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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Quitting is not always a bad thing.

Motivators and influencers will constantly shout at you that you should never quit, we are told that if we just work hard at something then success will come, sadly this is not the case and we need to try and identify when this point has been reached and how to bow out gracefully taking the lessons you have learned and using them to move forward in another direction.

Are you one of those people that just won’t quit? constantly banging away day after day not getting anywhere and making yourself depressed at the lack of progress and tired of failure, if you are then you are not alone, the huge runaway success of the internet and social medias early adopters has spurred on a global group of gold diggers all trying to make their name and carve out their own slice of paradise, the hours that go into the videos and the editing and the uploading, days trying to write blogs and researching different subjects only to get no actual views just likes so people get their avatar on your page should somebody else happen past it and think to click on their link.

And I can’t blame anybody for doing this, we all want to become rich and we all want the good life, believe it or not I do still think it is achievable, you just have to know when to quit something that is not working and replace it with a new direction and a new potential.

So I had a thought and have come up with what I think to be indicators that it is time to find another path, not everybody will agree with these and some of them are a bit hard to hear but ultimately as Paul Newman says in the color of money “find something you are good at and be the best and you will make money”.

Are you happy ?

Well are you? honestly? does what you are doing make you happy, if not then it may well be time to move on, emotions are transmitted very easily through the way somebody writes or holds themselves on screen, or even talks in a podcast, if you are not happy how can you expect anybody else to buy into you ?

Is it your passion ?

A passion is an easy thing to quantify, is this something that you would do even if there were no potential money in it ? I know this sounds like are you happy ? but it is not, eating large quantities of chocolate makes me happy but I am not passionate about it, I am passionate about health and education and the things that money provides, I am also very passionate about American Cars, huge V8’s that breathe and shake the ground as they pass, the subjects you are passionate about you will talk about for hours to anybody at anytime whether they like it or not!

Is it honest ?

By this I don’t mean are you trying to con anybody, what I mean is best explained by example, if there was a guru out there that claimed by simply standing on a carrot for 10 minutes a day you could flush all the toxins from your body extending your life and happiness, would you be able to extol the virtues of the system without trying it for yourself ? conversely if it turned out to be true could you push the subject even in the face of the opposition that it would surely get ?

Can you accept that you are not good enough ?

This is possibly the hardest thing to accept because we are told that we can do anything if we just try, and I suppose I do buy into the idea that with enough practice you can become proficient at just about anything, but we have to be practical as well, this whole blog and site is about trying to rise above normality, to become the best we can be and to make a future filled with life rather than slavery and toil at the hands of our masters, here is a secret, I suck at playing guitar, I still do it but I am slow and clunky and just haven’t got that spark of ability it takes to become a guitarist, I can however play along to quite a few songs and if you heard me you would think I was OK, but I could never make a living out of it because I am simply nowhere near good enough, you don’t have to look far to see how good life can be if you are the best at playing guitar, I am sure Steve Vai often thanks whatever force made him pick up a six string and start playing.

That is really it, there is no section on how long you have been trying because in truth that is irrelevant things will take as long as they take, and as long as you haven’t got a bizarre idea like literally building a staircase to heaven you will get to where you want to be, but without the above I really don’t see that it is possible.

An important point to remember is that quitting does not mean failure it simply means a new beginning and a wiser traveller.

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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”.

Over 40 ? You need more Protein

I actually turned 40 sometime ago and have struggled to regain the growth of my youth with little to no success, you see the problem is that although we all age we don’t like to think that it has happened and therefore very few of us adjust our lifestyles and nutrition especially to accommodate the changes.

So when I set off back to the gym I was training and eating exactly as I did before, and the results were mediocre at best, the fat refused to budge and the muscle wouldn’t come back for love nor money, a lot of the reason for starting this blog was to share the learning process with like minded people as I try and work out some of the most difficult things to nail down if we are all to live free with happy lives.

Please take a look at my Protein page here where I have included the section on protein over 40 and how the requirement changes, it is truly my intention to educate and assist with my blog and site and welcome any questions at all, I will endeavour to answer them either through a post or as an update on the site.

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Amazon Seller – free guide to get started.

There are hundreds of courses out there to help you become an Amazon seller and on the whole they cost thousands to access, I know that you only get out of life what you put in but that does not mean we need to over extend ourselves or use money unnecessarily to learn something that can be picked up for free, sure if you were to be paying a couple of hundred pounds for a course then it would probably save you that much in errors further down the line, but when we start talking four and five thousand dollars then I really do think you would have to really screw up on a monumental scale to even up the balance.

I am not saying that these courses are all worthless, I am just pointing out that they are expensive and the majority of us have been driven to look for a side hustle or a change in income streams through lack of available funds, not through and abundance of money and boredom.

So I started looking around to see if there were any free reliable alternatives to some of the expensive courses, and I found this site https://tinuiti.com/blog/amazon/sell-on-amazon-uk/ the guide seems really thorough and one of the first things that I noticed was that I actually had no idea of the prerequisites of opening a seller account on Amazon, I also found another site as an alternative to Junglescout this is https://sellics.com they not only have a 14 day trial offer but they have some free resources including keyword search for your chosen products.

Another challenge I have is the US centric nature of this business, so I will be spending some time researching how much of an impact this will actually have on me as a UK resident and if there are any workarounds to those issues.

Turns out there are, in future posts I will going through setting up my seller account from a UK perspective and hopefully making a profit.

That’s all for now…….

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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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