Sometimes, waiting is the answer

Looking around at the situations a number of my friends are facing I am conscious that actually for many this is proving to be a year already beset by challenge.  One of the things I have been very conscious of is the need to ensure we all take care of ourselves and each other first.  

We all smile, I am sure when we think of the airline steward showing us what will happen in the event of the oxygen levels dropping when thousands of feet in the air, well the reality is folks that sometimes in life you will suddenly realise that the oxygen levels have dropped in life and maybe you need to see the oxygen mask which has dropped from the overhead lockers and is floating around in front of you.  Its at times like this it is also important to remember the instructions which come with this – in the event of them dropping we would ask that you put your own oxygen mask on first before trying to help those around you.

It may be that you find yourself tired or not at your best at various points, and it is when you find yourself at these times it is so important to remember that this too shall pass, that it’s simply a feeling and once you have the right perspective and back in a good place you will be able to navigate to a much better place.

So as you travel through this year, may I encourage you to look after yourself and those around you.  By doing this we can make this a really amazing year and I look forward to finding out all about the exciting things that the year brings. 

One last thing, if there is anything I can do to encourage or support you – please do let me know, it’s one of the things I love to do the most.

How to drive Facebook live

As I scrolled through my Facebook updates this morning a regular user of facebook live had posted a question about how frequently it should be used.

This got me thinking, Like so many things we have around us today, Facebook & Facebook live are both tools, or vehicles, which can be driven in a number of different ways.

One of the answers posed, was, and frankly I agree with the sentiment, use it as often as you have something useful to say. Which I think is a great point AND when there is something to say we have to give some thought to our audience. 

The joy of Facebook live is that it is both current and long lasting. So it is current, in that those of your tribe who are around, available and interested can watch what you have to say as you say it. 

It is also long lasting as the recording can be saved and shared ensuring that others in your tribe and in the tribes of those who comment on your post can see it for days and longer into the future.

Like so many tools today, I think there is also value in using it as a means of generating conversations within the tribe, to enable people to ask questions and to encourage discussion.

Consistency is also a powerful tool. So if your always Facebook living at 9.30 on a Friday, you will find that your tribe will start to drop in on you as you maintain a consistent rhythm.

Ultimately the key thing is to use it as best suits you and your tribe, choose what works, give it a try and see what response you get, then adjust as appropriate. Enjoy it, it can be both enjoyable and valuable to all who will take that first step.

Are we too connected?

It’s 9.30 on the first working day of 2017, which I am guessing means you are still fighting your way through all the emails which were delivered into your mailbox while you were away. Thankfully the rest of the world were also largely away too, so my anticipation is that it won’t take too long before you are on top of things.

The other key activity often of the first working day of the year is booking those all-important days off into the office calendar. Ensuring you can enjoy the warm weather, time away with the family, will it mean you are able to switch off from the office?

Today sees the start of a new right for workers in France, what they are calling the “Right to disconnect” means that workers are no longer forced to be available to read and respond to emails outside of working hours.

Some firms are looking at new ways of reducing the mountain of emails when people are away on annual leave, companies such as Daimler are taking things to an extreme by offering it’s the staff the option of turning off their email accounts while they are on annual leave, can you imagine that? Returning to your mailbox to ZERO new messages. 

There is something powerful about this idea to my mind. When we return from time away it forces us to connect to those around us in order to get back up to speed, rather than fighting our way through a mound of messages, some of which have already become ancient history.

So as a new year begins, perhaps it’s a good time to think about how you will get a better balance between work and time away from work

A new year with a new perspective…

Having a paradigm shift is a rare occurrence, one of those things you rarely expect to happen and yet when a wonderful friend of mine suggested that I read 2 books by the same author, I sensed there was going to be a change…  Here are the reviews I wrote having read them for the first time

Clarity: Clear Mind, Better Performance, Bigger Results 

by Jamie Smart   Link:

I read, more than many, I write reviews, it’s a joy and a passion of mine, yet having just finished reading this book i am as close to speechless as I have been in a long time.
Groundbreaking, life changing, eye opening all feels like words too easily used and yet… when… because I don’t think it is a matter of if, the world starts to understand the implications of this book then we will see change on a global scale.
If your looking for the next action plan, the next way to tackle your to do list, if your wanting to find the next way to make your millions, then I have good news and bad news. This book is for you – that’s the good news, it may not tell you what you want to hear but it will tell you what you need to hear. That’s the bad news.
This is no secret, you don’t have to search between the pages to find the answers, however where the answers lie may surprise you. I suspect it will release you from chains which have bound you – I discovered some I was not even aware of. It will free you to live life as you had never expected to and it catapults you into a future which is likely to be more exciting than you could have dreamed of.
Give yourself the gift of the possible, pick up this book and enjoy the clarity which it promises you – you will not be disappointed
Results: Think Less. Achieve More by Jamie Smart Results: Think Less. Achieve More 

by Jamie Smart  Link:

Results – Think Less, Achieve more

When I turned the first page of Jamie’s book, ok when I swiped my finger across the screen for the 1st time, (Kindle reading works best for me). I knew I was in for a treat! The foreword alone had me salivating but nothing could prepare me for what was to come.

So you are a surgeon and your hands are covered in blood, you need to move on to your next patient and therefore you go and scrub clean before you start… Obvious right? Maybe for you today, but not if you went back a few hundred years.

This book is as radical a thought (and yet will I believe in due course – contain de-facto information that everyone takes for granted) as the idea of having to wash your hands before surgery was to doctors in days of old. It will transform your life AND the good news is that it will not ADD to your to do list, in fact in many ways it may subtract from the many things you have thought you needed to DO in order to achieve the results you want.

I am less than 12 hours from finishing the book (I finished it at 3.30am on New Years Day before heading off to bed bringing the last day of 2016 to an end during the early hours) already the way I think is different – some of the interactions I have had with others has changed and I have only been through the book once.

I am hungry for more understanding of the concepts in the book, this will come with time and utilisation of the material on the authors website, as well as interaction with others who I know are reading or have read the book.

I can point to a number of key events in my life that have been milestones, I know reading this book will be one of those. I can’t wait to put it’s advise to good use and to watch 2017 become the first year of the rest of my life. I have more clarity, more anticipation, less anxiety and so much more belief in the possible than I did only a matter of hours ago. It’s frighteningly simple and yet totally ground breaking.

I am already recommending it directly to friends and associates, and saying to put it at the top of the reading list, you will read any other book in light of this book not the other way around. I guarantee it!

I suspect this year will be significantly impacted by the learnings in these books and I look forward to sharing those with you.  Until then I can’t reccommend you read these enough – in fact I would be so bold as to suggest that you don’t read anything else until you have read these – they will provide a lens through which all others are better understood.

Flowers are flowers? Or so I thought… 

It’s saturday morning, my wife is in hospital, and hoping to come home today. I’m flying around like a blue… well you know what I mean. After all I have decided that before I pick her up I will have all the christmas shopping done.

It is at this moment that I have a brain wave…. TULIPS!
You see when you are married to a lady who has a singular love of flowers, by which I mean Tulips go down a storm heads and shoulders above any others. Christmas time is about the start of the season.
They might be in Asda *other supermarkets are available, I thought to myself. However as I was already in Marlow The Flower studio was my chosen destination.
Choosing 2 bunches of tulips and explaining to the lady in the shop my circumstances, she asked if I would like the flowers arranged…. It was at this point I realised something…
Yes I could have gone to a supermarket, albeit when I was in there later in the day the stocks of Tulips had yet to reach their shelves and so I would have been stranded. However the bunch (pictured above) were carefully and kindly put together. They were placed in a bag with enough water to ensure they did not need to be put in a vase while in the hospital and would be able to be easily arranged when we got home.
SO yes I paid a couple of pounds more for the same number of stems, yet the service I received for those flowers meant I will certainly be thinking about where I get my flowers in the future. 

Journal and review 

I rarely share what I write in my journal, however with today being my birthday I thought I would accept my journals offer of reviewing my posts from previous years. 

Last years post reads like this…

Dave (Bull) prayed and said that he saw God was removing the scaffolding on something new that he has been building beneath the scaffolding – the scaffolding was covering what it was building.

Compassion – God has given me a deep compassion and will use that in the new things he is doing
Hosea 6:1-3
A Call to Repentance“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”

Well I would say that is being fulfilled in these days, that a year down the line that scaffolding has been removed.

So let me encourage you and encourage me, journal more, record your successes and your challenges, your prayers and your dreams… then reflect and see how many have been answered

That slightly confused and sceptical look when you tell them your not trying to sell anything…

I spent the morning today having a look around the Thames Valley Business and Community Expo.  It was a great opportunity to hear a couple of keynote speakers Brad Burton & Richard Woods.  It was also a good opportunity to catch up with old friends and make some new contacts as well.

As is always the case at these occasions it’s a question of allowing the exhibitors to explain the advantages of using them.  It’s always nice to hear people compliment me on being enthusiastic.  Just occasionally they do ask what it is your doing at the show…   Making Friends was my answer this morning, this got a variety of answers.  Many of which were on the spectrum from confusion to skepticism.  What are you selling?  No really I am selling nothing.  

Explaining that I am on annual leave from one organisation before starting a new job and that I will be in touch once I know a little more about what I am doing, was a great way to connect with new people.  It was funny though while speaking to a database company who clearly only deals with sales people,  there was a real disconnect with the idea of building relationships and not selling…  

The other joyous thing was to get to speak to someone in the early steps of their networking journey and being able to share some of the insights I have gained over the years of networking, and point her in the direction of Stefan’s great books & his facebook group.

How has your day been?

Such an exciting place – the future

As you may know, I am starting a new job on the 31st of October.

While I am keeping the precise organisation and nature of the job under wraps until then I am really enjoying this week off on holiday before I start the new job.  It’s giving plenty of time for enjoying time with the family and extended family.   I am also using the time to connect with old friends and making some new ones along the way.  That’s the joy of this social media thing.

I have been invited to be interviewed by a number of people for their radio shows, locally and nationally.

I am thinking about some people who I might be able to interview on Facebook Live as a way of getting to know complimentary businesses.

I have created a number of lists of people I want to meet up with and meetings I want to attend.

Yes I have not forgotten that the new organisation will have lots of ideas of their own and people they want me to meet too…

How is your week going, in the words of a wonderful friend of mine – what’s Great in your week, that’s now one of my favourite questions, thanks Sam!

Happy New You!

As I write this, I sit in the gap between my “old” job and my “new’ job,  I am so greatful for the opportunity to spend some time with the family but also to spend some time clearing down, both mentally and physically in readiness for the new challenge.

What is it about turning the page of a new notebook and making the first entry that can bring so much joy.

Life is filled with opportunities to start again, how often do we see all the adverts for diets, goal setting programmes, magazine subscriptions all centred around the beginning of a calendar year.  Then of course there is the academic year and that is before we think of any other faith calendars which may form part of your experience.

What excites me even more is the realisation that each new day and where neccessary, each new moment gives us a chance to draw a line and start again.

So no matter what your situation today, I want to give you the opportunity to decide that today is the beginning of the rest of your life.  It really can be.  Just because things have always been do not mean that they have to continue to be.  Sometimes the decision to change things is all that is required to set you on the road to a whole new life.

Life is a team sport… may I unpack that a little with you?

You, like me may have heard this word of wisdom before.  I think it’s a good analogy, yet I think there is so much more to gain from it when you dig a little below the surface.

You can choose who is on your team

Sometimes we can forget this important fact.  No matter what you really can choose who is in your life.  At it’s worst there are times when we have to create a little distance between ourselves and our family members when abuse is taking place.  It is also worth taking a little time, maybe even with a pen and paper to draw out your team.  To recognise those who are with you on the field of play, those who are sitting on the bench, the back room staff who are there to go to during the breaks in the play, your fans who are there to cheer you on when you need some encouragement you, maybe even to hold you accountable and holler from the sidelines that they expect more from you.

The reason I want to suggest putting it on paper is that you may find you have forgotten some of the people who are in your support network who might benefit from knowing how much you value the imput that they have in your life.  Sometimes the people who have a significant impact on our lives will not know that unless we tell them.  It might just make their day…

You can substitute players in the middle of a game

The key word in the sentence is the word “can”. I think so often we feel that we have to muddle through with what we have.  Life is all about choices, its about changing the one and only person that we can – ourselves, and as part of that process sometimes we have to make choices about the people who’s relationship with us is serving us and those who may be dragging us down.

It’s worth remembering that when someone comes off the field of play they are not out of the game completely.  It is simply that they don’t need to be on the field of play at this time.

You may have to bring someone else onto the field at short notice.

So often we can assume people will always be with us on the field of play.  Sadly life has a way of throwing curve balls, and sometimes we need to be able to call on others.  Perhaps for those people on your field of play it’s worth taking a moment to ask what would happen if the worst happened.  In a business context this is vital from a contingency point of view and when making sure you know where projects are at.

There are people on the field of play, on the bench, in the locker room and those you train with between games

As you look at those people in your team, it is so easy to focus just on the field of play, however like all teams there are often many people who contribute to your success on the field who may never even step into the stadium.  Whether you interact with them on social media or simply only see them from time to time.

There is an opposing team

This is important to remember and to keep in proportion.  You see I do believe there is opposition, not everyone wants you to win and that is totally normal.  However they don’t get the last word!  Many many people want you to win, and when you focus on the ones who want you to win you have a much better chance on getting successfully through this thing called life.

Sooo you see…

I love the privilage of participating in peoples teams, wherever they need me, I would love to know your thoughts on the analogy and what success you have with writing your team down.