YourMondayMotivator: Finding time for the fundamentals

It is a great morning if you live somewhere where you woke up to a cold but glorious day. No rain!

Took this photo as I was leaving home this morning. Love the moss on our fence posts. It’s the little things right?

morning

So, finding time for the fundamentals. Who does that anymore?

You.

You should be bucking the trend of complication, simplifying and being the best at the basics.

Why?

Because no one else is. No one else is focusing on the basics. The most successful real estate agents I know make the most calls. Simple.

Doing what you say when you said you were going to do it, in the manner with which you promised, is easy if you’re keeping things simple.

Anything you do that puts off doing the basics and getting them right is not research, optimising, or testing, it’s procrastination. The fundamentals of what you do will never change. Your attitude towards them does. Embrace them. Be the best at them and you will kick arse.

YourMondayMotivator: I love it when a plan comes together

This week sees the culmination of an eight month thought-process and the next steps starting to complete the plan.

It feels great.

No more “gonna”. No more “I’ll believe it when I see it.” It’s game on.

You might have guessed already that it’s car stuff. It is. Behold the mighty Peugeot 205 GTI, which I will be racing in the 2k Cup.

peugeot

I’ve thought long and hard about even racing and the car I was going to use was a big decision. However, it was made slightly easier by knowing a team who raced a 205 in the 2k Cup and did quite well. By well I mean they finished high up the standings, the car was in one piece and they have spent a heap of time knowing what works.

So quickly today, because it’s late in the day, plans and lists work. This has been proven to me time and time again. I find them really hard to do and then follow to. It’s a discipline you need to practice though, because it makes things slightly more predictable.

This aspect is mostly for those around you. “Here’s what happens next and here’s how much that costs in time / money etc.” can go a long way to developing good, honest relationships and keeping them that way.

This week: pick a goal. Make your list backwards to where you are right now and do the first thing on the list.

My first step was choose a car. Tick.
Next step. Find a car (this took months). Tick.
Next step. Buy the car. Tick.
Make it simple and you’ll do it.

YourMondayMotivator: Lying for no reason

Lying. We all do it. Yes we do.

No matter how mellifluous the voice used to tell them and innocuous the label – white lies, fibs etc. They are still lies and they will catch you out.

Lying seems to start when you don’t want to get in trouble for kicking your sister or breaking a family heirloom. “It wasn’t me?!” Well it wasn’t Santa Claus.

I think we get pretty good at it as kids, the threat of a wooden spoon will do that, and the reason we continue boils down to the same reason – fear.

Fear of loss, punishment or pain or being alone. Even though sometimes we just want to be left alone and out comes the biggest lie of all – I’m fine.

“The average person tells 4 lies a day or 1460 a year; a total of 87,600 by the age of 60. And the most common lie is: I’m fine.”

Someone once told me I had to try and be honest and kind at the same time. No need to lie and nothing you have to remember you said to one person, and another, and another.

It takes a lot less energy to be honest. Being kind at the same time? That takes some thought, but is a lot easier and will add a lot to your relationships.

Next time you hear a fib or lie pass your lips, think about why you’re saying it. What are you in fear, of and should you be afraid? The answer will generally be no.

Face your fears, be honest and kind at the same time and watch the lines fall from your face and the furtive looks over your shoulder stop.

YourMondayMotivator: What keeps you awake?

Can’t sleep from the thoughts in my head.

Recently I wrote about exciting things like learning new skills that keep you awake at night. But what about the other thoughts that keep you awake. The ones you would rather didn’t?

You replay events in your mind and they change with different scenarios that end differently. They might go your way or they might not. You worry about your lists, your job, your sales calls. And boom, it’s midnight and you’re not going to get the sleep you need to function well the next day.

Why does that happen? And why does it happen just as you want to sleep. How do you stop the thoughts and sleep?

Psychologists have said this happens because we have trained our brains that going to bed is a cue to start thinking. Bed can be the cue that sets the tossing and turning and thinking off.

So how do you stop them keeping you awake?

  • A journal has worked for me in the past. Jotting down what you need to do tomorrow or closing off what happened today can help settle your mind.
  • Saying to yourself you’re a good sleeper.
  • Only going to bed when you’re sleepy not just rundown or lacking energy.
  • Using your bed to sleep. Turn the phone onto airplane mode, read in the lounge, etc.
  • Wake up at the same time each morning.

Facebook’s study of how content in your newsfeed has an effect on your emotions has proven that what content you consume, or are aware off, does affect you. So watching an action movie just before you to bed probably isn’t going to be helpful.

If you are a “bad” sleeper try the above, tell yourself you’re a great sleeper and enjoy a well earned sleep each night.

YourMondayMotivator: Programming and problem solving

Last week a good friend said I should write a co-driver training app so I can learn to code.

Really? I have people who know way more about that stuff than me working either at Spike or our suppliers.

Yup. Get into it. It will be good for you to learn how to do it.

Over the years I’ve built lots of emails and websites, but today’s responsive code is waaaay above my head. Anyway, I said OK and we drew up a plan. He gave me some steps I should follow and then he made sure he wasn’t connected to a place he could easily access my code.

I started here.

co_driver_start

This is what it currently looks like.

co_driver_1

To get to where I am today I have had to learn a lot. CSS and Javascript are not friend but I’ve made buttons change colour, moved objects around a page and made buttons do something when you click them. It’s exciting. It’s head scratching.

However last night I was wrestling with a problem that I could not let go. I knew if I went to bed without solving it I wouldn’t sleep. I solved it just before midnight. Midnight!

And that’s when I had an epiphany. I’m very knowledgable about email marketing and generally, any problem that comes up I’ve seen before and know the answer. No thinking required.

But I realised that doesn’t stretch me. Not. At. All. And doing what you do everyday won’t be stretching you either.

Learning about co-driving and how to run a racing car stretched me a bit. But it’s cars. I know cars. I like cars. That’s not a big stretch.

This kind of coding though is a huge step outside my everyday life. It uses something that is very logical to make things happen and requires a huge amount of time to research and test. It’s tiring too. I really have to think.

So, %%First_Name%%, what are you doing to really streeeetch yourself? What are you doing that requires you to think in a completely different way to what you generally do? A way that isn’t easy for you. A way that means you’ve stopped being complacent, comfortable, stagnant.

What are you doing? If the answer is nothing try something now. Try coding. You will be very surprised at the joy making a button change colour brings you.

YourMondayMotivator: Questions. Lots of questions

It’s Monday and I’m not on top form, thanks Kindy cold, and yet I’ve come into work when some wouldn’t.

A lot do mind you and that can sometimes not be good either. Air conditioned offices have a way of spreading everything around so using your sick days could be considerate for your co-workers.

This morning I got a coffee, wandered over the road, and started thinking about today’s MondayMotivator.

Several questions popped into my head I thought I would share because I’m sure a lot of people have the same ones.

Why do I turn up at work? Why do I think about clients and campaigns and sending emails? (enter your product or service here) Why? And what do I want from this? Who do I want to help?

The last two are important no matter what position you hold. If you’re not clear what you want from doing something you’re drifting. Drifting has only one direction – backwards. There is only one sort of drifting in which going backwards means you’re going forwards.

Car Drifting

Who do you want to help? That’s important because helping someone get what they want fast tracks you to getting what you want – especially when the relationship / help is structured properly.

That doesn’t mean you’re ruthless about who you help. Helping someone and expecting nothing back is good for you because you always get something back. You get a warm feeling. You feel good. You feel happy and that little smirk of satisfaction can last a long time.

This week have a think about these questions. Write them on a post-it note and stick them to your screen or fridge. Mull them over and then write the answers down. They might surprise you and help stop the drifting.

YourMondayMotivator: On being competitive and footballers as role models

I played soccer when I was a kid. I was ok. I stopped when I got to High School and didn’t make the 1st XI at my first attempt – at 13.

Some friends made it though. I tried out for the 1st XI hockey team, made it, so I played that instead. Anything to be in a top team.

Hockey was great. As a kid who wore glasses, and did ballroom dancing during my formative years, it worked out well. Sports gear / weaponry will definitely put people off from bullying you.

I feel I’ve worked to tone down my competitiveness. Maybe I just can’t be bothered unless it really means something to me. However, it does come out at different times. For example arguments with my wife. I do like to win those. Not likely though as unless it’s a point of fact I’m generally not to going to win.

Being competitive is good, at times. There are times when you don’t to need to win. There are times where winning at all costs will show you’re a numpty.

Racing in Targa. It came out between two stages as we realised we were on a roll, even without 3rd gear, and we started talking strategy. As we were talking I said, “Whoa. That’s competitive talk.” and we stopped ourselves because it could have gotten us in all sorts of trouble.

Losing well shows your real character. There are some very poor losers.

Which brings me nicely to football. What a bunch of wimps. Gross generalisation I know but diving has put me off what I once considered the best game of all. Simple. Easy to play. With only an offside rule some people can’t seem to get their heads around.

These guys are very competitive but diving to get a penalty … that’s not beautiful. The guys that dive a lot are not good competitor role models for the kids coming through who just want to play. When they play well though, wow. It’s very cool.

Not the beautiful game it once was for me. But playing well, that’s what kids need to see. That’s what will develop a competitive spirit and character that will see those kids through life.

Have a great week.

Crucial Advice on Time Management from David Allen

Excellent quote from David Allen – “Your head is for having ideas not for holding them”

YourMondayMotivator: Behind every great man is a great woman?

They say that behind every great man is a greater woman. Is there, and what is she doing to achieve that?

That was the question I was asking myself as I was thinking about an upcoming meeting with an acquaintance I hadn’t seen for sometime. I was thinking about the last time I had seen them and what had happened in my life since then.

The event that stood out the most was meeting my wife and how it changed me.

There are times, and I’m sure there will be many more, when my wife infuriates me. Or should that be I feel really annoyed at something my wife has either said or done. Either way you put it, I’m annoyed.

Why? Because she looks at some things through an entirely different lens to me. The infuriation is really me not getting my own way and basically having my selfishness brought to my attention. Now I have to rethink something from a different point of view. That’s annoying.

But having someone I love and respect point those things out to me has led me to where I am today. And I like where I am today.

Do you like where you are today Murray? Has someone who cares about you infuriated you to the point of insanity? Whereas if you had the presence of mind to pause and step back, you might have seen it from their point of view and made a better decision?

If you have the presence of mind to pause and step back – that’s growth. If you’re still working on it, like me, keep going. Keep talking and growth will come and it will be well worth it.

YourMondayMotivator: How are you tracking?

It’s June. Yup, June. We are basically halfway through the year and if you’re in New Zealand having having another day off. This time for the Queens Birthday. Excellent.

Yes that is sarcasm you detect. If you’re a long time reader of the MondayMotivator you’ll know that in my opinion we have a lot of needless days off through the year. Days that affect the countries productivity negatively.

So June and your goals. Where are you at?

I’ve been looking at our goals for the year and we have done some, adjusted others, decided some won’t happen and are nearing the completion of the biggest one of the year. The kitchen. This has required a lot more things to happen than just pull the old one out and put a new one in. There were, still are, a lot of decisions to make as the knock on effect of one thing leads to another.

These things are hard to account for if you’ve never done something before. They require asking for advice and help, planning each step and getting the timing right.

Have some of your goals turned out to need to need more planning than you thought? Did you give up or crack on and achieve something huge?

This week check out your goals, see where you’re at, adjust, tweak, get advice if needed and do what you need to do to make this the best year of your Life.