Sat, 30 April 2016
A new measure of success
How do you quantify success? What is it you actually measure?
Should it be statistics, figures, numbers? Or how about the effort put in to achieving it?
Maybe it could be a combination of these, rather like those school reports where you get a grade for achievement and a score for effort.
Or should we more concerned with experiences rather than numbers?
Statistics are certainly the easiest and most obvious way to measure success. With money wealth, income being one of most popular ways for people to measure their own or others’ success.
But it’s all relative. What constitutes a measure of success in monetary terms fluctuates according to age, the circles you move in, geographical location and your time in history.
Money can be measure in it’s own right or as an indication or measure of success. It’s not necessarily the money per se that’s important to measure, but it’s rather the way some people choose to quantify their success. The success is what drives them, not the money, but income is a useful indicator and measure of that.
That’s all very well and yes numbers and effort are a good way to measure anything, but let’s not ignore the role of feelings and the experience itself. Otherwise we run the danger of seeing success as one-dimensional and we’re not one-dimensional beings, so if we do this we fail to capture the true meanings of success.
So how are we measuring success?
During my reflection time recently (a part of my Changeability mind-work where I write whatever comes to mind during meditation or visualisation) I came to a realisation as I was musing on this very subject.
I realised that for much of my life I’ve equated success with validation. Validation for what I’m not sure, but it’s something to do with feeling valued and wanting to be seen to be good enough or for people to think I’m good at doing what I’m doing.
This was quite a revelation! I was interested in what it meant. Did I see my self-worth wrapped up in other people’s idea of my worthiness? I don’t think of myself as someone who worries too much about what others think of me, or let it stop me doing things. But maybe it’s not so much about what others think, but more that I want to be seen as good enough so I think I’m good enough myself.
There’s a lot more to be said about this and how it shows up in what I do and don’t do. You can hear all of this in much more detail in episode 91 of The Changeability Podcast.
A new measure of success
If you haven’t got time to listen to the episode now (and it’s quite a short episode for us) here’s a flavour of what I wrote in my Changeability Daily Journal:
I am going to have a new measure of success from now on.
My new measure of success is around enjoying every day. So essentially I will measure my daily success in terms of whether I enjoyed the day and found it fulfilling in some way.
Now of course what constitutes an enjoyable day or a fulfilling day will change from day to day depending on what I’m doing – but in many ways that is the point.
There is no real single measure of success, but many different measures depending on what we’re trying to achieve at any time. Therefore, I’m using this as an overarching catchall that can encompass any other measure within it.
After all, what I (and I think most people) want to achieve in life and business is to be happy and fulfilled and enjoy this amazing experience of being alive.
What makes each of us happy and fulfilled will be different and that doesn’t matter, because my new measure of success allows me to capture this for me.
Listen to the podcast to hear me read the full extract from my Changeability Planner and Journal.
Getting to know you
If you listen to our podcast or come to this website regularly then you know a bit about us – and we’d love to reciprocate and get to know more about you. So we’ve come up with a quick questionnaire to help do this. We recorded a short video to explains why – or you can skip straight to our Getting to Know You Questionnaire.
There’s just a few questions which only take a couple of minutes to complete. It would be fantastic to hear from you as the more we know about you the more we can talk about things and create things you’re interested in and will help you. Thank you.
Sat, 23 April 2016
6 ways to measure success
Have you thought about what success looks like to you? If so, how do you measure your success?
Actually the first question is – do you need to to measure success?
We say yes.
One, because when you measure your success it makes you think about it. What is success and what does it mean to you? It makes you aware of what you want in life or business, rather than wandering aimlessly.
Two, it gives you something to aim for, and we know that as humans we thrive and are generally happier and more fulfilled when we have a sense of purpose.
Three, what gets measured gets done.
So how do you measure success?
That depends on the sort of success it is. Here’s 6 ways to measure success – or 6 different types of success and our (some obvious and some not so obvious) suggestions of how to measure them.
Episode 90 of The Changeability Podcast
Hear us talk more about this in episode 90 of the Changeability Podcast
Thank you for listening and reading this. If you like the show, please go to iTunes now and leave us a review – we will love you for it.
Sat, 16 April 2016
What does success mean to you?
We start every episode of the Changeability Podcast with the words ‘brought to you by Brilliant Living HQ .com’ because that’s our online home. That’s where you find us, our products, the 89 podcast episodes we’ve published to date, and hundreds of blog posts.
But this week we asked you if you’re experiencing ‘brilliant living’. If you take the dictionary definitions of the two words and put them together it brilliant living means something like ‘living life in a way that is excellent, bright and marvelous, pursuing a lifestyle that feels very good to you.’
We define ‘brilliant living’ as living life on your own terms. Ok, so its not always 100% possible, but it is definitely more possible than most people think.
Sure there are physical and social parameters, but we can push those boundaries and look at what are the real boundaries and which are those created by the cultural norms and social expectations we go along with.
What brought all this on you might ask.
Well this week we had a fabulous day in London. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and it was the first warm day of spring. We met our son Alexander for a full works English breakfast sitting outside at the Bankside Café – they even had three vegetarian options for me. We walked along the Southbank of the River Thames - past Tate Modern, past Shakespeare’s Globe and down to London Bridge, where we ambled round Borough market, saw the house from Lock Stock and ended up drinking smoothies in the Refectory Garden at Southwark Cathedral – all by lunchtime. Returning along the river to the Royal Festival Hall we met with some Tropical Think Tankers for a Mastermind Session and had a fun productive great time talking business. Then back to my sister’s house for family dinner before driving home to pick up Dude the Dog and get back to our house and bed.
Reflecting on it in my appreciation time the next day I thought to myself – that was a brilliant day. This triggered thoughts about what makes a successful day.
Because in a way success is another way of looking at what brilliant living means to you. So how do you define success – what does success mean to you?
The definition of success
The Oxford Dictionary describes success as
‘The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.’
‘The attainment of fame, wealth or social status.’
‘A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame wealth,'
These last two definitions are interesting because this is the sort of thing that springs to mine when we think about what success means.
Conceptions of success:
Moving up the ladder
There is the idea that success is about getting to the top of the ladder especially in terms of career and moving up the corporate hierarchy. Any organisational chart will make it obvious where you are in the scheme of things, but at what point on that ladder of success will you think you’ve been successful?
It will partly depend on why you’re doing the job. Is success about the status or b the influence and impact you will have? Is it connected to the benefits or trappings of success?
Another way of looking at success is about reaching an expert status. We call people a success when they reach a level of expertise like actors, musicians and sports people.
An interesting question is at what level do you become a success in your own eyes and in the eyes of those around you.
The most common definition of success is probably around financial or monetary success.
There’s a wealth connotation implied when we think about success. When we say someone’s done well or they’re a real success, more often than not the implication is around wealth, but it doesn’t need to be.
Success can equally encompass social impact as seen in social enterprises and community based initiatives and roles.
Then there is success in terms of social standing where success is being in with the right people and networks or getting into the right club and achieving some perceived level of social acceptance.
When we’re at school, college or university, exam success is a massive part of our lives – whether we want it to be or not. People are seen as successful or not depending on the qualifications they achieve and then the occupation they go into.
Once you get into the work place that academic success which you needed to get you there becomes less and less important.
Most of us would want to include definitions of success that revolve around success in aspects of our personal life. It could be in terms of health or fitness or around weight, or success in a hobby we love doing or learning a skill.
What about defining success in terms of our relationships. It could be being a good friend or a good partner, husband or wife or a family member or a great parent or being popular.
Career or business success
Success to you might be about your career and business and it may or may not be associated with money or that it gives you the means to lead the sort of life you want to live. Part time working might not make you successful in terms of your finances but allows you to be a more successful in your parenting role.
In thinking about what success means to you it comes down to what makes you feel like a success or what makes you feel successful.
Success at different ages and stages
Success looks different at different ages and stages of life e.g. someone leaving school will define success differently to someone about to retire. But there are elements and characteristics of success that remain consistent throughout, even if the way they’re played out changes over time.
As you think about what success means to you, think about whether your definition of success allows you to experience these.
A sense of achievement:
From being able to use your talents and skills and getting things done, seeing something through to a good outcome.
Recognition and validation:
One aspect of success is having our efforts or talents recognised and respected and feeling validated.
A sense of self-worth and self-esteem:
We feel successful when we feel valued and recognised but also when we value ourselves and our individuality and capability.
Purpose and values:
Success can be connected with purpose where you have an idea of what you want to achieve and where that purpose is aligned with your personal values. Real success only happens when its in line with what’s important to you. So if integrity is important to you, it doesn’t matter how successful you are in the eyes of the world if you achieve that success in dubious ways. You will not experience success because that wouldn’t be your definition of success.
Security and control:
These are key characteristics of success for many people. Being successful means feeling secure in who you are and what you do and in the basics of life but also having a sense of control or being in charge of your own life and destiny. Being able to choose the sort of life you live.
Contentment with your life and the in your relationships is another facet of success. This is about inner contentment rather than being accepting of things as they are. It doesn’t mean you don’t strive for more or for changes but that this striving helps you grow rather than scuppering you. Because when you are content inside you don’t have to rely on others for that contentment or inner happiness.
Love has a key role to play in success. To love and be loved is an important part of what success means to many people. It’s a big part of what makes them feel successful.
Last but not least comes fulfilment. In a way I think this is one, if not the most important characteristic of success. We feel successful when we feel fulfilled. This could be in so many ways but its about fulfilling potential in any area of your life or work. Its about doing something you feel good about and getting a positive outcome for you or for others. It can also be about contribution.
So what does success means to you? How do you define success in your life - any area of your life? In fact that’s an interesting place to start. What areas of your life spring to mind when you start trying to define what success means – start with those and then move on to others.
Because brilliant living starts with being aware of what you mean by that, what does brilliant living mean to you, what does success mean to you. Next week we’re going to think about how we can measure that success.
If you want a bit of help with thinking about these things sign up for our free changeability starter kit.
Episode 89 of the Changeability Podcast
Hear Julian and I talk about all of this and more besides in episode 89 of the Changeability Podcast.
If you like listening to the show we’d love you to let us know by leaving us a review on iTunes – we will love you even more and at some point we will read it out on the show.
Sat, 9 April 2016
WHY do you need mind management?
What do you want to change in your life? Do you want more or less of something or to learn a new skill or experience different things? Or do you want to change something about your relationships or body or work or finances?
It doesn’t have to mean you hate your life or work now – but you just want it to be better in some way.
Yes, we all want changes but WHY do we need mind management to do it.
Your marvellous mind
Your brain is amazing and has enormous power. Its big job is to keep you alive and it does that by keeping you safe which tends to mean maintaining the status quo – because that’s what’s worked so far.
This is fabulous for keeping you alive – but it’s not always so fabulous when you want to make changes – in other words you want to move away from the status quo in some way.
It’s important to know that although you think you make your decisions and plans – including what you want to change – much of your thought processes go on at an unconscious level and decisions are made without you being aware of them much of the time.
It has to do this. We have control over the conscious part of your mind, and although amazing, your conscious mind has limitations. It loses focus easily and typically holds about 7 chunks of information at any one time.
This is why the subconscious takes control of most of what’s happening in our bodies. It’s the engine driving us – leaving our conscious mind to focus on other things.
Changing your mind
This is critically important when we want to make changes, because your unconscious mind, which is a million times more powerful than your conscious mind, is running the show. And it does much of this based on the beliefs and habits you’ve built up over your lifetime – not all of which are serving you well.
Both parts of your mind are crucial not only to survival but also to getting the changes and living the life you want. The real trick is to get them working together to make this happen.
This enables you to use the whole of your marvellous mind brain to work for you and not against you –otherwise it’s all to easy to end up self-sabotaging what you want to achieve. We’ve all done that!
Why when you want to lose weight do you still eat the very thing that you know will not help you get the body you want? Because your mind is screaming at you that you’ve hungry and want to eat and want to eat something that tastes nice – and your belief and experience tells you that cream cakes – especially a Victoria sponge with butter cream icing – will fill you up quickly and taste nice, and you’ve had a hard day so of course you deserve a little treat.
Now that might be irritating and throw you off course a little but it also happens in really important decisions and situations. You want to leave a job and set up a new business for yourself, but your subconscious is screaming at you – ‘are you mad, you’ll never make a good business person, why do you think you can do it, you never see anything through.’ Or whatever it might be for you, based on your past experience.
Mind management is about becoming aware of the impact your thoughts have on yo,u and using your mind to your advantage.
Time to take a step back - because underlying all of this is the notion that the way we think and the thoughts we think, influence what we do.
Our thoughts influence how we feel, which influences what we do or the actions we take, which impacts how we live our lives.
It sounds obvious when you say it like that – but just take a moment to think about it and see if you really believe this is so or if you’re aware of it in your day to day life.
The thoughts you think lead to the action you take.
It therefore follows that if you change your thoughts (that’s the way you think) then you can change your actions. This means you can make the changes you want in your life, work or business.
You are not your thoughts
It’s a fabulous concept to accept and goes hand in hand with the concept that your thoughts are things.
Your thoughts are not you and you are not your thoughts.
You are not defined by your thoughts. Which means that you can change your thoughts to help you live how you want to live. That’s what we mean when we talk about mind management.
We’ve been talking about why you mind management to help you make changes, but it’s not just about doing things differently. It’s also about improving the everyday experience of being alive. After all, one of the changes you could look for is to be happier in your daily life, or more enthusiastic for life.
It’s not just about things, its about ‘being’ as well.
And mind management is the key.
Do we have to learn mind management?
Yes - to a large extent we do have to learn mind management because we’ve not been taught how to manage our minds.
We don’t learn it at school – although some schools teach subjects like critical thinking but that’s something different. At best, we may have learnt something about the component parts of the brain and its functions.
Most of us don’t pick it up from our natural interactions with our parents, probably because they never learnt it themselves.
But this is your opportunity to learn about mind management now.
So what do we know about the mind?
We’ve talked about the two major components of the mind being the conscious and the subconscious. And we know that our brain is in effect an information processing system, containing nerve cells (neurons) which are connected through synapses.
These neural pathways are influenced and strengthened by what we do, the influences in our lives, our previous experiences, beliefs and values we have stored in our minds. And these neural networks or pathways are strengthened by repetition.
One of the potential problems of the mind is that it can be consciously (by our thoughts) or unconsciously influenced (by our subconscious). And the subconscious is the more powerful.
We’re suggesting you get the conscious and the subconscious to work in harmony through mind management. So there’s no dissonance or disagreement between the two component parts of the brain and between your actions and your beliefs.
That is the key to getting what you want and making the changes and why you need and want mind management.
We know we can influence our conscious mind – we can determine our thoughts, so we need to influence our subconscious so it aligns with the subconscious.
We also know that our subconscious mind was itself programmed, and can therefore be reprogrammed, but the process is slow and incremental.
The captain of your ship
It’s likened to a super tanker (the subconscious) being controlled by the captain of the ship (the conscious).
The captain (the conscious mind) may be in charge, but the instructions the captain give take a long while to affect and influence the super tanker that is our subconscious.
But the subconscious, like the formation of any habit, including thinking habits, can be influenced through repetition.
Advertising relies on this repetition of key messages to get you to believe and then buy into their product, concept or ideas.
This is why you can recall adverts from years ago, even your childhood, because of the power of repetition. Particularly when you add in a few tricks of the trade to make it even more memorable, tricks incidentally we can use to our advantage in mind management terms.
The bottom line is mind management will help you change what you want to change and achieve what you want to achieve.
HOW to manage your mind
You manage your mind by training your mind to think in certain ways – so you develop habits and ways of thinking to support change, happiness and success for you.
Training your mind might sound a far out or like some sort of trickery, but all it means is using certain techniques and ways of thinking that you can develop through practice.
With the result that you can improve and transform your life and business through your thoughts, self-beliefs and the action you take.
What techniques help us manage our minds
Key mind management techniques include:
These are the very techniques we talk about here at Brilliant Living HQ and on the Changeability Podcast. They’re also captured into a 10 step framework which shows how they all fit together and build one on the other in the Changeability framework.
You will find the full version of this written out in a logical practical step by step framework on Amazon in the book Changeability: Manage your Mind - Change your Life either in Paperback or in Kindle. This is the best place to get the full explanation and exact steps.
Or you can of course listen to the last 88 episodes of the Changeability Podcast! But it will be a lot quicker to read the book!
Episode 88 of the Changeability Podcast
Hear us discuss all of this and more in episode 88 of the Changeability Podcast.
Thank you for being here and being wonderful. If you like listening to the show please leave us a review on iTunes. If you’ve read the Changeability book please leave a review on Amazon.
Sat, 2 April 2016
At a recent business event I had 30 seconds to introduce myself and what I did. This is the so-called elevator pitch and it’s not as easy as you might think. Having seen how some people were struggling to get their description done in 5 minutes let alone 30 seconds it was suggested we use the quick little formula – I help …. To …. By…. I was the next one up so I sat there and said:
It worked because everyone went ‘oooohhh’ and wanted to know what does that actually mean and how do you that.
And it got me thinking that it's a long time since we've actually talked about what it is we actually do or rather the idea behind what we actually do.
So today we're going to put that right because we’re going back to basics and thinking about what fundamentally underpins everything we talk about at Brilliant Living HQ. It’s also the subject matter of my Changeability book and underpins the whole Changeability process and practice and Brilliant Living products.
It is mind management!
What is mind management?
The key question is what is mind management and why do we all need it.
At it’s most basic level mind management is about managing your mind.
Which maybe isn’t saying much – or more like it’s saying the same thing twice – there’s a nice word for that – tautology!
But mind management is about managing your mind and we’re very keen on the whole idea of it.
Our strap line here at Brilliant Living HQ is ‘Mind management for your best life and business’ or at least it was until we changed our site recently – we thought our logo looked better without it but maybe we should put it back somewhere so people know what it’s about!
And the strapline to our podcast (and the Changeability book) is ‘Manage your Mind – Change your Life’.
Why the obsession with mind management – what lies behind it?
Mind management is the idea you can:
In other words you can reprogram or train your mind to create the right mindset to change what you don’t like into what you do like, and achieve your desires and live life to the full.
That’s a good start, but can we define it further and look at the individual elements of ‘mind management’ to get a better working definition?
How do we define mind management?
The Business Dictionary defines management as:
The Merriam-Webster dictionary adds a useful extra dimension defining management as:
If we take these definitions together and replace business with the mind we come up with:
This does assume that you have already determined what you want from your life, and have a vision of your defined objectives (goals) and what you have to do to achieve them.
And for us that’s where it always begins – getting clear about what you want – because there are clear mind management reasons for doing this and for using the power of your brain and mind to help you achieve those goals and the changes you want. It has to start with intention plus inspiration which equal your vision or goals.
If you want to know more about that go to brillliantlivinghq.com/goals to be one of the first people to find out about our goals challenge.
So that’s the management bit. Now for the second part.
There are basically two major components of the mind - the conscious and the subconscious.
The conscious which is the bit we’re aware of – e.g. as you’re listening to this, the thoughts you’re thinking about what you want to eat or drink or what you’re doing later or reacting to what you’re hearing. This is what we think about and what we’re aware of. We tend to think of it as us – ‘this is me’ – but there is a lot more to you than that.
Your conscious mind is like the tip of the iceberg because underneath it is what’s often called your subconscious, the bit below the conscious mind. We think of it below if thinking about an iceberg – but it’s sub (as in submerged or submarine) in terms of our not being aware of it. The other name – which is probably more accurate – is the unconscious.
This is the part we’re not aware of – but keeps us alive because it carries out millions of actions every day without us even thinking about it.
Taken together these two components of your mind create what is in effect an information processing system whose purpose is to keep you functioning and alive.
The brain and mind
When we talk about our mind we’re really using the term to describe aspects of what goes on inside our brain. People often use the two terms interchangeably but they’re not really the same thing.
There are different physical elements to our brain, which you can easily see in any diagram of the brain, but our mind is what goes on within that physical organ. Your mind is where your consciousness and personality are.
It’s a a bit like the software inside a computer. The brain is the hardware and the mind the software. But it’s not as straightforward as that as our thoughts are the result of our experiences and interpretations and feelings – so it’s more mixed.
Essentially our brains contain nerve cells (called neurons) that are connected through synapses. This is how thoughts are formed.
These neural networks or pathways can be and are strengthened by repetition. Likewise, these pathways can be consciously and unconsciously influenced and strengthened by what we do, by the influences in our lives, by the previous experiences, beliefs and values we have stored in our minds.
This is not only one of the facets or characteristics of how your mind works but is also one of the reasons why we need and want to manage our minds.
Next week we’ll be exploring this further when we talk more about exactly why you really do want mind management to be an everyday part of your life.
If really can’t wait until next week to learn more – then you will find it all neatly explained in my book Changeability: Manage your Mind – Change your Life - together with a 10 step logical framework of ten practical mind management techniques, you can start using right away. Get it here now (and it’s on special offer this week!)
Episode 87 of the Changeability Podcast
You can hear us talking about this and more in episode 87 of the Changeability Podcast.
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alex 18 butterfly from the UK – October 23rd 2015