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My daughter is about to start her last year in primary school. As a confident 10 year old it is amazing to see how she has developed over the years.

From a baby who was totally dependant on parents for her survival to a young lady who is blossoming with a wonderful spirit and attitude to life. She attends a local private school which I scrimp and save for to give her the best start I could give her in her education. Soon she will be taking exams to see if she get’s into Grammar School or not.

She has just been made headgirl for her last year and this in itself makes me burst with pride over what my little girl has achieved.

As I have always said to her, it’s not about the winning, but it is about WANTING to win. “Go out and give it the best you can” I always say to her.

So last Friday, it was my turn to feel this approach. It was the School Sports day and that can only mean one thing… The PARENTS RACE.

I was sat down watching the kids go through their races, knowing all too soon I would have to make that choice, will I enter the race or sit quietly and watch others do it. I had entered the previous year and had suffered for days after as my legs wondered what the heck had hit them. It had been 24 years since I had sprinted 100 meters and my legs showed their disapproval by refusing to work properly for 4 days after.

Since leaving school (and my last sprint)  I have been a regular gym goer, done kickboxing, achieved blackbelt in Karate, but nothing could have prepared me for the pain of SPRINTING 100 metres.

SO here I am wondering, DO I ENTER this year.

The announcement comes over the tannoy, “WOULD ALL PARENTS WHO WISH TO RACE PLEASE MAKE THEIR WAY TO THE START LINE.” I glance up in the direction of my daughter who is shouting and waving frantically, “GO ON DAD, GO ON DAD” (repeat over and over).

Remembering what I said to her, (it’s not winning but it is WANTING to win) I make my way to the start line.

My pulse is beginning to quicken as I get nervous. The whistle goes, and we’re off. or should I say, all the other dad’s are off. I am running but with little speed from my youth remaining (and I’m sure all the other dad’s are at least 10 years younger than me :)).

I actually did better than I thought, and finished 5th after making up ground in the later stages. My daughter is happy I took part and did the best I could and I am happy as I realise that my legs still work.

Since the race (5 days ago) I spent 4 of those days in agony as my legs keep cramping up and wonder what the heck I am doing at my age.  But was it worth it? YES. Because I wanted to show my daughter how important it is to always do your best and have a go even if you know you can’t win.

Next year is my daughters last sports day in primary school. I have a choice now. Do I enter next years race and feel the pain after or feign injury and allow my legs to live in peace?  Actually I have chosen a 3rd option.

I am going to prepare next year by changing my gym workout and doing some short sharp sprint in advance to prepare my legs. That way I get to make my daughter proud of me whilst ensuring I don’t kick myself in the process (if my legs worked that is).

So keep making the right choices for yourself and those around you in your life and remember to prepare as best you can for whatever is coming your way.

Thanks for reading and please do visit my website www.darrentoms.com for more inspiring and thought provoking stuff

Published this earlier today and then saw this in the Daily Mail Website… http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1292609/Take-easy-sports-day-physiotherapists-warn-parents-half-reveal-theyve-treated-injured-mums-dads.html

When I was 10 years old I recall listening the radio when Kenny Everitt was on. He was running a competition and I had to guess the name of the disguised voice. It was back in the days when you had to send in postcards. No phone in’s, no texting, no emails, this was good old fashioned postcards.

I recall I was convinced I was going to win because I knew who the voice was. As it happened I didn’t win and that was the start of something that I only recently realised would have such an impact on my life.

From that moment on I never bothered to enter any more competitions. Why? Because I felt that there was no way I could ever win. With so many people entering all these competitions, whether on cereal packets, to radio shows, to TV shows. I never bothered to enter them because I knew that I would never win.

The challenge with this kind of thinking is it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy and it can impact other areas of your life.

I would always drive to the car parks instead of looking for car parking spaces on the road, because I believed I would never find one on the road.

Of course I never found one on the road BECAUSE I never went looking for one.

With my coaching practice I often challenge the beliefs of my clients to see whether they are limiting beliefs.

I have done the same with myself over the last few years and have noticed some interesting things.

Actually it all started with my wife telling to go and look for car spaces rather than going and paying for parking. Suddenly I started finding spaces. Not all the time but on many occasions I would find the perfect spot.

My wife also started letting my stepson enter competitions. He actually won a big one recently and ended up in a national TV campaign for a range of children toys. He was flown to Manchester and stayed overnight and had a fantastic time.

My stepdaughter, who loves musical theatre, auditioned for shows and started getting the parts.

So would the same happen for me? I started believe that I could win. I put it to the test when recently entering a radio competition. It was a golden hour competition and I rang and rang and eventually got through to the DJ. I won the competition with a family day out at a local holiday park. Not the biggest prize but I have really started noticing that if you belief you can win then you stand a chance.

Entering a competition does not guarantee winning, but NOT entering guarantees NOT winning.

This can be applied to other areas of life as well. From getting that parking space to winning a promotion, or getting that perfect job. It can even apply to businesses looking to develop new products or services.

Anything is possible and it starts with what you believe in.

Is what you believe in helping you or hindering you. If it’s hindering you then start to change what you think you can achieve and reap the rewards for that subtle change in your thinking.

Come visit my website for more information on how you can change your life forever. www.darrentoms.com

This week in UK we have been lucky enough to witness the, now annual, spectacle that is, Britain’s Got Talent. Simon Cowell’s talent show that uncovers some incredible acts, all hoping to be win a place at The Royal Variety Show and a serious amount of cash.

I believe America’s Got Talent starts next week (here on ITV 2 anyway)

This week it has been semi final week, (how you can have 5 semi finals is beyond me but I digress) with 8 acts a night performing and then two acts going through the LIVE final on Saturday night.  We have a dancing dog (Go Chandi) which personally has my vote, singers, a fantastic dancing duo who you have to watch to believe (Twist & Pulse), Spellbound who do stuff that really shouldn’t be possible and a comedian / impressionist who is ACTUALLY very funny.

Alas though as well as 10 finalists we also have 36 acts that didn’t make it past the semi finals. As I was watching this week it was interesting to see the body language when the results were announced and they realised the dream was over. Tonight after the final we’ll have another 9 acts to add to those that are disappointed they didn’t win.

They’ll be tears for some and graceful acceptance from others. This is actually the first year where I haven’t got a clear view on who will win. I was wrong last year though as I thought SuBo AKA Susan Boyle would walk it. Of course though, she didn’t. She came second.

This is where hope plays its part for the future for the acts that didn’t win. Does NOT winning equal failure? NO. It means only what it means. That being, you came X place in a competition called Britain’s Got Talent. Anything more than that is just a thought.

Susan Boyle came 2nd last year but has gone from strength to strength with her own profile and career. Finishing further down the rankings are Stavros Flatley. An act that captured the nation and are still going strong.

So how can all this help you in your life? It is a great metaphor to remind us that whilst there are disappointing things that happen to us like:

  • not winning BGT
  • Not getting that promotion
  • Not getting the job offer
  • Not getting a pay-rise
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • and so many more

They are just what is happening at that moment. It doesn’t define the future it only defines right NOW. Sure it is OK to get disappointed but it’s how you respond to this news that matters.

Whatever happens tonight does not guarantee success [or failure] for any of the acts. It’s what they do next that matters.

Same for you, whatever has happened, has happened. You can’t change it and wishing it hadn’t happened is just a waste of time. Decide what you are going to do to take advantage of the situation you are in.

Keep making the right choices for yourself and those around you.

Regards

Darren

www.darrentoms.com

p.s. Vote Chandi the amazing dog (with Tina)