Sunday, October 21, 2007

Who said anything about being perfect?

Dear God

“Help me not to be a perfectionist (did I spell that correctly?)”
“Help me to relax about insignificant details, beginning tomorrow at 7:41:23 am”
“Help me to not try to run everything….but, if you need some help, please feel free to ask me…..”

Mmmm, sound like someone?

Where exactly have we got the message that we need to be perfect? Where was that written down, because I can’t for the life of me seem to remember ever seeing it anywhere. And yet, we all try to be perfect.

Well I don’t know about you, but I’ve decided to give up striving for perfection and have decided that EXCELLENCE is a better objective.

When we aim for perfection in everything, I think, we are unconsciously setting ourselves up for certain failure. After all there’s only ONE way to be perfect in any particulr endeavour and SO many ways (an infinite number of ways) to be less than perfect. For example:

*What does it take to ruin a perfect day? Just one little 15-seconds of unpleasantness

*What does it take to ruin the perfect “significant other?” Just one little annoying habit

But excellence takes into acount our “imperfections”.

Subsequently, it also becomes extremely liberating to stop demanding that everyone else be perfect too (and believe me THEY also feel liberated!)

I discovered that my own urge to be perfect was a need to CONTROL everything and everyone. But we don’t have to control the creative process. In fact, we can’t!!! We just have to get what we really do want clear in our minds and proceed from there, through the rest of the process. Now instead of thinking about being “better than” or “the best at…”, I just aim at being really good at what I am doing. It now feels right, and it gives me a LOT to reach for, because there’s definetely a “gap” there to relax into. But now, this objective doesn’t beat me over the head every time I make a little mistake….and it keeps me from beating other people over the head when they make mstiakes too!

Hmmm, maybe you would like to resign your position from the Perfection Police.
I mean think about. People who call themselves perfectionists are really IMperfectionists. They are always looking for what’s wrong, not what’s right.

So my prescription: Expect excellence from yourself in a way that motivates and inspires you, but don’t set yourself up to fail at being perfect every minute.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Try Smiling!!

OK, so here's the deal.
Your level of self-esteem limits (or adds to) your ability to move through life with pizzazz, zest and confidence. It also determines your probability of attracting the sort of life-mate you desire, business or work success and almost every aspect of your life.

There are many ways to raise your slef-esteem, but one really simple way that you can try immediately is to get a smile on your face. You know, a really genuine smile; the kind that creates all crinkles around your eyes.Because a genuine smile actually lights up the natural optimism centre of the brain. And if you can (where appropriate) greet others with a smile, and look them straight in the eye as you do so.

Recent scientific research clearly established that just "acting" self-confident will MAKE you more self-confident. But here's the catch. You MUST believe in what you are doing and really feel it; not just go through the motions on automatic pilot.Consequently if you act as if you are the person you wish to be, guess what happens? You will eventually BECOME that person.

Don't believe me? Just "suck it and see"!!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Just try it-it works!!!.

A few years ago when I was in dire need of some encouragement, positivity etc. You know, those downhill cycles where nothing is going right, and you feel completely at the end of your tether. I tried wracking my brains for ways that I could help myself, and then one day the perfect solution just fell into my lap. Now you may be one of these people who believes I was just lucky this solution fell into my lap. However, I am a great believer in the Universe and it’s synchronicity. So for me it really was like a message from “above” and I felt I must give this ago.

So what fell into my proverbial lap? It was a magazine article by Oprah talking about how for decades now she has been writing in a Gratitude Journal. Now, if there is one woman I really admire, then she is it. So how could I ignore this artcicle? What she wrote about seemed like a fantastic idea. Every night before she goes to bed, she writes down in a journal everything she is grateful for that day……nothing else. It is not a journal to write down your thoughts, the days events or fears and emotions. It’s simply only for gratitude.

So of course, I bought myself a really lush journal (because I feel if it looks and feels beautiful, I will want to write in it). And I started writing each night before going to bed, the things I was grateful for that day. I am ashamed to say that at the beginning, when I started this 3 years ago, I was struggling to fill one page. Why? Because I was looking for all the BIG things that happened, which is the totally wrong way to go about this exercise. However, over time I started to thank the Universe for very simple things such as fresh water every day, a beautiful sunset that I might have seen, a wonderful lunch out with my husband, listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the beach etc etc. It was only when I was writing about the simple things that I started to feel incredible; really uplifted and positive. Of course, when you are focusing all your energy on the positive things in your life, and not the negative as we are more prone to do, your positive energy and enthusiasm automatically increases, and then what happens? You start to attract more of the same happy and positive situations, which in turn creates more of the same happy and positive feelings……..(can you see where this is going?) The best thing is you constantly have to search for new things you are grateful for. You can only write down “family, health etc” for so many days.

So my friends try it. I defy anyone to not feel different after doing this exercise for as little as 1 week. I would also love to hear how your perception of “your” world started to change as your positive energy increased.

Happy journaling!!!!

My two new friends!

I would just like to say a special "hi" to my two new friends who I have met through blogging; Jeanette and Holly.
Both of these writers have blogs all about the wonderful world of the Law of Attraction (LoA). There are lots and lots of blogs about this topic, but these have to be two of the best I have ever come across (and I have been interested in the LoA for years now).
Jeanette's blog-Law of Attraction Playground is the first I came across. As a LoA Coach she is clearly an expert in this area and yet her blogs are really down-to-earth and realistic. Some of her tips and advice for attracting/manifesting what we want in our lives has proved invaluable to me.

If on the other hand you find the whole concept of the LoA all a bit "woo-woo", then you have to read
Holly's blog- Holly's Law of Attraction Adventure . It is really quite hilarious, and really gives a comedic spin on what can be quite a difficult metaphysical topic. Her writings are hilarious and I think you will gain so much from both blogs.
That's the great things about blogs. I've made some many friends across the globe; people whose paths I would most probably never have crossed, and yet through the wonders of blogging we can share stories, ideas and friendships.
How fantastic is that!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Smell the flowers on your side of the path

This is a really wonderful story…………

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course the perfect pot was proud of it’s accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of it’s own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what what it had been made to do. After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.

“I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to the house”. The old woman smiled, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look at the good in them.

SO to all my “crack pot” friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Rocky Balboa has it Sussed!!!!

(before you think I’ve lost the plot,read on……….)

If you are in your 30’s-40’s (or even older) you most probably grew up with Rocky. Even if you had never watched any of his films most of us could identify the theme tune from the Rocky movies, and most of us laughed at the way he spoke (or mumbled).

When the first Rocky movie came out I was still a really young girl, and being a real “girlie girl” hating anything related to boxing, I remember watching the first film and being quite non-plussed by what I saw.

However, this week something changed all that.

My husband came home with the Rocky Anthology this week, and I suddenly lost the will to live. There was NO WAY I was going to sit through six Rocky films. However, my husband then said something that really sparked some curiosity in me. He said “it’s not about the boxing, it’s more than that”. So I grabbed my tub of Haagen Daaz Choc Chip (well I needed some incentive!) and settled down to watch them over a series of nights. Suddenly I saw everything with completely different eyes. My husband was right (again!).

As I watched the films I realised there was so much to learn from the stories. Firstly here we had a man from a less than privileged background, with very little formal education. However, he had something really potent; he had a vision and a dream. In each film he had a different goal/vision, and he worked, sweating blood and tears to achieve each goal he set himself. I watched as he was so nearly de-railed achieving each goal, and yet he just kept picking himself up (literally) and continuing. He didn’t let anything get in his way, even when his body was literally broken, he kept going. Now that’s vision!!! What really stood out for me the most was not only his determination and motivation but that he never lost his integrity. Despite constantly swimming amongst sharks and piranhas, he never became one. He achieved his goals by keeping his integrity and spiritual belief in tact.He always believed in his goals, but the love for his family always came first. That for me was what really resonated for me. How many people do we know who start off swimming with the sharks and then become one themselves. Their excuse is usually that they needed to change to survive. Rocky shows us that this is nonsense.

And what about his coach. For me the person who epitomised his coach wasn’t as you might expect his trainer, it was his wife. Yes, the famous Adrian! She was more (or as ) certain and focused on his goals than Rocky was himself at times. She always encouraged him to press on, learn from his set-backs and celebrated his victories with him. She encouraged him to be more, and to do more than he would sometimes ask of himself, and most importantly she was the first person in line waving the flag at the top of the mountain when he finally arrived there.

So take it from a “girlie-girl” albeit somewhat older, that this film is more than a film about boxing. If you are looking for some real down-to-earth, hardcore motivation/inspiration without too much spiritual woo-woo, then give these a try. Just watch them from a different perspective, and see if I’m right. I think there's a lot that can be learnt from these fine set of films.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Every Woman Should Have........

A woman should have
one old love she can imagine going back to, and one who reminds her how far she has come.

A woman should have
enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own

even if she never wants to or needs to.

A woman should have
something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her dreams wants to
see her in an hour……..

A woman should have
a youth she is content to leave behind.

A woman should have
a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her old age.

A woman should have
a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill and a black lace bra.

A woman should have
one friend who always makes her laugh and one who lets her cry.

A woman should have
a good piece of furniture not previoulsy owned by anyone else in her family.

A woman should have eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems and a recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honoured.

A woman should have
a feeling of control over her destiny.

Every woman should know
how to fall in love without losing herself.

Every woman should know
how to quit a job,
break up with a lover,
and comfort a friend without ruining the friendship.

Every woman woman should know
when to try harder….and when to walk away.

Every woman should know
that she can’t change the length of her calves, the width of her hips or the nature of her parents.

Every woman should know
that her childhood may not have been perfect……but it’s over.

Every woman should know
what she would and wouldn’t do for love.

Every woman should know
how to live alone……even if she doesn’t like it.

Every woman should know
whom she can trust, whom she can’t,
and why she shouldn’t take it personally.

Every woman should know
where to go……..
be it to her best friends kitchen table…….
or a charming inn in the woods………..
when her soul needs soothing.

Every woman should know
What she can and can’t accomplish in a day…..
a month……and a year.

Maya Angelou

The Honey Bee Has it Sussed!!!!

A question coaching clients often ask me is, "how do I find my purpose in life?" They get really tangled up and stressed trying to find out what their purpose is; what should they be really doing with their lives.A great and easy way I find to explain how we fit into the grand scheme of things is by using this fab quote by Peter H.Thomas

"If you asked a honey bee what it's purpose in life is, it would say it is to make honey for the colony. However, we know that a bee's life contributes a whole lot more to our world than just busily making honey. By doing its daily work, the honey bee in fact goes around and pollinates all the flowers and plants which results in new life for our planet. So just like in our lives, we may not realize what our big purpose in life is, by doing what we're passionate about, and by doing it well, with focus and determination, we may just affect a whole bigger purpose in our lives."

This sums it up totally for me!

How do you decide your purpose?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The 3 Reasons People Come Into Your Life

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then without any wrong-doing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring this relationship to an end. Sometimes the ending is created by death. Sometimes they just walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelieveable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Would anyone like a cookie?

A young lady was waiting for her flight in the boarding area of a large airport.
As she would need to wait for many hours, she decided to buy a book to spend her time. She also bought a packet of cookies.

She sat down in an armchair, in the VIP room of the airport, to rest and read in peace.

Beside her chair where the packet of cookies lay, a man sat down in the next seat, opened his magazine and started reading.

When she took out her first cookie, the man took one also. She felt irritated, but said nothing. She just thought “What a nerve! If I was in the mood I would punch him for daring!”

For each cookie she took, the man took one too.
This was really starting to infuriate her, but she didn’t want to cause a scene.

When only one cookie remained, she thought “Ah……what will this abusive man do now?” Then the man, taking the last cookie, divided it into half and gave her one of the halves.

Ah! That was too much to bear!
She was much too angry now.
In a huff she took her book, her things and stormed to the boarding area of the airport.

When she sat down in her seat inside the plane, she looked into her bag to take her glasses, and to her surprise (or dismay?) her packet of cookies were there, untouched and unopened!

She felt so ashamed! She realized the error of her ways. She had forgotten that her cookies were in her purse.

The man had divided his cookies with her without feeling angry or bitter

…….while she had been very angry thinking that she was dividing her cookies with him. And now there was no chance to explain herself……..nor to apologise.

Remember, there are 4 things you can never recover:

The stone
…after the throw

The word
….after it is said!

The occasion
….after the loss!

The time
…after it’s gone!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

You Lucky Devil!

I would like to pose the question does luck play a part in business? If it does, is it possible to increase your luck?

How often have we heard entrepreneurs stand up and take complete credit for their success? Is it possible that there is always an element of chance in business, and therefore there is always an element of luck?It could be luck of timing, the luck of someone else’s mistake or a multitude of other so-called coincidences.

Or is luck nothing more than getting a return on all that intangible work you have put in? Perhaps luck is about ensuring that even the smallest stone does not go unturned.

Or perhaps luck is nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy? i.e. if you believe you are a lucky person or that you always get lucky breaks, it may well change your behaviour, your level of confidence and your psychology, which in turn may actually make you luckier. Therefore you seize opportunities that may once have appeared too risky. Whereas if you “ feel” unlucky you probably won’t seize the opportunities or pursue things.

I would like to believe it’s the latter; that believing in luck is a self-fulfilling prophecy and is about recognising opportunities when they arise. But it’s very possible I am wrong.

What’s your view on the part luck has played in your success?

Copyright © Vanessa Vinos/Vision Life Coaching-2007.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Sorry, what did you just say??

One of the fundaments of coaching is being a good listener. It’s certainly not about speaking about all your own achievements and how far you’ve come as a coach . Instead it’s about REALLY listening to what your clients are saying i.e the equivalent of reading between the lines.

Here are some inspiring quotes about listening.
Which of these quotes really resonate with you?
What does one have to do to be a great listener?

“Much silence makes a powerful noise”-African Proverb

“Man who know little say much
Man who know much say little”- Unknown

“Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much”-Robert Greenleaf

“The opposite of talking is not listening. The opposite of talking is waiting”-Fran Lebowitz

“Listen or they tongue will keep thee deaf”-Native American

“There is no such thing as a worthless conversation, provided you know what to listen for. And questions are the breath of life for a conversation”- James Nathan Miller

“It is the province of knowledge to speak. And it is the privilege of wisdom to listen”- Oliver Wendell Holmes

“The first duty of love is to listen”-Paul Tillich

“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time”-M.Scott Peck

“Well done is better than well said”-Unknown

“When you are arguing with a fool, make sure he isn’t doing the same thing”-Unknown

“Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery”- Dr Joyce Brothers

“Wisdom is the reward for a lifetime of listening….when you’d have preferred to talk”-D.J.Kaufman

“”The best time to hold your tongue is the time you feel you must say something or bust”- Josh Billings


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What I've learnt so far

As I continue on my journey at the University of Life, there are some things that I have learned that keep coming up; lessons I can’t seem to avoid. Here are some of the things I have learnt so far:

· Stop trying to convince anyone of anything

· The Universe whispers to you first. Then it taps you on the shoulder. If you’re still not listening, it will punch you in the gut and drop you to your knees

· The worst lie you can tell yourself is “I will be happier when……….”

· If you don’t give with a true sense of joy, don’t bother giving

· Logic has it’s limits. People who worship logic all the time tend to suffer in their happiness and relationships

· You’re never as wrong as when you are sure you are right.

· It’s great to have an edge, but if you are too sharp you will cut the people around you.

· It’s not easy being grateful all the time. But it’s when you feel least thankful that you are most in need of what gratitude can give you.

· I’ve learned not to worry about what comes next (a really difficult one for me).

· For me the word “doubt” means don’t. Don’t move. Don’t answer. Don’t rush forward.

Copyright © of Vanessa Vinos/Vision Life Coaching 2007

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Are You A Diva?

The true meaning of the word “Diva” means a highly successful female singer. However, nowadays it seems the original meaning of the word has changed, and it now seems to conjure up completely different connotations; that of demanding, spoilt, rich, precocious women (with usually very little related to any kind of talent).

Recently when the famous mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson died she was spoken of as going “from triumph to triumph, yet never became a Diva, never lost her sense of purpose, or her sense of humour about herself”.

However, is there any shame in remembering the original meaning and connotations of the word diva; classy,style, glamourous, at the top of her game etc?

I thought that I would never want to be tagged as being a Diva or Prima Donna. That I definitely didn’t want to live 100% of my life centre stage. However there are times when we need to be centre-stage; times when we need to openly speak our mind and champion what we believe. Times when we need to step up to the bar.

Does this mean you are a Diva? If so, is there anything wrong with being a Diva?

For me it’s more important “how” we take centre-stage that matters; how we blow our own trumpets and how we treat those around us.
More than being remembered as a Diva I would prefer to be remembered as perhaps a selfless mentor/teacher, a life-long learner, an honorable partner and a graceful friend.

What about you? Would you like to be remembered as a Diva or in some other way?

Copyright© Vanessa Vinos and Vision Life Coaching.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Live and Love Life!!!!!

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person
that wasn’t supposed to ever let you down, probably will.

You will have your heart broken probably more than once,
and it’s harder every time.

You’ll break hearts too,
so remember how it felt when yours was broken.

You’ll fight with your best friend.

You’ll blame a new love for things an old one did.

You’ll cry because time is passing too fast,
and you’ll eventually lose someone you love.

So take too many pictures, laugh too much,
and love like you’ve never been hurt,
because every sixty seconds you spend upset
is a minute of happiness you will never get back.

Don’t be afraid that your life will end,
Be afraid that it will never begin!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Can I Ask You One More Thing?

Are you giving away your business and your knowledge without realizing it?
Do you find you are spending time with people who want to squeeze every last drop out of you, but don’t want to pay for your service?

If you are in any kind of service-related industry, I bet you are “giving away” your business. I know as a Life Coach I come across this all the time. You know the types of clients/people I’m talking about. For example:

“Can I ask you just one more question? (and the question goes on for 30 minutes!)

“Can you just quickly tell me ……?” (and they know full well the response will take a lot longer than 5 minutes).

So what do we do?

Well we need to shift our thinking and set some boundaries on just how much free information or free services we will give away.
No one expects to walk into a supermarket and walk out again with a trolley load of goodies! Well it’s the same thing.

So what can we say to people who i) ask outright for free information or ii) who just pin you down and you realise (usually too late) that they’re trying to “borrow” your valuable resources without becoming a client?

Some things you could say would be:
· "It’s not a good time for me to discuss this right now. Would you like to briefly discuss guidelines and fees?”
· “A complete answer to your query is going to take more than 5 minutes over the phone. Would you like me to send you a proposal on this?”
· “My charge for an intial consultation is X”.
· “There’s a lot I can do to help you. Would you like to get together and work on a marketing plan?”
· “Do you have a time-line and or/budget in mind for solving this problem?”
·“I have really enjoyed talking to you, and would like to help you more. May I send you one of my brochures and a rate card:?”

Of course there is another scenario where the above responses just would not suffice and that is when a friend pins you down at a social event such as a wedding, dinner party etc. What do you say then?
Well one stock phrase that always works for me is, " I would love to help you with X. So why don't you give me a call on Monday, when it's much quieter and we won't be disturbed, and we can discuss everything then". Nine times out of ten, come Monday your friend has either completely forgotten she had a problem, or because it takes more time and effort to call back your friend usually just doesn't bother.

There are many, many more ways (and perhaps better) of responding to these types of contacts. As a service business owner, part of what we offer clients, and what they value from us is our knowledge and expertise. It’s as much a part of our services as any tangible product, so we should be treating it as such. If we don’t value our service, then no-one else will. It’s not about being stingy or hoarding, it’s about holding back information that is deemed valuable enough that rightfully should be paid for.

Copyright 2007-Vanessa Vinos

Purple hats!

IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER - by Belinda Emmet written after she found out she was dying from cancer.

*I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

*I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

*I would have talked less and listened more.

*I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

*I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

*I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

*I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

*I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

*I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

*I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life
*I would never have bought anything just because it was practical,wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Maybe we should all grab that purple hat earlier.

What would you do if you had your life over again up until this stage?

I would certainly:
*worry less and think less about things that don’t really matter
*learn to “stop and smell the roses".

What book...............?

As an avid reader who devours books every month, I thought it would be nice to share some of my recommendations and hopefully add to some of your bookshelves. Also I am hoping that whoever responds to this blog will add to my book shelf.

OK, so here goes:

…….has had an impact on my life?
There are 3 different non-fiction books that have had a real impact on me.

i)TNT-The Power Within You- Claude Bristol
This is one of the most powerful books I have read regarding changing your own destiny and living the life you want. It was written decades ago (1954) but for me he is one of the original personal development experts, and certainly one of the best.

ii)Tuesdays with Morrie-Mitch Albom
This is a non-fictional story that reads like a wonderful tale. A story to remind you what really matters in life.

iii) Apples and Pears-Dr Marie Savard
This book should be compulsory reading for every woman. If nothing else it will shock you into action and possibly save your life!

……….gave me the reading bug?
It has to be Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series of books. I so wanted to be part of that gang. I would just escape completely into the stories.

………would I take to a desert island?
It would have to be something chunky and meaty. So for me it would be ‘The University of Success’ by Og Mandino
This amazing volume contains a complete course on how to succeed, taught by 50 renowned experts. Hopefully I would leave the island a more successful and inspired individual!

……………..left me cold?
As a Brit I am ashamed to say 'A Tale of Two Cities' by Charles Dickens. Perhaps because I was forced to study this at school.

……………..didn’t I finish?
The Da Vinci Code (much to the horror of my friends!).

……….am I reading now?
i)‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’- Maya Angelou
The first volume of Maya’s autobiography. As a black woman in the 1930’s she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope and joy, achievement and celebration.
ii) ‘The Virtual Handshake’- David Teten & Scott Allen-
How to open doors and close deals on-line

How do YOU measure success?

Quality of life is nowadays measured by the amount of money you make. Success is defined by the kind of car you drive; by the neighbourhood you live in and by the “toys” you own. After all, he who dies with the most toys wins. True or false?

In contrast, the people of the remote Himalayan country of Bhutan were recently rated as having the poorest quality of life of all bar one other country in the world….after all their average annual per capita income is only $500 (approx.€375) Ironically however, when you visit this country there are no beggars, only beautiful snow capped peaks, virgin forests, and clean air. The crime is relatively non-existant, no one is in a hurry, and there is a strong sense of community. Instead of depending on their belongings to entertain themselves, they’ve learned to enhance their lives by building relationships with each other.

So the moral of this little story? Be careful to avoid the trap of “ the more you buy, the more you need”. Often the more we think we need, the more unhappy we are with what we have. So next time before you hand over your credit card for that new pair of Jimmy Choo’s (I know you can hear them calling your name!) just stop and think. Will this bring me more happiness compared to perhaps a few hours shared with a loved one, or a donation to an organisation or just doing something small that will make a difference to someone? It’s your call. It’s how you measure it.

Copyright 2007-Vanessa Vinos