How to rock a TEDx talk

Its official I can now tick ‘TED talk’ off my list, it always irked me a bit that my son when he was 13 did a young innovators TED talk so I thought it was time I went for it.  My talk was called Sobriety Rocks – Who Knew! as part of the largest (and one of only two in Europe)  TEDxED conferences in Norwich.  The theme for the day was Look Again, all TED events have a theme, more on this later as its super important that your talk reflects it.  We had a phenomenal day,  all the speakers were live streamed and incredibly our live stream trended on Twitter (top 5 in the UK) for 6 hours, A massive 32k different people joined us on the Live Stream at some point in the day.  Between them amassed over 120 minutes of view time.  Tweets about the event were seen by over 6.7 MILLION people- woah!…and of course that’s before our talks go live on TED.com which takes a few weeks.

Some exposure right?  I can honestly say that despite being a seasoned public speaker, presenter on the UK’s biggest radio station, with a show broadcasting to 9 million people daily, and confident on stage it genuinely was nerve-wracking, and all ‘consuming’   For weeks I could think of nothing else, I had a whole host of other projects going on but in truth most of it went by the wayside especially in the last three weeks when I literally could think of nothing else but my speech and my appearance (You too will become obsessed by what to wear!)

I thought I’d share a few of the tips I picked up along the way in case any of my experience can help you when you too go for it, and become part of the this incredible brand

When I teach people how to speak in public I encourage them to realise that its all about Preparation.  Not just the writing and shaping of the content of the speech, but also how they prepare themselves to present.  Once the script and style is ‘nailed’ it becomes all about the mindset.  I found that because TEDx talks are short, they are a specific length of time which must be adhered to (usually between 8 and 20 minutes) there was far more pressure to ensure that it was near as dammit word perfect.

Some people use Powerpoint but I didn’t, there seemed no real need, and I hate slides for the sake of them, the downside to that is that no notes are allowed, so there are literally no ‘cues’ in case you freeze during your talk!

So  my top tips for attracting and rocking a TED  talk include…

Make sure you have an ‘idea worth sharing’ That’s their brand, it isn’t a platform to promote your business or speak to a niche tribe,  in fact many people who give TED talks aren’t in business, and have nothing to ‘promote’  They are schoolteachers, nurses, parents, ex-military, who have never taken a course in entrepreneurship or sent out an ezine to their subscriber list.  But you know what, get them on stage and they are captivating, because they have a message to share.

The application process is usually straightforward if you are going after a TEDx talk in the UK, you will need to succinctly explain what your idea is (and proposed title though that may change)  and be sure to check that it fits their theme, usually these are fairly generic.  The theme for mine was Look Again, my talk was about the positive benefits of ditching the booze, so obviously I was able to tweak that to …’Look Again…at your relationship with alcohol’

Make sure you include a link within your application to you on stage, or speaking to camera, this is clearly imperative if you want to be selected from the hundreds and hundreds of application each event gets.

Choose your title.  Whoever is running the TEDX event will help you finalise your title,  but you need to put one on the application. Contrary to popular opinion they don’t need to be cryptic, some of the best TED talk titles are very straightforward.  One talk I referenced in mine was by Amy Cuddy – Your Body Language may shape who you are, is exactly what it says on the tin, so don’t agonise over it too much.  You do also get a chance to change your title before the main video goes onto the TED site so if you really think of a stronger one, you should get another opportunity.

Craft your talk. Once you’re in, it’s all systems go to craft your talk.  Usually the event facilitator will work with you and help you get your key ideas in place.  I’d recommend one main point and a supporting argument.  Ask yourself what will be the main takeaway of my talk?  What do I want people to remember?

Use the time as cues.  Of course the timing is critical, so as most people don’t have visual cues, you can use the time as a cue.  When you have nailed your final script (and I highly recommend nailing it within two weeks of your talk, if you change it too much after that you will find yourself flipping to the wrong version when nerves kick in!) then rehearse it and check the time at the start of each section, that way you know that you need to be onto a certain point in the talk when there is 5 minutes left etc.

                                                       ‘Emotions not logic inspire action’

Research your statistics, quotes and images. The best TEDx talks are usually heartfelt and evoke a powerful emotion, they are not usually a list of statistics, but if you do need to use any to make your point they must be fully researched and referenced before the final script is submitted.  If you are using slides they will need clearance.

Handwrite your script, or at least a draft of the sections.  You will probably need to re-read that, yep I said handwrite, that’s with a paper and pen, it’s good for the cognitive brain, and when you have written something ‘longhand’ you are far more likely to remember it.

Rehearse your talk out loud  You will find yourself reading and re-reading and making tweaks to your script and you will find that you fall asleep thinking through the script and will wake up murmuring lines from it, you will close your eyes on the train and present the script in your head, kicking yourself if you ‘slip up’ …all good but its hugely important to rehearse OUT LOUD as much as possible, this is because it’s not just about the recall, its muscle memory too, you need to physically get your mouth around the words.

Decide how you will use the stage – Will you use props ? if so keep them simple and rehearse with them, will you stand in the centre on the famous red circle or will you move around?

Present your talk in front of an audience (even its its only your partner or friend)  As someone who has been speaking at events for years I didn’t think this was important, but an opportunity arose for me to present my first draft of my script at an event.  I explained what I was doing, and that I might ‘forget’ or need to check my notes and the audience were very forgiving.  ‘Performing’ that first draft live in front of a small audience made a big difference to how I tweaked the script and made subtle changes to my delivery, I was able to see what worked and what didn’t.   Weeks went by for me after that first ‘airing’ and then finally I rehearsed in front of my partner just a few days before the event.  I was crap!  Suddenly in front of someone I cared about, someone who I knew would tell me the truth, I almost fell apart, I was very timid, he said my voice was too high pitched and I looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights (charming)   I realised I hadn’t done enough ‘performing’ of my talk, I had become too insular, just me walking along a beach reciting it quietly to the seagulls, who I must confess, I found to be a much easier to please audience.   Anyways I pulled myself together, got an emergency confidence boost (more on that next) and performed it at least another three times to other family members.

Shift your mindset

It’s incredible that I spend so much of my time making recommendations for others but forget for myself, I am trained in EFT (emotional freedom technique) and I often use it with people who are feeling nervous before an important presentation or appearance.  Had I remembered to use it on myself?  Nope, Fortunately a lovely therapist Wendy Stolen offered me a session by skype, and in one twenty minute speed session she completely helped me to not only release my fears but to embrace the excitement of it all, quite honestly I was in danger of ‘missing’ the whole experience and not being fully engaged in the joy of it because I was so nervous

EFT is so simple, try and remove your preconceived skeptical thoughts, it really can work to let the ‘Amygdala – the part of the brain that wants to keep you safe and in the same place know that its all ok,  you may be feeling anxious and stressed, but there aren’t actually any tigers coming at ya any time soon, and you can remind yourself that you have had times before when you have ‘shone’ and you can do that again.   She reminded me to think of ‘releasing’ the fears and worries that I would forget my words, and instead ‘embrace’ the opportunity and the buzz of the event.

It helped SO much!  I felt lighter and assured and just before I went on stage (which is an ok time to have butterflies…but butterflies flying in perfect formation)  I did some tapping and ‘embraced’ the joy of it all.  Remember a time when you were hugely successful and ‘won’ or did well in front of an audience, anchor that feeling,  see yourself delivering your TED talk, and visualise yourself coming off stage after the talk, punching the air and saying….I rocked it!!!

                           Its ok to have butterflies, but hopefully they’re flying in perfect formation.

Watch your body language  

If you are used to speaking in public you know the importance of good posture, make sure you film yourself and identify any little ‘habits’ I watched a rehearsal back and realised I had a bit of a habit of dropping my head down, as I walked across the stage, not a big deal, but I was able to tweak it.

Before you go on stage, remember the excellent TED talk by Amy Cuddy ‘Your body language may shape who you are’ (I referenced this in my talk)  She recommends that you adopt the ‘Power Pose’ – research from University College London, shows if you sway from side to side and keep your hands by your side it feels submissive,  if you stand with feet wide apart (power pose)  and make expansive hand gestures you appear confident, convincing, knowledgeable, inspirational and leader like,  your Unconscious mind translates your intentions into actions, if you are nervous, it shows, if you are in distress or crying it will be unlikely you will be sitting up straight!

Psychologists call this is Cybernetic loop,  master it to align your thoughts to success

Before you go out on stage adopt the power pose and feel a sense of confidence and strength, literally sending a signal to your body that you feel great and in control.

The dress code

We were told there isn’t one, often people start out thinking they should try and replicate the TED brand by wearing a black jacket with red buttons but that’s total overkill, we were advised wear whatever you are comfortable in, but preferably not black and red together.  I think if I were to rationalise it I’d say block colours and structured clothes work well, I started out thinking I should wear a green or yellow jacket with a white shirt and black trousers, crisp and ‘clean’   Many days and hours of trawling round clothes shops made me realise that I don’t look good or feel comfortable in ‘smart’ structured clothes and in fact I ended up wearing a flared dress and a funky little red and white check jacket.   I honestly couldn’t say if it was the best thing to wear but it is what felt comfortable for me, and feeling that you are wearing clothes that portray your personality is really important.

Where does the mic go?

A word of warning though, you will need a microphone pack attached so if you aren’t wearing trousers or a skirt with a waistband then make sure you can add a decent width belt to the outfit so that the mic pack can be easily attached.

To conclude

Giving a TEDx talk is without doubt a major highlight in your life, it is a huge amount of preparation and work but anything worth doing is!  Everyone involved in the TEDx experience works on a ‘gratis’ basis, so don’t expect any payment, but do think of the incredible opportunity you have to make a difference and reach far more people than you could have dreamt of.

Janey Lee Grace TEDxED Norwich talk Sobriety Rocks – Who Knew! 

Janey offers media coaching in being a great interviewee and public speaking

Check out www.janeyleegrace.com or email Janey@janeyleegrace.com

For inspiration around the topic of Janey’s talk sign up to be on the wait list for www.thesoberclub.com

A Nation of ‘Could Have Beens’

As a busy author and journalists I must confess I don’t get to really read and digest every press release I receive but one headline hit me hard in the inbox recently.

Modern Brits are a nation of ‘could have beens’ – not living life to their full potential’

The press release which was from Fundingguru.com* and said that a nationwide study reveals that we are indeed nation of “could have beens”, with a staggering 84 percent wishing they could change their life for the better and ultimately feel more fulfilled.

Apparently we are not making the most of our talents, with as many as six out of ten (61 percent) admitting they have a natural talent they do absolutely nothing with.

Perhaps unsurprisingly our creativity doesn’t always get fulfilled, As many as 29 percent of those surveyed believe they had a writing talent, while one in four said they could paint or draw well, but never get around to it.   Check out my blog on creating compelling content.

There are also millions of frustrated musicians in the UK, with almost one in twenty saying they could play an instrument, but that they had stopped playing altogether.

17 percent see themselves as talented singers, while 14 percent believe they could have made it as a stand-up comedian.

Over 40 percent of people had dreamed of opening a business, while 26 percent had once had ambitions to be a novelist.

According to the survey, the biggest excuse for not making the most of our lives came down to personal belief, with nearly half (49 percent) saying a lack of confidence made them give up.

Fear of failure was also major concern for 36 percent of people.

After that it was cold hard cash posing a problem, with 26 percent of those polled saying they just couldn’t make their gifts pay the bills.

22 percent said family life had got in the way of finding their dreams, while 19 percent said they were simply too busy to use their talents.

Matt Haycox, founder of fundingguru.com, who commissioned the poll of 2,000 adults said: “I’ve always been a big believer that anyone can live out their dreams by following their passion. Throughout my experience in business, I’ve encountered first hand pretty much every problem you can think of, and access to funding can seem overwhelming. I wanted to help people realise that they can overcome these obstacles, and The Get Funded Guide has been specifically designed to help with all these issues.  What’s more, the guide teaches you how to get in front of the right investors, and every single person that completes it will have their very first funding pitch guaranteed, as I will personally review every one. I’m hoping to find the next big business in the UK, so pitch me!”

As many as 94 percent said they would enjoy life more if they’d used more of their creative skills.

So what are you NOT doing?  Whats your purpose and are you fulfilling it?  It’s one of the things that upsets me most when I see talented people, I can’t bear that they don’t follow their dreams!

Read my post about the late Wayne Dyer who famously said ‘Don’t die with the music still in you 

And while we are on iconic quotes, Here’s just part of that classic Marianne Williamson quote…

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. “

So take some time out today and ask yourself honestly what am I hear to do? What is it that’s holding me back?  If its confidence, fear of failure,  lack of time, who could you ask for support ?

What could you do differently?

If its hard cash check out what Matt offers *(see note below)   http://www.fundingguru.com/

If you want clarity on your work, your brand, your purpose, there are some helpful visualizations in my book You are the Brand, it’s all about encouraging you to step into the spotlight

http://janeyleegrace.com/shop/you-are-the-brand-paperback-edition-including-free-audio-masterclass-module/

  • For clarity I have not met Matt and this isn’t a recommendation for his work, I just thought the research was interesting!

Purpose by Jessica Huie MBE

Whats your purpose? I’ve written a lot about this, as I meet so many people who know there’s something more for them but they just can’t seem to locate it within the chaos and the overwhelm. They find themselves asking…is there something more? And do I count? I loved interviewing Jessica Huie MBE for Hay House radio recently; Her own journey to finding purpose is hugely inspirational. The book is called Purpose, Find your truth and embrace your calling. (Hay house)

You may know of her of course, she is the founder of JHPR, an award-winning PR agency, (she has worked with Simon Cowell and Meghan Markle no less) and she is the creator of Color Blind cards, a multi award winning multicultural greetings card company which drove an early conversation around the importance of ethnic representation in retail and became the first independent brand to secure a high street presence in Britain for multi-racial cards. The Evening Standard called her one of Britain’s ‘Most inspiring Entrepreneurs’ and she sits on Glamour magazine’s Power List as one of the UK’s most influential women

Jessica is brutally honest about the impact of caring for her father as he died, and the fact that despite having what most people would call the ‘perfect’ career and lifestyle, she realised she has been a control freak and a relentless workaholic perfectionist. Her life transformed when she realised that we are not merely our bodies, and the importance of reconnecting with our true selves.

Jessica has also done lots of work to help female entrepreneurs scale up their business and be authentic in their visibility – so you can see why I felt so connected!

I asked Jessica what our starting point should be if we find ourselves constantly busy and yet not ‘connected’ with ourselves, unhappy, unfulfilled and knowing there is something more.  She suggests that should start by recognising that we need to ‘positively disrupt’ our lives, be honest and real, don’t use the ‘PR’ spin.  The truth is we all use our ‘stories’ to excuse ourselves from moving forward, so many of have the ‘imposter syndrome’ and while the exterior  seems shiny and productive, underneath we are struggling and barely coping.

Jessica says we should ask ourselves what makes us happy? What lights us up?  It’s important because once we are aligned with our truth, that’s when we get into the flow.

The book opens with a quotation from Ernest Livingstone Huie (Jessica’s Dad)

‘Some of us on this earth are the candles and lanterns, flickering lights reassuringly pointing out the way in the bends within this vast funnel which is life on earth’.

So have you found your purpose?
Purpose Find your truth and embrace your calling by Jessica Huie is published by Hay House
Purpose: Find Your Truth and Embrace Your Calling

If you want more clarity on your purpose in your brand check out this one day workshop

My Awards for Practitioners and Therapists – Are YOU a Winner?

When it comes to my Awards, it’s hugely important to me to look at the holistic picture, so we accept entries not only from just skincare and beauty companies, and eco natural sustainable brands, but also from therapists and coaches who are doing such important work.

Last year we also had a large number of entries in our wellbeing / spirituality author category, and we think it’s so important to recognise the people who are going all out to inspire us to better health and wellbeing through the books they are writing and apps they are creating.

Check out this interview I did with Inga Deksne about how heart-centered businesses can attract more customers.

 

Join us for the interview

Posted by Janey Lee Grace on Friday, 29 June 2018

 

Do you have a brand you’d like to get recognition for, or perhaps you are a therapist or a coach, author or ‘changemaker’?

There is great opportunity for exposure across the many platforms which have a reach of around 500k potential consumers. Entry in my coveted prestigious annual awards offers superb marketing opportunities for expanding business visibility, we don’t just accept entries and hope for the best – we love helping to raise awareness of the great holistic stuff out there!

Here’s where you can see our judges line-up and some general info>>

Of course, our judges can’t visit everyone for a treatment or a session (sadly) so we will be relying on what we see from your marketing and importantly your testimonials, if you enter we ask that you please provide us with as much detailed information about the work you do, and also some recent testimonials and case studies for your work.

We had a great response last year and look forward to this year’s entries!

We encourage you to get your fans and clients voting for you – readers votes go into the mix too!

ENTER HERE >>

 

I’m so glad Janey asked me to enter the Platinum Awards last year.
Aside from the publicity, the extra credibility and exposure it gave me, it was a massive confidence boost, and probably one of THE proudest moments of my life!
Therapists, healers and coaches work SO hard and transform peoples’ lives, and as a holistic therapist and spiritual teacher myself, it was so nice to be recognised and rewarded for the hard work that I put in to empower others to heal themselves and create the life they desire!

Raspreet Sagoo, Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Teacher and Motivational Speaker.

 

The Media Hub Facebook Group

I’ve created a Facebook group ‘The Media Hub’ and this is the place where I offer regular Q and A’s and will be popping in with tips, advice and press opportunities when they arise. In the last few weeks I’ve posted some juicy press opportunities there which have resulted in some mainstream press for individuals just for being part of a free Facebook community.

If you would like to join this group, then please click here>>>

The link will take you to the private group page and in the top banner you will see ‘Join Group’. Please click on this button to request to join the group and once we receive your request we will add you into the group

Once inside the group you will see a ‘Welcome’ post outlining what the group is all about with a few simple but important rules, please go ahead and read this post first, thank you. Come and join us and make sure you let me know about your work!

Spotlight on Dr Marilyn Glenville #Platinum Awards judge

We are so thrilled to have Dr Marilyn Glenville as one of our esteemed judges in the 2018 Janey Loves Platinum Awards for natural and organic products and services….We asked her 7 questions

Tell us a bit about your background, how did you come to be doing this work?

From an early age I was plagued with migraines, which caused me to go to bed in a darkened room, often vomiting and affecting the quality of my life.  Over the years I had been given numerous drugs, been checked for a brain tumour and also referred to a migraine clinic but to no avail.  In my early twenties, I had my first taste of natural medicine when I went to see an acupuncturist who along with the acupuncture suggested I look at my diet.  This was a revelation to me, to think that I what I was eating and drinking could be affecting my health; there was no connection in my mind about this at the time.   As the migraines disappeared this inspired me to study the effects of nutrition and diet on health.

I have now been in clinical practice over 35 years and as well as the clinical work I also give talks both to healthcare professionals and the public and have written 14 internationally best-selling books and the feedback, emails and letters of how changes in diet along with supplements has changed people’s lives around has been so inspiring.

How do you relax?

I love to dance.  I find it relaxing because I am listening to the music, my body is moving and I am not thinking.  I try to ‘dance as if no one is watching’.

What’s the most important health trend currently,  (or whats your current focus?)

It really is about getting people to realise that sugar and foods that are broken down into sugar quickly (eg white flour etc) are the major culprits behind most people’s health problems and that having low or no fat is not the issue.  There are many people who would think it healthy to buy a low fat fruit yogurt (even organic) when that pot of yogurt could contain eight teaspoons of added sugar.   When I think of many of the symptoms that women, especially, come into the clinic complaining about they include:  irritability, aggressive outbursts, palpitations, lack of sex drive, crying spells, dizziness, anxiety, confusion, forgetfulness, inability to concentrate, fatigue, insomnia, headaches and muscle cramps.  These are all symptoms due to fluctuating blood sugar caused by caffeine and sugar and also long gaps without eating.

What do you eat for breakfast?

An egg with tomato and might have a piece of toasted rye bread with it.

How much do you exercise?

I like to do some form of exercise every day.  If I am lecturing away it may only be walking.  When I am at home I go to Zumba 2 or 3 times a week and also one or two Body Balance classes which combines yoga and Pilates.

What’s your mantra ?  / favourite inspirational quote

Take care of your body.  It’s the only place you have to live – Jim Rohn

If you would like to enter the Platinum awards for natural products, therapists and practitioners and authors look at the various different levels of entry Click here 

Spotlight on Glynis Barber one of our Platinum Award judges

We are thrilled to have a team of amazing celebrity and expert judges for the Platinum Awards for natural products and services, here we shine the spotlight on actress and health and wellbeing pioneer Glynis Barber and ask her 7 Questions..

Tell  us a bit about your background, how did you come to be doing what you do in the health and well-being sector ?

‘Whats your big ‘WHY’

I’ve always done acting as my main job but over the years I became more and more interested in health and well being. It’s become a passion and 5 years ago I decided to become active in the field and started my agelessbyglynisbarber.com website.

How do you relax?

I’m quite capable of being a bit of a couch potato and flopping onto the sofa to watch TV after a busy day. However I also like to do exercise to properly unwind and de-stress. 

What do you focus on most in terms of health and wellbeing?

I’ve always been very active and exercised in some form or another and I think it’s stood me in very good stead. However I also focus on eating an anti-inflammatory diet and eat in a way to boost my energy.

Whats do you eat for breakfast ?

I don’t eat breakfast! Instead I exercise on an empty stomach and then eat afterwards. One of the best things you can do to burn fat and not sugar and activate your longevity genes.

How much do you exercise ?

I aim for 5-6 days a week. However the acting work does quite often get in the way of that.

If you could be Health Minister for a day what would you do ?

I would take food manufacturers to task and not let them get away with making foods that are so processed and full of sugar. Parts of the food industry have completely undermined health on a global scale.

What’s your mantra / favourite inspirational quote?

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right. (Henry Ford)

Glynis Barber is one of the judges in The Janey Loves Platinum Awards

Sponsors of Janey Loves 2018 Platinum Awards – That Guy’s House

We are thrilled to have Sean Patrick of That Guy’s House as sponsor of our 2018 Platinum Awards!

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 09.06.13

Sean Patrick is an author, international speaker and the owner of an Independent publishing company ‘That Guy’s House’ that exclusively publishes inspirational and positive mindset titles.

IMG_4659 (1)

Sean is self-proclaimed ‘in recovery’ from high levels of anxiety and depression due to the pressures of modern day living and he dedicates his work to reaching other people. Sean is part of Generation Y, a generation that is seen to be experiencing a mental health pandemic right now.

Sean has achieved recognition from the British Psychological Society (BPS) for his research in the field of Positive Psychology (specifically Mindfulness, Emotional intelligence, Spiritual IQ and Flourishing) and has been featured in the Daily Express, The Mail Online, Reveal Magazine and the Sunday express on topics and trends in up to date mental health research.

He is the founder of the blog ‘That Guy Who Loves the Universe’ which reaches over 20,000 subscribers and 100,000 visitors.

https://www.thatguyshouse.com/

Worried about your kids education? And are you in your element?

Spoiler alert!!!!  If you don’t have school age children, you might still be inspired by this post!

As the kids start back for the summer term, there will be parents everywhere feeling exhausted by the motivating their children back into their uniforms and out the door, not to mention concerns about homework and testing. How important is education to our health and well being?  Hugely –  I’m sure you would agree, but why is trying to determine the right education for our children or supporting decisions made for our grandchildren so stressful for so many? How do you feel about your own education and do you ever feel that your creativity is help back by having the ‘wrong’ education? I loved the line in The Durrells (my all time fave TV show) where Mrs Durrell is worrying about Gerry’s schooling  (or lack of it) her wise guest tells her…My mother always knew there is a fine line between formal education and ‘fannying about’

As someone who has been through this and is to a certain extent still living with this stress – we have two school age children, one who doesn’t fit the mould and recently gave a TEDX talk on What’s wrong with the current education system(click to watch) …I am inspired by Sir Ken Robinson, we were lucky enough to interview him on Radio 2 recently on his new book You, your child and school.- Navigate your way to the best education.

Ken has balanced various roles: as a teacher, writer, researcher, adviser and speaker and has directed and been involved in many initiatives around the world, with education systems and with corporate, cultural and community organizations.  Sir Ken Robinson is the most watched speaker in TED’s history. His 2006 talk, “Do Schools Kill Creativity” has been viewed online over 40 million times and seen by an estimated 350 million people in 160 countries! The book is great and very timely because so many parents are deeply concerned about education which has become a minefield of politics and controversy.  It’s so difficult to know what  to look for in a school, and to know what we can do if we feel it isn’t right for our child,  With good schools oversubscribed and a panic to get the school of your choice depending on catchment areas, we can feel powerless which leads to huge stress and anxiety.

Ken dispels some myths and challenges that many of us might feel are set in stone. He has argued in the past that art and dance are just as important as geography and physics, and that ‘Imagination is the source of all human achievement’.  In our interview he pointed out that there are many wonderful teachers, but in many cases they are straitjacketed by the system which perpetuates way too many tests and the ‘one size must fit all’ approach.  He suggests we should look to Finland where they have a far superior education system, which revolves around ‘life skills’ and zero testing.

It’s an inspirational read, but if you don’t have children or grandchildren at this point, don’t pass Ken by, check out his New York Times best-selling book The Element, How finding your passion changes everything, – co-authored with Lou Aronica.  It doesn’t really matter what age you are, it’s never too late to find your passion and make sure you are doing what you love.
The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

The Blurb says…The Element is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. When people arrive at the Element, they feel most themselves, most inspired and achieve at their highest levels. With a wry sense of humor, and drawing on the stories of a wide range of artists, scientists, athletes, business leaders, academics, and many others, Ken Robinson shows why finding your Element is essential for all of us and explores the conditions that lead us to live lives that are filled with passion, confidence, and personal achievement.

He got a cool accolade too….

Offers life-altering insights about the discovery of your true best self.” – STEPHEN R. COVEY, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Its so true, we need to be in the flow, be in our element to feel fulfilled, if you have kids, help them to find their element, its not too late for you either – to be the best person you can be, love what you do!

If you have a business and want to attract clients and a tribe, make sure that you know what makes them tick,  and make sure they know about you.  Your vibe attracts your tribe remember so ensure that you are giving off the right energy – one of being ….in your element!

Surely that’s the recipe for well being

 

You, Your child and school by Ken Robinson is out now
You, Your Child and School

Are you going for it 100 per cent?

How committed are you to growing your brand? Getting recognition for your work? Finishing your book? Attracting the right clients and media attention?   Fully I’m guessing you will say.  I too consider myself a very ‘committed’ person, once I make a decision to do something I usually see it through…however I read a blog post recently on the Greatist website by Susie Moore, a British confidence expert who is based in the US, which gave me one of those AHA moments, and made me take a long hard look at myself.

Her post is all about committing wholeheartedly to something, she starts the blog by describing going out to dinner with a friend who quit sugar, if she teases her and says …want a bite of my dessert?, her friend says ‘No thanks’ with ease and indifference. Susie asks, is it hard for her to turn it down every time?  NO,  because she is fully committed.  Susie argues that its our ‘well meaning 90 per cent effort’ that is exhausting, it consumes energy without producing results, and we fall short of our potential

She quotes Jack Canfield, author of The Success Principles, who says  “99 percent is a b*tch. 100 percent is a breeze.”

I started to think about how this could relate to me, and I realized that there are areas in my life where I am 100 per cent committed.  I don’t use synthetic chemical skincare, beauty products and wherever possible (and husband and teenage kids not withstanding) I avoid chemical cleaning and laundry products.  I am committed to constantly researching great new products and services to blog about and I am totally committed to  my #changemaker clients – helping them become more visible in the media.

There’s other stuff too of course, but it got me thinking about my own goals.  I wrote a novel a couple of years ago, and despite having written five non fiction books including a Number One Amazon Best Seller Imperfectly Natural Woman, Imperfectly Natural Woman: Getting Life Right the Natural Way
I found myself floundering and nervous as to whether its any good and how to get it away.   If you had asked me a few weeks ago, Am I committed to getting my novel published? I’d have said, of course I want ti more than anything….sort of…. Why then have  I wasted a year without approaching a good literary agent or really making in-roads into publishing?  If I search my soul I know its fear, yep the inner critic doing its thing.   Ironically I bang on about this when I speak at events, I remind people who have a talent, a passion, an opportunity to make a difference, NOT to allow their inner critic to determine how small they stay, or how much they grow.

I often quote Julia Cameron the fabulous author of The Artists Way,The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity  I had the pleasure of working with her at a Hay House conference, and she told the audience of wannabee authors, to listen attentively and notice the inner voice when it tells you that you arent good enough, that you can’t possibly attract an agent or publishing deal, that you will never finish your manuscript…listen and the reply (inwardly probably best) ‘Thank you for sharing…now f**k off!’

I’ve been though phases over the last year to trying to get my book away, but not following up, I tried one agent (v big time) and was refused so instead of picking myself up and starting again, I allowed myself to wallow in rejection (bonkers right?  Didn’t JK Rowling have a load of rejections?  Julia Cameron herself had 42 rejections for her debut novel and then a publishing bidding war on the 43rd attempt)   I waited and waited and procrastinated about the edit, about  how much time I could commit to it, about getting started on my next one, (I have lots of ideas)  The truth is it has taken a lot of my time and energy ’90-percenting’ it, perhaps it will flow more easily if I finally give it 100 per cent of my attention.

Susie suggests we identify what needs 100 per cent of our attention, from a habit you need to quit altogether to a business goal, maybe even the need to declutter and detox from certain ‘friends;

Then we must put the effort in and commit.  Do what it takes and don’t look back, its tough, but in tbe long run easier than constantly thinking about the problem and agonising over it.  Then she recommends that we repeat the same process with the new priority, because once something is properly finished we have a sense of completion and feel ready for the next thing.

I am going to make a few changes, the truth is I wear a lot of hats, I can’t just do ‘one thing’ I know I know I know that’s advised but it just ain’t me, I can however decide which of my many ‘projects’ are taking too much of my mental energy without getting anywhere, then I will decide if they are really worth committing 100 per cent to, if not …out they go.

What are you currently 90 percenting?  if like me there are several things, take stock, choose what you really want for your life, your work your success and go for it 100 per cent, so that whether you work on it today, or tomorrow, or regularly is just not a variable.  You’re committed.  End of.

Check out Susie Moore’s  website and Susie if you read this, thanks for the kick up the butt!