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"Use the difficulty!" - Michael Caine

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

Last week I was leaving a certain pub in Wimbledon close to midnight and as I walked down the two steps that led to the pavement outside I realised that there were three steps...





I lost my balance and in true John Mill style tucked and rolled onto the hard concrete floor and slammed my back into a car sitting at the traffic lights. As you do, I jumped up laughing trying to find a shred of dignity from the sheer embarrassment of falling and jumped into a waiting Uber quite quickly realising I had done some serious damage.


I'll sleep it off, I thought and drifted into a deep slumber only to wake at 4am for a pee. As I went to the bathroom I felt immense pain in my back and start to feel quite giddy. All of a sudden I blacked out and woke as I was falling towards the concrete floor. I instinctually put my left hand out to catch myself but it was too late. My head hit the floor like something out of 'Fight Club' and blood poured out.


Anyway to fast forward.... I'm okay, my back is feeling a lot better but why am I telling you this?


Because many years ago I listened to an audio book by Michael Caine about his life as a young man and a budding actor. He was once given the advice by an early stage director to 'use the difficulty', to look at the challenges life throws our way and take advantage of them and I adopted this attitude quite early on in my career as a hypnotherapist.


Years ago when I was a young boy suffering from Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bones) I would have been pissed off about falling over and feeling restricted or stuck but now, today I use it. This new website you are looking at was built ONLY because I fell over. In fact I built it in two days. I saw my painful back as an opportunity rather than a restriction. It would not be here had I not missed that third step!


When something holds me back, I think where is the opportunity here? Where is the new door that is about to open because of this?


If you were to mislay something tomorrow morning and make yourself late for work, or if your alarm didn't go off or maybe you had a puncture that completely messed up your day, think about this...


What if you went in on time and got run over? What if you turned up early and missed that third step and something dreadful happened? Don't be pissed off, it may have happened for a very important reason.


Step back for a moment and think of life like this. Life is short. It feels long when you're younger but as you get older it speeds past almost as if it's teasing you. The only thing we all have in life that is equal is TIME. Time just ticks past unapologetically, the minute that it took you to read this far will never be available to you again, it's gone forever.


So it is so important that we use our time and life on this earth wisely. Don't waste it, use every single second, minute, hour. Think of your day in blocks of time, 5 minutes, 10 minutes etc. and make every single day on purpose. I love the quote that Elon Musk said many years ago that goes "I work 18 to 19 hours per day, that means that in a years time, I'll be 5 years ahead of everyone else." It is so true. When I built Evolve Life Coaching College I worked 19 hours a day putting courses together, working on events and seminars and 18 months later it all came together just from focus, tenacity and hard work.


So whether you are someone searching for direction or a purpose in life (call me!) or perhaps you feel stuck in a job you find unfulfilling or time is ticking past and you are thinking as Alfie would say "What's it all about?" How can you use this difficulty? How can you step back out of this moment and see the door that is open ahead of you waiting for you to stride through it with arms open and take it all?


Use what is difficult.



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