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?’

No Regrets

Coach Tony Inman talks about the pointlessness of regretWhat are the things you most regret?

In most cases, assuming you do allow yourself to regret anything, and let’s face it, you are a human being, there will be something.

Usually, it’s something you didn’t do – an action you ‘should’ have taken; an opportunity you missed; a moment where you allowed a fear to block you; but sometimes it’s a mistake you made.

No matter what it is, it’s in the past now; it’s done; the moment has gone. Realising that, ask yourself, ‘What did I learn from that?’

There are only a rare few who are disciplined enough to eliminate regrets completely from their lives, aside from psychopaths of course, but what has become clear to me is that we need to develop our trust in our instincts, whilst still overcoming our instinctual fears, to allow us to glimpse the rewards of taking the action.

If you do take the action, trusting and believing that it’s the right and ethical thing to do, then there will be no need for regrets because you did the best you could with what you knew.

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

Why Rupert Told Reginald He Should Be Grateful His Life Was Crap

Is your life tough? asks coach Tony Inman

“Life? Don’t talk to me about life!”

“My wife just left me, the house burnt down, my dog’s run off and I just got fired!” said Reginald, a miserable looking mouse of a man, his hair unkempt and his clothes crumpled, dejectedly nursing his beer in the darkest corner of the pub. His life sounded like a Country and Western song.

“Never mind mate. You’ve got to look at the positives and feel grateful for what you still have. A lot of people would love to be in your situation! You’ve just got to be more up tempo.” said his friend, Rupert, a man who had been unable to hold down a regular job, and who actually hated his own life, yet who also happened to be a recently qualified ‘success coach’.

Rupert had read ‘The Secret’ and was eagerly awaiting the definitely imminent arrival of his lotto winnings cheque in the mail. He was also a master of ‘positivity’ and spin. He had even had his social media image photo-shopped to make himself appear like a Hollywood star.

You’ve probably heard coaches like Rupert talking about the power of gratitude before, yet if you’re going through a difficult time when you hear that, it’s easy to understand why you might feel somewhat cynical about the well-intentioned advice. You might even tell Rupert to stick his advice where the sun doesn’t shine!

Now to go back to the example – it’s entirely possible that Reginald (a) had drifted apart from his nagging wife and despised her anyway; (b) never really liked his dimly-lit but fully-insured house; (c) never wanted the dog that had originally belonged to his wife and her former lover; and (d) hated that job and his bullying boss and had only just been offered better employment for higher pay, this very week!

bourbon-on-cereal

Are you feeling somewhat challenged by life’s disappointments?

It’s also possible that none of these positive slants existed and that Reginald has every reason to feel like putting bourbon on his corn flakes every day, just to numb the pain.

We never really know what someone else is going through. We can imagine what it might feel like. We can even sympathise with how we think it would feel if we were them, yet we’re not them. We don’t see the world exactly the same way as them and they may not have the same coping mechanisms as us, nor may they have the same strength of character that we believe we possess.

At the risk of sounding a tad ‘Rupert-esque’, it’s fair to say however, that there is always someone, somewhere, whose situation is a damn sight worse than yours. Nevertheless, if your leg is injured and it’s giving you a lot of pain, you can be told that another man’s leg was amputated or that yet another’s was badly burned and you can understand the difference between their plight and your own. You can even accept on a logical level that you should probably feel ‘lucky’. Yet despite this knowledge, it doesn’t stop the fact that your leg still hurts.

Now this is the point in my article where I ask you to indulge me for a moment. You can call me a ‘Rupertian disciple’ if you like, but just for a moment, consider this…

My delightful coach, who is absolutely beautiful both on the inside and the outside, is also a very smart lady. (Yes, even coaches have coaches! We know the value of it more than most.) A while ago, she told me to start a new habit that would have a very positive impact on my life. My coach advised me to get an empty jar and label it my jar of ‘gratitude and happiness’. She instructed me to develop the new habit of writing down each day on little slips of paper at least one, and preferably three, of the things in my life for which I could feel grateful or about which I could feel happy.

My Gratitude Jar

My Gratitude Jar

Knowing that my coach is a smart cookie, and with me being, at least most of the time, an ‘action-taker’, I did it. Now I can openly admit that I wasn’t disciplined enough to remember to do it every day, but whenever I did miss a day, I didn’t beat myself up about it. I just wrote something extra the next day. For example, I wrote things like, “I’m incredibly grateful for having a wonderful girlfriend” or “I’m so blessed to have such amazing children”. It could even be random things like, “It made me happy to give that shop assistant a compliment and to see by her smile that it had made her day.” I even wrote good things down on my crappiest of days. I even smiled at the irony of it sometimes, because yes, it’s true – even a ‘change catalyst’ like me has bad days too!

At the end of the year, I opened the jar and read all my little messages. All I could say was “Wow!” The impact was huge. Not only that, but my girlfriend said she would make it her goal to give me good reason to write even more sweet little messages about her, during the next year, which she actually did.

So, if you think you’re just feeling a bit down or that life’s not so special, give this a try – I promise you it works. If your life is really as bad as Reginald’s in my little story above, then maybe you do need to talk things through with an experienced coach, or a counsellor or a psychologist even. Sometimes life does hand us really tough challenges, it’s true, and sometimes you do need some external help to get you through it. If that’s the case, then let me encourage you to seek help without delay from the appropriate professional. (I fit the first of those descriptions, so feel free to contact me if you’re feeling stuck, or over-whelmed, or you just know that you could really benefit from having a professional sounding-board.)

I’ll finish though with this thought. Actually, it’s more than a thought, it’s commonly accepted as a proven fact by those who have successfully conquered many challenges in their lives… (and I can vouch for it myself).

“When you focus on the things in your life for which you can feel grateful and happy, you will automatically empower yourself to be better, to do more and to have better outcomes.”

~ Tony Inman, ‘The Change Catalyst’

If you don’t believe me, just try it for one month. I now write mine in a journal and that’s another topic for another day, but do whichever works for you. Do please let me know how you go and do remember to have an awesome month, filled with gratitude and happiness.

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. 

 

 

 

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

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!”

What Will Your Legacy Be?

Monty Python made a movie about it

Monty Python made a movie about it (Image courtesy of Monty Python)

‘What is the meaning of life?’ is a question mankind has asked ever since Mr Neanderthal had too much time on his hands around the late night cave fire. But what is your answer, specifically for you?
It’s probably still a question that most of us ask of ourselves at some point, perhaps when things have gone badly – a loved one has passed away, a marriage has broken up or a career has ended abruptly?
All too frequently though, it is filed in the ‘too hard’ basket, because in reality none of us can solve such a big conundrum on behalf of mankind.
But what of those people who seem to have figured something out?

There has to be a better legacy than mayhem

Suicide Bomber Training School – Image courtesy of www.StrangeCosmos.com (cartoonist unknown)

 

Sure there are the religious zealots, who have surrendered their lives to a perceived higher power. We’ve seen the potentially lethal results of unquestioning commitment to someone’s interpretation of what God/Allah/Jehova (substitute your preferred version there) says we should do with our lives. If a person decides that being a suicide bomber is the thing they want to be remembered for by their loved ones, then who am I to argue with them. That’s nothing new by the way – people have fought to the death in the name of religion for millennia. My choice would be something more people-friendly than that.
I loved Dr Demartini’s story, where a scroll was made in his honour, featuring much of his life’s work – his teachings, and it was placed inside the sealed vault at Vatican City to be opened and read by future generations in a thousand years’ time. That made me go “Wow!”
So, one answer would be that your life’s work might be kept and referred to by future man. Your name would be spoken, just as the names of greats like Gandhi, Da Vinci, Socrates and Darwin have been revered.
It’s certainly a factor in why I recently wrote my book, ‘If Life’s Worth Doing, It’s Worth Doing Well’. I’d like to think that somewhere, a long way away, perhaps many years from now, someone might read it and be inspired by it in some way. I might never even know about it, but just the possibility of that happening is a cool concept for me.

 

Tony, Kim and Craig Inman

My daughter, Kim and son, Craig

In truth though, I was already a lucky man long before I burned the midnight candles required to complete that project. One of my greatest legacies is my family. Not everyone has offspring, but I have been blessed with a son, a daughter and now a grandson. I hope there will be more to follow!
My parents had four surviving children, ten grand-children and around about twelve great-grand-children. Now that’s definitely a legacy. It’s something unique that defines your existence in this realm.

 

Perhaps what matters more, however, is not just whether you created new life, but how you lived your own.

Did you live it in pursuit of your dreams or did you just exist? I know that to some people my whole ‘Living the Dream’ maxim might seem a tad corny – especially to someone who’s slogging away just trying to feed a family and pay the bills. Most of us have experienced that at some point in our journey through life. The point is though, that merely existing is only a stage we pass through. If we get our act together, we will, and do, come out beyond that tunnel and into the light. So, if you were able to wave a magic wand, what life would you really like?
I’m not here to give you the answer – merely to prompt you to think about your own answer, because thinking about it is the starting point to creating it.
Until next time, ‘Seize the day!’