But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.

Stephen King, Salem's Lot
How to Accept Change and Embrace the Positives

How to Accept Change and Embrace the Positives

Posted by martin.parnell |

As we enter the early days of September, it’s time to face the fact that Fall is here. We always knew it was inevitable, but there is still a reluctance, amongst many people to face the end of Summer. 

Soon we’ll be padding around our homes in socks instead of bare feet, no more putting the laundry outside to dry on the washing line, some of us will be switching from the crisp white notes of a Chardonnay enjoyed on the deck to the rich ruby red hues of a Malbec, by the fire. 

But, it’s not all bad news. Who doesn’t like an excuse to sit by the fire with a cup of tea and a good book, whilst snuggled up in a favourite sweater and pair of cosy slippers? 

Perhaps just not yet. 

Any change brings its positives and negatives, depending on your point of view. Although it’s been great to wander around in shorts and tee-shirts, some people can’t wait to be done with the restless night brought on by the Summer heat and will be glad when temperatures fall, others embrace the fact that the children will be back in school and life can “return to the normal, everyday routine” that they experience for most of the year. 

We all face changes, throughout our lives, some of which are inevitable and some are unexpected and thrust upon us. Who would have thought that the wild fires in British Columbia would have made us question whether or not to venture out in the midst of August?

Change in the workplace can bring its own challenges, even though it can be for all the right reasons. 

If management changes, employees may have to accept that new leaders will want to make their mark and may institute new ways of working. If an employee leaves, it may take time to adjust to their absence and get acquainted with their replacement. If your company moves to new premises, it can take a while to get to know your way around. Where have they put the photocopier? 

If you take up a new managerial position, make sure you communicate well with your co-workers, forewarn them of changes to come and give them the opportunity for constructive discussion. If you are starting a new job, be open to advice from others and evaluate it according to your needs. If the nature of your job changes, don’t be afraid to ask for additional training and if a new employee joins your company, look for ways in which to mentor them. 

Some changes may affect just you personally, just a few of your colleagues or the company as a whole. Some changes may take time to get used to and others may suddenly make your working environment much more pleasant, your job much easier or bring a much more productive atmosphere. 

Whatever changes you may be facing, whether they are sudden or a long time in the making, try to see the benefits and, hopefully, they will outweigh the negatives. As Summer turns to Fall, it will take some adjustment but don’t worry, it won’t be long before we’ll be having to think about Winter and all that it brings!

About the Author

Martin Parnell is the Best-Selling author of MARATHON QUEST and RUNNING TO THE EDGE and his final book in the Marathon Trilogy, THE SECRET MARATHON-Empowering women and girls in Afghanistan through sport, is being released on October 30th 2018. He speaks on having a “Finish the Race Attitude – Overcoming Obstacles to Achieve Your Full Potential” and has written for, or been covered by CNNBBCCBCThe Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Runners World, Men’s Journal, Canadian Business, and Maclean’s.

In a five year period, from 2010 to 2014, Martin completed 10 extreme endurance “Quests” including running 250 marathons in one year and raising $1.3m for the humanitarian organization Right To Play. In 2016 he ran the Marathon of Afghanistan in support of Afghan women and girls running for equality. Find out more about Martin at www.martinparnell.com  and see what he can do for you in the long run.

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If 13 is unlucky, then 12 and 14 are guilty by association.

Mitch Hedberg American comedian
How to use the Right Number and be Lucky in Business

How to use the Right Number and be Lucky in Business

Posted by martin.parnell |

Today is my 13th. wedding anniversary. Some people consider 13 to be an unlucky number, but I have to say that wasn’t the case, as far as the past year was concerned. Sue and I ticked along as normal and, I’m happy to say, nothing untoward happened in our lives (Unlike 2015 which, to quote Her Majesty the Queen, was our “annus horribillis”). 

I wondered why the number 13 is considered unlucky, in certain countries, so I turned to Wikipedia to find some answers:   “The end of the Mayan calendar's 13th Baktun was superstitiously feared as a harbinger of the apocalyptic 2012 phenomenon. It is also considered unlucky to have thirteen guests at a table and any Friday the 13th has been considered an unlucky day. 

In fact, there are a number of theories as to why the number thirteen became associated with bad luck:

The Last Supper: At Jesus Christ’s last supper, there were thirteen people around the table, counting Christ and the twelve apostles. Some believe this is unlucky because one of those thirteen, Judas Iscariot, was the betrayer of Jesus Christ.

Knights Templar: On Friday 13 October 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest of the Knights Templar and most of the knights were tortured and killed.

Full Moons: A year with 13 full moons instead of 12 posed problems for the monks in charge of the calendars. This was considered a very unfortunate circumstance, especially by the monks who had charge of the calendar of thirteen months for that year, and it upset the regular arrangement of church festivals. For this reason thirteen came to be considered an unlucky number. 

Fear of the number 13 has a specifically recognized phobia, Triskaidekaphobia, a word coined in 1911. The superstitious sufferers of triskaidekaphobia try to avoid bad luck by keeping away from anything numbered or labelled thirteen. As a result, companies and manufacturers use another way of numbering or labeling to avoid the number, with hotels and tall buildings being conspicuous examples. Some will not have a thirteenth floor and hence no 13 button on their elevators.” 

Zoopla  found that more than a quarter (28%) of streets in the UK don't have a number 13 address, and some local councils have banned the use of number 13 in new housing developments. But while new streets can be built without a number 13, changing or removing it from an existing property is against the law.

In sports, the number 13 has a mixed reception: The number 13 was not used in the Indianapolis500 from 1915 to 2002.E.J.Viso, driving for HVM Racing, the 2009 IndyCar series season, drove a green number 13 car full-time, despite terrible superstitions about it in motor sports. The number 13 was not used in Formula One from 1977 to 2013. In triathlon, the number 13 is not used. As such, the numbering goes 11, 12, 14, 15 under the current numbering system. 

In some countries, different numbers are thought to be unlucky:  In China, the pronunciation of the word for the number 4 is similar to that of the Chinese word for death. Many buildings in China skip a fourth floor.  The number 9 is feared in Japan because it sounds similar to the Japanese word for torture or suffering. 

So, one might want to consider some of these facts if you have employees from overseas. Could you find out about unlucky numbers in other cultures? Also, if you have customers from those countries might it be worth avoiding days with certain numbers for doing business?   

Of course, one might also bear in mind the fact that countries, traditionally, have their lucky numbers, too. For instance, in China, the numbers 3 and 8 are very lucky are associated with wealth and prosperity. Could this mean the 8th. is a great day to conduct business with your Chinese clients? Who knows? 

And, not everyone considers the number 13 to be unlucky. In Italy, for example, it is considered good luck (whereas some Italians are superstitious about Friday the 17th because rearranging the Roman numeral XVII can create the word "VIXI"—translated from Latin to mean "my life is over").   

In the United States along with the UK, France, and the Netherlands the number 7 is considered to be lucky and, if you happen to know a Star Wars fan, remember to wish them a Happy May the 4th! 

Whatever your views on these numbers that may or may not be considered lucky or unlucky, in the workplace, it may just be worthwhile being sensitive to some of these beliefs and superstitions. 

As for me I’m going to celebrate my Anniversary by taking my wife out to lunch and remember the wonderful day we married –and today’s date?............. 9/11.

About the Author

Martin Parnell is the Best-Selling author of MARATHON QUEST and RUNNING TO THE EDGE and his final book in the Marathon Trilogy, THE SECRET MARATHON-Empowering women and girls in Afghanistan through sport, is being released on October 30th 2018. He speaks on having a “Finish the Race Attitude – Overcoming Obstacles to Achieve Your Full Potential” and has written for, or been covered by CNNBBCCBCThe Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Runners World, Men’s Journal, Canadian Business, and Maclean’s.

In a five year period, from 2010 to 2014, Martin completed 10 extreme endurance “Quests” including running 250 marathons in one year and raising $1.3m for the humanitarian organization Right To Play. In 2016 he ran the Marathon of Afghanistan in support of Afghan women and girls running for equality. Find out more about Martin at www.martinparnell.com  and see what he can do for you in the long run.

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Recognition is the greatest motivator.

Gerald C. Eakerdale author
How a Little Recognition can make a Big Difference

How a Little Recognition can make a Big Difference

Posted by martin.parnell |

On Sunday, I was excited to read the following headline, on the CBC website:

Eliud Kipchoge sets new world record in Berlin marathon win.

I continued reading: Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge set a new marathon world record, winning the Berlin race in two hours, one minute and 39 seconds. The 33-year-old broke the previous world record set in Berlin by fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 by one minute and 18 seconds.

"I lack words to describe this day," Kipchoge said after becoming the first person to finish a marathon in less than 2 hours and 2 minutes. "They say you miss two times but you can't miss the third time," he said in reference to his two previous failed attempts to break the world record in Berlin.

As a marathon runner myself, I was awed by this man’s achievement. I know that there is always a team of people, behind the scenes, that are needed to help make results like this possible. Unfortunately, these people, rarely get a mention. I decided to find out who, in Eliud’s case, those people might be.

I read about Peter, a physiotherapist and life-long friend of Eliud’s who looks after his well-being, in Kenya. I read about his coach, Patrick Sang, who obviously deserves a great deal of credit for ensuring that Eliud is prepared for race day. Also, Kipchoge has diet plan which was in part developed by Andrew Jones professor of applied physiology at the University of Exeter.

I then turned to Eliud’s Facebook page and was delighted to see this entry:

Today the 16th of September 2018, I ran a world record in Berlin, it couldn’t happen without the support of the following: My gratitude and honor goes to:

1. My family: I thank my wife (Grace) and my kids (Lynne, Griffin and Jordon) for the overwhelming support they gave me for the last 4 months of training, you always inspire me and you are my ignition key.

2. Coaches: My coach Patrick Sang is my all-time coach and supporter, he is my life coach not forgetting his two assistants (Meto and Koech). You made this day realizable.

3. Global Sports Communication: This is a wonderful management, led by director Jos Hermens and Valentijn Trouw, and all entire team, you are such a wonderful management company.

4. Nike: Nike company led by Phil Knight and sports marketing Capriotti, not forgetting the innovation and design team. On the other hand the physiologists led by Brett Kirby, thank you for the support for over 15 years

5. NN Running Team: You are such a wonderful team and the spirit of bringing teammates to the sports is overwhelming.

6. My training mates: Kaptagat team, you are such a wonderful family, I like you all, I wish everybody all the best in the coming races. Cheers brothers and sisters, teamwork is the key.

7. Isuzu company: It’s a wonderful local and international car manufacturer, you gave me another leg to train on by providing all my transport. I will always be with you. Tuko Pamoja Safarini.

8. My fans: I totally respect all my fans across the globe, from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all social media. You always push me ahead.

In one word ‘Thank you’ all and God bless you all. 

This was very heartening to see that Eliud had taken the time, on this very special day, to recognise and thank those who support him. 

As someone who is frequently in the public eye, I understand the importance of giving credit to those people who may never be seen as part of what I do, but, nevertheless provide an essential support system that enables me to undertake my initiatives, follow my dreams and succeed in completing my goals. 

I always try and make sure I give them credit for their input, whether it be for a sporting activity, my coach, Malcolm Kent, my family doctor, Bill Hanlon, my physiotherapists, Serge Tessier, my chiropractor, Greg Long etc. or in my professional career as a speaker and author. I thank them at each opportunity. 

This is important. People invest time and effort to ensure we have every chance of success. It is essential that we recognise this and put it into practice, in the workplace. Whether you are working on a project, setting up new initiatives, planning an event or any action that requires the efforts of more than one person, no matter how small their contribution, they need to be recognised. A thank you goes a very long way to creating a positive atmosphere, a sense of well-being and will encourage continued support in the future. 

Let’s face it, there are not many people who work totally alone. Most of us receive support in one way or another. It may be from a colleague or team member, a partner, a parent or other family members. 

So, take the time to thank them, whenever you can.

About the Author

Martin Parnell is the Best-Selling author of MARATHON QUEST and RUNNING TO THE EDGE and his final book in the Marathon Trilogy, THE SECRET MARATHON-Empowering women and girls in Afghanistan through sport, is being released on October 30th 2018. He speaks on having a “Finish the Race Attitude – Overcoming Obstacles to Achieve Your Full Potential” and has written for, or been covered by CNNBBCCBCThe Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Runners World, Men’s Journal, Canadian Business, and Maclean’s.

In a five year period, from 2010 to 2014, Martin completed 10 extreme endurance “Quests” including running 250 marathons in one year and raising $1.3m for the humanitarian organization Right To Play. In 2016 he ran the Marathon of Afghanistan in support of Afghan women and girls running for equality. Find out more about Martin at www.martinparnell.com  and see what he can do for you in the long run.

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Big results require big ambitions.

Heraclitus Greek Philosopher
12 Actions Result-Minded People Implement

12 Actions Result-Minded People Implement

Posted by martin.parnell |

Result-minded people know where they are, where they want to go and how to get there. Will there be challenges, set-backs and obstacles along the way? Probably, but that doesn’t stop them. 

Below are 12 actions these people implement and how they can help you to become more result-minded:

1. They set a challenging goal 

Decide what it is you want to accomplish. Goals come in various sizes and there’s no “one-size-fits-all”. You don’t want your goal to be too easy, as that will leave you with little sense of achievement. On the other hand, one that is unrealistic could well lead to lack of completion and a total loss of confidence. My rule of thumb is a 50/50 chance of success.   

2. They establish the “Why?” of the goal 

Having a strong reason for setting your goal is critical. You may want to earn a promotion, move to another job or accomplish a personal ambition. I have always found that people get more satisfaction when they set a goal that will also impact others, whether it’s helping them move forward, proving a benefit to the company or your colleagues. A strong “Why” will get you through the tough times.

3. They determine the “Gap” 

The Gap refers to the measurement of where you are now to where you want to be. When you are considering this, it is always wise to give yourself a timeline. Make sure you know when you want to have completed your goal.

4. They make a comprehensive  plan 

Planning is the key to success. What resources do you need? Where can you find them? What are potential road blocks? You may not be able to plan for every eventuality, but being extra diligent, in the planning stage, will give you confidence as you move towards beginning your action. Do your research.

5. They ask for support 

Results-minded people don’t hesitate to ask for help. The key is to take every opportunity to share your vision with individuals and groups who can have a positive influence on the outcome. If you do your job they will want to be part of your team.

6. They “Chunk-Down” the goal                                                            

Sometimes a task can appear to be so overwhelming that it’s hard to get started, but, I believe almost anything is achievable if you take it one step at a time. Rather than be daunted by the whole task, look at it in doable, “bite-sized” chunks.

7. They measure their progress 

Keep track at each stage. Are you on course? Are adjustments needed? Reflecting on your progress will help you in the difficult times when things are not going to plan.

8. They communicate their progress 

Share your progress, whether good or bad, with your team and supporters. Communicate on a regular basis. People are invested in you and your goal. If things are off track they will want to help.

9. They deal with obstacles and set backs 

Result-minded people know one thing for sure, there will probably be obstacles and setbacks. In fact they accept this as part of the process, not an anomaly. What matters is, how they deal with them. You need to stay positive, ask for support when appropriate and don’t lose sight of the end goal. 

10. They celebrate their achievements 

Don’t get caught up in the “Results-Treadmill”. Take time to celebrate each milestone along the way. Share these success with people who are involved in your journey.

11. They learn from failure 

Result-minded people aren’t afraid of failure. As Nelson Mandela said “I never lose. I either win or learn.” What did you learn? How would you do things different next time?

12. They look for what’s next 

After a goal is completed there can be a period when you experience a feeling of deflation. So much work went into achieving your goal, but now what? Result-minded people take time to reassess their position and look at making plans for the next step on their journey.

About the Author

Martin Parnell is the Best-Selling author of MARATHON QUEST and RUNNING TO THE EDGE and his final book in the Marathon Trilogy, THE SECRET MARATHON-Empowering women and girls in Afghanistan through sport, is being released on October 30th 2018. He speaks on having a “Finish the Race Attitude – Overcoming Obstacles to Achieve Your Full Potential” and has written for, or been covered by CNNBBCCBCThe Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Runners World, Men’s Journal, Canadian Business, and Maclean’s.

In a five year period, from 2010 to 2014, Martin completed 10 extreme endurance “Quests” including running 250 marathons in one year and raising $1.3m for the humanitarian organization Right To Play. In 2016 he ran the Marathon of Afghanistan in support of Afghan women and girls running for equality. Find out more about Martin at www.martinparnell.com  and see what he can do for you in the long run.

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