Holiday Helps To Reboot

Beach fun couple travel - woman taking photo

I’ve just got back from my summer holiday and I feel ready to really make the most of the rest of the year.

I know lots of people return from their vacation feeling so stressed that they need another one just to recover!

But, to me… as well as seeing a different place and sampling another culture, I totally believe in rest, relaxation and reflection.

And it’s the last of these, reflection. that I want to talk about today.

 

When you have a few days away from the usual day-to-day stresses and challenges of modern life, it gives you time to reflect on what is really important and allows you to see things clearly.

It’s as if you gain a totally new perspective on your life by being able to step out of it for a time.

Here’s what I have realised:

1.  I have had a very productive year so far (having started some fundamental changes in my life and made genuine progress)

2.  I need to keep up what I am doing to really embed the changes I have made and continue the momentum I have

3.  September will be a big month for me – as I launch not one but two self-development training programs that I hope will help other people to enjoy the changes I have already experienced

4.  The rest of this year is going to be about just three things: helping others, getting as healthy and fit as possible and continuing to be as positive and determined to live a better life as possible.

 

I am particularly pleased with the insights I gained when thinking about number 4.  It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by the complexity of the modern world and not see things clearly.  But when I sat in the sun and really reflected, it seemed to me so clear that those three things are all that really matter to me.

 

As a simple equation it looks like this:

 

2015 = helping others + health + positivity

 

What I love about such a simple view of life is that it cuts out all the BS and reduces it to a simple and easy to follow set of fundamentals that make every decision so much easier.

Now I just ask myself:  Does the thing I’m thinking of doing bring me closer to my 3 key aims?

Anything that doesn’t fit is quickly discarded or avoided.

Honestly, this simple Life Equation has really helped me!

 

Now, going back to my 4 thoughts…

I will be back on this blog very soon (early September) to give you more details about my two training programs.

I am very excited about these as I believe I will be able to offer real, step-by-step training that will help people to make fundamental changes in their lives.

I promise to share this here with you first before anyone else gets a look in.  I am very lucky to have so many loyal readers of this blog, and I want to thank you all for the overwhelming amount of support and interest I have had from people offering to review these products for me.

Thank you so much for all the emails and kind words.  I have now selected a small number of people to have early-bird access to the training and contacted them to let them know.  I just wanted to thank all of you who offered to help.

Not only will I let you all have the opportunity to get hold of this training as soon as it is finished, but as a loyal blog reader, I will give you the chance to get it at a special low launch rate.

I’ll be back very soon in September to give you all the details!

 

I hope you had a great vacation and have managed to gain clarity on the rest of this year in your own life.

 

Please comment below and let me know your own ‘Life Equation’!

 

Cheers for now,

 

Tony

 

I’d love to hear what you think…

Just a short post today…

Okay, I haven’t posted anything for a couple of weeks because I have been working on my new training program on how to beat stress in your life.

It’s called ‘Ice My Stress’ and covers everything you need to do to ICE (Identify, Control and Eliminate) stress in your life.

It is an audio course which you can listen to on your way to work or when you go for a walk or run, or just when you have a spare 15 minutes.

It’s in small bite-sized chunks to help you deal with stress effectively.  I didn’t think adding the requirement to read a 300 page book would help people who are already stressed by their busy life!

Anyway, I will be back next week with more details about this program.  The launch date is set for the 20th August.

Today, I’d love to hear how stress affects you.  Please can you take a moment to answer these two questions:

What causes you stress?

What symptoms do you suffer when you are stressed?

I’m also looking for a limited number of people who can have this program for FREE before it’s released in exchange for their honest feedback (so I could use it as a testimonial).  You would simply need to be able to spare some time (about 45 minutes) to listen to the training and then give me your honest opinion about it (good or bad) and the training program would be yours to keep.

Please let me know if you would like to be involved.

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

Hang in there – find your WHY!

a little scottish fold kitten is hanging on the ropeI’ve had some real challenges recently and things have not been as positive as I hoped.

I had the results back from some tests my doctor sent me for, and it turns out that I have an underlying condition.  I have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

To be frank, it was a bit of a shock.  I am still in my early 40s and this particular condition is more usually diagnosed in much older people.

My initial reaction was fear – I wanted to know what how this would affect me and whether it would shorten the length of my life.  I also wanted to know how I had got it.

My doctor was very reassuring.  He told me that as long as I continue to live a healthy life and (crucially!) avoid smoking completely, then there is every possibility of it not affecting my life or limiting the length of it! Phew!

He explained that it was most likely caused by a combination of smoking for 20 years and not controlling my asthma properly in the past (I used to forget to take my inhalers).  Hearing this caused me to experience a powerful and very unhelpful emotion…guilt.

Basically, the reality is that it is at least partially my fault that I have this chronic disease.  This made me feel real regret mixed with anger at my stupidity as well as shame for not stopping smoking much earlier.  And this cocktail of emotions is quite a powerful one!

So..what did I do?

I did two things, and they both really helped:

1). I went for a long walk on my own to think it all through.

2). I forgave myself.

I admitted to myself that I had done a very stupid thing (smoked 20 a day) for a long time, but I made an absolute vow to myself that I will NEVER smoke a single puff of a cigarette ever again.

I explained to myself that I learned from the mistake I made in the past and would now use this knowledge to create the best life possible for me now and for the future.

Now, if I’m honest, when I first found out I did think, “Right!  There’s no point me carrying on trying to be healthy if I have this disease.  Why don’t I have a beer and just enjoy myself?”

And it was a powerful suggestion – I was very tempted!

But… I went for my walk and started seeing things differently.

I realised that I have already improved the quality of my life and that I feel so much better living a healthy life and being much more positive.

Also, I realised that if I stop living positively then I will be back to being my old unfit, negative self, with the addition of a chronic condition,  Not a good plan at all!

So, I made the conscious, willed choice to accept responsibility for my past mistakes, learn from them, forgive myself and move forward with strong intention and determination to be better.

I think the thing that really kept me going was my WHY.

The more I study self-development, the more I realise that the thing that keeps everyone on the path to a better life is having a compelling reason to change, or a WHY.

What is a WHY?

Your WHY is simple… What Heals You?

I think it’s essential that when life throws crap at you…and it will!… that you have a compelling reason to keep going.  And that’s your WHY.

Once you know the thing that will make you feel whole again and like the real you, then you have found What Heals You!

For me, it is all about being healthy, happy and authentic.  Hence the blog tagline!

The healthy and happy are very clear for me – I want to be doing things that make me feel energetic and alive as well as things that I genuinely enjoy doing.

And the authentic part is me saying that I need to be honest, genuine and real.

Not just on here when talking to you, but also when talking to myself!

So that is my WHY and it’s keeping me on the path.

I’m not going to let an illness define or limit me.

It’s actually a positive thing, because it allows me to show myself just how far I have come and that I truly know where I am heading.

Good luck finding your own WHY!

Cheers for now,

Tony

What’s In Your Head?

Depositphotos_41614373_s

As you know, I am now nearly two months into my new life.

It sounds weird saying that, but that’s how I see it.

I have changed!

 

 

There are so many things that I am doing differently:

  • Eating a healthy vegan diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Stopped drinking and smoking
  • Meditating every day
  • Writing a book

That’s not bad for 8 weeks.  I’m pretty proud of myself and I still actually reach over my shoulder and give myself a solid pat on the back every day. (I really do!)

But, the most fundamental change is not the things I am DOING (although they are very important!)…

…it is how I am THINKING that has had the biggest impact.

How do I know that?

Quit simply, I have tried before to make changes in my life.  Usually on January 1st! LOL 😉 And every time, I managed around ten days before I would get disheartened and fall back on my old ways.

Sound familiar?  I’m sure many people have had that very experience – possibly many times.

The difference this time is that as well as doing the right things, I am also thinking the right thoughts.  That might sound like some form of self-indoctrination to you?

It is!

I was very suspicious of this at the start, but I had heard so many stories of people getting dramatic results from following these approaches, that I thought I’d have to have a closer look.  After all, just trying hard to do the right things obviously hadn’t been enough to change my life in the past.

So I decided to try something different…

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)

Now I am by not a real expert in this.  However, I do work in education and have a good background in research, psychology and human development, so I already understood some of the key principles behind NLP.

I started by reading “The Secrets of Being Happy” by Richard Bandler and Garner Thompson.  They are pioneers in NLP and I have to say that the book is a great read.

It has a good balance of the theory behind this approach and practical advice that you can follow to make changes in your life.

The main idea behind NLP is that our brains are plastic and we are able to reprogram them to have more useful thoughts.  This is something that I was sceptical about at first.  As a man in his 40s, I know how easy it is to get stuck in my ways and I assumed that my views and attitudes were firmly set.

It turns out I was wrong.

This is why I now know that change is not only possible, but now I understand how my mind works, it’s a conscious choice completely under my control.

That’s such an empowering thought!  The idea that we can simply will ourselves to think differently and then take consistent action to achieve that change is very encouraging.

The book really is excellent, and I am not going to give a detailed breakdown of everything in it.  But there are a number of activities that show you exactly how easy it is to alter your perspectives.

NLP in a Nut Shell

I had two big take-aways from reading this book and looking into NLP more broadly:

1). We can change our thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and responses to be more positive and helpful to us.

This does not mean that we ignore the truth of a harsh, uncaring world and go through life like a grinning idiot, pretending that everything is fine and dandy.

It’s actually about not being blinded by preconceptions, past experiences, fear of the future, ingrained faulty beliefs and cultural programming.

2). The language we use not only demonstrates our thoughts and beliefs, it actually helps CREATE them.

This has had them most profound impact on me.  I am now constantly monitoring the words I use when I speak to people.  Am I being positive?  Do my words show confidence and an expectation of success?

But it’s not only the words I speak to the world.  I am also carefully monitoring the words I use in my thoughts.  I’m sure we all have some sort of ongoing internal monologue that acts as a running commentary on the world.

What My Brain Used To Tell Me

“What is he doing?  I don’t trust him.  He must be trying to cheat me.  I always get cheated by other people because the world is uncaring and evil.  There’s no point me trying to do that, because I’m no good at this.  I will just fail and every one will laugh at me.  There’s no point in doing that.  There’s no point in doing anything.  It’s all just a pointless waste of time.  I’m bored.  I don’t know what I’m doing here etc…”

Sound familiar?  I’m guessing I’m not the only one who has moments like this.  Not every day, but variations on that theme played out in my head fairly regularly.

I’m not saying that I never have these thoughts now.  But the thing is, I now notice when I do have negative and unhelpful thoughts and I use strategies to question my assumptions which help me to realise how negative and inaccurate much of my thinking had become.

I try to build spirals of upward positivity now – I take action, get some good results, feel better and more confident, take more action and feel even more confident etc.

So What’s My Head Saying To Myself Now?

“I am making real progress and I feel proud about that.  Making a real effort to change is a challenge, but I am rising to it and showing real grit and determination.  Pro-actively changing my life is making me feel truly alive, engaged and I have motivation and genuine hope for the future.  I will succeed because I am doing the right things and thinking the right thoughts.  I like being me again and life is good!”

I’m sure you see the difference.  The interesting thing from my education perspective, is that both monologues adopt some linguistic tricks that help support their arguments.  You will see logical connectives like ‘because’.  Half the battle is noticing both WHAT you are saying as well as HOW you are saying it.

If we use language to persuade ourselves of our point of view, then surely it’s best to choose a good point of view?  I don’t see that as any kind of negative indoctrination at all.  It’s just about being aware of what we are thinking and saying and choosing to think and speak more helpfully.

 

I hope that helps to give you a taste of NLP and its benefits. Now check out the book!

Cheers for now,

Tony