Once again this month it’s all about living a life of true success and getting the message out there. For in 2014 I published my first book, The Six Traits of Self-leadership: How to Create a Life of Success and Happiness, to encourage and guide people in reaching their potential and achieving their dreams. Essentially it was a handbook for those who ‘know’ what they want to do with their life and the success they want, but who are just not sure how to achieve it. The book was intended to guide people in making the success they want for their life a reality.
I felt blessed to receive such positive feedback on the book, but then some people started to ask, ‘Michael, I want to be successful, but I don’t know what true success even means to me.’
The intention was to write this book while travelling in a specially designed truck with fourteen other passengers on a twenty-two-week overland journey from London to Sydney, taking in the Silk Road from Istanbul in Turkey to the end of the Great Wall in China. The Silk Road has been a network of routes and a way of travelling between China and the capital of the Roman Empire since the second-century bc. Nowadays it is known as ‘The Silk Road: The Way of Dialogue, Mutual Understanding, and Rapprochement of Cultures’.
This journey was to involve travelling through some of the world’s most inhospitable regions and difficult terrains: a daunting route to many places I had never heard of before. Camping would often be the only means of accommodation available in such desolate environments as the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border.
So, I considered the question: What is true success? The more I thought about it, the more I felt I needed to answer this question in my second book. The gods conspired in my favour when it became possible for me to take six months out from work and everyday living to both reflect on and answer this question.
These six months out were a privilege, and it was my goal to make full use of them to write a follow-up book on what it was to know true success in all areas of one’s life. But as I spent more and more time on the road, the book was just not happening for me. A lot of writing was being done, but it did not seem to be getting to the heart of what I needed to write. Panic set in. Yes, I was seeing amazing sights, meeting so many great people, staying in places I may never get to stay in again, and writing in unbelievable and stunningly beautiful spots. Yet the book was not coming together. My agent wanted more of a historical and academic point of view of what was seen as true success down through the ages.
Was it time to leave and focus on the writing completely – and give the publisher what they wanted? Yes, it was heartbreaking to even contemplate leaving; maybe I had to leave, to give the time solely to writing. After a sleepless night, the decision was made. I was going to leave and focus on the writing – yet it was not to be what the agent wanted, as this just did not sit right with me. Yes to a book on success, only not from an academic viewpoint. The two people whom I had become closest to on the journey were to be told first, out of respect for our growing friendship, after all our adventures together on the truck as we travelled the Silk Road.
Having told my friends, they were both sad that our friendship and support for each other as we travelled together would come to a premature end. They were disappointed for me on a personal level, too, that the writing was not happening, but they fully understood that I could only give the time to writing by leaving, and not finishing the journey on the Silk Road by going on to Sydney.
Having dealt with the emotions of my leaving, it was time to get practical: inform the group leader, organise transport to the airport and get a flight to somewhere where I could give the time to writing. But then something unexpected happened.
And it was this that was to lead to the writing of my next book:
Conversations In Singapore: Searching for True Success on the Silk Road One Question at a Time (Published by Liberties Press) and available from –
Liberty Press – Click here
And delighted to announce that as and from the 30th of July it is available at WH Smith at Dublin Airport T1 and T2, Cork Airport and Arnotts, Dublin.
A book that will change your life, for you will never see achieving success in the same away again, be that for yourself or the people who matter most to you. It is also the perfect length to be read on a flight!