Friday, 26 February 2016

...What's the meaning? What's the meaning of life?...

I never realised how much I see my life in terms of the music that I love, until I looked back at some of my old posts. The title of this week's piece is from a Soul II Soul 90's classic and it just seemed so appropriate at this time. It's still quite early in the new year and people are still trying to work out what they are about this year. Do I continue on the path I set sometime back or do I forge a new path? What do I stand for? What should I be doing with my life? are just some of the questions I hear people asking.  I came across a phrase earlier last week, that made me stop and go "hmmm". I'd like to share it with you and hear what you think, so be sure to carry on the conversation by commenting.

"Money never replaces purpose" is the phrase. When I first heard it, my first instinct was to rephrase it to say "money should never replace purpose" or "money can never replace purpose". The thing is though, that no matter how it's phrased, it is deep. I'm sure we all know at least one person who is working a 9-5 gig that is not satisfying in any way and certainly doesn't inspire them. I think of the people I know who are living with a dream deferred, planning to start their real life, sometime in the future and I think what a waste!  Lest you think I am judging them (I can assure you I'm not), I understand that there is a reality that people are dealing with. There's rent to be paid and bills to be settled. When you think of it like that, you can understand why people are not living "in purpose" (forgive the grammar). So, I can hear some of you asking: what do we do when we know we are not living our lives in purpose? I don't pretend to have a perfect answer but the next point is my attempt at answering that question.

"Find your calling, what you were created to do". I realise that this is a theme that I keep returning to but it's so important that it bears constant repeating. Life is so short, that to never discover your purpose is like being given a beautiful present that you don't unwrap. Even if we're not flowing in our calling, most of us know what it is. We know that thing that makes us feel so alive that we lose track of time. The issue is that most of us take an 'all or nothing' approach. We decide that if we can't earn a living from our passion then we won't engage with it all. I think that shortchanges us. My suggestion? Find a way to express your calling, no matter how small. Volunteer; start a group, write a blog. Whatever it is, your gift is too important to keep to yourself. It may start as a side gig and remain a side gig. It may turn into your main gig. The important thing is to share your gift. However it turns out, your life can only be enriched by using your gift.
Lastly, "the purpose of a thing determines it's form". A teapot is meant to hold and pour tea. That's why it has a spout and a handle. Imagine if it had 2 handles instead of a spout? With the best will in the world it could never fulfill its purpose.  That's exactly how it is with us. We are uniquely designed and put together to fulfill our purpose. No two of us are alike and there's a reason for that. We are meant to birth our dreams in our own unique way. What happens to a lot of us is that we try to emulate other people, ignoring our wiring and our passion. All that leads to is a lot of frustration as teapots try to act like buckets. They both hold liquid, but their form is different because they have a different purpose!  When I spoke about my life's journey to a group of young people, someone told me that "all who wander are not lost". I have tried my hand at a few different things in my life and whilst I have enjoyed my journey along the way, working as a coach feels like I've finally come home to myself.  There is a peace and contentment on the inside of me that I have found the place where I can be completely and authentically myself.  Who knew that all the things I thought made me weird are the exact things I need to be a good coach?

So, enough about me. It's over to you now. Do you think that money never replaces purpose? Are you living your life in purpose? What's stopping you from pursuing your calling? Are you embracing your uniqueness and how it helps you to live out your purpose? I hope I've given you some food for thought. If you'd like some help answering any of these questions, contact us on +234 706 335 0864 or through the website.

As I said earlier, I'd really love to hear from you, so let's keep the conversation going through your comments.

Until next time, go well.

Saturday, 6 February 2016's good to talk...

As much as I love a great tv show, I like a good advert too. The best ones make you laugh or cry or just think a bit more about whatever it is they are advertising. I have a particular soft spot for M&S ones and definitely the John Lewis Christmas ones.  The title of this week's post is taken from a series of 1980 BT adverts, fronted by Bob Hoskins. For those of you who know me well, you know I love a good talk or 2 or 3 or 4 even! You might even say that as a coach I have found my true calling- talking to a captive audience (more about that later!) This week I'd like to share 3 reasons why I think it's good to talk. Many thanks to Tara Mohr for this week's inspiration.

Firstly, talking can help us to clarify an issue that we are struggling with.  I don't know about you, but sometimes I have to talk, just to stop the thoughts running round in my head, with nowhere to go. I know it's an odd image, but when I talk in those circumstances, it feels like I'm hanging laundry outside to dry. There's something about seeing my thoughts as laundry being aired that just helps me to see things more clearly.  What I'm thinking, what I'm feeling, seem that much sharper after talking about them.

Secondly, talking about a challenging situation can help us to resolve it. Sometimes the act of talking brings a fresh perspective. Other times it helps you to crystallise the situation and the solution in your mind. At other times, talking helps you to put the situation into context. Whatever it does, the important point is that vocalising a problem is often the first step in dealing with it.

Lastly, talking, especially to someone else can help you learn valuable life lessons from challenging situations.  The truth is that we never grow in our comfort zones. However, I don't know many people who venture out of their comfort zone looking for a problem to help them grow. That's where challenging situations come in handy. They come along, kick us out of our comfy armchair and if we let them, they teach us some really important things. Instead of fretting about the challenging circumstances in our lives, how about purposefully talking to someone about them- with a view to seeing what they have come to teach us? I'm convinced that there's a little bit of alchemy involved in turning something that you thought was going to ruin you, into a life lesson that moves you to another level in your life.

So, back to me and my captive audience...just kidding. Talking is just one part of coaching. The other important components are listening, asking the right questions and giving useful feedback are the other parts. All of these things work together to help you identify the solutions you already have on the inside of you.

As I end, I ask you a couple of questions: do you have an issue you need to get clarity on? Are you trying to deal with a challenging situation? Or are you struggling to see the life lesson in a trying situation? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then why not schedule a coaching session with us? The first session is complimentary and there's no obligation to buy. Contact us on 0706 335 0864 or through the website and book your session.

Until next time, go well.