Are you missing out on a moment that could last forever?

How many times have you thought to yourself, "why can't good things happen to me?" Well, they can, and you just need to be open to them happening so you can see the opportunities that present themselves to you each day.

I can't guarantee that these will be life changing, that they'll shift your life, outcomes or whatever else is important to you, but I can guarantee that if you sort through the ordinary and plain, you'll find some gems. It's quite surprising to me how many people don't make the most of the wonderful opportunities that fall into their hands each day. Sometimes we can't see the wood for the trees.

Perhaps you'll find yourself in a position at work to take on a new project that, when delivered, might give rise to a promotion or a move around the world. It could happen when you meet a new contact at an event that can connect you to a world of possibilities in your personal or professional life. Or maybe you'll be out one day or night and bump into someone special who could be important to you romantically.

And it's then up to you as to what you do with those gems. Will you hesitate and miss an opportunity, or will you grab it with both hands and make the most of it? Will you question yourself and what you want so that the moment passes, leaving you standing there wondering what you lost? Or maybe you'll say that you are not good enough for whatever it is, and the opportunity will move on to someone else who believes they are worthy.

The bottom line is to always be on the lookout for the gems that could change your life, and also be truly open to them, so they don't pass you by. By doing so, you can turn that wishful thinking around and move from 'what if?' to 'what is'. 

A moment may not always last forever, but if you are ready to look out for them, a moment might just change your life forever. Keep your eyes open, keep your mind open, and above all, keep your heart open. Enjoy!

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips and hacks delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.

The power of your vote

If you're in the UK today, you probably have the right to vote in a very important matter; should the UK remain in the EU or leave the EU?

Days like these don't come along very often. For those of you who have the right to vote, please take that right and use it.

Whatever your choice, have your say today rather than regret you didn't tomorrow.

And remember, as you take action to vote on your preference, you can also take action in other aspects of your life to make your life amazing. Conscious choice followed by action will get you there!

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips and hacks delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.

Are you a fool beyond April 1st?

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Over the years, I've been the fool and have been caught out many times on April 1st.

This year, a friend wanted me to go to a new restaurant and I agreed. On reading the menu through a second time, I realized that I had agreed to go to a restaurant that was actually just serving water. You can see the menu on the nearby image. To be clear, I was savvy enough to know that Google's video purporting to offer a new delivery method using parachutes was intended as a joke and not a serious business solution (at least for now).

I always take the opportunity to laugh at myself so I found it very funny. Then, in my usual reflective manner, I thought more broadly about April Fool's Day and how this international gem may be a symbol of the fact that we are fools all year around rather than just once a year.

Let me explain what I mean. Most of us work day in, day out without asking whether we should be doing that job, or if we do ask ourselves that important question, we do nothing about it when we realize that we shouldn't still be in that job for the list of reasons we carry in our heads every day (and probably share with co-workers, friends and family at any and every opportunity).

Most of us don't challenge our finances in any meaningful way. We may review them and may understand that we need to make changes to either our spending or our earning, but then we do nothing with that realization.

You, or someone you know, may not be having a good time in a relationship. But do you, or they, do something about it or just let it carry on indefinitely?

Perhaps your home isn't quite what you want it to be. You know that, but perhaps you haven't taken any meaningful steps to change your situation for the better.

Whatever it is that you know is wrong in your life - that is staring you in the face - it's time to recognize that you need to do something to improve it or you have to accept the fact that it will truly be the same forever, however bad it is. Change starts with a realization that something isn't what you want or need it to be, followed by a decision to commit to making your reality different.

While an April Fool's joke may be an opportunity to laugh at oneself and see things from a different angle, we may be missing the bigger picture here. I'm not saying that life is one huge April Fool's joke, I'm merely pointing out that we are all in a position to change something in our life (or, perhaps, many things) and if we choose not to do so, we might be the fool and the joke is on us.

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips and hacks delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.

The ups and downs of leap year!

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It may not feel like it, but today is a gift. Just in case you hadn't noticed, it's a leap year and today - 29th February - is a bonus day. 

Now, for those of you who realize that it's Monday, you may be feeling less like celebrating this great gift. And, if you're a full time employee, you may feel a lot less like celebrating because you're probably not getting paid any more for working this extra day than you would be if we had 365 days this year. That's one of the realities of being salaried and having equal pay each month. Winner!

So, with those considerations in mind, let me try to persuade you that today is, indeed, a gift.

We can all achieve what we want to achieve if we put our minds to it and put some effort behind that. Often, small changes create the catalyst for transformations that impact our lives and careers and you don't need very much time to kickstart a meaningful change that will help you get to something that's truly important to you.

Perhaps you're looking to get healthier for the summer (summer bodies are built in winter, you know) or you're aiming for a promotion or a new career altogether. Maybe you want to change up your personal relationships or home life. Well, whatever it is that you want to do, the good news is that you can start now.

I appreciate that unless you have a tiny goal you aren't likely to achieve your goal in one day, but you can do a lot with just 24 hours or a tiny fraction of that. And even if you are at work right now, you can still start the process today and make some progress that you can be proud of.

Why not try it? You have nothing to lose. Start by simply making a decision about what's truly important to you. Once you've done that, and you've got your goal in mind, make a commitment to yourself about being successful. Then, make another commitment to the goal you decided upon. Easy so far, right?

You know what you have achieved in your life thus far and how far you've come. Aside from yourself, there's nothing stopping you from going even further. Every meaningful change starts with some action and before you know it you are at that tipping point that brings that goal straight into your arms.

Now you have determined your goal and made a commitment both to yourself and that goal, do something today that will help you get closer to achieving your vision. It doesn't have to be much; just pick something that you need to do that will help you make progress so when you wake up tomorrow, not only will you have determined your goal, made commitments to yourself and to the goal, but you'll have taken some action towards achieving it. Perhaps you'll simply do some research about your new career, or you'll take those first steps towards moving home or changing a relationship. You may go for a longer walk or a more intensive gym session if fitness is your goal or you might clean up that mess at home that has been bugging you for weeks. As long as you're doing something that will feel great because you are making progress towards your goal, that's perfect. And you'll thank yourself in the morning when you wake up. 

If you're thinking that today isn't as much of a gift as I made you believe, then perhaps you're looking at things the wrong way around. Time is finite so make the most of every day, whether it's a leap year or not.

And if you start by seeing this extra day as a gift, perhaps you'll start to look at every day as a gift and the golden opportunity it truly is to make your life amazing.

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips and hacks delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.

How do you judge your success?

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I took my trusty old bike out last weekend for the first time in a while. I've had that bike for more than 26 years and I used to cycle to school on it. When I first moved to Los Angeles from London, my bike came with me and I cycled about a hundred miles a week. I loved watching the sun rise over Santa Monica pier as I cycled north towards Malibu and back south towards Venice and I used to get up at 4am in order to do so.

When I moved just a few miles further inland, I started to cycle less. The roads put me off heading down to the beach bike path - or rather, the crazy local drivers put me off - and so I've been finding other ways to exercise and to have quality thinking time.

Last weekend, I needed some new perspectives and so I took my bike out for the first time in six months and headed down to the beach. I know every inch of that bike to the point where it's sometimes hard to know when I finish and the bike starts.

I cycled along that familiar route and saw the sun high in the sky, felt the warmth on my skin and saw people enjoying their days by the beach dressed in the blue of the sky. By the time I reached the northern end of the bike path, some 7.5 miles from where I had started, it was as if I had never been off my bike. I looked out briefly towards the ocean in the hope that I might see some dolphins, before turning back. It was too late in the day for dolphins, but I remembered clearly the many times I had seen them while I was cycling along that very path.

On the way back, the wind appeared to be against me, slowing me down as if it was telling me that I needed to spend more time savoring the moment. As I cycled, I found the perspective I was looking for that would help me solve a work challenge and I was reminded that - for me - exercising to find a solution was the right answer.

As I came back by Santa Monica pier, with the sun illuminating the rides, I remembered the final part of my journey home. Three significant hills from the beach to home, each increasing in length and incline. When it came to the first one, which I had climbed perhaps a thousand times, I was determined and shot up as if I had been training my whole life to do that.

Half a mile later, and I'm facing the second incline. This one is three times longer than the first and twice as steep. I picked up speed at the bottom of the hill and worked my gears until I got to the top, in spite of the driver that decided to perform a u-turn in the road right in front of me. It felt great to get to the top of the road and look back at my achievement.

A mile later and I'm at the bottom of the last hill facing my greatest challenge yet. This one is double the height of the second hill and steeper, too. Given the road layout, there's no space to pick up speed before I start ascending and so I give it my best shot. I work down through the gears to make it easier for me to pedal and when I reach the point where I feel like I'm running out of steam, I reluctantly dismount and start pushing.

It's at that point that a woman shouts over to me, "Don't be lazy, get on your bike and pedal". I'm a little taken aback at this, especially as it's coming from someone who is driving up the same incline I'm walking up. In a moment, I was snapped out of my reverie and back to reality. And for a short time, I felt bad at not being able to reach the top of that incline on my bike. I started to judge myself by that woman's standards, and I felt like I had failed.

On reaching the top, I looked down to the bottom of the hill and by that time, I could see out to the ocean that was now some two miles away. I realized then that I shouldn't be so hard on myself. That woman didn't have any context of what I had achieved that day; she didn't know that I had decided to get on my bike for the first time in six months and she didn't know that by the time I reached that incline, I had already cycled fourteen miles. 

Indeed, she only saw a snapshot in time and made a judgement without the context of my starting position and what I had been through. Where she saw failure, I saw fourteen miles of achievement and two inclines scaled successfully. 

Next time, which won't be as long away, I'm going to try to get up that third hill as well. And if I don't, I'll be the one to judge myself and whether I'm successful, rather than leaving that to someone who doesn't know me and doesn't recognize what I have achieved.

It struck me then, that we all judge others on a daily basis but often we don't have the right information to make an informed judgement. We may look at - and judge others based on - their careers, their financial positions, what they spend, what they own, where they live, and so on, but we don't have the right information to make that judgement and, frankly, we typically apply our own standards when making the judgement. Just as the woman who judged me had a different set of standards to those I hold for myself.

It is up to me to define what my success looks like in my work and career, in my personal life, with friendships, with my financial situation and so on. And I'll respect other people sufficiently to allow them to define their own success. Along the way, I'll judge my success and leave others to judge theirs. And see how that helps to make the world a better place, one steep hill at a time.

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips and hacks delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.

Are you living a purposeful life?

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How did you spend the last week? Perhaps a tough time at work followed by over-indulgence at brunch or dinner at the weekend? One for the road after a difficult day in the office turned into a hangover the next day? A trip to the shops left you with a big credit card bill to look forward to next month?

Time flies... whether you are having fun or not and the older you are, the faster it seems to fly by. Can you believe how long ago New Year's Eve was? We all start the year with grand ideas as to how this year is going to be different from last year and the one before that. We set our resolutions and we feel great about them. Then day to day life gets in the way and we are weeks and months on and they feel like a great idea that we didn't quite get around to achieving. Still, there's always next year!

Sometimes, there will be good reasons as to why we haven't achieved a goal or the outcome we set our hearts and minds on. Mostly, though, we don't get where we want to be, don't get to own what we want and don't get to be who we really would prefer to be because we don't live a purposeful life.

If you add up all of the time you spend right now doing things that yield little or no value for you, how much time would that give you to do something purposeful? Count all the time you might spend getting drunk, watching bad TV and working extra hours that no-one will thank you for, and how much time - and energy - would that mean you could invest in something meaningful for you? Enough to achieve one of your goals? Enough to help you make a really solid start in getting to that much desired outcome? Absolutely.

I'm not saying that you can't go out and have fun. I like a night out as much as the next person. I'm not saying you can't go shopping or get brunch or dinner. I'm just saying that we have a limited amount of time in each day, week, month and year and we get to choose how we spend it. Rather than not even being conscious about how we spend our time, we should consciously choose to do something instead of just watching awful television through habit or because we can't be bothered to try to do something more productive or meaningful. Indeed, sometimes doing nothing or sitting and meditating or going for a walk might give you a better outcome than any of the other things you do. Perhaps if you already spend a lot of time at home it might make more sense for you to go out to new social or work networking events. Making a conscious decision will free you from your potentially negative existing behaviors and give you the power of purposeful choice.

One of the key differences between people who succeed and people who believe they haven't succeeded is in setting a goal and going off and being purposeful about getting there. That's in stark contrast to being one of the many millions of people who simply dream about achieving what is important to them and don't do anything about it (aside, perhaps, from buying a lottery ticket - though that is flawed too, as this article explains when it opens in a new window).

So, here's your No Bull challenge. Over the next week, consciously decide whether you want to do something or whether that time is better served in a different activity. If you think you would get more out of that better activity, then go off and do that instead. Then see how you feel at the end of the week. I imagine that after just one week of being purposeful about how you spend your time, you'll have achieved more things that are important to you and you'll be happier, healthier and perhaps more successful in heading towards those goals than you would have been had you carried on as you were. There's only one way to find out; give it a try and then let me know by dropping me a line or posting a comment on this blog entry.

And along the way, enjoy being conscious and purposeful with your choices. It's very liberating.

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips and hacks delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.

Do you live mighty?

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Many people start to think about the different aspects of their lives as they head into a new year and, in the process, people make decisions about what they want to do, what they'll change and how their lives will be afterwards.

Although January is a pretty typical time for this, it is arbitrary. There's no need to wait for a specific time of the year to decide to make changes to your life though society often places expectations around us doing so then.

I would suggest that everyone can make a change, or several changes, to improve their life and I would encourage you to do so now because we only get one life and it really does fly by. Just as you wouldn't sit and eat food you don't like, why would you live a life every day that you don't love? 

As a result, the latest One Brit, No Bull newsletter is about challenging your own expectations, not taking things for granted and making changes that will make a real difference to your life.

You'll learn more about how you think and how companies use your internal thought process to make you buy things by playing on your unconscious mind. In addition, there's a time and money saving tip that could also reduce your email traffic substantially. In another article, you'll find out why winning a rollover jackpot lottery may not give you the dream life you want and how you can get it more reliably instead. If you're looking to save time and money and to focus on what's important to you, both of these are essential reads.

You'll have an opportunity to consider your career and whether you love it enough to start working at 2.30am each day, plus there's also a practical exercise you can do to determine how you feel about your job. It's time to get curious about this and it starts with just a few minutes of your time. Why wouldn't you do that to get some new insights that may just help you trigger a significant change in your life?

In addition to hearing from some really delighted One Brit, No Bull clients who have made significant changes to their lives, you'll also have an opportunity to understand how you can take a lesson about your own success from the weather. Yes, really!  

It's a packed edition and I hope you'll sign up now to receive your free copy of this valuable read. Then, enjoy the articles, think about how they apply to your life and then go out there and live mighty.

Whatever you do, make your life amazing.

Rob.

One Brit, No Bull

Why you're going to buy something you didn't know you wanted

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During 2015, I made a conscious decision to reduce the number of emails I received from companies trying to sell me something. Before I made the cull, I was getting about 30 emails a day from reputable companies and I'm sure that if you check your inbox, you're probably getting emails from them too (don't let that take away from how special and important the emails make you feel!).

By consciously reviewing the emails I had signed up for (and those that I hadn't signed up for), I was able to reduce the volume of emails I received by over 200 a week (10,000 a year!) and although I really appreciate the time saved and a reduction in the distractions, the impact to my life is much more significant.

On the face of it, it doesn't sound like a big problem. We open the email, glance and then move on. But what happens behind the scenes - in our own minds - is profound. 

What the retailers don't want you to know when you sign up for their emails is that every time you see a product, it registers with your unconscious mind even if you're not consciously aware of it. And with the average email containing 5 or more products or services, you're getting bombarded with products every time you open an email. By my calculations, even when I was briefly scanning the emails I received, I was looking at more than a thousand products a week (30 emails a day x 5 items per email x 7 days a week) and, over the year, I was being force fed 54,600 products and services. Imagine going to a supermarket and just staring at that many products or services or sitting through that many commercials on TV/your favorite streaming service. You just wouldn't do it!

So what happens inside your head that makes this so impactful? As there's too much going on in the world for us to absorb, we filter what's happening to make sense of it all. Some gets deleted, some distorted and other parts generalized. This process happens at the unconscious level and so you don't have a conscious choice as to what goes where. The outcome is that we are left with internal representations of what we've seen and they are stored in our head. At the same time, although you may or may not consciously remember seeing that t-shirt or television or whatever it was from the last email you received, the memory is there in your unconscious mind and it can trigger what is known as a strategy.

Strategies are a sequence of internal and external representations that always lead to a specific outcome. You have strategies for everything you do. These are our internal processes; they are how we do what we do and we are not aware of most of our strategies at the conscious level. Possibly the most conscious strategy we might have manifests itself in our habits. Although we don’t really know what’s going on inside our mind - we just know the outcome - which might include chewing our nails or buying coffee on the way to work each morning.

A key strategy that companies take advantage of is our motivation strategy. This kicks in when we see something or hear about it, whether we've consciously chosen to buy it or not. Now it happens all the time, but when it comes to email, the profile is somewhat different. For example, you walk through a shopping center and see a new, big TV. A seed is planted in your mind about this new, amazing TV. You know that when you go to a shopping center that you are bound to see products on display and you expect that they are being put there to encourage you to buy them. Here's the thing though; the same happens when you're checking your email on the device you own and control and suddenly there's a kind note from a retailer with a picture of a product. You delete the email but by then it's too late. The seed is still planted and your motivation strategy has started.

When you're in work the next day, you happen to be browsing the internet during your break (or, perhaps not during a break) and you don't know why, but you start looking at TVs. Before you know it, you've identified the one you really want and you're ready to buy it. The TV is delivered the next week and you love it. But did you really need it?

In this case, the motivation strategy has been fulfilled and you have gone on to your buying strategy. That has also been fulfilled, which is why you've got a new TV in your home. And remember, this all started because you were sitting in your front room when you opened an email containing a picture and link to a new TV. (We haven't even got into how retailers use your online browsing history to target you with ads in unrelated browser windows, emails or snail mail, all of which are designed to trigger your motivation strategy even further and get you into that buying strategy as quickly as possible.)

Look around your home and think about how many things you really needed and how many you didn't need at all. Consider how you ended up buying them; maybe your motivation strategy was being played by one of those friendly companies that sends you emails.

The good news is that a trained professional can help you change your internal, unconscious strategies to include additional steps that will help you be successful. For example, you could add in an affordability check to any of the strategies, or you can add a different sense check that would limit the number of products/services that successfully transitioned from the motivation to buying strategy. That way, before you buy that new TV (or any other product or service), you would unconsciously check that you could afford it or that you truly needed it before clicking that check-out button. Wouldn't that be helpful?

The same applies to people who have an OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). This is caused by a recurring strategy that either never ends because it is on a loop or requires many more actions to be completed within the strategy than are truly necessary (e.g. turning a light off ten times or checking a door is closed properly thirty three times). This can be a terrible situation to face each day.

Now if you're reading this in the One Brit, No Bull newsletter, fear not! I'm happy if you read through the content each month or so and make changes in you life that make your life amazing even if you never decide to invest money on my one-to-one or corporate services. My aim is to help you and your best interests. So, you can keep your subscription active and not worry. If you're reading online, then I strongly suggest you sign up now to the free newsletter so you get all of the exclusive content that could change your life, knowing that there is actually value to what you'll be receiving and you might save a bunch of time, money and hassle by signing up.

So, next time you look to fill in an email subscription form, ask yourself whether you're ready to let the content into your unconscious mind. If not, or you'd like to save yourself a lot of time and effort, then don't subscribe and enjoy the freedom and savings, instead.

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips and hacks delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.

Why that lottery ticket won't give you your dream life

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People everywhere play the lottery because they think that winning millions of dollars (pounds, euros, or any other currency) will make a big difference to their lives.

Sure, having a big heap of money will change your life. No longer do you need to worry about that next credit card statement, your rent or mortgage, or getting food on the table.

I understand that and from time to time, I also get a ticket. That said, I don't join the mad rush that accompanies the significant surge in sales of lottery tickets when the jackpot is massive. Why not? Well, because the odds of winning are the same and even if that jackpot is huge, the prize you might win could be significantly lower than it would be normally when shared between a higher number of people.

Regardless, people everywhere watch the grand draw and wait for the dream to become a reality. If it's for the occasional bit of fun and it doesn't cause (further) financial hardship, then there's probably no harm in it. On the upside, many lotteries also give money to charities and that can benefit society, too.

But what about the personal downsides? Honestly, the downsides here are numerous. Let's start with the obvious; your chances of winning are very slim. In a typical 6 ball, 49 number game, the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 13,983,816 (some lotteries offer odds at 1 in 292.2 million!). People have a better chance of winning an Oscar (1 in 11,500 chance) or getting hit by a part of a falling airplane (1 in 10 million). There are many more examples across all sides of the desirability spectrum and you can read more about these in this article from the Independent Newspaper (externally hosted). So, before we move on, let's take away from this that your chances of winning are pretty slim and so every ticket you buy is likely to be wasted money; each pound, dollar or euro could be invested in something that provides a much better return.

Moving on, let's say that you do win. Having a life-changing amount of money will give you financial security and induce a euphoric state. However, when that state has faded or when the money has run out (because there have been many stories of lottery winners who waste their winnings and end up in a worse position than they were before, both financially and in terms of losing their freedom in a privacy and legal sense of the term) then you're still no further forward than you are now. Of course, you'll say you wouldn't do that - you won't waste the opportunity - but that's what everyone else said, too.

And, if you beat all of the odds and win the jackpot and keep the euphoric feeling and manage your finances wisely, then that still won't change your thinking and you'll still be you with the same thoughts as you were before, perhaps just in a nicer car, a bigger house and more expensive ideas. Inside, though, your core being is the same and we know from many examples in life that money alone may bring satisfaction but not necessarily happiness. 

People often seek external validation from others and people also seek happiness from external events. Many people eat because it makes them happy. People buy the latest gadgets because it makes them happy. And people drink alcohol because it makes them relaxed and happy, but look where that ends up! The challenge is that these states are both transitory and can be created by the individual in question without needing to eat, drink, buy things or win the lottery. We are all in charge of our emotional state (when we know how to be) and therefore we don't need these external events or drivers to make us happy, relaxed, or otherwise.

Furthermore, every week you head out to get a lottery ticket, it's likely that you are postponing other actions that will get you closer to your goals, whatever they might be. Perhaps you're looking for financial freedom, a new car, a house or a trip around the world. Maybe you'd like to change career and get your dream job, or start your dream company. You may be really interested in a new sport or hobby, or you might just need some space and time to be alone with your thoughts. Whatever is right for you is perfect and the next time you think about heading to the local shop to buy a lottery ticket, perhaps think about the time and money you're investing in something that is likely to give you no return whatsoever and, even if it does, is likely to only give you a short term burst of relief. Then, instead, plan what you'll do with that dollar, pound or euro and think about how much you've already invested (wasted?) in the lottery to date and how far that would have taken you in achieving your goals had you invested that same time and money more wisely.

Whether you are rich, poor or somewhere between, the best thing to do is to focus inwards and learn about yourself so that you can be happy without the big car, house or gadget. By spending time understanding what motivates you and creating an environment where you do the things you love, you'll feel like you've won the lottery every day. And that feeling won't fade. Sure, the lottery could be one way to satisfy one part of your life - if you're very, very lucky - but taking control, making a plan, and taking action is a far better way to make your life amazing.

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.

Do you love your job enough to start at 2.30am?

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When your alarm wakes you up on a work day, how do you feel? Sure, it may depend on what you did the night before, when you went to bed, which day of the week it is and how busy you've been, but what's your overwhelming thought?

I have recently started working with a client company where I am leading international calls and video conferences that start at 2.30am, with maybe an average of two to three of those per week. When I told some of my friends they thought I was crazy. "Why would you get up at 2.30am to go to work?", they said. Well, the short answer is that I am doing work I love, with great people and where what I am doing gives me a great sense of achievement and pleasure because I am helping people change their lives and impact their futures while generating meaningful business outcomes. And actually, although I can work from my home office, in order to be ready for a video conference, I have to get up at 1.30am to shower, make a cup of tea, check my emails so I have the most up to date information in advance of our session and then connect to the video conference. So not only do I get to start work at 2.30am, but I also have my alarm wake me an hour before at a time when many people are just heading to bed.

You may think it's crazy, but it's not necessarily wrong! I think it's exceptionally difficult to find a job that is a 100% perfect match for you. There's always a downside to any role, be it location, hours, type of work, pay, rewards and benefits, travel from home, etc. So, although in a perfect world I wouldn't start my day at 1.30am each day, I do because - on balance - this is meaningful work I love doing with great people and in good locations, including my home office.

If you're thinking I might be a little smug in sharing how much I love what I do, then let's turn our attention over to you. Here's an activity to try. Before you go to bed, place some paper and a pen or pencil within easy reach. Then, every day when your alarm goes off, write down how you feel. Try to avoid simply writing "tired" and aim for descriptive words that explain your sentiment about heading into work that day. Do this for a week and at the end of that time, review your responses.

If the majority of them are positive, congratulations, it's likely that you're in a job that you like and you are happy with the trade off in getting up to head into work. On the other hand, if the majority of responses are negative, things aren't looking so good for you and you may want to reconsider your current role.

Ask yourself questions like, does it give you the right challenges? Is the company culture working for you? Do you like the people there? Has the work become routine? What would good look like for you? Which job would make getting up more palatable? Which one feature would you change?

If the responses are in the middle of the road and you can't tell, extend the period from a week to a month and see how things look at the end of the period. Having a longer duration of responses to review will give you more opportunities to see key trends and avoid one particular event (e.g. a specific deadline, a key meeting) from giving you an outcome that is not truly reflective of your situation.

If you're then thinking about how you can make a change for the better, you can modify the experiment to include the following. As well as writing down how you feel each morning, add another entry each day where you include what would make how you feel better (or even better, if you already have a positive response).

Then, at the end of your week or month, not only will you have a good understanding of how you feel, but you'll also have some great insights into how you could improve your own situation. And in doing so, you might decide that it's worth getting up at 1.30am for a job you love.

And if you're still no further forward in understanding what motivates you and how you could shape your current role into one you truly love, or find a new role that fits you perfectly, get in touch for a coaching session and we'll figure it out together. You only get one life and it's too short to not love what you do. Be empowered to make your life amazing!

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull. 

Will the weather affect whether you're successful?

The people who meet me often ask why I live in California now, given that I was born in the UK and lived latterly in London. I always answer directly and explain that although I love the UK and all that London has to offer (an amazing public transport system, every kind of cuisine and leisure pursuit, good healthcare), I don't like the weather. 

I sometimes joke that it rains 6 days a year in Los Angeles whereas it rained 6 days a week in London. Of course, it doesn't rain 6 days a week in London though it often felt that way and every time I scheduled a BBQ for a weekend in the summer, it would rain and we'd end up huddled inside trying to cook all of the food in an oven while watching the puddles collect where we should have been enjoying iconic summer Pimm's cocktails. Ah, the London summer of 2008!

I think people in the UK seem to have an inherent interest in the weather patterns and it's something I can't shake. One of my friends recently laughed when I showed them the Weather app on my iPhone and they saw that I had 20 pre-set locations (it's the maximum, otherwise I might have added more). I like to know what the weather is going to be doing in any places I'm near and any places I'm heading to on upcoming trips.

As I spend my working week helping people understand how they can change their behavior to get the results that they truly want, and in the spirit of my company's mantra, to make their lives amazing, I work with all sorts of people in many different professions across the world. Each time I visit a new place, armed with the local weather information, I watch to see how people change their behavior because of the weather there.

In Mexico, where I recently spent a week helping people transform their lives in an immersive five day session, the tropical rain poured down every afternoon and people arranged their schedules to avoid this intense, natural occurrence. In London, where I recently spent a weekend, the snow flakes fluttered through the sky in what might have become a winter wonderland and the streets emptied at first before filling up again as people found delight in the glory of the first snow of the winter season. And back at home, near the ocean in Santa Monica, the sun beat down on the City of Angels as t-shirts and shorts littered the sidewalks and frozen drinks were consumed to combat the intense heat.

When we're in control of our lives, we know that we should also be in control of our emotional state. Successful people don't blame the world for their troubles, they take ownership and accountability and use that as a positive starting point to learn lessons and move on. When I walk out in the rain - wherever I am in the world - I know that I might get wet but that it doesn't need to change me. Sure, it changes the appearance of my hair and maybe my clothes look different while they are wet, but inherently, I'm still physically the same inside. And there's an important lesson there for us to take away, aside from checking the weather and being prepared by taking your umbrella, a sweater or shorts, depending on where you're headed.

Bad things happen to us all the time. Something might go wrong at work, we might receive an unexpected bill in the post, a relationship might break down, a family member may disappoint, your car might not start, you may not get the promotion you had your heart set on, your dog might chew through your new TV remote and so on.

Of course these things impact us. We spend a lot of time at work, we work hard for our money and don't want it wasted, we invest time in building relationships with family, friends and lovers. However, the extent to which these situations can impact us is a choice. It's no different from walking outside in the rain and getting wet. We can decide how much these situations impact us and whether they affect how successful we might be for the rest of our lives. We can choose whether we let these experiences change us mentally or we can choose to be resilient.

I can remember times in the past when it has rained on days that I needed it to remain dry, but just because I can remember those times, it doesn't mean that I let those occasions dictate my happiness now or how successful I will be in the future.

And it's the same with the events that happen in your life, whether good or bad. Remember them, ride the wave of personal power that comes from the good ones and take a positive lesson from the negative events, and then carry on with your life rather than be bogged down by the emotional baggage that might otherwise come from these events.

When you're in charge of your life, you can accept that even if you do everything in your power to make things go your way, sometimes they won't. And being resilient and taking a lesson from such a situation is a positive thing to do that will help you in the future rather than hold you back and prevent you from achieving everything you would otherwise achieve.

So when you next get wet from that unexpected rain, remember that your clothes will dry out and you'll be able to check your hair and get yourself back on track. And if you choose to look at it that way, when something unexpected happens in your life that changes your course or delays you from achieving your goal, you can dry off and get yourself back on track without having to carry that around for the rest of your life. And if you want to, you can use that as an enabler for successful change and even if you don't move half way across the world, maybe you'll find a way to take something positive from it.

Apparently, there's an opportunity to see rain as a way to live more successfully, even if it did dampen my London BBQ that weekend in August 2008.

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.

Hear from One Brit, No Bull clients and sign up for your free newsletter!

Treat yourself to some new perspectives that will challenge your thinking. Sign up for the free One Brit, No Bull newsletter that will help you make your life amazing! Get valuable life hacks, career tips, competitions and free coaching! Simply sign up here, or if you're not convinced, read on for some One Brit, No Bull testimonials from current and former clients and imagine what that kind of change would do for your life! Isn't it time you made your life amazing?

Rob has supported me through a recent life change - from being a permanent long standing employee to becoming my own boss. His business acumen has been invaluable to me in terms of his advice on how to structure my business plan to his experiences with social media and website content. He has provided me with tips and tricks for effective time management (or rather how I utilise my time to maximum effect), whilst providing advice in relation to client negotiation and contracts.
— A successful One Brit, No Bull client and business owner
Rob is adept at asking the right questions to uncover the root cause of a problem and has empowered me to think outside of my normal parameters, especially when it comes to those self-limiting thoughts we all have. His support has given me the confidence to believe in my ability and inspired me to be persistent and positive in the face of setbacks.
— A newly empowered One Brit, No Bull client
I have always found Rob to be tenacious in his pursuit for excellence, especially when it comes to his clients. He has earned my trust and respect through his energetic and pragmatic approach... and he is never afraid to ask me those challenging questions, even when at times I may not want to answer.
— An inspired One Brit, No Bull client

 

If you're ready to make changes now, just get in touch here and we'll make a start. Or if you are interested in getting new perspectives for your career, life, work, relationships, finances, health and fitness, and other aspects of your life, you can sign up for the free newsletter here. Your details will be kept confidential and will not be sold to third party companies. We hate that too! Easily unsubscribe if you can't find ways to make your life amazing! No Bull.

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.

Waiter! Please may I have a side order of active listening?

Like many people, I travel regularly for work and this gives me opportunities to stay in hotels, eat out and consume far too many calories in restaurants around the world. On my last trip, I checked in to a hotel and decided to eat in the restaurant there given the late hour of my arrival. I was greeted by very keen staff and shown to a quiet table with a view of the park. I ordered some food and, being British, tea. The waiter asked which kind of tea I wanted and I explained that I wanted some English breakfast tea (it’s not just for breakfast; don’t be fooled by the name). Before I could then explain how I wanted my tea served (with non-fat milk), the waiter walked away. When he returned in two shakes of a tea bag, I was pleased that he placed hot water and English breakfast tea on my table – two critical components of my request – but he had omitted something that was very important to me, the milk, and instead had chosen to bring a slice of lemon.

I like an efficient service process when I’m in restaurants and bars as I am typically either with people for a meeting or on my own and preparing for a business meeting. As a result, I am always appreciative of the need to focus on the people I am meeting or what I am doing, rather than the service. On this occasion though, the service quality was perhaps a little too efficient because the server had heard that I wanted tea and then decided how that was going to be served to me without actually listening to how I wanted it. All successful business owners know that meeting customer needs is critical, and when I work with clients I always aim to exceed their expectations because being seen to be going the extra mile is important to me and helps build trust in our relationship.

As humans, we are always receiving feedback from the environment we are in; our senses take in sights, words, sounds, smells and so on and we process this information through a series of filters that distort, delete and generalize the information we receive because, quite simply, there’s too much going on out in the world for us to make sense of everything. As a result, we turn the world outside into a much more manageable set of information and use our values, beliefs, attitudes and other prior experiences to shape our internal representations of what is going on in the world. When two people then interact and both speak about the same event, say a football match or a night out in a bar, they will remember different aspects of the experience and have attached different meanings to the parts that comprise the experience even though they were both part of the same thing.

In this case, my server had been very efficient and effective in seating me, making me feel welcome and taking my order, but it was at this last moment that he had made assumptions about my order that took us off track. And it’s a perfectly natural thing to do, but one that can cause issues. Let’s be clear, I have perspective here and I know that not having milk for my tea is not the end of the world. However, the principle holds true about many different situations. Perhaps you are working with a client and you have one understanding of a phrase or deliverable and your client sees that phrase or deliverable as an entirely different thing. Perhaps you are being interviewed today and you want to share your experience with your prospective employer; will he or she understand your experience in the way you intend it to be understood? Perhaps you are working on a project team and you are developing a plan; do each of your colleagues and team members know what each activity is in the plan or are you all seeing one thing and interpreting it differently? If you’re coaching someone and they talk about a situation they are facing, are you seeing the world through their eyes or are you making assumptions about the realities of their situation? Or maybe you are meeting with a prospective client today and you’re looking to sell them your product or service; if so, did you truly listen to their needs so you could match your service offering to their requirements or did you presume to know their needs based on your view of the world?

The more we engage with people, whether face to face or in telephone calls, video conferences or even by email and text, the more important it is for us to clarify our understanding. In his book, Leader Effectiveness Training, Thomas Gordon, coined the term "active listening”, which he explains as, “active listening is certainly not complex. Listeners need only restate, in their own language, their impression of the expression of the sender.” This process, which can be very fast because it is accomplished by simply feeding back what the receiving party heard from the speaker, usually by re-stating or paraphrasing what they have heard in their own words, not only allows the receiving party to confirm what they have heard, but it allows both parties to confirm their understanding of the request or point, thereby reducing the possibility that assumptions and filters may distort the meaning.

In every day situations, whether in sales, interviewing, consulting, medical procedures, coaching and so on, active listening gives us the opportunity to check and confirm that what we heard is what was being said and to challenge any assumptions we might have about a situation, request or activity. And in the short space of time it takes to paraphrase what was said or asked, the understanding between the two parties is enhanced and the relationship between the two (or more) parties is improved, and that’s even before any action is taken.

Back at the restaurant, I explained to my server that I wanted non-fat milk with my tea and as I did he looked surprised. Clearly, in his mind, English breakfast tea was never intended to be served with milk. He then repeated my request, and I responded by nodding, smiling and explaining that he understood exactly what I wanted. And moments later, I had a great big jug of non-fat milk in front of me and that made an excellent cup of tea.

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.

Thanking beyond the tip of the iceberg

Wherever you are in the world, and whatever you do, now is the time to take a look at what you have achieved and who helped you get there.

In your career, take time to thank the mentors and coaches, the leaders and managers and your colleagues and teams who invested their time to make you successful. You may be a star performer, but you couldn't be where you are now without the collective help of all of the people around you. Take time to thank them today because they made your career amazing. 

In your personal life, take time to thank your other half, your close friends and family members. They've been there for you whatever has been going on in your world and they've been supportive of you throughout all of your choices; the good, the bad and the ugly! Take time to thank them today because they made your life amazing.

For the people who helped you fly today to wherever you are, take time to thank them. Behind every journey you make are hundreds of people who have each played a part in getting you there. Planes don't fly themselves and the visible team of pilots and crew are just the tip of the iceberg. Invisible to most people, though critical to airport operations, are the traffic controllers, the ground staff who prepare planes and move luggage, the ticket agents, support and security staff who get you safely on board. Take time to thank them today because they made your journey amazing (and even if you didn't like the journey itself, it got you where you wanted to be and who you wanted to be with).

If you're eating a special meal today, think back to the farmers who helped grow it and the people who helped prepare the food so you could conveniently buy it from a supermarket or restaurant. Take time to thank them today because they made your meal amazing, even if someone dropped the carrots when they took them out of the oven.

If you drove somewhere today, or took a bus or train, thank all of the people who helped get you there. The engineers and mechanics who have made that journey possible, the drivers who carry the petrol to your gas station so you can fill up, the people who turned up to work so you could travel even though their child was ill or they were having a tough time. Every one of these people deserve your thanks so take time to thank them today because they helped you be where you want to be.

We often take for granted the effort that goes into helping us on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. We only see the tip of the iceberg and we spend little time thinking about everything below that visible tip that makes it all come together. So take a little time today to thank all of the people who have made your day possible.

One Brit, No Bull would like to thank everyone, wherever you are in the world, for contributing to making a difference today. And perhaps, just perhaps, being thankful might spill over into tomorrow and the day after.

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.

Stop. Just for a moment.

Work. Washing. Shopping. Commuting. Cleaning. Checking social media. Visiting people. Sleeping. Exercising. Social commitments. Bedtime, far too late. Starting the day, far too early. The endless whirl of our lives, which - of course - aren't actually endless, seem to take on their own meaning and direction. And before you know it, another day, week, month and year pass by.

I remember being at my school, back in England, coming up to three decades ago. At least once a week for five years we'd all congregate in the main school hall for assembly, a ritual that included us being sat down in long rows of chairs that were less comfortable than economy airline seats, while everyone listened to the speaker of the week. (Oh, if I could go back and be a speaker there now; how things would be so different, One Brit, No Bull style.)

Above the stage was a sign, one that I can still see clearly in my mind now, despite not having seen it for well over twenty years. On it, in large almost luminous letters, the words, "Hold fast to that which is good".

I know I took a lot away from school in both formal and informal learning and yet I often think back to this particular phrase. And the question for me is not just about whether we hold on to things that are good for us, but whether we hold on to those that aren't. Letting go is as important as finding something else more valuable, exciting or desirable to hold onto. It gives us physical and mental space, it returns time to us and it allows us to re-focus our energy in new places. 

In my role, I spend a lot of time helping people reflect on what works for them and what doesn't, offering them a new perspective in their lives and opportunities to redefine boundaries and actions, all to help them feel great and to create the lives that they truly want. I also do this myself on a regular basis and although it shouldn't, I still find myself being pleasantly surprised when I make a decision to stop holding on to something in my life, start doing something new or when I make a course correction. I feel liberated each time and I become aware of the control I have that enables me to make my own life amazing.

Think about what you have spent your time on in the last day, week and month that you do not want to be doing. Ignore, just for a moment, that you might think you have to do the things you're currently doing. Then think about what you would do with that time, energy and headspace instead. Go wild and crazy; jump 'out of the box', use 'blue sky thinking' and remove all of the boundaries that you believe you have. Then decide what you would do with that time if you could have it again. 

I'm not suggesting that there's a time travel option and that you can literally go back in time and have that time again, but I am saying that you have the right to decide what you do with every minute of every day from hereon in. 

Are you ready to step out of the ordinary and into the life that you truly want? What would living your life your way give you that you don't have now? And how would you feel in a week, month or year if you practiced that every day, starting today?

Ultimately, each of us chooses how to spend every one of the 1440 minutes we have in each day. You have the power to decide not to do things and the power to decide what to do instead. And what good is that power if you don't use it? So, take two minutes today to decide what you want to let go of and what is truly worth holding on to in order to make your life amazing, because you should only hold fast to that which is good.

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.

How will wearable technology change meeting dynamics?

The day started like any other; I was up and out the door on autopilot before I knew what was happening. I went to the office and checked through my emails that had somehow multiplied overnight and I had just managed to catch up before my 9am meeting. I stepped into the room confidently and ready to take on the day and as I sat down, I felt prepared for the agenda.

The other participants arrived, some in good time and others rushed and late. And as the owner of the agenda, I started by welcoming the group and reading out the agenda items, making clear the ground rules for the meeting that included cell phones being off and to respect the group, no side bar conversations. I felt in control and knew what we had to achieve in the critical meeting. When I announced the first agenda item and referenced people to the pre-work that I had completed in advance of the session, I felt a sense of relief. I had spent the day before preparing and I realized it was the right decision as people went through the printed copies that I handed out.

Part way through the meeting, I witnessed something that I had never imagined seeing though I understand now that it is something that I shall see very frequently in the future. One of the participants had an Apple Watch and part way through answering my question, she paused and lifted her arm. As she did, the screen lit up and she was clearly transported to another world. I have no idea whether it was a text message from her friends and family, an email from her colleagues or a reminder to stand up and move around, but there it was, and it had disrupted our meeting. 

Now, technology is often seen as an enabler and I’m pleased that we have so much good technology around us! We can do so much from so far away just because of the devices and connectivity we have. It’s amazing. And although I appreciate that there is a time and place for technology like so called smart watches and other smart wearables, what I’ve witnessed first hand is that just because people have smart watches doesn’t mean the people are behaving in a smart way. Honestly, it’s no different than being mid answer to a question in a meeting and seeing your phone light up with a text/email/call and stopping the meeting to do something with that. It’s not really acceptable socially and it’s not acceptable in formal or semi-formal settings like work. However, we have yet to determine what the social etiquette is around smart watches and, frankly, that’s causing us problems. With the advent of wearable technology, we are now in a position to be what I like to call, "webuffed"; to reject or snub bluntly, often disdainfully, through the use of wearable technology.

I had worked hard to prepare myself and everyone else for the meeting we were taking when the Apple Watch distracted a participant. Across our organizations, time – and therefore money – was being invested – to get the right outcomes and so for us to have to halt our meeting while a participant viewed and answered a message, email, friend request, or invite to play a game was, quite frankly, awkward. I have no issues with people wearing and carrying technology, but please, think carefully about how you will use it and the impacts on those around you so you don’t let it interrupt your meetings when you know you wouldn’t accept someone doing that with their phone. There's also an increasing onus on the meeting owner to set broader expectations up front so that participants know what acceptable meeting behavior looks like.

Now is the time where we are re-establishing boundaries that come with this new technology and learning how to be appropriate human beings on the basis of what we might be carrying and wearing. And if you decide to carry or wear the latest gadget, don’t be under the impression that everyone you meet knows what it is or cares what it does for you. Not everyone you are with will want your time together to be interrupted with something perceived as trivial and although you are doing your best to be productive, you may – by virtue of having that technology – being less productive than you think you are. Rock on with the technology but remember that being smart doesn't come from strapping something to your wrist!

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.

The biggest mistake you make in your new job

You’ve been searching for a new job for some time and having looked through hundreds of opportunities, attended many informational sessions and interview days, you are finally offered that elusive role that feels just right to you. Congratulations! Now, though, you’re about to make the single biggest mistake you can make. And most people don’t even know what it is.

People are so excited about their new role, and perhaps their new compensation and benefits package, that they focus solely on the new role and stop looking out in the career marketplace. And it’s easy to see why; transitioning to a new role can be difficult, especially if it is a stretch role involving a promotion or bigger/tougher targets, and you want to make sure you create a great impression in your first weeks and months in that role. You may also be feeling a significant sense of relief at having landed that role and you might want to ease back on taking time out of your day to look at other opportunities in what might be a competitive market. Sure, all of these points are valid, but at the same time, you also need to be thinking of the longer term.

It’s very common for those people who are starting their new jobs to delete all of the job alerts they have set up, tell their contacts that they are not looking any more and inform headhunters and other sources of new roles that they have been successful in attaining a great position. The problem is that this really is like putting all of your eggs in one basket. And if you have been in your current job for a long time and you aren't looking in the career marketplace and being open minded to new opportunities, then you're also in the same position of putting all of your eggs in one basket; that of your current employer. 

I coach a lot of clients in their professional and personal lives and I often have this conversation with people who have just found great new roles. Even if you have just landed the best job in the world, what kind of opportunity would it take for you to leave that new role and go onto a role that more closely met your requirements, gave you a bigger stretch or offered you more of what you value (be that autonomy, financial rewards, flexible working hours and locations, etc.)?

Even if you think your job is perfect now, I’m willing to bet that if we had a conversation about it there would be something that you could change that would make you happier. Perhaps a shorter commute, more regular or flexible hours, more money, less stress, a better team environment, a more understanding manager or a more visible leader. It’s for this reason that I suggest to people who have just found their new, dream job; don’t stop looking for a better role now because you might miss out on a role that is twice as good as the one you just landed!

Appreciating how busy everyone is – especially when just starting a new job – we turn to the question of what you could do differently at this stage in the game. For example, instead of deleting the job alerts from your favorite career sites, perhaps reduce the frequency of them down to weekly or monthly, or try narrowing your search by using the filters to your advantage so that you only find roles that raise the bar on your next career option.

Let’s be clear; none of what I’m suggesting needs to mean that you are not committed to your new role and new employer. You are just keeping your eye on the market and looking at new opportunities. And if nothing comes along, you haven’t lost anything but a few minutes a month in reviewing carefully filtered opportunities. What you’ve gained, on the other hand, is a lot more. You know that you’re either in the right role or you’ve found something that will make you happier (or give you whatever you value), you have seen what the market is doing from a compensation and benefits point of view (and this might give you insights that will help your case when it comes to your next benefits review), you have a stronger understanding of what the market is doing and you remained close to your network, including headhunters and former colleagues, who might know of something that fits you in the future. That’s a huge amount of value for very little effort at all. 

So next time you land your dream job and decide to close the door on all other opportunities, perhaps think again. You might want to keep the door, and your mind, open.

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.

Don't just work hard, work hard with purpose

I'm sure many of you will know someone like a guy I know called Simon. Simon works long hours, tries to keep fit and wants to relax at the weekend. One of the ways he likes to relax is to go for a run and he recently started training for a marathon.

Most of the people I speak to or work with have one key attribute in common; they work very hard and that's regardless of the type of career they have.

Another consistent attribute is that the majority of people who are working hard have not achieved what they set out to achieve, whether that be in terms of career or business success, financial freedom, happiness or something completely different.

And let me put both of these points in perspective; I've been coaching people for two decades and when you add up the number of people I've worked with in a professional or personal context, or spoken with in an informal setting, that's a lot of people over a lot of hours.

The fact of the matter is that you, and millions of other people like you, are working hard. You're up early, you check emails before your first cup of coffee, you work long hours, committing well over the required forty hours a week, you think about work when you're at home, you maybe even work after a long day at the office or on weekends. You're working on an important project or towards a key deadline and things will be different after that. But each time, they're not. Working hard becomes the new normal and expectations grow so you're always expected to do more, work harder and then take on more as a result. And the cycle continues in an ever increasing circle, leaving you no time to assess whether all of this hard work is getting you closer to your goals. 

One of the key differences between people who work hard and people who work hard and achieve their goals revolves around whether the work they are doing is helping them directly to get to their end goal. Each step needs to get you a step closer to what you are looking to be, do or have.

In Simon's case, he runs regularly all under the banner of preparing for the marathon. However, if we look at what he's really doing, he's expending a lot of energy on frequent short runs that are not going to help him run 26.2 miles on one single day. I'm pretty sure he could run that distance over a week, and certainly over a month, but that's not what a marathon is all about.

When I work with people I spend time understanding where they expend their energy and what they get for it in return. Typically, this process yields understanding as to how people can work for five, ten, twenty or more years and still not achieve their goals. For some people, they haven't articulated their goals yet and that makes it hard for them to understand what it will take to achieve them.

You're already working hard, so why not focus that hard work to achieve those big goals of yours? It doesn't matter what your goals are; just make sure that everything you are doing is helping you get to your goal(s) and if it's not, it's time to change, because if you're going to work hard, you may as well get what you want, otherwise, what's the point? So the next time your alarm clock wakes you and you start your daily cycle of checking emails, focusing on what you need to do at work and getting to the next deadline, ask yourself whether all of that is leading you to what you truly want in life.

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.

A job is not for life; let go and get more

In the corporate world of yesteryear, there was an unwritten assumption that a job was for life and, moreover, that it was a good thing to have a job that was for life.

Now, I get it, for those of you reading this in countries where jobs offer security through healthcare benefits and so on, I completely understand why having a job for life would be seen as desirable. However, that's not necessarily how employers see things anymore, so rather than being under a misapprehension about how secure your position is, perhaps you should be realistic about it instead. Plus, there's more than one way to achieve that kind of security and good planning will help you get that if you decide to leave the safety net of an employer you've had for a long time.

Portfolio careers, where people move - purposefully - through a series of jobs in related (or even unrelated) fields, have become much more popular for all generations in the last decade and with this shift, we've also seen more people starting their own businesses and going freelance. A recent survey found that 43% of those currently working full-time as independents report that they feel more secure working independently, up from 33% in 2011 (MBO Partners, 2015).

All of this flexibility gives us options for a successful, happy career in whatever we choose, working in ways that meet the needs we might have outside of our working life, whether that be with family commitments, work that is aligned to our values, opportunities to travel or with the ability to take time for ourselves.

In an interview for a full time employed position, it might well be inappropriate to say to the interviewer that you are only looking for a role for one to three years. The mindset of most companies that are recruiting for permanent positions is that you'll be there for life (demonstrating your loyalty along the way) and that they do not want to invest in you with training, development, etc. for what they might call "the short term". 

The reality, though, is somewhat different. If your goals are aligned to the needs of an employer for a focused period of time that suits both of you, then there should be no reason why you don't work successfully together for that time and then you part company on good terms knowing that you can always return, refer other customers/employees or act as a contract resource in the future.

I like to look at it like a series of cogs in a fine watch. In such an analogue timepiece, one cog is used to turn another, which then turns another. At some point in this process, cogs are in play and then stop being in play when their purpose is met. Sure enough, in any given period of time, any such cog could then come back into play, but for the time being, the cog has completed the process and added the value that was required of it at that time. 

Let's be honest, too, in that all the time you are working for an employer, they are assessing how well you are doing and whether you should stick around. Well beyond the probabtionary period - if there is one - there's a daily assessment of your capability and commitment to the business that may be unspoken and may, indeed, be at the unconscious level of your manager or department lead.

This gives rise to an implied permission for you to do the same. Now, most people don't constantly review whether their employer is giving them what they need and whether they should remain at that company. When I've met with clients, they tend to make an assumption that their job is a difficult part of their life to change and most people don't turn the tables on their employer and review whether the employer is meeting their needs. Instead, they might go on autopilot and only consciously evaluate their employer's suitability against their needs and requirements at the end of the year when new year resolutions are being made or when the company initiates a mandatory performance review process and forces the employee to think about their progress across that period, along with targets and development goals for the next period.

I would suggest that you need to make a conscious choice, each day, that going into work is the right thing for you. Now, I understand that having a bad day can throw off such a thought process and if you work to deadlines or in projects, there could be a number of days over any given period of time where you might have a series of tough days and you don't want to re-commit to your employer. But, on balance across each week, month or other period that you are empowered to define yourself, you should feel like your employer is serving your needs just as much as you are serving theirs. It is, after all, a two way street.

So, take away from this the right to evaluate whether your company is giving you what you want. If it isn't, maybe you should ask for some more of those things or, perhaps, you'll come to the realization that you can't get what you want from your current employer. Either way, you'll win; you'll either value the new outcomes or you'll be empowered to find a new way to get what's truly important to you. And that, my friends, has to be critical to you if you want to make your life amazing.

Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.

Sign up now for the free periodic One Brit, No Bull newsletter and make your life amazing with career, money, relationship, health and fitness, communication and other life affirming tips delivered straight to your inbox! Hurry! Sign up here!

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.