Take action! Go With The Flow…

go-with-the-flowSounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it? We’ve been taught to believe that ‘going with the flow’ means inaction and passivity. Lying back and letting life happen to us, without any sense of direction or will involved. Old hippy dippy stuff.

But the true meaning of the phrase is the exact opposite. When we negotiate a river and go with the flow, we harness the energy that’s already available to us, in the currents. And we combine it with our own. Fighting the current is pointless, as is inaction. To truly go with the flow in life is to notice patterns, energy and circumstances around us – whether they be challenging or easy – and make full use of them. As a result we’ll get to wherever we are going far faster than if we resist.

Going with the flow doesn’t mean we have no idea where we are going. We do. But we remain open to the myriad ways of actually reaching our destination. There is no ‘right way’. Yet for so many of us (me included) our control beliefs all too often dictate the show. We decide on a course of action and come hell or high water we’re gonna stick with it. We have our GPS all worked out and can’t possibly deviate! Our beliefs tell us that unless we are ‘in charge’ we will lose our way, or lose ourselves.

The result of this rigidity? Staying in relationships way past their sell-by date (ouch – done that), jobs that are unfulfilling and drain our life force (tick), and in friendships that no longer serve us (been there too). We rigidly remain tied to plans that simply aren’t working and refuse to budge. Painful.

Recently, I had a plan to move to the south of France, and headed there. But after only a few weeks I realised that this was not the right place for me. I needed to let go of certain constructs and ideas I’d had and allow myself to be guided by my intuition. It didn’t actually bother me that I’d told everyone I was moving there (again) and instead I headed south for Spain and spent a blissful time on the coast at my friend’s wedding. A totally unexpected change of events that was even more wonderful as I got to see a dear friend from New York I hadn’t seen since 2009.

By letting go of my Grand Design, I was able to create space for other, better and more fulfilling opportunities to come into my life. It’s scary stepping into the unknown as it so often feels like a void. But this void is actually pregnant with potential. Trusting that there is a higher force guiding us – if we will only allow it – takes practice and self-awareness. But the more we do it, the more trust we will have in it. And the richer and more fulfilling our lives will be as a result.

This week, take a look and feel into areas of your life where you know you are holding on. Maybe take a different route to work, shake it up a little. Or go for a walk with no destination in mind and simply allow yourself to be guided. Practice going with the flow in your life and you’ll be amazed at the results.

 

 

 

 

 

An Alternative Approach to New Year Resolutions

There are dozens of ways to kick start a new year with greater focus, purpose and enthusiasm for the year ahead. Guru_Mindmap

Spending time to reprioritise, set goals or new year resolutions, plan experiences can – and should – be very liberating and energising. However, our experience shows that the BEST way to make sure your plans become reality, is to aim to build momentum quickly. To kick start in January with consistent action, no matter how small.

In this podcast, Paul and Chris discuss specific ideas and tools to not only allow you to start the year running but also to open up your mind, and get in the right mindset for thinking creatively, clearly and purposefully.

The holiday time is the perfect time to carve out quiet time for some honestly reflection on your previous year and step back from the day-to-day grind, to reboot your inner computer and allow yourself to dream again.

Here are a few tools to get you started…

 

MindMaps

wheel-of-life

 

5 Simple Steps for a Personal Year in Review

If your year didn’t turn out as well as you hoped it would, it’s time for honest reflection and make time for your personal “year in review”.

At this time of year many people end up disappointed and perhaps disillusioned as to where it went wrong.

But rather than looking back with regret you owe it to yourself to look back with curiousity to actively seek the lessons that you can take into your next 12 months.

In this podcast, Paul and Chris give practical steps to make sure you review with the right attitude, mindset and desire to learn, and outline these 5 perspectives to investigate from.

Clarity

Whether you set specific goals at the start of the year or not, the quality of your actions are constantly influenced by the amount of clarity you current have on how to achieve what you want. On reflection, we often discover that we weren’t nearly as clear as we thought we were – or needed to be – in order to get what we hoped for.

Confidence

To what extent did you have the certainty and confidence to take the steps that were needed to achieve your outcomes, or to overcome the barriers in your way? Listen to Paul and Chris discuss the factors that shape your confidence as it relates to Continue reading

Personal Development: Skills You Need to Face Life’s Daily Problems

emotional-stressLife can be full of worries—from bills to be paid, conflicts with people, deadlines at work, an illness in the family, and all sorts of problems that occupy your mind every day. Though these are all legitimate concerns that genuinely need attention, worrying too much about them may not be the best way to handle things. By practicing some basic personal development techniques, you may be able to effectively navigate your way through the daily worries of life.

Do you find yourself weighed down by your daily responsibilities? Are you constantly worrying about things? Do you have sleepless nights because you can’t stop thinking about so many concerns? These are all unhealthy lifestyle practices that may lead to bigger problems in the future. Worrying may lead to depression and even manifest in health problems. It also affects your outlook in life, and even your relationship with people. And ultimately, worrying won’t solve anything; it will just weigh you down.

As an adult, you need to learn some personal development techniques to guide you through life while you face your daily worries and responsibilities:

  • Hope for the best. Always carry a positive attitude towards life and all your problems. Stop thinking negative thoughts—in the face of a problem, imagine the best possible result.

  • Anticipate the worst. Despite your positive outlook, try to be prepared for the worst scenario so it doesn’t catch you by surprise. By anticipating for the worst, I mean preparing yourself quite literally. For example, if your company announced a retrenchment, you should anticipate the worst possible scenario by preparing your resume and calling out head hunters, not by worrying about your job.

  • Identify legitimate concerns and push aside non-essentials. Focus your eye on finding solutions for your main concerns first, and then the rest may follow. Your family, health and career are all important; where you’re going to spend your next vacation is definitely not as important.

  • Write down your concerns and the steps you will take to solve them. Writing them down will help remind you that you already have a plan and there’s no need to keep worrying.

  • Live one day at a time. Worrying needlessly won’t solve anything. So be grateful for the day and stop thinking about what tomorrow may bring. Today’s what you have, so live it to the fullest.

  • Find a support system. While you face so many problems in life, it would really help to have someone support you through it. People you can talk to and draw strength from. These could be your family, friends and even a life coach. Anyone you can confide in or give you advice can be a part of your support system.

This does not mean that you will not face your problems and pretend they don’t exist. Facing your problems and worrying about them every day are two different things. After you’ve fully acknowledged the things that you need to do and solve, worrying and depression will not help. You need to start working to solve it. Personal development skills are important to help you face problems in a healthy way. It is in situations such as these that your personal development skills will be put to test.

It may also be a good idea to talk with somebody in authority that you respect. Sometimes an outsider’s view and opinion can be very useful in these situations. But be sure to confide with a person you truly respect and look up to.

Good luck! I’d love to hear how your attitude to life’s problems has helped – or hindered you.

Why Would You Have a Coach and a Mentor?

The terms “Coach” and “Mentor” are often used interchangeably. But what really is the difference, and would you ever need to have a coach and a mentor at the same time?

During this podcast Paul asks Sam about her recent experience with a writing mentor. After a successful personal challenge last year, Sam wrote 30,000 words for her first book in just 30 days! But Sam had her confidence knocked with some poorly delivered feedback, so she has now engaged a writing coach to help her take her writing and the book to the next level.

Mentors tend to be focused on a very specific area where as coaching is more fluid, it frequently changes direction and moves with the client.

Mentors often to have extensive experience in a specific field whereas Coaches guide the client to rely on their own experiences instead.

Mentors will set tasks for the client, but Coaches help the client set their own but ensure they are appropriate and SMART!

 

Have you had experience with both Mentors and Coaches? Why not share your experiences with the rest of the ActionPodcast listeners? Post a comment below or on our Facebook page.

The power of be-have-DO

I was working with a client recently and no matter how I initially phrased my question on what action they wanted to take, the answer I got was: “I want to be…” or “I want to have…”

Every time I received these kinds of answers I had to remind the client that coaching is all about taking action; simply stating what you want to be or have (or feel) isn’t going to make it happen.  Only an action that you carry out will help to create your desired end result.Continue reading

Break through your fear of public speaking

Some of you may know that I am a big fan of Toastmasters and regularly visit a central London club. I highly recommend it for increasing confidence in public speaking, as well as gaining personal confidence and making some great new friends and contacts.

Last week I did my first speech – The Icebreaker.

It’s good title for the first Toastmaster speech and one that every new Toastie probably dreads. I know I’d been thinking about doing mine for a month or two, before finally pushing myself out of my comfort zone and Continue reading

It doesn’t have to be hard work all the time

Being a coach, I’m very keen to “walk the talk” or rather, not just say coaching is good but have a coach myself because I know just how powerful it can be.

During a recent session it quickly became clear that I was on the verge of taking on too much. Over the last few months the power of being coached has resulted in some significant changes in my life and how I view situations. I’d been actively putting in a lot of work, spinning a lot of plates and generally been about as busy as I could physically be.

What surprised me was that I’ve now reached a point where pretty much everything is going to plan, on track and on schedule. I found myself looking for that extra thing that would put me back into the sensation of feeling, well rushed, busy and on the edge of coping.

I had become so used to “working my butt off” that now I had been able to schedule things better, automate them or even outsource them (my new favourite thing!) I was presented with a strange feeling of “what next?”!

Thankfully working with my coach I was able to see that, I was busy, very busy in fact. I was however, working smarter, better than before and I was now producing the results without having to work 16 hours a day. Ultimately I want to keep it this way, working at a pace that is healthy and even FUN!  As long as I’m still progressing, make moves in the direction that I want to go at a pace that works, then I’m doing the right thing.

I’d love to hear from others that have almost become so used to feeling rushed, that they often end up missing that feeling when everything is going to plan. What do you do to make sure you don’t overload yourself, just because you feel you should. How do you know when enough is enough?

Use hindsight as foresight – and live life on your terms

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to stop. Stop chasing deadlines, stop pushing harder, faster and just…just slo-o-o-o-o-o-o-w down…to a full stop. Spend a bit of quality time with yourself to take stock of what’s working and what’s not.  Are you able to spend time on the things that really matter, that you really want to do (or at least a good portion of your time on these things)?

Research shows that people that are stressed and overwhelmed spend less than 25% of their time on things that are fulfilling to them. This can be at work and at home and at play. Are you being distracted from the important? Under demand from other people’s requests? Continue reading

Let us help you even more

Hundreds of people listen to our podcasts everyday. A bunch of you visit the website too. We try and keep our content fresh, relative and from the heart.

One thing to really make clear is that it’s a two way street!

We love to hear from our listeners or website visitors on their stories. What troubles they are experiencing. How they have overcome adversity and triumphed!Continue reading