Personal Growth

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JOHN PETROZZI: Hi. Welcome to Living is Easy. I’m John Petrozzi.

Today, we have a very special interview lined up with Peggy McColl, who is internationally known for her work with helping people achieve goals. She’s also a New York Times bestselling author of several self-help books. And today, we’re going to talk about all the ins and outs, ups and downs of successful living.

Hi, Peggy, and thanks for making time to talk with us today.

PEGGY McCOLL: Hey, thanks, John. I really appreciate being invited. And I love the name of your show “Living is Easy.”

JOHN PETROZZI: Hey, great.

PEGGY McCOLL: Isn’t that the truth?

JOHN PETROZZI: That’s right. It should be. Peggy, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your story?

PEGGY McCOLL: Sure. Sure. You know it’s interesting because I mentioned “living is easy,” but life didn’t feel too easy for me. I got into personal development just over 30 years ago. And as a young teenager—I was actually working at that time; I graduated from high school and started working—I was introduced to this gentleman by the name of Bob Proctor, who has become pretty well known-


PEGGY McCOLL: -through the movie “The Secret,” right? And Bob was hired to come and speak at this company event. I sat in the front row, and Bob said some things that day that forever changed my life. One of the things that he said is that “You can’t escape from a prison unless you know you’re in one.” And it felt I was locked away in this emotional prison that I’ve created myself, and little did I know I held the key and I wasn’t really locked away at all. And so my journey began on that evening of passionately studying personal development.

When I started to experience the positive changes in my life and felt the magic of it all, I thought “I want to help other people.” So fifteen years ago, I incorporated my own company and I’ve been teaching seminars and doing speaking engagements and workshops and mentoring with people, and now I have seven books. Actually I just finished my seventh book.


PEGGY McCOLL: It will be out in the New Year.


PEGGY McCOLL: Yeah. And so now I’m blessed to serve other people, helping them reach their goals and achieve their destiny.

JOHN PETROZZI: Peggy, tell me, does it always take a breaking point for someone to turn their life around, if they’re sort of-?

PEGGY McCOLL: There’s kind of like two types of inspiration, you know. One is an inspiration from the desire to have something, which is like a wish or a dream. And then there’s another level of inspiration which comes from desperation. And so, does it take a breaking point? Well, quite often, it’s the breaking point that really propels us to make the change because we reached this point where we just say “I’m no longer willing to tolerate this” or “I’m no longer willing to live my life like this.”

And so I think what happens for us is that unless we’re experiencing some type of an emotional pain, we’re not likely—I’m not saying we’re not going to—but we’re not likely going to make massive change. So it usually takes a breaking point to cause someone to make dramatic change or drastic change. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

JOHN PETROZZI: Okay. That’s good to know.

PEGGY McCOLL: Absolutely.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. Because in my experience—I’m a chiropractor, and I see people coming in—I would love them to live a life where they’re not guided by symptoms, but often, it’s symptoms that bring them in the front door in the first place. So I suppose, ups and downs in life are sort of a gauge or an arrow pointing us in a particular direction. And is it often that those traumas in life get bigger if we don’t listen to them?

PEGGY McCOLL: Yes, they can absolutely get bigger. There’s a danger in not paying attention to negativity. Negativity is like a cyclone or a tornado that can just come into your life and before you even know it, it’s like ripped off everything. It like wipes up everything in front of you and you’re sitting there, going, “Whoa! What just happened?”

And you know, I’ve had experience like that in my life where negativity was present, I didn’t pay attention to it, ignored it, and then all of a sudden, this dramatic event occurred, like a divorce or like reaching a financial devastating point or like feeling completely overwhelmed in emotional pain, feeling like I could no longer go on. And so, you know, it’s at those times that we just say, “Hey, it’s time to pay attention to that.” Let’s notice when the negativity creeps in and let’s do something about it before it becomes even bigger than it is.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. It sounds like common sense, doesn’t it?

PEGGY McCOLL: It really is common sense, you know, I absolutely believe that.

JOHN PETROZZI: But often when we’re stuck in the cycle and never-ending drama, it’s really difficult, like in your situation, when you’re sitting, listening to Bob Proctor, it’s not until someone else tells you from the outside or sheds some light on a particular situation that you actually think, “Whoa! Hang on a second. I need to make some changes here; otherwise, I’m heading in the wrong direction.”

PEGGY McCOLL: Yeah, John. You’re absolutely right. You know what that reminds me of is there’s a quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes which goes like this, “We all need an education in the obvious” and really that’s what it is, right?


PEGGY McCOLL: It’s a reminder of what’s common sense or what’s obvious we may just simply have forgotten.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. You know, in your latest book—it’s actually coming out here fairly soon; it’s called “The Won thing”—is there really one thing to leading a successful life or is it a combination of many things?

PEGGY McCOLL: You know what, I thought it was one thing. And in my journey, you know, after being introduced to the whole self-help world, through Bob Proctor, and leading on to many other great teachers, Napoleon Hill, Dr. Maxwell Maltz, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, et cetera, you know, I thought there was one thing, so I sought to find what this one thing really was.


PEGGY McCOLL: And it wasn’t till I reached the point that I thought, “Wait a minute. There is no one thing. There’s many things,” just as you said, John.


PEGGY McCOLL: And that there may be one thing at a particular time in your life. For example, you know, when Bob opened my mind to this whole concept that our thoughts create our reality, for me, that was the one thing at that time, because I needed to understand it, I needed to under apply it and then seek results, which I did over a period of time. So as I evolved, then my needs evolved or as my desires changed and so then something else became the “one thing.”


PEGGY McCOLL: So the one thing is or can be multiple things. There is no right or wrong thing. It’s a personal choice. It really is a personal recipe for success.

JOHN PETROZZI: I remember watching a movie called “City Slickers” and one of the actors in the film, he was helping this cow give birth to the calf, and the cowboy who was teaching this city slicker how to give birth, helping this cow give birth, he said, “There’s one thing in life, and it is one secret in life.” And the cowboy, he passed away before he could share that one thing. But when I featured a book up, I thought of “City Slickers” straight away. And to me, it seems like the one thing can be a moving target. It just depends on what you’re particularly working on in your life at that particular time.

PEGGY McCOLL: Well, you said that beautifully. You know, because that’s what it is.


PEGGY McCOLL: You know one of the challenges, you know, people pick up the “one thing” and they think, “Oh, okay. This is the one secret to a totally fulfilling life.” And of course, they go through, it’s really like a journey, you know. Here’s my journey in the first seven chapters. It isn’t until Chapter Eight that I really reveal what the one thing is, which is exactly what you just said, John, so eloquently.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. What’s your definition of success, Peggy?

PEGGY McCOLL: Oh, I love that question. I would say that it’s not something that you can necessarily label that “It’s (this),” or “If you’ve achieved (this), then you’re successful.” I believe that success really is a feeling. It’s a feeling. So if you feel happy with your life, no matter what it is, you feel happy with your life and you feel fulfilled, you are successful.

I’m someone who’s really driven—you know, I write books and do seminars and speaking engagements and have a very active business life and social life and personal life—and my husband, he’s retired. You know, we’re very unique, yet we’re extremely compatible in many ways. My husband’s really happy with his life. Is he a success? Yes, absolutely. He is a success. Would he say I’m a success? Yes, I think he would say that I’m a success, but very, very different. So again, it’s more like a personal choice and I think success is defined by just a sense of fulfillment and how we feel and if we’re happy with our life.

JOHN PETROZZI: Oh, I like that. And actually, speaking of Chapter Eight, that’s where you got basically almost a summary of your whole book in that one chapter where you’re talking about goal-setting, you’re talking about feeling your emotions. Can you talk to us a bit more about feeling emotions?

PEGGY McCOLL: Oh my goodness. You know, that to me is so extremely critical. I designated an entire book just on emotions. It’s called “Your Destiny Switch.” Your “destiny switch”—and the whole concept in “The Won Thing” as well—is based on our emotions are like a switch on the wall or a light switch that goes up and down like a dimmer switch that you see in a dining room. When our emotions are on a high, for example, when we’re feeling really loving, it’s like the lights are all turned on and they’re very bright and vibrant. But when the switch is on a low level—at the lowest level, it’s very dark, we can’t see anything—that’s the opposite of love. That’s a totally unloving state.

We need to notice the parallel between what’s happening in our lives and where our emotional levels have been. And through that, we can see that our emotions are like magnetic power, magnetic energy, that’s drawing to us like experiences, like energy, like people and so if we become aware of what that is and the power of our emotions, we can choose to master the emotions so we can attract that which we desire into our life.

JOHN PETROZZI: Okay. What comes first—a thought or an emotion?

PEGGY McCOLL: You know what. I don’t know if there is a first.


PEGGY McCOLL: Like my husband said to me today, he said, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” And I think it’s one of those questions that I don’t know. But you know what, as interesting as that, they will both fuel each other.


PEGGY McCOLL: So we can have an emotion of excitement that just, you know, is sparked and that would cause us to think something to think about. We can have an emotion that’s very negative or doesn’t feel good and that’ll cause us to have a thought as well.


PEGGY McCOLL: Now on the other end of that, if we’re having an emotion that doesn’t feel good and we’re feeling worried or whatever, and we have the thought, “Oh my goodness, I’m sacred; I don’t want this to happen,” then we can, in the next moment, have a new thought, create a new thought—because we’re at choice always with our thoughts—we can have a new thought saying “Okay. What I really like to experience is calm and peace and seeing this unfold exactly as I want it to be. So I’m going to choose a new thought.”


PEGGY McCOLL: So they both work hand-in-hand. They really work together.

JOHN PETROZZI: I’ve learned a lot of this from reading lots of books, yours included. And my wife is a psychologist, and the one thing I didn’t understand when we’re talking about this years ago. I had a particular day where I was feeling some emotions, but I didn’t want to show them. She’s saying, “Why don’t you want to feel them?” I said, “But they don’t feel good. It doesn’t feel good to feel this particular emotion.” And she sort of discussed with me how not feeling a particular emotion, if it’s being pushed aside, will come back later on whether it’s a week or two later or a month later, and–


JOHN PETROZZI: -most of the time be magnified and actually produce a problem. I feel that men have a difficult or more difficult time feeling emotions and actually making sense of what they’re feeling. Would you agree?

PEGGY MCCOLL: Yes. Yeah, I would agree. And I think it’s true. In my book “Your Destiny Switch,” I talked about that. I said that if we ignore certain emotions, they keep coming up, and it’s like we take them out, we put them in a garbage can and put the lid on. We ignore it and pretend it’s not there and just keep the lid on. Sooner or later, the lid’s going to come off and won’t be pretty. It’s going to be really stinky.


PEGGY McCOLL: And so we do need to pay attention to those negative emotions so we can deal with them. And you know the other really important thing is that we are emotional beings.


PEGGY McCOLL: We’re emotional beings. Our emotions will go up and they will go down.  And I used to have a radio show, actually, on Hay House Radio, and I had Bob Proctor as a guest on my radio show one time. A caller, someone called in and had said to Bob, “Hey Bob, do you ever get down? Like do you ever feel depressed?” Then Bob said, “Well, of course. I’m a human being with emotions.” And then he said, “But I just don’t stay there.”


PEGGY McCOLL: And I thought that was so brilliant because it’s true. You know, it’s like people think I wrote a book on emotions and I write books on success, well, I just must be totally happy and feel fulfilled all the time. No, I don’t. I mean there are some challenging times. You know, when I was writing “The Won Thing,” as you know, John, my mother was dying. And that was an emotionally challenging time. And there were days where I didn’t feel like working on the book or I didn’t feel like taking care of some things that I had to take care of because I was very sad, but I had to deal with it and push through it and know that it, too, will pass.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. It’s having the wisdom to know, isn’t it?

PEGGY McCOLL: It is having the wisdom to know and trust. You know, faith really plays a big role in all of this.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. And when you say “faith,” do you mean faith in something bigger, a god? Or do you mean just the fact that yeah, life happens, your body will run itself regardless of what you did with it, but if you treat it well it will run better?

PEGGY McCOLL: You know what, yes. I agree with that as well. And whether some people have faith in, you know, religious beliefs or whatever, you know I think it depends. Again, it’s a little a bit of a challenge to define what faith is. Faith, to me, is like an emotion; it’s a strong powerful emotion that—as they say in the song, you know—can move mountains.


PEGGY McCOLL: I mean, it can really move mountains. And so, it’s a belief in an unseen. If someone says to you, “How do you know your business is going to be successful?” it’s like, “I just know.” “How do you know? What evidence do you have?”

JOHN PETROZZI: They love it, don’t they?

PEGGY McCOLL: People love to see evidence, and they’re going to believe it when they see it.


PEGGY McCOLL: And you know, if you have faith, that’s the belief in the unseen.

JOHN PETROZZI: It’s an amazing topic – belief. I think there is a book that’s been written by Bruce Lipton on, actually, that was the “Biology of Belief,” which is sort of similar to faith, I suppose.


JOHN PETROZZI: You’ve coached a lot of people in the past, athletes and the like. What have you seen? What happens to people when they find their true purpose and they live according to, I suppose, the things that you teach them?

PEGGY McCOLL: Well, what I’ve found is that whenever I work with people and they found what they truly love and they’re living passion, it’s like a new level of fulfillment. It’s like an “Energizer Bunny” that’s sort of been inserted into your belly where you have more energy than you ever did. Your creativity is like amplified, ideas come to you, people are attracted to you, and life is just so much more fulfilling.

What happens in that situation is, not only can your business be much more profitable and fruitful, of course, which can impact your financial situation, but it has positive impacts in so many ways. It positively impacts your physical body, you know.


PEGGY McCOLL: As you know very well, John, it positively impacts your relationships that you have with others.


PEGGY McCOLL: You know, it just causes you overall to feel better. Now what I’ve also found though is that when you are living by your passion—sure, you’re doing what you love and enjoying doing what you love—but it’s not like a total bliss situation, where every single day you’re happy, happy, happy, happy. There will be challenging times as well and you will find that you’ll probably do things that you don’t necessarily want to do, but you’ll probably do them because you are connected to what your passion is.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah.  It sort of takes me back to some CDs I listened to a long time ago. I can’t remember who produced them or who’s speaking but they were talking about positive goals or positive self-belief and just being positive. And I remember reading a book that someone had written about that particular person, and they said, “In the background, this person was really quite negative, in terms of running his life.” But in hindsight, I sort of worked out in my head that they thought that he’s negative, probably because they always thought this person only lived a positive life. But in actual fact, there’s always a balance and there needs to be a balance, doesn’t there?

PEGGY McCOLL: I agree. There does need to be a balance and just realising that there is that balance. I mean, I work with a lot of authors. You know, I help authors make their books bestsellers. I work with many of the Hay House authors.


PEGGY McCOLL: There are times I’d be working with an author and they’ll say something, and I’ll think to myself, “Hm, maybe you should flip to Page 38 of your own book and take some of that advice.”


PEGGY McCOLL: But it’s true for all of us.

JOHN PETROZZI: Well, I think so. We just need some, I suppose, good people around us as well, would you say, to remind us of who we are?

PEGGY McCOLL: Absolutely. I think it’s important to surround yourself with good people, with positive supportive people. It’s like a network, right?


PEGGY McCOLL: I was watching an online video today by a woman named Sandra Yancey who co-founded the eWomenNetwork and she talked about her organization and how she built it. And she said, “You know, when we lift up another, we naturally lift up.” And I think it’s like “When the tide rises, all ships rise,” right? And so it’s the same thing. When we help another, we help ourselves. There’s no other way for the universe to respond. It just a positive response.


Peggy, let’s go to a break and when we come back we’ll speak more about- actually I want to find out what you want to be remembered for. So have a think about that and we’ll come back and discuss that.


JOHN PETROZZI: Hi and welcome back to Living is Easy. Today, we’re speaking to Peggy McColl, who is a New York Times bestselling author of many, many self-help books.

Peggy, before we went to the break, I alluded to what you want to be remembered for. What is that?

PEGGY McCOLL: Oh, I love that. You know, what I want to be remembered for most of all—and this actually may surprise you—is for being a great mother.


PEGGY McCOLL: I really believe that the greatest role that I’ve been given in this lifetime is to be a mom. I have a wonderful son; he’s 17 years of age at the time of this recording, and we have a fabulous, healthy, loving, respectful relationship which I’m grateful for every single day. And so I want to be remembered for being a great mom, because I think as a parent, one of the best things we can be for our child is a great example, a great role model. There were times when Michel will say something to me (my son’s name is Michel) and I say, “Wow! Where’d you get that?” like it’s so brilliant or it’s profound or it’s wise. And he’ll say something like “Duh! Who’s my mother?” or something!


PEGGY McCOLL: You know, something like that.


PEGGY McCOLL: And to me, I take that as a great compliment. Or when someone gives me a compliment about my son, it just warms my heart. So that’s a big part of it.

The other part of it with my work is that—as it says in my website—“making a positive contribution to the lives of millions of others.” And you have mentioned Bruce Lipton’s book, “The Biology of Belief.” He’s an author that I’ve helped.


PEGGY McCOLL: I’ve helped Wayne Dyer, I’ve helped Will Dana White, I’ve helped Debbie Ford, Miriam Williamson, Gary Renard – all these people have hired me to help them.


PEGGY McCOLL: So when I think of what my purpose is, it’s to make a positive difference in the lives of millions of others through my work and through other people’s works.


PEGGY McCOLL: And so that’s what I want to be remembered for.

JOHN PETROZZI: Definitely happening, Peggy.

PEGGY McCOLL: Thank you.

JOHN PETROZZI: Actually, we’re almost out of time, so I might just get into a question here about do you have some tips for us in terms of goal-setting?

PEGGY McCOLL: Oh, I love that. I love that. Well, first thing to remember is that, and this is what I like to do. I like to sit down and to really, really make sure that I’m not going to be interrupted. And you can do this with someone else in the room or you can do it with a group of people in the room if you want to but in an environment that’s really supportive.

For me, I want to have like the television’s off in the house or there’s no other noise or whatever, and I’m feeling good. So I will set goals when I’m in a really, really good feeling state.


PEGGY McCOLL: -and so that my energy level is high. Then I’ll sit here and I’ll just dream big. And it’s like “Okay. The world is like a big purchase order response, anything I want I can have. So what is it I really like to experience?” So that’s the thing where goal-setting really needs to come from. It’s from this enlightened feeling, you know, feeling empowered, feeling really good, thinking, “Anything is possible.” Then, write your goals in the present tense, as if you’ve already achieved them.

What I also like to do is I like to put a lot of emotionally-charged words in my descriptions. So I would write things, like “I am so happy and so grateful now that I…” and then I would write the goal. And if it’s a specific thing as an example, then I’ll define it if I know specifically what I want. If I don’t know specifically what I want, then I might not get into definitions. But if I do, then I will.


PEGGY McCOLL: But I find that goals are evolving, as well. So I’ll write them but I’ll continually update them as time goes on, because your needs might change as well.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. I like that. So it’s kind of like big, blue, sky picture.

PEGGY McCOLL: That’s it.

JOHN PETROZZI: I used to find that quite difficult to do. I actually spoke to some guys, men, and they found it particularly difficult to put emotional charges on things that haven’t happened, because, I don’t know, maybe we’re thinking too analytical about the whole thing. How would you propose that, let’s say, a man or somebody who’s got a disconnection with their emotions, I suppose, generate that feeling of fullness and loving? How do they generate that feeling when they find it difficult to feel?

PEGGY McCOLL: Hm, well, that’s a good question. You know, when I think of the word that we use, like the word “happiness” or the word “love” or whatever, we all have a different response to it. So I would suggest is that—you know, some people may not get into colorful adjectives, as an example, when they’re describing things and they may just like to keep things really simple, because that’s a personality style—so what I would say is, “You know what, that’s perfectly fine.” If that’s your style and that’s what’s most important to you, I think that’s probably the best way to serve yourself: it’s to write your goals. They don’t have to be all flowery and colorful, you know. They can be very, very simple, because those simple words may mean so much to you.


PEGGY McCOLL: And that may just be enough power to attract that goal into your life.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah, well, it makes sense. Peggy, we are almost out of time. Do you have any closing comments for us before we have to go?

PEGGY McCOLL: Well, one of the greatest lessons that I’ve learned in my life is to help another achieve success. If there’s something that you want—if you want success in your life or you want love in your life or you want a better half in your life—when you help other people experience that, you will have that come back to you. It will come back to you multifold, many times, tenfold they say sometimes.

So I believe that we’re here to serve. I believe all the beings on the planet, we’re here to serve, we’re all connected to each other, but if we can come from that sense of giving to others, you know, I’m not talking about massive giving, although massive giving is a good thing too, even subtle giving, small giving and giving in a way that’s unconditional, thinking of what it is that you would like to have and cause another person to experience it, you will experience great fulfillment.

JOHN PETROZZI: Thanks, Peggy. Really nice words. Thank you. I really enjoyed today’s interview.

PEGGY McCOLL: Me too, John. Thank you for the opportunity.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. It’s excellent. All the best with the new book, “The Won Thing”-

PEGGY McCOLL: I appreciate that.

JOHN PETROZZI: -and looking forward to reading your future books also.

PEGGY McCOLL: Thanks, John.

JOHN PETROZZI: Great. Thanks again, Peggy.

And that’s all we have time for today. That was Peggy McColl. If you want to listen to this interview as a podcast, go to our website which is and have a listen to it all over again. There’s plenty of interviews on the website as well. So thanks for listening, and we’re looking forward to having you, guys, around next time.

I’m John Petrozzi. Until next time, stay well and stay happy.

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