Surprisingly Simple Stress Trick: How to Get Out of Your Head Fast!

 

‘Faith is an oasis in the heart that will never be reached by the caravan of thinking’

Khalil Gibran

 

How often do you find yourself overthinking when you’re stressed?

Totally stuck in your head or going round in circles with no end?

It makes sense to think we can think our way around things but sometimes, getting out of our heads and into our bodies is the best thing we can do. Y’see, without learnt tools to master our minds, our brains are designed to keep us stuck focusing on the negative and continuing to do what we’ve always done. Not very evolved, hey?!

Case in point – a career coaching client who was so stressed she was really quite depressed and unable to move forward had a 360 about-turn when she took her focus off thinking about careers and instead reconnected with doing the things that brought her fun and joy in life.

All the things that took her out of her head whether cooking, drawing, running or seeing her friends.

And boom! Then the clarity came – from being more and thinking less. Like a counter-intuitive detour around stress. The renewed energy and clarity came from moving her body rather than just sitting in the stasis of thought. Ironic, isn’t it, that when we stop thinking so much, sometimes we unlock feelings that guide the way.

As the legendary Dr Wayne Dyer says: ‘Think less, feel more’.

What do you do that brings you joy and gets you out of your head? When did you last have this experience? And what were the results?

For me it might be things like travelling, local adventures, meeting new people, working in new cafés, or doing a new activity like paragliding in the wilds of Italy above. Connecting with free spirits in sublime nature is always a sure fire way for me to change my state and get clarity on confusion. Note – most of these things involve movement – as Tony Robbins says: ‘Motion equals emotion’.

What one change can you make today to get out of your head and into your body?

How would that feel?

And what’s the best possible outcome?

 

 

 

5 Top Tips for Changing Careers in Your 30s

Shifting career at any point can feel scary, sometimes all the scarier in your 30s. At this age, you’re no longer the fearless undergraduate hungry to cut your teeth in competitive new industries and the rose tinted spectacles of inexperience may have well and truly fallen off. You may also feel burdened by the liabilities of real life whether mortgages, children or otherwise.

But do not fear! These fears are very normal — so normal, that I see them again and again in career coaching clients hungry for career change but often disabled by fear. This is exactly why they seek out career coaching — so they can find ways to master their minds and harness easy to apply methods to shift into careers that truly excite and fulfil them.

So here are 5 top tips for taking the stress out of switching careers in your 30s, fast:

  1. The Values Audit

Before even contemplating changing careers, it’s important to get clear on your values — the needs or drivers you need to be connecting with in life to feel happy. I call this your ‘Toolkit for Life’ because once you know what energises and excites you, you have a roadmap for happiness and the clarity to shift path with confidence. For instance, it was easy for me to leave law and traverse into creating my own business when I realised I needed greater work life balance, freedom and fun to feel truly fulfilled in life. Getting clear on your values also helps you label why you’ve felt unfulfilled by prior roles, organisations or industries which brings clarity, relief and validation — the ideal springboard for career change. For instance, let’s say you’ve felt drained working in a very process driven role and you realise creativity is central to your sense of self — it’s then easy to see why you’ve felt out of sorts and more motivating to shift into a career that really compliments you. To get clear on your values, start by asking yourself what you can’t do without in life at large? What would your dream job involve? What are you key frustrations and what’s the opposite of each? What would make you truly happy? As Mahatma Gandhi reminds us: ‘Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.’

  1. Identify your ‘Why’

Most career coaching clients have no idea what their purpose is — that North Star that guides the bigger picture. For some career coaching clients, this may be making a difference, for others it may be spending quality time with family, for others it may be winning awards and becoming an expert in their field. To work out your ‘why’, ask yourself who do you admire in life and why? How would you like to be remembered when you leave this world? What kind of things would you like to hear people saying about you at your funeral? What kind of legacy would you like to leave? A lot of us think in ego driven, linear ways when it comes to careers, but as Steve Jobs warns us: ‘I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to’. So park your ego and ask yourself instead, what does success really mean to you? What would drive you on days when you feel like giving up? What kind of career and impact would leave you feeling proud at the end of your days?

  1. Connect to the Truth

One of the key regrets Bronnie Ware identifies in her book, ‘The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying’ is: ‘I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not a life others expected of me’. So many of my career coaching clients fall into roles because their parents told them law or consulting would be a good idea or because the job title sounds sexy at dinner parties. Although it’s natural to be led by others when we’re young and unaware of what really drives us, with age comes experience, of different people, different roles and different corporate cultures — and greater awareness of how we really feel about each! By the time you’re in your 30s, you have an ideal backdrop from which to explore what you’ve liked, disliked and craved more of in a role and environment. This commercial landscape sheds light on the key factors which drive aligned career change including your leading strengths, your passions and interests, your values and your purpose. So instead of thinking it’s too late to change, see your experience for what it is — a vehicle to truth — uncovering key pearls of wisdom around what truly makes you happy. As F Scott Fitzgerald reminds us: ‘It’s never too late to be who you want to be’. Look at Ray Croc, the founder of McDonald’s — he was 52 when he opened his first McDonald’s franchise!

  1. Leverage Your Experience

Career coaching clients often panic that they lack the experience to shift paths into a new career, forgetting they have developed some great transferable skills they can use as evidence to launch into new career directions. Start by asking yourself what are your leading skills? What have you been most complimented on in prior jobs? What comes naturally to you? What are you doing when you’re most energised? And which of these skills overlap with leading skills in your new area of interest? Remember, existing killer skills can often be taken forward in new directions! You can also minimise panicking about career change by asking yourself what unique selling points you have in terms of prior expertise that you could harness to push you to the top of the CV pile for a new role. For instance, a client of mine had been a midwife for 15 years and was interested in moving into project management and innovation. Initially she panicked about her seeming lack of experience in these fields, but she soon started thinking more strategically, identifying how she could harness her unique selling point of clinical experience in new areas of interest. You guessed it, she found her dream job in a clinical setting and has been promoted twice already! If you don’t have experience in a new area of interest, what quick wins could help you close the gap, whether work experience, a course or seeking advice from people in that area?

  1. Chats with People

The most high results producing activity you can engage in, informational interviews with people in areas of interest will help you deepen clarity around new avenues, fast. Many career coaching clients panic about talking to strangers so start by asking yourself who you know in possible areas of interest and also who you know who may know people they can connect you to. Remember, we’ve all been confused in life — it’s the one commonality of being human — and people generally love talking about themselves, especially if you make them feel special. The one common mistake I see career coaching clients make here is the same problem I see in cover letters, job applications and job interviews — if you don’t bespoke your approach to the person or organisation you’re trying to seduce with specific examples of why you think they’re special, they won’t make time to talk to you. To be seen as worthwhile, you need to prove you’ve done your homework, showcasing your research, communication and interpersonal skills through specific examples that evidence your interest. The litmus test is asking yourself: ‘Could the reasons I’m giving to evidence my interest in this person apply to someone else?’ If the answer is yes, your reasons are too vague and not specific enough. To get clear on what reasons you could give, start by asking yourself, what 3 things truly inspire me about this person or their organisation? Then think of a specific example for each whether an article they’ve written, a project they’ve worked on or otherwise. Remember, authenticity and passion sells!

So there you have it — 5 simple ways to boost clarity to get clear on career change fast! It’s easy when you know how! Don’t believe me? These top tips have helped hundreds of career coaching clients like Marcel, all united by confusion, self-doubt and sometimes crippling fear, change careers in sometimes radical ways:

“Mel was arguably one of the best things that happened to me last year. I had just moved to the UK and found myself facing a lot of professional challenges regarding self-promotion, speculative approaches, interviews, etc. With a well-planned, straightforward programme, Mel made me rediscover my strengths and taught me how to adapt them to my new reality. Thanks to her strategies, I was able to thrive and secure a leading role at a huge multinational company!”

 

From New York Journalist to Farmer’s Wife: What The Dirty Life Teaches Us About Happiness

Good Husbandry by Kristin Kimball review – a new life on a community farm |  Society books | The Guardian

What are you?

A professional or an entrepreneur, a country bumpkin or a city slicker, a conformist or a free spirit? Or are you a hybrid – a suited and booted banker or lawyer with the ‘perfect job’ but a niggling desire to explore less well-trodden paths? Or maybe you’re just plain confused about where you fit and what really drives you.

Whatever category you fall into, most of us from Generation Y were bred by folks with far less opportunity than us professionally. With more conventional views of what constitutes a ‘proper’ job, our parents may have inadvertently left us stuck between a rock and a hard place – between what we should do and what we want to do. But ‘should’ is where it all goes wrong.

Expectations versus reality

OUR HOTELS IN NEW YORK

Nobody knows this better than Kristen Kimball, author of ‘The Dirty Life’ and former freelance journalist and Harvard graduate from New York. After a chance interview with a hunky farmer, she upped sticks to set up farm with her green-fingered interviewee, leaving the city lights and life as she knew it in her wake. You heard right – East Village in favour of mud and veg in the middle of nowhere. This is a story of two love affairs that interrupted the trajectory of an intellectual glamour-puss’ life – one with farming and the other with a man who milks cows for a living. A striking tale about love, happiness and the power of instinct, ‘The Dirty Life’ is a must-read for anyone feeling a little disillusioned with the daily grind or what life’s all about.

The product of a neat, middle-class world, Kimball’s novel charts the mental and physical challenges she faced leaving the glitzy world of ‘convention’ in favour of rural slog. ‘Writ[ing] with precision, authority and gratitude about what is evidently, despite its rigours, an idyllic life’ (New York Times Book Review), Kimball challenges our views about wealth, success and love, giving food for thought as compelling as the gastronomical delights she chronicles.

Kimball’s union with Mark, a rugged hulk of a man with a passion for food and farming, is a world away from the corporate sphere she might have settled into. But as with the different kind of ‘wealth’ she finds farm-side, Kimball takes us on a journey full of surprises, a journey which exposes some stark ironies about our perceptions of ‘success’ and ‘happiness’ of City life.

Does success equal happiness?

How to Get Hens to Lay Eggs in Nest Boxes

‘The Dirty Life’ makes us question our ‘values’ as we know them. In Kimball we find a cosmopolitan New Yorker who, like many of us, supposedly ‘has it all’. A woman with all the trappings of refinement, yet one who is, by her own admission, blinded by ignorance. Openly admitting her surprise that a ‘salt-of-the-earth-type’ person such as Mark could talk with dexterity and intelligence and that ‘the physical world – the trades’ was not in fact ‘the place you ended up if you weren’t bright or ambitious enough to handle a white-collar job’, Kimball shows us the danger of defining people by what they do. In Kimball we find a highly educated woman who has travelled the world with her job, yet whose eyes are opened by an entirely different world, stunned by the happiness she finds ‘pulling warm eggs out of a nest box’.

Shake things up…

So, what is the moral of the tale? Keep meeting new people, keep an open-mind and be true to yourself. Work out what is important to you and don’t be afraid to question reality as you know it. Have the courage to live a life true to yourself, not the life others expect of you and remember, the most successful life is one which unearths what makes you truly happy. Fulfilment goes far deeper than an impressive job title and it will bring you fruits that money can’t buy.

Watch an interview with Kristin Kimball here.

 

 

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Powerful Tale Every Stressed-Out City Professional Should Read

What Would You Change?

The rise of death bed marriages, and are they a good idea? - Stowe Family  Law

Picture the scene… You’re lying on your deathbed looking back at your life. All you can hear is the ticking of the clock and the quiet mumblings of voices swimming around you. What chapters of your life would you pause and zoom in on, savouring the happiness that you felt? And what would you regret? Not spending more time with your family, not meeting more people, not laughing enough or not billing more hours at the office? It seems simple when we look at it like that, but it’s easy to get swept up in the helter skelter of City life, losing touch with the values that give us real purpose. These are the sorts of questions that Sharma’s bestselling novel, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”, will have you asking.

Balance Versus Success.

Heavy it may sound, but Sharma’s style is anything but. Described by Brian Tracy, as a “fun, fascinating, fanciful adventure into the realms of personal development,” this is an inspiring story full of insightful messages for city professionals on how to achieve greater balance, control and effectiveness in their daily lives. And as one of the world’s leading experts on leadership and personal development and author of 12 international bestsellers, Robin Sharma knows a thing or two about success…

What Is Wealth?

Living in a city is stressful as hell

It is success in its widest sense that is the crux of this powerful tale. This is a story about Julian Mantle, a hotshot lawyer whose out of balance lifestyle culminates in a near fatal heart attack in a packed courtroom. His collapse provokes a spiritual crisis, leading him to seek answers to life’s most important questions.

On a quest for happiness and fulfilment, he sells his prized possessions (including his Ferrari) and embarks upon a pilgrimage to India, where he discovers a group of monks who teach him the secrets of true happiness. Enlightened, he returns to the “very troubled” Western world, devoting himself to spreading this ancient wisdom to professionals who have lost sight of the “huge difference between well-being and being well-off”.

What Can We Learn From Julian Mantle?

Whether you’re a lawyer, an aspiring leader of industry or just hungry for recognition at work, there is some of Julian Mantle in all of us. Whether the dash of ego, the good education, the impressive job title, or the seemingly ‘have-it-all lifestyle’, we can relate to the intensity of his world, a world full of success and glamour but devoid of time; time to think, to feel and to develop spiritually. Our identification with this high-achieving, aspirational Alpha male, makes his fallout all the more disturbing.

But Mantle’s collapse is about far more than the physical dangers of work overload – his near death experience is the root from which Sharma philosophises outwards to explore the damaging internal effects of unbalanced, chaotic lives and how we can empower ourselves to find lasting happiness.

Indeed, the tale of Julian’s transformation from Type A senior partner at a leading law firm, who “at a fifty three years old, looked as if he was in his late seventies,” to a “youthful, vital and smiling model of change,” evidences the truth behind the transformational tips and techniques that he teaches.

What Are Sharma’s Top Tips?

A warmhearted, practical guide about the power of potential, here are some of the most inspiring lessons from “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”:

1. “There is no such thing as objective reality or the ‘real world’. There are no absolutes.”

2. “The secret of true happiness is simple. Find out what you truly love to do and then direct all your energy towards doing it. If you study the happiest, healthiest, most satisfied people of our world, you will see that each and every one of them has found their passion in life, and then spent their days pursuing it. Once you are focusing your mental power and energy on a pursuit that you love, abundance flows into our life and all your desires are fulfilled with ease and grace.”

3. “Most people live within the confines of their comfort zone. The best thing you can do for yourself is regularly move beyond it. This is the way to realise your true potential.”

4. “Achievement need not be of the material sort. Personally my objectives are to attain peace of mind, self-mastery and enlightenment. If I fail to accomplish these goals by the end of my life, I am certain that I will die feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied.” 5. “Dare to dream that you are more than the sum of your current circumstances. Once you find your purpose, life becomes much easier and far more rewarding.”

What The Critics Say…

The reviews speak for themselves. While Paulo Coelho, #1 bestselling author of The Alchemist, calls it, “A captivating story that teaches as it delights…helping people all over the world lead great lives,” and Richard Carlson, PhD and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff”, says, “Robin Sharma has the rare gift of writing books that are truly life-changing.

What’s The Moral Of The Tale?

‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ is packed full of useful messages and tips for city professionals to find lasting happiness. Whether showing that it’s normal if your goals change over time, or if the passion that you once felt for a job gives way to a sense of emptiness, it will certainly change your perspective.

Unlike the neatly packaged identities that social media cultivates, Sharma teaches us that life is a journey and we are constantly evolving creatures with shifting values and needs. There are no mistakes, only lessons.

As products of Generation Y, it’s easy to pursue competitive roles out of a sense of duty but Sharma shows us the value of reflection and questioning – are we so busy chasing the big pleasures of life that we are missing out on all the little ones? Are we really doing what we love?

So if you’re in a job that’s dominating your life or you’re simply interested in happiness and self-development, read this book. And if you think you don’t have time, all the more reason to. Life is all about choices and investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make.

Julian Mantle’s heart attack was his defining moment – his wake up call – giving him the chance to live a more inspired life. This book may be the wake up call that you’ve been looking for…

The Japanese secret to a long, happy, meaningful life

Is this Japanese concept the secret to a long, happy, meaningful life?

If you’re ever wondered whether you’re as fulfilled by your work as you could be, where this feeling comes from or how true fulfilment really works, read on.

I’ve always had a strong instinct that this Japanese concept is spot on, which is why I place great importance on what I do, whether coaching individuals, doing mental health volunteering or delivering corporate workshops. It’s also why I’d be very cautious to forfeit these things for anything or anyone – because without what the Japanese call ‘Ikagai’ (the uniting of what you love, what the world needs, what you’re good at and what you can be paid for),  I’m not convinced my life would have real purpose or meaning.

So if you’re feeling slightly off center in your work, consider the teachings in the rainbow model below and ask yourself what one small step you could take to move nearer to your dreams.

Read more behind the magic here.

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