TIME – The Great Conundrum

Time is the great leveller, or is it?

Why do some people manage to do so much, while others do so little in the same amount of time?

Is it a matter of motivation or is it a learned skill?

If you know what you want the outcome to be, with absolute clarity, and you have the resources – skills, knowledge, money, contacts to achieve it, will you still manage to achieve more than a less-prepared person?

Is time relative, and if so, to what or perhaps a better question, to whom?

Does it really matter what other people achieve in a space of time because at the end of the day, the better question is, ‘Were you happy with what you achieved in your time?’

The Power of Intention

The strength of your intention determines whether or not you cross the finish lineImagine that feeling you get when a plan you’ve had for a while finally all comes together. Sometimes the rush is so strong that it gives you goose-bumps. So, if it feels that good, why don’t we make it happen more often?

We often say to ourselves that life just got in the way; that there wasn’t enough time; that we didn’t have the resources; that it was just too hard; sometimes the rationalisations border on the embarrassing.

The difference between wishing for a thing though and really wanting it, until it possibly feels like a burning obsession, is that level of desire.

Desire is not necessarily a bad thing, or a lustful or greedy thing – it can be simply a non-negotiable self-determination to see a thing through; to do whatever it takes to make the idea become a reality.

The litmus test is to ask ourselves, “Am I serious about this? Is it merely a wish or a is it a serious desire?” Wishes might come true, but they rarely lead to the same commitment to action, and taking action is what brings about change.

Here’s the icing on the cake – the more you follow through with the little decisions, the more you believe in yourself and the easier it becomes to make your ideas take shape. That’s why winners become adept at keeping on winning.

What do You, Arjen Brandsma and Eleanor Rigby Have in Common?

'Would you like a song named after you?' asks life coach Tony Inman

Would you like a song named after you?

I’m guessing you may have heard of Eleanor Rigby? Her name is the title of a song written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon of the somewhat famous band, ‘The Beatles’. If you haven’t heard of them, please ask your parents!

I’m also guessing that you may not have heard of Arjen Brandsma? Who is or was he and what does he have in common with Eleanor Rigby?

I have to confess that all I know about Arjen is that he was a ‘Friend of Hyde Park’ in North Perth. I discovered that this morning when I decided to sit on a park bench and admire the beautiful scenery, the flowing fountain, the majestic trees, the ducks diving in the lake for food and the proud Black Swan parents shepherding their baby signets, whilst on my morning walk today. There was a small plaque bearing his name on the bench, but alas my efforts to discover anything more about this benefactor have so far drawn a blank.

It got me thinking though. I remembered the famous Scottish comedian, Billy Connolly telling us during his show in Perth that he has a special place overlooking a lake where he would like to have a bench named after him, so that fishermen for years to come could be spiritually joined with him as his ghost looks out at the spectacular vista.

'What purpose do you want to be remembered for?' asks life strategist Tony Inman

What purpose do you want to be remembered for?

The name Eleanor Rigby actually started out as Daisy Hawkins when Paul McCartney began composing a song one day at his piano. The song originally started with “Daisy Hawkins picks up the rice in the church”, whereas the name Eleanor was inspired by actress, Eleanor Bron, who had starred with the Beatles in the movie, ‘Help’. Rigby apparently came from the name of a shop in Bristol. McCartney later conceded that he might have subconsciously stored the name from having seen a tombstone in the graveyard of St. Peter’s Church in Liverpool, where history states that he first met John Lennon at a garden fete in July 1957. The gravestone belonged to a real Eleanor Rigby, whom researchers say, lived a lonely life, just like the lady in the song.

So what does this have to do with you?

Have you ever stopped to think about your legacy?

What will be your gift to the world to denote your very existence?

The obvious answer for most of us parents, is our children and hopefully our grandchildren. For some who achieve fame, their exploits may live on in the history books. Sports stars, musicians, authors, poets, politicians – all hope to make their mark on history’s page. Business moguls build hospitals and schools or perhaps their name adorns a library or is the title of a charitable organisation.

Is fame the most important legacy or just a means to be able to positively influence the world?

Is fame the most important legacy or just a means to be able to positively influence the world?

It’s clearly a human trait to want to feel special; to have a sense of purpose; that our life means something; that we matter now and that later on, when our human form has returned to dust, that we mattered.

I know that might all seem a bit sombre, because it means acknowledging our mortality, but here’s the exciting part of my ponderings today…

Assuming you’re still alive and kicking, you still have time to pull a metaphorical rabbit out of your hat. You see, you are the one who has control of your own thoughts and actions, nobody else – YOU.

So YOU can decide what meaning you wish to ascribe to your life. You can be a criminal and become infamous; you can be a leader or a teacher and become influential; you might be able to be a sports star, a writer or an actor, or follow any of the other pursuits that I mentioned before.

 

 

Proud parents with their legacy

Proud parents

Would you like to leave the world a memory of you?

In memoriam

A view to die for

A view to die for

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It all starts with how you think – how you think about the world; what you think of yourself and your capabilities and what it is that inspires you.

You really can make a huge difference with a bunch of small decisions. It could start with something as simple as the decision to go for a walk and admire nature, or the decision to help another human being in need. It could even start with a decision to smile or say something nice to someone and make their day.

If you haven’t yet come up with the grand design, maybe you’d benefit from a chat with a life coach, business coach or strategist like me (of course I had to shamelessly promote myself somewhere!). Until then, however, you can start with the small decisions. Never underestimate the power of small decisions to have a massive ripple effect. Those are the small dots we later connect backwards…’It was only after I decided to (this thing) that (another thing) happened’.

Whatever you’re doing with your life right now, I urge you to be happy and despite all of our human failings and setbacks, to decide to do your best to leave others around you feeling happier for having encountered you.

Even Eleanor Rigby’s sadness later brought joy to others in the form of inspired music. Arjen provided a bench for me to peacefully enjoy nature’s magnificence. What, if anything, will you do differently now?

Feel free to contact me for a chat over a coffee about what you would like to achieve and what strategies you need to help you get there. Telephone: 0419 860 382

The ‘Ahaa’ moments that make you wonder why you don’t listen to yourself!

The 'Ahaa' Moments

The ‘Ahaa’ Moments

Have you ever had the experience of having one of those ‘Ahaaaa’ moments while you ponder how to solve your problems, only to realise that you already knew that answer?

The funny thing is that you perhaps knew it on a sub-conscious level, yet somehow your conscious mind seemed to suppress it or cloud it in a veil of mysterious brain fog. Why does that happen?

Sometimes it can be a case of what Steve Jobs referred to as ‘connecting the dots’. In other words, all the information that was required to reach the conclusion was already there, yet somehow there was a missing link from one snippet to the next – you just needed to make that connection.

What came up today at a workshop I attended was that you might know the answer but you apparently suppress it, because in order to enjoy the gain of achieving that goal or dealing with that problem, you also have to be willing to give up something else.

In some instances you would be giving up something that you didn’t want anyway, so that is a much more palatable option. For example you buy the new car and are glad to get rid of the old rust-bucket.

Inner conflict

Inner conflict

In other instances though you would have to be willing to give up something positive, something that you might miss. For example, in order to buy that dream home that might be modern and stylish, you would also have to give up the old fashioned but comfortable residence that has been your beloved retreat for many years. This can then create an inner conflict and while you’re having an inner conflict, guess what happens?

Usually, not much happens. It’s not that surprising when we remember the way our mind (and the Universe) works. When we set a goal and focus on our desired outcome, we bring to bear the power of our reticular activating system (RAS). This amazing inner resource sets in motion a mental magnetism (the Law of Attraction) that attracts to you all the resources you need to achieve your goal. The resources can be skills, knowledge, equipment, tools or people – whatever you need to ‘make it happen’.

If you want an example of a RAS effect, consider the process of buying a car. You set the goal to buy a new one; you start to fine tune which make and model are appealing. Suddenly that car is everywhere on the roads and in every car yard you drive past. Then out of the blue, there is the very car you want at the price you are willing to pay. Sometimes it is found for you by a friend or a salesman you have come across. In other words, the resources to lead you to the goal have appeared. Those cars were always there – you just weren’t looking for them before.

Goal-setting - a piece of cake?

Goal-setting – a piece of cake?

The setting of a goal not only activates the RAS though, it also usually sends you a little test from the Universe. On Saturday you set a goal to diet and lose weight. No sooner have you set the goal, than on Sunday your next door neighbour knocks on your door and says, “Someone just gave me this double chocolate cream cake and we won’t eat it. Would you like it?” It happens to be your favourite, so you say, “Okay, thanks. We’ll just use that up first and start the diet on Tuesday”. On Tuesday, you visit your mother and she says, “I’ve made you your favourite – a big chocolate pudding.”

 

Whenever you set a goal, the Universe likes to test you out to see if you were actually serious about following through with it!

So what else would stop you from having your ‘Ahaaa’ moment?

You might just suppress the answers because you realise that to make the changes you say you want in your life would require that you step outside your comfort zones. Motivational author and speaker Jim Rohn used to say that “The things that are easy to do are also easy not to!”

The comfort zone blockage might not just be a case of ‘easy to’ versus ‘easy not-to’. It can also be the case that to step outside your comfort zone will lead to another conflict or with having to deal with something painful. For example, emigrating to a new country to take up a new opportunity might mean leaving a partner or a family member behind.

Thus what often happens is that we freeze. We become stuck, confused, frustrated or even angry.

There is however, hope. Working with a sounding board, such as a good coach, can allow you to step back from the problem or break down an apparent problem into what might potentially be many smaller elements, requiring smaller, simpler decisions.

Find the time and space to THINK

Find the time and space to THINK

The biggest thing you can do to help yourself is to allocate the time and space for you to be able to think. Most people simply ‘don’t think’. They become stuck on a treadwheel and keep on repeating the pattern that isn’t working, instead of doing something to change it. Alternatively, worse still, is that they do nothing. They justify their indecision and inaction by blaming circumstances or other people, or they just put it off and they will make a decision ‘later’.

So I urge you to consider this…

If you want to design and live the best life you can, don’t hold on to those problems or they will become like pebbles in your shoes. Create some ‘me’ time – that’s time invested in yourself; time that will enable you to reflect on what you really want versus where you are presently stuck. Seek out the resources you need. Figure out what the price will be, both the physical price and the emotional price. If there’s a conflict, get advice and consider your options, but whatever you do, act in accordance with your values.

If you don’t know what your values are yet, then you really do need to create more personal time for ‘YOU’ because ‘YOU’ are your own greatest asset. That’s another story, but until then, ‘Be happy and work on developing and listening to your own intuition.’

“Live life now”- Jeff Muir recommends Perth Self-Help Author Tony Inman

Conflict Resolution Expert, Jeff Muir recommends Perth-based self-help author, Tony Inman and has taken on board Tony’s advice to “Live life now!”
If you’d like to find out more about how you can design your life on your terms, contact Tony via this website or call (08) 9328 2203 for a chat.

Jobs or Opportunities

Jobs or Opportunities

Jobs or Opportunities

The nature of work in today’s society has changed, probably forever. A human resources recruitment manager commented at a seminar that I attended a year or two ago that “Any job that you have in Perth these days is only as secure as a month’s notice.”

Now of course you can argue that there are exceptions. I’ve heard it said by many that it’s extremely difficult to be fired from a government job, short of committing murder, but even government departments have cutbacks and redundancies.

The point that this person was making is that the days of working somewhere your whole life and being presented with the gold watch to commemorate a lifetime of service, are over. Instead, we are judged far less on the basis of longevity in the role, but rather on results and on our career development initiatives.

My own sister recently had the experience of doing a government job on a short term contract. Towards the end of the contract she had to apply for the job she was already doing, believing she had a good chance of staying on as she had been commended by superiors for doing a good job. Someone from outside the organisation got the job, someone not only younger, but who had also gained extra qualifications. So even though they knew that my sister was already doing a good job, the interviewing committee were willing to replace her with someone who was an unknown quantity. To add insult to injury, my sister than had to train the incumbent to replace her. It wasn’t the girl’s fault, she said, so she did her best to train the lady as well as she could before leaving.

So how does this impact on our attitude towards the nature of employment as a concept?

Vocational training has improved

Vocational training has improved

One of the things that has impressed me is the improved nature of vocational training. It has become less about passing or failing, or what grade you got. Rather it has become about gaining competency and keeping ‘at it’ until you do. I’m generalising here, but it seems it has also become expected by employers that employees will actively seek to improve themselves and to gain new skills and knowledge so as to continue to remain more employable and to become a more valuable asset.

The most ironic twist is that whereas it used to be highly regarded and imply traits such as loyalty and reliability to stay at the same company throughout your career, it is now regarded by many employers and their recruitment managers as instead revealing traits like being unadventurous, unambitious, unwilling to learn new skills and knowledge or even risk-averse.

Therefore you could conclude that if you want to develop a career for yourself, YOU have to take responsibility for that development. You can no longer wait for the right boss to notice your good work and offer you a promotion. You have to be willing to make changes and to take risks. You have to learn how to market yourself as an asset to a potential employer.

Furthermore, if you have that extra bit of courage and are willing to take a leap of faith, there are even more opportunities than ever before to start or buy your own business. The risks of failure may be higher, but so are the rewards if you succeed. Here’s a thought though…

The risks of not doing something to promote yourself or to take charge of your own destiny are far greater.

'Knowledge is power' - but only if used!

‘Knowledge is power’ – but only if used!

Unless you seek new skills, knowledge and experience you will become the one they replace. Unless you build a resume to include a variety of positions and different experiences you may become obsolete.

If however, you look for ways of monetising your skills and knowledge, more than ever before, thanks to the improvements in communication and remote access via the internet, you can actually take that plunge and work for yourself, on your terms. The only thing stopping you, is YOU.

I’m a firm believer that every setback creates an even greater opportunity. Granted, sometimes that may not be immediately apparent, such as when you’ve just had your confidence knocked by being made redundant or told that your contract will not be renewed. With the benefit of hindsight however, or with the input of a business coach or life coach, that opportunity may soon become apparent.

As a Perth-based business coach myself, I have personally helped people who have been made redundant to start their own business and rise like a phoenix from the ashes, determined to prove their old boss wrong. As a life coach I’ve also helped people reassess their skills, knowledge and more importantly, their values. That can sometimes lead to a change in direction that is more in alignment with their sources of inspiration.

In the past some people would say, “I can’t risk that – what if it doesn’t work? How will I pay the bills?”

In today’s world of perhaps ‘four weeks’ notice’, is that question as relevant as it used to be?

Is this change in concepts a bad thing? I would answer, “No, it’s just a different thing”.

Do your best in every job or business - make every day a 'Win-Win'

Do your best in every job or business – make every day a ‘Win-Win’

Am I encouraging disloyalty? No, not at all. I’m saying that if you do a job for someone, do it as well as you possibly can. Be as good an employee as you possibly can – in fact, go the extra mile, do more than you are paid for (not to be confused with becoming a martyr!). I’m saying be professional and do your very best. Notch up some achievements in the role that are a win-win for you and your employer. One day you may need a reference. Who knows, you might even buy the company! While you are there, become an asset and learn new skills and knowledge. Read more and go on vocational courses.

If instead you take the leap of faith and start off in business, first do your homework. Ideally speak with a business coach, either call me or another coach that you know or who is recommended to you, but definitely seek advice and set it up properly from the start. That will increase your chances of success dramatically. Ideally, make sure you have some money saved as a fall back, in case your business takes a while to get going. If you can ease into it with a part-time job while you build it up, so much the better. It is always better to have more than one source of income in this brave new world.

A job may or may not be there waiting for you but opportunity is all around you. The questions are, “Are you noticing the opportunities and are you willing to take action towards achieving them?”

My closing thought to leave you to ponder today is, “How would you like your life to be and which job or business would best help you transform that vision into a reality?”

*****

I’m Tony Inman, a business and lifestyle coach and author who specialises in helping business owners and executives to be more successful and to lead happier and more fulfilling lives. If you’d like a chat about your situation, feel free to contact me via my website or by leaving me a message on (08) 9328 2203.

Which Are the Right Questions to Ask Yourself?

Ever driven the wrong way?!

Ever driven the wrong way?!

Have you ever found yourself driving somewhere and suddenly realised you’re in completely the wrong place? You’re in traffic; you’re day-dreaming about what to have for dinner, whether to buy a new car and where to go on holiday this year; and you suddenly find that you’ve taken a wrong turn and automatically followed a route that you habitually take – e.g. you were meant to go the shop but instead you’re on the road home!
When it happens to me, I either get cross with myself or laugh at my own idiocy, or if I regain control of my mushy brain and re-focus, I realise that I have merely taken my eye off the ball, become distracted and gone onto auto-pilot. The great news is that you can usually make a U-turn, get back on track, fulfill your objectives and complete your mission. This also applies to life in general.
The great thing to embrace about life was described so aptly by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, when he said that ‘Change is the only constant’. In every second of our existence, we are changing. Our body is changing, growing and maturing before commencing a steady decline. So too our mind grows with our experiences and hopefully we learn from life’s lessons and become wise, just in time before our brain begins its downward spiral. I apologise if that reality sounds a little sad.

“Change is the only constant”
Heraclitus

 

Change is the only constant

Change is constant – embrace change

Wisdom is not guaranteed however – it has to be acquired. Some people repeat life’s more destructive patterns in the same way that procession caterpillars will follow each other unquestioningly into the abyss. That tendency to surrender to the ease and comfort of merely following the crowd is what leads us to those clichéd statistics where we talk of the 95% who are regrettably only average, as opposed to the 5%, who will be exceptional. Even the 5% is split between the 4% who are ‘comfortable’ and the top 1%, who are the ‘crème de la crème’ of humanity.
Those statistics whilst clichéd are alarmingly applicable to most things in life. They are not exact of course, they are generalisations. Yet we know from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and various insurance companies that approximately 4% of Australians will retire financially independent, 1% will be rich and the rest will be less financially comfortable. In general terms and approximate percentages, the top 5% will be the most educated; the top 5% will have the best medical facilities, will live in the flashiest houses, will drive the best cars and so on – you get my drift I’m sure.
Does that make you a failure if you’re not among the cream of the crop? Absolutely not. The old adage is a true one – that neither money nor possessions will make you any happier, though they can without doubt make a miserable person more comfortable!

So on the other side of the coin, does that make it wrong to be wealthy or successful? Of course not! Both success and failure are merely perceptions of reality and my reality is different to your reality. The answer lies in the questions you ask of yourself.

The Answers Lie in Asking the Right Questions!

The Answers Lie in Asking the Right Questions!

If you want to be happier, ask “What would make me happier?” If you’re not doing what it takes or you don’t have what you want, ask yourself “What can I legally and ethically do to turn this around and get back on track?” I put my disclaimer in there because some peoples’ answer might be to rob a bank, or these days, an old age pensioner.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I put it to you that maybe you’re not asking yourself the right questions. If your answer to what will make me happy is, let’s say “One million dollars”, then the questions are, “What could I do to earn one million dollars?”, “By when?” and more importantly, “What skills or talents would I need to develop in order to become the kind of person who is capable of earning that million by that date?”

(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net)
There are many other questions that might follow, like “Where would I need to be?” or “Whose help might I need for me to achieve this?” The mining boom of Western Australia bears evidence of those questions – if you want the big money, go and work up North in the heat. The bigger questions though are the intriguing ones, like, “Why would having a million dollars make me happy?” and “What would having a million do for me or for those whom I care about?”
Like my driving example at the beginning, we often find ourselves off track. We’ve switched off our brains and we’re running on auto-pilot. It’s not hard to find yourself living a repeat pattern, like in the movie ‘Groundhog Day’, where Bill Murray’s character finds himself reliving the same day over and over.
My life has been filled with reinvention. I’ve done many different jobs, I’ve set up and run many of my own businesses, I’ve travelled to fantastic destinations, I’ve lived in different countries and I feel as if I have lived an interesting life. Yet when compared with other people I’ve met, my achievements pale into insignificance. So never put yourself down by comparing – leverage yourself up by becoming inspired by their example. If they can do it, you probably can too. Sometimes not even physical limitations will stop you if your mindset is strong enough. History is filled with people doing the ‘impossible’.

Mentoring can help you fulfill your dreams

Mentoring can help you fulfill your dreams

In conclusion then, the questions are not, “Why does this always happen to me?” or “Why am I so far off track?” but rather, “What do I want to change and why?” Once you figure those out, the ‘how’ is a far easier problem to solve, especially if you leverage your possibilities by engaging the help of those who may have already done whatever it is that you want to do or at least know what it will take and can advise you objectively and supportively. That is why mentoring and coaching are so useful and effective.

(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net)

If you’d like to read more on this topic, please check out my latest book, entitled ‘If Life’s Worth Doing, It’s Worth Doing Well – Finding Sane Fulfillment in an Insane World’.

If you’d like any help with getting back on track or even selecting a whole new path for your life or business journey, please don’t hesitate to call me or contact me via this website.

Tony Inman, Business & Lifestyle Coach, Consultant & Mentor and Author

Tony Inman

Best of luck and until next time,

‘Seize the day!’
Tony Inman

Which 10 New Skills Do You Want to Learn in 2014?

Time to Learn Some New Skills

Time to Learn Some New Skills

It’s that time of year again when most of us tend to reflect on our progress on the journey of life and perhaps set some goals for the year ahead.

Many years ago, I had the priviledge of hearing Allan Pease speak on stage. He is famous in Australia, initially for sales training and later on for his books on ‘body language’. He said that every year he sets himself at least one spectacular goal that is either life-threatening or at least adrenalin-boosting. As an example, the previous year he had set and achieved the goal of learning how to milk the poison from venomous snakes!

Now perhaps, you are not quite so comfortable with such extremist goals, but we humans are inspired by the opportunity to learn and grow, so which new skills would you like to learn in the coming year?

I came across this very interesting article on the mashable.com website by Sara Roncero-Menendez about the Top 10 goals people set last year. (Link: click here)

(Post image courtesy of gradrecruit.com.au)

 

The Top 10 Things People Wanted to Learn in 2013

  1. How to Tie a Tie – This is a skill that every man and woman should perfect, if only to surprise others that you can actually do it. To master this feat, be sure to check out the clip above.
  2.  How to File – Organization is key, which is what we keep telling ourselves at tax time when we’re digging through piles of paperwork. Be proactive this season and start organizing early — this video can show you how to get started.
  3. Getting a New Passport

    Getting a New Passport

    How to Get a Passport – Passports are necessary for many things: traveling, a form of ID, getting past security at the airport to chase your true love before they get on a plane and leave forever — to name only a few. Here’s a quick video on how to get this important government document.

  4.  How to Blog – Many people maintain or work for blogs, either professionally or for recreation. If you’re a first-time writer and are interested in creating a blog, getting started can be tricky. The video above has helpful tips to get you on track and meet your personal blogging goals.
  5. How to Knit – Homemade crafts are very trendy on the Internet, and they’re easy, personal gifts for the holidays. If you are dying to learn how to knit a scarf or cute hat, here’s how to get started.
  6. How to Kiss – A first kiss is something most preteens obsess over, but now with YouTube there’s no need for them to practice on pillows. This quick video will provide some useful advice before the big moment arrives.
  7. How to Read and Use Body Language to Flirt – Romantic interactions between two people carry a very specific set of problems — most notably that it’s hard to let the other person know you’re interested. While this video isn’t the be-all and end-all of flirtatious advice, it’s a good place to start.
  8. How to Whistle with your Fingers – Whistling is a common practice, but the standard “two-finger” whistle is a more difficult challenge. Whether your whistling could use some work or you’ve never tried, this how-to video will help you become a pro.
  9. How to UnJailbreak your Smart Phone – Jailbreaking tech is a common practice to get the most customization out of your device. Still, if you ever want to go back to its original format, this video will show you how.
  10. An example of the fun of Jump Photography

    An example of the fun of Jump Photography

    How to Vader – Jump photography has become increasingly popular in the last year or so. Different memes have arisen, such as Hadouken or Kamehameha, but the one in question draws from the popularity of the Star Wars franchise. Even you can be one with the Dark Side with some good timing and a decent camera. This meme is not to be confused with the BMX trick called “the Vader.” (photo courtesy of mashable.com)

I hope that some of the above may inspire you to think outside the box and come up with your own personal list of new skills that you can challenge yourself to acquire in 2014.

Please feel free to list them on my facebook page at Tony Inman – Living the Dream

Go on, let your mind go wild and come up with some awesome new goals!

Fun in the Sun – November Highlights

Bennion Beach, Trigg - one of the places enjoyed by life coach Tony Inman this month

Fun in the Sun at Bennion Beach, Trigg

Have you ever found yourself giving advice to a friend and realising that you should be practicing what you’re preaching?

Well that’s exactly what occurred to me this week when a friend was feeling a bit lacking in direction and therefore a bit out of sorts. As one of the things I do is to help people with life coaching, I realised that I must not be like one of those motor mechanics whose own car is broken, or the plumber whose taps drip.

I advised my friend that it’s important to regularly remind yourself of the happy and constructive things that you’ve done. In fact I find it a very empowering exercise.

This applies both to your work history and your life outside of work.

 

 

When you update your resume or C.V. you realise that you have usually amassed quite a bit of experience and you have usually learned many new things since the previous update. That realisation enables you to put a higher value on your self. This applies equally to self-employed business owners as it does to executives and employees.

Likewise, when you review the things you have done outside of work, you realise that life is constantly evolving and that you are growing in the process.

My speciality too!

My speciality too!

 

This sign in my exhaust mechanic’s workshop gave me a chuckle this month.
The experts (those people in the brown cardigans as Billy Connolly describes them!) recommend that you keep a daily journal. Not everyone is disciplined enough to do this, however.

Facebook or one of the other social media platforms can give you a few reminders of happy occasions on your timeline, but what about keeping a monthly summary?

You might not want to share everything with everyone, and that’s fine, so you could simply allocate time at the beginning of each month to review the month just gone and make a few private notes.

You can include photos or mementos;  you might write a few of your innermost thoughts, reflecting on what has just passed, what you thought about it and things you learned from the experiences; you might include a section on your future aspirations – a great way to keep on track with your goals.

In fact with the end of the year approaching rapidly, there’s no better time than NOW to start thinking about your objectives for the New Year ahead. There’s always something cleansing about the end of another year. It’s almost as if we give ourselves permission to begin again with a clean slate.

So, by way of example, here are a few of the things that I will remember from November 2013.

Health & Fitness – In October my girlfriend, Jo and I had commenced using a weight loss drink, which acted as an appetite suppressant, but we also watched our calorie intake and generally cut down on portion sizes. Throughout the month of November, I recorded a loss of 10kgs, while Jo also lost 6kgs. This was a huge result for us as we had both previously tried in vain to both lose and keep off the weight we had gained with the onset of a slowing metabolism.

The product not only helped us lose weight, it gave us extra energy and a general feeling of vitality.

Tony with his new bike

Tony with his new bike

Recreation – The extra energy we felt led us to take up a new hobby. In November we purchased good quality, second hand bicycles and enjoyed a few happy rides, both around the local lakes of Hyde park and on one particularly sunny day, down the West Coast from Hillarys to Trigg and back.

Family Relationships – This month, my brother, Peter visited from the UK, so we were able to organise some family get-togethers.

These included my sister, Cheryl’s birthday dinner on the 3rd and my daughter Kim’s 24th on the 24th, as well as catching up with brother Geoff and his partner, Sue from Albany.

Of course that also meant we could enjoy time with our grandson, 2 year old Hayden.

Craig, Tony & Peter Inman

Craig, Tony & Peter Inman

Hayden and Kim Inman

Hayden and Kim Inman

 

Also under the heading of Fun and Recreation, Jo and I took advantage of the warm weather to pursue our passion of scuba diving. We fitted in a local dive here at Rockingham WA, exploring the marine life at a dive site known as ‘The Grain Jetty’. We also fitted in three dives while on holiday in Bali at the end of November, including the fabulous ‘Blue Lagoon’ dive site at Padang Bai.

Grain Jetty Divesite

Grain Jetty Divesite

A Crab Says Hi

A Crab Says Hi

Jo and I also added an extra evening of sport, now playing beach volleyball on Friday evenings as well as Wednesdays. This and the six-aside soccer are also helping me keep on track with my fitness goals.

'If Life's Worth Doing, It's Worth Doing Well'

Tony Inman’s new book

In terms of ‘Personal Growth’, the ‘Career’ sector and probably also ticking a bit of the ‘Spiritual’ box, the book I have just completed, progressed from review discussions with my publisher through to the editing stage.

Also in the ‘Career’ sector, I did some great work with some wonderful clients, including helping one client to write a chapter in an imminent book, enabling him to claim expert status in his field; assisting another business client whom I have been helping to re-brand, to define their HR recruitment needs, and to help them interview and select a new key team leader; helping another to review their marketing strategies and their team-building requirements; while another was able to take a well-earned vacation.

With Jo I also launched a new product distribution business of the weight loss product and I delivered two public speeches – power-point presentations to groups of business owners, from which we added some new distributors and customers.

In terms of ‘Professional Development’, I also enrolled on a new online social media marketing course under the guidance of  Jo Saunders and Sarah Santacrose, which starts in December.

Also under the ‘Career’ heading  I continued to develop and refine ‘The Inman System’ of integrated ‘Business and Lifestyle Design’.

In terms of ‘Administration and Environmental’, we did some further research into properties, both in Perth and in Bali. I suppose we certainly changed our environment by going on a 5 day break to Sanur in Bali, though I would also classify that as ‘Recreation’.

Relaxing at a Bali Villa

Relaxing at a Bali Villa

Sanur Beach

Fun in the Sun at Sanur Beach

A further bonus on that wonderful holiday was to tick my ‘Creativity’ box by playing guitar and singing at the invitation of the live band in a bar in Bali.

The ‘Personal Finances’ sector did okay as the holiday came with an incredible special flight price coupled with bargain villa stay prices. Business continued to grow slowly upwards too and I am now researching some possibilities with tourism in Bali again.

Good friends, Paul and Angela Brinsley

Our friends, Paul and Angela Brinsley

The ‘Relationships with Friends’ box was well -ticked as we caught up with many old friends, including holidaying with two of our best friends. We also made a terrific new friendship with a local Balinese businessman.

Sure there were some challenges last month. There always are – in fact, if you didn’t have a few downs, you wouldn’t learn to appreciate the ups. We certainly appreciated the ‘up’ of escaping for a well-earned and relaxing break.

Jo and Tony

Jo and Tony

It would certainly be remiss of me not to include mention the delight of spending time away relaxing with my girlfriend, Jo and to wish her a Happy Birthday for the 4th of December.

So now begins a new month with new challenges and opportunities and new downs and ups.

What would you like to achieve in December? If you haven’t though about it yet, why not take a few moments to write down a few key objectives.

Your future will be the result of the decisions you make today.

I hope this may have given you a few ideas.

Until next time, remember to ‘Seize the Day!’

Don’t Regret – Make It Happen!

 

Doing the things that inspire you

Doing the things that inspire you

If you were lying on your death bed right now and reflecting on your life, would you regret the things you did, or the things you didn’t do?

There are those of course who would say that you did exactly what you were meant to to, so in fact it’s all about perception, but just for a moment let’s examine this question in the context of a theory that you do have the power to design your own life, the way you want it to be.

We all have in us a quirky brain function known as the ‘Reticular Activating System’ (RAS). You may have heard of it, but just in case you haven’t, it’s the what filters the information you receive and decides which bits are important enough for you to focus on.

In the book, ‘The Leadership Brain For Dummies‘ by Marilee B. Sprenger, she states that, “For survival’s sake, your RAS responds to your name, anything that threatens your survival, and information that you need immediately.” She goes on to explain that, “The RAS also responds to novelty. You notice anything new and different.” So, for example, when you are thinking of buying a particular type of car, you will suddenly notice that car popping up all over the place. The cars were always there among the crowd of other cars on the roads, but suddenly you see them because your sub-conscious mind is pushing them up to the forefront of your conscious mind and tagging them as important.

When I was renovating a bathroom at my old tourism establishment, for a brief while there I was focused on bathroom tiles. Everywhere I went, I found myself noticing bathroom tiles – even when I went to the gents after a movie at the cinema! I remember asking myself, “Are you losing the plot here? Enough with the bathroom tiles!”

'If Life's Worth Doing, It's Worth Doing Well'

Tony Inman’ new book

Recently, I just finished writing a book, entitled ‘If Life’s Worth Doing It’s Worth Doing Well’ with the sub-title of ‘Finding Sane Fulfillment in an Insane World’. As the name suggests, it’s about making the most of your life while you can.

Therefore it should come as no surprise to me that my RAS keeps popping up references to this theme, so today on Facebook an old friend, Brett Kibblewhite shared a fascinating article by Sina Anvari.

(Reference: http://www.karenstan.net/2013/11/11/nurse-reveals-top-5-regrets-people-make-deathbed/)

The article is called, ‘Nurse reveals the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed’

Relish the joy of living your dreams

Relish the joy of living your dreams

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality.

I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. When you are on your deathbed, what  others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness

********************

I’m reminded of a song here, cheesy though this may seem! Here are the lyrics to Frank Sinatra’s great hit, ‘My Way”, written by Jacques Revaux, Claude Francois, Gilles Thibaut and Paul Anka.

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I traveled each and ev’ry highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do , I saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
And through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way,
“Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way”

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
The right to say the things he feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!

*****

Fulfilling a dream of visiting Paris in 1994

Fulfilling a dream of visiting Paris in 1994

My RAS also helps me to harness the Laws of Attraction to bring me opportunities to achieve the goals I have set for myself. That all begins with thinking about what you want out of your life and what is most important to you, then formulating plans to make your dreams come true.

If you’d like to pre-order a copy of my book, you can read more about this topic.

If you’d like some business advice on how to set up your business so you can live more of the life you’d like, then check out my business site at Club Red Inspiration.

So that’s all from me for now. Until next time, “Seize the day!”