The Day I Saved A Boy’s Life

His name was Edward, the brother of an ex-girlfriend.

It was mid-summer, a real scorcher of a day. We went, as a whole group, to a park with a small beach along the river.

We set ourselves up on a wooden bench, unpacking a picnic onto the table. Edward was excited about swimming and scoffed down some sandwiches. It wasn’t long before he was off into the water.

The group chatted, watched Edward’s antics in the water, ate, drank soft-drinks, and had ice cream from the nearby shop.

Edward was in and out of the water, topping up on drinks, snacks, ice cream, and sun-tan lotion.

Mid-day came and went, and we reached the mid-afternoon. We had become comfortable on our bench, and complacent of Edward being in the water playing with the other kids.

Then we heard a boy’s cry. “Mummy!”

There he was, fifty metres from the beach, up to his waist in mud. The tide, in a space of minutes, had gone out.

He tried to pull himself free, but his lack of upper-body strength and the mud’s hold meant he was trapped.

He was distraught, crying for help.

The family rushed over, while I stayed back to watch our belongings. I looked on from the bench.

The family, and other by-standers were grouped together. The mother tried to walk out to him, but within a matter of metres she too found it almost impossible to move in the sticky mud, her legs being swallowed up to the knees. She had to retreat to the beach.

There were calls for ladders, or ropes, but there was nothing around. What about the fire brigade?

I looked from Edward, to the mud, to the family.

I can do that, I thought. I’m the only young, fit, strong person here. I’m the only one that can even try.

Calmly, I rolled up my jeans as far as they would go. That calm, I remember now, was eery. As though, I had found enlightenment.

I walked from the bench to the group. “Someone needs to watch the stuff,” I said. Without another word to anyone, I waded out into the mud.

The mud was light, a soupy mass that hungrily ate whatever applied pressure on it. The further I went, the deeper each leg went in.

By the time I was six, or seven, metres from Edward, I was up to my knees with each step. I spoke some calm words of encouragement.

I never felt like the mud was too much. If it had been, I would have stopped. But, for how hard it was, I knew I was stronger than the mud. I told Edward, as I made the final part of distance to him, what the plan was. We would do it together.

I reached him and in a smooth movement, I stepped forward, grabbed him under the armpits and hauled him out like I was lifting a sack of potatoes. I finished the move by throwing him onto the mud.

The move now meant that I was personally up to my thighs in the mud.

The mud wanted me.

But, Edward wasn’t saved yet. I hauled my right leg out and took a step forward, pulled out my left leg – that was encased in the mud, like a plaster caste.

I was able to move again.

I made the distance to Edward, grabbed a hand and dragged and half threw him forward as I waded back to the beach. We repeated this until we made it back.

We reached the beach, both covered in this thick, grey-brown mud. Edward looked at me as though I was Superman.

And that’s how I saved a boy’s life. And I know I would do it again.

There are moments in life where sometimes your intuition will tell you what you are capable of. And there are situations where a few of us get a calling, a push of inertia, that says:

Act.

KG Heath is a digital health professional, author, and lifestyle blogger. You can get his debut novel here.

Why Nobody Cares – The Pain of Creation

For creators, there is a sad truth. Just because you made something does not mean anyone will care.

Whether it’s a YouTube channel, an Instagram account of amazing artwork, or a blog. Do not assume a throng of people will come, just because you completed the art of creation.

Does that mean we shouldn’t create? No, you must.

Why No One Cares

I said in my interview on the Build Your Platform podcast with Andy Stitt, your friends and family can’t be relied upon to be your first loyal audience. They will either dissuade you from the act of creation, or will not engage with your creation.

Is it because they are heartless bastards who want you to suffer in a pit of your own despair? No. They have their own lives and have no idea of your pride, or excitement in what you have made. Maybe they don’t like that kind of thing.

You also can’t expect the world to come running to your YouTube channel, or whatever else creative portal. Expect to be shouting into the void. You’ll be doing that because there is too much shiny out there, and these platforms are designed to support those who are popular, because the community endorses them, or the algorithms understand their work enough to promote with the confidence the audience will like them.

It’s also the artists journey, to at first make when no one is watching, to never give up until the world comes running.

Why You Should Create

If you have a talent, whether it is singing, photography, writing, painting, etc, then you should utilise that skill. You should hone it, and you should let it free into the world.

But, you cannot allow vanity to get in the way. Likes and followers allow for some instant gratification, but your work is not about them.

Creation is about letting your ideas free, to make something only you could have made and to share that with others.

But, it’s also about helping and connecting with others. Meet up with, or connect online, with other creators. Remember, YouTube, Instagram etc are social networks, so engage with others.

We need to fully explore the topic of platform building in more depth, but creation, broadcasting, is not enough. The future is about engaging.

In short, the tl;dr, is this:

Create like nobody cares.

How Seth Godin Manages His Life

To the loyal readers of this blog, I don’t have to do any introduction to Seth Godin. But, let’s just say he is a specialist in the area of shipping and marketing.

I have found his writing and talks to be utterly fascinating since I first stumbled across him about six years ago. Since then, I’d devoured what I can online. I have read a few of his books, but not as many as I should do. If you knew what my book backlog looked like, you would know why.

But, Seth Godin is someone you need to enjoy in either audio, or video – or, as I’m so jealous of, in person like my friend Fraser did whilst volunteering for one of his courses in New York.

And that’s why I’m recommending this podcast episode to you. I think it makes for the ultimate example of Seth Godin at his best. You will certainly come away with some great learning from this experience.

Stick your headphones on and do the dishes to this one.

Listen to the episode here.

Becoming More Likable Is Far Simpler Than You Think

We are drawn to likable people, the individuals who is ooze charisma and energy, and personality. But is it all about what they say? Actually, it’s not.

So often, life can seem complicated, full of barriers and limitations. But, as I’ve come to find, the things in life that can unlock your real potential are simple concepts that can be easy to put into action.

Becoming a more likable person is just the same.

Be More Present

  • Put away your phone
  • Actively listen
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Shut the hell up

By not doing anything, letting that other person talk, showing them that you are engaged with what they are saying, allows that other person to feel a connection to you. You get them, you want to be with them, and you care about their input.

But, our modern life and its ticks get in the way of this. Avoid the distraction of notifications by sticking your phone in your pocket, or in a bag.

For the outgoing person, the most difficult thing for us to do is to stop talking. It’s not because we like the lime-light, but because it’s our natural instinct to want to fill silences. But you need to keep in your mind that this other person needs their chance to talk.

Make Someone Talk

Some people are not used to their opportunity to talk, or they feel their views and ideas are undervalued. So, as a person seeking better connections with people, it’s your job to coach these individuals into talking.

How do you do that?

Use open questions: why, how, what, when type questions. These are very difficult to answer with a yes / no response – unless this person really has difficultly with social norms.

Asking a person “what do you think about…”, “how did you do such and such”, “when was a time you…”, this gives the individual the opportunity to really talk.

Get Your Drill Out

But, if you really want to understand a person and their view on a topic, that initial line of questioning might not be enough. You need drill a little bit deeper, that where the meat of the topic is.

The deeper you go, the more the other person will feel you are interested in what they have to say.

Hook onto something they have said, a thought, a reason why they can’t do something: “why do you think that?”, “who says that?”, “when did you realise?”

And the amazing thing about drilling questions is that you can keep going further, and further, until you really find the pearl that is hidden deep inside.

Isn’t This Fake?

It’s true that some people would use these kinds of tactics to be a very fake person. But, with great power comes great responsibility. A false person will always be find out. So, be honest.

The reason you need to use these kinds of tactics is that, deep down, individuals want to be changed and influenced, and heard. So, isn’t it up to you to help facilitate that in the people you meet?

And, by following these techniques, they will to you being seen as a very likable person, increasing your opportunities to help more people, growing your level of influence.

Your level of success is dependent on the success of the people around you.

So, help others.

If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick everyday.

– Leonard Cohen

Via Richard Simmons

Today’s Links

The Most Dangerous Word Is Just – How To Know Your Real Career Potential

We have probably all said it when describing ourselves to others. “I’m just an X.”

But, I was taught this lesson a long time ago when I said: “oh, I’m just a trainer.” Right there, I degraded a career seen as a skilled worker’s job.

The most common commodity in this country is unrealized potential.”

Calvin Coolidge

I’ve been fortunate to work in the training world for over six years. In that time, I had a chance to work with people down on their luck, fighting to get back on their feet and find work. Much of the work I had to do was to get them to take pride in their achievements and the skills they had gained.

The feeling of falling behind is common among high achievers. The bar is set high. Drive leads us to look at others who are further ahead, and to feel that we are not enough.

But, like a child learning to work, who falls after only a few steps, it’s important to look back at how far we have come, no matter how many times we have – or we feel – we have tripped.

Realising Your Value

So, how do we realise what our worth is, how much progress we have made?

We need to see the forest for the trees.

Write down on a sheet of paper, or several, all the individual skills you have. Whether it’s tying knots, cooking, quieting a crying baby, teaching a nervous technophobe to check their emails, motivating someone, CPR, writing clearly and concisely, or putting together furniture. You are the sum of this jigsaw of skills.

It is these abilities that are the envy, and the desirable abilities, others want or need.

It’s important to take pride in each of these abilities, to use them to get ahead of your peers, to help others, and to teach them to others.

Every step on the career ladder is about reaching for the next thing you cannot do yet, and relying on the multitude of things you are already capable of.

Grasp these skills, master them, utilise them, and cherish them, with unapologetic pride.

Looking Back

Do not look back on your journey with negativity, believing it is not enough. You cannot change the past, you can only move forward.

Accept the lessons you have learned, and move forward with purpose and conviction.

You are not just anything. You are the envy of others, but only if you realise your potential. For then you will have the kind of sense of purpose and positivity that others will lack.

Become an inspiration to them. Do great things, using your real potential. Do not be held back by your negative perception of what you can do and what you have done.

We can all be great, if we believe it.

Do you? Let me know in the comments.