Tag Archives: LIFESTYLE

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 51: Business renovation

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Photo by Tatiana on Pexels.com

What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

And now the days are hot. A mid-July heatwave brings quieter streets, a hazy calm, and the world at work is out of office.  But that’s just great for me. My work life balance just seems to be getting better. A run in the cool early morning. A call with coffee at 10.00.  Think-work on the laptop in the cool inside while the sun bakes outside, and fruit smoothie breaks in the garden.

I’m still not making any money and its two years now since the Mirror Mirror concept formed, yet I’m on a good track. And isn’t this work-life balance – and the quality, creativity, and productivity it brings – one of the reasons why I chose to become self-employed?

Ahh.

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 41: Is this TURNAROUND?

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

And then – all at once, an unrelated series of pick-me-ups came in!! Is this it? Is this the start of a turnaround? Continue reading

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 40: What is this animal?

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds… 

Last time I wrote to you, I was talking about resilience. It’s about bouncing back and being adaptive. And to be adaptive with a young business you really have to have your radar on full power: what exactly are we dealing with here? What kind of animal is this?

It’s like a join-the-dots puzzle. Once you can figure out the constellation, it all fits into place and everything is possible. This seems to apply to lots of situations. A couple of hypothetical examples:

  • A historian is looking to answer a key question about our ancient past. By researching and piecing together the right bits of new and existing knowledge from botany, microbiology, geology and anthropology, she joins the dots and gets to an answer.
  • Someone is unhappy. They feel mixed up and can’t work out what’s going on. With a good therapist, they manage to uncover a co-incidence of factors that when put together in the right way, make everything clear, perhaps a disturbing event in early life, a difficult relationship with a sibling, an aspect of their character that triggers an unhealthy response to certain circumstances – and then a pattern of reactions to this. Based on this understanding, they can address their issues.

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Time

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By: Angie Falls

In essence we all are time travellers.

Late at night, there is this thought in my mind that just wouldn’t leave me until I wrote it down. I see the past in front of me and realize that I am unique in the universe and that everything revolves around me. Every event and occurrence in time is to teach me. Every step ahead I learn new lessons from the people I meet and the surroundings in which I move. I travel in time to the future. The years pass by me and I can see and feel the time. I only possess the ability to move forward. Unfortunately, I can’t turn back time. So many times, I wish I could. I must google this.

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 39: Resilience

Image-1What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

Resilience, as I’ve discovered, isn’t about how much thick skin you’ve got or how much you can carry on with something determinedly (although that’s quite a close definition).

Resilience is “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties”.

Apparently, resilience is like a muscle – it strengthens with practice. It seems people can be more resilient if they:

  • don’t have so much recovery to do (e.g. if they mitigated the extent of the damage / pain)
  • have a degree of independence, a personal distance from the subject of the difficulties
  • see the journey that they are on is ever-evolving, and the difficulties they encounter as learning moments.

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DREAM BIG – ACT SMALL

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 By: Anja Uitdehaag

 “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” — Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

All kids dream big. They want to be super famous, super meaningful, super powerful superheroes. (I used to spend quite a bit of time dreaming about doing something special and be famous for making a positive difference to the whole world in my own way.)

As we mature, these dreams are typically educated out of us. With age comes “wisdom” and a more “practical” perspective. We lower our expectations and often fear failure and risk taking.

Such a shame!

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7 ways expats struggle more than most

The life of an expat may seem like a glamorous one. Many expats move abroad for better job opportunities, or for the lifestyle, or even for the fantastic weather and to enjoy a big adventure. From the outside, life seems full of possibilities and excitement…but being an expat is fraught with an array of unique problems that those remaining in their birth country may never understand.

Here are seven ways expats struggle more than others.

1. Communication barriers

Most expats speak English, but that doesn’t help when you are relocated to a country where they don’t. Even if you speak English at home and at work and you are doing your best to learn the host country’s language, it takes time to settle in, and in the meantime you are left struggling with issues that would normally be a walk in the park. Simple things like letters from the doctor’s office or the council; your television not working but not understanding the message that pops up on the screen; calling a company on the phone and not understanding the automated recording or what number to press – these tiny little inconveniences can lead to a sense of frustration, anxiety and in some cases anger or feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.

2. Culture

One of the many reasons that expats look for work abroad is to submerge themselves in a new culture, but the flipside of that is that some cultures are hard to integrate into and difficult to align with your own customs and expectations…no matter how hard you try. Coupled with the communication barriers, it can sometimes feel very isolating and frustrating, you may feel cut off from your community and confused – or even worse, regretful of your move.

3. Losing your identity

Most expats move abroad for work – but if you move as a family, what about the other partner? What are they expected to do? Even though in a lot of cases one partner has moved the family because their new wage justifies the life change, the second partner is left to carve out a new identity for themselves. Do they embrace this change and start a new career? Train in something new? Reinvent themselves? Or will they be left feeling inferior, lost and unsure of their new role? These feelings of uncertainty, and sometimes resentment, can have a negative effect on the entire family and put pressure on the marriage. Without the usual support network around you, this shift can be even harder to manage.

4. Relocating family

It’s hard enough to move abroad and start afresh by yourself or as a couple, but what if you’re also trying to settle your children into a new school and a new way of life? Although children are pretty adaptable, and the children of expats probably more so than most, the knock-on effect of an anxious child can put pressure on the parent and affect marriages and alter the family dynamic.

5. Feelings of isolation

It takes a long time to create a community around you and to make friends. As a child, making friends and connecting with people is a normal part of life – but as you get older if becomes more forced and harder to do. When you are busy at home with family, and at work, how do you go out there and force yourself to get involved in your community and seek alliances with others?

An expat life can be a lonely one at times. It’s difficult to be separated from good friends and family, and it’s hard to live without emotional or practical support at hand, which is why some expats lose confidence or suffer from anxiety issues which they may previously not encountered.

6. Uncertainty

With the current political and financial climate, no job is a guaranteed job for life. So what happens when you experience feelings of uncertainty but you are abroad and dependent on that one job that brought you there? What if you are unhappy but there are limited options outside of your current role? When most people don’t like their job they are free to seek another nearby – but for an expat, that move is likely to be a huge one, one that affects the lives of the entire family including the children’s education, the partner’s job and the family’s lifestyle. When you feel like you lack choice in your career, it can lead to feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, stress, depression and ill health.

7. Lack of confidence

What makes us feel confident? The decisions we make in life, the encouragement and support of friends and family, our sense of worth at home and at work, and our own definition of who we are in society as a whole. So what happens when we are stripped of all of that? How do we feel when we are in a foreign country where everything we know, and everything that we feel defines us, is no longer the same? It takes on average a year to settle into a new country, and in that time you can experience the highest of highs and lowest of lows.

Being an expat is not all negative, far from it, or millions around the globe wouldn’t be jumping from country to country chasing exciting new job opportunities – but it is challenging.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

 

 

 

 

The elusive work-life balance – Is it really attainable?

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By: Koach.net

We all want it, but few of us have found it…the elusive work-life balance. You’ve probably heard this expression mentioned a lot, especially in terms of coaching or therapy, but what does it really mean?

Wikipedia says this:

Work–life balance is a concept including proper prioritizing between “work” (career and ambition) and “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation). This is related to the idea of lifestyle choice.

The work–leisure dichotomy was invented in the mid-1801s. Paul Krassner remarked that anthropologists use a definition of happiness that is to have as little separation as possible “between your work and your play”.

So how does this affect you?

It’s a sad fact of life but if we don’t work, we don’t earn money. And if we don’t earn money, we struggle to live the life we want. So it stands to reason that many of us struggle to find the balance between dedicating time to our job (which for most people amounts to where they spent 70% of their waking hours) and ensuring we still have the time and energy to spend with the ones we love, and doing the things we love to do.

In a Harvard Business School Survey (as reported by Forbes magazine), it was discovered that “a whopping 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week”. With the introduction of technology making it easier for us to be accessible 24hrs a day (and making it harder for us to escape) and thanks to the worldwide recession adding uncertainty in the workplace, it’s no surprise that people are struggling to not only find the time to stop working, but also to not feel guilty when enjoying themselves out of working hours.

So what can you do to find that inner peace?

We all have 24 hours in a day – so how can you best utilise your time?

 1. Look after yourself:

Your busy life may feel like you are lurching from one emergency to another, a perpetual cycle of ticking things off your To Do lists, but to keep that lifestyle sustainable you need a healthy mind and body. So as much as the adrenaline of a hectic schedule may be giving your short bursts of energy and a buzzy high…the reality is that you will come crashing down or worse, get seriously ill and burn out, if you don’t look after yourself.

How can you do that?

Drink lots of water and less alcohol and coffee (which in the short-term may calm or speed you up, but too much of either won’t help in the long-run).

Eat well and eat slowly, make time for your meals and add them to your schedule.

Go to the gym or to exercise classes, or even a short run every morning. Not only is keeping fit important, but it clears your mind and floods your brain with feel-good endorphins.

Rest your mind. Aim for 7-8 hours sleep a night and practice mindfulness – whether it’s ten minutes of deep breathing and visualisation each morning, or a guided mediation session a few times a week, your mind needs to rest sometimes too.

 2. Don’t expect perfection:

One of the biggest obstacles to getting through your work day, and the reason that many people stay on at work beyond their contracted hours, is because they want everything they do to be perfect. Stop!

Executive coach Marilyn Puder-York, PhD, author of The Office Survival Guide, says, “The key to avoid burning out is to let go of perfectionism. As life gets more expanded it’s very hard, both neurologically and psychologically, to keep that habit of perfection going.”

Puder-York adds, “ the healthier option is to strive not for perfection, but for excellence.”

3. Disconnect:

Technology has made our lives easier…but it’s also ensuring we stay ‘on’ at all times. Have you ever found yourself checking work emails at a friend’s wedding? Or scrolling through Facebook, locked in the toilet, while the kids are outside asking for you? Maybe you can’t even go for a meal with a loved one without leaving your phone on the dinner table. This constant need to be connected to everyone, at all times, means that we struggle to be present doing the important stuff. It also means that our attention spans are affected, making it harder for us to focus on the job in hand.

So in order to get full satisfaction from whatever it is you are doing – disconnect from technology! Leave your phone turned off and enjoy the people you are with, really live in the moment. By departmentalising your life you will benefit a lot more from every aspect of your day.

4. Stop wasting time:

If you are struggling to get all your work completed within the allocated hours, are you really concentrating 100% on your job or are you wasting time?

Focus on the people that reward you most. If you don’t want to spend your evening at after work drinks, don’t…go home and rest, or spend it with the family. Likewise don’t arrange meetings with people that don’t fit your life goals if your time is better spent elsewhere, you will only come away feeling frustrated and pulled in too many directions.

5. Change your life structure:

If your day is too stressful and you don’t know how you are going to manage to get it all done – step back and look at how you structure your day. Making one small change, like having a shorter lunch or turning off notifications at certain times, can free up your time and help you prioritise the areas of your life that you feel are lacking. Reorganise, prioritise, delegate and ask for help.

The perfect work-life balance may be elusive but it is attainable.

Visit Koach.net to discover how our coaches can help you find clarity at work and at home, and can lead you to a more successful and fulfilled you.

 

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

My Story

Iroh – Avatar The last Airbender

by Raechanah Syafei

It was in 2010 when I was diagnosed with cancer and for two years I underwent medical treatment.

In the middle of 2012 I had total hysterectomy.

I was devastated both physically and mentally throughout this time. For two years I struggled to keep my high performance level up at work and at the same time fighting against my cancer. I am a right-handed person and since I could not use my right hand anymore I learnt to write with my left hand.

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20 Ways Why Being a Singleton Rocks

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Written by:  matheen

Most of the time, singletons were pitied for being alone in life. Don’t ever pity your singleton friends — they may be alone, but trust me, they’re not lonely. I know this because I’m a proud singleton by choice! Having learned from two failed relationships, I refuse to settle for less. Modern single women nowadays — are a far cry from Bridget Jones — whose live revolves around finding The One. We’re more focused on our own well-being. We’re not bothered with our status in life — we’re smarter and wiser because we’re done with crappy dates and staying in bad relationships. We spend our time working on ourselves, growing as individuals. It’s not being selfish; it’s living your life in the best possible ways. Being single means you’re strong enough to enjoy life without depending on others!

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