Sometimes it feels like there are too many things to change. You face obstacles without allies to support you. You are overwhelmed with choices of what to do and this is over-laid with a gnawing doubt that none of what you do really matters. It feels like you’re pushing back a tide, with nothing you can control or influence. You don’t feel you’re making a difference. Defeated you can snap and growl like a cornered wild animal or you can slide into a hopeless pit of despair and despondency. You can anesthetize you self with drink, drugs, material gain or whatever hedonistic consumption you want but all this does is further trap you. You fall into a cycle of passivity where the treadmill of paid work is needed to pay for the compensating treats that numb the angst and distract you from those buried ambitions to change the world. You await the white knight or miracle to get you on your way but nothing happens. There is though a different approach…
The ‘net is clogged with snake oil sellers encouraging the belief that simply creating a digital product and presence is the path to riches. Whether that’s creative writing, music videos, web design, blog consulting, life coaching master classes or any other of a myriad of digitized businesses it seems you can’t fail to make a phenomenal living – just be sure to sign up to the $99 premium package.
I’m an occasional reader of poetry. I’m starting to know what I like and what I think makes for a poet worth reading. My current favorite is Ian McMillan, who comes from Barnsley in Yorkshire.
It was one of those splendid coincidences that meant I caught him on the TV the other Saturday morning (I never watch TV at that time but we were in a hotel and my wife was as ever in search of the latest weather news) having just read one of his collections that week.
It’s February and if you’re finding that the optimism you started the year with is starting to fade and the progress you thought you would be making towards that cherished personal goal (you know the one you promised yourself that you would do this year) is not great then it’s time to reboot yourself and your plans. I’ve put together 10 tried and tested tactics that will help you achieve those goals you really want reach.
It’s quite common for the rock stars to have an stage name – an alter ego from the John Smith they started out with. One such person is Suggs, the front man of British band Madness, who started life as Graham McPherson. He changed his name as he wanted a shorter one more suitable for graffiti tags. He chose the name at random from a jazz encyclopedia, borrowing it from the Jazz drummer Peter Suggs. What it gave him was a persona that was ready for when he became the Madness singer.
The question is should we all develop an alternative persona, lead a double life, and perhaps flip between the two?
Some years my wife and I literally set ourselves a path for the year. One year we walked the Cotswold Way (a UK National Trail) another year we cycled along the Kennet and Avon Canal (this joins the River Avon to the Thames). This year it’s going to be the Thames Path starting at the Thames Barrage in the east and walking to Thameshead near Cirencester in the west. We don’t do these trips on consecutive days but do sections over weekends depending on time and the weather.
The blogosphere is awash with how to make better New Year Resolutions. The problem is that most resolutions don’t last past the first week of January and therefore we start the year with failure.
Last year my advice was on reviewing the previous year’s resolutions to get to the root cause of why the resolution was not sticking before embarking on it again. This year it’s even simpler – do something different. It’s one of those old saws but it is entirely true – if you keep trying the same thing you’ll get the same outcome. Not great if you want a different outcome.
The sharp drop in temperature in the UK and the first hard frosts of the year made me think about being frozen. I’m not talking abut being cold after cycling into the office but about being in a static state whether that’s through fear, lethargy or not knowing what to do next.
Much like the British pastime of moaning about weather we can blame external factors – other people, the lack of opportunity, financial hardship, a poor education, no support from friends, a difficult job, bad genes or a whole host of other things. They may be true and valid but if they leave us feeling stuck or frozen solid in a place we don’t want to be then what are we to do?
Do you think that creativity is for special types of people with all the right stuff, lifestyle and dress sense? Well think again. Creativity is something we can all do in our everyday lives if we approach it with the right attitude and don’t let some old ideas and thinking get in the way. Here’s some creativity myths that are worth exploding.
I’ve been driving my Mazda MX5 and it’s not been quite right. In order to go straight I’ve had to hold the steering wheel as if I was turning. So I went to see Lee who has some high tech laser wheel alignment kit to see what he could do. The car went up on the ramp, special mirrors were attached to the wheels and the diagnostics started. Then Lee went through the problems displayed on the computer screen. Just about everything needed adjustment (I’m not sure I understood what all track, toe, camber and caster meant). In particular the back wheels were pointing one way and the front the other.