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Don’t always trust the SatNav because there’s always the chance you’ll go off-piste.

Play it again Sam

Chi-chi Nwanoku has a very interesting story as to how she became an internationally renowned double bass player.

Nwanoku, the eldest of five siblings from hardworking Nigerian and Irish parents, fell in love with playing music at an early age. At seven years old, whilst round a neighbour’s house, Nwanoku heard someone playing the Boogie Woogie 12-bar blues and insisted she be taught the song. Every day she’d return to play until in the end, the neighbours wheeled the instrument to Nwanoku’s house and said she could have it as a gift. Clearly her talent, dedication and determination were obvious, and Nwanoku’s dedicated parents worked overtime to pay for piano lessons.

Chi-chi Nwanoku’s talents didn’t end there. At the age of 8, she was spotted by an athletics coach and started training as a 100-metre sprinter. She describes the feeling of running fast as being ‘free as a bird’. And Nwanoku was fast. She excelled in...

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Why we’re all inherently selfish (but that doesn’t mean bad news for everyone else)

You don’t bring me flowers (except when it’s 14th February)

Apparently, February is the month of lurve… Personally, I am a real humbug when it comes to Valentines Day. I don’t see why we need a specific date to remind us that we need to tell people how much we love them. Why do we not show this love and affection to our loved ones all the year round? Are they not worthy of this? And if your significant other needs a special date as a reminder to tell you how much they love you, does it not rather take the shine off – because you know they’re only doing it because they’ve had a massive prod from Clinton Cards/supermarket displays/Funky Pigeon.com/Interflora and all other retailers who capitalise on the fact there’s a special day to say ‘ps I love you’.

I like to think I give thought to and make the time to show my appreciation and love to my family and friends all year round (I sound such a goody two shoes and obviously my...

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Why we are held hostage to the emotions our values create – and how understanding this puts us in a powerful position

Taking matters in to your own hands

There’s an app on the iPhone called Find my iPhone (similar apps on Android phones are available), which helps you to locate and protect your mobile should it be lost or stolen.  I once read in the news about a couple of people who have used this particular app when their mobile was stolen and located their device and then confronted the thief. A ‘don’t try this at home’ warning is issued at this juncture…

In one case, a young woman reported her phone stolen but were told the Police didn’t have the resources to help. So, the victim took it upon herself to locate the phone and persuaded a couple of friends to come with her to get the phone back. They caught up with the perpetrator and realising he was outnumbered, he told the woman to follow him to his flat to get the mobile. Despite feeling unsure about the whole situation, she followed, with her friend as back-up. The second friend sensibly hung back and...

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Five steps to knowing what you want out of life and how to get there

Making sense of it all

Does thinking of what you want out of life feel a tad overwhelming? Do you feel a bit like a pinball being buffeted around by the flippers and springs of life with no sense of direction? You’re not the only one.

Setting goals – it can seem a big concept can’t it? When someone asks what your goals are for the future, or maybe the next 12 months, perhaps five years ahead, it can sometimes feel like making it through the day with your sanity intact is a goal in itself! So, how do you work out what it is you really want out of life and how do you go about achieving it?

Let’s face it, the possibilities are endless, so it’s about identifying for you what floats your boat, what will get you out of bed in the morning and motivated to keep going towards the achievement of your ambition.

This will depend hugely on your desire for said achievement. As last week’s blog explained, the amount of energy at our disposal is in direct...

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Why it's an easy game from the touchline

Who wants to be on my team?
My brother-in-law Jon manages and coaches a football team with 8 to 9-year olds. He’s done this for almost three years and it’s got to the point where he’s just about had enough. It’s not the kids driving him nuts. Well, yes, they can be boisterous, over-excited and not listen to a word he says but that’s what it’s about for him – the kids having fun, learning a skill, teamwork and running off a bit of steam.

Initially, Jon started the team because there wasn’t one in the area for his youngest son’s age and gradually, more and more children have joined the team, which is a great thing. What isn’t so great is the lack of support from fellow parents. Jon runs the team and that means doing all the admin, planning the logistics, as well as taking the training sessions and being present at all the games. He’s repeatedly asked parents if someone will assist but no one ever comes forward.

I...

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How knowing one simple, yet fundamental thing puts you with the elite thinkers.

What do you do and who do you know?
Are you living your life being true to yourself, or are you constantly trying to keep up with the Jones’s? Maybe it’s about the salary you think you should be earning by your age and stage in life, living in the house that befits someone of your standing, sending your children to the ‘right’ school, holidaying in the latest ‘in’ destination and being seen at the popular social functions etc. Sometimes it’s all so exhausting!
 
Ed Sheeran’s song Beautiful People is a great social comment on how so many people strive to fit in rather than be themselves and happy with who they are. The video depicts two ‘ordinary’ people arriving at an airport and then to their surprise, being ushered into a limo. There they sit, drinking out of their apple juice cartons, eating a packet of crisps, watching bemused as Lamborghinis and Hummers stream past. The whole video plays out with them at a pool...

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Advice for a younger self

Friday lunchtime musings

The average lifetime in the Western world is said to be around 80 years so if asked to guestimate how many days that would be, what would be your answer? No calculators or frantic mental maths allowed! 30,000? 50,000? 75,000? 100,000? 150,000 or 200,000? It’s actually 30,000 days, so that’s an average of 4,000 weekends, which, if you think about, you’ve probably already had a fair few of already…

To put it another way, for ease, if you take the biblical allotment - 3 score and 10, therefore 70 years, and equate each decade of your life to a day of the week, you can work out which day of the week you’re on. So, 0 to 10 years is Monday, 11 to 20 is Tuesday and so on… which day are you on? I’m on Friday lunchtime which certainly gives me food for thought and is my motivator to keep pushing myself forward - to constantly think about what I want to be and achieve.

On the Winning Edge, we talk about the day of the week...

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How do you define what happiness is to you? Here's a profound list to start you off...

Sometimes when we read about a person’s situation and it can leave a lasting impression. This was the case for me when I read about Annmarie James-Thomas, who died aged 44 from complications caused by cervical cancer.

Annmarie had four young sons and reading her story took my breath away and led to feelings of why is life – and death – so unfair. What softened that feeling was that this amazing inspirational woman, upon learning her cancer was terminal, decided she wanted to leave behind an important legacy for her children, not one of money, but of words. Annmarie wanted to leave a life guide for her sons and this included her top twenty tips on how to lead a happy and successful life.

Defining what success is for you

‘Success’ can mean different things depending on who you are. Perhaps in its more traditional sense, people think of it to mean you have a fantastic well-paid job; maybe you are financially buoyant; you own your property, if not...

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How your values set you apart from everyone else

It’s amazing how a film can evoke such strong emotions in you… My husband and I sat down to watch the next instalment of the oh-so gripping Killing Eve drama last week and whilst he popped off to make a cuppa, I was lining up the episode on BBC IPlayer. However, I was distracted by the film playing out as I switched on the TV.  Even though it was 40 minutes in, I was gripped and as my husband walked back in, apparently I was clutching the remote as if to say: “Don’t even think about Killing Eve.”

The film in question was The Light Between Oceans, based on the book by M.L.Stedman and starring Alicia Vikander (Isabel Graysmark) and Michael Fassbender (Tom Sherbourne). If you haven’t watched it, the premise is that mentally and emotionally weary from serving in the First World War, Tom takes on the job of a lighthouse keeper on a remote island off the Australian West Coast. It’s a life of solitude until he meets and...

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