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Please don’t assume. It makes an ass out of you and me.

Speak as you find

It’s funny how we can build up a profile of someone in our head before we’ve even met them. Maybe someone is going to introduce you to a new friend of theirs or maybe a new partner and they’ve given you a bit of background to give you an idea of what they’re like; or it could be a job interview scenario and you’ve made assumptions based on the person’s CV.

We might make assumptions based on a person’s name, age, where they live or perhaps their education. Yet what can these facts actually tell us about that person or about their life experiences? Not much if we’re honest. We make assumptions based on our own reference points we’ve experienced through our life but this is not based on any other inherent intuition or knowledge that we may think we possess.

I remember a friend of mine telling me about a situation that happened at her work. She is an accountant and worked for a small firm. Her boss had wild and...

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Why we find some people SO annoying!

To do or not to do…

With Lockdown easing there comes a change in behaviour. After seven weeks, people were bound to begin to feel a bit cooped up and with restrictions on where they could and couldn’t go having been so (understandably) strict, once those guidelines were altered (and some say lacking in clarification), is it any wonder that people were heading to beauty spots and beaches in their droves?

We had a dilemma in my house. My father-in-law lives on the coast, about an hour from us. He lives alone and has been going stir crazy during Lockdown. He’s a social fellow so has found the isolation very challenging. So, with the changing guidelines, we could go and see him. But could we? One person from one house could see another person from another house. So that meant we couldn’t all go and see him. Right? And as he lives on the coast, that’d be five of us trollying off to a coastal town and news articles had said tourism chiefs were urging...

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Why taking responsibility for the part you play in a relationship, means your sanity stays intact

Same place, different map

An interesting thing happened recently which illustrated personal responsibility, values, Mental Maps, Beachball and all manner of other Winning Edge concepts.

There’s a furniture shop recommended to me by a friend, which is not far from where I live. They sell sofas which are in the main, from an online retailer which is expensive and for good reason. This shop however, sells these sofas at a significantly discounted price but the turnaround is pretty quick; if you see a sofa you like, it’s best not to dilly dally in your decision-making because it’s unlikely to be there the next week.

We’ve been back and forth several times, seen two sofas we like, couldn’t decide there and then and learnt our lesson. We have bought some dining table chairs from there though, so I considered ourselves valued customers. Clearly, we’re not.

The last time we went to the shop, we were looking at bar stools and my daughters were trying them...

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The excuses we give in life which ultimately mean we can’t be bothered…

‘If you’re not early, you’re late’

Is punctuality a challenge for you? Perhaps you constantly find yourself arriving five or ten minutes late - or maybe more - for meetings, lunch dates, dentist and hair appointments… Your reasons range from not being able to find your car keys or phone, the train was late or the traffic held you up; ‘I didn’t realise the time’, ‘I hit the snooze button too many times’, ‘I didn’t realise I hadn’t set the alarm’, ‘a friend popped round and we got chatting,’ blah blah blah. Reasons? Or just a string of excuses?

My excuses started when I met my husband. Up until this point, I was a stickler for punctuality – my parents were always on time, for everything, so I suppose you could say it was in my nature. Not so it would seem, because once I met my husband, I saw the more attractive laissez faire approach to time-keeping. He never rushed or hurried...

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Advice for a younger self

Friday lunchtime musings

The average lifetime in the Western world is said to be around 80 years so if asked to guestimate how many days that would be, what would be your answer? No calculators or frantic mental maths allowed! 30,000? 50,000? 75,000? 100,000? 150,000 or 200,000? It’s actually 30,000 days, so that’s an average of 4,000 weekends, which, if you think about, you’ve probably already had a fair few of already…

To put it another way, for ease, if you take the biblical allotment - 3 score and 10, therefore 70 years, and equate each decade of your life to a day of the week, you can work out which day of the week you’re on. So, 0 to 10 years is Monday, 11 to 20 is Tuesday and so on… which day are you on? I’m on Friday lunchtime which certainly gives me food for thought and is my motivator to keep pushing myself forward - to constantly think about what I want to be and achieve.

On the Winning Edge, we talk about the day of the week...

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Quoting a clever POTUS

Never judge a book by its cover
Growing up, I was always told never to judge a book by its cover – to not make assumptions about someone, to not listen to gossip but to get to know them and find out for myself. And certainly, to never share my thoughts with anyone else – if it isn’t true, kind or necessary, don’t say it. It’s good advice.

In a previous life I worked for a travel company. They ran coach tours to various parts of the UK and my role was to greet the passengers at a motorway services where an interchange took place – the tour coaches turned into what we called feeder coaches – taking the passengers home. The coach drivers would swap the luggage to the appropriate coaches and I ensured everyone boarded the correct vehicle. It could get confusing, hence the need for my role.

Coach drivers are all different characters – gruff, talkative, some went above and beyond with their passengers, for some it was just a job and they...

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Why seeing change as negative, stops us embracing the positives

Happy holibobs?
The school term has finished for many and we're almost there for the rest. It’s summer holiday time! Carefree fun with no more morning deadline to get everyone out of the house with the yelling of: ‘Come onnn! We need to leave for school! Have you got your PE Kit? Put your suntan lotion on? Remember to hand your form in for the school trip…’ etcetera, etcetera. I realise I will still be working but at least I’m not herding cats to get us all out of the door at some unearthly hour of the day.

However, the feeling of positivity is not entirely running rife through my house…

I have one making the transition from primary school to secondary school. It’s a strange time for this age. Whilst they’ve been a big fish in a little pond and perhaps felt they’re starting to outgrow the place, they’re not exactly ready to move on – to be the little fish in the big pond.

Yes, there’s a certain level of...

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How your values set you apart from everyone else

It’s amazing how a film can evoke such strong emotions in you… My husband and I sat down to watch the next instalment of the oh-so gripping Killing Eve drama last week and whilst he popped off to make a cuppa, I was lining up the episode on BBC IPlayer. However, I was distracted by the film playing out as I switched on the TV.  Even though it was 40 minutes in, I was gripped and as my husband walked back in, apparently I was clutching the remote as if to say: “Don’t even think about Killing Eve.”

The film in question was The Light Between Oceans, based on the book by M.L.Stedman and starring Alicia Vikander (Isabel Graysmark) and Michael Fassbender (Tom Sherbourne). If you haven’t watched it, the premise is that mentally and emotionally weary from serving in the First World War, Tom takes on the job of a lighthouse keeper on a remote island off the Australian West Coast. It’s a life of solitude until he meets and...

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