Here’s The Deal About Purpose
This ‘passion’ thing has been glorified and overexposed. If you don’t have it, you’re likely to feel deficient and the hard truth is – it’s likely you’re swimming in the doom pool for a very good reason – you are genuinely deficient in it. Many people change jobs, hobbies, locations and relationships and wake up each morning and look in the mirror and think, ‘why do I hate my job?’, ‘why can’t I complete anything’, ‘why am I in this relationship’, ‘why do they have it better?’ and ‘where am I’. You’ll beat yourself up with anxiety and rely on external ‘feel goods’ to keep you afloat in that pool, and these will work, for a little while …. There are always tell-tale signs you’re missing genuine passion in your life – you feel no energy, no positive emotion, no genuine care for what you are doing in your personal or professional life, mimic your partner’s behaviour rather than prioritise your own due to co-dependency and poor emotional intelligence, and question your choices – these are red flags, not personality flaws.
Until you discover PURPOSE in your relationship with yourself – passion will always be elusive. Purpose is what drives you. It offers the deepest sense of fulfilment. Purpose fills life with meaning, not passion. As coaches we find talk of passion superficial – frankly passion is not a work requirement – if you don’t have a calling and feel lost – chill … if you’re interested in learning and growing, that’s purposeful and enough and a great place to start.
If you’re itching to start or renew your search for purpose do it – and do it for yourself rather than impress the neighbours, your family, your new love interest or your friends. Searching for purpose means standing alone and owning you – you’ll generate positive energy through that search in itself.
We encourage all of our clients to slow down and experience the process, by exploring volunteer opportunities and interests away from their familiar stomping ground of family, friends and partners. That panic zone was meant to be teased and you’ll never head towards it if you stay in that stretch zone. We encourage our clients to operate in their Goldilocks Zones. There’s no formula and no magic. Purpose exists where it’s least expected. Trust in serendipity, trying new things until something renews your energy.
PIQUING YOUR CURIOSITY
Never underestimate the power of curiosity. A desire of know and learn, curiosity ignites your mind and forces it to wake up and come alive. Our coaching sessions begin in libraries for a very good reason, not to seek out motivational books and self-help books, but to allow our clients to explore the wealth of knowledge before them without digital overload. When you admit that although you don’t know something, you’re eager and willing to find out about it, you release your potential to achieve incredible things. You then become open to the possibility of your purpose.
Inquisitive people ask questions, seek answers, wonder how things work and try fresh approaches to old problems. You can easily recognise them by their behaviours. I refer to this phenomenon as ‘vuja de’ – the opposite of ‘déjà vu’. It means examining an existing problem or situation with fresh eyes and an open mind, often resulting in a creative and innovative solution. This is the essence of experiential learning and a cornerstone of our coaching tools.
Curious people are constantly searching for ‘new’ information. You’ll find them in bookstores and libraries sitting on the floor, absorbed in a book about some seemingly random subject. They proactively solicit feedback from their work managers, spouses, friends and almost anyone. They ask profound and insightful questions. We encourage our clients to strive to take in fresh information, consider their resources and then expand them. Finding someone who inspires you and asking them what they’re reading, watching, listening to is highly effective. Curiosity naturally leads you to learn, unlearn and relearn. Philosopher Eric Hoffer said it perfectly with –
“In the future, the learners will inherit the earth, while the learned with find themselves beautifully equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.”
When we’re dead and gone, people can judge us on what we’ve accomplished, until then it’s up to you to keep searching for what you’ll accomplish next. Your curiosity puts you in the driver’s seat.
EXAMINE YOUR MOTIVES
If your motives are pure and honest, you’ll experience forward momentum. If you’re not, your purpose will elude you and your purpose will remain locked up. A recent client noted after an honest inventory of her life that her goals and aspirations slowly had begun over the years to mimic her spouse’s ambitions leading her to, in her words, ‘feeling deceived by my own motives’. Others have told us that their goals have been to leverage their community status to in turn gain access to the movers and shakers. We gave both of these clients actual red flags to carry with them to keep their awareness on point. Self-examination, awareness and honest evaluation can be terrifying but what it can reveal is life altering. Working with a coach can help you change your course, we usually see straight through it – these performance driven behaviours of people pleasing and external needs for validation in order to feel confident are self-defeating and rob you of self-worth.
Working with vulnerable women over the years we have a power phrase for empowerment,
‘The most feared human on the planet is the woman who requires no validation’.
Many of our clients say they chase expensive highs to increase self-importance be that financially or regarding time investments. Many feel that at this point they feel their lives have become a joke and as one client put it, ‘like someone sold me a bag of sand filled with holes’. Many feel they need to feel important but realise they are not significant.
We allow our clients to explore themselves deeply to learn that permanent and real validation comes from within. When your confidence is unshakable and unaffected by the way others react to you, this authentic confidence leads to authentic motives, which creates authentic connections and authentic results.
Increasing your confidence by being willing to pay the price to develop character and a spirit of adventure and excellence is our trademark. Give instead of take, be kind, and care for someone who can do nothing for you. We ask all our clients to do the inner work of examining their motives, no matter what situation. Failing to do so risks building your life on an unstable foundation, so rid your system of backstabbing, politicking and attempting to control outcomes. When you’re obsessed with achieving a particular outcome, you’re disconnect from your spirit. Instead, consider living your life with detached intention. When you’re open to different outcomes, you’re aligned with your spirit. This inner peace releases your purpose and attracts what’s in your best interest – in other words, get out of your own way! You’ll recongise your purpose when time ceases to exist and there’s an alignment in your heart, head and hands. Purpose isn’t external, it’s something you own inside.
IGNITE YOUR INTUITION
Intuition is knowing or sensing without the use of rational processes. Call it a hunch or your six sense, we say it’s your human superpower. It’s when you simply know you were meant to walk a certain path or make a specific decision. You don’t know why, you just do. Listening to and following your instincts in key to becoming purpose driven. When you live with purpose, you become more intentional about what you do and how you do it. While many people depend on hard data, schooling and the experiences of others to make decision, we invite our clients to remain open to what their intuition might be telling them, especially if it’s different from what logic in their lives indicates. We realise that there are times when you simply don’t have enough information to make a good decision – so what do you do then? Get quiet, listen to your gut, go with it and see where it takes you.
Going against the grain isn’t always easy, but neither is standing alone in the crowd. Whether the world approves or disapproves of you following your intuition is not important. You are the one who has to live with your choices. You’ll know that your instinct is on target by the peace you’ll feel in your soul.
EVAULATE THE CORE AREAS OF YOUR LIFE
If you feel trapped in 9-5 job, social circle, relationship and feel undervalued, under skilled, under educated or underappreciated, you’re not living with your purpose. How do we get our clients to process this and identify this … by examining their true core – beliefs and values and redefining them. When we ask these questions, most clients have no real identity to their actual values or cores, they became lost with them. We encourage our clients to stop living beneath their potential and give themselves permission to be intentional to move more deeply into who they want to become. The core areas of your life are personal to you and your purpose and only you can truly define them. Soul searching asking personal questions, defining strengths and weakness and pushing perceived perceptions is worth the struggle for some of our clients to finally take the plunge and ask themselves what do I really want to do. Seeking the truths within the core areas of your life both inside and out will help you walk a purpose driven path.
DEVELOP HIGH IMPACT HABITS
Our fast track Productivity Guide we resource to our clients encourages them to pursue high leverage or impact habits. This is one of the most crucial things you can do to live with purpose. These are the behaviours and actions that move you farthest and the fastest direction in your heart’s desire. High impact activities accelerate the process of unleashing your purpose. On the flip side, low impact habits drain your energy, enthusiasm for life and your efforts thus delaying and preventing you from finding your purpose. You’ll feel lost and undervalued – and begin looking for those quick fixes to maintain your self-esteem – yep the ones that brought you to this point in the first place.
Developing a habit of being a steward of your time and energy is essential. What you do with these two resources will determine the outcome of your life. Time is our most precious assess and yet many people let it slip away on activities that never move them forward. How much time to you spend investing in TV, surfing the internet, shopping … only to find it’s all noise.
We ask our clients to remind themselves daily that if they are to live their purpose and reach their goals that these low impact activities can’t consume their day. Guarding your energy and protecting you spirit during what we call the ‘hour of power’ each morning is the glue of beginnings. It will differ for everyone but a great place to start is 20 minutes of mediation, 20 minutes of exercise and 20 minutes of reading aloud – no digital data!
We live in an electronic world that moves at the speed of light, and many of our clients say they’ve forgotten how to focus. Simple morning rituals will open your mind. Meditation or whole body awareness centres your energy and intention on how your day will unfold. Exercise invigorates your body and create momentum and reading focuses your mind and reading aloud expands your vocabulary and increases your confidence.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Living your purpose means waking up every morning excited. The moment your feet hit the ground you can’t wait to make a difference in the life of another. You’re so excited to solve a problem, put a smile on someone’s face, identify a solution to an issue and you go to bed at night with the internal satisfaction that you were your most productive self that day. You brought your best self to work and gave it 100 percent.
With 2019 almost here we don’t subscribe to the notion of New Year’s Resolutions and don’t encourage our client to do so either. We do however appreciate that the new year is a time of refreshment and beginnings – we encourage our clients to seek out New Year Intentions.
If you’re looking for a change in direction in your life and looking to start this new year, we offer several personal development packages to suit all lifestyles and get our clients in the groove by laying out a simple three step exercise –
Ask yourself, ‘how can I use my purpose to make a difference’ – your subconscious mind will open to possibilities.
Seek actively for answers to how you can use your purpose each day. Look for the path you’re supposed to take, do your research and understand that you many have to follow a lot of rabbit holes and dead ends to get there, but this is all part of the journey and process. The path to living out your purpose isn’t always obvious or clear. Get out there and explore – read books that ‘speak’ to you and seek guidance from people who can help you live your purpose. Once you’ve opened your mind and heart to the possibilities, pay close attention to the people who show up – they are there to teach you a lesson, challenge your or help you on your path.
And keep knocking. When you come upon a door of opportunity that your intuitively believe is for you, you must knock. If you want to find out what’s on the other side, you have to push it open and step through. Every single day take one small step that moves you in the direction of your purpose. Write down goals, break them down into smaller goals and then into actionable steps and we promise you these investments will add up quickly.
Believe within your spirit that this is why you are here. Make the decisions and choices that bring into your life the things that help you fulfil your purpose rather than passions. There will be times when you lose your footing or take a wrong step, but that’s the nature of it. Each step, whether right or wrong will teach you something and lead you close to your purpose. Listen and pay attention to each one.
Consciously live each day like a live stream and begin your transformation with us in 2019.
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I like the number 13 – I was born on the 13th – unlucky for some, lucky for me. Somebody once told me the definition of hell:
‘On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.” ~ anon
Sometimes, to become successful and get closer to the person we can become, we don’t need to add more things, we need to give up on some of them. There are certain things that are universal, which will make you successful if you give up on them, even though each one of us could have a different definition of success. You can’t give up on some of them today, while it might take a bit longer to give up on others. So here’s our 13 to keep you from hell ...
1. GIVE UP ON THE UNHEALTHY LIFESTYLE
‘Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” ~ Jim Rohn
If you want to achieve anything in life, everything starts here. First you have to take care of your health, and there are only two things you need to keep in mind – Healthy Diet & Physical Activity. Small steps, but you will thank yourself one day.
2. GIVE UP ON THE SHORT TERM MINDSET
“You only live once, but if you do it right once is enough.” ~ Mae West
Successful people set long term goals, and they know these aims are merely the result of short term habits that they need to do every day. These healthy habits shouldn’t be something you do, they should be something you embody. There is a difference between ‘working out to get a summer body’ and ‘working out because that’s who you are’.
3. GIVE UP ON PLAYING SMALL
“You playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~ Marianne Williamson
If you never try and take great opportunities, or allow your dreams to become realities, you will never unleash your true potential … and the world will never benefit from what you could have achieved, so voice your ideas, don’t be afraid to fail and certainly don’t be afraid to succeed.
4. GIVE UP YOUR EXCUSES
“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.” ~ Randy Pausch
Successful people know that they are responsible for their life no matter their starting point, weaknesses and past failures. Realising that you are responsible for what happens next in your life is both frightening and exciting … and when you do, that becomes the only way you can become successful, because excuses limit and prevent us from growing personally and professionally. Own your life, no one else will.
5. GIVE UP THE FIXED MINDSET
“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ~ Robert Greene
People with a fixed mindset think their intelligence or talents are simply fixed traits and that talent alone leads to success – without hard work. They’re wrong. Successful people know this. They invest an immense amount of time on a daily basis to develop a growth mindset, acquire new knowledge and learn new skills and change their perception so that it can benefit their lives. Remember, who you are today, it’s not who you have to be tomorrow.
6. GIVE UP BELIEVING IN THE MAGIC BULLET
“Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” ~ Emile Coue
Overnight success is a myth. Successful people know that making small continual improvement every day will be compounded over time, and give them desirable results. That is why you should plan for the future, but focus on the day that’s ahead you and improve just 1% every day.
7. GIVE UP YOUR PERFECTIONISM
“Shipping beats perfection.” ~ Khan Academy’s Development Mantra
Nothing will ever be perfect, no matter how much we try. Fear of failure (or even fear of success) often prevents us from taking an action and putting our creation out there in the world. But a lot of opportunities will be lost if we wait for things to be right. So ‘ship’ and them improve (that 1%).
8. GIVE UP MULTI-TASKING
“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” ~ Winston Churchill
Successful people know this. That’s why they choose one thing and then beat it into submission. No matter what it is – a business idea, a conversation or a workout. Being fully present and committed to one task, is indispensable.
9. GIVE UP YOUR NEED TO CONTROL EVERYTHING
“Some things are up to us, and some things are not up to us.” ~ Epictetus
Differentiating these two is important. Detach from the things you cannot control and focus on the ones you can, and know that sometimes, the only thing you will be able to control is your attitude towards something. Remember, nobody can be frustrated while saying ‘bubbles’ in an angry voice.
10. GIVE UP ON SAYING YES TO THINGS THAT DON’T SUPPORT YOUR GOALS
“He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little, he who would achieve much must sacrifice much, he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.” ~ James Allen
Successful people know that in order to accomplish their goals, they will have to say no to certain tasks, activities and demands from their friends, family and colleagues. In the short term, you might sacrifice a bit of instant gratification, but when your goals come to fruition, it will all be worth it.
11. GIVE UP ON TOXIC PEOPLE
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ~ Jim Rohn
People we spend the most time with, add up to who we become. There are people who are less accomplished in their personal and professional life and there are people who are more accomplished than us. If you spend time with those who are behind you, your average will go down and with it your success. But if you spend time with people who are more accomplished than you, no matter who challenging that might be, you will become more successful. Take a look around you, and see if you need to make any changes. Victim island is a pretty dim place. The lost, and remorseful will haunt you.
12. GIVE UP YOUR NEED TO BE LIKED
“The only way to avoid pissing people off is to do nothing important.” ~ Oliver Emberton
Think of yourself as a market niche. There will be a lot of people who like that niche, and there will be individual who don’t … and no matter what you do, you won’t be able to make the entire market like you. This is entirely natural, and there’s no need to justify yourself. The only thing you can do is to remain authentic, improve and provide value every day, and know that the growing number of ‘haters’ means that you are doing important things.
13. GIVE UP YOUR DEPENDENCY ON TELEVISION, SOCIAL MEDIA AND ITS STANDARDS
“The trouble is, you think you have time.” ~ Jack Kornfield
Today we all use social media to advertise, promote and capture our lives in motion, it's become a from of communication and is cultural. Impulsive web browsing and television watching are diseases of today’s society. These two should never be an escape from your life or your goals. Unless your goals depend on either, you should minimise (or even eliminate) your dependency on them, and direct that time towards things that can enrich your life … like a walk, over a mountain or two.
Need a call to action? If you want to increase your productivity and eliminate procrastination, check out our Explore Plus Coaching Packages. December early bird specials include a copy of our ultimate productivity cheat sheet for all of our GEOGRAPHIC Single Session Package enquiries to help you kick start your new year. Get info, get in touch
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The terms, ‘shit happens’ is a great slang to describe the ‘existential reflection that life is full of capricious events’. How we individually deal with those events is the essence of resilience. Resilience development is a cornerstone of personal development, leadership and team coaching. With resilience when it all hits the fan we all have the opportunity to transform ‘shit happens’ into ‘shift happens’.
Resilience is the ability to withstand stress and overcome catastrophe. I often facilitate team building initiatives and during a debrief ask the participants who insight they have personally gained from the experience … resilience is often used, however not in its correct context. Resilience simply means bouncing back from hardship. Resilience isn’t about enjoying a charmed life free of challenges. Everyone goes through tough times; this is essential for resilience development. It’s not a mistake if painful events happen to us: that’s just how things are supposed to be. Our measure of resilience is how much and fast we bounce back from these struggles. Resilience is not something you either have or don’t have. It is something within each of us and involves our thoughts, behaviours and attitudes. Resilience is something we can improve upon and enhance, and a multifaceted approach to resilience development is essential.
Simple practices such as regular mindfulness that includes self-compassion enhances resilience. Through mindfulness and self-compassion, we can develop a shift from being caught up in the particulars of a ‘story’ of a moment we are experiencing with compassionate attention. Over time this practice allows for a shift in our neural pathways – a shift from our lower brain structures, reactivity and fear based emotional processing to our higher brain structures of abstract reasoning and executive function. It also strengthens a more regulated emotional processing.
‘Shit Happens’ is actually an opportunity. It is an opportunity to let all your habits of rumination and irritability come to the surface. It is an opportunity, each time, to practice engaging and strengthening your inner resources.
At Escape-And-Explore we focus on resilience development using wilderness environments as our mindfulness playgrounds – free from everyday stressors and distractions, these arenas allow for focus on new mindsets and experiences in a unique setting. Our Explore Plus Coaching packages allow for the delivery and development of potential through
Looking to shift your ‘shit’ and reconnect, redefine and rediscover. Get in contact with us to discuss our packages.
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Earlier this year I sat on the top of Mt Feathertop, Victoria’s second highest peak after camping there solo overnight to witness the end of one day and the beginning of another over the lower sections of the Australian Alps. That morning colour seeped through the dark until the golden orb blazed awake. Another day, a gift to enjoy! So many possibilities, pure amazement at this sight, a moment of a true sense of being boundless.
Life continues with or without our approval: the sun rises, the wind trails it’s fingers along the earth’s surface. Today is the southern hemisphere’s spring equinox, where the light of day equals the light of darkness – that shift where the Earth tilts towards the sun and the light begins to grow again. It is all such a miracle and a gift to savour.
And yet we become oblivious to the sheer gorgeousness of it all. We get wrapped up in routine, cocooned in comfortability and immersed in our own niggling and persistent woes. The stories we tell about our lives affects the quality of our experience. How we create ourselves in the narrative of our life matters. Do we see ourselves as hapless victims, at the mercy of dispassionate fate …. Or do we see ourselves as captains of our own ship, setting course for unknown distant shores? When we put ourselves front and centre in the starring movie of our life, which has a one hundred year or so running time, it sharpens our focus.
The human experience is a mere blink in the experience of the universe, so let’s have some fun while we’re still here! And so we come to the present moment. It’s an opportunity to set a new quest. To claim a new sense of authorship over our experience. To determine a new goal, a new result we want to achieve, a new sense of who we are and who we might become. Escape-And-Explore is undergoing such a change presently from now until the end of the year. Here are some of our quest guidelines –
Determine Who You Want To Be:
All results come from conceiving a future state, and requires us to be that person now. Identity drives actions, and actions determine results. What values does your future self hold? What do they believe about themselves? The world? Others? What routines and habits do they have? Create a clear picture of this person, future you, so it can become NOW you. If you don’t do this work first, you’ll never get the results you want.
Choose The Results You Wish To Experience:
Future you has some pretty cool experiences and results to enjoy. What are they? Get clear on the end game. What’s good about it? What’s meaningful? What does it look like? Sound like? Feel like? Taste like? Elite athletes and high performers use this technique all the time as a part of their training rituals to envision success. When you bring the end game to life in vivid detail it becomes more real and attainable to you.
Things will happen that will want to derail you. Things like other people. Other people can be threatened by your change. If you are undertaking a significant quest, it can push their jealousy buttons. People will want to keep you in a box that is familiar because familiar is safe. Be prepared for resistance. Know what to say when the naysayers cut you down. Prepare also for your own self-sabotage. Your inner gremlin doesn’t like change anymore than the naysayers sometimes! Know that the gremlin will want to get in the driver’s seat and steer you off course. Be ready for this. When they start their negative self-talk and seductive chat of ‘just give up’, be ready to acknowledge them and invite them into the passenger seat to enjoy the ride. New You is in charge.
Undertaking a quest means gaining something incredible! Whatever the result you choose, be they business goals or personal fitness goals, this gain will also mean a loss. What are you prepared to lose in order to gain the results of the quest? You might give up negative self-talk, self-sabotage, worry, doubt, fear. You might give up excess weight, fatigue and disappointment. You might also have to give up chocolate, butter, alcohol, sleeping in or watching hours of Netflix every night. You might also have to give up toxic relationships. A quest means leaving familiar shores, so one of the more important things you are going to have to give up is being comfortable. Be prepared to be uncomfortable with being uncomfortable. I’ve done a lot of yacht racing and when those winds come up, we adjust our sails, lean into them but we stay on course.
Just get started. No one needs to know what you’re doing. Don’t let the naysayers chip away at you before you get going. Set up the habits and routine of Future You and take some baby steps to test it out. Want to run a marathon? Get your running gear on and head out for a few mornings each week, walking or shuffling, getting used to what ‘Marathon You’ does on a daily basis. This habit matters first. Amp it up later. Under promise and over deliver. This is the best way not to freak out the gremlin.
Don’t go hard ass on yourself. A quest is about getting us to explore who we might be, to play with the edge of possibility, to remind us that we are boundless creatures, that we can experience and create a multiplicity of future selves. You can’t stuff it up. Being alive is already the greatest achievement …. So enjoy it.
Escape-And-Explore believes and professionally focusses on this exploration of self. Contact us for further information on how we can help you with being boundless in your personal quest. What are we up to? We’re off on our own boundless quest to distant shores! Never stop learning, never stop growing. Challenge is the pinnacle of experience.
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I’ve blogged often about how using a coach transformed my life and opened opportunities for my personal growth that I hadn’t perceived existed. Years ago, I didn’t just see a life coach, I empowered myself by regarding him as my employee. Something that I made clear to him during our first session. Sick of being on the self-help roundabout, it was during my coaching phase that I approached things very differently. Too often in an industry full of buzz about results and expectations of quick fix remedies in a society based largely around instant gratification, people expect results although they are driven by a lack of pure engagement in their own processes of change and transformation.
Expectation is exactly the word I’m looking for here. My first session with my coach several years ago was to my surprise an expectation session, initiated by my coach. A session to lay out the ‘ground rules’ or the ‘rules of engagement’. When running our leadership, teamwork, corporate and school programs an expectation session is always part of the program within the first 24 hours. It’s where both or all parties involved get to write a contract of accountability, a values contract, regarding what is realistic, what's acceptable and furnish the beginning of goal setting.
Engagement in a personal process is achievable when challenge is presented as a platform for growth. We use wilderness experiences as this platform as there are little distractions, within nature there is little predictability and options of choice are based on real assessments of risk, whether it be of high or low consequence. It’s a unique field, where personal questioning of ability, potential and preconceived ideas presents itself at every corner.
Here’s are a few thoughts on my coaching experience worth mentioning, regarding personal engagement and expectation.
1. FEAR IS THE BIGGEST FACTOR THAT HOLDS PEOPLE BACK - When I’m leading and coaching clients, they often tell my why something won’t work. Given that outdoor educational experiences are largely based on experiential learning (planning, doing and reviewing unfamiliar tasks), I find it interesting that this is a first response to a task that they have never engaged with prior. Sometimes, they might be right. But what if they are not? What is they’re not even open to the possibility they might be wrong? Well, the I guess our work is done here, I’ve learned you can’t help people who are unwilling to consider other options. Last week in a session, the big “G” (GOALS) word was mentioned to a client. She recoiled physically and shuddered, saying ‘please don’t use that word, I hate it, it reminds me of school projects and I was terrible at school, I hate goals in case I fail at them.’ So, solution, we changed the words from ‘Goal of the Week’ to ‘Intensions for the Week’. It put a completely new achievable spin on it for her. More on Fear and Failure in a previous Blog.
2. SOME PEOPLE ACTUALLY THRIVE LIVING ON THE ISLAND OF DESPAIR – That’s the only explanation I can think of or they’d be doing the work to build the boat that will get them off the island. Common responses include: 'they have it easy', 'they're not dealing with the issues I'm dealing with', 'that's because .... ' and 'it's the world we live in and society's fault' - nope it's your attitude to it and your response to it, except the issue there is that they will then find someone to blame for hiding the map of the plans to build the boat to get themselves off the island.
3. THOSE WHO DO THE WORK, MAKE THE MOST PROGRESS – If it sounds simple, that’s because it is. If you want to change something in your life, then you have to do something about it to change it. Harsh, maybe, but true. With progress comes forward momentum and opportunity. Those complaining about lack of opportunity are usually still living on the island. That old chestnut, ‘no pain, no gain’ has been around for years for a good reason.
4. MONEY IS A PRIORITY – People say they can’t afford to engage a coach or invest in their learning. Yet they seem to have money to make other purchases above and beyond what one typically needs to survive. Maslow's triangle is a cracker for defining this one: what you need to achieve for self actualisation starts with the basics - a shelter, food, H2O and to feel secure. If you think something is worth doing, you will find a way to do it. Just saying ….
5. IT TAKES TIME TO SEE RESULTS – One of the focusses of my first coaching session was to tackle the time factor. I’m one of those results driven people, but have learnt to appreciate that time and time is all we actually have runs it’s own course. Many of our participants will often say that in hindsight what they had the opportunity to learn in the outdoors in terms of resilience, communication, teamwork and self determination and responsibility didn’t really make sense at the time, but an event had occurred in their lives that they applied that knowledge and those principles to help them move forward again. This is the cornerstone of personal development that as coaches and facilitators we hope everyone can transfer if not soon, later. People will naturally question their coaching investments, I know I did and in most things in life, results will vary. However, I can tell you this, just like growth of a new sapling from a tree, it takes time for change to develop it’s roots and flourish. I do things today that make me reflect on some of early experience with my coach and how much of a great investment it was. We did some crazy things that made no sense, but well worth it.
6. COACHES CAN’T PERFORM MIRACLES – I don’t care how good an athletic coach you might be, you will never turn most people into Olympians. Why? Let’s start with the fact that not everyone has the desire to be one. No coach/mentor/facilitator worth their sole can transform someone into something they don’t want to be. Determination, desire for change and a willingness to pursue purpose and passion are the key and that comes from the client not the coach.
When I reflect on my experiences with my coach, the rediscovery of myself and the expansion of my potential into pursuing a career in helping others on their own paths, I’ve recently played those old tapes back again – who got me here? Was it Pete and all those mini ‘missions’ he sent me out on, nope, I did it, he helped me with the plans, but I was captain and navigator on that ship of, hard work, patience, overcoming fears/expectations and allowing for an open minded approach to learning, challenge and vast new opportunities.
Our passion for helping others on their journey’s through outdoor experiences is Escape-And-Explore. Coming soon are our Trek Based Coaching Sessions that allow our clients to explore not only the wilderness but themselves through experiential development to discovery. For more information contact us or join us via our mailing list.
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“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ~ Buddha ~
One of the hottest topics of the secrets of successful people is the not so secret notion and daily practice of waking up early. Previously in my former career. Pressure, long hours inside with no natural light, and expectations to keep up with the grind meant waking up late, rolling out of bed (usually on ‘the wrong side of it’), arriving at work already grumpy, poor diet and a general malaise that I would carry throughout the day. I suspected that I was not alone in this lifestyle.
Disturbingly it almost took my life to realise that this wasn’t the way forward. Working with a coach and mentor several years ago meant objectively and honestly looking at lots of aspects that were not doing me any favours and with practice, diligence and commitment, applying what worked and what didn’t work. It didn’t happen overnight and it still is, somedays, a challenge to put it all together. We focussed in on self care – that act for me of spending time with me, for me – and when …
When … first thing in the morning. All the literature I was reading all pointed to it. Whereas once I used to dread early starts and would push back the alarm clock to as late as I could. Now I have no alarm clock – my daily practice is a concrete and now essential part of my routine. I call it my hour of power. My set up for the day. It’s not negotiable. While working remotely makes some of my routine not quite the same as my norm, it still exists in some form. The one part of the day, where I have time to begin again.
Of all of the readings and research I had done, I found that most of the things I was hitting in the early hours were also a part of the practice of the habits of successful people. It wasn’t rocket science, it just takes persistance.
Richard Branson, Tim Cok and Howard Schultz are all up by 0530. Me it’s usually 0430 – but I usually operate on ‘Mountain Time’. Wake up early and you will be ahead of most people with at least 2 hours more each day. There are few distractions and if I’m running on the beach, a simple, ‘Good Morning’ to those I pass is an awesome way to connect with those sharing your energy and cements a foundation of community. In other words, it’s just good for your soul.
Practice meditation early in the morning. Mindfullness and self awareness is huge these days in the positive psychology. For me it’s 10 mintutes of Yoga Nidra – whole body awareness, plugged into my phone for convenience. Daily meditation helps lower stress, encourages pressence, essentialises your thoughts and allows you to better deal with tough situations. It’s a daily reset for your mind and body. Combined with a sunrise is anchoring.
Graditude. We all get busy, or so we say … so it’s easy to lose sight of what you can be grateful for. Graditude is the art of remembering all the good stuff and the benefits of this acknowledgement are vast and well researched including, an improvement of psychological health, reductions in toxic emotions such as resnetment and envy, increased empathy and reduced agression. There are many ways to practice gratitude from a simple statement of affirmation, the appreciation of every thing, finding gratitude in your challenges, keeping a gratitude journal, volunteering, self expression, spending time with family and friends and mindfullness through presence. For me this morning before writing this is was simply observing and noting how many shells had washed ashore overnight, as the beach is usually void of shells. The important thing is to remember how much you have to be grateful for. Write it, think it and if you feel comfortable, let others know it in person.
Which brings us back to Comfort Zones. Doing something scary or challenging each day. I’ve blogged often about this. It’s a favourite topic and is the cornerstone of human potential development in Outdoor Recreation and Education. Just doing scary things is not enough though, transfering those experiences and extracting the life lessons from them to use in tough times is the skill. As a facilitator, this is the most rewarding part of my job, when people have those light bulb moments or return to say thank you as they developed on those learning to assist them at a late date. Advancing people to not being afraid of rejection or failure and moving out of their comfort zone can take time, but doing this will ensure growth, learning and faster adaption to change – and a soar in self confidence. If jumping out of a plane isn’t your idea of fun – start small and commit to it, it can be as simple as trying to take a new route to work.
Read often. When I was redesigning my purpose, my life coach directed my to one place daily for months – the library. Fact: the most successful people in the world read, A LOT. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett credit reading with their massive personal success. With so much negativity on social media, reading is a much better use of your time. Aim to read a little bit each day. I start with 15-20 minutes in the morning, and pursue it in the evening. I traded in the ‘Time Vampire’ (TV Set) long ago. Think your far too busy still? Try audiobooks in the car on the way to work. More on this topic next blog.
Exercise is also a major motivator and factor in my early starts and others will have their versions of what each morning means to them. The important thing is to see through the skepasism of waking up early if you’re a late starter and challenging the benefits to be your best. There’s another quote that says, ‘If nothing changes, nothing changes.’
Next blog – things you should give up if you are looking for personal momentum, success and moving forward. Be your best.
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Almost every action we take in life is aimed at achieving or maintaining “happiness” – that elusive state where we feel contentment, satisfaction and bliss. Happiness can be a bit hard to define. Yet unhappiness, on the other hand is easy to define, you know it when you see it and you definitely know it when it’s taken hold of you.
Happiness has much less to do with life circumstances than you might think. A study at the University of Illinois found that people who earn the most (more than $10 million annually) are only a smidge happier than the average Joe’s who work for them.
Life circumstances have little to do with happiness because much of the concept of happiness is under your control – the product of your habits and your outlook on life. Psychologists from UCLA in a study found that happiness is 50% genetics and life circumstance – the rest is up to you.
Unhappiness can catch you by surprise. So much of your happiness is determined by your habits (in thought and behaviour) that you have to monitor them closely to make sure that bad habits don’t drag you down into the abyss.
Some habits lead to unhappiness more than others do – these traps are easily avoided once you become self-aware. Writing a journal is often a great way to express yourself and a great reflective tool.
Here are 9 Traps to fall into that may limit your happiness and outcome on life.
Holding Your Feelings In
One of the great misconceptions concerning emotional intelligence (EQ) is that it is about repressing our feelings and holding onto them. While it is true there are feelings that high EQ individuals do not allow to erupt on impulse, that does not mean those feelings are not expressed. Emotional intelligence means honouring your feelings and allowing yourself to experience what comes from embracing them for what they are. Only then can you express them in a manner that helps rather than hinders your ability to reach your goals. This is the foundation for the concept of resilience and the ability to recover and rebound from ‘life’s obstacles’.
Numbing Yourself With Technology
Everyone deserves the opportunity to binge watch a TV show now and then or to switch on your e-reader and get lost in a book. I gave my TV to a gentleman I play golf with and prefer paper pages rather than electronic ones. The real question is how much time do you spend plugged in and whether it makes you feel good or simply makes you numb. When your escape becomes a constant source of distraction, it is a sure sign that you a probably falling into a trap of too much of a good thing. Get reconnected with nature and be present.
Spending Too Much Effort Acquiring Things
One of my favourite topics. I recently down sized my life to accommodate a mobile lifestyle. Half on my limited amount of clothes when to charity and anything I hadn’t used within the last 6 months … aside from my snowboard, when in the bin by choice and necessity. It has been documented that people living in extreme poverty experience a significant increase in happiness when their financial circumstances improve, but this drops off quickly above and annual income of $40 000. There’s an ocean of research that shows that material things DO NOT make you happy. When you make a habit of chasing things, you are likely to become unhappy because, beyond the disappointment you experience one you get them, you discover that you’ve gained them at the expense of the real things that can make you happy, such as living with purpose, family and hobbies.
Waiting For The Future
Telling yourself, ‘I’ll be happy when ….’ Is one of the easiest unhappy habits to fall into. How you end the statement doesn’t really matter (it may be a job promotion, pay rise, holiday or relationship) because it puts too much emphasis on circumstance and expectations. Improved circumstances and expectation of others or situations don’t lead to happiness. Don’t spend your time waiting for something that’s proven to have no effect on your mood. Instead focus on being happy right now, in this present moment, because there’s no point dwelling on past experiences and certainly no guarantee of the future. Time, this moment, is exactly all we actually have.
Change is an inevitable part of life, and those who fight it do so because they are struggling to remain in control. The problem with this approach is that fight change actually limits you control over the situation by putting up a barrier between yourself and the actions you need to take to improve the situation. The idea here is to prepare for change. This is not a guessing game where you test your accuracy in anticipation of what comes next, but rather it means thinking through the consequences of potential change so that you are not caught off guard if they surface. The first step is to admit that even the most stable and trusted facets of your life are not completely under your control. People change, businesses go through ebbs and flows, and things simply do not stay the same for long. When you allow yourself to anticipate change – and understand your options if changes and challenges occur – you prevent yourself from getting bogged down by strong emotions like shock, surprise, fear and disappointment when changes actually occur. While you are still likely to experience these negative emotions, your acceptance that change is an inevitable part of life enables you to focus and think rationally, which is critical to making the most out of an unlikely, unwanted or otherwise unforeseen situation.
Nothing fuels unhappiness quite like this one! The problem with a pessimistic attitude, beyond it being hard on your mood, is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and self-sabotage: if you expect bad things, you’re more likely to get bad things. Pessimistic thoughts are hard to shake off until you recognise how illogical and catastrophic they actually are. Force yourself to look at the facts, and you’ll often see that things are not nearly as bad as they seem. Getting perspective and not buying into other people’s ‘horror stories’ on situations is often the solution.
Trying To Keep Up With The Joneses
Jealously and envy are incompatible with happiness, so if you’re constantly comparing yourself with others, it’s time to stop! This is rat on a wheel mentality. Who do you think the Joneses are trying to keep up with? … and so on …
Because unhappy people are pessimists and feel a lack of control over their lives, they tend to sit back and wait for life to happen for them while life is happening around them. Instead of setting goals, learning and improving themselves, they just keep plodding along, and then they wonder why things never change. Often there is a victim mentality associated with this and inability to see the reality of their situation. Don’t let this be you. Read, explore, challenge yourself.
When you feel unhappy, it’s tempting to avoid other people. This is a huge mistake. Socialising, even when you don’t enjoy it is great for your mood. Exercise plays an important role in happiness and fits well into this category. We all have those days when we just want to pull the covers over our heads and refuse to talk to anybody, but understand that moment this becomes a tendency, it destroys your mood. The days when you want to hide, are the days when you need to step up and step out of that comfort zone.
So bringing it all together. When was the last time you experienced true happiness. What did you have and what did you not have? Me? That’s easy, last weekend: sleeping under the stars in a rainforest, no internet signal, no Joneses, living in the moment with the bare essentials.
To reconnect contact Escape-And-Explore
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When I was a kid some of my fondest memories were lying on a blanket in the back yard and watching the night sky. It still fascinates me and working in remote spaces where there is little to no light pollution affords me this opportunity again. Pollution is a hot topic globally with our war on plastics and I am a major advocate of ocean pollution and have been for some time. More recently I’ve become particularly interested in the amount of debris orbiting us. As a kid in the late 70’s and early 80’s spending hours watching the night sky for a glimpse of a single satellite was a highlight. Working on the Snowy River earlier this year an gazing at the night sky one night yielded 7 satellites and 1 flyby of the International Space Station in a 2 hour period. This peaked my interest about what’s really going on up there. Here’s what I found about being looped by thousands of intelligent devices and defunct parts that are up there.
How many? Workers with a NASA group and the US Strategic Command keep track of working satellites and space junk. They monitor more than 35 000 of these things, some the size of a baseball, others the size of floating trucks. Many more smaller objects aren’t tracked and may be intricately small like paint flecks. A bunch of these objects are military secrets. The other 19 000 now orbiting us in tight circles or long ellipses are not. You can see them on a website called Space Track. The ‘rough’ estimate of all elements that range between 1 – 10cm in diameter is 500 000 and over 100 million other debris particles less than 1 cm ….. so yep, it’s pretty crowded up there.
As far as the US in concerned, at this point in time there are 1578 working US Satellites, 694 US rocket bodies and 3990 pieced of US space trash. So who owns the rest of it? What happens to it? … and where will it eventually go?
The big issue is the number of collisions between debris and satellites and the costs involved. The number of collisions has doubled in the past decade to 1200 and is estimated to quadruple over the next five years if we don’t find a solution.
Some weather and other Earth observing satellites fly about 300 miles above us. A crowd of ‘geosynchronous’ satellites are parked above the equator 22 240 miles above us and are in the perfect place to stay in sync with our 24 hour rotation. Satellites used to monitor space weather orbit 186 000 miles above us and for reference, the moon, our only natural satellite is approximately 240 000 miles away. Most of our concentrated ‘waste’ is found in the 500 mile zone and travels at a rate of 4-10 miles/second.
The International Space Station is required to remaneuver 1-3 times a year on average to avoid collision courses with debris. The junk in orbit below 370 miles will usually fall back to Earth within several years, however anything above 600 miles will continue to orbit us for centuries. Currently there is an agreement that you put it up there, you bring it back, however this is not widely adhered to.
The newest defensive project to come about is the SPACE FENCE project, which won’t reduce the amount of space debris in orbit, however it will be able to assist in better tracking of what is up there. The Space Fence is a digital radar system the extends a virtual fence around the planet and will have the ability to log debris as small at 10 cm. The ability to track much smaller objects will give scientists a much more accuracy in predicting the movements of such objects as well as direct astronauts and satellites out of harm’s way. A step in the right direction, but it’s very much a stepping stone to where we need to be before the problems are under control.
Private companies are now stepping up to the cosmic plate with suggestions on how to combat the problem with ground breaking ideas like ‘harpooning’ and dragging larger object to desired locations for entry and reburn. If no way is found to stem the ever growing amount of dead man made items floating around our planet then it is predicted that in only a few hundred years we will essentially be trapped on Earth with space missions impossible due to the certainty of collision and loss of life.
So next time you jump in the car and turn on the Sat Nav, take a hike and turn on the GPS or lie in your tent looking at the stars …. Just think.
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Fear and Failure
“Whatever you fear most has no power – it is your fear that has the power.” – Oprah Winfrey
Fear of failure can stop you in your tracks, even if you are after something that will bring you joy and excitement. I struggle with this often as I feel most people with perfectionist qualities do. Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will. Fear can cause people to miss out on opportunities that allow them to reach their full potential.
This morning I sat will someone talking about redefining some major goals I have in motion and how to get there. Since changing careers several years ago and undertaking a major life transformation, the conversation was interesting.
“You know this stuff”, she said to me. “You teach this stuff, you’ve done this stuff before and that puts you one step ahead of most people.”
So how did I do this stuff before? Time to rewind the clock and put pen to paper. Here’s what I found.
By stopping and not reaching your goal, the path remains unclear. Instead of allowing fear to stop you, see fear as forcing you to think about the path forward. Fear should not be a roadblock. It can be used to clarify the path. Successful people want to reach their goals more than they fear failing. Here are 4 steps to help you embrace your fear of failure and get what you want.
IDENTIFY WHAT YOU WANT
When you are overcome with fear, this is the time to pause. Sometimes, fear can overpower your ability to see your goal clearly. You get lost in the emotion and lose sight of your vision. Reflect on what it is that you want. There is a reason why you are told to focus on a motionless point far off in the horizon when you are nauseated. It helps stabilize the body. Think of fear in a similar way. When you are fearful, focus on your end goal to stabilize yourself. When you can see your goal, you are in a better position to tackle it. Don’t let fear cloud your vision.
REALISE WHAT IS STOPPING YOU FROM REACHING WHAT YOU WANT
Once you regain you footing and clarity on what you want, own up to what is making you fearful. Are you afraid of criticism? Are you afraid of not being able to be yourself? Are you afraid of competition? What makes you afraid? Understanding what is stopping you so you can overcome it. If you don’t see the hurdles, you can’t jump over it. Embrace the barrier to break free from it.
OWN YOUR DISCOMFORT
As in the quote above – fear has the power. Don’t let fear weaken you. Do not feel shame in being fearful. Find strength in your fear. It is the key to unlocking your potential. Your fear is your power. Let’s say you want to be more proactive in something with a team of people, but you fear not everyone will agree with you. Your opinion is what make you, you. Your opinion is your power. Own your opinion. Own your power. Diversity of thought is ultimately what moves conversations and matters forward. Capture the energy that you are putting into being afraid and use it to conquer your fear. Fear can’t hold you down if you don’t let it.
START FEELING COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UNCOMFORTABLE
Yep …. Comfort Zones, Stretch Zones and Panic Zones. To restart your journey towards your goal, take a small step. Dip your toe back in. You might feel very uncomfortable. Now take another small step. Push yourself out into that space. Coaching people through this process is something I do commonly with participants in perceived high risk activities such as abseiling. It’s getting over the edge that is the hard part for most people. If you are not feeling slightly uncomfortable, you might not be putting yourself out there and not moving towards your goal. If you stay comfortable, you stay put. If you feel comfortable, this is when you should be most afraid. It is a clear sign that you are not moving actively towards your goal.
Rethink the risk. Risk is no longer the actions you take but rather the actions you choose not to take. The risk is feeling comfortable. How does feeling comfortable sound now? Being uncomfortable is the new comfortable.
To achieve your goals, see fear as the key to helping you clarify your path forward. Identify your goal, realise what is stopping you from achieving it, feel the discomfort and start getting used to the uncomfortable. Simple concept but often for some they freeze at the first big challenge and walk away. Failure is defined by the ability to allow yourself to walk away. Failure is to not try.
Need assistance is pushing your zones and overcoming your fears, contact Escape And Explore.
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The Three A's
One of the things I’ve always loved about the wilderness and being on the ocean is that everything is what it is. No masks, no motives, no hidden agendas. Mother Nature can be the hardest of taskmasters, but I’ve never found her to be disingenuous or unfair, and on the very rare occasions that I thought that was the case, I realised later on that it was my own ego that was speaking.
I've been stuck on exposed ridges when an unexpected bad weather comes rolling through; that’s on me. I've almost fallen into boulder crevasses over having been too complacent to not tie my boot laces properly; that’s on me. I've walked 15kms through mud sometimes waist deep and had cramps in my legs that have kept me awake all night and you know what, that’s on me as well.
When you get right down to it, once I have made the decision to head out into those wild untouched places or journeys along the tracks, everything that happens after that is a byproduct of my original choice. It’s all on me. The process of accepting full responsibility for all of your choices is the first step in a concept referred to as the “Three A’s” – Accept, Adapt and Appreciate – of wilderness hiking and adventure trekking. A set of principles that have collectively represented one of the cornerstones of not only giving clients unique opportunities to escape and explore but translate into their lives to further their potential, whether it be knowledge to get out more often and enjoy the wide open spaces, gain supported solo experiences, goal setting or reaffirming their potential.
Accept the environment on its own terms. The natural world is inherently fluid. Conditions can vary dramatically from hour to hour, day to day, let alone from one season to the next. Hikers who head into the wilderness with an itinerary that’s set in stone and a mindset to match often find themselves in trouble when Mother Nature does an about-face, as she is sometimes, more often than not is prone to do.
Adapt accordingly. Once you have made an rational and managed risk assessment and accepted a situation for what it is – rather than what you thought it might or should be – theory must then be translated into action. Decisions in the wilderness should be based upon two overriding considerations:
1. The conditions you are facing and the unknown.
2. Do you have the ability, skill, equipment and experience with which to safely negotiate those conditions?
The decision is made; action has been taken. Now it comes down to perspective. Whether the challenge you are facing is simple or difficult in the extreme, nothing will ever be gained by moaning, blaming and second-guessing. By choosing – and it is a choice – to view the tough moments as opportunities to learn rather than obstacles to endure, you give yourself the gift of appreciation.
When I think about it. When are the times when I've have learnt the most from out in the wilderness? Is it when the sun is shining, the temperatures are comfortable, and I'm are powering along on a clear path with pretty scenery all around? Or is it when Mother Nature is flexing her meteorological and/or topographical muscles with extreme heat, white-outs, heavy rain & high winds or much tougher than anticipated terrain and you have no choice but to embrace the suck, focus, and do everything in your power to deal with what is being thrown your way?
Mother Nature’s Boot
When I think back over the course of my outdoor experiences, both on land and out on the water, I have been kicked up the bum by Mother Nature more times than I can remember. In fact if I looked hard enough after a few challenging expeditions and offshore experiences you'd see the imprint of her foot permanently tattooed across my backside. That said, if you spend enough time in the wilderness and with nature living on her terms, a certain amount of bum kickings are a given. What is not a given is how you react to them.
The Three A’s are all about learning to view challenging situations as stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks. Whether it be in the wilderness or your everyday life, nothing builds strength and character like overcoming difficulties. That doesn’t mean you should necessarily go out looking for crappy conditions to learn from, eventually they will find you. What it does mean is that when are faced with a testing examination, life situation, you will be able to recognise and embrace its value, and subsequently not only survive, but also thrive as a result of how you deal with it.
Contact Escape-And-Explore for your next tailored adventure and embrace those challenges.
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