We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.
- JK Rowling
Are you having a COVID-life crisis? Here’s how to use this transition time to reflect and set effective goals
The idea of a mid-life crisis isn’t news to anyone, even the idea of a quarter-life crisis is gaining acceptance in popular psychology. These both describe periods in our life where we face major transitions that coincide with deep insecurities about our identity, our self-confidence and the direction or quality of our lives. But do we need to be facing down a birthday to have a crisis?
The last few months have had an extraordinary impact on our way of life, for people of all ages. There have been moments of joy and connection, but also tremendous upheaval and stress, which may have led to a crisis of identity and direction for many of us....
Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.
The arts are filled with tales of happiness; composers, poets, artists, dancers, song-writers and story-tellers have been capturing the nuances of this positive emotion since the very dawn of our species. But what have the sciences had to say on the topic?
The scientific study of the positive aspects of the human experience has revealed that more than just making us feel good, positive emotions actually have tangible benefits to our physical health as well with those who report higher ratings of positive feelings also more likely to:
- have a stronger immune system;
- have a stronger heart and less risk of cardiovascular disease;
- have a reduced likelihood of experiencing a stroke;
- experience quicker recovery times when overcoming...
Sometimes people come into your life for a moment, a day, or a lifetime. It matters not the time they spent with you, but how they impacted your life in that time. - Unknown
If I asked you to picture a mentor, can you tell me what they look like? A wise greying gentleman like Mr Miyagi or Gandalf the Grey, or maybe a little more rugged like Robyn Williams in Good Will Hunting or real-life businessman Mark Bouris? Keen Disney fans might be screaming out examples like Yoda, Jiminy Cricket or Mary Poppins. History buffs might be thinking more along the lines of the original Mentor, who was a character in Homer’s epic The Odyssey that was actually Athena in disguise. But what about examples of mentors from your own life?
Many assume that mentors have to be older and more experienced, or that they are only relevant in occupational or educational settings (or for when those pesky trips to Mordor just so happen to pop-up). However, a mentor is any connection or person in your...
The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.
― Stephen R. Covey [Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.]
There are numerous ways we send and receive messages to each other; we text, we Snapchat, we post stories, we blog, we vlog, we share photos, we comment, we tweet and retweet, we click like and love, we post gifs and memes, we update our status and tell Facebook what’s on our mind, but are all these messages really communicating anymore?
Having a stranger begin following us on Instagram or request to connect with us on LinkedIn have become symbols of social influence, yet in real social situations the idea of engaging a stranger in a conversation has many of us shying away.
Real conversations offer a meeting of minds in a mutual search for meaning. They create a connection between people, not just a chance to be heard and understood, but to listen and understand in return. When people converse,...
The best solutions will be found through loving thoughts and perhaps a good cup of coffee.
- Jen Vondenbrink
Sometimes even the finest translators come up against words that defy translation. While we try our best, some translations can never quite match the significance and sentiment captured by a foreign culture. For instance, Google translate will tell you quite succinctly that fika is the Swedish translation of ‘have coffee’, but in truth this little four-letter word describes a ritual, an experience, an attitude and a state-of-mind that above all cherishes human connection.
Fika can happen anywhere or anytime, whether it be morning or night, at home, at work or in a café. It can be with co-workers, family, friends, or someone you are trying to get to know, and it’s something the Swedes believe should occur frequently throughout the day. While yes, having coffee is a big part of it, (usually along with some type of sweet pastry or baked goodie as...
A great relationship is about 2 things: First, appreciating the similarities and second, respecting the differences.
Whether it’s a new subject at school, learning the ins and outs of a new work program, or absorbing the latest headlines and updates for current affairs, most people understand that there are individual differences in the ways we learn and retain new information. Some people learn better through visual information, while others prefer written words, or using their hands and kinaesthetic learning styles. Knowing the language your brain speaks helps you better interact with the world around you and lead a more effective life. But what about the language your heart speaks?
In the early 90’s Dr Gary Chapman introduced us to The 5 Love Languages. His book has now sold over 12 million copies and the idea of understanding one’s love language has become ubiquitous in many relationships and romance discussions.
According to Dr...
These were the first few words that went through my mind when restrictions started to be put in place. From businesses being forced to work from home, all the way through to schools closing their doors. Our revenue for the foreseeable future had all but been lost.
However, my words were not directed towards my business, my first initial thoughts were for all of humanity - we’re all in big trouble here. The proposed restrictions brought with them exponential levels of social distancing and self-isolation. A cocktail of all the wrong ingredients and one that is going to leave us all with a terrible hangover.
It was with this realisation that I stumbled across the notion that perhaps my focus had shifted from where I started. You see, I entered the mental health and human connection space many years ago with an insatiable passion and drive to develop stronger connections between community members. I envisioned doing this by providing proactive...
“Leadership recognised is leadership created.”
-- Drew Dudley
Too often the idea of a ‘Leadership’ is confused with authority, with rank, and with being amongst the elite. So let’s set the record straight, right here right now. Leadership is not something you gain or that can be given to you. Leadership is earned by the actions you make, the connections you create, and the passions you inspire in others.
Great leaders help people change for the better.
Read that again. Great leaders help people change for the better. Did you notice there is no scale or volume mentioned? No minimum number of people, no minimum scope of change, and no limit to where this change needs to take place. Great leaders aren’t limited to existing only within the workplace or politics. You don’t have to be leading a battalion of soldiers, or be revolutionizing our civil liberties to possess leadership.
What it does mean is that great leaders help accomplish...
Taking care of myself doesn’t mean ‘me first’. It means ‘me too.’
- L.R. Knost
We wake up to daily tallies of those suffering with or succumbing to the symptoms of this spreading disease, and we’re there for our community, doing our part to help those who are vulnerable. We hear about the catastrophic economic fall-out, and we’re there for our friends as they share their financial fears now that they’ve lost their job. We hear the social outcry for the safety of our children in schools, and so we hold our little ones close and promise everything will be ok. Then we fall back into bed exhausted and emotionally drained, only to wake-up and do it all again tomorrow.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into yet another month, it is becoming clear that while the virus will impact the physical health of many of us, it will impact the mental health of all of us. Many of us are taking on roles to provide emotional...
"Ships don’t sink because of the water around them. They sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down."
Given the thousands of people who have recently been stood down or let go entirely from their jobs thanks to the economic effects of COVID-19, it can feel nearly impossible to not let what’s going on in the world weigh you down.
On top of the financial strain unemployment brings, many people find losing their job has a deeper impact on their sense of self. Work is often more than simply what they do; it becomes an intrinsic part of their self-worth. It represents not only their talents and abilities, but the value they provide to their family and society as a whole. Work provides a sense of purpose, and it provides a broader network of social contact.
So what do we do when it is taken away from us?
First of all, we grieve. Grieve the loss of the future we might...