PSP Game Review: Jungle Party

13 12 2010

The award winning Buzz! Junior Jungle Party series arrives on the Sony PSP and aside from a few minor niggles does not disappoint.

The game has been around on other Sony systems since 2006 and in 2007 achieved an award in Britain for the best children’s video game. This PSP version continues in the same vein.

For those of you not familiar with these types of games they are specifically designed to be played by groups of people. In this case groups of children – although adults will enjoy playing along as well. The colors, sounds, humor and simplicity of the game reflect this focus.

Up to four players each take the role of a monkey and compete against each other in a series of cheekily humorous mini-games. The range of these is rather impressive and parents will like the fact…..

Read the rest of this entry »





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 »





Keeping the spirit up.

19 08 2010

Here’s a good blog post I just found. Regarding our job, our work, our passion, it talks of how from time to time we need reminding who we are and why we do what we.

Sometimes I doubt what I want because I believe that it’s not the right thing to do. Consequently I don’t do it as much. For that read skiiing and writing kids books. However when I am actually doing it I come alive! It’s keeping that memory at the forefront of our mind which will keep us all going in the down times in between jobs (e.g. an actor) or customers (e.g. a life coach).

Read the inspiring post here at:

http://www.twistingroad.com/2010/03/collaborative-groove/





Do what you love without pay until someone offers it.

6 08 2010

“Write without pay until someone offers to pay. ”

-Mark Twain

Ahh yes, sound advice indeed. Until the world hears what you have to offer, how can they offer you anything? Interestingly completely the opposite of the typical work scenario. There, you go looking for work in an area you can offer benefit. Rather than in the Mark Twain comment, wait for people to come to you.

Taken from  http://www.corporaterenegadecopy.com ‘s latest newsletter.





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





Nick Williams : Structure your life working from home.

5 07 2010

Best selling author Nick Williams started off as the owner of a small business and has now morphed into an inspired entrepreneur.

I read about him 10 years ago when setting out on my own road to discovery. The writing of his I have read covers the work we are born to do to self motivation and inspiration techniques.

He has written a guest article on the the3rdi.co.uk site about creating a structure for working whilst at work in our own home (Something I certainly need!) There is a link to this below but for those who don’t know of Nick Williams here is what he does in his own words..

“I am fascinated by leadership and what it means today, especially for inspired entrepreneurs.

I write, speak, coach, mentor, create products and programs, and broadcast, and run a business, but I evolved my job description to include the idea of also being a tribal leader after reading Seth Godin’s book, Tribe.

The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.

Today, anybody with a message can build a following and create their business serving their tribe.”

Read more of his article ‘Create your own structure while working from home

http://www.the3rdi.co.uk/july10/nickwilliams.html

Well worth a read for the entrepreneur within.

Andy





Are you awaiting fulfillment?

26 06 2010

Zen hands

Zen says, let go of the conception of yourself as a lack walking around waiting for fulfillment. The seed is within. It is not something that needs to be added or invented. All you can do is create the right environment for its germination.


Adapted from the book  ‘Zen and the art of making a living’





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.





Within our means.

16 05 2010

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”

— Oscar Wilde, Irish dramatist and novelist





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.”





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





Feelings

26 08 2009

Thoughts give you ideas to follow, feelings tell you where to go.





Happiness is like playing a game of foosball.

13 08 2009

human_foosball_soccer_game

A short while back I realised I wanted to play more table football. When I was younger I had always loved playing and I now wanted to do more of what I loved.

A happened to see an ad for a group of people who regularly played nearby so I went along. The very first meet was intimidating; new people. But trying to ignore that fear I found was actually quite a good player. Even though I was nowhere near as accomplished as the others they included me and I had a great time playing the games.

A couple of weeks later I began to lose that skill; not saving goals where I would’ve before and fluffing shots. My enthusiasm and my attendance waned.

I couldn’t understand it – surely I couldn’t be getting worse? I had enjoyed the first few times and it couldn’t be just as simple as the initial excitement wearing off, it felt more than that.

My mental task became understanding how I could return to that first night’s excitement.

One week I was in a particularly good mood and began saving goals and banging in shots. Recalling the first time I went, I suddenly realised why I had lost the interest and my enjoyment increased dramatically.

I had been playing with a lot of concentration on improving my technique, trying to do things I found I couldn’t do yet. The game isn’t about me playing at constantly trying improve my shots. But playing with – what I can only describe as – a carefree lack of abandon!

If I stop thinking how I am doing it, how much I could improve if I practiced a particular pass and instead just played the game it’s so much more exciting. The aim of the game is to score goals, why not have a shot. I know I can’t execute a perfect line pass, so just smack it up the front. If I play with good people it will more than likely all come together.

Is how I play my life similar? Is how you play your life similar?

It’s trivialising the issue to reduce the ‘problem’ to a few words but, just smack it up the front and somewhere along the way it will all come together!

This approach, is remarkably similar to the entrepreneurial spirit which many
self-help writers talk about in their work. It’s also similar to Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ slogan (which many people use as a personal mantra) and it’s similar to the ‘fake it until you make it’ process.

So can I just ‘lose the fear and dance with life’ instead of dancing around the edges?

What could I and you personally do to make the game of life more exciting?

Keep reading my blog for all the updates.





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.





MOtiVatING mySELF

6 07 2009
Motivation and hard work

Motivation and hard work

I have been thinking about how to motivate myself. How to spur myself on to do something when there is no-one else to do it for me, or no-one to apologise to when it isn’t done.

This has permeated my life and reduced my potential.

So I decided to consider what it was that made me do things, that helped me to achieve goals and to see what it would take to replicate them in a way I could feel comfortable with.

I was recently given the honor of being a best man. Which meant that I needed to organise a stag party and give a speech at the wedding.

Now these were two very specific dates I *had* to do things by.

I am a person who doesn’t necessarily like, but is highly motivated by deadlines. It’s a perverse ‘like’ to feel myself forced to do something by a particular time.

I was able to produce, by the deadline, an enjoyed by all stag do and one of the best best man speeches many in the room had ever heard.

After analysing the whole process I noticed four features enabled me to complete this goal:

One-  Deadline
If I hadn’t had that deadline, laid down by others, I know I wouldnt have had it done by that time, if at all.

Interestingly, whilst I felt forced by the timescale into doing these things, i enjoyed putting it all together.

So I need a concrete end date…a finish line if you will. One which does not move, will enable me to get things done, and by that I mean finished.

Two- Shame
I completed the task becuase I did not want to let other people down. Well actually I have come to realise that at heart I am somewhat selfish. So I realised it was more to do with, not letting myself down in the eyes of others, specifically friends (hmm, or I suppose clients too…interesting thought).

In the past I have comitted to going on a course, got half way through and run off, not completing it. But with this, I couldn’t run away from my friends even if i had wanted to.

Three- Reminders
When I have set myself mini goals and not achieved them, I had been motivated right at the beginning, in fact, perhaps for at least the first week. Then *boom*, lose focus, do something else instead and there goes the goal.

And I was doing this with the stag do, i have to admit. It took my friend the groom, to call me up occasionally to ask how it was going, that kick started me again into the work. It was amost like I had forgotten what i was doing, lost my way a little.

Reminders  will work to keep myself on track, now to figure out what kind.

Four- Inspiration
I know that when i am inspired I will focus and enjoy doing the thing I don’t want to do, so trick number four is to find what inspires me and look at it once a week. Which means, scheduling a slot to look, listen or talk about something. This however brings about its own problems, because that is a mini goal in itself I need to keep….for myself!

All of this is no one-off. Writing this page I remembered writing a school play which I was bulled into doing. I stressed out for days on end about it but it ended up being the most humerous play of the entire school show!! (and it will remain one of my most proud moments.)