Kenny Tutt - Masterchef 2018 Champion

Picture courtesy of the BBC Masterchef website

 

Now I will be the first to admit that my cooking skills are almost non-existent. Despite my advancing years, cooking has never been high up on my priorities – eating, yes, but cooking not so much. Which is why it amazes me sometimes that I love watching shows like Masterchef. This latest series that culminated with the final last Friday was great – and the final itself certainly lived up to it’s billing.

Masterchef takes amateur chefs and pits their skills against each other through a series of weeks, with the best going through and the not so good being told their time is up by judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace. Over the weeks they get to cook for top chefs, food critics, past contestants, and also get to work in top restaurants. It’s here where they learn lots of skills from their heroes, despite the pressure of working in a top kitchen.

It’s a very popular show, and this year proved no exception. As we went into the final week, there were two women – Moonira and Alex – and three men – Kenny, David and Nawamin – left in the competition. First Moonira fell by the wayside, and then Alex failed to make the final three.

As the series progressed, David appeared to be the front runner. An airline pilot, he showed great technical ability, and seemed to ooze confidence. However young Nawamin, an Oxford graduate who is a doctor researching new medicines, showed his Thai upbringing with some weird and wonderful ideas of flavours and presentation. As teh weeks passed by he seemed to go from strength to strength.

The third finalist, Kenny Tutt, a bank manager from Brighton, seemed to be way behind, although getting stronger. But everyone I spoke to thought it was between David and Nawamin. And we were all proved wrong! So how did Kenny go on to win and lift the title of Masterchef 2018?

His menu consisted of a  roast scallop and smoked cauliflower starter, squab pigeon breast and bon-bon main, and bitter chocolate and ale ice-cream dessert. Sounds nice, but then so did the other contestants menu’s. But what Kenny did, that the others failed to do, was to cook his best meal on the day of the final. Sounds simple, right?

David had said in his interview that the judges had seen all his technical ability already, and that they just wanted good food. True – but he made a couple of errors in cooking, and as such let himself down. Nawamin went the other way, and created the most amazingly over the top menu, which was let down by things not quite going to plan. But Kenny saved his best cooking till last, and deservedly was crowned champion.

During previous shows, Kenny had shown quite a lot of stress whilst cooking. He was constantly running around, and always seemed to be behind schedule. But on the day of the final he seemed relaxed, and he said he was just there to enjoy his cooking. It was the last chance to cook in the Masterchef kitchen, so he was going to enjoy it.

I’m not sure how much time they get between rounds, but obviously Kenny had done his homework. Preparation is key to achieving any great task – and with a meticulous list of instructions, you know that he had been cooking this meal many times, tweaking the ingredients and timings to get the best tastes. This continuous practice, so that when it comes to your “final” your performance is automatic, is key in achieving whatever you want to in that sort of scenario.

So for youngsters sitting their exams soon, plenty of revision and writing test essays will mean they can cope under exam conditions. If you are looking to get a new job, asking a friend to sit and pretend to interview you, coming up with different questions that you may be asked, will train you to be able to answer them easily. Sportsmen and women train for hours each and every day before they get to perform their chosen sport. In the case of 100 metre runners, all those hours boil down to 10 seconds of action! In order to be at your peak for your performance, you need to be able to practice until that performance is ingrained.

Kenny Tutt proved that hard work and dedication, along with a belief in yourself, can mean you accomplish your dreams. So why can’t you? If there is something that you truly want to achieve, then follow his example and set yourself on the road to success with dedication and perseverance. And don’t forget to peak at the right time!

 

 

 

Have you been struggling for years to achieve your dreams of success? You have life goals, things you have dreamed of doing for so many years. Yet you have managed to not get anywhere near those goals, and it has left you feeling frustrated. Does that sound like you?

It may be that you’re not using your mind to overcome the challenges and roadblocks you face. When you develop a positive mindset, you can be empowered to manifest your dreams. What, I hear you ask? Is that really possible? With the right mindset and focus, yes, you can achieve the things that you have always dreamed about.

Setbacks and failures are simply lessons that you learn on the way to success, but some people think of them as abject failures and stop trying. That is just negative thinking, and one that you should aim to stop as soon as possible.Continue reading

Cast your mind back to your schooldays, and those hours after school. If you were anything like me, homework was the last thing that you wanted. I remember putting it off every night until after I had played with a friend, then having dinner, watching a bit of TV… and then eventually setting to the task.

If only I could have had the benefit of hindsight, I would do it all differently now. Thank goodness my girls don’t take after me.

But this is just one example of how we put off tackling tasks that we should be doing – and I am sure you can think of lots of ways it creeps in to everyday life still. I know I can – and some I am too ashamed to admit on here!

We can come up with all sorts of excuses too. I mean, aren’t we all tired from doing our job – we don’t seem to have the energy to tackle other stuff on top too.

Feeling “sluggish,” burned out from work, or from everyday life is a common experience for most people. But, the good news is there are also plenty of solutions to get you out of that ‘rut’ – and back on your feet in no time!

Depending on the circumstances, feeling a lack of motivation, or just simply not wanting to do something may very well be related to your overall physical or mental health. In other instances, it may just simply involve doing something that perhaps your mind and body are just not ready to do.

Follow any of these 5 simple steps for motivating yourself the next time you are having struggles.

1. For many people, trying something new can make all the difference in how you feel, or how motivated you are later on in the day. Just remember, don’t quit after only trying one thing if it doesn’t work out – keep pushing yourself to learn more about what makes you happy and go with it!

So if there’s something you have always wanted to do, whether it be studying, learning a new language, a new fitness routine, or anything that has been a desire of yours for far too long, bring that to fruition. And the best time to do it is early in the morning, when you have peace and can actually spend time doing something for yourself before the everyday issues rear their heads.

Try this for 30 days and see how much you have managed to learn, master or just enjoy, and how it makes you feel to finally do something for yourself.

2. Going outside to take a walk in the morning, even if only for a few minutes, thanks to fresh air, being able to see or interact with others, and simply take in the scenery can help motivate you to do other tasks you just simply don’t feel like doing.

Now that spring is just around the corner the sights and smells of an early morning walk are amazing. But even if you can’t incorporate an early morning walk, can you somehow work one into your morning routine? Perhaps getting off the bus to work a couple of stops earlier? Maybe parking a bit further away from the office?

I love that I have a walk in the mornings. I get to see other people regularly, on nodding terms, although I do like to vary my route now and then. If you add a few extra minutes into your routine a walk in the morning can do wonders for your spirit. And you will be ready to tackle all those annoying tasks that you couldn’t face before.

3. Try making a “to-do list” of your daily goals or obligations. Even better, consider investing in a budget-friendly white-board to pin up on your home office or bedroom that you can use to precisely map out what it is you’re looking to accomplish, and how!

Listing out these items makes them seem not so hard to tackle. You will get a great feeling crossing them off too – that sense of achievement will spur you on to tackle more and before you know it those tasks will be a distant memory. Compare that feeling to sitting on the sofa beating yourself up mentally because you know you should be doing something but can’t be bothered.

Release yourself from that mental anguish!

4. Get more sleep – and I can’t emphasize this enough! Getting the proper, scientifically proven and recommended 7-10 hours of sleep each night can make a dramatic difference in how motivated you feel the next day – or how much energy you have. I have started to get to bed earlier, because I know I achieve so much more in the mornings, yet I still need to get my restorative sleep.

Also, how comfortable is your mattress? Is it time to possibly invest in a new one? I do find those adverts suggesting you need to replace your mattress every 8 years annoying, but they do have a point. Are you waking often in the night? Maybe your mattress is uncomfortable and actually causing you a bit of sleep deprivation?

As an extra tip, consider shutting off all electronic devices and lights at least 45 minutes before you intend to fall asleep. Make sure you don’t even bring your phone into the bedroom – those annoying notifications will just be an annoyance and distraction.

If you have children that are out or elderly parents then you will probably want the security of them being able to call you in case of an emergency. But you must train them that they can call you in the night, but only in an emergency. That way you won’t be distracted by that annoying blue light all night, and the buzzing as someone tags you in on a Facebook post or the latest email coming in.

5. Playing energizing music, listening to motivational videos, or even tips by personal trainers and life experts can also be very useful in gathering the necessary energy and motivation to be successful with today’s, and tomorrow’s tasks.

I am quite new to this one, but it has made a great difference to my motivation. I tend to spend 10-15 minutes in the bath each morning listening to a motivational talk to set me up for the day. That time, just me on my own, and putting messages positivity into my brain, sets me up to tackle lots of things throughout the day.

I recommend daily MOTIVATION on Youtube but you just have to type motivation into the search bar to come up with a whole host of possibilities. Maybe you will find that a podcast works better for you.

Most importantly, try to focus on what you do have in life, or even write them down if you want! This should help motivate you, and remind you of the good things you have– as well as what it took to get there. Being grateful for what you have will remind you that in the past you have achieved things, and this will help spur you on to tackle other things when you really don’t feel like it.

Let me know how you get on in the comments as I love to hear about your successes.

Meditation for motivation

To the outsider, meditation can look a bit kumbaya, a bit wishy washy. But in fact daily meditation can be a great way to get your life on track and rid yourself of the stress of everyday life whilst also motivating you to stick to your life goals.

Many people have tried meditation during their life time, some with more success than others. Mastering the art of meditation can take a while, so if you’re struggling to see results straight away, don’t give up. There are many ways that regular meditation can help you to stay focused and motivated during the course of the week, which can improve your performance in the work place and also help you to feel better within yourself too. Here are several ways meditation will help your motivation.

1. It will reduce stress

With less stress, it’s a lot easier to stay motivated. When you’re feeling stressed out, even the smallest of things can start to get you down, and you might feel like you just can’t keep going any longer. Being less stressed will help you to concentrate better at work as well as perform more effectively while keeping your spirits up.

2. It can help you relax more

When you’re not worrying about everything, you can relax more and motivate yourself to keep going and complete the necessary tasks. When you’re stressing out, all you want to do is go to bed and forget about all your problems or have somebody else take care of them! Relaxation is heavily promoted and encouraged through daily meditation, so taking part in it regularly can ease your anxieties.

3. It gives you a routine

With a good routine, it’s much easier to concentrate on the things you need to do, and you’ll be able to motivate yourself more easily too. When you’re in a routine, you can clearly see what you’re doing and what needs to be done. If you struggle to establish a routine in your life, getting into the habit of meditating can help you to achieve this. You’ll be able to spend quality time thinking about what you need to do and how you can build a routine, while also relaxing and meditating on other things.

4. It can improve concentration

There have been many studies into whether or not meditation can actually help to improve our concentration, and the general consensus is that it actually can. Just a few minutes per day of meditation trains your body and mind to stop and concentrate on what you’re doing in a very focused manner. You can then apply this to different aspects of your life, especially if you’re studying or working in a job which requires a lot of concentration.

If you find your mind is whirring every day, and you find that you are struggling to achieve what you know you are capable of, then why not give daily meditation a go? Build it into your routine every day for for a month, and then see how much it has helped you. I am sure that you will find that your productivity and motivation has increased whilst your stress levels have decreased.

taking massive action towards goal achievementHappy New Year to you all.

Thank you for sticking by me, and reading this post today. I drifted off towards the end of last year, found myself spread too thinly, and achieving very little. So this year I need to be better – I owe it to you. And I want you to hold me accountable if you see me not giving you what you deserve – if you come here to read my posts, they should be more regular, right? So feel free to give me a kick up the backside!

Of course, that means setting goals. But as I stated last year, I’m not a big fan of setting New Year’s Resolutions – we should not expect that just because the bell chimes midnight and the year ticks over, we can suddenly put to right all the things that we don’t like in our lives. That is just a ludicrous way of thinking.Continue reading