Seven Steps to a Life to the Full

Lockdown Seven Steps to Living Life to the Full

[Podcast and Video are available at the bottom of this blog – depending on your audio or visual preference!  There’s also a link to a FREE audiobook on building assets, AND links to all The Boardroom Broadcasting Celebrities Shows – Episodes 1-10.]

I love the ambiguity of that phrase!  One simple piece of punctuation could change its meaning.

Is it:
Lockdown: Seven Steps to Living Life to the Full?

(meaning, “Here are seven steps to living life to the full under the circumstance of lockdown,”)


Lockdown Seven Steps to Living Life to the Full?

(as in an invitation to lock down seven steps to living life to the full in any situation!)

Both are true.

Life goes on and it’s the frames we interpret life through – like a set of spectacles that change our perception of reality –  plus it’s the mental models we use to make sense of what’s happening that dictate whether or not we enjoy or endure the experience.

Frames and Models make all the difference!

Time to Time Travel!

Jump back in time with me to 1977.

It’s an interesting year.

I’ve failed my Maths mock ‘O’ level and the future looks less promising.
I visit WH Smiths in Dorking – and I swear I can still visualise the shelf – a whole realm of answers and clarity opening up to me through the Key Facts Revision Guides.


I buy the ones on Maths, Chemistry, and Biology – and suddenly the light goes on.

I get the right mental models – the framework upon which to hang my learning.

I ace all three and, in the process, discover the meaning of Life!

It is, “Many Naughty Rabbits Eat Green Radish Shoots”!


This is an acronym, a mnemonic device where the initial letters of each word act as a memory trigger for the seven characteristics of a living organism.

Thus, from the Key Facts book on Biology, I learn how to remember the seven characteristics of every Living Organism on the Planet.  This is the recipe for ‘Life’.  All seven have to be present and active for us to be truly ‘alive’ and so I wonder what they can teach us about living life to the max!  If we gave attention to strengthening all seven, could we feel more alive and enjoy more of a life to the full?

Here are the seven steps…

  • Movement
  • Nutrition
  • Reproduction
  • Excretion
  • Growth
  • Respiration
  • Sensitivity

The legendary film, “This Is Spinal Tap,” – a mock Rockumentary – features an interview with the band’s guitarist, Nigel Tufnel.  Believing in the value of playing as loudly as possible, Nigel has his volume pots redesigned to go up to eleven!

Silly though this is, it’s a metaphor for my purpose in sharing this recipe for Life with you.

Let’s invest so much energy in strengthening each characteristic that it would be like turning up the volume to eleven!

One step at a time then…

1 Movement

All living organisms move.  For humans, it is the aspect of life we most strongly associate with freedom.

  • When we learn to walk, we feel a new lease of life, a new sense of freedom.
  • When we learn to ride a bicycle, we feel an even greater sense of freedom.
  • When we pass our driving test, freedom takes on a massively expanded dimension.
  • And if we go the whole way, when we learn to fly, the sky’s the limit.

At times like this when our macro-movements are curtailed, micro-movements become highly valued.  Think of Uma Thurman’s character in “Kill Bill” willing herself to move her toe.

Many of the members of The Boardroom Network have committed to learning yoga, or renewing their practise of this discipline.  Personally, I chose Tai Chi – the Steve Austin of Martial Arts (for those who can remember “The Six Million Dollar Man.”)

When I ask people, “If money and time and fitness were without limit, what would you do with your time?” the number one answer is, “Travel!”  The Travel and Hospitality Industries have felt our restrictions on movement more than many, so I think it’s a great investment of time and imagination to plan more adventurous travel for when our movements are free again.  It’s Canada, New Zealand, Finland, and Ireland for me.  Where would you like to go?

2 Nutrition

Why do we eat?

To get energy to drive our lives forward.

As food drives our body, so also motivation drives our soul – our mind, will, and emotion.

The main part of this message is thus dedicated to turning all nine motivators up to eleven!

Attention to each one will give you energy and thus make you feel more alive!  They form three groups of three – helping us get more energy from our relationships, our achievements, and our sense of growth.


  1. If you feel more secure, safe, and stable, you feel more motivated – so what can you do to invest in a more stable future? Advisors such as Sarah Butler and Eliot Jones can help you with your financial planning, and I’d recommend creating asset income through intellectual property (write that book, record that podcast, shoot that video, create that online course!).  Other firm favourites for asset income include bricks and mortar, and joint ventures.
  2. The biggest “Aha!” moments most people have in life is that life is all about the energy enjoyed through good relationships – being a great friend. “Give me one more day at the office,” is not the dominant last wish.  What can you do over this season to deepen, strengthen, and breathe new life into your friendships?  How will you celebrate with your friends and family when the restrictions are lifted?
  3. Feeling respected is as massive a motivator as feeling disrespected acts like a mood hoover! Of course, demanding respect is a recipe for trouble (in English culture) so best to fall back on that law of influence: reciprocity.  If you want more respect, give more respect!  Then notice what comes back to you!  If nothing comes back, get new friends!
  4. Developing a sense of being Captain of your own ship, directing your own destiny, is a great energising experience. These last few weeks will have highlighted to many those areas of their lives that they appear to have no direct control over.  This is one reason why it is vital to cherish everything within your ‘circle of control’.  Even matters as simple as small choices can energise you.  For example, can you control when you get up and when you go to bed?  Can you control the time you go outside for exercise?  Listing ten things you can control will shift your focus towards what empowers you.
  5. Feeling prosperous helps energise us too… thus a little bit of retail therapy is good therapy at the moment. Give yourself a treat!  The buzz, we know, doesn’t last long, but it is a buzz, nevertheless.  Then if you want to plan a future where you have more financial stability and freedom of choice, think about the first point where I recommended building assets.
  6. A golden opportunity at the moment is to upskill. The military have three major strands to their success: they are in the theatre of activity, or they are recharging, or they are training.  Now is the time for you to accelerate your pathway to becoming a key person of influence in your Industry or Profession.  The popular myth is that it takes 10,000 hours to develop mastery.  This is likely to be too much of a generalisation, but it will most certainly take time.  Throw time into training!  Be excellent!
  7. The vast majority of the human species find being creative energising too. What arts or crafts or engineering could you turn your attention to at this time?  I suspect England will become a Nation of tidy gardens!  Fix that car, build that shed, grow those beans, paint that picture, make that pot, write that song!  Hey, if you write that hit song, you’ll have an asset!
  8. The one motivational/soul-nutritional force you and I are really going to have to get creative about is ‘freedom’. To switch off, I’ve been watching YouTube videos about living off-grid!  I’m not sure if this is freedom or opting out but it reminds of that verse from Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street” where he sings, “He’s got this dream about buying some land
    He’s gonna give up the booze and the one-night stands
    And then he’ll settle down
    In some quiet little town
    And forget about everything.”  Remember “Braveheart”?  Freedom is one thing we must regain and amplify.
  9. The final energetic force is finding meaning. The woo-woo aspect of this – finding our mission in life, our raison d’être, why we’re here, seems beyond most people.  After all, we’re not all Elon Musk.  However, reading his biography, it’s fascinating to wonder if he would be the driven personality he is without the major pains and difficulties he’s been through.  Viktor Frankl in his transformational work, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” helps us understand that finding meaning even in Nazi concentration camps makes all the difference when seeking to live Life to the full.

Got it?
Get stable, improve your friendships, garner respect, strengthen what you control, work towards more prosperity, study to become excellent in your field, get more creative, relish every freedom you have, and find meaning in whatever you go through – do these things and your energy will skyrocket like an Elon Musk invention!


To get help activating all this energetic potential, I recommend a chat with my Motivational Mapping colleague Marion Hewitt or with me.

Marion reminds me that she has been offering a complimentary coaching session to anyone that would like an opportunity to take an hour to think about something related to work or their business, balancing different areas of life, wider life goals, or whatever they would like to use it for.


That’s a very generous offer that I cannot match!


Both of us can help you understand your motivators and how knowing and increasing motivation in these areas will help you, both with strategies now and going forward.

For those ready to excel in this, either of us can help you with your Motivational Map – not for free as the profiles cost us to purchase, but at a sensible cost to help you invest in a better future for you and your family and your firm.

In therapeutic terms, I’m so glad that we’ve got Kay Harrington, Julie Sharp, and Russell Thackeray in our network (and my own therapist, Kim Searle, works miracles!)  Now’s an ideal time to dig deep, and get reflective, with professional help.

The first two characteristics – Movement and Nutrition (or Motivation) now move us on to…

3 Reproduction

Something Rabbits are famed for!  Reproduction is about ensuring your talent is passed on.  Teachers reproduce talent in their subject areas.  Coaches help you do this too, so it’s a great opportunity to give a shout out to someone who has often brought insight into my life: Simon ‘Eleanor’ Rigby.

One of the rich resources we have in our network is the number of coaches we’ve attracted.  There is sure to be one who will take the spark of your talent and fan it into a raging inferno.

4 Excretion

Yes, poop is a part of living a Life to the full!  If you caught Julie Sharp’s presentation, you’ll have been surprised as I was to learn just how much crap programming is installed in our minds and personalities by the time we’re seven years old.  Anybody who has ever suffered with constipation will know the joy that comes when the wait is over.

That’s easy to understand on a physical level, but know for sure that the limiting beliefs – PUT there by OTHER people without YOUR PERMISSION –  do way more damage than constipation.  Work with Julie or Kay or Russell to get this mess out of your head and out of the way!

If I may make a recommendation, check out, “The Eight Rules of the School of Life,” on YouTube.  It’s helping me deal with some of the waste products Life can sometimes dish up!

5 Growth

All Living Organisms grow!  In one of my favourite movie quotes, Duke Leto Atreides turns to his son and says,

“I’ll miss the sea, but a person needs new experiences.  They jar something deep inside, allowing him to grow.  Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens.

The sleeper must awaken!”

Life isn’t going to go back to how it was before.  It’s always changing, but for once, we can all consciously notice these huge changes we’re are experiencing collectively.

There’s a sleeper in you waiting to arise and grow, waiting to rise and shine.  That sleeper must awaken.

This is far more rewarding and satisfying where the awakening is a conscious one.  How would you like to grow?

Character?  Capital?  Connections?

6 Respiration

Respiration is give-and-take.  It’s breathing in AND out.  It’s ebb and flow.  To live Life to the full, some of us are going to have learn to take more of what we want.  Others are going to have to give more.  The power is in the balance.  Take, take, take and you’ll pop!  Give, give, give and you’ll expire.


7 Sensitivity

On the radio shows we’ve been recording, one of the fascinating moments is where the guest star gets to give a shout out to another member of the network.  One name has come up time and time again: Jamie Forster.

Jamie either has an empathetic gift or has developed a talent for empathy.  If you’re quiet when he’d expect more ‘noise’ from you, he’ll check in to make sure you’re OK.  And if you lie to him, saying you’re fine when you’re not, he’ll know.

In my experience, Dawn Palmer and Chris Heffer have similar gifts – and I am certain you have connections that pick up on the messages between the lines for you.  Living Organisms are sensitive.  The more sensitivity we can develop towards our friends, colleagues, family, competitors, community, and ourselves, the more of ‘Life’ we are going to experience.


That’s it, then, the secret of Life.

If you want to enjoy more of a Life to full:

  • Get moving
  • Tap into the energy available from all nine motivators
  • Share your talent with the world
  • Deal with the rubbish that’s been holding you back for years – with professional help
  • Go for growth – in character as well as capital!
  • Learn to balance your input and output, your give and take, your ebb and flow
  • And press pause, listen, and become more sensitive to others and to yourself.

Remember, the sleeper must awaken!


A TBN Online Member

The slides as a video…


And as a downloadable podcast…


If you are curious about developing assets, there are so many people to recommend.

I’ve mentioned Sarah and Eliot and there is also Stuart Buchan, of course.  There will be more folks able to help and these are the first three that come to mind.

If you’d like to listen to a book on building wealth, here’s a book on the subject I ghost-wrote for the economist, Kevin Whelan…

The Boardroom Broadcasting Celebrities

Episodes 1-10

  1. Dawn Palmer
  2. Gary Buglass
  3. Christopher Mark Hughes
  4. Sam Dyer
  5. Michael Collins (Parental Advisory!)
  6. Paula Baker
  7. Andrew Bunt
  8. Chris Muirhead
  9. Ellen Stokes
  10. Sarah Phillips