How to get set and then set sail, in 2014!

Man wearing hard hat

Last year was so tough for so many people in the exploration, mining and mineral processing business, that the feelings left behind have the potential to negatively impact many people's emotional state throughout this new year.

It is important to look back on the year gone to acknowledge what happened and to make peace with it, as well as with other people. Another reason for looking back is simply to learn and then embed those lessons into your plans for the year ahead.

It’s what happens next that is important and it is critically important to look forward.

We all know this, however we see a lot of people still affected by what happened in 2013 and are over-fixated on the time that things will change and improve. It is as if, they are waiting immobilised, for things to get better.

However, the power you have can only be harnessed and used, NOW!

I’ve read a few great articles on this subject of late and have liberally stolen ideas for the convenience of our MPi News readers…

This article was based on a post by Naomi Simson, founder of gift experience company Red Balloon and regular blogger. You can read the full article and many others at

Idea #1. Resolutions versus Simple Themes:

The article rang a chord with me as someone who has never been a big fan of specific New Year’s resolutions with their accompanying rigidity, rules and therefore high rate of failure.

Rather I’ve always liked the idea of picking one or two general ideas (‘themes’ as Naomi refers to them) making a few simple notes about what I expect to change or achieve by focussing on those themes, and then ensuring that the notes present themselves to me every few days or weeks as appropriate. Eventually they start to act as a kind of guide post in the back of my sub conscious.

As I am confronted by the decisions required of me each day, my expectation is that the themes will influence those decisions I make and that when I look back I can see a trail of modified behaviours (and hopefully more success) as a result.

Idea # 2. Is progress ‘felt’ daily, or ‘attained’ one day?

Do you define progress and achievement as the arrival at a new place or state of mind one day, or, by a feeling of contentment every day?

Naomi discussed   the notion that ‘one day’ when everything is perfect life will begin – once I have a degree, house, job, family – whatever one’s aspirations are. The reality is though that life happens every single day – not something we are waiting to ‘start’ when we ‘get there’.

She posed some great questions….

  1. Is living a good life the same as a happy life?” The relentless pursuit of happiness is in itself more likely to cause unhappiness.
  2. Does success mean to live every day in happiness… or is success to live a good life? A life full of ALL the emotions we experience – not JUST happiness — does that equate to a successful life?

My view on these questions and answers is that it seems obvious that ensuring you focus on doing the best you can, right now, will ensure each day is as effective as it could be and that you are therefore far more likely to be happy each day.

The alternative is to spend most of your time waiting for things to be better or to achieve an end result, in which case there is a far higher chance you will spend a disproportionate share of life’s precious moments in a form of expectant limbo.

Idea # 3. Just do it!  

Naomi also recounted how her parents would say that “practice makes perfect.”

 What we do over and again is what we get good at. It creates pathways in the brain that eventually become automatic.

This is why regularly reviewing your themes will create regular attention on the behaviours you want to adopt. Don’t wait until all your ducks are aligned. If one of your themes for the year is to become a better delegator (for example), this need not be difficult  to learn. Simply write the theme down on your list, describe what it will mean to the people around you and yourself (with accompanying benefits) then each day as you are presented with choices about what to spend your time on, guess what; you are far more likely to make better delegation choices. I am quite sure this will upset some of the management coaches out there as I can hear them saying;

“It’s not that simple!”

However, surely not everything needs to be complex. Surely some changes ARE actually pretty simple to make.

We simply need to do it!

Some final Top Tips for getting set for 2014.

Naomi’s article made some other great points that we have summarised here:

  • Practice can’t discriminate between constructive and destructive patterns.
  • Whatever you practice you become good at.
Will Power
  • Use your will power and your consciousness to take your awareness to any area of the mind you want to – and hold it there for a period.
  • Learn to concentrate by practising.
  • The power of observation is a natural by product of the ability to concentrate.
  • The ‘Will’ has to be cultivated and as with all practise, the more you use your will, the stronger it becomes. Develop your Will Power by:
  • Finishing things you start (do you finish the sleeping process by making your bed?)
  • Finish tasks well beyond expectations.
  • Do a little more than you think you are able to do.
Living a balanced life
  • A balanced life is about managing your energy.
  • A balanced life is when you are able to consciously direct awareness and in turn energy, in a proportionate way to all the people and things in your life that matter to you.
  • It takes tremendous courage, will and self-compassion to break habits. To challenge yourself to live a different way.
  • By wisely discriminating where your energy flows. It is OK to remain respectfully detached from certain others.

So for your 2014 ahead …

We trust that these tips help you accept that,

waiting for things to get better wont work,

we trust they help you focus on what matters and lastly,

we trust they help you recognise that,.

all the power you have is with you now!

Have a great 2014.

Steve Heather

Managing Director & Principal for Executive Search

Mining People International

On behalf of all the team at Mining People International