Surrounding Yourself With Great People – How important Our Environment Is to Success & Happiness

Many of us have come to realise that our beliefs and our habits have been formed subconsciously over time; they can come from past outcomes, events in our life, the education we have had, our environment and creative thinking (what we consciously decide to believe through repetition). If we are constantly picking up thoughts, behaviours and habits from our environment then, logically, it makes sense to make your environment as beneficial to you as you can. This article will look at the benefits of surrounding ourselves with great people and how we can do it.

How Beliefs Are Formed – Recap

A belief is a thought that you believe with 100% conviction. Put another way, a belief is a thought that has been validated over and over again. They are no right or wrong beliefs. Just beliefs that serve you and beliefs that do not. Now I do realise, the countries and the communities we live in have laws we have to uphold to so it would be beneficial for you if your beliefs align with the laws governed by your community.

Our brain matches our environment to fit our

Beliefs are the road map to how we live our life or our out another way, the lenses through how we see through the world. There is no reality, just what is for real for each individual. A great example would be if you went to a rock concert and you thought the band was awesome though one of your friends thought it was a but ordinary. Did the band play to different concerts? Of course not. Our perception of how we felt about the band came from our beliefs of what makes an awesome band, that’s it.

If you had a thought that you can survive in this lifetime by living off others, or more importantly, that you have subconsciously picked up the thought that you can live an easy life by living off others from the environment around you, then your brain will find you evidence that this is true and your thought will be validated. Through constant validation – repetition – this thought will become a belief. You can read full articles on how beliefs are formed here:

Attracting The Right People To You

I personally believe that there is a power out there which is greater than ourselves; some people call this power God some say it’s the power of the universe. I have yet to make up my mind which it is but I believe there is a universal energy out there. Hence, what you put out into the world through your thoughts, beliefs and actions, that energy is going to be matched by the universe and brought back to you.

Attracting the right people into your life means that you need to be the person that you want to attract. If you are after friends who are spiritual, love fitness and spend lots of time with friends and family then you need to be that person as well. Even if you are not that person at the moment you need to think that you are that person. Let me explain.

Referring back to how beliefs are formed, one of the ways that you can turn a thought into a belief is through creative thinking. Remember the subconscious mind does not know the difference between what is real and what is imagined, it just relies on what is fed to us by our analytical mind, our conscious mind.

So, armed with this information we can think, write down and say affirmations about the person that we want to become and start ‘hanging out’ with people who match the criteria of who we are or who we want to be. Your intuition is a lovely thing. You will literally get a vibe with someone when you meet them with whether you are aligned with them and what their identity stands for.

Please keep in mind when we get our ‘vibe’ off who we want to spend time with we are doing this without judgement. I must admit this is something that I am still working on to try and not judge people that are not aligned with me.

“We are not choosing who we want to hang out with because we are better than others, we are choosing to hang around certain people because their awesomeness will rub off on to us.”

Be Clear On Who You Are And Who You Want To Be

How do we know who to associate ourselves with if we do not know who we are and what we stand for? Moreover, how will we attract the right people around us if we do not know who we are aiming to be? Life goes on, constantly. It does not stop. The results we have now is from the beliefs, actions and therefore habits that we had in the past.

So, the beliefs, actions and habits that we had for the previous five years have given us our results today. Hence, if we keep the same beliefs, actions and habits for the next five years we will have the same results in five years’ time. Though we may be a little longer in the tooth and have a touch greyer in certain areas.

There is a very easy trick to identifying the beliefs, actions and habits that have served us those that have not. Literally, take a pen and paper and split them into 2 columns. On the left hand-side write down the results in your life that you are not happy with and on the right write the results that you are happy with. For each reason that you give write down what beliefs and actions that you did to get that result. This exercise will only work if you are honest with yourself.

Give it a go. It’s a great exercise to do and if you do it over and over again I find that you will visually be able to do this in your head which means whenever you have some reflection time you can see if what you are doing now is making you happy now (because being aligned with your values in the present is very important) and whether it will bring you your desired outcome in the future as well.

Saying No To Toxicity – Having Clear Boundaries

The great Jim Rohn said,

“We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with,”

Or something along those lines. This information is very important for us who want to change and make a different path in our lives. It may take hard and difficult conversations about who you spend your time with and also how you are going to let people interact with you. Saying no to how you spend your time, if it’s not aligned with who you want to be,

Life is too short for toxic people in our lives

Having clear boundaries of who you are, what you will accept and where you want to go will make it easier for those around you to choose whether they want to interact with you as well. The secret here, in my opinion, is to not come across as though you are better than the other person/people you are setting boundaries with, but just let them know that they have their values and beliefs and you have your values and beliefs and that you believe spending too much time together could compromise both of your individual values and beliefs.

“But what happens if someone in my family is a toxic person?” I hear you ask, “I can’t avoid them forever.” This is true as they will be people in your family or perhaps your work environment who don’t have the same beliefs and values as you.

In this case, it is very important that you are consciously aware of what is going on in the environment around you. Meaning, do not go into auto-pilot of how you would normally respond when you are around people that are not aligned with you. Remember we will ‘pick up’ from those around us subconsciously. Our aim is to arm ourselves with inner talk and affirmations of what we can say to ourselves when we are around ‘negative’ company. For example,

”They are entitled to their beliefs and I am entitled to mine. Subby (subconscious) I do not want this entering my thoughts and habits please.”

“I who I am in this lifetime. I do not need to change for somebody else. I will listen politely to what they have to say.”

“I’ve worked so hard to build up this identity, I’m not going to let anyone spoil it. I’ll take what they say with a grain of salt. I’ll meditate/journal and confirm my identity later on.”

To be honest it doesn’t really matte what you tell yourself you just need to be consciously aware that if you are not consciously aware the subconscious can pick up on those things.

“Being consciously aware of how you are thinking is tiring work, however, through repetition your conscious thinking will become your subconscious thinking”

Make The Time To Be With Those you Inspire You

Literally schedule and write down in your diary weekly times when you can be around people who are aligned with you. Not only is it soothing for the soul but it’s fun. If you are in a position where you are changing your identity, and hence your future projection, then schedule a time in your diary when you can research where people you want to align yourself hang out.

Spending time with those who inspire you is
an excellent use of time.

With the internet at our fingertips we can search for community and tribes on social media platforms and we can literally Google search for groups and communities around where you live. Experiment ad try out different groups if you need to. If it’s not for you then so be it. No harm done.

Once you do find the people that you click with, and you feel confident to do so, share your dreams and aspirations with them. If you are scared to do so then, ironically, you have probably not found the people who will support you on your journey to success.

Article In A Nutshell

Who we surround ourselves with is very important. We must consciously make an effort to surround ourselves with people who align with our values or people who have the values that we aspire to. If we are surrounded by people who we have conflicting values with, we must make a conscious effort to make sure that they are not ‘rubbing off’ on us.

Not Caring What Others Think – Making Priorities In Your Life

Many people are wired to impress others. Their outward appearance – what others think about them – means the world to them and disrupting that appearance is the be all and end all to what their life is about. Why do we care so much about what others think and why have we not learnt about making priorities for what really matters in our lives? The irony is that it’s not until we get older that we actually learn what it means to not care about what others think. The following article will give my opinion on why it is crucial to make priorities for us and not worry about how others perceive us.

Caring is Crucial – Caring For What’s important To You

I do not want the title of this post to make it sound like we should not care about things. I believe it is imperative that we care about things and to put our energy towards them; things like, our health (mental and physical), the environment, the health of our family, our community and our passions. If we did not have people who cared then imagine the great things in our lives that would not be present. Things such as technology, charities, environmental crusaders, teachers, health care workers, social workers, workers in general. We all need to care about what we’re doing to contribute to the great world we live in. Yes, I’m being optimistic and only focusing on the positive.

My point is that we must care for things that are real to us, not real to others. Caring about what others think and doing what suits them is their prerogative, not yours, so don’t burden yourself with it. Let them be the master of their thoughts, time and energy and you be the master of yours.

Caring For You Is Just As Important As Caring For Others

Again, I do not want the title of this post to confuse readers with not caring about what is important. Caring for you and how others interact with you is very important as well. Am I saying that there is only one particular way to how people should treat each other? No. Like everything in life it is subjective; there is no right or wrong. Just ways that serve you and ways that don’t.

A whole can of worms could be opened here and people could say, “Well the way that person is interacting is illegal as they’re being discriminatory towards others and towards me.” Well yes, that is why we have certain laws in certain countries. I agree. My point is that is a once-in-a-blue-moon situation. In my personal experience, and from those I’ve seen around me, it is the behaviour of others, which is not illegal but not aligned with our values and how we’d like to be treated, is what we should be caring about.

What can we do about it? We can communicate and let that person know that what they are doing is not how you’d like to be treated. Remember we are not asserting authority here. We are just communicating that we are not happy with the way we are being treated. We are setting boundaries. Caring for yourself is letting others know how you want to be treated. Try to avoid problems and avoid toxicity by being true to your values and what you know is the right thing to do.

“If you’re unsure that what you are doing is the right thing to do then look at the world around you. It is a reflection of what you’re putting out into the universe.”

Additionally caring for yourself is literally caring for your self as well. The amount of sleep and rest time you allow yourself; the amount of exercise you do; what you nourish your body with; the respect you have for yourself will inevitably result in the respect you have for others. Caring about yourself should be a priority.

Making Priorities – What We Shouldn’t Be Caring About

I don’t want to sound like a he’s-perfect-and-found-all-the-answers type of guy. Hands down, I’m not. I write from the lessons I have learnt or I’m still learning in the hope that in may reach others. As a teenager your identity was everything. I guess it’s only natural as you are physically and emotionally changing into an adult and most of us just want to fit in and be part of a group – surely, that’s a natural thing.

For some of us we find our true identity during these formative years and as we get older, we drop what is not real for us and live a life true to ourselves. But for many of us, myself included at one stage, we hold onto the concept that we need to be what others want us to be in order to be accepted.

I’d like to take a leaf out of Dr. Frederic Neuman when he states in his Psychology Today article:

“Some people will like and approve of you, and some won’t. Some people (family members frequently) have a vested interest in thinking you are deficient. They will think you are in the wrong no matter what you do. But others will take one look at you and approve. They will admire you for things you take for granted. Try to find these people.”

Meaning, it’s not that we are a bad person if someone doesn’t like or approve of us it’s just that we haven’t aligned ourselves with people that accept us for who we are. Not to sound too corny here, but if you are happy with who you are and you’re not intentionally physically or mentally hurting someone then why should you not be with people who support and accept you.

Make priorities that will serve YOU!

So, what should we care about? I often find it amusing (funny because to me logically it doesn’t make any sense) that people can spend hours trying to improve their outwards appearance, like washing their car, applying cosmetics and shopping for new clothes, though make little time for things that will make them internally happy like using their spare time to interact with those we love, learning new skills to help us learn and grow, and reading books and giving ourselves downtime.

Spending Our Energy Wisely

We all have 24 hours in one day and how we choose to spend them is up to us. Due to worrying about what others think, a lot of our time and ultimately is spent on this. Just think how much we all could have grown if we had spent the same amount of time and energy worrying about what others thought and put that into activities that give us energy.

For example exercising, doing kind acts for yourself and others, serving the community, interacting with those you care about and they care for you, studying something new are all examples of activities that will give us energy as opposed to draining our energy. Take stock of your life and literally write down the activities that you do in one day and then a whole week.

As humans we have the privilege of choosing how
to spend our time and energy.

Be honest with yourself and se if how you spend your day is for you (and by you I also mean serving the community and those around you in a meaningful way) or is it trying to keep up appearances for others. Remember no-one else can do this exercise for you. I found that if I am constantly down in energy I need to take restock of my life and make sure that I am spending my time and energy doing and creating things that will make me a better person so ultimately, I can be a better servant to those around me.

Keep in mind that the life we have now is a result from the thoughts, beliefs, actions and habits that we have from the past so it is a great indicator of where our energy is being spent. Also remember that time is a very powerful energy. Meaning that it will compound over time; positive or negative, how we use our time and energy will multiply over time. It’s just something to keep in mind.

Article In A Nutshell

Caring is a great trait. It is probably one of the many great qualities that make our world go around. However we must be very careful that we are caring about the right things. Caring too much about what others think about us will lead to a detrimental state of our health both mentally and physically. Putting our time and energy into actions that will give us energy is a much better use of time and it will serve us and those around us in a much better way.

Action Brings Clarity – Starting Something With No Clue is OK

We’ve all heard the saying that, “Starting something is always the hardest part,” which I believe is true, however my version of events is that this statement or saying is true because of the beliefs that we put around starting something and perhaps failing or perhaps the original idea going in a slightly different direction. This article will talk about why it is so important to make a start on your goals and what new beliefs you can adopt so starting won’t be so daunting.

The Meaning We Attach To Outcomes Is Killing Us

All of us are capable beings. Extraordinary in fact. If you need proof, look around at the world through a positive lens and see all the great stuff that mankind has invented; the internet, smartphones, planes, computers, appliances, medicines, medical procedures and the list goes on. The cynic in us could also focus on the negative (natural tendency for the brain – it’s trying to look out for us) that mankind has done, but we will focus on the positive as that is a much better place to be.

Why do we not start going for our dreams, goals and desires straight away? There are most likely a myriad of reasons, but the one we will focus on here is the meaning that we attach to the outcome of going for our goals – regardless of whether we achieve it or not. Ask yourself if these statements, which through repetition will turn into your beliefs, apply to you.

“I’d love to train for my first marathon but what will people think if I don’t finish it?”

“I would love to start my own business but what will happen if I fail? What will people say about me?”

“I can’t go for my dream job because I’m not good enough and if I don’t get it people will look down on me.”

Maybe you have not had those exact thoughts, though the point being made is that we as humans love to attach meaning to the outcome of our actions. The same can be said for achieving your goal.

“When I become rich, I’ll meet the partner of my dreams then.”

“I’ll be able to prove to my family that I am somebody if I get this job.”

It’s good to have a ‘why’ as a motivator for going after your dreams, goals and desires though I am sure we have all seen the typical stereotype of someone who becomes immensely wealthy though they are unhappy. Reaching their richness did not bring them what they wanted.

Attaching a meaning to not getting (or achieving) your goal can be detrimental for us. For the sake of this article we will talk about attaching a meaning to not getting your goal as that is one of the main reasons that holds people back and the main reason why people do not start anything.

Reframing Our Beliefs Through Repetition

A belief is a thought which has been validated over and over again – repetition. The more we validate it, the more the brain will be on the look out to find more evidence to continually back this belief up.

“Remember there is no right or wrong beliefs. There are just beliefs that serve us and beliefs that don’t.”

Reframing a belief is flipping a thought around and then repeating it over and over again so our brain can find evidence to validate that belief and it becomes true for us. For example

Existing Belief: “If I fail at this people will laugh at me and they won’t respect me anymore.”

Reframing: “I am taking positive actions toward achieving what I want. I am successful because I am taking positive steps towards my goal”

“This failure told me to redirect my energy elsewhere. Good thing I tried this or I would’ve never known.”

“People who truly love me will always respect me.”

Repetition, can take place through affirmations, journal work, meditation, the list is endless. The secret is to make these new thoughts a habit. Now, to be perfectly clear here, It won’t happen overnight! We all know our brain loves what’s easy (existing thoughts), loves routine and doesn’t like to be wrong. So it will take time and there will be conflict between your brain giving you your routine belief (subconscious) and you actively installing new beliefs (conscious).

“Like everything, practice and consistency will be your best friends here.”

Jump In – What Have You Got To Lose?

I am not advocating that we should wait to our beliefs have ‘changed’ before we start pursuing our goals. The point I am trying to get across is that whilst reframing your beliefs jump in with some action – don’t wait to you are 100% sure or you’ll be waiting forever!

By setting up specific dates and times in your calendar you will be forced to take action and start going after what you really want. The reason I mentioned the reframing above is that whilst you are taking action, it will give you the perfect opportunity to put those new reframing thoughts into real-life situations and let your brain find the evidence for you through the actions you are taking.

If an unexpected event comes up – some people call these failures – use it to hone your new belief that failures are just lessons in disguise. Similarly, if you realised that you do not like the new job that you left your old job for, at least now you know, and you can put the plan into place of what you are going to do next.

“In my opinion, knowing and experiencing what something feels like is a lot better that wondering or guessing what something would be like.”

Personal Example

I love teaching others. I think it is a skill and craft like no other. You get to give to others for a living, and at the same time make a positive impact. But I had to leave teaching to realise this. Over the past couple of years I have taken time out to experience things that I have always wanted to do; Become a full-time Dad, start a business and write a book. All these things I would not have experienced if I did not take the leap of faith and leave my secure teaching job. After a few, years I feel that I am ready for the classroom again so I will start off by going back in to teaching part-time so I can still have my business on the side as well. Will this arrangement work? Only one way to find out!

Am I saying that everyone should quit their job and chase their goals? Absolutely not. There will be planning involved and you will have to have a ‘mental plan’ in place when you change your identity and do something different. It will feel weird at first though that’s a good thing. You may want to try something out on the side first. Just make sure you take the first couple of steps into putting actions into place to go after what you want.

If it’s a new job you could research the job then find someone in that job already and informally interview them over a tea or a beer. Perhaps you could do some volunteer work in that field. Whatever you do have a plan, yes, but make sure you jump in and start taking action.

“Because action is where the clarity is.”

Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Research anyone who has become successful – they’ve achieved what they set out to do – and more often than not one of the major obstacles they would have had to overcome was stepping out of their comfort zone. Similarly, when they have reached their goals, they push themselves even further, again out of their comfort zone, because they realise that stepping out of your comfort zone is where the growth is.

So what does this mean for us. If you go into a new environment, situation or challenge expect to have that feeling in your gut where you are a bit uncomfortable as then you will know you are on the right track to growth and ultimately success.

Article In A Nutshell

A lot of us are scared to step out and do the actions required to get what we want. A big factor of this fear comes from the meaning we attach to something if we fail. Our beliefs have taught us that failing is not a good thing or that it will make us look bad. However, by reframing your thoughts, and validating them through evidence, we can change our beliefs to realise that going after something regardless of the outcome is a good thing. Putting in daily actions towards our dreams goals and desires will bring us clarity. Plus all the action we put in will give us success; whether it be through achievement of through failure (lesson).

Trust The Process – The Spiritual Approach To Learning Lessons

Trust is built when we are just babies!

This week’s article was a tough one for me to write because I did not want to sound hypocritical. I always endorse to have a vision, turn that vision into a plan and work towards your plan, which along the way will require identity traits such as determination, resilience and the ability to be feel the fear and do it anyway.

However, despite the best intentions and actions taken toward them, our plans will sometimes differ off course. As always I am slowly learning that life sometimes has other plans for us which turn out to be the best for us. The trick is to still constantly put in the work and TRUST that the universe, God or whatever higher power is out there has the right path for you.

Is There Something Out There Bigger Than Ourselves?

I do not want to turn this article into a religious debate, but to make it clear I am a spiritual person. I do believe there is a power, an energy, that is bigger than ourselves. Different people may call these different things; some call it God, the power of the universe, whatever you want to call it, I believe we live in a universe of energy.

At times, and I’m sure readers can relate, that I can pick up a certain vibe from people. This to me is the energy that they are broadcasting to the world. Is their vibe right? Is it wrong? To me the question should be do I align with that vibration, that energy.

“Your intuition is there for a reason”

“The Universe Has My Back,” Is NO Excuse For Non-Action

Again, to reiterate I do not want to turn this article into a spiritual debate, but I do believe people get the wrong idea when they here successful people – those who have achieved what they set out to do – talk about attracting what they want to them or that taboo phrase ‘The Law Of Attraction”.

Action is still required when we trust the

My personal belief is that the universe does has our back and is looking out for us however we MUST still always set our intention, our goals, put a plan of action to get those goals and build up actions and eventually habits that will support us in getting those goals.

“Always visualise and set your intention.”

The TRUST process comes when we have put the work in; we have set our gaols and action plan and we are using the core life-skills and identity traits that will get us there; determination, discipline, resilience, joy and integrity. (You can insert whatever identity traits you like!) Despite these best intentions why do we keep getting these ‘nudges’ to slightly alter our original plan? Should we give up on our dreams? No. Are they still worth pursuing? Of course!

Personal Examples Of The Universe Looking Out For Me

A couple of years ago my partner and I wanted to buy a house. We were living in London at the time and we were renting. During this time of our lives we did not have kids and we were working long hours in our jobs as teachers. We used our holidays to travel and see the world. We were not really looking to buy a house at this stage.

We were offered some financial assistance from someone close to us to buy a house in London. It was a very generous offer and I guess, financially it made sense. These blogs were not invented to be a platform for complaining so I will cut a very long story short. We searched around for houses and found one that was OK. Deep down in my heart it just didn’t feel right. We had savings but I thought we needed more.

The universe is always providing
for us.

After some ‘conversations’ the offer never eventuated and we never bought the house in London. (To make it absolutely clear I do not blame anyone. We were not ready to buy – simple as that!)

“It was one of the best things that ever happened to us!”

Fast forward 3 years we had more savings, we had a child and we were not keen to live in a city anymore. We found the house that we wanted 40 miles outside of London which we bought and we’re now happily living here; the fresh air, space for our son to move, access to amenities, we have it all.

Would this have happened if we had bought the house in London? No, probably, well not in the same way. Looking back I wonder why we had to go through some awkward and painful conversations. It was a lesson. The universe was looking out for us. It had a better plan for us, we just had to be patient and faith.

I am taking a guess here but the universe needed us to learn some lessons about saving, budgeting and making priorities. Having our son really helped focus our priorities. Also it was a great lesson to me that if it doesn’t feel right at the time, there is probably a reason for it.

I am new to this trust process so I will give my opinion here. I believe the universe did see our intention that we wanted our house but deep down in our hearts we did not want to buy in London. We went through this experience of not getting the house the first time because the universe had a better house in mind for us a couple of years down the track.

Yes, I am learning how to trust intuition and the universe.

Moving Abroad

It’s been over 10 years now since I packed my bags and left my homeland of Australia and moved to the UK. At the time I had just finished my teaching degree and was doing some casual teaching here and there. I had always wanted to travel so I decided that since I had my teaching degree I could teach in The UK and travel Europe in my holidays. Trust me I am not the first Aussie to do this!

When applying for my Visa I met all the criteria. Part of the criteria meant that I had to have a certain amount of cash in the bank to say that I could support myself, which I did, though it did not leave much money left over to buy essentials like warmer clothes, a new backpack and other travelling items that pop up.

Being a teacher I knew I could be resourceful and tough it out. Here is where the cool part comes in. 6 weeks before flying out, I got a letter from one of my lecturers at the university I studied at. Long story short it said that I was one of twenty people who had been chosen to receive $2000 Australian dollars from a science scholarship which I could spend on whatever I wanted!

Now, I did not apply for a scholarship and I did not know that the university offered science scholarships. I did an Education degree which involved learning about science to teach youngsters. I was hardly a scientist. But here I was with a $2000 check in my hand. Thank you, universe. You were certainly looking out for me on that day!

How To Implement Trust Into Your Life

As I always advocate putting in the time and work will help you build up identity traits which will benefit your life. In this case we want to build up Trust or Faith. I like to use my journal, some people use the audio on their phone, and look at setbacks and ‘failures’ that crop up when you are on your goal journey.

Ask yourself great questions. Instead of saying, “Why does this always happen to me?” you could replace that with, “What lesson can I learn here?” or “Is there a reason why I am getting nudged in this direction?”

As you reflect, look at the positive way that your life turned out because a certain event didn’t happen, happened slightly differently, or happened at a slightly different time. Remember, to always focus on the positive reasons on why something happened and you will more than likely see that it was to your benefit.

What actions can you do now to start building up

your trust?

What worries did you have that turned out to be nothing at all? Take your mind back and experience the emotions that you felt when everything turned out OK. Now that you have those emotions at the forefront of your mind you can future pace (visualise) yourself in the future already having achieved what you have set out to achieve. That feeling of trusting the universe that if you set the intention (goal) and work towards it (plan) then everything will be just fine, even if the plan wasn’t perfectly executed.

If I could paraphrase subconscious reprogramming expert Jim Fortin here,

“Everything always has been, is now, and always will be fine!”

Article In A Nutshell

I think that it is paramount that we have a plan in life or we will drift around aimlessly, and what a waste of a precious life that would be! Successful people – people who have achieved what they’ve set out to do – have always had a vision, turned that vision into goal and that put the actions in to achieve those goals. Now it doesn’t take an expert to realise that things won’t always go according to plan. However if the vision and action is there, having trust in the universe, God or whatever higher power you believe in will make sure that your dream comes into fruition.

Be The Change You Wish To See In The World

The title of this week’s article is probably one of the most used quotes ever. Mahatma Ghandi’s, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” has most likely being quoted by every personal development guru, entrepreneur, business leader, teacher and just about anyone into personal development. In this week’s article I will give my account of why it is so important to be the change in the world as opposed to waiting for the world around us to change – some people wait their whole life time for this to happen and guess what? It often never does!

Being The Change You Wish To See

I love this idea so much as it is what teachers tell their students, coaches tell their clients and parents tell their children, but what are some real life examples of people that we can look up to? For example, I love the work that Scott Harrison is doing in his charity called Charity Water. Long story short, he came upon parts of the world that do not have clean and safe water to drink so he started a charity which is providing clean and safe water to the world.

Now it did not happen overnight and there was a lot of work that went into it, though he is in my opinion of a perfect example of someone who is being the change that he wishes to see in the world. His mission is for everyone in the world to have clean and safe water. He is well on his way to achieving that. Check out Scott’s work here.

Being Who You Want To Be Is Not Just For Charity Owners

Ghandi’s message is such a powerful one because it can be applied to everyone in every situation. In coaching we always tell clients to focus on how you respond to a circumstance as opposed to focusing on something that you cannot change. This allows clients, and ourselves, to focus on who we want to be when circumstances are given to us.

“In my experience, those who have mastered the art of turning undesirable circumstances into lesson and opportunities to grow have found true richness and joy in their lives.”

Yes, I am always working towards this.

Being a Role Model and Example

One great piece of advice that was given to me at the start of my teaching career and when I became a parent was that,

“Being the person and role model who you want your kids to be is still the best way to teach and pass on beliefs, values and life-skills.”

Be a role model by being the person you want to
see in others.

No one likes a hypocrite, and respect and admiration are born when people can see that you are practising what you preach every day. If you are the person who can accept circumstances (things that we cannot change) as they are but take full responsibility to how you respond to circumstances then you will be one of life’s greatest role models and teachers.

I am lucky to be surrounded by people who are living the life they want for the rest of the world every day, so I have great role models to look up to. Though what can we do if we feel that we don’t have anybody around us who we can emulate and carry on their legacy?

Making A Conscious Effort To Be The Person You Want To Be Now

People who are successful – they’ve achieved what they set out to do and are continually growing – have developed and mastered a great skill:

“They decide on the change that they want in their life, visualise who they need to be to get there, then start making small but significant changes to start becoming that person now.”

For example if you are someone who wants to reduce your anger and have more joy in your life, your plan of action could look like the following:

Plan how you’re going to become the person
you’ve always wanted to be.
  1. Accept that I need to take full responsibility for our lives.
  2. Visualise being a person who is calm and grateful for what they have. I have the foresight to see that a life without anger is the true life I want. Within that visualisation I see myself laughing with my family, going on a date with my perfect partner and leaving work feeling fulfilled. Write this visualisation into a goal.

  • Work backwards from this goal and make a plan of action to get started! This may include finding triggers that make me angry.
  • Enrolling in coaching or anger management classes
  • Literally write down in a diary or in my phone what actions I am going to do and when. For instance breathing exercises, gratefulness meditation, etc.
  • Keep a journal of their wins along the way.
  • Accept failures as lessons and keep referring back to their goal and visualisation.

One of the main points about setting goals is for personal growth. You will have to be a different person then you are now to achieve a different outcome then the one you have now. You will have to build new habits then the ones you have now to be the person you want to be.

I Am Learning That Life Is A Mirror!

Your external world reflects your
internal world.

Like I always say in my posts and articles, I am not tossing any stones here; I am learning my life lesson like everybody else. One of the things that has taken me many years to learn and I am still practising it, is to use my external environment as an indicator for my internal environment. Meaning, if I want things to change on the outside, I have to be that person on the inside first.

If I want to have great friends, I have to be one first. If I want to have a great partner, I need to be one first. Here’s one for the parents out there, if you want to have calm kids you need to be calm first.

Build Up That Muscle -Practise, Practise, Practise!

Practise makes perfect. Whether you are training for something tangible like a body building competition or learning how to knit, consistent practice is the key. The same also applies when you are building up your identity. The brain is a muscle which needs constant work, practice and more work.

Building a new identity will involve taking tangible actions steps, constant reflection and tangible action steps, and then maybe a bit more reflection and then… Yes! Tangible action steps.

Practice being the new identity that you want
to be.

Using your time to shut off from the world, mainly your phone and devices, and reflect on who you need to be will be a worthwhile investment. Upon looking at those older than me, it is a habit that will pay dividends many years from now.

So what can you do? Research the people who you admire. What qualities do they possess? Read books, ask questions, mimic what they do. Keep practising. Keep having small wins. Keep having failures, or put another way, growth opportunities.

“Take this one opportunity to be the person you wish to see in this world!”

Article In A Nutshell

Ghandi’s message will always be with us. It is a timeless quote that allows us to make plans and put plans into actions. I believe it is those people who take Ghandi’s quote literally and put the work in, both physically and mentally, who will reap the most rewards in this lifetime.

Being Grateful: An Attitude for Gratitude

Developing an attitude for gratitude is definitely worth the effort

We have all heard people tell us, “It doesn’t matter what our situation is, we should always be grateful for what we have,” or something along those lines. Like a lot of concepts with personal development and mind management a lot of people understand the concept though find it hard to put it into practice and take the necessary actions to feel grateful. In the following article I will give my opinion on why we should be grateful and how we can start doing it right now.

Why Should We Be Grateful?

It’s an old cliché, but living in the 1st world, or even just having the resources to read this post, puts us ‘above’ most people. I want to be very clear here that when I say ‘above’ people I am not talking about their personality or their contribution to the world. I am talking about the physical resources and opportunities that we in the 1st world have.

The world is in your hands if you are born into
the first world and you’re reading this.

Without sounding contradictory, I am also not condoning that people should settle for the life they have at the moment. Successful people – those who have achieved what they set out to do – are constantly growing themselves. Meaning they are constantly developing their minds and pushing themselves to be the best version of themselves. Once they reach a certain point, they celebrate that win then look for the next opportunity to grow.

What I am advocating is that we should always be constantly looking to grow but at the same time take time every day to appreciate what we already have. To be thankful for everything we have. See below for a great practical example that you can use to start this critical habit.

“Gratefulness is a great building block to build the life you want”

Gratefulness Comes In the Forms of Lessons

Writing this post came at a great time for me. This last week has seen a cold snap for where I live in the UK and our boiler break, resulting in the purchase of a new one. Plus, it is that time of year for car registration and insurance plus we had some other house maintenance done in the last month as well. Now I will not bore you with the details, but these things cost money and take time to organise, and I am not trying to have a whinge or wine about it, I am just telling the reader what most people go through. It’s quite common.

How we look at these things will really be a lesson in gratefulness.

Are we angry because we have to take time out of our day to organise a tradesperson to come around and fix our problem or are we grateful that we literally have these people at the end of a phone call or the click of a mouse button?

Be grateful the lesson that life gives
us. The alternative is to complain.

Do we complain that the money that we saved for ourselves has to be sacrificed for a new boiler or are we grateful that we have the money to pay for it? Similarly, we may have to work extra or borrow money and pay it back, but should we be grateful that we have the opportunity to do that?

As usual I am not tossing any stones here because I am continually learning my lessons as well but all set backs will have a lesson to learn and a chance to be grateful. The ‘hardwork’ comes from turning every outcome into a lesson and gratefulness opportunity and making it into a habit.

Gratefulness From The Past

We all know how dangerous it is to hold onto the past. Not only does it steal our present moment joy but it also effects our futures as well as if you’ve read my previous posts you will remember that our present day thoughts create our futures. So, it really doesn’t bode well to dwell on the past.

What you have in the present is from the thoughts
and actions from the past.

However, taking a timed moment (don’t make my mistake and dwell for hours on end) and consciously reflect on why you should be grateful for things, events and people from the past and the lessons that they have taught you.

Should we be upset and hurt that we may have been racially profiled and bullied when we were younger or should we be grateful that it made us a better communicator in relationships and built up on resilient muscle?

Is it OK to dwell about the ‘stupid’ decisions we made when we were younger or use it as a catalyst for adopting new thoughts and stories about ourselves, building new routines and making different lives for ourselves?

Consciously make a habit to reflect for one, maybe two hours, and be grateful for the lessons that have been given to you. Once you have the lessons, focus on them, and make the lessons what you see when that thought comes back into your head. I put my hand up, I am continually working on this one.

Being Grateful Can Lift Moods and Cure Bad Temper-itus

Starting your day, ending your day, or reflecting during the day, through gratefulness is a great way to lift your mood. I am sure there is analytical and scientific research behind why this is so though I don’t think it is something I need to go into here. We all know that when we are truly grateful for what have, what we have been given and what we have to look to it is a super-good-so-lovely feeling that’s hard to top.

Gratefulness is a great way to improve
your mood.

Similarly, if you’re in a bad mood, reflecting and telling yourself that you are so lucky to have what you have can be a great cure for those bad tempers. Now, please don’t mistake and think that everything should be lovely-dovey and the roses smell so nice today. I personally believe that we as human have to experience a full range of emotions to get the full human experience.

“After all, how would you know what being happy feels like if you’ve never experienced the opposite?”

Experience all the emotions, including the ‘not nice’ ones. though it could be wise to get into the habit of saying mantras to yourself such as,

“This is part of my human experience. We all go through the motions of emotions.”

“How I respond to these emotions is what will make me successful in this lifetime though it’s OK to feel sad now”

What other ones can you think of? Write them down and keep them as ammunition when you need them.

Gratefulness Exercises

A huge component of learning is the doing. I personally, like to do my gratefulness work in the morning, though is can be whatever time for yourself. Try these exercises and watch you day change.

Morning Routine

Every day when you wake up record 5 things that you are grateful for. Keep them as simple as possible. I’ll show you why.

Example: 1) I got up and out of bed.

2) I turned the light on in the bathroom.

3) I used to toilet.

4) I had a shower.

5) I walked downstairs to have breakfast.

Pretty simple routine, yes? But let’s see that same routine when we compare it to the rest of the world.


1) I got up and out of bed: First things first. You got out of bed. Think about how many people would love to get out of their bed but they can’t because of an illness or injury. Secondly, you have a bed? Fantastic! Be thankful for it. Due to economic reasons a lot of people outside the Western World do not sleep on beds.

2) I turned the light on in the bathroom:  Depending on your research, approximately 1.3 billion people in the world do not have access to electricity. You are not one of those people.

3) I used the toilet: 2.4 billion people (at the time of writing) in the world do not have a toilet. Enough said!

4) I had a shower: Thankfully more people have access to clean water than they do sanitation. But not everyone has clean water close to their home, let alone in it. Secondly, you have hot water which comes out at the flick of a tap.

5) You walked downstairs, again, you have your mobility which a lot of people do not. You had breakfast, the most important meal of the day as they say. Well, look at it this way. It could be the only meal of the day for some or the only meal for the week for others. You are not in that position.

This simple exercise can be so easily
turned into a habit.

I am sure you can see how this simple exercise can really make a different to your mind-set. When you strip down your morning routine to the bare essentials, you will always find a reason to be grateful. Similarly, you can use this same exercise for different parts of the day – use it when it suits you best. Over time you will have an extensive list of things to be grateful for which you can always refer back to.

Using Gratefulness to Flip the Norm – Turning a Supposed Negative Into a Positive:

This exercise is another great one for us who live in the ‘Free World’. I call this exercise Flipping the Norm. Meaning, I think it is extremely beneficial, but more important extremely empowering, to take things or circumstances that we complain about in the ‘Free World’ and spin it into a positive which we can be grateful for. Let us look at an example which you can practise and master in your time using some of you own examples:

1) I have to pay tax: Hallelujah! Taxes are awesome! Living in a society where you pay tax means that you are living in a lucky country. Despite the common complaints from most pessimists, taxes are used for policies and infrastructures for the country in which you pay your tax.

Those smooth roads, the hospital care, education, sewage and sanitation, the collection of your rubbish bins are all great examples of what happens when people pay tax. Now I am not saying there is a ‘one way approach’ on how a country should spend their tax money, and it is no secret that sometimes those who have the power to allocate a society’s tax income make a few ‘booboos’. But on the whole, you should be jumping up and down that you get to pay tax.

Look at the alternative. A country with no democratic Government and no taxes is normally a poorer country with none of the policies and infrastructure which we take for granted every day. I know personally, when I was at the birth of my son, the amount of care that my partner received before, during and after the birth made me smile and appreciate the tax that I pay.

2) There is such a long line at the supermarket: That’s tremendous! Waiting in line forces us to take time out of our day to focus on us (unless you are in the unfortunate minority who have to be glued to their phone). The fact that we are waiting at a supermarket to buy our food means that we are not waiting for our crops to grow, because we are fortunate to live in a country which has supermarkets, which means food is literally ‘just down the road’.

Give ‘Flipping the Norm’ a try and use it with your friends. Next time someone complains about something, reverse the situation and tell them how lucky they are by breaking it down and looking for the positives. It sounds a bit corny but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s better than being a complainer!

Find a Mentor

My older bro is definitely a mentor for me.

Find someone who is happy, handles themselves confidently in any situation and has a real passion for life and I guarantee it will be because they have a strong element of gratefulness in their life. Talk to them, hang with them and be enthused by their zest and outlook on life. Adopt and learn from their mind-set and it will rub off on you.

Article In A Nutshell

Like all things associated with your personal journey, there is no need to go out and buy something that will help you improve your life and happiness. Everything you need to is already inside you. The same is true for gratefulness. It is not discriminatory, and you can adopt you new attitude for gratitude right now. What’s stopping you?

Acceptance: What Is It and How Can We Use It For Success

Accept what you cannot change. Change what you can!

Acceptance is one of the greatest weapons that we carry in our life skills kitbags.  It can literally be the catalyst which creates the momentum we need to improve our life journey or it can be the medium which crushes our self-belief, and hence stunts our growth. Really, who wants or needs that?

Readers may be starting to ponder, “Righto, it’s here. The blog started out OK but now I think Pete has lost the plot a bit.” How can acceptance be one of the most powerful tools we need for success? I am pretty sure that previous posts have directed our attention to taking responsibility for ourselves and implementing the changes that we want to see in our lives, right? I’m sure everyone remembers the post on responsibility.

Full post on responsibility click here:

Hear me out. Let us first look at what I mean by acceptance in a life journey scenario, and then we can make it crystal clear why acceptance is so important.

What is Acceptance?

Let’s take on the dictionary example first. When searching for the meaning of acceptance, a lot of answers came up. Additionally, the word ‘acceptance’ can be used in many contexts in terms of people, banking, behaviour, commerce, etc. I decided to take on a general meaning of:

“The act of taking or receiving something offered”

Easy hey? Something has been offered and we are going to take or receive that something. But what is the something? I personally believe, working out what you need to accept in your life and what you should not accept, will lead you to your greatest life.

3 Types of Acceptance Which Should be at the Forefront of Your Focus

1. Acceptance of Others:

This is the most common form that people think of when they think of acceptance. Likewise, the accepting of others who are different from you in appearance and beliefs (so long as those beliefs are not illegal) is the law in most countries. Refusal to comply is known as discrimination.

This type of acceptance is the one that you hope all parents instil in their children. It allows everyone, even those who are different to us, to live harmoniously together. Failure to have this critical value within certain people has led to some atrocious disagreements over the years, which inevitably has led to wars, and the abysmal repercussions which follow. Not nice!

This type of acceptance is the one that you hope all parents instil in their children. It allows everyone, even those who are different to us, to live harmoniously together.
Accepting and celebrating diversity is one of the
cogs that makes the world run smoothly.

Fortunately, I am confident that those taking the time to read this blog article already have the acceptance of others already within them. Hence it would be superfluous to go into extra detail about it. Therefore in relation to others what we need to accept is how they are wired. Meaning what personality traits they have, and how you react to them.

Let’s have a quick example. I am sure we have all had to deal with people who we find rude. People who you think must wake up in the morning with the sole purpose of trying to be inconsiderate to as many people as they can. Now technically, they are not breaking the law however you find dealing and interacting with them quite difficult at times.

Now, as I repeatedly say, I am not tossing any stones here. Accepting the personality of others for me has been hard at times. Additionally, finding the equilibrium between where we accept others for who they are but make sure that we set boundaries on how we would like people to interact with us is an ever-growing challenge for me. Something that I consciously make an effort to spend time working on whether it is through journaling, meditating or just talking to myself and creating new focuses in my life, I always working on it!

So, fundamentally, we are accepting their personality traits and asking ourselves how we can respond, not subconsciously react, to make these interactions easier for ourselves. Conversely, without knowing it, you may have personality traits which others find it hard to take. Therefore, the acceptance of others on a personal level is vital.

2. Acceptance of the Past:

Here is one of the greatest and loftiest hurdles which people need to overcome and accept; the past. Factors which we cannot change have to be accepted before any progress can be made. Where you were born, what family you were born into, the amount of money at your exposal, the colour of your skin, gender, the body you were put in, the opportunities that you had when you were growing up, whether it was socially or in an educational context, cannot be changed.

Research any successful business person, entrepreneur, sports star and I am very confident that they will all agree with the following:

“It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.” ­

Why wallow in self-pity about how you did not get the ‘start’ that you needed in life? Successful people – those who have achieved what they set out to do – will preach this until they are blue in the face; if that same time and energy you spent in self-pity was spent on things you can change, you could build up momentum and take your life in a new direction.

Why wallow in self-pity about how you did not get the ‘start’ that you needed in life? Successful people – those who have achieved what they set out to do - will preach this until they are blue in the face; if that same time and energy you spent in self-pity was spent on things you can change, you could build up momentum and take your life in a new direction
I admit it. I use to love a pity party
though what does it actually achieve?

I know what you’re thinking and the answer is yes. Yes there are other people who have had things given to them whereas you had to work years to achieve the same thing. When you were at school did you have that person who seemed to get everything? I am not saying that this person was at all bad, well they might have been for you, but did you ever say to yourself, “I wish I could get things as easily as them. It’s not fair.”

I personally remember a few people at school who when they got their driver’s license their parents bought them cars, some even had new cars. However the majority of us had to slave away at our part-time jobs to buy some old second-hand wreck of a car. My first vehicle was a motorbike. I couldn’t afford a car. So what?

The point is that if you cannot accept the situation that you were born into then I’m afraid you will find trying to steer your life in a new direction quite difficult and frustrating. Been there and done that. Correspondingly, you cannot change any decisions you have made in the past either. If bad decisions have been made then bad decisions have been made. You cannot change them now.

“Don’t dwell, but reflect on how things can be handled differently next time, and focus on things you can change.”

3. Acceptance of The Work It Takes

As just mentioned, accepting the deck you were dealt when you were younger is a major factor in changing one’s life. Take it one step further and accept that you may have to work twice, maybe ten times as hard, to get something which someone else got for free or for very little effort. Again, how you approach this fact of life – yes, it is a fact of life –carries a huge weight on how the rest of your life journey will develop.

the work has to be put in to change our mindset, beliefs, actions and therefore routines to make ever-lasting change. Additionally, the just-mentioned work takes time, which we will have to accept as well.
Putting in the work to think
and feel different will take work

No, I am not advocating to work until your eye-balls bleed and you’re stressed to the max. I mean accepting that like me, the work has to be put in to change our mindset, beliefs, actions and therefore routines to make ever-lasting change. Additionally, the just-mentioned work takes time, which we will have to accept as well.

No amount of ill-feelings towards others about what they have got ‘for nothing’ will change your situation or likewise, it won’t change theirs. In fact, if you have ever conjured these ill-feelings, you know that it can disadvantage you even more as your head will not be in the right place to make the positive changes you intend for yourself.

What Actions Can We Take Now?

Make a List:

1. Divide up a sheet of paper, word document on a computer, coloured card, anything that you can constantly refer to, into 2 columns. In the first column make a list of things that you complain about, or have in the past, that you cannot change. Take time to do this. Really think about things that you have been negative about or things you have blamed in the past. Hint: It’ll take real guts to admit all the things you’ve thought about negatively about or blamed others for. (I’m speaking from experience!)

2. In the second column write down all the things that you are maybe not happy with but you know they can be changed with a change from you. Again, really take the time to think about this. Some things that you want to change in your life may take a few steps along a certain period of time. But remember the end goal of this exercise is to realise that most situations that you are not happy with in your life can be changed by the most important person in your life: You!

A quick example: You want to earn more income in your life. To do this you may make plans to re-train or better yourself through extra education. This will take planning and this will take time. Moreover, you may have to plan to work overtime at your job just to pay for the extra education.

However just writing this down and accepting that this is how you will achieve this goal, as opposed to winning the lottery or wasting time complaining about it, is a huge change that you will thank yourself for in the future.

The following is an example of what your list may look like. For personal reasons this is not a copy of my list. I have made this list up on ‘complaints’ I have heard of in the past.

Things I Cannot Change I Have the Power to Change
*Where I was born.
*The town I grew up in.
*The family I am a part of.
*Where I went to school when I was younger.
*The amount/lack of effort I put into my education when I was younger.
*Spending all my money on drinking when I was younger when I should have saved some of it and invested it.
*My general appearance e.g. skin colour. *My gender.
*The people I used to associate with. *The guy who is rude at work.
*How I spend my time.
*The job I go to everyday.
*How I spend the money that I do have. *The amount of income that I earn.
*Who I choose to have a relationship with. *Who I choose to associate with.
*The relationships I have with myself, my family and friends.
*The house, area, suburb, state or country where I live.
*My current education levels.
*My mind-set.
*How I respond to people who make my life difficult.
*How I respond to certain people.
*How I plan to live everyday.
*Who I have a positive influence on.

3. Analyse what you have written in both columns. Notice how you have written things in 2 columns. Now notice what is in between those 2 columns… Yes, a line. Warning! Corny metaphor coming up:

Use this physical line on your paper as a line that you are going to draw in your own life, accept and move on! Everything to the left on the line shouldn’t be an excuse to not progress in your life.

After you have stopped laughing at my corny metaphor, look at everything that you have written in the right column. Look how powerful you are that you have the ability, talent and resourcefulness in your life to change so much. To take this exercise one step further you can divide the list up into short, medium and long term aspirations. Again, you could refer to the previous goal setting post. (See link above)

Focus on the Positive

If you are busting you guts out to achieve something which you know somebody else has ‘inherited’ for nothing, embrace it. Think of the ‘intellectual muscle’ you are building up by going through the experience. People often ponder what is the best way to build up essential life skills such as determination, resilience and persistence? Easy, be in a situation where you are forced to be determined, resilient and persistent.

Be Thankful/Grateful

Similar to the recommendation above, be grateful that you have the intellectual and physical capacity to carry out the challenges which lie ahead of you. Knowing that you are the ‘Master of Destiny’ puts you in a privileged position. Remember you are changing your mind-set so every situation you encounter can be tailored to improving you.

Look for the Lesson

A wise friend of mine has one of the best outlooks when it comes to any situation which is thrown their way. This theory is also backed up by a great article from the Tiny Buddha website. They look at the reason why they had that encounter, similar to the two recommendations from the above. If it was a simple exchange between both people and they both took something away from the interaction, then synergy was exchanged and everything is sweet.

If the communication between them was a negative one then they looked at the reason why it was. Upon reflection if they believe they could have interacted in a way to stop the negativity, then they will mentally note this and move on, looking forward to the next interaction.

If the communication between them was a negative one then they looked at the reason why it was. Upon reflection if they believe they could have interacted in a way to stop the negativity, then they will mentally note this and move on, looking forward to the next interaction.
Learning how to respond and not react to someone
is a great lesson.

Conversely, if they believe that perhaps it could have been the other person acting negatively, they will see the interaction as an opportunity to practise their life skills; taking it on the chin; being empathetic towards the person (we don’t always know why some people behave the way they do); continuing to react in a positive way despite negativity from the other. Experiencing positivity can be contagious, for you and the other person.

Remember, forcing someone to change is the same as coercion and no-one reacts positively to coercion. You can be a role model or a positive influence for those around you. A lot of the time you have to take the initiative to be the person who is that positive influence.

Similarly, if you feel that, despite strong efforts from your part, the interactions between yourself and certain people are toxic, then it is probably in your best interest to avoid those interactions. No-one needs toxicity in their lives. Accept that situation and leave it in the past.

Looking to the Future

As you look to the future, you should feel a sense of empowerment. Accepting what you cannot change and working hard towards things you can change is an awesome feeling. The writer of this blog is starting to feel this empowerment themselves.

I’ll give a big “woohoo!” in advance for you knowing that when you start focusing on things you can change, it’ll be an awesome day for you.