The Zero Sum Illusion

How generous are you really? How happy are you to see others succeed?

When I entered the “real world” after graduating business school with my MBA, I was scared. I had never worked full time in my life. I approached my career with energy, intelligence, and enthusiasm, but without a strong sense of true self-worth. After all, what could I bring to the workplace that would be embraced, valued, and appreciated that others hadn’t already thought of. Needless to say, I started my professional life insecure and viewing the world as a zero-sum – if you win, I must necessarily lose.

It was hard for me to celebrate my friends’ and colleagues’ successes. I really wanted to (and felt guilty that I didn’t), but I was stuck in the mindset that they got a piece of the pie, I’d go hungry.

As I began to “work on” my inner self, I realized that the zero-sum model was completely bogus. “Anita,” said my friend, Caryl, one day, “the glass isn’t half empty nor half-full. It’s overflowing. So stop moping and get a bigger glass.” How profound! Caryl is wise woman.

I took Caryl’s advice to heart and I began to view the world through my “ocean model” – there’s plenty of water out there and everyone can have a swim.

I am happy for all the wonderful advances my friends and colleagues make. Instead of feeling diminished, I feel proud, encouraged, and motivated to challenge myself to succeed in the ways I desire to.

So when you hear about a friend’s, family member’s, colleague’s, or neighbor’s success – be the first to stand up and cheer. Then go out and make some of your own good news and send it on to me!

Have a great day,


Courage: Pass It On

People are feeling challenged by many things today and many aren’t sure if it’s even worth doing anything to change their circumstances.

Often deep down inside, they see the value of transforming their situation, but lack the courage to do much about it. That’s where you come in.

First, give others your full attention and listen with your whole heart. Second, find ways to respect the other person’s life. And third, from that respective, share stories that show how others have done what they want to do.

As you encourage and inspire the other person, watch what happens to you.


Getting Unstuck

What do you do when you feel stuck?

My usual MO is to push and push and attempt to “figure out” the problem, write down a whole bunch of possible solutions, and create a list of the resources I need to “make things happen”.

While this approach often does work, not always. In fact, sometimes the more I push and plan and strategize – the most stuck I feel. That’s when I give up – not quit, but give up my idea of how things “should” work out.

Have a great day,

Are You Intimidated by Your Goals?

It was once said, “The ocean is made of drops.” So are your dreams.

If there is something that you really desire but are intimidated by, all that stands between you and your dream.

Realize that you control the pace. You can take lots of steps or just a few at a time. It’s all up to you. Either way, you will make progress as long as you exert yourself each and every day.

Enjoy your progress today,

The Power of a Little Hope

Do you usually have hope?

Sometimes circumstances can hide hope under a cloak of doubt and fear, yet it’s always there if you look for it. There are hopeful stories everywhere – even in the midst of challenge, tragedy, and sadness.

The next time you need a little hope, ask for it when you self-reflect, pray, or meditate. Then listen. Your answer will likely show up in the voice of a friend, family member, colleague, or stranger.


“My Situation is Different”

“I just want you know that my situation is different,” said Todd when he walked into my office. “What works for the other people you see just won’t work for me.”

When people say this, they often FEAR that this is true, yet it rarely is.

So the next time you lament that a current challenge is too big for the tools and strategies that helped you in the past pause. Start by looking at the fear and list at least six ways that you could handle things more effectively.

Enjoy your day,

Relationship: Renew or Cancel?

Friendship, love, and even working relationships last when they become a story built on shared experiences, memories, and a belief that “we’re in this together.”

Stories are the glue of relationships. They are an opportunity to look at your (personal or work) life with another person and decide, with confidence, that the story should have a sequel.

So think of a relationship that could use a new chapter, record your memories, and decide how you would like this story to evolve into the future.

Have a great day,

Success Starts with Your Questions

What questions do you ask yourself?

Are they things like, “How could I have done such a stupid thing?” Or are they more like, “What will help me be happy today and help others do the same?”

Your brain will answer either type of question and you’ll likely get lots of answers.

So form your questions so that they give you greater courage, confidence, and compassion.

Enjoy your day,

The Responsibility Paradox

Are you the proverbial Boy Scout or Girl Scout believing that “everything” in your life is your responsibility?

While it’s essential to take responsibility for what is yours, taking on more than your share is not very healthy. It can also lead to overload and rebellion from accountability of all kinds.

So relax, stay flexible, and practice letting go of the things that are not your responsibility. You life will be lighter, more joyful, and happier.

Have a great day,

“Right” Time Decision Making

Think it’s time to move on from a job or relationship?

If it’s not clear to you, here’s one strategy that virtually always works.

Do your very best where you are in ways where you add value and harmony to yourself and the team. Doing a great job doesn’t block but only increases your ability to know if and when the right time comes to move on.

So do you best and reap of the rewards of greater confidence, sense of purpose, and wisdom.

Thank you,