What really makes a difference?

Lots of people have asked me the same question:

Vector set of various bubbles for speech

“What do you think really makes a difference?”

When I’ve managed to unpick exactly what they mean, it always comes down to the same thing.  They want to know if there is one simple thing that people can focus on to achieve lasting change.

The thing is… I think there is.  (only, actually there are three things!)

In making the positive changes I have made in my life so far I have realised that it is all about taking 100% ownership of your own life that leads to the biggest breakthroughs.

To my mind, the three key elements that you need to be fully in control of are:

Your thoughts

Your choices

Your language

I believe that it really is that simple.  In order to effect genuine lasting change in your life it is essential that you can control all three and then you will achieve all you desire.

Let’s take each one in turn and I’ll explain exactly why these are so crucial and what you can do to make them work for you.

Your Thoughts

It’s been said that our thoughts form the universe and that’s absolutely true.  Look around you and everything that has been created by humanity has first existed as a thought in somebody’s head.  This is why we all need to pay close attention to the quality of our thinking.

The English author, comic actor and wit, Stephen Fry tells the story of how he spent much of his teenage years moping around feeling that his best years were already behind him.  In fact he used to write notes saying “His whole life stretched out gloriously behind him” and this left him miserable, direction-less and confused.

To my mind, although this is an extreme version, I believe we are all guilty of a similar level of negative self-talk.  I spent many years in my life telling myself (in thoughts!) that I was unworthy, useless and uninteresting.  The reality I imagined is one that I started to create in the real world,

I looked for evidence that would agree with these beliefs and ignored anything that didn’t.  It made no difference how many times friends were positive about me, I only believed the story in my mind that I had constructed and felt wedded to.

Monitor your thoughts!

Are you being negative or unreasonable?

Could you think more helpfully?

Your Choices

The next area of life that can trap you and leave you feeling dissatisfied is the choices you make.  In a very profound way, everything that you now have in your life is a result of the choices you have made.

So one way to absolutely improve how your life turns out is to make better choices.

The key is to ask yourself, “Is this going to serve my long-term aims, or is it just a short-term gain with negative long-term consequences?”

Seriously, many of the things in your life that you are unsatisfied with are likely to be the result of unhelpful choices you made in the past.

So start today by thinking carefully about your actions.

Your Language

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) to the rescue!

In a nutshell, if you ‘listen’ to the language you use day-to-day, you will soon spot examples of words and phrases that do not serve you well.

You see, there is no point monitoring your thoughts and choices, if your words give you away!

Be careful of catastrophising (always seeing the absolute worst!) and look out for words that don’t give you any room to breathe.

Examples:

I ALWAYS fail!

You MUST do this…

I can NEVER manage my time.

These ‘all-or-nothing’ words tie you up in knots.  Keep your words positive and hopeful!

So, watch your thoughts, your choices and your words!

*** UPDATE – I am going to post again in the next few days with details about my two brand new products – ICE My Stress and Audio Life Coach.  I’m very excited to be about to launch these! ***

Cheers for now,

Tony

 

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

 

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!