Friday, April 29, 2011

Can imagination create opportunity?

Yesterday I was faced with one of my least favourite things -an 8 hour flight from Dubai back home to UK.  Its an inevitable fact of expat life that as I more or less split my time between UAE and UK its something I have to do pretty regularly.

I used to be a very nervous flyer until one day as I posted previously I decided that "I can handle it" but its still not my favourite way to spend a day

Yesterday as I was queuing up to board the flight it amused me as always, that the flight staff always greet you at the door and tell you to turn right.  Of course if we were going to turn left into the hallowed area of business and first class we wouldn't be stood there queuing anyway would we?  

As I waited I started to wonder what it would be like just to ask if there was any chance that I could turn left for a change and still "in the comfy seats".  I made up my mind that I would ask the question and imagined what it would be like to enjoy the space and comfort.

Actually when I reached the front of the queue I didn't manage to catch the eye of an attendant, so dutifully went to take my rightful place in economy - consoling myself that at least by booking online, I had managed by to secure a bulkhead seat with plenty of legroom. I had a pleasant chat with my neighbouring passengers and was perfectly content.

All went well, we took off  and I settled down to enjoy a drink and was about half an hour into enjoying a film I had wanted to see for a while, when I was approached by a stewardess.  Apparently they wanted my bulkhead seat for a lady travelling with an infant who could then make use of a travel cot - I thought she was just asking if I would move, but no - they actually wanted to upgrade me to business class!!

I still cant believe that it really happened - it has never happened to me before, and it just seemed such a coincidence that I had, less than an hour before, been imagining just such a scenario. I have heard before about the law of attraction - and you can bet your life that I will be studying it more from now on - will let you know what I find out.

And the rest of the flight? - oh yes it was as wonderful as I had imagined it would be - space, a reclining seat/bed, wonderful food served on china and wine in a glass rather than a plastic beaker.  Thanks to Emirates, the flight attendant and the law of attraction who jointly made it happen.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why you should set goals

I love this story about goals

In the book What They Don't Teach You in the Harvard Business School, Mark McCormack tells a study conducted on students in the 1979 Harvard MBA program. In that year, the students were asked, "Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?" Only three percent of the graduates had written goals and plans; 13 percent had goals, but they were not in writing; and a whopping 84 percent had no specific goals at all.

Ten years later, the members of the class were interviewed again, and the findings, while somewhat predictable, were nonetheless astonishing. The 13 percent of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all. And what about the three percent who had clear, written goals? They were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.

what are you waiting for - get those goal WRITTEN DOWN now

Monday, April 18, 2011

lemme tell ya something - bustin' makes me feel good

I’ve been working for a while now on an idea for starting my own business. 

Well if I’m perfectly honest I’ve had ideas running through my head for years, but for one reason or another its never happened.  I don’t know if I have an overactive imagination but I see potential businesses opportunities all around me every day – ranging from the brilliant to the downright ridiculous.

Now though, I have made the decision to go for it – I am going to focus on one idea and make it work.  There I’ve said it.

No more prevaricating – am training myself to think positive, and stop looking for reasons (or should I say excuses) not to do it.

When I have a worry from now on, its just a challenge to overcome

When I have a doubt – I intend to flatten it

And as part of developing my brand I am thinking of adopting the Ghostbusters theme tune as the soundtrack to my business
Just replacing the word ghost with fear or doubt or worry in my mind – I am going to bust them all.  I don’t need to call ghostbusters I know I can bust them myself.

Listening and dancing round the room to this a few times – has energised my mind and body –if you need a bit of a boost I hope it can do the same for you.

If there's something strange
in your neighbourhood
Who ya gonna call?

If there's something weird
and it don't look good
Who ya gonna call?

I ain't afraid of no ghosts
I ain't afraid of no ghosts

If you're seeing things
running through your head
Who can ya call?

An invisible man
sleeping in your bed
Who ya gonna call?

I ain't afraid of no ghosts
I ain't afraid of no ghosts

Who ya gonna call?

If ya all alone
pick up the phone
and call

I ain't afraid of no ghosts
I here it likes the girls
I ain't afraid of no ghost
Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

Who ya gonna call?

If you've had a dose of a
freaky ghost baby
Ya better call

Lemme tell ya something
Bustin' makes me feel good!

I ain't afraid of no ghosts
I ain't afraid of no ghosts

Don't get caught alone no no


When it comes through your door
Unless you just want some more
I think you better call

Who ya gonna call?

Who ya gonna call?

I think you better call

Who ya gonna call?

I can't hear you
Who ya gonna call?


Who ya gonna call?

Who can ya call?

Who ya gonna call?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I’d hate to be a teenager on twitter

I grew up in a simpler age- we didn’t have home computers – in fact, my earliest job in computing was when three towns got together and bought “a computer” between them.  Days of punched paper tape and card readers (check out the history books)

We didn’t have mobile phones – had to remember to carry coins to be able to use public phone boxes in case of emergency.

There was no internet, no facebook, no twitter , no iphones - probably sounds like the dark ages to kids nowadays,but we also had a lot less pressure.

Of course, lots of things about being a teen haven’t changed – there were always the cooler kids at school that everyone wanted to be friends with, and the oddballs who everyone avoided.  And, although maybe a bit more innocent, our earliest attempts at boy girl stuff were probably just as painful as nowadays.

But at least we could do it in private.

If you had a bad day at school and fell out with your best mate or some guy dumped you, at least you could go home and lick your wounds and hideaway until you wanted to face the world again.  If you went to a party you could enjoy yourself without worrying about the photos you’d be tagged in tomorrow.
Nowadays it seems, every little thing has to be shared with the world.  The pressure on kids to have the zaniest photos or the most friends on facebook, or the most followers on twitter is just crazy.  They seem unable to function without an iphone constantly in their hands.

Its not easy being a teen.  Just at a difficult time in their lives when they are still discovering who they are for themselves, it seems that they have to share every painful step along the way.

I wonder how many texts, posts or tweets are made in the heat of the moment, cause so much grief and are regretted later on?

I suppose the whole celebrity culture of being famous for not doing anything very much at all is behind a lot of it. 

I’m just so glad that I grew up in my simpler age – and as a bonus I got to live through England winning the World Cup and a new amazing group called the Beatles.  Happy Days

Thursday, April 14, 2011

life according to Homer Simpson

  • Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand!
  • Aw, Dad, you've done a lot of great things, but you're a very old man, and old people are useless.
  • I don't apologize. I am sorry Lisa, that's the way I am.
  • Marge, it takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen.
  • All right, let's not panic. I'll make the money by selling one of my livers. I can get by with one.
  • If something is to hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
  • Trying is the first step towards failure.
  • Son, being popular is the most important thing in the whole world.
  • Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
  • When will I learn? The answer to life's problems aren't at the bottom of a bottle, they're on TV!
  • Mr. Scorpio says productivity is up 2%, and it's all because of my motivational techniques, like donuts and the possibility of more donuts to come.
  • What's the point of going out, we're just going to end up back here anyway?
  • You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is 'never try
  • If you really want something in life you have to work for it. Now quiet, they're about to announce the lottery numbers.
  • To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!
  • I want to share something with you - the three sentences that will get you through life. Number one, 'cover for me. 'Number two, 'oh, good idea, boss. 'Number three, 'it was like that when I got here.
  • Kids are great, Appu. You can teach them to hate the things you hate and they practically raise themselves now-a-days, you know, with the internet and all.
  • Sometimes you have to break the rules to free the heart
  • If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing.
  • No matter how good you are at something, there's always about a million people better than you.
and finally - and a little worryingly..............
  • You can't depend on me all your life. You have to learn that there's a little Homer Simpson in all of us.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

its ok to say NO

Do you find it hard to say NO to anyone?

Do you find that your boss or colleagues at work are always  passing more work on to you? Do you have friends who start so many sentences “Can I ask a favour………” and expect you to drop whatever  you're doing to help them out?   Perhaps its family members who just always expect you to be the one to sort everything out?  Are you the one who always gets asked to help out at the school events? Or find yourself roped into yet another group or committee that you could do without.

If you want to get on with the things in your life that are important to you, and devote time to your own priorities you have to learn that its ok to say NO
Its not selfish – you owe it to yourself to pursue your own interests and to have the time to do those things to the best of your ability.  

So here are some good ways to say no – and remember to be polite but firm
  • I can’t do it right now but I could help later….. if its something that you really would like to do later
  • I can’t do that but I could do ….. offering a lesser commitment
  • I can’t help with that but I know someone who could …..suggesting someone you think may want to get involved
  • I would rather help with…..if you really dislike what you are being asked to do, its ok to offer help in a different way
  • I know that you'll make a good job of this…..maybe the person asking for help is just seeking reassurance about their ability to do it
  • I have no experience of that…..don’t take on tasks that you know you can’t do well
  • I have another commitment…..if you already have something planned say so
  • I do not enjoy that type of work… will not do a good job of something you hate doing
  • I am not taking on any new responsibilities right now…..leaves the opportunity to help out at a later date
  • I am not comfortable with that…..if something goes against your principles or beliefs just say no
  • I’m just not able to do that…..better to say no than agree to do something and then let them down later
  • I would like to take on the responsibility, but feel it will jeopardise my other commitments….for when your boss asks you to take on more than you are able to cope with
  • I can see that this is going to need doing but I am not in a position to take on new tasks right now…..pre empting the request is easier than saying no once its been asked
  • I will get back to you…..when you would like to help, but need to check on other priorities first
  • I need to leave some free time for myself/ my family….. this is not selfish but essential for a balanced and happy life

And remember, you deserve to choose how to spend your time,  even if what you want to do more than anything in the world is relax in a hot bath with a good book.  We all need time out. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

learn to prioritise

If you don’t think that a conventional “to do” list is helping you – or its just so long that you feel overwhelmed, then try using a task grid from the tools section to prioritise what you have to do.

Spend some time putting your tasks into the grid

  • Box 1 is for those that need urgent action and are important to you – if there’s water pouring through your kitchen ceiling, then calling the plumber will be in this box – you know the kind of thing.
  • Box 2 is for the tasks that are important to you but not urgent – maybe writing your first best selling novel – something that you want to do well, but don’t have to do immediately. It could be preparing for a presentation you have to do next month.   Spending time with family and friends or having “me time” also fit in here – very important but deserving to wait until you can devote quality time to it.
  • Box 3 are distractions – they must be dealt with urgently but are not important to your aims and objectives –say  unwanted phone calls, or someone asking for help with their priorities.
  • Box 4 are neither urgent or important – perhaps your inbox is full of newsletters you signed up to in the past that you never get round to reading.  Or maybe you have been asked to attend a meeting that you don’t think you can either contribute to or gain anything from – seek to eliminate these tasks from your life. Learn to say no.

By now you should be starting to get the picture that the box 2 tasks are those that you should be making time for – in fact many of the “firefighting” tasks in box 1 could probably have been box 2 tasks if you had got around to them sooner. Remember
Hard work is often the easy work you did not do at the proper time – Bernard Meltzer
So using my time management tips try and eliminate as much as you can from your other boxes, concentrate on your box 2 tasks and I’ll look forward to reading your new novel soon.