Being in the self-improvement industry as a performance coach, I quite often get asked lots of questions. Questions about how I feel, think, react, and respond to different things that happen in life. I suppose people want to know if I am human or not or maybe they want to relate to me or know whether or not they are unique in thinking and feeling like they do.
I like receiving these emails and without wanting to sound patronising, I find it kind of humbling that other people want to know how I think!
Well, here are 4 common questions that I get asked. I hope that you find my answers insightful…and maybe you might see my dry humour too.
1) Do you ever get bored?
The short answer is yes I do, from time to time. I congratulate myself for being bored because it simply means my mind is having a rest from all that thinking I do! Boredom is just a state of mind.
That being the case, I can change the state and end the boredom if I choose to do so, which more often than not I will. How? By indulging in my hobby for half an hour, going for a walk, reading a few inspiring pages from a book or watching a comedy. End of boredom.
Today I think there is a tendency to think that we must always be doing something. It is as if doing nothing is bad for you. I think it is important to slow down the mind. To allow the unconscious to find solutions, create ideas. If you look through history, most people generated their million dollar ideas when they had spent time being quiet or whilst they were actually in the quiet.
2) Do bad things ever happen to you?
I smile at this one. Some people fall into the trap that ‘thinking positive’ should mean that negative things shouldn’t happen anymore (Or negative thoughts shouldn’t appear in their minds). But personal growth or self-improvement doesn’t mean that life will never be unkind to you. Life is unkind sometimes. I don’t think anyone is immune.
Of course life throws me problems, experiences, tests of character (Especially patience) and obstacles. And I can tell you I have had my fair share, like maybe you have too, of the truly horrendous stuff. I’ve been homeless twice, had a car accident in a foreign country that nearly killed me, lost two businesses, beaten depression and panic attacks and fell prey to a TIA (Mini stroke). I have also lost 3 members of my immediate family unexpectedly and far too early.
Of course stuff happens to me. It is all about how I choose to respond. By responding optimistically does not make the problem disappear as if by magic; and neither does it throw my head deep into the sand. But it does help me deal with those unwanted curveballs better and get through any tough times far quicker.
I will ask myself, “What can I learn from this?” or, “What could be great about this situation?” or “What positive feedback could I gain from this?” And of course I always remind myself that, ‘This too shall pass’, because it will. And I will still be here tomorrow and perhaps a wiser person for it.
3) Do you ever get angry?
Well, I am susceptible to getting a little peeved with some car drivers…but on the whole, no I don’t. I can’t remember the last time I ‘lost my temper’.
One of the biggest things I have found that causes people to get angry is other people! I try to be philosophical as often as I can with others. If somebody is rude to me I try and ask myself, “What is going on in their world right now?” They may have a had an argument with a loved one that morning, crashed the car, lost their purse or wallet or worse still, they maybe suffering from a divorce or the loss of a loved one. By doing this it gives me a fresh perspective. There could be a million and one things happening in their life right now.
By not reacting negatively and instead responding with a smile or some kind words it could restore their faith in life, who knows?
4) You always seem positive and happy, do you ever get in a 'bad mood'?
Only my face is serious and can look like I might be moody. If you knew me, you would know that I am actually a very witty guy. I love humour and making other people laugh.
Oh, I used to be one of the world’s worst moodiest people, trust me. I would be in a bad mood from the moment I got up to at least lunchtime virtually every day. Everything between about 8am and 1pm got on my nerves. And I do mean everything.
The difference with me now is I know how that by simply deciding to be happier I can be. And, within an instant. Yes it really is that simple.
If, and this is rare, if I do struggle with changing my mood immediately, I change my physiology by stretching the stress out of my body that has accumulated overnight. And as a further booster, I put on some great dance music that gets me moving around the house.
Hand on my heart I can honestly say that I have controlled most of my moodiness-it never lasts more than a few minutes. For me, considering how much my bleak moods affected me (and those around me), this is actually one of my greatest, personal achievements.
Life is far too wonderful to be moaning, groaning and complaining.
As for peeking into the rest of my mind, well, a dozen or so psychiatrists are still working on that. I will let you know what they say. Maybe.
Oh, did I tell you I like dry humor? I try and apply that to lots of situations too.