Saturday, January 5, 2008

Mystery Illness Made Author Practice What He Preached

First-time author Pascoe Sawyers was forced to draw strength from key sections of his self-improvement book when he was struck down with a mystery illness just months before publication.

In August 2007, Sawyers collapsed while delivering a routine lecture, an event which was to turn his whole world upside down. Three key headings from his debut offering MePLC: Your Life Is Your Business, immediately jumped out at him. The words Be Fearless, Be Optimistic and Be Focused, had never been more relevant.

"The doctors were not sure what the illness was, although they initially suspected I might have suffered a stroke and later suggested it might be the beginnings of MS," recalls Sawyers. "After an MRI scan they discovered three lesions on my brain, and I was told I might not work or be able to live a normal life again. That was probably the most terrifying moment."

The 44 year-old father of three was subjected to a battery of tests as doctors attempted to diagnose his condition which still remains a mystery. The effects of the illness, including loss of balance and feeling on the right side of his face, double vision and seriously impaired hearing, kept him off work for two months. He was nursed back to full health by family and friends, and a dogged determination to be well enough to celebrate the publication of his book which he'd spent the previous year working on.

Although two months late, he successfully launched 'MePLC: Your Life is Your Business' on 20 November, 2007 to a packed and appreciative audience in central London. Tim Campbell, winner of BBC TV's The UK Apprentice, who penned the foreword for the book, and health care pioneer Sir Graham Morgan, were among the speakers who gave their endorsement to MePLC at the launch event.

Sawyers, who has a background in local government communications, is a multi-award winner for his public relations work. These include two converted PR Week Awards for highly effective campaigns on promoting the new Wembley Stadium and tackling inner-city gun crime. He is also widely recognized in British local government circles for his skills as a trainer and as an inspirational public speaker.

In researching the book, Sawyers casts his net wide, drawing on the work of American self-improvement guru's such as Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy and Jack Canfield. He also reflects on his experiences and observations while working with high profile local politicians, leaders of organizations and the personal leadership qualities of friends and family.

Sawyers, who has over 20 years experience of providing leading edge services in the public and voluntary sectors, was amazed by just how many people he met who were unfulfilled in their lives. "Every day I dream of setting up and running my own business, and every day reality wakes me up with a reminder of all the reasons why I can't," was just one of many thought bubbles that has silently floated from his head in recent years, and which resonated with many of the people he has met during his career.

Sawyers argues that most people fail to achieve their dreams because they believe they work for anyone but themselves. In MePLC he makes a powerful and convincing case for the idea that we are all chief executives of our own Personal Leadership Company (PLC), and discloses why accepting that your life is your business is the first and most important step along the road to fulfilling your aspirations.

Having made a full recovery, Sawyers is still undergoing tests as doctors continue their investigation into the possible cause of his illness. "It's been a real rollercoaster year for me", he says. "But the challenges I've faced over the last few months have provided me with a very timely opportunity to put some of the theories and principles I talk about in the book into practice. And guess what? They work!"

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