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.

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

To the rest of the world watching…

Oprah Winfrey loved Australia

Oprah Winfrey

“To the rest of the world watching, you have got to come to Australia,” said Oprah Winfrey during filming of her show from the Sydney Opera House in December 2010.

The Queen of Entertainment summed up her experiences Down Under with a huge thumbs up for the Lucky Country, when she screamed to her audience of 6000 guests at Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure show, “I love Australia, I love Australia, I love Australia,”.

Oprah Winfrey has been reported to be one of the richest, if not the richest, and most influential women in the world today.

Love her or hate her (though I find it hard to imagine why you would), she has been, and continues to be, one of the most profoundly inspirational characters of our era.

Like most high achievers though, Oprah has an amazing story – one that has shaped the great charismatic figure though hardship and struggle.

Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood. She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood, including being raped at the age of nine and becoming pregnant at 14; her son died in infancy.

Oprah receiving a peace medal from President Obama

Oprah receiving a peace medal from President Obama

Sent to live with the man she calls her father, a barber in Tennessee, Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19. Her emotional ad-lib delivery eventually got her transferred to the daytime talk show arena, and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place she launched her own production company, Harpo, and she became internationally syndicated.

Credited with creating a more intimate confessional form of media communication, Oprah is thought to have popularized and revolutionized the tabloid talk show.

By the mid 1990s, she had reinvented her show with a focus on literature, self-improvement, and spirituality. Though criticized for unleashing confession culture and promoting controversial self-help fads, she is often praised for overcoming adversity to become a benefactor to others.

From 2006 to 2008, her support of Barack Obama, by one estimate, delivered over a million votes in the close 2008 Democratic primary race, to aid his achievement in becoming the first African American President.

Oprah’s programmes have made her an iconic figure across the globe and along with her work for charitable institutions, she has been acclaimed as one of the greatest philanthropists in American History, if not World History.

tony-sydney-harbour-bridgeTony’s Viewpoint: I am always fascinated and inspired by people who overcome adversity and pursue their dreams with single-minded determination – especially when the achievement of them is of such incredible benefit to so many other people in the world.

To think that your own vision for your future can impact so magnificently on the lives of people you may never even meet, is truly uplifting.

In Oprah’s early days, she used to annoy me when interviewing, because I felt that she wanted to answer her own questions before her guests could! Since then, though she has learned so much and helped so many, she is amazing.

One of Oprah’s key messages is that it is really important to find time to relax and nourish your spirit. If you need any help with finding work/life balance, feel free to contact me via this site.

The Shoe Salesman in Africa

 

A Shoe Salesman in Africa

The Shoe Salesman in Africa

It’s all about perspective…

There’s a timeless story about a shoe salesman, whose Company one day decided to give him a new opportunity. They sent him to Africa to launch their new product range.

He was very excited to have been chosen for such a promotion, but within a week of arrival, he was on the phone to his boss back home, sounding very dejected and disheartened,

“Boss, I’m sorry, but you may as well bring me back home. This is a complete waste of my time and the Company’s money. No-one wears shoes in Africa!”

The boss agreed to let him come home, as he didn’t want unhappy staff.

He decided however, to give another of his salesman a try instead.

Within a week, the second shoe salesman was on the phone to his boss, barely able to contain his excitement!

“Boss, this is amazing! Quick – send me more shoes! Give me everything you’ve got – no-one wears shoes in Africa!

Tony Inman Tony’s View:

The moral of the story is that we can all choose how we look at things in life. Some of us get bogged down in the problems and the obstacles. The go-getters see only the opportunity and the prize. It’s never too late to change your personal filters!

 

 

On a positive ‘foonote’, whilst looking for a photo for this post, I found a heartening story from Shannon Cook of CNN:

 

 

Blake Mycoskie asks "What's afoot?"

Blake Mycoskie asks “What’s afoot?”

 

 

Step into Blake Mycoskie’s shoes for a day, and you might wind up feeling enlightened. Not just because the shoes he wears are incredibly lightweight, but because they transport him to regions of the globe where footwear is a rare, precious commodity.

 

So what are these magical slippers? They’re called TOMS, and they’re the foundation of Mycoskie’s one-for-one business principle: for every pair of TOMS sold, the 32-year-old gives a pair to a child in need.

The idea came to Mycoskie — who calls himself a “serial entrepreneur” whose first company was a laundry business he started in college — while he was vacationing in Argentina. He says he was overwhelmed by the sight of children living without shoes. But instead of simply starting a charity, he decided he could better serve by launching a for-profit business.

 

Tony’s Take-away: Look at ways of helping others and you will simultaneously help yourself.