6 Skills Essential for Communication and progression.

Unless you want to live under a rock in a forgotten place as the only human inhabitant at some point or another you are going to have to communicate with others, the need to communicate is as old as civilisation itself and many many books have been written on the topic, I personally am quite a shy person, I have had a lot of hang ups about my ability at work my physical appearance and my ability to communicate with others in both personal and professional capacities.

The written word seems far easier to control and deliver and is powerful, hugely powerful in fact wars have been started and stopped through the written word and societies changed by adherence to the written rule of law, but behind this and in every case there is people, people to think and then vocalise the thoughts and ideals that we then document to disseminate among the population, through history there have been many documented cases of one person mobilising entire countries through their personality and ability to communicate.

This is not some kind of black magic, and you do not need to rely on hypnotising people to bend them to your will, you simply need to know how to communicate effectively and be likeable, when was the last time you went out of your way for somebody you did not like? we are more likely to put ourselves out or assist complete strangers than somebody who we have actively taken a dislike to.

And the same works in reverse, you are unlikely to be helped up the corporate ladder by somebody that has not “taken to you” and garnering assistance from somebody you do not gel with is almost impossible.

But talking to people is daunting, it can be almost debilitating especially for the first time as the rules of engagement haven’t been set yet, you do not know what type of person you are dealing with, what they think, feel, desire or what they will find funny or insulting, as a demonstration of this I have one friend who considers swearing to be the height of rudeness, as I am sure some of you will, and one that we regularly insult each other with some eye-watering expletives as a matter of course, it is simply the way we communicate, and I have a good relationship with both and have worked very successfully along side them with no trouble at all, simply because I took the time to understand what type of person they were and adjust how I converse with them accordingly, so I have compiled a list of some of the more core rules of communication because it is difficult to make it through life without it and almost impossible to succeed financially or socially without giving consideration to how you communicate with others.

  1. Smile, A very simple first step is to smile, a smile puts people at ease especially in first meetings because it at least shows you are happy to be in their company or pleased to meet them at least, when I say smile I do not mean a great big wide grin that looks as though you are about to burst into laughter, the best thing to do is to actively think of something pleasant, a situation or a person that naturally makes you happy, as smiling is largely an involuntary response the reaction will be natural and not look forced very important as you do not want their first thought to be that you are false!
  2. Eye Contact, Often explained away to easily this one and it is really difficult to get right if you are trying to force it, the tendency is to stare at someone intently after being told to maintain eye contact, but this is just intimidating at worst and if you are dealing with a tower of confidence in the other person they will most likely just find it annoying and it could easily turn into a staring contest, again not a good first impression, the best rule of thumb is to concentrate on what the person is saying and get eye contact for around 50 to 60 percent of the conversation, this is engaging but not confrontational.
  3. Consider the situation, Often overlooked is to consider what kind of meeting this is, and adjust accordingly, for instance in a job interview the interviewer is in a position of power (if you really want the job that is) and you are looking to impress but not dominate, so you would maintain eye-contact at crucial times, when giving answers to questions for instance (looking away when answering tends to suggest that you are searching for the answer) but not overdo it during the more general moments of the interview, if however you are in a position of power and you need to assert authority you would lower your tone and fix the person in your gaze for more of the conversation, this is an instructional position.
  4. Do not shout, Unless you need to shout because of environmental considerations try not to, shouting is largely the loss of control and unless delivered at exactly the right time tends to erode any authority as you are no longer calm and level headed, a lower quieter tone delivered exactly and firmly making sure not to trail off at the end of words is far more authoritative and will get your message across without annoying the other person, when we get annoyed we stop listening, it is a fact, I am sure that you do the same.
  5. Dress for success Well actually just dress for the situation you are going to be in, if you are wanting to be taken seriously in the business world, and you are in a traditional type office setting then turning up in trainers jeans and a T-shirt is really only any good for the monthly office picnic, whereas if you are in a more modern setting a three piece suit is probably not going to help you integrate with the environment, to put it in extreme terms don’t expect to be taken seriously at the annual dentists networking convention dressed as Ronald McDonald!
  6. Try and find Common Ground, Humans are by and large pack animals, we feel most comfortable among people with the same interests and aspirations, by looking for traits in people that you can relate to you can ease most situations and create an environment that is mostly devoid of the deadly silence that exists between people that have no idea what to say to each other, the weather only lasts so long as a conversation but a shared interest in a sport or reading or pogo’ing can last a lifetime of water cooler talk and will most likely create a friendship even if it is at a very low colleague level.

Being socially awkward is not a bad trait and it is not something that you have to change regardless of your need to or not, it is however going to hold you back if you want to make a progression in the business or family life or any social interaction, the world is becoming an increasingly social place, it is a sort of pseudo social to be fair, as it is conducted behind screens and keyboards but millions are made based solely upon personalities of normal people, such is the power of likeability, even if the personality is largely successful through controversy they will still have a following based on a connection through common ground and the people that do not like them will follow them to feed into a common ground that will grow their social circle.

Relationships are reciprocal and when you become friends with people or establish a worth you will find that they will help you as much as they can, and when all it takes is a little consideration to your first meeting and how you appear to people in everyday interactions, it is a small price to pay , believe me whatever you are trying to achieve in life, communication while it may not always be the first key, will always make it easier.

I guess one of the biggest things I am trying to get across is, working situations to your advantage and exerting your will to further your position is not a sinister terrible thing, it is a tool that is used the world over and there is no reason why you shouldn’t utilise everything in your power to succeed, after all that is why we are all here isn’t it?

Holiday Challenge

In September we are going to Dubai for what amounts to a long weekend, now, I have lost a considerable amount of bodyfat since starting and along the way my research has taught me a lot about how the body works and how if we work in tune with it and support it during the changes we want to make we can achieve some truly amazing things, there are some challenges coming up in my life over the next six to twelve months that will restrict any travel we may have done so I would like to go out with a bang so as to speak on this trip at the end of the year, the aim is to get as close to having visible Abs and good muscle tone and definition as possible before we depart.

As a way to share what is possible and also to keep me on the straight and narrow ( I have found that an audience no matter how small tends to do this ) I will be documenting my progress weekly until we go, starting today ( I have always traditionally weighed myself on a Sunday for some reason ) and for the following 12 weeks.

Week weight
1 17st 13.2lbs

To achieve this I will be following my own routine that has been working for the past year with just a couple of minor tweaks as I have found that despite the internet message of “just go for it” practicalities have to be considered as well, and nearly falling asleep at work is not a good look, believe me!

So here is the program that I will be starting with initially.

  1. Weight Training – every other day, this has always worked for me and I see no reason to change it, it is easily sustainable as I have no issue with training first thing in the morning or last thing at night, I know some people are precious about when they train but in today’s world unless you are a paid fitness star, a professional athlete or just happen to be a millionaire you have to fit training in around work, no point being muscular and sleeping on a park bench.
  2. Yoga – on the opposite days to the Weight Training, this is to continue the work I did to get flexible and to improve my static strength, I find Yoga very productive and have continued to practice it sometimes just because of the mindset and distraction it provides from the chaos of the rat race.
  3. Diet – This will not change from the low Carb high Protein and fibre diet I converted to all those months ago, save for adding in casein protein at night time to assist my protein synthesis as I am now marching on in years.
  4. Coconut Oil – this seems to have worked wonders, I have been using it now first thing in the morning as my first intake of nutrition, remember that anecdotal research tended to suggest that this sets your body up to burn Fat for energy and provides focus, and I have been having the black coffee and Coconut Oil before going to the gym, I have noticed huge differences in focus, strength and endurance from following this.
  5. 5k a Day – this was the routine I started a few weeks ago and it has appeared to bear fruit, while away two weeks ago I put on 2lbs and this weigh in I have lost that and a further 4.8lbs this is good going in my book and probably right at the upper end of how much I want to lose a week, I certainly wouldn’t suggest that anybody try and lose more a week unless the medical benefits outweighed the possible drawbacks, I may however increase this to 7k as you need to adapt your exercise as the body becomes more capable.

And that really is it, any changes to the routine and I will outline why this has been done and what they are, and hopefully it will be “Abs for Dubai”

Practice the Preaching ep16

I haven’t done one of these for a while, I’m not sure why but as one is long overdue I thought I would sit down and justify why I say what I say and do what I do.

Physical Goals

I have made significant progress with my physical goals and am marching on to where I need to start from, that may sound a little odd but hear me out, I have alluded in the past to having trained fairly seriously as a bodybuilder for some considerable amount of time, 4 years to be precise and then for whatever reason I let it all go and ended up the way I was just under a year ago, my goal back then was to be a competitive bodybuilder and it is something that I never even came close too as I gave up just around the time I should have been considering cutting up and entering my first show, so skin willing I have set a goal of completing a competition in a years time (by skin willing I mean that I am concerned I will be left with a lot of excess skin from the weight loss) so as my diet is working for my current goal it will be interesting to see how it has to change in order to achieve a different outcome, I am also going to tighten up my regime a little more as it has started to wander a bit of late.

Financial

When I started this blog it wasn’t just so much about just blogging my personal journey, although some of the response I have had to events in my life so far have been really nice and I am happy to keep updating day to day life, it was to start a resource that could be trusted and help people that really needed it with honest useful information as a sort of mitigant to the cynicism, bad advice and in a lot of cases bare faced con artists that continue to make a good life for themselves off the backs of others.

I have looked at many different ways of making money online and I have to tell you that nearly all have ended in the same tired global MLM schemes that will do nothing but push your money up to the top of the pyramid, and anybody at all that wants to challenge me with a get rich scheme and thinks I am talking rubbish please let me know as I will follow the plan to the letter in the hope that I am proved wrong, so I have settled on a few ideas one of which is trading online, this is a business model that has made people very very rich, but it needs to be treated with respect because it has made even more people very very poor,

I intend to learn from the best I can find how to do this and will document my findings along the way, hopefully we will all make some money.

But seriously my advice so far, find a way to benefit people and you will be rewarded, provide value to the lives of others and they will keep coming back, that is why I run adverts, so far I have made nothing but if this ever takes off I will do OK and still not have to charge anybody a cent for the privilege.

Other than that I just intend to keep on expanding the site and keep up with my new Instagram (rather predictably thetraineesuperhuman64 ) and hopefully build something useful.

What would you do?

So far, with the assistance of my family I have actually achieved more in the last 11 months than I have in 43 years on this planet (with the exception of my Wife and Children) and, in contrast to sitting back and congratulating myself it has just given me more drive, I was thinking about this last night and asked myself some questions that I think we could all do with asking ourselves and answering honestly.

Questions ?

  1. What if we could release the full power of the mind – There are many people that believe in the power of the mind and there are many more that exhibit extraordinary ability in many different ways.
  2. What is holding us back from doing the above – Are we really just to scared to try, is it just lack of effort or is there more to it ?
  3. Do I really do enough each day to get to me goals – effort is something only we can feel, it is true that we can show outward sign of effort when there is none just as opposite is true and people looking in can not see the effort we are exerting, there is a saying in Yoga “Storm within calm without” and some people live their lives this way.
  4. And what would you do if you suddenly found yourself at your end goal?

So far I have begun a turnaround in my life and have noticed a difference in my children my wife and generally the people around me, I had a fascination with becoming the best I could be and helping others to do the same thing, that fascination has become something more, a tangible emotion.

When I was younger I was really into mountain biking, trail riding mainly and I became fairly good at it, I would spend entire days riding out across fields and through woods, at a fair pace too, obviously I do not need to explain how it went when I sat back on my bike at 25 and a half stone, the back tire went flat and I was out of breath after about a minute of pedalling, but yesterday I went out on it for the first time in a couple of months, and I had that feeling that children get when they do something for the first time, that surprise and elation that whatever it was just worked, my pace was back up into the 11 – 13mph range and my only concern as far as distance was concerned was the fact that for the vast majority of the ride I was lost!

I have been working on a system of meditative thought that I call “driving through the brain” using the power of the mind to influence the body rather than using the body to influence the mind and the results have been very positive and I will share this as we go on of course.

You know you are lost when the plan is to follow the train tracks because they must lead somewhere!

Hope none of this sounds to weird and that you stick with me as I start to push even harder toward my goals, and with any luck inspire and assist anybody who decides to come along to achieve theirs too!

Children, our pupils and teachers.

Children can and do ask the strangest questions and their world can fall apart at the slightest drop of a hat, and we as adults, all caught up with trying to run a home a life and look out for the best interests of our children and significant others sometimes find these episodes a little testing, and that is without trying to fit in the reading of another blog!

Life does demand our full attention there is no getting away from that, but life is not just what we do for a living, what we want to do for a living or what is fed to us through tiny handheld 4k super hd screens, it is the mere act of living and breathing and what ever else we happen to be facing at the time.

So this explains why our children often overreact to situations or need our support for seemingly inconsequential things, they do not worry about work, the car or house payments and they certainly do not worry about their progress becoming rich or a Superhuman! so to them when a fly comes to close to their ice cream they are devastated, when they are being asked to eat something that they don’t like it is a life or death struggle (even if we know it is soo much better for them than their choice of Chicken Nuggets and Chips) but we still sit and shake our heads and in some cases (I know I have) actually ask them why it is so hard to eat a yogurt?

This actually presents us with a huge and rare opportunity to be problem solvers, to be a God, if only for the 2 minutes it takes them to forget what they were upset about, and to further cement the relationship between you and the most important people in your life, because you can swat the fly or chase it away, and to your child you have become a hero, you may as well have swooped down on a great green dragon and slain the beast where it stood, and imagine if you went in to work and your boss pulled you to one side and said “the company is going under we will all be out of work and have our houses repossessed unless you put this hat on and run around the garden with a stick pretending it is a gun”, twenty minutes later the world is saved and it was you that did it.

And our children do not take without giving either, in return if we listen really close we can hear a very clear lesson, a situation is as bad as we decide it is, and the vast majority of the time it is not as bad as we think it is going to be, so next time you feel that the world is caving in and you do not know how to proceed, just stop and close your eyes, and reduce the problem in your mind to what it actually is, just as the fly is not going to steal the ice cream and then take the remainder from the freezer rendering your child’s world ice cream free forever I would be willing to bet that majority of the situations we face everyday are not as big as we make them internally.

And every time you get the chance to save your child from a hell bent insect, or cure tears and a broken heart by running around the garden flapping your arms do so, because if at any point we lose touch with the ones we love then all the late nights and early mornings, all the trailing through blogs like this one looking for inspiration and guidance are for nothing, money alone does not make good company.

So solve the problems be a god, and put them to bed to rest, then smash the hell out of improving all your lives beyond any of your wildest dreams!

Photo by Thierry Fillieul from Pexels

Practice the Preaching ep15

Good Morning! The weekend is finally here (apologies if you still have a Friday to get through) and it has been a good week, nearly finished my second book, in the “Read a book a week” ideal, and it has only taken me 3 weeks! the book is “The Subtle art of not giving a F**K” and I will put my review on when it is finished.

Scales reading of 18st 4.8lb

So just under 3lbs lost in a week, well from Monday, so I guess technically 5 days. Very happy

So what was it that worked? well I would be inclined to say the Intermittent fasting was the main culprit here, although I haven’t actually changed how I am eating, as I made the conscious decision to alter my diet rather than going on one and as I have said previously the diet I followed is the Slimming World Food Optimisation Plan, and that has been working very well, Coconut Oil was introduced very late in the week so I think the jury should still be out on that, what we can get from this though is a few things.

  1. You are never too old (within reason probably best not to start at 99!)
  2. You have never gone too far that there is a justification for giving up, in fact the further down the line you go it is arguable that the alterations needed to illicit change become smaller
  3. This is something that requires a multi-angle approach fortunately the world is literally awash with books/classes/groups/blogs on how to get started
  4. And of course don’t forget my blog (plug plug)

Have a day with the family today so really looking forward to it, and I will be putting together a page on the Fat Burner I also tried recently and my evaluation of whether that particular one was worth it.

So whatever you are doing, do it to the MAX remember you can accomplish anything (except unaided space flight) and you if you give it 100% you never truly fail you just learn what doesn’t work so well…..

Practice the Preaching ep12

I had a setback today, or at least it felt like one, despite not going outside my diet and following my exercise schedule to the letter (very nearly) I had only a 1.4lb loss when weigh in day came round this morning.

To some that would seem perfectly acceptable but I have been striving for more of a loss as I am still at the stage where no matter how much effort I put in at the gym I will not put enough muscle on during a week to cancel out any substantial proportion of fat loss,

If I do however find the magic bullet for fat loss I will share it with you all right after I share it with the copyright office!

Now the reason for the long story about how I was gutted at my weight loss is actually to lead into an example of how much I have changed since taking my health and well being seriously, prior to this the response to this morning would have been to have a day off doing any activities “To re-centre myself” then promise that when I begin again tomorrow I will work harder, now I see these events as triggers rather than failures, and anything that doesn’t have the desired result in your journey should do the same.

Failure (noun)

A failure has happened, it is an event from which there is no recovery, it is a noun and it has no part in anybodies vocabulary when talking about their life, or life goals, once uttered the event that gets labelled as a failure acts as a wall, a barrier between you on one side and what you were looking to achieve on the other, if you are lucky you can push through the wall should a random act provide a resolution to the failure, but you don’t want to trust your life and happiness to luck now do you ?

Trigger (verb)

In contrast a trigger is a reaction to an event that might not have played out as you expected, it is the response to a situation good or bad, and it forces us to react, in this respect it is a continuation to a destination even if the path has changed, it is not stopping, there is no lack of momentum or stalling of drive and purpose, you have a situation or result and that triggers you to shape your actions to either avoid the current situation and change it or to move further along the same path but with more or less effort depending on the reaction required.

Response

Well your response is your response and it will be a reaction to whatever events you are evaluating, but in order to qualify that I am not simply trying to think up inspirational stories for followers and page views, I will explain my response to this trigger, I started to react predictably with some negative internal dialogue along the lines of, “this is it I have lost as much as I am going to” and “well bit of a setback I will have a day off and change something for next week” but this did not last, I reminded myself that I have had that conversation many times and it has never improved my life, ever, it is solely responsible for the state I found myself in leading to having to ask a shop assistant if they had any jeans bigger than a 56 inch waist,

Instead I looked at the result, and evaluated the parameters, effort in Vs results out, and in this case there had been some return but just not enough, so my response to this trigger ?, instead of walking 5k this morning I walked 7.89 and it took me 1hr 21min, when I got back to the house everything was hurting but I felt good, and the feeling wasn’t just physical, there is a huge mental boost to having a disappointment and answering that not by shrinking away but by literally expanding to be bigger than it and steam-rolling over it.

My opinion is that there are always going to be events in our lives that will floor us, and I mean all the inspirational memes and pep talks and jumping up and down clapping will have no effect at all, fortunately these are usually very very few and far between, the vast majority of events that we deal with are not like that, although it may seem like it at first, normally if you stop and look around you and the world looks the same as it did a minute previously you are all good.

Little Superhuman update

When I set out with this part of the goal was to secure financial freedom as well, and I am currently working on an article about that very thing, but I have got to make just this one comment before that really to justify why it hasn’t been touched on before, so far I have spent on average 6 hours a week looking at different schemes and businesses online, and while I believe 100% that there is gold them wires, the process to extract is NEVER as easy as 99.99999% of these advertisers claim, as harsh as that is the vast majority of these “millionaires” that are going to share their secrets with you for free are either some douche recruiting affiliates to funnel people into a scheme that recruits affiliates into a scheme that sells the scheme, remnants of these schemes either still be flogged by desperate 100th level recruits trying to wring the last nuts out of the thing or simply videos and single landing pages put up and waiting for their hosting money or view credits for “live webinars” to run out before going all 404 on everyone and at worst just straight out scams, but I am looking at real plans for real people to change their financial position and future, I have many issues that we discuss at length with the current global financial suppression of humans, where we are taught from an early age that we need a job and a mortgage that we can pay off before we retire so we don’t owe any money when we die, apparently this means we have won and we have been good citizens, the reality however, is that if I work when I want and I own a house with no mortgage, follow the pursuits in life that make me happy and can facilitate the same fate for my children, then I have won.

Honestly I am not some crazed revolutionist that believes in world without law and responsibility, that would be chaos and very very dangerous, as I have said before I am a humanist and I believe in humans being able to live their lives free from oppression and conscripted debt.

Main Photo by Abhiram Prakash from Pexels