Children’s Running Blades

Back in November 2015, I was watching BBC Children in Need, which contained the story of several children whom had one or more lower limbs amputated. The program showed children with standard prosthetic legs; their movements slow, stiff and lethargic. The children struggled to walk and complained of the discomfort they experienced in wearing the prosthetic limbs. The video then showed a group of children wearing running blades.

The contrast was unbelievable, the children whom where wearing the running blades where running around happily, laughing, smiling and participating in sports such as gymnastics. The quality of the children’s lives was dramatically improved and it was as if they had received their childhood back. It was a truly amazing spectacle.

The presenter then informed the viewers that the running blades cost around £6,000 and they were not available on the NHS and that the  running blades shown in the video had been purchased by the children’s parents/guardians. I clearly wasn’t the only one who could see the improvement in the children’s quality of life, because in 2016 the UK government made £1.5m in NHS funding available for the purchase of 500 children’s running blades. According to the Department of Health and Social Care Media Centre, the first children received their running blades in January 2017 and may there be many more!

I know some may feel that this post is a little dated, but given the significant difference running blades make to the life of children, so long as there are children without them, it was always be relevant.

You can read more about it here: https://healthmedia.blog.gov.uk/2017/01/07/first-children-sports-limbs-nhs/

School for Stammers

I know that is a bit off topic, but the school for stammers hit me right in the feels and I just had to write about it! The bullying that they must have endured in school doesn’t bear thinking about. Tony Robbins, the long distance lorry driver who chose his profession in order to minimise his contact with people, suffered with a stammer for over 50 years. A stammer he developed at just 6 years old following the divorce of his parents. He was unable to talk on the phone and spoke of his school days, where he was hit with a ruler and told by his teacher not to stammer while he talked to him; awful.

Then there was James, a 13 year old boy who severely struggled to say his own name. Jessica Davies, a self-employed wedding photographer, would take her friend along to the weddings; who would speak on Jessica’s behalf. But the one that stood out for me was pharmacist, Mueid Qualim; who’s stammer was so bad, that in one clip he couldn’t get his words out until one customer had left the shop (store if American).

During the participants first day at the School for Stammers, they were taught breathing techniques that would enable them to control their stammers. Mueid struggled in particular and grew increasingly frustrated with himself. He began saying that he couldn’t do it and repeating over and over. Mueid’s coach provided continuous encouragement, reassuring him that he could. By the third day, Mueid Qualim had developed a greater sense of self confidence and control over his breathing; resulting in a significant improvement in his speech. In fact, all of the participants did, which is amazing considering that the coaches only had 4 days with the participants.

What a fantastic program, that’s what reality TV should be about. Doing something constructive, something meaningful, something that can significantly alter someone else’s life for the better.

Though I revealed some information about the program, I have intentionally avoided certain areas, just in case you have not seen it yet and would like to watch the program.

Further information can be found below:

https://www.itv.com/presscentre/ep1week2/school-stammerers

#SchoolforStammers

There has to be more to life…right?

Have you ever walked past a person in the street, or heard of somebody else’s situation and asked yourself why is it that they have not done or are not doing anything to change their situation? Why do people work long hours in unskilled positions, paying peanuts? Before I go any further, I just want to it clear that I am not talking about those that have actively sought such positions through choice. These people are succeeding by default, as they are doing what they chosen to do. That’s the key difference, choice. I am referring to those who work in such positions out of necessity or simply to pay the bills; which are seldom met.

How many times have you heard people complain about their job, their pay, working conditions and how they wish they could do something else. But when you question them as to why they do not do something different, like retraining or starting their own business. They say that they could never do that, that they are too stupid, they don’t have the funds etc. This is mindset; the little voice in your head that tells you that you can or can’t do something.

Mindset is a two-edged sword. It can prevent you from progressing in life and keep you where you are, or it can give you a new life; the one you dream of. I’m talking from experience here. See I started from humble beginnings and didn’t have very much growing up. I wasn’t academic in anyway, nor was I particularly good with my hands and top if off, I’m dyslexic. My mindset was always that I couldn’t go to university, that I wasn’t clever enough and that I was dumb. That little voice in my head just kept me jogging on the spot and prevented me from running towards my dream.

At the age of 25, I was made redundant from an unskilled job. I had two young mouths to feed, a roof to keep over our heads, and bills to pay. Suddenly, I was unable to do any of it and we were so poor that I could barely afford to put food in our mouths. This is where my mindset changed and it did so with a single statement ‘I will never be this poor again!’.

Enter mindfulness. If mindset is the little voice in your head, mindfulness is where you control that voice and tell it to shut up! Mindfulness can completely transform your perception of the world around you and once you change the way you look at things, the things you look at begin to change. You start to see that the world isn’t the way you thought. That actually, you’re in your own little bubble and you are where you are, because of the way you think. Keep telling yourself you can’t and you never will, it really is that simple. Mindfulness is not positive thinking per say; it’s just not negative thinking.

I have achieved and gained more knowledge in last 3 years than some of my peers with over ten years’ experience in the industry. Mindest played a massive part in my success and when someone tells me that ‘it can’t be done’, I always tell myself ‘I’m not f*cking having that! I’m not F*CKING having it! There has to be a way!’. Likewise, if some tells me ‘you’ll never do that’, I recite my favourite Mohamed-Ali quote ‘I’ll show you how great I am!’. I’m extremely passionate about what I do and firmly believe that there is a solution to every problem, we just don’t know it yet.

Changing your mindset is the first step to changing your life. See we are conditioned all through our lives; we should behave a certain way, peruse certain careers and stay within our abilities. To this I ask, what is the difference between a doctor and a bin man? The answer is simple; the bin man didn’t think he could become a doctor. In birth, we are equal in knowledge; we have none. A doctor learned to be a doctor, a pharmacist learned to be a pharmacist, a builder learned to be a builder, so why can’t you learn whatever it is you want to do? Is there a cut-off point to learning? Nope, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a moron. So tell that voice in your head to shut up and take control of your thoughts! You have to be the hero of your own story.

Mindset & Mindfulness are not the be all and end all of success; they are but links in the chain and the first step in transforming your life. There are so many links in the chain that it would not be practical to discuss them in a single post, but I will cover them one by one.

Please let me know what you think about this post in the comments and what it is that you wish to do with your life. I’ll leave you with this:

Whatever Your Mind Can Conceive And Believe, It Can Achieve” – Napoleon Hill