Do you want an inspiring read?
weekly coaching tips which I have been receiving for years. I always find them
inspiring and often send them on to clients. I’ve read lots of his books and
will be attending a workshop he is running in November, so you might hear more
about him later this year.
This book is different from all the rest, as Michael, like
myself, is on a journey of discovery in terms of his own personal development
and this is where it has taken him. This book is very aligned with where I am
at both in terms of my work as an Occupational Psychologist and also as a
Buddhist. Let me quote the summary bullet points of his second chapter:
- ‘A Principle is something that’s fundamental – true for all
people at all times, with no exceptions.
- Our experience of life can be understood via three
fundamental principles: Mind, Consciousness, and Thought.
- To put it another way, everything we experience in life is a
function of three spiritual facts: we are alive, we are aware, and we think.
- We’re only ever one new thought away from a completely
different experience of being alive.’
This thought provoking book is about the fact that we can
solve any problem we face by raising our level of consciousness and changing
our thought patterns. He quotes Syd Banks:
‘Mind is the intelligence of all things; Consciousness makes
you aware; and Thought is like the rudder of a ship.’
If you are ready to believe that ‘we’re only ever one new
thought away from a completely different experience of being alive’, and ready
to take hold of your thoughts and the rudder of your life, then this is the
book for you.
‘Reality is an illusion, albeit an extremely persistent one.’
Mindfulness at work is a
hot topic at the moment, with lots being written about it and many workshops exploring
it. I stumbled upon Maria Arpa’s book quite by chance. For those of you who are
labouring away at work (either your own business or employed) and are wondering
why you are sticking with it, this book is full of ideas and exercises to
increase your mindfulness at work and help you to deal with work place issues.
With chapters such as:
- Wake up and smell the coffee – the introduction to
- Freedom and sustainability – in terms of living a life which
is sustainable in terms of your own health and happiness.
- The conflicts – who doesn’t have conflicts at work?
- Turning work into productive play.
Here are some wise words from Maria on conflict:
‘Before you can be of any use to anyone in a conflict, you
need to be in a compassionate state. This means to be aware of yourself, to
have some cognition and comprehension of your own triggers and behaviours and
to understand what is going on inside you.’
‘If you have learned how to disagree without being
disagreeable, then you have discovered the secret of getting along – whether it
be business, family relations, or life itself.’
I have just started working with Roy Leighton having known him
for about 20 years. He is doing some fascinating, inspiring work with schools, which
I am starting to be involved in. He runs 101 Days To Make A Change programmes
and this book is a great resource to either dip into randomly on a daily basis,
work through it day by day or turn to when you are feeling stuck.
Each day covers a topic, it starts with a quote, has an
explanation, then an exercise to do that day. With topics such as:
- Begin and end with gratitude
- Knowing a habit when you see one
- Daring to dream
- Build on your strengths
- Dealing with the hurt: do I want to feel bitter or better?
It is full of practical but thought provoking ideas, advice
‘You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just the first
Martin Luther King
I have been reading Oliver’s column in The
Observer magazine called ‘This Will Change Your Life’, for many years. So when
I saw this book I knew it would be interesting and I was not disappointed. In
fact, having read the chapter on The Stoic Art of Confronting the Worst Case
Scenario, I realised a) what stoicism is really about and b) that I have a
healthy dose of stoicism which gets me through the tough times. He has
researched and spoken to Stoics, Buddhists, Ulrich Tolle (The Power of Now
author) and many more. In fact you might find me writing some future Inspires
based on some of the topics he covers.
If you find it hard to be positive and just get dragged down
by everyone telling you to think positively, then this will give you a much
deeper and longer lasting route to happiness. Here’s a bit from the chapter on
‘The only things we can truly control, the Stoics argue, are
our own judgements – what we believe – about our circumstances. But this isn’t
bad news. From the Stoic perspective, as we’ve already seen, our judgements are
what cause our distress – and so they’re all that we need to be able to control
in order to substitute serenity for suffering.’
Click here to search by topic or speakers to find your own talks. Here are a few that I
enjoyed this year:
Chip Conley: Measuring what makes life worthwhile – What is
your hierarchy of needs as an individual and as a collective at work, what makes
life worthwhile? Chip’s approach is based on him exploring Maslow’s Hierarchy
of Needs, and then coming up with a new model which is: Survival, Success,
Transformation. He then explores how to evaluate this in the workplace, as most
the time businesses only measure the tangible survival issues, knowing that the
intangible are important but they don’t know how to measure and create them. He
draws on Bhutan’s measuring Gross National Happiness indicators, where they ask:
how do you feel about how you spend your days. Click here.
Andy Puddicombe: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes – Mindfulness
can be about taking just 10 minutes out of your day to have a great impact on
the rest of your day. He asks are you ever in the present moment? Harvard
research shows that our mind is lost in thought 47% of the time, i.e. not in
the here and now but thinking about the past or future. Andy says that
mindfulness is about familiarising yourself with the current moment. Watch how
he uses juggling to demonstrate how our mind juggles things in daily life: Click here.
Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability – You might wonder
what this has to do with work but being vulnerable as a colleague, manager, as
well as a friend and parent will make you a more approachable person. Brené
talks about vulnerability and self esteem and her talk is based on years of
research that she has carried out. She says that people with a strong sense of
love and belonging, who feel they are worthy of connection with others tend to have
the following in common:
- Courage – they tell the story of who they are with their
whole heart – they have the courage to be imperfect.
- Compassion – she says you need to be kind to yourself first,
as we can’t be compassionate towards others if we are not compassionate to
- Connection as a result of authenticity – letting go of who
you think you should be and just being who you are.
- Vulnerability – they fully embraced vulnerability – they
believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful.
Click here for a link to the talk.