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.

 

 

News Flash! It’s not good news

I used to watch the news religiously. To the point were as soon as I arrived home the news would be on to the groans of my kids and also my wife. I used to tell them that it is important to understand what is going on in the world. I used to sit and watch the same stories gradually increasing in information as the continual loop of things from around the world would cycle through each hour. CNN, BBC, Sky news and all the others have turned news into an art form where every incident, no matter the size nor gravity, create a show that even Steven Speilburg would be challenged to match. But then one day I just sat there thinking to myself, “When was the last time I watched the news and felt good about something?”

Apart from things like miners in Mexico being rescued and the, very, occasional return of a missing person the news has been nothing but bad. So what I do now is have a quick glance through the paper to see the main stories and that is all. The difference mentally is quite incredible really. I spend my time looking for things that will inspire me or entertain me. I cannot help thinking that there are some people in the high positions of the news companies rubbing their hands at the current buffet of bad news coming from Japan and the Middle east. I do not feel the news is being brought to inform anymore, it has been turned in to a media controlling platform that is all about making money.

Maybe I am just naive in thinking that the world would be otherwise, but if we all just sink into being fed this over sensationalized drama then we will never really make this a better world. In my humble opinion the world, and especially our children, deserve better from us to help inspire and create a world where they still believe they can achieve anything they put their minds to. I no longer subject my children to the news although I try not to let the news be substituted to cartoons either! But a healthy balance that will help them have the best chance in the future. That, for me, is a news story I could live with happily. Have a creative day.

Life is not perfect, so keep making adjustments along the way.

Self doubt can be the most paralyzing feeling you experience. You can be sprinting down your path full of confidence when from no where comes self doubt and knocks you sideways. It stuns you and blocks you. It stands in front of you mocking the very things you believe. Tearing every shred of assurance you have away. It can be a terrifying experience as there is no way of seeing it coming. It often comes when after being passionately involved in something for so long with careless abandon and complete self confidence that you are going in the right direction, when suddenly you look up and don’t have a clue where you are or how you got there!

You look back at what you have been doing as if it is the first time you have seen it. It looks strangely unlike how it was in your mind, only a few moments before. Is this mine? Has someone swapped my life for another’s without my knowledge? Then, once the panic subsides, you look again at whatever it is you have been doing. Your eyes seem to adjust to what you are seeing and you realize that on the most part you like what you see. A few adjustments here and there should have this back on track in no time, and the smile begins to return.

So many times in the past I either failed to wait before trashing what I had done, or worse failed to look up when charging through life. I came to realize that self doubt happens to everyone but it’s how we deal with it is the difference between those that create and those that freeze. Whatever it is you do understand that there will come a time that you need to look at your work or self and be honest with what you see. It may not always be great, but everything in life is a work in progress, there is no such thing as perfection, just a constant adjustment process that keeps you moving forward. How fast or far forward comes down only to you.

Happiness is a full time job

The easy way out of anything is to be upset and miserable. To see the brighter side of life takes a concerted effort on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, this message is probably more to me than anyone. It has taken me a while to pick up the pieces of a failed business to really see all the things I did wrong or could’ve done better. It is easy to blame other things for the cause but unless we face up to the things we also failed to do, then the future will be just a lie you are living.

I guess, like most people, we go through many stages which becomes a process. My process seems to take a lot longer than most. Take my wife for example, she has gone through things yet seems to bounce back extremely quickly. Whereas I need time to digest all the little things in my own time. That is just part of who I am, that is just something I have had to learn about myself. Of course knowing something and doing something about it are completely different things. But I am trying hard see all the aspects of my life I can improve, starting with consciously trying to work harder at appreciating everything I have and be grateful for my wife, family and whatever else comes my way, as happiness really is a full time job!

Take the time to stop just for you

If we were to stop what we are doing today and just look around at the world we live, see the beauty in our galaxy and the wonders of our universe; everything that we have going on today, the problems or deadlines, would just pale in comparison. I know how much our daily activities take over our lives and we find ourselves chasing our own tails rather than being in control of our journey. We are often reminded by a great tragedy or maybe just sitting with a child and listening to the way they see it, just brings back into focus what an incredible life we live.

The miracle of us just being on this little rock floating around in space amazes me to no end. How fragile life really is and how much we worry about, what in reality, is such trivial things. Probably 5 minutes after writing this someone will enter my office and my day will begin it’s usual roller coaster ride through the world of advertising. But everyday before that happens I sit drinking my coffee and look out the window and just wonder, ‘If for 5 minutes a day people would just think about the world we live in, maybe, just maybe the appreciation would spread into every aspect of our world.’

That quite moment can sometime be very profound. Sometimes you find yourself doing it without planning it but that breath you take just after that moment is so pure, so incredible it fills you with such a sense of optimism that it truly wipes away all the negativity in your life, even for just a moment. I hope you have more than 5 minutes of this today, I hope your entire life is filled with this, but if not, at least take 5 minutes to have all to yourself, after all you do, you deserve it.

Two careers, one love.

There are times recently that you are far away. Life has taken our paths into different directions. Success and ambition drives us both forward, achieving goals that seem to appear on our separate paths but always knowing that we are thinking about each other.

As there is no success worth reaching and no ambition worth achieving unless we reach there together. 12 years ago you barged your way into my heart, loudly, as only you could do, whilst still radiating beauty and poise. Together, the two angels that we have been blessed with, are a credit to the person you are.

On this day, of saint valentines, I know we are apart, but you will always carry my heart with you where ever you are. Eternally yours, My darling wife, I love you.

Keep it simple stupid

If I had a dollar for every time I have heard this statement in the halls and corridors in the advertising agencies I have been in all over the world, I could retire, easily, today.

It is a statement you start hearing at university/college and it never seems to lose momentum at all. It is possibly the most guiding principle of advertising. Consumers do not have time to figure out a complicated story line or concept that is so deep you would need a submarine to understand it. So, Keep it simple is the motto. But as advertising is a place where creativity loves to play with words or phrases and just in case the three thousand times you hear it is not enough the word stupid is added on to embed the message.

But only in advertising would you find such a cutting sentence turned into a loving and emotional acronym. As the acronym for Keep It Simple Stupid is simple KISS! Have a creative day.

You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.

With a passion for everything to do with art, I often find myself lost in a maze of inspiration where I do not know which route to take. Should I write, draw, paint, photograph, sculpt or anything else that is racing around my mind to do. I would genuinely love to do everything but unfortunately time doesn’t permit when you have other commitments. But this is not an excuse. It is no excuse not to be doing one thing at least as just because you could do everything, it doesn’t mean you should.

What I try to do know is focus my attention and energy on one thing and I am constantly surprised with what I accomplish in a given amount of time. I realized that I needed to stop imagining doing everything and start actually doing something, regardless what it is. I have found I now do more of the things I love and no longer procrastinate just because my options are plentiful. Have a creative day.

Leave no room in your life for ‘what if’s’

A resolution to live the life I dream and a resolution to never shrink from fear of failure. If my insecurities surface I will face them with courage and heart. Be determined on my mission to fulfill any potential I may have. I will re-examine every ounce of my abilities so that I grow the positives and improve the negatives. I will learn from the lessons in the past and be sure that I am prepared to succeed through any trials that may and probably will come my way in the coming year.

This will be my year to try the things I always dreamed about. The ones that I keep locked away in my mind, just for me. Well it is time to throw back the curtain of shyness and express every ambition and at the very least, give it a try. For when the final curtain falls I will look back and know; I tried, I lived and I left no room for final thoughts of “What if?”

Have a creative day!