The Narrative Of My Life
Let me first share the facts – how my life has looked on a surface level – and then explore the deeper currents that have shaped my life before focusing on specific stories, from pivotal moments to decision points in my life.
Born and lived
- I was born in Elm Park, Essex in the UK on 26th February 1958.
- My family moved to Hornchurch in 1959.
- I moved into London in 1985 and have lived in Battersea, Parsons Green, the West End and Tottenham.
- I have been living in Finchley, North London with my partner of 18 years since 2004. We don’t have children.
- I went to Langtons Junior School.
- I attended Hornchurch Grammar School – achieving nine O-levels and two A-levels.
- I attended North East London Polytechnic – achieving a 2:1 degree in business studies.
- I passed the Institute of Marketing’s professional exams.
I did paper rounds as a child, got a job in a local hi-fi shop as a teenager, and worked in a local wine bar in Hornchurch for many years. After graduating, I worked for my uncle for several months helping him in his electrical contracting business.
I had three corporate jobs
- Telefusion Ltd – selling TV and video systems – 1981 to 1984.
- Wordplex Information Systems plc – selling high-value word-processing systems in the City and West End – 1984 to 1986.
- Digital Equipment Corporation – selling high-value computer systems in the City of London – 1986 to 1989.
In 1989, I quit my corporate career and became self-employed in 1990; I have run my own businesses ever since.
Alternatives at St James’s Church in Piccadilly
I also had a 21-year involvement with Alternatives, starting as a volunteer, then becoming a member of the management team, co-producing and co-directing the programme, and serving as a trustee on the board for another 11 years. I left in 2010.
- 1990 to 1994 – Personal and Professional Development.
- 1994 to present – Heart at Work.
- 2000 to 2005 – Dreambuilders Community with Niki Hignett and Barbara Winter.
- 2005 to present – Inspired Entrepreneur/The Inspirational Learning Company with Niki Hignett.
- 2014 – www.iamnickwilliams.com
The deeper currents of my life
These surface-level facts have been the visible effects of deeper “invisible” currents running within me. I would describe the “big arc” of my life this way:
From an early age I remember feeling a deep sense of calling, believing I had something exciting, fulfilling and spiritually meaningful to do with my life. I looked forward to an inspiring existence.
As I became a teenager, I became increasingly convinced that I was deluding myself and that I just had to fit in and get on with living a normal life and being an ordinary guy, with normal beliefs and expectations, and very much associating myself with my personality and my limitations.
I felt as if I didn’t really matter so nothing I did really mattered. I felt I was too flawed, too faulty and not significant enough to do anything meaningful. I got to know my place and stayed in it and buried away my deeper Self.
I covered up all my inadequacies and insecurities by working hard and being driven to succeed. I got on with studying, getting qualifications, being successful, getting a mortgage and being responsible.
By my late twenties, I had achieved success on a material level – a nice flat in Fulham, nice car, high-powered job, plenty of travel and a nice girlfriend. But I wasn’t really that happy or fulfilled. I kept trying to override my unhappiness and suffering and tried to convince myself that this is just how life is.
By the age of 31, I knew I couldn’t carry on like this. The pain I was experiencing by not changing was becoming greater than my fear of change. A quote from the French writer, Anais Nin, helped me across the threshold. It read, “Then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk to blossom.” I felt so validated. I had to take this inner urge to blossom seriously.
In 1989, after three years of soul-searching and inner struggle, I gave three months’ notice to quit my corporate career. I planned to take a short sabbatical to travel, and then start my first business so I could follow my sense of inspiration, discover what I was really capable of achieving and see who I could really become.
I refused the inner call when I was young, but this time I answered my call to adventure, and said yes to the heroic journey to discover my true life. I still felt as if I didn’t matter but a voice within me said, “You do matter. You have another life to live, you are here to make your impact.”
Initially the path went down rather than up. I had a mini-breakdown just before I started my business and spent several months feeling suicidal, believing I had been utterly stupid to have left my well-paid job to start from scratch. I felt useless, ashamed and stupid. The easiest route would have been to give up, but eventually I decided to commit to life and begin to climb the mountain that seemed to stand before me. I opened the doors to my first business in November 1990.
I would describe the past 25 years this way: a journey of following my own inspiration, and little by little living more from my soul, my deeper sense of Self, rather than the fearful voices of my personality and ego.
Some of the time this has been an exciting and graceful journey, and at other times it has been incredibly tough and I have often felt like giving up. I have been transforming my own inner landscape from self-loathing to self-love and Self-leadership, and helping others do the same.
I have travelled the world, met amazing people and made friends. I have discovered gifts and abilities to communicate through writing eight books, speaking, coaching and broadcasting that I didn’t know I possessed, and the impact I have made has astonished me. I have grown as a person in ways that I barely believed were possible. I have had my heart broken open again and again, and experienced little deaths and rebirths over and over again.
It has been a journey of “rewriting the script of my life”, continually identifying so many of the beliefs, ideas and attitudes I absorbed along the way. I have needed to die to so much of what I grew up believing.
Another way of describing it would be that it has been a journey from living the life that I was “programmed” to live to living more of the life that is authentically mine. I have found the “gold” within me and faced many of my shadows and demons. I am now living from my soul as well as from my personality. Diving into myself, I have found a lot of darkness, and I have also found a lot of light.
I know this journey will never end – and I wouldn’t want it to. The adventure to our true Selves, to know our Selves deeply, is the greatest adventure of life. I have found a power greater than my own fear, a power to lead myself authentically, find more of my own unique gifts and share them.
I have found that I am able to have a significant impact on many people around the planet. I have discovered that I can become an inspiration to others, that my own journey is a universal story and that what I’ve learned on that journey has universal applicability.
I feel part of something bigger than myself. I believe we are all interconnected, that we are here to share our gifts with each other, and that each of us are the answer to each other’s prayers. I feel more inspired and creative now in 2014 than ever before and know that a whole new chapter of my work is just beginning.