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Slow Days

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Okay, so most of you probably know I’m up north visiting the folks. And most of you also know I love life in the fast lane. But up here at Cooly, sure there’s lots going on but there’s also another opportunity presenting itself… the chance to go a little slower.

Take yesterday for example. Instead of giving in to the temptation of getting straight into work Mary and I made the choice to go a little slower. Putting away the phones and laptops until we’d done a few things for ourselves. Prioritising the time for meditating before getting outside for a bit to walk along the beach. It’s one of Mary’s favourite things. With a great breakfast at the other end before we walked back.

The thing is we achieved all of this before 9am.

An awesome way to set ourselves up a great day ahead. And we felt so good.

The thing is when we slow down it’s like we have more time. Time moves slower, we think clearer and things fall into place so much better. It’s about connecting – with world around us, with those we love – and filling up the well so we can then go about our day with a better energy, a clearer more focussed mindset, more centred. It’s about minimising the distractions.

And there are millions of distractions around us. But it’s up to us whether we choose to let them grab our attention and control our lives. Or whether we choose to do something else. To take back control and connect with what’s really important. Our relationships, our values, ourselves.

As Jim Rohn said, either you run the day or the day runs you. So before you start your day tomorrow, take a few moments to work out what you want your day to look like, then work backwards and make some choices to ensure that it happens.

How will you start your day?

Don’t worry about the ‘how’

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When Denzel Washington was a younger man an intuitive woman told him that one day he would travel the world and speak to millions of people. Of course, we know that’s exactly what he does… through his movies.

Mary and I learned a really important lesson very early on. We had a goal to give our children a country childhood and we spent a lot of time working on the ‘how’ of making it happen. How we could escape the city and live our dream. The ‘how’ for us was to save like crazy. Saving to purchase our 200 acres, then saving again to build our dream home while we lived in a caravan and washed in a dam.

Being new arrivals in a country town we got ourselves involved in the local country ball held on what is now Dick Smith’s property. You can imagine just what a place this is. It was quite a shindig. And Mary ended up dancing with the gardener. He was living rent free with a small wage to boot and cared for the massive garden in return for his board. It’s amazing how candid people can be. And the truth is he was living the same dream we had only he hadn’t mortgaged himself to the eyeballs to make it happen. It was a huge wake up.

As I’ve heard Mary say so often many people have goals, but give them up because we can’t see ‘how’ to make them happen. But life can be very creative. And it seems life has a way of delivering exactly what we want when we’re really focussed. After all, there are many ways to make something happen. Often the ‘how’ takes care of itself. And often it’s in a way we haven’t even thought of.

What are your goals?

It’s the law

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Did you know you people are twice as likely to cough at a concert than they are in day to day life? How weird’s that! And while it may be that people are just strangely uncomfortable at some level with sitting in silence (and cough to break it up), perhaps it’s because they are actually trying so hard not to cough that it actually makes the coughing worse. In some concerts they actually put a message across before the start telling people not to cough. No pressure there.

Have you ever tried not to do something?

It’s called the law of reversed effect. And basically this law states that the more we consciously focus on trying NOT to do something, the more we’re guaranteed to get it. In other words, what we resist persists.  And of course when you’re ‘trying’ are you really going to achieve it anyway? Trying is just plain hard work.

How many of you know someone desperate to achieve something and when they finally give up trying it all just seems to fall into place?

Understanding how the mind works is so important if you want to achieve your goals. Just think about it for a minute… if you’re trying not to do something where’s your focus? It’s on exactly what you don’t want to be doing. It’s on exactly what you don’t want to happen. And there bang in the middle of your mind is exactly the picture of what it is you don’t want! Talk about sending yourself the wrong message. How many people live their lives focussed on exactly what they don’t want? No wonder there’s so many unhappy people out there.

But what happens if we focus on what we do want instead? Get really clear on what we want out of life. What we want to achieve. We send ourselves a different message, don’t we.  We give ourselves a different picture to go after. And once we have that in mind, and we’ve taken all the action steps we need to, letting go and trusting our subconscious to go out there and make it happen, it really does take all the hard work out of it.

So next time you’re trying not to do something, take a minute and rethink it.

What are you trying not to do?

What could you be doing instead?

The small things

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Sometimes it’s the small things that make all the difference, isn’t it. You know, those days that are going pear shaped but we come home to a loving smile. Or it might be a random act of kindness from a complete stranger.

In this case, it was a new pair of thongs. Sparkly diamante ones to be exact. Not my taste. Wouldn’t be a good look. But you should have seen the smile when the gift was given. Hers and mine. She’d been having a hell of a day but something as simple as shifting her focus to the gift of sparkles on the bottom of her feet lifted her out of it.

When we’re having a shocker, it’s easy to go from bad to worse, isn’t it. They don’t call it a downward spiral for nothing. But it seems that if we can pause for a moment to reset ourselves, reset the energy we feel inside, we can change what’s happening around us. That’s a pretty powerful thought, isn’t it. That just by shifting what’s happening inside of us we create the very best opportunity to change what’s happening on the outside. It’s basic psychology really. When we feel like s**t our focus is naturally drawn to more of the same that confirms the way we feel.  But when we’re feeling more positive, it’s easy to see the things that make us even happier.

What many people don’t realise is that the reality we experience is directly related to what’s going on in our heads, not what’s happening in the world outside. So I think there’s a lot to be said for finding the silver lining. Or at least something positive to fixate on when it’s all gone to crap. Maybe it’s as simple as taking time out to walk the dog, ride the bike or enjoy the garden. Or looking at a photo of someone we love.  Or making the time to pamper ourselves in some way.

As we shift our energy we shift the way we respond to the world. And while we may not be able to change the world, we can change ourselves.

There’s good and bad out there all the time.

What are you focusing on?

What random act of kindness will you do to uplift someone else today?

 

“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.”

 

Plutarch

 

Timed to perfection

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So there are times in my life where despite my very best intentions, goal setting and strategy, things just don’t come off. Yep, it happens to me too. And for years it left me perplexed. But looking back I now see that there is a master plan at work. And given time with just a little bit of patience, okay, sometimes a lot of patience, things have a habit of falling into place perfectly.

So now I don’t sweat it so much. Well most of the time. Because I know that I just need to put out there what it is I want. Be really clear. And stay focussed, not waivering from what it is I really want. The things my soul yearns for.  Might need to tweak things a little, but for the most part just stay focussed.

Of course there have been times I’ve wanted to compromise because it’s just not happening quickly enough. It’s a huge temptation, isn’t it. To compromise on what’s really important to get things moving. But really it only sells us short on both happiness and that awesome feeling of satisfaction we get when we create a space for the things we really want… to actually happen.

One thing I’ve learned is the wisdom of the universe in its timing and delivery. And how perfectly my plans dovetail in with the intentions of others. Sometimes that’s what the waiting is all about. The universal intelligence at work.

In the end it all seems to work out just perfectly if I just stay focussed, give thanks and remain patient.

What’s your focus?

Will you stay the distance?

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.”

Henry David Thoreau

Holding the intention

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There was a woman some years back who was dying to get to one of our fire walks. And she came with a very specific intention, something problematic in her life that she wanted to resolve.

Only problem was she arrived a day late and missed the whole event.

So after expressing a bit of frustration she got over her disappointment, got back in the car and drove home. Only to realise half way home a shift in her thinking so radical, she resolved her own problem.

You might wonder how this happened?

Well it’s all about intention.

Because intention creates opportunity.

Most people don’t realise that whenever you get a breakthrough, someone has just triggered your own inner wisdom. And that’s why you can learn something anywhere, anytime. And anyone or anything can be your teacher. Because when you set out to learn something, somehow or other you will. They don’t teach you that in school, do they!

The point is, you’ve just got to demand from life that it will deliver what you want.

But the flipside is that means you’ve got to know what you want.

You’ve got to spend time getting clear.

So a programme you attend will deliver whatever you intend for it to deliver. That’s why it’s so important to be clear on what you want. And why we ask people to prepare for our programmes by setting their intention. Just as I do. That you will get what you came for. Because just like the rest of life, if you’re vague, you could get anything.

Set your intention.

Do what you need to do.

Then let go.

What do you want out of life?

 

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?

Smorgasboard

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How crazy would it be to walk into a deli and tell them what you don’t want. After all, they’d think you were nuts if you walked in and spent half an hour telling them you didn’t want the salami, and you didn’t want the Roquefort, and you didn’t want the caviar and you didn’t want the pickles or the olives or the pastrami or the swiss. In fact they might be showing you the door. A sale in the ‘too hard he’s a nutter’ category.

But in my line of work that’s what I constantly see people do.

Worrying over all the things they don’t want…rather than getting clear on what it is they do want.

After all, the deli is just a microcosm of real life, isn’t it. Because everything that happens in the deli happens on a larger scale in life. Relationships, choices, transactions, fulfillment, disappointment. And the really great thing is when we realise we attract what we put our focus on we can do something about it.

Because if we spend our lives focusing on what we don’t want, is it any wonder it keeps turning up?

But on the other hand, life has a wonderful way of bringing to us the things we get really clear about. It just requires clarity and patience and trust.

Most people don’t realise life’s a smorgasboard. And there’s so much to enjoy.

So what do you really want out of life? And what do you need to get clear about today?

The Game of Life

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Sometimes it’s the splash that gets in our eyes. And we just can’t see clearly. Can’t see what’s happening right in front of us. Or why things are happening the way they are. Not just our beliefs blinding us, but life’s unfolding. And I find it always helps to get another perspective.  To distance ourselves so we can see things more clearly from different angle.

I learned this lesson years ago when I was coaching a kids water polo team. And I just couldn’t understand why the kids couldn’t understand what I was saying. Couldn’t see what I was seeing. It went a bit like this. There I was in the stands watching the game unfold below. But the kids had a different perspective. They were so highly involved down in the game. Going through the motions. Surrounded by waves of water. Trying not to drown in the process of scoring goals. Sounds a bit like life, doesn’t it.

And then one day it dawned on me that I had to show them the game as I was seeing it. So I got them all out of the pool and up in the stand. All save one kid.  I left him in the water with instructions to do his thing. And in that moment everyone could see what I had been seeing. ‘So that’s what Steve’s doing!’ And it all became suddenly very clear to them.

Would it surprise you to know those kids went on to be runner’s up in the School Boys State Knockout? How’s that for performance. Second out of every high school in the entire state just by getting a different perspective.

Where do you need to shift your focus?