The Power Of Questions: Shift Your Focus

“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”
–  Albert Einstein

Questions are powerful tools. When you change the questions you ask yourself, you change the direction of your life.

Remember, it’s not the events of your life that determine how you feel and act, it’s meaning you create from the experience.

Learning to ask empowering questions – especially when something bad happens – is a critical life skill that will ultimately shape the meanings you create and therefore the quality and direction of your life.


Lessons In Happiness From Little Mystics

Before you read this article I need to give you some background. This was written as part of a book I’m writing for my boys Sonnie and Herbie. They are now 14 and 17 but this article takes us back to when they were very young. 

As a parent I decided to document all the lessons they both taught me about happiness, forgiveness, being in the now, my ego, my contradictions – to name a few! 

I soon realised they were both sent to me to be the finest teachers on the planet. Both perfectly matched to give me the exact lessons I needed to live a more spiritual and loving existence.

I can honestly say I didn’t expect that when they were born.

Please comment if you enjoyed this article and if you would like to read more of my lessons. I didn’t really plan to share it publicly but I could be persuaded if you see it as valuable and helpful. I’m sure the boys (teachers) won’t mind either :))

Enjoy…

Down on my knees I am screwing on the hinges of a door for my little boy’s new wardrobe. Frustratingly this simple project of putting up a flat pack wardrobe has already taken up most of the morning!


How To Take A Real Vacation From Work – 7 Top Tips To Make Reentry Hard!

Copyright: damedeeso / 123RF Stock Photo

Based on the title of this blog post, you might be thinking, are you serious? Who needs to know how to take a real vacation from work?

It’s a fair challenge, so let me ask you, when was the last time you took a real (with a capital R) vacation?

I’ve asked this simple question to a number of senior execs I work with and the type of the responses I get have been:

“What is a real vacation?”

“Years ago!”

“When I retire, 6 years from now!”

It appears the challenge of taking a good restorative break has become a lost art for many of us who spend most of our waking hours in the working world.

For years, I had no idea how to take a proper break and it appears I’m not alone! To leave the world of work behind and take time off is not something that comes naturally for the modern day work culture. And, surprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be any place to go to learn how. No workshops appear on any company’s learning and development curriculum with the enticing titles like, How to slip the tether of work whilst you are away or How to escape the orbit of the office to get some real R&R or How to stop feeling overwhelmingly guilty about completely unplugging for the office for two weeks.

I Can’t Leave Work Behind!

Holidays are supposed to represent an opportunity to get away from the pressures of day-to-day working life, but there is plenty of research to show that millions of us are unable to leave our work behind (even for a short period).

One report from AlphaRooms, suggests that 20 million Brits think it is NECESSARY to take their work away with them.

Two-thirds of those questioned admitted that they had experienced a work interruption while relaxing on holiday.

Another 80 per cent said they had worried about work while enjoying a well-deserved break, which perhaps defeats the object of going away in the first place.

Technology appears to have a great deal to do with this trend, with a third of people taking their laptop and smartphone on holiday with them.

Some three-quarters of those surveyed revealed that they had made or taken a work phone call while ostensibly ‘getting away from it all’ and 60 per cent have sent a work-related email.

A survey by Expedia , showed on average, Americans forfeit $34.3 billion in vacation days. Many U.S. workers earn 14 days off, they take only as many as 12. Those mere two days add up to 226 million vacation days unused by overworked Americans.

Shocking, but I know I’ve been one of these statistics!

I’ve taken phone calls from the office with my feet in the sea or, excused myself from queues at theme parks to check my emails or, bashed out a proposal in the shade by the pool and, if I’m honest, more out of habit more than necessity. I’ve treated my laptop and mobile like an important family member, taking them everywhere with me and tethering myself to the daily affairs of work.

Reentry into the world of work was never a problem for me, since I never really escaped it in the first place. Until, taking our year out and living on the Island of Fuerteventura, that is, when I did go off to a place where I slipped the tether of work completely.

Hitting Civilisation

Each day on the Island moved me further and further away from work, transporting me to an even more tranquil state of mind, unpreturbed by anything outside of our family unit.

Eight months into our family year out we flew to Sotogrande in Spain to check out the International School. In a mere two and a half hours, we had left the peace and tranquility we’d become so accustomed to for the hustle and bustle of a busy, noisy Madrid airport.

People brushed past us in a furious hurry and rush. Women were decked out in the latest fashion and designer brands. Men dressed in suits and ties, clutching mobiles, laptops and palm pilots, eagerly checked their watches.

Everybody’s life seemed reduced to the clock. It was noisy and claustrophobic. We froze up! Too much, too fast. We began to panic. We quickly retreated to the far end of the terminal where there was less noise and busyness. This gave us the breathing space we needed before boarding our next flight to Malaga.

I hadn’t known to expect this. The eight months out had been cathartic not only for my work life but my ordinary life too. It had never occurred to me that the life as we live it is not entirely nontoxic. Reentering life at that moment, I felt as if I’d swallowed some poison. It was obvious reentry was going to be harder than anticipated.

The BIG ha, ha!

Life had presented me with an important “ha, ha” moment! I suddenly appreciated the rejuvenating effect the year was having on my mind, body and spirit, but understood, at the same moment, the paradox of a real vacation –

If reentry isn’t hard , then I haven’t really been away.

This experience helped me realise that for each of us to get the lasting effect of a break (even if it’s just a few days), we must find a way to make it possible for the restorative effects of breaks to have an impact in our everyday lives. Otherwise we quickly lose the important benefits to the mind, body and spirit immediately upon reentry.

This lesson has made me more conscious of the need for balance and perspective. It’s a sensibility I still work at keeping to this day.

What about YOU? Do you find reentry easy or difficult?

If it’s too easy for you, use these 7 tops tips to make reentry hard:

1. Decompress – It might take a couple of days to disengage from the stress of your demanding career, so take a little time to unwind. Sit still. Take a timeout. Give yourself permission to decompress. Turn the smartphone and laptop off (what a novel idea!). Experiencing “white space” can be scary for some ‘have to be doing’ types but you’ll soon feel its wonderful rejuvenating effects.

2. Sleep – You’ve probably missed this important aspect of life, true? Don’t beat yourself up if you sleep in or feel like hitting the sack early. This privilege you have earned. Max out on it!

3. Make Fun a Priority – Whether it is a trip to the beach with a fun novel or night out dancing like John Travolta, it is time to have some fun, let your hair down and have a laugh. This is the perfect time to stop taking yourself too seriously (something many of us do too much in the corporate world) and let fun be the guide. Don’t short cut this one!

4. Reflect on Your Future – Once you have relaxed a bit and eased into your summer break, use the time to consider where your life is headed and if you need to make a mid course correction.

5. Consider Doing Nothing at All – Ah, this is my favourite summer holiday route. Being a consultant can be an all consuming occupation that requires you to be “on” at all times. Why not treat yourself to blissful act of just doing nothing?

6. Experiment – Holidays are a great time to try new ways of being. If you’re normally a ‘clock watcher,’ then take it off and go with the flow. If you’re a planner, then try being spontaneous and see where it leads you. If you like know where you are going, practice being lost! If you like the safety of your comfort zone (or dead zone) then step out of it and get that feeling of aliveness by doing something that scares you.

7. Enjoy – When you are on holiday think of nothing else but your holiday. If it’s a possibility, leave your work mobile and laptop at home (if you really have to bring your smartphone then discipline yourself to the amount of time you use it). Let go of all the concerns for a week or two. Leave behind all the office politics, the lists that never get completed, or those nagging doubts about your childcare arrangements and connect with what really matters – maxing out on the ‘glad to be alive’ feeling.

You deserve it. Besides your office will still be there when you get back.

Let’s raise a glass to making reentry hard on your next vacation – I’m planning mine to be!

Did you enjoy this post? Please comment & share by clicking on the ‘funky face” icons below. Thanks.


How To Be Happy (Part 8) – Controlling Your Focus

Hey, give me your mental attention for a moment and it will make you happier (I promise).

Much of the level of happiness in your life depends not on beauty nor brains, fame nor fortune, fate nor coincidence, but on what you choose to mentally focus on.

From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, you are selectively focusing on something in your experience, and much more often than you may suspect, you can take charge of this process to good effect.

Life is not about becoming free of problems and challenges so you can be happier, rather it is about becoming better at shifting perspectives to bring about a better experience. It’s your response to life’s problems that determines the level and frequency of your happiness.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
— Wayne Dyer

HOW you experience the challenges life throws up is a more significant factor in your happiness than WHAT challenges you experience. Indeed, your ability to focus is the key to controlling your experience and, ultimately, your happiness.

Happiness is a choice. It’s what you choose to focus on and give meaning to and in today’s video I show you three specific places to put your focus for the ultimate happiness experience.

When you find yourself lost on your path to happiness, it may be time to pause and refocus.

Enjoy today’s video and please help spread the word if you like it!


If you enjoy today’s video I would be humbled if you’d take these two quick actions:

FIRST – Hit one of the funky buttons below the video and post this page on your favourite social media platform (please help others and spread the word).

SECOND – Are you part of the Facebook community yet? If not, click the ‘like’ button opposite and join in the conversation. I love to hear your thoughts and results.


How To Be Happy (Part 7) – Negative Thinking – How To Change It Fast!

Can you think of any goals and desires you REALLY want but you’re not taking action on?

Like the desire to be happy or financially independent or to find a life partner.

So what’s stopping you?

It’s key to realise the most important person who speaks to you every minute of every day is you on the inside – your beliefs!

This might lead you to think, “How do I know what I believe Colin?

The short answer is to pay attention to the words you speak.

Especially when you hear two words because these two words that are the driving force behind you achieving any of your greatest desires.

These two words are the most powerful words you ever speak to yourself about any goal you have.

The two words?

“CAN” and “CAN’T”

How many times have you approached a new project, job, relationship, basically anything that has not been previously proven possible by yourself with a doubting negative attitude, an attitude of “I can’t do this,” or, “This is going to be difficult.”

I know there have been many – more than I care to remember – times when I have let a “I can’t” belief hold me back from realising a goal or desire. Often, I was not even aware of the inner resistance hidden deep in my subconscious, running the show from the background and ultimately destroying of the very thing I desired.

“The greatest disintegrating element in the human consciousness is resistance.”
~Charles Fillmore

Take a moment, right now, to imagine how your life would be different if you approached any desire you have with an attitude of “I can.”

How would that feel? How would that change the way you approach your goals?

So what can you do about this inner resistance? Can you change it?

The answer is yes and in today’s video I’ll show you a technique to interrupt any habitual negative “I can’t” belief and change it in to a positive “I can” belief using a three letter word.

It’s fun, it’s simple and it’s life changing.

Enjoy today’s video and please help spread the word if you like it!


If you enjoy today’s video I would be humbled if you’d take these two quick actions:

FIRST– Hit one of the funky buttons below the video and post this page on your favourite social media platform (please help others and spread the word).

SECOND – Are you part of the Facebook community yet? If not, click the ‘like’ button opposite and join in the conversation. I love to hear your thoughts and results.


How To Be Happy (Part 6) – How To Meditate For Beginners

I’m going to start out with a bold statement.

Learning to meditate was one of the smartest decisions I ever made!

Why?

Just look at some of the substantial benefits that you can expect to receive by practicing meditation:

  • Better Focus
  • Lower Anxiety
  • More Compassion (for self and others)
  • Better Memory
  • Increased creativity
  • Reduced pain
  • Emotional control
  • Slow ageing-related effects on the brain
  • Accelerate cognition
  • Sharpen concentration
  • Better sleep
  • Improved sports performance
  • Deeper feelings of calm and inner peace

And all these (and more) come from a simple activity which can be done at anytime, involves no expensive equipment, chemicals, apps, books or other products.

It doesn’t require making big life changes. It doesn’t require changing the way you eat. It doesn’t require changing your religion. It doesn’t require moving to another country. It doesn’t require ditching alcohol or becoming celibate. You don’t have to burn incense or sit in a circle of crystals.

And it doesn’t even require the patience, dedication and endless free time of a Tibetan monk to get all those benefits.

Remarkable?

In today’s video I’m going to show you what happens in your brain when you meditate (this is where things get interesting) and tips for starting to practice this transformative discipline.

All you need is a few minutes out of your day.

OK, enjoy today’s video and please help spread the word if you like it!

Click here for more information on the Mind Power + (plus) Toolkit

If you enjoy today’s video I would be humbled if you’d take these two quick actions:

FIRST– Hit one of the funky buttons below the video and post this page on your favourite social media platform (please help others and spread the word).

SECOND – Are you part of the Facebook community yet? If not, click the ‘like’ button opposite and join in the conversation. I love to hear your thoughts and results.


How To Be Happy (Part 5) – 5 Ways To Stop The Worrying Habit

Worry.

It all starts with one tiny negative thought.

That quickly gains momentum into a number of thoughts.

And before you know it, the number of thoughts becomes a big out of control snowball of negativity!

Making you think irrationally and draining you of mental, emotional and physical energy which leaves you feeling powerless, tired and exhausted.

Oh yes, the worry monster you build in your mind is back in full force using self-torture to create a great deal of suffering within.


How To Be Happy (Part 4) – Expectation Uncoupling

“When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have”
– Stephen Hawking

You know me…

I’m a goal-setter.
I’m a planner.
I love the idea of creating life by design.

But in addition to my goal-setting philosophy, I’ve found that I also need to embrace the discipline of expectation uncoupling if I want the journey to be enjoyable.

The things that disappoint, irritate and frustrate me have one thing in common: my expectations not being met!


How To Be Happy (Part 3) – Finding Your Smile

It’s time for video number 3 in the ‘How To Be Happy’ video series.

Wherever you find yourself presently on the happiness spectrum, what if you had a simple way to:

  • Navigate a path to more possibility, passion, prosperity and purpose.
  • Move with a fluidity toward more of what you truly want.
  • Instantly create more energy, vitality and enjoyment in your life.

How To Be Happy (Part 2) – Your Brains Two Paths To Happiness

“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.”
~James Openheim

The problem with happiness is how to experience more of it. Since humans began to experience happiness and how great it is to have, this problem has emerged.

Attempts to understand and achieve a state of happiness are not new but you may not realise there are many paths to happiness and each one fits into two main routes.


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