Hi there dear reader,
mashariki.wordpress.com has now moved to themainprotagonist.wordpress.com
All the coaching and wisdom is now available for you at the above site.
I look forward to continuing this journey with you.
Happy 2014 to you, I’m so glad you’re here again with me.
I thought I’d take a break and let you settle into 2014. Can you believe it’s February already? Time keeps moving swiftly along, and time really is the only thing we can’t get back. So don’t waste any more time.
One of the most valuable things a coach or teacher provides is saving you time. Many moons ago I read self help books and tried figuring things out on my own. That took ages and let’s face it, some things you just can’t figure out on your own because your thinking around it remains the same.
One of the reasons I write this blog is to share mental tools that if you implement will give you what Oprah calls “a-ha moments”. Get you thinking about things in a different way so that you can implement a new behaviour in your life. New mental tool + new behaviour = change. It’s a simple equation.
Today’s post is about money. Here’s a simple but very insightful visualisation exercise you can do by yourself, to get to the bottom of what you really believe about money.
Imagine that money is a person. What does that person look like to you? Really get into the details of describing him or her. Is it a man or a woman? How old is he or she? What does he or she look like? Tall, short, healthy, unhealthy? What does he do for a living? Where does she live? What kind of house or apartment? What kind of clothes does he wear? Is he or she married, with kids or without? What’s the relationship with his partner like? What’s the relationship with her kids like (if infact she does have kids). What are his hobbies? What are her friends like? Is he a pleasant person? What’s her personality like? Approachable or distant? Laid back or uptight?
You get the idea. They key is to describe everything in detail, as though you are describing a character in a movie. After you’ve done that, the next question is the kicker. Would you spend time with this person? Is this person a friend of yours?
When I did this exercise a few years ago I described a gentleman who looked nothing like anyone I spent time with. In short – what I really thought about money was that it was this far away thing that I had seen but was never close to.
Now my definition of money is vastly different. It evolved over time and became a woman who was in fact someone I considered a good friend. The description evolved yet again over time. And now money to me is a clear blue stream that I love to swim in.
I’ve done this exercise with clients and they’ve been surprised at what their descriptions reveal to them. For many people money is something they can never quite get close to. The next step is to change that description of money and turn it into someone you would consider a friend.
- Have an honest conversation with yourself about money
- No point pretending it doesn’t matter – it does!
- Get to the heart of what you really think about money and turn it around.
It’s December, we’re almost at the end of yet another year – and what a year it’s been!
For many people, 2013 has been a year of huge change, change in their desired direction. 2014 will be a continuation of that. Consider what you were doing in December 2012. Did your life look different to what it looks like now? Does it look the same? And are you content with that? It was just over 12 months ago that I made the choice to begin the journey of working for myself and being of service to others. What a difference 1 year makes. If there’s one thing being a coach has taught me, it’s this: most people are essentially good. Most people desire genuine connection with others and fulfilment in their working lives.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s February, July or December. It’s all just time. And time keeps moving along – irrespective of what you decide to label it. A week ago I had the pleasure of meeting with an organisation that is up for creating a better world, a world where people feel their lives have meaning (more on that next year). How many people have said “things start winding down at this time of year”? A lot of people I know are still creating the life they want and connecting with people who will help them do that even into this week! They don’t care whether it’s December – they recognise that it’s all just time. Why wait until January or February (when the world apparently “gets busy again”) if you can get something done now? Why wait until another year comes and goes to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do? What exactly are you waiting for?
Time keeps chugging along. If you live in Melbourne, you know the order of events. In January, ads for The Australian Open will start appearing. And then it will be Valentines Day. And then it’s time for The Melbourne Comedy Festival. And then The Melbourne Jazz festival comes next. And then the Film Festival and then time for The Writers Festival. And so on and so forth (with lots of other events I haven’t mentioned believe me) until it’ll be Christmas 2014. Is your life doing the same thing? Ticking along? Same as before? Time just keeps moving. It’s so important to be aware of that. And time doesn’t care. It will just keep pacing along no matter what you choose to do with it.
Change is the only constant. It actually takes more work to stay the same, because nothing in nature does. Even your body is constantly and continuously changing (shedding skin, shedding hair, regenerating anew month after month).
You are the main protagonist in your own life. You play the lead role. You are not an extra. So go on, create the life you want because no one else will do it for you.
Stay safe during the end of year festivities, remember to HAVE FUN and rejuvenate. Get excited to create a brilliant 2014.
We know how we feel about others. We know who we trust the most, and maybe even who we don’t trust at all. But can you trust yourself?
Quite often I’ve spoken about “taking the leap”. Everywhere we look these days we are being encouraged to live the life of our dreams, life is short and we must make the most of it (you are already naked, there is no reason not to follow your heart, Steve Jobs said) and thank goodness for this.
Taking action to see that project you’ve dreamed come to fruition requires courage. Be it finding or creating your dream job, starting a short-term project, taking a break to travel the world, moving cities, bringing to life your business idea (the list is endless).
Could the reason you’re holding back be: you don’t trust yourself fully? Not trusting yourself to see it through? Not trusting that you know what to do or that when you are stuck there is help available if only you ask?
This choice is a journey (Or a marathon. After one milestone, you pat yourself on the back and the race goes on until the next milestone and so on). Did you try something in the past but it didn’t work out as quickly as you’d hoped, or unfold the way you wanted it to? Did you then quit? Or perhaps you don’t think your abilities are good enough? Are you an aspiring author comparing yourself to JK Rowling? Are you a musician comparing yourself to Lenny Kravitz? Not a good idea. You crush your self esteem even before you have started. Even the successful ones began somewhere (see last week’s post “Just Start!“)
One of the first questions I was asked when I said I’d be working from home sometimes was “do you think you’ll have the discipline?”. Good question. And the answer was a resounding “yes!”. Trust me, when you know, you know. The time for wasting time will be over and you will know that you have work to do. Consider how hard you’ve worked in the past. Consider what’s happened in the past when you’ve put your efforts 100% (if not more!). More often than not you experienced success. Well, guess what? You will do the same for what you are genuinely passionate about. But do you trust yourself?
There are ups and downs. Days when you are reminded that you are ON PURPOSE and joyful about it, and days when you will doubt. But you will find that you are filled with gratitude that you chose this path. You could have done something else, put the dream on hold another year – but you didn’t. It takes guts. Trust yourself.
It’s December 2013, what were you doing December 2012? What do you want to be doing December 2014?
- Don’t defer the dream another year. Trust yourself and just do it.
I had the pleasure of speaking to a woman who is up for some amazing things.
Her name is Tania De Jong, she’s a trained soprano and a businesswoman who believes that creativity can help us solve so many of the world’s problems. Tania is one of a number of speakers sharing their knowledge at “Seeing The Unseen“, a TEDx Melbourne event on December 3rd. If you’re in Melbourne that day, I highly recommend you pass by and share in the wisdom that will be exchanged.
One thing Tania said that I think all of us should hear is this: just start. Whatever it is you want to accomplish, achieve, see come to fruition – just start.
There will always be doubts. But that makes perfect sense, if you’ve never done something before you don’t know how it will end. But instead of worrying about whether it will backfire, how about thinking about how you will succeed. How about then thinking of all the things you’ve accomplished in any area of your life (and don’t say they are “too small”) and knowing that if you did it once, you can do it again.
Whenever my clients thank me for the coaching work we do together, and notice the difference it has made in their lives, I think to myself “imagine if I’d never taken the leap to become a coach”. We would have missed out on what we created together. Whenever anyone helps me with something they’re good at (particularly if they’ve chosen to make it their life’s work) I am grateful. What would have happened if they hadn’t taken the leap and began offering those services? We would all miss out, that’s what. Everyone misses out when we choose to play small.
Another thing to know is, sometimes what you do may not work out they way you thought it would. Key words: the way you thought it would (hint: look out for other lessons in the process). That’s no reason to quit. Instead, keep exploring and refining. It’s about Doing, Observing, Learning and Tweaking. When I first began this blog it was far from perfect, it didn’t look anything like it does now. But I went ahead anyway. Along the way I asked for help and I got it. It’s a work in progress – like all things I’m still learning and refining.
Growth and change is the natural order of things, so it makes sense that with whatever you do, there will be growth and change.
It’s November 27th 2013, hopefully this day looks different for you than November 27th 2012 did. Hopefully there’s been growth.
- Got something on your mind you’d like to make happen? Just start.
- If you’ve achieved before, you can achieve again. If you’ve mastered something you had no idea about before, you can master this new thing.
- Growth and change is normal. The same goes for your ideas and your work.
These days, we idolise business people. They are our new gods.
How many people want to start a business – but have an exit strategy for it i.e in 3 years they want to sell and make a fortune – they want, what I call, the “Instagram” dream. Or they have visions of themselves as the next Steve Jobs. The thing is, there will only ever be one Steve Jobs. His story might resonate with some people, but not with others. And neither is right or wrong.
I believe we each need to find our own additional heroes. Heroes that resonate with us. And guess what? some of these heroes need not be world famous. They will be heroes who operate in other spaces – not just in business. I think it’s imperative to do so especially now when we can see what some big businesses, with questionable ethics, are doing to the environment, to the communities around their areas of operation. It’s no secret now how some of our food is produced (it’s scary – we’ve all seen the documentaries). It’s also no secret how many hard working decent folk are being laid off. What has it all amounted to for them?
The other truth is, not everyone is interested in business. Not everyone is going to be fulfilled creating a startup or an app, and becoming the next great business hero. These are ideals that are valued by some people but not all.
It’s important for us to realise that the public discourse has been overtaken by one kind of conversation. Some people may just want to be parents. Others just want to be teachers or nurses. Others may just want to make music. Others may just want to contribute in the neighbourhood they live in, or the city they live in without the global glory. Others just want to write books and share their imaginings with the world (even in this arena we seem to be interested in those authors whose books have turned them into billionaires).
You see, we’ve made it all about money. We’ve made it all about economics. These are important aspects of life today, but they are not all that is. The truth is, for many people, meaning will come from other places. I believe it’s worthwhile taking the time to find out where fulfilment will be for you. What would you absolutely love to spend your time doing? Where lies your joy? That is your sweet spot.
Other people’s hopes, dreams and achievements are just that – other people’s. Some of their stories will inspire you, others won’t. But don’t get confused into thinking you should do this one thing that seems to be the “in thing to do”. That will be your ego (the good old ego!) running the show yet again.
- Get honest about what you truly want to do, and how you can do it.
- Find a hero in that field. And remember they need not be world famous or incredibly rich.
- Find like minded souls and form a family of sorts – grow together.
- Pay attention to the public discourse. It may just be speaking to and about a certain group and not others.
“Love is a verb” Oprah said that.
And she’s right. Love isn’t just an intangible feeling – something you hear about in songs, read about in books, espouse in poetry. Love is a verb. Love can be seen. Love can be felt. Love is actions and actions like love have consequences. Love is a verb.
It’s because of love someone advocated for equality (and it continues to happen today). “Justice is what love looks like in public,” Cornel West said that.
It’s because of love someone started that not-for-profit. It’s because of love that someone wrote that self-help book. It’s because of love someone bought you that gift. It’s because of love and passion that someone volunteers their time, skills and energy – not expecting to get paid in monetary terms.
Trust your gut. If you don’t see the love, it may not be there. Don’t let your mind trick you into thinking it is. Love is a verb. Love can be seen. Love can be felt. Love is actions and it has consequences.
One of the most moving speakers on love is a man called Leo Buscaglia. He was a professor and motivational speaker who gave lectures on love at University (what a delightful idea!). I’ll let you observe for yourself reader. You can watch him give one of those lectures here. Have a look, be inspired and spread the love.
- Love is a verb. Love is action. Love isn’t just a warm fuzzy feeling you can’t put your finger on.
- Not seeing the love and passion in your daily work, in your personal life? Maybe it isn’t there. Go where it is instead.