The Voices Made Me Do It


So, it’s not that often that you really test yourself, right? I mean, that’s not just me is it, that sometimes has that fleeting feeling (OK sometimes more lingering than fleeting) that I might be, just a little, sitting on the side lines of life a bit much?? Anyone? No? Yes?  Are there other self-called-“in-betweeners” out there? Maybe you’re an over-achiever having an attack of conscience; maybe you just don’t quite tackle life with the vivre that you used to and sometimes that bothers you… maybe, I don’t know – you’ve had a couple kids and somewhere along the way you got seriously responsible and in your darkest moments in the darkest corners of your mind you might even use the word ‘boring’ or at least sickeningly reasonable to describe yourself.   Like, with a capital S – maybe….



Here’s the thing, I originally jumped mostly because I didn’t like the idea that I was letting fear hold me back. How’s that for messed up? lol Happily, I managed to change my focus from debilitating fear, to adrenalin-pumping excitement and that meant I was able to enjoy every moment – me ‘she-who-analyses-and-is-super-careful’…. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still had butterflies aflocking en-masse in my stomach for days beforehand and I had a few ‘oh shit!!’ moments throughout (I cleaned up the language. You’re welcome).



But from the moment I stepped into that harness till the moment I came down to earth again (bodily at least), I had a manic grin stuck on my face. It was nothing short of epic and I can’t find the words to explain everything I felt, and how incredible it was. I could NOT stop smiling…. I mean I have about 300 photos of the 30 minute adventure and I am smiling in about 295 of them.  It’s funny, in the photos, Danny, the instructor-type-guy has this cool repertoire of faces and poses for the go-pro and pics, while I, it turns out, when pushed out of an airplane, instantly and consistently adopt gangsta hand gestures and a completely incongruent, ridiculously large and somewhat maniacal goofy grin.

It’s like it was an automatic response; as if my hands are trying to be cool but they didn’t let my face in on the plan; honestly, I just couldn’t get the grin off my face, I was having that much fun.


Oh shit

Oh shit


My internal voice from roller coaster rides that literally screams “I’M GONNA DIE” had been magically (O.K. it was via NLP rather than magic in the classic Houdini sense) transformed into “I WAS MADE FOR THIS. I AM FLYING. THIS IS AWESOME. OH MY GOD. HOLY COW!) (I may have used an alternative non-noun in place of ‘cow’). But, well, you get the idea. I had a ball. I lived in the moment. I accepted the fear as part of the excitement and went with it and the experience I created as a result was incredibly gratifying, uplifting (if you’ll excuse the pun) and highly rewarding (yep pun city here lol). What’s more is it didn’t go as I expected. I mean I was hopeful but by no means sure I was going to enjoy this. I literally took a spare pair of pants and undies just in case my excitement trans-mutated back into bowel-loosening fear and a fresh pair of undies was required. So, in that context, you can (I hope) forgive a bit of self-congratulation here – no additional change of clothes were needed at any point! It was much, much more, and far more enjoyable than I expected. It was everything I had dreamed even. Go me. OK, enough self-congratulations, this is appalling. I apologise – my only excuse is I am still high, lol. But enough about little old me…

What can YOU get out of this?

Two things: 1. I’m laying down the gauntlet – a challenge to the dormant awesomeness that is also in you. Let it out! Go be awesome. Don’t wait. Don’t be reasonable. Don’t put everyone and everything else first. Not this time. Go do something crazy fun and don’t apologise for it or even look back at the people gawking as you do it. Live your life at a level you never have, even if it’s just for a while. Do something that scares you just a bit – or even a lot. Do it because you can and because you’re worth it (sorry Lorreal, we knew that before you knicked it). Do it because you owe it to your future self who will otherwise look back and hate you for wasting the chances you didn’t even realise you were missing because you were to busy with life or business as usual. If you’re a ‘toward person’ (motivated to achieve something), do it because you can imagine all the epic fun or havoc you could wreak when you engage your curiosity and adopt your own unique ‘what the hell’ attitude….


If you’re an ‘away from person’ (motivated to avoid bad/negative things) do it because your future self will indeed metaphorically (or perhaps literally depending on technological advances in time travel by then) one day otherwise reach back through time and kick your butt for being so complacent and maybe even just a little boring. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking there will be time for your awesome adventures later. That is arrogant and short-sighted and quite possibly false. Greatness happens when you push your boundaries. Go be great. And #2? Don’t stop, make it a habit. This is a reminder to myself too, as well as a call to action for you. Have you heard people say of motivation or awesome leadership or the like “If only we could bottle this, we’d be rich!” So bottle the energy, (anchor that feeling you create during your awesome adventure – any good NLP practitioner can quickly help you learn how to do this) and make it work for you over time. My plan now is to harness this new feeling of aliveness and able-ness and achievement I created today by doing something so epic and challenging, and to keep that new energy going.



I want to ride this high to new heights of happiness & achievement and I can see how I’m going to do that. I’m going to use the renewed energy and self-confidence I’ve found to do more EVERY DAY, even if it’s just one small thing, because we know don’t we, that is the many little things that make the difference, as much as the less frequent big decisions. Thus, through small changes in my actions, focus, habits and beliefs I’m going to make an even more magical and amazing life than I already have – for myself and my wonderful little whanau. My first step was writing this blog – my audacity to recognise my awesomeness yesterday and share it to hopefully resonate with and inspire your own. My second step/process is to implement a daily check – I’m going to ask myself ‘and what else can I do?’ and ‘what else do I want more of or less of, or to be different’. And what have I or will I do today to get it? Then I’m gonna chase that like a dog chases a stick: With joy and excitement and energy, enjoying all the moments along the way.


So, that’s a bit about my skydive. That started with one step. Admittedly it was a very long step. J Never-the-less today I challenged myself to do more than I was sure I could do, and my reward was priceless. I’d love to hear what you do if what I’ve shared resonates with you too. Feel free to drop me a line. P.S. Originally I was going to talk about NLP and the specific processes (chaining anchors and anchoring mostly) I used to prepare for this. If such NLP processes & solutions interest you please feel free to contact me, I’m happy to tell you more. In the meantime, focus less on the mundane and make your whole life an adventure one small change at a time; get outside your comfort zone, be awesome and don’t stop – who knows, perhaps we’ll see each other long the way.

Now Its as Simple as 1-2-3: The Final 3 Secrets to Staying Motivated!

OK, so, you’ve got the first 3 steps under your belt – where to from here?

Why not take some advice from the fabulous though leader Simon Sinek – and his book (available in audio format too, which I highly recommend) ‘Start with Why’

Secret Number 4 is very much based on the concept behind this book – that is ‘Know what drives You’

4 - do you know what you really wantDon’t worry about what should drive you or take for granted what used to drive you.  Instead, really ask yourself this question “what gets you going?”  or if you prefer a higher level strucgture to that question “What’s your ‘why’ in your career or as a person?”

  • Now brainstorm it. Know that its 100% OK if there is more than one thing just as its OK if your answers are generic or tentative. Keep going. Keep digging. Keep searching.  These approaches may help:
  • What are the common things about your favourite pastimes that give you a sense of what drives you? In other words, why do you like doing them? What do you get from them that is important to you?
  • What is the best part of your work day. Even if that’s getting home. What are you searching for relief from? Flip this to find your driver/s.
  • Why are you doing what you’re doing? If the best answer you can come up with is ‘money’, please see secret #1 and challenge if the belief that this is the only one is still valid for you.  OR, if you answer ‘money’ and that feels good to you/there is no sense of inner conflict or loss of energy – more power to you – there is no problem.
  • Ask yourself too ‘ and what else’ and see what else you discover.

5 - ask yourself what makes you come aliveKnowing what drives you – tapping into your ‘why’ for being here will keep you focused on the big picture objective and help you see the forest when you’re lost in the trees.  For some people though, thats never the problem, for some people its the opposite that is hard. You know your ‘why’. You’re clear about what you want, you just don’t have an idea on how to get from where you are now, to where you want to be.



That brings us to Secret #5 – Chunk it Down - that is break it down into steps that are not overwhelming and from which  you can see progress.

Chunking it down starts by asking yourself more powerful questions like:

  1. “Whats one thing I CAN do now that gets me closer?”  It doesn’t have to be a big step, it just has to be something you can do right away that shows you you’re on track.  
  2. “What is my next big milestone?” Now identify the rest of these and put them on a timeline that you feel is realistic.

4 - steps to your goalNow go back and repeat step 1, related to the milestones you’ve identified.  You might even come up with 2 or 3 things you can do, and as you achieve each – cross them off and check you have the next step lined up.  You dont have to see the top of the staircase to take that next step! Just START.

Have a clear idea in your mind of how these steps you take are contributing to your success – directly or indirectly and this leads you nicely to



Secret #6 – CELEBRATE now – don’t wait!

success is a journey quoteNo matter how much we read otherwise or hear it sung from the rafters – success truly is a journey, not a destination – yet all too often we fail to remember this.

Believing that success is a destination means that we resist failure – we experience it as a negative event and it can very easily knock our motivation, causing us to challenge ourselves, doubt our ability and even our worth.  When we recognise that we are in the process of being successful, it not only brings our attention back to the ‘now’ but it helps us value whatever we experience along the way, without judging ourselves or allowing the judgments of others to bring us down.  If we know success is the journey, we cannot be a failure – even if we experience ‘failure’ along the way.


success - you too can own this face of accomplishmentWhen we frame our experiences that way, we remember to celebrate our progress ‘good’ or ‘bad’. We can appreciate the lessons in what may on the face of it look like ‘failure’ and we start to celebrate our resilience, or uniqueness and our wins along the way.  We start empowering ourselves, without feeling that the judgment of others define us. This internal frame of reference is empowering and liberating.


Now THAT is a powerful way to stay motivated. Worth thinking about, isn’t it?



The 6 Secrets to Staying Motivated: #3 – Fake it TO Make it!

OK, so we’ve all heard of the mind-body link and you can probably think if you try now of a time when you weren’t sure if your mood created your day or your day created your mood. The answer of course is yes. Both are true.

What we focus on determines our thoughts and feelings, which influences our actions, which creates the results we get and all of this is driven by our beliefs. Logical when you think about it – but have  you stopped to consider the incredible ramifications?  This means if I’m not living the day/life I want to live, I can start to change that simply by changing my thinking and my behaviours.  In a nutshell -

3 - fake it till you make it CEO at desk

If you’re not yet as successful as you want to be: fake it TO make it! It’s not cheating, its a step on the path to your success – yes, I’ll explain…





3 - fake it till you make it - smiley face held up in front of head

If you’re not as happy as you want to be: fake it TO make it so.







3 - fake it till you make it - Ali

This is the age old ‘chicken vs egg’ conundrum: which comes first? Your excellence or your belief it is so?  Your happinesss or your decision to be happy?  If the idea of faking it bothers you, consider that even for the most successful people in the world, the knowing did not necessarily come before the doing, the ‘being great’ could not possibly come before creating the situations in which they proved themselves to be so, and in fact, the ‘knowing how’ did not necessarily precede the acceptance of the challenge that they would find a way.  The great people that have gone before us took a leap of faith – sink or swim style and realised they could swim.  Before we can prove we can, we need to create the opportunity or platform to perform.  In this way we NEED to fake it TO make it. So…

Will you?

And what does this mean for you and staying motivated?

We often go through life thinking we need to avoid stress, only bite off as much as we can chew, but what we often forget to remember is that a certain level of stress (called ‘eustress’) is actually a good, motivating thing.  We NEED to challenge ourselves and stretch ourselves sometimes.   So, how do we turn this into actionable steps?

It’s simple really… Two thoughts worth thinking about:

2 - no victims model

If it feels scary, move your focus from just what could go wrong, to what could go right and really weigh it up – remember living happens outside of your comfort zone so challenge yourself - Make sure you venture outside of the known sometimes.

Remind yourself that that’s where excellence and growth occurs.  Without giving ourselves the opportunity to succeed our motivation can wane.

So, it’s worth considering that by putting yourself out there you create space and opportunity for new experiences, achievements and greater satisfaction and recognition.  Some people are motivated by internal satisfaction (that comes through stretching ourselves and knowing we did well), and others also enjoy external recognition – so go on – stretch yourself, focus on what is possible, even if you need to fake it for a while. You’ll likely surprise yourself and learn some amazing things along the way.

3 - fake it till you make it quote from katy perry

And, in summary – one final thought to leave you with.  It’s not so much fake it till you make it so much as fake it TO make it – simply because action begets opportunity, and putting yourself out there could be the step you’ve been missing till now, in creating your greater success, happiness and fulfillment!

So, go well and think big. Have a positive, productive and pro active day!

The 6 Secrets to Staying Motivated: #2 Live in the Moment

live in the moment - even when there are clouds its still fineWe’ve all heard it before, especially when things get tough… ‘Just take it one day at a time’, ‘live in the now’. But why is that such powerful advice, and more importantly, how do we do that (because sometimes it’s not so much wanting to do something that’s the challenge, but rather knowing how).

So, what’s so great about ‘now’? Did you know that if you’re truly ‘living in the now’ you can’t be doing depression or accessing anxiety?

When we live fully in the moment not only are we connected with those around us and engaged 100% in what we are doing – we are paying attention to the gift of the present and the lessons and treasures therein. Even more powerfully, when we do this we can’t be feeling anxious or depressed; it’s just not possible.

OK, that sounded way too deep and generalised for you didn’t it? But it really is that simple – research and experience in the field proves it.

Let’s break it down so you too can really consider how simply depression and anxiety (chronic or subtle/transient) work, and in doing so, start to avoid heading down those slippery slopes that can demotivate and take us ‘off track’.

anxiety cycleThink about the last time you felt anxious. I mean really go back in your mind and experience that… Got it? OK, what were you focusing on when you were feeling that anxiety? Something in the future, right? Specifically, you were worrying about what might come, what might be – some anticipated event and possible outcome. AND you were doubting if you’d be able to handle it ‘correctly’ or well. You made all sorts of images or played out all sorts of scenes in your mind of things going wrong – catastrophically or ‘realistically’ – but all imagined, because it hadn’t happened yet (and probably it never did when the time came too).  No wonder you started to feel demotivated and upset! The unconscious mind is a very powerful thing – it acts on the cues you give it and it can be very convincing.

Anxiety robs us of the joy of now, generally out of habit and/or with the ironic intention of this ‘awareness’ making us more successful by preparing us to act now. The problem is we get so tied up in the negative scenarios it can send us into a negative state or spin so that we are actually LESS able of taking action and our negative emotions can start to create a new problem that didn’t even exist before.

So remember – worry and anxiety are like paying interest on a mortgage you may never have. Where’s the sense in that?

When you feel anxious make a conscious effort to stop and ask yourself these powerful questions:


  1. “What is the worst that could happen?”   … Now half it.  Now half it again.  And again and again until the feeling/imagined scenario reduces and you begin to feel calmer and more in control.
  2. “What is the best that could happen?” Enjoy imagining that best case scenario too and see how that changes your energy level and thinking about your upcoming event.
  3. “What is this  ‘anxiety’ trying to tell me to do? What is the positive intention/action I can focus on NOW?”

Once you’ve separated the intent from the emotion you are free to let go of it and take action. Power, empowerment and results come from taking positive action and bring you back into the now.

The same is true of depression. Depression occurs when we start generalising negatively about the past so it starts to overwhelm and incapacitate us. By living fully in the ‘now’ in this moment we bring our focus back to what we have and can do, and that action can lift us out of our worry, confusion and negativity.

So remember: live in the now – that’s why its called the ‘present’ – it’s a gift we can give ourselves at any moment and when we do, all sorts of new possibilities become apparent.

Have a positive, powerful week, and stay tuned for part 3: How to fake it till you make it – creating a positive, powerful every-day mind-set.

6 Secrets to Staying Motivated Series – Secret 1: Challenge Your Perception

Have you ever stopped to really consider how you create your experience of your world? It’s exciting to do so, because when we fully understand how we create our experience, this awareness allows us to make better decisions: to implement better thinking and communication strategies and in doing so – to create a more positive, productive approach to generate new levels of success.

Simply put, we experience the world directly through our senses. That is we see, hear, smell, touch, and/or taste the experience and environment around us. That information is instantly fed through our unique filters which colour or shape the meaning we give it. Our unique filters include our values and cultural norms, our expectations, our past experiences and associated beliefs, and our personalities. The raw, sensory data is passed through these filters and from this we create a map of the situation which influences our feelings and thoughts, and elicits a response so we can navigate the experience.

2 - Our lives are made up of a million momentsThe challenge is that this happens instantaneously and unconsciously; and because it happens so quickly it feels like the way we ‘see’ or experience that situation IS that situation.  We forget that our map is nothing more than our best interpretation or map of the situation at the time, AND that others may be experiencing it quite differently. What we don’t know, until we stop to challenge our thinking, is whether our map is aiding us, or creating problems such as frustration, failure or conflict.

Using a flawed, incomplete or inappropriate map can lead us to black/white or right/wrong judgments which often result in conflict and can leave us and the others around us unhappy, demoralised and disenchanted. We tend to trust our perceptions/map of situations because our maps have worked for us in the past in situations which we have implicitly judged as similar; so we assume they apply again.

But consider this – while you may have used a measuring tape many, many times in your life to get an accurate measure, you wouldn’t look at a measuring tape through a magnifying glass because it would distort your perception of how big it is/seems. The magnifying glass – while a useful tool in some scenarios, is not always going to give us the same result. More focus on one area distorts our view so we need to check what maps/tools we use to ensure our success.

So – how do we avoid the pitfalls of automatic assumptions that can lead to despair, demoralisation and conflict? Simply by recognising that in any given situation it is your thinking or interpretation of it that is creating your experience. So, if that thinking is not working for you, here are two questions you can ask yourself to check if your map is aiding you in successfully navigating the situation:

  • How does this seem different if I personalise/depersonalise this?
  • In what way or context could this outcome/situation be a success?

We challenge our perception by asking powerful questions and when the insights we gain open up new paths and options. So next time you find yourself feeling demoralised by a situation or outcome, try the two questions above and notice what new ways of thinking and interpreting you discover and how that makes you feel.

Have a positive, productive week and stay tuned for part 2 of this series: how to embrace the power of living in the moment so the past doesn’t hold you back and the future doesn’t overshadow your journey right now.

Introducing The 6 Secrets to Staying Motivated Series

If you’ve ever said (to yourself or others) ‘if only I could stay motivated I could…’ then this series is for you.  It’s about leaving that ‘if only’ thinking behind by identifying clear, actionable steps you CAN take to achieve your goals and create the life you want to live. Further, this series will clarify what you’re doing right intuitively and give you further confidence in why; and just by reading each short blog you’re focusing your conscious and unconscious mind on creating new levels of success.

Remember: The difference between who you are now and who you ultimately want to be is finding the focus and path to get there.  A new Secret will be posted each week, so watch this space or sign up for our ‘free resources’ to receive notification of when of the 6 secrets has been posted!

Zig Ziglar motivation like bathing needs to be done daily

Is there really no ‘I’ in Teamwork?

We hear it all the time. For some of us, we picture a coach, manager or parental figure leaning over us in an authoritative and definite voice as they say or spray it at us: “There is NO ‘I’ in teamwork!”… But what if the reverse is true?! Why would it be, you may be thinking. Essentially because what we want and need today is not just a team, but a high-performing team – and that is the key word here – that high performance focus changes the ballgame and the strategy required to win it.

Simply put, there may be no ‘I’ in team, but there certainly is in ‘win’ and when you’re aiming for the moon, you need not just a team, but a team of stars to get there.
Still not convinced? Let’s look at the flaws in conventional wisdom and explore why being selfless (taking the ‘I’ out of team) CANNOT be conducive to creating a high performing team.

Is being selfless really what it takes to build a good team? And if so is that a good thing? Consider this: If we put everyone else’s needs before our own objectives, are we even doing our job – are we playing our part optimally? Probably not – And what is the psychological fall out if we also become a doormat in the process? If I feel unappreciated and demoralised, do I keep going? Will I be ready and able to keep supporting my team mates indefinitely?

Truth #1: A high performing team relies on every team member to be united AND accountable.

The real truth of the matter is that high performing team require accountability. And there is no accountability without ‘I’. So the question then becomes how do I promote that sort of accountability? That sort of engagement and commitment to doing my role to be part of the team’s success?

There’s a special recipe to achieving that. Let’s break this down to some clear steps and explore how you can use this new insight to drive excellence & success in your team. Let’s consider the psychological process we each go through when we commit to a team ideal or goal. It breaks down to some simple steps you can take to use this knowledge to build a more effective team in your workplace or organisation, because let’s face it – it takes more than a cliché here and there to make it work in practice.

I call these the 5 ‘C’s of accountability and as a leader you can help each team member take these steps to accountability:

  1. Check the people involved are CAPABLE and have the capacity to do what is required of them
  2. Make sure your team-members are each CLEAR on what is expected of them
  3. Establish the CONSEQUENCES of teamwork, success and failure so the want to step up
  4. Develop their CONFIDENCE so they stay engaged and on top of things
  5. Ensure they are COMMITTED to the big picture goal – get agreement and discover their ‘why’ to help them stay focused on that objective.

Food for thought – next time you see someone in your team not performing or ‘being a team player’ focus not on helping them downplay their role or be selfless, but on the practical steps above to help them reconnect with the team’s ‘why’ so they bring their individual excellence to bear on your team’s ultimate goal. Aim for the moon in this way and you will create stars – step by step.

Getting what you want

Make Things HappenHave you ever noticed that when we talk about the good stuff, it sounds scary?  I mean we ’break barriers’, or ‘tackle challenges’, to ‘hit’ or even better ‘smash targets’, we sound quite a violent bunch really, don’t we?

But seriously, the search for personal or business success is a journey, and journeys are often fraught with adventures and challenges (expected and otherwise) – that’s what makes the experience so memorable.  In a nutshell, a successful journey or venture requires two things –

1) Taking deliberate action

2) Taking a risk

Getting Ourselves To Take The Leap

In order to go to such lengths we must first furnish ourselves with motivation.  Ah motivation, that much courted, often allusive of states… So, how do we achieve it?  Motivation occurs when we identify something we really want and don’t yet have, but that in itself is not enough.  We must also believe that we have the capability to bridge the gap between where we are, and where we want to be.

So,  simply put these are the basic ingredients to success!

  1. Knowing what you want
  2. Believing you could achieve it
  3. Having a plan and commitment to actioning it

So Simple…

As simple as 1, 2, 3… literally!  But number 1 alone has been the topic of millions of books, counselling session and woeful sagas (without even ‘tackling’ 2 and 3).  As pleasure-seeking beings, it seems counter-intuitive to me that when it comes down to it, so many of us ultimately have absolutely no clue what we want.  I think though that the problem here is in fact less about not being aware, and more about being too aware.

No really, please bare with me (sp?) I mean bear with me?…hmm that could send quite a different message… please work with me on this!… Think back to your childhood. Back when you were a tot did you know then what would make you happy? What did you want to do?  What was you dream? Did you want to be a vet? a doctor? Superman/woman? lol

So OK, not all of our dreams are achievable but many of us never give ourselves the opportunity to find out, because we bring ’reality’ crashing down on ourselves as we grow up, and become more aware of the barriers which might get in our way.

Instant Gratification Overload

This pattern seems to cut across cultures, countries, oceans and generations. It’s one of the things that got me interested in professional & personal development – my ‘I want it now’ approach to life, left me wondering what might be possible if I just tried – odds and barriers be damned.  But that light-bulb moment is another story.  That story to follow.  Have you thought about what dreams you’ve marked as ‘unrealistic’ and let go?  What barriers get in your way? Or when you don’t let them what do you work around, minimise or negotiate them?

One final thought to close; it’s a [paraphrased] famous quote, one of my favourites:

‘Barriers are what we see, when we take our eyes off the prize!’

So remember, if it seems hard right now, change your focus – literally put your chin up and mentally think forward to your end goal – where your motivation is. Tap back into the dream, the vision, the prize that makes it worth it and recognise that this moment/situation you’re in right now is just a ‘blip’, a leg of the journey to achieving your end goal.

The only thing that fundamentally will stop you achieving it, is if you let those barriers deter you and give up.  Your success truly is up to you, and the key to achieving it is in having a focus that serves you at the time.

Karma, purpose, and every day lessons

Take RisksI got a parking ticket the other day. I should tell you that I’m normally very good, very careful, an ‘honest to goodness’, accepting of the ‘user-pays’ philosophy type of gal.

This particular time however I had the choice of being late for an appointment, or playing the odds and seeing if I could have my cake and eat it too. I did a quick mental risk analysis and decided I’d play the odds, figuring that making a positive first impression would be with the $15-20 ticket if I should be unlucky enough to get stuck with one.


So, OK, they did indeed stick it to me (well, to my window screen actually) …. And it wasn’t $15, or even $20, in fact it was a $40 infringement notice!! ‘Fiddlesticks!’ I thought when I saw the amount, or words to that effect!…

If I’m honest, I didn’t really think it would happen and that was a big factor in my decision. For some reason I thought the universe would with some great karmic understanding recognise that this was me: ’Ms well-meaning, upright citizen, not in need of a financial reprimand’ and somehow make the parking warden decide to not walk down that street at that time (as they probably do every day). Crazy huh?

Points To Ponder…

The story illustrates some interesting points to ponder though. Here’s the lessons or useful ‘rules of thumb’ that occurred to me:

1) If you’re gonna take a risk, be willing to take the possible consequence – and

2) Be aware that sometimes you can’t foresee the totality of the consequences!

3) Your expectations create your perception – If I hadn’t put the $15-$20 trade-off in my mind, $40 may not have seemed so extreme.

4) (And most importantly) you can focus on the details, or the big picture. In most situations you can choose to be the victim or the victor. Yes, I had to pay the fine (‘victim’), but even at twice as much as I had anticipated, I still don’t regret the decision to choose promptness and good first impression over some money in my wallet. The big picture view, and clarity of purpose and values leaves me feeling solid in my decision (‘victorious), rather than foolish or like a victim of bad luck/timing.

One More Lesson…

And finally, I learned that while the world might care how good, kind and well-meaning you are, and karma may well affect our everyday lives – it didn’t have squat over the parking warden that day! lol (thought I’d finish on a light note).

I know this is a light-hearted post, but it’s amazing the different lessons people take from every-day experiences and I’m interested to see if you take any other learning’s from my experience. So, do feel free to share your comments/thoughts! Cheers!

Leadership and You

Leadership is a journeyGlobally we are going through a time of great change – we see it in our economy, we see it in changing societal norms, we see it the leaps and bounds that science and technology are taking. With change comes opportunity; opportunity for diversity, opportunities for innovation, opportunities for leadership.

As leaders – be it managers, business owners or community leaders these challenges will either make or break us and the people around us. Our biggest challenge is in finding the right buttons to push, to encourage people to be the victors not victims in their story/situation.

What Makes The Difference

The difference between this being a trying, harrowing time, and a time of opportunity and achievement lies largely with those who step up to lead people through the change. It is strong leaders that see options or even opportunities where other people cannot see past interim struggles and barriers.

Such leaders remain positive and forward-focused, and communicate this to their team. They value and listen to their people in order to understand their wants and needs. Their vision will inspire others because it will be delivered in a way that is real and meaningful to these individuals, enabling the leader to capture their hearts and minds and in doing so lead people towards a common goal/success.

Individuals follow great leaders because they believe that achieving that vision will deliver outcomes they too personally value. Finding out what drives people especially in times plagued with negative press and economic challenges, is key to keeping people motivated.

So, How Do You Do This?

The Top 4 rules of thumb I’ve followed in regards to leadership are:

1) Seek first to understand, then to be understood

2) Know what is important and never, never, NEVER give up (Good old Churchill)

3) The process is as important as the outcome – So look after your people, give them the chance to shine, support them in achieving the vision.

4) Your communication is defined by the response you get. It doesn’t matter if you had the best intention or strategy in the world, if your people don’t get it; you aren’t likely to achieve it! So communicate regularly and meaningfully.

When Is Now The Right Time?

People look to leaders most in times of challenge and change, so now is a time for leaders to step up, look ahead, and get people excited and focused on what they can control and achieve. Motivation is created when people identify something they want and believe they have the capacity or resources to achieve it. At its core, leadership is really about motivating others toward a shared goal and direction.

There’s a lot more to it of course, leadership is an art as much as it is a skill, but these rules of thumb are a good start in moving people towards a positive future.

Interested in learning more? Check out our Pro Activate Leadership Training for more on how you can develop your leadership skills and approach.