Monday, 28 January 2013

THE POSITIVE ATTITUDE MYTH


On these first steps of your journey to BEing Fantastic, let's be clear about something I call the Positive Attitude Myth.

We all know that a positive attitude is important - of course it is and I'm certainly not suggesting any different. However, I feel there is a myth peddled that 'all you need' is a positive attitude, belief, goals/focus etc. Put it out into the universe and it will come back etc. I'm not pouring cold water over these ideas - I love it all and have seen evidence myself of how it works. 

However, it seems to me that so many of the books and speakers in these areas seem to miss the critical 'fantastic' factor - ACTION!

Set your goals, be positive, believe, put it out into the universe etc. But don't just then sit there waiting for it to happen!! It simply doesn't work like that - every inspirational story I have ever listened to is always about action - positive action with a belief that it will work and that the universe will give you what you want - but action nonetheless.

I fear for a generation growing up being inspired to want wonderful things and truly believing that they can have them, but not taking the action to get the results they want and therefore ending up disheartened and losing their belief because it's not happening.

'The Positive Attitude Myth' - It's a myth that 'all' you have to do is be positive - you have to take action too if you want to BE Fantastic!

Choose something - anything - to start taking action on TODAY that will start moving you towards BEing Fantastic - stop thinking it and start doing it!! Have Fun!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Learn from your heroes


Who motivates you, who inspires you, who do you want to be like? It might be a famous person, a company or someone you know, but we all have people that we can look at and say "I wish I was more like that". However that's where most of us stop - just wishing!

Stop wishing start acting - identify 3 people/businesses that you admire and then ask yourself why you chose them, because that is what you want more of. Then you can start to identify how they operate differently to what you are doing and then start to develop yourself to be the same.

For example you might know someone who seems to pack so much more into their life than you do. Study them, ask them how they manage their time and I guarantee you will learn something that you can do to get more control of your own time.

Or is there someone at work who seems to be more successful than you - don't be jealous, learn from them! They are doing something different from you which might help you to have more success if you learnt it.

If it's a famous person then look for biographies or interviews on line, but look specifically for knowledge, skills and attitudes that you can adopt to be more like them.

I learnt from Richard Branson to surround myself with people who are good at the stuff that I'm not.

Finally look at the companies that you love, why do you love them and what are they doing that makes them different?

If you are an Apple fan, ask yourself why and then ask yourself if you can bring any of that stuff into your own business or yourself.

Have Fun

Friday, 11 January 2013

the fantastic revolution


The Fantastic Revolution
is literally a revolution.

When you look at the
7 characteristics of
Fantastic People with
each one giving energy
to the next, it is easy to
see how it works:






PASSION
It all starts with being passionate about what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it.

CREATE
Then you have to be creative in how you are going to achieve it.

DELIGHT
You will need help - you need customers to love you, colleagues and partners to be committed and support from family and friends.

PERFORMER
Now it’s time for action - you will need the confidence to take the action required.

ALIVE INSIDE
But you have to keep taking that action - you will have to be self-motivated to keep the discipline needed.

ALWAYS LEARNING
You have to be learning all the time as everything will have changed in a short time.

FUN
And finally, you have to enjoy it, otherwise you will never make it happen - that enjoyment fuels the passion - which loops us around to begin the revolution again.

Being Fantastic is self perpetuating when you get it right!

Monday, 7 January 2013

THE ALMIGHTY BATTLE BETWEEN NOW AND THE FUTURE!


THE ALMIGHTY BATTLE BETWEEN NOW AND THE FUTURE!

It's that time of year when we all start thinking about the future - all the things we want to change about ourselves.We really mean it when we set those goals, so why is it so difficult to keep it going and achieve the changes we want?

It's because of the power of NOW. Of course this is a positive power - when you understand the value of the NOW, understand that it is the only time we are actually alive - living, breathing etc. then you know that it is the only time you can take any action. We learn from the past, but can take no action in it, we plan for the future but cannot yet take any action in it, it is only NOW that we can take any action.

However, there is also a negative power the NOW has. It is the power that any negative action you may be taking has - in the NOW!

The FUTURE doesn't exist yet - its weak, unclear, we can't always see it easily, yet the NOW is right here, strong and literally in your face - any negative thoughts or action you have NOW will be just as strong.

The FUTURE that you might really want is happy, healthy and wealthy however the NOW might be unhappy, unhealthy and in debt and that NOW is strong, like some cartoon muscle man character that is kicking sand in the face of your feeble FUTURE. 

The fact is that any behaviour that you want to change has probably been around awhile, it's grown strong and is an integral part of who you are right NOW. 

You wouldn't expect the wimp to get up of the beach and beat up the muscle man - it just isn't going to happen - but what if the wimp went away and started to get stronger until it was strong enough to fight back and actually win - so that the new behaviour becomes the strong NOW. 

That's how to get the changes you want - don't expect to beat the strong NOW without building up your FUTURE'S strength in small ways with small changes over a period of time until your FUTURE is strong enough to take on the old NOW and become the new NOW!

Let me give you an example: January is a really busy month in gyms but give it till March and they are back to normal because the powerful NOW that doesn't want to go to the gym has won! However starting by making a commitment to something easy, like taking a walk 3 times a week and then adding some simple exercises into the morning routine before making the walks a bit longer and then going to the gym just once a week before feeling able to go more often and over a period of time you have turned a weak future into a strong NOW!

Try this idea to start making small changes

Choose just one thing this week that you can do that would make you happier - remember it's small changes regularly - not a holiday in Barbados that would make you happy for a few weeks until the powerful NOW kicks back in - and then another that would make you healthier (one less sugar in a coffee would do it) and finally one that will make you wealthier (putting some spare change in a piggy bank is called saving - the first thing to get into the habit of to be wealthier!)

So one small change this week to be happier, healthier and wealthier - that's it - as simple as that.

Now do it again next week, and the next and the next - do it all year and you will have made 50 changes to be happier, 50 to be healthier and wealthier. Now that will be a great year!!

Have fun,

Alan

Friday, 10 August 2012

GIVE YOUR IDEAS OXYGEN

In a world of such rapid change creativity is becoming a critical skill - so many people tell me that they don't think they are creative, but we all are - we would not survive without being creative.

We all have creative ideas, solutions to problems and different ways to do things in our minds all the time. The only thing that separates out 'creative' people is that that they are brave enough to give those ideas oxygen - to get them out of their heads where they cannot grow and put them out into the world where other people can add to them and help develop them.

It's all so much to do with that fear of failure again - the number one reason why people don't take action in life!

Be brave and give your ideas oxygen - understand that most of your ideas will be crazy and unworkable, but when you give them air they can sometimes develop into completely different ideas that work. Probably the most famous example of this is the Post It Note - it started from 3M creating  a new adhesive that didn't stick! Then someone realised that not only did it not stick - it didn't stick consistently - every time you stuck it to something you could pull it away and then stick it to something again - this was the beginning of the Post It Note - something that must be in every office in the world!! 

There are two rules to help you here: Firstly the understanding that there is no such thing as a small idea - every idea can be huge - however small!

Secondly, remember that for every good idea that works there will be 99 that didn't - you have to go through the 99 process sometimes to find the one that works. Soichiro Honda once said that the 1% we call success can only come from the 99% that we call failure.

Choose something at work or home that isn't working and spend some time coming up with ideas of how it could work better and then start giving those ideas oxygen - you will soon sort out the failures and may end up with a creative solution that really works.


Tuesday, 31 July 2012

WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO!


Just knowing where you are going is not enough though - you have to understand why you are going there too.

You need two things to achieve the results you want - focus and desire. The desire comes from the 'why'. Another word you might use would be passion - when you are passionate at something it is easy to keep going when the going gets tough because you know why you are doing it. This applies to everything you do at work in life.

Understand the difference between ‘what’ you do every day and ‘why’you do it.

Imagine you met me at a party and asked me what I do? I wouldn’t – but I could answer like this.
“I drive up and down motorways – sit in traffic jams, stand in queues at airport security, spend time away from my family in lonely hotel rooms that all look the same, stand in conference rooms that are often too small, too big, too warm, too cold and talk to people – some of whom don’t even want to listen to me, make phone calls, send e-mails...”

Of course you wouldn’t let me get that far – you would interrupt and say “No – what’s your job?”

“Oh, my job, sorry, you asked me what I do!”

I am very clear about what my job is – my job is to communicate to people in such a way as to motivate them to fly – to be fantastic. I love my job, but of course I don’t always love some of the things I have to do!

I really don’t enjoy queuing in airports, taking half my clothes off to get through security and then finding out that my flight has been delayed – but if that is what I have to do, to do what I love – then I can do it!

The passion comes from why you do things – not just what you do – of course we are passionate about some of the things that we do, however we all have things that we don’t enjoy doing.

Let’s face it – who can honestly say they like changing a nappy? But you will happily do it because of the reason why you do it – the happiness and comfort of your child!

If you have got to the point where you know where you are going, it's now time to start thing about why you are going there. Have Fun!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

THE FLY TEST


We all need to take the fly test in our lives. How does it work?

Well imagine it's a sunny day and you’re in the kitchen with the back door open. A fly flies into your kitchen and as it buzzes around, it sees through the window – blue sky, trees and grass. That’s what I’m looking for it thinks, and heads straight for it.

But the window is closed - SMACK! It must be quite a shock. However, the fly seems to recover quite well and continues buzzing around until again, it sees through the window – blue sky, trees and grass and SMACK! They don’t learn too well these flies. In fact it will carry on doing this for hours if you let it.

The fly is repeating a behaviour that is getting it nowhere. If only it would just go in a different direction, it would get where it wants to go – the back door is open! 

That’s what I call the fly test – when we are repeating a behaviour that is getting us nowhere, over and over and over again. 

How many people do you know that want changes in their life but are not prepared to change anything?

People who want to stop smoking, but continue to put cigarettes in their mouth. People who want to lose weight, but continue to eat too much. People who want to get fit, but don’t go to the gym. People who want to save money, but continue to spend more than they earn.

Identify any behaviours that you repeat that aren't helping you to get what you want and....change them!

Remember - If you want change, change something!!

Have Fun!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

LEARN FROM YOUR HEROES

Who motivates you, who inspires you, who do you want to be like? It might be a famous person, a company or someone you know, but we all have people that we can look at and say "I wish I was more like that". However that's where most of us stop - just wishing!

Stop wishing start acting - identify 3 people/businesses that you admire and then ask yourself why you chose them, because that is what you want more of. Then you can start to identify how they operate differently to what you are doing and then start to develop yourself to be the same.

For example you might know someone who seems to pack so much more into their life than you do. Study them, ask them how they manage their time and I guarantee you will learn something that you can do to get more control of your own time.

Or is there someone at work who seems to be more successful than you - don't be jealous, learn from them! They are doing something different from you which might help you to have more success if you learnt it.

If it's a famous person then look for biographies or interviews on line, but look specifically for knowledge, skills and attitudes that you can adopt to be more like them.

I learnt from Richard Branson to surround myself with people who are good at the stuff that I'm not.

Finally look at the companies that you love, why do you love them and what are they doing that makes them different?

If you are an Apple fan, ask yourself why and then ask yourself if you can bring any of that stuff into your own business or yourself.

Have Fun

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

FANTASTIC PEOPLE DO IT BACKWARDS

There are two ways to set a goal or focus for yourself or your business:

You can work towards it or work backwards from it. All successful people that I know, do it the second way. However, to do that you need to get rid of the fear of failure, as that's why most people end up doing it the first way.

You see when you work towards a goal, you tend to set smaller realistic goals, but when you work backwards you have the freedom to set a 'fantastic focus'.

One of my favourite sayings is "Where you put your focus is where you get your results". Well, if you buy into this you have to accept that if you set average goals you will get average results! If you want fantastic results, then you had better start setting fantastic goals!!

Jeremy Gilley - a man I much admire set a fantastic goal. He decided to establish a day of peace (the 21st of September - Peace One Day) where every war on the planet would stop fighting for a day - WOW! Because he set such a far away goal he had to work backwards to identify how to achieve it and one of the things he decided he would have to do was get the United Nations support, which he now has.

What if he was doing it the other way - what if he had just started with getting his local town to be more peaceful. He never would of thought about the UN and therefore would never have gone through the process to get to the UN on-board, through which he met some amazing people all of whom have added their support to his cause and helped it to accelerate.

Hopefully working backwards makes sense - establish a focus for yourself that stretches you to BE Fantastic - not average.

However what about the fear - It's the fear that we might fail the big goal that leads us to set the small ones. But unless your goal is to walk a tightrope across Niagra Falls it doesn't matter if you don't achieve it!

Let's say you are a hairdresser and you set a fantastic focus of doubling your wages - what happens if you don't achieve it? Nothing! But I bet that in trying to double your wages you will still have increased your wages by a substantial amount!

And so here is the key to understanding goals - goals are about momentum - it doesn't matter if you don't reach a destination because it was too far away. Because you were trying to get there you were moving - you had momentum - you were taking action, which must have taken you somewhere, which is surely better than nowhere!

Be brave and start working towards Fantastic - even if you don't achieve everything you set out to do, you will do more and achieve more than you will by just setting average goals.

Have Fun!

Monday, 23 July 2012

LISTEN TO THE CAT

In Lewis Carroll's 'Alice in Wonderland' there is a moment when Alice meets the Cheshire Cat for the first time:

"Would you tell me please" says Alice, "Which way I ought to go from here?"
"Well that depends a good deal on where you want to get to" said the cat.
"Oh I don't much care where" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go" said the cat.

This cat knows what it's talking about - If you don't know where you are going how can you decide how to get there.

There are three key stages to achieving any goal - firstly, where EXACTLY are you going. If you are in the car and just driving around hoping to get somewhere nice it is only through luck that you will get there. However even if you do know where you are going it still has to be specific - heading up north is still leaving far too many alternatives - you have to be focused - It's only when you know you are going to 'Leeds' say, that you have any chance of getting there.

So the journey starts with knowing exactly what 'Fantastic' means to you - be specific, what would a fantastic relationship be like, how would you be operating if you were consistently fantastic in your job? Start designing your Fantastic Future NOW!

Tomorrow I will talk about how to dump any fear of failure you may have, allowing you to set goals to fly!!

The other 2 stages are knowing where you are starting from and then working out how to get there - I will be talking about these on future days. Have Fun!