We run a successful holiday cottage and retreat business. It is a wonderful lifestyle business with a ‘win win’ result. People are coming on holiday, they are happy, looking forward to embracing their new surroundings, having fun, spending special time with family and friends – creating life long memories and we are able to provide 5-star accommodation in stunning locations to help them achieve this.

This year we had some visitors looking to create special memories for different reasons.

It started with a last-minute booking enquiry. Just before the guests were due to arrive, I had a request – would it be possible to arrive a little earlier as the father was now on a ‘peg feed’ and they needed time to set this up after their journey. If we can, we try to facilitate customer requests and thankfully we were able to on this occasion.

What a courageous family. To come away at such a difficult time to spend that all important time together. This must be the most inspirational family I have met in the 9 years we have been running the holiday cottage business.

The love, support and comradery I found when I went to meet them and walked into the lounge overwhelmed me, made me reflect on the strength of people and in particular, the family unit.

The father was clearly so very poorly, yet what an inspirational man to be facing such difficulties with such determination and spirit. His smile seemed to take over his whole face; we had a lovely conversation. Despite his ordeal he continued to lead the family, it was clearly taking all his strength, but he was amazing and proof you can face the most challenging of times with a positive mindset – hence making everything so much easier for everyone else. We really are influenced by those around us.

Here was a family facing the most difficult time, yet they were so generous with their thanks to me for providing them with such a comfortable place to stay! I felt humbled, I was simply doing my job.

The family’s sincerity and gratitude made me realise this was a strong, bonded family with so much love and respect for each other, and I took comfort in the realisation that because of this, they would be fine in the weeks, months and years to come.

The following week I welcomed another family to our other cottage. This family would be staying for a few weeks while undergoing cancer treatment. The family mentioned their situation in their first enquiry and, having experienced cancer we did everything we could to help them. I went to meet them with fond memories of my previous inspirational guests.

Nothing could have prepared me for the contrast. It was heart breaking to hear the way the family were speaking to each other. It felt like they were punching one another every time they spoke. It made me sad to see a lovely family tearing each other apart.

I know how devastating it can be for a family. The outcome is never certain. However, what is clear is the way the person facing their illness deals with it. Their mindset and outlook can change the journey for everyone around them. Here the journey was being turned into a nightmare.

My dad made it easy for us. I will never forget going to see dad for the first time after his cancer diagnosis. I had no idea how he would be. I believe it is during the really tough times that you learn and grow; you also get to know the true person. I am so proud of my dad he faced everything with determination and dignity. He wasn’t going to let cancer rule his life, and he certainly wasn’t going to let it define him. He was alive, and he would continue living life to the full as best he could. And he did. He had a strong positive mindset.

As well as helping your physical recovery, a positive mindset and ‘glass half full approach’ to life really does help those around you. Whether it be your family or work team, we can lead by example, and however tough something is, taking a positive view will help everyone; especially you.

So, my question to you is:

How do you think you would react if you were diagnosed with a terminal illness? How strong is your mindset?

We never know what is around the corner and I pray you will never be diagnosed with anything serious. It is important we keep our mind strong and in good health, just as we keep our body fit. It will help you enjoy and make the most of life and definitely help everyone around you. By keeping your body and mind fit we are able to support each other through the ups and downs of life. Your mindset effects everyone and everything we do. Practising mindfulness through life builds mental strength and focus. Looking for the positive in every situation and taking a ‘glass half full’ approach to life leads to a happier and healthier life for you and those around you. Whether it be in your work or personal life, being able to harness the power of your mind in a positive way will help you achieve the best possible outcomes.

At Baobab Growth we take a holistic approach working with individuals and teams to ensure positive productive results. For ideas and support on keeping your mind healthy contact info@baobabgrowth.com or visit www.baobabgrowth.com