Category Archives: Someday My Ship Will Come In

Course Changes on the Someday Journey: Reorienting Goals

  • Someday Lesson: You don’t set course on your dream once and then forget about it. It requires vigilance to stay on track.

wili_hybrid on flickr.comI haven’t been happy recently and that’s been bothering me. After all, how can I help you find happiness if I’ve lost my own? In a post on the blog last week, I asked my Lab Rats six questions. I decided that since I haven’t been as happy as I could be, I would answer the questions myself.

  1. What are you not doing even though you feel you should want it?
  2. Where do you claim to want something but then let fear stop you?
  3. What aren’t you tackling because it’s too much work?
  4. Are you actively engaged or on autopilot?
  5. How many projects do you have on the go at any one time? How good are you at prioritizing them?
  6. Where are you choosing safe over happy?

If you’ve ever read the About page on Someday Syndrome or read either of my ebooks, you will have learned a bit about my life before coming to Spain. Ever since I was 12 years old I have wanted to write and yet for years I avoided this dream, taking detours in many different directions.

In 2006, I decided to stop taking detours and get on with writing. But then I got started with Someday Syndrome and it excited me. I loved the idea of it and I loved the idea of helping people and earning a living doing so.

However, as the work behind the business began to increase, it took more and more of my energy and focus away from my fiction writing.

Starting a small business is time consuming – hugely so. I’ve recently increased my fiction writing to 3 hours a day at least 4 days a week. That, plus my part time teaching, did not leave much time to focus on the small business while still having a balanced life.

When I stepped back to look at my life objectively I realized that if I was to prioritize the things I do the order came out: writing, Raúl, teaching English, Someday Syndrome. And when things aren’t going well, it’s usually the fault of whatever’s on the bottom of the list.

Someday Syndrome is insidious – it’s no good to chart your course and then let the boat pilot itself. Crossing the Someday Sea requires vigilance and regular course changes.

For me, scaling back the business is one of those course changes. I’m on the verge of letting it become yet another detour away from my writing dreams and I refuse to let that happen again.

So what does this mean for you?

Newsletter subscribers will still receive the semi-monthly Someday News, but the blog will go more or less inactive and instead of offering a full range of services, I will provide a limited number of Skype-based sessions (and email support) each month as well as the popular ebooks.

If you really want a Someday fix in between newsletters you will also be able find me on the following blogs each month:

And now for you – what course changes do you need to make to get yourself back on track? What answers do you have to the six questions above?

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Someday I’ll Be Happy: How Live Beyond Just Getting By

kurtxio on flickr.comRobin contacted Someday Syndrome because she suffers from Someday My Ship Will Come In. She does not know what she wants. She just know that she does not want the life she has now.

When asked to finish the sentence “Someday I’ll…” she answered:

be happy.

She feels that she doesn’t accomplish much. She feels overloaded all the time and since she doesn’t know where to begin she does nothing.

She has tried reading motivational articles and journaling but neither has helped.

Finally, when asked how she pictures her life a year from now she said:

I really can’t answer that. Finances are short and I’m raising two small children alone. It’s hard to dream when you are barely getting by.

The Someday Challenge

First off, I congratulate Robin for getting by, even if it’s barely. Raising kids on her own is not a simple task and that victory needs to be celebrated.

There are probably many other things in Robin’s life currently what we could celebrate, but since Robin’s Someday is a general desire to be happy she likely doesn’t see much of those celebratory moments.

Speaking of her Someday, this is exactly what most people who suffer from Someday My Ship Will Come In feel. There is no future, no idea of what’s possible. There’s just blankness in the future and often bleakness in the now.

If Robin is going to bust her Somedays first we need to clear out this bleakness, then start building excitement.

The First Step

So, let’s take a look at this future blankness and present bleakness.

Many people will say things like “Come on! Put on a happy face! Fake it until you feel it!” and sometimes that works, but all too often it’s like painting over a damp patch in the wall that’s hiding major structural damage.

We need to pull the drywall down, clear out all the rotten supports and then rebuild the structure before we can decorate and make it look pretty.

In Robin’s case the unhappiness she feels is that rotten material behind the drywall. We need to clear it out before it causes the whole house to fall apart.

And the best way to clear out negative thoughts and emotions?

Put them down on paper. When emotions swirl around in our heads they build and build and build until they break out and cause more damage than a hurricane.

If however we let out the stream of emotions and thoughts in a controlled manner they don’t overwhelm or do damage. But putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard Robin can get rid of that overloaded feeling she mentioned.

Yes, it might seem like a strange thing to focus on the negative when we want to get Robin to a positive place, but unless she unloads all the negativity first the positive thoughts and actions will have no place to go. There’s currently no room for them.

Once Robin has this list of everything that’s wrong with her life right now, it’s time for one small success, some positive result based on a single action. Looking at the whole list of complaints, whines, moans and all the unhappy parts of her life, Robin will pick one small item and commit to changing it.

It might be as simple as a conscious decision to see mornings with the kids not as a battle to get them out of the house to playtime where she gets to spend time with them. Or a feeling that she’s not active enough and committing to a twenty minute walk three times a week.

Robin’s Homework:

  1. Write out everything that’s wrong with your life. Let it all hang out. Start with all the big stuff and take it right down to the minor irritations. Reward yourself with every page you fill. Nothing is too petty or going to be judged by anyone. This is just for you.
  2. Read through the list and pick one thing that you feel you could change. It needs to be something small, something that would take only one or at the most two steps to turn from negative to positive.
  3. Put the change into action and then pay attention to how the change makes you feel. Plus note if there are any side effects to this change (positive or negative).
  4. Pick a second small irritation and change that, then a third and a fourth, each time paying attention to the consequences of each change.

The Long Term

Once Robin starts to see the positive effects of the small changes she is making, she’ll then want to start building up the structure of the wall we’ve torn out.

To do that she’ll need to figure out what she wants out of life. Sounds easy but it’s not. It will require a lot of inward reflection and self-awareness.

The effort will be worth it, especially for her children. Robin can use them as a motivator – if she can find her dream and pursue it, think of the great lesson she’ll teach her children in the process.

What do you think? If you were Robin’s Someday Mentor what would you suggest? Join the discussion over on the Facebook Someday Syndrome fan page.

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Stretching Your Mind: Your Mind as a Rubber Band

Rubber BandsYour mind is a reservoir of creative potential, just waiting for you to develop and nurture it. Too many people say they aren’t creative. I say – they either haven’t developed their creativity or are looking at creativity through a narrow focus.

Your Mind as a Rubber Band

I want you to picture a rubber band, one of the really thick, strong one’s used for bundling large packages. You’ve just taken it out of it’s box and what’s the first thing you do with it? You stretch it. Stretch it out to soften it. Coming straight out of the box it’s stiff and inflexible. After stretching it a few times it becomes softer, more pliable and stretchier.

Now imagine your mind as that rubber band. As we put creative ideas, dreams and inspiration into it, your mind stretches and flexes around the new thoughts. As the mind is stretched it becomes more capable to stretch and flex, able to accommodate and generate more and greater ideas and creativity.

Oliver Wendell Holmes said “The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size.” Once you’ve added a new idea into your head it creates a new neural pathway within your mind. The dendrites and synaptic buttons in your brain form new connections within the biochemical/electromagnetic network of cells and nerves. (for more information on how this works, see The Mind Map Book by Tony Buzan)

Just like the rubber band becomes able to stretch more, your mind is expanded and able to accommodate more growth. Over time those pathways become a permanent part of your mind and enable more and more creativity to happen. They become reinforced, stronger and reinforced through repetition, enabling them to develop side pathways of their own.

Use It or Lose It

Now think of a rubber band that has been left in the drawer, unused and neglected for a long time. What does it look like? Dull, white-coated, shrunken. What happens when you try to use it? It snaps, yes? It’s flexibility and potential has been lost because it was not used.

Growing Pains

Ever felt the pain of trying to learn something new? Been to a seminar or workshop and heard so much you want to ask the speaker to stop so you can process the information? That vertical learning curve of working to master a new skill? I have a friend who called that discomfort a ‘mind expansion headache’. It’s when information is packed into your head faster than your brain can comfortably adapt and stretch to accommodate it.

That rubber band around your mind becomes stretched to the max, working hard to assimilate and understand the new ideas being poured in. Now think about how you feel a little later on, when you’ve had time to understand, work through and use some of the new information. Feels better, yes? That’s because your mind has adjusted and expanded to fit those ideas in.

Your mind is more than a muscle. In fact, it’s actually a bundle of nerves and pathways more than a muscle, but that’s beside the point. Creativity, stretching and using your mind, increases the capability of your mind. It’s a catch-22 in reverse – the more you use and develop your mind creatively then the more able and capable you are of developing it more. Like an ever expanding spiral your creativity develops as you stretch that rubber band more and more.

How Far Can You Stretch?

Visualise stretching that rubber band again. Really see it in your mind, your hands stretching that band out for maximum flexibility. Watch the movement of your hands and the rubber band. See how you’re doing it? If you’re like me, then you’re stretching it out and then allowing it to relax back before stretching it out again. Just as the band needs to relax, so too does your mind. The relaxing allows the creativity to flow and settle, before stretching out again further than before. The rest, the relaxing, is just as important as the stretching and development.

How far can a rubber band stretch? How much can your mind hold and process? Eventually the rubber band will snap when it reaches its limits. Your mind however, has no such physical limits. Provided you take breaks, relaxing the stretch, your mind can develop and expand infinitely. The only limits we have on our minds are those we put there ourselves. Allow your brain time to relax and process the information you’ve put into it and you’ll quickly be able to develop more creative ideas and expand it further.

About Melinda

Melinda BrennanMelinda Brennan is a Business Coach who helps her clients use the power of their own minds to develop their businesses and get past limiting beliefs.

Visit her online at WAHM Biz Builder

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Actively Involved in Change Mentoring vs Coaching

  • Someday Lesson: A mentor provides active assistance by pulling you up past your obstacles.

Laram777 on Flickr.comAt the top of this page in the menu, you’ll see the word Coaching but in reality I’m not a Coach. I’m a Mentor.

I don’t encourage and let you develop your own path through a series of sometimes oblique and sometimes direct questions. I use my own experiences and my unique ability to see patterns where others don’t see them to tell you like it is.

After seeing patterns in your life that you may not, I make suggestions so that you can change those patterns and create new ones that clear your life of Somedays and open up your future to the life you want.

You’re here at Someday Syndrome for a reason – you want to live more. You want to take action of some sort and kick the procrastination habit. You want to change your life and create the freedom to choose exactly what your future will look like.

This process can happen slowly or quickly.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a pretty impatient person. Changing a lifetime of habits can take another whole lifetime and I’d rather actively live the changes than spend a long time discovering them.

For that reason I created my Someday Syndrome ebooks and services. I don’t want you to spend years finding the blocking patterns in your life. I want you to stop talking, stop analyzing and stop waiting. I want to get you doing, living, choosing and feeling happier with your life.

So, I prod, I poke and I offer my (sometimes rather strong) opinions.

Am I right all the time? No.

But by being just as active as you are in the change process, I open up a discussion that provides you with a place to tell me what you really do want rather than what your fears, habits and personal blocks try to get you to do.

Someday Syndrome clients really want to change. They don’t just talk about it. They want to take action but don’t know how.

You understand that, don’t you? You have a dream, or maybe just a sense of wanting something better out of your life, but you have no idea how to achieve it.

You’re also someone who likes to think things through. You don’t want to deal with a phone call or face-to-face meeting where you can’t think about what you say first.

I get that. I’m a writer and believe that writing out your thoughts, your desires and your committed actions makes them more real.

But I’m not passive and I’m not oblique. I’m direct and I demand action.

And for that I don’t call myself a Coach. I’m a Mentor.

A mentor is someone who has already gone through it all and wants to show others how do it without making all their mistakes. That’s me (and believe me, I made a lot of mistakes by putting off my Somedays).

It’s time to take the next step in your Someday Journey. Time to take action.

And the action I ask from you is just a simple one. Fill out the Personalized Someday Assessment form and let me provide you with two complementary mentoring sessions via email to show you exactly how much progress can be made when you work with a mentor rather than trying to muddle through on your own.

Because you don’t want to live with Someday Syndrome your whole life, do you?

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Break Out Your Creativity: Pop Music Positivity with Swing Out Sister

  • Someday Lesson: When it’s time to make a change, don’t hesitate – break out!

This month when I went looking for songs about being creative and breaking patterns and getting yourself out of a rut I had a really hard time find a song. There are lots of depressing love songs, or even happy love songs, but for some reason my brain encountered a block when it came to songs about creatively solving problems.

So what did I do? I applied creative problem solving techniques to the block and started playing with the words I had in my head. Once I started to do that it took me mere moments to come up with this month’s Pop Music Positivity song: Breakout by Swing Out Sister (from1986).

And while it doesn’t speak to creativity directly, it’s a great Someday-busting song because (as you can see in the lyrics below) it speaks about action and spontaneity – two of my favourite Someday-busting tools . And the video is definitely creative with all the colours!

What’s your favourite song about creativity and breaking patterns?

Enjoy! (If you want the full video – with intro! – and higher volume you can watch it on YouTube.)

Swing Out Sister: Breakout

When explanations make no sense
When every answer’s wrong
You’re fighting with lost confidence
All expectations come

The time has come to make or break
Move on don’t hesitate
Breakout

Don’t stop to ask
Now you’ve found a break to make at last
You’ve got to find a way
Say what you want to say
Breakout

When situations never change
Tomorrow looks unsure
Don’t leave your destiny to chance
What are you waiting for
The time has come to make your break
Breakout

Don’t stop to ask
Now you’ve found a break to make at last
You’ve got to find a way
Say what you want to say
Breakout

Don’t stop to ask
Now you’ve found a break to make at last
You’ve got to find a way
Say what you want to say
Breakout

Some people stop at nothing
If you’re searching for something
Lay down the law
Shout out for more
Breakout and shout day in day out
Breakout

Breakout

Don’t stop to ask
Now you’ve found a break to make at last
You’ve got to find a way
Say what you want to say
Breakout

Don’t stop to ask
Now you’ve found a break to make at last
You’ve got to find a way
Say what you want to say
Breakout

Lay down the law
Shout out for more
Breakout and shout day in day out

Breakout
Breakout
Breakout

Lay down the law
Shout out for more
Breakout and shout day in day out

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Turning Off The Autopilot: Six Ways to Bring Creativity to Daily Life

  • Someday Lesson: Creativity isn’t about producing world-shaking pieces of art. It’s simply changing the way you look at the world.

Phillie Casablanca on flickr.comWhen we think of creativity we think of art: painting, acting, singing, writing, crafts, and such. If we’re being generous we might call science research or computer programming creative. And of course, management gurus talk about creative problem solving without anyone really quite sure what they mean.

But what about daily life? Where’s the creativity in getting up, getting the kids to school, going to work, trying to fit in some exercise, fighting the battle of the bulge, tuning out in front of the TV and falling into bed exhausted before starting it all over the next day?

According to Wikipedia, creativity is:

Creativity is a mental and social process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations of the creative mind between existing ideas or concepts. Creativity is fueled by the process of either conscious or unconscious insight. An alternative conception of creativeness (based on its etymology) is that it is simply the act of making something new.

When we get stuck in routine and living on autopilot, nothing’s new. It’s all the same day after day after soul-sucking day. Turning off the autopilot isn’t easy, however. Habits and routines (especially unconscious ones) are hard to break. Fortunately conscious creativity will help and here are six ways to turn off the autopilot and to help you live more fully.

  1. Don’t always do things the same way
  2. Make yourself accountable for every minute
  3. Do things you wouldn’t normally do
  4. Live in someone else’s shoes
  5. Explore a new environment
  6. Learn to do absolutely nothing

Break Patterns

Take a different route to work. Make a sandwich with two slices of ham around a piece of bread. Eat dinner in reverse (dessert to maincourse to salad). When you start to break patterns in your life you force your brain out of its ruts and open yourself up to new ideas and new ways of thinking.

Be aware of why you do things in a certain way. If you answer “because I’ve always done it this way” then the next time you do it break the pattern and try doing it a new way.

Be Hyper-Scheduled

People think creativity and new ideas come from chaos, but think of people like da Vinci and Michelangelo – they weren’t chaotic artists. They were tradesmen who worked hard and worked to a schedule. Haydn and Bach had to come up with new pieces of art on a regular basis or risk getting fired by their patrons.

Become a taskmaster and schedule yourself and clear out the distractions that keep you from making creative leaps in whatever you do.

Be Spontaneous

Most of us have schedules – and we like our schedules and routines. Break out of routine periodically and do something that embarrasses you slightly like karaoke or a nudist beach or even holding hands with your spouse as you walk through the mall.

And if someone suggests something that you wouldn’t normally do, say “yes” right away not giving yourself a chance to think about it.

Trade Roles

How many movies are their along the lines of Freaky Friday or books like the Prince and the Pauper? By putting yourself in someone else’s shoes you’ll break yourself out of regular patterns of behaviour and thought opening yourself up to new experiences.

Of course you might not be able to do this work-wise, but at home, trade around what you do with family members. Kids become the parents for a day and the husband becomes the wife. Have fun with it!

Change locations

House swap with friends for a week and break even more patterns. Go big and do a house swap vacation or even a work exchange in some other part of the world. Or go small and rearrange your office, putting the desk in some spot in the room that you least expect it to be.

And in meetings or classes, don’t sit in the same seat. Make a conscious effort to sit in a different spot every time you enter the room.

Stare at the Wall

Most times we’re a go-go-go culture and when we do turn off we do so in front of the computer or TV. I’m not talking about meditation where you focus on your breathing and try to clear your mind. Staring at the wall is simply sitting on the couch or bed with nothing in your hands and nothing distracting your vision.

It will likely feel uncomfortable, but by pushing past the discomfort your mind will start filling with ideas, often coming up with solutions to problems that have been plaguing you and have been avoiding resolution.

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Sailing the Someday Ship: Andy Hayes Interview

For the last interview of National Clock Month, I’d like to introduce you to Andy, a Someday client who went from a job he hated to working for himself and being one of the leaders of the groundbreaking Location Independent Professionals Roundtable program. With (several) new businesses on the go, let’s take a look at how Andy handles the clock…

Andy HayesWho: Andy Hayes of Travel Online Partners and Sharing Travel Experiences
Andy is a travel industry entrepreneur, working with small businesses in travel and tourism to help them with online technologies at while also a prolific travel writer, published author, and editor of a popular travel website.

Name one moment in your life when you threw a pity party for yourself and the reasons why you felt you weren’t able to achieve your goals. Were you feeling stuck? Had you felt you failed? What wasn’t working in your life?
Just one? 🙂

Before working full-time in the travel space I was working in a technology job inside a very large corporation and I was the proverbial square peg in a round hole. Days and nights became a real struggle and the issues I was having with not being satisfied at work started to bleed over into my personal life as well.

I pretty much went into meltdown, dreading getting up every morning to face the day. I was working on a few small writing projects which was my only glimmer of hope for the future. But I was stuck – frozen into position – so deep in an emotional well that I couldn’t see the forest from the trees. Pretty soon it felt like nothing in my life was going right – which in some ways was true, because I was letting the bad situation I was in control my every move.

It didn’t feel like a failure so much as it all just felt like “what’s the point?” I was very negative and not a pleasant person to be around!

Even our lowest moments fulfill a need in us or express our desires. When you threw yourself that pity party, what did you hope to gain? What need did you fulfill?
At the time I didn’t know. I think in retrospect I had hoped that in those depths of despair would come clarity, or at least someone to come along and say “hey, what about this?” Which is kind of what happened…

Tell us what you did to break up the pity party. What actions did you decide to take? Did someone help you buoy your spirits? Push you along?
I didn’t – at least not on my own. I got help. With Alex providing a unbiased and clear outsider perspective, I got a huge push to start getting realistic and start doing something to change! It was a pretty fundamental shift of thinking for me – a touch as light as a feather but that’s all I needed to stop looking down at my feet and start looking up at a way out. I had to make a plan ASAP to leave the job I was in, no matter what. I ended up handing notice in about 2 months later.

It’s appropriate timing being Time Management month as it’s really taken a lot of exactly that – well-managed time – to make things happen in the speed that I wanted them to. I needed out, FAST. So I had to make every moment productive. I mean, I was still working a full time job I hated and yet wrote an entire book in three months that was published in August. Crazy. I couldn’t have done it without (emotional) help though.

Can you look back on that moment and tell us how you felt when you did decide to take action? What results came about from your decision to take charge and move on?
I’m now well on my way to a successful small business owner, doing stuff that I love and working with people that I enjoy immensely. So I couldn’t be happier. Looking back on events that aren’t more than 6 months ago, it’s hard to believe I was the same person.

I remember the event very clearly that was when the shift happened. It was one of the Someday Syndrome exercises where I had to describe my future. I described it in detail but I’d also peppered it with a few blocks – things I thought would never happened. But once Alex asked some hard-hitting questions, that’s when the walls just came crumbling down. All of that negative energy started flowing and turned into positive energy to support positive change.

It’s still not easy, and again on the time management thing, at times I think I’m busier than I was before. When you decide to take your life into your own hands and live more, it comes with strings attached. You’ve got to take decisions and make things happen.

Everyone has a Someday problem hiding deep inside, even little ones. What variety of the Someday Syndrome do you currently harbor? What would you like to achieve but haven’t yet?
I was obviously playing into the Someday My Ship Will Come In, but now I’m on board and sailing. However living your dreams can be a pretty busy experience, so I sometimes get overwhelmed with the detail and fall into the I’ll Get Around To It Someday trap, unable to prioritise and instead choose nothing. I have lots I want to achieve but never seem to give myself enough time to do it. A razor sharp organisational scheme is a must have. A tip for someday readers: From a good to do list, to lots of shiny email folders – whatever it is that you need, get it and use it.

Examining your Someday Syndrome problem, what are you currently doing to resolve it and eliminate it from your life?
Well I’m still working with Alex to keep focus and get some perspective as I go through so much change. I’m trying to stay realistic so that I can make sure I’m doing what’s important and not just doing stuff because I don’t want to do something else. It’s hard because with such a radical life change you find yourself occasionally trying to do things based on the old paradigm, and I don’t want to end up back in “that space.”

Many people suffer the same problems you do. You’re not alone, and neither are they. What would you tell people in your situation right now to help them avoid what you’re going through?
Don’t be afraid to get help. Help doesn’t mean your weak – it just means some outside perspective. Even strong people need that. Smart people thrive on feedback. You need someone who will be honest with you, though, and someone who will follow-up with you and challenge you to aim high.

If you could ask for one thing, right now, to help you overcome your Someday Syndrome, what type of help would you ask for?
A good dose of patience for me is all I need, so I can have the clarity of mind to make sure I stay on track to my ideal future dreams.

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