I am such an advocate for constant learning . . . and when I say learning I don't necessarily mean in the traditional sense, i.e., school, university. I mean life learning, question asking, curiosity filled minds . . . star-gazing, ant watching, FICTION book reading . . . deep discussions, philosophical contemplation, just plain ol' trying things out! Do you get me??
For me, life is about learning, it is about growing and becoming the best person that you can be, and this is something that can be started when your 5 or when your 50. BUT I want you to start now -
1. Don't just believe what people tell you, question everything . . . or find things out for yourself.
2. Think outside the square, look at differing view points, walk in another persons shoes for a day (or two or three or four).
3. Don't deny yourself "living," i.e., eat that piece of chocolate cake, slide down the kiddies slide, laugh like you really mean it!
4. READ BOOKS!! (I think that's all that needs to be said about that)
5. Sing in your kitchen . . . or your car . . . just sing a new song or an old . . . learn how to just let go and "be."
These are just a sample of what I do in my own life to learn about . . . well . . . life! In living this way you can discover your passions, and through this discover exactly what it is that you can give to the world, cause seriously now, we all have something TREMENDOUS that we can give to others.
As one of my business idols says - "Learner's are Earner's." I know she wasn't just thinking financially here, because though learning can increase your earnings - money wise - it can also increase your earnings heart and soul wise . . .
Gratifying - giving pleasure or satisfaction (Merriam-Webster Online)
Gratitude - the state of being grateful: thankfulness (Merriam-Webster Online)
This week I travelled up to Scotland to speak at Glenalmond College, near Perth.
I WAS IN AWE !!
Snowcapped mountains surrounded the little green valley the school sat snuggly in. The trees, still bare from winter, created patches of patterned shade. They revealed the tender shoots of flowers struggling to grow out of the snow hardened soil. The drive, a long pale gravelly thing, snaked it's way through the grounds, before rounding a gentle corner to unveil the majesty of the nearly two hundred year old building that housed the school.
The students were dressed in thick woolen blazers - the boys in black trousers, the girls in long black skirts. Their faces clear, eager, ready to face the future with such hope . . . and longing.
The air was crisp, the sky such a bright, pale blue, people hovering, walking, marching; the school was a hive of activity.
I spoke to the lower sixth-formers; it was a dream, an experience, an engagement with these up-and-coming human beings that I will never forget . . . and I now have confirmation that at least one of them will never forget either.
When I arrived home on Wednesday evening from Scotland, it was to an email from one of the students. Here is an excerpt -
"Your talk was so inspirational and you truly are a marvel and a wonderful human being - your determination and outlook really rang true with me and actually made me stop and think about some situations in my own life and how to tackle them."
This email was gratifying . . . and it made me feel gratitude for being able to make a difference in the world. It has made me see that in giving pleasure, motivation, and inspiration, you actually get these things circled back to you three-fold.
What has been gratifying for you? And what are you feeling gratitude for today?
Now guys, this is a serious question . . . Can YOU see into the FUTURE??
I would tend to hazard a guess that many of you are saying NO. Perhaps there are a few that are saying yes - but what is this yes based on? Psychic ability? "Realism?" A stubborn sense of impending doom?
Turner - The King of Impending Doom??
Well, first off, I am not going to be chatting about psychic ability (did you see that one coming?), I am not even really going to talk about "Realism" (that is an entire other blog post). I am, however, going to talk about the "ever impending doomers," you know who you are . . . you see nothing but grey skies, heavy rain, and lightening flashes skidding across your horizon. What will you say if I tell you the future is not going to be like this?
(I saw you over there, shaking your head in disagreement, I know what your thinking - "who is this person, who knows nothing about me, telling me that the future holds sunshine and bunnies, and flowers and rainbows???")
WAIT A MINUTE!!!!
I am not telling you your future will be all sunshine and bunnies, and yadda yadda yadda. What I am trying to tell you is that YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE WILL HOLD FOR YOU!! So why do you you let yourself believe that it's all going to be doom and gloom.
Do you get my blog title now? "Can you see into the future?" Do you get why I am asking you this question? No-one can see into the future . . . the future is open, the future is a construct of planned for occurrences and unpredictable moments. Sure, in some instances those grey clouds will come your way, they will shudder and shake and make a mess of things . . . but as sure as the clouds come, they go, revealing a sunshine bathed path, edged with pretty blooming flowers, those bunnies, and that rainbow glittering in the sky.
Don't give into those future predictions of doom and gloom, remind yourself, "I do not know what the future holds, good, bad, exciting or sad, I will embrace it's nature, I will let it pass, and I will move towards it with enthusiasm and courage."
None of us can really predict the future (sorry Psychics), but we can move towards it and embrace whatever may come.
Turner - Not so Doom and Gloom??
No, I haven't suddenly changed into a Cowboy from the "Deep South of the US of A." But it was a little of an unexpected greeting? Was it not?
Change is as good as a holiday, or so they say, and if they do say, well I tend to believe them. Change is and CAN be as good as a holiday or a breathe of fresh air, or a change of bed sheets, or the first flower of spring, or . . . you get the picture right?
Well, today I am working towards a rather big change in my life . . . but a much needed one. MOVING HOUSE. I am off today to "view" a new flat, one that is a bit bigger then the one I am currently in, a little lighter, a little airier, a little more peaceful. (Don't get me wrong, I do like my little flat that I am in at the moment, but it is in the basement and it doesn't get sufficient light or air for me to feel just "right.")
I am excited about this change, very excited, and I truly hope that this new flat comes through - please keep your fingers crossed for me please!
But it really did get me thinking again about change, and the impact that this can have on a person. You see, change can be big and grand, or small and insignificant, it can be fantastic and positive, or sad and negative, it can be life changing, or it could barely pass as a blip on your life radar. Change, however, is inevitable, change happens everyday, nothing is truly static or stuck.
To deal with change (because let's face it, whether for good or bad, change can be plain scary!!), you have to accept the fact that you are human, just like the rest of us. To cling to things, "dig your toes," be stubborn and . . . well, be stubborn, is not a good thing . . . in fact, to fight change can be very detrimental to your well-being, both physically and mentally. Here are a few suggestions to help you embrace change:
1. Embrace change - go with the flow folks, open yourself up to possibility, change can lead to some pretty awesome stuff, so go with it openly and freely.
2. Be aware of change - being aware can give you a sense of power. When you are looking at life with eyes open you can be prepared for what's heading your way, there will still be surprises, but you'll be ready and waiting to take change on.
3. Be positive about change - don't just see the negative in change, instead choose to see the positive, cause trust me peeps, for every negative there is a whopping HUGE positive just a-waiting in the wings.
4. Set goals by change - Are your goals in life flexible? Are you prepared to reach your goal in unconventional ways? Cause change can knock your plans completely off track, but this doesn't mean you have to give up on your dreams. Goals should be flexible and be able to "bend in the wind." Change can definitely lead you to your goals in unexpected ways.
5. Love/Hate change - Feel that little emotion there? That little feeling that pops up at the mere mention of change? Take note of your feelings and take them in hand. Are you excited by change or scared, are you ambivalent or starry-eyed? Being aware of how you are feeling towards a situation can help you take back an element of control . . . control of your reaction to change.
Change, love it or hate it, it's inevitable peeps - how do you deal with change?
"Your Determination is Limitless"
- Elizabeth Wright