Having fun creates energy!

images (2)It is all too easy to be so focused on the never ending list of “things that I aught to get done”, yet forget that having some fun can be a real stimulus for action. This week I have felt so tired, with aching joints, back pain and stress from work, that I could quite happily have spent the whole weekend in a dark room, thinking that I would surely feel better at the end of it.

Luckily though,  this morning I was in contact with my lovely daughter ( who I haven’t seen for a while) and we agreed that I would drive across today with my wife Julie to see Sarah, Carl and our gorgeous grandson Remy.

I have to admit that getting ready to go out felt like a chore – I laboured into the shower, then my back ached as I pulled my socks on, various joints groaned as I bent over to put my boots on and I could have quite easily settled on the settee, curled up watching some drivel on the box.

Once we were on the road though, I was really looking forward to seeing the Beaumonts; the sun was peeking through and even just to be out in the fresh air gave both of us a lift.

The amazing thing was the real feeling of joy as the door opened and there was that sweet welcoming smile of my little girl and behind her was our son-in-law with open arms, closely followed by their inspiring, adorable Remy, our grandson.

What followed, as the sunshine warmed the garden, was an afternoon of football, water pistol fights, bubble blowing and general “play time” in such a relaxed atmosphere and good spirit, that I felt 20 years younger all afternoon. The thing is, this dose of sheer enjoyment has given me a whole heap of energy and enthusiasm, that since I got home I have just ripped through jobs that would previously have taken an age to get round to. I just seem to have literally re-charged my batteries in a couple of hours and it feels great!

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The scary thing is, it would have been so easy just to have had a lazy Sunday at home, thinking that’s what I needed to prepare me for the tough week ahead. Now I’m quite literally “buzzing” from the fun, love and energy I enjoyed with family, that were only a short drive away.

It just seems that we all have so much to give to each other, but the pressures of modern life keep us from enjoying the pleasure of the company of our loved ones. Sometimes we have family disagreements and sometimes we just don’t see eye-to-eye, but when we just “go for it” with the innocence of children, we can be rewarded with such depth and warmth, that we can literally wind back the years.

Thank you Sarah, Carl & Remey. X

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Think small – to grow BIG.

Think small to grow BIG.

This may seem a strange title for a post, but bear with me on this one.

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I would like to tell a short story about the time when I used to teach youngsters to play brass instruments. My background in playing was in the world of brass bands and we were always actively encouraging any interested youngsters into the world of music and hopefully to the brass band that I was associated with.
This was around fifteen years ago, but at that time I had developed a group of about eight youngsters, between the age of eight and twelve, all playing a range of brass instruments (e.g. cornet, tenor horn etc) and I used to travel to their homes individually.

One of the biggest challenges was of course getting the youngsters to practice on a regular basis, as this is the only way to improve to any degree, but of course there are always lots of distractions, what with Super Mario, Television, Gameboy, Computer games etc, etc. So I discovered a brilliant way to show dramatic progress to these kids… and it worked a treat.
What I would do is record them playing any tune that they liked in one of the very first sessions that I took them for, and I would record this tune, but then tuck away the recording for at least seven or eight weeks. Then they were promised a major magical performance in a few weeks as an incentive. (They always took the bait for some reason). Then, over the next several weeks as I worked with them and encouraged them, I could usually hear a difference in their ability and sometimes this could be quite dramatic if they were keen enough to do a little practice each day (10 – 15 minutes can make a big difference at this age).
Then weeks later I would turn up and build up this occasion as promised into a dramatic magical performance, and all I would do is play them their own recording from many weeks previous. I can honestly say that the effect was always unbelievable!

You see on a day-to-day basis, they could not really notice any significant difference in their own playing ability, but after a period of many weeks, they would never believe that the old recording was actually them! They used to say things like “oh I was never as bad as that was I” or ” That can’t be me, I was never that bad!”. This worked every single time I used it, and it really did motivate them to push on with their playing when could actually hear for themselves how a little playing every day can make such a massive difference over a few weeks, they had indeed grown big!

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So hopefully now, you too have realised how familiar this all sounds in relation to us building an internet business!
Amongst the daily frustrations of trying to figure out things, get used to software packages, sort out emails, study forum comments etc, we lose sight and don’t appreciate the small increments of progress that we all make, with a little persistence.

That is why my title stated “Think small to grow big”, as I believe if we set ourselves a small target of say 30 days of action, with whatever strategy we have decided upon, but really push on right through those 30 days until the end – and then look at where we are and what progress we have made. I reckon with any sort of consistency in those 30 days we should see some real difference when we look back, and 30 days is not too long is it?  You can always see the end with a 30 day plan, right!

Like most of you, I have some big goals written down to inspire me and keep me focused on where I am going, but it is also important to have smaller targets to aim for, so that we can give ourselves a pat on the back when they are reached, as a means of self praise – sometimes we need that.

Brian B

Don’t Let Thoughts Halt Your Success

Don’t Let Thoughts Halt Your Success
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Do you ever find yourself flitting between the unstoppable surge of action and then the despair of doubt and procrastination?

I certainly have over the past few years, but recently I have done some research on how our minds work and I found some very interesting information which helps us understand why we sometimes loose direction on our path to success. Just as a quick example of how our minds can take over – do you ever wonder why some mornings we wake up feeling all ready to take on the world from the off; we feel full of energy, bounce out of bed and can’t wait to take on the world! Yet on another morning; we wake up feeling a little jaded, we reach over and hit the snooze button (a couple of times!), then we eventually rise from our pit, but never quite get into the right frame of mind that day and feel like time is running 20% slower somehow.
Well, there is no difference in our situation and we are perfectly healthy, IT’S OUR THINKING THAT’S DIFFERENT!, but if our thoughts are working against us; we have little chance of success at that time.

Now if we are simply aware of some thinking pitfalls, then we have a chance to overcome them and press on, but if we are not aware of them, they can really have a negative effect on us.

Automatic Thoughts
Just as we are not always conscious of the way we walk or how we drive a car, we are not always aware of our thinking. Some of our thinking is actually automatic, like our driving, and because if this our minds can churn over thoughts and ideas without us being conscious of it.

There are three kinds of automatic thoughts:
Neutral thoughts e.g. “I think I will buy some bread today”
Positive thoughts e.g. “This is something I can really do well”
Negative thoughts e.g. “I always find this hard, I must be stupid”

I’m sure you can all relate to these thoughts, but it’s the negative thoughts that can cause us some stress, and what I’m going to share with you is some examples of more subtle ways that these thoughts can creep into our daily activities. If we are not aware of them, these thought can really affect our moods and feelings at any given time, but if we can recognise them, we can swerve around them and move on with our goal to success.

My challenge to you is; do you recognise yourself in any of these unhelpful thinking styles?
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Thinking style – Mental Filter
When we use a Mental Filter, we “filter” in some information, while we “filter” out other types of information. This creates a kind of “tunnel vision”, where we focus on one part of a situation and ignore the rest. Often, this means looking at the negative part of a situation and forgetting the positive.

Here’s an example:
Maybe you are out for dinner with a long-term partner. (A partner that you think the world of, you love them wholeheartedly and your love grows stronger every day). Now, you have a lovely dinner and enjoy a really romantic evening, but you have a disagreement about the amount of tip to leave. Perhaps you stew over this disagreement in the car on the way home. What effect do you think this thinking style will have on the way you feel after that journey home? can you see how dwelling on one small negative detail over the many positive ones can change the whole picture? If you focus on the negative bit, then it’s likely that you will keep experiencing the negative feelings that go with it.

Thinking style – “Shoulding” & “Musting”
It’s quite common to use these words in our daily language and sometimes it’s useful and helpful e.g. “I should get this done” Or “I Must not get drunk when I’m driving”. But these kinds of words do become unhelpful when you use “should” and “must” statements which put unrealistic demands or pressure on yourself. If you find yourself thinking “well I must get that done, then I must do this, then I should really do this……”, when you know damn well that each job is actually a several hour task. Have you been realistic with the reality of the timing of these tasks?
Chances are, if you put too much pressure on yourself with these types of statements, you will feel guilty or disappointed.

Thinking style – Overgeneralisation
The key element to this thinking style is to take one instance of something, and to impose it on all future situations. You might find yourself messing up a task on some software and find yourself thinking “This is just typical” and telling yourself “this is how things always are with me” or “things always go wrong for me”, when in fact you have completed many such tasks well and have made great progress in the past, and there is much evidence to prove that fact.
If you think about personal relationships, you might notice a few overgeneralisations. Have you ever said “I always take out the rubbish”, “You never do anything romantic”, notice that these statements usually include the words “all”, “never”, “every”, when in most cases, the “all” and “never” are not as solid as we might think.

So, what do you think?…… can you hear yourself thinking any of these statements?
Can you see how it’s the feelings that are created by these thoughts that do the damage, as our thoughts certainly do have a direct bearing on our feelings, and of course our feelings really do have an impact on our actions.

There are actually about ten of these thinking styles and another post might dig a little deeper into these, but for now it’s important to recognise that there are negative thinking styles which are not helpful to us, but if we recognise them, we can aim around them, laugh at them and carry on our journey to success.

I would be most interested to hear if you recognise yourself in either of the thinking styles above, so please let me know.

Brian B.

The Learning Curve of an Internet Business

The Learning Curve of an Internet Business

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As we venture into any new field, hobby or business, there is always going to be some kind of learning curve. Now if we move sideways a little; say change employers, or set up our own business within our known field, there are still plenty  of things to refresh on, or re-train on etc.

But as a former mechanical engineer, I have found the challenge of overcoming the technical side of starting an internet business quite daunting. It is a whole new world of terms, techniques, systems, funnels, opt-ins, pop-ups and forums. Then there is the whole business of who and where to go for the right advice (well I can certainly answer that one now – but it has taken a long while). All this aside I have been quite pleased with my progress, having recently made my first income online, created my blog and even added some personal video!

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But then I became suspicious of some of the comments on my blog – and this is the point of this post. You see my ego saw these posts as genuine comments and praises; I don’t know if you have seen this sort of vague “pat on the back” comment, but they go something like;

“Hey, I have been looking for content like yours for hours etc”

“Hi there, if only all bloggers posted such good content…….”

“I came across your site by accident, but I really am pleased………”

Now as I said my ego was allowing me to believe these were actual people writing these comments and I was actually gullible enough to spend hours and hours responding to the messages, being all conscientious and wanting to respond to all my comments. So this has gone on for a few weeks now, and although I had some niggling thoughts at the back of my mind about the validity of these emails, I kept on responding.

Luckily for me, today was the day that someone was kind enough to look at my blog site just to check if I was on the right lines……. this was when the bad news was realised and most of the comments were indeed spam!! Duh!!!

So I have spent another hour or so on my Internet Business trawling through all my comments and responses (not a pretty job) to get rid of all the spam in there, boy had that rubbish built up!

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So what have I learned?……. Well I have now loaded Akismet plugin on my WordPress blog and this will sort out the spam for me, but I also realise that a real comment would probably carry my name in there, as I’m sure like me, if you relate to someone’s post and feel the need to add something, you feel as if you are simply talking to them and we would naturally use the person’s name in a response. The other most glaring error I have made was not picking up on  the spam-type name used as the sender. If there isn’t a person’s name there in the sender area, then it’s probably going to be a spam message.

I’m just not sure what they can actually realistically achieve by spamming, but what has surprised me is the lengths they will go to disguise their spam and make it an almost believable comment – especially to the newbie!

I am also pleased that I launched my blog with WordPress as they have a really good support and help system in place, as well as being covered well on such places as Youtube etc. for tutorials.

So I now pick myself up, it’s onward and upward with my internet business again and a good lesson learned – they do say this journey has it’s ups and downs; this week has seen my first ever online commissions, followed by this revelation that my blog was actually full of spam comments – but I’m sticking with it, as I know the rewards are achievable!

Brian B.

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