Beating Depression

It is at this time of year that I tend to reflect on my life more than usual – I think deeply about who I have been, who I am now and why.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was a very different person than I am now – In fact, almost three years to the day I was lost… lost in the fog and mist of depression.

You might know about my story, I have mentioned it in other posts… how I used to smoke 40 cigarettes a day, 50lbs overweight and utterly miserable – these were just the outward signals of the dark disease which was growing inside me.

I cannot accurately describe how I felt during this time… it was as though a cruel, oppressive and hurtful entity had been absorbed in every pore of my body and mind.

It felt separate from the “real” me, yet it was all consuming. I felt like I was drowning. It was scary and there didn’t seem like there was anyway out.

However there was a way out. I did escape, I haven’t fallen back, I never will – and I learnt some important lessons:

  1. Depression is very real and has to be taken very seriously. It is a disease and we should treat anyone caught in the midst of it with the same compassion and care as we would with any other physical disease.
  2. It is possible to recover from this disease.

If you have been caught by depression, please get some professional help – I can offer my advice on how I recovered and hopefully it can help – however, nothing can beat professional support, especially if depression’s claws are in deep.

The way I managed to free myself will sound simple – I decided I had to change and I started taking positive actions everyday.

I realise this will sound over simplistic and unrealistic, but it is true – I was in a desperate situation – I had to change, otherwise the consequences would have been the darkest possible.

When I made the decision it felt impossible. I had no idea what to do or where to start – what possible action could solve something as big as depression?

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The thing is that is what depression wants you to think – depression wants to grow – and the perfect conditions to grow are in a static, absorbed and defeated individual..

On the contrary… I found that depression cannot grow when positive action is consistently taking place.

Success is “consistency”

It is not about one grand action that will rid you of depression forever. That is unrealistic and will make you give up when it doesn’t happen immediately.

Instead it is about momentum – lots and lots of small but positive actions to improve your situation. They can be tiny steps, but when you keep on adding more and more, the momentum becomes unstoppable.

Going for a walk in nature, writing down some goals, making the call, reading the chapter of a book, meeting with friends, seeking professional help and applying for a job… keep taking small actions.

None are the antidote to depression on its own, but together they will slowly remove the conditions for depression to grow.

As the momentum builds, so will you and so will your mind – The fog will start to lift and the oppression will be defeated.

Take positive action – any action, no matter how small… just do it consistently, don’t expect immediate results and you can change your life… I did.

Never, Never Be Afraid To Do What Is Right – M L King

Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther-King – They are great people who have etched their names in history books for standing up for what they believed in and they helped change the world in the process.

572990aeaa13a-fullWe are told powerful stories about special individuals who changed the course of the world by standing against status quo – sometimes facing unsurmountable odds, yet ultimately winning though.

We are told everyone has this power. We are told we too can change the world if our resolve is strong enough… but can we?

I mean these stories sound compelling, yet in your life right now, can you make a stand? Let’s start small… can you go up against the boss at work and not damage your career?

Going a bit bigger… Can you legitimately challenge those in positions of authority, such as politicians, without being removed or arrested?

I think we can, but not in the way the stories would lead you to believe.

Standing up for what you believe in is not a single event, it’s a way of living – It would be impossible to make a huge stand for what you believe to be right in one moment, if your actions in the past didn’t back you up.

Standing up for what is right, is living what is right. It is in your everyday behaviours and actions.

1. Clearly understand what you believe in
2. Share this with everyone
3. Make sure everything you do is linked to this

So if you passionately believe in ‘being honest’ … then communicate this value simply and with clarity… then follow it up by making sure you always tell the truth!

It is a simple example, but hopefully it demonstrates the power of being able to stand up for what you believe in – because if this is how you live your life, then it is easy to challenge the status quo when needed, because everyone will expect it!

This of course has it’s challenges, but what it allows you to be is authentic, strong and value led.

If you don’t live your life by these rules, then you will end up living your life by someone else’s. That is the opposite of standing up for what is right.

Be the best version of you – stand up for you believe in… stand up for what is right.

What the world needs now, is enlightened leadership – Do you measure up?

To become the best leader you can be, you will need to be brave enough to put your current leadership up against a mirror.

However, most leaders don’t bother. They think there is little else to learn… They are wrong.

Last weekend I had the privilege to speak at a conference about motivation and as always I stuck around to see the whole event. I was struck by this companies culture, they were progressive, enabling and it appeared as though they had a highly engaged team. They challenged their leadership culture openly – with the desire to improve as the main priority.

This demonstration of leadership behaviours highlighted an unconformable truth. Cultures and leaders like this are rare…. Really rare.

How many senior leaders do you know that openly practise and develop their understanding of the science of human motivation?

They are literally an endangered species.

 

“Enlightened leadership is awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, compassion and also intuition, creativity and focused attention”

Deepak Chopra

Even in our enlightened world, the most common approach you will experience from a leaders is, “This is want I need from you.”

Most leaders ask for more, demand more, without giving to their employees. Leaders want more, faster, cheaper and they want it now.

Sometimes they might even throw in a financial incentive (Which has been proven to worsen performance when partaking in complex tasks – as proven by hundreds of social science experiments!)

So think about this for a moment – Most leaders will ask their followers for improved performance and then provide them with an incentive that is a performance inhibitor!

Now take a look at your own leadership – Is your approach a “this is what I need from you” one? Do you provide your followers with tools and strategies that support or inhibit them? How do you even know?

The world is changing and so are followers. Back in the time of the dinosaurs, a leader was seen as powerful and strong if they demanded more. Dinosaurs are extinct and so should be that type of leader.

Followers are demanding a new type of leader. A leader who is enlightened, a leader who understands social science, who understands intrinsic motivation and has the approach of “This is what I will be for my followers.”

The absolute final truth about your leadership ability is in the hand of your followers. It is the ONLY factor that counts – Your followers decide if you are a leader, nobody else.

As a follower – What type of leader would you want to be lead by?

You will find that your answer gives you clues to the leader you need to become.

What is leadership, if it is not about creating the optimum environment for followers to be successful?

Think about YOUR leadership –  Do you demand more from yourself in providing the conditions for your followers to flourish?

Be a true leader, be a progressive leader… be an enlightened leader. It is what the world needs now.

Get my FREE Design Your Destiny book here and start your journey to success today!

Why do we pretend that SUCCESS is a destination?

Why do we determine success as attaining things we don’t currently have?

I mean that’s really weird right? Saying ‘I will be successful when… I get… or this happens..’

That means success is always in the future and if we have programmed ourselves this way, then even if we achieve our original goal, it wouldn’t mean we are successful – Success will have just moved on to another destination.

We always tell ourselves the same story – when we finally arrive at ‘success’, our lives will be great, be so much easier, be so much happier.

We are literally telling ourselves a fairytale.

Take a moment to think about the story we tell ourselves – Life currently has its struggles, but you will persevere and work hard, then one happy day you will graduate and be ‘successful’. At this point life suddenly becomes easy, you will have more fun and you will be happier.

Does that sound like real life? Do you really think that happens to anyone?

Sorry to bust the bubble, but that story is simply just not true.

Success is not a destination, it never has been and never will be. There is no arrival – You will have challenges and difficulties no matter what. That is just life.

Success does exist though. It is in the actions you take everyday to become a better version of you. Success lives in the now, it lives in your development, it lives in your actions.

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So if you desire success then there is only one question to answer – Will you choose the discipline required to take hold of the now, to live in the now, to improve yourself now?

The discipline to act in the now, is what creates your destiny. Discipline is what will make you the best version of you.

If you don’t choose the discipline of the now, then you will experience only one possible outcome – Regret.

  • Discipline is the factor that gets you back on track, when you lose focus (and we all lose focus from time to time).
  • Discipline is the factor that gets you moving forward quickly when you have failed or been rejected.
  • Discipline is the factor that guarantees you will become the best version of you and the life that comes with that.
  • Discipline is the factor that allows you to be successful now.

I choose discipline – I want to say at the end of my life that I gave it everything I have had. I cannot tolerate the thought of holding regret… of saying ‘what if’.

I urge you to choose discipline too.

Success is not a destination. Success is right now, in the actions you take. Choose to be the best version of you.

Like this post? Then get my FREE ebook that will help you become the best version of you & design your destiny Click here NOW!

How To Set Massive Goals & Get Them To Stick

Have you ever wanted to improve something in your life?

Have you found it difficult to create lasting change?

You are not alone… Being able to create goals that you follow through on is difficult.

However there are some fantastic strategies that can rapidly accelerate your progress. In this video, I share what I have learnt about goal setting – These ideas have transformed my life and hopefully they can help you to:

 

GET A FREE PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PDF & MORE FREE VIDEOS TO YOUR INBOX – CLICK HERE!

4 Excuses For Quitting And 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t

I have spent the last 19 months of my life writing a leadership book – And then when it was pretty much ready to be published, I stopped.

I stopped taking action and I gave myself loads of “reasons” why.

Of course these reasons were just excuses… Here is why I stopped taking action and the reasons why I shouldn’t. If you have aimed for a goal, been making progress, then felt like quitting… maybe this could help:

Fear

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear”

Jack Canfield

I hate to admit it, but the main reason I stopped was due to fear – fear people might not like my book, fear that people might laugh, fear that I might not be any good. Looking at it logically it is likely that some people wouldn’t like my work or me… but it wouldn’t be everyone and it shouldn’t be something that I should be fearful of. 

But that didn’t stop me being afraid.

Fear, essentially is a powerful metabolic function, that is designed to protect us from danger. So when genuine threats come along we change our behaviour so we can survive – behaviours such as running away, hiding or freezing.

The bottom line is that, no matter what, fear is going to play a part in your life. It is how we manage it that makes all the difference.

We can do this by creating leverage and developing our mindset.

Leverage –  Purposely create the thought process that the act of quitting will be a more painful experience than the possible results of taking action.

To do this you will need to write, in as much detail as possible, how awful your life will be if you don’t take action towards your goals. Do this over various timeframes, for example how horrible your life will be next week, in one year and in five years.

Completing this simple process will shift your minds focus and perspective, transforming your energy towards taking positive action.

Mindset – Are the goals you have set yourself fixed or growth goals? If you have lots of fixed goals (a fixed goal is a goal that has an end point and is ridged in the success criteria) then you are not be setting yourself up for success.

The reason why is with any fixed goal there will always be factors out of your control, this can then create frustration, fear and disappointment. All of which will direct you towards quitting.

A growth goal on the other hand does set you up for success. Growth goals are about continuous development and growth, both of these factors are within your control… You can grow, develop and learn everyday if you so desired.  This will help remove the fear you feel, because each step of the goal is now fully achievable, so you can continue to progress towards your goals with more control.

I don’t know what to do

question-markIn my example, this surfaced with publishing – should I go through an established publisher or self publish? There are benefits for both – and there are negatives.

A publisher will do most of the work for you in getting your book on sale, but at a very high cost, which would mean literally no profits from my book (unless by some miracle I became a multimillion selling hit!). Self publishing means I would make more money per book sale, but I would have to learn how to publish! 

I didn’t know what to do, so I did nothing.

This is one of the easiest excuses to make – because the truth is, there will be times when we don’t know what to do!

An ultra affective strategy in this situation is to role model from those people who have already done what you need to do.

Go onto any  internet search engine and type in what you want to learn or become and, as quick as a flash, you will have a reservoir of resource, from world-class experts, at your fingertips.

Don’t make the excuse that you don’t know what to do – instead put it on your ‘to-do list’ to find out what you should do!

Don’t have the energy

After writing my book, I got distracted by day to day hassles and problems. In fact I got so involved in the daily struggles, that even when I had the time to focus on my book, I felt so tired, that I couldn’t face more work.

This is a common problem… Most people fail to chase their dreams because they have busy lives and this gets in the way of achieving real quality. After a tough day being busy most of us want to relax and “un-plug” rather than chase our big life goals.

Here are two strategies to combat fatigue:

1 . Prioritise the important. Very simply, your vision, your destiny or your dream should be the most important goal in your life. So make it the first thing you do. Build in the time and make your big life goals the priority and focus on these first!

2 . Take care of your physiology. Are you drinking enough water? Are you eating healthy, energy providing foods? Are you committing to a productive exercise routine? If you look after your physiology, you will have more energy – Obvious, but true!

I don’t have the time

bigstock_Turn_Back_Time_10456We are all so busy. We live in the most fast-paced, ever-changing and hectic time in human history. Pretty much everyone struggles for time. It is an almost foolproof excuse for quitting on our personal goals and dreams… That is one of the things I told myself about publishing my book!

Yet, if we are absolutely honest – do we use all the time we have available to us, effectively?

Just think about the amount of time each day you spend looking at a screen… Television, phone, laptop, tablet…

Is this a productive use of our time? 

If you want to have enough time to achieve amazing things do this: Stop using any social media and TV (this includes programs on the internet!) for 30 days and instead use that time to take action on your goals.

In 30 days I guarantee you will be amazed at how much progress you make in achieving your goals. I also guarantee, if you can do the 30 days, that you won’t miss TV and the internet half as much as you imagine you will!

Final thoughts

If you follow through and take the required action everyday towards your goal, then eventually you will get there!

Yet sometimes rather than committing to keep moving forward, we create an internal story that tells us to quit. 

These stories can seem compelling, but the truth is, they are excuses. Challenge yourself to take action even when you feel scared, don’t know what to do, don’t have the energy or don’t have the time.

If you do you can achieve your goals – Like I did… My book will be published later in the year!

If you want to get a discount on my book later in the year (plus a free high performance PDF now, extra motivational videos and coaching on achieving your potential direct to your inbox) CLICK ME NOW!

 

Being Busy Is Not A Status Symbol

Recently I have been working alongside a company that have a really pronounced culture… they are all so busy! Everyone was stressed, tired-out and has loads on. It was effectively a status symbol. If you were busy, you were important.

At first I was shocked, but thinking about it, this is a common factor in all our work lives – consider your place of work – I bet being busy is a part of your companies culture!

So that begs the question – Who on earth decided that being busy was a good way to spend our lives?

It is almost as though it is ‘cool’ to be busy… it is almost as though, the only way you can be important or good is by being a tremendously busy person.

We wear our busy schedules like a badge of honour.

Somebody, somewhere decided that being busy is the critical factor in being important and everyone has jumped on the bandwagon without even considering the alternative.

What is being busy? Here are a few synonyms:

employed in, working at, labouring at, toiling at, slaving at, hard at work (on), rushed off one’s feet (with), hard-pressed, time-poor; at work (on), on the job, hard at it.

Being busy doesn’t inspire does it?

Toiling, slaving and being rushed off one’s feet doesn’t provide a compelling argument why we should make this a part of our lives… In fact we should avoid this at all costs!

If you are busy all the time, there is a high possibility your work-life balance is out of kilter and your overall effectiveness is suffering.

No company realistically wants their employees to have a poor work-life balance and produce shoddy work… that is a business plan that will NEVER work!

No employee should ever have to sacrifice their personal time for work… trust me, at the end of your life, you will not wish you had worked more!! 

So, why do we attach status to being busy? Logically it makes no sense.

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How about being productive instead?

Synonyms of being productive:

prolific, inventive, creative; dynamic, energetic, vigorous, effective,

useful, constructive, profitable, fruitful, gainful, valuable, effective, worthwhile, beneficial, helpful, rewarding, gratifying

Now this is a bit more exciting and appealing… this describes a great company to work for… this describes a person who is successful and going places.

It doesn’t mean they don’t work hard – They just work hard on the important factors that generate the biggest and best results. They stop rushing around doing everything to a mediocre level and focus in on critical activities at an elite level.

The choice is yours: Productive or Busy.

My advice? Don’t succumb to the lure of being busy… it is a fool’s errand.

Instead aspire to be productive. If you are a leader, create time to think and space to be creative for your teams. If you are an up and coming employee, understand that delivering valuable, worthwhile and effective work is precious in business and critical in leading a fulfilled life.

The next time someone asks you how you are… think twice about saying “I’m busy!”

Do You Know What You Need To Focus On To Become The Best?

We all want success.

But to be successful we must become the best we can possibly be… But the best at what?

We have so many possibilities, so many opportunities, that our personal development can become a tangled mess because we want to get better at everything.

Success… Real success… Game changing, life transforming success, comes with purposeful focus.

When you understand what to focus on and push all your development into that area you will transform your life. Watch to learn more: