When life gives you lemons…

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Life is unpredictable. No matter how much you plan, things seem to change. I wrote before about how my plans for the Masters had been scuppered.

For a while it felt I no longer had a life plan.

This would’t normally have been a problem, but it’s taken me until the grand old age of 43 to actually care about my future. Most of my life has been spent begrudgingly getting through each minute of the day. I always felt a bit weird for not having a bucket list, or things I’d like to do with my life. I had no ambition. And yet I was hugely successful as a call centre consultant.

However, the reality was, I didn’t want to live, so why on earth would I plan for my future.

As my journey with Cognitive Hypnotherapy has guided me through changing, I have shifted my perspective.

Firstly I was happy to accept my current existence. I began to look around and see the wonderful things in the present moment.

Then, I warily began to nurture a kind of optimism about my future. I began to dream and as I dreamt I began to take action to allow me to reach my dreams.

  1. I published a book.
  2. I did a TED talk.
  3. I have always wanted to be a Dr. I wanted to do a Phd. 
  4. I want to talk at Harvard University about the subconscious. 
  5. I want to do Tony Robbins style events to packed venues. 
  6. I want to be interviewed by Ellen DeGeneres on her show

My Masters would lead me to point 4. When my husband had a problem with his eyes, it made me re-look at my business and my life. The £4.5k for the Masters suddenly seemed well out of my reach.

I deferred. And I felt an overwhelming sense of relief so I knew it was the right thing to do.

But also, overnight, it was like my plan had been taken away from me. Everything after point 3 was now un-achievable. Impossible. In front of me I saw a massive shiny black wall with no way over and no way round.

Life, for a while, lost it’s purpose.

But it is not what happens to us in life that really counts, it is what we do with it.

I began to do things that would not have been possible while studying full time.

I did 2 talks, one of which was in the middle of the day. Both talks allowed me to a connect with people I would not normally have met.

I ran a workshop on communicating confidently. I would not have had time to do this while studying and running my business.

And I started looking for part time jobs. Jobs that might give me a small regular income stream to alleviate some of the month to month money worries.

None of these things would have happened if I had embarked on the Masters this year.

So the plan remains. It’s a vision not a project plan. It’s ok to take the scenic route. And with my vision in mind, I can do small things each day that get me closer to it.

I have a sense of purpose again.

And the reality is, that my vision never went anywhere. It was my perception that changed. It was all in my head in the first place!

Today I went to a networking meeting. Many of the people that were scheduled to attend failed to show. Disheartened, the organiser prepared to send us away. But one of the attendees offered to speak, and we managed to persuade him not to abandon it altogether.

Peter Menzies stood up and delivered and impromptu talk that was one of the most engaging, entertaining, and informative talks I have ever listened to. As a direct result of his talk I connected with people who were there that I would probably barely have spoken to. I got ideas for moving stuff forward.

So the lesson is, when life gives you lemons, it’s up to you what you use them for. And if it turns out that they are not juicy enough for lemonade, make a lemon meringue pie. It’s up to you after all

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