STOP wasting 30 days a year!

I was recently given feedback that I wasn’t ‘present’ while playing with my kids. I was there physically, but apparently I spent half my time looking at my phone. I didn’t even notice I was doing it, but one thing is for sure, my children deserved more from me.

It’s not just my fault though… The current social narrative is that we live in a time that is more connected than ever before. Technology gives us more, faster and life is better… or so the story goes.

The narrative we are told doesn’t tell the whole story…

It’s true we have more connections than ever before. Just look at the average number of ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ we have on social media. I myself have over 1500 connections on LinkedIn and a different 1500 on Twitter.

However, even though our ability to connect is greater than ever before, our true deep connections are being diluted and degraded by our addiction with staring at the screens of phones, laptops, TV’s and tablets. This addiction of being ‘plugged in’ paradoxically impacts our ability to connect with the present moment, to be fully immersed in the beauty of now and to deeply connect with the people physically around us.

You will have seen it yourself… In restaurants, coffee shops and other social events. Couples, families, maybe even you, rather than connecting with each other in the moment, they have their faces glued to their phone screens… together, but separate.

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If you are interested in living a fulfilled life, that is energised and joyous, then the simple truth is, our addiction to technology and social media is like a virus eating away at our chances of happiness. I promise you… at the end of your life you won’t say “I wish I had just spent more time on Facebook”.

“Technology is nothing. What is important is that you have faith in people. That they are basically good and smart, and if you give them the tools they’ll do wonderful things with them.”

Steve Jobs

Are you addicted?

Do you look at your phone/social media as soon as you wake up? Do you have your phone within arms reach at all times? Do you look on social media more than 3 times per day?

You’re addicted.

The average person, in the western world, watches TV 3 hours per day – In the USA it’s over 4 hours per day… That is just watching TV!  We haven’t even added the time spent on useless emails, internet or social media!!

If YOU use technology less than the average westerner and your TV, internet, social media etc usage is only 2 hours per day, how much time are you losing that could be spent on doing something amazing? How much time would you have to connect deeply with those you love? How much time would you have to be present and enjoy the here and now?

Well, for a start it’s 14 hours per week.

Or an extra full 2.5 days per month.

Or an extra 30 days a year!

How about over a life-time? Over 65 years you would get 47320 hours… that’s 1971 days…
That is five and a half years… 24 hours everyday, 7 days a week, for five and a half years!!!

Just imagine what you could achieve with your relationships, with your goals, with your life…

Don’t ever tell yourself you don’t have the time and please don’t get to the end of your life and wish you had connected more deeply with the people you love. Don’t wish you had spent more time enjoying the present moment, don’t wish you didn’t have the time to chase your dreams.

Don’t let your addiction to technology ruin your life.

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I am going to commit to change and I invite you to join me in the battle to make our lives amazing.

Together, we can commit to removing all technology from your life for 2 hours everyday – no phones, no games, no TV, no screens of any kind. Just you and real life.

The only rules are no technology and no sleeping during the 2 hour amnesty!

Do it everyday for a month, so you will get 2.5 days extra to do something that matters to you. Tell people you love them, learn new skills or contribute a little more, it’s up to you.

Make a significant difference in your life. I will report back in 30 days to share what I managed to achieve… I hope you will too.

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You become like those you spend most time with – Choose wisely!

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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”

Oprah Winfrey

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

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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.

Understand the four components of making good decisions

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At the age of 24 I had some big decisions to make. I had just been promoted to my first senior management role. I had to make my mark… I had to show that I was worthy of the promotion.

I was also faced with a lot of different decisions to make. The types of decisions I had never faced before and that would define my success in my new role.

To cut a long story short… I messed up big-time and, to put it bluntly, I failed in the role.

What I needed was a set of clear guidelines that would help me make better decisions every time.

Imagine how much better your life would be if you ‘got it right’ more often.

Here is the advice I would give to my 24 year old self, maybe it might help you too…

Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, then make a different choice.

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Make Decisions!

I realise this might sound ridiculous and simple, but one of the biggest problems I faced was being decisive. I wanted the perfect answer. I wanted to understand every possible perspective and unearth every single fact, before committing to a course of action. This isn’t going to happen… ever!

Don’t let issues build and build. They turn into mountains very quickly, so dealing with problems early is dramatically easier in the long run. This doesn’t mean you ignore gathering information. Of course you have to have an idea what you are dealing with, just don’t procrastinate… be bold, be brave… ACTION IS BETTER THAN NO ACTION!

Be able to let go

It is absolutely vital that once you have made a decision and taken a course of action, that you review if it is working on a regular basis. If it is not working, then change what you are doing… adapt your decision.

So many people will make a decision and then will stick to that course of action no matter what. Even if the resulting outcome is not what was desired!

The concept that you are perfect in your decision, is an illusion and needs to be let go. The bottom line is you are a human-being and you will make mistakes… however what you can ensure is that you learn from the actions you take and adapt them accordingly, to ALWAYS get the desired outcome.

Don’t be focused on being right… be focused on getting it right.

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Ask good questions

The questions we ask ourselves will determine the answers we create.

Ask better questions, get better answers. Most people will have an internal negative dialog that becomes self-fulfilling.

For example, if your internal conversation is based on the fear of getting a decision wrong – then the action you would take will be very different from the actions you would take if your internal thoughts are about how fantastic life would be when it has been resolved perfectly.

The questions I ask myself consistently are:

What decision will make me feel the best?
What decision will be the best for the people around me?
What decision will be the best for the wider world?
What decision will I be proud of?

When making your next big decision, write down these four questions and answer them. When you have finished you will have a greater insight as to the right thing to do.

Copy other peoples success!

Whatever decision you have to make in your life, there will be someone in the world who has performed brilliantly in that area.

We are more connected, in this day and age, than we have ever been before. Get on the internet, locate the experts, find out what they do and replicate it…

The hardest way to solve any problem or make any decision is to start from scratch, without any support or advice.

Starting from scratch is deliberately putting yourself at a disadvantage for no good reason. Find out what the best in the world do, then role-model that! The best in the world aren’t magic, they aren’t super-human, they have a process.

Learn the process, apply the process, get good results from that process!

Imagine a world were you make better decisions.

Six Ways I Upgraded My Performance

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

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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!

Presence

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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?”

Productivity

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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

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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?”

Physiology

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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

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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!

 

You Deserve More

What if it all ended today… What dreams, gifts, talents, ideas and stories would end with you?

Most people deliberately live under their potential… don’t be most people, watch this video…

Thank you for reading, commenting, liking, sharing, and for being open to learning strategies and behaviours that serve your personal growth and development.
For further information on speaking events, seminars and more free inspirational posts Click here for my website

Images courtesy of at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Quit trying to make a great first impression

In our ultra competitive world, every opportunity to impress counts… especially with those you meet in positions of power within your world.

The pressure is on… How will you be perceived? Will you be funny? Intelligent? Insightful? Confident? Boring? Stupid? Shy? Or even worse arrogant?

What do they want to hear? What will they be interested in? What type of person do they connect with? Do they want to talk business? Small talk? What if they….

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How on earth can anyone make a good first impression when they have all that going through their mind?

They can’t… YOU can’t

When we put so much energy into focusing on what you cannot control it will dilute the authentic you… Think about when you are at your absolute best… were you thinking of all the things you should and shouldn’t be doing or were you just in the moment? In flow?

Of course you weren’t second guessing everything… of course your mind wasn’t cluttered with a list of worries, actions and assumptions… So why deliberately clutter your mind when meeting someone for the first time?

When you divert your focus and attention you divert being in flow, you divert and distract yourself… a distracted version of you has less chance of that great first impression and is more exhausting too!

Below are 4 approaches you can take that will help make that great first impression… These aren’t “rules” of how to engage with others, more an attitude and philosophy you can utilise.

Don’t try to hard!

Simple advice, but effective… as previously explained, trying too hard will have the opposite effect you are after! All the energy and focus you will burn up while trying to second guess every comment, every movement, will literally drain you of all creativity, playfulness and energy.

That will equal a worse, fatigued and unenthusiastic version of you… That’s probably not the look you were going for!

The myths of first impressions are given far too much press – the fact of the matter is… you will not get promoted, get the sale, get the contract on the very first impression… even if it’s a great one! You will get those things via your capability, experience etc… First impressions are important… just not that important… it’s not life or death, stop acting like it is!

A good questions to ask yourself before interacting with someone new could be:

“If I KNEW the person I am about to meet thinks I am totally amazing already, how would I act?”

Utilise you physiology to create certainty

Being confident when making those first impressions is important… That is easier said than done though isn’t it?

Nope! You can create the feelings and emotions of absolute certainty at will… You can call them up at any given time. All you need to do is know how…

The key is in your physiology… The way you move, the way you hold yourself and even the way you breathe!

You can literally train yourself to feel good or feel bad… As legendary performance coach Tony Robbins says “motion creates emotion”

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Lets play a game:

I want you to remember the worst working days ever… The day that everything went wrong and you seemed to upset or annoy everyone… you were rubbish at your job and your boss/client had literally just told you so… remember the details.

Think about how you felt that day… feel how you held your shoulders, see how you walked through a room, think about your breathing… was it fast? Slow? Deep? Shallow?

Now… lets get rid of all that negativity… How about the day you were absolutely unstoppable… You got the big deal, the promotion, delivered that presentation… and you did it in style! Nothing could stop you that day… everything you touched figuratively turned into gold!

Feel how you felt… Step into that feeling for a moment… How do you move? How do you walk? Talk? Breathe? That strong, fast, intelligent, capable you… see how you look, feel what you felt, think how you thought.

Did you see the difference? Feel the difference? Your physiology drives your emotional state… The differences might have only been small, but there were differences… recognise these.

If you want to feel certain… If you want to be confident… Step into the unstoppable you… hold your body like they do, breathe like they do, talk, walk and smile like they do…

You will feel more confident almost immediately!

Be curious

Another simple approach… Be interested in the person you are meeting. Show a genuine curiosity in who they are, what they do, how they feel…

There is nothing more appealing than someone who gives you their full attention, that is fully focused on you, who isn’t distracted from anything but you… In a genuine, caring and thoughtful way.

Think of the people in your life you get on with more than any others … Why do you you like them so much? Do they give you attention? Are they interested in you? Are they genuine and caring?

It is true for everyone.

When you meet people, just be interested in them. Give them your attention. Be curious to find out more.

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Don’t have an agenda

If you expect to get a promotion or to strike a big deal etc on the first meeting, you will be focused on you and your agenda… this is the opposite to being curious… and gets the opposite reaction!

Remember a first impression is not life or death… you are meeting another human being for the first time. Don’t force anything onto them… get to know them…

What would you prefer when you first meet someone? A person who is absolutely focused on themselves and their message or someone who is friendly and interested in you as a person?

Want to make a great first impression… Quit trying, move with confidence, be curious and don’t push your agenda!

Images courtesy of at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What are the moments that make us change?

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Most first blogs will incorporate an overview of the subject matter in future posts and then share why they are a person who is credible about said subject matter.

Not mine… If you want that, hit the “ABOUT” link and you will find all you need to know about that…

This post is about finding out… “What is the moment that triggers most of us to take the action needed to achieve something in our lives?”

I’m not talking about basic things… I’m talking about the BIG THINGS… Think about your life when you achieved something brilliant, something against the odds, something, that at the time, you didn’t even know how you were going to do it, but where so motivated you found a way..

Most people will tell stories of things like giving up smoking, losing weight, getting a promotion etc… You will have your story too. You see we are all capable of amazing things, when we have the absolute focus and drive to do it.

So, what was the trigger? What was the moment that it HAD to change?

At the most basic level it’s either to avoid pain or gain pleasure or as Tony Robbins, the stimulus for this particular post says… “Either inspiration or desperation”

To that end then, for those who lose weight, the pain of feeling over-weight becomes too much to cope with and it becomes a “enough is enough” situation

Or

The pleasure of how great they will feel, how attractive they will be becomes so vivid and inspirational that it becomes “I MUST have that” situation

However…

Most commonly it is a little of both pain and pleasure!

In my life the times when I have taken massive action have, in the most part, been linked to pain… Pain that I could have avoided if I’d of created sufficient motivation before the pain occurred!

A good example was during my first Management role in the retail sector… I delivered some decent results and thought I was progressive nicely… In the town where I worked there were 2 stores of the same brand and the company decided to close one of the stores. To cut a long story short, I was classed as the second best manager out of the 2 managers and was made redundant.

This of course created massive pain in my life… I was second best, I felt a failure, my security had gone, my career had gone and so had my confidence. I can still remember the shock, the tears and the anger in that little back office in a retail store in Blackpool, when I was told the news.

Once I had got over the first wave of emotions and stopped blaming everybody else… which took longer than I would like to admit… my focus became to intensify my own development, to learn more, practice more and to never leave my growth in the hands of anyone else, let alone a corporate company.

I took huge action… lots of it… adapted it… learnt from it…  and within a year I was promoted to a significantly more senior role within the same company.

I changed my life… but I had to wait for pain to happen to me first!

How about you? Those moments you did the spectacular… was the motivation created by you or was it an external stimulus?

Now have a think about your dreams… the person you want to be… the leader you want to be…

Are you taking massive action to get that??? Life or death action?

4 or 5% of you will say “yes” to that last question… Great work, keep it going and get in touch… It’s always good to share the magic!

For the rest of us, here is the deal… You are capable of amazing things… you will already have a story or 2 where you took great action and achieved something cool… something you are proud of.

So if we all already have the capability… what are you waiting for?

Are you waiting for some big event to cause enough pain to take the action?

Or are you waiting for some even bigger event to come along and inspire you enough to be motivated to do what it takes?

What if we could create that desire to act without having to rely on external forces? What if we could train ourselves to get the motivation to take the action needed to secure our dreams? To be the leader of our dreams?

We can…

There are so many ways to do this, but for now lets play one game to get us started and then we can explore further in future posts…

The game…

Pick an area of your life you would like to change (just one, write it down and rate out of 10 how motivated you are to take action now to make that change)

Now I would like you to think about what will happen if you DONT change… and write down the answers to the following questions… and lay the consequences on thick…

If I don’t take action… In 5 yrs time…

  1. How will I feel about this area in my life?
  2. Is the change needed so big now it seems impossible?
  3. How do you look, with all the baggage of stagnation around you?
  4. How are your relationships… better or worse with no change?
  5. How is your career? Have you progressed without making the required change?
  6. How successful do you feel?

I know, if done properly, that is a tough exercise to do… But if done properly, I would like to ask a few questions…

How much desire do you have now to make the change?

Out of 10… how motivated are you to make the change now?

You should now feel a greater desire than before to take action… You probably are quite motivated to make sure that version of the 5yr you doesn’t happen!

You have just started to train yourself to be more motivated than before… to train yourself to take real, tangible actions on the areas you now must change.

And you did it by asking some questions… no real pain, no external event, no promise of huge pleasure… Just asking yourself some better questions.

What if we could create that desire to act without having to rely on external forces? What if we could train ourselves to get the motivation to take the action needed to secure our dreams? To be the leader of our dreams?

You just did…