[success]Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought. ~ Napoleon Hill[/success]

Grandma used to say life is an inside job, hen.  It wasn’t that she thought I was about to turn into a feathery fowl…hen is a Scottish expression…a general term of endearment.  Oh, and while I’m explaining things… she didn’t exactly use those words  life is an inside job…that’s just how I remember it.

Typical kid,  it went in one ear and out the other.  Today, of course, I wish I’d paid more attention to her.  Today I see what a wise woman she was.  Yesteryear, not so much.

Grandma was big on praise, long on love and short on criticism.  Grandma was incredible, and if only I’d been practicing what she preached not only might I be a wiser woman, but I might even be incredibly fabulous my own self.

A girl can dream, can’t she?

Grandma probably deserved a better granddaughter…one who listened a little more, one who didn’t have her head and ears tuned only into the latest and greatest band, one who understood wisdom when she heard it.  But instead, she got me.

And even though it took a while, I did eventually get it…well some of it.  Enough to celebrate.  Woohoo.  And eventually I studied because I wanted to, I put what I learned into practice, because I wanted to.  And it made all the difference.  I think Grandma would be proud.  She wanted to show me that it’s possible for all of us to step up and be great.  Even me, dolly daydream that I was.

Four things that Grandma tried to teach:

1. Life will mirror my thoughts and feelings, so I must guard them well.  I can try and change the mirror and I might even get it fogged up for a while, but pretty soon…too darn soon for me…the old me just shows up and there’s my old reflection showing up in the events and experiences of my life.

One of my friends likens trying to change the mirror to re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titantic…sort of wasting valuable time…better to just jump ship!  Have some faith it’ll all work out.

[success] Faith is a process of leaping into the abyss not on the basis of any certainty about where we shall land, but rather on the belief that we shall land.~ Carter Heyward [/success]

2. Any limitations I have belong to me, they were imposed by me and can only be changed be me.  I need a new concept of myself.  One with no limits would be great…but I can live with one that has higher limits…for now.  And the next trick is to stop arguing for those old limitations. It’s all too easy to find ourselves talking about and arguing for the very things we don’t want.  What’s with that?

[success] Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you’ll see the way to fly. ~ Richard Bach [/success]

3. I can’t desire something and then complain when I get it.  Maybe I want success and then I have the cheek to complain when I get it… and what happens next?  Yep, you guessed it, success slips out of the window.  I’ve been there, seen that and certainly done it.

Whine, whine, I’m under pressure.  Whine, whine I’ve got too much to do.  Whine, whine I’ll never get it done.  What a great combination of arguing for limitations and complaining about success.  This is a good one…not!

[success] A pessimist is somebody who complains about the noise when opportunity knocks. ~ Oscar Wilde[/success]

4. People, like horses will only do what they have a mind to do, stemming from that old favourite, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.  Grandma could teach me practical operating methods for living a large and beautiful life.  She could show me the spiritual truths of these principles, whilst omitting the science piece of the puzzle…it wasn’t what interested her, but she knew that without application they were as useless as a gift you never unwrap.  Or a thirsty horse who was too silly to drink.

[success] Few things are impracticable in themselves; and it is for want of application, rather than of means, that men fail to succeed. ~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld [/success]

Her words were inspiring and motivating, but as it is for us all, only we can open ourselves up, so that we can see and hear and feel them.  She trusted and believed I would get there.

How am I doing so far Grandma?

Leave a comment below. Have you had someone in your life who believed in you, until you were ready to believe in yourself?  We all need to hear this.

Encourage one other.

Love Elle


Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. Your grandmother sounds lovely, Elle, and I love her comment, “Life is an inside job, hen.” We all do need people to believe in us and love us until we can love ourselves. It is such a process of growing up and finding out who we are, that we are truly blessed when we have someone in our corner cheering us on. Thanks for sharing and explaining, “hen.” Hugs.

    • Elle

      I’ve been blessed in my life Cathy with two very wise women, my grandma and my mum. I miss hearing her call me ‘hen’ but I’m glad some of the wisdom she imparted eventually bloomed a little. 🙂

  2. You’re doing GREAT! I’m not ‘Grandma’ but she sure would be PROUD of you. You’re living her wonderful lessons wonderfully!
    Thank you for a fabulous post. I love the quotes as well.

    • Elle

      Aww Harriet, you are such a sweet soul. Thank you for your words of encouragement. 🙂

  3. Elle;

    Your grandmother Is smiling from above and so proud of her hen. And we are blessed by your wisdom.


    • Elle

      Thanks Brian, I’m looking forward to hearing more from you soon! 🙂

  4. Elle, I love the one, “I can’t desire something and then complain when I get it.” You made me laugh with that one! Great post! 🙂

    • Elle

      Thanks for stopping by Victor…always appreciate your comments. 🙂

  5. My Grandmother and yours would have gotten along very well, Elle. (I love how your name rhymes with Well). I’ve got to share something about my Gramma here, who was the love of my life until she passed away on her birthday in 1987. She always said that our guardian angel is perched on our shoulder, near our ear, listening to our thoughts. So it amounts to being careful what we wish for, as the angel is ready to help carry out our every wish. Says a lot for holding good thoughts and thinking positive.

    Another thing she would always say was – think before you speak. It is worse to be scolded for saying something than being silent.

    I love your Granma. Hugs!

    Love, Vidya

    • Elle

      Maybe you and I are from the same soul family Vidya. It sounds like our grandma and our mums were very much alike. Funny how that works, continents apart like that. Goes to show it’s not about geography at all.

      Love what you grandma said…and yes…there have been times when I needed to hear her advice about thinking before I speak!

      Your new site is the ‘bees knees’ Vidya. 🙂

  6. Elle-
    How blessed you are to have had such a loving and wise grandmother. I believe that we’re all on this earth to learn something ~when, how, and what are totally unique to who we are. But love and living a joyful life are universal desires.
    Once you have faith and believe in yourself, anything becomes possible. xxoo-Fran

    • Elle

      Fran, how lovely to hear from you. Isn’t that the truth – faith and belief make everything possible. 🙂

  7. I like what you say about wanting something and then having the cheek to complain when you get it — I’ve definitely had the experience of distrusting people when they express interest in me or what I’m doing. These days, when someone praises something I’ve done, I try my best to take a deep breath and allow the intensity of receiving the praise and interest to wash over me without running away from it.

    • Elle

      Hi Chris, we’ve all done it haven’t we complained when we got what we wanted. That’s a great idea, take a deep breath and allow good things. 🙂

  8. mir aqib

    you really mativated me at every step and directed me to manage overhelming situations thanks elle

    • Hi Mir…glad you are managing challenging situations…keep right on doing that for a wonderful life. 🙂

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