A serious review of life’s priorities and how not to sweat the small stuff!
After being away for a few days, I managed to take some time out and have a reflection of where I was with my life.
By having time completely alone with my husband for the first time in as long as I could remember, I suddenly realised how much time I was spending sweating the small stuff and thereby neglecting what should be the priorities in my life, such as him.
It was then that I remembered the story of rocks, pebbles and sand. If you have never heard it before, please take time to read on and pay attention to the message therein.
Rocks, pebbles and sand
A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items in front of him. When class began, he wordlessly picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks about two inches in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles, poured them into the jar and lightly shook it. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. The students laughed. He asked his students again if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things—your family, your partner, your health, your children—anything that is so important to you that if it were lost, you would be nearly destroyed. The pebbles are the other things in life that matter, but on a smaller scale. The pebbles represent things like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else—the small stuff.
“If you put the sand or the pebbles into the jar first, there is no room for the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your energy and time on the small stuff, material things, you will never have room for the things that are truly most important. Pay attention to the things that are critical in your life. Play with your children. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.”
Wise words. In your own life, be sure to take care of the rocks first—the things that really matter. Remember, the rest is only pebbles and sand. Don’t sweat the small stuff!
Sometimes you just need to take a day out. Are you feeling drained, stressed out or exhausted? Do you feel like you need a day out to hide in the shadows, curl up in a ball and have a good cry or maybe just a long overdue sleep? Do you feel like you are having a mini meltdown?
Every day, as women running our own small businesses, we are bombarded with the messages of being positive, not giving up, keep soldiering forward etc. We feel we have to put our superwoman cloak on every day and never stop juggling the many hats we wear. But sometimes I don’t think it hurts to just hide away and admit it is tough and you just don’t have the energy anymore.
This may be due to business being sluggish or slow and you not achieving the results you want as fast as you want, or it could be down to trying hold together a family at the same time as your business and things seem to be falling apart at the seams.
By having some time out you are not giving in or admitting defeat. You are just have a well-earned break and giving yourself some head space and self-sympathy for all that you have been having to cope with.
Sometimes having a mini meltdown can be incredibly therapeutic. After having that time to let all your feelings out, you can feel a sense of relief that actually gives you the energy to get and go at it all again. It is said that it is only when you hit rock bottom that you can truly pick yourself and move forward.
When you hit those times of feeling overwhelmed and like you are drowning under the weight of your responsibilities, find somewhere to shut off. If you are at home with family around you, tell them you are poorly and go lock yourself in the bedroom and hide under the duvet. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t try to figure it all out. Just close your eyes and let the feelings flow.
When you have had a rest and feel ready, you can then start to get your thoughts out on paper, refocus on what you are trying to achieve and prioritise what you need to do to get back on track. And then you can start to plan those priorities in baby steps.
But that is for later. Have this down time. It will come at some point so expect it and be prepared for it. Don’t let it scare you and don’t try to fight it. Accept it, take that break and realise you are only human after all. You can go back to being Superwoman again tomorrow.
Why you need to find out now who owns your website
Yet again today I came across a horror story. I was asked to help out with planning a new website for a company that has been running very successfully for a number of years. During discussions, the CEO told me that they were not getting any response from their original designer and he wouldn’t even respond to a simple request to add a new email address to the site.
I said I would help where I could and if they could give me the login in information for their hosting provider I would set up the new email address for them. This is where it all started to go wrong.
They weren’t sure of the hosting provider so I did a check on Who.is. And to my horror, I saw that the registrant, or owner, of the site was not the CEO as they expected but the web designer himself.
So what does that mean? Well basically, this company cannot do anything with their site if they wish as they do not own it. They cannot do the rebrand they have planned, they cannot update the site, add or delete email addresses, move it to a new platform as planned or anything else they wish without the permission of their original designer who has is now refusing to liaise with them.
They are left stunned. The best case solution is that a dialogue can be opened up with the original designer once again and he agrees to transfer the domain to the company he purchased it for. Worst case scenario will involve a long drawn out and possibly quite expensive legal case, during which time the original designer can take down the site altogether if he so wishes leaving the company in dire straits as much of their work is done online.
You may be under the impression that this is an isolated incident, but I assure you it is not. I have lost track of the times I have come across this scenario which in a couple of cases has had an incredibly detrimental effect on the business in question.
So just go do a sanity check and make sure you know who owns your website and hope that it really is you. And if you don’t, start to resolve the situation now before it gets to a critical stage.
Anger can be triggered by a wide variety of things which will be different to each and every one of us.
Certain situations will limit our ability to control our anger such as being tired, having consumed too much alcohol or having had a stressful day at work.
If we can try to identify what angers us and avoid these triggers, then we should be able to control our anger more effectively.
If however you find yourself in a situation which makes you angry, try the following simple ways on how to control anger and lessen your stress.
Breathing deeply can help you clear your mind and see things from a calmer perspective. It will help slow down your heart rate and bring back a feeling of calm
Pick an image that makes you feel calm. Think back to a holiday when you were lying in the sun totally relaxed. Think of a favourite walk in the woods that you love. Think of listening to the sound of the rain whilst you are sat reading a book. Try to focus on that image to bring back a feeling of calm to your mind.
Count to 10 before you speak
Speaking in anger can exacerbate the situation, causing the other person to react in an adverse way towards you which in turn increases your anger. Try not to say anything at all until you have your anger under control. The simple act of counting to ten really can help.
Following on from the above tip, walking away from a situation until you have calmed down can be the most sensible option. When you feel calm again you can then return and deal with the situation in a controlled manner.
Put things in perspective
So someone has cut you up in rush hour traffic. Does it really matter in the great scheme of things that you will be 20 seconds later at your arrival point? Someone has been rude to you and you feel insulted. Does it really matter what they think? Are you going to be seeing them on a regular basis and do you really value their opinion?
Always remember that there are far more important things going on in the world that you could spend your energy worrying about. There are children with life threatening illnesses and horrific wars going on. Don’t contribute to any more unnecessary anger in the world.
Think of the situation from the other person’s point of view
We find it all too easy to just focus on our own feelings. Try to think of it from the other person’s point of view. Did they simply misread a signal? If so, calmly and clearly explain that you are sorry if they saw it this way but that is how you saw it/meant it. Are they just having an incredibly bad day? Have they just come from a stressful meeting with their boss? Have they just discovered someone close to them ill? Most people don’t get angry for the sheer fun of it. There is always an underlying factor which will have contributed. So try to find out what that is to help both you and them deal with the situation.
Speak slowly and calmly in a soft tone
This will help the other person calm themselves also. If you shout, they are likely to shout louder. Softening your tone can help them come to their senses and lower their tone also. Just the tone of your voice can have a calming effect. Don’t rise to the bait. Stay in control.
Vent your anger
Find somewhere to go on your own and vent your anger in a controlled manner. This could be as simple as going for a hard run, going to the gym for a workout, using a pillow as a punch bag or going into the garage and having a good scream
Write it down
Vent your anger on a piece of paper. Write down what and who have made you angry and why. Write down your feelings. Let it all out. This can be a therapeutic way of getting everything out of your system and then being able to assess the situation logically.
So next time you feel your blood boiling, take a moment to stop and really consider if your anger is going to contribute to a successful solution to the situation you are in. Try the simple ways above on how to control anger and keep it under control. You will feel so much better in the long run if you do.
Live like it’s heaven on earth
So I saw this picture this morning of Lady Avalon, Lady of the lake
It made me think of the quote by Vivian Greene
“Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”
That made me think of the quote by Willian Purkey
“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”