Sunday, 16 September 2018

Begin Again - Knife Party

A Chocolate Box Viewpoint...
Knife Party are an Australian electronic music duo comprising Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen, two members of the drum and bass band Pendulum (One of my favourite bands if you know me well). 'Begin Again' is the stand-out track from their debut album, 'Abandon Ship'. Take a look and see if you get my vibe for today's blog about my thoughts about the creating your future-self.

‘Is there somewhere else to be, is there another way to feel’…

You see, for a lot of people they can’t see a future. Any change from their current situation is completely unthinkable and there’s no possible way out of their current ‘Life-Treacle’. Sure, we can find ourselves unhappily driven down a one way street without a hope of finding reverse but there is always a solution and a different viewpoint that can produce some positive vibes and a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ solution. Sometimes, we tend to go with the flow and act in the way we expect people would expect – especially in these days of social media, but I believe a more candid self-assessment works wonders in building a brighter future.

‘The lost pieces all over, getting closer’…

Oh, I do love a jigsaw reference in a blog and here goes – You see, I truly believe we try to live out life far too perfectly – trying to build the perfect ‘Chocolate Box’ jigsaw picture when in reality a lot of the pieces are missing or are jumbled up from other puzzles. To fix this in myself, I relate every day to being a piece of a life-long jigsaw of unlimited pieces that I’ve been slowly building these past 9,000 days - The ‘Ultimate 9,000 piece Jigsaw so far’

‘Hold up your hands and begin again, hold up your hands when you reach the end’…

Knowing when to start the rebuilding process, well there’s the rub. It’s far too easy to immediately say, ‘Right NOW’, ‘This is IT’ or ‘This is MY time’ – I believe it takes a proper in-depth thought process to grab the right time and approach to really make things happen – that’s when you hold your hands up and begin again. A positive, deep thought process on a ‘Not today decision’ always works wonders, making things up as you go along or going with the flow doesn’t produce good long-term results I’ve found.

‘We live and we work and we die for it, we know our path and we fight for it’…

And there’s the commitment, the die-hard approach. The knowledge that whatever happens, nothing and I mean NOTHING will ever challenge or change your thought process on whatever direction you are taking. I don’t know about you but I’m a fighter. I fight for what I believe. In my experience whatever happens, wherever we find ourselves, no matter how dire a situation is – you CAN ‘Begin Again’ – Amen.

1,024 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Dreamer - Supertramp

'Make it Happen' - C S Ragsdale
Dreamer, you know you are a dreamer…

Taken from their 1974 album ‘Crime of the Century, Dreamer reached #13 in the UK Charts in February 1975 – I remember hearing it on the radio very well, take a listen and clock the drummer and bass player that look more like Open University presenters than Rockstars. For those not so familiar with Supertramp, they were a ‘Prog Rock/Art House’ kinda band, lodged between Roxy Music and Wishbone Ash in my record collection and always more of a 'Girls Group' to my teenage mind...

I said ‘Far out, what a day, a year, a life it is!’

Anyway, the Big Question is…Do YOU Dream? I know I do. I’ll admit it’s sporadic especially with two small children as sleep is either heavily interrupted or deeply comatose. However, when I dream, the dreams feel familiar – there’s a fascinating concept that you can only dream about what already know or what you’ve already experienced, it happened that way for me last night. During sleep the Neurons in our brains must still be firing, reconstructing reality, connecting experiences, people and places in a crazy channel-hopping-ransom-note-way. It's an alternative world in which we also exist - yikes that's deep.

You know, well you know, you had it comin' to you…

There are some great ‘Dream’ quotes if you need inspiration:-

‘A positive attitude can really make dreams come true - it did for me.’ - David Bailey
‘A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.’ - Yoko Ono

You inspired now? They seem pretty obvious to me and second nature. Hmmm.

I like the phrase ‘Beyond my wildest dreams’ that folk use when they win the 'Lottery'. To go beyond your widest dreams, takes some doing but the only thing is I’m not sure I have wild dreams. Maybe they are wild but seem normal. I mean like most people I’ve been flying above myself and naked in public many times which I’m told are common dreams and have a whole plethora of meanings that 'Google' will provide if you have the time.

Work it out someday…

Okay what I’m really on about are the dreams where you plan out the near and distant future. If you ever get the chance to run a mega-day Marathon or even the Marathon des Sables, you’ll have hours of unbroken thinking time to get a lot of your life in order and make proper life-plans, really detailed and well thought out plans about the months and years ahead. Its amazing how much time you can think about just one thing I've found.

I love that aspect of running and the deep thinking that accompanies the ‘Time-Out’ from everyday life. It’s amazing how pumped up and how much you get done and change when you’ve had such a life-experience and wake up back in reality..

Take a dream on a Sunday,
Take a life, take a holiday,
Take a lie, take a dreamer,
Dream, dream, dream, dream, dream, dream, dream, dream along…

So, as we head into September and the last third of 2018 - What are you dreaming of? What’s going to brighten your future? Make you happier? Calmer? Faster? Thinner? Richer? I'd love to know. 

Maybe become your own Dream-Team and make your Dreams come true - You Dreamer.

Can you put your hands in your head, oh no!

1,023 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Back in NYC - Genesis

‘Cos we’re only as strong, as the weakest link in the chain’ - Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett & Rutherford.

It’s a lyric that’s always resonated with me and if you are not familiar with the double-concept album ‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway’, it’s well worth a listen as it’s Peter Gabriel’s finest and last work as Genesis’ frontman. It’s a perfect line to accompany today’s blog and mildly ironic as Gabriel left the band during the making of ‘The Lamb’ leaving the rest of the band with little hope of a future - a future that went on to make them millions and Gabriel a near bankrupt.

You see, it’s a common misconception to think that we are invaluable. The world’s best aren’t the best forever. In the world of athletics, Radcliffe and Edwards might still be the World Record Holders, but no longer complete. In other sports, Wiggins has disappeared and the Brownlee’s will soon follow as new kids come onto the block, starting to make their mark on the world. Sure, their achievements are immense and they will all hold a special place in the ‘World of Sport’ – for their generation of course but will like Hemery, Bedford & Ovett, soon become faded memories.

I look at my own sporting achievements in the knowledge that although all of my World Records have been well and truly beaten. However, I can enjoy the fact that I created them and gave birth to a whole series of human endurance records that will go on to test the most hardened and determined person well beyond their limit of human endurance for generations to come. I love being creative.

I love the feeling that creativity brings and I’m loving the creativity of the ‘Average2Awesome Community’ right now. And although it’s still embryonic - the positivity and results it’s starting to deliver are simply remarkable. Not just with one person, it’s across the board. Everyone is a ‘Superstar’. The Team Spirit is SO strong.

Yes, everyone can be their own ‘Weakest Link’ but in our community there’s an overwhelming feeling to succeed not fail. To be the best you possibly can, to give nothing less than 100% and to be the person you’ve always dreamt of being. I feel so good about this right now and although I believe that I’ve been lucky and achieved a lot in my time –this could be the best and most important thing I’ve ever been part of. 

‘The call me the Trail-blazer’.

I'll keep you posted - Watch this space…

1,023 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Monday, 20 August 2018

Victim of Illusion - Michael Schenker Group

If you were a young man like me back in 1980, you would have been impressed by the unorthodox, 'Gibson Flying V' playing, Michael Schenker. His music was described, at the time, as melodic hard rock but looking back wasn't all that heavy - the self-titled album 'The Michael Schenker Group' though was a must have, especially if you were part of the 'New Wave' of Heavy Rock that was bursting on the scene. Judge for yourself and try and ignore the long hair and spandex tights!

Put it this way, it must have had a profound effect as nearly 40 years on, it was the first song that jumped into my head. when I considered the subject of being a 'Victim'.

'I can't put out the fire, been blinded by the flame,
I have to run for cover, can't stand the pain
Can't stand the pain'.

You see, I’ve experienced being a victim. Or rather I got to understand what being a victim was like a couple of years ago - living the daily ‘Hell’ of ‘Guillian-Barre Syndrome’.

A condition I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, if I had one. But rather than let it ruin my life and become a long-term GBS Victim (there are many you see), I decided that I didn’t want or need to be a victim – I just wanted to be me again (or as close as I could as possible) to try and live out a relatively normal life...

I decided I didn’t want to become another ‘Energy Vampire’ broadcasting tales of personal woe that eventually fall on deafened ears. I wanted to escape my predicament and feel like I’d won the battle with GBS. Yet, there was no-one there to guide me through the process. The whole thing was a rather messy affair without any clear facts or path to follow. Without my inner strength, I wouldn’t have made it. Ironically, if I’d felt suicidal or desperate, there was a lot more help and direction available. I did see a psychologist as part of my hospital de-mob but I’m not sure what she thought of me. I made her head spin with my thought process I think but she said I was ‘very focussed’ and capable of managing my own way out of the GBS ‘Maze’. So, there you go.

‘The screams are loud but then he can't hear
Nightmare shows his face, then disappears
Ooh victim of illusion, ooh victim of illusion’.

Now I’m not totally empathy-free and I’m fully aware that we live in a tough world, especially if you’ve been dealt a bad hand. But the way to a better and much calmer life is only a step away – I did. Taking the step of ‘Acceptance’ and leaving the thought of being a ‘Victim’ behind will change your outlook on the world, and a much brighter vision awaits, I believe.

But no-one else can ever make it happen for you. You have to do that bit yourself…

‘Gone is the free expression, but look into my eyes,
The silent world is laughing, the mirror never lies,
The mirror never lies!’

Take a long hard look at the ‘Victim’ looking back at you in the mirror. Maybe, it’s time to leave that person behind.  Your family, friends and social network will love you for it and you might start loving yourself.

There's nothing more to say!

1,023 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Wrong - Everything but the Girl

Tom Hanks succeeding as Jim Lovell
I wanted everything for a little while, why shouldn't I - Thorn & Watt
Well, I don’t know about you but it’s been a super-busy week here at Coleman Coaching. I don’t mind as I love helping folk plan their future and achieve their dreams. However, these plans are built upon a huge foundation of ‘Trust’ and ‘Blue-Sky thinking’ on my part, based on my interpretation of the individuals ability. Now I’m not really a big fan of the ‘Blue-Sky’ saying but hopefully you get where I’m coming from when I say these plans are based only for ‘Success’ and not for ‘Failure’ - which includes (‘Partial Success’ and ‘Partial Failure’) - if those are real terms and not ones I’ve just created! 

The plans are a vital part of a ‘Success Mindset’ that folk are missing in their DNA I believe, ‘The-Win-at-all-Cost-Gene’. Yet it seems that it’s our ‘Failures’ where real ‘Success’ is measured and I for one know that my biggest life-achievements are quitting Alcohol, 25 years ago and beating a life-threatening condition. The GBS blogs had far more hits than passing the 1,000 marathon mark. 

In my world, it’s all about succeeding. I can’t see the point in setting out to ‘Fail’ or setting out levels of  ‘Success’ to mark my achievement. If I were in Education, I wouldn’t have ‘A Level’ grades to confuse future employees - there would be a simple ‘P- Pass’ or ‘F - Fail’ to reflect what really happens in the ‘Real World’ denoting you’ve either achieved something or you haven’t. I mean, there’s no ‘Partial Success’ in climbing Everest or completing the Marathon des Sables - my ‘P’ or ‘F’ system would work a treat here. And in business you either brought the project in on time and in budget or you didn’t - you see it’s simple.

Yet, we have to put in ‘Levels of Success’ into lots of aspects of our lives to allow for things not going to plan, which I believe leads to mediocrity. I often hear - ‘I’ve mainly followed the Programme or Diet’ or ‘It was only a minute, day, week, month’ late. Imagine the greatest achievement of the 20thCentury, Man landing on the Moon, using those core values. Neil Armstrong simply wouldn’t have made it. Yet after Apollo 11, Apollo 13 is the only other one anyone can remember - for failing. Apollo 13 has an Oscar-winning film, Apollo 11 doesn’t.

Maybe as a nation we naturally side with the ‘Underdog’ the ‘David’ in any ‘Goliath’ situation? People ‘Succeeding’ against the odds. I like to be a lot more organised than that and have some clearly set agenda to get me where I want to be - in sickness and in health, when things go right or wrong.

Having a plan, sticking to it and getting the right results is so satisfying - you just have to have a plan. The right one for you and your ability and your stamina as it all takes time, probably a lot more than you’d budgeted for.

You can’t buy ‘Success’ you have to earn it and that’s why it’s easy to fail in this instant world of ours. If your DNA is in need of a system upgrade then please contact me so we can make some ‘Success’ plans for your future. It’s there for the taking…

1,023 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Monday, 13 August 2018

No Regrets - The Walker Brothers

Lyric:- ‘Now just beyond the darkest hour and just behind the dawn’ - Rush

Song Choice:- Call me sentimental, but The Walker Brother’s version of the Tom Rush classic is the one I can remember from 1976 - where it peaked at #7 in the UK chart, rather than the rather stark and dark electronic, Midge Ure version of 1982. 

Have a listen for yourself and you’ll see where I’m coming from today as I explain my thoughts on measuring ‘Success’.

Now before I give my thoughts, I thought I’d ask ‘Google’ about 'Success' and it came back with a quote from the famous American author, R Collier.

‘Success is the sum of small efforts. Repeated day in, day out’.

Sounds about right - but he also said, ‘The first principle of Success is Desire’. Which I also get even more and is probably nearer to my own philosophy. But in search of further research I thought I’d ask my peer group how they measure ‘Success’.

The answers fitted the following themes:-
  • Measured by Personal Bests
  • A general feeling of well-being
  • A self-acceptance of personal reality. 
All of them are quite valid and are perfect reflections of how people have gauged their own 'Success' over the years. The interesting thing of me though is how ‘Success’ is measured historically and how ‘Success’ in the future is muted in case of failure. It's part of being 'British' perhaps not to shout too loudly about your hopes and aspirations and therefore underachieve and regret things later on.

Hopefully, I have many years ahead of me and I’ll be able to say that I’ve had ‘No Regrets’. In reality, it will be more like a 'Few Regrets’, but there won’t be too many as I’ve ticked most of my ‘Success’ boxes and will continue to achieve more in the time I have left.

I believe the brain can be trained to be liberating, rather than limiting over time... 

I’ve been very fortunate over the years’ not to be depressed about my ‘lot’ and feel that even when things have been tough, I’ve come out fighting. I mean let’s face it, no one is going to fight your battles for you and if you don’t believe in yourself - then no-one else will. I’ve encountered a lot of this over the past week and I've worked hard in helping folk change their thought patterns. It's amazing how much the sun can shine in, on even the darkest of times.

The lyrics say that it’s darkest just before dawn - and how true that is. The darkest time people experience, I call it ‘Point Zero’, if recognised can be totally empowering if it’s embraced and given a fresh direction. It's there for the taking - it's up to you if you want it.

Maybe today’s a good time to analyse your achievements, health and well-being? Do they match your 'Ability' or ‘Life-Blueprint’? Or do you need to up your game?

Then you can live life to the full with ‘No Regrets’…

1,023 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

All in my Head - Kosheen

Wow, it's busy in there...
Fifteen years on from the hot of summer of 2003 and ‘All in my Head’ sounds just as good as it did all the way back then. It became a real ‘Life Anthem’ for me and the lyrics still speak volumes and really resonated, when it popped up in my headphones yesterday. It’s well worth a listen to see where I’m coming from  and for the pop-historians amongst you it was co-written by Sian Evans (originally from Caerphilly) and reached #7 in the UK Charts.

For me the lyrics are full of energy and promise – or perhaps of personal realisation? See what you think…

‘Are we flying high, spinning in our time, living life and loving free, this is where I want to be, come on’…

See what I mean? The song is full of the values I write of so often. About living life to the full - right here and right now. So why do WE make it SO hard for ourselves? What is it within our DNA that makes us do things the hard way?

Yikes it's hard...

I often ask folk where life on this planet of ours takes place… and the answer is always ‘In my head’. And there’s the answer, I believe, to a much brighter future for us all. We can do anything - achieve far more than our wildest dreams and be the person we’ve always wanted to be with the right ‘Mindset’. More and more I find folk just haven’t got the ‘Drive’ or  ‘Killer Quality’ needed to realise their aspirations. As a society we are distilling this out of our future generations. Non-competitive sports-days and everyone being Super-Politically-Correct and GDPR friendly is wrecking the honesty we need for success. From being Awesome - we are becoming really Average.

How rubbish is that? Or are you too scared to comment?

Personally, I don’t care much for such personal limitations and in my 'Black and White World’ there’s no time to waste as I’m where I want to be and I’m saying to you today ‘Come on’ buck your ideas up - The only person holding you back is you. 

The limits are ‘All in your head’.

1,022 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records