CategoriesGoals, Results & New ThinkingReframe your thoughtsTime

New Beginnings

Setting off in a new direction can be both exciting and intimidating. The future could bring untold opportunity or challenges.

Regardless of what is to come, or how the change has come about, or whether you wanted the change or not, the best thing you can do is to take a deep breath, stand tall, smile and go forward, with an open mind and the confidence that things tend to work out well for those looking for things to work out well.

We can focus on the past, the “what could have been’s“, the plans you had, etc., but that is over now and new paths are to be forged. Allow yourself 5 minutes to mourn your loss, and not more, because every minute of life is too precious to dwell on unavailable paths.

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CategoriesActionReframe your thoughts

Grouping Can Be Misleading

Canadians are, Brits do, Americans like. Africans think, Latinos say, Asians believe.

I can’t change how everyone communicates, but I’m sure global communication would improve if people made more realistic statements about the group of people they were actually talking about.

I saw a tweet about how, “Canadians criticise Trudeau” for buying $4 doughnuts that were locally sourced, and made, in Winnipeg. It was just some Canadians, not all 37 million. The headline wasn’t clear how many Canadians were criticising, but I tend to read these things as “all” rather than say two hundred. There is a big difference.

Perhaps media rules could be implemented so that when referring to a group of people, the headline must indicate proportionality. So the headline could have started with “100’s of Canadians criticise Trudeau”. This headline doesn’t excite or intrigue as much as the other, but then it shouldn’t.

While we’re at it, perhaps media outlets, and all providers of content, should also be required to include phrases like, “in my opinion” or “in this papers view”. And wouldn’t it be fun if there was a little penalty for those that say things like, “it’s a well known fact” – when it is actually an opinion or simply made up.

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CategoriesReframe your thoughtsThink About It

200 Years Ago

History repeats itself. Or, more accurately, as Bon Jovi sang, in his 1980’s mega hit, Wanted Dead Or Alive, “It’s all the same, only the names will change”.

People, things, events, activities and outcomes, tend to be very similar to those in the last 200 to 2,000 years. We still eat, communicate and travel, though maybe we’ve swapped hunting for grocery stores, telegraphs for mobiles and horses for aeroplanes. It’s all the same thing, just faster, better, shinier – but you still get the same outcome.

I have to look back about 200 years, at least, to remind myself of a truer sense of the basics of life: how things were without the modern world overlaid on it.

If you only looked back 50 years, you’d still think Final Salary Pensions were the norm and home ownership should be in the region of 70%, etc. You could fool yourself into thinking that things are getting worse or that this new generation is missing out on all the great things that the last one had.

The reality is though, that the last several decades have dramatically skewed many people’s view of the world and what expectations people might or should have. Now if you want to suffer the deep challenges of the Expectation versus Reality Gap, go right ahead and think about life based on recent history.

However, if you want to overcome this ER Gap trap that can lead you into darkness and a depressive state, then I highly recommend thinking about things through a 200 – 500 year lens to remind you how far things have actually progressed. And yet, it’s all the same.

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CategoriesReframe your thoughtsTime

Measuring Time

How you measure or calculate time will give a useful indication of your respect for time and whether it will be your ally or adversary.

Do you measure time to get somewhere based on your best ever journey? Worst? Median journey time? Do you include the time it takes to put on your shoes and coat, walk to the car, get the sat-nav ready with the address, find parking, walk to the location, pass security, wait for and ride the lift/elevator and be in a queue at the reception desk? Or do you just measure A to B time and then wonder why you are often several minutes late.

When you sign up for a course that is three hours long every Thursday for four weeks, do you think that it is just 12 hours of your time committed? Or do you realise, and factor in, that it is maybe 17-20 hours more (pre course prep, travel each week – both ways, review notes, prep for test, arrive early and chats at the end), making it about 30 hours in total of time allocation?

And when you add the course into your life for four weeks, do you also subtract out about 30 hours of something that is already there? You will have to sacrifice something in order to allow space for the course. You may sacrifice time with friends, time eating, time at work, time with your family, time with tv or other (social?) media, or time sleeping – which, to be fairly realistic, this is usually the first casualty of more.

People tend not to give as much thought to what they will be removing from their life as they do to what they will be adding in to their life. This one little observation is, I believe, one of the key reasons many people can’t stick to a New Years resolution. It’s unsustainable to add almost 7 hours a week to your schedule without subtracting 7 hours as well. After several weeks of trying to cram the usual activities, plus something more, into a 24 hour period, and a seven day week, usually we start to get sleep deprived, exhausted or ill, and we try to revert back to how it was without the more.

So next time you are looking for something new to add into your life, prime yourself for success: make sure you remove something which requires a similar amount of time (but not sleep). You’ll feel better for it, keep your commitment for a longer time and maybe find that the other activity wasn’t really bringing enough joy to your life to keep it in there anyway.

If you found this post, about time, to be usefully thought provoking, I suggest you also have a look at The Thrill of Being Early.

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CategoriesPropertyReframe your thoughtsThink About It

Property Perspectives

How do you decide what is most accurate? There are so many different views on property. This is mostly because there are so many different people with different experiences. People, generally, will find what they are looking for. If they don’t like renting, or landlords, or banks, they will find ideas and data to back up their perspective. And if a person likes investing, DIY or moving around a lot, they will find data and ideas that will support those perspectives.

However, let’s ignore, for the moment, all of the opinions about property that are being expressed these days, based on the current situation. Remember to take things back 200 or even 500 years ago to get some real perspective. 500 years ago, people used houses as shelter, to protect themselves from the elements.

I would imagine most people, save for the hardened cynics, would agree housing is better now than it was 500 years ago. Electricity, heating systems, indoor plumbing, fresh running water, television and wi-Fi to name just a few modern miracles.

Preferences for owning your own property or renting one, is based on emotion and your desires in your imagined perfect world. But when it comes down to the very basic idea of having shelter from the wind, the rain and the cold, you probably wouldn’t care too much about the mechanism for having access to that property.

Have a look at this video put out by The Economist a couple of days ago. Try to watch it unemotionally. There are quite a few comments and points that could be debated. See if you can challenge your own perspectives and see the other points raised.

Think about the points you have been programmed to agree or disagree with. Think through the alternate view and try to own that view, if just for a minute.
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CategoriesActionProgressReframe your thoughts

The Thrill of Being Early

Can you remember the last time you arrived somewhere early? Relaxed, composed, delighted. Maybe even just a little bit pleased with having pulled it off.

Maybe you were 15 minutes early, ahead of everyone else, and were able to greet everybody as they arrived. Perhaps you enjoyed your new status as the early bird and you even thought this might make a good habit to adopt.

Even if you were bang on time, it’s still such a thrill to arrive by the time you were expected. I know I love that feeling. It feels so very good. So what do you need to do to consistently get that early bird calm and confidence?

There are three critical success factors in arriving early. Do these with every meeting, appointment or event and you’ll get to experience that thrill of already winning, if only because of the time that you arrived.

First, you must realistically work backwards from the 15 minute early mark. So if your appointment is at 10:00, aim to be exactly in the spot you need to, but by 09:45. In doing so, you must recall your average times required to prepare yourself and journey to the destination. This preparation includes what you need to wear or bring, and assessing transport, weather, parking, security on arrival, possibility of meeting people on the way, etc.

Second, you must add in some contingency time on top of the first step. It depends on the distance travelled, but as an example, if it is within an hour, add 15 minutes (for traffic, bad weather or meeting someone you know en route). If your destination is overseas, add one to two days, depending on the importance of the event.

Third, you must know when to stop doing things beforehand and transition into get ready mode. You must not do, “Just one more thing”. Set a timer on your phone if you must to alert you to the transition moment. But, when it is time to transition into get ready and go mode, you must focus on that and not become distracted or engaged in anything else. You have no “spare” time. You have already calculated the time required to be there early and that extra contingency time was for unexpected things, not to borrow from.

If you do these three things, you will be early 95% of the time and get to feel the thrill of being early as your reward. There are so many other benefits from being early though too, such as a calmer mind on the journey, appreciation from others involved in the event and a sense of personal control and mental power.

At one event, to which I had arrived early, the benefit was that I was able to speak to the CEO of one of the world’s largest telecoms companies, for almost 15 minutes, before he had to prepare to address the arriving audience. Definitely worthwhile.

Develop the three-step habit above and you will get the thrill of arriving early, more and more, as your big new habit of arriving early is developed and reinforced, until it is firmly in your programming.

You may find the benefits to be priceless.

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CategoriesGoals, Results & New ThinkingReframe your thoughts

RESULTS!

We all want results. We want the outcome we envisage in our head.

We do not want reasons. We do not want excuses.

As Jim Rohn said, “Results are the name of the game!”

Reasons or results. You will always get one or the other.

One of my favourite quotes, which has been sitting on my desk for over a year now, is…..

“Results don’t lie.” – Unknown

Whether you are losing weight, training for an event, or trying to earn more money, you can always tell how you are doing by the actual results.

If you want to be brutally honest with yourself, check your results.

Good luck!

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CategoriesReframe your thoughtsThink About It

I Am Ready

Even when I’m not ready, these three little words, said out loud, whether softly to myself or announced with meaning, make me feel more ready than I would be.

Much has been written about the power of I Am. It has incredible power: Like a fundamental key to our natural programming.

When you say those two words, be careful which words you add after them.

For now though, get yourself in the right mindset. Start saying to yourself, “I am ready”. You’ll be surprised at how much sooner you will be ready.

Let the (mind) games begin!

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CategoriesReframe your thoughtsThink About It

You Always Have A Choice

No matter what the situation, you always have a choice. Now the best choice, from your perspective, may be obvious, or the idea of one of the choices may be revolting or incomprehensible, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have a choice. It simply means you have a preference for one of the options and are not interested in the other option.

Sometimes we hear the words, “I don’t have a choice”, or, “I didn’t have a choice”. It may feel, or seem, like our choices are limited to one, but it isn’t actually true. It’s just a story you tell yourself, and others, to try to rationalise or justify your decision and action.

For people who don’t like to take personal responsibility, who are often looking for someone else to blame, these kind of comments are perfect. They feel they can be absolved, as they didn’t have a choice. “The devil made me do it”, is a classic excuse to try to escape personal responsibility.

If you find yourself challenging the above idea, that we always have a choice, you may find success, and joy, are more elusive than you had hoped.

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