Ladders, boats, stars and stationery
Growing up, I was taught that life was a ladder.
A successful life meant making a generally upwards journey – which I’m sure you’ll be familiar with – through education into a job where I’d continue to climb up the rungs until retirement when I’d finally have the freedom to do whatever I wanted.
I liked the idea of a path I could picture and, as I knew of no alternatives, happily began to climb the ladder doing my best to get great grades, a great job, the next promotion.
At first, I enjoyed racing up the ladder. Every new rung created new opportunities and upgraded my lifestyle. I loved buying a new house, a new car, squeezing another holiday into my schedule and treating my two children to the latest stuff.
As a single mum wanting to provide the very best life for my family, I made sure I climbed as fast as I could. My wellbeing and personal happiness didn’t matter. I was young and it could wait. Yes, the ladder wobbled now and again, yes I did feel a long way from the ground, but all I had to do was tighten my grip and focus on the next rung.
I was proud of being such a hard worker.
Hard work and long hours are the only way to get ahead right?
I was certainly enjoying success. I was proud of my thriving PR career during which I worked for FTSE100 and International companies, running amazing events, travelling and working with incredible, creative people. I sailed through a leadership programme for ‘high potentials’ and qualified in project and programme management. I was on a high.
So, of course, fifteen years into my career and on the verge of the next big step, I thought nothing of working a few extra hours overnight (as I had done so many times) to meet a deadline that I absolutely had to make happen.
The next morning, after just a few hours’ sleep, I felt tired, lightheaded and my heart was galloping. But, as this had become such a familiar sensation, I shut it out. I had to keep going. Work was calling and sleep could wait until the weekend.
I’d make a strong coffee and then I’d get started.
But I didn’t get a chance. The ladder collapsed and everything went black.
I woke, dazed, thinking I’d get up and keep going. My body, however, had other ideas. In the weeks that followed, I was so weak that I had to spend most days in bed to conserve enough energy to take care of my children.
I’d stare longingly at my broken ladder with no idea how to repair it.
One night, at my lowest point, I opened my blind and gazed up at the night’s sky. Long ago, before school and before I ever learned the word ‘ladder’, my dreams lay among the stars. I’d imagine little me and pink teddy rowing a boat through the inky waters, stopping off at the moon and then going on adventures to faraway galaxies. I remembered the excitement of believing in endless possibilities, of not even the sky being the limit.
I looked down at the broken ladder at my feet and turned the shards of wood in my hands. I realised then that I no longer wanted to repair the ladder. I had a better idea.
I’d take the wood, build a boat and find a star to guide me to a new life.
I was no longer a climber. I was an explorer.
Time for an adventure
The next day, I stapled some paper between two pieces of festive card to create my ‘gold book’. This was to be my navigator. As I poured all my thoughts and ideas onto its pages, I reconnected with myself and finally realised what I truly wanted. I discovered that my guiding star wasn’t really in the sky but within. It had just been waiting to be uncovered.
Buzzing with energy, I designed a journey forward that would fill my life with purpose. This time, my wellbeing and relationships were the foundation rather than an afterthought. The journey ahead would be fluid, unlike the rigid ladder. I could sail toward unexpected opportunities and surprises while navigating around choppy waters.
The journey began with just goal – to restore my health – and, in addition to the needs of my children, one priority a day for me. I didn’t just focus on what I wanted to achieve but how I wanted to feel doing it. This kept me motivated.
I quickly realised the power of small, regular steps.
Soon, I was able to walk confidently up the stairs, then to the shop, then to my children’s school. I overhauled my diet, started yoga and meditating. Just over a year later, I was strong enough to enjoy trekking in the Pyrenees. The views were unforgettable.
When a star shines
As my wellbeing improved, I had more and more energy to make my dreams happen. I knew from the success I’d had with restoring my health, that focusing on what was important to me and what made me feel good would be the ultimate motivator.
So, to prepare me for the next stage of the journey, I used the writings in my gold book to pinpoint my true, personal values and how I wanted to feel then wrote on a piece of paper.
This became my guiding star. The very first Life StarTM.
The star transformed my life.
I began making decisions that were truly right for me. And, drawing on my project management skills, I developed a Time DesignTM system that would accelerate my journey by helping me get the most out of every day. The results came quickly.
By designing my days around my priorities and taking regular, focused action, the creative business I set up was soon inundated with calls about exciting projects. It was flourishing.
Living the dream
Within a year, I’d become more successful than when I’d reached the highest rung of my ladder. What’s more, because I was now setting goals right across my life – covering my wellbeing, purpose, relationships and wealth – my whole world was glowing.
Soon, I was moving with my children and my wonderful partner to a dream home in the countryside. I always find it so inspiring to sit in the garden, surrounded by trees, flowers and wild birds, exploring my latest ideas in a notebook. Except now, of course, each one is beautifully made in our workshop rather than cobbled together with card and staples!
As my success grew, I realised that the wisdom I’d learned from discovering my guiding star and the tools I’d developed were truly amazing. I had to share them.
So, alongside my businesses, I became a certified coach. I now offer exclusive programmes based on the Life StarTM that are helping people create their own dream lives. I also developed our signature Life Planners that enable people around the world to benefit from the power of Time DesignTM.
You too can create a life you love and make your dreams happen. You really can have more freedom, more joy, more purpose and more money without working an exhausting number of hours and without being overwhelmed by fear, doubt, guilt and anxiety.
You deserve to live a life you love and to have the success you dream about.
Begin your adventure with one of our beautiful Life Planners today.