Aug 14

Mission success: Not Guaranteed

fail - gilbert

There is a very famous quote which I suspect is actually required to be included, by law, in any self development book: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” It’s a useful question to break the deadlock of fear that stops you doing something.

In her wonderful book “Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear”, Elizabeth Gilbert asks a different question. Her question is this.

What would you still do even if you knew that you might very well fail?

What is it that’s so important, so enjoyable, so critical to you that even if you thought it might not work out, that you would still do it anyway? What do you love so much that success doesn’t matter? What is it that would cause you to risk your fragile ego and go do it anyway?

As Liz Gilbert points out, your worth is not measured on the outcome. It’s not measured by whether you succeed or fail – it’s measured by whether you followed your heart, whether you put your heart and soul into it. As Coach Taylor exhorts his gridiron team in “Facing the Giants”:

Hold nothing back.

Don’t lose heart.   Don’t stop fighting. Do not quit.   Do not give up.

You have got to leave everything on the field.

That’s all that matters. “Did I give my best?” “Did I follow my heart?” If you do, then success is kinda irrelevant. It’s easy to decide what you’d do if you were guaranteed to succeed at it. But what is it that matters so much to you that success ceases to matter?

Liz says “What if I go through all the trouble of creating something if the outcome might be nothing?”. And the answer: “Because it’s fun”. Or “because I have to”. “Because it consumes me.” “Because it matters.” “Because it makes me happy.” “Because when I do this it feels as if I’m really living.”

For each of us there’s something. A cause, a purpose, a longing, a desire, that’s our true self expression. Go find it. Go do it.

Sometimes I’ve struggled to find mine. But asking that one question has helped me more than anything else.


Find out more at


(Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of (most famously) “Eat, Pray, Love”. Big Magic is a book about creativity, and fear, about Courage, and Enchantment, about allowing Creativity to have its way. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s an author, a painter, a sculptor or engaged in anything creative. And if you are one of those who don’t feel they’ve got a creative bone in their body, then you should read it. Because it will show you that you are oh so wrong about that.

Dec 31

Your one rule for 2016

brilliant self

A while back I discovered this card in a shop round the corner from my home and fell in love with it immediately. The artist (Leigh Standley) has crammed so much of what I feel into one image, and it has been pinned above my desk ever since.

As many of my friends will know, I take the New Year very seriously, as a space in which I take time out to think, to dream, to plan, and above all to listen to my heart as it learns to beat more in synchronisation with Source. I take time to look back at the year – to discover the lessons learned, to look at what I have achieved, and what didn’t quite go to plan. Like for many of my friends, this has not been an easy year, and in one sense it’s a relief to say goodbye to the old and to look to a new future.

Then I close that book and look forward into possibility, into adventure, into new encounters, new opportunities, into a magical world of ‘what if?’

And this year, I’m not placing so much emphasis on my goals – on what I want to achieve, the things I want to do, the adventures I want to have, the contribution I want to make, or the destiny I want to step in to. I’m looking to see who I can BE. As David Whyte said, “What you can plan is too small for you to live. What you can live wholeheartedly will make enough plans”.

For sure, there are some things I want to achieve next year. But they are not the important things – for me, or for you. Who are we going to BE, you and I?

I’m choosing to be bolder, braver, more prepared to stand up for what I believe and to speak my truth. I want to live simpler, with more passion, and more kindness. I want to have a bigger impact on the world. I want to be more magical, more connected to my Source, more in the flow, more truly alive.

I want to be more loving, more peaceful, more inspired. I want to live deeper, be wiser, more grounded. And I know that as I do, people around me will discover more peace, more wisdom and experience more love themselves.

So in 2016, I choose this – to live true to myself and in the end to have only one rule – to BE my wild, courageous, brilliant self. Every. Single. Day.


What is it YOU plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

May you have the most magical, unlimited, abundant year ever – may you never fail to express all of the wild and wondrous things you are – and may every single one of your fabulous dreams come true.


Find out more at


PS – it’s been a long time coming, but I’m hoping to make a ‘what’s next’ announcement next week. No promises though!

Feb 02

Looking back . . .

rear view objects

I came back from a trip to Edinburgh on the train at the weekend – I love travelling by train, as it gives me a chance to think, to catch up on dreaming and planning. And I like to gaze out of the window and wonder, ponder, and marvel at the beauty of it all, watching the train rushing towards the future. This time, circumstances found me in a backward facing seat, and I watched the countryside recede behind me, vanishing into the distance.

And it caused me to consider a little. . . often, in our lives, there are times we regret. decisions that we make, events that happen that are out of control. Stuff happens.. yet if we’re not careful we stay buried under the weight of the past.feeling guilt over the things that we got wrong, or despair over the times that people let us down. Everything still seems so close, so recent.. and the hold it has on our lives can be huge as we dwell on it, crippling our ability to move on. We hold on to the past so much that it threatens our future.

Sometimes we cling wistfully to the past – to memories of what we think were better times, to golden days past where life seemed to be better, easier. Even the good memories can limit our ability to live in the present, to truly enjoy THIS moment, to be content with what’s happening right now.

In reality, the past is pretty much like the scenery rushing away behind the train – interesting, worthy of thought, beautiful (a lot of it), darned ugly (some of it) and just plain dull (the rest of it). Yet it lacks the power to hurt us, to constrain us, to hold us down. Used as a springboard for learning, it can catapult us to new heights. I went through my experience of 2014 and captured about twenty key learning points that will help mould my 2015. Then I threw away my 2014 planner and started again.

So. what are you holding onto that’s slowing you down? And when would now be a good time to let go of it..?


Find out more at

PS one of the things I decided to let go of was a sense of failure over all the things I planned to do last year but didn’t – so expect to see more posts and stuff coming up..

Jan 01



And another year rolls round.and we step boldly into 2015. For some, it’s just a number that changes on a calendar. For some of us, it’s an opportunity to look at the year ahead and decide that we want it to be different from last year.

For me, 2014 was a year of dramatic contrast – some incredible joys, dramatic highs and wonderful happiness – and some deep moments of sadness and frustration. It’s a year in which many of my dreams and plans simply did not happen, a year where I seemed in some ways to step backwards. And yet, simply by choosing differently, 2015 will be very very different.

One of the things I have learned is that while it’s good to have goals, plans, intentions, dreams – we should never limit ourselves to those things. We’ve been taught that we need to have concrete well described goals, with a time frame for achieving them, with a quantifiable end result. And then, say the students of Intention and the Law of Attraction, we give the Universe and our unconscious minds enough to work on. We set our infinitely powerful minds to work on solving the problem, on making things happen. We draw from infinite resources to change our worlds and bring new things into being. And these things work. They really do. And as Oscar Hammerstein II famously observed in South Pacific “You gotta have a dream, [cause] if you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?”

But that’s the hard work. All those dreams, all those goals? Designed to do one thing. create a different state of feeling. You want to lose 10lb by June? Probably the intention is to feel healthier, to feel more energetic, to be more attractive . . .  That goal to create a new business? Is the intention actually to be a success, to be prosperous . . . That goal to travel the world? Isn’t the intention to be more adventurous, or to be more curious . . .

I know you have some goals – things you want to achieve in 2015. I hope they go beyond the ‘get fit, get healthy, fall in love, make more money, get more stuff’ and into the truly life changing ‘make a difference, change the world, create a new meaning to life’ kinda goals. But those are what coach Martha Beck calls ‘noun-verb’ goals. She suggests you look beyond the goals to the adjectives. How do those goals make you feel? When you get there, what will it be like? Will you feel successful? Empowered? Alive? Wise? Curious? Adventurous? Loving? That’s why I created this picture for 2015.with a list of things we can choose to be, ways we might behave, things that we can recognise in our lives states of being we can simply step into.


So, this year, I started my 2015 planning with a look back at 2014 – there were a whole load of goals there that I didn’t get to. But when I looked behind the goals, I found that I really was behaving differently – that I had changed my state of being. (Oh, for sure, there’s a whole load of things I didn’t get right, and I had to spend a bit of time looking at my mistakes, and forgiving myself for making some really stupid blunders. What’s new?!)

So this year, when I started planning, I looked at what was important to me, the things that I truly value – things like Family, Friendship, Love, Adventure, Spirituality, Health, Purpose, Wisdom. and then I looked at what I wanted to BE in support of those values. Turns out I want to be adventurous, curious, wise, fearless, purposeful, passionate, unlimited. and a whole load more besides. and of course I can choose to simply start to begin to be those today, and grow into those more throughout the year as I choose to behave differently. It’s not so much about the goal – it’s about the journey – and who we become on that journey.

Now, for sure, there are some concrete things that I want to see happen through the year. but I know that the important stuff is in the way I am choosing to behave, in the stuff I am choosing to feel. And once I have decided that, then it becomes a simple process of choosing to step into that every day. And then, as if by magic, all your goals and more start to fall into place..

So. Happy New Year to each and every one of you. May you follow your dream, and may you light a candle this year that no-one can ever extinguish. Remember one thing this year – you really are an amazing creation: full of power, and wisdom, and love, and compassion, and magic.

Much love..

Find out more at

Oct 20

Step into your imagination


Everything that has ever been created existed first in imagination. And for most of those things, someone said ‘that’s never going to work’ – ‘that’s impossible’ – ‘you’re crazy’ – ‘they’ll never agree to that’ – ‘look at the facts’ – ‘it’s too hard’ – ‘be realistic’. . .

The people who truly make a difference are the ones who imagine a different world – and then have the faith to go create it. If you can imagine it. and if you believe you can achieve it. then you can.

So what are you going to imagine today . . . ?


Find out more at

Jan 11

An easier way

footprints dreamsWhen I was young my mother took me to the doctor’s for my vaccinations… and I was heartbroken to find that this particular vaccination didn’t come on a sugar lump. “There’s got to be an easier way”, I wailed.

When it comes to goals and new year resolutions, a lot of people, round about the end of January, wish there was an easier way to lose weight/get fit/make money/get out of debt/fall in love/[your own goal(s) here].

I was listening to an interview with my good friend Adrian Peck yesterday, and I felt I should share it with you. Adrian and I both trained with the same hypnotherapy tutor, and I have a suspicion we learned the same secrets in the same place… Adrian is the UK’s #1 sports hypnotherapist and trains elite athletes to perform better – I’ll give you some links below!

It’s fabulous to have huge goals. I think everyone should have at least one huge goal, a goal so big that it would take a miracle for it to happen. Because if we don’t start asking for miracles to happen, then they’re not going to happen.

But we also have to have small goals too – or the ability to break a massive goal down into smaller goals. Here’s how it works: today, I needed to fix my motorcycle headlamp. So I did. I was so pleased with myself that I went on and fixed my tumble dryer. After that I’d got so much energy that I washed my windows. And cleaned the kitchen. Then hoovered the carpets. Then wrote this blog post! Each time I completed something, it added extra energy and I wanted to do more. Human beings are completion engines. We like to see things as complete (nowadays, we joke a bit about OCD, but in truth we’re all engineered that way).

That’s one reason why lists work – when we finish something on the list, the energy level rises and we feel a sense of satisfaction – so we move on and do something else. (by the way, that’s also why lists don’t work – for two reasons. Either a) we do all the easy things on the list so we can get a sense of completion, and don’t do the important things – or b) we have such a big list we feel demotivated before we start. So get a sensible list of ‘things for today’ and not a list that stretches into the next century.)

So, we need to make it easy to win. For example, I set a goal of posting something on ‘You Are Amazing’ every day. I could have the intention of writing a huge blog post every day. If I did, and then something got in the way, I might give up and say ‘I screwed up this week. I’ll start again next week’. Instead, I know that I can put a good quote out there, or a quick paragraph, and still meet my goal of inspiring you every day.

Adrian quotes the example of going jogging. If you have a goal of going jogging every day for an hour, then chances are you will fail. But if you have a goal of jogging for 15 minutes a week, then you’ll probably look at that and say ‘that looks easy… I’ll do that tonight’. And you might run for half an hour. Then, secure in the knowledge that you’re a success already (and it’s only Monday)… you might do the same again on Tuesday. You might miss Wednesday because you had to work late. But that’s OK because you’re already a success.

If you have a goal to run an hour every day, and miss one day, you’ll feel like a failure. If you have a goal to run once a week and end up running five days, you’ll feel like a hero.

The secret to getting what you want is to start to take some steps in the right direction. Writing this blog, for me, is the act of taking some steps in the right direction. After this… well, there’s some other scarier stuff to do. Bigger stuff. Exciting stuff. But for now… this is a good start. For you, too, there are some small steps. Perhaps it’s time to take them.

As Martin Luther King Jr put it:

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

And perhaps that’s enough for today. Typical. I start out to share Adrian’s interview with you, and look what happens. But hop on over to the interview at and check out his web site at

And we’ll talk some more tomorrow. But in the meantime, go easy on yourself, and . . .  be amazing!