I talked to Nina Grunfeld this week : graphic designer, author of twenty books (her first on stain removal sold over a million copies!), and then after bringing up a family, Nina went off in search of her dream job. She’s now the founder of Lifeclubs.co.uk.
From an early age Nina was an agony aunt helping her friends work out what they wanted for their lives, what made them happy, what they wanted to do and where they wanted to go. But it was after reading an article in the Times newspaper about 30 year olds being the most depressed sector in society that created her ‘lifebulb’ moment.
“Looking back from my 50s I realised how stressful it had been in my thirties. I realised I wanted to create places where people can come for very little money and think about their life and what they want to make different about it and how they’d like to get more out of it.”
Nina describes herself as “practical and sensible” and sat down and wrote 50 workshops one for each week of the year apart from Christmas and New Year. This is how it all started.
“Lots of things have happened that I never imagined in my wildest dreams. We’re working with lots of corporates, the NHS and we’re about to start with a carers organisation in Newcastle. Like all dream jobs it grows and changes as you grow and change.
I love going into organisations and working with their employees because they’re bright and fun and feisty and it’s challenging and it’s great. And I love the local clubs because it’s my vision. You’ll have a 19 year old student sitting next to a postman, sitting next to a university professor sitting next to a retired person of 63. It’s the biggest cross section of people that I’ve seen anywhere – other than weight watchers!”
Every Wednesday at 6.30pm in Westminster and various venues in the UK and internationally, participants will spend a structured 90 minutes clarifying what it is they want in life. “The more sessions you come to the more you’ll get out of it but I did get a note from someone who changed their life after one session. She got in touch a year later to say after that one session she realised ‘my life was all wrong.’ She left her husband, moved house and got a new job.
But it normally takes more than one session. So if you went along to a Wednesday night session what can you expect? How will your life change?
“It’s going to change because it’s all about you understanding yourself. Realising what you want to change and how you’re going to do it. But it’s very structured. The beginning and the end are the same every week. We look at the best things that have happened to us today and the best things we achieved last week. And then there’s a different workshop each week. This week was all about creativity. Finding a problem and thinking how you can solve this with six different tools. The ‘Never Again’ workshop takes place next Wednesday ‘the things in your life you never want to do again.’ Have to admit, that one sounds appealing!
Nina’s favourite life changing stories from across the years includes the woman who went to a dating agency and was told she was too old and too successful ever to find a man. She found her future husband at a hen night! “They are now married. It was all about her changing her attitude to herself and her life. A man who arrived bankrupt and I’ve just been to see a play he’s directed in the West End and a woman doing a PhD who realised absolutely that was not what she wanted to do and changed direction and is now a lawyer.”