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Recommended Reading | ‘Worthy’ by Jamie Kern Lima

Recommended Reading | ‘Worthy’ by Jamie Kern Lima

I’ve spent the last couple of days reading this book by Jamie Kern Lima and just had to feature it this week as part of my ‘Recommended Reading’ blog series where I share books I’ve loved and learned from.

The book title (as well as the gorgeously shiny book cover!) says it all:  WORTHY.  A topic I’ve certainly explored to some extent before, but not in as much depth as Jamie went into in her book.  I emerged from reading it feeling years wiser, and freer!

First up, this book is a must for your library if you love personal development, self-discovery and have ever struggled with feeling worthy.  And sometimes, I think unworthiness can manifest in ways you don’t even expect.  I identified with some myself.

I downloaded the audiobook, finished it and loved it and promptly ordered the hard copy – after all it looked so lovely and shiny, I wanted it to take pride of place in my growing library, and when I listen to a book I really love and has a great impact on me, I have to read it and highlight key take aways.  And to top it off, 100% of the book proceeds are going to charity – so a completely guilt-free purchase 😊

One thing that I love about Jamie is that she is so real and down to earth, listening to her audiobook was like listening to an old friend – she even paints the picture of her inviting you into her home, giving you a lovely hot mug of coffee or whatever you want to drink and sitting on the couch with you for a good chat.  And it really felt like that.  So one thing that struck me was “wow, she is soo nice, down to earth and approachable for a billionaire (she founded IT Cosmetics and went on to sell it to Loreal for over a billion dollars)!”

I’ll be honest – I hadn’t even heard of Jamie a week ago (I know, I must be living in a cave) but heard about her new book ‘Worthy’ via a workshop I attended.  I searched it on Amazon and found her first book ‘Believe IT’ and started listening to it straight away.  What a story of strength, courage, belief and perseverance (also a must read – blog post coming soon on that book!)!  Then lo and behold, I come across an event called ‘Becoming Unstoppable’ that she’s hosting in a couple of days’ time – an all day Saturday event with speakers throughout the day like Tony Robbins, Brendon Burchard, Mel Robbins, Ed Mylett, Lia Key, Oprah, the list goes on.  What. An. Absolute. TREAT!!  So of course, I abandoned my plans for Saturday and instead sat glued to my screen and watched all the amazing speakers share golden nugget after golden nugget around the subject of becoming unstoppable and believing in your worth.  Well nearly all the speakers … being based in the United Kingdom and the event being in the United States, there was of course a time difference and by the time it got to nearly 2am in my part of the world, I just couldn’t keep my eyes open!  But I was pleased to be able to fill in the gaps with the replay afterwards!

So why do I recommend this book?  Because it talks about a subject I think the majority of us face, some more than others.  She begins her book with the stats, like 80% of women not believing they’re enough, and 91% (!) of women and girls not loving their bodies, and even dedicates her book to them.  With such worrying stats, digging deeper into why so many of us don’t feel we are enough is a topic well worth exploring.

This is a book you really need to read a few times to truly assimilate the information and also ponder over how it applies in your own life and what tools and strategies you can use to overcome any feelings of unworthiness.   The topic of worthiness really struck a chord with me because it’s my own belief that we are all born to flourish, to be all that we were destined to be, and to flourish you need to first believe you are worthy and deserving of it.

I’ve picked out my top 5 take aways from ‘Worthy’ to share with you and I would love to hear what your top take aways were too!

1  |  Self-worth vs Self-Confidence

This was only a few pages in and was a big revelation to me, I had never properly considered this before.  Jamie explained how we can be self-confident (externally) but still have low self-worth (internally) – she described self-worth being the essential foundation on which you build self-confidence.  What a realisation!  It explains why trying all the external tips and tricks to improve your self-confidence can still leave you feeling inadequate on the inside.  Work on the inside and it will manifest on the outside!

2  |  Unlearn the lies that keep you feeling unworthy

The second part of ‘Worthy’ delves into all the lies we often tell ourselves and believe (which eventually become our limiting beliefs) and it’s these lies that keep us from discovering our greatness, keeps us playing small.  Lies like

  • waiting for the perfect time / weight / person / event … before you take action
  • you don’t deserve better
  • you need to please everyone else around you at the expense of yourself
  • you can’t be yourself, the ‘real’ you

and many more lies that become our limiting beliefs. By addressing each and every lie you’re telling yourself and replacing it with the truth, that you are worthy, period – you don’t need to earn it! – you can put yourself back on the path towards living with purpose and a knowing that you are worthy of greatness!

3  |  Trust your intuition

I loved this as this is something I am passionate about.  We all have that still inner voice deep within us that is there to guide us, to show us the next step to take in our journey.  We need to learn to be still enough to listen to it, to trust it.  Nowadays we are so obsessed with getting external advice and validation that we fail to listen to the advice that matters the most – our own intuition which knows exactly what’s best for us.  I love how Jamie said she puts all advice she gets from people though the ‘filter’ of her own intuition, or knowing.

4  |   There’s enough room for everyone

This is a limiting belief I used to struggle with – when starting my online space for example, I couldn’t help but think ‘there are sooo many people doing the same thing, and so many are light years ahead of me, what difference could I possibly make, what’s the point of even trying?’  But Jamie reminds us that there is only ONE of us, no one else can do whatever we do like we do.  And this is why it was so refreshing to read this book and be reminded of this truth.  I remember once booking a hotel on a hotel comparison site and there were literally dozens and dozens of hotels to choose from, it took me ages to finally select one and book it.  And I had a realisation.  These hotels are all in the same industry but doing their thing in their own unique way.  There is someone out there that likes what one particular hotel offers over another.  There’s enough room for all these hotels to do business and succeed.  And it’s the same with us.  There is enough space for us all to flourish!

5  |   Metamorphosis

I saved my favourite for last!  How many times have we heard of the analogy of the caterpillar transforming into a beautiful butterfly?  But Jamie explains the process more fully – I had no idea that when the caterpillar goes into its cocoon, it completely liquifies – turns into liquid, like whaaaaat?!   I can imagine that must be a painful, yet necessary, process.  It then eventually transforms into a butterfly but even then, its wings are wet and its very survival is at stake.  I found this truly fascinating (I clearly wasn’t paying attention in science classes!).  I love to learn from nature and the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly is one of my favourite lessons.  This deeper insight explains why our own transformation can seem so looooong, so painful, sometimes unbearable.  And on the other side, there are often even more challenges and obstacles to face before fully transforming into a butterfly.  It’s all part of the journey.  Just keep going.

 

All in all, I think you can tell that I loved this book and I’ll be recommending it and sharing it far and wide.  I have had my own struggles with feeling unworthy in some areas in my life and I know I am not alone.  For example, Imposter Syndrome is experienced by most people, many of them at high levels of success … and yet they feel unworthy of it, an imposter that is enjoying the benefits of success that they feel they don’t deserve.

This book reminds you not to believe those lies!  You are WORTHY by default, you don’t need to earn it!

Have you read ‘Worthy’?  What was your favourite take away?  

9 ways I’m improving my energy levels

9 ways I’m improving my energy levels

I’m all about flourishing both inside AND out and lately I’ve been making RAISING MY ENERGY LEVELS a key focus. I found that while in my mind I would be motivated and rearing to go and make my dreams happen, my body didn’t always follow suit! I would want to wake up at 6am and hit the ground running but my body wanted to stay in bed and snuggle under the cosy duvet. By mid-afternoon I would be flagging. My one cup of coffee a day would turn to two, then three. Insomnia would creep in. Followed by late starts and groggy mornings. Not a good direction to be heading in!

I realised that if I really wanted to FLOURISH, I needed the ENERGY to do so!

Do you ever feel like you’re lacking energy? I’m sure you do! And as I write this post, we’re heading towards the end of winter in England. The first signs of spring are starting to appear and I’m ready to come out of hibernation, hopefully filled with energy and vitality!

So I made the decision to consciously make changes to improve my energy levels.

I’m all for simple and uncomplicated. Once something becomes too complex, I simply don’t do it. What sort of small changes could I make to increase my energy levels?

Well, as with most things, the answers are pretty obvious! There were three key areas I knew I needed to work on if I wanted to have more energy and those three key areas are sleep, diet and exercise.

Not exactly breaking news eh?!

And yet these three key areas are so ultra important to maintaining optimal health and wellbeing. So I decided to look at these 3 core areas and identify just 3 things in each that I could do to raise my energy levels. That’s a total of NINE things I could immediately start implementing to move the needle in the right direction. Here’s what I came up with!

Sleep

This is first on my list for good reason! I tend to go through phases of insomnia and it’s not fun at all. All it takes is one sleepless night to throw me off track and have me dragging myself through the day. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people that can get away with 4 hours sleep every night and be bright and chirpy all day. I need my 7-8 hours of sleep every night to feel well rested the next day! And not just sleep, but good quality sleep. As I said, the answers are usually glaringly obvious, I knew what mistakes I was making and what I needed to do to fix them. The three changes I decided to make with regards to getting better quality sleep every night were:

  1. go to sleep earlier and try to do this around the same time each night: many times I would go to bed well after midnight for no good reason (and then wonder why I can’t get out of bed the next morning!)
  2. no screens for at least two hours before bed: the light from the screens really does play havoc with getting a proper night’s sleep; I swapped my habit of looking at my phone before bed with reading a book instead
  3. ensure my bedroom was as dark as possible at night: and this really was an easy fix – the curtains we had before let the light from outside in, so especially in summer, we’d have light flooding in at an unearthly hour each morning and until very late into the night – I simply replaced them with blacked out curtains – problem solved!

All easy fixes, right? It’s just a matter of disciplining yourself to make the changes you know will benefit you. These seemingly small changes have already started having a positive effect on my sleep quality. Sure, I fall off the bandwagon sometimes and stay up late, or go on my phone but I always make a concerted effort to get back on track again.

Next up:

Diet

Again, the endless sea of information out there on the gazillion diets we should be trying is just too much for me… I boiled it down to my need to simply eat what’s good for me and to listen to my body. I know that eating a bowl of oats porridge is a better choice that a sugary donut for breakfast. I know that six cups of coffee a day is not going to do me any favours. I know that heaping my plate with carbs every day is a bad idea. I just needed to make conscious decisions about my eating, make healthy choices as much as possible. I have actually never counted calories in my life, even that’s too complex for me, ha! The three changes I decided to make in relation to my diet were:

  1. reduce my portions of food at dinner time: I have always had a very bad habit of heaping ridiculous amounts of carbs on my plate – and then being full halfway through but not want to waste the rest, so end up finishing it!
  2. focus on gut health: I’m taking baby steps here but am currently incorporating fermented foods into my diet, taking probiotic supplements etc. Getting your gut into good shape can have a tremendously positive effect on your life – watch this space for how I get on!
  3. eat as much whole food (and as little processed food) as possible: for example, lunch would almost always be a sandwich (carbs again arghh!), now I make a point to instead have a salad with plenty of good things in it, or a fresh soup.

As I consciously think about what I am going to fuel my body with instead of stuffing whatever is convenient into my mouth, I find that most of what I used to do was simply habit, doing things on autopilot. By consciously putting a decent sized portion of food on my plate at dinner time, I find I feel completely satiated afterwards. I actually like fermented foods but never really bought them simply because it’s not something I was in the habit of doing (except sauerkraut which I grew up eating). And then I do like whole healthy foods, salads etc but always used to gravitate towards carbs first because they were the quick, easy and let’s admit it, often the tasty option!

So, this journey I’m on to a healthier, more energetic me is more about conditioning my mind to think in healthier, more energetic ways, and align my actions with those thoughts. 

And lastly,

Exercise

And this too, is a biggie. If you want to be more energetic, you’ve simply got to MOVE your body more! Over the last year or two, my exercise routine slowly evaporated and it’s therefore no wonder my energy levels dropped. I like to run outside but I’m a ‘warm weather runner’ as they say, which isn’t the best option when you live in England! With winter coming to end though, I’ll be back running outside, for at least thirty minutes every day. Ok, at least three times a week for a start! In the area of exercise, my three chosen changes were:

  1. to incorporate daily stretching e.g. yoga: I get a lot of tension in my body and stretching is key to loosening those tight muscles
  2. to aim for thirty minutes of high intensity exercise every day: whether that’s a power walk or run outside, or a workout at home or in the gym
  3. make daily meditation a habit: not sure if this counts as exercise (!) but as I’d like to incorporate breathing exercises into it, maybe it does! Both work wonders

So, that’s NINE things I’ve started doing in those three key areas to get my energy levels up again. The great thing is that these three key areas are like three giant puzzle pieces that fit together to form a whole. Ramping up my exercise will help me get good quality sleep. It will also encourage me to make healthy food choices. And getting good quality sleep will give me the energy to want to exercise!

See how it all fits together?

I’ll be posting updates on how I’m doing in my quest for more energy, so stay tuned!

Do you have any top tips for raising your energy levels?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  ~ Lau Tzu

 

This Chinese proverb is one I knew well and totally believed, or thought I did.  When you totally believe something, you live it, but I didn’t!

You see, I would want to see the WHOLE JOURNEY before I even took my first step! 

Before I did anything I wanted to ‘see the bigger picture’, make sure every ‘i’ was dotted and every ‘t’ crossed before making a move.  Heck, even our holidays were meticulously planned and executed!  I’d have my Excel spreadsheet detailing everything from A to Z – packing lists, detailed daily itineraries, the works.  And don’t get me wrong, this can be a good thing!  Although my husband did complain when I announced we needed to go to sleep early to get the train from Rome to Pompeii at 5am the next morning!  ‘I thought this was a holiday!’ he wailed.  Needless to say, we didn’t make it to Pompeii (I did eventually make it a couple of years later though – but that’s another story)!

So whilst hubby dearest simply throws his stuff into a bag a couple of hours before we head to the airport (and has a vague idea of where we’re going i.e. what country we’re going to!), I’ll have planned and almost ‘lived’ our holiday already – I know everything about the hotel we’re staying in (after spending hours agonizing over which hotel to stay in of course 😉), I know the waiters by name already based on the reviews I’ve scoured through and I know exactly how much a taxi should cost us from the airport to the hotel so we don’t get ripped off!

As I said, this can be a good thing.  I’d want to get the most out of our holiday after all – squeeze every last drop out of it, so to speak!  But of course trying to ‘see the whole holiday’ and cramming as much in as I could meant we were in need of another holiday the moment we got back having spent AGES planning it down to the last detail and the holiday itself pounding the streets visiting every site there is to see (and trust me, after three visits to Rome and lots of street pounding (and more hubby complaints!) I still haven’t seen half of the sites!).

I’ll also add that those were the days I had time on my hands to actually do all this meticulous planning.  When my life became more of a whirlwind, I barely knew what day of the week it was half the time.  We would book flights and accommodation for a couple of months down the line, and the only time I was able to do any sort of holiday planning was at the airport waiting to board our plane!

Allowing things to unfold …

And you know what?  Those holidays worked out FAR better!  I didn’t waste hours and hours of precious time scouring for information to plan the Perfect Holiday.  The more information I gathered the more confused I would get!  I would find the whole process stressful and be mentally drained by the time we set off!  But when we simply decided on where we were going (the ultimate ‘goal’), I would book the basics i.e. flight and hotel (I haven’t got to the stage of turning up in a foreign country with nowhere to sleep just yet, ha!) and we would let the rest UNFOLD – as it’s meant to.  We’d meet someone in the elevator after checking in and they’d tell us what an amazing time they had somewhere that day.  So we’d do that the next day.  At that place we’d come across a quaint restaurant and have dinner there that evening.  There we’d be told about a fabulous show we really must see the following night.  And that’s often how our holiday would unfold.  This is actually exactly what happened when we travelled to Thailand a few years ago (what a beautiful country!).  I booked the holiday and being completely inundated with work and life, had absolutely NO time to do any planning of any sort.  I was gutted as Thailand was so far away, such an amazing place with so much to see and I really wanted to ‘maximise’ our stay there!  However, I needed to recognise that I’d taken the first step by booking the holiday and I then allowed things to unfold instead of stressing myself over the minute details – trying to see our whole holiday through from beginning to end – before we even got there! 

Well, that was the best holiday we’ve EVER had!  It was perfect in every way.  We decided what to do and where to go when we got there.  If we woke up and decided we felt like lounging on the beach, we did.  If we felt like exploring, we’d find somewhere to explore.  Each thing lead to the next.  This is a picture of us kayaking in the Andaman sea as sunset fell, something we booked spontaneously and it was one of the most magical experiences I’ve had in my entire life. 

It really taught me not to take life so damn seriously!!

In comparison, during our (or, rather MY!) Perfectly Planned Holidays we’d come across something great to do but find out ‘itinerary’ was already rammed with activities that we’d already booked and paid for so had no wiggle room to be flexible.  We missed out on a lot of things we could have done based on where we were at that moment in time, because I’d planned everything in advance.  I didn’t trust the process.

Whilst in my holiday scenario, the good thing is that the next step is an action you HAVE to take – if you’ve booked a flight and hotel, then you have a set date on which you need to get yourself to the airport and onto the plane!

But it’s a bit tricky with other things and this is where I really fell on my face.  Starting this blog for example.  I really wanted to be a blogger and this is now going back years and YEARS.  I wanted everything to be perfectly planned and in order before I actually made it happen.  An amazing site in my perfect niche, fabulous content being pumped out like clockwork.  As I planned and planned … and planned … and planned … well, the whole blogger era came and went as the years rolled by and I kept tweaking this and that before I actually DID anything!  In the meantime, bloggers had claimed their space, taken each step in faith, learned by trial and error as they kept going, allowed things to unfold and became resounding successes, or, discovered that, actually, blogging wasn’t for them.  I was literally spending YEARS trying to set up a thousand dominoes neatly lined up which I could then go back to the first domino and give it a nudge, which would set all the other dominoes going in perfect order, as I had perfectly planned!  I was doing this around a crazy full-time job and family commitments by the way, rather than spending all day every day for years trying to create my blog!  The whole thing fell to the wayside many times, but in the small pockets of precious time I DID have available, I misspent it trying to see the whole staircase ahead instead of just TAKING THE FIRST DARNED STEP! 

Keep moving

You see, only when you’re in MOTION can the next step be revealed to you.  Not when you’re standing paralysed in one spot!

Sure, sometimes the next step may turn out to be a dead end, but all you need to do is backtrack and carry on.  It’s only through trial and error that you’ll find your way to your final destination.  The only way that guarantees you NOT reaching your final destination is not taking that all important first step (and subsequent steps!)!

We need to trust ourselves more.  We need to step out in faith fully believing that the next step will unfold, and the next, and the next.

If you’re stuck in ‘analysis paralysis’ like I always was, just take that first step!!  Things will become clearer, as long as you TAKE ACTION.  I was waiting for everything to be perfect before I started my blog, instead during that time I could have learned all the valuable lessons I needed to take things to the next level.  When I did get back into my online business, I just decided to go for it.  At first, I got all confused again.  But what if this happened, and what if that happened?  Shouldn’t I do this first and shouldn’t I wait for that before I did anything?  ‘No!  Just get moving and figure it out as you go along!’ I told myself.  And I did.  And you know what?  As soon as I took my first shaky step, the next step immediately unfolded.  I took that next step and the next step unfolded.  I just needed to trust myself.

And this is why Bloom is all about the JOURNEY we’re making.  Journeys don’t excite most people.  They want the destination!  After all I didn’t tell you about my flight to Rome or to Thailand – the airlines I flew on or how I spent my time in the air – and neither did you want to hear about it!  But you’ll never REACH that destination unless you make that journey, so you may as well take that crucial first step – whether you think it’s the right step or the wrong step – and let the rest unfold. 

What first step will you take today? 

Why being consistent will help you flourish

Why being consistent will help you flourish

Have you ever made popcorn, whether in a pot on the stove / cooker or in a microwave?  What happens if you keep taking the popcorn off the stovetop or keep stopping the microwave while the popcorn is popping?  Well, you probably won’t get any popcorn.  You’ve stopped the momentum of it popping.

And it’s the same with us.  We start something, build up momentum and then just as the ‘popcorn’ starts popping so to speak, we stop and either turn our attention to something else, repeat the same process or else stop doing anything at all because we get impatient or distracted.

If you use my Born to Flourish planner-journal, you will see that I am big on BEING – being the person you need to be in order to flourish and get to where you want to go, achieve the things you want to achieve.  And I believe that being consistent is a major characteristic you need to have if you want to achieve your goals.

How do Olympians eventually win the gold?  By consistently practicing their sport, every day, for hours on end.

I am always trying to be a better person today than I was yesterday and every month I focus on at least one (sometimes more) key characteristic I need to improve in.  And consistency has been one of them.  Especially when it came to building my dream business, I was far from consistent.  And just like the popcorn analogy, I would knuckle down, work like crazy for days and then end up in an exhausted heap.  Or get distracted by other things, like my day job, home and the other gazillion things that come our way!  By the time I picked up where I left off, it took me ages to get back into the swing of things, I had lost my flow and my motivation.  It felt like I was starting all over again.

So I changed my strategy.  I would always have other things to content with in life and that wasn’t going to change.  I had to learn to work around those things.  I realised that I needed to be consistent to keep things moving in the right direction.  I decided that instead of waiting for days I could work for hours on end, I would do something every day, even if it was only 15 minutes.  That kept the momentum going and kept me in the flow of things.  It also meant I started to use my time more wisely to find that time every day – instead of spending half an hour scrolling aimlessly through social media I could Get Something Done!  And taking a little step every day in the right direction was like keeping the popcorn firmly on the stovetop / cooker or microwave to allow the popcorn seeds to pop and do their thing!

The tortoise and the hare

Ever come across the story of the tortoise and the hare?  I remember reading the story back in primary school.  The tortoise and the hare decided to have a race, the hare shot off and left the tortoise way behind.  Because the hare was so confident it would win, and was also a little tired from running so fast, it decided to take a quick snooze (and clearly didn’t send it’s alarm 😊), and of course, the tortoise kept plodding along, passed the snoozing hare and won the race!  And I couldn’t help thinking I was that hare – working myself to the bone and then ending up in an exhausted heap.  It made much more sense to be the tortoise – to just keep taking step after step and not needing to collapse in a heap and lose my momentum!

How about you?  Are you consistent in your life, in the things that matter?  If you’re not, what difference would it make to your life if you were?  What difference would it make if you went to the gym for just thirty minutes every day to do some weight training or cardio on your way home from work?  What difference would it make if you swapped your daily lunch time social media trawl for learning a new skill?  What difference would it make if you woke up just 15 minutes earlier each day instead of waking up an hour earlier only once or twice a month?

As I always say, we look for complex answers to our problems when the answers are almost always very simple.  If you look at the people you admire and would like to achieve what they have achieved, change your focus from what they have, to who they are.  What characteristics do you think they have?  I’m sure there are many and that’s why this blog post is part of the ‘Being’ series of blog posts.  I truly believe that if we work on our internal ways of being more than we try to look for external solutions to our problems, we will make huge strides in the direction of our dreams and truly flourish!

And so I try to be consistent with other things in my life too.  Being healthy is always something I try hard to do but often try to make big changes and then fall down a day or two in.  So, I’ll choose one relatively small or easy thing to be consistent with, like drinking a large glass of water with a splash of lemon in it when I wake up.  And I am now 99% consistent with this because it’s easy to do and it’s now become a habit.

So, choose something you can be consistent with in your life and see what a difference it makes!  Start small.  And the great thing is that once that becomes embedded in your daily routine, you can move onto something else and build on that.

The Compound Effect

The great thing about being consistent is that, eventually, the compound effect kicks in.  You can start getting exponential returns from the little steps you’ve been taking every day, just as you would get exponential returns if you invested a little money each month many years later.

Of course, it works both ways!  If you’re consistently eating donuts for breakfast each day or spending all (or more than) you earn each month, then the compound effect will eventually kick in too – in the form of poor health and bankruptcy!  So, think about the things you’re consistent with in your life and what the compound effect of this is likely to be in a few years’ time.  And more importantly, what you can do to change things for the better and make consistency work in your favour!

Stay consistent with the Born to Flourish® planner-journal

 I created the Born to Flourish® planner-journal because I was struggling to stay consistent with all the things I needed to do to make my goals happen.  Today, I used my planner-journal every day and couldn’t live without it.  It has a strong element of personal development woven into the more obvious practical aspects and this keeps me laser focused on my goals, my why and what I need to do every day to get there!  Like to find out more about my planner-journal?  

Check out the Born to Flourish® planner-journal here – it’s available in digital format to use on your iPad/ tablet or as a PDF download to print out and complete or simply complete onscreen.

If you have trouble staying consistent then the Born to Flourish® planner-journal will keep you on the straight and narrow 🙂