Why saying ‘Thank You’ is so much more than just polite

Depositphotos_22035805_sThere are two reasons I want to thank you!

First, I want to say a big thank you to all those people who liked, shared and re-tweeted my last post about some of the problems with the self-improvement industry.  I also enjoyed receiving your emails and comments too.  It seems that I did manage to connect with something that many people are feeling.

The danger of writing a blog post like Why Is Self-Improvement Total BS? is that it can come across as a negative rant.  As I’m trying to improve myself and develop as a human, I was worried that this would be unhelpful as I would be focusing on a negative.

But… I feel very strongly that I want my development to be real and genuine and not just me ‘brainwashing’ myself into a relentlessly positive and upbeat robot that is incapable of having passionately held beliefs.

That’s why I don’t think it was a negative post (and thankfully, most of you seem to agree!).  If we look honestly at the world and find things that we don’t like then we have three options:

1. Ignore it  (…and carry on.  The ‘That’s Life!  Get over it!’ response)

2. Avoid it   (find alternative solutions or ways around the problem)

3. Change it

In the case of self-improvement, I can’t really do Option 1 (to be honest, I don’t like this option in most cases as it feels like you are giving in and living in someone else’s world)

So, I hope that my article is a mixture of Options 2 and 3.  I am committed to changing my life and working consistently and persistently on developing myself, so the fact that there are a lot of people out there who are only interested in getting you to open your wallet is an issue for me. So I chose to share that with others because I hoped they would have the same thoughts.  And it turned out, you did!

Anyway…

Back to ‘Thank You’

With that said, this week I have found a great way to feel incredibly positive and genuinely content and I really want to share it with you.

I have found the power of Gratitude.

You may have already heard somebody say something along the lines of ‘You need to be grateful for all you have in your life’?

So had I.  And like me, I’m guessing you too had a similar thought:  ‘Yeah right!  Sure!  I’m grateful, okay?  Can you tell me something that might actually be useful now?’

But I have been reading Brendon Burchard’s awesome book “Motivation Manifesto” and he believes 100% in the power of saying ‘thank you’.  This is not just about being polite, although that is definitely a totally cool way to behave!

It is about realising how blessed we are, no matter what our circumstances.  You can have lots of areas of your life that you want to change, but it will help you hugely to spend some time reflecting on the things you are currently happy about in your life (however few things that might seem!)

Or realising that you should be happy about a lot more than you are.  This doesn’t mean ‘settling’ for a second-rate life at all.

The idea is that you switch your perspective from one of deficit to one of abundance.

You stop focusing on what you DON’T have and CAN’T do and switch to what you ALREADY have!

It’s a subtle switch in both how you see yourself and what you expect in the future.

I really have started seeing things from a much more positive and thankful point of view.  I know how lucky I am to be alive, how lucky I am to have the skills, family, friends and opportunities that I enjoy.

And this gives me a sense of control, power, joy and happiness that makes be believe I can do anything.

Seriously…just try this out for 5 minutes every day for the next week and come back and tell me how you feel:

 

List all the things you are grateful for in your life

 

‘Is that it?’ you might be asking.  It sounds such a pointless and hippy, psycho-babble, happy-clappy waste of time.

 

How could that POSSIBLY work?

 

Here’s how…

We spend our lives worrying about what has gone wrong and what might go wrong and this means that so much of energy is wasted on fear, anxiety, regret and paranoia.  So much so, that we end up missing out on many genuinely golden opportunities because our minds are closed to them.

In many ways, we are living in a Defence mode rather than a Growth mode.

We are so worried about LOSING things (possessions, people, status etc) that we forget to look for opportunities to GAIN.

So, seriously…give it a try.  You might be surprised!

 

These prompts might help you:

 

What skills and knowledge do I have that I feel grateful for?

What experiences and opportunities have I had that I really enjoyed?

What people (family, friends and colleagues) do I know who make my life better?

What aspects of my health/fitness make me feel strong and happy?

What little things do I do every day that make me smile?

 

The idea is that just five minutes a day will reboot your mind into a much more positive frame.  You will be seeing things from a better and clearer perspective.  New possibilities will seem to present themselves, which is another way of saying that you will be spotting things that were already there, but you had forgotten to look for!

Give it a go!

And please let me know how you got on.  Comment below, ‘Like’, ‘Share’ and email me at Tony@rebootingme.com with any questions.

Cheers for now,

 

Tony

 

P.S. – The second reason to thank you?  Well…I am really grateful for you taking the time to read this.

It means so much to me!

Why is Self-Improvement total BS?

Now that might strike you as harsh or unfair?Very surprised screaming housewife

Please hear me out.  ‘Cause it makes me feel like she does  ==============>

You see, I think that there is a whole army of self-obsessed, patronising and pretty horrible people out there who don’t care about you, your problems or how you can solve them.  They just pretend they do.

They only care about selling you some false hope, just enough to keep you hooked as a Self-Improvement Junkie.  They only want you to keep coming back for more, more, more!

On the other hand, I honestly do believe that there are genuine, real and positive people out there who are motivated by helping you to be your best.  There are some awesome people in the self-development world and they make it all feel worthwhile.

People like Brendon Burchard, Tony Robbins and Danielle Laporte are truly inspirational, but I think that’s because they are into Self-Improvement FIRST and are marketers SECOND.  And that’s the way it should be, if you ask me.

I have no problem at all with someone who is genuine, real and has knowledge and wisdom to share, doing just that. I know that they will need to hype up their products and services a little to get our attention.  That’s absolutely fine.  It’s when you know you are just getting some empty platitudes wrapped in some marketing BS hype that I start to get cross!

(I know I should accept the things I can’t change with grace, but honestly…ARGHHH!)

I hope that you don’t see this as just someone whining in a negative way (If you do, then see point 2 below).  I really am pushing myself forward in my life and taking action, but some of the crap I’ve seen out there just makes me MAD!!

(Although I do try to rise above it all and remain calm and serene :-) )

So…here are my Top Five Self-Improvement BS Detectors!

Keep your nose primed to sniff these out, and uncover their horrible stench before they sap your positivity.

1. It’s All Your Fault

This is a classic.  I’m all for people taking responsibility for their lives and owning their own mistakes as well as their success (or lack of it).  That’s a really powerful way to take-back the sense of power that so many people have lost in their life.  You can then start taking purposeful action to achieve your OWN goals.  That’s just dandy!

But…when you have tried everything that the self-appointed Self-Improvement Guru suggests and none of it has worked, then is it really your fault?  It is quite convenient that some Self-Improvement programs come with in-built terms and conditions which basically say; “If you use our product and it doesn’t work, then it’s your own lack of positivity that caused it to fail, despite ‘developing your positivity’ being one of the things we sold you.”

2. You Just Need To Be Positive

This one is definitely linked to the first.  If only you are positive enough then you will make huge progress!  Again, I have no problem with the power of positive thinking and I agree that upward spirals of positive thinking, leading to positive action, leading to more positive thinking etc can really work.

But…if a Self-Improvement Guru tells you that it is just down to positive thinking and nothing else then you should just laugh and find another mentor.  That is complete crap!  If wishes alone were enough, then I would look like George Clooney.

Positive thinking and creating your dream life will only take you half way.  It will give you clarity and vision, but it won’t manifest what you want into the world.  You also need to take CONSISTENT ACTION to actually achieve your goals.  Even then, you are limited to some extent by nature, however hard you try.  That is not simply a ‘limiting belief’, but just a recognition of reality.  Sure, you can develop much further than you ever thought possible, but there are limits.  Don’t fall for the easy ‘think your way to _____’ BS!

3. How To Get A Job By Mr. Unemployed

One of most annoying things is being told how to do something by someone who hasn’t done it themselves.  ‘How to Get Rich’ by A. Bum etc.  If someone hasn’t had results doing the thing they are selling, then what makes you think that you will?  This is another example of someone understanding the marketing ‘trigger’ words to get you to buy, but having no real understanding or interest in the product they are trying to sell you.

Quite simply, you need to see their results and know that they actually understand and really care about what they are talking about.  And quite a few of them don’t!

4. Total Ecstasy in 1 Minute

Another BS marketing approach that some so-called experts take.  They promise to take the thing that you have struggled with for all these years (weight loss, motivation, career success, financial freedom or whatever) and show you how to succeed to the max in a ridiculously short time.

Wow!  They must really know what it takes to be able to sort my life out that quickly, without any effort and in no time at all!  Or…are they just selling me an easy, no-effort-required dream that will make me feel warm and fluffy with excitement as I hand over my money, but leave me empty, cheated and $50 poorer?

The reality is that any real change takes effort, commitment and determination and there are very few Super-Fast Success Short Cuts at a special introductory price that will ‘turn your life around’.

5. You Need Me To Tell You To Think For Yourself

The last way to tell if you are being fed some Self-Improvement BS is to look at how you are being coached.  Often the Self-Improvement Guru will tell you that YOU must think for yourself and start to take responsibility (See Point 1).  At the same time, they will also say that only THEY can help you to solve your problems.

So, who should you listen to?  Yourself? (because you are taking responsibility and ownership of you own development) or the Guru? (who knows exactly what you need to do – including taking responsibility for yourself)

Ouuuccchhhh!  My head hurts now!

Okay…I do realise that it is possible to understand that someone else might need to advise you to think for yourself.  It’s just an example of the kind of deliberate ‘mystical’ uncertainty that some of these Gurus use to keep us confused.

Why would they do that?

So you accept their authority without question and continue buying their products?  Could be!

Now, as I said earlier, there are many genuinely inspiring Self-Improvement coaches and mentors out there and I really don’t think that all Self-Improvement is BS.  But, hopefully you will agree with me that some of it is.

Keep an eye out (or a nose, I suppose?!) for the BS Detectors above and just stick to the good stuff!

Or buy my “How to spot Self-Improvement BS and Feel Like a God in 5 Seconds” Mega-Course which is available for a limited time only for $10,000 😉

Cheers for now,

Tony

Please comment on your own experience of Self-Improvement BS and share this article on social media.

I’d LOVE to hear what you think! Thanks :-)

(Even if you just think that there’s nothing we can do about it…but that’ll just be your negativity talking 😉 )

What will YOUR ideal life look like?

Giant pandas in a fieldLike a crazy, lazy Zen Panda, I have been spending a lot of time thinking…

…Although I stayed clear of the bamboo-shoots as they give me heartburn!

 

Here’s the thing.

It’s strange, but in the hustle and rush of the modern world we don’t always allow ourselves the time and space to sit and think about how we got to this point and what we might need to do differently to get to our destination.

So…it got me thinking.

What actually would be my ideal life?  What am I aiming towards? Say, in a couple of years time when all the hard work has started to pay off and I am reaping the rewards of my effort and determination.

All the effort in the world, if not directed to a clearly defined and imagined goal will just lead to lots of huffing and puffing and very little to show at the end.

I hope that sharing with you my vision of MY ideal life will do two things:

1). It will help me be clearer about what I want

2). It will inspire you to do the same in for YOUR ideal life too!

I have been reading lots of self-help books and they all seem to agree that the key thing is to make the dream come alive by being specific and detailed by using all the senses – although taste and smell might not be easy!

This is quite a personal thing and I do feel a little nervous sharing what I really want with the world (even though I am writing under a pseudonym!).

Anyway, here goes…be kind and don’t judge me!

 

My Ideal Life

9.00am    I wake up naturally from a great night’s sleep.  My healthy diet and exercise routine mean I sleep like a baby and I have no work stresses keeping me awake all night.  I don’t have to be anywhere, so I wake up when my body tells me to.  I get up and think to myself “What adventures and opportunities will today bring me?”

9.30am    Three mile run in the countryside near my lovely remote farmhouse.  It feels great to wake up each day to the sounds of the natural world.  Running gives the sense of peace and connection that I crave and gives me space to think through what I want to do today.

10.30am    Having showered and had a healthy breakfast of porridge with honey, raisins and fruit I decide to go to my office upstairs (overlooking the countryside) and write another couple of chapters of my latest novel.

1.00pm     Lunch is a light salad and more fruit taken in the garden, and then I spend an hour reading an improving book.

2.30pm     I go for a walk in the woods and make plans for my projects – recording voice notes on my cell phone.  I enjoy the scenery, the smell of resin and the rustle of breeze through the leaves.  I arrive home with some great ideas recorded for future blog posts, my next novel and an online course I will create to help others live their perfect life.  I love the fact that I control my own life and have the space and time to be creative, expressive and provide the world with real value.

4.30pm     The kids come home from school and we spend an hour playing games in the garden.  It’s great to have time to see them grow up and just hang out with them.

5.30pm     I sit in the garden for another hour reading and enjoying the evening.

7.00pm     After a healthy family meal with my wife and children, we sit  together talking about our days and our plans for the holiday next month (two weeks in Portugal).

8.00pm     I go into town and watch a movie with my wife.

10.00pm   Quiet meditation, more reading and then bed.  No work-stress tomorrow to worry about and a quiet, peaceful contentment as I drift off.

 

Reading that back it seems much more relaxed than is perhaps realistic.  Also, I am under no illusions that any ideal lifestyle takes a lot of effort to actually happen (and to maintain!).

But, it does sum up the things that matter most to me – freedom, creativity, connection with family and nature, healthy living, contentment, helping others and expressing myself.

This has given me some real clarity on what things are truly important to me.  Although the farmhouse is quite big in my mind, it’s clear to me that being rich isn’t a driving force for me.  Sure, I’d love to be more than comfortably well-off, but mainly it’s the freedom and family time that I value most strongly.  Whether this ‘dream’ life is one you would be happy living is not the point – you choose your own, buddy! :-)  Yours might have more Ferraris or yachts than I have, but there are dreams enough for us all.

The process of writing this ideal life has had a great side-effect.  I actually felt like I was living that life when I wrote it down.  Did you notice that I included some sights, sounds and smells to make it feel real?  It worked!  I honestly felt like I was living in that life.

The great thing is that because it seems real, it also feels very possible.  I also know that whenever things get tough on my journey (and I’m sure they will!) that I can read this again and remember why I am working so hard for it.

 

Reality Alert!

The thing is…

…I know that no life is ever quite like that, never quite a pristine and perfect as the adverts make us believe.

But I do think we can have moments like that, you know when everything is in alignment and the universe seems to click.

And I also think that we can all have more of those days.  It is surely possible to have a larger proportion of your life spent doing things that are congruent with your values and feel that you are living the RIGHT life for you.

There are some people who say that it is a waste of time ‘dreaming’ up your ideal life, and that you should just get on and create it.  But how do you know what to create if you don’t dream first?  You may very well end up creating a life that isn’t really what you want.  Let’s be honest, to some extent, that is what we have all done so far, and why we desperately want to change it for the better.

So, as wishy-washy, New Age and ‘spiritual’ as you may think it, being clear about your ultimate life has to be the starting point.  Actually it’s a practical step towards getting what you want.

I hope you decide to try the process out for yourself.

Please comment below or email me at tony@rebootingme.com and let me know how you got on.

I would genuinely be delighted to hear from you!

Have an awesome week!

 

Cheers for now,

Tony

 

My aims for 2015

I said last week that I would share with you why I am writing this blog and outline the areas of my life that I want to develop, so here goes…

The main areas I want to improve are:

Health
Purpose
Happiness
Freedom

I know! These are pretty big concepts and the trouble is they can be very hard to pin down. So I have come up with some specific targets for each area. I have tried to make them SMART (Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Timed) where possible.

Health

  • Eat a healthy diet (more vegetables, fruit, pulses and less red meat and junk food)
  • Cut down on alcohol to just two days a week
  • Run at least 3 miles on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday
  • Stop smoking completely (I have the occasional cigarette as a ‘social’ smoker)
  • Go on a full detox for January to kick-start my weight loss
  • Get weight down from 16 stone to 12 stone

Purpose

  • Re-establish my values and work out who I am
  • Set clear direction and targets for my future
  • Improve my self-image and internal dialogue
  • Get focused and stick to my plans

Happiness

  • Audit my life so I spend time doing what I enjoy
  • Try new activities and experiences to keep life fresh
  • Widen my circle of friends to include new and positive people
  • Gain satisfaction by sharing my journey with others

Freedom

  • Only spend time doing things that matter and make me happy
  • Gain some financial freedom by increasing my revenue streams
  • Explore spirituality and mindfulness to be more accepting and at peace

Reading these back to myself, I ‘m amazed at how fluffy and non-specific some of these are!  I think that’s mainly because I’m at the start of this process and I am not sure what form exactly some of these aims will take in the real world.  But overall, I am pleased with how broad a range of things I want to improve and that I have some good reasons WHY I want to do each of them.  I guess that’s a good starting point.

 

So what have I done about all this so far?

Well…it’s the 16th January and I have stuck to the full detox (so far!) and lost 10 lbs in weight which I’m pretty pleased about!  I’m not a doctor, so I’m definitely not going to recommend whether or not this is the right thing for you to do.  I checked with my own medical practitioner and he said it would be fine for me as long as I monitored my progress carefully.

Here’s what I did:

  • I have eaten only vegetables, fruit, fruit juice, pulses, rice, gluten-free pasta, porridge, oatcakes, nuts, healthy oils and salads.
  • I also drank plenty of water with lemon juice.  I also took some herbal supplements (Spirulina, Chlorella, Milk Thistle etc)
  • I have avoided caffeine, alcohol, sugar, chocolate, sweets, pastry and pretty much everything else I used to eat and really enjoy!
  • I had a few headaches for the first week (apparently, that’s just the toxins leaving your system!) but other than that I have been fine.
  • I am now sleeping much better, I have more energy, my skin and eyes are both much clearer and I feel great!

All I can say is that this has been a lot easier than I thought.  I am going to try to finish the month and see how I feel then.  I guess I hope that I will have developed a taste for more healthy and nutritious food which I can continue once I allow myself to eat and drink more of the things I like.

The other great thing is that this has really helped my self-confidence and determination.  I feel more positive and that I am in control of my own body.  I still have over three stone of weight to lose, but I know I am on the right track.

I have also been reading a great book on NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) which is all about changing the thoughts you have and the words you use (both internally in the mind and externally in your speech) to be more helpful and positive.  I am already much more aware that I can get into a downward spiral of negative self-talk sometimes.  I definitely recommend the book.  It’s called The Secrets of Being Happy by Garner Thomson and Richard Bandler.  I am sure I will blog more about this book soon as I am only just getting into what NLP can offer me.  I am always a bit sceptical about the claims in these sorts of books, but there has been a lot written about NLP in recent years, so maybe there is something in it.

Anyway, I hope that gives you an insight into what I am all about and what I hope to achieve this year.

I’d love to hear your own aims and what you have been up to.  Please comment below and let me know!

Cheers for now,

Tony

P.S. – Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter by clicking the bright orange button on the right!

P.P.S. – oh…and please ‘Like’ my page on Facebook too!

 

Is it ever too late to start again?

Hello – welcome to my blog!

First a disclaimer…

That’s not me above with the green sheet, skipping over the hills.  It just represents what I aspire to – freedom, happiness and boundless enthusiasm!

The truth is that I’m a fairly successful, professional man in my middle years. I am reasonably happy and affluent and I mainly enjoy my job and life is pretty good.

But…I have this sense of not fulfilling my full potential, not being all I can and that I am missing out on some really important things.  In short, I just know there is more for me.

I don’t mean in a selfish, ungrateful “give me more!” way.  I really don’t.  It’s just a sense that I could live better, and feel like I am more connected to my values.  That I can live a life that is more me, and be more authentic.

I plan to document my journey towards a more unified and happier me and I really hope you will join me on this journey.  You can sign up using the link on the right and then you will receive all my upcoming posts.  I will write my blog weekly and explain what I have learned, and what I am doing to try to improve myself.  It will show all the ups and downs as I move along with nothing held back!

There are many areas of my life that I hope to improve.  I will let you know some of my precise aims next week, but these will cover my health and fitness, aims, motivation, relationships and career.  Quite a bit to work on!

I ought to state at the outset that I have always viewed Self-Development with a measure of suspicion.  I have a degree of scepticism about how effective some of these techniques can be, and that the whole self-help industry can seem a bit scammy and even exploitative.  I am British so maybe that is partly why I struggle sometimes with the relentlessly mindless positivity that self-development seems to built on.  Or perhaps I’m just an old Grump!

On the other hand, I do strongly believe that we should do all we can to take responsibility for our own lives.  I have a dislike of people who act as victims and are constantly blaming others for their own circumstances.  There has to be a way for people to take ownership of their own development and push themselves to be the very best version of themselves that they can.  I certainly hope so!

I work in education at a senior level and have a reasonable grasp of some of the theory of human development, and I want to start turning some of this understanding on myself.  I would also love it if other people joined me on this journey and shared their own experiences about their attempts at self-development.  Sign up by clicking the bright orange button on the right to get regular updates on my blog sent straight to your inbox, so you don’t miss out.

Please feel free to comment on this (or any other) post and contact me with any thoughts or questions at contact@rebootingme.com.  I promise to respond to every comment and email I receive.  I really would love to build a friendly and supportive community of people who are willing to try to improve their lives, but don’t necessarily believe all the hyped-up nonsense that is out there!  Click the Facebook ‘Like’ button and you will also get daily thoughts and tips in your news feed.

I am going to read many self-help books and take some online courses too.  I will provide honest reviews on this site and let you know how useful I found them and whether or not I would recommend them.  I’m not doing this whole thing as a money-making exercise – I’m doing it to get happier and healthier, so you don’t need to worry about me recommending any old rubbish just to make a fast buck!

I hope you will decide to follow my journey and keep coming back here to see how I get on.

Next week I will share with you the precise areas of my life I am hoping to improve.  It is only the 11th January, but I have been very busy and I already have a lot to share about what I have been up to in the last 11 days.

Cheers for now!

Tony

 

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1).  Sign up to get notified of my upcoming blog posts

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3).  Comment below to let me know why you want to make a change in your life