Monday, 28 April 2008

Are you doing your homework?

This weeks workshop, Rules of Happiness, is one of my favourite and in celebration I have spent the weekend practising. As I say to my daughter 'you'll never pass a driving test just reading the Highway code, you gotta put the work in too'. And as she says to me, 'you'll never lose weight reading slimmers world magazine mum, step away from the chocolate hob nobs'. But that is a whole other workshop!

Rule 1 - Good at relationships. Off I went to London with four of my neighbours, only one of which I really knew. So new relationships were made

Rule 5 - Be absorbed by what you are doing. I probably worked the hardest at this. I gave Oxford street my complete attention and was happily absorbed for most of the afternoon.

Rule 6 - Build laughter and fun into your life. Good company, lovely hotel, fabulous Billy Elliot and an entertaining walk from Leicester Square to Warren Street in the early hours, L&F was had by all.

Rule 10 - Not focused on being wealthy. Just as well, spent a happy fortune!

Oh yes and not forgetting Rule 8 - Happy people are wise. I wisely bought 14 year old a mini skirt in Top shop, Oxford street, 13 year old glittery eyeliner and sparkly tights and the twin year olds souvenir pencil cases. They're begging Daddy to send me away again!

Happy Days

Leamington Lifeclub

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

*pun alert* A Life Club Of Value *pun alert*

Value - what a great word to play with. Do you value that? What's the value of this? And "this" could be anything - property, a friendship, the dollar, watching a sunset, a certain food, a particular exercise, work, play, cycling, rugby, couch-potatoing, talking, silence. The idea of value is present in all areas of our life - it's how we think of things, our way of weighing one thing against another. So it was really interesting exploring how the idea of "value" shows up inside ourselves in this week's Life Club. And also, how useful it is to have a really clear idea of what makes life juicy for you.

Last weekend was a real peak experience for me - a surprise party for an aunt and uncle to celebrate their ruby wedding. 90 people converged on a village hall in Yorkshire for this. I saw lots of family members I hadn't seen for years, and a marvellous time was had by all. And why was I having such fun? All my values were being fully loved up. Simple as that. You can have a big party with great music, amazing food and everything, and still be miserable - and if that's the case, important stuff is missing for you. Your values are being neglected.

So there's a great tool for fulfillment and happiness - know your values, and make sure they get honoured.

Mark Lister
Edinburgh Life club

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Look at me!

An interesting workshop this week, which had me asking myself - just how DO I see myself? There are good bits, neutral bits, uncomfortable bits to that. Some are about my appearance, in terms of clothing and so on. Some are about how well (or not!) I look after my body.

And some, we noticed, are about what sort of person we see ourselves as. I'm a nice guy, encouraging, a bit of a bore about history at times, inclined to ramble when I feel insecure. These things too get projected outwards and picked up by our audience. A feedback loop gets started and the whole thing becomes a fixture.

What I realised was twofold: firstly, your image can seem very "struck in stone", but actually, it's surprisingly simple to change. You just need to choose to, and then you can take the practical steps - go to the gym, ride your bike, get new jeans, get up 20 minutes earlier so you can do a little yoga before breakfast.

And secondly, the same goes for the "what sort of person I am" stuff. For example, I recently realised I tend to tell stories instead of engaging in conversations on a personal level. Now, stories are fun and interesting, but not when you keep hearing the same ones over and over. Choosing to stop Being A Raconteur was a bit of a wrench at the time, but once I'd chosen, the practical steps were surprisingly easy. Like, er, listening to people, and thinking of something of myself to contribute to conversations. How cool is that!

Mark Lister

Edinburgh Life Club

Monday, 14 April 2008


I am a self confessed trash TV watcher. Well watcher is probably stretching the point, 'flitter' is a closer description. This weekend I tuned into the Eastenders omnibus. Not a show I've been following for a long time, but I was drawn by the promise of, once again, hearing Bianca scream Rickaaay across the square. My husband, neither watcher nor flitter, but reader, emerged from behind his book to exclaim, 'I really like her'. I dashed back into the lounge sure that I would find him oggling 'Roxy' or 'Ronnie' (no relation to Reggie!) behind the bar at the Queen Vic. I was ready to launch into a precis of this weeks workshop 'From the outside in', to find that he'd already understood the message. He was mesmerised by 'Heather'. She is a large lady (see Pic above) who for the purposes of Eastenders is not shown in the best of 'outside' lights. He said 'I like her for two reasons, I really like the character she plays, the way she loves life and has a real 'anythings possible' attitude and I really like the fact that shes a successful actress who hasn't been deterred or put off because she doesn't fit into the stereotype of a stick thin, blond, lovely.'

It really is whats on the inside that rings out, personality, attitude and the inner you will always shine through. I would have kissed him, but by this time he was already mumbling about 'lost my page, turn down the volume and one sugar in my tea'.

Don't start me on Romance!!

Leamington Lifeclub

Thursday, 10 April 2008

What a waste of energy!

I found this very thought-provoking! We discussed what clutter actually is, and we came up with:

Clutter is all the stuff that doesn't help you.

That really brought home to me how much energy I waste in hanging onto stuff. Going into a cluttered place really is tiring - you don't want to do any work there, you can't relax there either. This reminded me of something I really already knew - the hard work is not in doing the task, but in NOT doing the task. A lot of clutter is undone tasks.

Another thing that struck home was how clutter can be a very useful barrier against actually getting on with the life you really want. I wonder - if I emptied my inbox, cleared my to-do list and tidied my desk, what would be possible then?

For one thing, maybe I'd start posting on the Life Clubs blog again...

Mark Lister

Edinburgh Life Club

Sunday, 6 April 2008


Imagine Lily Savage discovers a buy one get one free offer on Blue Nun!

Thats just about how happy I am that summertime is here. As I wrote here in October 2007, I'm not known for my love of the winter months. So as hard as i've tried to appreciate the chillier times I'm thrilled to wave them goodbye and turn my clock forward.
I am celebrating the brighter side of life. I have emerged from under the duvet to give the house a good scouring, I'm being strangely drawn to salads and all those jobs on hold have bobbed to the surface and hit my top five. So this weeks topic of 'making space' comes just at the right time. I'm already feeling the natural benefits of brighter evenings and increased sunlight and I'm raring to go; to make space, declutter and welcome the summer in.
And despite the snow in Warwickshire its fast approaching umbrellas in drinks time, you know, its nearly 'Pimms O'clock'.

Leamington Lifeclub