This blog is focusing on my personal journey which I talk about in presentations and in 4Sights at 4Networking meetings. I’d like to share some of the steps I’ve taken to get to where I am today. I hope my experiences will help you take control of your lifestyle, your time and your income. There are many opportunities available which easily fit around your current commitments.
It’s said on average humans make 35,000 decisions every day. Many of these decisions are made at home before we even think about going to work. For example, a typical man makes 3 decisions when choosing which shirt, trousers and socks to wear. In comparison, a woman might make 10 or more decisions including clothing, make-up, jewellery and accessories. That’s before choosing whether to have toast or cereal with tea, coffee or orange juice. So, it’s easy to see how the number of decisions each day adds up to tens of thousands of micro-decisions taking place every few seconds.
Can you imagine what it would feel like if each of these micro-decisions took several minutes to make? This is known as “Decision Fatigue” and it’s a sign our brains have become overloaded. Simple tasks become agonisingly difficult. It’s where molehills become mountains. It can feel like you’re walking through treacle. Over time, decisions can take longer and longer, until the difficulty of making a choice becomes painfully slow, causing stress symptoms, anxiety and depression.
One tip I can offer is to lay out the clothes you want to wear tomorrow as one of your last tasks before bed. In the morning everything will be ready, and you’ll have a few less decisions to make.
Our decisions have a huge impact on our lives. To do, or not to do, that is the question.
In my teenage years, I had an incredibly tough decision to make. At age 18, from a busy, active and energetic life, playing hockey at club level, swimming at county level, canoeing, playing the violin, viola and singing in voice choirs, always on the go, suddenly the backache I’d been ignoring became serious. I was given a terrible decision to make. To undergo high risk surgery or live the rest of my life in a wheelchair.
I chose surgery and after a successful operation on the 14th of October 1997 I spent 5 weeks in hospital relearning how to stand, how to walk and how to climb stairs. With the metal rods in my back, even now, I sometimes feel like a cyborg. My recovery took months of physio plus lots of support from my family and friends. Instead of the super-active lifestyle I was used to, I took up gardening, cycling and joined an orchestra. I made the decision to love the new life I had been given.
Around 15 years later, I aggravated my back slipping down some stairs. I was in agony. I had a beautiful garden that needed my attention, yet I could hardly move from the sofa. Without my care, the precious plants I’d nurtured from seeds would wither and die. They became my motivation.
Again, I had choices. Should I ask my husband to help water the plants? That was an option, but previous experience told me the plants would probably die. Should I give up? In this option, the plants would certainly die. The third option was to find a way around this. To find a viable solution.
I chose the third option. There would be a way around this problem. I just needed to find it.
To aid the recovery from my back injury, the best advice was to walk and to increase my walking every day. Once I was walking freely and unaided, I started carrying some weights around with me to build up my strength and resilience. I didn’t have traditional weights, so I made my own. I used a 2 litre bottle of water.
At first, I only filled the bottle enough so I could water one of my plants. I chose the one plant that meant the most to me. The one I wanted to help survive while I was recovering myself. Having given the plant enough water, I refilled the bottle, again just a small amount, but enough to water the next plant. It took time and patience, but in the second week I could fill the bottle enough to water 2 plants in one go. Then in the third week, I filled the bottle enough to water 3 plants. Then within a month I could fill the whole 2 litre bottle and carry it around. It was enough to make sure I didn’t lose all my garden.
It wasn’t extra money or time at the gym that helped my garden to flourish. It was the power of the 2 litre bottle of water. It gave me the strength to build up my muscles without straining my back. I regained my posture and my confidence.
Seeing the plants thrive in the garden reminded me of the power of water.
As humans, we benefit just as much as plants from drinking water. Keeping ourselves hydrated throughout the day is like putting fuel in a car. It’s like recharging a mobile phone. If you find yourself lagging during the day, if your eyes itch or you are easily distracted, take a few sips of water.
You’ll find when you’re properly hydrated, decisions are easier to make. You’ll have more energy and feel more awake. I can also recommend cutting back on tea and coffee, these drinks will dehydrate you during the day. If you need help remembering to drink more water, set an alarm or ask me to be your accountability buddy.
This is how 2 litres of water helped in my recovery from my back injury and gave me the tools to help my garden survive. Water has helped build my strength and my confidence. It helps maintain my health and has been massively beneficial for me in many ways. I believe every problem has a resolution and I enjoy thinking outside the box, finding solutions for myself and my clients.
What simple thing in everyday life has helped you?
“Rachael is an excellent 4Sighter! I recently saw her 4Sight at Leek Breakfast and her story really made me reflect on ways I can stay focused when working from home. I’m now more aware of the breaks I’m taking and I’m making a conscious effort to drink more water! Thanks Rachael!” – Sarah Spicer, The English Coach, Macclesfield.
If you would like to hear my 4Sight in person with more details about my journey, surgery, recovery, the plants and the solutions I find for others, please give me a call on 07756 772950.