Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

How to create a passion-driven career or business—Fourteen individuals tell you their stories of transformational change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Wild horses wouldn’t drag me back
to working for someone else.”
Alan Sugar, Entrepreneur and host of The Apprentice, UK

Fourteen Individuals tell you their stories…

Their backgrounds and dreams are as unique as you are. What unites them is their creativity, passion, and integrity. In my latest book Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself they share their fears, their struggles and their joys as they overcame obstacles and pursued their dreams of self-employment.

They were doing something they love; their passion drove them.

The list below is what they have in common. As you read this list think how many strategies could apply to you:

  1. Making money was not their sole motivation. Their businesses grew from a desire to serve others; they were not trying to force something on others or to make a killer sale. Instead, they wanted to make a positive difference and create something of value. They didn’t badger people into buying their goods or service.
  2. They cared about whether or not they could help a prospective client. If they could, great. If not, they were either quietly persistent until they were needed, or they moved on.
  3. They planned for success. Their business and marketing plans were living documents and they managed their finances extraordinarily well.
  4. They shared. They communicated their vision, goals, and plans with those important to them, and they researched their clients and stakeholders constantly to learn how to do things better together.
  5. They listened. They listened to their staff, their families and their clients. Then, and only then, when they understood their issues, fears, needs and desires did they offer a solution.
  6. They started smart. When employing others, whether on contract or as salaried staff, they hired the right people for the right job. And, when necessary, they gave their people the training, systems, environment, and recognition to do their job well.
  7. They took calculated risks. They always looked before they leaped, but they leaped nonetheless. Courage and confidence were something they built as they went.
  8. They believed in themselves, or faked it! Even professionals doubt themselves – but they don’t let self-doubt win.

“You have to believe in yourself. Even when you don’t, you have to try,” encourages Serena Williams, tennis super-star and 21-time Grand Slam champion.

“There are moments when I am on the court and I’m like, ‘I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this’. But then I fortify myself and say, ‘I can, I can’ – and it happens. If you believe in yourself, even if other people don’t, that really permeates through and it shows. And people respect that.”

If the strategies above sound like things you can do, or are willing to try, chances are self-employment is right for you. Be sure to get off to a good start, and be inspired by those who have walked the path of success.

 

Client Success Story: Business Can Be a Wonderful Box of Chocolates

Lisa Conroy, Director and Empowerment Coach for women’s lifestyle, career, and wellness. Box of Chocolates, www.boxofchocolates.co.nz

Lisa Conroy’s passion for helping others led her to start her coaching business. The seeds of change were also cultivated during a stressful time in her former job.

Leading up to my coaching training I had been working for a major sporting organization for eight years. They were going through massive change and unsettling times. I was up to my fourth restructuring with this company, and management informed us that they were moving the organization to another city. It was an eight-hour drive away, and an expensive place to transport my family to live.

It had been a toxic environment for some time, HR was non-existent, and I saw first hand during this time of transition amongst the team, the effects of stress and uncertainty. I knew going to the new venue was not in my family’s best interest, so I had to think about my options, which led to a call for change. The idea of coaching and helping others with their life and career goals appealed and seemed to be a growing industry.

I did some investigating and found Cassandra Gaisford and her Worklife Solutions Career and Life Coaching certification program. Her personality, variety of skills and zest for life just really resonated with me.

I realized becoming a life coach would allow me the freedom, flexibility, and independence to do work that I loved in an industry that seemed very rewarding and much needed.

I knew it would be a steep learning curve, but I love a challenge and felt this was the perfect fit for my interests, skills, and goals.

My new coaching journey began, which led to a career combo. I decided to start my own business within three weeks of starting my coaching program and haven’t looked back since…

Do something you love

I have always wanted to have my own business doing something I loved. Once I started my coaching training, I felt this was the perfect match for me to be able to utilize my skills and help others to reach their lifestyle, career and wellness goals.

I also wanted the freedom to be able to work on new ideas and create my own style by offering a unique service in the Wellness industry through my combination of coaching, art therapy workshops, wellness retreats, Reiki healing, and aromatherapy pamper parties.

Deciding what to do

My initial focus was purely on the lifestyle, career and wellness coaching but realized it would take the time to build my brand, Box of Chocolates, along with gaining trust with clients and networks.

I went into this with a realistic view that it would take twothree years to build to a point of going full time with my business ideas. I also believed that if I had a few alternative strings to my bow, it would assist me in offering a variety of services to a wider audience and give me alternative sources of income.

I was drawn to running wellness retreats where my event management skills, love of wellness and creative activities, and relevant workshop topics would help me attract the right women. Women who wanted to feel empowered and find new inspiration for their lives, and be able to share and learn from others in a safe and nurturing environment.

I was also interested in gaining a certification in Reiki healing as I felt this would complement my coaching and retreats/workshops, which then led me becoming an aromatherapy consultant too.

This year I will be focusing on increasing my impact/marketing reach strategies by striving to increase my coaching capacity to offer Skype sessions/coaching packages globally online as well as within New Zealand.

Finding an idea that would be successful

A belief in my abilities, along with a determination to be of service and offer a solution to key problems facing many women helped me find an idea I thought would be successful.

When you can tap into understanding who your niche market is and what they need, you can then build a strong foundation of core services to assist them.

I took a leap of faith but I knew in my heart that every time I coached someone it didn’t feel like work to me, it was so rewarding seeing my clients grow from strength to strength and be able to reach their true potential with a boost in confidence.

When you are coming from the heart and follow that guidance, you will always be supported to find the people and resources you need.

However, that doesn’t mean sitting back and waiting for it to happen. Action and dedication are required to build momentum, along with commitment and trust in your abilities to manifest your dreams and goals.

I also knew that there were not many people holding retreats that offered a unique Zen and creative style that my program offers – you have to think outside the box and run with it! I went along to lots of Wellness industry events, seminars, network meetings and got a feel for what people were needing and built my strategies around that.

Finding the right product for the right market

I did my research, I talked to successful coaches in the industry and I asked for feedback from all my clients, I went online to see what trends were coming through and what topics were hot, locally and internationally.

I read lots of industry related books and blogs and signed up to sites that inspired me to keep my finger on the pulse on what was working successfully for others that I could leverage off.

Keeping your energy levels high

I’m not a big fan of the saying ‘hard work’ as it has stressful connotations. You need to be passionate about your services and ideas, and you need to have the ability to encourage others to use them. It is also important that you make time to promote yourself and get your messages across to your targeted market through various avenues.

Start small and take your time to build confidence, so that when you realize you’re onto a good thing, it doesn’t feel like ‘hard work’ but is exciting to see your business and ideas coming to fruition.When you are coming from a place of authenticity, it will always come through and people will naturally want to refer your services because they benefit from your genuine concern and skills. This is always going to be your best source of repeated business and will quickly amplify your brand through referrals you can use in your marketing material…

To read more of Lisa’s story, be inspired by other entrepreneurs, and gain practical strategies to help you plan your beautiful business, purchase your copy of  Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself  TODAY! Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself is available in paper back and e-Book version from Amazon.

Or contact me for your bespoke, individually tailored passion-driven mentoring program—http://www.worklifesolutions.nz/services-for-individuals

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Saturday, April 29th, 2017

Ditch The 9 to 5…

Let’s talk passion and purpose today…Have you been working in a job, career or industry that has left you feeling uninspired and wondering how you will ever get out of it?

Or, perhaps, you know your life is supposed to be purpose FULL and you long to be excited and full of energy and you don’t know what is next and how to go after it.

When you’ve been stuck in a job for a short time, or a long time, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed or scared to leave it and make changes in your life and your life’s work.  But when you are OVER and want to find passion and purpose in your job, how do you do that?

You may have already read my book Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

Well, now some extra help is on its way—a free interview series to help you discover your passion and purpose—and still pay the bills.

This May, Missy has curated an amazing series to include TOP OF THEIR INDUSTRY EXPERTS!  21 extremely successful entrepreneurs, speakers, authors, writers, coaches, trainers and thought leaders influencers, marketing, social media and PR gurus will inspire you to see what is possible and how to overcome what is holding you back

I’m honored and excited to be a guest speaker as part of The “Ditch The 9 To 5 Summit” and I can’t wait for you to join me!


This is a FREE 21-day online video series event and begins on May 3, 2017.  Yes, FREE!

Together with the other speakers we’ll provide practical steps to help you leave an uninspired job and pursue your passion and purpose—and make great money doing it!

Missy has a vision to help people live a life of passion and purpose.  She also knows it is absolutely possible to make great money doing it.“Live with passion and purpose, otherwise you are selling out on yourself, those around you and the world.  Please share your gifts!” she says.

Taking a risk to go after what you love is sometimes scary. But when you are ready to feel passion and purpose it’s great to know what’s possible and be encouraged by others that you also can do this.

Missy has found 21 inspiring entrepreneurs, experts, authors, speakers, trainers, coaches and thought leaders around the world to share their tips on what has worked, best practices, and practical tools to guide you and help you plan for transformational change in your life.

Get fired up to live with passion purpose and learn how to make money doing what you love. 

Register now for the May 3rd launch! 
 

I look forward to seeing you there!

Get a head start on ditching your 9-to-5 with the Career Rescue box-set. Mid-Life Career Rescue-Three Book Bundle-Box Set (Books 1-3): The Call For Change, What Makes You Happy, Employ Yourself

To read a free excerpt or purchase your copy navigate to here: getBook.at/CareerRescueBox

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Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Your personal invitation to a free, life-changing online event…

Are you at a fork in the road?

Have you ever thought to yourself “There has to be more to life than this?” At some point, most of us have.

Here’s the incredible thing…

Sometimes when you’re at a fork in the road, one simple well-timed suggestion or idea can cause a major shift—the one that leads to your breakthrough.

That’s why I am so excited to invite you to join me for a free online event called What the Fork? Discover a Practical and Nourishing Plan to Feed Yourself For Health and Happiness

Healthy Living Coach Sheree Clark is interviewing all sorts of health and lifestyle experts, and I am honored to be one of those she hand-picked to feature!

This event is a unique chance to listen to dozens of the best health, nutrition, exercise and lifestyle authors, teachers and researchers give their insights into what they have found to be true from their years of experience. Many of the experts you’ll meet arrived at their own “make it or break it moment” because of an event in their lives, and they’re willing to share what they’ve learned with you.

The experts in this series all want to help you discover the incredible opportunities you have to uplevel your own life. We believe that a healthier lifestyle is about more than just what you put in your mouth or how many steps you walk in a day. It’s about viewing yourself—and the things you allow into your life—in a holistic and integrated way.

I’m inviting you to participate as my guest in the entire What the Fork? event for FREE!

You’ll find out how to:

  • Be at peace, whether you’re strolling in the garden or dealing with the tech support people
  • Eat more healthfully, and without feeling deprived
  • Finally get your hormones and your thyroid under control
  • Address brain fog, fatigue, sugar ups and downs
  • Feed your entire family—pets included—for longevity
  • Follow your passion and still pay the bills

…And much, much more….

If this sounds exciting to you, you absolutely must listen in! Join me and the other experts for FREE by clicking the link below and registering today.

Click here to access What the Fork? 

By the end of this event you’ll have the knowledge and the tools that will bring you the vibrant life you’re looking for! So, what the fork are you waiting for? Take a sneak peek at some of the amazing experts here and see my book Mid-Life Career Rescue featured on American Television  (8 minutes 45 seconds in)

But wait there’s more! Leonardo da Vinci and Coco Chanel both knew the importance of taking a holistic approach to success—including looking after your well-being, your mind, your spirit and your relationships. To coincide with this special summit, and to celebrate Leonardo’s birthday this month (April 15, 1452) I  have a FREE gift.

The Art of Success Boxed Set (Books 1-2) Leonardo Da Vinci & Coco Chanel: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life. Get two books for one reduced price of $9.99 for a limited time. Instant download here >>getBook.at/SuccessBoxset.

Learn Leonardo da Vinci’s and Coco Chanel’s success secrets and let them guide and mentor you. Three life coaches and two empowering books to help you transform your life rolled into one important resource.

P.S. You may also like to check out the Find Happiness at Work: How to Create a Successful Career Strategy. Listen to my presentation, for the Alumni Career Speaker Series 2017 here  (The sound improves 20 minutes in!)

There’s loads of inspirational stories and sparkling images to uplift and encourage you to pursue your dreams. You can see a few samples on my blog here >> http://www.cassandragaisford.com/find-happiness-at-work-how-to-create-a-successful-career-strategy

P.P.S. Each interview in Sheree’s Fork in the Road series will be available for a limited time. Register now and don’t miss a single tip, strategy or important tidbit!

Click here to register for What the Fork? 

Please share this blog with anyone you know who may need a boost.

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Friday, January 27th, 2017

The Astrology of Success

FAITH IN YOUR STARS

“Arrogance is in everything I do. It is in my gestures, the harshness of my voice, in the glow of my gaze, in my sinewy, tormented face” ~ Coco Chanel Leo)

Much of Coco Chanel’s success can be attributed to her faith in the stars. Chanel believed in astrology. She was a Leo, symbolized by the lion, queen of the beasts, Leo is the sign of royalty. Proud and arrogant, yet loyal and brave, this sign if ablaze with warmth and fire.

Creative entrepreneurship is the true stamp of a Leo—and Chanel manifested this in buckets. Driven by passion, purpose, determination, a desire to lead not follow, the courage and fearlessness of a lion, and a serious need to be noticed. Making an impression is Priority One for many Leo’s—think Mick Jagger, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Julia Child and other flamboyant people who share Coco Chanel’s sun.

Chanel’s moon was in Pisces, making her intuitive to the point of being psychic, writes Karen Karbo in The Gospel According to Coco Chanel. This may explain her uncanny knack for predicting where best to place her energy to amass a great following and fortune.

Leo is also the fifth sign of the zodiac—a number Coco used to astounding success when she named her perfume, Chanel No. 5. She also leveraged off her faith in her stars and other spiritual tools to empower her mind, and sustain her during periods of darkness.

Most clients come with financial problems or relationship problems,” my friend and astrologer Marianne O’Hagan says. “They come looking for the hope of happiness in the future.”

Marianne knows personally and professionally. You can read more of her story in Mid-Life Career Rescue: What Makes You Happy—including how she started her own business by using her faith in the stars.

I’m a Libra in Western astrology and a Snake in Chinese astrology. It’s true when they say that Libran’s love harmony, balance and beauty. I love it when I receive feedback from readers, saying my book is “beautifully written.” Or, as a person who read my first Art of Success book, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, posted in their review, “This beautiful book wraps art around business and life and makes each hum with energy and creativity and brings the reader new vitality.

Google ‘best careers’ for Snakes and I’m told to avoid careers where I have to work too hard. ‘Working hard’ to me is doing something I dislike, working with people I don’t respect. Working hard is not marching to my own beat. But when I’m working in the passion zone, fulfilling my purpose, now that’s a different story.

Whether you’re a believer in the notion that whatever planets align at your time and place of birth can determine your intrinsic strengths, shape your character, relationships and fortunes, there’s plenty of helpful data to aid you in your quest for success. Keep an open mind and don’t take everything as total gospel.

Your Challenge

Go cosmic—gain additional insight about your astrological sign from any of the plethora of books, online resources and personal astrologers. Focus on identifying your strengths, Achilles heel, and best-fit-factors career-wise and in your personal life.

I liked the idea that astrology believes we all are special and have unique gifts. It was at that moment that my love of astrology was born

~ Marianne O’Hagan, astrologer

This is an edited extract from The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life (Book Two: Coco Chanel)

by Cassandra Gaisford. To order a copy for less than the price of coffee and cake click here to go to your online bookshop.

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Friday, January 27th, 2017

My New Year Solution 2017—some notes

 

As the new year kicks off it’s a good time to take stock of the memories deeply engrained within my heart and memory. It’s so affirming to look back over the last 12 months and take an inventory of all the things that happened – the good and the not so good – and reflect on successes and lessons learned.

Last year the new year (2016) passed in a dizzy drunken blur of bad music and false friends. This year I was with my lover (and best friend) sober in Fiji. It was magic.  Dinner barefoot on a sandy beach beneath a kaleidoscope of fireworks. 2017 is my year of living magically – and beautifully. (which is also why I’ve named the next self-empowerment book, Your Beautiful Mind. ..more on that later.)

Albert Einstein once said, “‘If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.’  I took his advice to heart last year – big time! Mostly I set aside more time to do what I loved.

I fell back in love with fiction. After spending much of  my adult life in business roles and writing about careers—how to survive them, change them and thrive in them—I’ve become a ravenous reader of all things escapism. I love immersing myself in new worlds…especially if there is an element of history and the books are art-related in some way, like one of the books I read in 2016 – Jessie Burton’s, The Muse.

Inspired by my love of escapism I wrote two art-related romance novels under my pen name Mollie Mathews (www.molliemathews.com) and indie published them under one of my new business lines, Blue Orchid Publishing. It has been heartening to receive wonderful feedback from readers, like one Amazon reviewer who posted a five-star review and said, “Beautiful. Resonated in my soul, gives me hope that I will meet my Prince one day and he will love me for who I am.”  The two books I wrote are:
The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride and The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage.

The awesome feedback I’ve received is particularly encouraging as, like many successful authors, I had to ensure rejection – and worse the silent treatment from a New York agent who asked me to send her my books and then never got back to me. On the upside this experience lead me to create a new business and new brand – something I’ve been wanting to do ever since I read a book about New Zealand romance writers over ten years ago, The Passionate Pen.

Last year I truly was prolific—both in non-fiction and fiction which many of you who have followed me and purchased my books will know. I wrote and published:

Two in the Art of Success Series (The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life:

Book One: Leonardo da Vinci (getBook.at/TheArtofSuccess)

Book Two: Coco Chanel (getBook.at/CocoChanel)

I also wrote the published the following books:

Career Rescue: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life (getBook.at/CareerRescue)

Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love  (getBook.at/Passion)

Boost Your Self-Esteem and Confidence: Six Easy Steps to Increase Self-Confidence, Self-esteem, Self-Value and Love Yourself More (getBook.at/BoostYourSelfEsteemAndConfidence)

And a third book in the Mind-Life Career Rescue series,  Employ Yourself (getBook.at/EmployYourself)

I also started my own independent publishing press focused on self-empowerment books, Blue Giraffe Publishing – and another, Blue Giraffe Publishing, focused on romance and feel-good novels and others escapist reads. In the coming year I’ll share more news about this fledging lines 🙂

It’s been my absolute joy to have heard from so many people who told me that thanks to my books they have confidently left jobs they hated, and started living a life they loved—before it’s too late. Bravo to those of you who have had the courage to make a change for the better in 2016. And kudos to those of you who are planning your great escape. Small steps can lead to big successes over time.

I was touched to receive the following email recently which affirmed how lucky I am to work with both passion and purpose —I’ve devoted much of my life helping others to achieve the same:

“I discovered author Cassandra Gaisford when I first read her book, Mid-Life Career Rescue: How to Confidently Leave a Job You Hate and Start Living a Life You Love, Before It’s Too Late. She writes inspiring non-fiction about how to live a creative life, pursue your passion, and make meaningful change in your life. A number one bestselling Amazon author, she also writes romance and historical fiction and is a coach and speaker.Cassandra is inspiring to me because she leads by example—she follows her passion for writing and art, and she helps others find their creativity through her entrepreneurial writing business which includes coaching and speaking.”

I have thoroughly enjoyed designing my own book covers and have been encouraged by the feedback I’ve received. Including, “This beautiful book wraps art around business and life and makes each hum with energy and creativity and brings the reader new vitality.” for both the content and cover of Book One: Leonardo da Vinci (getBook.at/TheArtofSuccess) Other covers I have designed include, Book Two: Coco Chanel (getBook.at/CocoChanel) and the first one I ever created, “Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love  (getBook.at/Passion)

I began thinking deeply about the notion of duty as a writer, as a woman, as a person in this world right now. And I decided how thankful I am to people who have shared their creative journey – the heartaches and the joys and I decided I wanted to ‘pay it forward’ by helping myself and others like me who dream of creative success. And I wanted to do this by writing more self-empowerment books. Books in which I’ll share my journey to prosperity and the significant challenges I’ve had to overcome. I’ve done this in part in my Art of Success books, but “The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing ” will be more intimate and contain the success secrets that have helped me Ieave a job I hated to become a full-time author and creative entrepreneur, follow my passion and make a great living with my writing.  

in 2016 I invested a significant amount of time and money in developing my new career direction, including signing up for courses and attending conferences to learn from experts in their field. A real highlight was meeting Michael Hauge, a top Hollywood story expert, author and lecturer who consults with writers, filmmakers, marketers, attorneys and public speakers throughout the world.

Another highlight was receiving a phone call from Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics. He helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 online marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world. He was recognised as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 35 by the United Nations. Neil has also been awarded Congressional Recognition from the United States House of Representatives. Neil is so swamped with requests he doesn’t make individual consultations anymore – but he rang little ‘ol me – for free! When I asked ‘why’ he said, because I sounded nice and he thought it would be fun!

Neil’s pro tips to me included: “Having regular blog content is so crucial to building your business and driving traffic to your site.” It’s a great reminder offering free advise and inspiration does help.

In my coaching practice its been so heartening to pass on my skills and knowledge and to train so many wonderful people to become Certified Life and Career Coaches. Here’s just a few of the amazing people and their businesses they have started with a true passion to help others live and work with passion, joy, happiness and fulfilment:

www.boxofchocolates.co.nz

www.significantlives.com

https://empoweredeverafter.com/

www.resfreshyrlife.co.nz

As Clive (from Significant Lives) wrote to me, “A big draw card was the individualised approach – which just one week into training has already proved its worth! I simply wouldn’t be making the same progress if I was say, hooking into a weekly webinar with a dozen or more others and one trainer.” I love working closely with people to help them achieve their dreams.

Last year, as a result of my books going out into the world, I was contacted by many people in American, Europe, Australia and Asia and asked to share my experiences on podcasts, and in their books, including  (appropriately) Write Your Book at Fifty by Jeanette Martin. Yesterday I received an email with another request to share my story in a new book which will be released later this year, called Thrive: Finding Space to Live a Creative Life. As the author, says, “It’s about connecting with your creativity (or a neglected passion), creating the time/space/lifestyle to pursue your creativity, and building habits to live a more creative life. I wrote it because for so long, I was stuck on the hamster wheel of being a workaholic and completely ignoring my creative side. I hope to help others who may also be unhappy, ” the author wrote to me.

Amazingly the theme of this book sums up last year (and my intention for those that follow) perfectly. To live and work with passion, creativity and joy you need to make space.

The not so good things that happened included:

Falling out with a couple he had thought were very dear friends.  it seemed jealousy got the better of them, despite best efforts to heal the rift they moved away. Happily we have wonderful new friends in our life.

Numerous technology and computer meltdowns including my website (www.worklifesolutions.co.nz) being hacked six times. In the end I had to have it rebuilt and create a new domain. I lost content, time and money.

But other than these and a few personal challenges life (which I’ll share in my book, ‘Your Beautiful Mind” life has been pretty good. I think it helps that I’ve invested so much of my life in the personal development space—and that I meditate. And following my passion has been good for me.

So anyhow’s onto my new year’s solutions:

  • I will focus and eliminate all distractions when I write. And I mean ALL – in 30 minute cycles, using timers to keep me honest. Right now my fav tool is focusatwill.com. The developers says this will work magic because it’s “Scientifically optimized music to help you focus.”I’m a big fan of this tool …I love the music and loving what it’s doing for my productivity. It is absolutely incredible how much you can achieve in 30 minute bursts when you are focused.
  • I will simply and declutter my life – this includes my work area and desk and laptop (eliminating the unnecessary) – this will help me better achieve the above. This is going to be tough as I tend to be a ‘collector’ but I’m going to try.
  • I will experiment with my commitment to be alcohol-free for the WHOLE year. And I mean the whole year. And I will share what I learned and what really works, in my new book, “Your Beautiful Mind: Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life.” Alcohol addiction remains a hidden and stigmatic problem marked by denial and fear. There are millions suffering alone, afraid to ask the question, am I drinking too much? Don’t let this be you. Take the ready to quit quiz https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5K8KSN7
  • I will engage in three passion projects for the year – writing wise. As above for non-fiction and two art-related fiction books. One of these is particularly significant as it is the book I never thought I could write. More about this in later newsletters! To achieve this I am committing to being more ‘anti-social.’ Not drinking will help this along as the majority of times I socialised last year involved alcohol.Related to this I’m rethinking my relationship to social media. I truly am cutting back here, including taking the app off my Iphone so i don’t do quick check ins. Being away on holiday  off the grid was a great digital detox one I am to keep in check.
  • Health is a priority. I’m 52…half way to my next life—I want to make sure I arrive in good shape. Alcohol is gone, coffee too, sugar – on the way out. In is green and clean and raw. Let’s see how I go. Meditation needs to be more regular for sure. I’ve been a meditator for over 20 years but sometimes I forget to prioritise it.
  • Financial independence. I’ve been slack. After forging a very independent and successful career as a life coach and corporate trainer when I met my lover I allowed myself to get comfortable as I forged a new career direction. 2017 is the year I will leverage off all that I have learned and achieved and watch my prosperity soar. 2017 is the year for creative living beyond fear and big magic—financially, and spiritually.
  • I will trust and listen to my higher self more—especially in matters related to writing and running my business.
  • I will love numbers more. Last year and in the six or so months before I’ve switched off from all things numerical – accounting and finance wise. It’s true, out of sight, really does mean out of mind. Not good escapism at all! This year I’m dedicated to earning more and spending less, and that means ensuring that every dollar I spend is an investment in fast-tracking my financial success as I continue to reinvent my career as a creative woman.
  • Learn from the experts. This year I’m defragging from email overload and tapping into experts only. One of the few things I’m doing is taking a fiction writing class with James Patterson. Exciting!! As of January 2016, James has sold over 350 million books worldwide and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers. In addition to writing the thriller novels for which he is best known, he also writes children’s, middle-grade, and young-adult fiction and is also the first author to have #1 new titles simultaneously on the New York Times adult and children’s bestsellers lists. He’s a pro for sure! I’ve learned so much already.I’m also going to consult screenwriting guru Micheal Hague again—especially for my big (secret) project which has already been suggested by a top literary agent could become a movie! I know paying for these services will fast-track my success and feed my goal to be the best writer I can. I consulted with him when writing one of my romance novels (The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride) and the feedback was invaluable.  Plus I’ve signed up for a class with my guru Tim Ferris, How Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers Master Productivity.
  • I’m going to be incredible efficient with my time—minimising distractions and doing less to achieve more. A big change will be outlining before writing and using story-telling techniques when writing future blogs and newsletters to enhance my craft.
  • I’m going to be driven by passion and ensure I keep my passion alive—focusing and eliminating distractions and maintaining balance will be key. Passion will carry me through the tough times and affirm me during the good times. I know, I know—I’m the passion queen. But even the most passionate people can get distracted and burn out.
  • I’m going to get up earlier at 5am and ‘just do it!” This is going to be challenging, but I’m determined to make this a joyful ritual. My writing rituals will include five 9 hour days per week dedicated to fiction, one to non-fiction and marketing/business activities. Day seven will be a passion day – whatever I decide that will be. I love everything I do – so that will be easy. Included in this is Balance – relationship, health and spiritually wise. Meditation, romance, chilling will all factor in—including a reward trip to Japan with my lover in September to defrag and retop up our inspiration well.
  • I’m going to paint or draw when I feel my spirits lagging or I need a boost
  • I’m to take a year out from complaining! Gosh, if you commit to this, and log your progress you’ll be super aware how much we complain about things that really don’t matter – like the wind, or the rain, or the fact my cooked spinach is cold. Instead this is my year if gratitude for the blessed life I am fortunate to lead.

A few quotes that are inspiring me this year:

“I’m incredibly efficient with my time—in a joyful way.” ~ James Patterson

“I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

Do NOT sit there like ‘Oh I don’t feel like it today. I don’t feel like it tomorrow’. Feel like it! Do it! Force yourself. —James Patterson

“Know what you want and try to go beyond your own explanations. Improve your dancing, practice a lot, and set a very high goal, one that will be difficult to achieve. Because that is an artist’s million: to go beyond one’s limits. An artist who desires very little and achieves it has failed in life.” ~ Paulo Coehlo, in his book “The Spy.”

“Art is the queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all generations of the world.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

There—I’ve declared my intent for this year. Writing it down and sharing it with you makes it feel more concrete and me more accountable. It remains to be seen whether I achieve any of these, but I’m going to give them my best shot. Meanwhile  I wish you a very Happy New Year. May it be beautiful, prosperous, interesting, productive and joyful

#manifest your goals
Passion Journal 2016
Journal your way to prosperity – A sneak peek into how I manifested my 2016 goals

p.s.

If you GENUINELY like my books then it would be a HUGE help if you left a rating & review. It might seem insignificant, but it helps more than you might think…especially for independent authors like me. The quickest way is to go to my author page on Amazon and select the books you’ve read. Thank you! amazon.com/author/cassandragaisford

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Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Don’t let the critics stop you: 7 Tips for Handling Criticism

“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.” cropped

Do you derail your success by listening too much to, or overly seeking, the opinions of others? Do you let negative feedback stop you in your tracks?

Plenty of successful people have received scathing reviews, rejections and public humiliation from peers and critics, but they persevered with their vision anyway. You’ll know some of the more famous ones. Author J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series was rejected many times by publishers who told her there wasn’t a big market for children’s books. American singer Meatloaf was told that he was too fat to make it big, and no one would want to see him perform Bat out of Hell. It was too operatic and over the top they said. Film producer Peter Jackson was cautioned to stay away from his vision for a trilogy and produce The Lord of the Rings as one normal length movie.

Yet they, and others like them, stayed true to their quest, and all went on to be colossal successes.

The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions,” said Leonardo da Vinci. This could be read two ways. The deception could be yours, or it may belong to others who think themselves more knowledgable.

Other people may believe their negative evaluation of you, your ideas, your work. But what if they are wrong? What if your vision, like Leonardo Da Vinci’s was back in the1500’s, is way ahead of the time? I recall it wasn’t so very long ago that the publishing industry said no one would ever read a book on a kindle – let along a phone!

Know when to listen and when to walk away.

Sometimes feedback is helpful. But not if it stops you in your tracks or if you are so consumed with garnering everyones approval you become immobilised. Nobody can stop you except you. You have to ignore your harshest critics. To thy self and to thy vision and belief you must remain true.

Imagine how many of Leonardo’s ideas would never have come to fruition if he’d listened to others. Forge ahead. Blaze your road to success with your victories – even if the victory is just the one you win over your self-doubt, your laziness, your procrastination, your thoughts that you have no talent, or some other self-defeating habit.

What’s worse – the disappointment of criticism and bad reviews, or the bitter, bitter disappointment of a life spent unfulfilled and loaded with regret?

I’m guilty!

I’ve been guilty of letting the opinions of others sway me too much in the past…and I know others do too, which is why I’ve made sure this important point is covered in my book The Art of Success: how extraordinary artists can help you succeed personally and professionally (Available from 4 July on Amazon.)

I realise that most of my life I’ve been seeking validation that I was ‘good enough’ especially when it came to my creativity and in particular my writing. I’ve entered writing competitions, approached editors and story consultants, and other ‘experts,’  in my search to become a successful author. Sometimes the feedback was helpful, but most often I’ve found acting on their advice has taken me further and further away from my authentic voice, and the vision of the stories I wanted to tell.

You’re not good enough – you’re more!

Other people have shared with me that the fear of not being good enough is stopping them from achieving success now. And this often plays out by listening too much to, or overly seeking, the opinions of others. “My own beliefs, some built over the years, many embedded in childhood, are holding me back”, shared one 30 year old women. What we were told as children is often the root cause of the mistaken beliefs we hold today. We’re more than what others think of us. Much more.

Success to this young lady means “validation and self-worth.”

Who controls self-worth? You do! What you say, think, feel and believe about yourself is such a vital component of your success. If you’re self-esteem needs a kick-start, if you mistaken-beliefs are dragging you down – take heart. There are so many skilled professionals who can help your reconnect with your point of brilliance.

What would you do if you thought you would not fail?

If this young lady could do anything, and knew she would succeed, and there were no obstacles, do you know what she would do?

Sing!

How wonderful! She reminds me of a client I had once who felt the same way. “But I’ve got no talent, “ she told me.

‘How do you know? Where’s your evidence?” I asked.

“I just know. I’ve never learned.”

“So how could you learn?” I asked.

And long-story short, she went to singing lessons and has now performed in musicals and sings regularly as her special joyful hobby.

Don’t let the passionless, envious people win.

“You think you can sing, but you can’t,” our neighbours four-year old child, spat out the window when my daughter Hannah, aged four also, was singing happily on the swing.

Hannah stopped singing, ran inside and cried. This same child also cut off Hannah’s long blonde hair when she went to play one day. An innocent game of hairdressers or one driven by jealously or spite?

Regardless, Hannah hasn’t let that stop her from following her path with heart, nor from being kind and compassionate toward others. What she has learned is to choose her company carefully.

What would you do, if fear was no longer an obstacle or you weren’t worried about criticism?

In 1987 the songwriters Susanna Clark and Richard Leigh composed “Come from the Heart” which included the following lyrics:

You’ve got to sing like you don’t need the money
Love like you’ll never get hurt
You’ve got to dance like nobody’s watchin’
It’s gotta come from the heart if you want it to work.

Live with passion!

That’s where following your passion comes in. Passion is love in its most powerful and courageous form. I’ve achieved so many things I never thought I was capable of by following my passion – including public speaking to full-capacity audiences around the world. The saying, “Fake it ’till you make it,” always worked well for me. I felt the fear, and I showed up anyway.”

How do you stay strong in the wake of criticism?

Me, I like to keep collections of good reviews and glowing feedback and read them regularly to boost my self-belief and confidence.

Something I need to do more of is self-publish the books rejected by mainstream publishers. This is something I’ve done successfully with my Mid-Life Career Rescue series.

I also love keeping a file of true stories of others who were criticised and succeeded anyway.

And I look at bad reviews and rejections constructively, and ask: “What is this teaching me? Is there something I need to learn?”

I did this following a Amazon review of my first Mid-Life Career Rescue book, where someone wrote that I waffled. As a result I wrote a shorter book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose, which became a #1 Amazon bestseller.

Do you fear disappointment?

The respondent to my Art of Success questionnaire, the one who wants to sing, asked me an interesting question, “When you achieve one form of success, how do you not feel disappointed?”

Disappointment following success is not something I’ve thought about. “Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant,” artist Georgia O’Keefee (credited with creating the highest-priced artwork by a female artist in history at US $44.4 million) once said, “There is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing – and keeping your unknown slightly beyond you.”

And that’s exactly what Leonardo did. His obsession with discovering new knowledge born from his own direct experience propelled him forward.

  • All life arises out of choice. What choices are you making now?
  • How can you stay strong in the wake of criticism?
  • How can you do more of what’s working for you, and less of what’s not?
  • What can you start and stop doing to boost your chances of success?

Too many people die with regret, burying their wonderful talents in coffins of disappointment. Whether you succeed or fail is irrelevant. Far better to say at least you tried. And who knows – you may just surprise yourself!

Take the success survey: Unlock the secrets to prosperity, find your point of brilliance and empower your success

Would you like to unlock the secrets to prosperity, find your point of brilliance and empower your success? Take the short success survey here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DDPJ9MM

The Art of Success: how extraordinary artists can help you succeed personally and professionally is available from 4 July on Amazon.

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Friday, January 1st, 2016

How to create a new life – harness the power of one and achieve your goals

one thought,
one feeling,
one intention,
one desire,
one challenge

A very warm greeting to you on this most auspicious day  the first day of the first month – the beginning of a wonderful new year.

One has become my favourite number. I love its simplicity. In an era where overwhelm threatens the peace and equilibrium of so many, ‘one’ makes things easy.

My one goal last year was to overcome my own self-doubt and follow my passion for writing. I love writing. It’s what I was born to do. If I don’t have a pen in my hand, a notebook at the ready, I feel lost, anxious, irritable, Writing soothes my soul. Writing allows me to connect with others and to express the things I care deeply about.

And so with this in mind, I made one promise to myself in 2015 – to publish one book. And then another in my Mid-Life Career Rescue series. Books which would share my own mid-life journey to career nirvana, and the journey of other seekers too.

And in turn, my hope was that sharing these stories would inspire you.

So it’s been exciting to read the reviews and hear from people who have read my first books in the Mid-Life Career Rescue series. People like Hillary who said, “This is the perfect gentle nudge needed to move me forward and make those scary life changes.

I was scared last year too. I wondered how my books would be received. I wondered if anyone would like them. I feared public rejection, bad reviews, losing the time and money I had invested – all those things. But my desire was stronger. I didn’t want to wonder, ‘what if.” What if I had taken a risk and published my book. I took the risk, and it’s been worth it. I chose to change my focus  – to create in my minds eye everything I that dreamed of and saw in my mind’s eye, that I wanted to become ‘true.’

Going to bed last night on New Year’s Eve after celebrating the last day of 2015, to find Mid-Life Career Rescue: (What Make You Happy) twas #1 on the best-seller list on Amazon was amazing. And waking up today on the first day of 2016 and finding it was still #1 was fun!

So if there’s one thing I would encourage you to do this year it would be this – feel the fear and follow your passion anyway. Be curious, be playful, be adventurous and see where these feelings take you.

If you know anyone who needs a gentle nudge this year to make a change for the better the link is here http://amzn.to/1JmGq5C

What’s one intention you could make this year that, when followed through, would make a tremendous difference to your life? Please let me know on in the comments section of this blog

In the meantime I leave with you with this inspirational sculpture created by renown New Zealand Sculptor Chris Booth. My partner commissioned it for my 50th birthday last year. Together the three of us named it Viewfinder, which I love given my passion for photography. Of course, a viewfinder is the tool that enables you to find your point of focus. The viewfinder is the single most important user interface on any camera. And your viewfinder – your point of focus, the thing that captures your interest, your attention, your passion, is the most important tool in creating your best life in 2016. Set your focus, capture your desires and allow them to motivate and guide you throughout the hours, weeks, and months which follow.

 

Viewfinder Chris Booth web

I wish you a very happy new year. May 2016 bring you continued happiness and joy.

 

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Monday, November 2nd, 2015

It’s time to think about what you want your work-life to look like next year

It’s that time of year again…

It’s time to think about what you want your work-life to look like next year.

If you’re ready to make a change, but only wish you knew what it was, I have something that will help.

If you’re feeling too overwhelmed and stressed out to even think about a move to happier work, I’ve got a cure too. If you need a bit of inspiration, you can get it for free and start blazing your own trail to career nirvana.

Or, if you need all the above and more…read on!

Need a career rescue in 2016? Or know someone that does? Click the following link to be the first to be in the know to download my new book, Mid-Life Career Rescue, when it launches for free on Kindle https://worklifesolutions.leadpages.co/free-book-mid-life-career-rescue/

Remember sharing really is caring. Share this newsletter and the post above on your social media pages and with family and friends who may benefit from a career rescue. They’ll thank you for it. And I’ll be grateful for your help too.

Mid-lifeCareerRescue

“To be honest, I couldn’t put the book down – it was as though Cassandra had got inside my head and written it specifically for me! It helped me process the what/where questions I was asking myself and discussed all the aspects that had been tumbling around in my head like a washing machine for many months.  It helped me process my thoughts, clarify my thinking, formulate a real plan and prepare myself for my new life.” ~ Mandy.

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Saturday, September 26th, 2015

Mid-life career rescue – are you ready to answer the call for change?

Mid-life Career Rescue_v7Excited – have just sent off the first round of edits for a double proof, for Mid-Life Career Rescue. Dare I say:

THIS BOOK IS POWERFUL

This book is powerful. I know it is. The life I have created using this awareness is amazing. The strategies are ones I’ve used successfully professionally with clients and personally myself during numerous reinventions – some self-determined, others forced upon me.

I stand by every one of the strategies you will learn here, not just because they are grounded strong theoretical principals, but because I have used them to create successful turnaround, after successful turnaround in nearly every area of my life.

This book is the culmination of all that I have experienced and all that I have learned, applied and successfully taught others for over two decades. I don’t practice what I preach; I preach what I have practised – because it gets results.

One thing I know for sure, is you’re too important to stay in a job you hate. You have treasures buried within you—extraordinary treasures—and so do I, and so do others. And bringing those treasures to the light takes faith and focus and courage and effort. It takes a willingness to answer the call for change, and people to help and support you along the way.

My clients and readers tell me they value the fact that my advice is gained from my personal and professional experiences and is both practical and inspirational.

Like Keith aged 55 whose position was made redundant after 38 years of loyal service:

“The biggest thing I am dealing with is a hit to my self worth.  I am a proponent of the law of attraction and have proved this law many times but that does not stop me having serious doubts about my ability to pull above the “mind chatter”.  Your book is a great resource for boosting my energy and confidence.  Honestly, your book is a treasure. I have it very useful in terms of information provided and tools available for self awareness and future planning.  This is an awesome book and one I would recommend to anyone looking to change their career, not just mid-lifers.  I feel energised every time I pick it up and I go back and re-read sections I have already read. I thank you for your foresight in writing this book and the energy and enthusiasm you pass on through the book.”

I feel blessed to have been able to help Keith, and many others like him.

APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN TO JOIN THE CAREER RESCUE LAUNCH TEAM.

Would you like to help me ensure this Mid-Life Career Rescue reaches a wider audience? Leave a comment below or private message me, and let me know why you’re interested in supporting this project.

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Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Commitment to action – just do it!

the choice is yours

 

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” ~ C.J. Jung

As motivational author James Clear writes in his eBook on creativity people don’t just get lucky, they earn the chance to be lucky because they keep showing up. “Show up, show up, and soon the muse shows up too” writes best-selling author Isabel Allende. And it’s not just creative people who share this sage wisdom –  mega successful business giant Nike shouts their mantra from the billboards, ‘Just do it!”

“Dreams do not come true just because you dream
them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s
hard work that creates change…
Ditch the dream and be a doer, not a dreamer.

Maybe you know exactly what it is you dream of
being, or maybe you’re paralyzed because you have
no idea what your passion is. The truth is, it doesn’t
matter. You don’t have to know. You just have to
keep moving forward. You just have to keep doing
something, seizing the next opportunity, staying
open to trying something new. It doesn’t have to fit
your vision of the perfect job or the perfect life.
Perfect is boring and dreams are not real. Just …
do.”
~ Shonda Rimes

misty morning at Summer Hill

 

The photo above is a shot I took on the first morning we woke up in our new home – 10 acres of country paradise just outside of Kerikeri. For years I’ve been dreaming of living in the country, for many more I’ve been taking baby steps to make my dream a reality. Am I lucky – heck, yes 🙂 Did I work hard for it – you bet. Did we have to overcome numerous obstacles to make Summer Hill ours? Sure! And there’s still more to come. The house has been neglected, the land left to go wild – it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close. Every day we’re moving forward to make more of our dreams real. What about you?

What do you dream of? How can you keep moving forward? In this post I’ll share just a few of my favourite ways, (and timely reminders!) to keep moving toward your dreams.


The commitments

Review your vows. How committed are you to realising your dreams? I like to think of commitment as a promise – your promise to do what it takes to make your dream a reality. It sounds easy, but this is where actions speak louder than words.

Committed people are not half-hearted, hesitant or apprehensive. They are dedicated and decisive. They passionately and enthusiastically pursue their dreams with tenacity, resilience, and a zest for life and for living.

Committed people focus on the future and begin with the end in mind. Their words, thoughts and actions are congruent with who they are, who they want to be and what they want to achieve with their lives. They take focused action every day to help them get one step closer to their dreams.


Staying committed

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” ~ Mario Andrett

You may have set off with the best of intentions, a sense of clarity about what you want to do with the rest of your life and a passion to achieve it, only to find several weeks or months down the road you’ve stopped dead in your tracks.

Motivation, focus and empowerment come from seeing life from the future rather than from the past. Identifying with the self you are heading towards, rather than your history, holds the key to getting back on track.

Despite knowing in their heart what they want to achieve and armed with all the best intentions many people stall when it comes to following through on their goals. As a career and life coach I play an active role in helping people stay on track when circumstances derail them.

A powerful way is to keep your dreams visible. When we were ‘manifesting’ our new home and lifestyle we created a ‘manifestation fridge’ by pasting images and affirmations that kept our desired vision in sight. How could you make your dreams and goals more visiible?


Find the cure

“Every problem contains within itself the seeds of its own solution.” ~ Stanley Arnold

What’s the Problem? Perhaps you’ve worked out what you wanted to do with the rest of your life, tackled some of your obstacles and set off with a plan to achieve your goals. But something caused you to lose your way?

Don’t worry, getting off track is not the end of the line; Sometimes it can be the pause you need to refuel and get steaming again. Spend some time really clarifying the problem. Did you lose focus? Did fear or doubt erode your confidence or was it something else?

Highlight which of the common derailers apply to you then tap into your intuition and problem solving skills to generate possible solutions:

• Losing sight of goals
• Inspiration depleted
• Chasing shiny new goals
• External interruptions – ‘urgent but not important’
• External interruptions – ‘urgent and important’
• Lack of discipline
• Feeling overwhelmed
• Procrastination
• Fear
• Self-doubt/Lack of confidence
• Giving up
• Lack of motivation
• Difficulty establishing concrete steps needed to make your ideas happen
• Insufficient pressure
• Listening too much to your critics
• A perfectionist streak – not wanting to make a mistake
• Other

 

Re-igniting commitment

All solutions begin with problems. Here are some key factors in reigniting the flames of motivation and commitment:

  1. Remind yourself of your goals – and more importantly, the positive difference that achieving them will create. Out of sight, out of mind – keep your goals visible at all times. Act as if you have already achieved your future intent and challenge reality to catch up!
  2. Categorise. Making a list of things you need to do to achieve your goals is a great first step to getting back on track. Help make a long list more manageable by breaking it down into categories. For example, if your dream is to have your own business, the categories may include: market research, product/service design, branding, marketing and systems, etc.
  3. Write it down, make it happen. Many people keep their lists in their heads. Getting things on paper and out of your head is half the battle. By writing your goals and sub-tasks down you have taken a major step to achieving them.
  4. Set micro goals. Chip away at sub-tasks bit by bit (things are less overwhelming that way). Include a time for completion.
  5. Prioritise. Get clear about what matters most. Ask yourself the following question before acting, “What difference will doing this now make to the achievement of my preferred future?”
  6. Practice active avoidance. Stay away from things that distract you from your major intent.
  7. Reward yourself. Bribe and reward yourself each time you complete each task that helps you achieve your main goal.
  8. Share your ‘completion challenge’ with others. This can help you feel more accountable and spur you into action. Plus, you may find that people rally to support you. We all love to cheer on someone we care about. While trying to finish this book I posted daily updates on my blog and with a group of supporters online. Feeling accountable to people who paid for the book before it was finished also helped.
  9. Go on an excuse-free diet. Examine any and all excuses that stand between you and your preferred future. Now get creative – change your focus and look for all the ways you can get around the things that stand in your way. Remind yourself of all the people with similar or bigger obstacles in their way who went on to succeed.
  10. Maintain the balance. Being overloaded can really tip the balance out of favour. Whip stress into shape by making room for the things that give you joy.
  11. Listen to your intuition and look for synchronistic support for your dreams. This will help you determine where best to put your time and energy.
  12. Turn adversity into triumph. Hard knocks and big setbacks can really put some wind in your sails. While some people give up at the first sign of a setback, to others trouble is an incentive that motivates them to try harder. William A Ward says it well: “Adversity causes some men to break and others to break records.” Turn adversity into triumph and have the satisfaction of telling people, “I told you I could do it!”
  13. Surround yourself with supportive people. Get a life coach or professional mentor if necessary. Join a group of like-minded people with similar goals and aspirations for motivation, information and support.
  14. Get inspired. One of the most powerful sources of motivation is spiritual motivation. What do you feel you have been called to do? Remind yourself of the aspects of your goal that give you meaning and purpose. What fills you with a sense of inspiration, energy, passion and fulfilment? These are all signs of spiritually aligned motives.

There have been many times when I really doubted what I should be doing with the rest of my life. I remember attending a writers conference in 2007 where New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Cruise summed it up so powerfully: “Seventy-eight per cent of the population wants to write but you are called to write.” Not long after I saw two quotes, “Good books make good citizens,” and one from Mother Theresa, “We are all pens in the hands of a writing god sending love letters to the world.” All these sources reminded me of my goals and the soul purpose that underpins them.

Sweet are the uses of adversity.~ William Shakespeare

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