Did your dog eat your homework?

Have you ever failed to give homework in as a child and come up with an excuse for not doing it?

Have you ever resorted to the kind of excuse used in the title of this piece, where you’ve tried to convince the teacher that your dog ate your homework?

Looking back on things like this, we may raise a smile remembering some of the weirder excuses we may have used whilst growing up, when failing to turn in homework, or perhaps not wanting to do PE (Physical Education), so we came up with some excuses to get out of those which looking back, were equally daft?

But don’t we bring some of these excuses into adulthood too?

Don’t we sometimes treat other adults too with similarly vague or silly excuses to justify why we haven’t succeeded in a particular way?

So the excuses from childhood have only been tweaked for adulthood…

Such as, why aren’t we in the best job for our ability? Why have we let out talents go to waste? Why have we squandered all our money? Why haven’t we made a go of that business?

We then try and give an excuse, by saying life’s circumstances have prevented us from succeeding in some way, resulting in this non-success.

When in reality it may be more because we had a fear or lack of courage to “go for it”, but the excuse always feels better than having to admit we were actually afraid to try

Sometimes we really need to dispense with these lame excuses for non-success and realise they are just as bad as “The dog ate my homework”, because in reality who are we trying to fool? We’re only fooling ourselves if you haven’t succeeded, no one else.

So isn’t it better to look in the mirror at ourselves and face WHY we haven’t done something so we can be clear on how to put it right; as opposed to coming up with excuse after excuse to justify why things are just not happening for us

This isn’t easy for sure, but at least you can draw a line in the sand and put away the excuses, and instead give it a go!

Otherwise, you will forever be making daft excuses TO yourself!

The problem you’re having right now…

The problem you are having right now will most likely pass. Just like other problems you have had through your journey in life. Problems are PART of life’s journey.

Problems shape us. They make us stronger. They give us experience and knowledge despite the pain often experienced whilst going through them.

So your viewpoint may need to change in order to navigate problems better than you may be dealing with them right now

So it might feel like you’re passing a stone right this minute, whilst you are smack bang in the middle of the issue you are experiencing. However, give it some time and it should pass (the problem, not the stone! 😉!

If you look back on your life, would you say that you have had NO problems or issues at all? And this problem is unique?

Of course not. That is highly unlikely to be the case, so understand that any problems you have faced before have now passed and (hopefully) you have learned from them. So the one you are going through now will be similar

Whilst I appreciate some problems are different in scale and intensity, they are nonetheless problems we have to overcome.

Learning to deal with the problems IS what makes us stronger and better equipped to deal with the next one which inevitably will follow in the future

The only time a problem can’t be addressed is if that problem literally kills us. Whilst we may feel sometimes that most problems could do this, thankfully they do not and we mostly come out the other side having learned something from it, even if that lesson happened to be arduous and uncomfortable

We either mitigated the issue; find a way to overcome it or we find a way to remove it entirely. But either way, we have somehow “dealt” with it and moved on

So you just need to adopt a different viewpoint and “can do” approach to whatever you are facing and you will again overcome it and realise it is just another life lesson

Risk Assessment

Have you ever done a risk assessment on your personal circumstances?

For those that don’t know what this is, this is where you look at your situation and assess different areas of your life and evaluate whether any are prone to the risk of going wrong, or something bad happening. You then put plans in place to eliminate, reduce or mitigate that risk

Now of course you can’t cover all eventualities of course, but by putting in place plans to cover if things go wrong, you are softening the blow if something DOES happen, or you can reduce the risks of something happening to a really low level so the likelihood of it occurring is very very small.

So for example, if you assess your health and see how you look after yourself and grade it based on a number of factors, such as:

  • what fitness regime you have in place to stay healthy?
  • do you smoke?
  • do you drink alcohol and if so, how much do you drink?
  • what sort of foods are you eating?
  • are you overweight?

These are just some of the questions you would begin to ask of yourself and you then grade how good (or bad) they are for you. Obviously, you must be truthful when doing something like this or there is no point in doing it.

I have just touched the surface of the sort of questions you would begin to ask above if you were truly going to look at the answers and then make steps or direct changes, in place to reduce your chances of becoming ill.

You can apply this type of risk assessment to other areas of your life, such as your job or career, your finances and your property too

It makes sense to do this, to see area’s that are more at risk of potentially going wrong and what steps you can put in place to ensure they don’t go wrong. If however, some are out of your control because they are totally dependant on others (such as a job), then you can put mitigation steps in place. These are plans ahead of time, in case they do go wrong, thus reducing any pain points if they did go wrong

An example of this, is if you have a job, what steps are you doing to ensure your boss values you as an asset to their company? Are you working diligently and being a “can do” individual?

If you can’t do anything more than what you are already doing in your job, then what other forms of income do you have in place that aren’t dependant on a job? What other forms of income do you have? So if you were to lose your position, then you haven’t lost all your income. If you don’t have any other forms of income, then have you got any insurance that can cover you “should” you lose your job?

Again, I have only briefly touched on this risk assessment, but doing it properly for all areas of your life, will mean you can be more comfortable dealing with issues should they arise

A risk assessment is NOT however to put yourself in a state of fear. You just need to sensibly weigh up what is a genuine risk to you and balance that with enjoying life too.

It takes time and effort to do this, but if done sensibly, you can be more at peace with your situation!

Other than that, I wish you all a Merry Christmas for those that celebrate this time of year and wish everyone else Happy Holidays!

Life can be simple or complicated – it’s up to you which

Life can be simple or complicated, it really IS up to you

Complicated Approach

If you choose to take the complicated approach, then you choose to sweat all the issues that get thrown your way, be they big or small issues. And I can guarantee that you WILL get issues thrown your way.

You can then fret, worry and generally immerse yourself in the issue and let it eat away at you.

What’s the point?

Yes, issues will come and go, it’s what life will do to us all. But why consume more energy than is necessary? It is an issue that needs to be dealt with and then move on. Don’t let whatever it is, permeate inside of you as you will reduce your lifespan if you do too much of this!

Simple Approach

Enjoy every day because you “choose” to

Understand that life WILL throw things your way, it IS what life does. Some issues will be big and some will be huge. They all need to be dealt with, but they cannot “consume” you!

Just choose to have the attitude that whatever issue it is, is merely a “life lesson” that you have to navigate and deal with. The difference is that it is a lesson external to you.

Yes, you have to deal with it, but you keep it external. You don’t choose to let it affect you and enter inside of you. Doing this, as mentioned above, will reduce your life expectancy and you will likely get ill. Internalising issues that come your way is not a good tactic.

The difference between the two approaches as to whether you have a “simple” approach or ” complicated” approach, is your attitude

How you see the challenges according to your attitude will determine how you resolve them and ultimately have they will affect you physically and mentally

So facing issues with the right attitude determines whether life is indeed simple or complicated

Health trumps any success plans…

I have just had Covid 19

It was one of the scariest and traumatic couple of weeks of my life. I have had friends who have lost their lives due to Covid and have heard stories of other “friends” and colleagues having had Covid too with varying levels of illness.

Fortunately, up to this point I had managed to avoid it. A combination of having two doses of one of the approved British vaccines and married with being careful when outside the house going to different events/places. etc.

Whilst this has managed to help keep it away from the family home, you always have that thought in the back of your head that one day it may come along anyway. I was hopeful that if we were unfortunate and did indeed contract it, I may be one of the lucky ones and not end up in hospital but rather just get flu-like symptoms

Well, as I said I did get Covid, but the symptoms were indeed fairly severe. At one point my blood oxygen level (referred to as sp02) was down to 88. Now the standard range of this sp02 “should” be between 95 and 100, so anything below 95 worries medical staff as your body cannot sustain itself.

Mine as you can from above was a bit below the minimum threshold married with a very high fever over 40 degrees. These were definite stats that meant I should have been admitted to the hospital and be treated there!

However, these figures were measured and recorded during the middle of the night whilst I was in the midst of the fever. I was unaware at the time, that these figures were not good, so instead,, I remained tucked up in my own bed struggling for breath

The following morning as I was still pretty bad I seeked medical assistance by ringing the medical services here in the UK. The doctor I spoke to over the phone wanted my previous night’s readings which I gave him over the phone. He said I needed to go to hospital straight away if my readings were the same now as overnight.

He asked me to measure them again whilst he was on the phone and thankfully they had gone up somewhat to relieve the immenet danger. This meant I didn’t need to attend hospital straight away, but I was informed I needed to check them every couple of hours and if they dropped again, I was to go straight to the hospital, no messing about.

My breathing was still laboured but I wasn’t in as much discomfort as during the night.

The whole episode was rather unsettling but thankfully things started to gradually and slowly improve over a number of days.

A couple of weeks on since contracting Covid, I am still not 100% right. I still struggle for breath at times as well as being weak just going up the stairs. So by no means have the problems completely gone

So in summary, everything has been totally on hold whilst I was ill.

Why am I telling this story you may ask? Well any goals and aspirations you may have will come to a halt (or be severely impacted) if you health is compromised. So the point is to look after your health and try best to keep as healthy as you can, as any goals and dreams you have can be stifeled or parked altogether if your health is not right.

Now I am not saying you cannot succeed if you have health issues, as that is not true either, as there are many examples of people who have succeeded despite health problems.

But when your health is not right, it can certainly hold you back. So ensure you look after your health as best you can and don’t damage your body intentionally by doing things you know clearly are not good for it. If you get ill due to natural factors, then that is just a fact of life. But if you aid the breakdown of your body by abusing it such as taking drugs, smoking, excessive drinking to name a few, then you are not helping yourself maintain healthy in order to pursue your goals

Is it the journey or the destination that’s important?

I have many friends who fit into several brackets.

Some are very focused on a goal and do all they can to achieve it at the expense of so many other things…

Whilst there are some, who don’t appear to be goal-focused at all, but instead seem to drift from day to day, without being motivated by anything it would seem? They have each day blur into the next and so on.

Now to be honest, in my opinion, these are both at the extreme end of the scale. You see chasing your goals without and regard to “life” as it happens, is at one end of the scale, whilst those who merely drift through life are at the other end.

Neither is really that good at all. The former are SO driven to reach their goal, that they can alienate all those around them whilst persuing the goal. Because they are so driven, means they will inevitably reach their target. However, if that success cannot be shared with those around you, then you do need to ask, what was the point in the first place?

Yes, it can be a noble achievement to reach your goal, but if you are at the summit on your own with no one else recognising that achievement, it can lead to severe disappointment.

Many who have reached a goal in this manner, report that reaching that goal wasn’t as good as they had originally anticipated. They then look back at the journey and notice the “destruction” they have left behind and only then realising their tunnel-visioned pursuit has damaged others on route.

Then you have those who don’t appear motivated at all, as described previously, and they drift through life. They don’t appear to use their talents for anything meaningful and have no energy, no lust for life, nor do they have any purpose either? The spring in their step is not there and generally, they are not the best people to be around.

So drawing a line with either of these two types of people at either end, shows that you need to aim, somewhere on that line, where YOU are comfortable. Not at either extreme end.

Personally, I believe you should aim to be more towards the goal-orientated side, but also to remember to stop occasionally along the journey of success, to pause and appreciate the view along that journey, especially shared with loved ones.

This way you still have a goal or purpose to aim for, giving you direction in life, but you then inspire others to embrace and support you on your journey, as opposed to alienating them.

This way, when you do reach your goal, you will have a number of cheerleaders celebrating your victory.

Also, you will discover that the journey to get to your goal was AS important as the goal itself.

Do you appreciate what is “actually” important?

I don’t normally like to create posts that have a political theme, but because of the goings-on in Afghanistan, I felt the need to make a point based on what has been happening over there.

On many of the major news outlets, we have witnessed many thousands of people fleeing the new Taliban regime. Frightened people making their way to the airport for evacuation with any few possessions they are permitted to take with them, and for some, they literally are having to leave with only the clothes on their backs.

Once safely away, they have to try and start a new life in another country, which can be so different to the place they are just leaving. However, because they have managed to get away with their lives, they are grateful for any opportunity.

This is not a situation isolated to Afghanistan. People in many other places around the world, and obviously currently in Afghanistan, are having to run away from everything they have had, just to survive persecution (and potentially even death) under various strict regimes.

We in the West are SO fortunate.

Many of us simply don’t realise the paradise we are living in, compared to some places around the globe.
We live in societies that most of the world’s populations would trade with us in a heartbeat, and we “still” find time to moan and groan about the little things which are really inconsequential and meaningless.

We can get upset with not having the latest iPhone or latest Android gadget, or get worried and concerned that we may not look that great on social media.
We SO have to get into perspective, just what IS important in life.

Many things in Western societies are almost handed to us on a plate. So this can create a group of people in society, who believe they are simply entitled to expect things to be given to them without having first earned their way. This entitlement and constant “ease” of obtaining most of the things they desire, makes “physical things” important to collect. When in reality, physical things have no true value at all.

First off, we should be grateful, that by and large, the majority of us don’t live in fear.
We don’t face the potential threat of someone knocking on our door in the middle of the night, accusing us of having done something fairly innocuous, but therefore worthy of enslavement or even death, in the eyes of the authorities.

Secondly, we have relative abundance. By and large, we can get what we want, when we want it if we have earned it.

Thirdly, most of us live in freedom and are able to do what we choose; go where we want and say what we wish; without fear of persecution.

So when you next feel the need to grumble about missing out on the latest fad, device or clothing, or feel that your social media image is being tarnished, step back, have a look at the bigger picture and realise that these things are indeed meaningless in the greater scheme of things.

Instead look and appreciate the “real” important things in life, like living in peace, having abundance and having our freedom to do what we want.
These are the true things we are fortunate to have, that so many other people around the world, crave!

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