How To Overcome Lack Of Focus

How To Overcome Lack Of Focus And Get Beyond The Problems It Can Create

Do you want to learn How To Overcome Lack Of Focus in your life? Read to the bottom for my free download that will teach the simple tricks to creating powerful and sustainable motivation to help you effectively create your goals and outcomes in a way that can make them far easier, more achievable and infinitely more meaningful.

Let Me Ask You!

Do you feel stuck in a rut?

Do you feel like you have no options?

Do you ever feel there must be a simple answer out there……but you just don’t know what it is?

Do you ever wonder what’s it all about?

How debilitating - not knowing answers to the most basic questions……every single day!

  “What do you want?”……..

  “What makes you happy?”……..

  “What will life be like for you when you learn how to overcome lack of focus which will help you to actually deliver what you want?

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  The single most popular answer to these questions is “I don’t know”, because most of us don’t know what we are looking for. This creates a huge problem – not knowing what you want leads to procrastination, uncertainty and ultimately inaction. Now, you may think it’s not a good idea to make knee jerk decisions or go crashing into new projects without thinking them through……and you would be right! But if you are making decisions and taking action on new ideas you have a lot more chances of making a success of them than if you were doing nothing!

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear…… action breeds confidence and courage” 

~ Dale Carnegie ~

Interestingly, people do tend to know what they want, but are scared of the consequences of going after it, usually a fear of rejection or failure……or in some cases, even a fear of success! So then we have the other common trait amongst us human beings – we lie…….to ourselves and to others, to convince ourselves that we don’t know what we want!

 Clearly, if you don’t know what it is that you want, or where you want to go then it is very difficult to get there! It doesn’t matter how good your Sat Nav is, if you don’t have an address to type in it won’t guide you to your destination!

 That is why having a focus and setting goals, clearly defined goals, is so important. These goals need to be realistic, measureable, and fit in with your own life. Even when you are setting goals, it’s vital that you know what you want to achieve? Tangible, meaningful goals give us clear guidelines as to what constitutes success in the context of our goal and allows us the opportunity to measure and plan progress.

Is Your Focus Creating The Success You Want?

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  Your goal may be to lose 3lbs by a certain date, or increase number of clients to X per month, or buy yourself the car you have always wanted. Those visible or material goals are great, but what will they mean to you? Are they going to increase your self-esteem, make you feel confident, make you feel happy? If that is the case - and it may well be – then how long will that last? The reality is that when they are provided by external factors like other people, cars or money, it probably won’t last long! 

  Positive and powerful emotions – such as love, confidence, security, these are the goals we desire, and they are only possible in the long run when they come from within ourselves. What feelings are you really looking for? What do you really want?! This is the basis of meaningful goals.

  If you are thinking “I don’t know” what I want, take the time to click on the link below to receive my goal setting guide that will not only help you identify what it is you really want, but also reveal the secret to delivering these meaningful goals to you so they become your reality.

Now you can benefit for a limited time only by downloading my FREE guide. Don’t miss this opportunity to click on the big red button below!

GET IT NOW

La Dolce Vita

 Italian escape

Italian escape

  I have just returned from a family holiday in Italy……and it was a new experience for us. With our kids all leaving behind the toddler years and firmly established as schoolchildren, we were slightly more adventurous than in the past and joined school friends of our kids and their Italian family for an authentic experience of Northern Italy and La Dolce Vita, “the sweet life”.

  At the foot of the Dolomites, Arsiè (pop. 2,500) exhibits a collective contentment. As with even the smallest communities in this hospitable and picturesque country, there is a piazza, a church, a school and a football pitch. Much of your shopping is done by picking fruit and vegetables from your allotment, or a daily walk to the bakery for your bread……no sign of the Ocado delivery van here! Everyone knows everyone, and they stop to chat. As I open my window in the morning, on to the sprawling fields rolling in to the distant mountains, I notice local folk beginning their day……it’s early but they are not in a rush!

 Arsiè

Arsiè

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  Our friend’s parents live 10 minutes up the mountain, a short, slow winding drive up and away from the town. There is a consistent trickle of visitors dropping in to the old couple, and they all get the same treatment whatever the time of day. A glass of homemade wine or Prosecco, a short strong cup of Moka coffee, and food……always food on the stove ready to feed anyone within speaking distance of the kitchen. It’s clear why, as a Jewish family we have been drawn to our Italian friends. Food, drink, hospitality, the unbreakable family bond…….and lots of chat! We felt at home straight away.

  The kids build tree houses, play with sticks and homemade bow and arrows, and with acres of green space to use, run around a lot. Our friend’s 93 year old father is out every morning with his wife picking vegetables, catching up with the locals in the little piazza over a coffee and checking on their kids and their guests from London!

  And the wonderful thing about the life of this small Italian community is the natural tendency to communicate with each other. No texting or using Whatsapp to let you know what they’re up to, or checking in on social media. Just pop in, share a drink and chat face to face, talking to you, making eye contact, engaging in conversation. They do have phones, they do have internet, and they do have TV, but they value the importance of human interaction.

  We mixed up our time and also enjoyed a few days at the beach (and visiting the beautiful town of Caorle), at the lakes, visiting Venice, Padova, dropping in on a Prosecco vineyard and climbing mountains. By spending much of our time out of the big cities though, we were lucky enough to experience the individuality both of the towns and villages throughout this beautiful Italian region and within them, from building to building. Even in the building of their houses it’s so refreshing to see the freedom of expression and creativity.

 Beautiful Caorle by the sea

Beautiful Caorle by the sea

 Padova

Padova

 The view from Mt Lagazuoi - 2,700m

The view from Mt Lagazuoi - 2,700m

  I don’t think this is necessarily an Italian thing. If you venture out to the rural areas in the UK you will find countless charming villages in beautiful countryside with equally friendly locals living life at a slower pace, appreciating the natural environment they live in and the benefits of personal communication with those around them.

  So, are we really so busy connecting with the whole planet via our various devices and communication channels, that we don’t have time to notice, and connect with what is right in front of our eyes? Don’t have time to look into another person’s eyes and engage in meaningful conversation?

  Find the time to appreciate what you can see, hear, touch, smell and taste right in front of you. “Virtual” is a very apt description, but do you want your experiences to be second hand, “not quite as described”, or would you rather have the real thing?

  I know I would rather have my La Dolce Vita.

** If you want to speak to me about any subjects I have addressed in my blogs or any other issues on your mind, please submit the form on my contacts page or contact me through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.

Forget the football, it's much bigger than that.

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  It’s not just about football, Gareth Southgate and the England team have grown over the last few weeks into national heroes. For some, they started the tournament as “average Premiership footballers” (if that’s possible!) unknown even to many football fans. Now they are being offered up role models, restoring national pride and inspiring a generation. So what has changed?

  Years of “superstars” and the “golden generation” of Rooney, Gerrard and Lampard have been replaced with a more balanced squad. Replace celebrity, cliques and expectation with expression, equality and freedom, and the emergence of new icons like Pickford, Trippier and the superhero Harry Maguire have a refreshing openness and almost innocence to them.  

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  A new style of leadership has been the catalyst for this transformation, and Gareth Southgate has rightly been lauded from all directions for the role he has played. His desire to build trust and relationships within the squad, to cut through any differences and emphasise the common purpose to form a truly united team has been all important in this transition.

  So, how does this translate to the rest of us?......because let’s face it a huge majority have been captivated and enchanted by this team in these last few weeks. The truth is, the “Gareth Southgate” style leadership is one that can be successful in all areas of life – business, schools, family.

  It’s not just in sport or business that we have leaders, we can all learn lessons, we can all benefit from forward thinking, being open minded and honest with those around us. Now more than ever, there is a need for inspirational leaders throughout the country, CEOs, line managers, school teachers, mums, dads, students……everyone can be a truly inspiring leader to those around them. Maybe there is a legacy from this World Cup that could go way beyond football. How much can we achieve if we learn from this experience and adopt a little of the Three Lions 2018 mentality?   

  If you are interested in how your company can benefit from a new style of leadership please contact me via my contacts page or on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 

Apparently, Monday 15th January is going to be awful!

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Does “Blue Monday” actually exist?.....if you believe it!

  The concept of a date in the calendar being marked down as the most depressing day of the year is understandably frowned upon by many involved in mental health. There may be no substance in the “mathematical formula” used to arrive at Blue Monday but we will still see it across multiple media channels over the next week or so.                                                              How about we just stick two fingers up to Blue Monday?!

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  I won’t delve into the arguments for and against Blue Monday itself, but it does highlight an important issue at this time of year. Even if you have had a wonderful festive season, January can bring you back down to earth very quickly!

  Christmas and New Year can be a very tough time for many people. We are bombarded with idyllic festive images of happy families, strong friendships, love all around us, bright new beginnings, and "Happy New Years" everywhere.  For many this isn’t their reality.

  Have you had a difficult time over Christmas? Was your new year unhappy? Are you simply filled with dread and fear at the thought of the whole year stretched out in front of you?                       It doesn’t have to be that way…….now is the time to reach out.

** If you are having a tough time at the moment, or you want to speak to me about any subjects I have addressed in my blogs or any other issues on your mind, please submit the form on my contacts page, call me or contact me through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Festive cheer - 2017

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Seasons greetings to everyone at this special time of year.

I hope you enjoy the festive season spending time with family, friends and loved ones. While enjoying the celebrations it is also important to spare a thought for those who are perhaps not having such a happy time. If you can find a way to spread a little cheer, put a smile on someone's face you will have played a part in making the world a happier, and a better, place. See if you can do that.

Eat, drink and be merry........and put those phones down!!

Happy holidays!

Dan

"I don't know what I want".........

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When asking my clients questions, the most common answer is “I don’t know”.

  “What do you really want?”……..

  “What makes you happy?”……..

  There are many questions, but the single most popular answer is “I don’t know”, because most of us don’t really know what it is we are looking for. We realise something is missing, something is not quite right, but we don’t know quite what it is! If you don’t know what it is that you want, or where you want to go then it is by definition, very difficult to get there! It doesn’t matter how good your Sat Nav is, if you don’t have an address to type in it won’t guide you to your destination!

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 That is why goals, and clearly defined goals, are so important, and I will regularly encourage my clients to set themselves realistic, measureable goals that fit in with their own life. But even when we are setting goals, do we know what we want to achieve? Tangible, meaningful goals give us clear guidelines as to what constitutes success in the context of our goal and allows us the opportunity to measure and plan progress.

  Your goal may be to lose 3lbs by a certain date, or increase number of clients to X per month, or buy yourself the car you have always wanted. Those visible or material goals are great, but what will they mean to you? Are they going to increase your self-esteem, make you feel confident, make you feel happy? If that is the case - and it may well be – then how long will that last? The reality is that it when they are provided by external factors like other people, cars or money, it probably won’t last long!

  These positive emotions – such as love, confidence, security these are the goals we desire, and they are only possible in the long run when they come from within ourselves. What feelings are you really looking for? Identify with what goes on inside you when you feel these positive emotions, you will have experienced them many times in your life, notice HOW you do them…….and practice them!

  If you are thinking “I don’t know” what I want, take the time to remember what feels good to you. We have these resources within us, identify with the feelings, understand how you get there, and keep doing it…….because the more you practice the good feelings, the better you become at them. And that is what we want, to feel good.

  The best things in life, are not things, they are good feelings.

  Have a great day, and a wonderful weekend.

** If you want to speak to me about any subjects I have addressed in my blogs or any other issues on your mind, please submit the form on my contacts page or contact me through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Mental health.......prevention better than cure

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Prince Harry, Actor Ryan Reynolds, Singers Lady Gaga & Demi Lovato, footballer Aaron Lennon.......2017 has seen mental health issues highlighted by a number of celebrities, bringing to the attention of the general public a problem that has been overlooked for far too long here in the UK.

According to a recent independent Government review (“Thriving at Work”) 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems lose their jobs every year. ”The cost of poor mental health to the UK Government is between £24 billion and £27 billion. This includes costs in providing benefits, falls in tax revenue and costs to the NHS.”

Meanwhile, the “annual cost to employers in the UK is between £33 billion and £42 billion (with over half of the cost coming from “presenteeism” – when individuals are less productive due to poor mental health in work) with additional costs from sickness absence and staff turnover.”

It’s not all bad news as the report indicated that many companies throughout the UK were found to be developing good practices. But, why are these good practices the exception rather than the rule? Why have we in the UK (and we like to think of ourselves as a leading nation) been so slow to understand and prioritise the importance of improving mental health at work?

Much like physical health, preventing mental illness rather than curing it is both cheaper and more effective. The first step is removing the stigma of working with our mental health. It wasn’t so long ago that the idea of going to the gym or yoga classes was alien to a large section of the population, yet now we all understand the benefits (even if we don’t practice them!) of regular exercise in some form. It's time we felt more comfortable talking openly about our anxieties, bouts of depression or the fact that we visit a therapist or coach? It’s only when we view a meeting with a mental health expert as a positive thing that we can truly say attitudes are shifting. By offering employees the opportunity to see a specialist before problems occur, understand their true worth and discover their true potential, the benefits will be profound, both emotionally to the individual and financially to the organisation. 

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From an emotional perspective the human cost of poor mental health is huge, with knock on effects beyond the individual involved, to family, friends and society as a whole. If employers are unable to appreciate the importance from the emotional language then this report highlights in words they will understand. Employers are losing billions of pounds because employees are less productive, less effective, or off sick…….between £33 billion and £42 billion!

The report goes on to suggest a framework of actions, “Mental health core standards” that organisations should follow to achieve positive results in the workplace in a short space of time. These procedures include developing mental health awareness among employees and encouraging open conversations and support when employees are struggling. Promoting healthy work-life balance, opportunities for development and effective people management through the hierarchy and monitoring employee mental health and wellbeing.

These steps are really just a start and I would argue a bare minimum, but the fact that the subject of mental health has been thrust in to the spotlight is encouraging, and one would hope that more and more organisations will begin to take it more seriously and invest in their people. With reports suggesting that every pound spent on the mental health of employees can return up to 10 times in productivity, that is a pretty sound investment!

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It's time for every company, however big or small, to analyse what they are doing to promote positive mental health in their organisation. If there is nobody in place who is able to offer this support, there may be a cost in bringing someone in to create a resourceful focus for their employees......but as we have heard before, that cost may well be the best money your company ever invests!

** If you want to speak to me about mental health for you individually, or in your company, please contact me via the form on my contacts page or through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

A Special October Offer to make you smile!

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  "What is it exactly that you do Dan?"......a question that I am often asked!

  The answer is different all the time - my work is different for everyone and my challenge is to understand the requirements of each person, whatever age, gender, background or life story. When you sit down with me you may have an idea of why you have come, but there is so much more that you can achieve with me than that for which you came! 

  Find out how I can help you make positive change in your life, contact me here on my website, Twitter, LinkedIn or my Facebook page and book a consultation with me......we can do this via phone or Skype if you prefer.

  Throughout the month of October there is NO CHARGE for your first consultation.

  Take a leap of faith.......and find out what I can do for you!

   Have a great day!

  

Floating on a cloud

I was sat next to my 8 year old daughter on our 10 hour flight to Mexico.

As we climbed above the London cloud I felt that wonderful feeling as we left London behind, and all that goes with our daily/weekly routine of work, school, running a business, running the house.....making decisions!

There is something special about the few hours between waving your bags off at check in, and arriving at your destination. The knowledge that you have assembled all your necessary (and a number of unnecessary!) belongings for your trip, tied up your loose ends at home, successfully transported both your luggage and all your family to the airport.........and now you just have your partner and the little people to be responsible for, and the few items (if only!) of hand luggage!

There's some sense of perfection about having your whole holiday in front of you. It's complete, untainted, like an unwrapped present. The anticipation of what lies ahead, the satisfaction of what you've left behind.......ah, those magical few hours!

As we jetted up above the London skyline and headed for the clouds in search of a glimpse of elusive English sunshine, my daughter gazed out of the window. 

"I can just imagine myself sitting there Daddy, floating on those clouds.......they look so white and fluffy?"

We've all had those thoughts at some time in our life, whether old or young, as we gaze outside an airplane window and imagine floating on a white fluffy cloud, but there's something a little bit magical about sharing that vision with your daughter (or son, or grandchildren).

I felt an emphatic deep sigh of contentment.........this was holiday. Sharing a whimsical moment, transported to an imaginary place high above the "real" world below with my daughter.......albeit in the confines of a 747 heading to Cancun. It was though, just me and her, a quiet little private trip to a fantasy world. At this stage in my life this is what holiday is about, sharing special moments with loved ones. The phones were off, the in flight entertainment not yet begun, and the devices were in the overhead compartments. Just the two of us, chatting.

Now, don't think for a minute that was the story of my whole two week holiday.......I can imagine all you parents reading this scoffing (or enthusiastically mocking.....or worse!). It did however, reinforce my desire to leave regular life at home and enjoy a genuine holiday away with my family.

I had my laptop with me and intended on working at some point, writing some material, doing research, a little bit of study.

As I floated on the cloud with my daughter however, I made my decision to dismiss any idea of work. I took my own advice and left business at home and looked ahead to an extremely rare two weeks of family time.

Fortunately, our corner of Mexico had very poor phone coverage unless you wanted to pay daily fees so it wasn't difficult to cut myself off from phone calls, texts, whatsapp messages and emails.

My advice to you if you still have holiday time left? Switch the phone off.....I don't mean, put it away, or turn it to silent. Turn it from "on" to "off", or switch airplane mode on! Just try it, for 24 hours.

It may not be that your checking in on work, but you will be emailing, texting, even sending whatsapp messages to your group of mates at home. 

Holidays are about getting out of your routine, doing things differently. Even your social life takes it's toll on you. Get off Facebook, your friends don't need to know your every move, every meal you have while on holiday! Try a little mindfulness......live in your moment.......relaaaaaax!

It will do wonders for your piece of mind......and, ultimately for your business too!

Have a great holiday!!

p.s. I'm home now!

** If you want to speak to me about any subjects I have addressed in my blogs or any other issues on your mind, please submit the form on my contacts page or contact me through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Fear........how much do we want?

  Have you sold your tickets to a concert or decided against going to a sporting event that attracts a large crowd?

  Have you cancelled a restaurant booking in your town centre over the last few weeks?

  In light of the recent shocking events I wanted to look at the effect of these acts of terror on the population in general and how we can deal with this new fear in our lives.

  It's worth remembering that fear is a good thing, fear moves you away from things that are bad for you.......it has an important role to play in our lives in helping to protect us and stay safe.

  Feeling safe is a basic human need and whatever the dangers of the place where we live, we adjust and take sensible precautions.

  So, when recent events such as those in Manchester and London occur, it is natural that we respond in some way to protect ourselves. What is not beneficial to us however, is reliving bad things over and over again and allowing fear to creep in to our thinking for lengthy periods of time or at inappropriate times. If doing something makes you have fear, doing it over and over again will only reinforce that fear. This is where the media has an influence.......violence, unrest and the threat of disaster creates more news than contented people living their daily life. Therefore we are bombarded with pictures and analysis of these incidents over and over again. And the more we see it, the more we think it…..and the more we think it, the more we worry about what may be next.

  The original incident is real, but the fear translates that incident in to what could happen next......TO US. Our thoughts do the rest and can magnify the real incident in to something that isn't real, hasn't happened and makes us even more scared than the real thing.

  One thing you shouldn't be afraid of is your own thoughts, these are your choice and you wouldn't want to scare yourself, would you?

  When you think things that scare you, it's important to think differently. If you change the way you think, you change the way you feel, and that will change what you do. When I work with clients' fears I will go through a number of different visualisation techniques that alter the images we create in our imagination, as these images are the triggers for the behaviour we exhibit, whether fear or anxiety.

  If we have more pleasing images in our mind, then we will create better feelings within us. A simple reframing can be just as effective though, by changing the perspective of our thoughts, we can dramatically alter their effect. For instance, if we consider the recent shocking and tragic terrorist attacks here in the UK, it is easy to let the fear take over and prevent us from going to a concert again, or maybe going out to public restaurants in town.......or going in to town at all.......or maybe even going out ANYWHERE!

  It's very easy for our fears to escalate that quickly and soon enough we are scared to go out anywhere! This is the same train of thought that prevents many people from boarding a plane when in fact it's one of the safest methods of travel. You have more than twice as much chance of winning the lottery jackpot than being killed in a plane crash (1 in 14 million as opposed to 1 in 30 million!) yet how many people won't board an airplane?!

  At a time of heightened security.....and general awareness, it was probably the safest time of all to be going in to London. How many people made the decision to avoid it though?

  If your child is scared of dogs, you tell them to stand still rather than run away and encourage a dog to chase them. Running away from our fears, whatever they may be, will not make them better, it will only encourage them.

  So, perhaps now is the time to concentrate on the good things in your life, focus on the thoughts that create positive emotions in you. We live in a world in which the huge majority are like-minded people who want to live in peace and harmony, even though it often feels like we are bombarded with negative messages and negative images through a variety of media channels. Have faith in your fellow human beings. Confront that fear, and reject it for something far more beneficial and enriching………..for love, for harmony, for happiness.

 

** If you want to speak to me about any subjects I have addressed in my blogs or any other issues on your mind, please submit the form on my contacts page or contact me through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Stop and pick a flower

  I love kids!..........Good job because I have 3 of my own!

  I love kids because they still have that innocence, uncluttered by social etiquette and pressure - free to be whoever they want to be……and usually say whatever they want to say!

  We can learn a lot from them...…….I learned a valuable lesson from my 4 year old daughter (soon to be 5!) last week as we were walking through a typically busy North London high street as a family - Mum, Dad, 3 kids. We were in usual family mode, short on time and rushing ever so slightly!

  I felt my youngest daughter’s hand leave mine, while my older one continued to drag me down the street. Looking back to check where my 4 year old had gone (and attempting to maintain my parental responsibility) I noticed she had stopped to bend down at the roadside, and found a lone yellow flower standing defiantly……which she proceeded to pluck out of the ground!

  Now, I am not advocating widespread pilfering of our communal flowers that do so much to brighten up our city streets, but noticing the beauty around us, even in the familiarity of our daily surroundings, is such a wonderful, empowering trait. She ran up to me with this flower as if she had discovered the most incredible thing in the world, “Daddy, look at the beautiful flower I found…..it’s for you”.

  My natural instinct to reprimand her for separating from the pack was instantly softened by the joy on her face at the discovery of this simple little weed. Irrespective of the hustle and bustle around her (especially her family), never mind the cars rumbling past and the presence of concrete instead of greenery, she noticed and appreciated, the beauty of a flower blooming in spring. This little girl literally skips through life with a spring in her step, singing to herself.......and that buoyant effervescence is contagious.

  In NLP we pay great attention to focusing on positive aspects of our lives rather than the common tendency to focus on negatives. We could all learn a lesson from my 4 year old and appreciate the simple pleasures that are all around us and bring a smile to our faces. At this time of year it may be the flowers appearing in spring bloom, it may be the morning birdsong, perhaps that first slightly warmer day when the sun is shining and you don’t need a scarf……maybe it’s your family and friends that you take for granted will always be there. Whatever it is, there is always something available to us that can lift our spirits, ease our stress and make our lives that little bit more pleasurable, so why not enjoy those things?!

  So, as spring appears to have sprung, and we edge closer to the clocks moving forward and the longer brighter days of summer being upon us, why not take a rest from complaining about the traffic, the weather, or your kids’ tantrums and take the opportunity to look around you and appreciate the good stuff you normally miss. You may be surprised how good you feel......and how good you may make others feel!

  …...…better still, take a leaf out of Lola’s book, stop your routine and pick a flower!

p.s. Happy Birthday Lola x

 

** If you want to speak to me about any subjects I have addressed in my blogs or any other issues on your mind, please submit the form on my contacts page or contact me through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

What pushes your buttons?

  I think we can all agree we are affected by stress in some form and to some degree. Stress it seems is an inevitable consequence of living in 2017……at least in the highly competitive environment of London and the UK in general anyway.

  Paradoxically, we all know what it feels like to be stressed, but it’s not so easy to identify exactly what it means……perhaps that’s because it means something different to each person.

  What would you class as more stressful? Risking your own money as a city trader in the financial markets on a daily basis, or organising 3 primary school kids through dinner time, bath time and bed time on a daily basis?! In my own experience I have raised my voice in anger a lot more doing the latter!

  We all experience stress differently in different situations, so something that doesn’t bother you at all might cause someone else a lot of stress, emotionally or physically. Successful partnerships, whether domestically or in business, may be able to split the workload to enable one party to entirely avoid certain negative triggers that can cause them stress.

  The point is stress is different for everyone, and it is important to understand yourself and identify what “pushes your buttons”. If you can do that, you can take action to minimise the effect of these triggers. We can't control external factors, but we can control our response to them.

  Many parents this week are being reminded that a day in the office may well be a lot less stressful than a day looking after the kids in half term! For some, organising their accounts is high on the list of pain, while others find it easy and possibly even therapeutic. For some pressure is welcomed as a normal part of life and can actually be useful in driving you to confront challenges, take positive action, feel more energised and achieve positive results.

  Avoiding or ignoring these triggers may not be the best way of dealing with the problem, and effective stress management would be more beneficial to the individual in the long run.

What pushes your buttons and stresses you out?

….......and what pushes you on and drives you forward to achieve positive results?

** If you want to speak to me about managing stress or any other subjects I have addressed in my blogs or any other issues on your mind, please submit the form on my contacts page or contact me through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

 

New Year.......and it's FREE!

Happy New Year!

I hope 2017 has started brightly for you and the new year has brought a spring to your step.

It's not so easy for everyone though, January can be a tough time and putting all those good intentions into practice can weigh very heavily on all of us.

With that in mind, I would like to offer free consultations to anyone who would like to contact me through my website or PM me through my FB page during January. Whether it's business, personal or you just can't put your finger on it.......get in touch! 

 

As Martin Luther King suggested.....Take that first step, even if you can't see the staircase.

I look forward to hearing from you

Dan

Seasons Greetings

  It's that wonderful time of year when the feelgood factor is in the air, party season is in full swing for many and our thoughts are well and truly focused on Christmas and all that it brings.

  For many that means time spent away from the office or work, relaxing with family and loved ones and maybe even getting away from it all if you're lucky enough to be jetting off somewhere!

  But that isn't always the case and for some less fortunate, the holiday season is merely a reminder of what they don't have. Can you find the time to help someone out? .......whether it be a friend in need of some festive cheer, donating to your favourite charities, or perhaps donating an even more valuable commodity, your time, to bring some relief to those in need.......this is a time of year when it is appreciated more than ever.

  With that in mind, I am continuing to work over the holiday season, and for anyone wanting to make an appointment please contact me via this site, email, or directly on 07956 579394 and I will always find the time to see you. 

  Whatever position you find yourself in, look back on 2016 and see all the positives that you have enjoyed and achieved.........there are always some! More importantly, you can then look ahead to enjoying the festive season in your own way, and plan for a 2017 in which you can build on the best bits of last year.......and improve on the worst bits.

  Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah or whatever else you may be celebrating!

  Have a great week 

  Dan

** If you want to speak to me about subjects I have addressed in my blogs or any other issues on your mind, please submit the form on my contacts page or contact me through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

The pursuit of happiness

positivity.jpg

  Do you ever have that feeling everyone else is having fun, earning loads of money, having it easy, living the high life?........and you’re just plodding along, working every hour possible, living from hand to mouth, juggling work, kids, chores, never getting a minute to enjoy your life? …….never really feeling happy or content? ......you're not alone!! Here's a few things to think about when feeling like this.

  Happiness can only ever genuinely come from within yourself, it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing, what anyone else is saying, only you can create happiness for you……..and the good news is that means we can be in control!

  Happiness is a state of mind, a mix of emotions and thoughts we create as a result of external factors (people, environment, incidents) and our response to those factors. The important thing to remember is WE HAVE A CHOICE…….we create the state of mind for ourselves. Given the choice, would you rather create a positive, resourceful (happy) state of mind for yourself, or a negative, unresourceful state?

  I’m going to assume you answered in the positive! So how do we go about creating this happy, positive state of mind within ourselves?

1.       Awareness

If we are “in a bad mood” or having a bad day, the first step is to acknowledge the fact. Even if we are happy in our life, we will have dips, bad experiences, days when we don’t feel 100%.......we all have days when we feel we’ve been hit with the s*it stick. That’s OK, but once we have acknowledged it, we can then choose to change it.

 

2.       Focus on me – focus on the positive

It’s very easy to get caught up in other people’s worlds. In this age of social media we are being bombarded with images and messages from others letting us know how happy they are, how in love they are, how clever (or cute!) their kids are. On most days you can scroll through Facebook or Instagram and find someone flying First Class on holiday, sitting in the newest trendy restaurant or showing off their new possessions.

It’s easy to become envious of other people when you only see the surface – those same people are not so quick to post pictures of them shouting at their kids to get ready for school, or sat in traffic driving to work. You only see the happiest or best bits that others want to portray.

Avoid focusing on others’ perceived accomplishments or successes, this is equally as important as not focusing on our own blips. We have a tendency to zone in on all the negative moments, however small, and allow them to affect (and ruin!) our day. If we spend more time and energy focused on our goals, our development and improving ourselves, we will be far more aware of our progress, and subsequently enjoy a huge sense of achievement and fulfillment on a daily basis.

3.       Love yourself

           I’m not going to get too “flowery” here! Be honest with yourself! It is important to         identify what you want, what you love……and what makes you happy. Love and appreciate yourself!

          We are all different, you are never going to please everyone all the time and there will always be people that you don’t agree with. Self-worth and confidence comes from accepting this and following your heart……….and knowing that what you are doing is in your best interests, and of your family’s. People will see that and respect that, even if they don’t agree with you.

…….and remember No.2 above!

4.       Be happy with what you have

        This doesn’t mean you can’t strive for more. The desire to improve and better yourself is vital to our progression and development as a human being. However, being aware of what you do have, and grateful for those things are essential to feeling a sense of happiness.

         If you have the mindset of needing “one more thing” to be happy……the pay rise, the new car, the bigger house……then you will always need “one more thing” and you will never be truly happy.

          Be grateful, enjoy and savour what you have, even the difficulties you face. The tough times and low points we experience can serve to reinforce the good times and allow us to enjoy them even more. We can learn from the bad times and see them as obstacles and challenges we face, overcome and ultimately becoming stronger because of.

5.       Live in the present

          We all have a past, and whether they are positive or negative memories, they are in the past. Don’t hold on to the past because whether you perceive them as good or bad, holding on to those memories will only hold us back. We can learn from our experiences, and we can take those lessons forward to enjoy today better, and develop and improve our future.

6.       Create a positive environment

          As much as we can have a positive effect on those around us, we can be influenced by negativity around us too. You may not be “brought down to their level” but if you have people around you who are toxic, it makes your happiness that much harder to achieve. Don’t make your job harder, if you want to be “happy”, lose the toxic people that are influencing your day to day life.

          We attract what we project and vice versa, surround yourself with as much positivity and support as possible. You will create and breed an increasingly healthy and happier world for yourself.

  There’s a much used quote……“the happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.

  Take time to focus on yourself, what you think, feel…….what you love. You will only truly feel happy from within, and what others are doing or saying is not relevant. You will be surprised how little you need to make you happy! 

 

** If you want to speak to me about subjects I have addressed in my blogs or any other issues on your mind, please submit the form on my contacts page or contact me through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

 

Happy Holidays

  July days hadn’t even reached double figures and some kids had already broken up for (rather lengthy) school holidays and now the sun is out.......finally! Summer is here!

  It might be difficult to comprehend that fact with the glorious British summer showcasing it’s typically damp and drab personality much of the time, but many are now counting the days to when they jet off to warm and sunnier locations for their annual dose of rest and relaxation……..but is it really restful?......or relaxing?

  Where do you start with the holiday itself? The challenge of packing luggage within weight limits, heaving airports, delayed planes, lost baggage, hotels that are not quite as they seemed in the brochure…….and that’s before you even get down to the pool for your first day in the sun!.....holidays are not always the relaxing getaway we were hoping for.

  I would like to concentrate on an area we can have a little more control over…..our ability to “switch off”, our ability to leave work and other external distractions behind. In an age when we find it almost impossible to separate ourselves from a screen of some sort, it is no wonder that stress is so widespread. Even when we stop work, we’re on our computers, or laptops…. tablets, smartphones. If it’s not Facebook it’s Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat. Unless we REALLY switch off and we kick back………and watch TV!

  With real down time at such a premium, it’s important to maximise your holiday time – why bother booking a holiday if you spend half your time pacing up and down the side of the swimming pool talking to Steve from accounts or telling Gemma how to do your job in your absence?

  The first step is to acknowledge the importance of your holiday. Many would assume that because they are not physically working, that they are resting. You may indeed be resting those aching limbs, but what about your mind? Your brain is a critical tool of your trade…….whatever business you are in! Look after it, rest it, nourish it. A holiday should allow you the opportunity to relax, repair and finally recharge your mind so you return ready to face all the familiar challenges at 100% capacity.

  So, how can we effectively detach ourselves from work and truly enjoy our holiday time? There are two important areas to consider, your work environment before you go, and your personal space once you are away:

  Finish projects where possible – manage your time in the last week or two before you leave,  prioritising important projects that you want to close out, and get them done.

  Delegate - Everything else can be delegated, whether you are a manager or member of a team, it is vital to delegate when you are present, even more so when you are not! It’s unhealthy for your business if you don’t trust your colleagues and unhealthy for you if you attempt to do everything yourself. See your holiday as an opportunity to empower your colleagues with responsibility, give them the space to flourish and prove themselves. As long as you brief them properly and prepare them, you may be pleasantly surprised……and you may realise that none of us are indispensable!

  Set boundaries – Clearly identify dates you’re away and return, what to do in an emergency……and define what constitutes an emergency! You can stipulate more detail if necessary, who to refer to in certain scenarios, what to do in others……and if there is any time when you should be contacted. This is also useful personally, to encourage you to think about what is really important!

  Prioritise – Things will go wrong as they do on most days in every business. Accept that and be comfortable with it, pick your battles and let the little things go. Your business is capable of riding the bumps of daily life when you are there, and will do so when you are away.

  Email – once you are away from the office it is important to avoid regular contact, and email is a constant source of information that you don’t need on holiday. Switch off email on your phone and break the habit of checking it every few minutes.

  Schedule a check-in – If you REALLY have to be in touch with work, schedule a time, once a day, switch on and deal with it then, and only then. If you need to speak to the office ensure they know your schedule and only speak during that time.

  Turn off notifications – Use your phone when YOU want to. Our devices are very good at interrupting our lives on a daily basis, don’t let them do that on your holiday time!

  Just because you are switching off it doesn’t mean you won’t think about work at some point. Holiday is often a good time to take stock of how things are going, and once you have fully relaxed, and your mind has a chance to recharge, that’s when you often see things from a different perspective……and more clearly…….you might even get some fantastic, new creative ideas!

  Essentially, if you are going on holiday make sure it is just that – a holiday. Leave work at work. Don’t be one of the 66% of people who said they spoke to someone back at work at least once a day while on holiday, don’t be one of the 75%+ of owner-managers who admitted to replying to work emails while on holiday…….and please don’t be one of the 58% who had an argument with their partner on holiday as a result of work related communication!!

  ……and if you do find you are someone who prefers to be in the office than relaxing on holiday, then maybe there are other issues that you should address…….that’s a whole different subject!!           #holiday #relax #stress #sunshine #heatwave

  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

** If you want to speak to me about subjects I have addressed in my blogs or any other issues on your mind, please submit the form on my contacts page or contact me through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

An inspirational story......

I don't usually post other articles here on my blog, but the story of Sarah Bofinger serves as an inspiration to all of us.

Sarah was introduced to NuCalm through a dentist, Dr. Yasaman Roland, in the US. During that time she would visit just to enjoy NuCalm sessions as part of her training regime. Dr. Roland introduced Sarah to the guys at NuCalm, and they have chosen to sponsor Sarah in her quest for Olympic gold. Click on the link below to read Sarah's inspirational story.

It doesn't matter how many times people tell you that you can't do something, if you use those doubts as your motivation rather than your deterrent, your will can always prevail. When you have a mindset as positive as Sarah's there are no limits to what you can achieve.........a lesson to us all! 

I look forward to following Sarah's road to 2020 glory!     #inspiration #olympics #dental #NuCalm #mondaymotivation #mentaltoughness #innerpeace

http://www.nucalmlibrary.com/sarahs-story/

 

** If you want to speak to me about subjects I have addressed in my blogs or any other issues on your mind, please submit the form on my contacts page or contact me through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Sats, education and happy children!

  With the current round of Sats being taken by primary school children aged 5-12 around the UK, debate has been raging about methods of teaching our children, and of methods of assessing them. I should add, that the purpose of this piece is genuinely to ask questions, allow some debate, at the very least give the reader food for thought. The perception in the UK seems to be that the quality of education is declining here while countries such as Finland are being lauded for their results, which are achieved via a system that cherishes the free thinking of the children.......starting school later at age 7 than the UK, little or no homework given in early years and freedom to play for large chunks of the school day. This, so the argument goes, has been producing better educated, and happier, children by the end of secondary school.

  Bearing this in mind, what is the effect of our schools, and our home environment, on the happiness of our children? In the "western world" rates of depression and anxiety have been increasing for the last 50+ years across all age ranges in virtually every community, and the growth is seen most in the young, especially teens. While we make progress in the world of medicine, technology and business, when it comes to mental health and happiness, things seem to be going backwards.

  Why is this happening? Rates of anxiety and depression among children and adolescents were far lower during the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, and the turbulent 1960s and early ‘70s than they are today. The changes seem to be more about the way young people view the world than the way the world actually is! Things are tough for many of us now, but compared to World War II.........?!

  One important factor contributing to anxiety and depression is control, or lack of it, and we increasingly seem to feel that we have a lack of control in the modern world. While we have made great advancements in medicine to extend life expectancy, made great strides in limiting prejudice and increasing acceptance of gender, race, religion and sexual orientation, and increased the standard of living of the average person, somehow the belief that young people feel they have control of their own destinies has decreased.

  This may be a consequence of where our personal ambition lies. I would guess that many of us target external goals rather than internal ones. Instead of focusing on one’s own development as a person, we are far more likely to strive for material rewards and acceptance via other people’s judgements. We are choosing high income, status and good looks over personal development and a meaningful philosophy of life………..that is all well and good, but we have far less control over these external goals than we do our internal personal ones, and thus far less control over our own emotional wellbeing.

There is clearly a cultural shift in mainstream society across the globe, fuelled predominantly by an ever growing and more powerful media, to focus on material rewards. However, there is a feeling amongst some that the education and upbringing of our children is also a major contributing factor…..which brings us back to the subject at the beginning of my piece, children’s education here in the UK.

  The opportunity for “free play” has declined continuously throughout the last 50 years. A major cause of this has been the reluctance of parents to trust society with their children – “it’s not safe for our kids to play in the street like we used to” – and the education system has done little to encourage the independent thinking of students. This free play, is how children historically learn to solve problems, form relationships, develop their own interests, discover what makes them happy, and control their own lives…......….and perhaps internal focus rather than external.

  While free play has declined over the years, school activities and extra-curricular activities has increased. Instead of free play, children are spending more and more time under direct adult supervision and control. Whether it’s school based or family related, our children are being deprived of the opportunity to learn how to take control of their lives. We may think we are protecting them from the big bad world but we are in fact diminishing their joy, their sense of control and their ability to discover and explore activities they may love.

  Children today spend more time in school than ever before. More weight is given to tests and grades than ever. Outside of school, children spend more time than ever in settings in which they are directed, protected, catered to, ranked, judged, and rewarded by adults. In all of these settings adults are in control, not children.

  In school what’s important is not the kids’ choice of activities or their judgement of competence, but the teachers and the administrators, and their choices. The goal is not competence it is good grades, so given a choice between really learning and understanding a subject or getting a Grade A, most students would opt for the latter. With our constant testing and evaluation becoming increasingly intense each year this merely encourages the substitution of external goals for internal ones.

  Is there another way?.... ..can freedom, play, and self-directed exploration make a re-emergence in our modern society? Surely we don't need to drive kids crazy to educate them. Given freedom and opportunity, would young people happily educate themselves, and in the process develop internal values, personal self-control, and emotional wellbeing?

  We are living in a world in which we are constantly bombarded with messages to strive for external rewards, we are creating anxious and depressive citizens in increasing numbers. Our children are surely going to perpetuate this spiral if they continue in the current climate. How can we stem the tide for our next generation? How can we hand control back to our children........of their actions, their thoughts, their emotions, their lives? 

 

#sats #happiness # children #education #freeplay #anxiety #depression

 

** If you want to speak to me about subjects I have addressed in my blogs or any other issues on your mind, please submit the form on my contacts page or contact me through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

 

Notice the sunrise

   Spring is in the air this morning, or is it summer?

   Whatever it is, there is something about this time of year as we get used to the lighter mornings and the longer days, we may also feel a little lighter in mood and more in touch with the simple pleasures around us. Most of us are aware of the effect of sunlight on our mood, and there is evidence that the brain produces more of the natural anti-depressant serotonin on sunny days, therefore it’s understandable that we will find ourselves in happier moods.

   However, we also shouldn’t underestimate the positive effect that little everyday occurrences can have on us. When we are on holiday in locations we perceive as more exotic than home (and usually they are!) we notice natural moments like a sunset, even if it doesn’t have a beach or rolling hills in the foreground. We notice the leaves or flowers blowing in the breeze and we appreciate the scenery all around us. This happens not simply because we are in a more aesthetically pleasing environment, it also happens because we take the time to slow down, look around us, absorb our surroundings…..and relax!

   Experiment with taking a little time every day to look around you and appreciate the beauty you normally ignore, look around you and examine in more detail the wonderful aspects of your daily existence, and the people within it, that you habitually skim over and disregard. You’ll be surprised at how much there is, even in our hectic city/work life and busy suburban/personal life that will give you a lift. Stop for a few seconds, and appreciate the little tokens of joy that present themselves to you on a regular basis, and that you routinely ignore.

   Pause and allow yourself to notice the sunrise (maybe sunset is more realistic at this time of year!), and while you’re at it, welcome the morning birdsong into your awareness, offer a smile to the neighbour you see on your daily walk to the station, absorb the innocent giggles of your children and even upgrade your default cordial handshake to a warm hug for your friends.

   We all have different lives, different routines, different experiences. What we have in common though is that we will all have opportunities that present themselves to us on a daily basis, and offer the chance to lighten our mood, ease our stress, perhaps make us happy for a while.

   Go on, open your heart, open your mind, open your eyes and look around you…….it might even put a smile on your face!

 

 ** If you want to speak to me about subjects I have addressed in my blogs or any other issues on your mind, please submit the form on my contacts page or contact me through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

.......do you speak my language?!

  There is often a great emphasis placed on the ability to read body language, to know what someone is really thinking even when they are saying something else.

  Studies at UCLA indicate that only 7% of communication of feelings and attitudes are via the spoken word while 38% of those messages are with the tonality of our voice, the way words are said (volume, tone, speed). At 58%, the highest proportion of messages relating to feelings and attitudes are communicated via physiology or body language (facial expression, posture, gesture).

  With that in mind, it's not surprising that so many people are concerned with interpreting what others are saying with their physiology, and there are countless sources informing us what crossed arms means, making eye contact, expansive hand gestures and many other physical movements.

  While it would indeed be very useful to know exactly what others are thinking, both in business and personal life, one needs to be careful not to attach generalised labels to everyone concerning body language. 

  We are all programmed differently due to unique experiences throughout our lives, creating different internal filters and subsequent responses for all of us. In a professional capacity I would always look to avoid a "mind read" with a client.

  Where an awareness of body language can be very useful however, is in establishing rapport. In most situations it is important to connect with someone, whether in a business meeting, social occasion or everyday activities with your kids.

  When people are like each other, they tend to like each other! If you are aware of someone's body language and indeed the tonality of their voice, you are covering 93% of their communication with you. By subtly mirroring or matching these characteristics, the person is more likely to be drawn to you, like you or want to agree with you...........now that works whether you're negotiating a business deal, playing with your children, or anything in between!!

 

 ** If you want to speak to me about subjects I have addressed in my blogs or any other issues on your mind, please submit the form on my contacts page or contact me through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.