I am working with a personal branding coach at the moment – exercising my intellect on Chris Barrow as a brand and how that would look – or whether the brand should be the schools. Please don’t give me your feedback – I’m confused enough! However, the process has created some good conversations and the latest was a reflection on ALL those personal development programmes I have read, listened to and attended over the years. Did Covey’s 7 habits, Sullivan’s Unique Abilities, Robbins’s unleashed power, Gerber’s E-myth work? Well at one level, yes – I have incorporated the “best of the best” into my routines and habits, with the effect that I regard myself as a highly effective business owner and individual. And at another level, no – because I’m still finding life very difficult. Mountains, valleys, missiles and all that jazz. So I realised in the last few days that maybe my expectations of these programmes was too high. Did I expect a perfect life when I mastered them? Was the promise of a perfect life held out to me? My moment of understanding was when I accepted that these programmes are not designed to deliver the perfect life (sorry Thomas, you were a little over ambitious there I think) – they were designed to give me a set of strategies and tactics that would enable me to deal with the chaos that my life “is” and always will be. Managing chaos. That’s what life is – and each year the chaos gets more complex. 2006 will be my most chaotic year. And all that I have ever learned from personal development programmes will equip me to survive. Oh – and by the way – my programmes do the same – managing the chaos of dental practice and coaching practice ownership. Ping.