Archive for Life Redesign – Page 3

B is for BREAK FREE!

B

The most exciting option for opening new doors

Decide what’s within your control and change what’s not working.

Break Free takes the most effort but reaps the greatest reward.

 

Breaking Free to do what you really want is simpler than you think.  The Great Life Redesign will show you how.

Carpe diem

Caroline Cameron

A is for ATTITUDE & ACTION

A - Z of Life Redesign

If your attitude sucks, so will your results!

What you believe is totally true, 100% of the time so choose your attitude carefully.

Taking action is the only way to make change happen.

Want to dig deeper and find out more? Grab a copy of The Great Life Redesign.

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

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

 

The Workstation Warrior’s Guide to Freedom

Had a bad day at the office?

The Workstation Warrior's Guide to FreedomAs a child, when someone asked you “What do you want to do when you grow up?”, it’s unlikely you would have said, “Oh, I’d love to spend my days in a small, beige laminate 3 x 3 space with my very own lockable cabinet.”

Yet many of us do and regardless of whether you’re doing a job you enjoy or not, your work space has the power to suck the very life out of you! Arriving early, you boot up your computer and wander round to the kitchen to let your sandwich hang out in the fridge with mouldy lunches long forgotten.

By the time you’ve trawled through the sea of red emails crowding your inbox (that appeared seemingly out of nowhere overnight), it’s time for a heart starter coffee.

Grabbing your regular coffee buddy you make your way to the usual cafe. While your skinny latte’s making its way into a polystyrene cup, you shoot the breeze with the other workstation warriors you see most mornings.

Back at your cubicle, you try to get your head into that report you’ve been writing for days. Just as you’re starting to make progress, it’s time for an important meeting. (Oh joy, another hour of your life to be wasted in a windowless meeting room, listening to endless discussions about who knows what.) You look interested whilst pondering how to make it across the road to your next back to back meeting on time.

After downing your lunch at your beloved workstation and catching up on the latest online news or Facebook goss, it’s time to do battle with those now even more out of control emails. (Doesn’t anyone pick up the phone or get off their bottom and come round to talk anymore?) By 2pm it feels like you’ve spent more time looking for things than getting them done.

An urgent request to prepare slides for your boss’ presentation to the board tomorrow suddenly shoves everything else onto the backburner. Yes, it was scheduled 3 weeks ago, but for some reason it slipped his mind and now it’s up to you to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat. And if he could have the preso by 5pm so he’s got time to read it over, that would be great thanks.

By the time you head out the door to battle the peak hour traffic, you’re exhausted.  You’re racing to pick up the children and you’ve no idea what’s for dinner! Somehow none of this was part of the plan when you started your career and surely there’s more to life…

Sound familiar? Read on!

These Workplace Warrior Survival Tips will make life bearable while you hatch your freedom plan.

#1. Take Control of Your Space

Make time to clean up your workstation and ruthlessly biff anything you no longer need. Keeping your physical space uncluttered goes a long way to regaining your overall sense of control and freedom.  Within the boundaries of your work place, personalise your workstation or desktop with images that inspire, amuse and motivate you.

#2. Schedule Self Appointments for the Important Stuff

Given how much our workdays are dictated by electronic calendar invites, I’m constantly surprised how few people book an appointment with themselves to get the real work done.  Block out Real Work Time, get your head down and instantly feel more fulfilled by what you are able to get done.  If you need to work uninterrupted, book a meeting room or work from home, disappear and focus on the task at hand.

#3. Decide what Meetings You Really Must Attend

The ‘need to be needed’ and ‘in the know’ drives many people to attend meetings they can neither learn from nor contribute anything meaningful to.  If the meeting invite doesn’t state a clear purpose nor included an outcome oriented agenda, politely decline and reclaim productive hours back into your week.  If the outcome of the meeting you declined is important, you’ll find out about it one way or another.

#4 . Get Out at Lunchtime

The work will always be there and heroically downing your sandwich with one hand whilst answering emails with the other, won’t get it done any quicker. Research shows that those who clear their heads with a brisk walk or go for a run during their lunch break, are significantly more productive in the afternoon. Use the headspace time to regroup or decide what you’re going to cook for dinner!

#5. Plan Your Great Escape

If your current job isn’t remotely linked to what you really want to do, it’s time for a change. Decide what your dream work looks, sounds and feels like.  Find out what it involves and research the options. Create a plan to bridge the gap between now and your ideal future. (The Great Life Redesign provides a simple blueprint to make this easy).

#6. Change How You Look at Things

Once your Great Life Redesign vision and plan are crystal clear, the work you’re doing now becomes your ticket to freedom! Having clearly decided your future, your current role becomes a necessary, temporary transition job, rather than your life’s work. When each day is deliberately bringing you a step closer to your dream, today’s job takes on a whole new meaning.

Better still, when you’ve packed your Thrival Kit with resilience, perspective, courage and success, each day becomes noticeably easier.

Life’s too short to be chained to a workstation merely marking time to pay the bills.  Focus on what you really want, play to your strengths by doing more of what you love and do well.

Plan your escape and enjoy each day as it comes.

Do you have a favourite workplace survival tip that gives you more freedom?  If so, please share, I’d love to hear it.

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

 

Discovering the Delicious Delights of ‘Slow’

What happens when you unwittingly stop and smell the roses?

Discovering the Delicious Delights of SlowMy father never really seemed to sit still for long.  Even on holidays there were always things to do and places to see.

Not surprisingly, the classic Type A, high achiever mould fitted me like a glove. This conditioning was even more deeply ingrained as I pounded the corporate treadmill, juggling single parenthood, peak hour traffic and never enough hours in the day.

A good day was one where I ‘got lots done’, preferably ahead of relentless deadlines, until recently…

As a big fan of the ‘brisk daily walk’ it came as a sad realisation that Sherry, my 17 year old Soft Coated Wheaten was struggling to keep up.

From puppyhood to middle-age she’d always possessed way more energy than me and was still raring to go, long after I’d collapsed in an exhausted heap!

Our daily goal used to be to knock minutes or even seconds off the walk and get home quickly, a challenge she relished as much as me.

Gradually, over the last six months, my beautiful Sherry has been forced to slow down.  Now showing all the signs of doggie dementia (a bit like the ‘7 signs of ageing’), she’s very deaf, nearly blind and increasingly forgets to tell me when she needs to go out!

Yet she’s still happy following me around, tail wagging as she waits patiently near the coat rack to have her leader put on.

But the cold, damp morning that greeted us as we ventured out this morning, seeped into her old joints, rendering us virtually stationary as we pottered around our neighbourhood.

Our excruciatingly slow pace reminded me of a childhood game called Dolly Steps where rather than rushing to the finish line, the aim was to take tiny… slow… short-strided steps.

If you stopped completely, you were ‘out’ and the winner was the last to arrive. As an eager 7 year old, it was a game that infuriated me and seemed rather futile.

Yet rather than being infuriated, our enforced slowness has uncoverd delights I’ve never noticed before.

First we stopped to watch a pink, wriggling worm inch slowly across the footpath. Given the distance such a small creature had to travel, I have a new found respect for its focus and determination to reach its destination, no matter how far away it must have seemed.

A little further along I noticed that one of my neighbours had planted some new and colourful shrubs in his front garden. He was about to hop in his car to go to work. Waiting for Sherry to catch up, I called out, “Your garden looks great!”

He smiled in acknowledgement and wandered over to tell me what he’d planted. We’d never had time to stop and chat before.

Seemingly out of nowhere, I heard a cacophony of birds competing to see who had the best call. Their chorus rang out over the street as if they were making some important announcement.

I stopped to listen, identified at least 5 different birdsongs and realised I’d never really taken any notice of them before.

Rounding the corner, a bunch of tradesmen were ready to start their day’s work on a new build.

Although I’d noticed the old house being demolished and the block cleared some months before, we usually hurry past to avoid the trucks, vans and muddy footpath.

Today we stopped for a chat with a couple of plumbers, leaning on their shovels, drinking coffee, waiting for their foreman to arrive.

They bemoaned the soaking rain that had held them up for the last week and yet, when they leaned down to pat Sherry’s soft head, their weather beaten faces softened into a smile.  “She’s pretty good for an old dog.  We notice you going past every day no matter what the weather and reckon that’s what keeps her going,” said the older of the two.

Sensing that we’re on the ‘home stretch’, Sherry’s pace picked up to a trot and as we turned into our drive she abruptly stopped.

An irresistable smell near the letterbox grabbed her attention and she was determined to investigate. Looking down I noticed an envelope wedged between the letterbox and a thick shrub next to it. Disappointingly for Sherry, it wasn’t full of dog treats, but I wonder if I’d even have seen it on my usual mail box dash.

Spring bulbs are peeping through in the front garden and while Sherry sniffed and pottered, I wandered around pulling out a few stray weeds, marveling at how the number of bulbs have doubled with no help from me.

Our daily walks used to take us 15 minutes – today it had taken nearly 40 and I didn’t begrudge a single one of them. I’ve lived in this street for 14 years and yet today the deliciousness of going slow brought a raft of new delights and a calming sense of peace.

Curiously, I’ve achieved a lot this morning at work, even though I’d been late getting started.

Who knew that ‘going slow’ could actually increase productivity!

Have you ever consciously slowed down?  If so, what did you notice that in the usual mad rush of life, you’d not otherwise have experienced?

Leave a comment below about the ‘delicious delights’ of going slow you’ve discovered.

After all, the moral of this story could be, ‘don’t wait until you’re old to slow down – you never know what you might be missing.’

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