Enemy becomes him…..

Enemy becomes him…..

A few months ago, I was having a conversation with a friend who I had not spoken to in a while – so it was a kind of catch up: how is life treating you style of conversation.  She started off this conversation sounding a little down, and I probed her further to find out what had occurred to make her feel this way.  At work, a complaint had been made against her that was invalid.  She took pride in her work, and was always the consummate professional. After further investigation, she found out that the arbitrator of this “invalid” complaint was a former colleague, friend.

This had been a shock, considering that she believed that they were on good terms, although they had not spoken for some time. What was the justification, if any, for this act? (Due to my legal background, I must sound like a lawyer at times).

So what had changed; why does a supposedly friend change to an enemy? Or could it be that this person was not really a friend to begin with, but an acquaintance. Some people believe that they can count on one hand their true friends, and I subscribe to this view. There will be times when you become acquainted with people through work and other activities, and become friendly.  People come and go, and impact on your life in different ways. This is part of the journey.

Friends can fall out, take the former celebrity BFF (best friends forever) partnership, Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton, they were best friends growing up, then an incident occurred which resulted in the end of their friendship. It’s understandable that people do change, evolve. Common interests that they once shared may no longer be there, but how about when these people just turn on you, and become your enemies.  Was it really a ploy: to keep your friends close, and enemies closer?

Going back to my friend’s story, I have a theory, that this change in attitude could be related to unresolved issues.  My friend has always been quite a gregarious, confident and strong character. Their now “frenemie” is the polar opposite, lacking in social skills.  Maybe in this instance it stems from the one of the seven deadly sins: “envy”


The Wrong Bra Size?

The Wrong Bra Size?

I had a meet up with one of my friends the other night.  It was a typical “girly” night out, catching up with each other, having fun.  The conversation later turned to bra sizes. (No, this article will not be about “breasts” and how they come in different shapes and sizes) My friend commented that she believed that I was wearing the wrong bra size; how I look smaller than my stated size. This was not in reference to the cup size, so my refrigerator was not missing any chicken fillets.

As I later parted from my friend, I started to ponder the concept about how we sometimes see ourselves differently to how others view us. This can be either positive or negative. Take the person viewing their reflection in the mirror, thinking that they are fat, overweight and ugly; when they are in fact, within a healthy weight range and attractive! Then to the other extreme, where a contestant on the show Apprentice boasts about how they are a great “communicator”; whilst at the same time alienating their associates!

This raises the question, why do we see ourselves differently to others? Is it a case that we lose touch with our real self? I am sure that there are psychology theories on this topic, but will go back to basics. I was watching a mini video blog via the Re-invention Diva website the other day, and came across the term “navel gazing”.  The premise of this is that we need to self-reflect, listen to our inner selves to rediscover what we want to do; analyse our strengths and weaknesses.  In business terms, this is almost like compiling a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)  on ourselves. This is a useful tool to use from time-to-time, since it is so easy to get distracted, lose focus.

So what bra size am I? The frustrated artist, I answer.


Genie in the Bottle

Genie in the Bottle

When I was younger, I was very into watching the Disney movies and other make-believe stories. It was a kind of escapism – going on a journey for a period of time. One concept that I found fascinating is when reading or watching stories where there will be a genie in a bottle, who could usually grant you three wishes. (The 1960 show, I Dream of Jeannie, was in the background) This leads me to the topic of wishes. Do we need to be careful what we wish for?

I recently attended a workshop by the wonderful Olga Levancuka, also known as the Skinny Rich Coach. She wrote a great book on building and sustaining your confidence: Increase Your Confidence in One Day. (This book has been recommended on the book list of my website). I would thoroughly recommend this book as the “confidence” tonic;- that’s how amazing it is.

I had previously conversed with Olga via social media and email exchanges – and when I first spoke to her, an everyday topic came up – relationships. We were discussing how we could go for partners that are the opposites in our personality, or who were at one extreme. Here, I was not necessarily talking about the yin yang concept of balancing each other out.

She then poised the question about, whether on a subconscious level, we were drawn to or attracted features in our partners. For example, the placid character dating the volatile, domineering partner. So then I thought: did I want/seek the “volatile” former partner.  Was this person a manifestation of a thought I had? Should I have been “careful” with what I had wished for?

Genies feature in Arabic folklore – One Thousand and One Nights – and in the religion of Islam, in the form of the “Djinn”. They are described as “spirits” who are either good or bad, who live in a “parallel” universe.

So when having a thought, it can be “positive” or “negative”. Some theorists believe that with the law of attraction, one must be careful with the words, phrases that are being used. Illustration, Miss Shopaholic says: “I want to get out of debt”. Yes, I have used the dreaded “D” word that life coaches, mentors do not like to use. Reason why they do not like use this word is because, simply, attention is being drawn to this “noun”.  In other words “attracting” more debt, losing focus, instead of being proactive – Miss Shopaholic announcing that she will auction her old, designer clothes.

Olga also mentioned how we need to be more in “tune” with our emotions, and not to confuse it with what we were picking up from the environment, and other people around us. Miss Shopaholic states that she has a sore throat, after having a discussion with a colleague who was also experiencing the same symptoms.

Come on, how many times have you spoken to your colleague at work and they have told you how they were feeling “lethargic” and towards the end of the conversation you start to feel the same? This is a perfect example of “mirroring” other people’s emotions. Maybe one should carry around a “feelings” diary, that way they can be more “honest”. Could you picture the scene of a couple having an argument, and in the middle of it, one party turns to their journal – writing down underappreciated!!

When looking at “wishes”, thoughts, desires and other stuff, we need to question what our motives are. I am going to introduce two words, one being a verb, want; and the other a noun, need. In the genie folktale stories, there were three types of genies: benevolent; malevolent and indifferent. One would do your wish, and fulfil it with your “best” interests – the benevolent genie.  The other extreme, the malevolent one, will take the “worse” interpretation of your wish. So when projecting a want, it is best to be more specific since the outcome will easily be “realised”. This reminds me of the phrase that may appear in the business world when setting a goal – S.M.A.R.T (Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound). With the word “need”, this could have many “interpretations”, solutions – remember Mr Malevolent Genie and Mr Indifference?

As the conversation with Olga on thoughts triggered with me, “be careful what you wish for”.



How much is too much information?

How much is too much information?

I am a person who is signed up to social media in the form of having my own Twitter and Facebook accounts.  I thought that the initial concept of Facebook, keeping up-to-date with friends and family through pictures and wall updates was great an idea. But now this group of people has extended to: work colleagues, former classmates and some “acquaintances”, if you are into the “numbers” game. Yes, I have seen personal contacts where they have 2,000 friends, and this is amazing considering that there are 365 days in a year. When would you get the time to keep in contact with all these people?

There are some positives to having a large amount of contacts on Facebook, it can be useful when plugging a concept, and advertising a business. So it is not all bad, since social media is a form of communicating to an audience, making your business seem “human”, not just a brand.

I happened to log onto my Facebook account recently and read a wall update, where one of my former school mates announced through the relationship status, that she had gone from being “engaged” to “single”. This was later changed back to being “engaged”; by this time there were people already commenting and questioning what had happened. So here comes the question: how much, is too much information? Is it right to be documenting very personal information about your life?

I am also a fan of Twitter and like how you can write a short tweet on a topic that interests you, even ones relating to how I am feeling at the time: “I am so annoyed with my accountant”.

Twitter is a place where you can find out information and I have tested this theory. I once tweeted about needing a new web designer, and within a few hours, had companies approaching me direct. So it can be a good resource of finding new business prospects. It can also act as a motivator, and there are some account holders who like posting positive thoughts of the day. One being @TheNoteboook, they specialise in relationships and some of their tweets have brought a smile to my face; and they currently have over 774,000 followers.

Twitter has also made celebrities accessible to the general public, and they too can get carried away and reveal their innermost thoughts. Duncan Bannatyne, the successful entrepreneur of Dragon Den’s fame, was reported to have told 352,000 of his followers about how he felt “suicidal”. This demonstrated to the public how “human” he is.  Question, have people lost sense of the distinction between reality and cyber-world?


Case of the neighbour

Case of the neighbour

There is a passage from the bible that states:
“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”.
The Bible, Romans 13:9 (King James Version)
What happens if it is difficult to love your next door neighbour? I loved my former next-door neighbours who were very easy-going and almost like family. They would water our garden and we would in turn water theirs – or my dad to be precise. Then came the “dreaded” day when they announced that they were going to move. This was sad since we knew them and got on very well. Question, who would be our new neighbours and would they be loveable?
The new neighbours were a young couple who recently got married, and my neighbour had said they were nice; but he would say so. You do not sell the “negatives” when making a sale, unless you do not want to make it.
Years passed, they kept to themselves and then came the issue to do with “boundary…..”. To be continued………


Starting over, yet again

Starting over, yet again

It’s amazing how much we rely on information technology these days: iphones, text messaging, mobile phones, internet, Skype to name a few. What did we do before these inventions, I wonder at times? With me, I cannot get by without my beloved laptop – it contains my life – information such as my notes, presentations and articles.  (One Christmas to emphasize this last point, a friend bought me a cup with the caption: “I love my computer”)

Then came the deadly word in the world of computers, system recovery, my whole system crashed and I had not recently done a back-up. It is true what they say that one must have a “back-up” or a plan b; and I had not applied this. So all my work, data had been wiped from my system. What was I to do? Jump up and down, curse the pc or moan about how unfair life can be. No, I have to move on, learn my lesson: must back-up my work at regular intervals and move forward.

This whole situation with the computer was an illustration of how we are at times is faced with having to start again or afresh. This can be from a relationship break-up to having to find another job, after being made redundant. But this is life, isn’t it?

Nearly two months ago, I was due to commence a project and then came the phone call whilst I was driving, saying how the project is off.   There goes my city break that I had planned for the next month – I was not a happy girl!  The actor Jason Isaacs, one of the stars of the film Harry Potter once commented in an interview once:” Every time I make a plan, God laughs at me”.

So was it better to go with the flow, have some form of plan and if you were put off track, modify it. Deviations can be good! I remember reading somewhere about how a Japanese motor vehicle manufacturer came up with a concept by accident: and this resulting in them discovering a market for a smaller, more “agile” motorcycle. By the original plan not going through they still ended up being winners.

This thought process is akin to many sayings: “there is a light at the end of the tunnel”; “Once one door closes, another one opens”; “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try” and I could go on. I worked abroad before, and due to external factors had to return home. I can remember feeling disappointed about how things did not go to plan.  But interestingly, a few months later I began a new process that led me to my now business. If my original plan went through would I have my business?

Going back to my project, a few weeks later I received another phone call to say that: “it is back on”. So it must have meant to be; the plan.