What Makes? (Charles Bukowski)

This is hard to explain, I mean who the man was,
anyhow, it was in a large structure and he sat in
a chair in uniform, red coat and all, his job was
to examine the hand-stamp of those who left the
structure and returned, there was a lamp you put
your hand under and the stamp appeared (god that
was work) anyhow, as I put my hand under the lamp
the man asked, “listen, what’s your name?”
“Hank,” I answered
“listen, Hank,” he asked, “what makes a man a
“well,” I said, “it’s simple, it’s either you
get it down on paper or you jump off a
writers are desperate people and when they stop
being desperate they stop being
“are you desperate?”
“I don’t know…”
I walked on through and as I took the escalator up
I saw him sitting there, probably thinking that it was possibly
bullshit, he had wanted me to suggest some special
school, some special way, like some way to get out
of that red coat, it was not an enlightening job
like designing a bridge or batting cleanup for the
Dodgers but
he wasn’t desperate enough, the desperate don’t ask,
they do
and at the top of the escalator I pushed through the
glass doors and as I did, I thought, son of a bitch,
I should have asked him his name, and then I felt
bad for him and for myself but a few minutes later
I had forgotten all about him
and the other way around
and he watched more hand-stamps under the lamp
and I watched the toteboard and the horses and
the desperate people
desperate in all the wrong
ways, in-

Slow Down To Go Fast

I love this saying, as there is so much truth and wisdom in it. It sounds counterintuitive, after all slowing down and going fast are opposites right? Well, yes, they obviously are but in the context of being able to live a fulfilled life and reach your potential, it makes perfect sense.

We live our lives today at 100 miles per hour, and wear tiredness as a badge of honour. We’re not happy unless we are busy, but this causes more problems than it solves. Your health suffers as the lack of sleep reduces your immune system’s ability to ward off illness. Your relationships suffer through neglect, as you’re too busy to spend time with family and friends. Not to mention the fact that your creativity and ability to think clearly suffer the more tired you become. Why do his too yourself? Is it not better to be able to enjoy life now, while fighting for more?

This is where adults can learn an important lesson from children. One thing that struck me as a teacher, was how children slow down and take time to notice things and enjoy experiences. They don’t rush from one thing to another, but live in the moment. Why can’t we do the same?

When you slow down and take some time out for yourself, you will find ample opportunity to;

  • Reflect. Take some time to revisit your goals and the progress which you have made until this point. What has worked well so far? What hasn’t gone according to plan, and what have you learned from it? Do your goals need to be adjusted? Are there any knowledge or skills gaps which you have identified, and can address?
  • Refocus. That problem that you have been unable to solve for the past 3 weeks despite working on it night and day? Take a step back, do something fun for a while to unwind, and the answer may very well come to you. Not only that, but you will be getting back to work re-energised and refocused with a clear head. I’d say that’s with a timeout for an hour or 2.
  • Work on your relationships. As your journey towards your goals picks up momentum, there is a danger that it consumes all of your time and attention to the point that you unintentionally neglect your relationships. Take some time to remind your partner or spouse how much you love them, and how they are the most important person in your life. Spend some time with family and friends. Let people know that you appreciate them.
  • Focus on your physical and mental health. Long hours spent hustling, combined with a lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your body and mind. Catch up on some sleep, go for a bike ride, get in the gym, meditate, read or write in your journal. Whatever it is that you usually do to maintain your physical wellbeing and your mental health and happiness, do it. Do lots of it. It’s pointless striving hard for your goals only for your health to fail and you to burnout.


How do you find time for any of the above? Simple. MAKE TIME. Schedule an hour in your day to read, perhaps another hour for exercising and three hours in the evening for quality time with your family or friends. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. My examples require a total of 5, which leaves you with 19 hours to work on your personal and professional development and ensure that you get at least 7 hours of sleep. It sounds simple because it is. All it requires is some discipline, a little organisation and lot less time in front of the tv mindlessly watching rubbish while eating junk food.

Stop putting your life on hold. When you slow down, and take some time for yourself, you will be able to lead a fulfilled and happy life now while you work to become and achieve more.

Invest In Yourself

This is arguably one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received, and something that everybody could and should be doing. We set aside money for clothes, food, bills and entertainment so why shouldn’t we also put some money towards improving our lives? This is an investment of time and money that can offer lifelong benefits.

Before we go on, please allow me to clarify what I mean by investing in yourself. What I am NOT referring to are the seemingly endless supply of motivational books, online programmes or conferences. For me, these do not have a lasting effect, other than to provide a quick motivational boost. A lot of people do find value in them, and I respect that. All  I am saying is that there is something better to invest your time and money in, and the benefits would be much longer lasting.

One shortfall of much of the personal development and motivational material available is its the rose-tinted view of the world which it portrays. They tend to follow a similar pattern. Tell the audience that they have the power within them to achieve anything they desire, and back this up with examples of people who have succeeded against all odds. The recurring message tends to be the power which you have to achieve whatever you want. You can do it. The world is yours. These people have achieved massive success, and so can you. Motivating people is great. We all need a confidence boost at times. Thing is, these books and courses only tell half of the story. They provide the spark or catalyst to take action in the direction of your goals. They fill you with confidence to take those vital first steps. BUT they don’t spend enough time advising how to maintain your motivation once the initial excitement wears off, or how to deal effectively with the setbacks and problems which you encounter. The cynic in me believes that there is a reason for this. It’s good business sense. After all, when someone reads your book and goes after their goals with a vengeance, the moment that their progress slows or they hit a roadblock they will return to your books and material for advice about how to get back on track. After all, it was your material which helped them to get started in the first place.

I’m not saying that the above material should be avoided, because it is a wonderful motivator and confidence builder. All I am sharing here is my belief that your time and money could be put to better use and the benefits would be longer lasting.

Of all the things which formal education prepares us for, there are some huge gaps. These gaps can be summed up as life skills, and without a good understanding of them they can place a person at a huge disadvantage, potentially sabotaging your success. I strongly believe that more time should be devoted to;

  • Bank Accounts. How to open an account, and understand the different types of bank account and the benefits of one over another.
  • Budgeting. How to develop a habit of organising your finances in order to be able to pay rent, a mortgage or bills while leaving enough money available for food, petrol and entertainment.
  • Loans and Credit Cards. Understanding the interest rates and repayment terms. How to work out how much you will end up repaying.
  • Pensions and Taxation. How to understand the deductions that will be taken from your paycheck and how they might affect you.
  • Savings and Investments. How to make the most of your money, as opposed to leaving it in a low-interest current account, and the risks involved.
  • Effective communication in both your personal and professional life.
  • How to network. Do certain situations have unwritten rules which you are expected to follow? If so, what are they? What if you are naturally shy or an introvert? What strategies could be employed to overcome this?

The above list is by no means definitive, but covers the essentials. They sound far less interesting than some book titles, but without even a basic understanding of them, there is a real risk of missed opportunities, debt accumulation or being taken advantage of by others. I have lost count of the amount of people I have met who have been taken advantage of by unscrupulous loans and credit card companies, or have suffered at the hands of an inept financial advisor. To a certain extent, they could have protected themselves better and avoided much of the misfortune which visited them if they had been more knowledgeable of what they were getting into and its consequences.

The good news is that there is a lot of help and advice available. There are plenty of books on the above subjects, but there are also a number of debt charities who provide free resources, advice and guidance to anybody who takes the time to visit their website or give them a call. Some banks even have trained specialists to guide you through any of the above topics, and it’s free. All you have to do is just book an appointment.

Instead of the latest offering by a self-help guru, why not pick up a book or book a course which can help you to better understand and manage your finances? It’s a less exciting read, but the benefits will be huge. After all, no matter how much you earn, if you don’t have a good grasp on your finances you will always struggle. Furthermore, the more you understand and are able to do yourself, the less you will have to place in the hands of others.



Life After Failure

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
Colin Powell

Failure is good. Don’t fear failure. Welcome and embrace failure. Failure can catapult you to massive success. I have lost count of the number of times that I have encountered these phrases and many, many more. I wholeheartedly believe that failure can be a powerful force for good in our lives, but we are not always being given the full story or advised on how to capitalise on it.

We are advised that we should see failure in a positive light. There is nothing wrong with  adopting a positive outlook when faced with failure, but the truth is that failure can only be positive if you do something about it. Do nothing, and failure can actually be incredibly destructive. Not only can it destroy your self confidence and halt your progress in its tracks, but it can lead crushing self doubt and negative self-talk. Burdened by these, it’s not hard to see why some people abandon their goals, and settle for a safer, more comfortable life.

I, and countless others, have failed more times than I care to remember. I have failed spectacularly in things both big and small, because I was always taught that you give your all in everything you do. The more you put into something which subsequently fails, the bigger the failure. You’d be forgiven for thinking that I am now massively successful as a result of having failed so many times. The truth is that my progress has been somewhat slower than it should have been, and unspectacular, despite the failures and all of their lessons. Why? Simply put, I have not always taken action following failure.

Failure can only be positive if you do something about it. It won’t be easy, and will hurt, but it is vital. Take action and you will learn and grow from the experience. Do nothing, and you risk not only stagnating, but also failing in the same way again and again. So, what can you actually do following a setback? The list below is by no means definitive, but has worked for me;

  • Reflection. Look back and analyse what happened. It is painful to revisit a bad experience, but also essential. What can you learn from the experience? Can you identify any actions or decisions which led to failure? If you could start again, what would you do differently?
  • Goal Setting. With the new knowledge acquired, and a clear idea of your strengths, weaknesses and the options open to you, revisit your goals. Do any of them need to be amended or replaced?
  • ACTION. It’s all in capital letters for a reason. Taking action after suffering a failure is vital to maintaining your confidence and momentum. It is action, after all, which brings results. Add to that the fact that knowledge without action is useless, and you have a very strong reason to get back up after you’ve been knocked down.


Failure is a part of life. For everybody. What separates the successful people from the rest, is how they respond to it. Dwelling on what went wrong is a recipe for disaster, whereas reflecting on the experience and learning from it can catapult you to success. That said, all the knowledge in the world counts for nothing without action. So, don’t let a bump in the road bring your personal development journey to halt. Be prepared to accept failure as part of the process, and when it comes take some time to reflect on it and learn from it before setting out again on your journey.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill


The Power of Apologising and Taking Responsibility

More people should apologize, and more people should accept apologies when sincerely made.

Greg Lemond

Mistakes, in life, are inevitable. We try our best to avoid them, but they happen. Even when our intentions are noble, our thoughts measured and our actions carefully considered They are a part of life, and a very valuable learning experience if we reflect on them. The fallout from a mistake can be painful, but the long-term benefits can far outweigh the negatives. It’s really about the mindset you adopt when viewing the mistake. A negative mindset will blow a mistake out of proportion and could lead to self-doubt, self-loathing, loss of motivation and the fear to take risks in the future. With a positive mindset, you look for lessons to be learned, and are more likely to take risks again in the future, armed with the knowledge gained from the previous experience.

Sometimes, however, our mistakes affect other people. This is what I would like to discuss today. When things go wrong and it’s largely us who are affected, we can perform a post-mortem, determine what we can learn from the experience and then do our best to bounce back. When other people are involved, that’s a different matter.

Very rarely do we set out intentionally to hurt or upset another person. Especially if we value the relationship we have with them. But it happens. We set out upon a course of action, only to completely misjudge what would happen or how it would affect other people. So, while we acted with the best of intentions, we ended up with the most undesirable of outcomes. In this instance,the first step should be to accept responsibility for what has gone wrong, provided that it was your fault. Next there should be a genuine heart felt apology and, if possible, an explanation of what you had set out to do. It is important to communicate to the other person what you were trying to achieve so that they can understand your reasons and intentions. Share what you have learned from experience with them too,  if you get the opportunity.

This is no time for bravado, ego or empty words. Be humble, and take responsibility  for what you did and didn’t do. Apologies must be followed by action to rectify or improve the situation. Without action, all that you are offering are mere words and platitudes. Prove how sincere you are, and don’t just say it. Tell the other person how sorry you are (and make sure that you mean it!!) but then show what you are doing to either fix the problem or to ensure that it never happens again.

Why talk about this subject on a blog about fulfilling the potential we hold within ourselves? Simple answer? Because of what it teaches us.

Apologising is not a sign of weakness, and it doesn’t make you any less of a person. When we own up to our mistakes and apologise either to ourselves or to others, we take responsibility for them and this is a mark of maturity, honesty and integrity. These are traits which are respected by others, and can actually strengthen relationships, both personal and professional, as well as reputations. In business, people want to know what type of person they are dealing with, so being known for honesty, integrity and trustworthiness is never going to be a bad thing.

Most of all, though, we will never reach our potential or get anywhere near it until we take responsibility for our lives. I have read countless quotes about how the circumstances in which we find ourselves today are a result of decisions we have made and actions which we have taken in the past. So very true. If you are not where you hoped to be in life, you need to look at where you went off-track. That’s not to say that you should just beat yourself up and give up hope, though.

Take responsibility for where your life choices have led you to so far, and learn as much as you can from this reflection. Once you have learned all that you can, it’s time to start looking forward. Time, now, to take responsibility for your future, and make sure that the decisions you make and actions you take today will be steering your forward towards the life you want.

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.
George Bernard Shaw

Be Yourself

Half the world is composed of those who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it

Robert Frost

In your daily life, how much time are you spending just being yourself? Social media, magazines, tv programmes and our family and friends place us under the constant pressure to dress and behave in a certain way, for fear of being rejected. We become a different person in the workplace too, because we hope it will lead to us being accepted as part of a team or boost our chances of promotion and progression. Outside pressures or the enticement of potential rewards, essentially, lead us to becoming actors. We say or do things, in the presence of others, which we normally wouldn’t even think about.

Under this crippling pressure, countless people buckle and become someone else. An average person might go as far as juggling several personas; the work one, the social media one, one that they adopt around friends and family, and then there’s the true self. The real identity. The real person, who comes out when nobody else is around and the pretence is dropped. Underneath all the smiles, how happy are they when they juggle multiple personalities?

Putting on an act can be exhausting, but also troubling mentally. After all, if you suppress your true personality and identity in order to become someone else, you are essentially living a lie. Furthermore, you have to remember which lie you need to be living, and act to be putting on, according to your current surroundings.

Be mindful of what you say and do. Pay attention to how you present yourself to others. Are you being true to yourself, or are you just putting on an act and playing to the audience?

Conforming to outside pressures and putting on an act can, over time, lead us to forgetting who we really are. Before you contemplate becoming someone else to satisfy others, ask yourself whether it’s really worth it. If you want to change for yourself, then that’s great. BUT if you are going to do it to please someone else, think carefully. After all, if  someone else does want you in their life, in whatever capacity, why can they not accept you as you are?

I once put on an act when in a former relationship. I did it to impress the girl, and it worked. After a short while, I revealed my true self and we had a great relationship. Until I started spending more and more time in the company of her incredibly judgemental and condescending family. So, stupidly, I put on an act to win their approval and it worked. Until I decided to stop pretending and be myself. Then it quickly unravelled and quickly ruined everything. Under pressure to be accepted I lied and lived a lie around them, only to later reveal my true self. Can’t blame them, I should have been myself from the start. Painful as it was when I lost everything, it served as a very valuable lesson. Just be yourself. You might think that by putting on an act, you will be accepted better by others, but soon the mask will slip and people will see the real you. Even if they like the real you, it’s all over as you have essentially lied to them and destroyed their trust.

Being yourself is the most liberating feeling. Of course, it might ruffle some feathers but those who want any kind of relationship with you will accept you as you are.


Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.

Oscar Wilde

Dream big. Aim high. Fulfill your potential

The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high, but that it is too low and we reach it


Demand more of yourself. Put the work in. Push yourself and challenge your limits to discover what you are truly capable of. We were not given the gift of life, making it this far, to now simply stumble along. We are here for a reason and have an untapped well of  potential within us. I say it’s time that we made the most of it.

Reflection, planning and goal setting are things that we should all be doing at regular intervals. Along with reviewing progress, reflecting on experiences and learning and adapting. Sprinkle that with a healthy dose of unglamorous, thankless hard work, and you have the recipe for achievement and success. There is, however, a catch.

The steps above, as with the act of learning itself, are a lifelong process. If you stop setting goals and pursuing them with hunger and determination, you will eventually stagnate. That is why New Year’s Resolutions do not work. Resolutions are made once a year and with no plan  of action. Therefore, when the initial excitement and novelty wears off, resolutions going out of the window for another year.

When you do set goals and take action, make sure that they are your own. Another thing that we see all too often is people watching and wanting to become like the latest social media influencer or celebrity. Be yourself. More importantly, be true to yourself. What I mean by this is that when you set a goal for yourself, it should be to achieve something that you want for yourself. It should be dictated by a desire which burns deep within you and won’t go away.

One of the main reasons people play it safe and don’t push themselves as far as they could, is self-doubt. They pay too much attention to that little negative voice, the one which tells them that they are not smart enough, experienced enough or skilled enough to succeed. If you have started to believe that you are not talented enough, and are letting a perceived lack of talent hold you back, you need to stop and get a grip of yourself. Talent is actually far less important than people assume. It’s hard work and perseverance which really matter.

Success isn’t the same as talent. The world is full of incredibly talented people who never succeed at anything.

Tim Grover

Do yourself a favour and ignore that negative voice. Actually, you can do yourself an even bigger favour, and stop letting negative people dissuade you from chasing big scary goals. When people belittle your ambitions, it’s a reflection of their limitations and not yours. Swap these naysayers for people who believe in you and support your goals.

Surround yourself with those who want you to succeed. people who don’t pursue their own dreams won’t encourage you to pursue yours

Tim Grover

You have nothing to lose by setting ambitious goals and pursuing them. Along the way you will grow and develop, achieving wonderful things and becoming the best version of yourself. That’s not such a bad thing is it?


What’s the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?

Grant Cardone

The Fire Within

January. The most wonderfully deluded time of the year. Everyone is keen to share their New Year’s Resolutions with anybody who will listen, and social media is full of every variation of the good old “New Year, New Me” post. Please forgive my cynicism, but come February 1st how many people will still be living their new lifestyle and still be working towards their resolutions? In my 36 years, i’ve made a lifetime’s worth of resolutions only to see them go out of the window not long after. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. People can and do make lasting resolutions and changes, and it’s something that anybody can do. How, I hear you ask…

The answer is simple, the only ones still standing next month and beyond will be those whose motivation is intrinsic. This means that their motivation comes from within. It’s more than just the pursuit of a goal which will earn a reward, it’s their purpose, their reason and their “why”.

For many people, their motivation is extrinsic, or motivated by external sources. This means that they are chasing their goals in the hope of achieving some kind of external reward, be it new clothes which they will treat themselves to if they lose enough weight, a promotion at work or the approval of others, for example.

The problem for those motivated by the hope of some external reward (extrinsic motivation) is that it doesn’t last. It simply cannot last. Sounds harsh, but it is also the truth. I know, because I have had to find this out the hard way over the years.

Externally motivated goals only work in the short-term and the reason is simple. Life is a rollercoaster ride with ups and downs. During the ups, extrinsic motivation works just fine, but it’s during the down times that it falls apart. In pursuit of a goal or resolution, you will undoubtedly encounter tough times and challenges. If your pursuit of the goal is tied to some reward, it is only natural to question, when times get difficult, whether it’s really worth continuing. This is the point at which people start to give up as they determine that the reward is not worth the time, effort or risk required.

When you pursue a goal or resolution which is motivated internally, the results are very different. Intrinsic, or internal, motivation is when you chase a goal for yourself. You’re not after a nice shiny treat. This is when you want something with every ounce of your being. A fire burns inside you for it. It is your purpose, and the reason why are here. It is your first thought in the morning when you wake, and your last before you go to sleep. This is the deciding factor between success or failure in pursuit of your goals, and it really works because it inspires you to keep going even on the most difficult of days, never giving up and never settling.

If you want something badly, deeply or strongly enough, you will do whatever it takes. You won’t just work for it, but you will suffer for it. When the difficult times come, you will persevere through the pain, misery and disappointment until you finally achieve what you set out to. Then, and only then, do you receive the greatest reward of all…the feeling of accomplishment.

Setting goals is the easy part in the quest for a more fulfilled and rewarding life. On the other hand, putting in the time and effort required, and persevering through the tough times, is incredibly difficult.

So, as well as considering what you want to achieve and how you plan to go about it, i’ll leave you with some questions which you may find helpful to reflect upon;

  • How badly do you want this?
  • What/ how much does achieving this goal mean to you?
  • What do you hope to have received in reaching this goal?
  • What are you prepared to do, or give, in order to achieve this goal?
  • What sacrifices are you prepared to make in order to be successful?


Whatever your goals, I wish you the very best of luck. May 2018 be your best year yet!!

Thinking of starting your own blog?

I regularly get asked for advice on how to start a blog, what to write about and how often to post on a blog. While I respond as quickly as possible and as best I can, it’s about time that I share what I have learned on my journey in the hope that it might help other aspiring bloggers.

Before you start, you need to have an idea of what you want to share via your blog. Will it be related to your personal or your professional interests? My personal interest and passion is in personal development and how our mindset and attitude determines whether we will fulfill our potential or fall short. I share advice based on what i’ve learned through research and experience, inspirational and motivational poetry and book reviews. You don’t need to have it all figured out at this stage, but you need to know what you want to talk about. This will help to ensure that your message is clear and runs throughout your blog posts.

Starting a blog is pretty easy. There are a number of platforms out there, with WordPress and Blogger among the most popular. Do your homework on what each platform offers and pick the most appropriate one for your needs.

Once you have chosen a platform, registered a name and set-up your blog it’s time to start writing. Don’t spend months waiting for the perfect topic to come to mind, or the perfect time as I did. Search for, read and follow other blogs with a similar theme to yours for ideas and inspiration. Use your other social media platforms to connect with similar-minded people and keep reading up on your area of interest. Then, start blogging.

As you post on your blog, you will learn and grow, which will help you to develop your blog. Respond to messages and feedback from readers. Engaging with your readership and inviting feedback is how many blogs increase in quality as well as popularity. You don’t need to have your writing style figured out, just keep blogging and that will come to you over time.

When I write, I just open the page and let it all out. Then I go back to proof-read and edit, but you need to determine the style and process which works for you. Depending on your theme and your proficiency with your blogging platform, your posts may have graphics, charts, links to other pages or other interactive elements. This is your own space which you can have fun with and fill as you like. Experiment with it and have fun.

Don’t get caught up in the statistics and numbers. When I started, I posted many items which didn’t receive a single “like”. It still happens sometimes. Don’t take it to heart, just keep blogging. It’s easy to get discouraged by a lack of interest but please understand that there are countless blogs online all vying for peoples’ attention. It just might be taking a little longer for yours to get noticed, that’s all. The only person you should be writing for is yourself. You need to be satisfied with the quality and content of what you post. Not everyone will appreciate it, but a blog should be an expression, and outlet, of what is burning inside you and struggling to get out. While it may entertain or inform the reader, it is also an indication of who the writer is as a person, what motivates, inspires and drives them.

As for the length of your posts and how often you should blog, the best advice I can give is to do what feels right for you. The more time you can spare and the more you feel you have to share, the more often you will be posting. Don’t get caught up in this, because as you post on your blog, you will get a feel for how much you can write and how often.

Most of all, enjoy the process. If you are planning on blogging to earn fame and fortune, you are setting yourself up to fail as your priorities and intentions are wrong and you are putting extra pressure on yourself. You should be blogging because you enjoy it, because it means something to you, because you want to inspire or motivate others. Fame and fortune may very well come your way, but it should be as a happy coincidence while you do something you enjoy and not the reason why you started blogging in the first place.

If you are thinking of starting a blog, I wish you the best of luck. It’s a wonderful experience which can teach you so much, and I personally would not change it for the world.

Happy Blogging!!!

The Journey so far..

For my 100th blog post, I would like to share a little about myself and the journey which I have been on since starting Fulfill Your Potential.

I didn’t set out to start a blog, it kind of..happened. Writing, however, is something which i’ve always enjoyed. Until I started Fulfill Your Potential, though, I only ever wrote for myself in notebooks and journals. I have boxes of them which I revisit from time to time, as they provide a powerful reminder of how far i’ve come and how far I have yet to go. I’d reflect on myself and my own personal development, as well as anything which i’ve come across and has stuck in my mind. Wherever I go, I always have a notepad and pen with me, just in case inspiration strikes.

In the last couple of years, I have left the teaching profession to pursue a career in Human Resources. This is a broad field, of which Learning and Development interests me the most. I am not only fascinated by how much potential we all have within us, but also the power which each of us has to fulfil that potential. During this time I have studied for a Master’s in Human Resource Management, read countless books and journal articles, gained a wealth of experience and consulted with numerous academics, coaches and professionals. Furthermore I have enhanced my knowledge, skills and professional network.

The problem I faced was that I now found myself with all this research, knowledge and a wealth of resources but not enough of an outlet. At the same time, social media was full of gurus and coaches selling training packages which offered all the secrets to success for a fee. Despite my skepticism, I read a few books and visited numerous blogs and websites but found many of them distinctly lacking any real substance. They were motivational, but didn’t offer anything other than what I felt I already knew. That is, however, the genius of these offerings; because there are no lasting benefits you keep going back to top up your levels of motivation.

I decided that I was being selfish in withholding what I had learned and experienced, and needed to share it with the world. So I started this blog. I actually created it last November, then…nothing. I was waiting for the perfect time and topic before starting. So I waited and waited and waited. Then I remembered that the perfect time does not exist, and if I kept waiting the blog would not get started. In April, I finally took the plunge and posted for the first time.

I am, and have always been, an introvert so this was rather scary. I worried that nobody would read it. Then I worried about being ridiculed. It was slow going at first, and there were many times when I questioned what I was doing and whether I should give up, but I kept writing. Once a week at first, I now write daily and love it. I love being able to share something of value with the world but I enjoy the interactions with readers more. It’s easy to get carried away and become obsessed with the statistics (visitors, likes..) but I am fixated on value. I want to offer something worthwhile and helpful to as any people as possible. I want people to know that it is possible to find help and inspiration for free. You don’t have to pay significant amounts of money for well-marketed programmes, which are often common sense sprinkled with anecdotes of people who have achieved success against all odds. That is not to say that they are all bad. There are indeed a number of very successful coaches who offer a great service, but only if you pay a premium.

Most of all I write in the hope that I can provide value to others by providing a source of motivation or inspiration through the sharing of knowledge and experience. This is simply a labour of love, and something I strongly believe in, so I will continue to write and pay it forward for as long as anyone finds value in this blog.

If you like what your read, I only ask that you please leave a comment and let me know how I can improve my blog for you. If you feel inclined to share any of my posts, that would also be greatly appreciated. If there is a topic which resonates with you, please let me know and I will promise to revisit it in more depth.

Alternatively, if you hate it, I would love to hear from you too. I am on a mission to write to the best of my ability and provide something of value, so any constructive feedback would help me to help you, the reader. If you believe that you could do better, please do so. After all, the world needs more people to find the courage to share their talents, providing value and beauty while asking nothing in return.

Lastly, I would like to thank you all for joining me on this rollercoaster ride over the past 100 posts. There is plenty more yet to come, and in the pipeline is a podcast, which will be launching as soon as I manage to iron out a few technical issues.

So you want to be a…?

Shortly after finishing a recent post on passion and doing what you love, I was inspired to revisit some of Charles Bukowski’s work. I found myself reading So you want to be a writer? and it spoke to me just as it did the first time I read it.

The poem is essentially about being true to yourself and doing what you love. While it discusses writing, the poem is applicable to any area of life and the message is clear; devote your time and effort to that which you love, which you are passionate about, that makes you happy and makes your heart sing. Don’t be seduced by money or lifestyle but rather listen to what the voice inside is telling you. Whether your calling is to write, act, dance, paint or whatever else, just do it. Follow your passion and share your gift with the world.

So You Want To Be A Writer – by Charles Bukowski

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.