Why wouldn’t you?

A few questions to ask.  

Have you ever read a book that has changed your life?

Have you ever recommended it to someone else? 

Do you pile up a big library of books and hold onto them like precious gems?


Take note…. 

It is the information in books that is valuable,  not the books in themself !

In most other areas of our life we are happy to share with people tips and thoughts and experiences that would help them,  but we hold onto our books in an almost selfish display of supremacy.   

Yes you can hold onto those hardback classics that you truly value,  but give the information away and share your books.  If you don’t get them back then someone, somewhere may well have a life changing experience because of your deed. 

We’re in an age where we are very spoilt in terms of being able to get hold of books with ease. Take advantage,  add to your collection and subtract from it too!


Here’s a recommendation from me:  http://goo.gl/L8Vce    You’ll have to click to discover what it is! 





Happy Reading.Image




Getting ready in the morning.

What makes it so difficult to choose what to wear in the morning?

Before meeting someone new, do you ever worry about what they might think of you?

Are you concerned they might assume you are one thing when you are actually another?

A good example for me is that I assume people won’t take me seriously if I am wearing trainers. (And therefore try not to wear them if I’ll be in a situation involving making a good impression). I guess what I am saying is – How someone relates to me and how I feel about myself can be altered by my personal appearance.

I think this is true in many cases but perhaps we over think it and we ought to believe in our ability to communicate in other ways apart from through our attire.

There was a small incident last week when I was all suited and booted in a bit of a rush, and there was a young lady about to go through the ticket barriers at Baker Street station. She appeared to have dropped some kind of receipt on the floor, perhaps just some rubbish, so in a split second I decided I would tell her, just on the off chance she might need it. I lightly tapped her on the arm and said, ‘You’ve just dropped something there.’ She turned and thanked me. Picked it up -whatever it was, gave me a little smile and went on her way.

Now let me tell you what really happened. I lightly tapped her on the arm and said, ‘You’ve just dropped something there.’ She was hesitant to turn around, turned, paused, then I pointed at the little orange scrap and said, ‘Just that little piece of paper there.’ I had upset her in some way as she said sternly, ‘No I didn’t’ and walked off as if I was lying or trying to trick her in some way.

I spent the next minute thinking, hmm maybe she thought I was trying to con her or something, which would be near impossible if all she was doing was picking up a scrap of paper. Then I thought, well i was looking very casual and I did have a silly looking black woolly hat on so maybe I looked dodgy.

Would she have treated me differently in that moment if I was dressed a different way? Maybe. If it was 10 years ago I would have said something to her as I passed her on the escalator and protested that I was only trying to help but I left it alone.

All that to say such incidents can throw us into this constant paranoia that people are looking at us one way or another. They often ARE! But if you have sufficient skills in how you generally conduct yourself, walk with confidence, smile on occasion; basically display and possess an adequate level of self-esteem, then you will feel differently about the world around you.

And lets not forget, most people just don’t care about you and you occupy a very small space in their life.

When I see new mums pushing prams around, mostly they don’t have make-up on. They have shifted their what’s-the-world-thinking-about-me radar off and totally embraced this beautiful new life that now occupies their every waking moment. There’s something earthly and refreshing about that where you operate in the world, but your love for something or someone takes you away from it. If we have a deeper passion for our own life and our own ambitions, we become less fragile to our environment around us and become more at ease in our interactions and relationships.

Key points! :
-Look after your personal appearance because it does say a lot about you. If you’re unsure, veer on the side of too smart rather than under-dressed.
-Your personal appearance relates very much to how you feel about yourself. Dress better, feel better.
-At the same time, continuously working on how you feel about yourself (a commitment to personal development) reduces concerns for what others think about us.

Have a dapper day.

Listen will ya!

The written word is so much easier than real life chat because you get the added benefit of time so that there’s a certain degree of intelligibility to what one is saying.
I want to talk about the importance of listening. The classic wisdom states,
‘You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that proportion.’
When I think of that line I always think of a big cartoon head with two big sticking out ears, and a teeny weenie mouth. This I’m sure stems from an exercise that I was asked to do a few years back when I was training to be a helpline volunteer for the young person’s charity Get Connected. In groups, we were given a large A2 piece of paper and instructed to draw what an ideal helpline volunteer would look like. The most obvious characteristic was the big huge ears that everybody drew, because, well -listening is a vital quality in communication and helping others. Particularly in a situation where somebody is reaching out for help.

Listening is not that easy and it is something that a lot of people find challenging. The typical conversation would go something like this:
A: Hey, how’s things?
B: Great thanks; I just got back from Paris.
A: Oh Paris, great! I was just there a few weeks back visiting a friend.
Here’s a quick tip, try to not put an ‘I, me, my, mine’ too early into a conversation. This is not about interrogating another person, or playing 20 questions with them, but genuinely being interested in them.

I introduced a Portuguese friend of mine to twitter recently and he’s begun to see the potential networking benefits as he builds towards launching an idea on kickstarter. He’s an inventor with both a chemical and mechanical engineering background and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me saying, is less of a people-person than a machines-person. Here’s our gtalk exchange just last week:

The conversation is incomplete at the time of writing this, and I can assure you I was not drunk by the way! (I haven’t been for quite some time – that’s for another blog).
Right here I do not apologise for throwing in a Dale Carnegie quote from the classic man’s classic.

‘You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.’

As I am writing this, a real life example happens, as a colleague of mine is meeting me and he’s with a friend who I am introduced to. The friend asks me, ‘What are you writing?’ I say, ‘It’s a blog article.’ He says, ‘What’s it about?’ ‘It’s on leadership topics’, I reply. I then ask, ‘Do you do any writing?’ and he then goes on to tell me about how he recently did a scriptwriting course and so on.
It is so easy for us to get caught up in our own endeavours and talk about the one thing that that is most familiar to all of us, ourselves. This listening stuff, it’s a discipline, it’s a habit that we can develop and it’s a skill of sorts. We don’t want to come across as stupid to other people in a social situation, so very often while another person is talking we are thinking of what we can say next, and jumping around inside waiting for the right moment to say it. Often if we just actually listen, truly listen, then we can have a better and deeper understanding of what the other person is saying and begin to ask those all important questions. There’s a fantastic song by the Swedish group Roxette called Listen to your heart. I’m going to switch that song title around a little and say Listen WITH your heart.

When a conversation becomes a bit one sided, that is what you want to achieve because we are givers right? We want others to feel special right? Les Giblin in his magical little book, ‘Skill With People’, says:
‘Refusal to listen to people is just about the surest way of making them feel unimportant and of rating them as a nobody. Listening to them is just about the best way of making them feel important.’
(There are a few other magical magical powerful points he makes too, which I’ll share with you if you send me an email 10leadersleaping (at) g mail)
We can all be ‘experts’ with people by mastering this simple step and people will be left thinking what a lovely person you are, and YOU ARE! I’ll leave you with the beauty of Sylvia Plath’s words, which I came across on twitter. I certainly couldn’t say it better.

My First Blog – Here we go!

Mr James

Wow, this is my first official blog. I’m sure there is a way of adding a tab which is ‘about me’ but while i’m here.. let me introduce myself, I’m Vernon James from Wembley, London engaged to my lovely fiancée Tishani who is currently studying in Australia. I have been working in field marketing for 10 years or so. I am in a band too which is great fun. I also have a keen interest in (as my twitter states) wellness, personal development, travelling and business that does good by doing good. I really appreciate good customer service too!

Let’s keep my first blog short and sweet. I want to share some of the wisdom -if you like, that I learn from being around successful people and from some of the great books that I read. I’m really excited about soon to be reading ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle, it is a book that is actually calling me to read it. When i was in Costa Rica a few years ago, someone actually lent it to me and I started reading it and for whatever reason I think I ended up giving the book to someone else. Then I came across an event last year that talked about some of the concepts from the book and I was curious. I asked my facebook friends if anyone had read it, and there was some in depth, positive thumbs up responses. My fiancée also has a house-mate Tom, a tree surgeon who has been talking to her about the book and together they did some meditation guided by Tolle himself. I will update on that soon, it’s the book I will read after the one I’m currently on.
Here’s a video that was embedded in the details for that event. Makes me want to see the full movie:

I should reference the organisation too.
What do they do? A global community of people who believe we all share a responsibility to leave the world a better place and that starts with ourselves. Brilliant

Something to take away:
Very briefly I want to say that when we choose to be a victim in life -so something has happened to us where we feel that we are the one who is suffering, we are in a position of weakness. When we blame circumstances, that thinking is simply inaccurate. We must keep things in perspective. The ups and downs of life are part of the beautiful tapestry that makes us what we are. You can stay down in the mire or we can choose to rise and overcome our challenges. By overcoming you then gift yourself something that is truly special.. the life you want!

Wow, i’ve written my first blog. Thanks for reading!

Random bit
High Heels – The invention of a woman who’s been kissed on the forehead