Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Relationships, Uncategorized

Keeping my cool

We certainly are living in interesting times.  People everywhere just seem to be angry and aggressive.  You can’t pull out of your drive way in the morning without someone flying up a residential road and hooting like a crazy person even though they are not even near you yet.  This is a daily occurrence.  If someone dares to actually wait for the robot (traffic light) to turn green, they are hooted at and have all sorts and vulgar language and hand signs thrown at them.  People swearing at other drivers for no apparent reason other than the sheer delay caused by traffic.  Why is the world so angry?  I get it, we are living in stressful times, we are all under pressure and everywhere you look you are hit with bad news.  I personally do not watch the news.  I also limit the amount of time I spend on social media because social media is a great tool for those negative people to ensure that they spread the negativity.  I guess misery loves company and we all those Facebook friends who have to spread misery, the ones that you unfollow to avoid seeing another post bitching about something or other.  There is always something to bitch about, even if they have to dig or stalk the other negative trolls to find something, they will find something to share.  I went off Facebook for over a year for this very reason.  I have become much better at scrolling past the “feel bad” stuff.  Quite frankly I don’t need it or want it in my life.  But as life goes sometimes it comes flying right at you like bat out of hell.

I am pretty calm, even when the taxi cuts in front of me.  My thinking is that me shouting at him makes no difference in his life but it does make me unhappy and probably pushes my blood pressure up so what is the point really??

I am very good under pressure and very good at calming a situation down.  One of the reasons I absolutely thrived in the hospitality industry is just that, I am able to calm people down.  How do I do it?  If I think about it, I always start by apologising and then asking how I can help the situation or the other way around, depending on the situation.

Today was no different, I get a phone call, after I have done more than my fair share of preparation for the event and even gone so far as doing other people’s work.  The colourful words being shouted at me were fun to say the least.  I calmly said, “I am sorry that you are so stressed out but what can I do to help you?”  He was struggling to paste a schedule into a document and getting himself into a complete state.  Obviously a very stressful day!  Needless to say, I asked him to send me both the schedule and the document and I would see what I could do.  While I was working on the task, including fixing errors as I came across them, the phone rang again.  “Lisa, I am terribly sorry about how I spoke to you, it was unforgivable, I am just under so much pressure and I am very stressed.” I responded that it was no problem at all and that I would have his document to him within half an hour.

Following that he called me back to thank me profusely and everyone was all happy and what needed to be done was done and dusted.

A situation which could have spiraled into a nasty fight, leaving everyone upset and offended, was calmed and sorted out and put to bed.

I have to say, this is something that has taken me years to be in total control over, my reactions in situations similar to this.  I will also say that even now I sometimes lose it and blow a fuse.  I always joke about having an Irish temper.  I noticed very young that I had a temper when I hit a boy who pushed my cousin, or threw a boy off his bike who came to beat my little brother up.  But I have to say thought the trigger is definitely attacking someone I love in the most extreme of cases, I have mastered the art of controlling my temper most of the time and in most situations.  This did not come over night at all, it took years of practice and being conscious of my thoughts when a volatile situation presents itself.  Being mindful of my thoughts before they become actions.  Before I react on a thought I recognise it and then I am able to act the way that I choose to.  Of course, I am the first to admit that I have lost my cool from time to time, but I have to say, I truly have come a very long way and I look forward to changing in other areas.  Be mindful in all that you do and you will not only get the best out of life but you will feel great too.

Start small, start with the person who skips a red robot, or the person who pushes in front of you at the supermarket.  The only thing you are in control of is your reaction to a situation and you can either make it or break it.  So, I say MAKE IT! Make your mark and remember to have fun while doing it.

Be someone that people have nice things to say about. 🙂

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Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Relationships, Uncategorized

I have been knocked down but I cannot let this break my spirit

I was offered a job last year in the hospitality industry, which was all new to me.  Absolutely everything other than the accounts side was all new.  I had never worked on a POS system, I had never been a responsible for a restaurant, bar or venue and now I was responsible for all 3.  The first day, I was put on a massive, high profile wedding and had to quickly work out the POS system for myself (it had been installed that same day and no one else knew how to work it.

There really is nothing like a big challenge to get me going, I love it! I had some staff under me, helping with drink orders.  I had to host the wedding as well as manage the staff and of course keep the clients happy.

I have to say; my biggest asset is my people skills.  I love people, I love interacting with people and I just have an amazing way with people.  My current boss says that I have a certain way with people, that is unmatched and that I could probably sell poo to a sewerage plant! This is a man I have worked with for a long time and knows me very well.  I have a certain ability to put out fires when customers are unhappy and it really comes in handy as you can imagine.

Here I was, completely new to all of this and I nailed it!  The guests at the wedding, one of them being the sister of the bride even followed me to another function on the premises to party with me there.  What an incredible experience it was.  First off, I was witness to an incredible traditional black wedding, guests were in traditional clothing and they looked incredible.  What I loved was the mix of traditions.  Some in Zulu attire with and some in Souto and Xhosa attire, vibrant in colour.  What a sight it was.  The traditional dancing began as they walked in and everyone joined in.  I have so much respect for this incredible country.  The culture and the traditions, all vastly different but all respected by one another.  This for me was a celebration of how incredible my country actually is.

What really was incredibly special for me on that first night was when these beautifully dressed young black ladies walked into a very Afrikaans party at the other side of the property.  At first the black beauties were not sure how to handle the situation, I am quite sure that they had never ever heard the Afrikaans music which was playing.  Something very special happened just then in the mist of the awkwardness.  The DJ put on a traditional black song and the ladies started dancing.  The Afrikaans ladies (in SA we call them “Tannies”) ran to meet me and the ladies on the dance floor and asked them to show them how to dance like them.  This was the most awesome experience, if I have to pick one occasion that made 2017 extra special, this was it!

I danced with them, smiling and laughing and bursting with pride as a South African.  We obviously couldn’t stay long as we had to return to the wedding but the short time at that party was more than enough to take in the incredible experience.  What a first day it was! Absolutely incredible, breath taking and just left me with warmth and fulfillment. Suddenly I found myself with a new-found energy, revitalized and rejuvenated.  Life has never been easy for me, since my 20’s but I have always been very blessed.  I had had a very difficult year and this was exactly what I needed to give me the drive to become more.  So, I was immediately hired on a permanent basis, not knowing the politics which was running wild in the place.  I was incredibly proud of myself for how quickly I learnt, and just did everything that had to be done.  I fitted in so well and I grew immensely in this time.  My self-confidence was at an all-time high and I was feeling great.  I was growing daily, and I was loving working with customers all day.

I was working sometimes 14 hour days but was completely satisfied with my work.  The reality is that I was doing a really good job and the customers took to me immediately.  I truly felt like I had found my place.  Unfortunately, it was to come to an abrupt end when I began to get treated very badly and basically pushed out.  My knowledge had apparently made the wrong person look bad.  Suddenly I was being made the target of a blaming game.  I was being blamed for all sorts and none of the facts were being taken into account.

I walked out and I had my head up high, I did my best, I mastered a completely new industry to me and I learned so much.  I did so well! I cannot allow the way I was treated to break my spirit.  I know how well I did and I know that I will be missed by many.  As I said goodbye, the staff were devastated and the customers that were there were visibly upset.  I made my mark, I made a difference and I left my mark!  I took an incredible amount of value out of the experience and I made myself proud.  I made friends and I made memories.  I feel great, I am confident and I will not allow nastiness to break my spirit.  On to bigger and better things!

The truth is I am sure of who I am, I am proud of what I accomplished and I am steadfast in my values and grounding.

I will not let this break my spirit because I know my achievements and I know myself, I am so grateful for the lessons and the knowledge that I gained and I am ready to tackle life’s next chapter.

Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Relationships

Screwed over by a “friend”

I am a really good friend to all of my friends, I am always there and I don’t ask for much but I am sick of getting screwed over by people who are supposed to stand by me.

A new friend shocked by the behavior of a longtime friend sent me a message saying: “Have you ever been too nice and ended up in a situation that could’ve been avoided if you just would’ve been an asshole?”  YES! I have, time and time again.  I tried to become an asshole and I didn’t enjoy it much.  I like to be nice, I like to be liked and I was told by my psychologist once that I am a “people pleaser”.  Apparently being a people pleaser is not a good thing.  It wears you down and yes, you do finish last.  Being nice makes me feel great until I get used and abused which is actually inevitable for MRS Nice.  I do too much, I give too much and I allow it.  Right, this is what I have to do:  SET BOUNDARIES!

Believe it or not setting boundaries isn’t that hard, sticking to them is the real trick!  I can’t change my personality, I cannot change the fact that I am nice and enjoy treating people really well, but I can change the fact that I allow them to take advantage and then end up being screwed over! Someone once said to me that I should not try and understand why a person behaves in a certain manner because I am not them and therefor will not understand why they behave or think or what they do. The truth is that I will never understand why some people do some things and why some people act in certain ways but I have to say that people disappoint me!

I always tell my staff that when they mess up then they should come and tell me and I will help them to fix the mess.  Nothing drives me crazier than someone not owning up to making the mess in the first place.  I cannot help my staff if they hide the mess or don’t admit to it.  Then the mess gets bigger and the little mess becomes a big problem.  There is always a way to clean a mess but the quicker the mess is cleaned the smaller it will be and the least affect it will have on anything else.  I mess up…a lot!  And I apologize, a lot too.  But if I make a mistake I will ask for help or fix it and admit to it.

Now frankly my friend made a mistake and I pointed it out and explained the way the situation actually works.  Unfortunately, my mistake was explaining his mistake in front of the wrong person.  The person took it out on him and he took it out on me.  Something that was not in any way my fault at all.  I didn’t realize that things had to be kept secret or away from other parties although I had been caught in the middle of an ugly situation and I had only explained the facts.  I learnt a valuable lesson here, clearly there was a chain of command in place that I had failed to see.  Whilst I admit fault in this regard, I am unsure how I should have dealt with the situation since I was the only one who could explain the system and I was being asked to do so, which is exactly what I did.  This is definitely something I need to think about and decide how I could have better handled it.  However, this really is not my mess and I was merely giving the reasons but it became my mess when it was taken the wrong way and a man who I thought of as a friend had his ego hurt and decided to screw me over.

Firstly, I am hurt but almost not surprised but secondly, I have lost so much respect for this person as he took no responsibility for what he did and passed the buck onto someone else.  He made himself the hero to me and pretended that he had nothing to do with any of it when in reality it was all him.  My mind boggles at how someone can stand in front of someone else whom they are supposed to love and respect and lie to their face!  Clearly, I need to evaluate some friendships and decide if I need some so called “friends” in my life.  The answer on this particular friend is that I don’t need him in my life at all.

I am a firm believer in getting what you give and I for one give a lot and get a lot and have a smile on my face and in my heart, most of the time.  He is unhappy and can’t seem to find his place in the world or happiness in anything he does.  He thinks that happiness lies in the bottom of a bottle which makes him smile for a while but never for long and then comes the hangover, the beating himself up, the feeling ill and the absolute sadness.  It is actually a really sad situation, I obviously one upped him on the only thing he has – his little golden egg – and he had to take it back, even though I was an asset to him and his golden egg.  I had made the golden egg grow and shine!  He should appreciate the growth and admire it, instead he snatched it and hid it in the dark.

Now for me to set boundaries, keep them and still be the nice person I am without being taken advantage of.  I smile, not because I have less crap than everyone else, in fact, I probably have more than most, but I smile because I am happy.  I lead a stressful life but a life of the utmost fulfillment.  I am a great person, a person who has changed lives and given so much and I am truly blessed with what I get.  I will keep being the nice person and I will just have to make better decisions on the people I keep around.  Only people who deserve my love should be getting it!

Smile, because your smile can change someone’s day!

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