The Safest Anti-Depressant drug anyone can ever take.

(Not on antidepressants? Then miss out this first paragraph.)

health warning. Do not abruptly stop taking most psychiatric drugs. Most psychiatric drugs are far more dangerous to take than people realise, but they also can become dangerous when discontinued too abruptly. Most have addictive qualities and can produce withdrawal symptoms that are emotionally and physically distressing, and sometimes even life-threatening. These drugs include neuroleptics or antipsychotics, such as Haloperidol or Olanzapine; antidepressants, such as Citalopram and Sertraline; stimulants such as Ritalin; minor tranquillisers, such as Diazepam; and prescription sedatives or sleeping pills. (see here) Stopping psychiatric drugs should usually be done gradually and with professional guidance. No generalised information can substitute for individualised medical or psychological care, however it is important to find help that is consistent with your own philosophy, and our approach is offered in that spirit.

The safest antidepressant treatment is undoubtedly Auto Therapeutic Medication (ATM) – that is, the antidepressants you create in your own system, at the strength your body knows it needs, with your own inbuilt chemical plant.

The sweet counter at Fortnum and Mason, Piccadilly, London.
The sweet counter at Fortnum and Mason, Piccadilly, London. Therapeutic pills galore!

There are literally dozens of different types of ATM drugs and, though you may not know their assigned names, your body will already be familiar with them. They have NO unwanted side effects, NO toxicity, and NO stomach upsets. They do not need to be taken every day, or at any particular time of day, though their benefit can be felt whenever you need it, and you can take one on demand. They have NO withdrawal symptoms (or ‘discontinuation syndrome’ as your GP is likely to call the often debilitating – and occasionally horrendous – results) and you can DOUBLE the dose whenever you like with NO increase in harm. If you feel a bit miserable, take several at once.

HOWEVER, just like any other psychotropic drug, the WAY you take your self-produced Auto Therapeutic Medication REALLY DOES MATTER. It needs to be taken with the right THOUGHTS in your mind, associated to the right WORDS spoken before, during, and after you take it, and with a similar RITUAL that you use when taking any other drug, even simple painkillers like asprin.

The range of ATM medication in your body is huge. You can get ATMs that literally help you take exams, calm you down when driving the car or under stress, and help you come off drugs prescribed by your GP or psychiatrist. Others will enable you to sleep better, improve your sex life, and overcome phobias.

First of all, let me make clear that for many many people ATMs can be very effective. They are real, not imaginary, chemicals. Their efficacy is 100% dependent on your own natural internal ‘pharmacy’, and firing up the ATM is like pressing a button in the chemical production plant inside your body that produces all the essential therapeutic drugs you currently need for your physical and psychological wellbeing.

In order to press that button you do NOT even need to actually put a physical tablet in your mouth. It is perfectly possible to issue an order to start production, and like any good production plant what the boss decides starts to happen. Literally.  Real chemicals.

Your internal drug production plant can be switched on by many things. Here are just three of many:

1. Your production of endorphins (‘self-originated morphine’ – the word comes from ‘endo’: ‘self-‘ and ‘orphin’: from ‘morphine’) is switched on by particular kinds of EXERCISE, which is one reason your doctor recommends physical exercise for your wellbeing.

2. You production of adrenalin is fired, not just by experiencing a REAL disaster or trauma, but by you sufficiently IMAGINING DISASTER OR TRAUMA – as any horror movie maker and adventure park designer knows only too well.

3. If you imagine a deliciously prepared and gorgeously presented dish of your FAVOURITE FOOD, your mouth begins to water in response to your being stimulated by the thought. (Try it.)

Cuddling a PET or BABY, or giving someone a HUG or KISS is a trigger too.

Here is how it works:
Taking Auto Therapeutic Medication requires the multi-sensory stimulation of your brain. It requires – at least until your body has got used to it when you will self-medicate ATM automatically as situations arise – that you associate the process with THREE things:

Physical Action.
Your brain’s chemical plant is switched on by ACTION. You need to reach out to an imaginary bottle of imaginary tablets, or a sheet of imaginary foil-wrapped capsules, and use your real physical hands to remove the ATM, look at it carefully, and put it in your mouth, swallowing it with a real glass of water. (Some people like to replace the imaginary bottle with a packet of ‘Smarties’, but I don’t particularly recommend that as there are a few minor risks attached – though nothing like the risks associated with taking real antidepressants.)

Linguistic Stimulation.
Your brain’s chemical plant is switched on by INSTRUCTIONS. These may come from anybody and anything, but because you are the person most affected by the chemical production I highly recommend that you programme it to ONLY accept instructions that YOU have specifically given. The words you say and the words you THINK, change your brain. Make sure they are going to serve you well. Thoughts are stored bio-chemically in the body, so make sure yours are good.

Strong Imagery.
Your brain’s chemical plant is switched on by IMAGERY. Imagine taking a simple pill that will force you to feel great but cannot do harm. You decide on the colour, and whether it is a capsule or an ordinary round tablet. You decide on the size, as bigger ATMs tend to work better than smaller ones. You decide on the strength (If you find big ones harder to swallow then you can choose a smaller high-strength one if you prefer.) What you IMAGINE always affects the behaviour of your brain. It is well known in the pharmaceutical industry that RED tablets have a different effect than BLUE ones.

Recreational drugs make people feel good for a time, but their effects can be DISASTROUS in the medium to longer term. ATMs are completely harmless in the normal run of things, and because your brain perceives them as an instruction to start up the chemical production, for many people they REALLY WORK, producing REAL CHEMICALS in your brain.

As the man said, “According to your faith be it unto you.” In other words, you decide: increase your faith and you’ll get a more powerful result. For many many people, Auto Therapeutic Medication is just what they need to get them through the more emotionally disturbing periods of their life.

For more information on AutoTherapeutic Medication, or a conversation with our ATM specialist, click through to our Contacts page and just ask. Our phone contact number is on that website too.  We are here for you.

Moving out of the Quit Zone

I recently found myself in the Quit Zone again, that patch of a project, a friendship, maybe a job – and for some people, even life itself – where the desire to quit is very strong. Or maybe very VERY strong.

It surfaces as a response to other highly motivating emotions like disappointment, failure (again), rejection, and shame, or ignorance, incapacity and pain.IMG_2536

I’ve been in the Quit Zone many times, and the decision I made each time changed my life. Every Quit Zone decision does. As I look back on decades of decisions, most of them were just fine, the normal decisions we make in choosing our way forward. I work on the theory that in general, given time, one choice tends to emerge as the favourite ‘obvious’ one, so I go for it. Or not, as the case may be! When it is not so clear, either choice will be fine – I just need to make one.

But more serious Quit Zone decisions are different. The stakes are higher. They usually involve your career, your health, your financial security, and those you really love, and draw out the need to address high value character traits – courage, resilience, boldness, emotional strength.

I want to quit when:

  • I’m facing abuse, rejection or deliberately being ignored.
  • It seems the only way out of a perceived trap.
  • I want to revert to being a little boy, not a man.
  • I have run out of energy and am very tired.
  • The next ‘step’ is actually a massive leap with seemingly huge consequences.
  • Self pity kicks in.
  • I stop caring.

Although quitting is undoubtedly the wisest decision sometimes, quitting brings its own set of new problems that have to be faced and overcome.

Revelation – you can be better without being bitter

In the apocalyptic end-of-the-world vision called the Book of Revelation – the writer, banished to work in the mines of a small Greek island as punishment for sticking with his religious beliefs, writes to a little community in Laodicea on the mainland. He describes his vision of God saying to these people in effect:

“You don’t have what it takes right now.
I’m knocking on your door. Open the door to my help.
I will strengthen you, toughen you up so that you can overcome the challenges you face.
It will be a bit of a furnace, but you’ll come through it richer, more refined, without the shame you currently feel, and victorious.”

Note that the reward is for those who overcome, not to those who have no battle, nor those who have backed away from the fire, nor those who have never experienced the Quit Zone. Tough times can make the man and woman however young or old they are.

Tough people press through the challenge and reemerge on the other side ‘better, not bitter’.

If you’re in the Quit Zone today, decide what you want, act towards it, see what happens, and adjust. It may turn out differently from what you fear.

It has for me.

Thinking in the Rain.

How is this for an idyllic place to rest?  

No, it isn’t Sue’s – she likes a warm bathroom, a loo, lots of home comforts, and a proper bed. But it is mine, although it has had none of those comforts (and I like them too!) but, I think you’ll agree, a stunning backdrop for listening and learning.  And it was where I camped on my first night, in the Picos de Europa, a breathtakingly beautiful national park in the north of Spain.

And where it started to rain. And rain.  See the clouds? In fact they were part of the weather system that hit the UK on Sunday night, with 80mph winds.  IMG_1573

But rainy days are part of life, and part of travelling too. Venturing beyond the confines of my comfortable home, I can expect the unexpected and learn to adjust.  The trips I do are an essential part of my work as a personal development consultant, helping me to keep a healthy perspective on people, life, and the world. Yes, I’m one of those people who get a lot of reward from taking time to think, and of being with this sort of magnificent display of the Creator’s art.  It resources me so I can better serve the world.

And, yes, for the interested observer, the bike is different too. The BMW 1200GS has gone to a good home, and I’m now riding a little Burgman 400 scooter.  Times change, don’t they? No major ‘off-road’ travel or 135mph across Germany, but an easy ride, and it will still go across fields and down gravel back-roads to the quieter places in our world (though the ground clearance isn’t brilliant and the frame a bit flexible).

Brittany Ferries sent me a text to say they had cancelled the ferry back from Spain, so I drove back through France in a day (getting lost in the backroads of Northern France somewhere and assailed by constant driving, gusty, rain) and caught the overnight ferry. I helped a retired couple on an ‘aire’ in the middle of France somewhere and we shared some croissants and coffee as they told me about their personal challenges. And did 10/10 with a boy and his auntie at the Ouistream terminal at Caen over rabbit and chips. And laughed with a truck driver from Lincolnshire.

And as we crossed the Channel and the decks were swept by the storm outside, I slept like a log, tucked into the warm, quiet, ensuite complimentary cabin, courtesy of Brittany Ferries.  (Sue would have enjoyed that bit.)

Today I’m thinking about how I want Powerchange to go on helping people live more comfortably in their own skin.  Happier. Richer. Lovelier. Free from depression and the scars of sadness. At peace with themselves.   Personal happiness as their ‘default position’.  If you’d like to help me do that, or would simply appreciate a chat, I’d love to hear from you. Call me or email andrew(at)powerchange(dot)com. Or you can forward this to one of your friends.

Enjoy taking some time out to be with yourself in the next few days.  Schedule it.   A few hours.  A day.  For me this time it was a week. Think about how you can more effectively help others – especially those, as Chris De Burg puts it, standing in the rain.




Feel Like You are on a Lead?

The only reason, it seems to me, that we tame an animal is for our benefit. To have it work for us, feed us, entertain us, rescue us, protect us, guide us – or for use as a pet, a cuddly toy, or a plaything, or to bet on its performance. Of course we look after it and care for it, but it has no real choice.

‘Tamed’ is for animals …

Feel like you are on a lead? Trapped? Tamed? That isn’t what you were designed for. (c)

… NOT people. How many men and women do you know who have been tamed – by their wife, partner, husband, children, parents, boss, school, college, or professional body?

Tamed: Brought into line. Forced to comply. Bullied into submission.  “So break their spirit. Trick them into being controlled. Without them realising until it is too late.”

And there is always a plausible excuse: Order. Safety. Control. The Money.  “It’s for the best.”

How have you been tamed?
Emasculated. Enslaved. Indentured. Dehumanised. Handcuffed to a job, a way of life, a habit, a culture, a partner, a pay cheque, a trauma, a professional body, a thought pattern. Brought under control. Subject to the will, whim or pleasure of another. Tamed by greater power, physical violence, pain, fear, psychotherapeutic drugs, a court, money. Think about it.

In people, tame is not good. You were designed to be free, able to choose at least something of your destiny, without others interfering, limiting, cracking the whip, or writing an unnecessary prescription. Designed to be free, not impoverished or imprisoned, or chemically coshed.

Weakness tames us, whether caused by any of the above, or by poverty, ignorance, violence, shame, or injustice.

Powerchange, on the other hand does the opposite. The Powerchange team is here to strengthen, liberate, and educate you. To free you. Our therapeutic coaching moves people out of the grip of shame, injustice and life-taming drugs (however well-intentioned the prescription) and, yes, clients ARE shocked when they realise how straightforward it was to ‘come free’, and how staying free is not a burden.

If this blog echoes with you, if you have found yourself on a lead, living a tamed life, surrendered, snared or struggling to resist (or snarling behind the bars) then please call me. Call me on my Direct Access number: 07771631945, or email     Let me help you find your hidden power.

And if you are free but have a friend or colleague who you suspect is being or has been tamed, whisper the word ‘Powerchange’ into their ear. Whisper it slowly “P-o-w-e-r-ch-a-n-g-e”and link us up – you’ll know how best to do that.

Andrew’s Secrets of Successful Coaching: #2

Here it is: Get to the Hidden Truth.

The important word here is ‘hidden’. Truth seems to come in at three levels, public, private and hidden.

Public Truth is what we tell other people is the truth. And it is of course, or at least some of the truth. None of it is technically untrue, but provides a favourable slant, putting us in a good light. (Or a self-deprecating light if we prefer that!)IMG_1924.JPG

Private Truth is the truth that we would rather our public did not know. We may confess it to a priest, a good friend, or a coach or counsellor, but it has a definite element of confidentiality about it. One reason for this confidentiality is that the consequences of that ‘truth’ getting out may be potentially very damaging, not just to us (not necessarily EVEN to us) but to others we care about or something else we value highly.

Hidden Truth is of a different order all together. It isn’t necessarily secret – though it may be. It is hidden. It is this ‘deep truth’ that we may not realise ourselves, so hidden it has become inaccessible to us. Initially we may have deliberately buried it deep, or distorted it to ourselves, so even we won’t be able to find it.  And then we discover how successful we’ve been: it is now distorting US and we can’t find it whatever we type into the ‘Search’ box of our memory.

I’ve been coaching professionally for 15 years now, and I reckon it is the revelation of this truth that is often the MOST freeing. When we’ve found the ‘file’ it is in, we can delete it, or at least restore it to its uncorrupted original.  It brings instant and wide-ranging freedom:

“My parents’ divorce never was my fault!”
“I couldn’t have made any difference to saving the girl’s life if I had wanted to.”
“I was only five – he was an adult.”

Signs of a Hidden Truth lurking:
“OK, so how do I know when there is a Hidden Truth distorting my life?”

You’ll know. Here is an incomplete list of signs:

  • Sabotaging yourself
  • Never quite succeeding for some reason
  • Going to great (irrational) lengths to avoid a particular situation 
  • NEVER (or ALWAYS!) doing this or that 
  • Feeling you need to be ‘careful’ all the time 
  • Never really knowing a ‘sense of abandon’
  • Never seeming to be able to shake off a sense of fear
  • Feeling ‘hampered’, as they say in snooker.

Even when the Hidden Truth reveals you were wrong, at least it gives an opportunity to accept that aspect of your humanity and grow some more, drawing useful learning from it for the future.  As I’ve said before, the chances are a person cannot get to this Hidden Truth by himself or herself. The person is too ‘inside’ it. So you need to see a pro – not least because friends and family are too close.  


A professional coach will ask the key questions no one else is asking, and won’t be swayed by red herrings or smoke screens (human beings are highly skilled at keeping hidden truth well and truly hidden) and won’t let you out of a bolt hole. After all, YOU want to get to it too, don’t you?  That is what a good coach will do for the client – get to it. He or she will ask questions – in a way that works – that reveals the Hidden Truth.

A pro will provide the solutions to SORTING IT OUT. And when all is revealed,  the source of the pain, discomfort or persistent unhappiness loses its power, and peace and joy become a much more real possibility.  More often than not the new understanding becomes highly useful and explains so much about your life that didn’t make sense before.  

That is my Second Secret of Successful Coaching: Get to the Hidden Truth. 

Andrew’s Secrets of Successful Coaching #1.

I’ve sometimes been asked how it is I am able to ‘get inside’ a client’s life and thinking so quickly. How is it I seem to know where to go in the coaching conversation? How is it they are so honest so quickly, often in a way they have never been with (literally) anyone else? What is the secret?SnapnDrag614

Take a few minutes off right now and read through this – to the end. It will definitely be worth it!

The secret isn’t particularly a secret, but in this day and age talking about a subject like this is emotive. People get sensitive about it, not least because it can be so misunderstood. Today I’m going to risk that misunderstanding, pluck up the courage to ‘come out’ and tell you.

Ready? Here it is: I choose to love my clients.

Simple, isn’t it? Whilst I am working with them, and actually from then on to one extent or another, I love them. Good old-fashioned human love. The love of one good person towards another. The stuff that makes the world work so much better.

Wholesome, honest, kind, honouring, ‘agape’ love. Love that is trustworthy. Love that is strong and challenging. Love that protects the wellbeing, respect and physical and emotional boundaries of another human being. Love that doesn’t exploit or abuse. Love that tells the truth, but not more than they can bear. Love that focuses on giving, not taking (‘Love’ that depletes the recipient is not love at all). Love that makes the giver vulnerable (as writing about it publicly like this does). Love that keeps the receiver safe.

Love that protects without being protective. Love that is direct without being directive. Love that sacrifices without being sacrificial. Love that is kind and shares.

Romanian village woman joyfully shares her apples.

Love that smiles, hugs and embraces – and buys the coffee. Love that is comfortably warm and has nothing to do with current concepts of ‘hot’. Love that goes the extra mile – and goes one more after that. And the kind of love that knows when to speak and when to listen. And love that willingly expresses its natural affection in a way that is healthy and welcome.

Just let me put on record that this is a million miles from the pseudo-love that is coercive, focused on sex, pitying, or even ‘charitable’ in the victorian sense of the word – or the sort of ‘love’ that creates an impression of kindness but is actually motivated by something more sinister, more one-sided. That kind of so-called ‘love’ is horrible, and such a distortion of the real thing. It is the greatest sadness to me that for many millions of people – maybe for one or two who will read this blog – it is the only understanding of the word ‘love’ they know.

Maybe that’s one particular reason I so enjoy Therapeutic Coaching. Apart from all the other good and liberating things it does, it empowers people to love.

I learnt primarily about love from my mother, but also from my mentor, Campbell McAlpine, both of whom demonstrated selfless acceptance of a young Andrew Sercombe, and provided me with the experiences of love I needed in order to love others – however inadequately I manage that, because as those close to me know, I’m not always loving. Sometimes I’m just plain selfish.

There are three things that we are told will endure for ever: faith, hope, and love. Without love there can be little trust, the trust which enables faith in others, and there is certainly no hope for our world in the future if love is missing. Who would look forward to a world like that? So the greatest of these three has to be…

Yep. Love.

PS: If you’ve got a problem with love – giving it, receiving it, or because someone has abused the concept – get in touch with me or at I or one of our coaching team may be able to help.


‘C’ stands for Control

The ‘C’ for Saturday is CONTROL

number five in thePowerchange ‘SEVEN’ course we are running at Bethany Cottage on Saturday’s once a month.  For most of us control is a BIG DEAL.screenshot_529

This is a MASSIVELY important thing to consider, as it impacts of so much of our lives and thinking.

Are we really in Control – do we want to be?

  • What about ‘luck’, chance, predestination, God, freewill, and mathematical randomness – where and how do they fit in?
  • What about the responsibilities I have?  If I have children or a job that involves 100s of other people’s lives – how do those responsibilities ‘dictate’ my life?
  • Or maybe it is  believing that I CAN be in control (or that I actually am in some way) that really matters?
  • Needless to say, what YOU think matters – or should that read: What you THINK matters?!  Of course it does.
  • When I feel such a small cog in such a big wheel, am I just deluding myself when I want to be in control – or it it wiser to give up – and how would that affect my life?
  • By the end of Saturday it will be nice to have some fresh perspectives (or whatever) that we can use to calm, reassure and inspire us.

There will, of course, be the gentle atmosphere of Bethany Cottage, the laughter, chatter, good food, and good company of the others in the group. If you’ve never been to one of these days and would like to join us on one in the future, let me know – or sign up on the front page of (right hand column!) and we’ll keep you in touch.

And while we are on the subject, what about people who want to control screenshot_528US? And how do we get back into control of things that have now taken us over – or are ‘beyond our control’?  How do we control other people?  Discipline? Punishment? Rules and Laws? Prison?  And then there is SELF-control. Do any of us have it?

And what about those of us who are born nonconformist?   😉

Maybe the need or desire to be in control is overrated, or control is a delusion and we can just give up and ‘go home’?  Then what?  

Well, I suspect that people WILL ‘go home’ at the end of the day (we’ve only so many beds!) but with some clearer thoughts, some peace of mind, and a more mature view of what Control might be about. Three ‘Top Truths’ about Control that can guide us, perhaps. Might be particularly useful in this pretty foundation-less and insecure world.

You could send me a quick comment on a time when you felt very out of control – and how you got BACK into control again.  Or didn’t.


The Tiger.

What empowers you, gets you out of bed and into your day each morning?  

Passion? Yes, it helps.  Determination? Yes, that too.  Fear? Definitely, though I’d prefer to call it something else.  Ambition? It plays a part. Providing for the Family? For many. screenshot_495A vision? Often. Love? Sometimes. Money?  Hatred? Longing for Justice? Pride? Hunger?  Blatant self interest? 

Most people seem to be motivated by a mix of these and a million other motivators (as many as we have a word for), some pulling us forward, some pushing us from behind. We are driving TOWARDS one thing whilst actively trying to get AWAY FROM something else. Towards success, away from failure. Towards recognition, away from insignificance. Towards prosperity, away from poverty. Whole libraries have been written to support  one motivational theory or another. One thing seems clear. Whether we have noticed what it is or not, each of us is motivated by SOMETHING – three things – and it is better for everyone if they enhance our world rather than damage it.

Identify three motivators that energise you, and chose one for each of these categories:

My Public Motivator. It’s the one you tell people inspires you, and is likely to appear noble, good and admirable. It is rational, thought out, smells good and is suitably dressed.

My Private Motivator. The one that you suspect might be more honest, but wouldn’t want to admit to in public, or at least not beyond your circle of close trusted friends. It’s the one you are more likely to think about when you are standing alone naked in front of the mirror. 

My Secret Motivator. Not so easy, is it? This is the tiger that you’d prefer didn’t exist yet subtly controls your everyday life from its underground den. The one that you suspect is there but have screenshot_496managed to avoid discussing with yourself for fear it is too wild for you to control. You’ve kept well clear for years – banished – and successfully made the resulting gap a no-go area. 

Funnily enough, seeking out this apparent monster, freeing it from its exile and bringing it fully into your life completely transforms it from a source of terror to a source of power. It is unlikely that you’ll be able to do it alone. It is something that we do with our Powerchange clients in the gentle confidentiality of a specialist coaching appointment. Slowly the client meets and makes friends with the tiger and realises it’s strength is available for them to use. The unknown they feared is no more. They are empowered, more not less in control and as a consequence, can relax and, no longer under threat, can be more honest too. Much happier. Motivated at a much deeper level – by good things. 

How about discovering your Secret Motivator?  We’re here to help.

When you’d like to let the cat out of the bag, just let me know.


Acceptance or Affection?

Acceptance or affection – what would your priority choice be?

two children hugging
Tender picture of a little girl showing her brother(?) how much she loves him!  (Borrowed from It seems to be a neat little multi-faith site and worth the visit I made to it.)

I’ve thought a lot about it this month  – not least because we are running the next ‘C’ in the SEVEN series in Powerchange and its ‘Clarity’ and as I was preparing the course I wanted clarity on this for me.  Acceptance or Affection?

For me it is definitely affection.  Acceptance is great, but affection is better.  Acceptance is an early condition that allows affection to flow, but affection changes us at a different level.  Acceptance makes the connection.  Affection is the content. It is the oil, acceptance is the pipeline and tap. Affection ‘affects’ us, pouring in the tenderness and warmth, the love that human beings are designed to respond to…

… provided it is sincere.  I guess insincere ‘affection’ is no more than treating the other person as a toy. I’m not even going to suggest ‘sincere affection’ as a qualifier, because affection HAS to be sincere in order to fulfil the definition.

Affection is giving not taking.  It means something is transferred from one person to another. Affection is transforming – even in animals. Their heart rate slows, breathing becomes deeper,  ‘good’ chemicals flow around their arteries and into their cells. Oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine.

Affection  – bring it on!  Sex is about reproduction. Making love is about affection. A kiss on each cheek is (normally – there are notable exceptions) about acceptance.  A sincere durable hug is more affectionate. Affection – the expression of sincere love.

Affection. It grows as it is spread around. People around you are desperate for some. Share some today.



So far to go?

I was mentored for three decades by Campbell McAlpine, an amazing man who I met when I was 24 and he was 56. I looked up to him as a role model, and a second father in many ways.

The epitome of a wise man. Gracious, perceptive, gentle, strong.
The epitome of a wise man. Gracious, perceptive, gentle, strong.

He was the father my old Dad could never be – however hard he tried! Campbell was amazing.  He accepted me just as I was and was kind enough not to leave me there.  Campbell died in 2009, but his spirit lives on in my head and my life. He taught me so much, and you’ve benefitted from his wisdom … and yes, you’re about to benefit from it again!

Campbell loved words. He was a persuasive public speaker, had several books published, recorded sets of CDs and thousands of tapes. (Yes, cassettes. It was a while ago, remember!)  Here are some of his favourite sayings that have impressed themselves on me.  Choose one for yourself and let it sink in:

1. “The room for improvement is the biggest room in the world – and I’m in it.”

2. “Andrew, go for influence, not prominence.”

3. “Live like a leader.”

3. “Andrew, have you got five minutes?” Yes, Campbell?  “Clean the car!” (My car, not his! He was a stickler for valuing and looking after things you have.)

But the one that was a challenge for me was “The thing is, I’ve so far to go.” (said in a Scots accent:  “…faar ta goo.”)  What, Campbell?  The most saintly person I knew?  If he had so far to go, I thought, I haven’t started yet.  But I have grown to realise that ALL of us, however far we’ve come, have faar ta goo. I don’t take this on board as a challenge that taunts me with an ever receding horizon, but simply as a reminder that I’m not in a situation where I can brag about my ‘arrival’ in life. We are invited, not to reach some impossible ideal perfection, but simply to keep walking and to get up when we fall. I’m invited to remind myself and others that the next mile is worth it, has never been travelled before (by anyone) and has something to teach me, something for me to experience that will enrich my life if I let it, and will enrich others’ lives when I share it.

… as I just have. Now its your turn to share Campbell’s legacy, and my legacy, and now your legacy. What you are discovering, plant it into the life of another person, and make the world a better place.