Have You ever Doubted Yourself when You Know it Makes No Sense?

 

how self-doubt can ruin your performance if you let it

My wife, Joanne told me recently as she was getting ready to attend a class to update her qualification as a trainer and assessor that she was struck with disturbing feelings of self-doubt.

I know how easily for anyone,  if unchecked, that this can grow into fear, anxiety or even panic, possibly leading to an unreflective poor performance.

Jo described the gnawing beast of concern in her gut that stimulated that part of her brain that irrationally began to question her own competencies.

“What exactly did you think?” I asked.

“I began to wonder if this lady will start to ask me questions where I’ll stuff up the answers and then she’ll realise that I have no idea what I’m doing!”

 

 

 

I’d be surprised if irrational self-doubt hasn’t struck YOU at some point in YOUR life:  

  • the school assembly
  • the ‘show and tell’ to your primary school class
  • singing a song that you’ve sung a thousand times
  • handing in an assignment
  • chatting up a potential date
  • first day at a new job
  • thousandth day at your job
  • making a speech
  • the list is endless.

‘Imposter Syndrome’ strikes us when we know we CAN do something, yet we begin to doubt ourselves in an unreasonable manner. We start to imagine that we’ve been acting this whole time and that we are about to be exposed as a fraud.

I pointed out that this notion of being an imposter was a perfectly normal reaction to being put in the spotlight and asked her about the rave reviews she’d had from her students and from parents of teenagers whom she’d taught and influenced. All logical evidence reinforced the certain conclusion that not only does she love what she does, but that she is extremely good at doing it.

I’d like to think that my coaching ramblings have embedded themselves in Jo’s brain because she later regaled me with how she’d dealt with these feelings. Whilst driving to the appointment, she’d imagined the examiner to be an extremely friendly and helpful person who would quickly realise her passion for her calling and see past any nerves and know that she is great at what she does. Surprise, surprise – the creative visualisation worked a treat and that’s exactly how it went.

Banish self-doubt - believe in yourselfWhen we’re put in the spotlight and our abilities are questioned, our lizard brain can smash us by reminding us that we’re outside of the cave – the sanctuary known as the ‘comfort zone’. The lizard means well – she’s doing it to protect us from danger. She’s preparing us for the fight or the flight and she’s going to give us some adrenalin, so that we’re ready.

We calm the lizard by acknowledging her and thanking her for trying to keep us safe. That’s her job. Then we remind ourselves that out in the light is where we can really shine. We sense her concerns but still we put on our mask, we take centre stage and we act. The acting leads to confidence which leads to a performance. If you need some coping techniques, just give me a call via this site.

Life is a series of performances. Go forth and win your personal Oscar!

Acts of Kindness

 

A Viking and his Wiccan wench provoked an act of kindness

The Gathering of the Horde and the Wassail

Majestically, we strode into the medieval shed at the Winter Cider Fest event at the Core Cider House, ready for an evening of fire, fable and feast. My wench was suitably attired in a long red, flowing witch’s dress, a black, hooded shawl and a powerful, seven-chakra necklace. My hastily-assembled garb included a knitted, horned Viking hat (even though historians now say that the Vikings never wore such headgear!) a woollen poncho with a jumper beneath that looked like chain mail (if you used your imagination) and leather boots (hand-made in Mexico, but let’s call them medieval anyway).

We were greeted by about 20 staff with a cup of warm, mulled cider and surrounded by gas heaters that displayed lengthy and mesmerising flames, safely contained in a glass tube so as not to inadvertently set fire to any of the guests. Who knew they were so O,S & H-aware in the good old medieval era?

 

The Fire

There was a bonfire outside and crowd-pleasing fire twirlers doing their thing. I know it’s artistic and probably requires a great deal of training but having seen many young trainee twirlers before in the back yard of my old backpackers’ hostel, I must confess that my attention span for that lasted about one minute. We instead set about the more important task of greeting our friends, before queuing at the restaurant bar. We did try to get a drink at the bar in the shed, but after waiting for a few minutes, we realised that nobody was manning that one at all, and even were one of the staff members-in-hiding to appear, it was cash only (definitely a medieval concept!). The venue’s management were trying hard, but I suspect they may have gone to the Australian Bankers’ training school, as they had two poor young lads, sweating and trembling under the pressure of trying to do the work that probably required at least five more staff, to cope with an onslaught of thirsty patrons (You know how banks have space for 20 tellers, but only have two positions open, while the queue  stretches to the door.)

The band was lively and engaging and had you tapping your feet. The guests began to roll in and some of the costumes were spectacular. As with all fancy-dress events, some people went to amazing lengths to assume the role, whilst others either hadn’t read the event details, were simply too lazy or had decided not to risk looking ridiculous and thus just looked ridiculously boring instead.

 

The Spiritual Touch

A wizened lady brought forth theatrical paint and a brush and did her best to engage and persuade even the most reluctant of participants to submit to being daubed with temporary facial adornments to either make them more ferocious or simply to become part of the party. There was a mischievous sparkle in her eye that revealed a greater spiritual consciousness and a tacit awareness of what each model sub-consciously needed.

 

The Feast

Then the aromas of pork ragout, polenta and veggies wafted the signal that it was time to join a food queue that was reminiscent of a supermarket queue in the Soviet depression. At least the band played on joyously, whilst the Spanish-speaking (minus sub-titles) manageress dragged victims at random onto the dance floor in an attempt to force them to enjoy themselves. The food was worth the wait; the music was lively and as the cider flowed, the characters of those in medieval garb began to emerge. Sometimes people need to act like a different person in order to peel back the defensive mask and allow their own true identity to escape from the shadows and into the light.

The jester played his role like an absolute natural, injecting a special brand of lunacy as the heel snapped off one of his red high heeled boots. It didn’t stop him dancing all night, so no doubt he’ll be walking with a limp today! He came second in the fancy-dress competition, beaten closely by a birthday girl, dressed as a tree. Other contestants included Fryer Tuck (always say that carefully), King Arthur, various regal maidens, Thor, a selection of knights and Vikings with swords and of course Death himself – the Grim Reaper.

The second queue for the apple crumble desert was significantly shorter. Either the crowd had suddenly been reminded of their sugar addictions and Western World obesity and were being ‘good’, or they had simply lost the will to live during the first queue or the bar queue.

All in all, the staff did their best though and if they reflect and debrief, I’m sure they’ll improve the systems for coping with a big crowd next time. The food was tasty, the cider varieties are quirky and the music from both bands and the solo artist were great. The crowd who bothered to dress up had a fantastic party and there was plenty of lively banter between strangers – that’s typical of the community spirit that pervades the Perth Hills region anyway.

The whole atmosphere of the event was jovial and good-spirited. Things might have been more smoothly-organised but I have to take my hat off to the venue managers for having a go, for creating an event that the community enjoyed. People will accept your shortcomings when they can see that at least you’re trying your best to create a good experience for them.

 

The Merriment

One special moment was provided by a lady in a wheelchair. As the band broke into a foot-stomping number, the crowd suddenly parted and formed a circle around the dance floor. This lady began to spin crazily in circles as she performed her dance routine in her own unique way. The joy on her face was self-evident. The admiration of the crowd was expressed with a thunderous round of applause and the lead singer concluded with an emotional, “Wow!”

 

The Fable – A Legend Hammered Home

Here’s the highlight of the story for our family though. My wife, Jo had taken many photos of the various dressed-up groups throughout the evening. The tallest man at the event was dressed as Thor and he was indeed a truly imposing presence of Hemsworthian proportions. When Jo photographed his party, she explained that the Thor’s hammer he carried was called ‘Mjolnir’. She elaborated that this was the name of our puppy, who had been bought as a trainee service dog for her son, who has a rare and aggressive, genetic form of epilepsy and autism. The theory was that, like Thor’s hammer, her son was the only one allowed to pick up Mjolnir.

Throughout the evening, various wenches tried to make off with the gentle giant’s hammer, provoking his booming bass voice to command its immediate return with phrases such as, “Bring back my hammer at once, woman’.

Two Mjolnirs together

Two Mjolnirs together!

We don’t know the man’s name and we don’t know what he does or why Jo’s story must have resonated with him in particular, but at the end of the evening an extraordinary thing happened. In the midst of much medieval merriment, Thor made his way through the crowd to seek out Jo. “Please give this to your son” he requested. “It will give him much strength.”

Jo and I were blown away by this amazing, random gift. On a chaotic, festive night, this young man and big party reveller had reflected on what was ostensibly a simple gesture, yet had taken action in a way that had a massive impact on us with a very moving intention.

It just goes to prove that a small, simple act of unexpected human kindness can make a resounding difference to another being and could change their day in a big way. In some cases, your simple gesture might change that person’s whole future direction and impact tremendously on their life. You may never know, but one thing’s for sure, if you don’t follow that instinct, you may let that opportunity pass.

I urge us all to ‘Seize the day’ by helping another person with a random act of kindness. It may not cost you much, if anything at all, but its value may be beyond measure.

Have You Been Good?

Have you been good? asks personal and business development strategist Tony Inman

Can you believe it – that yet another year has gone by?

I’m sure you’ll forgive me asking this, but have you been good this year?

“Define good!” – you might reply? 

Well that’s a very personal definition because each one of us has our own unique view of the world, of how it’s supposed to work, and of how we are supposed to behave in accordance with our own values, beliefs and mission.

Christmas, or whatever you choose to call it, depending on your religious persuasion, is a time of year when, for the majority of people at least, you may wish to re-examine your values and double-check whether you are remaining true to them .

Many people feel that we have lost the true meaning of Christmas and that it’s just become an over-commercialised marketing machine for retailers to bombard us with special offers for us ‘mindless consumers’ to buy way more groceries than we need and to buy presents for people we may not necessarily care about, out of duty or guilt.

Christmas is synonymous with peaceTraditionally, Christmas has always been a symbol of peace and goodwill to all people (originally ‘men’, meaning ‘people’ but no longer considered ‘PC’.) Even in the First World War, the opposing sides held a spontaneous cease-fire, aptly demonstrating that it had become part of universal culture.

In today’s modern world, obsessed as it is with political correctness, there are moves afoot to change even the name of Christmas to God knows what! (Oops that was un-PC of me, so sorry – no offence intended). It seems at times that we are so busy trying not to offend anyone’s religious, cultural or philosophical identities that we can no longer remember what our own are supposed to be!

So, why not start with, “Have you been good?”

Ultimately, most of us (adults at least) have a sense of what is generally accepted to be morally right or wrong, though as an NLP trainer, life coach and business coach, I might mention that ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are simply labels that have no meaning except the meaning we choose to give to them!

Is that all a bit heavy for this time of year?

Maybe, but my point is a simple one…

No matter what you call this holiday season; no matter whether you celebrate it as a religious festival or a consumer-driven frenzy of gift-giving; no matter whether you eat turkey, pork or are strictly vegan; no matter whether you are trying to build walls between countries or trying to tear down the barriers; what if we all simply chose to reflect on how we have behaved towards one another, or even towards ourselves, over the last year?

  • What if we all decided to become better versions of ourselves?
  • What if we all sought to understand ourselves and our neighbours; friends; customers and even our ‘enemies’ better?
  • What if we all sought ‘win-win’ outcomes?

If we all played our small part on this world stage, imagine the applause for that performance!

So, this time next year, if I were to ask you again, “Have you been good?”, would you be deserving of Santa’s best efforts to reward you, or would you at least be able to smile back at the improved person in your bathroom mirror?

May your God go with you and may you have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

'Have you been good?' asks Tony Inman - the Change Catalyst

'Have you been good?' depends on your sense of balance and harmony If you have been good the sun will smile on you you have been good if you have spread more love around the world

Embrace Change? Does that Notion Scare You?

 

Embrace change? Or are you stuck in the past?

Are you motivated to embrace change?

Embrace change or fear it - which do you prefer?

Embrace Change or Fear it?

 

Some people love to embrace change. The very thought of it drives them on in life and excites them. Others, less so.

Are you a person who doesn’t like change?

If so, have you ever thought about why that might be?

 

The Reality of Change

 

Love it or loathe it, change is inevitable, in all aspects of your life. What’s more, the speed at which things are changing in our modern world is happening faster than ever. It’s not even a new concept.

Here are two quotes from a Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, who lived from 0535 to 0475BCE.

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

And

“The only thing that is constant is change.”

Heraclitus

Here’s an interesting twist though – the tools and gadgets are changing at a lightning pace. New inventions become obsolete almost before they hit the retail stores, as our consumer-driven world relentlessly demands newer and better. Yet people, are fundamentally the same as they’ve always been.

People still bristle with emotions, just as they did in the days of Heraclitus. Remember the seven deadly sins?

  1. God gave man rules to live by, but did they include embracing change?

    Did ’embracing change’ include eating apples?

    Gluttony

  2. Lust
  3. Greed / avarice
  4. Pride / hubris
  5. Sorrow/despair /despondency
  6. Vanity
  7. Sloth / laziness

Just look at the leaders of the world, such as Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un if you want any proof of our lack of advancement.

In that sense we realise that our very being is essentially the same as it’s always been. It’s hard to embrace change when our emotional makeup has been passed down through the centuries.

Another Greek philosopher, Epicurus, who lived from 341 to 270 BCE, gave rise to our motivation being based on avoiding pain and desiring pleasure:

“Pleasure is the first good. It is the beginning of every choice and every aversion. It is the absence of pain in the body and troubles in the soul.”

Epicurus

 

The Myths of Change

 

Embrace change demanded Mahatma Gandhi

“Be the change you want to see in the world” –
Mahatma Gandhi

Many of our embedded notions surrounding change suggest that it is unattainable for humans, e.g.

‘A leopard never changes his spots’.

You may know of some ‘bad people’ whom you believe will always be bad, no matter what you do to help them change. Conversely, some people are thought to be too good to others, often to their own detriment.

Yet, if you go back to Heraclitus’s river quote, you realise that even the bad person is impacted in some way by the changing circumstances or consequences of their actions.

There are many documented cases of ‘bad people’ who have evolved, grown, become more humane, and who have done ‘good’ in the community.

Another great myth is that successful people cannot be happy. Historically, we have a lot of myths around money and wealth, especially those cited by the poor, that rich people are ruthless and unhappy people, as a justification for not doing anything about their own state of poverty.

A common misquote from the bible has been that ‘Money is the root of all evil’, when the correct quote was that ‘The love of money is the root of all evil.’ The shift of meaning between the two is a chasm. The reality is that it is possible to be successful, yet not put money before all else, and to use that money as a force for good, such as building hospitals and schools or feeding the homeless.

 

Embracing change with a quote from Jim Rohn

EASY TO = EASY NOT TO

Fear of Change

 

So, back to why you may fear change… even the thought of it may bring up such foes as fear of failure; fear of success; fear of rejection; fear of being ostracised; fear of embarrassment or even worse, humiliation.

Don’t think that I’m simply giving you a list of excuses here as to why you don’t have to change – far from it.

Change is often about taking small, manageable steps. The problem with that was summed up beautifully by one of my favourite coaches, Jim Rohn, who is sadly no longer with us:

 

 

“The things that are easy to do are also easy not to.”

Jim Rohn

 

The Change Process

 

The first step to success in change is to gain clarity about the gap between your present state and your desired state, i.e. where you are now vs. where you wish to be.

The second is to identify the obstacles to progress, or that which is stopping you.

The third is to develop a strategy to plan the work to move forwards.

The fourth is to take action and work the plan.

 

Embracing change is something we'll all have to get used to!

Are you willing to embrace change and evolve?

How to Embrace Change Effectively

 

It sounds easy doesn’t it? Clearly, it’s not always so easy, which is one of the reasons people hire people like me, coaches, who are trained in helping people to embrace change and achieve it.

One reason they hire me to help them embrace change is that it’s easier for someone who’s not emotionally entangled in the situation, to see things more clearly. Another reason is that I’m trained to observe the complexities and pick up on the unseen blockages and clues as to why progress is not happening.

 

I’m also trained and experienced in how to help people through these problems and develop effective strategies. I bring that extra insight, followed by the level of accountability that you may need for the desired change to occur.

“There can be no hope without fear, and no fear without hope.”

Baruch Spinoza

Embrace change is a message spread by coach Tony Inman

Call me for a chat about embracing change

If you’d like your next year’s goals and the year after’s goals to be different from, and more exciting than, your last year’s goals, why not give me a call for a chat. There’s no obligation and no unexpected fees, but if you’d like to increase your chances of effective change, please contact me via the details below.

Tony Inman – ‘The Change Catalyst’

Mob. 0419 860 382

 

 

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:

 

 

Karma – His Name Was Ned Kelly but He Didn’t Hang About!

A guy named Ned Kelly gave me a helping handDo you believe in karma? You know those days when things happen that make you think and ask yourself what life’s really all about?

Well, the following was a post I wrote recently for my Linked In page and I thought it was worth posting it again here on my website, as I believe it’s a message about karma that’s worth sharing for those who may not have seen it.

Recently, as I was going about my work duties and later on that afternoon, my social networking, I had a few experiences in the same day that reminded me of an important lesson in business and in life.

 

 

Early that morning, I found myself on the way to meet a new coaching prospect who had been referred to me by a previous client – what is known in sales circles as a warm lead. It was a spectacular autumn morning in Perth and we had coffee out in the sunshine overlooking a beautiful lake. The meeting naturally went well – we hit it off and the gentleman concerned became a new client. As soon as I left the meeting, I rang my referrer to thank her and to let her know that it had been a successful match. This business angel was delighted because by taking a moment out of her day, with one introduction she had been able to help him and to help me at the same time. My new client was also keen to offer her son some more work and more career mentorship, so everyone was a winner from that small act of kindness. It was a case of ‘What goes around, comes around’ or as others call it – ‘karma’.

It was a day where one of my businesses needed me to do a job that required some physical labour. That might sound a bit odd when I have a cleaning business, but I set up the enterprise right from the beginning with the notion of practicing what I preach, namely delegating the work that others can do and freeing me to use my expertise on managing and growing my businesses.

The reason I had to do the so-called ‘grunt work’ that day was that it was a task that would have distracted my staff from their normal duties, plus I’m currently the only one who has a vehicle with a tow bar, which I needed to pull a trailer. It’s an extra service that we offer in our cleaning business, whereby we also take discarded bulk rubbish items, such as beds, furniture and white goods to the Council tip for recycling. Many of our strata complexes have transient residents who think nothing of dumping such items on the common areas for ‘someone else’ to deal with.

Club Red Strata Cleaning has a bulk rubbish removal serviceI found myself down a narrow laneway at the back of one of our high-rise apartment blocks, realising that someone had parked and blocked the exit. It would have been a ridiculously long way to reverse a trailer, so I began to undertake what would probably have been about a thirty-point turn, backwards and forwards, carefully avoiding multiple parked cars. Suddenly a young workman appeared from nowhere, giving me directions to help me judge how close or far my trailer was from the vehicles. I laughed to myself as I remembered the scene in the first Austin Powers movie where the bumbling superhero had to turn a golf buggy around in a tight laneway. If you haven’t seen it, check it out – I had tears of laughter. With the help of my ‘Whoa’ and ‘Back a bit further’ angel, I completed this turn-around much more quickly and safely than Austin Powers had.

 

My staff then helped me load the bulk items onto the trailer, including some heavy couches, a fridge, washing machine and a collection of household bits and pieces. Usually it’s easier to unload the items than to load them, so I can manage on my own at the tip. When it came to unloading a four-seater couch and trying to manoeuvre it to where I could lift it over a low wall, I was struggling, particularly as I had only just made it in time before the tip closed, so I was trying to hurry. The couch had to fit between some safety chains that are intended to stop people falling over the wall with a big drop on the other side and it was both heavy and awkward. Suddenly, a young man appeared at my side, asking “Would you like a hand with that mate?”

He had seen me struggling and immediately came over to help. I thought, ‘That’s such an Aussie thing to do.’ I also assumed that he worked there, until he returned to his own truck to start unloading his own stuff. I offered to reciprocate but he said he was fine.

As if that wasn’t enough good deeds received for the day, I had another great experience in the evening. I’d been meaning to check out a local social club, where I hoped to meet more of the locals in my new community. Having bought a house in the Perth hills at Christmas, I’m keen to make new friendships as well as business connections in the area. I entered the clubhouse on my own and approached the bar. The friendly bar maid immediately smiled and asked if I was a member. I smiled back and said, “Not yet, but I’m interested in joining.” I sat at a bar stool mid-way between two sets of two blokes. Before my Guinness had even settled, the one on my left introduced himself as Neil and began to chat. Before I’d taken my first sip, the guy on my right was grabbing me a membership application form and a pen. One sponsored me and the other seconded me.

“Does this make you guys responsible for my behaviour then?” I joked, pointing out that they didn’t yet know me from a bar of soap. They were obviously great judges of character and had sussed out that I was a good guy straight away. We went on to have some interesting conversations and I made some new friends. The greatest irony of my behavioural question was that I had been seconded by none other than a guy known as Ned Kelly!

It's amazing who you can meet in the pubFor the benefit of my overseas friends, the original Ned Kelly was Australia’s most infamous outlaw, who in true Aussie anti-authoritarian fashion was seen by many as a larrikin, hanged by the Victorian legal system, despite a mass protest from over thirty thousand petitioners.  He was a sort of Aussie version of the better-known Robin Hood of England, – well, you must remember that our nation was built by convicts, except that they had mostly been convicted for things like stealing a loaf when they were starving etc. Instead of leaving me hanging with ‘Billy No-Mates’, as even his namesake would not have done, this Ned Kelly had given me the gift of helping to make my day.

So here is the point of my story: in a day that had included a diverse array of challenges, I had enjoyed some positive experiences – a warm referral; being helped without even asking for it when others saw I was struggling; and being welcomed by strangers, who then became friends. There are few worse feelings than the pain of regret that you failed to notice or acknowledge that someone had done you a good deed.

Karma has great power - when you help others, it may come back to you in a different way, but it will come back.It had been a day where good things had happened and I thanked the Universe for those gifts. I also realised though that I had received back to me those same things that I endeavour to frequently give to others. Whenever I can, I try to connect good people. If I can help others who are struggling as I go through my day, I habitually try my best to do what I can; if I can help bring a smile to someone’s face, it’s one of life’s simplest gifts. In fact, the oldest lessons are the simplest – regularly do good things for others and it will not only help them and help you on a spiritual level, but it will also somehow come back to you in unexpected ways. That’s the way karma works – sometimes the returning favour may be so obscure that you don’t connect the effect with the original cause.

In hindsight, it had been a typical day – it’s just that I took the time and the moment of brain-power to notice the karmic lesson. I hope my realisation might make a difference to your life and to those whom you encounter today, both in your business and in your daily life. If it does, I’d love to hear about it. Meanwhile, have a great day!

TIME – The Great Conundrum

Time is the great leveller, or is it?

Why is it that in the same amount of time, some people manage to do so much, while others seem to do so little?

Is it a matter of motivation or is it a learned skill?

If you know what you want the outcome to be, with absolute clarity, and you have the resources – skills, knowledge, money, contacts to achieve it, will you still manage to achieve more than a less-prepared person?

Is time relative, and if so, to what or perhaps a better question, to whom?

Does it really matter what other people achieve in a set period because at the end of the day, the better question is, ‘Were you happy with what you achieved?’

Here’s another post I wrote about whether it’s better to focus on achieving the goal or on imagining that you already have achieved it – click here to read.

If you’d like to make more effective use of your time, call me for a chat and we’ll see if I can help you – that’s leveraging from another person’s experience!

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.

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