Tag Archives: training

The 500 Words A Day Challenge

Some of you may have seen the Facebook notification when I signed up for this 500 words per day writing challenge.

It is awesome You go for the passion. You ignore the other stuff. The guy who runs this challenge says the power is in the process. You show up. You write 500 words a day. EVERY day.

Don't edit, don't second guess, don't do anything other than getting 500 words minimum (can be more but only if you just can't stop yourself) on the page EVERY day. Set a goal. Just do it.

If you miss a day DO NOT attempt to catch-up. Just leave the day (call it a holiday) and continue from there.

If you don't have the passion, then you probably don't really want to be a writer.

'But you do. You really do. It has been on your wish list since you were just a kid.'

Yeah, but if it is too hard to just DO IT, then it is not something you have a massive desire for.

I hear you. You don't know what to write about. BULLSHIT. Of course you do. Just let the mind go free. You see no-one needs to read it NOT EVEN YOU. Just write 500 words today, tomorrow and the next day. Print it out and throw it away; delete it from your computer. Record the process on a spreadsheet somewhere.

There. 3 days you have done it. Now do 3 days more. Rinse and repeat. Soon you might even read it yourself. You might like it. You might show it to someone else. You might destroy it again. And again. But if the passion is there. You just keep doing it.

You know it doesn't really matter. It is the PROCESS.

It's like walking for exercise. The destination is not even slightly important. You often go round in a circle or round the block. It is the walking that matters. Same thing. It is the writing that matters.

But, I hear you say, “I still don't know what to write about.”

OK. What about this?

Write about: (Thanks Jeff Goins for the following suggestions)

  • A screw up that you have made.

  • Highlight a personal flaw

  • Apologise for mistake nobody noticed

  • Tell the story of your biggest failure

  • Share a fear or a challenge you still haven't overcome

The other day I wrote an article in the Jillian series. I just let it flow.

On reading it a bit later I decided to let it go through to the keeper.

While it was just free writing – coming straight off the top of my head, I seemed to have captured some stuff which may have been information I had been given in confidence. Not to be shared. It was possibly going to be hurtful. While there were no actual identifiable snippets - some people may have thought it was about one of my friends. It wasn't really, but the resemblance was there.

I didn't do anything with it, other than record it as my 500 words for the day.

Gee. Will you look at that - 525 words so far. So that's it for today. Done and dusted. #500wordscolin, #500WED

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Battles V’s Challenges

Battles

The best battle, Sun Tzu says, is the battle that is won without being fought.

One dictionary definition is: An encounter between opposing forces.

Therefore; we assume - if we use the word battle, that there will be opposing forces and one of these will be a winner.

By definition this pretty much always means one of the forces will lose, even if according to Sun Tzu an actual battle has not been fought in the traditional sense. We still have an assumed winner and a loser. Let us call that a “pre-supposition.” And definitely one with negative results for one of the parties.

Challenges

A challenge on the other hand is something that puts you to the test. It can often be used in the sense of questioning whether something is true or right. And it can be a demanding or stimulating situation as in questioning a statement and looking for an explanation. This doesn't, by definition, require either a winner or a loser. It assumes (pre-supposes) an outcome, but not necessarily one that means any party will be vanquished.

A challenge is often thought of as something you have to face and deal with as you see fit. Not necessarily involving another in direct conflict. It can – but usually doesn't.

If a challenge seems like a battle, it can nearly always be reduced to a win/win situation. The sort of thing that can be dealt with by finding and exploiting alternatives to any head-on confrontation.

A challenge can therefore, pre-suppose (or assume) a solution that is not necessarily competitive to the point where protagonists on opposite sides become engaged in a fight or a battle. This is likely a more positive outlook is it not?

This is not to say a situation remains uncompetitive and lacking in any desire (even STRONG desire) for a satisfactory outcome - just that win/lose is not the primary aim of the interaction as it is in a battle.

It suggests that YOU will find an outcome that is satisfactory to YOU without destroying, decimating or even sidelining others who might also have an interest in the outcome.

What we have here is a stance that involves the taking of individual or group responsibility for a particular situation along with the actions undertaken; and accepting the results obtained.

Not a fight to the death.

Conclusion

Therefore, let us not look for battles to win, but challenges to face.

And let us use words that help us to see outcomes in a positive win/win light and not conjure up adversarial elements where they do not need to exist. #CareerChangeStrategies

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Jillian 25 – The Big Game (Patterns)

A story from Jillian’s memories. A rogues gallery of friends and enemies.

Arthur had been retrenched and had no idea what to do or where to go. Money was not an immediate problem due to a reasonably generous package, and his partner who was still working at a really well paid job. She said she would support him as he figured out his next step.

His life coach worked with him to find out what he enjoyed and what he was good at, basing this on his life history up to now; and with a few generalisations and some chunking up - a model emerged.

Arthur’s patterns of life were related to sport – he didn't play just liked watching. All sports and all events like Aussie Rules, Rugby - Union & League, Cricket of all varieties, Superbowl, Grand Slam Tennis, Olympics – Summer & Winter, World Cup, Grand Prix Motor racing etc. You name it he was onto it.

He even had a pretty good grip on local sport in many of the major cities in Australia

Knowing almost everything there was to know about players, teams and competitions, his knowledge was legendary. Encyclopaedic.

If a player in any team was having relationship troubles he knew about it before the blonde bombshell stories hit social media and TV.

His numbers told him everything.

You see he was also into maths (another pattern that showed up when he and his coach looked for it) not the pure theoretical kind, of codes and theorems, but statistics, probability even finance.

His university studies led him into accountancy, finance and economics. He loved his job as an accountant in a well known city firm, but often seemed to have a plastic smile on his face. Perhaps he was not really a people person, even though as a financial advisor he was meeting with and talking to people all the time. It may have been the backroom stuff that excited him. Not the human element.

But now he had to re-assess - as 'there is no job'.

If sports and numbers were his thing, he needed to figure out how to make that pay. “You see, the clever way to do things is to evaluate what you know and then find a market”, Jillian said. “Someone or some organisation willing to pay money for this knowledge”.

Arthur started out volunteering with a local community radio station doing the sports round-up on Saturday evenings and a much longer summary on Sunday afternoons of all that had gone on sport-wise nationally and internationally in the last week. His numbers ability and knowledge in all sports was now front and centre. Interest in the programs and his audiences grew.

He was happy. And it was good.

So good that before too long he was being poached away from the free stuff to a paid gig at a commercial radio station and then was offered a show of his own on a TV station in Australia. Guests and all. His call. He was the boss.

It was syndicated nationally. A star was born.

A pattern followed, uncovered a life plan. Patterns and Big Game Hunting.

“You see.” said Jillian, “It's not who you know. It's what you know.”#ourjillian

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What Did You Learn today?

One of our core needs is to grow.

Growth comes from:

  • New stuff.
  • Old stuff with a new perspective.
  • Something completely out of left field.
  • Mistakes that show you why or how something didn't work.
  • Words that had the opposite effect from what was expected
  • Words that had a different effect from your expectations
  • Feedback both good and bad.
  • Reading
  • Listening

Nothing here about talking.

What else? This is just a teaser?

WHAT DID YOU LEARN TODAY?

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The Successful Coach Magazine

Woo Hoo. Yippee and all that jazz. Another publication under my belt.

This time an article in a magazine.

Here is the link.

June Issue - The Successful  Coach Magazine

It is the first in a series of 8 articles covering the topic of retirement / retrenchment (Laid off for my American readers) which leads up to the generation of a life plan and a set of SMART goals. Stay tuned to see the rest of them.

Comment if you will.

That link again.

June Issue - The Successful Coach Magazine

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An open letter to Mr James Patterson.

The other night in Melbourne, Australia (May 6th 2015), I went to see you at the Atheneum theatre.

I was enthralled.

You were awesome, and you were personally inspiring.

I loved your relaxed laid-back (Australian?) attitude. I loved your answers to the interviewer’s questions. I loved how you extended the questions from the audience and answered more than you were asked. And I loved how you overruled the presenter and asked for one more question when he had already done that. So great. So fantastic. Such a wonderful evening.

Can I make a comment or two, though?

As mentioned your generous donations to independent book-stores are to be applauded.

  • In 2014, James gave away over a million dollars to book-stores across the USA.

  • In 2015, James Patterson will continue to support independent book-stores in innovative ways and will champion a new initiative centred on getting our kids reading and supporting school libraries.

Now this is a fantastic initiative, but it made me think of the horse and cart.

Back in the day, horses used to pull all sorts of vehicles which were used for transport of goods and passengers in pretty much all countries of the world.

A complete set of industries grew up around this means of transport. Such as farriers, carriage makers, stables and stable hands, grooms, horse-shoe and horse-shoe nail manufacturers, carriage wheel makers and many more. And of course manure collectors. Not to mention the farmers who grew the food these magnificent beasts ate so they could toil all day toting people and packages across our fair cities. Although some of these cities may not have been all that fair much of the time. But your stories cover some of this evil doing.

Anyway there came a time when some malcontent invented a motorised vehicle. And once we all got over the fact that these mechanical beasts could and should be allowed to move faster than walking pace the industry blossomed.

We could now go further and faster, in more comfort and carry more weight than ever before. Progress, I hear you say. A fantastic thing is progress and these newfangled inventions. True.

But what of the poor people and animals mentioned previously who relied on the earlier tried and true methods of transport? Their existence and their livelihood depended on this now old fashioned and outdated technology. What about them?

Well, I personally don't know what happened on a day to day or month to month basis, nor how long a transition period there was, but transition certainly took place. Now the only 'horse-dawn carriages' are in places like Melbourne as tourist attractions.

Cars and trucks (and trains and planes as well, but let's not extend our argument too far) have completely taken over the role of these quaint methods of conveyance.

Book shops. Ah the wonder. They are such an institution. The shelves and shelves of paper and cardboard, printers ink, glue and sometimes string. The smell of new books, the smell of old books. The chesterfield sofas and crazy bentwood chairs that we happened upon in these oases of almost quiet; full of the soft sounds of riffling paper, and the low murmurings of cajoling voices “Oh My God, will you have a look at this one?” Fantastic. Beautiful, exciting, inspiring and emotionally intense.

Bookshops are the bees knees.

BUT. There is another way to read NOW. We can do it 'online' and on 'portable devices'. The same stories. Even the older ones (the historic, the famous and venerated texts) are all progressively being made available in a digital format. They don't smell. There are no sofas, no booksellers with unbelievable knowledge, (I could say encyclopaedic but that is too trashy), but the end result is the same. The information, the emotions, the feelings, beliefs, the wonderment is all still imprinted on the brain of the reader. We still even call these infidels readers for goodness sake.

We can take 1000's of books with us wherever we go and enjoy them at any time. In the light, in the dark and at all times and all places in between.

In a similar vein to that of old fashioned travel, reading is going to change. We are going to do it differently. We are going to transition, possibly completely, except for tourist curiosities, to the new world.

It is as inevitable as the march of the automobile. Whether it is a good or bad thing is a moot point. IT WILL HAPPEN. IS HAPPENING NOW. AS WE SPEAK.

While I know, James, we all love your passion for book shops, books in general; and we all follow your fights with Jeff Bezos, I wonder if it is all for nothing?

Is it possible your wonderfully generous money might be better spent? Instead of railing against online behemoths, and propping up an institution whose time has come?

Might you be better off spending the money to make online reading better? More accessible to the masses of people who do not read at all or do read but not as much as they might and do not embrace the joys of the electronic media? Easier, more exciting, more fun. More interesting.

  • Perhaps we could have online book-stores with extra special benefits.

  • We could have electronic book clubs.

  • What about huge global discussions about books and the meaning of life. I don't think it really is 42 by the way.

  • We could have huge webinars with everyone being able to see and hear what I did the other night. You know what I mean. You. Or other famous or infamous - read E L James) authors on Skype, in our own lounge rooms, our cars, our … (no I won't go there.)

They could be streamed, or recorded or both. Live questions could be asked and answered. Visuals and videos could be included.

  • Collaborative writing classes and group readings could happen.

  • Training in writing and other stuff related to reading might be the go

  • Authors reading their books for children. (So they can still have their nightly story even if their parents can't or won't do it for them.) Refer the following:

Could snuggling up in bed and reading a bedtime story to your children ever be a bad thing? An ABC Radio National program about whether 'Having a loving family is an unfair advantage' has questioned whether bedtime reading is causing an uneven playing field for more unfortunate children. British academic Adam Swift told ABC presenter Joe Gelonesi the benefits of the time-honoured custom were greater than a private school education.”

The worlds of writing and reading could collide with a bang greater than all the atomic bombs in the universe.

Books and reading could be even more important than ever before. A different kind of book experience.

  • No longer little out of the way places you can only get to on your next trip to NYC.

  • No longer elitist but for all.

  • No longer expensive books where the publisher takes more money from the sale than the creator of the work itself. (Perhaps that is a problem currently with Amazon, but there is no real competition is there?)

  • Free books for specific purposes/readers/topics

Note I'm not suggesting books are off the agenda, just the method of getting them to the reader. A change in the delivery mechanism.

It has started.

Perhaps you James, and/or other readers or writers can come up with some more new and innovative ways to make the electronic delivery of books better, more accessible, easier, more effective.

Perhaps there is even another as of now completely unheard of way of getting books to the reader?

Think about it. Those who can adapt best, survive. Those who cannot become extinct. Darwin discovered this scientific truth many moons ago, It is still as true now as it was then.

Comment please.

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Jillian 16 – Words

A while ago Jillian was telling me about a girl in her primary school when she was quite young. They had a reading class; she remembers they were sitting outside so it was a nice day, and this girl, Janice was her name, had trouble reading one particular word. It was very early in Jillian's reading journey. They were doing the usual books with the family stories that all kids could identify with (possibly not quite the same nowadays. just sayin').

Anyway, the family - in the book - were all together in the morning before dad went off to work and the older kid went to school and mum did the housework. They were having BREAKFAST. Janice kept reading that word as "breakfast fast". Jillian laughed at the memory. I thought about the stereotypes that this scene was forcing upon our kids at that time in our history.

But. It started me thinking about all the words that have different meanings now from when we were young. The words that have been made up over the last 40 or more years to cover situations that just didn't exist before.

(Here’s a challenge for you, my reader. Can you each come up with 3 words that have vastly different meanings now, from when they were first introduced into the English language? ‘Gay’ for example.

Also think about regional and country variations. Could be a fun exercise.)

The way we get words wrong that we read or stuff we say everyday intrigues me also. (Everythink, somethink are two Jillian still says, that come to mind straight away.) Actually that is quite funny really. A woman who is worried about the letter her name starts with but who hasn't managed to get her head/voice around the pronunciation of a couple of everyday words. Whatever!!

Someone's reading this over my shoulder as I am writing and saying to me. "Where's this going? What are you trying to say?"

"I'm not sure," I reply. But I keep going.

I think I'm just getting older, looking at the changes that have occurred around us, and wondering how we all managed to survive.

If we could all look at our lives in a time lapse video I think we would be VERY surprised. Patterns.

Some of our early childhood beliefs are still with us albeit in slightly different manifestations, some have morphed such that they are unrecognizable and some have only recently developed. If only we could go back and watch that happening. Our current mind-sets have been forged in the fires of our life experience.

But it all comes back to language. To words. What we say. What we mean. What we don't really mean, but say anyway. What we think and don't say. What we understand about what others say to us or about us.

We mostly think in words. The way our tiny computer-like brains manage the words we see on the page, the screen, or we hear from the incessant chatter of those around us, or the electronic media, is the basis for everything in our lives.

Change Words

So we need to be careful we are reading things correctly, listening and understanding, not making assumptions or brain jumps like Janice. Sometimes we need to listen to, or read what is NOT being said as well, but at that same time not making stuff mean something it doesn't. Sounds tough. We may not always have a teacher like Janice did to help us.

"Bloody hell," says the voice over my shoulder. "How wanky is all that?"

"Suck it up!" I say.

See what I mean? Words!

#ourjillian

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Success Unlimited – Mithra Publishing

Well it has finally happened. I am a published author. The book for which I submitted a chapter has been published.

I am one of about 12 writers whose contribution made it into the final cut. The book is now available for purchase.

You can find out more about it and purchase a copy from the link below.

I am soo excited.
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Jillian 10 – Worst Travel Experience (Again)

"It doesn't really fit into best or worst categories," Jillian said once when we were talking about her travel experiences. Still? Yes, I know, but they are always interesting.

"There was once in Glasgow quite a few years ago, when I was staying with a friend of my mother's. It had been a long and harrowing journey from London's Euston station to Glasgow Central on the fast train. Can't remember what it's called. Perhaps The Flying Scotsman” she said. (Editor note: I think it was called Inter-City).

"Anyway. It was one of the new fully electric trains that had just introduced and it travelled, I think, at about 110 mph most of the way. It whipped through the stations like a tornado - the carriage rocked quite violently it seemed, and the noise of the wheels and the sound of the wind reflected back from the station buildings were very frightening. I wondered what would happen if we rocked so far that the platform or the roof would make contact with us and cause a catastrophic crash. Of course it hadn't happened so far and probably would never happen, but it was hellish scary."

"The trip took 5 hours but it seemed like forever." she said.

I sensed this was not the story. I was right.

"When I arrived, it was really embarrassing," she went on. "I was so exhausted, and it was getting latish, I could tell by all the half hidden yawns.”

“I think it was about 9.00 pm,” (she explained as an aside), “so I let them know I was ready for bed.”

A few friendly 'getting to know you' things happened. Including questions about what time I wanted to begin my exploring of Bearsden where they lived, and Glasgow in general, and what I wanted for breakfast.

BearsdenBearsden Coat of Arms lies on the northwestern fringe of Greater Glasgow, approximately 6 miles (10 km) from the City Centre, and is effectively a suburb, with housing development coinciding with the introduction of a railway line in 1863, and from where the town gets its name (Bearsden station was named after a nearby cottage). Wikipedia.

I said that since I was only going to be a few days I'd like to start quite early about 9.00am. And I mentioned that I thought a quick trip to Edinburgh might be a good idea. Shock horror, “That is so far away - on the other side of the country.” they said in unison, looking at me as if I had two heads. (It is actually about 60 miles or 70 km - just over an hour's journey by car and probably not much different by train). I gave that idea away. Pity, it would have been nice. But I didn't want to upset the hosts.

Next was the breakfast question. Easy answer.

"This," Jillian then said, "is where it became truly weird. I am in Scotland, right? Haggis and porridge? Yes? So not wanting to be a nuisance I said I'd just have porridge. I assumed that was the national breakfast.”

"MISTAKE. Big mistake.”

“I noticed a bit of activity outside the bedroom window as I crawled unwillingly from the warm bed on the rainy, cold morning that followed. My mother’s friend's husband (she couldn't remember names so this is a bit cryptic) was just pushing his bike back into the small lean-to thingy next to the very small and narrow cottage sort of structure in which they lived. See what I did there? Winston Churchill would be proud.

“They had NEVER eaten porridge, and, so as not to disappoint me, he had popped out to the early opening corner store to get some. Needless to say I was mortified.”

“And they didn't know how to make it either. It was horrible. But as I'd asked for it, I had to pretend I enjoyed it."

#ourjillian

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CCS003: 5 Success Principles

Five Success PrinciplesYOUR LIFE IN FOCUS.

Drawing on NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) techniques and life affirming fundamentals we are proud to present this CD which will transform you from 'just getting by' to living and working at a new level. Success strategies at their finest.

The 5 Success Principles”

  • Know your expected outcome
  • take action
  • evaluate your progress
  • change your actions if they are not working
  • have a physiology of success

Create a new vision of your life and bring it to reality. Develop healthy change

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