Unplugged…

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I’m sure many of you will have encountered this situation: you leave the house without your mobile phone. For many this induces a palpable sense of panic and fear. Many people will turn around, even if it makes them late for work, to go back and get their phone.

How could we get through the day without it? Our mobile devices have become much more than just a phone. In fact the phone ‘application’ on your mobile device is the part that most use the least.

Our mobiles help us feel connected to the world, help us get our work done, help us record and document our lives. It’s amazing how, in conjunction with social media apps, they allow us to connect with old friends, discover unknown connections that make the world seem smaller, more joined up. Somehow friendlier.

Our mobiles are also a portal to the collective knowledge of the human race. Our history, our humour, our desires are all just a few clicks away and can be carried around in the palm of our hands. They contain so much information for us and about us.

They have literally transformed our lives.

So it’s understandable that we feel panicked when we leave them behind, or when we can’t put our hands on them immediately. But there is also a darker more uncomfortable relationship we have with these devices…

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Situational Confidence

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Speaking in public regularly tops the list of people’s greatest fears – higher even than the fear of death. It would seem that speaking in public is a common fear; many people don’t naturally have the confidence for it. On the other hand, I love to speak in public; I still get nervous, but I get a thrill out of it. However, if you put me on a dance floor I freeze like I’m playing musical statues. I hate it. I have no confidence to move around on a dance floor.

Confidence depends on your situation, and whether the situation is something you feel comfortable with. It can be the case that we let the situation determine our confidence, which can be limiting to our future potential. Growing your confidence is worth nurturing; it’s not only an attractive quality to have, it is also essential for pursuing the life you want.

Building confidence is crucial when starting to follow your dreams, because it takes confidence to have a dream in the first place. There are many people I’ve coached over the years who don’t know what they want to do, who don’t have a dream. There’s nothing wrong with that, but often their lack of a dream stems from a lack of confidence.

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Is Unhappy the New Happy?

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Life really couldn’t be any better!

Perhaps some of you are  disagreeing with that statement, but I’m talking about life in general, for very many of us. We are living longer, we are curing more diseases – opportunities are growing for more and more people.

Yes, it’s a far from perfect world. There are areas of major unrest in some parts of the world and too many people still experience extreme and devastating levels of poverty. But overall, for very many of us, things are the best they’ve ever been.

A young person growing up today will learn more, have more opportunities, and likely live a longer life. And who can imagine what the world will look like in thirty years’ time? Think of all that has changed in the last thirty years…

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Antici……pation!

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There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.

– Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchock was the master manipulator of anticipation, he created so much with so little. He knew the immense power and energy that resides within a sense of anticipation. When you watch his great movies you realise how little he actually shows of the ‘horror’ or ‘terror’ that he creates. Despite the trends in current movie-making I’m sure that if he was making movies today he’d still show the same restraint.

What Hitchcock knew, and what most good marketers know, is that anticipation plays a very important role in how we feel. When we see a new product advertised the marketer seeks to unlock a sense of anticipation of how great our lives will be if we have their new product. If they do their job well, we then go and buy the product.

Anticipation has the power to direct and determine our actions.  Continue reading “Antici……pation!”

Breaking Free From The Herd

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Like it or not, we human beings are herd animals. We are formed, develop and move within highly structured groups. Individually, we are hardwired to coordinate and align our behaviours with those in our herd.

And although we like to think we make our own choices, have our own likes and dislikes, the vast majority of these conform on some level with the group we are in. Research has shown that the fear of social disapproval can trigger the brain’s ‘danger circuits’. On the other hand, the act of conforming can have a calming and soothing effect.

There is comfort in knowing that your choice is the same as others – making the same choices as the rest of the herd provides me with a sense of reassurance. It offers validation. Similarly, if the herd collectively takes a ‘wrong-turn’, I can take comfort in the fact that I won’t be lost on my own.

“We’ll all be in it together, for better or worse!”

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Breaking the “T.G.I. Friday” Mindset

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How do you feel when Friday comes around?

“I’ve made it to the weekend!”
“I got through another week!”
“That’s another week out of the way!”

Sound familiar?

Does the working week represent a tortuous interlude to be endured – to be survived – between each precious weekend?

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“Is It Time To Quit My Dreams?”

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Dreaming… When I was a kid this was something that you did, more often than not, when you were asleep, or sometimes whilst awake in a ‘day-dream’.

Such dreams often involved being able to fly or possess some other magical powers; they took place in faraway lands where the laws of physics didn’t matter. They were a chance to stretch the limits of my imagination into exciting and unknown territories.

Reality rarely interrupted those dreams or got in the way.

As an adult, dreaming means something entirely different.

Having dreams, setting goals and following your sense of purpose is something that we hear about on a regular basis. Countless words are written and spoken about the importance of pursuing our dreams with passion, energy and tenacity.

However, unlike the dreams of my childhood, reality often seems to get in the way.

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Choosing Happiness

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Are you happy?

The reality is that whatever our circumstances, we’re all eligible for happiness. Happiness does not choose. But we can.

We can choose…

Our daily lives are the product of our choices. It may sound simplistic but on a very basic level, we can allow our experiences to build our mood… or we can choose to let our mood build our experiences.

It’s worth asking yourself how dependent your internal happiness is on external events. Seriously – give that some thought! Do you sometimes sabotage your eligibility for happiness by seeking out the imperfect or the painful?

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