As much as I like to reflect, to look inward and be fully aware and appreciative of my situation, it’s not always possible to find appropriate moments throughout the day. Life just has a knack of getting in the way of this sort of thing, I suppose. All that hustle and bustle, for want of a better expression, fogs up the windscreen. I’ve found that while treading the path, it can be easy to lose sight of what is really important. If and when this does happen, it seems that there’s nothing quite like a powerful book to bring me back.

It’s quite an organic process, this whole journey of self-development, don’t you think?

I had been looking forward to cracking into Who Says You Can’t? You Do for a few weeks now, which was a birthday present from James. Even if I wanted to give too much away, I can’t because I just started it, but for the purposes I’ll just quickly talk about the SOA concept which is mentioned in the first couple of pages.

Gratitude is a topic that I’ve written about many times before; an immensely powerful tool which has the potential to completely alter our perspective, and patterns of thought. It actually came up in a recent conversation over Skype- this notion of being able to truly appreciate what we have. It was refreshing to say the least, but I’m afraid I’ll have to keep the cards close to the chest with regard to the details of said conversation. Suffice it to say, that you’ll want to keep an eye out for the next épisode of What Makes You Tick.

SOA- or State of Appreciation- is pretty much exactly what you imagine it might be. At the beginning of the book a task is put forward, which is designed to guide you towards obtaining a mindset of appreciation through intention writing. Simply put, you’re given a sort of template, and from this you create your own mantra to be read every morning. This is the first task that is put to you in the book, and I immediately felt its significance in light of my current situation, which is why I felt the urge to write about it.

So, in the spirit of appreciation.

As I’ve been navigating my new surroundings, and finding my feet in this incredible city, I’ve been presented with many moments of synchronicity along the way, which have offered a welcome reminder that I am indeed here for a specific reason.

Like, have you ever gotten that sense of everything just coming together nicely?

I’ve said it before numerous times in previous posts, but I truly am so grateful that everything in my life has happened as it has- good and bad- and that I find myself where I am right now.


First impressions of Shanghai is that not only is it an exceptionally large and energetic metropolis, but it feels to me like a land of real opportunity for growth. There is a unique atmosphere about the place. It has been an encouraging start in my new job, and I’ve landed on my feet with the team I’ve joined at EFEC ZSP. It’s evident that EF look to nurture talent, encourage development and embrace creative ideas, and I feel as though I’m in the perfect place.

In terms of my first experience of living with a woman, which I’ve had a few inquiries about, so far so good. My bags haven’t been packed for me just yet, so I consider that a small victory in itself! And the fact that I get to make tea for two now, warms my heart more than I can begin to even describe.

Seriously though, it’s amazing.

Overall it has been a smooth and enjoyable transition, and I’m incredibly excited to see where this part of the journey takes me.

Or should I say, us.

As I mentioned, I’m immensely grateful for the journey thus far, and I figured earlier today while reading my morning mantra, that this palpable feeling of appreciation needed to be documented! And although I try not to lose sight of what’s important, I’m glad that this book has crossed my palms, so I could be reminded of it.

I also would like to take this opportunity to show my appreciation to you, the reader, for your continued support. To my complete surprise- and as you may have noticed with the bright and shiny new sticker on the sidebar- The Irish Introvert will be up for an award at the finals of the Irish Blog Awards 2016, in the Health and Well Being category. It takes place next Thursday in Dún Laoghaire, and as I’m currently off galavanting elsewhere, Shem and Trish will be in attendance. 

Thank you all for taking an interest, for your kind words of encouragement, and for spreading the word and sharing my content. Thank you to everyone who has contributed, shared their stories and taken part in interviews. I’ve learned so much from you all and I’m so grateful for the connections we’ve made. It’s been a powerful journey, and long may it continue.