Nothing Beats Values

When I first started exploring my own values and purpose I read numerous self-help books, watched webinars, went through processes and was on a search for my ‘Holy Grail’.

I swear I almost came across the Knights who say 'Ni!' (for all those readers younger than 40, Google it).

One day, I nailed it when I came up with a set of three that felt like the ones I wanted to live my life by. It was as if I’d discovered a secret that had been hidden in the depths of my soul for as long as I could remember. I felt they were me and convinced myself that I was going to live my life by them ALL the time.

They were: Authenticity, Betterment and Connection.

Back then, I didn't know that each and every human has over 5,000 traits that we ALL share. I was in denial. Living in a fantasy that I would always be authentic (I wasn't), always be bettering myself (I didn't) and always be connecting (nope).

I'm not making myself, or anyone else who has been curious enough about life to start excavating their own values, wrong. Without me starting at this place I wouldn't have been able to discover the truth about what drives us as humans.

Here's a clue ... we're all different and have a unique set of values that's as original as our own fingerprint or retinal scan. Isn't that wonderful!

Many years ago, as part of my search for truth, I became certified as an EMyth business coach and started coaching clients in the same process. It was great because they felt like they had clarity and could move forward with their lives and businesses in a more intentional manner.

It was progress ... but it was also only the beginning.

I couldn't quite put my finger on it but felt there was something intuitively out of line with the work I’d done on myself and with others.

I now know what that was and want to share it with you.

This spurred me on to do more work on discovering the truth about values and it led me to Dr John Demartini, a world-renowned specialist in human behaviour, researcher, author and global educator.

What I discovered, working with John, changed my life and made a massive impact on the lives' of my clients and my close family.

I was so inspired, I chose to invest to become a Certified Dermatini Values Facilitator and use my knowledge to work closely with people to help them get crystal clear on their own values so they can create an inspired life they love leading personally and professionally.

For example, I discovered how values have endless critical applications in business such as:

- Growing sales
- Hiring the 'right' people
- Increasing engagement and productivity of staff
- Achieving goals
- Effective communication
- Prioritising and being organised each and every day
- Clarity around your future plans and how to execute them
- Self-empowerment throughout the seven domains of life

This is by no means a definitive list, merely a taster!

I'm committed to sharing what I know with people who want to empower themselves and create a life they love leading.

That said, the video below has only been seen by my clients and people who have attended my private programs and events. It's an amalgamation of a values workshop I created for a select group of entrepreneurs earlier this year and explains where values come from and how they run our entire lives.

If you have an interest in personal development, growth, transformation and want to understand how to get the best out of yourself and the people around you then watch this video because it has the potential to open your heart and mind and add a lot of value to your life (no crap pun intended).

https://www.beyond-your-limits.com/values-workshop/

Values are the fundamental element that set people up for success ... when you get them defined and accurate. That level of clarity makes such a difference.

When you do this kind of work something 'pops' and everything starts to make sense.

At my next event, ‘Get Clarity’, I’m going to share my knowledge in this area along with other things that have inspired me and made a huge difference to my life and the lives' of my clients.

Things like discovering your authentic purpose, vision, how to set values-aligned goals, designing a plan to create your best year yet, agreements, commitments and time management to help you create what it is you desire.

The sole purpose of the event is to guide people to build solid foundations combined with a realistic values-aligned plan to create their best year yet in 2020.

It's a highly practical and involved two-days where you get to sink in and work 'on' yourself and your business.

So, if you’re ready to up-level your whole life then consider attending this event as it has the potential to transform your life in all areas.

As part of the event you also each get two professional coaching calls with me to help you in any way that would be in service of you right now in any part of your life.

There are a limited number of seats left and if you want to discuss how this event could represent a turning point in your life then I'd love to arrange a call.

Here’s the link to the event page:

https://www.beyond-your-limits.com/get-clarity-2019/

If you're curious email me and we can talk.

Love and wellness,

David.

“Values are like fingerprints. Nobodies are the same but you leave them all over everything you do.” Elvis Presley


All Your Problems Can Be Solved ... By Walking

I remember studying Latin at school. My teacher, Mrs Summerhayes, was kind and gentle. As nice as she was I didn’t take a lot in.

I'd sit there wondering why I was being taught an ancient language and, more often than not, end up playing in class with my friends or doodling on my notepad.

Then, a few years ago, I met Clarence and Latin made sense.

Clarence is an inspiration to me in so many ways. He’s 83, still teaching people all over the world, and clearly loves what he does. I find that just magnificent. I want to be just like him when I grow up.

Clarence taught me a lot about the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a model of the human psyche which is principally understood and taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types and a powerful tool for personal and collective transformation.

Like Latin, the Enneagram has been around for thousands of years.

I’d always been fascinated by human behaviour and I’d heard whispers about an ancient model that knocked any personality profiling model out of the park. My curiosity was spiked because at that time things in my life weren’t going as I hoped, so I started a quest to find out ‘why?’.

The Enneagram, along with some powerful coaching, really helped me join my own dots together to explain how I’d created the situation I found myself in where everything around me seemed to be falling down and not going to plan.

When I started studying it, I felt like I’d been given a set of ancient scrolls that helped me understand a lot about how I ‘ticked’, how I viewed the world, and why I did what I did. It was brilliant. I highly recommend reading up on it.

I still use it today for clients to help them ‘see’ what their driving habits and behaviours are because, once you ‘see’ something, you have the ability to raise your level of personal awareness to start making different choices to break out of habits that are keeping you ‘stuck’. It’s great for that because we're habit-forming beings who tend to stick to certain behaviours. Some serve us, some don’t.

And, better awareness creates better choices ... And better choices create better results.

One of the ‘gems’ to come out of my work with Clarence was a Latin phrase he coined to me when we were discussing the generic habits of my ‘type’.

The phrase he shared was, ‘Solvitur Ambulando’, which translates to, ‘it is solved by walking’.

For me, this covers each and every problem us humans encounter. Everything can be solved by walking.

If your sales are not as you wish, open your calendar and take a look at how much time and attention you’re putting on creating relationships and sales for your business. Then, add more time and attention on sales and get moving.

Solve it by walking. Take action.

If you have frustration with members of your team who are not doing things the way you want them done, you could sit there and moan, play victim, and blame others, as most people do. Or, slow down and think about how you could change your management style and explore what agreements you could co-create with them to help get the results you want at the same time as having their needs met.

This is another example of walking to solve the problem.

If you’re not as healthy as you’d like to be, which you notice it when looking down at your waste paper bin and realise that half of the contents in there are wrappers of confectionery and sugary treats ... You can solve it by walking. Literally and metaphorically.

If you never seem to have time and space to do everything on your list and always feel like you’re behind you have two choices:

1). Do nothing and get the same results, because nothing changes if nothing changes.

Or,

2). Get walking, start to delegate, learn to say no gracefully, use your calendar to schedule time with yourself for key projects and get clarity around what your goals are for the year and focus time and attention on them being proactive rather than reacting to life around you and blaming others for your workload and mindset.

If your relationship with your partner is not as intimate as you’d like it to be you can sit back and wait for things to change and reminisce about how things ‘used to be’ … Or you can take the lead and start being more present, loving, and caring for them now with tiny actions and language that come from your heart.

You’ll be surprised how the dynamics change if you try this experiment out. I speak from personal experience.

It is solved by walking.

It helps if you know where you're going once you start walking.

Clarity about what you want to create in your life is invaluable and often dismissed until yet another year goes by when things don't work out as you hoped.

It doesn't have to be that way in 2020 if you consider attending my 'Get Clarity' event where the sole focus is helping you slow down to create your best year yet so you can go into the new year with clarity, purpose, intention and focus ... Backed up by a solid and meaningful plan aligned to your own values. (See below for more information).

Solvitur Ambulando … two words that now make sense to me and I can now see why Latin is important.

Thank you, Clarence.

Love and wellness,

David.

Ps. One of the best ways to get into action and create your best year yet is to actually know what you'd like 2020 to look like and create a plan to achieve it. That’s exactly what my next event is all about.

‘Get Clarity’ is designed to guide you in getting ready to go into 2020 with purpose, clarity, an inspiring vision AND plan through which to make all your choices next year.

If you’re ready to grow, develop, and up-level your life and business across the board, this event is for you.

You can check out the information page below. Take action now to book your spot and get the Earlybird offer AND two coaching sessions with me as part of your investment. Solvitur Ambulando.

https://www.beyond-your-limits.com/get-clarity-2019

"For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."
Steve Jobs


How to Create Your Best Year Yet in 2020

I was hungry. I know I shouldn’t have but we all have ‘hanger’ now and again ('hangry' is an amalgamation of hunger and anger … if you’re ‘hangry’ it means you’re angry because you need food).

You don’t want to be around me when I’m hangry.

I lose focus, don’t listen very well, and have a small cloud hanging over my head.

So, I did what any self-respecting hangry person would do and reached for a piece of bread and some organic crunchy peanut butter. I’m sharing it was organic to make myself feel better and to impress you.

I toasted the bread and layered sumptuous peanut butter all over it, immediately starting to salivate at the thought of quenching my ‘hangry-ness’.

That’s when it happened. The sensation on my tooth from the peanut butter felt a little too crunchy and a filling came out.

Damn! If only I’d eaten something softer, like melon, or strawberries, even a slice of plain bread would have been okay. But no ... I had to go ‘all in’ with a mid-afternoon snack and now I was paying the price.

I’ve not seen my dentist for a good two years, maybe more. My wife reminded me that the surgery closed down last year. Luckily, she'd already enrolled us into a new dentist locally and spoke very highly of them. I gave them a call and got myself booked in for an emergency repair.

The experience, compared to my last dentist, was incredible. It was more of an investment but I didn’t care because of the way they made me feel. I was in safe hands and felt I could trust them, they also had equipment from the 21st century!

The dentist, a very well-spoken and professional lady, gave a wonderful running commentary of everything she was doing as my jaw was wide open and explained to me that I may need root canal work. But, for now, she was going to do her best to avoid it by removing the decay, giving my tooth a good clean up, and applying a sturdy filling.

It went really well. You know that feeling when you’re working with a professional and they just seem to put you at ease because they know their ‘stuff’ and have your best interests at heart. That was my experience.

Afterwards, she explained that I’d needed to go back and have a full check-up with her as she’d only had time to focus on doing the emergency repair work. She advised me to see a dental hygienist as she could see some build-up on my teeth that required a good clean ... and a few minor holes.

Apparently, I’ve been brushing my gnashers too hard with an old-fashioned (as in not battery powered) toothbrush, so I needed to invest in an electric toothbrush and be taught how to brush my teeth the 21st century way.

I smiled, thanked her for her great service and commentary and paid. I was happy and signed up for a full check-up and appointment with her hygienist.

It seems so silly now that I waited for a 'hanger-related' peanut incident to occur before visiting my dentist. The discomfort of a broken tooth forced me to go and take action on something really important.

As for the build-up of ‘stuff’ that required cleaning, well, that inspired me to write this.

It’s taken years for the physical manifestation of ‘stuff’ to attach itself to the inside of my lower teeth, the hidden bits you can’t see but use every day.

Slowly, over time, plaque has started to be noticeable with the naked eye. These minuscule layers have gradually formed something solid and strong that requires remedial work in order for me to avoid further pain down the line.

This is exactly the same way beliefs are built up in our minds. But you can’t see them, unlike plaque. Yet they run the show for us, behind the scenes, in our subconscious mind like a hidden orchestra being lead by a manic chimpanzee conductor waving random instructions with a gleeful smile on his face.

In other words, beliefs are like the plaque in our mind.

Our thoughts get repeated time and time again and gradually build-up to create beliefs that are visible through the actions we take. They drive the standard operating procedure of us humans, dictating our behaviour.

If we believe the world is not a safe place we seek out safety in all that we do, we ask questions and make sure all the bases are covered before stepping into the creation of a new idea.

If we believe life is all about freedom we're in a constant childlike state of play and struggle with accountability, follow-through, and working on projects that just don’t seem fun or free to us (like finance, for many).

If we believe that the slightest sniff of conflict is ‘bad’ then we seek out to make our world and everything in it a harmonious place, making sure we please others around us as the detriment of ourselves in order to ‘keep the peace’.

If we believe that asking for what we want is not allowed we will forever stay in a state of not being willing to explore what we really desire and give away our authority to people we perceive as having more power than us ... Never accessing our innate courage to create a life we love leading.

All these broad examples start with one thought that gets reinforced by the way in which we translate our experience of life. This stacking up of perceptions creates the plaque that you can’t see that drive a certain bias to how we relate to certain situations and how we see the world.

Beliefs are nothing more than habits of the mind that you actually believe to be true.

Memories you have fastened yourself onto that you now think are actually you because they feel really, really real.

Layer by layer, or thought by thought, we create our own plaque.

And, unless regularly looked at and cleaned, or challenged, they limit our experience of life.

Beliefs are invisible labels we unknowingly choose to glue onto our mind, as strong as the glue The Twits used in the famous Roald Dahl book to catch birds … The very same glue that resulted in a very slow and painful demise for Mr and Mrs Twit.

Sadly, people often wait until things go wrong in their world before looking at their beliefs. This is exactly what I did. My version of cracking a tooth was creating a business that didn't turn out as I expected. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't waited so long to 'wake up' and create something different for myself.

 It doesn't have to be that way for you.

I’ve had endless examples of where I’ve believed the world to be a certain way and it felt really real to me … But under cross-examination, it was all a story I’d made up.

One of my many wonky beliefs was that I wouldn’t be seen as ‘something’ until I’d become a successful businessman, like my Dad. If I ‘made it’ people would be proud of me.

This led me to chase false dreams and create a business that wasn’t aligned to my purpose in life and what I really valued. I had a sense that I was on the wrong path because all I could think about was when I’d be able to sell and exit the business ... Not the joy of creating something I'd be proud of. It was all about the cash.

As the Fab Four famously sang, 'Money Can't Buy You Love.' As I see it, a love of life, just as it is.

That thought then became thoughts, which stacked up and became beliefs driving actions that resulted in a great deal of stress and challenge in my life.

I fell in love with a fantasy of, ‘don’t worry if there’s a recession … one day everything will be okay … just keep going without cutting expenses and it’s okay if revenue’s declining … next month it will improve and when it does we’ll sell and ride off into the sunset.’

We didn’t and there was no sunset. There was darkness, liquidation of a business, and all the pain that comes with it.

Looking back, I learned some of the best lessons of my life at that time that still serve me today. I know everyone says that about hard times but for me, it feels real.

I learned that I wasn’t going to pursue a professional life that took more away than it gave me. I wasn’t going to be drained and have a feeling of dread every Sunday evening about all the challenges I had to face on Monday. Especially when my son was born, I woke up and chose to create something else and started working on a plan.

By working on myself with the help of some brilliant coaches and getting clearer on my values and purpose it allowed me to walk a different path, not the one I felt pushed along by my belief that I needed to impress other people, like my Dad.

The funny thing is, when I spoke to my Dad and said that I just wanted to make him proud, he was shocked and replied by telling me that he’d always been proud of me, my brother, and sister ... Ever since we were born!

Turns out the belief I had was wrong. I’d made it all up. Clever boy.

When I finally got clarity around the kind of life I wanted to create and the reasons why everything started to transform. My experience of life was fuller, richer, I had more energy, and looked forward to creating my best year yet EVERY year.

I chose to become a coach to help guide other people away from making the same mistakes I did. Turns out I’m doing an okay job and that facilitating transformation in the lives’ of others is nourishing, fun and makes a real difference not only to the people I work with but also their partners, children, employees — the ripple effects are huge.

When you really grasp how and why the understanding and systematic application of CLARITY is the fastest and most effective way to make creating a life you love leaving everything starts to change. The world looks different.

My experience working with high-performing individuals and organisations has demonstrated to me time and time again that clarity is the hidden factor … always dismissed and underrated until the consequences of that dismissal show up in year-end disappointment and confusion about the true source of under-performance.

Waking up to this hidden power can be life-changing … As you can experience for yourself if you’re open to attending:

Get Clarity: How to Create Your Best Year Yet.

So, now I have something I want to share with you. An invitation to consider attending a two-day event I’m holding on 25/26 November 2019 called ‘Get Clarity’.

By taking the time over two days to really sink in and do deep strategic work on designing your life upwards has the potential to change everything.

Not only enhancing what you already have, but also, when you're in an environment with several like-minded people, means new insights, ideas, and inspiration will flow.

By getting really clear on what you want to create you have the ability to up-level your life in all areas.

Without intention and commitment that is a very steep hill to climb.

This event is all about being in a constant conversation for 48 hours (away from your normal life serving others), slowing down and being really focused on what you want, who you want to be, and what you’d like to create in 2020 that could change everything for you and make a real difference to you and your life.

How often do opportunities like this come along where you can unplug and take care of yourself?

The information page is below and I encourage you to take a look if you’re curious about what getting clarity could do for you. For me, it was life-changing.

The page also includes a BONUS one-hour compilation of a workshop I presented in April 2019 based all around VALUES and human behaviour ... If you're interested in what makes us 'tick' and want to learn how understanding more about values is one of the keys to increasing engagement, productivity, performance, management, sales ... Everything ... Then you'll enjoy it! It will also give you a feel for some of the content I'll be sharing at 'Get Clarity'.

https://www.beyond-your-limits.com/get-clarity-2019/

Finally ... If the information page leaves you with more questions rather than a feeling of ‘I’m in!’ I’m happy to answer any questions you may have. Just let me know by email and we can get some time scheduled for a call.

I encourage you to consider attending the event so you can slow down and take a look at where you currently are and where you’d like to go next year ... It could be a game-changing catalyst that helps you create your best year yet in 2020.

Love and wellness,

David.

Ps. Here’s a video I recorded that talks about the distinction between living a life with clarity vs. living a life without clarity. I thought it might be useful for you. https://youtu.be/Jnv1sqf0D1o

"For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."
Steve Jobs


The Benefits of Clarity

Would you like to create your best year yet in 2020?

If so … This post is a personal invitation to you to come along to an event I’ve created on 25/26 November 2019 called, ‘Get Clarity’ where the number one focus we’re going to work together on is:

Helping you create your best year yet in 2020.

And, have you really grasp how and why the understanding and systematic application of CLARITY is the fastest and most effective way to make that happen.

My experience working with high-performing individuals and organisations has demonstrated to me time and time again that clarity is the hidden factor … always dismissed and underrated until the consequences of that dismissal show up in year-end disappointment and confusion about the true source of under-performance.

Waking up to this hidden power can be life-changing … As you can experience for yourself if you’re open to attending the event.

I use the word ‘Clarity’ frequently with people I work with, but what does it really mean ... And why should you care enough to even bother to read this?

Because, clarity for you, like everyone else is EVERYTHING.

That’s a bold statement so let me try and make even more sense of it by giving you an example of what life looks like with clarity vs. without clarity.

With clarity …

… Looks like starting each day opening an organised calendar with high priority items scheduled AND still having plenty of available space … Knowing exactly what vision-aligned projects are the priority items to be worked on … Choosing to check emails after lunch because you control your inbox rather having it control you.

Without clarity …

… People behave like moths fluttering around the latest light bulb … Or magpies chasing the newest shiny object they’ve just spotted with an expectation that when they get it, whatever it is, everything will change (it never does).

    With clarity …

... Looks like having a solid set of meaningful goals set inside an inspiring vision ... Backed up by a realistic plan … With simple step-by-step actions and clear metrics to measure your progress on your way to creating your best year yet.

  Without clarity …

… People have vague hopes and dreams that have been drifting around their mind for years but have somehow been blurred out by the busy’ness of day-to-day life … They just don’t know how to bring their desires into reality because there’s always so much other ‘stuff’ to react to on a daily basis.

With clarity …

… People know the value of putting their own oxygen mask on first .... Prioritising investment in their own personal and professional development over anything else because they know that if they’re in a good place then everything around them just works better … They have more energy, are happier, and find it easy to motivate people around them to care as much as they do.

Without clarity …

… People are nervous about sharing their truth about how, sometimes, they don’t know what to do with their day or which direction to take their business and life in … So they put on a brave face to the world and ‘get their head down and roll up their sleeves’ to work harder doing the same thing over, and over, and over again (and get the same results they don’t want).

With clarity … 

… People are organised, ordered and have focus … They can easily choose to unplug and go into the festive season free to spend quality time with family and friends feeling relaxed and ready for the next year because they’ve already created AND shared their solid plans so they can hit the ground running come January.

 Without clarity …

… People get stuck and reach for the latest book, webinar, or ‘hack’ to overcome perennial challenges that always seem to pop up ... They lack energy and don’t know how to motivate themselves or their team … Or increase sales and profit … Striving in vain to create the life and business they imagined when they first started out. They think that information is the answer but it doesn’t create the inner transformation required to get to where they want to go.

With clarity …

… People ARE their word and hold themselves accountable to what it is they say they want to create. They take full ownership of everything in their life and full responsibility for creating a life they love leading. They know everything in life is a choice and with that knowledge comes freedom … They lead by example and people feel inspired to follow them.

Without clarity …

… People struggle with holding themselves and others accountable … casually breaking agreements and their word regularly because that’s what they’ve always done … It’s a habit they seem to have always had … It’s just the way they are … They also play the blame game and are always pointing the finger at others and situations when things don’t work out.

This isn’t just theory ...

I used to be lost, lonely, and didn’t know who I was or what I wanted

It was only through working with coaches after my son was born did I finally get clear about who I wanted to be and what I wanted to create in the world.

That’s not to say I had no idea at all, that’s just not true. I’d read countless personal and business development books to help me grow, along with blogs, ebooks, watching webinars, attending seminars, you name it I gorged on it looking for the Holy Grail! Although … I never actually did the work I needed to do until I discovered coaching.

I didn’t know where to start and there always seemed to be other priorities that would appear out of nowhere.

My ‘to do’ list was both endless and disorganised.

When I did slow down, I got clarity around a few key elements. Things I now see as fundamentals. Things like my highest values, purpose, vision, plan, personal agreements, commitments and healthy habits and routines I needed to create to progress — all the things I’d read about some time or another but never actually did anything about! (Read this to gain more information about a process I use to help my clients).

I used to think that, if I read a book, things would change. Wrong!

Things only transform if you change. Your mindset, perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, and use those shifts to take different actions and behaviours. That’s what transformation is — choosing to take ownership of your life by realising everything on your outside is a reflection of what’s going on in your inside (your thoughts and feelings) ... And then being willing to work on yourself to create a different way of 'being' and therefore future.

In simple terms ... Your life and your business are a reflection of what’s going on behind the scenes in your heart and head (the stuff you never share with anyone).

If you ‘Get Clarity’ about what you want to create from the inside-out that’s when life becomes prosperous, joyful and fun. It’s not without challenge or support … But you’re okay with both when you’ve got clarity.

So … If you see the benefits of wanting to ‘Get Clarity’ this event could be for you!

The information page about the event is below. It also includes a BONUS one-hour compilation of a workshop I presented in April 2019 based all around VALUES and human behaviour which you can also see if you click here ... If you're interested in what makes us 'tick' and want to learn how understanding more about values is one of the keys to increasing engagement, productivity, performance, management, sales ... Everything ... Then you'll enjoy it! It will also give you a feel for some of the content I'll be sharing at 'Get Clarity'.

If it calls to you please take time to read it (it won’t take long) and let me know if you’d like to come along for two transformational days designed to help guide you in creating your best year yet in 2020.

https://www.beyond-your-limits.com/get-clarity-2019/

Here’s to you creating your best year yet in 2020.

Love and wellness,

David.

Ps. If the video and information page leaves you with more questions rather than a feeling of ‘I’m in!’ I’m happy to answer any questions you may have. Email me and we can get some time scheduled for a call.

Pps. Here's a video from one of the previous attendees of 'Get Clarity' talking about the benefits he experienced after coming to the event: https://youtu.be/x2aU3013AV0

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower


Kissed By a Rose 🌹

I’ve walked my dogs religiously every morning for the last 13 years. This practice helps create wellness in my life. Some of my most creative ideas have emerged when walking. Ideas about how to have some fun with my family, serve clients creatively, book chapters, blogs, innovative plans for my business. And, there are the obvious health benefits of walking a couple of miles every day.

My current route is about two miles across open countryside. Roughly halfway round there’s a boundary fence to a beautiful ornate garden and manicured pond.

On the corner of the ramshackle fence line, there’s a wild rose that comes year after year. Its scent reminds me of my Greek Nana’s roses she used to take great pride in cultivating in her garden. This one has an amazing smell and gentle colouring of light pink and orange.

When I walk by it the strong floral scent hits me at a range of about five meters as if someone's blowing me a perfumed kiss. It gives me a fleeting moment of pure presence as I wander by.

On three consecutive days last week, I found myself wandering past the rose saying to myself, “I must stop and make time to smell that”, before walking by and becoming lost in another thought whilst the dog strained on the lead.

On the fourth day, the thought-created habit of saying the same thing started to kick in. This time, I caught it and stopped myself.

Why was I putting off the potential joy of sniffing this wonderful creation for yet another day?

I paused and Monty, my dog, strained on the lead. It was as if he was a mirror image of what I’d been doing for the last three mornings. He had an urge to get round the walk and leap into his own future. The same way I was just about to rush by the rose with a vague promise to myself that tomorrowI’d slow down and smell it.

I was straining at my own lead, trying to get into my own future, and in the process of doing so missing out on one of life’s small, yet simple, joys.

The rose was even better than I imagined. The scent lifted my spirits and connected me with a wonderful moment that was there all along ... right under my nose.

And, all I had to do was slow myself down to take advantage of it.

This is happening all the time.

So many people, myself included, are straining at their own lead trying to hop, skip, and jump into a fantasy-filled future they imagine will be better than where they are right now.

It’s simply not true. There is no better future.

The now that you’re in was once you’re future ... and will soon be your past.

There it is, it’s gone, that moment is now the past. You missed the beauty of it because you were straining to see what life will be like when you ‘get there’.

There is no ‘there’.

The ‘there’ you are looking for is now, right under your nose, behind the lead you’re straining at.

In other words ... ‘there’ is now … if you slow down.

Don’t be led by your need to strain at your lead ... choose to lead your life rather than let it lead you.

You can practice this in any context, moment to moment.

Your next conversation with another person is now ...

So is your next interaction with a member of your team ...

The next time your child asks you a question and wants real connection with you ...

The email from your customer with a request ...

The next meeting with a supplier ...

The text message from your partner ...

All now, now, now!

If you come from a place of slowed down’ness and make the most of the now you’ll soon start to discover that everything you desire, crave, want and ‘think’ you need to ‘be happy’ is already there, in the now. Nothing is missing.

I encourage you to practice being in the now as much as you can. It makes for a much richer and fulfilled life. Meditation combined with a commitment to slow down in every interaction you have with others, and yourself, can be a useful way to do this.

Examples could also look like ...

Putting the phone down and interacting with your loved ones with real presence, truly listening to them ... rather than listening to your own judging thoughts about what they’re saying.

Listening deeply to the next question that comes to you from a member of your team who wants your guidance but is too scared to ask for help ... see if you can serve them with presence and love.

Thanking your partner with authentic gratitude for the small things they do for you that they think you never notice.

The small things you notice add up to creating the BIG things you desire.

It’s that simple. This way of ‘being’ can be built with practice.

Make time to allow yourself to be kissed by your roses.

Do this, and your life has the possibility to develop in more ways than you can imagine ... because everything you desire is closer than you think.

Love and wellness,

David.

“At this moment you aren’t on a journey, but wandering about, being driven from place to place, even though what you seek—to live well—is found in all places.”
-- Seneca, Moral Letters 28.5b-6a

Ps. If you enjoyed this you can sign up to receive my newsletter which includes regular articles like these to guide you in developing your life — personally and professionally (with zero spam or selling).


What's Your Practice?

This picture shows the moment England won the cricket world cup, on 14 July 2019, during a ‘super over’ in the finest game of cricket ever to occur since the sport was invented in 1597 … 422 years ago.

Jos Buttler ... the English wicketkeeper ... fields a throw from Jason Roy who had sprinted in from the midwicket boundary ... picked up the ball in one fell sweep ... and launched it to Jos ... who was perfectly poised to gather the ball ... break the wickets ... and give England their first cricket world cup win since the competition began in 1975 … 44 years ago.

The deciding action of the whole world cup lasted all of ten seconds. A moment in time that took 44 years to create by the country who originated the sport 422 years ago.

Jason Roy is a specialist batsman renowned for his explosive hitting of the ball. He's torn apart the majority of the world’s best bowling attacks ... reducing them to seem like average 'village' cricketers.

He's not a specialist fielder ... but … when the time came … he stepped up, did his job, and helped England win the world cup off the very last ball of the game.

His secret … practice.

Jason Roy would have practised that very move of picking up the ball whilst running and throwing it into the stumps literally thousands of times.

And ... it paid off in the greatest game of cricket ever witnessed in 422 years.

My question for you this week is …

‘What’s your current practice?’

What part of your game are you working on?

Not cricket, but your game as 'being' human.

Consider what area of life, personally or professionally, you’re looking to develop or overcome a challenge in.

It could be anything …

  • A challenging relationship.
  • Bringing the best out of your team.
  • Communicating with your children.
  • Improving your health and fitness.
  • Astonishing clients.
  • Your marriage.
Whatever it is, you can develop it through practice...
  • A challenging relationship -- slow down and ask how you could bring more empathy.
  • Bringing the best out of your team -- create and keep agreements and 'be' your word (no matter how small they are).
  • Communicating with your children -- be present and talk to them with loving maturity.
  • Improving your health and fitness -- follow through with that run you promised to have.
  • Astonishing clients -- what would really serve your client right now?
  • Your marriage -- don’t bring up past baggage if you start to get upset ... aim to hold a loving space when talking.

The wonderful thing is, with practice, you have 100% control.

It’s your choice whether you do it or not. And, whatever you focus your time and attention on through practice will grow and develop. It’s that simple.

What’s your practice?

Love and wellness,

David.

Ps. You can relive the magic moment again by watching this 2 min video(and, it’s okay if you have no idea about cricket … you’ll still gain value from watching the clip).

Pps. If you enjoyed this you can sign up to receive my newsletter which includes regular articles like these to guide you in developing your life — personally and professionally (with zero spam or selling).

“Practice is everything. This is often misquoted as practice makes perfect."
-- Periander.