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Well this took me by surprise…

I was working in the US recently when I discovered something that both surprised and delighted me.

I learnt that my SUMO book had reached the Sunday Times top ten bestselling business books. (It actually reached number seven, even outselling the iconic book ‘Who Moved my Cheese?’)

So why did discovering this fact in late July 2018 surprise me?

Because my book was actually a bestseller in July 2015.

But no one told me.

So for the last three years I’ve been a Sunday Times bestselling author and not realised it.

But I do now.

And you know what? I actually do feel different.

Why? Well I have a confession.

For years I’ve suffered a mild form of ‘imposter syndrome.’ I’ve never truly believed what others have said about my work. Not deep down, anyway.

But strangely I do now. This external validation has impacted me internally.

Is that something you can relate to?

Maybe we’re all on a similar journey, despite the different routes we take. And it’s worth reminding ourselves that there’s something unique and amazing about all of us. We just need to wake up to the fact.

And hopefully you don’t need the Sunday Times to tell you.

 

Fancy some snack-size inspiration? Then check out my YouTube channel, and especially this playlist, for some short videos packed with practical tips and advice.

 

Until next time.

Paul

The SUMO Guy

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What really counts?

A friend of mine recently asked if I knew how to make videos go viral. I’m no expert, but one involving babies or cats might do the trick.

But it’s interesting how we can be caught up in the trap of chasing the numbers isn’t it? How many ‘likes’ on Facebook and Instagram, views on YouTube, and followers on Twitter.

I tweeted the following recently:

Tweet

A lot of people engaged with it, and the tweet was featured in both the Evening Standard and the Evening Times in Glasgow. But my life hasn’t changed, and I’m guessing neither have the lives of the people who read it.

I’m reminded of a quote from the sociologist William Cameron (although it’s often wrongly attributed to Einstein):

‘Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.’

I do post a lot on social media, and have some new videos on YouTube (see below for more details). But my focus is not ‘How can I make them go viral?’ but ‘How can I best add value?’

In our day-to-day lives both in work and at home what we do can make a difference to others.

What we do counts.

It might not get many views or likes from others, our actions may go largely unnoticed by the masses, but believe me, they matter.

 

 

Bite-size motivation for everyday life

Don’t forget to check out my latest videos. Recent topics include:

3 Things You Can Do When You’re Having A Tough Time

How To Stop Stressing Over Stupid Stuff

Why I Think You’re M.A.D.

They might not go viral, but I hope they add value. I’ll be releasing more videos regularly, so make sure you subscribe here to see them first.

Keep making a difference.

Paul

The SUMO Guy

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Ever suffered from the curse of comfort?

How prone are you to ‘the curse of comfort’? That place where you feel good, feel comfortable, and maybe even feel you’ve arrived. It’s an alluring destination. But I think a dangerous one.

Why?

Complacency can creep up on us. Our routines can become ruts. We start coasting through life unaware that we’ve grown flabby on familiarity.

Don’t get me wrong. I like to feel comfortable. I enjoy the familiar. Sometimes.

But I’m also aware that although change is inevitable, growth is optional.

Sometimes I need a wake-up call. Someone to rattle my cage and help me overcome the curse of comfort.

You see, it’s so easy to stick to what you know. To play safe. But perhaps the biggest risk to us leading fulfilling lives is when we stop taking risks. Have our comfort blankets become straight jackets?

Only you can decide, which is why your answer to this question could be incredibly revealing.

‘Where do life’s opportunities really lie? Inside or outside your comfort zone?’

It’s good to take care. But do you know what?

It’s also good to take risks.

Until next time….

Paul

The SUMO Guy

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The worst and most unhelpful quote you’ll ever read

I don’t get annoyed so much these days. My road rage is a thing of the past and I gave up stressing about the state of my daughter’s bedroom years ago. But a quote a friend posted on instagram recently did annoy me. It went as follows:

‘What does it feel like to be so weak that mere words hurt you?’

You see, I don’t subscribe to the motto ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.’ Try telling that to someone being bullied at school, home, or their place of work.

Words are powerful. Words change worlds. They can damage and devastate, but equally they can inspire and motivate.

Please don’t fool yourself that they don’t matter. They do.

I had to have a rather dodgy looking mole on my body checked out recently. My doctor was worried about it. Imagine how I felt when I heard the words of the consultant after the examination.

‘It’s not malignant.’

Even though the words were positive I still felt emotional hearing them.

So be more mindful of the words you use, not just with others but also with yourself. Of course we need to challenge and be critical when necessary, but allow space for kinder, more compassionate conversations too.

Words matter. Massively.

Until next time.

Paul

The SUMO Guy

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The game you’re guaranteed to lose

Now if you’re an England football fan reading this, you’re probably already thinking you know the game they’re guaranteed to lose.

When England play Germany.

And it goes to penalties.

But I was thinking of a different one.

It’s when you play the comparison game.

That’s the one you’ll always lose.

Perhaps rather than comparing ourselves with others (which the influence of social media seems to exacerbate) we’d be best served by focusing on being the best version of ourselves instead.

And that’s it.

Be the best version of you and make sure you’re having some fun in the process.

That seems a far more worthwhile game to play.

And it’s one you can win.

Agree?

Enjoy the summer if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere. If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, have a good winter, safe in the knowledge that it’s still probably warmer than an English summer.

Not that I’m comparing.

Have fun.

Paul

The SUMO Guy

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Ever encountered a TOAT?

I’m sure most people don’t wake up in the morning and intentionally think ‘Who can I annoy today?’

To some people it just comes naturally.

An individual who I can find to be particularly annoying is what I affectionately call a TOAT. They’re people who Talk Only About Themselves.

You rarely have a conversation with a TOAT. It’s more like attending a one man (or woman) show, where the spotlight is solely on them and you are merely the audience. You end up knowing a lot about them – but it’s unlikely they know much about you.

Now I understand that for a lot of people their favourite subject can be themselves. But perhaps it would benefit our relationships with others if we at times withdrew from centre stage and allowed someone else the spotlight.

You see, TOATs have one big problem. They lack self awareness. Maybe they’re blessed with friends who are good listeners, or whose lives are less exciting than theirs.

Fine.

But I’ve yet to come across a relationship that wouldn’t have benefitted from some mutual sharing, and where listening isn’t just simply waiting for your turn to talk.

Maybe we’ve all fallen into the trap of being a TOAT at times. I know I have. But hopefully it’s only occasionally.

I don’t want to make a career of it.

What about you?

Remember to share the spotlight.

Paul

The SUMO Guy

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A foolproof way to avoid criticism

A bit like my physical stature, I’ll be fairly short this month (clearly my physical stature is fairly short every month).

The more I experience life (nearly 53 years on the planet now), and whoever I work with, in whatever country, I’ve come to the following conclusion.

If you want to avoid criticism it’s simple. Be bland. Be boring. And blend in. If you want to stand out and make a difference, be bold. 

Whatever time I have on this planet I’ve decided I don’t want to skim over the surface of life, pussyfooting around in the hope I don’t offend people. What legacy is that?

Give me living life boldly any day.

Of course I’ll mess up on occasions, and maybe upset (however unintentionally) a few people along the way. But hey, it’s better than the alternative.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Until next time, remember to be bold.

Paul

The SUMO Guy

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