Home - A Few Wise Words Book

Stories of success and inspirational advice

The ultimate guide for achievement, purpose, and fulfilment in life.

A wonderful resource for anyone who has aspirations to become truly successful in life. A book that is jam-packed, with insightful anecdotes and down-to-earth advice on how we should prepare for, and then navigate, our own special journey towards success.

This book is for parents too – helping mums and dads to enable their children to flourish, while getting them ready for the best possible start in life.

a few wise words book

Words of wisdom from twenty two extraordinary individuals

A Few Wise Words presents a fascinating collection of stories of high achievement and fulfilment, from an exceptional group of individual contributors. All are highly successful, high-profile, men and women from the worlds of Sport, Business, the Arts and Religious Leadership. Each express what they believe are the most important principals that anyone can follow to find success in life, while their brilliantly inspirational advice is expressed in a clear and easy-to-follow format.

Who this book is intended to help…

Whether you have acquired A Few Wise Words for yourself, or whether someone has kindly gifted you a copy, this book aims to deliver practical answers to the key questions you may have about where you are now and what you need to do next.

You may be one of the following:

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How this book can help you . . .
For young people, young adults and older adults…

So your journey might have just got started, or it may well be underway already, but whatever stage you are at right now, our contributors will be on hand and ready to support you…

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For parents…

A Few Wise Words can actually help a young person before they are old enough to read and appreciate this book for themselves… through helping their parents first…

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Our contributors

Interviews, extracts and features…


“What a wonderful book…
What a great treasury of wisdom…
A must-read for every young person”

The Rt Hon Gordon Brown

“Wisdom does not only belong to the ages… and it runs like a thread through this book”

The Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH

“A wonderful book and very timely. It will help people of all ages”

Clare Balding OBE

a valuable guide to keep…
a beautiful book to give…

“You absolutely have to find something you’re passionate about. If you are not passionate about it, then it’s not right for you.”

Sir Ben Ainslie CBE

“One’s ego can easily stand in the way if you want to do something good or great – it should never be about you. When I think about success, it has always been our success as a team of people and not just me”

Frank Arnesen

“If you are fundamentally a good person with good intentions and high integrity, people will trust you and they’ll want to help you.”

Zak Brown

“If you are really passionate about ‘this thing’ that you are doing, and you work really, really hard at it, and you put all of your energy into it, then you will find success and you will find happiness.”

Ursula Burns

“It is important to recognise that it isn’t just our ability to work, but it’s our enthusiasm, our energy, our engagement with others, that will attract ongoing opportunities.”

Sir Roger Carr

“Opportunities certainly come to people who are open to them, and that means you have to be out there and willing to put yourself in circulation to receive them.”

Sherry Coutu CBE

“I think that opportunities are in a way far greater than they were before, and often much more interesting. But you have to have a good education first – that’s the foundation on which you build those opportunities.”

Paul ‘Pablo’ Ettinger

“For young people, I think it’s very important to search constantly and tirelessly until you find the thing that interests you, that you can develop a passion for and makes you happy”

Mikhail Fridman

“Curiosity and a desire to try things out are where it starts for a young person. These help them to explore what they’re good at doing, what comes naturally, easily and what they enjoy.”

Stephen Fry

“I still tend to come back to viewing success fundamentally as being happy, because when you find purpose and passion, when you can find contentment and fulfilment in something you love doing, that’s where I believe you can find real success in life.”

Dame Katherine Grainger

“I was certainly good at making myself train hard, but I was also good at pushing myself to train for the things I didn’t like doing. Because in reality, the things you don’t like doing are usually the things that you’re not so good at and you need to improve.”

Tanni, Baroness Grey-Thompson DBE

“I think there are three things that a young person needs to understand the importance of, when preparing for a successful life: confidence, doing things to the best of their ability and hard work.”

Anya Hindmarch

“Good luck finds those who make the effort, have the right attitude and who are persistent.”

Declan Kelly

“Your attitude towards other people is key. Being generous, kind and polite to others, showing compassion and empathy for the other side, will not only help you to feel better as a human being, it will also come back around for you too.”

Martha, Baroness Lane-Fox CBE

“Do everything to the best of your ability, enjoy it, and success will come from doing something that you really love.”

Joanna Lumley

“If you are positive, energetic and happy in your work, you will naturally stand out. People will begin to say, “Would you like to work on this project?” or “Do you want to work with this team?””

Dame Carolyn McCall OBE

“I do think that opportunities come along all the time for all of us, and you have got to be ready to seize them when they do. If you want to become successful at something, you must be prepared to have a go, be brave and sometimes take a risk.”

Sir Keith Mills

“Throughout my life, I have lived by the fundamental principle that one should always do the right thing. It’s a very simple value, but in my book it’s a hugely important one. If that sits at the heart of whatever you do, how can you go wrong?”

Vin Murria

“I am a great believer in patience, to never take short-cuts, and that ‘slow and steady wins the race’. It’s like the story about the tortoise and the hare, where the hare runs ahead fast, but the tortoise ends up winning the race.”

Danielle de Niese

“It’s your failures that really make you grow up, grow strong and grow to be the person you could be. None of us would like to relive our failures, of course, but we couldn’t be the person we are today without those failures. But if you do not have the courage to fail, then you do not have the courage to succeed – full stop!”

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (1948 – 2020)

“People who are really successful are the ones who are actually doing what they really want to do. They have found what they love and what they have a talent for, they become good at it because of their passion, and they also work very hard at it.”

Shriti Vadera

“If you think a particular role or career makes real sense and you are able to do it, just follow your dreams, follow your passion, throw everything at it and work really hard. The worst thing that you can possibly do is to have a dream but not pursue it, and then look back years later with regret and say, “I really wish I had made the effort to try that”.”

Sir Clive Woodward

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