What are you reading today?

My Personal Development journey started when I was building a Network marketing business.  I am not doing that today but I am still reading personal development books all the time.

What I learnt from network marketing is the great habit of reading personal development books.  If you have been in a network marketing business then you know they encourage you to do this.  I am so glad they did!

For 4 years I read a personal development book everyday (really, ok well maybe not everyday).  This was one of the most incredible habits I have learnt.  You have probably heard that to create a habit takes a consistent effort for 30 days?  Well I can tell you that this is true.  I read every night before I went to bed.  In fact it didn’t matter what time I went to bed I would read 10 minutes of a book.  Sometimes that meant 1 page and sometimes that meant 6 pages!  I often found the book on my face!

The great thing is that this is a habit I still have.  I read all the time.  When I don’t read I think about reading.

I am not one of those fast readers like my wife, by the time I have read 1 page she has read 2.

But I do read and that is key.  What do I read?  Anything that makes me learn and change.  That is what I want, to be changed.  I don’t want to read things that keep me thinking the way I think.  I want to read books that make me think “Hmm, I don’t agree with that” or “Hmm, I have never heard of that”.

So if you are not reading books that give you something more than just “an interesting read” maybe you need to think about your choice of books.

I am totally serious when I say that reading is one of the things that has helped me in my life.  It can for you too.

Matt

Using Personal Development doesn’t mean being wonderful all the time

I know I know, you thought I was perfect and Mr Personal Development.  Well, I hate to tell you I am not.

Actually the truth is, I am not perfect at all!  Ok, I am saying this with a bit of tongue in cheek.

Something happened today that I thought I would write about.  It wasn’t that bad but it was a chat with someone that didn’t go the way I thought it would go.  Actually it went sour before my eyes!  Normally I am in the present (that is I am watching what is being said and what is meant by people) so I can stop and change a conversation if it isn’t going well.  Sometimes people take things in the wrong way and I try and stop that as soon as I can.

Well today that didn’t happen.  It was one of those conversations where before you know it you are both getting angry and there is nowhere to go with it!

I was at a meeting, a networking meeting presenting one of the businesses I am creating.  At this event we had invited a partner.  This partner is also potentially going to be involved with developing the business.

Once the presentations had completed we started chatting about the business and I asked her about her thoughts.  Well, suddenly we were sort of arguing.  She was saying that I wasn’t answering her question and I couldn’t understand why she didn’t understand me!

It got a little tense and then we both realised I think and backed off.  But how did this happen?

Well I was not being aware of the discussion.  I was in properly in the present.

As this site is about Personal Development you should think I would be in the present a lot?  Well I guess I am not perfect and neither are you!

Working on your personal development doesn’t mean you are some special person.  It just means you are working towards being a better you.

That is all we really can achieve.  Being a better you.

Gary Ryan Blair The 100 Day Challenge

Gary Ryan Blair is launching his 100 day challenge soon.

Gary is know as “The Goals Guy“.  His 100 day challenge is one of the most exciting Goals and achievement tools on the internet.

As you know if you are subscribed to my blog I don’t believe in setting goals all the time.  I think people get way to confused and focused on setting goals rather than actually doing them.  However, that doesn’t mean I think goal setting is not right.  Actually I think it is important in life.

What Gary does with the 100 day challenge is give you a platform to achieve something great in 100 days.  It’s a program that will help you get to what you want.

As I said, I don’t believe in setting goals all the time and not doing what you need to do to achieve them.  I do believe in setting goals and achieving them!

Gary will help you do this.  It does costs money to join this but you can do a trial of the challenge and see if you want pay.

Check it out here.  100 Day challenge

Surfing Dog!

This doesn’t seem like it has much to do with Personal Development but it does.  The story is that this dog was training to be a support dog but didn’t make the mark.

So her owner decided to let the dog choose what to do.  Part of personal development plan is to know what you should be doing.  Check it out.

Nature.com not so friendly to my views!

I don’t know about you but my thoughts are that a blog is a place to let people discuss the topics on the blog?  A place where any view is considered so long as it is not rude, offensive etc?

Well it seems I am wrong!

I read an article on Nature.com recently and posted a comment on an article about how scientists are now realising mice get stressed when picked up by their tails.  You probably know that I am a bit of an animal lover and left a honest if not slightly direct comment.

Here is the article http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100912/full/news.2010.462.html

ANYWAY

I thought this an OK comment to make?  As a blog owner myself I am always open to let people comment so long as it is about the topic.  Anyway, my comment got hidden.  Here is the email: –

Dear Matt Belcher,

The following post you wrote on the Nature News website has been hidden by the moderator in accordance with our terms and conditions.

This is absolutely hilarious.

I do not have any scientific qualifications at all but I could have told these scientists that picking mice up by the tail causes stress.

Why do they not know this?

Again, another example of animal exploitation. Do you think your dog likes being picked up by it’s tail?

Matt

It would look like these Scientists can’t take a different view.  Interesting as I thought science was all about looking at different views and ideas?

Matt

The Field Lynne McTaggart

Hi, I have just been reading The Field by Lynne McTaggart.  This is a wonderful book.

If you are interested in Intention, Law of attraction and Quantum Physics then this is a book to get.  I have never read such a well put together history of Quantum Physics.  Nor have I read anything that brings together Spiritual teaching with Scientific.

Check the review.  You can get a copy of it here http://amzn.to/bsAQKz

Guest Article – Ensuring Your Victory: Your Morning Strategy of Success

By: Diana Fairbrother

Early on in my recovery from Vicodin addiction, I quickly discovered there are largely two types of people who navigate this precarious path to freedom from painkiller abuse.  The first group spends a large percentage of their time swimming through a riptide of roadblocks and struggles, rising out of bed each morning with the sole intent on making it through the day without relapsing.  This was how I lived my life in early recovery; “white knuckling” sobriety with bouts of fitful exhaustion.  Predictably, this often resulted in the relapse I was so desperate to avoid.

Then there are the other folks.  These are the ones you see on television, radio programs, in churches and running marathons.  They are often the recovering addicts that run our outpatient support groups and it isn’t until they share their story that we realize that they lost everything to addictions at one time.  They say they are happier now and you look at them and it is obvious they mean it.  It’s in their clear, bright and focused eyes.  Not only do they serve as an example to others on how to live a joyous life, but they often coach and mentor others who never even experienced painkiller addiction (we all know it isn’t only people in recovery profoundly unsatisfied with their lives).  What those who succeed have is something everyone wants: happiness and strength from within and a perpetual ability to appreciate life, set and achieve goals and serve others along the way to personal self fulfillment.

I strongly believe that inside the recovering addict and all people is a deeply held desire to move from whatever their station in life is to one of service, grace and ability to give this gift to another who is suffering.  There isn’t anything more satisfying in life – living a life so victoriously that you can easily take your mind off yourself and devote your mental resources to giving to others.  Yet, the challenge remains: How does one move from personal struggle to strength and service to others in need when one has all they can do to stay clean?

Personal development and personal strength is the catalyst to that gift.  Once that is achieved, you are well on your way.  It starts with each and every day you maintain a clean life, free from your addiction. I have found that the best way to fortify yourself is with a mind that is clear and rested and there is one time of day when the table is set and the meal that will be your day is served: Morning.  You can have your day served on an aluminum T.V. dinner tray month after month while you play out the same inner dynamic endlessly.  Or you can truly feast on a different lifestyle, a medley of various tastes and textures each and every day.  You are the one setting the table.  At no other point in the day is your path more fully determined than when you first arise in the morning.  Sure, you can correct course along the way if faced with destructive attitudes, but it is much more difficult once your mind is already populated with wrong thoughts if that’s what it was fed first thing in the morning.  Your mind is a crisp and clean vessel just waiting to receive its marching orders for the day.  It is not only advantageous and an amazing opportunity for success, but it is risky to leave the mind empty for any erroneous thought that can manifest. This crucial point in the day can be summed up perfectly:

24When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.

25And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.

26Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

Luke 11: 24-26

This passage is brilliant and fitting.  As we know, addiction is progressive, usually each relapse worse and more devastating than the first.  After the initial stage of recovery, the physical withdrawal, often one is left with a vacuum of sorts, an empty void which was previously filled with the obsessive addictive thinking.  Once those time-consuming activities no longer fuel your entire thought process, the task at hand is to fill that inner void and with a mental landscape quickly but with quality energy, so when you find yourself in the midst of a moment of weakness, you don’t relapse.  However, if you do, you will have the mental fortitude to get back up right away and keep going, lest you relapse “seven times worse than the previous time” :

[Read more…]

Three tips to a great morning that can change your life

I have to admit I am not the best in the morning.  I am not the “Lay in bed for three hits of the snooze button” type of person but I am actually something much worse.

That is, the person who as soon as I get up I want to start doing tasks.  Reading email, posting to this blog, getting ready for the day.  So much so that sometimes the last things I do at night are think about what I have to do in the morning.

That sucks and is not the good way to start your day. It is not congruent with Personal Development Plan either.

Sure I get a lot done, but I also miss out on all the great things you can do in the morning that can change your life.

If I don’t train myself to stop doing this that is basically how my mornings go.  Now, however I have a new morning routine which has changed my life.

Instead of checking email on my Blackberry, opening my laptop, reading email again, replying to email, surfing the web, writing an article for this blog, checking on business I ignore all of that until I have done either one of three things:-

1. Gone for walk

2. Meditate

3. Workout

That is it.  That is my Personal Development morning plan.

It looks simple but it changed my life.  Why?  Well it stopped the constant thinking about what I have to do and gives me time to just “be”. To just be in the present moment and not worry about the future.

Worrying about the future is one of the main challenges we have in “modern” society today.  I say modern but actually I think we are less advanced in some ways than our ancestors.

If you have kids then you will know that your mornings are busy.  That is great and you can’t just stop being a parent but you can ensure you get some time to yourself after the kids are sorted.  Baby, gone to sleep?  Then this could be your chance to get some proper relaxation time.

One of my neighbours has two small kids.  I see her most mornings with the pram out in her walking gear.  She walks with the kids and is also getting some fitness done.  She may not know it but she is also giving herself some personal time to contemplate and relax.

I would love to live with Tibetan Monks for a year and do all the things they do.  Be disciplined, work hard, have tasks, focus the mind, ignore the busy modern life.  But really I don’t live in that world.  But we can learn from that.

If you are finding that all you do is think about what to do next next, then stop.  In your Personal Development plan put in some time for you.  The best is in the mornings.  Change your morning routine and change your life.

I used to work in London and had to get an early train to work.  I wouldn’t have been able to get up earlier (that is what I thought at the time).  Well, great, I had 25 minutes on the train that I could have used to meditate.

Make a change and watch how this changes your life.

Your Personal Development is not just about what you do after you start work!

Matt