Tag Archives: Self-Help

MIND OVER MATTER – VERSION 2

Richards Arrows

For those of you who have looked at my post MIND OVER MATTER. Here is a little something extra.

Over the weekend I was clearing some stuff from my loft at the house. I can across an old bag. In this bag were these broken arrows. I had a wonderful memory of how these became broken. The story of which I will share with you now.

We have all heard of the ‘Fire Walks’ or ‘Walk of Trust’ or whatever people call them. This is where you walk across hot coals. I am sure we have all seen this done in various website and you tube clips. These types of things can be very empowering when done in the right way.

There some people who do workshops on this theme. Where they get them to break a piece of wood that is in front of them. The basis of this is, the mind says, that woods too thick, and it essence it is only as strong as you think it is. So, when you go to break the wood you are hitting through it – focussing on what is behind the wood.

I had a similar experience with these arrows. These are wooden arrows, not knowing much about them. All I can tell you is that the name on the side is CAJUN Archery Inc and it says BOW WT. UP TO 35#. They have feather flights with a plastic knock on the end. On the other end they have an aluminium arrow head. The length is around 63 cm or 25 inches. You only use wooden arrows for this.

How I broke this arrow is very strange and interesting. I was asked to think of a current challenge in my life – which I did. I stood face to face with another person. This other person put the end with the plastic knock against a square piece of wood. This was to hold it in place. Then I was then asked to put the other end of the arrow (the aluminium head) against my throat, near to my Adam’s apple. I was asked to walk forward on to this arrow.

Yes – you are reading this right – stepping forward on to this arrow shaft with its arrow head to my throat.

It snapped, thus breaking or exploding the myth or belief around my views on this challenging situation. I was quite stunned as to how quick it broke.

Do you know, when I reflected on the challenge that I did have in my head. It was no longer a challenge at all – it was quite diminished. I faced my fear about being hurt by this arrow and by doing so helped me with my challenge at the time.

I must stress, that this was done in a controlled environment with qualified people. I do not recommend that you do this yourself.

We all have to face things in life; we have to deal with all sorts of ‘stuff’ day in day out. The best way to sort this out is to actually deal with it and not put it off anymore.

Simple Mind over Matter – Do not take my word for it, try it yourself.

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Have You Ever Hit A Brick Wall?

There are times in our business and private lives when we hit that brick wall. This term will mean different things to different people. For me it is when I am not getting where I need to be, to some it will be just a state of de-motivation or stress.

Ask yourself this:-
1.) Have you ever put off making that phone call because you cannot be bothered?
2.) Have you run round all day at the office and not got a thing done?
3.) Do you ever sit in your chair and just sit there looking busy?
4.) Have you got so many balls in the air – you are not sure which one to deal with next?
5.) Are you due some time off?

You may or may not agree with any of the 5 points above – they are just examples to stimulate your mind – so that you know where I am coming from.

What you are experiencing is a state of flux, a stopped state of mind that just cannot process all those things going round in your head. You may feel that if you got up and made a cup of coffee or go to the bathroom that this will unstick this stuck state. Not so.

What is happening for you is that your head will be down, dashing around all over the place. Task after task after task – that is what it seems like to you while you are in this state of mind. It is called an Associated State – this is where your head is totally immersed in what you are doing.

To change this state you need to do something. There are a couple of techniques I will share with you:-

a.) Move from where you are sitting, change the environment. When it is safe to do so – simply raise your head and stroke the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth. It will tickle a bit, however by doing this brings you out of that state of mind.

b.) When you are at home – away from the office. I want you to find your favourite chair and sit there. Close your eyes and see yourself in the office, doing what you have been doing recently. So you are observing you. See how you’re sat, your body language, and the tension on your face and see how you are coming across to other people.

By using one or both of these two techniques you will find that you dis-associate from the issues at hand. It will give to you a clearer picture of what is going on. This way you can take action – the great benefit of this is that you will become more productive.

Don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself.

Have a great day.

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Rock Bottom – The Next Chapter

Richards Rock
Now that you have read about how I hit rock bottom. The next chapter is what I did next. When I returned from Beaumaris after sitting on the beach in November, totally numb about my whole situation. I had an old VW Passat. I had a quarter tank of petrol and £10 in my wallet, and, I had to get back home. So I drove the whole way at 30 miles per hour – just to save fuel. If I had driven at normal speed on the motorway – I would not have made it.

A while went by when I decided to give my car a darn good cleaning – top to bottom inside and out. I allocated a whole weekend for this. So I got prepared and did it. When I got to the boot I cleaned the boot carpet and even polished the inside of the boot lid. In a VW Passat there are two little recesses at either side. I removed the bits that had fallen in there and vacuumed it. The vacuum when into overdrive – I wondered why. It was trying to suck up that rock! I had forgotten all about it, as it had rolled out of a bag and fell in the recess – it had been there for a long time.

When I held it up to the sunlight, I just smiled. That is when I realised that this rock was shaped by all sort of forces and had become the shape it was. Again, the thought struck me that I was shaped by other people, other situations – leading a life where it was not me.

When I was running one of my Accredited Diploma Courses in Coaching and Mentoring. I had the notion to tell my Rock Story – so I did. I took this one stage further by giving each person a little round rock of their own before they depart for home. This was my personal present to them – they now had control of this rock, not me. I informed them that they are in charge of that rock – as they are now in charge of themselves. The metaphor here is that they and no-one else, now shapes their future. They can facilitate this with the tools that I had given them on the course. Oh, they may decide to throw it away, put it in their sock draw or put it on their rockery in the garden – the important thing was, it was their choice to do that not mine.

I have still people who still have their rock. In fact I met a lady the other day who said to me “I’ve still got that rock you gave me”. This particular person used to be the MD of a multi million turnover business in the UK. In turn this company was bought by a global player in their field of expertise. She decided to leave and set up her own Global Technical Marketing Organisation. She is doing very well in her new venture, getting clients and imparting her marketing knowledge across the globe.

I am also in contact with another lady who used to have a global role in a German Pharmaceutical Company. She re-shaped herself also when she had her own rock; she gave her old self back to herself. Which is exactly what I did. She subsequently changed to another Global Pharmaceutical Company, and she now runs their Far East Division. She informed me in a recent email that her rock sits on her desk in her office and has pride of place.

For me, when I do something for someone, either Coaching or Mentoring I do not expect anything in return. However, it is lovely when I hear that my Rock Story itself has now gone Global!

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Motivated People

I am sure that you have come across motivated people in the past. They come from all walks of life and from all sectors. The one thing that they have in common, is that their motivation have been sparked by something.

That something is a connection with what they are doing and what is important to them. Sounds simple does it not – not so simple as we would all do it. We have people in industry who are motivated by climbing the corporate ladder. To get a better job and reap the rewards that those roles bring. However some of them are being motivated by what they think the company wants. Not necessarily in line with what that individual is truly motivated by.

They will give the appearance of being motivated by success, achievement and / or money. In truth they are individuals who are really motivated by people first – then money / achievement second. These are people to are tigers in the office – driven and can come across as quite rude or aggressive in the role they play for the company. Then when they go home, they give themselves a hard time about how they have treated the staff that day. This is an internal conflict – not good for anyone to have going on for them.

I am sure we can all put our hand in the air and say “Yes – I know someone like that”. The truth is they are operating out of what I call conditioned values or conditioned motivations. As I said before, they are acting this way – because they think that’s the way the company wants them to behave. rather than their own personal motivations.

This internal conflict can lead to stress, excess use of alcohol, short fuses and the like. These issues can be sorted by identifying the individuals motivations first and then align them with the company’s. This way the person concerned knows where the boundary’s are – making a calmer more motivated employee.

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