Breaking Bad Beliefs

When we watch a film we know it’s not ‘true’ but if the story is told in a believable way then we are happy to suspend disbelief for an hour and half and allow ourselves to be taken into the land of make-believe.

With hope & determination we can build beliefs that serve us well

With hope & determination we can build beliefs that serve us well

In daily life too we oscillate between a variety of chosen beliefs, some that serve us well ‘I can do this’ to those that make us feel bad ‘I am rubbish’. We build up beliefs with perceived evidence and over time we feed them until they are solid as rock and we believe them to be The Truth. But it is worth remembering our beliefs are not true, they are our chosen view. We can see life through dark shades or rose coloured spectacles. Either way it effects how we feel.

What beliefs do we hold around ageing?

What beliefs do we hold around ageing?

This week a dear friend encouraged me to go to Ukelele Wednesdays. Now I ‘believe’ that I’m not very good at the Ukelele and for a while that belief has stopped me from playing at all. But heading out on the bus with my Uke on my back I chose not to listen to that belief and to go along to the evening just for the hell of having a good time with a good mate. As a trained classical pianist it pains me not to excel at an instrument, that ego once again vying for attention: if you can’t be perfect at it don’t pain the ears of the world with your tinkerings.

What new positive beliefs can we form today?

What new positive beliefs can we form today?

The brilliance of the Uke night is that there are no Divas, or Prima Donnas and Egos are frisked at the door and turned away. This is a free for all, a bunch of 30 or so mixed ability people having a blinding time of it, belting out the tunes projected on the wall, bellowing or harmonising, no matter, this is about doing your best and having a helluva good time.

Giving your life the best chance of happiness

Giving your life the best chance of happiness

My belief was systematically disassembled because it was totally irrelevant to the overall outcome. I was released from that harmful belief and into a new one: I’m good enough to have a blast and if I practise a bit more it will get even more fun.

What beliefs are getting in your way of having a good life? I help my clients do the equivalent of pancake-flipping: taking harmful beliefs and flipping them over into helpful ones. Neither are ‘true’ but one makes you feel a lot better than the other. So go and bash a few bum beliefs on the head this week and free yourself up to a better life

Build positive beliefs and end the day smiling

Build positive beliefs and end the day smiling

5 Belief bashing tips

1. Look at an area in your life that isn’t as rosy as you’d like

2. Brainstorm all your beliefs around why it’s failing

3. Draw out two columns headed Negative Beliefs and Positive Beliefs

4. Write down all your negative beliefs

5. Imagine what it would be like to flip each of of those negatives around with a positive spin. Write those new beliefs in the Positive Belief column. You don’t have to believe them right now, but keep reading them every day. If you were to stick with the Negative Beliefs how would you continue to feel? Lousy? If you were to try the Positive ones on for size, how would that change your day? Why not give feeling good a try?

If you want help unraveling the layers of negative beliefs that you have built up over time, and you are ready to enhance and improve your life, contact me for a trial consultation to find out more about my process based coaching course. 6 x 1 hour sessions or 9 x 1 hour sessions with the 10th session free. CONTACT

Embracing Change

Q: What have Film, Botox, Ego all got in common? A: Resistance to change.

In Cannes 2015 I went to a seminar by We Are UK Film on film distribution with BFI Head of Audiences, and Distributors eOne and Icon. They were discussing the impending change in the viewing habits of film audiences. Cinema-going is an expensive night out and people are increasingly attached to their own screens smart phones, iPads, computers & TVs for their movie gratification. The Hollywood Studios and Distributors alike admit that they are clinging to the old model but new technology is forcing the hand of change.

refecting possibility

For years Theatres refused to budge on changing from 35mm projection to digital. They said the quality wouldn’t be as good and audiences would turn away in droves. It took one film, Avatar, only distributed in 3D digital to change all that. Whatever the story, the visual spectacle proved the point and the result was a box office phenomena. The Theatres were right to be afraid. Digital did change everything and perhaps the writing is on the wall for the physical experience of movie-watching in the way that we know it. But maybe the best is yet to come?

What if we resist change?

La Croisette in Cannes is filled with horror-struck-Botox-fixed or surgery-stretched faces, attempting to defy the natural changes that come with age. The needles and knives try to put a halt to the inevitable and the frozen results are frighteningly museum-like; a sort of live taxidermy experiment. Resisting change can be a self-defeating prophesy. Afraid of annihilation we become entrenched in our own idealization, blinkered to the potential of other possibilities.

Our egos are steadfastly intent in getting in the way of change. I know that when I receive script feedback notes I have to read them fast, put them away for 24 hours while my ego dances the tight lipped fandango, performs back-flips of fury and grinds its teeth on its own enameled intransigence. But give it a day and it out-sulks itself into a corner and I pull out the notes again ready to get down to the work at hand; deciphering the feedback, taking the proffered changes on the chin and allowing them to evolve the script into a better piece of work.

sky no limits

Humans are stubborn but we’d still be living in caves if we didn’t have that itch in the back of our brains that tells us we’re more than the sum of a bear-skin and two flints rubbed together. Not ones to rest on our laurels, we thought our caves walls were dull in plain rock and set about decorating them with fine drawings decanting tales of derring-dos. We had an instinct to tell stories and we acted on that urge to move on from grunting to entertaining. We created the start of film in pictures with narrative. We could have been content with such raw cartoons but we forged on through the centuries never quite satisfied and we leapfrogged from one mode of visual story-telling to another, fuelled by our continuous un-satiated desire to disrupt the status quo.

So here we are on the edge of another visual revolution, unsure of what the future holds, waiting in limbo until the path clears and we see the way forward. It will take one or two films and the way they are distributed, to blast audaciously through the fear of the unknown and into the Cyber-Cinema of the future. Let’s enjoy the ride along our own red carpets and embrace the possibilities to Infinity and Beyond.

red carpet

5 Top Tips on embracing change

  1. Reflect on what it would be like to block the infinite possibilities brought by change.
  2. Acknowledge your instinct for safety but understand that the more we try to run from change the more it will come knocking.
  3. Know that nothing stays the same, it is the way of the world to evolve and grow.
  4. Decide to use change to create something better
  5. Take the leap into the unknown with an open mind and an excitement for what might be.

Cannes-Do Attitude

Cannes Film Festival- sizzling hype, award-winning films, Hollywood stars, glam frocks, Yacht parties, Rosé on tap… Or a Lions’ Den for the Network-Phobe?

Dress for Success

This week I am heading to the French Riviera for my third Cannes experience. Now I’m pretty partial to a touch of glamour but I’m also a screenwriter and as a breed we tend to be more comfortable tucked away in our dark writing caves than in the stark sunlight of the film business battlefield. Think of it as throwing yourself into the waters of Sharks and Charlatans, Cynics and Die-hards, Has-Beens, Wanna-Be’s and Never-will-be’s, Macho Movers and Sadistic Shakers, and you won’t be far off.

According to Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman “No one knows anything”. Who knows what film is going to be the Next Big Thing? An Oscar winner can fail at the box office and a runaway success perhaps took ten years to get off the ground and been turned down by every producer on La Croisette before scratching it’s way to the surface and enrapturing audiences world wide. But in Cannes lots of people think they do know the Secret to Movies that Make Money. Those snarled tongues spit out your pitch like it’s rat poison. Unless of course someone else expresses an interest and then the tongue whips out and rolls you back in. There’s no filter; you’re meat in the mouths of the mean.

Your festival frock must be armadillo plated because it’s going to have to hide your sense of inadequacy and despair; and protect against the cut and thrust of ruthless disinterest. Crushing put-downs behind rosé stained smiles will bat your ego from pillar to post just as surely as you find yourself hopping from one networking nightmare to another. Walking on hot coals would come as a welcome distraction. You might well ask if the Rosé and the Yachts are worth the turbulence of terror in the face of yet another Film Exec waiting to kill your idea like a predator snapping off the head of its prey.

But Resilience is Paramount. Anyone who has walked into a networking event knows the results are slow in coming. Apparently it takes 7 separate interactions on different occasions with the same person to build enough trust for them to want to buy into whatever it is you’re hawking. The fruits of your labors will not land in your lap until you have played the game, stayed the course, and borne the wounds of rejection. Perseverance against all outward signs of failure is the key. Collect your defeats along your way to success. And the flipside of Networking is that when you persist, you do meet many great people who are genuine, have a passion for what they do, are open and who, over time are willing to connect, share and engage. These people become friends and collaborators and it is because of them that we are prepared to face the fear and do it anyway.

So I’m packing up my screenplays in neatly wrapped pitches, along with my business cards and crash helmet, ready to enter the fray. I’m turning Cannes-not into Cannes-do. Wish me luck and I’ll see you on the other side.

We love Film

We love Film

5 Top Tips to Networking

  1. Preparation. Wear something you feel good in, have your business cards easily to hand, know what you want to achieve from the meeting, get an idea of the people who are going to be there. Do you know anyone who is also going? Have a 25-word pitch that rolls off the tongue and sounds like  you would normally talk.
  2. Arrival. Enter the room smiling and head for the bar. Get yourself a drink and chat to whoever is also getting a drink. Ask what they do, be interested, see if you can be of help to them, maybe you know someone that you might be able to connect them with. Ask them if they know anyone else attending. If they do ask them about that connection. If they don’t, ask them about their networking strategy for the night. Hatch a plan together and move into the throng.
  3. Approach. Walk through like you have intent, smile and catch people’s eyes, approach a group that includes anyone who returns your smile. Again, questions and interest in the other person are always appreciated, be enthusiastic and encouraging, ask about their successes and their disappointments.
  4. Connection. Ask for their business card and permission to follow up in the next few days with an email. Say why what they do is of particular interest to you and if they are open to it, you can share your reason for being there, what you do and what you are hoping to achieve.
  5. Follow up. Immediately make a note on the card of where you met the person and give some kind of context. When you get back to base, put their details into your contact system and send them an email saying how you appreciated meeting them and a brief summary of what you discussed and that you’d like to stay in contact. If you do a monthly newsletter or blog or social media ask if you can add them to those so you can keep them updated.

Follow my Motivational Monday Blogs, Monthly Picture Posts, daily inspiring photo-quotes on Twitter: @createlab, Instagram: create_lab and Facebook: Lou Hamilton. CONTACT

In the Long Run.

Unbroken is a film directed by Angelina Jolie, based on the  book by Laura HillenbrandUnbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. The film revolves around the life of USA Olympian and athlete Louis “Louie” Zamperini, portrayed by Jack O’Connell. Zamperini was sent to a series of Japanese prisoner of war camps in which he was treated brutally. By the end of the war he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder but his saving was the ability to find forgiveness not revenge. At the end of his life he fulfilled his long-held ambition to run once again the Olympics. This time, as a torchbearer in the Japanese Olympics.

Never give up- life matters

Never give up- life matters

It was Louie’s ability to keep going in the face of supreme deprivation, humiliation and pain that can inspire us in our own lives. Hopefully not under such harrowing circumstances but each of us has our own challenges we must face and work through. We all have to learn the art of resilience against the odds. When you do something that you believe in, it makes it easier to fight on through the tough times. I have been interviewing people who are at the top of their game for my book Passion with Purpose, looking at what keeps people going in order to succeed.

Persevering to be one of life's winners- Gary Hymns

Persevering to be one of life’s winners- Gary Hymns

Recently I interviewed Gary Hymns, a Key Grip in the film industry with Bond, Star Wars, the Golden Compass, Thor, Robin Hood, Captain America, Shackleton, and Into the Woods, under his belt, to name but a few. All this from a 16 year old lad who started out working as a post boy at London Weekend Television. Much as we’d like to make this kind of leap in one bound, of course it is a lifetime of hard work that gets you there.

Gary has a good analogy. He’s a runner still at the age of 58, competing in races for the Serpentine Running Club “I always say to new runners who are exhausted or new people in the job, when they start the first mile and say ‘I can’t do this‘- well, your body works like a gear change in a car, you set off and it’s going ‘what’s this, I was walking down the street and now I’m charging down the road‘. But after about a mile it goes ‘Oh I know what we’re doing, we’re running’ you keep going and it drops down a gear and suddenly it gets easier'”.

His job requires the same resilience and perseverance. Gripping is incredibly physical work, moving the camera like a choreographer, gliding it responsively with the actors, sometimes under supremely tough conditions. Often Gary and his team are standing up for thirteen hours, physically tracking the camera, rehearsing one shot 10 times, doing twenty takes and maybe running with Daniel Craig down the street or on location in 52 degree heat pushing the camera all day.

So what keeps him going? Gary explains his motivation was always “we wanted to save money so we didn’t have such a big mortgage, having two children, we just got our heads down and did the work. But it’s not for everyone, it’s unsociable, you have to have a very understanding partner and you’ve got to be prepared to do the hours really…you’ve just got to continue, you’ve got to keep going. I’ve got eleven guys on my crew. If I my head drops or I think it’s cold, I don’t want to be working like this, you have to keep up your spirits, keep everybody motivated and break it up with humour which we do all the time. Some might call it gallows humour, but it does work.”

And then there’s the passion for his work that makes the physical stress worth it. He loved working with Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, both nominated for Oscars, on Notes on a Scandal, “I’m locked into that scene, concentrating on what the actor is doing, timing the moment for the camera move, I don’t know the time of day, where I am or anything when I’m in that moment and I love it.” And with the new Stars Wars “it was a wonderful experience and the director and crew were really at the top of their game, we all knew what we were doing, we were enjoying ourselves and I think we got, hopefully, really good results.” And what about doing Skyfall with director Sam Mendes? “All British Technicians want to do a Bond film and I never knew if I was going to do one but at 56 I got the chance and now I’m doing the next one so that will be the icing on the cake”.

So when you’ve gone the distance, battled through the challenges, and reaped the rewards, is that the time rest on your laurels? Not according to Gary, who has another few big films lined up and then some more personal ambitions to drive him forward. “At the end of those films I’ll be 60 and I want to take the running up seriously and hopefully spend more time with my three grandchildren and my wife Jen, who I’ve been with since we were teenagers, we’ve grown up together.”

An inspiring career and attitude to life and it is people like Gary that can act as a guiding light to us all as we endeavour to carve our own way through the ups and downs of life. As ever perseverance is the name of the game and being surrounded by people who support you, with a dash of humour thrown in.

Find out what puts fire in your soles with Life Coach Lou Hamilton, and enjoy the run! CONTACT

What puts fire in your soles? These shoes belong to Gary.

What puts fire in your soles? These shoes belong to Gary.