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*The Asterisk.

I'm often asked by members of Unfu*k Nation, "how will I know if my life is changing?".

The answer isn't always a simple one but let's get one thing clear, that's the question you should be asking (and answering) yourself before embarking on any significant life change.

Let me give you an example. Many of us want to change the way our bodies look (or our bank balance or relationships or career or whatever...) and we set off with the best of intentions often only to resort to the same bullshit we always return to at some point. Why do we do that? Because we often connect ourselves to some vague outcome or target without ever getting down to the basics of what it will actually take. That's why I LOVE the "how will I know?" question. You see if you are out to gain or lose weight, how you would know that your life is changing is not by the scale or measuring tape but that you would be taking new actions of only eating X number of times per day or that you would be in the gym by 7.30am or that you are regularly eating X instead of Y or that you cook your own meals and no longer eat fast food. You see there HAS to be some verifiable evidence of a change in what you are DOING but not necessarily in how you currently FEEL about what you are doing. The results? Oh they'll come.

You have to be clear about what your life will look like, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant the item might seem, when you are making changes or breaking up old patterns. In short, you need to know when you're in the game or out of the game in an easy and unmistakable instant of your everyday life.

You see, real life change is a series of interruptions, of doing violence to your usual thoughts and emotions with an in-the-moment act of freedom, of doing something that is either new or that you had promised yourself you would do when faced with the same old, same old. If you're not clear about exactly what that new life looks like, what a new life demands that you do, you'll get caught up in the usual mish mash of thoughts, feelings, and circumstances.

Remember, it's not "how will I feel in the future?" but rather "what will I be doing in the future" and what you do about that future TODAY will determine how long it will take for you to realize it.



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I heard my four year old say this to his older brother the other day and his words hit me like a dagger to the heart but not for any reason you might think.

In his precious little mind, he's just not playing. He's out. He's no longer in the game. He has now removed himself. He impishly stormed off in a Gone-with-the-wind flurry of pout that four year olds seem to have such mastery with.

Which, as is so often the case with my kids, gave me pause.

What was that really all about? Simple really. Punishment.

It wasn't going his way so he took himself out to punish his older sibling. He got the final say. He ended it. So what, right? Considering this is a strategy that follows us until we die, removing ourselves from whichever games we're in always sidesteps the major flaw in the plan. The impact on us. What it does to us when we take ourselves out, the disconnect, the make-wrong, the momentary domination, the blackened stain on our love for others and our own peace of mind that can fester and grow as the resentment ingrains itself into our lives. Be in no doubt, taking yourself away is nothing more than a backhand to the other person, regardless of how justified or innocent you might feel you are. 

As with everything I say, I say this in full knowledge that other people can lie, manipulate, cheat and all kinds of truly underhand BS. But we usually don't even need something that dramatic to end the game do we? An insult, hurt feelings, unfair choices, gossip, whatever trivial matter (which you've blown up like a hot air balloon) that allows the self-righteousness to arise in your throat and take its grip.

I say to you what I said to my four year old.

Work it out. Re-connect, understand and forgive as quickly as possible with the people you love. Why?

Because the price of being right and alone just isn't worth it, that's why. Be the better you, be the you you're most proud of and let the chips fall where they may.

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I've been working on the next book for the last eight months or so and, as with everything I write, I've gone through all my usual library of negative self-talk.

"I can't do it" - "It's too much" - "It's too complex" - "It's CRAP!"


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