I Should Be So Lucky

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Just to be clear, I am not a Kylie Minogue fan, but if I say the word lucky, this is what immediately pops into my head, such is the pervasive nature of this type of pop song. And how many of you now have the next part of the chorus going around in your head?

Anyway, yesterday's blog was all about success, but some people believe that you must be lucky to achieve success. Are you one of those people who believe you are either lucky or you're not and it is fate that rules whether you achieve success, or you don't? Do you ever wonder why other people are lucky but you're not? The official definition is 'having good things happen to you by chance'. But what would happen if you could influence the game of chance?

In today's blog, I am going to breakdown what lucky actually means and shift perspective, to question our attitudes and beliefs which contribute to how lucky we are.

There is a saying, "you create your own luck in this world". Here’s how we do that.

L - Location: It is true that being lucky is about being in the right place at the right time but, you must put yourself there in the first place. If you are looking for a new job, you are the one that is doing the search on the internet, applying for it and going to the interview. If you're wanting a new partner, you're the one who must go out on dates. Whether it is attending craft fairs to sell the items you have made, presenting webinars, going to networking events, seminars, training events, you are being present, right where you need to be in that moment, giving yourself a far greater chance of achieving the success you strive for than being sat at home doing nothing, waiting for something to change or happen.

 U - Understanding: This covers several different areas. Firstly, understanding what your strengths are, what areas need further improvement. Recognising and understanding what opportunities are worth pursuing and which aren't worth the time nor effort. Understanding that there is more than one way to achieve your goals; it is important to have the awareness to take on board any feedback you receive as you work towards your goals and to be flexible in how you adapt to challenges. It is also necessary to understand and accept that whilst you might have all your steps mapped out from A to B, the way there might actually be wrong for you at that moment in time. Understand how you might be getting in your own way of achieving your goals and creating your future life.

C - Connections: Who are you spending your time with? Consider we are the average of the 5 people we spend our time with, are you spending your time with people who hold you back, drain your energy, are toxic or don't believe in you? Or are you spending your time with people who stretch you, encourage you to grow, give their support and who energise you? Do you have the right kind of connections in your life right now who will give you attention, but who will also receive attention from you? If you haven't, then what is stopping you from connecting more with people? How are you showing up in the world so that people see you? The more you connect with people, the more opportunities you have for sharing, learning and developing. The world does not work by doing everything yourself so build more and deeper connections, seeking out relationships which encourage collaboration. A good network can provide each other with support through the bad times and be there to celebrate the good.

K - Knowledge: I am a firm believer in that you can never stop learning and you can never have enough knowledge. Investing time and money into building your knowledge base will never go to waste. Knowledge is power, not in negative, destructive or controlling sense but in the fact of it giving you more choice in the direction you want to take your life.

Y - You: Everything comes down to you. You choose what changes you are going to make, and if a changed is forced upon you, then you are the one that makes a choice on how to respond to that change. The goals you set are your goals, they are not for anyone else. Yes, others may benefit from you being successful in your goals, but they should be for you primarily. The work you put in and the actions you make are your choice and in this, the results you get are your responsibility. You choose what mindset you have, are you going to follow a mindset where you always see the worst in everything, where failure is inevitable, and you have no control over your life? Or are you going to have a mindset where you grow, accepting that failure is just a perception and a natural way to learn and develop? It might also create further options or better opportunities. How might your attitudes and beliefs either push you forward or hold you back? And knowing that luck is a combination of location, your understanding, your connections and knowledge, what are you now going to do? It is your mindset that determines how you view the world and your place in it, the choices you make, the actions you take and just how lucky you really are.

And here’s a thought…if Kylie had known all this and put her dreams into action, instead of being stuck in her imagination and doing nothing, maybe she would have been luckier in love…Who knows?

Now, go create your own luck and see what happens.

Education, Education, Education: 7 Free or Low-Cost Ways to Gain More Knowledge or Learn a New Skill

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When was the last time you chose to learn something new or completed some training which was not provided through your employer? Often our learning stops when we leave school or university, or we have become established within our role. For some people Continual Professional Develop (CPD) never stops, for others the prospect of doing any more learning fills them with dread. But, how do you satisfy that need to grow, to expand your mind or to try out something new?

When I was at school, I hated learning. Back then it was something you had to do. Even when I was studying a chemistry degree, it was not something I enjoyed, I think again it was because I felt I had to do it, rather than it being something, I wanted to do. Since then, I have well and truly caught the learning bug and have pursued a variety of courses from English Literature to dog training, which is what I am doing this weekend with my springer spaniel, Mason. Obedience is not one of our strengths when it comes to his behaviour, he's not totally unruly but there is definite room for improvement, and I need to learn some new skills and methods in order to bring out the best in him. I split my learning and growth between what I am interested personally and what will contribute to my professional development. I get fun and enjoyment out of both, which I believe is important if you want to absorb, understand and apply the new knowledge and skills.

If you were to make changes in your career what direction would you take it? Follow the path you always have, or go for something totally different? As you progressed through the years of formal education, the structure of it and how society's expectations of how we move through life, limited the scope of what you could potentially explore. How many times were you asked, "what do you want to do when you grow up?" Whoever replied with, "how should I know? I don't know what's out there." Probably no one.

Now as adults and with the magic of the Internet, we have the scope to learn just about anything from Forensic Psychology: Witness Investigation to Learn Jazz Piano to How to Make a Living Selling What You Make. Whatever your interests, your ambitions or if you just want to learn something new for fun and go totally left field to what you have done before, there is a book, course or training out there for you.

The good news is that in order to dip your toe in the water of learning something new, you don't have to spend £100s or £1000s to try it out or gain new knowledge. There are plenty of options out there. Below are 7 free or low-cost ways to learn a new skill, develop an existing one or explore a new hobby or interest. Whilst there are many learning platforms, course providers and resources available online, this list is based upon options I have used in the past in order to give you a good starting point.

  1. Ted Talks: Free to watch and has a vast array of conversations or brief intros into different topics. Great not only for the knowledge you learn but to see people talking so passionately is both motivating and inspiring. -www.ted.com
  2. Facebook groups: Another free avenue to pursue. Whilst many people might think of Facebook as sharing updates and photos with family and friends, there are also many groups on there where you can chat to likeminded people, learn about new perspectives and gain fresh ideas. You can use it to demonstrate your new-found skill and ask for feedback to help you develop further.
  3. Audible: I am an avid reader and do love my books but sometimes, there just aren't enough hours in the day and reading can be time consuming which is why I love Audible when it comes to non-fiction books and trying to get new knowledge in as short a time as possible. Clearly as a coach I am into personal development and I find listening to books as I am commuting into the office or out walking the dogs is an effortless way to learn more. For £7.99 per month, I find I certainly get my money's worth, especially since as a subscriber, I also get access to many free offerings which not only expand my world but are highly entertaining. - www.audible.co.uk
  4. Strong>Lynda.com: This is LinkedIn's learning platform. There are over 13, 000 online video courses taught by industry experts in the fields of business, technology and design. If you're looking to pursue your career goals and want to develop your existing skills or learn something new, then this might be the platform for you. The monthly cost starts from £14.99. - www.lynda.com
  5. Udemy: An online learning platform which has over 100,000 courses with prices ranging from £10 to £300, though often you can use a voucher to get 50% off the price. There's lots of variety, meaning whether you're wanting to learn something new in relation to your job or you have a passion you want to pursue, you'll be able to find something at an entry level, though quality of content does vary. - www.udemy.co.uk
  6. Future Learn: Owned by Open University but with contributors from both UK & International Universities and non-university partners. Many courses are free but if you do want to continue to access the course once it has finished and have a certification of completion then you do have to pay for an upgrade. There is also a series of premium courses specifically for professionals who want to advance their career and have greater interaction with likeminded people. Prices vary depending on the course. Some courses have assignments and an opportunity to get constructive feedback. Also, you can study at postgraduate degree level if you find something which interests you. - www.futurelearn.com
  7. Creative Live: This is one to look at if you are wanting to explore developing your creative side, be it photography, writing, craft work, music and audio or podcasting to name but a few. Prices range from around $13-300 and there are often flash sales where there are high quality courses at a heavily discounted price.

There is something exhilarating about learning because you want to and not because you have to. It's not about the end result but how you feel learning something new or taking something you enjoy to another level. Don't put your days of learning behind you, try something new and see where it leads...it just might surprise you.