Do You Suffer from ‘If-only-itis?’

Do you ever ask yourself 'If only I'd..."At any dinner table, at any barbecue in Australia, or in any bar conversation, have you ever heard these words come out of your mouth? – “If only I’d…”

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, pretty much most of us have uttered these words in frustration at some point. We’ve all had that business idea we were going to start, that bargain property we should have bought, that person we ought to have spoken to; the list of ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda’s’ is endless.

Equally, we may have the other list: the idea we shouldn’t have followed through with, the car we should never have bought, the moron we wish we had never dated. Our list of perceived ‘failures’ may equal or even exceed our list of perceived ‘successes’.

I use the word ‘perceived’ because it’s my belief that we are in a world of constant change, both external and internal. That which you perceive as a disaster today may just turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you! You may be fired from a great job today – ‘a disaster’, only to be offered a better one tomorrow. Suddenly the firing was no longer a ‘disaster’ but a life-changing opportunity. It’s all in how we choose to look at it and how new information and ideas can change our perception.

This may make sense to you intellectually, but then you might say to me, “Well, what about my Father passing away or my wife leaving me?” When you are emotionally distraught, it’s pretty hard to swallow the concept that this may yet turn out to be a good thing in terms of your personal growth as a human being. I understand completely and I’m not in any way belittling or demeaning the grief or pain that someone may be going through. I’ve been through enough myself to ‘get’ that.

What I am saying though is that we always have choices.

I didn’t choose for my wife to leave me, though in the end it was a relief for both of us. I didn’t choose for my father to die, though in the end I felt it was a relief that his suffering from illness was ended. I was devastated for a while and that’s normal. There is a time and a place for processing your stages of shock, denial, hurt, anger and eventual acceptance. That’s all part of being human. The key point there is that some things are beyond our control, like our mortality and that of our loved ones. That’s when and why we have to dig deep inside ourselves and remind us of who we are and of the incredible potential that each one of us has.

Each one of us is a miracle – just by the very fact of our existence. I’m not addressing religion here, just the nature of life itself. We all have an opportunity to choose, perhaps not everything that happens ‘TO’ us, but definitely ‘HOW WE RESPOND’ to what happens to us. Funerals, though they are about grief and loss, have evolved to remind us of the joy we can give each other – they have transformed into a celebration of the life of a human being and the way in which they touched the lives around them. That is a source of great comfort that helps ease the pain of loss.

We alone can choose how to respond

We alone can choose how to respond

We can either allow ourselves to be crushed by external events or we can choose to respond internally and bounce back, set a new course, learn from our experiences and create change.

There are enough examples all around us of people who have seemingly lost everything that they cared about, yet they bounced back. Why?

Perhaps it’s because they accepted that what happened, happened and instead of being stuck with the affliction or disease of ‘If-only-itis’, they chose their own response. They chose change. They chose life.

Nelson Mandela chose to forgive his captors after ‘losing’ 26 years of his life in prison with his crusade to transform a nation. Gandhi chose to fight occupation and perceived injustice with passive protest to transform a nation. Muhammad Ali gave up a world championship title, won in a ‘controlled’ violent sport, to oppose conscription to fight a bloody war against people with whom he had no personal conflict. With that decision he gave up everything he had fought for to stand for something greater – for his core values of peace and harmony in the world.

You CAN create your own ripple of change

You CAN create your own ripple of change

Your battles may be less dramatic or may seem way less significant to the universe. You may justify maintaining your status quo by saying that those people were exceptional. Yet, they were just people. Had they stayed ‘stuck’ and muttered ‘If only…’ we would probably not have noticed them. You may not believe it now, but you may be Just like them and your personal choices just might have a ripple effect beyond anything you have yet imagined.

If you know someone who is suffering from that dreaded curse of wallowing in ‘If-only-itis’, maybe you can help. Perhaps you can give them a call, possibly invite them somewhere that might encourage them, or simply be kind in whatever way you can.

If you are stuck, whether in your business or in your life, feel free to contact me for a chat, using the website form or by calling (08) 9328 2203.

There are always strategies you can develop and choices you can make. The world is changing constantly, with you or without you. Every setback, every challenge, every disaster, is at the same moment an opportunity to change, to cope and grow stronger, to evolve as a human being, perhaps to change other lives. You might not see that right now if you are stuck, looking at ‘If only…’

Change the thinking, change the words you say to yourself and ask yourself different questions. “Why, how and in what way could this ‘if only’ lead to something useful? How could this event turn out to help me grow and move forwards?” Remember that a choice to do nothing is still a choice.

Mother Nature does not allow a vacuum to occur. When one ‘thing’ is taken away, ‘something else’ will take its place. What the ‘something else’ is however, is up to you. You can repeat an old pattern that was familiar and comfortable, but kept you stuck, or you can shed that skin and grow a new and better version of ‘YOU’.

Success can be found in the Little Commitments

Robertson Park trees

Robertson Park trees

“I wonder how they sleep at night?” I pondered. As I entered the beautiful Robertson Park in North Perth, where the ancient trees have watched serenely over several generations of less becalmed humans, I smiled at the bright blue skies of another dreamy, Western Australian Spring day. I was greeted by a discarded plastic bottle and a piece of paper rubbish, yet only several metres in front of me, I noticed a rubbish bin.

Realising that the poor litterbugs responsible must have been so worn out by their amble through the park that they hadn’t been able to muster up the last morsels of inner strength to crawl those extra few paces to toss their droppings in the receptacle provided, I decided to rescue their spiritual souls from the crippling guilt they were no doubt feeling and to do the job for them.

I was reminded of an old Buddhist friend of mine who had made it a daily ritual to pick up at least two pieces of rubbish and dispose of them. We cannot control the actions of the rest of the world’s population, but we CAN each do our part.

As I recommenced my daily ritual of going for a walk, to ensure at least a modicum of exercise to break up my sadly sedentary routine, I reflected on how small, regular commitments are in fact the key to success.

Success has a multitude of definitions to suit each individual, yet one concept links those definitions – that is the concept that success involves the fulfilment of our own unique values.

If you value money, then the attainment of wealth may satisfy your requirement; if you value cars, then owning that red Ferrari may allow you to be the king of the road; if you value family, then having them close may be the key; travel may tick your box – you get the idea.

If other people value different things to you, as many surely will, then that is their gig. ‘Judge not, lest you be judged’ or to use another cliché, ‘Live and let live’.

A Black Swan family at Hyde Park

A Black Swan family at Hyde Park

In saying that, I couldn’t help ponder at why someone would drop rubbish in such a beautiful park when there was a bin only a few steps away, but there you go – one of my values is about respecting the beauty of the environment where I have chosen to reside and which I share with my neighbours. I was brought up to believe that it’s courteous and respectful to go and put your rubbish in the bin. Perhaps these people had no such guidance from their families. In Australia we are very fortunate that it’s one of our national values to keep the place clean. Not everyone complies of course, but I have been shocked when I visited places like Bali or English train stations – the contrast is staggering!

Here’s a thought for you to consider, however: if you were to adopt a daily routine of picking up just two pieces of rubbish each day and putting them in a bin, the ripple effect could be huge.

Imagine therefore, if you could make a small commitment to two little actions each day or even to two little actions relating to a particular goal or idea each week, the change you could effect over a long period would literally blow your mind.

For example, reading two chapters of a book each day might average out to reading a book each fortnight, or 26 books over a year. I read somewhere that the average Australian reads one book per year after leaving high school. If that were true, then in theory you might be gaining knowledge at a rate that is 26 times faster than the average Joe!

Hyde Park, Perth

Hyde Park, Perth

If you walked two laps of the park each day that would be 730 laps each year. If you called two extra people each day that would be 730 contacts you might never have made. If you made eye contact and consciously smiled at two extra people each day, you would begin a wave of joy. If you committed two acts of kindness per day, you could help a community.

Success is not so much the mountain to climb that we might think. Rather, it is a collection of small, daily decisions that we make and act upon to support our core values, for in doing so we become a person whom we and other observers will value.

Until next time, remember to seize the day 🙂

Tony Inman

Business and Life Coach at Club Red Inspiration

“Honest, straight down the line and I can recommend him highly…” – Prak Sangthon

Prak-Sangthon - Real Estate Principal, WA

Prak-Sangthon – Real Estate Principal, WA

“I have worked with Tony on several occasions and have found him to be a man of his words.

He is honest, straight down the line and I can recommend him highly to improve any business.”

Prak Sangthon

Director, Harcourts Integrity

Real Estate Agents, Maylands, Perth WA

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.’

A Test of Character

When the unthinkable happens and things go about as wrong as they possibly could, how do you react?

Well, see how this pilot reacted when his wing literally fell off!

I gained my pilot’s licence when I was 19, so I’ve seen some great pilots over the years, but that has to be the most amazing piece of flying I have ever seen!

This has a great lesson in it though, – when life hands you a lemon, make lemonade!

If you’d like to have a chat about whether you have the wind beneath your wings, or whether you’re figuratively flying without a rudder, why not claim a free discovery session (valued at $150), call today on (08) 9328 2203 or contact Tony Inman- click here

“Tony Assisted Me with Achieving my Goals in Work and Life” – Cuong Tran, Perth WA

Cuong Tran, Managing Director, CT Squared

Cuong Tran, Managing Director, CT Squared

“Tony helped me with an Entrepreneurship unit at University. He was an excellent mentor and his vast knowledge of business assisted us greatly in achieving success with our project.

I have maintained contact with Tony in the following years and he has been a terrific coach assisting me with achieving my goals in work and life.”

Cuong Tran

Managing Director, CT Squared

(At the time was a student at Curtin University)

 

If you would like to claim a free discovery session (valued at $150), call today on (08) 9328 2203 or contact Tony Inman- click here

Related Images:

The Power of Perspective

Inspirational VideoHere’s Eric Schmidt talking about why everyone could benefit from having a coach!

Just in case you didn’t know, Eric is the CEO of a reasonably well-known little company called ‘Google’.

Do you think he may just know what he’s talking about?

If you’ve had a coach and know it works, or if you’ve never had a coach and would like to see what it might do for you, contact Tony Inman for a free discovery session (valued at $150).

It just might change your life!

Extremely Close – The Gap Between Failure and Success

Inspirational Video – Jeb Corliss – ‘Grinding the Crack’

Discover what Jeb means by ‘coming extremely close’ in this breathtaking video.

Where in your life are you just playing it safe?

Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting we all do what Jeb does!

I’m just asking you to notice that sometimes the fine margin between disaster and incredible success just requires us to have a little bit of self-belief!

For more information about success coaching, please click here.

Have a great day! 🙂

“He really cares about people…” – Halle Yilmaz, Melbourne, Victoria

image-withheld“You can have an open communication with Tony easily.

He really cares about people and he is committed to make a contribution to other people’s life and happiness.

He is a great life coach.”

 

Halle Yilmaz

Managing Director, HQ Business Consulting & HQ Financial Solutions, Melbourne

Are You Willing to Do What it Takes?

leopard_changes_its_spots

As a Coach, I sometimes feel like the dry cleaner in this cartoon

I so often hear people saying they would really like to do something, or be something or have something, but within a few minutes you realise that for them, that elusive thing will only ever be a pipe dream.
That is of course, unless something changes…
Usually, the ‘something’ that needs to change is the person themselves.
Now some would argue of course the old saying that ‘A leopard can’t change its spots’.
Well even if your name is ‘Jackson’ and you’re a world famous singer, you can’t change the colour of your skin, but can you change your mindset?
The answer has to be ‘Yes’.
Barring physical impediments, the rule of thumb is that if someone else can learn to do a particular thing, you probably could too.
One of the key reasons why most people don’t succeed, is that they are quite simply not willing to do what it takes to achieve the result.
If you want to learn to play a guitar for example, you have to practice playing guitar. If you want to be great at it, you have to play til your fingers are sore. Then you keep on practicing despite the pain.

 

success is rarely overnight

success is rarely overnight

When the Beatles returned to England from Germany, they were billed as ‘the band from Germany that was an overnight success’.
In fact they were the band from Liverpool who took the opportunity to go to Germany and who played in seedy Hamburg bars until their fingers bled.
The reason why they were willing to do what other bands were not was that band leader, John Lennon later revealed their dream to be ‘the best band in the world’.
So they had a big dream, a compelling or burning desire in fact, but they were also willing to do what it takes.
Most people don’t even dare to dream, or they talk about their dream with a resigned ‘someday maybe’ attitude.

When I work with business clients, I only work with people who are willing to take action.
Here’s the take away: Whatever your dream, look at someone who’s done it and look at what they did. Study what they did and model what they did. If they did it, you probably can too.
What’s also pleasing is that even if you don’t quite make it, you usually end up coming across a better alternative opportunity than the ones you have now, and you can look yourself in the mirror, knowing that you ‘gave it a go.’

 

Teddy_Roosevelt

President Teddy Roosevelt -a gifted speaker

I’ll conclude with my all time favourite quote (so far). It’s from President Theodore Roosevelt.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

On that, I challenge to build your dream and do what it takes to achieve it.
Until next time,
Tony Inman