Is your glass half full or half empty?

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?

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?

Appearance – how much importance do you place on it?

The well known saying “First impressions count” is absolutely true. We have only one opportunity of giving a good impression. After this, people will have already made up their minds of whether they wish to pursue an interest in our business or employ us.  

The way in which we dress and present ourselves speaks volumes. It tells others that we care about ourselves and mean business.  If we are a business owner or an employer, our dress code represents our company/the company.  I would naturally expect a Hair Stylist to have a good cut. Likewise, I expect a Sales Adviser on a beauty stand to be wearing well applied make up.  

I would be extremely reluctant to use either of these services if the persons selling them do not correctly represent. Clients need to be convinced that the product or service you are selling will add something significant to their life. You set the tone.

When watching the news, I never fail to notice how immaculate the News Readers look, from head to toe. The women wear well structured clothes and complimentary make up and the men wear sharp quality suits.  

One may argue that they are not “the type” to dress formally. This is perfectly fine if you are a stay at home mum or dad or you run a business from home where clients do not see you face-to-face. Even then, consideration to your appearance should still be given but perhaps you can adopt a more casual approach.

To end, while our outside appearance has absolutely no bearing on our character or ability to perform, we cannot disregard that it does influence the way in which we are perceived by others. 

How much value do you place on appearance? 

How important is it in your line of work or business?


The dangers of pride

The well known saying “Pride comes before a fall” is taken from the bible in the book of Proverbs 16:18.

The actual scripture is “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

Too much pride can have devastating consequences on an individual and those around them. It can ruin relationships between friends, family members and acquaintances.

1. Pride can distort one’s perception of a particular situation. 

2. Pride can lead one to think only of himself, his personal gain and his image. Proudful people tend to be very inward thinking.

3. Pride can make one arrogant, believing he is ‘better’ than others due to his education,     wealth or talents. 

4.  Pride can lead a person in a position of authority to abuse his power.  

5.  Pride can lead one to make silly mistakes due to overlooking simple but important factors. A proudful person is less likely to 
accept and run with the ideas of another.

Is pride in itself a bad thing? No, it is good to recognise your talents and achievements. This encourages you to move forward in life pursuing your goals. However too much pride can give you an inflated ego and cause you to believe you are indispensable.

Modesty and humbleness are underated in today’s ‘every man for themselves’ society. Some people are self centred, driven only by their own needs and desires. They want to be centre stage.

There have been specific times in my life where pride consumed me and I immediately recognised it for what it was.  I knew it derived from my insecurities and ‘owned’ it rather than blaming it on my situation or another person.

I have learned that you cannot control the situations you find yourself in but you can control the attitude you choose to maintain throughout.  

Do you recognise when pride creeps in?  

How do you deal with pride?


What is your passion?

The Oxford dictionary describes passion as:

1. A strong and barely uncontrollable emotion

2. Intense sexual love

3. An intense desire or enthusiasm for something

4. A thing arousing great enthusiasm

When one has a passion for something, they will give their full commitment and attention to it. They will be willing to sacrifice their time, money and home comforts. When I think of just how much missionaries give up; most had a stable life and a regular monthly income yet they gave this up in order to pursue their passion, their cause. Gone is the house they made into a home, the family and friends they spent time with, the income they comfortably lived on.  Some (not all I know) live in basic accommodation, are required to learn a new language in order to communicate with the locals, are required to change their diet and climatise to a new country.

It takes passion (and purpose) to take this bold step. I have the upmost of respect for people who follow their passion. It is impossible to do anything whole heartedly if you do not have a passion for it. When the challenges come (which they will), you will begin to step backwards questioning why you took on the task in the first place. 

The late Steve Jobs quoted:

“You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you are not passionate enough from the start, you will never stick it out.”

I cannot agree enough with this quote.  Key figures in society, past and present, have one thing in common – they knew their cause and it was this very thing that kept them moving forward even in times of adversity. The late Nelson Mandela and Mother Theresa are a few ‘game changers’ who come to mind.

I have two main passions; one is to teach and encourage others and the other is to write.  I will happily sacrifice my time in order to feed/fulfil these passions and have done so in a number of ways. 

Your passion is personal to you. It should not be measured by someone else’s passion.  It is yours to run with – go to it!

Are you working in line with your passion?


Do you embrace your ‘role’ as a woman?

The late Margaret Thatcher once quoted the following;

“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”

She had a point.  Women are doers. We just get on with it, some of us may complain, but we do what is required at a given time. Obviously I cannot speak for every woman but the majority of us will not hesitate to accommodate the needs of our immediate families, extended families, friends and so on.  It is in our nature to go above and beyond the call of duty. It is the way we are made – born nurturers. 

I often think about the many roles that women carry; wife/partner, mother/guardian, employee/business owner, cook, cleaner, counsellor, nurse, tutor, driver.
*This list is by no means exhaustive!

I must stress that my husband is very hands on.  He takes his role as a father seriously, he enjoys spending time with our children and does his fair share of housework.  It is possible that I take on too much to begin with. My husband jokes that I am like a robot and he would like to wind me in just a little! 

The truth is I need to learn to relax at various intervals during the day and not just in the late evening when the children are asleep and my husband is tapping away at his laptop.  Maybe then I would not feel so overwhelmed by my responsibilities.

I am always inspired and challenged when I read about the virtuous woman in Proverbs chapter 31 verse 10-31. She truly embraces her role as a woman. I am not quite there yet and have to remind myself to enjoy the journey which can be likened to riding on a roller coaster – fun but there are times you want to ‘get off’.

It is a privilege to be a woman and I often take this for granted. I had the joy of carrying and nursing two children, people entrust me with matters close to their heart and I put the seal on making our house a home.

Do you embrace your role? 

Perhaps you do not like being defined by a role as such? 



Leadership – what characteristics does one require?

“True leadership is not defined by power, notoriety, authority, prestige, status or job title.”
Angie Morgan

This is such a wonderful quote and highlights that leadership is not entirely about having authority over others. It is what you do with the authority that has been placed in your hands and the positive impact that you have on the lives of those whom you lead.

You may operate in management roles in your place of work, voluntary groups, church ministry and in the running of your home.
Does this in itself make you a leader? 

Below I will outline my top eight characteristics of a true leader (in no particular order); 

1. A leader believes in those who are walking with him. He expects them to succeed. I say ‘walking’ rather than ‘following’ as leaders raise up leaders and managers simply have followers. 

2. A leader identifies the areas of strengths and weaknesses of those he leads. He works with them to develop on both, to bring out abilities they did not even know they possessed. 

3. A leader has passion. He is positive and believes in the cause. His passion inspires others to give their best. 

4. A leader has integrity. He does what he promises to do and has a valid reason if he cannot. He is honest with what he is able to deliver and does not give false hope. He does not take short cuts or focus solely on his own gain.

5. A leader can laugh at himself. He is confident enough to allow the ‘joke’ to be on him. He does not take himself too seriously. 

6. A leader does not think he has all the answers. He is aware of his limitations though he may not shout them from the rooftop!   He knows he can learn much by listening to the ideas of others and running with them if they are viable.  

7. A leader values people. He believes everyone has something to offer.  He appreciates those who go above and beyond the call of duty and has no problem in telling them so.

8. A leader works to understands people; why they act in the way they do. He identifies how he can work with those deemed as difficult and he cares about the things that concern them. 

So, to round up, these are eight qualities that I believe will enhance your effectiveness as a leader. You may already possess some of these qualities or indeed feel that some are not necessary for the journey you are taking.

Are there qualities you would add to this list?

Are you a leader and in what capacity?


Light hearted tips and advice from an organised lady!