Z is for Zest

Well we’ve made it! We’ve reached the last letter of the alphabet. I didn’t think we’d take quite so long to get here, but we have. And I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that I’ve decided that Z will be for Zest for Life. As someone who wakes up smiley and full of energy each day, I thought it would be wasteful not to examine ‘zest’ in more detail. Looking at its dictionary definitions, zest is great enthusiasm and energy, eagerness, keen, passion, love as well as the outer coloured part of the peel for use in flavouring. Zest has been defined as one of the character strengths key to living a happy and fulfilling life. And I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that cultivating optimism is a sure way to being zestful, along with a good diet, sleep and exercise.

Talking of optimism, did you know that March is the month of optimism? Continue reading

Y is for …

Well hello!  Perhaps I should just make this newsletter Y is for Yikes.  How can it possibly be 1st February already?  Where did the month of January go? Perhaps it’s just because I’m in that over 50 bracket that time is flying at such a rate or do you think it’s always been this way?

One word that I have come to love beginning with the letter Y is ‘yet’.  You might think that’s a weird word, but I’ve been using it ever since I became hooked on the work of Continue reading

X is for ….

It’s the end of November already and we’re on count down for Christmas, but I’m not going to be using this newsletter as X is for Xmas.  Instead I’m going to talk about the X factor.  Not the programme, but what I think gives people the X factor, ie that noteworthy special talent or quality.


For me, the X factor is all about the way people show up.  And by that, I mean their attitude, how they engage with others, listen without judgement and be in the moment.  When people connect in this way they bring about an energy and interest that makes people feel valued and special.  And when people feel valued and special, Continue reading

W is for Wow!

Today I’ve been sitting at my PC for longer than I dare say.  I’ve started this newsletter three times and continually been distracted.  Initially I was going to focus on ‘words’ and talk about the importance of choosing the right ones and saying them at the right time to create empathy and inspire others.  Words such as we, our and us instead of I, you and your.  And this all came from reflecting on some of the interactions I’ve had with people who have overused the ‘I’ word.   Instead of coming across as powerful and knowledgeable they’ve created levels of distrust and anxiety and seemed more egocentric than focused on the good of the team.  They’re all about their own importance whilst the going is good, but the word then quickly turns from ’I’ to ‘you’ when situations begin to nosedive with the blame all landing as far away from their doorstep as possible!  When we use the ‘we’ word, even sublimely it creates a feeling of ‘we’re all in this together’.  If I’m continually talking about what you are going to do and how you need to review your resources to achieve it, I’ve created a very different environment.  You will feel that you’re more on your own than a part of a team. It might be me who is steering the ship but we all get the best results from feeling a part of it. Continue reading

V is for Values

It’s a beautiful sunny afternoon in North London as I sit writing this newsletter.  I’ve suddenly received an afternoon back and so thought I’d put it to good use as it has been quite a while since I was in touch!  I was supposed to be hitting the motorway and driving up north, but instead I’ve decided to get up extra early in the morning and take the train.  It’s a bit of risk as the connections and timings are all rather tight, but I made a pact with myself at the beginning of this year that I was going to look after myself a little more.  So instead of driving another 500 miles in the next 24 hours, I’ve decided to let the train take the strain.

Funnily enough it was a tougher decision to make than you might have expected.  You see my brother, his boys and my mum have dinner on a Wednesday night and it would have made a perfect opportunity for us all to get together.  Family plays a very strong role in our lives and spending time in one another’s company is really important.  However, now that we all drive, we all hold safety close to our hearts and this time it became the priority in my decision making.  When you feel tired and there’s that long stretch of road ahead of you, getting behind the wheel doesn’t seem the smartest decision.

Which leads me onto the topic of this newsletter.  I’ve decided to focus on ‘v’ standing for values as they play such a large part in both our personal and professional life.  Values are the things you hold important; they’re the source of Continue reading