The formula for success

It is widely understood that there is no such thing as an overnight success.

There is no such thing as a fairy godmother or a magic wand…   There is also no such thing as luck… although many like to use that as an excuse as to why they are where they are.

 

Personally, I believe you make your own luck by the choices you make, the decisions you stand by and the brand, the energy that you put out….

 

Although today, the penny dropped.

 

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The penny dropped, that there may just be a formula.

 

Based on some training I attended, some further research and a conversation, a brainstorm with a friend this morning over a herbal tea… there may well be a formula.

 

It isn’t a secret formula… but as I said, the penny just dropped. For me anyway.

 

And now I can’t decide whether to blog about it… or whether I just need to mull it over a bit more…

 

But this is where I have got to…

 

 

If (M + V) + (H + E) = F

 

Then F = P + A

 

Therefore  (P + A ) + (2T + C)= S….

 

It’s actually quite simple.

 

**

 

In other news, I had a crash course in negotiation this morning. Willy refused to eat breakfast, do his homework, to get dressed, to put on his shoes, to go to school..   He called me ‘Dirk’… and screamed and shouted and slammed doors.

 

There are some moments, I think that I am not cut out for this mothering thing…   and that I want to cry and scream back… and go back to bed.

 

But when the peace descends and our face off has run its course, snuggled in the kitchen chair, together, listening to him read his school book … I remember that there is no better job than that of being a parent.

 

#success

#parenting

 

 

The omelet of life…

The omelet of life!

Saturday morning… family breakfast! And this morning it was omelet on the menu. The big man is home…

And as I am making the omelet’s it makes me think about life… for the perfect omelet is made from the right ingredients being put into the hot pan at the right time. For us, the Mortimer omelet is made simply; just 5 main ingredients and the seasoning.

The pan has to be hot and the coconut oil just running clear and hot.

Throw in the red onion…. And let them sweat until they are clear, but not fully cooked nor brown or burnt…

Throw in the finely sliced button mushrooms… and let them brown and shrink. You always need more mushrooms than you originally think…

Once they are nicely soft it is the turn of the spinach… Again, more than you think as the leaves reduce to practically nothing…

And quickly after the spinach, the eggs, pre-whisked and seasoned…

Then comes the patience… a few swirls of the spatula around the pan to ensure it doesn’t stick…

Waiting for the perfect time to overlay the fatless palma ham to be laid on top…

Patience… you don’t want to flip the omelet too early or the egg will run out the side and spoil the perfect half crescent shape… too long and you get a rubbery texture.

I do this routine 4 times… as I have 4 hungry men at my breakfast table.

As I repeat the recipe and activity the 4 times, it makes me think of the recipe of life….

Just like life – we may know what we want the outcome to be and the steps we need to take and decisions we need to make… but it could go wrong. Outside influences could deter us from our path, make us shift our focus… A spilt glass of water could make us burn the onions… and we have to start again.. Just as in life, a life event could make us take our eye off the prize and we have to start over…

Just like life – everyone is different… the goal different, the size of the goal different…. Tom – 1 egg, Willy 2 eggs, Uncle Barny 3 eggs and Big Daddy Morts the 4 full egg breakfast.   The same applies with the ingredients… Tom doesn’t like mushrooms and BDM wants extra spinach…

Just like life – you need patience… If you want the end result to be as good as it possibly can be or even exceed your expectations, you need to have patience to go through each step before moving to the next one… Rush it and it can all go wrong. Scrambled egg.

Just like life – you need the right tools… BDM has worked out that the 5 inch pan is the perfect size…. That a plastic spatula is the best thing to do the swirling and flipping.   The mini whisk with the red bowl … god forbid they go missing! It never feels right if you have to do it with a fork and a breakfast bowl…

Just like life – you can’t take short cuts….. the youtube clip of the omelet in a ziplock bag and boiling water. Rubbertastic! No thanks…

Just like life – everyone can take a different approach and still get the same brilliant result. Mr OCD stays true to himself… the onions chopped into tiny perfect squares, next to the perfectly sliced onions in perfect piles, spinach out and the palma ham de-fatted, the eggs whisked in the red bowl, seasoned… perfectly lined up, cup of coffee next to the pan. And…. Go!

Me… I am a muddle of chopping just in time, walking back and forth to the chopping board, swearing as the onions just start to go brown as I search for the spatula… can’t find the spinach in the fridge… you get the picture….

But the end result is that the omelet is done, delicious and nutritious…

Just like life… you can look at the end result and know that reversing the order, connecting the dots backwards, each step played a part in the perfect breakfast plate, the perfect result for our lives. Each step or dot, necessary for us to move to the next dot and we remain at some dots longer than others, entirely because it is necessary…

Steve Jobs was right.

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The Secret…

It is no secret that I am a big fan of ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne… and also her book ‘The Magic’ which goes in to more detail about the importance of Gratitude…

I often wish that I had read these books earlier in my life. While there are some of the techniques I know I did subconsciously – for example, the daydreaming of my tall handsome prince, a house full of crazy children, big family Christmases, big house in the countryside…. Bedtime prayers giving thanks for good food and winning another lacrosse game, getting a promotion, a pay rise….

I didn’t do them regularly, nor did I understand the science behind them…..

Visualisation and daydreaming of a life you want in the future should be and for me is an uplifting experience. I have now even done guided meditations to meet my future self…. (the first time in a conference… and the second time on a crowded train to London in fact! Other travellers must have thought that rather strange – seeing someone plugged in to ear phones, eyes shut and crying!).

And at this point I do wonder whether my younger, less mature self would have been able to or even open to doing this? And at some points, I have felt that this was rather a materialistic thing to do… and didn’t always feel right as it seemed to come from a place of scarcity, feeling that I didn’t have enough so dreaming of more…

What I have found is that myself at this stage of life has totally benefitted from introducing these practices.   By meeting my future self, talking to her, I recognise the daily practices that she has done and continues to do to become this calm, serene, abundant, loving, selfless figure. By recognising them in the future, it is therefore easier for me to start implementing those practices in to my daily life today. Hence the early morning pilates, healthy eating, writing, sketching, spending as much time as possible with the boys. By speaking to her, I know the types of people she spends time with and so when I meet people, I know instinctively whether they are part of my future or just my present. By speaking to her, I know my purpose, it is cemented in my core for I know where I am going and because I know that, decision making becomes easy and if others try to influence me from my path, it is less easy for them to deter me, the less I care what they think – it’s not their future, it’s mine.

I recognise now that there is nothing wrong with knowing where you want to go. And I also recognise the importance of gratitude.

There is fantastic quote by Oprah Winfrey ‘ Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough’.

So while my evening prayers used to be sporadic, it is now a daily habit to list all the things in the day that I am grateful for… from my family, to the house we live in, friends, from the running water, to electricity… I go through a list of all the things I couldn’t do with out… It is amazing how long this list is… but as I run through it in my mind, I drift off to sleep. Maybe that is why I sleep like a dead person… I fall asleep in a state of gratitude.

Another practice I have recently started is another from the Secret. You can even buy Secret Gratitude Journals… one side of the page you write down all the things you are grateful for in your life right now and on the other, you write down all the things you are grateful for that you know will happen in the future.

I have only been doing this a week, but given how good my week has been so far, I am confident this practice has contributed to it. After my morning pilates, I am grateful for the day ahead and if I anticipate conflict or drama or difficulty in any part of my day ahead, I give thanks for the fact that it will go well…  or if not well, then the way it is meant to go

The books say that these practices – the visualisations and gratitudes – are all subconscious messages to your brain as well as to the universe to let it conspire to make what you want happen. The Law of Attraction.

And whether you are cynic or a believer, I overcame myself, my old negative, cynical frame of mind by asking myself ‘what was the worst that could happen?’ That I stayed negative and cynical by writing a few gratitudes down and believing in the future that I desired? I had nothing to lose.

And I have gained so much.

The positive attitude of my childhood has returned.

Daydreaming is fun!

Being grateful has made me less desperate, less competitive, more appreciative and far more abundant and giving, because I need less to make me happy.

I still feel that I am a long way from being the person I met in my meditations… but she was about 70… so I have 30 years to go to get it right.

And the best bit, I realize now, is enjoying the journey or adventure, I am currently on to get there… because I know, it will all be ok.

Just as it should be.

Because I told me, it would be.

And I believe her.

The Secret

Dreamer… Nothing but a Dreamer!

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I have no idea where today’s entry is going to end up. I have 2 topics playing in my head… not sure which one to write about…

Maybe I will hash them together and see what happens!…

Or maybe I won’t… let’s just see where my fingers and my thoughts take me…

I am big on visualisation. Dreaming. Imagining…

Whatever you want to call it… but putting it out there, letting your mind wander to play out what you want to happen in any given situation. Since opening up my mind to the concept of the ‘Law of Attraction’ that is written about in the ‘Secret’ and so many other books on success in life and in business, this has played a major part in my life. In fact, I actually think it is something that I did before, unconsciously… Being clear on what you want, before you even have it and believing that there is no other possible future or outcome.

I know my husband is like this. He is very goal (slash dream) focused. He is a little OCD. No, a lot OCD. He likes his ducks all in a row… in everything. Everything in it’s place. Everything in order. Just to explain how particular he is, he can’t allow himself to sleep if there is the tiniest chink open in the curtains, or if the drawer isn’t fully shut and God forbid if there is one of my pesky pink socks hanging out! His future is mapped out in a spreadsheet – he knows where he (we) are going… and is on a plan, a mission to get there. He knew how many kids we would have, where we would live, what car(s) he would have… even before I did.

I love him for it. Someone was in charge of our future. Knew our destination…

He was the one who started the conversation on each of our anniversary’s – so what is this year all about? What do we want to do? The year we decided to get married, the year we decided to move to Yorkshire, have a child, have a second child… the year we decided to take our health and our fitness seriously after the belly bulging baby years. In the year of his ‘reassessment of life’, we even had 5 year goals, 10 year goals… what did we want our life to be like? Where did we want the boys to go to school? And always the discussion of what car or 2… or 3. Fast ones. (The only way he differs from his father is in terms of cars.)

Everything we dreamt about and the life we designed on beaches as we travelled the world in our early 20’s has come true: we live in Yorkshire, we have a beautiful home, we live in Boston Spa (his home village – the only place he had ever wanted to live ‘because it has everything you need without having to get into a car’… and it is in Yorkshire, ‘God’s own County’)… we have 2 children… and only 2 as there are only 2 lines for children on his spreadsheet (!! You can see why he is so successful in his chosen career) … he has his Porsche and a Range Rover… we have a dog and a cat (both had to be grey – called Perdi and Percy!!). Our boys go to the school he went to and loved the most. We are fit, healthy, successful in our chosen fields… Wonderful friends, too good a social life…

It’s only recently, that I understand and truly understand the theory behind it all. It was all instinctive before.

Now I really believe.

Now I understand the theory. What you think about most of the time, you bring about. What you focus on, expands. And if you use the time to imagine, to daydream and feel…. Really feel the emotions you will have when it all comes true, that…. That my friends is when the magic happens. And it is magic… or I think it is because I don’t understand the neurological science behind it… the chemicals you release or the messages you send your brain, the way it imprints your life by design, where you are happy, proud, fulfilled, in love, joyful… at peace.

Be warned here though – for all of you worriers (and I used to be one, maybe still am deep down but have learnt to refocus …)… remember that line – what you think about, you bring about. So if you are worrying, scared, fearful of the worst situation… imagine what messages that is sending in to your brain to imprint. Worry, I have learnt is a waste of energy and of time… wait and see what happens and then respond (not react) at the time, in the moment in a positive, helpful way.

I know this works.

I have seen it happen. In my own life. Many times.

The time we lost our first baby… devastation, grief, lack of faith in my body that I would ever conceive again or even have a child. I was introduced to visualisation by my grief counseller. She tried to help me visualize my baby, my child, in my arms… but I couldn’t see it in my mind. But I couldn’t see an elephant either. Or a water bottle… or James’ face. But I could see the herd of elephants that ran across our path in Kenya… and I could see myself pouring glasses of water and James smiling. I could see movement…  I could see myself walking up the high street pushing a pram proudly… and voila Tom was conceived shortly after and 9 months later on Christmas Eve, I gingerly, slowly, walked up the road, quietly celebrating what I had imagined in my mind, crying softly with gratitude.

And most recently, it has happened again. Earlier this year I did an exercise on who and what I wanted to be. I chose these pictures to look at daily while I cleaned my teeth and imagine these as part of my daily life and how it would feel when that’s what I did, what I was.

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I had no idea how it would happen or when it would happen. But 6 months on, I am coaching and mentoring in schools for children in primary schools and I blog daily. And I finally came up with a way in which my friend’s business and I can help each other… another blog is coming your way… but purely for ride25 (if you are in to cycling – this is for you! Check out ride25.com) ..

And I took this picture this morning…

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So go… go and be a dreamer. Imagine your life as you would want it, feel the feelings, get all gooey inside…. Maybe it is a bit scary, a bit thrilling… but I bet it is exciting!

And if you are in a marriage, a partnership, a family… allow your significant other to dream their dreams and imagine their life as they would want it. It is so important to have your own identity and life plan. But connect. And reconnect… Share your dreams, find the commonality, the threads that are intertwined so you can feel together… dream together.

I believe the couples that dream together, stay together…

Know, feel and believe in your true destination… the fun is the adventure along the journey of meandering, wrong turns, successes and overcoming the lows in between. It’s even better if you have someone’s hand to hold while doing it.

Dreams do come true!

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Today is the day that is going to lift me out of the haze of snot, the muffliness of blocked ears.

It felt a little bit like Christmas as I was so excited and awake well before my alarm.. Today was my first day in front of a class of 15 ten year old girls.

My childhood dream as a little girl was to be a teacher, a writer and painter and a Mummy.

At school I was incredibly creative – I was always top in Art exams, I wrote endless stories in note books and I made lace… (yes – lace with bobbins… !). I wanted to take Art and Latin and languages for my A levels but my teachers and parents persuaded me otherwise – I was very good at Maths too, so it was double Maths and double languages for me. I listened again and was influenced by my elders and took Business Management with French for a Degree and at the end of a 4 year course I still had no idea what I wanted to do… A dream of being a teacher, a painter and a writer long lost as my peers all signed up with big blue chip companies.

I fell in to Management Consultancy, quite by chance… but I suppose it was a happy chance as it appealed to both my creative side as well as my analytical side. I got to design systems, look at ‘architecture’ and became part of the technology revolution in retailing. It was a love, hate relationship! It paid fantastically, it was a brilliant challenge, it was time consuming, stressful and eventually took too much time away from my family.

So here I am … going back to realize my dreams!

I stood in front of my class of 15 ten year olds and shared my story proudly. I may not be a true teacher in academic or professional terms, but I can teach them about life, or my experiences of life:  Be clear on your dreams. Ask for help if you don’t know what it is you are looking for. If you find what you are doing doesn’t make you happy, be brave and have the courage to change. True success is doing what you love, because that is what will make you happy… and happiness is the key to success!

I may not be a true painter… but in my Health, Wellness and Wellbeing business, I paint the picture of how life can be like when you are healthy, happy, doing what you love, being your authentic self.

I may not be a true writer, haven’t written a novel… but I am getting there!

So I guess, that’s not bad … realizing all your dreams before you reach 40 because my last dream of being a Mummy is definitely fulfilled… I changed bed sheets 4 times last night, kissed little heads multiple times, trod on lego, picked up discarded clothes, read stories and awoke to my alarm clock of pattering feet as Tom races to dive on my bed with a big grin as he is always delighted to see a new day begin!