Archives for October 2009

Can I really change my life?

When I speak with people about changing their lives, I often get responses that shows they don’t believe they can really change.

Why do people not believe?

What we can do is discuss some of the reasons why.

Typically it is down several reasons why.  If you took a list of things why people believe they can’t change their life you might get something like the following: –

  1. I am not clever enough
  2. I don’t know how
  3. I don’t have enough time
  4. I don’t have enough money
  5. I could never do that
  6. That all I was made to do

This list is likely to be much bigger but we have all probably used one of them at some point.

The truth is these are just excuses.  They are used so that we can keep away the real reason.  We don’t have to face the real reasons.

Fear and Belief are the real challenges.

Many just don’t believe they can turn their life around.  They are fearful of failure and that creates lack of action.

if you really believed you could change your life you would just do it.  Right?

Fear of failure means thats we don’t try.  We stop trying and then we stop believing we can do something.

It really doesn’t matter what the excuse is, we can achieve anything if we just believe we can do it.

When we believe we start to take action.  When you start to take action you start to believe more.

if you are looking at this right now and want to change your life then I would suggest you do one thing.  Write down some action that will get you towards what you want.  Then do it!  Don’ think about it just do it.

Taking that first action step will make you feel great and get you towards what you want.

Have you do that yet?  Come on…you can do it.

Go for it.


Success – The secret to success

I am working on several projects with some friends right now.  Mostly they are projects on the internet.  We are putting lots of work in to make them a success.

The truth is we have no idea if they are actually going to be successful on not!  Obviously we have a good idea that they will but really until we launch it is really just a best estimate.

So why do all the work with no guarantee?

Well if you never try then you will never succeed.  If you never want to fail then do nothing and try nothing.

And that is how you get successful.  What? is it that easy?  Yes that is it. There is nothing more to it.  You just need to try things and make them happen.

OK, so is this article finished then?  Well no.  If you didn’t read any further and just took that advice literally then I know you would succeed.  The fact is that no one reading will!

Human nature means that no one really ever does.

The answer to the first question “How do you get successful” is not really that simple.  It has more elements to it.  If you are now thinking “Oh, so this is going to be complicated” then you will be pleased to know it is not.  Interestingly it is very simple.  You just need to know how to be successful and apply what you know.

When I started I wanted to create a website that helped people.  I went through a life turning stage and I thought that other people would want to know how I did it.  I completely changed my life and thought that if I helped just one other person do the same then the site would be a success.  The site is about Personal Development at this is a good description of what it covers.

Did I know it would work?

No, not even sure I could do it.

Ok so I didn’t know it would work, I had no idea how to do it…then why do it?

This goes back to what I said before.  You just have to get out there and do it.  If it fails, do it again with the lessons you learnt.

The others elements of being successful have to do with the “Why” instead of the “how”.  Have you ever heard the saying: –

“People who know how always work for those who know why”.

Let me show you some examples.

When Mr Henry Ford became successful with the Model T Ford many crticised him.  I am not going to go into why but most successful people are crticised at some point.  The criticism got so bad that someone said he didn’t have any qualifications and would not even be able to answer basic high school questions.

Now I know this doesn’t seem that bad but back then when someone crticised you in such a public way it was an insult you had to respond to.  In a paper someone challenged Mr Ford to answer these questions publically.  Mr Ford accepted.

Now it was common knowledge that Ford didn’t have these qualifications so the public were really interested to know how he was going to manage this test.

Well, whatever we know about Ford, one thing for sure is that he was a big thinker.

When they had him come into the court room to answer the questions, Ford also brought with him his team of advisors.  Accountants, Lawyers, Technicians.  Every time he was asked a question he was unable to answer he asked him team to answer for him!

Of course for the people conducting the questions this was not a fair test.  But Ford had made his point.  He didn’t need to know the answers.  He had a team around him who did that for him.  He knew “Why” and they knew “How”.

Let’s look at a more recent example.  Jeff Bezos.  Do you know him?  He is the guy who started Amazon.  Did you also know Jeff was very successful on Wall Street before he started his business?  If you did you may think (like I did) that this is the reason Amazon is successful.  Well it makes sense.  He already had lots of money, probably knew all the people he needed to know and was successful.

Well if you thought that like I did you would be wrong.  Jeff was all of those things but that didn’t matter when he started Amazon.

So how did Jeff Bezos start Amazon?  Well he was sick and tired of working on Wall Street.  He didn’t want to do that any longer and really wanted to start his own business.  The challenge was that Jeff had always worked for a company.  He didn’t really know how to start a business.  And what would he start it in?

Well as the story goes Jeff one day realised he could start a business selling books on the internet.  Remember he had no experience in books, the internet or running a business!

So with this idea the first thing he did was go to California to a book convention to learn as much about the publishing world as he could.  Next he found out about selling products on the internet.

This was a guy who knew about business on Wall Street but had no experience in either books or the internet.

Jeff knew the “why”.

He needed the money to start the business.  This was a challenge.  Jeff had some himself but not enough to get the business off the ground.  So while he was going to California to the publisher convention he went to his parents and asked for them to give him the money he needed.  Now these were not wealthy people.  They gave Jeff all their savings based on his belief that the idea was going to work.  They also had no knowledge of selling books or the Internet.

Well you probably know the next part.  Jeff has built one of the most well-known and successful companies on the Internet.

So, you see it is not really the “how” that makes you a success but the “why”.  If you need a “how” then it’s the “why” that you should know!

Am I saying that you just need to believe in something enough for it to work?  Well no.  It is possible, but really there is more that we have to know.

Let’s say you are looking to start a business.  You have a great idea, you know it will work, you believe it will work but you also need to do more.

Jeff didn’t just believe his idea would work he went and discovered if it would.  He went to the conference and also met with Internet experts.  He asked them what to do, how to do it.  He took their advice.

I didn’t just start my website with an idea.  I went and found people who knew about running a successful website and learnt from them.

This rule applies to anything you are looking to achieve.  If you want to me a sportsperson then you need to believe you can be the best and find someone who can teach you how to be the best.

So success is  = Believe + Work + Knowledge

I go to a Ju Jitsu class and my instructor is a Black Belt in Karate, Kickboxing and Ju Jitsu.  He was also the UK Middleweight Kick Boxing champion.

He told me that he had lots of belief to make it and win the belt but didn’t have the knowledge.  That is why he trained with one of the best coaches.  Together they won the belt.

If you are looking for the secret to Success then this is it.  It’s the same secret that is used by anyone who has achieved anything amazing.  There is no more to it than this.

Can I break my bad habits?

Habits are what we do on a continual basis.

They are learnt and you can develop a habit within 30 days.  So how can we use habits to achieve more in life?

Well let’s first start by saying that most habits we have are not good habits.  I know I have some that I really need to work on!  Seriously, I really do want to stop some habits I have.

It would seem that many of us develop habits that are negative.  That is they have a negative effect on our lives.  They don’t enhance they hold us back.

They are the reason we are not achieving what we are going for.  These habits keep our potential back and stop us from being all that we could be.

If you are reading this post then you probably know what I am talking about.  You may have a some habits you know that you want to stop.  There are the obvious habits: –

  1. Smoking
  2. Drinking
  3. Eat food you don’t need to eat
  4. Watching too much television

These are just a selection of the ones I am sure you can list.

What is really damaging is the fact that when we “do” one of these habits we beat ourselves up about it.  It’s another negative feeling, another moment when we tell ourselves that we are “stupid”.

And that is also a bad habit, being negative to yourself.

All in all the message to your subconscious is not good.  It tells your subconscious that you do lots of negative things.  As as we know, if you train your subconscious to believe that then it will do more of what you have trained it to.

We are humans.  We have flaws and we know it.  But if we are beings that can think why do we let these habits control our lives?

Well that is really the question we should answer.  I believe it is just the lack of knowing how much we are letting habits control our lives.  If we all knew how much habits controlled, and I mean know as in really know, our lives then we would control them.  Right?  I think we would.

On that basis then we let habits control our lives.  We let these negative actions develop so that we don’t even see how much they are changing us.

And that is the big challenge.  We have to stop these developing into habits we are not in control of or realise what is a negative habit now and change it.  This is achievable if you are prepared to put in the work to do this.

Let’s take a look at some of the common habits that we might not think about.

  1. Swearing
  2. Being rude
  3. Not listening
  4. Talking too much
  5. Getting angry all the time
  6. Putting people down
  7. Feeling sorry for ourselves

Do you see yourself doing these?  I would be surprised if you said no.

These are the habits that we don’t think about that much but can cause major problems.  So the first steps to solving bad habits is to realise we have them!

Once we have admitted that we can start to put a process in place that will stop these habits. Here are some basic steps you can use: –

  1. Admit you have the habit
  2. Write down exactly what you think it is
  3. Write down each time you do it
  4. Write down the positive and negative of the habit
  5. Keep that list with you.  Each time you see yourself doing the habit show yourself the list

This is the start of how you can stop habits.  You have to show yourself that you don’t want to go on doing the same thing.  You have to show yourself that what you are doing is negative.

So then what?

Well it’s really is just about keeping reminding yourself that you don’t want to do the habit and realise the negative effect it has.  I know this looks simple but it does work so give it a try.

At the start of this article I asked – How can we use habits to achieve more in life?

Well its pretty much the same as getting rid of bad habits.

Firstly see if you have any “good” habits that are helping towards your goals.  If you haven’t got your goals you could read my post on how to set goals.

Once you have written these down then we need to work out what you can start to do that will get you to your goals.  Let me give you a good example.

Let’s say your goal is to run 3 times a week for 30 minutes.  A good habit to get into would be to go running!  But let’s say that you are unable to run for 30 minutes unless you stop a couple of times.  A habit that will get you towards your goal would be to go running 3 times a week and keep that up for at least a month.  Don’t worry if you have to walk.  Eventually you will be able to run for the whole 30 minutes.

You see, that would be a good habit to get into.

Let’s take another example.  let’s say you want to get more new clients in your business but you are not really that good at sales.  Well I would say, having been in professional sales for over 10 years, that selling is really talking to people.  You talk, ask questions, listen, find out what they want and then help them get that!

So for this goal I would say all you have to do is make a habit of talking to 5 more people a day.  They don’t even have to be potential customers just people in the street!  Yes this will feel bizarre but you should give it a go!

Over time this will give you the confidence to approach people and eventually approach new clients.  As before, I know this looks simple but it really does work.

We now have a way that we can develop new habits.  All you have to do is do them everyday.  After a while you won’t even know you are doing them.  They become second nature and you will not really remember not doing them!

Does this really work?  I mean can I change my habits and use them to be successful?  The answer to that is a YES!  I know this works because I have used it and know many other people who have also used it.

if you want a great book on this then Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is really the book to check out.

What I would say is, if you think it won’t work, try it for a month and see what happens.  If you do and nothing positive occurs I want to know.

Go for it.


Financial Freedom – What to do first

Achieving Financial Freedom is possible if you know the basic steps that work.

There is no special skills needed. It’s just a process that you can follow.

So how do you achieve financial freedom?

On this article I am just going to talk about the first step.  This is probably the most important step. If we can’t get this one right then it is hard to get the others done also!

There is a great book called “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Classon.  In this book George says that you have to “pay yourself first”.  What does that mean?

Well simply, when you get paid or make some money take 10% of that amount and put it away. Save it and don’t spend it.  Simple?  Easy?

Try it.  You have to get some discipline to achieve this.  This is your store of money to build financial freedom.

This is the way to create financial freedom

When you do this it changes the way you manage your money.  You begin to develop a habit that looks after you first.  At first this might be difficult to achieve but once you have done it for a few months you will be able to live off the remaining money.  It trains you to live while saving.

Overtime you can start to save more.

I know this looks like a very simple thing to do.  And really it is.  But it’s also incredibly powerful.  Once you do this you will know that you can change you financial situation.  You will know that you are in the driving seat and that money does not control your life.

Start today

If you want to become financial free then start today.  Open up a savings account and start to put ten percent of your money away.  Perhaps you can set up an agreement that the money goes into your account as soon as you get paid.  That way you won’t even have to think about doing it!

Think about how much you could have saved over the years.

If you really want to speed up the process of achieving financial freedom then this Brian Tracy course might be want you are looking for.

His course The Unbreakable Laws of Money can help.

You can get financial freedom….

To your success


Does Personal Development Really Work?

This is a topic I have wanted to write about for a while.  I guess I wanted to voice my opinion as I have read some interesting views and articles on this.

I obviously don’t have the final answer but I will give my thoughts and ideas on it.  As always, it would be great to hear your thoughts on this also.  The answer to this will be personal, rather than one for all.

So let’s really get into the question and see if we can come up with a tangible answer.

If you have read my story here then you know that I had dropped to a low point in my life.  Financially and emotionally I was beaten.  I still had something deep within me but I wasn’t in the right state of mind to start over again.  I won’t go into the story here but essentially I was given a couple of great books and that started a life of reading and listening AND applying as much as I could.  Essentially I changed my life, or I should say the information I took in helped me change my life.

So I am an example of someone that Personal Development has really ‘worked’ for.  But this is only a small part of the story.  It might be ‘working for me now’ but what if I stop reading or listening or going to seminars?  Will Personal Development still work if you stop putting the effort into making it work?

What if I stopped wanting it to work?

And that is the real question we should be asking.  Not Does Personal Development work but how does it work?  I am not trying to trick you into reading this with the first title.  What I am trying to get to is if we take it that personal development does work then why does it work.  If it doesn’t then we don’t need to discuss that here!

Like the saying goes “It will work if you work it”.  That is right for so many things.  I remember in my career of software sales, a manager telling me that the sales process will work if you put the effort in.  Then when I was involved in a Multi Level Marketing Company a successful speaker saying “The system will work if you work it”.

It’s the same in everything in life.  Often it’s your belief and effort that makes ‘it’ work.

What about a Marriage?  Isn’t that the same?  I always think it’s odd when I hear someone say ‘my marriage didn’t work’  What does that really mean? It means, sadly, that neither side put enough effort to make it work.  They may not have wanted to which is fine, it’s just the reality is that once that decision is made effort is not put in.

Fitness is the same.  You can be given the best fitness plan created by a very fit sportsperson but unless you WANT it to work and put the effort it in won’t work.

And that’s really the point.  Personal Development works if you want it to work.  It doesn’t do it on it’s own.  You need to be involved in the process.  It is all fine and dandy reading 100’s of books, going to seminars and listening to audio but you have to WANT to make it work and start applying what you have learnt.

How do I make Personal Development Work for me?

This was the kind of question I was asking myself back when I started reading Personal Development Books.  The books I was given were Magic Of Thinking Big and Rich Dad Poor Dad.

Two great books that made a huge impact.  Once I stared to read these my mind changed, it changed from the ‘Poor me’ mentality to the ‘Get up off your backside and get out there and do something!’  I think this is key.  I was already someone who wanted to achieve, I believed I was going to do something great all my life it’s just right at that moment I was feeling sorry for myself.  Those books gave me the mental restart I needed.

But I was looking for it anyway.  I wanted to be kicked up the backside, I wanted to be told I was feeling sorry for myself and I wanted to get out there again and start making it happen.

As I mentioned above you have to want it to work for you, really believe it is going to work.  So once you have this you then need the next thing…..and that is – effort and the knowledge this will take time.

I give personal development books to people all the time.  I just suggest they read them and if they do that is fantastic.  Sometimes they come back to me and say ‘I read your book, didn’t like it much.  Don’t think it has helped me’  That’s interesting.  Interesting because I am normally giving them a book that has sold all over the world in multiple languages.  So were all the people who read it reading something different?  No.  The person I gave it to might not have been ready to ‘hear’ what the book was saying.  They might not be in the right place just now.

So I normally just smile and take it back off them and suggest they try another.  I know they will remember something from that book and perhaps when they are ready to apply they will want to read more.

What makes the difference is getting out of the starting blocks and applying what you have learnt.  Most likley you will not feel like anything you have learnt is making any difference.  But you have to keep trying.

That’s where the amazing power of personal development comes in.

It starts to work when you keep trying. keep going, keep moving towards your goal. In Psycho Cybernetics Maxwell Maltz talks about how success is about adjusting as you go along.  It’s not always a straight path to your goal.  In fact I have never met a success person who had an easy time achieving their dreams and goals.  And that’s part of the secret.  It’s the journey that makes as change.  Not the information we take in.

As you go along the journey you will find many things change.  Not just you but the world and people around you.   I am going to write an article about what happens when you start on your journey so keep looking for that!

The Personal Development industry is very much misunderstood.  It’s not about just ‘thinking yourself rich’ (although using visualisation is very powerful) it’s about doing the work and learning along the way.

Books will open your eyes, they will give you things to work on.  They will perhaps explain feelings you have had but didn’t really know why.  They are tools not the answer to your success.  You have to want to work hard for yourself and use these tools as you go.

So where should I begin?

Well, if you haven’t read any books yet or want to know what books to read then you can read my post about the Top 10 personal development books.

You can also go to Amazon and type in ‘personal development’ as a search and see what is suggested.  What ever you do I would encourage you to read many books before you make a decision about what works for you.

There is always a nugget of information in each book so keep reading.

It would be great to hear what books have made an impact on your life.  What have you read?  What did you think is a great book?

Go for your dreams!

Do Mind movies work?

Do mind Movies really Work? And What is a Mind Movie?

Ever since reading the Magic of Thinking Big and Psycho Cybernetics I have believed in creating your own mvie of your mind about what you can achieve.

Looking at my past I think I already believed in this but didn’t know what it was when I played Rugby.  I would spend lots of time thinking about how I would score that great try or make that amazing tackle!  Well I was young!

Anyway, the film and book the Secret has done lots to show this type of idea to many people.  Now the guys from Mindmovies have made it even better for us!  Check out the video below.

Check Out Mind Movies

Can you change the world One Step at a Time?

I have to believe the answer to that is yes, but what I think we should also ask is, Do we want to change the world one step at a time?

Can we, as humans, be patient enough?

This is a topic I have been thinking about for a while.  My nephew loved Micheal Jackson and when Micheal died he was obviously upset.  I asked him why he loved Micheal so much and he just said his music was “cool”

Well that’s what 11 year old say right?  Micheal Jackson was cool and he made some great songs.  I purchased his best of album (like so many others) from iTunes and stared listening to the songs.  One in particular reminded me of what really makes a difference.  Now I am not going to talk about Micheal Jackson in detail, I just want to talk about one of his songs.

Man in the Mirror.

Have you ever really listened to the lyrics of that song?  “If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make that change”  Don’t quote me on the exact lyrics! But I think that is it.

I actually had never realised those words were in the song.  I had never listened to the song and thought about what it was saying.  If you are reading this and have listed to the lyrics then you may wonder why I didn’t hear them in the first place!

Either way, the message of the song is still the same.

Gandhi said “Be the Change you want in the world”.  And I think that is what it is all about.

When I had my “realisation” in life (and I don’t think it will be the only one on the journey.  You can read more about this here) I really thought I could change the world by changing other people.  Ha!

Slight reality check!

Obviously I learnt the hard way and realised that I could only change myself.  If people then wanted to follow or walk with me then great.

I had the luxury of reading this topic in many personal development books but I still had to go through the process of knowing this.  “To do and not to know is not to know at all”.  Or as Morpheus says in the Matrix “Knowing the path is not the same and walking the path”.

Once I found this truth things really started to change.  The projects I was working on got easier as I stopped trying to make people do what I wanted to do and just started focusing on changing myself.  My relationships got better and people seemed to be happier to help me with things I wanted to do.  (and that’s the key).

Once I started to change myself, strangely people would start to help me more.  This is exactly what I wanted in the first place!

We have to walk out own walk and then if others want to follow that is a bonus.  The truth is, if you walk your path for long enough people will want to walk with you.

So looking back at the question at the start – Can you change the world one step at a time?

I believe the answer is yes and that is really the only way to change it.  You can’t make sweeping changes because it’s not possible to MAKE people do what you want. You have to get then to want the changes and to do that takes time.

Sure, in a company if you are the new CEO you can make some sweeping changes but even then people will resist.  If you get them to walk with you then you don’t need to make them do anything, they will do it since they want to.

Whenever I am at a difficult time in my life, when I feel nothing is working, nothing is going my way I try and remember that it’s probably because I am trying to make things happen.  I am trying too hard.  What I need to do is stop, take a look at myself and work on walking my own path.

Try it.  If you want to make a change in the world you make that change first.

Dreams are your to live, go for it.