Start With YOU.

Do you ever wish that others would change – family members, colleagues, or neighbors? Or, do you think that if you could only move to a new job, town, or relationship that life would be grand? While these external adjustments can make life better for a time, the annoying people and circumstances follow you – even if the names and specific events are different. 

Many years ago as I complained about this dilemma to a friend, she leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Anita, you take you with you wherever you go. Why would you expect anything to improve unless you improve yourself first?”

While not as “easy” as blaming, complaining, or feeling sorry for myself, improving from within is way more effective. So if you find yourself facing people or situations you don’t like, ask yourself the following: “How can I polish my character?”  Do this and one of three things will happen – the person or circumstances will get better, you or the other person will be removed from the environment, or that individual won’t bother you anymore. 

So if you notice a little complaint or a bit of blaming creeping into your thoughts – STOP! Instead of crafting a plan to improve others, start with yourself first. 

Have a great weekend.


Give Up . . . But Don’t Give In or Quit

Society, especially in the Western World, prides itself on pushing, striving, and controlling – situations, people, and even the environment. It’s pretty obvious that it’s NOT working. We live in a stressed out, overburdened, and ozone-action day filled world. So what’s a person to do? 

How can you give up without giving in or quitting? It’s quite simple, but far from easy. All you have to do is let go and refuse to resist. When you find yourself at battle (internally with worry, doubt, or fear, or externally with rush hour traffic, an annoying co-worker or family member, or a person with twenty items in the “express” lane) PAUSE. Don’t do anything, except take a deep breath and let the frustration pass through you rather than attempting to control it, squash it, or pretend that everything is fine. 

Someone once showed me an exercise. She asked me to press my palm against hers and not let her push me over. The more pressure she applied the more I “had to” apply to push back. After awhile it got pretty tiring. Then she said, “Don’t resist at all.” When she pushed, I let go and she passed by me with ease. What a freeing experience. 

So the next time you want to push, strive, and manipulate your way through a frustrating situation, give up, without giving in or quitting. You’ll find that the small annoyances disappear and you will have the confidence, energy, and capacity to tackle the important things that require your attention.

Have a wonderful day,

Do You Want to Accelerate Your Success?

Many people have a list of all of the things that they want to be, do, and have. They think about these goals and dreams and visualize what life will be like when they achieve everything on the list. Some even take it a step further and link the goals to deeply positive feelings – yet they fall short and end up frustrated, disappointed, and feeling like a bit of a failure. 

Does this sound familiar? 

Several years ago I leading a project and getting nowhere. I started working with a coach and we went through the whole how to achieve your goals and dreams drill (which is useful.) We confirmed my goals were still important to me. I thought clearly why I wanted them and imagined how good I would feel when I achieved them – and of course, I took action, lots of action. For people who know me – I always work really hard. So, it was no surprise to anyone that I was giving 100% to that project, too. Yet, no matter what I did, the project didn’t really go anywhere. Ugh! What was up with that? 

A close friends suggested that I was “making the possible impossible.” I must have looked confused so he continued, “Is there anyone in the world whom you would not like to also see achieve these goals?” “I suppose,” I said reluctantly. He was telling me, in his not so subtle way that if I hoped someone else would fail to achieve his or her goals – I was doing exactly the same to myself. I wasn’t sure if I believed him, but started an experiment. Anytime I noticed that I felt negative toward another person’s accomplishments, I stopped myself. 

While my project was not an overnight success, I saw some immediate wins. In the end, we had a big victory – inspiring many, including me. 

So if you are not advancing the way you want to, start celebrating others’ successes sincerely, wholeheartedly, and happily.

Watch what happens and report back. I really appreciate hearing from you.


Do You Still Care About Your Goals?

Some people pursue goals and dreams that longer fit who they are, what they want, and what they believe in. Yet, they made the commitment and they are going to see it through to the (sometimes bitter) end. 

Take my friend, Jack, who became an accountant because it was a solid steady thing to do and he was good at numbers. He built a good career in accounting until the economy caused deep cuts in his company including his job. 

He did all the right things to succeed in his job search, but no job interviews and certainly no offers. Now you might think it was the economy – I did. Yet some of Jack’s fellow accountants found work – really good jobs. 

“What am I doing wrong,” he asked me one day. There was nothing obvious. Then I asked a question that could have led Jack straight out of my door. “Do you still want to be an accountant? You don’t seem to have care that much. You know I really like and respect you, but I wouldn’t hire you because your heart’s not in it.” 

Jack was not very happy with me and I thought that he was going to yell at me, but he didn’t. “Anita, you’re right. I haven’t been excited about accounting for a long time – and I have responsibilities and need to put food on the table.” 

Well, Jack did find another accounting job – this time part time – which gave him the cash flow he needed to support his family and the time to find new goals. Today he is studying to be an assistant to large scale glass artists. Go figure. 

So what about you? 

If your goals and dreams are still perfect for you, proceed with vision, vitality, and solid action. 

If not, explore other options and envision your transition from what no longer inspires you to something that combines your talents, values, and passions. 

Either way, please share you successes.

We can’t wait to hear all about them. 



Chasing versus Advancing

Yesterday I sent the following tweet: “Advance toward your aspirations instead of chasing them. You will ultimately achieve your goals and dreams faster and be happier.”  Since it was a Sunday, I didn’t really expect to receive a response. Happily, I did from my friend, Paul. “Hi Anita, I’m curious – what do you see as the difference between advancing and chasing? Paul” He made me really think – which I view as an absolutely great thing. Here’s what I wrote: 

Hi Paul, 

That’s a great question. 

A friend of mine, Tom, who is CEO of a small cap company, once told me to stop chasing after my goals and dreams – and to let them come to me. He believes that chasing can convey a sense of desperation that can lead people who would like to help and support running in the other direction. At the same time, Tom didn’t mean that I should hope and wait for my goals to materialize. He is clearly a person of action and expected me to take action based on my research and (hopefully) wisdom. In this sense, advancing is having a strong target and vision for what you want, preparing on an ongoing basis to stay current, and taking action with a confident (and not arrogant or anxious) heart. 

Hope this helps.

Best regards,

So today ask yourself: “Are you chasing a goal or dream out of desperation with only a slight belief that you will achieve it?” OR “Is your goal or dream real – with a clear vision of your desired future, solid preparation and planning, and action that you take confidently and with appreciation?” The former could be an exhausting chase that lasts forever and the latter is the basis for happy, successful, and lasing achievement. The choice is yours. 

I wish you success – today and forever.


Just say “Thank You”!

Have you ever given a person a compliment – about an attractive sweater or a handsome suit – and received the response, ”Oh, this old thing. I just dragged it out of the back of my closet.” Or, have you received a compliment on an excellent work project or fabulous dinner and replied, “Oh, it was nothing. No problem. No big deal.” 

If you stopped and listened to what you and others actually say when given a compliment, you’d be surprised, appalled, and puzzled. Regardless of the underlying psychosocial reasons, this is quite a simple problem to solve. 

I’ll tell you what my mother suggests. Her approach is simple, straightforward, and ultimate satisfying to both parties. When you are fortunate enough to receive a compliment or an acknowledgment for a job well done, Just Say Thank You!

Thank you,

Are You Willing to Succeed?

A willingness to consider other points of view and new options is key to having a successful life. So why are many people reluctant to be open-minded? Perhaps it’s fear of the unknown, fear of looking silly or stupid, or even a fear of change. Whatever the “reason”, the real risk of failure comes when you do the same thing over and over and expect a different outcome. So if you are about to approach a person, activity, or event and feel your mind close up like a clam – force yourself to stop and refuse to do what you’ve always done. Do something brand new and if you cannot think of anything, ask a couple of five-year-olds and listen to their advice.