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Posts Tagged ‘change’

I was watching a documentary the other day about the demise of the dinosaurs. What was fascinating was that before the 6 mile wide asteroid hit what is now the Gulf of Mexico all those millions of years ago, dinosaurs dominated the earth. Dinosaur fossils have been found in vast numbers on every continent and their sheer size meant wherever they went, they were in charge!

dinosaur asteriod

But after the asteroid the only creatures that survived and then thrived were the tiny mammals and reptiles.

Why was that?

Its simple. Charles Darwin put it best:

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.

These tiny creatures were able to survive because of their adaptability, their ability to move quickly and change according to circumstances, their ability to store energy and most importantly of all, their agility.

Looking at businesses today we can see that the corporate world is dominated by vast global enterprises but these enterprises have much in common with their ancient ancestors! When faced with challenges they don’t have the agility to adapt in a rapidly changing world. And the more energy they put into trying to change the world to suit them, the less they have for their true purpose. And the less sustainable they become.

The question is, is your business a dinosaur… or a mouse?

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I’ve had some interesting conversations recently about positive thinking so I thought I’d try to clarify some classic misconceptions that people have. It seems to be a function of those who subscribe to the kind of “magical thinking” made popular by books such as The Secret and the Abraham Hicks phenomena, that they believe that constantly “being in a happy place”, telling everyone things are wonderful when they clearly aren’t and telling themselves that “everything in the universe is in its rightful place”, or that “everything happens for a reason” is somehow going to make them more successful and get them what they want in life. Sorry to burst your bubble guys, but it won’t! Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m a huge fan of optimism! I think going about having the belief that things can and will get better is one of the most certain ways, if not the only way, for them to get better. And here’s why: if you believe that things will get better you will most likely be willing to take the actions that will make them get better. At the very least you will set about looking for solutions and will start to formulate in your mind what those solutions might look like. But the very first principle of positive thinking is being honest. You can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge. So forcing yourself into feeling happy about a life that is falling apart is not only stressful, its actively unhelpful. Tell your mind often enough that you are happy in this miserable place and one day it might just believe you! And once it does that, why would you bother actively looking for solutions. So acknowledge the situation you are in, get very clear about it and most importantly get very clear on how you have created this situation. Because like it or not, you have. And even if it isn’t all your fault (the world economy, deadbeat partners, useless parents, physical challenges or whoever else you’re trying to shift the blame onto), its still 100% your responsibility to change it if you don’t like it. No one else is going to change it for you. The second principle of positive thinking is to learn to think in terms of solutions. Believe there is a solution and as much as possible look for evidence that there is. Read biographies of your favourite successful people, I can guarantee most of them have been in messes as big, if not bigger than yours! Its always heartwarming to discover that your biggest heroes are just as fallible as you, but more importantly, its inspiring to read about how they got out of them! Find yourself a mentor, join a good networking group and ask for advice from people you trust. You don’t need to take all of the advice offered but do take action on the advice that makes sense to you. But don’t try to do this on your own. Create empowering relationships with people who uplift you and make you feel strong and capable and dump those who make you feel small and inadequate. There are loads of people out there willing and able to help you if only you learn to keep asking until you get an answer that is useful to you. The third principle is be open to admitting that you’re wrong! This is the hardest part. The thing is, if you’re in a situation you don’t like, there’s a good chance it’s a result of some bad decisions you made at some point. Accept this, but at the same time be kind to yourself. Let’s face it, if you’d known better you’d probably have made better decisions and all decisions carry with them learning. But if you want things to get better you are going to have to change what you’re doing, what got you here is not going to get you where you want to go! Change is difficult and the biggest problem is that most of us want change, but we don’t want to change. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could get fit without having to exercise, lose weight without having to cut down on chocolate, earn huge amounts of money without having to work harder or smarter? Change is not easy, it’s not meant to be. It’s about growth, it’s about challenge and it’s about becoming the amazingly powerful and abundant human being that you know you are. Your positive thinking needs to be about asking yourself powerful questions about what actions you can take right now to make things better. There are few things more empowering than finding yourself on the other side of a huge challenge and realising how much you have grown as a result. That’s positive thinking!

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The truth is, it really doesn’t matter!

What’s important is who is responsible for making things better and the answer to that is always the same. I am.

We spend far too much time appointing blame  when things don’t turn out the way we want them to. There is a school of thought that absolutely everything that ever happens to you is your fault, that you somehow asked for things to happen to you. Personally I think that’s a bit harsh and honestly not at all helpful. Even if, on a metaphysical level, we do create our universe, assigning ourselves blame and guilt is not going to put us in a state of mind conducive to moving forward. The answer to the question “Who’s fault?” lies in the past and there is nothing we can do to change the past. So even if we can arrive at a meaningful answer there’s not much useful we can do with it.

But it is always our responsibility to learn. If we take a difficult situation and choose to assign blame we will always be stuck in the past, wishing we can change it, which we can’t. If we choose instead to take the lessons and try to put them into action we can come out of any situation better, wiser and stronger that we started.

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We’ve all had those days where we get out of bed on the wrong side and things go progressively more pear-shaped as the day goes on! The thing is, how often do we take the time to consider that the world is not happening to us? We are participating in everything that we get in life! And if we don’t like what we’re getting, then we can change it!

Whining about your mood is a bit like watching a really dreadful movie on TV and not bothering to change the channel! No matter what is happening in the outside world, you alone are responsible for what’s happening inside your head!

So if life is seeming a bit tough right now go and find some uplifting music and dance around to it. Do some yoga or meditation. Read a great book or watch some animals doing stupid things on YouTube! Phone a friend who will make you laugh. Play with the dog, or borrow someone else’s! Watch Ice Age on DVD. Whatever it takes. It’s up to you, and only you, to do what it takes to feel wonderful!

Make that your first priority every morning!

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It doesn’t matter how much of a positive person you are, the reality is that the world out there can be pretty negative at times! That’s why its really important that the first thing you do every day is raise your personal energy and your mindset so that you have the resilience to deal with whatever the world throws at you!

Its so easy to get up and dive straight into your day without ever actually taking the time to ready yourself for the challenges that lie ahead. But the truth is, if you start the day half empty you’re not going to get beyond lunchtime before your resources are depleted and you just don’t have anything left to give. At best you only achieve half of what you intended. At worst, you have to resort to some energy vampire techniques just to get you through the rest of the day!

So how do you start the day up?

There are three areas you want to focus on energising. Mind, Body, Focus. Success expert Jack Canfield says we should devote just ten minutes a day to energising each of these areas and that can make a phenomenal difference to how we experience our lives and our results.

Research has shown time and time again that meditation benefits us in all areas of our lives. It can help us deal with stress, it can make us more focused, and it can even help us deal with physical illness. It can make us calmer, more creative, it can improve our relationships and it can help us learn. In fact its difficult to find any reason why we should not make meditation a regular part of our day. How you choose to meditate is entirely up to you, there are so many different ways so play around until you find one that works for you and that you WILL do every day. Here’s a great one to start you off! Get into the habit of doing just 10 minutes every morning as soon as you wake up and watch your energy levels soar!

Starting your day off with some physical exercise is a great way to remind your body that its alive! Movement is life! And yet we spend so much of our modern lives stuck in front of a computer, in a car, or on a comfy sofa in front of the TV. The fact is we are made to move, and movement is one of the ways our body integrates learning so any movement you do is actually making you more intelligent! Again, what you choose to do is up to you. What’s more important is THAT you do it! Yoga is a great way of starting off your day and it doesn’t need to take long. Here’s a really great sequence to lift your mood.

If you don’t fancy yoga, then even a quick walk round the block will get your blood flowing, and if you have a dog to walk, even better because they will not let you have a day off!

And once you’ve woken up your mind and your body its time to focus on what you want to achieve today. So often we float through a day responding and reacting to other people’s demands of us and the reason for this is we have never taken to time to focus on what WE want from the day. Take just 10 minutes to think about it and make a list of what you intend to do with your day, even if its just relax and have fun. That way you get to live your day on your terms and according to your goals not someone else’s! Staying focused on what you want to achieve means you will use your time wisely and on purpose. Just taking that 10 minutes to plan your day can make all the difference between having an unproductive frustrating day and a wonderful, purposeful and productive one. And even if your day goes completely pear shaped (yes we all have days like that!) having an action plan means that least you will end the day with more energy and focus than you would have done otherwise! But more importantly you will know exactly how far off track you are so you can get back on course easily and quickly.

So tonight go to bed early and set your alarm clock 30 minutes early and start your day UP!

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I was listening to a webinar this morning and something in it made me really mad – the so-called expert kept going on about how her techniques (and only her techniques) could fix your past and free you up to achieve all your wildest dreams.
The thing is people are going to pay her good money for her to do what is not only impossible, but is also not desirable!

Everything that has happened to you, every experience you have ever had, whether its good or bad, positive or negative, easy or difficult is what has created the amazing, wonderful, beautiful, learning human being that you are. Why do you need to “fix” anything? You are complete and perfect as you are.

If you want to take your life to the next level the only thing you have to do is have gratitude to the person you are and for all the lessons you have learned and decide that you are worth the time and effort it will take to put those lessons into action. You really are amazing and you deserve to shine!

If you look closely at the truly successful people around you, every one of them has encountered difficult times. What characterises them is that they have used those experiences to grow and rise above their challenges.

A diamond is only made under immense pressure. A lump of coal does not need fixing!

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I find it really interesting how I can read the same thing again and again and watch the same movie again and again and yet every time I see things that I didn’t see before.

But if you think about it its not strange at all. Its not that the book has changed or the movie has changed. But I have changed. So every time I see it, I’m looking at it from a different perspective and I learn something new.

So if you ever get that feeling that you know it all and you don’t need to hear something again, think about it very carefully. You could be missing a huge insight that your new perspective was just ready to show you. And that insight could give you just what you need to know to take action to get to the next level in your life.

From my experience, people who think they really know it all really don’t!

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