Limited Only By Our Beliefs

Wednesday 22 March, 2017

Is it possible to influence the result of a football match which has already taken place if you have no knowledge of the result? When this question occurred to me years ago my conclusion was: ‘Yes, it is possible.’ After all, if the focus of thousands of people can have an effect on the outcome of an event, then so can the focus of one person. And if time is an illusion and everything already exists simultaneously, then all we have to do is choose – with complete conviction and belief – whichever reality we want. Our very own placebo effect. The difficulty occurs because we have firm ideas of what we believe to be true and real. Let those go and everything becomes possible.

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Humanity’s Olympics

Friday 19 August, 2016

For two weeks every four years, a group of dedicated individuals come together to fulfil their dreams and show us what is possible when we devote ourselves to one goal. The Olympic Games are inspirational; millions of hours of concentrated, focused effort reaching their peak in the most joyous and global celebration of humanity I have ever witnessed. Everything that is good about our species is exhibited during this festival of achievement and togetherness which includes the full spectrum of athletes – from multiple gold medal winners to those whose greatest accomplishment is simply to be there.

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Be Careful So Close To The Finish

Friday 19 September, 2014

Five weeks from today it will all be over. I have been working on this blog for almost four years and in just over a month it will be complete. As much as I’m tempted to get excited about it, and as much as there is also a part of me which just wants to reach the finish line, I need to remain focused and I need to be careful. Very careful. It’s a general rule I learnt early in my training, but it’s one which always has the capacity to catch me unawares, because it’s easy to think I am being careful enough. This post is a reminder to me – at a crucial time near the end of a prolonged and intense process – to be calm, focused, alert and safe.

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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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Riding & Surviving The Waves

Wednesday 25 September, 2013

I’m not a surfer, but I write this from Santa Cruz, California where surfing is everywhere. During my visit here to see a close friend, I read a book he gave me, written by a local surfing legend, Frosty Hesson. The book, Making Mavericks, contains a number of important lessons which the author identified on his way through life, and which he has passed on to many aspiring surfers over the years in order to help them become not just better surfers, but also better human beings. This post touches on what that story has taught me.

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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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Life In The Middle

Monday 18 February, 2013

Many years ago a colleague of mine talked to me about living life along a steady, unmoving line between the emotional highs and lows I seemed addicted to at the time. They manifested themselves most noticeably in the weekly rhythm of Fridays and Mondays, fuelling each other in a never-ending cycle of ups and downs. The purity of the joy I felt on a Friday afternoon, with the whole weekend ahead of me, would be matched 2½ days later by the despondency of a Monday morning; the weekend banished to a memory and my mood compounded by having to face another five days before I could feel that joy again.

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Progress Means Never Getting There

Tuesday 22 January, 2013

A disheartening title perhaps, but the point I’m making is that whenever we reach a goal in our development, it’s time to decide where to go next. If we don’t, we stagnate. Top athletes across all sports can be heard saying of their achievements: “There will be plenty of time to enjoy my successes (after I retire). Right now I have to train for my next match.” It’s important to reflect on our progress as we go, but it is equally important to keep going.

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Confidence & Self-Belief

Wednesday 16 January, 2013

Confidence is vital. In sport any competitor with confidence in their abilities will excel. In social situations it is a prized asset which allows those who possess it to move freely and comfortably from one interaction to another. And in business and politics it can be a highly persuasive attribute used to inspire or, sadly, to deceive. (The word con is an abbreviation of confidence.)

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Meat & Potatoes

Sunday 30 September, 2012

Inspired by the same friend who appeared in the post ‘A Moment of Beauty’ and prompted by the recent journal entry from 11 years ago, ‘Push Through the Barriers’, this post is about making the most of the hard work already done in order to get the best possible return. It’s about carrying on when you feel like giving up, because it’s the extra effort you put in which brings the main benefit and makes everything else worthwhile.

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All Day, Every Day

Monday 13 August, 2012

That’s what he kept saying. The fastest man ever. “All day, every day.” The Olympic Games have come and gone, and the essence that remains is contained in those four words. I saw people in tears because they had won a gold medal and I saw people in tears because they hadn’t. Others rejoiced because they finished third, or simply because they had made the final. Some were elated just to be there; to be part of the Olympics and to know they would forever be an Olympian. Being present, pushing themselves and competing at the very highest level with the best in their field had been their goal. All day, every day.

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What is Coaching?

Monday 30 January, 2012

Coaching means supporting someone in reaching their goals. The coach may or may not help define those goals but once they are set, it is the coach’s job to support, empower, encourage and challenge their client to fulfill those goals and to be the best they can possibly be.

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Quality

Monday 10 October, 2011

In this post I look at two sporting stories from my youth to show how quality can make a difference to our lives. The first recalls the influence a coach had on me simply because he insisted on quality. The second story tells of a time when I was inspired to raise my level of performance by the abilities of my opposite number.

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Tough, Challenging & Beautiful

Thursday 22 September, 2011

This post looks at recent journal entries from 11 years ago to provide guidance about the process of personal development. In doing so the post offers reassurance that, although it sometimes seems hard, it is the most fulfilling work we can do for ourselves. It can be difficult, demanding and frustrating, but it is also captivating, illuminating and empowering.

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