Melanie’s Motivational Monday Messages

Do you want to get your week off to a good start?

Then my short, inspiring MMMMs will give you food for thought each Monday morning.

Register using this link: https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/register/ to get access to the latest:

  • Melanie's Monday Motivational Messages (MMMM's)
  • Inspire monthly coaching newsletters and,.
  • Free webinars , and other exclusive content.

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:

 

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 
 

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