I often recall the words of a famous person who inspired me during his lifetime – a certain Nelson Mandela who sadly passed away two years ago in December 2013. What he left behind continues to hold relevance for the issues that many individuals face in their lives, as well as the evolution of mankind.

As a former football player, coach, mental health nurse and current sports presenter in women’s football, I have witnessed and appreciated first-hand how football breaks down barriers where mental health, cross cultural harmony and global peace are concerned.

Mandela saw sport as a great instrument for building bridges in well-being, worldwide reconciliation and peace. He also talked about the importance of education as a tool to empower lives.

‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’ N Mandela

That got me thinking about education. When I grew up I received the traditional basic education which equipped me with knowledge as far as subject matters were concerned.  That got me to college and beyond, and I fared well with hard work.

However, what I noticed as time progressed was how redundant a lot of that knowledge became where  living and dealing with real life issues was concerned.

As I continued to evaluate my knowledge against my ability to impact my life and others in a progressive manner, I often noticed a significant imbalance. I knew so much more than I actually applied.

It was another part of Mandela’s life that was to speak to this discovery and from which I was to draw wisdom in order to address the gap between personal knowledge and influence.

Nelson Mandela’s description of his personal journey in the book ‘The Long Walk To Freedom’ informed me about the power of a transformational journey.  His journey went beyond education, and engaged the human spirit in an inspirational way.

That energy did not originate from intellectual understanding. It put the flesh on the bones of his knowledge, and enabled him to mobilise his inner resources under extreme constraint, and find inner freedom, during a 27 year physical imprisonment.

His human conquest, self-discovery and evidence of what the human spirit can do, makes him an authority on freedom, because it comes from a place of consistent demonstration, not words.

There is a common saying that knowledge is power. I have come to the conclusion that this is not so. Knowledge on its own, without the capacity to influence lives positively, is powerless. Education on its own is not enough when you seek transformation.

Inspire means ‘breath within’.  It represents that life force that moves us to improve or change something in our life. This is an essential key that was missing in my life for so long.

I have discovered that if there is one thing more powerful than education, it is inspiration.  Combine education with inspiration, and even greater empowerment takes place.

This is what I found when I embarked on a journey that took me beyond intellectual capacity to inspirational influence, and the combination of inspiration and education is what shaped my book and song Breaking Free.

I come across so may intelligent people in coaching and life, who know so much at an intellectual level, yet lack the capacity to make it count significantly when it comes to their own personal growth.

Much of my life’s work revolves around inspiring and helping others to awaken towards self-reconciliation and healthy self-esteem as part of the transformational journey to personal freedom.

Those who do so experience profound release and breakthrough.  Are you willing to give yourself the gift of personal freedom through your own transformational journey? Here are a few tips to get started.


  1. Look with honesty at the ratio between knowledge and application in your life
  2. Decide to redress the balance if needed. There is power in a decision
  3. Expose yourself to the personal journey and teachings of those who inspire you in the qualities you wish to develop. This is the quickest way to break free, because the inspiration will move you to make the change. That is your starting point.