Like most large families, it seems that barely a week passes without a benchmark event taking place.

Over the past few weeks my eldest daughter Skye has moved to London to start her first full-time job; the lovely Mrs Stalkie and I had our first wedding anniversary (and no I didn’t forget!); my son Jack had his 18th birthday and is off to university; my 13-year old son Max has inherited Jack’s Saturday job in the local bike shop and my Dad has made an amazing recovery following a serious operation.

We don’t need a second excuse to celebrate in the Stalkie household, so as well as marking each of these achievements in their own way, these were all things that we celebrated together on a rip-roaring family holiday in Italy. Magical days all.

But, like most families, it hasn’t all been plain sailing behind these events. 18 years ago, just before Jack was born, I was lying in bed at The Priory Clinic where I had been told by my cancer specialists that I would spend the remaining 12 weeks or so of my life. One of the things that kept me going then was visualising all the things that I could look forward to sharing with Jack and the rest of my family when I was fully restored to the land of the living. The first ‘adult pint’ I shared with Jack at my local club last week was all the much sweeter when remembering that.

There have been anxious times when the family has been fractured or put under strain – the kids have had to live through their parent’s divorce and adjust to us finding new partners, and accepting stepchildren and extended family members into the clan. There have been a few behavioural and academic problems at school (like father like son I guess!), plenty of tasty tantrums, spats, bans and boycotts.

Even though family harmony is always under construction, what we have achieved together is something for us to be proud of, and worthy of looking back on to see just how far we’ve come forward, individually and collectively.

During these celebratory few weeks, I recalled a quote from Jack Canfield – one of America’s top corporate coaches and originator of the family-friendly Chicken Soup for the Soul® series of books which have sold a staggering 123 million + books globally (

“Build your self-esteem by recalling all the ways you have succeeded, and your brain will be filled with images of you making your achievements happen again and again. Give yourself permission to toot your own horn, and don’t wait for anyone to praise you”

Whenever I find a way to celebrate and praise anything good or positive that happens each day, the more there seems to celebrate and praise. What we praise increases – more magic!

Looking for the good in yourself, your essence and your qualities and catching yourself doing things right and well, is a potent tool for self-esteem and growth. It’s worthy of celebration. Start with yourself and it will also stimulate you to do the same for others in your life, creating a virtuous circle of like-minded people.

Celebrate each and every achievement with yourself, your loved ones, friends, team mates and work colleagues. They all have their strengths and victories, whether minor or major, worthy of being recognised and celebrated. Remember, what you focus, you feel – focusing on our successes and how far we’ve come will instil the feelings that we will want to replicate.

If you’re looking for tips on how to look for the good and the power of celebration, I have devised the Improve Your Life Now! programme which is full of tools such as 14 days of FREE video coaching, a FREE workbook and goals chart, all geared towards choosing the life you deserve. All details are on my website

Love the day.

Paul ‘Stalkie’ Stalker

The Mindset Man.