I’m looking at another quote image in this article, and it might get lonely…

 

"Gordon Bryan", "Whitstable",

 

Do the right thing, and if it means you fly alone, then fly alone.

 

I took that picture down on the Kent coast, enjoying a balmy sunset at Whitstable, and I could see the bird perched on top of the post which looked isolated due to the level of the tide. I was hoping it wouldn’t fly off before I got the picture, and I was lucky!

 

The statement I put over the top of the image actually has many self improvement points in it, so let’s get stuck in..!

 

I’m a big fan of integrity.

 

I always have been, and over the years I like to think I’ve operated with integrity as a foundation to my actions. In fact I get very frustrated when I see others clearly acting without integrity, and I get *very* frustrated with myself if I think I have slipped up myself.

 

For me, integrity is all about doing the right thing, treating other people properly, as you would want them to treat you, for example.

 

That may sound obvious, but it does then beg the question – ‘why do so many people *not* do the right thing?’

 

Phew, there are many answers to that question, but for the purpose of this article, I’d narrow it down to two – lack of education, and peer pressure. It could be that someone genuinely doesn’t know they are not doing the right thing, and that’s where the education comes in. If they’ve been brought up in an environment where certain actions are considered ok or normal, then they’ll act the same way unless they are educated otherwise.

 

That’s where peer pressure comes in. In that environment, even if someone does realise that the way they are acting is not the right way, it can be hard, sometimes dangerous to go down a different road.

 

Family, friends, the media, can all be saying and doing one thing, so if anyone is considering acting a different way, then they have to consider the consequences, possible backlash.

 

Here’s the thing though…

 

It may feel safer, easier, to just go with the flow, to keep your head down, to not make waves. It’s what most people do, so why shouldn’t you just do the same, right?

 

It may feel easier, yes, in the short term, but in the long term? No.

 

In the long term it eats away, because you know it’s not right. You know it’s impacting others in a negative way, and it’s also impacting *you* in a negative way.

 

The longer it carries on, the further away you travel from the real you.

 

So what’s the answer..?

 

The answer is to do the right thing, even if it means flying alone!

 

It might be difficult, but it might be far easier than you think! It could mean that you feel isolated, and that you *are* isolated from the people around you, but if they’re acting in a way you know is wrong, then you should be asking if you want to stay connected to that crowd.

 

Although doing the right thing may isolate you from *some* people, it won’t isolate you full stop, because the world is full of people who choose to do the right thing, and choose to welcome anyone else who acts that way. You’ll find a new crowd to fit into, and it’ll be a crowd that makes you feel better, makes you feel right, makes you feel like you can fly without criticism.

 

Of course, another key point in all of this, is when it comes to doing the right thing towards others, it’s just as valid a point when it comes to doing the right thing towards *yourself*!

 

Follow your passions, go after your goals, chase your dreams. Don’t settle. Don’t put them away in the cupboard marked ‘only dreams’ just because someone else says so. Live the life you know you were meant to be living. That’s the right thing for you, and if means moving away from certain people, so be it.

 

I did say there were many layers to consider with this image, which is why I like it so much! So, get back in line with what you know is the right thing to do, and if you’re not sure, find out!

 

Then be prepared to stand up for it– you might find you bring others along for the right, you might find you plough a new furrow by yourself but oh, the abundance, the satisfaction, the personal development it brings is almost immeasurable.

 

Try it, you might be surprised. You might be transformed!

 

Ok, I’d love to hear what you think – do leave a comment.

 

‘Til Next Time,

Health & happiness,

Gordon

P.S. This is the type of subject I cover in my Transform Your Life Now! coaching programme. Why not pop over and take a look, while you’re there you can grab my free 8 Step Goal Achievement Formula too.

 

 

 

Accentuate The Positive, E-Lim-In-Ate The Negative!

Sometimes song lyrics can provide just as much value quote-wise as ancient philosophers, so I’m using one for this self improvement article..!

 

"Gordon Bryan", "Accentuate The Positive",

 

After all, what is a lyricist if not a philosopher? Ok, ok, not *all* song lyrics stand the test of time, but I do like this one.

 

I only recently came across the song, on a you tube video of Bing Crosby singing it with Bette Midler, of all people. I have no idea how I came across it, whether it was someone sending me the link, spotting it on social media or you tube suggesting it, but however it came across my path, I smiled at the lyric from the first listen!

 

In fact, the song goes on to say that we should spread joy to the maximum, bring gloom to the minimum, that we should have faith or pandemonium is likely to spread across the scene.

 

It may sound corny to suggest that we should be happy & positive all the time, spreading joy all the time, but as I’m taking a closer look at the personal development value of the lyric, I’m going to bring in some brain science, and also point out something that the nay-sayers might have missed…

 

It probably *is* corny to suggest that we should be happy, smiley, positive all the time. That’s not how life works, and if we try to act like that we will end up burning out and dismissing the whole concept of positivity, so it’s vital that we accept that life can be difficult.

 

Life can be *extremely* difficult. I understand that, in fact a phrase I use a lot is that ‘life isn’t always rainbows and sequins, but when it is, soak those suckers up’.

 

The song itself says bring gloom down to the minimum, it doesn’t say there won’t ever be any gloom in the first place, or that gloom can be got rid of altogether!

 

Here’s where the brain science comes in, and I find it fascinating…

 

When we absorb what is happening around us in the world, whether by sight, sound, touch, smell, or taste, the various receptors we have send the feedback to our brain. Our brain doesn’t just make a first-time judgement on the information it’s receiving – it makes a comparison.

 

That’s a key point behind this article, the comparison that the brain makes. It makes a comparison between what it’s receiving, and the internal model already established in the brain. The default setting is to validate the already existing internal model.

 

So, it follows that if we have an internal model which shows things in a negative light, that we can’t achieve anything, that the world is against us, our brain will tend to look to interpret input from the world in a way that validates that negative model.

 

Similarly, if we have an internal model that views things in a positive way, that we *can* achieve things, that the world is out to help us, then we will interpret things in a way that validates that positive model.

 

That’s brain science, and it forms the basis of lyrics such as the one I’m featuring here.

 

We each have our *own* internal model of the world, unique to us, because it’s been developed ever since we were born. We’ve been directed, either consciously or unconsciously, to believe certain things are true, and as we grow older, we get into a self perpetuating cycle of verification of the model.

 

It takes a certain level of decision and determination to understand this process, and more again to set about changing the internal models.

 

It’s worth the effort though. In fact, it’s vital to do so, because if we want to change results, we need to change behaviours, and to change behaviours we need to change attitude, and that means adjustments to the internal model we carry around with us.

 

I also love how the song says ‘Don’t mess with Mr. Inbetween.’ In my view, that means that if our brain gets some incoming information, and it’s not immediately sure whether it fits with a positive or negative internal model, this is where we can *choose*! It’s up to us to direct our own brain to interpret the input as validating the positive model. If we’re not pro-active about, Mr. Inbetween starts to mess around, and can tip us into going for the negative model.

 

So, we could do a lot worse than pay attention to Johnny Mercer’s song lyrics – while accepting that gloom exists, we can bring it down many levels rather than let it have dominance, and we can do this by latching on to the good things, which accentuates the positive.

 

It’s a technique that will actually change the way we *think*! Try it, it can change your life – it can transform it!

 

Ok, I’d love to hear what you think – do leave a comment!

 

‘Til Next Time,

Health & happiness,

Gordon

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for post updates, sign up box at top right of any page as you look around the blog.

 

 

 

 

This article looks at a personal development point which is valid every day, but overlooked by so many…

 

 

"Ailsa Craig", "Gordon Bryan",

 

TIME SENSITIVE INFORMATION!
Today will only ever be around for one day. Use it, or lose it.

 

The picture was taken off the West Coast of Scotland, looking at Ailsa Craig, at the end of a balmy summer’s day. Of course the further North you go the longer the light lasts, but the day itself doesn’t last any longer. The picture was taken around 10pm, but in another couple of hours, regardless of the light, the day would be over.

 

24 hours.

 

That’s it! Now, I admit that this is not exactly a revelation, as far as I can tell it’s always been like that, with the planet taking 24 hours to spin around. There maybe scientists arguing the finer points, which is, well, fine, but those finer points are not the thrust of the article.

 

It’s those 24 hours. No-one has any more.

 

If you look at anyone at the top of any field, they’ve had the same time. High achievers, they’ve had the same time.

Artists, musicians, film stars, world leaders, sports stars, scientists, business leaders – yep, they’ve had the same time.

 

Look back at anyone in the past and it’s been true, and perhaps more importantly, look at those leaders *today*, right now, and it’s true. They have the same amount of time as you do!

 

So, if that’s the case (which it clearly is), then why is it that some people seem to get so much more done than others? Is it just down to planning, down to time management?

 

Well, it sort of is, yes!

 

Now, obviously some people at the top of fields have other people employed to undertake the mundane tasks which eat up time, but that wasn’t always the case for them, they had to start somewhere, and it’s when we go back to their starts that we can see the keys to their progress.

 

While it does fall under the banner of ‘time management’, I prefer to think of it as ‘task management’ instead.

Once you have the end goal established, and worked out the plan to get there, you’ll know what the next step to take is, the next task.

 

What the achievers do, is take that step, get on with the task. They don’t use an excess of time thinking about it, they use the time to take the step. They don’t decide that they’ll do it tomorrow. They don’t decide that they’ll do it after watching TV.

 

Once they’ve completed that task, the next task will be in front of them and guess what? Yep, they get on with it!

 

The time management aspects can come into play, of course they can. Things like blocking time slots, keeping meeting times to set maximums, allowing time suckers like social media surfing or TV to only take up specific time blocks.

 

Rest and relaxation are certainly factored in to the timeframe as well, as these increase productivity long term.

 

Of course the energy and motivation comes from moving along a path that means something to them, and that’s another key point that needs to be made. Quite simply, you get much more done if it’s something you’re passionate about.

 

This is all a choice. It’s up to us how we use the 24 hours we have each day. We can choose to focus, to maximise the time to move us along a road of passion and fulfilment – or, we can choose to drift along, riding the waves of circumstance.

 

We can choose to worry about yesterday, and worry about tomorrow, which will certainly steal our today. If we do that, the today passes us by, and becomes another yesterday to worry about, which prolongs the cycle as that simply uses up another today!

 

If you want to take that choice, (which I don’t recommend), it’s not really up to anyone else but you, as long as you accept personal responsibility for the choice, realise that if you let today slip away, never to be reclaimed, it was down to you.

 

Ideas, techniques and coaching are out there to help with getting the most of out today. Even the few short words of this article gives you enough information to make practical and lasting changes. If you choose to.

 

Part of that change will be that the time suckers I mentioned earlier, will have to be cut down. That may well be hard at first, because we’re talking about changing habits, but as you progress, you’ll see the benefits, the loss of the time suckers will be less felt, and in fact as momentum builds, you’ll cut them down even more, leaving many of then behind for good.

 

So, the information over the quote image *is* time sensitive, because although it’s true today just as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow, today itself will only be here for one day! Use it, or lose it.

 

Ok, I’d love to hear what you think – do leave a comment!

 

‘Til Next Time,

Health & Happiness,

Gordon

P.S. By the way, if you’d like to find out more about *how* to use more of your todays, then grab my free 8 Step Goal Achievement Formula!

 

 

 

 

No Man Ever Steps In The Same River Twice…

When I came across this personal development quote about a river, I knew it would go well over an image of, well, a river…

 

"Gordon Bryan", "Heraclitus",

 

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river, and he’s not the same man.”     – Heraclitus

 

I’ll admit I had never heard of Heraclitus before seeing this quote, so off I went to do some research. He was a Greek philosopher, who had the concept of change at the heart of his thinking.

 

That makes sense, because that’s a concept clearly at the centre of this particular quote. It does create an image, doesn’t it?

 

Change comes to all of us. In fact it could be argued, as Heraclitus did, that change is the only constant. It never stops, and anyone thinking they can stand still is not only wrong, but *discover* they are wrong sooner or later!

 

You might say that whatever time you’re reading this will come around again tomorrow, that whatever day you’re reading this will come around next week, that whatever month you’re reading this will come around next year (and so on…)

 

Well, yes it will, but in fact the calendar will be different every time, and that’s because it *is* a different time.

 

People will have interacted with each other, nature will have ‘happened’, the earth will have spun, and spun a bit further around the sun. While we’re at it, the sun will have got older, and the universe will have expanded. It won’t be the same. It cannot.

 

Even if you stay in the house with your head under the blanket, you’ll have got older!

 

There’s no stopping it.

 

So, once we’ve taken that on board, the next consideration is this – what are you going to do about the change..?

I’d say, to make a generalisation, you can take one of two attitudes.

 

One attitude is that you will ‘plod’ along, trying to maintain the status quo, keeping your head down and muddling by. The main problem I can see with this, is that you are then vulnerable to the buffeting of circumstance.

 

If outside influences send you off track, you won’t necessarily have a clear way of getting back on track, because you won’t necessarily know which track you were on in the first place!

 

Even maintaining the status quo can’t truly be the status quo, because in order for things to stay the same amidst inevitable change, *something* has to happen, to prevent the status quo from changing!

 

The other attitude you could take, is that if change is going to come anyway, you might as well do your best to dictate as much of it as possible, to steer things in the direction of *your* choice as best you can.

 

Now, it’s important to point out here that those pesky outside circumstances will *still* buffet us. We can’t control the universe, so we certainly can’t control all the circumstances of our lives.

 

Having said that, if we take the position of choosing as much of the change as possible, we are much likely to be able to ride that outside buffeting, to get back on our own track much easier.

We’ll be more adaptable too, ready to take change on board, to take it in our stride, rather than try to fight it as a bad thing.

 

Of course, it *also* means that we will be living a life much more in line with our real self, the self that we know we should be living. That increases contentment, which in turn decreases angst.

That’s why, (and you won’t be surprised by this!), I think you should take the second attitude! Attitude is so important – It’s why I call it one of the 4 magic words beginning with ‘A’.

 

Change comes to all of us. Heraclitus got it right, no man ever steps in the same river twice. It’s simply not possible, so if change is unavoidable, it *has* be better to steer as much of it as we can. Try it, it really can change your life – it can transform it!

 

Ok, do let me know what you think – I love the feedback!

 

‘Til Next Time,

Health & happiness,

Gordon

P.S. If you haven’t already connected me via social media, do take your pic from the buttons at the top right of any page as you look around the blog.

 

 

 

Speak Your Truth, Listen To Others…

This article looks at a point made in a favourite piece of writing, which I saw exemplified in an image…

 

"Desiderata", "Gordon Bryan",

 

“Speak your truth quietly and clearly: and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant: they too have their story.”

 

I love those words, and they come from a piece which has line after line of powerful words. The piece is called ‘Desiderata’. When it was first discovered in a church it was thought to be ancient writing, but it was then revealed to have been written in 1929 by Max Ehrmann.

 

It’s a wonderful piece, it’s been used by many people in quote images, obviously including myself!

 

The image I’m using was taken during a woodland stroll in Kent, UK, to take in the bluebells. It was late in the bluebell season, so the bluebells had a nice scattered look as opposed to the blanket cover you get in full season.

 

Something I noticed when walking along were the two tall pink flowers in amongst the bluebells. I didn’t know what they were, but I liked the image. I’m still not 100% sure, but I think they’re wild orchids.

 

I’m going to come back to them later, but first let’s look at the start of the line from Desiderata…

 

Speak your truth quietly and clearly.

That’s a powerful 6 words!

 

Speaking your truth means being honest with others and being honest with yourself, about yourself. It means being true to the real you, your real opinions, your real passions.

 

When it comes to doing it quietly, that means you don’t need to shout! You don’t need to rant, to try and overpower or dominate others with your opinions. It’s often the case that opinions offered quietly can be more powerful than those being yelled.

 

Now, that’s not to say you should be a timid mouse about your opinions! Don’t be afraid to give them, don’t be afraid to stand behind them and hold fast, because the times will surely come when others try to beat them down.

 

Of course, if you’re going to give your opinions, your *truth* both quietly and clearly, you need to be sure about what they are! You need to have looked into issues, looked into yourself, to get to that solid foundation of who you are and what you believe.

 

Once you have that foundation in place, you’ll be able to express it clearly, because it will be the same every time, and you’ll learn how to communicate it to others.

 

I did say I would talk again about those two pink wild orchids – the ‘dull’ and the ignorant’ of the piece..!

 

If you’ve put the work and study in to establish your foundation beliefs, that by default *must* have included taking an open mind to different opinions. If it didn’t, then you haven’t done it properly, because to properly justify your beliefs you must have looked at opposing beliefs to make comparisons.

 

So, if you’ve been open minded to other opinions than yours, that holds that you still are, and it also holds that you are prepared to listen to others, and yes that included the dull and the ignorant.

 

Of course ‘dull’ and ‘ignorant’ are subjective terms – not particularly politically correct either, but in the context of the point I’m making, they work, and here’s why…

 

People considered to be dull and/or ignorant might simply be quiet. They might simply be happy with their own company. They might be introvert. Who knows what their story might be, and that’s precisely the point!

 

They *have* their story. They might want to tell it just as much as you want to tell yours. The fact that you might have to listen hard, or they might not be able to express is very well doesn’t mean it isn’t there, nor does it make it less valid.

 

It’s just as much there, and just as much valid as anyone else’s – as yours, as mine, as the loud, boorish, dominant ones, and for all we know they might have the richest story of all.

 

So, be sure of your truth. Be prepared to stand up for it and express it, but you don’t have to dominate others with it. Listen to anyone else expressing their own truth, challenge it if you want, and if you have to work a little harder to get to the story of some people, then so be it!

 

I really *do* enjoy “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann, I do suggest you search it out, and I’m sure I’ll be revisiting it again in other articles, as it keeps providing wonderful personal development points like this one!

 

Ok, I’d love to hear what you think as ever – do leave a comment!

 

‘Til Next Time,

Health & Happiness,

Gordon

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up to get notified of new posts – box at top right of any page as you look around the blog 😉

 

 

 

 

The point I’m looking at in this article is a vast point, maybe as vast as the universe…

 

"Gordon Bryan", "Super Blood Moon",

 

“You can’t control the universe. You really can’t. Stop trying.”

 

I took that picture September 2015, of the Super Red Blood Moon, in the middle of the night (unsurprisingly!)

 

It’s not the best moon picture ever taken, not by a long way, but it was nice to capture such a rare event, and against the backdrop of the blackness of space, it drove home for me the point about the sheer scale of the universe, our place in it, and ideas about trying to control everything in it!

 

Scale – immense. Our place in it – minuscule. Attempts to control it all – futile.

 

That just about sums it up, but let’s take a closer look, because I think it’s a key way to increase contentment in our lives, a key point in the personal development journey.

 

The moon that night looked ‘Super’ large, because it was closer to our planet, which is of course many times bigger than the moon. The Earth is a small plant in the solar system, and the sun we orbit is tiny in the scale of the galaxy. The galaxy itself is tiny in the scale of the universe, and the subject of how many universes there might be? Well, that’s for a different article!

 

Suffice to say, that in the big scheme of things astronomy wise, we are small.
When we look at those size comparisons, it would seem ludicrous to any sensible person to consider that they could control it all – wouldn’t it?

 

Well, of course it would! We do think we can though, don’t we, I know I’ve tried! *Why* do we do it though, and what can we do about it?

 

We do it, because when we try to control the universe, we’re not trying to control the vast sizes I’ve covered, but we’re trying to control *our* universe – the one that has *us* at the centre of it. All the things that happen to us in that universe, all the people that come in and out of that universe, *that’s* what we’re trying to control!

 

There’s a problem though – it can’t be done!

 

We may think that we are fully in control, sitting at some kind of console directing everything to go as we want it to. That may be done through bullying, it may be done through violence, it may be done through isolation, it may be done through any number of controlling ways, but it will only ever work to a certain extent.

 

At some point, the people who strive to control usually lose that control, because the acts of other people, the direction of circumstance goes against them, and it often ends badly.

 

Even if such people appear in control, all their energy is being consumed by the effort, and it leaves no space for passion, for joy, for the things that make us feel alive.

 

Pretty pointless then, wouldn’t you say?

 

It doesn’t have to be like that…

 

A better way, is to accept that you can’t control the universe, and stop trying.
That can be a hard adjustment to make, but it can be one of the most rewarding if taken on.

 

Releasing the need to control might brings things into play that we might not have chosen, it might bring interactions with other people or results that we would definitely *not* have chosen, but nevertheless it’s an extremely worthwhile things to do.

 

The release of need to control, allows spontaneity back into our life, it allows new opportunities to flow our way, it allows the unexpected room to breathe, and it’s here that we can get some of the most cherished and joyous moments in life.

 

So, am I saying that we should not try to control anything, that we should take our hands off the wheel of our life and let circumstance buffet us whichever way it will?

 

Oh no, I’m not saying that. No, no, no, I’m not saying that at *all*!

 

We should be exercising control in many areas of life, for example health, career, relationships, wealth, lifestyle, but the control should be about *our* actions, *our* choices, *our* results, not about controlling the actions of others.

 

Wanting ‘life’ to react in a certain way is not a bad thing per se, and we can put steps in place to try and get the results, but we *must* accept that we simply can’t control it all.

 

Sometimes thing will go wrong. Sometimes people will let us down. Whether we like it or not, sometimes it will happen. When it does go wrong, then once again it’s up to use to control our reactions.

 

Can you see the difference between controlling ourselves, our thoughts and our actions, and trying to control everything and everyone around us?

 

I think it’s a huge point on the self improvement and personal development journey, and the benefits of taking it on board are immense.

So, look to your universe, and compare it to *the* universe – are you trying to control the wrong one? If so, then you can’t do it. You really can’t. Stop trying!

 

As always, I’d love to hear what you think – do leave a comment!

 

‘Til Next Time,

Health & happiness,

Gordon

P.S. If you’d like to find more about acting on what you *can* control, grab my free 8 Step Goal Achievement Formula!

 

 

 

Celebrate Your Successes – No Really, DO!

This article takes a closer look at a point which isn’t just for big heads…

 

"Gordon Bryan", "self improvement",

 

Celebrate your successes. No, really, DO!

 

Let’s take the subject of being big headed right away. Let’s take it head on, you might say…

‘Big headed’ can probably also be called ‘arrogant‘, and although it’s a sweeping generalisation, the idea of celebrating success can seem to suggest being arrogant – so am I suggesting that?

 

Hardly.

 

The reason the idea of being arrogant or big headed is looked down on, is because no-one really likes those kind of people, the people that shout to anyone who’ll listen (and those that don’t!) about how great they are, what they’ve done, and so on.

 

No, I’m not suggesting being arrogant or big headed, but I *am* suggesting that while we should use different words, and do it in a different manner, we DO celebrate our successes.

 

We can, and *should* be proud of things we achieve, and we should have self confidence in the skills and abilities we have learnt along the way. That’s a good thing! If we’ve set out with purpose, taken the time and put in the effort to get results, then why shouldn’t we celebrate!

 

This also means that when we engage with others, and the subject of our successes come into play, we should have no problem being quietly self confident in our abilities. This is not done to act superior, or make others feel below us, because that’s exactly what the big heads do!

 

No, we should do it in a way that helps others to move forwards too, do it from a position of confidence, positivity and abundance.

 

What if others call us arrogant or big headed?

Hmm, that’s an interesting one…

 

It could be that you are indeed coming across that way, and if so, then take the feedback on board and adjust your manner accordingly.

 

Or, it could be that people are calling you arrogant simply out of jealousy, or because it shines a light on their own *lack* of success as a result of lack of effort.

Or, it could be because the people thinking you arrogant are so down on themselves, that they just can’t accept the possibility that they themselves could have successes to celebrate, so find it hard to accept that others can.

 

It’s these cases where you can send out ripples of positivity – instead of simply listing off your own successes, (which is what the big heads do), you could ask what the *other* person has achieved. Celebrate their successes for them, and help them to learn to see it themselves.

 

This is a great way to be positive about your own successes.

 

If you don’t celebrate your successes, then you are harming your own progress, because you’re telling your brain that to set goals is a bad thing, because to achieve and celebrate them is a bad thing.

 

They aren’t, and it isn’t!

 

As well as paying attention to how you celebrate your successes with others, you also need to pay attention to how you celebrate them on your own. Be careful that you don’t slant your self dialogue with the angle of ‘oh,it only happened because of this, or because of that, I was lucky, oh shucks it’s nothing, it won’t happen again, it’s nothing’ and so on.

 

It’s an easy trap to fall into, and is harmful as I mentioned earlier. That kind of self talk should be replaced with ‘yes, I set it, I achieved it, I worked hard, I’m responsible for that success, I engineered it, it was good for me and those around me, and I’ll be doing it again.’

 

Can you see the difference? It’s a key point on the journey of self improvement and personal development.

 

So, don’t hold back from celebrating your successes. Do take care in how you do it in the company of others, and just as importantly, take care in how you do it when talking to yourself!

 

Does celebrating your successes makes you arrogant or big headed? No, it doesn’t, not if you do it the right way, so look to your own successes, both in the recent past, and over the long term – are you taking enough time to celebrate them in the way they and you deserve? If not, it’s time to *start* celebrating them. No, really, DO!

 

Ok, I’d love to hear what you think – do leave a comment!

 

‘Til Next Time,

Health & happiness,

Gordon

P.S. Don’t forget to connect with me on social media! Pop over to my Gordon Bryan Facebook  profile 😉

 

 

 

In this article I’m looking at another quote image, and this time it’s all about letting ideas fly…

 

"Gordon Bryan", "Whitstable",

 

If you want to do something in life, here’s an outrageous idea – do it.

 

The image was taken down by the beach at Whitstable, Kent, watching a lovely sunset, and it just so happened that a bird flew across the shot at the right moment. It’s very difficult to plan shots like that with simple point and click cameras, so unless it was some sort of megalomaniac seagull that flies in front of any camera it sees, it was just one of those things!

 

It did make me think of the concept of letting your ideas fly, the small ones, and yes, the big ones.

 

The common reaction to the idea that if you want to do something you should just do it, is that it sounds all well and good, but real life’s just not like that, that we can’t just act on our ideas.

 

Why not? Why is this the common reaction, why is the default setting that we shouldn’t act on our ideas?

 

We certainly don’t do it as children. If children want to do something, they just go right ahead and do it, more often than not right there and then. They don’t over think it, they don’t over plan, they just get stuck in.

 

Of course, we’re not children, and the point about children acting without inhibition is a key part of the answer…

 

Most inhibitions (I say ‘most’ because it’s not all), most inhibitions are *learnt*. As children we are told what we shouldn’t do, what we can’t do. This builds up our inhibitions so that instead of simply acting on ideas, we stop and check for validation first, from our own internal models. To a large extent, those models have been built for us by others, I.e. ‘grown up’!

 

Of course we develop our own internal models about consequences of actions, and it’s all normal and natural.

 

The downside of it though, is that it stunts our readiness to act on ideas – if we have an idea that falls into the internal model of ‘silly’, or ‘unrealistic’ or ‘only for others’ or ‘not within our ability’, then we’ll probably not act on it, even if it makes us yearn to just act on it.

 

So, I ask again, why *shouldn’t* we just act on our ideas, the big ones and the small ones?

 

When I say small ones, that might mean doing a leisure activity just because you want to, or trying something new, regardless of what anyone else thinks or says. It might mean *not* doing an activity and saying “no” to someone for a change.

 

When I talk about the big ideas, instead of ideas about what to do in life, I’m talking about ideas on what to do *with* your life!

 

The big picture ideas.

 

The ideal house, the ideal job, the ideal partner, the ideal lifestyle.

Why not act on it?

 

Because you’re not good enough? Well, who knows until you try.
Because others might laugh at you? Well, let them laugh, it’s not their life your concerning yourself with here.
Because it might be hard, you might fail? Well, it might indeed be hard, and you might indeed fail! ‘Might’ being the important word – you might also *not* fail, and even if you do, you won’t have that soul sapping drip dripping of knowing that you never tried, leaving you wondering what if.

 

Look to your joys, your passions, what makes you feel alive. Not anyone else’s, yours.
This won’t be hard, because the ideas won’t be new ones, they’ll be ones that will have been with you for a long time, several years in many cases.

 

Then ask yourself, is it really so outrageous that you should act on them? If the answer’s yes, then I’d ask ‘who says it’s outrageous? Who *exactly* says it?

 

It might be that when it comes to down to it, it’s *you* that thinks it’s outrageous, too big a leap, too big a gamble.

 

In that case, it’s time to work on your self esteem, time to work on your self confidence, time to be honest about the ‘real you and your place in the world.

 

Once you’ve done that, I suggest you’ll be in a better position to dispense with any perceived outrage, and simply act on that idea! That could end up simply bringing more fun into your life, no bad thing, or it could transform it completely!

 

Ok, I’d love to hear what you think as ever – do leave a comment!

 

‘Til Next Time,

Health & Happiness,

Gordon

P.S. If you’d like to know more about *how* to go about letting these ideas fly, then grab my free 8 Step Goal Achievement Formula!

P.P.S. Don’t forget to pop over and see my FB page Transform Your Life Now!

 

 

 

The quote I’m looking at this time around is what I like to think of as a little expansion on an all time classic…

 

"Gordon Bryan", "Ailsa Craig",

 

Presumption can be the thief of opportunity, or the gateway to it. You get to decide.

 

Of course the all time classic it brings to mind is Henry Ford’s ‘Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right.’

 

So, if Ford’s quote is such a classic, why would I feel the need to expand on it?

Ah, that’s a good question – I’m glad you asked..!

 

Well, it’s the picture that brought the idea along. It’s a picture looking at Ailsa Craig in the background, off the West Coast of Scotland, and if you’ve heard of the Winter Olympic sport of curling, you might be interested to know that all the curling stones used are made from granite taken from Ailsa Craig.

 

I took it during a little trip I decided to take up there to see the rock, (and go over to it as well!)

 

Now, looking at the picture, imagine if, way back in the past you were wondering about the possibilities over on that rock. To take advantage of any opportunity, you’d have to get over to it first.

 

You might look at the view and see the rocks in the way, and therefore presume that you couldn’t possibly do it. Or, you might look over to the left of the view, and see the gaps in the rocks, and therefore presume you *could* do it!

 

It’s the same opportunity, that hasn’t changed, but what has changed is the presumption, and it’s changed everything when it comes to taking advantage of the opportunity.

 

Ok, ok, so that’s why I came up with the idea, but let’s move away from big old granite rocks in the sea, and look at *your* opportunities.

 

Actually, to start off with, you might be reading this thinking that you don’t have any opportunities, and that would be wrong, because opportunity is all around us. If you can read this, then you have access to the internet and a level of education that offers you the chance to do wondrous things.

 

So, it could be that it’s not the presumption of your ability to take opportunity that’s the problem, it’s your presumption about the lack of opportunity itself in the first place!

 

This concept of presumption is such a key one, it’s the bedrock of self improvement and personal responsibility, it’s why I call ‘attitude’ one of the 4 magic words beginning with ‘A’!

 

For this article though, let’s continue with the idea of looking at what happens when you *do* see an opportunity…

 

You might think you won’t take it because you’re not good enough, you’ll fail, people will laugh at you. Maybe you’ll take on *other* people’s presumptions about you as real, and let them override your own presumptions about yourself! (That might sound silly, but believe me, it’s so common that it’s a real factor in people not fulfilling their potential)

 

As a result, you might take no action, get no results, and the opportunity passes you by.

 

OR…

 

You might presume that you can do it, even if it’s difficult, you might presume that if you’re not good enough you’ll learn and work at it. You might presume that while failure is a possibility, so is success. You might take another quote to heart, that of Thomas Edison, who said that he hadn’t failed, he had just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. You might presume that if others laugh at you, that’s *their* look out.

 

If you go down the road of that set of presumptions, you start to take action, you’ll start to move forward, getting results, adjusting as you go, and not only does opportunity move closer towards you, you start to *absorb* it.

 

The gateway of opportunity opens up to you, and as you go through you’ll find things move on the other side. Habit and momentum kicks in, you find yourself surrounded by people who can help you, and further opportunities come your way. All because you presumed that ‘you could.’

 

Sounds exciting? Good, because it *is* exciting!
Sound too simple? Well, while the concept is simple, I understand that taking it on in real life is not always simple.

 

I understand that the negative presumptions can be deeply ingrained, built up over many, many years. I understand that, yes, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that a presumption is just that, a presumption…

 

It’s a use of energy to fire up the imagination to project an outcome into the future. The positive outcome presumption is still no more than a projection of the imagination, there are no guarantees, but if we’re going to presume, why not presume the best?

 

Why not presume that things will fall our way once we take action. We can’t be absolutely sure of the outcome if we do take action, but that’s true in life all over. What we can be sure of though, is that if we presume the negative to a point where we take no action, the results will be in line with no action, and in the vast majority of cases, that means no results.

 

I think Henry Ford had it right, and I happen to like the expansion I’ve put on it – the idea of presumption being a thief of opportunity might be language a touch too flowery for Ford’s liking, but I like the emotion it brings, because when it comes down to it, it’s emotions and passions that I don’t want to see people let slip by simply because they choose to presume in the negative.

 

It doesn’t have to be like that. The opportunity will be there either way, and as I said right at the start, the choice is up to you – you get to decide!

 

Ok, I’d love to hear what you think as evere – do leave a comment!

 

‘Til Next Time,

Health & happiness,

Gordon

P.S. If you’d like to find out more on taking advantage of opportunity, pop over and grab my free 8 step goal achievement formula!

 

 

 

Question: Does Success Come Without Risk..?

The quote image I’m looking at this time is another of the simpler ones. It asks a question, and suggests a one word answer that I might even go so far as to call it ‘blunt’…

 

"Gordon Bryan", "personal development",

 

Q: Does success come without risk?
A: No.

 

That answer doesn’t mess about, does it? Short, and to the point. In fact, it couldn’t *be* any shorter, and although I obviously think it’s the right answer, I do think it’s worth expanding on the reasons why.

 

To look further, I think we need to take two angles to come at it – firstly, what do we call ‘success’, and secondly to address the argument some people might make, that they can come up with lots of case where some people certainly *do* have success without risk.

 

So, how do define ‘success’? Is it a certain level of career progression? Is it fame and/or fortune? How about a marriage and family? Maybe a massive house and a flash car?

 

Of course it varies from person to person, and while it may seem easy to equate success to money, I like the way the great Earl Nightingale put it – that “success is the progressive realisation of a worthy idea.”

 

You might say that if I’m leaving the definition of success down to the individual, it’s impossible for me to assess all the possible risks that might be involved. Now, while that’s strictly speaking true, I *do* think it’s possible to say in the context of the original question, that the ‘risk’ can be narrowed down to the risk of it not working.

 

Going wrong.

Failure.

 

Following on from that, the consequences of failure, which generally involve loss of some sort – maybe loss of money, or maybe loss of other opportunities as you committed to the original goal.

 

To get to a goal will involve action, and since the results of action can’t always be guaranteed, there will be risk of failure. The harder the goal, the more competition or the tighter the space at the top of the field, then the risk of failure only increases!

 

If you look at industries like sport, or acting or music for example, for every one person who achieves ‘success’ there will be hundreds and hundreds of failures.

 

Or are they..?

 

If we look back at Earl Nightingale’s definition of success, anyone pursuing a career in those tight fields is following their passions, chasing their dreams, and acting in a way in line with what makes them feel alive.

In that case they could be described as a success whatever the result, because they have taken on the risks, and one thing’s for sure – they won’t be the ones looking back and wondering ‘what if?

 

I did mention earlier that it’s worth looking at the argument that some people do achieve success without risk – mostly because they are following the same path as their parents, so all the relevant doors are already wide open for them, and they can simply saunter through.

 

Hmm…

 

I have a couple of problems with that view! Yes, of course, if you’re born to a wealthy family, or a famous parent, then doors will indeed be open for you, but that brings its’ own pressures, and sometimes the risks for those offspring can be *higher* because they have had a bar set so high by others, a process in which they played no part.

 

The other problem I have with that view of ‘easy success for the lucky ones’ is that in those cases, they still have to take action to achieve ‘success’, and that action will still bring consequences that can bring success OR failure.

 

So, is the route to success easier for some, with less risk? Possibly, but that’s applicable to a minority, if at all.

No, I think it’s better to focus on the majority, which most likely includes me, and most likely includes you!

 

Going after success *will* carry risk, I feel clear about that, and while it’s also clear that it’s up to the individual to decide whether the risk/reward ration is worth it, my view is that taking the risk will almost always lead to a more fulfilled life, an enrichment of the soul, while not taking the risk leads to the opposite – a life unfulfilled, a soul that will be left wondering what might have been.

 

So, examine the risks by all means, then prepare for them as best you can, start taking action and focus on the success rather than the risk. It can change your life, it can *transform* it!

 

Ok, I’d love to hear what you think!

 

‘Til Next Time,

Health & happiness,

Gordon

P.S. If you’d like to find out more about moving towards your goals, pop over and grab my free 8 step goal acheivement formula, sign up box at top right of any page on the blog (and you can also connect with me via your social media channel of choice!)

 

 

 

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