How Bruce Lee Helped Me Get A Spanish Driving Licence

Perhaps this is something we don’t like admitting, but although we may want to get things done as soon as possible, sometimes it will just take longer. And that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.


I’ve just managed to get a Spanish driving licence for a friend. It’s been a process which started a few months ago and as is the case in most places, dealing with bureaucracy can be a challenge and in Spain, perhaps more so. Either way, after several months and visits to various official administrative departments, I collected the document this morning and I’m relieved and happy, even though it perhaps took longer than it needed to.




However, when faced with a potentially unfriendly beast such as government departments with some staff who lean more towards the ‘computer-says-no’ school of customer service, I have found there are are four key elements to get what you are looking for:


1) be prepared, do your homework and make umpteen copies

2) focus on developing a relationship with whoever can help you as opposed to having a go at who is being obstructive. Perhaps I should have known that the grumpy man in the pink trousers was not going to be the most helpful. Having said that, can you ever trust anybody in pink trousers?!

3) take a breath and be patient (this one is important)

4) take another breath and be a little bit more patient (more important than the last)


Bruce Lee talked about ‘being like water’ where the water in a bottle takes the shape of the bottle or whatever container it is in.


In this case, I had to assume the shape of the staff in the Traffic Department and ‘speak their language’. In time, it worked, but in the meantime, being like water and working together with the ‘system’ was ultimately much more productive than if I had fought against it.

This approach may not work in all situations, but I know the next time I will have to deal with Spanish bureaucracy, like Bruce Lee, I will most certainly aim to ‘be like water’…

Baby image courtesy of The Odyssey Online.
Bruce Lee image courtesy of Bloody Elbow.



10 Ways To Get Past Feeling Like An Imposter

Do you think you’re in a job that you don’t ‘deserve’? Have you ever felt like a fraud or an imposter thinking that someone might ‘catch you out ‘one day? You may be surprised to know that lots of other people do too. It’s a much more common feeling than you think. For example, Maya Angelou, Emma Watson, Tina Fey and Natalie Portman have all had this feeling at some point.

In this week’s podcast, you can listen to 10 ways to help you get past this negative feeling to move you forward to a more positive place.

As always, the podcast is like the best pop singles – inspirational and just a few minutes long.

Listen to Episode 7 – Ten Ways To Get Past Feeling Like An Imposter

Happy listening!


Maya Angelou

Perfection Is A Myth But That’s A Good Thing

Nothing is perfect.
Nobody’s perfect.
Nowhere is perfect.
Perfection is a myth.
Imperfection is the reality of our lives.


I’m not cynical. In fact, I’ve often been called too idealistic, however although perfection may not exist, that needn’t stop us doing what we want to do to achieve the lives we want to live.


I often hear people saying that they are waiting for the right moment to do the things that they have always wanted to do such as travel the world, publish their book or even talk to that person in the office they quite like, but the reality is that in most cases that seemingly perfect moment will never come to pass. For example, how will you know when your first novel is ready? When is it ever the perfect time to chat somebody up?


What’s more important?


– Waiting for the right moment when everything is perfectly in place to do something and that never happening and as a result you never get to do the thing that you want to do?




– Taking that first step today in the knowledge that although it may (and will probably) not be perfect, you will at least be on your way to getting to where you want to be. And who knows, things might even get better over time while we’re aiming for ‘perfection’ and doing the thing that we want to do on the way?


I think reflection and contemplation can be a powerful thing to do, but sometimes you just have to get on and do something today or nothing will happen tomorrow.


“Imperfect progress today or perfect progress tomorrow?”

How To Be Who You Are

Being who you really are can be challenging. Maybe your opinion differs to the ‘group’ or you don’t feel confident enough to say what you think even though you are sure you’re right. Perhaps you’ve spent years being somebody else and you’re not sure who you really are anymore. Whatever it may be for you, rest assured, you are not alone.

Some people seem to be their real self all the time and maybe that’s true for them, however others are just better at hiding who they really are behind a seemingly well-engineered facade. Some people need to ‘perform’ because that’s how they function socially as it takes a lot of emotional energy to be the life and soul of the party and sometimes that’s why some use stimulants to help them be who they think they want to be. Or who they think that others want them to be through the distorted filters with which they see the world.

Ever been in a social situation where you feel you have to ‘perform’ and be somebody else? It can be tiring, can’t it? And ultimately, it could be argued that if you can’t be yourself in that kind of situation, then what’s the point? How many more times can you put up with being in that position?

What’s stopping you taking yourself out of that situation away from people with whom you can’t be yourself so you can then spend time being who you really are? And with people who really care about you and only want you to be who you are because that’s why they love you.

Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself (Miles Davis)

It’s not easy and it may take time, but it’s got to be worth it in the end, hasn’t it?

11 Ways To Be More Confident

As a coach and someone in their 40s, I’ve picked up a few tips and ideas on the way which have helped me and my clients become more confident in what we do in our lives. Clearly, this list is completely subjective and based on my own experience, but maybe they’ll be of use to you too. I hope so…
  • Look for the benefit in every situation. Reframe negative situations into positive
  • Give yourself permission to see the best in yourself
  • Visualise a confident you
  • Do something now to take you forward. However small

One Step

  • If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got
  • Write a list of top 5 qualities that you and other people see in you. Carry these around with you to remind yourself of what makes you special
  • Act as if – carry yourself as if you are the person you want to be
  • Language is powerful. Use it well. Be positive

Yellow Blue Ball

  • Spend time with positive people
  • Start a ‘feel good file’ where you record your successes at the end of the day. Refer back to it when you are in need of a confidence ‘pick-me-up’
  • Confidence is one of the most highly attractive qualities you can have (if anybody’s interested in that sort of thing?!)

Being Away From The Noise In Granada


There are many different reasons why we may want to get away from the noise of our daily lives and there are countless ways to help you do so. This blog is my way of doing that. I live in Granada in the south of Spain, write songs on my slightly battered acoustic guitar and laptop, teach English, coach people to be more confident and positive in their lives and write this blog.

My name is Jason and although I only started this blog in October 2014, it has already become an essential ritual to post and connect with readers and other bloggers. I have enjoyed writing it, getting positive and ‘constructive’ feedback from people and generally interacting with lots of interesting people online. I’ve also enrolled on an online blogging course as you can always learn something new, can’t you?

So with this in mind and although I have already done and enjoyed doing this course (in November 2014), I’m once more committing to writing a new post every day for the next 30 days in line with the WordPress Blogging101 series as I found it quite an inspiring challenge last time and hope it will be again this time.

After living in London for 17 years, Mrs AwayFromTheNoise and I moved to Granada in the south of Spain in January 2014 and so we have now been here for 18 months which have flown by. It had been a goal of ours to live somewhere warm, beautiful and interesting for a long time, so it’s been lovely having made that happen.

But perhaps the question for you here is ‘why should you read this blog’?

On this blog, I enjoy writing about whatever inspires me, usually based on things I read, see or hear while out and about, which I’ve realized is pretty much the same process I have for songwriting. Subjects have included music, travel, minimalism, food, coffee, life as a foreigner in the south of Spain and generally escaping to a place of of tranquility because it’s a beautiful place to be – all of which I hope give people food for thought. So If you like the sound of that and you’re looking for a little inspiration or insight into life in general, then this could be the blog for you…

I have four primary objectives for this blog by 30 June 2015 :

– publish a post every day (except maybe at the weekends when the sun is shining…)

– interact online with lots of new people

– have a total of 400 subscribers to the mailing list

– enjoy the process…

I hope this blog helps you to get you away from the noise.

Thanks for popping by…



Too Scared To Publish?

If you read the previous post to this Endless Blue Angel Mondays you may be wondering why I posted a short story as opposed to something about ‘inspiring positive simplicity’. Well, to be honest, I was trying to challenge myself to do something different in line with another previous post Another Day To Do Something Different.

Although I’ve started a few short stories in my time, this is the only one I’ve actually completed and even then, this one was actually written in 1994, seemingly millenia before blogs and the internet. I wrote it as a student doing my year abroad in Siena, Italy soon after one of my close friends died suddenly. I based one of the lead characters in the story on him.

So, the story has been with me for more than 20 years and I even got a nice letter from a publisher at the time offering to publish a book of my short stories, but I only had the one at the time and never thought I could come up with any more. I moved away from short stories to blogging and writing songs and have since written and recorded hundreds of songs, played a few gigs and released 3 albums, all of which I’m very proud – if you fancy listening to my music, visit Blue Angel, Blame Jack and Calmer.

My point here is that posting my short story in 2015 may have been a long time coming, however I did it in my own time, when it was right for me because in truth, I was too scared about the reaction to post it before. Although I have no qualms whatsoever about releasing music I have created because I’m more focused on what I want to put out as opposed to being concerned with any reaction, that never happened with short stories as at that time as a 25 year old student, I didn’t have the confidence.

Fortunately, it looks like that ship has now sailed. It’s a good day. Doing something different can be scary at times, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.