Learn by teaching

I spoke in my last blog post about how I am planning to create some products that I hope will help people to take control of their lives.

The first one is well on its way and is going to be all about how to handle stress.

This is not a sales page though! You can have a look at my sales page another day if you like. But right now, I’d rather talk to you about why helping others is the best way to help yourself.

You see, aside from the warm fuzzy feeling you get from feeling like you have made a difference to someone – and that is a genuinely great feeling – there is a slightly more selfish reason …

When you explain how to do something to someone else, you need to be 100% clear about what you are talking about, so that you can convey your meaning clearly.

This means that you tend to get to grips with your subject matter in a much more comprehensive and deep way.

I knew this from my experience as an educator. There have been many times when I have had to explain something to someone and I haven’t really understood the concept fully myself, but by the very act of preparing to teach and then doing it, I managed to gain a really sound grasp.

I think this is something that everyone should do, to … if you like, ‘trick’ your brain into learning.

One approach is to actually make sure that you do have to explain what you are learning to someone else. For example, if you are learning a new skill, then why not arrange to teach it to someone else as you are learning.

After everything you learn, meet up with your ‘pupil’ and explain all you have uncovered as clearly as possible. And I pretty much guarantee that you will leave with a much clearer grasp of the subject than you had before you explained it.

This is definitely a great time to be trying to learn (and teach), as we have never had such an abundance of information.

Now that has its own challenges of course – I expect you, too have suffered at some point in your life from Information Overload?

I’m sure you can recognise the signs … going round and round in circles, unsure what to do next, reading more informatioon to try to make sense of the huge amount you already have …

And then realising that actually MORE information is actually not always helpful. Many of us are paralysed by not being able to see the wood for the trees, not being able to distill the important elements from a problem, or worse, not being able to even understand the problem we have – never mind actually solve it!

This is why having the skill of being able to focus on what is important and find that information is such a great life skill. You would think that this would be taught really well at school and collage, but in my experinece that is not always the case.

In fact, if we are honest, we could all do with improving our ability in this area. So, as well as telling you all next week about my new anti-stress program (which you might be interested in ?!), I am also going to write a blog post all about getting clarity and focus on a subject so that you can learn it.

This is a great skill to have and you will be able to apply it in a number of different way:

1. Learn a new subject (a hobby, past-time or new language)
2. Improve your productivityy at work or in your business
3. Make yourself more marketable (to gain a promotion or new job)
4. Be a more knowledgeable, cultured individual (improve your relationships)
5. Know how to handle complexity (and reduce stress in your life)

Just to give you an insight into how developing this skill has helped me, I would like to share with you something that has already paid for itself.

When I decided that I wanted to write a blog I knew next to nothing about how to set one up. I realised that I had two options – 1. Learn how to do it, and 2. Pay someone to do it for me.

To start off with I chose to pay someone to do it, and that was a mistake. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t outsource tasks that you can’t do well or that will free up more time for you to concentrate on what you do best.

It’s just that in this case, getting someone else to do ot for me was a short cut to the outcome I wanted but without me gaining the skills I would need longer-term.

If you have a blog of your own, then you will know what I mean. You can get it set up how you think you will want it to look, but then you will have no idea how to change it so that it evolves to meet your developing needs over time.

So, in the end I did learn how to do it. It wasn’t easy, but I now know how to change it and what is going on ‘behind the scenes’. This knowledge has already helped me with other projects I’m involved with, so it absolutely was time well-spent in my mind.

But the best outcome of all, is the knowledge that I have learned a new, transferable skill and that I am continuing to grow as a person.

To me, that knowledge is worth all of the struggles and frustration.

I’d love to hear how you deal with Information Overload. What do you do when you have too many options? How do you decide what to focus on?

Also, please let me know if you think that some training on getting focused and clear on how to learn a new skill is something you would be interested in. Please comment below.

Cheers for now,

Tony

Mid Year Stock Take

I have been busy….but in a good way!

That’s why I haven’t posted anything in over two weeks.

I mentioned last time that I had had a kind of epiphany and understood exactly what I want to do now.

Well … that’s exactly what I have been working on.

In order to keep myself moving in a positive direction and continually ‘rebooting’ myself so that I am ‘upgraded’ and functioning as I want to …

I have decided to create some self-help programs that might help other people.

The first one will be released in early July and will be all about overcoming stress.

As you know, I’m not a self-help guru or anything.  I genuinely don’t want to be Tony Robbins or Brendon Burchard (as much as I admire both of them!)

I’m just an ordinary bloke who is trying to improve his own life.  Along the way, I think I’ve picked up a few things that might help others.

Particularly in the area of managing stress.

I’ve worked in education in the UK for the past 15 years and that certainly teaches you a thing or two about stress!

Here’s my thinking …

If I force myself to take a leap of faith and produce something that might help other people improve their lives then this should have three very positive outcomes:

1. I will get really clear on what is important in my own life

2. I can share my recent experiences as an ordinary person who has been through it

3. I can make a difference to other people and gain real meaning and purpose

That’s why I am willing to put in the time and effort to create something.

Of course, it’s going to involve some risk.

Firstly, there is the worry … ie: ‘who am I to do this?  Why would anyone listen to me?’

In the end, I have to believe that everyone has something to share.  And in all honesty, I’d rather listen to someone who is normal and will suggest realistic answers that will work in the real world, rather than some expert super-hero who is operating at a much higher level than everyone else.

Secondly, there is the very real worry that no one will be interested.

I’m less worried about that now.

The reason is that there are many people out there looking for solutions.  That’s why people read blogs … including this one.

I have already made a product in the past (Happy New You).  You may have bought it?

I made that just to pull together everything I had learned so far on my journey and I’m pleased that it has helped so many people. I also didn’t really believe it was possible to be able to sell your ideas like that.  But the feedback I have had has been very positive!

But now, I want to really work hard at providing specific solutions to specific problems!

I’m going to continue to use this blog to share everything I am working on in my life.

It really is a great place for me to explore my ideas and share them with a growing audience.  And I am so grateful for you continuing to read these posts!

As it is approaching the half-way point in the year, I thought this would be a good time to share with you what my aims are for the rest of 2015.

So, here is a kind of mid-year ‘stock take’.

 

Aims for the rest of 2015

1. Continue to focus on my health and get weight down to 12 stone

2. Study improvement and develop my motivation, energy, success and happiness

3. Create self-help products and build my business

 

I read recently that the human mind works best in 3s.  We can’t really remember much more than that.  So my 3 are health, improvement, business.

At the end of the year, I am going to see exactly how far I have come in those 3 areas.

I’d love to hear what the 3 key areas you are going to work on and achieve massive improvement in by the end of 2015. Please comment below.

 

Cheers for now,

Tony

Things are changing … and that’s okay


This last week I have learned a huge amount!

Last weekend I went to a marketing mastermind event in the UK.  It was a great experience.  I learned a huge amount, met some great people and now feel energized about the future.

The whole experience has enabled me to be really clear about:

– what I want

– how I’m going to get it

The thing is, I thought it was just going to be about business.  I didn’t expect it to help me be clearer about the whole of my life.

I’m writing this blog because it is helping me document my journey towards a healthy, happy and more authentic me.

But I always had another aim.  I thought it would be great if I were able to turn my own journey into something that would inspire other people.

It seems to me that we all look for meaning in life – and I have found none better than helping others.  It’s the thing that gives me the biggest buzz.

So…back to the marketing event.

How is that going to help?

Well, in a nut shell, it’s all about getting my message out there to as many people as possible.

I have tons of ideas spinning around my head at the moment, all about how I can share my experiences and beliefs on self-development.

I’m going to share these ideas here with you first.

This next week or so, I am going to be throwing myself fully into this and I hope to be back here afterwards, ready to share my new project with you.

 

So…what is the point of this post???Change Bowling Ball Strike Shaking Up for Adapting

I am changing…

and, actually…

so are you.

 

 

 

We are all changing all the time.  As Tony Robbins says “Change is automatic, but progress requires effort”.

I now FULLY understand what he is saying.

We will naturally change (get older, grow up, put on weight, lose strength etc) and this will happen without any input from us, but we can make progress by taking action and fighting against these natural events.

I feel like I am changing as a person.

I genuinely never would have thought that I had anything worth sharing with others.

But the truth is… we all have!  EVERY one of us!

That’s how I’ve changed.

Better than losing weight, being positive and figuring out who I am (and those things are great!) …

… is the understanding that I am worthwhile.  That I have things to share …

… that will help people!

… And SO DO YOU!!

 

This is a shorter post today, because I’m super-excited about the main idea I have to help lots of people.  But I promise to share it with you first!

I’m really interested to know what things you would like to share with world and what is stopping you.  Please comment below and let’s help each other!

Cheers for now,

Tony

Overcoming Resistance

This is something that has been on my mind this week…

In order to make real progress and change my life I have had to work really hard to overcome resistance …

… Resistance to change!

Businessman rolling a giant stone

We are creatures of habit and love the safe, secure comfort of what we are used to.

That means we are used to eating the same unhealthy food and sitting down on the same comfy sofa and developing the habit of chronic inactivity!

So that was a real challenge (and it still is!)

Writing this blog every week or so is not easy.  I seem to find all sorts of reasons why I should be cleaning out kitchen cupboards, taking my cat for a walk(!) and staring at the little hairs on the back of my hands.

These ‘displacement activities’ take on a super-powerful pull at the thought of doing something which seems like ‘work’.

And yet…

Once I start writing a new blog post I feel energised and like I am really expressing what I feel.

The truth is – starting is always hard.

But then you gain…M O M E N T U M ! ! !

It’s the same with any meaningful change in your life.

I found the same with changing my diet and increasing the amount of exercise I do.

I remember back in January going to the supermarket to buy some healthy diet food to kick-start my new life.

I felt a bit stupid putting all these nutritious foods in my basket.

Why stupid?

Well – several reasons, I guess…

  • I felt people would judge me for thinking I could lose weight
  • I thought I would be bound to fail and waste my money
  • I didn’t know what meals I could make with these ingredients

As I walked past many of my best treats (chocolate, cakes, pies, sweets etc) I felt that I was going t be losing out on so many things.

That’s why I nearly failed before I had begun.

I was far too focused on what I was losing rather than what I would be gaining.

To overcome resistance, you need to make the benefits have more value and meaning than the costs.

That’s it!  It really is as simple as that.

When I started focusing on what I would be gaining from my new diet and exercise regime, it started to get a little easier.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s not EASY…just easier!

Being motivated is a constant challenge – you can’t afford to rest on your laurels.  I had a couple of weeks off my diet and exercise program over Easter, and it wasn’t easy to get Back on Track, but I did.

I reminded myself that what I was gaining was so much more than what I was losing.

Costs of Eating Healthy Food Benefits of Eating Healthy Food
Some food is expensiveCan’t have chocolate and cakesDifficult to prepareNot as nice to eat Feel strong and energeticLose weightLook greatHave clear, bright skin and hair

Able to concentrate

Live longer

Relax and sleep better

Get out and be active

 

Now, this is not a simple case of counting up the number of points on each side.

‘Not as nice to eat’ is a powerful point that needs to be overcome.

The next step is to make the costs seem less significant and the benefits to seem really important.

So, now I create a compelling vision for all the benefits and actually imagine it as if it is already happening.  So I see myself as slim, strong, fit, healthy and looking and feeling great.

This means that I have a clear and very real vision of why I am making these changes and what the outcomes will be.

It also means that I can ‘challenge the costs’ by examining the real cost.

 

For example, my major worry was that the new healthy food wouldn’t taste as nice.

It didn’t to start with.  But my taste buds actually seemed to change with me, and I genuinely look forward each morning to porridge with raisins.

As to cost and not knowing what to do with the ingredients…these were genuine concerns, but I learned some new recipes with low cost and high nutritive value foods.

Overcoming resistance, is something we can all do if we just reframe how we see the world.  You just need to turn up the positive and turn down the negative.

 

I’d love to hear how you manage resistance to keep moving forward in your life.  Please comment below and share your best tips!

Back on track

I’ve let things slip a little, if I’m honest!

close up of woman feet running on track from backI decided to stop my diet and have a week off of exercise over the Easter holiday.

The trouble is… I forgot that I said ONE week and it’s actually been two.

Now in the past I would have forgotten completely and the diet and exercise would’ve been a distant memory in no time at all.

So, I am going to summon up my will power again and get ‘back on track’ tomorrow.

Tonight, I am going to have a lovely meal, some wine and even some chocolate.

And then back to it!

So how have I been feeling knowing that I have ‘let myself down’?

In a word…

 

GUILTY

 

This is a pretty normal response, I think.  You make a decision to change and do your very best to stick to it, and when you ‘fall from the path’, you tend to blame yourself for being weak.

The thing is, I know that I am human and that I will make mistakes.

But I also know that it will not help me at all to let my over-riding response be one of anger at myself and a huge sense of guilt.

Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy.  It is very hard to stop yourself feeling guilt.

I know I have two choices – either I try to deal with the guilt and ‘move on’ or I let it win.

If guilt wins, then I will never change!

So, I choose to acknowledge that I am human, that I make mistakes, that I’m not perfect and I start again.

I can tell from looking in the mirror that a few pounds have gone back on.

I’m not going to weigh myself to see how much.  It’s not going to help.

Instead, I’m just going to get back to it and run faster and further.

And eat good, nutritious food.

But this time…I’ll keep off the scales now until the end of June and we’ll see how much weight I have lost by then.

I’m genuinely not angry with myself – I had a great couple of weeks, and life is for living!  I’m not trying to change my life in order to become a monk!

(And I also don’t think you can undo three months progress in two weeks of excess).

A short post this week, but it’s a simple and hopefully helpful message:

Let go of guilt and start again

So now I’ll get ‘back on track’…

(After that last bar of chocolate tonight! :-) )

Cheers for now,

Tony

P.S. – I’d love to hear how you manage it when you ‘fall off the wagon’?  Let me know and let’s share our experiences.  It might help to lesson our guilt!