Asking for help

Regularly at work I need to ask for help. Not because I don’t know what I am doing, because I need information, opinions or files from others in order to do jobs I have been tasked with. There are a wide range of people I have to ask for help from, most of which aren’t in my department, most of which are very busy people with their work and none of whom I manage or have any direct authority over. This all means that when I ask for help they don’t have to give it to me but 99 times out of 100 they always do.

In life you will always need help from others regardless of how independent or self-sufficient you are. This is why I like to pay help forward in advance, so people know that I am someone who helps others, as this will make people more likely to help you. You never know when you are going to need to ask for help, so I always try my best to take any opportunity I can to help others, regardless of if I have to or not and without seeking anything in return.

Be thankful

When someone does help you – be thankful. Not fake thankful or nonchalantly thankful but actual thankful. Take a moment to think about what they have done for you. They have given up time that they could be doing a million and one other things with, to help you. When that has washed over you, take the time to make sure they know how thankful you are. Being thanked makes you feel good about doing something and more likely to help others in the future. You being truly thankful when someone helps you can really have a ripple effect on things in the future, so make sure you are truly thankful.

Don’t be afraid

Never be afraid to ask for help. If something is too much or you can’t do it by yourself, it can feel very stressful and lonely. Asking for help can make something possible, it can take stress away and make you feel like you’re not alone any more. Helping other people and other people helping you can help build relationships, which help you in life. Asking for help if done correctly can strengthen a relationship not damage it.

Don’t expect

Don’t ever expect help, because if you do you take it for granted and will be disappointed if you don’t receive help. No one owes you anything and no one has to help you. When someone doesn’t help you, don’t hold it against them as you don’t know what that person is going through professionally and personally, just move on as I am sure there will be someone else who can. Don’t forget that person that said no to helping you today might be the person that gives you the most amount of help tomorrow.

Never be afraid to ask for help, never expect help but always be thankful for the help you receive.

A mission to love more than I am loved

I have set myself a pretty impossible mission this year, to try and show love and act more in love to others than I am loved myself. I have a wife and child that love me so much and I am so thankful for them, they show me love that I think will be impossible to beat, however with the wider world I want to spread more love through my actions, than I have in the past.

I am doing this because I think if everyone gave more love than they received, this world would be an amazing place that never ran short of love. As a Christian I know I am loved everyday by God but I am not called to be loved by the world, I am called to show Christ like love and that is what I want to do.

Looking beyond myself

There are so many people that need love in this world that you will never run out of people to love. I want to look beyond myself and when I am out and about, to look where I can to be loving to people instead of just walking on. I want to be the one that stops.

Love can be anything from just lending an ear to someone so they can vent or helping someone you see that is struggling. A little bit of love goes along way and I think it is the best chance we have of helping change the world for the better.

The great thing about showing love is that it makes you feel brilliant as well, so not only are you helping others but you are also helping yourself. I don’t want to love others for selfless reasons but I think that it is great that everyone can get something from it.

Love is an attitude

I want loving to be my attitude. I want to be forgiving, I want to turn the other cheek as many times as it takes and never let my feelings stop me from loving on people. To create change the first thing you need to change is you, love is an attitude, it is something that needs to come from within and needs to be something that is acted out everyday.

Your love or your attitude to somebody might be the only thing that is keeping them hanging on or the only thing that brightens up their day. No one is sad for no reason so cut them some slack and instead of judging, just love on them. Regardless of what has happened everyone needs a bit of love in their life. Don’t let your feelings or opinions stop you on loving others.

 

Hard work creates opportunities

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.

When was the last time you helped someone?

I think helping someone is one of the greatest acts of kindness you can perform. Doing something to help someone else is like making an investment. By helping someone you are giving something to improve something. Time is an asset we all have and time is something we all have the power to give away.

So many people go through their day without helping anyone, which I think is quite sad. Giving help doesn’t have to be big, it can be as little as just stopping in your car to let someone cross the road. The great thing is that anything from the smallest act of kindness to the biggest can gain the same reaction…a smile.

Change the world

The one way that nearly all the human population has at their disposal to change the world for the better is performing acts of kindness. Sometimes the world seems so out of control and you can start thinking ‘well what can I do?’ Acts of kindness are something we can all control and although we can’t control what will happen after the act of kindness, I truly believe the more kinder we become as a world the more change we can make.

Whether you realise it or not, most of us in this world will be on the receiving end of acts of kindness in our lifetime. I believe it is so important to be aware of this and use this knowledge to sew acts of kindness back in to others. Sadly too many people are too blind or too egotistical to acknowledge the kindness they have received and believe that they achieved everything they have in their life by themselves.

Building communities

One thing kindness builds is communities. When we go out of our way to help those around us, relationships are built and togetherness is formed. An act of kindness is an investment in to the lives of others. If you want to improve your community, you have to get involved in it, you have to be the one to start being kind to others for that kindness to start rubbing off on others and a kindness snowball can start to grow.

So my word of advice for everyone out there this week, is to not let it go too long since you last helped someone, the longer that time builds the less effective you are being in the world. Recently I was on the receiving end of amazing kindness when people backed my book project financially, to help get it released in print form and I am determined to pay that kindness forward.

Everyone can Support Someone

I think there is one thing that so many of us are all capable of that can change the world. That one thing is supporting someone. We can all do things in our own right and by our own hands to change the world, but we can do more and make more change by supporting others.

Someone’s dreams can be made or broken by the support of just one person. When you are trying to achieve something and your passion, commitment and determination are being tested, it can just take one supporting word from another to keep you going.

When someone supports something you are doing it can make it all feel worthwhile. Support can make you push even harder to achieve something, it can raise your conviction and let you know what you are doing is good, is wanted, is needed.

I think too often we break each other down or question each other’s motives, instead of showing them support. You may never know how someone is feeling or the pureness of their heart, but I would rather give them the benefit of the doubt and try to help, than to let their dreams fall to pieces.

Supporting someone can take many forms. It can be buying something somebody is selling, promoting them on your social media feed, giving them words of encouragement, giving them ideas, putting them in touch with someone else who can help, giving them financial support and the list goes on.

There are many things you can do to support others, which will cost you nothing and not impact your day-to-day life in any negative way. To give support costs nothing but to receive it is priceless. Your support can be all it takes for something big to happen in this world, never under estimate the power of it.

Last week I received some amazing support for my book project after having a fair few doors slammed in my face, but it was that one piece of support that meant more than those many slammed doors. That is how powerful support can be, it can outweigh any amount of negativity.

Lets be a world that supports each other and sees real amazing change happen in our lifetime.

Why I don’t like the term ‘Unsung Hero’

After winning many ‘Unsung Hero’ type awards myself, I don’t think many people would expect me to have such an issue with the term ‘Unsung Hero’ but I do!

In towns and cities around the world various ‘Unsung Hero’ awards are given out every year, like the ones in the links below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/get-inspired/27037119

http://www.prideofbritain.com/

The key thing I don’t like about these awards is the fact they are every year. For years and years we have had these awards and we will have them for years to come. This proves that these awards aren’t really changing the public perception and attitudes, as we still have to have these awards so these people are recognised and celebrated, which I don’t think is a good thing.

A pat on the back

In award ceremonies the Unsung Hero award is never the main category. It is normally always the only award with the word unsung in it, as everyone else gets to be Fundraiser of the Year, Carer of the Year, Teacher of the Year etc. To me, by the way the award is treated, it is like giving someone a very patronising pat on the back.

Dictionary Definition

Why can’t the Unsung Hero award be just the Hero award? As when I looked up the definition of hero on Google it said:

A person, who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=%27unsung+hero%27&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=89vRVOCFDYGL7Aba7oCgDg#q=define:hero

Can we change the term?

Now doesn’t that sound like what the winners of Unsung Hero awards are? Why do they need the word ‘Unsung’ in front of it? Wouldn’t the award get more recognition and people talking if they were called the ‘Hero Awards’?
There shouldn’t be a separate category for the amazing people who win these Unsung Hero style awards. The winners should be put in the same echelons as any other award winner, in any other award category and any awards show.

Surely the point of Unsung Hero Awards are to shine a light on them and to get them more recognition? Sometimes I think the way these awards are branded it is having the opposite effect. The awards should be about changing societies opinion on who we see as a hero and who we should be talking about. The type of people that win these awards should be getting recognised everyday, not just when a company wants to give out an award. After someone has won one of these awards it seems like we don’t hear about him or her again, but they are probably still going around everyday doing great things in their community.

Proud

Don’t get me wrong I am proud to have won the awards that I have, I just wish we did more for these people and that we didn’t need to have the awards. In every community there are many heroes and I think it is all of our jobs to recognise them. Lets not just read stories about those that win awards. Lets look around us and make sure we are noticing those that are doing great things that haven’t won awards.

At times it seems the only way to get ahead is to be all about yourself. I think caring for and supporting others are some of the most important things we as humans can do. I think its time that these people start getting pushed to the front, not by awards alone, but by supporting them and honouring them in the best way we can. It is only when we do this that more people will be encouraged to be and have that desire to be what I think a hero truly is.

Life can be hard

On my travels this week I have noticed and met a lot of people who for one reason or another life has been a bit hard on. In schools we are taught how to read, how to write and how to add up but how well does it prepare us for life?

There are many people out there who through no fault of their own, struggle to cope with life. They may not necessarily have a medical condition, they just lack the capacity to fully engage in the world or to deal with the problems of day-to-day life.

I think more needs to be done to help people when they are in school to try and build life skills and to spot people that will need additional help when they leave school. It is these people who will be at a disadvantage when they leave school, regardless of the grades they receive, without life skills they will struggle.

One thing I hate is when I see people who for one reason aren’t able to enjoy things that many of us take for granted, when the world is going on around them and they can’t join in. Seeing this just makes me realize how lucky I am and how much we take for granted. I wish we lived in a world where this didn’t happen and that everyone was able to enjoy the simple things in life.

For many people the family or situation they were born in to may have caused them to close down and shy away from the world. It may be genes and genetics. It may be that they haven’t been able to deal with bad news that has come there way or bad things that have happened to them. These are just the tip of the iceberg as there are many reasons for people missing important life skills

Just because you can do things that you would consider basic like socializing or holding down a job, don’t assume that it’s easy for everyone else. I think we all as a nation need to stop walking by and need to be more aware. We need to become a caring nation that doesn’t judge and makes allowances for these people.