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Month July 2014

Freedom to live

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Given the current happenings in the world, you could be forgiven for thinking that the world is not a safe place. With moment to moment coverage of all the hot spots it can be a little unnerving, can’t it. It may even make you rethink some of your plans. Or perhaps cancel them and just stay in doors.

But at what cost?

To hide from life’s opportunities because of the ‘what ifs’ doesn’t make sense to me. Obviously, it’s important to weigh up the risks, but allowing yourself to miss out on the wonders of life simply because of the thoughts in your head…? How many of us do that?

The thing is we are all going to move on to a different plane one day. A basic fact of life. And when you’ve come face to face with your own mortality it’s not something you can ignore. But in this culture it’s not an idea we like to think about. Not one we talk about.  And it’s pretty hard to get comfortable with something we try so hard to forget. But if we can gain a sense of peace around the fact that our physical bodies will one day give way to whatever awaits us, it gives us the freedom to embrace the adventures of life, risks and all. It gives us the freedom to live. Minute to minute. Living in the now.  Making the most of each morning we wake, the most of every opportunity that comes our way.

Life IS in this present moment.

We all have a choice, don’t we. Hide from life out of our fear of losing it and miss out on all the good stuff. Or embrace life, embrace the risks and live the adventure for as long as our days allow.

What choice will you make?

Life by Design

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So as I listen to one of our most experienced coaches, I hear her repeat time and time again… it wasn’t an overnight success. I took the time to design my life.

She sure did. I’ve watched her over the years. Focussed, prioritising, chucking the stuff out of her life that’s not in line with everything she values. Five years down the track she’s living life exactly how she designed it.

Now there’s a thought!

But for so many people, they’re more like driftwood, just floating through life going where it takes them. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. Unless you’re not happy about it. And there’s plenty of people that whinge about the state of their lives, isn’t there. But what are they doing about it?

I often wonder why they don’t teach a ‘design your life’ class in schools.  How much more engaged would our youth be? Seems to me it would be a much smarter use of time than more maths they’ll never use again or books they wouldn’t pick up if you paid them. And I reckon they’d be easier to teach if they realised they had some control over where their lives are going. They might even be more interested in those other subjects.

How different would all of our lives be if we took the time to design them?

Like with most things, people want the life of their dreams right now. But what are they prepared to do to make it happen? Too comfortable in their current reality, truth is many don’t do anything at all. But if you look at the people who’ve ‘made it’, if you look at the people who live a life they love, those that engage in work that sets them on fire and do incredible things for the benefit of others, these people weren’t content with being driftwood. They went out and made it happen.

What’s your vision?

What are you going to do about it?

Flow

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They call it ‘Flow’. That effortless state of being in which we can find true happiness. That state of focus where we are so engrossed in an activity that we lose track of time and all other distractions. Maybe it’s being engrossed in a book. Or in the zone through physical activity. Or it’s your work. Or doing something you love.

What most people don’t realise is that our subconscious minds take over when we’re in the state of ‘Flow’. Thinking stops and the creative mind takes over. We are simply being. Fully present to the moment and the experience. Fully engaged. An effortless state. And the result… research shows it’s pure happiness.

But ‘Flow’ doesn’t always just happen, does it. Sometimes we need to make it happen. And we can do this by giving ourselves the opportunity to experience this state of being. Making time for the things we love. Prioritising what gives us meaning and purpose.

In the heavy demands of life, we need to be ruthless sometimes in protecting this private space for ourselves in which we can recharge and create for ourselves the opportunity to experience our own happiness. And it’s not selfish. In fact, it’s a community service. Because the happier you are the happier the people are around you. It spreads like wildfire.

Lots of moments in flow, equals a life in flow. And the more I discover and practice this, the easier my life becomes. Even through the rough times.

Where can you create ‘Flow’ today?

Looking Forward

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So last night we had great plans. A rare chance for a night in with a warm fire and a bottle of red. Just me and the girlfriend.

But as we all know even the best laid plans can come unstuck. And unstuck they did.

Being late home was just the beginning.

By midnight it seemed a lost opportunity.

As Mary reminds me, great expectations can set us up for disappointment. Because expectations set us up to believe things should be a particular way, don’t they. And in reaching for how we believe something should be, when clearly it’s not, we use a lot of effort. Effort of course sets up struggle.

Not a happy picture.

And while it’s important to know which direction you want to travel, being prepared to go with the flow makes it all that much easier to achieve. Much better to allow things to unfold rather than demand that things ought to be a particular way. Only to be disappointed when they’re not.

Which brings me to the whole point of the story… the way I handled the disappointment. Because that’s the only thing I really have any control over, isn’t it.

If I choose to be that person always looking back, I’d be stuck in the story. The feelings of frustration at the waste of an opportunity going round and round in my head. And in my body. I might lose another day over it. And if I’m really stuck, it could be a week or even longer. But if I choose to be the person who looks forward, I can be real about it and admit that it was a pretty shitty situation, but then ask myself, what can I do now? After all, there’s always another opportunity, isn’t there.

But opportunities can only be seen when I’m looking forward…

Where are you focussed?

A Flash of Brilliance

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I once met a man who was paid to think. That’s right. It was his job to come to work each day and think. Just think. And while it sounds like a bit of a have, it turns out it was a really important job. Because this guy sat there all day and thought about the business. And how it could be improved so that it became more efficient. More profitable. This guy saved and made this company millions.

He wasn’t Einstein. He was just an ordinary bloke that realised the value of thinking.

Did you know that many of the most extraordinary ideas come from ordinary people?

Take the first lift ever built on the outside of a building. Story has it a bunch of architects were meeting with the hotel executive and discussing how to incorporate a lift into the hotel without losing too much business by closing down. The janitor was cleaning the room at the time and happened to have a flash of brilliance. What about putting the lift on the outside of the building? But do you think this simple brilliance was well received. After all, what would a janitor with a room full of ‘experts’ know. But then… well the rest is history.

Sometimes it only takes a slightly different perspective on a problem to open up a whole new world of possibilities. A little trust and time given over to the creative part of your mind to come up with something new. Most people don’t realise that creativity is subconscious. And it’s a powerhouse we all have.

What could a new idea mean for you?

What could a new idea mean for your business?

It may not even be a big idea. Sometimes the smallest tweaks make the biggest impact.