Melanie Bragg: Defining Moments-Insights into the Lawyer’s Soul

Melanie Bragg in her latest American Bar Association Flagship book Defining Moments: Insight into the Lawyer’s Soul will tell you that a person’s character is revealed in testing situations. Melanie also a lawyer earned the trust of her peers who candidly revealed their defining moments. Their accounts go beyond making choices that put them on the right side of the (moral) law; these were defining moments that shaped their futures.

In the interview excerpt below Melanie tells of her own defining moment. You’ll be heartened to know that people like her still walk this earth.

Melanie Bragg Interview Part1

Melanie Bragg Interview Part2

This book is particularly relevant in today’s challenging economic climate; there comes a time in everyone’s career or business dealings where the temptation to take the path of least resistance beckons, the pay off appears irresistible especially when it is coupled with the vision of an easy future if they’d do it just this once they tell themselves.

However, there are those who choose to do the right thing because they are clear about their personal values. Want more examples? In the case of John McKay a former US Attorney for the Western District of Washington and a President Reagan appointed White House Fellow, it hurt his prospects at that time. McKay’s success principle of “telling the truth no matter what” i.e. his lone voice upholding the Constitution in the face of civil liberties violations resulted in a truncated career. The upside as we all agree is that every day McKay can look himself in the eye; and a new academic career as Law Professor at Seattle University School of Law isn’t bad either.

To order your copy of Defining Moments: Insights into the Lawyer’s Soul go to

Melanie Bragg is a lawyer, speaker, educator and champion advocate of the defenseless in our society. She is currently the Chair of the Book Publications Board of the American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm Division, with over 30,000 members and 40 authors under her guidance and leadership. Her record of leadership in her profession and community is long.  She became the first woman president of the Houston Young Lawyers Association and was a director of the ABA Young Lawyers Division. Through her company, Legal Insight she has written, produced, and distributed legal education programs for the healthcare industry to universities and medical schools nationwide.   Her first ABA book was HIPAA for the General Practictioner.

Angels in Hell-re empowered after rape: Interview with Ruby Johnson and Leanne Peard

None of us goes through life unscathed.

Ruby Johnson

Leanne Peard

Sometimes we cannot avoid the slings and arrows inflicted by thoughtless, tactless and downright objectionable people who co habit planet Earth.

These come in the form of verbal or physical bullying or worse.

Depending on our level of self esteem and self confidence we either roll with the punches or feel that it will take an eternity to heal those wounds.

If you are a regular reader of my blog articles you will know that at the very core of becoming successful is our perception of our self esteem, self worth, self confidence that will either get you there or stop you from achieving all your goals.

I had the privilege of speaking with Leanne Peard & Ruby Johnson authors of Angels in Hell-re empowered after rape about their personal experiences and what they have done to move on.

Watch my interview with these 2 remarkable ladies:

or download the interview

Ruby Johnson Leanne Peard Interview Part1

Ruby Johnson Leanne Peard Interview Part2a

Ruby Johnson Leanne Peard Interview Part2b

Firstly I want to acknowledge their courage and honesty for writing about their personal experience with rape.

Secondly I want to thank them on behalf of everyone who has been through it for sharing their means and methods to heal (emotionally) and move forward with their lives rather than be held hostage to the past.

Change or tapping into personal power is not an easy—but definitely a necessary—part of this journey called life, especially for those of us who have been violated, abused or attacked.

The bad news is that many will not take the steps to change; many will not be able to forgive. Many will stay in the darkness and never experience the beauty that life has to offer. We would hope that you will choose to change, to transform your life and re-­empower yourself.”-Angels in Hell re empowered after rape

Leanne Peard is the director of Absolute Wisdom a Life and Business Coaching consultancy, a Master of Reiki, and mother of two; she lives in tropical Cairns Queensland.
Ruby Johnson is the owner/director of Wholistic Enterprises and the founder of the College for Actualising Human Potential. She has designed and had nationally accredited the Cert IV to the Advanced Diploma in Wholistic Wellness and is the Author of 2 other books: Your Drug or Your Life and Wake Up & Breathe.
Purchase the book at
Visit them on


Janet Attwood: Living Your Life With Passion Update

A quick heads up following on from my chat with Janet last moth.

If you still have a nagging feeling that you could/should be doing something else but are not sure, this may be of help.

Click on the tab and head over to find out more about what truly is your passion.


The Importance of Self Esteem in Creating Succes

My article today is aimed at women who work in a corporate setting.

Your company may have a dress code stipulated or as with some industries it may be informal but you still need to turn up well attired.

My point is that women get to express some of their individuality in their accessories and colors.

So let’s look at this scenario-you have an unlimited budget for clothes, shoes, hand bag(s) etc.

You turn up in designer heels, dress and are immaculately coiffed.

You have burns scars to 75% of your body including your face, upper arms and have only one ear.

How would you feel?

In a world quick to judge on the way we look and dress, some people might find that despite being well dressed, they would still feel like crawling under a rock.

I talked to Kelly Falardeau a burns survivor about her journey from hell to becoming an entrepreneur, motivational speaker and author of her new book “Self Esteem doesn’t come in a bottle”.

Listen to her pearls of wisdom

Yes, she is out there standing in front of crowds knowing they will be staring at her scars and not giving a damn what they think.

She has self esteem.

Which brings me to the title of this article: The Importance of Self Esteem in Creating Success

Our ability to become wealthy and successful is determined by the level of our self esteem and self respect.

When we hold ourselves in high esteem and we respect us (the self) regardless of the opinion of others (which may be positive or of the knee capping variety), we have discovered one of the many secrets to wealth and success.

Owning Up and Learning from My Mistakes

Our education system does not encourage us to admit our errors and effectively punishes us when we get it wrong.

This is reinforced by the assessment strategy of grading us down in tests and formal examinations when we do not produce the “right’ answers.

The system is designed to turn out cookie cutter lookalikes with not a whit of individuality.

It stymies creativity, inventiveness and discourages exploration; in effect we get a slap on the wrist every time we colour outside the lines.

So does the title of this article stir up a bit of discomfort?

I certainly hope so, only because I want you to challenge conventional thinking and behaviour.

What if, for a change, we celebrated instead of shaming kids in grade school for giving the incorrect answer?

Rather than making them feel like a failure we gave them elephant stamps and gold stars for having a go, for attempting an answer.

Brian Tracy, one of my favourite motivational speakers and amazing business coach said it best:

Learning from your mistakes is an essential skill that enables you to develop the resilience to be a master of change rather than a victim of change.

The person who recognizes that he has made a mistake and changes direction the fastest is the one who will win in an age of increasing information, technology and competition.

By remaining fast on your feet, you will be able to out-play and out-position your competition.

You will become a creator of circumstances rather than a creature of circumstances.

In other words: Adaptability is the name of the game.

In every episode of Star Trek Dr Spock may have said, “Live long and prosper”, but Dr Tan says “Live smart and prosper”.

So, the faster you fail, the quicker you get to your goals.

You might as well get through it sooner than later because that lets you gain momentum as you hurtle towards success.

Yours in health, wealth and happiness

Goodbye Corporate World, Hello My Own Heart Centered Successful Business

Hello all

I had the pleasure of interviewing Blanca Vergara sometime ago. Her story is inspiring, and I hope it will give you that little push to take action and change the course of your life.

Enjoy the read and click on the live link at the end to hear her truth.

Blanca Vergara had it all- the power, prestige, a plum executive management position in one of Europe’s leading companies. But that was not enough and eventually she broke free of the golden handcuffs to start her own executive business performance consultancy.

She listened to her internal wisdom, one that manifested spectacularly as a vivid dream, so startling that in her own words, she ‘jumped out of bed to write this vision down”.
Having found her authentic self Blanca’s business underwent an extraordinary growth, as her perfect clients began beating a path to her door.

Today she coaches people who recognize that they want more in their lives and have up until now been trading their life force for a paycheck.

Her clients are people who want to follow their passion and purpose and make a meaningful contribution to this world.

She guides and leads them in this transition process where their souls are enriched as they do what really moves their heart whilst giving them the practical marketing, positioning and business tools to not only survive but thrive in their chosen business niche.

If you a budding heart centered entrepreneur who is ready for the next step, this is a sign to connect.
Interview with Ms Blanca Vergara (unlinked)

Yours in health, wealth and happiness

A Life of Abundance Without Compromise

What is a life of abundance without compromise?

So often we settle for the path of least resistance rather than uphold the values we consider sacred, values that define who we are.

I would like to think that some of our highest values include maintaining our integrity and honesty in our dealings with other people but above all, with the most important person in your life, and that is YOU.

To be honest with ourselves requires courage and for us to fly against convention and the expectations of others.

Our silence is interpreted as consent as we unwittingly become hostage to our own less than ideal circumstances.

I am reminded of the story describing the method used to catch the slender limbed spider monkey.

The clever strategy consists of placing a peanut in a heavy glass jar with a narrow neck and leaving this trap at the foot of a tree that monkey calls home.

The desire for a tasty snack compels monkey to descend from his lofty perch, and to squeeze his hand down the glass jar to pick up his treat.

So as not to lose his precious prize, monkey makes his hand into a fist with the peanut safely tucked in the palm of his hand. In doing so, he cannot pull his hand through the narrow bottleneck and the heavy jar keeps him stuck at ground level.

The dilemma for monkey is whether to let go of his peanut treat and scamper up the tree to safety and freedom or become captive to the illusion of the prize.

In the corporate world, we refer to this as the “Golden Handcuffs”.

A person stays in a soul destroying job that does not inspire or invigorate them for fear of losing their perceived financial security, sense of prestige and the outward trappings of success.

In reality they are trading their life force for a dime.

If you can identify with this scenario, then realize that this is an inequitable exchange.

No amount of money can compensate you for an existence that is less than a life lived to its fullest.

By definition, a life of abundance in every sense of the word includes great health, happy loving relationships and material wealth.

And this is a life lived without compromise.

Yours in health, wealth and happiness

Not Settling for Second Best

Very few people are going after what they truly want in life. Most people settle for what they think they can get.”- Bob Proctor

I felt sad when I read Bob’s observation of the human condition. It said to me that there are an inordinate number of people telling themselves that it is okay to settle for second best.

You did not come into this world to be second best- in my previous 15 years in science with 10 years as a medical scientist I can tell you that during the 38 or so weeks required to assemble you from the ground up, (at the molecular level from bits of DNA from your biological parents), a MILLION things could have gone wrong.

From not being up to scratch (hence having the plug pulled in utero) to not making it into this world with all your fingers, toes and faculties intact.

But here you are, a living, breathing, sentient being perfect in every way BUT only just getting by?

It is not exactly what was intended for you, was it now?

So my question to you is why are you not performing at 100 % and getting what you truly want in life.

Did somebody veto your plans, did they tell you that you can’t and didn’t it ever occur to you to ask, “Why not, why can’t I have what I truly want?”

And here’s the clincher, when they gravely (but with a whiff of triumph) intoned their pronouncement as to why, did you have to accept their explanation?

It’s your life and you can do whatever you like.

That includes ignoring the pessimists the naysayers, the glum people who can suck the oxygen out of a room simply by being around you.

So, think of the creative ways you can stand up for yourself, take control and go after what you truly want in life.

Yes, you will create waves and upset some people along the way, but given the choice would you rather have your spirit languish for the sake of “not making a fuss” or do you want to stand tall and claim your right to a place in the sun.

Here’s Vanessa Amorosi’s song “This is who I am” for a dose of defiance and perhaps you may want to use it as your anthem for the next week.

Yours in health, wealth and happiness

You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dawg

A city slicker was visiting his distant relations out in the country and stopped by a gas station for refreshments and to fill up his fancy car.
As he was about to go inside to pay, he noticed an old timer sitting on his wooden porch in his rocking chair just quietly taking in the fresh country air.
But the peace and tranquility was disturbed by a howling dog laying at the feet of the old timer.
Mr City Slicker could not contain his curiosity and just had to ask, “Hey there sir, I can’t but help notice your dog howling. Is he ok because he sounds like he is in a lot of pain”.
“Well, son”, replied the Old timer, “That’s because this here dog is laying on a nail that ain’t hammered down smooth on this porch”.
The next obvious question he had was, “Why doesn’t the dog lay on the other side of the porch then?”
Without batting an eyelid, the Old timer said, “Because then, it’ll have to get up and MOVE!”

The first time I heard this story, I laughed so hard I almost snotted.

This is a great example of some people who say they want to be happier, thinner, healthier, richer etc but balk at having to make some type of effort.
They love the sound of their own whining, they wheel out their “story” to the unsuspecting and hope to reel them in with their tales of why something’s not right in their lives (cue violins).

So, below is this little checklist that is sure to get us thinking. It’s self explanatory.

We ask ourselves, do we play above or below the line.

If you are an OAR it means you take ownership of the situation. For example you might be a tad heavier that is healthy for your gender, age and height.
You are accountable for that less than healthy lifestyle, and you take responsibility by doing something about it such as making a choice not to have the greasy take out but choose the lean chicken whole meal sandwich instead. In other words you play above the line like a true CHAMPION.

Alternatively, you can lay in BED and play VICTIM and below the line by placing blame on everyone and everything, make convenient excuses about why you can’t (substitute “won’t) change your eating habits and downright be in denial about the fact that you haven’t been able to see your toes for years.

Accountability         CHAMPION
Excuses             VICTIM