BRAVE – Motivational Monthly Blog

Fear is what you feel, BRAVE is what you do about it. Fear is when a soldier loses her limbs and faces a life of disability. Brave is when she decides to learn how to use prosthetic limbs and compete as a runner. Fear is when bombs rain down on your city threatening your family’s lives. Brave is when you decide to take your family on the treacherous journey across seas to find sanctuary in another land and rebuild life from scratch elsewhere. Fear is when you worry about your child’s safety and well being. Brave is when you stand up for her and help her to make the changes that will make her life better.

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Flipping fear into bravery is a life skill we can all learn, and we don’t have to wait until disaster strikes in order to learn it. It requires unearthing your limiting beliefs, breaking bad habits and building new ones, and it demands the strengthening of your creative muscle by harnessing your imagination for useful not fearful projected thoughts. Brave is a shift in mindset. You can practice it on a daily basis, and the more you do the better you get at it. Then when bad stuff happens, which it inevitably does at some point, you are well-rehearsed in grabbing your bravery first aid kit and preparing to do what it takes to make the situation better for yourself.

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“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”Winnie the Pooh

 

Learning to be brave is not easy, it takes hard work and commitment. It takes the willingness to create a vision for yourself, set the goals to make that vision happen, to take the steps, to build your will power, a positive belief system and a set of healthy habits. Bravery is persistence in the face of adversity, it is patience when there seems to be no end in sight, it is failing over and over again and being able to pick yourself up and keep going.

Most of us need support in learning to be Brave. Here’s how I can support you:

Other resources for learning fearlessness, that have happened with me this month

Motivational Mondays: Using Intuition

Intuition is our body radar, picking up signals to give us inside knowledge on which to base decisions. It is an instinctive response not an intellectual or logical one. It’s a feeling. When we listen to and follow our gut instinct, things usually turn out well. It is our animal instinct. We often leave it dormant.

Doodle by Lou Hamilton

Doodle by Lou Hamilton

Intuition is a sense; it relays information, be that of danger or fortune. It gives an inkling of what might be ahead, behind or out of sight. It is what we do with the information that determines the path we carve for ourselves. Our creative nature responds to intuition, so the more open we are to the intuitive sense the more creative we can be. But we can only tap into it if we choose to stop and listen, for it is a subtle and delicate sense that can be easily drowned out by the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Doodle by Lou Hamilton

Doodle by Lou Hamilton

It takes patience, awareness and practice. Take time to pause, to notice moments of insight and flashes of inspiration, to watch patterns of events unfolding and evolving around you. Similar occurrences start to appear in different areas of your life and you can begin to make connections. You notice avocados are pushed to the front of the shelves in the supermarket, then someone recommends avocado oil, then you read that avocados are a superfood. Your week starts to pop with avocados and before you know it you are eating them every day and putting avocado oil on your salad and making face masks from the flesh. This is an example of how something slowly creeps onto our radar until it is multiplying across all our senses and we decide to act upon the flashing message in our brain: “avocados are good for you, eat more of them.”

Doodle by Lou Hamilton

Doodle by Lou Hamilton

The same thing happens when we start to become more positive in our lives. We become more sensitive to negative people, the ones that drain our energy. Gradually we are so attuned that when we hear negative talk it feels like someone running their nails down a black board. Our intuition by now is so strong in that area that the moment we meet someone we instantly ‘know’ if they are good for us or not. Our intuitive sense is screaming at us to back off from the negative people, to shake off their cloak of bleakness. If we ignore this voice we can start to become depleted or even ill from the strain of propping ourselves up against the dripping effect of their toxic waste.

Doodle by Lou Hamilton

Doodle by Lou Hamilton

When an opportunity arises, our intuition responds first; a flutter of excitement or a sense of fear or dread. We then check in with all our other senses and background information. Our logic piles in with the pros and cons. We make connections, run the reel through our minds of what the outcome will look like in a variety of scenarios. Then the best thing we can do is walk away, sleep on it, distract ourselves with other projects. Our intuitive system takes over while our conscious analytical brain is distracted. It percolates the experience until it makes sense of it. Processed, it will seep its way to the surface of our consciousness and we are able to make our decision. Sleep helps the process, with dreams incubating and unraveling the issue, away from the meddling of our conscious mindset, until the intuitive feelings become thoughts that can be acted on. If we listen to the advice of the wrong people it can set us off at a tangent to our intuition, cast us adrift from what we instinctively know to be right.

Doodle by Lou Hamilton

Doodle by Lou Hamilton

We feel intuition through a physical change in our bodies, sweaty palms, a tightening in our chest, a flutter in our stomach. Scientists at the University of Iowa did a study to test for perspiration on card players’ hands. The players didn’t know that the deck was stacked but after turning over about ten cards they started generating stress responses with sweatier palms. But it wasn’t until they had turned over 50 cards that they began to suspects the cards were rigged and not until they had got to 80 cards that they were able to work out how the decks were stacked. Their bodies sensed something was up long before their conscious minds were able to make the connection. And another study in 2005 found that the brain regions associated to bodily signals and sensory processing in people who meditated regularly, had developed more grey matter. Meditators are better placed to listen to their intuition.

“We all process things that we’re not consciously aware of—it’s a feeling of knowing that uses an older brain structure,” says neuroscientist Beatrice de Gelder, PhD, who researches blindsight, a phenomena of blindness that occurs when brain is damaged but the patient is still able to navigate a course or detect a person’s facial expression even though the can’t see using their conscious vision. Because we’re so dependent on our sense of sight, she says, we’re not used to trusting our intuitive vision track. When we feel a sense of foreboding about something we must pay attention to that sensation.

In 1957 W. I. B. Beveridge explored the role of the intuition and imagination in science in his book The Art of Scientific Investigation. He found that the more people were able to listen to their intuition, the more open was their conduit to creative thinking. Anne Lamott‘s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, agrees “You get your intuition back when you make space for it, when you stop the chattering of the rational mind. The rational mind doesn’t nourish you. You assume that it gives you the truth, because the rational mind is the golden calf that this culture worships, but this is not true. Rationality squeezes out much that is rich and juicy and fascinating.”

Albert Einstein: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

Steve Jobs: “The people in the Indian countryside don’t use their intellect like we do, they use their intuition instead, and the intuition is far more developed than in the rest of the world… Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion. That’s had a big impact on my work. Western rational thought is not an innate human characteristic, it is learned and it is the great achievement of Western civilization. In the villages of India, they never learned it. They learned something else, which is in some ways just as valuable but in other ways is not. That’s the power of intuition and experiential wisdom.”

When Picasso began a drawing he would hold his pen above the blank page, not knowing what he was going to draw. Then he would touch the nib to paper and let his intuition guide his creativity and the drawing would flow from his hand. Writers say that just the act of showing up at their keyboard everyday, allows the words to pour from a place they can’t intellectually tap into. But intuition doesn’t just belong to the artistic. Intuition and creativity are an integral part of us all. They are interconnected, interdependent and interchangeable from each other and from all our other human capabilities. The more we develop those aspects of ourselves the more everything else flows in a transference that quantum physicists like to call ‘instant information transference’. We make better decisions, we learn more easily, we understand more, we make more original connections, we are more empathetic, we see things more clearly, we gain a deeper insight into our own purpose and we find life more meaningful.

Doodle by Lou Hamilton

Doodle by Lou Hamilton

Intuition and creativity help build our intelligence and guide our behavior, whilst creating a fertile field for making innovative progress. Our brains are plastic, always ready to be stretched, molded and developed. All we have to do is get out of our own way, pause, listen and learn from that quiet inner compass and gradually our mind expands, our intuitive voice gets stronger, our ability to think creatively and make connections grows and our intelligence becomes alert, responsive and boundless.

To develop our intuitive strength

  1. We must learn to become to attuned to our intuitive sense

  2. We must learn to interpret what we tune in to

  3. We must learn to act on what we have connected to

Learn to use your intuition and creativity by working with me as your creative coach, and create a richer life for yourself. Email me to find out more: Lou@createlab.co.uk

Doodle by Lou Hamilton

Doodle by Lou Hamilton

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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.