Monday 5 September 2016
Today is the day I am meant to be starting to write an eBook as a promotional aid for my business jamesperryexamcoaching.com – but it is not going to plan at all. I am sitting here in a motorway service station outside Dublin, on my journey to Galway in the West of Ireland to write this eBook thingy, and it’s the last intention I have on my mind right now.
The last few weeks have been very mentally tough for me – the self critic has been working overtime, I have been self sabotaging a lot, and my self talk has been incredibly negative, even downright stupid and illogical at times. This has led me to question my business, question my own values, wallow in self pity and generally become stuck in a rut! You would think by the sounds of it I was doing my Accounting exams again!
And why has the mental aspect been so tough? Because I haven’t been doing what I promised myself I should –
- Daily Meditation and setting a Daily Intention
- Daily Exercise
- Writing my thoughts down in a journal every evening
- Writing down 3 things I am grateful for each day
- Cleaning up my diet
But over the weekend, a fantastic friend of mine sat me down and basically gave me a massive kick in the arse – exactly what I needed! She told me that I needed to take off the “shitty tinted glasses” and see the reality – I have a good job, growing a business, a fantastic father and family, great friends and have got my health. However, it is the quality of my thoughts that is the biggest problem! So I booked a week off work, booked my accommodation and packed my bags with the intention of going on a journey and writing my eBook.
The next day, I packed up my car, took a bundle of books with me and played an audio book in the car – “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen – difficult enough to comprehend, especially as it was written in 1903 and language has changed a bit, but the underlying principles are the same, for example –
“A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed-seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.”
“A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.”
So, I have decided that my road trip is going to have no structure, no boundaries. If I want to write a bit of my eBook, good. If I want to read a self development book, fantastic. If I want to stop at a service station and write a blog, even better.
So my point is that if you are going through some tough times (for example in the middle of studying for your Accounting Exams), realise that it is the mind’s default position to be negative, it’s the mind’s natural defence system since the good old Caveman days. Thankfully, we are a few hundred thousand years since then and know a bit more about the power of the mind.
Whatever happens I am going on a journey of self development…
Tuesday 6 September 2016
Day 2 of my West of Ireland road trip. I woke up this morning and asked myself, “What do I actually need to develop within myself?”
Well, a number of things:
- I am a complete “People Pleaser”, I put everyone else’s needs above my own, sometimes that’s a good thing, but I do actually need to look after myself once in a while – hence this road trip.
- I’m brilliant at beating myself up, no matter how small the issue. I really do need to learn not to “Sweat the Small Stuff”.
- Dwelling on the past and worrying about the future – a speciality of mine! Daily Meditation and actually being focused in the present is hugely important for me in order to curtail this.
- I am hugely driven, a complete perfectionist, and I have huge confidence, but very low self esteem – most definitely a work in progress.
So I treated myself today and I went on a day trip to Inishmore, one of the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway to see something I wanted to see for years – Dún Aonghasa Fort. I wanted to stand at something 3,000 years old on top of a 100m cliff – typical James!
On the bus I started to read, “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace D. Wattles. Here’s what have I taken from this book so far today:
- Your thoughts actually become things, not like magic, but the correct type of thoughts coupled with TAKING ACTION will bring forward success.
- Wattles tells the story of selling a priceless painting to an Eskimo so “inducing” him to give him $500 of furs in return. He believes he really wronged the Eskimo as he has absolutely no use for the painting. However, if he gave him a gun worth $50 in return for the furs this will add to the Eskimos life in numerous ways actually giving him the potential to make him rich! “Give every man more in use value than you take from him in cash value; then adding to the life of the world.” I believe I do this in my coaching business jamesperryexamcoaching.com, as I give my clients the potential to succeed as Qualified Accountants hence enabling them to obtain a “passport” to do what they want in their future careers. Reading this, actually made me very proud, a good boost to the old self esteem!
- To be grateful for everything you have, as there are those in the world who have substantially less than you. Wattles states:
“To permit your mind to dwell upon the inferior is to become inferior and to surround yourself with inferior things. On the other hand, to fix your attention on the best, is to surround yourself with the best, and to become the best. The grateful mind is constantly fixed upon the best; therefore it tends to become the best; it takes the form or character of the best, and it will receive the best.”
And from my experience today:
- I learnt to appreciate the present moment, standing on the edge of a 300ft cliff in the pouring rain – from a personal, cultural and an experience perspective it was bloody amazing!
- And to actually enjoy life! Today I went on a rocky boat to a tiny island in the pouring rain to see what some would say “a pile of stones” but to me it means so much more! I spoke to people from England, Italy and Melbourne and I spoke to a couple from Florida who were overwhelmed by the whole thing. We all went to a small pub where the locals were all speaking Irish and there was a few fellas playing a fiddle and tin whistle in the corner. I sat back and said to myself, “This is what life is all about.”
We get so lost in the rat race we forget that the small things are actually the best, I am sitting here typing this and I feel fantastic!
So what does tomorrow bring? I don’t know and don’t care!
Wednesday 7 September 2016
What did I get up to today then on Day 3 of my journey?
I landed in Ennis, Co Clare this morning and as I drove I listened to a talk by Anthony de Mello, a deceased Jesuit Priest who looked at the world in a very different, incredibly informative, but in a radical and controversial way. His theme today was that of “happiness” and he discussed a point which came from the Buddha who argued that people’s sorrows come directly from having too many “attachments”.
Then de Mello made a very powerful point by again quoting the Buddha, “When you enjoy the scent of 1,000 flowers, you are not going to feel too bad about the absence of one.” Very very striking – I definitely would feel bad about the missing flower. This is a self-development point that I really need to concentrate and work on by focusing on the huge positives in the other aspects of my life. Not just one area that I am attached too for all the wrong reasons.
Anyway I wasn’t “attached” to any plan today so I went with the flow and went where the notion took me.
So from Ennis I ended up at Father Ted’s house! It was absolutely fantastic as it’s one of my favourite TV programmes. At the side of the road, I met a couple from Cork, a lad from Mayo and 5 lads from Saul in Co. Down, a small village about 10 miles from where I come from – small world indeed!
So for about an hour, 9 random people stood in front of Ted’s house laughing hysterically at various lines and stories from the programme – “That would be an Ecumenical Matter”, “Don’t call me Len, I’m a Bishop”, “Feck Off cup” etc.
I went from there to Carron in the middle of the Burren in Co. Clare, a very unique mountainous, almost lunar landscape to see where Michael Cusack, the founder of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) was born. As I am a huge Gaelic Football and Hurling fan this was quite a special place for me. In typical fashion, “small world syndrome” hit again as there I met a lady from Massachusetts in the USA, we were chatting for 5 minutes and it worked out that she knew a fella I worked with when I qualified as an accountant in Belfast!
Poulnabrone Burial Cairn was next which is basically a 5,000 year old gravestone described as, “One of the oldest monuments to human history” – breath-taking to say the least. Onward to Ailwee Birds of Prey where I had a vulture fly past me, hit me on the head with its wing and scared the absolute crap out of me! Then I went to explore the Ailwee Caves, a cave system some 2 million years old.! We experienced “absolute darkness” when the guide turned the lights out, apparently this is a unique experience as you don’t get this even when you close your eyes at night or when asleep.
So, after all that what are my thoughts for today? Well it’s to appreciate all the small stuff – it’s the wee things that actually make the difference to our lives. I’ve done some “Big Ticket” things, such as New York, Mediterranean Cruises, South America etc. which is amazing, but standing outside Father Ted’s house for an hour laughing, driving around surrounded by piles of stones, absolute darkness, or being hit on the head by a vulture are examples of what life is actually all about! So my advice is to take a stand back more often and appreciate those things that appear small, but are full of memories and are more often than not, are on your own doorstep and inexpensive or even absolutely free!
So onward to Part Two of my journey – Westport and to finish reading the “Science of Getting Rich” book!