on those of us stuck at home either on our own or with others, and how we are communicating with each other. What is happening to our working relationships, family relationships and friendships. Mind you it is also relevant for those on the outside who are madly working.

I am doing a free 30 minute lunchtime webinar tomorrow exploring this in more detail - Happy Health Conflict - how to communicate in these difficult times see https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-happy-health-conflict-how-to-communicate-in-these-difficult-times/ or more information and email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to book your place.

Here I wanted to explore how one aspect of personality might be impacting on our ability to thrive in isolation.

Introverts get their energy from spending time on their own. They need plenty of time to think, be quiet etc. So, if they are self-isolating on their own then they may well be happy and thriving. If they are in a family environment, and given that opposites often attract, they might have extravert family members who do not appreciate their desire to have some alone time. Getting good at recognising this in yourself or others, and asking for it or offering it is essential.

Extraverts are probably busy on social media, skype, face time, phones, whatsapp,  busy interacting. Perhaps organising online parties, drinks, pub quizzes. They get their energy from others. Will it be enough to fill their need for social interaction? Only time will tell. But if they are working from home, they are probably missing not just the social interactions of the office, but the opportunities to discuss ideas, bounce ideas off of each other, which is essential for Extraverts to think and work.

Ambiverts are in the middle, they get energy from others, but also need time alone. I am an ambivert who is quite happy with my own company, but I also need interactions with others. What I have found in the last couple of weeks that there has been so many online client meetings, coaching sessions, networking, plus now speaking to my mum twice a day versus twice a week, catching up with friends and family, when it comes to the evenings I just need to chill out and not speak to anyone.

This week consider:

  • Are you an Extravert, Introvert or Ambivert? What are your needs?
  • What about your family members and/or friends what are their needs?
  • What about your colleagues what are their needs?
  • What do you need to do differently for yourself and others to thrive?

‘Don’t talk unless you can improve on silence.’ Dave Allen

‘Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.’ Dorothy Sarnoff

‘Seek first to understand, then to be understood.’ Stephen Covey
 

Looking for more support and inspiration?

  • Read back issues of MMMMs: https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ 
  • Free webinar: Happy Health Conflict - how to communicate in these difficult times I will draw on the training and coaching work that I conduct with teams and managers in organisations to help you to think about how you maintain rapport and good relationships with both colleagues and family during these troubled times. See https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-happy-health-conflict-how-to-communicate-in-these-difficult-times/  or details.
  • Join me online for 8 weeks starting after Easter on my Being & Doing – Spring Into Action: https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/being-doing-spring-into-action/ for details of all the tools and techniques you learn week by week. Special rates for these challenging times £49 inc. VAT instead of £99 inc. VAT.
  • See my latest webinar recording: How to have a better relationship with yourself, see https://youtu.be/fNcO2N1ONcY 

 

Compassion for Insiders & Outsiders
 


When I was doing my daily Buddhist practice this morning I reflected on the situation we find ourselves in and thought about ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’, and how we can understand and have compassion for the different challenges both face.
 
Insiders are people like myself who either due to age, or pre-existing conditions which make them more vulnerable (me) or they have the virus or suspect it. We become the insiders. And for the first two groups in the category it will be lasting for 12 plus weeks, probably a lot longer. For some like me I can still walk outside but not shop etc. without putting myself in danger.
 
Outsiders are people who can go about freely – as freely as you can with social distancing and limited places to go now most things are closed. But they can pop to the shops and discover there is nothing to buy!
 
Both face very different challenges and pressures, and if you are an insider or outsider it is hard to understand what that is like, because you have not been through it. By stepping into each other’s shoes we can have compassion for each others challenges:
 
Challenges insiders face:

  • Feelings of isolation, segregation, feeling imprisoned (I don't feel like this but am hearing many older people do).
  • Loss of independence – being a very independent person it is really challenging asking others to do my shopping.
  • Knowing that shopping has become an ordeal for ‘outsiders’ can leave you feeling guilty about asking for X, Y or Z.
  • Guilt about my family having to pick up the slack for looking after my elderly mum who is many counties away from me, having had strict instructions from them and doctors not to go there.

Challenges outsiders face – and I am only surmising this as I am not one!:

  • Pressure to find and deliver food, thoughts of ‘what if I can’t?’
  • Juggling work, caring for elderly, children, staying sane yourself.
  • Worries about loved ones who are insiders and how to keep them safe.
  • And a lot more besides.

I am attempting to step into other’s shoes when I am communicating with them, understand their pressures, and how I can relieve rather than add to them even at a distance.
 
A great book to read at this time is Mitch Albom’s Tuesday’s With Morrie based on a true story of Mitch visiting his old college professor who has ALS and is near to the end of his life. It is much more inspiring that it sounds and is also made into a film. Here is a very apt quote from Morrie Schwartz (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morrie_Schwartz)  


 ‘Be compassionate. And take responsibility for each other. If we only learned those lessons, this world would be so much better a place….Love each other or die.’
 

Looking for more support and inspiration?

‘Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.’
Helen Keller

 
Take care, keep safe, be wise this week.
 
Melanie Greene
Occupational Psychologist
Coach, trainer, workplace mediator and writer
Inspire Transformation
Specialist in tackling stress and conflict at work
T: 01865 377334
 

Keeping Going When All Is Changing

Last Monday we looked at Feeling The Fear – Get More Info(https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/feeling-the-fear-get-more-info/) today I’m writing this on 17th when new coronavirus restrictions have been put in place. I have been in near self-isolation for the last 3 weeks because of an asthma flare up requiring two lots of oral steriods, but now the new reality of 3-4 months like this is hitting home. Here are some initial reflections:

  • The level of uncertainty we are dealing with both in terms of impact on our health (physical and mental), way of life and the economy is probably something none of us have experience before. And our brain does not like that, it likes to keep us safe, and will be struggling right now to know how to be safe.
  • Our well-ordered lives are being massively disrupted. If we don't handle traffic jams and our email going down for a day well, this is going to be hard.
  • Having choice taken away from us, for some of us we can’t just get in the car and go off and see someone.
    Isolation – and I would say that is not just people living alone, people can feel very isolated in their families if they are used to the support and friendship of colleagues and friends.

What to do this week?

  • Acknowledge, accept all emotions (yours and others) versus trying to squash them, as otherwise they will only burst through in some way. See below for details of my free webinar to help to do this.
  • Listen to your Fearful Child’s ‘What if’s’ and address them. In my steroid induced insomnia last night, made worse by no online delivery slots for three weeks. I got online and found alternative ways of getting food delivered just in case my neighbours, who are great, fall ill.
  • Focus on your Circle of Influence – this is something I am always talking to clients about and is so important right now. See back issues of my MMMMs for many ideas on how to do this: https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ 
     
  • Get creative – yes maybe in an arty way if you are so inclined. But in other ways as well. With one group of friends who like to lunch together I suggested today via our Whatsapp group, that we have a virtual lunch soon. We sit in our houses with some delicious food, glasses of wine and chat together. And they are up for that.

And now some very wise words from Oprah Winfrey, one of my favourite quotes:

‘Nothing is more effective than a deep, slow inhale and release for surrendering what you can’t control and focussing again on what is right in front of you.’

How I can I support you?
 
Join me for my Free webinar: 1-1.30pm Tuesday 24 March Do you want a better relationship with yourself? This is now very apt to help us to get through these challenging times. It will test our relationships with both ourselves and each other. See https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-do-you-want-a-better-relationship-with-yourself  for details. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to book your place.
 
Join me online for 8 weeks on my Being & Doing Spring Into Action: starting after Easter or NOW for individuals  – https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/being-doing-spring-into-action/ for details of all the tools and techniques you learn week by week. Special rates for these challenging times £49 inc. VAT instead of £99 inc. VAT.
 
Take care, keep safe, be wise this week.
 
Melanie Greene
Occupational Psychologist
Coach, trainer, workplace mediator and writer
Inspire Transformation
Specialist in tackling stress and conflict at work
T: 01865 377334
 
For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 
 

Feeling the Fear – Get More Info

Hi there
 
Welcome to Melanie’s Monday Motivational Message or MMMM. Today’s topic is:
 
Feeling the Fear – Get More Info 

A few months ago, I listened to one of Jason Goldberg’s Facebook live posts, which was about his fear of flying (and fear of starting a business). Having tried lots of other things to cope with flying, he decided to learn and understand how the plane works in order to overcome his fears. He found that armed with the knowledge of what the different sounds were, and what was happening, he was able to be more relaxed when flying.
 
What causes you fear and anxiety that could benefit from more information? For example, if you are fearful of doing a presentation, find out as much information as possible:

  • The audience: who, how many, their background, their likely response to your kind of talk.
  • Purpose, length, other speakers, participants’ expectations, etc.
  • The room: size, layout, equipment. 

This week, is there something in or out of work that you are fearful or anxious about?

  • A particularly difficult meeting or conversation coming up?
  • A tight deadline to meet?
  • A date with a new person?
  • Or how you are reacting to coronavirus? 

What information can you gather to help you to feel more comfortable in this setting?
 
‘Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.’
Steve Maraboli
 
‘Only the unknown frightens men. But once a man has faced the unknown, that terror becomes the known.’
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
 

Free webinar: 1-1.30pm Tuesday 24 March Do you want a better relationship with yourself? See https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-do-you-want-a-better-relationship-with-yourself/ for details. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to book your place.
 
Being & Doing – Spring Into Action: Book on my 8 week online course which starts on Monday 27 April 2020. See
 https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/being-doing-spring-into-action/ for details of all the tools and techniques you learn week by week.
 
Have a wonderful week.
 
Melanie Greene
Occupational Psychologist
Coach, trainer, workplace mediator and writer
Inspire Transformation
Specialist in tackling stress and conflict at work
T: 01865 377334
 

 

Finding stillness amongst the busyness

This is based on one of my favourite TED talks but Pico Iyer: The Art of Stillness https://www.ted.com/talks/pico_iyer_the_art_of_stillness?referrer=playlist-slow_down_enjoy_life He says:


‘So, in an age of acceleration, nothing can be more exhilarating than going slow. And in an age of distraction, nothing is so luxurious as paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is so urgent as sitting still.’
 

However busy your life is at work, with family, find the moments of stillness within your day:

  • Sat in your car at a red light, look up at the sky, take a deep breath, focus on being still rather than frustrated at the red light.
  • Sat in a meeting waiting for a tardy colleague to arrive or a disorganised person to find what they are looking at. Take a breath, glance out of the window, be still rather than frustrated.
  • Sat on the train or bus to or from work, rather than scroll through your social media feeds, simply be in the moment, look out of the window or let your mind drift off.

‘On your next vacation to Paris or Hawaii, or New Orleans; I bet you'll have a wonderful time. But, if you want to come back home alive and full of fresh hope, in love with the world, I think you might want to try considering going nowhere.’
Pico Iyer
 
‘You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.’ Franz Kafka
 
‘The endless cycle of idea and action.
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness.
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence.’
TS Eliot - The Rock

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 
 
 

What you aim at determines what you see
 

I am part way through reading Jordan B Peterson’s 12 Rules For Life – an antidote to chaos, which was an unexpected Christmas present from my eldest nephew. He said he knows it is controversial and wants to read it after me and then we can discuss it – this could turn into a long distance book club!
 
Rule 4 is ‘Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today’.
 
It is familiar territory for me about countering your Inner Critic. He has a number of different things to say about this but one point, which stood out to me, was the sentence:

‘What you aim at determines what you see’ 

When we are constantly looking at others, unfairly comparing ourselves to them, we do not see how we have changed, what we have achieved, we are constantly focussed on the glass half empty.
 
This week:

  • Be aware of where you are focussing your attention, how and who you are comparing yourself with?
  • Notice what you do achieve, however small, rather than what you don’t.
  • Notice how when you focus on yourself, your strengths and achievements how it changes what you see and feel.
  • Aim to make tiny changes to your mindset, mood or behaviour and see how the effects compound on themselves each day.

Here are some final words from Jordan B Peterson:

 
‘The future is like the past. But there’s a crucial difference. The past is fixed, but the future – it could be better.’
 
‘Perhaps happiness is always to be found in the journey uphill, and not in the fleeting sense of satisfaction awaiting at the next peak. Much of happiness is hope, no matter how deep the underworld in which that hope was conceived.’ 

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 
 
 
 
 

Your inner airhead

A passing comment by someone on a workshop about their ‘Inner Airhead’ made me think that maybe we all have an ‘inner airhead’. It is another way of looking at my exercise about listening to the different parts of yourself. I think our ‘inner airhead’ is a mixture of all the inner children inside us: fearful child, rebellious child, sulky child, which if we acknowledge it, we can then tap into our inner wisdom to counter the ‘airhead’ part of ourselves.
 
What kinds of things does your inner airhead say:

  • I’m hopeless, I can’t do X, Y and Z.
  • I’ll never be good enough.
  • I’ve never been good at Y.
  • I’m a failure.
  • I just want to have no responsibilities.
  • F**k it, let’s go and play

What might your inner wisdom say to you this week to manage your inner airhead:

  • Let’s look at all the strengths you are bringing to X tasks.
  • Let’s look at your past successes, rather than focus on failures.
  • Let’s look at how you can develop yourself in this area.
  • Let’s look at creating some time when you can relax, simply be, without always feeling you have to be doing and being responsible.
  • Let’s plan ahead some fun things to do when the work is done.

'If there’s no inner peace, people can’t give it to you. The husband can’t give it to you. Your children can’t give it to you. You have to give it to you.' Linda Evans
 
'Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.' Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
'Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.' Wayne W. Dyer
 

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 Physical versus emotional pain
 

 
Having read Sean Stephenson’s book: Get Off Your ‘But’, his wise words are going to be popping up quite a bit in my MMMMs.
 
Sean was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta or brittle bones disorder. When he was born, the doctors didn't expect him to live and said it would be easier to count the number of bones not broken at birth than those broken. Early in his book, he says:

 
‘Surprisingly, the physical pain of my condition has not been as torturous as the emotional pain’.
 

It was the emotional pain he felt when he was young, when he focussed on all the things he couldn't do and had to sit by in his wheelchair while his school friends played ball, etc. that caused him more distress. Although he did go on to have a very full and fulfilling, albeit short life, dying at the age of 40.
 
He had amazing parents, who not only coped with his physical needs, but also strengthened him emotionally, getting him to focus on the glass half full versus half empty.
 
This week:

  • If you have physical pain, are you making it worse by how you feel about it?
  • Spot if your mind is causing you suffering, resulting in emotional pain?
  • Write out your gratitudes to help you to focus on what you do have, versus what is missing in your life.
  • Be kind and compassionate to yourself, cut yourself some slack rather than beat yourself up, and you will be surprised by how the emotional pain dissolves. 


‘Each of us makes his own weather, determines the color of the skies in the emotional universe which he inhabits.’
Fulton J Sheen
 
‘If I feel depressed I will sing. If I feel sad I will laugh. If I feel ill I will double my labour. If I feel fear I will plunge ahead. If I feel inferior I will wear new garments. If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice. If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come. If I feel incompetent I will think of past success. If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals. Today I will be the master of my emotions.’
Og Mandino
 

Free webinar: Do you want a better relationship with yourself?

Monday 17 February 1-1.30pm see https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-do-you-want-a-better-relationship-with-yourself/ for details. Book your place email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk  

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 
 

Is life a daring adventure?

Helen Keller said:

 
‘Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.’
 

It is one of my favourite quotes. I don't think it means that we have to be off on big adventures around the world, it is more of a mindset about how we approach our days, weeks and years. If you lived your day to day life as a daring adventure, what effect might that have?

  • Would you take more risks, be more courageous, take action despite fears?
  • Would you find the joy even in the mundaneness of life?
  • Would you decide to change what you are doing, get a new job, move to a place you have always wanted to live?
  • Would you approach people differently, would you reach out to others more of the time?

‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’
Mark Twain

 
For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 
 
 

Less is more

This is something I attempt to bear in mind when I create a workshop, design a presentation, write a MMMM or prepare a meal for guests –my friends and family will testify that I usually fail at the latter in terms of less is more! It is so tempting to put in everything and then completely overload (or overfeed) others.
 
In what ways this week can you go for the less is more:

  • Are you saying too much in a meeting, when less is more and will give others time to think and respond?
  • Could you reduce down to the key themes what you want to say in a presentation, allowing for follow up questions if they want more information.
  • Are you packing your diary or your weekends with too much to do, ending up feeling overwhelmed?
  • Are you over-compensating with your children for the time you can’t spend with them, by trying to do too much when you are with them, when maybe they want something more simple.
  • With birthdays and festive holidays, do you give too much!?

“Less explanation is more convincing than more explanation.” 
Alan Cohen
 
“Real luxury is not working like a maniac to take an expensive vacation - it is living a life you enjoy every day.” 
Kathy Gottberg, Rightsizing * a Smart Living 365 Guide to Reinventing Retirement
 
“It's surprising how much free time and productivity you gain when you lose the busyness in your mind.” 
Brittany Burgunder
 

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 
 

Bring your whole self to work

Dan Clay was worried about being dismissed as ‘too gay’ at work, so he dialled down his personality. But then his alter ego, Carrie Dragshaw, went viral online, and he was surprised to find out how people he knew responded to him, not as he expected. Here's what happened next. https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_clay_why_you_should_bring_your_whole_self_to_work?language=en&referrer=playlist-the_way_we_work   
 
Are you bringing your whole self to work or are you suppressing your true self?
 
A recent coaching client of mine who was newly promoted into a senior management position thought that she would need to rein in her sense of humour as it would be seen as not professional. But, when we discussed it, she realised the MD had a wicked sense of humour and it worked well, so she could maintain her humour and it would actually aid her in building relationships with others.

  • Are you thinking that you have to be something you are not at work?
  • Is there a side of yourself that you think you need to hide?
  • Do you wear what you think you need to wear even if it is not comfortable or suits you?
  • Are you changing your accent?

‘Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.’ 
Oscar Wilde
 
‘Don't compromise yourself - you're all you have.’ 
John Grisham, The Rainmaker
 
‘When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everyone will respect you.’ 
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
 
‘Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.’ 
Judy Garland

“Don't you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can't be exactly who you are.” 
Lady Gaga

What will 2020 be like for you?

Watch and listen to the recording of my free webinar: https://youtu.be/bGM3mUaplb0 

One Step Inner Critic Process

I have followed the writings of SARK (http://planetsark.com) for many years, and have recently joined one of her online programmes, as I am always looking for new ideas for myself and my clients. Not everyone is going to take to SARK but I believe Maya Angelou is right when she says:

‘We, in this world, this weary world, have a great gaping need for SARK’. 

SARK talks a lot about the inner critic and has a one-step process for tackling it:

 What is the Inner Critic saying….then counter what it says ….


‘You’re pathetic, you’ll never achieve anything’.
‘Actually, I’m pretty amazing despite setbacks, I have persisted, I have been determined and I have achieved x, y and z’.

‘You’re hopeless at long term planning’.
‘Actually, there are many instances when I am pretty amazing at long term planning: for client projects, to get the Being & Doing project completed, planning ahead for holidays’.

‘You are not a good leader, you should do more, you’ll get caught out’.
‘Actually, I have had lots of feedback about my leadership abilities, people look to me for leadership’
 

Try it this week – whenever your Inner Critic pipes up with a criticism, start with ‘Actually, …’, then present the evidence to the contrary. And notice how different you feel about yourself and what you are facing.

Here are some words of advice from SARK:

‘The critical voices in our own heads are far more vicious than what we might hear from the outside. Our ‘inside critics’ have intimate knowledge of us and can zero in on our weakest spots.’

‘You might be told by the critics that you're too fat, too old, too young, not intelligent enough, a quitter, not logical, prone to try too many things...It's all balderdash!’
 

Being & Doing: Get the year off to a flying start 

An 8 week online course starts today - there are two places left if you want to join us. See link for details: https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/being-doing-start-your-year-as-you-mean-to-go-on/ Or watch:

Call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

Did you mature last year? How will you mature this year?

This was a throw away comment I heard someone say and I thought at the start of the year it is important to think about the last year and how you might have matured?

  • Emotionally – are you more resilient, have you learned from your experiences?
  • Mentally – what have you learned over the last year? New skills, ideas, concepts, knowledge, hobbies?
  • Physically – have you got stronger, fitter, healthier?
  • Spiritually – have life’s experiences taught you something about yourself, others or life itself?

Have you matured or have you simply got older! For the coming year:

  • Set yourself some goals in terms of how you can mature further like a good wine or piece of cheese!
  • What actions can you take day by day to aid this process?
  • How can you use the MMMMs, Inspire and my webinars to help you to mature as a person?

To help you to grow consider:

Being & Doing: Get the year off to a flying start – an 8 week online course. See link or below for details: https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/being-doing-start-your-year-as-you-mean-to-go-on/ Or watch:


 
Free webinar: What will 2020 be like for you? 1-1.30pm Friday 10 January, email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to book your free place.
 
Free coaching audit – explore how 121 coaching might help you. See: https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/-free-coaching-audit-for-individuals/ 
 

‘With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself, or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.’
Dr Wayne W Dyer – Staying on the Path
 
‘Your own insight in your own time has the greatest meaning and value’
Anne Dickson

Create happiness vs suffering for others?

I have been listening to and reading more of Eckhart Tolle’s wonderful wisdom and came across this quote:


‘If you are in the habit of creating suffering for yourself, you are probably creating suffering for others too.’ 

I can’t tell you how much that resonates with my younger self, and I feel pity for the poor boyfriends who dated my younger, suffering self. Having mastered my mind and mood, learned how to find joy even in difficult very difficult times, I know only too well how much that inner suffering can infect others.
 
I also see and hear about this time and again in the workplace where either a manager or a team member, who is suffering, lets their mood infect everyone else in the office.
 
I also am rung up fairly regularly by wives and girlfriends who are deeply worried about their partners and the impact of their unhappiness and stress on the rest of the family.
 
Ask yourself:

  • Am I suffering? Am I on a regular basis feeling negative emotions?
  • If yes, how am I handling those negative emotions?
    • Are you suppressing them and they are leaking or exploding out?
    • Are you talking to someone, seeking support and help from a friend or professional?
  • Who might be affected by your suffering both in and out of work?

If this is true, start with:

  • Cutting yourself some slack versus beating yourself up about this.
  • Get some professional support – a counsellor (where I started with getting help); a coach (after counselling I’ve always had a coach to speak to) or even a good friend or colleague.
  • Understand that your feelings and sufferings will only partly be due to your circumstances, compounded by how you are thinking about yourself and your situation.
  • You can change this – speaking as someone who has gone from ‘glass half empty’ to ‘glass half full’, I know that by taking regular action and asking for support, you can change how you are thinking and feeling.


‘Nothing is more effective than a deep, slow inhale and release for surrendering what you can’t control and focussing again on what is right in front of you.’
Oprah Winfrey
 
 ‘When the whole situation makes you unhappy and confused, choose one thing, however small, that you would like to change.’
Anne Dickson
 

Do you want more hope and optimism in 2020?

Join my free webinar:  What will 2020 be like for you? on Monday 6 January, 1-1.30pm

See https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-what-will-2020-be-like-for-you-/ for details.

Join my 8- week online Being & Doing: Get your year off to a flying start course to start your year as you mean to go on.

For details of all the topics covered and what you receive each week see: https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/being-doing-start-your-year-as-you-mean-to-go-on/  

Or listen to me talking about it: 

You will receive:

  • Lifetime access to all the videos and materials.
  • Two video tutorials a week.
  • Workbook each week with lots of tools, tips and techniques to master your mind and change from the inside out.

Email: mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to find out more or book your place.

 

 
 

Pessimism of the intellect with optimism of the will

For those of you who live in the UK, this Monday morning is after an election last week.

As I write this on 5 December, I don't know what the outcome will be but, whoever wins, whether there is a hung parliament or not, most of us can probably agree that there will still be so much uncertainty, despondency and division within the country.

I read an article the other day by Azra Raza, Professor of Medicine at Columbia University https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/nov/23/oncologist-azra-raza-interview-cancer-research-treatment and, right near the end, she says in answer to the question – what single piece of advice would you offer to someone with advanced cancer?

‘Don't give up hope. Don't give in to despair. But combine somehow what Antonio Gramsci (described as) pessimism of the intellect with optimism of the will.’

When I read this, I loved the idea of the fact that our mind, looking at from advanced cancer to the state of the world, is likely to be pessimistic, which is understandable.

But that the only positive way forward is to tap into the ‘optimism of the will’. Deep within us that hope, that desire for something positive to come out of the doom and gloom. And the fact that we can all create that hope and turn poison into medicine.

‘A great human revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation, and, further, will enable a change in the destiny of all humankind.’ Josei Toda

‘Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.’ Helen Keller

‘I have hope. The problem is that hope is harder to spread that fear. And, like lots of good things, it’s a boring message!’ Jess Phillips

‘Fear less, hope more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more; and all good things are yours.’ Swedish Proverb

Do you want more hope and optimism in 2020?

Join my free webinar:  What will 2020 be like for you? on Monday 6 January, 1-1.30pm

See https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-what-will-2020-be-like-for-you-/ for details.

Join my 8- week online Being & Doing: Get your year off to a flying start course to start your year as you mean to go on.

For details of all the topics covered and what you receive each week see: https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/being-doing-start-your-year-as-you-mean-to-go-on/ 

Or listen to me talking about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHuDM8SF8iE&feature=youtu.be


You will receive:

Lifetime access to all the videos and materials.
Two video tutorials a week.
Workbook with lots of tools, tips and techniques to master your mind and change from the inside out.

Email: mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to find out more or book your place.

WOOP Your Life

I stumbled across this concept recently and it chimes with what I had already heard and practice myself, and with clients. Research carried out by Gabriele Oettingen, Professor of Psychology from New York University, has shown that just thinking positively about something, creating a wonderful picture in your head or on paper can decrease the chances of it happening. Because your brain gets lulled into a sense of already achieving it and it does not take enough action to make it real. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mobxikaYgU to listen to Gabriele describe this.
 
She has created the Woop My Life approach (http://woopmylife.org) which is a simple process based on solid research to make sure that wishes become a reality.
 
Most people get stuck doing the first two stages: wishing and setting an objective, but fail to do the last two parts of the process which are essential to create results.
 

  1. Wish – what is your dearest wish: to lose X amount of weight; to make X amount of money; to create a healthy lifestyle; to repair a difficult relationship at work; to have freedom; to have a balanced life.
  2. Outcome – imagine your dream outcome for fulfilling that wish. What will it look, sound and feel like.
  3. Obstacle – what is obstacle that holds you back: fear, lack of belief in yourself/others/that it is possible, health issues, lack of time, etc.
  4. Plan – plan out what you are going to do, including how you will overcome the obstacle(s).

This fits in with various approaches I use with clients, in terms of creating a ‘well-formed outcome’, visualising success, that includes how you will overcome obstacles that will occur.
 
For example, a client of mine was applying for an internal position where in the past they had failed due to lack of confidence and being undermined by nerves. After coaching with me, visualising how they would approach and use techniques to overcome the obstacles of fears and anxiety, plus getting interview coaching to cover the areas that they had feedback on in the past, they were able to achieve this outcome.


‘I have learned this at least by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.’
Henry David Thoreau
 
‘We need to hold fast to our dreams. Don’t let the enemy of doubt take them. Our hopes and vision for the future are certainly as valid as any doubt or feat. By holding to them, as in a great storm, we can actualise them.’
Barbara Cahill
 

Do you want to support to achieve your goals in 2020?
 
Join my free webinar: What will 2020 be like for you? on Monday 6 January 1-1.30pm See https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-what-will-2020-be-like-for-you-/ for details.
 
Join my 8 week online Being & Doing: Get your year off to a flying start course to start your year as you mean to go on.

To  book your place email: mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk  

Pessimism of the intellect with optimism of the will

For those of you who live in the UK, this Monday morning is after an election last week.

As I write this on 5 December, I don't know what the outcome will be but, whoever wins, whether there is a hung parliament or not, most of us can probably agree that there will still be so much uncertainty, despondency and division within the country.

I read an article the other day by Azra Raza, Professor of Medicine at Columbia University https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/nov/23/oncologist-azra-raza-interview-cancer-research-treatment and, right near the end, she says in answer to the question – what single piece of advice would you offer to someone with advanced cancer?

‘Don't give up hope. Don't give in to despair. But combine somehow what Antonio Gramsci (described as) pessimism of the intellect with optimism of the will.’

When I read this, I loved the idea of the fact that our mind, looking at from advanced cancer to the state of the world, is likely to be pessimistic, which is understandable.

But that the only positive way forward is to tap into the ‘optimism of the will’. Deep within us that hope, that desire for something positive to come out of the doom and gloom. And the fact that we can all create that hope and turn poison into medicine.

‘A great human revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation, and, further, will enable a change in the destiny of all humankind.’ Josei Toda

‘Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.’ Helen Keller

‘I have hope. The problem is that hope is harder to spread that fear. And, like lots of good things, it’s a boring message!’ Jess Phillips

‘Fear less, hope more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more; and all good things are yours.’ Swedish Proverb

Do you want more hope and optimism in 2020?

Join my free webinar:  What will 2020 be like for you? on Monday 6 January, 1-1.30pm

See https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-what-will-2020-be-like-for-you-/ for details.

Join my 8- week online Being & Doing: Get your year off to a flying start course to start your year as you mean to go on.

For details of all the topics covered and what you receive each week see: https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/being-doing-start-your-year-as-you-mean-to-go-on/ 

Or listen to me talking about it: 

You will receive:

  • Lifetime access to all the videos and materials.
  • Two video tutorials a week.
  • Workbook with lots of tools, tips and techniques to master your mind and change from the inside out.

Email: mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to find out more or book your place.

Keeping our hate and hurt in check

 

In October, I read this article and it got me thinking about the workplace and how many times I am called in because people have not kept their hurt, anger, frustrations (thankfully, not normally hate) in check and this has led them to damaged working relationships.

Shazia Mirza is a comedian who went on Bear Grylls’ Island and her article shares what she learned from her time there (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/26/brexit-bear-grylls-island-fake-hate-society) On the Island, because they were in such dire straits, often for days without food and water, they had to find a way of getting on. Despite the fact that she hated some of the people there, she tended to grin and bear it, and get on with surviving. And, as it happens, afterwards, despite their differences, they became firm friends.

Now, I have seen other reality programmes where this does not happen and it can end up with all-out war. And, I did not actually see Shazia’s experiences. But, it struck me that if we can find a way to get beyond the personality and mindset clashes, find a way to work with each other no matter what, then we can forge a good working relationship, even if we never become friends. And, I have seen many of my clients achieve this, even where they initially thought it was not possible, and just wanted the other person to leave or wanted to leave themselves.

Is there someone in or out of work with whom you do not get on? Perhaps you find them irritating, frustrating or are simply disappointed in how they behave.

  • What can you do to choose to ignore the differences and irritations, to find a way of working together?
  • What task or project can you work on to bring you together?

Here’s one of my favourite quotes that I often share with clients:

‘Not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.’
George Sala

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

 

 

 

 

What would your Adaptability score be?


 
When venture investor, Natalie Fratto, is determining which start-up founders to support, she doesn't just look for intelligence or charisma; she looks for adaptability. In this insightful talk, Fratto shares three ways to measure your ‘adaptability quotient’ -- and shows why your ability to respond to change really matters https://www.ted.com/talks/natalie_fratto_3_ways_to_measure_your_adaptability_and_how_to_improve_it 
 
In today’s world, where technology, markets, the economy and social environments are forever changing, if we don't know how to adapt we will be left behind. This week, based on Natalie’s three ways to assess adaptability, think about:
 
1. How can you become more comfortable with change and more adaptable? Explore ‘what if’ scenarios and how you will handle them if they happened.
 
2. Be an explorer, seeking out new ideas, new ways of doing things, new perspectives on topics you feel passionately about, on life, the world, etc.

3. Explore the idea of unlearning, Natalie says:


‘Active unlearners seek to challenge what they presume to already know, and instead, override that data with new information. Kind of like a computer running a disk cleanup.’ 

Do you want to get 2020 off to a flying start?

  • Do you start your year strong and fall at the first obstacle?
  • Do you find that your mind and mood get in the way of you achieving your goals?
  • Do you want support and inspiration to keep you going?

Join my 8 week online Being & Doing course to start your year as you mean to go on.

You will receive:

  • Lifetime access to all the videos and materials.
  • Two video tutorials a week.
  • Workbook with lots of tools, tips and techniques to master your mind and change from the inside out. 

To find out more or book your place email: mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 


 

Lessons learned from a friendtor
 


I saw one of Jason Goldberg’s post when his friend and mentor, Dr Sean Stephenson, died in August. If you have not come across Sean Stephenson you might want to watch his Tedx talk, The Prison of Your Mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaRO5-V1uK0 
 
Here are Jason’s lessons learned from working with Sean, one of his friendtors:
 
1.    Be a world class human being - If you want to be a great or world class coach, parent or whatever you want to be, you have to first be a world class human being.
 
2.    Be a friendtor – learn from your friends, support them, share your experiences with them. Be a friendtor from whom others can learn and also make sure you have your own friendtors in life.
 
3.    You have to be able to speak to the hearing impaired – Sean said he was here to rid the world from its insecurities, and that people are often not ready to hear your message – whether it is potential clients, a friend, a partner, a child. Your circumstances put you in exactly the right position to speak to others. Sean, in his body/situation, gave him a unique position to speak to others. We choose our situation to be able to speak from it. So, we can break through to others, whether in a professional capacity or as a friend or family member.
 
4.    Love fearlessly, unconditionally, out loud – Jason said that Sean helped him to know how to balance loving fearlessly (say things that might piss off our loved ones, as the security services say: ‘see something, say something), loving unconditionally (there is nothing you can do that will stop me from loving you), loving out loud (say it again and again).
 
This week, live as if these are true for you:
 
·      Be a world class human being.
·      Be a Friendtor to others.
·      Speak in a way that others can hear you.
·      Love fearlessly, unconditionally and loudly!!
 
Here are a few quotes from Sean to inspire you:
 
‘Find people who love you unconditionally, surround yourself with them, and bring them the same level of intensity.’
 
‘Pain is inevitable, it eventually touches us all. Suffering is optional.’
 
‘Doubt is a virus that attacks our self-esteem, productivity and confidence. Faith that you and your life are perfectly unfolding is the strongest vaccine.’
 
‘Communication is merely an exchange of information, but connection is an exchange of our humanity.’
 
For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/  or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 
 


 
 
 

Are you bored and brilliant?

Another TED talk inspired MMMM. As the blurb on Manoush Zomorodi’s talk https://www.ted.com/talks/manoush_zomorodi_how_boredom_can_lead_to_your_most_brilliant_ideas?referrer=playlist-how_to_protect_your_passions_from_burnout explains:
 
‘Do you sometimes have your most creative ideas while folding laundry, washing dishes or doing nothing in particular? It's because, when your body goes on autopilot, your brain gets busy forming new neural connections that connect ideas and solve problems. Learn to love being bored, as Manoush Zomorodi, explains the connection between spacing out and creativity.’
 
This got me thinking that we often don’t allow that space to just let your mind wander. Instead, when we are doing mindless or mundane tasks, we listen to music, listen to the radio/TV, listen to TED talks. I notice that ideas often come to me when cycling and being present, or simply looking out of the train window at the passing world, not listening to anything.

  • Do you have some mundane tasks in and out of work that lead to moments of inspiration?
  • Do you distract yourself and miss the opportunity for your mind to wander?

At some point, give your mind a chance to simply wander this week.

 
‘Inspiration comes from within yourself. One has to be positive. When you're positive, good things happen.’ Deep Roy
 

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 
 

Is there an invisible child in your life?

I receive Susan Cain’s mailings: Quiet Revolution, and this one caught my eye https://www.quietrev.com/the-invisible-child/ Even though it is mainly about children, it actually applies to adults as well. The invisible child or adult is the one who quietly gets on with their work, who does not make a fuss or speak you but who can get lost in the busyness of an extravert workplace or family life. They may be happy being invisible, but over time, they can feel left out, lonely, unheard.

  • Are you the invisible child/adult?
  • Do you have any invisible children or adults in your family? Perhaps your partner is the invisible one?
  • Who are the invisible adults at work? How can you listen to them, include them, support them?

‘When you’re leading an invisible child or adult, find a way to make them shine. Bring them into the spotlight, if only for a brief moment. It could change everything for them.’ Matt Kaufman

‘It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.’ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Want to set your goals for 2020?

  • What have you achieved in 2019?
  • What have you learned about yourself, work and life?
  • What do you want to do in 2020?
  • How do you want to be in 2020?

If these are some questions you would like coaching on then take my free coaching audit: https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/-free-coaching-audit-for-individuals/ 

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

Feel discomfort for the right reason

‘It's better to feel uncomfortable pushing for better than to feel uncomfortable settling for less’ Simon Sinek

See https://simonsinek.com/discover/choose-your-discomfort/ to listen to him talking about this.

How often have we stayed in situations which cause us huge discomfort, for fear of the uncertainty of change or not wanting to face the discomfort of dealing with the issues? For example:

  • Staying in a job or company that is clearly not right for you or with a bullying boss.
  • Staying in a relationship which is clearly dysfunctional.
  • Staying unfit, lonely or unfulfilled because of the effort or fear of taking action to change the situation.

Please don't beat yourself up about this, as we all do this from time to time. However, having been someone who suffered from this when I was young, it all changed when I left my first consultancy job when it became intolerable. Even though I was very underconfident, I got a job that paid £10K more and a company car and that was in 1989! From then on, I started to face the challenge and discomfort of change rather than staying put or putting up with the discomfort. This included, in 2013, when my back started to cause me huge problems, finding the time to do daily Pilates to address the issue.

  • Is there some discomfort in your life that is telling you something?
  • What action do you want to take? It does not have to be as drastic as changing jobs, it might be about having the courage to have that difficult conversation, or putting yourself first occasionally so you can take action to care for yourself.
  • How will you deal with the discomfort or challenge of taking the action?

‘Many people treat their bodies as if they were rented from Hertz - something they are using to get around in but nothing they genuinely care about understanding.’

Chungliang Al Huang

 ‘There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly.’ Buckminster Fuller

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

Is there an invisible child in your life?

I receive Susan Cain’s mailings: Quiet Revolution, and this one caught my eye https://www.quietrev.com/the-invisible-child/ Even though it is mainly about children, it actually applies to adults as well. The invisible child or adult is the one who quietly gets on with their work, who does not make a fuss or speak you but who can get lost in the busyness of an extravert workplace or family life. They may be happy being invisible, but over time, they can feel left out, lonely, unheard.

  • Are you the invisible child/adult?
  • Do you have any invisible children or adults in your family? Perhaps your partner is the invisible one?
  • Who are the invisible adults at work? How can you listen to them, include them, support them?

‘When you’re leading an invisible child or adult, find a way to make them shine. Bring them into the spotlight, if only for a brief moment. It could change everything for them.’ Matt Kaufman

‘It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.’ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

Another Chris Evans inspired MMMM! Chris talked about having a ‘To Be’ list as well as a ‘To Do’ list each day, which fits in nicely with my Being & Doing online course (https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/2019-being-doing-end-the-year-on-a-high-starts-28-october-2019/).

What might be on your ‘To Be’ list?

·       Be calm, be relaxed.

·       Be open to ideas and different opinions.

·       Be patient and persevere.

·       Be assertive, aim for ‘win-win’.

·       Be kind and considerate.

·       Be happy, find the joy in the small things in life.

·       Be grateful.

As I write this, I am at the end of a long day where I was facilitating a session with a team who were finding it difficult to work with each other. Having prepared the structure of the session, my prep yesterday and this morning was on how I was going to ‘Be’ within the session. This led to a lovely drive there, along a very busy rush hour filled A34, where the morning mists hung over the river and fields, with the just changing autumnal leaves in the distance, which brought me joy and serenity before the intensity of the day ahead.

How do you want to Be this week to help you to Do what you need to do?

 If you can keep your head when all about you ?
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

?If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, ?

But make allowance for their doubting too; ?If you can wait and not be tired by waiting.

Rudyard Kipling?- Excerpt from IF

Do you want to end the year on a high?

Join me for my next 8 week online course: Being & Doing - end the year on a high. Each week covers a different topic, providing you with:

  • Two videos each week on the topic on Monday mornings.
  • A workbook with tools, techniques and worksheets.
  • Input every Wednesday to support you in applying the ideas.
  • Fantastic Fridays, where each week they learn a different technique for reviewing and learning from the week, and planning how to have a great weekend.
  • A live Q&A half way through the course so you can discuss your progress and ask questions.
  • Lifetime access to the materials.

See https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/2019-being-doing-end-the-year-on-a-high-starts-28-october-2019/ for details.

You can also listen to me introducing the Being & Doing course: 

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

 

I belong to the AMED Writers Group (https://www.amed.org.uk/group/amedwritersgroup) based in London and we had a session about ‘Finding your writer’s voice’ and it got me thinking about finding yourself through writing. I don’t mean writing fiction or non-fiction but writing in a journal or notebook.

It is something which I recommend to my clients to check in with themselves, to work through issues. It is something I have done since my early 20s and I found suddenly having a place to explore what was going on within me was so helpful. There is something about getting something out of our heads and onto paper, which helps create distance and objectivity. Here are some things you might want to explore:

  • Daily check in with yourself regarding your mood. Identify 3-5 moods and for any negative moods write out the thoughts or beliefs behind the mood. Then address them objectively. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk for a Mood Map to help with this.
  • Write out your inner Fearful Child’s ‘What if’s’. Then step back and address them from your wise Adult self.
  • Write your daily gratitudes and occasional Fuckittudes – see my 2013 newsletter for more on this: http://www.justaddcontent.co.uk/v1/grove/e136_December_2013_Inspire.htm 

‘The hardest person to get to know is yourself. Get to know yourself and have a friend for life.’ Peter Karsten 

Do you want more support & inspiration?

Join me for my next 8 week online course: Being & Doing - end the year on a high. Each week covers a different topic, providing you with:

  • Two videos each week on the topic on Monday mornings.
  • A workbook with tools, techniques and worksheets.
  • Input every Wednesday to support you in applying the ideas.
  • Fantastic Fridays, where each week they learn a different technique for reviewing and learning from the week, and planning how to have a great weekend.
  • A live Q&A half way through the course so you can discuss your progress and ask questions.
  • Lifetime access to the materials.

See https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/2019-being-doing-end-the-year-on-a-high-starts-28-october-2019/ for details.

You can also listen to me introducing the Being & Doing course: 

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

On my workshops, people often discuss the fact that when faced with a difficult conversation or someone challenging us with a difference of opinion, they just react without thinking.

Reacting is the instant threat or reward response. With the threat response, we go into fight, flight or freeze. While an example of the negative effect of the latter is seeing a nice product on Facebook, clicking to buy it without thinking if you really need it or can afford it.

The alternative approach is to stop, think and then respond thoughtfully versus instinctively.

Over time you can tone down the instant threat response and take a moment to respond versus a knee jerk reaction. To do this practice:

  • Managing your mood day by day so that you are in the best possible mood to respond versus react to situations.
  • Get used to taking a deep breath, mentally stepping back when you feel the adrenaline of the threat response.
  • Stop and ask questions to clarify or summarise what they have said, giving yourself time to calm down.

‘Every human has four endowments - self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change.’ Stephen Covey

‘It's not the situation, but whether we react negative or respond positive to the situation that is important.’ Zig Ziglar

Do you want more support & inspiration?

Join me for my next 8 week online course: Being & Doing - end the year on a high. Each week covers a different topic, providing you with:

  • Two videos each week on the topic on Monday mornings.
  • A workbook with tools, techniques and worksheets.
  • Input every Wednesday to support you in applying the ideas.
  • Fantastic Fridays, where each week they learn a different technique for reviewing and learning from the week, and planning how to have a great weekend.
  • A live Q&A half way through the course so you can discuss your progress and ask questions.
  • Lifetime access to the materials.

See https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/2019-being-doing-end-the-year-on-a-high-starts-28-october-2019/ for details.

You can also listen to me introducing the Being & Doing course: 

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

There’s an exercise for controlling anxiety which a number of my clients on my resilience courses this year have found useful. However, I thought that it could be used in a different way to be more mindful and fully connect with the world around you. Set a reminder for at least once a day to stop and notice:

  • 5 things you can see – I often look for 5 colours if I am wanting to be more in the present moment.
  • 4 things you can hear – you might even notice you can hear yourself breathing when you stop and really listen.
  • 3 things you can physically feel – for example your bottom on the chair, feet on floor, tension in your neck.
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste

You will find it brings you into the present moment rather than the thoughts in your head. I do some of this when I am cycling, if I am not being fully present.

If you suffer from anxiety, it is a great exercise to help you to calm down and come into the present moment.

‘Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time — past and future — the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.’ Eckhart Tolle

Do you want more support & inspiration?

Join me for my next 8 week online course: Being & Doing - end the year on a high. Each week covers a different topic, providing you with:

  • Two videos each week on the topic on Monday mornings.
  • A workbook with tools, techniques and worksheets.
  • Input every Wednesday to support you in applying the ideas.
  • Fantastic Fridays, where each week they learn a different technique for reviewing and learning from the week, and planning how to have a great weekend.
  • A live Q&A half way through the course so you can discuss your progress and ask questions.

See https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/2019-being-doing-end-the-year-on-a-high-starts-28-october-2019/ for details.

You can also listen to me introducing the Being & Doing course:

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

I am writing this sat in Bristol Street Motors waiting for my car to have its MOT. When I was here for the service, I was asked to fill in a customer satisfaction sheet and was told that anything under 8 gets investigated. As the customer service was excellent, I was happy to mark them high – and no doubt it keeps them on their toes. However, it got me thinking that, when we get evaluated, often the ratings say as much about the other person as they do about us. The mood of the person, whether their car has passed the MOT, whether someone chooses to come on one of my courses or is ‘sent’ on it.

Even in a wider context, how someone responds to you can say a lot more about them than you. I coach and train people to become aware of how they are communicating, enhancing their communicating skills, and it is important that we take responsibility for our side of an interaction. However, there are some circumstances where it is clearly about them and, whatever you do, they are not going to agree with you or be happy or satisfied.

  • Think about past interactions that have not gone well, was there something you could do differently or was it about the mood or state they were in?
  • This week, if you encounter a challenging interaction, ponder what might be going on in the other person’s life, step into their shoes.

I am a National Trust member and after a visit you get sent an online questionnaire and one question is about the weather on the day of your visit, as it obviously affects the enjoyment of a place. However, I can’t help thinking that sometimes with all these evaluations, it would be helpful to find out the person’s mood and mindset beforehand which might affect their levels of satisfaction, however, I realise this is probably not practical or acceptable to do!

Do you want more support & inspiration?

Join me for my next 8 week online course: Being & Doing - end the year on a high. Each week covers a different topic, providing you with:

  • Two weekly videos on the topic on Monday mornings.
  • A workbook with tools, techniques and worksheets.
  • Input every Wednesday to support you in applying the ideas.
  • Fantastic Fridays, where each week they learn a different technique for reviewing and learning from the week, and planning how to have a great weekend.

See https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/2019-being-doing-end-the-year-on-a-high-starts-28-october-2019/ for details.

You can also listen to me introducing the Being & Doing course: http 

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk  

I saw a car advert and the sound track was about how you spend 8 hours sleeping, 8 hours working and 8 hours at play. This got me thinking, as many are not getting enough sleep, working long days with long commutes, and the 8 hours of play is often taken up with domestic activities.

This week think about:

  • How are you spending your 24 hours?
  • Is there enough sleep?
  • Is there enough, or any, play in your week?
  • What would be the benefits to you, your family, your colleagues if you were having more fun and play in your life?

Think about how to turn domestic chores into something more fun or interesting. People often complain that cooking is boring, I am sure it would be for me if it wasn't for the radio and now BBC Sounds app where I can catch up on favourite programmes, listen to dramas, etc. While running back to back workshops earlier this year, at lunchtime, I used to listen to a 15 minute crime drama set in Iceland while I ate my lunch. As a very visual person, for 15 minutes, I would be transported to Iceland and not in an office in Oxfordshire, and that little break made the day much more enjoyable.

‘All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child.’
Madame Marie Curie

‘You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a lifetime of conversation’ Plato

Free webinars: 30 minute lunchtime webinars on a variety of topics, see https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-13-september/  

Increase Your Productivity - from the inside out 

Friday 13 September 1-1.30pm.

Learn about what needs to change on the inside of you to help you to be more productive: how to master your brain, thoughts, your mood and motivation.

To book your place email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk for more details and to register for your free place on either or both webinars.

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

I’ve got into reading Hannah Jane Parkinson’s column, The Joy of Small Things, in the weekend Guardian magazine and one column struck a chord as I had just had the experience of it. She was talking about the joy of spontaneously connecting with strangers either for a short journey or a passing smile or expression of recognition when faced with shared challenges.

I had been visiting my brother for a family lunch and had decided to travel by train (actually it involved bus, train, underground, train but still more relaxing than driving nowadays!). I got on an unusually crowded train for first thing on a Sunday morning because there was a big football match happening at Wembley. I sat next to a young woman and we chatted about that she was only travelling to Bicester Village and I asked if she worked there. Yes, she did, in Ralph Lauren. In a matter of less than 10 minutes we had a very interesting conversation about what really makes us happy, musing on a woman who had bought 20 pairs of shoes the day before! I often have these little moments of interesting conversations which leave me feeling more connected with humanity and hopefully them as well.

On the way home, waiting for my train at Marylebone, I was reading a magazine and a family sat next to me. The children were playing around and I burst out laughing at what one said. When they left, the girl of about 8 waved goodbye and thanked me for being her audience!! Now, I could have scowled at their loudness but I chose otherwise and created a short connection her. And being BME children perhaps they don't get much of that from others.

  • When was the last time you connected with a stranger?
  • Is this something that you avoid doing? What stops you?
  • If you work in a large organisation, are there people with whom you have failed to connect?
  • How might you and they benefit from these interactions?

‘It is a measure of a society how it treats its most vulnerable. I think it can also be measured by how its strangers interaction, how they intersect, rub along and share spaces.’ Hannah Jane Parkinson

Free webinars: 30 minute lunchtime webinars on a variety of topics, see https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-13-september/  

Increase Your Productivity - from the inside out 

Friday 13 September 1-1.30pm.

Learn about what needs to change on the inside of you to help you to be more productive: how to master your brain, thoughts, your mood and motivation.

To book your place email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk for more details and to register for your free place on either or both webinars.

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

On my 8 week online Being & Doing course, every Friday is ‘Fantastic Friday’, where I share a different technique to learn from the week. So regardless of how challenging your week has been, even if things have gone wrong, you can learn from it, move on and end the week on a high.

A different take for reviewing your week is exploring and learning from when you have screwed up! Based on Kristen Hadeed’s book: Permission To Screw Up, that I read. Here’s a quote from her book:

“I don’t know where the future will take me, but one thing I do know (for sure) is this: Wherever I go, I’ll be screwing up left and right, and every step of the way, there will be people screwing up right along with me. As we go, we will continue to learn, grow, and build better companies together.”

  • What have been some of your more recent screw ups you have had, in or out of work?
  • Do you sometimes deny they happened or beat yourself up about them, or do you learn from them and move forward?
  • What have you learned over the years from your screw ups?
  • Can you share your experiences with others to help them?

There are so many quotes on the topic it was hard to choose one, so here are a selection:
 
‘A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.’ John Burroughs

‘Success is never final and failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts.’ Jules Ellinger

 ‘Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.’ Winston Churchill
 

‘Fall seven times, stand up eight.’ Japanese Proverb

‘Do you give up the struggle to overcome your own limitations on the first attempt, or do you keep on with it, trying a second time, a third time, and continuing on in the challenge for the rest of your life? That is the only difference between the genius and the ordinary person.’ Daisaku Ikeda

Free webinars: 30 minute lunchtime webinars on a variety of topics, see https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-13-september/ 

Increase Your Productivity - from the inside out 

Friday 13 September 1-1.30pm.

Learn about what needs to change on the inside of you to help you to be more productive: how to master your brain, thoughts, your mood and motivation.

To book your place email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk for more details and to register for your free place on either or both webinars.

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

Laughter energises us, it can lift our spirits and it’s basically fun. I was listening to yet another TED talk, this time by cognitive neuroscientist, Sophie Scott (https://www.ted.com/talks/sophie_scott_why_we_laugh Here are just a few of the many facts she covers in her funny talk about the science of laughter:

  • Laugher is like an animal call – listen at 1.30 minutes in, on the TED talk to have a laugh at people laughing.
  • We are not the only animals that laugh, primates and rats also laugh – usually associated with play and tickling.
  • We are 30 times more likely to laugh if we are with somebody else than if we are alone. Although, for me, enjoying time on my own, I will laugh a lot on my own nowadays, perhaps because of being in a good emotional place, I can see more funny things in life.
  • We can catch laughter from others, especially when we know people well – there is social meaning of laughing.
  • Different kinds of laughter – helpless involuntary laughter is different from social laughter – and we can tell the difference even if we don't know the person.

Enough of the facts – are you laughing enough?

  • What makes you laugh?
  • What stops you from laughing? Before I had mastered my mind, my sense of humour was the first thing to go when I was stressed or anxious. Now I can laugh in the face of adversity.
  • How can you get more laughter and fun into your life?

‘Laughter is an instant vacation.’ Milton Berle

‘If you're too busy to laugh, you're too busy, period.’  Janet Meyer

Free webinars: 30 minute lunchtime webinars on a variety of topics, see https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-13-september/ 

Increase Your Productivity - from the inside out 

Friday 13 September 1-1.30pm.

Learn about what needs to change on the inside of you to help you to be more productive: how to master your brain, thoughts, your mood and motivation.

To book your place email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk for more details and to register for your free place on either or both webinars.

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

 

 

I heard this expression from someone connected with Ethical Reading https://ethicalreading.org.uk/#what-is-ethical-reading. After their events, they encouraged members to go out and speak to 10 people about Ethical Reading. It got me thinking about whether we spread the word around about good things or is it easier to talk about our complaints, when we have been let down, etc. Perhaps we might post something on social media but have we lost the art of ‘word of mouth’ and actually telling others about something.

Challenge for this week is to pass on a good news story, a recommendation to 10 people, not via social media, but 121, either via email, text, postcard, phone or speaking face to face – something which is much more personal and people will know you have been thinking of them:

  • A networking group someone might find interesting.
  • A great restaurant or café.
  • An interesting article, book or podcast.
  • A lovely walk that you have recently enjoyed.
  • A great film - I saw Blinded by the Light this weekend, great movie but got teary at various points!

If you notice resistance, is it because we have lost the art of 121 ‘word of mouth’ recommendations?

I chose the following quote partly because there seemed very few quotes out there which were not about marketing. My eldest nephew, many years ago, got me into The Big Bang Theory – TV show, not science!

‘Perhaps 'Big Bang' fans feel so protective of the show because it is, despite being a hit show on a big network, something of a word-of-mouth phenomenon.’ Johnny Galecki

Free webinars: 30 minute lunchtime webinars on a variety of topics, see https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-13-september/ 

Increase Your Productivity - from the inside out 

Friday 13 September 1-1.30pm.

Learn about what needs to change on the inside of you to help you to be more productive: how to master your brain, thoughts, your mood and motivation.

To book your place email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk for more details and to register for your free place on either or both webinars.

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

Now, you might be thinking this isn’t a very uplifting topic for Melanie’s Monday Motivational Message but stick with me, it will be.

In her New Orleans neighbourhood, artist Candy Chang turned an abandoned house into a giant chalkboard asking a fill-in-the-blank question, "Before I die I want to ___." Her neighbours' answers were surprising, poignant, and funny. See https://www.ted.com/talks/candy_chang_before_i_die_i_want_to?referrer=playlist-talks_to_get_you_through_your#t-360664  o view the talk.

Thinking about, or creating, your so-called ‘bucket list’ can sometimes bring into sharp focus how you want to be spending your time now. You might like to write, ‘Before I die I want to ___’ over and over again and keep on filling in the blanks. They might include:

  • Adventures you want to have.
  • Achievements in and out of work.
  • Time you want to spend with loved ones.
  • How you want to be and feel, i.e. relaxed, happy, enjoying now, etc.

‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’ Mark Twain

 ‘Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.’ Helen Keller
 

Free webinars: 30 minute lunchtime webinars on a variety of topics, see https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinars-9-august-13-september/

Create a daily routine to sustain you

Friday 9 August 1-1.30pm.

You probably have read articles about successful people and entrepreneurs and what they do in the mornings to get their day off to a flying start. Or what they do to sustain themselves throughout the day. In this webinar, we will explore the benefits of these daily routines and the ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘how’ to create these routines, as well as how to overcome obstacles that will inevitably come up to stop you.

Increase Your Productivity - from the inside out Friday 13 September 1-1.30pm.

To book your place email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk for more details and to register for your free place on either or both webinars.

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

Suddenly it seemed that all my corporate clients were putting their staff through unconscious bias training. So, I thought I would complete an online course on the topic. Here are some things I learned: 

  • Unconscious bias is as a result of our brain’s survival mechanism, it is always looking out for threats and risks and, therefore, spots differences in others.
  • However, when we are aware of this, we can take action to overcome initial bias or perceptions.
  • Unconscious bias when unchecked creates stereotypes. Whether positive or negative, they can negatively influence us at work and in society.
  • Prejudices are when we pre-judge people based on stereotypes, i.e. all red heads are fiery, older workers will be inflexible, etc.
  • Discrimination is when we put our prejudices into action during recruitment, selection, promotions, and even how we communicate with others.
  • Affirmity bias is when we prefer people like ourselves.
  • Egocentric bias is the fact that we believe we are better or do more than others. For example, we are better drivers, better at chairing meetings, we do more of the clearing at home, etc.
  • There are ‘micro’ inequalities which come about when we very subtly behave differently towards certain people, perhaps so subtle we do not even realise the impact it is having on others.

“Perceive everything in life with the neutral perspective and see how everything can serve you to move forward on your path.” 
? Roshan Sharma

Free webinars: 30 minute lunchtime webinars on a variety of topics, see https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinars-9-august-13-september/ 

Create a daily routine to sustain you

Friday 9 August 1-1.30pm.

You probably have read articles about successful people and entrepreneurs and what they do in the mornings to get their day off to a flying start. Or what they do to sustain themselves throughout the day. In this webinar, we will explore the benefits of these daily routines and the ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘how’ to create these routines, as well as how to overcome obstacles that will inevitably come up to stop you.

Increase Your Productivity - from the inside out Friday 13 September 1-1.30pm.

To book your place email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk for more details and to register for your free place on either or both webinars.

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

You might have come across the acronym FOMO – the fear of missing out. Something that in the world of social media exacerbates, when everyone seems to be having such fun packed lives, we end up fearing that we are somehow missing out. And, because there are so many things we could do, we say yes to everything and end up feeling overloaded and overwhelmed.

JOMO is the Joy of Missing Out, deciding not to say ‘Yes’ to everything, however enjoyable the things might be. Create some actual ‘free’ time with nothing booked in. Joy of being able to just ‘Be’, relax, chill or be spontaneous if you want to be.

  • Do you suffer from FOMO?
  • Do you want a bit of JOMO?
  • What would you like to miss out on to create some space to breathe and be?
  • Are there some things you feel you should do, which you would really experience JOMO if you said no to?

"Rest is not idleness, and sometimes to lie on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means a waste of time."

?John Lubbock (1834-1913) English scientist, polymath

Free webinars: 30 minute lunchtime webinars on a variety of topics, see https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinars-16-july-9-august/ for details 

Tuesday 16 July 1-1.30pm. How to have difficult conversations – a step by step guide

  • Do you avoid having difficult conversations?
  • Do you lose sleep about them?

Rest assured, so do most of my clients! Well, that is until they learn how to manage their own response to conflict and how to have constructive and timely discussions about tricky issues

Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk for more details and to register for your free place on either or both webinars.

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

 

I have often had the sad privilege of supporting friends and acquaintances through the very difficult times in their lives: suicides of family members, death of a child, etc. It is never easy to support at these times. These are things I have learned from those experiences: 

  • To know when to reach out, when to not intrude – a careful balancing act but, whatever you do, don't run away.
  • That you ‘can’t make it better’, which is a natural human tendency to want to make things better. But accepting you can't, and by being there, you are helping them to at least feel supported during such a horrendous time of their life.
  • That ‘just being there’, either in person, on the phone or via text, can be enough.
  • As a client of mine who lost her middle-aged husband suddenly said, ‘Time does not heal, you just get more used to the pain’. So, don't think they are over it just because they appear to be functioning normally.

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” 
Charles Dickens


“I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do.” 
Jana Stanfield

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

Last September, I read the following article in the Guardian magazine and was completely horrified and repelled by this man’s approach to life https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/sep/21/extreme-biohacking-tech-guru-who-spent-250000-trying-to-live-for-ever-serge-faguet mainly because we have so many worldwide issues facing humanity, i.e. climate change, antibiotic resistance, etc., that for individuals to want to live forever, before focussing on this, we first need to make better the lives of everyone and the environment.

However, it did get me thinking about how we can bio-hack or at least life-hack our mind, mood and, therefore, life – which is basically what I help people to do.

So, this week, when you start to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, anxious or angry, try one or two of these little brain hacks to dampen down your brain’s threat response:

  • Come into the here and now, what you can see, hear and feel – you might even like to try the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 exercise – name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel physically, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste and you will be well and truly in the here and now.
  • Breath slowly and deeply – to counteract any adrenaline rush.
  • Change your posture – stand or sit how you do when you feel calm and confident.
  • Look up momentarily – and, if you are on your own, you can look up for longer and visualise how you will successfully deal with, or find a way of coping with, whatever is causing the overwhelm, frustration, anxiety or anger.
  • Step back into your wise Adult self – when we feel any of the negative emotions, we can forget that we have lots of inner resources and inner wisdom to deal with these situations.

Many of my clients have been using one or two of these simple techniques this year and have been noticing a big difference in how they think, feel, and behave.

‘The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell,  a Hell of Heaven’ John Milton

 Free webinars: 16 July & 9 August

30 minute lunchtime webinars on a variety of topics, see https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinars-16-july-9-august/ for details

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

I have no idea how I stumbled upon this RSA video by Philip Zimbardo titled, ‘The secret powers of time’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3oIiH7BLmg but it is fascinating. I’m only focusing on one part of it here, which is about the idea that there are six time zones you can operate in:

Past – Positive: focus on nostalgia, happy times, past rituals.

Past – Negative: focus on regrets, mistakes, failure.

Present – Hedonistic: seek pleasure, avoid pain. We begin life in this state as babies, then our conditioning takes us in different directions. All addictions are about this zone.

Present – Fatalistic:  no point in planning as it is down to fate, fate of my birth, my circumstances, the stars or whatever you believe in.

Future – Positive: planning, taking action now which will bring about results in the future, whether that is long or short term. Resisting temptation, understanding we need to work rather than play all the time.

Future – Afterlife: life begins after the death of your mortal body.

 Philip says that a lot of conflicts between individuals, and also countries or different parts of a country result from differences in the ‘time zones’ that people psychologically operate from. He gives a great example of the difference between north and south Italy - he is from Sicily. Saying that the North are generally very Future Positive focussed and get frustrated with their southern countrymen and women who are more Past Positive or Present Hedonistic – well in their eyes anyway!

Of course we are a mixture of a number of these but it is interesting to think about:

  • Which time zone(s) do you operate in? What are the positive or negative impacts on your life?
  • Think about significant people in your life. Are they operating in a different time zone? Does this help or hinder your communication with them?

‘Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.’ 
Marthe Troly-Curtin,

‘Mustn't all significant action be preceded by an incubation period? ... the waiting period is not just a delay to be endured in order to reach the right moment. It is ... the very creator of that moment.’ 
Robert V. Levine

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

Yet another TED inspired MMMM. Sarah Lewis is an Art Historian and the blurb to her talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_lewis_embrace_the_near_win?referrer=playlist-talks_to_get_you_through_your#t-680334 says: At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

This got me thinking how so much of 21st century life can be focussed on the winning, successes, accolades. We can forget to enjoy and celebrate the now. And also, as Sarah says, we can forget that much of life and our learning is from the near wins, almost failures or mistakes and setbacks.

 Consider:

  • What mistakes or near wins have you had in life? And how have they shaped you?
  • What setbacks and challenges have you faced and how have you responded to them?
  • Do you get frustrated by never feeling you have got ‘there’, wherever ‘there’ might be?
  • How can you embrace or even celebrate your near ‘wins’?

‘Masters are not experts because they take a subject to its conceptual end. They're masters because they realize that there isn't one.’ Sarah Lewis

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

I read about Andy’s Man Clubs (http://andysmanclub.co.uk) a few months ago. Luke Ambler set them up when his brother-in-law, Andy, committed suicide. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. Luke wants to halve the male suicide rate in this country.

 At Andy’s Club, run by everyday men, they ask four questions each week, which I thought you might like to ponder, whoever you are, and whatever mental state you are in, as they strike me as four important questions to ask of ourselves:

  1. How’s your week been?
  2. Name one positive thing that has happened to you this week.
  3. Anything to get off your chest?
  4. What’s your goal between now and next week?

Perhaps these are some good questions to ask regularly of ourselves, of our family, of our friends and even of our colleagues.

‘The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them.’ Bernard M Baruch

‘Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.’ Helen Keller

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

One of the reasons I like listening to Chris Evans on Virgin Radio in the mornings is his little sayings that he comes up with each day. Sometimes, they are the theme for the day, others are off the cuff. I heard him talk about having ‘more alfresco versus aldeskco’. This seemed liked a good topic during the summer months. Mind you, often during the winter, it is important to get outside as well.

 How can you be more Alfresco and less Aldesco this week?

  • Go for a walk at lunchtime – research shows that even 5 minutes of walking outside starts to have a positive impact on our wellbeing.
  • Have lunch or supper outside – whatever your outside space is like.
  • Spend a short while outside simply looking at the sky, the clouds, trees, flowers, etc.
  • Instead of meeting friends for a drink and a meal, meet them for a walk with a drink, meal at the end of it.
  • Have a walking meeting if it is 121.
  • Link to a walking networking group like https://www.naturalnetwalking.com/modules/netwalkingdates. I’ve not tried them yet but it looks interesting.

‘One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon--instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.’ Dale Carnegie

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

Working with lots of teams coaching them to work more effectively together, we often explore the conversations that they have with each other. Frequently, when there are problems, people slip into debates or even arguments, rather than having a genuine dialogue with each other.

The dictionary defines dialogue as:

  • A discussion between two or more people or groups, especially one directed towards exploration of a particular subject or resolution of a problem.
  • Take part in a conversation or discussion to resolve a problem.

How many times have you found yourself, either at work or at home, when faced with a problem which needs to be jointly resolved, having a true dialogue, an honest exchange of ideas to find a solution? What would that involve?

  • Asking each other questions to understand where the other person is coming from?
  • Showing that you are listening: reflecting back or summarising what you have heard?
  • Sharing ideas and information as an aid to resolving the issue rather than thinking it is ‘the solution’.
  • Aiming for a ‘win-win’ outcome, where each person feels listen to, respected and happy with the outcome even if it is not exactly what they were hoping for.

‘Seek first to understand, then to be understood.’ Stephen Covey
 

‘People are usually quite happy to consider a clearly expressed request – it is the accumulated backlog of resentment that gets their back up.’

Anne Dickson – A Book of Your Own
 

‘To listen closely and reply well is the highest perfection we are able to attain in the art of conversation.’
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

There are many different ways to explore motivation as you will learn from these MMMMs. One is Implicit versus Explicit Motivation. This is relevant to both looking at motivation in and outside of work.

 Implicit Motivation:

  • This comes from the heart, we just know we enjoy doing something.
  • If it is related to work, we would do it even if we are not getting paid as we enjoy it so much.
  • Sometimes it is hard to put into words why we enjoy a certain activity: walking barefoot on a beach; spending time with certain friends, we just know it feels good.
  • When there is Implicit Motivation it keeps us going, even when things are tough.
  • This might be about: ‘I feel such a sense of satisfaction when my clients are happy, I will always go that extra mile for them’.

Explicit Motivation:

  • This comes from the head, we can verbalise what it is, why something is important to do.
  • We can say we do X & Y because of A & B need or want.
  • This might be, ‘I come to work because I have a mortgage to pay’, ‘I work hard or else I might get fired’. Or, ‘We need to do overtime because we need to fulfil this order or else we are going to get penalised by the customer’.

We are, of course, all motivated by a mixture of the two. However, to really feel motivated, to get the most out of ourselves and others, we need to tap into Implicit Motivation.

This week:

  • What is your Explicit Motivation for doing the things you need to do both in and outside of work?
  • What is your Implicit Motivation?
  • Notice the difference between how motivated and good you feel between the two.

‘The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.’ Richard Bach

 ‘There is work that is work and there is play that is play; there is play that is work and work that is play. And in only one of these lies happiness.’ Gelett Burgess

Happy Healthy Conflict - how to have difficult conversations at work. CIPD Oxford event 6-8pm Tuesday 21 May @ModernArtOxford. CIPD members free, £20 for non-members inc refreshments & light bites. See to book your place: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/happy-healthy-conflict-having-those-difficult-conversations-at-work-oxford-group-tickets-57513838439      

 For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

‘If you always do, what you always done, you’ll always get, what you have always got, and if you don't like it, do something different.’

 This old adage often comes to my mind, especially if I am feeling stuck with something in my life. If we want to change something in our life, we do need to do something different, even if this is a small change:

  • A change in mindset about ourselves, others or our situation can often have a profound shift in what we get back.
  • Tweaking our behaviour in some way, e.g. thinking before we make knee jerk responses to someone who usually annoys us; taking a deep breath, looking up, rather than letting ourselves get overwhelmed by what is in front of us.
  • Challenging our beliefs and transforming any that seem to be holding us back.

This week consider:

  • Where are you doing the same thing over and over again and not liking the results?
  • What can you do differently this week?
  • Observe how you feel, think and behave when you change.
  • What is the outcome of these changes, however small they may be?

‘Only one thing has to change for us to know happiness in our lives:
where we focus our attention.’
Greg Anderson

‘Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene.’
Arthur Christopher Benson

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

Is there such a thing as a dream job? I saw the following 12-minute video recently by Amy Wrzesniewski on Job Crafting - creating meaning in your own work: https://youtu.be/C_igfnctYjA   

She said there are three ways in which we can craft or change our job to make it more meaningful:

Task crafting – adapting the content of what you do, which in many jobs is not always possible.

  • This is sometimes seen as ‘job enrichment’ to bring more interest into someone’s working life.

Relationship crafting – changing the relationships we have with others to make the job more meaningful.

  • I was running a programme for a Housing Association who wanted their customer services representatives to have more meaningful conversations with their customers because the Housing Association wanted to reach out to them, find out what issues they had (not always with their home) so they could offer or signpost other services, i.e. help with debt, mental health issues, etc., thereby creating more meaning for the team via the relationships they had with customers.

Cognitive crafting – how people perceive their tasks and the meaning of what they do.

  • In the video, Amy gives the example of a hospital cleaner who saw themselves as a healer (listen to the video to find out more). She also says there is a difference in terms of whether an IT person sees themselves as a firefighter or seeing themselves as a trainer to help people to solve problems for themselves.

For yourself:

Is your job meaningful? On a scale of 0 (no meaning to you whatsoever) to 10 (hugely meaningful), where are you?

If it is 7 or below, how can you re-craft it?

  • Task?
  • Relationships?
  • Cognitive?

‘The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance?—?and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.’ Oprah Winfrey

 ‘Happiness comes when we test our skills towards some meaningful purpose.’ John Stossel

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

I read two articles recently which got me thinking about how our past influences how we are now, although the articles were not necessarily about that. ‘Beneath the Clouds’ was about three women coming to the UK from West Bengal in the 1960s: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/dec/29/bittersweet-three-indian-women-50-years-in-uk and ‘No Place Like Home’ about members of the LGBTQ community and their relationships to their home towns: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/29/not-hide-it-lgbtq-return-home-towns 

However, they got me thinking about how our past influences who we are today and when do we have to break with the past or to transform past stories to be truly who we are right now.

  • Were you happy growing up? Were there challenges in your family which influenced who you are today?
  • How has your family and/or community environment influenced who you are today? Both in terms of positive ways and any negative ways.
  • Are there some unresolved aspects of the past which are casting a shadow over the present moment?

My first foray into self-development was to take myself off to see a counsellor when I was in my late 20s when I had everything that was meant to make me happy (good job, company car, my own home, boyfriend) but I was still stressed out and miserable. I spent 18 months with a counsellor unpicking the past and helping to understand how it had created the me as I was back then.

Sometimes, past experiences drive us forward to success but not in terms of happiness and contentment, which is exactly what happened in my life. It was only by getting a deeper understanding of how the past influenced me that I could start to work through the bits I wanted to keep, and what I needed to resolve or let go of.

 As I wrote this, I thought of Philip Larkin’s poem:

“They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.” 

And on a more positive note – one I can relate to more by George Eliot:

‘What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life – to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories’

Happy Healthy Conflict - how to have difficult conversations at work. I have another talk coming up for CIPD Oxford event 6-8pm Tuesday 21 May @ModernArtOxford. CIPD members free, £20 for non-members inc refreshments & light bites. See to book your place: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/happy-healthy-conflict-having-those-difficult-conversations-at-work-oxford-group-tickets-57513838439    

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/  or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

Our brain is designed to keep us safe, it continuously looks for risks/threats and wants to move away from them, and looks for the rewards it wants to move towards. It is the same brain that cavemen and women had and responds in the same way, which is not always helpful when we are in 21st Century workplaces and lives.

  • When we feel stressed and overwhelmed, our brain goes into threat response, we have the fight, flight or freeze response. Here’s the negative effects of being in threat response:
  • Dopamine levels go down and we are more pessimistic, which is not great for sorting out problems.
  • We become tunnel visioned as the brain was designed for fleeing or fighting, not great if we need to think creatively and take on other people’s ideas.
  • The hippocampus where we store information sucks up the stress hormone Cortisol making it hard to remember and retrieve information.
  • The adrenaline rush means we get butterflies in our stomachs and dry mouth, which combined with all of the above makes it hard to communicate effectively.

How do you avoid or deal with fight, flight and freeze response? A few months ago, I wrote two MMMMs with hints and tips on:

‘My cup runneth over may in some contexts be a declaration of disaster. Emptying it fully as important as filling.’

Anne Wilson Schaef

 ‘It isn't stress that makes us fall, it's how we respond to stressful events.’

Wayde Goodall

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs (https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/) and Inspire newsletter (https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/) or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

We are often urged by self-help gurus and entrepreneurs to ‘Go for Gold’, ‘Be our Best’, ‘Strive for Excellence’, but perhaps we need to start with ‘average’ and move forward from there, day by day.

Perhaps your average day is pretty good already or maybe your average is horrendous! Here are some things to consider:

  • Start with the end in mind – how would you like your days to be, how do you want to feel during it and by the end of it?
  • Living day by day – rather than always dreaming of a glorious future, start with where you are today and fully live and explore the potential of today.
  • Make adjustments each day – what small things can you do that will make the difference to your average day? 
    • Years ago, I switched from waking up listening to the Today programme of Radio 4, which was depressing and infuriating, to waking up with Chris Evans on Radio 2 (now on Virgin) which is fun and sometimes even thoughtful.
    • When stuck in a traffic jam on the way to work rather than fume (it doesn't achieve anything), be mindful, what can you see, hear, enjoy what there is to enjoy even in a traffic jam.

‘When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love....’ Marcus Aurelius

‘Happiness is not a destination: it is a manner of traveling. Happiness is not an end in itself. It is a by-product of working, playing, loving and living.’ Haim Ginott
 

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs (https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/) and Inspire newsletter (https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/) or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

We are used to people talking about writing in the 1st or 2nd person in literature but what does it mean if we are a 1st or 2nd Person person in real life?

 A 1st Person person often:

  • Sees the world from their own perspective, their own shoes.
  • Relates everything back to themselves.
  • They often fail to ask questions about other people, expecting you to simply share things.
  • They can come across as self-absorbed and lacking in interest in others.

A 2nd Person person often:

  • Steps into other people’s shoes, attempts to understand others’ perspective.
  • Will ask how you are first, before sharing information about themselves.
  • Can often hold back from sharing much about themselves unless they are asked. This might seem standoffish but it is them waiting to be asked.

 Do you recognise yourself in either of these two descriptions?

What is the impact on your relationships?

 Why does this matter, do I hear you ask? Well, it affects our interactions and relationships with others both in and out of work.

Linked to last week’s MMMM about the Middle Way, you actually need to find a balance of the two. This week observe yourself interacting with others:

  • Do you launch into descriptions or stories about yourself even before you are asked?
  • Do you hold back from sharing until asked and then feel aggrieved that others are not taking an interest in you?
  • If you are more of a 1st Person person, start to ask questions about the other person and really listen to the answers.
  • If you are more of a 2nd Person person, then if you are with a 1st Person person, then start sharing information about yourself, see how they react.

‘If it is peace you want, seek to change yourself, not other people. It is easier to protect yourself with slippers than to carpet the whole earth.’
Anthony De Mello
 

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

You might be wondering what on earth I am talking about. No, it has nothing to do with the Lord of the Rings and Middle Earth. But it is something which I am often reminded of when talking to or coaching clients. People often think and talk in very polarised ways about themselves or about life. For example, these are real life things clients have said to me:

  • Either I stay stressed out, can’t sleep, etc. or I relax and lose my job!
  • I either have to put up with my awful boss or leave this job that I love.
  • I either have to give in to X’s demands or they will make my life a misery.

The Middle Way comes from Buddhism and it is more than simply finding a compromise. It is about finding a middle way between two extremes or options, perhaps a way which you have not considered or on first viewing you might not even realise is an option. For example, in the situations above:

  • Finding a way to manage stress levels while maintaining and even improving performance.
  • Finding a way of changing how you interact with the difficult boss that makes life easier or even transforms your relationship with them.
  • Learning how to be assertive, have an Adult to Adult conversation and find a ‘win-win’ outcome that will suit both people.

Think about your coming week:

  • Are there situations where you are taking a very polarised viewpoint which is not helpful?
  • What might be all the options between those two extremes?
  • What might be the ‘middle way’ that you are going to pursue?

‘You can't hoot with the owls at night and fly with the eagles during the day’

Anonymous

T'he middle way is a view of life that avoids the extreme of misguided grasping born of believing there is something we can find, or buy, or cling to that will not change. And it avoids the despair and nihilism born from the mistaken belief that nothing matters, that all is meaningless.'

Sharon Salzberg

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

This MMMM was inspired by Ella Barrington from  https://www.corseconcierge.com whom I heard talk at the Oxford Independent Consultant’s Network (https://www.facebook.com/groups/372685073249287/about/) When she mentioned Deadline versus ‘Dreadline’ in relation to achieving goals, it struck a chord. Now, this is my interpretation, and Emma might explain it slightly differently.

She said that ‘Dreadlines’ are the self-imposed deadlines which we set for ourselves either in or out of work, which we then use to beat ourselves up when we do not achieve them.

  • Do you have any Dreadlines you have set yourself?
  • How realistic are they?
  • Are they motivating you or have you set them up as a ‘rod for your own back’, something to give yourself a hard time about?

Now, of course, setting your own deadlines can be a vital part of achieving goals, developing yourself and moving your life forward. However, to ensure they are true deadlines versus ‘dreadlines’, consider the following.

  • Is this something you really want to do or achieve or is it something that your Inner Critic is telling you, you ‘should’ do?
  • How realistic is your deadline on a scale of 1 (no way I am achieving this) to 10 (100% will achieve this within this timescale)?
  • If 7 or less, then what do you need to take into account to set a realistic and achievable deadline?
  • What resources or supports can you use to assist you in achieving this?

Being & Doing - Spring Into Action - Following the successful launch of my new 8 week online course in January with 8 participants, I am running it again starting on 25 March. There are now two options, see for more details: https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/2019-being-doing-spring-into-action-starts-25-march/

This is a great way to access my work to support you in changing 'from the inside out' to help you to achieve more and feel happier and more content in life.

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

Often when we are facing a challenging situation we end up wanting our circumstances to change or for someone else to change. When often the answer lies within us – what do we need to change from the ‘inside out’ in order to either see the situation differently or to transform the situation.

Think about your week ahead, is there something in or out of work, which you think will be challenging, or you are dreading? Think from the ‘inside out’ to help you to rise to the occasion.

  • What do you currently feel? Now name 3-5 positive emotions that you can use to deal with the situation ie determination, courage, resilience, joy.
  • What negative or limiting beliefs and thoughts do you have ie: ‘X is always disruptive in the meeting, it always winds me up’, or ‘I’m feeling overwhelmed, I’ll never get that report in, in time’. What might be a more empowering belief to have?
  • Dampen down your threat response: look up, take a deep breath, change your posture.
  • Step into your wise Adult self, and ask yourself, what is the wisest approach I can take in this situation, what outcome do I want, what’s my first step?
  • Visualise yourself in your own shoes, successfully handling all your Fearful Child’s ‘What if’s’ until you are satisfied you can handle it.
  • Then relax, let your brain calmly deal with the situation ahead.

‘If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.’
Mahatma Gandhi

Being & Doing - Spring Into Action - Following the successful launch of my new 8 week online course in January with 8 participants, I am running it again starting on 25 March. There are now two options, see for more details: https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/2019-being-doing-spring-into-action-starts-25-march/

This is a great way to access my work to support you in changing 'from the inside out' to help you to achieve more and feel happier and more content in life.

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

 

When I am coaching and training people around communication issues and conflict at work, I always start with talking about rapport. The dictionary defines rapport as:

‘making a connection, having a mutual sympathy, relating to.....’

 Without rapport you can either come across as partronising or critical of other people. For me it is the foundation of any relationship in or out of work.

Think about the people you come into contact with in the course of your working week: who could you have better rapport with? How could you go about building better rapport. Use one or two of the following:

  • Listen to them and show you are really listening to them.
  • Match (rather than mirror) their body language, energy levels, rate of speech and silences.
  • Step into their shoes to attempt to understand them.
  • Show an interest in them, ask questions to understand them.
  • Be ‘Adult’ in your communication with them, avoid game playing.
  • Find something in common if possible.

 ‘You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.’
Dale Carnegie
 

Being & Doing - Spring Into Action - Following the successful launch of my new 8 week online course in January with 8 participants, I am running it again starting on 25 March.

There are now two options, see:  https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/2019-being-doing-spring-into-action-starts-25-march/ for more details. This is a great way to access my work to support you in changing 'from the inside out' to help you to achieve more and feel happier and more content in life.

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

‘Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.’

Oprah Winfrey

Reading this quote the other day I thought it would be good to explore integrity. The dictionary defines it as:

  • the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.
  • the state of being whole and undivided.
  • the condition of being unified or sound in construction.
  • internal consistency or lack of corruption in electronic data.
  • Although some of these definitions are from construction, being unified and sound in our beliefs and acting on them is living with integrity.

I like the idea that you do the right thing whether people know it or not. When in the world of social media people rarely do things without telling others.

Most people value integrity, and trust someone who has integrity. This week think about ways in which you can act with integrity:

  • Is there something which you have wanted to speak up about but have held back for fear of how you will be seen by others.
  • Are you true to your word? Can people trust you to deliver what you say on time?
  • Perhaps there is someone you want to apologies to for letting down – we are after all only human! Part of integrity is also knowing when we need to do this.

‘To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.’

Douglas Adams

Being & Doing - Spring Into Action - Following the successful launch of my new 8 week online course in January with 8 participants, I am running it again starting on 25 March. There are now two options, see for more details: https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/2019-being-doing-spring-into-action-starts-25-march/ 

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

No I am not the bad language police, this is not about swearing. It is about the language we use both in our thinking and also what we say to others. How our language can betray our beliefs and can limit our ability to grow and change. 

 Do you catch yourself saying any of the following:

  • I am always late, or I always lose my temper or i always give in during a negotiation?
  • I’ve never been able to sing, speak up in big groups, dance or do maths?
  • I am hopeless at X?
  • I’m not an assertive person?

Obviously there will be positive things that you say to yourself. However, all these ‘always’, ‘nevers’, and ‘cants’ stop us from challenging ourselves and growing as a person.

Mind your language this week:

  • What do you have coming up this week?
  • Are your beliefs and thought processes positive and empowering?
  • Challenge the facts, see what you have achieved in this area.
  • Create more empowering beliefs.

‘There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.’
Anais Nin

 ‘The only limits you have are the limits you believe. If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you believe it won’t, you’ll see obstacles.’  Dr Wayne W Dyer
 

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

Dopamine is a chemical in your brain that affects your emotions, performance and your sensations of pleasure and pain. When Dopamine rather than Cortisol (link to last week’s MMMM) is going through out system we feel more optimistic, motivated, energised and happier.

 Dopamine levels go up naturally when we are either looking forward to something pleasurable or actually engaged in something enjoyable. However, there are actions you can take to increase your dopamine levels:

  • Break down big tasks into smaller tasks, as we get a dopamine hit whenever we finish a task. And ticking things off a list gives you even more of a hit.
  • Establish a streak – if you are trying to lose weight, exercise more, stop looking at emails at home etc. If you mark how many times you have done this in a week or month, you gain get a hit of dopamine every time you tick off and you establish a winning streak.
  • Listening to music that you love.
  • Exercise – even non-strenuous exercise increases dopamine.
  • Being in flow doing something creative.
  • Meditate – simply stopping and doing nothing, just being.
  • Being in nature or getting outside for some ‘green’ exercise – even if you are in a city look up at the sky and any trees around you. 
  • Introducing novelty and humour into your life.
  • Think about positive times in the past can trigger these positive feelings and chemical reactions.

What are you going to do this week to increase your dopamine levels?

 ‘Treasure those whose company prompts you to be playful and have fun - their gift to you is priceless’

Anne Dickson

‘It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like ‘what’s for lunch?’

Pooh’s Little Instruction Book

 For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

 

We are learning more and more from neuroscientists about the working of the brain and the impact of the stress hormone Cortisol on the performance of our brain, and impact this has on our performance at work.

The Hippocampus:

  • Stores information, facts, figures, memories.
  • It has lots of receptors in order to store the information.
  • When the stress hormone, Cortisol is released the receptors in the Hippocampus suck up Cortisol and it stops the neurons from working. We find it hard to either remember information or retrieve it.
  • Chronic levels of Cortisol stops us from remembering or learning new things.

How do you reduce the levels of Cortisol that you experience?

  • Get a good night’s sleep – it is vitally important.
  • Exercise.
  • Breaks in your working day.
  • Learning techniques to manage your mind and brain.
  • Keep the right level of stimulation for the brain – more next week.
  • Challenge the brain, then rest it for a bit so it has time to recover.

 Next week we will look at how to increase your performance by increasing your dopamine levels.

‘No matter how much pressure you feel at work, if you could find ways to relax for at least five minutes every hour, you'd be more productive.’

Dr. Joyce Brothers

‘Being grown up means assuming responsibility for yourself, for your children – here’s the big curve – for your parents. In other words, you get to stay up later, but you want to go to sleep earlier!’

Wendy Wasserstein

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

Supposedly, today is the worse day of the year or Blue Monday as it is now called. A perfect storm of winter weather (in Northern Hemisphere), arrival of credit card bills with Christmas spending and failure of new year’s resolutions!

But of course it does not have to be. I thought I would revisit one of my early MMMMs which many of the new subscribers will not have read, and it is probably worth re-reading anyway.

I always joke that I was known as Moody Melanie when I was growing up. Certainly, up until my late 20s, there were many Monday morning feelings, often on any day of the week! It’s a long story as to how I became a person, to whom a friend once said, ‘You’re very good at finding the joy in the shit, Melanie’. But one of the kick starts to that journey was reading the following quote from Viktor Frankl:

‘Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.’

When I read that I thought, ‘Wow, if he could think that while in a concentration camp, I can do that in my own life’. It was a turning point, I started to take control of my mind.

This week when you are:

  • Stuck in a traffic jam or standing on a commuter train.
  • In that tedious meeting.
  • Doing the daily chores which seem endless.
  • Listening to a friend who for the 99th time is moaning about their life.
  • Or perhaps you are on holiday but frustrated with family or people hogging the sun loungers.
  • Or facing Blue Monday!

 Remember you have a choice. As another favourite quote of mine by Brian Keennan says:

‘Choice is the crown of life.  Not to choose, is not to be alive ... Choose joy and follow after it.’

 Choose Joy. And see how that changes your experience of the week ahead.

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

This Melanie’s Monday Motivational Messages was inspired by the following quote by Nichiren Daishonin:

‘Even a person at cross purposes with himself is certain to end in failure.’

 You know those times when your mind, thoughts or beliefs are not the same as your actions. Perhaps you:

  • Are negotiating a pay rise, but thinking your boss will get angry with you.
  • Are about to do an important presentation or speak at a big meeting, and your inner critic is undermining your confidence.
  • Are applying for a job or a promotion, because you think you ‘should’, but your heart isn’t really behind it.
  • Are trying to be calm with someone when you are really furious with them.
  • Are torn between two choices whether in or out of work.

In all these situations if your thoughts and beliefs are at cross purposes with what we want to achieve in a given situation, then success is going to be much harder to achieve.

Looking ahead to this week:

·      What important tasks or interactions in or out of work do you have coming up?

  • Is there an important decision you need to make?
  • What are your thoughts and beliefs? Are they going to help or hinder you?
  • If the latter how can you create more empowering beliefs that are going to align your thoughts, beliefs, feelings and behaviour to set yourself up for success.

‘Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.’
Brian Tracy
 

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

When I was young and studying for my A Levels at home I was very studious. Partly because I had undiagnosed dyslexia and it took me longer than others to learn and revise topics. My dad who started life as an accountant would come into my bedroom and remind me of the ‘law of diminishing returns’. That the longer you study or work, the less returns you get because you are tired and less productive.

This is even more true to today’s working world. Where people are checking emails from first thing in the morning til late at night. Working longer hours, sleeping less, and quite frankly getting less productive. What we are learning from neuroscience shows that our brains are less productive when they do not have proper rest and enough sleep. Which is what my dear dad knew way back when.

Are you suffering from the law of diminishing returns? What can you do to increase your returns?

  • Get more sleep? Go to bed earlier?
  • Have clear boundaries regarding when you look at emails, or do office work at home?
  • Cut out distractions?
  • Avoid jumping from one task to another?

And perhaps ultimately we need to measure our outputs versus our inputs or length of time working.

 ‘No matter how much pressure you feel at work, if you could find ways to relax for at least five minutes every hour, you'd be more productive.’

Dr. Joyce Brothers

Being & Doing – get the year off to a flying start:

There is still a couple of places left and you can join up today for my new 8 week online programme to help you to manage your mind, mood and motivation to keep you moving towards your goals.

For more information on Being & Doing https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/2019-being-doing-get-2019-off-to-a-flying-start/ 

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

Hi there

Welcome to Melanie’s Monday Motivational Message or MMMM. Today’s topic is:

How To Have  Happy New Year!

I’m tempted to post the points I made in the MMMM on Christmas Eve: https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/tis-the-night-before-christmas-/ as words of wisdom for the coming year but here are a few others …

  • Middle way in most things. It is easy with the new year arriving to think, ‘I’ve got to …’:Go for a dry January.
    • Cut out sugar.
    • Exercise 5 times a week.
    • Find a new job, relationship, etc.

when finding the middle way is easier to achieve and maintain, and probably better for you in the long run.

  • Get a good night’s sleep, neuroscientists and other health professionals are finding it is key to good physical and mental health. See https://thesleepschool.org/ for Dr Guy Meadows’ ‘The Sleep Book’ and his one day workshops for insomniacs!
  • Gratitude for what we do have goes a long way towards a good sense of well-being and creating a glass half full mindset.
  • With the occasionally Fuckittudes – keep it real, be honest about your challenges and negative feelings, and you will be able to process them and move forward. See my 2013 Inspire newsletter for more on this and gratitudes: http://www.justaddcontent.co.uk/v1/grove/e136_December_2013_Inspire.htm  
     

Some wise words from Eleanor Roosevelt:

 ‘I wish for those I love this New Year an opportunity to earn sufficient, to have that which they need for their own and to give that which they desire to others, to bring into the lives of those about them some measure of joy, to know the satisfaction of work well done, of recreation earned and therefore savored, to end the year a little wiser, a little kinder, and therefore a little happier.’

 See you again on 7 January for a whole new year of Melanie’s Motivational Messages and the start of my brand new 8 week online course …

Being & Doing – get the year off to a flying start:I am launching a new 8 week online programme to help you to manage your mind, mood and motivation to keep you moving towards your goals. For more information on Being & Doing https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/2019-being-doing-get-2019-off-to-a-flying-start/ 

For a taster of my approach see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnyd2LqOMmM for a recording on one of my free webinars on Managing Your Mind, Mood and Motivation.

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter  https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/ or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

I pondered whether to send a MMMM on Christmas Eve but, in case you are still tuning in, here goes, some thoughts on enjoying what there is to enjoy this festive season …

  • Cut yourself some slack if you are responsible for Christmas and all its trimmings, approximate perfection will do, and even burnt offerings should be accepted by loved ones.
  • Ask for support and help – in the days before dishwashers all of us cousins would wash up together and it was a chance for us to get away from the ‘grown ups’ and have a laugh.
  • Do your Christmas traditions or create new ones. We always play silly games, which everyone can enjoy.
  • If you want to spend Christmas alone do so – I know a couple of people who prefer this, rather than feeling they are the spare wheel in other people’s family gatherings.
  • Giving is receiving – the same part of our brain lights up when we give, as when we receive, not just presents but by helping others. So, to feel great, be willing to do more for others.

 Finally, as the 13th Century Buddhist, Nichiren Daishonin said to one of his loyal followers who endured many challenges:

‘Though worldly troubles may arise, never let them disturb you. No one can avoid problems, not even sages or worthies.

Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life.’

 So, enjoy what there is, forget the rest!

Wishing you a wonderful festive time, whatever it involves – and in case you find yourself ill this Christmas and missed my 10 December MMMM which was about finding the Joy in the Shit – take a look at: https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/finding-the-joy-in-the-shit/

Do you want to know how to do this? Join me for my new online course……

Being & Doing – get the year off to a flying start: I am launching a new 8 week online programme to help you to manage your mind, mood and motivation to keep you moving towards your goals.

For more information on Being & Doing https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/2019-being-doing-get-2019-off-to-a-flying-start/ 

For a taster of my approach see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnyd2LqOMmM for a recording on one of my free webinars on Managing Your Mind, Mood and Motivation.

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/  or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

I was listening to a video of Jason Goldberg and he talked about going pro as a business person, and it got me thinking about all of us, are we being amateurs in our role, career or even life. Or have we turned pro? What does that mean?

Turning pro means:

  • Taking yourself, your job, your life seriously.
  • Realising there is only one life, it flashes by, so get on with it.
  • Developing yourself further on a day by day basis.
  • Getting training, coaching, feedback to help you develop.
  • Celebrating successes and learning from the not so good days you have.

This week what actions are you going to take to turn pro in your life?

 
‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’
Mark Twain


For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs (https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/) and Inspire newsletter (https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/) or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 
 

This is a very live MMMM today. I used to be someone who was very good at feeling shitty in joyful situations, always the ‘glass half empty’ mindset. Gradually, through practising what I preach, changing from the inside out, that has radically changed.

About 15 years ago, I fell ill just before Christmas, missed going home to spend it with my family, was so ill on Christmas day and through to new year that I didn't care but, somehow, I managed to turn it into something positive. When I told a friend about this, she said, ‘You are very good at finding the joy in the shit, Melanie’. I thought, that will be a title of a book one day – probably my next one.

Here I am again, finding the joy in the shit. As I write this at 4am on Friday morning, I am about to miss another family gathering due to ill health (there are a lot of viruses around at the moment). A family day out at the races, with 3 generations of the Greene family, which I instigated and has been much anticipated by me. But I am too ill to go.

I’ve learned how to let go of and accept when these disappointments happen. How to, in Buddhist terms: ‘turn poison into medicine’. On Saturday, I had a day at the races at home, we WhatsApp each other photos, placed a few bets (mine are usually £2 each way but I still get very excited), and I virtually raise a glass of prosecco to my family from the warmth of my home.

In life, things don’t always goes as planned, sometimes small things, sometimes big things. You have a choice:

  • Get really miserable and increase your suffering with the ‘why me’s’, ‘it’s not fair’ – Ok to do for a short while but it only makes you unhappy.
  • Accept what is and get on with things.
  • Accept what is, turn poison into medicine and find joy in the shit.

This is a bit freaky but I turned to my quote document which is always open on my laptop and the first quote which was there is this, from Og Mandino, which seems very apt:

‘If I feel depressed I will sing. If I feel sad I will laugh. If I feel fear I will plunge ahead. If I feel inferior I will wear new garments. If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice. If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come. If I feel incompetent I will think of past success. If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals. Today I will be the master of my emotions.’

 Do you want to know how to do this? Join me for my new online course……

Being & Doing – get the year off to a flying start: I am launching a new 8 week online programme to help you to manage your mind, mood and motivation to keep you moving towards your goals. For more information on Being & Doing https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/2019-being-doing-get-2019-off-to-a-flying-start/ 

For a taster of what to expect, join me at 1pm on Wednesday 12 December 1pm, for a free webinar: https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-being-doing-changing-from-the-inside-out/ 

 

For more inspiration register with my website and read back issues of:

 

Sometimes people groan when people put on party invites, ‘There is no need to bring a present, your presence is enough’, but I thought I would kick off December, before people get into major buying mode, with exploring the idea of presence versus presents.

For the last 10 years of my dad’s life, instead of buying him present (he really didn't need anything) we went out together. It was precious spending that time together and I have some wonderful memories of a summer evening at the Pudding Club (sadly no longer running) at Didcot Railway museum, sitting in Victorian carriages munching through our three course meal with numerous puddings. Or the time we ate in the same restaurant as Oprah Winfrey in London, or the fly pass for the Queen’s birthday that coincided with our day out in London.

My brother and I now follow this tradition, we spend a day together for our birthdays, we’ve been on a chocolate tour of London, comedy nights and great meals out. For my mum this year, it was a walk along the canal from Little Venice to Regents Park which she described as one of her best birthdays ever – so it does not have to cost much money to create great experiences.

  • Who would you like to give your presence to this festive season rather than a present?
  • Who would value your time spent with them or whom would you value spending time with?
  • It might not be a family member but a good friend whom you haven’t had any quality time with lately.

And, perhaps, if a day out does not feel right for you, it is simply being truly present with them when you do see them. As Ram Dass says:

‘Be here now.’ 

Being & Doing – get the year off to a flying start: I am launching a new 8 week online programme to help you to manage your mind, mood and motivation to keep you moving towards your goals. For more information on Being & Doing https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/2019-being-doing-get-2019-off-to-a-flying-start/

For a taster of what to expect, join me at 1pm on Wednesday 12 December for a free webinar on this topic - Being & Doing: changing from the inside out: , see: https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-managing-your-mood-mind-motivation/ for details.

 For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter  or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

I saw this cartoon on Facebook and thought how many times do we get caught up in opinion which we believe is fact. How many arguments does this lead to.

Of course there are simply facts in the world, but much of the larger issues we wrestle with it is hard to pin down ‘true’ or hard facts, and is much as about opinion, than facts. And opinions are valid.

When you are facing people with differences of opinion, ask questions, listen to them, seek to understand them, rather than try and convince them you are correct. If there is true dialogue you may end up both seeing different perspectives. It is when opinions get confused with facts that problems can arise.

 This week notice:

  • If you have a strong opinion about something challenge yourself about what it is based on.
  • If someone else has a strong opinion, ask them questions, seek to understand where they are coming from.
  • Sort out the fact from the opinions.

 I love this viewpoint from Bertrand Russell

‘The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd.’

Being & Doing – get the year off to a flying start: I am launching a new 8 week online programme to help you to manage your mind, mood and motivation to keep you moving towards your goals.

For more information on Being & Doing https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/2019-being-doing-get-2019-off-to-a-flying-start/ For a taster of what to expect join me at 1pm on Wednesday 28 November for a free webinar on this topic, see: https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-managing-your-mood-mind-motivation/ for details.

 For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/mmmms/ and Inspire newsletter https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/inspire-newsletters/  or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

I have a copy of Anne Dickson’s little book of quotes called, ‘A Book of Your Own’, which has many inspiring quotes within it. Here is one of my favourites:

‘Learn to distinguish between straining and stretching yourself - the former leads to injury, the latter to development.’

 It is so true, whether we are talking about ourselves physically, mentally or emotionally, stretching ourselves, going outside of our comfort zone, develops us. However, it is knowing when we are getting to the point of straining ourselves.

 Neuroscience shows us that there is a ‘learning zone’ which is just outside of our comfort zone, where we are stretched but not strained. However, when we go too far out of our comfort zone, we trigger our brain’s threat response which gets in the way of us learning and developing.

 This week spot:

  • Where are you physically, mentally or emotionally? Stretched or strained?
  • If you are feeling the strain in any area, how can you come back into a more comfortable zone to rest and recover?

 And if you are feeling overwhelmed, here’s another pearl of wisdom from Anne Dickson:

‘When the whole situation makes you unhappy and confused, choose one thing, however small, that you would like to change.’

Being & Doing – get the year off to a flying start: I am launching a new 8 week online programme to help you to manage your mind, mood and motivation to keep you moving towards your goals. For more information on Being & Doing https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/2019-being-doing-get-2019-off-to-a-flying-start/

For a taster of what to expect join me at 1pm on Wednesday 28 November for a free webinar on this topic, see: https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-webinar-managing-your-mood-mind-motivation/ for details.

 For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs  and Inspire newsletter or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

An old Cherokee told his grandson, "My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth. The boy thought about it and asked, "Grandfather, which wolf wins?" 

The old man replied quietly, "The one you feed."

 How do we feed the wolf? By focussing on the thoughts that are behind the anger or greed or joy and hope.

If your thoughts tend towards the negative, catch yourself, let those negative thoughts go, re-direct your attention and focus on the positives in your life.

Writing daily gratitudes about your life and appreciations of yourself are two ways to re-wire your brain and feed the good wolf.

  • Which wolf is winning the battle right now?
  • Which wolf will you feed this week?

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

Perhaps low productivity in the UK is because we spend too much time in meetings with no time to do any work. If this feels like you, then this week talk to your colleagues about:

  • What meetings are essential?
  • Who needs to be there?
  • Are they too long? Short meetings often focus the mind.
  • As a team, department or business set aside certain times in the week where there will be no meetings.
  • What can you do to make meetings more productive and inspiring?

 If you have constant meetings, use the minutes as you walk between meetings or grab a quick loo break, to check in with yourself: your energy levels, mood, thoughts. If they are heading downwards, look up, breathe deeply, be in the moment, even for one moment, to help recharge your batteries.

‘If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.”’

Dave Barry
Of course, as the following quote from Marilyn Hewson shows, face to face contact does have its place:

 ‘You can't forget that organizational success flows from the hearts and minds of the men and women you lead. Rather than treating your people as you'd like to be treated, treat them as they would like to be treated. Small gestures like opting for face-to-face meetings or sending personal notes can have an enormous impact on teams and their morale.’

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

I’ve had the M People song, ‘Search For The Hero’  in my head all week. And it got me thinking that this is what we have to do when we face life’s big and not so big day to day challenges. As Anton Chekhov said:

‘Any idiot can face a crisis - it’s this day to day living that wears you out.’

It is the daily commute, the daily cooking, cleaning, ironing for the family, daily bedtime routine with children, daily meetings, dealing with challenging customers or colleagues. This is where we need to search for the hero inside ourselves.

So, whenever you find that the daily grind of life is getting you down this week, sing the song, bring out your inner hero and dance through life!

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

Next Free Webinar: 1pm Wednesday 28 November. Managing Your Mood, Mind & Motivation. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to book your place.

Reading an article about someone who was constantly striving in life, I realised that I am one of life’s strivers. Which is great, I develop myself, I strive to improve the world, I support others. However, thankfully I have also learned how to take time out and simply ‘be’, some of the time.
 
Sometimes you need to take a day or time off from striving. If striving is exhausting you, this week, perhaps for a day or even an hour or a moment, just be, don't strive or push yourself in one area of your life to do more. Rest easy with how you are and see what happens. As the wonderful Maya Angelou says in ‘A Day Away’:

‘We often think that our affairs, great or small, must be tended continuously and in detail, or our world will disintegrate, and we will lose our places in the universe. That is not true, or if it is true, then our situations were so temporary that they would have collapsed anyway.

Once a year or so I give myself a day away……

 Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. We need hours of aimless wandering or spates of time sitting on park benches, observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops….

When we return home, I am always surprised to find some questions I sought to evade have been answered and some entanglements I had hoped to flee had become unravelled in my absence.

A day away acts as a spring tonic. It can dispel rancour, transform indecision, and renew the spirit.’

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter, or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

Another MMMM inspired by a TED talk. This TED talk is by Beau Lotto and 12-year-old Amy O'Toole, which has so many things you can take away from it.

However, what I am focussing on today is that Beau Lotto talks about the fact that our brain hates uncertainty, as it is designed to keep us safe, and that it is hard to accept when you don't know what is around the corner. Drawing on the field of scientific discovery, he says, ‘If you want to do something different, you have to step into uncertainty’.

  • What are you doing this week which might be stepping into uncertainty?
  • Are you avoiding stepping into uncertainty because of your fears about it? Is this holding you back?
  • How can you, in Susan Jeffer’s words, ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’?

‘Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.’

Anais Nin

 For more inspiration or support: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter, or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

It is true that our brain, which is designed to keep us safe, makes snap decisions about people when we first meet them. However, we do not have to go with those first impressions, as research shows that they are not always right, as they reveal more about our prejudices and our past experiences, than the actual person in front of us.

My colleague, Peter Makin, and I used to run a wonderful two day recruitment and selection programme. One of the points we highlighted were the assumptions we make which were not based on reality even during shortlisting. Here’s some examples of pitfalls that managers on the course fell into:

  • Thinking that an applicant was obviously strong and tough minded from their CV. When questioned, what they based this assessment on was that it was because the candidate had ‘survived’ divorced, they said – based on the manager’s own experience, when they might have run off with a younger man and been happy to divorce!
  • Thinking an applicant was going to be lazy and slope off the moment the sun started shining! All because they had put ‘surfing’ as an interest!
  • Thinking an interviewee was ‘arty’ because she had odd earrings on – turns out she had accidently put two different earrings on that morning.

 You are probably not going to be interviewing anyone this week but whatever you are doing:

  • Notice your first impressions, positive or negative.
  • What are they based on? Challenge them.
  • Think of times when first impressions were not right. 

'A firm, hearty handshake gives a good first impression, and you'll never be forgiven if you don't live up to it.'   P. J. O'Rourke

'It's pretty simple, pretty obvious: that people's first impressions of people are really a big mistake.' Vincent D'Onofrio

Having written this, I then stumbled upon this TED talk – well, song, actually: Black Men Ski, which seems appropriate for challenging our first impressions. 

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter, or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

When we react to events around us it is often a knee jerk reaction with no thought involved, and can end up with less than constructive outcomes. Whether that is over reacting to a colleague’s comment in a meeting, getting defensive to feedback from a manager or a customer, or shouting at your children’s less than responsible behaviour.

 However, there is a nano second between reaction and responding when we can make a decision. If when you are about to do a knee jerk reaction you:

  • Stop, take a deep breath.
  • Look up briefly.
  • Change your posture.
  • Then decide on the best way to respond.

This week notice the times when you simply react, when you notice yourself reacting but can’t stop yourself. And when you stop and decide how you will respond. What’s the impact on yourself and others around you? How does it feel? What are the benefits? But don't beat yourself up when you simply react, learn and move on.

‘What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens.’

Ellen Glasgow

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

No, I am not asking about your household habits. The author, Rumer Godden, once said:

‘Everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but, unless we go into every one room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.’

A colleague of mine, Roy Leighton describes these four rooms as human needs:

  • Spiritual / Intuitive: Passion and Purpose – the need to have a sense of purpose and passion in life.
  • Emotional / Creative: Relationships – the need to connect with others and form relationships and friendships.
  • Physical / Applied: Resilience – the need to take action and overcome any obstacles you might encounter.
  • Mental / Intellectual: Result – the need to see results, be stimulated mentally, creatively.

As you go about your week think about: 

  • Is there a room or human need which I am neglecting?
  • What action can I take to ‘air’ that room?
  • Is there a room which I inhabit too often because I feel comfortable there? Or perhaps I am avoiding another?
  • If I have a particularly challenging task to do this week, which room do I need to draw on to help me with it?

‘It isn’t until you come to a spiritual understanding of who you are – not necessarily a religious feeling, but deep down, the spirit within – that you can begin to take control.’

Oprah Winfrey

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter, or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

I’ve never detoxed my body in my life, preferring to go for moderation in most things. And people often talk about digital detoxing, which got me thinking about detoxing your mind. This week give your mind and thoughts a detox. Whenever a negative thought comes into your mind, practice some of the following:

  • Letting it go - it is just a thought.
  • Challenging it – is it based on reality?
  • Reframing it – seeing it in a different light.

The other day, while on a walk around Blenheim Palace Park, I found my mind ruminating on something that my mind found difficult to let go. So I thought, every time I start ruminating, I’ll think of Rumi, which brought a smile to my face and made me focus on the beauty around me. And this quote from Rumi seems perfect for today’s MMMM:

‘Live life as if everything is rigged in your favour.’

Rumi

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter, or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

 Inspired by Sarah Kay’s TED talk, ‘If I should have a daughter’, the first part of her talk is a poem to a daughter she may one day have. She quotes the song: there’ll be days like this. And I thought, there will be those days, perhaps even those weeks, therefore, what do we do when we are faced with those days, those weeks, those moments? Rather than feeling stuck or overwhelmed by what you are facing, reach out for inspiration. Here are some of the activities I turn to – not all at once but choosing what is going to help me at that time:

  • Inspiring writing, poem, quotes – I am surrounded by this inspiration at home.
  • Writing in my journal – always my gratitudes, sometimes my fuckittudes, sometimes listening to myself.
  • Meditate, be mindful – I have my Buddhist practice but just being still and mindful can start to shift how we feel.
  • Go outside, be in nature, even if you are in a city, look up at the sky, stare at a single tree or window box in the street.

 As Sarah Kay says:

‘Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, “There’ll be days like this my momma said” when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say, “thank you,” ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away.’

 For the whole poem and more quotes from Sarah: Days Like This

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter, or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

Hi there,

Welcome to Melanie’s Monday Motivational Message or MMMM.

Today’s topic is:

Whether you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you’re right!

This phrase is associated with Henry Ford and, at an intuitive level, we know that our beliefs affect our lives.

Whether this is in how we view the world and other people, the actions we take, and how we deal with challenges.

However, day to day, we can forget this. When I work with clients, I help them transform from the inside out, transforming the beliefs and thought processes which drive their feelings and behaviour.

This week become aware of:

  • When you experience a positive or negative mood, what are the thoughts behind it, are they helping or hindering you?
  • When you face a challenge or feel stuck, ask yourself: what empowering or positive belief will help me here?

‘Aerodynamically the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it, so it goes on flying anyway.’

Mary Kay Ash

Advanced notice – Inspire Autumn Coaching Programme: what do you want to achieve by the end of 2018?

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter  or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

When we are all so busy, it is easy to end up multitasking rather than really stopping and listening to others.  Are we scrolling through our emails while a colleague is talking to us, thinking about 101 other things while in a meeting, or busy stacking the dishwasher while a child is talking to us?

Think about someone who could do with your full attention this week. Perhaps they are struggling and need your support. Or perhaps your relationship with them is strained and it could benefit from some active listening. Remember to…

  • Stop what you are doing, face them, show that you are listening to them.
  • Reflect back or summarise what you have heard, so they know you were listening.
  • Ask questions to understand where they are coming from or to help them to work through an issue.

‘To listen closely and reply well is the highest perfection
we are able to attain in the art of conversation.’
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter, or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

Winston Churchill said:

‘I know of no case where a man added to his dignity by standing on it.’

How many times do we stamp on our own dignity, beat ourselves up, say words to ourselves that we would never say to a good friend? Just for this week (but hopefully you’ll continue forever), be kind to yourself.

Whenever your Inner Critic starts up, push it away, ask your Inner Wisdom for some kind, nurturing words of advice to help you in the situation you are facing. Perhaps, if you are feeling particularly tired or facing lots of obstacles, cut yourself some slack. Then notice what happens:

  • To your energy levels?
  • To your motivation?
  • To your mood and levels of satisfaction?

Have a wonderful wise, nurturing week.

‘You’re always a valuable, worthwhile human being, not because anybody else says so, not because you’re successful, not because you make a lot of money, but because you decide to know it.’

Dr Wayne W. Dyer, Staying on the Path

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter Inspire Newsletter or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

I always joke that I was known as Moody Melanie when I was growing up. Certainly, up until my late 20s, there were many Monday morning feelings, often on any day of the week! It’s a long story as to how I became a person, to whom a friend once said, ‘You’re very good at finding the joy in the shit, Melanie’. But one of the kick starts to that journey was reading the following quote from Viktor Frankl:

‘Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.’

When I read that I thought, ‘Wow, if he could think that while in a concentration camp, I can do that in my own life’. It was a turning point, I started to take control of my mind.

This week when you are:

  • Stuck in a traffic jam or standing on a commuter train.
  • In that tedious or frustrating meeting.
  • Doing the daily chores which seem endless.
  • Listening to a friend who for the 99th time is moaning about their life.
  • Or perhaps you are on holiday but frustrated with your family or people hogging the sun loungers.

Remember you have a choice. As another favourite quote of mine by Brian Keennan says:

 ‘Choice is the crown of life.  Not to choose, is not to be alive ... Choose joy and follow after it.’

Choose Joy. And see how that changes your experience of the week ahead.

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter, or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

 

Email has been a great help in enhancing communication but we have all had experiences where using email has resulted in misunderstandings, heated online exchanges or avoidance of difficult conversations.

 This week before you email someone, or respond to an email, think about the following:

  • The level of rapport you have with the individual. Is it fragile? Will it affect how the person receives the information?
  • The nature of what you are communicating – is it contentious? Does it need further explanation?
  • Is it part of an on-going email discussion which is getting nowhere fast?
  • Are you using email to avoid what might potentially be a difficult conversation?

 Would a phone call or face to face discussion save a lot of trouble down the line? Stephen Covey says:

‘Seek first to understand, then to be understood.’

 That is hard to do via email, you need to be able to listen to each other, ask questions, sense the mood and reactions by someone’s voice. A quick phone call, Skype or face to face might save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run.

'The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.' 

George Bernard Shaw
 

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter, or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

I was listening to Tim Harford’s fascinating TED talk: How messy problems can inspire creativity this morning while doing my Pilates (a great way of improving mind and body simultaneously). He used numerous interesting examples from the world of music, work, and learning, to show how frustrations, challenges, and the messiness of life, can make us more creative. 

 This got me thinking about how we react to challenges, obstacles. Are we thrown off course by them, or do they become ‘grist to the mill’ enabling us to dig further, think harder, be creative? This week notice how you react to any obstacles and challenges, find ways to use them to create something more innovative, creative or even just more practical, than if everything had gone smoothly.

 Tim uses Brian Eno as an example of this, so here’s a quote from him:

 ‘Control and surrender have to be kept in balance. That's what surfers do - take control of the situation, then be carried, then take control.

In the last few thousand years, we've become incredibly adept technically. We've treasured the controlling part of ourselves and neglected the surrendering part.’

This week surrender to the uncontrollable parts of your life, and see what arises.

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter, or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

 

I believe in practising what I preach, and I am human, I do make mistakes. Our reaction to our own mistakes can either lead us to beat ourselves up, and feel awful about them. Or we can learn from them, grow as a result of them, and if they involved other people, apologise and find a way of moving forward. With clients I share a Balanced Debriefing process to help them learn not just from mistakes, but any situation. Ask yourself:
 

  1. What happened? What did you do, what did others do
  2. What went well? As even in what might appear disastrous may contain nuggets of good within.
  3. What were you particularly pleased with – this can include how you redeemed situations that were going wrong or kept going!
  4. What would you do the same another time?
  5. What would you do differently?
  6. What do you think someone else would have done in your shoes? Maybe think about a colleague, friend or mentor.

If something goes wrong this week, or if you are still haunted by a previous mistake, take some time this week to do a bit of Balance Debriefing.
 

‘This thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.’
Mary Pickford


For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter, or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

What is this all about?

As you will find out through my MMMMs, I am a great fan of TED talks and one of the early ones I saw was Elizabeth Lesser’s Take the Other To Lunch.

Check out her talk -

We all have people in our families, our work places, our communities, who are very different from us. Personality-wise, politically, with different values, or interests. And sometimes it can feel difficult to work with them or to be with them. What Elizabeth did was take someone who was politically different from her to lunch, to get to know them as a person. She was not seeking an agreement on anything, it was simply to get to know them as a human being.

This week, think about someone whom you find challenging, who are different from you. You might not go and have lunch with them straightaway but ask them questions, listen, find out about them as a person, share some of yourself, and start to connect with them human to human.

‘What will matter is the good we did, not the good we expected others to do.’
Elizabeth Lesser

For more inspiration: read back issues of MMMMs and Inspire newsletter, or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk

Are you feeling inspired, energised, enthusiastic?

Or are you feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, anxious or even stuck, when you think about the week ahead?

Focussing on your ‘Why’, can help you to feel more motivated and positive, even about more mundane activities. Why are you doing what you are doing this week?

  • To pay the mortgage or rent, to have a safe and warm home for your family?
  • To help your clients or customers with their own lives?
  • To save lives?
  • To create something amazing in this world?
  • To save for your next holiday to create great memories for your family?

Having a sense of purpose, whether it is linked to your own needs or the needs of others, can help us to feel more positive, focussed and energised, even when we are facing obstacles and challenges. And especially when we are feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and anxious.

If you don't feel you have a ‘Why’, spend a bit of time this week thinking about it and discussing it with friends and family, to create a sense of ‘why’ which will help to move you forward.

 ‘The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.’ 
Eleanor Roosevelt

For more inspiration: link to other MMMMs or Inspire or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk