Updated: Mar 11
This image really struck a chord with me when the Stockport Centre posted it and a few other centres shared & reposted. It was posted around the time that our Club had it’s 4th birthday (Feb 2020) and made me reflect upon the time that we decided to start the Club up and when I decided to go full time as a martial arts instructor.
For a few years previous to starting the Club, I had worked in a variety of consulting and project-based roles and what this meant was, that despite working on projects which might be trying to deliver benefits over generational time frames, I could only look from one contract to the next and would often have only 6 months visibility in terms of my work. That slowly permeated my everyday thinking and affected my home life. When I discussed this slightly odd career move with my family, I focused on what was going to happen over the next 5 years, rather than the next 5 months. It was such a liberating experience and freed me up from the everyday stresses of life - they were still there, but my eyes were on the prize at the end of the road, not on the obstacles under my feet.
On sitting down with Master Parkinson to talk about starting up another offshoot of the FMAC family, I was very clear that I was not after a satellite centre which operated two days a week in a church hall - there’s nothing wrong with that but it is not what I wanted; from Day 1 I was going to open a full-time centre and I had a plan to achieve it. I was also very clear, no doubt to the point of obstinance, about where I wanted to set up and how I would run it. I guess that being told that Prestwich was not a place that would work spurred me on a little! I often believe it is better to ask forgiveness that seek permission.
That clarity about what I wanted our Club to look like, what the atmosphere would feel like, what the culture would be, how it would be run and what our results would be meant that there was only one person to look to when things weren’t going to plan…. Me! I accept what’s happened, but try to understand the ‘why?’. I then focus on making it better which has been known to drive my family and friends a little crazy.
Maybe it is old age or an increasing grumpiness but I am less worried about what people think of me personally or whether I am liked a lot. It mattered a lot in my previous roles, with office politicking taking up increasing amounts of time unnecessarily. Giving that up actually allows you to be yourself and make that version of yourself the best. You cannot please all of the people all of the time, so stop trying! You’ll suddenly find yourself surrounded by the people that like you and admire you the most.
It is an often said piece of wisdom that winners surround themselves with other winners. However, every oyster needs a little bit of grit in their life. I often find myself being the person to ask ‘why?’ or ‘so what? (sorry Master Parkinson!) and I try to have someone like that around me too.
Am I glad I did what I did? You betcha! Am I a happier and healthier person? I’m healthier for sure - ask my family if I am any easier to live with! Was it the right move? 100%! Did the opportunity occur at the right time? Hell no!
There are countless books out there about self-improvement, about success and about how to become a leader in your field. Personally, save your money and print out a copy of this image. Couple it with Adam Hills’ advice on the Last Leg - ‘Don’t be a dick’ - and you won’t go far wrong!
Who’s with me?