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Saturday, 29 November 2014

You'll lose, you'll win - and why not buy a sandwich while you're at it?

The Dream Machine – the 6th of 9 steps in reaching your dream!


Welcome to Step 6 in the “dream machine”! If you’re new to the blog and you wish to follow a cool and effective coaching tool used to identify, check, plan and reach your dream, then please scroll down or search the blog to begin with Step 1. This will tell you what a dream is all about. Follow through Steps1-5 to come to today’s session:  

Step 6: Losses & Gains (and things…)

Click to enlarge, click right to download
Maybe it’s worth kicking off with a brief discussion on change. Because if you are decided on aiming to reach a dream – be it write a book, move house, get married, start a new job, or expatriate to the country you’ve always dreamt of living and working in – then it's very much a change scenario.
In effect, you’re changing an old world for a new. And with it comes all sorts of things like dealing with emotions, accepting certain things, trusting your motivations, evaporating comfort zones and…losses and gains!

When we’re young (in age, not so much in heart), we don’t think, and we don’t even care much about losses. In fact, the question hardly ever arises. We head for studies or first jobs, fall in love, move into flats, join the army or volunteer for NGOs. And we just do it. And measure things up as we go.

Things get a little trickier if a) you’re a little older and you have more things to lose (comfort, situation, habits, assets, etc.) and b) if you were born into a culture (national or otherwise) that looks at risk and initiative as something to be afraid of (my living example, France, which has for centuries now set up layers and layers of mechanisms to reduce risk in everything from education, to personal enterprise, to buying a sandwich. This said, it does have its benefits. And there are in fact a few super French people who actually defy the general “can’t be bothered / too many problems” attitude and do actually do something).
With this in mind, Step 6 aims at giving both sides to the coin a reasonable say – so that you can objectively assess your dream and make the best decision.
All about losses, gains
and finding a dream
When we change, we will lose things – friends, comfort zone, habits, etc. Now that’s clear, it’s worth mentioning that when we change we will gain things too! But what’s interesting is that changing a life or world doesn’t mean burning every bridge in town as you go! No – in fact, it might be a good idea to actually see what good things of the present we can take with us into the future.

Click to enlarge, click right to download
So follow Step 6 and enjoy. Needless to say, note everything and put it with your other notes from Steps 1-5. With three more left to go, we’ll be finished in beauty for Christmas. Looking forward to seeing you soon for Step 7: Resources. And talking of resources, I think I’ll just nip out, at my risk and peril… for a sandwich.  

Bye for now. Tom ;-)


Saturday, 22 November 2014

Step 5 - From vertical to horizontal...

The Dream Machine – 9 steps to reach your dream! 

Wow – busy week! And we’ve already come to Step 5! If you’re new to the dream machine, then welcome on board. Scroll down or search the blog to begin with Step 1. This will tell you what a dream is all about. Follow through 1-4 to now complete today’s nugget:   
Step 5: Contextualise the dream
So far, you’ve: Identified your dream and made a “film” of it / Considered how to start the ball rolling / Determined your motivations / Considered others’ wants and needs as well as your own.
And now, so obvious and almost always forgotten…the question of your travelling companions (or not) and the all-important issue of timing!  
Click to enlarge, then click
right to download
On that subject, stepping back and looking at life in the early 21st century (free copy of the novel The Kingdom of Emptiness for the first person to find the reference to that on the web – ah-ha…), I notice a major behavioural trait: in this faster than-the-speed-of-light world of communication, there are many of us who have a vertical vision rather than a horizontal vision of things.

Let me explain before you start phoning up the optician’s (or psychologist!). By vertical I mean that we tend to make lists of things – at home, at play, and especially at work. Monday begins by what you didn’t finish off the previous week and before you know it, ten other things have been added to your list. Head bowed, tucking into the wind, you pedal on furiously down the list and just as fast as you tick off the things you’ve completed, even more things replace it. Your sight is vertical – fixed downwards on your list of tasks. We make everything a priority. 

Whereas, I think the trick is to raise your eyes and look horizontally for once. Yep – look out over yonder, across to the horizon, and time seems suddenly more like a friend than a foe. You realise that, by pencilling in finishing off the Excel spreadsheet for Thursday and not today (Tuesday), it won’t really make that much difference – and certainly won’t bring on a cataclysm on a galactic scale. If you’re worried about pressure from others – check it with them. 
What the Dickens is that horizontal look in
his eye? Cheers Chris!

In short, whoever pulled the old adage “don’t put off today what you can do tomorrow” out of his/her hat obviously didn’t live with computers, e-mail, herds of screaming kids, Saturday morning supermarkets and the industrial, not to mention the internet, revolution. Claptrap indeed! DO put off until tomorrow what isn’t required today. Like that, you’ll stay sane and in good health as well as being effective! Think horizontal!

And finally, some things just aren’t meant to happen at certain times. Our civilisation may try to reduce risk and chance to a max, but it still exists and always will do. And that’s good. It keeps us hoping and striving for things. So even if you’ve written the greatest story since Great Expectations and still haven’t been spotted by a publisher, or invented the blueprint for a revolutionary micro-wave quick-freeze machine and can’t find a backer – it will happen. Sometime.  

So consider Step 5 below. And keep all your notes together. When you’ve reached the last step they’ll make interesting and highly motivating reading as you steadily walk towards reaching your dream.

Click to enlarge, then click
right to download
Meet up next weekend (barring mini-posts during the week) for Step 6 and some eye-opening discussion about losses and gains, pain and no pain (or something like that).

Tom ;-)  


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Step 4 in identifying, analysing, checking, planning and reaching what you've always wanted...

The Dream Machine – 9 steps to reach your dream!
If you’re new to the dream machine, then welcome! Scroll down or search the blog to begin with Step 1 posted 3 weeks ago. This will tell you what a dream is all about. For the rest of us, as promised, here’s… Step 4!

Step 4: What about the others?
So you’ve got the dream, you have the motivation, you’ve begun to plan the journey to reach it. Great! Now it’s time to take a step back, have a cup of tea (or a pint of Banks’s bitter), and maybe think about those around you.
Click to enlarge, then click right to download

I once started out hell for leather for a couple of dreams and before I knew it, I’d caused havoc to quite a few people in my entourage, including loved ones. Sometimes our enthusiasm gets the better of us – a cavalry charge when it should be a trot (at least in the early stages) and at the most a canter. It can make you feel quite a twit, and certainly quite guilty.  
It’s worth thinking about them – the others. And by answering the questions to Step 4, you might even find support and partners to join forces with to add value and strength to your efforts. What’s more, you’ll have avoided making enemies by taking into account people’s needs, reassuring them and, if need be, aiming for a win-win without letting go of your dream.  
Remember. Life can be both weird and wonderful. Old flames, school bullies, rotten bosses, old mates and those you upset – they always have a habit of cropping up months, years, or thousands of miles later. You’ll meet them, against all odds, in a bus in Prague or behind a sand dune in the Sahara. Unfinished business, maybe. And best not to have given them reason for a grudge in the past.
Keep on dreaming. Above all, keep a note of everything you’ve written down during the first 4 steps. This is your battle plan: inspiring, daring, ambitious – and also carefully checked and planned!
Rendez-vous next weekend! Step 5 will cover the issue of getting the timing right.
Best, Tom xxx
Click to enlarge, then click right to download


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Add a little Soul to your Life!

"Capricious valentine, you're mine
Ginger kiss that I would miss
Anyway, I say
Your sweet and sour smile
Is a game I love to play"

What Tom does after midnight - when he's not scribbling!  ;-)


Saturday, 8 November 2014

Another step forwards in reaching your dream!. By Tom Gamble

The Dream Machine – 9 steps to reach your dream!

Step 3 – you start to plan the journey…

Hi there. Glad to see you back and happy to welcome any newcomers too! The past two weeks have seen 2 Steps discovered in how to reach your dream, goal, or objective (remember, “dream” is much more inspiring and motivating a word to use). See previous posts to review or discover Steps 1 and 2: positively stating your dream, and checking it feels just right by making ‘a film’ of it in your mind.
Click to enlarge, then click right to download

And now the journey really begins!

Step 3 walks you through generating the motivations that will help you start and maintain the effort to reach your dream despite any factor that might just try to prevent you from doing that. If you do succeed in this step, then great – keep on going and watch out for the next step coming soon. If not, then that’s positive too, because it shows you that the dream/objective isn’t entirely aligned with what you really want and what really makes you tick. That’s precious news – imagine going down a path that would only get you completely lost. Fun for a while, but if you’ve tried this in a forest or a desert, then it quickly becomes a scary, exhausting and even dangerous experience (I have – and once found myself blundering about a blackened forest only to come up snout-to-snout with a horde of wild boar. Believe me – the noise they make in the night is enough to set the old self-control racing dangerously into the red). 
So, read wisely and be satisfied with the outcome of this 3rd Step. To paraphrase Paulo Coelho from that marvellous book The Alchemist: A decision to do something is not the end of a dream – it is only the beginning.  
Click to enlarge, then click right to download


Friday, 7 November 2014

Lucia Ortiz R.

Lucia Ortiz R. -Writer

Mexican, an adventurer, traveller, teacher, archaeologist and young woman of letters but to name a few. I would say she has that special thing that sets people apart - a blend of curiosity that leads her to explore everything that life can offer, an open mind, boundless energy, and finally courage to keep her company on all the paths she takes. What's more - she writes!

 I’ve great pleasure in posting some of Lucia's poetic prose. Simple, lovely, and very true. Enjoy.

So this is my discovery... Let me tell you about it. When I saw it for the first time.

It was as though I’d found something insignificant, a graceless object, without shine, without colour. But some time after having held it in my hands and offering it a place in me, my vision of it changed. In this place the object shone differently – I do not know if it was the light that entered through the window at that moment or the objects that surrounded it, but its attractiveness was obviously a call for me to observe attentively. So I began. My mind was full of questions without answers: how had it been shaped? Where did it come from? What was its story? Surprised, I smiled before this object. Because each minute I spent in contact with it, I noticed that its image pointed leftwards and away – as if it did not, and had never wanted to, show its face. It was clear that it was hiding something…

As time passed, I was able to look at the traces etched into its rough body. Like scars showing everything it had been through, what it had fought against not to be trawled until lifelessness. Really, I believe it had struggled greatly not to be distanced from its life, its natural home. But destiny had decided that it was the moment to part.

Today, when I came into my room and looked at its other side, I understood it was a lesson in life, a very precious treasure. Not only a piece for study, but art, a sculpture which held its memories, had its roots, a lineage, a past, a history.

Later, after long appraisal, I put it to my ear. Both contact and harmony were perfect because it gave me great peace. So I closed my eyes and almost mystical, I could hear the place it had the nostalgia to return to. It was then that I understood that after death, the mind remains intact as memories and experiences lived, until they return to the place where they were born. And this was how I discovered the origin of a shell, a body, capable of transmitting the sounds our senses receive – always sent by the echo of either a snail, the ear or the heart – and that they are one and the same; each with a different name, for us to understand in that a difference.

Lucía Ortíz R.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Dream machine – 9 steps to reach your dream!

Step 2  

Last week we triggered the dream machine with Step 1: identifying the dream and positively declaring what you want. And now (drum roll and cymbal splash):
Focus on Step 2: click to enlarge and download
STEP 2: Things begin to become interesting…
Time to make a film of your dream. Martin Luther King did (“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia…”), Ghandi did, and so did Sir David Lean and David Spielberg – literally!

So simply follow Step 2 and have fun! 

Keep on dreaming. And next week we’ll continue with Step 3 so that your dream becomes your reality! Piece o’ cake.
STEP 2 INSTRUCTIONS: click to enlarge and download
   Tom ;-) xx

  PS: coming soon – a snippet of poetic
  prose from a clever Mexican lady, and a
     visitor to the blog, who has a dream. And
     who dares to make it happen. Watch this