Through the eyes of a child

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
– Little Gidding, T.S. Eliot

I grew up in Singapore but have now spent more than half my life in the UK. When I go back to see my family, the place is simultaneously familiar and strange. I’ve learnt that the best way to appreciate things is to look at them not just as a visitor but like a child, valuing the wonder of it all.

This world is waiting for you to see it from ever-new perspectives and to keep discovering it, as if for the first time.

International Happiness Day 2019

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It’s International Happiness Day today and I was searching for a good quote to post. I rather like this one from Eric Hoffer, who was an American moral and social philosopher. I like it because I think happiness can be yours right here, right now, regardless of your life situation. I believe happiness is a choice. If you’re constantly searching for it, then you’ll be blind to the fact that perhaps you had it all along. It was just waiting to be discovered.

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd

International Women’s Day 2019

Ever since my career break I’ve been much more prepared to tell people what I really think. When something’s important and you can make a positive difference by speaking out, you shouldn’t keep quiet. People may see you as difficult, but as long as you remember respect for others first and foremost, that matters not a jot.

For International Women’s Day I thoroughly recommend this book by Caroline Criado Perez. Today is relevant for all of us. The journey to gender equality and fairness needs to be of critical importance to everyone, not just women. Everyone has a responsibility to do what they can, however small, to make the invisible in our society visible and to help the silenced speak.

Happy International Women’s Day, everyone. Keep being prepared to stick your neck out.

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd

World Book Day 2019

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It’s World Book Day today, which I discovered at 7am this morning when I received a WhatsApp message asking what my daughter’s classmates were wearing to school for World Book Day.

Oops.

Lucky my kids are quite chilled out about dressing up. The little one went as Tinkerbell from Peter Pan after we raided the dressing-up box. The bigger one announced he was going as a generic Muggle from Harry Potter. I approve of sensible people.

Anyway, as I was saying, World Book Day. In the interview that I’ve just done for the Warwickshire Business Podcast I was asked about books I would recommend – I thought I’d post about the ones I mentioned as well as a few more. Here they are, with pithy synopses.

1) The Power Of Now (Eckhart Tolle) – All we have is this moment. Don’t spend your one precious life pre-living the future or re-living the past.

2) Not Knowing (Steven D’Souza and Diana Renner) – There’s power in the uncertain. There’s magic in letting go of the need to control the unknown.

3) Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway (Susan Jeffers) – You can always handle it. Really. The things that scare us lose their power when we steadily look at them and realise that much of the fear is in our minds.

4) Mindfulness (Mark Williams and Danny Penman) – A really good primer if you’re just starting to learn about mindfulness.

5) Mindfulness (Christophe Andre) – Mindfulness, made exquisitely beautiful through art.

6) I Love Me (David Hamilton) – Learning to love yourself will open more doors to you than almost anything else.

7) Man’s Search For Meaning (Victor Frankl) – Your head is bloody but unbowed. You can’t always avoid suffering, but you can always choose how you are going to respond to it and what meaning you are going to find in it.

Pick one, read it, love it forever.

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd

Podcast interview

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I was recently interviewed for the Warwickshire Business Podcast – we covered lots of things from best books, business advice, mentors, morning routines and mistakes. Check it out at anchor.fm/smallbusinesspodcast/episodes/Episode-11-Becoming-more-Mindful-in-Business-WNatalie-Snodgrass-Tan-e3crh3 – and tell me what you think! Available on lots of podcast apps including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Letting go

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Hello, 3am. I’ve been sleeping like a baby these past few weeks – waking up every two hours, that is. There’s a lot that’s been going on in one of the places that I work which is having a considerable impact on me and my team.

Many of you won’t share my faith (I’m a practising Catholic). Goodness knows I’ve been neglecting it myself. But it’s part and parcel of my blueprint, at 3am as much as it is any other time.

So I’m thinking about a few things that I talked about yesterday with a friend of mine. We find meaning in hindsight, even if we don’t like or completely understand what we’re going through in the present. I’m reminded of what I often discuss with coaching clients – finding the locus of what we can control and doing what we can with that, and realising that what we can’t control, we need to learn to respond to in a way that is constructive. My anxiety about things at 3am helps no one. I’m keeping in mind the saying “let go and let God”. We can’t always see the bigger picture. Pre-living potential futures through worrying what might happen is unhelpful. Do the best you can, and leave the rest to unfold as it will. Respond by making the best choices you can in the present. That is all any of us can do.

Whatever you find most helpful for you – prayer, meditation, running, yoga, getting outdoors – I hope that it will give you some peace this weekend. Take care of yourselves.

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd

Other people’s opinions about you are none of your business

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I love the texture of this concrete. I also think that this is a good reminder before we plunge into the next working week. Honestly, stop worrying about what other people are thinking. Do what you think should be done. Take the risk. Follow your dreams. Wear the bikini. You’ll look back on this day and realise that this was the day you took hold of your power and stopped letting other people (and yourself!) get in the way of your living this one precious life.

Hindsight is always 20:20

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I think we all need a reminder of this every so often. I was chatting with one of my best friends a few weeks ago about choices we’d made as teenagers and we got to musing about different life paths.

Ok, stop right there.

You see, a lot of the choices we make in life are made with the best information that we have at that point in time. Vision in hindsight is always 20:20. There is nothing – nothing – to guarantee that, had you made a different decision back then, you would be in a happier or more successful place right now. Don’t forget too that everything in our past has shaped us in ways that we can’t see.

Ruminating and speculating on ‘what-ifs’ are rarely helpful things to do. We are shaped by all that has passed, but the past is gone – learn from it by all means, but what matters is what you do with what you have in this moment. That’s yours for the taking.

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd