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Monday, 19 September 2011

5 Steps to Having People Get Behind Your Dreams

Goal setting and working to achieve those dreams is a trait common among humans. Even Buddhist monks have the aspiration to have no aspirations.

It is probably what separates us from the animal kingdom. Unless their dreams consist of eating, dreaming and mating, in which case they are quite successful in achieving their goals.

But to make our dreams come true, we often need other people to help us or collaborate with us in areas we cannot handle ourselves. This article shares some wisdom I have gleaned over the years from my experience, and from the experience of other successful people I know personally.

These steps are not meant to be used just with people you think may be able to help you, but absolutely everyone you meet. If you follow them when pursuing your goals, you'll be surprised with the results.

1.) Believe in yourself... and be positive.

For most of us, the biggest struggle you'll ever need to truly battle with in reaching your goals has nothing to do with anyone else. It is our OWN belief.

It may seem like a cliche chanted by self-help fanatics who give lots of high fives like the secret handshake of a cult, but belief does actually have a big say in whether you succeed or not.

And it also has a big influence as to whether you'll keep going when fluffy sheep hit the fan.

Having the support of others is great and deserves this article, but ultimately if you have an unwavering belief and passionate desire, you will achieve your goals no matter what.

I've seen it time and time again in my life and the lives of people around me.

"When life throws you a curve ball, you'll catch it and run with it and make a three pointer, on the buzzer, touchdown in overtime while being under par and avoiding penalty kicks. Well, I guess that's cricket for you."
- Daniel Grant Newton (people like quotes in articles to give arguments credibility even when they don't know the person being quoted, so I thought I'd insert one here.)

And guess what? Other people respond to your belief too.

Turn the tables around for a moment and think of the difference between someone telling you about their project with 100% belief in its success, versus someone who talks as though it is a pipe dream and wishful thinking. You'll support the one who instills belief every time.

 Here's a boy who has learnt the secret of believing in himself early on.

2.) Be Your Own Brand.

We all know Adidas stands for the 'Impossible is Nothing' attitude, and Google stands for things like innovation and fun, and a chauvinist stands for no one.

But more than that. All celebrities are a brand. Think of David Beckham, Lady Gaga or Angelina Jolie. They are all their own brand.

You are also your own brand. Think about who you truly are, what qualities you possess, and how you want to be. That is your brand.

I'm not saying don't be genuine and be fake. I'm saying the exact opposite. Be more like yourself than you are now, and you'll attract the people you want to work with, and attract the audience or market that most wants what you have to offer.

There is a niche for anyone, and when you combine belief with individuality, the doors you want to walk through open for you.

Need a visual example. Go to a concert and look around. If you're at a hip hop concert, people dress a certain way. If you're at an indie concert, people dress a certain way. And if you're at a death metal concert, people dress another way.

There is a group of people out there just waiting for what you have to offer.

3.) Encapsulate Your Story.

Everybody loves a story - hence we have books and movies and comic books. And if you can make your story exciting, people will want to follow you and support you because they're on your journey with you.

Your story should be an uplifting story. You know the ones, stories that inspires people to be their greatest, who through that greatness will inspire others to be their greatest, who through that greatness inspire others to be their greatest, who through that greatness ... well, you get the picture.

Kind of like a disease everybody wants. Like Ben Lee's disease.

Wait a second...

Am I asking you to make up stories about your time as a drug addict raised by the ghosts of wolves in a concentration camp in Prussia to finally beat your blindness and become a best selling author?

No, James Frey, I'm not saying that, and stop putting words into my mouth. And stop stealing ideas from my future novel for your new false background.

And, no, you are not an exception Helen Demidenko... if that is in fact your real name?!

What I am saying is to still be genuine, but tell YOUR story. If you look at your life, you will see that YOU have a great story to tell.

We all do, until we get really really old and sentimental and boring. (Just kidding on that last sentence!)

But seriously, on the point about old people, what do you expect from people who lived in gray scale and lived in complete silence. I've seen the video footage, and video footage doesn't lie.

Mind you, they did move quite quick back then. And they did have mobile phones apparently (See below).

"Back to the point, Daniel," I hear the unicorns in my head say.

Okay, okay, calm down you horny horses.

Stories have drawn people in ever since Adam the monkey started drawing on Eve's rock walls with crayons.

Random picture of someone talking.
And so when people hear your story, they will want to support you and be part of your story.

Lesson: Tell everyone your story, make it inspirational and true to the letter, and do not save it for Conan O'Brien or Ellen.

But that brings us to the next critical point...

4.) What people in marketing call 'WIIFM'...

Remember that when you talk to someone about your project they are always thinking WIIFM: What's In It For Me?

Knowing that, try reframing the way you talk about your project in every conversation to include the person listening. After all, what you truly want (I'm guessing) is for everyone involved in your project to succeed, not just you.

So, instead of thinking "I want this person to help me in this way", ask yourself "how can I inspire and help you through my project to achieve your dreams".

Taking that stance, you'll see people magically want to help you. You'll also feel better about the whole project because of the shared goals and desires.

5.) The MOST powerful concept of all - PASSION

Try this test. Tell people about your projects in a very flat, factual way, then tell people letting your passion really come through. You'll soon see that: a) people are more likely to listen to someone passionate, and b) passion is contageous - they'll get passionate about your project as you talk.

I remember testing this myself. I was telling an old doctor about my book. He was very serious and stern, and essentially everything I thought my readers would not be. 

Random picture of a doctor.
In the past, I would have given him a polite summary of what it was about when he asked, and then gone on to talk about what he was interested in. After all, how could he be interested in a book like mine.

Instead I took it upon myself to really talk with the passion in which I wrote the book. Who cares if he was interested or not, I thought, I was going to be excited about my book anyway.

He listened intently, nodding at the right intervals, but I wasn't sure whether he was interested or simply polite... or perhaps thinking about tomorrow's game at the squash club.

Then later on while I was in the next room I heard him literally raving about my book to anyone who'd listen. In a matter of a short conversation he had become a huge advocate for my work.

Never again will I hide my passion away, saving it for those I deem 'interested'.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Heart Attacks Are Not Funny, But...

Hey my beautiful Shambhalan Royal Reader!

I received an email about heart attacks in the inbox today, and I thought I'd share it with you. If you've ever died from a heart attack, you know it is not a laughing matter. 
BUT this email, although informative, is quite funny and a bit 'stalkerish'. I repeat.  Heart attacks are not funny (See Heart Attack Dragon I drew below).
Nor are the ways to stop them.  But the way this person has decided to convey the information, that is funny.

I have included my lucid thoughts as I was reading this in blue for your entertainment.

(Note: While reading this you may also learn something that might save your life in the process, and I hope that not only does this entertain, but draws your attention to the information in the forward and helps somebody out there.)
Valuable Information

Valuable Information. Yep, you know it is valuable information when they write "Valuable Information" up the top. So, clarification there for those who did not initially see the value in the email. Let's read on.

(Please send this to 10 friends. It could stop you from getting a heart attack.)
I'm not sure on the logic there. Sending this to my friends could stop ME from getting a heart attack? This is a new preventative measure I have not until now heard of, but it gets me thinking right at the start. Could this procedure of forwarding emails help other illnesses out there? Food for thought.

And why so specific? Why 10 friends, not 11 or 9 friends? Perhaps I should quieten my inquisitive mind and just read on...

Let's say it's 6.15pm and you're going home (alone of course), after an unusually hard day on the job.
It's 6.15pm? That is awfully specific again. Give or take seconds I'm presuming...

"and you're going home (alone of course)" What are you trying to say ... 'alone of course'? I don't have any friends? Then how am I going to send this to 10 friends?...

"after an unusually hard day on the job." This is getting VERY specific. After an unusually hard day on the job? Why was it unusually hard? Did I have chest pains? Was my left arm not working like it should, and was it in pain? Are you a psychic?

You're really tired, upset and frustrated.
I've got no friends, had an unusually hard day at work, my left arm is in pain... what do you expect?

Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five miles from the hospital nearest your home.
How do you know where I live? How do you know all this information? How do... wait a second, I thought I was going home. So if I'm about five miles from home right now, and the hospital is five miles from home, I could be the luckiest man on the planet right now!

Unfortunately you don't know if you'll be able to make it that far.

Probably can though, if I'm on my way home from work like you said.

You have been trained in CPR (seriously, this is sounding very specific, how do you know all this?), but the guy that taught the course (what did he look like?) did not tell you how to perform it on yourself.

No, that's right, he didn't. He only taught me to do it on a plastic doll called 'Annie' who didn't have any arms or legs... so unless I am saving a plastic doll named 'Annie' who doesn't have any arms or legs, the training may not reflect the real life circumstance



Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, without help (presumably because they have no friends?),the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.

Which unless they live near the hospital and are on their way home like I will be (apparently), then they'll be in trouble. So live near a hospital, people. That's what this is all about. What it is trying to say! Maaaaaasssssage comprehendo?

However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest.

A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again.

Lesson of the day: coughing cures heart attacks. Remember it. (Note: that is not a joke, but a community announcement.)

Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital.
Which should be only 5 miles away if you followed the previous advice. Step 1: Live near hospital. Check. Step 2: Deep breaths and coughing. Check.

Tell as many other people as possible about this. It could save their lives!!
Wait a second, I thought it was just 10? First you say I'll be coming home alone 'of course', then you estimate my network of friends, family and acquaintances to be 10 or under? I know at least 11 - maybe 12 - people I'll let you know!

A cardiologist According to Google cardiologist are not Hallmark scientists like you may rightly think but doctors specialising in heart conditions ... I know, who would've thought?! says if everyone who gets this mail sends it to 10 people, you can bet that we'll save at least one life.

What?! "A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this mail sends it to 10 people, you can bet that we'll save at least one life."

This quoted but unnamed cardiologist is massively - even grossly - underestimating the impact the email would have if his massively - grossly - overestimation of the amount of people would send it on was correct.

Now, I'm not an expert on the 6 degrees of separation theory - and clearly the cardiologist isn't either, but if everyone who received this email sent the email to 10 people who had not yet received it, surely the message would eventually reach a fair chunk of the entire global population (that has access to the Internet and that have friends who also have access to the Internet).

That would be at least 1 billion people, right?

Now if his prediction was correct that everyone would partake in this forwarding of email, surely more than just 1 in 1,000,000,000 people would have a heart attack and benefit from the advice?

And if it did only save one life, that is a LOT of compliance expected for a comparably minor outcome...

Don't get me wrong, a life is important, and saving one is fantastic. But perhaps if they sent out a "do not shoot anyone anymore" message, it could have a bigger impact.

Mind you, I would have thought there would be more than 1 in 1,000,000,000 people who would have a heart attack? But I guess a cardiologist would know better than me?

Dr. Google says that 1.2 million people have heart attacks a year in the US... but perhaps these people do not have Internet access or friends or the ability to take deep breaths and cough?

Rather than sending jokes please... No jokes, people. Listen to the man. Not "The Man". I'd never condone that. But the cardiologist, or the person writing this email. Contribute by forwarding this mail which can save a person's life... If this message comes around to you more than once... please don't get irritated.
Instead write a blog article about it.  An article that is both funny and informative.

You need to be happy that you are being reminded of how to tackle... Heart attacks... AGAIN.
And by being a 'smart arse' about this blog, I hope I have not just made you laugh. Even though laughter is the best medicine. I hope I have also helped spread this message so you can save yourself, as well as a plastic doll named 'Annie'.

P.S. Do not shoot anyone anymore.  Thought I'd add that while I'm being socially responsible.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Beep. You Got Voicemail.


You have one new message. Message one.


Hi. I don’t know how to put this.

My name is Oliver Cowan. I need to talk to you.

You don’t know me, but I know you. Umm…

Don’t press delete. Don’t delete the message. Whatever you do, listen to this message right through.

I’m not a weirdo. And no, before you say anything, I’m not stalker either.

I’m from the future.

Message deleted. There are no more messages.

You have two new messages. Message one.


Judy, are you there? It’s Tammy.

I popped around your house today and you weren’t there. Don’t worry about calling back. Just wanted a chat about drama class on Thursday.

Guess I’ll see you then.

Message two.


Um… Hello? Judy?

This is your mother.

Call back.

Your father has been watching the news and we are doing a drive for World Vision.

And we came by your house and the cat looks as though it hasn’t been fed for a few days.


And your second cousin Rachel is in town and would like to catch up. She’s got some exciting news… she’s pregnant. I’m not suppose to tell you that.

End of messages. To delete all messages, press delete.

Messages deleted.

You have four new messages. Message one.


Judy, if you are there pick up the phone.

It’s Oliver Cowan again. I need to talk to you.

I called you the other day and left a message on your voice mail thingy.

And then I came to your place today.

I found it. It was hard to find, but I found it.

And I left my number and a message about your future on a notepad near your phone.

I had to let myself in, this is serious.

Look, I can’t say too much because I think someone might be listening to your messages… but I need to talk to you…

I’ve got to go.

I can’t tell you my number on the phone, but I’ll leave it in the same place if you don’t call back.

Message two.


Judy, you bitch. Why weren’t you at drama class?

And don’t say you were doing yoga because I know you are still smoking and eating takeout, so yoga isn’t an excuse anymore.

I don’t believe your new health façade.

You’re not that good an actor.

So call me next time if you’re not coming, okay?

Oh, by the way, I met a friend of yours at the grocery today. Oliver? I think that was his name.

Pretty cute fella, but a little high strung. He’s been having trouble contacting you too. He said he even went to your place a few times.

Well, I have some exciting news, but I want to tell you in person. So call back as soon as possible.

Oh, it’s Tammy by the way. Your friend Tammy if you’ve forgotten me already.

Message three.


Judy, it’s your mother again.

I called your work to see where you were. I spoke to that strange, plump man you said was interested in you but was married. Derek, is it?

He said you left a note for Terry to say you were leaving. I thought you loved that job.

Anyway, if you want to talk about things, you know who to call.


Oh, and your father says hi.

Message four.

Derek speaking.

You avoiding me or something. Cause like you weren’t at drama class, and you quit work, and your mobile’s switched off.

I thought we were okay.

Your ma called. That’s what got me thinking about you.

I think your ma likes me.

End of messages. To delete all messages, press delete.

Messages deleted.

You have two new messages. Message one.


This is Oliver. Time is running out.

You aren’t at your flat, and from what I can see you haven’t been there for a while.

Your bonsai tree is practically dead. And your cat has found the biscuits and got into them, but looks like she has been living off those biscuits for at least a week.

Look if you get this message, call me. It’s urgent. It’s about your future.

Message two.


Okay, I’m getting really worried.

I know what’s happening in the future. I can only hope you got my note and the course of events have been altered.

You haven’t come home, your work doesn’t know where you went, and neither does your friend Tammy. I met her at the grocery.

Where are you?

I hope they haven’t…

I got to go. Call me on the number I left by your phone.

End of messages. To delete all messages, press delete.

Messages deleted.

You have two new messages. Message one.


Hello this is Constable Steinberg of the Queensland State Police Department. I’m leaving a message for a Judy Southend.

There is no easy way to put this, Judy, but we have found the body of a man floating in the Thomas Creek.


We believe his name was Oliver Cowen, although we are yet to find any records of an Oliver Cowen fitting this description.

I’ve come to your house a number of times, and… well, I haven’t been able to get a hold of you.

Umm… You see...

We found your name and phone number in his jacket pocket. If you could give me a call back on 3356 3244 that would be much appreciated. Do you know this man?

End of messages. To delete all messages, press delete.

Messages deleted.

You have three new messages. Message one.


Where the bloody hell are you, babe? I ran into your friend Oliver again at the Post Office.

He gave me this disc and told me to give it to you if I see you. I had a look at the disc and it is really creepy. I think you should have a look at it.

It has a list of names on it, and yours is one of them. You haven’t joined anything over the Internet or anything have you?

Oh, and your mum and dad have been calling me like every day. I haven’t told them about the list, but your mum has like a sixth sense or something. She knows something is wrong just from talking to me.

She was like, “Tammy, what’s going on? I can hear something in your voice.”

Talk about read between the freakin’ lines.

Anyway, call me back, girl. I haven’t slept. I’m worried sick.

Message two.


Judy, it’s your mother. Call me back when you get this message.

Message three.


Judy, call my mobile. Your dad and I are going out to look for you.

End of messages. To delete all messages, press delete.

Messages deleted.

You have one new message. Message one.


Judy, I took the CD to a friend of mine who is good with computers and got them to decode some of the hidden tech stuff that didn’t come up.

You’ve got to get the hell out of here. Disappear. Change your name and address, and disappear.

Look, I have to be brief, but there are some seriously evil… people… after you.

I’ve got to disappear too now. And so does… my friend.

This is no joke, Judy. Disappear or they’ll take you.

Can’t explain…

And… the less you know the better.

My ride’s here.
I’m sorry I couldn’t say goodbye properly. I love you babe.

End of messages. To delete all messages, press delete.

Messages deleted.

You have one new message. Message one.



No, it said Judy on the…

Hello… Fiona?

I think I might have the wrong number…

Umm… this is the number I have written down for a Fiona Peterson.

This is Steven McCoy from Livingston Real Estate.

The money you transferred through didn’t come in. Could you give me a call back?



Hello, Steven? It’s Fiona.

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