My Book of Life

What is this?

This document was started in July 2016 as a result of an activity from the CoachMe VIP course I am taking part in.

The idea is to write a book that captures everything I think and believe and all that I have learned throughout my life. It is very relevant to Bestselfology as it focuses on how to become the best version of myself. I want to use this for 2 main reasons:

1) to remind myself what is important to me and to and to gather my beliefs together so I can continually develop them

2) to share ideas, tools and inspiration that have been useful to me

I love the idea that if for some tragic reason I lost all of my memories, this could be something that helped me remember who I am and what I think.

My Book of Life will constantly be updated and changed as my thoughts and ideas develop.

Some of the ideas are copied from other people who have created their own Book of Life as I agree with what they have said.


How to use this Book of Life

If you are reading this for the first time, read the chapters below for an overview of:

  • My beliefs and principles
  • My systems
  • My favourite ideas
  • Books and resources that have inspired me

Read this with the understanding that these are my beliefs and ideas and may be different from your own and this is fine.

Consider creating your own book of life. Feel free to copy anything from here that is helpful.

If you are a returning reader, check the change log at the bottom of the page for the most recent updates.

If you are Mel Johnson:

  • Develop a habit to use the book of life as a repository for beliefs and ideas that develop throughout the year
  • As often as you can re-read your opinions and build on them
  • At the beginning of every month, review the whole document, make any necessary edits, and write a new monthly report
  • At the beginning of every year archive the document and start the new yearly report

Chapter One: Beliefs, principles and values that guide everything

1: Meta-beliefs

  • Meta-beliefs are beliefs about beliefs
  • My belief about this document is that it will be useful and fun.
  • It’s purpose is to capture my beliefs about the universe.
  • This document will always be incomplete and out of date.
  • Some of my beliefs will be proven wrong.
  • I reserve the right to change my mind at any time about any of my beliefs.

2: Personal Principles

Earlier in the year, inspired by Gretchen Rubens personal principles I wrote my own:

I have reviewed them and they all still stand, but I have added a few more. These are the original principles:

1) Be confident to be Mel

2) Take 100% responsibility for me

3) Take immediate action

4) Take care of myself 

5) Always learn

6) Live for today

7) Think big

8) Have adventures

9) Remember the small things

10) Always ‘make a plan

11) Be nice 

12) Display positive energy

These are additional principles I aspire to live by:


Chapter 2: Personal Systems

Systems and tactics for getting the most out of your life

1: Productivity

  • You can always ‘Make a plan’ In other words, there is always a solution to any problem, you just need to put your mind to it, to figure it out.
  • Make time for Deep Work
  • Defragment your calendar
  • Apply the Touch It Once Principle
  • Create a second brain so you don’t have to rely on your own brain for everything
  • There are 168 hours in a week, use them wisely

2: Happiness

  • You create your own happiness.
  • Spend time thinking about what makes you happy. Do more of what makes you happy and less of what makes you unhappy.
  • Fill in a Happiness planner on a weekly basis, to journal your happiness journey.
  • Travel makes me happy, keep travelling and having micro adventures.
  • Having a fulfilling morning routine makes me happy, work on perfecting my morning routine.

3: Health

  • Sleep well
  • Eat well
  • Don’t eat meat and limit junk food.
  • Exercise has so many benefits. Try to exercise at least 4 – 5 times a week, even if its just for 15 mins.
  • Limit alcohol
  • Drink enough water

4: Relationships

  • You are the average of the people you surround yourself with.
  • Only spend time with people who bring you higher.
  • You can choose your family. Your family are the people dearest to you in your inner circle.
  • Make time for your friends and remember the small things.
  • Talk to strangers
  • Be curious about everyone, don’t judge on 1st impressions
  • Make eye contact with everyone you meet
  • Don’t be afraid of people
  • Be fully present with people (not on social media)

5: Personal development

  • Learn something new every day
  • Write every day, publish a blog post every week
  • Have an up to date life vision and keep striving towards that vision
  • Read as many books as possible
  • Surrounding yourself with awesome people will help with your personal development

6: Tracking

  • Tracking your goals will make you more likely to succeed at them


Chapter 3: Work

Lessons for business, work and creating things

1: Career

  • You will be better at what you are passionate about
  • Try not to be driven by money, be driven by doing what you love, if you can make money as well it is a bonus.
  • Progression does not necessarily mean up
  • Strive to make a passive income and be location independent
  • I need to feel like I am ‘making a difference’

2: Business

  • Share your values and what you will and won’t accept immediately
  • Stay true to those values
  • Keep your word
  • Treat people fairly

3: Leadership

  • Role model leadership behaviours
  • Get continuous feedback
  • Let go of the detail and trust people
  • Recruit the best people
  • Develop people to be the best version of themselves
  • Don’t be scared to employ people who are better than yourself
  • Provide a safe environment where people feel comfortable and protected
  • Have a big vision and work relentlessly towards achieving it
  • Display positive energy. Don’t be brought down by other peoples negativity

Chapter 4: Ideas

  • I believe we create our own luck.
  • I think everything happens for a reason, but I think that it’s because you make it that way.
  • I love to think that the universe will make things happen for you, but I know it is because you make things happen for yourself. I just like believing in the universe!
  • After I read Free Will by Sam Harris I have decided that free will doesn’t really exist, but it’s easier to think it does.
  • I believe that pure altruism doesn’t exist, helping others usually makes you feel good, so there is an element of doing it for yourself. There are highly altruistic people, its just that being altruistic makes them feel good.
  • The universe is too big to understand in its entirety, so we just make sense of a tiny part of it that allows us to operate.
  • We can change our behavior and habits and build new habits over time with the right systems.
  • We can achieve anything we put our minds to.
  • People are happy if they are clear on their purpose in life.
  • People are not born with talent, talent comes from hard work and hours of practice.

Chapter 5: Fear Inventory

My fears are split into 4 areas:

Relationships, health, security, and passion


  • People thinking I am stupid
  • People thinking I am boring
  • Not being liked
  • People thinking I am annoying
  • Other peoples judgment and that they think badly of me
  • People feeling sorry for me
  • Losing my family
  • Something bad will happen to my family
  • Commitment
  • Hurting others
  • Being alone
  • Being rejected
  • Having my heart broken
  • Settling for a partner then being unhappy


  • Losing my health
  • Getting old
  • Losing my memory
  • Getting sick
  • Losing mobility
  • Injury that will reduce health and fitness


  • That I will not reach my true potential
  • That I won’t have a big enough impact on the world
  • Not making the most from life
  • Not knowing enough
  • Not achieving everything I want
  • Not being happy
  • Being a bad writer
  • Not fulfilling my full potential
  • Not making a success of Bestselfology
  • People laughing at what I have written
  • Not being admired by others
  • Which country to live in
  • Not following my passion


  • Not having enough money
  • Not being able to pay for my flat and losing it
  • Making poor financial decisions
  • Making decisions based on security not passion
  • Not taking enough chances
  • Having no savings
  • We will destroy the planet
  • The world we are bringing children into

Chapter 6: My Life Script

My current script is:

  • I am a successful career woman who will always have a great job and will be able to succeed at anything I  put my mind to
  • I am highly productive and can make great use of my time
  • I am good at meeting new people and can set up a social network wherever I go
  • I’m unlucky in love
  • I will be happy when I am so financially secure that I can start making decisions in line with my passion

I will continue to try and identify any other patterns that I see.

The parts of the script that I am rewriting for myself as an adults are:

  • I am a thoughtful partner and will make the right person very happy
  •  I am financially secure so I can make decisions in line with my passion

Chapter 7: Aspirations

  • To get a book published
  • Become a qualified coach
  • Make a difference in the world
  • Work flexibly from any location
  • Be admired in my field
  • Support others in achieving their full potential
  • To be constantly learning
  • To be surrounded by awesome people
  • Travel and see the world
  • Live a simple and carefree life unburdened by possessions
  • To have a beautiful, cosy base of my own to call home
  • To own a wellness retreat
  • To earn a passive income
  • To publish a series of elearning courses
  • To make money from Bestselfology
  • To have a strong family unit
  • Follow my passions and contribute to society
  • To be able to speak another language fluently

Chapter 8: Influences and Recommendations

Information that inspires me and I would recommend to others

1: Books

Books that have read that have changed how I do things, or inspired me:

The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma

The Buddha, Geoff and Me by Edward Canfor-Dumas

Bounce, Matthew Syed

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

How to be a Productivity Ninja by Graham Allcott

Thrive by Arianna Huffington

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo

I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam

Deep Work by Cal Newport

Click here to watch some of my book recommendations

2: Quotes

My favourite quotes:

‘The best way to predict the future is to create it’ ~ Abraham Lincoln

‘If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you were about to do today?’ ~ Steve Jobs

‘The only way to do great work is love what you do’ ~ Steve Jobs

‘It always seems impossible until its done’ ~ Nelson Mandela

‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world’ ~ Mahatma Ghandi


3: My writing

My writing that I am most proud of:

My first ever blog:

This was my first ever guest post that I wrote on my brothers blog Rightbrainrockstar. It’s what inspired me to start my own blog.

Elephant Journal

An article I wrote for Elephant Journal on Becoming the Best Version of Yourself

An article on the True Meaning of Friendship

Tiny Buddha

An article I wrote for Tiny Buddha on The Benefits of Minimalism


Articles I have published on Bestselfology:

The Search for Mr Right

How to minimize distractions to enhance your productivity

How establishing a meaningful morning routine can positively impact your life

How to make the most of the 168 hours in your week


Change log:


Added My Life Script section Chapter 6


Updated aspirations


Updated Fear Inventory


Added change log

Updated relationship section

Updated aspirations section

Updated Leadership Section

Updated Books

Updated Quotes