Learn To Ask Better Questions

Get Results: ask better questions
Get Results: ask better questions

Asking better questions is a skill like any other, in that you get better with purposeful practice.

A while ago I read Warren Bergers, A more beautiful question – The power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas, and it got me thinking about the power of questions.

It’s an interesting read and builds on the idea of using the WHY, WHAT IF, HOW questioning system, which I love, because  it encourages expansive thinking.

I’ve used questions a lot in my life, in fact my wife is forever warning me to stop asking so many damn questions, particularly when we meet new people. I must admit, I do ask lots of questions, but not for any other reason than because I’m deeply interested in people and what makes them tick.

Get Results: ask better questions
Get Results: ask better questions

Maybe that’s why questions aren’t asked so much by many adults, we get used to adults telling us, as kids, to shut up and stop asking them.

There is no doubt in my mind that question are a gateway to finding things out. I ask my wife about things from her past, about where she lives and what she did, and what other people in her life did etc. It surprises me how little she actually knows about a lot of people she has shared her life with.

Now don’t get me wrong, people have a right to privacy, they don’t owe anyone else an explanation. I don’t mind people telling me to keep my nose out of their business, but I do believe that questions provide us with an opportunity to get to know others on a much deeper level.

Get Results: ask better questions
Get Results: ask better questions

People often seem content with superficial conversation about what they watched on TV the night before and what such-a-person is doing or saying. Gossip  can be quite interesting sometimes, although I try to keep away from it where possible, mainly because I don’t want to be viewed by others as a gossip.

However that level of conversation doesn’t really connect people to others, it doesn’t tell you much about who they are, apart from that they too like a bit of gossip or in some cases, thrive on spreading it, which gives a deeper insight into their personality, I guess.

Get Results: ask better questions
Get Results: ask better questions

Questions are also great for learning about ourselves, increasing self awareness. We may ask ourselves, why we do what we do and don’t do what we don’t do. What’s driving our behaviour? The answer’s, if given with honesty, can be very revealing. Sometimes people don’t ask these kind of questions, because they don’t want to know or admit to themselves, the answers.

It is surprising how much of what we do and don’t do is conditioned into us by social persuasion, often referred to as social conditioning. Conditioning is drilled into us throughout the duration of our lives, but particularly as young children, when we are particularly susceptible.

Get Results: ask better questions
Get Results: ask better questions

Questions are also a great way to spark ideas and innovation. Moving us away from the thought processes and work practices we have historically been accustomed to and instead opening up the opportunity to do them differently, and to find a better way. Why do we do it this way? What if we could do it that way instead? and then figuring out the HOW from that perspective.

Personally I like to use the following questions to remind me about not falling into the trap of doing anything that would be wasteful, unimportant or unfulfilling, when I would be better doing something else instead. I find it’s a great productivity tool. The questions should be asked in order.

  1. Why am I doing this, at all?  What is my goal?
    for example is it to make money, because it’s interesting to me, is it to gain or avoid something (such as not getting left behind or being able to add value to others). You should seriously consider this question and try to unlock your big WHY. This will help with the remaining questions. Use the 5 why’s method of questioning to dig deeper, so each answer you come up with, is followed by another  why, do this, you guessed it 5 times. Doing this delves down to the emotional background driving forces of your thoughts and actions, and gives you an opportunity to question these.
  2. What is the opportunity cost of doing it? What else could I be
    doing instead? Doing anything means not doing something else, both in terms of time constraints and economics, so consider what you’re missing out not doing. Remember time is the one resource we can’t recoup, once it’s spent.
  3. Is it worth the opportunity cost?
  4. Is there a better way of achieving my goal, instead of doing this?
  5. What other alternatives are available? Consider as many as you can!

So there you have it, questions are powerful, and if you haven’t read Warren Bergers, A more beautiful question – The power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas, I would highly recommend doing so, here is a link to Amazon where  you can read the reviews and even buy it.

Get Results: A more beautiful question
Get Results: A more beautiful question

 

Stay Inspired: Video Quotations

Get Results: learn, desire, action
Get Results: learn, desire, action

It’s important to keep motivated, and we can find inspiration all around us. People who overcome adversity and succeed, people who do things they don’t particular like, in order to reach a goal, people who never give up, no matter what.

I also love inspirational quotes, they give me a pick up, an opportunity to change perspective, and look at a challenge from a new frame of mind. I’ve included a few, and will be adding more video inspiration quotes to this page, so keep checking back. You can find them on my Instagram page also here.

Something Valuable To Learn From The Story Of The $20 BIll

Get Results: storytelling is the oldest form of education
Get Results: storytelling is the oldest form of education

We all love interesting stories, it seems to be built into our DNA, our ancestors told them through the use of fables and parables. I particularly like parables, designed to teach us something morally or spiritually. I like the  story of the $20, which is modern setting for a  timeless lesson. Hope you enjoy the story of the $20 bill…

Get Results: the $20 bill story
Get Results: the $20 bill story

Stop COMPLAINING And Start GAINIING

Get Results: stop complaining and start gaining
Get Results: stop complaining and start gaining

If you’ve spent any time on social media , you’ll know  that it’s full of complainers and blamers. People whinging about this and that, and boy have they had stuff to whinge about over the last few years.

There’s been Brexit here in the UK, Trump’s rise to power in the US to name just two biggies that spring to mind.

There’s also complaints about local stuff, like congestion, poorly planned urban development, anti-social behaviour, lack of courtesy on the roads, traveling communities disrespecting local areas.

Some complain they are getting the thin end of the wedge with student loans, job prospects, housing market conditions, I could go on and on.

While I have sympathy for those that find themselves on the receiving end of such situations, I too have been impacted by some of these things, complaining, and blaming doesn’t help in finding a solution, other than acting to alert those willing to take action, that a unsatisfactory situation does indeed exist. I guess that’s what complaining is designed to do, force others to take action on your behalf, whether that be local councils, politicians or the community itself.

I don’t suppose complaining is going away anytime soon, but for those that would like to take a more empowering position, read on…

Get on the right side of how things work, as Jim Rohn is famously quoted in saying. I would add that it’s important  to realise that there are winners and losers in every situation. You can be a victim or a victor. Sure sometimes things blindside us, we just didn’t see them coming, but we do have a choice in how we deal with them.

Be a predator of chance rather than a victim of circumstance, and look for the opportunities that come about continually because of the fact things are constantly changing.

Get Results:predator of chance rather than a victim of circumstance
Get Results:predator of chance rather than a victim of circumstance

It’s natural to fear change, because it brings with it uncertainty and risk. We, as a species have evolved to favor the tried and tested approach to ensure our own survival, and this is hard to shake off.

However with a shift in perspective, we are able to see that there are also many opportunities that come from change. When you choose to focus on opportunities rather than fear, you see things you wouldn’t otherwise see.

Let me give you an example, there are people still moaning about Brexit over a year after the decision has been made, they are still fighting an old fight, instead of focusing on making the best of it.

I  still see people going on about the disaster that will befall us when sterling comes crashing down around our ears, on exited the EU.

I say if you’re so sure of a future outcome take advantage of it instead of complaining.

For example – If the pound is going to plummet, because of Brexit, sell as much money as you can get hold of and buy a competing currency, like the Euro, you’ll make a fortune if you’re right. That’s a case of going from victim to victor in one foul swoop.

Any fool can moan and complain, but it takes someone with a bit of nowse to look for opportunities instead of being fearful of what could go wrong. If you’re certain of a future outcome, you’d be crazy if you didn’t move to take advantage of it.

But if you aren’t as sure as you make out on social media, give it a rest pretending you are. It’s not helpful, it doesn’t provide solutions to the situation as it is today.

For more about  taking responsibility click here.

Having Beliefs Worth Dying For

Get Results: seek the truth
Get Results: seek the truth

I recently commented on a post, that talked about how even people who believe themselves to be ENTITLED are often attached to beliefs, because they have invested a sense of themselves in these beliefs, and when challenged can become aggressive, and closed off to competing narratives, because defeat would somehow make them feel their sense of self to be less.

This is important because this mental positioning is what leads mankind into conflict and ultimately war. Now I’m not saying we are all capable of killing others to defend our beliefs, but given the right circumstance it is possible that even so called level headed, model citizens are capable of contributing to unimaginable things. Mankind’s history is littered with examples. World War 2 for instance, is often blamed on the Nazi party under Hitler, but we have to remember that German people voted him into power, because they believed his rhetoric, and the narrative that Jewish people where the problem.

The following conversation ensued, I thought I would make a post about it, because this is a good illustration of what happens when you attach to beliefs, now there’s no chance of this escalating into war or anything so extreme, but it hopeful shows how division starts, because one person feels threatened by the ideas of another, because they are invested in their beliefs..

Me: A belief in anything risks investing yourself in it. As soon as anyone feels the need to defend their belief they have probably gone too far.

Other: But what good is a belief if you are unwilling to defend it? I don’t ask anyone to become a Buddhist or think the same, but if they challenge my core beliefs, such as work telling me to take a sentient life, I will defend my beliefs to the end.

Me: and there lays the Ego dilemma. It is for the individual to pick their own path, but as long as you choose to defend your beliefs you automatically invest yourself in them. This is Ego at work. Beliefs forge separation (from contradictory beliefs) and form attachment (to the belief), both are designed by the Ego to make yourself more, because the more you have the more you are. Why would a person need to be more, if you were truly enlightened? I’m open to contradictory views, I don’t invest myself in this way of thinking, it’s just the best explanation available to me at this moment.

Other: this is not allowing another to breach my beliefs. It has nothing to do with ego. There is nothing wrong with belief and faith. It is what makes us spiritual and follow an ethical path. Without belief we are nihilists.

Me: I’m just saying we should be open to the possibility we might be wrong. Seeking the truth, rather than settling for something that could be wrong, and closing ourselves off from the truth.

Other: why do you assume that I have not investigated multiple beliefs and religions? I do not create my beliefs out of just accepting what my parents told me. If I did, I would be a Christian. I take refuge in the three jewels because of my investigation into truth and logic. Yes I am invested in my beliefs.

Me: I’m not assuming anything, I’m not judging you in anyway. You commented on my comment. I hope what you believe serves you, but that alone doesn’t make it THE TRUTH, but it is your best guess, as is my view for me.

Me: Many beliefs are built on assumptions, inferences and the testimony of others, rather than FACT. What actual facts back up your beliefs? (that is a rhetorical question, I don’t expect you to list them) but ask yourself this question for every belief you hold. We all should do this. Many of the BIG questions we have about life, can’t be proven as fact, there is often a lot of faith involved, so they are effectively guesses, we hold to be the truth.


Now I wasn’t trying to be a smart ass in this conversation, or attack the other persons beliefs, but he or she seemed to take it that way to some degree and the impression I got (which is often difficult to accurately gauge via a text only medium) is that they were agitated by my comments just a little bit, and as a result felt a need to defend their position. The comment about Christians just believing what their parents told them, could be construed as a dig at a different belief system, but generally I think we both approached this conversation with a balanced view.

I dare say if I’d have framed my language more aggressively, and the other person, likewise, this could have got into something of a slanging match, like we see all too regularly on social media.

My comments during the short conversation weren’t a criticism of the other person but a general statement that all of us should be very wary that our beliefs don’t close us off to competing ideas. It’s like a barrier goes up and perceptions are closed down. I liken it to a child covering their ears and humming to prevent hearing what is being said.

Hey, I’m as guilty as anyone else, for defending my beliefs in the past. I now have a different view of them, or I could even say I have a different belief about beliefs. You can’t get away from holding beliefs, they’re kind of an anchor for us to build from.

The problem seems to come from investing yourself in them, as I said in the conversation above.  But it is important to realise we often take what we need from our beliefs and ignore the rest. However this isn’t the best approach for uncovering THE TRUTH. Scientist generate an hypothese, and look to disprove it. The scientific approach prevents confirmation bias, and investment in the belief. It’s a best guess, until proven otherwise approach.

I have become very wary of anyone who says they have strong beliefs, that they would defend with their very lives, because I believe them.

For more about improving self awareness, check out these posts

24 Inspirational Jim Rohn Quotes

Get Results: Labor gives birth to ideas - Jim Rohn
Get Results: Labor gives birth to ideas – Jim Rohn

Jim Rohn was an famous entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker who lived between 1930-2009. He was and still is, considered one of the leading figures in the personal development space, with many of his teachings, still seen as relevant in the modern world.

Below are some of the inspirational quotes from the late, great Jim Rohn.

Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes
Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes

“Happiness comes not from what you get but who you become.” – Jim Rohn

Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes
Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes

“You can’t make more time but you can provide more value. Value makes the difference in results.” – Jim Rohn

Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes
Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes

“Don’t spend major  time on minor things.” – Jim Rohn

Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes
Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes

“For things to change YOU’VE got to change. The only time it gets better for you, is when YOU get better.” – Jim Rohn

Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes
Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes

“You have a choice, it’s easy to let life deteriorate to just making a living, instead DESIGN A LIFE.” – Jim Rohn

Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes
Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes

“The major key to your better future is you. Change your future, change you.” – Jim Rohn

Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes
Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes

“We can have more than we’ve got, because we can become more than we are.” – Jim Rohn

Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes
Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes

“If you really want something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t you’ll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn

Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes
Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes

“If you don’t like where you are, MOVE, you’re not a tree.” – Jim Rohn

Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes get on the good side of life
Get Results: Jim Rohn quotes get on the good side of life

“Learn to get on the good side of how things work.” – Jim Rohn

“Whatever good things we build end up building us.” – Jim Rohn

“The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch.” – Jim Rohn

“Time is more value than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” – Jim Rohn

“When you know what you want, and want it bad enough, you will find a way to get it.” – Jim Rohn

“The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become.” – Jim Rohn

“Failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.” – Jim Rohn

“There are only 3 colors, 10 digits, and 7 notes; its what we do with them that’s important.” – Jim Rohn

“Giving is better than receiving because giving starts the receiving process.” – Jim Rohn

“Ideas can be life-changing. Sometimes all you need to open the door is just one more good idea.” – Jim Rohn

“For every disciplined effort there is a multiple reward.” – Jim Rohn

“How long should you try? Until.” – Jim Rohn

“Make measurable progress in reasonable time.” – Jim Rohn

“Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention.” – Jim Rohn

For more motivational information, check out our motivation guide.

Losing Weight, Living Healthier

Get Results: money can't buy health
Get Results: money can’t buy health

Like many people, I’ve struggled with my weight for many years, probably over the last 15-20 years or so, ever since I finished playing football, back in my early thirties.

Well to be completely honest, I haven’t really struggled with my weight, in the sense that I haven’t been trying particularly hard to lose it, I just haven’t cared too much about putting on a few pounds here and there. You see, I have never particularly wrapped my sense-of-self-worth up in my body image, so it hasn’t really matter too much, in that sense.

However I know that excess weight is probably not going to do my health much good, something of an understatement I know, but I have felt lately, that my mobility has begun to suffer, and this has the potential to adversely affect the quality of my life.

A few years ago after visiting Los Angeles, I went of a concerted effort to shed a few pounds. I went from 19 stone to 16.5 stone over a period of a few months, through control of my diet and walking a lot.

Since then I’ve piled the pounds back on, largely through what I describe as creep. Eating and snacking particularly between meals, as well as indulging in bigger portion sizes. It’s not been a sudden increase in calorie intake but has kind of crept up on me.

At the time of writing this post, I’m 25 days into a new schedule, aiming for 1000 calories or less per day.

Below is a gallery of meals we’ve enjoyed over the last 25 days, I’ve had a few jacket potatoes and tuna meals sprinkled between these meals along the way.

I’ve included the meals to illustrate how very tasty, and not at all boring, healthy meals can be. Most importantly of all, they have helped me lose 14 lbs (1 stone), in 25 days. I will be posting my progress over the coming months, as part of my commitment to follow-through.

This blog centers on getting results, from the perspective of acquiring knowledge, tapping into motivation and being more productive. So here I am putting what I describe on this blog into practice.

Knowledge

These are the points of knowledge I’m using to get results.

Calories in should be less than calories out.

2500 calories is the average calorie requirement for an adult male, 2000 calories for females. More weigh loss posts here.

One lb of body fat is made up of approx 3500 calories.

Belly fat is not as serious a threat as Visceral fat

If I can keep my daily intake to below 1000 calories a day, I should be in the region of losing a lb of body fat every 3 days or so. 2500 calories per day (adult male requirements per day), minus 1000 calories (calories eaten), leaves 1500 deficit per day. 3500 calories is a lb of body fat, so 3500 divided by 1500 equals 2.3 days to lose one lb. In one month I should have lost approx 13 lb of body fat.

Motivation

I want to improve the quality of my life, initially by increasing the frequency of going walking, giving me the ability to appreciate the beauty of the countryside, without being preoccupied by having back pain as a result of carrying around excess weight.

Improving SELF AWARENESS, to figuring out why I’ve been eating too much and not doing enough exercise – My main problem here is I get so absorbed in what I’m doing, work wise, which is predominately done on a laptop, that I’m just not moving around enough. I need to take regular breaks and do some activities during those breaks to improve my circulation and burn some calories. Also I must stop snacking, which tends to occur if I’m not working. I don’t think of food while working, but as soon as I stop, I start snacking, usually out of boredom or as part of social habits. I need to form a new habit here, to replace the old snacking habit, so I’ve started to eat a raw carrot, if I fancy eating something. I actually like raw carrots, so that’s working well for me so far.

Holding onto gains as the new floor. I’m not allowing my actions or emotions to push me under the new floor once it’s established (this is measured in weight). I’m using the following question to refocus.

Get Results: move closer to your goal
Get Results: move closer to your goal

Productivity

I want to keep the calorie intake count under 1000 calories per day, until I’ve shipped a few stone.

I’m going to focus on good calories and avoid empty calories as much as possible, but without denying myself too much. If I fancy a chocolate, that’s fine as long as I stay under 1000 calories per day.

Each day I keep below the 1000 calorie intake limit, put a big X on the calendar. I have one responsibility, don’t break the chain of X’s. So far so good.

Meals so far

Progress so far

Date and Day number Wt Loss Current Weight
Date: 1/1/18. Day 1 start 18 stone 12 lb
Date: 25/1/18. Day 25 14 lb 17 stone 12 lb
 Date: 1/3/18. Day 60  25 lb 17 stone 1 lb
Date 5/8/18 Day 229 40 Ib 16 stone
Get Results: weight loss Mike
Get Results: weight loss Mike

Summary

I am using this post to chart my progress, not just for my own benefit, but also in the hope that you can find some value from it yourself. I know I’m not the only person working to lose weight and get fitter.

It’s so easy for weight to spiral out of control, almost without noticing or should I say, admitting, which is probably a more accurate way of putting it.

Eating can be an emotional response, maybe an attempt to fill a void or may just be an over-indulgence, that goes to far. Whatever the cause, it’s important to figure out the underlying reasons for it and address those so you can find a healthier path forward.

We inhabit our body’s for the duration of our time in this life, and have a duty to look after it, both from a psychological and physical perspective. By improving SELF AWARENESS, and TAKING RESPONSIBILITY we have a chance to be more effective in this pursuit. Good luck in your weight loss journey.

For more reading check out our weight loss guide.

34 Important Life Principles

Get Results: learn, focus, execute
Get Results: learn, focus, execute

For much of my 50 years I’ve tried to be a student of life, and I’ve collated a number of principles I think have helped me live a better life. I thought I’d share them with you, hopefully you can find some value in them.

They are listed below:

  1. Become a master at Selling – get to know what turns people on, their passions, think of the seven deadly sins for this (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride). Alternative consider what keeps people awake at night (fears/anxiety). Use well known sales structures to hang your sales message on such as A.I.D.A. or S.U.C.C.E.S.
  2. Be a business owner – don’t work in a business, work on it, there’s a world of difference. If you find your not suited to the running of business, but you’re interested in it, be an investor in businesses.
  3. Become an investor – Learn to spot undervalued assets and sell for a profit or derive income from them.
  4. Identify where things are headed. Pattern recognition. Map to the future.
  5. Stay ahead of the trend not behind it. Look for expanding markets, otherwise you’ll have to work harder each year for same profit.
  6. Disrupt your own business model. Don’t focus on how it’s always been done. Find the perfect solution and get as close to that as possible. Don’t just try to do it the best you can, do it the best it can be done. Seek the perfect solution and work back to what is currently possible, and work to fill the gap going forwards. Consider convenience, affordability, increase of SOS.
  7. Under promise and over deliver. Manage expectations and try to exceed them.
  8. Go the extra mile.
  9. Pay attention to detail.
  10. Add value in all exchanges – even if it’s just a smile, or a kind word.
  11. Customers are not interested in your story, only how you can help them increase their sense of self. Align your needs to theirs and you’ll win. Provide a solution to help them.
  12. Be memorable – people won’t remember what you did, they will remember how you made them feel. Use mnemonics, like velcro with lots of sensory hooks, for example baker versus Baker.
  13. Be a problem solver – not just a problem spotter. See what people are moaning and complaining about. Providing workable solutions is where the value is created . Stop moaning and do something about it. Be a solution provider.
  14. Don’t let your resume hold you back. Be open to opportunities and say YES, then figure out the HOW after.
  15. Leverage is key to wealth success. It magnifies effort exponentially (to the power of..). Leverage of debt, compound interest, leverage of resources. For example; multiple shops, multiple assets all bringing income. Leverage your contacts. You don’t need money, you need a better strategy. If you can’t make money without money, you probably can’t make money with money. Leverage other people resources. Who benefits from what you are trying to do? If you need £50k to buy a new business, If supplier going to get £100k more business ask them for £25k investment, offer seller £10k more if they accept the remainder in instalments. Ask “who will benefit” and work out a way to leverage other people’s resources.
  16. Focus – concentrates energy through a narrow conduit, reducing drag and increasing speed and effectiveness, like a magnifying glass intensifying the sun’s rays so that it is powerful enough to start a fire. Do the one thing such by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary.
  17. Adaptable – ability to shift perspective and flexibility of thought. Open minded to new and better ways of thinking /behaving. Look for the best way it can be done rather than the best way you can do it. Try to disprove what you think you know and challenge assumptions/inferences. What worked yesterday may not tomorrow. Don’t resist chance. Be a predator of chance rather than s victim of circumstance. There are winners and losers in every situation. Try to put yourself out of business (be a disrupter).
  18. Be a lifelong learner – Seek out the best way it can be done, not the best you can do it. Master of what you know, apprentice of what you don’t. Question everything test everything.
  19. Don’t just believe everything you hear, even from authority figures or so called experts. Ask “how do you know? Point me to the research/evidence !” Look to have hypotheses that you try to disprove (like science does) rather than beliefs you try to confirm. It is the most effect way to uncover the truth.
  20. There are lessons all around you all the time, with lessons of what to do, what not to do, everyone has something to teach you, whether they know it or not – watch and listen more than talking.
  21. Learn from your mistakes, don’t be fearful of making them. They are the best teacher.
  22. Find accurate information from reliable sources, curiosity, disprove rather than prove – prevents confirmation bias and self reinforcement, scientific approach.
  23. Allow reflective time to absorb and assimilate information. Talk to others out loud (real or imaginary) as if you were teaching them about what you have learned, or blog about what you’ve learned, this will help you organise your learning into a coherent form.
  24. Beware the Curse of knowledge. Use what you have/know to help others who want to know what you know, in layman’ terms. Break things down. If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it enough.
  25. Choose love over fear – Fearfulness is self defeating, and Ego-centric. Be in the moment, observe thought, don’t react or be controlled by it.
  26. Think abundance rather than scarcity – When one door closes another opens, if you miss a door opening, don’t worry another will. They are always opening.
  27. Givers gain – Of your time, experience attention, support, experience, money.
  28. Get results – Know and do what’s needed, whilst not doing anything counter. Knowledge, motivation, productivity.
  29. Stop using Coping strategies to excuse failure – Justifying is a method to alleviate cognitive stress, and allows us to settle/make do with the current status quo.
  30. Goal setting – Make sure the method you choose to achieve your goal is congruent/ aligned with you, otherwise you won’t act. Ideally do something you like which leads to your goal. If you like business but don’t like the day to day responsibilities of running a business, be an investor instead.
  31. E to P (Entrepreneur to purposeful) – don’t keep bouncing off outer wall of ability, you have to figure out a way to expand your boundary, because life will keep testing you until you do. Even if you give up and do something else, the time will come again when you need to push passed.
  32. Know that beliefs, values and consequently, principles, rules, conditions, judgements, views, opinions, conjecture, predictions are built largely on assumptions and inferences and testimony (of perceived experts/authority figures via social conditioning), rather than truths, formed by repetition, revision, practice. Yet they play a huge role in shaping our perceptions/perspective and consequently behaviour/actions. Our Senses take incoming stimuli and our mind then runs a storytelling narrative over them, as we attempt to interpret and make sense of what we see, hear, taste, touch and smell. Our senses can be fooled, our thoughts and consequently our perceptions/perspective misguided.
    Question thoughts, beliefs, assumptions /inferences – start researching to find if they’re accurate/true
  33. Be wary of having fixed/rigid beliefs and values. When someone tells you something, ask “How do you know?”
  34. Expectations worth having;
  • Expect that if it can go wrong it will and at the worst possible time – prepare for it!
  • Expect nothing – drop any sense of entitlement – life and people don’t owe you anything, whether politeness, favours, forgiveness, a place in society, the right to make a living, good health, relationships, friends, family. Each day is a gift, appreciate everything you have, while you have it. Replace Expectation with Appreciation.
  • Expect change – Nothing stays the same, everything changes, change is a natural part of life, you can’t get stuck (in a situation)forever because things are constantly shifting. There are winners and losers in every situation, position yourself to win, be a predator of chance, rather than a victim of circumstance.
  • Expect things/situations to be more complex than initially meets the eye. i.e. political issues, skills etc. If something doesn’t seem to make sense, look into further to find out the complexities, rather than just giving an uninformed opinion.

Feeding The Ego, Or Using The Ego As Motivation

Get Results: feeding the Ego
Get Results: feeding the Ego

I recently came across a post on Facebook that read..

“If you want to feed the homeless than feed the homeless. But the moment you post it on social media you’re also feeding the Ego.”

To be honest it’s one of several with similarly framed messages, that I’ve seen recently and judging by the comments it can easily be taken as a message of criticism towards individuals that broadcast their activities of goodness.

Let’s just check we’re on the same page of what is meant by the Ego. The Ego is the unobserved mind, it’s the illusion that our thoughts are who we are, they are us. I describe this as an illusion, because thoughts are just thoughts, they are not us. They are fearful, irrational and conditioned, they are based largely on assumptions and inferences and while they can be used as a very effective tool, they are very destructive masters, if we blindly follow them. For more about the Ego check out our spirituality guide.

Now back to the post, I prefer to believe it’s a reminder, a double check to make sure the Ego is not taking over the intentions of such individuals. It’s an opportunity to bring AWARENESS to the situation, rather that blindly feeding the Ego’s sense of self, which isn’t particularly healthy.

Spreading positive vibes is a good thing, I’d like to see more of it. We are bombarded through the media with negative events, after all we’re genetically wired to be interested in bad news to ensure our own survival if we ever find ourselves in similar circumstances in the future.

Also seeing people doing good deeds can act to inspire others to do the same, and that’s no bad thing. Goodwill can be contagious, it reminds us that giving, and helping are spiritually good for us.

Feeding the Ego, by doing good deeds, isn’t bad in itself either, we can use the Ego to provide motivation for us to do THE RIGHT THING. In such circumstances we can use the Ego as a motivational tool, rather than allowing it to inflate itself without us knowing that it’s actually doing so.

Bringing AWARENESS to the situation gives us space to observe the Ego inflating our sense of self. If you realise this is why you’re doing it, if it feels good and your sense of self feels better for it, you’re using the Ego, rather than being used by it, there’s a world of difference in that space between observer and intention. This becomes an opportunity for spiritual practice while at the same time helping others, and what can be bad about that. I say, long may it continue.

For more about spirituality.

For more about self awareness.

We’re all impostors!

Get Results: impostor
Get Results: impostor

Symptoms

Have you ever felt you are not worthy of your position, you feel like a fraud, out of your depth maybe. Impostor syndrome as it’s known is a common complaint, with as much as 70% of the worlds population being affected by it at some point.

Cause

Impostor syndrome can occur because of the natural tendency for self doubt, a fear you lack enough competence, a lack of confidence in your own ability.

It can also come from the perception that experts in your field are looking down on you or are more masterful or knowledgeable than you.

Consequences

The consequences of these feelings can lead to procrastination, where you delay shipping until whatever you’re working on is as perfect as it can be. If it’s not perfect, everyone will know you are a fraud.

You might find yourself undermining your achievements, to prevent the fraud from being realised by others.

A deep seated fear of failure may cause stress and anxiety, after all you don’t want others to discover the fraud you are.

You might play-down praise, because you and your work are really not worth it.

Rectifying

So how do you reduce these feelings of being an impostor? Well meeting your fears head on and seeking out peer feedback can be the first step, although this can also be the scariest approach. Alternatively seek out a mentor to help you through the psychological mind field.

Give yourself a break, you’re doing your best, we all are. Try to make incremental improvements as you go. Try to get better each day.

Realise that luck and chance play a bigger role in your success as well as that of others than you give it credit for. Few masters have got where they are from deliberate planning alone. Practice does make perfect, in time, and there are no shortcuts, you’ve just got to put in the work. Opt for purposeful practice, find the best way it can be done, rather than the best way you can do it.

If you’re doing something worthy, something new, there is no blue print, you’re treading new ground, so don’t worry about being an impostor because at this point you have to be.

You’re unique, with unique experiences, traits and views so utilise these to give your work something nobody else can.

Seth Godin says “Time spent fretting about our status as impostors is time away from dancing with our fear, from leading and from doing work that matters.”

We’re all impostors! So what? It’s not so much about us anyway, as it is about the work we do, so focus your attention on that alone.

For more about motivation, check out our motivational guide.