SUMO: Shut Up and Move On


Paul McGee is an international speaker, author and performance coach. He is also the creator of SUMO (Shut Up and Move On). At the heart of SUMO is a call to action in relation to the following seven Rs.

  • Reflection Get off of auto-pilot; stop and press pause. Life in today’s society is so fast paced we need to remember to stop and think about our direction.
  • Recovery – The pace of change and the tidal wave of distractions can be exhausting. Take time to switch off and recover.
  • Responsibility – Taking personal responsibility (whilst being open to support from others) is a cornerstone in achieving in life. Stop being entitled and solely relying on others, take personal responsibility.
  • Resilience – When the going gets tough the tough get going. How to deal with life’s setbacks and make sure that it spurs you on rather than derails you.
  • Relationships – The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your relationships. Relationships are the bedrock of our lives and there are ways of enhancing them.
  • Resourcefulness – Explore and focus on the range of possibilities and options for moving forwards rather than being sucked into simply obsessing over problems.
  • Reality – Tell it how it is. No bull. Let’s be really practical. Deal with life as it is, not how you would like it to be.

The SUMO Seven

So how are the above seven Rs developed? Through the seven key areas below:

  1. E + R = O (Event + Response = Outcome)

This is classic equation that is used in lots of self-help books, but the principle is genius. Many people however, go through life with an alternative to this equation, and instead perceive E = O (Event = Outcome). In other words, the outcomes in my life are down entirely to the events I’ve experienced.  I have no control. Certain events will trigger certain outcomes. Period. But it is not solely the events you experience that determine the outcome. It is how you respond. Therefore, succeeding in life is not a matter of chance; it’s not down to fate, luck or destiny but instead it is about the choices you make in response to events.

  1. Change Your T-Shirt

Change your T-Shirt means stop wearing the victim T-Shirt and start feeling in control of your own life and decisions. There are many reasons why people tend to want to wear the victim t-shirt including:

  • You feel that you have no other choice
  • You have low self-esteem and poor self-image
  • It becomes habit
  • Some people actually like wearing it

Changing your t-shirt and taking personal responsibility frees you from the trap of blaming, complaining and resenting.

  1. Develop Fruity Thinking

We often fall into faulty thinking which is based on the following false beliefs:

  • Inner critic – I lack value. My only worth comes through my performance and what other people think of me. When I fail to reach a particular standard, I must punish myself.
  • Broken Record – Talking and thinking about something for long enough is an adequate substitute for taking action.
  • Martyr Syndrome – Life is what happens to me. I am not responsible for what happens: fate, luck and other people determine my destiny.
  • Trivial Pursuits – Urgency determines importance. That is how to prioritise. Ignore the big picture.

The antidote to faulty thinking is fruity thinking. It comes when we listen to our inner coach and take a conscious grip of our thoughts. Fruity thinking is based on the following beliefs:

  • I am of worth because of who I am and not because of what I do.
  • I learn from the past but I do not remain rooted in it.
  • I am responsible. I have choices. No else plays as big a role in determining my destiny as I do.
  • I am are of the big picture and focus on what is important. I see things in perspective.
  1. Hippo Time Is OK

Hippo time is a valid place to be for some people before they can shut up and move on. To deny and suppress our hurt and disappointment is unhealthy. However, spending too much time wallowing in hippo time especially with the wrong people will not aid our recovery. Here are three top tips for hippo time.

  • Be careful who you talk to – The phrase ‘a trouble shared is a trouble halved’ is an important principle but be careful who you talk to there are some people out there that can make you feel worse after you have spoken to them.
  • Be careful how many people you talk to – to re-tell is to re-live and that is not always helpful.
  • Be careful how long your hippo time lasts – the longer you spend in hippo time the more difficult it can be to move on.
  1. Remember the Beachball

Our ability to succeed in life is inextricably linked to our ability to deal with people. To know how to best deal with other people we need to start trying to understand them. When we appreciate how and why people view the world differently and respond appropriately to that, we are able to connect and engage with them at a completely new level. Your personality and feelings affect your perspective and the perspectives of others. It is important to recognise when you are only seeing your side of the beachball and understand others have different perspectives.

  1. Learn Latin

‘Carpe diem’

Seize the day! Here are some top tips for taking action and avoiding procrastination.

  • Just start it – Just do something do not worry about completing the task or how much time it will take to finish – just start it.
  • Picture what success looks like and how it feels – Think about the task you need to tackle what do you need to do to succeed and how will this feel when it is done?
  • Do the nasties first – Eat your sprouts and then you can enjoy the rest of your meal.
  • Reward your progress – Focus on progress not perfection and reward yourself accordingly.
  • Make a date with a mate – Have something in the diary to motivate you and keep you to task.
  • Challenge your complacency – It is never too late to take action. Don’t put off something today because it will be still waiting for your tomorrow.
  1. Ditch Doris Day

‘Que sera, sera,

Whatever will be, will be,

The future’s not ours to see…’

Your destiny has not been decided. Neither the moon, the stars nor fate determine it – you do.

Seven Questions to Help you SUMO

If you haven’t twigged yet this concept likes the number seven. Below are seven questions to ask yourself to help you SUMO!

  1. Seeking support from others is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of wisdom.
  2. If you woke up feeling tired and miserable, remember this; You woke up! Now dust yourself down and seize the day!
  3. When you stop learning you stop living. Engage or exist. It’s your call.
  4. Your silence, denial or avoidance gives approval to the situation.
  5. Remember, in order for people to insult you, you first have to value their opinion.
  6. Be careful of the tendency to over-glamourize what you don’t have and under value what you do have.
  7. Remember, you are here to make a difference. Not win a popularity contest.


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