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

Overwhelm – Why it Happens and How to Deal with it

Do you find it all goes wrong at once?

Do you find it all goes wrong at once?

“Why me?” you shout loudly inside your own head. “Why am I in this mess and why is everything happening all at once?”

They are good questions, but do you stop your brain from whirring around in circles like a hamster wheel long enough to answer them?

Some people have a great relationship with themselves, while others don’t. Now that might sound really bizarre, but let me elaborate.

Firstly, you may be relieved to know that it’s quite normal to feel overwhelmed, especially with the pace of our modern world and the often unreasonable expectations that we allow society to place on us sometimes.

I find many of my coaching clients start off by engaging my services because they are simply swamped with everything that’s going on in their world. A lot of this is because they are unwittingly lumping all of their problems together as if it was one massive, all-consuming and life-threatening blob. I understand– I’ve been there myself.

Stress head

 

Part of why people struggle to deal with this tsunami of anxiety is that they haven’t learned how to ask themselves better questions. Another factor is that most people simply don’t think, and by that I mean that they don’t step back away from their crazy life and review it as if they had temporarily stepped outside of themselves. That’s one advantage I have straight away as their coach – I’m not them, so I can perceive it differently.

 

So let’s go back to the question of your relationship with yourself. Here are a few key questions:

  • Have you ever taken the time to reflect on who you are?
  • Have you thought about your own strengths and weaknesses?
  • Have you asked yourself ‘What are my core values?’
  • What do you like about yourself?
  • What do you dislike about yourself?

There are many more I could ask you, but that’s enough for now to make the point. The better you know yourself, the more resilient you become. That immediately means that you increase your ability to cope with stress and adversity, including a sense of overwhelm. It’s like putting on a life-jacket and sailing over the top of that tsunami I mentioned.

So part of dealing with overwhelm is realising that you CAN. Recognising your own capacity for having competently handled previous situations builds your confidence for dealing with this latest blob of yukky stuff.

Secondly, I’ll go back to an old tried and trusted question – “How do you eat an elephant?” Don’t worry I’m not actually proposing that you do! The answer though if you were to undertake that task, would be “A mouthful at a time”.

In other words, the reason you are often overwhelmed is that you are looking at ‘everything’ as one monstrous problem, when you’d be better served by breaking it down into bite-sized morsels. If you’re a visual person or a kinaesthetic learner (more attuned to feelings than images), write down your problem on a big piece of paper, then separate it out into smaller problems, even tearing off the separate pieces and moving them around on a table. If you’re a person who learns through audio, speak these problems out loud and ask yourself (and answer) the full range of five ‘W’’s and one ‘H’ question:

Who? What? Why? When? Where? And How?

Now here’s the secret gem that you deserve for having read my post today. Ask yourself this:

“What would be a better question?”

The key here is to separate the ‘problem’ into smaller ‘problems’, then examine them in turn to see what can be done about them.

Here’s another nugget – If they still seem like problems, ask yourself:

‘What lesson or lessons is the Universe trying to teach me here?’ and ‘How could this be seen as an opportunity?’

Going through those processes doesn’t always make the problems disappear, but it certainly helps you to look at them differently and perhaps to seek alternative resources. In the best examples, you can turn them around completely and wonder why you ever felt overwhelmed in the first place.

One family I started working with a while ago were in complete turmoil. They were trying to build their business but it seemed to be going wrong. They felt as if they didn’t really know how to run their business. They had staff who were not really the right people for the job. They were in the middle of renovating their home, whilst living in it, so they had builders and tradies coming and going. They had two very young children – you know how demanding that alone can be. They were battling and feeling chaotically swamped.

Do you see the glass as half-full or completely full?When I started asking them about their aspirations for the business, I continued to ask how that business would fit in the overall context of their lives. I asked them what was on their ‘bucket list?’ They answered with, “We don’t like to think about those things because we know we’ll probably never make them happen!”

Long story short, we separated the issues. We figured out a long-term and exit strategy, re-branded their business, recruited a new team, identified and worked on their skill-sets and rebuilt their self-confidence. Today they are way ahead of that dark day. They now have a swimming pool and play areas in their back yard for their children. They are taking holidays with their family and their business is in far better shape.

It starts with asking yourself better questions, like changing “Why can’t we have that lifestyle?” to “How could we make that happen?”

If you need any help with it, feel free to contact me via this website for a chat or call  0419 860 382. 

 

 

 

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!’

Tony Makes You Believe Everything Is Possible

Alysha Wearne“I met Tony 7 years ago on my first ever  journey to WA..

What an experience that year was..

Over time Tony not only became my boss but someone I admire, respect and someone who taught me life isn’t a struggle but something you grab by the balls and run with..

Tony and I share something a lot of people don’t and that’s not being afraid to try something different..

What makes family man Tony stand out is his love of life and sheer belief that with hard work EVERYTHING can be achieved and should be..

Tony has the knack to make you excited,  and makes you believe everything is possible..

This genuine man is by far the best!!
Alysha Wearne

Care-giver

Fun days - a 70's party!

Fun days – a 70’s party!

Tony’s Response: Thank you Alysha. I really appreciate your kind words and I’m very glad to have met you.

Your tenacity and forthright approach are traits I greatly admire and I look forward to hearing of your ongoing successes.

Best wishes,

Tony  😀

Alysha worked with us at a Perth-based tourism business that I owned for 14 years and was an enthusiastic, energetic and valued member of our team.

She formed many friendships with our global family and was well-liked and respected by thousands of customers.

The thing I have always loved the most about business is the people you meet during the journey- genuine people like Alysha!

Pictured here is a scene from a 70’s fancy dress party we held at our tourism business in January 2007.

Let Your Light Shine

Nelson Mandela - Former President of South Africa

Nelson Mandela – Former President of South Africa

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Nelson Mandela

From his 1994 inaugural speech

(written by Author Marianne Williamson)

President Mandela’s speech captivated the world.

As a man who spent 26 years in prison for speaking out against the racist regime of apartheid in South Africa, he did not speak of revenge for the injustice – he simply promoted peace and harmony.

He encouraged people to overcome their fears and be the best they could be.

So the question is ‘ Are you allowing your light to shine or are you letting your fears get in the way?’

Food for thought!

Here is the full speech:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is written within us.

It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

 

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (Xhosa pronunciation: [xoˈliːɬaɬa manˈdeːla]; born 18 July 1918) is a South African anti-apartheid activist, revolutionary and politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, the first to be elected in a fully representative, multiracial election. His administration focused on dismantling apartheid’s legacy, and cutting racism, poverty and inequality. Politically a democratic socialist, he served as president of the African National Congress (ANC) political party from 1991 to 1997.

Image and background information courtesy of Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela

“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:

“My Business Had Fallen Apart & My Private Life Was In Tatters…” – Kel Shipton, Perth WA

Kel Shipton

Kel Shipton – Owner of The Happy Herb Shop, Midland WA

‘I came across Tony just after January this year when my business had fallen apart and my private life was in tatters.

Fortunately, another friend put me in touch with Tony and it proved to be a Godsend.

He’s inspirational and the foresight that the guy gave me enabled me to push through what I was doing.

The fact that I’d got somebody there that has been through it all, that had walked the same path made a big difference and actually gave me the confidence to be able to push on, which I’ve done!

So thank you Tony.

Thanks for all your help and I’ll be dealing with you again one day in the future.

Cheers mate!’

Kel Shipton

Franchisee – The Happy Herb Shop, Midland

Cleared to Final

Two of my favourite planes

Two of my favourite planes – Cessna 152 & Piper Warrior

After over two hours on my own, suspended in the tiny Cessna 152 training aircraft, navigating my way over the fields and railway lines of Normandy in north-western France, I was filled with nervous excitement when I spotted an airfield in the distance.

That airfield was Rennes airport and I had never seen it from the air or landed there before.

It was a defining moment in my life story because this was one of the final stages of gaining my Private Pilot’s Licence – a solo cross country flight, landing at Rennes and Dinard before returning to my home base of Jersey, the largest of the English Channel Islands.

For a nineteen year old I was quite mature and confident. In that same year I was promoted to a Deputy Store Manager in a supermarket with 23 staff. That was one thing, but flying solo at two thousand feet over the English Channel, map-reading my way down the French coast and finding an unfamiliar airstrip was quite another test of self-reliance altogether.

I contacted Rennes Air Traffic Control and was cleared to descend and join the circuit.

Although I was still a student pilot, my training had been thorough and I had picked things up quickly owing to a lifetime of affinity with aviation. In fact I had ‘gone solo’ one fine but grey afternoon on the grass airstrip at Lessay, after just nine hours of training – one of the most memorable moments of my life.

Flying solo for the first time had been another defining moment for me – that heart-pounding moment when the instructor says, “When you land this time, pull over on the side of the runway but keep the engine running.’
Then, said my instructor, John Pedley, ‘Ok mate, you’re ready. Just do one circuit, request a full stop this time, park it over there and I’ll see you in the bar. Enjoy yourself.’

Taking my parents to France for lunch

Taking my parents to France for lunch 1981

I was born with avgas in my blood. My father had joined the Air Force as a mechanical apprentice at fifteen and was fixing Spitfires on Malta, Sicily and in Egypt during the War, before a lengthy career as an aircraft engineer for British Airways in Jersey. My eldest brother became a commercial helicopter pilot, having served with the Army Air Corps, and my sister was a stewardess for British Airways. No wonder I loved assembling and painting model aircraft kits as a child.

When I was seventeen, Dad got me a summer holiday job at a small airline he had joined while in semi-retirement, called Intra Airways.

I had the joyful job of cleaning the aircraft on the turnaround between flights. I had felt important, driving support vehicles across the airport apron, putting locking pins in the undercarriage of the old Dakota DC 3’s, wiping oil off the engine cowlings and directing passengers which way to walk to the terminal building. The downside was in having to empty the bucket from the chemical toilet, but even that unsavoury task did not diminish the joy of working with my father and being ‘one of the guys’ at Jersey airport.

So on that July day in 1980, as I joined the downwind leg of the Rennes circuit and began my pre-landing checks, with my hands on the controls, I felt literally as free as a bird.

I think I had goose bumps as the tower controller said, ‘Golf Romeo November – you are clear to final.’

Before I knew it I was cleared to land. The wheels greased smoothly onto the bitumen and I taxied my plane to a parking spot in front of the control tower.

As I turned off the engine, I threw my hands in the air and yelled ‘YESSSSS!’

I think it was a little from nervous relief as it was from exhilaration. The concentration had been intense, realising that the only person I could count on to bring that plane down safely was me.

I had to have my log book stamped by Customs to prove I had been there, before flying on to Dinard, then back to Jersey.

When I gained my wings at the Channel Islands Aero Club in Jersey that Summer, I was very proud of the achievement.

Tony-flying-Rotto2007

Tony flying in WA

When I reflect on it though, a large part of my pride stems from the fact that it represented the realisation of a huge dream come true.

I had set the goal to obtain my licence; I had researched what I needed to do; I had sought the finance required – I took out a two thousand pound bank loan; I enrolled in the course; I studied the things I needed to study – navigation, meteorology, principles of flight, air law, radio procedures, airfield procedures, flight planning and much more.

I had made a commitment to myself and I saw it through, overcoming occasional fear and self-doubt, carried with the wind of desire and determination beneath my wings.

As a metaphor for life in general, it was a great testament to the power of a dream.

Sir Winston Churchill once remarked that, ‘Nothing can stop the totally committed will’ and I am a firm believer in his maxim.

If you decide that you really want something, and of course it fits with your ethical and moral values, then if you commit to its completion, and really apply yourself, you can overcome any obstacle, rise to the challenge and live the life of your dreams.

We are blessed to live in a free country, surrounded by resources at our disposal if we will but look and ask. We live in a place where the seemingly impossible can be made to happen, and the difficult – well that just serves to make the challenge worthwhile.

So I hope that you have not given up on your dreams and settled for less because opportunity is all around us.

I recommend that you encourage others as you yourself would like to be encouraged. The power of a good support team is not to be underestimated.

If you would like any help with defining your goals or planning their accomplishment, please feel free to contact me for a chat. I offer a free discovery session.

Life coaching, lifestyle consulting or whatever you prefer to call it, can help you rediscover the dreams and goals you may have filed in the ‘too hard basket’. What if, just maybe, you could still do them?

Do you dare to dream?

Until next time, may you live your life with passion!

Tony Inman