Currently redesigning my life, again.

1 01 2011

I am currently redesigning my life, again.

What’s happened in the past is that I have written all my inspired ideas on pieces of paper and put them in a book. Occasionally I would take out that book and re-inspire myself by looking at the entries.

That’s great and I love doing it but it doesn’t really go anywhere, there’s no forward motion.

Read the rest of this entry »





Book Recommendation: Why Office Work is Bad for Us and Fixing Things Feels Good

14 12 2010

I was browsing the shelves of my local book store today and came across this little gem. Now it’s not a book for those who want an easy read as the language is pretty high brow but nevertheless very interesting.

Essentially Matthew Crawford discusses the cubicle culture and the reasons behind dissatisfaction in the office workspace. He argues the benefits of working with one’s hands and in my skim read of the book does so effectively.

Worth a look if you are at your local store or £5 of your cash if you fancy a punt online. Click the link below for the Hardcover version (including a ‘look inside’ option). Or you can click the picture above for the paperback version.

Best Wishes

Andy

Amazon.co.uk
The Case for Working with Your Hands: or Why Office Work is Bad for Us and Fixing Things Feels Good





Do something for you..

1 11 2010

Photo by lincolnian (click for site)

Hi Guys,

If you wake up feeling down the chances are that emotion will rule the rest of your day.

I had a period in my life where I felt my life was being defined by someone other than me, every single day.

I would wake up feeling down, and trudge into work with no personal empowerment whatsoever. I think this happens a lot in this world, especially as the demands of work seem to increase year by year.

Your boss/kids/dog/mother/wife/ does NOT rule your life, YOU do. You may need to attend to their needs soon but who has the right to say you have to do that first.

Read the rest of this entry »





What Ghandi said on Happyness.

24 07 2010

Gandhi said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Hmm, I like this.

I was considering recently how so many of us hide our true selves. And how this reduces our happyness in life and how much we give to this world and by association, to ourselves.

Our environment is so important in allowing us to express ourselves. Allowing what we think, what we say and what we do to be in harmony.

As most of our day is spent in some form of work, This environment is especially important.

In my job these are definately not in alignment.

I work in a retail shop and have known for a long time, ever since I took my first job in fact, that it wasn’t the right environment for me.

It’s an environment which causes me to be more outgoing than I am comfortable with, working with things I don’t necessarily care about too much and ‘meeting targets which aren’t important to me’. Consequently I feel repressed and that I am ‘less’ than I could be.

Does anyone else feel like this in their workplace?

I am lucky now in that over the last year I have discovered two environments i feel comfortable in.

When I found these environments my soul expanded, my inspiration exploded and my heart soared.

Has anyone else found the same?

Gotta go, am going down to a local bar to talk over (having reminded myself of these environments) my next life/work choices with my partner.

Best wishes

Andy





10 ways to live authentically

12 07 2010

Top Ten Ways to Live Authentically

By Ann Ronan AuthenticLifeInstitute.com

1. Know Your Purpose

Are you wandering through life with little direction – hoping that you’ll find happiness, health and prosperity? Identify your life purpose or mission statement and you will have your own unique compass that will lead you to your truth north every time.

2. Know Your Values

What do you value most? Make a list of your top 5 values. Some examples are security, freedom, family, spiritual development, learning. As you set your goals – – check your goals against your values. If the goal doesn’t align with any of your top five values – you may want to reconsider it or revise it.

3. Know Your Needs

Unmet needs can keep you from living authentically. Take care of yourself. Do you have a need to be acknowledged, to be right, to be in control, to be loved? List your top four needs and get them met!

4. Know Your Passions

Honor those things that make your heart sing. Whatever it is, do more of it!

5. Live From the Inside Out

Increase your awareness of your inner wisdom by regularly reflecting in silence. Commune with nature. Breathe deeply to quiet your distracted mind.

6. Honor Your Strengths

What are your positive traits? What special talents do you have? List three – if you get stuck, ask those closest to you to help identify these. Are you imaginative, witty, good with your hands? Find ways to express your authentic self through your strengths.

7. Take Time to Play

Give yourself time to recharge doing things you love to do or by just doing nothing.

8. Be Aware of Your Self-Talk

Are you blocking your potential? Check out your first thoughts when you wake tomorrow. Are they supportive, encouraging or positive? Choose the kind of chatter that’s goes on in your mind. Become aware of the negative messages you give yourself. Gently catch them and turn them into positive affirmations.

9. Surround Yourself with Inspiration

Keep a success journal. Write down your four or five greatest strengths and post them where you can see them. On the last Friday of each month, write down all your accomplishments both big and small.

10. Serve Others

When you live authentically, you may find that you develop an interconnected sense of being. When you are true to who you are, living your purpose and giving of your talents to the world around you, you give back in service what you came to share with others -your spirit – your essence.

Wishes,

Andy





Who do you work for and who do you help?

10 06 2010

Help others
Now I thought I wanted to help people. I thought that all I wanted to do was make people happy. Well, I’ve done that and I’m not happy.

Why would I not be happy helping people? Well, perhaps because at the moment I’m not actually helping people at all!

First a bit of background..

I never really wanted to work in retail, it was all a bit scary and busy. But needs must and there I was in my first retail job, in a record store. I found I actually liked helping people, when I was never really interested before.

In the small way that you do in a record store it made me happy to help people. Likewise with the ski instructing, the cabin crewing and the cafe work. But it never took long before the magic went and I needed a change.

Pondering recently, the lessening interest I currently hold in helping others, it stuck me that I actually wasn’t doing it at all. I wasn’t helping them, I wasn’t even helping myself!

To all those who work in retail…….I reckon that we’re all sadly mistaken if we think we are helping the customer. The customer is being helped by the owner of the company and YOU are helping HIM.

That kind’ve threw a dark rug over my bright altruistic thoughts and may explain why in a retail job I tend to last about 5 months feeling bright and happy and then have to find little shafts of light in my work to help prop up my feelings.

Where did this come from?
——————————–

On a flight back from Turkey the other week I wandered over to give a man some sage advice on how to help his young child stop crying. Never mind that what I thought the boy was crying about wasn’t at all what he was actually crying about! As I got down on one knee next to his seat all the old cabin crew feelings came flooding back. I felt truly altruistic, warm,caring, peaceful and giving. These are the feelings I enjoy and I wasn’t even being paid for it!

Where were all these feelings in the retail stores I worked at? Oh they were there all right. Right up until the point I got my first pay cheque. THEN I remembered what it was all about!

I thought I enjoyed giving help to people but have I actually been doing that? Perhaps being paid by someone to help someone else is not actually helping. Perhaps that’s bribery?

So I feel only feel happy helping people when I am truly giving to them, not getting something in return for it, helping the old lady cross the road so to speak.

Helping yourself
——————–

I guess I have believed for a while that the aim of the game is to help ourselves first. I have tried to find the magic inside me and then somehow help others to experience is too. But it’s not just about that now. It’s about my whole life. And I am so much closer to nailing the ‘holy trinity’ of how I want to live:

Who I work for
Environment I want to work in
Type of people I want to work with (and how I do)

The results of this are showing. See my Dilly the Dog and Holly the Daydreamer posts below for the results so far.

Now, would anyone like help with a writing project?

🙂
Andrew

‘Where the needs of the world and your enjoyment intersect, that’s where your work lies.’





Andy’s thought on how to get the best out of employees.

16 05 2010

Andy’s thought on how to get the best out of employees.

image by imapix (click)

Employees work best when they have defined objectives. Ideally a small number of them and ones which change only on an infrequent basis.

Give employees a framework in which to work and allow them to do so. Constantly changing the goalposts is a surefire way to introduce frustration.

The man at Tesco’s packing shelves has a distinct job to do and if we were to require him to run back and forth between the tills and his trolleys at the drop of a hat he should surely get dispirited.

People work best when they have focus, when they know what it is they have to do and what they need to do to get there.





Henry David Thoreau says..

22 04 2010

This, to me, struck a chord:

“Don’t cheat yourself by working primarily for a paycheck. If what you do with your life free-of-charge is so worthless to you that you’d be convinced to do something else in exchange for a little money or fame, you need better hobbies.”

“Sustain yourself by the life you live, not by exchanging your life for money and living off that.”





New ‘About Me’ page text

9 09 2009

My New ‘About Me’ page for this blog

Photo0612Early on in andrew’s life he decided that a non-conformist route would suit him best. Something perhaps to do with a rigid catholic school upbringing, but whatever it was, it has taken him down some interesting routes.

Andrew has been a ski-instructor, psychology teacher, I.T. consultant, car-park atendant, barrista, ski boot fitter, running shoe gait analyser, directory enquiries operator, shop worker. Phew!

What Andrew does for a living is important to him, whatever it happens to be at that time, it’s always something which resonates with his inner life.

“I want to connect with people, help them in some way, but I also feel it’s important to help myself by enjoying the process. Life can be about excitement and that’s what I constantly strive for.”

Writing is a integral part of Andrews life. His words allow him to express thoughts and ideas which otherwise would go unsaid and he wants his primary writing focus- topics of self-help and insight – to be that which will help others on their way. He is also in the process of writing a childrens book about a young girl who daydreams alot!

The way he wishes to help people as well as himself is not something he has fully defined yet but this blog has been a starting point on the road of inspiration. Read his post on ‘Life is like a game of table football’ for the type of writing he loves to do.





For the warriors, remembering who we want to be.

5 09 2009

Recently I have been reading pages upon pages of articles about making money on the internet and of being your own boss.

I am interested in the other side of life, the non-conformist route to living. That route which takes me away from 9-5, takes me away from spending the majority of my waking hours sitting uninspired in front of a computer monitor earning money for someone else.

When we talk about the industrial revolution we talk of poor working conditions, of slavery like pay and hours. We believe its gone away, as if it’s somewhere in the past. Is it really?

Perhaps if you work uninspired behind a computer in a dimly lit, cave-like, office, you might like to think about whether that belief is true.

As I write these words a feeling of shame pervades my system, as if I should take those almost inflamatory words back. But I won’t, as I know that feeling is born of the need to conform, to apologise for the way I am and what I feel.

Well, I won’t do that. And I won’t listen to the people who tell me I should either. They are not my friends.

What I will do is point you towards places and people you can read about and listen to. People who have chosen to leave the ‘new industrial revolution’ to live a life that they themselves dreamt up.

This is fast becoming a passion of mine. And I am not alone.

Here’s a starter for you. Chris Guillebeau has an uncommon perspective on working life as he has never worked a ‘normal’ job. Embracing the possibilities the internet has to offer to communicate with people, he decided to live the way he wanted to, tell people about it and help them to do similarly, but importantly, only if they want to.

He sounds like a great guy, check out his site (subscribe to his blog, it makes some enlightening reading)…oh and download his pdf’s, they’re a great inspiration.

The Art of Non-Conformity

Andy





I want the world

1 09 2009
I want the world

I want the world





If I could focus my thoughts.

26 08 2009

There is an argument for having a single focus. If I could capture all my stray thoughts into one venture I could own the world 🙂

Own-the-world





Play the circle game (organizing your life)

18 08 2009

Buy a copy of Steve Chandler’s (link) 100 Ways To Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever. For those people who wish for a better life, reading one page a day is a fantastic way of giving yourself a reminder in the morning of the possibilites your life could hold. It’s an inspirational speed-up 🙂

I thought I would share one of the ‘100 ways’ I read this morning. This is Number 67 ‘Play the circle game ‘.

The day to day activities of life will serve to move your focus away from your dreams of a perfect life if you let it. By incorporating this game into your daily habits you can bring your focus back to what you want it to be.

Use this for realising your dreams. By ‘realising’ I mean not only bringing them to fruition but also understanding how they are not something in the far off future but are now, in this day, in every action you take.

Here are my efforts from this morning (excuse the scrawl!).

One of my life goals  (click for larger image)

One of my life goals (click for larger image)

The idea is to draw four circles.

Label the first:

“Lifelong Dream”

Then write something into it.

For simplicity Steve Chandler uses a monetary example.

You want to, say, save half a million dollars for your retirement, write it into your circle.

Label the second “My Year”. Here you write what you need to save this year and every year (remember to include interest), in order to reach your Lifelong Dream target.

Then label the third circle “My Month”. What do you need to save this month in order to meet your yearly target. So now, half a million dollars doesn’t look so scary, you know if you that if you save XX thousands per month and repeat it, you’ll get there automatically.

Now label the fourth circle “My Day”. This is what you need to save today and could repeat every day, in order for it to be a successful month (It’s probably a much smaller number that you would imagine.)

You would need to read the book to get the proper description (and more inspirationally than I can put it over) but you get the idea.

It’s a process of goal setting but by spending 4 minutes a day reviewing this, you will keep your focus on your goals.

I have realised, for one of my lifelong dreams, ‘To be doing inspirational things everyday which will earn me $40,000 per year”, all I need to do is one inspired thing per day. Example, read an uplifting book or rss feed or listen to some great tunes.

From now on, my focus is to do one small inspirational thing per day, one medium sized one per month and one big one per year and I will actually be living an inspired life!!! Hold on, I thought an inspirational life was something I should aspire to. A life is a series of days so, no, I can actually do it right now!

100 Ways To Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever has so many novel ideas for keep your spirit aloft, I love it.





Change of blog title

11 08 2009

d09_19280937

For Sue

I have just been reading Pamela Stephenson’s biography on Billy Connolly.

His early life in subtle ways  reminded me of mine. It also reminded me of how much of what I do now really is just shadow play, playing with what I think I can do, rather than what I really can do.

I think in some ways, what I am doing now is a form of re-birth, a form of going back to what I perhaps should have been doing about the age of 17, testing, trying, doing small jobs to figure out who I am. Perhaps it is also a taking time to accept who I am and to understand some of my more obscure thoughts and beliefs.

At any rate, I believe I know who I am inside, but seeing through my thoughts is like coming down from a morning watch in a ships crows nest – seeing the deck, foggy below and needing to scale the complex rigging in order to get to the ground. Scary – but ultimately rewarding.

Dancing around the edges‘.





Is all this western freedom of choice a good thing?

4 08 2009

Wooden Hope

Wooden Hope


An article in the English Sunday Telegraph magazine recently, talked about a famous film and the deeper nature of its story related to todays society. This paragraph hit me as perhaps one of the reasons many people feel frustrated with their lives.

“The key to the appeal…is the way it addresses the fundamental anxieties in American culture. ‘ What the story speaks to is mastering a sense of inadequacy that’s built into the American system. In other words: you’re free to become who you want. Which is terrifying, because you have no support. This sense of can I make it, am I good enough, do I have the right stuff? [the film] is a little capitalist bliss, everything’s perfect, shiny, grand. And I think it speaks about the longing and the feeling – the hope – that we’re all right inside ourselves and can reach that.’ ”





The number one key to success…

1 08 2009

Photo by : <a href=
Photo by: Mel

What disappeared as you grew up? What happened to this as you started to listen to other people’s opinions of you? What went as society started to tell you what you should be doing with your life?

Your imagination!

Einstein said :
“Imagination is more important that knowledge.”

Einstein said that?!

One would have thought Einstein would value things the other way around. But this is from a man who worked at a patent office in order for his mind to imagine the different answers to his questions.

I have admired from afar those who knew what they wanted their life to be like when they grew up. History shows us that many of them were born into adverse circumstances and many had early experience of positive role models, people who inspired them. These people’s role models or circumstances drove them to be more than they were so they effectively imagined their way out of a situation.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
-Walt Disney

Inspiration is akin to dreams, the drive (that many of us receive only in brief moments) to DO, the drive to BE. The motivation to improve, to discover, to grow.

This is powerful stuff!

I have spent years looking for the knowledge that would allow me to find the job that I love to do, only to realise that the happiness I seek isn’t outside but within.

But how do I do this, how do I dream my future Andy?

For now, try this.

As you go to sleep at night try to get a picture in your mind of what you would like part of your life to be like. If you can’t picture your home life then try your work life, if you can’t picture your work life then picture what car you would like. Pick the easiest thing to dream about. However small this dream is, it’s a start and you can build on it.

Try that and let me know how you feel inside when you do!


Imagination is more important than knowledge for knowledge is limited to all we now know… Albert Einstein





What if I didn’t own a car?

25 07 2009
1994 1.6cl Excellent condition, 99,200 miles

1994 1.6cl Excellent condition, 99,200 miles

If you didn’t own a car would you feel like a social outcast? Somewhat different from the rest of society?

I am preparing my car for sale, contemplating what it will feel like to be without one for the first time in 15 years. I am, on one hand, looking forward to it and on the other scared.

I suppose I am scared because the car to me is a method of obtaining a slice of personal freedom, or holding some control over my course in life. Not having one might mean I feel cooped up, or have to resort to the sheep like mode of transport that is public.

As with many things in my life, what I believe to be true is actually completely the opposite (thank goodness!) so in reality it will probably mean I will feel free-er than ever and might even improve my fitness levels (bike and walk being the new modes of transport).

Anyway, I secretly enjoy being different to most people. So if you see a cyclist speeding past you in a queue. Only to find him arrive at work at exactly the same time as you (whilst you have been sitting in the normal Monday traffic jam), be assured he is smiling as he locks it to the stand, safe in the knowledge he is not one of the crowd.





More thoughts on jobs me and money

5 12 2007

p9290194.jpg

Why do i find it easier to work for no money than for money. Its like doing it for free makes it more rewarding?

Is it because i feel i am giving of myself benevolently is it that accepting money makes me feel like a prostitute?

I want to feel good when I work, I want to feel that work values my principles, can i get this while earning money as well? Perhaps the issue of earning money butts up against my freedom issue. By giving me money does it make me feel people are tying me in, are they saying here is what you need to live and of you don’t do this, you won’t get it.

Is money then like an addictive drug, as soon as i see it in return for my work i feel enslaved by it. Do I fear not getting it and then get resent ‘they’ are making me feel like this?

A conversation begins in my head between a older man, a stranger, and a young boy….

Would you like some candy little boy..go on, do something I want you to do and i will give you some.

Wow, is that the way i feel about working for money, like a dirt old man is trying with a lure to get me to do something I don’t want to do.

Another imaginary conversation between a employer and an employee….
“yes, this job pays £16,000 a year and your responsibilities are outlined below”
AKA
‘You had better work or you don’t get the money’6056203190174-08112-1.jpg

Kind’ve like overbearing parents using guilt to get their kids to do something…a method which I hate and have always rebelled against.

So I go after all these ideas of work I would love to do and get caught up in these internal rebellions because I don’t feel comfortable accepting money for what I do!!?

I want to feel like I have helped someone, how can I do this when I am accepting something in return? The playing field becomes level and I want it to be unbalanced with me at the top having given something to someone.

Ahh, so perhaps its an ego thing. Makes me feel good to give something to someone makes me better than them? By giving me money it means I am not better than them, I am actually the same as every one else and this hurts my fragile ego.

And then my thoughts get on to….
“So if I am going to receive money then I better receive a lot of it because I am worth it goddammit, £5/hour is way below what I deserve”.

Oooh, so we’re coming to the kernel of the issue. It may all be based around my need to feel superior to people (no payment) and issue of not feeling highly valued enough when I am paid, if paid poorly.

What a binding situation, no wonder I have job issues!!!

r002-001.jpgThere is another more positive less reproachful way of looking at it…..perhaps I am just someone who doesn ‘t quite get this whole working for money thing.

Meh! Perhaps I am not born for the capitalist lifestyle, perhaps i would rather work for the greater good than work for myself. Perhaps deep down I know that this isn’t what life’s about.

Perhaps I should go live with the Amazonian tribesmen who trade goods and do things for their community with nothing needed in return. Their houses are made by people who do the same their food is cooked likewise, everyone helps each other.

So is there a resolution to this. Yup, find something I love to do so much that I don’t care how much they pay me. Then the fact I love it will shine through, I will eventually start to earn more money as I am valued more.

So pretty much the same as everyone else then 😀





The trouble with jobs…

28 11 2007

r002-005-3.gif





Poem – Where is this all going?

27 11 2007

 

r0011882.jpg

Full of Fear

 

Full of fear
I walk towards the light.

Full of fear I seek the truth,
Full of hope I join the fray
Full of wonder I ask for my best
to help myself to pass the test.

 

Here I go, a journey of smiles,
I will need support to last the miles.
Perhaps it will come in the form of desire

longing to pull me from the mire.
From the mire of fear and self deceipt,
I want to stay here,
I won’t be leaving with a blank receipt.

 

Full of fear I ask for the choice.
Full of hope I seek my future.
Full of praise for the natural tutor.
Full of wonder I ask for my best.
Full of praise I stand up to this life, the test.





Baby Steps

25 11 2007

Hi, my name is Mark and I am but still young…

Right now I am doing something I don’t have a name for buy grown-ups call it crawling. Apparently in a little while I am expected to do something call walking. I don’t exactly know what that is but it involves using my feet but not my hands. It’s a very strange idea, can’t think of why I should want to do that, this seems perfectly adequate.

Sometime later: Its a few weeks after my last posting and I am getting deep urges to do this two legged thing. Yesterday I gave it a go and fell over straight away, but that’s ok. I shook myself off, it was a shock hitting the ground but I will give it another crack tomorrow.

Tomorrow: Well I gave it a go today but still haven’t cracked it yet. Again tried to just use my feet but fell over once more, will try again tomorrow.

The next day: Ok, so here we are again, I tried it once more today and still no luck, I will be better tomorrow.

Tomorrow: Determined to crack this 2 feet-no hands thing and I realised that by finding support I could hold myself in a kind of 2 feet position, even if I couldn’t do it fully. Wanted to stay there but got tired and fell down. It’s looking good. I will rest a few days and try again next week.

Next week: Well well! I held myself up on 2 feet for longer than before, with the support of my trusty teddy (he’s very big). But what do I do now? Perhaps if I keep doing this I will get there (and at least this is better than where I was last week, I couldn’t even do it then).

The week after: Took one hand off teddy today, fell back down. Well chuffed. Next day: Took both hands off teddy today, many claps from my grown-ups, it made me feel good and I want to do it for longer next time.

Next time: Now I am getting kisses and hugs from my grown-ups…..I did the two feet thing and raised my hands in the air!

Now: I can stand and, ok, it isn’t for a long time before I need my grown-ups to catch me, but they are pleased and that’s good enough for me. Will crack it soon.

End of Diary Entry for Mark, a 35 year old lawyer who dreams of being a singer.





At the Chiropractors

13 11 2007

10010228.jpg
I was at the chiropractors today…long story…and got chatting to the receptionist. Said that I was looking for a job and she mentioned there was a receptionists role going there.

It would be a lovely job, great people, nice environment, but it wouldn’t pay the money I need to live.

Then I had this light-bulb moment which nutshelled all the thoughts i have had about jobs over the last few years.

Culminating in two camps. It was like a clearing of the waves in my mind……

1 > I would love to work there, but i would get frustrated that i wasn’t able to do anything as I would have no money.

2> working in a business environment would give me the money I need to have a life outside work but it would frustrate me as I would feel constrained by the office environment and hierarchy.

So either I have one, or the other.

[Never think that a period in between work is dead time, on the contrary it is a time to reflect and consider your life.]
Both?

A couple of philosophical questions popped up….
1) How can I have both?
2) Would I work at the Chiropractors if they paid me £20000 a year?

Firstly …2)
Yes i believe I would. I would get bored after a while but it would be a lovely place to work.

Secondly..1)
So how can I have a lovely work environment and earn decent money?
Working for someone else I would need to work my way up an organisation so I could feel I had some measure of responsibility and independence, or, work for myself.


Snow and Rock

Similar thoughts occurred when I was thinking about the Boot Fitting job at Snow and Rock. In that I would really like to do the job but only if it paid more.

I would need something else to do in the evenings to relieve that frustration at being ordered around and anything I want to do requires money. Then I get frustrated about not having money. Then i get frustrated about the job not paying enough money and frustrated from not being able to release myself from the frustration of working for someone else.

Seeing a Careers Counsellor

I went to see a careers counsellor, wow I am so conceited sometimes. I really thought that she wouldn’t tell me anything that I could trust. How could ‘they’ know how I feel about work?

We talked for a while I mentioned a few things I liked and she mentioned the idea of a Tour Guide. Not just any tour guide..and adventure tour guide.

This would certainly fulfil alot of my needs, but what about the money?

She brought up an interesting concept. Faith. She told me to have faith. Choosing something that I would be happy doing will lead to good things.

I mentioned the money situation and she talked about having to go backwards to go forwards. Again, she is so right, “but” I asked “where will it go”.
“Faith” she said.

Where now?

As my previous entry stated I will be going back into IT. Primarily to earn money. It’s the lesser of two evils right now 🙂

The biggest mistake we could ever make in our lives is to think
we work for anybody but ourselves. ~ Brian Tracy