Tag Archives: be different

Think Outside The Box


thinking photo

Think Outside the Box

You are driving down the road in your car on a wild, stormy night, when you pass a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus:

1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.

2. An old friend who once saved your life.

3. The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car? Think, before you continue reading.

This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of a job application. You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first. Or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back. However, you may never be able to find your perfect mate again.

The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer. She simply answered: “I would give the car keys to my old friend and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the partner of my dreams.”

Sometimes, we gain more if we are able to give up our stubborn thought limitations. Never forget to “Think Outside of the Box.”

However, the correct answer is to run the old lady over and put her out of her misery, have sex with the perfect partner against the bus stop, then drive off with the old friend for some beers.

God, I just love happy endings.


Photo by Klearchos Kapoutsis

Photo by Klearchos Kapoutsis

Do Something Different!


Never be afraid to try something new, because ...

Never be afraid to try something new, because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know. (Photo credit: deeplifequotes)

Did you know that most people tend to procrastinate? Are you one of them? Why do so many of us delay the inevitable? when you put effort and energy into trying to get what you want in ways that don’t work it will leave you frustrated and stuck. Ask yourself what it is that you want and what isn’t currently working in your life. What is leaving you feeling exhausted, mentally, emotionally or physically? Do you keep coming up against the same brick wall but still push forward in the hope of knocking it down? If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you will keep getting the same result-like a rat in a maze-you will keep repeating the same path.


If you believe that life will be a struggle, it most likely will be. What are you afraid of? If something isn’t flowing smoothly or if your efforts are not rewarded, stop what you’re doing and try something different. We tend to be creatures of habit and more often than not, we stick with what we know even when it no longer fulfils us. You can turn this thinking on its head, challenge your limiting ideas. The life you are living now is not a dress rehearsal. Decide what needs to be done, stop making excuses and think positively about what the future may hold. Don’t worry if you don’t know what the “something different” is, the first step is to just stop the old behaviours.

Trust in the positive adventures that lie ahead and believe that there is always something better out there for you and that grabbing this “something better” can only happen when you let go of what is not working. fear can cripple us and deny us a full exciting life. Stop exhausting yourself, let go of the struggle and believe that your future can be bright. You may not know how you’re going to change your current situation but taking small steps will eventually lead to there. Sometimes we know what we need to do, we just need to find the courage to take action. Be brave and marvel in your pioneering efforts.

Let go of obstinacy. If you’ve been using aggressive tactics, be willing to soften. If you’ve been playing the victim, be willing to become active and stand firm about who you are and what you want. When you do something different, he immediately change the dynamic allowing others to react differently too.

Free yourself and always tell yourself “no matter what comes my way, I will find a way around it”.

Mandy X

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Think Outside The Box

Thinking out of the box

Thinking out of the box (Photo credit: bounder)


If you want to get ahead in life, it’s imperative to employ “outside the box” thinking. Think like everyone else, accept the norms that are presented to you and will have to play by the rules like everyone else. Start asking yourself a few questions to challenge the status quo and you will begin to open up all sorts of opportunities for yourself. Society, bureaucracy and organisations build ‘boxes’ around us. Don’t automatically accept the rules and regulations (I am not advocating anything illegal!), always ask if there is another way.

I have come up against huge resistance as a Psychologist/Counsellor. There is a monopoly on which education path you take and if you don’t take one of these exorbitant courses, you will be excluded from the “accredited club”. I am all for regulation in order to safeguard the public from inexperienced mental health professionals but the ‘shackles’ you have to wear in order to be accepted in this industry is probably what will end up breaking the mental health profession. The client has been long forgotten – there are huge waiting lists to see professionals, yet there are none available as the Universities and professional regulatory bodies tighten their grip. There is huge demand and this shapes the future as the organisations know they can monopolise the industry when there is such a huge influx of people wanting to become a counsellor/psychologist. Those that do manage to pass through the pearly gates of accreditation soon come to realise that they are similar to rats on a treadmill. Due to the competition for jobs, staff are expendable and you have to work incredibly hard to manage the pressure. Many are overworked and underpaid and this is what welcomes them after years of studying and ‘following the rules’. That means – attending the right course, taking on an extremely low paid job in order to gain experience = modern day slavery in some ways!

Rant over…how do we start to think outside the box and challenge the status quo?


How to encourage “outside the box” thinking

Have a “can do” attitude

As Henry Ford famously said “Whether you think you can or can’t, you are probably right”. Be optimistic and expect positive things in your life. Don’t allow life to grind you down and make you cynical. Look for the good in people, believe that with the right attitude, doors will open for you and others will support you.

Ask yourself “why not”?

In a world where others are all too ready to point out why something won’t work, think the opposite. Why wouldn’t it work? Failure is a state of mind. For me, failure is giving up. Failure is letting the pessimists and the misery in the world win. By all means do a risk assessment, but once that looks good – Look for the possibilities in life rather than the pitfalls.

Watch the self limiting thoughts/beliefs

Thoughts such as – “I am not clever /competent enough. I am too old. I don’t know enough.” All of these thoughts will stop you in your tracks. Stop putting barriers in your way. When we were younger, most of us believed we could do what we wanted and that the world was available for creativity and resourcefulness. Ageing breaks down optimism but it doesn’t have to be that way. Don’t sell yourself short by limiting yourself unnecessarily. Practise positive inner dialogue – remind yourself of your strengths.

Practise gratitude. Remind yourself daily of all the good things in your life, no matter how small – this is known as cognitive behavioural modification..tuning your mind to the positive. It works!

Don’t conform and follow what others expect

Be unconventional. Don’t be a sheep and follow the crowd. It’s safer but it can limit and destroy your talent and skills. How will you ever know what you are truly capable of if you stay in your comfort zone and don’t push yourself? See life as an adventure. I have found that when faced with a positive friendly attitude, most people are willing to help or at least offer suggestions to get you on your way. When you take responsibility for yourself, don’t play the victim card and show that you are willing to work for it – others will admire you for it. many will wish they had your feisty spirit and enthusiasm!

Believe in yourself – MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL

I cannot stress enough how incredibly important self belief is. It is your most powerful tool and it can help you achieve amazing things in your life. When you believe in yourself you are more likely to follow your own path, you will be less likely to be swayed by others’ negativity and you will be more able to stay on your focused path. Remind yourself that many of us and bumbling along in life – no one has all the answers. Challenge those thoughts that worry you – such as “but what do I know?” or “who am I in the big wide world” – these are limiting beliefs that need to go.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

I love the above quote as it reminds me that we have a choice when it comes to feeling inferior. What meaning have you assigned to someone that allows them to leave you feeling inferior? Often, the reason is just a thought – NOT FACT.

How do you define if someone is superior to you? Is there a universal scale by which we can all measure ourselves? NO, there isn’t. Be careful what to choose to believe and watch ow these beliefs affect your attitude towards yourself. Is someone better than you due to looks, intelligence, kindness, money, patience, dressing style….??? Ultimately – you define yourself and you should always think that you are amazing. Not better than others but equally valuable in every way.

We are equal when we are born and we are equal when we die. The way we value ourselves inbetween is distorted by factors such as financial status, perceived power in society, exclusivity, looks and so on but you don’t have to accept these standard categorisations..Make up your own. For all I know, there could be someone who believes that the person who owns the most pairs of green underwear is the most superior in the world. Who am I to argue?? Again – only you define you!

Remember to challenge the “way things are”. Do they have to be that way? Can they be improved? Is there a better way? You really do have far more choices than you realise..just open your mind to them and they will begin appearing at a rapid rate.

Mandy X



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Liven Up Your Life



Liven up your life

Wacky ways to have more fun over the next week or so…

1) Do a jig in your bedroom whilst you’re getting dressed. Preferably to fun, mood enhancing music. (Singing into your hairbrush -additional optional extra)

2) Give yourself a toothpaste moustache while you brush your teeth – I swear it’s good luck πŸ˜‰

3) Give your pet a big kiss…tongues optional (ew)

4) Eat a really hot curry – great way to detox or clear out your sinuses

5) Sleep in a onesie

6) Skip. It doesn’t matter where or for how long :- it re-invigorates the soul and promotes cheerfulness

7) Wear an item of clothing inside out and see if anyone notices.

8) Stick a piece of lettuce in your teeth and watch how people react

9) Wear a wig

10) Wear clashing colours for the day

11) Speak with a lisp while doing a handstand

12) Smile at every third stranger you see. Count how many smiles you get in return and let us know below in the comments!

13) Bake a cake and put a rude inappropriate word in icing on the top. If you’re really brave – give it to school for the fete πŸ˜‰

14) Go to the local shopping centre in roller blades

15) Put a fake update on Facebook. eg: had all my teeth out this morning, still getting used to my falsies

16) Chuck salt over both your shoulders

17) Do the moon walk on the school run, or in the checkout queue

18) Wear a balaclava

19) Shout “Pringles” loudly and randomly in public. Works wonders on a crowded train!

20) Go into the Pound Shop. Pick up random items and ask how much they cost.


Well, if that doesn’t keep you out of mischief and liven up your life,  I don’t know what will. I am still working my way down the list πŸ˜‰


Mandy X

Be a misfit

be a rebel

Yeah yeah, I know…that’s an odd thing to advise – be a misfit. We all want to fit in, not make waves and blend in nicely. I am acutely aware of this at the moment as my son is 14 years old and the peer pressure at school is constant. How you act, what you say,what you wear – it all seems to be minutely scrutinized and fitting in is paramount. We don’t have the confidence at that stage of life to throw two fingers up and do our own thing. I am not allowed to embarrass him on any level, I usually have to park three suburbs away when I drop him off at school and fetch him and I have to keep my head down, wear a wig and keep the music down. Okay, I am exaggerating a tiny bit..but most if it is true πŸ™‚

The older I get the more I enjoy being unconventional and not fitting in. Who wants to be the same as everyone else anyway? Perhaps as we get older, our growing confidence gives us the boost we need to want to make our mark on the world in some way. The irony is that those people that have the guts to be different and ignore the judgements of others are often the same people that have the respect of others. Many will silently observe wishing they had it in them to be so daring and sure of themselves. We all live within this shell of respectability and if we don;t resist it it becomes heavier and stronger until we are so institutionalised according to what society wants and approves of. We all have a bit of misfit characteristics within us but often we don’t show our true selves because even that feels threatening. It can make us feel vulnerable to judgement from others and possible rejection.

Here are a few funny ways to release the unconditioned you, the one that isn’t suppressed – the amount of fun and freedom you will feel will be exhilirating…

1) Walk backwards to your car in the morning or from your front door to the pavement. ignore the thoughts of what the neighbours might think. Doing this challenges all sorts of limiting thoughts about how the world works..do it – resist conforming and see how it starts you day off in a fun way and adds a spring to your step…really!

2) Laugh really loudly, clap your hands and chuckle like Goofy when someone tells you a joke

3) If you travel on public transport, every now and then smack your forehead and say loudly “no, you can’t go toilet now..later!”

4) In a lift full of people – say “thank you for all making the meeting today. Who is going to take the minutes?”

What have you done today that’s different and just a bit silly?? Shake it up!

Mandy X

Resist Social Conditioning

social conditioning


Jeezzz…are we all just a bunch of brainwashed individuals? So many of our opinions are formed through what we hear from others and through media channels such as TV, magazines and newspapers. The concern is that many facts and figures are manipulated to make Governments look good. I recently read an article (and I believed it so am I just as guilty as the rest?) that stated even though the Government states that crime is down, the only reason it is down is because the measurements have changed. So for instance – in the past they may have included a punch in the face as assault, this might now be declassified to a less serious crime and will therefore not be included in statistics – thereby falsely decreasing the numbers. Another example given was train times – a recent report stated that trains are more on time than ever before, but apparently that is because they have extended the recommended journey times for trains in order to make it easier for them to adhere to the timetables. So, originally perhaps a train from Guildford to London had a time frame of, say 40 minutes, it might now have a time frame of 55 minutes. The train drivers aren’t getting better at sticking to the tme frame, they just have more time to do it in now…it’s all about HOW things are reported and it worries me.

Conditioning starts at a young age – don’t do this, don’t touch that…say “please”, say “thank you”, wash your hands and keep your elbows off the table. It never ends – a veritable onslaught of rules that suffocate our spirits and beat us down into submission in order to make us nice, polite citizens.

Of course, I am not one for anarchy but I see this poisonous hold reaching further into our private lives more than ever before. The government seem to want to control more of our private lives and our freedom of choice is slowly but surely being eroded away. I wonder where it will stop. The Government want to make pornography an opt in choice to protect children, you can be arrested for not sending your children to school, we must conform or we are punished. What is this world coming to?

It seems the gap between the haves and the have nots is widening and it is clearly a case of who you know, not what you know that opens doors. The politician seems crooked and opportunistic and syphon away public funds when they get the chance and then use government PR to keep them looking up standing to their onlookers. I once read a brilliant quote: it was something along the lines of “the only difference between a fat, smelly, lazy, lying man and a successful, wonderful, charitable man is good public relations”. I happen to agree. ‘Thankfully’,there are many conditioned people out there ready and willing to lap it up. What a disaster!

Stop believing everything you hear and read – often facts are manipulated. Keep an open mind by all means but don’t follow blindly. This is a dangerous strategy. Speak up for what you don’t believe in. Stop being so polite. Stop towing the line. Be kind,be nice and know your values in life but always always go against the grain. The more we all stand for what we believe in, the better the world we live in will be.

Mandy X