Archives for posts with tag: Quantum Thinking
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Team members on a sales training workshop from Gates Group, an organisation INVESTING in their staff.

How much time, money and effort do you invest in your staff?  Yes, I appreciate that you pay them a wage or salary, but is that it?  If you consider the notion that staff are one of the most fundamental and crucial parts of any business, then surely you should invest in them?

So how do you do that? Well for a start, when did you last TRAIN your staff?

There is sometimes a big ‘fear factor’ about training staff within organisations, which, whilst I categorically do not agree with it, I can understand it, to a degree.  One of the biggest fears is that once the staff member has been trained… they can then take over the boss’s role!  You could argue it stems from perhaps being insecure in the role of the boss!

Training and Development on the Gears.

Training is synonomous with development.

Many of you will have heard this conversation between the Managing Director and The Training and Development Manager?  For those that haven’t, here we go:-

Training Manager; ‘We really should be training our staff’.

Managing Director; ‘But what if we spend all that money on them and they then leave’?

Training Manager; ‘What if we don’t train them and they stay’?

I’m sure many of you reading this will have experienced working for someone who had this attitude, or scarily enough, maybe they just could not see the benefit in training.  Given that many of you reading this will be the retail industry, statistically, the main reason consumers do not return to a shop, pub, supplier or organisation, is not down to the product or product range, the location or even the price; it’s down to staff attitude.  Now what this effectively means is, you are employing staff, paying them a wage, and they are scaring off customers!! Not only that, but those customers are going out of their way to tell others.  Sound ludicrous? Well I can tell you it is happening right NOW.

Another huge assumption is that if you train staff initially when they join the company, then that is it; the rest they simply ‘pick up as they go along’.  But have you noticed how your industry has changed massively over the last 20-30 years… and yet we still, often, do not recognise a need for up-skilling and refresher training.  I’ve often used the analogy of a fully qualified Heart Surgeon, who did their training 30 years ago and has performed plenty of transplants.  If you were about to go under the scalpel…. with the knowledge that they had not up skilled or re-trained in all those years… how confident would you be?  EVERYONE needs ongoing training, as the job, products and environment changes, although bizarrely (and this has always worried me a little)… once you have passed your driving test at 17, you have no more training or refreshers for over 60 years! Is it any wonder that maybe that is a contributory factor to so many poor drivers on the roads and so many road accidents and deaths?

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How many Managers ‘stress’ because they do not delegate or empower their team?

So what is the true cost of NOT training your staff?  It’s an open ended answer and depends on many factors, but what has been proven time and time again is that without training, you are not getting the very best out of your staff.  So what training should you undertake?  Well look at it another way; What is it you would like your staff to do that they currently are not doing?

Legislative Training should be carried out, regardless of the size of your business, so Health & Safety and Fire Safety training needs to be a regular part of your training and whilst many can view this as a ‘cost’, I believe it to be an investment.  It is far far less expensive than actually having an accident, together with possible fines for a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

You may want to take a look at business specific training, perhaps your own stock control methods or ‘till’ training, just to decrease the amount of ‘No Sales’ rung up on the till?!  Generic training, which again, should still be tailor-made to your own business can include Sales training, Customer Service (yes I know this is a quick win for most organisations, but in my opinion, we are generally appallingly bad at this as a nation), you may even want to look at PEOPLE or MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT training?  It’s not just the football world that has mind-blowingly brilliant players that produce very poor Managers or mediocre players that turn into brilliant Managers!  An incredible observation in business is the amount of times a person gets PROMOTED to a management position, often because they are VERY good at their job… and fall flat on their face!  The amount of training given, if any, is minimal and yet we expect this person to hit the ground running, which clearly is a BIG ask.  New Managers tend to want to come in and ‘make their mark’, changing things instantly.  Now, I am all for CHANGE… but change to improve, not change for the sake of it.

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How much training is purely carried out as a ‘tick-box’ exercise?

If the person has had the fortune previously, to work for a GREAT manager, then a lot of those skills will hopefully have been picked up, yet I have seen it time and time again, where superb employees are given management roles, with no support.  That ‘failing’ then infects the whole team and those with a little ‘get up and go’ tend to do exactly that… GO!  Those that remain generally fall in line with the poor standards, failings and under-achieving that often go with the bad manager.  Consider who has really failed though, the newly promoted manager or the company?

Organisations invest in premises, IT systems, products, marketing (sometimes!), and other essential items, but staff training is often neglected.  Why not make time NOW to invest in your most important asset?

It’s not about cloning our staff into being super slick sales people, but rather enhancing their skills, updating their knowledge and motivating them to achieve even greater success, for both themselves and the organisation.

If you would like to explore the training aspect of your staff but are not sure where to start, then give me a call, under no obligation, and we’ll have a conversation.

For more details of workshops that can help YOU and YOUR business, simply contact us on info@imduk.com

Please feel free to forward and share.

Gary Boyes – Director

IMD (UK) Limited

Bad Manager

 

best practice

How do YOU operate? Minimum Standards or Best Practice?

At what stage should you compromise on quality, in whatever you do? I have long been an advocate of ‘Best Practice’ as opposed to ‘Minimum Standards’ and the majority of people I speak to, agree wholeheartedly with that opinion… yet why, on so many levels do we insist on merely going through the motions, to ‘tick-the-box’ without giving any real thought to the outcome?

Now before the accountants and financiers of this world shoot me down in flames, yes I know and understand there is only so much in the budget (though I would question where and how thought out that budget was initially) and that stakeholders want to see a return on their investment, but how many budgets are simply ‘made-up-numbers’?  It’s a forecast! It’s based on what you think will happen, what the market forces, say (think) will happen and it is based on previous past history and an attempt to see into the future. In effect, it’s a guess!

I well remember when I was in a Sales Team being given my budget and sales target for the following year.  On questioning how my Manager, at the time, had arrived at the figures (which were out of proportion with realism), he started to explain they were all calculated after in-depth analysis.  Upon further questioning, he admitted he had plucked a figure out of the sky and added 10%!! Madness!

The main issue I have with forecasting budgets and targets is that those that hold the purse strings remain inflexible throughout the year, reviewing performance against targets but never changing the budget or target, given the impact of external forces, such as the market, economic influences and in many industries, environmental impact.  I am not for one moment suggesting we shouldn’t be setting targets, goals and budgets, but always be prepared to review and adjust them mid-term.  Consider the LOSS IN BUSINESS that could occur if there was a prime investment opportunity, but you limited your budget because the ‘made up’ forecast said you can only spend £x,000 per month!

Now, budgets and targets aside, wouldn’t you agree that you should strive for the best quality and aim for the best of everything that you possibly can?  Again, I’m not suggesting that you are wasteful, and squander capital, but have a clear vision of the outcome that you want to achieve and then follow the best process to get there.  If you have a sound process then the outcome will take care of itself.

Training and Development on the Gears.

How much TRAINING actually does DEVELOP People? Minimum Standards = Minimum Development.

When it comes to training staff, clearly it would follow that you would strive to get the best trainers that you possibly can.  How do you deem them to be the best?  Well in essence, a trainer must have two major qualities.

  1. Knowledge/Experience of the subject taught
  2. The ability to impart that knowledge in such a way that it is clearly understandable 

It has not gone unnoticed in the past couple of years of the amount of ‘fast track’ courses that potential trainers can attend, sometimes less than one day in duration, gain a certificate that says they have attended and off they go passing this new-found knowledge on, with little or no previous experience, and with the delegates attending the course, totally unaware of the lack of experience the so-called trainer has!  By attending just a couple of half or one-day courses you can apparently be ‘qualified’ to train Manual Handling, Health & Safety and Personal Safety, as an example, without ever having previous experience in these areas! Astounding really, when you think about it.  Therefore the question must be asked, how important is ‘Experience’?

Success Ladder

Climb the ladder of EXPERIENCE.

Consider you are going into hospital for an operation.  Which surgeon would you prefer, the one that finished medical school last week and this is their first operation, or the surgeon that has been carrying out similar operations for the past 10 years.  Both, however, are ‘qualified’!

You’re about to have root canal treatment on your troublesome tooth!  Which dentist would you prefer, the one that has carried out thousands of similar treatments, or the dentist that passed their final exam last week?  Again, both are ‘qualified’!

This of course occurs in every walk of life and experience will be gained on a daily basis, but why compromise your business and livelihood by cutting costs severely and leaving your employees at potential risk of being ‘uneducated’?  Remember, ignorance is no defence!

A large organisation that I have worked with for many years had largely built their success on bringing in specific external trainers to train their staff, using the specialised skill set of the external trainer.  In a move to ‘cut costs’ the internal training team that previously have been used as trainers for ‘generic’ company areas have now been fast tracked to deliver First Aid, Manual Handling, Health & Safety, Personal Safety (surprisingly, they don’t train on breakaway and/or restraint, as their policy is to de-escalate issues before restraint is required… even though they sometimes work in an environment of customers with mental health illness.  They are of course leaving themselves wide-open to criminal charges, should an incident occur)!!  Sadly, and possibly due to having grown too quickly without the right infrastructure in place and poor leadership in some departments, they have resorted to ‘ticking-the-box’ as opposed to quality, sustainable, suitable and sufficient training programmes.

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Is there any REAL value in ‘Ticking-The-Box’?

The term ‘sheep dipping’ is used where all employees are put through a programme, regardless of whether it’s individually needed or not, purely so that when they undergo an inspection, they can show the boxes, duly ‘ticked’.  Remember, as with anything in life, you are only as strong as your weakest link.

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How do YOU operate? Minimum Standards or Best Practice?

Has it cut costs? Yes, undoubtedly, as they potentially have no external training costs and so the procurement department are overjoyed in the budget preservation!  Has it benefitted employees?  That remains to be seen, but of course, just one issue and an ongoing legal investigation could result in court appearances, fines and potentially custodial sentences.  Remember, when you appoint trainers, certainly to train on ‘legally-bound issues’, please ensure they are giving advice that is currently legally accurate and that they are trained to a ‘suitable & sufficient’ level to deliver that information.  The balance sheet may look great and as a Manager who appoints these trainers, be prepared to have pats on your back for saving the company money…. but also be prepared to face the law courts, should an incident occur that happened as a result of putting cost before quality.

Aversely, another organisation I work with has seen tremendous growth, certainly over the past ten years, and in a market that is currently declining, continues to show year on year growth.  Their staff retention, again, in an industry that traditionally has high staff turnover is well below the national average and it will not surprise you to learn that they have a robust, first class training department, using external trainers across all skill sets.  The training delivered is reviewed on a regular basis and continually tweaked and updated to provide the delegates with their specific training requirements.  Employees can clearly see a progression through the company, should they choose to seek promotion, and feel part of the whole team rather than a payroll number.  The training costs to deliver this training are staggering, so why do they do it? Well their return more than outweighs their expenditure.  You see, they consider training costs as an investment in their business rather than a necessity.  They also want the very best return on their investment and by providing the best quality training possible ensure that this part of the jigsaw is taken care of.  Virgin Atlantic are another organisation that invests heavily in their training, even when the market is strained and on a downturn… their philosophy is, when the market picks up again, they are ready and waiting to capitalise!  Perhaps it’s no wonder they are the benchmark in the aviation industry.

Man jump on the sunset day time.

What is a successful life? An accumulation of good days!

Which returns to my original question… At what stage should you compromise on quality?  Review your own organisation, perhaps the one you work for.  What quality has been compromised, purely on a cost basis and how does that reflect on the organisations investment in staff?  We are constantly told that employees are the life-blood of organisations, so by providing poor quality training, how good do the employees feel about themselves and their ‘worth’ to the company?!

Food for thought, indeed, and something to consider over the next few months.

Feel free to drop us a line and share YOUR experiences of Best Practice.

info@imduk.org

In the Zone in Manchester!

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David Tingey & Gary Boyes – The Mind Factor Workshop 2015

We recently had the opportunity to spend three days, enhancing our knowledge of and taking a new angle, sometimes, on the power of the mind.  The fact that the course was delivered by The Mind Factor and Dr. Karl Morris with a huge emphasis on the ‘Golfing Mind’, then we knew we’d benefit and enjoy!

We first met Karl a few years ago at Bishop’s Stortford Golf Club when he was delivering a short Mindfactor Session to the members.  Naturally, being a scholar of all things that go on in the mind, we wanted to learn even more and the weekend in Manchester seemed an ideal opportunity!  As with everything, if you are in control of your mind, you stay calm in pressure moments, or of course in decision making opportunities, where the outcomes may have serious consequences.  Now some would say there are no ‘serious consequences’ when you play golf, certainly at an amateur level, but take this a step further… how good could it be to control your mind in all aspects of your life, both in business and in your personal life?

Friday morning started early, with a train into London at just after 5.00am, a seamless tube ride to Euston, and then the 6.36am Virgin Train to Manchester Piccadilly saw myself and colleague, David Tingey, a PGA Professional, arrive in Manchester just before 9.00am.  Whilst we’ve flown Virgin Atlantic, it was the first time we’d used the services of Virgin for rail services, and what a joy!  2 hours 20 minutes of comfort, without having to concentrate on the roads (and potentially taking twice as long)!  Next time we’re Manchester bound, it’ll be Virgin Trains all the way!

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Gary Boyes, Chris Walton, Karl Morris, David Tingey

We checked into The Radisson Blu, in the centre of Manchester, where the course was to be held, and settled down for three great days of realising just how awesome the mind is, in EVERYTHING we do.

When you think back, it’s incredible to recount the number of times teams and individuals have progressed to be successful by having the belief in their ability and remaining calm under pressure.  As many of you will know, it can be so easy to have many thoughts coming into your head at the same time, especially in the field of golf… head down, swing through the ball, knees flexed… Is it any wonder we have the potential to hit a poor shot? Take that a step further; Is it a surprise to anyone that we sometimes turn up for work, mind overflowing with thoughts, ideas and ‘things that we need to remember’, and then have a poor outcome? How much of that information, at that moment in time, and the ATTENTION that we devote to it, is either ‘useful’ or ‘useless’?! And that set the tone for Day one, and in fact the whole workshop… Decide what is useful, or useless… and deal with it accordingly. Something useless at one moment, could become useful at a later stage, and vice versa… but forget the before and the after, we’re talking about the NOW! Stay in the present moment, give it your full ATTENTION.

 

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Philip Zimbardo – What ‘Time Zone’ is your mind travelling in?

Habitual time zones was an interesting concept, with our phenomenal mind being able to race, at the slightest thought to something previous in our lives or fast forward to something that we ‘imagined’ might happen.  Philip Zimbardo, the American Psychologist, carried out numerous studies to demonstrate this, over a period of many years.  Whenever we need to stay in the present moment, it’s about selecting the time-zone ‘Present Absorbed’!

An interesting session followed by Guest Speaker, Chris Walton, introducing the work he has carried out on the Gamma Mindset.  Our brainwaves go through various stages, dependent upon what we are doing, from a state of high alert to resting and to sleep.  Intriguing stuff from Chris and should you want to know more, check out www.GammaMindset.com

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Gary Nicol & Gary Boyes

Day two continued with the same momentum, and a look at belief systems and possibly, more importantly, how you could change those beliefs? We had another Guest Speaker, Gary Nicol, who spent 16 years as a coach on the European Tour and is now based at Archerfield Links in North Berwick.  Gary recalled many stories, working with touring Pro’s and brought his philosophy of ‘simplicity’ to everyone.  Demonstrating his belief that ‘impact’ was the crucial area of a golf swing, how you got there, i.e. Back swing & follow through, was largely irrelevant, as long as the impact was sound.  Of course, if someone’s back-swing affected the impact, then it will need adjusting, but to him, it was a case of ‘cause and effect’ and simply coaching that.  Keeping it simple, HAS to be the best way to stay in the moment.  For more information on this and the work that Gary now undertakes, go to www.tpegs.com

We particularly enjoyed the session that covered ‘perception’.  The Cambridge Dictionary defines perception as ‘a belief or opinion, often held by many people and based on how things seem’, which means how we interpret information on a personal level.  (I recall recently asking someone with a fear of flying what they saw when I showed them a picture of a Boeing 747.  Now, I enjoy flying, and I see planes as a means of travel to a nice place! There answer? They saw a ‘metal coffin’!  Based purely on how that information was received in their own head, that was their perception).  Again, the work that we did about changing perception was time well-spent.

Day three looked at the four quadrants of golf, BEFORE, DURING, IN BETWEEN and AFTER and how each quadrant had an impact on the next.  This again, can be directly correlated to business.  Active Visualisation and creating strong neural pathways formed the bulk of the morning, with our final Guest Speaker, Dave O’Sullivan giving us some fascinating and cutting-edge insights into his work around breathing.  As we know, if your breathing is controlled and calm, then so too is the mind. Dave has been involved as the head physiotherapist for Huddersfield Giants Rugby League team and has been instrumental in their recent success.  For more information, www.physiohuddersfield.co.uk

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Two key points for us, coming from the workshop, can be summed up in two words! ATTENTION and PROCESS.  Whatever you are doing, be it personal life, sporting activity or business, you must FOCUS on and give it your full ATTENTION.  With regard to PROCESS… Well if you focus on the PROCESS, and ensure your process is right… then the outcome will be as PLANNED.  We’ll be looking at these two important areas in a future blog, so make sure you don’t miss out and sign up NOW.

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Making new friends is always important! 

As with many enjoyable workshops, you wonder how the time seems to go so fast, but as all good things come to an end, in order for the next one to start.  We were back on the train to London, tired but with an abundance of knowledge and skill, not forgetting belief, that we will start to put into our golfing as well as our business lives.  As with many external courses, you find yourself making great friends with people of all ages and all walks of life, that I know will be a USEFUL resource in the future.  Thanks for making our three days so enjoyable and a huge thanks to Karl, Nadine and the guest speakers.

Sign up to our blog site www.imduk.org by simply putting your email address where indicated and you’ll be kept informed of all future workshops and courses.  Workshops and courses that could have a POSITIVE IMPACT on you and your life.

The Positive Revolution! 

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With recent events in the world headlines and of course the general ‘bad news’ that the media seem to thrust down our throats 24/7, it’s very easy to fall into a negative mindset.  But today, look around you and see how many ‘positive’ people you can spot?

Positive people are those folk that you feel good to be around, they have the ability to help you ‘be yourself’ in a natural relaxed state.  They can turn up absolutely anywhere, and may be the person that supports you when you are feeling down and joins in the fun when you’re on the up!  You may go to them for advice and appreciate their words of wisdom or as someone who looks at you and notices your strengths, when, often, you are completely blind to them.  Consider how many people you know that are open-minded, kind and caring, maybe even compassionate and generous in many ways.  Maybe they just have the ability to believe in you and inspire you?

I recall a story, from many moons ago, that a fish will only grow as big as its environment will allow it to.  If you keep it it a small tank, it will only grow a few centimetres before becoming stunted, whereas keep it in a pond and it can grow up to a metre in length.  How many times do we ‘stunt’ people by not allowing them to grow in the right environment?  Spending time with positive people, due to many factors, including their belief in you and their support will enable you to grow to your maximum potential, where the boundaries are endless. Just consider how good that will feel, giving you new ideas and new possibilities.  Choose very wisely who you mix with; you become like the company you keep!

Good people bring out the good in people

Who do you know that could tick the majority of the list below?

  • Someone who makes you feel good about yourself?
  • Someone you can totally be yourself with?
  • Someone who listens to what you have to say?
  • Someone you can talk to if you’re worried?
  • Someone who makes you laugh?
  • Someone who inspires you?
  • Someone who introduces you to new ideas or new people?

Now, you may just have one person in mind or several that tick a few of the situations.  The people you have on your list could be absolutely anyone, even people that you have never yet met, but these are the people to start to model yourself on, to ‘hang onto’.

Just start, over the next few days to look around you and notice the people that are there for you.  It will be no surprise that the more you mix and socialise with them, the more you will start to pick up their traits and characteristics.  Again, choose wisely!

In the very near future, small workshops, based on positivity and mindful awareness, are to be run.  Please come along and join us!  To register your interest, simply contact us via the email address info@imduk.com and you’ll be one of the first to hear the news.

These workshops could possibly change your life, do you want to miss out? 

Contact us, under no obligation, right now info@imduk.com

John Lennon Happy

Ever thought what direction your life would take if you weren’t doing what you are doing right now?

As the late Steve Jobs of Apple said, a good few years ago… ‘You can only join the dots of your life, looking back’… but just imagine, if you had made that decision, or changed your career path all those years ago? Where would you be now?

The fact is, you are where you are, right now, but that doesn’t always mean that your path is pre-determined from this moment on. I was recently reminded of that quotation ‘The best time to plant an apple tree was twenty years ago… the next best time is now’!  How very true that is.

If you feel you are at a crossroads in your life, career, hobby, etc. and are maybe unsure what is in store for you, then you may want to consider attending one of our workshops coming up soon.  If this is something that may interest you, please register your interest NOW (under no obligation) by simply emailing us for further information. change@imduk.com

As I write this, I am reminded of John Lennon, assassinated in New York in December 1980 at the age of 42.  Today, the 9th October would have been his 74th Birthday!  Little did he know what was in store that day when he signed an autograph for Mark Chapman, although maybe Chapman new how his life would pan out with a murder charge on his head.  I wonder how, nearly 34 years on, how the music scene would have possibly changed with Lennon’s influence over those years?

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How many business opportunities are turned down on a regular basis (and life opportunities), purely because we lack the confidence to carry it out or doubt ourselves that we have sufficient knowledge or skill to undertake the task? Take the opportunity and use it as a motivator, to learn a new skill or increase your knowledge. Can you imagine how impactful that could be?

Next time an opportunity presents itself, grab it with both hands… and then go about increasing your knowledge or skill. Consider what resources you may need?

If this is something that you’d like to investigate further, then be sure to watch out for our forthcoming workshop, where the focus will be on making you a far more confident person than, perhaps, you are at the present time.

Contact us on 01277 821651 or simply email us on info@imduk.com to register your interest.

Roger Bannister.001

On the 6th May 1954 Roger Bannister accomplished the ‘impossible’ by running a mile in UNDER 4 minutes.

I say the ‘impossible’ because up until then, advice from medical experts was that if a human being ran at that speed then their lungs would burst, their heart explode and effectively it would result in death!  Now, if you knew no better… you’d listen to the ‘experts’, right?

Well, what if those so-called experts were wrong, (as Bannister, a Medical Student at the time) believed and ultimately proved?

Beliefs are hugely powerful tools that we can use to achieve the ‘impossible’ if only you allow them to.

For more information about how YOU can enhance YOUR own belief system, and achieve greatness, CONTACT us NOW!

New Workshops are currently being developed to assist you in reaching your full potential. Drop us an email at info@imduk.com to register your interest.

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How HAPPY are you at work? Yes, I mean YOU.

Are you caught up in the cycle of working in a job you don’t love, to earn money, to put a roof over your head and food on the table, simply to exist, so that you can go to work tomorrow, to a job that you don’t love, to earn more money, to put a roof over your head and put food on the table, simply to exist, so that you can go to work tomorrow….. get the picture?

If YOU want MORE, then look out for our forthcoming workshops that can have a SERIOUS IMPACT on your life!

Interested? Then please contact us to register your interest (life@imduk.com) or look out for workshop announcements on our  Facebook Page (Please just LIKE). http://www.facebook.com/IMDUKlimited

More details are on our Blog Site, which you can FOLLOW now by going to www.imduk.org and entering an email address under the ‘follow’ button.

Remember, If time flies, be the pilot!

Be IN control, NOT controlled.

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It’s a new dawn,

It’s a new day,

It’s a new life

For me….

And I’m feeling good!

(Feeling Good.  Words by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley)

 Many New Year Resolutions will be made for 2014, but just how many will be acted upon, long term?  How many will actually be written down, as a form of commitment? (Often, seeing goals written down can further motivate us and of course, the writing part is the ‘activity’ side of thinking).

What are your ‘goals’ for 2014? 

By goals, I mean, what are your real goals? It may mean, on a personal level, giving up smoking or alcohol, maybe losing some weight?  This is not what will drive you on however, the real goal will be, if you have given up smoking, alcohol or have lost weight, how you will feel in yourself, how will you view yourself?

On training workshops and courses throughout this last year I often ask people ‘What will make you happy’?  Well, it’s no surprise, that for many of them, they say ‘winning the lottery’ or ‘being rich’!  That is not a ‘goal’ though, what would that money or new-found wealth actually do for them, that surely is the ultimate goal? When they then start to think about that aspect, the goals become a lot clearer.  So ensure any goals you make have a clear outcome.

Remember, if you don’t know where you are going, how will you know you have got there?

New Life Old Life.001

At the turn of the year, we often reflect over the previous twelve months and sometimes with regret?  Next time you sit down and think back, think of the highlights only… and watch what happens to your state of mind!

Highlights of 2013 for me?  Well too many to name, but here’s a shortlist… what one is top of my 2013 list? Maybe I’ll let you know next time!

  • Meeting ‘strangers’ on training courses throughout the year, many of whom have now become ‘great friends’! Thank you.
  • Spending a week with 40 Year 6 Leavers on the Isle of Wight, huge fun watching them grow as people. Thank you.
  • Registering 5 ‘consecutive’ Birdies on the golf course, a feat that someone researched and said the odds were over 46,000/1 🙂 I guess those lessons do pay off?
  • On the golfing theme, scoring a hole-in-one.  Is it all luck? 😉
  • Seeing my daughter’s face on her 17th birthday when she opened her present… the ‘car key’ with the car waiting outside and then passing her Theory Test at the first attempt.
  • Watching my son’s football team gain promotion with him being top-goalscorer on 41 goals!
  • Tearing around London with McMullen’s Bar Person of the Year nominee’s. Good times, Thank you.
  • Meeting a great friend I lost touch with years ago.  Thank you.
  • Working with some fantabulous people which makes my job seem nothing like a job is meant to be (or what we are told)! Thank you each and every one of you.

Be happy in 2014, Be healthy in 2014 and if you have that, you will have abundant wealth.

Now if you are serious about goal-setting or simply having a great year and would like a helping hand, then stay tuned to the IMD UK Facebook page or our blog www.imduk.org where we will announce forthcoming workshops that can directly improve your life next year.

Please share this with people you think will benefit, they can then make their own choice as to whether 2014 will be a great year.

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Feeling stressed-out after Christmas? I’ll also bet you were even more stressed out before Christmas!

How many people do you know, perhaps on occasions, even yourself, who tell you they suffer from stress? They are really stressed, everything is getting on top of them and that they have suffered for ages.  They feel under pressure, sometimes to unimaginable levels.

STRESS DOESN’T ACTUALLY EXIST! 

Now if I went on to say ‘stress’ doesn’t actually exist, these would be the first people to disagree with me.  What I mean by that statement is that you cannot actually ‘catch’ stress, there aren’t ‘stress virus particles’ flying around the air, in the same way that you can inhale or contract other, airborne diseases, such as Influenza or Avian Flu.

Stress can be described, effectively, as a reaction to a situation or perhaps a response to a circumstance.  Many of you will have heard of ‘white coat syndrome’ where someone, for example,  who attends a GP surgery to have their blood pressure taken, suddenly has high blood pressure, due to the situation they find themselves in.  Many of you will have been to the dentist for that filling, long overdue, and as you are watching the clock for your appointment time in the waiting room, anxiety and tension rises, and you start to feel out of control.  The levels in each and everyone of us can differ enormously, yet think about this… all of these are reactions in your mind, nothing has actually happened as yet!

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Even if you are the ‘coolest cucumber’ in the world, imagine yourself, alone in a wood and as you turn a corner, the biggest, fiercest Grizzly Bear confronts you, standing on it’s hind legs, teeth bared and growling.  How do you feel? Get the picture?

Stress is the way the mind responds to a situation or circumstance, and with the mind being such a phenomenal tool, has the ability to work for you… but sadly, on occasions, it can work against you as well, (too often, if you allow it to).

FANCY SOME TIME TRAVEL?

Like a scene out of Doctor Who, the mind has the ability to undertake time-travel, on a daily basis.  Think, if you will, for a moment about what you did yesterday morning.  Now think about what you may be doing tomorrow morning and you’ll soon get the idea that the mind is continually tracking backwards and forwards, normally, with the help of the thinking, process driven left brain, analysing what has happened and perhaps, what ‘might’ happen.  You may hear yourself saying, ‘Why did I do that’? ‘If I hadn’t done that’? ‘Why does it always happen to me’?  You’ll know many people that are continually saying this to themselves, without actually doing anything about it!  As an opposite, you also jump forward in time, planning your day and week ahead, perhaps arranging your holiday itinerary, even a shopping trip, etc. and again, you’ll know people who, before it has even happened, will be imagining how bad the week ahead will be! (For those, it probably will be, but more of that later).

When we start to overthink, either the past or what we perceive to be the future, then that can undoubtedly increase our stress levels, yet there is only one moment that we can control and that is the here and now.  The past has gone, analyse it as much as you wish, but it won’t change.  Of course, learn from it and use it as a learning point which can shape what you do for the rest of your life, but it will never actually change.  Similarly, you can influence what happens tomorrow, but you cannot 100% control what will happen.  Life may throw us a curved ball, outside/external influences can start to shape what will happen in the future.  The only moment we can control is now.

BECOME LESS STRESSED RIGHT NOW

So how do you even begin to become less-stressed? Well one of the proven methods, and something that each and everyone of us can do, is breathing.  Controlled breathing together with  the correct focus has been proven to lower stress, anxiety and blood pressure.  So why do people get caught on the merry-go-round of their life and suffer due to unacceptable stress levels.  (I say unacceptable, because a manageable amount of stress is a good thing, it drives us on, motivates us, etc, but again, that’s something I’ll discuss on another day).  Focussing on the moment and controlled breathing is often referred to as meditation and you can meditate whenever you choose to, it really is up to you.

You may know people, whose anxiety and stress levels are, quite frankly, unacceptable.  It affects not only their day to day work and social lives, it can have long-lasting effects on their general health, lowering the immune system and leaving them susceptible to all manner of illnesses.  Yet, for most, it really doesn’t have to be that way.  For a few sufferers, it seems incredible that instead of moving away from the source of their stress, they are actually drawn towards it.  The whole situation or circumstance that has caused the stress and illness, becomes a ‘safety net’ to them.  It may seem bizarre, but again, you may know people like this, constantly stating that ‘One day, they will do this, or one day they will do that…. yet it never actually happens… What they effectively do is wallow in exactly the thing that is causing them stress, like a constant downward spiral, merely increasing stress levels.  Again, you will know people that do eventually (and hopefully) get themselves out of whatever situation they are in that is causing their stress and anxiety… and one of their first responses is ‘I don’t know why I didn’t do this earlier’.  The fact is many people know what they need to do, but do not have that courage, determination or conviction to change; sometimes they just need a helping hand.

Current research shows us that meditation can have a huge impact on our positivity, in turn increasing our health and wellbeing. Some people insist they do not have enough time in their lives to meditate, and perhaps they are right!  Maybe they are just too busy fighting the stress to actually try something different that could help them. Just five to ten minutes meditating each day can start to have a huge impact on your own life. Surely you are worth that investment?

 WHAT TO DO NEXT

If this really does intrigue you and you’d like to know a little more about how you can reduce your stress levels and embark on the journey of meditation, then contact us on the details below.  Dates are currently being sourced for workshops, to help you, right now.

Simply email us info@imduk.com to register your interest and join our email list, we’ll gladly keep you informed.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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