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Monday, 28 February 2011

Drawing a Line & Monumental **** ups!!!

'Draw a line' seems to have become a recent catchphrase, relating to a line/division in your mind, where you leave the past behind and move forward.

Easier said than done!!

It's a great philosophy, the ability to just forget everything that's happened to you and charge forward positively, however isn't it true that everything we have become today is based entirely on EVERYTHING that's happened, every experience, every success, every failure, every decision, in fact almost everything from the moment we came into this world.
Even when you were too young to remember you were being influenced and forged into what you've become.
Every one of the millions of conscious, subconscious and subliminal messages your brain has acknowledged, have created the unique being you are today.
Of course, we're not all thrilled with what we are BUT we do have the amazing ability to change, adapt, modify and become what we desire.

Nevertheless, I'm still stuck on 'draw a line', no matter how hard I try, I can't shift, move, alter or forget all my past (good things, bad things, quite unbelievable things and not forgetting the entirely BIZARRE*), after all (good or bad), it's what has made what I am today.
I'm not sure whether it's drawing a line to forget the past or building a HUGE wall, between the things we want and the possible happenings in the past that may hold us back.
On a real positive note, the things that have happened to you have all had a knock on effect in your future, in other words everything has led to other things . If you recall a bad happening, it may well have lead to huge changes, changes that were necessary to get you where you are today.

So let's draw a line, build a wall, block the negatives.......HOW???

A few years ago I made a MASSIVE error of judgement, John Stephen* (esteemed & successful entrepreneur and Kleeneze Leader), one of my many mentors, would have called it 'a F**k-up of monumental proportions', the kind of error that totally screws up everything and one from which there is no going back, there was no one to blame, it was all down to me.
There was no easy way to move on from this, let alone draw a line. However, there was no choice the consequences were all consuming, on a daily basis it had to be pushed to the back of my mind, because it was capable of hindering everything and bringing life to a total, sorry standstill.
So how did I survive? How did I move on?
I spent EVERY waking moment surrounded by positive people, either in their company or communicating with them, in fact you could say I inadvertently used them, without any of them even realising the trauma I was in.
Nevertheless, considering the depth of my monumental F**k-up, it worked, it actually switched my mind to positive thoughts, so strong that they slowly began to counteract the mess I'd created.
In no means did these actions deal with the mess, however it put me in the right frame of mind TO deal with it, it made me stronger so I could cope better.
In fact the real drawing of the line happened at a later date.
Sat (naturally, under the influence of alcohol), with a group of trusted friends, I confessed the whole sorry saga, in intricate, painful detail, including associated emotions, much (I might add), to the shock of the people listening, not shock at the story but shock at my ability to keep it such a secret for so long.

So, back to 'DRAWING A LINE' - I don't think you truly can, not under EVERYTHING, however you can under the things you perceive to be holding you back. Like the monumental f**k-up I made, it was clearly destined to hold me back (and consume me, had I let it), I drew my line through POSITIVE acquaintances and a total confession (incidentally, the confession would not have been possible had I not done the former).

NOW it's YOUR turn - what's holding you back?

Monumental F**k-ups of your own (maybe,resulting in regret & guilt), other happenings in your past, certain PEOPLE, past failures, INSECURITIES* or maybe just your partner!!!
Whatever it is, may not even immediately occur to you, think about it carefully and then write down all the reasons, situations & people that might be holding you back, DO NOT be afraid to write anything you want, no matter how disturbing or painful it may seem.
Now take a long hard look at your list, are these things REALLY holding back your steps forward, what emotions go through your mind as you live each situation through your mind ? The ones that really sink your heart are your personal lepers - the ones that need to be destroyed, if you want peace of mind and a clear route forward.
By now, you will have established what bothers you, winds you up and ultimately holds you back in some way.
Even accepting these things is the start of drawing your line and moving on.
The power happens when you balance the things holding you back with the things you really want, the very things you DESIRE* - this second list (your DREAMS & DESIRES list), is the remedy to the first. It's that which will demolish your unwanted things in the past and help you build a wall (let alone draw a line!!).
Take my monumental f**k-up as an example, try my remedy, find your positive people, confess to someone close to you and feel the weight of your own f**k-ups etc lift from your chest.

This could be the start of your wall, your line, your division, your parting with those things, happenings, emotions & people holding your PROGRESS back.


PS. Anywhere there is an asterisk (*), is a story for another day (except where the asterisk is hiding an expletive!!)

Saturday, 26 February 2011

The Beard (Part 2) - Communication

All day I've been thinking about COMMUNICATION.
I love the idea of coming to conclusions, having ideas, provoking thoughts purely from experiences.
There is a power in reading books, especially motivational/self-education ones, however real power is found when you see, feel, experience and touch the situation, deriving some form of learning from it.
EVERYONE has 100's of those situations EVERY week, in most case they're just mundane everyday happenings - BUT there is, if you pay enough attention, so much learning to be had from these normal, everyday situations.
My most recent example is yesterday's barman (who incidentally at 31, cannot grow facial hair!!).
The positive I derived from that is the HUGE importance of remembering something about someone, I was so impressed he remembered my drink, that I will most certainly frequent that bar again, that won me over.
What about remembering a name, how wonderful does that feel that someone remembers your name - TRY IT - remember the names of your Customers, your colleagues, use their names, almost like making a point. When you make someone feel important with such a simple gesture - They in return WILL remember YOU.
In business this simple action is VITAL - it can create custom, loyalty and even better than that, it creates the feel-good factor.

On the other hand (as difficult as it can be), think carefully, especially when addressing & communicating with strangers about what you're saying. Unfortunately, all those brilliant things such as friendliness, custom, loyalty and Feel-good factor are destroyed as easily as they're created and it's an uphill struggle trying to dig yourself out of a hole with someone, you've offended or made feel awkward or uncomfortable.

Trust me, I'm the first to have my foot in my mouth - last night I commented on someones apparent weight-loss and then followed with the killer line 'not like you were fat before' - in other words I instantly high-lighted that fact. Which I then followed with 'I mean you look slimmer than you did, you don't need to loose any weight, you've already lost enough, you're looking great'
Don't worry I kicked myself and wished I'd kept my fat gob shut!!!!!!
SOMETIMES it's best to say nothing at all.


The Beard

8pm Friday 25th February in a Manchester City Centre bar, waiting nervously*
The barman recognised me and asked if I wanted a shot of 'BISON VODKA', I didn't, however I said yes, just shocked at how a random barman remembered me, I hadn't been to this bar for almost 4 months!! and it was indeed the Vodka I drank when I was last there.
One warming shot down and I ordered a Chenin Blanc, to which the barman said 'you normally drink Red', true enough the last time I was there, indeed I was drinking Red, the Chenin Blanc is just a funny phase I'm going through*
So the point is, however this random Barman remembered me it already achieved three significant things.
1. I drank a shot I would not have ordered (that was good for the bar)
2. The conversation put me at ease
3. I'm more likely to return, compared to a place that (which is usually the case), has obnoxious bar staff who couldn't give a damn.

Anyway, I sat there waiting and watching him interact with other Customers, to my amazement, he said to a hirsute bloke who was waiting to be served 'nice beard' ??????? To my mind a fairly strange opening line from one man to another, the body language* of the bearded bloke clearly suggested he was immediately uncomfortable, this included an unlikely exchange of words, which the barman concluded by saying 'I'm 31 and at my age I can't grow a beard like that, I wish I could', the bearded bloke went and sat down, again with body language suggesting he was uncomfortable.

How can one man (the Barman), innocently make one person extremely comfortable (ME) and another (Beardo), so uncomfortable, without any rudeness whatsoever. Just his choice of WORDS.

The point of this story is two fold.......

1. It was at that point I decided it was time to BLOG (for the first time EVER) - because to me an innocent exchange of words with three people in less than five minutes, said so much. There are signs and opportunities to learn with EVERYTHING we experience - not just from reading books and listening to motivational DVDs* - I can't really explain why it was time for me to blog, except I've been thinking of blogging for sometime now (in particular since I had a conversation with Lee Henshaw, a leader in the company I work for - Kleeneze*) - this weird conversation in a random Manchester bar, became (albeit ODD), my motive to write.

2. I can't help but think about COMMUNICATION* and how POWERFUL it is, just based on my simple, random experience last night. Powerful in a positive way and also in a negative way - CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY!! In most cases we have just a matter of seconds to make the right impression with someone or leave them feeling uncomfortable with totally the wrong expression.

As for Beardo, he will probably never go to that bar again and probably shave more often.
The Barman remains oblivious*
Me, I'm now BLOGGING!!!


PS. Anywhere there is an asterisk (*), is a story for another day.