300 Days

Thursday 24 July, 2014

Every day for the last 300 days I have followed a 25-minute exercise routine. It has been a goal of mine for some time to establish such a habit. There have been numerous attempts over the years with plenty of tinkering along the way to get it right. Early routines were dotted with painful episodes because I overdid things. I pushed myself too hard, in too much of a hurry to make progress. Back problems have littered all previous attempts, enticing me each time to throw in the towel. And I did give up. But I came back to it again and again. This current run is my most successful ever.

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Are You Still Breathing?

Friday 13 June, 2014

There were two occasions during the presentation, when the word breathe appeared on the screen. I had put it there for my own benefit, as a reminder for me to take a moment, breathe and calm down. I tend to get excited about my work and any reminder to calm myself is always welcome. After the presentation, my teacher offered me his feedback. He suggested I use more of the breathe slides, adding that they should be the focus of my presentation and the focus of my life.

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Write Your Own Feedback

Sunday 27 April, 2014

It was the third day of his visit and the end of another productive day of silences, conversations, reading, writing and reflection. I had given the TA presentation in Amsterdam that evening and, as part of the process, I had asked the participants for their written feedback. I explained to them that although it obviously helps me, it is more important for them to take a couple of minutes to reflect for themselves. The exercise will bring more clarity to their experience and reinforce their learning. At home afterwards, as I knelt by the open, floor-level window of my apartment and Jasvinder sat in the armchair, we reflected on how well it had all gone. Outside, the country was celebrating. It was the first King’s Night here in the Netherlands for 122 years.

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Patterns, Procedures & Routines

Friday 14 March, 2014

There are times when even the best intention to succeed is not enough because events or, more commonly, emotions conspire against us. When that happens, it is worth remembering that there is almost always something you can do about it. This post is a reminder of that, and offers ways to facilitate a more effective process away from those unwanted scenarios.

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Stay Grounded

Thursday 21 November, 2013

Two things are likely to happen as we progress with our personal development (actually, as we progress with anything). First we get excited, then we stop doing what worked for us in the first place. This post is about the excitement of progress, how important it is to enjoy it and celebrate as much as we can, but also keep our feet on the ground. It is written primarily for a friend, so I don’t have to keep reminding him to do what he knows he needs to do. But it’s also for the rest of us because when our excitement gives rise to complacency we begin to undo all our good work.

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It All Comes Down To This

Monday 14 October, 2013

When we forget the simplicity of it or we’re convinced there must be another way; when we’re stuck or frustrated by the lack of novelty, this is the post to read. It’s a reminder of the value of repetition and practise. Every day, every minute, every breath. In the end, it all comes down to this:

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The final of the 200m at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow was won, predictably, by the best sprinter the world has ever seen. But the man in the next lane was a 19-year-old, running in his first major final. During the introductions Adam Gemili was clearly exhilarated to be involved; his achievement guaranteed and his senses opened wide to absorb as much of the experience as he could. He was having the time of his life and running faster than he had ever run.

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Make It All About You

Friday 12 July, 2013

What are your goals? What is your purpose? Your vision? When you have answered those questions, the next step is to make everything about them. However, when you do, there is one major obstacle you may have to overcome: the feeling that you are being selfish by making it all about you. Know this: it isn’t selfish.

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Keep Doing What Works

Thursday 14 March, 2013

Find whatever works for you and keep doing it. But be warned: it’s not as easy as it seems. In the beginning you are likely to see short-term results which will motivate you to continue. However, it’s when your progress curve levels out, or when you are close to your goal, that the hard work starts, because that’s the point when you need to be disciplined. That’s the point when you need to remind yourself how you got there and carry on doing whatever you’ve been doing.

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What Are You Going To Do About It?

Thursday 7 February, 2013

It was one of the most powerful questions I heard during my personal development training. We were always being told to verbalise whatever was going on inside, but not to indulge too much in the emotions attached to our issue. If such indulgences went too far the question ‘What are you going to do about it?‘ would snap us back to the practicalities of what to do next.

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