Saturday, 18 January 2020


This is part of a series of blogs, posts and articles on people, process or change, but notably about self-improvement since “know thy self” is a first step towards friendship, leadership or change. Please feel free to comment, add feedback or perhaps share your own experiences, recommended reading or favourite resources from the internet.

If you want to meet to discuss any of the elements mentioned here please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Tim Mob 447797762051


I attended the Disruptors Club business building event in Jersey, not because I want or need to build by business but because if “You're The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time With ” (link below) then it makes sense to spend time with interesting people.

In an earlier blog (What books to YOU recommend I should read in 2020? ) I suggested that you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but can you judge people by their books. They’re practically taking a piece of their soul and waving it in front of you like a gigantic, colorful flag. It would be rude not to read something into what they’re reading.

So inevitably I asked each of the panelists what was the best book they read. More about that later.

All the speakers were good, but I really liked Positive Neil, partly because of his life story, practical advice and my own experience as a participant in Glenda Rivoallen PhD Mindfulness for Entrepreneurs, which later became a book Mindfulness for Wellbeing.

I often use the phase: Are you the captain of your ship or the crew of someone else’s.


All credit to Positive Neil for the observations below, although they are my interpretation of based on my recollection of what he said and my own experience.

Quote: Anger is not a cloud that you want into. It is a thought that creates action and experience. You can choose that thought. The ability to choose, to control, is medication.

This is a great quote and links directly to the Ladder of Inference How to Avoid Jumping to Conclusions (link below) and how we can choose how to infer and respond to people and events.

It also says something about the locus of control: the degree to which people believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their lives, as opposed to external forces beyond their control.

I liked these practical tips

Step 1>> Don’t start worrying about the stress on your mind until you have sorted out the foundations like: Have you drunk enough water; had enough sleep; ate the right foods; done some exercise etc.

This is good advice because if you are already physically stressed then it seems unlikely or impossible that you are in a good position to start dealing with mental stress. I highly recommend The Organized Mind, Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Levitin, Daniel J. , if you want to understand the neuroscience of this.

Step 2>> Find the time, some time for just you. It may be at dawn, lunchtime, dusk, when caught in a queue or a traffic jam, but find some time to “check-in” with yourself.

As a former athlete with a full-time job I am used to being up at 5am, in the pool by 6:30am and at my desk by 8:45am. In Jersey in particular there is no commute like London and there is no reason not to carve out the start, middle and end of the day to do something more productive. We all get 24 hours. How do you use yours.

I am always amazed by people who have no time, but do have a smart-phone, TV, and lots of distractions which take time but don’t give growth.

Step 3>> Have routine tasks and get these done so that your chores are done and you are free to think about important things rather than urgent things.

I believe routine habits are essential. There is a lot of trash said about motivation. You don’t wake at 5am every day because you are motivated, you do it because it is part of a habit, routine or regime that is geared towards your goal. You may start with motivation, but you keep going with habit!

Step 4>> Meditate. If you have done all the above you are in a good state to be mindful, reflective, meditative.

I know from Glenda Rivoallen PhD Mindfulness for Entrepreneurs, that I cannot blank my head, empty my thoughts, or erase my feelings. By I can direct my focus. I can think about how my arms, legs, lungs feel as I swim, bike or run. I can study a rock-face and think about the best route to climb. I can feel the breeze on my face or the water that laps around my feet. So this is my version of mindfulness.

The key thing is that for those moments I am not thinking about someone, something, somewhere that I need to be, do, see.

Step 5>> Relationships. Make time to spend time with the right and important people.

As an athlete or entrepreneur success is heavily linked to being selfish and single minded. Without doubt the scales may be heavily tipped against relationships or friendships. However try to do enough to keep these alive. Don’t loose touch. Even a phone call, coffee, email, skype is enough to maintain the correction if not nurture the relationship.

Clearly it would be better to have strong relationships that bring joy, happiness and support and these are worth investing and cultivating but it would be naïve to suggest that this is easy for everyone.

Step 6>> Life. Get all the above more or less right, an repeat each day, for the rest of your life making tiny improvements each day.

When asked about lessons from the Commonwealth Games or World Champs Rowing I’ve always offered the following quotes

Quote1 >> 80% of life is just turning up – Woody Allen

I just turn up, to every training session, to every lesson, to every meeting. It's amazing what your learn, who you meet and how you improve by just turning up.

Quote2 >> Do exactly what is says on the tin – Ronseal

Life often is just doing the obvious: eat, sleep, drink, think. Every weight loss programme. Every training regime. Every qualification is simply a matter of do this, then that, then the other. Everything is obvious in the world of google. The challenge is doing it.

Quote3 >> If you can fill the unforgiving minute    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son! By Rudyard Kipling

We all have the same 24 hours, how do you use yours?


If any of this has been interesting perhaps have a look at Neil’s website or The Disruptors Club


Positive Neil

Disruptors Club

Disruptors Club business building event in Jersey

You're The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time With

What books to YOU recommend I should read in 2020?

Mindfulness for Entrepreneurs

The Ladder of Inference How to Avoid Jumping to Conclusions

Locus of control


If you to discuss these ideas or anything related to people, process or change please get in touch.

Tim HJ Rogers

Senior Consultant / Project Manager

Mob 447797762051 Skype timhjrogers Twitter @timhjrogers

Adapt Consulting Company - Consult, CoCreate, Deliver

Business Analysis – Projects – Processes – Programmes



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