About Jenny Sharkey

Jenny Sharkey is a speaker, life coach, counsellor and researcher living in Auckland, New Zealand.



Becoming More Creative

Being creative can increase our sense of well being and happiness. If we are stuck in a rut of depression, or caught out with an enduring sense of anxiety, being creative can help jump start us back onto a more joy filled track. A feeling of accomplishment can instantly boost our “happy hormones” and the very act of creativity re-fires our neural system in our brain. Creativity in one area can promote creativity in other areas. The act of being creative in a practical manner can help our brain to be creative in an emotional or conceptual area. So get yourself moving today and you will find doors opening for you in positive ways as you release the creativity inside of you!


Here are some tips for being your best creative self:

  1. Play music. Research has shown that listening to music, especially classical music, can increase our creativity, concentration and numerous other cognitive functions.
  2. Imagine what it would be like to have something you desire come to pass. Think through the details of what would happen how you would feel, what would result. Daydreaming can be extremely helpful in the creativity process.
  3. Think about something unrelated to your life. Thinking about how to solve someone elses problem, in a far away place, in another time even, can release you from being stuck in the here and now to solve what is in front of you.
  4. Get a fresh piece of paper and write things down by hand. Being physically involved in the simple act of creating words or pictures on paper can enhance every aspect of your creative process.
  5. Step out into nature for a break. Take some time to walk in the park, or by the sea. Not only do the colours green and blue stimulate your creative senses, taking a time out, and increasing your blood flow to your brain, are also useful in the creative process.
  6. Change rooms. Change your work environment and you may find your creative thinking also moves “outside of the box”.
  7. Pull the problem you are facing apart and re-label each component of it. This can broaden your understanding of it and open your mind up to new ways of thinking about it.
  8. Stop and watch a funny clip. Play round with someone and get them laughing. Laughter helps release happy hormones which in turn promote creativity.
  9. Lie down and roll your eyes around. Your eyes are the doorway to the brain. Give your brain a break and let the blood flow easily to it while you stimulate your “eye-gate”.
  10. Talk to someone. Get their take on creative ideas – and keep positive and open to what they have to say. If you simply critique their thoughts it will shut down your own creativity. So consider their thoughts no matter how crazy, and be positive about them. Being positive is a great creativity boost.
  11. Make something with your hands. Cook yourself an egg, tidy up the bench, weed the garden. Employing your senses in a collaborative effort can help you think more creatively.
  12. Try something new. Try a new card game you’ve never played before. Take a new route home. Eat a food you’ve never tasted. The element of novelty can spark creativity.

Here’s to this being your most creative year yet!


Leadership Lessons

Become a Great Leader

by Jenny Sharkey

Great organisations are led by people who personally balance: character, charisma and competence. These leaders create environments of trust, openness and freedom. They…

  1. Face the truth and deal with it, no matter how tough

Leading inevitably means dealing with negative situations and people. Great leaders don’t just wait for negative things to happen – they seek out and anticipate these things to nip them in the bud before they blossom into something more destructive. They encourage employees to be brutally honest about underperforming projects. Early identification allows for early and probably more effective solutions to be discovered.

  1. Take responsibility for their delegations

Great leaders follow up on delegated projects and make sure people are clear on their responsibilities, and accountable for them. They encourage discussion and adapt plans if needed, always keeping communication clear and easy to follow.

  1. Are positive

Great leaders have learnt that people flourish when the culture they are working in has a feedback ratio of more than 5:1 positive to negative. These leaders are always looking for opportunities to identify, reward and replicate the behaviour they want to see repeated. They also find and keep promoting their star players.

  1. Move decisively when something or someone needs to go

Great leaders know they are going to break a few hearts along the road to great effectiveness. They therefore move quickly (and as painlessly as possible) to make sure projects or people who are underperforming or not in line with the overall strategic vision get an opportunity to change, and if this doesn’t happen, they get changed.

  1. Have readily understood and achievable goals

Great leaders break down large goals into smaller, clear goals which can be achieved in small units of time, such as every quarter. They let their team have regular opportunity to celebrate small successes which lead to the big successes.

  1. Go for consistency with growth

Great leaders make things simple so that people can work quickly in an expected and reliable environment. They streamline processes so that the whole team is on the same page regarding how things get accomplished in the workplace. However, they don’t stop there, but they keep pressing on for ways to improve and grow and they make the process of anticipating change, and strategizing for improvement and growth part of the routine of the workplace.


The Regrets of the Dying

The Nine Most Common Regrets of the Dying

by Jenny Sharkey

  1. I wish I had been more loving to the people who matter most to me.
  2. I wish I had been a better spouse, parent or child.
  3. I wish I had not spent so much time working on things that didn’t matter all that much to me, and instead I wish I had invested that time into my relationships.
  4. I wish I had taken more risks – pushed myself to do more courageous things with this short life we have.
  5. I wish I had chosen happiness more and enjoyed my life more.
  6. I wish I had lived my own dream.
  7. I wish I had taken better care of myself and taken time to look after my body and mind.
  8. I wish I had done more for others and given more.
  9. I wish I had chosen work that was more meaningful for me.

7 Questions to ask in 2016

  1. What am I thankful for about my life currently?
  2. If this year was the last year of my life, would I be happy with what I am doing?
  3. Am I making any choices right now that will cause me to be unhappy this year and if so, can I change those?
  4. What will I give this year in the way of my attitude, skills and resources?
  5. What can I learn this year and how do I plan to grow?
  6. What will I do this year to increasingly show love, patience, generosity and kindness to myself?
  7. What will I do this year to increasingly show love, patience, generosity and kindness to others?

by Jenny Sharkey