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

Jobs or Opportunities

Jobs or Opportunities

Jobs or Opportunities

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

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

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

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

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

Vocational training has improved

Vocational training has improved

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

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

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

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

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

'Knowledge is power' - but only if used!

‘Knowledge is power’ – but only if used!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

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

The Aircraft Behaviour Phenomenon and How That Mirrors Life

Coach Tony Inman talks about behaviour on aircraftThe big commercial jet screeched on the bitumen, then rumbled off the runway, slowing as it turned to taxi to the disembarkation gate at Perth airport. The stewardess made the usual announcement about keeping your seatbelts fastened and not switching on mobiles until we were inside the terminal building, yet even before she had finished, even before the seatbelt sign had pinged above our heads, you could hear the rebellious clicks of unlocking seatbelts.

One of the reason’s I haven’t done as many of my usual blogs on this site recently is that my girlfriend, Jo and I have been away having too much fun and living the dream! This landing was our sixteenth flight in 31 days as we returned to Perth from our South American adventure, taking in such sights as Macchu Picchu, the Amazon jungle, the Iguazu falls, Rio de Janeiro and Chichen Itza.

On all sixteen of those flights, this same phenomenon occurred. I’ve always been fascinated by people’s behaviour, long before I began life and business coaching. The passengers in the aisle seats would leap up from their seats to grab their hand luggage from the overhead lockers and squeeze their way into the aisle if possible. Those passengers in the middle seats would try to get their bags as well, but even if they couldn’t, they then stood in a hunched position with their heads pushed up uncomfortably against the bulk head in a tortuous position, remaining that way by their own volition for several minutes. Those people stuck in the window seats looked pained and frustrated. Their faces had expressions as if to say, “What am I going to do? I’m stuck! What if I’m stuck on this plane forever?”

Flying over the spectacular Andes

Flying over the spectacular Andes

There are always the irritating people too – the ones with an annoying cough – the sort where you think a lung is about to come up; or those who sneeze repeatedly on the people around them, leading you to wonder if this is the flight that is carrying the latest pandemic virus, the one on which you should have worn an unfashionable breathing mask or perhaps not even have boarded. There’s always at least one person having an unnecessarily loud conversation on their mobile phone, blaring out to all the disinterested people around them what they plan to do for the rest of the weekend. Plus of course there’s always at least one screaming child whose ears hurt as they pop and they can’t understand why.

As you all finally shuffle impatiently down the aisle, you notice one or two passengers who have chosen to remain in their seats. “What’s wrong with them?” you think. “Why don’t they want to get off? Are they retarded? Everyone’s getting off!” Even if you offer to let them out into the aisle, they decline with a knowing smile. Those strange people are the very same passengers that you later see passing you in the next queue at Customs. “How did that happen?” you ponder. “Is there no justice?”

To add insult to injury, those same people again are the ones whose hold luggage comes out first! You see them casually sauntering away, without a care in the world, while your bags take an eternity. In South America, most of the time, the bags would be split between a couple of different trucks, so one bag might come through straight away and the other might be the very last to appear on the conveyor belt. There’s always that anxiety when you’re wondering if yours is the one that fell off the back of the truck and got lost that day, followed by huge relief as you spot it in the distance.

Then you see a sniffer dog heading for your luggage and you begin to wonder if some drug lord has chosen your very bag in which to stash something unsavoury! “Phew!” you thinks as the dog wags its tail and toddles on past.

Then you spot one of the passengers who had stood with their neck squeezed against the bulk head and you wonder, ‘I bet they have a sore neck tonight. Why did they do that?’

So I began wondering about this whole travel behaviour pattern that I have seen repeated on almost every flight I’ve ever taken, and I have taken a lot over the years. “Why do we do the same thing that everyone else does?”

Is it because people are afraid of flying and they can’t wait to get off the plane? Is it because they’ve been sat in a confined space for too long and they just need to stand up, so desperately that they will hunch even more uncomfortably than if they had remained seated? Neither of those make any sense, because we all know that you’re going nowhere until the crew opens the door, and that can sometimes take a while. Or perhaps they are in such a huge rush to get on with their ‘busy’ lives and they think that by standing uncomfortably and looking impatient, somehow the crew will magically beam them off the aircraft?

Mayan ceremony - travel provides fantastic opportunities to study human behaviour

Mayan ceremony – travel provides fantastic opportunities to study human behaviour

Some passengers, when made to wait more than a few minutes become increasingly agitated and even rude to their fellow passengers or the crew. Others become gallant knights, helping the elderly by passing down their heavy bags from the overhead lockers. The frailest on the plane always seem to have the most luggage. How does that happen?

Another thing I noticed is that no matter how many times the crew come around collecting rubbish from people, as you exit the aircraft you will see mounds of garbage throughout the plane, and the worst section is the one where the passengers have paid the most to be there. Is it some kind of rule that first class passengers have to make more mess than economy passengers? Is it a measure of your importance that you have to leave more mess behind as some kind of status symbol?

Human behaviour is learned by observation, duplication and repetition or by simple survival instinct. If there was an emergency disembarkation, they’d be acting on survival instinct, meaning they’d probably be pushing others out of the way in their quest for personal survival. It would actually make more sense for the disembarking to be done the same way as the boarding – a few rows at a time, with everyone else remaining seated until called. Admittedly, there has rarely been a problem with aircraft at the end of the flight, but in reality you are still surrounded by aviation fuel and inflammable materials. If there were to be a stampede, then it would be safer with the bags still in their lockers.

So how does this behaviour manifest itself in the rest of your life? Are you operating on survival mode and irrationally reacting to external events? Are you simply following learned behaviour patterns and going through the motions? Are you just doing what everyone else does because that’s the way you think it’s supposed to be? Or are you living your life on purpose and steadily working towards pre-determined goals in congruence with your values?

Where we wanted to be - the Mayan wonder of the world at Chichen Itza

Where we wanted to be – the Mayan wonder of the world at Chichen Itza

In Earl Nightingale’s famous speech on ‘The Strangest Secret’ he explained that “Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy goal or ideal”. If you are exactly where you want to be, doing exactly what you want to do and living life exactly as you want to, then you are already a success, no matter what anyone else thinks!

If not, then you will most effectively unleash your creativity if you invest the time to reflect on what your values really are, the kind of person you really want to be and what you are willing to do to make that happen. It’s not always easy to be so reflective and so creative – sometimes people are stuck or are overwhelmed by the challenges they face. That’s often why they talk to a coach or seek a mentor like me, to help figure out what they really want, both in business and in life and to devise effective strategies for ultimate success. When is the right time to figure that out? It’s as soon as you are ready – ready to move away from the pain of overwhelm or from being stuck; and ready to move towards the joy of fulfilling your creative potential. Where you are today is a result of the choices you have made in life so far and the resources you have made use of. Where you may be tomorrow depends on the choices you can make and the resources you invest in from this point forwards.

Until then, I hope that you make each day the best day it can be for you and for those around you.

 

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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!’

 

An Astute Coach and Mentor

Lune Lim, Director of Aspire Developments

Lune Lim, Director of Aspire Developments

“Tony is not only an astute coach and mentor, but possesses an exceptional ability to uncover the hidden issues underlying real problems.

His charisma and charm are tantamount to being a true leader, anyone who has a chance to experience working with Tony should grab it!”

 

Lune Lim

Director of Aspire Developments

 

 

Tony’s Thoughts:

“Thank you Lune. I am sincerely honored and flattered to receive such an accolade from someone who was achieved so much success so early in life.
For those who don’t know, Lune has published several magazines through the Aspire Media Group. In addition, he is the Strategic Executive Officer of the Shaye Paper Products company and is the Director of Aspire Developments, overseeing leading coaching and consultancy businesses, based in Sydney.
I was fortunate enough to work on several assignments with Lune in Sydney and Melbourne and I am delighted to be able to consider him as one of my friends and professional associates over there on the ‘Dark Side’ of Australia!”

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:

The Passion of Sport

Tony at Old Trafford 2002

Tony at Old Trafford 2002 (Another ‘bucket list’ item)

In the wake of Manchester United’s victory over rivals Manchester City last night, my jubilant facebook posts caught the attention of one of my Aussie friends, Zena.

She asked me about the history of this rivalry between the two Manchester clubs.

I’m a great believer in the importance of following your passions and living your dreams, so for me, sporting contests are where we see some of the greatest human moments, where people strive to be the best they possibly can at what they love doing.

I love football – always have, always will. From kicking a ball against a wall as a kid to playing amateur league and veterans soccer, to watching my team at every opportunity. As I (partly) jokingly say, ‘Women have come and gone, but football will always be there for me.’

The following was my reponse:

Zena – you could say there are more than two Manchester teams if you include surrounding areas.

Football superseded religion in a way as it gave the everyday working man something exciting and entertaining to look forward to on the weekend. It gave rise to local heroes and it was the dream of every child kicking a ball against a wall in the back lane to play for his local team and emulate his heroes. It’s tribal and it’s very, very passionate, even with the influx of mega-rich mercenaries – professional players who will go where the money is despite having no geographical connection to the club where they ply their trade. You can’t blame them for that – it’s their career.

The old and great clubs are steeped in tradition, where fans can remember the feats of star players of a bygone era. For me it was players like Charlton, Best and Law. For my City friends it was Lee, Bell and Summerbee.

United formed originally under the name Newton Heath in 1878 and were mostly a team of railway workers. They changed their name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford, their current stadium in 1910.

City was founded by the Rector of St Mark’s Church in 1880 in industrial East Manchester to help reduce crime and for social and charitable support for the community, becoming first Ardwick AFC and eventually Manchester City in 1894.

The rivalry has always been there, though there was always a mutual respect, with City even allowing United to use their ground at Maine Road when Old Trafford was damaged by German bombs in World War 2, though they wouldn’t let them use the home dressing rooms!

United suffered one of the most disastrous setbacks to any sporting team ever when the plane carrying the team back from Munich crashed on take off in 1958, killing most of the team in one foul swoop. (Munich Air Disaster) United were the first English team to compete in Europe. On a wave of national sympathy, the club rebuilt the team with youngsters and refused to fold. Sir Matt Busby survived the crash (just) and though it took him ten years, he finally rebuilt the team, won the English title and took them back into Europe, winning the European Cup in 1968.

Young Tony in George Best shirt

Young Tony in George Best shirt

I watched that game on TV in Jersey as a 7 year old, with my heroes Best and Charlton both scoring. Interestingly, the other goal was scored by Brian Kidd who was later to be United’s Assistant Coach and is now City’s Assistant Coach. Denis Law also played for both teams and even Matt Busby was a City player before becoming United Manager.

Under the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson, arguably the best Manager of all team, United enjoyed a spell of dominance through the nineties, and on til last year, winning 12 EPL titles, while City endured traumatic decline and relgation to lower leagues. Their fans stayed loyal though and they bounced back to claim the Premier League title from United on goal difference only with the last kick of the season in a thrilling finale.

For many years, Liverpool were the dominant force in England. United knocked them off their perch, then faced a challenge from Arsenal. Then came the financially backed challenges to United as mega-rich billionaires made English soccer their plaything. United has seen off Chelsea, but now have to battle it out with Arab-owned City, while United has fallen into the hands of Americans. I’d love to see all of the clubs back to being owned by the people for the people, but I fear those days are long gone.

As a child, I remember there was magic and respect for all clubs and all players. The English Premier League is still the most exciting league in the world because you can never predict what is going to happen from week to week, but I fear that money has spoiled the sportsmanship and mutual respect that was always there.

On the other hand, the money has enabled sponsors to set up satellite TV so I can watch the games live wherever I happen to be in the world.

It’s a game with more passion than I can possibly explain. If you want to understand it, go to a match, preferably a derby game like City v United and see how it affects people in workplaces where the winners will give the losers stick about the result from one game to the next.

Go for a drink in the local pub and hear the fans singing the songs. It’s tradition, passion and a sense of connection with history. Like when JFK was shot or Diana died, people look back and remember where they were when United won the European Cup or when City pipped United at the post last season. It’s so much more than Eagles v Dockers.

Bill Shankly, Liverpool Manager summed it up, ‘Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.’

“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