Monthly Archives: October 2014

Maintaining Success

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.

Henry Ford

How often have you sat with friends or co workers and come up with a great idea to both work together and be successful?

Recently I was watching the friends of a friend – lets call the associates in a local pub. It was late, they are all chefs, and had just finished their shifts and were relaxing and unwinding like every one else there. They were animatedly discussing how they could open a simple restaurant of their own. Each friend had a different skill to contribute and within half an hour the fantasy idea was alive and thriving in their imaginations.

Four months later I was most surprised to see renovations start at an old restaurant in my street. I stopped to see what was going on and there, covered in dust and builders grime were the three friends moulding their pub inspired idea into reality. A year later they are thriving and looking at ways to expand their business.

One evening recently when I was having dinner in their restaurant, all three of them came over to chat and I asked them for their secret recipe of success. The simplicity of their answer surprised me. They said that every night when they are cashing up they spend about 15 minutes discussing the operation of the restaurant that day and how they could improve, change or consolidate their systems. Each partner has a specific role to play, kitchen and food buying, bar and drinks buying and hospitality front end and each partner is expected to suggest changes in the other partners stations.

They had initiated the advice in the above quotation – they came together, stayed together and worked together consistently to achieve their goals.

Take some time to reassess your dreams and goals. Practically analyze their implementation from your current position, and if the risk profile of the idea is acceptable, initiate some positive action to start you on your road to success.

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Feeling Good

I haven’t made anything I don’t believe in. I’ve always started a movie with a song in my heart, and even when I’m a little unclear about it, something magical happens and it comes into focus in a way that I’m feeling good about.

Nicolas Cage

How do we define “feeling good”?

What makes us feel good?

Ho do you treat yourself and others when you feel good?

Who are you when you feel good?

Feelings are a very subjective and non quantifiable area of our existence. They are very hard to describe, understand and convey to some one else in the course of a normal therapy session or a conversation. We have to presume that what we feel someone else also feels and we use common experience to help the client, therapist or other person understand our feelings.

As with all my therapies and writings, my intention is to hopefully help you, the reader to find a greater understanding of your own self. That journey that you are on through life is in its self very subjective to you the individual, so don’t try to force an understanding that you think is expected. Just allow yourself to observe and feel!

Back to the original questions about feeling good. My observations have given me two distinct answers.

Firstly, we feel good because of a personal achievement in relation to other outside influences. We achieve our desired weight, purchase XYZ product, are promoted at work, enjoy a personal physical sensation like a massage, caress of a lover or playing with a pet. All these experiences are external and involve the positive achievement of an outcome resulting from a judgment or comparison of ourselves to culture, society and or other people – how we see ourselves fitting in to our environment is positive and we feel good.

Secondly, we feel good internally. This kind of feeling is non definable to other people, like the experience of waking up laughing, or the good feeling derived from prayer or meditation.

You may notice that both these types of feelings, the external and the internal are symbiotic in nature, they both feed of and add value to the other. Unfortunalty a lot of “New Age” and other self awareness systems simplistically ask us to forgo the primary physical response and only focus on the secondary internal response, yet they fail to understand that without the external trigger, the internal understanding is impossible.

Take a moment this week to identify an external event or trigger that resulted in you feeling good. Then focus on the feeling, contemplate or meditate on it and allow it to deepen or increase. Sit for a moment in that good feeling, enjoy it, and allow it to change your outlook on life.

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Being Nice

“Its all about people. Its about networking and being nice to people and not burning any bridges.”

Mike Davidson

Recently I had an intellectual altercation with a client in one of my public stress management lectures.

Said client came in an hour late – which riled my ever sensitive ego, and proceeded to tell me that we must always be nice to people, to take the time to understand why they are irritable or having a bad day. I countered this by saying that when under pressure, we are not inclined to be nice, nor are we obliged to be nice. Said client then felt insulted and stormed out.

End of altercation, end of lecture, I though that it was just one of those days and that I could not please every one all the time. Then my subconscious started to process the incident. Again and again I was troubled by it. Finally I got over myself and looked more deeply into what had transpired and I found a wonderful gem of wisdom – being nice to others.

Looking back at my life I realised that when ever I had been nice to people, wonderful things happened, I got free chips and a coke at a quick shop when I was tired and stresses, a free nights stay was arranged for my by an airline when flights were delayed, minor repairs were done on my car for free, a flight was held back on the apron when I was late, a ships captain took an extra day to wait for my container to clear traffic congestion and load on his ship. Looking at my life so far, I realised that about 70% of all the spontaneous good things that have happened in my life have been a direct result of me being nice to people.

Metaphysically we could say that it is good “karma”, or that by being nice we raised our vibrational frequency to attract nice back to us. Practically we could say that because we are human social beings, being nice to people makes us feel good about our selves, changes our world view and in turn, in some way ingratiates us to others. In simple terms, if a mechanic stops to help you change a tire on a dark night and gives you a business card, would you not be more likely to call him or her for advice or take your car to them for your next service?

go out and be nice – its free, fun and the results may just surprise you.

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Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God.”

Diana Robinson

Have you ever found yourself gazing out of a window letting a daydream subside to a point of nothing – a time of no thoughts at all?

That is a natural meditation!

Simplistically, there are two types of meditation;

Invocative meditation, or active meditation and evocative meditation or passive meditation. Our natural thought process seems to start with an active or analytical process, and if that thought process is observed, it changes into a passive or receptive process.

Repeating a prayer, mantra, or affirmation is way to focus ones thoughts and ones mind on a specific thing with the intention of receiving something in return, or with a feeling of grace or gratitude fear or anger. It involves a separation of ones self caused by an observation of where you are in the moment and where you would like to be or how you would like to feel. This process in only part of meditation.

Sitting quietly and analyzing or contemplating a problem or a concept, either positive or negative is again only the beginning part of a meditation. This contemplation is also routed in an expected outcome or achievement.

Both of these above thought processes are active, invocative meditations. Both of these invocative meditations are a wonderful technique or resource to use to help you understand yourself in your world better, but this process does not always lead to a sense or peace and fulfillment.

The next time you pray, or contemplate, follow through with your thought process as normal, then allow yourself to sit in silence and observe your self. Your thoughts, what ever they are will pass though your mind. Just watch those thoughts and let them be what they are. After a moment or two you will experience a stillness where your though process stops and you can just be aware of yourself in the moment.

This two stage, active – passive process is as natural as a day dream, and if done after a prayer, affirmation, contemplation, it will add depth and wisdom to your personal experience.

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melancholy madness

“…there was a rattling and a trembling all day long, and where the piston of the steam-engine worked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness.” Charles Dickens – Hard Times

Wake up early, rush through ablutions, possibly have breakfast or a cup of tea or coffee, sit for hours in traffic, plonk down in your office chair, feel the pressure build until you reach your optimum efficiency, work , work ,work, lunch on the go, more work, back in the traffic, home, cooking, cleaning, house chores, evening ablutions, sleep, REPEAT….

How many of us can relate to a daily routine similar to this?

How do we remain focused and inspired every normal day?

It is very easy for me as a “coach” to jump up on to the stage of your life and say;


Every one stand up and stretch and take a deep breath!

Close your eyes and imagine your self living your passion!


How fun is that?

Now go out and do it!

Your body responds as follows;

Excitement, a mild stress response heightening your awareness, Stretching and breathing adds oxygen to your system helping to relax your muscles, linked to the positive emotions of visualizing your passion and hey presto! – you feel great and inspired right there in the seminar!

How do we maintain this motivation over time to get us to where we want to be?

The first step is to decide where you want to be. Look back at the vision that you imagined in the above mentioned example. Allow your imagination to be totally free. Populate that vision with as much detail as possible. Feel yourself in that space and ask yourself if this is what you actually want, or is this a fun fantasy. Both these outcomes are acceptable, but for now we need to decide if these goals are real and attainable, and if they are not, we need to see how we can insert smaller “way station” or sub-goals to lead us into our expectation.

Once you have some sub-goals in place, review your imagined journey to your goal and take some time to edit and smooth the rout as best as you can. Intentionally associate these sub-goals with your main goal and structure a simple affirmation around it. repeat that affirmation to yourself while you are commuting every day or while you are driving between clients. Make a point of repeating this affirmation at least 40 times a day. Once a week, observe your progress and fine tune your vision as required.

Success is a state of constant progress along and intended path, it is not a destination, so observe your changes and you will see your success grow and mature.

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