The only thing a comfort zone is good for, is sleeping.

If you want to live the life you’ve always wanted it will never happen unless you push yourself into areas that are out of your comfort zone. We all get stuck in moments in our life where we are faced with a fork in the road. The fork has two directions which are made up of a) Continuing on the same path that we can see clearly ahead as being much the same as we have right now. And then there is b) A road that is less assured and will mean you pushing yourself into doing things that are not comfortable to you now. But you have to ask, “What is it in life that you want?”

For anyone who says they are happy and content where they are I applaud you and think you are very lucky. I honestly couldn’t be happier for you. If however, you have ambition, dreams and desires to have a different life then you have to make the changes that will create that new reality. I do not mean the dream where everyone is rich, as I honestly don’t think that is a true test of happiness anyway. I mean if there is something in your life you have always wanted to do like traveling, learn a language, learn an instrument, a new skill or a change in career you have to ask yourself when are you going to make it happen?

Unfortunately life rarely comes knocking on our door with a gift-wrapped life where you will have all you have ever wanted. You have to get dressed and forge out into the world, where things are uncertain and will not always go your way. In order to make those dreams a reality you have to push yourself in places that make you uncomfortable. It is in these moments, the difficult ones, where we truly find out who we are and what we truly do want out of life. Maybe once you start something you will realize that this is not what you wanted anyway.

That’s good, as it means you will not sit awake at night and wonder that horrible ‘what if?’ It means you are now ahead of the curve on knowing what you do not want. You are now in a different place in your life, a self confidence growing within you and the knowledge knowing you are closer to doing what it is in life you want, even if you don’t know what that is yet. Leave the comfort zone for sleeping and enjoy exploring the amazing person you are by realizing your potential. You at least owe it yourself to try.

Don’t be ordinary, be extraordinary.

So you are different, so what? So growing up you felt alienated from people around you, a square peg in a round hole, a misfit and a weirdo. These feelings growing up are the main cause of people becoming introverts, hermits and shy shells of the promise youth once held. So it’s time to turn back the clocks.

You see, if it wasn’t for the misfits, the weirdo’s or the square pegs in our world we would live in a boring, grey and uninteresting place that didn’t illuminate the imagination, encourage people to be better and keep pushing the world to be more creative, inspiring and entertaining. So celebrate your differences!

Take a long hard look at your differences. Things you think make you different, because it is those that make you unique. It is those aspects that are not hurdles, but springboards to be whatever you want to be. Because the world is full of people with insecurities about the way they feel, look and act. But if the world doesn’t accept you for the way you are, move and start another world where you can be a silly, funny, odd, interesting and as happy as you were when you were a child.

As a child it was a time when you thought everything was possible, because it still is, it is only you listening to the wrong opinions. Close your mind from every stereotype you have ever heard about beauty, education, creativity and life so that you can start living the life you were destined to live. The world tries to make you ‘normal’ when the people we celebrate are the ones that said NO! I will not conform, I will not accept that preconception, and I will change the world because I am different, I am unique and nothing will change that unless I decide to change it myself. Stop listening to what the world says about you and start listening to what you want to do, to be and to achieve.

It is the courage to continue that counts

Sometimes in life things can look very bleak indeed. Whether it is on the macro level of global politics, war, famine and so on; or it is on the micro level about what we are facing as individuals like financial, career and love they are all obstacles that could very easily give us an excuse to stop.

Well that would be the easy option for sure, but like the famous quote from Winston Churchill says, “Success in not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” Because, there is not a single person on this world that doesn’t have at least one, of the above issues, facing them at any one point in life. It all comes down to how we manage that horrible feeling of despair when we do.

Yes it can be a dark and frightening road when the lights suddenly go out on a relationship or your bank account seems to look like a speedometer in a car rapidly going the wrong way. But retreating back into your comfort zone is not going to change the situation. It would be nice to be able to hide from a problem so it goes away, but the truth is it is going to be waiting for you once you open your eyes as we can all vouch for in our lives.

Try not to be too hard on yourself when you face an issue in your life, most experiences in life, in the long run, will make you a better and stronger person so focus on what has happened, what this means to you in the long run and then see the way out by taking the single first step towards the answer. It may take a hundred steps to get there, but at least you will be moving and that is the ultimate difference between someone who is lost and someone who is on the journey of life, faced a bump or two and is making the best out of their life, regardless what happens along the way. Having that courage to take the fist step is what will bring you success and happiness in everything you do.

 

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try

We’ve all been there. Standing on the edge of a decision that frightens us. Poised to leap into the unknown with fear and responsibility holding you back like an anchor on a ship rooted to the seabed. It’s easy to stay where you are, or even go backwards. But to stay where you are safe. It’s comfortable, warm and the lights are bright around you ensuring you can see everything in your near vicinity. But is that all you want in life?

It takes every effort to move that one-foot forward into the shadows of the unknown. It takes even more to leave the bright lights of certainty behind and forge a new path for others to follow. But if you are stood in that place right now, or you face a decision that is unclear, then you must ask yourself a simple question of who you are and where you see your life in the next one, two or five years. If you are happy where you are then I congratulate you on achieving something very few people have achieved. But if not, you must try.

For every accomplishment that anyone has ever made was not done because the outcome was certain or guaranteed. It was achieved because they tried and tried again if it didn’t work. Nothing in life worth achieving was ever given away free, it was always achieved by someone making a decision to try. Whether that is simply buying a lottery ticket or changing the course of your entire life it still comes down to one thing, you must try.

The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time

So you have failed a few times in many things you have tried? So what! I bet if you sit down and look very closely at what happened and the person you were before and after you will say, in many ways, you actually succeeded.

You are also in good company, because Thomas Edison used to say, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” This was when he was experimenting on the filament of the light bulb. It took one moment of clarity, one second to put the right elements together but it also took the knowledge learnt in all those other experiments to know what wouldn’t work, only then could he see what would work.

Thomas Edison had over 1000 patents for inventions he created, including the lightbulb, phonograph and the motion picture camera. Some were not as successful but he is revered throughout history as a great man. Let us not forget that Edison was also quoted in saying, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Edison was an intelligent man, a genius. But there are many people in our world that do not have the intelligence of him, but they do share a common quality. The quality is that they were not afraid to fail, they were not afraid of what would happen if things didn’t work out the way they imagined, because lessons are still learnt when you try something.

So try, try and try again and anything and everything you have every wanted to do. Life is too short to waste your time wondering if you could. Don’t take it from me, as Edison put’s it in an even better way, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.” Go on, try today!

In life, No dream can be realized whilst you remain asleep

We all do it. We all sit and wonder if we can achieve the dreams we have harbored for years. The passion within burns so brightly, the desire pulses through every vein in our body, the appetite to achieve is insatiable…yet we remain asleep.

No one has been guilty of this more than me. What fears hold us back? Whether it’s a fear of failure, ridicule, exclusion or whatever, are all feelings that do not exist unless you allow them to manifest in your life. Every negative force that is holding you back has been created by you. Because we allow external influences to dictate who we are, what we are worth and how we should live our life. So wake up!

Wake up and realize that you are in control of your life, you are the one that will make your dreams come to life, you are the one that will fill your mind with positivity and love for the incredible person you are. Wake up and live the life you have been gifted because at the end of the day it is only you that goes back to sleep knowing, “I did everything I could to live my dreams.”

Sweet dreams everyone, but don’t forget to wake up and make them happen!

Do you have that song HOT DAGGER?

This was the question my son asked me last night when we were out in the car. It was just him and myself as he had bumped his head an we went to the clinic to check he was okay. He was so as we headed home he started flicking through the songs on the radio to see what he could find. I usually let him or his sister do this because a) It’s nice to see the kind of music they each like and b) it keeps them from breaking anything else in my car!

He had been flicking through a few times and started going quicker through the stations when I had to stop him. There is nothing worse than hearing a single second of a song before being hit with another, and another, and another. I asked what was wrong and he looked really deep in concentration and after a few seconds he finally said, “Do you have that song ‘Hot Dagger?” Now I am no music expert by I do have a very wide taste in music and can recall most songs but this was one that I couldn’t get. So I asked him when he had heard it before.

He began telling me he had heard it on the school bus, which told me it could only be one of four Dubai radio stations and they all, except one play up to date music. But I really couldn’t grasp what it was. Then suddenly, like many times in my work I had a flash of a song that sounded like the one he meant. So I gave him my phone and told him to skip down through my ipod and select a certain song. His face lit up when it cme on and it really made me laugh. The song he wanted was not ‘HOT DAGGER’ but rather, Maroon Five and Christina Aguilera’s latest hit, “MOVES LIKE JAGGER!”

Your dreams may be closer than you think

Many times in our lives we look around and see others seemingly floating through life without a care in the world. Things just seem to happen easily for them and dreams just seem to be falling in their laps. In comparison we often have the impression we are standing still, or worse going backwards. Our dreams seem to be distant shadows far off on the horizon in a foggy day, a feeling that can break even the strongest of spirits.

But what do not often realize is the people who we are watching are having the same struggles, but with one difference. The difference is simply not accepting that things are impossible, accepting that with a little hard work and luck one dream could come true. I firmly believe positive thoughts bring a positive return from the universe and if you truly believe a dream you have is possible, it will bring you within reach. I say within reach because just thinking something will never achieve anything, that’s the easy part. We have to set the wheels in motion ourselves by planning and actively moving towards your dreams. You may decide the original dream was not what you thought it promised, but the place you will find yourself is a place where things are a little clearer, the fog has lifted and you can see dreams everywhere.

I, like most people, have faced disappointment with business failures or rejection from a company I really wanted to work for, but that is just part of life. How would you appreciate climbing a mountain if anyone could just stroll up and plant a flag at the top without any effort? Whatever you dream of doing, try to make it happen or at least start today by putting the wheels in motion to get you closer, and remember it is not always about the final destination but rather what you learn on the journey. Happy trails and good luck.

Should’ve, could’ve and would’ve are all holding you back

Do you relive conversations wondering or second-guessing what you could’ve or should’ve said? Do you spend time worrying about what a certain word or phrase ‘really’ meant in an email or discussion you had the day before? I know I have! In fact I have to work very, very hard not to waste my time over analyzing every single conversation, presentation, argument or whatever I have, because the truth is it just doesn’t do anything to help me move forward.

In fact these words would’ve, could’ve and should’ve tend to hang like baggage around your neck, dragging along the floor behind you. The more you worry the heavier the dragging mess of concern becomes and the burden is just too much for anyone. The slower walk, gradually brings you to a halt in life.

You could of course add if, maybe and many more words to the things that are holding you back in life. So why don’t we cut free? Well if you are like me, you tend to be strolling merrily through life one day only to suddenly realize the walk is not as easy as it was the day or week before. And here is where you can change the way you live your life.

You could start, as I am trying to, analyzing what it is that is troubling you. But rather than start to relive the same experiences over and over again, just try to quickly to understand what was said and what you learned from that moment. Memories are wonderful things, but life is too short to be reliving old moments, especially when there are millions of new ones waiting for you around the corner. So try to remember not to take excess luggage as you travel through life; It just costs you more than you really should to be paying.

Change, there’s no time like the present

I recently spoke to a friend who was asking me what it was like traveling the world and did I regret leaving the UK when I did. I asked him why he was asking the question, as we talk all the time and I sensed there was something behind the need to ask me. He told me that he was thinking of traveling for work and just wanted to know my thoughts about the subject.

The truth is I left England when I was 23, worked in Paris and Amsterdam before moving to the Middle East. I have worked all over the Middle East and had some incredible experiences along the way. I told my friend that I always knew that at any time I wanted, I could go back. In fact the first year away I kept my return ticket pinned to a notice board in my office. I had good and bad experiences of course, but every single one changed me as a person, a change that has helped me be the person I am today, and I can still always go back. But the truth is I just want to keep exploring.

I told my friend this and there was a pause. I asked him, “What do you expect to change in the coming year that will help you decide to try something new?” He told me quickly, “Nothing!” So I just said to him, “Then there is no time like the present to change your life if the worst that can happen is that you are in the same position next year you are in now back at home?” I continued, “But, the difference being, you will have experienced something that will change you for the better, forever!”

I hope he tries something different, even if it is not traveling around the world. After all change always cleanses the soul and gives you a fresh look on where you are and where you are going, I know, I have experienced it first hand, many times!