Simon Ekin

How to make a correct a decision

(Many thanks to Mike Ellis-Smith for this article.)

The summer weather in southern England and in the English Channel was wet and stormy. Rain streamed down over the vast encampments in Sussex and Hampshire where more than a quarter of a million young men waited for the signal to embark on the greatest amphibious invasion in the history of warfare. It was Monday 5th June 1944. The wall clock of Southwick Manor House, five miles north of Portsmouth, showed the time: 14h00. Built in 1800, the three-story Georgian house was the ideal meeting place for the matter under discussion.

The seven men at the table faced a decision – Go or Postpone again? In ports along the coast of Dorset and Hampshire, seven thousand vessels waited to head southwards across the English Channel to five beaches in Normandy; code named: Utah, Omaha, Sword, Gold, and Juno. On airfields across the southeast counties of England, more than 800 bomber aircraft each carrying paratroopers and towing a glider, carrying twelve men, waited for the signal to “Go!”

The invasion, code named Operation Overlord, had already been delayed. Bad weather in the Channel spelled danger for the thousands of the low freeboard landing craft that could easily be swamped by stormy seas. Tomorrow morning at 06h30 the tide at the beaches would be at its lowest, exposing the iron girders, spikes, mines, and obstacles placed by the Germans to prevent allied landings. The next occasion the tide would drop this low would be in a month’s time, which would allow German Field Marshal Rommel, to further strengthen the defences of the shoreline against possible invasion.  Do we go or do we delay? The men round the table, were undecided.

At 14h15 the Met Officer entered the room with the latest weather report. A weak high-pressure zone would be passing over the Channel in the early hours before dawn the next day; this would lessen the severity of the storm. But its effects would be weak and short-lived.  The clock showed the time to be 14h20. Opinions and experience swayed back and forth. Go or stay? Decision time was nearing and the voting around the table was still inconclusive. Yet everyone round the table knew that only one man could give the final word, to go or stay. He was the Supreme Allied Commander, a West Point graduate, and a four-star general. His name: Dwight D Eisenhower. The decision had to be reached by 14h30. It was going to be a long, stormy crossing to Normandy. Finally, at 14h28 Eisenhower, a chain-smoker, stubbed out his cigarette and looked down the table at the senior men. He had made his decision. “Ike” as he was known, cleared his throat. “Gentlemen; we go.”

In front of each of the men was a field telephone that would connect them to harbours and airfields across southern England. The men dialled through to the command posts, who in turn passed on the order further down the line. The greatest amphibious invasion in the history of warfare had begun. After months and months of training, planning, preparation, and phony messages to confuse the enemy, the army, navy, and air force were on the move at last. Over the next two days, hundreds of thousands of men would step ashore onto the mainland of Nazi occupied Europe. Many would die while attempting to do so. Bitter fighting across France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany would follow.

The rest is well-recorded history. The war in Europe ended on May 8th, 1945 and has become known as VE Day. The war in the Far East continued until August 1945 with the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In January 1953 Eisenhower, in a landslide victory, became the 34th President of the United States. He served two terms in office until January 1961, to be succeeded by John F Kennedy.   After Eisenhower’s retirement from the White House, his biographer asked him: “What was the biggest decision you ever had to take in your lifetime, either as a soldier or as a politician?”  Ike was silent for a moment.

“The biggest decision ever: to Go – to begin the D-Day landing, despite the weather, the rough sea and the terrible loss of life that would be bound to follow once the troops reached the landing beaches.” His biographer made some notes, then looked up with his final question.

“Sir, how did you know it was the right decision?”

Eisenhower smiled thinly; shook his head and replied: “In my life I have learned one truth; it is this: make a decision. Don’t ask, is the decision right or wrong? Because it doesn’t really matter. See, perhaps there is no such thing as the right decision; what’s more important is that once you’ve made it, you make the decision right.”

Author’s Note: This story naturally raises the question – Is there such a thing as the “right decision?” and does it matter? Some decisions are so obviously wrong, that even without the benefit of hindsight, one can tell that they were badly made. However, I have always felt that Eisenhower’s philosophy of not second-guessing one’s own logic is the courageous one and is frequently the best. Make the decision, and after that, it doesn’t really matter. Hang in there, you’ve done your best. And now make the decision right.

Mojestically yours!


P.S. Find out your Mojo score by completing the anonymous 2-minute Mojo-Meter here:

Black and white image photoshopped by @MarinaAmaral

Using M.O.J.O to get your Mojo Back

“Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” – Democritus

I am often asked, “How do I get my Mojo back?” Try this 4-Step Process, it works for me!

Here’s the 4-Step M.O.J.O process I use. Give it a try and see how you go? Would love to hear from you!

·  Magic: What do you really want? You know it, in your soul, your heart, your gut. Don’t deny it to yourself. What would feel amazing? Visualise it.

·  Obstacles: It’s hard, isn’t it? Sure, but so is dying knowing you didn’t follow the magic. What’s stopping you has been stopping you for a very long time. Don’t have it stop you again.

·  Jump! Open your mouth. Take a step. Take a risk. Do something. Do nothing. But do something different to what you always do.

·  Observe: Well done! How are you feeling? What happened? Did it surprise you? Was it easier? Did other things happen?

Go on, give it a go! I’d love to know how you get on!

Mojestically yours,


P.S. Find out your Mojo score by completing the anonymous 2-minute Mojo-Meter here:

The Magic of Talking to Strangers and Taking a Risk

Go on. Take a risk!

It’s 10:30 on a weekday night as I step into a little bar called Roxy’s, in Cape Town with two other men I have just met whilst attending a men’s circle.

It’s cold outside but the warmth of an open fire and a wooden-topped bar, with a choice of beers on tap, feels just the ticket. We continue a deep and meaningful conversation about relationships.

My attention is drawn to a man who comes into the pub and sits at a table across from us and directly in my line of sight. He’s in his early 60s and has a ‘mane’ of glossy, silvery hair that for some reason, above normal curiosity, grabs my attention.

I do what I try and do as much as I can: challenge my own assumptions and limitations, so pull back the chair and walk up to him. “Hello,” I say, “may I touch your amazing silvery hair?” He admits he’s never been asked that by a man before but accommodates my request. After the stroking, I return to my seat.

As I look at him a flicker of recognition fires in my brain. I look at him, look at him again, and then ask, still not sure, “is your name Mike?” He looks at me, and says, “is your name Si?”

It’s Mike F! Mike is the man I met in the late 90’s in London and who first made me aware of the organisation and the very circle that I have been attending – The Mankind Project. I knew he was in Cape Town, and we had had a couple of failed attempts to meet up and now, as if by magic, here we are. He pulls up a chair and joins us for one of those beautiful, flowing, interesting, exciting conversations. I am in the zone, in my Mojo, as happy as a pig in sh*t.

What are the chances of these strange and wonderful series of ‘coincidences?’

I marvel at the majesty, the magic of how the universe delivers every time bang on time, good or bad, right, or wrong.

Allow me to join the dots for you in the form of reflection on this meeting:

  1. Reach out. Connect with someone, you never know what will happen as a result.
  2. Listen to your heart, your desire, your ideas, your quirks, guiding you. I really wanted to go out for a beer with these men I had met and yet my rational mind was telling me that I needed to get back home and get a decent night’s sleep.
  3. Fully engage. In the men’s circle I fully engaged in everything I did that night and took a couple of risks. Because of those risks I judged that I made a deeper, better connection with the other men and so they were willing to come and have a beer with me, perhaps more, than if I had stood back and not thrown myself in.

My invitation of a ‘call to arms’:

Reach out to a stranger and take a risk. Not sure where to start? Start with what is right here, right now. In my case, it was Mike’s grey hair. Be curious. Take a risk.

Mojestically yours,


P.S. Find out your Mojo score by completing the anonymous 2-minute Mojo-Meter here:

How striking up a conversation with a stranger landed me a coffee

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”  Mary Oliver

Please, will you consider what an extraordinary life you have, and how the simple act of storytelling could have a big impact on it?

I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t taught to tell stories in everyday life. Some are, it seems, natural storytellers, but I believe we can learn how to do this. When we tell our stories, no matter how seemingly insignificant they are, they give the listener something very valuable, something unique, something unexpected. 

I judge that in many cultures, particularly Western culture, we’re not taught the process of telling stories. Yes, we know about fables and myths and so on, maybe from school. But what about our daily lives? What about those little moments that seem to be so insignificant? What if we were to be able to craft them in a way that a simple trip to get a cup of coffee becomes something valuable to someone else, and to ourselves, in turn? Send me a message and I will show you the 5-step process of telling a story that transforms. 

Here’s an example: It’s 8:00 o’clock on Monday morning and I head out for a cup of coffee and some groceries. I walk across the busy road, towards a coffee spot; it’s a little hatch nearby where people place their orders, and I notice an elegant-looking woman walking towards the ramp that leads to the coffee counter. I particularly notice her shoes. They’re high-heeled, beige in colour and I can’t help wondering – not for the first time – what it must be like walking in high heels, particularly on uneven surfaces! 

They look great, and she looks great in them, and I think to myself, “I should compliment her on them.” And then, the voice in my head starts up: “It’s probably not appropriate…what will she think? Will she think I’m trying to pick her up? Will it get awkward all?”  

I walk up the ramp, on which she is now waiting in the queue, and I say to her, “I love your shoes, they are so elegant!” She smiles and says thank you as I head into the shop. As I head out to the queue, I start to feel a little self-conscious, projecting that she will think it was the start of a chatting-up process, and now what? The voice is doing its thing again! 

I walk out and join the queue behind her, telling myself to just relax, have a conversation, and see what happens. I ask her what her day is looking like. She says she is running late, and asks if I have a headache, given that it’s Monday, which is clearly a thing for her! She seems very open and willing to converse. She introduces herself with a firm, outstretched hand. Her name is Mila and she works for a financial services institution. We compare notes, asking each what the day has in store for us. I tell her I am pondering an idea for a blog later today that I will be writing later. I suggest she considers doing one too, which she quickly dismisses. 

She offers me a coffee, which I willingly accept. “I have got all these free coffee vouchers,” she says, “and I rarely end up using them.” I ask if she would like to chat further over our coffee, but she tells me her boss is already asking where she is. I hand her my card that says, helping men get their Mojo back, she says, “Oh, I should tell my boyfriend about you!” I laugh that the chances are not high he will connect with me, but who knows? 

And with that, she leaves.  

I reflected on the conversation; this is what I got: 

  1. I think if you’re sincere and honest, things – different things – can happen that can be small or lead to something big, who knows? But I do know that it is quite rare.  
  2. I think having the courage – my favourite of all! – to just speak whatever is there in a way that is not trying to get something but just saying it like it is, is one of the most important actions a human being can take. 
  3. Trust the process – if you open your mouth, you’re far more likely to have a new and different experience, rather than the ‘same old, same old.” In my case, I had a delightful conversation with a stranger that ended in a gift of a cup of coffee! 

Why not strike up a conversation with a stranger and see what happens? 

I’d love to hear. Drop me a line!

Mojestically yours!


P.S. Find out your Mojo score by completing the anonymous 2-minute Mojo-Meter here:

How the idea of running changed my life and could change yours

“Hit the road. It will help you to work out where you are going.” Anon.

I went for a run that day and I have remembered that line like it was yesterday, not just in running, but in other aspects of my life also.

A huge part of my identity and existence is owed to running. Make no mistake I am not an expert or these days even a particularly competitive runner; in fact, the furthest I have ever run is a half marathon.  For me it is far more about the journey than the destination. But in the summer of 1983 when I was 15, my two brothers and I were sent off to a sailing school near Poole, in Dorset, on England’s south coast. Supervision was low and much teenage mischief was had.

One day, one of the instructors came into our caravan and asked if anyone wanted to come for a run with him. We all responded like most teenagers! Just as he was leaving, I thought, “Why not? It’s something different to idling around for the rest of the afternoon.”

I went for that run with him and something fired within me. I became like Forrest Gump and didn’t stop. I add this movie clip from the film, more for amusement than any cryptic message of overcoming this kind of adversity!

In the spring of the following year, it came time for the school cross-country race. The previous year I had come in about 180th out of about 360 boys. But this year I came…first!

One thing lead to another. I had dreams. I thought differently. I ‘did’ differently. I joined the army. I found myself. I still run. Something happens when I do. Something magical.

And the biggest challenge of all, by far?

Yip. Getting started.

So, hit the ‘road’ it will help you to work out where you are going. What’s your road? What are you waiting for? What are you putting off?

I’d love to hear. Drop me a line!

Mojestically yours!


P.S. Find out your Mojo score by completing the anonymous 2-minute Mojo-Meter here:

Featured image credit: With thanks to David Marcu, UnSplash.

A short story about privilege (illustration)

Whilst money cannot buy happiness,

the benefits of poverty have been greatly exaggerated.

I have grown up in privilege and I still live in privilege. In some ways I suppose I won some kind of ‘genetic lottery.’ My skin colour, being brought up in a Western, Anglo-Saxon environment, my socio-economic background. I feel like the legacy of privilege got handed down to me. It was mine to make use of, or squander. The odds were stacked in my favour but for many it’s the opposite.

I came across this extraordinary illustration some years ago and I’ve never forgotten it and I hope that it will be useful in helping you to see whichever side of the fence you have fallen on and how heavily the cards are stacked for, or against you.

Click on this image for the full illustration:

What do you think? What did you get from this?

Mojestically yours!


P.S. Find out your Mojo score by completing the anonymous 2-minute Mojo-Meter here:

Featured image credit: The Guardian

You know what to do, don’t you?

A Sufi tale tells of an intelligent and talented young man with a great thirst for knowledge. So insatiable is his thirst that he is determined to know everything there is to know. His journey takes him to many countries, cultures, masters and teachers in search of more knowledge.

In Cairo, he meets a wise old man who tells him that, far out to the east, 4 days camel ride away, there is a place where he will find ‘the fountain of all knowledge.’ It is marked by an oasis, surrounded by seven palm trees. Under the 3rd palm tree from the left, there is a rock and under that rock, he will find what he is looking for.

After 4 days of travelling, he arrives at the oasis. Excitedly he rushes up to the third palm tree from the left and discovers the rock, which he moved to one side. He sees there is an inscription, covered by dust, which he rubs away, and reads the inscription: why are you looking for more knowledge when you are not using the knowledge you already have?

What are you waiting for?

What are you putting off, that you know you need to do, or if you don’t do it, part of you will forever die? Mojestically yours!


P.S. Find out your Mojo score by completing the anonymous 2-minute Mojo-Meter here:

How to behave when you want to punch someone!

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t being said”. Peter Drucker

What would life be like if you didn’t have fear?

Perhaps you would take more risks, say what you want to say, how you want to say it, ask someone out on a date, introduce yourself to that interesting looking stranger, perhaps even walk naked down the street? Who knows?

But my experience is that this simple question exposes just how much our lives are dictated by fear: fear of what people will think of us, a fear of getting it wrong, making mistakes, looking bad… the list goes on and on doesn’t it?

And it’s really hard sometimes, isn’t it? There are so many forces at work in all of us: emotions, feelings, relationships, agendas, other relationships that have an impact on this moment, in the background. Wow, what a list of things we have to think about!

All this played out recently in my neighbourhood when a  neighbour’s dog attempted to attack mine on three successive days. On two of those days we were both able to pull the dogs back on the leashes and on the third, the dog tore at mine, off his leash. I lifted my dog up, shouting at the owner to keep his dog on a leash and kicked the poor dog hard in the ribs. (Isn’t the problem the owner’s, not the dogs? Ahem, myself included!)

It has taken about a month to get to what I hope to be a resolution. I followed a fairly decent rational protocol sending him WhatsApp messages saying I had appreciated if we could talk but they went unanswered.

I called him but he didn’t pick up the phone. Eventually I knocked on the door and asked if we could speak, something I would far rather not have done. I could feel his brisling, tightening and defensive tone because I think he knew exactly what I wanted to talk about but he seemed to feign ignorance.

My only brief to myself was to approach with love and calmness and to remember to ‘be kind, for we all fight mighty battles.’ I know myself well enough to know that I can be an angry dog if I choose to be and I knew that it would only make matters worse.

Luckily, I was able to manage myself and we had a constructive conversation. He agreed to keep his dog on a lead at all times and to ensure that the loud barking stops at 20h30 when he puts him in doors.

I noticed the almost addictive pull I had to be ‘right’ and make him ‘wrong,’ and to ‘dominate’ and bully him was so present for me and yet I also knew that it was a fairly simple – not easy – task to approach it in the right, and best way possible.

The ‘structure’ I used was from Non-Violent Communication:

  1. Share Facts – what happened?
  2. Share feelings.
  3. Share what you need.
  4. Make a request.
  5. Show appreciation.

It really works!

If you are someone like me, who battles with these kinds of incidents, why not take one of them and let’s have a conversation about it?

Drop me a line or give me a call.

Mojestically yours!


P.S. Find out your Mojo score by completing the anonymous 2-minute Mojo-Meter here:

What exactly is Mojo?

What is Mojo?

Perhaps you are familiar with ‘Austin Powers’ who for many of us made Mojo a bit of a household name. This is him at the top, played by Mike Myers. Here’s an excerpt from the movie, The spy who shagged me.

Basically Mojo – which I describe through the acronym, PEACH (Passion, Energy, Authenticity, Confidence and Humour) – is ‘the good stuff,’ namely some or all of the following.

I wonder which words jump out at you?  Why not complete the Mojo-Meter here and find out your Mojo Score?

  • Life force
  • Energy
  • Inspiration
  • Presence (Being here now)
  • Confidence
  • Magnetism
  • Sex appeal
  • Charisma  
  • Spunk
  • Chutzpah
  • Pizazz…

Can you think of any words that come up for you?

Here’s the link again, below.

Mojestically yours,


There’s only one challenge to a great life (with fix)

I must admit, I’ve been ‘low-Mojo,’ or ‘Lojo’ for about 2 weeks, dealing with a particular challenge in a significant relationship.

I know what to do: speak my truth, share my feelings, be vulnerable, take action, be courageous, etc. And yet I don’t, (which is a particular bother, given that I am a life coach, helping people get their Mojos back! This Mojonaire’s mojo as gone AWOL.)

What’s going on?

I have been captive to my thoughts. I have been saying things like:

  • What’s the point?
  • It’s useless!
  • I’m stuck.
  • I can’t go on like this.

I have been actually believing them. I have been in the drama. I have been receiving a grand payoff for them, e.g., Poor me, I am powerless, I can’t do anything about it.

I don’t want to share this stuff with you by the way, for fear that you will think I am idiot, but I trust that you will get it and relate to my current human struggle!

And then yesterday, I turned a corner, got a glimmer of light. I can’t say it was one thing, more a conglomeration of thoughts – other ones! – ideas and reflections, but my coach challenged me by saying I was not stepping up and taking action. He was right. Sometimes it takes that, to shake us awake from the ‘dream.’

I realised that I had the finger pointed over there, rather than looking within myself and asking (with the help of my coach):

  • What do I want?
  • What am I willing to create?
  • To generate?
  • To make a stand for?
  • How can I blow the lid of it and really be me?

I realised that I was stopping myself.

So today, already, I have had a great day. I have been having fun, being mischievous, catching myself when I tell myself I am being too much, over the top of inappropriate, and going for it anyway.

I went to the hospital for a minor procedure and asked an elderly woman and her friend who were puffing and panting along the corridor if they were okay. Her friend said she had cancer. I offered my concern and then asked if I could give her a piggyback to where she was going. They both laughed. The friend wanted to come too. We all laughed. I felt great, I think they did too. Just a brief respite from the seriousness and torture in our heads; the thoughts our minds churn out!

I have been listening to Sam Harris’ Waking Up’, and his excellent 1-minute ‘moments.’ Here was the one this morning. Kind of says it all really…

No matter how good life gets the opportunity to suffer is ever present. Although wealth and fame can secure many forms of pleasure, few of us have any illusions that they guarantee happiness.

Anyone who owns a television or a computer, has seen movie stars, politicians, professional athletes and other celebrities ricochet from marriage to marriage and from scandal to scandal only to learn that a young attractive talented and successful person is nevertheless addicted to drugs or clinically depressed.

We are given almost no cause for surprise and yet the unsatisfactoryness of ‘the good life; runs deep, even while living safely between emergencies, most of us feel a wide range of painful emotions on a daily basis.

When you wake up in the morning are you filled with joy? How do you feel at work or when looking in the mirror? How satisfied are you with what you’ve accomplished in life? How much of your time with your family is spent feeling real love and gratitude and how much is spent struggling just to feel okay in one another’s company? 

Even for extraordinarily lucky people life is difficult and when we look at what makes it difficult, we see that we are all prisoners of our thoughts. Pay attention to this your relationship to thought will almost entirely determine the quality of your life and it will also determine how much value you can add to the lives of others.

Stay well and watch those thoughts and remember the old one,

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Frank Outlaw, Late President of the Bi-Lo Stores.

Want to get your Mojo* back, or find it or keep it? (*P.E.A.C.H: Passion, Energy, Authenticity, Confidence and Humour.) Click on this link and find out what your Mojo-Meter Rating is?

Mojestically yours,


P.S. Find out more about what I do and how I can help with the following offerings

  • Information on my individual and group Mojo Coaching
  • Get your Mojo Back – A 2-day Course in the forest where you will access the magical power of your Mojo.
  • The Interactive Digital and in-person Mojo Dojo Course.
  • Attend my monthly 90-minute Mojo Storytelling where you’ll discover the transformative effect of your stories.