Love the obstacles

We all want the perfect life where everything goes our way.  No surprises.  No problems.  Smooth sailing.  The reality is that this ideal world is simply a fantasy.  It does not exist.  So instead of going against the obstacles in our lives, a better solution would be to prepare for it.  I simply don't understand why people are surprised when things happen that are out of their control.  It's just like a boxer in the ring being surprised when they get hit with an uppercut.  

How can we prepare for something if we don't know what to look out for?  There are so many things that can happen in this world.  How can you prepare for every single, possible event?  The easy answer is, you can't.  What you can prepare for is how you deal with it.  Now this is not only something you can prepare for, but it is also something you can train for.  And if its something that can be trained, then its also something that can be mastered.    

      

Learn to learn

I believe that this is a very important lesson that is frequently overlooked.  As children we question everything and everyone to a point where it becomes annoying.  Children ask "Why?  Why?  Why?" repeatedly over and over and over again.  At what point in time do we start to think we know enough?  At what point do we stop questioning?  It is often said that the best students  make the best teachers.  This thirst for knowledge and never being satisfied is what makes them great.

How do we stay hungry to learn?  I think it's as simple as survival.  If we didn't learn how to hunt, we would have starved.  If we didn't learn how to share, we would have gone without.  If we didn't learn how to communicate, we would be alone.  If we didn't learn how to learn, we would be dead. 

So what motivation is there now to want to learn?  Necessity.  If you want to have access to information around the world, the internet is a fantastic tool.  A tool is only as good as having the knowledge to use it.  If you feel unhappy, sad, frustrated, there are ways to learn how to be happy, feel joy, and find peace.  

Once you have made up your mind that learning is a priority, the whole game changes.  Every ounce of information you learn becomes part of your arsenal ready to be used when needed, when relevant.  Just because you have more information does not mean that you have to use it, but having it is much more beneficial than not having access to it.  The more you know, the more you realise how little you know.  This then becomes more fuel to add to your ever growing supply.     

Learn to want to learn.  

 

Making your bed

I have never really thought of making my bed as an important part of my day.  After listening to other successful people in many different fields, one theme became clearer and clearer.  Many of them mention success though positive action yielding more positive outcomes.  An ex-navy SEAL Naval Adm. William McRavenrecalled hearing the importance of starting your day on a positive.  He made the point that the making of one's bed is an essential part of a successful mindset.  

"If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.

By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter."

The idea of making your bed is having achieved something positive even before your day 'officially' starts.  Much like the navy enforces things like a standardised way of making a bed it all revolves around pride, routine, and a sense of self-worth.  By making even a small thing like making your bed a conscious choice, a conscious decision, you are consciously setting up your day for success.  

The difference is that in the past you made have made you bed out of habit or because your parents told you to, now its is your choice to go into the action with the correct intention.  All of a sudden this action that you had previously looked upon as a mundane chore all of a sudden becomes another way to enrich and improve your life.  This little 'insignificant' act becomes significant.  If you can't make the little things matter, you can't make the big things matter.  

Back to Basics

There are times when it seems like nothing is going right.  You're not where you're suppose to be in life, and you feel a little bit "derailed".  Something I have been taught, and have applied successfully is the idea of "back to basics."  Doing the simple, effective, foundation actions of your craft is something that you can always go back to.  By applying the basics you not only go back to what has worked in the past, but the basics also can give you confidence. 

This confidence that hides inside all of us, sometimes needs a little push to be unleashed.  This is the same confidence that allows us to excel in our lives, and makes us feel as though anything is possible.  Confidence is a funny thing though.  Even though it is all of us, we only think about it when we are lacking it.  When all is going well, we simply make it for granted.

How does one tap into this inner "boost" if one does not know?  The basics are simple.  Our basics is our 'default setting.'  This is formed throughout our lives predominantly in our younger years.  Once our basics and default is set, it is hard to undo.  It's just like a habit that you form, and an established habit is difficult to break.  The sooner you can re-set the habit and make new, positive, life-changing habits, the better your life will be.        

SoulKids®programs are designed to build qualities like self-confidence, self-belief, and empowerment.  This will become the basics and the default that people will go back to.  These are the life-skills that we all desire but is rarely directly learnt through school.  You normally have to learn the skills through other activities like sport, music, or theatre.  The good news is that there is a way to directly learn these skills.  Learning does not have to follow the school format.  Learning can be, and should be fun.  If the lessons can be learned through games and stories, then why not?  Learning how to be happy is the best lesson you can ever learn in your life.   

One day is easy

I have challenged people to go without any sugar for one day, and have said that there would be a reward waiting.  Most people would first ask, "what's the reward?" or have said "yes, no problem."  I believe that to do this just for one day would be very achievable.  Ask the same people to go without sugar for a year, or for two years, and there will be a reward waiting, first thing they've said is, "no way!" or "that's impossible!"  There was no question about the reward, there was not even a single thought given to the possibility that it can be achieved.  Why is that? What has really changed?  Is it the time scale that changed?  Or is it our perception on what is achievable, and what is seemingly impossible.  This of course is not only limited to challenges involving food and diet. 

If I was to challenge you to be happy today, just today, do you think that it would be possible?  Do you think that it is achievable?  What about a challenge to be happy for two days?  Three days?  At what point do you concede to the thought that "it is impossible."  But then I would ask, why concede to that thought at all?  Why even entertain the thought of failure when you can choose to embrace the thought of success.  The thought of "what can be?"  The thought of "why not?"

It's never too late to change, or too early to begin.  But with everything, effort needs to be applied for any results to appear.  Wishing and hoping is simply not enough.  There is a need to take steps to make sure that what you get what you want by doing what needs to be done.  

 

 

  

Let it go

We hold on to the good times and the bad.  But which do we choose to remember?  Which memories do we allow to still rule our lives?  The answer is that it really doesn't matter because at the end of the day, it is still our choice.  The tricky part is realising that it is still a choice, no matter how long it has controlled our lives.  

The people who choose to have a 'selective' memory can sometimes be the happiest.  At the same time, those who hold on to grudges can be the saddest, most angry people.  People are people.  We all have the ability to feel a whole spectrum of emotions.  Even though we know that sad memories will only make us feel worse, we still allow it to run our lives.  

This is not a secret.  We have known this for a long time.  But taking a step back and objectively re-evaluating everything is a hard 'mission' to accept.  Because it is the harder option, it then also becomes the road less travelled.  And yet, there is still a road that exists, that anyone can walk at anytime.  People just need to be shown the way sometimes.  

 

Injured VS. Hurt

Are you injured?  Or are you hurt?  What is the difference?  This is a question that most professional sport athletes are asked.  The answer is not as easy as one might think.  If you listen to their answers, the elite athletes' answers would normally vary to that of an amateur's.  Everybody hurts, but most elite athletes would continue to play hurt.  It would take a doctor to rule them out injured.  Their mental fortitude, or stubbornness, depending on how you look at it is determined by years and years of training their mind and attitude.  The willingness to win overcomes their sensation of pain.  They will choose the option of experiencing temporary pain for the chance to make the winning shot, or the game saving tackle.  They put on their blinders and see the bigger picture and put themselves last. 

This winning attitude I believe can be taught, can be learned because ultimately it is just another muscle that needs to be strengthened.  Our brain, our supercomputer, can be updated just like our smart phones.  The update we require needs an action from us, like clicking a button.  Unfortunately because we can become so used to the way things are and how we operate, we often overlook the option to upgrade.  The good news is that its never too late.

 Meditation is a great way to update your supercomputer.  There are exercises that can be learnt that with the right technique and practiced consistently can make a massive difference in your life.   Learning how to toughen your attitude and mentality is a skill, much like learning how to properly tackle an opponent.  If you don't learn how to properly tackle things coming directly at you, there is a chance you'll end up hurting yourself, or worse permanently injured. 

 

Lessons learnt

As a child I can remember hearing stories, and fables that were suppose to teach me life lessons and to teach me about morality.  I quite enjoyed these stories, and still remember a few.  But why do these lessons stop? Why do we continue learning maths, english, history, science for years and years.  So during the most formative years of our lives, when we are becoming the person we will be, we only really learn and develop how to solve problems with the outside world.  We are not really equipped on how to deal with our inner world.  And yet it is an essential skill that we will need to draw upon day after day, year after year.  

That is the beauty with SoulKids.  It is specially designed to develop one's skills to develop the inner self in order to deal with the outer world.  Why play defence and be on the backfoot constantly, when you can be proactive and dictate how you choose to interact with the world.  People invest music lessons, math tutoring, even basketball camps for their children.  If given the option, why wouldn't one choose to invest in the future of our future?

Why be grateful?

People will always have more than others, and less than others.  Some might attribute this to hard work and as such, the fruits of their hard labour.  Others might see it simply as one's fortune/misfortune.  In any case, when we do say 'thank you,' normally it is because someone had given you something, or has helped you with something.  This simple act of giving thanks is so powerful that sometimes we don't really see the effect it has.  Aside from the fact that recognising someone's effort makes them feel good, there is a deeper level that is rarely acknowledged.

When was the last time you have truly been grateful for the little things in life?  When was the last time you acknowledged the water you drank, the house you lived in, or even the people that are in your life that make it better?  Rarely are we grateful for these 'simple' things in life.  At the same time, it is more likely that we look for the things the we do not have, as opposed to the things we do have.  Nothing is wrong with wanting more.  Nothing is wrong with being ambitious.  The more dangerous thought is looking at your empty hand and feeling hard done by that there is nothing in it, instead of looking at your empty hand and being grateful for the air that you possess, that is keeping you alive.

 

 

Dreams

"The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up." - Muhammad Ali.  I don't normally quote people, but such a statement had to be shared.  Simple, statement and a true statement.  The easy thing is knowing what we want, what we wish for.  The hard thing is not even knowing what needs to be done.  The hardest thing is doing that needs to be done, and doing it consistently well at a high level.  This is what separates the good and the great.  The majority of people aspire to be outstanding but is satisfied being around average and being mediocre.  This helps us feel safe, even if unconsciously.

The conscious realisation of who we are and what we want is the key that unlocks our potential.  Some people are able to reach their potential.  These are some of the people that we admire, that inspire us and even people who we look up to.   The unfortunate thing though is that we all have the ability to unlock our potential, but not enough of us actually do.

The good news is that its never too late to act.  Meditation is a powerful tool that will help you realise your potential. 

When moving forward is not moving forward

It is often said that if you're not moving forward, you're moving backward.  This may be the case for some.  My thought is that if you can't move forward, move laterally, but always keep moving.  Just cause you're moving forward does not necessarily mean improving, or getting closer to your goals.  If I was learning how to shoot a basketball, but only knew bad habits and bad technique, all I will be good at is practicing a bad shot.  No matter how many hours I practice, I will only be practicing the wrong thing.  I will have become perfect at being wrong.

 On the other hand, if I can recognise a defect in myself and instead of carrying on, be able to stop and reasses a better way to carry on, I will not only be better off, but I will also have saved time.  This is when moving laterally is more beneficial than carrying on and moving forward.  

The easy thing is recognising an external fault.  The harder fault to find is that which is within us, that might not be as easy to measure as a basketball shot being made or missed. 

enjoy the little things

I was having lunch yesterday with a friend of mine by the Sydney Opera House.  While we were there, we were blessed with having the opportunity to see a seal by the steps enjoying the sunny summer's day Sydney had given us.  It was then that I was able to once again be thankful for the small things.  If it wasn't for my friendship with this person, if it wasn't for the thought of catching up over lunch, if it wasn't for the time of year, I would not have been able to appreciate and enjoy that moment.  There are many moments in our lives which might not seem significant by themselves, but when put together with all the other moments, it leaves us with an unforgettable memory we can always draw on for a moment of happiness and joy.