House Concert with Christine Sparks

When : Saturday 21st February 2015 Where : 11 Crofters Way, East Whitburn, EH47 8ES     So thrilled to be able to invite you to this special event! Christine is a beautiful Being, and an amazing artist, and it was our pleasure to see her perform recently. Here’s what you need to know:> You are invited to a house concert by Scottish Celtic acoustic recording artist, Christine Sparks, at our home on Saturday 21st February as part of her 2015 nationwide house concert tour promoting the release of her new album The Robert Burns Collection, Vol 1. >>>This is an RSVP event ūüôā Please make sure to reply so we can organise seats & nibbles, thank you!<<< On the night, please arrive at around 7pm for a pre-concert mingle and a chance to meet and speak to Christine. The concert will start promptly at 8pm Renowned Scottish folk singer/guru and World Champion Motivational Speaker, Watt Nicoll, said this of Christine’s voice: “Christine has the quality of voice that Burns’ words deserve. Both are masters of exposing raw, natural emotion, creating timeless masterpieces. I have shared her voice with a number of people who are aware of perfection in the human voice and all agree that Christine is as good as it gets.” Her album was Celtic Music Radio’s album of the week and during Celtic Connections, Christine was recently broadcast live from Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall. The Scotsman newspaper declared Christine – “A Must See at The Fringe”, so don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to experience a Christine Sparks performance in such an intimate and connective environment.  ...

The Day I Interviewed Patrick Moore

Back around 1999 we were about to get a Scottish Parliament for the first time in 300 years. I was also interested in making my life a little more interesting at the time and decided I wanted to mix with some¬†celebrities. I’m not normally that keen to meet celebrities as they often¬†disappoint. ¬†It’s not their fault really, it’s simply that they have great difficulty meeting the expectations we have created for them. Each of us makes our own version of the people we see on the TV, so the chances of them matching it when you meet them in the flesh are almost impossible. I heard recently about a chap who was a huge Colin¬†Montgomerie¬†fan (Yes, the golfer). He had posters all over his wall with Mongomerie’s dour¬†coupon¬†looking down at him. He saved up his money to go see him play at the Scottish open. He pushed his way to the front and waited for days to get a glimpse and get up close to the great man.¬†Finally¬†he was close enough to ask for an autograph as Mongomerie came of the green. Unfortunately Mongomerie just pushed him aside and he never got his signature. So he went¬†straight¬†home and tore down all his posters. It’s an understandable response however you have to wonder as to the¬†facsimile¬†he had created of Montgomerie. My own impressions are that of a dour Scot. Let’s face it he is Scottish and he is obsessed by golf. That isn’t a recipe for a warm hearted, party person. But you see I have just applied my own impression based on next to nothing. We do this as...

Criticism

I am writing this from my hospital bed and I’m still a little stoned after surgery. I’ve just been reading purple cow again by Seth godin. I love that man (that will be the drugs). Just read a wee gem “we’ve been raised with a false belief: we mistakingly believe that criticism leads to failure. From the time we get to school, we’re taught that being noticed is almost always bad. It gets us sent to the principals office, not to Harvard.” Our school system is going a step further by not letting pupils sit exams unless they are sure they are going to pass them. They don’t understand what this does to the psyche. They do not realise the implications on our behaviour. But back to my main subject ; criticism. There are some jobs, some tasks, where failure is not an option – My surgery today for instance. But for pretty much everything else you should take enough chances to leave yourself open to criticism. You should always create the chance to fail. Ok, now you are thinking its the drugs that’s talking, but let me explain. When you live to avoid failure or criticism, you have to become what Billy Connelly calls “the beige people”. You have to become so bland that you are barely noticed. You can’t be remarkable when you are beige. Better to pick something, be something, stand for something. Better to upset a few people and be criticised by some, than to try and please everyone. Better to fail at a bunch of things in an attempt to achieve something, than to...

New Personality Report “Discover who you REALLY are” now released

I have spent the last few weeks writing a new personality report called “Discover who you REALLY are – 15 Things you didn’t know about you” OK, it’s not the shortest title but it says it all. This report is the broadest we have ever published, as it covers much more than just career issues. It also talks about relationships and family and even health issues. Personality is about much more than just career as it affects every aspect of your life. My thing is to see more people solve every day problems from a deeper understanding of self and others. Whether these are problems at work or problems at home. The 15 Things report is essentially 15 personality reports in one, covering a very diverse subject range. Discover who you really are is exactly what everyone needs. It helps you with pretty much every aspect of your life as well as your career. I have had some interesting feedback and testimonials already. Here’s what Rosheen had to say; “This was great it provided good and new information plus some LOL moments!” If you haven’t grabbed your copy your copy yet then check your email as some members were offered a discount. Failing that just head over to http://www.peoplemaps.com/discover-who-you-really-are/ and grab your own...

I wish I could be this open

I have just read the latest post by Julie Gibbons She writes beautifully and I envy her that but in this post she bares her soul and her vulnerability too. I believe that good writing is rooted in honesty and¬†openness. It’s not enough to know your subject, you need to connect with people and Julie does this better than any writer I know. It takes courage to be open about how you are feeling and Julie has taken a leap here. I don’t think I will be the only one who appreciates this. Nor do I think she is alone in feeling this way. Surely everyone feels this way at some point. But not only is she working through it, she is sharing it with everyone, so that they may also know they are not the only one. Humans need to share how they feel. It’s part of the human condition. It may not be that logical but it is human. Julie touches upon humanity better than...

Love What You Do

Is it unrealistic to expect to love what you do? Is it asking too much? I’m a great believer in asking a lot from life. Maybe you will not get all that you ask for but you will never get more than you ask for. When you set out the expectation to love what you do for a living, then you are planting seeds of expectation. Not all seeds germinate but they stand a good chance of doing so if you stick them in the ground. But it’s not just a nicely or a luxury. Everything depends upon it. It’s not possible to sustain success if you do not love what you do. I know there is a common philosophy of ¬†“I hate this job but I get paid well for it”. But is this really good enough? an you honestly expect to be promoted with that kind of attitude? People can tell if you love what you do or not and they prefer to work with people who genuinely do. Don’t you? When you do not love what you do your success, if any, is short lived. So don’t settle for anything less than finding a job that you love to do. This is the secret to success. Do not chase the money as it will always elude you. Do what you do out of love and the money may...

Can I be mute and extravert?

I’ve got a couple of stitches on my tongue. Nothing serious but it means I can’t speak. Not being to speak is a real issue for a gab like me. I make my living speaking. I can talk for hours about psychology and career without a note. I have a lot of words. More than is reasonable. More than most. So how is this enforced silence affecting me? It’s murder. I’m bursting with stuff to say. I recorded four new videos yesterday because just thinking about not being able to speak inspired new things to say. So can I still be an extravert if I can’t speak? Well of course. If anything even more so. There are lots of people not given a chance to speak out. Most school children, most of the time, for instance. I think it’s harder on Julie. On one hand her ears get a rest but not hearing me blathering on will naturally trigger feelings of “what’s wrong?” of course she knows it’s just the stitches but that initial response can’t be helped. It also leaves a lot of air space for her to fill. I’ll be back to normal in a few days but I spare a thought for all the frustrated and thwarted extraverts that dont get to express...

Coffee with Bruce Morton

It’s not easy to be taken seriously and be funny. Nor is it easy to entertain without resorting to shock and “awe no don’t go there”. Bruce Morton has been walking this thin line for years – intelligent observational comedy that makes you laugh. Anyway today I got to meet him for coffee and thrash out some ideas. I don’t think there is anyone who understands the human condition more than a comic. As a psychologist I have a lot to learn from our...

Being realistic could kill you

Just been listening to a health care worker and a cancer survivor being interviewed. The survivor was big on mental attitude, having learned that there are three legs to the cancer survivors stool; Mind Body and Spirit The hospital takes care of the body but mind and spirit are up to the patient. The health professional kept going on about “being realistic”. The survivor had a much more interesting message, as he had beat odds of 410,000,000 to 1. There is a lot I could say on this subject but I am going to restrict it to “being realistic”. There are a number of flaws in the health professionals approach. Firstly there is an assumption that they have all the facts correct. There is an assumption that all things, including the cancer patient, are the same. The truth is that everything is subjective. Nothing so complex is measurable or predictable. What I see as being real and what you see as being real are not the same. So the health professional was taking a stance that her perception, her view of the world was more accurate than anyone else’s. But this is how we all feel. We all believe our own paradigm is the true paradigm. The cancer survivor had a very different paradigm and all the health care worker could do was relegate his paradigm to hers. She called this “being realistic”. If the cancer patient had listened to the people advising him to be realistic, he would have been dead, as the odds were against him. Expecting to survive was unrealistic for him. Thankfully he didn’t and...

Against the odds

If I had put in a request for a day in February, on the west coast of Scotland, with blue sky’s, no wind and a balmy 14C, I think it would have been refused. If I had asked for these conditions, so as I could enjoy a weekend break with my wife, I think pretty much everyone would have said I had “a snowballs chance in hell”. But that’s what I got today. My face is feeling like it has been exposed to the sun all day. And I don’t mind telling you that staring at a big blue sky all day is like a colonic for the soul. The above photograph is of a tree I took in Oban. I wanted to show you how blue the sky was but I also had to share my marvel at this determined tree. Its located right on the waters edge, it is fully exposed to the wilds of Oban, which are pretty wild on any other day of the year. Should it be there? No. Is it a good spot for a tree? Absolutely not. And yet there it stands alone but majestic, against the odds. Against the very forces of nature. Ask a lot from life. Ask a lot from each day. Take impossible stances. Be unreasonable. Do what can’t be done. Exist where you...