The sense of it all

My dad joked when my daughter was born “Facebook has replaced the newspaper for announcements”

It was a statement I couldn’t help think and laugh about (perhaps inappropriately) when I read about the premature death of a former work colleague.

The Internet is supposed to bring us closer together, I can read hundreds of unsolicited opinions on the President across the pond paying off a hooker; yet it took over a year for someone who I knew, someone who lived about 20 miles away was no longer of this Earth.

A part of me can’t believe that not one person said to me “James were you aware…”

I only realised after another ex-colleagues, made a one-year anniversary reflection post.  I had been living my life to miss the news first time around and I thought what I was doing to miss this; I think I was worrying about some problem at work… insignificant in the scheme of life.

I couldn’t help see the bitter irony that as one family mourned the end of a life, my wife and myself were overjoyed and preparing for the baby scheduled to come into our life.

As a reflex I texted a dozen friends and family members sending my love and asking how they were doing.  It’s funny how death sucker punches you in the face making you appreciate who you do have.

The disappointing thing about not knowing was it came off like I did not cared, I cared… Continue reading “The sense of it all”

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Slight return

It took nearly seven months before I decided to publish on the Manifesto of Perfection again, the place I recorded my thoughts and opinions of all things self-improvement.

Last week I marked my return, where for the first time ever I featured work that wasn’t my own – a beautiful poem by Charles Bukowski ‘So you want to be a writer?’

I can’t promise it will change your life or anything, but it reminded me why I enjoy writing  – expressing oneself, relieving stress, someone appreciates your work, the natural inspiration process, artistic integrity.  I knew it was time to return.

Continue reading “Slight return”

Fight Club: Raymond K Hessel – a near life experience

Fight Club, an entertaining book and film has many teachings for life – not just on masculinity but also on self-improvement, motivation and making the most out of your potential.

One of the most compelling scenes is when Tyler Durden or the Narrator (depending on whether you are consuming the film or book version), puts a gun to convenience store worker Raymond K Hessel’s head and threatens to pull the trigger unless they go back on track to realising their potential.

The stories protagonists enact a very extreme way of encouraging someone to pull themselves together and stop wasting their potential.  A near-life experience.

Continue reading “Fight Club: Raymond K Hessel – a near life experience”

Writing your life story

I have started writing my life story.

Just by writing that statement it feels strange and narcissistic.  To write your life story you have to be a celebrity or achieve something right?

But I have been motivated to do this indirectly by family. Continue reading “Writing your life story”

How to do more of the must do tasks that you don’t want to do each day

One of the problems with setting goals is that you get really focused on getting the goals done and letting the ‘housekeeping’ part of your life slip.

I can easily write a 1000 words a day without even trying. I can get up at 6am to go to the gym and yet if one of the bulbs go in my hallway light I can procrastinate and ignore the problem, even though it is a simple task because I have no desire to do it!

These tedious tasks help make up your day-to-day life and are just as important as the goals you want to do because if you can’t even keep your own house in order how do you expect to achieve anything? Continue reading “How to do more of the must do tasks that you don’t want to do each day”

Why bucket lists are bad and why you should shun them

Let’s say I asked you to put together a bucket list – a list of things that you want to do before you die.

Before reading on just take a minute to think about what those things would be.

Done it? Okay I will continue…

Without even knowing you I bet it included something of the following:

Continue reading “Why bucket lists are bad and why you should shun them”

How to make an impact when you follow in a successful person’s footsteps

Following in the footsteps of someone who is exceptionally talented can be a daunting and intimidating prospect.

Whether it is with work where you take on the job of someone who is described as “invaluable” “a massive loss when they left” or “did so much for us” to having family or friends who are massive successes in your own right.

This can all put a bit of pressure on you where you will just feel inadequate and maybe even think “it’s not even worth trying – I will never be as good at them!”

The temptation is to quit or just be average at best and not care what other people say. But mediocrity is not the best approach to life.  There are other ways of making your own mark – even against someone who sounds like the second coming of Jesus Christ himself! Continue reading “How to make an impact when you follow in a successful person’s footsteps”

You are your friends

This post was originally posted in March 2015 and has been reposted to illustrate some of the work I am writing on Medium.com.

“Birds of a feather flock together”

Friends are the biggest influence in our lives, even more than family.

If you don’t believe me, look at many school reports for badly behaved children.  They will be full of things like:

He is a good person, he’s just in the wrong crowd.,,,,

She has potential but her choice of friendship groups is questionable….

Tom is a negative influence on him…

And it is important to realise this if you want to make your life better – because essentially, you are, who your friends are.

Continue reading “You are your friends”

How am I going to make someone’s life better today?

6am, the alarm on my phone plays its upbeat jingle, it’s called Over the Horizon yet I don’t feel like that.  Motivation to pull myself out of bed will do for the moment. Continue reading “How am I going to make someone’s life better today?”

The Best Revenge

best-revenge

Writing this blog gives me a lot of opportunity to reflect on my life – I have referred to it many times as “free therapy” because just by writing through my problems, reflecting and explaining what I intended to do has helped me get through some tough times.

I sometimes come across unwanted reflection as I start to dig deeper and I get that horrible twitch in my head of when I have been truly wronged. Continue reading “The Best Revenge”