I believe that life is about reaching for your full potential and becoming the best version of you. You have the power to achieve amazing things, however your choices determine what you achieve. Choose to be phenomenal!
This is a short video that shares why I know you can reach greatness:
This is a video I have created, about how to create deep and meaningful relationships with those around you. Being able to connect quickly and authentically is such a powerful life skill and has massive benefits to you and the world around you.
These three strategies have literally changed my life, by vastly improving the relationships I have at work, at home and socially.
Hopefully, this advice can help you:
Everyday we get a little bit older. Everyday we lose another day of our future.
If we carry on doing the same things as we did yesterday, in five years time we will still be in the same place we are right now.
Or, if you decide to, you can change your life for the better. It starts with making a commitment: “Fulfilment or nothing”.
Once you have made this commitment, you can then start climbing towards a successful and fulfilled life. You can stop taking the path of least resistance. You can stop doing the things that don’t bring you happiness. Instead, you can take the high road. Instead, you can take the road towards your destiny.
When you decide to commit to fulfilment, you will find yourself climbing higher and higher. You will become stronger, you will become the person you want to be, you will become the best version of you.
“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence. Regardless of their chosen field of endeavour”
So I urge you… Climb a little higher everyday. Climb just 1% higher and I promise you when you do this, every night before you go to sleep, you will be able to say “I did something great today”.
Please don’t misunderstand me, climbing to fulfilment won’t just be sunshine and rainbows. It will be hard, it will be scary, you will feel fear and on occasion heartache too.
But if you keep on taking action everyday, you will learn from every hardship, from every disappointment and from every time you felt scared.
These moments will make you stronger. These moments prepare you for your destiny.
These moments are all worth it because when you commit to fulfilment, you will feel abundance, joy and ecstasy that is beyond words. Your life will take on a whole new level of success, happiness and fulfilment, just by climbing each day… even when it’s tough.
You will know the difficulties were worth it. You will know that you are worth it. You will know that you created your fulfilment. That you created your destiny.
You are the only problem you will ever have and you are your only solution.
It’s not your family.
It’s not your friends.
It’s not your job.
It’s not your boss, your circumstances or your luck.
It’s up to you.
Anything is possible when you know it is up to you.
Who are you?
This is such a simple question, but also equally difficult to answer well.
Most of us will be able to muster up a few answers, such as our name or maybe some of the roles in life we play, such as, mother, father, manager, leader…
Does that answer the question properly though? We are all more than a name, a job or a role, aren’t we?
What is the meaning of you? What do you stand for? What is your purpose? What do you give? What makes you magic?
Some people go searching for their life purpose, they will travel the world in an effort to ‘find themselves’. It is more common to find those people who ignore the idea that they have a purpose and just try to get through life as uneventfully as they can.
The truth is you don’t have to travel the world to work out who you are. That understanding is within you always. To fully discover it, you have to be prepared to ask yourself some challenging and deep questions… then be brave enough to answer!
Trying to ignore your purpose is a very dangerous activity. You can spend a lifetime suppressing yourself. You can spend a lifetime surviving rather than thriving, but the brutal truth is that at some point you will realise that failing to strive towards your purpose was the biggest mistake you ever made. This point, in most people’s lives, is when it is to late.
I know this to be true because I have been fortunate enough to learn from people who thought it was too late, who literally thought they were about to die. I interviewed over 50 people who had recently been a victim of a heart attack.
I asked them about life. What they thought about as they felt they were about to die. How did they rate their lives? What was the meaning of their life?
Three themes kept on reoccurring in their answers that had a profound effect on my life. I would like to share them with you:
The most commonly described factor was a wish that they had enjoyed life more, enjoyed the present moment more. They wished they had spent less time being distracted by a past they couldn’t do anything about or a future which is undetermined. It was unanimous that being fully present and take pleasure in the everyday moments would have vastly improved the quality of their lives.
One of the interviewees articulated it quite brilliantly “The present moment is all we truly and genuinely have. It is wonderful and glorious, yet I spent my time focused on the intangibles of the past and future. I missed the only thing I ever truly had.”
If you feel you are trapped in the past or future and are failing to truly savour the magic of right now, ask yourself:
- What am I grateful for right now?
- What needs to happen for me to enjoy this moment right now?
- What activity can I do everyday which will actively enable me to give my absolutely focus on the present moment?
“I wish I had told (name of loved one) that I loved them more” That is one of the key things you will think in your last moments, according to those who believed they were about to die.
Our world is not about individualism, it’s not about making sure we are okay and forget everyone else. It’s about connection with those around us.
The research suggests this belief system shouldn’t just be limited to your nearest and dearest either, as data shows us, that those people who pro-actively project love, joy, friendship and happiness to all they meet, have a greater sense of personal purpose and feel more loved, joyful, friendly and happy!
The key message I received from this, is about what we give to others. It is blindingly obvious that we need connection. What is less obvious, is that we shouldn’t be so protective over it! Most people wouldn’t dream of giving love, joy and happiness to everyone and for free. This is most likely because we are afraid of getting hurt. The realisation from these interviews is that it is ultimately more painful if we don’t!
In simple terms, the only way you can feel true, authentic and unlimited love is by giving love, freely and joyfully.
The only way you can feel joy is by giving joy.
The only way you can connect deeply with anyone, is by giving the feelings of deep connection away.
Yes, the cynics are right, there is a downside. The odd person might trample on that love you gave away, but don’t let that one person ruin your purpose lead life! The facts are 99% of people in your world will be grateful for the connection and give back those feelings two fold!
If you want to develop connection in your life, ask yourself:
- How can I make someone feel valued and special today?
- What do I need to do to make (loved ones name) feel totally and completely loved?
- What are the feelings I will gain if I show love, joy and affection to all that I meet today?
The final theme that came out loud and clear, was that in your last moments you will ask “did I even matter?” or “did I make a difference?”.
Delving deeper, this demonstrates clear links to influencing others’ lives in a positive way.
“The reason for living is giving”
We all know inherently that the feeling when helping others is fabulous and fulfilling… The problem my interviewees had was that it’s a tough world out there and we had to look after and protect ourselves. Helping others was always second or third on the agenda.
However it is clear this is not the way to live our lives! Every single person I interviewed wished, in those final moments, that they had contributed more. I think it is safe to say in our last moments we will ask the same, we will wish we had made a difference in others’ lives. If this is true… maybe, just maybe supporting others is looking after ourselves!
Maybe the fact is we all have a purpose to offer this world and those that don’t give the world all they can, regret it.
My advice… don’t have regrets, live to your potential.
Do you feel you could contribute more? Ask yourself:
- What do I love doing?
- How can I do this and create benefits to others?
- What skill or knowledge do I have right now that could improve someones life today?
Putting it all to together
The question I asked at the start of this post was “who are you?” It is a big question and you have some big answers inside. At the end of our lives we will all ask:
Did we really live our lives?
Did we connect deeply with those around us?
Did we make a difference?
Don’t wait until the end of your life to find out how you would answer them. Make sure your answers are the ones you will be proud of!
This is a video I have created, about some of the strategies I have used when I feel negative, rejected or a down right failure!
These approaches and techniques have been critical in enabling me to pick myself up, dust myself off and get back to fighting for my goals… Quickly and powerfully!
Hopefully, this advice can help you if you ever feel low:
What if you could change your life?
What if you could decide to be happy?
What if you could be the person you want to be?
What if you could choose love instead of fear?
What if you knew you were put on this planet for a reason?
What if giving to others made you feel amazing?
What if trusting others allowed you feel trusted?
What if you helped someone in need today?
What if you are not alone?
What if you could inspire someone?
What if you lived every moment to the fullest?
What if the only thing that is stopping you, is you?
What if your past didn’t effect your future?
What if you have a choice?
What if you deserve more?
What if you can be more?
What if you made more time for yourself?
What if you improved 1% everyday?
What if you focused completely on the things that are important to you?
What if you were capable of truly amazing things?
What if your failures only happened to make you more equipped for your successes?
What if you could live your dreams?
What if all you had to do was decide and then keep taking action until you won?
What if you knew you only had one life – Would you chase your dreams or would you compromise?
Never let a “What if” become a regret… Make them a reality.
Most of us will follow a script of what we think we should do. The problem is, this script probably hasn’t been written by you.
We often find that our script for life has been written by society, well-meaning parents and the constant barrage of marketing, that is stuffed down our throats informing us what a successful life is. (This of course will include purchasing the particular product they are selling!).
This doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t follow this script, if this is what you truly want out of life. However if the script you’re living isn’t linked to your passion, values and purpose then you will be more prone to negative outcomes such as stress, depression and a feeling of emptiness.
“Success based on anything but internal fulfilment is bound to be empty”
Dr. Martha Friedman
To prove the point, take a moment to think of your life. Have you ever chased a goal that you thought would make you successful? Then once you achieved that goal and the initial excitement dispersed, you were left feeling empty inside asking ‘is this it?’
That is you chasing something that you have been told is success, rather than following your own script.
We all have the opportunity to work out our own script, if we take some time and space for ourselves and ask the following questions:
‘Where am I in my life today?’
‘Where do I want to go?’
‘What will make my life exceptional, magnificent and completely fulfilled?’
When we give ourselves the time to ask ourselves these simple, but deep questions, we will often see a distinct difference in the goals we have and the goals we want.
Please take a moment to think about the questions above. You will probably discover that the answers describe feelings, beliefs and values.
If there is a secret, then this is it! What we are all seeking is a specific set of feelings, that are as unique and as special as the individual you are.
The problem with following a life script, that is designed by the media and popular culture, is that it focuses on false success measures. We blindly hope that chasing what we are told to, will bring the feelings of fulfilment, success and joy that we desire so much.
The truth is achievement of a false goal will rarely bring fulfilment. That is what happened to me. I spent a long time believing the script we are told… that I would be happy if I had that next job, if I had a certain amount of money, if I won that award.
I achieved all of those goals and when I did I realised it hadn’t made me happy. In fact it made what was missing in my life even more apparent and obvious.
I implore you not to make the same mistake I did. It is never too late to seek fulfilment, so no matter what is happening in your life right now, no matter how far down a road you have gone… you can change your future. You can live life on your terms and be successful and fulfilled.
Your past does not define your future. Your actions right now do.
I changed my life. What I have found is that this is very personal and feels extremely vulnerable. But it is the most amazing thing that will ever happen when you do it.
Take some time and give some space to you. Take a look inside and ask some deep questions… What is my gift? What is my purpose? What is my destiny? How can I contribute more?
When I asked these questions, I discovered that what lights me up is creating an environment that allows those around me to think differently and the opportunity to reach their potential. I believe that everyone is capable of amazing things. I just want to help anyone who wants support to achieve that.
I now live everyday focused on this goal and I have never been happier or more fulfilled. If I can do it, then you can too. Have faith in you.
The harsh truth is success without fulfilment is failure.
Everyone at some-point discovers this. Take action on your personal fulfilment now, become the person you want to be.
Discover that seeking fulfilment creates success.
Leadership is one of the most complex and commonly debated topics in the business and management world today. Everyone has an opinion on what makes leadership and everyone will defend these opinions fiercely.
The fact is, leadership is highly desirable. We all know true leadership can change businesses, industries and the world.
The problem is we can’t all agree on what makes a great leader. The best leaders in the world, any leader for that matter, are all different and that is why we find it so hard to formalise what a leader should do.
I think the reason we find it so hard to formalise leadership is because it is not about the leader. Instead it is all about followers.
Followers choose to follow… they cannot be told or forced… They choose.
A leader only becomes a leader if they have followers who have chosen to do so. Without followers, you are not a leader. This is why leadership doesn’t have strict rules or a formula.
Different followers will follow different types of leaders, so the only thing you can do, is be the best version of yourself and if followers choose to follow, then you are a leader…
What do followers want?
I can only answer this question from my own point of view and I am keen to learn what YOU think, so please comment below! Here are five attributes that I believe the very best leaders display in abundance:
The best leaders I have ever worked with had a clear personal purpose or vision of who they were and what they stood for. They communicated this purpose as often as possible. If the leader had a purpose that linked closely with my values and beliefs, then I would instantly feel a deep connection and follow this leader with my heart and soul.
A leader I know and one I am inspired by, is brilliant at recruiting people who shared the same values and beliefs as he did. As a follower this was a fantastic experience. Being a part of a team who all had a common goal, not because they were told to, but because they wanted to created a huge amount of energy, passion and creativity. I can honestly say that a leader who surrounds themselves with the people who believe in their vision, pushed my performance and results higher than I could have imagined at the time.
Walk the talk
Simon Sinek articulated this beautifully when he described ‘The celery test’ in his book ‘Start with why’. Those leaders who walk the talk, who stand up for their values and will never compromise on those values to get a quick result. These are the type of leaders I love working for, I know they are authentic and I know they will have my back. As a follower I feel trusted, so I give all of my trust freely to them.
Trust – The best leaders I have ever followed have always ensured that I had the skills and capability to do the task in hand and then allowed me to complete that task in my own way. In simple terms they trained, coached, supported and allowed autonomy. The power of supporting people when they need skills and capability and getting out of the way of those same people to allow creativity and ownership is significant. As a follower I don’t want to feel out of my depth and unsupported, yet I also don’t want to feel as though I am being dictated to or controlled. The leaders that have found that balance, I have followed most passionately.
Encourage and Value
A really simple idea. As a follower I like to know that I am adding value, doing a good job and my behaviours are positive. These factors, being rewarded with encouragement and praise, really boost my confidence and drive me to perform even better. However as a follower this needs to be conducted in an authentic and personal way to get the best out of me, so by that I mean it is not about incentives and bonuses… Don’t get me wrong more money and prizes were nice, but they never made me work harder or inspired me like genuine encouragement would.
Those were the five attributes that I believe the very best leaders display in abundance, what do you think should be in this list? Please comment below!
I remember being in an interview for a company that I wasn’t convinced I should join. During the interview, as is customary, I had the opportunity to ask some questions.
I asked “What is the best thing about working for this company?” I was struck deeply with the answer and I was determined to work for this company.
The answer I received was “I have never worked with a senior leadership team that stretches, challenges and inspires me as much as the team here. If you are serious about becoming a world-class leader, then surround yourself with people who are already world-class”.
The moral of the story
Right now you are living and working to the level of those you are in proximity too. You will pick up and take on the habits, attitudes and focuses of those around you. This means you have to be extremely careful who you choose to spend your time with.
Did you choose who you will become? Is the contribution you will make to this world what you first dreamed of, when you had the freedom to dream? Or have you allowed the people around you to decide for you?
“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher”
Most people don’t think like you
When you do choose who you will become, align yourself with the people who are already the masters of what you want to be great at. Learn from them, grow with them, let them contribute to your development.
Align yourself with people who think like you… who have a purpose like you… who dream like you.
Most people don’t live their purpose anymore, they don’t dream anymore. Most people will complain and moan about how hard life is, while compromising their talents and dreams for other people’s agendas.
The fact that you are reading this means you are already a high-performer. You want more, you know there must be more. You have passion, purpose and vision.
Now you have to live it… This takes drive, persistence, hard-work and resilience. The biggest enemy is within the story we tell ourselves. This is why it is vital to align with people who believe what you believe. We all need help, we all need support… surround yourself with the very best you can!
The future is unlimited for you
Why can’t you achieve your dreams? The past doesn’t equal the future. Let the past go. If you are not living the life of your dreams, then change your life!
The action you take today is the defining factor. You cannot do anything about the past, but you can do everything about now.
If you want to improve, then you have to do something different. If you don’t change you will just keep on getting the same results you have always had… You are the star of your life… make your life a hit!
Ask yourself “Who do you want to be?”
Then surround yourself with people like this – challenge yourself – grow – learn – bring out the best in you.
Take the risk to be your best.
Have you ever wondered how some people, no matter what they do, perform at an amazingly high level?
How do they seem to have so much energy, zest, passion and abundance in their lives?
This question has been an obsession of mine for years… What is it that they know and focus on, to achieve so much?
Below are the ‘secrets’ of the ultra successful, that I have discovered over the years… what the ultra successful choose to focus on, what they choose to give their attention to, what they choose to master and how they convince the surrounding world to support them!
However, I feel like a fraud when I say ‘secrets’… They are not secrets at all. They are common sense and we all know the six factors below will improve our performance. The main difference I have discovered is the ultra successful focus and complete these ‘secrets’ everyday. It is a MUST for them.
For the rest of us it is a SHOULD.
We all have an opportunity to grow and become more… and no matter what point you are at in your life right now, these factors can amplify your performance right now!
The best and biggest achievements in our lives come from within us… focus on the right things, master the right things and an exceptional life is in our grasp! Turn your SHOULD’s into MUST’s!
The best way to make these factors a MUST is to pro-actively focus on them every single day. If you are interested in transforming your life then at the end of this blog post is an opportunity to get a FREE PDF that can be emailed to you with the Six Ways to Upgrade Your Performance described below.
Why / Vision
A true understanding of why you do what you do, provides a sense of direction, clarity and purpose to how you live your life… the more clarity you have about who you are and the purpose of your life, the more chance you have of it becoming a reality! There are a number of ways to understand your why in more depth, however for today the activity is simple:
Think of the 3 most important words that describe how you would like to approach life.
Now think of 3 words that you would most like other people to say about you after spending time with you.
These 6 words describe a version of you that is inspirational… the person you want to be.
Ask yourself this question everyday “Am I living my highest self?”
Ask yourself if you are proactively demonstrating those 6 words you have chosen… This keeps you focused on the person you want to be… keeps you focused on your purpose in life, to be that person. Once you are focused on something, you can make it happen… focus on your highest self!
What I mean by this is to invest yourself in the moment… not focusing on the past, not thinking about the future, not being distracted by non-important things… investing yourself into NOW!
Your body, your mind, your focus all here NOW… razor sharp, energised and pumped in this very moment.
The number one difference between those who live an exceptional life and those that don’t are those who can be present 100% when it matters… In that coaching session… In the presentation… when striking that deal… when listening to your children read… when talking to your loved one about their day…
They are there totally and completely, in the moment and fully focused… They are not checking facebook or email… they are not daydreaming or admiring the view… they are not thinking of that last meeting or the report they have to write later… They are invested in the moment of now.
You know when this happens… you can feel it. Especially when people lose focus in the moment… it’s obvious and it happens a lot… When people give 100% focus and attention, so much more can be achieved, created and delivered!
Ask yourself everyday “What level am I, on a scale of 1 to 10, in my presence right now?”
This isn’t about getting through “to do lists”… This is about putting attention on the areas that will progress your life dramatically. This is about putting your attention on the important rather than the urgent.
We tend to live our lives today being busy… really busy. How much of our time we give to ourselves takes a back seat and other people’s agenda’s come first… That is just wrong!
Take back what you focus on… Focus on the important. The old saying is true… 20% of the actions on our to-do list, will achieve 80% of the results desired.
DO THAT STUFF! I know it sounds simple… and it is… It’s about not losing sight of who you are and what your purpose is and then putting your attention… your full attention on the things that matter!
Ask yourself everyday “What is my mission today?”
This will challenge you to think about the important aspects that need your attention.
You just then need to commit your attention!
Communication with influence
Those people who change businesses, mobilise communities, accelerate people’s growth,… all influence in similar ways… They challenge what is the conventional norm and they communicate with massive enthusiasm!
Being courageous in presenting your thoughts is vital to stimulate those around you. To create discussion, to enable imagination, to encourage creativity and to allow others to think differently.
All of which are needed to generate real and lasting change!
Being enthusiastic in communication is contagious… Your enthusiasm spreads to others… it creates energy… it creates passion… it creates momentum. Again all important aspects in leveraging change and influence!
Ask yourself everyday “Am I demonstrating daring enthusiasm?”
It is hard to achieve anything when tired and fatigued.. Especially when you want to be that person who is full of natural vibrance, energy, passion and vigour!
The simple and obvious truth is, if you want more zest and to feel more energised, then you have to eat well, drink lots of water, do exercise and sleep enough!
There isn’t a magical secret recipe here… it’s common sense. The highest performing people in the world know this and so do you… It is all about if it is a SHOULD or a MUST in your life…
There is lots of great advice about how to optimise your physiology, however let’s start small and keep it simple. Sleeping correctly (about 6-7 hours) and drinking enough water is key to having more energy and being more alert, so…
Ask yourself everyday “Have I slept my 7 hours and am I hydrated?”
If these are the only things you do, it will boost your energy levels dramatically… Of course there are other factors to feeling physically great, please invest in these… Feeling physically fantastic is the platform for doing exceptional things!
Contribution and Adding Value
The reason for living is giving… To feel completely fulfilled the act of being more, giving more, being a part of something more… fills you up much more than any personal achievement.
I think we all know, deep inside, that giving back is massively important and will add more to our lives when we do… the great news is this doesn’t mean you have to do some grand gesture for charity to feel fulfilled (however if you can, then please do!)
You can give back every day.
Ask yourself everyday “How can I serve greatly?”
Asking this will allow you to get outside of yourself… think differently… add more abundance
More fulfilment, more life, more passion, more love, more meaning – An exceptional life.
Ask yourself these six questions everyday and become the best you can be!
If you are interested in transforming your life then complete the simple form below to get your FREE PDF… the Six Ways to Upgrade Your Performance. Which is a one page document that will support you in being pro-active in upgrading your performance… It’s free and there are no strings attached, so give it a go!
I was lucky enough to speak as a key note speaker last week at a large corporate event and while I was there I bumped into an old friend, who I used to work with many years ago. He asked me a question that baffled me… “How does it feel now that you are successful?”
This question made me internally raise some different questions… “What is success and how do you know when you have made it?”
Would you know how to answer those questions?
In my experience ‘Success’, to the majority of people, is associated with money, status or both… My old friend believed I was successful because I was being paid to talk on stage, which to him indicated that I was rich and high-profile. Thus a success…
Is success money?
It is easy to believe it is, but just for a moment imagine the biggest loser you know… The nastiest, most selfish, least friendly, least successful person you have ever come across.
Now imagine that person is given ten million dollars… Are they now a success?
I think it is fair to say that success isn’t about money… money might come with success, but it doesn’t make you successful as a defining factor.
Is Status success?
Again it is easy to believe what is commonly portrayed in the media… Famous people are successful. The famous have it all apparently, the lifestyle, the adoring public, the perfect life.
Would you say Robbin Williams, who was deeply depressed and tragically ended his own life, was successful? Did he have it all?
There are many more examples of famous people living deeply unhappy lives, despite their fame… Are you successful if you are deeply unhappy?
“There are no secrets to success. It is a result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.” Colin Powell
If it’s not money or fame… what is it?
People more capable and knowledgeable than me have written mountains of literature on this subject, so I don’t expect to provide the ultimate solution… What I can provide is the learning I have had researching this literature over the last 15 years and my own personal life experience.
Immersing yourself in work you care about, practising and practising and practising… Turning talent into high level skill is one of the most engaging and absorbing activities you can do. This is articulated brilliantly in a book called “Flow” by Mihaly Csiksgentmihalyi, whereby the feelings of being most alive, most confident and most successful in life, come from total immersion and mastery.
As well as feeling fantastic, mastery also has the added benefit of excellence… and being truly excellent and world-class at anything, comes with the ability to be payed more money for that skill… Now surely the concept of monetising something you love and enjoy sounds like to success?
The simple fact is the more you give the more fulfilled you will be… Don’t get me wrong, this is not about giving money. Giving money to worthy causes is nice and good, but it is nothing compared to giving your time, giving your knowledge, giving yourself to those who need it.
If you want to feel a certain way, give that away… This sounds counterintuitive and risky, but it is absolutely true. Don’t believe me? Try it today – Go out of your way to make someone happy. Let me know how you feel afterwards!
So you want to feel successful? How about feeling fulfilled? Then help people become successful, help people feel valued, help people feel fulfilled…
I will let you into a secret… That is why I write these blog posts each week… The idea that something I write might spark a light in just one reader, maybe in you, lights me up beyond measure.
What was the answer I gave to my old-friend?
“I’m still working on it…”