Category

WELLBEING

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Most of what you need to know to help you in life can be found on the internet.

You just ask Google and the websites that it points you to.

To get fitter.

To run a better business.

To find a partner.

To learn how to speak French.

To learn how to make a fish pie.

To help you through deep feelings of depression.

To keep you here.

On the face of it, help is readily available, relatively cheap or free.

Help.

There is however a much much more powerful help out there.

It’s a much more valuable kind of help and it can only come from another human being.

That person has to be genuinely engaged, ask the right questions, listen properly and then mix all of what they learn from you with all of the knowledge, experience and caring they have inside – or that they can get access to.

The good news is that this is most people.

Ask.

I am making this distinction (between Internet help and people help) because lots of people, including me, don’t ask for people help.

They may ask Google instead.

It takes a lot to ask another person for help.

To make myself think about asking for help, I try to remember how nice I feel when I help someone else.

So if I choose not to ask people for help, I am denying them the nice feelings they afforded me when they allowed me to help them am I not?

Reach.

If you need help with something, ask someone.

And don’t be fed up if you ask the wrong person the first few times.

Help is out there.

All you have to do is be patient, reach out – and ask.

If you’re not weird; that’s weird.

I mean it.

It’s weird because you’re definitely hiding something.

(Something GOOD).

Or complying.

Or toning it down.

And that’s weird.

Why would you do that?

Weird.

It’s weird because it is such a bad decision to hide your weirdness.

Your weirdness makes you so much more interesting.

And (just so you know the rules) being weird is not, say, being a Goth-weird.

Or a Punk-weird.

That’s just choosing a different uniform than the one you have now.

Proper weird is you being the unique you.

James Victore

James Victore knows this best.

And he knows where to fine your weirdness, too.

James says:

Things that make you weird as a kid will make you great tomorrow.

This is so true it hurts.

Just because you’ve grown up does not mean you should stop being weird.

In fact, because you’ve grown up means you should definitely think back to what made you weird, and being it again.

Before it’s too late.

Bigger.

Better.

Weirder.

Listen to James.

Because he’s right.

Without any exaggeration, if I have a lager from the fridge at (say) 7pm, I’ll have 1 or 2 more and from 7pm to whatever time I get up the following day I do nothing productive at all.

I just watch telly and bugger about.

If I don’t drink, my mind is capable of doing things (writing these little stories for example) until about 11pm with ease.

So, conservatively, if I say that by not drinking, I have 2 extra hours of sparky, productive time on my hands every single day – then if I don’t drink for 365 days a year I have 365 x 2 hours = 730 extra productive hours each year.

That’s 30.4 days per year.

Or 1 month.

For free.

To do with as I please.

Action.

I have not processed this properly yet.

Because I don’t know what I am going to do.

I don’t know what action I am going to take, if any.

I have great plans, lots to do and I do need a little more time.

But how much do I want it?

I’ll let you know.

There is a difference between knowing that something is true and really believing that something is true.

I have known this for a while, but it is only recently that I started to believe it.

(You might want to read those two sentences a few times. I had to. And I wrote them). 

Belief. 

Here is how this is affecting my life at the moment.

I have known for some time – absolutely and unequivocally – that listening to other people is stupid.

It crushes creativity, creates self-doubt and can slow life to a crawl.

But I still do it.

Not as much as I did.

But I still do it.

However – just recently, I have started switching my phone off for 2 or 3 blocks of 4 to 6 hours per day.

Every day.

I react to ‘stuff’ in small, 10 minute gaps between these blocks.

And believe me, the longer I do this, the more I dislike these gaps.

I just want to get on with life.

This is a great example of taking action because, somehow, I have moved from knowing to believing.

And I sense that I am now moving from ‘believing’ to ‘habit’.

Knowing. Believing. Habit.

When I started writing this, I didn’t know how it was going to end.

But now I do.

Here goes…

To make life more fulfilling. So you achieve more. So you race towards your dreams and ambitions more effectively. Try to work out how to move from knowing something to believing it enough that you take proper, meaningful action. Then, make that action a habit so that it becomes automatic. Then get on with your life and follow this process over and over so that you develop a whole raft of brilliant, healthy, automatic habits. All of them plugged in to helping you to achieving your goals and dreams.

There’s no ‘how’ in this story.

I haven’t worked out ‘how’ yet.

But this is a great ‘what’.

Honestly; it’s working for me.

Moving knowing… to believing… to acting… to a habit.

PS  I think you already know all of this.

PPS  But do you believe it?

If you would like to give yourself the most valuable gift in the world, bar none, do this.

Off.

I’ve started turning my phone off.

For large parts of the day.

I smile a lot… because I keep picking it up and staring at a blank screen.

It’s like a drug currently, mauling the lifeless metal and glass brick as I get through the cold turkey phase.

Reacting. 

The reason I do this is because I spent days… no, weeks… no, maybe even months in 2018 reacting – immediately or very quickly – to something that happened on social media, email, text or as the result of a phonecall.

I also started to rely on the dopamine that the good stuff on social media released in me. (If this sounds weird, I know someone that is/was almost certainly similarly dependent… you).

Question.

To finally instigate the change I asked myself a question…

How would life be different if I didn’t react to anything that happened on social media, any email, any text or any phone call within, say, 4 hours throughout the whole of 2018?

The answer is – it wouldn’t.

So I am going to turn my phone off for 1, 2 or 3 blocks of 4 to 6 hours every single day from today.

Weird.

I feel a bit weird.

And my neck aches a bit from looking forward so much, instead of down.

And I’m not even joking about that.

How embarrassing!

The Gift.

The gift that you (and your family, children, other loved ones, business, etc) will get by doing this can’t be bought.

No matter how rich you are.

It’s time.

I don’t think that anything you do should be everything you do.

The stakes are too high.

I’ve made this mistake more than once.

Obsessing about one thing and letting it take over my life.

Going All In.

This doesn’t mean not going ‘all in’ though.

Committing to your dream properly is important.

You have 1000 months – then you die.

So if you are going to do something, do it really, really well.

Balance.

But like I suggested at the beginning, I think we should fill our lives with other things as well as our dream.

So that family and friends still see us and know us.

So that we still know ourselves.

So we still learn and experience things outside of our core activity.

So yes – I don’t think that anything you do should be everything you do.

It’ll only make you miserable.

And the thing you’re supposed to love might just end up becoming the thing you hate.

I watched ‘The Snowman’ over Christmas.

5 times.

Steady. 

I will take this quote from the 40 year old classic with me into 2019:

The snow fell steadily – all through the night.

It will remind me that, sometimes, things simply must take time.

Sometimes, there’s nothing to force.

You just have to be patient for things to work as they should.

I love snow because when it first falls it is a great leveller. Everything is white and clean and bright.

But it takes time to happen. Silently and slowly.

Millions of snowflakes dancing together over hours to create this blanket.

Patience.

So this David Bowie quote will remind me to be patient.

To sometimes just watch and wonder and let things happen.

Great things take time.

I need to choose whether I am actually ‘in’ work or ‘out’.

If I do what I did yesterday, which is to be ‘out’ but just pop ‘in’ to the AWR Studio to see if everything’s OK and look at emails – that’s not out.

And if I go ‘in’ and then do a bit of Christmas shopping and move things around of a shelf, that’s not really ‘in’.

Both are ‘INT’.

INT.

INT is is what people do when they are being stupid.

Because I’m either ‘in’ work and not doing great work because I am thinking about Christmas and the family.

Or I am ‘out’ and not relaxing over Christmas and with the family because I am worrying and wondering about work.

So no more ‘INT’ for me.

Because it’s stupid.

Right!

I’m off to catch the news.

Which is talking about politicians again.

Those highly paid people that we all rely on to build our futures and run the country for us and our children.

They are looking after Brexit for us.

Which is that thing about being ‘out’ of Europe.

Whilst still being ‘in’.

(INT is what people do when they are being stupid).

Merry Christmas.

Please read this poem:

Our first Christmas together

I had been so excited to have

him

around

I started tiptoeing

down the stairs

And he had a surprise waiting… he threw me

a party

He knows how to spoil

A simple girl!

He called me

in front of everyone

Then he cut me off

a sprig of mistletoe

We shared a kiss underneath

Our friends cheered as

outside, the snow silently settled

Now read the poem again, but read the last line, then the second to last line and so on.

So you’re reading from bottom to top.

Refuge.

Domestic abuse charity Refuge has a history of using shock in campaigns.

This new Christmas campaign, created by McCann Bristol, continues this trend.

As a young boy I lived with a man cowardly enough and stupid enough to think that there are reasons for a stronger person to bully a weaker person. A woman or a child.

There are none.

Help.

If you sense domestic abuse is happening, take a closer look.

Help them.

If you see domestic abuse is happening, report it to the police.

www.refuge.org.uk

I go face-to-face with a personal trainer three times a week. Each time, it’s 1 hour.

I’m 50.

And I will be in the best shape of my adult life in about a year from now.

6 days. 

The only way I was going make this happen was to do one magical thing. I’ll mention what that magical thing was at the end.

But before I do, I wanted to point something out.

The maths bit.

1 hour, 3 days per week is 3 hours per week.

12 hours per month.

144 hours per year.

Or 6 (24 hour) days.

Under 2% of my year, to get to the shape I want to be.

Magical.

I am not sure exactly how I’ll change shape of course.

But I will keep to the schedule.

And here’s the magical thing I mentioned earlier, the thing I did that makes me go face-to-face with a personal trainer 3 times each week.

I decided to.

That’s it.