Life Design


For a long time I thought I was happy with my job, I was doing what I’d set to do in joining the Royal Marines. I worked with like-minded people, got paid to stay exceptionally fit, got fed four times a day and was provided with a roof over my head. The trade-off was that I was expected to do what I was told do whether I liked it or not and, some of the things I was asked to do I really didn’t like. However I was still happy living my dream.

Or so I thought.

Continue reading Life Design

It Takes Perseverance to Conquer Your Mountains



It’s been a personally tough time over the last eighteen months with a huge dip in business due to the impact of the state of the oil and gas industry in the north east of Scotland and the quite significant tsunami of destruction that it sent outwards. It’s been tough particularly recently with injuries, surgery and personal issues to sort out and with not being able to drive at the moment and with not sleeping well after having my shoulder repaired yet again, I have had plenty of time to think about what’s going on and look for ways to resolve the problems. I have looked back at how I resolved other problems in my life, what I did and what it took for me to resolve them. 

It’s actually something I enjoy doing, taking time in the early hours, a way to spend some time for myself and get refocused. This morning I found myself focusing on what it takes to be successful in any endeavour and I kept coming back to the word perseverance.

Being a Royal Marine took a huge amount of perseverance and there were times in training, the few times you get any time to yourself,which was usually sat on the toilet, where I thought to myself ‘what the fuck am I doing here, this is insane?!!’
 8 months of patience and staying focused and I finally completed Royal Marines Basic Training and I can not tell you how amazing that feels when it’s done and you are handed your Green Beret.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a military training course, a black belt or a weight loss/ body composition goal… at the very heart of it is perseverance.
Since then I’ve completed many courses, some extremely physically demanding, some mentally and some a mix of both. Since then I’ve set myself challenges in business and in my personal life and almost everything I set my heart on achieving I have achieved so far. There have been some heroic failures along the way and some goals I haven’t yet reached and no matter how frustrating that is I never lose sight of what I’m aiming for, well, not completely anyway. 

This is what got me thinking this morning, I realised I have lost my way a little recently, I’ve lost sight of what I’m aiming for in business and in my personal life. I’ve begun to doubt myself. Doubt whether I really want what I’d set myself, doubt my ability to even get anywhere near it. I felt myself feeling like giving up because it’s taking too much out of me. Needless to say this morning was a bit of an emotional roller coaster that left me reeling, spinning and not knowing the difference between my arse and my elbow. In all honesty I found it a bit disturbing.
I haven’t felt like this in a long time and I was in a similar situation then as well so in hindsight, it’s not surprising that I flipped back in time to that same emotional state.
I’ve had to dig deep into my reserves of perseverance many times in my life. I’ve lost my way before and at one point I was fat and out of shape, disillusioned, angry, probably depressed and a nightmare to live with.
So this afternoon as I have done before, I made the decision to change the track of my thoughts, and as it was before, it wasn’t easy. But I persevered and I still am.

 So what does it take. Some magical ability to simply head down a road with your blinkers on and just get shit done?

Not entirely, although at times this can help too.
 There is a system involved which ultimately allows you to persevere through anything. It’s a mindset that you must be willing to adopt.

The mindset is comprised of a few key elements. These include grit, determination, optimism and realism.
 The process runs like this:

You set your goal – It doesn’t matter what it is. Whether it’s passing a course or losing 60 lbs. 

You make your plan and begin to take the small steps toward it every single day, until you arrive there. What happens in the middle is called perseverance, it’s not reserved for the super-elite. We can all learn this life altering trait.

 

Grit, determination, optimism and realism are the foundation of perseverance.

 Let me talk you through them to see if you might have these traits hiding inside you too. (I’ll let you into a little secret…yes you do)

 The dictionary defines Grit as having courage, resolve and strength of character. Icon early think that grit is an awesome word and very apt.

Courage is simply having fear and pushing through it no matter what and harassing and channelising that energy to drive you towards your goal.
Resolve is the mental strength and strength of character is knowing that once you commit to something, you must do what you say you will do. Keeping the promise to yourself most importantly and then to others secondly.
 Determination is having a firmness of purpose. You make your decision to achieve your goal and you will not be swayed.

Optimism is having hopefulness and confidence about what it is that you are doing and that you will be successful. It doesn’t matter if you are in a body transformation phase or seeking a promotion at work. If you are optimistic about it, that energy is carried throughout your body and to those around you.
Realism is the attitude and practice of taking something as it is and moving forward accordingly. For example, you missed a workout…who cares, we all do. Get back on the train and continue moving forward.
 Now not all of you will be able to relate to this yet some of you will. Can you imagine for a second what it would take to persevere through an armed conflict or a lengthy battle with a determined enemy. Even the residual issues many soldiers and medics face upon arriving home having been exposed to multiple atrocities, suffering the mental anguish and pushing through it to continue to serve their fellow man.

 Our country was built on the backs of soldiers who could persevere, and having been one I know what it takes…and the fact is you can do it too… Every soldier would want you to learn that from them.

 So this week be thankful and learn to apply the elements that make up the recipe for perseverance, dish yourself up a large serving and use it to get you through whatever you set your mind to.

 Be bold, be strong, be brave, persevere and fight for what you want in this life.

Simon

Life Design Enables Mastering of Self-renewal and Generativity


10 skills  required to change yourself …

Managing the change cycle is a self-renewing process. It empowers people to be self-confident and generative. Generativity is defined as a process whereby we learn to follow our deeper interests and longings and bring about change. It helps us to avoid the dangers of self-absorption and stagnation because we learn to live in new ways that expand our horizons. The following are 10 skills for managing the change cycle. Each skill has a time in the cycle when it performs a critical function, however, all 10 skills are important at all times because to some degree parts of our lives are simultaneously at various places in the cycle.

Visioning or Dreaming the Plan – The dream or vision is the driving force for the life structure, a source of passion and values. The plan is the plot for making the dream happen.

Launching – Launching puts the plan to action; it requires commitment and personal mission.

Plateauing – Plateauing is the art of sustaining a successful life structure…. It is knowing when and how to keep enriching the dream/plan for as long as it makes sense to do so.

Managing the Doldrums – This requires coming to terms with decline, negative emotions, and feeling trapped in an increasingly dysfunctional life structure.

Sorting Things Out – Choosing what to keep, what to eliminate or change, what to add, and how to proceed into a revitalised life structure is the task of this step of the change cycle.

Ending a Life Structure – This requires an ability to say farewell with gratitude and clarity, which frees you to consider your next options.

Restructuring – This mini-transition can be used if the life structure could be improved through some specific changes.

Cocooning – The transition into a new life structure requires turning inward to take stock, to identify your own basic values, and to disengage emotionally and mentally from the former life structure.

Self-Renewal – Following successful cocooning, this step involves a rebirth of self-esteem, a re-evaluation of core issues and beliefs, and the recovery of hope and purpose.

Experimenting – Creativity, learning, risk taking, and networking give one a sense of purpose and power in creating a new life structure.

SELF-RENEWAL FOR COACHING AND SELF-COACHING

Finding meaning in our work is critical if we are to avoid stagnation and boredom (Bergquist et al. 1993). It is the responsibility of each individual to effect the change necessary to reinvent work so that it has personal relevance. Many companies are now requiring that employees take responsibility for their own professional development.

Some critical strategies required when being coached:

  • Honest assessment of self and skills
  • Genuine motivation and drive to establish and pursue a goal
  • Understanding and knowledge of the strategic challenges of their position and business
  • Commitment to establishing an action plan that is built upon realistic expectations and that draws upon available resources, both within and outside the company
  • Being able to accomplish successful career/professional development transitions within an existing organisation/life structure
  • Creating a new organisation/life structure requires personal motivation.
  • Successful transition is linked with one’s sense of autonomy or internal locus of control, and manifested in a willingness to learn and a positive attitude. It is the force that propels individuals to take the initiative in directing their own lives and careers.

Many people find value in their work as a source of new learning and challenge. “They return to school, enter training programs, or enroll in workshops and seminars to keep up to date in their current jobs or strike out on their own” (Bergquist). Others, hampered by lack of drive, fear of failure, or reluctance to exit company retirement plans by terminating employment, stay in unsatisfying and/or stressful jobs. Bergquist et al. ask if the sacrifice is necessary or worthwhile. “When does the time come for us to cease deferring gratification for the future and begin actually living the fabled future?”. Whatever their age, adults must find meaning and community in their work if they want to be generative and alive. Therefore, they must look toward continued opportunities to reinvent work as a central part of reinventing themselves.

“Life Design” takes all these factors into account both personally and professionally and helps you make the right choices for your future.

Keys To Successful Fatloss Part 2: Self Perception


Making the Most of Your Heroic failures


quote_dream41 I am going to succeed 2013-10-08 06.58.45

Who you are matters.

What you’re trying to make out of  your life matters. The skills you are developing as a person and in your career matter. You won’t always be “winning” in your life, that is an unrealistic expectation for anyone to have.

What REALLY matters is that you don’t allow your setbacks or failures to become an excuse for you to give up on yourself. Whenever you feel yourself giving up on yourself or becoming discouraged on your journey to achieving what matters most to you – take heart in these stories:

  • Sigmund Freud was booed off stage the first time he presented his theories to a group of his scientific peers in Europe. He went on to win the Goethe Award for his work in psychology
  • Winston Churchill failed sixth year and lost every election he ran for until he was elected Prime Minister of Great Britain at the age of 62
  • Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was four, couldn’t read basic words until he was seven and was expelled from school. He eventually revolutionised physics with his Theory of Relativity
  • Henry Ford failed at farming, at being an apprentice and as a machinist and went bankrupt five times. Yet he modernised mass production
  • Stan Smith was rejected as a ball boy for a Davis Cup tennis match because he was “too clumsy”. He won eight Davis Cup championships and is considered one of the greatest doubles tennis players of all time
  • Charles Schultz had every cartoon rejected that he submitted to his high school year book. He was rejected by Walt Disney. He went on to create the most popular cartoon series ever: Peanuts
  • Van Gogh only sold a single painting his entire life — to a friend’s sister for about $50. He painted 800 masterpieces, seven of which are together worth almost $1 billion
  • Leo Tolstoy flunked out of law school and was labelled “unable to learn” by his professors. He went on to become one of the world’s greatest novelists with War and Peace
  • John Creasey failed as a salesman, a desk clerk, a factory worker and an aspiring writer, getting 754 rejection notices from publishers. He wrote more than 600 novels and is considered one of the greatest mystery writers ever

 

What about you?

How will your story read like?

More importantly, how do you want your story to read?

Hopefully there will be a few failures for you along the way so you get to fully appreciate the success you’re going to become in your life.

That is my honest hope for you.

Because we all fail. The best of us fail most often! That’s because the best are always striving for success and as a result create more opportunities for failing. It’s those “failures” that are the stepping stones to your success.

And our “failures” make what we ultimately achieve MATTER all the more!

Here’s to Heroic Failures and the opportunities they bring.

Have an awesome week.

 

Simon 🙂