When we want to develop and grow in our lives, it can be important to let go of things that don't support us. For instance, when you want to lose a few kilograms, you need to give up sugary food and alcohol perhaps. When we want to get fit, we cannot sleep in but instead need to get up earlier to fit in exercise. We trade one thing for another.
John Maxwell talks about the term, give up to go up and it speaks truth. If we want to be more successful as people there are many times in life when we need to give up certain things. TV, sweets, parties and other unhealthy habits all need to be curbed in order to achieve something new for ourselves. Often this new thing leads to growth for us in some way. So I want to encourage you to think where do you want to grow and what do you need to give up to go there?
We all need to pay a price for success in one way or another and we always make this choice. There is always a sacrifice. We cannot have lots of money perhaps without an unhappy family life, we cannot enjoy too much of one thing without it costing us in another. The point is we need to make a choice, be happy with it and get on with it. Growth is intentional and we need to make it so, by considering where do we grow. What facets of our life need some attention?
In the last three years I have stepped away from the Opera scene but I know now I have done some growing. I am more of a rounded person, know I have skills and ideas in other areas and have been accepted into whole new communities. I am about to being lecturing at a Fach Hochschule here in Vienna which is a University level institution. It has been in the back of my mind for a long time to achieve this. I couldn't do it if I was still singing around the place. So I have had to give up to grow in this direction and I am hopeful I can continue to grow in the future with more contracts and opportunities to teach and train people in topics I am passionate about. Many of the things we want to achieve in our life require some form of giving up. It can be temporary but they are there. I still sing but just not as my source of income. This has also freed me to become a happy healthier singer.
So think about where you want to grow. Be intentional and begin to see what you need to stop, evolve or continue to do to assist in your growth.
After four Summers here in Europe I now realise that the beginning of September is akin to the beginning of the year for many. It is the opening of the new school year for students at school and University and many people return from extended holidays in August. In Australia this was always tied into the calendar year over Christmas and January. It is no wonder then that it feels like a new beginning and a new adventure into the next 6 months.
Vienna really does become a ghost town with many fleeing the heat of the city for nearby locations where there is water or to the coasts of other countries, to beaches and islands where living in the water 20 hours a day is possible. For those of us left in Vienna, it is a nice time to easily gain a parking space and enjoy of the delights of Vienna without too much hassle.
So with this extra time for reflection, it is possible to dream and envisage the next six months of work, life and living in a foreign country. A country not without its challenges and situations for the self-initiated expatriate.
I am looking forward in particular to a couple of things that I aim to bring to life in the next six months. The first is several Mastermind groups with the help of my mentor. We are inspired by the words and work of John Maxwell, who is a leadership author with some 80+ books. His teachings and motivation surround a central message that we are capable of growth when we are intentional about it and when we put together a daily routine and balance that supports this growth. We aim to, with the help of particular books by John, to help our Mastermind group participants grow and develop themselves over a 10 week period. Growth is individual and it must come from choice. The choices we make today and tomorrow and next week really will determine our futures. It is with this in mind that I will be launching this new project. Living the example I aim to teach.
I am also really excited to be working on a couple of online based projects. One in an app with a couple of other like minded Personal Growth individuals here in Vienna. We aim to launch this app by the end of the year with version one. It is based around personal development and your growth through challenges and tasks designed to help you explore yourself.
My other online project is to create an online course. Instead of an e-book or free give away, I will be pouring my ideas and self into the area of Stage Anxiety. Whether your anxiety is in the boardroom or on the stage, I believe firmly in the tools and exercises I have developed over my career as a singer and now as a Personal Development Trainer. These tools could be the way you reduce your anxiety and allow your butterflies to fly in formation.
So while it is not yet Christmas and the traditional new year and beginning I have experienced in Australia, it feels like the time it ripe for new energies and ideas to manifest. For new adventures to begin where I can help others to become more authentic and a better versions of themselves.
Please get in touch with me if one of these projects appeals to you and you would like to be involved in the some way. There is always room for help in many ways and for you to become a better version of yourself.
We often want to achieve certain ideals in our lives, but something stops us. Perhaps our routine is interrupted, or we lose the desire for the goal we wanted to achieve or something just gets in the way. Why is that?
Perhaps it has something to do with how easily our minds go from one task to another. If you are like me, it actually takes quite a lot of energy to sustain concentration. It is said it is a skill we are losing. Our ability to concentrate is diminishing due to the Internet and being distracted by our phones and other online devices. We crave the chemical hits of dopamine and other substances to get through our day.
I find in my own life, my routine is absolutely important. When I was in Australia on holiday, I lost my routine and now a month has passed. I did not maintain things like daily TED talks, Duolingo and Meditation, as I was in a completely different space. It was interesting to observe. Even now, a week into being back in Vienna, I am still not back in my routine. I know I will get it back, and can help myself by setting it up as soon as possible. Making the decision to commit.
So what is stopping you in your life? Is it your routine or something else? For many, it is the courage to make a decision. In reading 'Think like an Artist' by Will Gompertz over my holiday, he mentioned in one of the chapters that all artists have courage and make decisions and this is what sets them apart from others. So perhaps your decision making skills need some improvement.
I have been aware of this for the last few months and feel this is accurate for me. When we make small decisions in our lives effectively, the bigger ones take care of themselves. Choose when you get up, and do it. Choose whether to have breakfast or not. Stick to it. Choose how you will get to work and go for it.
Our ability to be crippled by choice is a common modern problem. When we go shopping there is no longer one brand of butter, but 15. This becomes confusing. Some are on special, others not, different sizes and styles. It might be nice to shop for a bargain if this is your choice, but I find the choice confusing and I end up wasting time on the computer researching things often, when ultimately I will go in and make a choice in the moment anyway, usually based on an emotional preference than a rational one. Most of the time I am happy with my choice and I am not saying you shouldn't research options and prices, but once decided on something, just go for it.
Coming back to our personal lives, it is these choices that we have the most control over. What to put in our mouths, what to wear, which way to go to work, even which work we do and concentrate on. So don't stop yourself. Go for it and make more effective decisions for yourself. When you want to go for a bike ride, do it! Make the decision to get up at 6am or 5.30am and stick to it. You snooze your lose, is the phrase in English and it rings true. Wait and hesitate and it is already too late. Then nothing is stopping you!
David Corcoran is a Personal Development Trainer who specialises in Voice and a professional Opera Singer. This Blog contains his regular musings, thoughts and ideas. He is based in Vienna, Austria.