Dreams don’t work unless you do

Every single one of us has dreams we want to achieve. Some are big and some are small but inside us we crave to that success or break to get ahead. People often look at successful people and think they are lucky or have had a break to get where they are but the truth couldn’t be further from that as anyone who is successful has put in the work, driven by their dreams to get those opportunities and I guarantee it was not a straight road they took.

Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to work with very talented people, some a lot more talented than me. The most frustrating thing I saw though is when this talent was not matched with the effort to take these individuals where they could go in their career.

Personally I never looked at the individuals in my office or the country I was working in at the time, but rather I would look at the very best in my industry and aimed to be as good as them. Knowing that these people were world class creative or strategist I knew I had to work twice as hard to get anywhere near them in my career. So that is what I have always done.

So whatever dreams you have in your career or life it’s time to stop waiting for it to happen and start putting the effort in that will carry you through the a better life. Don’t get caught up in the small things that happen in your home, your office or with your friends. Don’t even be put off if things don’t go the direction you want either. Sometimes your road will lead you to a better place where more opportunities lay ahead.

You are the only person that can create change in your life and if you want it enough you will have to put that extra effort in to get it. Try thinking and visualizing of that moment when you have achieved a dream and then ask yourself, ‘what am I willing to do to make this happen, to have this feeling and to experience that incredible joy of achieving your dream.’ It’s okay to daydream about these moments; in fact I recommend it as it helps build that drive.

No matter where you are in life, no matter how many things have not gone your way, you can still start on that journey today to achieving your dreams. I have had more than my fair share of bad luck, wrong choices and missed opportunities along my journey but this hasn’t dulled my ambition one single bit, in fact I’m just getting started…And so should you!

 

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Grip that steering wheel of life, put on your seat belt and push down the accelerator pedal, hard!

Have you ever had the feeling that your life could be compared to sitting in a car driving at top speed going round bends, over bumps and squeezing between other cars yet you don’t feel you even have control of the steering wheel?

This is a feeling that I think we all go through at times. Sometimes the drive is exhilarating, enjoyable and fun, a roof down, and wind in your hair dream drive. Other times, it can be terrifying, painful and you are just waiting for a mighty thump of everything to come crashing down around you.

Almost every person I meet seems to have this look that they are hanging on by their fingernails and if just one thing would work out everything would be okay, it would give them a pause to breath, to possibly enjoy the ride.

The journey we all take is never a single straight road and can be compared to a long distance journey filled with country lanes, motorways and busy city streets. Not forgetting that along this journey there are always bumps in the road, bends that are hard to navigate and more than once you will end up going down a dead end street and have to turn back and start a section all over again.

All these mishaps and challenges often feel like the end of the world or that you feel the road is just doing everything it can to make the journey as difficult as possible. But once we get past those various obstacles we realise there is a difference in how we approach the next challenge, and the next and so on. Looking back down the road we usually tell stories about the bumps in the road and the near misses as anecdotal snippets amongst friends.

Most of the time they will bring a smile to your face as you realise how much you’ve grown, learned and developed. Not always, but sometimes! So take heart where you are on this journey and see how much you’ve travelled as a person. One way or another you have grown so much and no matter what life hurled at you, you just kept moving forward.

So grip that steering wheel of life, put on your seat belt and push down the accelerator pedal, hard! Take on the next challenge with confidence and give it everything you’ve got. Nothing has stopped you, no matter what you have faced, you are here right now in life a better person, so fear nothing, and look down the road to a better, happier you because great things could be waiting just around the corner.

 

 

How much time do you waste worrying about nothing?

Maybe I am different, maybe it’s just the way my mind works or maybe everyone is like me but they manage to hide it better. In my career as a Regional Creative Director and other management positions much of my time has been spent helping individuals through the process of their daily challenges with a particular project or task. Often the work related issues we started with seemed to always drift away from the project and I found myself delving into the minds of people, with the strange feeling of my role becoming one of a psychiatrist.

A lack of confidence, problems not even related to the job at hand like bills to pay or trouble at home or even insecurities from people that exuded self-confidence on the outside, but seemed to be an outer shell as fragile as an egg. I always enjoyed encouraging, helping or offering advice but one of the topics I have heard myself say more than most others is ‘what is the point of worrying about it now?’

Every time I said this statement I could almost hear the person inside me screaming, ‘If only you would listen to yourself!’ because I have and still do spend a lot of time worrying about the next presentation, the next bill, the thought there will be a crowd at the restaurant, museum or bar we are visiting. In fact my mind seems to go into overdrive about everything regardless of the size of the task that lies ahead of me.

I know I overthink pretty much everything; this is just the person I am, and that is half the battle. I over analyse every conversation and can spend days after a discussion that I have had with one person, going over every word and trying to understand if there were more meaning that I had misinterpreted or there was a hidden message in what that person said. Don’t get me started about the complexity of thoughts that happen when reviewing emails! Emails are so often misunderstood due to the lack of awareness you have about the tone of the individual writing and also the current mood you are in when receiving the email.

I know I am not alone in this, as I have seen this so often throughout my career with people who were incredibly talented and seemed to be in total control. But how many times have you spent worrying about a presentation, meeting, task, project or whatever only to get to the point of it happening and it not being such a big deal? The amount of stress and worry that we put ourselves under is amazing and clearly not healthy.

The only way I have found to deal with worrying about every little detail is to push myself into more challenging positions well as adding as much work to my schedule as I can possibly handle, so my mind stays focused on the next task at hand and doesn’t go walk about in Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole of nightmarish thoughts about what could go wrong!

I know how destructive this can be as well as how this manifests into all areas of my life. Worrying about something doesn’t make it easier and certainly doesn’t help you think clearly about what lies ahead of you, it really is just a waste of time. I’ll try to keep that in mind!

Dreams come to you at night for a reason

They sometimes do not come for days or weeks. They sometimes come in waves. Sometimes, just sometimes, they come so clear and vibrant it feels like they touch your very soul. But there is a reason dreams come to you in your sleep. Dreams need your undivided attention. Dreams need the canvas of your mind to express the subconscious and plant important information that one day will trigger a response. What that response will be is not always be clear. But it does have your undivided attention.

What is clear is how a dream can repeat many times before we feel that it moves on. But why? Has its purpose been achieved? Was I supposed to do something? Is there a level in our brains that we have yet to unlock that would explain such strange and obscure visions? Maybe you are not meant to understand everything. Maybe you are only supposed to have a glimpse into a world we cannot comprehend just yet. And maybe, just maybe they come to us in our sleep so we cannot avoid them.

Our lives are filled with millions upon millions of information that we have to digest in a fraction of a second. Messages, discussions, images, smells, sounds and so much more that even thinking about the volume of information can make you feel quite dizzy. Whatever dreams are and mean one thing is clear when we dream with our eyes open we can achieve such incredible heights, but it takes discipline and focus to stay true to these dreams without wondering off on to different paths.

I myself constantly find myself thinking of a new business idea, a blog I would like to write about Social Media, Emerging technology, Football and more. But, I keep Snapping myself back on track to keep writing this blog so that maybe it inspires at least one other person to do something with their lives, to keep focused on my business and my work, to keep focused on being a good father, husband and friend.

Whatever dreams come to you tonight may they bring you comfort, joy or inspire you to do something great the next day. Whatever your dreams are tonight, know they are yours to do with when you awake the next morning. They are yours to fuel your ambitions and to quell your fears about all the things you cannot do. For a dream comes to you at night, when you are asleep, because you cannot turn off the channel, get up and move on or any other thing we do in life to avoid what we need to see. Dreams come to you in your sleep so you listen to them and act on them when you awake. Dream big and live happy.

A positive outlook can change the world

How many times when you are online these days do you see negative comments or people? Attacks or just what seem to be either depressed lonely people or someone just looking for attention. Unfortunately they rarely get the kind of attention they crave and often seem to attract the worse kind of people. We live in a world where people seem to feel they can attack, abuse and violate people and the online space with crude, obscene and downright offensive comments. These people often sit behind a computer or mobile screen thinking they are free to do as they please. They act as though normal laws and common decency do not apply, but they are wrong.

Recently a professional footballer collapsed and almost died on the pitch. His name was Fabrice Muamba, a 23-year-old man. Most of the world was shocked and flooded the social networks with messages of hope, prayer and goodwill. Like most people my thoughts were immediately to his family and friends. Even the rival fans in the stadium stood and cheered his name as doctors and medical staff fought for his life on the pitch. It was later noted that his heart stopped for a considerable time but due to his fitness and the fact he has been playing football for over 40 minutes meant blood was still flowing to his vital organs. Fortunately Fabrice Muamba did survive and has started the long road to recovery which is wonderful news for him, his family, his friends and everyone who sent positive feelings his way. But some of the things that came out online were simply unforgivable.

One person was arrested and has been charged for racial abuse about the incident. Apparently the man was sending spurious messages on Twitter but people did not accept this. Not just football fans but everyone. There is a stop racism campaign in football across the world but unless society changes there is little help this problem will be left out of sporting venues. But for me the reason this was stopped, even if it is only one single person spouting vile negative comments, was that the flood of positivity overwhelmed the negative.

I deal with global brands online and digital strategies have to include attacks from unhappy customers, people who do not like what the brand stands for (Be it real or imaginary) and simple attacks for attacks sake. We always help the client face these issues head on and answer them all. For the most part an unhappy customer will offer some valuable learning’s about the customer interaction, which they have seen. Something you rarely used to see on a marketing report before. For the people who are attacking the brand you have a chance to educate them on the real story behind the brand. Some will work and some will not but for the most part people appreciate the time taken to address their point of view. As for the ‘haters’ well there is only so much you can do and if they do not get or allow you to put your point of view across then they probably never will, so you just have to move on.

When it comes to your own life understand that when you are positive you will attract a positive world. You do not have to believe in the law of attraction to know the days you woke up in a bad mood and stormed out the house unhappy rarely improved greatly for you. No matter what is happening in your life I always believe there is a positive slant to what is happening, even if you can’t see it straight away. I know personally that some of the most trying and difficult times of my life turned out to be the most important and inspirational moments that I could have ever dreamed of. I have faced death more than once, one case I was alone in a foreign country and knew no one, as I had just moved to Kuwait on business.

The positive energy that I felt from certain people, complete strangers at the time, was something that changed my complete outlook on the world. Guardian angels who spared time to just give a positive word or smile. I still see their faces now and trust me, I have a awful memory. When I came through that incident I embraced life with a different outlook, tried to be positive at every moment and ensure that by the time I do die the life that flashes before my eyes will be a film worth watching.

Try to be positive in your day ahead; you never know whose world you are going to change or save. The world needs you to be positive but more importantly YOU need you to be positive because when you live with a positive outlook on life and look for the positive in what is in front of you, no matter how difficult that may seem, your life will be very different and together we can make this word a better place.

Don’t get angry, get to work instead

How much time over the years have you lost being angry? I know I have probably wasted more time than most on things that have not helped me, caused me more stress and made life quite unbearable to those around me. I have always been the kind of person that over analyzes every conversation over and over again. I even do this when I have a good conversation but I still start nit picking on certain words and think ‘what did that really mean?’ What a complete waste of time. There is nothing I can do about the time I have lost, but there is something I can do in the future.

When something doesn’t go the way I want or expected now I feel this surge of emotion that I know is taking over me. The questions spinning around my head and it is a complete battle to keep this under control. I remember times being angry and having a feeling that I was watching some idiot completely implode in front of me. I seemed to have forgotten that I was actually driving that car into the wall. I know I will always face this as this is part of my personality, but that was just an excuse I used to use that made it easier to act this way. But over time I have learned to channel that energy into the right areas.

Imagine you are a rocket that is getting ready to launch and someone upsets you. You can spend the next hour, day or week burning off all your fuel so that by the time you do get around to launching yourself in one direction that you barely clear the launch tower. Or you can fire yourself into the stratosphere and see what the stars are really like when you are among them. Because, if you put only half of that energy into anything you want the things you could accomplish are unbelievable. So imagine what all of that energy will achieve when you focus it on a dream or goal you want to achieve. It will put everything into perspective, it will make everything worthwhile and it will do you more good than moping around sulking, like I used to do. Don’t get angry, get to work instead.

In our darkest moments we are the strength that lights our path

We have all faced down the demons of a certain situation in our lives. Whether those moments were personal, financial, professional, abuse or any other terrible incident that scars our soul. When we think back to that moment it all feels so real, shocking and sickening that we sense a closeness through the fabric of time and space that links you to that event, or like most people events. But to grow you must visit these places every now and again.

It is within these moments of your life, as harsh as they may be, we find out the real person we are. An inner strength that, for the most part of the day, seems as distant as you have now made some of these events in your mind. It is not the pain that I am saying you should focus on, that would just be counter productive. The moment I mean you to focus on is that moment just afterwards, when the tears stopped, the pain eased and we looked at the road ahead with a fire burning inside desperate to rise again from whatever heel you were in. It is that moment that is the real you, the one that can and did pull you through anything.

It is in those moments, however brief, do we have so much clarity in what we want, what we can do and what we will do, it is an enlightened moment that if you were to look from the outside of yourself would see a human being ready to take on anything. Look where you are now. No matter how successful or poorly you believe your current situation is, you know that you have faced worse moments and overcome them. And when you look back at that moment you see a different person, one that was not ready for the challenges you face today. I am a firm believer that everything you have gone through has given you the tools to overcome any obstacle that is in your path today, or in the future. All you have to do is believe in yourself, just as you did before.

Carrying a grudge will only make the journey ahead harder

I remember reading a quote on online once that read, “Holding a grudge is letting someone live rent-free in your head.” I love this quote and think it is extremely powerful. It also made me think about how difficult it is in life without the extra burden of carrying such baggage with you.

We have all been upset, betrayed, lied to and more by one person or another throughout our lives. But one thing you must not do is keep that anger inside you or drag it along like an anchor at the bottom of the sea catching on every little rock or boulder, as it will only slow you down. Once the initial pain subsides you must review the other persons side of what happened and then see where you went wrong in the situation or what you could have done differently.

You see, nice that pain subsides, and it will, you will be able to look at every aspect with a clear mind, as though you are watching it happen to someone else. Only then can you really understand or take lessons out of that experience. This is something you must do. You cannot put this away, push it deep within or just forget it. Trust me, I know from personal experience that sooner or later you will have top face this and it’s better to do it earlier. Because once you do go through the painful process of picking through the incident, or incidents, the sooner you can dump that baggage like garbage it is.

There is no doubt in my mind that once you do this, once you go through the process of analyzing both, the other persons acts and your own experiences, will you feel a sense of accomplishment as you overcome that feeling. Not only overcome that helpless and demoralizing feeling but also you will come out stronger as a person than you have ever been.

You will look back on that time and know that was the time that actually propelled you down the road to where you are know rather than slowing you down. Life is a journey and it is fraught with painful lessons and obstacles along the way, it is best you don’t bring your own obstacles or luggage with you, just take the lessons and move on. Let you past make you better, not bitter.

It doesn’t matter where you are from. It only matters where you are going.

Life can be difficult at the best of times. But what often makes it worse are the excuses we give ourselves for not doing the things we want to, not achieving the goals we dream of and not making the most of every opportunity we have in this world. If you think that it matters where you are from, what education you have or where you are now then you may as well lie down where you are right now and just give up. In fact you may well be digging your own grave with every excuse another inch deeper into the ground, making the chance of moving forward even more difficult in the future, if you have one. I know I have dug many a hole myself.

Many of the greatest people in the world were not born wit ha silver spoon in their mouths or had things made easy for them. Take Steven Hawkings, Steve Jobs, Helen Keller, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and the list goes on. You probably don’t have many of the ailments or issues in front of you at the moment, but still you think achieving any goal is out of your reach. Why? Because the media says you have to go to a certain school? Because so called popular opinion believes you have to be a certain type of person, born on a certain day with stars aligned in the right way? Okay maybe a wild exaggeration, but don’t you see how small the excuses you are placing in front of you seems in comparison? Don’t you see that people all over the world have overcome difficulties, disabilities and hardships most people could never understand to achieve great things?

Not every one has to change the technology world in the way school drop out Steve Jobs did, or created music history like Ray Charles long after going blind as a child. You see every single excuse you make is another inch deeper in your grave or another brick in the wall in front of you. With every challenge and difficulty you will face in the world today you must believe you can achieve dreams or goals that will improve your life or at the very least make you happy.

Everyone on this planet deserves to be happy and has the skills within them to achieve something in their life. Because it doesn’t matter where you are from, who you are or what you have done so far in your life so far. It only matters where you are going and that journey, that amazing next step in your life is whatever you decide you want it to be, so decide today where you are going and live the life you deserve.

The only thing that can stop you..is you.

There is a battle that resides inside you no matter what you are trying to do. Start a business, Go for a run, keep to a diet, fix the broken door or any number of the things we tend to procrastinate or delay in our busy schedules. Let’s take jogging to stay fit as an example of how this defines every decision you make in your life.

You wake up knowing that if you go for a run you will feel great for the whole day, not only on a physical level but on a psychological one as well. But as soon as you put the thought in motion a negative force is immediately jumps into action. Why today? Maybe later, It looks like rain, you’ve just got over a cold so should you go now? The list of excuses comes at you like a flood. It really is relentless and you have to just take one step at a time to overcome this. The initial step will undoubtedly be the hardest.

So you go and get changed. Then the excuses from within continue to come. Go later, just do a small run today, don’t you have work you need to do? But you have to focus on one thing and one thing only…get out of the house. The walk down the path to the gate is not as difficult as getting changed, but it still is a monumental effort. Out of the gate the mind games continue, but you feel a slight change in how you are dealing with them.

As you start to run you leave behind the majority of the negative thoughts that pray on you, but beware they will still sit on your shoulder waiting for you to start feeling tired, but you will have the momentum and the confidence at this point to know you are going to complete your run, beat your negative thoughts and be closer to your goals. This example could be about anything as everything we do in our lives is faced with the same doubts and negativity, and this is from us!

We can be our own worst enemies. But understand one thing no doubts and fears from anyone else will ever be as damaging or powerful as the ones that come from within. If you can overcome this then you can overcome anything in your life. As I have mentioned before focus on the little goals to help you keep building momentum and very soon you will be taking on bigger challenges that you have always dreamed you could do.

Keep in mind that everyone has excuses why they shouldn’t, couldn’t or dare not do the difference between those that don’t and those that do, is only in the fact that they tried. Never be afraid to fail, out of failure always comes lessons that help us in the future, but at least give yourself the chance to succeed by trying.