Jan 14

Taking the time . . .

day awayLife is full of pressure. Do this. Do that. Go to work. Fix the house. Look after the kids. Even our social life is under pressure. I really ought to make the most of the weekend. I should go dancing. I should catch up with my friends. We scurry and run from one appointment to the next.

Perhaps it’s time to just.. breathe. To just stop. To take some time without looking for answers, without trying to fix our lives. A couple of years back I found myself on this little beach on an island off the coast of Fiji. No expectations. No demands. Just time to… ponder. Not looking for answers, but just taking the time to listen to what my heart was telling me. I have a sense that I need that time again right now. Not to plan. Not to work out what to do or how to build my business. Not to work out what my life should be like or how to reach my goals. But just to stop. And pay attention to the moment.

I sense I need to. And I know that – while I am not looking for them – answers will come. Understanding will appear. Things will change. And I will be more in touch with my soul, more at peace with the core of my being and the truth of who I am.

Take the time in the next few days to stop. Go watch a sunset. Sit on the beach. Watch the river go past. Listen to the wind blow. The rain fall. And just.. breathe.

1-TimSignature

Jan 13

It’s time for heresy . . .

her•e•sy (hĕrˈĭ-sē)

n. An opinion or a doctrine at variance with established beliefs

old bookThe world needs more heretics. The world needs more people to think outside the box, to challenge the status quo. As Einstein famously said:

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

We are blessed with some of the most incredible thinkers who have shaped our thoughts and our beliefs. Einstein, Martin Luther King, Carl Jung, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Immanuel Kant, Confucius, Lao Tzu… a whole procession of wonderful thinkers who have caused us to look at the world differently, who have explored the possible and helped us see the world the way we do. And, yes, we need to learn from those who have gone before us – and, God bless the internet, and books, and libraries, and the media, we have more access to these people than we have ever had before.

And, yet, we need to stand on the shoulders of giants. We need to form our own opinions, and work out what we believe for ourselves.. not simply listening to what others say. We need to challenge belief systems, whether religious, political, scientific, social, economic. And especially we need to challenge those belief systems that say ‘you can’t do that’.

We need more mismatchers. Mismatchers are those people who when presented with an argument will automatically disagree. Their default setting is to challenge it – to take the concept apart and see if it holds together – and if it has merit, come up with an improved version. My eldest son is a mismatcher. I love him dearly. And he makes me think. He forces me to challenge my own assumptions, my own views and come up with something better.

We need more ‘what if’ people. They’re the folk who, when presented with a new idea, say ‘what if I do this?’ ‘What if I try this at work?’ ‘What if we could get everyone doing this?’ They’re the ones who push the envelope – taking something higher, faster, further, longer than ever before. (‘Pushing the envelope’ was a phrase from the early days of aviation and test flights – ‘the envelope’ referred to the performance boundaries of a plane, and ‘pushing the envelope’ was what happened when the (only very slightly insane) test pilot said “I wonder what happens if . . . .”)

One of Terry Pratchett’s characters in his latest book, Raising Steam,observes

“if I am to be of any use I have to be myself – and that means, I’m afraid, that I have to find the edge of the envelope and put my stamp on it, otherwise life wouldn’t be worth dying for”.

I’ve found in my personal spiritual journey that I have had to challenge everything – and that’s allowed me to create an understanding of the universe that works for me. And that would probably get me called a heretic by the Christian church, the New Age world, the Buddhists, humanists and even the atheists. And that, I believe, has allowed me to fly higher and live happier than if I had just accepted what I’d been told. It’s brought me peace, and freedom – and the liberty to be me.

So – what about you? You have everything you need to change the world, you really do. Your thoughts matter – because those thoughts affect those around you – and they affect those around them…and one idea can change…everything.

The world needs more heretics. Be one.

1-TimSignature

Jan 12

Who’s gonna pick you up…

helping hand runnerA couple of days ago I talked about making mistakes – or, sometimes, things simply going wrong… how it’s important to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back in the game. In life, particularly as you start to make progress towards your dreams, the ability to bounce is essential.

They say that something like 90% of all first time business start ups fail. That’s huge. They also say that something like 90% of all second attempts to create a business succeed. You think they might have learned something crucial the first time around? You bet. Many successful people have been successful and then lost it all. And then built back an even bigger success story.

 

 

It’s difficult to make it on our own, though. It’s difficult to bounce. Richard Buckminster Fuller, the incredible engineering genius, once famously said:

“Geniuses are just people who had good mothers.”

By which I think he meant that they had someone to encourage them, to give them great stuff to work with, and to pick them up when they screwed up. Because that’s one of the hallmarks of a genius – a tendency to screw things up.

I loved this video from Procter & Gamble – partly because it showed how many times you need to be fail before you become great at something (you think ice skaters are BORN knowing how to skate?), partly because it shows how to pick yourself up and keep on going, and partly because it shows you how you need someone on your side to help pick you up, wipe the tears away and shove you back on the ice.

 

I’d encourage you to think about who’s around you. Who do you have in your life that will encourage you, pick you up, dust you down and set you off in the right direction again? I was blessed with great parents. And even more blessed with wise children who are 100% on my side (and not afraid of telling the truth either). And I have some incredible, amazing friends who I’ve allowed to speak into my life. 

I’ve learned to trust the folk around me. Because I know they love me. And I hope I can be that much of a blessing for other people too. Because when we encourage each other to be the best that we can be – then something amazing happens.

So this week, look out for someone who needs encouraging. Someone who needs reminding to get back on the ice. Someone who feels a little lost. You don’t have to give them the answers – they’ve got those already, deep inside them – you just have to remind them that someone cares – remind them that they can succeed – remind them that they are great, that they can win – that they are – like each and every one of us – amazing.

1-TimSignature

Jan 11

An easier way

footprints dreamsWhen I was young my mother took me to the doctor’s for my vaccinations… and I was heartbroken to find that this particular vaccination didn’t come on a sugar lump. “There’s got to be an easier way”, I wailed.

When it comes to goals and new year resolutions, a lot of people, round about the end of January, wish there was an easier way to lose weight/get fit/make money/get out of debt/fall in love/[your own goal(s) here].

I was listening to an interview with my good friend Adrian Peck yesterday, and I felt I should share it with you. Adrian and I both trained with the same hypnotherapy tutor, and I have a suspicion we learned the same secrets in the same place… Adrian is the UK’s #1 sports hypnotherapist and trains elite athletes to perform better – I’ll give you some links below!

It’s fabulous to have huge goals. I think everyone should have at least one huge goal, a goal so big that it would take a miracle for it to happen. Because if we don’t start asking for miracles to happen, then they’re not going to happen.

But we also have to have small goals too – or the ability to break a massive goal down into smaller goals. Here’s how it works: today, I needed to fix my motorcycle headlamp. So I did. I was so pleased with myself that I went on and fixed my tumble dryer. After that I’d got so much energy that I washed my windows. And cleaned the kitchen. Then hoovered the carpets. Then wrote this blog post! Each time I completed something, it added extra energy and I wanted to do more. Human beings are completion engines. We like to see things as complete (nowadays, we joke a bit about OCD, but in truth we’re all engineered that way).

That’s one reason why lists work – when we finish something on the list, the energy level rises and we feel a sense of satisfaction – so we move on and do something else. (by the way, that’s also why lists don’t work – for two reasons. Either a) we do all the easy things on the list so we can get a sense of completion, and don’t do the important things – or b) we have such a big list we feel demotivated before we start. So get a sensible list of ‘things for today’ and not a list that stretches into the next century.)

So, we need to make it easy to win. For example, I set a goal of posting something on ‘You Are Amazing’ every day. I could have the intention of writing a huge blog post every day. If I did, and then something got in the way, I might give up and say ‘I screwed up this week. I’ll start again next week’. Instead, I know that I can put a good quote out there, or a quick paragraph, and still meet my goal of inspiring you every day.

Adrian quotes the example of going jogging. If you have a goal of going jogging every day for an hour, then chances are you will fail. But if you have a goal of jogging for 15 minutes a week, then you’ll probably look at that and say ‘that looks easy… I’ll do that tonight’. And you might run for half an hour. Then, secure in the knowledge that you’re a success already (and it’s only Monday)… you might do the same again on Tuesday. You might miss Wednesday because you had to work late. But that’s OK because you’re already a success.

If you have a goal to run an hour every day, and miss one day, you’ll feel like a failure. If you have a goal to run once a week and end up running five days, you’ll feel like a hero.

The secret to getting what you want is to start to take some steps in the right direction. Writing this blog, for me, is the act of taking some steps in the right direction. After this… well, there’s some other scarier stuff to do. Bigger stuff. Exciting stuff. But for now… this is a good start. For you, too, there are some small steps. Perhaps it’s time to take them.

As Martin Luther King Jr put it:

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

And perhaps that’s enough for today. Typical. I start out to share Adrian’s interview with you, and look what happens. But hop on over to the interview at http://www.headtrash.co.uk/blog/2014/01/10/motivation-to-exercise-adrian-peck and check out his web site at www.adrianpeck.co.uk

And we’ll talk some more tomorrow. But in the meantime, go easy on yourself, and . . .  be amazing!

-TimSignature

Jan 10

Plan on making mistakes

KISS pandasMistakes are crucial to success. Mistakes are how we learn. But we get so hung up on ‘Oh God, I made a mistake, I feel so stupid’ that we resolve never to try again. Babies (thank heavens) don’t think that way. Try and walk. Fall. Roll around on the floor. Get up. Try and walk. Fall. Cry a bit. Realise no one is watching. Stop crying. Get up. Try and walk. Walk. At least, that’s how I did it. If you learned another way, let me know.

And I get confused about this “you can’t ‘try’ and do something – you can only do it or not do it”. Sorry to rain on Yoda’s parade, but “do, or do not, there is no ‘try’” and the equivalent hokum from a thousand personal improvement speakers and coaches has probably set this country back years. Trying, experimenting – and failing – is the only way to learn how to do anything.

When I left my comfortable and ridiculously highly paid job to follow my heart and create a business helping people, I failed. Completely. But I got back in the game and tried again. And people started to like what I produced. But – and here’s the thing – I hadn’t learned the lessons I needed to learn UNTIL I fell flat on my face.

You can learn from your mistakes.. or you can learn from other people’s mistakes. If you’re smart, you’ll learn from both. You’ll talk to people and work out what worked for them, and what didn’t. You’ll read books and learn from the great achievers – those people who shaped the world. And you’ll get out there and try some stuff and get it wrong.

My planning for 2014 includes making mistakes. And it includes looking stupid. I might as well expect it, cause it’s likely to happen! Mike Litman, author of “Conversations with Millionaires” says “You don’t have to get it right – you just have to get it going”. You just have to start, and put some energy behind it.

It seems that success goes to the person who’s prepared to make some mistakes. Incredible success seems to go to the person who’s prepared to make a LOT of mistakes. Do you know how often a plane is actually ‘on course’? Practically never. But when it gets off course, it corrects and brings it back on course.

So maybe it’s time to be proud of those moments where things don’t go to plan. Because it’s in those moments that our character is forged. Those moments bring the greatest learning. And those moments, each one of them, bring us nearer to success.

-TimSignature

Jan 10

Listen to your story

dr who storyStory is incredibly important in our lives. They create a magical world of possibility and of truth, of wisdom and of dreams. We listen to our parents and our teachers tell us stories and thrill to the scenes that open up for us – moments where anything is possible, where our dreams are real, where there are real heroes and knights, fairies and wizards, where we can believe in a talking cat or a fire breathing dragon.

Stories are a way that wisdom is communicated from generation to generation – whether those are the children’s stories that we learn tucked up in bed, or the tales that are woven from cinema and TV screens.

But stories are more than that, too. Stories resonate deep inside us. The success of the Harry Potter books was down to a deep understanding that magic should be real, that we can do amazing things, that even the most ordinary amongst us is capable of something extraordinary – and, of course, there’s no such thing as an ordinary person!

900 years

You’ll have to excuse the Doctor Who quotes, by the way… Doctor Who was a huge part of my world when i was growing up. It seemed that anything was possible, and that here was someone that could control time and space…. and that caught echoes inside me, and I folded that away with the other stories that spoke to me.

For each of us there are stories and mythologies that speak to us, particularly when we’re younger. Stories of magic, stories of heroes, stories of explorers and of kings and rulers, of wizards and wise men. Those stories hold keys to who we are – particularly the stories we loved as children, because when we’re young we haven’t been told what the world must be like – we’re more in touch with our intrinsic purpose, our reason for being here. Think back to those stories, if you will… you will find a true connection to what your heart longs for.

And don’t discount the stories that you hear now you’re all grown up.. those stories still find a way to speak to you deep in the core of your being. For sure, they may be saccharine coated or even hidden in darker tales, but the secrets are still there.

Take some time and consider the stories you’ve loved – you won’t have to think hard – and listen for the message inside. And maybe take a moment to reconnect to the magic that was oh so real when you were younger… because perhaps that magic is more real than you think….and maybe anything is possible.

TimSignature

PS if you’re interested in learning more about the power of myth and story and understanding how heroic archetypes play out in your life even today, then subscribe to my series ‘Pathway to Power’ HERE – you’ll get a subscription to my ‘Walking With Heroes’ program which goes into the power of myth and the Hero’s Journey in an inspiring 3 month series!

Jan 08

Get back in the game

Brick wallsLife is tough sometimes. There are days when you seem to have been struggling for so long that it’s tempting to quit. Just give up on the dream and surrender to the inevitable failure. You’ve tried – and nothing’s worked out. You’ve fought your hardest, and still got nowhere. And you don’t think you can handle that disappointment again.

I haven’t got any easy answers. I haven’t got a magic wand that will make all your troubles go away. I haven’t got a secret key that will unlock the door that seems firmly shut. I can only tell you one thing.

 

Get back in the game.

 

I know it’s tough. I know that it’s hard. I know that you’ve tried and failed. So far. But you’ve got two choices. Either get back on the field and get back in the game… or go find a different game. There’s no point sitting around moping about how you just can’t win – how you always get so far and then you come up against unbeatable opposition. That’s not going to get you anywhere. You’ve either got to suck it up and get back on the field.. or decide that this game isn’t for you.

If you listen to your heart, you’ll know. You’ll know where you need to be. This might be the message that says ‘time to try something different’. And if it is, go try something different. There’s no shame in that. But if your heart says ‘this is what I want to do’ – then go try it again. Get the courage to get back in the game.

Talk to millionaires. They’ll tell you that they tried and failed and tried again – that success came just after they thought that they had failed. Talk to sportsmen (and women) – they’ll tell you that they had to hang in there and deal with failure. When I used to compete in karate kumite competitions, I’d get hit, shake myself down and get back on the mat. Any horserider will tell you that they had to get back on the horse – any snowboarder will tell you they had to pick themselves up out of a pile of snow and carry on down the mountain. The successful person is the one who goes down six times… and picks herself up six times.

Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, author of “On Death and Dying”, reminds us that “The most beautiful people we have ever known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have pulled themselves out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

This is where hearts are forged.

TimSignature

 

 

Jan 07

Whale Rider

IMG_0121A couple of years back I travelled to Hawai’i to study Huna – the islands’ shamanistic belief system. At its heart is ‘aloha’ – love – in all its many guises. The Hawai’ians believe that all the elements of creation have their message – and in particular the animals, birds and fish have a particular role in bringing wisdom to us – the ‘aumakua which connects us to our higher self. And a different ‘aumakua will guide us on different parts of our journey through this world.

The island mythology surrounding Kohola, the humpback whale, is that the whale travels between the two realms – spending time in the shallower waters around Hawai’i as well as out in the ocean far from land. And so Kohola knows the secret to finding the magical island of enchantment, through balance, swimming in different spheres – travelling the path of mystic spirituality on one side while remaining in touch with the mortal realm. Kohola is a traveller, letting his heart guide him far from land, far from guiding lights.

 

Kohola asks the question: do you have the courage to follow the voice of the wind, of the sea, of the stars, and travel beyond the shared horizon? Will you choose to follow the ancient call and have the faith to travel out into the distant ocean?

If you’re reading this, then I’m certain you do. So when would now be a good time to decide to follow what your heart’s been telling you?

TimSignature

(picture is from Rima Morrell’s ‘Hawai’ian Oracle’ cards – illustrated by Steve Rawlings)

Jan 06

Define ‘normal’

normalI see a real dichotomy in our lives at the moment – a tension that each of us tries to live with every day.

On the one hand, we want to be different, unique.. we know, instinctively somehow, that deep inside us, at the heart of our being, that we have a unique, wonderful, glittering, special gift to bring to the world. Just watch a child – they’re happy just being themselves, being different, standing out, living freely from their soul.

And on the other hand, we want to fit in, to be part of the crowd, one of the boys. We want to be safe in the invisibility that being ‘just one among many’ brings to us. We begin to notice, as we grow up, that when we behave differently we run the risk of being laughed at or being shunned. If we start to show up for life with some of the fabulous uniqueness that only we can bring, then someone gets threatened and wants to cut us down to size. And so, for fear of losing the acceptance of others, we start to shrink down, play it safe, run with the gang.

And these tensions are destroying us.

So I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is – you can never be apart from everyone else. This ‘separation’ that you experience is just an illusion. We are, truly, all one. Not just united by a common humanity, but genuinely, truthfully, all unique facets of a cosmic beauty. Even those moments when you feel totally, completely lost and alone, those moments when you feel abandoned, rejected, confused, forsaken – even in those moments you are still part of the ‘one thing’ that is the universal creative power, the divine nature.

The bad news? Well, now you know that you’re not alone – there’s no excuse for you not to shine. There’s no reason for you to shrink down and play it safe. because you’ve got nothing to lose. Sure, it’s going to feel scary. Sure, it’s going to feel a little draughty when you start to step into your true amazingness. But I will promise you this: at the core of your being you are going to start feeling just a little bit more real. Just a little bit more true. You’re going to feel as if, somehow, everything makes just a little bit more sense. And that’s going to make you even more willing to be even more incredible.

“Do you want to be safe and good, or do you want to take a chance and be great?”

Jimmy Johnson, US football coach

The world isn’t waiting for you to be like everyone else, you know. It’s waiting for you to be completely, totally, incredibly uniquely you. Because only then will the world work right – when each one of us, moved by love, steps into the truth of who we are.

I have a challenge for you. Just for today – and when you enjoy it today, maybe you’ll do it tomorrow as well. And it’s simply this. If you find yourself tempted to shrink down and hide. don’t. Do the other thing. Whatever the ‘other thing’ was. You’ll know what it is. It’s what no-one else is doing, or no-one else is saying. It’s the thing that feels ‘right’. It’s the thing that seems to be motivated by love. And I’ll promise you this.. you’re going to feel awesome because you did it.

Join me?

TimSignature

Jan 05

Programmed to be fabulous

flower amazingThe universe was designed to be fabulous. Somehow, as if by magic, the seed grows into a beautiful flower, the acorn grows into a towering tree, the embryo becomes a baby. Brilliance and beauty is programmed in – engineered from the very heart of creation. You’re no different. Even on those rough, tough, difficult days where nothing seems to be going right, and everything seems to be difficult, painful and pointless. Even on those days where you feel less than miraculous, less than amazing and you feel so stuck you don’t know what to do about it. And especially on those days when you’re convinced that you’ve made such a huge mistake and dug such a big hole for yourself that there’s no way that you can get out – and that you don’t deserve to escape either.

Yet, if you dare to look, hidden inside you is a heart so big that nothing can stop it – a connection to infinite possibility and to resources beyond imagining. Maybe you don’t believe that. that’s OK, but it doesn’t stop it being true. It only takes a moment to stop and recognise that you are infinitely powerful and unstoppable. It only takes a moment to reconnect to the true nature of the universe and recognise the incredible create force that flows through you.

Take a moment to just stop.and breathe.and be thankful. See the beauty in what’s going on around you. And listen to the still small voice inside you. Take a moment to plug back in to the Love flowing through you. And take one step up into being even more incredible.

 

TimSignature