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Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

In every single aspect of life – consistency is crucial and a key to success!
Random examples from all parts of life are available:
Raising children especially when discipline is needed.
Driving a car at a consistent speed lowers fuel consumption.
When studying – cramming does work but not help in the long term – consistency over a period will always produce better results.
In sports – the most consistent will always be near the top and will always have a longer career.

Those examples cross all aspects of life. If you only do something in the short term, even if you do it well – you will nothing more than a flash in the pan or a “one hit wonder”. Anybody can do that. The most difficult part is repeating it but not only once.
Little and often will always be better and more effective than “cramming” it all in at the last minute. Let’s take a very good example – health and exercise. 20 minutes 3 times a week will always better than 60 minutes once a week. Its more effective for your body and your mind copes better too in that your body recovers faster and you get a consistent flow of endorphins throughout the week. These have a huge beneficial effect on your overall well being.

Being consistent may however, have its negatives. Take a long distance running race for example. There will be people that sprint off the line and disappear into the distance leaving nothing but their dust behind. Soon enough though, they will tire and stop and you will cruise past and cross the line first. It goes back to the famous children’s story of the tortoise and the hare. The hare got cocky and sprinted off and the tortoise consistently plodded on and won the race.

Never mind what the activity is – doing it consistently will always win the day in the long run.

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As much as you do not want to admit it – the world is driven by numbers. Everywhere you look and in every aspect of life – numbers numbers numbers! Computer geeks will tell you it is all 0’s and 1’s. Economists are all about GNP, GDP and percentages. Stock markets are about averages, points up and percentage change. Sportsmen and women are all about Km/h, watts, speed, time and so many other statistics.

I thought I was a numbers person. I do some cycling and have been obsessed with the numbers. I have the complete spreadsheets telling all the ups and downs. I cycle both on a single bike as well as on a tandem. I have computers on both bikes. Recently my dad (tandem partner too) got a garmin computer and wanted to have it on the back of the bike so he could see what the statistics were.
It suddenly changed my mind about numbers. I started to cycle by feel and purely for the love of it. It was so much better. I did not have to worry about average speed and how fast (or slow) we were going. I just checked if my dad was doing okay and that was all I was worried about.
I found I enjoyed the whole experience more. The only numbers I really am interested in now are the total distance and the average speed.

I have subsequently met a female semi-professional mountain bike rider and I asked what kind of computer she used, expected a very sophisticated model. The answer was the opposite – she does not use one at all! She said “she just rides”.

The love for anything diminishes when you get caught up in the numbers. I am not saying do not keep them or look at them but rather do not caught up obsessing about them because it takes you away from what you love and do best. Numbers are important but the love for it is more important.

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Have you given up already on certain things in your life?

I have!

How many times have you said “it is too hard” or “I just cannot do it”. The list of “reasons” I mean excuses that follow can range from logical to down right stupid. The list can as long as your leg and my leg together. You see, its easy to give up and then justify the action.

I do it ALL the time! I plan to get up early in the morning to go cycling. The alarm goes and I wake up and hit SNOOZE. Once. Twice. Three times. Then I reset the alarm for normal get up time. When that time comes I am now irritated that I should got up. I then list the excuses to my wife or anyone that will listen and beat myself up ALL day for not getting up.
I hate doing it and hate myself for doing it. Yet, I do it almost every single day.

I heard someone say today “she is so honest by saying she cannot do it because of …..”. I do not believe that’s honesty. That’s giving up and not having the courage to hit the tough stuff and get through it.

When you start giving up – the item simply becomes less important than something else. In my case, sleeping in becomes more important than whatever I was supposed to do.

How do you stop giving up?

Simple.

Just get up and do whatever you were going to do. Stop making excuses and do it.
A support structure is vital. Telling someone makes you accountable and they can help you through the tough times.
Accept that there will be tough times. No one said it will going to be easy!

The rest is up to you. Go and do it! Carpe diem!

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Have you ever got really tense and frustrated just before a big event? Perhaps a conference you are planning, your annual holiday or even the run up to Christmas?

A couple of years ago, I was going to a Christian retreat for 3 and half days. The lead up to this particular retreat was actually horrible. I was tense which rubbed off onto others and it was just not a nice time. The retreat was an amazing time and always worth the effort!

Just the other day, I was at band practise at a local church and before I got a little wound up because plans were changed slightly and it got under my skin when it REALLY should not have. I was thinking about bailing and going home but stuck it out because of various reasons. It landed up being a really good practise and the worship session on Sunday went very well too. Well worth the tense start to the process.

I look back at these and other instances and think to myself “what went wrong?” – there was no reason for that to happen!

There are 2 options to deal with this:
1) We can anticipate it will happen and counter it by watching for signs of it or,
2) Make up for the tense time by having a better time at the event or occasion that we are planning for.

Personally, I try and do the first option because I am quite a stable person and do not like going up and down like a yo-yo emotionally. I am also very aware of hurting people around me for no reason.

Either way we should be aware of this occurrence and plan for it.

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The Go-To Guy

Every person knows of or has a “go-to guy”. This person can be male or female. This person can be at work or a friend. This person is sought out to do things you have to do but do not really want to do. Despite not wanting to do these things, you still have to do them so you get your “go-to” person to do it.
The good side to this person is that they are always included in everything and loved by everyone.
Having said this, there is a close distinction between the “go-to guy” and a complete doormat. The distinction is drawn by a simple yet complicated and difficult line called boundaries.
Let me illustrate the point. Joe is a rep and has a job to do. He does not want to do it and (in fact) had never done it himself because someone always manages to get Sue to do this job. Sue is a very helpful and friendly person. She likes helping people. This is normally a great attribute. However, she does have her own work to complete but is always delayed by doing Joes work for him. Sue is Joes “go-to” person in his eyes. In reality Sue is a doormat with no boundaries and Joe is getting away with it!
The major problem here is that the go-to guy seldom gets the job / credit or praise they need and or deserve because they helped someone else do their jobs.
If you are the go-to person, make sure of your job description and stick with it. Doing a favour for someone is a healthy thing to do but doing the same “favour” repeatedly is not correct. Stand up for your rights and set some boundaries to ensure the people do their own jobs. You have your own job to worry about.
If you know a go-to person, start building them up and encourage them to say no! It will take some time and the people will not like it but in the long run it is much healthier for concerned.

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In the sport of rugby, at a certain stage of events, the team who has the possession of the ball is told by the ref “to use or lose it”. It makes sense (sometimes) because what is the point of having the ball if you are not going to use it – it is not fair.
I think this rule should be applied in everyday life too.
About 2 weeks ago, my wife decided that she wanted to apply this rule to her closet. Before I continue, she does not have many clothes she does not wear. So out came the garbage bags and the “lost it” part began! 3 bags later, there was a lot of space in the cupboards and drawers. I got in on the fun too! It took about 30 minutes and it was actually good fun!

Guidelines for “lose it”
1. If you have not worn it in 6 months. This applies to “everyday” clothes and not special occasion out fits like suites or dresses. Lose it.
2. If you “used to” fit in to it and “hope to again”. Lose it.
3. If it does not belong to you. Lost it – well actually – give it back.

We gave our “chuck outs” to someone who needs clothes and who can sell them for some extra cash and it is always good to know someone else will benefit from them. Some cities have 2nd hand clothes stores that sell for charity and may give you some money for the clothes. Giving the old stuff away does feel good though so rather give it away to a worthy cause.

This can be applied to every room in the house as well as you office. Be careful with the laws of business in your country on what documents you have to keep and for how long.

Try it and see how you feel. You do not have to be ruthless the first time. Simply repeat the process until you are happy with the remains of your belongings.
Write a comment below and tell me!

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Every office of any size or configuration has got one. It is the office grumpy. Whether it is sunshine and hot or snowing and cold outside – it is always cloudy around this person!
There can be no good option to this person and even a happy smile and a warm, energetic hello cannot warrant more than a grunt!
I am not talking the occasional bad day or gloomy patch because of stress. This cloud never clears – EVER!
There are 3 things you must realise with this person:
1. No one has a reason or deserves to be that grumpy for that long.
They may think that they have a reason but they do not.
2. Do not add to the grumpy cloud.
Do not try to console them or listen to their woes – they will suck you in and give you some grump too!
3. You can learn from this person.
I am being serious! Often this person will be isolated from others and not get involved for any number of about 106 reasons they will give. Effectively, you have to do the opposite of what they do. If the day is not going well – do not wallow in self pity – spin the positive and use it for your good!

So can you help?
YES WE CAN!
1. NEVER ignore the person.
Tricky. Always be courteous and genuine towards the person.
2. ALWAYS include them. IF they accept – encourage them and treat them as an equal.
3. Treat them like anybody else (As in number 2). Despite what some people may think – NO ONE is more special than anybody else!

No one likes the office grump.
No one deserves being the office grump.
No one has a reason to be the office grump.

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Carpe Diem is translated as Seize the day. Its a very good phrase and goes to many different levels.

Opportunities come in many different forms. Contrary to most peoples thinking they present themselves everyday in every aspect of your life.

A lot of people think that no opportunity ever comes their way because they are looking too big! Very few opportunities arrive in grand style with red carpets and trumpets and a 3 day parade waiting for you to wake up to it and decide whether to take it.

I would say 98% of them are regular day-to-day decisions that present themselves like any other. The difference is actually how we treat the decisions.

Example. A colleague of mine was not looking particularly happy with life for about 3 or 4 days. I noticed this but decided that I would tread very carefully around asking what was troubling her. Anyway, I saw her the following day – very happy and “her usual self”. A brilliant change. I went to her and told her that she looks happy and herself again. She liked the comment and made her feel good. We both went on with life after that.
Just an ordinary day-to-day decision that I could have said no to but went for the opportunity.
Do not look too big! If you take care of the small things – the big things will sort themselves out!

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On the cover of every magazine – you find it. It is the topic of literally 1000’s of blogs. It is the topic of self improvement. Start exercising or stop smoking. Even find your true self.

This is great … IF you WANT to change yourself or improve your life.

Improving your own life is exactly that – your own. I think it is a very good effort to improve your life. However, it is a very personal journey. You can bring people together to support you and I think you should do that. Not every one you meet and share your journey with is going to be your supporter. you cannot expect it either. It is your journey and not theirs.

I repeat what I said earlier – I am in 100% support of the improvement, just keep it to you and your true supporters. You WILL encounter people who actually just do not want to change and that is perfectly okay. If they do not want to change – you must not try and force them to. Do not try and convert them to your way and try to get them to improve with you. They may be on their on journey.

Keep going on your journey!

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You have got to hold on. Hold on to whatever or whoever you have. Over the last year or so, I have been through a very rough time.

Go back to the rough times in your life and

I can guarantee that there was / is a constant something or someone. It may seem strange and you can disagree and argue all you want. When you analyse it enough there is a constant. Find it.

Find it and hold on. Find it and all you have to do is very simple. You have got to just hold on it.

In my rough time, it has been my family and few close friends. Some of them are close but some of them are a long way away. Distance does not matter here. Sometimes it was only a phone call or a Skype call. Whatever it was that told me that my family were there for me (us) in support, I will hold onto that.

Finding out what you have to hold onto also creates an opportunity to be supportive to others during rough times. Again, it may be small but, to them, it may mean the world.

Holding on to simple things is sometimes the only thing you have but it will make a huge difference in the way you handle a rough patch in life.

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