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How You Can Change The World Through A Life Lived With Integrity Charissa Bloomberg learnt what integrity really looks like and means from Prof Thuli Madonsela. Here's how she's changing her life, business and other South African business leaders with what she's learnt.

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Charissa Bloomberg

Vital Stats

Charissa Bloomberg is a celebrity psychologist, integrity leadership specialist and a corporate trainer.

Professor Thuli Madonsela is the patron of her integrity work, and Charissa has also had the honour of working for her as her project manager. This has completely transformed the way she thinks and aims to thrive in this world. Charissa also says that she strives to base all of her decisions on how Prof Madonsela has taught her to think.

Related: 7 South African Entrepreneurs Who Went From Nothing To Global Success

We chatted to Charissa about the meaning of success, mantras to live by, and how to embrace a mindset of continuous learning – and implement those lessons in life:

Q. What mantra do you live by that has defined who you are today?

Your thoughts are powerful. They literally create what you think and believe to be true, so watch what you think – your life will become your thoughts. If you don't think you will be successful, you won't. The mind is powerful.

Q. If you could change one thing in your life – what would it be and why?

To have more balance. I am all out for my work and put it before family, my health and taking time out. Balance and time to regroup and recharge is crucial.

Q. Do you have a daily ritual that positively impacts your success?

Yes. Before I get out of bed, I say to myself the things I am grateful for – starting with coming through the night safely, for my mother's health, my cats, the beautiful day, everything I can think of and then, because I work from home, when I am not giving talks and training staff, I go through my goals for the day and visualise a positive outcome for all of them.

Q. What have you come to learn about your mindset?

That mindset is everything. I'll soon be sharing my story of how I had nothing, except a dream. How I sold everything I owned to stay afloat for my dream. Nothing would stop me. Mindset is everything and so is determination, as well as a readiness to learn from one's failures in order to do things differently and to improve.

Q. Do you look to role models to learn from and develop yourself?

Absolutely. Apart from Prof Madonsela, who has been instrumental in my life, my 85-year-old mother is my other role model. She raised me to believe in compassion and empathy, to be kind to people and animals. She is blessed to still be doing ballet every day; I just love her energy.

Q. What was an impactful learning, which altered your mind, body or soul?

Over the last three years, I have embarked on a life journey to raise awareness around what integrity is; and to write a book on and start my own training around integrity leadership for youth, adults and the corporate word.
It's my belief that organisations love to throw the word "integrity' around and have it as part of their value system, but few people know what it really means and least of all how to apply it at work, in the home, in relationships and in parenting.

Related: The 7 'Senses' of Self-Development

My own awareness of my integrity behaviour has caused a shift in my mind, body and soul and changed my way of thinking. It takes hard work and a conscious effort to make all one's decisions and to behave with the utmost of integrity.

Q. Why was this learning transformative – what were you doing before versus now?

Before, I was not really conscious of acting and behaving without integrity. Now, I realise that everything I say and do has an effect on someone. This has assisted me in becoming a better person and, mostly, it helps grow my business because clients can see that I am honest and feel that they can trust me; my word is good and that is priceless in today's world.

Q. What do you wish you had known 10 years ago that would have enabled you to achieve success faster?

I believe more in myself. I have learnt from my failures. I wish I hadn't been or wasn't still so hard on myself; I know now that life is a journey and I can't compare myself to anyone else.

My definition of success and how I feel about myself is so much more important now than what others think. It has taken me a long time to like who I am and what I stand for. I don't think I could have built success any faster, though, as each step brought me closer to making one dream happen and one shouldn't rush that process.

Q. What in your earlier life was transformative in terms of shaping positive outcomes for you today?

I didn't grow up wealthy and I had to work hard and fight for what I wanted. That early determination taught me never to give up. I think if I had had an easier life, I would not have had such determination.

I have learned from my struggles that one should never take no as an answer; they have given me the initiative to continue to fight for all the dreams I have pursued – even when people told me, "It's never been done before".

Their hesitation or disapproval only gave me the inspiration to respond, "Then let me be the first to do it!" Lastly, a great support team and a positive attitude have also been key to my success.

Related: Serial Entrepreneur Damian Michael Shares His Top 3 Startup Lessons

Nadine von Moltke-Todd

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor-in-Chief: South Africa

Nadine von Moltke-Todd is the Editor-in-Chief of Entrepreneur Media South Africa. She has interviewed over 400 entrepreneurs, senior executives, investors and subject matter experts over the course of a decade. She was the managing editor of the award-winning Entrepreneur Magazine South Africa from June 2010 until January 2019, its final print issue. Nadine’s expertise lies in curating insightful and unique business content and distilling it into actionable insights that business readers can implement in their own organisations.
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