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.

The Power of Intention

The strength of your intention determines whether or not you cross the finish lineImagine that feeling you get when a plan you’ve had for a while finally all comes together. Sometimes the rush is so strong that it gives you goose-bumps. So, if it feels that good, why don’t we make it happen more often?

We often say to ourselves that life just got in the way; that there wasn’t enough time; that we didn’t have the resources; that it was just too hard; sometimes the rationalisations border on the embarrassing.

The difference between wishing for a thing though and really wanting it, until it possibly feels like a burning obsession, is that level of desire.

Desire is not necessarily a bad thing, or a lustful or greedy thing – it can be simply a non-negotiable self-determination to see a thing through; to do whatever it takes to make the idea become a reality.

The litmus test is to ask ourselves, “Am I serious about this? Is it merely a wish or a is it a serious desire?” Wishes might come true, but they rarely lead to the same commitment to action, and taking action is what brings about change.

Here’s the icing on the cake – the more you follow through with the little decisions, the more you believe in yourself and the easier it becomes to make your ideas take shape. That’s why winners become adept at keeping on winning.

What do You, Arjen Brandsma and Eleanor Rigby Have in Common?

'Would you like a song named after you?' asks life coach Tony Inman

Would you like a song named after you?

I’m guessing you may have heard of Eleanor Rigby? Her name is the title of a song written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon of the somewhat famous band, ‘The Beatles’. If you haven’t heard of them, please ask your parents!

I’m also guessing that you may not have heard of Arjen Brandsma? Who is or was he and what does he have in common with Eleanor Rigby?

I have to confess that all I know about Arjen is that he was a ‘Friend of Hyde Park’ in North Perth. I discovered that this morning when I decided to sit on a park bench and admire the beautiful scenery, the flowing fountain, the majestic trees, the ducks diving in the lake for food and the proud Black Swan parents shepherding their baby signets, whilst on my morning walk today. There was a small plaque bearing his name on the bench, but alas my efforts to discover anything more about this benefactor have so far drawn a blank.

It got me thinking though. I remembered the famous Scottish comedian, Billy Connolly telling us during his show in Perth that he has a special place overlooking a lake where he would like to have a bench named after him, so that fishermen for years to come could be spiritually joined with him as his ghost looks out at the spectacular vista.

'What purpose do you want to be remembered for?' asks life strategist Tony Inman

What purpose do you want to be remembered for?

The name Eleanor Rigby actually started out as Daisy Hawkins when Paul McCartney began composing a song one day at his piano. The song originally started with “Daisy Hawkins picks up the rice in the church”, whereas the name Eleanor was inspired by actress, Eleanor Bron, who had starred with the Beatles in the movie, ‘Help’. Rigby apparently came from the name of a shop in Bristol. McCartney later conceded that he might have subconsciously stored the name from having seen a tombstone in the graveyard of St. Peter’s Church in Liverpool, where history states that he first met John Lennon at a garden fete in July 1957. The gravestone belonged to a real Eleanor Rigby, whom researchers say, lived a lonely life, just like the lady in the song.

So what does this have to do with you?

Have you ever stopped to think about your legacy?

What will be your gift to the world to denote your very existence?

The obvious answer for most of us parents, is our children and hopefully our grandchildren. For some who achieve fame, their exploits may live on in the history books. Sports stars, musicians, authors, poets, politicians – all hope to make their mark on history’s page. Business moguls build hospitals and schools or perhaps their name adorns a library or is the title of a charitable organisation.

Is fame the most important legacy or just a means to be able to positively influence the world?

Is fame the most important legacy or just a means to be able to positively influence the world?

It’s clearly a human trait to want to feel special; to have a sense of purpose; that our life means something; that we matter now and that later on, when our human form has returned to dust, that we mattered.

I know that might all seem a bit sombre, because it means acknowledging our mortality, but here’s the exciting part of my ponderings today…

Assuming you’re still alive and kicking, you still have time to pull a metaphorical rabbit out of your hat. You see, you are the one who has control of your own thoughts and actions, nobody else – YOU.

So YOU can decide what meaning you wish to ascribe to your life. You can be a criminal and become infamous; you can be a leader or a teacher and become influential; you might be able to be a sports star, a writer or an actor, or follow any of the other pursuits that I mentioned before.

 

 

Proud parents with their legacy

Proud parents

Would you like to leave the world a memory of you?

In memoriam

A view to die for

A view to die for

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It all starts with how you think – how you think about the world; what you think of yourself and your capabilities and what it is that inspires you.

You really can make a huge difference with a bunch of small decisions. It could start with something as simple as the decision to go for a walk and admire nature, or the decision to help another human being in need. It could even start with a decision to smile or say something nice to someone and make their day.

If you haven’t yet come up with the grand design, maybe you’d benefit from a chat with a life coach, business coach or strategist like me (of course I had to shamelessly promote myself somewhere!). Until then, however, you can start with the small decisions. Never underestimate the power of small decisions to have a massive ripple effect. Those are the small dots we later connect backwards…’It was only after I decided to (this thing) that (another thing) happened’.

Whatever you’re doing with your life right now, I urge you to be happy and despite all of our human failings and setbacks, to decide to do your best to leave others around you feeling happier for having encountered you.

Even Eleanor Rigby’s sadness later brought joy to others in the form of inspired music. Arjen provided a bench for me to peacefully enjoy nature’s magnificence. What, if anything, will you do differently now?

Feel free to contact me for a chat over a coffee about what you would like to achieve and what strategies you need to help you get there. Telephone: 0419 860 382

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

Is your life tough? asks coach Tony Inman

“Life? Don’t talk to me about life!”

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

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

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

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

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

bourbon-on-cereal

Are you feeling somewhat challenged by life’s disappointments?

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

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

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

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

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

My Gratitude Jar

My Gratitude Jar

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

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

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

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

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

~ Tony Inman, ‘The Change Catalyst’

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

Overwhelm – Why it Happens and How to Deal with it

Do you find it all goes wrong at once?

Do you find it all goes wrong at once?

“Why me?” you shout loudly inside your own head. “Why am I in this mess and why is everything happening all at once?”

They are good questions, but do you stop your brain from whirring around in circles like a hamster wheel long enough to answer them?

Some people have a great relationship with themselves, while others don’t. Now that might sound really bizarre, but let me elaborate.

Firstly, you may be relieved to know that it’s quite normal to feel overwhelmed, especially with the pace of our modern world and the often unreasonable expectations that we allow society to place on us sometimes.

I find many of my coaching clients start off by engaging my services because they are simply swamped with everything that’s going on in their world. A lot of this is because they are unwittingly lumping all of their problems together as if it was one massive, all-consuming and life-threatening blob. I understand– I’ve been there myself.

Stress head

 

Part of why people struggle to deal with this tsunami of anxiety is that they haven’t learned how to ask themselves better questions. Another factor is that most people simply don’t think, and by that I mean that they don’t step back away from their crazy life and review it as if they had temporarily stepped outside of themselves. That’s one advantage I have straight away as their coach – I’m not them, so I can perceive it differently.

 

So let’s go back to the question of your relationship with yourself. Here are a few key questions:

  • Have you ever taken the time to reflect on who you are?
  • Have you thought about your own strengths and weaknesses?
  • Have you asked yourself ‘What are my core values?’
  • What do you like about yourself?
  • What do you dislike about yourself?

There are many more I could ask you, but that’s enough for now to make the point. The better you know yourself, the more resilient you become. That immediately means that you increase your ability to cope with stress and adversity, including a sense of overwhelm. It’s like putting on a life-jacket and sailing over the top of that tsunami I mentioned.

So part of dealing with overwhelm is realising that you CAN. Recognising your own capacity for having competently handled previous situations builds your confidence for dealing with this latest blob of yukky stuff.

Secondly, I’ll go back to an old tried and trusted question – “How do you eat an elephant?” Don’t worry I’m not actually proposing that you do! The answer though if you were to undertake that task, would be “A mouthful at a time”.

In other words, the reason you are often overwhelmed is that you are looking at ‘everything’ as one monstrous problem, when you’d be better served by breaking it down into bite-sized morsels. If you’re a visual person or a kinaesthetic learner (more attuned to feelings than images), write down your problem on a big piece of paper, then separate it out into smaller problems, even tearing off the separate pieces and moving them around on a table. If you’re a person who learns through audio, speak these problems out loud and ask yourself (and answer) the full range of five ‘W’’s and one ‘H’ question:

Who? What? Why? When? Where? And How?

Now here’s the secret gem that you deserve for having read my post today. Ask yourself this:

“What would be a better question?”

The key here is to separate the ‘problem’ into smaller ‘problems’, then examine them in turn to see what can be done about them.

Here’s another nugget – If they still seem like problems, ask yourself:

‘What lesson or lessons is the Universe trying to teach me here?’ and ‘How could this be seen as an opportunity?’

Going through those processes doesn’t always make the problems disappear, but it certainly helps you to look at them differently and perhaps to seek alternative resources. In the best examples, you can turn them around completely and wonder why you ever felt overwhelmed in the first place.

One family I started working with a while ago were in complete turmoil. They were trying to build their business but it seemed to be going wrong. They felt as if they didn’t really know how to run their business. They had staff who were not really the right people for the job. They were in the middle of renovating their home, whilst living in it, so they had builders and tradies coming and going. They had two very young children – you know how demanding that alone can be. They were battling and feeling chaotically swamped.

Do you see the glass as half-full or completely full?When I started asking them about their aspirations for the business, I continued to ask how that business would fit in the overall context of their lives. I asked them what was on their ‘bucket list?’ They answered with, “We don’t like to think about those things because we know we’ll probably never make them happen!”

Long story short, we separated the issues. We figured out a long-term and exit strategy, re-branded their business, recruited a new team, identified and worked on their skill-sets and rebuilt their self-confidence. Today they are way ahead of that dark day. They now have a swimming pool and play areas in their back yard for their children. They are taking holidays with their family and their business is in far better shape.

It starts with asking yourself better questions, like changing “Why can’t we have that lifestyle?” to “How could we make that happen?”

If you need any help with it, feel free to contact me via this website for a chat or call  0419 860 382. 

 

 

 

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

“A Great Guy with a Genuine Love of Life and Humanity” – Bernie Krokzec, Perth WA

 

Bernie Kroczek

Bernie Kroczek recommends Tony Inman

Tony Inman is a guy who has no limits.

I’m amazed at some of the things he does, like running in the City to Surf, still playing soccer at 50+, diving, travelling to exotic places and now business and personal coaching.

He is prepared to travel all over the country for training and to improve his knowledge and, most importantly his willingness to share is quite rare in the modern world.

Above all else Tony is a great guy with a genuine love of life and humanity.

Having initially met in a business relationship, I now count him as a genuine friend.

He is also a Man U supporter so that says something about his impeccable taste for fine things.”

 

Bernie Kroczek – Proprietor of Bernie Croczek Real Estate

 

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

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! 🙂

What Goes Around…

Inspirational Video -What Goes Around Comes Around (Or As You Sow, So Shall You Reap)

This is a short clip that shows how a simple act of kindness and human decency can have a ripple effect that is truly astonishing.

You may have seen those bumper stickers that say ‘Magic Happens’ – it’s up to you – ‘Make it Happen!’

Check out Tony’s book on ‘How To Get A Bigger Bite Out Of Life’

Seizing The Moment

Inspirational Video – Jason McElwain (AKA J Mac)

The story of how a young man with autism, known to his friends as ‘J Mac’, seized his moment of opportunity to consolidate his position as an inspirational legend.

No matter what challenges you face, if someone else believes in you and gives you the opportunity and the encouragement to shine, seize that moment and allow the diamond inside you to sparkle for the world.

‘Believe’ and your dreams can come true! To read more about J Mac click here.