During this 10 Mins Hangout, Marcus Thomlinson of Black Sheep Revolution is going to talk about why having a Personal Development Plan is important. You will learn:

– Stress Management
– Strategic De-conditioning
– Positive Affirmations

Here’s the video transcript:

Personal Development Plan

Uzair:  Okay we’re live. Hello and a very warm welcome for joining in this 10 minute Hangout. My name is Uzair and I’m very pleased to say we have Marcus Thomlinson with us online. Marcus owns Black Sheep Revolution and will talk about Personal and Business development. Hello Marcus how are you?

Marcus:  Well good morning Uzair. I’m fantastic thank you very much indeed.

Uzair:  Thank you for joining in and giving up your precious time.

Marcus:  My pleasure.

Uzair:  So let’s get started with who you are, what you do?

Marcus:  Okay thank you. Well as you said my name is Marcus Thomlinson. I’m the founder of Black Sheep Revolution. Essentially I wanted to create a revolution in the way that we approach business, the way we interact with each other, and get us to do it in a more positive way. Both at work and at home. And having been the black sheep in the family in some ways, while not in a positive way, because I went out to do things that may be others wouldn’t have. For example I was called the black sheep just for going to London, by some of my dear friends in Yorkshire. So it’s the positive connotation of that. I spend my time working with individuals and companies, helping them change their mind set getting to a much more positive, proactive, productive, state in order to have more fun at work and in business.

Uzair:  Good. So let’s talk a little bit about stress management. Is that when you’re at work or in personal life as well, where you can help people?

Marcus:  Good question. It’s actually to me it’s a holistic thing. Everything is interconnected. How we feel at work can be affected by how things are at home, and of course how things are at work. We can frequently bring that home as well. So it’s more about allowing ourselves to understand that it’s okay to have a stress management program, and to acknowledge when we’re stressed and do something about it. I’ve worked quite a lot abroad and in a lot of the Nordic countries, they’re really good having a stress management program. If you ask somebody in the UK if you’ve got one they’ll probably look at you sideways, and go well are you sure what you’re talking about.  It’s usually empowering and it means that if you are doing something positive, to manage your stress on a daily basis, you can handle stuff in a much more effective way. You don’t have an emotional reaction to so many things. So hugely important but more than ever from a health point of view. What might interest you is we have the worst levels of heart attack, strokes, and high blood pressure in Western Europe relative to level of health care if you like, so it’s hugely important. These are all things we can prevent to do something about. So engaging in some sort of stress management strategy, and approach in a way that you can do every day is hugely important.

Uzair:  Do you find a lot of people are in denial that they don’t have stress. What are the first signs when somebody is suffering from stress?

Marcus:  So classic things are that sort of thing you get at the back of your shoulders, or that little pain you get at the back of your neck, and you’re just doing a bit of this. You may be feeling over tired. Maybe you’re a bit more emotional, in the way you react to people and situation. They are all classic indicators that you’re not managing something. So if you’ve got any of those going on, even if it’s your general health. Those little aches and pains and niggles.  They all stem from some level of stress. So it’s really important the second you start any of those symptoms coming on, find somebody. Do something about it because it’s so much easier than you think, and more fun than you probably think.  

Uzair:  So what would be your top tip on how to de-stress?

Marcus:  Take time for yourself. You need to take maybe 10, 20, ideally half an hour a day to do something. Whether it’s just going for a walk, doing some deep breathing exercises, and turn everything off. Turn your phone off, turn all those alerts off. You don’t need them.

Anything you react to on a daily basis that gives you that little jolt. Maybe gives you butterflies in your stomach, identify it. Find a different way of handling it. One of the quickest and easiest routes is to do some deep breathing exercises on your own somewhere. Just take a little bit of time. Take some down time for your brain because that’s essentially what you’re not doing, because it never goes offline. When you sleep you’re still dreaming. If you proactively during the day give it some down time to repair and sort out what’s going on, hugely powerful stuff.  

Uzair:  Yeah. I find that when I’m sitting at my desk and working all day long, you get tired very quickly. Your concentration level goes down. But then I came across this little app, which is kind of like a little timer. What it does you’ll switch it on, it works for 25 minutes and it will buzz. Then you have a break for 5 minutes. Just get off your chair, go and get some water, or hot drink or whatever. Come back and you’ll find that your concentration levels have gone up quite high, and you’ll be a lot more productive.

Marcus:  A hundred percent. People who think and any employers out there, who think you should be tied to your desk and work, work, work is such old thinking. That is the least way you’ll get productivity out of your team and staff. Take Pfizer for instance, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. They realise a lot of our best ideas come, not when you sat there really trying to focus on a problem, but when you’re on holiday or 2 o’clock in the morning. We all have a thing where a thought pops into our mind, that’s the way the brain works. You give it a challenge it goes off and do stuff, and will bring the answers back to you at a time probably when you’re not thinking about it. So with that chief developers, chief scientists, they said you got to take one week a month off. Paid, fully paid all fine. Their results and their productivity went up through the roof.

So a lot of the key forward thinking companies who are really investing in themselves and their workforce recognise that time away from the desk or time away from your task is equally important, if you want true long lasting sustainable productivity. Just one other thing to mention, obviously we don’t have a lot of time. I think what might be helpful is if we think our brain is a bit like a laptop or super, super computers. The analogy I give you is you know when you buy a brand new machine, a new laptop, or a tablet, or a PDA, and it flies it’s so quick depends on what you’re doing. Then what tends to happen is we load loads of apps and programs on it, and over time what happens? It slows right down. You know what, that’s what you’re doing to your brain every single day. You’ve done it for your whole life.

The thing is that consciously or subconsciously, you’re probably running all sorts of apps and programs which don’t add value to your day. In fact they can be the ones that make you feel tired or stressed, and this is the great thing. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been running in the past, you can do a reformat if you like, and choose to get some really good positive programs running that do add value to your day. And do allow you to feel refreshed, and have more energy on a regular basis. So it’s just a question of going out and finding those tools and techniques. Obviously that’s what we teach with many people who work with us. But get books on personal development; listen to podcasts on stress management and personal development. Surround yourself with good information and good input. You know what it just might rub off on you, and start to change your personality. I think most people you probably want to be 80% of the time more positive, than you were. Wow that’s a great impact on your life. I think that sometimes is something we’re aiming for. You don’t have to think oh I’ll never be 100% at this all the time, nobody is. The most positive person in the world isn’t full 100%, but if you get from maybe 30% of the time to 50 to 80, the world really is a much more exciting place. Work really is much more fun.

Uzair:  So let’s move on a little bit about positive affirmations, and how to change your mind set to be extremely positive and cut out all the negative things.

Marcus:  Great thanks for mentioning that. Affirmation is essentially a form of programing.  So what you are saying is if you have some traits or habits, which are not helpful to you. Now no one watching this will ever procrastinate, and put loads of stuff off before doing the task they really should do. What I used to do, obviously we all do that. So the first thing you do with something called a positive affirmation, is a way of stating to yourself  to your brain, say hang on I’m no longer  happy with this. Rather than saying I procrastinate, you would say I’m really focused on the task at hand and I get them done when I need doing them.

You write that down, or you keep it somewhere on a bit of paper, or on some hardware or software somewhere. And you look at it on a daily basis, and you’re saying it out loud because you want the brain and you to realise, this is a new you. It’s a very simple way of programming a different way of being. The brain hears that and then it says are you serious about this. You’re not going to say it again tomorrow and again tonight. I am hugely passionate about my role whatever it might be. I am focused. I’m able to do, to make all of these positive affirmations, about why you can achieve. If you are quick tempered then say, being calm and able to manage my stress, means I have a more productive and enjoyable day.

A fantastic affirmation. So this is all about layering part of the reprogramming process, and if you do it you then start to develop the habits of super successful people. So affirmations look it up. Obviously you get in touch with me, or whoever you want to and start getting some positive stuff. Reprogram what’s going on and start to push out the old programming, which is not in there through default. Replace it with some positive affirmations on a daily basis.  So does that answer your question?

Uzair:  Absolutely very well said. The last thing which I want to touch on is about this strategic de-conditioning. Is that of the mind or the mind set, or both?

Marcus:  Absolutely. What a great phrase that, strategic de-conditioning. It was a friend of mine Mark Smith, he works in stress management. He’s a great drummer and he helps counsel people who’ve had real challenging. A phrase I borrowed from him.  Essentially it’s great for some people that want affirmations, and some people don’t maybe want to meditate. That just doesn’t sit in their sphere of comfort zone. So in the board room we talk about strategic de-conditioning, which is a way of going in and grabbing hold of this, like you would a team of people. So you view yourself the individual as your team, and it has various facets to it. The marketing team, the sales team, the finance team, the software team, whoever it might be. Then you decondition it by taking it out of its comfort zone, and get rid of all the negative traits that that team are using, and put in some positive stuff. You can do it for your team; you can do it for yourself. So strategic de-conditioning is a hugely powerful tool.

Uzair:  Brilliant. Thank you so much Marcus for sharing your expert tips and advice, and your time with all of us. I really do appreciate it. Hopefully we’ll invite you back to do some more sessions like this.

Marcus: Okay will be delighted.    

Uzair:  And thank you for everyone else watching this Hangout on Personal Development Plan. If you wish to go to Marcus’s website, the links will be underneath this video. If  you enjoyed this video please share, subscribe, or comment. Till next time take care. Bye for now. Thank you Marcus.  

Marcus:  Thanks very much all the very best. Cheers. Have a great day.       

Hope you enjoyed this Hangout on Personal Development Plan.

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About Uzair Kharawala
Uzair Kharawala is the Co-Founder at SF Digital. He is a Certified Google Partner, is a Cricket fanatic and loves Photography.
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