Looking ahead at 2018

Saturday 30th December 2017

WOW, we are on the verge of yet another new year, and this year, for the first time in a LONG time I think I am going to choose NOT to go to a NYE party, that may change by 8pm tomorrow, but right now, it doesn’t feel like the right thing to do…

This is a bit of a personal reflection on my life since 2014 and where things are heading in 2018. You may be sitting there reading this, thinking that reading about my life has no relevance to you, but I suspect that it might. We ALL go through constant changes in our lives, our mindset changes constantly as we experience life and you can’t take away the experiences you have, but you can learn from them as you move forward. This is going to be a long post, but I make no apologies, as it’s a completely new beginning for me, if not really a completely new start. It is just the first few steps on a new journey that actually started some time ago, I just did not know the destination until just realising… Enjoy the ride with me, or get off here, either way, I am OK with that and I will love you anyway 💖

In 2018 you will start to see more and more of me focusing on helping people build up their mental fitness so that they can avoid (or recover from) Stress, Anxiety and Depression (SAD) hopefully the rest of this article will help you understand why…

2017 for me has been a year of massive change and in the last couple of months, there has been a huge shift in my mindset, my learning and the people I am connecting with and the way I am connecting WITH them. Even people I have known for YEARS, I have found a new much deeper level of connection. If you are experiencing this yourself, it may be showing up differently for you, because each of us experiences this thing called life differently.  We have different senses, we have different backgrounds & we have had different experiences throughout our lives, but if you have chosen to read even as far as this, then I already know that you and I have a certain kind of connection! Because anyone who didn’t read as far as this, will have got bored of what I was saying, or found fault in it, or applied their existing beliefs to the words I am saying. Some may have known me from my past and this new version of me maybe too different from the one they knew before and most people are wary of change. It is fine to be wary of change, as humans we are designed that way to keep us safe, but there are big changes going on in the world right now and things are changing every day and changing rapidly too and this is leading to a lot of unease and anxiety for most people about the future and their place in it.

This mental anxiety about the future can cause us stress in the present and often leads us to be unhappy as the gap between where we want our lives to be and where our lives actually become wider and wider. Pressures from social media and even the regular media make us all feel that we are not good enough and that everyone else is happier than we are. In reality though, we need to be careful and we should not compare our behind the scenes blooper reels with everyone else’s highlights reels. We often then look back at our pasts for comfort (“life was better in the old days”), but living in the past like this will lead us to depression.

This is where my old path crosses into my new path, and we can see why the future now makes so much more sense for me based on my past experiences……

As you can see from my blog below (December 31st, 2014) this journey for me has actually been going for quite some time… In fact if you trace it back, it all started in about 1999-2000 when I was working in London and my life started to unravel for the first time. I won’t go into details here and I can’t remember the exact timeline but I broke up with my girlfriend at the time (Christina), was unable to move into the flat that I had paid a deposit for in West Kensington and lost the job that I had got in Soho (the infamous dot-com bubble). That was the time I moved back to Cheltenham in 2001, got a new job (at Christina’s company!) and started to struggle with Depression and Social Anxiety myself for the first time. Then in 2006, I got involved with setting up Bumblebees Playhouse with Karen (another ex!) but it all went a bit wrong and in 2007 I found myself in nearly £400k of personal debt. Skip forward to 2014 and I am on a “Developing the business owner” (essentially NLP practitioner) course with Terry Gormley and a challenge came out of that to run my own personal development day, which I did in October 2014 (photo below). It was a huge success for the people involved, but unfortunately, it was a bit of a financial disaster for me personally (can you see a pattern?!)

So when I look back at the blog post I wrote 3 years ago (below), whilst it does feel like I have stagnated and gone nowhere for 3 years, it has actually been a massive journey of self-discovery for me and I certainly feel like it has all been leading up to this very moment… writing this blog and having YOU read it…

Let me tell you what has happened since 31st December 2014 and possibly more importantly what has happened since 5th September 2017 and why 2018 is going to be amazing for me and possibly for you too, depending on where you are in your life right now!

I had a phone conversation yesterday with a Business/Life Coach, Marc Ford (MarcFord.uk) and he had some really positive things to say about the direction my life is heading (I have also had a similar conversation with Laura Trendall-Morrison from (TheGameChangerConsultancy.com). Marc, however,  encouraged me to write this blog and to look back at the time when I was writing my daily sunrise run blog and see how far I have come since then. The interesting thing about that is that back on 31st July I did a similar exercise looking back 5 years to 2012 (The London Olympics, my first ever massive anxiety attack and my charity trip to the Gambia) and as a result I had a nervous breakdown and realised that I was VERY unhappy with the way my life was going at the end of July. As a result of that breakdown, I dropped everything I was working on (helping another friend start a new company for free!) and instead I focussed on ME and in the last 3 months the change has been astonishing. The critical part was to STOP trying to please everyone around me, stop trying to do what everyone else wanted me to do and start to look inwardly at what *I* needed in my life in order for ME to be happy, what did my HEART want me to do, not my head, not the voice, not the “The Script” (see below)

Well in the last 3 years, I have:

  • Completely outsourced my DiaryBooker.com product, such that I rarely need to have anything to do with the day to day running of the business.
  • I ran my FindYourFire workshop 4 times and got a fair bit of Media coverage (JohnVDenley.com/Media) but it did not make enough income to create a sustainable business on its own.
  • I walked the 500 mile Camino de Santiago in April/May 2016 (JohnVDenley.com/Camino)
  • I got my NLP Practitioner certification in June 2016, with Gemma Bailey at PeopleBuilding.co.uk
  • I have learnt to do the Rubiks cube in a personal record of 77seconds and figured out how to teach others a relatively easy way to do it themselves (JohnVDenley.com/Rubiks)
  • I have been on 2 cruises in the Carribean (TheMastermindCruise.com) and helped to run a huge conference in Orlando (MastermindEvent.com)
  • I have fallen in love 3 times and had those 3 amazing women go on to form very stable and happy relationships (after me) – it’s OK, I LIKE that they are happy, if it was meant to be something with me then it would have been, but I believe the universe is keeping me free for bigger things at the moment!
  • I helped to startup NeptuneRum.com in 2017 (sorry the website is STILL so slow to load)
  • I have been to Manchester for the first time a couple of months ago, loved it, and have been back twice more, I may move there!
  • I got involved and made a fair chunk of money with Bitcoin and bought a Bitcoin rig, which is fun! (JohnVDenley.com/Bitcoin)
  • I finally connected in person with Richard “The Script” Wilkins (TheMinistryOfInspiration.com) and Zoe Meade (you-are-enough.co.uk) who was saved from suicide by learning that the negative voice  (The Script) inside our heads is inside EVERYONE’s heads and it LIES!! Thanks to Ian Banyard (IanBanyard.com) for helping me get there and supporting me with my Natural Mindfulness journey over the last 4 years!!
  • I have also been studying with and connecting with Kyle “Evolving out loud” Cease (KyleCease.com), who is really my hero and who does these amazing 2-day events that I am hoping to emulate in 2018 – watch this space (JohnVDenley.com/work-with-john
  • I have also had huge support from Pippa Hodge, Brad Burton and everyone else in the NowWhatClub.Rocks group 😁
  • Most recently I have been on a coworking retreat in Malaga (TheCoworkingRetreat.com), where I reconnected with Tony Burgess (who I went with on a charity trip to the Gambia in 2012) and met Claire Russell (ClaireRussell.co.uk) who has totally changed my life in so many ways in such a short period of time it is astonishing and the knock-on effects of that connection have been even more astounding.

And ALL of the above have led me to a point where in 2018 I will be:

  • Learning about property investment (with none of my own money) with PPN thanks to connecting to Rob Moore via Samantha Brown which will allow me to move back to Cheltenham, this will also allow me to start looking at how I might be able to help the homeless in the future, which is something I have always wanted to do. I HATE seeing people who are living on the street, in these modern times there should be no need for this!
  • I have also signed up to join The Samaritans (Samaritans.org) as a volunteer, which is an organisation I have used a couple of times myself and to help others. Claire is also a volunteer and she was the one who inspired me to ask more questions and make the move.
  • I am also meeting up with Gloucestershire Fostering with a view to finding out what kind of property I would need to be living in so that I can maybe start to work as a respite or emergency foster carer once I have settled back in Cheltenham again…
  • I will be restarting my regular FindYourFire workshops, I will be working at the Isbourne centre in Cheltenham to provide the workshops, to do some 1-1 work and maybe even some free taster sessions!
  • I am launching a new walking retreat based on my experience of walking the Camino – this is ready to book right now at JohnVDenley.com/WalkingRetreat
  • My book WILL finally get published this year (title still may change, but currently it is “The Art of Uphill Skiing”)
  • I will also be making my FindYourFire workshops available to businesses to help improve the mental fitness of their employees to help them avoid