Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck

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I believe in providence and serendipity.

As I work out my next career steps I’ve been applying for new part-time roles that might fit well alongside Quiet Space as part of a coherent career portfolio, and recently got news that I’d been unsuccessful in an interview for a job I’d really wanted.

Naturally I was disappointed, but I’d been satisfied with my interview performance and had pretty much expected the outcome. So by the time the news came, I think I’d already mostly moved on. In that context the prospect of exploring other opportunities has become exciting and liberating, for which I’m grateful.

Coaching others these past few years has been incredibly helpful for my own personal development, particularly in terms of my appetite for risk and attitude towards the unknown.

Embrace pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. That’s where the growth comes. It is stressful and scary and destabilising, but it is without a doubt worth it all. Everything will be all right. Things will take shape. At the end of this you will look back and be amazed to see how far you’ve come.

And through the rivers they shall not overwhelm you

 

I’ve felt several times over the past eight months like life was unravelling. Things falling apart; questioning maxims I’d thought I lived by; reevaluating lots of things about me and my relationships with various people. When I’ve lost ground in the past my faith has always been there for me but lately I’ve felt distanced from that too. It’s been an interesting time.

This week I visited Salisbury Cathedral and was struck by the beautiful font in the nave and the reflections in the water.

This life has got to be about something beyond yourself. Something bigger than you. Not necessarily God, if that isn’t part of your belief system. But as humans we naturally seek meaning, purpose and connection. What am I doing this for? For whom am I doing this? Who’s got my back?

How long is forever

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“How long is forever?” asked Alice. “Sometimes, just one second.” replied the White Rabbit.

There are dreams lasting but a moment in which everything is suspended in eternity.

Get more of those moments. Don’t be afraid to dive deep with someone. Love intensely. Make that connection, take that leap, embrace the now. It’s all we have – the past is gone, and the future is promised to no one.

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.