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Learning from Big Blokes in Skirts

Learning from Big Blokes in Skirts


    So here I am in gorgeous Fiji, one of the most beautiful places on earth, hanging out with possibly the nicest people on the planet. It’s like everyone in the whole country has a PhD in friendliness. Or at the very least, a Master’s degree in happiness. You know when people smile at you and they really smile; the real deal? Not one of those half-assed pathetic grimaces that we Westerners have perfected; the pseudo smile. Kinda looks more like we have wind than we’re offering any kind of warm greeting. Nope, with these guys it’s your genuine ear-to-ear smile-fest. Man, these people are FRIENDLY!

    It’s kinda strange to go from a culture where the majority tend to avoid eye contact at all costs to one where people almost rugby tackle you to the ground to greet you and express kindness. Perhaps I need to bring a few of the locals back with me. When I’m home I feel pretty special if I get sneered at by a passer-by. Any love’s good love right?

    I know what you might be thinking, “you’re at a resort, they have to be nice to you”. Well yeah I guess, but they’re nice everywhere, not just here. I went for a run into town yesterday (away from the five star experience and into the ‘no star’ zone) and people waved and shouted at me the whole time – little kids, guys working on the side of the road, people in their houses, truck drivers. Imagine that: people being nice just for the sake of it – that’ll never catch on. I think all the shouting and waving back actually tired me out more than the run.

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    Stress Management Fijian Style

    I don’t have any stats on it, but I can’t imagine too many Fijians dying of a stress-related illness any time soon – not the ones I’ve met any way. Maybe I could enlist the help of my new buddy Joseph the gardener, who’s working (and singing) outside my room right now, to run the stress-management part of my session later this morning. Whatever he’s doing, it’s working. I wonder if he has a stress management strategy?

    I’m not sure that this audience will want to relocate to Fiji and become gardeners at the Sofitel but maybe they should. Maybe I should. Maybe we all should.

    I wonder where Joseph learned all that happiness stuff anyway? Probably Doctor Phil. Or perhaps he has the entire Tony Robbins collection? Maybe he’s read The Art of Happiness a few times. Oh, I know; he must be a subscriber to medotcom. How else could he do it? Surely he can’t just be happy right? Of course not. Probably has a great therapist. Anyway, he doesn’t make enough money or own enough stuff to be truly happy does he? Maybe someone needs to have a talk with him to tell him what he’s missing out on – he mustn’t realise. Perhaps I’ll tell him later….

    Or not.

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    Blending in.

    So, as you can imagine I have been using my entire Fijian vocabulary at every opportunity. I’m sure they are suitably impressed with my proficiency in their native tongue. In fact, at a quick glimpse I’m sure I could be mistaken for one of the locals. Were it not for my gigantic white body, my shaved head, my complete lack of cool-ness and my hideous accent, I would blend right in with the local population.

    “Bula”, I say to my new friends.

    Which is code for “I’m a stupid huge white man, trying to fit in with you very cool gorgeous people.”

    To be honest, it’s probably not working. I think they know I’m from out of town. Not sure what gave it away. Could be the way I stare stupidly at their money as I try to figure out what I’m handing over every time I buy something, or it could have been my tireless and completely pointless quest to find some skim milk; they found this most amusing. Somehow I don’t think skim milk is near the top of most Fijian shopping lists. Or personal development books.

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    Big dumb white man.

    I was at the beach just before (which is about fifty feet from my room) and Greenpeace showed up to try to roll me back into the water. It was kind of embarrassing but at least it brought some much-needed attention to a good cause.
    Heavy sigh.

    However….

    While they seem to have nailed the hospitality and the friendliness things, there are one or two areas which could probably do with just a little tweaking. Not that I’d tell them – some of the lads are quite large. Let’s just say that an advanced driver training course probably wouldn’t go astray for some of the local taxi drivers. And while we’re on the transport thing, those thirty year-old Toyota taxis with more miles on them than the space shuttle don’t really enhance the ‘overall driving experience’ either. On the way from the airport to my hotel, I felt like I was an extra in Die Hard 8 and a very old Bruce Willis was my driver. Hopefully I can collect my fingernails from his dashboard on the return journey.

    Blokes in Skirts.

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      It may also take me a while to get my head around the notion of big muscular blokes wearing skirts. The guy who showed me to my room when I arrived at the hotel was six-three (187cm) easy, probably tipped the scales at a muscular 220lbs (100kgs) and was wearing a tan (is that a colour?) skirt. Gotta say I had no urge to let him know that in my country only the girls wear skirts. No urge at all. Especially as I’m not really sure how the health care thing works while I’m overseas.

      Seriously though, if I could frock up and look that cool, I would be known as Skirt-Boy from this day forth. Probably ain’t gonna happen though. Maybe I could start ‘skirting’ around the house and build myself up to a public debut over time.
      Or not.

      Anyway, enough about my cross-dressing debut (it must be the tropical heat) I best go and do what I came here to do. I’m up in fifteen minutes.

      “Hey Joseph, can I borrow that skirt of yours for an hour or so?”
      “Joseph… where are you going?”
      “Jo?”

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      Craig Harper

      Leading presenter, writer and educator in the areas of high-performance, self-management, personal transformation and more

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      Last Updated on February 15, 2019

      How Setting Personal Goals Makes You a Greater Achiever

      How Setting Personal Goals Makes You a Greater Achiever

      Achieving personal goals deserves a huge amount of celebration but setting these goals in the first place is a massive achievement in itself.

      While the big goals serve as a destination, the journey is probably the most important part of the process. It reflects your progress, your growth and your ability take control and steer your life towards positive change.

      Whatever your goal is, whether it’s losing 20lbs or learning a new language, there will always be a set amount of steps you need to take in order to achieve it. Once you’ve set your sights on your goal, the next stage is to take an assertive path towards how you will get there.

      The aim of this article is to guide you through how to take action towards your personal goals in a way that will help you achieve them strategically and successfully.

      1. Get very specific

      When it comes to setting your personal goals, honing in on its specifics is crucial for success.

      It’s common to have a broad idea of where you want to go or what you want to achieve, but this can sabotage your efforts in the long run.

      Get clear on what you want your goal to look like so you can create solid steps towards it.

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      Say you have a vision on retiring early. This goal feels good to you and you can envision filling your days of work-free life with worldly adventures and time with loved ones.

      If retiring early is a serious personal goal for you, you will need to insert a timeframe. So your goal has changed from “I’d like to someday retire early and travel the world” to “I’m going to retire by 50 and travel the world”.

      It may not seem significant, but creating this tweak in your goal by specifying a definite time, will help create and structure the steps needed to achieve it in a more purposeful way.

      2. Identify the preparation you need to achieve your goal

      It’s easy to set a goal and excitedly, yet aimlessly move towards it. But this way of going about achieving goals will only leave you eventually lost and feeling like you’ll never achieve it.

      You have to really think about what you need to do in order to make this goal possible. It’s all very well wanting it to happen, but if you just sit back and hope you’ll get there one day will result in disappointment.

      Self-managing your goals is a crucial step in the process. This involves taking control of your goal, owning it and making sure you are in a great position to make it happen.

      In the early retirement example, this would mean you will need to think about your financial situation.

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      What will your finances ideally need to look like if you were to retire early and travel the world? How much money will you need to put into your retirement fund to retire at 50? How much extra savings will you need to support your travels? You could also start researching the places you’d like to travel to and how long you’d like to travel for.

      Outlining these factors will, not only make your goal seem more tangible, but also create a mind shift to one of forward motion. Seeing the steps more clearly will help you make a more useful plan of action and seeing your goal as a reality.

      3. Breakdown each step into more manageable goals

      The secret to achieving your goals is to create smaller goals within each step and take action. Remember, you’re looking for progress, no matter how small it may seem.

      These small steps build up and get you to the top. By doing this, you also make the whole process much less daunting and overwhelming.

      In the early retirement scenario, there are several smaller goals you could implement here:

      • Decide to make an appointment with a financial advisor asking what financial options would be available to you if you were to go into early retirement and travel. Get advice on how much you would need to top up your funds in order to reach your goal on time.
      • Set up and start to make payments into the retirement fund.
      • Research savings accounts with good rates of interest and commit to depositing a certain amount each month.
      • Make sure you meet with your financial advisor each year to make sure your retirement plan remains the best one for you. Research new savings accounts to move your money into to reap the best returns in interest rates.
      • Start investing in travel books, building up a library that covers where you want to go.
      • Think about starting a language course that will help you get the most out of your travel experience.

      4. Get started on the journey

      Creating a goal planner in which you can start writing down your next steps is where the magic happens. This is where the real momentum towards your dream starts!

      Create a schedule and start by writing in when you will start the first task and on which day. Commit to completing this small task and feel the joy of crossing it off your list. Do this with every little step until your first mini goal has been reached.

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      In the early retirement example, schedule in a meeting with a financial advisor. That’s it. Easy.

      As I mentioned before, it may seem such a small step but it’s the momentum that’s the most important element here. Once you cross this off, you can focus on the meeting itself, then once that’s ticked off, you are in a position of starting a profitable retirement fund…and so the momentum continues. You are now on your journey to achieving your dream goal.

      5. Create an annual review

      Taking a step back and reviewing your progress is essential for keeping yourself on the right track. Sometimes you can be moving full steam ahead towards your goal but miss seeing the opportunities to improve a process or even re-evaluate your feelings towards the goal.

      Nominate a day each year to sit down and take a look at your progress. Celebrate your achievements and how far you’ve come. But also think about changing any of the remaining steps in light of new circumstances.

      Has anything changed? Perhaps you got a promotion at work and you feel you can add more to your monthly savings.

      Do you still feel the same about your goal? It’s normal for our desires to change over time and our personal goals need to reflect this.

      Perhaps you’d like to take someone new with you on your travels and you need to take this into account regarding timelines. Are there any new steps you want to add as a result?

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      Remember, reflection is a useful tool in realigning your goal to any changes and it’s important to keep on the right trajectory towards it.

      Strive to become the best goal-setter you can be

      Having personal goals gives you purpose and the feeling of becoming a better version of yourself.

      But it’s the smaller steps within these big goals that the growth and achievement really lies:

      • Whatever your goal is, make sure you get specific on when you want to achieve it. This helps you focus on the necessary steps much more efficiently.
      • Research the actionable steps required to get to the end result and…
      • Break these down into smaller, manageable goals.
      • Create a daily or weekly schedule for these smaller goals and start the positive momentum.
      • Reflect each year on your goal journey and purpose, readjusting steps according to changes in circumstance or desire.

      Keep going and always have the end goal in sight. Remember the ‘why’ behind your goal throughout to keep you motivated and positive.

      More Resources About Setting & Achieving Goals

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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