The Whatever Rule: a life-changing approach to 2018

In the words made famous by Doris Day, Que Sera Sera. Whatever will be will be. 

I started 2018 filled with anxiety.

Over the past six months I’d created a blog and a social enterprise – two big steps outside of my comfort zone.

Now I felt like the weight was on me to make each of them a ‘success’.  And, what I wasn’t telling anyone (even myself), was that deep down, I didn’t know that I could.

2018 had to be do or die. Success or failure. Joy or despair.

And the only outcome I could consider was success. Except the little voice inside was constantly saying “but what if you fail?”.

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A challenge to beat all challenges?

“Less is more”

A few years back, my New Year’s resolution was a full year of buying nothing new.

I made it until August …

Then my willpower began to erode as I travelled around Europe for a couple of months and my birthday drew close.  I rationalised I wasn’t ‘really’ buying that new handbag in Greece because my parents had given me the money specifically to buy something for my birthday. (Rationalising has always been a ‘strength’ of mine!)

And then I bought myself another wee gift, and another … Could I really leave Italy without a leather jacket?!

You could say I ‘failed’, but I bought about five new things for myself that year — not a patch on what I would normally have bought. And I completely transformed the way I related to shopping, forever. To me, that’s unqualified success.

So this year I’m excited to be taking on another ‘nothing new’ challenge. But this year, it’s not so much about shopping, but ‘doing’.

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Getting (and giving) a new kind of high

Because you are alive, everything is possible – Thich Nhat Hanh

I’ve got a serious case of ‘giver’s high’.

I’ve just made my first three gifts at thegoodregistry.com, and I can’t believe how good it feels. I’m fizzing. I’m bubbling over with joy!

My first gift was to Trelise. She’s turning eight. She’s asking for donations to the SPCA instead of gifts for herself for her birthday.

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Cold feet, warm beaches, fear and courage

“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” Abraham Lincoln

Cold feet. Of course I’ve heard of cold feet.

I know what it means. It’s backing away.

Like when you’re lying on the warm beach and go to get into the water, it’s too cold, and you step back. You want your feet back on the warm beach.

But I’ve learnt something new.

It’s not just a simile. It’s a real, physical thing.

For the first time in my life, I’ve felt it.

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What is the ‘dog that barks’ in your life?

‘You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks’.

I’ve always been a chaser of ‘shiney new things’. Not so much material things as new experiences,  opportunities and challenges.

’Never say no to an opportunity’, ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’, ‘If it matters, you’ll always find time’.

Those mantras have shaped my personal life: run a half marathon, then a marathon, more marathons, the New York Marathon, compete in the Coast to Coast. Volunteer once a week teaching yoga, then twice a week, then three times, then four…

Why wouldn’t I? I love it!

Work has been the same. Any good project, development opportunity, chance to do something different, I’ll take it. Especially any chance to do something good in the world.

‘Shiney new thing paradise’

My last role was ‘shiney new thing’ paradise – delivering social good, leadership development opportunities, interesting new projects all around me.

Why would I say no to any of it?

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Why would I want to get out of my comfort zone? 

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone – Neale Donald Walsch

Comfort Zone

  1. a situation where one feels safe or at ease.
  2. a settled method of working that requires little effort and yields only barely acceptable results.

 

Earlier this year I competed in the Coast to Coast — a 243 kilometre multi-sport race from Kumara Beach on the West of the South Island to New Brighton on the East Coast.

I’d agreed to do it about 10 months earlier, over a glass of wine with a friend. The next morning I wondered why.

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