If you want to be happy, be. ~Leo Tolstoy

Had a very interesting week once more. Have put the finishing touches to a project I am currently working on for the Olympics. I have been working on this project for three months and have spent that time working with a talented team who are ensuring that we understand the problem before we start to find the solutions. I have written on many occasions that this is the key to having real success. Our key requirement is to get seven or eight separate groups to work together. These groups do not work for the same organisation. At the same time we are also setting up new working structures for them to operate in. We must therefore accelerate/optimise all leadership and working practices. To do this it brings us right back to Trust and openness as the foundation of success.  We have an inspiring clip of film to start the day.  It was so inspiring I went and trained exceptionally hard without ensuring I was fully hydrated or had the correct amount of food inside me.  No wonder it wasn’t my best session.  I was cross with myself because I teach this stuff.  It is always good to ensure you follow your own advice.

During Tuesday and Wednesday I ran a negotiators course with one of the most talented negotiators of his generation. We used the model of crisis negotiation as a template to teach the students the principles of negotiation.  If you understand the mechanics in this area then you will indeed move to another level of performance. The main component is to understand that a great negotiator has acute emotional intelligence see blog http://tinyurl.com/39pchkz

The group did well and it certainly pushed them outside their comfort zone, they learnt about their own style of communication, why people are different and then they learnt how to think quickly under pressure. This was tied into learning about mental resilience. I was pleased that something I normally do with a small audience has such effect with an audience of over 35.

My word of the week is happiness, what is it and what does it mean to you? When I am teaching I sometimes use an exercise to demonstrate the power of the mind. I ask someone in the audience to stand up and come to the front of the room. I then ask them to hold out their arm to the side of their bodies and think of a time that they were very powerful , motivated, successful etc, I then get them to imagine this in great detail (back to what they felt, thought, heard) and whilst they are doing this I tell them I am going to push their arm down towards the floor and they are to stop me doing so. Because they are in such a good frame of mind it is difficult for me to do this easily regardless of their normal strength. I then get them to think about a time that they were unhappy, not in a good place, disappointed with themselves and I tell them I am going to the same thing and push their arm to the floor. The difference is amazing in some cases I hardly have to touch the arm before it starts to drop towards the floor.

All of this occurs in seconds of them changing their state of mind. What makes you happy? If I were to ask you to think for a moment that this was your last moment on this world what would you think were the most important aspects of your life.  I now want you to think about the five things that meant the most to you, what would you tell me? Please think about this for a moment before reading on. If you have time then please write down a list of the most important things that made you happy and put them in a list of priorities. I have done this with countless people and generally we are looking at the following; the things that make most people happy are being around their Family (close and extended), being with their children, their friends, health, fitness, conversation, love etc. What was your list like? We do not see that most of the important things in life are actually around us now , more importantly they are usually free and can’t be bought. It is how we think that makes us happy, how we perceive things. I may go out for an expensive meal with friends but I could just as easily have fish and chips and cheap booze with them at home, the enjoyment would be the same, that is because it is their company and friendship I value not the fact we are spending lots of money. If we look around ourselves and live in the now (the present time, and actually take note of what is around us, enjoing this moment in time) not the past or the future, our lives would be richer for it. Happiness is an internal state of mind and if I am in control of my mind why would I not want it to have happy thoughts?

Thursday I was in Coventry and Friday I was in Manchester, although I had to change around the times of my meetings as people altered their programmes at the last minute, I was working on other projects which I will write about at a later date. Now I am in the garden about to live in the now and finish this element of my blog. More for the weekend as I have a couple of more points to think about. Have a lovely weekend.

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