Life Strategy: Escape The Work/Life Balance Myth & Live Your Dreams!

Cube-with-photo-collection-38156155-2‘If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.’ Henry David Thoreau

‘All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.’ TE Lawrence

Do you ever feel like your work and life are out of balance? Have you ever felt trapped and frustrated by your job, your finances, or your personal circumstances? Do you dream of having greater work/life balance? [Read more…]

Optimism: A Hazard Warning!

Optimism HazardThere’s no difference between a pessimist who says, “Oh, it’s hopeless, so don’t bother doing anything,” and an optimist who says, “Don’t bother doing anything, it’s going to turn out fine anyway.” Either way, nothing happens.  Yvon Chouinard

Being optimistic is a good thing, right? Not necessarily – it will either be an amazing blessing or be more harmful then helpful depending on what type of optimism we’re talking about.

Did you know there are two types of optimism? Healthy Optimism which gives us an unshakeable belief in a positive future (the best is yet to come) and fortitude necessary to endure hardship along the way; and an Unhealthy Optimism which where we create amazing dreams and fantasies with deadlines which if unmet lead to hopelessness and despair. Let me explain….

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Mindsets: Why Affirmations Fail

Waves of Life Kabat Zinn“Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” The Queen in ‘Snow White’

“The Devil is in the details, but so is Salvation.” Hyman G. Rickover

“To change your mindset it’s not ‘what’ you are thinking that is important it’s ‘why’” Dr Pete

Affirmations: A Poison Chalice!

It’s not working!” cried my anorexia patient Chrissy. “Every day for the last few weeks I have been doing exactly what you told me to do – looking into the mirror each morning and telling myself ‘I am not fat and ugly – I am beautiful & healthy’, yet I feel even more depressed, fat and ugly then ever before!!!”

Affirmations are a poison chalice! Whilst it is a simple fact that your thinking patterns will lead you to happiness or despair – changing your thinking patterns is not so simple. When I did my postgraduate training to be a clinical psychologist I was taught to encourage people to use ‘affirmations’ and think ‘positive thoughts’ about themselves – and say these thoughts out loud in order to change their negative thinking patterns into positive ones. The idea being that if they repeat these positive thoughts often enough they will eventually replace the negative thoughts. Whilst this idea may be logical – the notion that you can ‘fake it till you make it’ – it does not change your thinking patterns – and used as a stand alone self-help strategy is down right dangerous – often making things worse. [Read more…]

Mythbusting Resiliency & Burnout

Resiliency

“Be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle” Plato

“Life is both ‘simple and hard’ but becomes ‘complex’ when we try to make it  ‘easy’” Dr Pete

I am a fool. After all these years of research and clinical practice I still fall into the trap of thinking that people who are fit and healthy, good-looking,  have extraverted personalities, shiny sport cars, happy families and an apparent lack of any personal problems, are role models of what it means to be resilient – but I am completely wrong! The notion that resiliency means you don’t have any personal problems is a myth!

I am also a fool when it comes to the subject of burnout! For years I thought burnout was some disastrous, slow-moving, hidden disease that was unstoppable once it started and only inflicted upon those Mother Teresa selfless type caregivers. I thought there would be no chance of recovery or return to health but rather a gradual slide into self-sacrificial oblivion which was only rewarded in heaven. The notion that burnout is both a complex irreversible phenomenon and only affects the selfless caregiver type is also a myth! [Read more…]

100 Posts! John Grisham & The 20 Mile March

Amundsen“ Writing’s still the most difficult job I’ve ever had – but it’s worth it.” John Grisham
“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline.” Jim Collins
“The journey of 1000 miles begins with one step.” Lao Tzu

It’s time to celebrate my 100th post! I never thought I would get this far… Over 90,000 words and 22,358 reads in the last two years! Plus 5 books, a full-time job, a blended family, a new baby, twins on the way, a beach shack under construction and an array of other complications and challenges of everyday life. [Read more…]

Living In Balance: The 4 Elements of Wellbeing

4ElementsI have met some really caring people over the years – people who were calm, kind and generous, people who were knowledgeable, encouraging and supportive, people who excited, enthusiastic and motivated. I have also met some really fit and physically healthy people – people who were active, self disciplined and fashionable.

In each case I have admired their positive characteristics and felt compelled to strive for greater self-improvement. But also, as time progressed, I became aware of their imperfections and limitations as well. The really caring people were not always physically fit and healthy, the really physically fit and healthy people were not always the most calm and caring. [Read more…]

The Tipping Point of Stress: Know Your Score!

TMI Info OverloadEveryone has a tipping point – when it all becomes too much. I had one the other day. After waking up too early with a new baby, followed by a multitude of regular waves and daily hassles, I had to manage a medical emergency with a family member.

I got home late in the evening and tripped over the kid’s toys and snapped! Luckily no-one was watching as I kicked the toys to one side and let out a couple of expletives before collapsing in a heap – exhausted and feeling like I couldn’t cope. [Read more…]

Stress Management: Are You Amateur or Pro?

Pro SurferMost people know a bit about Stress Management – they have read a few books, watched a few episodes of Oprah or Dr Phil and done some breathing or muscle relaxation. Despite this knowledge, the rates of Depression, Anxiety and Stress are rapidly rising among us with 1 in 2 people on the planet (3.5 billion) likely to have a serious psychological disorder during their lives – WHY?

Surely it can’t be because we don’t have the knowledge needed to manage our stress? Perhaps it’s because, as the saying goes, ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ and knowing about something is very different to being able to expertly apply it to your life when you need it most! [Read more…]

Waiting For A Sign: Unsolvable Problems

WaitingForASign

“You’ve got to get yourself together – you’ve got stuck in a moment…” Bono, U2

“The river must flow but not flood” Dr Pete

 

Have you ever been stuck in a moment and waiting for a sign to show you the way forwards? I have. On numerous occasions throughout my life I have found myself facing challenging waves of life that I could not control. [Read more…]

Destiny’s Child: Define or Deny Your Success in Life!

Destinys Child Image

‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’ – Benjamin Franklin

‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars’ – Norman Vincent Peale

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right’ – Henry Ford

When someone succeeds in life people around them may say ‘it was their destiny’ as if to suggest their success was inevitable and in turn deny the enormous hard work, detailed planning, risk taking, setbacks and failures that all successful people must endure along the way. [Read more…]