Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

This exact question was asked as I finished a speech recently on depression and anxiety.
I had told the audience about how widespread depression is. That every day, six Australians take their own lives.
The Lucky Country question disturbed me as I didn’t really have an answer. I mean, if your life is threatened you will fight tooth and nail to survive. So, when our standard of living is so high and our safety assured, why do we feel empty?

The answer lies in a fascinating scientific study conducted in 1999 by Simons and Chabris. They found that when we focus on a given task we selectively delete other factors even when they are right in front of our face. To watch this, called the gorilla experiment, click here: https://youtu.be/vJG698U2Mvo

But here comes the crunch. When we are focused on the things that make us comfortable, it is often at the expense of the things that will provide us with the most reward.
Our mission, or purpose in life, is invisible when we are comfortable.

Our job now is not to make ourselves uncomfortable to achieve something.
It is to clarify what matters most.

woman sitting on mountain

Photo by Lukas Hartmann on Pexels.com

Advertisements

1A46F4E2-C086-4120-9DBD-A81BAEE48220Wrote in my journal today that the days seem to be passing quicker. At 56 years of age and with my mother recently dying and my father fighting Alzheimers and cancer, the brevity of life seems all too real. The only choice, it seems, is to relax and watch each moment pass. This seems to bring about a sense of calmness and acceptance.
The busier life is, the more important this becomes.
Similar to being in the ocean, the more you struggle the harder it is to stay afloat and enjoy the swim.

Work, relationships, life direction.
I think the decisions we make today have a profound effect on our future. Small actions I make regularly don’t mean much in the short term but over the years people tend to comment “you are so lucky”.Sean Allen
Not luck at all. Just patience I think.

Some notes to reflect on:

I cried most nights for about a year.
There were times that I had to wait 5 or 6 days for a counselling appointment and struggled in the meantime.
Trying to work whilst dealing with the trauma of a broken marriage was incredibly hard.
Some nights after I finished work I would say goodbye to the staff, lock the outside door then go into my office and crawl under the desk and lie in the foetal position
I tried to self medicate but it didn’t work.

BUT:

My mum gave me the advice “one day at a time“ and that was exactly how I got through it.
I conducted myself in a way that made me proud in later years.
When my kids grew up they realised I was traumatised by the situation and now respect me for the way I handled myself. I have become a role model for my son.
I make much better decisions now.
My life and current level of happiness is much better than it was prior to the trauma.

——————————–

Plunge on my friend.

pexels-photo-850504.jpeg

The saviour of common sense.

A ritual. A daily routine. Regular tasks that set you up for success and a positive mindset.

Mine involves simple tasks that make me feel good about the start to my day. Here they are: (more…)

My talk today…

Posted: April 7, 2018 in Uncategorized

Today I speak again on behalf of BeyondBlue. One of my messages is to look at your lifestyle and constantly ensure you are on track and moving in the direction of your values and beliefs.
Life is not suffering. And it’s not all happiness. It’s a mixture. Remembering that allows you to stay calm when in a storm.
You may find you are surrounded by certain conditions but that doesn’t mean you have to stay there.
Sean Allen.IMG_E1851

My 6 World Vision kids keep me grounded.
They make me realise I am useful.
Each letter I open shows me I am valuable.
Each picture reminds me I make a difference.
I also advertise the difference I am making by telling my clients that they are making a difference every time they pay me.
Here is the last letter:
———————————————————
This is Amily Sun. She is one of six World Vision kids that we have in our martial arts school.
Firstly, please tell your kids that your family helps pay for her education and some medical supplies. Just by mentioning this and showing the photo, it will plant a seed that ensures everyone helps everyone else. It also reminds kids how lucky they are to live in the best corner of the best state of the best country in the world.
Now, I post this for a few reasons.
Mainly, I believe in altruism and want to show the young members of MRMA that that is what our duty is. I chose World Vision because we can put a face to our contribution. It hits home for us.
I could have chosen an organisation where more of the money goes direct to the person that needs it. (82% of World Vision fees go direct to the person in need.)
But everyone knows World Vision and the reporting process. Photos that are sent and personal notes mean there is a connection made. Your money doesn’t just seem to disappear into a black hole every month.
My second reason is a personal one.
I read a book about The Killing Fields. The author is the same age as me. When he was 15, Cambodia was embroiled in a war where huge numbers of people were slaughtered. The author’s teenage years were spent witnessing bloodshed that is the stuff of nightmares.
As I read the book, I realised that at the same time, I was in Years 10, 11 and 12.
At that age, my main focus was on doing the minimum amount of schoolwork, surfing, and the opposite sex. This realisation and subsequent embarrassment moved me to do something for those less fortunate. Maybe 40 years too late but I was unconsciously incompetent at the time.
I have told this story many times to the kids in the martial arts school in the hope that, by example, they will realise that it is their civic duty to do what they can.
I implore you to show your child the picture and explain how we are helping her.
Sean Allen
———————————————————
So, that’s it.
Simple acts repeated add up.
Read that again. It works in all areas of life. Positive or negative.
22281871_10155061986988511_2384367153685053718_n

What Is Art?

Posted: January 11, 2017 in Meryl Streep, Uncategorized
Tags: ,

I recently heard some advice that was so eloquently spoken that I felt it would be wasted not to share it.

Although the speaker – Meryl Streep – has come under fire as a result of her speech, we need to look at the part that resonates with what we do and the effect we have on the community, not to dismiss the entire content because one part offends us.

For me, here is the pertinent part of her comment:

“This incident … to humiliate, when it is modelled by someone in the public platform by someone powerful, it filters down into everyone’s life because it gives permission for other people to do the same thing.
Disrespect invites disrespect.
Violence insights violence.
When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose”

Now, I am a teacher and a martial arts instructor. Whether I like it or not – I am a community leader. Our youth look up to role models. They copy them, they emulate them … they believe them. It’s a duty to take that responsibility seriously.
As mentioned above, when we say something in public (in my classes) it filters down into everyones life because it gives people permission to do the same thing. Now that’s quite a responsibility.
If you don’t have the ability to speak in public, to articulate your thoughts clearly, then you run the chance of having your teaching misused. And that is something no one wants.
To not use our skills for the greater good is a missed opportunity of the highest order.

Skills and knowledge. We can never have too much.

Here is the video – go to the 4 minute mark.

Oh, one final thing. Any action can be raised to an artform – where execution of the movement looks effortless. Take Kelly Slater of surfing fame. 11 times World Champion. I sat at a competition once and watched him receive a perfect ten from one wave.

THAT was surfing raised to an artform.

The question NOW is – what is it that you do that can be raised to an art form?

IMG_3405Pororoca Part 1
The world’s longest wave first made an impact on me in the form of a large screen in an Australian pub. Looking for a break from my struggle with depression and life problems I was standing in a bar surrounded by people 20 years younger than me. On a large screen was an aerial view of a surfer riding on a wave.
No eyebrows raised there.
Then the shot panned back and on either side of the wave were rolling green fields. The wave, with the surfer on it, kept going… and going… and going.
I stood, transfixed at the natural phenomena that I was seeing. You see as a surfer this is a dream come true. A wave that doesn’t stop. The discussion with the person next to me informed me that it was somewhere in South America. He had seen a documentary on the National Geographic Channel. His interest turned to matters of the other sex but I was transfixed. Somewhere deep inside of me I made a decision that would change the direction of my life for ever. One that would take me to the other side of the world and into one of the most remote places on the earth. An area where time stands still.
The longest wave in the world takes some time to get your head around. It rolls down the Amazon River only twice a year: once in March, and once in September. It is the result of the tidal flow of the largest river in the world when it meets the incoming tide of the ocean. Combined with a full moon, the moving bodies of water clash and form a tidal bore wave. Scientists call it a “hydraulic jump”. At this point, I had no idea it would help to put my problems into perspective.

Pororoca Part 2 Tomorrow.

World Suicide Prevention Day today.

Posted: September 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

Some of you may know I am a speaker for Beyond Blue.
I registered as a speaker after a friend of mine died by suicide two years ago. I knew he was struggling with depression. I had talked to him about it. I had encouraged him to get help – which he did. He went on medication and changed his lifestyle. I thought he was in the clear even though he spoke of his continuing struggles.
I thought of calling him in the weeks before his suicide.
I got busy and life just got in the way.
It was just a phone call but I put it off.

These days you can plug your hands-free ear piece in and call when you are driving. Just to say Hi. That’s all it takes.

Who knows. It might just be the difference that is needed to get through one more day. And life hits us one day at a time.

IMG_8075

I think of him often. Usually at sunrise or sunset. Seems appropriate as heaven is within reach on these days.