Wednesday, 31 August 2011

"When you don’t know what to do, get still. The answer will come." – Oprah Winfrey

I don't live to work, I work to have a good life.
Do you ever do nothing? Or are you the kind of person that has to have something to do all the time? Do you not do enough?

I believe that the right combination of keeping busy and being still is necessary to be able to enjoy all parts of life. If all you do is work hard, spend time exercising, doing your hobbies, cleaning the house, feeding the family, driving the kids you have no time to really enjoy any of it. If you on the other hand don't do anything at all, just lay around the house all day, every day then you don't appreciate that either. I think that you need both to enjoy any of it, to enjoy life.

Life is supposed to be enjoyed, and all the different parts of life are supposed to be enjoyed too. You have to appreciate the details to appreciate the completeness of it. And you have to appreciate the completeness of it to appreciate the details of it. It's all about abundance, everything goes hand in hand.

To appreciate being busy you have to have moments, times when you are doing absolutely nothing. When you can sit back and just dream. You need time to sit back and long to do something, time for yourself, time to drift away in fantasies, a book, a film or inside yourself. Time to listen to music or to your own heart beat or breaths. Time to relax and just be lazy. Being lazy is good sometimes!

On the other end of the scale is being very busy, and that is just as important. If you are never really busy you will have a hard time appreciate being in stillness. You need days, maybe weeks or sometimes a couple of months of being busy to really enjoy being still and do absolutely nothing at all. You can work hard 6 days a week, as long as you don't do anything, don't have a lot of have-to's on the 7th.

You need to keep busy to learn, but you need the stillness to grow. To be able to make use of what you learn. You need to love every moment of being busy, because you know that you would want so badly to be busy if you didn't have anything to do at all. You also need to love every moment of doing nothing because you know you would give everything for a few hours of peace and quite if you had too much to do.

How much of everything someone needs is all individual, everybody is different. But a person can not grow as a human being without both being busy and being still. Make sure you have both parts in your life, it will make your life richer and it will make you a stronger and happier person.

I ususally say; "I don't live to work, I work to have a good life and if I don't enjoy my work I won't enjoy my life" Make sure you enjoy every single part of your life!

To read more Oprah quotes I’ve written about just look here, to learn more about Oprah read here or here.


Monday, 29 August 2011

"Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can." - Elsa Maxwell

If you laugh at yourself first, people will laugh with you instead of at you.
Sometimes in life you find yourself in a strange and weird situation, or you do something clumsy in a situation where clumsiness doesn't belong. How do you handle those situations? You laugh at it and you laugh at yourself.

I am going to tell you a true story out of my life as an example on how to handle a situation like that. A few years ago I was sitting in my favourite bar with a few people I knew vaguely, I was waiting for a friend of mine to come and pick up some money from me, and I was also waiting for another friend to come and join me for a drink. This was a Thursday night and I had been to visit my son's school earlier that evening. In Sweden we have a kind of tobacco that is called "snus" that you put under your lip. It comes in little round boxes that look a little bit like ice hockey pucks. The type I was using comes in small portion bags. Anyway, the three other people at the table also used "snus" and since I was the only one that had any, I shared mine. After a while my friend who was picking up the money called to tell me that she was outside, but she had her daughter with her so she didn't want to come inside. I went outside to give her the money and I came back in after about 10 minutes. A while later we saw a police car pull up outside, which wasn't that unusual since they dropped in from time to time to see that everything was alright. Except that this time they didn't come inside. There were maybe 10 other people sitting in the bar, of which I didn't know four. Two women sitting in the bar and a couple of men sitting at a table.

About ten minutes later the two cops came in, looked around and came straight up to our table. They asked me if they could talk to me and I said, in surprise and fear, that of course they could. Had something happened to my son? Was the thought that went through my head. They then asked if I would come outside with them, and I said yes. They asked me if it was my bag on the table and I said yes. They closed it and took it with us. They asked me to sit in the police car and one of them got in at the front and the other one next to me in the back and then they started to ask me all sorts of different questions. Name and address and such things, had I been at the bar long, how much I had to drink, what did I do earlier that evening, how well did I know the people I was sitting with and so on. By then I was sure it had nothing to do with my son, but probably with one of the other people at the table. My mobile kept ringing in my bag but they wouldn't let me answer it and after a while one of them got out and went into the bar and came out with the people at my table and talked to them. By this time I've given up trying to figure out what it was all about. The police woman in the car with me, asked me if I was nervous and I answered her that I wasn't because I didn't know what I was supposed to be nervous about. She asked me if I had done anything illegal and I said, not unless it's illegal to have a couple of beer on a Thursday night. She laughed and said that it wasn't. I asked what it was all about, and she said that she couldn't tell me until they spoken to "the woman". I had no idea who she was talking about. After about half an hour they let me out, and gave me my bag back and they told me that one of the women sitting in the bar had called in to say that I was dealing drugs in the bar and that she's seen me go outside to give someone money. I started to laugh when I realised that what she had seen was me sharing my "snus" with the others. I offered the cops to go through my coat and my bag, but they just laughed and said that it's ok; they didn't think I was a drug dealer.

Funniest thing is that I have never, ever tried a drug in my life, except for alcohol and tobacco and everybody who knows me knows that. When I came back in, everybody wanted to know what it was all about and when I told them they all had a good laugh. By then 10 more people was in the bar, all people I knew. The woman that called it in stayed and didn't even come up to me to apologize. Unfortunately I didn't have any "snus" left; otherwise I would have walked up to her and in a suspicious way asked her if she wanted to buy some.

Now, this is a small town where everybody gossips about everybody and I knew that this story would be out in a heart beat. To avoid the worst of it  I just laughed at it and I made it a point to tell everybody I met about it myself, I also made it into a joke and offered people to buy some “snus” off me, since apparently I was the big “snus” dealer in town. People still talked about it, but they did it in a humourus kind of way instead of a gossipy way. Why? Because I was the first one to laugh about it!!

As a waitress I have use of this method too, whenever I make a mistake with a guest I admit my mistake, apologize for it and then I laugh and joke about it. Who can be mad at someone that handles a mistake that way? Not a lot of people.

Laugh at yourself first; it makes life more fun and a lot easier. And it makes others think more highly of you. Don't take yourself too seriously, if you do, other people will find it hard to take you seriously.

If you want to learn more about Elsa Maxwell, follow this link.


Wednesday, 24 August 2011

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." – George Bernard Shaw

Your life is your creation.
There are so many ways to look upon life, and every person has their own view or views. I have more than one view and this quote states one of them. Those of you that have been following Quality Inside And Out knows that I am all about personal responsibility of your own life. It is all up to you how your life was, is or will be. You create it and you create yourself. There is no blame, only lack of knowledge.

So, who do you want to be? What kind of person do you admire? What would you like to do? What type of partner do you want to spend your life with? Do you want to spend your life with someone? What is happiness to you? Do you think you are lost in life? How much money do you want to have? What would you do if you had a lot of money?

These are all good question that are worth asking yourself. I can only help you answer one of them. Do you think you are lost in life? If you think so, you are wrong. Life isn't place where it is possible to get lost, because you control it. You control where you are and who you are. So stop looking for yourself and start creating yourself.

Personally I believe that as soon as you acknowledge the fact that you are in charge of yourself, who you are and where you are in life, you will start to change automatically and by default. You can't help not to. I believe that we all have an inner urge to be the best that we can be. Sure, there are some people that will fight that feeling because they are unsecure and scared of what might come out of it. Don't be. I don't believe it is possible for people to change into something worse then they are if they are striving to be better. The trip might not be straight ahead full speed the whole time, but at times it will be. Sometimes the road will be very bumpy and sometimes the road you're on will be closed so you will have take a detour. That is not a bad thing. That is when you will learn the most about how to create yourself into who you want to be.

I've been on this trip as long as I can remember, and I will keep being on it for the rest of my life. I change, the world around me change, my needs and wants change, my inspirations change, well, everything change. I love changes, because changes allows me to see and/or do something new, it will create new visions and new goals. Or it will give me a new way to get to my goal. What I do with it is all up to me, I will create the end result of it.

I am creating me, and I know I will love the end result. I know so because I love every step on the way, whatever it is that I want in life I am getting it because I only want what I love, so I will love the end result whatever it will be. Will you be pleased with the end result of you?? Or will you love it?

To learn more about George Bernard Shaw follow this link, or read here or here.

Love Carina

Monday, 22 August 2011

"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step." - Martin Luther King Jr.

You don't need to see the whole staircase to take the first step.
This is one of my favourite quotes because it reminds me of that I don't have to know what's coming after the next step. All I can do is to take one step at a time. That doesn't mean that I can't have a goal in sight, it only means that the road to the goal has to be open for what ever shows up on the way there. It reminds me of not being afraid of what might happen sometime in the future. It reminds me not to be afraid of failure, because the failure might not come. It also reminds me not to be scared of success, because success is my goal.

Right now, at this time in my life, at this specific moment there is nothing to fear. Because I am where I am and nothing can ever change that. A while ago I wasn't where I am today and if I had been scared of being where I am today I might not have taken the step to get here. That would have been a shame, there is nothing scary where I am today, quite the opposite. I like being here, it is a good place to be. I like this step, but then again, I have liked every step I've been at. I have to, I created them and it would be stupid to create something for myself that I didn't like.

The quote is also telling me that there is only one step at a time. If I take one step, it will be my first step. When I am on that step I can, when time is right, take the next step. However the next step is only one step too and it's your choice how you look upon it. I choose to see every step as the first step, because whatever step I am on, the next step is only one step away. And I can never go back to the steps I've already been on. Why would I want to? Those steps are not for me anymore, I outgrew them. I can only take one step at a time, so why try to take more than that, why try to think several steps ahead. Things might change on the next step, so that whatever I had planned for "step two" is no longer relevant.

Know what your goal is, at least roughly. I know that my goal is to support myself on my writing. I don't know at this point in my life what kind of writing, I don't know how it will come about or when it will happen. I just know that it will happen. A few months ago my first step was to start a blog, well, I did that and here I am, on that step. Not until I got to this step did I know what my next step is. My next step is to enrol to the writing course. What the step after that will be I do not know. And I don't need to know. I can only live my life right now. And right now I am enjoying the step I am on. Right now I know what my new first step will be. When I am on that step, I will learn to know what my next new first step will be. When the time is right. I am not wasting my time trying to figure it out. I will know when I get there, when the time to move up another step is there.

I can't see the whole staircase, I can only see the contours of my goal. It is enough for me to know that it is there and all I have to do is to just take the first step and don’t worry about the next step on the staircase!

To learn more about Martin Luther King Jr, read here and here.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

If you wait, all that happens is that you get older. - Larry McMurtry

Don't wait until you're dead to follow your dreams. Time is ticking.
About six months ago I admitted to myself that my life long dream is to write. Somewhere inside of me I've always known that, but I have been suppressing it my whole life. From the moment I learned how to read I spent most of my time reading. I didn't, like most kids and teenagers, spend most of their free time hanging out with friends, but I spent it closed up in my room reading. Whenever someone asked me what my passion in life is the thought of writing flashed through my head, but every time I pushed it away as quickly as it showed up and then I'd answer the question with; “I don't know, I don't think I have one.”

Anyway, about six months ago I was doing a lot of "soul searching" and I was finally able to admit to myself that I wanted to write. My wonderful boyfriend suggested that I would look up online courses and a friend that is into writing suggested one that she's doing. I looked at it and I really liked it. However, it isn't a free course even though it is not that expensive either, especially not for what you'll get for the money. Although, at that time I didn't have any spare money to spend on something like that and I put it on the future. One day, when I make more money. First I have to…. And so on. Well… Nothing is ever going to happen thinking like that.

About a week ago I made the decision of enrolling for the writer's course at the end of this month and it feels so right, and so good. They have a couple of different instalment options, so I decided to do one of those since I don't have the money to make a full payment at once. The instalment will cost me about 40 euro a month for 10 months? And that's all. So, that is what I am going to do for the next four years. (As well as working) It is a four year course and I will have a personal tutor, it will teach me about agents, and copyrights, about several different sorts of writing; non-fiction, fiction, articles, interviewing, writing for TV and radio and a lot more. It will definitely be worth the money.

The funny thing is that the day after I made the decision to not wait any longer, I stumbled over another job. It's a full time job, for about 2 months, that I can do on top of my normal work. It will give me the money to pay the full enrolment fee at once and it will also allow me to spend time writing during the winter. I've been waiting for something like this to show up so I can enrol, but not until I decided to do it anyway did this opportunity come along. Cool huh??!!

I definitely feel that I am going in the right direction with this and it is making me so happy! I'm really looking forward to the day I enrol and I get the first books and instructions. Why wait, all that happens is that I get older! And when you decide to follow your dreams, no matter what, something will come along to help you on your way! Your dreams are there for a reason, you are supposed to follow them, that is what I finally realised.

What are your dreams? Are you pursuing them? If not, then why not? What can you do to take a step towards your dream? Why are you waiting and what are you waiting for? Try do answer these questions, they might tell you a lot about yourself and how you look upon life.


You can read about Larry McMurtry here and here.

Monday, 15 August 2011

"The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours - it is an amazing journey - and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins." – Bob Moawad

The day you start taking responsibility for your own life is the day your life begins.
I take complete responsibility of my life, and everything in it. From the things I have, or don't have, to the people that are in it, or that are not, all the way down to the different situations that occur, or don't occur. I don't believe in coincidences and I don't believe in faith. I make my life; I get what I want and what I believe I should have and nothing less.

Being born and brought up in Sweden, I've always been surrounded by safety nets and I was forced in a young age to start using them. After a while I knew how to take advantage of them, which in some ways led me to not having to take total responsibility of myself and my life. If I f***ed up I would always land on something, if not soft, than semi-soft. That led me to a special kind of laziness. I mean, why work for what I really wanted when I could just, more or less, sit back and have a comfortable enough life without any real effort. It never made me feel good, or worthy of a good life.

And then I moved abroad, and all of a sudden things were different. All of a sudden I needed to be responsible for everything in my life. Now, you would think that it would be difficult and hard, but on the contrary; I loved it! For the first time in my adult life I was in control of how my life was and would be and it was a freeing feeling. If something went wrong it was all my fault, or my responsibility to make it right. If something went right it was all my doing!
I did something right! And I can honestly say that it was a new beginning. Sweden is great because they have all those safety nets, but too many people never learn that they themselves are responsible for their lives and nobody else. I think it's sad and I think it is one of the reasons why Swedish people are so unhappy, because a lot of them are. People need to be in charge of their own lives to be happy.

Today I am a very happy person, who likes to be in control of my life. I've chosen every single part of it, for myself because I wanted it. The feeling is liberating. I wish every person in the world will get to feel it some day, because once they've felt it they want to remain in it.

So I've got a question for you; are you responsible for your own life? Are you taking responsibilty for your own happiness and for your dreams? If not, try to answer this question; why? And what can you do to change it?

Love Carina