Lots of exciting news and happenings. Besides my inspirational messages this month, I just launched a new book, called 'Sales Secrets & Negotiation Skills', and together with 3 fellow speakers am launching in one week, 'One Goal, many Paths', a book about self realisation written by 4 different leading speakers. If that wasn't enough to keep me busy, this month did a lot of international traveling, my oldest daughter turned 13, and I met so many wonderful people with whom I managed to solve half the world's problems... if only we had someone who would listen to our solutions! Well, if nothing else - I am going to share some with you ............
Hence this month I want to tackle a few deeper issues. What a month, from speaking in England, Holland and South Africa, I am pretty tired of flying! Towards the end of this month it's back around the world again! And everyone thinks my lifestyle is so cool! I have lost count of how many people have asked me if they can carry my baggage, just to tag along!
Like anything in life, the first few times you fly, it is pretty cool. But after a while, especially getting caught in the BA strike at Heathrow... it becomes pretty annoying! Reality is, flying is definitely not what it used to be. So what's my point? No matter what you do in life, there will also be something that becomes routine, and even annoying at times. But, if I am already in a job I hate, plus have these added annoyances - it would be a very depressing life! That is why it is so important that you do what you enjoy. That you chose a job that makes you want to get up in the morning. Therefore, when you do come across things that may irritate you, you tend to take them in your stride and still be thankful for the fact that you actually love your work. Basically, it enables you to cope better with the things that you don't enjoy as much.
It's also a mind set. You have two choices when things don't quite go your way. Take it in your stride, or get annoyed. Either way, it takes the same effort. So why even bother going for the negative? Yes I dealt with strikes, delayed flights, and even pushy fellow passengers. But, I was either on my way to speak, or on my way home to my family - both were great reason to be happy. I made a choice to keep the right attitude and enjoy the moment. Imagine that you get annoyed with someone, or something to such a point that you that you really do get a heart attack. Is it really worth it? The reason I mention this is that for some or other reason I have noticed a lot of short tempers and aggression in public places during this month. It saddens me that so many people are so unhappy. It also makes me think of what I was taught by many people as a youngster. "Always count to ten before you react to anything." There is so much truth in that. It takes a few seconds to count to ten, and by then the adrenalin levels have had some time to drop, and the situation doesn't always lok so bad anymore.
We have also become so conditioned by the media as to what life is and is not about. I recently saw a new car advert where they actually associated the car with an inspired, balanced and happy life! Huh!? The sad thing is, people fall for this nonsense. The only person that can make you happy is yourself! You have to consciously make that decision and work at it.
I spoke at the Professional Speakers Association of Holland conference in Noordwijk last month, and what a tremendous time we had. A theme that came through strongly was, Being Authentic.
In today's world we all try to keep up appearances and portray a certain image. Is that who you really are? Can you imagine a world where everyone is open and honest, and content with who they are as a person? Where people don't constantly compare themselves to others and what they own or don't own? Wouldn't that be absolutely great? I cannot see why it can't be a reality. It all starts with just one person... and that person is you!
Easier said than done! How do I become authentic?
Actually, it's not that difficult. Firstly, show others that you are human and ask in everything that you do, "Is it making a difference to that person?"
I always come back to the '4 way test' of Rotary International for whom I have often spoken. From day one, their principles of service and fellowship struck a deep note in me.
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it build GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
No matter what religion, culture or background you come from. Don't you agree that if we all just asked those 4 questions before doing anything - the world would be a better place?
So as a start to finding the real you, ask yourself,
Am I being true to myself and everyone around me?
Am I being fair to myself and others I meet in my daily activities?
Am I looking for the good in everyone I meet and making the effort to foster friendships? Or do I sit back and expect others to make the first move?
Am I giving without expecting in return and trying to live in the moment. A gift is not necessarily always something materialistic, or a shoulder to cry on. It could be a simple genuine smile to a stranger opposite you in the train ... but it could just change that person's day.
More than often people ask me how I make time for my family. Often whenI describe my lifestyle, I can understand that people believe I am never at home. However, in reality, I have a rule that I will never be away from home for more than 4 nights in a month. Occasionally I may push it to a week, but that is very rare. Anything over that, my family comes with.
Balance is of utmost importance in maintaining a happy lifestyle. Family should always come first, especially if you have children. It saddens me how many parents miss their children growing up and then complain at how fast time flies. Work, hobbies, friends and sport all take priority over family. One day when they are older, they regret not having spent spent more time with them. Especially if tragedy strikes and a loved one is taken from you. Then everyone cries and constantly wishes they could just have had 5 minutes more. Reality check! Now is the time - not tomorrow!
The time is now! In everything I do, I involve my family. Everywhere we go, the girls come too. If friends invite me over and say that no children are allowed... guess what - I don't go! They are not worth having as friends. If I do a sporting activity, or have a hobby, I share it with my family. When last have you played monopoly or chess with your kids? Today it's all about psp's, surfing the net and every conceivable activity which alienates us. Make an effort to focus on family unity and get to know your spouse and kids again. It does make for a more authentic you. You need people close to you to bring you back to ground level. On that note, I cannot strongly enough recommend "Cash Flow for Kids" by Robert Kiyosaki (The Rich Dad Poor Dad Author). The schooling system won't teach your children about economics and money - this game does, and it's more fun than Monopoly, plus the kids love it. Bonus - they learn real live financial skills.
That's one thing I can say about my wife, with all my successes and TV celebrity status, if I ever got a big head, she brought me down to earth immediately. She loves and cares enough for me to show me the way when I falter. Does your spouse do that for you too? Even my daughters are like that. I will never forget on a Magic TV series a few years ago. I was stressing tremendously with all the politics and hierarchy issues from the national broadcaster. Eventually after surviving the unwanted stress, my youngest daughter walks into the studio and comments, "It so boring when you know how it works!" (She was referring to the tricks!) Well I never, I just sank down and hugged her. You see, I had been ignoring her due to the production stress - she couldn't understand it. I mean, the tricks in her eyes were so easy. What was my problem. She didn't see all the other surrounding nonsense. It made me realise that everything around me wasn't worth getting annoyed about. The most important issue there, was my daughter.
If I look at all the times I have had to be steered back in the right direction, it's always been my wife, or daughters. Would they have been able to do this if there wasn't a close-nit family unit? I don't think so! Appreciate and spend time with your family and people that care about you.
Lastly, be honest with yourself. There is a saying that goes something along the lines of, "If you constantly lie to others about yourself, don't believe that it only fools them!"
Yes, the world is cut throat, we have to earn money to make ends meet and pay bills. But, how much of what we buy, is really necessary? Is cable TV, or a new car really a defining issue in your happiness? I have met countless people who followed their dreams after they retired. Suddenly they were making more money than ever before, and wished they had done so sooner. Remember, if you honestly follow your passion, your energy levels will be higher than those that don't. The Law of Attraction will look after you ... but only if you are truly honest with yourself and take that responsibility.
Stop blaming family, friends, your boss, the previous government, etc. Take the responsibility on yourself to become authentic, and make that conscious decision to live the life you deserve to lead.
We can find 1000 reasons not to do something, but we only need 1 reason to start something!