Update coming soon…

I realise that I haven’t posted any content on here for some time, but this doesn’t mean that I’ve abandoned my goal. In fact, the complete opposite is true. I am working tirelessly on my goal every day and have been for months.

In the coming days (or possibly next week) I will post an update on my progress and talk you through what I have been doing, what I am currently doing and the target for the next few months; all of which would not have been possible had I not have had a crazy idea one day in December 2017.

If I get side tracked, which is often the case with everything going on, please feel free to jump into the comments and I’ll make the time to write the post. What I will say though, is that there are exciting times ahead. So, keep an eye out for my next post.

The Black belt analogy

Around 2010 I started martial arts and it taught me a valuable lesson. Everyone wants to be a black belt, but very few people achieve it. Why? Because they underestimate what is required to achieve it. They want to walk into a dojo and become an instant black belt and the same principles apply in life. People want instant gratification, they don’t want to spend the time to perfect their skill. What I am describing here, is the old me. The guy who wanted everything instantly, but wasn’t prepared to do take the long road. I would often give up quickly and become bored easily. If I didn’t see instant results, I would lose interest and move on.

What martial arts taught me is that life is like belts. Right now, you’re a white belt and your goal, well that’s the black belt; metaphorically speaking. The belts in-between are the steps you must take to achieve your goal. Nobody goes from white belt to black belt without completing the steps in-between. If they did, would they feel a sense of accomplishment or that they are worthy of the achievement? I think not.

Think about what it is that you truly want. What’s your black belt? What are the steps you must take to make your goal a reality?

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Loa Tzu

 

Setting goals and smashing them!

The definition of success appears to differ between individuals. To some, success is measured by the amount of wealth a person has accumulated, to others it is doing what they love. The Oxford dictionary defines success as “A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame, wealth, etc.” There are two parts to this definition. Firstly, a person who sets and obtains that goal is considered to be successful. Secondly, a person can be considered successful if they have acquired fame or wealth. In actual fact, the definition of success is simply “A person or thing that achieves desired aims”. This is because a person whom achieves fame or wealth would have set a goal to achieve such things and is therefore, considered a success.

In setting a goal, there are two key main principles. The first principle is to set an ‘ultimate’ goal. This is the overall outcome you wish to achieve and could be anything from spending more time with your loved ones to travelling the world. The goal should to be far beyond your current capabilities and should not be possible to achieve, without the need to undertake considerable action. It is essential that you do not the set the ‘ultimate’ goal too low and that it is beyond your current reach. The main reason for this is that the growth which you will experience as you march boldly towards your goal will enable you to achieve far beyond what you ever imagined possible.

In setting the ‘ultimate’ goal, it is essential that it is given considerable thought. An excellent technique is to lie on your bed in silence or with relaxing music and to completely clear your mind. Close your eyes and think of nothing. Breathe slowly, deeply and completely detach yourself from the world. This can difficult for some at first, but bear with it as it will prove beneficial in the future. Once you have cleared your mind, start picturing your perfect life and focus on specific details. Visualisation is a very powerful technique and can be utilised in the future in order to assist you in achieving your goal, but the process does not work for everyone. If you find yourself unable to visualise your future, adopt the same principles and ask yourself questions such as the following:

  • If Money were no object what would I do?
  • What would improve my quality of life?
  • What changes would I like to see in my life?
  • What do I want to experience?
  • What do I wish I had done in the past?
  • What would I love to have?
  • How would I like my life to be different?

Setting the goal is the first step towards achieving it. If you have not yet set your goal, don’t worry it will come to you. Every person is different and some take longer than others to realise what it is that they truly want.

The second principle relates to ‘milestone’ goals. As the name suggests, these are smaller goals that are set with the aim of progressing towards the achievement of the ‘ultimate’ gaol. Here you look at the ‘ultimate’ goal and determine the steps you must take in order to achieve it. Setting the initial ‘milestone’ goals can be thought of as an ideas phase and can take a considerable amount of time to establish. At this stage, you may have no idea whatsoever as to how you are going to achieve your goal; I certainly didn’t. Don’t worry; this is perfectly fine, if not expected. Below is an example of the process in order to assist you:

Ultimate Goal: Obtain Financial Independence

                 Milestone 1 – Get a Better Job

                          Milestone: Obtain a career in Software Development

                                    Milestone – Attend University

                                              Milestone – Attend College

In the above example, the goal setter’s ‘Ultimate’ goal is to obtain financial independence. The first step towards this would is to obtain a better position through a career change. Following a review of potential careers, the goal setter has decided that they would be suited to a career in Software Development. The career requires a bachelor’s degree, which the goal setter does not possess. A review of university courses has indicated that applications must have a minimum of three A-Levels at grade A. The goal setter possesses no formal qualifications and therefore, must attend a college in the first instance.

The most difficult part of the process is determining the initial steps that must be taken. But once realised, the goal setter is provided with a series of tasks that must be completed in order to progress towards their ‘ultimate’ goal. It is also possible to add further smaller ‘milestone’ goals as and when they appear, for example:

Milestone 1 – Attend University

          Milestone – Obtain 1st Class Honours degree

                     Milestone – Publish Research

In the above example, the goal setter obtained good grades at university and decided to aim for an overall grade of 1st Class Honours. Whilst working on a research project, the goal setter made excellent progress and publishing the research became a ‘milestone’ goal.

Milestone’ goal setting is essential in order to achieve a larger objective. It is common for a person to become overwhelmed by the scale of the journey ahead. By breaking the ‘ultimate’ goal in to several manageable steps, the goal setter is more likely achieve that which they desire. Not every ‘ultimate’ goal has to be live changing, but the principle of setting ‘milestone’ goals still applies. The above process of goal setting, not only allows the individual to achieve the milestone goal, but to significantly surpass their initial expectations.

Goalsetting is absolutely essential in achieving success; no question about it. Nobody arrives at the top by accident. Without goals, we would simply wonder aimlessly through life with no direction and achieve nothing. How can you hit a target you are not aiming for?

 To quote the great motivational speaker, Mr Les Brown, “aim for the moon because even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars”.

 

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