Tag Archives: self-help

A reality check

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 12.12.00I’ve just been reading about the migrant shipwreck which has killed hundreds of African and Bangladeshi migrants trying to escape war and poverty.

In today’s paper rescuers describe a ‘cemetery in the sea’, while yesterday one of the survivors told how hundreds perished because they were locked up below deck ‘like rats in a cage’.

It’s hellish. Whatever your views on immigration, what happened to those people – fellow human beings – is hellish. And heartbreaking.

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I’m a high value woman. And I don’t mean I charge by the hour

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 12.57.11Last night I was supposed to have a date with Alistair, the Scottish guy who works for the NHS.

His profile said that he ‘liked to make sweeping assumptions about people based on their profile pics’. He guessed that I was Irish, liked swing dancing and vintage clothes. I guessed that he was Scottish.

We were messaging last week and he made me giggle. It was easy.

He asked if I wanted to meet up. I said yes. We agreed on this Wednesday night. He told me that he’d been in touch this week to arrange.

This Tuesday night, around 11pm, I was going to bed and still hadn’t heard from him. It was annoying. Pride meant I didn’t want to be the one to message him first but also, I wanted to know if it was still happening so I could make other plans if it wasn’t.

So I messaged him: ‘Hello Alistair, how are you? Just wondering if we’re still on for tomorrow night?’

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Life is a Rollercoaster, to quote Ronan Keating.

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 12.45.49Oh dear, well that last post caused a bit of a reaction. My sister thinks I need medical help. She reckons I’m too up and down – one day I’m high as a kite and the next I’m in the depths of despair – and that it’s not healthy. Friends are worried too. On Friday I got a lot of concerned messages: ‘Are you OK? I’m here if you need to talk.’

I’m obviously coming off even nuttier than I realise.

It’s a bit embarrassing really but what can I do? I’m just trying to articulate my feelings honestly – including the bad ones – but I fear a picture is developing of my mental health and it ain’t pretty. More Jackson Pollock than a Vogue photo shoot.

It’s probably clearer to you than it is to me, just how much my mood goes up and down. One minute I’m crying with the beauty of squirrels the next I’m crying over decades old family crap. This is partly down to the intensity of what I’m doing this year but also, it is my natural tendency.

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I’m on the cover of the Irish Independent magazine!

Thank you VERY much to the Irish Independent magazine for running a big TWO page feature on the blog. Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah.

And here’s me in my blue frock. ON THE COVER. Did I mention it was ON THE COVER???!!

Click here to read the article…. Only if you want to, of course.

No doubt normal semi-miserable service will resume tomorrow… but for now I’m excited and delighted. THANK YOU to my Leslieann Horgan and Yvonne Hogan who made it happen.

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How do you want to be remembered when you die?

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‘A skinny, pretty, billionaire philanthropist who had it all. Someone whose wit and warmth were as famous as her breathtaking beauty…’ that’s how my friend Sharon wants to be remembered she dies.

Joan Rivers aimed just as high with this quote: ‘One morning you’ll wake up and read a headline: Joan Rivers Found Dead…On George Clooney’s Face. Clooney Was So Bereft All He Could Say Was, “Xjfhfyrnem.”—’

More seriously, in her last ever interview, she said: ‘[Death is] inevitable. It’s no longer an abstract thing. It’s like, God, I’m in my eighties. Nobody, when I die, is going to say, “how young?” They’re going to say, she had a great ride.’

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Day 5 and 6 done – feeling sickeningly effective

A really quick one just to say that all good. Yesterday and today I did the full shebang – meditate, exercise, check bank balances (not good), planned my days (and stuck to plans), didn’t drink and all around got A LOT DONE. Seriously, this no-boozing business does wonders for my productivity. I feel like my brain has gone from this:

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Dreams do come true

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 14.24.01Every once in a while you meet someone who just radiates goodness and Charlotte Reed is one of those people.

I sat next to her at the lecture I went to this Saturday and within ten minutes she’d offered me half of her egg and cress sandwich. It was delicious. I admired her pink fluffy jumper and she told me I looked much younger than 37. I was smitten.

We got talking and it turns out that I’ve actually been following Charlotte on Facebook for months. She has a page called called ‘May the Thoughts Be with You: Ideas and Wisdom to Inspire Your Days‘ where she posts illustrations with inspiring messages on them. They make me smile every day.

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Habit One – Be Proactive (and stop the Poor Me stuff)

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I had to proactively read this chapter THREE times to get a handle on it. The language is so dense and full of ‘Principle Centred-Paradigms’ and ‘Character Ethics’, it’s near on impossible to read more than a paragraph without wanting a cigarette break. And I don’t even smoke.

But I’m not going to complain, oh no. That’s not what proactive people do.

So HABIT NUMBER ONE – BEING PROACTIVE.

Proactivity means that as human beings we are responsible for our own lives. Proactive people take initiative, they make things happen, they don’t blame anybody for their circumstances.

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The 37 habits of a highly ineffective person

Aristotle: ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’

Here is what I repeatedly do:

  • I drink too much
  • I eat too much
  • I complain that I’m putting on weight and am hungover and not getting any work done
  • I vow to change my ways
  • I don’t change my ways
  • I worry, analyse and go over and over things in my head.
  • I procrastinate
  • I check Facebook
  • I check my emails
  • I check Facebook again

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The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

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Right, OK. Here we go – it’s time to sit up straight and concentrate. We’re about to become HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE. Oh yes.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey (once described as the American Socrates) is one of those self-help classics (20 million copies sold in 38 languages) that most people know the name of but nobody has actually read. At least not past chapter one.

I’ve had this book for nearly ten years and have never got past the first few pages of the 300 page textbook – even though I’ve tried a couple of times. Every time I try my eyes just slip right off the page and into a deep meditation about what to eat for dinner. Or how spotty I am. Or whether I should sell some dresses on Ebay. It makes me the very opposite of Highly Effective.

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