Monthly Archives: April 2013

who do you see in the mirror?

“Mindfulness helps us get better at seeing the difference between what’s happening and the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening, stories that get in the way of direct experience. Often such stories treat a fleeting state of mind as if it were our entire and permanent self.”
― Sharon Salzberg


Are you really the person you think you are?   You might be thinking, this is a trick question, or of course I’m the person I think I am.   It is interesting that studies show that American’s have an inflated view of their abilities and how they perform.  This recent study about teacher’s shows that most teachers believe they are highly effective.   College professors are at an amazingly high level of proficiency where 94% believe they are above average.

Teen drivers believe they too are above average.  Startling statistics show that most people are above average drivers.     So, are all drivers above average?  Of course not.   What is happening is that people want to feel better than average.  Who can be an average driver?  It’s the other person isn’t it?Zip_car

Scientific American recently printed an article on the increased sense of optimism many people have.   The optimistic self may have a better chance at advancing in society, career and life.   After all who wants to hang out with a depressed person.

When you are looking around at other people, what do you see?  Are they the ones that are above average or is it you that is above average?  Who is this average person anyway?   Is there such a person?      When you look in the mirror who is looking back?   Is it the above average person or is it someone else?

How does being above average serve you?

how do you deceive yourself

“Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised or a little mistaken.”
― Jane Austen

What do you believe about yourself?   What is your real truth?   Below is a video about people who describe themselves in one way and others describe that same person in another.   How we think of ourselves matters.

How we see ourselves impacts our ability to be our best.    Our best may be exaggerated a bit, more positive or more handsome or beautiful.   We want to believe we are somewhat better than we really are because it pushes us in some way to be that person.   If we believe we are more negative than we really are we don’t believe we can do the things we could otherwise.

We deceive ourselves for a number of reasons.  If we believe in that deception does it help us live a better life?

What do you think of yourself?   Who do you think you really are?   Are you the person you want to be?   Are you the person that others see?   What is your answer?


ADHD in the news



ADHD in the news, take a look at this story of how ADHD is impacting adult lives.   The story portrays adults who have been impacted with ADHD and their belief in their self-worth, damaged by ADHD.   Opportunities lost to a neuro-biological condition that at least in theory would go away as individuals reached adulthood.    Findings are showing that as children are being diagnosed with ADHD parents are becoming aware of their own ADHD.

What can be done?  For some there is solace in the variety of medications available to treat ADHD and often that is not enough to equip those with ADHD to function at the level they  desire to function at.    Sometimes it takes more than some medications to boost the performance of those with ADHD. Often what happens after years of hearing and experiencing less than positive messages the person with ADHD takes on those messages and believes that they are true.  “You aren’t good enough”    and that takes more than some medications.

If you think you may have ADHD (if you have children with ADHD, you may have ADHD yourself), find out if those patterns you see in your children are patterns you have.   If you have found yourself having difficulty managing time, losing things, forgetting where you put things,  difficulty understanding directions, not getting things done on time, purchasing things because it feels good or not being able to figure what to do you may want to find out if you do have ADHD, especially if has been a persistent problem over many years.  The first step is finding out.   The second step is working with an ADHD professional to help you establish new habits and processes that will enable you to get good results.


ADHD what’s new?

“Nothing says work efficiency like panic mode.”
― Don Roff

ADHD Treatments 3D.png  ADHD is not just a small problem with small consequences  it is a big problem with large consequences.   As more and more is learned about the brain and how it works there are more and new ways of managing ADHD.   If you are dealing with time management, organization, focus and procrastination you may be dealing with ADHD or just crash of constant change in your life.   In either case there are ways to help get more out of the day and reduce the frustration and anxiety often experienced as a result of ADHD.

It is surprising how many adults with ADHD in the workplace silently struggle to do more and more left brain activities.   It is expected that people who work pay attention to detail, think before they speak, manage their time effectively, show up to meetings on time, not act impulsively, and to focus on their work.  These are characteristics of the modern workforce that can’t be ignored.

I’ve heard of too many stories where an employee was dismissed from their work as a result of having ADHD (not that they told their employer).    Manager’s aren’t equipped to recognize and manage ADHD, they just chalk it up to a performance issue or a lack of desire or something that can’t be tolerated and find ways to remove the employee.   That results in a lose/lose situation.  The company loses someone who wants to contribute, is likely very creative and imaginative but trapped in a world where time management and attention to detail is seen as very important.

The best way to manage the ADHD issues is education and management.  Taking time to find new strategies or new methods to manage ADHD will help everyone impacted with ADHD.

A real problem in the workplace



More than a third of companies are so dysfunctional, the best people don’t really care about what they’re doing and the worst people don’t know that they are doing a lousy job. Those are the findings of a new study by Leadership IQ, a twelve-year-old Washington, D.C. company that does employee engagement surveys and leadership training.”   (Fortune Magazine, 4/2/2013)

Imagine that your best employees are not engaged in the work that they do, what is the impact that is having on your business?   It could be that manager’s are not engaged in the process of ensuring that the people who are the most valuable are doing the kind of work that makes the biggest contribution.   It could be that people aren’t creating and setting high expectations for themselves, that they don’t have a sufficiently strong set of goals to motivate their performance.

I’ve found that some people just don’t have daily goals that have enough meaning to get them out of bed in the morning and if they don’t have a great goal what is going to drive their performance.   Work has become less and less rewarding as more and more companies have cut back on things that at some level motivate employees to put more of themselves into their work.

Work has become more demanding and more and more is expected of you.  Knowledge and skill requirements are increasing and so is the tracking and recording of information, creating reports and doing work that feels non-essential which robs the positive feelings that work can provide.   Work that feels non-essential is like having a ship at anchor attempting to sail, it just isn’t going to work well.

Employees own their success.  That is they need to develop a set of clear goals that are in alignment with their strengths that provide a benefit to the organization.   Goals that create a connection to the community in which they reside in at work and make a substantial contribution are necessary to generate  intrinsic motivation.

If you are not engaged in your work, develop a success plan and deliver that to your manager.   Let your manager know what it is that you want to do to make a contribution this year.   What skills and resources do you need?   What things can you accomplish that will help build community?   What keeps you connected to the work you are doing?    Develop a plan that has specific milestones along the way.  Take charge of your growth.  Take charge of your results.

“But I already have too much to do”.    Is that what you were thinking?   If there is too much to do in an eight hour day then what is it that you need to stop doing so that you can do more of what is in alignment with your strengths?   It may be a question that you bring up to your manager.   “I am doing to  much of __________ and it isn’t adding value from my perspective (get some real data) to the organization and these activities if I did them would make a bigger contribution.”   Find out what the benefits are to the organization for each thing you do, how does it benefit the organization.   In some cases organizations do things just because they were done before and no one has stopped to figure out if that thing is of value.

The point is to take ownership of your work and your career.     Within your job responsibilities find those things that you are attracted to and see if there is a way to increase that kind of work.   

What can you do to take ownership of your work so that you’re involved and engaged in the work you do?

choosing to become

“I am not what happened to me.
I am what I chose to become.”

~ Carl Jung


The mindset of many in today’s culture is that things happen to them, things that are out of their control,  that lead to bad outcomes.   No matter what is happening in their life all some people experience is the worst of life.   How we experience life is a choice.  We have the choice to make the most of a bad day or let the bad day make the least out of us.

Being a victim of external events removes power from anyone.   Choosing to be caught in arguments, conflict, or negative situations without stepping back and pausing to see if the issue is that important puts us in a negative mental position. You can detect victim behavior by their language and how they blame others or the situation they are in for their attitude, how they can’t get things done or how bad they feel.    Being a victim is a choice.

The other side of choice is driven by an attitude that says,  “I take responsibility for my life and how I feel.”   The person who desires to use the language of positivity will experience greater happiness and success.   Those that choose to be grateful and positive will see better outcomes than those who believe that everything that goes wrong is an insult to them.

Learning how to become the person you want to be is a choice.  Being the best you can be is something you can take charge of.   If you know of someone who is always in the mode of a victim, who can’t seem to find positive outcomes in their life they may be a great candidate for coaching.     Have them contact me at for a free coaching consultation.  Find out how you or someone you know can move from “poor me” to “powerful me”.   It is your choice.
Are you happier?

4 Skills that really matter

“Once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.”
― Malcolm Gladwell


In his book The Global Achievement Gap, Tony Wagner, co-director of the Change Leadership Group, Harvard School of Education,described seven key skills for getting a new job.  Among those seven areas are four skills that might be something that everyone whether a new job seeker or a veteran can bring to the table of employment.

In the new world of work, workers need to have in their tool box of experience and knowledge the following:

1. Agility and adaptability

2. Collaboration and leadership

3. Critical thinking and problem solving – to ask the right questions

4. Initiative and an entrepreneurial spirit

What does it mean to be adaptable and agile?    We know that the speed of change is creating more and more tension in the workforce and those who have difficulty modifying their work habits will be less and less satisfied in their work environment.   Being agile means moving quickly and not getting stuck in the past.

The collaborator, the team worker is going to be better equipped in a fast paced world.  Learning critical leadership skills, as in how to motivate from within, will be essential as more and more work is done globally.    Leading with the heart, from a perspective of empathy, understanding and humility will be part of the foundation of powerful leadership.

Having the ability to solve complex problems though rapid iteration and learning from failure (something most people are adverse to trying) is a critical asset to have.   Learning and achievement come from our ability to be resilient when we fail.  We learn more through failure than we do from success, if we take the lessons we learned and apply them in our new attempts.

Taking initiative and action are essential to increasing overall momentum.  Applying energy each and every day towards the generation of new outcomes is a valuable skill to have.  It is a skill that can be developed.  The entrepreneurial mindset is about creating new opportunities or grasping opportunity quickly and testing the value of that idea now.

We live in a world that “waiting” is no longer acceptable.  We live in the “instant” and holding back instead of acting will have a greater price than taking action and learning.   Learn quickly to grow exponentially.

Mastering today’s world will take adaptability, agility, collaboration,leadership, critical thinking, problem solving and taking initiative.    Start developing your skills in these areas and become the person that people want to hire.
Learn more about Tony Wagner’s desire to reshape our education system.