The Great Bloke Project Blueprint
The Cambridge Dictionary defines a Blueprint as:-
“An early plan or design that explains how something might be achieved”.
All projects need a plan!
The Great Bloke Project is predicated on the fact that we all have the ability to take control of our lives. We can design the future we want for ourselves and we can work to improve ourselves each and every day!
The 12 components of the Blueprint are actions, practices or ways of being that have many of the world’s most successful blokes implement daily. These are the things that I have learned work for others and as I have implemented them myself, they have had a significant impact on my life too
I invite you to give them a go!
My Free 12 Week Challenge Series will help you to put these 12 components into practice with guidance, resources, and support!
The Great Bloke Project Podcast highlight blokes that are doing these things in their own unique way.
1. Practice Self-Awareness
How well do you know yourself?
The practice of self-awareness is one of the greatest skills in life because it enables us to learn about ourselves in a way no one else can ever teach us. Self-awareness teaches us to manage ourselves and how to productively engage with other people.
Self-awareness causes us to stop ignoring our feelings, fears, and emotions and forces us to start exploring them.
Learning the art of self-awareness is the most crucial component of "The Project Blueprint". Understanding who we are at a deeper level is the foundation to navigating our path through life.
Amongst many other things, self-awareness allows us to consider how our emotions and fears drive your decision making? Self-awareness also helps us establish our values and discover our strengths
Try these 3 ways to get started?
1. Start a daily writing habit.
Getting into a daily habit of journalling is a powerful way to practice self-awareness. See my guide to journaling here!
2. Be aware of your strongest reactions
Probably the simplest self-awareness exercise to try is monitoring your strongest reactions. This exercise gets you to connect with your inner voice and your gut feelings.
You want to become aware of your “snap reactions” or when you react without even thinking about it. Get into a habit of asking yourself if these reactions are productive or unproductive in terms of the goals you want to accomplish.
3. Take an online strengths test
You may have a good idea of what your strengths are but why not use an online tool like this or like this for confirmation (you may be surprised). Understanding your strengths and consciously using them on a daily basis is a great way to start living more purposefully.
2. Tell Your Real Story
Don't be afraid to tell your own story...
It’s a simple action, but it takes a lot of courage to be your most authentic self. Your story is powerful, even if you don't think it is!
Telling your story is one of the most important life skills because practicing it helps you finally commit to your true self
Who are you? What life experiences have made you who you are? What unique perspective do you bring to the world?
Telling your real story requires vulnerability but with it comes great freedom and authenticity.
3. Reframe Your Mindset
One of the biggest factors preventing us from chasing our true passions is being overly concerned by what others think of us and how they see us.
This trap has somehow become an integral part of the way we live out lives (or don't live them).
Often we confine ourselves to the 'boundaries' set for us by our family and friends, society or culture. We believe there certain 'rules' that we need to adhere to.
These can stop us from voicing different views and opinions, standing out from the crowd and taking a risk. Isn't it time you paid less attention to what others think, stop seeking permission and start living the life you've always wanted to?
It's time to reframe your mindset and begin to question the status quo!
What limits are you placing on yourself? Reframing your mindset takes time and effort and it's really hard work. Are you up for it?
4. Be Kind to Self and Others
Most of us are very good at being kind and understanding toward others, especially loved ones, but not toward ourselves.
All harsh self-criticism does is make us feel depressed, insecure, and afraid to take on new challenges. When our inner voice continually criticises and berates us for not being good enough, we often end up in negative cycles of self-sabotage. It is an incredibly self-focused stated of mind.
This is the reason why I use daily affirmations as a way to rewire my brain and to undo some of the bad habits I have got into with negative self-talk.
Science shows higher levels of self-kindness care associated with:
- Greater perspective taking
- Greater forgiveness
- Greater feelings of social connectedness (in adolescents)
- More compassion for humanity
- More empathetic concern
- More altruism
So it is true! To be kind to others you first must be kind to yourself. Be a critical friend! We must challenge ourselves to be better but we must do it with the same compassion as we'd give a best friend.
Have a look at how I include daily affirmations in my journal.
5. Be a Lifelong Learner
In order to journey through a life of constant self-improvement, you must see yourself as a learner. When you are constantly learning, you are constantly engaging with your purpose, connecting with like-minded people and increasing your personal value.
You must be willing to expand your mind. Rid yourself of assumptions and convictions so that you can be open and receptive to new information. What are you learning about at the moment?
Having a weekly learning goal is a great way to ensure you are striving and growing.
Maybe you have a skill or a hobby that you are good at but you need learning goals to try and achieve mastery. Or maybe you have a desire to learn something new.
6. Build Community
Jim Rohn famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Do the blokes in your life energise and encourage you? Do you have like minded people in your life that you can connect with on all levels?
It’s important to seek out people who can provide you with positive support, constructive feedback and the belief that the change you want to make is possible.
For me, The Great Bloke Project is all about community building.
I'd love you to join The Great Bloke Project Facebook Community for inspiration and encouragement on becoming your best self.
7. Embrace Discomfort
Physical, mental, spiritual and financial growth is achieved by embracing discomfort. It's too easy to forget the reward we feel in tackling something difficult or how exhilarating it is to succeed in the face of discomfort.
Launching this project has been extremely uncomfortable for me... I am an introvert and putting myself out there is extremely uncomfortable.
What are your dreams and goals for yourself? We never take “action” because it’s uncomfortable. It’s hard. We don’t like failing.
We all “think” about the big changes we want to make in our life. Some of us even take the next step of “talking” about it. But that’s where most of us stop.
Start by taking consistent, imperfect actions. It’s better than taking no action at all.
Moving toward discomfort, not away from it is a sure sign you're probably heading in the right direction.
8. Find Simplicity
Find Simplicity In A Culture of Consumption!
What is cluttering your life? Is it:-
- time commitments?
- passive screen time?
Too many men today are bogged down and held back by clutter. Clutter can be defined by the things, the choices and the unnecessary commitments that rob us of opportunity and freedom
Josh Becker says, "Simplicity brings balance, freedom, and joy. When we begin to live simply and experience these benefits, we begin to ask the next question, “Where else in my life can i remove distraction and simply focus on the essential?”
Finding simplicity isn't easy in our busy world but is it possible. I'd love to help explain how I've found it.
9. Be Intentional
Having meaningful goals to aim toward is important but nothing will change your future trajectory like habits.
We all have goals, big or small, things we want to achieve within a certain time frame. When we begin to chase an intangible or vague concept (success, wealth, health, happiness), making a tangible goal is often the first step.
Habits are processes operating in the background that power our lives. Good habits help us reach our goals. Bad ones hinder us. Either way, habits powerfully influence our automatic behaviour.
Being mindful of our habits and crafting new habits that align with our goals in crucial.
10. Create Stuff!
Every human has the innate desire to create: we all want to add value to the world. Hence, we are all creators of some sort. Are you flexing your creative muscle?
Creativity, in general, is closely linked with positive emotion and well-being. Researchers have found that people report being happy and energized when they are engaged in everyday creative endeavours, and that being in a positive mood goes hand in hand with creative thinking.
In 2018 I set myself a goal to consume less and create more. The Great Bloke Project is something I have created as a result of this goal. This is a passion project, a legacy, a resource, a journal... something I can call my own.
What are you creating?
We all know that exercise is good for us physically. Increased muscle and bone density, as well as weight loss, are all well-documented benefits of exercise. Did you know that exercise has an incredible impact on your mental health?
Brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF) is a protein released during aerobic exercise which acts like neuron fertilizer. BDNF promotes neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons) as well as increased functional connectivity between brain regions via neuroplasticity.
Renowned neuroscientist, Professor Matthew Walker has been spreading a powerful but simple message... The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life. Every major disease that is killing us in the developed world is linked to insufficient sleep, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular problems, stroke, obesity and diabetes. A lack of sleep has also been linked to psychiatric conditions, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and even most recently, suicide.
Productivity, mood, perspective, and creativity are all linked to sleep!
The real power of sleep cannot be underestimated. Reassess the value I place upon sleep.
Try the 12 Week Challenge Series today!