Archive for April, 2010

How letting go can lead to success

April 26, 2010
Relax, release and renew

In my last post I wrote about our responses to the unexpected and how the results may be very different to what we were expecting but also how they can be much better. If only we’re open to the possibilities.

The second part to this, and one I struggle with, is to remain positive and optimistic when things aren’t going to plan or the world and everyone in it seemly conspires for you to fail. It’s difficult to maintain the inner fire, never give up, succeed at all costs, I believe in myself mantra when things around us are not going to plan.

Most of us at some time are plagued with self doubt. The emotional high and enthusiasm of launching into a new project or the crystallisation of goals can be counter balanced with a low that leaves us feeling flat and emotionally drained.

How many times have you said, or at least thought ‘This was a stupid idea anyway’ or ‘Why do I get my hopes up when I know I can’t make this work’. Then to really cap it off we question our own abilities, wonder why we can’t when so many can and generally beat ourselves up. I have lost count of the times this has happened to me.

No one gets everything right or everything they want the first time. Life just doesn’t work that way and it’s unrealistic to think it does. Even the most successful have failures along the way and usually lots of them. Just have a look at how many Virgin duds Richard Branson put his name to.

So we read the books and they say never, never, never (as if saying it three times makes it more so) give up. Regroup, refocus, reenergize and recommence. Pump your fist in the air and get excited that this failure is simply proving one way not to succeed so you’re  one step closer. Great, but I still feel like crap.

Let’s not forget one thing here. We’re human and despite our best efforts to the contrary we’re not success machines turned up to eleven. Stuff happens. In our jobs, our lives and our families. Sometimes the pressure cooker is turned up so high that we just don’t have the mental space or physical capacity to take the world on……today.

When this happens you may need to shelve that project for a while. No, this isn’t giving up and it’s not being weak, it’s reality and often the best choice. If you continue to force yourself the chances of success diminish in direct proportion to the increase in your frustration and anxiety.

Allow yourself to be human. It’s impossible to walk around ‘turned up to ten’ all of the time.  You may have to take that miniature Anthony Robbins off your shoulder and put him away for a while. He can scream in your ear about achieving your peak state another day.

So relax, release and renew. Take a holiday, build a cubby house for the kids or scare your spouse by taking them out for dinner or away for a weekend. Assure them you’re not having an affair and no, you don’t have a terminal illness, you just want to be with them. No plans, no frantic arm waving, excited discussions of future wealth or world domination. Just be with them now, in the moment.

Be fair and don’t get angry when they ask what have you bought, what have you done or what are you going to ask me to sign? They will not be used to seeing you like this! Take some time to reconnect, relax and let go. Let yourself breathe. Invest in your head space and you will see the world and your challenges in a different light.

And when you least expect it the answer will pop into your head. Is it synchronicity, divine intervention or the Universe providing the way? Maybe, or just maybe it’s a human being accepting that they aren’t a machine and allowing nature to take its course.

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Does life serves up the unexpected?

April 20, 2010
Life may not always dish up what you expect

Have you ever decided what you want, set the appropriate goals, researched the way to get there, achieved a level of passion and conviction that you just know that you will be successful, set a seemly bullet proof plan and taken massive action towards your goal……and then it doesn’t happen?

What then?

Do you become discouraged, angry and give up or do you make changes to your approach and keep going? Conventional wisdom tells us that you only fail when you give up, but how long do you bang your head against the wall when the results are not there? It’s natural to get frustrated but how do you respond?

You can of course keep going towards your original goal or you can take a moment and look at what your effort has created. It may be something fantastic – history is full of such ‘mistakes’. For example Scotchgard, the world’s top-selling protective finish for textiles began in the 1950s when a laboratory assistant in the 3M research facility spilled a liquid being developed for aircraft use on her canvas shoe.

She noticed that not only was almost impossible to remove, but it resisted dirt and stains and stayed cleaner than the rest of the shoe. They recognised the product possibilities and Scotchgard was launched commercially in 1956.

The same is true of another 3M product, Post-it Notes. Spencer Silver, a 3M scientist, was looking for a super strong adhesive in 1970. Instead of coming up with one, he developed an adhesive that was remarkably weak so he shelved this ‘failure’.

It wasn’t given a second thought until 1974 when a colleague used the glue to keep bookmarks in place for his church choir. He also used the glue for notes in which he explained his idea to his 3M colleagues. In doing so they realised that the broad application was for notes – not bookmarks.

Teflon was discovered in 1938 at a Du Pont laboratory by Roy Plunkett who was experimenting with gases to find a new fluorocarbon refrigerant. He and his associates noticed that gas in a cylinder that had been stored in dry ice had changed into a white, waxy solid. Further testing showed that the solid was resistant to practically all chemicals, was not affected by temperature extremes and was extremely slippery.

Crucial to the success of these products was the ability to see the potential when the result was completely different to what they had expected: not to view it as a failure of the original goal but rather to see the potential in what was created.

In many cases the outcome can be far superior but only when we are in the mindset to see it. How many times have you been so fixed on an outcome that you have discarded or ignored something that could be even better?

Life can dish out the most unexpected meal for us but are we prepared o eat it?

Many of us have missed the ‘perfect’ job or been outbid on our dream house only to shortly after get a much better job or find a more beautiful home. Is this serendipity, meant to be or do we create the outcome that is right for us? Is this the Universe rewarding us or have we created it for ourselves?  

The answer is more to do with our attitude to life’s events and our reaction to them. There certainly may be an element of good luck in what happens but don’t we create our own luck? We see that the hardest working people are generally the luckiest but perhaps they’re also the most perceptive, having an ability to see how an outcome, positive or negative, can serve them.

Worst case it’s a learning experience but often it can be so much more, something completely unexpected, leaving us thankful for our seemingly lucky break. It’s all about how you look at it and quoting lawyer Dennis Denuto  from The Castle, it’s understanding the ‘vibe of the thing’.  

We’ve all heard the expression ‘when one door closes another opens’. Let’s be in the mind set to open that door and make sure what lies behind door number 2 is health, happiness, fulfillment, success and if it happens to be a garage door a red Ferrari would be nice!

Success and the art of money

April 9, 2010

The art of money

At some point in many people’s lives comes the realisation that the unbridled aspirations of youth may never come to pass. As years pass and old dreams fade, we have the opportunity to reassess our goals based on experience and current aspirations.

Success may be defined in different ways, changing with time from flying jets, playing in a stadium rock band, or being the next Branson to such things as living a good life, having a career, bringing up a family and having a nice home.

And of course having money, that part doesn’t usually change. To most the very word success denotes financial achievement and is the achievement by which we are measured. So how do we get it?

Earn more than you spend

As a first step toward success, you must understand a fundamental principal – income must exceed expenses. This is the most important ‘law of success’ and allows you to invest and grow your wealth.

Running ‘bad’ debt free

One important factor separating winners from losers is debt. Although mortgage financing to acquire real estate, as well as income generating appreciating assets, makes good sense personal loans for activities such as holidays or to purchase depreciating assets such as cars is  a mistake.

Credit cards are a convenience and a major trap. They allow people to consistently live beyond their means and as they do so the debt increases. The interest rates are well above market rates and very profitable for the banks. That is why they are happy with the minimum payment each month. When the monthly statement arrives pay the balance before the due date.

A nice dose of scepticism

In navigating the perilous waters that lead to prosperity, you’ll encounter many sharks. Avoid them by demonstrating a healthy dose of scepticism. Deals that look too good to be true usually are. Get rich quick schemes don’t work. It’s unlikely that you will make a million dollars working one hour a day at the kitchen table in your underpants. You won’t get rich taking ‘hot tips’ from friends.

Success takes work and persistence so you need to be discerning on where you apply your mental and financial capital.

 Controlling your now

As we journey through life there are three states on which we may fixate: the past, the present, and the future.

It’s important to reflect upon the past, by evaluating earlier successes and failures we create a guide for the future. It’s equally important to keep an eye on the future, knowing where we’re going allows us to create a path to take us there.

However it’s only the present that affords us control, providing the opportunity to influence events to achieve favourable results. If you regularly take action to influence current situations to your best advantage you’re well on the way to success.

Retire at 50

It may not always be feasible but would you like to be in a position to retire at 50? This milestone usually means 25 to 30 years of working, climbing the ladder, establishing yourself, paying off a mortgage, securing a few investments and for many raising a family.

 If the first half of life is spent working for your assets, it’s not unreasonable that during the second half your assets work for you? This doesn’t mean you must actually retire at this age, and indeed most successful people pursue endeavours that are fulfilling beyond this but do so on their own terms.

Whatever the case the option should be yours.

Your reputation is your personal brand

A reputation of integrity, reliability and doing what you say is one of the most valuable assets you can possess. It defines your personal brand. There are no limits to the opportunities offered to those whose words and actions can be trusted. This quality is truly a mark of success.

Wealth and success

Wealth, at least to a certain degree, is a necessary criterion for success. However, the possession of wealth is not in itself sufficient as it’s the combination of financial security, lifestyle, health and attitude that defines personal success.

Can you have both wealth and happiness?

April 8, 2010

Wealth and happiness can coexist!

Is there a proven, causal relationship between wealth and happiness?

The universal consensus is that the answer to that question is no and the knowledge itself has long been a source of happiness to those that associate negativity with wealth, money and success. Certainly we are far more affluent and have more stuff than our parents or grandparents ever had but does that make us happier?

Do we look back to simpler times where the pace of life was slower, more relaxed and we had the freedom to enjoy the moment? A time when sitting on a fold up chair outside on a hot night with friends made us feel like we had it all.

Perhaps, but does having wealth and success somehow preclude or diminish the availability and enjoyment of such pursuits? Where does happiness fit into this mosaic of life? Does money buy happiness? Conversely, as popular popular opinion would have us believe, does wealth preclude us from happiness, somehow blocking our cosmic path to spirit and fulfillment?

There are two problems with the idea that anything significant can be discovered by looking for a correlation between wealth and happiness. One concerns the nature of happiness, the other the nature of wealth.

If you could arrange for us all to return to 1980 levels of income and possessions, almost everybody would be unhappy. As wealth increases, so do expectations, and so does being accustomed to the lifestyle that the new level of wealth brings.

For most people it’s likely that wealth has to increase in order for their happiness level to remain constant; if their wealth were to decline, so would their happiness.

The important point here is that ‘happiness’ is too vague a concept to be truly helpful. Instead of talking about happiness, we should talk about satisfaction, achievement, interest, engagement, enjoyment, growth and the optimistic pursuit of new possibilities.

If mere happiness were the point, we could easily achieve it for everyone by suitably spiking the water supply. But it has often been said that the surest way to unhappiness is to seek happiness directly. Instead, happiness comes as a result of other activities that in themselves bring satisfaction and a sense of achievement.

If monetary wealth is the issue, that too is attainable. However the person who, despite having millions, restlessly desires more because of a feeling of emptiness, in particular when lacking the things money can’t buy: friendship, love, health, contentment and personal growth cannot be considered truly wealthy. These things are indispensable to the concept of happiness, if not directly related to creating it.

The best option in my opinion is to have both. Material wealth can enhance your life and support happiness. Following pursuits that make you happy can lead to wealth. The true equation between happiness and wealth is finding the balance that works for you and understanding that one is not the cost of the other. They happily coexist in the same space and this can be a very nice place to be.

So what is the secret of Think and Grow Rich?

April 8, 2010

 

What's the secret?

The basic consensus of the law of attraction is that your thoughts, both conscious and unconscious, create what happens in your life. The key is that you become what you think about most of the time. Your thoughts control who and what you become.

Napoleon Hill refers to the secret but does not state exactly what it is but rather alludes to it throughout the book. He states “In every chapter of this book, mention has been made of a money making secret which has made fortunes for more than 500 exceedingly wealthy men whom I carefully analyzed over a long period of years” And this:

“If you are ready to put it to use, you will recognise it at least once in every chapter. When it appears you will recognise it”

The opening paragraph on Think and Grow Rich states, “Truly, thoughts are things, and powerful things at that, when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a burning desire for their translation into riches, or other material objects.”

Further evidence comes from the writings of Andrew Carnegie, the man Napoleon Hill studied for many years:

“Here is the prime condition of success, the great secret. Concentrate your energy, thought and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged. Having begun in one line, resolve to fight it out on that line, to lead in it: adopt every improvement, have the best machinery, and know the most about it. This is the great secret…” Andrew Carnegie

The other key that Napoleon Hill focused on in his study of Carnegie was his belief that – ‘all achievement, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea’.

So you must have an idea, link positive thoughts of expectation to the idea, get focused, believe that you can do you it, create a plan, take action and never give up. To sum up:

The Hidden Secret in Think and Grow Rich.

Step 1
Have a burning desire to one major definite purpose.

Step 2
Have faith that you will succeed.

Step 3
Create a definite plan and take action.

Step 4
Never give-up until you achieve your one major definite purpose.

When these steps are properly executed in the correct sequential order on a consistent basis you cannot fail but to achieve your major goal.

If your results are not what you want them to be – examine what you have been thinking about on a daily basis and you will see that your results match your thoughts – exactly. If you want to change your results, change what you think about on a daily basis. Your outer physical world will match your inner mental world – perfectly. If you have not aligned your thinking then you will have the experience of incongruence – nothing will match.

The best way to find out if your thoughts are aligned with reality is to look at what you are currently experiencing. For example, if you want to experience success in your job, you first have to identify what success means to you. Does success mean promotions, more money, or more responsibility?

As I have said before, the key is taking action. Sitting back and wishing will not make it happen. You need to know clearly what you are chasing and once you have the picture take action to get it.

This is true for all areas of prosperity.  If you want to be rich you need to start a business, get a better job or enrol in that course, if you want to be healthy you need to turn off the TV and exercise, if you want to be a great musician you have to practice. Wishing these things will not make them happen no matter how positive your mindset!

The benefits we get by along the way of creating prosperity are great.  Real abundance comes from striving for more, daring to be bold, imaginative and creative.  You make things happen and that gives you more confidence. As a side benefit significant personal growth happens.  To manifest more, you have to become more.

The secret of ‘The Secret’ is no secret at all

April 8, 2010

 

No secret here!

When we start talking about success and prosperity it’s inevitable that ‘The Secret’ comes up in the conversation. I have to say that:

1. It’s not actually a secret and has been acknowledged for hundreds of years

2. It’s based on the Law of Attraction which fundamentally says your  thoughts, both conscious and unconscious, create what happens in your life

3. Is the basis of what Napoleon Hill wrote about in Think and Grow Rich (1937) and Wallace Wattles in The Science of getting Rich (1910)

4. It’s not magic, mysterious, nor does it have religious connotations

I have to confess to being over the hype that ‘The Secret’ created and the commercialisation around it. The benefit is that it introduced the concept of the Law of Attraction to a wide audience but took a very simplistic view of how to apply it and tied it up in mythical proportions around ‘The Universe’. There is a lot of mystery but very little how to apply it.

The key premise is that your thoughts control what you become, what you believe you can achieve and that a positive mental attitude will attract positive things to you. We all understand the benefit of a positive mental attitude and how that assists us to become successful.

I have written before that there is no traction without action. Watching the secret 20 times or waking up in the morning and chanting positive affirmations or attending seminars will not make it happen. They may be good to get yourself into the correct mind space but alone are not enough.

So unless you’re Harry Potter things are not going to mysteriously materialise in your life you have to apply some discipline and put in the effort to make it happens. The book and movie don’t expressly lay it out for you but I will, so here in plain English is the process to make the ‘Secret’ or Law of Attraction work for you:

Making the Law of Attraction work for you

You need to have a very clear picture of what it is you want. Set a clear goal so you can work towards it. Every time I have set a specific goal that I can easily ‘visualise’ I find ways of making it become a reality. Both my conscious and subconscious mind are working to ‘solve my problem’. You may have heard it said that all things are created twice: once in the mind and second in reality.

Next on the agenda is focus. If you have too many goals you cannot possibly work on them all simultaneously so pick your top one or two and prioritise them. We have all been guilty of working on too many ‘projects’ at once and the usual result is that we make very little progress with any of them.

The most important part is to then have a clear plan and take action. Without action nothing will happen and this is where ‘The Secret’ gives the impression that with a positive mind set and energy that the desired result will manifest itself before you. Won’t happen. No one is going to drop a new Porsche off in your drive or deposit a million dollars in your bank account.

The final piece of the puzzle is to be confident and never give up. Tony Robbins talks about taking ‘massive action’ and if it doesn’t work try something else until it does work and that you only fail if you give up.

I’m sure you have all heard the story of Edison failing 1000 times before he invented the light bulb or Colonel Sanders making a similar number of calls before someone would take on his chicken recipe. Whether the numbers are correct or not is not the point, not giving up is.

To summarise:

1. Set a goal that you want to achieve and describe it in detail so you can clearly see it  in your mind.

2. Focus your thoughts and energy on the goal and visualise the outcome

3. Work out a clear plan of how you intend to get there and allow yourself the time to come up with it

4. Take action and start working towards your goal. Don’t be discouraged if you have to change course along the way.

5. Don’t give up, keep trying and if it’s not working try something else and keep positive

I’m sure you’ve heard of these steps in various forms in the past and it’s just common sense without the hype.

So there you have it the ‘secret’ of The Secret!

In my next post I will show you how all of this links through to the concepts of prosperity, attraction, manifestation and why Think and Grow Rich has been so popular for over 70 years. I will also explain clearly the secret ( a lot of these going around) contained within the pages that Napoleon Hill alludes to but refuses to state which leaves so many readers frustrated.

Advice for those starting out

April 8, 2010

 

Watch this space

A number of people have asked me about my personal views on what constitutes success and how it has impacted my life. I thought the best way was to share an extract from a note I wrote for my daughter when she finished school.  She has just turned 18.

Dear Holly,

You have asked about the secret to success.

Set your goals, work hard, never give up and have fun along the way. It’s that simple. No magic wand or quick fixes, to succeed you have to be focused and keep going when others quit and unfortunately most people do. They quit school, drop out of Uni, take an easy job, do the bare minimum and quit when it gets difficult. Then they sit on the couch at night watch 5 hours of television and complain that it’s not fair, the other person is lucky or ‘the system’ is out to get them. They blame everyone except themselves.

It has taken me 20 years to become ‘successful’. I have worked very hard to get the CEO position I strived to achieve and it often meant doing more than others were prepared to do. The question is ‘How bad do you want it?’ Starting out is hard. It’s hard to get through school, hard to get through Uni and hard to make a path for yourself in the world.

I’ve had my share of knocks, been treated unfairly, fought for promotions and persisted always putting in the extra effort until I got where I wanted to be. Then you keep doing it. It’s not easy but I’ve seen many smarter, more talented people drop by the wayside because they weren’t prepared to invest in themselves. You can’t be the sort of person to settle for second best.

Decide to have a work ethic of success and stick to it. Finish what you start and put in the extra effort when others aren’t prepared to. Some obstacles you have to go around rather than through. If you know where you are going there are many paths to get you there.

Some of the greatest obstacles in life are the negative people and those that aspire to mediocrity.

These people will try to bring you down and sometimes they may be friends or people that should know better. Why? They don’t want you to succeed where they have failed because it makes them look and feel bad. They want you to be just the same as them. If I had listened to all this so called ‘good advice’ I wouldn’t have done anything!

‘Why would you want to do that Holly? Why do you work so hard? Why not relax and have a bit of fun?’ What they are really saying is come and be average with the rest of us who have never done anything with our lives. By all means listen to advice but make your own judgement.

Is career achievement success? For me it is along with a happy family, our health, great friends and the ability to enjoy ourselves. Balance is the key.

Strive to be the best you can be then kick it up a notch and be even better. When you reach a goal allow yourself to enjoy it, perhaps reward yourself but also ask ‘What’s next?’ The goal you find difficult today will be just a stepping stone to something even bigger in the future.

While most people float along allowing life to happen to them I say swim against the current, take control and make life serve you. There is more wealth in the world than anyone can ever spend, it doesn’t run out and the universe is abundant so if you want it you can have it.

As well as a career you need to start investing.

My advice is to get into property as early as you can.
When we bought our first house (1988) interest rates were 18% and the repayments were $1,800 a month and I was bringing home $1,900 a month at the time! So we rented it out for a couple of years and got on top of it.

As soon as we could afford it we bought our first investment property, a small flat in East Melbourne. Talk about panic, I couldn’t image how I was ever going to cover the repayments. In a relatively short time the value of the property went up and so did the rent and it was paying for itself. We then used the increased equity to buy another one. Now 8 properties later it all takes care of itself.

Time ages our bodies but conformity and loss of enthusiasm leaves welts upon the soul. It is impossible for someone else to tell you what path to follow, no matter how good their intentions. Success and happiness are not distant goals to capture and hold, they are the cumulative result from everything you do.

In life, regardless of what you do, give your best and you’ll be successful.

Have a wonderful life Holly and I look forward to sharing and celebrating it all with you. 

The pace of time…..

April 8, 2010

Ticking away the moments....

Despite the many time saving devices, instant communication and technology that allows us to do things NOW, we often complain of not having time, the pace of everyday life and the speed of the years flying by. The paradox is the more labour saving, time saving devices we have the less free time we seem to have for ourselves.

Remember a time before email, mobile phones, Blackberry and iPhones? Remember when we were content to wait 3 working days for a letter to be sent by mail or when we left the office on a Friday and that was where the work stayed – not coming with us on a laptop or being messaged on a Saturday morning when at your kids football game. Remember when we had to wait for Thursday’s paper to see what was on TV for the week or Friday’s Gig Guide to decide what we were going to do on the weekend?

Is this what we mean by the ‘good old days’ and what our parents mean when they say the pace of yesteryear was slower more measured and relaxed? Yes, we can turn the technology off but do we dare – even for a day?

There’s no denying the immense benefits that instant communication provides to us. Its influence on us is a result, not a cause – the result of an unseen accelerating process taking place within ourselves, a recalibration of our own expectations.

We still have 365 days a year, 7 days a week, 24 hours in a day and 60 minutes in an hour. That hasn’t changed in the last couple of thousand years.

We can accept the effect of technology with its instant communication, the technical metallisation of so many human activities that previously required at least some physical presence, or any of the other advancements of life that are being brought about by the new technologies.

These are, more often than not, good things but we need to consider how much of this progress is accompanied by the fact that we need less and less conscious attention to perform their activities and lead our lives. Thereby the feeling of the perpetually increasing speed of life.

Will we, like Neo in The Matrix, wake in an artificial cocoon to find that life is just an illusion? It’s as if each of us lives in a personalised prison that feels like home, living separate deluded realities linked by collective karma into one ‘reality’.

The effects of advancing technology, for all the promise it offers the world has, to many people, placed the instant satisfaction of desire above the art of living. To be present, truly present, is to have conscious attention. How many forms of technology are within your grasp right now?

Does electronic communication replace the physical? Our family car was a place of discussion, laughter and sharing. Now only silence as my three children, iPod’s firmly in place are texting, twittering or in my sons case gaming on his Nintendo.

It is not, therefore, the pace of change that is the source of our problem of time. It’s our reaction to it and the way we allow it to seamlessly influence our lives. Enjoy the many benefits technology provides us but also know when to take life ‘off line’, slow down and smell the roses.

The meaning of life

April 8, 2010

I had not heard of George Carlin before his death. He was an American comedian, social commentator and was noted for his thoughts on politics, the English language, psychology and religion. As he approached his death he reflected on life. I want to share that with you here as I truly believe he has captured the message of life perfectly.

A message by George Carlin:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways , but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete…

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. 

Why I really dislike self improvement

April 8, 2010

Be happy with yourself today

I really dislike the term ‘self improvement’.

The very term is negative in that it assumes that your current state is somewhere less than ideal and that something is missing or wrong. What’s wrong with me? Absolutely nothing and you may be very happy with where you are in your life – you’re one of the lucky ones.

Here’s one definition I found:  ‘Self improvement is the continuous struggle to better ourselves by transcending our weaknesses and limitations.’ Heavy duty negativity there, who wants to face up to that?

‘Self improvement’ for me conjures an image of a sharp dressed presenter with a big smile yelling out to an audience to jump up and down and ‘take it beyond level 10 people!’ This is like fairy floss – looks colourful, tastes great but has very little substance and leaves you feeling a little sick if you have too much. Great for entertainment but it doesn’t change anything in the long term.

So be happy with yourself today and if you wish set goals of personal growth and learning for the future. Life time learning is a fantastic skill and allows us to remain open to new ideas as we progress through our life. Here’s six ways to make it happen:

1. Walk the Talk

It’s easy to spend time reading and talking about making changes to our lives. All the books in the world won’t help unless we’re prepared to take action towards our goals. Books can give us inspiration but the real test is whether we can take that first step and follow through.

2. Discipline/regularity

Personal growth and learning is not something that we can do once a week when we feel like it and it does require a discipline and regularity. Discipline may bring to mind negative connotations but the discipline here is the motivation to continue doing the right things – towards our goals. After a while regularity becomes a habit, a part of our life that we enjoy.

3. Where’s your focus?

Personal growth doesn’t mean we become selfish or focus exclusively on ourselves. It’s a paradox of personal growth that real progress comes when we focus less on our ego and opens ourselves to others. And we may just learn something along the way!

4. Vision and Goals

One of the first requirements of personal growth is that we must have a goal to aim for. Even if our goals are very modest it’s important to have something to measure our progress. Much has been written on goal setting but it can be as easy as writing down 3 or 4 things that you want to do or achieve and start working towards them.

5. Inspiration from Others

Seek the company of like minded people. There is great power in association, when we mix with people who have achieved what we want in their own lives it’s easier to make it happen in ours. It’s amazing what we can achieve when we can see the results in others. What’s important is the inspiration and encouragement we receive so be careful who you share your vision with.

6. The Power of Happiness

Real personal growth requires a more holistic approach than merely understanding the concept as an intellectual exercise. We need to make our goals achievable and celebrate the wins along the way. When we’re happy we can easily make progress. If we’re under pressure and frustrated everything becomes difficult. The feeling of accomplishment gives us power and should be enjoyed and will spur us on for more.