ME… needing to grow??

Are you a leader? In a business, of a team – at work, at home or through tribes? Your business, teams and tribes deserve to flourish and grow. And the only way they grow, is if YOU grow!

But so often there are things holding us back: the narratives we tell ourselves, the things our parents didn’t teach us, the way we (mis-)communicate with others to name a few. And based on all of these (very valid) excuses, we start meeting everybody else’s needs and stop growing as ourselves. Hear-hear??

It’s time to start enjoying being you, to start taking off the hats everybody else has given you – to become YOU again. Because you’re reading this, we know that the success of your tribe or business highly depends on you, that you are a key driver. So, for you, for them: say yes to you?!

We start our next Good Hearts United group in December. A monthly “online book club” for personal development, this time inviting business owners, team- and tribe leaders. So, is your Good Heart ready to join us? To create not only success for you, but for those around you? To your success!

Work places: why so serious???

How come, if you are a serious, important work place, you all need to sit in boring, serious offices and dress as if your only asset of credibility was your suit?? Have a look around, the world has changed!

You’ve probably seen or heard about ‘The internship’ movie featuring Google – why should only Google be a fun place to be, play, learn, work and explore? Imagine your lawyers, accountants or insurance companies with people dressed in colourful, diverse, personal style, sitting on exercise balls and taking the slide to next floor – why not?

When I started in corporate 20 years ago, I went from ‘Uni Uniform’ of jeans and a sweatshirt to buy long skirts, jackets and silk scarfs (??!! Yes, I did!! Horrendous to think of, but that’s what we did back then). My male colleagues wore suits and ties. Day in, day out. Luckily two decades later, it is much more casual, and my jackets have gone to recycling ages ago.

But what if we pushed it further? Last week I heard of an online company that banned suits to enter their offices (and yes, they do have a slide..). Can you think of any entrepreneur starting up an exciting new venture renting a unit in a boring office block and ordering a big phone and IT system? No, they would manage all invoices and messaging from their phone (at the beach or a nearby café) and be wearing clothes expressing who they are. Let’s start role modelling that for your work place, no matter how big. How can you help unleash the entrepreneur in us all? Who decides what you as a teacher, lawyer, accountant, hairdresser or secretary should wear?

So, what about we start bringing ALL of ourselves to work? It is us and our way of thinking and creating solutions that the work places want. If it was standard right/wrong black/white deliverables they expected, we would have been swapped for computers and robots long ago. So, what about we turn up even more OURSELVES? And start livening up the work places. It doesn’t need to be for newly built offices in fancy locations only, we can add spunk and new wine to the old bottles, wherever we are based, can’t we? Have fun expressing more of you!

Let’s HYGGE.. [hoo-ga] [hue-gah]?!

I’ve just come back from Denmark. Or the Country of Candles. And it’s not even dark all the time, as you may think if watching ‘Borgen’, ‘The Killing’ and so on. Well, candles bring HYGGE. That feeling of hominess, caring, enjoying the moment with close ones (most often accompanied by cake and coffee…).

Did you know Danes burn more than 6 kg candles a year? That’s twice as much as the runner-up. And that 28% of Danes light candles EVERY day? Source: The Happiness Research Institute, Copenhagen (yep… it exists?!!).

A mentor of mine once told how he and his wife have candle light dinners EVERY night. Because well, it only takes lighting a candle on the table.

And as I stayed with a girlfriend I hadn’t seen for 30 years, she started the morning by lighting a candle in our rooms. How is that for feeling welcome and appreciated – me and each family member, enjoying this every morning?

So instead of reading the full book about HYGGE, what about you skip straight to lighting a candle tonight for dinner? If you feel on a roll, bring out a board game as well…?!!

Hygge is a about creating happy, calm and safe pockets for us all – alone and with others. Wonder whether that in any way would be linked to overall life satisfaction? Well, whether it is or it isn’t, let’s hygge – starting with lighting a candle tonight.

Step away….. I say: step AWAY!!

How come we believe we know best? That things will be quicker/better/more efficient if WE do it all? Step away….. I say: step away.

Airport. Smart Gates. Mother (with the best of intentions for the kids, herself and the greater good?!) running a military drill of pushing one passport at a time through the slot, ushering one kid at a time through. I forgot to see if she also did it for her husband, which still bugs me..

That’s over-functioning. We all do it. Taking away the opportunity for someone else to do it THEIR way. It may have been the BEST part of the trip for those kids, sliding the passport into the machine themselves, stepping onto the marked feet on the floor. Not rocket science. No commands needed. Empowerment, really. They would have figured it out by watching the ones in front of them in the queue. Like they’ve learned everything else. Not from what others say, but what people around them DO.

So where are YOU over-functioning? With staff, kids, partner, parents, friends, pets, gardening, housework….. Which commands and controls are retirement worthy?

Step away…… I say: step away. Happy stepping.


Beauty and the Beast – which one to choose??

The story is simple. Love conquers all and looks behind the mask. So many other stories and movies tell stories like this, how come this one smashed opening records earlier this year?

I believe Belle’s unshakeable belief in the good and her honest love, from the heart, no games, is what we all hunger for. Along the way the two of them realise the interests they have in common. And Beast’s anger and selfishness: we wouldn’t stay around for long, but she sees something more – and he feels the change coming within him.

Most of all, it allows us to feel the BIG feelings. True love. Fear. Courage. Big emotions that we don’t allow ourselves that often. And that our mundane everyday life doesn’t require.

So are you choosing Beauty or the Beast this week? Are you going to chase your dreams, big or small, or is it time to face your fears and allow some of the inner demons a moment in the sun? The two go well together.


On a bench in a park. Under a tree in your garden. Feet deep in the sand on the beach. Wherever you choose.  To lower your heart rate, to tune into the frequency of the bench, the tree, the ground.

Letting go of the past just for a minute.  Leaving the future ashore for a bit. Pressing pause on the play list of things to do. Letting the now seep in. Listening to the birds. A dog barking. The wind in the trees. Being.

Keep turning up!

When you feel like quitting. When it all gets too hard. When others think you shouldn’t keep going. DON’T quit. Instead keep turning up.

It’s not always the smartest, luckiest or richest who end up being the happy ones, the ones living the life they truly want. It can be. But the most important is: we ALL can be that person. And the biggest difference is whether you keep turning up.

A key question from John Assaraf (known by some of you from The Secret) that helps you is: Are you interested, or are you committed? To achieve your goals and dreams. So what is that “thing” you’re working on at the moment? Is it creating a loving, kind family being the best human being you can possibly be? Is it finishing the studying you’ve been doing for a while? Is it getting that room cleaned up? Is it starting to look after yourself and your health by exercising? Fill in YOUR version.

Now answer: are your interested or committed to achieving this?

If you’re interested, you’ll do what’s convenient. And let the excuses hold you back. If you’re committed, you will do whatever it takes to overcome any setbacks, issues and events around you. Because they WILL pop up. It won’t just be smooth sailing. Others may not agree with how you choose to spend your time and focus.

So, when you have something that’s important to you, keep going. Keep turning up. Keep doing little steps all the time to become the person you want to become, the person you need to be to achieve it.

Success: sometimes it’s NOT getting what you want. It’s how you deal with it. Deal with all emotions that life sends your way with grace. And keep turning up. Feeling that you’ve made the effort, had a go. Taken one step towards that goal.

So what does it look like when you keep turning up? Make it into a song you love. Have a crazy dance around the kitchen while you do the dishes. Put on some funky music. You have to turn up anyway, so way not be crazy and make it worthwhile? Have fun turning up this week!