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.

3+
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.
3+
CategoriesActionThink About It

Horse to Water

“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him* drink.”

I love this proverb. I simply say “Horse to water” as I don’t think people need to hear the whole thing anymore. People quickly grasp what you are saying. (And it eliminates the whole gender issue that way, so double bonus.)

It’s amazing how many people are swimming in water (i.e. lots of opportunities), but they won’t commit to a drink (i.e. they don’t act on them).

We live in the most amazing period of time in all of history. The most opportunities for the greatest amount of people, with the least friction and fewest obstacles to get in the way.

99% of the obstacles people see are just mirages in their mind. Focus on the opportunities and those mirages will disappear.

I wish you could all see the opportunities before your eyes. Focus more attention on coming up with the Results! Not reasons.

The next time someone gives you a valid piece of advice, or suggestion, think about it. Go for it.

Don’t be that thirsty horse. ?

(*this is the original quote. Sub in “her” if that makes it better for you)

3+
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.

6+
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!

6+
CategoriesActionProgress

Uncomfortable to Unstoppable

Frequently people stop because something is uncomfortable. People will often shy away from a challenge because it is socially uncomfortable (what people might think or say if you tried), physically uncomfortable (a challenging skill or strenuous) or mentally uncomfortable (trying to solve a difficult problem).

If only people remembered that you always have to get through that uncomfortable stage before you can get to the unstoppable stage.

If you can remember, you were usually uncomfortable when you started doing anything for the first time. It could have been putting your hand up in class, or speaking in a meeting (social), learning a new sports skill (physical) or learning your times tables (mental).

The trick to remember is that it always gets better and easier if you put in the effort and accept greater guidance from someone who knows how. Then if you keep trying, practicing and developing, you will start to be quite good at it (witness anyone progressing through times tables or solving a Rubik’s Cube).

Then if you practice even more, you can become unstoppable. What a great feeling that is. To know you are one of the best in a certain endeavour.

That period of being uncomfortable is the way the Universe checks to see who really is interested in progressing further.

To progress from Uncomfortable to Unstoppable, you need Action Not Words.

Go do it!

5+
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!

4+
CategoriesFinancialThink About It

Investment Returns v Time

I find it fascinating that there are so many different ways to calculate financial returns. Some people look at returns differently.

From gross yield to infinite returns, IRR, ROCE, ROE, ROI etc.

ROI, or Return On Investment, comes up often, especially in property conversations, which is something we spend a fair bit of time having.

But very few people discuss ROTI, or Return On Time Invested.

You might consider time when you start a new job and wonder, is this worth my time. Your salary and benefits would be your return on your time invested at a job. Though, if you were told the job would be 35 hours a week and you regularly work 70 hours, your ROTI would be half what you thought it would be.

If you are an entrepreneur, your ROTI can be a little discouraging in the first couple of years as you might work very long hours while planting the seeds for your business, and not getting much back in return.

As you don’t know how much time you’ll have in this life, before it’s all over, and you can’t get any more of it, you are best to allocate or spend every minute wisely.

By the way, your returns don’t have to be measured strictly in financial terms when measuring ROTI. The returns you get might be the joy of spending great moments with your family, spouse, kids, parents, friends, etc.

So when you consider your financial return on investment, also consider your ROTI. What you may have to give up in time, to achieve certain returns, may not make the investment worthwhile.

4+
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.

5+
CategoriesActionThink About It

How Important Is This?

If I want to gauge how important something is to me or to someone else, I put it through the same filter I have since I was in my teens. This filter I use is the following: Is the person using the care, diligence and urgency that I imagine a heart or brain surgeon would use on the country’s leader or that a Marine or SAS operative would use on a special mission?

These scenarios are life and death. Mistakes can cost lives, including your own, if you were the patient or the operative.

These people will be highly trained, well drilled, and focused on a successful outcome. They will confidently take action to achieve their desired result.

They probably don’t use phrases like, “I kinda feel like I can give it a try and then we will just see what happens.” Certainly words you do not want to hear from your heart surgeon as they are putting you under…

5+