Finding Your Passion

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” —Oprah Winfrey

When Charlie Albone left school all he wanted to do was go backpacking in Australia, so he took any work he could get that would help him save towards that goal. During the day he worked for a house painter doing mostly grunt work of scraping and sanding. At night he worked in a bar. On his way home one day Charlie witnessed a car crashing into the stately gates of an English manor house, then drive away. The following day Charlie called in to tell the home owner that he had witnessed the accident and what make the car was. The owner asked Charlie if he knew anything about gardening and offered him a job.

For four months Charlie worked alongside the home owner every weekend in his garden and found it was something he really enjoyed. Then Charlie moved to Australia and fell in love with this country. When he asked around for work he was offered a job with a landscaper and before long knew that working in gardens was his passion. Charlie enrolled in a two year course in horticulture and design at TAFE and was only out of college a couple of years when the opportunity to apply for a presenting role as a landscaper on a new TV show arose. He applied, not really expecting to get it. When he got the role he only expected it to last only one season. Eleven years later Selling Houses Australia still going strong and Charlie is well known to many Australian households.

Since then Charlie has won a silver medal for his first garden at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show, as well as two gold medals for other work he has done. As well as filming Selling Houses Australia he now fulfils his passion for garden design by working all over the world, choosing only jobs that really interest him.

Now some people will always think Charlie was just lucky, but the real reason some people are lucky is because the activate the electromagnetic field of their heart. The heart is a tiny organ, weighing just half a kilo, yet it packs a lot of punch. Not only does it keep us alive it generates an electromagnetic field that is 60 times greater than our brain waves. HeartMath believes that, “electromagnetic signals generated by the heart have the capacity to affect others around us”. Some people are ‘luckier’ than others because people are drawn to their electromagnetic field.

When I was younger I experienced quite a few financial crises, and when I couldn’t do any more, I always took time out and did something I enjoyed, then when I’d come back I always found a solution to that crisis. I didn’t know why it worked back then, I just knew that it did. It took me a while to realise that the key to success and happiness is to follow your passion. Passion starts as liking something, and as you consistently add more things you like doing into your daily life you’ll often find that likes evolve into passions.

So, any time you feel confused, or if life doesn’t flow the way you would like it to, go do something that you love. Working harder, searching for answers and talking about problems only helps so much, whereas feeling happy can turn your life around.

Better still make a point of doing at least three things every day that you genuinely enjoy doing, so that you always have something to look forward to. Holidays and special events come and go, and a big mistake many people make is always looking forward to some future event, but it’s not sustainable. If you include simple things that make you happy every single day, then the bigger events are nice bonuses.

If you don’t enjoy your work look for three things you can do at work that will make you happier, this could be as simple as be kind or considerate to a co-worker. I love helping people and making a difference so when I was working in a job I didn’t enjoy I would give flowers to the receptionist, buy someone a cup of coffee, pay someone’s toll. Every week I looked for different ways to brighten someone’s day and those simple actions made that job so much more enjoyable.

By focusing on doing things that make you happy, your energy field changes and this is what other people respond to. Do this consistently and you’ll find that opportunities just gravitate to you. Best-selling author Nora Roberts says, “I don’t have hobbies, I have passions”, and I must admit I can say the same now. You don’t need to search for your passion, just do what makes you happy and you’ll soon recognise it.

Overcoming Self Doubt

I often say to my life coaching students, ‘Action comes first, feeling follows’. You don’t eradicate self doubt by waiting until you feel confident.  You overcome self doubt by acting as if you feel confident, and over time you will start to feel confident.

Everyone has doubts but confident people don’t dwell on their doubts. When you go through life always seeking reassurance you set up a fertile breeding ground for self doubt, then when the slightest hiccup occurs some people see that as a sign that it’s not meant to be and they change their plans.

When I bought my home I created a lot of unnecessary problems for myself by questioning my solicitor, triple checking everything myself, and looking for problems. A part of me felt that it was too good to be true, and I had a few trust issues. This created setbacks and delays for everyone involved. When we had to delay settlement the seller was uncooperative, and it ended up costing me more money, and took longer than it needed to.

My friends said to me, ‘We don’t think you should buy the house, nothing has flowed’. Fortunately, I didn’t agree and proceeded. The delays resulted from my fears and if I had listened to my friends I would have missed out on living somewhere that I love.

When we are not talking to others, we talk constantly to ourselves.  This is such a natural process that we generally don’t notice the phrases that circulate in our minds.  This self-talk affects the way we feel about ourselves and what we attract into our lives.  Have you ever said to yourself, I’m stupid. I can’t win. It’s too good to be true. I don’t know if I’m making the right decision. Or, You can’t have it all? This behaviour reinforces self doubt and beliefs that take you away from what you want.

If I was interviewing someone for a job and she told me she was stupid I wouldn’t employ her.  You may think you wouldn’t say such a thing in an interview, the problem is that when you become accustomed to talking to yourself in a particular way, put downs slip out without you even noticing them.

Your words impact others as well. I always told my children they could have everything they wanted, then one day I heard myself say, ‘You can’t have everything you want’.  Talk about giving my children mixed messages.

Words are powerful and whether you are talking to yourself or talking to others it’s important that your words always support your choices.

Actions are equally important. Act as if you already are the person you want to be and are living the life you want to live. That doesn’t mean spending money you don’t have, it’s choosing to act with confidence when you feel doubtful. You could do this by distracting yourself, or saying a positive affirmation when doubt creeps in. It’s not talking about what is lacking in your life or even talking about what you want all the time, because sometimes that’s a reminder of what’s missing.

Allowing no doubt means:

Being proactive even when you feel insecure.

Spending your time wisely by doing something that will lift your spirits.

Keeping your dreams to yourself, or only sharing with people who believe in you.

Being aware of where you place your attention on a daily basis.

Not worrying about tomorrow, or what can go wrong, it’s learning to enjoy today.

Some people are naturally confident and some have to work at it, but if you act as if you believe one day you will notice just how many things you’ve been able to manifest.

 

 

 

Why We Need to be Mentally Tough

WHY WE NEED TO BE MENTALLY TOUGH

Mental toughness is the ability to maintain our focus despite difficulties. It typically  manifests as resilience, commitment, determination and an inner strength that enables us to persist when times are tough or, when life knocks us off our feet. It’s not something we are born with, it’s a learned skill which we can develop.

Roger Federer is a great example of someone who is mentally tough. Not just because he ranks as the number 1 tennis player in the world, or because he is older than most tennis players, he demonstrates mental toughness by being gracious under fire, and in the way he maintains his focus. When playing tennis Roger usually appears calm and relaxed but during the 2018 Australian Open grand final, he lost his cool during the fourth set and instead of getting angry as many players do, he did something unprecedented. He ran off the court between sets and changed his clothes. At the time I wondered if changing clothes was a way for him to change his mindset, and whether it was or not, he came back onto the court a different man and cruised on to win his sixth Australian Open.

During the interview following  that win Roger said that during the fourth set he lost control of his thoughts and his mind was all over the place. Once he regained control of his thoughts he went on to win the set and match quite easily.

What makes a person mentally tough?

Researchers who have studied elite athletes concluded that mental toughness results from grit, which is defined as determination and commitment to a goal. And while I don’t dispute that I feel there is more to it than that. To me the level of determination that Roger displayed comes from motivation, from doing something that you love. And it’s a well known fact that Roger Federer loves tennis. So, being motivated or having a compelling reason, is what provides us with the determination to persist when the going gets tough. Motivation is the fuel that drives us, that enables us to turn obstacles into something meaningful.

Rosie Batty, the domestic violence campaigner, became a campaigner for battered women following the death of her son, who was killed by his father. Her motivation, most likely, was a way to survive by making something good come from this tragedy. In doing so she demonstrated immense compassion and mental toughness.

Mental strength is developed by using whatever tools we can to help us move forward. Our ‘why’ is what compels us to persist even during tough times.

Mental toughness always starts with a decision to change yourself

There is a video doing the rounds on Facebook showing Roger Federer, as a young player, chucking tantrums on the court. He says that he realised one day that wasn’t who he wanted to be, and he made the decision to change. Novak Djokovic, another great tennis player, made the same choice.

The ability to be able to change the way we think and act, sometimes within a very short span of time as Roger Federer did, is what separates people who survive and thrive from those who struggle through life.

We need to: make it okay to try and fail; look for the good in difficult situations; act on our strengths rather than criticising or complaining, this way we not only change our own lives, we become positive role models for the people around us.

When our mind is filled with positive thoughts, plans for what we are going to do next, we don’t have the mental space for doubts. Instead of looking at what’s missing in your life, fill your mind with thoughts of things you love. Reflect on what’s good about your life, what you are grateful for and looking forward to. These thoughts are the stepping stones to becoming mentally strong.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross said, “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.”

 

 

 

When Preparation Meets Opportunity

There is an old saying that ‘luck happens when preparation meets opportunity’. My experience has been that miracles occur when you prepare for what you want. I first read about this principle many years ago in Catherine Ponder’s book, The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity. Catherine said and I’m paraphrasing here, ‘You have to create a void so that there is a space for what you want to come into’.

I started reading Catherine’s books in the seventies and I still practice what I learnt then today. The moment I set any goal I start preparing to receive it. It’s a habit that has served me well. When I wanted to find my perfect work I would walk around the city of Sydney in my lunch break and pick out the buildings I wanted to work in. I thought about the type of people I wanted to work with. I decided on the type of clothes I wanted to wear to work and I wrote every choice down. Keeping a list of what I wanted enabled me to focus my attention on what I wanted to create rather than the frustration I experienced working in a office full of office politics where you never knew who to trust. At that stage life coaching didn’t exist as a career choice.

Keeping a list also meant that whenever a job opportunity came along I had a checklist to compare it against. The job I took at that time changed my life and matched every item on my list except one, it wasn’t my own business. However, within six months I was offered the opportunity to carry on that business under a franchise type agreement, so ultimately that choice matched every item on my list.  This job turned out to be my ideal job for a good number of years. It prepared me well,  and provided me with so many opportunities and credibility for the career of training life coaches that was yet to come.

Preparation can take many forms from creating a physical space, making time, studying, creating order, looking after your body, being coached, to acting like the person you want to be. Preparing for what you want is a way of allowing no doubt that you will achieve your dream. However, how you do this is vitally important because I’ve known people who have thrown in their jobs, or packed up their houses in preparation for moving to their perfect home and it hasn’t happened.

Any form of preparation needs to support you to keep your focus on what you want to create. If you gave up your job in order to make way for a job that you would love and you didn’t find that job straight away, it is more than likely your focus would shift away from your goal and onto worrying about money. However, by staying in that job and preparing your resume, making sure you have the clothes to match the position, being very clear on what you want to attract even if you don’t know the job title are activities that will support you.

If you want to achieve a financial goal, save some money specifically for that goal that you use for no other purpose. It is never about the amount of money that you save what is most important, is that you are getting ready for the opportunity to arrive.

If you want more friends, create time to spend with them. Create a space where you can socialise, for most people this is their home. Is your home in such a state that you could invite anyone over at any time? Do you have enough clothes to wear out to social engagements? Are you fit enough to participate in some of the leisure activities you like?

If you want to share your life with someone look at your bedroom, is it full of clutter? Clear out your wardrobe, create a space for the other person’s clothes. Get rid of, or put away, mementos from old loves. Create a space for them to move into.

If you want more harmony in your life look at ways you can create harmony within. Choose values to act upon that make you feel good about yourself. Watch your thoughts, make sure they focus on what you want to create, not the problems surrounding you. Create pockets of harmony throughout your day, this could be in your lunch break or travelling to work, focus on how good it feels to be at peace. Make time to meditate every day even if it’s only for 10 minutes.

Preparation supports you to focus on what you want to create. It enables you to find a way where there appears to be no way. Preparation takes a lot of stress out of life. When preparation meets opportunity, miracles happen.

Life Takes You to Where it Wants You to Go

Many of us is resist what is. We insist that life goes according to our plan and when it doesn’t, we often use our will to try and make it happen. That’s when life goes out of balance. We often think of balance as time, but living a balanced life is much more than that. It’s about meeting all of our needs, not just the the most obvious ones that are unmet.

My late twenties was a challenging time. I had two young children and lived on the poverty line. My friends were either married with children, or single and looking for love. I didn’t seemed to fit in anywhere. I was lonely, bored and poor. I thought that if I had more money a lot of my problems would go away so my focus was always on how I could make more money, what study could I do to make more money, something external to change my situation.

One day I read an article about a charity for single mothers who were helping each other. I went along to one of their meetings and it was a life changing event that taught me that what we are seeking is not always what we need.

I got involved with the charity, eventually becoming a committee member and I did a lot of fund-raising and discovered that this was something that I was good at. I established a social life with women in the same situation as I was, and some of those friendships lasted for years. I nearly freaked out when I discovered that one of our meetings was being filmed for a TV segment, and another time I was asked to do a radio interview and some talks. That was my first brush with the media which was incredibly scary at the time, but it stood me in good stead for the media work I was to do.

One of the worst times in my life turned into one of the best when I allowed life to guide me in the direction it knew would make me happiest. That time supported me to develop the skills to do the work I was born to do.

Sometimes we get stuck in our logical minds when we try to work out how to achieve our goals but if we do our bit, be responsible, look by all means, but don’t get caught up in ‘the how’, life will take us to where we want to be.

I gained so much from that time in my life. I filled my need for companionship and realised that I needed to go back to work part-time so I could interact with others. My confidence grew. I was stimulated by the challenge of raising money and discovered I was more creative than I realised. I discovered that I feel happiest when I give. And I overcame my greatest fear of speaking in front of others which meant I felt good about myself.

If I had succeeded in my goal to make more money I may have attained that goal but I wouldn’t have learnt about all of those other things, and not surprisingly because I felt happy opportunities started flowing into my life again. My part-time job turned into my first real business venture (apart from typing) as the company I worked for went into liquidation and I took it over.

Here are some simple tips to help you through the tough times:

  • When life is not flowing check to be sure that you are focusing on what you want, not how to get what you want.
  • Look for where your life may be out of balance. Are you focusing on one goal and ignoring your other needs? Look for ways to be happy where you are right now.
  • Look for ways to can make someone else happy.
  • Stay open to opportunities.
  • Trust.

I have always found it helpful to read about successful people like Oprah. You will find that many of them got to where they are without a plan, they took responsibility, did what they could and followed where life took them.

How to Manifest Your Dreams Easily

Wayne Dyer stood on stage and drew an imaginary line. On one side was the place most people spend their time which includes having less than we really want, struggle, and disappointment. On the other side is the field where we manifest dreams easily. As he talked Wayne stepped into the field of manifestation and invited everyone in the audience to do the same. That was in September 1997, it is a day which is etched in my memory as one of those defining moments.

Up until that time I was like most people, at times I could manifest dreams easily, then something would happen to make me doubt myself and I would move backwards. On that day I was so inspired by Wayne Dyer’s message I chose to believe, and I saw myself step over that invisible line into the field of manifestation.

I would love to say that my life has always flowed easily from that time onwards, sometimes it has and sometimes it hasn’t. The difference though is that my commitment to my dreams is as strong now, 18 years later, as it was on that day. That means that when I doubt myself, I take action. When I feel fear I move into it. When I fall down I pick myself up and try again.

I Changed a Lot of Habits

Following that seminar I changed a lot of habits. I particularly monitored my self talk and what I spoke about with others. I started creating the ten steps I cover in my book Love the Life You Live, and I committed to living by my values. Leon Nacson recorded the seminar and offered the recordings at a really great price so I was able to listen to that seminar, which went for at least 6 hours, every time I got into the car for about a year, so that the message was ingrained in my consciousness. Over time I shifted from believing I could have everything I wanted to knowing I could have everything I wanted. Knowing is the key.

Wayne Dyer says, “In order to manifest you must assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled. You must be able to feel it in your body long before your senses are aware of it. Your inner pictures and the corresponding feelings that are connected to your vision belong only to you, and you begin to treat this inner world of thoughts and feelings as sacred territory. You make the shift from believing to knowing, and what you absolutely know is not tinged with doubt.”

All it takes to change your life is one decision followed by consistent action. Sometimes we are motivated to change when things get tough, or we can be motivated by a book, a speaker, or something we read.

What needs to happen for you to step over that line and into the field of manifestation?

I wholeheartedly recommend all of Wayne Dyer’s books and audios, they have changed my life.