I love the quote, “a goal is just a dream with a deadline” – Click to tweet.

If you’re working in a job you don’t like, ask yourself this question: if you were never going to retire, what job would you like to do?

 

 

Here’s a fact you probably don’t know: you have what it takes accomplish your dreams.

How do I know this?

Because there are plenty of people who are doing their dream job and all humans, DNA wise, are 99.9% exactly the same.

I know what you’re thinking, “What if it’s that 0.1% that makes the difference?”

It’s only 0.1%!!!

Surely you can bridge that gap with sheer determination to succeed.

 

Dreams-Follow-your-dreams

 

A good way to start achieving more, is to get a pen and paper then write this down:

 

What would I like to do?

What’s ONE thing I can do TODAY that will edge me closer to achieving this?

 

That’s all you have to do.

Then tomorrow, write ONE other thing down that will get you closer again.

After a year imagine how much closer to your dream you will be.

 

Dreams-If-you-can-dream-it-you-can-do-it

 

The other night I was putting Fred to bed and as usual, I took Monty with me.

mistake-I-made-with-my-son-monty

Whilst I’m reading a story to Fred, on his bed, I normally lay a few toys on the bedroom floor for Monty to play with.

I say, “play”, what he actually does is put them in his mouth, drop them, accidentally hit them away from him and then roll around, from his back to belly, in order to grab them again.

Then he repeats the above process.

Anyway the other night, for some reason I put Monty on the bed and tried to read Fred a story. After the story I went to kiss Fred and he pushed me away.

So I attempted to kiss him again and before I got there, heard an almighty, “Thuuddddd”.

I quickly turned and saw that Monty was now on the floor, motionless and silent.

freds-bed

The bed was about 2 foot tall, which is a big fall for a 6 month old baby not even 2 foot in height.

For the longest second ever, the world became as silent and motionless as Monty on the floor.

My heart, shocked by the moment forgot to beat.

As I looked at him lying there, I felt myself being zoomed out, so far, from the situation that my arms weren’t long enough to reach him.

I was hovering in vacuous void way above him.

Then the silence was ripped apart by a huge, “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” exploding from Monty’s lungs.

The world started turning again.

I came back to earth, scooped him up and consoled him.

“What happened?”

I turned to see Meagan, with a shocked curiosity on her face, standing there.

She’d run upstairs, on hearing the bump.

“He.. he fell off the bed!”

She took a step towards me, grabbed Monty out of my arms and gave him a protective cuddle, whilst quickly examining him.

“You could’ve broken his neck!!!”

My heart, as if to make up for the recent rest, was now beating at twice the pace.

After settling down and thinking about the situation, I realised one thing.

I’d made a mistake.

This is not a bad thing.

Learning from mistakes makes us better humans, it’s what forms the curve in the learning curve. (click to tweet).

Therefore a mistake is the best chance we have to learn. If we learn from them they transform from a mistake into a lesson.

They only remain a mistake if we fail to learn from them.

 

the-worst-mistake-anyone-can-make-is-being-to-afraid-to-make-a-mistake

What did I learn?

3 things:

1. I shouldn’t never have put Monty on a high bed unsupervised. I won’t do it again.

2. To make mistakes (and therefore learn) you have to take some kind of action. If you don’t do anything you can’t make a mistake and there learn and get better.

3. Never mess with a mother’s pride and joy or you could make a mistake you’ll never have the ability to learn from.

 

Mistakes-One-Who-Makes-No-Mistakes-Never-Makes-Anything

It’s not the simple things in life that makes us happy…

 

It's not the simple things in life that makes us happy...

 

Yesterday I took Fred and Monty to the park but on the way, we were distracted.

Fred said, “Daddy I want an apple”

“I don’t have one on me Fred”

“There’s one there!” Fred said pointing up to a tree.

Sure enough next to the park was a pretty looking apple tree, almost showing off it’s fruit to us.

I stood Fred on my shoulders. He reached up, grabbed one and passed it down to me, then grabbed one for himself.

 

its not the simple things in life that make us happy

 

I got him down and we stood there, facing each other, eating our fresh apples.

It’s as if we’d both discovered treasure that nobody else knew about.

As we chewed, we said nothing. We both had smiles on our faces, as we happily chomped one of natures finest free gifts.

This IS the way nature intended it.

No looking for a parking space at a busy supermarket, no battling with trolleys, no queuing, no fishing for money to buy a packaged import, which has been chemically treated to arrest it’s development in transit.

We just accepted the fresh fruit, as it was presented to us, from it’s grower.

They not only tasted amazingly delicious, the fleeting experience we shared was also slightly magical.

As we finished our apples and carried on walking towards the park I felt the warmth of contentment flow through me, as I reflected on what had just happened.

It’s not the simple things in life that makes us happy (as surveys suggest), it’s the learning to appreciate the simple things in life.

 

Screenshot 2014-02-27 13.06.52

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Proof that Karma exists

 

Proof that Karma exists

 

All week on the radio show we’ve been giving away tickets to Disney’s new film, Planes.

We’d play a well known film clip, which happens to feature a plane and listeners text in with the name of the film.

We’d then randomly select a winner who would not only win 4 tickets to see, an advance screening of, the film but be put into a draw to win, a 2 day kitesurfing course.

So today, Friday, we had to select one more winner and do the draw for the overall winner of the week.

 

Proof that Karma exists

 

To get an overall winner, we wrote all the weeks winners on separate sheets of A4 paper, made them into paper air planes and the one that flew the furthest wins.

Anyway, we called the winner of the day, who correctly texted in, “Top Gun” as the answer of the film clip we played. Just as we’re about to reveal to her, on air, that she’s won 4 tickets and will also be going into the draw, her phone goes quiet.

For a good minute, we are saying, “Jane? …..hello? Are you there? Where’s she gone?”

We call her back… her phone just rings and rings.

 

Proof that Karma exists

 

So we hang up and try again but she doesn’t pick up. I spoke to her before she went to air, so I know she’d pulled her car over but it just keeps ringing.

At this point we start to worry for Jane but the show has to go on so we do the paper air plane based draw and out of five possible winners, guess who wins?

Yes Jane!

So we call her again and yet again her phone just rings and rings. In the end we have to go to the ad break.

A few minutes into the ad break, our phone goes and I recognise the number.

“Jane! What happened?”

“I’m so sorry I really am. I just saw a lady get knocked down by a car so being a first aider and first on the scene and had to help her, really sorry”

“Hey don’t be sorry, you did the right thing, that’s completely the right priority – is the lady alright?”

“Unfortunately she’s not in a good way but the police and ambulance turned up so I’ve handed over to them”.

I say, “Do you mind coming on the air now because some people might wonder what happened to you”

“No of course not”.

So Jane who did a good turn for someone else was not only randomly selected to win the cinema tickets out of lots and lots of people but she won the overall weeks prize.

You may think this is not so odd but here’s the twist….SHE DIDN’T ENTER THE COMPETITION!

 

Proof that Karma exists

 

What?! I here you say?

Just as I was about to put her to air she said, “What is this competition?”

“It’s the Disney Planes competition”

“I didn’t enter that”

“What?”

“I texted in earlier for a different competition but I’d prefer this one as my son loves Disney’s Cars and would love to see Planes and I’d love to try kitesurfing!”

So against all odds, she won a competition she didn’t even enter!

One good turn deserves another.

 

Proof that Karma exists

How To Be Unhappy

 

How To Be Unhappy

 

The real goal in life is not to be happy, as everyone wants this.

It’s to find out what makes us happy and do more of it.

 

How To Be Unhappy

 

How do we do this?

Sometimes we do things we think make us happy but they turn out to be little obsessions, that we overindulge which in turn, robs us of genuine contentment.

Finding something that truly makes us happy can be elusive.

So maybe we should start by looking at the opposite.

What would make us unhappy?

These are the things I think would make me unhappy:

Taking my family and friends away.

Taking my health away.

Taking my job away.

Taking my house away.

Taking my freedom away.

Taking my access to clean drinking water away.

 

How To Be Unhappy

 

BUT hang on, I have these things right now, which must surely mean I’m happy.

Therefore happiness is not about getting more but about appreciating what I have at the moment.

 

How To Be Unhappy

Why you should look for the positive

 

Why you should look for the positive

 

On Friday, a friend of mine called me, to tell me that the father of a close mutual friend of ours, had died.

We both knew our friends father well and even though it was cancer, it was still a shock as we weren’t aware he was suffering from it.

So I called my friend to offer my condolences and as it is with a phone call of that nature, its very hard to not only know what to say but how to sign off the phone call.

I found myself saying, “If there’s any positive we can take from this its that life is temporary and none of us know when we’re going to go. Therefore we should try to enjoy it as best we can while we’re here”.

Before I called my friend I thought about life and how cruel it can be.

 

Why you should look for the positive

 

As we get older we become more decrepit and more susceptible to illness or disease and therefore less able to cope, making life harder. In the end, if we’re lucky, we will die a painless death but then there’s no guarantee of this.

Old age is like entering a near enough pitch black tunnel with a small light at the end.

As you head towards the light, believing it to be the way out you suddenly realise, when you get up close, that it’s not. It’s just a small flickering flame, in a deep dark dead end cave.

Soon the flame will go out.

We have two choices, to get depressed by our predicament or laugh at it.

We can curse the darkness or be grateful for the shelter.

We can feel sorry for ourselves because we only have a tiny little flame or be thankful we have any light at all.

Sometimes finding happiness can be this hard but the search for it is worth it because the alternative is not a good place to reside.

We need to enjoy what we can whilst we’re here and that can only happen by looking for the positive in every situation no matter how hard it seems.

 

Why you should look for the positive

 

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How much of what you feel is in your mind?

 

How much of what you feel is in your mind?

 

One of the things that make my bike ride into work more enjoyable is listening to inspirational podcasts.

One podcast I really like is called, “Good Life Project” by Jonathan Fields.

Its, “About” section on it’s website, describes the projects intention:

“It’s about becoming a creator, a leader, a mentor, a giver, a doer. It’s about telling a story with your life that you’d want to read and share”.

 

How much of what you feel is in your mind?

 

Every week Jonathan interviews people with remarkable stories.

This week I listened to Dr Lissa Rankin, who described her life leading up to her current book, Mind Over Medicine which I’m now going to buy.

 

How much of what you feel is in your mind?

 

The interesting bit for me was her description of the placebo effects, in case studies and how effective they were. In particular was the amazing story of a surgeon named J. Bruce Moseley.

This is an extract from The New York Times:

“Moseley had 10 patients scheduled for an operation intended to relieve the arthritis pain in their knees.

The patients were men and all 10 would be wheeled into an operating room, draped, examined and anesthetized.

All 10 would be dispatched to the recovery room and sent home from the hospital by the next morning equipped with crutches and a painkiller.

But there the similarities ended.

For while two of the men would undergo the standard arthroscopic surgery for their condition, three would have the rinsing alone, five would have no recognized surgical procedure at all.

Their surgery would be a placebo, an exercise in just pretend.

The placebo worked.

 

How much of what you feel is in your mind?

 

Six months after surgery, the 10 patients still didn’t know whether they had been faked out or not. But all of them reported much less pain.

None were unhappy with the outcome of the operation”.

The conclusion Lissa Rankin came to was that it’s not only positive thinking on behalf of the individual patient that helps the placebo become effective but that fact that patients were introduced into nurturing, caring environment where qualified people provided the patient with hope and a positive outlook.

This environment turns off the, “stress” response and turns on the “relaxation” response, which allows the nervous system to perform rather than be paralysed with worry.

If you want this explained more eloquently than I have then you’d do a lot worse than to spend an hour and 4 minutes watching the interview on YouTube.

 

In my mind (and this is the important bit) this evidence is irrefutable.

It just goes to prove that not only are you what you think you are but you become what you think you can become.

 

 

2 facts about life.

I hate shaving but like being cleanly shaved.

 

2 facts about life

 

 

A beard doesn’t sit well on me.

It’s doesn’t look bad but it feels like I have a face full of hungry ants, whose favourite meal is face meat.

So, since my early twenties, I’ve had a choice, to scrape the most sensitive skin on my body with unforgiving metal, once every few days, or have a face full of ants on it.

I choose to scrape.

Then a few years back, tempted by the ease at which male models on TV got rid of their face fuzz, using electric shavers, I decided I’d be happy to receive one as a present for Christmas.

These guys would actually be smiling, as they gracefully glided their buzzing equipment all over their, ridiculously chiseled, features.

For the first time in my life, I was actually looking forward to a shave.

No more throwing cold water randomly over my head, lathering up and and ruthlessly scraping hair out of my pores.

 

2 facts about life

 

 

I even decided not to shave a few days before Christmas, in anticipation of my new pleasurable morning routine.

On receiving the shaver, Christmas morning, I nearly ran to the bathroom, plugged it in and complete with smile, started cooly moving the vibrating device over my visage.

Ow! That hurts!

 

2 facts about life

 

I looked at the silver mesh of the razor, thinking maybe I’d left some kind of packaging on it. Nope. I tried again – ahhhh! That’s is not nice. My head was being plucked to death.

I ploughed on, even though the discomfort didn’t disappear. What was happening? This is not how it looked on TV.

Not only did it hurt more than conventional shaving but it took a lot more time. I’d vigorously go over a patch of bristles only to reveal about 10% cuttage.

So I’d have to go over them again and again. I was slowly moving my skin around my face. Any more of this and my nose would end up where my right ear was.

 

2 facts about life

 

Come boxing day and I was all done with my new gadget.

This experience only comes to mind because I ran out of traditional blades yesterday and had to resort back to my discarded Christmas present.

It was as bad as I remember it to be.

At one point I’m sure one follicle, positioned just below my right nostril, was teasing me. I tried over 20 times to cut that little blighter but every time I pulled the shaver away, it stood there defiantly, almost laughing at me.

There’s 2 fact about life I learned here:

 

1. Life isn’t always easy.

It’s often, not about picking the option you enjoy but the one that gives you less pain, then learning to put up with it.

For example I’m not a huge fan of exercise but I do it, pretty much everyday.

I do it because it’s less painful for me, in the long run both physically and mentally, than being unfit and overweight.

 

2 facts about life

 

2. Male models, who smile on TV whilst they shave, are already clean shaven.

 

2 facts about life

 

 

 

 

My earliest memory was nearly my last… I think.

 

My earliest memory was nearly my last... I think.

 

When I was about five years of age, I was sitting in an old car next to my mother, who happened to be driving.

I wanted to but she insisted that being physically able to reach the pedals was a prerequisite.

 

My earliest memory was nearly my last... I think.

 

We pulled up at a T junction with the intention of turning right right up a hill. As we pulled off and veered to the right, the door I was leaning on, gave way.

Next thing I remember is lying on the road and seeing my mother’s car five yards ahead of me.

Almost in shock, I quickly scrambled across the asphalt, on all fours and back into the car.

 

My earliest memory was nearly my last... I think.

 

As I climbed back into the car, I remember entering through my opened passenger door but slipping straight through the gap in the front seats and into the back, whilst asking my mum, “Am I alright?”

Or did I?

The thing is, my point of view is all wrong.

When I recall myself getting into the car, I don’t see it through my eyes, navigating my way through the seats. I see myself getting into the car, as if I’m being filmed from a camera on the back seat.

I have witnessed my mother and father telling this story several times to many different people and it always gets a laugh from the person hearing it.

So it’s a fond memory but am I remembering my memory of it or theirs?

I’ve no idea but studies show that recalled situations, especially those with an emotional attachment become your strongest.

 

My earliest memory was nearly my last... I think.

 

So what you choose to recall, which are usually situations not of the norm, are remembered.

But what if you consciously choose to recall and therefore remember happy times?

Surely you will look back on life as a series of happy times.

Is it possible to remember the good and forget the bad?

This is the reason I created, “Hit The Happy Button” on HappyMap.

 

My earliest memory was nearly my last... I think.

 

Physically having to hit a button when you’re having a happy time helps you remember the good times.

When I fell out of the car, wearing seat belts wasn’t required by law. So I told my mother, “If you’d let me drive that wouldn’t have happened, as I would’ve been holding onto the steering wheel”.

She replied, “You didn’t know how to drive”

I still regard this as very flimsy fact on which to base a winning argument.

 

My earliest memory was nearly my last... I think.

 

 

Your experience is not necessarily reality.

Researchers in Sweden have found that our imagination can change our perceptions of reality.

I know this as I experienced an exaggerated suffering when I was recently taken out of my comfort zone.

I wasn’t scaling everest or doing a triathlon, I was standing in a queue.

Ok I know you’re probably thinking, “What a wuss” but it was a big queue, the temperatures were in the high 20’s and it was a queue for something I didn’t want to take part in.

 

Your experience is not necessarily reality...

 

I was at a theme park and it turned out that it was the busiest day this theme park had experienced all year (so far).

I was in a 60 minute queue for the log flume.

We’d spent quite a bit of the day rushing from ride to ride, with a Fred’s tantrum o-meter on max.

We’d to stop every now and again so Meagan could breast feed Monty or to wrestle with the theme park map.

We had to reference the map in order to find rides Fred was tall enough to go on, even though when we’d get there he’d stamp his feet and refuse to go on them.

In the meantime, to add to the pleasure, we were being bumped into or shoved by thousands of other, eager to please parents, desperate to get into the queues before us.

It was hot, we were dehydrated, weighed down with a ridiculous amount of bags and had two screaming little humans in tow.

It wasn’t a war zone but at one point, I felt so helpless, stressed and uncomfortable I had a problem envisaging how any situation good be less pleasurable.

I honestly thought my head would explode from the slow build up of pressure.

I never thought I’d feel so miserable in a “fun” park.

 

Your experience is not necessarily reality...

 

Thinking about it now I can’t understand why I felt so uncomfortable, especially in light of my current read.

It’s an audiobook called, Tuesdays With Morrie: An old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson

It’s about a dying college professor, Morrie, who imparts his wisdom to Mitch, a student and author, during their weekly Tuesday meetings.

As I cycled home from work today, I was listening to it on my iPhone and it helped me appreciate the glorious day.

I was even thankful of the final ascent towards home figuring it was giving my system a good work out, therefore preventing a myriad of illnesses.

It’s then that I realised why I was out of my comfort zone at the theme park… because I have a comfort zone.

Meaning, I’d have preferred to be somewhere else so, I didn’t appreciate where I was at the time.

 

Your experience is not necessarily reality...

 

Next time I’m in this type of situation I’m going to try my best to think, “What if today was my last day – how would I feel right now?”

It’s all about perception.

I’ve added, “Tuesdays With Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson” by Mitch Albom to my HappyMap.

 

Your experience is not necessarily reality...

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