An excerpt from the Introduction chapter in The MIRROR Challenge™ Book 

In 1999, a colleague sent me an email which contained the following words:

Everything is much further away now than it used to be. It is twice as far to the corner, and they added a hill, I have noticed.

I have given up running for the bus, it leaves so much faster than it used to. It seems to me that they are making steps steeper than in the old days. Have you noticed how much smaller the print is that they use in the newspapers now?

There is no use in asking anyone to read aloud to me as everyone speaks in such a low voice that I can hardly hear them. The material in clothes is getting so skimpy, especially around the waist and hips.

Even people are changing; they are so much younger than they used to be when I was their age. On the other hand people of my own age are so much older than I am. I ran into an old friend the other day and she had aged so much that she did not even recognise me.

I got to thinking about the poor thing while I was combing my hair this morning and in doing so I glanced at my reflection and was confounded – they don’t even make good mirrors like they used to!!

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At the end of reading this, especially the line, which I think is funny, which states, they don’t even make good mirrors like they used to’, it resonated in my spirit for a long time. I am a fan of acronyms and in 2004, I thought about the letters of the word mirror and penned the acronym MIRROR - Mirror, Impact, Reflect, Respond, Opportunities and Results. This also coincided with the decision to develop a one and two day personal development training programme, The MIRROR Challenge™.

Having successfully run this programme over the years within organisations, businesses, and with a variety of groups at conferences, seminars, workshops and other events, I kept on being asked, where is the book? I initially developed The MIRROR Challenge Workbook and I have been ‘challenged’ a number of times to convert the workbook into this book from delegates who have been inspired and positively benefited from engaging in the MIRROR Challenge experience.

The dilemma that we all face is to ask ourselves where we are going in terms of our lives. One of my favourite words is ‘Next!’ What is next for me? For some readers who are in a bit of a rut, you could be wondering what’s happening to me and/or why am I here? Have you been watching a ‘movie’ lately that seems to be stuck on the repeat button? Have you been caught in a maze and can’t see your way out? It makes sense, every once in a while to step back from your day to day activities and ask yourself: Who I am? What am I doing? Where am I? Where am I going? Why am I here? How am I doing? What and where do I need to make changes?

The MIRROR Challenge™ is aimed at challenging you to challenge yourself. It is about empowering your future. The book is overflowing with inspiration, innovation and practical solutions that you can implement straightaway. Throughout the book, there are a series of questions for you to think about and find answers.

Each chapter of the book consists of a series of questions relating to each letter of the word ‘MIRROR’ – to get you to provocatively think about all aspects of your life. There are also a number of tried and tested MIRROR Challenge Exercises in each chapter as well as ‘Have a Mirror Moment!’ Exercise. These are for you to complete on your own initially. When you have finished, find a partner, colleague or friend and share the questions and answers with each other. The true purpose of the questions and the exercises is to help you get a fresh and new insight as well as a different perspective of who you are and ‘unearth’ the real picture/reflection of you. Be authentic. You need to be honest, truthful and frank with yourself, or you will end up as someone else and that’s not who you want to be.

The book is not about weight, height, dress size or body image. It is about you looking in the mirror of life metaphorically and challenging yourself, your reflection, your thoughts, your vision, your mind, your feelings, your senses - what you see, hear, feel. Most importantly, this book is about what action you need to take to change your current situation (if you don’t like it) and taking it!

The MIRROR Challenge™ is for everyone – whether you are in work, out of work, between jobs, at a crossroads, at home, semi-retired or retired. It has been written to enable you to:

• Develop a clear understanding of your position, purpose and potential in life

• Have an overview of the skills, tools and techniques needed to enhance your life prospects

• Analyse your SAKE

Knowledge and

• Examine barriers and obstacles to your self-development and how you overcame or can overcome them

• Identify a range of activities, strategies, routes and opportunities to support you through this journey

• Develop a positive mental attitude towards the pursuance of your tangible and realistic goals

• Identify and set achievable personal steps you need to take to achieve them

• Develop a healthy desire towards achieving success in all areas of your life

This book examines and highlights what makes it possible for people to progress while others struggle to meet their aspirations. The MIRROR Challenge is not only a book you read, it’s a resource. It has tips and techniques and is a toolkit for you to use. Use it to break new ground and create opportunities in your life. Use it to jump start a stalling career. Use the MIRROR Challenge to get to the real you. It is about reading or looking at something again, but with a fresh pair of eyes. It provides practical advice on moving on and getting ahead in life. The MIRROR Challenge is a book for inspiring the future. It provides opportunities for individuals to think, plan, do, review and take ‘real’ action regarding their future. It also aims to assist them in making informed choices and decisions and to take actions to develop themselves proactively.

You may have heard of the bucket or mannequin challenge. Well long before these challenges, was the MIRROR Challenge! Are you ready for the MIRROR Challenge?

The more you look in the mirror, is the more you will find out about yourself and what changes you need to make to take you to the next level. Remember, the only person who can help you is the person looking back at you in the mirror.

So, here’s to looking in the Mirror, taking action and making those life changes.

The MIRROR Challenge – Touching Lives, Transforming Minds!

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