How perfect are you?

2 06 2010

“By the time the wind has blown the weather vane around,

I’ll show you if I can,

No matter what the circumstances for one thing I’m renowned,

My character is spit spot spic and span,

I’m practically perfect in every way.”

(Practically Perfect from Disney’s Mary Poppins, music by George Stiles, lyrics by Anthony Drewe)

There are certain films that are regularly part of TV schedules during holiday periods. Yesterday was no exception as one of the classic bank holiday films appeared on the UK TV schedule – Mary Poppins.

It’s not just the fact that my expectations were met about what would be on the TV that prompted me to pen this today. While many may not actually follow Mary Poppins lead by describing themselves as “practically perfect” I do often see people place an unvoiced expectation upon themselves that they, and everything they do, should be perfect.

By perfect they normally mean that it should be “faultless.” Yet the origins of the word perfect actually comes from a Latin word to mean completed. Over 600 years ago the word was being used to mean “to bring to full development.”

If you were to look in the dictionary today, one of the definitions of perfect is still “complete, having all it’s essential qualities.”

These two different definitions can make a big difference to how someone experiences a project or their life in general. Now, if using the faultless definition is working for you then by all means keep doing it. However, the most common results I see with this is an increase in the amount of pressure and stress felt. It’s often used with the best of intentions as a motivating factor to produce your best work. It’s as if you would plan to do bad work if you were focusing on just completing a project!

I also see it as something that stops something from being created because it’s not immediately faultless. For example, a writer may constantly be deleting a paragraph of text and not getting any further because it isn’t faultless. Or someone learning a new skill doesn’t put it into practice as they are not yet faultless. Sometimes, there are steps that need to be taken before your best work can be achieved (ie when writing drafting something, followed by editing etc.)

This week I invite you to play with a situation where you have noticed that you are not making any progress.

What would need to happen for this to be completed?

What is the very next step for this to be closer to completion?

Have a week full of perfection




Alternative Reality

9 10 2009

“Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway.”
(Mary Key Ash)

Wednesday night saw The Pride of Britain Awards televised in the UK. The awards show honours ordinary people who are capable of extraordinary things.

All winners were there because of their inspirational stories. Some had shown exceptional courage in a moment when others could have frozen in that situation. These included Sally-Ann Sutton who fought a “raging rottweiler” to save a 1 year old from an attack.

Others were individuals who weren’t conforming to what is perhaps the perceived “wisdom” about what they could achieve. Doris Long for example learnt to absail at the age of 85. Major Phil Packer, who after sustaining a spinal chord injury while serving in Iraq, decided that he would raise £1 million pounds for charity – with a series of physical challenges such as completing the London Marathon.

Both these individuals found ways and methods to achieve what they wanted despite their age or a physical injury. So what’s getting in your way of living the life that you want?

If you have ever read or watched any sci-fi or fantasy books, shows or films you’ll probably have come across the concept of parallel worlds and universies – an alternative reality. A world that is identical to this one but with one difference. As one of the characters explains in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: “alternate realities. You could uh, could have like a world without shrimp. Or with, you know, nothing but shrimp.”

Now, while I’d say it was unusual if you think that it’s shrimp holding you back, it reminded me of a variation on a question I’d heard Michael Neill ask in his 7 myths of success CD set

If there was an alternative world set up to help someone who looks and sounds exactly like you succeed despite what’s getting in your way, how would it be set up?

So for example, if you find the thing that’s in your way is speaking in public then maybe there are places you can go and learn how to do that comfortably and easily.
Or maybe it’s a world that’s set up so that you communicate mainly using other methods.

Perhaps it’s lack of finance that is getting in your way – maybe in that alternative reality there are lots of people who would love to give you money in exchange for the value that you bring. Maybe there are people who love to manage money for you in an efficient manner.

Or how about a universe that is set up just to help someone lacking in motivation. Maybe in that universe there are individuals who will do everything they know to do to coax, teach, provide accountability and support you so that you find momentum to easily enjoy moving forward. Perhaps in this alternative reality there were systems in place to encourage you to take action.

Play and be as imaginative as you want with your answers – after all this is an alternative reality we’re talking about, the aim is to make it up.

It’s only fair that I should warn you – it’s possible that along the way you may find that the idea’s that you have actually already exist in this world. If that does happen then there is potential that you may find yourself wanting to take action to bring that idea into reality for you. ;)

Have a fun week full of creating reality




The Art of Creating Money

8 09 2009

“Wealth is not a matter of intelligence it’s a matter of inspiration.”
(Jim Rohn)

This week I saw the first episode of a show called Art Race. With only a $1 note, $250 worth of art materials and a map, 2 artists must trade their work for lifts, beds and food to travel across America in 40 days.

These are 2 respected and skilled artists who are willing to go to locations they don’t know and offer their expertise to complete strangers.

I have no idea which one of the 2 artists will make it across America creating the most money. As I watched the recording of their first two days they certainly, so far, have had different approaches. One immediately started doing small portrait sketches while the second artist started creating 3 large canvas paintings in a more modern abstract style.

The show reminded me of a question in the book “I Can Make You Rich
” by Paul McKenna. The question is all about exploring your hidden wealth – those things that you previously hadn’t thought of as “money makers” but are ideas and resources available to you.

This week I invite you to play with the question from the book

“If you woke up one morning in a place where you knew no-one, with £100 in your pocket, how long would it take you to double your money, and how would you do it?”

Remember we are only playing with this idea; you’re not really in a place where you know no one. If you’re first answer was “I don’t know” keep playing and let yourself consider ideas that you think are insane.

To help here are some additional questions and points to consider:

Like the artists, in the show, are using their art to create money:
What are your skills and abilities?
What can you do better than most people?
What do you know more about than most people?
What can you be classed as an expert at?
What have you already accomplished?
What do others respect/ admire you for?
What do you have that others would also love to have?
What do you do for free at the moment that others would actually pay for?

The book lists a few answers they have heard to that question, including from such “rich thinkers” as Peter Jones and Dame Anita Roddick and goes on to ask:

Having doubled that original £100, to £200, how long would it take you to double it again? (So you have £400) How would you do that?

Have a week full of wealth


Jen Waller sig

PS Michael Neill, the editor of I Can Make You Rich (the book this week’s exercise comes from) and successful trainer, coach and author is coming to London this month.

The multi-millionaire, Paul McKenna credits Michael’s approach with the following results: “I become more happier in myself, more successful and to be blunt, I have simply made a lot more money!”

Come and see for yourself why he is described as “the finest success coach in the world today” at two one day events.

Make More Money Michael will focus on reinventing your relationship with money.

What if the only thing standing between you and all the money you’ll ever want or need is… you. Click HERE for full details.

A Day Of Transformative Coaching: A one-day event where Michael will demonstrate and teach the fundamentals of transformative coaching. This event is particularly for coaches who want to learn Michael’s coaching style, but anyone will benefit.

Visit the website for full details.

Both events are open to all. I’m due to be assisting on both days so if you attend one or both events do come up and say hello and let me put a face to your name :)


“Have you heard the one about the dreamer, the realist and the critic?” audio available

1 07 2009

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If you prefer to listen to this weeks “Have you heard the one about the dreamer, the realist and the critic?” message click HERE and then press play.


Have you heard the one about the dreamer, the realist and the critic?

30 06 2009

“Creativity is not a talent, it is a skill that can be learnt.
It empowers people by adding strength to their natural abilities which improves teamwork, productivity and where appropriate profits.”

(Edward de Bono)

I suspect that few people would disagree that Walt Disney knew a thing or two about creativity.

Robert Dilts
is a developer, author, trainer and consultant in the field of Nero-Linguistic Programming (NLP). One of the things he investigated was how Walt Disney was creative. As this was done after Walt Disney had dies he had to use things like writings (including some by Disney) and talking to people who had known the man himself.

What I’m about to write is my brief summary of what Dilts concluded (With my apologies to the author :) . For the original source, read Strategies of a genius, vol.1 link link)

The Walt Disney Creativity Strategy follows a specific process. The first stage is “the dreamer”. This is the stage of thinking big with no limitations or boundaries. The second stage is “the realist”, taking the ideas from the “dreamer” stage and looking at the practicalities.

The final stage is the critic, the time to test, evaluate and look for things that go wrong. Potentially this forms a cycle for things to be refined by going back to the dreamer etc until the critic is redundant.

In my work I often see people that get stuck predominantly using one of the above stages and not the others. Maybe it’s someone who has big ideas but never takes any practical action.

Perhaps it’s someone who jumps straight to the practical stage without dreaming big – for example, they would never have considered that anyone would offer payment for the following jobs:

Being a hermit: 40 days and nights shut away in a Manchester museum

Being paid to work just 12 hours a week on a tropical island with full board (for UK TV viewers find out more about this story on “The Best Job in the World” Thursday on BBC1)


The domestic American airline that wanted to employ someone whose sole job was to fly around the country using the company flights and to write about their experience.

While these jobs, to my knowledge, have all been taken, they have all been advertised within the last 12 months. They may not be as common as some other roles; equally someone is now being paid to do the job.

Or perhaps it’s “the critic” that jumps straight in – can you imagine a writer crafting a piece if they were attempting to edit what they were writing before it even reached the page in a first draft?

As always if what you are already doing works for you then great. If it isn’t working then I offer the following definition from Einstein “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

This week I invite you to do something different and play with the following. You may want to pick something you already know you want to get creative with or something where you are stuck and what you were doing hasn’t worked.

You’ll need a pen and paper to play with this. You’ll probably find this easier if you physical move to a different position for each stage. Depending upon how much space you have this may be as small as changing how you are sat, or on a much bigger scale changing rooms altogether J.

If you realise at any stage that you have drifted into another stage prematurely, just shake it off (physically if it’s easier) and return to the stage you were in. The other one will get its turn, when it will be most useful.

1. The dreamer stage. (Remember to pick how/where you want to sit etc for this stage)

This is the stage of no limitations. What in an ideal world you’d love to be doing in this situation?

Some questions to help with this stage:

· What inspires and/or excites you about this?
· If money was no object what would you do?
· If you had all the time in the world, what would you do?
· If it didn’t mean anything about you if you didn’t get what you wanted, what would you go for?
· If a fairy godmother were to come and wave a magic wand, what would you ask for?
· What would be even better then that?

Keep going with this until you have at least 20 things written down, especially if they seem absurd!

2. The practical stage. (Remember to pick how/where you want to sit etc for the practical stage)

Pick at least one thing from your list that appeals to you. Perhaps if you want a bit of fun something that your immediate thought was that’s insane. We’re just playing with this and doing something different – you can always choose not to take action when you have finished. 

If what you have picked was possible, what would you do to make it a reality?

Questions that may help at this stage:

· What information would you need?
· What skills and beliefs would help?
· What’s the time frame that would work with this?
· Would other people be involved?
· What finance would be involved?
· What energy would you have?
· What would be the very first practical step?

3. The next step is “the critic”. (Again, remember to change to a third position to do this stage.)

Evaluate what practical answers you came up with at stage 2.

Questions that may help at this stage:

· What could go wrong?
· How does this look with the big picture?
· How does the small details look?
· How does this look to a customer/boss/other people involved in this situation?
· How can you make this better/ stronger?

4. If appropriate take your answers in the third stage and return to stage 1, the dreamer and cycle through the process until the answers you have from the critic are ones you want.

5. If you then want to choose to take action, feel free.

6. You may have noticed that some roles were much easier then others. That just suggests that you’ll use the one you’re comfortable in most often. Next time you notice that a bit more creativity would help, become aware if you had been using the dreamer, the realistic or the critic and see the difference with using this cycle.

Have a wonderfully creative week



PS July sees Michael Neill run a month long interactive program about “creating the impossible”. To take part in the program you’ll need something that:

“1. You must believe you have a less than 50% chance for success in the 30 days of the program.

2. You must be so passionate about what it is you want to create that you will be glad of any time you spend invested in creating it, regardless of how things turn out!”

The program includes:

“· A downloadable jumpstart workbook on the 1st of July 
· Audio messages each day throughout the program that will encourage and guide you towards the creation of your “impossible” project. 
· Each week, there will be special “action days” where you can go online or phone into a tele-bridge and use the energy of the group to get yourself into action and build momentum towards making your dream a reality. 
· You will be allowed access to a private online forum throughout the month, which Michael will be an active member of helping to answer any questions you have and unstick your stuckness if you find yourself struggling to move forward! ”

There are 3 ways you can join:

1. If you are a member of Michael’s Solution Café you can sign up for free.
2. If you are a member of Steve Chandler’s Club Fearless
you should have already received information about how to sign up.
3. If you are not a member of Solution Café or club fearless you can sign up for $99 here


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