mind body spirit

  • Get A Tortoise Mindset: Why The Overnight Success Story Is A Terrible Lie

    “There once was a speedy hare who bragged about how fast he could run. Tired of hearing him boast, Slow and Steady, the tortoise, challenged him to a race. All the animals in the forest gathered to watch.

    Hare ran down the road for a while and then paused to rest. He looked back at Slow and Steady and cried out, “How do you expect to win this race when you are walking along at your slow, slow pace?”

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    A day can pass by in a whirlwind. As we battle our to-do lists and rush from here to there, we rarely get a chance to stop for breath – let alone to look back and appreciate how far we’ve come.

    But it’s these small actions that we take each day which prime us for our own success. In our society, it might be easier to think that races are won overnight by buying a lottery ticket, getting a million new followers, or waking up to see that your gravy train has finally come in with everything that you wanted in tow…

    We think this is what we want – but could we really cope if everything came along all at once? As humans, we need time to adapt, adjust and accept change. If we’re catapulted into a new world without warning then our grip on reality slips. On top of this, due to the Yin and Yang of life, if a deep low were to follow a dizzying high then we’d be exposed to extremes of living greater than we’d ever known before. Having a Tortoise approach protects us against this.

    If you’ve ever listened to how super successful people talk about their journey – or read their autobiographies – then you start to see that there’s a common theme of taking actions continuously and diligently in order to eventually get what they wanted.

    In a televised interview where Bill Gates and Warren Buffet sat on a sofa together, they were both asked what the single most important ingredient for success was. They said in unison: “focus”. Similarly, in an interview with Mark Zuckerberg, he told the interviewer that it took him 10 years to become an “overnight success”. In the Netflix series Defiant Ones, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails said that he had to enjoy each tiny win along the way until they all added up to the success that we see today.

    At no point did any of these people promise immediate gratification or a shortcut to the riches and fame that they now have.

    Selling ourselves the idea of overnight success is also selling ourselves a Terrible Lie, as Nine Inch Nails might say. We can’t expect to wake up with abs after doing one workout the day before, and the same is true for most of the goals that we have for ourselves. Consistent effort and intentional focus will take you to where you want to go when the time is right.

    I feel like I talk about the importance of timing a lot, but when it comes to achieving amazing things – timing really is everything. A rush can’t produce the best results, nor can it offer the solid foundation that a sustainable future relies upon.

    Even though the Hare is full of confidence and appears to make strides over the Tortoise at the beginning, his hubris quickly becomes his downfall. Meanwhile, the Tortoise consistently takes considered action and ends up with the ultimate prize. There’s a big price to pay for playing the short game and expecting victories to be easily won overnight.

    Be the Tortoise, and know that what you want is possible if you’re unwilling to give up and unrelenting in your effort.

    Be the Tortoise, and enjoy looking back at your many different successes each morning – instead of hoping that one day there’ll be one big success to outdo them all.

    Be the Tortoise, and prepare to win the race like the rest of the greats…

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  • 10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Motivation

    We all know the feeling when you’re stuck in a slump and your mojo is nowhere to be found, but the good news is that research shows you can influence your own motivation.

    I’ve gathered 10 ways to help you tap into your greatness by boosting your drive. You always have the greatness in you, sometimes it just needs activating!

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    This is a proven method for staying on track with exercise goals in particular, as you’re no longer tackling them on your own. Even when you’re struggling to find your own motivation, you have someone else there to hold you accountable for your own inaction.

    During the toughest of times, it also means that you have someone on your side to cheer you on, offer words of advice, and help pick you back up after a defeat.

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    Desmond Tutu said “there is only one way to eat an elephant: one bite at a time”. This is so intuitive, but the mentality often alludes us when we’re faced with a huge task that seems overwhelming. Anything can be accomplished, though, when we break it down and take on one bite-sized chunk at a time…

    When embarking on something major, even getting started can feel challenging due to an immobilising fear of the task’s magnitude. Divide it up into baby steps that are manageable and know that no one expects you to achieve everything in one go, so don’t expect it of yourself.

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    Goal setting is key for motivation. When we have vague goals, we don’t get much traction because without a clear vision of where to go – it’s hard to commit. 

    Psychotherapist Denise Fournier (Ph.D) says that “setting goals is important for creating a meaningful, satisfying, successful life”. To tap into our limitless potential as human beings, we have to know exactly what it is that we want to accomplish.

    Defined goals provide the foundation for great achievements, and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar reminds us that “a goal properly set is halfway reached”.

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    Getting pleasure out of an activity, like a workout, increases our motivation. If the task is something that we don’t want to do, behavioural research shows that even financial incentives aren’t enough to keep us on track.

    Self-Determination Theory (SDT) says that goals are either intrinsically or extrinsically controlled. When you reach your intrinsic goals, you enjoy the activity in itself, so you aren’t even aware of how much time has passed. Extrinsically controlled goals, on the other hand, exist when your focus isn’t on the actual activity – but how it can help you to reach a desired outcome.

    In life, there will be times for both types of goals, but you’ll feel far more motivated when the activity itself brings you pleasure instead of just the final outcome which can feel a million miles away. Psychologists Edwin Locke and Gary Latham claim that well-chosen goals are part of the “high-performance cycle” because the right goals generate excitement and a sense of self-efficacy. In other words, we’re more likely to feel motivated if we think: “I AM capable of reaching these goals”.

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    Motivating yourself to get started on a task can be hard. Yet most people will already be living according to a schedule of some sort, whether it’s a work calendar or personal diary, so if you add in allotted time for your goal then you’ll feel more compelled to stick to it, like the rest of your obligations. 

    When we know that we’ll only have to do the task for 1 hour instead of giving ourselves a whole ‘day’ then it’s much easier to use time to its maximum potential. Otherwise, we can easily find other ways to fill time if we give ourselves more than we need (cat videos anyone?) If you schedule time for your goal between other activities, it also gives you the time pressure of needing to complete it before your next meeting.

    Take note of Parkinson’s Law here – the time that you assign to a task is the time that you’ll take to complete it.

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    This goes nicely with breaking the activity into bite-sized chunks. It’s easier to stay motivated for an hour instead of ‘an afternoon’ and you’ll be even more motivated when there’s a reward for completing one of your scheduled time-slots. These treats can be anything from a tea/coffee, toilet break or 2 minutes of social media! Whatever keeps you motivated and isn’t unhealthy in excess.

    Think of it this way, the more chunks that you divide your task into = more treats!

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    Visual aids such as a mood board or imagery around your home provide inspiration and make your vision something that you can see with your own eyes. They give you something tangible to work towards, which in turn works wonders for keeping motivation high.

    You can read full instructions for how to create a powerful mood board here 🎨 

    Getting crystal clear on your end result and being reminded of it daily will raise your motivation to whole new levels!

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    A change of scene refreshes our energy. Even for the most motivated individual, doing the same task for long periods of time can get very monotonous.

    Make sure that you aren’t chained to the desk or treadmill for 3 hours at a time, as this will ultimately have an adverse effect on your motivation when you start to associate the task with struggle and boredom. Mix it up and move into a new space if you need to, and ensure that you’re keeping your brain engaged with regular breaks.

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    Nothing is more inspirational than reading stories of those who have walked the path of success before you, especially when they came from humble beginnings or an old life that’s similar to yours now. Think about who you can research and emulate in order to prove that your goal is achievable and worth pursuing.

    If they can do it, so can you! 

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    Goals turn dissatisfaction with our situation into an intention to improve it. You should always be proud of yourself for making a decision to change your life for the better! If motivation is running low, try to remember the reasons why you started on this path in the first place…

    What benefits were you hoping to achieve? I bet if you really think about it – then you’ve come quite some way from when you first had the idea?

    Give yourself credit where credit is due, and never be too hard on yourself.

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    Motivation is not in constant supply.

    But, while motivation comes and goes – if you can stick to your timetable and attack those bite-sized chunks – you can steadily move towards your goals without relying on the appearance of a single emotion.

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  • 8 Reasons To Forgive The Person Who Hurt You The Most

    Rather than forgive and forget, sometimes we choose “resent and fester” because it feels so much easier to reach.

    But who does it hurt most if we aren’t willing to forgive?

    Today, I want to offer up the thought that we’re always the ones who benefit the most from our decision to forgive. And here are 8 Reasons Why


    1 ⋆☽ To allow yourself peace of mind ☾⋆


    Tranquility is what so many of us are lacking these days, with our manic schedules and endless demands filling our mind. By choosing not to forgive, you’re choosing to hold on to something which could be released instead.

    Rather than mulling over the many ways someone has wronged you, try to spend part of that time thinking about how and why you can forgive that person – and then spend the rest on things that make you happy.


    2 ⋆☽ To protect your energetic vibration ☾⋆


    As you can imagine by how it makes you feel, resentment is a very low vibration energy for us to stay in. Over time, it turns toxic and becomes insidious to our entire aura.

    Choosing love instead is a decision that will always elevate your energy. When your heart is full, you become a magnet for everything you desire. Everything is reachable eventually when you’re coming from a place of love and gratitude. Forgiveness might be the secret sauce that you’re missing if you feel like something is in the way of your manifestations.


    3 ⋆☽ To benefit your other relationships ☾⋆


    When there’s friction in a relationship, the static can be felt by everyone near it. In interconnected relationship networks, such as families or friendship groups, a failure to forgive can affect more than just one relationship. We’ve all been in the situation before of feeling forced to take sides because two people couldn’t reconcile something.

    One person may have caused you a huge amount of hurt, but by choosing not to forgive them, you may be hurting other people around you too. Forgiveness heals your relationships with more than just who you are forgiving.


    4 ⋆☽ To be an example of what’s possible ☾⋆


    If you’re able to forgive someone who has seriously wronged you, then you become an example of what’s possible. You show others that love is always an option and that no-one else’s actions can stop you from choosing it. Instead, you lead with love and inspire others to do the same; even in the most testing situations…

    Your actions speak volumes about your character, and if you can teach others by example the value of forgiveness, your character will start a positive ripple effect. You can show other people the peace that follows forgiveness and give them the confidence to make the same choice when they need to. Reach for forgiveness and be a living example of what’s possible through love.


    ⋆☽ To let go of your past and make space for the future ☾⋆


    Choosing to let go is a crucial part of saying “yes” to your future because you’re no longer using that energy to hold on to your past instead.

    Let go of hurt and open the energetic door for new beginnings, new lessons, and your own healing. Through forgiveness, you make it possible to understand how the other person is feeling and what caused them to act this way, rather than having your judgement skewed by a blurry fog of resentment.


    ⋆☽ To practice empathy and understanding ☾⋆ 


    Empathy and understanding aren’t always our brain’s first response…

    When we’re angered or perceive that we’re a victim of injustice, we can feel a familiar urge to hop into monkey mode and beat our chests until we feel vindicated. But, in the long run, this does no good for our emotional, mental or spiritual health.

    Empathy is an art and the world needs more artists. When we’re presented with people who have wronged us, we’re also presented with an opportunity to express ourselves as the kind, loving individuals that we really are. When we make seeking understanding rather than retribution one of our habitual responses, then we retrain our brain to instinctively look for the best in all people and circumstances.


    ⋆☽ To set emotional boundaries ☾⋆ 


    This one might sound counterintuitive at first, because how can forgiving someone who has wronged you be an example of emotional boundaries? Isn’t it just giving them a free pass to do the same again?

    This reason is really to highlight that by forgiving someone, you’re setting good emotional boundaries with yourself. You’re making a conscious decision not to allow someone else to dictate your mood and emotions, and you’re reclaiming your own mental wellbeing. You’re choosing to see people in a positive way, rather than allowing someone else to drag you down. You’re refusing to see things differently as a result of their actions. You’re keeping your emotions under your own control, rather than under the control of others.


    ⋆☽ To free yourself from regret ☾⋆ 


    I don’t know about you, but in the context of strained family relationships, I always worry about what will happen when the other person dies. What will I think? How will I feel? And will I have any regrets?

    The best way to avoid these potential regrets is to resolve the issues that you’re worrying about as quickly as your heart will allow. Choose to move forward in order to eliminate the risk of years looking back, wondering what you might have done differently. You never hear stories of people who have chosen to forgive, but then lived to regret it; yet there are many of people who have held onto grudges, and then regretted the time that they lost.


    As always, the choice is yours…


    When someone has seriously hurt you, you’re the only one who knows how you really feel about it – and therefore, how you’d like to respond.

    But, somewhere in your heart, I’m sure that there’s a deep desire for healing, love, and completeness – which all become possible through the act of forgiveness.

    To forgive doesn’t mean that you’re permitting their wrong, but it does mean that you value your own mental and emotional health more than the past action of another person. It means that you value your own happiness and sanity to such an extent that no-one can take it away from you.

    The benefits of choosing forgiveness are plenty, and the benefits of going without it are few.

    Open your heart and forgive without fear, because you can’t always control the actions of others – but you can always choose how to react.

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  • What if you need LESS Clutter and MORE Clarity?

    We all want a suitable space for us to grow and flourish in.

    Without room to expand, we will most likely stay within the confines of the current world that we see around us. Space is the gap where growth can happen!

    And when we have space to think, we have room to step forward into the greatest version of ourselves.

    Clutter-ification and clarification are antithetical and can’t coexist within our reality. This is especially true for those of us who are sensitive to our surroundings.

    If you are someone who is easily influenced by how other people are feeling or the general “vibe” of what’s happening around you, then it’s more important for you than anyone to create a living space that makes you feel inspired and free.

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    We can spend a long time being oblivious to how our surroundings are affecting us – toxic relationships, over-reliant friends and family, and a schedule that leaves us little time for thought and relaxation.

    But when we open our eyes to what we have around us, then we start to see what we don’t actually need.

    Your clarity of thought is so important for the gifts that you have to give to the world, and you need to see clearly how to implement them for maximum impact. If you’re surrounded by stuff, then it can be hard to see past it towards the best path for your future.

    If you want freedom of thought, you will need to allow yourself some freedom from the taskmaster that is your own clutter. If you have read about Feng Shui, Marie Kondo or minimalist living in general – you will already know the benefits that these lifestyle changes can bring you.

    If you want more freedom and less time spent tidying, clearing and cleaning, then having a smaller inventory gives you a chance to invest your time in things that you actually enjoy.

    Set yourself free from clutter and enjoy the clarity of thought which follows.

    It is sure to be a long process, but there’s so much satisfaction to be gained once you realise you don’t need the things which are holding you back.

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