We watch. We learn. We adapt. We evolve.

I forget how resilient we can be.

We watch. We learn. We adapt. We evolve.

An observation from today

Winter school holidays arrive.  Tennis camp organised.  Bestie is in. Sounds fun. Its local. One day only.

The day comes. Excitement. Bag packed. Ready to go. Bestie wants to walk there with 5 year old. Both can’t stop talking along the way. Subject is poo. Dog just went which triggered the hilarious topic.

Arrive. 25 kids. Out of control. 2 coaches. Zero control. Kids up to 10 years old. 5 year old and bestie not comfortable. “GO TO COURT 5” is the order. Kids look at me. Worry on their face. “What do we do dada?” It’s a fair enough question. The on court coaches haven’t even noticed they’ve arrived.

“Pop your bags down here, line up behind the bigger kids and wait your turn” is my response. Trying to work out what’s the protocol. No one to ask. On court coaches being mobbed by 25 kids. My boys turn and look at the line. Then look at me. “Its alright, just join in when you’re ready”. 30 seconds pass. They assess. They look at each other. They look terrified. I watch from afar. The dog is going crazy. Must be hard with tennis balls flying around.

Its besties turn. Up to the service line. He looks at the coach opposite. No idea whats coming. Ball lobbed in. A swing. A miss. And its all over. To the back. Kids laugh. You missed, go to the other side.

Its the 5 years olds turn. He’s had the fortune of watching bestie. Still looks terrified. Ball comes. He swings. He hits it. It goes flying. Into the next court to the right. He sees the funny side. Bursts out laughing. Still follows bestie to the “missed” side. Worked out they need to stick together.

Missed side = other side of the net. Balls flying everywhere. Need to catch a ball to get back on the hitting side. Taken me 7 balls to work it out. 5 year old and bestie still have no idea. Hands in pockets. Confused. 10 year olds hitting balls hard. Too hard.

I can’t watch this. I should go. They will work it out. I don’t normally interfere. The dog and I turn to leave. Another coach walks past. I can’t help it. Tell him to get in there. Please coach Coach. Explain what is happening. He looked at me. A little taken a back. Just the warm up he explained. Look after the 5 year old and bestie I demand. The two smallest there. They will take a little coaxing to get involved I warn.  Time to go. I was causing damage.

The walk back home involves a u-turn onto a higher street level. 5 mins after leaving I can see the kids from 50m away. Needn’t of worried. Split into age groups. More coaches. 5 year old and bestie now on Court 1. Running between witches hats. Shouting. Clapping. Falling. Laughing. Hugging.

Kids are resilient. We are resilient. We watch. We adapt. We learn. We evolve.

charles darwin

Is the sky really falling?

Find yourself in the middle of a crisis. Not many options. You’ll soon find out what’s inside. You’ll learn a lot. A crisis will shape you.

Those who have found themselves in a life altering crises quite often wouldn’t change a thing post the event. They find the crises makes them. It’s hard and yes they would like to avoid a repeat. But hey – thats life.

A recent TED talk discussed the crisis of the ordinary investor who had held investments with Bernard Madoff. Entire life savings wiped. Gone. Nothing left. What next? How do you recover? Hate on someone else? “Let someone continue to steal your life” 

When you stop and really think about it. There’s only one real option if you want to continue to grow. There are many different ways to recover. Most not easy. There’s also more than one way of looking at things. Head to the positive. Change your outlook.

Not many live charmed lives. Whatever happens to you, grow from it. You know you’re not going to be the same in a year. Its not what happens to you, its how you respond. Pain and suffering only come from the stories that we tell ourself.

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We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them – Epictetus

 

5 areas to extend yourself

This adventure has been going for a few weeks now. Heres 5 topics that have hit home over that time.

1. It takes courage to jump. There will be individuals, including yourself, that will deter you from going outside ‘your lot’. There will be good reasons not to jump. Economic reasons. Family reasons. Dumb reasons. Reconcile these first. Then you will jump.

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2. Humans respond to small things. I still get goosebumps when I think about the lady who brought coffee for 5 complete strangers and then left. That small gesture jolted me out of my thoughts, my issues, my routine. It made my largest issues go away, just for a split second, some longer. It put a smile on my face, which in turn put on a smile on the person I next happened to lock eyes with.

3. Familiarity gives comfort but it doesn’t always extend us. Familiarity is good to a degree. Take the 5 year old. Loves when the school music plays at 9.25am. It signifies that school has started. He now knows what to expect. But be careful. Familiarity can allow hours to slip into days, days to slip into weeks and days to slip into years. Good habits on the other hand are vital……

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4. Investment into your time. Time is precious. Its all we truly have. Only you can truly control the time you have (most of the time). Everyone has the same 8,760 hours a year. What we do with it is up to you. Getting into good habits is essential. Meditation for 10-15 minutes a day. Exercise 45 mins a day. Habits such at these make that 8,760 hours go a lot further.

5. CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL. This is the most important learning. Seriously. What is the point of worrying about something that you can’t control. Its not fair on you. Its not fair on those around you. It won’t alter the outcome. What you can do it is prepare for things that matter and take control from there.

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Many more topics to come and remember to set yourself apart.

Its a choice. Make it a priority.

Want to achieve your goals? Make your choice. Put yourself in a conducive environment.

Surround yourself with positive people. Avoid high conflict personalities. Someone who fights with others will eventually fight with you.

Remove yourself from distractions, from negative energy. Keep your surroundings fresh and your energy high.

Finding it hard to do that? Time to assess your priorities. Whats at the top of your list. Write it out. The list I wrote was not conducive to the environment I was in.

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Staying in the same negative environment results in the same stale results. Feelings of anger and frustration build. See the anger for what it is. Understand the triggers for the feelings. Aim to control them next time. You don’t have to solve the issue right there. Much better to take a deep breath. Take yourself out of the situation. Think on it. Within a short space of time your outlook will change.

Choose to meet your goals. Its a choice. Make it a priority.

You’ll land on something soft

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Is it too late to teach a dog new tricks. Too late to try a new sport. Too late to start a new business. Just too late?

Ask yourself why it maybe be too late. Maybe it is. Maybe you are set in your ways. Maybe you have a whopping mortgage. Maybe you have to put the kids through school. Maybe you are scared of your value in the real world. But maybe just maybe it’s not too late.

Being older doesn’t mean you need more time to relax. Or that you can’t mix it up with the kids of today. Sure you might not want to take up MMA (reflexes might be a little out of shape) but there are plenty of other things to try and do. I guess we’re not in a dress rehearsal.

With age comes experience and stubbornness (that could mean stuck in your ways but it could also mean resilience). With age comes maturity. With age comes the ability to assist others more than when you younger. Take Bill Gates. His charity has helped millions of people around the globe. He has had more impact because he was able to build his business up first. He made the networks. He made the money. He made a bigger difference than if he had started the charitable organisations at 17 or 18.

It’s never too late.

Jump. You’ll land on something soft.

Unintentional impacts

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We do it occasionally. Some more than most. It’s rarely deliberate and we don’t expect it to bite. Most perpetrators have no idea. But it does have an affect. Sometimes it bites a lot deeper than we think.

Have you ever noticed that individuals react strangely to you for no apparent reason. Why is this? What did you do? Probably nothing right? Maybe they’ve taken something out of context?

It is possible to reduce these reactions. Surely you’re not expected to know how individuals react to your comments. Are we? But the onus is on you. We need to be aware of those around us.

Depending on where the individual sees you in their life will affect the impact you have. Take for example a careless throw away comment from a boss to a new starter. The new starter will probably not react there and then, unsure how to react but you can be sure that he or she will stew on the comment for the day, probably the night and almost certainly the next morning when they see their boss again.

If your aim to to hurt someone then this post is not for you. If your aim is to make conversation, crack a joke or simply respond without any malice then just stop and think about what you’re going to say. Its an easy habit to develop. Watch out for the positive reactions.

Keep it coming son, keep it coming

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Another day, another lesson. This time from the 5 year old.

Walked through the door to “Did you win Dadda?” “What was the score?” “How many goals did you get?” It was a normal Sunday. It was a normal post match footy interview.

Normally the answers are met with a short “YES!” or a “Oh!” and then back to games. Today answers are met with a “Well done Dadda. Thats what happens when you practice and never give up. Just gotta work hard.”

Time stopped right there. What just happened.

Did I just imagine that. So proud. Who taught him that. Where did that come from. Maybe it’s was me. His mother. From the playground. Maybe he picked it up at Kindy. Who cares. WOW.

We’re all still learning. Still learning from anybody and everybody. Learning from those you least expect to learn from.

Keep it coming son, keep it coming.

Look at it a different way

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Maybe a strange question. Do you understand yourself? What gets you irritated? What gets you angry? Why does it get you angry?

Do these things truly matter. In the grand scheme of this very short time we have on the planet is it worth getting worked up about them? Should we let these situations consume us. Sometimes for months and years. Let’s take a different view.

Is it possible that there could be a positive to these situations. Sure, not all occasions will qualify but there will be some. What would happen if we didn’t stress about them. Would the situation get worse. Would your inner self get greater peace. Could it make you a happier person.

Over the next 7 days, test yourself. Take the positive out of every situation. Make sure you write it on your bathroom mirror in the morning. Make it your screensaver on your phone. Make it a habit. You will thank yourself.

Control what you can control

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Six years. Great job. Public company takeover. Redundancy letter arrives. Goodbye & good luck.

A good friend was made redundant last week. Ending months of uncertainty for him and his young family. It followed a public takeover of the company he worked for. No fault of his own.

Whilst it is exceptionally hard not having the routine of going to work, having a monthly income or being the bread winner, it’s turned out being the best thing that could have happened. This has weighed on his shoulders for months whilst the takeover ran its course. There was talk of going having to move to a different state, sharing a role or simply not having a role. Hard to sleep, no?

Now he has a new lease of life. He’s smiling again. The complete opposite to how he thought he would feel. Six months of uncertainty gone. He can get on with his life. The ideas are coming thick and fast.

A chapter closes, whilst another huge one opens. Embrace it, look it in the eye and CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL. Nothing more

Guard your time

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Time is all we have. Its exceptionally precious. Be selective with what you do with it.

Be ruthless with your time. Spend time with those who you want to spend time with. Spend time with the people that add something to your life or do those things that just before you go to sleep they make you smile.

Don’t take appointments or meetings that don’t add to your life experience. Only take an meeting or an opportunity if you are truly 100% excited by it. Is your inner body telling you must do it, that you must take that meeting, then take it. If its not, then don’t. Don’t be sorry or feel bad for saying NO.

Is your time more valuable than your money? So why guard your money more than guarding your time.

“Busy is the death of productivity and happiness.” – Naval Ravikant

Spend time doing things you want to do. Spend time doing things that make you smile, make you happy. Too simple? Give it a go for a month. You’ll be surprised.