I heard the title of this blog in a film I was watching just the other day. I believe the original quote comes from Dr Seuss. I liked it so much I even shared it on my Facebook page. It kind of captures all of what I'm about I guess.
I was stimulated to write about it today for a couple of reasons. This morning I visited my daughter who's just completed her second year at University, doing a media production degree, she wanted help with writing an essay ( the title question of which I can't even recall, it was so memorable) It struck me as we were wading through texts, theories and quotes how pointless it really seemed. I'll add at this point, I'm not being negative, not anti- education or anti- university degrees... just that in the real world, as a vibrant young human being, what was discussing the boundaries of horror ( that's the abridged version) really bringing Sarah my daughter?
I did find myself asking the "So what?" question.... a lot this morning.
Ok, I do get that it shows that she can take in lots of information, that she can format her thesis, can articulate herself on paper... all great skills..... but what is it really bringing her?
You could say a sense of accomplishment, of satisfaction, or even increased knowledge. But how is it truly feeding her soul?
It has certainly caused her a great amount of stress as she tries to discuss her ideas and struggles with her tutors. Their replies have been helpful I'm sure in their own eyes, but to me have simply been the use of intellectualized ,academic gobble de gook, and how you can get as many incomprehensible words into a sentence.
It's almost as though they themselves have been institutionalised. In truth it just makes me feel sad.....sad that our youngsters are pressurised to take the Uni route to "fit in". It's become what they're now expected to do.They truly are fed the "If you want a good job , or any job for that matter you have to have a degree" This is simply not true.
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that there are lots of Uni Students who are having a great time , learning, growing and developing skills beyond just those of their chosen course.
So, pondering this thought, I was driving back home listening to the local BBC radio station, discussing the local "A" levels results, that have been published today. The radio presenter was interviewing a head teacher from a local school who's results had been the best in ten years. I'm delighted for the school, the staff and the students, what a great result. ( I do have to say though, the measurement in itself is another way of making everyone fit in to a certain criteria of what good looks like)
The discussion then went onto the topic of university applications versus apprenticeships and other options. Although it was said that more students were taking more time to consider their options and not rushing into things, the university applications still seemed to be taking the lions share of next steps..... what really concerned me was the head teacher said that the students where perusing university as there was a desire to fulfill their potential... he said this several times.
Hmmm, is that what we're drilling into our teenagers? You can only fulfill your potential by taking the University route?
So are we saying that by "Fitting in" following the crowd, going to University getting a degree (any degree it would seem) is the way to fulfill your potential?
And what is an individual's potential anyway? is that purely about academic ability?
Please don't misunderstand me, for some people its absolutely the thing to do, it is fulfilling their ability to really stand out from the crowd, but when it becomes what's considered the "Norm" and "The way", as in this is the way we do things around here, then it just becomes an exercise of trying to make people "Fit in".
The Sunday mail magazine recently ran an article on the subject of was going to university a waste of time, along the lines of was it worth it. Interestingly most of those interviewed felt it really hadn't made a difference to their work prospects.Many of which, if they had their time around again they wouldn't have gone.
So, I guess what I'm trying to say is....And believe me when I say I am making a positive point here....... Lets encourage the next generation to stand out, to be themselves - their authentic self.
If that means they choose to go to University to allow their true magnificence to shine, then great! If its to take off to a far flung part of the World to save endangered animals, then that's great too ( I know someone's going to tell me you need a degree to do that) If it's to be entrepreneurial and start something for themselves ( think Lord Sugar or Sir Richard Branson) , or even if it's to... dare I say it , start a job...... lets support them to stand out, blaze their own trail...... not blend in.
Which reminds me of a t-shirt I saw at the Feel good show at the weekend, printed with a great quote from my wise friend Taz Thornton...which said something like. " Be yourself, Be authentic, don't wash out the colours of the rainbow just because some prefer beige"
Until next time,
make every moment count, colour outside the lines and stand out in the crowd.
Silence is a source of great strength.
I wrote this blog in the old fashioned way, with paper and pencil whilst I was visiting the very beautiful and serene Grayshott Spa last week. I was the guest speaker there but had time to relax and soak up the atmosphere whilst there.
As I sipped my coffee ( that's a rare thing for me, being a decaff tea lady myself) soft music was playing in the background- You know what I would call 'Lift' or 'lounge' music, the sort that includes no words, just soft tinkling of the ivories, the sort that blends into the surroundings, there but almost not there. The lilting sound, as I listened a little more closely, was i realised Simon and Garfunkel's 'The sound of silence'.
Mmmm - now there's a thought. The sound of silence. A rare phenomenon in truth. If you really consider it, we rarely experience true silence. Even when we find ourselves in a quiet moment, in quiet surroundings - Is there truly silence?
Try it. Find yourself a quiet space and just listen- listen to the silence.
I'll bet this is what happens:
At first you fidget
Then your mind chatters
Then your mind chatters even louder
All of a sudden where you were expecting silence, there's a cacophony of sound.
So how can we really experience the sound of silence?
How can we still the chatter and the noise and simply be present and in the moment?
Silence, without the need to fill the void- without the need to avoid simply sitting with ourselves by making a noise.
What makes us do that?
What purpose does the incessant chatter serve?
Do we plan?
Do we reminisce?
Do we allow our mind to be filled with trashy garbage?
What would the benefit be I wonder, to simply sit with the silence, without the need to fill it or fix it?
Perhaps, if we could just listen to the sound of silence, fully, intently, mindfully and whole heartedly, we might just make the space to allow clarity, calmness and inspiration in to our life.
Today I urge you to take time to simply be, to dive into the juicy moments of absolute quiet. And savour in listening to the sound of silence.
May you be filled with inspiration in those quiet moments today.
Until next time,
Make every moment count,
Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.
October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came -
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
~George Cooper, "October's Party"
I dont know about you, but I just adore the Autumn, the colours are so vibrant as the trees mark the turning wheel of the year, their once green hues becoming a blaze of flaming colour. As all of nature flows with the change of season, so do we. Have you noticed that your energy is slowing down, that as the nights draw in you wish to retreat to hearth and home? The long high energy days of the Summer have long since passed and now is the time for letting go.
Autumn is the beginning of the yin cycle in traditional Chinese medicine, when the daylight lasts less than twelve hours. It’s a time of harvest and gathering. Think of the symbols of Autumn and you'll probably see a picture Pumpkins and falling leaves in your minds eye.
In autumn we have the opportunity to learn more about ourselves, than in any other season. If we look at Nature having provided the harvest, it now makes everything bare. In this season Nature lets go of its abundant creation of the past year in a grand final flaming display of abundant colour. Autumn marks the end of the growing season - a turning inward, a falling away of outer-directed energy. Leaves turn colour and drop. The old leaves go back to the earth, enriching it to promote the coming of new leaves, a new harvest.
Nature shows us our own cycles of creating and letting go: Trees in autumn don't stubbornly hold onto their leaves because they might need them next year. Yet how many of us ignore the cycle and try with all of our might to cling onto what we've produced or collected, for fear of lack - those decayed leaves, those old out worn beliefs, or negativity? How can we hope for a harvest next year unless we let go of the old and start afresh?
The energy of this season, more than any other, supports our letting go of what we no longer need, the old and stale in our lives, those things, ideas and thoughts that no longer serve us. If we are able to flow and allow the fullness of the energy of Autumn, we can allow ourselves to be receptive to the new, giving us the gift of a true insight of who we are at heart . Autumn returns us to our true selves, moves us to let go what we no longer need, revealing what is most meaningful in our lives.
So today I ask you to consider....
Where are you hanging on to what can now be let go of?
How can you notice the messages that Autumn is bringing forth to you?
The colours of Autumn also share a meaningful message with us.
Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It provides emotional energy that you can give to others, including compassion, passion and genuine warmth. Remember that feeling of home and hearth?
Brown is the color of our earth and is associated with all things natural or organic. Brown creates a warm, comfortable feeling of wholesomeness and dependability, family-life, loyal friends. Brown gives you a feeling of relaxation and home coming. Brown makes you feel cosy, safe and warm. Reminding us to go within, to retreat and reflect.
Gold is associated with the Sun which is a symbol of happiness, success, attainment, prosperity and true friends. Obstacles fall away in the light of joy. It brightens all things in its rays adding a sense of optimism and good cheer. Reminding us to celebrate our harvest and be grateful for our bounty.
Red is the color of physical energy, passion, and desire. It symbolizes action, confidence and courage. Determination to go after your dreams and the power to achieve goals Red is powerfully linked to our most primitive physical, financial, and emotional needs of survival and self-preservation. Reminding us to set the seeds for the future, to sow that we may reap at the next years harvest.
Purple is the color of Spirituality. It urges us to find our power within, not the kind of power that needs to control or dominate others, but power rooted in connection to Spirit.purple is associated with imagination and inspiration. Reminding us in our time of inner reflection we find our spirit's inspiration.
So I urge you to observe the colours and energy of Autumn...
What message does Autumn whisper to you?
Notice the colours that you are drawn to, then allow the colour to infuse you with its energy and purpose.
Finally I found this wonderful guided meditation for you, allowing the energy of Autumn.
Until next time,
Make every moment count!
~ The act or faculty of knowing or sensing without the use of rational processes; immediate cognition.
~ Knowledge gained by the use of this faculty; a perceptive insight.
~ A sense of something not evident or deducible; an impression.
What is Intuition?
Intuition is the inherent ability to connect with our "inner self." Our inner self (or "higher self") is that part of us that knows everything we need to know and helps guide us through our existence in the physical world.
Successful business people are often described as having a "sixth sense," "gut feel" or an "intuitive" feeling about their business, career, industry trends or stock market trends. What is it that makes them so successful? Usually, they have consciously strengthened their natural intuitive abilities and learned to make those abilities work for them in the business world.
Are you using your intuition?
Intuition can take many forms:
Some of the most inspirational and successful people I have come across in business, actively tap into their inuition. Some use tools such as Astrology, Numerology, dowsing, all tools that work for them, which may sound extreme to some of you that are reading this.....but it works! I choose a card for the day every morning, to allow me to "Check in" with my own inner guidance!
Let me give you an example.....
Take the example of the best traders in the City..... they combine their knowledge and logic with raw "Gut instinct" in the split second they make their ground breaking deals.
People like Donald Trump, Sir Richard Branson, Walt Disney to name a few are people who have all listened to that “inner knowing” and followed it, sometimes on multi million or even multi billion dollar deals.
They have acted on it and been proved right time after time. Often that knowing had no basis in logical reality, yet it was right.
Let me name a few others that trusted their intuition........
1) Masaru Ibuka Founder and chairman of Japan's Sony Corp.
Asked in an interview, "What is the secret of your success?" He said he had a ritual. Preceding a business decision, he would drink herbal tea. Before he drank, he asked himself, "Should I make this deal or not?" If the tea gave him indigestion, he wouldn't make the deal. "I trust my gut, and I know how it works," he said. "My mind is not that smart, but my body is."
2) Tom Peters Management consultant and best selling author
"Leaders trust their guts. "Intuition" is one of those good words that has gotten a bad rap. For some reason, intuition has become a "soft" notion. Garbage! Intuition is the new physics. It's an Einsteinian, seven-sense, practical way to make tough decisions. Bottom line, circa 2001 to 2010: The crazier the times are, the more important it is for leaders to develop and to trust their intuition."
3) From Forbes Business Magazine:-Peter Vegso played a hunch that turned his struggling publishing company into an industry powerhouse. At a 1992 booksellers convention he attended, an acquaintance, Jack Canfield, was peddling a manuscript of inspirational stories he had collected over 20 years as a motivational speaker (Chicken Soup for the Soul).
One hundred and forty publishers had rejected the book. Canfield asked Vegso to look at it.
"I said, 'Jack, I'll publish it,'" recalls Vegso, president of Health Communications Inc. "He said, 'Don't you have to read it first?'"
… the rest, so they say, is history!
Inspired? Interested? Curious?
If you want to harness the power of YOUR intuition you can join myself and Adrian Peck on a one day workshop Friday 5th March, more details HERE