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.

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The Leicester City effect

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Being a huge fan of football I could not help but get caught up in the story that has been Leicester City this year. Leicester City came from narrowly avoiding relegation last year, to win the Premier League this year, despite being 5000/1 to do it.

I normally don’t bother watching the Premier League trophy ceremonies as they are normally pretty mundane but I actually wanted to watch this one and felt quite sentimental when I did sit down to watch it. Seeing people achieve, what to some seemed like the impossible dream was life affirming and gave me hope.

Finding hope

It is surprising where in life we find hope, what stories really touch us and what captures our imagination. I think especially in the UK we love a good underdog story and I think we are a society that is a bit jaded, so whenever we see something we don’t expect, we get even more excited for it.

Leicester City this season have shown so many great things, but two things have really shone through for me. The first is their work ethic. Everyone on that team is willing to try harder than the opposition, to run longer, to run faster, to be stronger. Everything they can control as individuals, they make sure they do better than their opposition, which is great advice for life really.

When you get the ball

The other thing, which I think has been a great message, is that their style of football this year hasn’t been about having the ball for long periods of time in a game, but just to capitalize on every time they do have the ball. Sometimes in life you are not given an opportunity for long or more than one opportunity. So in life it is important that when the opportunity does come, you make the most of it.

Stories will be written about this Leicester team for years to come but to me this is the first time in my lifetime where a team has transcended the sport of football. I hope this team inspires many people for years to come and I hope looking back, that this is one of the main ways their success is talked about. Leicetser City are what the world needed: A team that came and shook up the established order and said the name of the team doesn’t matter, the prices players cost doesn’t matter but it is what that team does out on the pitch that does.

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.

Never burn bridges

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Something I have seen too many people do over my lifetime is burn bridges. Regardless of your thoughts and feelings for certain people or organisations, it is never wise to burn your bridges with them. Life can be very funny at times and the world can be very small, you never know when you might wish the bridge was still there. Reusing a bridge is easy; building it backup again is hard work.

Being rational and not irrational

I am often put in positions in life where I need help or favours from people to get something done. I wouldn’t manage to get the things I did and achieve what I have so far without maintaining those bridges. Keeping good relationships will make forging new ones easier and improve your reputation. Someone who burns bridges is not the most rational of people and being irrational does not look good to the world around you.

Sometimes people may annoy you, not help you or frustrate you. None of these are good reasons to burn bridges with anyone. My motto is expect nothing and be grateful for everything you get from people, if you keep that in mind you will go a long way. It is a task everyday but one that needs doing to not take hurt or offense from others you have bridges with. You can get places a lot quicker with bridges than without them.

Go forwards not backwards

The people in my life who I have seen burn bridges haven’t got very far. Normally the burning of a bridge has lead to a lot of back steps and a life of bitterness. Nobody owes you anything but you owe your life everything so I for one am determined to give my life the best chance and the best shot I possibly can.

How many bridges do you have in your life? How strong are the bridges you have? These are questions that I try to ask myself regularly and things I always try to work on. I want the world to see that I maintain a lot of great bridges, as this will make me seem like a more valuable person to organisations and people as I go forward in life and continue to achieve my goals.

Quotes

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A few years back I was very much in to reading powerful and motivational quotes. I was so much of a fan of them that I would regularly share them on my social media feeds. Everyday I would be on the lookout for more quotes to get more inspiration. When I found good ones I then took great pride in sharing them and impressing other people with them.

Catching our attention

I think quotes are great at catching our attention. I think I suffered quote overload though. Instead of getting the most out of each quote I stumbled upon, I would be on this race to find another one straight after finding a good one. I was reading lots of quotes but I wasn’t achieving any more with my life than I was before. Inspiring others by sharing them was more important than taking them in. I wanted to be seen as somebody who was great for knowing and sharing these quotes, rather than living by them or doing something with them.

I woke up a few years ago and stopped sharing quotes I found on social media. There are so many automated social media feeds out there pumping out quotes every minute to try and get more likes, shares and follows. It seems quotes have just become a currency on social media to engage people with.

Sharing originality

Now I regularly share quotes I have come up with myself. I now want to add something to the world and to get people to think. I don’t share as regularly as I used to though and I share the quotes to get myself thinking as much as the people who view them.

The one thing I dislike is when people share thoughts and quotes on social media that they have found from somewhere else but don’t live by what they share. Sharing something is pointless if it is just to get a few likes, when you share something you are associating it with yourself and if you don’t live by the quotes you share you just damage yourself and make yourself look fake.

Start of the journey

Remember the quote should be the start of the journey not the end of it. The more you use a quote the more you get out of it. Remember not everyone is going to agree with the quotes you like and share. What is most important is what you get out of it. Don’t overload yourself with quotes. Pick a few which mean the most to you and refer to them often.

The Sun is Here

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For the last week or two, us here in the UK have been blessed with some gorgeous weather. April in the UK can be a mixed bag when it comes to the weather, so the warm weather has been a nice surprise.

The good weather has encouraged me this last week to get in to the garden. This is our second summer in our home and after doing a lot of work last year, it looks like it may be starting to pay off.

We brought our house because of the size it was inside, the size of the back garden and the price but because we got it for such a good price it meant that it was going to take a lot of work to turn it in to the great house, that we wanted it to be, but we were more than willing to do.

Clear out

Last year I spent most of the summer removing rubbish from our back garden, which the previous owner had left. There was so much stuff just buried in amongst the soil out the back that it meant most weekends I was out the back digging, collecting rubbish and then taking it to the Tip. Doing this meant I didn’t get much of a chance to actually make a start on changing or improving the garden, to get it how I wanted.

Last weekend was the first time my wife and I had been out in the garden since last summer. I was slightly down heartened at the number of weeds that were covering our flower beds after all our work last year but undeterred we got to work. As we got down under the top level of soil my spirits were raised by how easy the weeds were coming out and how many less bulbs and roots there were in the soil compared to last year.

Time to push on

Before we started work on the garden I really wasn’t fancying it, after all the hard work I put in last summer it looked like it had all been for nothing, as if anything in some ways it was looking worse and I really didn’t want to put in more effort, just to get no further forward. I am so glad I pushed on now though, as I can see that things will get better if we keep at it.

Keeping your commitment up to doing something when you can’t see any progress is a very hard thing to do. When you have already put a ton of hard work in and all you can see is a lot of hard work still to go. Even if you think you are prepared for the long haul it is hard to keep going in these circumstances.

The work doesn’t change

My lesson for the week is – sometimes it just takes getting out there and doing the hard work for your opinion of it to change. Regardless of how bad the garden looked, it didn’t change the actual amount of work that is needed to turn it around.

To achieve something, the most important first step is to keep showing up. After this week I know I am going to be turning up every summer with my fork and shovel in hand ready to do battle with the garden. I may not win this summer, but one summer I will and one summer I will have a manageable garden, which looks amazing and on that day I know that it will have all been worth it. If I stopped now and didn’t do anything with garden all I would be doing is throwing away the hard work of last summer.

If you are going to go to the effort of working hard don’t be in a rush to throw it away!