A few people have asked me: ‘So, what’s the book about anyway?‘
So today I’ve decided to post an excerpt from the book that answers that very question, if you’ve been wondering the same thing please take the opportunity today to read this opening chapter which will hopefully give you an insight into why I wrote it and how to use it.
Revisit my pst blog posts that start with the words: ‘Take the opportunity today to…’ which are also pages from the book. There are 365 in the book so what you’ll find in the archives here only scratch the surface.
We all want to change our lives for the better in some way shape or form, me included. If however you’re prone to saying things like: ‘My life would be better if my boss this or that’ or ‘My life would be better if my mother this or that’ or ‘My life would be better if my friends this or that’ or ‘My life would be better if the government this or that’ – then let me tell you something – nothing is going to change in your life for the better whilst you continue to blame others for your circumstances. I’m not saying that they didn’t have a hand in your circumstances, I’m saying only YOU can decide to change your circumstances for the better. STOP complaining and start being different so you can do things differently.
I’ve read books and taken coaching programs and experienced hypnotherapy and NLP therapy in the past – all of which have helped me figure out how to change things about myself which in turn have helped change my circumstances. Have they taken a lot of time and effort – yes! Did it take a process of continual searching (which is still ongoing) to find these influences – yes! Will this book act as a substitute for all that – possibly, but probably not. But what it will do is get you moving in the right direction from day one. Think of this book as complimentary to any and every other self improvement course or therapy available. As you continue on your own journey of self improvement allow the guides in this book to perpetually encourage you forwards. You may look back in the future and decide that something written here was the turning point.
This book started off as a series of Tweets – “Take the opportunity today to hug someone you love, just for the hell of it! :)”. That was the first one, then out came another and another and pretty soon I was thinking of them every day. As the days ticked on I found myself thinking of more and more opportunities, each one having the possibility to change my life on that day, sometimes in a small way, sometimes in a BIG way. Eventually I decided to do one a day for an entire year and document my experiences in a journal.
This book is, in part, that journal. Each day that passed I tried to apply one thing, one opportunity to make a difference. Sometimes just to myself, and other times to those around me. Sometimes to complete strangers. I then documented how that affected me, how it changed me, my attitudes, my beliefs, fears, anxieties and so on. Each day that I successfully completed a task I wrote down how I actually applied the ‘guide’, then how it made me feel and in some cases what actually happened because of it.
It’s tempting from time to time to think we need to make a big change in our lives, we can feel it building up as we resist it with our inaction. But maybe the biggest change can come about as a result of the accumulation of lots of little changes.
“The truth be told, success typically follows a series of little events and achievements that can seem to take an eternity, that include a few disappointments along the way, and that challenge everything about you to the core – your stamina, courage, integrity, and even your willingness to keep going.” – Jack Canfield
Don’t get the idea that I think that I now have the perfect life – I don’t, nobody does, it’s a work in progress. And that’s the key word ‘progress’, if you’re not making progress, if you’re not improving your life piece by piece – you’ll stagnate. If it’s because you’re not sure how, then apply these guides and I promise they WILL make a difference and that difference will be an improvement in some way shape or form.
Let me be clear right at the start though – I am not a doctor, I am not a psychiatrist, I am not a therapist or a life coach. I’m just a normal, everyday person like you. So if I can make a change in my life without studying some complicated therapeutic system or going through a lengthy self analysis process, then so can you. This book is simply a set of practical ideas – easy to implement (although some will take a lot of courage or tenacity), and repeatable over and over again. By applying these guides you will feel more in control. Control of your actions; as you decide which guides to try, more control of your emotions; as you’ll feel a certain way before deciding to act, and ultimately more control of your life; as you begin to see the consequences of those actions.
I have met many people that moan about the world at large, about the government, about the local council and when I suggest they do something about it they say: “What can I do? I’m only one person.” This portrays the feeling of helplessness. Of a lack of control of our environment or circumstances. These feelings of being helpless can lead to feelings of depression, unhappiness, low self esteem, a lack of confidence and inadequacy. By taking control of our lives, even in small ways at first, we can potentially reverse the fall towards those negative feelings. By stepping outside of our comfort zone we give ourselves the opportunity to see that we make a difference. Once we see that on the small scale we tend to start seeing it on a larger and larger scale. I urge you now to take more control of your life.
Chaos theory, otherwise known as the Butterfly Effect suggests that the tiniest of changes can have dramatic repercussions, so don’t try and second guess what effect your actions will have, you’ll notice it as it happens.
I hope that you will decide to apply these guides to your own life and see how it affects you and possibly those around you. Keep a journal of your experiences and I guarantee that at some point during the year you WILL notice changes happening in your life. Try to resist the urge to skip ahead and do more than one a day, in my experience the biggest changes happened when I tried to apply just one idea throughout the whole day. And if I managed to complete it really easily then I spent the rest of the day pondering it and how it made me feel. This is an important part of the process so please, don’t rush ahead. Instead take each day as it comes – a bit like life really. 🙂 I would even go as far as to suggest that you resist even looking ahead to what challenges are coming and just surrender to them as you find them each day – afresh!
Use this little book each day to help you make the small changes in your life that could eventually become a major shift in your life experience. The number one quickest sure fire way to experience something is to enable someone else to experience it (Neale Donald Walsch said something like that!). And he was right! That’s why many of the daily guides are about doing things for other people. Some are simple and will only take 5 minutes, others will require some deep thought, others courage and determination. There’s no telling which will make the biggest impact, so try them all – you will be pleasantly surprised. Go out of your way, make the effort and you will feel happier, more fulfilled, more powerful and more love in your life. I urge you, before you start, do them in order. The first initial few are designed to ease you in to a frame of mind of love, compassion, service and forgiveness. From there you’ll find many of the others will be easier to take on. Rush ahead and you might find the emotional resources you need to carry out some of the opportunities are not readily available.
Take the time to think about each guide throughout that particular day and you will find that the opportunity will reveal itself. Take this book with you bookmarked on the day and refer to it constantly – this will remind you to keep looking for the opportunity to reveal itself. Otherwise you go out in the morning with the best intentions, the day starts to get hectic and before you know it you come home without having thought about it once – and the day is gone!
At one point I thought about ‘choosing’ an opportunity from the list each day but decided that if one day I was feeling particularly lazy I’d choose an easy one. Sounds like a good idea at first doesn’t it? Trouble is, I realised that if I chose them on the day, I wouldn’t give myself the opportunity to be challenged that day. Imagine I wake up a bit cranky, it happens to us all right? and I go to the list and find that that day’s task is to dig deep and find forgiveness for someone, I might find that reeeeaaally hard. But that’s the challenge. We can all forgive people if we’re in a good mood – the challenge and opportunity to grow lies in finding that forgiveness when we’re feeling like a bear with a sore head. So I arranged the opportunities in a semi random way – some simple ones then some hard ones, some to do with others followed by some to do with myself and so on.
I hope you can find the strength to follow them in sequence for no other reason than doing things we don’t want to do, when we don’t want to do them can actually be the catalyst for the greatest change in our life. But don’t get stressed if you really can’t find the time to complete a task on the day – this is supposed to help you not hinder you. At the end of each month you’ll be prompted to look back through the month and revisit any you may have missed.
Before you start, this short exercise might help too – write a list of things you are happy with about your life right now. Then write a list of things you would like to change. It might be something about your circumstances, it might be something about yourself. This will give you a clearer idea of what your life ‘could’ look like. Obviously, at this stage you won’t know what will change but these lists will give you an insight and help you identify changes as they happen. At the end of this journey we’ll make these lists again and compare them with the first, I don’t know about you but I get excited just thinking about that day.
At the end of each month you’ll be given the opportunity to make a note of any changes you might have experienced over the previous 30 days. Incrementally your attitude, habits, relationships and life experience will alter. At first it might be difficult to notice but as you become accustomed to looking a little closer you will notice them.
“ Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier
I hope you take the opportunity today to grab a copy here:
Try out the first 79 pages of my book: ‘How To Change Your Life One Day At A Time‘ at no cost simply by opting in to my complimentary video training series here: (CLICK HERE)