You 2.0: On Becoming the Best Version of Yourself

25 10 2011

What would you look like, if you were operating at the top of your game?

  What if the best possible version of you, turned up in the circumstances you are currently in?

What would that ‘best you’ do differently?

The best changes in our life do not come about by happenstance, or luck. They are imposed on our environment from the inside out – they happen when something CHANGES on the inside of us and blasts its way out from our hearts into the world outside. And they are changes that can only be made by us, when we reach that moment when we decide things are going to be different.

Think about some of the most important areas of your life.

Health & Fitness – if a world class athlete (rugby player, Olympic swimmer, bodybuilder) awoke in your body, it is guaranteed that in 6 weeks time your physique would be unrecognisable. Why can’t you do the same thing? Ask yourself, what would that athlete be doing (and MAKING time for) that you aren’t doing now?

 

Business & Career – if Richard Branson or 26 year old Mark Zuckerberg awoke in your body, what do you think your level of success, reputation and impact would be within 1-2 months? Ask yourself what would they be doing differently, and start thinking of how you can DO those things.

 

 

 

 Relationships – how would the BEST version of you operate in your relational sphere? How would that ‘you’ connect to, relate to, and treat your loved ones, friends and family, and even those new people who you want to build relationships with? How would those relationships improve (and how much would your levels of satisfaction and happiness grow) in 1-2 months?

 

  Self-investment – world class people, those who change the planet, are almost without fail, people who invest in themselves. They take (and usually MAKE) the time to reflect, consider their lives and work out what’s going well, what could be improved on, evaluate where they are in relation to where they would like to be, and how they could get closer to that ever-changing goal! The process of growth cannot happen without change, and the best growth comes from change that is self-initiated. Encourage yourself as much as you can by using the resources you have access to – books, CDs and seminars or one or two people you find inspiring to be around.

We all want to be better people. But rather than allowing that vague sense of  ‘you’re doing it wrong’ niggle at you “like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad” (to quote Morpheus from The Matrix), stop ignoring it, and start to pay attention to it and ENGAGE with it. Change can be a scary thing, but if you are willing to consider yourself and where you are at honestly, you will open up the way to move forward. And the world that opens up to those courageous enough to embrace change, is AMAZING.

As a wise man once said, the difference between who you ARE and who you WANT to be, is what you DO.
–          Quinton

 

 

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Would you rather be rich or happy?

11 10 2011

Here is an interesting article on the relationship between wealth and happiness, by the Happiness Institute (you can read more of their articles on www.thehappinessinstitute.com). It is written by Dr. Timothy Sharp, who is certainly well-qualified to write about such a subject: he has three degrees in psychology (including a Ph.D.) and an impressive record as an academic, clinician and coach.  He set up one of Sydney’s largest clinical psychology practices (www.makingchanges.com.au), a highly regarded Executive Coaching practice (www.positiveld.com), and is the founder of Australia’s first organisation devoted solely to enhancing happiness in individuals, families and organisations. Have a read, and let it make you think!

–          Quinton

 

Would you rather be rich or happy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Money and wealth or happiness and health? Do you really need to choose? Are they dichotomous or mutually exclusive constructs? I’ve written before and I’m sure I’ll write again about the relationship between money and happiness. Why? Because people keep asking me about it and there are still many myths and misconceptions out there on this topic that are crying out to be busted!

Today, however, I want to focus on just one aspect of this interesting (and necessary) debate…and that’s the ridiculous and false dichotomy that’s often created or assumed within this discussion. To what am I referring? Well, the belief that seems to be held by some that this is an “either – or” decision…that is, I need to choose either money OR happiness!

But even just a few minutes thought should allow anyone to realise this is not a real issue; it’s a false choice and an unhelpful, even absurd question. Because the reality is we can have both, or neither, or a bit of each…

You see money and happiness are barely related. They are related for those at the very lowest end of the socio-economic spectrum. That is, for those struggling to pay their bills and/or put food on the table, for those (for want of a better phrase) who’re below the “poverty” line, then more money will ease their stress and worries and allow for more happiness.

Above and beyond this, however, the relationship becomes minimal. It is there; there is some relationship; and that is that more money doesn’t hurt and may even allow for access to opportunities and health care and education and more, all of which can be good for our health and well being. But the “return on investment” gained from pursuing more and more wealth, once we have “enough” is minimal. And yet we know that so much more can be gained if we pursue or seek other variables such as good quality relationships or physical flourishing (just to cite two examples).

But this is not what many who ask the aforementioned question are thinking. What they seem to be thinking is I must make a choice! Well, yes, we all need to make choices in life and many of these choices are fundamentally important for our happiness and health but the choice is not really between being rich OR being happy! We can have both…if we want. But the point I want to try to make here is that chosing happiness is a separate and different choice altogether…it may or may not lead to or be associated with wealth. It will probably have nothing to do with it because financial choices will require completely different decisions.

So let’s not get these two issues confused; they’re both important issues but they’re both separate issues so let’s give them both the respect they deserve without forcing ourselves to miss out on either. What do you think?





The Woodcutter’s Wisdom – accepting things as they are

11 02 2011

Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, for he owned a beautiful white horse. Even the king coveted his treasure. A horse like this had never been seen before—such was its splendor, its majesty, its strength. People offered fabulous prices for the steed, but the old man always refused. “This horse is not a horse to me,” he would tell them. “It is a person. How could you sell a person? He is a friend, not a possession. How could you sell a friend?” The man was poor and the temptation was great. But he never sold the horse.

One morning he found that the horse was not in the stable. All the village came to see him. “You old fool,” they scoffed, “we told you that someone would steal your horse. We warned you that you would be robbed. You are so poor. How could you ever hope to protect such a valuable animal? It would have been better to have sold him. You could have gotten whatever price you wanted. No amount would have been too high. Now the horse is gone, and you’ve been cursed with misfortune.” The old man responded, “Don’t speak too quickly. Say only that the horse is not in the stable. That is all we know; the rest is judgment. If I’ve been cursed or not, how can you know? How can you judge?” The people contested, “Don’t make us out to be fools! We may not be philosophers, but great philosophy is not needed. The simple fact that your horse is gone is a curse.” The old man spoke again. “All I know is that the stable is empty, and the horse is gone. The rest I don’t know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can’t say. All we can see is a fragment. Who can say what will come next?” The people of the village laughed. They thought that the man was crazy. They had always thought he was a fool; if he wasn’t, he would have sold the horse and lived off the money. But instead, he was a poor woodcutter, an old man still cutting firewood and dragging it out of the forest and selling it. He lived hand to mouth in the misery of poverty. Now he had proven that he was, indeed, a fool.

After fifteen days, the horse returned. He hadn’t been stolen; he had run away into the forest. Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild horses with him. Once again the village people gathered around the woodcutter and spoke. “Old man, you were right and we were wrong. What we thought was a curse was a blessing. Please forgive us.” The man responded, “Once again, you go too far. Say only that the horse is back. State only that a dozen horses returned with him, but don’t judge. How do you know if this is a blessing or not? You see only a fragment. Unless you know the whole story, how can you judge? You read only one page of a book. Can you judge the whole book? You read only one word of a phrase. Can you understand the entire phrase? “Life is so vast, yet you judge all of life with one page or one word. All you have is a fragment! Don’t say that this is a blessing. No one knows. I am content with what I know. I am not perturbed by what I don’t.” “Maybe the old man is right,” they said to one another. So they said little. But down deep, they knew he was wrong. They knew it was a blessing. Twelve wild horses had returned with one horse. With a little bit of work, the animals could be broken and trained and sold for much money.

The old man had a son, an only son. The young man began to break the wild horses. After a few days, he fell from one of the horses and broke both legs. Once again the villagers gathered around the old man and cast their judgments. “You were right,” they said. “You proved you were right. The dozen horses were not a blessing. They were a curse. Your only son has broken his legs, and now in your old age you have no one to help you. Now you are poorer than ever.” The old man spoke again. “You people are obsessed with judging. Don’t go so far. Say only that my son broke his legs. Who knows if it is a blessing or a curse? No one knows. We only have a fragment. Life comes in fragments.”

It so happened that a few weeks later the country engaged in war against a neighboring country. All the young men of the village were required to join the army. Only the son of the old man was excluded, because he was injured. Once again the people gathered around the old man, crying and screaming because their sons had been taken. There was little chance that they would return. The enemy was strong, and the war would be a losing struggle. They would never see their sons again. “You were right, old man,” they wept. “God knows you were right. This proves it. Your son’s accident was a blessing. His legs may be broken, but at least he is with you. Our sons are gone forever.” The old man spoke again. “It is impossible to talk with you. You always draw conclusions. No one knows. Say only this: Your sons had to go to war, and mine did not. No one knows if it is a blessing or a curse. No one is wise enough to know. Only God knows.”

The old man was right. We only have a fragment. Life’s mishaps and horrors are only a page out of a grand book. We must be slow about drawing conclusions. We must reserve judgment on life’s storms until we know the whole story. I don’t know where the woodcutter learned his patience. Perhaps from another woodcutter in Galilee. For it was the Carpenter who said it best: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matthew 6:34). He should know. He is the Author of our story. And he has already written the final chapter.

by Max Lucado





Stuck? 6 Keys to Breakthrough..

23 02 2010

How many times have you faced a situation or a time in your life where you just felt STUCK. In a rut, as it were. Here are some quick keys to breakthrough..

1. Get some direction. Ask yourself what you actually want – “what would you do if you knew you could not fail?” You’ll never get momentum without a sense of direction.

2. Realise you have a choice! You may not be able to control you circumstances, but you can control your response. There is a difference between responding and reacting. The difference lies in the seat of control – are you occupying it, or your circumstances?

3. Acknowledge the things that block you from responding. Fear of taking responsibility, fear of failure, fear of others’ opinions, fear….. The first step to beat any problem is to recognise its existence. “Know your enemy to defeat it”.

4. Share your goals with someone else (who will support you)! Accountability yields commitment. I was talking with some friends recently about why we don’t do this, and realised that either:

a. We fear falling short of others expectations (what-if-I-fail?) and so try to play down our goals or keep them private, or

b. We fear that the goal itself may be seen as too small (a bit silly or easy) – or too big (who do you think you are?) – in the eyes of others when we share it.

In short, we fear people’s reactions to the actual goal, and then we fear their potential reaction should we fail to achieve it. If it’s too small, they’ll laugh at us. If it’s too big, we might fail and expose ourselves to ridicule. Solution is in the next point…

5. Don’t let other people hold you back with the same reasoning and negativity that they hold their own lives back with! Realise that everyone has hopes and goals, but most people fail to achieve them – for lack of courage and lack of proactiveness. So don’t fear the critics! US President Theodore Roosevelt once said:

“…the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic – the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done.”

6. And finally, realise that the times where you are most held back from doing something (by fear, lack of faith etc), will often be the times where if you push through, you will experience the greatest reward and success!





Follow the Crowd? Or..

4 02 2010

 





Where is your time going?

13 01 2010

This morning I read the following article by author Bob Gass, inspired by a verse in the Bible where the Jewish king David writes “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

The article made me think – hope it does for you too. Enjoy!

Quinton

***

Our days are like identical suitcases, but some people pack more into them than others. That’s because they know how to pack.

Everybody gets twenty-four hours, but not everybody gets the same return on them. The truth is, you don’t manage your time, you manage your life. Time cannot be controlled; it marches on no matter what you do. Nobody, no matter how shrewd, can save minutes from one day to spend in another. No scientist is capable of creating new minutes. With all his wealth, Warren Buffett can’t buy additional hours for his day.

People talk about trying to ‘find time,’ but they need to stop looking; there isn’t any extra lying around. Twenty-four hours is the best any of us is going to get.

Wise people understand that time is their most precious commodity. As a result, they know where their time goes. They continually analyse how they are using their time and ask themselves, ‘Am I getting the best use out of my time?’

In his book What To Do Between Birth and Death: The Art of Growing Up, Charles Spezzano writes: ‘You don’t really pay for things with money, you pay for them with time. We say, “In five years, I’ll have enough money put away for that vacation house we want. Then I’ll slow down.” That means the house will cost you five years; one-twelfth of your adult life. Translate the dollar value of the house, car, or anything else into time, and then see if it’s still worth it.’





Are you busy?

21 12 2009

“Are you busy?” This is the standard work question I hear people asking one another. Or, to reverse it, the standard work answer to the question “How’s it going?” is “Busy”.

But it’s not enough to be busy. So are ants, bees, and snails. The important questions are: What are you busy about? Who are you busy being?

– Richard Sauerman