The Gift of Time

Time is the only thing we can never get back.  We talk about spending time, wasting time, marking time, time management, killing time, doing time, saving time and juggling time, to name a few.  Time is extremely precious.

In the Sunday paper last weekend there was a story about a lady with three sons and not long to live.  She wanted to have whatever precious time she has left to spend with her family.

None of us knows when our time will be up – this is a lottery.  My sister was only 57 when she passed away, leaving two gorgeous daughters.  My dad is 93 and lives in an aged care facility.  Sometimes I think he wishes his time had come and, yet he’s still with us and bides his time waiting for the football season to start up again.

When I was made redundant at 59 I celebrated – I felt the time had come for me to really enjoy the fruits of my labours.  For over 40 years I spent time in the workforce with a paid job and now I wanted to use my time for study, to learn how I might be able to help others.  I also spend my time making contribution of some of my time to community which I enjoy and pursing my recreational interests.  In addition, I am able to spend some time with family and to visit them interstate.

A little while ago I was talking to this lady who told me she sets aside one hour a day to spend time with her little son before her daughter and husband come home.

Setting aside time for someone else is very special and in doing so it is really important to also be totally present in the moment, otherwise it is not quality time.  How do you feel when you are having coffee with someone, their phone rings and they just have to answer it?  Who does that leave you feeling?

A while ago I invited some people around to celebrate my husband’s birthday and while they were here some of them wanted to watch the television.  If the television was so compelling they could have stayed at home.  Those people were not present in the moment insofar as celebrating my husband’s birthday was concerned.

More recently there was an article in the paper about little kids acting out – it turns out mum was spending more time on the phone than being present in the moment with her kids and they were doing their best to get her attention.

How many people are on the phone while driving their cars?  Time may be precious to them and so they choose to multi-skill by attending to business on the phone while driving the car – how present are they in the moment – the moment of driving the car and paying attention to what is happening along the way.  I wonder how they feel should the unforgettable occur – where they cut someone else’s time short.

Time with a loved one is a necessary component for a lasting relationship too.  While I know it’s easy to come home after a hard day at the office and just relax in front of the TV, that can quickly become a habit which could harm your relationship unless managed appropriately and set some time aside for your mate.  This could be after the evening meal when the kids are in bed or it may be on Sunday morning.  Some people like to go away for the weekend just to spend some quality time with each other and away from domestic distractions.

So who are you sharing some of your special time with and when you do, is it quality time?

If you find yourself running out of time and there’s just not enough time left at the end of the day, perhaps you might like to take a look at exactly how you’re spending that precious time.

Love to hear your views.

Talk soon



On being assertive

Being assertive is about expressing your feelings, thoughts or wishes and, at the same time, having respect for the other person.  Being assertive is NOT about being aggressive.

So, let me ask you – do you consider yourself to be assertive?  Or, are you just like many of us who, from time to time, give in too quickly just for a quiet life – after all, how many times do you have to say “No” before the other person gets the message?  And then – at what cost?  There is always a cost.

Lack of assertion is found everywhere – at work, at home, in business and more specifically, in our relationships.  It can lead to our feeling the victim, meaning we have allowed the other person to call the shots.  Sometimes this may serve us and/or the issue is not of sufficient importance for it to matter to us.  What I am talking about is the times when it does matter to us and yet we still give in.

Some of us have been “trained” to be “nice”.  When we were kids I remember mum telling my sister and me we should give in and let our brother have his way – because he was only little.  What do you think that level of thinking could lead and at what cost?

The point is – where does it stop?  Who gets to dictate when we give in and let the other person have his/her way – we do.  More importantly – why?

The other day I was listening to an interview with a psychotherapist and marriage counsellor who expressed the view that many women didn’t believe they deserved to get their own way and many others were afraid of the anticipated loss and being left, resulting in immediate loneliness that followed – in other words, they, like most of us who allow ourselves to be compromised, settled for short-term gain with the inevitable long-term pain.

What do you do when you find yourself giving in too early and/or allowing yourself to be compromised?

It’s about being aware, after all there is a mind-body connection involved here.  Just take the time to notice what happens to you.  What happens at that moment of compromise, when you give in just for a quiet life?

I, for instance, used to find myself tensing up and then my protective shield would go up and a feeling of resentment would flood my total being.  I internalised the negative emotion towards the other person and pushed them away.  I would find myself straining to be “nice” to them and all the while through gritted teeth.

Interestingly, anger and resentment can lead to chronic disease, especially when you get really good at it and do it over a long period of time.  That could be one of the costs I was talking about.

Now, what does that do for your relationship?

How could you handle a potential conflict so you served your relationship, enhanced it, made the bond between you stronger and everyone gets to win?

Love to hear your views.

Talk soon



Have you got a moment?


How many people start off a conversation like that? Or, perhaps, it’s more like – … this will only take a second – and half an hour later they are still there.
We’ve all heard of time management and we all know there are only 24 hours in the day for everyone – so how is it that some people seem to accomplish more in that same 24 hours than others?
I don’t think there is a “one size fits all” answer to this and if there were, I would suggest it lies in what we want. For many of us this is not immediately obvious and we find ourselves on an exploration journey.
Since starting my life coaching business I have become more aware of this by observing both my clients and myself. Knowing why our available time is so important to us gives us focus. When we have an your to resolve an issue or get more clarity around a problem, we are going to be more focussed on getting that resolution and/or clarity and our minds will be more honed in that direction. It’s when our focus is really honed in on getting what we want, all the other things that are popping into our minds and our lives every second of every day have to take a back seat. When we do this, we quickly find a door opens, we find a resolution or a clue to the next step – and we are hooked, albeit for the time we have available, right now. And quite often we have a new insight, an answer, a way forward – whatever we find, we have moved from where we were towards where we want to be.
What is time anyway? Once upon a time there were no clocks, train and bus timetables, TV programs, work schedules etc. There was only night time and day time. It was either sleep time or hunting and gathering time.
Time is a concept created by humans, something to give us a tool to help us organise our lives so we could fill it the way that best served us – and knowing how we are using that allotted time to best serves us gives us a clue to how some people achieve more than others.
Time is something we spend – like money, it is something we waste and it is also something we treasure.
How do we use this precious commodity?
The other day I met this chap who loves to talk. He is a particularly detailed person and spends a lot of time bogged down in minutia and, for him, seeing the big picture is a challenge. Is this serving his need for resolution or some other need – possibly a need for more clarity or even an escape!
Another person I know is a “bottom line” type person – all she wants is to know the outcome and she ultimately spends time addressing issues which could possibly have been overcome had she given more thought time to the process. Is this serving her needs – probably, from the point of view she knows what she wants and then only has to address issues that impact on that outcome and not spend time looking at issues that have bearing on her goal, issues that could be a distraction.
How do you spend/waste/pass/use your time? The only time that really matters is right now. The past is history, the future a mystery and right now is a gift – which is why it’s called the present.
So, what if …
next time you are with someone, whether it be in the office, over dinner, with your kids or wherever, you were to give them your whole undivided attention for the time you have available, right now – how do you think your relationship with that other person will be? How will you feel about that and how do you think that other person will feel – about you, the issue you have been discussing and the gift of time – of being 100% present -you have just shared with them?
After all, the only time that really counts is right now.
Need some help working out your personal priorities? We all need help at some stage.
Not sure – give yourself a gift and take a free strategy session –-
And remember, every champion deserves a great coach – why not you?
Talk soon
Life Coach Adelaide

Recharging your Batteries


Have you ever experienced a time when the battery in your car went flat? Maybe you left the lights on when you parked the car or perhaps the battery just expired.
That can also happen to each of us. Sometimes we are so busy with life that we forget to take care of ourselves and this can lead to catastrophic results.
Prolonged stress, for example, can manifest in different ways in our bodies from chronic heart problems to obesity to infertility and beyond. The answer is not as easy as just taking a stress pill – something from outside us.
Everything starts with a thought. We all have thousands of thoughts a day – some of them are fleeting thoughts and are gone as quickly as they came and some of them stay a little longer, while others never seem to leave us.
Some of these longer staying thoughts, after filtering through our own unique internal sieves, evoke specific emotions, that is, they leave us feeling really good about ourselves or, sometimes, not so good. And what happens then – we do something, we take action.
Let’s take a look at an example. Mary works in an office in the city. She has a particularly stressful position with people making demands on her time from the moment she gets in the office door – everyone wants her to make something happen for their benefit and they all want it NOW!. Mary is a particularly diligent person who makes it one of her top priorities to keep all these people (her customer) happy and it seems the more she does the more they want and expect.
In order for Mary to do what she needs to do to keep her customers happy, she frequently works solidly from the moment she gets to the office, and this is frequently at 7.30 am, until she leaves at 6pm. Mary then goes to class a couple of days a week because she is keen to improve her skills and her knowledge t better serve her customers which, in turn, will give her greater job satisfaction. Mary then has a long commute home to her family.
The problem with all this is that while Mary has been taking excellent care of her customers she has overlooked her family and, more importantly, herself. She is totally run down and her power of reasoning is becoming affected, her friends are withdrawing because she doesn’t always have time to do the things they like to do and life at home is fragile.
Then Mary decides to take a holiday to a far off place where there is no electricity which means everyone retires early. There are no cell phones, no TV, and no radio at her disposal. All Mary has to do is enjoy the moment. Her meals are prepared for her, the other people on tour are like-minded so she has stimulating conversation – essentially the most stressful thing she has to do is get out of bed in the morning and enjoy her day.
When Mary comes home from her holiday she is bright, happy, full of life and energy – she is her old self and ready to go.
Let me ask you – how bad does it have to get before you do something about your situation and about taking care of yourself?
Last month I went to Lord Howe Island on a walking tour for a week. Lord Howe Island is an island (actually it’s the top f an old volcanic mountain) 500 kms east of Port Macquarie in NSW. The air and the water is pristine, the scenery is breathtaking, there’s good walking every day if you want, the food is wholesome and, generally, a great place to recharge your batteries.
However you do it, taking good care of yourself is paramount. It’s all about loving yourself enough to do what you need to do so you can have what you want – and that will be different for each of us. However, most people want to be happy, healthy and loved.
Need some help working out your personal priorities? We all need help at some stage. Not sure – give yourself a gift and take a free strategy session –-
And remember, every champion deserves a great coach – why not you?
Talk soon
Life Coach Adelaide

Successful -v- the not so Successful

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have it all, everything seems to be working for them – you know, nice house, great kids, nice car, live in the right suburb, great company, happy people – and others never seem to get it off the ground.
So what is the difference – the difference that makes the difference?
Let’s take a look at our beliefs and values – those things that are really important to us. When something is really important to us we will defend it to the hilt. Think about something that is important to you – how do you feel when that special something is threatened? What if it is your family, what would you do to take care of your family?
When I was growing up my ad had several jobs so we three children could have a better shot at life. My dad was a farmer with a very small holding and he worked the land. He had sheep and cows and grew crops. The farm was not large enough to sustain a reasonable living and so my dad also share-farmed the land which belonged to other people. He also did earth moving work and drove trucks because it was important to him to give his kids a good education and a strong work ethic so we could make our way in the world.
When you look at nature, the parents of nature’s babies take care of them and nurture them and give them the best they can so they have the best chance possible to make it in life.
Now imagine for a moment there is something you really feel strongly about – perhaps it’s being the best in your field, whether it’s the best sales person, the best athlete, the best race-car driver or whatever. How far would you go to achieve your goal? How committed would you be? Would you be the person who stuck at it no matter what or would you give up after something went wrong or got in your way? What is the purpose of your goal? What is driving you? What is your WHY – the purpose behind your goal?
And then we come to our mindset – the way we think about things and ourselves. We surround ourselves with like-minded people who support us in our quest. We learn these things from our parents and other role models in our life. Right from our earliest days we pick up on beliefs and values and our mindset begins to develop.
Humans have a need to belong, to feel loved and accepted and when our needs are met we generally perform accordingly. Think about a gang – to successfully belong to a gang the members will do whatever the gang demands so they belong. Sometimes this may be socially unacceptable however the same rules apply – the reason behind their doing what they do is so they belong and are accepted.
The same applies in all team situations. Look at the footballers, for example. They all need to perform as one and support each other to win. When we behave in a way that offends the group, the group will ostracize the offender. Likewise, when we do something the group admires or approves of, we are rewarded – look at the movie stars.
Sometimes it’s easy to look outside our world and only see the gloss on the top and dismiss someone’s success by telling ourselves that they were lucky. Most people who are an overnight success took ten years or more to reach that level and it is the person they became during the process that is what gives them the edge.
When we were kids my siblings were often off with my dad doing outside farm things and they subsequently developed a value system and mindset like his whereas my talents were more like my mother’s. These changed later when I adopted a different role model and moved into another group – when I went to boarding school, when I went to work, when I moved in different circles.
So when we adopt beliefs and value and a mindset that serve us, we will succeed at whatever we want. The real trick is to first know what we want and then to become the person we need to be, to do what has to be done so we can have what we want.
Like to explore this some more –
And remember, every champion deserves a great coach – why not you?

Talk soon


Acknowledgements, manners and pleasantries – are these a ghost from the past?

At times I’ve been accused of forgetting some of the niceties in life and, of course, this can come with a cost.  It’s easy for us to extend a pleasantry and it’s easy for us to not do so.  There can be several reasons for doing so ranging from being so totally focussed on the subject at hand to a negative feeling toward the other person.

When we fail to acknowledge another person they may feel discounted – it all depends on what’s going on their head at the time.  It doesn’t really take much effort to acknowledge someone and when we do they feel validated, they start to think about us, to think about how much they like being around us, what great things we’ve done – after all, everyone wants to be associated with a winner, how we may be able to help them with a project or, perhaps, how good they feel when we offer a cheery hello – how their world has lit up like it does as soon as the days begin to get a little longer and the sun a little brighter in the Spring.

None of us is a mind-reader and so we are therefore not able to see what’s going on in other’s heads, we don’t know if they’ve just had an argument with someone and are feeling bad about themselves or if they’ve just buried their best friend or, indeed, if they have just celebrated a momentous occasion.


It’s when we fail to acknowledge that person, that little voice starts off in their head.  Most people are focussed on themselves more than anything else and when we have not offered a pleasantry they start to tell themselves a host of things like –

  • She doesn’t like me
  • She thinks she’s too good to talk to me
  • She doesn’t think I’m good enough
  • She doesn’t think I’m worthy enough

And so the list goes on and they continue to build their story.  You might ask – well, what’s all this got to do with me?  Fair question.

So when this happens at work and the manager fails to acknowledge the efforts of one of his team members after a while the team member (and more likely many of the team members as they all talk in the tea room or wherever) begins to put less effort into his work and a “them and us” mentality begins to develop.  After some time – and for some it may be a long time and for others not so long – their productivity begins to fall off, they begin to resent the job, the place of work, the manager and/or a host of other things when all along they really resent themselves.

What is the cost to the manager?  Possibly nothing in the short term but long term the cost can become insurmountable.

What about a family situation – one member of the family failed to acknowledge the help of another and before too long there is an on-going feud where people are not talking to each other and a massive rift sets in.

What was the cost of a simple “thank you – I’m so grateful for your help?  Or some similar comment.  More particularly, who is paying for that omission?

What is an acknowledgement, a pleasantry?

Basically it’s like a front door and when it’s open the people inside seem to be welcoming you in and when it’s shut, there is no communication, no welcome, nothing.

Think about this for a moment – when you go to your favourite shop, it may be a café or perhaps a boutique.  You have been thinking about going to this place for a while and on your way there, you have pictures in your mind of what it looks like, you can recall your last experience and some pleasant memories.  Basically, you have a good feeling about the place which is why you are wanting to go back there.

And when you arrive – the door is closed, the lights are out and a sign on the door says the equivalent of “gone fishing”.  How do you feel then – disappointed or cheated, perhaps or possibly even empty?  Generally it’s not a good feeling.

So how do we do this ?

Sometimes a brief “hello Mary – how are things going?”  and then give Mary the time of day before  moving on.

Maybe it’s a letter, an email, a brief note, a box of chocolates or some flowers, something to acknowledge the other person’s efforts, their contribution.

In a work situation it may be an award a pay rise or an overseas holiday as a result of a sales promotion or maybe just “Great Job – thank you”.

When speakers come to various organisations someone usually gives a vote of thanks at the end and this is accompanied by a small gift.

Let me ask you –

What if – next time someone does you a good turn, goes the extra mile or even just passes you in the street, how will you choose to acknowledge them?  And most importantly, expect nothing in return.  We acknowledge the other person, not because we want to use them for something (how does that feel when it happens to you?) but because we want to.

How quickly we discover what goes around comes around – and it’s always a good feeling when it’s something that makes us feel really good.

Remember – every champion deserves a great coach – why not you?

Talk soon