Perfectionism, scared of “wrong,” mistakes and failure … advice from the top

If you’re at all interested in the goings on of a tiny nation at the bottom of the world called New Zealand, like I am, you will know that the Prime Minister gave birth recently. How she runs a country and looks after a baby I know not. My hat is well and truly doffed to her. She must have some kind of superpower that I don’t possess. And a husband that is well and truly “in” and helping out.

I read an interview with said husband, a bloke (don't worry – all men in NZ are “blokes”) whose face in pictures is something to behold as he hobnobs with world leaders. He’s like a kid who expects to be discovered at any moment and kicked out, crossed with sheer awe how he managed to gain entrance in the first place. Then there’s the one where he’s with the rest of the leaders’ significant others, a man in a sea of women. Wonderful.

He was talking about favourite pieces of parenting advice... now, mine is don’t listen to any advice (which, ironically, is superb advice), but second best came from this interview.

Apparently while hobnobbing with the Obamas, Barack told him his secret to parenting (and presumably running a country?) is to not panic, and it’s ok to make mistakes.

Isn’t that cool?

The fact is, and this coincides nicely with an article in the paper the other morning …


… that talks about the rise of perfectionism and the crushing pressure it puts an increasing number of people under.

To me? Perhaps it's more to it than this, I am no psychologist (I can barely spell the word), but perfectionism is just another aspect of being afraid of making mistakes, afraid of failure.

A healthy concern for not messing up is a good thing me thinks … But if you, like me, have experienced being terrified of making any decision in case it’s the “wrong” one, or falling on my face in front of an audience of people, you will realise how de-habilitating being scared of mistakes is.

You’d rather hide and do nothing than put yourself in the way of “wrong” or “failure.”

But that’s not a life is it? I’ve learnt you have to get comfortable with the fact that you will make mistakes. In doing anything, you will mess up.

Here’s where YOUR choice comes in:

You can have the attitude that a mistake is further evidence of the end of the world, of your failure and your uselessness … or you can use it as a platform to get better, to improve, to learn from.

One is a downward spiralling mess of an attitude, the other gives you peace now, and firm ground for the future.

How do you change your attitude? Just through practice and presence. Through being aware of your mind and how it will always throw up these perfectionisms and expectations and ideas and insistences and shoulds.

When you are aware of them you have choice, you can ignore them and do something different. But being aware of them is a most excellent thing. You may not like that, I understand that, but without awareness it’s like trying to play tennis against an invisible opponent … almost impossible.

Through awareness you get to see your opponent and learn their wiley ways. A great thing – I get this might not be a comfortable thing, especially if your habit is to try and hide in some aspects of your life.

Knowing your own mind and being able to direct it where you wish is the key to a peaceful and effective life. Closing your eyes and being able to develop freedom of choice is essential.

Meditation then is one of the most important things you can regularly do. You’re not dropping out, you’re actually tuning in to the fullest degree.

Go well! Arjuna

PS. My new baby, a six month mind transformation programme (which I don’t have a name for yet) is due to be launched in the near future.

To be honest, I’m still sorting out details.

But it involves working closely with me over a long period of time and discovering how to transcend the limitations and judgements of your mind.

I went with six months because alongside guidance from me, time spent at the “coal face” practicing awareness and choice is essential. I wish I could give you a magic pill, but I can’t (and even those have un-wanted side effects). I can guide you, but you have to do the simple, and enjoyable, “work.”

If you’re interested?

Just hit reply and I’ll let you know all the details as soon as possible.

Your ONLY hindrance in life

What ho! How’s things? Apologies for being missing in action recently. Sumati, Bubs and I went away for a week to an island off the west of Scotland called Arran. I thought I’d tee’ed up some emails to go out to you automatically, but looks like I didn’t. Sorry about that.

I tell you something – they have flies over there that bite so hard it hurts. My right arm is still sore and mega-itchy from a gang of flies that mugged me halfway up a mountain. But that’s the only thing that I have to complain about, what with all the sunshine, excellent food, amazing scenery and peoples.

One thing going on holiday does for me is gives me a sense of what’s important. Sure, I come back to an email inbox full to over-flowing, jobs to-do coming out me ears, but going away always gives me a sense of space. 

Opening the newspaper and it’s the same madness and chaos that I left. Same stuff, different date.  Same problems and challenges too. The thing that is so clear, and something I was talking about with a bunch of people in a video last night, is that the solution to all chaos, all struggle and problems, lies between your own ears.

Someone said that they feel that their mind is one of their biggest hindrances.

The fact is your mind is your ONLY hindrance. The game you play - the inner game - against negativity, limitation, judgement and whatever else is the only game in town. Master that, and you master all problems and stress.

Which is good news! Because you can’t always change the outside world. But you most certainly can learn to change your mind.

Alright? It all starts within. Peace or suffering? Within you. Change your mind, change your life. And good news indeed that is.

Go well, Arjuna

PS. I’m starting an endeavour, one that will not be for everyone - that’s for sure. It’s for the few select people who truly want to master their minds and transform their lives. It’s not a casual course by any means: the programme that we’ll go through is one-on-one and will last six months. It will involve you practicing meditation eyes closed and open every single day. It will be truly transformational.

If you’re interested? Send me an email (just hit reply) and we can talk more about it.

“It’s too much of a hassle”

Still on Patmos, Greece. That small, but beautifully formed island of Good Times. Every year (this year is the last year here actually) we have a get together of all the European Ishayas of the Bright Path.

A wonderful time it is too. Some seriously profound teaching, so profound I'm left slack jawed in amazement (not pretty to see I imagine), some “so sore, can’t keep laughing” belly laughs, and a ton of good food and sunshine.

(I seriously LOVE Greek salads) Now - I don’t want to rub your noses in my holiday, not at all.

I wanted to point out how amazing it is, being here with my buddies and fellow teachers, my “tribe”.

It's such a great event - and yet in the past I have been guilty of almost not bothering to go. 

You see, getting here is EPIC.It involves all sorts of driving and flying and staying nights and ferrying and all the rest.

And we have Bubba in tow, and even though she’s a seasoned traveler now, it’s still not a walk in the park.

As such it can be easier to think “what’s the point? So much effort for 8 days? I’ll stay here at home where it’s easier”… do you know?

Yet the PAYOFF is way more than my mind can ever quantify. It’s huge: lifting, elevating, inspiring, on-going.

Putting yourself in the way of More isn’t always straightforward.

It involves a dedication from you.

It involves getting off your bottom and doing something - sometimes something new, often something that means a sacrifice from you.

But it’s always always worth it. Always.

You always get way more, way, way more. More Life. Something you might not be able to measure, but something you KNOW that is way more important than anything you can measure.

So whatever it may be - and you know what IT is, for you, you do - stop putting it off because it just seems a bit hard, or a bit scary, a bit unknown or a bit whatever.

Take one small step to get that thing. And then another. An end result can be overwhelming - but small steps are easy.

It’s worth it.

Go well! Arjuna

The secret (not that secret, a better one!)

OK - so a semi-serious question for you: How do you want your life to be like? Here’s the secret to having the foundation for an amazing life, free of limitation and doubt and worry and flying off the handle ... beyond coffee and pork pies and tasty, salty, crunchy snacks (of course, those are your foundation, your must haves to a glorious life) …


To create a wonderful future, all you need to do is stop and create a wonderful present. To get to where you want to go, start walking in the right direction. And the right direction for a foundation of freedom from struggle and overwhelm lies in this moment, this one … right here ... is it. Choose to take the half step back and be present.

Makes sense, right?

The choice that means you master any limiting habit such as anger or anxiety can only happen now. Do it now ... and enjoy it - for the path to heaven does not go through hell.

The very best question to get yourself back on an even keel, with perspective, calm and a smile on your face?

How can I enjoy this more?? ^^^ What a great question.

But in order to enjoy this more, you will have to sacrifice a few things. Worry is one. Anger is another. Going off into outrageous futures or clinging to pasts is another. Getting so wound up you can't see straight. Wanting to be right more than wanting to be happy.

Multi-tasking is probably another.

Think you're willing to give up those things for a glorious future? Super ... get going on that right now. Simply do your best to prioritise your peace in this here moment.

As best you can ... if you forget? No deal. Just remember once again.

Go well! Arjuna

PS. When you’re ready, come and join my free 7 day mindfulness "challenge". Most amazing thing ever, I think you'll love it: 

Getting more self-confidence and ditching doubt

If you’re like me it seems like you weren’t born with a ton of self-confidence (which is not true at all, but we'll get to that).

You get caught up in those voices in your head that are doubting and anxious - they seem quite real, a lot of the time.

These voices stop you doing stuff, don’t they? From saying the thing you want to say, from getting out and doing those things, from being seen.

It’s frustrating, at least it can be.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve gone over and over what I should have said or what I should have done. Torturing myself long after the event has passed.

Though I worked out how to get around it.

You see, there are two different versions of you. One of those versions has no issues with confidence, doubt, anxiety, worry - any of that. They simply don’t exist. Why? This version of you isn’t trying to be someone else. It isn’t trying to live up to anyone’s expectations, it isn’t concerned with what anyone else thinks, it isn't trying to do "it" right.

It is what it is, nothing to prove, nothing to hide. No masks, no roles, no presenting of false images, just 100% authentic you.

You have that already - you are that already - and that is the whole purpose of something like the Bright Path Ishayas’ Ascension. To live as that version of you more and more.

When you practice Ascension those limiting programs of doubt, worry, fear - and that’s what they are, just programs - simply run out of juice. They stop stopping you. Which is a wonderful state of affairs, because then it's easier to practice saying what you know you want to say.

I think I’ve written about this before (if I haven’t, I should have!), from the carefree version of you comes the first thoughts. The doubting program comes in with the second and third thoughts - “I can’t say that!” which overrides the first - wise - thoughts.

Then there’s the question that I personally know well, and see a lot around, “How do I …”

As in “How do I ask for a raise/time off?”, “How do I ask that girl/boy out?”, “How do I ask for what I want?”, “How do I stand up for myself?”. Such self-torture through trying to work out the “best” way of asking for something.

The simple answer seems to be you just have to do it.

You just have to practice opening your mouth and speaking, asking for what you want, speaking those first thoughts.

There’s a time and a place for everything, yes, but what I’ve found is usually the time and the place is when you and the other are together and the first thoughts come in. Right there, open your mouth.

Just be that great version of you - practice your Ascension - and speak. I promise it gets easier.

What I know for sure is the thinking about it is the torture. The doing? Not so bad really, at all.

Go well!



No idea about Ascension? Here's a wonderful list that I put together about how to be more mindful in your daily life - 108 practical ways of living beyond those programs, making sure they don't take over.

Get your free copy here:

It's ok - I pulled through, just!

But it certainly was a close thing.

Sorry I’ve been MIA but I had a real dose of something nasty. I’ve never been so sick as not being able to stand and having to crawl to the loo, then deciding that I’d better have a little rest on the way back.

The most amazing thing though - that new perspective, cheek to the hallway floor. I saw a whole new world of dust and hair and stuff along the edges.

Just joking - I realised, as I lay waiting for the energy to resume the journey back to bed, that this was a very glass half full moment.

This flu was actually in all likelihood the transformation due to that E.T./Universal light DNA activation upgrade that I’d ordered back on that night of planetary alignment in 2001; I was slightly dubious at the time but figured it couldn’t hurt. Now my small faith is being repaid:

Basically I’m becoming a super hero.

All mutant super dooper people go through a process, don’t they? And this is mine, as my cells refigure themselves. I have no idea what kind of super hero I’ll be, but I’ll let you know very soon. As soon as I can get out of the hallway, that is.

I used to think that I needed something extra, something more and new, something to make me better, more ready to live the life I was supposed to live.

There is no end of people waiting.

There are a few noble souls who have decided to stop waiting. To just find and be that quality of quiet certainty within themselves - and naturally from that - their place in the world, exactly as they are.

That certainty means they no longer need to promote an image or a preferred idea to the world. Beyond content, they simply live each moment as their true irreverent, irrelevant and most wonderful selves.

The peace and the power that comes from that experience is extraordinary.

You can wait a very long time until you have what you need, until you have permission, until you are better. Or you can start to come to terms with your perfection right now.

If you’re interested, I would start right here. Join my email list and I'll give you a FREE guide to a great challenge:

Do you NEED it? No, you need nothing. Does it make mastering your mind incredibly simple? Why yes, yes it indeed does.

Go well,



Oh hey - remember, as always, once you've learnt you can repeat as much or as little of the weekend as you like for free.

And I guarantee you'll walk away feeling like your DNA has been given, if not an upgrade, a most definite polish and a rubdown.

Be great to see you if you want to come in - do let me know though because the rooms going to be full and I want to make sure I can get you in