2.6 Clearing your mind

When you’re feeling oppressed, go for a walk. A change of scene helps clear the mind. It frees and resets your brain. It gives you time to think. And clarity is what you need. Give your brain time, and it will tell you what you need to do.

Walking among trees has been shown to reduce stress, and aid your immune system. Light exercise, of the sort that involves walking, makes you more alert, improves your digestive system, and helps you concentrate. Take some exercise every day.

If I need to prioritise things, or clarify my thoughts, I lie on the sofa, and close my eyes. Even while I’m at work, but not all the time! In fact I’m surprised that no one has a sofa at work. If you Google the phrase, ‘benefit of lying on a sofa at work’ it brings up almost no results. This is because too few people consider the possibility of letting the brain mull over a problem. But being horizontal helps. After a while my brain tells me what I should be doing. But don’t lie on a bed or get too cosy, or you might fall asleep.

Do you want help with achieving change in your life? We have a coaching programme that could help you. Learn more.

Are you ‘Escaping From’ or ‘Changing To’?


There are two types of change: Escape From and Change to.

Escape from. These are the things you want to escape from. In the image below, they’re the circles on the left. They’re what you want to escape from. They’re entirely negative.

Change to. There are the things you want to achieve, the person you want to become. They’re always positive. But some are just aspirations.

Whether you succeed depends on your motivation. All of us have aspirations and dreams. But too many of us never achieve them. Sometimes it’s lack of money.

But mostly, in my experience, it’s a lack of need. We’re content to put up with our lot in life. Sometimes, ‘Escape from’ isn’t a complete motivation. The No.1 reason why people fail to achieve Agency is because they don’t have a truly gnawing need. It means they can put up with low levels of irritation or discomfort.

It helps to have a pull from the other direction – a feeling you need to ‘Change to’ something. And that draw has to be really strong. It has to be an all-consuming urge. If it isn’t, you won’t be able to escape the gravitational pull of lethargy. If your main focus is to ‘escape from’, you’ll need a very clear understanding of what the benefits will be. That’s the ‘Change to’ pull.

How much pain will you put up with?

The motivational speaker Tony Robbins said that people are willing to put up with an extraordinary amount of pain, rather than make a change. It’s like someone persistently beating you over the head with a mallet, until you eventually decide that something must be done. The question is, how much pain are you willing to accept? Either the pain has to get too great, or your need has to grow.

Into your Discomfort Zone

As the image below shows, most of us live in a state of inertia – the Comfort Zone. We accept the way life is. But there’s a level of pain that puts us into the Discomfort Zone.

If the discomfort is big enough, it will start to pull us towards making a change. That in turn will pull you through change and eventually into a new and better comfort zone.



The Escape/Change tool

Take the following two-part quiz. The first one assesses your contentedness. The second evaluates your need.

You can download an editable version here: Escape From to Escape to Table .


How content are you with your present life?



Mark the appropriate box below

What your choice means

Very discontented


You should definitely change

Quite discontented


You have a slight reason to change.

Neither discontented or contented


You have no reason to change.

Quite content



Very content




Now try the Need tool:


How desperate are you to make a change?


Mark the appropriate box below

What your choice means

Very desperate


You should definitely change

Somewhat desperate


You have some reason to change.

I’m not sure



You have no reason to change.

Not very desperate



Not at all desperate





What does this tell you?

If you answered ‘Very discontented’ and Very Desperate’ you owe it to yourself to make a change.

If you said ‘Quite discontented’ or ‘Somewhat desperate’, you don’t have to press the nuclear button. Find a compromise that gives you a better life.

And anything less than that means your life is as good as it gets, which is lovely.


Want to know more?

These ideas are taken from my forthcoming book, Get Up and Go.

If you’d like a free, no-obligation chat, click the button below. It takes you to our phone call booking system.

Talk to us in confidence



Do you want help with achieving change in your life? We have a coaching programme that could help you. Learn more.

2.4 Find people who know

You still can’t decide? Maybe you don’t have enough information? Perhaps you need to know about costs or risks, about technology or the law?

Is it time to call a friend? Work out what you need to know, and then find an expert.

Legal: Find a a lawyer. Or go to a website that specialises in that area. Lots of lawyers give away their information for free, knowing that some people will need more tailored advice. Most will give you 30 minutes of free advice. Have your questions ready. Take a notebook so you don’t forget what they said.

Finance: Ask an accountant, or a bookkeeper (who will be cheaper). Or go to a specialised website.

Technology: ask an IT person. You can send a message to the website of one or two businesses, and see what they say.

Your job: Talk to a recruitment consultant. They get paid by any client of their’s whom they place you with. As with other professionals, they will give you advice for free.

Self employment: Most towns and cities have small business advisers.

And last but not least:

Friends with skills and/or the ability to listen and give impartial advice.

Now fill in the action plan below.

What you need to know  Who you might get advice from

Do you want help with achieving change in your life? We have a coaching programme that could help you. Learn more.

2.3 What if I can’t decide? 

Maybe you can’t decide whether to take action or to hold back? To stay in your job or find another one? To set up a business or stay as an employee? Well that’s OK, because I have a solution.

Make a two-column list of pros and cons, like the one below. Then see which seems longer, or more compelling.

Putting it down in writing can help you surface some thoughts you may have had at the back of your mind. And it can make the choice seem more real.

It’s not necessarily which list is longer. Sometimes a shorter list can be more cogent.


Which choice did you decide to adopt? Write your decision below:

Do you want help with achieving change in your life? We have a coaching programme that could help you. Learn more.

2.2 Identify the main problem

We’ve established there’s something you must do. There’s a challenge in your life. It needs solving. You probably know what it is. That’s why you bought this book. Write it down here:

This is the major problem I have to fix

Not sure what the problem is?

Let’s do the wheel of life. How happy are you with the main elements of your life? Think about these elements: money, career, health, power, friends, family, partner, community, health and recreation.

In the wheel below, shade in your satisfaction with each element, with 10 for total satisfaction, and 1 for complete dissatisfaction.

Here’s one that somebody else completed. Can you see what their concern was?

Put a score out of ten for each. Then ignore any that you scored six or more. Life isn’t perfect. At least one aspect of your life will stand out as being bad. It’s the One Big Change you need to make. It’s the one you need to fix. 

If you’re not into charts, write down the numbers on this table instead.

IssueScore out of 10
Personal Growth 

What does this tell you about your life? In particular, what areas do you need to fix? Write the answers in the table below.

Write here the main issues you need to fix?  
Issue (e.g. Money)  Problem you need to fix

Do you want help with achieving change in your life? We have a coaching programme that could help you. Learn more.

2.1 Define your What and Why

I want us to define the What and the Why of the change you’re seeking

The What and Why? is short for: ‘What do I need to change?’, and ‘Why do I need to do that?’

You need to be able to explain – to yourself and others – what you need to do and why you need to make the change.

If you can’t, or if it doesn’t seem important, it’s not worth doing.

If you’re in the lucky position of not needing to make real change in your life, you can stop reading this book now.

But let’s assume something is bugging you. And let’s define your Why.

Here’s the statements you need to complete.



Here are some examples:

I need to leave my partner so that I can escape them manipulating me

I need to get a new job so that I don’t have to be in my current exploitative environment any more

I need to spend less than I earn so that I can get out of debt.

I need to get out regularly so I can meet someone who will be my life long partner.

I need to stop being a doormat, so that I can stop people taking advantage of me.

Here is a table for you to fill in your Why. I have put in several rows, in case there are several areas of your life you need to address.

I need to…So that…

Do you want help with achieving change in your life? We have a coaching programme that could help you. Learn more.