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

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 1: Introduction


What Are Your Biggest Challenges Right Now?


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Over the next few weeks I’m going to be designing something completely new and I’d like to ask you what you really want to change about your life.

I’d really appreciate it if you could take just a few minutes to tell me what is your single biggest challenge you’re struggling with in your life right now, it would mean the world to me AND even more importantly I’ll be able to use that information to create webinars and blog posts around topics you want to know more about.

http://SimonMaryan.formstack.com/forms/simonmaryan_copy

I really appreciate you taking the time to read this and thank you if you choose to take the survey as it may help a whole load of other people. How great a start to the week would that be 🙂

Have a fantastic week

Simon

New Workshop: “Life Design”


I have been listening to a lot of people over the last couple of months who are fed up with their current jobs and where they currently are on their lives, they’re not as happy and content as they expected to be.

So, I have created a brand new 1 day course called ‘Life Design’, which is all about helping you discover what is really important to you, what you really want to be doing with your life both personally and professionally. During this day you will work out your personal and professional values and the beliefs that support them, set goals that enable you to fulfil them and take you to exactly where you want to be, instead of it being just a distant wish.

The venue is being secured at the moment and the cost for this workshop is £125 per person which includes lunch all refreshments and course notes.

So, to start designing the life you want, all you have to do to book your place and to ask any questions email me on simon@simonmaryan.com

Success Doesn’t Happen By Sitting on Your Arse


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In order to be successful in anything in life, you need to take action. That begins by deciding on what it is you want to be successful at and this is the biggest hurdle of all. Yet all it takes is a little time to sit down and think about what truly motivates you, what makes your heart sing, your stomach turn over with excitement, passion and desire. we all have something in our lives that has this incredible effect on our mind and body, even when we haven’t realised it yet.

Once you know what that thing is, you can begin to take action and if you haven’t figured it out yet, almost of our learning in life comes from doing. If you want to learn how to talk in front of people, then find opportunities to talk in front of people as often as you can. If you want to learn how to do presentations, do more presentations. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to seek as much knowledge as you can get your hands on to help you become successful at what you want to do, it does mean you shouldn’t wait for complete knowledge before you take action.

A big reason for people avoiding taking action is fear of embarrassment. If you want to be successful at anything, you must learn to set that fear aside, because, it’s very difficult to look good and get better at the same time. Face the fact, you are going to screw up from time to time, that’s life and we learn by making mistakes. Instead of being afraid of how you look as you learn and grow, be afraid of not taking action and living your life at a fraction of your true potential.

As the saying goes from one of the presuppositions of NLP, “There is no failure, only feedback.”

When I was just about to leave school, and I left early, I had an appointment with my guidance teacher who sat me down and asked me what I wanted to do when I leave. Now I had known for a long time that I wanted to join the Royal Marines and I was at the bottom of a pile of former Royal Marines in my family, so I had a fairly good idea of what to expect. Well sort of, as nothing can really prepare you for the 8 months slog of basic training.

All I knew was that I had to be fit, so I had trained really hard for this and to the detriment of my exams. So I ultimately failed every exam and obviously my guidance teacher knew this and in this little conversation, when I told her my plans, she said “You’ll never be able to do that, you’ve got no qualifications and if you can’t get that, how do you expect to become a Royal Marine?”

This was like a red rag to a bull and needless to say, being a stroppy teenager, I told her exactly what I though of her opinion in no uncertain terms and walked out.

I was taking action, I had become extremely fit physically, however mentally I was letting myself down by not focusing on my exams and I let a nae sayer get under my skin because despite my stubborn streak, she got under my skin and knocked my confidence.

I did join the Royal Marines despite that and I lacked confidence which showed as mentioned by my training team on several occasions. They also told me that to work my way up the ranks, I would need to get some qualifications, so I took advantage of the Royal Marines education system and while I learned my job as a Royal Marine, I studied for my exams and, bit by bit I achieved far more than I ever thought possible with my education and personal development. I was taught many invaluable skills in the Royal Marines that have stood me in great stead and  will for the rest of my life and one of those is the unquenchable thirst for knowledge. To understand myself, what I’m capable of, because it’s always far more than we realise or think.

When we plan properly, take action and then review what we’ve done to learn from our mistakes and use that learning in our next plan, this is how we grow and become experts in what we do. It’s not an overnight process and it can be done.

What I’m saying is, embrace that fear, that uncomfortable feeling and take a leap of faith in yourself. You are capable of so much more when you push yourself and expand your comfort zone so that it incorporates more and makes all that feel normal and comfortable. The best thing is, this never has to end, it is a continuous process for the rest of our lives if we want it to be.

Here’s to your success.

Mindfullness Reminders


Recently I was reading a great post on a Facebook Group I’m on and it gave some excellent reminders of how to practice Mindfulness, which has become a lost art for many these days. The group is called Mind Over Fatter (the psychology of weightloss) and it is owned by a gentleman called Greg Justice. I think you’ll enjoy the discussions on there.

The Ten Guiding Principals of Mindfulness
1. Awareness. Stuff happens every second, and if seconds could be divided even those particles have moments that slip by too fast or too slow. The stomach tickles, to take a check into what’s going on inside of your head and your body. It’s like using those little emoticons and smileys in your texts and tweets that show immediately your awareness of what you are feeling on the inside – and projecting it outward!

2. Acceptance. You already know what you really experience –it is true for you, whether or not you like it– no matter what anyone else might say. This moment is the time to stop the fight over what goes on with you in your mind that you want to change, avoid, get back at, get even with, or on the other hand, even to crow about. In this moment you don’t have to be responsible to make a change or to change – merely to accept.

3. Compassion- It is commendable to be on the road to improvement. But usually you do it by criticizing your weaknesses, lacks, and you may even be down about what you did wrong, mistakes, missed plans. Take this moment to be as compassionate to yourself, as you would be to others in need. Give yourself the hug, the pat, the nod, the ok, that you would give to your dear friend or relative.

4. Invitation- Today we might be expecting to be super heroes and use your own power as a force–even if it’s for the good like Captain America or Black Widow. But this attitude is about the moment to just be curious about possibility, what will be will be without any you force or power to make things happen. Force causes a stiff neck which blocks the flow of energy or chi. Why do you think people, who seem stubborn, blocked and immovable are called – “Stiff Necked?”

5. Non-judgment- Of course you have opinions–that is part of who you are. But this is the moment to dispel judgment–just to ease and observe, take a load off because it’s a relief not to have to know where your philosophy is all the time.

6. Patience- The things you don’t like or want happen too quickly–bills come, deadlines come, preparations and intentions don’t always pan out, the best growth and discoveries usually take more time than you think, and are not easy, but that’s ok and that’s the way it is.

7. Practice- Thinking, planning, understanding, feeling inspired are all great, but like the saying, put your muscle where your mouth is. Until you practice it’s nothing more than interesting and entertaining ideas and thoughts.

8. Present moment focus- Luckily you remember the past– and are also planning the future–it’s life and what you have to do, and it is useful to think in all directions. But this moment is just to be aware of the moment, what is filling up this exact moment. It’s not empty, each moment to the next is willed with sight, sound, sensations, thoughts, emotions.

9. Tolerance- Into every life some rain must fall the old saying goes and nobody escapes some unpleasantness and pain and that’s just the way it is. In this moment learn to tolerate the bad, and appreciate a peaceful feeling that it is just there.

10. Validation. What you experience goes on inside you and is your thought, emotion, sensation. It is there for a reason because it is what makes you unique. You have your learning, your history, your genetics, your personality, and that is you and valid–whether you understand the moment’s experience or not.

Take away: It is interesting to note how successful 12-step self-improvement programs echo the Principles of Mindfulness above. All such programs owe their origin to the Oxford Groups led by Dr. Frank Buchman in the 1920s. According to Buchman the guiding principles of the “OGs” were: absolute honesty, absolute purity, absolute unselfishness and absolute love. Another example of east meets west?

You can find the original post and the FB Group here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/491885354262293/permalink/729736670477159/?comment_id=742205415896951&offset=0&total_comments=2&ref=notif&notif_t=group_comment_mention

How Scarcity Affects Our Minds


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I mucked up this morning and missed out this link referring to the original  author of this article, Dr Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. who writes for Psychology Today and has her own practice in Marin County:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201401/the-psychology-scarcity?quicktabs_5=0

When we experience emotional deprivation in childhood, this feeling of not being important or lovable enough can persist into adulthood as a “deprivation mindset.”  We may never feel as if we have enough of the things we need.  This sense of insecurity can harm our close relationships. We may expect our loved ones to let us down, never express our needs directly or choose romantic partners who are avoidant of intimacy. Feeling deprived of important resources like love, food, money, or time can lead to anxiety or anger. We may obsess about the thing we are deprived of.  Or we may feel like we need to operate in emergency mode—penny-pinching or scheduling every second of our days. New theories and research about the psychology of scarcity provide some insights into how perceiving scarcity negatively impacts our brains and behaviour.

How Scarcity Affects Our Thinking

A scarcity mindset narrows our time frame, causing us to make impulsive, short-term decisions that increase our difficulties in the long-term, like putting off paying credit card bills or not opening the envelopes, hoping they will magically disappear. Poor farmers in India do better on cognitive tests at the end of the harvest when they are flush than at the beginning of harvest when they are running out of money. The size of this effect was equivalent to a 13-point drop in IQ! Dealing with extremely limited resources increases the problems and barriers we have to deal with, resulting in mental fatigue and cognitive overload. Other studies show that being lonely or deprived of food results in an unhealthy obession, hyperfocus, and overvaluing of the thing we don’t have. Ironically, the nature of scarcity itself impedes our coping efforts.

Scarcity and Motivation

Stress and anxiety associated with scarcity interfere with motivation, causing us to be more vulnerable to temptation. Do you notice how people buy stuff they don’t need at after-holiday sales when they’ve already spent most of their money? Perceiving scarcity, we’re unable to resist the time-limited super-bargain. Similarly, crash/starvation diets make us more likely to binge eat—not to mention the physiological effects of hunger on thinking and performance.  Lonely people see themselves and others more negatively and may counterproductively avoid joining group gatherings and activities for fear of rejection.

 What To Do

So, how do we overcome this scarcity mindset without becoming too complacent and living in ‘la-la-land’?  While different people may be comfortable with different levels of scarcity versus abundance mindset, the following suggestions can help you feel less deprived.

  1. Practice Gratitude – Deliberately focus your mind on what is good about your life, including the people who support you, the sense of community in your neighborhood, your achievements, or your exercise and healthy lifestyle. This can stop you from magnifying the importance of any one scarce resource like time or money.
  2. Don’t Compare Yourself With Others – You will always be exposed to people who have more time, money, or possessions and may experience a touch of envy. But in reality, you don’t know what it’s like to walk in that person’s shoes. As the saying goes, “Don’t compare your inside to everybody else’s outside.”  Your struggles may have created inner strengths that you don’t fully appreciate.
  3. Stop Obsessing – It is easy to get caught up in mental scripts about all the wrong decisions you made or worries about “what if.”  To break these cycles requires a lot of effort and preparation. Make a plan for what you will do if you catch yourself ruminating. Getting up and getting active can activate the left side of your brain, which breaks the depressive emotional focus. So, take a walk, call a friend, tidy your house or read a book.
  4. Take Preemptive Measures – Make a list when you go to the supermarket or program automatic appointment reminders and deposits into savings accounts. Don’t take your credit card to the shopping mall—take a frugal friend with you instead. Put the biscuits on the top shelf or give them away before starting your healthy living plan.
  5. Don’t Be Greedy – When resources are scarce, people get competitive because they think that more for somebody else means less for you. In fact, when you help somebody else grow their business, they may be more likely to refer extra business to you. Being helpful to others can lead to deeper friendships, gaining respect and reputation, creative bartering, or making allies.