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Blogging – A Whole New World!


My two-year anniversary is fast approaching and I cannot believe I am still blogging!

home-office-336377_1280

I remember being both excited and uncertain all at the same time, as I looked into ‘Starting my own blog’ oh so many months ago.   I did some research and being me of course I also did do some planning.  In fact, it was a goal to be achieved and that is how I approached the whole concept of ‘Blogging.’

Some of the best advice I found was to choose an area of blogging that you could write about for a long time, in other words you could sustain.  You didn’t want to start something and then find four months in say, – you no longer had anything to say.  This made me step back slightly, as I considered what on earth would that area be? In the end I decided it would be in the area I did throughout my life, encouragement!

You didn’t want to start something and then find four months in say, – you no longer had anything to say!

The next consideration was what platform to use as there were so many avenues to choose from i.e. via your own business website etc., but as you can see I decided on WordPress simply because I found it relatively straight forward to use and I liked the numerous free template options it gave and the fact that you could change this easily if you wished.

One of my go-to guy’s or sites was ‘Pro-Blogger‘ I found it very helpful, but there is a wealth of information out there and within WordPress to assist ‘newbies.’ Don’t get overwhelmed by it all. I say approach blogging like a cake and break it down into whats manageable to you.  There are some seriously impressive sites and bloggers out their but at the end of the day you can only do you. People follow out of interests to themselves.  Either your posts or blog has connected with them or they simply just want to build their own blogging world, their is always self interest at play:-)

‘ Don’t get overwhelmed by it all’

In the early days I decided to hand write a number of posts in a book first, so that I could have a ‘library of work so to speak,’ to draw on when posting.  I think this was a tip I picked up on, as at the time, I had no idea how much inspiration I would have nor how many posts I could realistically do. Could I do more than one post per day or not? How inspired would I be? who knows but I would just capture whatever thoughts came to mind in a book because I knew I wouldn’t necessarily have my laptop all the time.  Off course you can do this kind of management within WordPress, but at the time, I neither new this nor did I understand WordPress enough to use it so sensibly:-}

My very first post was at 1:04 am on the 2nd October 2013:-) Yep inspiration to write for me can happen any time of the day or night. It is called “6 Good Habits That Equal Change’ and I remember when I hit the publish button I wondered who would read it? It was such a stupid time of the night, but I was so pleased at writing something, that I knew could be seen by someone else.  You see most of my past writings were in note books and besides one or two close friends no one saw them.

I was so shocked that within about 10 minutes of publishing someone liked my post, in fact they re-blogged it! I had no idea what re-blogging was, but this person was on the other side of the world and to know someone so far away read and liked something I wrote was the biggest encouragement I could ever of had.

they re-blogged it! I had no idea what re-blogging was

Do you remember your first post and how it felt?

Over the months WordPress was an absolute learning curve, trying to get my page to look how I wanted and to reflect me.  Blogging 101 was great and I learnt so much during the weeks it ran, and its a great place for anyone who wants to improve their blog and their blogging skills.

In support of new bloggers I thought I would start a ‘Freshman’s Blog Page’  as I know there are absolutely thousands of bloggers within the WordPress community all with a voice to be heard.

I love blogging, and its a great way to connect with other writers and their world.  I find it absolutely fascinating when I see the different countries my posts have reached, places I know I would never see.  So happy blogging people!

Be the change you want to be! Until next time.

 

Aquene7

Expansion – I am Not The Same Person


Sometimes the decision has to be – no going back!

It was around six years ago.  I remember it becoming very apparent that I needed to find a new role. I could see the writing on the wall for my current post and recognised waiting for ‘dead men’s shoes’ in order to get a promotion was not a choice nor the right the decision. At the time a large amount of change was being pushed through and people were so molded by the culture of the company, all they were doing was complaining and stepping on each other. Work had become a feeding pool and we were dinner to each other.  The joy had gone, instead there was distrust, pressure and a wealth of negative behaviours.

Work had become a feeding pool and we were dinner to each other.

That environment was not for me, and something inside me said you need to move.  So I looked externally and recognised if I was to stand a chance I had to get the relevant training that would put me into a better position. to compete and contend in the wider market.   It had been a long time since I had to apply for a job eternally and so I knew I had to get familiar with the newer way of applying for a job and get to grips with understanding what my skills were and how they were relevant to any new posts/jobs I saw, in order to reflect my competence in applying for them.

Now this may sound like standard stuff to you, but I had worked in my job for years, around 19 at the time, and in the meantime the world had changed and moved on.

One major difference I have learnt between a person who is employed oppose to someone who is an entrepreneur, self-employed, a contractor or business owner is the difference in mindsets.  Most employees do not understand their worth nor the skill-sets they may have.  Security and the familiarity of being in the same company for years means you don’t have to be as sharp, because you are not competing in a major pond.  You do what you do.   But what it takes to do what you do, you struggle to break down and articulate for a job application or in an interview.  in fact, you discount things. Either not seeing them at all or failing to appreciation what it takes to do them.  ‘oh its nothing.’ ‘Its just my job’ are statements that over generalise and simplify things.  Things bosses and line managers can easily take for granted and you fail to value as anything significant. Its just your work ethic and a standard you work by.

However, I did what I needed to do and in the end got my dream job at the time and moved into my new post.  Many were surprised and wondered how I did it.  Others said I timed it perfectly. All I knew, was it had to be done.  If I had stayed, my future felt like it would of died at the time.

It was the best thing I did. I learnt so much and grew as a person, way beyond what I could have achieved if I had stayed put.  I knew that there was no way I could ever go back to where I was, because I was no longer the same person.

It was the best thing I did.

Often times in life when you leave something behind or step away from something in order to improve or better yourself, there simply cannot be any going back. That’s not to say things can’t go wrong, but you know within yourself your just bigger than what you left behind, and even though things may go wrong or do not work out. There simply is no going back.

The drive to move,  was greater, than the challenge of  change.  I believe that there are times in your life that you know something more than you can articulate or explain it to others. In spite of what others may say, you know for you the answer is……….? (whatever, you fill in the blanks)

During the time I mentioned above, I simply had to move and I had to work with a specific intention that I shared with no one at the time until I needed to.  Sometimes, as much as you want to, wisdom says the least people who know your plans, the better.

The drive to move, was greater, than the challenge of  change.

Walking in faith, requires no explanation,  just obedience. I find myself in another time of transition now, and once again, it’s about doing, as oppose to talking and sharing.

The thing is, when God is moving you into something, there is always opposition, and it can come from the closes of relationships.  But if God is stretching you it’s for a reason.

Are you more than where you currently are? Do you feel its time for you to move so you can expand and grow?

 

Be the change you want to be, until next time.

 

Aquene7 = Peace

 

Poetry: If…..?


we hiked and occasionally puttered

Photo by Stephanie Secore – Flikr Creative Commons

 

If you can keep your head when all about you           

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

 

If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;

If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son!

By Rudyard Kipling

 

For me, I found this poem simply beautiful and the photo just seemed to fit as a visual.  The wisdom of a father in the poem and and innocence of the child.

Gratefulness: Do You Recognise The Basics?


Freedom Alone

There is an old saying that “you never miss what you have, until its gone!” Sad, but often times so true. So why do we take so many things or situations for granted?

Freedom is one thing that is so easily taken for granted.  The fact that you get up with health, strength and a sound mind can never be underestimated. But being able to choose what you do in varying degrees with your day, is such a gift or should I say privileged.

Sometimes it is not until you see others who in one sense, no different from you, but who have less choice than you, you realise what you have and take for granted on a daily basis.

As adults we can easily point the finger at the younger generation with statements like ‘ you have no idea how lucky you are’ because we feel irked in someway that they have not taken on board what they have, and in our eyes are failing to either appreciate or make the most of it.  But, is this not an adult thing to? It’s just who scolds you?

It’s easy to look at someone who we deemed born into wealth and privileged and see the flaws. But its all relative.

Choosing to go to school or not. Choosing to change your career or not. Choosing what to eat or not (point being you have something to choose from other than fresh air). Wash yourself or not. Move or not. To be here, there or not.  All freedoms in making your life what it is. But imagine your life with no such choices and more.

As a female born in England, when I strip out (what I can only call the extra things out) such as money, the house (that I chose), transportation, etc and look at just the basic things.  Things, that as humans we should all have, but don’t. I recognise how blessed and fortunate I am. To have the parents I have and to be born where I was.  Because in these things I had choice or control over.

Therefore, I recognise the importance to be grateful for the basics let alone the extra’s in my life.

There is what I can only describe as a trend on Facebook at present where an individual is challenged to do a ‘Gratitude Post’ for seven days. Once nominated, they can either accept or not, and in turn also nominate three people. I decided to state 7 things for each of the 7 days. It’s a nice way to begin my day.  Why not give it go, if you haven’t done so already?

Have a great day, and be the change you want to be.

 

Aquene7

Don’t Take It Personally!


In order to change your circumstances or situations you have to begin with you first.  You cannot sustain new things when you have old habits that undermined or even have the power to destroy all the good you have in mind.

One area of my life I have been working on in the past year is how I deal with negative reactions and outcomes. During my training as a coach I learnt about a psychometric test called DISC which I ended up becoming accredited in.  Through it, I became more aware of my own personality and realised that one of my weaknesses was to take things personally. I realised that I did that throughout my life and at the time this included work.  I remember during a particular workshop when we had broken out into small groups and started to discuss how we dealt with failure or when things we started don’t work out,  there was one particular young lady whose response stayed with me, simply because I thought it was a response I would like to have in order to change me. She said being a very analytically person when it comes to problems ‘I don’t take things like failure personally’ instead she looks at the problem and says “ok what went wrong?” ‘What needs to change?” Learns from it, and moves on.

I know I am not the only one who doesn’t cope well in certain situations and being empathetic my initial thing is to stand in the shoes of the problem for the wrong reason. That reason often being to crticise myself and beat myself up. This of course serves no earthly purpose other than making your life more difficult and bringing you into a position of no longer trying.

Fear of Failure, fear of rejection, as with many things, it’s all about your reaction. What do you do at that time?

By taking this statement on board in my life and through understanding myself and personality a bit more I have learnt to react differently.  I have learnt how to understand and adjust my attitude when dealing with people who are more forceful, direct and curt in their speech or approach than me. I recognise that often times it’s not because they are being rude but simply because their not ‘touchy, feely’ people like me:-). They have a get on with it approach to life and their view is why take 10 sentences to say something when you can say it in two. So, I get that and have learnt to flow with that now:-)

When things don’t work out, the important thing is to step away from the situation and look at it instead of holding onto it and walking with it as a cloud over your life and future.  “Let it Go!”

By not taking things personally and instead finding out the right way of dealing with things from a position of control feels so much better. Its empowering, because you’re not loosing yourself to the situation.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the choices we make and how we choose to react to things.  They can be in our control, but often times may not be.  We cannot change people, but we can change ourselves. There is a well-known quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that says:-

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

When I watched this video clip from the America TV show ‘The Talk’ I thought wow! Now that’s not allowing your emotions to run you, but instead, how to lay hold of your initial reactions and walk from a place of control. Hope you like as much as I did.

Continue to be the change you want to be, until next time.

 

Aquene7= Peace

 

Poetry – This Is Your Hour


This is your hour creep upon it.

Summon your power, leap upon it.

Grasp it, spike it, with full might!

If you take too long to ponder,

Opportunity may wander.

Yesterday’s a bog of sorrow;

No man ever finds Tomorrow.

Hesitation is a mire – 

Climb out, climb up, climb on higher!

Fumble, stumble, risk a tumble,

Make a start, however humble.

Do your best, and do it now.

Pluck and grit will find out how.

Persevere, although you tire –

While a spark is left, there’s fire.

Distrust doubt; doubt is a liar.

Even if all mankind jeer you,

You can force the world to cheer you.

 

By Herbert Kaufman

 

 

Routine – Good vs Bad


Routine.  A lot of people swear by it.  It is the only way they get through their day,  their week, or their month.

Having a routine can be great. It brings order and discipline into a life that would otherwise be chaotic.  It gives you the benefit of knowing where things are, what’s next, how long something takes, where one thing ends and the next thing begins.

I have friends who know exactly where to stand along a train station platform in order to board the train at a particular point so that when they get off they are at the perfect point to make the fastest exit, in order to leave or get their next train for work. I laughed when my friend explained the precision in this as I thought it was a detail to far.  But as she said every minute counts. Can’t argue with that. But the question was did that minute matter to me as much as it did to her? Obviously, not!
But people who focus like this do get things done. It may not be the ideal for me or you but there is something to learn and be taken from their effort.  Does it mean this person is never late or rushing no. But they feel it makes a difference.  It’s an improvement upon  what they could would be like without it.

People who have strict routines and order to things, can be perceived as ‘control freaks’ ‘OCD’ even ‘anal’ depending how strict they are, and the mood you are left in, should you be the one needing help and feeling they are a hindrance rather than a help, as some are to the letter in how they work.

Routine, as with all things has a lot going for it. We all have routines in our lives to varying degrees one way or the other. Its part of how we live. As a mother, I could not have gotten by without having some routine in place as children need routine because it brings security, comfort and aids in their development and growth. While constant change is unsettling and brings negative impacts to a child.

However, everything needs to be reviewed at some point.
As in my last post, it is important to be flexible and to review YOU at times and what you are doing. As I wrote in my previous post ‘How Do You Motivate Yourself?’ Kaizen – ‘continuous improvement’ is important because as a day changes so does life.

I remember hearing a story once that roughly went like this:-

A young girl received in her breakfast  an omelette, which her mum always lovingly prepared for her.
“Mama why do you always make your omelette in a triangle?
“I don’t know baby, it’s how my Mama always made them for me, so I do the same for you because I love to?
The little girl was curious and remembered what her mama said, so when she was with her grand mama she asked her about the omelette story.
Her grandmother explained that that’s how her mama made them for her but her mama was born a slave. She explained that her grand mama was born a slave so when her mama cooked eggs it was a treat and all she had was an old pan and that was the shape of the pan so that’s how the eggs came out.

Some times our routines can become traditions. Traditions are accepted routines and we do not necessarily know the WHY anymore, it just is. It’s what we do or what we have always done. We have never thought to question it. Routines as with the little girl, can be handed down. They can come in many forms – mum’s personal recipe, Christmas Day at a particular family members house, etc. We do it often enough and long enough that it is now called a ‘family tradition.‘ On a National level it can become so wide scale that it is then called ‘culture’ and ‘custom’.

Routines come into our lives for many reasons. Like I said, they are often good. But what we can fail to recognise is that some have a ‘TEMPORARY’ life span. Their benefit was only meant to be for a few weeks or a month or so.  Like fashion that is current, at some point it becomes left behind into a position that is no longer current. Instead it becomes dated. Locked in by the very time and season it was created in, and anyone still wearing it gets locked into that time also. This can done well or done badly.  You know, I am sure you have seen someone,  maybe even yourself where you can say it works or they need to change.

But what we can fail to recognise is that some have a ‘TEMPORARY’ life span. Their benefit was only meant to be for a few weeks or a month or so.

Routines can out stay their welcome and their usefulness. The wrong routine can hold you back from your future rather than moving you into it.

So what needs to go? What are you doing that really,  if you think about it you no longer need to do?

Or what is it you need to do? What would help if you did it more frequently?  What should be part of your routine?

Think it! Do it! Change it!

Be the change you want to be!  Until next time.

Aquene7 = Peace

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