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Archive of ‘Personal development’ category

From one Conehead to another* … thank you.

Last night I was especially inspired by a man called Don Morgan who after spending 20 odd years developing his lifesaving “Conehead” bicycle helmet finally received the recognition he deserved last night when he won the New Inventors Grand Final on the ABC.

While somebody was always going to win the competition and while the other inventions were all frankly brilliant, the heartwarming thing about Don’s win was that he presented the human face of the downside of the struggle to achieve and of what is sometimes a curse that cannot be shaken – Unrelenting Vision.

I was so moved by his win, and I would like to openly thank Don here (not that many people read this but anyway it’s the thought that counts) for reaffirming in me the belief that if you just stick at your dream for long enough and keep working hard, you massively increase your chances of reaping the rewards you seek.

I could go on for hours about this, but I must get to work myself, but I’ll just close by pointing out the interesting fact that in order to acheive something brilliant, Don focussed – for twenty years – on Just One Thing.**

May the Force be with Don as he takes his worthy invention (literally) to the streets.

*Actually I used to be a conehead (bong smoker) but not anymore! But if I buy one of these helmets I can reclaim the title!

**Incidentally this links to a story about ANOTHER Don but that is just a fluke … or else it’s just a day for Dons, you tell me 😉

Don’t Fight the Work

I recently realised that being lazy – of which I am very guilty – is actually harder work than being diligent.

This might sound nuts to all you fellow couch potatoes out there, but really, it’s true. Here’s how it works:

1) You see something that needs doing.

2) You either do it, make a specific time to do it later, or roll your eyes and hope it will go away.

3) The first two options are not examples of being lazy, but rather of diligence (as long as you follow up on that appointment you made with yourself). You do the job and it’s done and either that’s it’s own reward or you have therefore avoided something unpleasant or you actually receive some kind of reward for your efforts.

4) Or you roll your eyes and hope the task will disappear – but it never does. So you end up wasting a lot of energy thinking about the task, being nagged about the task by others, watching the job get bigger (think mowing the lawn or doing the dishes) and generally putting a lot more time and energy into the task than you ever really needed to.

And this, by definition, is harder work than just doing the job at the first possible opportunity. It wastes far more energy.

Still, even though I know this, I have a lifetime habit of procrastination which I am yet to fully overcome 🙂

To help myself, I have a new mantra that has been working quite well for me over the last couple of months:

“Don’t fight the work; don’t fight the work”.

It reminds me that getting the work done ASAP is in fact less effort than procrastinating and so motivates me to get off my hairy bum and get to it!

NB: I would however like to point out that there is still and always will be room in my life for SOME laziness. I wouldn’t want to turn into some kind of a stress head. After all I am the guy who wrote the new anthem for the return of Slacker Culture.

How to Stand Up and Be Counted … Episode One

We all have to stand up and be counted.

This weekend many people stood up to be counted here as contenders in the Australian federal election.

Some won, some lost. But all of them put themselves through a big, public challenge to be the best they could be.

Two people stood up and put it all on the line at the Sydney Opera House last weekend.

Every day people stand up and stare down their fate in all manner of ways.

For some time now I have been feeling like I need to do something similar. Not run for office (heaven forbid) but to choose a challenge, make it public, and – knowing that I might ‘win’ or ‘lose’ – just go for it.

Give up? Me? Yeah Right!

Despite the joy of the birth of my beautiful, wonderful first child, and the excitement of going to Europe, I have been feeling frustrated. Not in a over-bearing life-debilitating way, but in a slow-burning, gnawing at my insides way. I have been thinking about that famous quote that goes something like “most men live lives of quiet desperation”.

I don’t want to end up like that, and I can see how easily it could happen.

As I have gone about my business day to day, responsible adult that I now am (or at least try to be), I have been happy with the people in my life but not with my own efforts. I have been struggling from a lack of “flow”, which silly as it sounds, is actually a technical term.

And then, when my new, gorgeous little daughter was asleep and I was staring at her “all ga-ga about the goo-goo” I thought to myself:

“what am I going to tell her?

That I turned thirty and just gave up?”

Fuck that.

So I have been doing some (more) intense soul-searching and have over the last two weeks come to come some very definite decisions.

Stay tuned … oh breathless masses … for no matter how it turns out, I intend to stand up and be counted.

Maybe we can get together and encourage each other a long the way … build some kind of “stand up be counted challenge” website or something …

Because life about living your dreams, not settling for the safe option.

More on Getting High Without Drugs

Psychedelic Meditation

Now despite the fact that there are very few comments at this previous post: How To Get High Without Drugs I still know thanks to the magic of my web traffic counter thing that this page is being viewed about two or three times a day by people Googling “How To Get High Without Drugs” or very similar.

Now in that post I mentioned the two ways I use to get high without drugs. The first way is performing my music on stage (or in my bedroom for that matter). I also mention that your version of “playing music” might be something else, like for example, racing Galapagos tortoises, or turtles or terrapins or whatever they are correctly referred to as. The point is: lose yourself in an activity that effectively pushes the right buttons for you so that you get high, need I re-iterate, without any drugs.

The second is meditating. I was going to post more about that but got kind of distracted, but it is half finished on my hard drive so I might as well piff it up online bit by bit and hopefully it will help people.

Now I know i could sell this information but at this stage I think I will roll with making it available for free for now. More very soon…

Monomaniacs Unite!

As I was riding my bike to work today I was yet again dumbfounded by just how many friggin’ people there are on this planet. And this is in Melbourne, Australia which is busy and all but hardly the most over-populated place on Earth.

I truly had to do about a quarter of the ride at half speed in order not to bump into people or cars.

And what of it? Well, I suppose there are all the usual implications that could be waffled on about, doomsday stuff, but I might as well leave that to everybody else (because it is my belief that it is unhappiness that causes people to bugger this world up, not pure selfishness for it’s own sake, but that’s another story) and talk about one of my personal obsessions: success, more specifically, career success.

The chances of standing out in this world and being handsomely rewarded for it – or in other words becoming wildly (career) successful – are slim. And why? because there are just so many people to compete with.

There is a glimmer of hope, a method of hugely increasing your chances. But it will come at a cost, and the cost will probably be high.

Here it is: the best chance you have of becoming wildy successful is to apply Curly’s Law* and be totally obsessive about both your chosen skill and about being successful at building a career on top of this foundation skill.

I repeat – you have to be a monomaniacal obsessive. Period.

*If you read this and want to know what happened next then go here.

On Imagination and Procedure

You may have noticed my tagline up top. This stems from an initial idea to call an album (of music) “A New Initiative from the Department of Imagination and Procedure”. I haven’t yet made said album, but the idea hung around and then when I was setting up an actual office earlier this year, from which I was intending to run my own business, I decided to call it the “office of…” instead of the “department of…”.

Then things changed (fine by me) and I closed the office before it even got used and was wooed back into full time employment. (Actually, I volunteered for reasons of practicality.) So anyway, I decided to tag this blog as per above and be done with it.

But of course, as sometimes happens, long after I had grown bored with the “sound” of the phrase (which was what appealed to me in the first place, that and the inherent satire) I began to muse on how it really does sum up the Yin/Yang nature of work. There’s left brain work (Procedure) and left brain (Imagination).

Oh, of course, I meant right and left brain, or is it left and then right? I don’t know, who cares. Boooring!

Getting the idea which side I prefer? Give me creative work any day. (And all the arty types say “Here, here!”)

Unfortunately, in order to get a full time job, which I suddenly needed for reasons of impending fatherhood, I had to take a “procedure” role. And ever since then I have been doing extra personal-development work each morning and evening to buck myself up and get on with business, instead of going insane due to boredom. This strategy has worked to an extent, but frankly it has been increasingly more difficult to endure, despite my silence on the issue.

Silent I may have been, but then yesterday my lovely, intuitive boss must have picked up on it because out of the blue she pulled me into the office and told me that I should do away with all this procedural bullshit and get back to what I do well, being creative. So she has charged me again with working with her to develop and implement entrepreneurial opportunities for the business (brand).

Awesome. I still have to sell, which is fine, I actually enjoy that, but I get to do it in creative ways, by coming up with new ideas, web based and otherwise. I won’t go into details, because I don’t know what they are yet, but it will mean sheer creativity for the fun of it, rather than spreadsheets and protocol and fucking boring shit like that.

Woo Hoo!

And the Lesson is: Do your daily affirmations folks, they work if you believe they will 🙂

Here’s to you finding your dream job, or at least moving towards it day by day. If I can help you with this in any way, just let me know.

The Quiet Oracle

Please don’t call the men in the white truck just yet, BUT…

…I have lately been listening to voices in my head.

Well, one of them anyway.

I used to ignore them all, taking the line that they were just the thrashings of my ego, and should be ignored in favour of Zen style no-mind, but I have decided that I will listen to this one particular voice as she is a good ‘un, methinks.

Yes, she is female, and quietly spoken and positive, encouraging, wise, non-judgmental. She is the voice of Yin itself. If she is just a figment of my imagination, then so be it, but she is a helpful figment so I’m letting her in to my life.

She is my intuition. Maybe she is Intuition herself.

Seeing as I like to make up names and titles and find yummy word combinations, I have am calling her the Quiet Oracle.

Ooh, and I am learning to read Tarot cards. I believe, or I am choosing to believe anyway, that the Quiet Oracle has suggested (she doesn’t demand, just nudges you and gives you quiet, caring advice) that I should. Here’s what happened: I was goofing off at work searching the internet and wondering whether I should learn more about the I Ching or get into Tarot instead when a package came for me, as in somebody literally dropped a postal package on my desk. In it was a set of Tarot cards and a book, an unsolicited gift from a client who I helped place some advertising in our magazine.

Now if that wasn’t a sign then it was a coincidence I don’t know what a sign looks like.

Oh God, I sound like a New Ager, heaven help me, NOOOOoooo!!!


Anyway, back to work…

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