Select Page
Recommended reading | ‘Hero’ by Rhonda Byrne

Recommended reading | ‘Hero’ by Rhonda Byrne

I love Rhonda Byrne’s books – I find that they are so simply told and yet hold so many golden nuggets that can literally change your life forever.  Have you ever listened to her audiobooks?  I remember listening to one and thinking ’wow!’.  So much effort is put into telling the story along with great sound effects too that transport me right into the story!

And ‘Hero’ is no different.  It’s one of my favourite Rhonda Byrne books.  I listened to the audiobook first and then bought the hard copy book because I wanted it in my ‘real’ (!) library, not just my virtual one. 

What’s to love?

I love this particular book because we can each relate to the ‘hero’s journey’ Rhonda Byrne describes and builds upon throughout the book.  There are several (12) real-life characters, who have achieved great success, that talk about their own ‘hero’s journey’ – the ups, the downs, and everything in between that they all had to experience before they reached success.  It’s a great reminder to us all that life is a journey, success is a journey and that to get any measure of success, we all have to go on our own hero’s journey, not only to discover success at the end of it, but to discover who we needed to become to get there.

Why should you read it?

If you’re trying to achieve great things in your own life, then you need to be the hero of your own story instead of wait for a hero to pop out from somewhere and put those great things in your lap – it’s not likely to happen!  This book reminds you that you’re not alone in sometimes feeling hopeless or fed up of trying and failing, you will be able to relate to at least one person’s story in this book, maybe more.  Personally, I got inspiration from everyone’s stories in different ways.  These people had the same doubts I often have, faced similar challenges to me and in many cases their challenges were way bigger than any I have ever faced and yet they chose to push through them, learn from them and continue with their journey.  How much easier should it be for me, then?  It made me realise that my challenges were nowhere as bad as I imagined and that that this was just part of the journey, to help me grow to the next stage.

My key take-aways from The Hero

If I had to sum up my top 5 key take aways from The Hero, they would be as follows:

1  |  There is no shortcut to success, you need to make that journey

If achieving success (whatever success means to you) was easy, everyone would be successful, right?!  But not everyone is willing to set off on that hero’s journey or keep going, especially when the going gets tough.  It’s only those that are willing to take the risk of setting off on their own hero’s journey and keep plodding on, come what may, that eventually reach their desired destination.  There is no shortcut!

2  |  There are different stages to the hero’s journey, honour the process

The hero’s journey is not an easy one to make but it’s so worth it in the end if you achieve your dreams and goals!  The book is split into four parts:

Part I – The Dream – which talks about that niggling feeling you get, that restlessness you experience when you want to follow your dreams and find your purpose and live it, rather than continue living a meaningless, mediocre life going through the motions.  It talks about answering to that ‘call to adventure’ despite the risks it might entail or the sacrifices you may have to make with no guarantees at the end.  This is probably one of the reasons I love this book so much, because BLOOM is so big on dreaming and on living life with purpose – on realising there is more out there if you’re willing to go out and find it!

Part II – The Hero – talks about you, the person – the hero of the story, your story.  What sort of mindset you need to have to be the hero of your own story, how you need to think and act.  I loved hearing about the different people in this book and it became clear that there are certain characteristics you need to have to be able to fulfil your dreams – self-belief, persistence, commitment, perseverance, discipline, resilience, and many more!  Again, this resonated with me so much because at BLOOM, becoming the person you need to be to achieve your goals is hugely important.  It’s not easy to be disciplined, to be focused, to persevere … and it wasn’t any easier for the characters in this book.  It’s inspiring to realise that they struggle with the same things we do, they just chose to work on and improve themselves, no matter how difficult it seemed.

Part III – The Quest – oh yes, we can all relate to this stage!  This basically describes the journey – the struggle, the maze, the labyrinth, the going round in circles, the frustration, the challenges … definitely something we can all relate to!  And yet, in spite of all these obstacles and challenges, we get to choose how to respond to them, just like the characters in the book did.  To me this was probably the most important and most relevant part of the book.  It’s easy to dream big dreams but when you’re down in the trenches trying to make those dreams happen, this tests you to the very core of your being!  Reading about the many challenges the characters faced and how they chose to respond to those challenges, inspired me to do the same when I faced similar issues in my life.  Too many of us decide to give up too early.  Just a slight whiff of an obstacle and we’re quick to throw the towel in.  The hero’s journeys of each of these people will inspire and encourage you to keep going in your own journey.

Part IV – Victory – making it to the other side and being able to look back and see that every challenge and every obstacle you faced was put there to test you, to mould you, to shape you, to make you a better person – the person you need to become to reach your dreams.  Realising that there is more to success than reaching your own dreams but helping others do the same. 

Reading through these different stages makes you see the bigger picture in your own journey, rather than the little step you’re currently stuck on.  If you’re stuck in The Quest, realise that Victory is the next stage, if you choose to keep going!  So, honour the process, and take it one step at a time. 

3  |  You’re stronger than you think

This is something that often came up for me.  It’s usually during a particularly challenging time that we discover just how strong and resilient we actually are.  We need to tap into this inner strength and power that we have deep within us and allow it to propel us towards success in our own journeys, and not just wait for dire circumstances to happen to us to reveal that inner strength we had all along.

4  |  Persistence pays

Whilst there were many characteristics that all the characters in the story shared to reach success, one particular characteristic stood out from the others for me, and that was persistence.  Each and every one of them persisted in their journey to reaching their dream, they refused to give up – they each found a way over, under, around or through whatever obstacle came their way!  If there’s one characteristic you want to work on if you want to achieve success, it’s persistence!

5  |  Each and everyone of us is a hero

It’s too easy to think that living a wonderful life of purpose, freedom and joy is reserved for the privileged few while we just get to watch from the sidelines.  And yet each and every one of us has the power within us to create and live the life of our dreams.  We just need to believe in ourselves more, know that we have what it takes and be willing to do what it takes to create and live that dream.  We are the heroes of our own story and we get to write that story.  Reading about the disadvantaged backgrounds many of the people in the book came from and the challenging circumstances they had to face helps you realise that if they can make it, so can you!

In conclusion

This is an easy read and the author has very cleverly turned the life experiences of twelve successful people around the world into really captivating, inspiring and encouraging life lessons for us all to learn from and apply in our own lives.  I listen to or read this book at least every couple of years, especially when I’m going through a particularly hard time in my own journey and feel like packing it in.  Then I realise … I get to choose to be the hero of my own story.  Or not.  And you get to choose too!

Have you read The Hero by Rhonda Byrne?  What was your key take away? 

How to discover your purpose (+ free worksheet!)

How to discover your purpose (+ free worksheet!)

Do you wake up on a Monday morning and bounce out of bed thrilled at the thought of spending your day doing what you were meant to do, what you love to do?  Or are you one of the many glum faces on the morning commute into work dreading yet another week of doing work you don’t particularly enjoy alongside people you don’t particularly like so you can pay the bills?  

I’ve spent many years working in and with large corporate organisations and small businesses alike, and the one thing that was constant across the board was the sea of mostly deadpan, zombie like faces of the people that came into work only because they had to.  And believe me, I was one of them!  There’s nothing sadder than using up your precious, limited time on this earth doing something that doesn’t light you up and regretting at the end of your life that you didn’t make the effort to find your purpose and live every moment of your life fully.  There are people like my niece who announced at the age of like, 5, that she wanted to be a vet – she loves animals and always knew she wanted to work with them.  Many years later and that’s still her passion and purpose and she is working towards achieving it with laser focus.  I am soo envious of people like that who just know without a shadow of a doubt what their purpose is, what they want to spend their time doing.

Then there are people like me … that just kind of stumbled through life through trial and error trying this career and that career – nothing really stood out along the way and screamed at me ‘This is what you’re meant to be doing with your life!’  I didn’t have an obvious talent like being able to play an instrument beautifully, paint or have a talent for working with figures (definitely not!).  And so I spent many years trying this and trying that – trying to GIVE myself a talent that I could turn into my purpose.   Eventually I found that rushing from this idea to the next, trying so hard to find my purpose and passion, was actually pushing me further away from my purpose.  

I really do believe that each and every one of us has a unique purpose on this earth.  It’s just easier for some people to find that purpose than it is for others.  But it’s there.

Search within

The key to finding your purpose or passion is to take a step back and search deep down within your heart and soul to reconnect with your passion and purpose.   Why do I say reconnect?  I say this because we have always had our purpose buried somewhere deep within us, some of us just have to dig deeper to find it.  A good way of doing this is to go back to your childhood – back then we just knew what our passion was, it came to us naturally and effortlessly.  Children are not afraid to dream lofty dreams and will usually spend their time doing things that relate to their passion.  We spent days on end drawing, playing ‘pretend’, reading, exploring the great outdoors or whatever it is you did as a child.  Sadly most of those dreams were shot down as we grew up:  

“Yeah, but you need to be realistic.”

“You need to find a REAL job.”

’Get your head out of the clouds, this is the real world.”      

Or we were forced down paths our parents thought were best for us but we had no passion for ourselves.   And slowly, we abandoned our dreams and became ‘realistic.’  We found jobs and careers that we didn’t particularly have a passion for but would pay the bills, that people would approve of or whatever other reason.  

But here’s the good news.  It’s never too late to rediscover your purpose and passion!  Grab a pen, find a quiet spot for ten minutes and download the FREE ‘Discover Your Purpose’ worksheet below to help you realign yourself with your true purpose in life.   This is a simple worksheet (life’s answers are always simple, we overcomplicate them!) made up of a few questions designed to help you start doing some soul searching to tune into your purpose, what you’re here to do on Planet Earth.  And if you don’t recall ever being drawn to anything in particular as a child, fear not, because there are other questions you can reflect on too!

Download your free worksheet below!

Spend some time reflecting and really pondering over these questions.  Remember, you have to dig deep into your soul to unearth the treasures that lie within.  Some people will need to dig deeper than others, depending on how deeply buried your purpose is.  Some might find it easy – ‘I LOVE to cook, I’ve loved cooking from as far back as I remember and it brings me so much joy and fulfilment!  I also know that I hate my accounting job but my parents advised me to go down that route, I spent four years studying for it, it pays me well and enables me to do the things I love, like creating culinary delights in my spare time.’  In that case, your passion is likely to be cooking and maybe, just maybe, you could actually develop this more and make a living out of it and turn your back on your boring accounting job if that doesn’t light you up!  Just look at food blogger Deliciously Ella and renowned (and apparently richest in the world, last time I checked!) chef Jamie Oliver; they clearly LOVE what they do – and they make millions doing it!  So why not you?  

Bloom is all about self-discovery – realising that life isn’t about making it through each day only to start over again tomorrow but about taking an exciting life journey and creating the life that YOU want and deserve to live!  Many people have never even stopped to think about what they would truly love to spend their lives doing – they’re so busy doing what they think they should be doing because they don’t know any different.  Or they’re too afraid to make a change.

Spend a few minutes thinking about your true life purpose and start changing the direction of your life today! 

Will you make a commitment to yourself TODAY to dig deep and rediscover your purpose? 

Life is too short to spend a minute more doing something you don’t love!  You were not born to simply exist and make it through each day, you were born to FLOURISH!

6 ways to commit to your goals

6 ways to commit to your goals

Commitment is a scary word for many people.  I know a lot of people who say ‘I don’t like commitment.’  They want to make sure they have a get out clause available to them so that they can make a hasty retreat if they so choose.  And this is where the problem lies, being committed to something should be absolute, there should not be any other option!

As heavy and boring as the word ‘commitment’ may sound, this is the bridge between where you are now and where you want to be.  And only a few people are willing to cross that bridge of commitment and do what it takes to succeed, whether they feel like it or not.

Why do so many people declare their new years resolutions on 1st January and then fall over days later?  There could be a variety of reasons for this but one of the key reasons is a lack of commitment to their goals.    

I’ve read in many places that commitment is ‘doing the thing you said you were going to do long after the feeling in which you said it in is over’.  If we let our feelings rule us, we will never accomplish anything!

On January 1st we wake up with a brand new slate, a whole shiny new year ahead of us and we feel elated, unstoppable, invincible!  We just know that this year is going to be ‘our year’!  But do you still feel this way two, three weeks in?  Most of us don’t!  Our goals and dreams suddenly represent hard work that we don’t always feel like putting in.  This is the same reason why the packed out gyms in January are almost empty a month later!

Commitment means do or die, ‘burning your boats’ as in the case of Hernan Cortes who ordered his men to sink all their ships upon arrival – they were left with no choice but to win (or die).

This might seem a little extreme, but the moment we give ourselves any wiggle room, we don’t give our all to what we want to accomplish.

We must always BE before we can DO … and one of the most important things we must ‘be’ is committed to the success we want to create – whether we feel like it or not.

Creating a life that you love is a journey, it won’t happen overnight – but building these characteristics into our being will help us become the person we need to be to accomplish our goals.

Here are 6 simple ways to help you commit to your goals. 

1 – Find your WHY

You need to have a strong enough reason to get out of bed and do what it takes to create the life you deserve.  That reason – your ‘WHY’ – needs to be stronger than your reason for not doing what it takes.  Maybe your ‘why’ is your family.  You know they deserve a better life and you know that you can create it if you put the work in.  Or maybe your why is something less tangible – perhaps freedom from a soul sucking job you hate.  These are strong reasons and should be enough to get you going when you don’t necessarily feel like it.  If you can, put up reminders of your WHY somewhere prominent to remind you of the importance of being committed to your goal.  For me freedom was important and I had a picture of the Scottish ‘Braveheart’ shouting ‘Freeeddoooom!’ on my fridge as a reminder to myself!  That always got me going!

2 – What’s the alternative?

Humans are primarily driven by pain or pleasure.  In the short term it gives us pleasure to laze around and not put in the work that’s required to propel us in the direction of our dreams and goals.  But in the long term this only causes us pain, because we stay ‘stuck’ in the cycle of being mediocre, of settling for less, of not being willing to do what it takes to succeed.  If you look at the bigger picture, what’s the alternative to not putting in the work, to not truly committing to your goal?  An endless life of lack, limitation, drudgery and misery?  Is it really worth not making the effort?  This often puts things into perspective.

3 – Focus on what you want (not on what you don’t want!)

It’s easy to stay focused on the short term ‘pain’ we have to endure to get what we want.  The more we focus on the perceived pain, the more difficult its going to be for us to follow though.  Instead, focus on what you’re going to achieve – your end goal!  Do you think an Olympic athlete stays focused on getting out of bed at 5am every day to train, on having to deny themselves pizza and ice cream, of having to have an early night instead of a night on the town with their friends?  They don’t give that a second’s thought – instead they focus on standing on that podium at the Olympics, holding that gold medal in their hand, feeling its coolness and weight against their skin, hearing the crowds roar, hearing their name being announced as the winner.  For them, it’s well worth sacrificing junk food and late nights.  And it should be worth it for you too!  Every day, make time to visualise your end goal so that you can align your actions with making this a reality!

4 – Make it a habit

As they say, first we make our habits and then our habits make us.  If you know what you need to do, keep doing it consistently until it becomes a habit.  Then it becomes second nature and doesn’t become so difficult to do.  Do you have to talk yourself into brushing your teeth or showering?  Or do you just do it (hopefully you do!)?  These are nothing but habits and this can be done for any action.  The more you have to think about it, the more you will make excuses as to why you’ll ‘do it tomorrow instead’.  If you haven’t already, download our free Habits Tracker and guide to set you up for success!

5 – Raise your standards

This is a big one for me personally.  What do you think of yourself?  Do you treat yourself the way you treat other people?  Would you be two hours late for an important work meeting or just not turn up for a scheduled dinner with a friend?  It’s likely we would be nag on time for both events because we respect the people we’re meeting with and the time they are making to see us.  We need to respect ourselves the way we respect other people – in fact more so!  If we make the decision to do something to change our lives for the better, then we need to stick to that promise we made to ourselves.  Look at yourself in the mirror and say ‘I raise my standards for myself and my life!  I deserve more and I’m willing to do what it takes to make it happen!’  Expect more from yourself than feeble half-hearted attempts to change your life for the better.  Don’t accept excuses from yourself – commit to yourself the same way you would commit to someone else!

6 – Choose your feelings (don’t let them choose!)

One of the main reasons why we don’t stay committed to what we need to do is because we don’t feel like it.   You will never achieve anything great if you let your feelings control you and what you do.  There will ALWAYS be days you don’t feel like doing the things you need to do.  I’m sure the president has days he/she doesn’t feel like getting out of bed and would rather lie in!  But he or she is committed to their country and their people and does what it takes without letting feelings overcome them.  Remember, you can CHOOSE your feelings, don’t let them choose!  You may wake up feeling like crap, but you can get out of bed and declare ‘today I choose to feel amazing!  I choose to do the things I need to do today to create a better tomorrow!’

Commit to excellence!   Commit to being outstanding!  You can only live an outstanding life if you are outstanding yourself.  As within, so without.  If you couldn’t be bothered to put in any effort half the time, then it will surely reflect in your external world!  If you commit to success, success will commit to you!  What vision do you have for your life?  What do you need to do to make that vision a reality?  Start today to take the steps necessary to make that dream come true, regardless of how you feel.  Your level of commitment will be the difference between success and failure!

Do you have a vision for your life?  My blog post ‘3 steps to creating your personal vision’ – which includes a free worksheet for you to start creating that vision right away – will help you go from vague idea to crystal clear vision in no time.