Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Working Determination

It has been longer than I intended since I posted here. That is because an awful lot of life changing events have happened in the last three years. Some of the changes have come about from my inner determination to be grateful for the opportunities that have presented themselves.

Now I am sorry if that sounds like I am frightfully pleased with myself. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have gone down a few interesting paths and found them to be unsuitable for me. At times I have been truly down and felt trapped. When in this situation it can be hard to pull yourself together and move forward. Yet if you hold tight to the belief that some truly great opportunity is just round the corner, and are both prepared and determined to grab it, sometimes without knowing all it entails. You will attract good things, and out of the blue someone will offer you something you didn't expect.

To illustrate what I mean, I was working in a shop when someone I have known for a long time, came in and asked me about blogging. This conversation led to a job that I loved, and one that I feel I made my own. It was a very sad day when, for family reasons, I had to leave that job as an even bigger adventure was about to begin.

We were moving to Ireland.

This move proved to be a huge challenge, and also shows what I am saying about grabbing opportunities even without knowing everything. We felt that the kids needed a new school and cousins nearer their age; so we moved without having jobs to go to or having sold our house. The kids have settled really well into their new school, and have started things that they would not have done in Scotland. They have daily interaction with their cousins and have a good bunch of friends.

I have joined the local rotary club and am loving it. It has given me a chance to meet some great people, and I am about to become the club President. There are aspects of our new life that we hope will improve in the coming months, and some things have happened back in Scotland that are pulling at my heartstrings. I am determined to find an opportunity to change things in a way that improves my immediate family's life and lets me see my Scottish family regularly.

After all my determination has presented me with some great opportunities, and ones that I plan to build on. There is going to be some difficult times ahead, but I determined to try and stay positive. With the support of my wife I have got through some difficult years, and she is still there beside me as we look forward to a bright future.

Determination works.

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Saturday, 26 April 2014

The power of Yes I can

When your tired it is easy to believe you can't do something. This is the biggest mistake.

When you are grateful for where you are and what you have, then you find it easier to believe in yourself. Then you can do amazing things. A great example of this is Stephen Sutton who through his you tube channel has raised £2.6 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust. He is dying and had a bucket list with 46 things on it before the cancer finally claimed him. He set out to raise £10,000 and believed he could. Well look at what he did.

I don't know what else was on his list but maybe he thought of writing a book. It is said there is a book in everyone. Well here is the book produced by a lady I am proud to say I know. It is the first book she has published after raising 3 boys.

It is a great read, and proves you can do amazing things. So don't take life for granted, crab it, be grateful for each day and make it count, by saying Yes I Can.

Stephen's Story - When life gives you cancer

Friday, 25 April 2014

Grateful for Staus Quo

The band produced great music, but this is not about them. By starting from where you are you can make each day count. To do this you need a positive attitude, and the best way to have one is by being grateful for what you have and where you are. This includes being grateful for the experiences you have had along the road of life; both the ups and the downs; for they all make us stronger. If you can be grateful for your experiences of both sorts then you will attract people and they will want to work with you. More importantly you will see the silver lining to every cloud and believe in yourself. This will enable you move onwards and upwards. As it says in his book Make Every Day Count, Max Lucad talks about being grateful for Sour days, ungrateful days, as well as catastrophic days. As followers of this blog will know I have small children, for whom I have been Daddy Day Care and now that they are at school I am fortunate my job at the Scottish Stove Centre enables me to drop them off and be there to pick them up at the end of the school day. This came about because even though I was doing something I might rather not be; I was using my time to teach myself a new skill that other people heard about, and so I was approached to do the same for the Stove Centre and create them a website ( My gratitude for the chaotic and stressed-out days shone through and presented me with a possibility I didn't think possible. I got a better job that a lot of the interviews I had been to in the previous 5 years. By being grateful for the status quo, you are happier in yourself and more appreciative of others.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Using gratitude to build a loyal following

By simply saying thank you to people who use your business and comment positively on social media, is a great way to grow a loyal following. Recently a fantastic bistro near where I stay announced that due to circumstances beyond their control they were going to have to relocate their business. They are not going out of business just moving premises. The way they have interacted with the community and people who have recommended them to others is a lesson to any business. In this case recommending Macmillans Bistro and Coffee House is not hard to do. The food is quite simply out of this world, or as one reviewer on Trip Advisor put it Amber Nectar. Still the way the owners have interacted with reviewers and locals is a great way to build a loyal customer base at no cost to the business. They attract people just by making them welcome and thanking them for their involvement. People want to help their business do well because they are appreciative and great people to be around. Any business that can create this feel good factor around it, has something priceless going for it. The best way to start is by using that two word phrase we all learn as children: Thank You. When this is not forced, and said with a genuine smile, it is amazingly powerful. It will make people want to come back, and back. Even when things happen that aren't so good, people who feel they were valued by the people who run a business, will bear with that business until they are back on track, or put it right.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Gratitude for me time

When you have young kids it can be hard to get time to yourself over the holidays, but you too need a break. If you don't look after yourself you will be no good to the young ones. There are a lot of good movies out at the moment and by enabling you children to choose a film on demand you will be grateful for the peace and quiet. Especially so if it is cheaper than going to the cinema with all the demanded additional costs. The kids will be happy and you will get the time you need to unwind and recharge your batteries so you can have the energy to look after them the next day. I came across this and think it might be of interest to people like me. It could be the saving grace when you need it, and the young ones will be grateful to you for providing this selection of films.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Cooking Gratitude

After a long and busy day at work, I find cooking simple food for my family amazingly relaxing. It helps you to sort out the wheat from the chaff and cut up all the worries that have caused anxiety during the day, into manageable chunks. When you have young ones, which your other half has been looing after all day, it is a way to say thank you for all that they have done. It takes one important task off their shoulders, and gives them time to relax. When the dinner is ready it gives you time to talk to your kids, and appreciate what they've done during the day. So with Mother's day tomorrow, what could be a better way to say thank you for all your mother has done for you, than cooking her a meal. All too often the Mums' do all the coking, and so when they don't have to they appreciate it all the more. If you don't know where to start, as Delis Smith points out it really is easy. I mean believe me, if I can make a really tasty meal, then anyone can. With the mind boggling range of cook books available for a beginner it can be hard to choose a simple one. You can't get much simpler than this It really does show you the fundamentals and how to take some shortcuts. Once you have got the basics it is fun to experiment, and push yourself. Not only is it worth doing but you will grow in confidence, and you will be amazed with how cheaply you can cook an delicious meal. So when someone does something for you, you then have the ability to repay them by cooking a meal for them. After all a home cooked meal is a very social able experience.