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Mentoring your friends can change their lives – and yours too

One of the simplest, life-changing things you can do is sponsor your friends – it is one of the most powerful approaches to psychological change.

Why? – As young kids we are brilliant learners. We suck up everything we see and hear our parents doing… both the good and bad, unfortunately. Parents are a bit better today, but old-fashioned parenting had a lot of emphasis on what you were doing wrong. Telling someone what they are doing wrong (negative reinforcement) isn’t as effective as praising them when they get it right (positive reinforcement).

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Are you mean to yourself? If so, stop now.

Are you mean to yourself? Do you criticise yourself? Is that helpful? Does it make your life better?

If not, stop.

How do you stop? Create new habits. Start sweet-talking yourself. Bring your compassionate wise adult mind (yes, there is one in there somewhere) and your warm tender heart and start being kind to the wounded place in you.

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How having a Life-Calling transforms your life – my own personal story. What’s your story?

“Deep down in every human heart
is a hidden longing, impulse, and ambition
to do something fine and enduring.”

- Grenville Kleiser

For those of you who know me or have read my Facebook posts recently (Life Talent) you will know that my early life was difficult: my father was alcoholic and went bankrupt; my mother had post-traumatic stress from the Second World War, and didn’t have much mothering instinct when her twins were born; and my twin brother become a heroin addict and eventually died of it.

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How to be at peace with yourself and naturally powerful too

What would it take for you to be at peace with yourself and happy with your life?

In addition, what if you could also be transparent about who you are, what you are good at and what you stand for at work and in your community?

There is a very natural and authentic power that comes from being at peace with oneself and, rather than having to hide who you are from any one, instead enjoying communicating with people what you are about.

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What is “the step You don’t want to take”?

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible

- St. Francis of Assisi

Discipline and decisiveness are about knowing that “what you do today determines your success tomorrow”. There may be things that need to be done but you are frightened of doing them: for example, calling the person who could give you your next big opportunity.

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Having a Life-Calling brings health, meaning, happiness and success

Having a Life-Calling helps you to be happier, healthier, more successful and to live longer.

The research shows that if you put your Life-Calling in your work you will enjoy it more and find it more meaningful1. You are likely to work harder and be more committed, and not surprisingly, you are likely to be more successful2.

You are also likely to have a longer life3: Dr Patrick Hill at Carleton University, Canada said “…finding a direction for life …can help you actually live longer, regardless of when (at what age) you find your purpose”. You also are likely to have better health.

Happier, more successful, live longer, better health? What’s not to like?

But there is also another aspect that isn’t described very well in empirical studies. Having a Life-Calling comes with a state of being that changes your experience of life. Mature practitioners describe not just the rewards of life but how the difficulties are experienced as challenges to raise your game and to live your Life-Calling more fully.  Life-Calling applies to how you treat yourself in your own inner world. It is core to your personal relationships because you apply your Life-Calling to everything. For example, my Life-Calling is “helping people blossom” and my close friends and my partner are all people who are interested in the journey of personal development and love my support on their journey. They are also interested in helping me blossom. Our relationships are about mutually supportive growth. What is core to you that you bring to your relationships?

At work a Life-Calling directly affects your level of job satisfaction and determines the meaning you find at work. The research1 shows that people in work roughly fall into three categories: some people do jobs just for the money they can spend elsewhere; others have careers because they are ambitious and want to get to the top of their profession, others have a calling to do what they love.

Individuals who have a calling are more likely to “craft” their jobs to fit their strengths and their interests. “Job crafting” is when you persuade your organisation to design your job to fit you, rather than the other way round. You can work for a big firm doing conventional stuff, and design a job you love if you are smart. A colleague was an Organisation Development Vice President in a City bank  and crafted her role so that she could be an internal Executive Coach while also managing the external pool of coaches.

It should be pretty obvious to you which category you fit in – Job, Career, or Calling orientation. If you are not sure you can go the Authentic Happiness website at the University of Pensylvania and do their brief four-question test which will tell you which one you are5. The interesting thing about the questionnaire is that it compares your scores to other people who have done the test. No surprise really but my own score on Calling is higher than 80% of the other people who have done the test through the web.

An important finding of the research is that any job can serve a sense of Calling. Life-Calling is more of a mind-set than a job. Nevertheless, the extent to which you feel able to express your Life-Calling in your job influences your well-being, life satisfaction, health and longevity. So find ways to express more of your Life-Calling in your work.

My course Discover Your Life-Calling  (Friday evening 23rd November, and all day saturday and Sunday 24th and 25th November) helps you clarify your Life-Calling and helps you see how it combines with your strengths -what you are great at. This combination of Life-Calling + strengths is a unique combination and is your unique gift to the world. When you also take into account the uniqueness of your own personal history and experience, what you give to the world will be entirely different to what other people give. The world is waiting to feel more of your presence. Giving your gift to the world will increase people’s joy in life and will either reduce their suffering, or at the very least be an example of how to reduce suffering in life.

“Deep down in every human heart

is a hidden longing, impulse, and ambition

to do something fine and enduring.”

Grenville Kleiser

Notes

1.Wrzesniewski, A., McCauley, C., Rozin, P. and Schwartz, B. (1997). Jobs, Careers, and Callings: People’s Relations to Their Work. Journal of Research in Personality, 31(1), pp.21-33.

2. Achor, S. (2010). The happiness advantage: The seven principles of positive psychology that fuel success and performance at work. New York: Broadway Books.

3. Hill, P. and Turiano, N. (2014). Purpose in Life as a Predictor of Mortality Across Adulthood. Psychological Science, 25(7), pp.1482-1486.Hill, P. and Turiano, N. (2014). Purpose in Life as a Predictor of Mortality Across Adulthood. Psychological Science, 25(7), pp.1482-1486.

4.https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/questionnaires/work-life-questionnaire

I will live my life more fully in 2016. Will you?

I don’t make New Year resolutions, because it is so easy to be overtaken by unrealistic enthusiasm! However I do dream about who I want to be in the year ahead, how I want the year to be, and what success looks like to me.

My personal philosophy is to:

  1. Make the most of myself
  2. Transform obstacles to happiness and success
  3. Learn to be nourished and supported by the mysterious beauty of life

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