How much are you caught up in consumerism?

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I drafted a post several days ago but felt it was more fitting for the end of the year. You will find out why if you check out my blog next week! 

Today, I want to focus on consumerism and what a better time than the Christmas period when most people are buying gifts and enough food to feed the five thousand!

Companies spend a large percentage of their budget on marketing to persuade us to buy their goods and services. Some are needs whilst others are wants. There is a thin line between the two therefore the lines are often blurred. How often have you or a friend uttered;

“I need a holiday” immediately after returning from one

“I need new clothes” despite having a bustling double wardrobe full

I have been guilty of this, especially the first statement. If I had my way, I would travel far more frequently.  My love for travelling is to meet a want not a need.

I need customers to keep my side business afloat and I would definitely class the products I sell as wants (make up and beauty).  I rely on my customers and potential customers’ need to want to enhance their natural beauty.  Without them there would be no business – it is in my best interest to influence their buying. I have worn the make up and taken selfies, shown selfies taken of other women and shared testimonies. 

Does your business meet a want or a need?

What marketing strategies do you use? 

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Are you drowning in paperwork at home?

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It seems as though my daughter brings home paperwork every day from school. “Wear your own jumper day”, “dress as your favourite TV character”, school trips, homework, lunchtime and after school clubs.  It can feel rather relentless especially if you have to deal with paperwork in your business, job, church ministry, voluntary work.

My daughter also attends piano and ballet class which naturally brings more paperwork into our home.  She enjoys them, therefore I have made up my mind to grin and bear it – whilst complaining just a tad to my husband!

I really do not want to come home to find paperwork waiting for me but they are not going to be dealt with elsewhere – unless my husband decides to jump on board! This is not his forte so I leave him to get on with tasks he excels in and enjoys. 

I have put the following systems in place in order to best manage paperwork in the home;

1. I read letters and file, if they require action I put letters in my handbag and send a reminder to action during my lunch break at work. 

2. I take photographs of ALL my daughter’s party invitations, homework sheets, class infornation and anything else.  If the original is mislaid, I can refer to my phone’s gallery for guidance and reprint if necessary.

3. I shred paperwork which is older than six months and no longer required. 

4. I  have requested for bank statements to be available online rather than mailed to me. 

How do you manage administration in your home? 

Do you find it time consuming?

How much patience do you really have?

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Patience – some people seem to have so much and others so little. I would like to think that I fall somewhere in between! 

Ideally you need to have a fair bit of patience when living or working with children – some may want to add adults to the mix! Not a day goes by when my patience is not tested. How else can our patience grow unless it is put into good use?

From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, you are faced with scenarios where you can choose to exercise patience – or not. Admittedly, I fail at times but another opportunity for me to “step up to the plate” is waiting just around the corner. 

Joyce Meyer quoted:

“Patience is not having the ability to wait but maintaining a good attitude while waiting”. 

When I first read this is I thought “wow”! Often, we have no choice but to wait as we cannot control when, whatever it is we desire, comes our way. Therefore, we cannot say we are patient based on only this. We are waiting merely because there is no other option! 

Looking back to my past, I can pinpoint times where I had a bad attitude to particular situations in my life. I was challenged and unhappy and felt completely justified with carrying a “woe is me” demeanour. 

Was it the right way to live? No
Did it affect my relationships? Yes
Did it bring me any closer to what I desired? No

Four points to consider:

1. Think about why you lose patience so quickly.  Are you over stretched at home/work/in your business? Can you reduce or delegate some tasks?

2. Keep a journal and note each time you feel impatient. Describe the situation? How are you feeling emotionally?

3. Expect the unexpected. Children will spill drinks and friends/clients will arrive late. Life will also go on. 

4. Think about the effect that your lack of patience has on the people around you. How would you like to be perceived? 

Do you struggle with having patience?  

What impact does it have on the different areas of your life?

Do you work towards your dreams and aspirations daily?

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Henry David Thoreau quotes:

“Do not give up on your dreams and aspirations. For if you do, you may exist but you have ceased to live”.

What a powerful quote! 

I believe we have all dreamed and had hopes at one or many stages of our life. However, due to circumstances and life experiences, we may have let them go believing they can never come to pass or worse, that we are somehow undeserving of it. Some dream big, so big that it can be laughable and others dream modestly. I wonder if there are any benefits in dreaming small? Are our dreams not supposed to scare us?

We are responsible for steering our dreams in the right direction.  We need to put in the hard graft – it will not happen any other way.

Perhaps we need to become more knowledgeable in the area we wish to work in, begin to network with like minded people or take up voluntary work. The list really is endless.

Are you willing to do what is required to fulfill your dreams and aspirations? It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day running of our lives and lose sight of the bigger picture.  The bigger picture is what keeps us moving forward when life seems bleak,  when we are no longer fulfilled in our jobs, when we have outgrown relationships, when we see parts of our character that we know need to be changed.

A few questions for you to consider:

1. Where would you like to be in 10-15 years time?

2. What do you need to put in place today to be nearer to your dream tomorrow?


Take the plunge and put pen to paper – you never know where it may lead to.

Are you a go-getter?

Coming home from work one evening last week, I felt tired. I had a busy, long day at work thanks to my compressed hours. This gives me a day at home with my toddler, son and the pleasure of collecting my daughter from school. She looks forward to this day, as do I.  I secretly wish I could collect her every day and splash in puddles and kick leaves as we walk home.

As I was on the train, I thought of the number of tasks I wanted to complete that evening. Some were practical and some were personal; my make up business, blog and administration as part of worship ministry.

I wondered what it must be like to lead a more simple life. No offence at all to anyone who does – in fact I am almost envious of those who have more spare time than me. Seriously though, I pondered on my motives for always striving and on why I feel uneasy when I cannot tick a task off of my to do list. In the grand scheme of things life continues as usual, whether I update my business page or not, whether I respond immediately to people who comment on my blog or not.

According to my mother, as a child I wanted to play with everything at nursery and I barely stopped to rest between riding the bike, playing with the sand and water and so forth.

This naturally transferred into my teenage and adult life. I was the organiser of my friends, the one who booked our holidays and arranged our daily itinerary.

I guess being a “go, go, go” person has it’s benefits, you get tasks done and fast but how often do you feel resentful or hard done by?

I choose to take on all that I do for a number of reasons. Some are quite deep rooted and need to be dealt with but I will discuss this at another time. 

How do you view yourself?

Are you happy to be “at this place?”

 

Is your glass half full or half empty?

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Last week, I focused on coping mechanisms for dealing with delay and disappointment. Well, I was recently put to the test!

My connecting train arrived on a platform at the far side of the station and I did not hear the announcement. To add icing to the mix, the train that followed was running late so I stood at the platform for 35 minutes. This was the 4th, yes the 4th Thursday that I have faced a delay or cancellation.

The first thing that came to mind was using this time to draft my blog. I had already read the bible and completed my daily devotion. Reluctantly, I took my hand out of my warm pocket and proceeded to type on my smartphone in the cold.

I am gravitating towards being a “glass half full” person. It keeps me in good spirits and enables me to rise above my situation. Nothing good derives from seeking disappointment and generally expecting very little from life. It makes one weary, despondent and unhopeful.  Life, as I see it is for living and living to the full.

I have listed some tips below on how to enjoy life;

1. Accept that challenges will arise. Some you may find a solution for and others you may just have to go through. I struggled with this for a while, always aiming to go around.

2. Add trinklets of enjoyment into your life. Watch a “feel good” DVD, go for a walk in the crisp air, cook your favourite dish, eat out at your favourite restaurant. 

3. Have a good night’s sleep. Tiredness makes one irritated and less able to deal with the trials of life. Perhaps have one or two set nights in which you turn in early. 

4. Outsource jobs if you can afford it; cleaning, ironing, gardening.  Knowing the domestics are taken care of leaves you free to focus on those things which are more of a priority.

Do you have any tips to add?

Delays – what are your coping strategies?

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The saying;

“There is no use crying over spilt milk” is simple but to the point. It has happened, crying will not turn back time or in fact make you feel any better. 

Which brings me to a particular situation that I have faced………………….

Last Thursday, I arrived at the station where I board my connecting train to find that my train had been cancelled. The line had been closed with no further notice.  I would not mind but every Thursday for the past three weeks, there have been delays of one kind or another.  

I decided to take another route which I had the joy of paying for the privilege! Now, at this moment I could have chosen to become angry and anxious (like a few commuters I overheard) or accept that delays are a part of life.  I admit that in the not too distant past, this would have affected my morning. I would have arrived to work with a fixed face and taken a few hours to perk up again. I would have questioned why I have such a long commute and had a pity party – alone of course!

I plan and prepare but sometimes you simply have no control over situations such as these. They will occur whether we welcome them or not. Our attitude and state of mind matters most. The way in which we look at life, the good and the bad. The way in which we engage with others when things are not going quite as we had hoped. It is during the most challenging times that our character is tested. I still have a way to go but as Evangelist Joyce Meyer says;

“I may not be where I want to be, but I am not where I used to be”. 

What are your coping mechanisms for handling delays and disappointment?

Light hearted tips and advice from an organised lady!