Determination – Your Power, Your Journey

All to often we allow the power of self fulfilling prophecy to work against us, for a job interview we will continually think we are going to be late and end actually making ourselves late, or we convince ourselves that the guy or girl that we like would never like us so we don’t make an effort for fear of failure and guess what ? they never notice us!

Internal dialogues and self talk happen all day, every day, if we are aware of it or not, decisions are made on a subconscious level that determine the directions our lives take, with the exception of the very urgent “fight or flight” decisions these are all made with Reason and after an internal dialogue where we weigh up the chances of success versus failure and then act accordingly.

The problem with these conversations is that for most us they are biased against us this is most likely due to self preservation, and is not something that we all feel to equal measure.

Believe in Yourself!

How many times have you heard this, just believe in yourself and all will be well, it is more difficult however than it sounds as this requires the changing of your whole inner dialogue, you must reverse a subconscious level of thinking (not easily done) and you must find a way to remove the limits that you have set without knowing it, I personally am a firm believer in the power of the human spirit, years of observation have seen me notice that on some level my inner dialogue, my narrative that exists only in the deepest parts of my mind, influence and shape the world around me, and very rarely for the better I can tell you.

Break the cycle

Human behaviour is learned through pattern and repetition, for both motor skills and thought process, we ultimately become a product of our upbringing because this is the behaviour we see everyday, and so it becomes ingrained into our thought processes and our personalities, but we can change it, we can make a shift from one cycle to another, there is no shortage of research on making and breaking habits and one in particular found that it took nearly 12 weeks to form a habit and some people took nearly 254 days so don’t be too concerned if you have been telling yourself in the mirror that you are great for three days and you don’t feel any different.

Make Your Gestures Big

I used to be a nightclub doorman (bear with me) and I feel that tackling this situation is a lot like that, by the end of the night people were largely inebriated and their thought processes were impaired, conscious thought was cloudy and they were mostly running on sub-conscious activity to find their way home, my job, among others was to clear out the bar / club at the end of the night and I found after working this job for some twenty years that there was a very effective and distinct way to deal with this situation, you see shouting and hollering was not the answer, because hostility is just returned and talking quietly and not really making your presence felt was also pointless because you weren’t enough of an annoyance to cause an effect,

The most effective way to deal with this was to stand just that bit closer than you would normally, so you are not threatening but you are completely unavoidable and speak loudly and calmly repeatedly requesting that they leave as the night is over, and if you kept your cool and were patient the message got through within about 5 minutes for the lest drunk and the ones that could hardly stand got the idea within about 20 minutes.

My point is that I was dealing with people in the same mindset as we are when addressing our sub-conscious and trying to change what it wants to do, we are comfortable where we are and we feel safe because we are familiar with our surroundings, conscious thought that can reason that change is a positive is not in play and so we do not want to move, getting angry with ourselves is futile because we just become angry back and break all communication and trying to change a habit by gently whispering to ourselves each day just won’t cut it, we won’t hear the whispers,

The only way is speak clearly and unmistakably every time you get the chance, challenging all the things that you are convinced you are no good at, and don’t stop, don’t give up on yourself.

Determination is measured by the progress you make through adversity.

Me

Technique

Effectiveness is often mirrored by simplicity, I wouldn’t go downt he route of tying string round your finger or setting alarms to sit and concentrate on bigging yourself up, rather you need to start to listen, listen to your inner dialogues and start to recognise where they are working against you, and simply change the dialogue, as I have said previously change “I can’t” to “I can’t at the minute”, change “I am not good enough” to “I am not ready yet”, leave everything open ended, without the ability for your inner dialogue to close the door on a discussion you can modify the direction and message until you naturally follow the more positive path, take time to meditate, even if it sounds a little hokey and you feel silly doing it, by removing the outside noise of everyday life, even for 5 minutes, you can concentrate on what you are thinking and feeling and challenge all these beliefs you have about yourself,

Spirituality is not just banging gongs and Joss sticks (sorry if I offended anybody, seriously if you want to bang a gong then crack on!) it is about harnessing your own spirit and gaining from it, the foundation of success is much deeper than a bank account, but that account is much more achievable from a basis of inner strength.

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Building a better 2020

So we are entering the final months of 2019, and I can bet that for the vast majority of us we are no further forward than we were this time last year and for some of us we may actually be worse off, and that will be further exacerbated by the up coming festive season and the pressure from both the media and advertisers as well as the personal pressure you put on yourself to spend money on presents and entertainment for your children or yourselves, often on credit cards or over-draughts or worse still loans, this time of year is really a hunting ground for capitalists and vultures looking to tie you into agreements that mean next year you will have to come back for more.

It is not our fault, advertisers and social media put us in positions that we simply cannot escape, and we borrow in order to “keep up” with the neighbours or our work colleagues be it through our children’s activities or through the car on the driveway, holidays, clothes even sports and hobbies all say something about us and our ability to pay out money, this is all well and good but what happens when you can no longer work? I don’t mean if something were to happen to you right now, more the inevitable end, Retirement we are all heading there and most of us with nothing planned to see us through.

I would like to push for another type of new years resolution, it will be something we are going to achieve in our house, that is instead of the standard “no chocolate” or “go back to the gym” both of which normally only last a couple of months before we find ourselves sitting on the couch eating chocolate while we should be at the gym, we are going to be working toward reducing debt and becoming more financially intelligent, after all how can you expect to master something without knowing how it works ?

Some startling statistics are that the average UK debt is £31k per adult! that is shocking and although I don’t know anybody quite there I am aware of people near that threshold, when you put that against the average UK household income of £28k the gap is clear to see, and of course as this comprised of borrowed money the interest is also staggering, an average of £967 in interest alone paid last year for every Brit.

All economies run on the least paid individuals, this is the case universally, as these economies are propped up on debt, the circle is vicious and relentless and designed to make it difficult to break, but not impossible.

Firstly bear this in mind, there are debt charities and advisories that offer free and payed advice to people struggling with debt, but this advice in my opinion is flawed beyond belief, the basic advice is centred around either declaring bankruptcy or entering into a sponsored agreement where you declare to the world that you are nearly bankrupt and asking for them to freeze all your accounts and let you pay off the balances, but let’s think that through for a moment,

  • Bankruptcy – Stays on your credit file for 6 years, and will affect your credit rating for much much longer, so let’s say that you have reached the point where you believe that is an option, you would normally be around 30 years old and may possibly have a mortgage, so you would need to sell the house and use the equity to repay debtors, everybody is made aware of the Bankruptcy as it is public information, and it will have to be declared when you apply for housing with private landlords, any credit over the value of £500 and could remain for longer based on how long it takes to become discharged, at the very best based on a 30 year old this means you are 36 when discharged and paying through the nose for credit while you try and rebuild a credit rating, then at around 40 you are able to start re-building your life and possibly look to buy a home again, all the while having to declare that you have been a bankrupt and paying higher interest for the rest of your life, this doesn’t sound like a good option to me.
  • IVA – Individual voluntary arrangement, this is a fixed term of between 60 and 72 months (so 5 years at best) possibly 6 and the conditions are no more relaxed, you will still have to sell any assets you have to pay into the IVA and then you are still the same age when you start to re-build your life.

And of course you could just bury your head in the sand and do nothing, but that leads to all manner of issues and most of these will ironically cost you more money because you are always viewed as not wanting to pay as opposed to not being able to pay and this is despite the fact that you haven’t got enough money for the initial debt.

The first steps in my opinion are to understand the nature of the debt, how much actually is it ? how much is the interest and how much am I paying off the capital ? often these questions are not asked and people simply start at the least amount and try to pay that off while struggling to keep up the payments on a debt that is costing them a fortune in interest every month.

Work out how much your utilities actually cost, it is surprising how many times we just simply pay the regular estimated payment without question and then are excited when the company gets in touch to tell us that as we have overpaid we can either claim the money back or allow it to be credited to our next bill (most companies assume this by default) under these circumstances we view this as good will on the part of the company but actually that money could have been better spent on a debt reduction rather than sitting in an energy companies account gaining interest.

Not everybody of course will be affected by the previous examples but I guarantee that if you are reading this you are either trying to make money to be more comfortable or you are stuck in a financial rut and are desperately trying to get out, what I am trying to illustrate is that lack of knowledge is often the most costly mistake we make, when we look at people that are financially savvy what we are actually seeing is people that have worked out how to not give all their money away, they look for value in expenditure and they look for return on debt, if you have a house that provides more rental income than the mortgage outgoing then this is good debt, if you consume any service or utility make sure that you are only paying for what you take, and never take anybodies word as gospel always check yourself where possible so you can say with certainty that you know how much you are getting charged and why.

Conclusion

As human beings we are forces of nature, we have the proven ability to change the world and explore other worlds, we can create our own futures, and deal with our pasts, capable of great acts of kindness and huge atrocity the human drive and spirit is the most voracious and uncompromising force known to man.

Make a list of every thing that is keeping you awake at night and worrying you in the morning, everything that makes you snap at family and friends because you are pre-occupied when they speak to you and realise that you do have the power to change it, end the cycle of debt by not taking anymore out, pay off credit cards quickly and realise that if you can’t do that then you can’t afford the lifestyle you are leading, but if you put that lifestyle to one side for a single year you may very well be able to afford a much better one, and not pay somebody else for the privilege.

Obviously I am not a financial adviser and any situation should be looked at on an individual basis to determine the correct course of action, but you cannot lose if you find a way to pay less interest to lenders, and borrow money or goods on inflated interest because we haven’t got a “perfect credit score”.

You do need to be number 1 – trust me.

Popular culture has told us for years now that we do not have to be the best at what we do or strive to do, our education systems have largely developed a process by which the class progresses at the speed of the slowest pupil, this is has resulted in over inflated school ratings as the overall bar is lowered and a decrease in specialist subjects being taught at all as they give way to more general subjects that are harder to grade effectively as the factors for evaluation become vast through diversification of the subject matter.

But who actually suffers from this new way of working ? the educators and the governments around the world will have you believe that it makes for a more level playing field, that this kind of broad baseline teaching provides all pupils with the same opportunities, but the reality is something quite different, you see by creating an environment where everybody is taught at the same level in the same way with no recognition of aptitude does not create a level playing field rather it holds back the pupils that would excel and invariably gets them the reputation of troublemaker as boredom sets in, or it highlights the shortcomings of pupils that haven’t got an aptitude for the subject in front of a jury of the cruellest peers, children, so you can see how this is detrimental to both parties, the children that are bored have their future coloured by the term troublemaker, and are treated accordingly and the struggling kids start to lack confidence and become either shy or overly overt as a compensation, both scenarios achieve the exact opposite of the intended result.

This is largely a product of lack of money in the system, and in most cases a spin put on that lack of funding by governments trying to juggle ever decreasing budgets and ever increasing debt, but the irony here is that a countries wealth is a product of it’s population and it’s capability to participate on the world stage, so effectively we stay in a loop forevermore where we do not invest in youth to provide a better future for all, instead we choke the education system and make the youth fight for a future that is uncertain, and we wonder why they lack motivation.

This level playing field extends into adulthood as well, the evidence is excessive, people that did not do well at school becoming billionaires such as Sir Alan Sugar, 1 GCSE and he is worth 1.4 Billion, Steven Spielberg was rejected from film school initially, Deborah Meaden of Dragons Den fame left school before her A-levels and is now worth over 40 Million, and Sarah Millican Failed hers, what sets these people apart is that they pursued what they wanted to do and they did it with a goal in mind, to be the number 1 in their chosen field, now with the vast majority of these examples it could be argued if they are number one in their fields, possibly some people might not find Sarah Millican funny, or there may be people with more money than Deborah Meaden, but if we think about it we would all like to be a pound behind them, or make it as a performer, we just had it beaten out of us in our youth.

That is why I say you DO need to be number one, in your own mind at least, you need to strive everyday to be number one at what you want to do, because if you don’t believe that people in most cases excel at what it is they want to do then just Google around for a while, in fact very few of the most successful people in this world have got a strong academic background, that is not to say that academia is worthless, far from it, the world runs on the work of academics, and without them we would still be in the caves trying to get a fire going, my point is that equality is not only a good thing to try and achieve in society but the only thing, we just have to remind ourselves what it actually means.

Equality should mean the opportunity to excel and be successful, to not live a life in fear and poverty, to not eek out an existence daily just waiting for the cold hand of the reaper, it SHOULD mean the opportunity to live a good and happy life regardless of age, race, religion, ability or sexual orientation, and I think that as a society we have forgotten that, we need people to fall within a budget or a qouta, and the only way to make people fit into statistics is to manipulate the system until those people appear, the fact is nobody is going to do it for you, if you want the life you see when you close your eyes at night you are going to have to fight for it no matter what that takes.

So that is why I say that you need to be number ONE in your own mind that is what you are striving for, don’t look at your heroes and claim that you can’t get there because they have a natural talent, don’t let yourself off the hook by saying they are just better than me, substitute Talent for Aptitude, and Better for More Hardworking, to say that a person is a NATURAL TALENT is often to negate the huge amount work and dedication that they put in everyday to get where they are, and if you put in the same amount of work everyday you would get there too, the education system may have failed you (it equally may not have failed you too) but if you want greatness stop the excuses given to us by a society that has lost it’s ambition, and drive yourself to be Number One at what you want to do, and you will find happiness, some careers are better paid than others and some jobs too, but I promise if you are the best at what you do, at least within your peer group, then you will find a happiness and a calm that goes along with doing something you love.

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Changing yourself is not always a bad thing.

Controversial I know but hear me out, changing yourself is not always a bad thing if who you have become is what is holding you back, and for the majority of us that is the case, working jobs we hate on a corporate hamster wheel or even worse dead end jobs that are only “filling in time until we decide what to do” the world has educated the masses to believe that we are meant to work we shouldn’t aim high and routinely we, as a group ridicule the ones who dare to dream.

Don’t Change for Others!

Well no, you shouldn’t change for the sake of others, if you are being yourself and people have an issue with that then that is their issue not yours, on a personal level you should never alter your standards or shelve your hopes and dreams for the sake of a relationship, relationships are supposed to be reciprocal and therefore tolerance and in most cases a certain prioritisation of the partners wants and needs should come first and the other way round too, this way both parties are happy and equally valued, and if you had one person in your corner all all the time helping you to achieve your goals imagine how far you would get, this is not the place to change, love and loyalty under a false banner of intention and desire will always end in tears, Always.

Change Everything Else, However

I posted previously a news article that frankly scared the hell out of me, I do not want to work until I die, penniless and without the ability to enjoy my winter years or to help me children achieve their potential in a world that is getting smaller and more cramped, but to make this happen life has to be treated like a business, with the advent of gamer “professionals” and vlog millionaires the bar and the goal has shifted, you are now the business, and unless you treat everyday as a means to an end you will go out of business and be closed down sooner than you think.

The concept of going to work 9 to 5 and making a decent living, retiring at 65 and living a comfortable life at the seaside with a golden retriever and enjoying long walks on the beach with the Mrs in the sunset happy just to have an ice cream isn’t dying it’s dead, it no longer happens, chances are that if that was how you lived your life then the Mrs left ages ago for a younger bloke who sells rubber dog poo with a nice cheery face on it through his etsy store, and vice versa, this may sound very male biased but to be fair women have been just as capable of making huge sums of money as men, are just as capable of putting in the hours as men and the only thing that historically stopped them from achieving the same positions was having to wade through an archaic “old boys club” culture in business and life in general, this is now largely giving way and quite rightly, so the above scenario cuts both ways.

The process begins by having a look at yourself and having the guts to ask “what am I doing wrong?” and with the opportunities on the internet and global reach the way it is today, if you are worried about money in any shape or form then you (like me and millions of others) are doing something wrong, good news is these things are not too hard to spot I have listed below the one’s I found.

  • Sleep late / wake up late – sounds obvious right? then why do we all do it? realise that if we sacrifice the binge watching of breaking bad now we can watch it in a penthouse overlooking the beach in the future, but for now Sleep because nobody functions properly when tired and irritable.
  • Don’t exercise – Easy to say, that you want to be a business person or you are too busy to exercise, cardio at the very least is a must, remember you as an organism run on oxygen, cardio will improve your cardio vascular system, so in a basic sense the fitter you are, the faster you are and it takes less time to complete tasks, that way you have more time to do more things.
  • Take chances – The easy path is the path of least resistance, yet we marvel at people who are flexible and have trained themselves to be able to practise yoga or gymnastics or even bodybuilders. stop to think when looking up to these people is that what you are admiring is somebody literally chose the path of most resistance, if you are pushing so much there is a little pain then you are doing good.
  • Listen – Real simple, if you knew everything then you would be rich already, listen to as many people as possible, most of what is said will be useless, but there is gold in them thar hills!
  • Keep Goals in mind – Stop being distracted by everything around you, TURN OFF SOCIAL MEDIA NOTIFICATIONS

If you are looking for something to do while staring at your phone, rather than the latest cat video, or yet another guru shouting at you that their way is best and you should give them thousands to see how, train your mind to be quicker and more agile, try Elevate in the links below (not affiliate links) I will even start a little traineesuperhuman group so we can play against each other.

Call to Action

Now is not the time to start, now is the time to DO the clock has been ticking for some time already and we are literally fighting for our futures, so whatever it is you do, do it better, excel at your chosen field and always run a side hustle, no income is guaranteed that is true, but income that relies on the decisions out of your control needs a backup, because you never know when it is going to fail.

Work Until you Die? or make a stand now ?

This article confirms what I have thought for some time now, we need to make a stand because for most of us the future is set in stone and it is cold, hard and very unpleasant.

https://www.theguardian.com/membership/2017/mar/29/a-world-without-retirement

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When Motivation is Not Enough

Summary

You have been shouted at by a stranger on YouTube and you have started a million and one get rich quick schemes and some get rich slow schemes, nothing is coming in and you are just spending more and more time online trying every different avenue you can to make something, anything work.

You are not alone, the online world from our prospective is split into two camps, the this is what you should do to make money and the this is how you should feel and act to make money, there is no this is how I do it camp, there is nobody who gives any prospective on how long these things should take or indeed how you actually start to make some, any cash at all, and before you start listing the hundreds of millionaires that have YouTube channels and that have catchy titles like “this is how I make $10000 a day from typing” or “watch me build a million dollar sales funnel” let me say this, I am talking about real substance on how you execute these promoted Frameworks, I put together a business idea in a post that can be found [here] where I outlined an online property business that could easily be global and you could do it from that fabled beach in the Bahamas that seems to be the very first trip these people make after making all their money, but here is the rub, the entire thing was useless, not worth a single penny because it has no Method of execution there is no information on how you complete the steps just simply the steps themselves and without that it is like having a Bentley with no tyres on the rims, it looks good but can’t go anywhere.

And it is at this point people fail, when you are sat there after you exhausted all your ideas and you have nothing left to give, it is 2 in the morning and you have to be up for work in 4 hours, but hang on isn’t this what you paid them for? isn’t this the advice that you are supposed to be receiving, well yes it is, so you have a cup of coffee and you remember Elon Musk saying that he worked 100 hours a week and all the influencers on Instagram with the positive little memes all the way up to the ones that simply stand there and tell you that you don’t work hard enough, and you trudge on just getting older, more skint and more and more disillusioned as you scroll through social media watching videos on how well everybody else is doing.

This is the point where motivation just isn’t enough, and this is also where you like others can start to fall into depression, and self -doubt, as somebody who has been there I can honestly say that this is difficult to get out of, almost impossible to live with and will ultimately effect everybody close enough to you to care.

Sounds Grim Right?

Well that’s because it is, I am not going to trawl through the internet to find statistics to dazzle you with the amount of research I did to back up my opinion because I don’t need to, the evidence of the state of society is all around us, it is in our schools, our workplaces and out in the streets, it follows us home and usually sits by the bed all night waiting to grab our attention even if we dare to wake up for a few minutes, I am talking, of course about the age of information technology, a lot of commentators blame Social Media solely for societies ill’s but this simply is not the case, it is the scale of information and demand for attention that is causing the confusion, and yes this encompasses social media, but it also extends to TV, Radio, Cinema, and even the lowly conversation, this is an On-Demand world and anything less just isn’t good enough, and anything other than instant results are also simply not good enough, so when we don’t realise all our dreams of financial success overnight, rather than go looking for the reasons or anecdotal evidence of how long it took the most successful to achieve their goals we look inwards and blame ourselves, we start to scroll looking for the inspiration that will drag us out of our unproductive trench and somehow propel us to the top the way it did so many others.

But this is because when you sit and stare at the screen for hours on end, or watch the latest “make money online video” you are only getting half the conversation, with no context at all, all the people we are taught to look up to have struggled to make their money, Richard Branson had several failed businesses and nearly lost Virgin a couple of times, Mark Zuckerburg wrote several unsuccessful applications including a music program he later gave to Microsoft for nothing, Grant Cardone came from very humble beginnings and if you watch enough videos you will soon realise that Gary Vaynerchuk had a far from ideal childhood, problem is they weren’t famous then, so there is cataloguing of Gary Vee drinking urine from a can because he was being bullied and the Christmas tree business Richard Branson had never made it to the front pages of any newspaper but they happened and created the inspirational characters you see and follow today.

One thing that unites them all now is calm, and I know that sounds odd but bear with me, I know they are not all calm in their approach to life, they scream and shout, book huge auditoriums and have lights, music and pyrotechnics but look at them closely, they are calm, their eyes are calm and no matter the volume of their words they are delivered with a calm certainty that resonates through every syllable, I guarantee they will not have sounded like that when they began, they sound like that now because they know it is a numbers game, it is clear thought and good decisions that make the millionaires of the future a vision and an unerring drive to get there, but it also a marathon and not a sprint, and marathons require planning and they require pacing or you will just be left behind, a sweating crying mass alone by the side of the road, defeated.

Your Recipe for Success

So right back to the beginning at 2am with work at 6am, the best thing you can do is stop what you are doing and protect your job, ask yourself this, when you are changing jobs, do you announce it to your boss that you are looking for alternative employment ? no, or at least I do not because we would fear that it would prejudice our position within the company we currently work for, so why let your venture destroy your security now? get some sleep and come back to it the next day, I guarantee that if you want to succeed it is going to be easier if you are as calm as possible, calm people make rational decisions, they consider the options and often times react very quickly as they have already formulated the course of action and do not need to adjust it once it is in play, “Think Slow, Act Fast”, there are two sides to every goal, the planning and the execution and this is where most of us fall down because we are still planning while we are executing, negating, in some circumstances any progress we might have made to the point of deviation.

Everything Must be in a straight line for efficiency

As crude as it is (and I promise I will work on my graphic skills) what I am trying represent is that if we start with an exponential amount of planning at the start, we can draw a straight reducing line toward the goal as over time we can decrease effort required as experience and skill increases, whereas if we are constantly in the planning stage the line is a lot more bumpy, there will be times where reaction to events is required to keep pushing a project forward and these are best represented by a triangle along the line, as the effort sharply increases in line with the goal but then once the solution is reached it quickly decreases, my point is to succeed you need to react to problems not lack of planning.

Meditate

One thing to do and an opinion that is shared by some of the most successful people on the planet is meditation, now you may think that mediation is sitting cross legged and humming to yourself in the Lotus Position, but I would rather you think of Meditation as something more personal, we all have different interests and likes/dislikes, we all have things that calm us and things that annoy us, for instance a very successful APP that helps people study is one that simply feeds the background sounds of a coffee shop the listener, thousands of people benefit everyday from the calming effect this app has on them, I however fell agitated by the background noise of a coffee shop, or any public establishment so for me that app would be a one way ticket to failure!, so pick something that Absorbs your thoughts something that takes you away from reality for a time to allow your mind to completely forget anything other than pleasure, it is easy to pick an activity to achieve this state, simply do something that makes you forget time, by which I mean anything that you do that usually you are so occupied by that time seems to slip away without you noticing, if that is sitting in the lotus position then great, if it is riding a dirt bike then also great, you looking to achieve a disconnect from effort, allowing your mind time to slow down and bathe in a huge release of endorphins, always remember though to set some kind of reminder about re-focusing on your goal and work because without that you could spend all day chilling out and that won’t get anything done!

Summary

So in summary, anything worth having takes work and a lot of it, but all the motivational speeches, inspirational stories and success shaming in the world is not going to help if that is not the problem, if the problem is overload and mental fatigue then that is what needs to be addressed, learn to recognise this and switch off YouTube or Instagram or wherever else you go to get your daily dose of persecution from virtual peers that likely are doing no better than you and relax, think slow and act fast, a ten minute rest will lead to a much more productive 30 minutes effort, till next time……..

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