The Daily Spark2020-04-06T06:42:28-04:00

Igniting Your Passion, Purpose and Performance

The power of focus

I’ve been thinking lately about the core traits for high performance; the core traits for enabling efficiency, productivity, and delivering the value that we all have the potential to deliver. One of the key attributes, that may seem obvious, but is often overlooked, is the power of our focus. Focus doesn’t just mean eliminating distractions and being focused on the task right in front of you. It also reminds us to ask, ‘What is taking up your mental space? What is taking up your mental capacity and absorbing your mental energy without adding any extra value?’ Improving your focus isn’t [...]

Having the Energy to Do It All

With a hint of regret and a look of disappointment, a client recently revealed that she just doesn’t feel like doing much in the evenings after a day of work. She was too tired to think, too overwhelmed to see clearly and “…just needed some ‘me’ time to unwind”. Of course, she’s not alone. It’s a common malaise of today’s “always on” way for many people – demands continue to rise yet our capacity to meet those demands doesn’t naturally rise along with them. This often leaves us in a deficit of time, energy and enthusiasm for what matters to [...]

How do you handle conflict?

How do you approach conflict? How do you handle difficult conversations? It may be at work, where teams aren’t getting along, or you’re not getting along with your manager. It may be a family situation, be it with extended family members or in your relationship. When conflict arises, one of two things happen: we either grow together or we grow apart, even if in small amounts. As one person once told me in a creative workshop, it’s never about the idea itself, it’s about how you treat the idea. Similarly, it’s never about the conflict, it’s about how you treat [...]

The Words and Thoughts That Cost You the Most

Just like the financial loss of a unattended credit card debt or an unused monthly membership, whether you realise it or not, you are paying a significant price for some of your thoughts and words. It’s a concept you’ve probably never considered, but the payoff is huge. Which thoughts and words? The most expensive words you’ll ever utter are the excuses you use to rationalise not doing the things you know need to be done. But guess what? You probably have just a few (instead of dozens) different and recurring excuses you repeatedly use to get out of doing what [...]

What’s in better shape: Your body or your brain?

This week I was inspired by a document I read: Train your Brain – Thrive from Nine to Five. It asks, what’s is in better shape, your body or your mind? A scary question? Or perhaps an interesting one. In today’s culture we are often inundated with messages about body image, leading us to often think about the fitness of our body. But how often do we think about the fitness of our brain? Our body is something we can measure and we can feel; the brain is a little more challenging that way. It prompted me to think, what [...]

The Key to a Rapid Boost in Your Performance

How often do you start your day by getting all the little things ‘out of the way’ first – clearing email, cleaning your desk, catching up on niggly out-of-date to do’s that are stressing you out since they still haven’t been done? All done in an attempt to get the smaller, mundane (or urgent) things off your plate so you can settle down into your day and finally get to the important stuff. It’s a strategy most of us use on a regular basis – but for most of us, it’s flawed. And usually painfully so. While this approach often [...]

The Single Biggest Factor Stopping Your Success

This is a wonderful yet crazy world we live in. We live in a time of incredible opportunities, limitless access to ideas, and convenience all around us. It’s also a time with a lack of security, constant and rapid change, and seemingly unavoidable distractions pulling us in multiple directions at all times. So within this paradoxical storm it’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing or feeling a wall of barriers in front of you, blocking your path to your ultimate success and fulfilment. However, the reality is there is one factor that rises above all others that prevents [...]

The most overlooked part of the success equation

The path to success often means MORE. More health, more money, more time with family, more promotions, more holidays, more ‘more’. Our society seems to relentlessly push us to want more and need more. “Do more with less” is a common mantra in today’s businesses, cutbacks in staff means to continue on the path of ‘getting ahead’ you simply need to put your head down, nose to the grindstone and work harder. All in the name of more. However, there is another side. If you surveyed a group of people, and asked them for one word that describes success, they will come up with [...]

Use hindsight as foresight – and live life on your terms

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to stop. Stop chasing deadlines, stop pushing harder, faster and just…just slo-o-o-o-o-o-o-w down…to a full stop. Spend a bit of quality time with yourself to take stock of what’s working and what’s not.  Are you able to spend time on the things that really matter, that you really want to do (or at least a good portion of your time on these things)? Research shows that people that are stressed and overwhelmed spend less than 25% of their time on things that are fulfilling to them. This can be at [...]

Three Keys to Gaining Clarity (Instantly)

Over the past few weeks I’ve had the privilege and honour to deliver training workshops and coach individuals from over 18 countries. Some in person when I travelled to Australia, Russia and Germany; some over Skype to America and Spain. While everyone has their own challenges and ambitions, what continues to strike me is the absolutely critical importance of CLARITY. Clarity is at the heart of progress and achievement. When you have clarity, you (for the most part) can confidently march forward towards the result you’re after. It doesn’t mean it’s easy or effortless but it does mean that there [...]

The Funny Thing About Commitment

The personal development field is rife with promises of the power of commitment, specifically the commitment to change old patterns or the commitment to strive towards new goals. If you’ve ever been to a personal development seminar, you’ve likely been led through an exercise to get clear on what you want, decide on what new actions you’ll take, and finally, commit to taking action. You’re excited, you’re focus, and you’re committed. Sort of. Your heart says you’re committed and your mind knows you want to, but are you really, truly and honestly committed? And this doesn’t just apply to decisions you [...]

How To Improve Your Self-Discipline

As someone who mostly works from home, with infinite freedom to do as I choose, I often find my thoughts going to things I must do, could do, should do to be more disciplined. Being self-disciplined is a life skill for everyone, critical for ambitious people and it’s a life-line for the self-employed. With substandard self-discipline you let time and productivity leak like a bullet-riddled water pipe, you get pulled in a dozen directions before you realise it’s too late in the day to really get started on something, and you never fully experience your full potential. If your to-do [...]

The Big Impact of Little Baby Steps

It occurred to me recently, that I have spent more than half my life learning about human potential, studying success and gaining insight from the world’s greatest teachers, all to feed my own curiousity about what really matters and what it really takes to create a deeply fulfilling life. A life of your choosing (for the most part), a life on your terms (for the most part), a life filled with more laughter, happiness, health and success. I’ve learned that we – the average, everyday person – are capable of changing our lives in numerous ways, dramatic ways (!) and faster than [...]

When the Going Gets Tough, Where Do You Get Going?

In the past three weeks, I have seen a lot of airports. Nine to be precise. Which means I found myself wandering through the arrivals or departures area on 18 different occasions, to fly in and out of the country. That leaves a lot of time to browse the book shops where the business and self-help sections usually get all my attention. My obsessive curiosity to learn from great thinkers and doers continually fuels my mind and deepens my insights on how to master our potential. It’s no surprise that a common theme amongst books today is ‘Leadership in Tough [...]

Four Killers of Consistent Action

It used to be hard to find out HOW to do something (e.g. get fit, find a job, write a book) but in this day and age, information and people who have already done it are easier to find and connect with than any time in our history. Today, learning the steps to success is usually fairly accessible. But what stops us from taking the necessary action, and do that consistently is the real challenge. We know that even the best strategy and best of intentions don’t always lead to success. We also know there are many things we humans do, that [...]

The Empowering Paradox of Failure

Earlier this week I spent three days with a group of 20 passionate yet overworked and nearly burned out video game developers. My task: to help them to better understand the impact of the choices they make. Specifically the ones that prevent them from performing at a sustainable high level and keep them from experiencing more consistent happiness and fulfillment. Without exception, every time I’ve had the opportunity to guide people to greater understanding of the forces that shape their behaviour, and help them to identify new behaviours that they WANT to do, KNOW is good for them, and KNOW will [...]

What if your problem isn’t the problem?

It’s an inevitable part of being human: facing challenges, resolving issues, dealing with problems. These often unpleasant and uncomfortable parts of our life can attract a lot of our attention. They can absorb a lot of our energy and take us away from other things that are more rewarding, important and fulfilling. Perhaps recently you’ve been spending an extraordinary amount of your time on a problem. How can you tell if it’s just a symptom you’ve been focusing on? But what if the attention you’re giving it is misguided? What if your energy is being wasted? What if the solution [...]

The Greatest Regret You May Ever Have

A little while ago I came across a piece of research on octogenarians – people who have reached their 80’s. The one question that stood out for me provided a simple but profound insight into how I should approach my life now, to prevent me from having the same regret after experiencing more than 80% of my life. The question was this: When you look back on the life that you’ve lived, what is your greatest regret? What do YOU think was the #1 answer across the large survey? I posed this question to a group of business executives I was [...]

Is Your Current Life a Warning or an Example?

It’s been said that there are two ways to live: one as a warning to other people on what not to do, one as an example of how to live and create a life worth living. I’d suggest it’s a good practice to review your ‘current life’ at least twice per year. To stop and check in with yourself. To take an honest look at which parts of your current life are giving you warnings that something isn’t right, yet you’re not heeding those warnings. Some examples could be: Your body is asking for a detox yet you continue to [...]

How Much Uncertainty Can YOU Cope With?

I’m not sure if it’s the time of year, bizarre weather patterns or synchrodestiny, but there are many people in my life – including me – that are experiencing a high level of uncertainty right now. Uncertainty in whether their surgery will allow them to walk normally again, uncertainty in where their next pay cheque is coming from, uncertainty on whether their role will be eliminated in the corporate reorganisation. How much uncertainty you can handle has a dramatic impact on the quality of your days, weeks, and life. There are a few powerful distinctions that you need to make to survive [...]

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