The Present Day: Our Greatest Gift
Many of us spend a great deal of time thinking about the past, or indeed the future. But do we stop to consider and appreciate the present?
Living in the present is increasingly challenging; whether it be reminders, notifications, or indeed our thoughts; drawing us in to dwell on the past or daydream over the future. Being in the present moment is to be mindful and aware of what is happening now. The key, as with many things, is to find balance.
So why make the conscious effort to be mindful? It’s more than a trend, with scientific evidence supporting its contribution to heightened personal wellbeing. Those who live in the moment tend to be happier, more relaxed, and more appreciative. Awareness of your thoughts, emotions, and body sensations allows you to communicate more easily to yourself and your loved ones. Personal happiness through mindfulness really can uplift yourself, and thereby those in your company.
Of course, we should learn from experiences and have a vision for the future. But remember to live in the now, mindful of the gift of today.
"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.
That is why it is called the present."
Alice Morse Earle
How to be Mindful
In addition to meditation, here are key activities to support mindfulness:
The conversations that we have with ourselves are the most important of all. Touch in with yourself, your thoughts, and your feelings, for a more mindful day ahead.
Visualising Daily Goals:
Visualising your goals for the day is an excellent exercise, increasing the likelihood of completing your short-term tasks, all whilst promoting regular mindfulness.
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Wake up, say thank you, and show gratitude for the relationships and blessings you have.
Being active hosts a variety of benefits for mental wellbeing. It enhances self-perception, mood, and sleep quality – all supporting your ability to live in the present each day!
The Coronavirus Pandemic and linked lockdowns in recent times make it very difficult to acknowledge and therefore act upon positive thinking, and I appreciate that.
So, whilst it may seem all doom and gloom, why not reconsider? Why not think of the bigger picture? Why not be grateful for the life we are able to live?
Why not understand that the impediments and restrictions we face are of minute significance when put in relation to the situation a migrant may find themselves in when considering a legitimate life or death boat trip in aspiration of a better life.
We are fortunate. We are privileged. We must be grateful. (UK)
In this vain, I encourage you, a reader of this blog, to embrace positive thinking where you can, because you can.
Naturally, this will be different for us all. As a microcosm, I’d like to share my own thought process surrounding positive thinking:
I’m privileged to live in a country where the vaccine was rolled out effectively.
I have a roof over my head and food to eat. I am not struggling for survival nor comfort.
I have a job, or at least the experience worthy of a job, and so, I can support my household where necessary.
I appreciate the little things in life.
I believe that I will be able to go on holiday, and/or travel the world, in the not too distant future.
Whatever it may be, little or large, have something you’re looking forward to. Have something that helps you strive toward success. Have something, or someone, that is there for you through the difficult times.
Believe that if today was horrible, tomorrow will be better, and we will get through this together.
Curiosity And Courage: Being A 'Lifelong Learner'
When we think about education, there is a tendency to reflect on the early parts of our lives, as children, teenagers, and young adults. In the times of our lives, there was an explicit focus on attending primary school, secondary school, and university. A crucial part of our lives, no doubt.
Education has become one of the clearest indicators of life quality, including employment and income, as well as being a strong predictor of attitudes and wellbeing. There is an ever-increasing emphasis on the importance of education, and it’s important for children. Whilst in education, characters are shaped, invaluable skills are taught and talents are developed. We learn the importance of friendship, teamwork, and preparation; we build confidence; we begin to identify our passions.
But beyond this - education throughout adulthood? An area with complexity that is often overlooked. As adults, there are more responsibilities, to work and to provide. That explicit focus for new learning which we often had throughout childhood becomes an afterthought, as we look to further our careers. But, perhaps we should strive to be lifelong learners?
“Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age?”
Lifelong Learning refers to the voluntary decision to enroll in educational courses or to study a topic at one's will. So, how can you be a lifelong learner?
Through Personal Learning: Perhaps you have taken up an interest in photography, carpentry, or history? Did you once have a childhood dream to figure skate? Perhaps you always wanted to learn a different language - or even a computer language but haven’t. But what’s to say you shouldn’t learn now? Personal learning enriches your life with the things that spark your curiosity, simply because you want to know how what, or why.
Through Professional Learning: Fortifying and enhancing the skills you need to thrive in the working world. Depending on the nature of your work, there will be relevant books, courses, or even travel opportunities designed to help you to perform better, improve within your field. I encourage you to seize such learning opportunities, for your own development and professional gain.
So, whether lifelong education is fulfilled through personal learning, professional learning, or both - there is always a reason to learn something new. At Advice, we look to support lifelong learning through our tutors or industry experts - helping you to achieve your true potential. Adult education will likely never carry the same attention as childhood education and rightfully so. But, let this blog be a gentle reminder to never underestimate the importance of education throughout your life. I encourage you to be curious, purposeful, and indeed, a lifelong learner.
"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow."
Fitness. What Is All The Hype About?
Fitness. Why is it so important?
What does the word ‘fitness’ mean to you?
Do you consider it to be a trait of marathon runners and professional athletes only? Does it seem like an unreachable goal? Do you wonder why some people are obsessed with it? Do you long for being fit but feel you never have the time to progress? Do you down tools after two weeks, from which there seem no obvious results?
Let’s debuff, and think about it more simply.
Fitness in its simplest form should be the ability to do everyday menial tasks with relative ease and little discomfort. For argument's sake, I would include in this: a walk every day and finding yourself neither out of breath, nor extremely fatigued from such, with the same applying for walking up the stairs or chasing after your children.
Being ‘fit’ is an attribute we all (should) strive for. This is not only in relation to the health benefits as I will come on to, but also the image of being ‘fit’ in this modern-day and age. Whilst we should never succumb to the ever-present glorification of being insanely toned on social media, inside of each of us there is a desire to be in better shape. It's instinct, to want to improve our overall appearance, may that be for whatever personal reason. I stress the word personal here, because it is only YOU that is in charge of your own destiny, and only YOU that is able to define how you want to live your life, how you want to look, and how you want to feel.
Naturally, monumental benefits come from having and maintaining physical fitness. Reducing your risk of dementia, osteoporosis, cancer, and heart attack likelihood are a few of many outcomes that being ‘fit’ will result in. Sounds good to me!
Aside from the benefits of the end goal, even being active in pursuit of your fitness ambitions, further the above, by improving your energy levels, your ability to keep focus, and manage your stress. Again, this is just to name but a few, and ‘mental fitness is a whole other ball game, which I will delve into in a future blog.
Now, you don’t need to be obsessed with this trial, only be open to schedule your time for the allowance of physical activity within your daily routine. Stretching in the morning... a walk or jog in the afternoon or evening, don’t tell me you don’t have time for this.
And, don’t give yourself a hard time. Try. Try. And continue Trying to gain the level of fitness you desire. If you feel the benefits (most of which are unrecognisable) after a week, great, but if you don’t - please don’t get downtrodden, for simply the action and effort is far more powerful than the idea of posing with toned abs.
“You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.”
Michael Jordan, Basketball Player
Please visit our ‘Find a Coach’ page to reach out to the many expert coaches that we have on-site that are able to provide valuable insight and guidance on your path toward fitness. Many of which are able to provide a free discovery call and a long-term roadmap to help you, no matter the current stage you associate yourself in.
Sporting Endeavours: Chasing Fulfillment
When many engage in exercise, there is a tendency to focus on the health benefits and the physical transformation throughout this journey. This is of course fantastic, and such physical benefits transform the lives of many.
However, there is a different stance that can be taken, in regard to the pursuit of exercise. Those that to begin a journey whereby exercise or sport is not undertaken for the aesthetic, but in the pursuit of potential. To challenge ourselves; to chase a feeling of true fulfillment.
“Running allows me to set my mind free. Nothing seems impossible. Nothing unattainable.” Kara Goucher
Many of us are chasing our potential, where we truly aspire to be the best versions of ourselves. Its not easy and none of us are perfect. But the commitment to be better than we were yesterday, is personified by our sporting endeavours.
The lessons and values we learn on the way, filter through into other areas of our lives. Discipline. Accountability. Mental Toughness. The value consistency; the ability to overcome frustration. We'll likely spend more time with ourselves, in the early mornings the late nights as we look to be better. In life we often look for inspiration. Let your personal sporting pursuit be a source of such inspiration, in its own right.
Some of us aspire to achieve great things within sport. It is a journey, and no doubt takes time - but with consistency comes improvement. Stay patient yet persistent; for the days that are hard, will bring days of great joy.
It is said that the perseverance, consistency, and ability to push in physical pursuits, bring gratitude and peace like no other. Let us all test ourselves through exercise, for growth and fulfillment brings.
"All progress takes place outside our comfort zone."
Michael John Bobak
At Adviice we are committed to connecting individuals through our online platform. We support health coaches, wellness coaches, nutritionists, personal trainers, and lifestyle coaches to connect with individuals, to support their health and fitness journeys.
To Dream & Believe: The Pursuit
A lot of us dream big. We have a vision for what we can achieve. We have an idea, or we find something which inspires genuine passion or curiosity. Each one of us, albeit to various degrees, dream. We have a belief that we can achieve something special, even at the very start.
Then comes a decision. The decision to commit to the pursuit of an idea, a passion. To chase the vision of what we believe can be achieved; of where we want to be. Those that take this step fully appreciate that the belief in one’s self, is how this pursuit begins.
“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.”
Once we make this commitment, we have taken the first step, and no doubt the most important. On the way, there will be points where we question ourselves, our expectations shift and challenges arise. We may distance ourselves from others, as we are not quite where we want to be - and perhaps the most difficult part of our journey comes from the doubt that we may feel along the way.
When you encounter this, I encourage you to reflect. If you believe in yourself, and your vision at the start - why not believe in yourself now?
Find what you are passionate about. Find something that makes you proud, something in which you truly believe makes a difference. Understand that perseverance builds character and endurance, helping you to truly understand yourself. If you truly believe in something at your core, with hard work, consistency - what you believe could be done - can be done.
I do not write this as someone who feels as though they have achieved everything they have set out to do. I write this as someone who appreciates the importance of taking the first step. Someone who understands doubt yet continues to dream, with the belief that through passion, consistency, and perseverance; great things will come.
I encourage you all to dream big and believe in yourself, whether you are starting your journey, or continuing your pursuit. Business, Sport, Literature - whichever is yours to chase. Be tenacious and genuine. Your vision will likely evolve over time, but your decision to pursue what you love in chapter one, will inspire you to do great things; in chapters to come.
"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become."
At Adviice we are committed to connecting individuals through our online platform. We wish to provide our experts will the opportunity to inspire others, and allow clients to experience meaningful conversations - which encourage them to pursue what is important to them. We are here to welcome everyone, and support each individual through our connections.
"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world."