Featured Interview: Michael Wash

Extensive Interview With Michael Wash: The Author of Book from 54 Series

Mike Wash is a highly responsive consultant who has worked in various challenging and complex situation. He has wide exposures on organisation dealing with mental-health being a psychiatric nurse who is now a personal development consultant. He is currently the Director of the Retreat Hospital in York. 

Michael Wash has been writing extensively on self-help book under the series of 54 self-help books. One of his latest books is 54 Simple Truths: How to Face the Challenges of Life.Through personal grief and illness to happiness and health. Mike shares his experience in a way that gives the readers clear direction and hope for a better life.

I had an opportunity last week to work with Mike on making him a book trailer for his latest collection in the 54 series of self-help books and I’m feeling honoured to have his exclusive interview up here on my blog. A few things with great insights about him that reveals more about the birth of the books and as well as the author itself. 

Mike Wash

Who is Mike Wash and why does he writes?

Me: What are the clubs, alumni groups, school, social, religious, or business organizations to which you are affiliated?

Wash: Current job and title: Director of the Retreat Hospital – York,   Mental health Act Advisor/manager for Leeds and York Partnership Health Trust, and School governor for a local Primary School.

Me: If applicable, would you like us to use any personal background about you such as hobbies, race, religious, medical conditions, marital status, family, etc. that may help audiences be more interested in you and your book?
Wash: At the age of fifteen, after spending eighteen months in a Catholic school, training for a life of a religious teacher as a De La Salle brother, I decided to come home and face the realities of a different type of family life. The desire within me to help others was still strong, and on the eve of me leaving to do voluntary services overseas at the age of seventeen, an opportunity to join the school of psychiatry as a student nurse was too much of a coincidence to ignore.
Those first few years working in a large mental institution in the early 1970s, wiped out any sense of remaining naivety or innocence I had about the capability of the human mind to destroy itself and others. My path was set, but I was unhappy to be constrained by ‘institutional walls,’ so after psychiatry, I trained as a general nurse, then as a tutor – and in my private practice, qualified as a counsellor and psychotherapist.

The constraining nature of the ‘health’ profession was still too much, so I decided to explore alternative career options. My horizon changed significantly when after writing a paper proposing that most senior managers suffer from organisational psychoses or neurosis, I was offered a job in a large telecommunications company. Here, I introduced counselling as a legitimate form of support for the business and the value of developing a supportive, ‘facilitative change management’ style of leadership. My premise was that large organisations damage your health – and it doesn’t have to be that way.

The irony was that during this time, I battled for six months against cancer, which created a greater strength and determination in me to carry on the path of ‘healing,’ whether in the context of work or family life. During these very formative years, I also experienced the tragic death of my mother. Following an accident, she was left in a coma for several years. Also, my little sister fell ill and endured years of kidney dialysis before dyeing aged 25 from  hepatitis and kidney failure. As a trained nurse I was able to support her on home dialysis for several years.

I was married young, and one of the proudest moments of my life was witnessing the birth of my twin sons. The strain of tragedy, illness, and personal change was too much for my marriage, and divorce eventually cut the chains – enabling us both to be free and to find new happiness.

I have been running my own business for the past twenty years and feel very privileged to have worked with people and organisations passionate about wanting to change and discover their true potential. I am very happy, married to Mave, and enjoying my grandfather status and the attention of my sons and stepchildren. 
Me: Describe yourself briefly
Wash: Outgoing,relaxed,social,fun,caring,helpful

Me: What goals are most important to YOU as it relates to the publication and promotion of your book? Rate each one 1=low priority; 10=highest
 _ 4__   Make money by selling books
__3___ Become known as an author
_  10_   Provide a service/educate to the public
_  8___ Raise awareness to a worthy cause
__5___ Entertain/inform readers with a “good book”
__1___ Attract an agent
__0__   Sell rights to a movie
__6___ Find another publisher
__0__   Become a full time author
__7___ Build credibility/become known as an expert in an area
__1__   Attract new clients to a business (if applicable)

Me: What are your professional credentialsand any lifestyle credentials that make you particularly well qualified to write this book? 

Wash: Trained as a Psychiatric nurse, general nurse, clinical nurse teacher and then nurse tutor., Also trained as a counselor and therapist, Author of a best selling text book on Psychiatric Nursing in the 1980s/90s. Author of the 54 series of Books – these are:
54 Tools and Techniques for Business Excellence
54 Ways to manage Change at Work
54 Approaches to Organizational Healing
54 Steps to Happiness
5 + 4 = Sweet Dreams – Bed time stories for children
Me: What drives you to write the book:
Wash: I have personally experienced many of the challenges and dilemmas and I wanted to share my experience in a way that gives readers clear direction and hope for a better lifeI wanted to give people the opportunity to access simple and important messages that could help them lead healthier and happier lives.
I felt there was a gap in the market for a book that pulled all the principles together and communicated to everyone in terms they could relate to.

Me: What are your FIVE key messages or talking points in your book? 

Be mindful of the choices you make in life and think through the consequences.People forget to breath and question themselves about what are they doing right now and what impact are they making on others and themselves – just pausing and reflecting on this may help the contribution or behavior be more effective and healthier.

You can choose to be happy or sad – be aware of why you make certain choices and what this gives you. Its very difficult to walk bare footed on warm sand on a sunny day with the sea lapping around your feet looking upwards and to be sad and depressed at the same time. Our behavior and choices we make can dictate the mood we find ourselves in. We can choose to shift our mood by doing things differently, going somewhere differently and being with positive happy people rather than being alone.

You will be faced with a challenge in life that will test your resolve to survive – you will survive and the quality of life thereafter will depend on the choices you make. Loosing a loved one. your home or faced with a terminal illness are examples of things that may test your resolve to survive – by finding meaning to these events people move on often as stronger and more capable human beings able to reach out and help others.

We are but a speck in this universe and connected to everything and everyone – this has responsibilities if we choose to accept are place in this communityUnderstanding our relationship to this world we live in may help us live together in a more accepting way – we are all from the same gene pool and we are all human – we are brothers and sisters from the same family – lets take care of each other.

The best things in life are freely available to us right now.Extract from the book;
Each of us has our own list of the best things in life, and most of these will be free. For me, they revolve around these seven wonders of the world:
1. Love. The ultimate expression of acceptance, care, and respect of another person.
2. Giving. To truly give without expectation of return and to give back something of yourself within this world.
3. Receiving. To accept with graciousness and humility that which comes your way – especially love.
4. Forgiving. Recognising that the alternative is a heavy burden to carry, yet forgiveness can free you, and others, to a better life.
5. Listening. Listening from the heart and really appreciating what you hear.
6. Seeing. Seeing the beauty and miracle in all things.
7. Touching. To touch and be touched. Sense the connection, and be in contact with others in this world.
Me: What one thing do you want readers to learn/take away from this work?

Wash: Happiness and health is in your hands – its your choice.
Me: Who does the book appeal to and why?
Wash: Anyone who may have a question about their life at the moment? It maybe about relationships,work,love,decision,direction,moods,stress,health – anything – then its likely some chapter in this book will be of relevance.

Me: Are you or your book on social networking sites? Do you have any official websites? 

Wash: The book is linked to my interactive website forum – it encourages debate and discussion around the simple truths and offers support and further resources – it is

I also have a Facebook page

and twitter

and blog
Me: So, lastly, what are some of your future goals? 

Wash: To sell a million copies of this book world wide – realistically perhaps 1000 this year?
To continue contributing to a personal network of self help and care?
To find employment where my experience can be put to good use.
To keep fit.
I would like to thank Michael Wash for his mind-blowing interview where he chooses to share with us some of the extensive insights on his life and book and how both the elements are closely interconnected. Do drop a visit to his page and to hear his interview on BBC please direct yourself to this page: http://www.54-self-help-books.com/about/

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