Welcome back Successful Creatives!

First of all, if you haven’t investigated our upcoming Italy Retreat, where we work on finally tackling all those things in life that still remain undone. This is something you do not want to miss. (Did I mention that it’s in ITALY? Take a look: The Undone Italy Retreat

Many people don’t know that I was a life coach before I added skill-sets and became a business coach for Creatives. For the first 12 years of my career, I supported people to arrange their lives to be meaningful and fulfilling.

During that time, I discovered that there were only 5 things my clients actually needed to pay attention to, in order to craft a happy life.

Wanna know what they are?

Good! To make this fun, I’ve written a little story.

This story is FOR THOSE who are NOT DONE living. For those who wish to BE CHALLENGED AGAIN. For those who want to LEAVE A MARK without getting beat up in the process.

It’s for those LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION. For those who want endless WEALTH and ABUNDANCE.

It’s for those who are considering GIVING UP and for those ANGRY folk tired of tolerating mediocrity in their own lives and in the world.

It’s for those who want to feel DELIGHT and SURPRISE and PRIDE more often.

It’s for those who want to RECEIVE as much as they GIVE and to BE ABLE TO GIVE MORE OFTEN.

I think this story is probably FOR YOU! It reveals the 5 SECRETS TO TRUE, LASTING and DEEPLY REWARDING SUCCESS that I learned over and over again. I hope you’ll read QUICKSAND and THE TUG and watch the video. (Oh, and please share your comments with me afterwards and share the story if it touches you, as I hope it will.)


Quicksand and the Tug

Once upon a time there was a large, busy, shiny city.  People journeyed far and wide to live there.

The name of the city was QUICKSAND.

The people of this city climbed ladders to THE TOP.  They made BIG PLANS and took LOTS OF ACTION and invested TIME, ENERGY and MONEY to be SOMEBODIES and become SOMETHINGS. They were always working to EARN MORE, find a BETTER LOVE and have EVERYTHING.

There was only one, nearly imperceptible problem for the people who lived in QUICKSAND; they were all slowly sinking. Some of them could feel it; others were so busy with HOPING and SUCCEEDING that they didn’t notice the tiny ways in which the city was engulfing them…until it was too late.

Some knew exactly what was happening, but they didn’t dare stop nor did they know they could leave; they’d seen what had happened when their fellow citizens, tired and weak, had stood still for a moment…the city of QUICKSAND had swallowed those poor folks whole.

Sometimes the citizens began to feel there was something missing in their lives, so they they would scurry to redouble their efforts to ACHIEVE. But the more these valiant ones STRUGGLED, the more they STRIVED, the more quickly they sank.

Accepting their limited lot, the citizens of QUICKSAND became fierce in their steady focus on WHAT WAS POSSIBLE and WHAT THEY KNEW. For this was, they knew, was the surefire, safest way to live – and die – in the city of QUICKSAND.

One day a Visitor came to QUICKSAND from the neighboring city of PROMISE. The people of this peaceful, happy city had heard about the plight of the people of QUICKSAND and had sent the Visitor with a special invitation to come live in their town, to share the deep abiding sense of MEANING and FULFILLMENT that guided the people to experience TRUE HAPPINESS.

(Watch the video above to learn the meaning of this short story and the 5 Keys to TRUE SUCCESS)


The Visitor stood on the outskirts of QUICKSAND, high on a hill and watched the people MOVING and SHAKING. Descending into the city with PURPOSE, the Visitor searched for those who had begun to give up, and for those who were sinking fast.  For these folk he reached inside his backpack and pulled out ropes. The ropes hummed. They vibrated with POSSIBILITY and HOPE and SATISFACTION. On each rope there were five knots. One-by-one the Visitor tossed the ropes to the desperate, daring and despairing DREAMERS, who reflexively grabbed hold of the lifelines just above the first knot. As their grip locked they instantly stopped sinking.

Satisfied that all who were ready had been given a rope, the Visitor left the town of QUICKSAND and went home, the ropes trailing behind with slack. Once home, the Visitor anchored the ropes around a giant lever in the town square. The lever was shining gold and embossed with one word: TUG. The Visitor grabbed hold of the huge mechanism and pulled down hard to activate it.

Back in QUICKSAND the effect was immediate. The people holding ropes felt THE TUG as it slowly pulled them out of the holes of ISOLATION in which they’d sunk. Gasping they curled their fingers around the next knot on the rope; some immediately felt a twinge of CURIOSITY, others a sharp pang of HUNGER, others a bright shock of INSPIRATION. Gaining strength and feeling more confident, they reached higher to the third knot on the rope, and were jolted awake with the realization that their lives were finite, precious and growing shorter every moment. GRATITUDE for their gifts flooded their hearts; FOCUS commandeered their minds, arms and legs. The next knot they clung to with purpose and drive, free and clear from doubt and distractions, as they powered up the rope to the final knot. Clasping it, the people experienced a deep sense of freedom, power and joy they’d never known before. LOVE and PEACE permeated their whole beings. STRUGGLE WAS GONE.

The rescued people stood tall, released their ropes and looked around. Instead of the familiar signs of QUICKSAND, they saw the clean, wide and open expanse of the city of PROMISE. They were greeted by the townspeople who rushed forward with baskets of IDEAS and FOOD FOR THOUGHT.  A RIVER OF RESOURCES flowed through the town. CONTRIBUTION was the currency, easily passing between all hands, and everyone seemed to move about with a PURPOSE.  Fabulous inventions could be found everywhere, making life in the city of PROMISE exceptionally smooth and enjoyable for all.

The newly arrived were led to the town square where the Visitor awaited with a key in hand.  He turned to a large cabinet and unlocked it to reveal a tablet, upon which was written a title and listed below were 5 secrets. The tablet looked like this:



After reading the tablet the visitors turned to see the whole city spreading out before them. One of them noticed that ropes hung everywhere, ready to catch should new citizens falter on their path to fulfillment, or find themselves wandering towards pointless effort. Guided by the town’s secrets, however, the people of QUICKSAND found PROMISE easy to navigate and entirely to their liking. They never returned to QUICKSAND again.


To your success,

Melissa McFarlane
Creative Successful Entrepreneurs
Riot for Joy!

P.S. Feeling you might be stuck in QUICKSAND? Wondering how to experience THE TUG? See our *FREE* Successful Living Assessment Chart to discover if how you are living is bound to make you truly happy. Click this link to view and/or print the chart: Successful Living Assessment Chart -pdf