To Greet or Not to Greet – ‘Why?’ is the Question!

Jo takes in the magnificent view of Perth

Jo takes in the magnificent view of Perth city

The young, respectable-looking couple bounced cheerfully up the gravel path towards us, chatting happily with each other and breathing in the delightfully fresh morning air of the Zamia Trail at Perth’s Bold Park. Their facial expressions changed however, from a contented beam to a poker face as they realised they were not alone in this urban wilderness.

My partner, Jo and I were out for an invigorating morning stroll in one of the City’s most beautiful walking trails, surrounded by spectacular, natural Australian bushland and we were descending down the path towards the young adults.

I could sense a certain uncertainty from them as to whether or not they would acknowledge our existence.

“Good morning” I said chirpily and smiled at them. I was proud of myself for getting out of bed to go and do a 5.1 kilometres walk.

The relief on their faces was palpable as they turned towards us and smiled radiantly back without breaking stride, in as perfectly synchronised a fashion as a pair of those bizarre swimmers at the Olympics. The only things missing from the display were the nose plugs and the speedo’s! They were very polite and seemed genuinely cheered that a complete stranger had taken a moment to greet them.

“That was interesting “I observed, deriving a smattering of amusement from my little social experiment.

“What do you mean?” asked Jo, somewhat bemused by my comment.

I had been inspired to conduct this exercise when a memory was jogged in me by a middle-aged gentleman (older than me obviously!) I had said good morning to him only minutes before and he had completely blanked us. Jo had theorised “Maybe he didn’t hear you or maybe he didn’t speak English, or maybe he was just a rude bxxxxxxd!”

The beautiful Hyde Park in Perth

The beautiful Hyde Park in Perth

“That reminds me of something I was pondering a while ago at Hyde Park” I replied.

A while back I had got into a routine of going for very early morning walks around Hyde Park in Perth. That’s when I began thinking about a strange phenomenon that I had noticed.

When you encounter people out walking or jogging early in the morning, most of them it seems, give you the kind of greeting normally reserved for old family members you haven’t seen for years, often accompanied by a weather report.

“G’day mate!” they’ll bellow, “Lovely day for it, eh? Think we’re past the worst of the rains now.” They’re always glowing with positivity and energy, as if there’s some kind of secret battery charger hidden in the bushes next to the lake that they plug themselves into, to start the day beaming. Even the joggers wearing earphones will nod and grin as they bounce past.

Then I noticed that when I walked around that same park later in the day, hardly anyone will move their head, nor will their face crack. Very few will acknowledge you or say hello, unless…

You say it first. If you smile and say hello, in Perth at least, most people will as a minimum, nod and possibly smile. Some will even speak to you. That’s because on the whole, Perth is a friendly city.

I’ve also conducted this experiment overseas, and the one that really blew me away was in England. In London, down South, if you speak to someone in public, especially on the Underground, they will assume you are either (a) an unpredictable nutter or (b) about to mug them. Either way, their initial reaction is often very defensive, and that’s in the daytime. In Manchester, up North, you couldn’t shut them up! If you spoke to a random stranger there, they’d tell you their life story. Now I know where my Mother got it from!

The great ocean views make you smile at Bold Park (Rottnest Island in background)

The great ocean views make you smile at Bold Park (Rottnest Island in background)

 

I realise that some of it is down to population size. Those of you who may remember the ‘Crocodile Dundee’ movies would recall that when the hero, Mick Dundee walked down the street in his Aussie Outback town, everyone knew each other’s business and they all said ‘G’day’ to everyone. When he travelled to New York in the movie’s sequel, it was comical when he walked through a massive crowd trying to say ‘G’day’ to everyone he met until he became overwhelmed.

Some of it may also be a cultural thing. Some nationalities have a culture of being chattier and more open than others. I found that very interesting when I owned a backpackers hostel business for fourteen years.

 

 

One thing I have reaffirmed everywhere though is that a smile is universally understood. A nod with the smile is respectful and polite. Combine those two with a genuine greeting and positive body language and you may just make a new friend. Ignore people or put up a defensive or even hostile countenance and they will mostly ignore you. If you DO make the effort though, you may notice an increase in your own energy.

So there you have my quirky ramblings. The question for you is, ‘To greet or not to greet?’ Don’t grin too hard or people may think you a grinning idiot, but smile warmly and authentically, and the world smiles with you  🙂

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!’

Want to Live Longer? Yes – Go on More Holidays!

Tony & partner, Jo living the dream at Rottnest Island

Tony & partner, Jo living the dream at Rottnest Island

My whole philosophy about ‘Living the Dream’ is based on my own practical experience of improving my own life and helping my friends, family and clients to improve theirs.

Now this might seem glaringly obvious, but it’s nice when you read about scientific research that backs up something you’ve been espousing for a while.

I was glancing at an article on the E-Travel Blackboard website and here was proof that my philosophy stands up to scrutiny -it’s all about work / life balance and loving what you do.

 

Here is the article…

It is a theory long thought true: that taking a holiday was good for your physical and mental well-being. Now, this hypothesis has been backed up by scientific evidence.

According to a study conducted by tour operator Kuoni and Nuffield Health, the UK’s largest healthcare charity, holidays contribute to lower blood pressure, improved sleep quality and better stress management – all significant factors in helping people live longer.

Setting out to establish whether the ‘feel good factor’ generated by vacations was based on physical and scientific fact, the ‘Holiday Health Experiment’ also found that the positive effects of taking a break continued for at least two weeks after returning home.

Participants of the study were split into travel and non-travel groups, with the travelling group sent on vacation to Thailand, Peru or the Maldives and the other group ordered to stay at home and continue working; they then underwent before and after stress-resilience testing, psychotherapeutic examinations and full health assessments.

Among its key findings, the study found that the blood pressure of holidaymakers dropped by six percent over the test period, while the blood pressure of the non-vacationers went up by two percent.

The study also revealed that holidaymakers saw a 17 percent improvement in sleep quality, with non-vacationers experiencing a decline of 14 percent in sleep quality.

Additionally, the stress resistance among vacationers rose by 29 percent, compared to a 71 percent fall in the scores of the non-holiday makers.

Talking to the results of the stress tests, Nuffield Health Medical Director (Wellbeing) Dr. Lucy
Goundry said “the results clearly demonstrate that on holiday our resilience to stress improves”.

“Becoming more resilient to stress is hugely important as most of us will return back to stress when our holiday ends but being more resilient to it helps lay the foundations for improved productivity at work, better energy levels and ultimately happiness.”

Article ends – source: http://www.etravelblackboard.com/article/139811

Tony Inman believes in 'Living the Dream'

Tony Inman believes in ‘Living the Dream’

“So there you have it – start designing your life the way you want it to be, get motivated and make it happen!

If you need any help or advice in how to do that, you know who to call – me!

You CAN have the business or job AND the life you truly deserve.

Seize the day!”

Tony Inman,

Business and Lifestyle Consultant, Coach, Author & Presenter

“Tony has been a fantastic sounding board…” – Juan Rando, Perth

Juan Rando, Owner - Juan Rando Dance Academy

Juan Rando, Owner – Juan Rando Dance Academy

“Although I have a successful business, I felt overwhelmed when my partnership broke up.

Tony has been a fantastic sounding board and has helped me rebuild my focus, enthusiasm, vision and profitability.”

Juan Rando, – Owner, Juan Rando Dance Academy

 

Juan operates Perth’s premier dance academy in Subiaco, Western Australia.

If you have been thinking about learning to dance JRDA caters for all levels, from those wishing to simply have fun, meet people and improve their fitness (and their sex life!) right through to aspiring professional dancers and instructors.

Check out his website at: http://www.jrda.com.au/

 

JRDA provides classes in various styles too:

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.