Are you sick of being stuck, where you are, in certain areas of your life? Are you ready to break free and start to live the life you are destined to live? Are ready for positive change in your life? If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, then I have three simple words for you to help you do it. Those words are; win the day!
I have an amazing mentor, who has a saying that, success doesn’t happen in a day, it happens day-by-day. As you read this, I have a feeling there is something more you want in your life; better relationships, optimal wellbeing, more money, to be a published author, to impact more lives or some other worthy aspiration. Am I right? I also get the feeling that you are feeling stuck, confused, doubtful, unworthy or unable somewhere between where you are now and the realisation of that aspiration. Would I be right again?
Every time I look back upon my journey to this point in my life, I have to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming. I am continually amazed by what I have achieved and the life of joy and purpose I am living now. Amazed, because I know me. I know my insecurities, my flaws, my doubts and my fears. I continually ask myself how I got here, and the answer is always the same… one day at a time. I am proud to have played professional sport for seven years. I am impressed with my fitness industry career. I am excited that I am on the verge of publishing my eighth book. I am delighted that, in my mid-fifties, I am lean, fit and healthy. I am most proud of the fact that I have got here, not through talent, but through creating the right habits.
I have been told how lucky I am now for decades. Lucky for my natural ability to be a footballer. Lucky for my genetics to have the body and fitness I have. Lucky for my high profile to be a published author. Ha! I had very little natural ability as a footballer, instead I worked hard every day for years. Good genetics? I was a chopstick with ears and had to work my brains out and eat well every day to get, and keep, the body I have. As for my high profile, I was a household name in one house, that I know of! Nothing I have achieved happened because of luck or talent, instead because I focussed for a period of time to create unconscious habits that predictably led me to the outcomes I wanted. Here is the best news, you can do the same!
There are just 63 days between where you are now and creating strong neural pathways in the brain and forever unconscious habits that will automatically and predictably lead you to the outcomes you are after. I am talking about habits like breathing or brushing your teeth. These are things you don’t think about, you just do, because they are part of your DNA. That is the type of habit I am talking about. Can you imagine your life, when the things you are struggling with, negotiating on and often forgetting, become part of your DNA? Things like exercise, eating breakfast, writing your gratitude list, drinking water, writing your book, complimenting others or any of the other simple things you struggle with each day.
All you have to do is focus on a handful of things every day for 63 days, and then you will never have to focus on them again. The most successful people don’t rely on talent, focus, will power or intellect, they rely on taking the right daily actions and turning them into unconscious success habits. If you are ready to hack your current status quo and create the life you want, then I am going to give you one simple piece of advice. That is; win the day.
To prepare yourself for permanent and positive change, firstly set a goal that is meaningful for you. One that will have a positive impact on your life and the people you care about most. Secondly, decide on just a few small daily actions that you want to run through the 63 day process to transform into DNA type, just-what-you-do, unconscious habits. Thirdly, find an accountability partner to encourage you and keep you on track. Finally, focus on the only day that matters. That day is today. Win the day!
You see, focussing for 63 days is intimidating and overwhelming, right? Even trying to stay focused for 42 days, 21 days or even just 7 days are still too much. Focus on the one and only day you have any control over, that day is today. There is nothing more than today. On this day you have a couple of very basic actions to take, so take them, whether you want to, feel like it or not. Once you have done it, you are a winner, because the goal for the day was achieved. So, tick the box, feel like a winner and celebrate because you are on the path to your best life. When midnight hits, you have a new day to win, so focus on that day, and again; win it, celebrate, feel your confidence grow and simply repeat this, one day at a time, for 63 days.
This week’s podcast with Greg Sellar is a perfect one to listen to if you want to learn how to hack the status quo. You are good enough. You don’t need luck, talent or intelligence to have great things in your life. You just need to know what you want, know what you need to do and win each day until the habits you need to predictably create success are embedded in your DNA and will automatically lead you to the success you want. Trust me, all you have to do is… win the day!
I have to honestly say, I love life; every day, every aspect and every situation. That may sound like I’ve just hit my head, but it’s how I feel. Back in March, I wrote a blog called, ‘Nothing is bad, it’s all content.’ I want to make a minor adjustment to that and add an addendum, and that is; ‘and it’s part of the journey of life that will help you fulfil your purpose to help other people.’
I truly believe, with the right attitude, you can enjoy every aspect of the journey you experience in your life and use it as a way to help and inspire others. Even the ones that may not seem so enjoyable. When you trust and believe that everything happens for a reason, that everything is putting you on the path to fulfill the destiny and purpose you are on this planet for and that everything can be used as a platform to help others, then why not be excited about everything that happens in your life.
In fact, as you may already know, I had an experience this week, which reinforced this to me in a powerful way. I got up at 5:20am on Friday, as I do most mornings, to go and do my training. Friday is leg and box-jump day. If you are not sure what a box-jump is, go to google. I have a special place where go to do my box-jumps, at the local council square on a fixed steel table-tennis table. Amongst other things, I jump up onto the table several times. Well, on Friday, after jumping up, I slipped and, on my way down, hit my shin on the sharp edge of the table. I hit the ground, with a thud, a bruised ego, and a sore shin. As I sat on the ground, looking around to make sure no one was watching (as if anyone would be at 5:45am), I lifted my track pants to survey the damage. I thought there might be a scratch, but what I saw alarmed me.
Without going into the gory details, I limped home, blood streaming down my leg and soaking my sock and questioned myself as to what I should do. I have to be honest here, I actually contemplated just putting a dressing on it and hoping for the best, but then decided to take myself to the emergency department of the closest hospital. For the next three and a half hours, from 6:30am till 10am, I spent time getting examined, x-rayed, stitched and doing lots of waiting.
Now, what I am about to say may sound a little weird, but I loved the whole journey. As crazy as it sounds, I wasn’t upset it happened, didn’t complain about it and really didn’t want to be anywhere else. Yes, there was a little pain involved, but it was a pain I knew I would grow from. I’m not sure if I am explaining this is a way you will understand, but, I knew there was a reason why I was there. Yes, obviously because I fell and needed attending to, but it was more than that.
As I mentioned at the start, one of the things I always say to myself, and others, is that there is nothing bad that happens, it’s all just content. So, I’m writing about it here and now. This mishap allowed me to slow down. I mean, if you’ve ever been in the emergency at a hospital, waiting time is all you have! It gave me time to refocus on what I had to be grateful for, what’s most important in my life and how I can help other people. I was very grateful for the staff at the hospital and the wonderful Dr Anna, who stitched up my gaping wound. As an added extra bonus, in this current time of COVID lockdown, it gave me an exciting reason to get out of the house!
During those three and a half hours I sent messages to everyone I needed to reschedule, I did my social media posting, I wrote more in my current book, I thought, I reflected and I caught up on some sleep in a comfortable bed. Sounds pretty great to me. I know this experience has benefited me, and I hope, by me sharing this, it will help you also. As insane as it may sound, I really enjoyed this journey and I know it happened for a reason. Even a couple of days later, I feel clearer, calmer and more focussed than I have in a long time.
Wow, who would have believed that you could enjoy this type of experience. Well, when you believe that everything happens for you and not to you, then your attitude will be… bring it on! In my most recent podcast ‘Making Lives Better,’ I speak to AFL and St Kilda FC legend, Nathan Burke, about his journey and mission to make other people’s lives better. It is an inspiring conversation with a very successful yet humble man.
It has inspired me, even more, to make sure that, everything I experience on my journey of life, I love and can use to help others as they negotiate the challenges in their own life. When you believe deep down everything that happens – seemingly good or bad – will help you fulfil your destiny and purpose in your life, then you, like me, will love every part of your journey.
You can either prepare the path for yourself or prepare yourself for the path. In other words, you can either try to control things that are out of your control and hope for the best or take charge of the one thing you are in control of, that is you! I think, intellectually, we know which is the best choice, but let’s explore which is currently your preferred strategy, and whether it may be worthwhile considering a change of tactic.
As you read this blog, in August 2020, the path we are on, or the path we may want to be on is not necessarily solid ground. We are living on a rapidly moving landscape, at the moment, and therefore any plans to try to prepare a path may be dashed from under our feet. If you had planned to travel, then your path has eroded. If you planned to open a hospitality business, then your path has crumbled. If your plan included other people getting together, then that path may have disintegrated. Can you see why trying to prepare something that is out of your control may also leave you out of control.
In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl narrates his experience as a prisoner in German concentration camps for four years during World War Two. At that time, every pleasure and comfort were taken from the prisoners and replaced with starvation, frostbite, abuse and intense pain. In his book, he explains how the only people who survived, were those who had identified a strong meaning to survive and purpose to live, and those who prepared themselves for the horrendous path.
He spoke about one man, who had convinced himself that the end of the war and his liberty would happen on a certain date. He had not prepared himself for any other eventuality. When that date came and went, and he was still a prisoner, he was dead within twenty-four hours. He was not prepared, his will to live was gone and paid the ultimate price. Now, this is an extreme example, but I want to make a point, and, that point is that right now my advice to me, and you if you’re interested, is to identify your meaning and then start preparing yourself for whatever path may open itself up to you.
In this week’s podcast, Tap into your inner gold, I talk to incredible three time para-Olympic gold medal winner, Carol Cooke. She is the epitome of someone who prepared herself for the path. If she was more focused on the path, she would have given up at 9 years old, but in actuality, she finally realised her dream to win an Olympic gold medal 41 years later. Her dream was Olympic gold, but the path changed for her on a regular basis, so it was lucky she focused every day on preparing herself. Her final achievement, at the age of fifty-one came after, forty-one years, four sports, diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, two countries and many setbacks. It was the strength and determination, she developed in herself, which allowed her to stay on track, to find the path that finally led to Olympic gold.
Right now, we are being told we are living in uncertain times. I disagree. We are only living in uncertain times, if we try to prepare the path for ourselves. If we get clear on what’s most important, what we want and who we want to impact, then, start to prepare ourselves for the many paths that may open to us, we will be feeling very certain about our present and future. At the start of COVID, my path, like many people’s, started crumbling beneath my feet. Within just a few days, I lost multiple speaking gigs, in schools, companies and conferences. After some dummy-spitting, thumb-sucking and tantrum-throwing, I started to prepare myself for whatever path would allow me to do what I wanted to do to get my message out to the world. What has happened, as a result, is that many opportunities have now opened up for me. I am excited about what I am doing and the impact I am able to have on many people all around the world. It happened because I prepared myself for the path, not the path for myself.
As you read this, I want to encourage you that you are good enough to handle whatever life throws at you. In fact, it’s in time of challenge and adversity that, with the right perspective and focus, we learn what we need to learn and become the person we need to become to get to our desired life, whatever path may lead you there. So, get clear on what you want, work to prepare yourself, have faith and watch as the path opens up before you.
I am very resistant to talk about the Coronavirus, but it’s happening all around the world and it’s having an impact on many lives, in one way or another. I may ruffle some feathers this week, but I have to say what is in my heart, with my soul intention being to help people enjoy an incredible experience of life. Having said that, with the exception of a small percentage, the majority of issues being experienced at the moment are not as a result of COVID or the other things we like to blame, but of stinking thinking.
I have suffered from stinking thinking in my life, as I am sure you have also. Maybe even now as you are reading this. Side note: If you are getting angry, or get angry, with me, as you read this, you may want to check in with your thinking, and what you are focussing on. So many things that have happened in my life from; getting sacked as footballer, to relationship breakdowns, to business failure, to loss of money could be very easily blamed on other people and circumstances, but I can tell you that the reason for all of them is… stinking thinking!
So, what is stinking thinking? Would you believe, there is actually a definition of stinking thinking? As I typed ‘stinking thinking’ into Google, it came up with; any type of negativity. On www.pyschreg.org it says; people with anxiety or depressive disorders often suffer from obsessive repetitive, uncomfortable thoughts, or what we call ‘stinking thinking‘. On www.brainline.org it says; When thoughts are twisted by negative emotions, ‘Stinking Thinking’ is the result. So, why is it called stinking thinking? Because it smells bad and it sabotages our success, happiness, and, has a significant impact on our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
I wrote a post on social media this week, which I feel is worthwhile sharing again here;
In this time, when so many things have been taken from us and we are being told what we can and cannot do, it’s important to reflect on what we still have, what we can do, and, take powerful and positive action on what we can control.
We control; what we focus on, our attitude, our self-belief, our personal wellbeing, helping others, being creative, making a difference and the myriad of opportunities that are available if we just open our eyes and hearts to see them
Don’t waste this amazing day worrying about shit that’s out of your control. Have your #bestday ever!
Stinking thinking will ruin your day, week, year and life. I would love to encourage you to assess your thinking in each and every moment and if you notice a foul odour, then do something about it. Please don’t be offended by what I am about suggest right now, instead, be empowered that you can change, okay? If you are worried and stressed about getting COVID and you are blaming other people for their actions, that’s stinking thinking. Instead, why not focus on what you can do to improve your health, strengthen your immune system and protect yourself. If you live in Melbourne, and you are complaining about wearing a facemask, that’s stinking thinking. Honestly, if wearing facemask is the worst thing in your life, then your life is worth celebrating.
I keep hearing the phrase ‘iso-fat’ or ‘iso-weight.’ I didn’t know what it meant until recently. It means weight/fat that is put on because of being in isolation. Guess what? It’s stinking thinking. Isolation is not the reason people put on weight; the wrong food and not enough exercise is the reason. I have suffered stinking thinking during COVID like everyone else. When many of my speaking jobs started cancelling and drying up, I went far too quickly into self-pity and stinking thinking. I’m glad I didn’t stay there too long. After looking for solutions, getting creative and taking positive action, amazing things started and are still happening in my life. They can happen in your life also. All you need to do is give your thinking a good washing!
I want to finish this blog with one short story and my strongest recommendation you listen to my podcast with Dr Robb Kelly, called ‘The problem is not our drinking, it’s our thinking.’ Robb is now doing amazing things in the addiction space and helping thousands of people, but he suffered severely from alcoholism, and found himself losing everything and living on the streets of Manchester for 14 months. For many years, he had thought his problem was alcohol, until a moment when he finally realised it was not his drinking that was the issue, but his thinking.
It was 5:45am in Manchester and he had been homeless for many months. He was standing outside the liquor shop, in the middle of a cold winter, waiting for it to open so he could buy a bottle of vodka. He was wearing a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops and he was sweating and shaking with the DT’s, desperate for that vodka to help him settle his fear and nerves. The store opened at 6am, the owner who knew Robb said, ‘Your usual Robb?’ Robb nodded, handed over ten pounds and put his hand on the neck of bottle of vodka. In that moment, all of a sudden, the shaking stopped, the sweating stopped and a calmness came over his entire body, and, he hadn’t yet opened the bottle or taken a swig. It was right then, he knew the drinking wasn’t his problem, it was his thinking!
I am running with and encouraging you to adopt #bestday. No matter what circumstances you are dealing with right now, or in the future, just know you are in control of the one thing that can turn misery into miracles, helplessness into happiness, doubt into dreams and worry into wonder, that is your thinking. A great friend of mine said something that has stuck with for many years, and that is, when something seemingly undesirable is happening, it’s not happening to you, it’s happening for you. Clean up your thinking right now and make today your #bestday!
Have you ever stopped to think about the character traits you’ve developed, the fears and doubts you’ve collected, the confidence and certainty you’ve established, and the person you’ve become? Do you wonder why you react a certain way? Have you ever questioned why you sometimes act fearlessly and other times act fearfully? Have you ever said, ‘Oh no, I am turning into my mother/father’? Have you ever seen traits in your children that concern you, because you recognise those same unhealthy patterns in yourself? Hmm, some interesting questions to ponder.
I have often wondered why I act, react and respond the way I do to different things and people in my life. I love some of my character traits and I am working to change others. I am fifty-five years old as I write this, so the time for blaming my parents for my peculiarities, habits and character traits is long gone. I am evolved enough to know that I have the capacity to change anything about myself I don’t like, or is not serving me. You do also, by the way. However, I do recognise that many of the things I do unconsciously, I picked from the people I spent most of my formative years with, my parents.
My mother never meant to pass on her anxiety, insecurities and self esteem issues to me, but she didn’t understand the power of example. My dad never intended for me to develop a tendency to shy away from social interactions, but again, he didn’t know I was watching and being influenced by him. On the other hand, some of the things I have inherited from my parents’ powerful example, have totally shaped the person I am today and the life I live, and for that I couldn’t be more grateful.
As you may know I recently had my drivers license suspended for accruing too many demerit points. When I received the speeding fine in the mail I knew would push me over the threshold and be the one that would cause the suspension to take effect, I had the option of nominating that another driver was in control of my car when the speeding camera took that fateful photo. It would’ve meant that I would not get the demerit point, as it would be given to the person I had nominated, and I would still have my license. So, I was tempted to the moment when I almost did it. I had convinced my brother, who agreed to take the point, and I got online to fill in the forms, but when it got to the declaration of truth part, I couldn’t go through with it. No-one would have known, I would have paid the fine anyway and I would still be able to drive today, but in my head, I could see my father, I thought about his ridiculous honesty, and I couldn’t go through with it. So, I sit here, with no license, but extremely proud of myself and thankful for the wonderful example my dad set for me.
I am a healthy and happy person today, in fact, one of the healthiest fifty-fivers on the planet. Not because I am so special, but because I was inspired by the example set for me to follow by my amazingly courageous mother as she made the changes she needed to make to survive and thrive in life with a life-threatening cancer diagnosis. She made significant changes to her thinking, her belief systems, to the people she associated with, to her eating and to her lifestyle choices that helped her to outlive a medical prognosis by more than fifteen years. She never once said, ‘Andrew, sit down I want to tell you what you need to do to be healthy and happy.’ Instead, I watched her incredible example, I was inspired, and I was changed forever.
I hope you are getting point loud and clear here. I remember telling my mother, not long before she passed away, that I was going to write a book about her life and her cancer journey. She could not understand who would be interested in or impacted by her life. Well, my beautiful mother, let me tell you, many thousands of people have been and will be impacted by your life, your story and your example for many generations to come. This I say to you, my friend, the thing that will have the greatest impact on the people you love and the change you want to see in the world, is the person you are and the actions you take to be the best you can be. Your example will influence many people. The question I have for you, as I finish this weeks blog is; are the actions you are taking and is the life you are living what you want for your children and the people most important in your life? You need to know and understand that the greatest legacy you will leave on this earth is the power of your example. Make it a good one!
My podcast this week, with Michelle Falzon, called the ‘Parent Factor,’ is one you should listen to if you want to be the best example you can be and have the most powerful impact you can have on others.
Many people want to enjoy the prize without paying the price. In fact, I think I would have to say, we all fit into that category to some degree, wouldn’t you? I mean, don’t we want to enjoy the view from the top, without the effort it takes to get there? If you disagree with that statement then let me ask you this; when is the last time you took an elevator to the top of a building, drove your car to the top of a hill or caught the cable car to a nice lookout? Maybe a better question would be – and you may need to stretch your memory – when was the last time you actually walked the stairs, the path, the track or the road to the top?
In 2018, I was on a European cruise, which stopped for a day in Gibraltar. As the ship neared the port, the great Rock of Gibraltar stood out like a beacon. All I could think about, whilst looking at it, was climbing that rock. As I googled, ‘climbing the Rock of Gibraltar’, there were lots of sites promoting the cable car, taxis, tours and other modes of transport to get people to the top, but not much on walking it. This was the case for obvious reasons, most people don’t walk it. In my mind, I was fixated on climbing that hill, and as you may know, when you decide to do something, you will always find a way.
Long story short, I found the track, started walking and not long into it, I discovered why most people take the cable car! But to me, the view was going to look so much better after I had conquered the great rock, so I just leaned into the hill and took one painful step at a time. Honestly, when you focus on the wonderful feeling you’ll experience when you arrive, and, just take one step at a time, then in no time at all you will be there. And, I was. And, I felt amazing. And, the view was awesome! I decided to reward myself with a cable car trip back down to the bottom. Incredibly, the queue to buy tickets to catch the cable car up the rock, was out the door and way up the street. I felt sorry for all of those people, as they missed one of the best feelings of achievement and fulfillment available. That is, leaning into the hill and working their way to the top.
As you may know, I am without a driver’s license for a few months after it was suspended because I accrued too many demerit points. Of the many alternate modes of transport available to me, one that I am using regularly is my bicycle. I am discovering far more hills around where I live than I was ever aware of. When you’re driving a car, you don’t notice. Recently, I was riding home after a walk with some great people, and one of them suggested I take the bike path along the freeway, as it is very scenic and pretty, so, I took her advice.
She was right, it was very scenic. What she hadn’t warned me about were the many ridiculously long and steep hills I would have to negotiate. I am a pretty stubborn and determined person, so as I approached a hill and could see many people walking their bikes up it, I made the decision to ride it, no matter how hard it would be. So, as I got to the hill and raised the gear, I leaned into the hill and with lungs almost bursting and legs about to explode, I inched my way to the top of the hill. I got there, gasping for air, but feeling incredibly proud of myself and very much enjoying the downhill glide that followed. Needless to say, I will be very weary of taking that route home again!
My point is this, we all love; the view from top of the hill or mountain, the joy of great relationships, the feeling of being lean, fit and functioning well, the privilege that money allows and the feeling of success and achievement, yet we will never experience any of these things without a journey and the struggle of a hill to conquer. So, my advice is this; don’t run from the hill or look for an easier way. Lean into the hill and work your way to the top. Once you have done the work and achieved the outcome, you will be a better person, more confident, and happier in every respect.
In my podcast this week, ‘Warren the rabbit,’ I speak to the wonderful Craig Harper, about non-attachment, and letting go of this comfort-zone that may be holding you back from your best life. Please don’t shy away from the hill or the discomfort that confronts you this week. Embrace the work it takes to build a loving relationship. Welcome the discomfort of going through the daily process to regain or attain optimal wellbeing. Accept and enjoy the work required to create an abundant financial position. Appreciate the inconvenient actions required to write your book, learn something new or create something extraordinary. The reality is, nothing great will come knocking on your door, so, my greatest encouragement for you this week is to… lean into the hill, work hard to get to the top and then enjoy the view!