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Showing posts from 2016

Some reflections of Christmas Past

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As a young child memories of Christmas were filled with the excitement of a pillow case full of presents left by Father Christmas at 5am or so. Grabbing the sack and then bouncing onto my parents bed as they 'bleary eyed' tried to conjure up as much enthusiasm for the same presents they had wrapped wearily late the night before.

All the senses are stroked at Christmas, taste, smell, hearing, seeing, touch (feeling) and of course emotions... a veritable sensory bath along with heavy doses of kindness and love. I can still hear the soothing dulcet svelte tones of Jim Reeves in the background (thanks to YouTube listening to him this morning in Budapest too) no Christmas would quite be the same without Jim.

As the Christmas's rolled by recollections were of spending almost some of every Christmas day visiting grandparents in hospital. Although at this moment it seemed these visits were just an interlude in the festive day at home, a chink of light began to dawn on my evolving…

Are your Facebook groups on the slippery slope?

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Facebook groups are an incredibly powerful tool... I hear you thinking... he is going to say 'But' in a moment... and indeed there is a big 'But'. All the hard work can be undermined really quickly if you are not careful.

I don't know if you have noticed but there is a real prevalence of Groups now for the communities that we live... and when they first started out because of the low numbers of people they may well have included multiple towns, so 2 or 3 adjacent suburbs etc. What happens in these groups is that the messaging is now pretty fast and furious and so things wizz by on the timeline fairly rapidly. So... what people then do is... yep... create another group... it might be because someone else wants control... it might be because they just want to manage it better... or just because, for a while, it is less busy; things remain visible on the timeline for longer...

Roll the clock forward a year or two... we now have 4 or 5 groups for a collection of towns …

Has traditional business networking run its course?

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Most networking that we do originates from the same idea formulated back in 1985. The premise being to enable business people to get together, to learn what each other does, and to refer each other. But the big question still rages on... does networking really work?

There are those that swear by it and who would state without networking they would have no business whatsoever. On the other side of the fence, there are a great many who would tell you that it is a waste of time. The answer possibly as with all these things is that it depends.

Most networking brings a collection of people together looking to see what they can get. Although we all know that 'givers gain', the main reason people go networking is to get business. Avid networkers will openly admit though they get much more besides. Other benefits include... increasing Contacts, raising energy levels, gaining knowledge, signposting to others who could help in some way, and, even removing the isolation of working alone…

Another post on the 70-30 rule (just an idea not a rule)

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Back in the summer I wrote a blog about the 70-30 rule and how this perhaps can help us to get projects off the ground. Too often we are looking to create perfection before we start anything... sorry to burst the bubble perfection doesn't exist...

What a strange conundrum this 'perfection' thing... if we are all unique and our view of life is uniquely ours... then 'perfection' is only what we believe it is... of course no one else would think that is perfect... so there is no perfect... just our view of what works us individually... another post sorry for rambling. But food for thought... we are indeed chasing the snark if we are looking for perfection. So forget that because it is impossible, instead maybe, find what works... and that you can uniquely do for you.

So the reason for another post on 70-30 rule is because my attention was drawn to the chart above, and I have been chatting with a few people where this has come up in conversation and in relation to edu…

How the Trump & Clinton split is so similar to Brexit

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The battle still rages over Brexit here in the UK. I have never see something so divisive but it has been fascinating to see the real people. This has been so immensely deep, touching on passions and emotions like I have never seen in my lifetime. People have thrown caution to the wind and just said what they feel even though they may upset life long friends who have gone for the other side.

I know both sides just don't even want to entertain the others points of view. Both sides will argue till blue in the face and criticise the other side as being wrong, stupid or worse. Both sides are right and both sides are wrong... it depends on perspective... and it is being judged on where we are today and all the establishments, institutions, systems and governance that we have in place.

But irrespective of all of the detail of which there is a lot... some of it accurate most of it conjecture and hearsay... the basic two sides came down to very simple choice...

Do we stay as we are knowi…

2000 years ago we weren't ready... now we are...

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I've been on a bit of a spiritual journey this year and along with that I have been spending a lot of time looking back at the teachings of Jesus and trying to piece together what has happened since then.

I certainly believe that Jesus was an amazing prophet. A man with huge awareness and spirituality. Whether the bible is an accurate reflection of his life and times who really knows, but I am sure that he was able to achieve what would have been seen as miracles at the time.
One of the parts of Jesus's life that troubles me has always been the crucifixion. The part which I have difficulty with is the part that states "he died for us to save us from our sins, he died so that we might live, he died to prove that death is not the end".
At the time of Jesus the Roman empire was in full flourish and you can imagine that all manner of uprisings and challenges to the empire were happening all the time. These were troubled times. Much in the same way there are troubled tim…

Now it is time for another Internet "The Internet of People"

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When Tim Berners-Lee and his colleagues put together the beginnings of the internet they could not have dreamed of what it has become today... or perhaps could they? What started as a simple mechanism to share information between people across spatial distances in a little less than 25 years has transmuted into untold power and information being available in the palm of our hands.

So what has been the reason for what is unquestionably one of the biggest success stories of all time? What has enabled this to grow into the global phenomena that it has become in such as short period? It's success can be summed up with 3 simple characteristics

Free to connect to and access information that has been placed on the internetOpen to all, inclusive, cross boundaries, globalThe desire to share information and to learn Had Tim Berners-Lee decided that the internet was to be licenced and that rights to place information on the Internet could be bought and sold we would not have the 'freedom…

3 years ago... I gave up using Supermarkets!

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3 years ago the 30 September 2013, I made a decision to stop using supermarkets. From where I sit today it actually doesn't sound much of a deal. Those who know we however might be able to cast their minds back to facebook posts where people often commented 'Have you got shares in Asda Chris?' such were the frequency of my visits there!

So have a think about what you buy in the supermarket; the convenience of it and maybe the cost savings? ... then think about where you might get those things if the supermarket wasn't there? Simple things like Razors, Toilet rolls, cleaning products... and all those little things... nuts, baking ingredients and possibly 'nik naks' like tin openers. Then think of all the time it would take to get around to all these different places and you will probably come to the conclusion that actually... I'll stick to the supermarket! ... and who can blame you? ... no one has the time, especially with 3 or 4 kids and hungry mouths to …

Final Days of the Intermittent fasting or is it?

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The end of September looms larger than life in the morning... and it has been 4 weeks since the commencement of my 'changed' regime. Just a quick recap... I introduced 3 changes to my lifestyle in September... stopped drinking Milk in team and coffee (I drink a lot of coffee... love latte's), I introduced exercising back into my weekly program. Finally I started to intermittent fast sticking as close as possibly to an 8-16 pattern. 8 hour window of eating and 16 hours of fasting. I went for 9am-5pm or near as possible... sometimes, 8am-4pm and on the odd occasion was a 10am-6pm.

So how did it all pan out? Well most people will probably want to know did I lose any weight? ... not the main reason for doing it really, however yes, 8lbs in weight disappeared over the month. Most of this I would attribute to not drinking the milk and probably increasing the exercise. However, what I would say is that when I have done similar things before I have lost weight off my face and in o…

Reconciling religion and learned helplessness...

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For more than a few years now I have been seeking in my own mind to unify my thinking on God (universe, spirituality) with that of... self determination. What I mean by self determination is that we can create the life we want, it's up to us. This was highlighted even more when working through the Thrive Programme with +Tania Clarke at the back end of 2014. The Thrive programme is all about taking responsibility and not giving away your power to some external figure.

The idea was mooted that if you put your faith in God (spirituality, the universe, call it what you will) then you are effectively giving away your power to something else and thereby reducing your ability to create the future that you want. You can blame someone else, it's not your fault, God didn't want that to happen, whatever the excuse might be. Hoping (praying) for something to change without any other effort is unlikely to deliver the kind of results you want.

Now I have been processing this for almost…

Intermittent fasting... week 2 report is in!

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The second week was another interesting one. Just a quick recap... I have cut out milk in my coffee and tea (so basically cheese and milk in cooking is still fine), I am exercising twice a week (new group created FFF - Fitness for fun) and I am intermittent fasting on a 16-8 programme. This is a 16 hour window of not eating alongside an 8 hour window of eating normally 9am - 5pm (but not always).
So let us talk about weight first. Well I started all this on the 1st September at 13 stone 7lbs... which is 85.5 kilo's or thereabouts... now after 14/15 days as I write this... 13 stone...so that's 3 kilo's off. You might think well it is going to come off easy at the start... but to be honest at 6 foot tall, I'm not really overweight, but it seems the 3 things combined have enabled me to deliver quite well. The interesting thing is that almost all of this weight appears to have been shed from my middle. I am however keeping a watchful eye on my weight as the purpose is to …

Intermittent Fasting 1 week in... and a TV Show

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It's been an interesting week in more ways than one... From the beginning of September I set myself a new challenge, Intermittent fasting, 2 exercise sessions per week and no milk.

How have I got on? well lets start with the mess ups... I ordered and drank a latte as I completely forgot I was not drinking milk in a moment when my focus was elsewhere... Sometimes I have eaten outside the the eating window. Well in the past I might have said that's it I've blown it and thrown the towel in... but hey ho these are small beer errors... the fact is that 99% is still good... thanks for the reminder Friday morning +Tania Clarke ... so no beating myself up, accepting that these things are probably going to happen, life isn't perfect and sometimes blips come along... all part of life's rich tapestry.

On to the more important stuff, how difficult has it been? What do I feel like? are there any noticeable benefits in such a short period of time?

Let's do the easy bit. The…

So it is time for another challenge... What no Milk?

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Well it suddenly dawned on me the day before yesterday, actually 31st August 2016, that it is now 6 months since I ceased drinking alcohol... Now that's a bit of a milestone 1/2 a year, 184 days. So why did I do it? You can read that here... and also a progress report 150 days in here.

So not drinking alcohol has been normalised now and I am actually enjoying making some mocktails once a month and also looking forward to non alcoholic beer ... San Miguel zero being a wonderful find and have to thank +linda anderson for that! ... red wine a distant memory and have given away a few remaining bottles to grateful folk.

So a new challenge for a new month September. Well I always like to improve myself and try new things and this month I have decided to do three things. Firstly my love for Latte's has reached critical levels and my milk belly has replaced my beer belly. So a month without milk. Let's just see what all those milk coffees have been really doing. Second, I spotted 

Networking... Community Building... have you worked it out yet?

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It was interesting listening to the radio interview with +Nikki Pepper on the Craig Bunday working lunch show the other day. Nikki was explaining to Craig about Link4Growth and how anyone in the community is encouraged to come together locally and have conversations. Everything starts with a conversation, business, community contribution, signposting and connecting people, connection, tips and sharing information, support and help. But it is a difficult shift in mindset from 'Professional Networking' to 'having chats over coffee' which is what it seems Link4Growth is mainly about. Networking as a term has been around since 1985, and it has connotations in the mind of people as a place where 'business people' go and talk business, swap business cards and get leads, referrals and do business.

The quandary for most people is that when they arrive at networking they are then informed that to do networking 'properly' takes at least 6-12 months of consistent…