What do you predict for 2018?

As I look back over 2017 I realise what an unpredictable year it was. Who could predict all the major events that happened in the world in the past twelve months?

And if I review my own year I know that I couldn’t have forecast half of what I have experienced back on 1 January 2017. I have been to so many different places this year, worked with amazing clients and met some wonderful people. There were bumps and obstacles along the way but they passed and life went on.

Also, if I had used my experience of 2016 to predict what would happen in 2017 I would have been way out. You can’t use your past to predict your future.

So my thought as we approach 2018 is that it is good to have a plan and a vision for the new year. It is good to set intentions and resolutions, and take action to achieve them. But build plenty of wriggle room into your plans for all the good stuff that is going to surprise you.

A final thought from Abraham Lincoln ‘The best way to predict the future is to create it.’ What do you want to create this year?

Contact me if I can help you with your resolutions or plans.

A very Happy and Peaceful 2018 to you and your loved ones.




The wonder of the placebo effect

The term placebo has often had negative connotations in the past.  It is almost as if something that helps the body heal itself naturally is somehow cheating or suspect.

The word placebo comes from the Latin for ‘I shall please’.  Most of us have experienced the placebo effect while taking traditional medicine.  If you have ever bought a branded medicine instead of a generic alternative, some part of your mind was convinced by the packaging or the extra cost that the branded medicine would work better.  If you believed it enough, it probably did work better.  That is the placebo effect and we all experience it.

In recent years there has been lots of research into the placebo effect in the area of pharmaceuticals.  It has shown that the size, colour, shape and the name of medications has an effect on their efficacy.  Even the smell has an effect.  Researchers found that if they wiped TCP antiseptic around the top of a bottle of tablets, the tablets were more effective!

The attitude of medical practitioners also has an impact on their patients.  The more the practitioner builds trust and rapport with their patient, the more the patient is likely to respond positively to treatment.

Bestselling author and speaker, Dr David Hamilton, has carried out a lot of research in the area of the placebo effect and you can read his thoughts at http://drdavidhamilton.com/?page_id=8

So, in my opinion,  we should be much more open to understanding and using the placebo effect to aid our natural healing processes.

Three Wise Men

In the past few weeks I have had the privilege to hear three inspirational men speak.  They were the sort of speeches that make you stop in your tracks and think differently.

Geoff Thompson with BAFTA

The first speaker was Geoff Thompson.  Geoff was abused as a child and became a violent young man.  The turning point in his life came when he realised that he might lose his wife and his children because of his violent acts.  He has gone on to become a world famous martial arts teacher, a coach and inspirational speaker.  He has channeled his experiences into writing.  He has written forty books, five award winning films and three stage plays. 

At the start of his speech, Geoff passed around his BAFTA award and invited us to feel the weight of it – surprisingly heavy.  He said that this was the weight of the fear he used to carry around within himself and his way of exorcising that weight is through writing and sharing what happened to him.  Turning fear into art is an amazing alchemy.

The second speaker to inspire me was James Lafferty, a CEO at Coca Cola.  Apart from being a senior executive in some big brand multinational companies and working in some of the most challenging countries in the world, James has had some amazing life experiences.   He is someone whose inner strength is obvious and comes from his complete congruency with his beliefs and values.

James says ‘A principle is not a principle until it costs you something’.  We can all say that we believe strongly in a certain principle but when push comes to shove, how much are we willing to stand up for it?  If you say that you are anti-racist or anti-homophobic, what will you say if a friend or colleague makes a racist or homophobic comment?  How much do you value your principles?

I have to confess I have not met my third speaker, the designer Paul Smith, but I saw an excellent documentary about him.  I loved his energy, his humour and his creativity.  The phrase he used that struck me most was “There is inspiration in everything, if you can’t see it you’re not looking hard enough”.

Wishing you an Inspirational Christmas and a Creative New Year