Tuesday, 20 November 2007

RBS Children's Charity Awards 2007 - Ask, Believe, Receive

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), in partnership with the Daily Mail, is giving away £1m to children’s charities this Christmas in their RBS Children’s Charity Awards. Daily Mail readers and RBS employees are being asked to nominate their favourite children’s charity. This will be in the form of a few sentences (less than 50 words) describing why their chosen charity should be awarded a £10,000 Children’s Charity Award.

The Children’s Charity Awards are being launched on Tuesday 20th November in the Daily Mail. If it is the same as last year, you will be asked to collect coupons from the Daily Mail on 5 different days and send them off with a short sentence or two about why Make-A-Wish deserves support. The coupons were often tiny and hidden away so you may have to hunt around!

So we invite you to buy the Daily Mail on Tuesday and start collecting the coupons and then apply on behalf of Make-A-Wish and see if we can persuade RBS to give some of that money to Make-A-Wish? And if you know anyone who works at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (and that includes NatWest, Coutts & Co, Direct Line, Green Flag, Churchill Insurance and many other brands), perhaps you would be kind enough to persuade them to write in support of us as well?

90 charities will be selected to receive £10,000 each. A further 10 charities, those 10 with the highest number of nominations, will be shortlisted and featured in the Daily Mail when readers will be offered the chance to telephone vote for the charity that they think most deserves to receive a one-off donation of £100,000

Friday, 9 November 2007

The Power of the Law of Attraction

There has been so much discussion and a heightened sense of awareness about the law of attraction since the film and book The Secret was created and subsequently put into the hands of millions of people through Rhonda Byrne and her supporters.

I first encountered the principles behind the law of attraction when the film was introduced to me at a training event in 2006. Since then, and following much more research, conversation, practice and self-discovery, I have found that when we set our intentions with the true belief that we create everything we experience in life, the principles really do work. Now these principles are not some “woo woo, out of this world codswallop”, but real and meaningful ways to attract into our lives what we aim for.

The power of setting your intention and attracting into your life what you intend exists, whether or not you believe it. However, when you are clear exactly what you do want to create, and I mean really clear, you will manifest great things if you choose to. On the other hand, if you ignore the principles of “we are and get what we create through our intention”, you may experience life differently to that which you say you would choose at a conscious level.

So what does this really mean?

What we focus on, we create. If we focus on what we want, we create it. If we focus on what we don’t want, the same is true, we create it - in other words we create what we don’t want. Confused? Yes, so was I to begin with, and coming from a cynical view in the early days, I almost refused to believe this could be true. This would mean that I would need to be taking total and unconditional responsibility for everything I said or thought and that I would be unable to blame others for anything, because I have created it, exactly as I said I wanted it!

So, my experience is this; when I have stated or thought an intention, truly believing that it is truth, I get or experienced what I intended. When I created a vision board with a TV camera pointing at a photo from a seminar I had previously delivered, a few days later a media Company called to ask if they could film my next seminar. When I put picture of a black-tie dinner on my board, I imagined I would be invited to be the after dinner speaker. Within weeks I was invited to speak as the after dinner speaker at a student union conference. When I was stuck with a headline that I was attracted to which read “My resolution - somewhere out there are kids that need our help”, I pasted it on to my career board, for no apparent reason and subsequently have been working with young people in a variety of different ways, realising this was what I truly wanted, amongst other things. Most recently, I had an idea for a corporate sponsor to support coaching young people who don’t have the resources to purchase self development programmes. Within two days I received a phone call which may result in just such a programme becoming a reality.

Conversely, when I have been focussed on the lack of money, we have received bills we weren’t expecting. When I have been focussed on being overweight, I put weight on. When I have focussed on being tired, I have had no energy.

Last week, I met a friend at a breakfast event and we discussed how she and her husband could not seem to get clear on where they were going over the next few years. It seemed to me that they might be stuck in trying to work out how they were going to get to where they wanted to be rather than being clear on what they really wanted and being open to the possibility that the how would show up once they had that clarity, (when I coach people around discovering their passions and their visions for the future we start with the intention that getting clear on “the what” is the first step). Later that day, I saw this friend again at a different event and she had subsequently had a conversation with her husband and they had become clear that this was exactly what the problem was and they could now move forward focussing on what they want, knowing that “the how” will show up just as it is supposed to.

I’ve had many conversations with people on how we “use” the law of attraction and the power of setting our intentions. I suggest that we can’t “use” it, we simply believe it and then monitor our thoughts and our intentions very closely and we will become more aligned with the universe and the energy that will conspire to support us in creating what we want.

My experience has been simple when I reflect back on it. The more I notice that the law of attraction is how the universe operates, the more I am able to get clearer on what I want and the more I am able to create what I want. When I set a vague intention I get a vague result. When I have some doubt, the doubt becomes the reality. When I am clear on the what, the how will show up!

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Friday, 2 November 2007

Making Time for Me!

Many people I come across tell me how they have no time for themselves. They are so busy managing life and all it’s challenges; keeping up with business priorities, making money, seeing clients, networking for new business, typing proposals, responding to emails, writing emails, making phone calls, doing the bookwork, shopping with their partner, taking the children to out of school activities, spending time with relatives that they don’t really want to be with, paying bills, fulfilling on administrative responsibilities, cleaning, ironing, washing dishes and so on and so forth.

It seems that there is never enough time in the day to do all these things and make time for ourselves. Perhaps we don’t take enough exercise or have enough “chill out” time. We want to go to the movies or ten pin bowling, take a dance class or have a meal out with a loved one, drive out into the country, go to the beach, have a weekend away or watch a football match. None of this appears possible because “priorities” get in the way.

Well, here’s the thing, we all have exactly the same time as everyone else. That’s 24 hours each and every day, that’s it, period! So how is it that some people seem to have all the time in the world and others never have enough time and don’t even get enough sleep?

The answer really is very simple. It’s how we use the time we do have that matters.

For many people, if they were to just audit their time, each and every minute of the day, for one week, they would probably be amazed at how much time they “waste” on things that they would admit, if they were honest, were unimportant and meaningless.

There is a whole industry based on time management. There are software programmes, paper planners, diaries, training courses and workshops, organisers and even coaches to help you de-clutter your life. Ultimately though, it boils down to us being able to say yes, or no, according to whether the request, appointment, meeting, conversation, email or task, fits within in our wants, desires and outcomes we say we are aiming to create. If not, we would be better served saying no.

The problem, I hear you screaming at the top of your voice, is that sometimes we “have to” do things we would rather not. We “have to” go that meeting, clean the house, answer the phone, complete that project, answer that letter, see the doctor or the dentist, take the children out, answer that customer complaint and do our accounts. Well that in itself is not true. Yes, there may be consequences to not completing on things and if we had managed ourselves more effectively in the first place, we would not be in the position of trying to squeeze too many things into our day, week or month.

So what specifically needs to happen for us to make the time we want?

First, get clear on what you do want. If you have no clarity on what you want, how can you expect to make the right choices in terms of managing your time, aligned with what you want? So create some goals, uncover your passions and write down what you want. Then, every time you are faced with a choice or decision about scheduling your time, choose in favour of your goals or passions. If it doesn’t fit, say no!

Second, schedule everything! This includes your “free time” activities. If you want to spend more time in the gym, schedule it. If you want to take your partner out for dinner, schedule it. If you have important tasks to complete, schedule them first, preferably first thing in the morning, before you open email, or even your browser.

Third, notice when you are more productive. For some, this is first thing in the morning so do the “tougher” or more productive things before you lose what energy does exist. Many people find they are easily distracted in the afternoon, so schedule tasks or meetings that won’t take too much effort or are more enjoyable. Some people find they are more creative in the evenings, so schedule thinking time, or artistic pastimes, writing, dance classes and so on at this time of day. Find out what works best for you and schedule your time accordingly.

Finally, treat all scheduled activities with the same integrity. In other words, if you have taken the time to prioritise time for you in the gym, meditating, seeing a movie or simply chilling out, treat that appointment with yourself as you would your most important customer or your boss. Don’t be tempted to let time for you slide just because an external influence is demanding of you.

Stay in integrity and respect your own time as much as you would for others.

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