Levity in Life? Yours for the Having

Last week I gave a coaching session to a Canadian artist – something I do on occasion, when I meet someone who comes in with the right attitude and mindset.

A few days later, she writes an email saying this:

“Thank you again for an amazing 2 hours last Friday. I feel like a new person. It’s Sunday, and I feel like I am still maintaining the same energy from when our call ended. A weight has been lifted.
~ Zoey Zoric”

And that – a weight has been lifted – that’s exactly the outcome I like to help people reach.

Because yes, life is meant to be lived with effortless mastery.

But you can only get there if you’re willing to look in the mirror, and have the guts to drop those ‘safe and comfortable’ (they actually aren’t – they’re nothing more than self-made prisons) beliefs and viewpoints that make life heavy.

And when you’re willing to do that?

Then your life changes.

You experience creative resourcefulness, you get the outcomes you want, and you become far more effective and efficient.

So, can you identify with Zoey, in that: you want to drop what weighs you down, and you’re willing to work with the notion that the only change that will make it happen is the change that happens in you, your mind, and your way of thinking&feeling?

If that’s you, I’m curious what ‘weight’ in life you’d like to drop, and what your goals or ambitions are.

Drop me a line, let me know…

Cheers,

Martin

Of Helping and Hurting

Of course I like helping people. Every sane and healthy person does, if only because it confirms your values and makes you feel good about yourself.

But helping people isn’t why I’m a coach – something I only figured out a few months ago.

No, the real reason I coach people is because I hurt.

Not in a woe-betide me way, or suffering life – you’ll know by now that I’m not in favour of victimism, and self-pity is the scourge of a life well-lived.

No, I hurt because I see so many people who could live SUCH better lives, have better relationships, earn more money, be healthier, more fulfilled, less anxious… and yet many of the people I see in my practice and my daily life just never really reach those higher levels.

And for someone who cares as much about people as yours truly, you better believe that hurts like crazy.

Especially given that reaching those higher levels of money, well-being, success and whatever you desire isn’t complicated.

It’s not hard or difficult.

It’s not a struggle, and what’s more: the attitude of struggling or fighting is antithetical to running your life or business with ease and glee.

Key distinction here: the attitude is something you choose, always. It’s not because of how life messes with you that you struggle, but because you haven’t made the choice to live it masterfully, with ease and grace.

Make that choice, and everything changes. Promise.

And seeing people refuse that choice, and fight and struggle instead, well that hurts me.

And so I became a coach (hi!), because it’s the best way I know to help people.

When you do make the choice though, to accept that literally everything is a matter of how you handle your thoughts and perception, magic happens.

Like my client and friend Paula Mould, who just sent me a beautiful email expressing how thoroughly she’s enjoying her life these days – despite a recent divorce and enormous changes in her business (she closed her company down and pivoted completely – super hard process, but she’s masterfully made it work).

And how she got there?

With a little help from me, and a TON of self-reflection, looking in the mirror, and accepting full responsibility for her life and business – and by rigourously refusing to play the game called ‘blame life’.

And if you’re ready to do the same, I have an idea for you:

Right now, I’m looking for a few very select people, who want to start 2019 on a rocket.

As in: get the best possible start to make the year your best ever, with a little help from Martin.

Is that you?

Then let me know, and let’s have a chat.

Cheers,

Martin

I’m Not Saying You Can Predict the Future, but: You Can Predict the Future

More specifically: you, the daily-life conscious individual you are, obviously can not predict the future, but:

Your lizard brain kinda can.

It’s the oldest part of the brain, way way older than the frontal cortex that enables you to think, and as such it’s got millions of years of evolutionary experience in perceiving things, extrapolating them, and assessing whether or not some is a risk or instead an opportunity to increase well-being.

In other words, it’s got a dead-right instinct for how to keep you safe, drive you away from pain, and towards pleasure, which is its only job description: keep ‘em safe, make ’em happy. Basically.

And the more you learn to trust it, the more you’ll be amazed by its uncannily accurate knack for intuiting the outcome of situations and decisions.

Problem is, we can’t access the lizard brain directly, we have no ears to listen and it doesn’t have a mouth to speak. It doesn’t communicate in thought, the way the frontal cortex does.

But, it does speak to us, and it does so by talking to our gut, in a way.

That’s where you notice its messages.

Gut-instinct is real and should be taken seriously.

And it’s very easy to figure out what you’re being told, what the message is about.

Imagine you’re considering taking on a new client, or a new job, or you’re planning on a trip…

If the thought produces a tense, clenched kind of feeling in the lower abdomen, it’s a sign that there’s something not right, and you’re being warned of some kind of risk or danger.

If however the feeling is higher in the abdomen and feels more like a warm, expanding kind of excitement (which often goes together with some nervousness or even anxiety), it’s a sign that there’s an opportunity for well-being or increased happiness on the horizon.

So whatever situation or opportunity appears in life and whatever you think or feel about it, never forget to listen to what your lizard brain is trying to tell you about it.

And hey, if you presently have something in your life that your gut says is an awesome opportunity, but you want to make sure you’ll make the right decisions?

Then maybe I ought to coach you through the process.

I can’t promise we’ll be right for each other, but I’m pretty good at helping people make decisions.

Drop me a line if you’d like to talk and see if we resonate…

Cheers,

Martin

The One Choice That Will Make or Break Your Happiness, Wellbeing, and/or Business

There’s three kinds of people, and the one you choose to be determines your happiness, wellbeing, and most of all, your results.

The victim blames themselves for everything, and lives in misery.

The one who blames others is a victim turned bully, and lives in anger and disapproval.

I can’t imagine why anyone would want to be either of those.

Me, I prefer to be the third kind:

The owner, the agent, the one in control of self.

In other words, the only one responsible for creating change – where the only change to be made is one in you.

So who do you want to be?

Victim? Victim-turned-bully?

Or do you want to take ownership and gain control over your life…?

If you’re the latter (or you’re not but you REALLY want to be), you’re my kinda person, and maybe we should talk because I just might be able to help.

But even if we don’t, remember: who you choose to be and how you choose to be, determines how your life – and your business – will be.

Choose wisely…

Cheers,

Martin

Weapons of Mess Destruction

Your attic fills till the floor sags.

Your todo list grows until it looks like it will implode under its own weight.

Your projects, plans, fomo-triggered experiments, ‘great ideas’ and must-watch webinars pile up until you feel overwhelmed, stressed and confused.

The number of different tactics you’re using to try and grow your business spread you thin and the total impact of your efforts goes down.

All this and more, an ongoing accretion of *stuff* in your life.

The ongoing entropy we can’t escape.

But, we can end it.

Provided we use what I call ‘weapons of mess disruption’.

Examples:

Elimination. All the items on your todo list that you keep not getting around to, eliminate them and move them to a someday list.

Your attic, garage, office drawers, desk: throw stuff away, or store for later sorting. (but throwing away is usually better).

All the books and webinars and ‘can’t miss’ free trainings that some vendor you can’t afford to not consume: out the window.

Another weapon: saying no.

Demands on your time, clients you don’t love working with, people who nag and complain: say no.

And another one: prioritisation. You can’t have more than one priority, so pick one thing, and work on only that – for an hour, or day, or until done. Then you move on to the next one.

Lack of clarity? Take some time for intelligent reflection, with a notebook and a pen.

One more: Decision. What will you, or won’t you, let into your life?

See the bigger picture here?

It’s about you being the agent, making the decisions, and you creating a context for optimal performance.

Life will throw stuff at you (and marketers as well), but it’s your job to decide what you allow into your life.

If you don’t things become messy, very quickly.

But you have an arsenal of weapons of mess destruction (or tools, if you find ‘weapons’ too aggressive – but tools of mess destruction don’t sound as good).

Anyway, reflection and decision are you strongest tools.

Use ‘em and you’ll see mess turn into clarity.

Does this ring true but you’re not sure what to choose, what to keep, what to eliminate?

Then let’s talk. Helping create clarity and making optimal choices is my job, and I’m here to help.

Blam blam,

Martin

Leaning Into Discomfort

Part of us knows what must happen in order for change or success or well-being to show up.

On some level, we’re super-clear on what’s required of us.

And when we’re not?

Then the solution is extraordinarily simple:

Do the thing you most resist.

It’s there, where you’ve “reasons” for not doing them, that you’ll find key insights, and breaktroughs.

I’ve seen it so many times, with friends and clients:

A suggestion to do thing X gets put off for yonks, because /reasons.

So many excuses, so many cat pics to see first, so many new and cleverly inventive ways to procrastinate…

All in service of not doing that one thing that will actually make a difference.

If you want change in self&results, you can either resist until the cows and a full Noah’s ark come home, or you can adult-up, and do the thing that you on a gut-level know is going to work, and that your mind reasons away, or your emotions try to brush under the carpet.

Choice is yours…

Lean into the uncomfortable… or stick your head in the sand?

If you (like most people and yours coachily included) are prone to go with the latter, remember this:

The thing that your guts knows will make the difference is not going to go away, no matter how much you pretend it’s not what you need right now.

And the sooner you stop resisting and give into it, the sooner things will improve.

Cheers,

Martin

Yes. No. Paradox. What???

This one might be a little taxing on the brain, but if you get today’s message, it’ll do you a lot of good.

Here we go:

Yes = No.

Now most likely, reading that, your mind went something like ‘Uh, no dude. Of course not’.

Which is precisely my point:

Whatever we see or think or feel or hear, our mind perceives it and then goes all binary on it.

Decides that it is, or is not, something.

Real, true, valuable, worthwhile, good, bad, interesting, boring… etc etc: the mind instantly classes something as ‘is’ or ‘is not’.

That’s what the mind does, it’s a binary machine made to assess and judge.

And while a well-developed mind can go a long way with that, even such a mind can only work with the limited amount of data it has available.

We can’t ever handle all possible data, because there simply is too much data available to fit into our mind.

So that judgey machine we have does the best it can with incomplete data, and while it might often create correct opinions or assessments, it’s just as likely to be proven wrong later when more data comes in.

Simply consider the times you judged someone by first impression, only to later realise you had it wrong. With me? Right.

So the point today is that ‘yes = no’ is a logical fallacy, it’s (ha!) incorrect.

And that’s exactly the point I want to get across to you:

That there’s a paradox in many things, where stuff just doesn’t make sense, or contradicts with what we consider facts, or with opinions we have.

What happens most of the time, is that we then get stuck up in our heads, start to analyse more, judge more, weigh facts and figures and opinions.

Before long (often instantly) we’re locked up inside our heads, milling over things without getting anywhere.

And that, my friends, does not make sense.

That’s not ‘thinking’ – it’s just mental churn.

Mental churn is tiring, ineffective, and exceedingly costly in terms of the cognitive energy it spends.

So when I say ‘yes = no’, it’s my recommendation to learn to appreciate paradox. To become comfortable with uncertainty.

When you manage to get to that point, you’ll be able to mentally look at things from various angles, considering options, testing theories.

You’ll be thinking properly, because instead of trying to fit things into boxes named yes or no, you’ll be elegantly exploring all the different ways things can be, be defined, or be combined.

You’ll allow intuition to bring in ideas, and you’ll be thinking in an open, non-attached way, where your mind isn’t playing dictator over your thoughts.

If you want to think better, the trick is to accept uncertainty, and learn to love paradox.

A daring challenge though, given how much we want to cling to our opinions and the fake certainty they give.

Do you dare?

Give it a try. You’ll find it exquisitely liberating.

Cheers,

Martin

P.s. The above is also why the question ‘what if that were not true’ is such a powerful question to ask yourself, or friend, or business partner. I use the question a lot in my coaching and it always causes a breakthrough. Hit reply if you’d like to talk and have me lob a few breakthrough questions atcha.

How’s Your Justification Hamster?

Ever notice how the mind tries to convince itself of things?

Reasons and argues, in order to prove something as true or not true?

It’s like a justification hamster running round in our minds, driving a thought-factory which outputs nothing but reasons why what we’re thinking or saying is true.

Circular reasoning, stuck in a loop, like an argument that states ‘this is true because it’s true’.

I spoke to someone who was asking about my coaching method.

Tells me they had coach training, and a certificate, but never hung up their shingle.

Unprompted, starts to tell me all the reasons why they can’t, shouldn’t, don’t want to, aren’t skilled enough despite the qualification.

Sounds normal, right? Knows what they want.

Except in big neon lights, the message flashed at me “I’d LOVE to do what Martin does”.

But the justification hamster happily churned away, and in the chat this person showed me that they’d probably a super-skilled coach.

If only they’d put that justification hamster to sleep.

We have a thing we want, or a thing we don’t want.

Next, we have reason why yes, or why not.

Reasons that are irrelevant, or a fallacy, or based on fears.

And then we tell ourselves, over and over again, that our reasons are correct, valid, just, and – well, reasonable.

Except they’re not.

Not once you recognise that your mind is playing tricks.

Look at your mind. Look at what it’s doing, from a meta-perspective.

Thoughts are something you have – it’s not what you are.

You can rise above them, and look down from above, detached, like a researcher.

You’ll notice patterns, lots of (rather boring) repetitions, and a whole bunch of silly things you’re telling yourself.

And if you’re lucky, you’ll see how you’re trying to justify, rationalise, convince yourself – and seeing it is what you need in order to stop doing that, so that you can see things for what they are, instead for what your mind is telling you they are.

Cheers,

Martin

Nobody is Crushing It?

That is correct. No matter what picture of success and wealth and awesomeness someone paints for us, it’s never the whole picture.

Nobody is crushing it.

You might think it’s all roses and money in that person’s life, but I guarantee there’s also consequences that ain’t all that fun.

But we only get shown the fun parts.

The bit below is from a reply I gave to one of my clients, who saw others – apparently – make lots of dosh with almost no effort.

And I don’t believe that story.

My (edited) reply to my client, who asked if those people are misrepresenting things:

###

Yep, because that’s how crooks and wannabe’s swindle people into buying stuff.

I’m not saying that everyone who shows success is a crook, but we are NEVER shown the full story, or the history behind it.

Literally everyone had to work for their success, most of the time at great expense (money, health, happiness, wellbeing).

It took them decades to become an overnight success. Always.

And the more successful someone is, the bigger the doubts become (am I worth it? am I an impostor and will get found out? Will it last? Can I make payroll? Will the investors come through? Is my business solid enough to survive my competitors?)

So no, literally nobody is crushing it the way it’s being shown.

And the more people show it that way, the more we need to protect ourselves from being gullible.

Never believe the showreel unless you’ve been present at the behind-the-scenes.

###

Success is earned, not given.

And no matter what someone wants us to believe about their earnings or their success or whatever looks sexy and accomplished: they either paid the price to earn it, or – and run for the hills if you even remotely sense it – they’re simply conning people.

Like I said the other day:

Comparing yourself to others is pointless and disappointing.

Instead, compare yourself, to the person you were yesterday.

That’s how you earn your own success.

Cheers,

Martin

Guaranteed to Cause Radical Improvement in Any Relationship Real Quick

If there’s one thing guaranteed to ruin relationships, it’s blaming other people.

This one doesn’t put the cap on the toothpaste, that one doesn’t eat their veggies, the bus driver acted like a jerk, your boss is an idiot, your father is selfish, your employees underperform, your competitor cheats, banks are swindlers and politicians are liars…

Blame, blame, blame.

A world of people who are ‘doing it wrong’, and: if only they’d get it, and change their ways.

THEN your life would finally become easier.

Well, sorry but it just don’t work that way.

No matter what someone else does, does wrong, or doesn’t do:

You’ll never in a million years change them.

And as long as you blame the other, you’re the victim.

Poor me, suffering at the hands of all those idiots out there.

I say, flip it around.

Instead of blaming others, what about taking ownership?

What would your life be like if you were fully, 100% responsible?

I’m reminded of a navy seal whose platoon (or team, or whatever it’s called in the army) lost a soldier due to friendly fire.

As the leader of the team, he had to think long and hard about what had gone wrong, and there were all kinds of individuals and procedures to blame for the disaster.

But he ultimately realised that as the leader, there was only one person responsible: He himself.

He took full ownership of the problem. No blame, except unto himself.

And that, becoming fully responsible for whatever situation, is a masterful jedi-move.

It doesn’t mean you’re to blame for the situation – it means that you are the single responsible party for creating change or improvement.

It means that you ‘become the problem’.

And when you do that, things change drastically, real fast.

So if your world is filled with people who get to be blamed, I suggest a ‘no blame diet’.

For 21 days, monitor your words, actions, and above all: your thoughts.

Notice how much you’re in the habit of blaming others, and deliberately avoid saying or thinking anything that puts blame on the other person.

Inspire yourself, become the problem, blame nobody (not even yourself), and you’ll find yourself being the author of radical improvement in your relationships.

Do you dare to try?

Because not blaming and taking full ownership, is one of the bravest things we can do.

Do you dare – do you have the guts to go on a no-blame diet?

Cheers,

Martin

Menu Title