Monday, 24 December 2007

Happy Holidays

This time of year is a time of reflection. It’s a good time to review what’s been happening in our lives over the last twelve months and to notice with gratitude all the things we have and normally take for granted.

It’s been so great to hear from friends and relatives, business associates, business networks, coaches, mastermind groups and other support networks, via email, ecards, instant messaging, newsletters, ezines, social networking sites and so on, over the last few days and weeks. The world is so small now with the modern technology available to us, and it moves so fast…

The holiday is nearly upon us. The children are so excited, and many of the adults too! Whatever and however you celebrate this time of year, it seems you can not fail to be swept up in the excitement of it all, and yet, there are so many people who dread this festive season. People who have no home, people who have no food, people who have lost loved ones this year, people who have loved ones working away from home, people who are sick and people who are simply afraid.

I am reminded of practising the “attitude of gratitude” (see previous article on my blog) and in particular being grateful for having the ability to create happiness for those who are important to us, just by being in touch with them. We should also be aware and thankful I feel, to all those people who spend their time during this festive season, volunteering or working, providing help where they can to those in need at this time.

So, as we embark on another holiday season and into yet another “best year yet” as we might be hoping for, take a moment to be thankful for what you do have, and be grateful to those who give so selflessly at this time to others.

I want to thank you all for the part you have played in my life this year, whether it be as a friend or family member, a client or supplier, a coach or mentor, a teacher or student, a business competitor or associate, an enquirer or subscriber, a role model or masterminder. It has been another year of learning, of fun, discovery and expanded boundaries. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting lots of wonderful and truly inspiring people from all over the world again, as well as catching up with old friends from time to time. Combined with having such a supportive family, what else could one ask for…thank you.

I wish you, and all those important in your life, a very Happy Holiday and a Peaceful and Prosperous New Year.

With warmth and appreciation,


Thursday, 6 December 2007

The power of a Driving Question

At a recent training event we were asked “what’s your driving question?” This took a significant amount of soul searching and once I got it I realised it wasn’t driving at all and needed changing if I wanted to achieve everything I’ve set out to do. Changing it is a relatively simple process and it can be fully integrated at an unconscious level using NLP.

It all started after I had got even more clarity on my vision and mission and understanding my true purpose.

My purpose is “to be inspired and be inspiring”.

So, my vision is to “contribute massively to the eradication of poverty and child abuse across the planet through education and business activities” and I make no apology for the fact that this is similar to one of my teachers who inspired me in the first place with his own vision “to eradicate poverty through education and entrepreneurial means”.

My mission is to achieve this vision “by teaching, coaching and mentoring people wherever I can, using a variety of educational resources and processes including finding and developing new and innovative accelerated learning tools through research”.

So what about the driving question?

Well, it used to be a number of different questions along the lines of “how did I create that”, “what am I missing” and “why can’t get I beyond this” but ultimately it was simply “what am I doing wrong?” This, of course, did not drive me at all, it simply had me look for the feedback so that I could correct it.

Now, it is absolutely right that we should look for the feedback in all situations and then use that information to improve what we do, in the spirit of “constant and never ending improvement”, however this question as a driving question was not serving me. In fact, it had the opposite effect because I was creating situations to go in a different way than I had planned so that I could gather the feedback.

When I considered my purpose, vision and mission, I realised that a more useful driving question would be:

“How can I create even more love, contribution, inspiration and wealth in my life right now?”
So how does this work on a practical level?

Well, every morning and occasionally throughout the day, I will ask myself this question. At first I hadn’t noticed any immediate difference in the way I behaved until this morning when the light bulb came on…and it’s so simple.

It’s a wet and windy, typical winter’s morning. Still dark and the alarm went off. Kim got up and I turned over thinking I’ll just have another 10 minutes, which normally would have resulted in another 45-60 minutes. Today however, I asked myself “how can I create even more love, contribution, inspiration and wealth in my life right now?” and I answered it with “well, you could get out of bed to begin with”. Duh!!

You see, it doesn’t need to be complicated, it simply needs to work. In this case, the answer was obvious. I can not possibly be serving my purpose or working towards my vision if I’m still in bed. So, get yourself motivated, shift butt and get up!

Needless to say, I was straight up and writing an article, which I trust will inspire at least someone to find their own new driving question. Do let me know if that’s you…

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Check out our monthly free teleseminar at This month’s expert guest is Terri Khonsari, speaker and author of the book “Raising a Superstar – Simple Strategies to Bring Out the BRILLIANCE in your child”.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

RBS Children's Charity Awards 2007 - Ask, Believe, Receive

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), in partnership with the Daily Mail, is giving away £1m to children’s charities this Christmas in their RBS Children’s Charity Awards. Daily Mail readers and RBS employees are being asked to nominate their favourite children’s charity. This will be in the form of a few sentences (less than 50 words) describing why their chosen charity should be awarded a £10,000 Children’s Charity Award.

The Children’s Charity Awards are being launched on Tuesday 20th November in the Daily Mail. If it is the same as last year, you will be asked to collect coupons from the Daily Mail on 5 different days and send them off with a short sentence or two about why Make-A-Wish deserves support. The coupons were often tiny and hidden away so you may have to hunt around!

So we invite you to buy the Daily Mail on Tuesday and start collecting the coupons and then apply on behalf of Make-A-Wish and see if we can persuade RBS to give some of that money to Make-A-Wish? And if you know anyone who works at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (and that includes NatWest, Coutts & Co, Direct Line, Green Flag, Churchill Insurance and many other brands), perhaps you would be kind enough to persuade them to write in support of us as well?

90 charities will be selected to receive £10,000 each. A further 10 charities, those 10 with the highest number of nominations, will be shortlisted and featured in the Daily Mail when readers will be offered the chance to telephone vote for the charity that they think most deserves to receive a one-off donation of £100,000

Friday, 9 November 2007

The Power of the Law of Attraction

There has been so much discussion and a heightened sense of awareness about the law of attraction since the film and book The Secret was created and subsequently put into the hands of millions of people through Rhonda Byrne and her supporters.

I first encountered the principles behind the law of attraction when the film was introduced to me at a training event in 2006. Since then, and following much more research, conversation, practice and self-discovery, I have found that when we set our intentions with the true belief that we create everything we experience in life, the principles really do work. Now these principles are not some “woo woo, out of this world codswallop”, but real and meaningful ways to attract into our lives what we aim for.

The power of setting your intention and attracting into your life what you intend exists, whether or not you believe it. However, when you are clear exactly what you do want to create, and I mean really clear, you will manifest great things if you choose to. On the other hand, if you ignore the principles of “we are and get what we create through our intention”, you may experience life differently to that which you say you would choose at a conscious level.

So what does this really mean?

What we focus on, we create. If we focus on what we want, we create it. If we focus on what we don’t want, the same is true, we create it - in other words we create what we don’t want. Confused? Yes, so was I to begin with, and coming from a cynical view in the early days, I almost refused to believe this could be true. This would mean that I would need to be taking total and unconditional responsibility for everything I said or thought and that I would be unable to blame others for anything, because I have created it, exactly as I said I wanted it!

So, my experience is this; when I have stated or thought an intention, truly believing that it is truth, I get or experienced what I intended. When I created a vision board with a TV camera pointing at a photo from a seminar I had previously delivered, a few days later a media Company called to ask if they could film my next seminar. When I put picture of a black-tie dinner on my board, I imagined I would be invited to be the after dinner speaker. Within weeks I was invited to speak as the after dinner speaker at a student union conference. When I was stuck with a headline that I was attracted to which read “My resolution - somewhere out there are kids that need our help”, I pasted it on to my career board, for no apparent reason and subsequently have been working with young people in a variety of different ways, realising this was what I truly wanted, amongst other things. Most recently, I had an idea for a corporate sponsor to support coaching young people who don’t have the resources to purchase self development programmes. Within two days I received a phone call which may result in just such a programme becoming a reality.

Conversely, when I have been focussed on the lack of money, we have received bills we weren’t expecting. When I have been focussed on being overweight, I put weight on. When I have focussed on being tired, I have had no energy.

Last week, I met a friend at a breakfast event and we discussed how she and her husband could not seem to get clear on where they were going over the next few years. It seemed to me that they might be stuck in trying to work out how they were going to get to where they wanted to be rather than being clear on what they really wanted and being open to the possibility that the how would show up once they had that clarity, (when I coach people around discovering their passions and their visions for the future we start with the intention that getting clear on “the what” is the first step). Later that day, I saw this friend again at a different event and she had subsequently had a conversation with her husband and they had become clear that this was exactly what the problem was and they could now move forward focussing on what they want, knowing that “the how” will show up just as it is supposed to.

I’ve had many conversations with people on how we “use” the law of attraction and the power of setting our intentions. I suggest that we can’t “use” it, we simply believe it and then monitor our thoughts and our intentions very closely and we will become more aligned with the universe and the energy that will conspire to support us in creating what we want.

My experience has been simple when I reflect back on it. The more I notice that the law of attraction is how the universe operates, the more I am able to get clearer on what I want and the more I am able to create what I want. When I set a vague intention I get a vague result. When I have some doubt, the doubt becomes the reality. When I am clear on the what, the how will show up!

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Check out our monthly free teleseminar at This month’s expert guest is Terri Khonsari, speaker and author of the book “Raising a Superstar – Simple Strategies to Bring Out the BRILLIANCE in your child”.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Making Time for Me!

Many people I come across tell me how they have no time for themselves. They are so busy managing life and all it’s challenges; keeping up with business priorities, making money, seeing clients, networking for new business, typing proposals, responding to emails, writing emails, making phone calls, doing the bookwork, shopping with their partner, taking the children to out of school activities, spending time with relatives that they don’t really want to be with, paying bills, fulfilling on administrative responsibilities, cleaning, ironing, washing dishes and so on and so forth.

It seems that there is never enough time in the day to do all these things and make time for ourselves. Perhaps we don’t take enough exercise or have enough “chill out” time. We want to go to the movies or ten pin bowling, take a dance class or have a meal out with a loved one, drive out into the country, go to the beach, have a weekend away or watch a football match. None of this appears possible because “priorities” get in the way.

Well, here’s the thing, we all have exactly the same time as everyone else. That’s 24 hours each and every day, that’s it, period! So how is it that some people seem to have all the time in the world and others never have enough time and don’t even get enough sleep?

The answer really is very simple. It’s how we use the time we do have that matters.

For many people, if they were to just audit their time, each and every minute of the day, for one week, they would probably be amazed at how much time they “waste” on things that they would admit, if they were honest, were unimportant and meaningless.

There is a whole industry based on time management. There are software programmes, paper planners, diaries, training courses and workshops, organisers and even coaches to help you de-clutter your life. Ultimately though, it boils down to us being able to say yes, or no, according to whether the request, appointment, meeting, conversation, email or task, fits within in our wants, desires and outcomes we say we are aiming to create. If not, we would be better served saying no.

The problem, I hear you screaming at the top of your voice, is that sometimes we “have to” do things we would rather not. We “have to” go that meeting, clean the house, answer the phone, complete that project, answer that letter, see the doctor or the dentist, take the children out, answer that customer complaint and do our accounts. Well that in itself is not true. Yes, there may be consequences to not completing on things and if we had managed ourselves more effectively in the first place, we would not be in the position of trying to squeeze too many things into our day, week or month.

So what specifically needs to happen for us to make the time we want?

First, get clear on what you do want. If you have no clarity on what you want, how can you expect to make the right choices in terms of managing your time, aligned with what you want? So create some goals, uncover your passions and write down what you want. Then, every time you are faced with a choice or decision about scheduling your time, choose in favour of your goals or passions. If it doesn’t fit, say no!

Second, schedule everything! This includes your “free time” activities. If you want to spend more time in the gym, schedule it. If you want to take your partner out for dinner, schedule it. If you have important tasks to complete, schedule them first, preferably first thing in the morning, before you open email, or even your browser.

Third, notice when you are more productive. For some, this is first thing in the morning so do the “tougher” or more productive things before you lose what energy does exist. Many people find they are easily distracted in the afternoon, so schedule tasks or meetings that won’t take too much effort or are more enjoyable. Some people find they are more creative in the evenings, so schedule thinking time, or artistic pastimes, writing, dance classes and so on at this time of day. Find out what works best for you and schedule your time accordingly.

Finally, treat all scheduled activities with the same integrity. In other words, if you have taken the time to prioritise time for you in the gym, meditating, seeing a movie or simply chilling out, treat that appointment with yourself as you would your most important customer or your boss. Don’t be tempted to let time for you slide just because an external influence is demanding of you.

Stay in integrity and respect your own time as much as you would for others.

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Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Building Great Relationships - Be of Service

I find it interesting, when I reflect back on some of the things that I have done in my life, that where I have created the “best” results are the same times that I have come from a place of “being of service”. Conversely, where I have not got the result that I said I wanted, was generally where I had an ulterior motive or so called “hidden agenda” that of course, was not hidden at all!

It therefore occurs to me that, in all areas of life, if we start with a genuine desire to be of service to others we will fulfil our grander purpose and live a truly happy and contented life. This is true whether we are in business, working in the corporate world, spending our time looking after “domestic matters”, using our time for charitable purposes, in church or our community or simply within our relationships.

I think back to when I spent my time trying to grow the business I was responsible for in the corporate world. All of the great results we achieved were delivered when we were focussed on improving customer service, therefore being of service to the “end user”, or creating the next team incentive scheme or competition, therefore being of service to the staff, or facilitating a great management meeting, therefore being of service to the managers, or developing the next big promotional activity, therefore being of service to the Company or the suppliers, and so on and so forth.

Yet, when there is a “hidden agenda”, we become manipulative and deceitful. We have a plan and we don’t want to show it. These are the times when things inevitably go wrong, when things show up for what they truly are and when people end up mistrusting us. Once lack of trust has been created, it is difficult, if indeed ever possible, to rebuild and repair that trust.

Stephen Covey said “seek first to understand, then be understood”, and Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen coined the phrase “ask, ask, ask”, which I interpret in this context as meaning, “seek first to be of service, then ask honestly for what you want”.

If we explore this in the context of relationships, my experience has always been that when I have asked first “what do you need from me” or “what do you want”, with a genuine desire of wanting to know the answer, and then do what I can to provide what is needed, I have felt fulfilled and more often that not, have received what I want or need at the same time. This is also true in sales or purchasing negotiations. If I have come from a place of “how can I help you”, the prospect has been more likely to buy into what I am selling and the supplier provided the support for the initiative I have proposed.

When we are marketing our business, it is said that we should “get in the customers shoes” and see how they would feel, what they want. We should understand our target market, know how they think, when they will buy and fulfil their wants and needs. If we did not approach marketing in this way, we would not be providing what the customer wants and therefore would not be making any sales. We would not be saying “what do you need” and we would not be asking for the close in the sale. We would therefore not make any profit.

Sales and marketing strategies are no different to relationship strategies. In fact, of course, they are just relationship strategies anyway, hence the term “Customer Relationship Marketing” or CRM. So, if we want to be sure to build great relationships in anything that we do, we would be wise to start from a place of “how can I be of service”, in this relationship. Once we have asked the question of ourselves, we would be equally wise to simply ask the question of our partner, child, parent, friend, business acquaintance or team colleague. If we don’t ask, we will assume, and as a very good friend once told me, if we assume we make and ASS of U and ME!

So, my invitation is simply this; in any relationship you have currently or have in the future, start from a position of “how can I be of service” and then ask it!

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Check out our monthly free teleseminar at This month’s expert guest is Shane Mackle who will answer your single most important questions on how coaching can have a significant and measurable IMPACT on your business.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Passion Creates Success

It’s Sunday afternoon and the finale of the Grand Prix season is running as I write. Lewis Hamilton is fighting to overtake enough people to win the world championship, Filipe Massa is winning the race but will give up his place for Raikkonen to win, if asked to do so by his pit team.

Passion is what has got Lewis Hamilton to this position. He has dedicated his life since he was 11 years old to be the F1 World Champion. He followed his dream and his passion to be on top of the F1 world. We don’t know what else will unfold during the race but it really is so exciting to see these guys follow their passions to achieve their dreams.

And why am I writing on my blog? Well, the ITV coverage means that we put up with pointless adverts throughout the coverage of the race. Some of you will say, get out of complaining and talk to somebody who can do something about it. I did, and I have. I have written to ITV and I have submitted a posting on their blog. In the meantime I thought I would use the time usefully rather than watch adverts that do nothing for me and do not persuade me to rush out and buy the latest Honda, car insurance or indeed spend some time thinking about mind health! Not sure where that came from in the scheme of F1 advertising!

Anyway, the race is now over. Kimi has won and well deserved. He is the new world champion!

I look forward to seeing the next F1 season and I trust that ITV will review their coverage and let us, the viewer, enjoy the passion rather than the sponsors!

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Effortless Life

It was a great day yesterday! Life was effortless…

Having long ago decided that getting in the game was far more fun than simply letting life slip me by, I decided it would be a day for stretching. I therefore set out to do many more things than I would normally plan for one day, with the anticipation that creating some action, even if it might need some correction through feedback later, was better than no action at all.

I had committed to myself to publish an article somewhere new, and did. I was being interviewed for a radio show at the BBC and trusted myself to deliver a powerful piece of work, and did. I stretched by asking something of someone new to help me deliver on one of my goals, and did. I found myself in a coaching situation that I had not anticipated and committed to provide value beyond expectations, and did. I planned to catch up on outstanding emails, and did. I planned to build my network by inviting lots of new people into it, and did. I arranged to meet someone new with no preconceived ideas of an outcome, and did, and I decided on spending some time in “critical thinking” (see previous posting), and did!

And after all that and much more, I found myself thinking about my mother, as I so often do on the way home in the car. She spent her life inspiring me to be who I really am and encouraging me to step up. The irony, in some ways, that I was delivering our Step Up to Success programme this evening, did not escape me.

So, when I’m feeling great and remembering my mother, I do what comes naturally to me and sing at the top of my voice, in the privacy of my car I might add, to Il Divo. (My devoted, adoring and so supportive partner says I can’t sing, so this is the only opportunity I get!).

The words may appear a little maudlin when seen on paper so allow me to indulge myself as I share them with you, because when sung at full power with the volume so loud the car is vibrating, the energy is amazing and the feelings of “unstoppability” (in myself) and “connection” (with Stevie, my Mum) can not be explained in words alone - I guess you had to be there…

Mama sung by Il Divo from the album Il Divo

Mama, thank you for who I am
Thank for all the things I’m not
Forgive me for the words unsaid
For the times I forgot

Mama remember all my life
You showed me love, you sacrificed
Think of those young and early days
How I’ve changed along the way [along the way]

And I know you believed
And I know you had dreams
And I’m sorry it took all this time to see
That I am where I am because of your truth
And I miss you, yeah I miss you

Mama forgive the times you cried
Forgive me for not making right
All of the storms I may have caused
And I’ve been wrong. Dry your eyes [dry your eyes]

‘Cause I know you believed
And I know you had dreams
And I’m sorry it took all this time to see
That I am where I am because of your truth
And I miss you, yeah I miss you

Mama I hope this makes you smile
I hope you’re happy with my life
At peace with every choice I made
How I’ve changed along the way [along the way]

‘Cause I know you believed in all of my dreams
And I owe it all to you, Mama.

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Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Playing the Game

I was at a seminar last night in Dublin and the trainer presented us with what he described as three of the most important keys to success in business:

Critical Thinking
My Idea + My Experience = Disaster

Whilst much of the material was not new, he did get me thinking about critical thinking time and he suggested two questions which occurred to me could be very powerful to consider.

The first was based on the idea of shifting our thinking from “How do I win this game?” to “How am I going to play this second half?”

So, if I consider that life is a game, not of chance but of skill, then it seems to me that we are far more likely to enjoy the process if we do indeed adopt a position of “How am I going to play this second half?” rather than “How do I win?”.

As Art Linkletter asked in a CD programme I listened to on the way home; “How do you make God laugh? – tell him your plans!”

The second question which got me thinking was:

“What if I was given the opportunity to have one last thought – what would it be?”

It seems to me that if we were playing the game of life for the fun of it and just enjoying the process rather than the constant striving to have more, get more, earn more, buy more, we might enjoy and appreciate the people around us more. We might be more inclined to help others around us. We might be more thankful for the gifts that we have. We might be more generous in our opinions of others. We might be less interested in our image or our clothes and more interested in being ourselves. We might be willing to make more mistakes and learn from them.

We might be more willing to play full out!

So I concluded that if were given the opportunity to have one last thought I would probably like it to be:

“Wow! That was so much fun!”

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Check out our monthly free teleseminar at This month’s expert guest is Nicki Bury who will answer your single most important questions on how to market your small business.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Cheering up with Passion

The all new Passion Test has already hit #1 on the Amazon bestsellers list.

I loved this when I saw it...check it out if you want cheering up!!!

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

What is Inspiration?

I’ve just got off a call to my coach and we’ve been discussing inspiration. The light bulb came on for me when I looked at the meaning of the word and found that one definition is “the drawing of air into the lungs; inhalation” which implies that inspiration comes from the inside. If this is true then my job as a coach and trainer is to “be inspired” from the inside with the intention of “being inspirational” on the outside.

When I think about the people who have provided inspiration for me, too numerous to list, I very quickly conclude the reason they inspired me is because they were first inspired themselves. They have an internal energy and motivation that comes from a desire to learn, grow, improve and develop, soaking up new information and insights and sharing these with those around them.

If then, my purpose is to inspire others; I must first “Be Inspired”. If I choose this path of service to support people in living a fulfilled and happy life, create success in their career or business, relationships, health and leisure, personal growth and contribution, my responsibility to them is to be inspired myself.

So, when I am “looking for inspiration” which is a phrase I find myself using often when I am writing or preparing for a coaching or training session, I might first look inside, perhaps through meditation or simple quiet reflection, and search for where I am inspired. It is no surprise therefore that when I look back, some of my most interesting insights have come whilst meditating or being around people who are themselves inspired in some way.

This then serves to reinforce the point that we should indeed surround ourselves with people who have a positive impact on us, who inspire us in some way.

So, my invitation is simply this: Consider who you surround yourself with in your day to day life. Are they inspired? Do they provide you with inspiration? If not, what steps might you take to provide that inspiration in your life?

Be Inspired!

Monday, 24 September 2007

Times of Change - Raising a Superstar

I’ve recently been inspired by the book “Raising a Superstar” by Terri Khonsari whom I met in the summer not knowing that she was about to publish her book.

Terri gives some solid, practical advice on how to raise a superstar child, having faced many challenges in her own life during the process of raising her very own superstar, Nilou.

Reading the book led me to ask myself questions about how we’ve raised our own children, especially my daughter, who at 15 years old is going through the usual tremendous amount of physical and emotional change. The boys are now all grown up, left home and got their own children, partners, careers and adult lives. Charlotte on the other hand, is still on her journey to adulthood.

I question where we went right and where we could have done better. Did we give too much and rob her of her independence or did we give too little and make her too independent? Could we have been more active in her education, teaching her about money, giving to other people, health, spirituality and so on? How will she fare in the big wide world once she has decided to leave the coup and fly?

For my part, one thing I know for sure is that we always do the best we can with the skills, knowledge and experience that we have at any given time. It continues to be our responsibility however, to build and develop our skills and knowledge and use that to support our children as they grow and continue their own development. That’s why I recommend this book wholeheartedly to help you support your children to be who they really are and raise your very own superstar!

To get the book now click on the link below:

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Feeling the fear and doing it anyway

How many times do we avoid doing something because we have decided that we will fail before we have even tried? How many times do we create a predetermined result before we can possibly know what that result will be? How many times have we missed out because we chose not face our fear?

In the early years of my career I worked with children who had learning disabilities combined with what we called “severe behaviour problems”. That is to say, they had learned to respond to the world through “unacceptable social behaviour”. Some were violent, to themselves or others; some would tantrum, scream, shout, spit, vomit and so on. In all cases the behaviour would show up because they had been unable to communicate what they wanted effectively enough to get the result they desired.

We often created situations for these children that would help develop their experiences of the world. For example, we would take them on adventure trips where they would abseil, climb rocks, canoe, go potholing and the like.

On one of these trips we had been taken by our instructors to a beautiful little village in the Lake District of NW England, where the locals and visiting adventurers alike would jump off the bridge into the river some 60 or 70 feet below. The children in our charge ate their picnic lunch on the river bank below watching the continuous activity of a steady stream of people jumping off the bridge with a wild scream, plunging into the water and disappearing for several seconds before emerging with laughter and shouts of delight at their achievement.

Inspired by the excitement I decided I wanted to have a go at this and overcome my “fear” of heights once and for all and experience the amazing fun these people were apparently having. No sooner than I had said it, one of the instructors took me up to the bridge, jumped off and then waited for me to follow.

I stood on the wall of that bridge for over 45 minutes playing it over in mind, anticipating all the things that would go wrong; landing badly, hurting my feet as I hit the water, crashing against an unseen rock, not coming back up out of the water. I also began to anticipate the embarrassment of not doing it, not going through with my commitment, being laughed at and ridiculed. I told myself, 1-2-3 jump. No, in a minute. 1-2-3 jump. No, I can’t do it. 1-2-3 and now, jump! No, I’m scared. And so it went on until finally the instructors, all of whom were desperately encouraging me said “look, we’ve got to go now so jump or get down”. I got down.

It took me another 20 years to face that fear, when I finally did jump. The opportunity replayed in a different way with a skydive. Jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft at 13,000 feet seemed like a great way to finally overcome this fear that I had told myself I had had all my life. The difference with this, as the instructor had said during the training “when you’re sat on the edge of the plane, with your feet hanging out the door and the noise of the wind is unbearable, you can still say NO….however it so often sounds like GO!”

By putting myself in a situation where I would be pushed to succeed and face that fear, was what it took. And the experience itself? Wow! One of the most exhilarating activities of my life! The rush, the freedom, the excitement, the buzz. It was truly amazing.

I had missed out on an amazing experience twenty years earlier because I had failed to “face the fear and do it anyway”. Since then I promised myself to “just do it now”. Is this easy all the time? No. Do I succeed all the time? Not at all. And yet, when I do, when I believe in myself, the results always exceed my expectations.

My invitation to you is this: consider when you are pre-determining the result of an experience before you have allowed yourself to LIVE the experience, and when you let go of your thoughts you might be pleasantly surprised. So just go for it anyway!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Ask Simon Smith teleseminar website launched

Simon Smith Coaching launched its new resource website today.

Ask Simon Smith provides people with an exciting new series of teleseminars answering the most important questions submitted by you.

The free teleseminar series begins by asking the question:

“As a small business owner, what is the single most important question you have about marketing your business?”

We are delighted to welcome our expert guest Nicki Bury, Managing Director - Haybury Marketing, to this conference. Nicki will be answering your own single most important questions on how to make the most from marketing.

Nicki will offer specific and very practical solutions drawing from her expert skills and vast experience including:

Marketing strategy planning
Marketing campaign planning, implementation and measurement
Project planning
Business development
Business systems
CRM strategy planning, implementation and control
Financial budget planning
Negotiation and sales experience
Website marketing
Telemarketing and market research experience
Counselling skills

To register for this free teleseminar and submit your single most important question, go to

We look forward to ‘seeing’ you on the call.

Related links:

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

The innocence of youth

We had a new addition to the family this week. Another grandchild by my stepson which he and his wife have named Tallulah Melanie. Tallulah after her cousin and Melanie after her late "Auntie Mel" who tragically died 8 years ago at only 36 years of age.

I was reminded, when I looked into the tiny face of Tallulah as I was holding her in my arms for the first time, of the innocence and pure potentiality of youth. The miracle of a new life gives us the opportunity to help create, shape, influence and inspire a whole new generation if we pay attention to how we help bring this little bundle of pure unconsciousness into the world. It is through the experiences we help create for our children that we begin to influence who they are, what they become as people and how they choose to live their life.

How careful we need to be, in our choice of words and actions, to prevent a new life from growing up with "stuff" that later in life they may discover they want or need to let go of. As parents, grand parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, godparents, teachers, employers and so on, we have a duty to encourage those we influence in some way to be all they can be and all they really are. Yet, we forget our obligations and we tell those around us, particularly children, "you can't do that, you shouldn't do this, you must do this, that isn't right, this is wrong..."

Consider the alternative. What would the world be like if we brought all our children up to believe that anything is possible? That they can be, do, have or create anything they choose. What would the world be like if we encouraged our children to give instead of take, love instead of hate, accept instead of judge?

For my part, I want to find a way to influence or inspire Tallulah to discover herself, be all she can be and have a massive impact on the world knowing that she is unique and has unique gifts, and just by being who she is, anything is possible.

With that in mind, I was inspired myself today by a mailing we received from a cause we support, that offers "great gifts" and to start the process of Tallulah's potential impact on the world, she has now provided school meals for three children in Senegal for the entire first year of her life. All that impact for an investment of a fraction of the cost of just one weeks shopping in our that's "food for thought"!

Sunday, 2 September 2007

If everyone cared...

I was at Jack Canfield's BTS training last month in Scottsdale, Arizona and this music video was shown ( Whatever your views about the specific content and the people involved, I was reminded that whoever we are, wherever we're from and whatever our background, anybody can literally change the world if we choose to.

Making a stand can take courage. Some people may attempt to discredit us or what we have to say and ultimately, in some cases, physically or mentally abuse us, incarcerate us or worse!

When something is really important to us, we can choose to take a stand for what we believe, or we can choose to hide our true feelings. Would we prefer to be a wallflower or remembered for what we believed in? A question I ask myself often.

At the end of the day, we take nothing out of this world, regardless of the material things we have accumulated in life. So, wouldn't it be great if we could leave a legacy and be remembered for having stood for something we were passionate about?

Check out the video at It really is inspiring!

What is Success?

First published in my newsletter - August 2007 (visit to sign up)

Interesting, I find, that almost without exception, when I initially ask people what they define as success they respond with a list of material things.

I recall when I first listed my goals several years ago I wrote about the big car, new house, holidays, x amount of money, travel to exotic locations etc etc. These are all important to me in some way but as I move along my own Inspired Journey of discovery, I now have an awareness that success, true success that is, is far more powerful than having £2,000,000 in the bank.

True success for me is about being totally and unconditionally in the moment, living life now, living my life on purpose and taking real pleasure from each and every moment. Just being me, just as I am; knowing that I am good enough.

I used to beat myself up, comparing myself to others and always coming off second best. I used to think I wasn’t good enough to achieve my dreams, didn’t deserve the next promotion, didn’t meet the expectations of those closest to me or my boss or my peers. I used to think that everyone else sat in judgement of me. I used to think that others would always be more successful.

So, I dreamed of the car, the house, the holidays, the travel but never really believing it could or would become reality. I dreamed of being my own boss one day. I dreamed of being exceptional on the cricket pitch. I dreamed of having a huge network of friends across the world. I dreamed of having millions, winning the lottery.

And then, after so much discovery, heartache, joy, love, passion and learning I came to realise that if I could just be present, in the here and now; if I could just enjoy the moment because it is, and I am; if I could just be me, right here, right now, then I didn’t need to dream anymore. Sure, I still have goals and desires, but now I just enjoy the moment, the journey, the discovery, whenever I can. And then I know… I am truly successful. I have already achieved!

Busy as a Bee - Focus on Action Creates Results

From my newsletter (visit to sign up) - June 2007

Summer is well and truly here and the activity of nature is all around us.

Over the last few days, with this glorious weather, I have been enjoying my first cup of tea of the day in the garden, watching nature at work. We have a dozen or so bees that are there every morning, busy busy busy, collecting nectar from our flowers and one plant in particular.

These wonderful creatures have an attitude of focussing on results, that if we were to replicate each and every day, it seems to me we could not fail in our efforts to succeed.

The bee is never distracted from its mission, regardless of what is going on around it. It finds an appropriate source of nectar and applies itself to the task, collecting its prize, filling itself up until the time it can not collect any more. After returning to base, depositing its fortunes in the safety and security of the community safe, it returns to apply its labour once more to the task in hand. It is absolutely focussed on results and does so taking full responsibility for its actions.

The bee does not blame its surroundings, its colleagues, its family, it simply stays focussed on its goal, and achieves, time and time again. Granted, when it is threatened, it reacts to protect itself and when left to its own work, it just stays on track and delivers results.

As I watched the bees do their work, focussing on the results they want, I realised that we are so often distracted by events or people that keep us from what we truly want. Most of the time, we don’t even realise we are allowing ourselves to be diverted, and then we create reasons for why we haven’t achieved that which we set out to create.

We are bombarded with 2,000,000 bits of information per second and we use our internal filters of attitudes, values, beliefs, memories, decisions, language and meta programs (the way we think and operate), to filter all those bits of information, to create our internal map of the world. The challenge is that we can only consciously focus on 7 things (+ or – 2) at any one time.

It is no surprise therefore that the most successful people in life are absolutely focussed on those things that are most important to them. Studies of people like Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Richard Branson, Donald Trump, Dr Stephen Covey, John Gray, Denis Waitley, Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield, Anthony Robbins, and so on and so on, show the common factor with all of them is just this; they are all clear and then focus on, what is most important to them. They know their top five “passions” and take focussed action towards them.

It is obvious to me therefore, that like the bees, once we take complete responsibility for the results in our life, get clarity on what is most important to us, and then take action, completely focussed on what we want to achieve (as opposed to what we don’t want), then we can only lead a successful, happy and fulfilled life…

How did we ever communicate?

From my newsletter (visit to sign up) - May 2007

It’s been a week of challenge with regard to modern communication technology this week, highlighted by a radio show we listened to which provided much hilarity on the subject…

We now have cordless telephones at home and spend half our lives, it seems, looking for them because they are no longer anchored to the wall! And when we find them – the battery is dead anyway!! Caused much frustration in my house this week when, having called my coach late, due to confusion in our original communication as to who was calling who, had to switch to my mobile within a few minutes because someone (!) had left the phone off the charger and it died as soon as I wanted to use it.

Then there is the mobile itself. Once upon a time, we bought a mobile phone to make telephone calls and speak to people on the move. Now, we keep our diary/organiser in it, receive and send email and text messages (using predictive text if you’re up to it), set alarms, keep task lists, take notes from meetings, capture key moments in photographs, listen to music, watch videos, surf the internet…oh, and make telephone calls occasionally! Not to mention the fact that we have buttons to choose to ignore the call anyway and switch it to our pre-recorded answer service. So why do we take it with us in the first place?

As for answer machines…I’ve yet to meet anyone who a) likes recording their own personal message and b) wants to talk to the machine when the person you actually want to talk to presses “ignore” call!! Those who have had the “pleasure” of listening to my answer service will know how much I enjoy recording a message for them and what’s more, those who have had the equal “pleasure” of listening to me leaving a message know how painful it can be. When the message retrieval system starts with “the next message is 4 minutes and 37 seconds long”, you know I’ve been on and gone into rambling mode!

When I switched to Blackberry (whoever thought of that name…perhaps raspberry would be more appropriate?), life changed. The lap-top bag disappeared, the Filofax was redundant and forever more I would have total access to everything I needed in one pocket sized box. It is true, that life is now simpler and I can keep myself more organised without duplicating work – weekly planner, diary, contacts (remember when you used to have to type in every contact into the new phone?), and so on. However, it is a sobering reflection…how did we ever manage without these tools?

Modern technology is here to stay and we either keep up or get left behind, but I still think the most effective communication is through seeing the whites of their eyes, creating a connection, building rapport, creating trust and shaking the friendly hand of the other person.

A final thought I picked up somewhere along the way – only 7% of communication is about the words we use. That means 93% is about everything else, tone, body language and so on. We should be careful when we use words alone as the interpretation can be totally different to the intended message, and it is our responsibility as the sender of the message to ensure it is received as we intended!

The Passion Test - The Secret to a Fulfilled and Happy Life

From my newsletter (visit to sign up) - April 2007

Who do you admire? Who are your role models in life? Why do you think “celeb” magazines are always top of the reader polls?

We live in a society where so many people want to be someone else, where celebrity status can be acquired by simply being in a position of having something, good or bad, to say about somebody else, where being chased by the paparazzi is cool. We live in a world where reality TV is considered “real”, where “B” list celebrities living in a jungle, deprived of some food and washing materials is tough, where learning to dance on ice, ballroom dance, cook or sing is categorised as entertaining. We see wannabe pop stars abused by celebrities in an effort to “make it”.

I’m not saying this isn’t entertaining. After all, tens of millions of viewers can’t all be wrong, can they? I’m not saying that there isn’t a lot to be learnt from some of the content. Indeed, I learnt a lot from my daughter when during the last series of “I’m a celebrity, get me out of here”, when she was praying for one contestant to be booted out and I sarcastically contended that “he speaks highly of you” (or would if he knew her), and that she might be better served not judging people by the way they are portrayed on TV. Her response was to cut me down with “it’s alright for you, you just love everybody”. Not sure that is entirely true but the point was well made and left me considering whether that was true and what were the implications etc etc! (Isn’t it great how much we learn from our children?)

We were lucky enough to secure tickets to see a “real celebrity” in action last week. Dolly Parton, live in concert. Now this is someone I admire. This is someone who has “made it” by following her dreams and her passions, despite a fair amount of hard knocks on the way. She really is awesome in concert and her stories touch the heart. She doesn’t simply sing, she entertains in the true sense of the word, grabbing you by your emotions and leaving you with a sense of hope that the world is full of really good people.

They say a picture paints a thousand words. My view is that a song paints a thousand pictures.

I’ve rediscovered music recently. In my efforts to develop and grow, listening to hundreds of personal development CDs in the car I’d lost sight of the joy of music. Music has always been important to me since our childhood days being brought up on Neil Diamond, Tammy Wynette, John Denver, Abba, Top of the Pops with the silvery grey glitzy pictures that were considered the latest in special effects in the 70s. I’d forgotten just how music helps people to unwind, be with themselves, take stock, reflect, just enjoying the moment. Music is one way for me to move from contraction back to expansion.

Part of living a passionate life is recognising when you’re in “expansion” and “contraction”. This, from the book “Sad to Glad” by Janet and Chris Attwood, is just one of the tools we can use to ensure we stay on track living a life aligned with our passions. The first part of course, is to strip away the layers and get clear on our passions, what gets us up in the mornings, what drives us to achieve. Most of all, it is recognising that we are all unique. We all have something to offer and nobody else can be me! We, in turn, can be nobody else.

So, enjoy you being you and I will enjoy me being me. Know that you have a unique proposition for the world. You have something special to offer that nobody else can offer – YOU!

‘Til next time.


The Secret is out and the whole world is on to it!!

From my free newsletter (visit to sign up) - February 2007

Have you ever noticed those people who when asked “how are you?” reply “could be better” or “can’t complain, and nobody would listen if I did” or “been better” and they seem to have a hard time of it, most of the time?

Have you ever been curious why, when people say “bad luck comes in threes”, they’re usually right?

Have you ever wondered how some people are so upbeat and everything seems to go their way?

This is no accident. This is not coincidence. This is not “sod’s law”.

This IS “The Secret”. This is the “Law of Attraction” at work.

The story of The Secret is phenomenal. A DVD programme created by applying The Secret, that is literally changing lives, can only be purchased online and has sold over 1,500,000 copies in less than a year. The book, just recently launched, is expected to sell over 1,000,000 very soon.

I’ve seen the results in other people. I’m experiencing the results myself and let me tell you, The Secret can change your life too.

Janet and Chris Attwood, creators of The Passion Test, were instrumental in getting the people together to help Rhonda Byrne create The Secret, through their commitment to “Enlightened Alliances”. Jack Canfield, America’s Success Coach, created the Transformational Leadership Council, many members of which, including Jack himself, starred in The Secret.

Oprah interviewed some of the stars of The Secret in February. Check it out at

We create in our lives what we choose to create. We receive into our lives what we choose to receive. There are no accidents. There are no coincidences. We can be, do or have whatever we choose. It’s no accident that the title of my book is “It’s Your Choice”, because YOUR LIFE really is YOUR CHOICE.

If you choose to start NOTICING your language, you can choose to start CHANGING your language.

Take it step by step. Start by responding positively when asked “how are you?”…try BLOODY MARVELLOUS!! – it worked for me! One of my coaches now emails me with “hello Mr Bloody Marvellous” as a starting point. She knows we’re going to have a POSITIVE conversation!

Then start noticing when you are using words like “can’t”, “don’t want”, “if only”, “should”, “must” or “have to” and replace them with CAN, WANT, WILL, CHOOSE TO.

Take control of your own language and you will be well on your way to taking control of your own life.

‘Til next time.


The Attitude of Gratitude

From my newsletter (visit to sign up) - February 2007

I’ve just flown in from sunny Los Angeles this morning, having spent the last few days attending Jack Canfield’s Advanced Training for “Breakthrough to Success”, the programme based on his number one bestselling book “The Success Principles”.

I’m always honoured and privileged to get back together with old friends from these trainings as we learn and grow together and get more and more in touch with ourselves and our respective purposes. I find myself so grateful for the opportunity.

One of Jack’s exercises this week was to have us take just five minutes in silence during one of the breaks to be aware of our surroundings and notice what we take so easily for granted. We had earlier prompted the thought process by simply asking the question “what are you grateful for?” to each other. I was amazed by how much I do indeed take for granted: a simple walk out of the training room and I noted the softness of the carpet, my shoes, the greenery of plant life scattered about the lobby, inspiring artwork on the walls, coffee, hot water, running water, warmth, mirrors, escalators, electricity, music, being recognised by someone, a friendly smile, laughter, speech, hearing, sight, mobility, the sunshine, concrete, tables, chairs, umbrellas, children and their innocence, play, caring parents, dogs, my wristwatch and the ability to sit in peace and enjoy the moment.

It was no wonder then, that later in the training, a silent auction had been suggested - one of the guest trainers was a famous musician and had autographed a waste paper bin following an impromptu jamming session using it as a drum (you had to be there I guess…!). However, it was further suggested that we should just “get in the game” and hold an auction and see what happened. Proceeds from the auction were being given to Suzannah Crowder’s Chicken Soup Kitchens (feed the homeless) project (check out Suzannah and her fantastic work at

The auction started at $30 I think and wasn’t long before it was up to $100, $200, $300, $850, $950, $1000!! And then the most amazing thing…the winner said put it back and everyone went again. Started at $750, $850, $950 and $1000…put it back! Again - $750, $1000…put it back! Again - $750, $1000…put it back! Again - $750, $1000…put it back! By this time people were crying, laughing, and hugging each other. The auctioneer brought the “winners” up on the stage and the numbers just grew and grew. The emotion and energy in the room was simply so powerful, you could feel the love and joy, the passion and the sheer abundance mentality. It sent shivers up my spine. It was such a privilege to be there.

I lost count of how many people got involved. It may have been sixteen, it may have been seventeen and when it was all done, everyone else just threw what money they had in the bin. Someone said later they would match whatever had been raised – WOW! In a space of 20 minutes, what had started as a great idea to raise a few dollars for Suzannah’s Chicken Soup, turned into $34,000+!!!

We have so much to be grateful for and we take so much for granted. It is moments like this that allow us to truly appreciate what we have, that we all have so much to give, and I don’t mean just money. What I really learnt this past few days is that if we live our lives from a place of joy, passion, integrity, love and abundance, miracles can really occur. Furthermore, when we truly take responsibility, we can change the world!

Take a few moments in silence with me today to just appreciate those things around us that are so easily taken for granted and then perhaps also look at those people in our lives that we may also not appreciate fully. Take some time to have an “Attitude of Gratitude”.

‘Til next time.