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Making Dreams Come True

Book recommendation: Making your Dreams Come True by Marcia Wieder

By July 28, 2017 Blog, Career, Making Dreams Come True

Marcia Wieder is a best-selling author, TED speaker, CEO of Dream University, repeat guest on the Oprah Winfrey show.

Marcia’s book Making Your Dreams Come true (also available as an Audible audio version) is a blueprint for finding your personal purpose, which will underpin and guide the dreams you pursue, how to live following your dreams (rather than being a slave to your schedule) and powerful strategies for those times when negative thoughts and doubts threaten to derail your path to success.  The writing style is accessible, engaging and very practical and the methods can be applied to any dream (even if at this point your dream is to have a dream…).

Marcia is always personable and down-to-earth in her writing and speaking appearances but has over 30 years experience in the industry and knows her stuff! (Which is why her Dream Coach® program was the very first training I undertook as a success coach).

If you have any questions about how to apply the methods to your particular situation I would love for you to ask in the comment section drop me an email at

Alternatively if you feel one-on-one coaching through the Dream Coach® program might be right for you, have a look at the course outline here.

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Why I never got on the “gratitude” bandwagon…and the power of words.

By July 9, 2017 Blog, Making Dreams Come True, The Blog

“I got you a job in the fish factory…Little Miss Anya it’s time to take your place in life  and in line.  And be grateful”

-Phlegmenkof to Anastasia in the animated film Anastasia.

I love appreciating the simple pleasures in life as much as the next person, often stop to think how fortunate I am to have such supportive and wonderful family, friends and collegues and have recently taken on the practice celebrating successes, large or small on a weekly basis.  All sounds pretty similar to the concept of the gratitude movement right?  And yet there is something about the word grateful that…well…grates on me.

I’m sure it dates back to connotations formed in my childhood.  I don’t think there was any one moment where it happened, but an impression I got from society in general that to voice that you wanted something different to what you got was to be an ungrateful/a horrible person.  I remember my mother lovingly cutting up an apple for my lunch to make it easier to eat. I wished she wouldn’t because the apple would always turn brown and soft.  But I didn’t want to say anything in case that seemed ungrateful.  In retrospect I’m sure she would have been all too pleased not to have to cut and wrap an apple for each of 5 children!  Anyway, now I like to substitute the word gratitude for appreciation, feeling blessed/lucky/fortunate, or celebration.

Hope is a wonderful and entirely positive word right?  Maybe to most people it is.  But I  have been coaching a client whom it turns out the word hope has a disempowering effect on!  She had fallen into a pattern of not fully committing to things she set out to do because she didn’t expect them to work out, and this was becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.   Her approach became to put in a less-than-full effort and then “hope” everything would work out.  For her “hope” came to mean that she had little control over what happened in her life and that she was at the mercy of luck. So instead of “hoping”  she is now “believing/planning for/taking action to ensure” things work out the way she wants them to.

Success coach Emily Williams talks about not using the word “expensive” and instead taking about an item being high-end or quality.  This shifts the feeling of the item being unattainable and difficult to justify buying to being valuable.

I myself never used the word debt in relation to my student loan or mortgage as I see these as good/normal/reasonable investments and “debt” has negative connotations.

So, certain words can trigger certain negative emotions and thought processes.  Some words like “debt” and “expensive” are widely recognised to have negative connotations.  Some such as the examples of “gratitude” and “hope” here are highly personal/individual. The important thing is to become aware of these trigger-words in order to manage your thoughts and move them in a direction that is condusive to achieving the results that you want.  This may involve desensitising/forming new connotations with the word if you wish, or simply substituting the trigger words with other words that invoke a more positive/helpful thought process.

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How to Make A Break-Through Despite Feeling Stuck…

By July 4, 2017 Balance, Blog, Career, Making Dreams Come True

So you have an incredible vision of something that you want.  Good on you.  You are special, and strides ahead of anyone who accepts an unhappy existence, not daring to dream of something better.  But what do you do when it doesn’t seem to be happening?  Maybe you know that you haven’t put  in a full effort to achieving your dream or haven’t fully committed to it yet.  Or maybe you have been putting in 110%, doing everything you can but things just don’t seem to be progressing.  Either way, (go ahead and assume that what you want is fully possible) and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is………(insert your dream) something I really want?
  2. Am I prepared to do everything I can to (ethically) make it happen?

If you answered yes then this article is for you.  (If you answered no, maybe it’s time for a different dream?).  In this post we are going to look at a few areas you can work on to unblock your path to success.  Sometimes a small tweak in approach might be all that is needed, sometimes a major mind-set shift is in order!

Not all advice applies to everyone at any given time.  So I have represented each point as a spectrum.   For best results try to identify which end you lie closer to, and consider how you can develop a more balanced approach.

  1. Keep your promises<…………………………………………………>be prepared to re-negotiate

Are you often late or find you don’t follow through on things you start?  Do you tend feel discouraged and give up when things get difficult? If so, focus on  keeping your promises to other people and more importantly to yourself.  Even something as small as committing to being on time consistently will start to change your mindset to one of following through and getting things done.  Then you will be able to trust yourself to follow through on bigger and bigger projects.


Or do you tend to stay on the same path even when there doesn’t seem to a good reason anymore? Do you tend to resist change?

It is essential to success to be able to persist when things get difficult.  But if it gradually becomes apparent that you no longer want what you are working towards, it may be time to re-negotiate the goal with yourself or others involved.


(Note: when you suddenly feel frustrated/like giving up, this is likely the natural resistance that comes with working through a challenging time.  Our minds are very good at coming up with excuses not to persist when things get difficult!  While uncomfortable, these thoughts are also a good  indicator that we are being challenged and are in a position to grow by pushing through the challenge.  On the other hand, when it slowly dawns on you after much thought that you need a change in your path/goal it may be worth exploring what that change might be).


  1. Don’t give up <…………………………………………………> try a fresh point of view

Some say doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.  True, but that doesn’t mean giving up.  Doing something differently  could mean means identifying the obstacles and figuring out ways around them. This could be a small tweak to the approach you are trying, or coming at it from a completely different angle.

“People think innovation is just having a good idea but a lot of it is just moving quickly and trying a lot of different things” Mark Zuckerberg.  So if something isn’t working, brainstorm, read around the topic, bounce ideas off other people.  Try a slight variation, a completely different approach or do both at the same time.


Part of not giving up and being creative in your approach is also developing a positive attitude to failure.  If you are not failing at something regularly, chances are you are not challenging yourself regularly.  Every failure not only started as an opportunity for success, but becomes an opportunity to grow and hone your approach.


Look at successful people in any field and you will see, a lot of the time it’s not that they are smarter/more talented than many other people who didn’t become successful.  But they were persistent and creative in their approach to reaching their goals.

 3. Cultivate a positive thoughts <………………………………>take action (don’t think too hard!)

The first step to success is expecting to succeed.  So it’s great to have a positive mindset and to feel inspired and enthusiastic.  But we all have days where that doesn’t happen.  On those days, I find it helps to have a list of tasks that I can just get on with regardless of how I am feeling without having to think about it too hard.  Sometimes the simple action of pushing myself to make progress is enough to pull me out of a negative funk.


4. Acknowledge negative thoughts <………………………………> take charge of your thoughts

You know that voice in your head that starts coming up with negative thoughts and doubts when you think about reaching for a goal?  The voice that comes up with excuses not to go ahead when you think about doing something difficult/uncomfortable even though you know it will help you progress?  Many coaches advocate giving this “voice” its own identity and name (Marcia Wieder calls it “The Doubter”, Carrie Green calls it “The Negative Committee”) .  I like to call it “the voice of negativity”.  Giving this voice its owns identity can help you to constructively tune into these negative thoughts, identify where they are coming from and separate them out so that they don’t have to colour everything that you think.  Then you can more objectively assess these thoughts, identify the pearl of wisdom within them (this voice is good at identifying obstacles which you can then construct a way around) and then remove any excessive melodrama which might block your positivity and path to success!


5.Ask for help <…………………>make it easy for the other person/make it a two way street

Most people actually like the idea of being able to help others. So don’t be afraid to ask.  But for your benefit and theirs, as Marcia Wieder says, “make it easy for them to say yes”.  For example saying “could you help me with this…. (really big project)…..” and not specifying how, requires that person to do all the heavy lifting/thinking and less likely to respond to your request.  But coming up with some options and saying “could you help me by doing….( a), b) or c))” makes it a lot easier for them to decide if they can do one or all of those things to help.  Be respectful of their time, be concise and always be on time.

It also helps to be considerate and giving and either make it so that the other person gets value out of helping you or make it clear that you will be available to help them out in the future.


6. Celebrate successes <…………………> keep the goal in sight

I have adopted the practice of celebrating success from 7 figure success coach Emily Williams and inspirational author and speaker Cara Alwill Leyba.  Both do this with inspiringly well with style, glamour and pizazz!  When it comes to keeping a positive mind-set, there are few things better than regularly celebrating small (and large) successes.  Whether with a glass of bubbly or lunch out with a friend, celebrating success is a great way to remind yourself you are moving forward, even when your ultimate goal may still seem far away.

On the other hand, keeping your eye on the prize keeps you from being complacent and keeps you continually moving forward.  It also helps to focus daily tasks by regularly reassessing whether what you are doing is in alignment with your goal.


7.Learn with an open mind <…………………> learn with a questioning/objective mind

Feed your mind with all the resources you can to grow and move towards your goal.  But take the time to monitor what you are taking in.  Be open to considering different approaches, but look for evidence to back up what you are reading where applicable and consider whether the advice is right for/applies to you at the current time.


8.Know and trust yourself <…………………> Get objective opinions

As above, separating negative thoughts/excuses which are motivated by a fear of something new/difficult from other thoughts is very useful.  But if you are used to letting this “voice of negativity” run the show, so to speak, it can be very difficult to separate it from reality/thoughts of reason.  This can take time and in the meantime it can be helpful to seek the advice of a wise friend, mentor or coach to help you sort through these thoughts when faced with difficult decisions/challenging times.


9.Love yourself as you are<…………………>never stop growing

As an example, if you are trying to get in shape, it is healthier and more sustainable to love your body and focus on caring for it getting it healthy than punishing it with restrictive diet and excessive exercise.  But I myself have fallen into the trap of using punishment/negativity as a motivator rather than starting from a place of self-acceptance and moving towards something positive.

I used to be motivated to achieve by the fear of not amounting to anything/not reaching my potential/not making a difference/being a disappointment.  I had no wish to get rid of these fears as I thought they were  useful and necessary motivators.  However, through my work in success coaching and self-development, I have found that a mind-set of loving yourself and looking forward to a dream that excites you is far more motivating and condusive to creative solutions.  Not to mention that it makes for a much happier and fulfilling life!

Of course loving yourself as you are doesn’t mean you won’t work to improve yourself/invest in yourself.  Think about what you want to achieve and then become the kind of person that would happen to.  Want to have a successful career? Work at your craft but also get well connected and network.  Want to meet an amazing life-partner?  Be inspired by your own dreams and you will glow, know and feel secure in yourself. Want to be an amazing performer? Build an image based on your most unique, winning qualities.  There is something unique and special inside you that only you can offer but it is hard for other people to see it if you don’t know what it is yourself or how to channel it.  Work towards being the best version of yourself.

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Book Recommendation: Girl Code, by Cara Alwill Leyba

By May 16, 2017 Blog, Career, Making Dreams Come True

Cara Alwill Leyba is a Master Life Coach and author .  Her book Girl Code is an inspiring, kick-ass romp of a read full of empowering advice with a focus on celebrating the power of bonding with other women as a key ingredient in achieving happiness and success in life and work.

Girl Code outlines a great approach for driven women who have big plans; go for it, hustle, but its OK not to be perfect all the time…and its fun to add a little sparkle and glamour where-ever possible!

(I had the pleasure of meeting Cara recently her London networking meet. Cara is delightful in person and the event was everything she writes about; fabulous women getting together and making connections over sparkly champagne!)



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Turning Dreams into Reality –the Game Plan…

By July 30, 2016 Blog, Career, Making Dreams Come True, Organsation and Planning

Once you are clear on your goals, it’s time to make things happen!  Planning, organisation and regular reflection on how things are going can turn a lofty dream into an achievable goal.

Tips for turning a goal into reality:

  1. Use  the SMART approach (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound), to further define your goals.
  2. Make a Master Plan/Timeline

I like to make the master-plan/timeline pretty and pleasant/motivating to look at, including tick-boxes to check-off as I complete things.  I also place it somewhere I can see it and refer to it each day. There is something very satisfying about crossing or ticking things off as you go!

  1. Each day look the timeline and think about what you want to achieve for that day or week and make a list of things to do in the immediate future
  2. Each week , briefly reflect on how things are going and if anything needs to change
  3. Customise the timeline to the goal and the way you like to do things.

For example,   if there is not a definite deadline eg. the goal is to run a blog… the plan could be structured as follows…




If there is a definite deadline, eg the goal is to pass an exam, then the master plan might be organized as below. It’s a good idea to build in contingency time.  Things often take longer than expected.  I always include a plan to “celebrate” after the deadline has passed.  It seems to help me maintain a positive mindset and remember what I am working towards!



Good luck with your dream-making, planning and achieving.  If you decide to try any of these tips, do let me know you go in the comments below!

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Live The Dreams –that’s right, plural…

By February 21, 2016 Blog, Career, Making Dreams Come True

Some people might be brilliant at and passionate about one thing only, others of us need to pursue several different interests to feel balanced and complete.

“Can I pursue more than one “serious” dream?”

Yes! Though you might have to pick one or at most 2 at a time to really concentrate on and become really good at. (No one wants to be a jack of all trades but master of none!).

Make a Plan to Concentrate on One or Two Things at a Time

You don’t have to pursue every goal you have for your life at the same time…For example if you want to play a sport professionally, you probably need to start as early as possible. If you want to write a book, that can potentially wait until later in life. Often, the skills you develop in one area can give you a unique edge in another and you can use this to your advantage (eg. you could write a sports book or write about something which helped you succeed in sport as well as other areas of life). Just because you are concentrating on one thing doesn’t mean you can’t have other things on the boil in the background. For example you may spend all day training for a sports competition but you might find it do-able, even enjoyable to spend an hour in the evening writing your book.

You may have to adapt some goals, particularly if they are further down on your list of dreams to pursue

If something you want does not seem realistic, consider what it is about that thing that you actually love and decide if you can achieve that another way. For example one particular dream I had as a little girl was to be a ballerina. As I grew into my teens, I knew this was not going to be possible if I also wanted to pursue a career as a scientist or doctor. So I took up a number of other forms of dance which required less rigorous and ongoing training, and for a time was able to fit in dancing gigs between other commitments. I still dance but have now moved on to focus on writing/blogging as you can see!

So there may be no need to choose between the things that you love. If you plan it right, you may just be able to have your cakes and eat them too!

sandakan high tea


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How Decide to Which Dreams to Pursue…

By January 17, 2016 Blog, Career, Making Dreams Come True

Of course no one else can tell you what you should be doing with your life.  Only you can decide that.  Also, no one single approach is going to suit everyone. Some people don’t mind jumping in with both feet and quitting their day job to pursue their dream, trusting that everything will work out. That is fantastic and I really believe that if you really want something, you absolutely should pursue it. But I myself like to be reasonably sure of financial stability and some chance of success before putting in a lot of time and resources. So here is my slightly risk-adverse take on making major, potentially life-changing decisions….

“What should I do with my life?!” 

Remember daydreaming about what you might “be” when you grew up?

I have one amazing friend who, as a child,  said she was going to be a scientist (and has written proof of this!), and then proceeded to do exactly that.  But we don’t all have such foresight! I myself had a list of any number of things, which would change from week to week depending on how I felt at the time.  I have never been able to map out my career years in advance with any certainty, but have taken up opportunities as they arose.  I have no regrets about where I am now and the path I have taken to get here.  So I guess, the point I am making is that:

  1. It’s OK not to know exactly where you want to be in 10 years. There is no harm planning, of course, but be prepared to adapt and change your plans. That way, you will be open to opportunities that might lead you to something even better.
  2. Do have an idea of what sort of thing you might want to do and start there.

I generally set off in the general direction I want to go, and then make more specific decisions and take up various opportunities as they arise.

Say you are interested in science but you are not sure which field.  So at university you try papers in botany, biochemistry, biology and psychology.  You develop a particular interest in one of these areas, start a project with a professor you admire and thus find your way into that field.


What If I think I want to do something but am not sure?”

Thinking in terms of these questions usually helps me to clarify if I am really prepared to put in the effort to make something happen.

  1. Is this something I am really prepared to work hard for?
  2. Would my life feel incomplete if I didn’t do this?
  3. What is the chance that I might realise it’s not what I want after all?
  4. If I tried but couldn’t achieve the goal, what would I lose?
  5. Would having tried give me the closure to move onto something else?
  6. Is quitting an option if it doesn’t seem to be working out? If so, how will I decide when to stop?


“ Can I really make this happen?”

There is no fool-proof way to eliminate the risk that your time, efforts and other resources might not pay off, but you could consider the following:

  1. Honest self-appraisal. We might be wrong about ourselves of course, so don’t stop there, but it’s the obvious place to start!  Gather all the information you can about what it might take to succeed and then consider your abilities.
  1. Consider the opinion of a trusted family member or friend.  Take their opinion into consideration, but remember those close to us may have  pre-conceived ideas about what we can or can’t do, so this is only one consideration.
  2. Consider getting an opinion from a professional in the field if applicable/possible
  3. If possible try to get some experience in the area you are interested in or take a course to see if you like it and might be good at it.


Just for fun, if you are considering pursuing a new path, try this!

Copy, print and fill out the table below…..



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Why you should R-E-A-C-H for your dreams

By January 7, 2016 Blog, Career, Making Dreams Come True

Why should you reach for your dreams?

So that you can be fulfilled and happy right? And because you almost certainly can make at least some of your dreams come true.

The more pertinent question is:

“Why shouldn’t you?” (What is stopping you?):

Lack of funds? Time? Too much effort? Don’t think you have what it takes? Commitments to others? Lack of opportunity?

Ok, not every dream anyone ever thought of is going to be realistic. But you owe it to yourself to at least go through the process of figuring out what will really make you happy (if you don’t already know), exploring what it would take to happen, and if you are prepared to do what it takes.

Going this process, if nothing else, will at least allow you some closure if you decide not to pursue a given path. At best, it will start you on the path to fulfilling your wildest dreams!

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How to Make New Year (or Any-Time-Of-Year) Dreams and Resolutions that Really Happen

By January 3, 2016 Festivity and celebrations, Making Dreams Come True, Organsation and Planning

I like to categorise my dreams and resolutions/goals into different aspects of life such as those listed here. You will probably want to modify this list based on what you want to work on this year.

Categories for Dreams and Resolutions

  1. Family/relationships
  2. Work/career
  3. Home
  4. Fitness and health
  5. Helping others
  6. Hobbies/interests/other pursuits
  7. Self development/improvement
  8. Enjoying life
  9. Style/image

Try this!

  1. Review last years accomplishments                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you wrote down resolutions or goals last year, get them out and check off what you have accomplished. Even if you didn’t formally write down anything down last year, you can still think of all the things you accomplished. Congratulate yourself on the goals you have seen through. For the ones you haven’t, don’t beat yourself up –instead reassess whether you still want to achieve them. If so, put them back on the list for this year and make up your mind to refine or adapt your plan to achieving them.
  2. Dream big, for the long term                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Go ahead and write down for each category, anything you would ideally like to achieve in your lifetime. Don’t be afraid to DREAM REALLY BIG, and write down your heart’s desire. You don’t need to share this with anyone else, but be honest with yourself. Write down as many dreams as you like for each category.
  3. Refine your list to goals really worth fighting for                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Success in anything generally requires hard work and often a certain degree of risk.   The risk of efforts and other resources and sacrifices not paying off. Some dreams are merely whimsical, for example in a fantasy alternate universe I might like to be a foreign diplomat, opera singer or Hollywood actress. However when it comes down to it I just don’t have the passion to seriously pursue any of these things. So dig deep and decide which dreams you are really passionate about. The ones you don’t mind working long and hard for and really committing to.

This is my first post in the Make-Your-Dreams-Come-True series.   I like to sleep on a list like this, and let thoughts and ideas randomly run through my mind for a few days before writing a more specific plan of how to achieve these goals.

So, see you here tomorrow for something different, a special post to kick off the New Year about how to inject magic, sparkle and wonderment into everyday life.  We’ll come back to our lists of dreams and resolutions to make a game plan to make them happen in a later post!

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