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Changing your tune can change how you groove

“I have a vision of a better life”… “I’ve got this great idea”… “I’m just developing the concept”… “I want a better future for my family”… “I don’t know where to start”…

Do these lines sound familiar to you? Perhaps you’re formulating your big idea right now. Perhaps you have a vision of what you’d like your family’s life to be, and you spend your days and nights dreaming of it. These lines are like tired old song lyrics that you keep muttering to yourself because they’re ingrained into your psyche; like nursery rhymes. We all suffer from the cultural vice of dreaming big but not having the courage to go for it. We all sing the same song.

Talk yourself successful

If you sing these songs too then it’s time you changed the track. In fact it’s time you changed the whole goddam genre you’re listening to! The messages you send yourself through your inner monologue have a profound effect on what you outwardly say and do. It’s all too easy to get stuck in a rut of dreaming and planning, and telling yourself that you’ll do it once you’ve done x, y or z. It’ll never happen.

We’re programmed to be cautious and to protect what we have now; particularly when we value our family above all else. Taking risks with their future because you have a great idea that you’d like to work for yourself, or work from home, or work flexibly, can all seem a bit…well, risky. It’s what young people without kids do, right? Wrong. You’ve got that Neil Diamond album on again. Throw on some Stormzy and challenge yourself. Changing how you live and work doesn’t have to be risky. Instead it could be challenging; it could be exciting; it could be exhilarating; and it should be life-changing.

As parents we focus on our families first. You’ll do anything for them, right? Well then that ‘anything’ also includes following your dreams, and turning them into reality. How awesome would that be as a life lesson to teach your kids? How amazing for them to witness you cranking out some ultra-positive messages and then making some ultra-cool stuff happen as a result. Before you know it they’ll be singing the same positive songs. As adults and parents we can change the songs we sing, so it’s time to come up with some new lyrics.

Write your own songs

Imagine if you told yourself that you absolutely can make that change; that you absolutely will make those calls; that you absolutely will arrange that first meeting. Imagine if you found a way to make it happen rather than making excuses for why you can’t do it just yet.

This all starts with setting some goals for yourself, which will help you get towards your ultimate destination, wherever that may be. Goals are essential if you want to stay motivated and focused. Just having a big dream isn’t enough. You need to set some goals to aim for, and then to tick off as you achieve them, on your journey to your big dream. This way you get that sense of achievement each time you reach a milestone. There’s nothing better for your sense of self-worth than saying you’ll do something and then goddam getting it done! It’s also a great example to set to the kids. It’s time for a fabulous truism:

Say you can or say you can’t. Either way you’ll be right.

If you recite the same old Morrissey-style self-loathing song of how scared you are, or how risky it is, or how you don’t know where to start, then it will most certainly be the soundtrack to your life. You’ll intimidate yourself into never achieving anything. However when you holler those Dolly Parton-esque numbers you’ll be dancing through life like a winner. You will not, however, be working 9 to 5 to make the rich man richer. There is a better life, and it’s only a song away…

Great songs stay with us our entire lives. We know the lyrics off by heart. They can evoke the most powerful memories and inspire the most intense emotions. Your song should be one of those classics – an uplifting, pulse-racing, kick-life-in-the-face, Queen number. But great songs are written a verse at a time, so start drafting your verses now. Set your goals. Structure it properly. Give yourself some achievable targets. Once it starts flowing you’ll have a classic on your hands.

So leave the nursery rhymes for bedtime with the kids. Leave the Adele tunes for Mummy and Daddy time. It’s time for you to start writing your own songs, and writing your own future, one line at a time.

Incidentally, if you like listening to uplifting messages, check out the incredible podcast interviews with truly inspirational people on