Ladder of success

My past few blogs have focused on the way we treat others around us, with the goal on being happier ourselves. However, it’d be ego-orientated to believe that making others happy is the one key to personal wellbeing. It’s surprising, really, how one’s mood can change in such a short frame of time. Over the past few weeks, a number of people have noted how they have ‘no motivation’, or that they simply feel lethargic. I can’t argue, and truth be told, neither can you. We’ve all had this feeling of lethargy at some point. In my eyes, it’s a lack of productivity in our day to day lives. I’ve said it once before, and I want to reiterate my point. We are all in the same situation in life, we all have the chance to be who we want to be. Note the specific language choice of that last sentence – WHO, not WHAT. Really, success isn’t deemed on how others around you perceive or who you’ve become. Success is deemed on that gut feeling you get when you look in the mirror every morning, every afternoon, every time you see yourself in a shop window. Do it now, if you can. Are you who you want to be? Are you where you want to be? If you aren’t feeling that warmth that those who are content are getting, make a change. You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets. You are the same as every individual out there, so go and do what you want to do. There’s one hurdle you’ll have to face to get there – That person staring right back at you in the mirror.

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” – Oscar Wilde

My goal is to become who I want to be. I don’t want to divulge that information publicly, and neither should you. But I’ve taken the first step up the ladder… Have you?

Step 4 – Take that first step

*I’ll let you know how this goes when I make my second step (reaction to previous blog, below)

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Reaction to step 3 – Money doesn’t matter

In a small Tesco Express in Plymouth – waiting to pay for 3 crates of alcohol for a BBQ.

Me: “Ah, how should we sort this guys, it’s £24 isn’t it”

Everyone: “Ah, so that’s… £6 each is it?”

Me: interrupted…

Friend: “I’ll get this guys, don’t worry about it…”

Reaction (including myself): affection, appreciation.

Reaction whilst he’s at the counter: “XXX’s such a good guy isn’t he…”

Simple, yes, yes he is…

*Step 3 shows mileage, I hope it has for you too…

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Money doesn’t matter…

It’s the little things… Whether that’s stood at the bar with a group of friends, waiting to pay. Whether it’s going out for lunch and you’ve just asked for the bill. Or, whether it’s finishing a long car journey and it’s time to ask for petrol money. Some would say it’s that awkward moment when you’re thinking, as the others are, who is going to pay. I wouldn’t say the term ‘awkward’ fits best here. Personally, I’d say it’s more of an ‘uncertainty’. Safe to say, if you’re with people close to you, they’ll probably be thinking:

“Hmmmm, shall I get this one?”

And then you get the one who is thinking:

“If I get this round, everyone will owe me £4.32p each” – There’s one in every friendship circle…

It’s surprising to think that something with such little value, such little importance in our day to day lives, has such an impact on social situations. Let’s be honest, what is more valuable: 1) having that spare £20 note sitting in your wallet, or; 2) Taking the initiative to say:

“You know what, this is on me…”

Bring a smile to the faces of those closest to you. Bring a smile to the faces of the people that bring a smile to your face. Simple, isn’t it? Then why is something so simple so evident in everyday life? Next time you’re here, you’ll know what to do. Then, the same thing will happen when you’re out next – the process repeats itself. Let’s get out of this frame of mind where everything is focused around money and negativity. Let’s bring it back to what really matters: those closest to you, and personal wellbeing.

Step 3 – Money doesn’t matter

*I’ll let you know how this one goes next time I’m in this situation (reaction to previous blog, below)…

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Reaction to Step 2 (previous blog) – Please, don’t complain

Friend: “I have so much work on, I don’t see how I can keep up with it all, I’m getting way too stressed with it”

Me: “I get you; final year of Uni is never easy. But, think, you have everything planned out and everything planned for when you want it done by. Which, can I add, is way ahead of any deadline…”

Friend: “Yeah, but it’s just so difficult…”

Me: “So, are you on track with everything?”

Friend: “Yes. BUT, it’s just so challenging, I have so much to learn!”

Me: “You’ve always told me you like a challenge… If it was easy, if you could walk all over your work in final year, would you justify your degree? Or would you think: This isn’t challenging, I’m not learning anything here”

Friend: “Mmmmm… I guess”

Me: “So, really you aren’t complaining, because you know what you need to do, how you’re going to do it and when you want it done by. Sounds like you have it all sorted…”

Friend: “You are annoying when you do this… But, and I hate to say it, you’re kinda right.”

*Step 2 seems to work, and it brought a smile to my face, perfect…

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Please, don’t complain…

It happens, in everyday life, and it goes completely unnoticed. I’m sure you all recall from my previous blogs how I feel that we tend to secretly enjoy moaning about our work, or a minor aspect of our personal life. My issue is, as friends, we’ve grown into a culture where we ‘go along’ with how ‘awful’ and ‘tedious’ our friends complaints are in life. We say:

“Oh I know”

 “Wow, you really are tight for cash, it must be awful for you”

 “I feel so sorry for you”…… etc etc.

Let’s be honest, this isn’t quite what ‘friends are for’. Truth be told, we ALL have hurdles to overcome in our short lives and letting those closest to you focus on these isn’t going to help anyone. I’ve tried a different way of approaching things… When my friends turn to me and grunt about money, their love life, their ‘belly’, their lack of free time, their ongoing workload, their deadlines, their pressure from work, their lack of sleep at night (you see what I’m saying? The list goes on…), I tend not to subside and nurse, I tend to try and be honest. So, I highlight the other aspects of their life, the wonderful things they have that they shouldn’t disregard. We all should… We all should be honest with those closest to us and say: “You know what, you’ve actually got a lot going for you…”. Put a different spin on it, as that IS ‘what friends are for’. So, next time this happens to you, just think about what you’re saying, it could make all the difference.

Step 2 – Don’t dwell

*I’ll let you know how this one goes next time a friend moans to me (reaction to previous blog, below)…

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Reaction to Step 1 (previous blog) – Greet people differently

Me: “Hello lad, new shirt?”

Business Partner: “Huh, no I’ve had it for ages… Why?”

Me: “Just wondered, it’s nice”

Business Partner: “Oh… Thanks mate”

*Step 1 seems to be working, let’s see about step 2…

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Hello, how are you?

It came to my head earlier, after a long conversation with someone I’m very close to. Every greeting we have, every conversation we start, every time we engage with a fellow human being we seem to start with the same mannerisms:

“Hi, how’re you today?” followed by:

“Not too bad thanks”

Not too bad!? So, you are ‘bad’… But not ‘too bad’… What is too bad in the first place!? First things first, why do we even start a conversation in this way? Even with people we do not know, care about, or have any relation to in any form. Hi, how’re you? Are we interested in how strangers are or are we actually being rude by pretending that we care? If we do care, why not change our approach? Maybe bring a smile to someone’s face first thing. Try this:

“Hello there! I like your jacket…”

Or:

“Hello ello, that’s a nice shirt, where’s it from?”

That’s more like it, surely. How would you feel if the shoe was on the other foot? Having 20 people each day ask how you are, or 20 different people complimenting something about you… Maybe that’s where I’ve been going wrong with these blogs. Maybe that’s why we are constantly tackling a pessimistic battle. So, let’s try something a little different. Let’s try and be a little more positive with each blog… That’s a plan.

Step 1 – greet people differently –

*I’ll try this with my business partner in a few hours and see his response… I’ll keep you updated

London is a different city…

Having lived in Chichester (a derelict city on the south coast of England) my whole life, my eyes have been opened with the decision to move to one of the largest cities in the World, London.

Movie scenes become a reality. Famous landmarks become a common site. Borris bikes become a common means of transportation… The purpose of this blog is to highlight how important it is to realise, right now, how lucky we ALL are to be where we are. Why? Well, personally I’m moving back to Chichester in 3 days, away from the ‘big city’ to try and fulfil an ambition – something in my eyes that we should all do, no matter the risk… Between you and I, I will genuinely miss the ‘big city’.

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Whether it’s sitting eating that roast dinner on a Sunday with the family, or shrugging into work on a Monday morning (something we all say we HATE, but secretly we enjoy moaning about it more)… Truth be told, if you’re reading this, there will be aspects of your life that are constantly changing – where we live, relationships, friends, personal health. As deep as it may seem, all these factors at some point will change.

So, rather than looking at your life with a pessimistic approach, upset with the world around you. Hold on to the great things you do have, as we ALL have things that we should be proud of. You don’t need me to point these out, maybe it’s the close friend that picks you up when you’re down, the loving family that will always stick by your side, or maybe the self-belief that you know you can plough through any personal battle.

Hold on to these. Wake up thinking of these. Go to sleep thinking of these. Because one day, you may wake and not have these items that are simply disregarded in everyday life. We should all feel lucky to be who we are? No. We should all feel happy in who we are… Yes.

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Who really cares?

We live in a day fuelled by social networking.

Social network: “a dedicated website or other application which enables users to communicate with each other by posting information, comments, messages, images, etc.

Safe to say, we become encompassed about portraying a personality for EVERYONE to see. But, why? We build a ‘connection’ with hundreds of people: on news feeds, inboxing, statuses. Giving everyone an insight into our day to day life. We become so focused on how we present ourselves to others around us that we are growing into a culture that is solely ego orientated. Who does matter? You.

We get affected by ‘comments’ made by XXX. A person who you haven’t seen, spoken to or thought about for years. Maybe it’s time to realise and focus our attention back to who really does matter. Don’t distance yourself from those close, because it’s their opinion that really matters.

A life without social networking would revert back to personal messages between close friends. Keeping those close, close. But those closer, closer. This isn’t a blog highlighting a negative side to social networking. This is a blog highlighting the negative tendencies that have crept into our lives, only with ourselves to blame.

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Keep your close friends close. They are the ones that have cared, that still care, and that will care… If you haven’t for a while, message them now. Losing a friend on Facebook is one thing. Losing a friend in real life, is another matter…

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Missing friends, missing family

Think back. Back to the first memory you can recall. Since then, as I’m sure is the case with all, you’ve seen many faces come and go. Faces that, once, were a major influence on who you have become today. However, we grow, as individuals, and attempt to mould ourselves into the dream we once had and forget those closest to us. Eventually, we let them fade away.

Our values should change. Our confidence, self-esteem, humour, social means are all down to those we grew up with. The friends you were with to try your first drop of alcohol. The nerves when you’re queuing up to get into your first nightclub, and your friends are the one’s guiding you through what to do. “Harry, what’s your name?”. “Harry what’s your postcode”…… The people you opened your GCSE’s with. Even the people who leave you heartbroken, chilled and alone. As again, it is those closest that replenish this confidence. This belief in ourselves to pick ourselves up, and move on. Without my friends, I would not be where I am. I can relate to all these, and they’ve been at my side. As your friends, will always be at yours.

Each and every one of us knows who those closest to us are. We forget how much we all rely on them. Without, there would be holes in our lives, non repairable as we’ve been set in our ways for so long with the people we love.

It doesn’t take much to keep tact the friendships we gain as we grow older. Always keep those closest close. When all said and done, these people are not friends, they are family. It may be easy to sometimes let our dreams slip out of our grasp, but lets make sure our grasp is tightly shut around those closest.

“Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies”

Aristotle

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