Archive for Beliefs

H is for HEALTH

H is for HEALTH_26 top tips to change your life

Never take it for granted!

Poor health limits your options whilst great health opens many more doors.

Don’t wait till it’s too late.

Make time every day to nurture the health of all 10 parts of your life.

The Great Life Redesign shows you how to nurture your health, every day.

Carpe diem

Caroline Cameron

Oops! My 2012 Epic Failures and why they’re important

Oops! Epic Failures and why they're important

Don’t get me wrong. 2012 has been a terrific year with lots of highlights, successes and good times.  But as I look back, it dawned on me that I’ve learnt far more from the goals that didn’t stick, things that didn’t happen and the stuff that I basically, well… stuffed up!

So here are some of my biggest stuff ups for this year, along with the wisdom I’ve gained to take into 2013 and beyond.

1. Don’t commit to something that conflicts with your values

When The Great Life Redesign was published early this year, I thought it would be kind of cool to make it a best seller.  Not knowing how to do this, I invested countless hours and a lot of money in a coaching program that guaranteed to make my book a best seller on Amazon.

I did all the work and was ready to launch my campaign when I hit a roadblock.  The campaign required me to email thousands of potential sponsors (none of whom I knew) to ask for their support.   Feeling this was somewhat like spam, I uncomfortably realised it directly conflicted with my ethics and integrity.

2. When it doesn’t feel right, remind yourself of your true intent and walk away.

In spite of the considerable time and money already spent, I decided to stop the project and put my flawed aspiration down to experience.  After all, when I wrote the book, I decided that if it helped just one person to change the life they have for the one they want, I’d be happy.

Based on the heart-warming feedback I’ve received and wonderful new clients who’ve found me via the book, I know I’m on my way to fulfilling my true intent.

3. When life deals you an unexpected blow, suck it up and deal with it!

In September I took my mum and daughter on a wonderful holiday to the UK and Europe.  Laura had always wanted to go to Paris but as we went to board the Eurostar at Kings Cross Station in London we were stopped by my sheer carelessness.  Searching for my travel wallet (with passport and Euros) I started to panic as I realised it was gone!

Somehow it had been carefully lifted out of my bag when I wasn’t looking. Though the sight of my suitcase contents strewn all over the crowded platform would have looked hilarious, if you’ve ever been separated from your passport whilst traveling overseas, you’ll know how hard my heart was thumping.

4. Perspective, composure and focus will always save the day

Panic turned to anger and remorse as I realised this was going to ruin our holiday and Laura’s Paris dream. Fortunately her instant calm and rational nature helped me accept what had happened and refocus on the business of replacing the passport.  24 hours and many exasperating conversations with policy bound bureaucrats later, I was issued with a new passport and we were soon on our way.

With the benefit of hindsight, I’ll now be a lot more vigilant and when bad stuff happens, I’ll be quicker to put it into perspective, faster to regain composure and divert my energy into solution focus rather than remorse.

5. Know when to say ‘no’, before you’ve said ‘yes’

2012 took off at break neck speed for me and showed no signs of slowing down. My business was doing well and soon each week was passing in a blur. Every new client or piece of work on its own seemed ‘do-able’ but I failed to recognise and decide just how much I could realistically take on.

Before I knew it I was completely over-committed and my life had taken on one of those scenes in a Greek restaurant where the waiter cleverly spins many plates on long sticks, all at the same time.  My family, friends and non-work priorities all took a back seat as I attempted to keep all my plates in the air!

Ironically, The Great Life Redesign is all about stepping off the 21st century treadmill to enjoy a happier, slower, more fulfilling life.  Yet here I was falling into the very trap I help people escape.

As 2013 rapidly approaches, I’m committing to be kinder to myself with fewer goals and priorities, a wall planner I’ll review before I say ‘yes’,  a slower pace and more care. Oh, and I’ll also deliberately pack intuition, wisdom and perspective in my Thrival Kit to take with me, everywhere I go!

So… now I’m wondering, what ‘epic failures’ did you have in 2012?

What did you learn from them and what will you take with you into the brand new year?

Carpe Diem

Caroline Cameron

How to be Storm Ready and Survive Life’s Toughest Moments

How to survive life's toughest moments

As Hurricane Sandy unleashes its fury on the east coast of America, millions of anxious people all along the east coast are living the nightmare.

We all face dramatic storms that change our lives forever. Maybe yours have included the death or serious illness of someone you love, losing your home, prolonged stress or the inevitable but painful end of an important relationship.

Sadly, the impact of these events can be devastating, leaving you bruised and battered for years.

Yet, as bad as they can be, major life storms do pass and life does go on, albeit dramatically changed. Life itself is a series of unstable, tumultuous times and quieter periods and while we often can’t change them, we can control how we deal with them.

Regardless of whether you’re currently in the eye of a ferocious storm or enjoying relative peace and stability, it’s wise to have a ‘Storm Kit’ ready for whatever life throws at you next.

Packing a Storm Kit won’t make bad things happen. Like life insurance or airbags in your car, it will mean you’re well prepared. So, let’s pack you a Storm Kit for when the storm clouds next gather in your life.

7 Storm Kit Essentials

1. Create an early warning device

Not so long ago we had little or no warning of pending disasters. In the same way we now the ‘know how’ to predict major storms, you too have early warning devices to anticipate the events that could upend your life.

Listen to your intuition – if something just doesn’t feel right, act on it. Recognise and acknowledge the indicators that tell you all’s not well. Increased conflict in a relationship, significant change at home or work and the health and wellbeing of those you love all provide vital clues.

2. Prepare for the worst and be ready to do and be your best

Once you know that a big storm is on its way, inevitable and that you’ll be right in its path, it’s time to batten down the hatches and prepare.

If possible, get out of the storm’s direct path. Knowing what’s within your control, do what you can to diffuse stress and decide how you want to ride it out. Consciously choose how you’ll respond, put coping strategies in place and be kind to yourself.

Remember, you’re stronger and more resilient than you may feel right now.

3. Know your priorities

Write down what’s important. You won’t be able to take everything with you and that’s a good thing! Let go of  everything that doesn’t really matter. Offload beliefs, responsibilities and tasks that will suffer if you struggle to maintain them as the storm unfolds.

Focus only on what’s important to clear the clutter of what keeps you busy but doesn’t add real value. If you’re not sure what’s important, clarify your core values and beliefs and use them to guide you.

4. Call on your powerful Inner Resources

Inner Resources are those internal ‘states of being’ we draw on to give us the strength and courage to face the worst that life throws at us. In times of crisis, these include faith, persistence, calm, resilience and perspective.

Think of a time when you’ve survived a potentially debilitating life crisis in the past. What was it that got you through?

Even in your darkest hour, there will be strong beliefs and ways of being that kept you going. Having called on them before, you know with absolute certainty that you can call on them again this time.

5. Have essential emergency supplies on hand

Both practical and emotional, emergency supplies are anything to make the crisis more bearable as the storm passes through your life. Stock up on healthy food, treats that make you feel better and activities to recharge your batteries and help pass the time.

One of my clients who was nursing her father through a prolonged and painful terminal illness, found comfort working on a beautiful tapestry. Sitting next to his bed for long hours as he lapsed in and out of consciousness, she patiently stitched. While it gave her something productive to do, each stitch created a precious bond with her father that would live on long after he was gone.

6. Build a strong support team

This isn’t a time to be stoic and brave – never go through a major crisis alone! Decide who you want in your life at this time and reach out for help. We all need connection with others and this is even more important during a crisis.

Close family, friends and caring professionals will do all they can to help you out and sharing the experience will lighten the load. Even asking for help with something seemingly small will make a big difference.

7. Create a mop-up plan

Knowing this storm will pass, turn your attention to what you will do when it’s all over. Making plans for life after the storm reminds you that life will get better. Major life storms have an uncanny way of bringing you new choices.

How will life be different and what opportunities await you on the other side? Even if you can’t predict exactly how you’ll feel or what life will be like, now’s the time to start planning optimistically for the future.

Change is inevitable and making it through to the other side alive means picking yourself up and moving on, when you’re ready. Give yourself time to heal and with firm resolve, know you have everything you need to move forward to a brighter future.

Carpe Diem

Caroline Cameron

 

 

 

PS. Even if you’re not currently facing a major ‘life storm’, you may know someone who is. Please share these tips and help lighten their day.

If Only I’d Known That Back Then…

Top 12 Life Lessons to replace struggle with ease

Life Lessons_If Only I'd Known THAT Back When...

Ahhh, hindsight – it’s a beautiful thing!  One of the best parts of growing older is the wisdom that comes with life experience. Like many wide-eyed 18 year olds, I launched into my adult life full of expectation, enthusiasm, energy and more than a little naivety.

10 major career and countless life changes later, only the naivety has gone and curiously, I learn much more quickly these days!

Whenever I gain a blinding new insight or learn a new skill, I find myself thinking, ‘if only I’d known that back when I was …[insert life struggle]’.

So here are my Top 12 Life Lessons shared to make your life easier:

  1. Every question has an answer and every problem a solution

Once you believe this, you’ll never be stuck again!  Even ‘do nothing’ or ‘do it later’ are solutions.  If you don’t know, someone else will – it’s just a matter of reaching out and asking.

  1. You can’t hang your star of happiness on someone else’s tree

In the same way we hang decorations on a Christmas Tree, we often abdicate the responsibility for our happiness to someone else. If you’re waiting for someone else to make you happy, you could be waiting a long time.  Be happy with and for people, not because of them.

  1. The best lessons come from the toughest stuff

While I’d not have chosen some of the challenges life has sent my way, I am grateful for what I learnt from them.  We never really know what we’re capable of until we’re tested.  Remember, when you’re going through a rough patch, you’re quietly building courage, resilience and confidence – inner resources you can call on anytime.

  1. This too will pass

The best thing about tough times is that they don’t last forever.  When the clouds part to let the sunshine in, leave the pain behind and take the lessons with you.  The greatest of times are often momentary too so embrace them for all they give you and cherish the memories.

  1. You always have a choice

Wow!  This is so simple and yet I only figured it out a few years back.  Once you adopt this one, you can wipe out self doubt.  We may not be able to control the events in our lives but we always have a choice about what meaning to put on them.

  1. Other people aren’t right or wrong – they’re just different

When someone annoys or disappoints us, chances are they’re pressing one of our core value buttons. Even though they may claim to hold the same values as you (eg integrity, respect, loyalty or achievement), their actions and words may appear to be incongruent. All that’s happening is they’re putting a different meaning on that value.  Neither right or wrong, it just is.

Respecting others beliefs and values doesn’t mean you have to compromise your own so there’s nothing to fear or protect.

  1. Everyone’s doing the best they can with what they’ve got – save judgement for something that needs it

No one sets out to do the wrong thing intentionally. The action or words may not be right by your personal principles but judgement won’t change them.  It merely leaves you frustrated, angry, drained and helpless.

Focusing on the behaviour rather than the person (play the ball, rather than the man) fosters acceptance, maintains perspective and keeps your emotional energy and powder dry for something that really does matter.

  1. Do something good for someone else every day, expecting nothing in return

The world and everyone in it owe you nothing!  Doing something selfless feels great because you know you’ve made a difference without expecting it to be reciprocated.  Being generous in all you say and do costs very little and has the potential to be profound.

It costs nothing to smile, appreciate and deliver a random act of kindness. Life is karmic and one day someone will do something incredibly generous for you.

  1. History never repeats and the past is never the future

Thank goodness!  Historical scars and baggage can hold us back from trying something new.  Circumstances and you have changed.  As you attempt something you’ve failed at in the past, remember you are now wiser and better prepared.

  1. Regret, guilt and self-doubt are futile

Seriously, if I had a dollar for all the time, head space and energy I’ve invested in negative emotions in the past, I’d be rich!  There is nothing to be gained for anyone, least of all you, by rehashing the past and beating yourself up.

Accept that you did the best you could under the circumstances and let it go.

  1. Every day is a brand new sheet of paper – write on it whatever you like!

No matter how bad yesterday was or how uncertain tomorrow looks, today is a brand new one. Only take with you that which is useful and decide how you want to live this one day.

Isn’t it great that we get to start over every 24 hours?

  1. Be the best version of yourself you can be, always.

Trying to be someone you’re not to live up to others’ expectations, is exhausting! Living your best life means being you to the best of your ability. You know when you’re being truly authentic when there’s no internal conflict going on, no matter what.  Rather than wrestling your demons, make peace with them and accept yourself for who you are.

After all, there’s only one amazing, talented, beautiful, wonderful you!

Carpe Diem
Caroline Cameron

 

PS. The Great Life Redesign has more Pearls of Wisdom to help you replace struggle with ease.

A Real Life Redesign Story of Guts, Energy and Surrender

How one woman’s Good Life Crisis is changing lives, including her own!

When Serena Star Leonard quit her day job and redesigned her life, she really didn’t know what lay ahead.  At 26 she left her IT sales career behind to discover how to realise her passion for making a difference.

Johnny and Serena writing and editing en routeJohnny and Serena writing and editing en route

Fast forward 7 years and she’s now a best- selling author (How to Retire in 12 Months), blogger and business coach.  Currently travelling long term with her husband through Latin America, she’s having amazing adventures, filming mini documentaries and sharing stories of people all over the world who are making a difference to their communities.

In a ‘virtual fireside chat’ from Latin America, let’s go behind the scenes of Serena’s great life redesign.

What prompted you to follow your passion?

 

I had a safe, well paying job with a great future ahead of me – the problem was that it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I had so much fear around the thought of the unknown that I was stuck. Meanwhile I created a charitable event on the side with some friends and it went ballistic!  A few days later I had the courage to leave my job and go out on my own.

It actually took me a couple of years to figure out what I wanted to do – so that was an intense time! I created lots of small businesses, charities, events and projects, many succeeded and many failed. I was over worked, over committed, flying by the seat of my pants and earning very little. But with all that going on, an amazing sense of freedom started to develop.

After a while I noticed that I loved helping people set up their own projects and businesses – as soon as I decided to be a business coach, everything fell into place. I had figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up!

You’ve helped many people to find and follow their passion.  What do you notice is different about people who make their dream a reality?

 

The difference is courage! The second you state your dream out loud, you risk failing. Everything about making a dream a reality comes with a risk that you might fail, so it takes a huge amount of courage to look possible failure in the face and carry on anyway.

What I love seeing is the moment when someone gets their first little taste of success. It could be the smallest thing, but at that moment they realise that the world is at their feet. You have no idea how big or exciting your journey could get, but you have to have the door open and that takes courage.

What’s a ‘Good Life Crisis’ and why should we all have one?

 

A “Good Life Crisis” happens when you have a minor freak out and realise that unless you take action, your life will end up being more of what it already is.

At that point people start to think about they want from life – and start designing their life rather than following status quo.

“Good Life Crises” seem to happen organically – either we are inspired by other people, or we are unfulfilled and look for change. Either way I think it is important at regular intervals in your life to take a good look at where you are at and decide if that is the direction you will continue to go in.

What three things do all ‘Good Life Crisis’ creators have in common?

 

1. Guts – it takes courage to change the course of your life. You are interrupting the flow that you have taken a lifetime to create, so naturally there will be some resistance in your head as well as in the world around you.

2. Energy – that moment when you choose to change things you also accept responsibility for how your life goes. It’s like the lights turn on! When you chase your dreams you find energy that you never knew you had. Life looks different and everything you do suddenly matters.

3. Surrender – after a while you start to surrender to the process rather than the outcome. You can do everything in your power to make something happen and it may succeed or fail. People who chase their dreams start to realise that the process or journey is what matters, more than the results.

You’re on a quest to find and share the stories of people who are making a real difference in their communities and the world.  What sparked the idea and purpose of Five Point Five and what types of stories are you seeking to share?

 

Well to cut a long story short – we were about to embark on 3 years of travel and adventure and rather than do the tourist thing we wanted to do something that had some meaning.

We saw an incredibly inspiring YouTube video about Narayanan Krishnan who feeds and cares for the destitute in India. In the video he says that “everyone has 5.5 litres of blood, everybody is the same”.

This had a huge impact on me – what if we could collect stories of all the inspiring people who are out there quietly dedicating their lives to making the world a better place?

Since we left in April we have spent time with kids in the slums in Colombia, with sex workers fighting for their basic rights in Nicaragua, with a turtle conservation program in Costa Rica, with women who collect plastic bags off the beaches and sew them into gorgeous bags to reduce pollution. Every week we meet new communities of amazing, inspiring people who are absolute heroes.

This is a total passion project and I get to mix adventurous world travel with intimate experiences with inspiring people and communities.

Johnny plays football with kids from a project in Columbia

 

Johnny plays football with kids fro a project in Columbia

Women sew plastic bags off beaches into beautiful things

 

 

 

 

Women sew plastic bags off beaches into beautiful things

Johnny gets help fixing the road at school

 

 

 

Johnny gets some help fixing the road at school

 

 

 

 

 

Serena in turtle conservation program in Costa Rica

 

 

 

 

How cool is that!

To find out more about Serena’s inspiring and interesting story, check out her blog.  If the idea of quitting your 9 – 5 job appeals, she’s also running a course in January to teach people how to build their first blog from scratch. http://www.retireyoung.com.au/the-retire-young-course/

Carpe diem!
Caroline Cameron

 

 

Are you too comfortable?

What happens when you stay bored for too longThe cure for boredom is to step outside your comfort zone

If you’ve ever felt like you’re dying of boredom, you’ll know how mind numbingly frustrating it can be.

The hours tick slowly by as you go through the motions and as time passes, life gets increasingly stale and monotonous.

Maybe you’ve been in the same job or industry for what feels like forever, doing pretty much the same thing, day in and day out.  Perhaps you’re in a stale relationship or you’ve lived in the same house and neighbourhood for years.  Boredom strikes and settles in when nothing changes.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a little boredom. It’s great for chilling out, recharging the batteries and taking the pressure off for a while.  That’s actually relaxation – a vital stress reliever we all need to create balance.

However, when you’re too comfortable for too long you can find yourself climbing the walls and longing for something even remotely exciting to happen. Many a mid-life crisis is triggered by boredom and complacency when we’re simply not aware of what’s really going on.

Prolonged comfort is an insidious trap – the longer you’re in it, the harder it is to break free.  With no sense of urgency and purpose, your motivation, desire and enthusiasm rapidly fall away.

No longer interesting or interested, you’re starving your need for growth and challenge of much needed oxygen.  Friends stop calling, loved ones stop talking and even if an exciting opportunity came your way, you’d probably miss it.

Excuses become reasons not to act as life and all it has to offer pass you by.

It’s time to leap outside your Comfort Zone!

Your comfort zone is a state of being that determines what you will and won’t do. Made up of concentric rings, the mental boundaries that keep you stuck or propel you forward are like a fence around each ring that encircles the stages of your life.  When you’re in it, you’re generally relaxed, which means you’re coasting along nowhere near the perimeter.  Comfortable – yes; challenged – probably not.

Your Comfort Zone

Gradually the tension to jump the fence increases alongside mounting boredom, dissatisfaction or desire.  Eventually the prospect of staying where you are is intolerable and the compulsion to move forward becomes irresistible. That’s when you know you’re ready to let go of the familiar and step into new experiences and challenges.

Pain vs pleasure, risk vs reward, tolerance vs desire

Most of us do far more to avoid pain than we do to move towards pleasure. If you burn your finger on a hot iron, you’ll quickly pull it away from the heat. This action is instinctive and necessary. Yet when offered the opportunity for pleasure, many people resist it thinking they don’t deserve it, can’t do it or haven’t earned it. This very basic instinct keeps our Gen D friends stuck in the life they have, not really happy but also not motivated enough to change it.

If you have a high risk tolerance, you’re more likely to take the leap of faith required to make a significant life change. However, if you’re strongly risk averse, naturally cautious or fearful, you may feel like a base jumper about to leap off a cliff without a parachute. Don’t worry, you’ll be okay! Remember, your comfort zone is all mental conditioning (what you tell yourself) and hence something you can control.

If prolonged boredom has given way to discomfort, that’s a good thing. It creates the motivation, focus and effort you’ll need to create change and redesign whatever part of your life is just not doing it for you. Problems are really opportunities in disguise. Likewise, if the catalyst for change is a positive one, your desire for a better life will motivate you to make the transition.

Making a fundamental change to the way you live will require a gigantic leap outside your comfort zone! However, you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone many times in the past and once you consciously recall how you did it, you’ll be well prepared to do it again, this time with even more experience.

Reclaim your Mojo!

If you suspect you may be just a tad too comfortable, decide now to quit tolerating whatever’s driving your boredom and ambivalence. Use it as the motivator to redesign whatever’s not working in your life and create what you truly want.  The Great Life Redesign includes a simple quiz to help you know for sure whether you’re ready for change.  It also offers some handy Comfort Zone Leaping Techniques to get you on your way.

Deciding to act right NOW rekindles your energy and desire for change! Imagine how much better your life will be when you actually take steps to redesign it.  All it takes is one step at time. Your life redesign will gather momentum and you won’t ever want to go back to boredom.

Watch what happens when you discover what you really want; inject new life into an old relationship or embark on something brand new and exciting.  It’s like opening a window, letting in the breeze and feeling alive all over again.

What are you going to stop tolerating and start doing to reclaim your mojo today?

Carpe Diem
Caroline Cameron

 

 

 

PS.  Even if you’re not currently in the ‘too comfortable’ space, you may know someone who is.  Send them this post to get them off the couch and into action!

Is Your Child a Mini Me?

What your children are really learning from you – it may not be what you think!
What's your child really learning from you?

We all want our children to grow up to be happy, healthy, successful and good people.  Yet, every now and again they do something that surprises us – sometimes delightful, occasionally disappointing.

Have you ever stepped back, shaken your head and wondered, ‘Where did that come from?’

As the mother of a gorgeous, healthy, successful and fun-loving 23 year old (yes, of course I’m biased!), I’m pondering with the wonderful benefit of hindsight.

If I’m really honest, there are some things I’d do differently if I’d realised what my beautiful daughter was actually learning from me as she grew up.

I’m insanely proud of her and like the parent of an Olympic champion, when she achieves something she’s worked hard for, I cheer loudly.  When life deals her a hard blow or she’s really struggling, my heart breaks.

Regardless, much of how she deals with life’s ups and downs comes from a healthy dose of my great and not so great traits!

Children learn far more from watching what we do than hearing what we say

For every positive our children learn from us there’s a potential down side and many of us simply aren’t aware of it while we’re busy raising them.

With positives and negatives, the life lessons parents teach are like flipping a coin with heads and tails.

I’m no parenting expert, simply a mum with many friends who are parents, and here are the flipsides of what I’ve learnt:

On Being Goal Oriented

Heads:  Whether it’s juggling two jobs to pay off your mortgage, working 60+ hours a week to climb a career ladder, running a marathon or keeping your house tidy, your children learn that focus, action and persistence get things done and achieve success.

Tails:  There’s a fine line between achievement and obsession.  It’s easy to lose perspective as you focus on what needs to be done, often to the exclusion of all else. Your children may actually be learning how to over-think, over-prepare and invest far more than is actually required to get the job done.

Anxiety and worry are the constant companions of over achievers.

On Being Popular

Heads:  There’s always someone popping in, the phone’s always ringing and invitations to weekends away, sporting and social events crowd your calendar.  Life is buzzing and it feels great to be validated, needed and connected.

Tails:  Spreading yourself thin across many friends may be teaching your children how to create somewhat superficial relationships.

The reality is that most of us have only a few really close friendships that are truly important and need to be carefully nurtured.

On Being Constantly Busy

Heads:  In today’s fast paced world it’s great to have so much to do!  There’s a wonderful sense of satisfaction when you’ve got lots of ticks on your list and survived another busy day.  Your children are learning to multi-task, be flexible and highly organised and cram as much into their one short life as they possibly can.

Tails:  With precious little down time, your over scheduled children may also be hard wiring high stress and hyperactivity at the cost of learning how to relax, unwind and simply ‘be’.

When the focus is on doing more rather than only doing what’s important, overload and overwhelm are constant.

If you’re reading this thinking it’s a ‘no win’ damned if you do / damned if you don’t conundrum, relax – there is an easy solution.

Simply be aware and consciously choose what you want them to learn

There’s no absolute right or wrong way to raise children and the truth is we all do the best we can with what we’ve got, based on our values, beliefs and own experience of growing up.  Thankfully, as your children grow up they get to choose what to keep, what to modify and what to ditch based on who they want to be.

In the meantime, be an intentional role model.  Use your inner resources of wisdom, hindsight, insight and forsight to do a quick, honest stock-take of your behaviours and actions.

Decide which admirable qualities you do want your children to learn.  Consciously choose what you’d rather they didn’t and give yourself permission to let it go. Then act consistently and intentionally every day.

Writing this blog, I bravely asked the ‘apple of my eye and bain of my life’ for one important thing she’s actually learnt from me.  Here’s what my ‘mini me’ emailed back!

Nothing just gets handed to you.
If you really want it, you have to put in the effort.
At the end of the day the outcome doesn’t even matter, because you’ll be able to say you did the absolute best that you could.

Regardless of how old they are, It’s never too early or late to ask your child/ren, “What’s one important lesson you’ve learnt from me?”  You may be surprised!

Please share – I’d love to know what your child has learnt from you.

Carpe Diem
Caroline Cameron

 

Defining Moments – How to Jumpstart Your Next Big Thing

Sometimes we need a darn good excuse to create necessary changes in our lives! 

Have you ever tried to start a car with a completely flat battery?  No matter how often you turn the key and pump the accelerator, nothing happens.  With sheer frustration you know you’ll have to do something different to get it going.  You take out the jumper leads, attach one end to the dead battery, the other to a healthy car battery and try again.  Miraculously the engine splutters to life and with a few good revs you’re away.

Defining Moments - the key to jumpstarting life redesigns

This is exactly how it is when you’re bogged down and can’t see a way out. We all have dreams and aspirations of things we’d like to achieve if only….  Yet for all sorts of reasons we procrastinate and put it off, waiting for a better time to do what it takes.

Maybe you’re waiting until you’ve got more time, more money or the children have left home.  Perhaps your job or partner provide convenient excuses that let you off the hook so you don’t feel compelled to even start your next big thing.  What’s more, if you don’t even start, you can’t fail and we often go to great lengths to avoid failure. 

Yet, if you wait until everything in your life is ‘just right’, you may have missed the window of opportunity.  Putting off until tomorrow that which can be started today will only prolong your frustration, dissatisfaction and discontent. Regret becomes an inevitable outcome.

If this sounds like you, then look no further.  What you need is a ‘defining moment’ – something that converts your dream into a goal – one that you’re so compelled to achieve nothing can stand in your way.  What your dream needs is a ‘defining moment jumpstart’.

What’s a Defining Moment?

Defining moments are life redesign triggers.  They are catalysts that create change, breathing life into your idea and energy into your motivation.

Defining moments can be profound events that simply happen.  Remember that moment when you locked eyes across a crowded room with that one person you knew would change your life?   Serendipity, karma and pure chance create these encounters, often when you need them most.

Defining moments can be good or bad – either way you know that life will never be the same from this moment on. These include life milestones such as finishing school. Life unavoidably changes following the birth of a child, the death of a loved one or the argument that ended a toxic relationship.  These all mark the end of a chapter of your life and start of a new one.  When these events are seemingly bad, we reject them with every ounce of our being until we can no longer ignore the reality that they happened.

Defining moments often happen instantaneously.  Receiving the news that you’ve been successful in a job interview for that role you really want provides a moment in time where you look forward to the future with excitement. Although your fingers were crossed and you desperately hoped you’d get the job, there were no guarantees and you didn’t want to get your hopes up.  Often triggered by contrived serendipity, the law of attraction often creates these defining moments.

Defining moments can take on a ‘slow burn’.  When the seed of an idea is planted by a seemingly inconsequential event, it grows and grows until it can no longer be ignored.  This is what happened to Steve after a chance encounter with an elderly stranger on a railway station lead to numerous adventure travels. (You can read Steve’s story in The Great Life Redesign).

How to Recognize and Use Defining Moments to Get Going

  1. Look back on your life and make a list of all the major changes that have occurred along the way.  Notice what the particular defining moment was for each event and why that was the catalyst that set a string of future events in motion.
  1. Once you’ve got a long list, take stock of your life right now.  What needs to change?  What would you like to change, if only you could?
  1. Identify recent events that may provide the ideal reason to create your desired change.
  1. Where something else needs to happen to clear the way for your dream, work out what three steps you need to take and take the first one.
  1. Tell people!  Once you’ve got your perfectly good reason lined up, use it to explain why you’re making this change. 
  1. Now you’ve jumpstarted you’re next big thing, don’t look back.  Focus on the future, keep your foot on the accelerator and do whatever it takes to redesign your life, knowing it all started with that one defining moment.

Have you ever had a ‘defining moment’ – something that changed your life forever?  Share it here on our Great Life Redesign Facebook page or in the comments below. I’d love to hear about it and who knows, you may inspire someone else to take that first step.

Carpe Diem
Caroline Cameron

 

YOU can be ‘The Voice’

using adversity to find your voice

Karise Eden shows how to convert adversity into success4.54 million viewers broke TV ratings records and tuned in on Monday night to watch 19 year old Karise Eden take out the coveted title of Australia’s inaugural ‘The Voice’.  While her amazing voice captured Australia’s attention, it’s her triumph over tragedy story that is truly inspiring.

As a state ward, estranged from her birth family, living in refuges, battling self-harm and agoraphobia she seemed destined to a hard life.  However, she also has a unique and powerful gift – a distinctive singing voice that now ‘discovered’, could set her on a road to what would have been unimaginable success a year ago.

Yes, it’s great television that must have delighted the 9 Network, but they couldn’t have manufactured Karise’s past that preceded The Voice experience, celebrity and fame she’s now enjoying.

Even if she doesn’t realise it yet, there are 3 keys that transformed Karise’s adversity into success:

1. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

While Karise may have felt she had little to lose, her fear during her first live audition was palpable. She had no formal singing training and was up against hundreds of other more experienced hopefuls.  With downcast eyes under the glare of bright lights, a studio audience and in the company of famous celebrities, she gripped the microphone, opened her mouth and started to sing.

Sometimes you just have to take a chance and all it takes is courage!  Even when there are no guarantees of success, allowing a vision of what’s possible to drown out the fear will propel you forward.  Take the first step and ‘go for it’.

2. Convert the Pain into Power

The genuine raw emotion in her voice helped Karise connect with so many people.  Thousands of viewer votes came from those who not only appreciate her unique sound but also connect with and relate to her painful past.

When you’ve been through tough times and are coming out the other side, it’s tempting to ‘put the past behind you’ and ‘move on’.  Whilst useful, it’s far more powerful to harness the pain and use it constructively.  Using pain constructively places the past in context by turning a negative into a positive – something good can come from anything. The bonus this brings is richer talent, greater insight, wisdom and perspective.

What have you learnt from a painful past experience and how can you use it in a positive way to make your unique difference?

3. Find People who Believe in You (even when you don’t believe in yourself)

When the opportunity to audition for The Voice arose, self-doubt and fear of criticism would have been constant for Karise.  It seemed as though everyone could see her talent and potential, except Karise herself.  Her foster Aunty Marian and Uncle Frank accompanied her to the blind auditions and all four celebrity coaches turned their chairs around.  Seal took on the coaching challenge which seemed more about helping her believe in herself and step into her ability than refining her technique.

A dedicated support team will stop you from running the other way when it seems too hard and overwhelming.  They’ll back you against the odds and hold unshakeable faith in your ability until you believe in it yourself.

So, who’s on your support team and who do you need by your side to achieve success?

Every one of the 4 finalists in The Voice overcame the odds to be there and all would have been worthy winners.  Like each of them, you too have an amazing talent and you owe it to the world to step up and share it. 

The Great Life Redesign tells the stories of others who have converted a passion or adversity into an opportunity.  Your dream doesn’t have to include fame and notoriety and may be more about living your passion through being yourself.

If you’re wondering what your talent or purpose may be, your ‘voice’ might just lie in the adversity you’ve overcome. Go on, revisit your past, extract the gems, leave the pain behind and hatch a plan to be heard.

Carpe diem

Caroline Cameron

 

The Easy Way to Beat Procrastination, Banish Excuses and Live Your Dream

A simple, no cost way to ‘bite the bullet’

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single stepHave you ever noticed how easy it is to err on the side of caution?  Major life redesigns often come weighed down with endless research, heavy decisions and bucket loads of fear.  Before long, you’re over-thinking your idea, losing sleep and worrying about everything that could go wrong.

While caution is admirable and keeps us from making rash decisions, it’s often fuelled by procrastination and excuses.  We quickly come up with a thousand reasons not to make the change rather than focusing on the one really good reason to do it!

Here’s what I often hear from those contemplating changing jobs, finishing a long relationship, beginning a new one, moving to a new location, traveling the world or simply starting a project that will realize a dream:

  • I can’t afford it…
  • We have to wait until…
  • What if something terrible happens…
  • What if it fails…
  • I don’t have time…
  • I don’t know how…
  • I’m too old/not old enough…
  • I’d feel guilty if I …

If any of these strike a chord, don’t despair!  You can get moving right now and feel the freedom and fulfillment of achieving your goal.  Here’s the quick fix:

7 Simple Steps to Stop Procrastinating and Get Moving

  1. Take the first step

Overwhelm is often the very thing that stops change dead in its tracks.  Acknowledge that ‘eating the whole elephant in a single bite’ is a sure-fire way to fail and simply take one step.  What’s the one thing you can do right now that will bring you closer to your goal?

  1. Pick up the phone

Lack of knowledge, information and resources will halt progress on the smallest of goals.  It’s so easy to crawl around the internet for hours and still be none the wiser.  Decide what you need to know and pick up the phone to someone who can help you.  If they can’t, they’ll probably know someone who can.

  1. Choose what not to do

Whilst ‘fluffing’ (filling your days with lots of insignificant tasks) creates an air of importance and busyness, it also provides a smokescreen of avoidance.  Major life changes require time to think, as well as create and do.  What could you stop doing right now to free up your time and headspace?

  1. Set a procrastination time limit

This tip came from a friend who noticed my occasional writer’s block frustration whilst writing The Great Life Redesign.  In spite of the publisher’s looming manuscript completion deadline, whenever I got ‘stuck’ on a particular chapter, I distracted myself by doing other seemingly important things.

“Oh,” she said, “that’s easy! Set yourself a procrastination time limit.”  Sure enough, I set the microwave timer, revelled in the delicious, guilt free bliss of doing nothing and as soon as the buzzer went off, got straight back to work.

  1. Engage a buddy

It’s too easy to back away from a big dream or important goal when you haven’t told anyone about it.  Amongst your friends and family, who’s the one person who will support you best – encouraging you through the challenges and celebrating your achievements?

Tell them what you’re doing and ask them to help you hold yourself accountable by checking in regularly.  Offer to help them achieve an important goal and double the success as you both get the important things done more quickly and easily.

  1. Dump the guilt and regret

Guilt and regret are the most wasted and futile of emotions that serve little purpose beyond making you feel bad.  Both are often driven by something you did or didn’t do in the past.  Given that the past is gone and you can’t change it, let them go.  Honor the reasons they existed by learning from them and do things differently moving forward.

  1. Call on your secret weapons – Courage, Commitment and Faith

Free of regret and guilt, you now have space to fill with the powerful inner resources that make good things happen. Think of a time they’ve come to your aid in the past and call on them again.

Access Courage to face your fears; draw on unshakeable Commitment to do whatever it takes and have Faith that it will all work out exactly as it’s meant to.  (The Great Life Redesign explains ‘inner resources’and other essential tools to pack in your Thrival Kit).

Tthere are plenty of other great ways to get moving and it’s often the smallest changes that make the biggest difference. What are your best tips for beating procrastination?

Carpe Diem
Caroline Cameron