Natural success 2: Would you have killed the Goose that laid the Golden eggs?

Principle 2: After planting, you need patience.

Hi it’s Shaun here again, and today I wanted to share with you the second principle that I learnt from re-designing and improving my garden.

Last time I shared how I believe that the first thing that needs to be done is to prepare the ground for planting. We can use that principle in our own lives by making sure that we have prepared properly for what we would like to have in our lives. You can read the rest here: https://sbrowne83.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/natural-success/

Today I wanted to talk about the power of patience.

When I first planted my bulbs in the ground, there was nothing to see. Although I had a clear idea in my mind what I wanted to produce, I had no visual proof at that stage that it would manifest itself in reality. What I did know, was that I had to water my bulbs on a regular basis in order to keep the conditions for growth optimal.

After a few weeks we had the first shoots. I was really excited, because I could finally see the beginning of something. Now, some of my plants grew very quickly like my lettuce seed and sunflowers. However, some things did not emerge from the ground until a month or so later. The key to making sure that everything grew as it could was to be patient and provide the right conditions and environment for life.

This principle really hit home, because I realised how lacking it is in today’s modern world. Everything these days is sold on it’s speed. Words like accelerated, instant and rapid are used as promotional tools everywhere I look. When it pertains to success, I have found the following to be true. No patience = no progress.

I see this constantly when people decide to lose weight quickly. The first thing most people (including myself in the past) do is go on an all-out assault to shed the fat as quickly as possible. They hammer the exercise, go on an extreme diet and think they can go to war with their body. The problem is, our bodies are like the bulbs I planted in the garden. They have their own intricate systems and patterns of development and will produce best results when there is a consistent and steady period of optimal conditions.

Apply this to relationships. The phrase moving too fast again nods to the idea of rushing headlong into everything without giving the relationship the time it needs to evolve naturally and develop into a solid and secure relationship.

I have fallen for the trap on a regular basis. I think most people fall foul of this at some point in their lives. I now look for progress as quickly as possible, rather than rapid progress. The distinction is subtle, but profound at the same time. By having the patience to understand that sometimes things will take longer than I anticipated rather than trying to force an unnatural rate of progress, I can accept the results, and focus my energy on consistency and effort rather than stress and worry.

By developing the right work ethic, mental and physical health, network and skills, I can help my business grow as quickly as possible without trying to force growth.  In reality, this would work out far quicker than constantly stopping and starting because of the principle I will share in my next post.

A question to ask yourself: Are there any areas of your life where you are being impatient with yourself or the results that you are getting?

How could you change your approach so that instead of rushing for results, you were getting them as quickly as possible?

Is patience a virtue?

Are you mistaking patience for procrastination? Procrastination is the absence of enough action to generate favourable results.

Think about the questions and see if they help you gain a new insight into how patience could help you in your life today.

I wish you the best

Shaun

Fluid form.

I have been writing a journal now for a few months and it has brought up lots of lessons for me to go away and reflect on to help me lead a happier more effective life. One really damaging trait that I found was just how often I criticised myself. I have been aware of this for some time and I do better at times than at others. But I believe it is a vital aspect of my character that I want to change.

Let me describe what happens. Say for example, I want to stick to a diet to lose some fat. What I found I was doing was attaching my happiness and sense of success to whether I stuck to the diet or not. If something went wrong, which is inevitable because I am not perfect, I would attack myself and beat myself down. This thinking at it’s worst would spiral into a deep analysis of what I was doing wrong and lead to the conclusion that I will never be good enough to attain it. This would mean giving up or starting all over again. So I would get the first part right, because I was setting worthwhile goals for myself and that is important. However, I was emotionally attached to my goals so much that my self-worth was defined by attaining them. I was fixated on a future self and negatively comparing where I am to the future projection. Visualisation of the future is important, but I do not want to keep all my happiness waiting for me in the future as the future doesn’t physically exist. All we have and all we will ever have is the here and now. The present is where our attention should be.

 Letting go is an act of observation without emotional reaction or outburst. This allows you to be objective and see the truth behind your results.

Perception is everything. Should someone really be judged as a failure if they don’t reach a target?

The only person who can create the idea in your mind that you are a failure is you.  It is just an idea. Yet another story that we tell ourselves based on our interpretations of our circumstances. Imagine how empowering it is to go through your life with the belief that you are good enough in this present moment. You are good enough now and will always be. It’s a case of perspective.

I am a Manchester United fan, but I am passionate about all high performers in football. I like to study their philosophy and mentality. One person I studied was Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho. On the subject of failure he responded by saying I do not fail. On the surface, this seems to be an arrogant statement, but it is his reality. Therefore to him it is true. Our perceptions create our reality because there is no true ‘reality’. When someone says ‘the reality is’, what they should really say is ‘my reality is.’ Mourinho’s statement is empowering because it allows him to see every setback objectively and learn from it. He doesn’t get attached to it and carry it like a weight on his back. At the same time, this attitude would allow for someone to stay humble when things are going well and not attach their identity to their success or possessions.

Another powerful statement linked to this idea is the famous Bruce Lee quote where he describes the nature of water and the importance of replicating it:

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

My interpretation of this is that water is a close reflection to our true nature in that we are a mixture of things that are transient. Our beings flow and have the ability to transform and evolve. Within any given moment, you can become whatever you want to be. When you let go of the stories you tell yourself in your mind, you can become a shape shifter.

You have the ability to become strong.

You have the ability to become love.

You have the ability to become excited.

You have the ability to be (insert here)

I am by no means an expert in this field as this idea is quite new to me. But I see the value in reducing my attachment to the external parts of my life so that I can have more control over my emotions.

The next time I set a goal, I’m going to set it, create a time frame, and then get to work on the process. I will track my results, but will in no way identify who I am with the results I get. This will help in all areas of my life and should lead to me being in much better control of my state on a day to day basis. If I am to truly be like water, I should have the ability to choose the best way of being to deal with all of life’s challenges.

Don’t be so rigid in life.

Let go and be like water.

I wish you the best.

Self-acceptance is more important than self-improvement?

I have always been very passionate about the role of self-improvement in my life. The name of my blog shows that I believe in a holistic way of life. Self- improvement has served me well in that capacity because I believe I am more effective now than I was in the past.
However, there was always an idea that puzzled me. It was a paradox in my thinking.
If I’m always striving towards new goals, when will I get the feeling of being successful? When will I enjoy the fruits of all the work I’ve done on self-improvement?
The missing piece between success and self-improvement is self-acceptance. I now realise that without self-acceptance, there is the danger that you will never be happy with your success. Success isn’t a tangible thing. It’s a feeling, and that feeling is relative. If you took two people with the exact same circumstances in life, one could be the happiest person alive and the other person the most miserable. The way they perceive what they have and their level of identification with those things, will determine whether they feel successful.
When I have felt successful in life has been when I have cultivated that state internally. It is the journey towards the goals as well as the end point that can create a feeling of success.
I am working on self- acceptance because I realised I was playing a dangerous game where I was losing the ability to be happy in the present moment because I was forever chasing goals. The goals were not the problem, it was my identification with the result of attaining them. In short, because I was obsessing over achievement, I would have been dissatisfied with my level of income, health, relationships or career. I was making the false assumption that those things are who I am. I cannot wait for the ideal of everything before I become happy. That is not true living.
Self-acceptance is the subtle art of knowing yourself internally so that you don’t have to rely on the external things around you for identity. I understand why people chase success symbols like cars, huge houses and other similar things. It is almost a way of measuring your level of success in the world. However, this measurement system is fundamentally flawed because it does not go deeply enough. It also cannot measure the intangible elements that really make us who we are. Here are some of them.
Our core values
Our purpose
Being happy
Having the ability to immerse fully in the present moment
Love.
A connection to a force that is greater than our-selves.
These things are the timeless.
Let go of the idea that your external possessions are who you really are. Become in tune with the concept, that everything you need for life you already have inside of you. Look within. Here is a resource to help with this.
http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-Self-Acceptance-Can-Crack-Open-Your-Life This is a ten day programme of activities that are designed to help you start thinking about self acceptance. I have found some of them useful especially day one. It was really challenging to think that deeply about myself and it did give me some perspective on who I really am. I really liked this paragraph to explain what self-acceptance means:
Self-acceptance is the process of befriending the Unconditioned Self—the part of you that is more than just your name, your history, your story, your failures or your successes. You are more than just your experiences or how other people see you or the clothes you wear.
I wish you the best.

Inspiration can come from anywhere

Image

Last Friday was a great day. It was the last day of half term, I was going to a training day conference with all the other teachers from the local area, and I met one of the most inspirational people I’ve met in my career so far. Alistair Smith.

During the preliminaries, I was thinking about all the great things I had planned for my half term holiday. In the main, lots and lots of sleep. I was not prepared for what was to come. In short, I was blown away by the delivery, content and insights that the guest speaker gave me. The reason I was so inspired was because he gave me a glimpse of the life that wanted to create for myself. I was sat there thinking: I could deliver a speech in that style. I could engage an audience in that way. He wasn’t over the top, and he didn’t make me want to cringe throughout his speech. He spoke at a level that I could relate to, and then elevated my understanding of what the elite in our field do on a regular basis. He also used lots of practical activities that meant we were engaged constantly from start to finish.

About halfway through the speech, I realised that I had to speak to him and make some sort of connection. He was too great a character to never contact again. What in the world was I going to say to him? This was not my style. Then I told myself another story. If you want to become a man who has created his own life on his own terms, you need to be resourceful at all times. Don’t use shyness as some pathetic excuse to not step up.

So, as soon as lunch time was announced and everyone made their way to the massive queue for food, I made a bee line straight for the front of the room.

I started with a compliment, and that broke the ice. Then, he asked if he had met me before and that he recognised me. We hadn’t met before, but I played along to make a deeper impression on him. I asked for a business card as I wanted to contact him about something. He said that would be fine. Yes! I had done it. There had been a moment where I wasn’t going to bother, but I knew that within my discomfort lay my personal growth.

When I spoke with my mentor, he was pleased and we shared some strategies about how I could leverage this new contact and approach him with some ideas that he might be interested in.

Even if nothing comes from making initial contact,I’m glad that I did it and told him just how much of an impression he had made on me. He was a true inspiration, and a frame of reference for what my life could become with hard work, vision and ambition.

Who are the role models that you have in your life.

Do you have heroes who inspire you to become the greatest version of yourself?

I have many. Here are a few of mine: Sir Alex Ferguson, Robert Kiyosaki, The Roots, Outkast, Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo, Tom Venuto, Chris Lopez, Alan Peat, Alistair Smith, Denzel Washington, Eric Thomas, Antony Robbins,Brian Tracey, Jack Canfield, Jim Rohn, Adam Wallis and there are many many more including my Mum.

Choose success

Shaun.