Do You Suffer from ‘If-only-itis?’

Do you ever ask yourself 'If only I'd..."At any dinner table, at any barbecue in Australia, or in any bar conversation, have you ever heard these words come out of your mouth? – “If only I’d…”

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, pretty much most of us have uttered these words in frustration at some point. We’ve all had that business idea we were going to start, that bargain property we should have bought, that person we ought to have spoken to; the list of ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda’s’ is endless.

Equally, we may have the other list: the idea we shouldn’t have followed through with, the car we should never have bought, the moron we wish we had never dated. Our list of perceived ‘failures’ may equal or even exceed our list of perceived ‘successes’.

I use the word ‘perceived’ because it’s my belief that we are in a world of constant change, both external and internal. That which you perceive as a disaster today may just turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you! You may be fired from a great job today – ‘a disaster’, only to be offered a better one tomorrow. Suddenly the firing was no longer a ‘disaster’ but a life-changing opportunity. It’s all in how we choose to look at it and how new information and ideas can change our perception.

This may make sense to you intellectually, but then you might say to me, “Well, what about my Father passing away or my wife leaving me?” When you are emotionally distraught, it’s pretty hard to swallow the concept that this may yet turn out to be a good thing in terms of your personal growth as a human being. I understand completely and I’m not in any way belittling or demeaning the grief or pain that someone may be going through. I’ve been through enough myself to ‘get’ that.

What I am saying though is that we always have choices.

I didn’t choose for my wife to leave me, though in the end it was a relief for both of us. I didn’t choose for my father to die, though in the end I felt it was a relief that his suffering from illness was ended. I was devastated for a while and that’s normal. There is a time and a place for processing your stages of shock, denial, hurt, anger and eventual acceptance. That’s all part of being human. The key point there is that some things are beyond our control, like our mortality and that of our loved ones. That’s when and why we have to dig deep inside ourselves and remind us of who we are and of the incredible potential that each one of us has.

Each one of us is a miracle – just by the very fact of our existence. I’m not addressing religion here, just the nature of life itself. We all have an opportunity to choose, perhaps not everything that happens ‘TO’ us, but definitely ‘HOW WE RESPOND’ to what happens to us. Funerals, though they are about grief and loss, have evolved to remind us of the joy we can give each other – they have transformed into a celebration of the life of a human being and the way in which they touched the lives around them. That is a source of great comfort that helps ease the pain of loss.

We alone can choose how to respond

We alone can choose how to respond

We can either allow ourselves to be crushed by external events or we can choose to respond internally and bounce back, set a new course, learn from our experiences and create change.

There are enough examples all around us of people who have seemingly lost everything that they cared about, yet they bounced back. Why?

Perhaps it’s because they accepted that what happened, happened and instead of being stuck with the affliction or disease of ‘If-only-itis’, they chose their own response. They chose change. They chose life.

Nelson Mandela chose to forgive his captors after ‘losing’ 26 years of his life in prison with his crusade to transform a nation. Gandhi chose to fight occupation and perceived injustice with passive protest to transform a nation. Muhammad Ali gave up a world championship title, won in a ‘controlled’ violent sport, to oppose conscription to fight a bloody war against people with whom he had no personal conflict. With that decision he gave up everything he had fought for to stand for something greater – for his core values of peace and harmony in the world.

You CAN create your own ripple of change

You CAN create your own ripple of change

Your battles may be less dramatic or may seem way less significant to the universe. You may justify maintaining your status quo by saying that those people were exceptional. Yet, they were just people. Had they stayed ‘stuck’ and muttered ‘If only…’ we would probably not have noticed them. You may not believe it now, but you may be Just like them and your personal choices just might have a ripple effect beyond anything you have yet imagined.

If you know someone who is suffering from that dreaded curse of wallowing in ‘If-only-itis’, maybe you can help. Perhaps you can give them a call, possibly invite them somewhere that might encourage them, or simply be kind in whatever way you can.

If you are stuck, whether in your business or in your life, feel free to contact me for a chat, using the website form or by calling (08) 9328 2203.

There are always strategies you can develop and choices you can make. The world is changing constantly, with you or without you. Every setback, every challenge, every disaster, is at the same moment an opportunity to change, to cope and grow stronger, to evolve as a human being, perhaps to change other lives. You might not see that right now if you are stuck, looking at ‘If only…’

Change the thinking, change the words you say to yourself and ask yourself different questions. “Why, how and in what way could this ‘if only’ lead to something useful? How could this event turn out to help me grow and move forwards?” Remember that a choice to do nothing is still a choice.

Mother Nature does not allow a vacuum to occur. When one ‘thing’ is taken away, ‘something else’ will take its place. What the ‘something else’ is however, is up to you. You can repeat an old pattern that was familiar and comfortable, but kept you stuck, or you can shed that skin and grow a new and better version of ‘YOU’.

Let Your Light Shine

Nelson Mandela - Former President of South Africa

Nelson Mandela – Former President of South Africa

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Nelson Mandela

From his 1994 inaugural speech

(written by Author Marianne Williamson)

President Mandela’s speech captivated the world.

As a man who spent 26 years in prison for speaking out against the racist regime of apartheid in South Africa, he did not speak of revenge for the injustice – he simply promoted peace and harmony.

He encouraged people to overcome their fears and be the best they could be.

So the question is ‘ Are you allowing your light to shine or are you letting your fears get in the way?’

Food for thought!

Here is the full speech:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is written within us.

It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

 

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (Xhosa pronunciation: [xoˈliːɬaɬa manˈdeːla]; born 18 July 1918) is a South African anti-apartheid activist, revolutionary and politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, the first to be elected in a fully representative, multiracial election. His administration focused on dismantling apartheid’s legacy, and cutting racism, poverty and inequality. Politically a democratic socialist, he served as president of the African National Congress (ANC) political party from 1991 to 1997.

Image and background information courtesy of Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela

“He really cares about people…” – Halle Yilmaz, Melbourne, Victoria

image-withheld“You can have an open communication with Tony easily.

He really cares about people and he is committed to make a contribution to other people’s life and happiness.

He is a great life coach.”

 

Halle Yilmaz

Managing Director, HQ Business Consulting & HQ Financial Solutions, Melbourne

Good or Evil? Which One will Win?

Two_wolves_fighting

The two wolves are constantly fighting

There is an old Cherokee tale of a grandfather teaching life principles to his grandson.

The wise old Cherokee said, “Son, on the inside of every person the battle is raging between two wolves. One wolf is evil. It’s angry, jealous, unforgiving, proud, and lazy. The other wolf is good. It is filled with love, kindness, humility, and encouragement. These two wolves are constantly fighting.”

The little boy thought about it and said, “Grandfather, which wolf is going to win?”

The grandfather smiled and said, “Which ever one you feed.”

*****

Which wolf are you feeding in your mind?

Remember that even when you can’t always choose what happens to you in your life, only you can choose how you will react.

 

I just love the wisdom of esoteric tribal teachings. You should listen to what Grandpa’s have to say…

I know, because I’m now a Grandpa!

Have a great week 😛

To the rest of the world watching…

Oprah Winfrey loved Australia

Oprah Winfrey

“To the rest of the world watching, you have got to come to Australia,” said Oprah Winfrey during filming of her show from the Sydney Opera House in December 2010.

The Queen of Entertainment summed up her experiences Down Under with a huge thumbs up for the Lucky Country, when she screamed to her audience of 6000 guests at Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure show, “I love Australia, I love Australia, I love Australia,”.

Oprah Winfrey has been reported to be one of the richest, if not the richest, and most influential women in the world today.

Love her or hate her (though I find it hard to imagine why you would), she has been, and continues to be, one of the most profoundly inspirational characters of our era.

Like most high achievers though, Oprah has an amazing story – one that has shaped the great charismatic figure though hardship and struggle.

Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood. She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood, including being raped at the age of nine and becoming pregnant at 14; her son died in infancy.

Oprah receiving a peace medal from President Obama

Oprah receiving a peace medal from President Obama

Sent to live with the man she calls her father, a barber in Tennessee, Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19. Her emotional ad-lib delivery eventually got her transferred to the daytime talk show arena, and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place she launched her own production company, Harpo, and she became internationally syndicated.

Credited with creating a more intimate confessional form of media communication, Oprah is thought to have popularized and revolutionized the tabloid talk show.

By the mid 1990s, she had reinvented her show with a focus on literature, self-improvement, and spirituality. Though criticized for unleashing confession culture and promoting controversial self-help fads, she is often praised for overcoming adversity to become a benefactor to others.

From 2006 to 2008, her support of Barack Obama, by one estimate, delivered over a million votes in the close 2008 Democratic primary race, to aid his achievement in becoming the first African American President.

Oprah’s programmes have made her an iconic figure across the globe and along with her work for charitable institutions, she has been acclaimed as one of the greatest philanthropists in American History, if not World History.

tony-sydney-harbour-bridgeTony’s Viewpoint: I am always fascinated and inspired by people who overcome adversity and pursue their dreams with single-minded determination – especially when the achievement of them is of such incredible benefit to so many other people in the world.

To think that your own vision for your future can impact so magnificently on the lives of people you may never even meet, is truly uplifting.

In Oprah’s early days, she used to annoy me when interviewing, because I felt that she wanted to answer her own questions before her guests could! Since then, though she has learned so much and helped so many, she is amazing.

One of Oprah’s key messages is that it is really important to find time to relax and nourish your spirit. If you need any help with finding work/life balance, feel free to contact me via this site.