Monopoly Wars

Each holiday we try to get our children unglued from the T.V, Wii, iPad or Nintendo DS. Gosh! So much competition vying for their time.

This time we’ve got them hooked on Monopoly. We’ve had the game for a long time and they’ve played it to varying degrees of enjoyment. However, I guess they are older now and they are gaining an understanding of the value of money.

I observed one of their games and it was a revelation. I saw aspects of their personalities that I was not aware of.

My son, the ever competitive soul who doesn’t put his soul into anything not worth winning, is a ruthless business man. He will get all the title deeds on one or more sides of the board and proceed to deck them out with homes and hotels such that once you pass Go you are filled with dread. Even when you are down and can’t pay income tax, he’ll come knocking on your door for his rent.

My daughter on the other hand, is the trusting individual who spends without thinking and hopes it all works out. She starts the game spending and buying land until she has no more money. She hasn’t quite learnt how to save a little bit for accidentals. She just keeps spending because for her, she wants to acquire those homes and is on a fast track to do so . However, she has progressed a long way from when she refused to spend and wanted to see money pile up and not invest.  Having been on the brink of bankruptcy three times and sent to jail eight times, I tried to get her to quit but daughter refused to be beaten. She remortgaged a couple of her title deeds and miraculously bounces back, repays her debt and ends up owning homes.

There were some very tense moments as both scrambled for success. With each throw of the dice, their decisions become more strategic and focused. It would appear that I don’t have to much more to teach them. Thank God for Monopoly. They have learnt to save, pay off debt, invest and grow their money.

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Goodbye Mary Berry: 5 Life Lessons

It was announced today that Mary Berry will not be a judge on The Great British Bake Off when it moves to Channel 4, whilst Paul Hollywood remains.

I got all sorts of lessons from her actions.

  1. Loyalty. Don’t forget the people who opened doors for you.
  2. Confidence. Don’t be afraid to stand out on your own. You don’t need to follow the herd. Make choices that are right for you.
  3. Courage. This might come with age but to be willing to make a sound decision in the face of pressure from viewers & all takes guts.
  4. Change. When one door closes, another door opens. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
  5. Focus. Stay in your lane. Whilst you may travel on this road called life with others sometimes you might part ways with them to create a new path for yourself.

We will miss you Mary. 😣😣😣😣😢😢😢😢😢

The Olympic Dream

The Olympics.

That moment in time when my children imagine they can be anyrhing they want to be.

They are swift to drop every activity and pick up a new one.

They want to participate in athletics, diving, swimming, fencing, archery and even shooting. No sport is beyond their reach.

The Olympics.

That time when everyone sitting on their sofa watching is a winner.

For in that moment, we overlook the dedication, blood and sweat of the past four years.

We can’t see the sleepless nights and the pains endured.

We can’t see the sprains, strains and daily jabs required to just keep a limb immobile.

All we see is the glory. The cheers. The winning. The gold!

I wonder if I explained to my children how much they’d have to give up to attain this glory, would they still want to?  

If I told that chocolate and crisps do not constitute the food of champions.
If I told them that champions don’t spend their moments winning on Nintendo, Wii or watching TV.

If I told them they would not have time for other activities, playdates or spontaneous days at the park.

Their time, an average of 6 – 7 hours will be spent practising their skill and honing their craft – every day.

I wonder if their commitment would be unwavering?

This is the power of the Olympic dream. We are only interested in the medals, not the pain.

The power of a parent however, is to allow them to dream but make sure they see through an activity they picked up prior to Rio 2016  before they jump onto something else.😂😂😂

5 Reasons to Forgive Yourself

​I’ve come across a lot of people who dwell on the past not necessarily due to a specific experience but because they can’t forgive themselves for actions they took.

They can’t forgive themselves for making bad choices or letting themselves get into the situation, or trusting that person or letting go of that relationship or hurting those people or letting those people get away with hurting them. 

They relive those moments again and again and again, giving the past more power than it actually has. It’s a really unhealthy place to be.

You probably started reading this post about a minute ago. That is now in the past. Of course you can go back and read the opening paragraph over and over in a bid to gain some undestanding of what I meant but you’ll never get to the end of my story.

This is what living in the past does. It traps a person in a moment in time that is exalted far above the hope of a better tomorrow – moreso a better now.

There are probably more than five reasons in support of forgiving ourselves but here are five I came up with.

  1. To Move on: There are certain laws that are proven. The Law of Gravity, Relativity, Diminishing Returns and, even, Attraction have all been tried and tested over time. Sadly Time Travel into the past is not one of them. We can’t fix the past but we certainly can determine our reactions today and tomorrow. It might take a while but we must be determined to move one. This is the paramount reason for me as I never want to feel stuck, like I have no choice.
  2. To be Honest: It’s important to acknowledge what you did or what happened to you. Sometimes we hold on to something without sorting out what really happened. Were you deceived, robbed, exploited, hurt, etc. Or maybe you hurt someone. Pause for a moment to articulate what happened. It really helps to write it down. There may be tears or anger but honesty is paramount. Part of that honest assessment might be to acknowledge you can’t do this on your own and seek the support of a professional who can help you come to terms with the past. There is never any shame in getting help. It’s a sign of strength and a willingness to change.
  3. To Take Action: The only way to move from where you are is to take positive steps forward. Sometimes a little change is all you need to move on. What little steps can you take to help you move on? Read a book on the subject? Pick up the phone and call someone? Make amends? Doing something good for yourself instead of beating yourself up? However little it may be, just doing something different is good enough. A starting point is to have an uplifting thought or text to visualise or recite whenever you find yourself thinking the same old way. If you do this often enough and consistently, you’ll retrain your brain.
  4. To Release Toxic Feelings: This is simply self-care. To keep going over a matter over and over again in your mind is not good for your mental health. It induces worry, anxiety, perpetual regret, self-loathing – which aren’t great recipes for a peaceful mind. Truth be told, there are enough toxic issues going on in our world so we don’t really need them inhabiting our minds as well. It’s just common sense.
  5. To Hope Again: Hope is an essential ingredient for survival. Without hope we give up. Living in the past robs us of our future and makes us feel helpless. To let joy into our hearts, we need to stop letting the past drag us back into the abyss of despair.

It is a frightful thought to know that life moves on with or without our consent or engagement. It is a shame that we sometimes sleepwalk through life rather than being fully awake to it. We are humans and we all make mistakes. That is just life. We can hold ourselves to ransom over it or live. There are only two choices.

Lessons from Kendra Harrison’s ‘Failure’

Life is my greatest teacher and I love to observe and learn from the lives of others.  Whilst watching the Olympic Anniversary Games last weekend, I attended life school when Kendra Harrison broke a 28-year-old world record 100m hurdles. More interesting to me was discovering that she did not qualify for the Olympics even though she was the fastest woman in the world.

This spoke volumes to me on so many levels that I’m not sure where to start. I guess the initial encouragement is that the ‘race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong……… but time and chance happens to them all’. If the world’s fastest woman could not make the Olympics, then I think we all need to take is easy on ourselves sometimes. Even with the best intentions, will, preparation and knowledge we may not get it right when we want. We may not nail that job interview or win that business or pass that exam or make that relationship work – even with the best intentions. It’s a sobering thought but also an encouragement to simply go ahead and do our best and that should always be enough.

I also love the fighting spirit in her – the epitome of the comeback kid.  What an amazing way to stick it to the world after fate conspired to cheat her out of her Olympic dream. To bounce back from that and come to the Games and smash a world record is phenomenal. No one can dispute that she is a champion which just goes to show you that the world doesn’t always measure true success accurately. We can’t really call her a failure can we?

And lastly, this is also an encouragement for the rest of us who don’t always measure up or feel good enough. If we are prepared and diligent, our Olympic moment will come because the race isn’t always to the swift. However, the reality is that Kendra was the one to beat; the one that would have had others feeling threatened during the trials. Whilst no one might have predicted she wouldn’t make it through, only the ones who were prepared were able to take advantage of that oppotunity.

Have a great week everyone.