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.

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.

Will this be on the test?

Why do we learn new concepts? What is the actual aim of learning new material? Be it a new language, an instrument or how to be a barista?

Is it to challenge ourselves in a new area? Is it so we appear smarter to our friends and colleagues? Or is it simply to tick the box to get a job or promotion?

No wrong or right answer but the simple answer to the question is found in any school class when an upcoming test is looming “Will this be on the test”

Dancing in gum boots

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Ever wondered what your loved ones would say if you asked them to write down 50 things they really want to do in the next couple of years?

Its actually quite a hard task to come up with 50 right there and then. My guess would be that they will probably come up with 10-15 pretty quickly and the next 35-40 will come over the next couple of days. The aim is to have all 50 bullet points on the left hand side of the page linked with an experience on the right hand side of the page.

You have their list.

Now you make them happen. Even better if you can make them a random surprise for no other reason other than “just because”.

The other day I did it with the kids – with mixed results. The 2 year old said he wanted “200 Kinder Surprise Eggs” and the 5 year old wanted “to dance in the rain”.

A couple of days later the rain was delivered (absolute down pour). What a great time to go and dance in the rain, which is exactly what we did. Still working on getting the 200 Kinder Surprise Eggs to the 2 year old though….. So many giggles to be had….

Hold my hand

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My little boy likes routine. Like most of us he likes familiarity. There’s comfort in that.

He’s just started “Big School” at the tender age of 5. He’s ready though, just ask him, make no mistake. It’s daunting however…. he’s gone from a playgroup of 20 plus kids to a school with a couple of hundred kids. He’s gone from a small converted house to a huge sprawling collection of buildings. He’s gone from a place where he was one of the older kids to a place where he is the youngest kid and very nearly the smallest….

We are 3 weeks in but the walks to school are still very quite or one way conversations. He’s thinking about the next 10 minutes. He’s unsure what to expect when he walks through the gates. He’s unsure what the rules are in the playground.

For me, the walk to school is the highlight of the day. I get to hold his hand.  Something I hold so very dear. I know one day he won’t want to hold my hand.

He pops his bag on the hook, looking to see if his buddies, Connor, Hiro or George have already hung theirs up. He sees that 2 out of the 3 are in and I suspect it calms him slightly but he doesn’t say anything. We walk to the playground still hand in hand. Sienna, Zinzan and Harry, some older kids that he knows from previous encounters, run over and say hi. Do you want to play they ask. He stands there, holds my hand extra firmly and looks through them, they eventually run off without him.

I sit, he stands very close and looks around. I ask if he wants to play and that I’ll stay right here. He declines and makes sure his leg is touching mine. Then at 9.25am the music starts which signifies the start of school. For him, it must be the most magical sound. A large grin spreads across his face and he throws his arms around me. This is followed by a huge kiss and he runs off to line up in front of his teacher.

He sits cross legged in front of his teacher, all the kids lined up one by one. I make sure I move to the back, behind all the new parents standing around waving at their darling kids, so I can play our little game.  The only way he can see me is by looking through the legs of the other mums and dads. I must impersonate a crouching tiger and get low. When I’m low enough I catch his now big bright sparkling eyes. I mouth to him “May the force be with you” to which he mouths back “And also with you”. He couldn’t be happier.

With that Ms. Black, his larger than life teacher, stands them up and marches them to class. He looks back once and then twice. With a quick smile and a wave he skips off. Not a care in the world. All fears gone. The 9.25am music represented the start of the routine.

My little boy likes routine. Like most of us he likes familiarity. There’s comfort in that.

Unexpected coffee shout

 

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A few weeks ago I went to my local coffee shop and ordered my usual. So far so good. A normal day. A million things buzzing around in my head and I’m not really paying attention to anyone or anything. When I went to pay my dues the script changed. Mr Barista informs me that a lady, only 3 minutes before me, had paid for the coffees for the next 5 people who walked through the door!

I suddenly started to pay attention to those around me and saw two people at the counter watching me whilst waiting for their orders. They both sported goofy looking grins. They were waiting to see what my reaction would be. It turned out that I was customer number 3. They were lucky numbers 1 and 2. After 10 secs or so of trying to digest what had happened I joined them, muttered some words that I can’t remember and then put on my best goofy looking grin and watched as lucky number 4 walked in.

This small very kind gesture completely changed my morning. Changed the rest of my day. Changed even my week. I’ve told this story to a few people since and every one of them has said words to the effect of “Wow…. I’m going to do that next time I buy a coffee”.

Why would someone do that is a question for another day but the impact it has is lasting. It jolts them out of their thoughts, their issues, their routine. It makes even the largest issues go away, just for a split second – hopefully longer. It puts a smile on a random face who in turn puts a smile on the person they next happen to lock eyes with.

Give it a go. You will feel the results – even if you don’t see them first hand.