Anne Hartley
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anne Hartley

Anne Hartley is the founder and CEO of Hart Life Coaching Anne is also the author of several books including Financially Free, Love the Life You Live, Love Your Money - Love Your Life and Life Lessons. www.hartlifecoaching.com.au

There Is a Gift In Every Problem

Sam Bailey grew up on a farm. During his teen years he decided to take a few years away to see the world. He expected that when he returned home he would take over the reins of the family farm, get married and raise a family. However, Sam’s dreams were shattered when, at just 19 years old, he was in a car accident which left him a quadriplegic.

Sam said there were times in his life when he would look to the heavens and say, “Thanks very much” with anger, resentment and despair. Nineteen years later he says, “Thanks so much” and means it. Sam believes that while a car accident changed his life forever it gave him so much more. It helped him to become aware of what he valued most.

Sam chose to never let his injuries prevent him from being happy or from creating a life that he loves. He chose to be resourceful and persistent. He began by learning to get himself on and off a four wheel dirt bike so that he could navigate his family’s property. This took a lot of trial and error and many falls. He now uses a hoist to get himself into farm machinery. He learnt to drive a car again and went on to learn how to fly an ultralight plane. Sam aims to be the first quadriplegic to fly a helicopter. And while all of those achievements are significant, Sam said the most important event in his life was meeting and falling in love with Jenny.

There Is a Gift In Every Problem

Jenny was a radio journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC). She met Sam when she planned to do a story about him. They became friends first and as their relationship grew into something more Sam did a lot of soul searching as to whether it was fair to ask Jenny to share her life with him. When he decided he had something to offer her, he proposed to Jenny live on air during her radio program. They married soon after.

Sam hasn’t let anything stop him living his life to the fullest. But what is so amazing is how grateful Sam is for his life and his handicap. Sam said that he wouldn’t change anything even if that meant he could walk again.

When you develop the habit of being grateful you begin to recognise the gifts in your problems. Being grateful is a habit which will continually support you. A good habit to establish is to fall asleep each night giving thanks. If you do this regularly you will find that your first thought on waking is gratitude. It’s a lovely way to start and end your day.

Sam Bailey’s book Head over Heels tells is an inspirational biography. I highly recommend it.

The signs that lead to your Dharma

Gratitude

What I love most about my work is interacting with others, being creative and making a difference but in recent times the growth of my business meant that my day was filled with administrative tasks, managing and marking assignments. Not so long ago it got to the point where I dreaded the day ahead. Whenever I got to this stage in the past I generally sold or closed my business down, deciding that owning a large business wasn’t for me. That decision though was always followed by years of uncertainty and searching for what to do next.

What it took me many years to learn is that dissatisfaction of any kind is merely a sign that tells me to reassess. Reassessing doesn’t have to mean walking away and making radical changes, although it could, it often means making adjustments. Feeling disgruntled at the thought of going to work was just a little nudge from the Universe that reminded me that I needed to get back to doing what I love most.

Your soul constantly gives you signs when you take a wrong turn. These signs can come in many forms such as:

  • dissatisfaction,
  • unhappiness,
  • problems,
  • opportunities,
  • insights,
  • dreams,
  • even books.

When we get caught up in resisting, blaming and complaining we often miss these signs and see them as burdens. When you take time to be still, open your heart and your mind, you begin to recognise when your soul is guiding you. Some people think they don’t get signs but everyone does, but if you aren’t aware you may not recognise them.

When most people feel stressed they switch off their intuition, then they feel confused, and they  miss the signs that could make their life easier, happier and more prosperous. Sometimes what we love, or what comes easily, can be a sign to go in that direction. More often though signs come in the form of dissatisfaction and that is simply our soul’s way of reminding us to fill our needs. Sometimes signs come in the form of unexpected opportunities.

Christiane Amanpour led a sheltered life in Iran. She had no great ambitions, she expected to do what most girls her age did, marry young. In 1978 two incidents occurred that changed the course of her life. When Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the Shah of Iran, people around the world were taken by surprise.

Not long afterwards Christiane’s sister decided to leave her journalism course in London after only one term, Christiane took her place so that her family would not lose their tuition fee. While studying journalism Christiane instinctively knew that she wanted to be in the middle of global events, to be a storyteller. To do that effectively she felt she needed to live in America so when she finished her journalism course she went on to complete further study in America.

When Christianne graduated she went to work for CNN and for more than 20 years she has been one the world’s leading foreign correspondents telling human stories of people affected by world events.

A simple unexpected opportunity led Christiane to a fulfilling career and lifestyle.

The signs that lead to your Dharma

Problems can either be stepping stones which help you uncover your gifts or they can keep you stuck in your fears. When I first became interested in personal development, I felt that the authors of the motivational books I read led a problem free life, so I always expected to reach a point in my life where I wouldn’t face any more major challenges—I was so wrong. Problems are a part of life and everyone experiences them. Often positive people don’t talk about what is going on in their lives, so it’s easy to assume that their lives are better than yours.

Wayne Dyer said, and I’m paraphrasing because I can’t remember the exact quote, “When you have a big dharma (purpose), you get big problems”. Problems are not a form of punishment—they are opportunities to let your fears go so that you can grow to your full potential.

If you are interested in finding your Dharma, or if you just want to have a clearer understanding of your life, consider joining my Dharma Retreat to be held in Sydney in August.

 

Accepting Your Own Power

They made fun of him, shunned him and called him names like “Crazy Eddie”and “Mr. Magoo on Skis” but none of that stopped Eddie Edwards, also known as Eddie the Eagle, from achieving his dream.

The movie, Eddie the Eagle, was my inspiration for today’s blog and if I had the power I would make it compulsory viewing for all kids.

What’s so special about this movie is that it’s not about winning and being the best. It’s about having a dream and the courage to pursue that dream despite incredible obstacles. It’s about courage,  resilience, belief in oneself and making your opinion of you more important than what other people say about you. And what I love most about this movie is that Eddie became an inspiration not because he was the best, he actually came last in all his Olympic events, but because he did his best and celebrated his successes.

In our world winning and being the best has become way too important, when we focus on achievement we often overlook what really should be celebrated and that is courage, determination and belief in oneself.

It is a sad reflection of our society today that people like Eddie are a rarity. Every day I hear people talk about their limitations, what they can’t have, how they doubt themselves, what stands in their way. But what if you shifted your perspective and asked questions like:

What is the opportunity in the challenges I face right now?

What gifts am I being given?

What if I am powerful?

If I acted as if I believed I was powerful what would I change in my life?

The delusion that we live under that we are powerless to change our lives, and the lives of others, is what has held society back for centuries. What if you chose to see the world through different lenses. Rather than resisting what is or focusing on what is missing you focused on the opportunity you have to change yourself how different would your life be? What if you chose to believe that the challenges you face right now are guiding you to the quickest path to your ideal life.

The willingness to view challenges as opportunities to change yourself and your life can be life changing. We need to reconceive what power is in order to claim it. Power can be anything you define it to be. Power can be expressed through gentleness or kindness.  Power can inspire and influence others positively. Power is taking the quickest route to your goal. Power is never about force.

Accepting Your Own Power

The widespread attention that Eddie received was embarrassing to some on the British Olympic Committee so they changed the rules making it nearly impossible for anyone like Eddie to compete in future. However, Eddie, a working class plasterer who came last in his sport, was powerful enough to change Olympic rules. In 1990, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) instituted what became known as the Eddie the Eagle Rule, which made it fairer for future competitors.

Eddie said, “To me competing was all that mattered”, and that’s what it should be. Doing what you love, exceeding your own personal best, simply because you love it.

 

 

Looking For a Career Change?

When I worked in the corporate world, I spent months looking for a career change. I responded to ads, sent my resume off directly to companies, did a career change course, registered with recruitment firms, all to no avail. Up until that time I had always gotten most jobs I applied for, but at that time I felt stuck. There were a lot of politics in my work place, one person told outright lies about me and I was afraid that I’d end up being fired, through no fault of mine. I was frustrated, angry and afraid.

One morning as I travelled to work, dreading the day ahead, I became aware of just how much I was focusing on what I did not want. In that moment I decided to relax, give up the job hunt and I said this affirmation, “I have the perfect work in the perfect way and it will be offered to me today”. I keep repeating that affirmation for about 15 minutes as I walked to my office then forgot all about it. I focused on being positive.

A few hours later I received a call from John. I had applied for a job with John a year beforehand and had just missed out. John said, “Are you happy in your job? I might have something that would interest you.” As I talked to John he said, ‘I’ve been trying to call you for the last six months, but you’ve never been available when I’ve called”. As John was a well known personality in the financial sector he didn’t want to create problems for me at work by leaving his name and number.

I think that might have been the first time that I realised that that I had the power to block what I wanted and I also had the power to change my situation by detaching.

I got the job that John rang me about and it changed my life. I went from being an office manager to presenting seminars and talks, writing for the media, commenting on financial matters to the press as well as seeing clients and that work prepared me for the work I do today.

When we really, really, really want something or, even when we are really frustrated our attention shifts away from the object of our desires and on to what we fear. Before long most of our attention is on the fear or worry. That is why being detached from your dreams is so important. Detaching, particularly when you are afraid, is not easy to do, but remember this, it is a learned skill.

The following are some strategies you can put in place whenever you need to detach:

1. Do something to change your state. I listen to uplifting music, go for a walk, read something inspirational, meditate. Make a list of activities that make you feel good and do something to change your state whenever you find yourself getting caught up in worry.

2. Stop talking about your problems and stop looking for a solution. Do what you can, then let go. One of the easiest ways to let go is to focus on what is good about your current job or situation, keep your focus on the good in your life.

3. Choose to think and talk positively about everything in your life.

4. Do something that makes you feel good about you. I often take some time off, this might just be a few hours, or a few days. Pamper yourself.

I’ve used these simple strategies many times with great success. They always work.

To manage a career change you often need to let go. Letting go doesn’t mean giving up your dreams, although it may mean letting go of how and when you will achieve them.