Jacky Leonard's blog

Archive entries for: Dec-2011

Another door opens…

Categories:  Being on purpose

“When one door closes another door opens, but we often take so long looking regretfully at the closed door, that we miss entirely the newly opened door.”

Alexander Graham Bell

Well here we are again nearing the end of another year.  Where did 2011 go anyway?  I came across the quote on Facebook the other day and it struck me how good a metaphor it is for seeing out the old year and bringing in the new.

I’m not suggesting for one minute that you don’t look back…reflection is a good thing, particularly at this time of year…just not regretfully or in anger.  As the door closes on 2011 and opens on 2012 why not take the opportunity to look back on the year and learn some lessons from your actions, or possibly even your inactions and take a little time to consider the following 11 questions.  You may wish to focus on one particular area of your life, or take a helicopter view of your big picture.

Above all, be honest with yourself and decide how you will use this information to make a positive start when you walk through the newly opened door of 2012. 

1. What did I do that I’m most proud of this year?
2. What was the one thing I didn’t do that I wish I had?
3. What was the reason I didn’t do it?
4. What gave me the most pleasure or satisfaction in 2011?
5. What were the reasons I found most satisfaction in this/these areas?
6. Who did I really enjoy spending my time with in 2011?
7. What were the reasons I enjoyed being with them?
8. What one thing can I do to ensure this/these relationships continue to be positive?
9. What one thing will I do to improve communications with my clients/customers/friends/family in 2012?
10. What are the two most important things I learned, or re-learned in 2011?
11. How will I use what I learned this year to best affect?

How will these reflections affect your plans for your future and what are you going to do with this information now?

When the Dali Lama was asked what surprised him the most about humanity he answered,

"Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money in order to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die and then he dies having never really lived."

So let’s not dwell in the past, just learn from it…let’s not worry about the future, just make plans for it…let’s live in the present and truly enjoy it.  After all it’s called the ‘present’ because it’s a gift!

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a healthy and happy 2012.

From a reflective Jacky Leonard

Seemingly Impossible?

Categories:  Business Coaching

"It always seems impossible until it's done." 

I came across this quote from Nelson Mandela and it got me thinking about how important self belief is if you want to achieve anything.  There are many famous examples of achievements society believed impossible which were disproved by a 'lone ranger' or rangers!!  Those special individuals who weren't satisfied with the status quo and were prepared to step outside their comfort zones to be the first and make things happen, regardless of the personal consequences. 

And...as we're getting closer to the time when you (and I) will make heaps of promises (in the guise of New Year resolutions) and often see very few of them through to their conclusion I thought the topic of self belief would be worth a mention.

It's strange but true...as an adult you'll accept the inevitability of personal failure far more readily than you did as a child.  We are far less likely to 'have a go' for fear of failing, or looking like a numpty!  Phrases like "I can't..."  "I've tried before and couldn't..." "I'm not sure I can..." "I'm too old to..." enter your vocabulary and soon enough they become a mantra for not trying anything new...or giving up before you've given it your best shot!  Ultimately, this negative self talk can reinforce the limiting beliefs you have about yourself and stifle your creativity, productivity and development.  It doesn't stop there either...people around you are far more likely to accept you falling at the first hurdle and will judge you because of it.

Thank goodness this isn't the case with children...otherwise none of us would have learned 2 of the most complex skills the majority of us possess...walking and talking.  Let's take walking as an example.  How many times did you try that and fail?  Did you give up?  Hell no!  Why?  Because it just wasn't an option.  That's what 'able bodied' people do isn't it?  So everyone around you expected you to do it and what's more they openly encouraged and supported you every step of the way (excuse the pun)!  No-one ever turned to you after you hit the floor for the umpteenth time and suggested "walking's not for you, I'd try something else if I was you...shuffling on your backside seems more your thing."

So...whatever resolutions you set yourself...whatever ambitions you want to achieve, regardless of the size or significance, believe in the possibility.  Judge yourself kindly as often the biggest hurdles are the self imposed ones and the most difficult step is the first.  Be your own best friend and believe you can.

I like to believe we're all doing the best we can so instead of being annoyed, angry or frustrated when those around you aren't 'doing things right' (which usually means aren't doing them the way you would), offer encouragement, support and advice, rather than passing harsh judgement.   It will be much more helpful to them and a great deal more rewarding for you.

Remember nothing's impossible (except striking a match on a jelly)...so raise your right arm in the air and say after me...I believe!!