Keep on chipping away

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I always have a lot of personal projects on the go, like the promotion of the book I published and my involvement with the local wrestling scene here in Plymouth. Some days I put a lot of my spare time and thought space in to them, some days I don’t touch them, but they are always there in the back of my mind.

I think it is great to have things you can pick up and put down. Some days you are filled with motivation and inspiration. On those days in one night you can get the equivalent of a weeks or more work done. This is why I think it is important not to worry about putting things down from time to time, as long as you don’t put them down forever and pick them back up on a regular basis.

Bringing me back

My book titled “Unbreakable Bond” is one book, but the journey with it has now lasted over 3 years, from writing it, to editing it, to publishing it, to promoting it. It is the promotional work I enjoy, as it keeps bringing me back to the project and means the project just doesn’t get left on the shelf forever more.

With my wrestling involvement, sometimes there are mad weeks with lots of stuff going on to talk about and promote, then some weeks it seems like very little is happening. I don’t worry though as I always know something big is just around the corner and that even on quiet weeks my passion for it doesn’t change.

Unlocking potential

I know that if I was to step away from these things tomorrow, that I have done things and created things that are long lasting and will be around even after I am gone and I am very proud of that. That comfort however doesn’t stop me from wanting to do everything in my power to make them as big as I can before I stop. You see there is so much potential in everything you are involved in and its only when you push it all the way, that you find out some of what that potential is and could be.

Your projects that you are involved in are a part of you and an extension of you. It is up to you if they realise their full potential or not and it is up to you what you want to do with them. I like the constant contact and involvement in the things I do and I hope in 50 years time I am still championing and working on the book and the wrestling.

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Prioritising

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Prioritising things is something I struggle with a lot. I’m one of these people that always have a few things on the go at once and I want everything I am working on to be done as soon as possible. It makes it so hard to cope sometimes, as I so desperately want to see these tasks completed and it frustrates me so much when they aren’t.

If I prioritise something over another, I just find myself worrying about the thing I am not prioritising. As much as I tell myself that worrying doesn’t get anything done quicker, I still can’t help but worry about things that aren’t being done.

Deadlines

Part of the problem comes from when I set deadlines to complete tasks. A lot of the time these are just deadlines I have made to make sure I do things and don’t put them off, most of the time it doesn’t actually matter to anyone else if I miss my deadline, as it doesn’t affect anyone and no one else knows I was working to a deadline.

It’s like my wife and I have a list of things we want to get done this summer and for each thing we have put a date next to when we want to get it done by. The reason for putting dates next to things was to spread the tasks up evenly throughout the summer and to make sure they get done.

Lists

On the list this week have been a lot of gardening tasks to get done but because of the poor weather I haven’t been able to get anywhere near close to finishing them. No one else cares about the garden and it doesn’t affect anyone else, I am just bummed that I won’t complete it in the time I thought I originally would.

I think to prioritise well you have to know that some things are going to have to be put on the back burner for a bit and you have to be comfortable with this. It is impossible to do everything all the time. I have a lot to learn in this area but it is a skill I hope I can master, as I think it will relieve stress and make my life better.

If you set yourself big targets and want to achieve lots of things, then life will always be busy and life will always be about prioritising.

Keeping the ball rolling

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It is now over a year since the launch of my book “Unbreakable Bond.” I am still as passionate as I was on launch day to get this book in to the hands of many people as possible. This has meant since early 2015 I have been keeping the ball rolling on the promotion of the book.

I have no promotion team or advertising budget, so every bit of attention I have to scrap for and I am willing to scrap. Every week I try to set aside a small manageable amount of time to dedicate to spreading the word about the book. It would have been so easy for me to just blitz the promotion at the start and then do nothing, but I think this slow and steady approach has paid dividends. I am seeing constant sales of the book and regular new avenues of promotion opening up.

Mental Health Foundation

It’s like this week the Mental Health Foundation featured a piece on my book, which was seen by thousands thanks to their social media promotion:

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/stories/my-mum-and-i-unbreakable-bond

This has lead to the book getting back inside the Top 10 on Amazon for its category, which is amazing. With my hard work and the support of others this book isn’t fizzling out or going away, which I am immensely proud of.

Features

I also have features coming up later this year in the Dementia Care Journal (a leading Dementia publication) and some local radio stations. Even though each week there isn’t a new article somewhere about my book, there is always something going on behind the scenes.

At the moment I am building some great relationships with important and influential people in the dementia world, which I hope will lead to great fruit in the months and years to come. Publicising something is a game that you have to keep the right mind to each week. Some weeks you get lots of support and activity because of your work and some weeks you don’t but you need to work your hardest each week regardless of what the outcome is, as it is only by doing this that great results come.

I am forever thinking of and finding new ways to promote the book and I hope that for years to come that this book continues to be a relevant and a used tool to help people currently caring for people with dementia.

To buy my book or find out more about it go to www.unbreakablebond.co.uk

Asking for help

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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.

Why have so many people bought into the lie?

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The one thing in this world that really saddens me as how so many people have bought into the lie that we all need the fancy house and the fancy car, that we all need to work every hour we can, that we need to get big mortgages, finance options and loans so we can have everything we are told we should want.

The simple way to afford everything and not work yourself in to the ground is to buy everything you want. Yes that might sound strange but I am not kidding. If you don’t take out loans, finance, credit or leases, you never owe anybody anything and never have to worry about working to pay them off. When me and my wife want something we first make sure that we do want it and discuss why we want it, we then try and find it for the best price and then we pay for it up front which sometimes means saving up. Paying for everything up front also makes everything much cheaper.

Managing your finances

At the beginning of every month we look at the money coming in and then do our budget. We budget for all the expenses of the month and then with any leftover we decide what we want to do with it. This means we don’t go in to debt and we always know what we want and what we can afford, we never say “we are not sure if we can afford that or not.” Trying to raise the money you have coming in can be hard and out of your control but the money you spend is completely in your control and it is very easy to cut your bills. This month alone my wife and I were able to save hundreds by simply cancelling contracts, renegotiating contracts and changing providers.

Being a parent now myself I am seeing other parents being forced back to work to keep up with payments and the lifestyle they lead. I see so many children being looked after by grandparents now during the week as both parents are back at work full time before their child is even one. It seems to be a declining trend now in stay-at-home parents but I am so thankful that my wife is a stay-at-home mum. It was so important to us for our child to have one parent at home as we truly believe this is the best investment we can make in our child.

What really matters

Our child doesn’t care what house we live in, our child doesn’t care if her clothes are hand-me-downs, our child cares about our hugs, our smiles and our time. Time with our child is worth more than any amount of money to us or any possession we could buy.

Don’t let society and media tell you what you have to have or implant in your brain that you want something. Get what you truly want out of life, if you truly want to be at home to raise a family you will find a way to make it happen, it is never too late to make that change.

Rested and recharged

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In the UK, many of us this weekend just gone, will have been enjoying 3 days off work for the Bank Holiday weekend. Weekends for me normally go way too fast and before I know it I am back at work again but that extra day makes all the difference when we get a Bank Holiday weekend. Instead of feeling like I haven’t really had a break, I will go back to work this week a bit more rested and happy in the knowledge that only a 4-day week lies ahead of me.

Scared of taking a break

In today’s world there seems to be many in our society that are on the go 24/7. People who are constantly chasing success, constantly trying to achieve something or make something happen. Many people out there seem to be scared of stopping and taking a break and many that think success is all about being busy or being seen to be busy.

I wouldn’t want to do business with someone that is too scared to rest. To me if someone is too scared to rest they are scared of losing things and I would rather do business with people who aren’t scared of losing things, but who want to achieve something.

Lazy is an opinion

I think we as a society need to stop looking at people who rest as lazy. Yes there are lazy people in this world, but they are only lazy in your opinion. If it is someone’s goal just to have the most peaceful and restful life they can, what is wrong with that? If you want to be a busy person that is your decision, don’t think that everyone else should be or look down on others who aren’t as busy as you.

To me the only sure fire way to long-term success is to rest well. Having the ability to rest properly enables us to make the most of our awake time. These last few weeks my wife and I have been watching the World Athletics Championships and the thing that strikes me is that those who are on top of their game are the ones who know the importance of rest and looking after their body. Yes these athletes train harder than anyone else in their field, but they wouldn’t be able to do this without their rest, as it is the rest that restores and repairs them to go again the next day.

Making the right decisions

One of the main factors of success is making the right decisions and I always find that the best decisions are made when you are thinking clearly, I don’t think many great decisions get made when you are tired. Tiredness I find stops me from thinking clearly or thinking before I speak. I want to make sure in life that I make great decisions all the time, as it only takes a few bad ones to send you down a path that you don’t want to go and that isn’t the best for you.

So the two things I always want to do in life are, know what I want to achieve and to do it in the best and healthiest way properly. The key to this I think is resting well.

Reaping the rewards of old work

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Sometimes in life we can try and do something, wanting instant results and get disheartened when we don’t get the results we desire. It is very disappointing when this happens, as the reason you are putting the effort in, is to get the results and whilst you are working, you are already thinking ahead to the results as if they have already been obtained.

When we don’t get the instant results, we will move on to something else, cut our losses and forget about the work we did. The thing to remember, is that just because you don’t get instant results, it doesn’t mean you will never get results from your hard work. It is very rarely that work is in vain and whatever happens as a result of your work, you can always learn something from it and grow because of it.

Written Off

I was reminded of this; by the patch of strawberries we are growing in our back garden. Last year we put a ton of work in and got very little in the way of strawberries for our hard work. I’ll be honest, I was a little disheartened and because of being disheartened I didn’t do anything to maintain the patch since last summer. Because I hadn’t put any work in, I didn’t expect a harvest this year and had written it off.

To my surprise this summer we have had an absolute abundance of strawberries. I have had so many strawberries that I have been giving them away and have exhausted all ideas of what I can do with strawberries. I’ve made strawberry ice cream, strawberry syrup, strawberry jam, strawberry icing and the list goes on.

Encouraged

This summer has encouraged me to never give up on old work and never lose hope that it can be used for good and can come good in the future. There is nothing like when something you did in the past that you have forgotten about comes back in to your life and you see it finally being a success.

Patience is key, you can put in the hard work but you can’t always going to guarantee when it is going to pay off or even if it is going to pay off at all. If you can do the work and be proud of what you have done, then no matter what happens you are equipped for success.