The lost generation

This has not much to do with Personal Development but it has a great message.

Goal Setting in 5 Minutes


I sent a mail out to my success newsletter group about why it’s important to Goal Set now before next year.  Well I didn’t think about it that much but someone came back and asked me HOW they should goal set!

That got me thinking about what to say back.  There are so many ways to goal set it can become a challenge to learn all the method.  So I thought I should do a quick video showing how I goal set to get results in 5 minutes!

Personal Development is just Brain Washing

“Yeah, I know all about that Personal Development rubbish, it’s all just brainwashing anyway!”

Ever heard someone say this?  Perhaps to you?

Great!  You know why I think that is great?  Because I 100% agree with them!  Personal Development is just brainwashing!

Yep you heard me right.  I am saying it now, Personal Development is just brainwashing.  Ok, don’t worry I have not gone mad!

Let me be clear here, I DON”T agree that Personal Development is rubbish but I do agree it is brainwashing.  That’s exactly what is it.  It clears your brain of all the crap you have been putting into it.  All the negative, all the thoughts that keep you from achieving your goals, all the times someone has told you, you are a loser.  Every “No” you have had as a salesperson, every bad conversation that went the wrong way and upset you and the other person.

Personal Development (Self Help, Self Development) cleans it out.

Most of the people who tell you Personal Development is brainwashing don’t realise what they are saying. What many don’t know is that we are brainwashed all the time!  Just that type of brainwashing isn’t by choice.  Newspapers, TV, people, the internet etc all brainwash us all day long.

I was going to a meeting the other day and while waiting in the foyer I noticed there was big LCD screen above the receptionist.  The sound was on and I could hear it very clearly.  Do you know what they were playing on it?  The news.  It was on a news channel!

No I don’t know about you buy have you seen how those work?  All they do is have the same news on all day long.  I wondered how that receptionist felt at the end of the day.  That negative content would be going into her brain subconsciously without her even wanting it to.

As we do the activities we do on a daily basis we are constantly being given brainwashing messages.  On the radio in the car, road advertising, the newspaper you read all have messages in them.

Have you noticed how cars have the name of the brand stuck on them?  Why is that?  It’s so we know what it is so we can go and buy it!  They don’t do it to make the car look good.  Normally the badge looks odd, not really in keeping with the car.

Even seeing people in different clothes can give us messages about what we might want to buy.

Don’t be fooled by the negative

So many people I have met think that the entire Personal Development industry is a rip off.  They say that people who write self help books are just looking to make a profit.  Again I would agree with that.  They are looking to make a profit, like any good business person but large share of them are also looking to help people.

Sure, if they write a good book and it sells they will make a lot of money.  Just ask Jack Canfield.

But so what?  If a book helps me then I am very happy to buy it.  The same would go for a text book on any subject.

If you find yourself in conversation with someone about this who believes that Personal Development is a big con then I suggest you walk away.  They are not really interested to hear what you have to say and just want to tell you what they “know”.  If you really do have talk to them just ask them this: –

“Have you ever read a book (Listened to CD etc) that has shown you how to do something?  Maybe a text book at school?”  They may not be honest and say no.  But you know as well as they do that they have read a book that has helped them.  That then is a Personal Development book.

As I said I wouldn’t bother even doing this but if you have to then it can help.

Remember, this is your life and you can read what you like!

Matt – Personal Development Fan

Now is the time to set goals for the New Year

Christmas is almost here and it is getting cold in the UK!

Now now is the best time to set your goals for the New Year.  I know many of us are busy enough without having to worry about setting goals but I think it’s key you do them now rather than in the new year.

Sitting down now and planning your goals means you have a head start when the year starts.  You don’t have to worry about “what you are going to do” in the new year or think about it while you should be enjoying yourself.

There is also a very powerful benefit to doing this now that is not totally obvious

If you get your goals ready for next year you are giving your subconscious things to think about.  It will work on your goals while you are having fun over Christmas.  This is why it’s so important to set your goals now.

It will start to make plans or ideas that you may never have thought of before.

Also setting goals now means you don’t have to try and fit it in next year.  Let’s be frank, once the year starts our lives take over again.  We don’t have enough time and it’s a challenge to find the time to sit down and really think and plan.

Why make it so hard?

If you do your goals now, you can have a great time over Christmas and look forward to the new year.

Have fun.  I wish you a great Christmas.


4 Simple techniques for Positive Thinking

As you know I am very much into simple techniques that actually help.  I find lots of the personal development and self help tools out there are very complicated.  This means that many of us won’t do them day to day.

That in turn means that they are useless!  Unless you use, let’s say a goal technique. then it’s useless.  That’s why I think technique or tool you use should be simple.

I found this great article from Steve Peters.  Let me know what you think!

How to improve your life forever

Have you always wanted something ? Have you always felt that something was missing but you didn’t know what ? Have you aimed for goals and fallen short. Like many of us you have probably fallen into a depressive slump and given up any hope of improving your life. The subject of self improvement is a vast one, and there are many things to learn. Yet, it is those first early steps that give the most back and provide the most improvement to our lives. Therefore, it is important to start out with a technique that gives you the best grounding to work from and will be fairly easy to master. If someone offered you such a system, would you follow it through or abandon it half way ?

The power of positive thinking is something that is widely known, although often forgotten about. Apparently depressive people see the world in a much more realistic way when considering the present. An optimist does not have a realistic view. Where the depressive looes is the point at which they take their depressive view of ‘today’ and expand it out to the future. A depressive creates an uncompelling view of the future – one in which they make reasonable demands and expect a large amount of disappointment. Like a self fulfilling prophecy they are usually right.

The optimist, using techniques for positive thinking, sees the potential in everything. He creates a compelling future that drives him forward and provides motivation. He gives himself clear, inspiring goals and desires that fuel his actions. He is stretched by the challenges of what the depressive would call ‘ unrealistic goals’. This challenge forces growth, a key factor in true happiness, further empowering the optimist on towards his goals. When he does get beaten, he realises that he is merely being told ‘try again but be more inventive’. Fueled by his imagination, the optimist creates his own future.

As we can see the power of positive thinking is a valuable tool, one which can be used to change lives and make dreams reality. Yet, as with many things, there are surprisingly few basic, down to earth practical sources of information on how to master positive thinking. I am sure you do not want to be without the advantages it can bring and no doubt you have encountered, vague, imprecise guidelines to positive thinking that you have quickly abandoned. For those who feel that they can stick to four basic principles for at least a year they will be astounded at the changes that such simple techniques can bring. I now present to you the four basic principles of positive thinking:

1) You are not your personality.

Your personality is not you. You were probably different as a child than you are today. Sure, there will be a kernel of similarity, but much of what you do, day to day, is not your personality, even though you may call it that. Instead, your so-called personality is a collection of habits formed out of experiences as a defence mechanism for coping with day to day life. Your imagined personality can hold you back in life because it defines what you will do and what you are unwilling or incapable of doing. A woman may feel she cannot be an effective public speaker because she has been shy all her life. This is simply not true, she merely needs to learn what makes an effective public speaker and adopt those mannerisms herself.

To be truly effective in terms of positive thinking you must accept the notion, that whatever age you are, you are not a fixed concept. You can be what you want to be. OFten we want to do things that seem at odds with what we feel comfortable with. We tell ourselves that we could never go skydiving or such like. These contrary desires are so important. You should take hold of them and make them reality. They are your mind’s way of trying to increase its exposure to new things, to break out of the prison you call personality.

Today, pick one thing that you have never done but have always been curious about. Make a list of a months worth of activities that you feel you may not be capable of. Run a marathon, join the local drama club, spend a whole day outdoors without checking in with the office. You will be amazed at how empowered you feel – and it will give you further motivation to push back your so called identity.

2) Learn how to motivate yourself.

Many of us feel that we are at the whim of the day. On a good day we will do well, and on a bad day we will be unmotivated, will procrastinate and achieve little. You must accept the concept that your day is yours to control, you are at the whim of circumstance only in so much as you choose to respond to circumstance. Planning ahead, can provide security through contingency plans to deal with the so called unexpected. For those issues that keep coming up, see if there is a way to solve them permanently. Once you have reduced circumstance as much as possible you must then identify the next largest area of de motivation.

For many of us, particularly those new to self improvement, our emotions are what control our day. Or rather, our lack of ability to direct our own feelings. Motivation comes from knowing we have a task that will challenge us, is not insurmountable, and will provide a valuable outcome. By ensuring all of your major tasks fit into these categories you will help to unleash the motivation found within your daily activities.

Secondly, arrange your office in such a way as to cut down on distractions. Have a ready supply of water nearby, fresh pens and pencils and paper. Ensure that there as few distractions as possible. Once you have done this, you can focus on ways to improve your own mood – perhaps have a play list of your favourite uplifting songs. Have a to do list of your day’s tasks, that are prioritised, and tick them off as you progress though them. Having a written record of your completions is a great way to build confidence in being able to finish tasks.

Once you can plan work for the day ahead and use the power of those tasks to motivate yourself you will feel much more in control in your work environment. This extra security will help build your self confidence and help you to see things more positively.

Make a list of tasks today and see how you can drive your motivation.

3) Be confident of who you are becoming.

Sometimes people may ,knowingly or unknowingly, put you down. They may make you feel self conscious about your spelling, your weight or your lack of confidence. At the time these insult may sting and cause deep pain and ruin your day or maybe even longer. They lower your perception of your own self worth and cause a negative spiral that sabotages any positive thinking. Rather than focus on why the other person did what they did, I would like you not to be a victim and to focus on something else. Being a victim can never ever create a positive outcome. It embodies feelings of helplessness and being subject to the whims of others. If there is any way that you can avoid feelings of victim hood and use the criticism in a positive way you should.

You are probably thinking – thats easy to say – but what is positive about being called ‘insert insult’. I think that you should use such criticism as fuel, fuel to prove the other person wrong – to understand that who you are today doesn’t have to be who you are tomorrow, or next week or next year.

If you yourself are unhappy with what they criticised, then decide if now is the time to do something about it, and to dwarf the critical negative person with the strength of your own personal power. People who criticise often love to feel that you will always be whatever be afflicted by whatever problem they perceive or ‘want to perceive’. If you can change it shows to yourself and to the world that you can become whatever you want to be. Don’t let others or yourself define you a static unchanging being who will always be burdened with the same afflictions.

4) Create the future – commit to yourself.

Imagine its a month from now. You have worked on the three ideas above and are seeing results. Now that you are learning to tackle you own problems, can motivate yourself to an extent and can push your own boundaries – its time to create your own future. A future that is so far from where you were a month ago, or even today, that to contemplate it before would have been unthinkable. Perhaps you would like to be a model, lose weight, or greatly increase your income. Maybe you want to walk the stage of some famous theatre, or begin an acting career. Look twenty years in the future, and decide where you would like to be, regardless of feasibility, or outrageousness. Then fix this vision into concrete statements, such as I will weight twenty pounds less, or I will drive an Aston Martin.

Now take these facts and visualise in your mind a scene, which illustrates all of these things. Imagine your future self in the scene, looking radiant and happy. Now make the image bigger, and the colours brighter, smile to yourself, and press your thumb and forefinger together. Do this visualisation technique every day, as many times as you remember to. Always press together your thumb and finger as you smile and imagine yourself stepping into the image and it coming to life. By doing this, we are anchoring your desire for the future to a physical action. From this point on, whenever you feel insecure or demotivated, press your thumb and forefinger together and you will get a surge of energy and happiness.

The next step is to plan out how you will achieve you goals over the coming months and weeks and years. Take a look at when you want to achieve your goal and then step backwards adding key points that will mark your progress. These point should contain sub goals that will help bring your major goal to life.

If you follow these four simple steps, and repeat them day in day out, for a month, you will rapidly begin to see changes in your life. When I did these things myself several years ago, I began to see changes in my life that were for the better. Bizarrely, I did not associate these positive changes with the daily actions I was taking. Looking back, it was the daily repetition of the above tasks that really helped turn my life around.

If you can master these techniques for positive thinking then you will have gone a long way to creating the life that your want !

Written by Steve Peters, the controversial success blogger:

Article Source:

Napoleon Hill talks about Andrew Carnegie

What can we receive from real forgiveness?

This is a personal topic for me.

Recently I have had to forgive myself and other people.  When I say forgive I don’t mean that I had to let them off the hook for anything.  What I mean is that I had to work out in my own thoughts why I was not angry or frustrated with them anymore.  I had to honestly forgive them.  I hope this makes sense?

Why I say that “I had to work out” I mean that I had to think about why they had frustrated me in the first place.  Why did their actions annoy me?  Once I realised this I could forgive them.  I won’t go into what they did or what has been occurring because that is personal but I will say that if I did list it out you might be surprised.  Surprised that I am giving them forgiveness.

But, here is the truth to all of what I am saying.

I am being selfish in a way.  The forgiveness is really for me and not them.  If I can trully forgive them then I won’t feel any negative feelings.  It’s a self protection mechanism rather than just “doing what I know is correct”.

If I was as personally developed as I would like then I wouldn’t have felt negatively about the situation in the first place, but, I am human and I live so those feelings came to me.  I try and be in the “present” as much as possible but we can’t always be perfect! (and to do this is actually a mistake).

So why did I mention that I am being selfish?

Well, true forgiveness brings us closer to our true self.  It’s another step towards reality, to consciousness.  To the one.

There is an amazing book called I’m Ok You’re OK.  If you have not read this book then I really do recommend that you read it.  It’s probably one of the best books I have read and is in my top personal development books.  This book is amazing because it shows you how we react to certain people in situations.  We are in either Parent, Adult or Child mode and this affects our relationships.  I won’t go into this now but it’s a very powerful thought process to understand.

This isn’t a magic potion to cure all the challenges you have but it helps to understand why you might feel angry or upset about a person or something they have done.

When you realise that forgiving is about understanding then you really get the feeling of forgiveness.  I know that sentence is convoluted but it’s really the way it is.

Once you understand why you are angry or upset then you can start to forgive in a way you have never felt before.  As I said before this isn’t about forgiving the person for what they have done but realising why they did it and forgiving yourself for feeling the way you do.

You can feel anyway you want to other people’s actions but it’s only you who has that control.  They don’t.  You control your feelings and should always be aware of this.  It’s about personal responsibility.  No one can make you annoyed, you can only let yourself feel that way.  I know some will be reading this and saying “No, when someone says this to me then it’s going to annoy me”  Well again, I would say that’s your feeling.  It’s how you react to what they say.  You could choose not to get upset.

We are always in control.  It’s our choice and we have all the cards about how we want to deal with people.

That is why REAL forgiveness allows us to release ourselves and others from any judgement.  When we get to this stage then forgiveness provides an amazing world that gives us huge fulfilment.

Not so sure?

Well it’s a leap you are going to have to make if you want to grow.  I know if you still reading then you want to make that leap.  You can, it’s within your reach you just need to believe you can.  It can be very hard to believe you can forgive the person for what they have done but when you look at it in the other way then you can.  You are not forgiving the person but the feeling about it.

Some people I know would say this is all hocus pocus rubbish.  Spiritual dross that works only in the “personal development world”.

Well I agree.  That is probably due to the fact that in the personal development world people work hard on their mindset ability.  They are looking to improve themselves so go for things like “belief”.  It’s a state of mind and that’s exactly the reason you can take a hold of your feelings.

The more you learn to hoestly forgive the more you don’t get annoyed in the first place.  It’s alomst like you are watching yourself in a situation and you say: –

“Hmm, they are annoying me now.  That’s interesting, why I am being annoyed by them?  Perhaps I should think about that rather than what they are saying!”

I know that may seem a little odd at first but it’s incredibly powerful when you start to “watch” yourself.  You become more in the present and realise what is going on in your life.  This is also called “awareness” being aware of yourself.

If you have some challenges with people right now and you just can’t seem to find the words or thoughts or even willingness to forgive someone then perhaps you can try to forgive yourself first for the feelings you have.  See that you are not just forgiving the person but also why you were annoyed.  It’s your decision about how you react to what they do and say and make any choice about this you like.

Anger only eats away at you and makes you more unhappy.  As Yoda said “Anger leads to the dark side it will” (or something like that!).

When anger is with you try and see why.  Try to understand why you are angered and then decide what you want to feel.

This is not something that will happen straight away, it takes time and practice but you can achieve it faster than you may believe.

To your health, success and happiness.


The number 1 thing to overcome FEAR

I realised as I started to write this article that there has been much said and written on this topic.  The topic of overcoming fear.  So much so that I thought perhaps I shouldn’t write this.

But then it struck me

I only didn’t want to write this article because of fear!  Ironic right?  Very.

Why did I have fear about writing this article?  Well as so much as been written about fear as I said that I probably thought what was the point of writing more.  Could I really add to what is already in publication?

Then I realised the truth.  That if one person overcomes fear from reading this then it’s worth it.   Also that each one of us adds something new.

So with that truth in my mind I sat down and wrote what you have here!

What is the number 1 thing we need to do to overcome FEAR?

Action.  Action is what it takes.

When you take action your mind concentrates more on the action than the fear.  You stop thinking about the thing that scares you and start thinking about what has to be done next.

However, sometimes to get to action you have to come to the realisation that Fear is: –

Healthy and a natural response

We feel fear as a natural response.  It’s a built in mechanism to protect us.  In the wild when we were cavemen fear made us run from wild animals that could eat us.  Fear now stops us from hurting ourselves or doing things that will hurt us.

The problem is that we have some many other things we fear.

Fear of not paying the mortgage

Fear of not being loved

Fear of being unhappy

Fear of being laughed at

Fear of not living up to other people’s expectations

Again this fear is based on a natural reaction.  However, it’s not fake.  It’s actually something we feel.  There is a saying that fear is “False Evidence Appearing Real”.  I understand that but I don’t agree with it.  Not always.

Fear is very real for many of us and if the thing we fear scares us then it’s real.

So what does that saying mean?  Well I think it is more relevant when you look at something like Fear of being laughed at.  Normally we think that people will laugh at us for a reason.  We think about this in our mind, we mull it over, we analyse it, we go over and over it.  This just creates more fear.  In this example we are creating the false evidence.  We think “What if Jo thinks this, or if she thinks that.  She has always hated me, I bet she is talking to all the other women at the party right now, getting them ready to make fun of me”.

In that example we are creating false evidence.  We are making Jo do something in our mind when she may well not be at all!

However, being fearful of a tiger is not false at all!

The key is to know how to spot which one.  Which one is false and which one is real.

How do I know which fear is real and which is false?

Experience.  You have to experience each and learn from those.  It’s a permanent job to keep looking at your fears and working out what is real and not.  We tend to just react to all fears instead of getting rid of the false ones.

Let’s go back to how to overcome fear.

I said action was the way to overcome fear and it really is.  Action gives you a sense that you are achieving, it’s a positive step when you are worrying about the fear.  Action takes you into your fear and makes you think about the work rather than the fear.  It is like an invisible bubble that keeps you safe.

Let me give you an example.

Let’s say you are fearful of meeting new people.  (This is a common challenge).  What’s the best thing to do?  Sit at home and think about how you can work on getting better at meeting new people. Or……go out and start meeting new people? Well the answer is obvious, however doing that is not so easy!

If you have ever felt this fear then you know that simply going out and meeting anyone is difficult.  In this example it is normally false evidence causing the fear BUT based on some real event or experience you have had.

So how do we use action to cure fear?

Well you have to have a goal.  You have to make the reason WHY bigger than the fear.  If you want to find out by setting goals take a look at my goal setting video.

Once you know your why you can start to make this bigger than the fear.  There is no easy way around this.  You just need to get out there and face the fear.  I know that may not be the advice you were looking for but it’s really the only way.

The biggest fear I think that we all have is fear of failing.  Fear of doing what we really want to do in life.  If you couldn’t fail what would you do?  Think about it, what would you do.

That’s a very hard question to answer as we are all conditioned to believe that we can fail.  But what if you couldn’t?  And there is the truth.  You can’t fail.

That’s probably for a different article but I think it’s good to mention it.

So action cures fear?  Yes it does, it’s just more of a process rather than a one time thing.  You can’t do it once and think you can overcome your fear.  I would ask you to make a plan.  Plan to take action.  You can start with small action such as saying hello to one new person a day.  Do that for a couple of weeks and then start to say hello and start a conversation.  Perhaps you can ask them where they are from etc.

That is relevant if you have a fear of talking to people but you get the point.  Just start with small steps but keep in mind the goal that is bigger than the fear.

Go for your dreams and goals.  After all what else should we do?