Good advice can have a huge impact on the way we live our lives. Here, TV presenter Jean Johansson and four other successful Scottish women share their inspirational stories, and reveal the wise words that changed their lives…
Scots TV presenter Jean Johansson has made her TV comeback on The One Show after a five-year break. The new mum worked hard to get her career back on track, and almost gave up, but did it all with a smile.
- Advice from SISTER: “A simple smile can turn negative situations into positive ones.”
Jean said: “The best advice someone has ever given me is: just smile. I know it’s simple but there are so many situations in life when a simple smile can turn things around. On live TV if I am ever in a pickle, my first instinct is to smile. If I feel bad energy from someone, I smile at them. If I am arguing with someone, my best tactic is to smile. It’s good advice because it’s easy to do and it’s easy to remember. It can turn really negative situations around and it can endear people to you quickly.
“My sister Helen gave me this advice – she is a huge inspiration in my life. Helen is individual and a free thinker. She is strong and if she wants something in life she always goes for it.”
- Tune in to The One Show (weekdays at 7pm on BBC One) to see Jean’s broadcasts, and look out for her on Animal Park on BBC Two.
Model Claudia Scott has had her fair share of criticism, but advice from friend Natalie made the former Britain’s Next Top Model finalist thicker-skinned. Now, the Glasgow events organiser shares that advice and its impact on her.
- Advice from BEST FRIEND: “Don’t expect other people to behave as you would”
Claudia said: “Whenever I’m finding it difficult to digest what other people have to say, I think about the advice Natalie gave me. It really helps me realise that not everyone is going to understand the type of work I feel so passionate about.
People can be cruel and act without thinking, which can result in a negative impact to something or someone. I am a strong character and very passionate in what I believe to be morally right. I used to struggle to understand other people’s actions and why they behaved the way they did. For example, if someone did something morally wrong, I would find it hard to be able to fully relate to that person.
This advice has made me view certain circumstances from a different perspective. I manage to look at situations in a more positive way and be much more accepting of the way people are even if that means they don’t necessarily reflect my personal beliefs and morals.
Natalie has had a hugely positive impact on my life. She motivates me to be the best person I can be and I’m lucky to have my best friend as my role model.”
- Claudia is preparing to represent Great Britain in the Miss Universe contest in South Wales this month.
Follow her on Instagram: @claudiatscott
Megan McGrory is an inspirational speaker in Edinburgh following in mum Christine’s footsteps teaching The Key programme (motivational workshop). The 24-year-old shows people how to achieve what they want in their lives.
- Advice from MUM: “Follow your dreams and help others live theirs”
Megan said: “This advice has transformed my life. I am a different person. I am in a new relationship, live in a new city, have an exciting career and, most of all, I have a new life and future full of opportunity. I am living proof of how to turn your life around and to deliberately create your life and be in control of it rather than just let life happen to you.
A lot of people obsess about what is not working in their lives. But, I teach people that your dreams will only come about if you learn how to reset and focus your energy and attention on what you do want to have instead. People need to be aware: the world is full of opportunity and there is more than one way.
I know definitely what I want in my life and every day I create it. People who knew me previously are quite surprised when they bump into me now. I knew the academic route was not for me. I knew I could create success but it just needed to come from a different start point.”
- Megan is running inspirational workshops at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. For more info about The Key visit: unlock-the-key.co.uk
Businesswoman Pauline Ironside set up a consultancy after hearing some inspirational words.
- Advice from ENTREPRENEUR: “Build a business model around your strengths”
Pauline said: “My best advice was from a successful entrepreneur, who started their own business in Scotland. 10 years ago and they are still doing what they love. They told me: “Identify what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing, and model your business around that.”
“They also advised: it’s important to have fun along the way. This has inspired me to launch Spindl with my business partner Joanne Davidson and has helped us define our services and our approach to growing the business. It also helped us understand what we can offer compared to our competitors. Having a passion for what you do helps you tell your story to clients about why you’ve started up and this makes it more personal. We want to get it right from the start, and starting small and targeting the right clients and projects has also given us the confidence that we can be successful.”
- Pauline and Joanne run business consultancy Spindl
Lanarkshire’s Wendy Russell, who works in the voluntary sector, wanted to be a ‘cool kid’ but mum’s advice shaped her future and made her who she is today.
- Advice from MUM: “In life you must thrive to be a shepherd, NOT a sheep”
Wendy said: “The best piece of advice I have ever received was from my mum when I was about 14 years old. I was heading to one of my first school discos and was at an age were I was very influenced by the cool kids. I desperately wanted a new outfit to wear but my mum wasn’t interested in buying me the latest designer trend that the popular kids were wearing. Her advice to me was, “Wendy, in life you must thrive to be a shepherd, NOT a sheep”.
“She explained that it’s much better to stand out in a crowd for being different than it is to fade into the background for being exactly the same as everyone else, and she added that this didn’t just apply to clothing. I took on that piece of advice and have rolled with it all my life.”
- Wendy works for Lanarkshire charity, LEAP
Life coach Linda Cameron is a licensed Neuro Linguistic Programming practitioner and runs a NLP and hypnosis practice. Dr Richard Bandler, co-creator of NPL, advised Linda: “Freedom is everything and love is all the rest”.
- Advice from MENTOR: “Freedom is everything and love is all the rest”
Linda said: “This is the best advice anyone has given me, because it is really true. Freedom applies to all aspects of life: freedom to be yourself, freedom to live the life you want, freedom to move forward, financial freedom, freedom from ill health, freedom from stress, freedom from the past, the list goes on. And to love and be loved is the greatest gift you can give and receive.
Dr Richard Bandler had such an impact on my life. I learned NLP and became one of Richard’s Licensed Trainers so that I could help and teach others how to live lives that were free from fear, pain and stress and to see big bright futures where they are free to be who they want to be and to live as they choose.
I built my NLP and hypnosis practice based on those principles and whenever I feel uncertain about anything I remember the value I place on freedom and love and that helps me focus on what’s important to me.”
- You can get in touch with Linda by clicking here: Inspire for Impact
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