Hey – good to meet you virtually :o)

“I want to make people happy.”
— Anita @4 years old…

I see myself as an iterative process – a collective of my past, present, and future. A work in progress of sorts – as the living, breathing, human system that I am and am becoming as I interact with my social, and environmental context.

Each moment of life is an interesting approach toward my favorite new Core Value Driver – Allostasis.

I know – this is way too philosophically loaded to be an intro for a normal human. But I’m not normal. No one is.

We’re all our unique version of a Being that wants to find belonging, meaning, love and joy, and all that inside the complex interplay of the elements of the human condition.

Which is why I’m also not offering to, or hoping to decipher our existential conundrum. Instead – I aim for allostasis, because I’d rather figure out how to reduce friction and noise, in order to amplify the ‘volume’ of the positive and enriching experiences afforded to us in life.

It starts with the question we (you too) should ask ourselves:

Why do I do, what I do, when I do it?

No – not for EVERYTHING you ever do. Just the important things for this moment. These ‘important things’ will be subjective to you, and will change as you move through life.

And you should let them – that’s the meaning of life.

Each change holds a gift package – like in games. But just like in games, you’d have to pass through the challenge to get the gift… you collect a ‘power-up‘ – it makes you stronger for the next challenge. And the next.

A game would be boring if the challenges stop.

Let that sink in.


Having an understanding of the basic mechanisms of human behaviour (including your own), is critical for clarity and any hope of self-compassion. Clarity and compassion can lead to understanding and hope for acceptance for your journey (Tara Brach, Ph.D.) Which in turn, will afford you the chance to reduce friction by rewiring how you do what you do when you do it…

That’s been my experience and the basis of how I work with clients now. I call myself an Activation Catalyst. I aim to activate your inner power to find your own solutions that are most likely to last.

I believe my journey began when I was 4 years old. With the phrase: “I want to make people happy.” That was my confident reply when adults asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Now I’m not sure where that came from – but it was certainly a conversation stopper when coming out of a 4 year old… adults didn’t know what to do with THAT. Most kids wanted to be singers, doctors, firefighters – something concrete and heroic.

Me – I’m told by my family – I spent my early years trying every sport and skills workshop that dared cross my path (including circus art!). I took every spare moment to pull my friends together and choreograph dance routines, which we’d practice relentlessly and enter competitions with.

I even remember establishing our cheerleading team in high school.

Shy, retiring, and introverted were not in my natural traits inventory.

But I was told by the adults in my life that I was: stubborn, pushy, opinionated. I should stop trying to optimise stuff or work outside the norm, instead, I should follow the rules!

I was told by my budding peers to “live a little” – mostly because of my relentless pursuit of better and my natural inclination to dig deep into details and think through things from different angles.

The headline in all of this was that I couldn’t (and actively avoided) being streamlined into one topic.

But pretty soon, the usual societal questions were raised around me: “What is your one thing?“, “When will you find your ‘passion’ and really make an impact in that?“, “You really should choose one thing and stick with it – you can’t be interested in everything”

And “You know – jack of all trades – master of…

Meanwhile in every 9-5 I ever held – I’d move from entry to the top of that position’s natural trajectory within 9-12 months. Then I’d need to look elsewhere. This matters because it should have given me a sign of my tendency to non-conformity and built-in hunger for novelty, variety and discovery.

I learned fast. I moved faster. I did things once. Then I’d optimise each consecutive time. I operated with a relentless action-bias. Insatiable curiosity.

I loved to move physically and mentally. Physically I moved daily (I LOVE to work out). Mentally I conquered whatever my context required me to understand. If a problem needed solving for me or someone I valued, I was in.

Whatever caught my interest, caught me DEEP. Then it went BROAD, connecting to other ideas that seemed to have nothing in common. The reaction was fast and immutable – like a lightning strike!

And then – alchemy!

Idea babies that people seemed to understand, get excited about, and ask for more. It turns out I’m pretty ok at concentrating concepts, information, and their purpose.

BUT – this was my M.O. only for the things I got fired-up about. If a topic held no interest or purpose for me – it was pure dread.

Meanwhile – the majority of my external context was not a fitting environment for how I was naturally wired. The prompts and signals to conform kept bleeping back from most interactions. Even those closest to me tried to ‘get me in line‘.

So I – being highly astutely aware of human emotional states – started slowly closing off the real me. I started turning off my lights one by one – just so I don’t make others uncomfortable.

I tried to do things the right way. I did the things that people needed done (me and my action-bias right). And with each move through to conformity city, I lost another bit of the real me. I closed off another part of the bits I found interesting.

And little by little my city went dark…

And in the ‘darkness,’ I dedicated myself to looking for my ‘one thing‘ – that passion I was supposed to give myself to, for life. But my lights were out, and I had no idea who or why I was the version I’d now become?

Why am I telling you ALL of this…

Now – looking back I can see my ‘one thing thread‘ clear as daylight. It’s been there all along – at least since I was 4.

I LOVE the humanity of humans and am deeply fascinated by why each of us does what we do what we do when we do it.

Human behaviour and how we use it to make life more meaningful and joyful = my path.


You might think that it’s relatively easy to connect 40+ years of experiential ‘beats‘ in hindsight, and externalise them neatly in under a 40-sec read.

But it took me the cumulative reparative work through a major neck injury to ‘join the dots‘ on all of the above. To figure out why I’d switched my lights off. To then put a plan together to switch them back on – to walk myself back into who I truly was all along.

So you can see – cultivating this clarity is a process.

It’s deliberate intentional work to see, understand, internalise, feel, forgive, and accept who I am and why I do things my way, with love and self-compassion.

It’s the hardest work I’ve had to do.

It’s the most rewarding suffering I’ve had to live through. I will not give it back. And I’ve no intention of stopping.

Now I know who I am. I give a shit about how I am amongst my people and towards myself. I stay with life for the ups and the downs and for the merry-go-rounds.

Without that flavour – we’re numb. And the ‘game of life‘ – boring.

THIS work is my life’s purpose: helping people do better for themselves, in their way, to feel better in and about themselves. I call that self-design from the bottom-up.

Now I use everything I’ve experienced, learned and internalised in the last 20 odd years from the fields of behaviour psychology, habit formation, wellbeing, health and fitness, to shape the unique problem-solving approach I can offer your self-development goals.

This approach starts with what we call in business a Minimum Effective Dose of self-understanding.

We test on a broad and deep spectrum using individually tried and robust tests. We then map that trait inventory on a map. The function of a map, as you know, is to show you the lie of the land – your internal landscape and how you interact with your version of reality.

A map is also useful for spotting gaps and saturation points. Spotting plausible correlations, causations, and cognitive disconnects.

Now, you’re able to take the first look at the unique person that you are.

Granted no traits result is 100% you – but you now have blueprint evidence that you can work with, as opposed to using the info you may have gathered reactively from signals given to you from your interactions with society – the right or wrong people…

You use your map and inventory components to get a deeper awareness and understanding of your own behaviour. Then with that clarity, you can start to see yourself as the vulnerable good human you are – full of potential.

This cultivates your self-compassion and allows you to accept the aspects of yourself you can’t or shouldn’t change.

Now you can let your inner critic find another job, and you can move into your life fully with agency, responsibility and confidence to build the work-life-rest-play setup you desire.

Sometimes you even discover that what you saw as your weaknesses (what Rumi calls your ‘cracks’) are actually your superpowers. You just had to see them in their full light and learn how to use them.

Now all the tools and interventions for self-development are still at your disposal (as before) except you know how to pick what suits you, and how to leverage your Traits map knowledge to give you faster, more effective results with less friction and lasting long-term effect.

Can you see how this way of designing your life makes a lot more sense than how we approach the process currently?

If this bottom-up way appeals to you, reach out to see if I can help you reach your self-development goals.

Either way, change (dressed up as life’s challenges) will go on. So we have to figure out how to not just stay ahead, but how to actually leverage and enjoy it. Because life isn’t about survival – it’s much more fun to thrive.

As the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland says: “Around here we all have to run as fast as we can, just to stay in the same place.”

I say – run smarter, not faster ;o)

P.S. Stay curious. Never lose your colour & shine…