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Be Careful With The Ideas You Hold On To

“Sometimes ideas hold us down;
they become heavy anchors that hold the bark of identity fixated in shallow dead water. ” – John O’Donohue

I remember there being a time in my life where I would dread Monday mornings – luckily for me, that is no longer the case.

The morning I’m writing and sending out this email/post is Monday 17th January 2022 – the third Monday of the new year.

Already I’ve heard one radio station proclaim that ‘Blue Monday’ has arrived – the worst day of the year, apparently. Except there’s nothing to back that up. It was an idea originally made up by a travel company as a way to encourage holiday sales.

And the phrase stuck, and spread.

Finding The Treasure You Seek

“The cave you fear to enter, holds the treasure you seek.” ― Joseph Campbell

“I’m not ready to do that.”

So said the experienced entrepreneur to me in response to me challenging them to look in the mirror in relation to some problems they had. So we stopped working together.

They wouldn’t admit it but they were afraid. There’s nothing unusual about that because the truth is that everyone I know experiences fear – albeit in different ways and at different times.

What’s Ahead Vs. What’s Here

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us

that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”

– Calvin & Hobbes

Someone shared the image above with me recently and I thought I’d share it with you today.

It captures perfectly 2 challenges we all have…

Formula 1 At Home With An Unexpected Audience

“Your big opportunity could be right where you are now.”

Napoleon Hill

“When does the race start?”

These are words that I never could have imagined my wife, TLJ* saying. But that’s the world we live in. Anything really is possible… 🙂

She was referring to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi yesterday, which ended in one of the most dramatic finishes ever in the sports history.

How To Find Your Real Passion

“Forget about finding your passion.
Focus on bringing more passion to everything you do. Then your passion finds you.”

Last week one of the questions I was asked during my AMA webinar was ‘How do I find my passion?’

There are several layers to this from my perspective but I think it’s one of the red herrings embedded into the psyche of Western culture i.e. that I have to find my passion or purpose.

That is not my experience.

Passion is a state of being, it’s where you are giving your attention 100% to something. The truth is you can bring passion to anything, now.

Yes, even your work if you ‘hate’ it…

Yes, even your relationships…

Yes, even the business or team that is doing your head in…

How To Not Change The World

“If you want to change the world, who do you begin with,

yourself or others?”

– Alexander Solzhenitsyn

“I’ve had enough of these tech companies. They all say they’re going to change the world but most are just full of it.”

So said someone to me recently, who’s business is all about dealing with tech companies.

They went on to tell me that many of the tech CEOs they were dealing with all had the same mantra of ‘We’re going to change the world’ – but in their opinion a lot of them would mess up the world if they succeeded and indeed, they were already messing up the people around them with the way they were behaving.

Perhaps they feel the need to ‘big up’ what their company is doing to attract talent or investors. Or maybe it’s their ego.

But just like we’ve all become de-sensitised to cold calling insurance salespeople, it seems to me that we’ve all become de-sensitised to the ‘changing the world’ mantra.

Let Your ‘Music’ Out

“Don’t die with the music still in you.”

– Wayne Dyer

It seems to me that the world seems to be set up to keep ‘the music’ stuck inside people.

We can be so focused on what the world tells us is ‘success’ that we lose sight of our own unique expression.

Sometimes letting your music out might mean a complete re-invention. Sometimes it just means showing up more as the real you in your life.

A favourite quote of mine is from Shakespeare “To thine own self be true”, but the truth is that this can be hard in a world that is conditioning you to do the opposite.

How To Grow Faster

“Sound when stretched is music.
Movement when stretched is dance.
Mind when stretched is meditation.
Life when stretched is celebration.”
– Shri Ravishankar Jee

In my mid-twenties, I found myself in challenging mental waters and was lucky enough to have been connected with a skilful counsellor.

At one of our regular Friday sessions, he asked me this question:

“When do you learn most Shane? When things are good or when things are challenging?”

In my naivety, I answered “When things are good because mentally you’re calm and can take things in.”

My counsellor smiled and replied

“I think you’re confusing real learning with school learning.”

The Real Challenge Of Leadership

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude;
be kind, but not weak;
be bold, but not bully;
be thoughtful, but not lazy;
be humble, but not timid;
be proud, but not arrogant;
have humour, but without folly.”

Jim Rohn

Quotes don’t always stop me in my tracks.

But this one did.

An Important Way To Improve Your Performance

“Allow yourself to experience what it is to learn step by step the freedom that comes from being unattached to the outcome, but operating from an empowered heart.” Gary Zukav

Back in the early 2000’s, I had a business with 2 partners, and our focus was helping sports people to perform better. For a period we focused on golf and partnered with a former match-play world champion, Wayne Westner.

One of the things I remember from Wayne was how to hold a golf club.

It went something like this:

You should think about the club like holding a bird. If you hold it too loose, the bird will fly away. Too tight and you might kill it. The trick is to told it in a way that it stays but feels safe and relaxed. That’s the way to hold a club.

For me it’s also the perfect metaphor for how to think about goals.