Done! By Default

One of the biggest excuses for not doing some of the little things that matter is "not enough time". What if you could get exactly what you want as a bi-product of focusing on something else? I’m not talking about multi-tasking, which is trying to do multiple things at once.  Our brains actually only think on one thing at once, so the mental gymnastics required to concurrently complete multiple tasks feels quite stressful.  I’m talking instead about ‘clustering’: replacing single benefit activities with activities that give back 2, 3 or 10 times over. With time a precious resource, clustering is a great productivity tool.
 
Being a walk-the-talk type of person, and with a wellness business, for 10 years I exerted a lot of time and energy wanting to get my lean body back, and to my mind unsuccessfully. Now my body is leaner and fitter than I’d even dreamed of and I didn’t have to focus on it at all. What I did put steely focus on was being a champion cyclist, and the leanness and fitness simply happened by default, plus a host of other benefits. This single activity has given back at least ten times over. Attending functions for a meal and fun (also networking, lead generation, personal or business relationship building), or jogging to work with a friend, are examples of clustering in action.
 
Note: all the additional benefits are gained without additional energy, focus, willpower, time, organization, often money, and without additional stress.
 
Clustering to maximise benefits is a habit of the super productive and successful. Take half an hour (over lunch of course!) to look firstly at how you expend time and secondly at some of the things you know are important but are not finding time for.  Can any of the single benefit activities go? Use a little creativity, and a conscious clustering mentality, and you might just find a better way, that delivers on more of what you really want. 

Team Work is Dream Work

I’ve recently ridden in my first elite national cycling tour at the NRS Tour of the Goldfields. As I watched the dominating teams at play, eating up breakaways and thrusting their leader into the winning position, it highlighted the benefits of being the leader of a strategically gathered team.  I think my observations about team hold across many non-sporting fields.
 

  • A team can be overcome by a quick bold surprise attack delivered by a new-comer, however this works for a short time and then....
  • A sole talented person can almost always be overcome by a cohesive challenger team
  • Clearly defined roles that play on the strengths of each person makes a team that is vastly more than the sum of its parts
  • The weaknesses of a leader can be overcome by having an unwavering team that contractually works for their benefit
  • Obstacles (such as a wicked headwind or a breakaway group!) are quickly overcome with the power of numbers mustering behind a clear goal
  • Having allied support personnel leaves the game players free to focus on the key job at hand, increasing effectiveness and reducing stress
  • Each team member gets a sense of accomplishment when acknowledgement is given for support contributing to leader success

 
Outside the sporting arena, you might be thinking ‘nice if you can afford a team’.  With a little lateral thinking, maybe you can gather a team.  What could you afford if you started using best technology, highly qualified overseas virtual assistants, work experience students, service trades/bartering, or even just a house cleaner so that you got to reap the rewards of more time focused on your area of expertise?
 
What team members do you or could you have gathered around you that would magnify your strengths, off-load your weaknesses, and let you shine.

Happy Habits

Imagine if you woke up and auto-pilot had you doing all the things that you would action in your utopian day?

Have you ever written down the person you'd be, to live your ultimate day, in enough detail to know what you'd be like?

Our habits and habitual ways of thinking and deciding are what's got us here...so it makes sense to recognise that if we could change our habits then we can change the course of our life.  If you think auto-pilot isn't running your life, notice today all the things you did or felt that you didn't have to think about (like where the light switch was, love for your children, or where you ordered your coffee). 

Like hopping on a plane destined for Sydney but wanting to fly to Melbourne, we often wonder why we keep landing in the same place we don't want to be. The answer is in our auto-pilot: our habitual ways of doing things. The research finds that normally we actually need to create and then strengthen through repetition, new habits rather than expecting to simply 'break' old ones. Old habits can be broken suddenly through huge 'wake up calls'. However to make this a deliberate process: starve the old habits by nourishing the new positive habits.

Initially: 
- believe your new habit can be formed
- one new habit at a time (it requires energy and willpower to realise)
- evidence suggests 21-28 consecutive days is needed to instil a new habit
- get as much support as possible (physical, emotional, and professional)
 
When I work with people to create new positive habits, one of the five tools I teach is active Vision creation (including a dream board, vision statement and affirmations) to bring the new habit front of mind with clarity and focus from the time you wake. The more tools utilised, the more strength your new habit will have.

Hardwiring our internal auto-pilot with a great habit is entirely possible, it just needs the right strategy and support.  Positive habits are worth persisting with because they become the vehicle that enables fulfilment. And that's a feeling worth pursuing! 

Think Easy

"It's just too hard!" or "It takes too much time" are common reasons why people don't get what they yearn for, whether its getting fit, dealing with a chronic disease, to building a business or creating savings.  I say 'Think Easy' or take the mindset of: it's as easy to do as it is not to do. In fact, once on a roll, it's often easier to do than not to do: less painful to do than not to do. 

It's so often assumptions of something being too complicated or hard or time consuming, rather than the reality.  An example some have already experienced: the uncompleted tax that after years of genuine stressing actually only took less than a day to sort out. 

As another example, here's some reasons why it's EASIER for me to eat healthy than not to:
- It took 10min, once, to organise weekly fresh fruit and veg delivery (huge time and money saver)
- My foods leave me feeling energised rather than sluggish
- It's an enormous cost saving to make my own meals
- It's many less decisions in the day when I take my own
- It's a huge time saver to take my own
- I can create a simple, nutritious meal for both my daughter and I, faster than it takes to order and pick up or even for a meal to be delivered
- If I don't buy it at the supermarket, its not available for me to eat at home (so leave sodas, biscuits, lollies, chips, margarine etc out of the trolley)
- Snacking on fresh fruit or vegetables from my bag is always faster than finding take-out
- I don't have to deal with any of the negative self talk that is a hallmark of consistently doing things that one knows are self defeating....
- Which best of all, leaves my mental power for constructive things!
Oh...and I don't get sick and have doctors visits. 

So find someone who finds it easy to do whatever thing you've created in your mind as hard, and take some old fashioned mentoring. Often they'll simply give you their system (almost like a franchise!) which may be adapted to your circumstances. Then it's as simple as turning that into a habit (I'll review easy ways to create habits next week). If you believe the constructive stuff to be hard, you'll have to deal with the hard reality of not doing what for some is easy. 

Step by step, Think, Create, and Action "easy" until it is. 

New Era

 

What comes next after completing a big goal or after a sudden shift? When the celebration or the funeral is over? We all have times when we need to collect ourselves up, manage change, and move powerfully forward.  As an example, it's currently my time for this 1) I’ve returned from successful competition that has focused my training for 9 months and 2) I’ve had my canine family member of 8 years die at short notice. So what now?
 
A key concept in effectively navigating these situations is having STRATEGY. 

It's worth anticipating a ‘come down’ after big goal completion that can be alleviated by:

  1. celebrating the end of an era (special dinner, gift to self, nurturing treatments) as an acknowledgement of effort in and sacrifices made
  2. create a written list of all positive learnings and gains (new strengths, skills, progress, nurturing)
  3. note any changes in preparation that definitively would have avoided challenges along the way
  4. have a clear next big goal that aligns with values and needs
  5. if there’s too much indecision on the big goal have an intermediary (3-4weeks max) for ‘what’s next’ that fulfils on a bucket list activity or provides growth possibilities (eg: take a creative course, volunteer for an organization, complete a health or fitness kick, meditation retreat)

This is a time to avoid TV, externalized entertainment, distractive techniques like alcohol, overindulging in vices or holing up indoors taking ‘rest’ time that too easily becomes depress time.
 
For sudden shifts, the first three strategies remain relevant but add:

  1. acknowledge any feelings of grief, loss or anger (whether this is the loss of a job, situation, or love)
  2. acknowledge any potential gains or new possibilities that the sudden new situation allows. Even if they are not immediately evident….
  3. be open to positives emerging over time
  4. remember that life is happening for you, not to you and there is something in the experience that will be the preparation for greater things
  5. seek professional help from mentors, coaches, counselors, psychologists, and allied health practitioners to look after health

We all have era ending experiences at some point. Creating this as an opportunity to springboard to new heights and challenges or using it as a key to greater understanding and appreciation of self is the potential gift. It's an opportunity to design a new era.

Culture Club

I confess, my main mission in the world is to move the planet towards Wellness: to develop Wellness Culture in myself, my family, my community, country and beyond. The idea of imbedding Wellness into culture is efficient because it takes out the requirement for our willpower, motivation, and inspiration to be involved. Its becomes the stuff we do without even having to think about it. Culture develops with or without direction, but the result of directionless development is often poor.  

Currently media and commercial interests are at the forefront of feeding and developing culture and the result on Wellness is one of the fattest sickest nations on the planet. For example the 'low fat' and 'everything in moderation' experiment has created a nation of people addicted to high sugar, high additive foods and a society where its normal to eat take-out and highly processed 'food' multiple times a week, if not everyday.

Let's look at some of the definitions of culture (referencing the Oxford dictionary); as it will impress the importance of being cognisant of developing it towards Wellness:

As a noun : 
1.1 The attitudes and behavior characteristic of a particular social group
1.2 Biology The cultivation of (living things) in an artificial medium containing nutrients
As a verb:
1.1 Maintain (tissue cells, bacteria, etc.) in conditions suitable for growth.


The key things to note are that culture is both the nutritive medium, and the result of what grows out of it. The poor health results (and pain and suffering) we see around us, the strain on the healthcare system, and the unsustainability of it all, is spawned directly from the Sickness Culture that prevails. 

We all have our part to play in developing Wellness Culture. In ourselves it's about development of habits, in family it has to do with family traditions and values, in business it can be clearly identified in systems that support Wellness, and at the community and national level there's a strong interplay and competition between commercial and social interests in the creation of policy and law. The long term cost (both financial and otherwise) of a sickness culture in any of these arenas is such a burden that development of Wellness Culture pays off better every single time. 

Treat Right

Have you ever had the experience where someone just seemed to 'get you': it was like they could read your mind and desires, and created your perfect experience? Right Treatment is as important in Chinese Medicine as it is in relationships and in business service. 

But how do you arrive at the right treatment? The basics: know the person, give them what they need. In acupuncture we ask a host of whole body questions, see how it fits in Chinese Medicine Diagnostic Theory, then create a treatment entirely specific to that person, on that day.

Non-medically the genuine, caring default position is to 'treat others how you would like to be treated', advice drilled in by parents. This unfortunately falsely assumes that others think and want the same as you.

If you do care to care, how would it feel to learn how to deliver exactly what people needed? Or to be able to give them a system to understand what you needed? There's a lot of jokes about men's three needs of food, sex and drink, and women's mysterious and ever-changing 100's of needs, but this helps no-one get closer to a deeper satisfaction in interaction.

Simple personality profiling like the four personality DISC (1), or Colour systems (2) are useful tools for very quick social/sales interactions. I regularly refer to the 9 type Enneagram system (3) which comprehensively creates windows of understanding into ones own and others inner workings.  This powerful system, can be utilised as much in business and sales, as with a lover, but probably even more importantly, as a tool for understanding oneself, both in growth and in breakdown.  

If you were never going to look into profiling, at least ask the question "how would they think/like to be treated".  But there is power for better everything in knowing basic fears and desires, all the push buttons good and bad, habitual personality driven ways of thinking with the pros and cons and potential counters.

Learning systems for understanding people, from the simple to the more complex, takes out the guess work. It's like having the floor plans to a high-rise, you can go to the right floor and the right room immediately, saving a lot of frustrated searching about. You love it when people Treat you Right, but it feels great to deliver it too. 

 

 

0410609488
www.laureleamoss.com

(1) DISC system, based on the work of William Marsdon, 1928 and adapted by Walter Vernon Clarke and used on over 50million people since 1972. 
(2) Colour system: adaptations of the four temperaments (sanguine, choleric, melancholic and phlegmatic terms formalised and defined by Hippocrates 470-370BC) to colours red, blue, green and yellow.
(3) Enneagram: comprehensive inter-relating 9 personality types  arguably most usefully presented by Don Riso and Russ Hudson (Riso, D.R; Hudson, R (2000). Understanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

20/20 Vision

I believe that Visioning what we really want, as opposed to what's 'realistic' is vital for a life that brings fulfillment.  This faith based step of visioning what we truly desire often disappears at the same time as wish list letters to Santa aren't made or the tooth-fairy stops visiting. We don't have a mature version of these figures, or the mindset, and certainly not the processes, for accessing what we want. 

It's not all about 'dreams' because Realism is an integral part of the process. It's just that Realism needs to follow Vision rather than lead it, such as:
- I really have to take action towards it
- I really have to overcome fears in the process*
- I really have to seek support from...
- the really right people 
- there really will be obstacles that may initially seem insurmountable
- and I really have to make sacrifices. 

I was reminded of this in a conversation with a last year uni student friend, when asking about how he'd like to apply his degree. His plan was for boring because he'd accepted the BIG dose of 'realistic' his lecturers had given, rather than his dream. He'd given up on even enquiring about manouvering his practical 'seed program' subject into the path of his visionary career, because he'd listened to realism rather than his vision.  

Almost everyone has some famous person current or past that they admire. The stories of their lives are book selling, history making accounts, that without exception exemplify time and again, that what is visioned is possible when combined with the realistic steps I mentioned, plus some. 

Is there something in you waiting to be visioned? Something that may have faded years ago, but would fill your life with passion and meaning or wellness? A vision that would colour your life like putting colour into an old faded black and white photo? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
 

 

0410609488
www.laureleamoss.com

*John DeMartini wrote this morning on fears saying:
I have fears almost everyday, but I know that fear is an incomplete view of what is occurring, so I identify the fear, bring it to balance by asking how it would benefit me if what I feared occurred, and how it would be a drawback if what I feared didn't occur, and then walk through it. As Thomas Edison says: "Many of life's failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up."

Change Embracer

Nothing is as certain as change. With technology we get excited about it, with fashion we expect it. Change and certainty are both needs that people have, and I think its a fine balance as to when to embrace change quickly and when to keep the old thing that functions perfectly well. In medicine and health these issues are pertinent.

I read medical journals daily, and my two biggest take-home points are that new amazing discoveries are made everyday (but often take decades to filter through into best-practice), and that procedures and medicines that yesterday were the saviour, are today being withdrawn due to concerns (today J&J have a worldwide withdrawal of their morcellators because of risk of them spreading cancer). It's a reminder to be laterally minded around diagnosis and treatment options. 

There is no certainty as to best treatment, it will only ever be best 'for now', and that depends on how researched up and personally skilled your practitioner is. Even in acupuncture, with its thousands of years of tradition, things are changing rapidly. There's laser acupuncture, electro acupuncture and whole ear based treatments that weren't available only decades years ago. 

For those who don't like change ask:
- am I being open-minded to even consider other options that could be better?
- could I experiment with this idea/thing for a short period and monitor the results? 

For those who are change junkies, its time to ask:
- is this a true upgrade or just a costume change?
- am I jumping in too early without checking if there something more appropriate for me
- are the benefits worth the effort/money of changing now?
- could this change just be a procrastination on achieving through actioning things I already have at hand? (e.g. a new diet when last months exercise regime hasn't even been implemented).

Some cautions apply to embracing change, but once the decision has been made, close the escape door and look forward with positive expectation.
 

It's ALL about YOU

Versions of “What did I do wrong?” and “How could they do that to me?” are some of the commonest questions we ask ourselves when faced with an emotional situation.  In short, we personalize others emotional states or actions. Most often it has very little to do with us (even when they says it does!). Knowing that we are the sole controllers of our emotions*, and therefore others are of theirs, is an important realization.  The truth of this can be forgotten in conflict, but is highly valuable upon reflection and pre-emptively.
 
Some circumstances are so challenging that you would have to be a robot or in a Buddha state (your choice of deity!) to respond ‘positively’.  Even still, some manage it. Here’s some examples to learn from:

  • Viktor Frankls account of concentration camp survival in ‘Mans Search for Meaning’
  • ‘The Miracle Man’ Morris E Goodman, the plane crash survivor who defied every medical prediction to first breath, then talk and walk again
  • the dignity of Nelson Mandela throughout his incarceration and later, leadership.  

These are truly inspiring stories that bring home that we dictate how we see and be in ANY situation.  
 
Of course we have a responsibility to get out of harms way if possible. However, so much of our daily stress towards others involves very minor incidents, and illusory motivations, for example:

  • un-friended on Facebook
  • your phone/text message left un-responded to
  • not invited to a gathering

The way we think and respond can leave us feeling awful, with a pendulum type effect when we share it.  It can be useful to think of the story and words you, or they, have created around it as a ‘bitter pill’. Are you sure you want to swallow that pill?
 
I say it is ALL about YOU. It’s all about how you are choosing to see the circumstance, think about the circumstance, respond to the circumstance, in essence who you are choosing to BE in the circumstance. The question* after all is “to be, or not to be..”

A good experiment: find a circumstance this week and 'see and be' from a different place.

Show Up!


 

I respect peoples feelings, and value my own. But if there's a goal that is going to take some time to reach, expect that you're not always going to feel like doing the things that have to be done to get there.

In work, people will do many things that they don't 'feel' like doing, because they have to, but when it comes to their personal goals, 'feeling' excuses get in the way.

Let's keep it simple. If you've got a personal goal that you want, put in place whatever it takes to just 'Show Up'. No magic is possible with a 'no show'. However, the compounding effect of showing up can create all sorts of amazing results. 

Here's some of the useful self-based strategies I've used around health:
- create a powerful affirmation of attendance e.g. "I am an everyday exerciser"
- bribery is not just for kids ("if you make your kale juice everyday this week, you can have your favourite gelati Sunday") 
- little white lies to self ("just put your shoes on and go for a little gentle walk" meanwhile a run is being secretly planned)
- be a strict boss to yourself "tomorrow you can use excuses, today, get on your bike!"

Even better, create external accountability whenever possible for your important personal goals. There's good science that says we like to please other people, even those we have to pay for, like personal trainers, coaches, or health practitioners.

Like a savings account that keeps being added to: showing up has compounding interest like effects! In time you'll be amazed at just how far it's taken you.

Pursue Persistence

 

Without persistence, you’re unlikely to get there. Where’s there? Anywhere you choose: to a fancy dress party, drop 5kg, fix your back pain, finish a degree, learn a craft, build a business or become a world champion. Some goals require more than others (you’d be surprised now difficult it is to show up as Big Bird for a party). Persistence towards a vision is fundamental to its achievement.  In fact with persistence, there is no failure, only a known way not to get there.
 
Back in hunter gather times, persistence to mastery was key to survival (tracking, firing an arrow, fire making) or they died.  Not so now.  In the western world at least, we survive with relatively low levels of skill competency, meaning that we don’t have to exercise our “persistence muscle”. But it’s there in our DNA, waiting to be used and trained. You get better at persistence the more you practice!
 
This unshakeable pursuit of a goal speaks to our potential and becomes best-sellers and movies: think of Lorenzo’s parents in Lorenzo’s Oil and the dead ends they encountered in finding a cure for their son’s rare and ‘incurable’ disease.  Or the way Muhammed Ali, fought his way through politics to come back into champion boxing form.  Even Erin Brockovich’s persistence in bringing about a career for herself through justice deployment for corporately manipulated groups.
 
A few key elements of intelligent persistence to mastery:

  • it’s NOT about doing the same unsuccessful thing over and over
  • it involves deliberate practice: “a highly structured activity, the explicit goal of which is to improve performance” K.A Ericsonn (1993) a concept developed more by
  • Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers, 2008) who argued around 10 thousand hours of deliberate practice
  • There will be failure along the way, guaranteed, which will fuel the naysayers
  • Being ‘reasonable’ has nothing to do with being persistent

 
Persistence pays off. You learn new depths to yourself, you gain new skills, and you get there in the end, if you continue to want it. The simple act of moving daily towards a vision that is meaningful to you, is a step towards both fulfillment and brilliance.

Power Channel

It's been said that if you average the wealth of the five people you spend the most time with, that will equal about your income.  Whether entirely true or not (think about it for yourself), I’ve experienced it’s reality in many other areas. It’s about surrounding yourself with the type of people you can learn attributes worthy of emulating, or that can develop or seed idea's, or provide material support. It's about having a power network or a Mastermind Group (as Napoleon Hill would say) of key people surrounding you that are supportive, successful or experts in their area.
 
When they have your ear, these people give advice that advances your cause, your self-belief, aids your vision, reinforce what’s possible, keep your technically up to date and well informed with new developments, and keeps you on your game. They become not just your friends, but your mentors, your trusted advisors, and they help keep you accountable.
 
Many bright philosophers talk of giving up something of a lesser value to gain something of a higher value. Sometimes this means that people need to be moved to a different sphere of proximity of influence, and you actively spend less (or no) time with them, whether clients, friends or closer. This is not always easy, but it is essential to a life of growth.
 
I’ve just come back from my first World Amateur World Road Cycling Championships in Slovenia. And I can say for certain that if I hadn’t listened to supportive knowledgeable people who believed in me, and hadn’t found the Mastermind Group (Coach, Sports Medicine, Road cycling expert, team) I wouldn’t have been there and wouldn’t have been a dual silver winner.
 
So when you tune your ear and attention, tune it to the station that is going to support and progress you rather than drain or depress you: build and tune into the Power Channel. 

Kick 'Old' to the Grave

I'm not talking about dear old Nan, I'm talking about the perennial excuse for ignoring aches, pain and discomfort: "it's just because I'm getting old". Some facial lines and grey hair is because you're getting old. Sore knees, elbows, backs, bloated bellies or foggy heads are not. They are all like the red warning light flashing on the car dashboard telling you that something is out of balance and needs attention. 

 

When there's pain and you're feeling old (and preferably before this realisation strikes), its time to service the body. Often people go to their doctor for this, and unfortunately sometimes hear the same old reason ("you're just getting old") or get given a drug to mitigate the symptoms (which would be the equivalent of getting the pliers out and snipping the electrical lead to the warning light).

 

Solutions that bring peoples biological age to younger than their chronological age, and have them be discomfort free, and feeling younger, are often fundamental actions that Allied Health practitioners (often with the assistance of health optimisation doctors) are very experienced at helping with. I personally have a network of such people, for regular 'servicing'  so that I can fine tune my body when I recognise I need things outside of my own skill set (and I'm happy to share this list).

 

If your friend accepted that the tyres on their car were wearing away because the car was "getting old", when you knew full well that the wheel alignment was off, you'd tell them. So next time you hear that old excuse, kick it 6ft under (its better this way than the other way round!). 

 

Bikram Business: Life Lessons from Yoga

Why go back, every week, into 40° heat for 90min, to do the same26 postures EVERY class. Hot and Boring you’d think. Two plus years of it has rewarded me with a pain free body, been physically transformative, and best of all continues to teach and remind me of lessons for business and life. So here they are:
 
Don't get distracted by the small stuff. Small-stuff goes away of it’s own accord, like potentially annoying sweat in your eye, but if you take your eye off the prize (and wipe), you’ll likely loose the lot.   
 
Focus intently on what has to be done without skipping steps. Constant surveillance and correction to the finer detail of the system brings growth and results without injuries/setbacks. If you get distracted (either real things eg: annoying people, or fantasies eg: finishing) and don't follow the steps, and get poor results, its not the process that’s failed, its your focus!
 
Surrender entirely to what can't be changed like the heat or your body condition today. Surrender to the process. It works over time, when you do. So choose a great and proven system and give it its time and attention.
 
Consistency means that where you are in the beginning has absolutely nothing to do with where you can end up over time. Quitting early means you get all the sweat and tears, without the transformative miracle of what's possible.
 
Shut exit doors: you'll find a way through. When escape hatches are closed off, forward ways are found. 
 
Improvement is never in the comfort zone.
 
Faster isn't always better: A bastardized class I once attended had 100% of the sweat, 2/3 the time and only 1/3 of the benefit for me.
 
Rest frequently and completely: fidgeting and wiping sweat means you miss the recuperation. Rest when resting, work when working.
 
As a Beginner expect to be: overwhelmed, challenged, come to multiple points of feeling inadequate and wanting to quit. Every successful enterprise I know of (including personal) has had these experiences, but persisted.
 
A life of fulfillment is forged and moulded by the heat and stress of personally engaging challenges. The rewards of being persistent and consistent at challenges worthy of you, will amaze you by the magnitude, and inspire others.  

The Why Question

Can a question save your life? I say "yes".

Questions are important. Because they have an answer.  If we don't know the answer, we're looking for it (or at least our subconscious is). This means the questions we ask, drives the type of information we take in from the information clutter surrounding us.  Like the person asking how many glasses are in the picture to the right? (or below if you're reading this on your phone). They may miss the number of face profiles?  

We all know people (and it might be ourselves) who don't ask questions, but instead winge and complain, and generally feel resigned, miserable and powerless about circumstances. Asking questions is the first step, but the wording is important.  Productive wording will shape your life into growth and evolution, unproductive will bring stagnation.  Take these wording examples:

- Why can't I find time to exercise? versus
   How could I fit even 10min of exercise into today? (I have a  
   long list suggestions, if you need some, just email me)

- Why can't I get a new job? versus
  How could I present my skills differently to get a new job?

- Why can't I get better from this sickness? versus
  Who have I not seen who might know how I can recover? (A  
   second, third of fourth) opinion from a different doctor has  
   saved many lives!)

- Why am I repeating the same thing over and over? versus    
  What do I need to do differently?

- Why do I have such a hard life? versus
  What can I be grateful for today?"

If there's an area bringing about frustration in life, there'll likely be an unproductive question sitting right there with it. 

Years ago I read a book about creating winning sales called "Questions are the Answers".  Want to win some more in life? Listen to your internal commentary: what are your most common questions? Can you shape the wording to allow a different answer to spring forth. It will change the result you find, and that might just save your life, job, relationship and happiness.

Game On!

Ever found yourself cheering or leaping watching your favourite sport? Exciting stuff! Win or lose, you couldn't walk away from it til the end.  If no score was being kept, would you watch? Would the players put the same effort in if they didn't know the score? Would they play at all? In this game of life, its almost a universal truth that we like playing games: we respond to notches on the score board, seeing gains, and that winning feeling.  If there's progress andgrowth wanted (as opposed to the skill of simply enjoying the light of the moment), then best start charting, make progress visible, acknowledging improvement, and have a prize to keep your eye on. 

Rules and scores for games are as old as civilisation, but it might be a new concept to apply game play and visible progress into the serious games (oops I mean Goals) you play with yourself.  Games of eating nourishing food, games of exercising daily, games of trying things outside your comfort zone, and games of creating new habits. Things that actually matter and would change your life for the better.

Experiment with the game, and if it doesn't excite, change the game, the rules, or the coach.

Stickers, coloured board, small celebratory milestone gifts, and pampering treats, are all friends of game play.  So are apps that chart the numbers (e.g. Moves, Training Peaks, Strava).

Playing the game? Create consequences for not fulfilling on the achievable steps you've agreed to, such as small donations to charities of time or money…then re-join the game.

The more progress you want, the more important to play one game at a time. Even sports people who've changed codes, do so in different seasons.   

This GAMIFICATION of tasks can be applied across all types of fields. Mega successful newbies like dating app Tinder, social shopping reward programs, and fitness challenge Tuff Mudder are examples of gamification in glorious action.  Theres great science behind it too which Dr Jason Fox writes about in the Game Changer.

So if you're still taking your goals icy serious (especially those pesky little life-saving health and wellness habits), get some game play going, create rules to have fun by, and experience a better way to grow and develop winning habits.

Best use of an Invisibility Cloak

Last week I arrived in picture perfect Slovenia for cycle racing, and it took about 12 hours for me to realize what was ‘wrong’…
 
…where were they hiding all their fat people?
 
This may be politically incorrect terminology, but the thought struck hard. What I saw instead of obesity was cycle paths on every footpath and or road, with the most glamorous mature ladies through to teenagers, pedaling along with baskets on their bikes doing everyday tasks. I saw parks full of people walking or running or playing with children and dogs, and eating fresh cherries off trees. Almost every house had a vegetable garden (and flowers).  And I didn’t see the golden arches, or the rest of the fast food family, anywhere.
 
It reminded me of the most basic principles: move more daily, avoid crappy food, and get out and enjoy open spaces. Even when I’m ravenous, fast food outlets remain invisible to my food foraging eye, because I’m looking for nourishment, not stomach stuffing: I have a fast food invisibility cloak!

Australia has an obesity epidemic, with a population either nonchalant or diet obsessed, and our sickness care system (healthcare) doesn't have the capacity or capability currently to solve it. But we can.

I'm proposing that each of us takes steps to create a shift in cultural habits: create a new example for our children, of health sustaining, enjoyable activities. A cultural shift that has us:

  • moving more, and everyday
  • putting nourishment in our mouths, not filler
  • promotes automatic positive mindset and emotional state about food, movement and our body

One of the most rewarding things is when my clients take my messages home, and family habits shift, because I know generations are being impacted.  Sometime we need a good example of a better way to do things (like the movement-friendly town planning of the streets of Llubljana, Slovenia), to get things on track.  So get your invisibility cloak out, walking shoes on and be a culture creator today!
 

 

Bandwagon Jumping

Sometimes its time to jump bandwagons, and sometimes it's time to jump back on.  I don't mean the old political use of the phrase, but instead the need to generate and re-ignite powerful, positive internal habits that are popular with yourself and create mental calm. 

Sometimes we've jumped on (and stay) with popularised activities or ways of thinking, without asking some very important questions: 
- is this thing actually legitimate? 
- is this right for my personality and life values?
- it's yes to the above, but what would pull me back to old habits?
- is there a better way?
(holidays are often opportunities to see better ways in action)
- what am I prepared to give up to be able to do this?

Not answering these questions honestly will place you in grave danger of being unsuccessful or creating non-productive habits. 

Some useful strategies for re-igniting or jumping onto the wellness bandwagon are:
write/get pictures on paper
- put it where you can see it e.g. screen saver
imagine the positive feeling when that's your new normal
- research the best system for fulfilling it that suits your personality
diarise it, especially the foundation actions
- if you fall off, get back on immediately 
- get support for it: our animal psychology likes to fit in and many of the best habits are not what is portrayed in media and advertising.

Don't have the most glorious bandwagon of goodness and let it roll away from you, or spy it but let it roll on past. Jump on and feel the reward from your good stuff in motion. 

1+1 Does NOT Equal 2!

The mathematicians may cringe, but its true that outside of numbers, one plus one rarely equals two. In productive personal or business partnerships, one plus one can have a completely magical, multiplying and amplifying effect that creates so vastly more than either could on their own. Conversely, a toxic partnership can result in neither party at their best and take productivity towards zero.


In 1+1, synergy can occur that plays from the unique strengths of both parties. This effectively creates in various situations, a Mastermind, a supercharged group, a creation ignitor and interplay, an economy of time or money, a nurturing environment in which to blossom, or a whole new entity. 

A health example is an anaemic wanting to increase their blood iron.  Some anaemics just eat more red meat, without understanding that theres vastly improved absorption if it's combined with vegetable sources (eg. green leafy vegetables), this all being magnified if Vitamin C is present. If supplementing, carbonyl iron is better absorbed and safer than iron sulfate. Interestingly, the synergistic combination in Chinese herbal formulations for blood deficiency effectively elevates iron levels despite relatively small amounts of iron in the ingredients. 

When choosing a magnifying people-based partnership, whether its permanent or time-bound, it's about looking for:
- complimentary strengths
- complimentary levels of commitment
- complimentary understanding of desired outcomes
- utilisation of differences

Avoid the costly effects of getting mixed up in toxic partnerships (1+1=0) by:
- using all senses available (including intuition)
- being clear to yourself about you/your business needs
- upfront communication about these values and needs

A beautiful partnership can be like elegant cooking, where the qualities of one ingredient enhance the qualities of another to create a flavour sensation. So whether its small business or life, get out of isolation, and look for the propulsive, multiplying potential of partnerships.