Be Responsible!



“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as
they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” –
Denis Waitley

Sometimes we settle for less than what we are capable of, we accept the path of least resistance. “Anything for a quiet life!” we say, but does that truly bring us happiness?

As human beings we have a need to grow and contribute to the lives of those around us. We are social animals with an intellect and a conscience. So I would argue that “settling for less” can bring us to a place of regret in later years and to an unfulfilled life of sadness, depression and even despair.

So what about the suggestion that we might accept the responsibility of changing the conditions that exist? Sometimes it is impossible to change the circumstances we find ourselves in, but even then we can change our attitude towards them.

I believe that if we are willing to put the effort into resolving our life’s challenges, we will be much happier, because we will have either contributed by finding a way to make life better (not only for us, but also for others) or we will have grown as a result of facing up to the challenges life has brought to us.

Be Prepared!

Be Prepared


“The secret of success is to be ready when your opportunity
comes.” – Benjamin Disraeli

I was never in the Boy Scouts but do I know their motto, it is “Be Prepared!” How prepared are you to respond when opportunity comes knocking on your door? Are you living in expectation of opportunities approach? If you aren’t ready, you may well miss the boat. After all “The opportunity of a lifetime only exists within the lifetime of the opportunity!”

I remember reading articles, many years ago now, in the press about David Beckham, the papers were full of how wonderful he was and I thought it was all a bit over the top, surely no one could be that good? Then whilst still a teenager he was picked to play for the national team, so I decided to watch the game, something I usually only do every four years when it’s time for the World Cup.

I was astounded! He was as good as they had described and better!
What brought my skepticism to an end was his commitment to be
wherever the ball was on the field of play. In fact Beckham was
anticipating where the ball would be, rather than where it was and he was there waiting for it when it arrived; whether it was in attack or defense he was there! With such stamina, such commitment, such determination he was destined to be one of the all time greats!

Although we are not all destined to be great soccer players like Beckham, I believe there is a spark of greatness in each one of
us. To be successful in whatever your calling is, you must be prepared, you must anticipate the opportunities that will come your way, you must show stamina, commitment and determination. If you do you will be a great success in whatever you chose to do!

Be Outstanding!

A scarecrow outstanding in his field


“Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” – Jim Rohn

What financial reward do you get for doing a poor job? Most people would say a poor reward, but the answer is you get replaced! So, what do you get for doing an average job? The answer is a poor reward! For doing a great job, you get an average reward and for doing an amazing job you get a great reward. It is only when your work is outstanding you get an outstanding reward!

I heard recently that Wayne Rooney, the Manchester United soccer
player earn £15m a year. That’s around 600 times the average income here in the UK. Wayne isn’t 600 times better at soccer than the average individual is at their work, but he is an outstanding footballer!  (Wayne Rooney’s New Contract)

I’m not saying that success is always measured in terms of its financial reward though. To be a success, the reward may be that you know, as you complete the task before you and move on to the next thing, you did whatever it was to a noticeably high standard.

Do you do ordinary things in an extraordinary way? We all have talents and abilities. So when we become aware of what they are;
we should make sure we give ourselves as many opportunities as
possible to be outstanding, and make our contribution to life on
planet Earth. Then we will have the pleasure of knowing we are
playing our part!

It’s Time To Wake Up!



“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape
those who dream only by night.” – Edgar Allen Poe

if your life is on auto-pilot, then you won’t need to think about what comes next because you’ll know that today will be like yesterday and so will tomorrow. You have everything arranged you know where to go and what to do and life will work for you like clock-work, tick-tock, tick-tock! Days become weeks, weeks become months and months become years, nothing changes, and life is simple! The only time when you’re able to dream of a different life is when you are asleep!

In some ways there is an enticement to live a life like that, because you don’t have to worry about a thing, everything was planned-out years ago for you and all you have to do now is show up each day. My life was just like that for eight years, I took the same roads to work, I went to the same office, sat at the same desk and although each day was slightly different, it was the same tasks that I did over and over and over again! At first it was exciting and new, and then I got bored.

Some people like the simple life, but if the simple life leads to boredom, monotony and an end to any excitement in your life, then in my opinion you need to WAKE UP from your self imposed coma! You need to start daydreaming; because when you do a life of new possibilities begins to emerge and your life takes on a radiance,
a pulsing excitement and the exhilaration of the roller coaster ride! The merry-go-round that many people are on is so tame by comparison!

When you start to dream whilst you are awake, you become aware of so much more that is going on around you. If your day dreams are to become real, then you need to find out how to make your plans work and if you do, your awareness grows and life becomes so much more interesting and fulfilling.

Maybe it’s time you woke up to the possibilities your life offers to you and to do your dreaming during the day?

You Can Do It If You Believe You Can



“You can do it if you believe you can.” – Napoleon Hill

Can life really be that simple? What Napoleon Hill is saying here is that we decide what we can and can’t do; that no one else is better placed to call the shots in our life, than we are ourselves! It’s all down to our beliefs about our abilities, our willingness to take on new challenges and the way we see our place in the world.

Henry Ford said: “If you think you can, if you think you can’t; either way you’re right!” Have you imprisoned your self by the things you have asserted that you’re unable to do? When my youngest son tells me he can’t do something, I tell him there is no such thing as can’t! However, there is such a thing as unwillingness to attempt new things, like a particularly difficult new piece of homework!

We need to look at our beliefs and see whether they serve us well in the life that we would prefer to live, rather than the outcomes we keep getting. If our beliefs are helpful we should keep them, if they are unhelpful we should replace them with new beliefs that will! A belief is merely a thought that we keep repeating to ourselves.

Once whilst being coached, I was told “Andrew, you can believe  anything that you want to!” I was shocked by this statement, I thought there were certain beliefs that were handed down to me by my family that I had to keep as a mark of respect to my parents and grand-parents; and more importantly because I saw these beliefs as part of my identity. Your actions in life always reflect the beliefs you hold about yourself and your place in the world, make sure your beliefs are empowering ones!

When The Going Get’s Tough What Do You Do?



“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” – John D. Rockefeller

When the going gets tough what do you do? I can name many people who through the quality of perseverance have achieved things that were previously thought impossible.  First let me mention Christopher Columbus who discovered a new continent by sailing west looking for India, when some one told him if he did he’d fall off the end of the world. Today it’s the membership of the flat earth society that is dropping off!

Thomas Alva Edison didn’t think it was a waste of time to make over 10,000 attempts at creating incandescent light before finally achieving his goal, despite the derision of those who looked on. Now the whole planet is lit up at night because of his invention!

Then there was Wilbur and Orville Wright who were convinced they
could take a lump of heavy metal and make it fly in the sky and be able carry people through the air, despite some of their peers telling them “If we were meant to fly God would have given us wings!” Yet this very day tens of thousands of people will be flying all over the world!

Roger Bannister seemed to be attempting the impossible when he
chose to be the first man to run the mile in less than four minutes. Medical experts warned him he could do irreparable damage to his body if he succeeded and at worst he may kill himself and yet within a few short months many athletes had also run a sub four minute mile!

The list could go on and on!

If we are willing to persevere and take all the actions necessary to hold on to our dreams of personal success and never ever EVER give up, till we achieve them. We can and will become successful in whatever our desire happen to be.

How To Succeed In Life



“You don’t become enormously successful without encountering some really interesting problems.” – Mark Victor Hansen

How would you describe the problems you face in your life? Would you describe them as difficult, painful, depressing or perhaps interesting? To be able to become enormously successful Mark Victor Hansen thinks it’s necessary to meet with some really interesting problems.

Today’s quotation for me illustrates the attitude needed to achieve success. When problems approach those who are most likely to succeed in this life, they don’t throw their arms up into the air in panic and get a sinking feeling. They just look at the problem that faces them and say to themselves “Hmm interesting!” In other words they take a pragmatic view of their problems!

When you and I face up to our problems and square up for the fight that could be ahead, instead of running away, some of our problems just melt away into the mist! I’ve heard it said that around 80% of the things we worry about are things that have no substance. Of the other 20% of real worries and problems, the willingness to face up to them and to work through them is a distinctive advantage in dealing with them.

Maybe we could push the boat right out and welcome our problems and see them as a real opportunity for growth? They will prove “interesting” as we learn new strategies not only for dealing
with our present problems; but also as we grow through our problems we become more able to deal with similar problems in the future and we gain a certainty within ourselves that whatever
problems come our way we will be able to deal with them.

Use Your Imagination To Your Advantage!



“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.”
– Albert Einstein

I’m sure you knew that Albert Einstein was a clever guy, that he knew so much more than the average person and yet did you know that he said “Imagination is more important than knowledge!” Einstein only came to the conclusion he did because he had a playful imagination himself.

He was sat in the classroom as a schoolboy about fourteen years of age, looking out of the window, bored with the lesson that he had already understood. The teacher saw him looking out of the window and said “Einstein! Eyes forward!” So he started looking at the clock on the wall above the chalkboard.

He saw the second hand moving slowly around the clock face and
asked a question of himself. “How am I able to tell the time?” but he didn’t stop with the answer of how was he able to convert the  movement and place of the hands on the clock to know what time it was, he went further! He also answered the question by saying “I can tell the time because of the light in the room, if there was no light I wouldn’t be able to see the clock.”

Then he went a little further with his thinking and asked a different question. “How fast can I tell the time?” The answer was “At the speed of light!” Then one more playful question, “What would I see if I could see the clock faster than the speed of light?” The answer he gave himself was “The clock’s hands would start moving backwards!”

His conclusion was that time would seem to be going backwards if he was traveling faster than the speed of light. All this from a bored young man who made use of his imagination and began to stumble upon the beginnings of his great “Theory of Relativity” and his belief that you can’t travel faster than the speed of light or go backwards in time.

As you use your imagination to visualize the future, make sure you dream of the future you want and not the one you fear, because what we think about comes about!

Be Unwilling To Accept Defeat!



“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your
attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be
mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.”– Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy is one of the reasons why I got involved in the Personal Development industry. Whilst selling life insurance back in 1988, as part of my training my manager had me listen to series of sales training tapes that Brian had recorded. I remember going home all excited telling Anne (my wife) that we had to have written goals!

The result was that 12 months after writing a long list we checked back and found that we had accomplished over 80% of those goals without looking at the list in between times. My thought back then was how things could have been even better if we’d read the goals every day. In my coaching work I encourage my clients to have written goals and to read them out loud every day with a big smile on their faces.

However, back to today’s quote, which is about attitude. You may have heard the challenge in the words that “we are made of sterner stuff” which implies that sometimes we have to roll with the punches, take it on the chin and accept the reality of what is happening in our lives. In the song “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” we are told “The blues they sent to greet me, won’t defeat me! It won’t be long till happiness steps us to greet me!”

If you are someone who can find the resolve to pick yourself up every time you fall, then life will not master you, you will master it! You cannot be defeated in the long run if you are not willing to accept that defeat! We must accept that “it is what it is” but not be willing to accept that “what it is” will remain, if we chose for it not to!

How To Make Your Success A Certainty



“Flaming enthusiasm, backed by horse-sense and persistence, is
the quality that most frequently makes for success.” – Dale

Does success frequently evade you? Here’s the recipe that Dale Carnegie came up with, for making your success and mine a certainty. He says employing enthusiasm, common-sense and persistence will result in our success! Dale was the author of the famous book “How To Win Friends and Influence People” a 1936 personal development classic, that sold over 15 million copies!

Enthusiasm, flaming enthusiasm at that, is a joy to behold! I love to watch people when they display enthusiasm for what they are doing; when you can see that their heart and soul is totally involved! The word enthusiasm literally means “god within” so the way I understand it, enthusiasm is doing whatever god intended us to do.

I can’t say that I’d ever heard of ‘horse-sense’ before I read this quotation, so I Googled it. The free reads: Noun horse sense – sound practical judgment and then it uses it in context: “Common sense is not so common”; “he hasn’t got the sense God gave little green apples”; “fortunately she had the good sense to run away.”

In my coaching conversations, my clients sometimes like me and you “can’t see the wood for the trees” and all they need to get them back on track, is a little common sense. It is a quality that can escape us when our attention is on other things. It’s always worth asking the question “What is the advice I would give to someone else to help them, if they were in the same set of circumstances that I find myself in right now?”

Finally, persistence is not a hallmark of our 21st Century society, that wants instant gratification, and yet those who are successful in life will tell you that in diligently persisting in following their dreams, they arrived at the moment when their dreams became their reality. So, if you want to succeed, make use of enthusiasm, common-sense and persistence, like Dale Carnegie suggested.