** Parental Guidance – there are some really naughty words ahead.
There is a PDF version and that’s here. Stuck It’s also on Amazon.
This is not about money or investing or making the most of what you have. It’s about you being stuck, stuck somewhere in your life – where nothing is moving, nothing is getting better, where you feel like you’re moving backwards if you are moving at all.
Let me tell you what happens when people like you start to realise that you may be stuck, the first thing you do is to look around trying to find solutions this is a normal response of the human mind to a problem. It looks where it can, this might start with a Google search perhaps some videos possibly the self-help section of the book shops, you may even speak to friends, family or peers. The reality is you probably won’t speak to peers because nobody wants to appear to be stuck, to be unable to solve the problem, perhaps, and most likely – to be able to admit it.
My approach to solving this is very different, I don’t want you to look inside your own mind, to look inside first – well not now. Because the problems you are facing and the solutions you need are not all in there at the moment. It is of course true what they say in that “the answers to all of man’s problems lie inside his own mind” you could also apply her to that. Indeed a lot of the self help stuff will get you to look inside first – to consider what is going on inside your own head first – what do you feel, what emotions are driving you.
Resist that for the time being. The Australian Aborigine’s have some interesting thoughts on the mind – they have the same word for a ‘tangled fishing net’ as they do for the ‘human mind’ – as a people, the believe that our minds are a bit of a mess and are not to be completely trusted. I don’t buy into that just yet, but bear that in mind. The chaos that is your mind – is wrong more often than it’s right. For now, let’s move on.
In order to move forward in the immediate few days hours or even weeks I want you to resist trying to find a solution. I want you to consider very carefully your existing life, how it’s all fitting together and to work out exactly what the pressure points are.
Why is it you feel stuck? Is this a new problem or is it something that’s been around for a while. You will need to stop looking for solutions to this stuckness for the time being if you are to get a shift on. It was the author Douglas Adams that said if you are looking in a particular place and you can’t find the solution to your current problem it’s quite likely you are looking in the wrong place. I think Douglas Adams was probably right, which is why I want you to stop.
This is for those of you that feel stuck with your money situation, stuck with your job situation, stuck with your life situation. This is about getting unstuck, finding a way forward. Working out a way of you becoming unstuck is one of the greatest skills you can have and quite honestly you will be stuck at various points in your life and knowing how to deal with it is a very valuable tool to have in your toolbox. I sincerely hope that this will do that for you, it has worked for me and my clients and there is no reason why it will not work for you.
I’ll also be honest with you, in that that I don’t have all of the answers. The only answers I do have are those that have worked for me and for my selected friends and closest clients – the reason you are reading this – is because they have worked, so quickly and so powerfully, it seemed a shame not to share.
If you feel stuck, in life or in your job or in your marriage then this is for you.
One of my first memories, was being told by my mother that money was a problem – that she didn’t have enough. That, a single mum, with three other children was stuck, living on benefits, unable to work full-time and not really being able to feed and clothe all of us. I I’m sure that for her it was extremely tough, as a kid I didn’t really notice it.
My father was absent, in the main. He didn’t really didn’t give a damn, I only met him on a handful of occasions in my entire life. I did have grandparents who were happy to do more than their share – my school days were fun and interesting. Just not full of bright and shiny objects that needed money. Thinking about it the amount of money that was kicking around was just enough, just enough to make sure that we were fed and clothed and had a happy life, perhaps that is one answer – to have just enough. Certainly I know that having more stuff, more new things doesn’t really seem to settle us a adults.
It was Mr Micawber (a Charles Dickens character) that explained “annual income 1 pound 4 shillings and 9 pence – annual expenditure 1 pound 3 shillings and 4 pence” equalled happiness. It does seem that far too many people get stuck with the subject of money or get completely lost around money my single parent mother was certainly inside that game. Having just enough is a great place to start, being on the wrong side of that is not a good start.
Over the years my kids haven’t seen any of that kind of life, you know sharing clothes, sharing coats, going to bed cold and with a partly full stomach, never having any biscuits in the tin or fruit in the bowl – for my kids their growing up has been very different.
Moving forward from 1960 – 2018 things have changed a lot. You reading this short article – probably on your phone — could never have been imagined twenty years ago. Let alone watching it video on your phone, whilst on the train, whilst cooking dinner or preparing a snack.
Not only has the technology changed, but money, transport, jobs – it’s all shifted. Gone are the jobs for life of old, gone, GP appointments same day. Gone are a lot of things that we used to take for granted. Sure, things do change – but things have always been changing, the only constant we have is change things are constantly changing.
As humans, the life we live now is more complicated than ever. We don’t have to fear being eaten by animals or whether the long walk to find water will kill us. Yet, there are still plenty of stresses that at times seem overwhelming, indeed for some people are already overwhelming.
My story is one of being stuck several times in my life. Stuck when I was sixteen and forced to get a job – income was needed desperately with several siblings still at home – like baby sparrows in the nest – mouths wide open – feed me, feed me.
I was stuck again, when my first marriage came to an abrupt end, but wished it hadn’t ended up quite like that, but things happen for a reason. And then in later life… just two short years after, the love of my life and mother of my children turned up. It’s amazing what can happen in such a short period of time.
A few other things came to take the ‘wind outta ma sails’ – illness, both short and long term, 2008 credit crunch and then deaths in the family. All of these become stopping points, life stops for a few moments and things don’t start again until pushed or poked. Change, certainly not good change doesn’t come unless we do something about it. And, this is important – bad things seldom last forever.
There have been a number of these points that slowed me down to the point of stopping, like a ‘cat in the headlights of a fast moving car’ – not moving means certain death – but not knowing which way to move means stuck’ness, the cat either makes a decision or is squished. In most life or death – gonna get squished type moments it’s a four way choice, forward, backward, left or right. Three of those will do, for now. Only one gets you killed and the others mean you live.
After the car passes, a quick lick of the paw and off they toddle. Like it never happened. Us humans seem not to be able to react like that. A stuck moment goes round and round in our heads, my head, your head.
We ruminate of what could have been, left or right – what happens next. Our minds seem to want to teach us a lesson – a reminder of what may have been. It’s the same with depressive illness, an old friends mum, described it as being “my nerves.” She was afflicted with bad nerves, everything frightened her. Fear of crossing the road, fear of you crossing the road, fear of her getting cancer – fear of you getting cancer. It’s got a label now, we call it anxiety and it’s very real. Back in the 1970’s it was treated with a range of drugs, mainly those that slowed the brain down.
The Rolling Stones called them ‘mother’s little helper’ – there were plenty of people on them, including my friends mum. But, it didn’t solve her problems, she was still stuck. Not able to move forward or backwards, not able to get the life she needed – all she could do was exist. Until she died, she was stuck. Stuck in her own rut, stuck with never feeling well, always fearful when off the drugs and like a zombie when on them.
For me, and some of my clients and friends – getting stuck in rut, stuck in a bad business, in a bad marriage, stuck with health and weight issues, perhaps even being stuck with some really bad habits, like drugs and alcohol – even sex. Being stuck with these things is not good if you really don’t want them.
I’m not sure who made this statement but being stuck, stuck in a rut becomes a grave if you don’t sort it out. The constant walking up and down the rut just makes the hole deeper and deeper, until you can see no way out. The saying “when you are digging a hole and you can’t see light stop f****** digging” means means more to me now than anything, perhaps that is just an age thing.
When I started to feel stuck, I told myself that it will pass, that nothing lasts forever – well a crappy marriage for four years felt like forever, not having enough cash in my younger days, felt like forever. It’s how the other people console you – it’ll pass they say and all you want is – it to go now. There is also the issue of the constant rumination, that voice in your head going round and round and round with the same thoughts, the same opinion. your friend’s eyes glaze over as you start to talk about the same old stuff, patterns that repeat themselves week in week out, the same behaviour.
It’s The Patterns Man!
This should not surprise you. As a species we are very good at finding patterns in things, it is one of the things that has allowed us survive for so long as a species. At the same time these patterns of behaviour can be destructive, being stuck is a pattern of behaviour.
If you are lucky it will leave and soon. Consider just for one moment Newton’s law, this tells us that an object in motion stays in motion until a force, an opposing force is exerted on it. That voice in your head will you continue until you stop it, until you manage it.
Being stuck, inside your own head, with those thoughts – round and round in some never ending circle. Going through the motions of life, not really feeling anything – just a bit more numb, a bit flatter – not quite depressed – just wondering if there is more. If you could just get this stuckness to pass – it’d all be right.
For me, it took a while to get over each stuck episode. Sure, over drinking, partying hard and working at half my usual capacity kind of released some of the symptoms – just did nothing toward solving the bigger picture. Which brings me to here. For me, getting you unstuck involves me providing you with some tools. Some things you can use to get a shift on, to get you moving forward.
You AIn’t Broken You Don’t Need Fixing
Firstly, you are not broken. There is nothing to fix. You need a shift in your head game – an explanation and these tools will help you get that shift on.
I don’t want you to take any of this the wrong way, none of it is meant as a criticism of you or your life, I don’t know you – why would I criticise?
This is the thing, in the normal way, change is hard, losing weight, getting rid of that scumbag partner, changing jobs – means you getting close to or over your normal zones of comfort.
Not Having A Plan
Elsewhere, I have gone into great detail about the importance of having a plan, now some of us don’t like to plan, we like to jog along and wait and see how it happens. How things pan out. And that is your choice. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Only most people, businesses and organisations that work without a plan end up not achieving anywhere near what they could achieve with one.
You wouldn’t dream of going on a stag night as best man or a hen night as chief bridesmaid without putting in place at least some rudimentary arrangements. What about an annual summer holiday to Spain or somewhere else in Europe, would you do that without a plan? Would you turn up at the airport with a couple of children and your better half, and just hope you can arrange something?
Sure some of us have done such things but the reality is you wouldn’t dream of turning up at the airport and expect to get the holiday of your dreams, sure you might get close to the resort area or even the country that you were expecting to arrive at, but I doubt it will be the holiday of your dreams. The chances of it being the best holiday ever are probably close to you winning the lottery, 46 million to 1 or something. By the way that means the chances are not great.
Having a plan, even a rudimentary one is vitally important if you are to stop getting stuck. Knowing what you need to do when you wake up in the morning, and understanding what should be on your to-do list before you go to bed is vitally important if you are to make the most of tomorrow and the day after and the next week.
It is utter rubbish to think that you can achieve all you are going to achieve without having a plan. Not having a plan is just hope, hope is for religions and religious beliefs it is not to build a life, or a business. Hope, is a nice touchy-feely thing that we should all hang onto at various parts of our life but it is not a plan, it can never be a plan it is only hope.
The old line which goes something like this “you don’t plan to fail but you do fail to plan”. Planning, is about having some focus, it’s about being able to look forward in your life or your business and understand exactly where you are moving toward and then taking tiny steps towards it. Having a plan, means you can never be stuck. You will always know what you need to do next, sure you may have a shit plan but a shit plan is better than no plan at all. Even a shit plan will move you from where you are to somewhere close to where you need to be, and even if it’s more shit than the shit you have now – you would have moved from place a to place b – at least not stuck.
A written plan is something that can be used to help you move forward all you need to do is flick open your day planner/diary and then you have the actions for the day or the week ahead.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, for those of you that need some extra help I can offer you my 3 months to ‘unstuck’ The Ninja course further information is available on the link below. It is a transformative course, where I know I can help you get the change you need and to move your business or your personal life from where you are to where you want to be. It’s an easy move for you. You’ll get all the assistance you need and a number of meetups with some interesting people.
This tiny part of the human brain is responsible for making sure that we get the basic things done, it’s there to make sure we can find a sexual partner, find food and stay alive. It’s one of the most primitive part of the brain and controls basic functions. It is also responsible for most of our fear and causes a good deal of stress. If you have ever heard of the fight-or-flight response, the amygdala is responsible for most of that.
That feeling of fear as you approach a dark car park late at night, the hairs on the back of your neck standing up, this is the amygdala warning you that what you are about to do may kill you, there could be things lurking in the car park that will not be good for you.
The problem with this tiny little organ (actually it’s in two parts) is that it lives in darkness it cannot see what’s really going on, nor can it fully understand. It relies on the limited input from your ears and eyes but it also considers its own experience, not only yours directly but also it’s learned behaviour, carried forward in your DNA – the reason you exist – is because the very best bits of DNA survived. Those that couldn’t work out how to hide from the Sabre Toothed Tiger – got eaten – leaving those with the ‘hiding gene’ available for breeding.
When you are trying to focus on doing new things or focusing on things that are a bit different to what you would normally do, you have limited experience of these things the amygdala is the one organ that will keep you hopelessly stuck.
Walking into a room full of strangers, perhaps at a networking event or even a wedding or a funeral – that feeling you get, is caused by your amygdala. The fear it causes it’s because 5000 years ago those people might have killed and eaten you. That is how old this tiny part of your brain is, probably longer.
One of the simplest ways of dealing with the amygdala is to make sure that the thing you are about to do is absolutely massive. Like, scary big, something that makes you feel so small and insignificant. A great big scary final objective comma something that changes the world period and most certainly something that is bigger than you. Finding something that is so unstoppably big means that the amygdala will be effectively knocked into a cocked hat, it won’t be able to cope all it can do is watch as you steam ahead. This is probably the only way of dealing with the amygdala effectively, it’s possible to override the lizard brain.
Before you go on, what I want you understand it’s not necessary to manage or deal with this part of your mind – I just want you to try and notice it, notice when the thoughts occur notice when there is an emotion that seems to be holding you back.
Recognise them, hear them. But more important than anything else – understand what it is originally therefore. It thinks it’s helping you, when the reality is it’s probably not.
It is of course a good idea to have a great big WHY. this is what drove on Steve Jobs and the likes of Bill Gates and drives any successful individual. it is said that it is the unreasonable man or woman that changes the world, unreasonable people tend to have a massive why and ignore that voice. Having a weak why means that your little lizard brain is likely to win on each turn – anything that scares it gets stopped.
In fact knowing exactly where you are going and what you should be doing – having a plan, having a fucking great mission means that your days are full of positive actions which are reinforced by positive actions. Just one method of becoming unstuck. One tool to use, that ickle part of your brain – can’t compete.
We have all been here with this thing they call resistance, it’s the thing that stops us doing just about everything, before going to the gym to eating the right things. Resistance holds all of us back doing the thing that we resist is very often the right thing to do in order to become unstuck.
Pushing against resistance, poking boundaries is the only way to get change or to push forward with your project. Doing the thing you resist most is often the most important thing you can do. No matter what it is you are resisting, go do one or more of them. See what happens. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Stop Fucking Waiting
We all wait, it seems to be a human problem, waiting for traffic lights to change waiting for a parking space to appear, waiting for children to come out of school. But if we are waiting for a solution to appear from within our own minds or looking for something to change it rarely arrives.
When I mentioned at the start, about not taking any action, about not trying to move yourself forward for the time being, not trying to find a solution. I also meant to stop waiting, stop waiting for something to suddenly turn up that will transform your life – it isn’t coming it never was.
The only change you’re going to get has to come from within, you are the only answer to the solution. Genuinely stop waiting, nothing or no one is coming to save you there is no White Knight on his charger coming down the High Street on his famous stallion to whisk you off to a better place. You’ll be waiting for fucking ever!
First Things First
Taking responsibility for where you are, accepting that in your real world you are where you are. Money maybe tight, the job maybe really bad, your marriage may be on the rocks.
Whatever the challenge might be, you need to know what what it is. Being responsible for where you are, understanding exactly what the problem is (if possible). Sure if you are constantly bickering with your significant other and the only thought you have is that ‘you’d wish they’d fuck off and die’ there is a problem.
On the money side of it, never having enough means you are either not earning enough or are spending too much – it could be that you’ve overspent in the past. There is always cause and effect, something + something = today – where you are.
And, this whole money thing is, probably one of the most important areas where we get stuck. It’s probably the one area where I know I can get results for you. Having a few quid more in your pocket means that many problems automatically disappear, therefore meaning you’re less likely to get stuck. Less problems means less stuckness.
Knowing exactly where you stand is important, if you don’t know then, you don’t know. If you don’t know the extent of the problem, how bad it is you’ll never know. It’s a bit like going shopping without a list, or a Surgeon operating with a rough plan in their head – it’s likely to end up a bit messed up. So, knowing where you are what needs to change is the start.
Firstly accept that it’s your fault. There is no one else to blame – you’re the one here, you’re the one that’s put up with it, put yourself here. Acceptance, ownership is the start. it is one of the things that makes Buddhism so powerful in that acceptance of things as they are, is a fundamental principle of the entire thinking. I would describe Buddhism as a way of life more than a religion. Once you accept things as they are life becomes a lot less stressful which means you can focus on the things you want to achieve or change rather than putting right the things that everybody else or indeed the universe has caused.
Get a handle on it, acceptance. Know exactly where are.
Because if you don’t know where you are and then where you are headed – there is no way of monitoring or measuring the journey, and what you don’t know you don’t know.
And remember, all of life is a journey we have no idea where the endpoint is going to be or when. It’s certainly far to short to remain stuck for long.
For those of you who have done any personal development you’ll understand exactly why you have to have a starting point – be honest with yourself. Where are you now in relation the problem you think you have. Is the problem overwhelming, or is it just waiting around, waiting for it to be resolved, a bit like a bad smell? Not sure if it’s going to stay or leave.
Write it down, think about it. Take an A4 pad or your journal (you do have a journal don’t you) and start to note down exactly where you are, exactly what areas of your life need some attention. It could be job, money, relationships, physical fitness or wherever you think you have issues or problems in your life. Some of these will be pressing issues, like they need to be sorted out as soon as possible others may not be resolvable immediately and there is a good chance that one or more will have to be put on the backburner to deal with at some future stage. That’s not a problem, the idea is at the moment just note them down.
Once written down you’ll need to consider them carefully, is it the truth? What is the priority? Don’t do this just yet. Look, I get the fact that I’ll lose some of you at this point – quite simply knowing where you are, being honest with yourself, is far to much for some people. I’d rather you go now, if you’ve paid for this, drop me an email and I’ll gladly refund what you’ve paid.
The whole idea of this honesty with yourself is something that many people who find themselves stuck ignore, you have to work out exactly where you are in the world in order to map a path from where you are to where you want to be. there is no point in considering the future, considering your future options unless you know exactly where you are.
Now, you’ve considered where you are, what the issues you’ve come a long way, now you can start to consider the options. Even really messy weekends away start with a simple plan – a place you’d like to be, and it starts with where you are.
You really do have to be as honest as possible with yourself, understanding exactly where you are and knowing what it is you want to achieve is the way you become unstuck.Sure, you may have heard this spirit out before but you have probably never really, truly and honestly worked out exactly where you are.
As you’ll read a bit later the truth is you are not actually stuck anywhere you just think you are, and your thinking;– like mine and every other human on the planet is flawed. Being stuck is in the mind a thinking problem not a real problem.
We all know them, friends and family. You describe them as being, a little bit slow, dim perhaps, not the brightest in the bunch. One sandwich short of a picnic. I won’t go on.
Wherever you look in the world these people are there. I urge you not to judge, indeed that would be unfair. Just acknowledge that we are all different, each one brings a different set of skills to the feast. The term stupid, also means that you are judging. By using the word stupid, and looking down on others basically means you’re making a judgement about them. Sure I get that’s human nature, but just because you more intelligent,wealthier, own a bigger house or a bigger car or whatever other method you are going to use in order to confirm your superiority – once you accept the fact that we are all equal then the stuff you have makes no difference.
On the intelligence quotient it’s interesting to note that many people with a PhD can’t put a plug on, let alone lay bricks or repair door locks. Stupidity really is in the mind of others. Just saying.
But, seemingly stupid people – they survive. Intelligence does not make you the best lover, wife or husband, father or mother, the best investor. See, we make an assumption – it’s the brightest in the bunch that do the best, when – – shockingly, I am going to make this statement – the opposite is often true. More often in fact that most of you would like to admit it. Sometimes – stupid people are better at life. Less stressed, have great family lives. Make good decisions. Wanna know why?
Because they don’t over think things, they have a limited number of opinions, they accept that making a decision is not the end of the world. If it’s wrong they can make another one. Most decisions don’t kill you. Making the same decision to do the same thing over and over again – deciding not to exercise, to smoke, to eat the wrong foods – do this multiple times and your life is threatened. Do it once and move forward and it doesn’t really hurt or harm.
Intelligence and knowledge are not always the best things to solve problems. When we are both being chased by a Lion I only need to be quicker than you, I don’t need to be brighter than you I just need to be quicker.
Often a problem can be ignored and, as if by magic it goes away – just disappears. if you consider your own life very carefully there will have been points when you thought the whole thing was a complete disaster. Only one or two or three or 10 years later these problems that came over at the time as absolutely massive are just a blip. Just a blip.
Great example of this – someone else’s crisis – the kind of thing that upsets and rattles people. Up and down the country one of these things is BREXIT – but, you know what. If you stop thinking about it for a while, stop reading about it, stop wondering what is really going to happen – you’ll feel a lot better about it. You’ll be a lot calmer and the immediate problem will go away.
If it doesn’t, if it comes back to haunt you again – then deal with it like it was a new problem But for the moment, it’s not your problem, it’s not your crisis. You can do little about BREXIT. So ceasing to be concerned about it makes sense. Well, it does if you are to life your life on your terms. You may not agree, you may concur – that’s not the point – the point is you, at this moment can’t change it .
This way of thinking about problems allows you some headspace allows you to consider all of the things you should be worried or concerned about and ignore those that are meaningless in reality, but for some reason seemed important.
**Note – for sure, I’m not saying that BREXIT is not important. What I am saying is, you, on your own can’t change it. Flapping about it, mithering and worrying about it won’t solve the problem – you are just increasing your blood pressure – but are not able to change a thing.
Being stupid or of lower intelligence has its benefits. We are all equal on this planet, sure some maybe brighter than others but that doesn’t make them better people – just different.
If you can see it in your head, you can observe it you can deal with it. No matter how it makes you feel, accepting it’s there is the start (remember – taking responsibility from the previous chapters).
This is a really useful tool for being able to work out what you need to do next, it brings you back to now, where you are immediately, the present moment. . The mind has a habit of wandering off giving you other things to think about. But bringing yourself back to now means that you can actually start to focus on it’s the one thing the thing you need to be doing now in order to get you unstuck. For those of you that have never practiced mindfulness, no it isn’t meditation it is a simpler more immediate way of focusing your mind on what’s in front of you, the thing you need to do next.
I will provide some formal mindfulness training at some stage in the future, however for the time being just Google mindfulness for beginners or go and buy a cheap book on the subject and you’ll see how it will help you become focused on now, what’s immediately in front of you rather than allowing your mind to project everything forward.
You really do only have now the next minute, you may not arrive you could have a heart attack stroke a bomb may drop. Anything can happen by focusing on now on the immediate it allows you to start getting things done very quickly.
Mel Robbins is also done some work on the five second rule which is very helpful for those of you that have never read the book I suggest you do, or go and watch a couple of videos online. I assure you they will be appreciated by you once you’ve watched them and implemented them.
Working out your net wealth is an interesting exercise, normally when I’m talking about wealth I mean the value of the assets that you own. Value of your house for example car Investments etc etc.
However net wealth is something very different net wealth is about your skills and abilities, having the you have the flexibility to spend time with close family and friends, grandchildren. Netwealth is also about considering very carefully the freedoms you have the freedoms you enjoy.
I guess you could also call net wealth – gratitude, that warm cosy glow you have inside of you when you realise that actually you do have a great deal to be grateful for. Focusing on your net wealth, creating a success story based on things you have done in the past that has brought you exactly to here. Therefore proving that you weren’t always stuck that you were able to make decisions that at some point in the past you were able to move yourself forward. This confirms that you do have the skills and the mindset that you need in order to be able to get the changes, to get the shift on that you need right now. you are not stuck, you are everything but stuck, you have proved in the past you are excellent at getting out of your stuckness.
Quite simply if you weren’t, then you wouldn’t be here reading this with all of the good things going on around you, your family friends grandchildren children, the things you own the things you are planning to do. You are not stuck, you have skills and energy and you know stuff – all of this will help you from now on.
Accepting – a Higher Power
You were made for better things – only at the moment you are not quite there.
This higher power thinking has been around for many thousands of years, most religions are based on the belief that there is in reality a higher power. For me like millions of others I have no idea if there is a higher power, I agree that there might be but at the moment my jury is still out. For me a higher power is nature, and no matter how good I get, how great I think I am – I can’t make a tree, I can grow a tree but can’t make on. A reminder, no matter how good I get – I have limitations.
This way of thinking, that there is a higher power can be very helpful when trying to get yourself unstuck. I’m not talking about rolling over and putting your future down to fate, I’m just asking you to consider carefully if there is something else, some higher power that is pulling you to greater things. Many people find it helpful to have that in their life, for me it is a helpful way of thinking but I certainly do not believe there is a God in the conventional sense – but nature is fantastic.
UnStuck – Tools of the Trade.
Choices – we all have them. Everyday we are faced with a choice. Many of them are made unconsciously, we don’t consider formally the decision-making process. The making of a decision is something that is often done on autopilot. Our human brains are very good at that, we can make a decision to have a coffee, to smoke a cigarette, to buy that dress or shirts as we walk past the shop. we make these decisions more or less unconsciously and then justify them to ourselves.
What I’m talking about today is making conscious decisions to act or behave in a certain way, things that we must do.
It was the great Tony Robbins that said the quality of our life will depend on the quality of the decisions we make and I agree with that. The original Latin meaning of the word decision, is to cut off everything else entirely. Literally remove every other option.
Decisions – getting good at making decisions is a life hack, something that is transformative in the way you do things and the way you behave. Understand that most of the decisions you make will be wrong. The idea is for you to make them now find out quickly they were wrong and make new ones. Really does death occur if you make the wrong decision.
Here is what problems look like as a formula.
Problem + Action = Solution
But for every problem there is the opposite of the problem, if you like the north to the south. It’s important that you understand that for every problem there is a the opposite of the problem. There are always at least two parts to a problem. You can’t have a problem without the solution, you can’t have up without down, you can’t have east without west.
In order to make the formula work i.e. the result is stuck. You’ll need at least two parts.
View another way it could be.
Good+Bad = Average
Accepting that there are at least two parts to every problem is the very beginning of solving them. If you remove one part then it’s not possible for you to make the formula work.
Let’s look at this in a slightly different way I’m trying to move my life forward in some way, normal self development tells me that I need to start taking some action, so I start to take steps towards resolving or solving the issue. What normally happens is I take 10 steps forward and another 10 back, consequently I am back where I started. This is the pattern that far too many people follow.
Once you start to understand that there are at least two parts to every problem and in order for the problem to make you stuck it needs to add up, it needs to make sense. By looking at your stuck situation as a formula you will know that there are at least two parts to it. By removing one part of it the formula no longer works and you are immediately unstuck. All you need to do is to work on one part of the problem. Sounds so simple doesn’t it?
Well let’s look at the issue in relation to money, you don’t have enough. There are two possible reasons for this, you are either not earning enough or you are over spending. These two points are the north and south of this problem. If you deal with one of those, the other problem automatically starts to dissolve. Long term you do of course need to reduce any over spending – because long term that needs to happen.
Sure, you are not going to resolve both of them today, but by taking small steps towards controlling the problem you will immediately move forward. That may mean you are not going to buy that coffee or you are going to tidy your CV up and find a higher paying job; maybe you’ll do both. Learning another skill in order to get better paid work, getting your CV updated and out there in the marketplace, and not buying the coffee means you have immediately done three things to get you unstuck.
Your stuckness is an illusion in the face of a tiny bit of action.
It’s Our Mind
Problem is our mind, see we tend to make the problem bigger than it actually is and therefore look for bigger solutions than we need.
Let’s say you need £100 per month to balance the family budget – immediately your mind starts to look around for solutions to the problem – the tendency is to make that shortfall far bigger than it is. Off it goes, and will then come up with ideas for you, that’s how our mind works – it’s a problem solving machine (in part).
Issue is, very often it does this.
Actual Problem (100) + Perceived Action – earn £1,000 = doom
You end up trying to solve a far larger problem, it usually fails and you end up, stuck. That voice in your head tells you how useless you are, how you will never come to nothing, how you always fail, never get anything right. Are a poor mother, father, son, daughter, friend.
On and on it goes. You’re now left with 1. The problem you had in the first place and 2. Feeling like crap – because that voice in your head is right – and you have the evidence for it.
Be aware that if you take away any part of the equation the formula doesn’t make sense – it doesn’t add up. If you don’t take any action on the problem, or you ignore the problem – sure it’s still there but you’ve halved your workload. Sometimes, just not dealing with a problem means it will dissolve. It will just simply disappear.
Let’s be honest, if you are up to your neck in debt, or you have just been arrested for a drink drive, or your marriage is in deep trouble. It’s not going to go away, it needs to be dealt with. Which is why you need to prioritise.
This is how it normally happens, a couple of problems appear.
Problem + Problem = Stuck
You don’t know what do with at least one area of your life. It could be money, job or job+marriage or the combination of hundreds of others – I don’t know, I don’t live your life.
After a short while thinking about these you end up pissed off, to the point where just thinking about it either makes you feel flat – makes you want to not think about them or to hide. Stuck.
We get tired thinking about the same things day in day out and they become all consuming and that’s when we become stuck when that loop tape inside your head goes round enough times, it creates a neural pathway and never ends.
Mad isn’t it?
It doesn’t really matter what the problem is, provided it’s paired with another problem and they nearly always are. You end up in this very bad headspace called stuck. Breaking down the formula so that you look at individual issues and it’s polar opposite, and then dealing with it rather than trying to deal with two problems, two considerations at a time.
So, here is the solution.
You can’t have Problem = Stuck – life ain’t like that.
If you just have one problem, welcome to life, welcome to the same world as the rest of us. To be alive is to have problems. One problem, is simply solvable, no choices to make – just get on with it. Done, sorted.
It’s unlikely you’ll ever be stuck with just one. It’s nearly always a combination, one or more that just bubble under the surface of your mind that causes the stuckness. Once you have them, you get stuck into a way of thinking about them, they kind of take hold. Well that useless loop tape going round and round and round will take hold, it’s never the problem itself and always what you think and feel about it. When It becomes your only thoughts as you live and breathe through the day – when you wake up they are there, before you go to bed, it’s then that they start to drive you mad.
After a while, nothing seems to make sense. It’s unrelenting – they never give up. Asking, begging and pushing for an answer – only you are not able to come up with one, to find the right things to say or do, a Google search reveals nothing – next thing you know months have gone by, you are still in the marriage or job. Nothing has changed – you are well and truly stuck.
I’ve been there. I know what it’s like.
The short plan above will make it easier to resolve. It’s important that you only focus on one at a time, there’s no need to consider trying to deal with too many things. In fact the human mind can only deal with one thing at a time, it is only possible to hold one thought at a time. Sure it may seem like you are genuinely multitasking, however the reality is your brain is incredibly fast at moving forward on one thing. Amazingly it seems like you are doing two things at once – you are not!
It’s not possible for you to move forward without your making a decision.
Let Me Finalise
Your mind, is designed to keep you safe, to protect you from the unknown – the fear of walking into the dark woods – even before you get close is there because your mind, your brain wants to keep you safe. It’s worked it’s magic for millions of years or you wouldn’t be here, your DNA, your genes would never have survived.
The problem is, this is not a ‘life of death’ decision you are facing, only your mind doesn’t know that – it thinks it’s keeping you alive – by you not making a decision, it thinks that making a decision will in some way harm you. But, if you are to move forward…
By looking at the problem(s), deciding which one to deal with first – and then making a choice. You have to do it, there is no way out. One has to come first, there is no other way. Choose one, flip a coin, draw sticks – just decide. Then, some action. What do you need to do now in order to solve this problem?
It may be that you need make a call, find out some more information. Your action may be to do nothing about it especially if it’s not a solvable problem now. Taking any action may make it worse, may make it break, may cause an opposite and equal reaction – but deciding not to take action is still a decision – note it and come back to it.
What you have just done, is to break the formula.. In order to be = stuck you need at least two parts of the sum to be there, only one has now changed or disappeared. Immediately you are unstuck. It’s this simple to get things moving forward, it’s this simple to get you where you need to be.
As a species we are geared up to be able to make decisions like this, but we seem to have unlearned the skill or get wrapped up in the what-if’s of the whole thing – if you are not taking action – there can never be any what-if because you’ll remain stuck.
We are all born with a number of basic programs one that checks if we’re still breathing, one that checks to see if the stomach is full and a few others which keep vital functions moving.
As we start to develop as babies the programs inside her head and her body become more and more complicated quite simply because as developing humans we need to do more and more things. This, is pretty basic neurology and biology.
Our mind is also growing and developing making more and more neural pathways, these are like the grooves in a record which start to become fixed. My understanding is that these pathways help us with many of our repetitive tasks, like finding our way home making scrambled eggs or talking on the telephone.
Next time you make a call, listen to the patterns of speech, most people tend to make statements automatically. Hello, how are you, etc etc. try and drop a few words into the conversation that is different to what you would normally say and most people will completely ignore it. These neural pathways are important.
It was Richard Wilkins who first introduced me to The Script. This is a whole series of rules and attitudes that are handed down to us by our family, particularly her parents and our peers. I guess in the early days of human development these scripts were there again to keep us safe, effectively a series of rules and tools that kept us on the right path.
As developing adults we believe them, we accept them as a truth. We also accept that voice in your head as the truth. If you are really lucky and have a nice voice inside your head then you won’t suffer from depression, anxiety on a whole range of other nasty mental illnesses. But the voice developed its attitude from The Script. Remember this is the same script that was given to you, you didn’t choose it it was passed down to you.
When I first heard about the Script after attending a presentation from Richard Wilkins I didn’t really consider it’s power until some months.
The Script determines how we deal with problems. Let’s look at this from a money perspective. If your parents and your peers made you believe that money was hard won hard to come by then the Script that you carry with you would accept that as a given and every time you tried to change or to earn more money you would be pulled back to fit in with the script. It is that powerful.
These thoughts and beliefs and ways of doing things or ingrained in our psychological make-up.
Sure everyone of us is a little bit different but there are pockets of people that believe things are difficult, that poor people can’t ever be rich that you’ll never be able to be the chief executive or to be able to paint. These things are handed down without thinking and they are wrong. There is no such thing as a born salesperson, a born surgeon, estate agent or painter. Everything is learned, must be practised. Sure, there are some superb athletes that are born with the right shaped body, long enough legs or lung capacity. But these are the exception – not the normal mode.
Don’t ever let your thoughts dictate your action, just because that voice in your head says this problem or that problem is not solvable by you. That does not mean it is the truth in fact it is likely to be the polar opposite of the truth. As I mentioned before, that voice in your head – which is the Script is not you. It wants to keep you safe it wants to keep you where you are. I’ll be honest with you it’s a bit of a drag.
Whilst you are making notes on your problems and whilst working through them – listen to that voice in your head – listen to what the Script is telling you. Write it down, make a note. It hates being highlighted, or a big light being shone on it. You may not be able to silence it immediately but you will be able to recognise it as not being you.
If that voice in your head was your friend it would never talk to you like it does, it would build you up it would encourage you. it would provide you with as much help as it could. Instead of the diatribe of fuckwittery that it forces on you.
It has messed with you in the past, it’s not helping you now. The problem is it thinks it is helping you that’s why you need to write down what it’s telling you. You will only know what’s on your mind after you have written it down. Sadly I can’t remember who said that.
I urge you to start looking at any problems you may have and start to focus on solving them. You are not stuck, provided you use this process you can never be stuck. You will only ever be suffering from a lack of action or a lack of focus. You feeling like you are stuck is an emotion it’s a feeling inside your head, you are not stuck you just have not taken any action in order to solve the problem.
The feeling that you are currently having can be changed immediately just by making a change of state, thinking carefully about what it is that’s causing you to feel stuck and then taking some tiny steps to make the changes that are required. Sounds so simple when I say it like that. You have two choices here you can ignore the problem and many will go away. Although as I’ve said before some won’t. but you should always try and ignore it first, then prioritise and deal with the important stuff first, deal with the stuff that will bite you on the backside. Income, debt, bad relationships should all be priority.
Some of you may need some further help dealing with this area of your life. I have spent the last 30 years working with individuals and small businesses in relation to their finances and Financial Planning matters, the problem solving came out of some business development work I was doing and is based on a number of proven methods. I am a small business mentor for a number of non profit organisations, working with ex offenders and those with dependency issues – I’ve a got a degree in life, from a Street Uni.
I have now rolled out a formal 3 month training as an addition to my ninja membership group. if you would like to spend 3 months working with me massively improving your finances and other areas of your life you can join me below. It comes with a 10 times guarantee in that the cost of the 3 months will be worth at least 10 times what you pay for it. I absolutely guarantee you that all aspects of your life will be transformed. Sure you need to do the f****** work but it will change.
Good luck, feed back via the website when you’ve finished reading and digesting.
The power of dreams
Now my dreams are different to yours, what makes us all unique is that my brain is different to yours, it’s a flat piece of skin you know. If take a sheet of A4 paper, and crunch it up into a ball that’s how your brain is formed.
NB I am no expert I found this on out a documentary or similar. I digress.
So all of our brains are different, all connect in different way, but with the same purpose. Keeping us alive, fed, and safe.
We also use them to think and dream, it’s these dreams that can be used to solve longer term, or bigger problems. The old sages used to call them visions, today I think we could call them dreams, dreams that show up as a ‘gut feeling’ a ‘premonition’ even de’ja va.
They are created by our massive subconscious mind, this is the one that solves most problems and keeps us alive. Using the conscious mind to get us across a road would leave much of the world littered with bodies.
Now I know I have written before about the brain and our minds, and I have not trying to contradict my earlier comments, I just don’t have all of the answers.
Look there is too much to think about, moving cars, getting limbs to move (just fast enough) hearing, working out direction of sound, sight, what can I see, is that connected to the sounds etc etc. Only the subconscious mind can get you ready to cross the road, the conscious mind just ain’t quick enough.
So, the all powerful, dream creating subconscious mind. Creates big solutions for us that may or may not be right. It will create solutions though you just need to ask. This is also a clever little exercise that should blow you away.
Write down a problem you presently have, lets say it’s getting new clients into your business.
Get yourself an A4 notebook – you should have one with you at all times, but that’s not for here.
Note the problem at the top of the page.The come up with 5 possible solutions below
But before you do this go over to here.
http://www.addictinggames.com/puzzle-games/index.jsp pick a game, any game that involves complete concentration. You know the type that makes kids poke their tongues out.
Make sure you pick a HARD one. Spend the next 10 minutes getting your conscious mind working on something that occupies it fully for 10 minutes (online timer is here http://www.online-stopwatch.com/countdown-timer/)
Once you have done the complete 10 minutes, go back to the 5 possible solutions and start writing. I know you will be surprised , really surprised at the result.
So the next time you go to bed use the power of your subconscious brain (mind) and dreams and ask it a question, “infinite self overnight give me some solutions to……” don’t be surprised if you get woken up with a range of solutions, and be grateful, you did ask.
Thank you for getting this far. I hope this article helped.
I work with small firms, micro businesses and start ups. Those firms that are stuck don't know what to do next.
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