Monthly Archives: March 2011

decisions … decisions …


“Everyone has inside him a piece of good news.
  The good news is that you don’t yet realize how 
  great you can be!   How much you can love!
   What you can accomplish!  And
   what your potential is!”

        Anne Frank



What is your potential?   Most people realize that they have potential but they are unsure what it is that they really want.   The question that rolls around in their head is “What if I make the wrong decision?”    At the moment you make a choice is that choice you made the best possible choice you could have made?   Well you don’t know at that moment other than whatever drove you to making a choice it was the best you could do in that moment.   Maybe it was a long protracted analysis that led to the decision, or perhaps it was “it felt the best” at the moment decision.  Whatever the decision was it was the best you could do at the moment.

What can you do to make better decisions?  

1. Understand  the problem.

2. Define the possible outcomes.

3. Align the decision with your values and goals.

4. Look at the costs and benefits both long term and short term.

5. Determine what the satisfiers will be for your decision.

Once the decision is made do what you can to ensure it meets your goals and desires.  Learn what you can from the decisions you make.


Where the jobs are …

Wondering when a better job for you is going to become available?

Here is the latest trend in job growth.   Maybe your desired job is among those that are growing the most quickly. 

Growth in the job market may be a great sign that conditions are improving. 

What if you don’t see what you would like on the list.  What do you really want to do?

What new skills will you need to compete in a market that is very competitive?

What are the top jobs in America?  Find out here.

Where do you want to be?   What do you want to do?

What would help you make the choices today that would prepare you for the future?

make my day …

How was your day?

What would make your day better?   There are many people who are seeking something better and they aren’t sure what it would take to make a day better.  

What is working right for you at this moment?

What can you appreciate that you have?

What is it that you want to change?

What would it take to make some small changes that would improve your outlook?

Norman Vincent Peale said, ” Stand up to your obstacles
and do something about them.  You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have.”

What simple steps can you take to make a bad day better?

1.  Write down what is making the day a challenge. 

2. Understand the source of the stress/issue you face.

3.  Define 3 things that would help reduce the stress. 

4.  Create a plan to deal with those issues when they come back.

We live in a stressful world that is just getting more stressful.   More and more people are dissatisfied with life and want life to have meaning, purpose and happiness.   With all the issues people face today it is no wonder that more and more people are having more bad days then good days.  

Take time to appreciate what you do have even if it isn’t what you want right now.   Find a way to develop some coping strategies that will help reduce the burden.   Develop a new plan that will move you closer to your desires, take charge of your life rather than having life take charge of you.  

What one thing can you do today to make the day better?   Do it!


“Feel like I’m riding on a chartered plane of broken hearted pain. Turbulence is constant my pilot has gone insane.”   J. Cole


Events of life that pull us  in one direction and then in another.  Sometimes you’re under the water frantically fighting to reach the surface.   Gasping for air you take in a deep breath and feeling lucky to have that breath.   The heart is beating wildly as a surge of adrenoline courses through the arteries as you feel relief and fear at the same time.   In those moments of great stress the body responds and responds quickly.   There is very little if any thought on what needs to take place in the moment only that something has to take place so that you can get air in the lungs again.  

Stress in moments of real danger is built into the fight or flight response that everyone experiences at some point in their life.   The body naturally takes over when there is no time to “think” about what should happen.   Right or wrong the brain does what ever it can to stay alive.  

That  kind of overwhelming stress is important in those life or death situations.   In every day life that feeling of stress does not serve you.   Stress and the associated hormones rob you of  the life you desire.   Stress creates tension, poor eating habits,  lack of sleep, and an unhealthly lifestyle.   Just look around you and look at the people you say moving through life.   What do you see?   Do you see people who are not getting enough sleep?   Do you see people who have eating disorders and who have unhealthy lifestyles?   What part of those life styles are due to the stress of life?

Over the years things happen and they created a sense of stress.  Left unresolved those stresses are carried around with you every day.   Those stresses form a stress baseline from which you operate.  You can add to the baseline stresses (habit stresses perhaps) and overtime that baseline stress goes up.   More stress but not enough stress that is causes a lot of problems.   Maybe there are just a few more headaches than there were before and maybe there are some unexplained pains.   Perhaps there are some tighter than normal muscles but nothing that can’t be dealt with.   The pain isn’t chronic it just shows up once in a while.  

Then comes the visit by someone and you desire to please them by inviting them to your home.   This disrupts your daily patterns and adds some stress knowing that you have entertain this guest, feed them and do things that are outside of your normal daily routines.   A couple of days and it isn’t too bad.   A few hours less of sleep, the normal exercise program is put on hold and there is just a bit more extra eating and celebrating.    A few more days pass by and the guest entertainment activities are cutting into other things you really enjoy to do.  You’re losing more sleep and you’re less energetic than you were before.   Now, work is becoming a bit more challenging with less sleep and the engagement level is declining.   A rush order comes in and you’re the person that is called to handle it.   Less sleep, more work, and  at a time  you feel you should be entertaining your guest.   The pressure to get the work done is annoying, the work is more difficult and you feel tension building up.   You want to get home and you’re working later.   You make a few mistakes and correct them … time is going by and you’re falling behind.   The muscles tighten up, the stomach gets upset and you’re uttering words that aren’t a normal part of your vocabulary.   You’re experiencing stress.   Now you’re a bit angry … tired and hungry as well.     You finally get out of work …

As you rush out of the building to the car you take a glance at your watch and see that you’re just about two hours later than usual.   The burning sensation in the stomach grows just a little bit and you race out of the parking lot.   One red light, another one and another one.   You’re tired of waiting … and you make some quick moves in and out of traffic maybe exceeding the speed limit a bit.    A quick glance in the rear view mirror and you notice some bright lights flashing.   As a well trained driver you pull over to the side of the road to let the police car pass and it follows you to the side of the road.   Great … more stress.    Add to that moving violation that fact that the insurance has lapsed and is out of date … more stress.

It doesn’t take much to create a scenario where stress starts to compound and it brings you above your threshold that you can bear.   All it will take is one word from anyone and a fusillade of unfriendly speech will cascade into their face.  

Now the stress has exceeded the normal threshold and in a sustained state starts to bring about more severe stress complications producing  sadness, grief, increased anger or  withdrawal.  

Where is your stress level?   How are you dealing with your stress?

encourage someone today

“I like to listen.I have learned a great deal from listening carefully.
Most people never listen.”    Ernest Hemingway

Some days can be pretty disappointing.   The news flashes across the screen of one disaster after another.   Perhaps your job is in jeopardy or it may have been announced that many positions at your place of employment are going to be eliminated.   Maybe there is a health issue you have to deal with and it is draining your energy.   It could be that an important relationship is in trouble and it is pulling you down.

Maybe it isn’t you that is impacted by the negative stories around you but there is someone you know that is impacted.   Why not cheer them up a bit, encourage them by “listening” to them and acknowledging the story they are sharing with you.   Listening could be the most powerful form of encouragement that person would experience and that just might be what lifts them up so that they can once again fly.

Just simply listen, and then echo back their words as you acknowledge the pain they are feeling in the moment.   

Francois La Rochefoucauld wrote, “The reason why so few people are agreeable in conversation is that each is thinking more about what he intends to say than about what others are saying, and we never listen when we are eager to speak.”

For many people listening isn’t listening.   That is for most people what appears to be listening is the thought about what to say next.   It takes effort to pause the internal thoughts and put them aside long enough to really hear what the other person has to say.   Letting them share their story, their pain, their grief and their thoughts will encourage them by letting them know someone does care.

The most powerful form of encouragement, listening with intention of hearing what the other person has to say.

Just silence the mind,  listen intently, with understanding, and you will encourage someone.   Do it today.

living authentically?

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”   M. Scott Peck

Live in your authentic self.

What does it mean to live your life authentically?   What would it take to live the life you were designed to live?

Authentic:  Not false – genuine.  Not a copy, an original.

Being authentic should mean being the person that you were truly meant to be, not a copy, not being false, but being genuine in all ways.   People who are able to be authentic (true with themselves and others) can live a happier life.   

One a scale of 1 – 10 (1 = Never, 10 = Always)

1. I am able to be authentic with myself.

2. I am able to be authentic at work.

3. I am able to be authentic at home.

4. I am able to be authentic in my relationships.

5. I am able to be authentic with my finances.

6. I am able to be authentic with my friends.

7. I am able to be authentic with my spirituality.

8. I am able to be authentic with my health.

9. I am able to be authentic with my personal growth.

10.  I am able to be authentic with those I don’t know well.

What what was your score?

A score about 80 would indicate a high level of authenticity.

A score of 60 – 79 would indicate pockets of inauthentic living.

A score below 60 may indicate that you are having difficulty being honest with yourself.

What would you like your life to be like?   What would it take to live an authentic life?

If you don’t know the answers to how you are living an authentic life, create a score card.

The authenticity meter (fill out the chart for a week and see where you think you are):


 After a week of writing down your scores in each of those areas, what did you notice?    Do you scores stay the same or are they changing?   What would cause the score to change?

What are you realizing about yourself?

What would you like to change?

Change begins when you understand what it is that needs changing.   Measuring yourself honestly is one way to gage what you desire to change and perhaps seeing yourself in the light you truly are will help you make the lasting changes you desire to make.

“Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, ‘This is the real me,’ and when you have found that attitude, follow it. ”
William James

my cheese moved … and it isn’t coming back

“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.”  Nathaniel Branden

Who moved My Cheese?” by Dr. Spencer Johnson is a tale about some mice who found themselves impacted by change.  Their favorite cheese spot moved one day and they weren’t ready for change.  Life had become comfortable and routine.    Two other curious mice were running around finding new cheese to nibble on and were more successful at dealing with change.

Now there is a new shift coming.   Where the cheese moved somewhat frequently in the “Who Moved My Cheese” scenario  there was a period of time where the cheese could be enjoyed.  The next shift is the continuously moving cheese.  Change is going to be so rampant, so furious that the cheese will be moving every day.


Each day will present a new challenge it will be an age where work won’t be going to single entity to work, it will be entities coming to you for work.   Work will be non-permanent.   A new world of cottage industries will spring up and replace the traditional brick buildings that people are so familiar with today.   

Instead of going to where the cheese is to work, the new work pattern will be to grab a piece of the cheese as it goes by.   Grabbing a piece of the cheese in the new world (which isn’t far away)means having the right skills and a talents.  

Work will be composed of a series of micro-jobs, where one may have multiple employers in a single day.   The rules of the work game will be changing. 

What would it be like to work for multiple employers in a single day?

What would it feel like to be marketing your skills for part of the day?

What would you need to do to prepare for such a world?

“No one can persuade another to change. Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside. We cannot open the gate of another, either by argument or emotional appeal.”  Marilyn Ferguson

zipper people … lessons in life

“Information overload… may well contribute to stress… Perhaps many of us are not suited to endless reams of information, but are more suited to Art – where we are in control and are happy to apply ourselves…  ” Tim Collis-Bird

Today I am introducing “zipper people”, people just like everyone, are facing the constant strains of change.  Today people are inundated by information.  A flood of information in the form of emails, blogs, news, tweets, magazines, Podcasts, webcasts, free seminars, paid seminars, books, … and it goes on and on and on.  

People don’t know whether to jump into the stream of information or get out and watch it go by leaving them behind, a little less informed about what is happening in the world, or so one would think.

Over time people find themselves more frustrated, more upset and more anxious about the world they live in.  Coping to find a way through the day as emails, IM’s, tweets and the noise of the day just crowds in and takes over.  It is enough stuff to make some people, angry.

People are just getting tired of the noise, the relentless chatter in their lives and as a result are feeling less happy about themselves and of life in general.  

What can be done?

1.  Select your sources of information

2. Limit your diet of news

3. Find time to be distraction free.

4. Focus on what is important

There are estimates that by 2020 the amount of knowledge/information will double every 72 days.  Right now the information doubling rate is about 2 years.  Every 2 years the information doubles, so it is no wonder that you are swamped with information from a variety of sources.  

With the explosive rate of growth knowledge and information it is no wonder that people are struggling to keep up.  

Leaders will have to find new ways to lead and followers will have to find new ways to follow.     The “Zipper People” are going to join for the ride to help provide some practical guidance was the world turns ever faster.

“I was thinking, straight zipper”   Susan Rosenberg

i will be ready to change …

“We would rather be ruined than changed;
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die.”
W.H. Auden

If it is important then why not make the change?  

There are many, many people who are tired of what they are doing, tired of having things being a struggle all of the time.   Work is harder.  Relationships are on edge or broken.   The career is stalled or falling apart.   The weight that should have been lost is coming back.    Each day it feels like the load gets heavier and heavier and looking at the news it doesn’t appear to be getting better soon.

Maybe someone has told you, “you need to change”, or “you should change”, and in your mind your thinking, maybe I do need to change.   “I need to change …”, that doesn’t sound very empowering does it.  

I have to change.

I need to change.

I should change.

I want to change.

I desire to change.

What statement is more like you? 

Personal change is going to be very difficult if there isn’t a desire to change.   Shifting the language to “want to” or “desire to” is going to be much more enabling than “need to” or “should” change or “have to” change.  

Until there is a point where you tell yourself “I want to” make  changes in my life,  change is unlikely to happen or to be sustained.   Change doesn’t happen until you want change to happen.     Take a look at this change guide (link is located on the page).  What would do you want to change?  Really, what do you want to change?   Not should change, not need to change , not have to change, but desire or want to change?


“The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created–created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination.”  John Schaar

if i …

“Imagination rules the world.”    Napoleon Boneparte

What would you do if?

Many people wait and wonder what life would have been like if they chose a different course of action or if they hadn’t waited.   Often people wait because they don’t have all the conditions just right to make the leap into the future they really desire.

As it turns out there for most people there is no “exact” right moment.  Once there is courage and conviction to change an impulse of movement takes place that initiates a transformational change.   If it is worth it, the risk is worth it as well.   Many famous people have stepped out onto the platform of change and decided that living their dreams was worth the price.   For some people the price of realizing their dream is worth all that they have, their security, their finances, and their reputation.   To have tried is more important than worrying about “what if” it didn’t work.

Maybe you aren’t ready to make such a large leap.  You would however like to make changes in  your life, small ones perhaps, changes that will improve your outlook on life and drive you towards your desired outcomes.

Here is a workbook you can use to help start you on that path of personal growth and change. 

Download a free workbook  If_I_ …   What would you really do?