The power of Intention

Now we are a well into the New Year I wonder how many people have made ‘resolutions’ to achieve something but have already broken their goal?

This highlight the danger of resolutions as often people associate a resolution as an absolute must do and always do. Yes, this is setting the bar high and for a few, they may well succeed.  However, for many, they will get disheartened from not keeping to their resolution and give up on their goal.

If you instead start the year (or any personal project) with what you intend to do you give yourself the option of picking up and starting again if something rocks the boat and you miss a day or so of whatever your intention was.

Scenario

If I resolve to walk every day of the year and stick to a keto diet, I do not provide for any hiccups along the way.  If after three days I have chaffing (ouch) and my legs are too sore to walk the next day, in fact, I will do more damage if I keep walking -then I am stuck.  Result: I break my resolution before the first week has passed.

If however, I intend to keep to a keto based diet and walk every day in January, I give myself the option to take a days break if I need.  If I am invited to a friends birthday and socialising means I may stray a little from the diet and that is OK.  It is OK because through the power of intention I can start again guilt free.

The power of intention enables us to be kind to yourself while also urging us on to success in our goal.  The key to the power of intention is the understanding that ‘shit’ happens and it does not matter, no stress just start over.  You can get back on track the next day, or week if you need to.

So, if in 2019 you have a resolution and are struggling for whatever reason, simply change it for ‘Intention’ allow yourself the opportunity to correct your course and get back on track.

I sincerely hope you have a great 2019 and achieve all that you wish to achieve.

I hope you found this article helpful

Nga mihi

Tony C
Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist
e. hello@tonycuttingdigital.co.nz
m. https://m.me/tonycuttingdigital w. tonycuttingdigital.com
w. tonycutting.com

 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

Your biggest battle…

Are you winning the most important battle you need to win, the first stage is to start understanding you are already on the battlefield?

Most of you reading this possibly already know where I am going with this subject. However, it is one thing to realise our biggest battle will always be with ourselves, and another thing to do something about it. When we are young most of us have parents to guide us, and if we listen we start to learn good habits that help us get the most out of our lives.

As we grow older we now depend on our own judgement, for those of us who do not continue educating ourselves and understanding how to get the best out of the tools we have been blessed with we can start to struggle.

In terms of my personal life, I was very much a teenager up until I hit 27 years old. Single, and very independent I really lived life to the max and it took a serious health scare to jolt me into thinking more about the future and the responsibility I had to look after myself, and in my case, that meant spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. I was fortunate enough to take some good advice and visit a wonderful naturopath/osteopath Derek Pratt who really helped me start to understand what looking after your body and soul meant. At this time I was introduced to meditation and started to experience a difference in how to look after yourself.

Then throughout my thirties, life changed dramatically for me, now married and a father I battled with the change this meant and it took another serious intervention (in this case a broken ankle) for me to realise I had to change some of the old habits that were preventing me being a great father and husband. Six weeks at home I started to realise how much work being a parent was for my lovely wife. Plenty of challenges but loads of wonderful memories as we built our family and I started my journey into building a business.

Into my Forties and now with a full family (four beautiful children) and a flourishing business. I think, I really had responsibility nailed, in fact when my business hired the thirtieth staff member. Then my old foe arrived and hit me again … I started to worry “Feeling responsible for thirty families, making sure we continued to win more business and looked after everyone became a burden on me” I still had some growing to do.

In my early Fifties and I am finally realising how powerful our minds are. I am now starting to understand more how the mind works and realising that we can control our thoughts and focus positively. It really is our choice, you see the mind has a job to do but it tends to run riot if we let it. We can train our minds using tools like meditation, visualisation and will, while also understanding the truth is not in your head, be aware your mind is processing thousands of thoughts every day and it does not differentiate between good and bad thoughts, happy or sad, what’s right for you and what’s wrong with you – it just processes everything your senses take in i.e. Garbage in = garbage out.

If you want to find answers to what you should be doing, those live inside your heart. Eat well, exercise each day, meditate or take time for yourself alone, look after your body, soul and spirit and they will help you win the battle with your mind.

Live the life you would love to live. Be positive, be grateful and have fun and don’t let your mind run around your head like an untrained monkey (as the monks call it).

Have a great day

Dreaming – Goal Setting (Stage One)

What is Goal Setting?

Goal setting is a subject that alters people’s lives forever. Once you master the skill of goal setting you can achieve almost anything you want to. The following information and exercise/s will help you on the path to understanding what goal setting is and how to use it to successfully achieve your dreams.

After this exercise, you will have the basic skills to design your own future.

“A life best lived is a life by design” – Jim Rohn
“ Live a Life you would LOVE to live” – Mary Morrissey

We start the process by getting you to use your imagination. What is the life you dream to live?

Tapping this resource of imagination is focused on your future, thinking about the rest of your day, tomorrow and what your life will look like when the time comes for reflection on what you have achieved.

Dreams
Dreams are like magnets – they pull. The stronger your dreams are, the more purposeful they are, the bigger they are the stronger they pull.

They pull you to take the actions necessary to achieve these dreams.

Dreams written down are called “Goals”.

Powerful Goals
Powerful Goals have three main components;

1. They must be inspiring
2. They must be believable
3. They must be goals you can act on

NB: You do not have to know how you will get there. Part of the adventure of life is the journey, the discovery and learning. If you already know how to get there, then your dream maybe too small, dream big!

Getting Started -Your Future ‘Mindmap’

To get started I want you to paint the picture of what your life would look like when you come to your final days.  You want no regrets and you want to live the life you designed.  This is the starting point for your personal goal setting.

Below is an example of my very own mind map.  Yours may look very different and that is cool with me.

tc-mind-map

This top level map describes what I want to achieve in my life.  It starts with the centre of my universe – my family (whanau).  For me, at age 53 this is my major driving force.  However, it also includes the things I want to personally achieve.

At this level, it lacks detail but does provide the guide for me to follow as I dive deeper into each of these top level goals.  It also is the starting point for me to consider the things I really want to achieve in life.

I find it very powerful to see my plan on one piece of paper like this it helps me focus while I work on the individual goals and action steps I need to take to achieve my dreams.


 

Exercise 1 – Build your own Mindmap

Step 1. It starts with you evaluating and reflecting on where you are right now and where you want to be in the future. In the case of this Mindmap we want you to take that future right to the end of your life. Spend some time (alone) reflecting on what you would like your friends and family to be saying about you during your first day on earth. What is it you achieved with your life? How satisfied will you be? What is it that made your life what you wanted it to be? What were you about?

Then start putting pen to paper or if you would rather find magazines or print images from google to create your own personal image board.

At this stage, we are working at a very high level not too worried about the how but definitely thinking about the WHY.

You are more likely going to need to set aside time on a regular basis the work on this top level map and over time it will become clearer on what you really want it to look like. All this means is the initial map may change as you further reflect and evaluate what you want. It is important to get started and let momentum help the process evolve.

Step 2. What are your dreams and goals (future only) What do you want to achieve? What values do you want to live by? What sort of person do you want to be known as? What do you want – not what someone else wants you to be. These should come from your heart and soul. They are unique to you and come from who you were created to be and gifted to become.


Exercise 2 – SMART GOALS

Once we have drafted our mind map we want to start applying the rules of goal setting to help us succeed. The next stage is to evaluate each goal using the SMART system. Take each goal and create a heading on a new piece of paper. You should have separate sheets for each goal.

We are now going to start working on defining each goal.

SMART means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time- Sensitive.

Specific – Don’t be vague. Exactly what do you want?

Measurable – Quantify your goal. How will you know if you’ve achieved it or not?

Attainable – Be honest with yourself about what you can reasonably accomplish at this point in your life while taking into consideration your current situation.  This is the stage where you might set a task to learn more about how you are going to attain this goal e.g. “signup with a personal trainer, to learn more about getting fit” may lead to you setting new goals after you have learned from this trainer.

Realistic – It’s got to be achievable, real and practical.

Live a Healthy and Happy Life (TC Short Example)
I will retain my weight at 80kgs, each healthy food’s each day by planning out my meals and shopping on a regular basis to ensure I have healthy food to eat. I will weigh myself each week to ensure I maintain this weight or take necessary actions. (Weekly Action – plan out my meals and buy food for the week). (Weigh in Day – Friday)

I will walk a minimum of 30 minutes every day and during this time I will smile and be thankful for all I have in my life, including my wonderful family and friends. (Record distance and time in Journal).

I spend 20 minutes every day by myself meditating. I will go to sleep before 10 pm each night and get 6-8 hours’ sleep before I start the next day.

In the Summer of 2017/18, I will start to Surf again.

I will get regular health checks and continual learn new ways of being happy and healthy.  (further Action – set appts in my diary).

I will subscribe to and read about how to improve my health and start to help others around me so we live a healthy life together.  (Further Action, research books to read).

COMPLETE THIS EXERCISE FOR ALL OF YOUR GOALS.

NB: Part of your journey might be discovering the answers, so you may not be able to fill in all the blanks yet, you may create new blanks to fill in as you discover, learn and grow. Is this not what life is all about?

Once you have these Goals written down then you hold yourself accountable.  You check them weekly, monthly, and annually.  Each day you action your daily plan by writing down your goals for the day, starting the planning session by asking yourself this simple question.

“What am I doing today, to move me closer to my dream?”

 

 

 

Be happy, learn to say ‘NO’.

Now some people may be horrified when they read the title of this article but the reality is most of us struggle to say ‘No’ and the cost is usually our time or money and our ability to achieve what we want to in life. Let’s face it we were all given the gift of life and if there is a plan for us surely it is the one we should be designing for ourselves. Yet we compromise that plan because we struggle to say that little word.

It could be that we believe that saying no is uncaring, even selfish, and we may have a fear of letting other people down. On top of this may be a fear of being disliked, criticised, or risking a friendship. The reality is, it is impossible to please everyone, so we should prioritise and understand who are the most important people in our lives (and especially include ourselves in those plans).

Now here’s an completely normal example. We are all allowed to be happy every day and the only thing that stops us being happy is the choices we make. One of those choices is what we are going to be doing with our time. If we assume we are going to give eight hours to our career (whether that be your business or employer) in exchange for the cash we need to live our lives, and we should be using at least eight hours for rest, we put aside 30-60 minutes for exercise, an hour in the morning preparing ourselves for work (having breakfast), 30-60 minutes for lunch (where we make catch up with friends or squeeze our exercise in) that leaves us with around five of six hours a day doing the things we want to do. This means during the normal working week we have around five to six hours to concentrate on the activities for our own benefit. These maybe further education, entertainment or doing the activities that we enjoy.

If you have children (and I have four) most of this time will be spent with them, and it should be. There is nothing wrong with that. In the weekend, time can quickly be filled up with laundry, kid’s sports, house and garden maintenance and simply recharging the battery (sleeping in etc.) helping friends out or visiting relatives.

Suddenly when you look back at the week at all these “activities” you have only a few hours per week or less for yourself? Unless of course you start saying no.

Saying no actually starts with you deciding to design the life you would love and then ensuring you prioritise time for yourself. When it comes to designing, I mean making a real plan written down, with actions and everything a plan designed for a life you love to live that will make you happy every day. Now if it ends up looking like the life example described above and that truly makes you happy all well and good, however in most cases once we do this our plan looks very different.

Another reality is you are most likely going to get more respect when you say no.
No doubt, you will need to compromise but a rule I live by these days is every day I am doing something that helps me achieve the life I love to have. Every day my plan is to be happy and no one gets to take the time I have put aside for that. This may only be an hour per day but even then, it means I have had to learn to say no.

What would you achieve if you gave yourself seven hours’ personal time per week?

My goal over the next few years is to increase my personal time, increase my ‘no’s and to teach my children to do the same. Although funny enough they are pretty good at this already – maybe a lesson right there.

If I truly want them to be successful and have the life they would love to have is this not the right approach?

How important is presentation?

Photo Credit: Werner Kaffl

How did you react to my photo?  Was it intriguing? Is it too scary?  Am I looking into your soul? More importantly did it help pull you in to read this article?

What light does this photo immediate place on your impression of me?

You see whether we like it or not people will paint a picture about how they feel about you.  In extreme cases that can be the difference between getting an interview, winning a new customer or whether a potential life partner decides to make contact.  It also dictates what sort of people you will attract.

I think most people understand how important it is to present themselves in the best possible light.  Yet when you troll through Facebook or LinkedIn and our very own JobCafe you will find the majority of photos representing people are of a poor quality.  Many of the LinkedIn profiles I visit are incomplete yet these same people will be the first to complain that “I get no leads from LinkedIn” or “Nobody has ever reached out to me as a result of my JobCafe profile”.

As a person who works primarily in the talent management sector I can tell you now Recruiters, Coaches switched on HR people are using these tools to find or checkout your profile.  Customers are checking you out before you call.

There are so many fish in the on-line sea these days so much so it becomes automatic to skip those who just “could not be bothered” or “I used the camera on my PC, was always going to replace it” .

The reality for all of us is the landscape of finding people is changing dramatically and if you want to take advantage of this technology the time to take it most seriously is right now.

Anyway … so here are my tips on how to look great online

  1.  Use a professional photographer to create your online photos
  2. Make sure you look as professional as you need for the industry or purpose your profile is for. The right photographer will help you here.
  3. Back this up with the way you look when you meet people in real life.
  4. Do the research on people who have a similar career path or business as yourself. How are they presenting themselves?  Set your bar with the people who present themselves the best.
  5. Checkout this wiki site that gives some great tips http://www.wikihow.com/Present-Yourself-in-the-Best-Possible-Way
  6. Ask your better half – and listen to them.

Finally.  It feels great when you get that haircut or see yourself in that new suit?  You look great and feel great – this is the moment you ring your photographer.  Refresh your look on a regular basis and you are halfway there.

 

 

 

 

 

The Rose Compass

OK a little confession here.  This is a tool I have been working on for a few years to help people at work as well as help managers, team leaders, supervisors become stronger talent managers. I have used this tactic a lot when managing staff and have been able to get great results even with those people who may not have been on the companies’ wavelength or that keen on having me take over from their previous manager.  I now use this tool in my approach with my coaching clients and find it works very well for me.

OH…And by results I mean loyalty, trust, honesty and positive outcomes for the business.

The goal of this tool is to provide a simple weekly exercise that every manager can use to help develop a meaningful working relationship with their most important resource – their people.  It is also design so you do not have to purchase some fancy piece of software or invest heavily in management courses to learn.

I have looked to keep it simple so if is effective and easily actioned.  My hope being this will make your work life better.  I suspect you can apply this tool to your other relationships and find improvement their as well if you need it.

So what is a Rose Compass?
The compass rose is an old design element found on compasses, maps, and even monuments (e.g. the Tower of the Winds in Athens and the pavement in Dougga, Tunis, during Roman times) to show cardinal directions and frequently intermediate direction.

Early forms of the compass rose were known as wind roses, since no differentiation was made between a directional point and the wind that emanated from that direction.

The purpose of the Rose Compass is to help you stay on track.  The Rose Compass can show you where you want to go and help you understand where you are actually heading.

Applying the Rose Compass to Talent Management.
Understanding the principle that there are always a minimum of two directions we are heading is important within Talent Management.  No matter whether you are working for someone else or working for a client there are these forces at play – what the company or client wants you to achieve, and what you want to personally achieve.  Like with a nautical Rose Compass the trick is to monitor the situation on a regular basis to ensure you are heading to achieving your goal/s.

From a managers view the value in a Rose Compass is know what the employee is looking to achieve for themselves personally and tracking this against what the business is wanting them to achieve.  If you can find the matches you can coach and manage the employee effectively.  If no match exists or the direction of the employee is unclear, then you have left yourself open for trouble.

Now this is very important …
Unlike, a performance review this approach starts with an absolute focus on the staff member’s needs.  Where are they heading? what do they want to achieve, how can you help them get there?  and in many cases you will find that initially you may need to help people discover a direction.  The great thing is once this is established you can then start mapping the tasks and things they want to do to the tasks and things the organisation wants to do.

This is a very powerful tool as suddenly you have the very means to ensure you are heading in the same direction.  This is how we truly acheve a Win/Win/Win situation, build strong working relationships and if applied to your customers, family and friends, more meaningful relationships all around.

OK, now the hard part – before I get to the tactics of how you work this.  Yes, it may also mean it is time to realise you are on different paths and then you need to work through a positive plan that allows both parties to move on with dignity and respect.

Putting the Rose Compass in action 
I prefer weekly meetings with staff normally between 20-30 minutes per week and unlike the norm these are not performance meetings driven by what the manager or organisation is looking to achieve.  In fact, they are the complete opposite and much more effective in my opinion.  The sessions are to check-in with the staff member and see if they are on track with their plans. Now it may take some time for you to build the trust and if you want to know how to do this please read more about He Waka Taura the talent management framework I developed with Hohepa Patea.

But once this trust is built and the staff member realises you are truly invested in their success you will find these sessions very powerful.  It starts by finding out what the staff member wants to achieve (long term) and looking at how the current role contributes to that success while also clearly showing how that the actions being taken are benefitting both parties i.e. The journey is on track.  This may mean writing down the things the staff member is looking to achieve and how they are doing that on a daily basis and then comparing this to what the organisation (or manager) is looking to achieve by writing these down side by side.

In some cases, their maybe small actions required to alter the course and armed with the information on what the staff member is looking to achieve a talented manager can show what is required for both parties to achieve their goals.  Of course if the tracks are too far apart or totally incompatible then more serious actions will need to be taken.

This method is highly successful it has helped me build very successful teams in the past, even when inheriting someone else’s staff who did not necessarily ‘warm’ to me initially I was able to forge a way forward.

You can back these meetings up with monthly performance meetings if needed but I promise you when you get the chemistry right between you and your team member you will find this approach very effective.

 

Building your brand

Whether you are a business, organisation or an individual, building your brand is the one activity that starts when you are born and will continue with you until your final days.  A great brand will live on forever in the memories of those you touched positively while a bad brand will suddenly find you losing customers, employment opportunities, partners, family and friends.

So what is your brand?

More than a 150 years ago, cattle ranchers used branding irons to indicate which animals were theirs.   As the cattle moved across the plains on their way to the slaughter house, it was easy to determine which ranches they were from because each head of cattle was branded.

In modern days “your brand” is almost related to everything you do.  Celebrities live and die on their brand and believe it or not so do we as individuals, companies and not for profit organisations.  A brand today relates to how we look, how we are perceived by those who already know us, how we act, how we present ourselves, what we say, how we use Social Media (Yes, especially for you teenagers it’s how you use Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat).  Almost every action we take can have a positive or negative impact on our brand.  Today building your brand and destroying your brand is getting easier and easier.

For Business

Companies for years have understood about building their brands, you only have to look at the impact Coke has made over the last few decades with highly successful advertising and brand building campaigns depicting that Coke drinkers lead youthful, fun and exciting lives – and they have been extremely successful.  Today they have to counter the negative reality that too much sugar in our diet is detrimental to our health.  So how will they ‘save’ their brand?  Changing the makeup of Coca Cola may not have the desired effect as the Coke brand is built on the way it looks and tastes, and how it makes us feel, for many the taste they use to love is now too sickening to drink.

So, will sales of ‘Pump’ water save Coca Cola?

Most organisations looking to hire people understand the importance of their employment branding, well you hope they would.  The reality is many organisations over the past few years have forgotten what a brand really is and although they may have been painting a wonderful story with some expensive advertising campaign, the very recruitment process backing up this campaign is quickly destroying their brand and their ability to hire the top talent they really want.  They have basically taken the ‘human’ side out of the recruitment process in order to streamline the hunt for staff, instead of focused on the full brand experience and understood that the first real contact made with people needs to be treated in a very different manner.  Of course there are many organisations who have woken up to this mistake and are taking their recruitment a lot more seriously.

The ATS systems are being replaced by people dedicated to finding the right people for their teams, recruitment a skill that most hiring managers use to have in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s is now back in the hands of those educated managers who understand the value of taking the important responsibility of identifying the people they are looking to hire, and building a relationship with them, reducing the risk of hiring them by evaluating and reserching their backgrounds while understanding that they too are representing the organisations brand,  and setting a strong impression with their own personal brand.

Hiring people in the future is going to look a lot different from the late 90’s and today.  Well for the organisations that want the top talent it will.

For individual people

As we become more successful in whatever field we choose to pursue our brand grows and depending on the way we act, or more important are seen to act our brand is established in people’s minds.  Yes, brands are only established by the way people think about us.

So like anything in the mind a brand can be changed, or built on, or if we are not careful destroyed.  The fact is whatever we do we will build a brand that some people will love, some people will like and some people may not care for.  The trick for us as individuals is taking the time to think about building the brand we would like to have with people we like to live, work and play with.  We also need to understand it is very hard to build one brand so those who try and juggle two (My ‘business’ brand & my ‘personal’ brand) will not only find this task difficult but if they have distinct differences, you are more than likely going to ‘get’ found out.  Your true brand is the one you will be buried with.

How do I build my brand?

The tricky thing is to understand what we are looking to build.  My personal approach albeit a little morbid, is for you to take sometime to think about the end.  Imagine your funeral, what are the people (who turned up) saying about you, to each other (not your eulogy, cause thats more likely going to be only focused on the positive) but what are they really saying about you.

Next step is, what would you like them to say about you? This is your brand.  Now you can go about working on how to build it.

The next stage is to decide what values you would like to live by, and try and apply those when you approach your daily life.  Building a strong positive brand takes hard work, but if you are consistent, persistent and true to yourself you can build a great brand.  Because a great brand is not only about how we look, act, treat others and contribute to our chosen communities, workplaces, clients it’s about how we think and more importantly how everyone around us who cares to know us and who really does not know us thinks about us.

Don’t just think about how your future client or boss thinks about you.  Think as much about the person at reception who gets that first impression from you (yes they will share it with their boss).  Think about the person you provided services too as much as about the person you provide services for. Think about those people who may know the people you know, think about the stranger or future employer or client who reads your Facebook page posts, personal website, or LinkedIn profile and you will really start to get an understand what your brand truly is.

Is it time to work on your brand?

 

 

 

 

 

Becoming Great – Part 4 “Getting noticed and making impact”

In part 4 of my series for becoming great I would like to share my tips for you on how to get noticed, that does not mean getting noticed by everyone, but getting noticed and appreciated by those who matter.  Whether those people be, our family (kids), bosses, work colleagues or customers.

Engage your ears, not your mouth.
In any situation you find yourself in whether it be at home, at work or on the sports field.  Try and be in the moment ‘Be Here Now’ take in the conversations, arguments and ideas of those around you.  Do not let other activities distract your focus on the topic, or situation at hand. If you have been asked to contribute thoughts, provide some comment initially but use questions to dig deeper into what those around you are thinking. Speak less and ask questions more.

By talking less and listening more, often the ‘more impact’ you will have when you do speak. People will start to listen to your ideas more.  However, be smart, find out all the facts, and become the person known for wanting to explore all the options and details. You do not have to be the smartest person in the room, but you can be the most impactful, simply by being the better listener.

Timing is everything.  Wait, until all the thoughts, arguments and ideas are in the room, then speak for the first time from a different viewpoint.

Do your Research
Simple, but the more you prepare the better equipped you will be to make meaningful contributions when you need to.  When you share your ideas, back it up with fact, and if possible great stats or data.  Don’t just come up with a view, or you maybe setting yourself up for a hiding.

Explore different views
Smart people around the world understand that a diverse approach is the most effective and most likely to come up with more ideas and different solutions.  Be the person who seeks out different views from different cultures, people with differing stances, approaches.  Try and think outside the box by exploring more.  If you are an employer hire different people from different cultures, ages and backgrounds and build a business that is based on quality information from different sources.  Find out how ‘it’ impacts everyone not just what it means for someone like you.

If you do not have different views in a meeting, then be the one to suggest seeking out those views, take charge of gathering the information and you will become known as the person who finds the best results.

Never repeat
People only hear it the first time; after that, it’s diluted and they switch off and forget the point you made. You may think you are making a point but your silence will be more powerful after you have shared your thought …

Take notes
Have your journal and pen with you at all times, take notes and arm yourself with the information being shared in the room.  You will be forced to listen more as you write down what others are saying and your notes will provide you with ammunition when it comes time to think, analyse then speak.

Tone and volume
Don’t yell, don’t whisper, don’t screech. The greatest speakers in the world all take lessons so don’t be afraid to follow in their footsteps.

Speak from your heart not your head
Be careful with this, make sure before you speak from your heart that your head is full of different ideas and facts.  Only then are you ready to give a passionate viewpoint.

You don’t have to have the last word
In fact if you have said what you think (for now) then leave it there, let others argue, you end as you begun – the best listener in the room.

Becoming Great – part 3 Body language, Work Ethic, Energy levels, Attitude & passion.

In Part 3 of the ‘becoming great’ series I am focusing on things that we all know about , but maybe sometimes take for granted, not realising the huge impact. I’ll call these your ‘book cover signs’ – people read you by them, and judge you for them.

  1. Body Language
  2. Work Ethic
  3. Energy Levels
  4. Attitude & Passion

These all marry perfectly for me when I think of harmony and balance.  A long time ago I met an awesome Naturopath/Osteopath ‘Derek’.  He was one of those people you meet in your life that makes a massive impact, and not only helped me with some physical issues he also helped me to better understand about stress, how to manage this and how important finding balance was to us all.  When we are out of balance we will tip over and it usually means we spend time sick at home or turning into the person no one wants to be around.

In terms of balance I learnt to respect the four pillars that needed to be taken care of and although I can confess I still get ‘out of whack’ by neglecting one of the pillars from time to time, when push comes to shove I know it is important to work on all of these, all of the time.

  • Mental health
  • Physical health
  • Spiritual health
  • Emotional health

So lets take a closer look at the pillars and later on we will talk about how they relate to how others will perceive us.  The key to stop getting out of balance is to keep working on all the pillars, all of the time. By taking control on these and consciously working on them we can achieve balance and ensure we have all the ‘book cover signs’ sorted.

I must confess from time to time I fall out of sync and find myself playing catch up (usually on the physical things I should be working on) but sometimes on it may be any one of the pillars I have neglected – life has a way of throwing correction ‘signals’ when we do this and they often are seen by our loved ones, friends and work colleagues before we realise we need to stop and ‘take stock’.

Mental Health – We all need to nourish our brains and understand that learning is a part of life, and you will never stop.  So for me mental health is about nourishing my brain by reading, spending time with people I can learn from and looking each week at things that are going to help keep my mind sharp and provide ‘new nourishment’ for my mental health.

I admire those people who play instruments or have fantastic hobbies that constantly provide the mental nourishment they require. When we learn something new there is a real sense of accomplishment and re enforcement of our self-worth, you will find you carry yourself a little taller, work a little harder, feel good about yourself and have renewed energy and have a much more positive outlook and passion for life.

So work on your mental health if not daily every week.

Physical Health – Many of us understand the importance of physical health and put a lot of time into working out, eating the right food and watching our weight – and yes we should do this work but it is just as important for us to find time to work on our other pillars.

The great thing about Physical Health I find it is actually the easiest to correct and get back on track when needed.  A simple 30-60 minute walk a day will make all the difference, and if you are eating right you will find you will be feeling good, looking good and have the right attitude.  For me walking is does wonders for me, it allows me to work on my physical and emotional state (For me walking is a wonderful form of meditation that helps also work on reducing daily stress) thus also working on my emotional state.

Spiritual Health– You maybe religious or you may be like me, someone who needs to spend time with nature, whether that is walking on the beach or in the bush, or just taking time to sit for a while and take in the beauty of nature that surrounds me. Visiting my spiritual home (Hongoeka Marae) or just catching up with friends that share my passion for life, does help me.  Looking back on my family history, not dwelling on it but just understanding where I have come from has also been a big help to me spiritually.

Understanding my values is important to me and having a set of values that positively affects me, the people I come into contact with and the universe I find very helpful with my spiritual outlook.

This is a harder one for me to explain because I feel it can be very different for everyone but that is OK, find what relaxes you, brings you back to a calm state, makes you a better person, and makes you a great person to be around, this is what you need to work on.

Learn about meditation, mindfulness or being at peace with yourself and you should find a  positive spiritual state. There are many forms of meditation, walking, practicing the art of meditation, fishing, just sitting somewhere with nature …

Be mindful of others and how we treat everyone and everything we interact with, because if we were all positive, forgiving and caring of everyone we meet, what would the world really look like?

Emotional Health – For me this is all about being mindful of my own actions and reactions to events and others around me as well as being mindful of those I come into contact with and how they maybe feeling.  Making the decision to be happy everyday regardless of what is going on and understanding that when we acheive this we truly acheive living a fulfilling and happy life.

For me the approach that works is to appreciate life everyday and spend time just thinking about and enjoying what I have.  Sitting thinking about what I don’t have, or what others may have I think is destructive and poisonous to your emotional state.

Do not let others actions and emotions dictate your outlook for the day.  In fact if you take the approach of giving and helping others when you can, you will notice that the positive effect on the people around you help will not only improve their day this will give your emotional state a massive positive boost.

Life is not a destination, it is all about the journey so why not work hard to be happy everyday, and help those around us to be happy as well.  Just try and let go of the stress others put upon you (takes practice) e.g. the guy that cut you off when you were driving to work, the argument you had with your partner this morning, forgive them and just move on and get your emotions back on track.  Be the bigger person and first to forgive and forget, don;t fool yourself with mind games that are really just self destructive and frankly a waste of time – yes I am talking from experience.

If it does not kill you it will only make you stronger, but this only occurs if we approach things positively and we learn from the event.  Let’s allow ourselves the time during the day no matter what is happening around us, to look at the positive things in our life and appreciate them.

I know this is hard somedays, but believe me if you can work on being happy everyday, then you will find that emotionally you will be in a great place and all of your ‘book cover signs’ will say ‘I have got it together’ ‘I am great, thanks’.

Lets face it, for many of us it is our emotions that blow things out of perspective, that cause’s us the most stress and effect those around us the most, but know we also have the ability to control these and choose to be happy or not.  Yes there are things that make us unhappy, mad, sad, frustrated but if we can bring ourselves back to appreciating what is positive in our lives and let emotions that ‘bring us down’ past quickly or at least be interupted we can have happiness everyday.

You will find people that are experienced at meditation and practice mindfulness manage their emotional health the best.  This is definately a pillar you work on everyday and some days events will make this hard on you, so what I recommend is go for a walk (especially if you find yourself in a heated situation at work or home) take in the surroundings, clear you head and be happy. Master this skill and become truly great.

Conclusion
So there is a lot to take in here. Because to get all four ‘Book Cover Signs in order’ we need to actually focus on the ’cause and effect’ by first of all getting our balance right.  You see I believe when you are out of balance, then it will show and without you knowing others will pickup that things are not quite right with you.

Other than buddist monks who have trained for long periods of time, things affect us and events will throw us.  We can bring ourselves back into balance by making a daily effort to think about how we can keep our balance, live happy, healthy lives that make a contribution to our world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great 2016!

Kia ora Koutou everyone!

Welcome to the first wonderful day of 2016. Firstly let me sincerely and humbly thank all of you who supported me through my challenge last year, whether that be through your personal contacts, Facebook comments or Likes, texts etc, knowing you are being thought of is a wonderful thing and for me was extremely helpful during some tough times. I have to mention my family who really stepped up for me, especially my beautiful wife Lisa who never lets me get away with playing the sickness card (for too long), and helps me to think positive and get moving forward, and is strong enough to challenge me to get off my arse and get going.

I do believe things happen for a reason and a major change is needed for me moving forward, not sure I have discovered exactly what that is, but to start this year it will be a focus on my health and changing some terrible habits I have cemented in my mind and daily actions over the past 30+ years. This will be a journey for the rest of my being and I have many people already to thank whom have started providing me some good guidance, I will find my own way and work hard this year to retrain myself to be much healthier everyday and find a formula that works well for me.

I am no longer sick.

I am great, I have some stuff to work on but no more or less than most of you. I need to build my strength and will do this under the guidance of Clay Mosen and others. This will build muscle and along with my new approach to food will drive my weight down to where I want it to be by Christmas this year.

2016 is going to be a great year and I look forward to catching up with as many of you as I can when time and circumstance permits.

Anyone who is keen to make a massive change this year, you are welcome to contact me privately, share, compare notes and know you have a supporter here who is as keen for you to succeed. My success will mostly be measured in kilos, and the excitement you get when you fit into clothes you have not worn for a year, but the real success will be that of forming long term habits that give me the strength and fortitude to keep going. I have always been a team player so my shout out is genuine, I do not know all the answers but have some insights and will be looking to find out what works well for me, which may not be what works well for you.

I believe we are a product of our personal choices, the way we treat others and the environment around us. Regardless of the final outcome or where we are at any given day, we should look to live it healthy and happy everyday. Put the not so great days behind you as experience (downtime, whatever – we all will expeience this) but celebrate the great days and do not be afraid to share your positive feelings with those around you. You are never too old or young to start to give your self a positive restart.

Thanks again for your support last year! – have a great 2016, it is your choice, if you want to support me – do it by inspiring me by helping yourself!

Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei

translation – Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain

This whakatauki is about aiming high for what is truly valuable, but it’s real message is to be persistent and don’t let obstacles stop you from reaching your goal.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑