Category Archives: Motivation

A champion needs a motivation above and beyond winning
(Pat Riley) – these are the things that motivate me.

Literary Pearls of China


So I was reviewing my blog at the back end of last year, and I realised that despite reading nearly 30 books I only told you about 1, which is pretty shocking given that I read some goodens and the 1 I told you about was far from my fav.

Anyway, thought it was about time I told you about 3 that touched me.

I was going through my Goodreads 2012 reading list and I realised that 3 of the books that inspired me most had a common theme running through them ‘China’. This struck me because these are 3 very different books, I read them for different reasons and came across them in different ways.

The first was Pearl of China by Anchee Min:

Pear of ChinaA fictional representation of Pearl Buck a missionary’s daughter, the story is of a life-long friendship and her journey to becoming a bestselling author and Nobel laureate.

I found this whilst searching Audible for an easy read, with a light theme. I read books like people watch TV, I switch between books like most switch between channels and often settle on the one (of about five at any given time) that best suits my mood and frame of mind. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this on my drive to and from work, it was an easy read that eased my mind and helped me switch mental gears during my daily commute. It gave me a glimpse of Chinese culture in the late 20th century that both engaged and intrigued me.

Although perhaps not historically accurate it stirred in me a curiosity to find out more about China and its people. To be honest I didn’t and still don’t know that much about China other than the speel that is pushed out by mainstream media, but it at least painted a picture for me of the softness of missionary hearts and that of underground Christians set against the harshness of Communist rule and dire poverty, a picture that although fictional resembled truth during this period of time.

The next was The Heavenly Man: The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun

Heavenly ManThis book, a work of non-fiction moved me and cut me to my core, it’s a dramatic autobiography of one of China’s dedicated, courageous, and intensely persecuted house church leaders ‘Brother Yun’. I’ve known about this book for a long-time and have actually had the paperback on my book shelf for a few years but never read it. There are some books that you just know will challenge you and course you to face internal truths that you’d rather avoid, this was one of them.

Anyway, for me, last year was about ‘facing God’, re-igniting my relationship with Him and conforming to the simple word I heard burning in my spirit ‘stay close’.  So I purchased this and began listening, what moved me the most was how utterly dependent Brother Yun and the Chinese brethren were on God. When you are faced with the reality that you have nothing apart from God, ‘Christianity’ takes on a whole new meaning, which was apparent throughout this book. God is Brother Yun’s ONLY source and the miracles that ensued in Brother Yun’s life as a result of his unyielding trust, belief and dependence on God, is utterly mind blowing. In places this book reads more like fiction than fact and I was blown away by the fact that these things were taking place in China as recently as the 80’s and early 90’s, probably still today.

I was both encouraged by this book and saddened. Encouraged by the powerful and intense way God shows up when we simply trust and depend on Him. But also saddened because in the West few of us experience the reality of God in this way, I believe this is because we rarely reach the end of ourselves, the point of utter surrender and helplessness. For me Brother Yun exemplified what it means to truly ‘let go and let God’, in the midst of being tortured, battered and beaten almost to death he let go and experienced unfathomable peace in the midst of unspeakable hardship. This book was a stark reminder to me that to truly meet God we must first reach the end of ourselves, the benefits of doing so are amazing, there is no safer place than the arms of God.

So, at the beginning of this post I said I’d tell you about 3 books, However you might have realised I’ve only covered 2 – at 746 words and 11:34pm I figured it was time for me to sign off and tell you about the other book another time, but I will give you a hint Watchman Nee.

Blessings x

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Entrepreneurs work for others too

So I’ve always had great ambitions of setting up my own marketing consultancy, it was never an if, but, or maybe but quite simply a when.  I’ve had a business plan of my dream business sitting on my bookshelf since before I left university

However, of late my thinking has changed and I’m no longer so sure that self-employment will be the end goal for me, I don’t feel that I’m any less ambitious, driven or entrepreneurial than I used to be, but something’s changed….can’t put my finger on what or when it changed, but it’s definitely changed…

perhaps it’s that I quite like the definite divide between work-life and home-life that seems easier to maintain when you work for someone else’s business rather than your own

perhaps it’s that my notion of success has changed; I used to think that the only way I would truly feel successful would be to work for myself – I no longer feel that way in fact the things that I associate with my success have less and less to do with ‘employment’ with each passing year

perhaps it’s that I’d rather spend my spare time in more philanthropic endeavours than building my own business

perhaps it’s that I’ve realised that there’s more than one route to financial freedom

perhaps it’s that I’ve realised that you can be an entrepreneur, a change maker within a company

and perhaps it’s that I actually quite like working for someone else dare I say it

Entrepreneurs and thought leaders are as much needed in established businesses as they are in start-ups and one-man bands. The nature of business has changed and now I realise that the burning desire I have to effect change, be a thought-leader and expert in my chosen field can be realised within an established organisation. The future of work belongs to entrepreneurs and thought leaders whether you work for yourself or others.

It seems that everyone wants to be an entrepreneur and run their own business these days, which is cool, I haven’t ruled it out myself, but my point is that business success doesn’t necessarily culminate in self-employment and that’s cool too.

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Not just material things, meaningful things…

So I’ve not posted anything in quite a while for various reasons but over the last couple of days I’ve felt compelled to write a post or two.

You probably won’t now this but I turn 30 in less than a month and I feel quite excited about it, I actually feel more comfortable in my skin with each passing year and I quite like the feeling of being a little wiser than I was the year before. Anyway, because of this milestone I began this year thinking about the things that I really want to achieve in life, not just material things but meaningful things. I’ve always been a goal setter but to be honest up until this year most of my goals have been about me; what job I want, what house I want, what car I want and so on, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with such goals, I still have them but I’ve felt a stir in my heart of late towards more meaningful goals.

I recently suffered the loss of someone incredibly dear to me and anyone who has experienced the death of someone close will know that it changes you, it causes you to evaluate your own mortality and the things in life that matter most. Suffice to say much of my thinking this year has been about defining my life’s purpose sowing towards a lasting legacy and not just material goals. In this vein I’ve been seeking projects to get involved with and one crossed my path recently…

A couple of days ago I was listening to the Premier Gospel show ‘what’s in yours’ and the guest was Beth Redman whilst discussing her life and work she mentioned a project she’s involved with called the A21 campaign a campaign that is working towards eliminating human trafficking in the 21st century, I was stunned by some of the facts. Did you know:

  • Human trafficking is the second largest global organised crime today, generating approximately 31.6 billion USD each year. Specifically, trafficking for sexual exploitation generates 27.8 billion USD per year.
  • There are 1.39 million victims of commercial sexual servitude worldwide.
  • Over 25% of sex trafficked victims are trafficked from Southern and Eastern Europe.
  • 90% of victims trafficked into the European Union member states will end up in the sex industry.
  • Tragically, only 1-2% of victims are rescued, and only 1 in 100,000 Europeans involved in trafficking are convicted

Source

These facts are startling and I’ve come to the realisation that we can all live in our comfortable bubbles closing our eyes to such things as though they don’t exist (as I have done) or we can each seek to contribute towards meaningful causes that are bigger than ourselves. It’s true that none of us can achieve much on our own towards eradicating the many evils that exist in our world but neither are we helpless, there are things that we can do, in fact if you’re interested in helping with the A21 campaign here are 21 very simple ways you can help, I believe each of us are capable of doing are part it simply boils down to how much we care.

I’ve been challenged this year to focus more on meaningful goals than material goals, I’m not saying I don’t have material goals because I do, but I’m learning a few valuable life lessons in this change process, and I’m a firm believer that when you experience something good in life it’s good to share, so I’m sharing :).

Blessings,

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Work to live

So it’s that time of the year when I start thinking about holiday destinations and one on my must visit list this year is the beautiful lake Garda in Italy (please excuse the over produced somewhat cheesy marketing video above but it does have some beautiful shots ;). I’ve wanted to visit Italy for a while and it was a toss up between Tuscany and Lake Garda for my first trip, ultimately the thermal baths, spas and lake views won out this time but Tuscany is a must for me also.

Yes the lovely video of Lake Garda is nice to look at but the reason for me writing this post is not just to share the video with you, but to ask a more fundamental question; why do you work anyway? Of course for most of us the most obvious reason is money, but surely it’s got to be about more than that.

I love my work but to be honest I love life more and for me work is not a goal in itself, it’s about the life choices that it affords me. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the routine of what we do and never take the time to look beyond that, of course work has some intrinsic value (satisfaction, monetary reward, recognition, achievement etc.) and it’s an important part of life but surely life’s got to be about more than work.

I really just wanted to take a minute to challenge you to think about the things you really want to achieve and experience in life and let that be your motivation. I believe work should be the means to help get you there not the end in itself.

In a nutshell work to live, don’t live to work.

My next stop is Lake Garda, I want to see as much of this beautiful world as I possibly can. For me travelling is such an important part of life and I view it as an essential part of my children’s education because it broadens our perspective.

So where’s your next stop? what destination are you working towards?

It would be great to hear your thoughts, so feel free to comment below.

For more on lake Garda here’s a cool Pinterest page Lake Garda.

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Don’t grow weary in doing good

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This morning as I was getting ready for work this Bible verse came to mind:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up - Galatians 6:9

I love my life for the most part, but in all honesty some days if I focused on the mammoth task list ahead of me, I seriously would not get out of bed in the morning. Sometimes doing good seems like the biggest chore in the world and you just want to say; “forget it!” and go back to bed.

So I do three things at times like these:

1.   Chunk-it:

I tackle my day in manageable chunks. I write down exactly what I have to do  - I then do my best to focus entirely on one task at a time – sometimes it’s the very act of trying to hold so much info in your head at once that is most stressful. Our brains can only actually hold a few thoughts at a time before dropping balls.

2.    Visualise the big picture:

I remind myself that the little choices I make today, will lead to a great future for me and my family tomorrow. In fact I actually have a dream book with pictures and written descriptions of the life I aspire to have and I remind myself of the achievements that have already been made.

3.    I let go and let God:

We can only do what we can do and often the pressure we put on ourselves far out ways what others put on us. So I remind myself that if I do my best, God will do the rest.

I believe it’s so important to have clear goals and a strong sense of direction, in essence ‘A purpose driven life’ – purpose will propel you.

If you have more top tips for these moments of weariness, feel free to share in the comments box :)

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My biggest motivation

My biggest motivation is God and my Christian faith – I know God is working so I smile :)

 

My faith is at the centre of everything I do, it gives me perspective and peace of mind.  We have an acronym in Christendom:
Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, for me that’s exactly what the Bible is. It inspires, motivates and energises me.

The tone of this section is very different to the others, there I speak about what I do, here I speak about who I am – throughout I’ll share with you the things that motivate me and make me smile, I hope they’ll make you small also :)

 

 

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