Getting ready…for exams

When I started my psychology course in the Autumn I chatted with my tutor saying how I had been putting off  beginning my course for one reason or another. After sharing for a while I soon realised that this was not the case as my work and life experiences had been preparing me to a certain degree to be in the right frame of mind, and, be better equipped to respond to what would be required of me.

I had great momentum going throughout the course returning each lesson promptly and starting reading and research for the next whilst my tutors marked my latest offerings. Then…suddenly the past few months when I should have been starting my exam I seem to have been distracted and whilst there is no time restraint (aside of those I impose) I feel I am starting it later than I intended.

The sunshine of the past few days and the welcoming blue sky brings us all out of the winter blues which I know a lot of my colleagues have found to be never-ending this year. I am now sitting in the garden re-visiting one of my reflective reading books and ready to resume my studies and face my exam. Maybe it is partly down to the fact that I will be invigilating exams the coming months and the student in me is coming back.

I am mindful that as I write my blog students all over the country are also starting to revise for exams. I will of course start to post blogs about exam stress…or should I say how to avoid it very shortly but for now here are a few quotes from ‘The things you can see only when you slow down’ by Haemin Sumin.

‘Wear confidence, It is the height of fashion’

and

‘Love, not righteous words, can change people’s lives’

 

 

 

Business housekeeping

Anyone that works freelance knows that finding time for business housekeeping can be difficult. So busy looking for new ventures, one’s accounts and websites get neglected. I put my hand up that even having spent many years working in business development and marketing it is far easier to promote others than one’s self.

I love writing other people’s CV and mine today is looking rather sad and was not a true reflection of what I have actually been doing the past few years. I am an old fashioned girl and still believe it’s the covering letter that gets you noticed. Many colleagues have been groaning to me recently about the online approach to job seeking where just uploading a CV may leave some of us at a disadvantage.  I am told a faceless agent is sifting through hundreds and it’s a secret what they are looking for and weeks go past without any contact. I am sure we are not alone in feeling this way.

To be honest most of my best projects have come from personal recommendation and in between…yes that’s right I get on with the business housekeeping. Yesterday the dreaded accounts and today I’m tweaking the websites… the months disappear and like me the websites are in need of a revamp and a serious update!!

To those followers who have already commented on my kissing blog posted earlier –  a huge thank you for confirming I am not always talking to myself though I am mindful some days I am!

The loss of a great mind

I hardly dare write my blog today in honour of the great Stephen Hawking an inspirational man not just in terms of his great scientific mind but his amazing personal journey and fight against motor neurone disease.

As a non-science girl I believe he made science accessible, interesting and inspiring to everyone. He attended the great St Albans School where for many years they have had their own Stephen Hawking’s Society through which his works have encouraged many an inquisitive young mind, and, will continue to do so.

My title for today’s blog is of course a contradiction in terms as we haven’t completely lost a great mind as he leaves such a fascinating legacy. Our generation have been fortunate to have had him as a brilliant mind challenging the way we thought about the universe and its secrets.

All forms of media will be recording his many thought provoking quotes today -following taken from an interview on Radio 4 with John Humphreys:-

‘If we discovered the complete set of laws, and understood why the universe existed, we would be in the position of God. We are making progress towards that goal, but we still have some way to go.’

 

International Women’s Day

Today I started celebrating International Women’s Day by having a ladies breakfast at the Waffle House with two of my favourite women. I am extremely fortunate in having known and worked with with some amazing women in my life many of whom have been great mentors.

I look on with pride at the younger generation of females who are so confident, sassy and non-judgemental and who have ambitions and the energy to follow their dreams. Spurred on by positive supportive mothers and great role models in other female family members and successful friends no challenge is insurmountable.

As a mother of a daughter for many reasons I realise the world can be both a cruel place and one of great opportunity and for those wanting to take the plunge and make something good of their lives…it will happen.

Last year I attended a great women’s conference where a speaker suggested that world leaders and heads of large corporates should adopt the many positive female traits of compassion, empathy, caring and sensitivity to work towards world peace and fairer and more honest business practices.

Here’s to being a women with the world at our feet.

 

Empathy and confidence

It is no secret that one can learn empathy but nothing beats having walked in another’s shoes to really know how they feel. Even the most confident person has experienced times in their life when experiences have left them feeling isolated and possibly insecure. It takes great courage to fight the natural instinct of flight and stay and fight.

However, as one gets older and reflects back on those conflict situations we would rather not have encountered we realise that they were all indeed character building. I often say to those in need of positive input and support that no experience is a waste and it is true that it is not what happens in our lives but how we handle it.

I am mindful what works for one person will not work for another as we are all different but we all have to move forward and grow in our own way and try to be the best we can. As my great mentor used to say ‘worrying about things won’t change them’ and that is sound advice.

My years spent in marketing and sales it was a case of every complaint is an opportunity and when things are tough in life it can be just the opportunity we need to make that change in our lives we are struggling to avoid making.

Seize the day and live one day at a time…as in reality that is all any of us can do. Remain curious and take that adventure as it is offered.

 

 

Fighting our fears

Fighting our personal fears is a daunting prospect, but those fears may be holding us back from realising our dreams and even living a normal life. I have just watched the emotive ‘School for Stammerers‘ on ITV. What an amazing, sad yet hopeful documentary showing the journey of a group of mixed aged stammerers attending a course to help them control their speech problems.

As with many things in life the psychological impact runs deep and expressed in the show as being 90% fear for those with a stammer. It revealed how those suffering build up barriers preventing them from leading normal lives.

The course was a huge success with one thirteen year old boy saying ‘The course changed my life as I am free.‘ Being able to control their stammer all participants gained new lives,  were far more confident and with some being able to secure their personal and professional dreams. Whereas prior to the course even saying their own names was a real emotional struggle.

This is one well worth watching but be warned it will need the tissue box handy.

Looking for the best

I am a great believer in giving the other guy the benefit of the doubt and trying to look for the best, but appreciate that with some individuals this is not so easy.

As a child I remember my mother asking us to even make allowances for the bullies as after all they were basically unhappy children.  Some truth in that of course and my regular followers know that anti-bullying is a subject of frequent posts.

In life it is often about changing our own attitudes which makes us stronger.

To quote Mahatma Ghandi:-

‘Before we expect to see our desired qualities in others, we should assimilate them in ouselves. We are all wonderful and extremely beautiful from the inside and the more we see the same thing in others, we shall get the same in return.’

Even in business this is true and from an early age I was encouraged to ‘kill customers with kindness‘ backed up by great training films featuring John Cleese on how not to treat them!

Keep smiling.

Dementia awareness

It has been my privilege to work within the field of dementia and follow on-going research into this particular challenge that so many families are facing on a day to day basis.

As with any medical condition research is vital and the Bio Medical Research Centre at UCLH London support training and resources for research including dementia. Please read their excellent interview with Jonathan Schott on their website link follows:-

http://www.uclhospitals.brc.nihr.ac.uk/news/world-alzheimer%E2%80%99s-month-qa-dr-jonathan-schott

 

image001 research logo

 

Positive Monday

Mondays can be a bit of a drag some weeks even for the most positive soul. But isn’t it great when the week starts off with positive news? Over the past months I have had the privilege of helping a few friends, family and clients with keeping motivated after interviews have been non-productive.

Often the reasons we don’t get that brilliant job we felt we were made for are nothing whatsoever to do with us, our skills, or how we performed on interview…and sometimes it is because something better is out there with our name on it.

However, getting back on the job-seeking horse can be daunting when our self-esteem has taken a knocking, and would-be-employers or agents saying ‘you were over qualified’ is just simply unhelpful.

Sometimes we just have to be patient and that great opportunity will come along and have our name on it and all is perfect in the world. So for one talented young man, who may read my blog today well done…I am almost as thrilled as you.

As for me; well I had a surprisingly high mark on my first assignment on my  latest course. The first one is always the hardest… getting back into the swing of studying and trying to gauge whether one has ‘done enough’ to please the tutors is often daunting. We are never too old to accept positive feedback nor be excited to receive a great mark!

I am now in an excellent place, to a) start assignment number two and b) see what Tuesday holds.