People pleasing doesn't guarantee popularity

Do you ever say yes, when you want to say no?

If you do, maybe you do it to be kind or to be liked. 

Only - that approach comes at a price and doesn't necessarily work...

I hope you will find this short (just a little more than one minute) video useful.  


Why hold back when you can give it all?

"I see a musician in you, but not a singer."
Manuel Provençal, who helps leaders in one of my leadership programmes to free their voices, was told this when he was a student at the Conservatoire de musique et d'art dramatique du Québec.

The teacher wasn't questioning Manuel's voice, she was referring to the fact that Manuel didn't show his emotions. To touch the hearts of an audience, you need to show a little of your own. Manuel didn't do that. He kept his emotions in check, not feeling them, not showing them.

When he understood that this behaviour was no longer protecting, but limiting him, he decided to overcome his fears. It was time to grow as a person.

When he began to feel and show his emotions, he could be both a musician and a singer. Manuel has since sung in operas such as Mozart's Don Giovanni and Verdi's La Bohème.

This video (created for my latest book release) is a perfect illustration of Manuel as a focused but seemingly "cold" musician vs Manuel as a singer - showing his heart so much that he touches ours.


There may be times when it is a good idea to be the focused musician.

Other times it might be great to be the singer, to show your heart.

I hope you dare to do and be both.


Your ethical will: What will your final blessing be?

This series of blog posts is inspired by Steve Leder's book For You When I am Gone.

When I set out to write and share these blog posts, I didn't really know what to expect, but I have enjoyed the reflection and clarity it has given me. I hope you have enjoyed your own journey as you have followed me through these questions.

We have come to the final question. What will your final blessing be?

To answer this, imagine that you can attend your own funeral and whisper a final blessing to your loved ones. What will you say to them?

Here are a few examples from the book:

Be kind to each other, take care of each other, and never forget how important your family is to your life.

Please take care of my wife. I can’t be there for her now - so I beg you to grant her comfort and respect the fullness of your love. Please be blessings to each other, celebrate with each other, stay close to each other.

Find work you enjoy well enough and perform it with integrity. Dance, sing, and swim with abandon - especially in foreign waters. Travel to expand your heart and understanding of others. Listen to live music. Let loose sometimes.


As soon as I understood the task - to imagine what I would say to my loved ones if I could speak to them at my funeral - I thought of the beautiful poem I first heard in the TV series After Life: Immortality.

That poem is what I would like to whisper into the ears of my loved ones at my funeral.

You can watch and listen to "Lisa's poem" from After Life here.


Do not stand

By my grave, and weep.

I am not there,

I do not sleep—

I am the thousand winds that blow

I am the diamond glints in snow

I am the sunlight on ripened grain,

I am the gentle, autumn rain.

As you awake with morning’s hush,

I am the swift, up-flinging rush

Of quiet birds in circling flight,

I am the day transcending night.

Do not stand

By my grave, and cry—

I am not there,

I did not die.

/Clare Harner, The Gypsy, December 1934

Then I would add:

Whenever you need me, just listen to your heart. I will be there. Always.

What will you whisper to your loved ones as a final blessing?  


Your ethical will: What will your epitaph say?

Welcome to tell your life story by answering 12 questions!

This series of blog posts is inspired by the book For you when I am gone by Steve Leder.

Together we will answer one question at the time, giving us a story to share with our loved ones. We will also give ourselves a chance to reflect. Are we living according to our values?

You are more than welcome to share your answer in a comment.

As Steve Leder puts it:

Telling our stories is a way to share whatever meaning and joy we have found along the way, the depth of our love for others and for life itself.

To share our story with someone is to say, you matter to me.

Question 11:  What will your epitaph say?

According to Steve, most of us feel like an imposter at some point because we are not really who others believe we are. To align as much as we can to our values, we need to know them well. Writing an epitaph while we are still alive can give us the clarity we need.

“Whether or not you plan to have a grave or a headstone, you can use the constraints they require to clarify your purpose: distilling the essence of your life down to four lines with no more than fifteen characters per line.”

Here are two examples from the book:

“Loving mother & Friend

Because nothing else matters.”


“In the end, together again.”


It didn’t take me long to come up with the essence of my epitaph - but it took me a while to shorten it to fit into the epitaph format of 4 lines with up to 15 characters per line:

Touching hearts

& Opening minds

She loved

And was loved

What will your epitaph say?

Are you living up to the words?

If not, it’s never too late to change...


Your ethical will: What is good advice?

Welcome back to Twelve essential questions to tell a life story.

By joining me in twelve blog posts you will create what Rabbi Leder calls your ethical will.

By answering the questions your loved ones will get to know you deeper and you will understand yourself better. 

Let your memories bring meaning!

To join – read the blog posts, reflect on the questions and write your own answers. You are very welcome to share them in the comments. 

What is good advice?

The more life experience I gather, the less advice I give - unless someone explicitly asks for it.

For this exercise though, I get to share advice to those who will be around when I am gone.

What Steve has in mind when he asks us to share good advice is to write down five sayings that encapsulate the accrued wisdom of our life experience.

I have collected such sayings ever since I was a little girl and my friend Eva and I wrote expressions and slogans down in notepads and shared them with each other. Nowadays I write them in the back of my Holistic Time Management Planner.

As Steve writes:

“Aphorisms, expressions, proverbs, and slogans are crystalized wisdom to guide the people we love in life and long after with just a few simple and vitally important words.”

Before I tell you which ones I have selected, I will share five sayings from the book:

Above all, do no harm.
This is of course important for all of us. When I studied to become a life coach this was one of the first things we were told. 

Don't major in the minors.
I like this one since it is similar to the advice I give when I help people find time and energy: Don't sweat the small stuff. 

Here are a few funny ones from the book: 

The first rule of bankruptcy law.

“If something starts fucked up it usually ends fucked up. ”

On respect:

The boss isn’t always right but (s)he’s still the boss.

On doctors and auto mechanics:

If they look, they find.

Here is my collection of advice for my loves ones:

Remember that there is no reality, only perception. As Hamlet said:

There is nothing either good or bad

but thinking makes it so

Leave out any judgement of yourself and others. I like what Dale Carnegie said:

Any fool can criticise, condemn and complain - and most fools do.

There will be ups and downs in your life. You may not like every down, but you would not enjoy the ups without them. In the painful moments, remember what Winston Churchill said:

If you’re going through hell, keep going.

The walk through hell can be tough, but remember that while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Let the pain flow through you rather than getting stuck deep inside. Dare to feel every emotion that comes to you.

And most of all, always remember:

Det löser sig. 

It will work out. You may not know how or when, but it will work out. It always does.


Now it's your turn. 

What 5 top sayings do you want your loved ones to keep in mind?


Your ethical will: How do you want to be remembered?

Welcome back to Twelve essential questions to tell a life story.

By joining me in twelve blog posts you will create what Rabbi Leder calls your ethical will.

By answering the questions your loved ones will get to know you deeper and you will understand yourself better. 

Let your memories bring meaning!

To join – read the blog posts, reflect on the questions and write your own answers. You are very welcome to share them in the comments.

How do you want to be remembered?

To my surprise, many people who were quoted in the book answered this question with specific details. For example:

“I am hiking among tall redwood trees, wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. I am fifty years old, with my dog.”

If you have followed me long enough to know one of my favourite artists, you will understand why I like this answer:

“Maybe I am on the beach, it’s a warm day, and I’m in a long, flowy white dress. I am with Elvis.”

When I think of my mother, I don’t think of her in one way, or at one age. It varies. Sometimes I see her as she looked in her sixties, sometimes as I remember her in her forties, and - surprisingly - sometimes I think of her in her twenties, the way I see her on photographs from that time.

I don’t want to be remembered at a certain age or in particular clothes. I want everyone who remembers me to remember me in their own way.

I want my loved ones to remember my smile, my inner drive and most of all my love. And then I hope each and every person who has met me will have their own treasured memories and moments with me that they can look back on with a warm feeling in their heart.

How do you want to be remembered?


How to find time in September. Long term planning

Welcome to How to find time in September!

At this time of year we still have some time to achieve goals we set at the beginning of the year. Long term planning will help us get from where we are to where we want to be.

This month I am going to tell you about 3 different ways of planning to achieve goals. As I explain in the video, different approaches are suitable for different types of goals. 

Tools and guidance

After you have watched the video, decide what approach will help you best. 

Do you know what you need to do to get to your goal?
Then use a work breakdown structure.
You can find a good description here.

Is it a goal you don't really know how to achieve?
Use a problem statement and an issue tree.
Read this blogpost about how to use a problem statement and 
Read this blogpost about how to use an issue tree.

Is it a goal, or even a dream, where progress is more important than meeting a specific deadline?
Use the Vision-Next Step approach I describe in the video.

I hope you will enjoy finding time!