Save Your Life

You have one life. Live it.

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I’m sorry, I don’t eat anything…

I listened to an interview today with a woman who follows a ‘raw paleo’ diet. In other words, she eats only what cavemen ate – raw meat in other words. Although, she also includes eggs and diary, which they wouldn’t have had, and isn’t averse to knocking up a raw chicken curry which, again, I suspect our prehistoric ancestors weren’t too familiar with.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, she also drove 40 miles every week to stock up on water straight from a mountain spring.

Putting aside any potential health risks from eating uncooked meat and the environmental impact of driving to get something that comes freely out of a tap, all this sounds like a lot of time-wasting hassle.

There are lots of fad diets around at the moment, and to follow one means spending valuable time sourcing the appropriate foods and making sure you don’t accidentally consume the wrong ones. It’s also stressful – having to check the labels on any food you buy and not being able to eat out at restaurants without asking the waiter if the steak comes from cows which have been fed only organic grass while being played Mozart. Not to mention how bored your friends and family will be by your harping on about your everything-free diet.

So, unless you have a specific medical reason not to eat a particular food group, then do yourself (and everyone around you) a favour, and just ensure you have a healthy and balanced diet – anything in moderation is a good mantra. You’ll then won’t waste time and won’t get stressed.

Finally, just for fun, here’s a video for you…

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Don’t wait – do it now

A friend had always planned on buying a yacht when he retired. However, this year he was diagnosed with cancer which, thankfully, was treatable and he’s now recovered.

The illness has forced him to rethink his life and he’s decided to buy the boat now, rather than waiting for retirement. He’s right, too. So often, we put off things we want to do until that magical ‘retirement’. The problem is, we may not live that long and, even if we do, we may be too old to do some of the things we have always dreamed of.

So if there is something you want to do, don’t wait – do it now.

It may not be anything as exotic as buying a yacht. You might have always dreamed of writing a book, travelling to a certain country, climbing a mountain, owning a sports car, keeping bees… The list is endless.

Sit down and make a list of all the things you want to do in your life – a bucket list, if you wish. Then, go through it and pick three things that you would like to achieve over the next 12 months. Now, make a plan of how you are going to achieve those things and take massive steps over the next 90 days to kickstart your way towards hitting your goals.

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You have more time than you think

Have you noticed how some people seem to have more time then others? Some people seem to be able to cram loads into their day – work, family, friends, sports – while others moan that they just don’t have any spare time.

But one thing is certain – we all have exactly the same amount of time. 24 hours every day. That’s 1440 minutes or 86,400 seconds, each and every day.

So how come some people seem to have more time then others? Because they are efficient and don’t waste time. Now, I’m not saying you should be doing something all the time – far from it, it’s good to chill now and again – but just be aware of what you’re doing, and use your time to good effect.

For instance, my son starts school at 8am every morning, so we are up at 7am – two hours before the typical working day starts. Time when the phone isn’t ringing. I’m often surprised at how much I can do in this two-hour window. This morning, I was getting breakfast and managed to knock over a bowl of sugar. That led, unintentionally, to me giving the kitchen a thorough clean and tidy. I then noticed that the cupboards were looking bare (keeping a teenage boy fed and watered is a challenge!), so I headed to the supermarket to stock up on food for the coming week.

I was back and the shopping unpacked, ready to begin work-proper at 9am. It felt good to have been so productive and it’s two things less to do over the weekend.

Of course, making good use of time doesn’t necessarily mean doing chores. You could also go for a run, read a book, watch a movie, or simply relax. The key is to ensure that you don’t fritter your time away.

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You can have more than one career

At school, you’re led to believe that you have to choose a career while in your teens and stick with it until you retire. That’s 40 years doing the same thing. Which is fine if you love doing your job, but if not, then it’s OK to make a change.

A good friend of mine began his career as a gynaecologist, after years of training as a doctor. After a few years, though, he decided he didn’t like being a part of the massive NHS, so he remortgaged his house and bought a care home, which he enjoyed running. He jokes that his autobiography will be called “Hatching to Despatching”. He also hopes to have a third career one day.

My own sister was a fully qualified sub-titler and translator. She’s now a yoga teacher. Another friend worked as a trainer for a local council, which he found stressful, so he’s forged a new career in publishing.

A rather more high profile of someone who has reinvented himself is former comedian Adrian Edmondson, who made a name for himself in the 1980s TV shows such as The Young Ones and Bottom. However, when he hit 50 he decided he was too old to be making jokes about bottoms, so he learned to play the mandolin and started a folk band – as one does… The Bad Shepherds’ covers of punk songs are superb but, after a few years of enjoying doing that, Edmondson decided that was enough. He’s now a television presenter, novelist serious film and stage actor, and occasional chef.

So if you’re not happy in your career, it’s time to make a change.

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Enjoy the moment – for free

 

It may be a cliche but there’s certainly some truth in the old adage, “The best things in life are free”. Sure, money allows you to buy stuff and, I’d be the first to admit that it’s nice to have some material possessions.

However, it’s hard to beat the free stuff. For instance, this evening, my wife and I headed to the shore to watch the sun setting over the Isle of Wight – a joy that we never tire of. The sunset is different every evening and tonight’s was a stunner, as you can see from the photo above (no, it’s not been filtered!). Strolling along the beach watching the sky changing by the minute was priceless. And, best of all, it didn’t cost us a penny.

What could you do tomorrow that will fill you with joy and is free?

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Your smartphone can save your life

The iPhone is a lifesaving device. It gives you the freedom to work anywhere.

I was sitting on my sofa this evening when my iPhone rang. It was a customer enquiring about a car I was selling through my business. After a few minutes’ chat, he said he’d like to buy it. I texted him bank details and, a few minutes later, I checked my bank account on my phone and, sure enough, the funds had come through.

I then used the phone to update the website at www.philipraby.co.uk to mark the car as ‘Reserved’.

Finally, I posted this blog post using the WordPress app on my phone.

This evening, I was on my sofa, but I could have just as easily been anywhere in the world. Technology frees us.

A smartphone can save your life in many more ways – more will be revealed in the Save Your Life book – please click here for details.

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Are you successful?

What is success? You may say ‘earning lots of money’ but think again. No one will look back on their lives and be pleased they had shed-loads of cash stuffed under the mattress. Of course, having some financial security is nice and allows you to do things you may not otherwise be able to do but there is much more to success than wealth.

An author with the splendid name of Whit Hobbs summed it up nicely with the following quote:

“Success is waking up in the morning, whoever you are, however old or young you are, and bounding out of bed because there’s something out there that you love to do, that you believe in, that you’re good at – something that’s bigger than you are, and you can’t hardly wait to get at it again today.” 

“Lack of success is waking up in the morning after hitting the snooze button a bunch of times. Doesn’t matter how old or young you are, you feel blah. You slowly get out of bed with a feeling of stress about your day. You may have thoughts going through your mind like – Another day another dollar. I have to get out of bed now and go to my job. Can’t wait for the weekend. I am tired of making someone else’s wallet fat” 

Which of the above applies to you? If you’re not happy with your answer, then you need to take action – now.

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Why commute?

Here’s an interesting news story from The Telegraph showing just how outdated a concept commuting is. More homeworkers would reduce traffic congestion and pollution, and enhance people’s lives. Please click the link here to read the article.

Isn’t it time you got out of the rat race?

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Be spontaneous – and don’t think about it!

Sometimes it’s good to be spontaneous and just do things without planning them.

For instance, the other Saturday, my wife and I got up, throw out our plans for the day and drove to Stonehenge to meet an American!

You see, my wife is a writer and her pen name is Janet McMeekin (check out her website here) which was also her maiden name. For some years she’s been in touch with Janet MacMeekin of New York, who also writes (her website is here – I should be charging them for these links!). My Janet had received an email that morning saying that American Janet was in the UK and was visiting Stonehenge with her daughter (it’s one of those places Americans have to go to). So, we jumped in the car and headed 80 miles northwest to Salisbury Plain. Stonehenge boasts a superb new visitor centre and we sat and chatted over coffee. I’m pleased to report that the two Janets got on as if they were long-lost relatives (which they may well be).

It wasn’t planned and it was all the better for it. We’d no expectations of how the day was to pan out but, as it turned out, we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

It is so easy to fall into the traps of routine and planning, so it’s important to break out occasionally do something on the spur of the moment. Here are just some ideas to get you thinking:

  • Drop in unannounced on a friend or relative.

Head off into the countryside with no destination in mind.

Go out for breakfast at a local cafe.

Take a boat or a plane wherever you can get a ticket for.

Have a clear-out of your house, garden or garage.

It doesn’t really matter what you do – just do it!

 

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Are you lucky or unlucky?

Are you lucky or unlucky?

I’ve noticed that there are two types of people on Facebook.

Those who are always posting about great things they have or have done. Days out with their kids, tasty meals, great holidays, their cute puppy.

And those who are always grumbling about how hard done by they are. They’re ill, they hate their job, they’ve no money, the family is annoying them.

The lucky people and the unlucky people.

It’s the same in real life. When you greet someone with the universal “How are you?”, the response will invariably go one of two way:

“I’m great, thanks.” “Fantastic, how about you?” “Wonderful to see you.”

Or:

“Oh, don’t ask.” “Could be better.” “Flipping awful.” And then they continue with a list of their woes and ailments.

The lucky and the unlucky people.

So how come some people have all the luck while others are dealt a bad deal in life? Because it’s what they tell people. We all have issues in our lives and we all have good stuff as well. It’s just that some people choose to share the positive things while others tell us about the bad stuff.

And do you know what? You’ll get more of what you talk about. If you’re saying your life is great then, on the whole, it will be. And if you’re always complaining it’s rubbish then, you guessed it, it will be.

Our life events aren’t good or bad, but rather how we respond to them is good or bad. If you choose to remain upbeat then the bad stuff won’t seem quite so bad. And if we moan and grumble when things don’t go so well then we won’t appreciate, or even notice, the great things.

So, for the next seven days, make a real effort only to say positive things to friends, colleagues and family. Even if the world seems to be turning against you, don’t mention it to anyone but instead say you’re great, fantastic and wonderful.

And after you’ve done it for seven days I guarantee you’ll want to do it for the next seven, and the seven after that. Not only will you feel better yourself, others will treat you better and you’ll begin to notice that, actually, you’re one of the lucky ones

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