Do your childhood summers have a rosy shimmer about them? The way they do when we only remember the good things. Mine do.
My shimmering summers were mainly spent in two place – in Luleå, at our wonderful Lillängen and onboard “Geishan” in the archipelago, close to the Arctic Circle – and at Väddö in the beautiful area of Roslagen, northeast of Stockholm.
During the 60’s and 70’s we spent a number of summers at Väddö, at an Anti Aircraft Practice Territory to be precise – a military practice territory right by the Sea of Åland. During the summer months, hundreds of young men lived here while doing their military service, and then there were 6-7 cottages for the senior officers and their families – we were one of those families.
Somehow the world stood still out there. Maybe it was because we were so isolated – it being a military territory meant no-one was allowed in unless they had a pass.
So there we lived in total peace and quiet (apart from the daily practice shooting at air plane “sausages”!) Memories are mixed with photos and film that mum and dad took and it’s hard to know what’s truly remembered and what’s been reminded through those captured moments. It doesn’t matter.
What I remember is that we somehow just “were”, completely in the moment, taking each day as it came, did what we felt like doing, in harmony with weather and other circumstances.
We rowed out to sea, we went swimming regardless of temperature, we fished from the jettee in the bay, we chased each other on the cliffs, had a “foot bath” in the puddles in between the sea cliffs – and as we got older – played tennis, read books, played cards and bought sweets as the mess hall (checking out the guys!)
There was no phone, no dish washer, no washing machine and no shop. And that was OK. I remember how we would go back to town to wash clothes every two weeks or so. Or we went in to the nearest town, Norrtälje, to go for a treat at the local café – a real luxury!
These memories are so stongly anchored in me that I can recreate the feeling of them whenever I want – like pressing a “memory button”.
Do you do the same thing with your memories? Do you find the inspiration, the calm, the driving force, the joy in your best memories?
Take a moment and remember, tapping into the power of those memories. Maybe remember your childhood summers. But not to be sentimental and live in the past – no, simply to be able to live the best life you can, now.
Then take a moment and live in the moment, in the here and now. This is something us adults can do too (I have a lot to learn from my childhood summers:-)) – to just be. And apart from the pleasure of living in the moment, to really experience what happens today – imagine what great memories we are creating for the future!
What is your definition of success?
There are probably as many definitions as there are people on this earth. Success is often expressed as material things, possessions, promotions, appointments, money etc. But it can also be something completely different…
How about peace of mind, sleeping well at night, having good relationships with other people, having a purpose, achieving something, being appreciated?
Whatever your definition is…..make sure you have one!
How could you be successful otherwise? You may actually cheat yourself out of a lot of success, because if you have never defined what success meant to you – you didn’t see it, even though it was staring you straight in the face!
So go on, choose success by making up your mind about what SUCCESS MEANS TO YOU. Only you can decide, you have that power.
And instantly you increase your chances of success. Because now you all of a sudden have something to work with, towards. Define some goals, decide on actions that will take you to your goals.
And be happy about your success – because it is there if you just choose to see it.
Every day is a new beginning.
Yesterday may have been good or maybe not. We can take from it what we need – learnings, experience, joy, inspiration. And then go on, into today.
We can start afresh every day. Every day we can give ourselves a chance to start again, to find new inspiration, to create our future.
Don’t look back in regret, wishing that things were different. They are what they are – or they were what they were. Look ahead instead and see what you can do with today, and tomorrow and the day after.
See what the day has to offer. Look for inspiration. Go into they day trusting that it will be a good day and that it will give you all that you need.
Shape your own future. Find solutions. Make decisions that are important to you. Find things to be grateful about, to be happy about, to be inspired by. There’s loads.
It starts today. Every day is a new, fresh start. What are you going to do with yours?
Have you ever wondered what it is that makes some people so successful? Aren’t you sometimes curious about how they think, what they do to be so successful? Me too. I’m fascinated by people who seem unfaced by what’s going on around them and can fully focus on their task and do their best. There’s like a calm, a quiet focus, a presence that takes over and makes it possible for them to just be at their best.
That’s the case with Remix, one of the best female barbershop quartets in the world, who became European champions a couple of weeks ago in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
When I observe the Remix members – Camilla, Marie, Hillevi och Marie, I notice a couple of specific things.
They have great musicality, they’re professional, focused and goal orientated, and yet that isn’t what makes them stand out the most. No, what I see as a big part of their success is their joy – they love what they do, they are proud yet humble, they give and by giving they contribute to the world around them.
And despite all their success they don’t take themselves too seriously. They don’t think they are better than anyone else, they keep both feet on the ground (or all eight of them!)
They know that their success isn’t dependent on the world around them, they don’t let themselves be impacted by all the stuff out there. They find their inner strength and they know to enjoy every second, they let go of expectations of exact outcomes, they know that they will do their best and that their best is good enough – regardless of what others do. And when things don’t go as well, they willingly take the feedback, learn, brush themselves off and go on – stronger and wiser.
And when I observe these fantastic girls, I wonder if it isn’t so that they have found the key to success – joy, presence, peace of mind, and an endless giving – not just for themselves, but because that’s what we people are about, aren’t we – giving, contributing, making a difference.
I think we can all learn from this. The more we can find the joy in what we’re doing (regardless of what it is), and take control of our state (of mind), the more satisfied and successful we can be.
And as far Remix goes – look out world, they’ve got more to give! And we gratefully recieve:-)
May last year I travelled to Treasure Island, Florida to attend a three week long NLP Trainer certification programme.
NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) is a behavioural technology that helps people achieve better communication, better goal achievement, greater happiness – well simply to create the life, the relationships and the situation that one wants. I don’t know what it’s like for you, but I’ve found that often when I’m a bit unsure or nervous or just not myself, I typically don’t do my best or make the best impression. My head starts spinning with various thoughts:
“what if I make a fool of myself”
“I hope no-one will see how nervous I am”
“what if it all goes to pot”
and the more I think that way, the more I become focused on myself and my own feelings. I just become less focused on what I can contribute to the world. It all becomes quite ego focused, just on ME, ME, ME. And it feels rubbish, doesn’t it? Because then it’s as if it’s all up to me, as if I have to have all the answers, as if I have to be perfect (horrid thought:-))
Something happened during those weeks in Florida.
I learned to focus more on the world around me and less on myself. I learned to be just “in the moment”, to focus all my attention outside of myself and in doing so I found a new calm, a new presence. A calm that tells me that everything is OK. That I can’t make a fool of myself (that’s all just in my head). When I focus on the world around me, I have access to more of my resources, my instincts, my wisdom.
If you would like to experience the same thing, then practice focusing on the world around by expanding your visual field. Instead of staring firmly at something, try relaxing your eye muscles and take in more information through your peripheral vision. Do it every day and especially whenever you feel tense or worried.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
I’m not saying that it’s constantly like this for me now, but I do have short moments without my ego involved and in those moments I feel better than ever before. I know more, I achieve more – everything just falls into place.
And I love every moment! I intend to have more of those!