#Coachthursdays - How to make things happen


I recently had the pleasure of listening to a former BMX world champion known as Mike Mullen. He delivered his ‘Be The Best You Can Be’ talk to a new cohort of year 7s. His inspiring life story is another example of someone who learned how to believe in themselves (click here for last week’s post on how to believe in yourself).

After being asked if his parents supported him, he mentioned his dad has never seen him ride a BMX and his mother probably has seen him only twice. His two brothers laughed at him as he told them what he inspired to become when he was older (a BMX champion), but somehow he still managed to believe in himself and continued with his dream.

Mike Mullen dazzled us as he performed tricks on the BMX and showed how failing is not a bad thing, in fact, we need to get into a pit when we are learning, so we can learn to climb out of it.

He showed how he was able to make things happen when his BMX bike snapped in half, and his mum would not buy him one until Christmas, which was 6 months away. He mentioned how he was sulking continuously, and thinking why did his mum buy him such a weak bike. Days of sulking passed and then he realised nothing was changing. He realised he needs to make something happen, and he decided, he just needs to start asking the right questions. Instead of moaning and asking ‘why?..why?..why?..’ he started to ask ‘how could I get what I need?… how could I fix my problem?..’, he started asking how.

By asking how instead of why his brain quickly became able to form a plan to make things happen. In neuroscience, studies suggest, ‘when you ask a question instead of giving the answer, the entire brain gets active as it reflects, releasing serotonin (allowing it to relax). …As serotonin is released, a rush of energy (or insight) occurs as the brain fires up, moving ahead and discovering the solutions to a problem’.

He decided by doing jobs for all the neighbours, he could buy his new BMX himself. However, people would not listen, and he faced a lot of closed doors; until he realised if he told them why he was doing the jobs, and what the money was being used for, they might be more willing to help, and they were. He went on to not only buy his new BMX but also learned a valuable lesson, that he had the power to make things happen.

Coincidentally, I came across a video, where the speaker believed that perhaps many people stay poor because they have inherited a mindset that they can not make things happen. The video speaker also posed the question, ‘why do schools teach people how to get a job when the purpose of most jobs is to get money. So shouldn’t they teach them more about money, and how to make money, rather than being an employee?’

Everyone will come across a pit, whether it is a pit we were born into, even a mindset inherited from parents, our community, or even society, that tries to tell us what we are capable of achieving or not achieving, I realised as I reflected back at my life and whilst listening to Mike, there are steps to make things happen.

There are also different types of people, some who could have given up, when the bike broke, or when the trick was too hard to do, or after falling and failing many times, or even at the start when his brothers told him to follow their career path, as they believed his dream was silly and funny.

The steps to make things happen are:

1) Enjoy failing. There is a famous quote that states ‘I have not failed I have just found 1000 ways not to do it.

2) Realise there will be a pit and decide before it, and within it, that you will make things happen, you will climb out the pit with or without help.

3) Have a strong desire to make things happen, and don’t retreat from this desire.

4) Plan and think about what you can do, by asking ‘how’ questions to yourself, instead of ‘why’ questions.

5) Be more organised by (
clicking here), learn to not procrastinate by (clicking here), be more disciplined and have more self-control by (clicking here), and finally believe in yourself by (clicking here).

Let us know in the comments, things that you have made happen, and any tips for making things happen!


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A father, a teacher, a poetic life coach who knows to say it, feel it, see it like you already are it, now repeat it, till you are it. Obtaining wealth is a skill that can be taught. Fulfillment, completeness and divine wholeness is a manifestation of your choices. Make the right choice and transform your life, one word at a time.

Jonathan Lilley


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