Snow, Ice, Thaw, Hot, Too Hot, Rain, More Rain, Snow, Ice, Christmas

That was 2010 in nut shell for me…

So what does will 2011 hold? and will my goals be helped or hindered by events I have no control over?

What about YOU?

Some people will make their new year resolutions tonight, wake with a hangover tomorrow and with the best of intentions, try to live by these resolutions for as long as possible.

  • Give up smoking
  • Get fitter
  • go to the gym more often (that wouldn’t be hard as I hardly went after March this year)
  • Be happier
  • stop moaning
  • get perfect job
  • get perfect partner
  • etc etc etc

The challenge with this is that when LIFE takes over and we settle back to our routine, it is easy to continue the habits that we so want to break out of.

Life will throw things at us that we can’t control and then we revert back to OH WELL maybe next time (maybe NYE Dec 31 st 2011).

Do remember that your new years resolution should account for HOPES, DREAMS and WHAT YOU DO WANT but also a plan for what your response will be when things don’t plan out as hoped.

I don’t ‘wish’ you a great 2011 because things will happen you have NO CONTROL over. Whether it’s the weather (always good to moan about :)) your boss, your partner, the kids or even a traffic jam when you are in a rush.

2011 will hold challenges as well as great times and it’s up to YOU to choose the best way to respond.

I wish you the best mindset for 2011 and ensure you enjoy the journey all the way to Dec 31st 2011. That IS in your control.

Until next year 🙂

Darren

 

New Year New You Revolution.

It never fails to amaze me how often i used get to the end of a year and look back at what I have achieved with a sense of pride mixed with ‘I could have done more’.

As a coach I often work with clients who set themselves goals and hold themselves accountable for them. As we approach another year (2011 is 2 days away as a type this) I have just finished writing my own goals for the year, what I’ll achieve and how I’ll feel when I have done it. I work with my own coach to ensure my goals are HUGE and CHALLENGING and will enhance my life to be better and better.

Many people will have their own resolutions as we approach year end. For some they’ll be planned out, for others it’ll be a fleeting thought at 11.59pm on 31st December whilst preparing for a hangover the following day.

As we enter January life will go back to normal, the usual day to day challenges will [still] be there and it is easy to fall back into the old patterns of thinking, behaviour and action that got us the results we have in our life today.

If you want something different then you need to be doing something different.

So what will you resolution be?

Will it be well thought through? Will it be sustainable? Will you keep going and achieve it at the first sign of pressure?

It all depends on YOU!

Yes external events will cause you to be challenged but your success or failure in achieving your resolution is ALWAYS down to you.

Make sure you set goals that will inspire you to take action, notice what will happen when you achieve them and what will happen if you don’t achieve it.

But most of all decide to do something that gets you a positive result that you can measure so in December 2011 you can look back and say to yourself… WOW look what I achieved. Turn your resolution into a revolution and actually DO something rather than fall into the trap of having the best intentions but falling by the end of January

BBC News – Q&A: Snow chaos in the UK.

Whether the airports should have done more is a question for another time. Whether the highway agency should / could have done more is also for another time. At the moment in the Uk there is no doubt we are seeing weather that we haven’t seen for a very long time.

I would imagine the people in charge of airports, highway agencies etc we’re probably out playing in the snow the last time it was this bad in the country.

The news reports of people in airports, train stations etc have been pretty sad. People looking to get home and see their loved ones for Christmas and New Year. No doubt a feeling of panic can set in as we get closer to Christmas but still no sign of travel.

Then there are the people at home, looking to get to work, and back again. Getting shopping for Christmas has become a real challenge.

There is NO DOUBT that people are facing major challenges at this time but as I often say in my courses…

In life pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.

Whilst sitting in traffic, at home, on a train, in an airport remember that putting any energy into wishing it WASN’T happening won’t change it.

Decide instead to look at what YOU CAN do to make that moment enjoyable, bearable etc.

It’s not ideal, we all know that now but sometimes mother nature just shows us how strong she is and how unprepared we are. We don’t have a ‘right’ to travel. Sometimes we just need to do what we can and enjoy it. I would love to see a news report showing how people have got that spirit to make their situation as enjoyable as possible. Often times when the chips are down, human’s are at their best.

Have a safe Christmas and New Year wherever you may be this year and let’s hope the authorities have taken notice on how to plan and communicate better to their customers when things like this happen again.

BBC News – Woman who cannot feel fear may help in treating PTSD.

An interesting article about a woman with a crucial part of her brain missing. It’s called the Amygdala and controls, amongst other things, the fight, flight or freeze reactions to perceived danger.

The article discusses how this can help in research to those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

It’s an interesting article from my perspective as it shows that if this woman and I were confronted by the something scary our reactions would be different. Not because we witness something different but because our brains see the same thing but process the information differently. This leads to a different response.

My business is all about how the brain interprets the world we live in and how we choose to respond or react to it.

There are times when we need the Amygdala to take over and give us the instant reactions we need. e.g. When we are in danger and need to move quickly. There are also times when it would be useful to get control over our first instincts and challenge them.

Whether in business when we experience bad news and we react badly (that then creates a bad outcome) or in our personal life.

The picture in the article shows a spider. I HATE spiders. That is my instant reaction when I see one (Amygdala Hijack). That said since I have been involved in challenging my brain consciously I have noticed that I am able to overcome my fear and choose a response that enables me to deal with the spider rather than be a victim to it (metaphorically speaking of course).

What would having NO FEAR in certain areas of your life do for you? Would it be useful to challenge your beliefs about what you can and can’t achieve.

So long as this woman stays away from ACTUAL danger then I would say she could go on and do ANYTHING in her life because she is not afraid, not even afraid a failure.

Would love to hear your comments.

Cheers

Darren

The Bank of England in Threadneedle Street, Lo...

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BBC News – Cameron adviser quits over never had it so good claim.

With the government cuts looming, rising prices (especially petrol), VAT on the increase and what appears to be FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE sitting close by (looking at the amount of dark clouds and heavy rain we’ve been having) it’s no wonder people are being influenced to feel like the good times have passed by. Moving from Thriving to Surviving if you will.

So Lord Young‘s comments (a Daily Mail reporters wet dream) about how people in the UK have never had it so good was not really the brightest thing for the Governments Advisor to small business to be saying.

I’m not sure there are many small businesses out there that are saying,”Yeah you know what, this recession was all made up and actually I have squillions of £’s stuffed under the mattress because I don’t trust the banks.”

Many small businesses are struggling in an environment where the prevailing winds are taking us somewhere we don’t want. Towards CUTS CUTS CUTS. I am in favour of cuts, the country’s finances would embarrass any business owner if their own books were in the same state. I am however fed up of hearing how bad it is. Let’s start focusing on creating WEALTH and generating opportunities and stop taking a staring role in our own disaster movie.

So back to Lord Young, yes he was right, in the end. He was right because he stood down from his role and hopefully will crawl back to his mansion and live a happy life, leaving small business owners with the opportunity to work with a government adviser who is not only in the real world but also wants to help people in these challenging times.

When the winds fail…. take to the oars. If you run a small business please do not become a victim of the news reports. These times present you with a great opportunity to be creative and generate income regardless of what the press would have you believe.

BBC News – Do the poor have a right to live in expensive areas?.

It’s an interesting headline to say the least but the article content clarifies it somewhat. With house prices the level they are and people unable (or unwilling) to work, is it fair that people have to move away from some areas because they can’t afford it…

I live in Poole and have my eyes on my next house in Sandbanks… only trouble is that it costs approx £2,000,000. Does this make me ‘poor’? I guess it depends on what you compare it to.  Do I have a ‘right’ to live in Sandbanks?

No is the answer, I don’t have any right to have anything in my life unless I work for it and make it happen myself. Sure it’s ‘not fair’ that some people have more money than me…but surely that would also mean it’s unfair that I have more money than other people.

If you want something in life the only way to get it is do something positive that EARNS you the ‘right’ to have it. Nothing should be handed to you. Yes a society should help its most vulnerable people and that is only right and proper. But it doesn’t mean everyone who is ‘poor’ can move in with the Queen (not debating whether she ‘earns’ her money at this point).

If you want something in life, then do what you have to do to make it happen. We can make excuses about our own special circumstances but there are many people in this world who were at rock bottom and they decided to do something about it and turn their life around and they earn the right through positive actions rather than moaning about life circumstances.

Before I start I totally recognise that there are some situations we face in life that take a long time to come to terms with and we may never see them as opportunities. Things like a relative passing away and having a serious accident etc. However in life pain is inevitable, suffering however is not.

Responsibility is a word that Dr Stephen Covey (Author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) breaks into two parts. the Ability to Respond.

We are told over and over that we must take responsibility for our lives and situations we find ourself in. Often time we do one of two things. We moan about situations or try to apportion blame on others (it’s their fault I feel like this etc.)

If we do take responsibility we can still feel like victims of circumstances. e.g. I’m upset about what you have done. (You’re owning the feeling but still feeling rubbish about what has happened)

It’s great that in the second option we are taking responsibility but we aren’t necessarily taking ownership of what happens next.

Personal responsibility is all about owning your thoughts and feelings but also looking at how YOU can make the best out of any situation you are in. Whether it’s an argument with family or friends, whether you have just had the worst day ever or whether your business is not making enough money. All of these things are just information that you have become consciously aware of. What matters is what you do about it.

Often times we put a vast amount of energy into wishing that these things didn’t happen. But doing this never changes the fact it DID happen. So what matters is what you do next.

So it’s great if you have stopped blaming people, situations and circumstances for where you are in your life. the next step is to look at how you can turn wherever you are in your life or any situation you are in, into a positive outcome for you and those around you.

Life can be so enjoyable and yet we get wrapped up in little stories that can influence us to feel rubbish.

Keep making the right choices for you and those around you 🙂

I was driving home last night and for the first time since summer it was dark, rainy and cold. Not only that but the traffic was really heavy and there were roadworks no matter which route I seemed to take.

As I was sat in traffic I noticed how frustrated I was becoming, my thoughts turned to getting home and then having to take my dog out for a walk in the rain and then she’d get all muddy and then the house would get dirty and I’d be tired….blah blah blah… Suddenly… with these thoughts running around my head I realised that I was forcing myself to be in a bad mood.

I felt rubbish and yet the feeling wasn’t changing any of the triggers (weather, traffic etc).

So I turned off the radio and put on a Motivational CD about Positive Psychology with Andy Cope. I was fortunate enough to meet Andy at a conference a few weeks ago where we were both speaking. Please do visit his website http://www.artofbrilliance.co.uk/

It took a further 25 mins to work my way through the traffic and get home but in that time my thoughts were changing to look at life more positively. No matter what I did I knew the traffic was still going to be heavy, the rain was still going to fall and I still had to walk my dog. But I could either arrive home with all that happening in a good mood or a bad mood.

Changing my mood meant I was able to walk in the door and influence a better evening by keeping positive.

I know it is easier to be in a bad grumpy down mood when it’s raining and cold, but let’s face it I live in England and it’s now WINTER time and it will get dark early for the next 4-5 months. So I am going to do what I need to do in order to make my life happy no matter the weather or traffic

What do you do to keep yourself HAPPY during challenging times? and How do you react to people who are just grumpy no matter what?… (As Andy Cope call’s them…Mood Hoovers)

Hello sunshine! The UK enjoys unseasonably high temperatures, but grey skies are just around the corner | Mail Online.

 

Got to love this headline… A lovely weekend weather wise and the headline says as much. But typically it follows with a negative suggestion that ‘grey skies are coming’.

So after a fabulous weekend we are influence by this headline to think that grey skies are BAD. we’re heading into winter in the UK, the clocks will change soon (watch out of the usual moaning and negative headlines around that).

So should I now be miserable for the rest of the winter as these ‘grey skies’ come in?

I know it is easy to feel happy when the sun shines and it’s warm but what makes grey skies bad?

We can’t change the weather so I’m choosing to be happy and about the weather no matter what and focus on what I can do to be happy rather than be influences to be negative about it.

 

BBC News – Pirate Johnny Depp makes surprise school visit.

 

You know, every now and again someone who seems to be beyond the reach of ‘ordinary’ people do things that make them amazing.

Take Johnny Depp, a global superstar, woman want him and men want to be like him, who received a letter from a girl in a school asking him to pop along for their pirate themed day.

It would be easy for him to dismiss this and carry on with his superstar lifestyle yet Johnny decided to do something different.

Not only did he appear for the pirate theme day he even turned out in costume and character of Capt Jack Sparrow.

 

This will be a day the kids in that school remember forever and they also learned a special thing that day. That nothing is impossible, If you ask you may just get. It doesn’t guarantee it will happen but asking makes it more likely.

Well done to Johnny Depp for doing this and well done to the kids for even asking.