The Make It Happen author answers our questions.
You’re the author of eleven bestsellers, but you’ve said this book is different to any of the others you’ve written before. How so?
This book is based off my keynote address which has had such great feedback that we all thought that there was something in it, book wise.
I developed my keynote to go out to many different business, corporates, small business owners, people who wanted inspiration not only about health and wellness but I guess on how I got started in my industry, how it all began, how we built the team, what were the roadblocks, ideas, concepts and philosophies around the business. Plus, lessons that I have learned (still learning) in life around who I want to be and how I want my life to look.
My publisher came along to one of the addresses and said this is a book!
So, yeah, it’s so so so different to anything I've ever done. And a bit nerve wracking too.
Who should read this book? How will it help them?
It is targeted at anyone who is looking for a different take on their relationships in business or chosen field, with others and themselves. If you are in the market for some new ideas around how you see yourself, your world and how you might like to change it, step it up a gear or believe there might be something else out there for you, then I reckon there's at least a few chapters in there for you.
What does ‘being the best you can possibly be’ mean? How can I tell if I’m being my best possible self?
It’s about getting deep down inside you and telling a few home truths. It's about asking the hard or awkward questions that you kind of know are there but you've become a master at brushing them under the carpet and slapping on a happy face. I think we all do this to a certain extent. And within some chapters of our lives we do it more than others, however, if that gnawing feeling is still sitting deep down somewhere inside of you, the question is, when are you going to address it?
You’ve dedicated the book ‘to my grandmother, whose words I still treasure to this day’. Could you tell us about your grandmother, and what she taught you?
In my eyes my Nan was extraordinary. Nothing seemed to phase her. She always held it together even in extremely hard situations. Don't get me wrong, there were times in my life when her and I didn't see eye to eye, but when things where rocky or difficult she was always steadfast and that was extremely comforting. She was very pragmatic, she believed in thinking things through, being realistic and making a plan. Ha! I've not really thought about it like that until I just answered that question. I guess I've learnt more from her than I know! She was generous with her time. And she never really shed away from a straight conversation. She was an extremely hard worker. Her and my grandfather never ever withdrew from hard work situations. In fact, they thrived in them! They used to exhaust me!!
Your book refers to US psychologist Martin Seligman’s formula for happiness: 50 percent of our happiness comes from our genetics, 10 percent comes from our life circumstances, and 40 percent comes from our own choices and actions. Do you agree with this breakdown?
Yes I agree with this break down given the work I have done my entire life of watching people make choices and action them, which in turn have made them happy or happier. However, with the study and research of Epigenetics, one can now confidently argue that you can in fact make changes to your genetics through good nutrition, exercise and better lifestyle choices, which really increases your power and control over your happiness, I would say more than 40%! Now that’s exciting!
To paraphrase a question that you pose yourself in the book: What makes Michelle Bridges an expert on the subjects of happiness and mindset and change psychology?
Allow me to state very clearly that I do not profess to be an expert in happiness or mindset psychology! I'm still learning, making mistakes, growing, finding parts of me which needs polishing, as well as embracing parts of me which I honestly love. Socrates once famously said ‘an unexamined life is not worth living’. And to this I say let’s examine! Let’s look at who we are and who we wish to be. Let’s understand that our behaviours aren't always intrinsic to who we really are. That layers have been cast down over the years, decisions made about certain things, choices made about the way things are, which in turn have shifted the way in which we behave. This is often a protection mechanism which stifles changes or in some cases completely shuts down who we really are. I have found, in my experience, that through better nutrition and exercise some of these layers peel back. I reckon that’s because these are 'doing' things. Not navel gazing, dreaming and over analysing, but getting in the trenches so to speak and getting your sweat on! Ultimately it’s about assisting someone to find the tools to develop the confidence to question things, enquire and look at things with new eyes. To find the self-love and self-worth to live the life they want for themselves.
Try this recipe from Michelle Bridges’s Powerful Living: Take Control, Start Today.
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