Tag Archives: Stephen Covey

The healing power of scones

photo-3I am typing this from a guesthouse in Dublin. Next to me is a silver pot of coffee and a scone with jam that Sara, the lovely Spanish girl behind reception, has just brought up – I didn’t even ask for it, she just said that she thought I might like something to help me get on with my work.

Last night her colleague, Rhona, caught me coming up the stairs and asked me if I’d like a snack. ‘What kind of snack?’ I asked. ‘Well, I just made French toast for a fella and he’s still standing,’ she said.

I asked for a cheese toastie and it was delivered to my room, with a pot of tea and a plate of custard creams. I ate this feast on my bouncy bed while watching a Sandra Bullock movie. I fell asleep just after 10pm and didn’t wake till gone 9am this morning.

If there is a heaven I think this might be it.

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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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A rough couple of weeks

I’m very sorry for the radio silence for the last ten days. I put up a post last weekend but it was too full on and raw and so I took it down again. It’s a funny old balance to get – being honest and real but also protecting yourself and your family too.

So this is a slightly less full on version of what’s been happening.

In many ways the last two weeks have been brilliant. The blog got a huge write up in the Irish Independent (thank you Leslieann and Yvonne) and as a result I was interviewed on three different Irish radio stations.

It was funny to see what they honed in on. The big main station, RTE2, seemed most interested in me chatting up the Greek and were a bit gutted that it didn’t end in love (‘if it were Hollywood you’d have married him!’ said the interviewer, a guy from Westlife. Tell me about it! ) Another one was very interested in me being naked (‘Hold on, we have Hugh Hefner on the line for you…’) and the final one seemed concerned for my wellbeing: ‘Sure, was your life so bad that you had to take such drastic action as this?’

Good question, really.

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I’m in an epically bad mood

God, I’m in a bad mood. A really really bad mood. Nothing’s right, everything’s wrong and I’m FURIOUS for no good reason. Right now, I’m venting all my anger at my poor keyboard. I’m positively attacking it with my fingers. And the funniest thing of all is that I’m angrily attacking my keyboard while writing a piece about how to be happy for a magazine. Ha bl**dy Ha!!

Here’s the list of my pathetic first world woes:

1) I got some virus on my computer which means that my search engines have gone weird and I keep getting pop up ads and then the internet keeps crashing. I’ve also lost some of the apps on my computer, including one called Things which keeps my master to-do list.  It’s the repository for every one of my ideas, thoughts and plans. Such as they are.

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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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30 DAY CHALLENGE STARTS 1ST NOVEMBER! JOIN US!

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Yay! I am very excited to have so many people joining in the 30 day challenge.  We can be VERY VERY HIGHLY EFFECTIVE TOGETHER. It’s great to have the company, thank you.

Let’s say that we properly start on Saturday 1st November and end on Sunday 30th November.

I will post tiny messages every day to confirm that I’ve carried out my commitments for the day which are:

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30 DAY CHALLENGE – STOP BEING A DRUNKEN COUCH POTATO

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About three years ago I signed up to a very intense gym challenge with a friend.

For six weeks I went to the gym five times a week to lift weight, do squats and weird things called burpees with a personal trainer.

I had never done anything like it before. It was a total shock to the system. It was a classic case of hurting in places I didn’t know it was possible to hurt.

To add to this pain we also had to cut out carbs, sugar and BOOZE for the duration. All my major food groups, gone! My body didn’t know what the hell was happening to it.

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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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