“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got”

If you look for who to attribute this quote to, it is tough to nail it down exactly, some attribute it to Henry Ford, Jessie Potter, Tony Robbins, Susan Jeffers and even Albert Einstein and there are many versions of it, but regardless of who said it first, it has a huge amount of truth in it.

How do you build character, learn to persevere, and really gain respect for working hard if you never step outside of your comfort zone and take risks?

Knowing that there is a slim chance that yes, you may very well fall flat on your face is enough to steer most people away.  However, the journey you take pulling yourself back up from the trenches of failure, is in fact more valuable than any accomplishment you will ever achieve.

This year, my focus on the blog has been like a manifesto for achievement. Here’s a reminder of the stuff I wrote about moving out of your comfort zone:
Important Reasons to Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone.
7 Steps To Leave Your Comfort Zone.
Self-Hypnosis To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone.

Let’s have a pep talk, shall we? We are very close to the half way point of this year, so let’s focus the remainder of 2017 and view life through a variety of lenses.  Stop doing what’s comfortable, stop pursuing the easy way out, and stop setting the bar low and start assuring yourself you’ll come out on top.

Instead, let’s take chances, tell the truth, say no, and stop taking everything so personally, let’s be more robust and resilient.  For the rest of the year focus on falling back in love with life, get to know someone random, be random, and do random acts of kindness. Learn to say no, sing out loud, laugh at really terrible jokes and then tell one of your own (easy for me, all mine are terrible!). Cry, celebrate victories and failures, and learn deeply from it all.

Tell someone how much he or she means to you and then tell the “you know who” in your life how you really feel. Make sure to let that someone know what he or she is missing. Laugh until your stomach hurts, laugh for no reason. Smile a lot; hold open doors and then close doors that should have never been opened. Then, listen to the lyrics of Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen’…..

“Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want” ~ Dan Stanford

For the rest of the year, as well as challenging yourself to step outside of your comfort zone in becoming the best version of you, spend the rest of the year learning as many new perspectives as possible on the road to a well-rounded you.

No one likes to fail, but setting forth to accomplish the following 10 challenges may teach you more about yourself than simply succeeding at an arms’ reach goal.  Aim to have some shifts in perspective as you frame the second half of this year:

1)  Have the courageous conversation:  You know, the conversation you’ve played over and over again in your head, talked through with a friend, and rehearsed in your car.  Yeah, that conversation. It’s not going to be easy.  In fact, it can be scary — real scary.  What do you have to lose though? If you say nothing you will still be where you are today. But if you say something, well then anything is possible…


2)  Sign up for an event that you are completely unqualified to participate in:  Swimmer? Do a half-marathon.  Cyclist? Tough mudder.  Marathoner?  Lift weights.  Dancer?  Well you get the point.  How does this relate to you?  The happiest people aren’t born that way, they are developed.  If you are none of the above, then pick a challenge and go take it on in some way.

3)  Run a Marathon:  Anyone can sign up for a marathon.  Tons of people can start training for one.  Many can last through the 20-mile long run. Some won’t need anti-chaffing tape, few will make it to the starting line and very little will make it to the finish line.  Will you make it to the end?  Only one way to find out.

Ok, relax, take a deep breath….. You’re off the hook, I am not necessarily suggesting that you run an actual marathon, let the marathon symbolize something that is a marathon effort and challenge for you – a course of study, a charitable project, an endurance event of another kind, a business project – choose your marathon and dedicate yourself to it.

4)  Close the complaint department:  Complaining seems to be a universal language.  When there’s nothing else to talk about, we turn to whining.  Richard Carlson said, “Time spent complaining is not time spent improving, letting go of, or preventing bad situations.”  So give it a break.  It only resurfaces negativity and makes you angry all over again.  See how long you can go before you start complaining about how some blog post told you to stop complaining…

If you need help in this regard, have a read of this process:
A Neat Self-Hypnosis Process For Changing Incessant Whining Into Effective Complaining.

5)  Time out:  How many times a day do you look at a clock?  You just did it, didn’t you?!  We are so preoccupied with time that we often forget to enjoy it!  Try this fun experiment – one weekend go an entire day without looking at a clock.  Life doesn’t have to be penciled in to your schedule; it just has to be experienced.  You might be surprised by the day you create!


Go read this article for more on this point:
Solitude – The Importance of ‘Me Time’ and How It’ll Make You More Successful.

6)   Unplug: Turn off your phone, laptop, and TV.  You hear that?  Beautiful silence.  Now take this opportunity to do something you’ve been putting off to distract yourself from the digital deprivation.  Read a book, write a letter, organize the junk drawer…it can be anything!  The emails and tweets will still be there tomorrow, I promise.  It’s an easy way to jump start some productivity, regain a little sanity, and put the role of technology in perspective.

Read this article for more on this:
Why You Need A Digital Detox and How To Have One.

7)  Throw away your to-do list: I’m a slave to my to-do list, and every once in a while, I freestyle. I can be a slave to my running watch too, measuring my time, my miles, my speed, and every now and then it is so nice to run freely and enjoy how my body feels when I am led by it.

Ever realise you have to-do lists for your to-do lists? If only for a day, try to just “roll with the punches.” Just think, would you embrace more last-minute opportunities if you didn’t always plan for what had to be done at certain moments in your life? Would you do what you wanted to do, and not what you felt like you had to do? Getting things done is important, but so is enjoying life as it passes. See how long you can last without every moment of your day planned out – maybe you’ll take a nap or even a road trip, bet that wasn’t on your to-do list!

8)  Say please and thank you – all of the time: It’s the simplest, cheapest and most sincere way to express your gratitude and politeness. Say thank you to the stranger who held the door for you, to the friend who gave you a ride to the repair shop, and to your parents who made you the person you are today. A thank you is rarely misplaced, and makes the person on the receiving end feel like a million bucks.  And nothing blows people’s minds more than a true gentleman or lady – so when asking for something, always start with please. A 2005 research from University of Pennsylvania also shows that one of the greatest contributing factors to overall happiness in life is how much gratitude you show.

9) Explore your surrounding on the cheap: Almost everyone loves to travel to new and exciting places, but you don’t have to buy a plane ticket or even cross state lines to find an adventure. The next time you’re sitting at home bored, do some research on your own hometown or surrounding area – you’re bound to discover super cool places you never knew existed. You can bet that me, my wife and kids will be bombing around the south coast of England in our VW van this weekend!

10) Quit that annoying habit! We’ve all got them: biting your nails, saying “like” way too often, gossiping, cracking your knuckles, etc. Replace your vices with something constructive and reward yourself when you’ve made it a day, a week, a month and so on.

Life is a winding road.  There are no straight paths, smooth transitions, or easy routes to success.  Instead, it’s one curvy, bumpy, exhilarating ride to the top.  Because when you look back at all that you have accomplished and all that you have persevered, you will be amazed at the view below.

It is the Bank Holiday weekend here, enjoy it, then hit the ground running when you arrive at June, let this be the pep talk that stirs you up for the second half of this year, have a good one!