What’s in a Blue Sky?

One of the things I simply love about this time of the year is being able to sit outside under a beautiful blue sky, with enough sunshine to make me feel pleasantly warm and then to simply think.

The phrase “Blue Sky thinking” has been around for some time and has now made it into the Collins English dictionary with the following definition: creative ideas that are not limited by current thinking or beliefs.

Most people love a truly blue sky and there is a very good and pretty obvious reason for that. When we look up and see a blue sky, it immediately speaks to us of anything from “It’s going to be a sunny day” right through to “anything is possible today!” Why is this? I believe it is simply because when there are no clouds in the sky, no rain in the air, we cannot help but feel optimistic. As often as you possibly can – once every three months, even once a month if you can manage it – create some ‘Blue Sky time’.53749_102349429832459_712725_o

Set aside an entire morning or afternoon, and simply go somewhere without distractions and sit and think. Switch your phone off, put your laptop away. All you need is a journal or notebook and a pen. For the first hour or so, you may well be wondering if you can seriously justify this luxury at all. Then remind yourself that whilst it is a luxury in terms of the time you are setting aside, it is much more accurate to consider it an investment. An investment in yourself. By the time you are into hours three and four, some of the ideas you will be getting will be emerging as genuine gold dust.

You can invest in yourself like this and set out with no agenda whatsoever and see what happens, and that is completely fine. Or, you can take one or two subject matters that you already know require some serious, deep thinking, especially if you are in need of a solution, and I guarantee, by the end of your ‘Blue Sky time’ you will come away with a way forward that you would otherwise have struggled to find at all. Either way, if you carve out some ‘Blue Sky time’ on a regular basis, you will be all the richer for it in every respect of the word.

The majority of this blog was taken from an earlier piece I wrote at the beginning of the year. To read the full blog you can find it here:

Click here

Let the Expert Through!

Several years ago, when I was working as a salesman for a company that supplied food wrapping machinery, I found myself in a large produce processing factory with an engineer called Billy. I was there to see how their current stock of machines were doing and explore the possibility of selling them one or two new ones. Billy was there as our referral agent but also on that day, to urgently repair one of the older machines that had broken down.
A55 wrapperNow most people don’t get to see what it is like inside any kind of food processing factory but from experience, I can tell you they are extremely busy places. The sheer volume of product that comes down the highly automated lines is mesmerising in itself. So you can imagine, when a machine suddenly stops working, the line it was stationed on immediately becomes very clogged indeed with product that would normally be flowing at the rate of anything from 50-120 items a minute!


I will never forget the relative calm that Billy examined the machine and then looked inside his tool bag. I seem to remember that one of his bags was in fact, an old briefcase with a sealed compartment where he stored amassive variety of nuts and bolts and all kinds of fixings, gubbings and all the other technical terms for things that make bigger things work. Inside this compartment, there was literally a sea of stuff that was so deep, half his hand disappeared into them as he searched for an identical screw from the one that had worked itself loose from the machine in question.

DN7M5P Shine of coin ina sea of old screws

“I know it’s in ‘ere somewhere,” he muttered in his raw, “Lancashire,
God’s own county” accent. I had absolute confidence in his ability to
fix the machine amid the increasing clamour around for us for the
resurrection of the line but how on earth would he find that single
screw? A few seconds later, I was open-mouthed in amazement as he pulled the screw out of the sea of seeming infinity. A few minutes after that, the entire line was up and running and everyone was happy.

I don’t think we ever did sell them a new machine. The reason? The
sheer expertise and technical genius of Billy from Lancashire
to regularly resurrect their machines from the dead of course.


Then, just the other day, I needed some help from a client actually, to help me to retrieve a really important folder that had seemingly disappeared from my USB stick. We ended up talking on the phone as he was driving (hands free of course!) and the route he took me around the laptop to run some initial tests would have had me more lost than ever if I’d attempted to do this alone. The fact that he was doing this without even seeing the screen in front of him was impressing me with every minute that went by.

The time came to try and locate the folder in another part of the computer and then fully retrieve it to its original location and
there it was! A quick check in with one or two of the files that I had found earlier but were strangely empty and sure enough, the
content was restored. “Thank you Daniel, you’re a genius!” came the very relieved and grateful response down the line.

We all love it of course don’t we, when someone who really knows what
they’re doing is able to literally lift us out of our apparently helpless,
hopeless pit of frustration. That is true value in action right there.

So, when was the last time someone came along and did that for you?

Or more importantly, when was the last time you were able to do something for someone else?

What is your expertise, your natural ability that can always help another human being?

It may have nothing to do with your business or job – it’s just something you can do, whenever the need arises.

I was with someone this week who needs my help and guess what I’m going to do?

If it wasn’t for Daniel this week and his genius reminding me of that epic feat of mechanical resurrection performed by Billy from Lancashire, perhaps I may not have been so willing to get involved on an ongoing basis. As long as it doesn’t involve fixing any kind of machine or remotely trouble-shooting a computer, I’ll be fine!

Timing is Everything

Timing is everything or so they say. I have heard this many times and so often I have thought to myself, “Yeah right!” as another opportunity slipped by without tangible explanation. And then today, after a day working in London, and meeting with new contacts, I arrived at Victoria station to a scene of Friday night commuting overload as almost all trains were delayed by “an incident”.

LondonBridgeChaosWhen you are faced with this scenario, you are offered a choice aren’t you? You can either become increasingly stressed out, especially if you have to be somewhere and now those plans are being jeopardised with every extra minute of delay. Or, you can accept that you are powerless to do anything about it and find something else to do.

Thankfully, I didn’t have any pressing engagement to get back to, so the choice was admittedly made a little easier and I found myself a seat in a pub inside the station and enjoyed a beer. Fortunately, I picked a spot where I could still see the train timetable board and could therefore glance up every now and then to see if the “Delayed” status had changed. What would I do I thought to myself, if I’m barely a few sips into this rather refreshing beer and the train is suddenly ready to depart? I’ve never been one to “down it in one” and so I decided I certainly wasn’t going to be rushing off, chasing after all the other Friday night ‘railway refugees’.

I was even more satisfied when I managed for the first time to actually use my ‘Personal Hotspot’ and do a bit of blogging and check my email. When I had finished writing as well as my beer, I glanced up at the timetable board and the train to Brighton was still “Delayed” but was now displaying “Platform 19”. It was time to go. I admit I did not casually walk but neither did I run for my life – something told me it would all be fine, despite the hordes of people all across the concourse.

I picked a spot on platform 19 just as the train was pulling in and to my wonder and pure delight, a set of doors stopped right in front of me, enabling me to get a seat and settle down for the journey home.


So what did I learn from this? Well, much as I may have often huffed and puffed and politely, even sometimes secretly, disagreed with the notion that timing is everything, this experience proved it can actually be the case. It may not feel like things are happening but often there is more good stuff going on behind your back than in front of your eyes. I could have got very stressed, spent the entire one hour of delay standing in the middle of the concourse, staring blankly at the timetable board and nothing would have changed. Except I would have been a lot thirstier!

My Best Mate from School

I was reminded this week what a small world we live in. My eldest son walked into a pub and saw one of those photo collages that you see on the walls sometimes. You know the type – full of faces of regulars from the past and present. Images I would imagine, of trophy-winning football teams, darts triumphs and pool tournament heroes. Imperfect portraits of punters who have invested heavily in the livelihood of whoever owned the pub at that particular time. Anyway, my son looked at the photos and said out loud, a little excitedly, “My Dad might be in one of those…” An older man, same age as me in fact, said to the young man in front of him, “Who’s your Dad then?” “Paul Hatcher,” came the reply.”No way! I went to school with him. He was my best mate.”

My son was understandably surprised by this minor revelation. Not by the fact that I had a best mate at school of course but by the fact that he had somehow stumbled upon him in this very small bar in my home town.

Photographic evidence was produced and before long, they were both waxing lyrical together.

Why do I share this little story at all? Because, in a sentence, I was touched when the said Best Mate called me to inform me of this random rendezvous and we had the longest conversation we have had for many, many years. To hear him describe me as his “Best Mate” was a lovely testament to our genuinely long and lasting friendship. The fact that we have not spent any time together for the past twenty odd years suddenly seemed irrelevant. We’ve both been busy doing our own thing and yet to hear him speak like that proved yet again, how powerful a childhood friendship can be.

He was the consummate athlete – brilliant at any sport he bothered to pursue. I remember introducing him to squash when we were much older and wondering how on earth he could beat me so easily in his first ever game!

When we were eighteen, we went to live on a kibbutz in Israel, where his big brother was already establishing himself as a well-respected member of the community. I stayed for seven months while he stayed for a while longer. I then went travelling around the U.S. and Canada, eventually moving to London, and we slowly but surely lost touch, save for the odd exchange here and there.

Jim & I in Israel

For some reason, which if I am honest with you, I am still processing right now, just hearing him describe me as “my Best Mate from school” has provoked a response in me that is I suspect, giving me a whole fresh perspective on life. I have always considered him as my “Best Mate from school”, so hearing me say that out loud does not change anything. For many years, we were like brothers. We worked for the same newsagent at the local train station, delivering newspapers and when he got bored of the best job, I took over his coveted position of selling newspapers, sweets, and cigarettes (yes, cigarettes when I was only fifteen!) from the tiny kiosk on the London-bound platform. That was where I learned how to give change from a twenty pound note for the Daily Telegraph, The Sun, 20 Rothmans, a box of matches and a Mars bar in less than ten seconds!Jim & I

We played endless games of tennis at the local park throughout the summer holidays, his Mum bought our house, we lost count of the number of sleepovers we had until they morphed into all-night party sessions with a wider crowd of others, as we got older and worked and played increasingly harder.

He is one of the most naturally sweet-natured people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and I will always consider him one of my closest friends – however long it takes before we sit down together and remember life as it once was. Which reminds me, I really should go to that tiny pub and double check if I am in any of those photos.

And the moral of this story? I think you know already.

Memories are Made of This…

Apparently, there are three significant things that begin occurring when you start getting old. You begin losing your memory; you begin losing your hair; and the third thing is…I’ve forgotten!
Just to be clear from the outset here, I do not feel like I am getting old, even though I am most certainly, albeit rather reluctantly in the middle-aged category, despite my youthful looks and energy!
I have always been fascinated by the things we somehow remember as opposed to the stuff we simply forget. I remember watching a documentary many, many years ago about first memories and the typical age from which you can recall certain things. Afterwards, I tried to recall my very first memory and it was this: I was sitting in a high chair and there were a few people in the room. Someone was approaching me with a cake that had a lit candle on it. I checked in with my Mum and assumed it must have been my second birthday (the documentary said the average earliest memory that can usually be recalled is around age two.) I asked her, “But I could only see one candle on the cake. Did you lose the other one?” She replied, “No, of course not! It was your first birthday!”
I was impressed to say the least. The fact that most days I may go upstairs to get or do something and by the time I arrive there, I have completely forgotten why I went in the first place, or worse, come back down without even realising I’ve forgotten all about the original reason I went upstairs in the first place does not of course negate this brilliant feat of memory recall.
Where I do still genuinely excel is in the category of photographic memory. Now I don’t claim to be able to memorise telephone directories or reel off twenty-five digit codes a la secret agents old and new but I do recall with consummate ease familiar car number plates to such a degree that I will recognise a friend’s car instantly and in the past for fun, have called that person to enquire why they are speeding or chopping lanes so randomly. And pre-mobile-phone-address books, I would know virtually every contact’s number I needed without consulting my hard copy address book or Filofax. Perhaps this is where my memory works well with repetition, I forget.

So I have a small challenge for you as you consider your memories and the hopefully happy collection of images, smells, names and numbers – both recent and distant.

What is your favourite ever memory?
When was the last time you created a memory to even begin rivalling that favourite?
What memories have you yet to make?
How long will you give yourself before you forget your desire for those yet-to-be-made memories?
Making Memories

“Mindfulness” is all the rage right now and no doubt some are becoming increasingly cynical about the pressure to be so focussed on “being in the present moment” that it is very easy to miss the point altogether. What if we ditched that term and simply called it “Memory Making”?

How the Words of a Dying Man Could Save You

Today I listened for more than an hour to someone who was recently diagnosed with an inoperable, terminal illness and has been given only weeks to live. To be honest, I had never heard of him before one of the marketing experts I follow sent me an email about his situation. Persuaded by a close friend to deliver one last webinar, (an online seminar in case you’re unfamiliar) I listened to it live just this afternoon and was taken aback not so much by his material, because as both he and his friend made clear from the introduction, “What you will hear is not new but coming from this unique perspective, allow what you hear to be thought of in a new way.” No, I was taken aback by his willingness to make himself so utterly vulnerable, with emotions exacerbated by morphine and yet, still able to offer great wisdom in a way that truly resonated with me partly because of his use of a journey as a metaphor for life, which I love to ponder a lot.

He was extremely honest about the mistakes he had made and the things he is thankful for. In honour of his courage and genuine commitment to helping others, even during his literal dying days, the only other things I will post here today are the questions he posed for us all to consider and a link to the webinar itself, should you wish to listen to the recording.

His name is Mike Seddon and his friend helping him to deliver the webinar is Dov Gordon. If I didn’t think it was worth your time, I would not of course, have written this blog today. At the very least, I highly recommend you take time out to reflect on the five questions he got us to seriously consider:

1. “What’s My Why?” & “Am I Living It?”

Mike_and_Dov2. “What Does Success Look Like?”

3. “Am I Enjoying the Journey?”

4. “Am I Hanging Out With the Right People?”

5. “What Would Happen to My Loved Ones if I was No Longer Around?”


Safe is Risky

So Wimbledon is upon us once again. One of my favourite times of the year. Also, undoubtedly one of my least productive times! As I look back over the years I have watched this wonderful tournament, it has got me thinking about some of the greatest showmen in this beautiful sport. 

My favourite player ever was the super cool Swede, Bjorn Borg, who won the Men’s Singles title five times in a row in the late seventies. Of all the players of that era, Borg arguably solicited more cries of “Oh I say!” from the equally legendary commentator Dan Maskell than any other. I was almost in tears when he finally lost in the 1981 final to John McEnroe. 


Borg was a completely unique player. I can barely recall ever hearing him speak (he must have done press conferences I guess but perhaps I wasn’t interested in what he had to say as a kid) but the focus was always on his amazing ability to buck the serve and volley trend which was still dominant back then. He had a mystique about him that was almost mythical and his utter brilliance on the court and relative silence under pressure was his show if you like. I remember he had a tradition that from the first day of Wimbledon every year, he stopped shaving and so by the time, he lifted the trophy year in, year out, he would sport a classic blond beard alongside his long, rock star-like hair. It was a long time before anyone captured my heartfelt support again, until finally, the ultimate showman from Las Vegas itself, Andre Agassi blazed his way onto the scene.

Andre Agassi

So what is it about the showman? They say the public loves an underdog and yes, I guess we do. But we also adore a showman who displays scintillating skills – however inconsistently – that mesmerise us. In short, they are the sporting equivalent of our favourite TV and movie heroes who take us away to a world where anything is possible. Most of all, we love a showman who has learnt how to be consistent in the midst of their almost supernatural brilliance, because they provide us with even more occasions to celebrate than we imagined possible. People like Ronnie O’Sullivan in snooker, Andre Agassi, Rafa Nadal. Contrast these guys with others who won even more trophies but who somehow, relatively soon after their initial burst on to the scene, appeared to win repeatedly with almost robotic precision. So much so, that for many of us, there was very little to love. People like Steve Davis and Pete Sampras, or Michael Schumacher from Formula 1 racing.

The best tennis players in the world almost invariably practise what is known as “percentage tennis”. That is, a wide variety of shots that they know will serve them well overall, so long as they play their normal game. The very best players of today’s game like Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and Murray aka The Big Four consistently play their percentage tennis but are good enough to take it up a level if they are losing or in a very close struggle against each other, and they can do so with some extraordinary shot-making and still win the crucial points they need to clinch victory.

What is fascinating however, is when a showman (let’s call them a “showplayer”) finds himself playing against one of the The Big Four for example. The only way they can have a chance of winning is if they play to their strengths. That is, non-percentage tennis. Shots that most players wouldn’t dream of attempting, unless forced to do so. This of course, is the complete opposite strategy to the top player. The French currently have these showplayers in spades and have always had one or two around at the same time. Henri Leconte was a fabulous example in the eighties. Yannick Noah was another, and the last Frenchman to win the French Open in 1983. Today they have Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Gael Monfils. They are like musketeers with a tennis racket and on their day, can beat anyone in the world. But this is where sadly, they fall down. Their brilliance is exquisite to watch but their inconsistency forbids them from achieving what their potential promised when they began their careers.

Jo-Wilfried-Tsonga-007In a match last month at the French Open, Andy Murray found himself up against yet another flamboyant Frenchman, Jeremy Chardy. The commentator, a former champion himself, Jim Courier, began to explain the dynamics of what this is all about, “Murray is the house and Chardy is the gambler. Chardy has to throw the dice because that is the only way he can win. They don’t keep building casinos because they think the gamblers are going to come out on top, but some of them do get the roll of the dice.”

So what of the Samprases and Davises of the sporting world? They knew how to focus on their work and perhaps that was the crucial difference when it came to total achievement by the time they retired from their chosen field. They saw it as their work, not merely a fun way to earn tons of cash and lap up the adulations of endless females. Sure they were not as entertaining as the other guys. But then they were not there to entertain primarily. They were there to win. And win they did. A lot. So much so that you could argue it even became a bit boring. This was one of the reasons why Steve Davis earned the nickname Steve “Interesting” Davis. During the nineties, when Pete Sampras dominated for much of that decade, I actually got bored of watching him win yet another consecutive Wimbledon Men’s Singles title. Three stroke rallies or less with the same guy lifting the trophy was not my idea of good sport, let alone entertainment.

For us mere mortals who have to carve out other, less glamorous, yet equally creative ways of earning a living, being entertained (when we’re not watching our afore-mentioned heroes!) and simply making a life for ourselves, we have to make a decision. Do we choose style or substance? Safe or risky? To win or to simply enjoy? Can we not have both? I think we can, if we choose wisely. As one of my favourite authors Seth Godin says, “Safe is risky.” Just ask or rather, watch the showplayers at Wimbledon.

Weeing to Win at Work!

I arrived a tad early for a meeting in Canary Wharf, London yesterday, and needed to use the toilet. The place in question was a nice restaurant called The Pearson Room, which is part of the Reebok Sports Club. The kind of place where fast-paced, high pressure bankers go to try and relax for an hour or two.

The toilets are impressive for one reason and one reason only. Directly above the urinals, the owners have installed a car racing, video game. Perhaps these are relatively common-place nowadays and I simply need to get out more but I was mesmerised instantly. I remember years ago, hearing about video screens inside toilet cubicles in Tokyo but I’ve never seen any myself. I don’t even like racing games like this. I never go to arcades and I am certainly not any kind of gamer at home. But this was something different. For the first time in my life, I actually wanted to stay at the urinal for as long as possible! If I aimed to the right, the car veered off to the right and likewise, if I aimed to the left…you get the picture. And then, just as I was beginning to take note of the speed, distance covered and all the other factors that are designed to heighten one’s enjoyment of such trivial pursuits, I began to run out of my personal, renewable, recycled, hybrid fuel…


Then it was over. I’m laughing to myself even now, wondering how on earth this could serve as any life lesson at all. It did made me think however, about the ever-changing world of our working environment, and then later that same day, I read yet another article in the Evening Standard about the “future of work” and how the drive for greater productivity is taking on more creative guises than ever.

Apparently, the UK achieves 30% less productivity out of its typical workforce than the U.S., Germany and France. Everything from what we still call “normal business hours” to where we actually carry out our work is up for grabs. Innovative firms are providing on-site conveniences such as free lunch orders, sleep pods, never-ending fruit bowls, musical instruments, pool tables and even, yes you guessed it, video games! Modern office buildings are being built that include roof terrace wining and dining, boutique bedrooms for those extra long deadline-defining days and spa treatment rooms to make it even easier to work, rest and play all in the same location.

creative office space 2

Companies like Google and Apple of course, have been doing this sort of thing for years and it’s precisely because of their enormous success that others are trying to adapt. Alongside this, there has been the increasing trend for people to work from home and dictate their own working hours accordingly. Whilst this has been welcomed and indeed, can very often generate more productivity, this latest round of ideas is all about trying to bring people together in the workplace. The key component behind this thinking was revealed by the single phrase. “Great people love working alongside other great people, and understand that successful teams are far greater than the sum of their individual parts.”

So how can we adapt accordingly, irrespective of whether we work from home most of the time, or we’re office-based, or on the road a great deal? Here are some personal ideas that come to mind:

  • Variety is the spice of life so try and mix it up in whatever way you can.

  • If you have a team of people who work for or report to you, how can you inject some fun into their normal, day to day?

  • What would your perfect day of work look like and how can you try to create anything that gets you near to that more often?

  • When thinking about the design or layout of your individual or group workspace, what else could you add that would help improve the overall productivity?

  • What would the females like to see in their individual cubicles?

modern toilet cubicles

You’ve Got Talent Part 2

A few years ago, I heard a fantastic speaker at a conference I was attending. The kind of speaker who one minute has you in fits of almost uncontrollable laughter, and the very next minute, pauses the way that a true professional (or total natural) instinctively knows how to. One of the many things he talked about that I have never forgotten is how he had no weaknesses. It sounded outrageously arrogant of course until he broke the pause with “but I have plenty of ‘non-strengths'”.

Subtle but I believe extremely significant shift in emphasis.

We all have talent right? But we can’t all sing. I for one, cannot sing like Susan Boyle, or anyone half decent for that matter. At age eleven or twelve, I was politely asked to leave the after school singing group in front of the entire class. The teacher, a very strict disciplinarian, was moving around the sound-proof music room, hunting down what she clinically described as the “howler in the room”. She inclined her ear down to my shoulder and the game was up. The truth is, I was only really interested in the girls in the group, not the music or singing. My lack of authenticity was bluntly and categorically exposed on the spot.

After the years of counselling following that traumatic expose (I’m joking of course; thankfully, children of the 70s were made of harder stuff!) did I ever sing again? Of course I did. Usually, only in front of an audience of one, and that was not always a human. I don’t consider my singing a weakness. But it is certainly a non-strength.

What is the lesson here then? If you want to unearth your true talent, you simply have to ask yourself one or two questions like, “What do I love doing?” Or “What am I actually really good at?” “What do other people tell me I’m good at?”

If for some reason, even those questions fail to unearth the thing that has thus far eluded you then ask yourself this. “What would I absolutely love to do?”


Acknowledge your non-strengths and from now on, call them precisely that. We all have weaknesses of course but for some of us, it helps to address them differently, especially if when you think about it, you could reel off a rather long list of them!

None of this necessarily has to do with your job or business but it could be. Who knows? Focus on your strengths and find a way to fill your life with those things, or that one single thing that makes you come alive. It is incumbent upon all of us to make the effort to find out what it is that we love to do. More often than not, that one thing will be something that after some initial practise and honing (depending on what it is will determine how long it will take to get really good at it) you not only love doing but you do it with the sort of consummate ease that almost makes you feel guilty. Some people call this operating in the ‘Grace Zone” – that place where you know that you know, this is part of your core being and that is why it comes so easily.

You’ve Got Talent Part 1

Okay, I admit it, I am a massive Britain’s Got Talent fan. And the reason is very simple. Despite all the dross, the time-wasters, unattractive strippers and a whole variety of other acts that I could happily live without ever seeing; I absolutely adore those moments – and there are usually at least one or two in every series – where a somewhat nervous, even trembling figure takes to the stage in the midst of uncertainty, sometimes even downright cynical, premature disapproval from the audience and then… whoa!

What a moment of utter surprise and joy when that person opens up their lungs and bellows out an incredibly divine singing voice, or a dance that leaves you completely mesmerised, or the magician who leaves you gasping for any clue as to how he or she did what they just did.

Arguably, the most famous example of this came in 2009, when a rather eccentric, middle-aged lady from somewhere in Scotland walked on to the stage and announced her name. Susan Boyle defied the vast majority of the total venue and TV audience (including yes, that poor, somewhat foolish, young woman who appeared to visibly sneer before a single note had been sung) and delivered the finest and undoubtedly most surprising audition ever heard, anywhere. I don’t need an excuse to remember that magical moment but in case you do, here’s the link. And look out for Ant’s wonderful remark to the camera after those glorious first few notes.

I believe we all have talent. You have talent. I have talent. The problem is often how to unearth it and then an even bigger problem is how to nurture and develop it. In Part 2, I will elaborate on why it is crucial to focus on your strengths but for now, here are some questions for you to consider:

What makes you come alive?
If you didn’t need to get paid, what would you absolutely love to do for a job or have as a business?
Who do you respect and admire in the marketplace the most and why?
What would you most like to achieve as a result of your ideal work?
What is stopping you from pursuing the thing you’d most like to do?

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.
Erica Jong