Five reasons why you need a mentor

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A mentor could be someone you know personally or a key figure in society with great leadership abilities whom you can learn from.

A mentor is likely to be operating on a level which you are aiming towards in a similar field to yours. They are likely to display characteristics of a noble person with integrity as well as a spirit of perseverence.

In the Oxford Dictionary, mentor means:

1. An experienced and trusted adviser

2  An experienced person who trains and counsels 

With a mentor in-person,  you will have the opportunity to meet with them and possibly shadow them to observe the way in which they work. With a virtual mentor, you will invest in buying their books, CD’s and attending their conferences (as and when possible).

I have a virtual mentor, someone that I connect with. The first time that I watched one of Joyce Meyer’s teachings, I resonated with much of what she spoke on; her insecurities, challenges and character flaws. My husband already owned many of Joyce Meyer’s books and tapes which came in handy! The ‘Battlefield of the Mind’ is one that I hold very close to my heart.

What a mentor will offer;

1. Keep you focused – distractions will come, life will ‘throw things at us’ but we need to remain focused on reaching our goals. A mentor will assist us with this.

2. Encouragement – there will be times that we will become discouraged due to obstacles and challenges. We may even question whether we made the right decision. A mentor will remind us why we chose to take this path and help push us through the ‘dry’ season.

3. Valuable experience – walking side by side with someone who has already been down the road that you are travelling on. We might like to think we can do it alone but that is sheer pride.  

4. Honesty – A mentor will remain honest as;
A. They are unlikely to have had a prior relationship with you and therefore their advice will be unbiased.
B. They are unlikely to be paid for their service therefore they are not conditioned to tell you what you want to hear.

5. No room for excuses – we have a tendency to justify why we have not completed a task or goal. It does not draw us any nearer to achieving our goals but simply gives us ‘rest time’ when the going gets tough. A mentor has the ability to see through our excuses and will not condone procrastination as they know how much it will hinder us.

Have you considered seeking a mentor?

Perhaps you already have a mentor – please share your experience.

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Why you need purpose in your life

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Purpose is what keeps us going when fatigue and challenges arise. When we would prefer to relax in the evenings but understand the need to prioritise spending time on our business/ project/book.

Purpose keeps us focused and striving towards the dream that is deep rooted within our hearts.

Purpose brings meaning to our life. Without it, people can go on to seek fulfillment in all of the wrong places. Before discovering my purpose, I recall feelings of great discontentment and frustration. I knew I wanted to give more of myself but was unsure to whom and how.

Purpose exists for each one of us but some are so consumed by the trials of everyday life that they give little or no time to pursue it. How many people have you met with such wonderful giftings but no actual desire to do anything with them?

As humans, we long for acceptance (some far more than others) and to feel that we have made a difference whether in someone’s life or within an organisation. Having a purpose reminds us that we have something specific to offer, that we have a mission to complete which will impact on this world in some way.

Over ten years ago, I read a book called ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ written by Rick Warren. It completely changed my perspective on identifying and fulfilling my purpose. Please click the link below for a summary: http://purposedriven.com/books/pdlbook/#purpose

Have you identified your purpose?

Are you determined to fulfil your purpose – no matter how much it will cost in terms of your time, finances and energy?

What does integrity mean to you?

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Integrity is undervalued in today’s society. Many are willing to undercut and do the bare minimum for what they feel is gain. Many are willing to lose their soul for fame and fortune, stepping on the very people who were supportive when they had little.  The world has become entitled, losing it’s morals and values in the process. 

Three scenarios:
On starting a new job, you notice your colleagues take well over an hour for lunch. It appears to be tolerated. Do you follow suit?

The sales assistant hands you extra change in error, on realising do you return to the store or walk away with glee?

You find a mobile phone on the train, do you hand it in at the train station or keep it?

This quote sums it up;

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From a young age most of us learnt to shed blame and use others as scapegoats i.e. “Jane did it so I thought it was okay to do it”.  It is only when our parents stepped in to correct us (mine certainly did!) that we took an element of responsibility for our actions. 

We should not use others as a measure for the way we live our lives. We should set high standards for ourselves. We may not always meet them but the importance is that they exist in the first place. 

We will always be tested, on a daily basis in fact, it is entirely down to us to choose to do the right thing even when it costs.  Our word carries far more than we can ever imagine.  Our yes should mean yes. If we are unable to meet a need or complete a task, we should be honest and say so rather than committing and then backing out. 

Do you demonstrate integrity on a daily basis?

How important is integrity, to you?

Identifying your strengths and weaknesses

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As adults the majority of us are well aware of our strengths and weaknesses.  We can put on a good show and even fool others but we cannot lie to ourselves.  We may choose not to admit the weaknesses to others for fear of appearing weak or vulnerable.

Your weaknesses should in no way hinder you but be a work in progress. Especially if you need to develop on your weakness in order to excel in your field or if it is having an unhealthy effect on the way you view yourself.

Starting with the positives first, my strengths are;

1. Consistent

2. Loyal

3. Articulate 

4. Organised

5. Problem solver

My two weaknesses (I deliberately chose just a few – trust me, there are more!)

1. Perfectionist 

2. Self-critical 

I recall studying mathematics at secondary (high) school.  I was able to do general calculations but anything like complex algebra went way over my head and to be honest it still does. I accepted defeat and felt an element of shame that I just could not grasp it. Do you know I even retook the following year to receive the exact same grade – who does that?!!

At times it niggles at me that I do not ‘get’ complex mathematics and on occasion I have questioned my intelligence because of it.  I am slowly learning that I cannot expect to excel in everything. I remind myself that I have major strengths in other areas. 

This quote by Melchor Lim sums it up;

“Every one of us has our own strengths and weaknesses, it is only when you accept everything you are and are not, that you will truly succeed”. 

Can you easily identify your strengths and weaknesses?

How important is it for you to work on your weaknesses?

How comfortable are you in discussing these with others?

Four points to consider when working towards your goals

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Your goals in life may be personal, family or career orientated. Whatever they are, you should be working on these daily. 

I have a number of goals for my family, career, small business and church ministry. A few are over ambitious but I feel it is important to set goals high. If you aim for 60, you may hit 50/55 whereas if you aim for 100, you may hit 90/95. Big difference!

I love this quote by Don Lancaster;
“Most ‘impossible’ goals can be met simply by breaking them down into bite size chunks, writing them down, believing them and then going full speed ahead as if they were routine.”

This quote resonates with me on so many levels. It reminds me that reaching my goal is simply a process that I must follow consistently and diligently. 

So, the four things to consider;

1. What is your purpose?  What expected outcome are you hoping for? There has to be a reason for setting your goal.  This reason will keep you motivated and focused when tough times come (and they will!)

2. How much are you willing to sacrifice?
Desiring to achieve goals is not enough.
You will need to pursue then daily. You may need to brush up on your skills, read books, network at events. All of which will monopolise on your time. 

3. When do you want to achieve this by?
There has to be a set end date to ensure you meet the deadline. You can then plan the steps you will make to meet it.

4. What impact will this have on your family? It is far better to have the support of your family. Will striving for your goals eat into family time? Communicate with your spouse and children at all times. Balance family life and work/project life. I know this may not be for everyone but I sacrifice a few hours sleep to work on my goals.  I can then focus my time on my children during the day. 

Do you have defined goals?

Do you work towards these on a daily basis?

Six reasons why you need discipline in your life

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Discipline and success go hand in hand. You simply cannot excel in life without incorporating discipline in your life. 

In today’s society, some underestimate the power that self discipline carries. They commit to very little and rarely exceed beyond what is expected of them. 

What springs to mind when you think of discipline?

Discipline to me means reading the bible when you would much rather watch a programme on television, it means leaving a family gathering early so you can go home and work on your business/book/project/job application (delete as appropriate!)

According to Oxford Dictionaries, it is defined as;

“The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour”

“Activity that provides mental or physical training” 

Now for my six reasons;

1. Discipline helps you to remain focused in your everyday life.  You are more likely to set goals and work towards these on a daily basis. Distractions will come but they will not throw you off course as your eye is on the ball. 

2. Discipline helps you to gain respect by others. Think about your place of work. I am sure you could quickly list the officers who displayed behaviours of self discipline such as excellent time keeping and meeting deadlines. 

3. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle demands discipline. Discipline will get you up and out for a morning jog regardless of how cosy your bed is. Discipline will help you curb your eating habits.

4. Self control.  Those with self discipline take ownership of their behaviour and think before they speak. They avoid becoming involved in petty disputes. 

5. Reduced stress. Discipline means you do not leave tasks until the very last minute but you tackle them bit by bit aiming for a specific deadline. 

6. You will have more free time as your day is structured. Disciplined people generally do not procrastinate. 

Have I missed anything?

In which areas of your life are you self disciplined?

Which areas would you like to improve upon?

Five tips for working in excellence!

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Working in excellence will set you in good stead in your home, place of work, business or church ministry.  Be the one who exceeds expectation rather than just meets it. 

We should aim to do everything, not just some things to the best of our ability. It is true that we may not be as excited to do tasks that we least enjoy – ironing anyone?! However, it is still important that those tasks are completed well. Sloppiness has no place in our lives. I repeat – sloppiness has no place in our lives!

Below I will give you five tips on how to strive for excellence:

1. Work on changing your mindset.  Some tasks will never be exciting but as they are necessary you cannot run away from doing them.  The next time you have to complete a task that you would rather not, plan a small treat for yourself to enjoy afterwards.

2. Spend time with people who challenge and inspire you to move out of your comfort zone. Whilst it is easier to do as we have always done, we will not develop our skills or our character. 

The well known quote by Albert Einstein rings true;

“Insanity: Doing the same things over and over again, but expecting different results”.

3. Look at how you will go on to benefit others and take the focus off of yourself. Think about doing for others and learn to enjoy giving of yourself. Go out of your way to be a blessing whether it be with your time, skills and expertise, financially or emotionally. 

4. Improve your skills and quality of life.
Book onto a training course to develop your skills in an area you are passionate about. Join forums/groups to network with people who have similar interests. You will be surprised with the ideas you can bounce off one another.  Look after your body inside and out – eat healthily, drink lots of water and incorporate 30 minutes of exercise into your day. 

5. Learn from past failings but do not dwell on them.  Everyone has failed at something Do not allow this to deter you from being the best you can.  Learn from your mistakes by not returning to them. Do not be afraid to take risks. 

What does working in excellence mean to you?

Are there tasks that you carry out half-heartedly? If so, why? 

Light hearted tips and advice from an organised lady!