windy beach

It’s the start of Summer, right now and I’d love to go down to the beach. The temperature isn’t exactly balmy though, and down on the coast, with a stiff breeze, the wind chill factor will make it will feel even colder. I’m better off staying put in my back garden.

The wind-chill factor is the bane of my life sometimes. On a recent trip to Mallorca, even though the temperature was around 20 degrees. I would normally be sunbathing on the beach at that temperature but the wind chill meant that I was actually too cold. I couldn’t stay on the sand for any length of time.

Why does it feel colder when it’s windy?

Apparently, when there is no wind, our bodies create a protective layer of warmth around the skin. When the wind blows across our skin, this protective layer is stripped away and we feel cooler than it actually is. The greater the difference in temperature between the wind and the air around us, the greater the loss of heat.

Reading this fact put me in mind of a similar effect. When something unexpected happens – a negative event, it naturally knocks us back. It may take time to recover, but if other aspects of life are going okay we can often regain our balance, take action where possible, and recover.

But what if life is already out of balance? If we are struggling with loneliness, lack of direction, or inability to control our lives, we may find it much harder to cope with any new problem that is thrown at us. Our protective layer has been blown away, and the more out of sync we are with our best selves, the harder it will be to bounce back.

What if you get too cold to warm up again?

I don’t know if you have noticed, but if you get cold, it is really hard to warm up again. It is so much better to wrap up in advance than it is to put layers back on once the chill has penetrated.

So the time to build your networks, take control of your life and find your direction in life is now. If things are okay, but a little ‘meh’, you may be tempted to just let it tick over. Be warned – if you do, you will be putting yourself at risk of a psychological wind chill effect.

And if you are really struggling with a bad experience, work on fulfilling your basic psychological needs. This is a vital part of the recovery process.

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It is the beginning of Spring. All around me are the burgeoning buds of green as leaves erupt from dead-looking twigs and branches. Small animals look for food on the forest floor now they no longer need to hibernate. It is the time of emergence and new growth, the eternal life coach’s metaphor!

It’s true for many, that as the weather gets warmer and life restarts in nature, many of us feel motivated to begin new things. We begin new businesses, new relationships, new ways of seeing and being. Many of us feel we want to take action and seize the day.

If that’s you, then hunker down with your coach and get started.

What if I want to hibernate?

What if that isn’t you? What if you are the kind of person who just wants to hibernate a little longer? What if you are aware that you will need to wake up soon and start living again, but the world outside still seems grey and frosty.

After all, there is a lot going on in the world right now. It’s an uncertain time.

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When you set a goal, or plan a task or project, it is important to have a clear vision of the outcome. Visualisation, written goals, SMART outcomes and Well-formedness are all aspects of this same principal. Create the future in detail and then have a plan that takes you there.

Many of us who set out with a mission find that the reality is very different from the plans. Problems get in the way, costs spiral, a pandemic breaks out or even a war! It is no wonder that many people give up entirely on their goals because they go off course.

A core part of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) aa set of are it’s ‘presuppositions’. These are a set of guidelines that practitioners use to help them be more effective in their lives. One of these presuppositions reads:

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Hereward Kaye

Many people see success as a goal that you strive for, and then achieve. You tick the success box and you’re made for life. Of course life is a journey. There are many successes along the way – some of them daily. And when you really hit the big time, you still can’t know that it will continue forever.

Many of the most ‘successful’ people in the world struggle with confidence and self-belief for this very reason.

In the third part of my interview with Hereward Kaye, composer and writer, he shares with us one of his most successful moments – the premier of his West End Musical, Moby Dick.

To have a musical that you have co-written performed at the West End and produced by Cameron Mackintosh is unquestionably a successful moment for which many hanker.

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In this video in the Inspiring Success series, I talk to Neil Tomlinson. He is the founder of the drinking water business – Aquapax, rs. Aquapax is the first drinking water company to distribute its product in paper cartons, rather than the ubiquitous plastic bottle. Neil’s story is very much a personal one. Neil cares for environmental issues, and particularly due to his experience of seeing beaches that were once pristine, now covered in ugly plastic waste.

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When Sue Palmer attended a risque party in the 60s the seed of her mission to change children’s education in the United Kingdom was sown. Sue’s passion for learning, inspired by the writing of Sybil Marshall, has led her to be a successful author on education and childhood. Her commitment to a play-centred, Kindergarten style education for young children has become a full-blown campaign, particularly in Scotland.

In this ‘Inspiring Success’ interview we learn about her mission. We get a better understanding of the background of the educational tradition in this country. It’s quite an eye-opener.

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freedom - represented by a barbed wire fence and a plan in the background

As I write this I’m stuck in a prison – the prison of the mind. A lot of people run aground in their lives and stay in that place most of the time. I am determined to break free and live a life of freedom. Sure, things, or should I say, circumstances, happen in one’s life but the most important emotion is our reactions to these. We can be negative and feel sorry for ourselves or get into a positive state of mind and ‘tighten our belts’ and move on to the next chapter. The most important piont in your life is to not compare yourself with others.

You have been given a blank canvas and it’s up to you what you’re going to paint on it. My own life has had its ups and downs and most of my life I’ve let the downs keep me from experiencing the joys that life has to offer: low in confidence; feeling worthless; lack of self-esteem and hiding away. My aim is to break free and break these chains, start a new journey and use every part of the canvas to paint my picture.

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I have published this interview on International Women’s Day 2021 because it has particular relevance to the theme of the event, which is #choosetochallenge.

In our ‘Inspiring Success’ interview, Sian Edwards talks about the lack of women at the highest level of orchestral conducting and why that may be. She also tells of the work she and others are doing to redress the balance.

In addition, Sian tells us how she achieved her own success and talks about her passions and pet projects, as well as talking about how to conduct an orchestra in a pandemic.

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In this, the first ‘Inspiring Success’ video I interview Professor Alyssa Westring, Vincent de Paul Associate Professor of Management and Entrpeneurship at DePaul University’s Driehaus College of Business. We talk about how to create more successful lives as parents.

Juggling work, home, well-being and community life can make life incredibly challenging – even more so during Covid-19. Alyssa’s book ‘Parents Who Lead’ gives a practical framework for creating greater synergy within our lives.  She talks about her focus on Values and the Four-Way view used in her work with families and she explains her research into the impact of Coronavirus.

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Arnie Wilson, Vivianne Naeslund, and HestonBlumenthal
Arnie Wilson with wife Vivianne Naeslund and Heston Blumenthal

Guest post by Arnie Wilson, Ski, Travel & showbiz writer,editor and broadcaster. Guinness World Record Holder.

Today I continue my occasional series of guest blogs from successful people in all walks of life. In this piece Arnie Wilson tells the story of how he got to interview thousands of celebrities, write for the Financial Times and break a Guinness World Record skiing.

I referred to Arnie as a maverick, and he was somewhat surprised, but I think he embodies the kind of person who is resourceful and avoids the need to fit into one box.

The lessons? You don’t have to have a plan. Have a good mentor. Seize the opportunities because you never know where they might lead.

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