The ONLY thing you need to know

The only thing you need to know

One by Mrs Logic @ Flickr

What is the only thing you need to know? Well that depends on what the question is really about doesn’t it.

This blog is about turning life’s crap into fertilizer, but what does that mean and how do I explain it?

To get the background about how this blog came to be you will need to read so how did I get here.

If you want to know the values that underpin why this mission is important to me you please read A choice to support a candidate, or you could have a look at are you suffering self-development overload?

Choice is a bit of a recurring theme on this blog, so you might also like to check out the posts about making choices.

Problem solving is a subject that also makes frequent appearances within the posts some examples of these types of posts are..solving your biggest problem and when to cut them loose

In fact there a quiet a few themes that keep surfacing on this blog. Although the important thing for me is that the blog is delivering content that YOU would like to read and that YOU would find useful. There is only one way I can do that… that is to encourage you to work your way through a number of the posts and leave comments about what the posts bring out in you and then get in touch with me to let me know if there is some other topics you would like me to cover.

CHEERS! ūüôā

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Are you suffering self development overload?

Self Development overload and achieving your goals

There is SO much great information available on setting goals, getting where you want to go and achieving what you want to achieve. BUT….how many people are really actually close to achieving their goals? How many people are still off course and just devouring material without putting it into practice? How many people are really just suffering from self-development overload?

The Simple Message

When you really examine a lot of the self-development material there is really a few simple messages that emerge with a lot of different ways of looking at those messages.

One of those messages is just how close we are to really being able to achieve what we want to do, and how simple the process of implementing the necessary changes can be if you really want to.

Great examples of delivering on this simple message

Life often throws up serendipitous moments…..(Despite the fact that I hate him.. ;-} ¬†) ¬†I have been working my way through Tim Brownson and John Strelecky’s How to be rich and happy, [if you don’t know about their great Million Book project, go check it out {after you finish reading this of course}.

Tim and John do a great job of cutting through a lot of material to provide clear steps you can take to examine what really drives you, and actions you can take to live in alignment with what drives you.

Another person who has done an AMAZING job of examining what drives us is Dan Pink, and this RSA Animations is entertaining but hits home….. what is your PURPOSE.

There are also classic examples of a clear message about altering course to achieve your goals and this piece by Viktor Frankl, the famous author of Man’s search for meaning is a prime example.

Ben Lumley over at Six Aliens has put together a great compilation of pieces by Anthony Robbins, Jim Rohn and a real blast of a video that shows how a great mindset can (and should) start really early in life. You can check out his compilation over at his Friday’s Personal Development Homework post.

The simple message is really clear… figure out your values, live your life in alignment with them, realize just how close you are, and don’t be afraid to alter course by a millimetre or two to REALLY achieve your goals!

What do you think?

How to move a MOUNTAIN

Time to Sit?

The Rallying Cries for Patience.

First it was Chris Brogan with his rallying against the assault on¬†anywhen, today it’s Gary Vaynerchuck with his request for people to exercise¬†Patience.

A big problem with modern society is that everyone wants everything NOW…. and none of us can have everything now because everything is a damn big pie! How do you eat a big pie? ¬†Like you do the proverbial elephant, one bite at a time over time.

As I have suggested elsewhere on the blogosphere today in response to a great post by James over at The Infopreneur, for whom the penny has dropped on this concept,  you can move a mountain if you take your time and focus on one shovel full at a time, but if someone asked you to move the mountain and you only looked at the mountain, you would probably die from the scale of the task.

Underlying Themes

If you have been around this blog for a little while, you will know that patience is one of the things that I am working on as part of my own personal development, and an underlying theme and it has been the subject of past posts like¬†“What are you waiting for – isn’t it time to be patient instead?” and¬†“Teaching fishing – life’s¬†parallels”.

One of the greatest ways to learn patience is to learn to meditate….. it also helps with one of the other underlying themes on this blog.. being present in the here and now.

I’ve set myself an interesting challenge to try and help improve my meditation, which I am sure will have a profound impact on other areas of my life as I go along.

So what is the challenge?

90 sits in 90 days….. OK stop the laughing.. I said SITS…. how bloody hard can it be to sit down 90 times in 90 days you are asking yourself while rolling on the floor….you think I’ve just found a great excuse for sitting on my backside and doing nothing.

Well nothing could be further from the truth. Meditation can be hard work… there are lots of methods and sitting meditation is one of them, you can find some great meditation resources here.

So far this challenge has 160 participants worldwide (not a lot when you consider the level of impatience all around us) so why not join me in doing this challenge for yourself (I am in no way affiliated with the organisers of this event)…. but before you start….

What gets up your nose about people being impatient? What do you do to counter it? and finally….I’m getting ready to move my mountain by a few more shovel fulls, ¬†will you join me in this challenge? Let me know in the comments

todays post image by twoblueday’s

Teaching fishing – Lifes Parallels

Fishing for lifes lessons

I have had my girls out fishing with me, trying to teach them the art of threading their bait, casting, PATIENCE, when to strike, what to keep and what to throw back.

While having them fishing and talking to them about the many aspects of fishing, I was struck by the parallels of fishing to life in general.

Selecting and presenting the bait.

To catch a fish you have to know what to use, and you have to know how to present the bait to the fish to entice them to bite.  Life is also like this. You have to learn what makes other people tick, you have to know how to present information to them in a way that makes it attractive to them and entices them to take the information.

This can only be achieved by studying people in their environment and learning what encourages them, what distracts them, what spooks them and how do you imitate these various triggers to motivate them to cooperate with you in life.

But you also have to know these things about yourself….. otherwise you may be taking the bait presented by someone else, and you might find yourself hooked!

Casting.

Casting involves a fine art of learning a series of steps and getting them in the right order at the right time to put your bait in the right place, ie where the fish are. Sometimes this is in the open, sometimes in and around the snags, sometimes in the deep, sometimes in the shallow.

Deciding where you are going to aim your life is like casting. If you are always aiming for the clear calm waters you may be missing many chances to catch a lot of life’s opportunities.

Opportunities are often in places you would not expect to find them, so sometimes you need to be in life’s shallows, sometimes you need to be in lifes’ muddy waters, sometimes you need to be in and around the snags in life to see them.

Patience

I have written before about patience, and the fact that it is not a passive pursuit, but rather an active and engaging process.

When fishing you really must be working at your patience. One thing kids love to do is to be casting and winding in….over and over and over again. It takes a while for them to appreciate that after you cast you have to have a period of patience. You need to allow time for the bait to settle where it needs to be and for the fish to become aware of it, and to assess whether it looks enticing enough to take a bite of.

Sometimes the length of time needed to exercise patience is short, sometimes it is lengthy but you need to be actively engaged in the act of patience and constantly aware of what is happening around you or you will never know …..

When to strike

Some species of fish are aggressive and attack the bait, some are fidgety and will nibble without too many clues that they are there, even though they are nibbling away at your bait.

If you strike to quick you can miss your fish by failing to set the hook, if you take too long you can be left with and empty hook and no bait.

Life’s opportunities are like this too. If you are too eager you might strike too early and snatch defeat from the jaws of success, if you wait too long others may have eaten up the opportunity and left you waiting on an empty hook.

Lets face it in life we are going to act too early or wait too long on a lot of occasions. But by being open to continual learning you will help improve the number of times you do manage to get the strike time just right, and when you do you also need to know….

What to keep and what to throw away

When fishing there are things like bag limits to let you know how many of what type of fish you are allowed to keep, how big the fish need to be to be legal etc.

It is also a great idea to limit what you keep  to what you need (within legal limits). Fish that are undersized should be thrown back, to help keep the system growing and make sure that there are fish still there for the future.

Learning what to keep and what to throw away are also vital to a successful life. If you keep everything your life becomes cluttered with too many things, you may also be stopping others from enjoying opportunities. By only keeping what you need you keep the options open for future opportunities and you keep your resources available for the future.

I love fishing, I love my kids and I love finding lessons like this while doing things I enjoy…..

What activities do you use to provide lessons in life for the ones you love?

A sad reflection on choices.

Gavel by WalknBoston

Gavel by WalknBoston

My Period of Reflection

I have been quiet here for a bit…. and that is because I have been participating in a Coroners Inquest into the drowning deaths of eight children. Each of these deaths is an absolute tragedy. Sadly toddler drowning deaths, and children being left severely disabled by near drowning accidents, occur all too frequently. In the developed world drowning is one of the top three causes of accidental death in children aged 0-4.

Being in the middle of a series of posts on choices, my time in the court was a cause for a great deal of reflection on the subject of choices, and on the consequences that can flow from seemingly harmless choices by a wide range of people.

Systems choices and the perfect storm

The choices that lead to the deaths of these children were not just choices made by parents or care-givers, they were also systems choices made by people . Choices  State Governments to ignore previous recommnedations from Coroners to improve regulation and compliance with Swimming Pool fencing laws. Choices by  local government to not implement inspections and choices to not follow up on development applications. Choices made by real-estate agents in leasing premises without regard to the safety of the pool. Choices made by landlords about what they would and would not repair. Choices made by retailers of swimming pools about what information they provide regarding the safety of swimming pools and the need for them to be fenced and comply with legislation.

Any one of these decisions on their own would seem to be inconsequential, but as happens all too often, numerous choices not to act or choices to ignore result in a “perfect storm” and someone pays the price. Sadly in relation to swimming pools it is often a young child.

The Stigma

Many people often place the “blame” solely on the parents of children who have drowned without looking at the systemic issues involved. I have responded to one Journalist who is against proactive measures to reduce toddler drownings here. ¬†Anyone with children will tell you that you cannot keep your eyes on them 24/7, it is impossible.

Maybe part of the reason it is so hard to effect change in this area is because of the stigma that people place on the parents of a child who has drowned/near drowned, that causes them to be very reluctant to speak out about the circumstances and issues surrounding the event. The additional fear of backlash after telling their story only serves to compound the grief and guilt that they already feel, and it always comes from those who say they ALWAYS watch their children.

Society in General

We all have a responsibility to help keep ALL of our children safe. We all have a responsibility to do what we can to prevent the leading causes of accidental death of our young children………

what would you be prepared to do to help save the life of a toddler……. how would you help stop the tragedy of child ¬†death and disability from drowning….. I’d love to hear your suggestions……..