Thursday, 28 April 2011

Royal Weddings...

When I was young my mother gave me a scrapbook and suggested I create an imaginary family and home and life for myself. I chose Princess Grace as my mother because I thought then (and now) that she was the most beautiful person I'd ever seen and, in case you're interested, I chose saxophonist, Johnny Dankworth, as my father because I thought he looked friendly and approachable (I suppose those were my assumptions about what parents should be like).

My next Royal wedding of interest was Charles and Diana. My assumption then, in my twenties, was, of course, that they would live happily ever after, but how wrong I was.

Tomorrow there's another Royal wedding and I'm not sure what to assume about their marriage. Probably that it won't last, probably that it will be even more difficult for Kate than she realises, probably that they'll want to bring up their children very differently and that that will cause problems.

Let's hope I'm wrong.

This Saturday I'm going to be creating again - not scrapbooks of my imaginary family, but 'Today I Love' postcards at the Royal Festival Hall from 11am-4pm. Do come along if you can.

After all, I may not choose either Kate as my mother or William as my father, but they need all the support they can get.

And so do we all. If you're interested in finding out what assumptions you make and how they hold you back, check out our workshop, Expand Your Mind, this week - come along (assumption-free please)!

See you there,
Founder Life Clubs

Monday, 25 April 2011

What to do next?

I've been away from my desk for 11 days and, although I tend to think about work a lot of the time - even when I'm away - I'm not sure what I'm going to do when I get back tomorrow.

In a way it's a wonderful fresh start. I've been able to think about Life Clubs from a distance and get a new perspective, but in another way my mind has gone a bit blank - I'm out of my routine.

This week's workshop, Visual Problem Solving, is a fantastic one. At BAT it was their favourite as it's incredible at problem solving in a really playful way - and, if you're anything like me, problems is a major subject.

Remembering the workshop, I started thinking about how I felt. I realised I felt like a wonderful well-travelled suitcase, a little weary and empty wanting to be full with beautifully packed clothes for my next adventure. The emptiness is the unsureness I'm feeling now and the fullness is how I'd like to be feeling - confident and well-prepared - knowing what to do next.

When I focused on my metaphor and started thinking about how I pack a suitcase I realised how logical and sequential I become. Before I start packing, I think about every possible eventuality and then make a list of what I'm going to take to cover each of those eventualities. Inevitably the list isn't all taken, but it's a good place to start.

Instead of packing a case, I'm planning my future, but what's stopping me being just as logical and sequential as I usually am?

I'm starting my list now...

See you this week. I'm looking forward,

PS If you haven't booked for our Work & You workshop, I'd go for it now. Taking place all round the country it's a great way to spend a day thinking about what you want from work and how to achieve it.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Too much to do...

I easily get overwhelmed. I have so many things to do that I don’t know where to begin. I can sit there with my head spinning. There's certainly more than a crossed out 'nothing' on my list.

That’s when this week’s workshop, First Things First, really helps me.

We’ve started using it at work too.

At the start of every day, each of us tells the others the three most important things they’re going to do that day and then we get on and do them.

It gives us focus and moves us to doing what’s important.

Come along to Life Clubs this week and find out how it works.

Looking forward to seeing you,

PS And do book in for our WORK & YOU day workshop on 21st May 2011. It’s taking place around the country and is for anyone either without a job or feeling unhappy in their workplace. £75 per person, £55 concessions and £125 for two. See you there!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

What's my body saying about me?

I'll let you into a secret. I would love to be asked to give a TED talk. I think they're always interesting, fantastically watchable and thought-provoking.

I hope I can be interesting, fantastically watchable and thought-provoking but, what's more relevant right now, is that I like being on stage talking to a large audience.

Needless to say, it wasn't always like that. I had a lot of help from a great actor coach, Martin Cochrane, to get there and for that I'll always be grateful.

This week's workshop is about body language and that's where Martin helped me the most.

Martin made me watch a film of myself giving a speech. You can see it here (or a shortened version on the home page of our website, here). But before I watched it with him he told me to watch it with a positive mind-set, rather than a negative. 'Don't sit there going 'I'm talking too fast' or 'I shouldn't have crossed my arms' or 'Don't I look hunched over'' he said. 'Instead, I'd like you to tell me all the things you've done well'.

It was revolutionary. I started off by praising the way I'd had a slug of water before actually starting to speak!!! I admired the way I wasn't talking too fast!!! I even liked the way I stood tall as I threw the ball into the audience so confidently!!!

You may not be lucky enough to have Martin by your side, but at Life Clubs this week we promise you'll leave knowing where your body language is holding you back and how to get confident about it instead.

TED... watch out. Here I come.

See you Wednesday,
Founder Life Clubs and great speech maker(!)

Saturday, 2 April 2011

'Frightened' is my middle name

I'm a great worrier. Not as great as my mum (or even my brother), but pretty good nevertheless.

One of my worries is slipping when I'm on a walk. You may justifiably think 'It's because you're getting older', but actually it was always like this. I vividly remember when I was about 16 and staying with a few girlfriends in a house in Devon. It was beautiful and we spent every day out walking along the cliffs, but even then I was always the slowest - worried that I was going to slip.

If you're slow and careful, I told myself, you won't lose your balance and, of course, I never did. Everyone else would return home from the walk wet, muddy and cold and I would always look as if I'd just gone down the Kings Road for a bit of window shopping.

Of course, I wasn't having as much fun as them because I was just so nervous and uptight. I was fearful of falling.

So, yesterday, out on a walk in Dorset, when my friend suggested we went off the beaten track and down a really steep slope into nowhere I knew or had ever been before, my first reaction was 'No'. My knees started wobbling at the thought of the hill and I felt really nervous of the idea that we might get lost.

This week's workshop, From Fright to Delight, is all about fear so I decided to think delightedly. I flipped my 'No' into a (somewhat tentative) 'Yes, let's have an adventure'.

And I was amply rewarded as in the distance we saw one of the local stunning white deer with two baby brown fawn.

From now on, 'brave' is going to be my middle name.

Come along to this week's club and get rid of your fears forever.

See you there,
PS Do book in for our highly successful day workshop on WORK. If you've got any doubt in your mind that your career isn't what you want it to be, this workshop is for you - and do tell your friends. It's a tough world out there right now.