words by nerissa

…observations, thoughts and questions

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Are you a dream-weaver, or a dream-stealer?

words by nerissa

Many of us have dreams, goals, things we want to accomplish. Unfortunately for most people, their dreams only ever remain that — a dream or a wish.make your dreams come true

Why is that?

Imagine what our world would be like if we all went about achieving what we were truly capable of. Seriously… take and minute and think of all the unlocked potential in the world (or at least in your immediate circle).

I’m sure you have had at some point, some goals you wanted to achieve. I’d also hazard a guess that many of these are unfulfilled.

If we really want to achieve something, then why don’t we just get on with it?

I believe it is because we’re afraid of how others will react.

After all, what do most of us do to people who succeed? We cut them down!

What could they possibly be doing that’s legal, to be…

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The rules of winning

When it comes to sport and competing, my son has one of the best attitudes of anyone I know. Which is pretty remarkable since he is only 10 years old.sometimes you win

When it comes to performing on the sports field, most of his peers are interested in winning — aka coming first. Whether it is an individual sport or a team sport, many of them are concerned with the score at the end and where they came. If they are not on the podium, then many of them get upset.

I have seen kids weeping and berating themselves for not winning a match, or coming first in their race. I have heard parents tell them that they needed to work harder or do better. And I have seen the look on these kids’ faces when they truly believe they weren’t good enough, simply because they failed to meet expectations  —  often those of their parents.

My husband and I never wanted that for our kids. But in a world where you are encouraged to be ‘better than everyone else’, the message about winning and losing can be misinterpreted.

So once our kids were old enough to understand the basics, we explained the rules about winning.

Rule #1: It’s important to participate. After all, there is no way you can possibly ‘win’ if you are not even part of the game.

Rule #2: Enjoy the experience. Have fun while you are competing.

Rule #3: Always do your best. We have often told our kids that we would be more proud of them for doing their best and coming last, than not trying at all and coming first. They know that no matter what the outcome, they can be proud if they have done their best.

But one of the most important rule we discussed was Rule #4: You will never win all the time. Unless you learn to be a gracious ‘loser’ and to accept you didn’t come first without excuses, blame and self-berating, you will never be a good winner. Ever. By all means look at how you can make improvements, but never, ever put yourself down or allow others to do it for you. Ever.

They are our rules about winning. And our kids know that if they don’t abide by these rules, then they don’t get to play.

My son started playing after-school basketball when he was 6. He wasn’t very good. He wasn’t particularly tall and he wasn’t particularly gifted at the game. His first goal was a fluke and it took another 10 months before he got his next goal. Often, when I would tuck him into bed, long after the game had finished and he’d had his bath and dinner, he’d ask: “Did we win?” Obviously the score was not important to him.

As he has grown he has got better at the game. He is still not a gifted basketball player like some of his peers, but he works hard and listens to his coaches. And he plays reasonably well.

But most importantly, he loves the game and he loves challenging himself.

He has played in a few Grand Finals and only won one of them. And while he was disappointed in the result, he was not devastated, like some of his friends.

After the game I would ask him if he was disappointed. He would say, “Well, a bit. But it’s only a game and winning is not everything. At least we had a chance to play.” I would then ask him if he was happy about how he played the game. Always, the answer was “yes”. What a winner!

My son is quite sporty. But he doesn’t excel at anything in particular. He enjoys a range of different sports and does reasonably well with whatever he tries. He represents his school in District Athletics, District Cross Country and District Tennis. He plays inter-school sport and after-school basketball.

But the thing I am most proud of when it comes to his sporting prowess, is his winning attitude. He is always willing to be involved, always doing his best, always accepts the results, always quick to congratulate the opposition and always happy with the experience, no matter what the outcome. In my eyes, he is a true winner.

Winning is not always about coming first, or winning the prize and beating everyone else.

Winning can be:

  • Stepping out of your comfort zone to try new things
  • Participating in something even though you are nervous or worried to do so
  • Setting your own goals and working hard at them
  • Setting your own goals and achieving them
  • Giving everything a go, no matter how skilled you are at it
  • Shaking hands with the person who beat you and congratulating them on their win
  • Helping others reach their goals, while putting yours to the side
  • Competing with a smile on your face
  • Being someone or doing something that inspires others to be better people.

This week, I saw the video posted below. I have seen it before, but it truly is an awesome reminder of what sport (and winning) really should be about.

Take a moment to watch it. I guarantee, it will be the best thing you will see today.

Are you a dream-weaver, or a dream-stealer?

Many of us have dreams, goals, things we want to accomplish. Unfortunately for most people, their dreams only ever remain that — a dream or a wish.make your dreams come true

Why is that?

Imagine what our world would be like if we all went about achieving what we were truly capable of. Seriously… take and minute and think of all the unlocked potential in the world (or at least in your immediate circle).

I’m sure you have had at some point, some goals you wanted to achieve. I’d also hazard a guess that many of these are unfulfilled.

If we really want to achieve something, then why don’t we just get on with it?

I believe it is because we’re afraid of how others will react.

After all, what do most of us do to people who succeed? We cut them down!

What could they possibly be doing that’s legal, to be earning that much money?
Who wants to be that obsessed with exercise and eating for the rest of their lives?
Who do they think they are, boasting about their new house?
They must have stood on a lot of people’s toes to get that promotion.

So we are left feeling scared of being different to the pack. After all, we don’t want people to talk about us like that, do we?

What if things were different? What if we surrounded ourselves with people who cheered us on instead of stole our dreams

Even better — what if we supported others in their dreams and goals, instead of pulling them down?

Something I have learnt over the past few months is the value of building people up. It has a surprising knock-on effect.

Since January this year, I have been part of an online group who all share similar goals — we want to be fitter, stronger, faster and healthier. Some of us just want to lose excess weight and to build muscle; others are chasing their goal of competing on stage. There is one inspirational woman, who at 57 years of age, has set her goal at competing and winning a medal at a Masters Powerlifting competition!

We are all at different stages of our journey and all have different hurdles to overcome. However, the amazing thing is, we celebrate each other’s successes. We encourage each other when the task seems too difficult, and we ask for (and give) advice when needed. I am continually amazed at the genuine enthusiasm, encouragement, care (and dare I say it), love that exudes from this group.

The most amazing part about it, is that most of us have never even met each other!

What this group has shown me is that by building others up, we actually build ourselves up. For every person who you look up to as an inspiration, there will be someone looking up to YOU for inspiration.

Imagine that! Someone finding YOU inspirational.

Just because you haven’t reached your goal yet, doesn’t mean you can’t inspire others.

The mere act of persistence, patience and hard-work, day after day, can inspire others.

The act of setting goals and doing what is required, even when you don’t feel like it can inspire others.

Having the courage to go after something, when the odds are against you, can inspire others.

Most importantly, being full of encouragement, praise and genuine happiness for someone achieving their goals can be inspiring. Unfortunately, many of us don’t realise this.

Not all achievements come easy. Some take years and years of hard-work, commitment and dedication. Certainly, amongst our online group there has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears (literally)!

I can personally testify that changing my body composition (e.g. the amount of fat and muscle I have), changing my eating habits, and training regularly involves hard work and sacrifice. There have been times when I have doubted myself, doubted the process and wondered if it is all worth it. Some days, it just seemed all too hard.

However, by being a dream-weaver myself — encouraging others, celebrating their successes, using their achievements as motivation for my journey — rather than being jealous of them, has helped me achieve success in a way that I never thought possible. It has helped me stay focussed on my goals. It has also helped me not to worry so much about what others may think.

Most importantly, it has led to other people supporting me in my dreams and goals. People who understand what I am trying to achieve, and the hard work required to get there. And that is where the power is.

As a group, we support each other, laugh with each other, encourage and praise each other. As a group, we achieve so much more than we would individually. As a group, we are powerful. And as a group, we are realising our unlocked potential.

While I still have a long list of goals I want to achieve, I am slowly ticking them off.

The lesson learned is this: you won’t find people to support your dreams, if you are busy stealing the dreams of others.

Supporting and encouraging others in their dreams, whatever they may be, opens your mind to more possibilities, more opportunities and more creative ways to make your dreams come true. It also opens your heart a little, so others can be there for you.

So what are you?

A dream-weaver, or a dream-stealer?

Words – (part 1)

Some people see patterns in numbers. I never can see them which frustrates me a little. But give me a bunch of letters and I can make all kinds of words with them.

I have always loved playing word games.  It doesn’t matter what kind  – if it’s a game with words, I’ll play. But Scrabble would be my favourite.

Growing up, my family would spend three weeks at my grandparents’ unit in Caloundra (QLD). Of course we went to the beach, read books, ate ice-cream, had fish and chips and enjoyed our daily trek to the bakery. But among my favourite memories is playing Scrabble with my mum, dad and brother. My sister was really too little to play, but she liked to ‘help’. And we would sit there, looking out at the ocean and play with little lettered-tiles.

It wasn’t uncommon for us to play 2-3 games a day!

In fact my memories of Caloundra and Scrabble are so strong that on a holiday there late last year, I bought a necklace at a market. Part of it was made from an old type-writer button with the letter “N” on it. Another piece was an old wooden Scrabble tile with a butterfly on the front. (Butterflies remind me of my Nan whose unit we stayed in.)IMG_1862 On the back was the letter “N”. It is my happy necklace. It reminds me of happy times. Especially the Scrabble tile and typewriter letter!

Words are strange things. They are everywhere. They have the power to tell stories, to impart knowledge, and bring back memories. They have the power to uplift and to hurt. Something  uttered many years ago, when thought upon today, can take us back to the place where we originally heard it. And remind us of how we laughed, or cried. Words are powerful.

There are however, some words in the English language that I wouldn’t miss if they were wiped out completely. There are some that make me cringe, shudder or feel slightly ill.

Other than the usual profanities people utter, some of the most grating for me are:

  • FROCK — I know it is used to describe the gorgeous (and not so gorgeous) dresses spotted on the red carpet, but I cringe at the word. When I was little, an old-fashioned, rather large aunt (great aunt I think), commented on what a lovely frock I was wearing. To this day, ‘frock’ is what old, fuddy-duddy ladies wear.
  • SLACKS — similar to the reasons above. Just plain old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy
  • BLOUSE — didn’t women in the 70s wear them? Probably with flared slacks.
  • PEDAL-PUSHERS — another remnant of the 70s. These days they are just known as 3/4 pants
  • CHUCK, CHUNDER, HURL and BARF— actually any word that reminds me of the horrors of gastro
  • INFESTATION — just brings to mind a few scenes from Indiana Jones movies. You know the ones where there were gazillions of cockroach things, or the large pit of snakes. Which brings me to my next word….
  • SNAKE — the only thing worse than one snake is multiple snakes. That’s all I have to say.
  • SECRETION and DISCHARGE — just makes me think of bodily fluids that are not particularly nice
  • HOSIERY and PANTYHOSE — the only thing I picture when I hear these words are the tan-coloured, thick, support-like stockings that larger ladies used to wear. Or the type that old ladies wore that wrinkled around the ankles.

There are also some words or phrases that I find are over-used, and have become cliche. These phrases are often used in the work-place. You know, the ones that make your eyes roll.  For example:

  • at this particular point in time — why not just use the word ‘now’?
  • at the end of the day — that’s when we go home, right?
  • bottom-line — yep, everything comes down to that
  • get on board — on board what? Train, bus, plane????
  • benchmark — makes me think we are in the gym
  • touch base — I didn’t know we were playing baseball
  • win-win — no, that NEVER really happens at work, does it?
  • hit the ground running — no one has ever done that in my experience. People usually hit the ground with a thud.
  • think tank — totally ridiculous.

In fact I once knew people who would play ‘work-place lingo bingo’ during staff meetings, they were used that often! Certainly made their staff meetings more interesting, if nothing else. As much as I would have loved to have played (after all, it was a word game), I would never have been able to play with a straight face.

So there you have it. The words that don’t usually make it into my vocabulary.

Tell me, what are the words that you could do without?

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words by nerissa

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