Making it means making it happy

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Lots of people claim to have ‘made it’ in this life. People claim to have ‘made it’ when they get a new high power job, a new car, a new house etc. etc. But to me the people who have truly ‘made it’ are those people that are happy.

Mastering skills

Some great skills to master in life are – judging your happiness by your own standards and not pretending to be happy when you think you should be happy. When you get somewhere in life, that you think will make you happy, it is also ok if it doesn’t make you feel as happy as you thought it would. If that happens, it just means to you need to keep looking and trying until you find something that does.

Don’t let the world tell you

Don’t let the world tell you what should make you happy and what ‘making it’ is. ‘Making it’ can be whatever you want it to be. Everyone is different so everyone should have their own version, of what ‘making it’ is. Don’t be jealous when other people have achieved things, as you don’t know whether they have truly ‘made it’ or not. Just because you think someone has ‘made it’ or you think you would have ‘made it’ if you had achieved what they had achieved, it doesn’t mean they have.

To me ‘making it’ is always about the next thing I want to achieve and not about I have just achieved. It’s like when I was coaching and the team I was coaching was playing – when they were playing ‘making it’ was about winning but then as soon as the final whistle had gone ‘making it’ would have changed to winning the next game in my eyes.

Whatever it is and whatever I am doing in life I always want the goal to be happiness. I might not always find it and sometimes I might not find it where I expect to find it but I know I love being happy more than anything in the world, so I am always going to be on the hunt for as much happiness as I can find.

How do you find what your biggest passion is?

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I am one of these people that have lost of dreams and aspirations. The problem is, I want to achieve them all at the same time and I struggle to decide in my head what I want to accomplish the most. In my head what I want the most, seems to change on a daily if not hourly basis.

I work in media and I love media but media is such a huge industry with thousands upon thousands of job types and sectors. So just having something I love hasn’t made it any easier. There are so many cool jobs in media and so many would be fun to do. Creating TV, Radio, Films, videos etc is just great fun and it takes so many different skills, talents and people to create all these things, each as vital as the other.

The journey tests the passion

Some times to get to your passion, you have to do things you aren’t as passionate about. A lot of the times there are no short cuts to the top and there are paths you need to go down first. These journeys really test how passionate you are about the end goal.

To get to your passion you have to be prepared to let things go and remove the stuff in your life, that is taking your time but not getting you closer to whatever you are passionate about. A difficult balance to find is helping others whilst not slowing down your journey towards your passion. So many people in life will want your time, your thoughts and your energy and it is only fair to give it to them but at times it can also be draining.

In awe

I am always in awe of people who have found what their number 1 passion is and have made it a reality. Some people have made incredible things a reality, some people haven’t made it but know where they want to go. Life has so many people that have made it, some that haven’t made it and some that don’t know they have made it. I want to be someone in life that did the thing that made them the happiest and someone that has no regrets to look back on later in life. I can’t wait until the day I can come on here and share with you all that I found my biggest passion and I achieved the thing in my career that was my biggest passion.

What to do if you really value time over money

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I see so many people in my travels, who profess to not wanting to have to work so many hours and wanting more time for themselves, their families and to pursue their passions. I am here to say if you do really want these things, there is a way and it has nothing to do with a get rich quick scheme.

Choices

My wife and I made the choice that whilst our daughter is growing up, that one of us wouldn’t work and one would stay at home to raise her, as that is what we valued above everything else. We didn’t just profess to want it; we went out and did it.

We did it sensibly and now have more truly disposable income than we had when we had two salaries coming in and that is without promotions or pay rises. We just for the first time in our lives started to budget properly. You can find out about how we did it here:

https://adamsibley.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/budget/

One thing I think a lot us need to learn is how to be content with earning less. We need to get out of this culture of working just to spend money. Instead of working every hour, live the life you proclaim you want to by investing your time and not your money.

Do things unapologetically

If it is truly money that motivates you and you enjoy working, the pursuit of money and buying the latest things is nothing to be ashamed of, just own it. Just decide what you want and go after it unapologetically. Don’t fall in to this trap of thinking you have to say you either want more time with your family, or you want to do better in your career, if these are things which aren’t true to you.

Sadly in life it is very rare that you can actually have a family life and go after a career and riches, so decide which you want and go after it whole heartedly, as it is the only way you will truly get somewhere and be truly happy.

Nothing is forever

Just remember that nothing is forever and you can always change your mind, if you do have a change of heart just have the confidence to go with it and not deny it. Also life can be about seasons and just because you are prioritising money or family at the moment, that can all change in the future when situations change.

Having a vision and doing something about it

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So many of us have ideas, goals, dreams and visions in our head that we would love to do something about in our life time. Sadly it is only for a few of us that those visions are actually acted upon and something done about them.

I have a vision for something I want to create in my head at the moment and I am determined to spend some time over the summer making that vision a reality. I am allowing myself ‘dream time’ every day and trying to formulate ideas and thoughts in my head. Everyday I am trying to do something to make my idea the best it can be and everyday trying to think of the best way to make it happen.

Failure might be the greatest success

My idea may fail and all of this might be for nothing, but at least by the end of it I would have created something, have something I created be out there in the world and I will have learnt from the experience. Even failure will give me and teach me so much that I will gain a lot out of this regardless of what happens.

My idea centers around bring a new product to market. The product I think will be interesting and help people. The product might inspire other people to do something similar or to do something better. The possibilities are endless. All I know is that this summer I am starting something. The journey of the thing I start may only be short or it may go on forever, whichever one it is, it will be a journey worth travelling.

Opening up opportunities for others

Starting something opens up opportunities and opportunities are something I always want to have in abundance. The more opportunities I have, the more chances I have to live a successful and fulfilled life. Not only do I want opportunities, I want to make opportunities for others and that’s what creating something can do.

So I would like to encourage you all today to go out and make new opportunities for yourself and those around you. Your vision might not just change your life but it may change countless lives around the globe no matter what it is. So start creating, as by creating you are impacting and you are being a force for good in this world.

A new day a new challenge

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A great strength to have in life is, resilience. The thing with life is, that it doesn’t always go your way or turn out the way you thought it would. The people that tend to succeed in life are the ones that can dust themselves down the quickest and adapt the quickest. The quicker you can move with what happens to you and around you, the greater chance you have of making a success of life.

In life we wake up each day, never knowing quite what to expect and the quicker we can realize this and be comfortable with this the better.

Switching gears

You can spend a lot of time working towards something and preparing for something, like an interview, an event or an exam but no matter how much we prepare, factors that we can’t control may mean that thing doesn’t go the way we thought it would. In these moments, we cant lament what we have lost in the time and effort we have put in, we need the ability to switch gears and go again, throwing ourselves completely in to a new course of action. Don’t waste any more time than you have already lost.

I am always inspired by people who can distance themselves emotionally for setbacks and just find that energy to go again as quickly as they fall down.

Instead of being frightened of a challenge, I think we need to start embracing challenges, as it is sometimes the challenge and the struggle that make the achievement worth so much more. If you can keep going when everyone else has given up and succeed and come out the victor, then you are a champion.

Character building

Challenges build character and give us moments we look back on in life, where we either say we are glad we stuck it out or are saddened by the fact that we didn’t. I want to have an amazing character so I want all the challenges I can get.

Sometimes in life you don’t know who you really are or what you can do until you are challenged. Challenges can be the greatest releaser of potential in a person. I always want to know what my potential is and with every challenge I find out a little bit more. Sometimes my potential in some areas isn’t as big as I thought it was, but I love finding this stuff out as it helps me know what I can actually offer the world and where best to invest time.

On the verge of giving up

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Have you ever felt on the verge of giving something up? Ever had those moments in life where you can’t seem to get anywhere no matter how hard you try? Moments where you have invested so much time and energy, moments where you think you have tried attacking the problem from every angle imaginable? I have had some of these recently.

In all of these situations, I have chosen not to give up. The simplest thing anyone can use and that anyone can have is persistence; you would be surprised how far persistence can get you. Sometimes in life the way to win the battle, is to just be more persistent than anyone else. It takes a brave person to be persistent but a lot of the time it can pay off.

A different approach needed

It can seem like the world is against you at times and people don’t want you to get to where you want to get. A lot of the time I can tell you that actually no one is against you. Sometimes it’s just a bit more waiting, a bit more effort or a different approach that is needed.

If you have something you want to achieve, don’t stop until you have achieved it. If the thing you wanted to achieve means something to you, it is worth the time, the stress and all the hard work. Don’t let how far away your goal seems, do anything to diminish the hunger you have to achieve it. Hunger can eat up any distance.

Confidence

It’s important not to give up in the small areas of life as it gives us renewed confidence with the bigger areas. It’s like I will continually search for the cheapest way of getting things or to get reductions in cost of contracts I have, it may take me a while and sometimes it seems like I’m getting nowhere but eventually I normally do find the best deal and a better deal for me and my family. The victories I have here give me the belief to fight for the bigger things in life, the belief to get me and my family where I want us to be.

So if you are on the verge of giving up just think to yourself – what is a bit more effort? Compared to the feeling of not accomplishing what you set out to accomplish? Make today the day of not giving up and the day of continuing our journeys.

How do you get where you want to go?

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This is a question I try and find the answer to a lot in life. With every goal or ambition I have, this question is always my starting point. Most people don’t end up in their dream job, dream house, dream family or dream country by chance. For most people in these situations they did something or many things to get where they wanted to go. Some of these things might be things you aren’t doing or that you don’t know about yet.

It’s important when you see people in the position you want to be in, to not get jealous. Don’t just stand there and think they don’t deserve to be where they are. Try and think, how did they get there? Not in a sarcastic way, but in a way that makes you unpick the possibilities. Then once you have done that, try and find out what they actually did do.

Eliminate luck

Chance and luck can happen to help you get where you need to go but they are unpredictable and you can spend your life waiting for these things to happen. I do my best to eliminate chance and luck as early as I can, work out what I need to do and then go out and do it. Don’t over complicate things; make things as simple as they can be. Work out what you are going to do, the likely reaction to what you are going to do and when you are happy with the likely reaction, go out and do it.

Believe it will happen

If you don’t try to get where you want to go, you will never achieve your goals or reach your full potential. Until you try you never know what you are capable of. You need to have confidence not only in yourself but confidence in your mind that doing the right things and doing them well will pay off. You can notice a big difference between people who actually believe they can achieve what they set out to do and that is important, as it is those people who normally make it happen.

There aren’t signs to direct you everywhere you want to go in life. In times where there are no signs, it is up to you to find a way without them and leave signs for people coming behind you. Just remember whether there are signs or not, to make sure you to take the best path, not the easy path or the path that’s right for you, the path that will make it more likely for you to achieve your dreams.

2016 the year of living intentionally

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In our house over the last six months the big world has been ‘intentionally.’ Intentionally is the way we want to live our life and spend our time. We started at the back end of 2015 trying to live more intentionally but now for 2016 we want this to be a whole year of living intentionally.

In the last week of 2015 we thought about and wrote up our 2016 list of intentions. Our intentions aren’t like resolutions with very specific outcomes or all about self-improvement. Our intentions are a guide to how we want to live our life and put up there so we don’t forget what we want out of life. All of our intentions are things we can control and aren’t reliant on anyone or anything else.

Purpose

To us living intentionally is about doing things with purpose and when we are doing things, making sure that we have the reasons for why we are doing something etched firmly in our minds. This is even more important to us now with a baby to look after. Her development and growth is so important to us that we want to make sure that everything we do is helping her and that time isn’t wasted.

We don’t want to live life without a plan any more. We want to have targets and reach them. My wife and I have always been big fans of plans. We would take joy in planning the schedule and timetable for weekends and holidays but this is something bigger and different. Our plans now aren’t about minutes and hours; they are about life and are applicable to everyday of the year. We don’t want to be better some days of the year; we want to be better everyday of the year.

Committed

We would often find ourselves getting annoyed or frustrated when we hadn’t achieved what we wanted from a day, failed to reach a target or just felt like we had wasted time. We have always had goals and still do, but now by living intentionally they feel achievable and I know if we keep committed to this way of life we will achieve them.

Our list is filled with things to help TeamSibley as a whole and the individual members of it have better days, to grow as individuals and as a group, to help our mental and emotional wellbeing and most importantly things to make life fun. I am a true believer that if you make life fun, life becomes easier and although living intentionally requires thought and work, it will make life more fun, so it will be so much easier. With our way of life all our energy will be invested in moving forward and we will have to invest less in the emotional strain of when things aren’t going the way we wanted them to.

I hope others will take on the challenge this year of living their life intentionally, as I truly believe that it will change our lives for the better.

Hard work creates opportunities

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If you are looking for an opportunity, the best way to get your hands on one is through hard work. The more you do, the more opportunities you expose yourself to. The people that give out opportunities are more likely to hand those opportunities out to those people that work hard, so make sure you are working hard.

I have been afforded many great opportunities in life, commentating at Wembley stadium, speaking at the House of Commons, writing for a national newspaper, coaching my team to a national final and the list goes on. Each of these I can honestly say I worked hard to achieve. None of them came easy and I was beyond thankful for each opportunity I was given but I believe I deserved all of them. That’s the thing; with every opportunity, I wanted to know that I deserved it and that I wasn’t just given it.

Unexpected

Sometimes opportunities don’t come quickly, sometimes they come from unexpected places and at times you don’t expect. It’s like this week I have been asked to be a trustee for one of the best theatre projects in the local area. I wasn’t expecting this opportunity and I have never worked with them before, but because of my hard work in the community they have found out about me and think that I can add something to their board.

When this week started I had no clue this offer would come in and was not expecting it, but it felt so rewarding to receive. The great thing with this opportunity is that it presents another chance to get stuck in and work hard in an organisation that creates opportunities for others. Because I have had so many amazing opportunities I want to do all I can to help create opportunities for others and be in a position where I can give opportunities to others.

Making the most of an opportunity

I now want to do the best I can with this opportunity that has been given to me. If you work hard to get an opportunity and then don’t make the most of it, then was the hard work worth it? I have got no clue where this latest opportunity will take me but I am excited to see where it does. That’s the thing with opportunities, sometimes you don’t know where they are going to take you but for many the journey itself is exciting enough and you never know what further opportunities this one opportunity may lead to.

So people its time to start enjoying hard work and its time to get yourself ready for the opportunities that may come your way. Don’t go in to everything expecting an opportunity to come your way but be ready for any that do. If opportunities don’t come your way then its time to start thinking of taking your hard work and investing it in something else that gets you closer to the opportunities you would like in life. The opportunities are out there and ready for those that want to take them.

There is an ace in there somewhere

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One of my favourite analogies about opportunities in life that I have ever heard is this:

“Life is like a deck of playing cards, there are 4 aces in a deck, you may just have to turn over 48 before you find one.”

Don’t get annoyed

This has stuck with me through life and is one of my mantras. Whenever I try something and it doesn’t work, I try not to get annoyed about it and instead just think that I am one move closer to finding my ace, which will be my success.

I think people give up too easy in life sometimes. The thing they want to achieve maybe achievable and about to happen but because they stopped turning over cards they didn’t get any closer. The amount of times you fail has no bearing on whether you will be successful or not, if that success is out there to be had, it is out there and the only way you will miss out on it is by giving up.

One more try

I don’t want to be the person in life that would have achieved something, if only I had given something one more try.

I think the aces and life analogy is true for so many things in life. You can apply this to job hunting, building business, dating, making friends, house viewing etc. etc. etc. Some people are lucky and they turn over an ace at the first attempt but it doesn’t mean they are any more or less deserving than you to achieve something. Everyone’s route is different but the success remains the same and that is the most important thing of life’s journey.

Different routes

By not turning over an ace on your first attempt, it forces you to try different things and go in different directions. This process of turning over cards can make you so much more informed and experienced, than if you were to get it right away. What you learn on this journey can help you appreciate the ace even more when you have it in your hand. It can also give you the ability to hold on to it for longer and to go on the hunt for more aces.

In life the deck of cards you get played isn’t what’s important, but how you play them is. Finding the aces isn’t always going to be easy, but there is no such thing as magic and the only way to find them is by working hard and never giving up. The other 48 cards in the deck are there to test you, but it’s important that you don’t let them beat you. Learn something from every card and move on.

Sometimes life doesn’t play you the hand you want or expect, so be prepared. In life we have to expect the unexpected at times and be ready to find the solution that will keep us moving forward. You decide where you move forward to in life, if you get blinded by the prettiness of the queen and stop there, you will never reach your full potential.