Daniel

We met Daniel at Club Med. He was a party animal, and ex-stuntman who could do amazing things on water skis.

When we helped our son move to Canada, Daniel welcomed us to his lakeside chalet, hosted a barbecue, and took us water-skiing (no stunts involved!). He was a kind person and a great host.

At the time, we knew nothing of his personal demons, and the substances that he was taking just to keep him on his feet. They were a source of comfort to him but also a trap.

Years later, he spilt the beans on Facebook. By then, he was happily celebrating the fact that he was finally free of it all.

This personal victory changed him so much that he went on to inspire many others. He created his own brand called Soberstar. He tells people about stars, from Robert Downey Jr. to Sir Elton John and all the others he has met, who have been through the same experience as him. He has also developed his own product line to celebrate these sober stars.

Daniel really made me think about how we fall into the trap of “just one little drink” … followed by another, then another. Something to comfort us after a hard day or a reward after a successful day or some other reason, just because I’m worth it. I never used to drink a lot but I did drink regularly.

I decided to follow his example, at my own pace. Every day, I say to myself: not today, perhaps tomorrow. I’ll have a drink or three tomorrow. But not today. No.

Now, day after day, I realise that I reward and congratulate myself differently. And every day I like myself a little bit more.

What about you? How can you love yourself a little bit more, one day at a time?



3 questions

At the start of all my seminars, I introduce myself to establish my credibility through my experience and training.

Last week, I began a seminar by inviting the participants to ask me three questions to get to know me.

I was able to cover the same subjects in my answers as I do in my usual monologue, but there were two significant differences: the attendees really wanted to hear my answers, and we engaged in a dialogue right from the word go.

If I say “have you got any questions?”, people rarely ask any.
If I say “what are your questions?”, I am effectively stimulating their creativity
When I say to them “ask me three questions!”, there is an instant dialogue between us.

What about you? How would you encourage the creativity of the people you speak to?



When you too need to make a list…

I’ve always considered myself too young to need a checklist. It was the kind of thing my parents had when they were planning their holidays, so that they wouldn’t forget goggles, a hat, boots or ski poles.

Arriving in Chicago, I take the one essential accessory for the US out of my suitcase: an adapter. And I’m delighted. It was a gift from my colleagues at Next Action. They know all about different plug sockets in the UK, Europe and the United States.

How many times have I had to buy a new one? This small accessory was always the last thing on my mind when I was packing. But now that’s a thing of the past! I have a travel checklist.
I finally learnt my lesson.

I go through my list one last time before I leave, and I always arrive at the airport, with my passport and ticket in hand, but also local currency and the correct adapter!

All good in Chicago then? YES! Except the snowstorm! Add to list: check the local weather…

What about you? What can you write down on a list to clear your mind and avoid nasty surprises?



Daybreak

“How can you recognise the moment when night is over and day is breaking?” a teacher asked his students.

“When you can just make out the shapes of things!” one of them immediately replied.

The Teacher shook his head slowly and looked at the others.

“When you can tell the difference between a fig tree and an olive tree!” suggested another.

The teacher shook his head again and explained:

“When you see a stranger on your path and recognise him as a friend, then day is breaking and night is coming to an end.”

I wish you lots of meetings with friends in 2020.



What is your intention?

Athletes know how it works – they visualise themselves on the podium even before they put on their running shoes. They see themselves flying over the bar before they start the run up.
What if we used the same visualisation technique to organise our day, instead of letting the day organise us?

If you start by checking your emails, Facebook and WhatsApp, you’re letting all these things influence your day.

Imagine yourself doing what athletes do: get up in the morning and visualise your day. What are you going to do and what will you achieve? If you have a clear picture, what’s the likelihood of you wasting your day checking Facebook, posting smileys and staring at kittens?

So, how about deciding what your daily intention will be?
And what about your intention for 2020? Looking forward to catching up with you in January!


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Who am I ?

I am a contemporary philosopher.
I capture life's little events in bubbles of happiness to inspire you in an amusing and optimistic way.

Yours bubbly,
Gundula

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