When Shit Hits the Fan - Throw Starfish Episode 017

Click on the image to listen...

Click on the image to listen...

As far as I can tell, from the little I know about life and building a business...and starting projects...and running events...and trying to change the world for the better in my own small way; is that the only difference between those that make it and those who don't (however they define Success) is those who do never give up and find ways to deal with whatever happens, especially when it all goes to the wall!

Have a listen to the Podcast here to get all our thoughts and ideas on dealing with life When Shit Hits the Fan

I'm a big fan of Prince Ea (we've shown his videos at PKNSheff pechakuchasheffield.com/ a number of times), he has a lot of great videos / advice which he articulates beautifully and it's his 'The Farmer Story' that is particularly relevent to this week's Podcast

You can watch the full version of Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address where he talks about things connecting up and making sense when you look back, but not always at the time. It's well worth it; there's quite a few good commencement addresses out there, but I reckon this is still the best.

As discussed, in trying to help someone with a couple of things they were struggling with in some coaching recently I recommended this article that helps you start recognising, understanding and overcoming Impostor Syndrome: '21 Proven Ways To Overcome Impostor Syndrome'...have a read, you might be suffering without even realising!

Always remember, the Tuck Pendleton Machine is a myth...!

Getting it done - Throw Starfish Episode 016

New Year resolution maker or not, there's no denying that this time of year definitely has a certain feel to it, one of fresh starts, potential and possibility. Have a listen to this weeks Podcast to hear all about what we think and are (and aren't doing) for 2017!

Having a vision of where you want to be is SO important, without it you really don't stand much chance of doing anything...at least not something you're going to be genuinely proud of! It's one of Dr Stephen Covey's key habits...Habit 2 - 'Begin with the end in mind' and you've got to imagine it in as much detail as possible; see it, hear it, smell, it taste it, touch it...really feel it deep down. I'm not always the biggest fan, but Tony Robbins explains it well here:

Whatever or wherever the place that you want to get to is, regardless of what you belief...in some divine power, serendipity, that the Universe is going to provide; the question you need to keep asking / in mind is: How do I get there? Because that orientates whatever your beliefs are to find ways and present those opportunities to you. For me 'that force' is your subconscious mind, but whatever you choose to credit it to it''ll start getting you closer!

Launching our #100days Challenge

An experiment to see how, if you turn a big goal into a 100 tiny steps (and give yourself 100 days to achieve it) how much more likely are you to complete something quite significant...or at least get pretty darn close to achieving it...listen to the Podcast for more details. If you use the hashtags #ThrowStarfish and #100Days and we’ll share your stories, answer your questions and discuss your thoughts.

I've actually set myself an number Challenges to really test the system...they're not fully defined yet, but I have started turning them into SMART Goals:

Specific - Exactly what is it that you want to accomplish..the more detail the better?

Measurable - In what ways can you measure your goal so that you know you're making progress / that you've succeeded?

Attainable - Is the goal something you know you can actually accomplish...do you have control / influence over it?

Realistic - Do you have the capabilities, resources and physical abilities to reach you goal?

OR (depending on the model you use)

Relevant - Is this goal relevant to your life / business right now...how does it fit in?

Time-bound - How much time will you allow yourself to accomplish this goal?

 

My Challenges are:

Sleep - Mastered and implemented routine...for 30days straight

Something I have battled with my entire life, that there really is no excuse for not getting on top of..regardless of what else I have to change about my life!

Body - Stronger, fitter, healthier me...lean and ripped

It's something we'd all like and there's really no reason why (with a little effort and discipline) can't be mine!

The Mount - Mount Pleasant saved, secured and in the bag

2017 is our time, we are going to make this dream a reality, so that it can bring other peoples dreams to life!

'Shirt' - Skilled at making a properly tailored shirt....from scratch 

I'm kind of know for my shirts (and love making things), so I've decided (despite having no idea how) that rather than thinking how it'd be nice to be able to make one myself, I'm going to learn how!

We'll be blogging and doing an interim Podcast on our progress, but for now I've set up a Throw Starfish 100days Challenge Pinterest Board that I'll be pinning things related to working out and making my challenges happen.

Would love to hear what you're going to go get this year?

2016. Worst year ever!?

Lots of things are being said about '2016'! In my echo chamber there seems to be a focus on how terrible it's been and all the people we've lost; which of course given a choice, we wouldn't have wanted to loose...but I feel something more significant is being missed!

Sure things have gone wrong and I am by no means dismissing or belittling what anyone has lost or suffered this year! I have had some real low points; some properly stomach-turning, want-to-just-run-away-and-hide and even a few fuck-everything-just-let-it-all-burn, shitty points too...and if I stop to think about them, they're all somehow far too easy to recall! I can take myself there almost instantaneously and start feeling them all over again...it's scary how simple it is!

Has it all really been that bad though!?

Here in lies the kicker : 2016 will always be remembered as a terrible year if we focus on those sorts of things...the ones we associate with pain; those that when felt, give way to other memories of discomfort and hurt, quickly building into a monsoon of darkness and discomfort!

This ability to transport ourselves through time to different places is pretty remarkable when you think about it...the reality is something quite different though!

To quote Alan Watts:

You can’t get out of the present moment, you can think about the past and you can think about the future, but since you do that thinking now, the present is inescapable.....Time is going along, life is going along. Time actually, the ‘clock time’, is simply a measure of flow, a way of going tick-tick-tick-tick and counting the ticks (and you say well, we’ve lived through so many ticks), but never the less, the real time, as distinct from this ticking thing, is a flowing, and yet it’s still.....It moves, but you’re always there. It’s always now, you never get out of now. You can’t get out of now and you never will!

It often seems like so-so much more, but that's all we really have...now! We can control and influence so little of it, but this present moment definitely has a flow...I can feel it! Just as feel 2016 had one...and despite all the noise and rhetoric about how doomed we might be, I believe there is more than just hope!

Whether you make resolutions, are considering what to change, have already set yourself goals or just think of this 'day' as another tick of the imagined and insignificant 365th partitions we split our orbit into...bidding fair well to 2016 is not about forgetting or 'good riddance', it's about changing our perspectives!

Remember all your fuck-ups and what you can learn from them....make your apologies and then let go...know that we cannot feel joy without the hurt, that if there were no struggles there would be no reward, that every ending is always followed by a new beginning.

Lets remember all those we've lost for why we miss them. Focus on all the incredible things they did and the gifts they gave us (which is why we miss them). Celebrate their lives and work and all the wonderful things they made us feel. Talk about the good times we had with them, tell stories of how brightly their lights shone and turn their music up loud!

2017 is going to be great, just like this tick was, because the good we do in the small, seemingly insignificant ways to influence the little we can, affects the next moment and the one after, and that sets us on a course and keeps the flow moving forward in the right direction...changing things for the better.

One Love,

JDx

An interview with Pennie - Throw Starfish Episode 015

The 3rd and final Throw Starfish Team interview is with Pennie...my business partner, best friend and always an inspiration; have a listen here...it's an amazing story.

Our really-Really BIG project is Avenues to Zero / Save Mount Pleasant.

Providing a new way for everyone to Live, Work, Learn and Play together. We are on a mission to bring the whole of Mount Pleasant to life as a hub of opportunity, skills and hope for the surrounding communities. We are creating a place where anyone, regardless of their age, background or experience, can access resources and support to get from surviving to thriving.

After fighting for over 3 years to stop this incredible community and heritage landmark being disposed of we have, for now, stopped it being sold off and turned into a Luxury Retirement Complex! Having got the Council to agree to put it back on the market, our not-for-profit community scheme now has the opportunity to secure the site so that the whole of Sheffield can use and enjoy it for another 240 years. To do this we need your help...join us, because together we really can change things.

Habits - Throw Starfish Episode 014

Click on the image to listen...

Click on the image to listen...

As the end of the year starts winding down and drawing to a close, we often reflect upon the year gone by and think ahead to the coming. If you are looking to change things in the New Year then you're definitely going to want to listen to this weeks Podcast all about Habits .

I highly recommend Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink it's a great read all about 'The Power of Thinking Without Thinking' and gives an insight in to our instinctive and automatic mental processes that form and influence our habits.

If you are looking to change something it's really important to work out what and why, your current behaviors and the triggers that set them off...and then take the time to work out what the Keystone Habit (have a read of the article) is that underpins / affects this! It may not even seem like you're tackling the right thing with this or that it's too small to make a difference to something significant, but if you can find it over time, the compound effect of these small actions will make tangible, visible differences, helping to improve your happiness and quality of life!

I still have my My Life compass today too!

An interview with Jonny - Throw Starfish Episode 013

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Click on the image to listen...

What can I say other than have a listen to Pen and Ruth interviewing me for an insight into such things as ‘What does Jonny do’ (which is a question that provides all manner of ongoing amusement amongst friends and associates).  

You can check out PechaKucha Nights Sheffield on our website as well as keeping up-to-date with Social Media on Twitter / YouTube / Facebook / Instagram,

You can also find our more about Sheffield SOUP on the website and on  / Facebook / Instagram

You can read more about Hyperloop and why we need it in some of my Blogs and get updates on Twitter.

My TEDx Sheffield from back in 2009 is also mentioned, so feel free to have a watch of that here...and as always let us know what you think!?

Happiness - Throw Starfish Episode 012

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Click on the image to listen...

This week our Podcast is all about 'Happiness', what it means to each of us and how we define it...listen here

I managed to find the source of the quote I threw in to the mix at the start of our discussions...turns out it's from late 90's comedy series, Third Rock from the Sun.

On this planet, there are people with talents and people with flaws. The smart ones learn to use their talents, but the happy ones learn to accept their flaws.
— Dick Solomon, brilliantly played John Lithgow

This is my wee LEGO Man that I always have with me and 'charge up' with happiness and positivity, so that I can trigger it when I'm not feeling so good!

...at the best of times, like this at Glastonbury each year - Arcadia Spectacular always provides the most amazing of feelings!

Here's the brilliant lesson from Alan Watts, al of his stuff is really good, but 'Why Your Life Is Not A Journey' is especially powerful!

An interview with Ruth - Throw Starfish Episode 011

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Click on the image to listen...

This week is our first interview with a member of the Throw Starfish Team, Ruth...the youngest of the three of us.

Not much to say on this other than have a listen here.

There is one thing briefly mentioned that's definitely worth having a read about, as it's something I suffer from Imposter Syndrome...check the article to find if you've succumb without realising!

Sleep - Throw Starfish Episode 010

Click on the image to listen...

Click on the image to listen...

This week's Episode is all about Sleep and is our first interview with The Sleep Geek - James Wilson.

In our discussion we talk about napping..this is the somewhat cheesey and very American Alpha Break that I use when I want to nap. I've used it for so many years now that it's well and truly weird as a  trigger for me.

Blue light is a real issue in our modern age and I do often find myself working late; I really notice the difference if I have to do colour sensitive work, where I have to switch these filters off...can't recommend installing these enough Twilight App for your phone / tablet and F.lux for your computer...do it now!

Exercise - Throw Starfish Episode 009

Click on the image to listen...

Click on the image to listen...

Our latest episode is all about Exercise, listen here.

When I was younger (probably 11/12 to 17) I played Octopush, which is underwater hockey and used to be pretty good at it!

In more recent times I got into Slacklining in 2012, having seeing Sketchy Andy in the 2011 Reel Rock Tour films...

...and then again at shAFF - Sheffield Adventure Film Festival ...

...I can't do the tricks, but do find it brilliant exercise for both body and mind. It really ticks my boxes for needing something to engage me while exercising!

From time to time I do take my Power Kites out...but not very often these days!

As mentioned in the episode and back in our Miracle Morning Episode I have created a prototype/make shift cycling desk in the Studio made from an Exercise Bike I got from a Charity Shop for £5!

Since giving up playing 6-a-side football with my mates on Wednesday evening because of work commitments I don't really have any regular designated 'exercise time'! I do always integrate walking into my day though, usually on the way back from places...which I do at 'Jonny-speed' with a pretty heavy bag of stuff on my back!

When I have enough time to make it part of my morning routine I do press-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups as part of my Miracle Morning too.

It is something I do need to make the effort to build back in to my life...any and all suggestions about what and how welcome!?

Trackers and Tracking - Throw Starfish Podcast 008

Click on the image to listen to our Podcast on Trackers and Tracking...

Click on the image to listen to our Podcast on Trackers and Tracking...

I was aware I tracked things, but it wasn't until we started talking about what we did and how, that I realised how many different things I tracked! Have a listen to the Podcast to hear about all the different things we each track and why!

The reason I track things is so that I have information to be able to hopefully make a more informed decision when trying to explain, change or improve things.

As discussed in the Episode I keep tabs on a number of things on my Bullet Journal trackers which you can see here...

...it might seem like quite a complex matrix that would take a long time, but it really doesn't, it's just a case of checking off the things I try to integrate into my day!

My Bullet Journal trackers comprises of tracking:

My Sleep, which I do using an App called Sleep...which I then put on to Google Calendar so I have a visual reference. As well as writing my fall asleep / wake up times and duration down each day, at the end of the week I work out the averages for these and any deficit!

My Miracle Morning: for which I record which Headspace Session I have done, my Morning Incantations, Visualisation, any Exercise, reading and my Journal installments.

A also keep a tally of the alcohol I consume, the Fruit 'n' Veg I eat and the number of pints of Water I drink.

Other Apps that I find really useful

Time Sheet which I use to keep abreast of all the time I spend on all the different projects I work on and the hours I do for each of my clients.

I don't use this all the time, because putting in every meal in exact detail can become a bit onerous, but My Fitness Pal is brilliant for getting a real insight into what you're consuming...calories, carbs, fats, sugar, the lot! It also allows you to gauge the impact different sorts of exercise has, so you can balance your overall input and burn of calories...the true key to weight control!

Social Media - Throw Starfish Episode 007

Social Media is huge complicated, ever-changing beast and I'm by no means any sort of expert; the large majority of what I have learnt has very much been though trial-and-error...and think the only way that you can work out things yourself is to have a go...and a listen to our Podcast on how best to go about having a go obviously!

I can't stress enough, picking the one (or ones) you're going to have a go at / develop and focus on them...there really is no point being on there if you're not active!! Social Media is a means not an end, it's just another channel through which you communicate and converse, and it needs curating beautifully in a appropriate way for each one...all link with all the other mediums though which you talk to your audience / listeners / customers.

It's also a very dynamic landscape, constantly changing and demanding of time, care and attention! There are all sorts of ways to track your performance through different metrics, but just like we discussed in our Success Podcast, you have to define what this measures are going to use to decide what's working for you. Ultimately it's less about likes and reTweets than it is about sales and getting people to act!

I do manage a lot of Social Media accounts and for this I use Hootsuite to schedule posts ...I can't imagine how it could be done otherwise; I pay for it, but believe you can have up to 5 accounts for free!

Accounts

If you want to follow any of my Social Media accounts you can find them:

All things Jonny Douglas are: TwitterFacebook / Linked In / Instagram. The most recent one I'm experimenting with Snapchat...and the one I almost forgot Pinterest, the one I have 440,000 followers on!

Our PechaKucha Sheffield accounts are: Twitter / YouTube / Facebook / Instagram, you can also follow Global PK HQ in Tokyo PechaKucha.

Our Sheffield SOUP accounts are: Twitter / Facebook Instagram 

There's our Save Mount Pleasant accounts: Twitter / Instagram / Facebook 

 The Northern HyperTriangle Twitter and the Blog

You can of course follow all things Throw StarfishTwitter / Instagram / Facebook 

 

Other things I'm involved and how they use Social Media...

The Sheffield Creative Guild: Twitter / Facebook 

Our Fair City 'Making Sheffield Fairer': Twitter / Facebook 

Sheffield Sofar SoundsTwitter / Instagram / Facebook 

 

Do let us know how you get on...Happy Social Media-ing!

Mindfulness - Throw Starfish Episode 006

If you've never had a go at Meditation / Mindfulness then you need to have a listen to this, because it's not what you think it is...and even if you've had a go before, we might have some suggestions or an approach that can get you the benefits without any of the barriers!

I've recommended it before and I'll continue to do so, it's worth every penny...HeadSpace is one of the best Apps I own and you can  it completely for free, no card details required, just download it and you get the Full 10 Session Foundation course for nowt!

You can watch a brief over from Andy Puddicombe talking at TEDSalon in London from 2012 below and listen to our thoughts and experiences with it here

We all agree that this has helped each of us in wonderful ways and is the best part part of the Miracle Morning...and includes wonderful little videos like this...

Give it a go, it really could change you life!

Chimp Paradox - Throw Starfish Episode 005

Click on the image to listen to our Chimp Paradox Podcast

Click on the image to listen to our Chimp Paradox Podcast

The Chimp Paradox is hands down one of the best books I have ever read...it's given me such an insight and understanding in to to own behaviors, as well as others (that I'm still seeing deeper and realising more about every week)...I recommend it to people all the time...I use refer to it and explain it in my training sessions...it really is brilliant! 

It was actually my Dad who first introduced me to it, when he bought tickets to a talk Dr Steve Peters was giving here in Sheffield...I purchased the audio book on the way back from the lecture, I can't recommend it enough as a way to understanding why we do the things we do, why we lose our tempers, why we start with the best intentions and don't always follow through, why make the same mistakes over-and-over again!

I've struggled to get out of bed my entire life and I'm not saying I've perfected it yet, but the 1-2-3-4-5 technique for getting up is AMAZING!
 
You can watch a brief over from the man himself talking at TEDx Manchester from 2012 below and listen to our thoughts and experiences with it here

Success - Throw Starfish Episode 004

Click on the image to listen to our Podcast on Success

Click on the image to listen to our Podcast on Success

We've taken the Podcast in a different direction for Episode 004...exploring the big and somewhat hard-to-define subject of Success. You can listen to each of our different perspectives and what we discover here.'s 

During our conversation we discuss the the importance of what we measure and Gross Nation Happiness, something I first came across in Chip Conley's 2010 TED Talk...it's well worth a watch / listen.

We also talk about the mythical physical definition of Success that is portrayed...well, everywhere. I'm sure most of you are aware of the amount of Photo-shopping that goes on with EVERY IMAGE YOU SEE, but just in case you're not, you'll want to stop what you're doing right now and watch this, because IT WILL SHOCK YOU!!

We all get drawn in by the smoke and mirrors at some point, it's highly sophisticated machine that's been under extremely well funded development for decades...even I used to have a lovely poster of a Ferrari F40 above my bed as a kid and I'm not saying if that turns out to be your consciously chosen, well-thought-out and thoroughly researched as a place to aim for that's fine, but from the little I've learnt about this crazy world in which we live in, material things do not seem to work as you think they might!

Personally I don't think money's a good thing to aim for or judge how well I'm doing by how little or much of it I have, but however you choose to define your yardstick, make sure it's one that YOU'VE CHOSEN rather than something that's been picked by someone else!


UPDATE Mon 26th Dec 16

Remember, as well as keeping up with everything Throw Starfish: Episodes and what the Team are up to, we post great Quote Meme every day on Twitter and Instagram like this...

IF YOU’RE NOT HAPPY WITHOUT IT, YOU’LL NEVER BE HAPPY WITH IT
— John Candy

UPDATE Fri 30th Dec 16

This article actually came out on 2011, but I've only just come across it...trendy knock-off High Street retailer H&M admit to only using models heads / faces photo-shopped on to completely virtual bodies on their website!! Read more here!

Pomodoro Technique - Throw Starfish Episode 003

Click on the image to listen...

Click on the image to listen...

I've found the Pomodoro Technique really useful...I don't use it everyday, but regularly; often to get me focusing and in to working if I'm not finding it easy.

You can listen to all three of our experiences with it here, but it's fundamentally a really-really simple system of shutting out all distractions for 25minutes of focused worked with short 5minute breaks in between...followed by a longer break after the 4th stint for 15-30minutes.

So a full cycle of ‘Pomodori’ is:

1) 25mins Work + 5mins Break

2) 25mins + 5mins

3) 25mins + 5mins

4) 25mins + 15-30mins Long Break

TOTAL = 2hrs 10m to 2hrs 25m

I don't always stick to the 25 minute work stints if I'm really in flow (sometime I don't even hear the buzzer), but taking regular breaks does really help with keeping my energy levels up throughout the day...so to help I use the Clockwork Tomato App on Android. 

So give it a go, let us know how you get on...


UPDATE Sun 6th Nov 2016

Ruth mentions Dave Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer at Microsoft's book Business Reimagined, there's a really good RSA Talk of him explaining more of his ideas around 'Re-Imagining Work' here...


UPDATE Fri 30th Dec 2016

I'm currently playing around with the Work Stint times to see what works best for as I've found 25minutes a little bit too short and keep running over in to my break quite a lot...fortunately this is changeable in Clockwork Tomato (not sure about other Apps / iOS)

Miracle Morning - Throw Starfish Episode 002

CLICK image to hear our Throw Starfish - Episode 002 Podcast

CLICK image to hear our Throw Starfish - Episode 002 Podcast

Welcome to Podcast Throw Starfish Episode 002: Miracle Morning...all about our experiences with this really interesting 'start to the day' routine!

I first came across the 'Miracle Morning' when Pennie challenged a group of us to try it for 10days for a project she'd been playing around with.

To understand what it was all about I started off by finding it on Blinkist, to get the overview and key points so I could have a go...and then later went on to listen to all of Hal Elrod's book on Audible. No disrespect to Hal, I think the model he's created is great and have found it really useful, but I can't say I enjoyed the full version of the book; it's written...how do I put this...in a certain style, that could, perhaps conform to the stereotype of the American 'Self-help' / 'Get Rich' way of doing things!

I also absolutely, categorically, fundamentally disagree with his views on Sleep and the claims on how much you can get away without having, it's utter bollocks...and he should listen to our Podcast interview with James Wilson 'The Sleep Geek' to get the truth about the importance of one of the most important things in your life from someone who knows what they're talking about!

To understand what I mean you can watch this 4min video made by the author on the technique:

The good news is, we reckon you can get all you need to start having a go at your version of the MM by listening to our #002 Podcast and reading our three blogs...

So where to begin...

The MM advises that you start morning by setting yourself the night before ready for the morning...and I'd definitely subscribe to that. I think about the time I'm setting my alarm for and walk myself through a technique I got from The Chimp Paradox, the '1-2-3-4-5 Count'. 

I don't know about you, but my mind is good for nothing while fighting it's way through from slumber...it doesn't understand a thing! So I set up this really simple step-by-step how to get my arse out of bed count by imagining each stage: on 1 I sit up in bed, on 2 I force my eyes to open (sometimes I have to do this one at a time and it can often take multiple attempts), 3 is duvet off, 4 is shuffle to the end of the bed and 5 is stand up. It might sound overly simple, but it's all my befuddled and clueless brain can cope with first thing!

All of this has the goal one objective to get me in to my day...not all of it, not so that I start thinking about everything that needs doing or might happen, but to the interim step of the MM: drink a pint of water and brush your teeth. Those 5 steps are so much easier and I find it much less daunting getting up, when all I'm setting out to achieve is hydration and minty fresh mouth

Miracle Morning

Meditation

I was already totally sold on this bit of the process, as I'd actually been meditating since the start of the year (2016). Meditation and Mindfulness (Episode #006 of our Podcast) are words that always seem come with a lot of preconceptions where people perceive there needs to be some (or a quite deep) level understanding of what they're doing, but there really doesn't and I'd highly recommend (and regularly do) Headspace for this.

It's an App (you get a full ten part course for free when you download it) and it takes you through what you have to do, in really straight forward, practical term, with beautifully animated short videos that help build your understanding along the way...all while getting the benefits from the very first session.

Incantations / Positive Affirmations

I first came across these in a pretty awful book I bought from a charity shop in my second year at University in Coventry. 

It really was as bad as it looks, but the one thing I took from it (a bargain considering it cost 50p) came from the 1st Step on page one...the idea that the attitude you have towards and the way you think your health affects it; the authors line to repeat to yourself was "I have no serious physical defect: my body is fundamentally sound".

Which is a bit odd, but it got me thinking...

From this simple and somewhat awkward statement I developed my first affirmation which (has changed and evolved over the years, but) I still use today:

I am a healthy person, I am physically and mentally fit; my body is fundamentally sound and I am fundamentally happy
— Jonny Douglas

I then went on to create a full suite of them, for everything I can think of. I find them hugely beneficial and every time I come across something I don't like about myself / want to change I draft a new incantation. Here are some examples of some others I have developed over the years:

I have a photographic memory. My ability to clearly, visually recall things in my head shows continual development and improvement. I have a great memory, I remember everything clearly, I trust my memory; my memory keeps expanding all the time.
— Jonny Douglas
The percentage of my brain I use at any one time continually increases. My mind is plastic and malleable, keeps firing new neurons, making changes, creating better connections and pathways; growing stronger from each minute to the next.
— Jonny Douglas
Every time I exhale I release all my fears, worries, apprehensions and relax. Every time I exhale I release all my anxieties, tensions, doubts and grow. Every time I exhale I let go my regrets, disbelief and let everything flow.
— Jonny Douglas

I also read through my Values and Beliefs, which I created as part of the My Life Program that I did with Pennie when we first started working together, with Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros playing over my Headphones as I do (BBC Planet Earth images occasionally appearing in my mind) to help anchor them even deeper! The run time on this track is 4m40secs, which also helps keep me going along at a good pace.

Quick consideration: It does take time to write and develop incantations / positive affirmations, sure you can find all manner of examples online like these in this Huffington Post article, but they're often pretty cheesey!

In our Podcast Ruth suggests reading a favourite quote or poem for this section to start with, which I love; it's a great place to start, as it does take time to write and develop your own set of incantations / positive affirmations.

Visualisation

This is the one that top athletes use all the time and forms part of some of the Leadership Training I deliver. It's all about picturing your goals, what you want..."Starting with the end in mind" as Covey would say. So every morning I take myself to a place where whatever I want to happen is already happening and Imagine it in as vivider detail as I can...the colours, the sights, the sounds, tastes, smells...I walk around and feel how great it is to be there...make it as real as possible.

What's the point of this...well the likes of 'The Secret' and other, similar opinions on life will try and tell you that in doing this the Universe will conspire to bring you these things, often, seemingly on a plate as if by magic. I don't subscribe to that! What it does do is it enable you to use conscious mind to wield the power of your un-/sub-conscious mind, by focusing it on what you desire. And in doing that it will start to throw up and create opportunities to take you closer to achieving it.

What do you imagine?

Simple, just ask yourself the question: 'What do I desire?'

Exercise

This one seems a pretty obvious one as we all know we're suppose to do it, but I often find it tricky to fit in to my life! So I define my MM by doing the first 3 parts and then usually fit the other bits in at different times for the rest of my day.

Episode #009 is all about each of experiences with Exercise. I integrate walking into my day by walking places and using my prototype/make shift Exercise-bike Desk (it's amazing what you can get from a Charity Shop for £5)! When I have enough time to make it part of my morning routine I do press-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups.

Reading

I do quite a bit of reading online each day, articles on things I'm interested in, keeping up to date and informed on different areas and researching projects. When I do make reading part of a full 6 Part MM I usually use Blinkist, a brilliant App that has 1,500+ of the best-selling non-fiction books, that have been transformed into powerful shorts (read by someone and summarised) so that you can read (or listen to) them in just 15 minutes.

Journal

I've kept a Journal / Diary on and off since I was maybe 15/16 and although I don't manage it as often as I'd like, I do find it hugely beneficial when I do. I find it's a great way of getting things off your chest, discovering things about yourself you aren't fully aware of and just generally getting a better understanding of the way you really think and feel about things! 

I'm not going to suggest how you should do this as that's really up to you. I've hand written mine, typed it and am currently experimenting dictating it, using speech-to-text. What I will say though is that I rarely do this at the  start of my day...finding it much more useful doing it at the end of the day as it helps me wind down, quieten my mind and close off the day.

MM suggests including 'gratitude statements' as part of this section and although they do feel a little odd (and cheesey) to me...I think they can be a really important part of reprogramming and focusing your mind on, as Johnny Mercer & The Pied Pipers would say, 'accentuating the positive'.


I don't manage it every day, but have (at the time of writing) recently just reached my 100th Miracle Morning and do think it is a brilliant way to start your day...or perhaps more accurately, has 6 really important things that really benefit being made part of ones day.

You can get more thoughts and perspectives from my fellow Throw Startfish podcasters experiences with MM here: Pennie and Ruth.

Bullet Journal - Throw Starfish Episode 001

CLICK image to hear our Throw Starfish - Episode 001 Podcast

CLICK image to hear our Throw Starfish - Episode 001 Podcast

And so to our first proper Podcast episode Throw Starfish Episode 001: Bullet Journal...break out ya earphones and give us a listen, as we explore our experience with the brave 'new' world of the analogue to do lists that you can use to organise your tasks, as a notebook, diary...even a sketchbook if you like!

I've been using the Bullet Journal system since April 2015, I clipped this article to Evernote from Fast Company about it on the 22nd February 2015, so I'm crediting this as the source of my discovery. It's a wonderful system that I've adapted and evolved to become an integral part of my life; even the creator Rider Carroll has tweaked and adapted it since I first started using it...and he took 10years developing it in the first place. The website is here and it has this video to explain:

Lots of people use their Bullet Journal in different ways and it's all about having a go and finding the best bits that work for you (and weeding out the bits that don't), you can see all sorts of different examples on my Pinterest Board.

For my Bullet Journal I use a Large (13x21cm / 5x8.5"), 80 Page, Ruled, Soft cover Moleskin Volant Journal as it has 31 lines which is perfect for setting up each month. I just keep this notebook purely for Bullet Journaling as I've found taking lots of notes in it means I lose track of things...which kind of defeats the point! For making notes on the go I have the Small (9x14cm / 3.5x5.5"), Ruled version of the Volant on me at all times in my back pocket and the XL (19x25cm / 7.5x9.75"), Ruled Cahier Journal for taking notes in meetings...both Soft Cover. I also have my 3 Fine line Bic Biro's (Blue / Black / Red) and a Pencil as I'm a very visual person and need colour coordination!

Each new month starts with the Month Overview (as in the video above). As I go through the month I add what I've done day-by-day; 'work' related things in Black, personal / social in Blue. I highlight the weekends in an attempt to remind myself when they are and that they're suppose to be different to the working week (still working on that). The Tomatoes are the days I was Pomodoro-ing and once I've complete all the tasks for that day I tick it off here too.

I do use some of the Signifiers suggested by Rider, but have also developed a few of my own: 

I start each day on a new line with the date Day NO Month YR, underline it and put a tick-box to the left of it, so I can tick of the day itself when all the tasks have been done. I quickly scribble down in pencil on the right of my page what timed commitments I have that day (including how long it'll take to get there) and then work out how long I have to do my tasks. I then check back over the last few days (for any uncompleted tasks) and look at my Wunderlist 'master task-list' for what else might need doing, writing out what I think needs doing in my Journal sorting/moved the rest accordingly electronically. Last thing before getting stuck in is prioritising my most important tasks, which get done first (mostly)...

When it comes to Migration, the process by which you transfer uncompleted tasks forward at the end of the month to the next month or, if further in advance, to the month overview to be checked and added when you get there. I find the suggested manual Bullet Journal version of this a little cumbersome as I often ended up writing things out a number of times, so it will come as no surprise that I use good'ol Wunderlist for this too.

Some people might look at this and think that it seems complex or takes too much time, but I find that taking the time to actually plan your day and the physical act of writing things out has profound affect on the likelihood of them getting done...even if that's not today (see this 90sec video). I really can't recommend giving it a go highly enough...everyone who's given it a go so far has loved it and is still using it! 

I do have some fairly extensive trackers in my Bullet Journal, but rather than going in to them just now, we're going to do a specific Podcast on Trackers and Tracking.

You can also see and read what my fellow Throw Starfish Podcasters have written about their experiences with Bullet Journaling...Pennie, my business partner's here and Ruth who wrote a blog about this some time ago and then 6month update on how she'd been getting on.

We'd also love you to subscribe to us on iTunes and/or via Stitcher if you likey-likie what you here.

To anyone thinking of NOT voting...

You're right, the system is flawed. It wields it's power to serve the interest of a few who care not for the people, but for their own ill-gotten gains...and that's a shitty place to be!

Not voting is not going to change that though! If you give up your right to vote you're surrendering your power, not reclaiming it...even worse you're giving those who are more influence!

The results of today's election WILL affect you, there's no question about that: where you're able to go when you get sick or injured, how those in need are treated, the roads you drive on, the parks you walk in, the amount it costs you to buy or rent your home, how much your food is, what goes in to it and how it's farmed / reared, whether some wanker has the right to #frack under your house or if some idiots spend a £100billion on missiles while people are going hungry and living on the streets...it affects who YOU choose to go to war with next, whether YOU are going to allow companies to continue to get away with stealing money that could be going to pay for all those things, it's affects whether YOU'RE bothered about changing things so there's actual an island and a planet to live on!

If you're still not convinced, at the very least turn up and spoil your vote, register the fact you think it's all wrong (in the 2014 Local Elections 'rejected votes' were counted)...just don't be a chump and do nothing!