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September 12, 2011

Summer’s over, try something new!

Summer has ended, autumn is upon us and as I write, remnants of Hurricane Katia (70 mile an hour winds apparently)  are on its way and likely to hit us here in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK today…..

Weather aside, I’ve always loved the autumn – being a September baby I had my birthday to look forward to as a child which eased the return to school!  I love the autumn colours, nights drawing in (cosy time by the fire) and so on. 

September to me has also stood for “New Beginnings” – academically, professionally, personally.  It’s a great time for taking stock after the summer and for planning the last quarter of the year.

I was lucky to have several weeks in France over the summer with my family – time to relax, recharge my batteries and review “where I’m at”, both business wise and personally, which fledgling ideas – which  have come into my mind over the past months but haven’t had time to seriously consider –  do I now want to develop?  Which of my 2011 goals have I achieved, how far have I come, which goals need to be updated, have I forgotten about or are no longer pertinent?  And what about setting new goals?

Whilst I recommend you consider all of  the above, autumn is the perfect time for trying something new.  Learn a new skill, attend an evening class, take a risk by trying public speaking, whatever you do, expand that comfort zone!  Just because the nights are drawing in doesn’t mean your brain has to as well!

My summer reading included “Liquid Thinking” by Damian Hughes.  An easy to read, thought provoking and motivational book full of stories, anecdotes and quotes by great achievers, past and present, including Sir Richard Branson, Walt Disney, Robbie Williams, Henry Ford and many others. There’s a great recommended reading list at the back too.   Damian gives clear “Action” tips and exercises at the end of each chapter.  These actions are clearly set out, step by step but Damian stresses in order to get the most from his book, action not just reading is required.  He quotes Goethe “Knowing is not enough; we must apply.  Willing is not enough; we must do.”

How very true – but how many of us actually get up and take that action?  Are you the kind of person who watches what’s happening or do you make things happen?  Or perhaps you just say “what’s happened?!”  Who would you rather be? (Remember you and you alone are in control of your own life.)  Which kind of person do you think the Great Achievers are who Damian writes about in his book?  And it’s not just down to luck!

I’ve got to the point in my own life where I increasingly think, what the heck, if I really want to do or try something (so long as it’s ethically sound!), let’s just DO IT!! Likewise, if  I can see that not doing something is holding me back, whether personally or professionally I am now much more likely to just give it a go.  Sure, I weigh up the pros and cons of each situation- safety issues in particular –  the “what ifs”, but I aim to cut down the procrastination as much as I can – yes, I’m “work in progress” and a long way to go, but why be scared of failure, or perhaps, scared of success?  

If you don’t start you’ll never know just how good “giving it a go” can feel! You can’t succeed unless you start somewhere.  More often than not it’s the things in Life we haven’t done that we regret far more than what we have done. 

 Don’t stand in your own way, move aside and negotiate your way (ethically)  around others who may be blocking your chosen path to your dreams, big or small.   As Abraham Lincoln said “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other”.

So, my message to you this wild and rather dismal September day is, make the most of the last few months of 2011 – once it’s gone it’s gone – plan your goals, break them down into bite size chunks and then, most importantly, TAKE ACTION!  Without action, your planning, hopes and dreams remain just that.  Make them your reality! 

As Dave Barry, American author and columnist, said “Never be afraid to try something new.  Remember, amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic.”  And we know how they turned out don’t we?

Wishing you a productive autumn and let me know what new things you try!



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