I must confess, I’ve been more than reflective since starting my online business diploma with Business Mamas. Only a month in, I’m currently finalising assessments for my first module and already reaping the rewards. A new mindset, a new more rounded approach to life, with my eyes firmly set on the end prize. An online business built on solid foundations. A new and improved, more balanced me which translates to a new and improved, more balanced life.
Today, I’m sharing my top 8 Rules to Live Your Life by which are possibly a little disjointed and will need revisiting this time next year, once I’ve finished my course and launched my new business.
Save yourself first
Like most mothers, I’m guilty of putting everyone else’s needs and wants before my own. Any other approach had me burdened with guilt and feeling over indulgent. It’s only recently that I’ve done an about turn in this regard and have almost turned my to do list upside down. Exercise and sleep were the first to go when I was time poor and another example of how I really wasn’t looking after myself first. These are now top priorities.
I’m no longer an afterthought or last on the list. I like to think of it as an emergency drill on an aircraft. You are always told to fit your oxygen mask first before helping anyone else and that’s what I’m now doing in life. Looking after myself first, so I’m in a better position to help others. It sounds so simple but it just makes sense. So much sense. A lot like Kelly Exeter’s manifesto for life…
Kindness doesn’t need to be random
Why are we so focused on random acts of kindness and do we really need to be cruel to be kind? Well occasionally yes and as someone that audits and looks for the negatives before the positives, I do come across as rather negative most of the time. I don’t have much time for partaking in the whole positive, positive, negative followed by a final positive to keep things well… positive BUT it is something I’m acutely aware of and also something I’m working on.
To compensate, I regularly schedule Random Acts of Kindness. I do worry that they are now turning into grand gestures and would prefer to adopt a more positive and kind approach to my everyday life because kindness really shouldn’t be a random thing. Should it?
Collaborate good times
Since launching the blog and throwing what was a rather mysterious existence and business into the limelight, I’ve been careful not to fall into the comparison trap which can lead to a rather miserable game of survival of the fittest bloggiest.
It’s generally not how I do things. Online or off. I’m honestly too busy doing my own thing but that doesn’t mean I’m self absorbed and only looking out for myself.
The people that spend the time to get to know me and what I’m really about, appreciate how generous I am with my time and my experience. I like to support those that need or want it and I don’t buy into the competitive side of people. It just doesn’t sit right. A bit like being back in high school, only I avoided the whole competitiveness back then as well.
For the record, the only person I’m actually in competition with is myself and this is the only competition that I find healthy, in life and in blogging terms. Collaboration on the other hand inspires a sense of community and benefits everyone involved.
I’ve always adopted a collaborative approach to business, blogging and life. I like to share my success and experience but not in a rub your nose in it sense. More to inspire and bring others along for the ride but also for me to learn and grow at the same time because I’m far from knowing it all.
As far as I’m concerned, there is more than enough room for everyone to be successful. Just imagine the possibilities if we took away the competitiveness and concentrated on our own strengths and passions, supporting others when we can.
Blog Exchange, a blog collaborate which I launched with like minded bloggers recently, is a great example of this. An evolving community with endless possibilities, where the more you put in, the more you are going to get out of it. Together everyone achieves more!
Find your theme song and follow your wildest dreams
I’m acutely aware that happiness is a habit and a state of mind. It is something that comes from within and if you go looking for things or outside influences to find your happy place, you are just going to end up miserable. Been there, done that!
I’ve always had a thing for theme songs and music in general. It has the potential to change your mood and inspire. I think it is important to listen to your heart, discover what makes it sing and find your passion in life.
While it would be nice to be able to earn a decent living from your passions, it’s not always possible but finding a way to incorporate some of your life passions into your day to day life is the next best thing. Discovering what your true passions are in the first place can be an exercise in itself.
Have you found your passion in life? Was it hard to find or something sitting right under your nose? Do you have a theme song?
Blood might be thicker than water but unless you are a vampire, water is a hell of a lot easier to swallow. Not all of us have an ideal upbringing or family support system and not every family fits the mould. Family means different things to different people and I don’t buy into the whole blood is thicker than water theory. Your family is where you find it and that might not necessarily mean blood ties.
You don’t need to be dying to start living
It took a major health issue that is somewhat life limiting with the potential to be life threatening for me to appreciate I wasn’t living. I was in a major rut. I was only just existing and caught up in the every day busyness that comes with being a wife and mother to three daughters as well as all the rest.
If you feel like you are just existing, it might be time to question why and seek help. Do a mini audit and ascertain what areas in your life aren’t so balanced and need work. For me, it is a constant work in progress to find that elusive balance. When things are going great in one area, it is generally at the expense of another area.
In terms of self worth and living life, I found starting a bucket list of sorts, disguised as my One New Thing (each week) challenge was an interesting way forward. It’s been almost three years now of attempting something new each week. Some weeks are more impressive than others but it is all a step in the right direction. Right?
Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear
As you already know, I recently commenced an online business diploma with Business Mamas. A course that will help me finally achieve my business goals. My only regret, is that I didn’t start sooner. What was stopping me? A variety of different things but in the end they really were just obstacles, possibly driven by fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure and fear in general.
A lot like when I commence a new exercise regime and I have it in my mind that I need to go out and purchase new gear before I can start, instead of just popping on my old sneakers and some comfy clothing. These are just obstacles, standing in my way of starting.
The reality is, I just need to change my mindset and start already. Put one foot in front of the other and stop over complicating matters. Set mini goals, so I’m not overwhelmed but still focus on the much bigger picture. The end result.
While the business course is a huge investment, which possibly justifies so many obstacles (real and imagined) standing in my way before staring, so is exercise for me at the moment with ongoing health issues which is why I feel comfortable comparing the two.
Why wait? What obstacles are standing in your way? Are they merely distractions that disguise the real obstacle… fear?!
Rules are made to be broken
Rules are meant to be broken. I’m not suggesting you break the law here but I am suggesting especially in terms of living your life to the fullest, you need to question if there isn’t a better way forward for you.
Don’t get so set in your ways, sticking to the unwritten rules or self-imposed boundaries you’ve created over the years and let your life become stagnant.
Without even realising we take on the misconceptions of others, especially our parents. We’ve grown up with these misconceptions and over time they inadvertently become our own.
Don’t let the rules you’ve adopted due to someone else’s misconceptions and life experiences continue to be your own.
Ask the silly questions. Don’t be afraid to break rules. Live some of your life outside your comfort zone, it’s where the fun and real sense of achievement happens.
I appreciate I should be expanding and offering my personal take on the misconceptions I’ve adopted but rather than being a case of not really knowing where to start, it’s definitely not knowing where to finish that is stopping me in my blogging tracks for this one. A topic that no doubt deserves a blog post or therapy session of its own.
Do you have any rules or self-imposed boundaries that are holding you back?
What rules do you like to live your life by?
What are you waiting for?
I’m proud to be a Business Mamas Ambassador and will be blogging about my business diploma endeavours over the next 12 months. Any questions? Just ask!