Category Archives: Success

Passion and Success

 

Passion is the first principle that underpins the Yes For Success Platform. Several years ago Denis Smith held a high pressure sales job, was drinking too much and suffering from depression.

His life lacked passion despite all the trimmings of a successful sales career.

Published with permission

Fortunately he knew ‘something’ was missing from his life and he went on a search to discover his passion. He quickly found photography and realised that he was somewhat of a natural with the camera. Upon uploading his photos to sites he discovered that his ‘good’ photos were the same as everyone else’s. But he didn’t want to be the same as everyone else.

So his evolving passion took him on a journey of discovery where he came across the concept of ‘light drawings’ through photography. With passion comes innovation and he decided to ‘play’ with the concept, creating surreal ‘Ball of Light‘ images in his photographs.

Today Denis has turned his passion into a business. More importantly he is living a life full of positivity and energy. View this short video to learn more about Denis’ story.

Personally I feel energised when I hear about stories such as Denis’ and I thank my good friend Andrew Scott (an amateur photographer himself and a friend of Denis’) for sharing the story with me.

How present is passion in your life?

Learn about the Yes For Success Platform here.

Gary Ryan enables organisations, leaders and talented people to move Beyond Being Good.

‘Edge Moments’ Interview With Rachael Robertson

Rachael Robertson was just the second female to lead the Australian Antarctic Expedition for a 12 month period. As you can imagine such extreme conditions require you to find ways to lead when there is literally nowhere to hide.

View this interview where Rachael explains how it came to pass that a woman without a scientific background found herself leading up to 120 people in the Antarctic. Rachael’s insights about leadership and ‘Edge Moments’ are nothing short of powerful.

 

Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at http://planforpersonalsuccess.com/trial

Break-Through Mindsets and Creating What You Want – Part 1

A young female relative of mine is amazing. In her early 20s she has been challenging her mindset and creating more of the life she desires. At 22 she had been a factory worker for 6 years. So much for Gen Y not staying with an employer!

But she hated her work. Everyday the same thing. Pull this lever, push that lever. Time moved so slowly she could hear the ‘tick tock’ of the clock above the noise of the machinery!

She wanted to quick. But what to do?

We had a chat. She mentioned that she had wanted to try some office work.

“What if you went and did some formal education, maybe starting with a Certificate II in Business Administration or something like that. Maybe you could then make the move off the factory floor.”

I’m a terrible student. I can’t study!“, was her reply.

Aaaah mindsets, they kick in very quickly when the unfamiliar is mentioned.

“What do you want?” I asked.

To get off the factory floor and to never have to look at a machine again! But I don’t know anything else!

“Which is why going back to some form of school will help. How else will you get away from factory work and get another type of job?” I queried.

Maybe I should give it a go. But my employer won’t help me. They have never given me any proper training.

“What if you were to ask them? What’s the worst they can say?”

No!“.

She went ahead and asked about support for some training. She even shared her desire to move off the factory floor. “No!” was the response she received and she was also told that she was, “Needed on the factory floor.” Yes, after 6 years she knew a thing or two about the machines.

Can you imagine her reaction to her employer’s negativity? “I’ll never get out of here. I need the money so I can’t quit. I’m stuck.” Mindsets are hard to shift and having an employer like hers made it even harder.

“What do you want?” I prodded.

To get off the factory floor.” was her response.

“What can you do to make that happen?” I probed.

Go back to school outside work.” she responded.

We discovered that she could do her course online and that due to government support it was far cheaper than expected. She completed her Certificate II in Business Administration. It might not sound like much but it was a monumental effort and moment.

She asked for a trial in the office.

“No” was the response. “We need you on the factory floor.” Apparently it was an honour to be employed by this employer and she should be grateful for the job she had. No need for self improvement around here!

See, what was the point!” she exclaimed to me. “I’ll never leave here!

“What do you want?” I asked.

To get off the factory floor.” she responded.

“What are you going to do now?” I probed, yet again.

Maybe I should do another course?” she suggested.

“Maybe you should. You have now proved that you can finish a course. Why not go to the next level and see what happens?”

“Okay. I’ll give it a go.” Her mindset had shifted. The power of evidence and movement was working.

She completed her Certificate III in Business Administration. She approached her employer about doing a trial in the office. “No! We need you on the factory floor.”

She signed up with an employee agency. She got offered a job as a clerk in a small company on less money than she was earning on the factory floor.

What do you think she did?

She quit her factory job. Aaah, to have been a fly on the wall and seen the look on her employer’s face…”but, but we need you on the factory floor!”. Well, yes you probably do. But an employer – employee relationship is a two way street. If they had given her a go in the office and supported her development, she’d probably be there today. But she’s not.

Moving away from what you don’t want can be a major motivator for getting you to take action, even if it may appear to be a backward step in order to create what you do want.It also takes bravery and courage. I’m proud of my young relative (can you tell?)!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this mindset shifting saga where I will share more of the ups and downs of this major mindset shift that has, and is occurring in my relative.

Oh, and if you think the lack of her employer’s support in the story so far is mind-boggling, wait until you read Part 2… and the even greater challenges she has had with shifting her mindset from one of being out of control of her life to being in control of her life.

Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at http://garyryans.com

A Little Perspective – Act On What Really Matters

Yesterday a good friend and colleague of mine passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was in his mid 40s and leaves behind his wife and four young children, the eldest of whom is just 13 years old. Andy had successfully created several multi million dollar businesses. At the start of 2010 he quit all the work he was doing and drove his family around Australia for six months. This was before he knew he was sick. 

Andy would often tell me that he believed that life should be lived to the fullest because you never knew what could happen. He also believed that everyone should do their best to develop the talents that they have and that success always included your close relationships.

This July I have already paid for a trip for my entire family of seven to visit with my twin brother and his family who live in the USA. Irrespective of the state of the economy these trips are never cheap. But I want to spend time with my brother and his family; time that honestly can’t have a dollar value placed on it. Just like Andy’s trip around Australia with his family can’t have a dollar value placed on what that was worth to him.

What are you potentially postponing when it comes to creating shared experiences with the people dearest to you in your life. If you would do things differently if you found out that you only had a certain time to live well, guess what, you do only have a certain time to live, you just don’t know how long it is. So don’t postpone those things that really matter because life might not wait for the ‘right time’ to come along.

Rest in Peace Andy.
 

Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at http://garyryans.com

Mindsets Matter

plan for personal success, Gary Ryan, Beyond Being Good

Over the years of helping my clients create more success, one cause that stands out more than any other is your mindset.

Your mindset matters. A lot.

Think about it. Right now, are you as successful, across all aspects of your life as you desire?

If you are, terrific! Keep doing whatever it is that you are doing that has created your success.

Most people are not as successful as they would like to be.

So what’s stopping them from being as successful as they desire? Better still, what is stopping you from being as successful as you wish to be?

Logically if you are not as successful as you desire, then your theories, or mindset for creating success is not working, at least not completely. It might be working in some areas of your life, but not all areas of your life. In fact, if you really think about, you have multiple theories about success. You will have theories about how to create successful relationships, how to create a successful business, how to create a successful career, how to be healthy etcetera. Some of these theories will be working. Some won’t be, but you’ll still be using them. And then you wonder why you aren’t as successful as you desire.

Here’s the kicker. Some of your theories for success used to work. So you keep using them. However the world changes. You change. Yet you keep using these old theories that used to work.

These theories are embedded into your mindset and stop you from creating future success. Yes, that is right. Your old theories that once created success are no longer valid and new theories must be adopted. The evidence is as plain as the nose on your face, especially if you’re not as successful as you desire to be.

When did you last consider your mindset? Are you even aware of your theories for success? How do you know they still work?

One mindset that many employees have is that it is their organisation’s responsibility to develop them. This mindset is akin to abdicating your responsibility for your continued development. Why would anyone consciously make that choice? The issue is that people don’t consciously make this choice, they subconsciously make this choice. The outcome of such a mindset is that the person loses. Big time. If your organisation doesn’t invest in your development then, with this mindset you are screwed.

To be brutally honest an organisation that doesn’t prioritise or invest in your development isn’t a high performing organisation and probably isn’t worthy of your full talents. But if you don’t develop yourself under such circumstances then your full talents won’t be worth much either. Not to prospective employers anyhow. And then you’re stuck. You’re stuck with an employer who isn’t developing you and because your mindset is that it is their responsibility to do that, you don’t improve yourself. And then you can’t get a job anywhere else. Not a very secure strategy if you ask me!

When did you last consider your mindset? Are you even aware of your theories for success? How do you know they still work?

At the same time, your mindset is the most important factor for creating the future success you desire. If you don’t change your mindset or keep up a strong and proactive one, you’ll keep doing what you’ve done and you’ll continue to be dissatisfied with your level of success.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Improve yourself and take control of your development. Use whatever development your organisation offers as a bonus and take charge of creating the success you desire.

Gary Ryan enables organisations, leaders and talented people to move Beyond Being Good.
Commence a complimentary trial of the Yes For Success Platform here.

Understanding Innovation – Audio Version

Do you provide Leadership That Matters® ?

Many people are confused by the concept of innovation.
Gary Ryan from Organisations That Matter explains the concept in simple terms and provides practical advice for how you can enhance your practice of this critical skill.

This recording is an episode from the What Really Matters For Professional Development Podcast by Gary Ryan.

Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at http://garyryans.com

Passion Matters If You Want Success

If you want to achieve anything worthwhile in life then there is a simple secret that successful people know.

The first principle for achieving success is passion and I absolutely believe that you have to have it in your life if you want to have access to the energy that is required to create success. 

Passion provides our energy, our drive for taking action, especially when those actions are hard and/or challenging. In simple terms we derive energy from our passions.
Try this quick exercise.

Stop and close your eyes for a moment think about your passion. It could be one or more of many things such as:
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Singing
  • Physical exercise
  • Playing sport
  • Water based activities
  • Drama
  • Art
  • Reading
  • Gaming
  • Studying
  • Learning
  • Cooking
 This list doesn’t have an end! It could go on and on and on.

Once you have identified your passions focus on one of them and think about it, remember yourself doing, see yourself doing it. Notice what happens to your body when you start imagining yourself doing your passion.

When I ask participants in my programs to do this exercise you should see what I see! While their eyes are closed as they are imagining themselves doing their passion, whatever it is, people smile! It is as if they can’t help it. Smiles simply appear on their faces!

It just happened to you too, didn’t it.

If you require evidence that passions drive your energy then here it is! Just notice the smile on your face. 

However a sad fact is that as many of us get older, we stop experiencing our passions. Just when our lives get busier and more serious, just when we need more energy to create the success we desire, we stop living and experiencing our passions. If you think about it, isn’t that just plain crazy?

Our passions ‘leave’ our lives or they simply fade away from being present in our lives. Yet we need our passions in our lives in order to give us the energy to get through some of the less passionate things that we have to do. No matter how successful we become there will always be things that we have to do to create our success that aren’t the most fun in the world to do.

As you consider your passion or passions, are they present in your life now? When did you last experience your passion? When is the next time you plan to experience your passion?

Interestingly your passion doesn’t have to be ‘present’ all the time for you to benefit from the energy it provides. As an example many people have travelling as one of their passions. For many of us such a passion is ‘serviced’ when we have annual leave holidays from our work. So what people with this passion will do is book in and pay for their travelling experiences a long time in advance. As a result they have the positive energy benefits of looking forward to experiencing their passion.

If you don’t have a passion and can’t remember ever having one, you have a wonderful opportunity to include this in your Vision. For example. as part of your personal vision you could write, “In 12 months’ time I will be living and regularly experiencing at least one passion in my life.”

Remember, when planning for success it’s okay to write things down into the Vision section of your plan even when you have no idea about how they are going to be brought into reality. In fact, this is usually true for most things that you write down in the vision section of your plan and why writing them down is so powerful.

In wrapping up, what’s your passion or passions? How are you leveraging the energy that they generate?

Gary Ryan facilitates the OTM Plan for Personal Success® program. Click here to find out more about how you can create a plan for your personal success.

Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at http://garyryans.com

Knowing What You Really Want Takes The Stress Out of Your Future

Imagine living your life where your concerns, fears and worries about your career, wealth, health and relationships were 80% less than they are today. Does this sound like a fantasy? It’s not.

Over 5,500 people have discovered the power of creating a written plan for personal success. A consistent challenge that people face when creating their first plan for personal success is defining the future that they desire. many people describe ‘strategies’ instead of describing what they really want.

A common example relates to fitness and health. People will often say things like, “I want to lose 10 kilograms, this is the fitness and health future that I desire.”

Losing 10 kilograms is a strategic goal and while losing 10 kilograms is an outcome, it isn’t the ‘end game’. What the person really wants is the lifestyle that comes with being 10 kilograms lighter. That person wants to be more attractive, more able to move and have fun. That person wants more energy. That’s what they really want. 

Defining what people really want is something that a lot of people find difficult to do. Understanding why you want to be 10 kilograms lighter and why that is important to you are the keys to understanding what it is you really desire.

Focusing on the types of activities that you want to be able to do and visualising yourself doing them is far more powerful than focusing on a number, such as losing 10 kilograms. Dewitt Jones, acclaimed National Geographic photographer and an expert on the power of vision explains that the big visions in life shouldn’t be too focused, too tight. Rather, they should be both clear enough, yet loose enough to leave open a thousand possibilities to bring them into reality.

In terms of a whole of life perspective focusing on losing 10 kilograms is too tight a vision.

Focusing on being able to play with your children or grandchildren, being able to participate in a hiking holiday, or dancing with your friends are loose visions that have a multitude of opportunities to bring them into reality.

Losing weight may be a strategy that is required to enable you to keep the possibilities alive for you to bring your vision into reality. It is at this point that focusing not only on losing weight but on creating a new lifestyle where you can maintain the weight loss becomes critical. At this level of personal planning you become more focused on your goals and you take specific actions to achieve them. Actions may include engaging a personal trainer and training four times per week. These are what Dewitt calls ‘tactical visions’ and are more detailed and specific. They identify exactly what you need to do to bring your vision into reality

How do you know if the future you are focusing on is what you want or is a strategy to achieve what you want?

The easiest way to approach this question is to reflect on the content of your vision once it has been created. You will discover that you have a mixture of statements that reflect both what you want and the strategies regarding your approach to achieve them.

For each statement in your vision statement ask yourself, “Why do I want this? What will this really look like once I have it? What will I be doing when I have this?” and keep asking this question for each answer that you arrive at, possibly up to five times in a row (this is known as the Five Whys Technique).

In a financial context people often suggest they they want to be rich or to have ‘x’ amount of dollars as part of their vision. Once again having money is a strategy that enables you to do want you want to be able to do. Asking yourself, “Why do I want this money? What will I be doing with it?” can help to uncover what you really want and makes it so clear that taking the necessary steps to create the wealth you desire (legally, of course!) becomes more and more doable.

Why is it that people initially struggle with this challenge?
Having assisted more than 5,500 people establish their initial OTM Plan for Personal Success®
the facts are that less than 0.1% (that is less than ten) of those people had previously created a detailed or strategic plan plan for themselves. The reality for the vast majority of people is that creating a personal plan is something that they haven’t done before.

Like most things we do for the first time we are usually not very good at it the first time. This can be frustrating for adults because we like to think that we can quickly achieve an expert standard when we perform a new task, even though our experience has taught us that this isn’t really how we learn.

Learning to use iterative cycles when creating your plan for personal success enables you to more quickly establish a personal plan that both clearly articulates what you want and what you are going to do to achieve your vision. This means that you develop the skill to continually ask yourself, “Why do I want what I have just written? Why is that important to me?”

That said, having an initial plan is more powerful than not having one. David Ingvar’s ‘Memories of the Future’ research highlights the power of having a written plan. In this context having a plan is far more beneficial than not having one at all. If you create you plan and then become disciplined on reviewing it, say once every six to 12 months and also become disciplined at constantly challenging yourself to reflect on why you want what you want, you will, over time create plans that are even more powerful than your first plan. This is normal and part of the learning process that is associated with creating and living your plan for personal success.

Please visit here for more information on the options available for establishing an OTM Plan for Personal Success® and sign up for my regular newsletter here.

Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at http://garyryans.com

Research Shows That Staying Focused Is A Key To Happiness

Trying to understand what makes us happy is a very interesting field of modern research. In the TedX video below, Matt Killingsworth explains the link between mind-wandering and happiness that his research has uncovered.

Using a mobile app he was able to generate 650,000 sets of data responses from people reporting on their level of happiness.

His findings indicated a direct relationship between a wandering-mind and its negative impact upon happiness. He also discovered that our minds wander a lot, so this relationship is difficult to prevent.

The reason is that when people let their minds wander, they tend to think more about negative things than positive or neutral things. As an example, people might start thinking about an argument they had the previous day with their spouse and then start to stress about that conversation, therefore making themself unhappy.

It seems that Matt’s research highlights the importance of staying in the moment and being focused on whatever we are doing (which statistically keeps you happier than if you let your mind wander) and/or to be far more mindful about our mind-wandering. In other words, consciously choose to let your mind wander about pleasant things.

The video goes for just over 10 minutes and is worth a viewing.

Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at http://garyryans.com

Don’t plan your future – just live in the moment

I don’t plan for my future. I live in the moment and everything works itself out. After all, I used to plan everything and then I got burned by my ex wife. Everything that I had been working for came crashing down around me. So living in the moment is what matters. You need to be happy now. You could be hit by a bus tomorrow.

I hear this type of view fairly regularly. There is no doubt that it is a valid view for some people.

However, when I have the opportunity to drill down and ask a few questions from people who hold this view I discover that when they said that they used to plan for the future, the plans that they are talking about were in their heads and contained no detail about how they were going to be put into action. Their plans were really just high level goals.

When they then got “burned”, usually by their partner or their employer, they externalised the situation and believed that they had no control over nor contribution to the negative outcome. It was everyone else’s fault. It was also the fault of their plan, even though it wasn’t really a plan, it was just a list of high level goals. So that’s why they don’t plan anymore. It’s safer to just go with the flow.

My experience is that when you have a plan that includes your high level goals and what you are going to do to achieve those goals, you are more likely to be happy in the moment as you travel the journey of creating the future you desire.

Recently my eldest son and daughter provided such an example. My wife and I have clear plans regarding how we want to raise our children so that they are respectful, happy and contributing members of society when they are adults. The journey of implementing our plans is at times challenging as we balance teaching our children vital life lessons while enabling them to enjoy life at the same time.

On a Sunday morning when I wasn’t home my daughter noticed our 85 year old neighbour struggling to mow his lawns. Sienna called to her 12 year old brother who was still in bed to let him know what Joe was doing. Liam quickly climbed out of bed, put his clothes on and went across the road to offer his services. Thankfully Joe let him complete the task.

When I returned home and was told this story I was delighted. My daughter and my son had both seen an opportunity to help our neighbour and had taken action to do so. This was an example of the behaviours we are hoping to instill in our children for their future being lived today. Do you think my wife and I were happy in this moment?

Absolutely!

When you plan for your future and you know both why and how you are going to bring those plans into reality, your capacity to be happy in the moment increases. So planning for your future is not about post-poning happiness. It’s about doing the things that will enhance your happiness in the future, that also increase your awareness of happiness in the moment.

How are you planning for your future?

Gary Ryan facilitates the OTM Plan for Personal Success® Program. Visit here for information about this program.

Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at http://garyryans.com