Blogging feat Olivia

As promised here comes the blog post featuring a follower! My wonderful and lovely friend Olivia and I had a skype date some time ago and I asked her a few questions. Here’s her answers. Enjoy:

What made you follow the blog?

• The fact that you’re my friend! And it’s a nice way of getting updates on your thoughts and what you’re up to in life. It also feels more personal than Facebook updates.

Do you have a favourite subject on the blog? If so, why?

None – I like the fact that you write/talk about lots of different things!

What is your story of how we know each other?

We met through salsa – the first few months you were just another face in the class. I think the first time I really noticed you was when I saw you putting on walking boots and waterproof trousers, and I thought, what?? This is Oxford! Why do you need them?? Of course I didn’t realise that you weren’t based in Oxford…

Then in January I noticed that you were wearing heels and a dress, whereas in the first term it had always been trousers and practical shoes. I think from there we just got chatting at La Iglesia socials, and between classes, and as I started to learn to lead we could dance together. I feel like we really became friends after I invited you over to mine for a cup of tea, and we stayed chatting and drinking tea all evening!

If you could decide on any subject, what would my next blog post be on?

Probably something about how you tie in the things you’ve been learning on you personal development with the challenges that you face in working in a team.

What would you like to share with readers on personal development if you were to write a blog post?

 I’ve been reading lots of really interesting psychology books recently, so if I were to write a blog post, it would probably be something along the lines of a short book review on each of them. For those interested their titles are:

  • Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution, by Paul Watzlawick Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies and Paradoxes, by Paul Watzlawick et al.
  • The Structure of Magic I: A Book About Language and Therapy, by John Grinder and Richard Bandler
  • The Language of Change: Elements of Therapeutic Communication, by Paul Watzlawick
  • The Situation Is Hopeless, But Not Serious: The Pursuit of Unhappiness, by Paul Watzlawick
  • My Voice Will Go with You: The Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erickson, by Sidney Rosen
  • A Theory of Personality: Psychology of Personal Constructs, by George Kelly
  • The Art of Change: Strategic Therapy and Hypnotherapy without Trance, by Giorgio Nardone and Pauk Watzlawick
  • How Real Is Real?: Confusion, Disinformation, Communication, by Paul Watzlawick
  • The Structure of Magic, The Language of Change, and A Theory of Personality are all quite technical. Easier to read are Change; Pragmatics of Human Communication; The Situation Is Hopeless, But Not Serious (very funny!); and How Real is Real? (fascinating book about how we perceive our reality).

What do you think? Should we ask Olivia for some book reviews? To ease the task we could ask for just 3 reviews and you can decide which 3 it’s gonna be.



The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Yes I love books and here is a review and recommendation for one of my all time favorites.7habits-cover I already mentioned this book in one of my first blog post, so if you think I’m repeating myself a bit then you are right. First of all I strongly recommend this book to everyone who want to be the best edition of themselves and live a high quality life. (Honestly does anyone NOT want this?). Therefore I will now tell you why to read it.

About the book in general:

Stephen R. Covey has written this book in such a way that it feels like he is opening the chamber of truth for you. This truth will help you a whole lot if you are open to it. He does not give you the list of answers like when someone cheats in a test. He rather gives you the toolbox to find these answers yourself, which is much longer lasting and gives you greater power. In the book there is plenty of examples, diagrams and detailed explanations in order to understand each habit and how they work together and compliment each other. The habits are split in to 3 parts: Personal victory, public victory and renewal. Before he dives in to each habit he explains how you have to master them one part at a time. The process of developing from a dependant to an independent and then finally an interdependent person is described. He does not only tell you how you can change to the better, he also motivate you to do so!

About the habits:

  1. BE PROACTIVE: Act instead of being acted upon. Take initiative. You are in charge of your life. Expand your circle of influence.
  2. BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND: Realise who you want to be. Write a mission statement, set goals according to it and then plan how to reach them.
  3. PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST: Focus on what’s important, not urgent activities and invest time in them, without neglecting whats important and urgent.
  4. THINK WIN/WIN: No one needs to lose, everyone can win if you set your mind to it.
  5. SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD: Listen before and more than you speak.
  6. SYNERGIZE: Work together to reach better results for both.
  7. SHARPEN THE SAW: Renew and improve yourself physically, socially/emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

If you have read the book, please share your thoughts about it here. If you have any questions about it, please don’t hesitate to ask. 

Book of memories

When I packed my bags back in late August last years I packed an empty book that’s been lying in my drawer for some time. It’s lovely colourful one with beautiful butterflies on the cover and a little golden lock. From the first week of training and all way throughout my placement in England I filled it with memories. Pictures, quotes, receipts, tickets and drawings makes it a cool visual experience as well. Making this book is a project and a hobby in it self but the best is how it reminds me of all the wonderful and memorable things I have experienced. I call this a combination between a scrapbook and a diary and I recommend everyone who enjoys a creative DIY project to make one of their own. Let me share some pictures with you as well:

Ideas for pages

Pictures! Stick them on in your desired pattern and theme them or group them as desired. It is always simple to do a page full of pictures and write a little text with each one, if you have any…

If you lack of pictures maybe you have brochures, tickets or other visual paper stuff you can stick on a page to catch the eyes. There’s also something cool and nostalgic about having the very ticket you used for this amazing memorable experience kept and saved. This is true scrapbook style!

Drawing is always an option when you have nothing physical to glue in their, but it can be a time consuming. Grab the pen, draw some lines and figures with relevance for the content or just for looks.

A lot of words need to come out? Let a full page or what ever amount of space you need be like a page in a diary and just write it all down. Imagine a few years in to the future when you open this book and read it again. What thoughts and emotions would you like to bring up in your future self?

If your thoughts are just a mess and you feel like you need to organise them, then create a mind map. Split it in relevant sections and just allow yourself to add anything that comes to mind. Symbols and drawings can be added for a better visual experience.

Themed pages are great if you’ve done a lot of little things in the same category, but they don’t really seem to fit in any where else. Maybe they are just so cool that they deserve their own pages.