the FEAR

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It’s interesting how you start writing something, and then you may get side tracked as inspiration may wane or your mind may flow to something else. I have a confession, less than a month ago I got inspired to write a post with the title, “the Fear”, inspired partly by the Lily Allen song and what I perceived was a common energy in today’s society: wanting to constantly strive for something because they were scared. I am glad that I decided not to write it and wait until now, as I have just completed reading Olga Levancuka [AKA Skinny Rich Coach] latest book, The Ill Society.

Raving fan

Before I begin the review of The ILL Society, I will provide a little background into what inspired me to read Olga’s book. I actually read all of her previous books, and have got them personally autographed by the author herself. Yes, I am a raving fan! Yes we have met and she would not describe me as a stalker. I am neither a groupie, as I like to be my own person and was never one to conform to the general “consensus”. I am I.  And following on from this point this is actually one of the qualities I admire in Olga that she supports people thinking for “him or herself” At the opening of the book, you will see that this is expressed almost as a legal disclaimer when she, to paraphrase says, “you may or may not agree with me but this is okay. I want you to generate your own opinion”. This can arguably be the first time when she approaches the theme of individual responsibility.

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Before I read the book, I conjured up thoughts on what the book will be discussing based on the title a summary. Yes, the saying does go, “do not judge a book by its covers”.  My first prejudgement was that the book will be how in the medical world, that they are creating labels for different mental illnesses in order to keep the pharmaceutical companies rich – duping us.  For example, when I was growing up people whose mood oscillated from one extreme to another were sometimes referred to as manic-depressives. Now today in the digital world, where we can instantaneously find out digressions of celebrityville , we are hearing the term bi-polar. As I write this, the pop star Justin Bieber has been behaving not so well: getting arrested and playing bad-boy. I am waiting to see if he is labelled ‘bi-polar’. Please note here, that I agree that there are mental illness issues. But it seems that labels are being placed too quickly on people.  As Olga asks, are we ill?


The F.E.A.R

As mentioned mental illness does exist. Like a virus it may be contained in one person or be alive in many people. This is sometimes referred to as an epidemic. One of the main themes of the book is the illness of FEAR. This can sometimes be referred to as False Evidence Appearing Real. According to Olga, a lot of us are suffering from this word FEAR. This fear may come from worrying about the future event based on past experiences. The question that was being asked was, “whose fear is it?” Beliefs after all are thoughts that you think are true. Some of these thoughts may have come centuries ago, when it was useful for that particular person. It could have been to control or suppress another. Here is an extract from Lily Allen’s song on fear:

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore
And I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore
And when do you think it will all become clear?
‘Cause I’m being taking over by The Fear

Can you relate to these themes? Are you living in fear?


As mentioned earlier on there was another core theme of responsibility. How we can expand ourselves; as well as participating in society instead of being a spectator. For example, shouting at the TV instead of taken action. Thus the book looks at different social issues, some that may make people feel uncomfortable chatting about at the dinner table: sex, money and politics Et cetera.


Taking off the blinkers

There is the great possibility that may I return to re-read parts of the book since there were quite a few bombshell moments where it looked at different lifestyle themes. This is not to say that the book is too overwhelming but it is a books that will make you take off your blinkers, and really open your eyes to what is going on; make you want to tune in to what you ‘really’ want. Why have I created this fear? To take off the blinkers, you can order yours below:


The “Expert”

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In this time, which we live in, life is digital. We can connect with people much easier through the World Wide Web. This can be through the medium of sending email messages or having video chats via Skype. We also have access to different informational products. This can be e-books, online courses and so forth. It has become easy to put your message out there; and show your expertise in a subject matter.

the expert

the expert


Who is an expert?


The days of having credentials behind your name when publishing non-fiction has gone.  People are sometimes calling themselves experts from reading up on a topic, or having personal experience with the topic. I do not have an issue with the latter, as you cannot beat experience – the practical! I do wonder about the former, studying. For many years I was an academic, studying concepts and sometimes applying it to scenarios with regard to legal problems: applying the law to the facts. In some respects it helped to know what the likely outcome will be, based on precedents. Although there were times when this may not be the case, as precedents may not be followed, as the judge may decide to ‘distinguish’ the facts or decide that there is a better way. This is an interesting point that because one rule has [apparently] worked before, then it does not mean you cannot try something new. As I write this post, I am also reading a book that raises the argument about not falling for the dogma. This is good approach to apply when looking at beliefs, as we may forget to question why we still accept this view.

In the world of coaching I have seen many ‘life coaches’ popping up. It is good to get help when it is required, sometimes you may not get this from reading.  A friend of mines years ago said, “I do not believe in life coaches. Why do you need someone to validate you?” Her main thought was that you are the best person to make life decisions.  She could not understand leaving it to someone else to say whether you were on the right path. Coaching is part mirroring the other person, reflecting what they are projecting and giving them the space to help come up solutions. I am weary of the people out there calling themselves ‘experts’ on topics that they have not mastered themselves on a personal level. So you will not see me [at the time of writing this: January 2014], publishing shortly the Money ‘Series” book. Perhaps that will come next year.


“You are an expert as you are living life”

I believe that we are experts in life, as we are living it. We go through different experiences: both good and bad. From these we are gaining an insight.  For example, learning that if you drink too much you may wake up with a bad hangover the next day. Please be warned, sometimes we may not take on the lesson that was to be learnt. This can be like that story where a person kept walking down the pavement, which had a pothole, kept falling in and cried in annoyance. Then the day when they decided to not walk along that same pavement, then they 1) did not fall into the payment and 2) no longer felt the annoyance of repeating the same action.



 It is interesting how a theme can develop out of another discussion. Recently I was participated in a FaceBook discussion regarding time.  It started off as a joke, and then I added a point about a so-called expert on time. One participant in this explained how they did not enjoy the book; and felt bad for admitting this, as the author was well-known and renowned as an expert. I interjected by saying that I too could not get into the flow of the book, so therefore did not complete it. The point here is that just because a person is deemed an expert, does not mean that you will connect with the “how” they deliver the topic. It was their opinion. Opinions are not necessarily facts.



Next time when seeing someone write or discuss a topic, ask yourself, “are they an expert?”


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