Why Weather Reflects Your Attitude

Choose your attitude towards the weather and choose your attitude towards life

‘Attitude can be symbolised by weather conditions’, I pondered this morning.

Yesterday had been a squally, overcast, downer of a day, or so it seemed it could be, first thing in the morning. Our family went to a winery to enjoy a sensational Christmas in July charity lunch, yet my step-son’s first words as he grumbled his way from the front door to the car were, “Looks like a terrible day to be going out anywhere.”

The fact is that he’s not a morning person, so even a bright blue sky would merely have given him one less thing to whinge about. He takes a lot of medication for a rare, genetic epilepsy condition, so having to get out of bed before he feels ready to is always sufficient cause for muttering and griping. That tends to be his default attitude to life in the morning.

We may not be able to choose the weather but we can choose our attitude‘A red sky at night is a shepherd’s delight; a red sky in the morning is a shepherd’s warning’ is one of those little rhymes I remember from childhood and for some people that would shape their attitude towards a day that hadn’t even arrived yet. What I noticed this morning again though is how a beautiful blue sky, void of any clouds at all (and we’re very lucky to enjoy many such days in Perth) has the capacity to lift your spirit instantly and thus affect your attitude in a positive way as a new day begins.

A while ago though, I heard the great Scottish comedian, Billy Connolly espouse the view that, “There is no such thing as ‘bad’ weather – there’s only ‘bad’ choice of clothing”. The inference was that the weather was neither good nor bad; the determining factor was your preparation for either extreme and your attitude towards your environment.

 

Do you have a default setting for your attitude?

a bad attitude will seldom help youTo go back to my step-son, protesting his way to the car yesterday, I responded by quoting Billy Connolly in a bright and chirpy fashion and pointing out that he’d be mostly indoors anyway but would have escaped the darkness of the dungeon (young man’s bedroom) that he inhabits. Have you ever noticed though, how the last thing a person who’s decided to fester away in their grumpy darkness needs, is to be confronted with a cheerful, happy person?

He continued to grumble about the weather and the road conditions as we made our way through a spectacular valley near our home. Even as the rain gave way for a burst of sunshine and the raindrops glistened and sparkled as they ran down the leaves of the picturesque gum trees, and even as we passed by the breathtaking vineyards and saw alpacas munching with delight on the moist, vibrantly green grass, his attitude of grumpiness continued unabated.

We were listening in the car to a CD we’d bought at a show the night before, recorded by a jazz/swing singer, Cathrine Summers, who is blessed with the kind of voice that gives you goose-bumps. My partner and my mother-in-law were enraptured by her dulcet tones and we all found ourselves slightly disappointed as we arrived at our destination that we’d have to stop listening. The two ladies had been singing along in the back of the car. Our very own misanthrope chipped in, almost predictably, with, “Why do you always listen to such depressing music?” I simply smiled.

 

A rainy attitude in an overcast workplace

wherever you go, you take your attitude with youI remember way back when I used to work at ‘Big W’ as a retail manager and I’d walk into my sales office first thing in the morning to be confronted by the daily ritualistic mutterings of two ladies whose demeanour reminded me of Shakespearian witches. Most of their gloomy, pessimistic sentences ended with the words “…this bloody place.” I used to clap my hands loudly as I bounced into the office, muster the biggest, cheeriest smile I could wear and exclaim loudly, “Good morning ladies and how are you this wonderful morning?”

“What the bloody hell’s wrong with you?” they’d snarl, ever more resolute in their mission of misery and discord.

“I was just thinking how wonderful it is to be alive.” Or something equally provocative, would be my typical response. My favourite though was, “If it’s that bad, why don’t you leave and do something else, something that makes you happy?” They insisted that they couldn’t because they had bills to pay – thus their attitude of misery was entrenched.

I found a strange solace in their determination to stay miserable, just as I find a strange solace today in looking at Mother Nature and her choice of ‘clothing’, i.e. the weather, and choosing to see the beauty, no matter the conditions.

 

Attitude can be like the cloud that moves above you or like the sunshine behind it

do you focus on the clouds or the sunshine?You see, some people choose to take ‘their weather’ with them. They see the warm weather as ‘too hot’, the cooler days as ‘too cold’, and the rainy days as ‘shitty’, as if raindrops had been somehow replaced with a downpour of excrement! The weather is simply a metaphor for their attitude towards life.

It is my contention that attitude is a matter of personal choice in any given moment, no matter your location. Two people can look at the same weather conditions and the same vista and one will choose to see beauty and light; the other will choose to see ugliness and darkness. “Can it really be that simplistic?” you ask.

 

Attitude is not controlled by your problems – you can ignore the forecast!

“Ah, but you don’t know what problems I’m dealing with?” insists the pessimist. “If you had my problems, you’d be miserable and overwhelmed too.” It’s possible that I would, of course, but only temporarily.

I’ve had many problems in my life, just as we all do, but I’ve always fostered the belief that no matter what happens to you, no matter what problems you face, maintaining a negative attitude will only disempower you, whereas looking for the positives, even within the depths of a crisis, will help empower you to seek solutions, to find a way of picking yourself back up and to move forwards again with a sense of renewed purpose and an extra layer of resilience.

Just as I wrote these words, I heard from through in the loungeroom, my partner exclaimed, “What a beautiful sunny day!” My mother-in-law responded with her gloomiest Birmingham accent, “Bit misty!” To use the modern vernacular, I LOL’d at the timing.

There’s an old saying that ‘Your attitude will determine your altitude’. I wish for you today, and from this day forwards, that you enjoy a day that is driven by a great attitude and you soar like an eagle. Have an awesome day!

If you’d like any help with defining some strategic solutions to areas in which you feel ‘stuck’, feel free to contact me for a coffee catch-up.

Other blog posts you might like:

 

 

Regret is a Pointless Emotion

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. There is also the fact that the way you perceive a situation can change over time.

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.

In my experience, we mostly tend to regret the things we wish we had done, rather than the things we did do.

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.

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  🙂

Some Short Posts on ‘Change’

Keep-your-coins-I-want-change

‘Change is the only constant’ and sometimes that can mean moving out of your comfort zone, but embrace it because when you do so, you open up your world to a host of new opportunities and experiences.’ Do you agree?

 

 

Life coach Tony Inman says we must be the change we want to see

“When you take responsibility for changing the way you think and for taking the action you can, your world will change.”

~ Tony Inman

 

Change allows us to make way for the new

If you could change something about your business (or job) what would it be?

 

 

Entrepreneur Tony Inman says you should never give up - though you should know when you need to

“Is there any area of your life where YOU have simply given up on the possibilities?”
– from the book ‘If Life’s Worth Doing, It’s Worth Doing Well’ by Tony Inman

 

The mind is like a parachute – no use unless it’s open! Here’s a man who is really open to change and going outside his comfort zones – see Jeb Corliss in action. What do you really want to do that you are holding off from because of your comfort zones?
Message me on this page to discuss…

Video: Jeb Corliss Grinding the crack

The coach says ' I believe in You'

“To have the change you seek, you must become the person who deserves it.”

– from the book ‘If Life’s Worth Doing, It’s Worth Doing Well’ by Tony Inman. Why not talk to a coach about being the best you can be! Message me on this page for a chat.

 

 

Travelling coach Tony Inman says a change is as good as a rest‘A change is as good as a rest’ – Do you find this to be the case?

Picture: Coach Tony Inman and partner, Joanne Small in Cancun hotel pool with cocktails

 

 

 

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.

 

[If you liked this article, then please share it with your friends. For Tony’s business blog at Club Red Inspiration – click here]

What to Do When Your Coffee Machine Dies and Other First World Problems…

 

My friend - the coffee machine

My friend – the coffee machine

Life as we know it has changed forever…Yes that day has come, and all too quickly I might add, when my coffee machine has inexplicably stopped working, right in the middle of making me a delicious and much-needed mocha.

I was counting on that mocha to give me inspiration for my next blog when suddenly I realised that it had!

This particular ball started rolling when I saw an invitation from Carmel Boutchard to like her FB page (Symmetry). An article caught my eye (source: http://www.boredpanda.com) because it was about how we ‘Western World dwellers’ find it so easy to whinge about the awful things that have simply ruined our day.

The comments ranged from complaining about having to wake up for the ironing lady who hadn’t arrived to waiting for 15 mins in a salad bar queue only to find they had run out of cous cous!

I loved the complaint about the ignomy of having bought a toaster only to find that it didn’t have a bagel setting while another complained in disgust about the quality of the massage she had just received in Indonesia.

So what do you do when your coffee machine dies?

 

Well I for one, realise how bloody lucky I am to:

(a) have a coffee machine in the first place

(b) live in a nice home with working electricity that can power a coffee machine

(c) have an income stream that allows me to afford such things

(d) live in a country with an economy that rewards effort

In other words, remember to count your blessings!

Some people have to be the ironing lady because that’s the only work they can get; some people don’t have supermarkets, let alone salad bars or cous cous; some people couldn’t afford a toaster and don’t have electricity; while some people have to give numerous massages to fat, ungrateful holiday-makers just to scrape enough money to keep a roof over their family’s head tonight.

Other dramas I have whinged about recently myself include: having our air-con pack up on a 35 degree day; the pool at our strata complex being out of action for several days; and my car being on its last legs!

So how do we snap out of our First World pity-party?

One of the things my coach got me to do last year was to start a jar of happiness and gratitude. Trust me when I say that it is a very rewarding exercise.

Jar of Happiness & Gratitude

Jar of Happiness & Gratitude

You find an empty, clean jar to keep on your desk and every day, or as often as you remember, write little notes of gratitude for the things in your life that you appreciate or that have made you happy. When you get to the end of the year, you open the jar and read all of the messages you have written to yourself. This simple exercise makes you happier and more appreciative of your life with each note, each day, but reading the whole lot together is a really uplifting treat for your soul.

When I read some of them to my girlfriend, Joanne, she said “My goal is to make sure that there are even more of those notes about me next year”.

 

 

Perhaps we should all make it our goal to impact positively and with kindness on the lives of more people we encounter, each and every day.

I’ll leave you with that thought  😀

'If Life's Worth Doing, It's Worth Doing Well'

Tony Inman’ new book

 

 

Until we meet next time – here’s a quick reminder that my latest book is now available for pre-order, ready for release very soon. It’s called ‘If Life’s Worth Doing, It’s Worth Doing Well – Finding Sane Fulfillment in an Insane World’

 

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

Which 10 New Skills Do You Want to Learn in 2014?

Time to Learn Some New Skills

Time to Learn Some New Skills

It’s that time of year again when most of us tend to reflect on our progress on the journey of life and perhaps set some goals for the year ahead.

Many years ago, I had the priviledge of hearing Allan Pease speak on stage. He is famous in Australia, initially for sales training and later on for his books on ‘body language’. He said that every year he sets himself at least one spectacular goal that is either life-threatening or at least adrenalin-boosting. As an example, the previous year he had set and achieved the goal of learning how to milk the poison from venomous snakes!

Now perhaps, you are not quite so comfortable with such extremist goals, but we humans are inspired by the opportunity to learn and grow, so which new skills would you like to learn in the coming year?

I came across this very interesting article on the mashable.com website by Sara Roncero-Menendez about the Top 10 goals people set last year. (Link: click here)

(Post image courtesy of gradrecruit.com.au)

 

The Top 10 Things People Wanted to Learn in 2013

  1. How to Tie a Tie – This is a skill that every man and woman should perfect, if only to surprise others that you can actually do it. To master this feat, be sure to check out the clip above.
  2.  How to File – Organization is key, which is what we keep telling ourselves at tax time when we’re digging through piles of paperwork. Be proactive this season and start organizing early — this video can show you how to get started.
  3. Getting a New Passport

    Getting a New Passport

    How to Get a Passport – Passports are necessary for many things: traveling, a form of ID, getting past security at the airport to chase your true love before they get on a plane and leave forever — to name only a few. Here’s a quick video on how to get this important government document.

  4.  How to Blog – Many people maintain or work for blogs, either professionally or for recreation. If you’re a first-time writer and are interested in creating a blog, getting started can be tricky. The video above has helpful tips to get you on track and meet your personal blogging goals.
  5. How to Knit – Homemade crafts are very trendy on the Internet, and they’re easy, personal gifts for the holidays. If you are dying to learn how to knit a scarf or cute hat, here’s how to get started.
  6. How to Kiss – A first kiss is something most preteens obsess over, but now with YouTube there’s no need for them to practice on pillows. This quick video will provide some useful advice before the big moment arrives.
  7. How to Read and Use Body Language to Flirt – Romantic interactions between two people carry a very specific set of problems — most notably that it’s hard to let the other person know you’re interested. While this video isn’t the be-all and end-all of flirtatious advice, it’s a good place to start.
  8. How to Whistle with your Fingers – Whistling is a common practice, but the standard “two-finger” whistle is a more difficult challenge. Whether your whistling could use some work or you’ve never tried, this how-to video will help you become a pro.
  9. How to UnJailbreak your Smart Phone – Jailbreaking tech is a common practice to get the most customization out of your device. Still, if you ever want to go back to its original format, this video will show you how.
  10. An example of the fun of Jump Photography

    An example of the fun of Jump Photography

    How to Vader – Jump photography has become increasingly popular in the last year or so. Different memes have arisen, such as Hadouken or Kamehameha, but the one in question draws from the popularity of the Star Wars franchise. Even you can be one with the Dark Side with some good timing and a decent camera. This meme is not to be confused with the BMX trick called “the Vader.” (photo courtesy of mashable.com)

I hope that some of the above may inspire you to think outside the box and come up with your own personal list of new skills that you can challenge yourself to acquire in 2014.

Please feel free to list them on my facebook page at Tony Inman – Living the Dream

Go on, let your mind go wild and come up with some awesome new goals!

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

Tony & partner, Jo living the dream at Rottnest Island

Tony & partner, Jo living the dream at Rottnest Island

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

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

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

 

Here is the article…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tony Inman believes in 'Living the Dream'

Tony Inman believes in ‘Living the Dream’

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

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

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

Seize the day!”

Tony Inman,

Business and Lifestyle Consultant, Coach, Author & Presenter