Which Are the Right Questions to Ask Yourself?

Ever driven the wrong way?!

Ever driven the wrong way?!

Have you ever found yourself driving somewhere and suddenly realised you’re in completely the wrong place? You’re in traffic; you’re day-dreaming about what to have for dinner, whether to buy a new car and where to go on holiday this year; and you suddenly find that you’ve taken a wrong turn and automatically followed a route that you habitually take – e.g. you were meant to go the shop but instead you’re on the road home!
When it happens to me, I either get cross with myself or laugh at my own idiocy, or if I regain control of my mushy brain and re-focus, I realise that I have merely taken my eye off the ball, become distracted and gone onto auto-pilot. The great news is that you can usually make a U-turn, get back on track, fulfill your objectives and complete your mission. This also applies to life in general.
The great thing to embrace about life was described so aptly by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, when he said that ‘Change is the only constant’. In every second of our existence, we are changing. Our body is changing, growing and maturing before commencing a steady decline. So too our mind grows with our experiences and hopefully we learn from life’s lessons and become wise, just in time before our brain begins its downward spiral. I apologise if that reality sounds a little sad.

Embrace Change!

Embrace Change!

“Change is the only constant”
Heraclitus

 

(Image courtesy of mrpuen at freedigitalphotos.net)

Wisdom is not guaranteed however – it has to be acquired. Some people repeat life’s more destructive patterns in the same way that procession caterpillars will follow each other unquestioningly into the abyss. That tendency to surrender to the ease and comfort of merely following the crowd is what leads us to those clichéd statistics where we talk of the 95% who are regrettably only average, as opposed to the 5%, who will be exceptional. Even the 5% is split between the 4% who are ‘comfortable’ and the top 1%, who are the ‘crème de la crème’ of humanity.
Those statistics whilst clichéd are alarmingly applicable to most things in life. They are not exact of course, they are generalisations. Yet we know from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and various insurance companies that approximately 4% of Australians will retire financially independent, 1% will be rich and the rest will be less financially comfortable. In general terms and approximate percentages, the top 5% will be the most educated; the top 5% will have the best medical facilities, will live in the flashiest houses, will drive the best cars and so on – you get my drift I’m sure.
Does that make you a failure if you’re not among the cream of the crop? Absolutely not. The old adage is a true one – that neither money nor possessions will make you any happier, though they can without doubt make a miserable person more comfortable!

So on the other side of the coin, does that make it wrong to be wealthy or successful? Of course not! Both success and failure are merely perceptions of reality and my reality is different to your reality. The answer lies in the questions you ask of yourself.

The Answers Lie in Asking the Right Questions!

The Answers Lie in Asking the Right Questions!

If you want to be happier, ask “What would make me happier?” If you’re not doing what it takes or you don’t have what you want, ask yourself “What can I legally and ethically do to turn this around and get back on track?” I put my disclaimer in there because some peoples’ answer might be to rob a bank, or these days, an old age pensioner.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I put it to you that maybe you’re not asking yourself the right questions. If your answer to what will make me happy is, let’s say “One million dollars”, then the questions are, “What could I do to earn one million dollars?”, “By when?” and more importantly, “What skills or talents would I need to develop in order to become the kind of person who is capable of earning that million by that date?”

(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net)
There are many other questions that might follow, like “Where would I need to be?” or “Whose help might I need for me to achieve this?” The mining boom of Western Australia bears evidence of those questions – if you want the big money, go and work up North in the heat. The bigger questions though are the intriguing ones, like, “Why would having a million dollars make me happy?” and “What would having a million do for me or for those whom I care about?”
Like my driving example at the beginning, we often find ourselves off track. We’ve switched off our brains and we’re running on auto-pilot. It’s not hard to find yourself living a repeat pattern, like in the movie ‘Groundhog Day’, where Bill Murray’s character finds himself reliving the same day over and over.
My life has been filled with reinvention. I’ve done many different jobs, I’ve set up and run many of my own businesses, I’ve travelled to fantastic destinations, I’ve lived in different countries and I feel as if I have lived an interesting life. Yet when compared with other people I’ve met, my achievements pale into insignificance. So never put yourself down by comparing – leverage yourself up by becoming inspired by their example. If they can do it, you probably can too. Sometimes not even physical limitations will stop you if your mindset is strong enough. History is filled with people doing the ‘impossible’.

Mentoring can help you fulfill your dreams

Mentoring can help you fulfill your dreams

In conclusion then, the questions are not, “Why does this always happen to me?” or “Why am I so far off track?” but rather, “What do I want to change and why?” Once you figure those out, the ‘how’ is a far easier problem to solve, especially if you leverage your possibilities by engaging the help of those who may have already done whatever it is that you want to do or at least know what it will take and can advise you objectively and supportively. That is why mentoring and coaching are so useful and effective.

(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net)

If you’d like to read more on this topic, please check out my latest book, entitled ‘If Life’s Worth Doing, It’s Worth Doing Well – Finding Sane Fulfillment in an Insane World’.

If you’d like any help with getting back on track or even selecting a whole new path for your life or business journey, please don’t hesitate to call me or contact me via this website.

Tony Inman, Business & Lifestyle Coach, Consultant & Mentor and Author

Tony Inman

Best of luck and until next time,

‘Seize the day!’
Tony Inman

Fun in the Sun – November Highlights

Bennion Beach, Trigg - one of the places enjoyed by life coach Tony Inman this month

Fun in the Sun at Bennion Beach, Trigg

Have you ever found yourself giving advice to a friend and realising that you should be practicing what you’re preaching?

Well that’s exactly what occurred to me this week when a friend was feeling a bit lacking in direction and therefore a bit out of sorts. As one of the things I do is to help people with life coaching, I realised that I must not be like one of those motor mechanics whose own car is broken, or the plumber whose taps drip.

I advised my friend that it’s important to regularly remind yourself of the happy and constructive things that you’ve done. In fact I find it a very empowering exercise.

This applies both to your work history and your life outside of work.

When you update your resume or C.V. you realise that you have usually amassed quite a bit of experience and you have usually learned many new things since the previous update. That realisation enables you to put a higher value on your self. This applies equally to self-employed business owners as it does to executives and employees.

Likewise, when you review the things you have done outside of work, you realise that life is constantly evolving and that you are growing in the process.

My speciality too!

My speciality too!

This sign in my exhaust mechanic’s workshop gave me a chuckle this month.

The experts (those people in the brown cardigans as Billy Connolly describes them!) recommend that you keep a daily journal. Not everyone is disciplined enough to do this, however.

Facebook or one of the other social media platforms can give you a few reminders of happy occasions on your timeline, but what about keeping a monthly summary?

You might not want to share everything with everyone, and that’s fine, so you could simply allocate time at the beginning of each month to review the month just gone and make a few private notes.

You can include photos or mementos;  you might write a few of your innermost thoughts, reflecting on what has just passed, what you thought about it and things you learned from the experiences; you might include a section on your future aspirations – a great way to keep on track with your goals.

In fact with the end of the year approaching rapidly, there’s no better time than NOW to start thinking about your objectives for the New Year ahead. There’s always something cleansing about the end of another year. It’s almost as if we give ourselves permission to begin again with a clean slate.

So, by way of example, here are a few of the things that I will remember from November 2013.

Losing weight the easier way

Losing weight the easier way

Health & Fitness – In October my girlfriend, Jo and I had commenced using a weight loss drink called Xerveo Motion, which acts as an appetite suppressant. Throughout the month of November, I recorded a loss of 10kgs, while Jo also lost 6kgs. This was a huge result for us as we had both previously tried in vain to both lose and keep off the weight we had gained with the onset of a slowing metabolism.

The product not only helped us lose weight, it gave us extra energy and a general feeling of vitality.

Tony with his new bike

Tony with his new bike

Recreation – The extra energy we felt led us to take up a new hobby. In November we purchased good quality, second hand bicycles and enjoyed a few happy rides, both around the local lakes of Hyde park and on one particularly sunny day, down the West Coast from Hillarys to Trigg and back.

Family Relationships – This month, my brother, Peter visited from the UK, so we were able to organise some family get-togethers.

These included my sister, Cheryl’s birthday dinner on the 3rd and my daughter Kim’s 24th on the 24th, as well as catching up with brother Geoff and his partner, Sue from Albany.

Of course that also meant we could enjoy time with our grandson, 2 year old Hayden.

Craig, Tony & Peter Inman

Craig, Tony & Peter Inman

Hayden and Kim Inman

Hayden and Kim Inman

 

Also under the heading of Fun and Recreation, Jo and I took advantage of the warm weather to pursue our passion of scuba diving. We fitted in a local dive here at Rockingham WA, exploring the marine life at a dive site known as ‘The Grain Jetty’. We also fitted in three dives while on holiday in Bali at the end of November, including the fabulous ‘Blue Lagoon’ dive site at Padang Bai.

Grain Jetty Divesite

Grain Jetty Divesite

A Crab Says Hi

A Crab Says Hi

Jo and I also added an extra evening of sport, now playing beach volleyball on Friday evenings as well as Wednesdays. This and the six-aside soccer are also helping me keep on track with my fitness goals.

'If Life's Worth Doing, It's Worth Doing Well'

Tony Inman’s new book

In terms of ‘Personal Growth’, the ‘Career’ sector and probably also ticking a bit of the ‘Spiritual’ box, the book I have just completed, progressed from review discussions with my publisher through to the editing stage.

Also in the ‘Career’ sector, I did some great work with some wonderful clients, including helping one client to write a chapter in an imminent book, enabling him to claim expert status in his field; assisting another business client whom I have been helping to re-brand, to define their HR recruitment needs, and to help them interview and select a new key team leader; helping another to review their marketing strategies and their team-building requirements; while another was able to take a well-earned vacation.

With Jo I also launched a new product distribution business of the weight loss product and I delivered two public speeches – power-point presentations to groups of business owners, from which we added some new distributors and customers.

In terms of ‘Professional Development’, I also enrolled on a new online social media marketing course under the guidance of  Jo Saunders and Sarah Santacrose, which starts in December.

Also under the ‘Career’ heading  I continued to develop and refine ‘The Inman System’ of integrated ‘Business and Lifestyle Design’.

In terms of ‘Administration and Environmental’, we did some further research into properties, both in Perth and in Bali. I suppose we certainly changed our environment by going on a 5 day break to Sanur in Bali, though I would also classify that as ‘Recreation’.

Relaxing at a Bali Villa

Relaxing at a Bali Villa

Sanur Beach

Fun in the Sun at Sanur Beach

A further bonus on that wonderful holiday was to tick my ‘Creativity’ box by playing guitar and singing at the invitation of the live band in a bar in Bali.

The ‘Personal Finances’ sector did okay as the holiday came with an incredible special flight price coupled with bargain villa stay prices. Business continued to grow slowly upwards too and I am now researching some possibilities with tourism in Bali again.

Good friends, Paul and Angela Brinsley

Our friends, Paul and Angela Brinsley

The ‘Relationships with Friends’ box was well -ticked as we caught up with many old friends, including holidaying with two of our best friends. We also made a terrific new friendship with a local Balinese businessman.

Sure there were some challenges last month. There always are – in fact, if you didn’t have a few downs, you wouldn’t learn to appreciate the ups. We certainly appreciated the ‘up’ of escaping for a well-earned and relaxing break.

Jo and Tony

Jo and Tony

It would certainly be remiss of me not to include mention the delight of spending time away relaxing with my girlfriend, Jo and to wish her a Happy Birthday for the 4th of December.

So now begins a new month with new challenges and opportunities and new downs and ups.

What would you like to achieve in December? If you haven’t though about it yet, why not take a few moments to write down a few key objectives.

Your future will be the result of the decisions you make today.

I hope this may have given you a few ideas.

Until next time, remember to ‘Seize the Day!’

Tony manages a business and a great lifestyle!

Steve Wholer

Steve Wholer

Tony has managed to be a business owner and yet have a great lifestyle.

A skill that few of us have.

Steve Wholer

Owner, Computer Resolutions WA

“A Great Guy with a Genuine Love of Life and Humanity” – Bernie Krokzec, Perth WA

 

Bernie Kroczek

Bernie Kroczek recommends Tony Inman

Tony Inman is a guy who has no limits.

I’m amazed at some of the things he does, like running in the City to Surf, still playing soccer at 50+, diving, travelling to exotic places and now business and personal coaching.

He is prepared to travel all over the country for training and to improve his knowledge and, most importantly his willingness to share is quite rare in the modern world.

Above all else Tony is a great guy with a genuine love of life and humanity.

Having initially met in a business relationship, I now count him as a genuine friend.

He is also a Man U supporter so that says something about his impeccable taste for fine things.”

 

Bernie Kroczek – Proprietor of Bernie Croczek Real Estate

 

If you would like to claim a free discovery session (valued at $150), call today on (08) 9328 2203 or contact Tony Inman- click here

Today’s Memories Come from the Decisions in Our Past

Victoria College, Jersey

Victoria College, Jersey

Last week an old school chum, Derek Facey surprised me by ‘liking’ my ‘Tony Inman Living the Dream’ facebook page.

I hadn’t spoken to him for over 30 years, since we left Victoria College in Jersey, Channel Islands and I was too busy that day to acknowledge his endorsement. I was then away in Sydney on business and busy on my return, so I forgot to follow it up.

Yesterday morning, owing to the time zone difference and being eight hours ahead, I was probably one of the first to wish him a happy birthday when I saw the notification.

Last night though, another school friend sadly informed me that Derek never actually made it to his birthday, having already suffered a massive heart attack. He was only 50 years old.

So the lesson is that we don’t know how long we’ve got.

Therefore, my advice is don’t sweat the petty, trivial stuff that can so easily take over our lives.

I’m not saying be an anarchist! Do what you have to do of course.

What I am saying is ‘Do your best to be kind, be generous, live your life in a way that will inspire others and make each day count.’

At school, I remember that Derek suffered with a stutter and was initially ridiculed for it. I’m sure there were times when I  took the mickey out of him too. Children can be more cruel than they intend or realise. He brushed it off but I’m sure it must have hurt him.

I do also remember being friends with him for a while though. I remember visiting his house during school holidays and he was a good guy from a good family. He usually wore a waistcoat and was slightly eccentric – a trait I admire!

We never fell out with each other – we simply drifted apart and I moved to Australia.

The funny thing is that once you got to know him, you didn’t really notice the stutter so much – you just noticed the person instead.

I’ll bet if you asked the guys who tormented him back then about this, on hearing of his premature demise, they might wish they had behaved differently back then. Hindsight is a great teacher.

Today’s memories are a product of decisions we made in the past. So what decisions are you making today that will shape your future?

In conclusion,  R.I.P. Derek, thanks for ‘liking’ my page. I hope that you gained something from reading my posts. I’m glad that I knew you and my sincere condolences to your family.

It’s been a while since we left that noble school, yet we are still learning lessons from it.

“From All Over to All Over Australia” – George Barr, Free to Surf the World

George Barr - From Breaking Point to Point Break

George Barr – From Breaking Point to Point Break

Less than two years ago, George Barr was lying on his death bed and literally thought that it was all over for him.

For a middle aged man, he has a very young outlook on life, yet on that fateful day, his heart disagreed.

That’s somewhat ironic, given that he is one of the most good-hearted guys I know.

George was working for me in both the Tourism and Cleaning Divisions of my company, Club Red at the time of his heart attack and has remained a close friend, despite continuing his travels.

This week he wrote down his story for me, to help endorse my life coaching skills for any prospective new clients,  who might be seeking background information.

I hope you find it as moving as I did.

Life coaching  -what is it?
This really happened to me but imagine this as being you.
You’re on a plane just taking off from Hong Kong international headed back to Australia.
Ahead is the beach and working with a mate you have known for a few years.
He owned a good business, a backpackers-that’s how I first met “Tony Inman”.
On my return from an extended overseas trip I was going to the backpackers hostel business that Tony owned at that time, ”Planet Inn” to live and do a little part time work.

I got there and started going the basic routine and eventually was driving great, enthusiastic people to the beach and generally getting immersed in the business.
Tony was keeping a watchful eye on things, and I think that he soon picked up that I was not all on deck health wise as I had been helping out with another aspect of his enterprise, the cleaning contracting.
I helped out with this occasionally too, but my standards had slipped due to something I could not personally pin down.
I had to admit I was not up to speed, I couldn’t pin it down I just was not myself, and I knew it.
Standing in the backpackers one day, I went really cold and had symptoms of a heart attack.
One of our mates, being on hand, drove me straight to ICU and WOW… all the bells and whistles went off.
I lay on the gurney signing the paper for the Doctor to go ahead with extreme life saving measures like stoppping the heart, injections of adrenalin and god knows what else.

“I knew I was as good as dead.”

I had been down this road before at age 32 and recovered.
This time I did not feel confident at all, after all how can you when red lights are flashing and half a dozen people are looking really serious and you know it’s not a joke?
Basically it’s game over.
I actually surprised myself and everyone else I think, as I walked away with this as a memory and a need to recover.
This happened twice in the space of two weeks.
So enter Tony.
He sat me down and gave me a brief talk and ahead we went, with me still working but in a supervisory capacity. I had backpackers to do the muscle side and Tony gave me advice on how to keep it organised.
He was coaching me as we went along, feeding me the information and advice as required.

“Tired and not wanting to be a burden, I actually wanted to crawl into a hole and just go away as I felt that was it, I had after all been technically gone(dead) twice in a month, and I had a new shiny machine implanted in the chest as a medal, my reward from God for not filling a seat in paradise.”

But Tony kept me inspired, mainly due to his own diligence in heading up the numerous branches of his business.
What I learned took me forward further than I could have imagined at the time.
Initially, I was not skilled in the running of business or dealing with people in that certain way that you need when working at the coal face.
I became adept at handling difficulties and difficult people, an essential quality when working with the public or supervising staff.

Have bike - will travel

Have bike – will travel

When Tony sold this aspect of his enterprise, I went road tripping, reasonably well recovered on a road trip to Broome.
On arrival, I headed into a life of beach, sun and surf, money of course is not in never ending supply.
So I went looking for bar work, hopefully it would workout at the local pub called the “Famous Beer and Satay Hut”.
On my CV was mentioned that I had been an approved bar manager at Tony’s licensed backpackers.
Tony had of course endeavoured to make sure that this part of the business was covered and I had done the relevant courses and studied for it.
So there I was, trained and experienced under the watchful eye of Tony, two and a half thousand kilometers away, looking for bar work.
They actually required a bar manager and I just happened to be there at that time and place.
Now that’s is a combination.

The life skills that Tony employed and his coaching under the most extreme and difficult circumstances put me there at the right time and place.
I stayed at the job until my feet and surf board were in demand on another part of the continent, that’s the life I lead, and it is a life to wish for.
Some call it ‘living the dream!’

Uncle George spends time with nephew Jeremy

Uncle George spends time with nephew Jeremy

In the last three months I have surfed more beaches than I could name, driven in excess of twenty thousand kilometers and have travelled across the Nullarbor twice in as many months.
I have great prospects and no doubt there’s a beach or point break waiting for me over the horizon.
Take the hint and get with Tony, his skills are solid and the life coaching? Well the facts of my story say it all.
If you’re at breaking point, look for your point break.
Go surf life and have Tony assist.

 

A short reply from me, Club Red CEO, Tony Inman:

George’s story is an inspiration to us all and I am proud to count him as a friend.

For me, business was always about the people, and always will be. It’s about helping your customers and nurturing your staff.

If you don’t look after your staff, and put time and effort into developing and training them, you won’t have a business.

I knew that the last thing George needed was to wallow and feel sorry for himself.

I also knew that George was a guy who wouldn’t sit still, so we had to keep a very close eye on not letting him overdo it. Fortunately, we got the balance right and he was able to pick himself up and find a new purpose for his new direction.

I consider myself very fortunate to have been in a position to help George through one of the most significant and challenging times in his life. The irony is that in helping other people, we learn more about ourselves.

This is one of the reasons that my mission today is now to help people with business and life coaching, and having reinvented myself on several occasions, it’s why I became ‘The Reinvention Specialist’.

So, thank you George, for your support and friendship.

I have many similar stories of people like George from the fourteen years that I owned and operated my backpacker hostel business.

If any of you good people out there would like to remind us of them, I’m sure that my readers would be really interested. They might even form a chapter of the book I plan to write next year.

Until then, if you need any help with finding your personal ‘wave of success’, don’t hesitate to call me for a chat.

Seize the day!

Tony Inman

Moments of Significance

Christmas grandson

Hayden with Grandma Jo

Last night I found myself working til about 3am because I wanted to finish something that was of importance to my business and that was essential for my clients. I was enjoying it too.

The reason behind why I was left burning the midnight oil was clear to me and ever so valid.

Throughout the day, during the time that I had actually allocated for working on my business, my family had quite simply come first.

In the morning I had dropped off my partner Jo at her Mum’s house, who was entertaining Jo’s brother, sister-in-law and two year old niece, Madison, who were visiting from Canberra for the festive period.

Maddy & Troy with Auntie Jo

Maddy & Troy with Auntie Jo

They were off to the Aquarium for the afternoon as little Maddy (as the family calls her and spells it) is obsessed with ‘little fishies’, thanks to a certain movie about a guy named Nemo. Maddy also appears to idolise Auntie Jo, which I have no doubt is because Auntie Jo makes it obvious that she idolises her cute little niece.

Having recently visited both the Sydney and Melbourne aquariums with said family, I figured that I really needed to catch up on my burgeoning, though self-directed workload.

As I returned home alone, I made myself a protein shake (significantly looking after my health these days!), turned on my computer and prepared to tackle the backlog of ‘stuff to do’.

That’s when my daughter called.

‘Dad, what are you up to?’ she began.

I explained how I had opened up this window of opportunity so I could catch up on my work, waffling on in great detail in workaholic fashion.

Then suddenly, ‘Why?’ became the more obvious answer.

‘Craig (my 25 year old son), Hayden (my six month old grandson) and I (Kim, my 22 year old daughter) want to come over for a swim.’

So that was game, set and match, wasn’t it!

Sun cream applied to Craig

Sun cream applied to Craig - tick!

‘Abracadabra’ is an old Aramaic saying, meaning ‘Created as I say it’, hence its application to magic stage tricks.

Well, before you could say ‘Abracadabra’ I had my own moments of magic.

Craig asked for sun cream to be rubbed on his back as he’s a ‘ranga’ like me and somewhat vulnerable to the sun’s ultra violet.

Kim thought it was hilarious to leave him with two large handprints of cream on his back. Probably to most readers it wouldn’t seem that funny, it was one of those ‘You had to be there’ moments, and luckily for me, I was there.

Grandpa Tony with Hayden

Grandpa Tony with Hayden

The next moment, I was in the pool lifting my gorgeous grandson into his swim ring chair, watching his beaming smile as his little legs kicked like crazy beneath the surface, like a duck on steroids.

It didn’t even bother me when my son’s dog, who had been left inside as she is not allowed in the strata swimming pool, decided to lift the edge of my lounge carpet and chew the underlay in protest.

A few moments later, I have the image of my son, beer in stubby holder in hand (a true Aussie) hosing down his very hot dog to cool her down and watching ‘Roxy’ trying to bite the water as it came out of the hose.

Meanwhile, little Hayden was managing to smear chocolate over the couch, his Mum, up his nose, in fact just about everywhere – some even found its way into his mouth!

Needless to say, my work was put on hold til they left.

Later that afternoon, as I tried to complete a project, I had to abandon it to drive back up to Hillarys Marina and meet Jo and the clan for dinner at Jo’s Mum’s favourite restaurant.

This had been their first Christmas since losing Jo’s Dad to his battle with cancer and the sense of a need for family unity was tangible.

I watched little Maddy shrieking and giggling with delight as she sat in a playground boat with Auntie Jo and Cousin Troy, while her Daddy jumped up and down to rock the boat from astern.

I realised that this had been another significant moment in a day filled with significant moments. It is such moments that will be remembered and reminisced over, for years to come by those involved.

Jo stayed over at her Mum’s house so she could enjoy breakfast with her niece – only geography limits these opportunities. I returned home to fit in the work I wanted to complete for my clients.

When Jo’s phone call awakened me this morning I was dreaming a strange dream, and I rarely remember them, but this was to do with realising that once you die, many of the things, the ‘stuff’, the valued possessions that seem so important to you now, will be divided up, burnt or thrown away by other people, to whom they mean nothing.

My grown up children, Craig and Kim

My grown up children, Craig and Kim

I thought about our Christmas day family breakfast and how my brother Peter had made the effort to fly over from England specially to catch up with our parents, particularly our Father, who has been at death’s door many times this year, yet still fights on.

I’m glad that I could be true to my work ethic and my clients as I completed my tasks last night, but I am delighted that I made the time and space in my life for some far more significant moments.

I hope you are doing the same and that 2012 will become a year of great positive significance for us all.

I love the work that I do, I love where and how I live, and I love my family and friends. I’m a lucky man.

“The first trick to happiness – and success- is to appreciate what we’ve already got.”

Andrew Matthews

Seasons Greetings and Happy New Year!

Tony

What Is A Travel Bucket List?


tony-inman-arc-de-triomphe-1994

Tony Inman at the Arc de Triomphe 1994


If you haven’t yet seen the movie, The Bucket List, starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, then you’re probably wondering what on earth I’m talking about?

Firstly, I’d highly recommend the movie because it’s a good story and they are two extraordinary actors.

Secondly, it’s a movie that inspires you and makes you think, which I must confess are the kind of films I really enjoy the most.

One of the things that I preach the most when I’m coaching people in creating work/life balance is to look for the things in life that will really get under your skin and motivate you to achieve and be successful, because when a person has purpose, life itself immediately becomes more joyous and meaningful.

So what I’m saying is, “Find something to get excited about!”

Amazingly some people really struggle with that.

So, here’s an idea…

Think about all of the places you’d love to visit in the world and write them down as a list of places to visit before you ‘kick the bucket’ (AKA ‘die’).

If someone told you that you only had a year to live, which places would you really want to go and see?

Now if travel is not your thing and your answer is, “I don’t want to go anywhere, I’m fine staying here”, that’s cool too. I have plenty of alternative ideas for you as well, but we’ll save them for a different article (blog).

Nevertheless, here’s an example from me…

I was brought up in Jersey in the English Channel Islands, which is only a short flight off the French coast, west of Paris. Despite its close proximity, every trip I planned there was unavoidably postponed, owing to fog, sickness, yada yada.

So when I found myself living in Perth, Australia, you could say I was almost as far away from Paris as I could get, with two small children and a mortgage and no spare cash, yet I always yearned to go there.


tony-at-napoleons-tomb

Tony visiting Napoleon's tomb

As a teenager, I was fascinated with the exploits of Napoleon and his armies, the way he had led them to incredible victories and the way he had conquered vast amounts of the known world. I had always wanted to go and see his Arc de Triomphe, the French Army Museum and of course the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and all of those amazing tourist icons that the City has to offer.


I cut out photos of the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower and stuck them on my bedroom mirror, vowing that I would somehow go there and visit them.

On top of that, I repeatedly visualised sitting at a table in one of those little Parisian coffee shops, eating croissants, drinking hot chocolate and looking at the view up the Champs Elysee looking at the Arc de Triomphe.

The dream became so strong I could taste the chocolate!

A few years later I found myself emerging from a trip through the Australian Outback, spontaneously jumping on a flight from Darwin to London to chase after the girl whom I later married, then continuing on to Paris.

I felt like pinching myself when…

…there I was drinking my hot chocolate, eating my croissant and admiring the view I had so often imagined. It was an empowering  moment in my life that I will never forget.


So, I’ve personally always found travelling to the places on my bucket list to be a very motivational tool. It’s great to set those goals and to have something specific to which you can look forward and about which you can get excited.

Here’s another thought – don’t wait til you retire to do this stuff. Do it while you are still healthy and active -especially those more physically challenging places.

Plus, if you really want to make it happen, put dates on your list, in order of priority. Don’t stress about how you will afford it – get serious about the goal, visualise it, commit to it and you can turn the dream into a reality.

Machu_Picchu_Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

We’re going scuba diving in Sipadan in a few weeks and in September 2012, we plan to do the Inca trek to Machu Picchu with a couple of good friends, which is definitely one for which we will need to be fit.

So I urge you guys, set aside half an hour, grab a pen and paper and write out your personal bucket list.

I also have a travel business, so if you’re struggling for ideas, have a look at my site at www.myresorts360.com/tonyinman and that can give you some suggestions.

Believe me, having a bucket list is exciting, crossing things and places off the list is even more exciting. If you have any good stories to share, I’d love to hear them.

Until next time, make good things happen – for yourself and for those good people around you!


PS If you want some ideas on making a few extra dollars on the side, to fund those exciting vacations, check out these ideas:

www.sendoutcards.com/clubred

www.myresorts360.net/tonyinman


Are You Living A Life Of Fulfillment?

relaxing-in-the-spa

It's OK to dream!

I could have given this particular blogging article the title, “Are You Happy?” but you would have probably cringed, said to yourself, “Of course I am” and clicked away to a more interesting question.

Now don’t panic, I’m not going all religious here either! (That’s definitely not my style!)

Let’s expand on the question at hand a little…

Here are three sub-questions for you to consider…

  1. “Are you the person you want to be?”
  2. “Are you doing the things you really want to do?”
  3. “Do you have the result you wanted?”

Let’s strip away some of the dirt that may be preventing the diamond you know that you are, from sparkling to the full extent that you could be!

  1. What if you had unlimited time?
  2. What if you had ‘enough’ money? (Let’s say that money was no object – indulge me here for a moment!)

The ThinkerAre those easy questions for you to answer? Do the answers immediately leap out of your mouth or are you stuck?

If you did just go blank, then I would really recommend that you create a few minutes of thinking time today in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed, grab a pen and paper, throw caution to the wind and write down whatever comes out of your head.

When you were just a child, if someone asked what you would like to ‘be’ when you grow up, you could say whatever you wanted and noone would have laughed. They would have said, “Of course, you can be whatever you want to be when you grow up”.

I have now come to terms with the fact that my childhood fantasy career as a professional football player is highly unlikely to come to fruition, although my team did have a spell a few years back when I considered making a phone call to a certain Premier League Manager!

Even had I been of a suitable age and fitness level, however, had I said in my 30′s that I was quitting my job and flying to England to pursue my childhood dream, people would have said I was nuts.

tony at kakaduHad I said anything out of the norm, like “I’m quitting my job to go travelling around Australia”, people would have said I was nuts.

In fact, they did – I was nuts (ish) and I did it anyway, except that half way around, I changed plans and flew to London from Darwin to chase after a girl with whom I had fallen in love.

So what’s even more amazing about that is that I had no money. I created the time of course by quitting the job. The funny thing is that when you ‘go with the flow’ and trust in your own ability to handle whatever comes along, you’ll figure out the small details as you go.

The trouble is of course that it’s a bit addictive. Once you’ve broken the shackles and escaped the rat race, you know that, if you can do it once, you can do it again.

After my second marriage break-up, which was a really low point in my life, and having had no holidays for two years while I slogged away in a 24/7 business, now 44, I followed my staff’s advice to take a break.

I had started dating a lovely 29 year old Swedish girl, named Vicky who was backpacking around the world with her friend. So I volunteered to drive them to Monkey Mia, about 800 kms north of my home in Perth, Australia.

Having finally escaped, I was able to process some of the traumas I had gone through. Nature has fantastic healing properties, so climbing into the Kalbarri gorges, hand feeding a dolphin at Monkey Mia and looking at Dugongs from a catamaran had a big impact on me.

My staff were doing great without me. I decided to continue and continue I did.

vicky-cruising-in-styleI found myself snorkelling with manta rays and a whale shark, riding a camel on a beach at sunset, taking a helicopter ride over the Bungle Bungles, swimming under waterfalls and in thermal springs in the Outback, watching crocodiles jump out of the water. It was all incredible.

I managed to visit an old friend in Darwin, where he recorded me in his studio, playing and singing a song I had written. I drove down the centre and across Australia as we continued on to Townsville and up to Cairns.

I wasn’t being a total slacker though. I was learning a lot about how other people in my Industry did things, networking, interviewing business owners and getting ideas I could adapt for my own enterprise. I could talk with authority to my customers because I had done the things they wanted to do.

Anyway, the reason I’m telling you that is that it was one of the best things I could ever have done for my own soul, which in turn benefited my business and many other people in a sort of butterfly effect kind of way.

Put simply, there will rarely be a ‘perfect’ time to do the stuff you have always wanted to do, but if you keep putting it off until ‘someday’, that could suddenly turn into what we call, ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda’, ie the stuff you wished you had done.

My one week to a destination 800kms away became a nine week, 12,000km adventure that I would not trade for the world – the memories are priceless. Vicky and I always knew she would return to Sweden but we will remain friends for life.

Was I irresponsible? Was I unrealistic? Some might say so. As it happened, my staff achieved a record trading month; I picked up loads of ideas and knowledge; and I returned, refreshed, re-energised and buzzing with excitement.

An interesting book I read again recently was ‘Personal Action Planning – How to get where you are going in a hurry’ by R. Henry Migliore.

write-the-future“We owe it to ourselves to bring out the best of who we are, to use our talents for something beautiful and worthy. That requires a staying power that comes only with vision and determination.”

R. Henry Migliore

So, I challenge you to answer those questions I have posed for you today. Write them down. Think about how you would feel and what it would mean to you if you achieved those things (or even just one of them).

Then ask yourself, when you are lying on your death bed one day (hopefully a long way into the future) which things will I regret – the things I did, or the things I will wish I had done?

My Grandfather was always going to take me fishing when I was a kid. Alas, the closest he came to it was to leave me his fishing rod. It wasn’t quite the same without him there to show me what to do.

I’m not saying you have to quit your job, unless it’s making you unhappy. Here are some ideas for you – places to visit; new skills or hobbies to learn; people to meet; learning another language; starting a home business; buying a car, yacht, house etc.

If you don’t have some kind of course to sail, you’re going to drift awhile.

Until next time, live life in pursuit of your passion.