Penny’s Blog

Thriving Through Adversity

Christina grew up with a schizophrenic sister, who was admitted to a psychiatric hospital as a teenager. Then in her mid 20s she developed an auto-immune disease called lupus, which crippled her for a few years. She has had breast cancer twice, including a mastectomy. Amidst her health issues, her sister, father, mother and brother all died. 

Stage 4 cancer thriver

“Nick this is the worst news I could be giving you” said the doctor, “We’ve measured your prostate PSA level (prostate specific antigen). If it was normal we’d expect to see a score below 4. Your score is 625. You have highly aggressive stage 4 prostrate cancer and it has spread into every bone in your body. It’s out of control.”

The Death Woman

What Lis Allen means by that, is that death has played a significant role in her entire life. Her childhood was heavily impacted by the death of her brother, the murder of her aunt and in adult life, the suicide of her niece.  In addition, her work as a palliative care nurse and manager of a cancer charity, she has helped literally hundreds of families face death.

Rowing the Atlantic

It’s not often I come across a person who has excelled in both the business and sporting/adventure world. But I found him. He could possibly be the academic’s archetypal specimen of a Mentally Tough person. He is confident in his abilities, a visionary leader, sees every challenge as an opportunity, always sees things through to the end goal, is empathetic and, annoyingly, he also looks ten years younger than he is. His name is Kevin Gaskell.

Suddenly single & pregnant

“You know the Bear Hunt book?” Anna asks, “Well I love it, because it’s just like life – you can’t go round it, you can’t go under it – you have to go through it. It sums up resilience for me.

Surviving Motorcycle Gangs

Susan spent twenty five years as ‘the property’ of a motorcycle gang in both Canada and USA, and by the end of it all her boyfriend was on the FBI’s most wanted list. From age 16 to 31 she lived with, hung out with drug addicts, murderers and abusers of every kind. She was, inevitably, a drug addict and alcoholic herself.


In September of 2009 Paul Hembery stood by the side of the the race track in Singapore and had a thought that was to change the face of Formula 1. He called his CEO at Pirelli and simply said “We should be here”. At this point, Pirelli hadn’t been involved in Formula 1 for 21 years: they had no tyres, no factory and no team. But 7 months after that phone call, in March 2010, Hembery signed the contract with Bernie Ecclestone to become the sole tyre supplier to Formula 1. They had just 9 months to pull together a team, and factory, that could design, prototype, manufacture, supply and be on the track to test in November 2010.


Companies are twisting themselves into knots getting anxious about the sad state of engagement of their employees. And rightly so, given the value they’re losing. High engagement can be defined as having a strong connection with one’s work and colleagues, feeling like a real contributor, and enjoying ample chances to learn consistently, which leads to positive outcomes for everyone. The rewards include higher productivity, better-quality products, and increased profitability.


How many times have you decided to lose weight, give up smoking, stop drinking during the week, double your daily sales calls, or go to gym every day?

You are committed to your cause and you start with all the best intentions. It goes well…for a short while…and then you relapse back into your old ways. Sound familiar?


WHY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE STAY CALM The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. Research shows that 90 percent of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress, which allows them to...


When we have a tough decision to make, many of us write a list of the pros and cons. Then, if we have more pluses than minuses, we should surely just go ahead with it?


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