Making it means making it happy

Embed from Getty Images

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.

My Dementia Awareness Week 2016

dementia

This last week has been my busiest week since I launched my book on dementia titled “Unbreakable Bond.”

The week actually started last Friday when I recorded an interview with Pirate FM, one of the biggest commercial radio stations in the South West. This interview went out on Monday and you can listen to it here:

http://www.piratefm.co.uk/blogs/wheres-your-head-at/unbreakable-bond/

Then on Monday, ITV Westcountry filmed a feature on dementia with me, which aired across the southwest on Tuesday evening:

http://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/update/2016-05-18/dementia-fears-preventing-people-from-seeing-gps/

On Wednesday I was invited by Alzheimer’s Society South West to speak at the Cornwall Dementia Action Alliance Partnership Launch at the Royal Cornwall Showground.

This was all off the back of being published in “The Journal of Dementia Care” last week.

The best thing about being this busy, is the number of people I am being able to touch and impact with my story, as that is what it is all about. Thanks to all these media companies and charities I can touch more people than I can by myself and I appreciate every one of them.

Inspirational

I have met some very inspirational people this week and heard a lot of personal stories about how dementia has affected them. If it wasn’t for Dementia Awareness Week I may not have heard these stories or been touched by them and it has been so important to me to hear them. So often in life we get caught up in our own lives and problems, but hearing from other people gave me insight and perspective, which was really appreciated.

Thanks to everyone I have worked with this week, with the raised media profile, my book “Unbreakable Bond” made it back to the top of the bestseller charts. This wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for everything that happened this week. It’s not for vanity that this is important but because the more books I sell, the more lives the story of my mum and I can help and that is what it is all about.

Proud

I hope my mum is proud of what has been accomplished this week and the fact that she can continue to play her part for years to come in helping people affected by dementia.

To find out more about my book and get a copy go to:

www.unbreakablebond.co.uk

Improving yourself

Embed from Getty Images

One thing I am very passionate about is improving myself. My wife and me are always looking for ways we can improve our lives, our world and ourselves. We both want the best in life and don’t like settling for anything less.

The most important thing to us is how we spend our time. This is something we have recently been looking in to and studying. Through studying we have now learnt ways to maximize our enjoyment of each day and maximize our productivity. We know before each day, what we want to get out of it and how we are going to make it work.

Teach yourself something new

Knowledge and skills are other important areas to us. We both study through different sections of Open University, whilst holding down jobs and my wife especially is always learning new skills. Online there are a wealth of tutorials and teach yourself videos that are absolutely free, so there has never been a better time to teach yourself something new.

One key area in our life is the food we eat and the health choices we make. We try our upmost everyday to get in as many different fruit and veg as possible, whilst making healthy meal choices. We have also started drinking a lot more water recently and cutting back on the tea & coffee, which has also made a big difference.

Make a change

Whatever stage or state of life you are in, there are always ways to improve your life, your world and yourself. The great thing is, that most of the best & most important changes you can make don’t cost anything! A simple change you make for free could be worth so much to you later in life. Don’t miss an opportunity to make a change now, which could benefit you for years to come.

Changes don’t have to be big, as it can be the smallest changes that make the biggest difference. My only advice would be to make changes you can and are willing to commit to. Make your changes a way of life, not just something you do for a day or two. Think about what is important to you and why it is important that you stick to a change you have made. We can always improve ourselves and my plan is to never stop trying to improve myself.

Having a vision and doing something about it

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Raising hope

Embed from Getty Images

It seems to me at times like the world is full of people giving others false hope and raising their expectations unfairly.

A subject that is very close to my heart is dementia. For the last few years I have seen so many newspaper headlines about possible new cures or preventions for the condition, but still a universally available and used treatment seems to me, to be very far away. Don’t get me wrong I am very happy that people are researching it and trying to find a solution, I just wish it wasn’t plastered all over the news every time a possible breakthrough is found. I would just rather hear about it when a tested and proven treatment is found.

Promising the earth

Another thing I see in society a lot these days is people who will promise other people the earth without knowing if they can deliver what they said they have. It seems people are reckless with what they promise, as I have seen so many promise so much and deliver so little. I have been guilty of this too in the past, so now I am trying to be more realistic with what I can offer. I would rather offer little and deliver big than offer big and deliver little.

If someone promises something, it raises people hopes and people start thinking like it is already a done deal that those promises are going to happen. I think it is human nature sometimes to get ahead of ourselves and I think we need a culture change of how we react when people start promising things but more importantly we need a world where people stop promising things that they can’t guarantee.

Help others

I think hope is an important thing to have in life, as without hope, life can feel a little bleak at times. I hate when I see peoples hope taken advantage of or smashed to pieces when they are built up only to be brought down. A lot of my life is based on hope and I would be lost without it, so I want to do everything to keep mine whilst helping others to have hope and keep their hope.

My call to everyone reading my blog this week is to review the promises you make, think about others and be someone who delivers. Never forget how important it is to deliver on things and don’t just give up too easily, make your promises mean something and think about the people you are affecting when you don’t live up to your promises.

Sharing and impacting

Embed from Getty Images

Last Friday there was no blog on this site because I was away showcasing my book “Unbreakable Bond” at a dementia conference in Plymouth. At the conference I got to hear from the CEO of the Alzheimer’s Society Jeremy Hughes and from Angela Rippon OBE, but more importantly I got to talk to people at the coalface of caring and supporting people with dementia.

I listened to some of the speakers, I was sitting there just hoping my book could touch and impact people in the way they were impacting me. Not because I wanted to be on the stage, not because I want to be a big name, but because I know how it feels to be touched and inspired and it would mean the world to me if it was my book that was having that impact on others.

Learning from experience

When I was selling my book at the conference many people said they were going to put the book in to their libraries and staff rooms at work. Them saying that meant the world to me, as I want as many people to read the book as possible. I love conferences as I love getting the chance to speak to people who have read my book or brought a copy of my book. I wish I could speak to everyone who has brought my book, to thank them and to hear their story. I love people’s stories, I think we have so much to learn from each other and we need to put more focus on learning from other people’s experiences.

I think everyone has something important to share and I just hope that by me sharing my story it encourages others to share and to feel that they have something important to share, because everyone does. We can all learn from each other and something that really got me last week was the thought that the more I learn, the more I learn than I know so little. You can never know too much or enough, so please join my movement of people who want to learn from others and share with others.

Endorsement

I got to speak to Jeremy Hughes at the conference and he promised me that he was going to get my book out of the Alzheimer’s Society Knowledge Centre and I believe that he will. I hope he is touched by the book and that the Alzheimer’s Society can get behind it, because their support and Jeremy’s endorsement would really help get the book in to the hands of people who could be helped by it.

My book “Unbreakable Bond” is the book I wrote about the experiences of caring for my mum who was diagnosed with early onset dementia at the age of 51. The book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and many other great book stockists. To find out more go to:

www.unbreakablebond.co.uk

 

 

Asking for help

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Helping others doesn’t have to cost you anything

Embed from Getty Images

In a previous blog I talked about my mission this year to show more love than I receive, to love more than I am loved. A big part of this for me, is going to be performing acts of kindness whenever I can see the opportunity and helping people that need help.

Its only February and already I have had many chances to help people and I have taken them all. It’s surprising when you are on the look out for ways to help others, opportunities just seem to present themselves. At the beginning of the year I didn’t think I would have found the opportunities that I have already. It’s not even been hard work to find them.

Working with the right people

One of my favourite ways I have helped people already this year is giving money to a charity to help those affected by flooded in Sri Lanka and it didn’t even cost me anything! Last year I did a Crowdfunder to get my book published. In the budget were funds to hire a graphics designer to design the cover for the book. I managed to get the graphics designer for less money than I thought I would and to top it off he passed his fee on to the charity in Sri Lanka without taking a penny for himself. If I hadn’t started the book or the Crowdfunder, these people in Sri Lanka wouldn’t have got the vital aid they received. I never thought I would be able to help people in ways like this through the book but I am so glad I could.

Eyes open

This week in work, collection boxes have been put up for donations of clothes and supplies to be sent to refugees in Syria. So this week I will be going through my home and donating whatever I can. I have things in my house, which rarely get used and could be made better use of, which I can’t wait to donate. I hope we will be able to make a real difference with what we give and again this won’t cost me anything.

Many people shy away from helping others as it either costs money or time but there are so many ways where it doesn’t have to if you just look for the opportunities. Sometimes the simplest acts of kindness are the most impactful and powerful. Anyone can help anyone regardless of what they have or don’t have and regardless of their own situation.

Letter to my daughter

Embed from Getty Images

Last year I became a father, which was the greatest moment in life. My wife and I were gifted with the most important job we will ever have, the chance to positively impact the life of someone who we think is so special. Our baby girl has unlimited potential, it is now our task to make sure she has the best life ever and that she is ready for anything that comes her way. We want her life to be full of possibility, opportunity, happiness and fulfillment.

Dear Lucy,

I am so proud to be your dad; nothing you could ever do would stop me from loving you, believing in you and thinking the world of you. Along with your mum I want to be your biggest fan, I want to be the one that teaches you right from wrong and that gives you the building blocks to achieve great things in life.

I want to so much for you. I want you to be dedicated and to be passionate about the things you care about and want to achieve. It is those that are dedicated and passionate that achieve great things in this world and I hope I can inspire you to be both of these things.

I want to give you the space to find your own dreams and then do anything I can to make them come true. I don’t want to live my life through you; I want to live my life with you. I can’t wait to find out about the things you are in to and enjoy doing. I will never laugh at anything you are in to or any dream you have regardless of how different or big it is.

I want you to know that you can talk to me about anything; I want you to know that I will never judge or condemn you. I will always listen and advise when I can. I won’t get angry or hurt when you don’t follow my advice as I think it is important sometimes for you to have your own opinion, to try and fail, to learn and to sometimes know more than I do.

The one hope I have for you is confidence. I want you to have confidence to be your own person, to not be led by the crowd, to have your own identity and to know who you are. I want the highest self-esteem and self worth for you. You are precious and worth more than anything else ever invented.

More than anything I want to do life with you, the ups and the downs. I want you to know you are beautiful inside and out. I want you to not let anyone bring you down and to put you off pursuing your dreams. Don’t lead the life others are leading or the life they want you to lead, keep hold of your dreams and passions – don’t give them up for anyone.

You’ve changed our world and I know you will change this world for others. I can’t wait to watch you develop in to the amazing adult I know you will be.

Love

Your Dad

A mission to love more than I am loved

Embed from Getty Images

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.