Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Festive reflection. Give your head a rest.

The festive season is upon us and that brings with it a hive of activities. We have to buy presents, go to office parties, get the food sorted, know when we are going to visit who, make sure we don’t forget anyone, send cards, put up the decorations etc etc…

In the meantime our daily lives are still the same. We still have a job to go to or to get, children to collect from school, housework needs to be done, bills have to be paid, pets looked after etc etc…

Does all this sound like a festive season used to rest and reflect on the year gone by? A season were we take stock and plan for the next steps in our lives? A season were we reconnect spiritually, whatever that may mean to you? A season of goodwill, friendship, empathy and love?

This is my challenge to you over the next 3 weeks (in 3 weeks it will be NYE):

1-Connect with yourself and those that are dearest to you. Give your head some space and think from your gut. ‘Do lots of what you would really like to do, little of what you tolerate and nothing you hate.’ (Thanks Rachel Montgomery for passing on this bit you got from John Assaraf)

2-Check in with yourself on what you want to achieve in 2014. Check in with yourself on what’s important to you. Check in with those around you whom you love to see how they are coping.

3-Instead of buying presents, be the present. Give time, a listening ear, thank you’s, a smile, empathy and love to all you meet.

In short, do what is best for you and those around you: Live from your core rather than your head.

Have a wonderful day,

Patrick x

Friday, 22 November 2013

Your reaction is your choice!

Troika, debt deals, ECB, recession, inflation, mortgage arrears etc… etc…
All important; all in the news, all related to the world we live in. The question is do we allow any of these to control our individual futures? Do we roll over and use them as (valid) excuses to blame others for our own situation? Do we feel unjustly treated and march on our streets screaming for our entitlements?
Or could we react differently? Would we dare to think that somehow somewhere we can start a process of reshaping our own destiny? Can we influence our daily lives by thinking and acting in a different way? Can we alter the outcome for ourselves through positive action?
The answer to all this is inside you. I know that by moving my attention from the events that happen around me to my desired outcomes in life, my reaction has tilted from reactionary to proactive.
Proactive means deciding what needs to be in place for me to be happy and fulfilled in life, looking at what makes me tick, what is important for me right now and then using these foundations to build a path to my desired outcomes.
This way of thinking, whilst firmly rooted in the ‘real world’, leaves only room for forward thinking and action based planning for your future. You can nearly treat life as a catalogue you want to order from and then find a way to your collection point.
This can be done and is done in the ‘real world’ and incorporates all the challenges you might encounter on that road.
Passion +  Hard Work +  Attitude = Success! The choice is always yours, choose wisely. You can let others decide your life for you, or take control. Your choice, your decision, your future.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

This little piggy went to (the Milk) Market!

I always try and live every day as a bit of an adventure. That means meeting new people and trying new things but also having fun routines. Whilst uncertainty and surprises are a basic human need, so are routines and certainties. Both combined in the right amounts make for a happier, more fulfilled you!

One of my ‘adventurous’ routines before heading to my office on a Saturday afternoon is a Lunch date with the fabulous ‘Milk Market’ in Limerick. This place is truly magical and since I’m not from Limerick originally, I should be trusted to say it with less bias than the ever friendly locals.  J

The energy hits you like the incoming tide of the Shannon, starting from Cruises Street where 16 new stalls put there recently guide you gently to the corner of Robert Street. From there to the Milk Market marquee it is a hustle and bustle of ‘all kinds of everything’ and there is generally a packed but easy going atmosphere about the place. When you walk through one of the 2 arches into the core of the Market the sounds and smells are an eclectic mix.

Like most people I wander round but have my favourite stalls. There are a couple of fellow Belgians, Helen & Daniel who run the very popular Flying Cheese Brigade. I won’t tell you my favourite cheese is Old Bruges in case they run out of it before I get there. http://www.milkmarketlimerick.ie/theflyingcheesebrigade.html

I looooooove the Tartiflette Sébastien and Kasia sell in Bon-Appétit Crêperie and devoured that for Lunch last Saturday. http://www.milkmarketlimerick.ie/bon-appetitcreperie.html

I must try the Wood Fired Pizzeria goodies one of these Saturdays and let you know what they are like. On top of all the food (and you can get anything from Indian curries to Sushi) it is also the place to get your freshest fruit and vegetables.

Two more things I want to mention on this trip to the Milk Market. Valerie O’Connor recently started the ‘Limerick Food Trail’ centred on but not limited to the Market. I am going to join her one of these weeks and fill you in but if the feedback is anything to go by it is a ‘must’ for any foodie visiting Limerick or living here. http://www.valskitchen.com/foodtrails/2013/10/limerick-fab-food-city.html

Finally no trip to the Milk Market is complete without a visit to Harper’s Café! Chef and Barista Maria and her team of the friendliest staff make you smile by simply bringing together the experience with a blend of conviviality and good Coffee (or Tea)! http://www.milkmarketlimerick.ie/harperscafe.html

So next time you’re in Limerick on a Saturday morning, step away from the greasy plate and visit the Milk Market between 8 and 3. You’ll thank me for it! http://www.milkmarketlimerick.ie/index.html  

Friday, 11 October 2013

Control the Controllables.

I have to credit the title of this post to Gerry Duffy and his excellent book ‘Tick, Tock, Ten’. He used this phrase describing ways to stay in control when he seemingly had lost control of certain functions during his Deca-Ironman event in the UK. For the curious among you a Deca Ironman is 10 Ironman races in 10 consecutive days with a time limit on each day.

This phrase is quite useful for most of us in everyday life as well. How often do you feel out of control? You feel others are dictating your pace, your wellbeing, your stress levels, your workload, your financial security or even your peace of mind. We feel lost and out of control and seek solace talking about his with our peers or escape the real world through TV, food, alcohol or drugs to give but a few examples.

So here we are letting others dictate how we feel.  Is that what we really want? What would it mean to be back in control of almost all things in life? Is that possible? Yes it is.

Simply answer the following questions for yourself each time you feel a situation is out of your control:

What can I DO about this situation to make it better for me?

 What is the outcome I WANT from this situation?

How do I NEED to react to achieve that outcome?

The honest answers to these questions (which may include asking for help from others) should give you a level of control back over any situation. You choose how to react in order to get the outcome you want. Do this often enough and it will become a habit. A habit of being in control regardless.

How would that feel?

Have a wonderful day.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Everyone you meet knows more than you do!

You have met people like me, maybe you are like me. I do it in my business; others do it at home or in their club or organisation. They are not just DIY people, they are DIAY people; Do It All Yourself!

This goes from fixing your own boiler, to cutting your own hair, to writing your own CV, to doing the admin for the club you are in, to doing the accounts for the local charity, to covering HR and stationary and IT and admin in your business.  Nothing wrong with this until you come under scrutiny. The boiler breaks down and your fixing costs you extra in parts and warranty, you miss a bit and your hair looks like the front lawn, you get no answers to the CV’s you send out, you delete half the membership of the club by accident, the Revenue audits the charity accounts or you do a bit of everything in your business except getting new clients.

Then we cry out for the help of an expert, when the damage is done. Here’s my point: ‘Everyone I meet knows more than me.’ By engaging the services of an expert, I free up my time to do what I am best at and I save on correcting the mistakes I make. Using experts saves time and money.

So next time you have a job to do at home, in your club or organisation or in your business just ask yourself what the benefits would be of getting an expert to do it and what the consequences would be of messing it up. Then make up your mind.

I have, simply by giving me more time to do what I love and by cutting out all the mistakes I have made, I give the thumbs up to using experts both at home and in the business.

Have a great weekend J

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Opportunities can come in any disguise!

You must all have heard these positive optimists saying that 'there is an opportunity in everything, even in the things that seem bad for us'. Or that 'there is always something to be learned, even in the darkest moments'.

And you, like me, would shrug your shoulders and answer with a sarcastic 'Yeah, Right!'

I decided to humour the optimists and try their theory as one of my 'get out of your comfort zone' actions. Recently I got stabbed in the back really badly by a bunch of people I trusted. Assumptions were made about me and taken for truth in combination with some personality clashes. It wasn't a particularly nice experience but I decided not to react and instead to look at what I could learn from the experience.

I found that by not reacting people who were on the periphery of the issue started to confide in me with what they heard and took my side. I thanked them for their trust and insisted I didn't need them to take sides.

I analysed the entire situation and discovered there were things I could have done better to avoid some of the fallout. I then checked for the root cause of my reactions and found that I had compromised on my values by changing direction with my company on others advice. Take note that though the issue had nothing to do as such with the company, it still found its roots in it.

I have now altered the direction of the company back to my value set and passion and will grow from there by taking several actions in the next few weeks (that's a bit scary but good scary!). I have also learned how I'm going to deal with the people who stabbed me in the back whilst keeping my eyes firmly on the outcomes I desire.

So whenever you find your self in a situation that is harmful to you, don't react! Check for the root cause and what YOU can do better. Alter YOUR direction as you have no control over others. Keep YOUR values and desired outcomes as your primary motivation. And finally figure out how best to deal with the root cause.

I think I might join some of the optimists after all this. Because you know what, there is an opportunity to learn in every situation.

Happy weekend,


Friday, 27 September 2013

Introductions please!

Hi all,

The answer is probably zero.
You change the habits your self and unless you are of similar nationality than me, you don't need any Belgians to change your habits. You could do with one to help you facilitate the change though :)

Please allow me to introduce myself. I landed in Shannon from Brussels Airport in December 1994 and have never left. I love Limerick and it's people to bits and love living in Ireland.

I worked in Retail, IT and Communications companies until I decided to start my own business after getting a Diploma in Personal & Business Coaching with the Irish Lifecoach Institute (www.ili.ie).

I am in business about 6 years now and have specialised in Coaching, Training (qualified Trainer) and Mentoring. I've been told many times I seem to help people and organisations, groups or businesses find a solution where nobody else sees a way out through my unique blend of energy and motivational coaching and I will write about that in this Blog. I will also write about my life experiences as I live every day in gratitude that I have been giving another shot at life one day at a time.

What else do you need to know about me? Not much for the moment, just that I am obsessed with Running, love the Arts, am a passionate Soccer fan (Limerick FC & Belgium and Chelsea), adore good company especially when there is good food and a positive attitude to live to be had as well.

Thanks in advance for following me on this journey and for your feedback which is welcomed.

Have a wonderful day,