Monthly Archives: August 2015



The Present Moment

The reality is that the only time we every have is the present moment.  Therefore if we are not mentally present in the NOW then we are wasting away our lives.  We are missing the only time we have.  If we spend our now thinking about the past or future or problems etc. then we are not here!  We also cannot get anything done and get what we want out of life unless we can focus on the present.  Every past moment was a now (now gone) and every future now depends on what you do in this now. Now is all that matters!  How you turn up to now impacts the next now – ad infinitum.  We all want to be happy but we keep chasing happiness in the future.  This is because our mind gets distracted with negatives and has a problem being here in the present moment.  Our minds have a tendency to hang onto negativity.


We need to be able to focus on doing one thing at a time, being in Flow.  Flow is that wonderful sense of being present and totally focussed – everything else in life being excluded – totally focussed on the outcome and making intuitive decisions about what to do.  According to Jim Fannin, mental performance coach to some of the world’s top athletes, the average person has 2-3,000 thoughts in one day.  A sports champion however has 1,100 or 1,200 thoughts in one day.  The champion thinks less and has eliminated 30-40% of their thoughts.  Everything is in a flow state of mind avoiding thought into the past and assumption thinking into the future.  Champions are fully focussed on what they are doing in the present moment.

Purposeful focus, developed through the regular practice of meditation and maintained through the regular checking-in to reality throughout the day, enables us do just what we need to do to achieve our objective for now.


Mindfulness Meditation

One of the most well-known types of meditation is mindfulness meditation which is when you intentionally pay attention to whatever is here in the moment.  Mindfulness meditation is a gym workout for the brain.  Brain-imaging studies show that meditation sharpens attention and memory.  Perhaps most importantly, it has been linked to increased happiness or life satisfaction and greater compassion.  Meditation also helps in stress relief and helps people in chronic pain or suffering from depression.  Simple body focused mindfulness can improve flexibility in the brains sensory attention system and we can learn how to regulate negative or repetitive thoughts.

I have meditated for about 10 minutes per day each morning for the past number of years.  I also practice bringing myself back into the present moment throughout my day.  As a result of my doing these exercises I have found that I am much more present and focussed than I used to be.  I have observed that I can now, for the most part, follow conversations more closely and listen more intently to what people are saying.  I can sit in a meeting and keep focussed on what is being said.  Before I started meditating I tended to be distracted by my own internal thoughts – a constant chatter from my inner critic.  I find that I am now able to observe my thoughts and am less controlled by them.  I am also able to focus my attention on whatever I am working on for longer with much less distracting thoughts than I used to have.

Body Scan Mindfulness

This is an example of an exercise to practice being more mindful.  For this particular exercise schedule 5 – 10 minutes in the morning or whenever you can relax and are not likely to be disturbed.  Just allow yourself to pay attention to the sensations in your body.   If, while doing this exercise, thoughts intrude, that is okay – just notice the thoughts, notice yourself noticing the thoughts and gently guide your awareness back to your body.  This mental exercise is available as a free mp3 audio to listen on your computer or download. Please listen to the audio and allow yourself to be guided through the exercise.  To download please click the link below and then right click and ‘Save video as…’ to download the mp3 file.

Listen NOW

How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger (1947)


The book has some great endorsements from people such as Norman Vincent Peale and Dale Carnegie and contains some timeless wisdom on how to sell.  It doesn’t matter what you are selling the principles remain the same.  I am not a salesman by profession but in many ways we are all salesmen and saleswomen.  We are selling our skills at job interviews, selling ideas and trying to get people to buy into them.  Therefore this book about sales is for everyone.  I saw the book recommended somewhere and I bought it.  I am happy I did as it has given me a number of great ideas to experiment with in my life. Frank Bettger’s own life story is also very interesting and forms the backdrop to the book.

Ideas for Experiment

Chapter one opens with an intriguing title:  “How One Idea Multiplied my Income and Happiness”.  What was the idea?  To act enthusiastically.  In order to become enthusiastic you have to act  enthusiastic.  Frank gives examples on how this changed his life for the better.   Frank mentions a man called Stanley Gettis who repeated the following poem every morning for twenty years:


“You are the Man who used to boast
that you’d achieve the uttermost,
some day.

You merely wished to show,
to demonstrate how much you know
and prove the distance you can go..

Another year we’ve just passed through.
What new ideas came to you?
How many big things did you do?

Time left twelve fresh months in your care
how many of them did you share
with opportunity and dare
again where you so often missed?

We do not find you on the list of makers good.
explain the fact!
Ah No, ‘Twas not the chance you lacked!
As usual – you failed to act!”

by Herbert Kauffman

The above poem helped generate enthusiasm for Stanley’s day ahead.  In order to become enthusiastic you have to act  enthusiastic – Bettger recommends putting this rule into action for 30 days and and says “be prepared to see astonishing result”.  Wow sounds like this is a ready made experiment for me (and you) to try out!

Another brilliant idea that Frank used to become a great salesman was to keep records on exactly what he was doing.  For example how many sales calls he actually made, how many people he was actually talking to, what were the results of his sales calls, how much time he was spending.  Frank noticed that when he did this his performance went up.  He was creating accountability for himself and was able to measure his performance and improve on it.  When he stopped keeping records his sales went down!  There is an important lesson here for all of us.  We can delude ourselves that we are really busy.  However are we really busy working on what matters?  One way to address this is to actually record what you are doing.  How much time in a week are you and I really working on important tasks? There are endless opportunities in today’s world for distraction – checking emails, surfing the web and chatting with co-workers etc.  We may be at work all day but how much time are we really working?

Another great idea for experiment – keep a diary for a week of what you actually do and then analyse it.  What insights have you learned about your work habits and productivity?

There is so much more to this book and I have just highlighted two great ideas above.  In fact there are so many great ideas in the book that it deserves a second reading!

I really liked Claude Whitacre’s review of the book on YouTube:

If you would like to buy this great book from Amazon please click on the link below:


Disclosure: The book link on this page is an affiliate link meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. I also honestly believe that it is a great book! Thanks for your support in this way!