Move Your Mountain


Trawling through my emails, I enjoyed opening the daily edition. There is always something that grabs my attention. The above article by Jenna Drew really resonated with me. Coming from an education background, I have seen those pupils who just do not fit in, have a tough time and are genuinely unhappy in their surroundings. You can watch their body language, how they slink to the side of the classroom, head down, eyes showing an acceptance of their lot.

School is a metaphor for life. There are those who breeze through, those who have great social interaction and those who struggle.

The joy of Josh, the boy whose change of mindset literally changed his life, gives hope to us all.   Sometimes enough is enough. But what can you do when you reach your limit?  Josh changed school and decided to take the initiative not to be a victim, but to be proactive in kindness.

“ I wanted to reach out to people and show them who I really was.”

This kindness spread like a welcome disease into happiness for the whole school.   It would be seriously unrealistic to think that anyone facing their ‘mountain’ can wake up one day and change their whole world with a click of their fingers, but what can be done?

You can make small changes. Small changes can gather momentum as you realise that the world did not implode when something shifted,  Maybe you find yourself one step further up the mountain, one step closer to that happiness goal at the peak.

For Josh, something simple as opening a door and issuing a greeting made the difference to his life. Change does not have to be HUGE, in fact you have more chance of success and longevity with small and subtle inroads into your unhappiness. If you look up and see your mountain, take time to mindmap all the things that are causing this angst. Pick one change.

As The Shaman sang:

I will not fail nor falter, I shall succeed

My perception is altered I do believe…

I can move, move, move any mountain

Dream BIG, Sparkle MORE, Shine BRIGHTLY

A Message from Bowie



Turn and face the change….


Some events occur in life that jolt us. Doesn’t matter where you are, what age you are, the impact leaves an impression. As someone who has a back catalogue of Bowie, albeit limited, I found his passing to be a real loss. His timing, like a true showman, was wonderfully staged. How powerful to be able to leave your message in the form of music, to move on to a new place knowing that there would be no words he could have said that were not encapsulated in the lyrics and images he had left as his lasting legacy.

My legacy has been left, branded on the poor unfortunates who have had the misfortune to have been taught myself over the past 20 years. Those who were probably sick of the sound of me banging on about how they should support Brighton and Hove Albion (back in the dark days of despair) and those who have been indoctrinated into the ways of Blackadder and Bob!

But even after all those years change began to creep up on me. There was something nagging in my head that said….is this all life is? Ignoring worked for a while, but coincided with the decline in my happiness.

There has been nothing more scary in my life than the word CHANGE. It has been only since I hit the big 40 onwards that I have embraced change, knowing that it will move me on another path, a different journey. I have no clue where I will in fact end up. For a reformed control freak, that would not be the most comfortable thought process to decipher, but my world needed to expand.

I see and meet people everyday who moan about their lives; job, relationship, family, home etc. It is a very British problem. We adore the moan. But there comes a point when the moan becomes a bore and you either put up or effectively, shut up!

I chose change. I lost sleep, I lost money, I lost security, I lost friendships, but I gained me! I found who I was, realised strengths I never knew I had, saw beyond the classroom and found an inner core of happiness.  My change journey is still evolving. The ticket is free, but the commitment costs.  What price happiness?

Dream BIG, Sparkle MORE, Shine BRIGHTLY

Snow – no thanks!



Living on the south coast of England, sheltered by the protective arms of the South Downs, my interactions with the white stuff are not so prevalent as many in other usually afflicted parts of the country.  Driving back from visiting friends residing north of the Downs last night, my heart sank when the drops hitting my windscreen turned into sleety snow. There was no shriek of delight, thoughts just turned to the last big flumpage in Sussex back in March 2013 when my journey from work, which normally took up to an hour at peak times, took four. Snow driving, although not my favourite, had never bothered me before….that journey was scary, loss of control of the car, wondering if myself and all the other motorists would ever see home that night… all with the rather surreal backdrop of beautiful ice white scenery.

So, does snow make me happy? Not as a motorist. As a human being however, no one can undervalue the sheer scale of awe of the muffled world that we witness when Mother Nature empties her white blanket over our busy, frenetic world. We stop, we listen, we notice the silence.  We laugh, we talk to strangers, we help each other in difficulty, we seem to re-find our sense of community. Long gone is my desire to make a snowman…but thinking back to my childhood I can picture the depth of snow in the garden that allowed my sister to create a huge snow teddy, walking through knee-high snow to the local school field to crash and faceplant in snowdrifts. They are happy memories. The carefree life of a non-adult. I watch with anticipation the weather forecast and am afraid to say, only smile when I hear that there will no chance of snow for the morning drive through the roadworks to work…..HAPPINESS!

Dream BIG, Sparkle MORE, Shine BRIGHTLY

Workplace and Wellbeing


Sitting at my desk, in my home, I trawl and read what is out there about a subject dear to my heart – happiness. I have blogged before about the importance of the link between happiness and a successful business. I was therefore pleased to read the article written by Lesley Stones – see link.  The momentum is gathering pace.. it isn’t just a half-baked idea adopted by the holistic happy-clappy brigade in the UK – this is worldwide. If you think about the core of what the whole happiness at work ethic is all about, it is not rocket science; it is basic human understanding.  Happy people will work more productively which equals more success for the business!

Can companies who are not creating the best working environment take stock and change? Of course… change is proactive, change shows willing, it is never too late to change.

Science, for those who need a more solid foundation, has shown that happiness can be taught. The brain can develop and attitudes can therefore alter. I particularly love the quote from the UN

“Happiness for the entire human family is one the main goals of the UN.” Whether we like it or not, our workplace is usually our second family. It can be our escape, but it can also be a major trigger in stress and illness. It is my mission to bring awareness that times are a-changing and businesses need to think about their staff not as commodities, but as individuals, with all the problems, joys and baggage that it entails.

Seek staff development. Seek staff fulfillment. Seek happiness.

“Everyone smiles in the same language.” Unknown

Dream BIG, Sparkle MORE, Shine BRIGHTLY

Visual Happiness…

IMG_1722 - Edited

In the dark and grey January days, I read my Lifehack daily email and smiled – a lot!

The Happy Page on Facebook encapsulate snippets of what happiness is in simple yet wonderful cartoons.  Sometimes we don’t necessarily want to trawl through lines of text to find a meaning to an article. Life needs to cater for the visual learner too!

Check out the link, and the page. What is your happiness?  I pondered mine…

Dream BIG, Sparkle MORE, Shine BRIGHTLY!

Happiness? Well, yes, happiness is important but how can we learn to be happy? Surely you are either someone with a happy disposition or one who prefers the grumpier side of life?
Happiness isn’t scientific – what nonsense. You can’t measure happiness.
But maybe you can….or at least well-being.
Even the government have instigated research into finding out how happy we are. Someone has finally released that there is method in this happiness madness!
So… buy a new top, go and see a band you like, have that takeaway tonight. Short, instant gratification. Nothing wrong with that happiness, it is part of life and it is great. But then forget the external world for a moment and focus on you. YOU may not have 2.4 children, a loving marriage, the perfect family, disposable income for frivolities… but are YOU happy inside? The graphic above shows simple ways to follow the science of happiness – to improve your own well-being. For all those I meet who live by evidence, who cannot cope with the ethereal, science has said so…it must be true! What excuse do you have now?

Happy New Year!

“If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem” Richard Bach

Dream BIG, Sparkle MORE, Shine BRIGHTLY