Monthly Archives: April 2015

Personal Responsibility

The Lord helps those who help themselves”

Don’t you hate it when people lord this phrase over you?

I tend to immediately go on the defensive with phrases like “if only….” or “I’m trying”

Taking a long hard look at the basic fundamentals of life, I soon realised that there are so many variables to consider, so many different possibilities and interconnected options, the “if only…” reason is immediately invalidated. “If only…” is only a possibility once the action or outcome has occurred. The outcome is then not liked or accepted. This position of dislike is used as the premise for the “if only”. It can not therefore be used as an excuse for anything!

The essence of life is survival. “I’m trying” has no influence what so ever on our survival. We either survive or we don not, there is no trying involved at all, just decisive action. This seems to be a hard core, blunt observation, but it extrapolates out into every single thing that we do in our lives. We can not try to do things like eating, driving, loving or typing. We either do them, or we do not. The very first time that you got behind a steering wheel of a car and engaged the gears, you were driving… possibly not very well, but driving none the less.

Everything in life is a combination of our decisions and our actions. We decide something and then take the necessary action to achieve the desired outcome. To do this, we need to be able to analyse our environment, to anticipate possible outcomes, understand the personal responsibility that we have in those outcomes, and then to have the courage to take decisive action. No matter how subtle or complicated life becomes, this core principle holds true. Observation, anticipation, responsibility, action.

Look at your life and circumstances, take responsibility for where you are right now. Decide where you would like to be, be courageous and take decisive action to get you on the path to your success!

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Filed under depression, Stress Management and Life Coaching

Talking to People

What is life all about?

What is the one thing that we have to do all the time?

How do we get ahead in our business careers, personal and spiritual lives?

The only answer to these questions is – Talking to People!

I had the morning off yesterday and I had some business to do at my local police station. I always dread going to a government office because of the perceived inefficiency, corruption and other horror stories which I am sure are more urban legends than general common experience!

I decided, as I was parking my car, to see how many people I could talk to. Not just ask questions about what I wanted to know, but actually engage with people, talk to them as fellow humans.

My experience was astounding!

I discussed the merits of drinking hot water with ginger, mint and lemon instead of coffee and tea to help people who are reporting traumatic incidents. An old and wise sergeant debated the stages of a personal relationship as his father taught it to him – in depth insights on infatuation, love, parenting and friendship. The cashier lady discussed concepts of honesty and integrity that they encourage at that station and how that has helped her teenage children, and I sat in on an impromptu lesson given to patrol officers by a private security officer on how to approach a suspicious vehicle!

Who would have thought that there was such a depth and diversity of knowledge and human experience at a simple community police station?

What other human insights are out there that we miss in the hustle and bustle of our daily grind?

As best you can, take some time to talk to the humans around you. You will be surprised at the depth and value that will be added to your life!

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Filed under depression, Stress Management and Life Coaching

Helping Others

Help others and give something back. I guarantee you will discover that while public service improves the lives and the world around you, its greatest reward is the enrichment and new meaning it will bring your own life.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

The dynamics of helping people, and in turn allowing ourselves to be helped are intricate and complex. It is not just about giving someone money so they go away.

To truly help someone, one needs to have some kind of understanding of who the other person is, what their needs are, and to also understand their world view.

Helping others involves a considerable amount of courage confidence and compassion. We need to be willing to look outside ourselves, to observe others, to see where we can help, then decide to step up and do that we think needs to be done in a way that empowers those who we are helping. A basic understanding of these deeper aspects of another person are the things that allow us to compare ourselves to others and make critical decisions or observations about ourselves!
By helping others we automatically presume that we are able to help, that we have the necessary skills and expertise to enable us to do what ever it is that we have decided to do to help that person.

In essence, helping others is not just about giving to some one in need. Helping others is a wonderful social way of assessing our selves, our skills, our confidence and self worth. That good feeling that you have as a result of helping others is not necessarily some mysterious spiritual epiphany, but rather a realization of how good we really are.

In helping others you are helping yourself!

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Filed under helping others, Stress Management and Life Coaching

Formulating a Plan

We all want to be successful, get ahead, reach the top of our profession. We all want to thrive in areas that bring us happiness, joy and fulfillment.

It is possible for each and every on of us to attain these lofty heights and not only attain them, but also maintain them.

Success is an ever fluctuating and adapting experience of excellence, like a surfer riding an endless wave, constantly making fine adjustments to stance, weight transfer and balance to maintain forward momentum. Success is not a single thing. There can be many things, both spiritual and physical, and there can be many interconnected layers to your success.

To achieve success, we need to clearly define what it is, and then to have specifically defined points on which to focus so that we don’t get lost along the way.

Consider what success means for you right now. Define what success would be if you were to be living it now.

What details of success hold your attention and why are those details important?

Be greedy for a moment and say I WANT……

Now that you know what it is that you want, you can at least eliminate the behaviours that will hinder your progress towards achieving what you want.

Look at what you need to do with the resources that you have at your disposal to get you to that success. Assess how many small achievements need to be made to get you to where you want to be. This is like reading a road map and listing all the towns that you need to pass through to get to your vacation destination. You will instinctively know where you need to stop and consolidate your gains, and where you need to push through difficulty to get to the next point on your journey.

Trouble shoot your plan, look for weak points and have possible alternatives ready to help you through should things become difficult.

This is your plan!

Draw it our as a flow diagram or a mind map and pin it up somewhere convenient so you can assess you progress and maintain your motivation and determination daily.

Once you have a plan, anything is possible!

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Filed under Stress Management and Life Coaching

Turning “Hype” to Advantage

Through history masses of people have been lead, slave like, by charismatic and or eloquent people to do or change things that the charismatic or eloquent people want changed. In most cases this action goes contrary to what is both logical and in the interests of the people being lead or prompted to action.

The three areas of our social engagement that top the list of this type of behaviour are sport, politics and belief systems.

Why are these three social structures so powerful when it comes to moulding and leading masses of people?

As human beings, we like to associate with or perpetuate what we know and are comfortable with. Because of this we will naturally gravitate towards supporting our local team, then our country team. If we have had a profoundly good religious experience, we will go back to that place where we had that experience. We attend a political rally and our frustrations are addressed by believable rhetoric that makes us feel empowered in that moment.

This type of action creates a comfort zone of familiarity for us where we no longer need to engage our defense mechanisms, we feel good in a group that is familiar, and we feel safe. We there for tend to suspend the degree of critical thinking that would cause us to question our experiences. Taken to an extreme, the collective that we are now part of sees any critical thinking as a threat, and we ostracise the individuals who are questioning. We label them unpatriotic, sell-outs, heretics or similar.

To deepen an understanding of yourselves and you experience of life, I urge you to question your comfort zones – don’t destroy them, but rather identify them and understand the value that they are adding to your life. This will allow you to gracefully mould and adapt them, instead of the comfort zones moulding and adapting you!

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Filed under positive thinking, Stress Management and Life Coaching