An introduction to this site

No apologies!

I make no apologies for the diversity of the content on this site (and no apologies for the shocking picture here either!). It’s what makes me me. In fact, I wouldn’t mind betting that you are just the same. It’s what makes us human.

I need to update the About Jonathan Burrows page, but here is a very brief summary of what you will find on this site.

Future Thinking

Most of my blogging is to do with something I call ‘Future Thinking‘. Read some of the posts in the Future Thinking category to find out more. Future Thinking is about having the right attitude to life’s journey. It’s not ‘positive thinking’ in the strictest sense of the word, but something more.

IT & Web

I’ve been involved in IT and Web stuff for a number of years and I build websites and do search engine optimisation for small businesses around the world.

Property Management

Yes, I know it’s different to the other stuff I do! It’s called diversification! I manage student rooms in Plymouth either jointly with landlords (such as Bryce Properties) or on my own as a full management package.  It keeps me busy so you will see some posts on this site about that.

That’s it. Feel free to contact me about anything. Almost!

The Clarkson debacle

Yes, it is just that.

As a precursor to what I’m about to write, I should point out that I am not condoning hitting someone or using racist language etc.

I do think however, judgement should be withheld until the evidence is known to us. After all, since when do we punish someone without proven evidence?

Also, on this day a Police Boss (David Duckenfield) admits gate lie

One guy punches another (allegedly) and another guy admits to lying about the gates opening at HIllsborough. Many people died that day but no, all we can go on about is “Clarkson should be sacked”, “he’s gone to far” etc

Every week a footballer or rugby player will hit or throw a punch or a nasty kick at another player yet the most that occurs is a red or yellow card. Maybe a ban from playing for a few weeks. But he keeps his ‘job’ of playing football!

Let’s get this in perspective please!

The racist ‘n’ word

I know this is going back a bit  now but it deserves mentioning because people are citing that incident now as a reason for Clarkson’s dismissal. Final chances and all that!

Well, for one, the video showing Clarkson ‘saying out loud’ the ‘n’ word was a very faint whisper. Yes I know he didn’t hide it well but honestly I’m sure many of us of an er older generation have sung that song a few times and didn’t think anything of it.

Also, the video was never supposed to be aired! Mr Clarkson asked the producers not to use that particular cut because if you listened carefully you could just about hear what was said. Perhaps you even needed to listen a few times, pause, rewind etc?

In my opinion, this was a mistake and should never have got the attention it did.

Taking an alleged swipe at someone this week

At the time of writing it is an alleged punch thrown. Who knows what led to that incident?

Maybe the producer failed in his job to set up catering for the crew after a long hard day filming?

Maybe tempers then flared on both sides?

Then maybe Mr C flipped a little and swung at the guy?

If that’s the case, he shouldn’t have took a swing at him, of course not! But where is the jury on this one right now?

BBC overreaction

Unless they know something more that they are telling us, then the BBC have overreacted yet again!

I have to admit

That I get annoyed with Mr Clarkson but only because he says ‘umm’ a lot! Yes I know I’m weird and a little conservative in what I think is good broadcasting.

I just think that professional broadcasters should be able to complete a sentence without saying ‘uh’ or ‘umm’ too often.

But that’s it. Like many others I love Top Gear in it’s present format. Many millions around the world do to including my little cousin who lives in Colorado!

Bigger than the Top Gear/BBC?

Nope. Top Gear could survive without Clarkson but it might take a while to get back to the level of entertainment we enjoy.

I have no idea who might replace him and maybe it is for the best. Maybe he should go off and do other things?

The point I’m making is, let’s not get dragged down in anti Clarkson propaganda. What he’s allegedly done is nothing more than a minor bust up.

There are far more important, horrifying, sad, happy, amazing things happening out there every day.

So come on

All those against Clarkson because he’s just the other side of “what’s acceptable”. Maybe we need more of that in this world of boring, political correctness?

Seriously, can’t you see where you are all going?

“Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”.

 

The Three D’s

This is going to be a quick one so you can read slowly!

Get what you want using the Three D’s

The first ‘D’ – DESIRE

If you don’t desire to have something specific, then there’s no point reading on. You must desire something deep down in your bones. Already have that desire? You are 33% there!

The second ‘D’ – DECISION

You must make a decision to make it happen come what may, burn your bridges and tell the universe that you will do whatever it takes to get your Desire (see the first ‘D’!). Decide. Done that? Then you are 66% there! Well done!

The third ‘D’ – DEDICATION

The universe does not reward people who simply want things a lot. It rewards people who have a definite (another D) Desire, make the Decision to go get it and have the Dedication to keep working to get that Desire come what may and however hard it is to get it.

Done that? You are 100% there! Yes!

Finding and holding onto your WHY

Earlier this week I had the privilege and pleasure of listening and then chatting with a young man called Matthew Ahmet. He’s 26 but with the attitude and sense of well being that you often don’t see in men and women until they are much older.

His story is fabulous and captivating but I couldn’t help thinking that he believes everyone can reach the same point he has. Like many writers and speakers and successful people I have met, they often tell you that they are nothing special, and that what they have achieved can be done by anyone.

I suppose I should explain a little about him before you all go off searching Google for him before you’ve finished reading! Matthew saw the Shaolin Monks performing in the Shaolin Wheel Of Life. He was 11. Shaolin seems to be the original founding place for all things Kung Fu and indeed martial arts in general (don’t quote me!).

Anyway, he decided right there and then that he wanted to go to China and go through the training to become a Shaolin monk. I won’t go into the details here but suffice to say he succeeded and now is a Shaolin warrior and teacher.

What came across as he spoke and as we chatted afterwards was the calm intensity (is that even possible?) of the man. He absolutely knew who he was, the path he was on and the goals he was moving towards. There was no doubt whatsoever in his mind. None.

Something that kept coming up was finding the WHY (your reason, your dream, your desire, your goals). The WHY that makes you put yourself through 4 very hard years of physical and mental hurt to become a Shaolin monk. Because that’s what he wanted down to the core of his being. There was no room for anything else. The decision was made back when he was 11. He had found his WHY. He wanted to be a Shaolin monk.

I suggested to him that one of the problems of modern life is distractions. He excitedly agreed and told me how he makes sure that distractions such as emails, texts and social media are not an ever present part of his life. Most of us today carry around a mobile smartphone, we have texts, Facebook, Twitter, emails coming through to our lives all day. We also have other distractions such as work and the way we organise our social life.

Why do I mention distractions? Distractions can be enough to side track you each day just a little bit from your WHY. Until at some point down the road you suddenly find that life seems harder than before, you don’t have quite the same excitement that you used to have for doing the things that help you reach your goals (your WHY).

Imagine a ship is setting course from the UK to New York and it’s 3,500 miles. The captain sets his course 1 degree out! Where will he end up? Now I’m not a naval person or even a pilot of an airplane but if every mile you travelled you were 100 feet off course that would amount to some way off your destination point (probably 50, 60, 70 miles!).

This is what distractions do to us. Assuming you have some sort of goals and WHY in the first place, distractions can be the little day to day things that mean you don’t attain what you wanted and start to feel deflated and down.

Back to Matthew Ahmet. He suggests that we need to:

1) Find and hold on to our WHY, and to

2) Avoid distractions in our lives.

How you do that is up to you of course. Each of us have different reasons for doing. Different goals we want to reach and different distractions as well.

One helpful hint Matthew recommended was to spend some time thinking and considering, and then write a list. He writes a list every day of his goals both long term and goals for that day. This I can see helps keep him focussed on the destination (his WHY) and keeps him exactly on course (not one degree off!).

What are you going to do about it? Whatever it is, do it now :-)

 

 

 

 

Desire, Decision & Dedication

Whittling down success to three words.

Desire

Desire is your reason to make a decision to do something. It is also the fire in the belly that keeps you dedicated even when times are tough.

Desire is given life by imagination.

Let’s not go too much into a proper description of how thoughts are given life or how these thoughts literally do create your desire.  but please believe me, it is true. More on this another time.

Decision

Decision is that moment in your life when you say to yourself:

"I'm going to do this, whatever it takes and whatever the outcome."

A decision is made once your desire is strong enough and real enough in your imagination. Successful people remember their decision every day and especially when dedication to the desire becomes necessary (which it will).

Sometimes these special types of decisions are made when you get fed up with your current circumstances. You then decide to do something to get yourself into a better place. Other times these decisions are made based on a burning need to be better, to do better or to serve better.

Dedication

Desire and decision are nothing without the dedication to keep going, to constantly have your goals in mind and the will power to believe that what you are aiming for is possible.  Remember, anything is possible that can be believed but you must be dedicated to the desire to make it happen.

Without dedication, your dreams and desires will be placed like seeds in the universe but will soon get blown away and spread out into little pieces and finally to disappear altogether.  Your dedication and belief will allow the seeds of your desire to grow.

Note: If at times you struggle with this part, segment your goals into little pieces. Some of them will be big and hard, but make sure some of them are easy and small.  When you find the going tough, get going by doing some smaller easier tasks.

So

So, desire and the imaginative thought placed into the universe can place the seed that can grown into your desire becoming real, to bear fruit.

Your desire cannot be seeded though without the decision to ‘do it’. This decision ensures the thought seed is encouraged to start growing.

Dedication is what makes the thing grow into reality. Dedication needs to be backed up by desire and your continuing decision to make it happen.

New domain name extensions 2014

Reasons to buy a domain name with one of these extensions:

1. To stop a competitor or someone else with dubious intent buying the domain and setting up a website on it which shows your company or website in a bad light
2. You want to have a more specific angle on part or all of your business. For instance, Your company might be involved in the music and media industry and you fancy setting up a couple of websites, one with companyname.tunes and another with companyname.music or perhaps another with companyname.video even
3. When it’s available you might want a domain just for emails. So for instance: yourname@companyname.email

I’ll leave that with you to think about! If you are interested in a domain, then let me know.

Currently available from now are

.bike
.plumbing
.clothing
.photography
.guru
.equipment
.gallery
.estate
.camera
.graphics

Available from 19th February 2014

.technology
.construction
.today
.directory

The complete list some not available until later this year

.adult
.app
.art
.auction
.audio
.auto
.baby
.band
.bank
.bar
.beauty
.beer
.bet
.bingo
.blog
.boats
.book
.build
.builders
.business
.buy
.cafe
.cam
.car
.career
.cars
.casino
.channel
.charity
.chat
.christmas
.church
.city
.click
.cloud
.club
.coach
.college
.community
.company
.construction
.consulting
.cooking
.cool
.country
.credit
.cricket
.cymru
.dance
.data
.dating
.day
.deal
.design
.dev
.diet
.digital
.direct
.directory
.discount
.discover
.diy
.doctor
.dog
.dot
.download
.drive
.earth
.eat
.education
.email
.energy
.engineer
.engineering
.enterprises
.events
.express
.faith
.family
.farm
.fashion
.fast
.film
.finance
.financial
.fire
.fish
.fishing
.fit
.fitness
.flowers
.fly
.food
.football
.forsale
.forum
.foundation
.free
.game
.games
.garden
.gay
.gift
.global
.gold
.golf
.green
.group
.hair
.health
.help
.here
.holiday
.horse
.hosting
.hot
.hotel
.inc
.insurance
.law
.lawyer
.legal
.life
.lifestyle
.like
.limited
.link
.live
.loan
.loans
.london
.love
.ltd
.mail
.map
.market
.marketing
.media
.medical
.menu
.mobile
.movie
.music
.news
.now
.one
.online
.page
.paris
.party
.pay
.pet
.phone
.photo
.pizza
.play
.plus
.poker
.porn
.property
.racing
.radio
.restaurant
.rugby
.sale
.salon
.save
.school
.science
.scot
.search
.secure
.sex
.shoes
.shop
.shopping
.show
.site
.ski
.skin
.sky
.soccer
.social
.software
.solutions
.song
.spa
.space
.sport
.sports
.spot
.star
.storage
.store
.stream
.studio
.study
.style
.support
.surgery
.systems
.talk
.tattoo
.tax
.taxi
.team
.tech
.technology
.tennis
.theatre
.tickets
.today
.tools
.tour
.town
.toys
.trade
.trading
.training
.tube
.tunes
.university
.vacations
.video
.vip
.wales
.weather
.web
.webcam
.website
.wedding
.wiki
.wine
.work
.world

Yes, it’s a long list! Email for more information

Gem Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park

Photo of Gem Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) – Novemeber 2012

On our (my son and I’s) trip to Colorado last year we stayed in Estes Park and on one of the days we went for the short hike up to a place called Gem Lake.  For a town boy from Plymouth, England, this was a wonderful experience and the views were stunning. Here is a photo I took with my little compact camera of Gem Lake. It’s covered in ice and snow but still looks great.

Photo of Gem Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)
Photo of Gem Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)

Jake meets The Man (A short story) [FICTION]

Jake sat in the rather basic wooden chair waiting. He was nervous, which might explain the bead of sweat on his forehead that seemed to be growing by the second and now threatened to drop with a huge splash to the floor!

The man sitting across the table was eyeing him steadily, not meanly, but intently enough to cause Jake to squirm slightly in his seat. Jake silently cursed himself for what he thought was a sign of weakness, and he also cursed the friend of his who had suggested he meet this guy.

The man across the table looked down at Jakes’ papers and that gave him a chance to relax and search the features of the older man for an answer to what he was thinking. He was middle-aged, no medals for getting that one right; he had a brightness in his eyes that not many people had. Jake cynically thought that it was no surprise seeing as the guy was a multi-millionaire and very sought after by all accounts. He was somehow familiar to him which he put down to having seen him in the papers or TV perhaps. But anyway, no answers were forthcoming.

Had his pitch fallen on deaf ears? Perhaps his sales tactics weren’t aggressive enough? Maybe his plans for promoting a strategy to take a larger market share didn’t hit the mark?

The man (he was now thinking of him as ‘The Man’ now) sighed and looked up with a slightly mournful look on his face. The droplet of sweat decided that its moment to fall had come and Jake felt his dreams splash to the ground along with that small, salty droplet.

His head dipped slightly and his body rigid with mortification of his failure, Jake readied himself to stand and leave but finally the man spoke, “Do you have dreams Jake? Do you have ambitions for a successful future?”.

Jake licked his lips in preparation to answer the odd questions and finally stuttered “Y, y, yes sir, of course I do sir!”. Again he cursed himself silently for the unwanted stutter.

The man’s reply came back like a snake striking its victim, “You and everyone else I meet Jake!”, he paused for a moment and then went on, “Tell me, to be successful, do you have to be more competitive than the others? Do you have to be better than the rest?”

Sensing a trick but not knowing the answer, Jake, leaning forward, went for the obvious response, “Yes. Yes you do. You will fail if you don’t. You will not succeed if you cannot beat the rest” he said firmly. Jake sat back in his chair feeling just a little bit pleased with himself and gave the man an ever so tiny smile. None came back and that mournful look spread across the man’s face again.

Something was wrong here and Jake was starting to worry. Actually he was beginning to think that this was a big waste of time! But then the man spoke with surprising gentleness and an emotion cracking the words that came out of his mouth, “Competition is not the only way to be successful you know. Perhaps you look at me and assume that I was the hardest, toughest go getter of them all to be able to sit here with my empire ticking along around me? No Jake. Far from it!”. The man was vehement now and continued,  “I’ve been called weak so many times. Meek perhaps, but not weak”. A wry smile spread across his face. He continued, “I’ve been told I’m too soft. That I don’t do enough to get the best price for my services. I’ve been told I’m not intent enough on getting the things I want. People say I look after others far too much ahead of my own wants and needs. And so the list of my competitive inadequacies goes on. And on. Yet here I am. Doing quite well thank you very much. What then is the answer, if it isn’t competition?”.

The man had stopped talking for a few seconds Jake realised and I shook himself out of the reverie his voice had taken him too. He was expecting an answer!

“Ummm so not competition then?”, Jake nervously asked.

“No. Not that”, he replied.

Jake felt like a pivotal moment had arrived and he started racking his brains for the solution. More sweat was forming, on his brow and hands, this time unnoticed as Jake frantically searched in his mind for the answer. He knew his future here depended on it but he was struggling. Surely being the best, the smartest, the hardest working competitive person was how it was done?

Cursing his friend again suddenly reminded him what she had said to him about The Man. “He’s a creator Jake.”, she had said. “You could say he has got where he is by creating the business firstly in his mind, then by acting upon his visions of creativity”.

The penny dropped and Jake looked up into the mans face, the smile a real one this time.

“You create what you want by first visioning it in your mind, then working towards it as though it was already there!”.

A huge smile spread across the mans face as he stood up and held out his hand. Jake took it but not before wiping the sweat from his palms.

 

Related: Creative Capitalism

Leaning against my window (A short story) [FICTION]

I lean against my open bedroom window looking at the buildings, the lit street lights and parked cars. Nothing moves. All is still.

There are a few lights on in the houses, suggesting life of some sort. But no other signs. I question the unseen souls. Would you miss me if I left the world right now?

A moth flutters into my field of view disturbing my thoughts. Then a cat screeches at an unseen foe. A light flickers at a window, perhaps a TV being watched by its owners? Clothing waves on a washing line with the warm breeze.

Okay, so there is life out there, it is not all still. Now that I look carefully, I can see that I was wrong. I sigh to myself and, finally, after a terrible day, a small smile reaches my lips.

It’s not there for long because I recall what has befallen me. Befallen my soul. I want to make the decision I know I will regret. The anger boils up inside me and then quickly subsides, only to be replaced by a tearful sadness. A sadness I have not experienced before. Then the confusion takes over. Consternation takes over the ageing features of my middle-aged face.

I take another look out of my room, looking for answers somehow. None come. Not yet anyway.

I’m briefly reminded by a seagull call of where I live . Which in turn reminds me of the closeness of and greatness of the ocean, the vastness of the seas and then the unfathomable depths of the universe.

Can there really be a better way to live life I wonder? Right now, I wish it to end. I tell myself I cannot take any more. I squeeze strongly on the window sill as if to give my thoughts strength, credence and truth.

But it’s no good, a thought slips unseen, unwanted actually, into my troubled brain. A thought that could turn the tide of my emotions. But no, I’m full of negative emotions and will not let a positive thought take hold, especially not that one.

I remove my shirt to allow the warm, summer breezes to wash over my skin. I sigh and then breathe deeply. It hits me then that I’m starting to relax, but I push it away again, this time, deliberately allowing the sadness and tears to well up again inside me.

A bigger movement catches my eye. A youth with hood up over his head, rucksack on his back walks out into the cobbled lane a hundred feet away. His head is down but I stop breathing, not wishing for him to see me stood at my window. I think to myself that he’s probably up to no good but as he comes closer I can hear the sob of tears flowing, his emotions appearing to mirror my own.

The youth stops in the middle of the street, and looks up to the skies, anguish on his face and a mournful cry on his tongue.

“That’s my lot world,” he shouts, “that’s my life!”, he cries. With that, he falls to his knees, reaches inside his jacket and pulls out a gun. And with obvious intent places it against his head.

“Nooooooo!!!!”, I desperately call out, and before I can stop it, the thought that has been itching at the outskirts of my brain leaps into life, “Don’t make life changing decisions when you’re emotionally down or charged!”

I stopped and heard myself as if someone else had spoken. Shocked that I had spoken aloud the nagging idea inside me. My thoughts ran freely, running over each other with their desperate need to be heard. And then I stopped breathing as it dawned on me what a fool I had been.

I looked down at the youth who was staring at me aghast, his gun now lying on the floor forgotten, arms limp by his sides.

“W w what?”, the youth asked.

Then, as much to myself as the youth, I repeated, “Don’t make life changing decisions when you are emotionally down or charged.”

The end.

 

 

Related post:

http://wp.me/p3klcz-cC

(Don’t let your down times depict your life’s direction)

 

Future Thinking Blog, Random Thoughts and more