#lifelessons101 – Sometimes doing what you don’t want to do is exactly what you need and comes with unexpected bonuses (2 min read)

 

Sometimes doing what you don’t want to do is exactly what you need to do. I know when talking about life or personal development we talk about making informed, positive choices. Facing situations with positivity. Sending out the right vibrations. And yes all of these things have value. However there are sometimes in life where you just have to do the things you are unwilling to do. It (at the start)sucks but in the end it brings you the bigger rewards.

 

Take last weekend for example. I was at a “viking” fighting training weekend (yes when I am not running around with a wand playing Tonks, you can often find me running around with a metal replica sword, bashing and being bashed by my friends. Yep I  am a viking re- enactor. I love to fight with r a system known as  western style. It’s on one hand similar to tag with weapons and a lot of historical background! On the other it’s an amazing international and ever evolving sport.) Now in this sport I am not the best, not by a long shot; and typically when participating in training weekend workshops I often have had a tendency to hide away and not fight with the technically clever, aka the people who are blooming good and are probably going to win every fight we have. Basically I would (previously) get into my stuff and limit myself by trying to protect myself from feeling rubbish about my lack of abilities by using one or another excuse to get out of the fights with said people.

 

I know, I know a low self belief spawned, self created situation/drama.

 

And one of which I was completely  unaware of until last weekend when I found myself at a workshop (which I had chosen due to personal interest in the subject)in the company of some the best fighters I know. So I didn’t have a choice. I had to spar with them. I was simply forced into doing something I normally wouldn’t choose to do. And what did I gain? Well I gained a hell of alot. Firstly I realised this whole self limiting and self creating behaviour drama cycle thing I didn’t notice I was doing. And once I got out of my reacting mindset and into my responding humble mindset I learnt more. I even realised how I learn best (which by the way is agonisingly slow, when it comes to doing things with my own body, it’s an Aspergers co-ordination thing). From sparring with those guys, letting down my guard, I learnt so much more because their ability stretched mine and wow do I feel grateful to them and to myself for allowing this learning.

 

And the benefits of doing something I didn’t want to do didn’t stop there.

 

By day two of the training weekend I was at yet another workshop surrounded by much more able people (some of who I would consider to be the best in this sport, this time with a humdinger of a hangover). However now I was aware of it I chose the what the fuck I am doing it anyway even when I don’t want to attitude. Instead of shying away from the harder fights  (in my head) I choose them and by the end of the weekend I had learnt more in two days than I have in two years of fighting. It was exhilarating!

 

Doing exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do actually freed me from my mental constraints and opened up possibilities for me that weekend. But could that be a one off event? Nope. Being as I like to experiment. I have applied this theory all week. Even today after a week of being home sick (turns out it wasn’t just a hangover I was also sick) I had to return to school, something I really, really did not want to do. And yet it turned out to be exhilarating. The welcome, the learning, the shared jokes. Even when having to point out my opinion against everyone else’s (something I don’t find difficult in English but hate to do in another language). Once again Doing the exact opposite of what my instincts were telling me I wanted to do freed me leaving me open to new experiences. Wow.

 

Now I understand you maybe thinking “I thought I am supposed to respond to my instincts so how can doing the what I don’t want to do fit that picture?” Well asked grasshopper. From what I have learned in the last 7 days, it’s about trying it out. Our brains and especially our unconscious can be very devious. It sends out all kinds of messages and a lot of them contradict each other, making following our instincts very difficult. Ultimately I have found if there is something you really don’t want to do but dare to do it anyway you will often find that it was actually something you wanted to do, you just hadn’t realised it. The making yourself do it was just the kick up the bum you needed to get going.

 

The key to gaining the most from the experience is to (as always) remain open. If you are closed you will only ever endure the drama of doing what it is you didn’t want to do and how awful that was for you. Remain open to the possibilities presented to you when doing something you really didn’t want to do and you will be pleasantly if not overwhelmingly surprised by the benefits.  The choice is yours, its how you choose to experience it.

 

So next time life presents you with something you really don’t want to do – do it * Open your mind and try. The way I see things, any experience in life is a good thing if we learn something from it. Because by learning we grow. So open your mind and dive in. Whether it is facing your hardest opponent, returning to work after being ill or even going to a gig on your own, no matter what it is, by doing that thing you least want to do you will find wealth of learning, possibilities and experiences that you could never have found if you stayed in your comfort zone.

 

So whenever you get the chance break out of yourself, kick your own butt  and choose to do the thing you don’t want to do. You never know what adventure you may start ….

 

Enjoy the journey ❤

Screenshot 2017-03-10 at 20.32.39.png

 

(*With of course taking into consideration that your and other people’s safety will not be jeopardised. Always ce careful of you and other people)  

Keep working on your dreams………..inspirational people when you need them the most- J.K Rowling (4 min read)

Most of us have a dream. And when we first find it, it seems so easy. Our confidence is high. This dream is achievable. And then after time the vision grows dimmer. The possibilities of actually manifesting our dreams seems less and less likely. And it’s at this point that we need inspiration and fortunately there are many in the world that have had the same experience and still manifested their dreams. So when the chips are down and the goal seems impossible it’s to these real life stories we can turn to, to re inspire us .

As most of you know I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. I love the universe, the characters and the magic. However the story behind the book is just as amazing as the books themselves.

J.K Rowling had a vision and a dream which took her through the hardest parts of her life. Over a period of five years the first of the Harry Potter books became her comfort and escape. She didn’t give up on the dream of having the book published and in the end her hard work paid off. A true rags to riches story.

Rowling had a relatively uneventful childhood, she was known as a child that lived in a fantasy world  and was always writing in a notebook. She finished her education by graduating Exeter University with a diploma of Bachelor of Arts in French and Classics. She moved to London and worked as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International, but she knew that it was not for her.

Whilst returning from Manchester on the train, Rowling was inspired by the idea of Harry Potter, the whole story of the first book and the wizarding world. She had no idea where the idea came from. She began writing the book at once.

It was also at this point Rowling’s life began a downward spiral. It started on 30th December 1990 with the death of her mother at the age of 45. The shock of her mother’s death sent Rowling into a depression. 9 months later to escape she moved to Portugal where she met her first husband. Unfortunately after a period in the training assembly Rowlings husband was unable to find work and she supported the family until the birth of her daughter in 1993. However a few months later her husband beat her and drove her and her daughter out of their home.

Rowling retuned to the UK and moved in with her sister in Edinburgh. By the end of 1993, Rowling hit rock bottom and saw herself as a failure. Her short-lived marriage had collapsed, she was unemployed and she was a lone parent and as poor as it was possible to be in Britain. However Rowling can recall these years as both troubled and valuable.

During this period, Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression and contemplated suicide. Her illness helped her to invent the characters known as Dementors, dark creatures, introduced in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Even in this troubled period Rowling kept her dream alive.

Rowling decided to rent a small apartment in Edinburgh. As an unemplyed person she had to live off state benefits, 70 pounds per week.  Rowling was ashamed of her distressful situation. Every day she went out for a walk with her daughter and wandered through the streets to make her fall asleep. Then, sitting with a cup of coffee at Nicolson’s Cafe, or at the Elephant House, Joanne, continued to work on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. In writing she could forget about everything, all those failures and hardships helped her to become stronger, teaching her how to succeed, even when life seemed hopeless.

In 1995, after five years of writing,  and the rewriting chapter 1 fifteen times Rowling finally finished Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Rowling had such faith in her book that she made drawings for the future illustrators. Rowling printed several chapters on an old typewriter, put them in a folder and sent them to some literary agents. After she was looking forward to their responses. 

But she received such replies as “It is too difficult for children,” “It is too long”, “Children would not be interested in it.” At this stage, she  thought that life was meaningless. Her sister came to help and said “Rowlings never give up!” So they sent some chapters to Christopher Little, the famous literary agent. Who at first rejected the book. But after reconsideration book was sent to 12 publishing companies all of whom rejected the book.

Just as Rowling was beginning to despair in 1996 there was the first light of success. In August the book finally got a green light (and a £1,500 ($2,300) of advance) by Barry Cunningham, an editor from Bloomsbury, a publishing house in London.  However although Bloomsbury agreed to publish the book, Rowling was advised by them to find a job since she had a little chance of making money in children’s books. Soon, Rowling got a job as a teacher of French.

However slowly success came in dribs and drabs. In 1997, Rowling received a £8,000 ($12,500) grant from the Scottish Arts Council to enable her to continue writing. In June 1997, Bloomsbury published Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone with an initial print-run of 1,000 copies. 500 copies of the book were distributed to libraries. When the book was presented Rowling read out the passages from her book only a few people came to listen to the unknown writer. Nevertheless, she felt herself triumphal. At this point there was no indication of the success that was to come.

The readers took to the book and the boom began. Five months later, the book won its first award, a Nestlé Smarties Book Prize. In February, the novel, beyond comparison, won the British Book Award for Children’s Book of the Year. Soon, the novel took the Children’s Book Award. In early 1998, Scholastic Inc. during the auction that was held in the United States won the rights to publish the novel won for $105,000.

In October 1998, Warner Bros. purchased the film rights to the first two novels for $1.5 million. And JK. Rowling’s success has grown and grown since that day.

J.K Rowling’s story shows dedication to a dream in spite of all the hardships and barriers.She worked hard all the way and kept the vision in mind no matter what.  In her own words “I believe you’re working and learning until the day you die”.  These three things, holding the vision, learning all the way and working hard will take your dreams to a reality.  If JK Rowling could do it, so can you.

So no matter how hard things are allow your dreams to be your guiding light and keep working on them. And remember as Rowling says that ” Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”

working-hard