Life Lessons

In On The Couch. More on Medium.

“There isn’t any such thing as an ordinary life.”
L.M. Montgomery

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Photo by Atlas Green on Unsplash; Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand

Being extraordinary seems like a big ask these days.

With a global pandemic and turmoil raging all around us, just getting through the day is a reason to throw a party.

But here’s the thing. Whatever happens out in the world, whether we do great things or nothing at all, we’re still getting older.

We’ve still got less time left on earth than we did yesterday.

And we still have to do something with it.

Why not be extraordinary?

But Extraordinary is Too Hard…

“It never failed to amaze me how the most ordinary day could be catapulted into the extraordinary in the blink of an eye.” …


The way of thinking that will most enrich your life.

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Photo by Marc Najera on Unsplash

You want more from life?

Fair point. Most of us do, whether we say it out loud or not. More money, better health, more prestige or fame, more followers, more friends, more time, more freedom — whatever.

Whatever we want “more of” is personal. But there’s only one way to get it — or at least open ourselves to the possibility of getting it — and that’s to adopt an abundance mindset.

Most of us operate “in scarcity” which means we live smaller than we should: we see limits instead of possibility. We stay in the If Only lane.

If onlyI had my dream job, a six-figure income, a boat/car/bike, a better partner (or any partner), a hotter body. Then… my life would be awesome.


Because 2020 threw the rule book out.

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Image: On the Couch

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” ― (attributed to) Maya Angelou

It was the sucker punch we didn’t see coming.

It was traumatic, confusing, isolating, uncertain; it left us exhausted and shaking our heads about where those 12 months actually went.

Many are still neck-deep in the pandemic and the uncertainty rages on. But 2020 did us one favour. It forced us to think about our lives; about what we want from them, who we want in them, how we spend our time, where the whole ship’s headed. …


Qualities that will make (or break) your life.

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Photo by Leio McLaren (leiomclaren.com) on Unsplash

What do you want to be when you grow up?

That’s a question we’re all asked as kids. The trouble is, for most of us it never really goes away. In our 20s, 30s, 40s and up, we’re still asking it.

Because even when you get the job right — you have work you love/enjoy (or at least can stand) the question changes from what do you want to be to WHO to you want to be.

I’ve studied this for a long time, picking up the gold nuggets from all sorts of people along the way. …


And prepare well for the next one.

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Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.” — Bill Vaughan

Are you over this year?

Can’t wait to call time on it, ready for a “sort of” fresh start?

Fair call. After a year that served up a global pandemic — and made life scary, isolating, uncertain, traumatic, exhausting or just plain weird — a lot of us just want 2020 to be over.

But we all have years that go belly up, when bad or even tragic things happen, when stress bubbles into the danger zone; years that we want to put behind us. …


“Just because you take breaks doesn’t mean you’re broken.” — Curtis Tyrone Jones

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

You’re tired upon tired: short on energy, low on motivation.

There’s always so much to do: work, relationship, family, chores, life admin — you’re on the hamster wheel and it never ends. Even a weekend away doesn’t refresh you.

Mid-life is a common time for the cracks to appear. That’s when people are often sandwiched between raising kids, caring for elderly parents and trying to rise up the ranks at work.

It’s also when we come face to face with the life choices we’ve made — and the consequences — and we begin to see life as finite.


You have more control than you think.

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Photo by David Núñez on Unsplash

Therapy is often seen as the antidote to a struggling relationship.

That couples need to hash out their disputes in a therapy room, in the presence of a soft-voiced, non-judgemental relationship counsellor.

While it’s true therapy can help, most couples wait an average six years before signing up. By then, their dysfunctional habits are often so embedded in the relationship, it’s tough to dig them out.

And that can mean therapy becomes more war zone than a place for learning, listening and peaceful resolution.

There’s another way, though, to improve your relationship and to be a good, or better, partner. And that’s to work on yourself, to understand who you are and how you roll in a relationship. …


“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Zig Ziglar

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Photo by Rinke Dohmen on Unsplash

I’ve lost my mojo.

I feel like the lights have gone out.

Can you help me get motivated? I want to feel the fire again.

Motivation — or a lack of it — is one of the most common reasons people sign up for coaching.

Perhaps they’ve had a setback, gone through a change in circumstances or are just suffering the malaise of repetition: wake up, get up, work, eat, scroll, do chores, watch TV, day over.

People struggling with these feelings often believe Highly Motivated people are “on fire” 24/7. That they leap out of bed (never hit snooze) and rip into their days, powerhouses of productivity. …


“Love is a game that two can play and both can win.”
Eva Gabor

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Photo by VisionPic .net from Pexels

You’ve had a fight with your partner? So far, so normal.

Show me the couple that floats through life without niggles and struggles — sometimes a whole lot worse — and I’ll claim a miracle.

There’s no doubt relationships test us, sometimes through tragedy or big unexpected events. But, often, just through the ebbs and flows of life.

If you’re in a happy relationship you’ll know how much it contributes to your overall wellbeing. …


A fresh take on self-care

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Image by Michael Bußmann from Pixabay

Self-care is a bit like all the regulars showing up at the bar.

The same old, same old tips are there every night: get a good night’s sleep, eat well, exercise, go out into nature, say no, make your bed, declutter, be kind, get a hobby.

Sometimes the tips are wearing different clothes — but their personalities, like their drink orders, don’t change much. That’s okay — it’s sound advice and repetition helps to hammer it home.

And, the truth is, you can transform your life with good self-care — as long as it’s practiced regularly. …

About

On The Couch

Practical psychology for everyday life.

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