Sunday, July 25, 2010


Like millions of others, I was glued to the MasterChef finale, and have watched most of the series. That's about eight hours of air time per week, for fourteen weeks.

I chose to fill a big chunk of my spare time with MasterChef, and I've enjoyed it with my daughters.

As a consequence, I can't complain that there's 'no time' for other things, like writing my novel, exercising, spring cleaning, taking a long bath, having a massage, cleaning out the garage, updating my website or any of the other things on my list.

Start today

Many of us love to run the 'I don't have time' story. Being 'flat out' has become part of modern Australian culture.

Be honest and recognise that you DO have spare time - you're using it to focus on certain priorities.

We can carve up our time however we like. I'm going to replace my MasterChef time with novel writing - so there's eight spare hours a week (or an entire working day) that I've just gained!

How could you find some extra time this week?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Feel the fear and do it anyway

I've just attended a four-day intensive, exhausting and rewarding public speaking and presentations skills course in Melbourne.

I was inspired by a handful of the particpants who came to the course not as experienced trainers wanting to lift their game, but as beginners wanting to conquer an acute fear of public speaking - something that had held them back in their careers for years (a fear that many people share).

At the beginning of Day One, these people had doubts about even entering the training room, couldn't look the audience in the eye, shook violently during the one-minute exercise and certainly couldn't utter a cohesive sentence.

By Day Four, the same people stood up in front of a group and gave a twenty-minute presentation, without any notes.

The transformation was startling.

Start today

Do you have a fear that is holding you back in your career or personal life?

Fear of flying, fear of commitment, fear of the unknown, fear of the impact of children on your career, fear of rejection, fear of stepping up into a management role ...

Imagine the possibilities that might open up for you if you conquered that fear... if you let yourself feel afraid, but did whatever it is anyway.

What's really the worst that could happen?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happens to the best of us...

My husband and I are just back from our gorgeous babymoon in Italy, where they really seem to 'get' life balance.

Afternoon siesta is a fabulous notion. Evenings don't seem to be spent catching up on work on lap tops in front of Master Chef - they're spent becoming master chefs and enjoying long meals with family and friends, or taking 'passaggiata' (evening strolls around the town after work).

It all seems so meaningful and relaxed (granted, we were on holiday, so everything appears relaxed!)

One thing that surprised me during our visit were the flaws in Michelangelo's masterpiece - the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

The panels with which he kicked off the project are far more detailed than the rest of the painting. They looked good up close but the detail is lost from the floor, so he had to modify the style for the rest - which meant bigger images, less intricate detail and more space.

He despised being ordered to paint the ceiling and ran away from Rome several times during the process, much preferring his sculpture work (and don't we all identify with those feelings, on our own scale, from time to time).

Start today

When you doubt yourself, your work or your ability to achieve a certain standard, think of Michelangelo - slaving for years over a project he hated and mucked up at first, which permanently damaged his eyesight (nevertheless becoming one of the most famous masterpieces of the Western world).

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by someone else's apparent genius, success or happiness. Rest assured that the full story behind what appears to be perfect at first glance is rarely the fairytale you assume it to be, we are always more critical of ourselves than we are of others, and even Ninja Turtles have their moments!