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!

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.

quote-don-t-confuse-activity-with-productivity-many-people-are-simply-busy-being-busy-robin-sharma-121-3-0389

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:

The Scientific Way To Create A High Performing Team

If you are a manager, leader or owner of a company… You desire a high performing team.

You want a team that is cohesive, that works for each other and for the greater good. A team that is comfortable and secure enough to challenge each other. A team that welcomes new ideas and originality, rather than following the accepted standard.

Adam Grant, in his latest book ‘Originals’, has a chapter dedicated to the science behind which leadership strategies create the highest performing teams.

Adam Grant reveals five common strategies that leaders use to build their teams. Which one do you use?

Professional

The aim is to recruit and attain the best skilled team possible. Whatever the task in hand is, this type of leader will seek out the highest skilled team possible. This team will then be given challenging tasks and autonomy to deliver on them.

Star

star-employee-1The leaders who utilise the ‘star’ strategy, don’t concern themselves with the specific skill set of their team members. What these leaders are interested in is the future and potential of individuals within their team.

They will seek out the brightest, sharpest people, who demonstrate the brain capacity to become world-class at what they do. Within this approach, the team will be given challenging tasks and the autonomy to decide how these tasks should be accomplished.

Commitment

This strategy is based on cultural fit.

The leader will build a team of people who share the same the values and beliefs as themselves. In essence the leader surrounds themselves with people who believe what they believe. This team will be lead with high challenge, autonomy and strong emotional bonds to the mission.

Autocracy

This approach shares similar attributes as the professional strategy. The focus is on skills, with individuals with the highest skill set being the most desired. The difference in this approach is, rather than allowing their teams an autonomous environment, this strategy leans heavily on financial based incentives and micro-management.

Bureaucracy

bda-on-red-tapeThis strategy is based on recruiting and growing a team based on skills. The difference is that these teams will be managed with challenging tasks combined with very detailed rules and regulations on how to deliver on these tasks.

What strategy would you choose?

The aim is to get a high performing team. A high performing team is a team that will push each other, can challenge one another and which will welcome new ideas and originality.

Hopefully it is obvious that Autocracy and Bureaucracy won’t generate a high performing team… These approaches would only deliver average results and conforming, non-challenging team members, due to the micro-management and rules and regulations management style adopted.

If you have a basic level task, which you need a low level of performance and you don’t want your team to think about what they are doing and how to improve on it… then Autocracy and Bureaucracy are the options for you.

However, if you want a high performing team, then you are left with three options… Professional, Star and Commitment.

The most commonly adopted approach is Professional. Get the highest skilled people possible… On the surface this is a reasonable assumption to make.

But it’s the opposite – The research clearly demonstrates, this approach is the worst at building high performing teams out of the remaining options. The shocking truth is that it is at least three times more likely to fail than the others!

The second most popular approach is Star. Building a team of people, who have the capacity to grow and become world-class appears seductive.

However, the data once again shows us that this is likely to fail – twice as much as the last remaining option…

Commitment.

This is the least adopted strategy by leaders across the world, yet the data proves, time and time again, that this approach is the most likely to produce a high performing team!

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Why does a Committed strategy produce a high performing teams?

  • They demonstrate more passion and intensity.
  • They believe in the same things as the leader, so everyone is emotionally bought in to a shared vision.
  • Being surrounded by people who share the same values automatically create a strong sense of belonging and loyalty.
  • A team that is emotionally connected and driven will be more willing to speak up and share new ideas.
  • Those ideas are more likely to be accepted and listened to, because everyone knows that the best interests of the team are at heart.
  • Making the right decision for the team, takes precedence over any ego or status quo.

No matter which strategy was your preference when we started – we all know that a team who share values, beliefs and feel trusted will perform.

Skills can be taught, beliefs on the other hand can not… Surround yourself with people who believe what you believe and you will have a high performing team.

As Adam Grant says in his book “Skills and Stars are fleeting, commitment lasts”.

The Best Coaching Questions in The World… Ever.

It is common knowledge that being able to coach those around us is an extremely important aspect of personal development… but knowing the practical steps to become better coaches is not common knowledge!

We have so many different definitions of coaching – but, for the purpose of this post, the definition I will use is one made famous by Sir John Witmore (He is the great mind behind the GROW coaching model).

He said coaching is:

“Helping people learn rather than teaching them.”

I personally love this definition, as it removes the need for the coach to provide the solution. The easy thing to do when coaching (and the biggest mistake) is to provide the person you are coaching with lots of your ideas and opinions.

What Sir John Witmore’s definition does, is allow the coach to understand it is okay to hold off giving their opinion just that little bit longer, by asking good questions and discovering real opportunities.

If this definition of coaching resonates with you, then I can help you become a better coach.

Before we get to the detail, here is some really simple advice, that will help you no matter what your definition of coaching is:

Pick a good question to ask.
 Ask it.
 Just once.
 Shut up.
 Put all your energy into listening.

You might look at this list and think that it is over simplistic, but the truth of the matter is most coaches don’t stick to these principles! Yes they are simple, but they are also powerful – Apply these principles to your coaching and watch how impactful and productive your coaching sessions become!

I promised the best coaching questions in the world -Here they are, with a brief explanation as to why they will accelerate your coaching to the next level when you apply them pro-actively:

What’s on your mind?

whats_on_your_mind_by_dandingeroz-d7bs0tlIt is a simple question and incredibly easy to ask – so why does it make it into the best ever list?

It is because this question hands over power to the person you are coaching. It is their agenda, it is their autonomy. It says to them, ‘talk to me about the stuff that is important to you’

If you genuinely want to see the biggest improvements in peoples performance, focus on the important stuff… The important stuff is their decision, not yours!

 

 

And what else?

Do not underestimate the power of this question!!! I can completely understand you reading that and thinking ‘what on earth? how is that a great question?’.

Here is why:

  • The first answer someone gives is never the only answer.
  • The first answer is rarely the best answer.
  • This question expands the original answer to a much deeper level.
  • This question makes the person being coached do the work, so helping them learn rather than teaching.

If you are saying ‘Yes’ to this, what are you saying ‘No’ to?

If ‘and what else?’ gets the person to think deeper, then this question gets the person to think wider. This is a great strategic question and what it does is re-frame the situation in the person’s mind. I like to think of it as allowing the person being coached to step out of the immediate situation and review the bigger picture for themselves.

By doing this, we ensure that the person being coached is focused on the right elements longer-term.

I understand you don’t know. If you did know, what would you say?

It can only ever be asked when the last thing said was ‘I don’t know’, but in those circumstances this is my favourite ever question. When you first read or hear the question, I think it sounds crazy… but it works.

In that moment, when the person you’re coaching says “I don’t know”, it is so easy to jump in with advice – don’t! Ask this question instead. The science behind it is, our brains are smart enough to answer any question it is asked, as long as you eliminate any pre-conceptions.

What this question does is allow the pre-conception that they don’t know to be accepted and then asks a question framed in a way that creates pathways to new answers.
Try it and this is what will happen. They will have a strange laugh, they will think for a moment and then they will answer the question.

What was the most valuable aspect of todays discussion?

aaeaaqaaaaaaaaalaaaajgixmwjlnmfklwvmnwutngq3mc1iztnlltawzgzhyje5mmfkzgThis question is great to enable a clear review, refine the focus and add a feel good factor to a coaching session. What every coach wants is there to be a good action plan at the end of each session, this question reinforces the learning from the session and creates the framework of what actions need to be taken to move forward in performance.

In Summary:

Those are what I think are the best coaching questions in the world ever. They have worked wonders for me and hopefully can add value to your coaching sessions too.
Do you agree with the questions here? Or do you think they are a load of rubbish and know of some better questions?

Whatever your opinion, let me know in the comment box… it is good to share!

Can you REALLY find fulfilling work?

As the new year begins, we all have the opportunity to reflect on our past, set goals for our futures and maybe dare to dream of a little bit more than just paying the bills…

And in this moment of thoughtfulness, I have to ask: What do you want from your career?

Of course there are predictable answers, such as more money/status/position, but the most common desire is to have fulfilling work. Work that is enjoyable. Work that connects with your values. Work that utilises your skills. Work that contributes in a way that fills you with pride.

Although the idea that work can and should be fulfilling is a relatively new concept, it is now one of the primary expectations of todays workforce.

do-you-know-the-real-value-of-hard-workIt’s not like the old days, were work was so horrid and boring that the only way anyone would do is was to be paid.

No, in todays world we don’t only desire money for our labour, we also desire deep meaning and satisfaction.

The thing is… fulfilment is a big ask – and can probably explain why we all have career meltdowns after being on holiday or reflecting on our lives at new years – we desire fulfilling work.

So how realistic is it? Here are three ideas that might help you find fulfilling work:

1. Being confused about career choice is normal.

Again, it’s not like the old days when you only ever had one or two career choices depending on your social ranking. Today is different. Today there are so many career options open to us it becomes difficult to choose. The fear of making the wrong decision and then being stuck in a job you hate for the rest of eternity can literally stop you in your tracks and stop you from choosing a career path.

Don’t let fear take hold, any choice is better than no choice. It is better to take action and learn, than take no action at all. Even if you are wrong, you will be one step closer to finding out what is right!

2. Know Yourself

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”

Aristotle

Answering the question, ‘What is the meaning of my life?’ is easier said than done.

Understanding your deepest values and purpose is an emotional and difficult process. It is, however, tremendously rewarding too. Spending time to learn more about who you are and why you are here will help direct your work life.

In the simplest of terms, a job that is in line with your values and beliefs will be the best and most fulfilling job you have ever had!

3. Reflect, Reflect, Reflect

book_questionmark_600x369The more time you pro-actively think about how you are feeling and why, the more proficient you will become in bringing more positivity into your life.

If you feel bad… reflect and try to understand why that is. The same with feeling good. Once you have a clear understanding of the factors that generate specific emotions within you, then you can develop strategies on how to connect and attract the positive influencers and remove the negative factors.

This knowledge will then allow you to make more educated career choices, as you will know in advance what type of work will be the right type of work for you.

Putting it all together

We all desire fulfilling work. In fact we deserve it.

The best ways to reach this utopia is to take action and learn. Take time to understand who you are, explore the purpose of your life and reflect consciously on your feelings.

Fulfilment starts and ends with you… decide to become the best version of yourself.

How to create the best personal development plan in the world… Ever

I believe that life is about reaching for your full potential and becoming the best version of you. But to do so, you need to grow and develop… and if you are anything like me, completing a personal development plan is a real pain!

Until now…

This is a short video that shares how to create the best personal development plan ever:

The Three Most Important Lessons In Life That My Children Taught Me.

When you first commence parenthood, you will probably expect to learn a lot, just like I did. 

What I didn’t realise when I became a father was that my children would teach me about how to live a fulfilled and successful life.

My children, who are now 6 and 4 years old, have taught me the most fundamental and critical factors that determine the quality of life.

These factors will absolutely have a dramatic effect on your life, if you choose to follow what I have learnt. This has nothing to do with parenthood and everything to do with how to live a fulfilled life. 

Here is what I have learnt from my children:

1. Don’t care about trying to fit in.

shutterstock_85725160In our society, the idea of not fitting in and being different can be quite terrifying! We are taught throughout our lives that fitting in and compliance are positive attributes. On the most basic level, look a school uniforms, we make unique and special individuals look identical.

 

We do this in our society consistently, slowly removing our individuality and building the concept that being different is bad or negative. After all we know what happens to those that are different… they are laughed at and made fun of.

Young children on the other hand simply do not care – they are absolutely true to themselves in every way possible. They are not bothered if other people see them differently, in fact it doesn’t even enter their minds! They live and embody the person they are with pride and passion.

Here is the kicker: It is IMPOSSIBLE to be truly happy when you compromise who you are. Spending your life trying to ‘fit in’ means that you will never give the world your full potential. We are ALL different, none of us ‘fit in’ to the stereotypes we have created.

You can stand out. You can be exceptional. You are amazing and full of huge potential. Be like a child and let the real you shine like the sun – The world deserves the very best you, You deserve the very best you… Be brave, stand out!

2. Live in the present moment.

“Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path to joy”

Sarah Ban Breathnatch

Children enjoy the magic of now. They see the world with wonder, savouring everything around them.

As adults we tend to spend so much time either worrying and thinking about the past or planning and worrying about the future. So much so that we neglect the beauty and magnificence of right now!

The feeling of being absorbed in the present is wonderful. Children do it all of the time and remembering we have this skill is a fundamental building block of happiness. Read any book on how to be happy and one of the key factors will be about enjoying and being grateful for the present moment.

Here are the facts: You can’t change the past, it has gone. You can’t control the future either, as you will never have complete control of all factors involved.

What you can do is control yourself and the actions you take right now – If you think about it, the present moment is the only real moment you ever have – use it, enjoy it, live it and love it!

This doesn’t mean you should completely ignore the past or the future. Respect and learn from the past and have goals for the future. Just don’t spend all your time there. 

3. Don’t worry about failing.

216Children keep on taking action, they keep on trying until they win. It is as simple as that – Learn to walk? Keep on taking action until they win. Learn to stack building blocks? Keep on taking action until they win.

The concept of failure isn’t even in their minds – they don’t worry about looking silly, they don’t quit or concern themselves with what other people might think. They don’t care if they fall, it is just a part of the process. So they fall, they learn, they take more action…until they win!

Yet in our adult lives the fear of getting something wrong can be terrifying – So rather than take a risk, we will play it safe. We won’t take the action we need to take… instead we will take the action that is easiest to do!

That will, of course, limit us.

It will affect the quality of our lives dramatically. Take your current life as an example – Once upon a time you had a dream (maybe you still do). To achieve that dream you will have to take risks, you will have to fail lots of times and you will have to show real grit and determination to keep on pressing forward until you win.

If you are fearful of failing, then you simply won’t take the action required to win.

However, if you do take the action required everyday… Then you will experience hardship, BUT over time, you will become significantly closer to your dream. 

This is true with ANY goal… Take the required action… everyday… no matter what… and one day you will win!

Children know this. Maybe we should all be more like them?