Bonjour, good day and all that!
It's been a while since the last blog, that thing called illness drained me and I think it's almost over until the next virus comes knocking on the door wanting a place to stay!
As it's the middle of December, it's likely all of you are busy in some way. If like me last year, you are working in retail doing 14 hour days listening the same 12 Christmas song over and over again, massive respect to you, I've been there many many times!
Maybe you are on the other side of that, maybe you are the shopper that is giving that person that works in retail some attitude because they don't have a Hatchimal! Truth is, it's not their fault, if you had got one when they first came out 2 months ago, you wouldn't be complaining!
There are many highlights and stories, people complaining a shop is busy in December.. what do you expect?? The flipside of this is you as that person is part of the reason why the shop is busy!
Retail at Christmas is brutal, I've been a part of 18 of them and they don't get any easier. Having people constantly moaning and asking the same question over and over again is exhausting both mentally and physically, it's easy to see why people crack.
So the message here is, for the people shopping, sort yourselves out, get organised, it's not the shops fault you have left it so late to get the number one present on little Johnny's list.
As for you retailers, stay strong, it's almost over again for another year! But once it's all over and the kids go back to school in January, do yourself a favour and get yourself out of retail! Yes it is hard, but do you want to do another Christmas where you are??
Life is short, life flies by, days roll into weeks, weeks roll into months and then years, and then all of a sudden, it's over.
In truth, very few people have any idea just 'how long they have' in this world, just how much time they have to make something of themselves.. or to just do nothing.
From the moment you are born and running around in nappies, playing in the park before becoming an emotional teenager and then the big world of being an adult arrives, just getting that far is an achievement in itself. Sometimes some people aren't lucky enough to even reach adulthood, everyday you wake up, you should see it as an instant win even if it is with some of those aches and pains.. I know them well!
As the tag line from Eminem's film, 8 Mile says, "Every moment is another chance." Take that advice because it's true, if you've got a chance to change the way you do something for the better, why not just start now? Don't leave it until a Monday because it's the start of a week, why not start to chase a dream now, go for a run somewhere if you want to get fitter, start small and getting bigger in your approach and the time you can give towards what exactly you actually want to do with your life.
If you want to start a business, do some research, learn how to do something, there are millions of videos on YouTube that can show you how to do something, if you want to learn how to do it, "Just do it", now we are getting Nike involved!
Sitting on the sofa watching the Kardashians isn't going to help you get anywhere is it, go learn something, go do something different, break your routine, to give your life a new dimension. At the end of it all, only you can get yourself going, unless you try, how will you now just what you are capable of?
Life is a journey, go and find yourself a new adventure!
Being around the people you love does a lot for the soul, I'm no psychologist but it does, true story!
Having the people around you that make you smile, laugh and happy can lift your mood and often leave your face aching from the constant laughing! How about some real life 'LMAO' action?? Now life is a fast mover, one day rolls into the next, weeks roll into months, suddenly it's your birthday again and happy and that's another candle added tobthe cake!
it is now time you should do what you can to stop life slipping by.
Today, plan something, plan something that involves and brings your family together, or go see some friends, basically create a memory!
Make a date with that friend you've been meaning to catch up with, go somewhere in a group, it doesn't matter what or how big a scale it is, just something that makes a change.
Those who are strapped for cash, it doesn't cost a huge amount to just go see someone who lives close by or even a bus away, find a way to get there, you don't get anywhere with excuses!
Break the routine you are in, it's good to do something out of the ordinary and this is no different.
If it's too late today, plan something for another day, you've got time to make a call or send a text message, go start the ball rolling and let me know just how much you had!
Sam Alladyce, the only England football (or soccer if you are in America) manager to have a 100% win record, left his job.. his dream job.
As the details of corruption surfaced and no doubt many others will be involved and names will appear over the years, this was a great example of when your dream can come crashing down.
It's no secret that Big Sam wanted the England job for a long time, years in fact and then he bagged it. The man is on Cloud 9, first match in charge and they win, what a start.. and then it slowly starts to crumble and that's not even on the pitch!
If you look at the whole thing from the outside, it's a simple message. After working as hard as you can, making all the connections, even having a high profile job at the end of it, if you don't maintain that level of commitment to what you are trying to do.. it's not going to end well.
If you don't continue that hard work and play by the rules and in this case let greed overrule your morales because let's face it, doing what Sam Alladyce did and being found out was always going to put his job at risk with an obvious end.
For whatever reason, Big Sam saw the chance of illegally making a quick buck (Well £400k) as being good enough to risk his dream job, the chance to manage his country, the prestige that is the England job and had this been real, he would have got away with it.
So when you do go and chase your dream, the job you've always wanted or start that adventure, when you do get there after all the blood sweat and tears, carry on playing by the rules and don't get caught out... it may just cost you your dream job!
So you will obviously have a Monday coming up soon, maybe today, but depending on when you read this, this will still apply to you.. yes YOU!
Anyway, congratulations for making it this far!
Seeing as for most people, Monday is the marker for a new week, what is it that you are going to do in that new week for a change? What are you going to 'try', what are you going to 'finally' start?
So what's the plan then? What's been at the back of your mind? How about we use running as the example today? Going out for a jog to warm those muscles up and how you feel afterwards is actually pretty good!
If you've been planning on starting that 'get fit' idea you've been having, why not actually go for a run! I know, could you imagine?!! If running hurts, go for a power walk, if you can't do that, just go for an extra walk outside, literally every 'step' helps!
Too many people look for the smallest excuse to not start to do what they say they are going to do, if you aren't going to do it, then why are you giving your ambition false hope?? Just think of your ambition just being left in the corner of the room.. all by itself!
Remember, you don't need to be able to do a marathon by next week, let's be realistic here people, but even just by trying, just that extra walk instead of sitting down watching the Kardashians is a bigger start to your plan than you think.. and sanity.. what do the Kardashians even do???
Every tree started as a seed at the beginning, you my little sapling, are no different.
A part of life that people seem to forget is what they take from it, people perceive this in different ways.
The Ed Sheeren song, 'Photograph' is a great example of a family that spent so much time taking photos and recording a young Ed as he grew up and you can see the potential he had as a performer from an early age. All those memories that Ed himself may not have even known happened were seen because his family have taken the time to keep those memories alive.
Let's say you have a young family, a little boy or girl around four years old, the only world they know is you (the same could also be said for a dog but that's another story!) They don't know about the high pressures of getting the bills paid or how keeping them safe from the bad stuff in the world continually plays on your mind, they worry when you aren't with them or when is dinner.
If you were to send a card of the family around the holidays, that would be Christmas for me but depending on where you're from, people that send cards, they might send a card with a photo of the family doing something special from that year. If you've spent most of your time just working or down the pub every night and not spending time with your kids, I'm sure people will love to see a photo of your bank balance or you being sick down the toilet.. yay for you!
I recently saw a young boy playing football with his Nan. Despite being an older lady, very well dressed, you'd think she'd be extremely upper class had you passed her on the street.. But, in reality, at that moment, she was the goalkeeper for her Grandson who was kicking his ball at her.. think about that.. what will his memories be of her..
Life is about making memories, go and be like that Nan... why wouldn't you?
Everyone knows someone that moans about everything, you know someone that complains about everything! Moaning, complaining, bit of a whinge, huffing and puffing about something?
There are plenty of people out there that aren't happy with 'something', and these people are more than happy to let you know about it! Now I'm not a rocket scientist but an amazing idea could be, do something about that problem!
"If you don't like something, do something about it. If you don't want to do anything about it, stop complaining about it."
It's a simple enough statement, so why do people not do?? Even I've done it!
Back in one retailer, I got a promotion to the 'Flagship store', it really wasn't as glamorous as you'd think!
The problem started with a daily wake up at 8am, a 2 hour tube ride to the new store for a 11am start, officially the finish time was 8pm but if the store closes at 8pm, the tills still need cashing up!
Throw on another 20 minutes and you are out the door and on the way back to the tube, if I was lucky and I say the term loosely, I could get home around 10.30pm. Do that 5 days a week and not see your smiley little girl, that's not how the world should turn!
I once asked the store manager about a few different shifts, maybe an early shift here and there, not asking for much! The reason he always got the early (apart from doing the rota) was to avoid the traffic.. I didn't know there was mass traffic on a Saturday?!
So after my first day took 3 hours to get to work due to a tube line not working, it was never going to work out. I wasn't happy and started doing something about and started looking around for another job.
After some looking, luckily one of my old managers called me to see what I was up to as he had a position in another retailer and after applying for the job for the new place, I was out of the store after 5 weeks.
Much happier, actually seeing my little girl awake and not sleeping become a regular event and that is what can happen if you make a change instead of just complaining.
If you aren't happy about something, you really do need to do something about it unless you are happy to suffer it and keep 'moaning' about it. Only 'You' can start making any sort of changes, the sooner you start, the sooner you can start a movement for yourself which has in effect will effect others around you.
As the great Sam Crowly says, "90% of the people don't care about your problems, 10% are glad you have them."
How about not having a problem to moan about because you're doing something about it, you'll find you'll be a lot happier!
The football (or soccer) world is still, at the time of writing this, or maybe forever, in shock about Claudio Ranieri's sacking at Leicester City.
The success of Leicester City when they won the Barclays Premiership was huge but that's another blog for another day.
Now football management is brutal, you can be the best thing since Arsenal's 'Invincibles' season and then a bad result or three and people want you to be sacked. Football is results based and with the amount of money involved, owners and directors can't have their team being relegated as financially it can start a dramatic drop, just take a look at how many clubs relegated from the top flight are still suffering.
The players need to take responsibility for how they perform, yes it's the manager/ coach that needs to motivate them but if you've watched how much effort the players are not putting in, considering they are the current champions, the players don't care with their four year contracts earning tens of thousands of pounds! The person in charge is always the one to get the chop even if they have a long term contract.
The sacking led to shock, the general feeling across football felt that what was achieved only 9 months ago was already forgotten, Leicester winning the league, that group of journeymen worked hard and won. Working hard is the message here but it always shows what happens when you aren't consistent with your performance and while getting to the top is one thing, staying there is something else.
The other message from the Ranieri story is just how much the things you achieve can be forgotten in this day and age, an achievement that was spoken about around the world, just forgotten. That saying about, "You're only as good as your last performance" comes to mind but that is the world of football now.
Focus on what you want, work hard, be consistent, and once you reach the top, work twice as hard to stay there!