Friday, 24 May 2013

Happiness Is A Habit

For many years I coached sports and most people came to me to unlearn what they had learned and made a bad habit.  You see many people go out and play sport before they even think about coaching.  Every time they go out they play pretty much the same way, practicing over and over again their bad habits until it becomes their natural stroke but one day they get to a point where they think "I would like to be better than this"  and at that point they hire a coach.

The coach then has the job of unravelling years of bad practice and dismantling the stroke that comes so naturally to their client.  Things generally get worse before they get better as all of sudden the client is having to do something different that requires thought and doesn't feel natural. Some give up but those that persevere end up with a much better stroke that will with practice feel natural.

Happiness or lack there of is much the same.  Many of my clients have been thinking the same way for years.  I am sure you have met people who always seem cheerful or are always dour and moaning. Their responses to various situations are automatic.  Their thought patterns are ingrained whether they are of a happy disposition or not.  You see to gain happiness in your life, takes effort.  It might be that you can get it for a short while from buying a new outfit, going on holiday or buying a new car but that thrill doesn't last long.  What I am talking about is happiness that you have every day.  To bring everyday happiness into your life you have to work from within.

Happiness comes with discipline in retraining the way your brain works and it's auto responses which have been conditioned over many years.  If you genuinely want happiness in your life you must determine a way to be happy.  I work with my clients extensively on this until we get to the point that happiness comes naturally and without the need to spend money!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Values - The Foundation of Your Life

Let's talk about values.  Those things which we don't tend to think about on a day to day basis but are core to the way we live our lives.  They to a large extent define us.  Values are essentially the things that are important to us.  Some of those value we learned from our families or our peer groups and some we have built along the road of life but one thing is sure when we experience conflict or stress in our life, it is normally because one of our core values has been violated.

Coaching can help you work out what are you values and most importantly the hierarchy of them.  If you don't know what these are and where they come in order, it is almost certain that at some time you will experience stress due to them being violated.  Take, for example, if the most important value for you is family but you take a job that requires you to work long hours and be away from your family a lot.  This situation will cause a lot of stress.  Many arguments between people are often caused by one or the others values being violated.  It is really important for you and your partner to know what each others values are so you can respect them and not cause conflict.

Imagine then if you know exactly what your values are and their order of importance to you.  You can make better decisions about your work, your family life and the things you do in your free time.  If you would like to find out more about your values and how to better structure your life to make sure you are honoring them, please get in touch and we can take you through some exercises to find out what they are.  Discovering your values will help you with work, your family and your relationships.

Article by Karina Bowlby, Peak Performance Consultant, Mindtime Consulting

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

How Questions Effect Your Life

Have you ever stopped to think about the questions you ask yourself on a daily basis? In an average day between 50,000 and 60,000 thoughts go through our heads. That is a lot! Of these 80% will be negative and 75% will be repetitions. Many of these negative thoughts are set up by the questions we ask ourselves about a situation. For example, "Why can't I get a good job?" "How come everyone else's life is better than mine?" The thing about questions is that what ever they ask, the way the brain is programmed, it will go into overdrive to provide evidence to back up the question either in the negative if it is a negative question or positive if it is a positive question.  This is often the reason why two people who have experienced the same traumatic event or come from the same background can have very different lives.  It is the power of the questions they ask themselves that define their interpretation of the event and thus their future.

Now that you are aware of the brains response to questions, a very good and effective exercise is to think about the questions you have asked yourself in the past and the way your brain responded to them and make a note of your answer. Then for the next week, make a note of every single question that pops into your head about yourself and how you responded. If you find yourself asking negative questions, have a think about how you could rephrase the question to put the brain into overdrive to get a positive answer. For example, turn "Why can't I get a good job?" INTO "How can I get a good job?" "What are my best skills, personal attributes etc, that I can offer a new employer?"
This simple exercise can be done for any area of your life. Now that you know this effective tool, go away and experiment with it. You will be amazed at the power it has to change your life.

Article by Karina Bowlby, Peak Performance Consultant at Mindtime Consulting