Freedom

I had a flashback today. I was running by the sea, when I saw two small children run ahead from their parents with the most exhilarated look on their faces. It made me reflect on the following:

When we are little we dream about freedom. We dream about running ahead by ourselves in the street or to the sea’s edge; feeling the wind on our faces without having to hold on to Mum or Dad’s hand. We are not afraid of any consequences and we want to discover everything by ourselves.

Later, when this dream becomes reality, we turn it into a nightmare. We complain about everything, blaming other people, “my past” or “what I’m like”.

Running in the street or by the sea becomes a way to burn calories, while our accelerated minds don’t allow us to enjoy the hidden pleasure of finally being ‘free’…

Sunset-at-Sea

3 ways to make 2013 better than 2012

What I’m about to write is nothing new. It is all based on information I’ve read, been taught and experienced about emotional intelligence. I’m in the process of  helping Spanish people to look for jobs in the UK. Often what many lack is a decisiveness, a belief in themselves and the “get up and go” attitude that employees crave.  A company is an organization of people. The way those people see themselves, relate to each other, and to the company’s vision, is vital.  So, here are three tips I would give everyone to make this year better, unrelated to the economic climate:

1)   Think in positive. Focus on what you DO want and not what you don’t want. When we spend our time endlessly complaining about what we don’t like and don’t want, it’s usually what we get.  For example, instead of thinking “I hope I’m not unemployed for too long”, think “I REALLY want to get that job. I’ll get it, and if I don’t I’ll get a similar one soon”.

2)   Be creative. There is not one but infinite ways to get to where you want to be. Don’t get obsessed by the how and focus on the what. Take risks and have fun trying out different things. Focus on your eventual success rather than being weighed down by fear of failure. For example, if I want to become a clown, I could go to clown school, teach myself and practice at home, become an online clown, or just go out on the street dressed up as a clown and see what happens…The important thing is that I’d enjoy the process!

3)   Be decisive. Figure out what it is you really want and go for it. Do whatever you have to do to find out what that is, but don’t lose another second. It could be in any or in ALL areas of your life. Again, don’t worry abou the how, just focus on the what. Once you are moving towards those things you will feel an incredible motivation and inner strength that overcomes your lower moments. “But I don’t know what I want!!!” Start writing, go away somewhere, read, take an emotional intelligence course, close your eyes, breath, look deep within you… We all have dreams.

These tips are more powerful than they seem; have a go at applying them. You may be extremely surprised at what you find.

Perseverance

That warm and exciting feeling when Team GB wins a medal. That gasp of admiration as a person or team exceeds all expectations. That sigh of wonder as we appreciate the extreme difficulty of what’s occurred before our eyes…

Nevertheless, us ‘mortals’ cannot quite grasp exactly what it has taken the person or team to get there.

To be the best of the best requires not only talent, support and hard work, but an incredible psychological strength known as perseverance.

Perseverance is what I’ve lacked recently in keeping this blog up to date.

Perseverance is what many Spanish people lack when they say that learning English will always be their “asignatura pendiente” (pending subject).

Perseverance is what we all lack when we give up something we’ve begun.

So what is it really? Perseverance is like a blind faith in yourself and your desired outcome. It’s an optimistic vision, a risky investment, and above all a time-consuming habit.

Often, we may not see the results we crave for a long, long time.  We must then, turn our hard work into a routine; part of our daily lives.

“But I’m so busy!!” you cry.

This a question of priorities. What is really important to you? What are you truly prepared to sacrifice other things for?

There are only 24 hours in a day, and only so many things you can take on at once. You must choose.

Some of these are life choices, such as becoming an athlete. Usually parents make these decisions for their child, but at some point the child must choose.

Without clear priorities, perseverance is doomed. Without perseverance our goals and objectives are condemned.

I suggest that our priorities should be based on the things we love; the things that ultimately bring us pleasure, even if they occasionally bring us pain.

Do you really think that the Olympic competitors just like what they do? Or do you think it’s their absolute passion?

I believe that we should all find our passion and persevere. Not necessarily for the medals, money and fame, but for the simple, mere pleasure of doing it.

12 Daily Doses of Motivation

‘Motivation’ is a fashionable word at the moment. Like ‘empathy’ we use it without really thinking about what it means. There’s a gap between theory and practice. Motivation is universal but it’s also incredibly personal. What motivates you is what keeps you going, animado y con ganas – in all aspects of your life.

We can pursue motivation by manipulating our thoughts and actions. So, avoiding Maslow’s hierarchy and other studies, I would like to suggest 12 daily doses of motivation that work for me. Some of them are overlapping, and they are not in any order:

  1. Being creative – in my case, writing, singing or composing…
  2. Making a difference – Wow, what I’m doing actually matters!
  3. Making someone smile, laugh, happy, enlightened…. Subidón.
  4. Spending time with friends or family. Content feeling.
  5. Conversation with someone you admire. Admire has a multitude of meanings…
  6. Attention and recognition. We’re human.
  7. Physical activity. Energy!!!
  8. Tonterías and laughter. Endorphins to the max!
  9. Getting things done. List is ticked, objectives reached…
  10. Being entertained, inspired, learning.  Music, books, films, conversation etc
  11. Looking forward to something! Key to getting through duller moments.
  12. Doing something difficult. I DID it! I couldn’t before, or at least, I never tried..

What motivates you?

Gone Mad with the Wind.

Have you heard the ‘myth’ that the wind can drive you mad? The people who live in Tarifa are supposed to be crazy due to a constant wind known as ‘Levante’.

It hasn’t been scientifically proven. However, many people assert that the wind gives them a headache and makes them feel weak. Others claim it makes them feel angry and sad.

Close you eyes for a second and imagine what it must be like to have strong winds in your face every time you step outside.

I am doing that now and it reminds of those nasty, cold windy-rainy days in England when nature is the enemy and your only protection is a central-heated room…

Or those suffocating, hot summer days in Sevilla when your brain swims in the heat, and clarity is only found in an air-conditioned room.

You see, the concept of “Madness” is relative, and the ultimate question is: How far are our mental and emotional states affected by the weather?

I’m looking outside and I see the palm trees swaying drunkenly. I think I’ll stay inside. Not because of the dull, grey sky of course, but…perhaps I’d do something ‘crazy’?! 😉