Make a Gratitude Adjustment

When I got up this morning, I immediately starting to think about the things I was not relishing – cutbacks in the number of buses and trains on the CTA, the impending foot of snow, meteorologist, Tom Skilling is predicting for Chicago, and an extra pound on the scale from too many sweets over the weekend. So guess how I felt: annoyed, worried, and mentally chubby. Waiting out in the cold for the extra crowded bus didn’t thrill me either.

“Wait a minute,” I thought to myself. “Your attitude is heading you for a less than happy Monday if you keep this up.” While I don’t usually respond to my internal questions with an audible response, I did say “you’re right” out loud.

So what’s a person to do? I decided to make a Gratitude Adjustment. I started to look for the things about myself, the people around me, and my circumstances that were okay – even great. Each time I thought of another item I appreciated, right here and now, I felt a little bit better. While I am not yet jumping up and down for joy just yet – I am certainly headed in the right direction.

So if you are even a tiny bit grouchy today, make a gratitude adjustment. Speaking as someone who just did, I can see and feel a delightful Monday unfolding.

Thanks and Happy Monday,


Support is More Than Spanx

Sarah Blakely, CEO and founder of Spanx, is a great inspiration of what is possible with vision, determination, and tenacity. She created a line of undergarments for women (and I hear that there is a new line of garments for men) that supports their midsection with great comfort and a cleaner, leaner image. This is awesome – some would say essential, yet I would say incomplete.

I am a big believer that support can come from make people, places, and things. In fact, I believe that encouragement and support is like a huge buffet. It is a veritable smorgasbord of ideas, comfort, and cheerleaders who can help you advance your goals and dreams, get through rough spots, and give you hope for the future.

There is one thing about support of any kind; you usually have to ask for it. People in our lives are usually not psychic and often don’t want to intrude. You may even need to tell them what you need. They will appreciate you for this and  this way they don’t have to guess – and horror of horror guess wrong and make things worse.

So while Spanx give your support and confidence with the way you look, the people in your life whom who allow to support you boost your heart and spirit – and by helping you, they gain encouragement and hope, too.



Go for the Gratitude

It’s so easy to see what doesn’t work in your home, work, school, and community and then share your negative findings with anyone who will listen. I have certainly been known to do this – to my detriment. Yet to be truly happy, respected, and credible, it is essential that you go for the gratitude.

What does this actually mean? Going for the gratitude requires that you approach each person and situation with a broad sense of appreciation. Then find ways to express your gratitude for the great things that you see – from something simple like making a phone call just to say hello or writing a note to a more elaborate gesture like a luxurious dinner or two tickets to a sporting event. Let you imagination, heart, and budget be your guides.

For the next 30 days, Go for the Gratitude and notice how your life changes. Then report back.



There is No Such Thing as a Back Up.*

 Most people make sure they have a back up for everything – from an extra tube of toothpaste in the pantry to a spare tire in the trunk of the car. This is clearly prudent.

Yet a back up for your job or significant other could derail your career and life. For every person or job you have or pursue as your plan B, your “back up” is someone else’s first choice.

Just think about how you behave for your first choices – personal and professional. It’s as if there is no other person or job in the world for you. That’s your message – and the passion in which you deliver that message, with your words and actions, makes you incomparably attractive.

Now you will of course continue to have backups. Just be sure to genuinely convey in what ways they are “The One.” This will inspire your enthusiasm, mobilize your talents, and increase your happiness and success.

Have a great week, Anita

*Inspired by a Chicago Booth alumnus’s keynote on Saturday

Wish you were here . . .

 Have you ever noticed two people living in the same circumstances – one suffering, complaining, and miserable and the other determined, appreciative, and happy? So what’s the difference? It can be expressed in just one word ATTITUDE.

I know, that’s easier said than done. But here’s a clue from the great American educator and philosopher, John Dewey. Become a “True Optimist.” Do not run away from your challenges. Instead, know the score, see the reality of your life, and acknowledge it. At the same time, ALWAYS actively search for the good in each and every person and circumstance.

If you are presently feeling pressed and challenged, what could the benefit be? What is the lesson to be learned? Greater self-reliance? Reaching out to others for support? Patience? Compassion? The list goes on and on and only you can find your benefit. When you do, life will be gentler, easier, and more joyful.

So what have you got to lose? Give it a shot and report back. We’d love to hear from you.



In Search of Encouragizers™

I am often told that I can be very encouraging. I think that this is true because I am easily discouraged. Consequently, I am on a constant search for encouragement for myself – articles, books, films, TV – I look for stories to bolster my courage wherever I can find them. I have a veritable library of encouragement stored in my brain, scrawled in a variety of journals, and on my computer.

Guess what? When I meet someone who is feeling challenged about almost any of area of life, I have a story and/or words of wisdom borrowed from an inspired thinker from the past or present (whom I give full credit to) that I can use to brighten another person’s day. The brilliant byproduct of sharing encouragement with another is that I gain courage, confidence, and resolve from the same material – thank goodness for multipurposing.

 Here my big goal for 2010. I am on a quest to find Encouragizers™, learn from them, and share what I learn with others in my daily life, on this blog, and more. I would really appreciate knowing about Encouragizers™ in your life.

Here are some clues to spot Encouragizers™:

• They are individuals who are winning in their lives on their own terms;

• Challenges may stop them initially, but not forever;

• These individuals are driven by a purpose stronger than their biggest weakness; and

• They use this determination to transform themselves and each inner change positively ripples out into their family, community, school, workplace, and ultimately the world.

If this sounds like you or someone you know, please let me know at



Are You an Everyday Edison?

I was flipping channels and was delighted to see that “Everyday Edisons” on in 30 minutes, so I set the timer. I am a nerd/geek in my mind and heart and I fully admit it. So for me, Everyday Edisons is an exhilarating program. When I watched the show, I learned about really cool (yet simple) inventions – from Michael Diep’s cat jungle gym that also files a cat’s nails to Aaron Tang’s feisty alarm clock. Perhaps you have a good idea that the world needs, considering attending a casting call. In the meantime, visit Edison Nation, a community Web site dedicated to idea people. Edison Nation holds monthly Live Product Searches that allow you to submit your ideas online. The world is waiting for your idea to make a bunch of lives better!

Call Me Pollyanna

Some days the benefits of life feel like they are buried and not visible to me. I could blame these positive things in life for not making it easy for me to find them. Or I could put on my glasses – not the ones I wear everyday to see near and far – but my special “encouragizer” ones. Just thinking about this makes me smile which takes me one step closer to having a happy, productive, and successful day.

These encouragizer glasses orient me to see the gains, value, and fun in life. While the sky could still be gray and gloomy (as it is today in Chicago,) my heart doesn’t have to follow suit. I can see that it’s not 20 below zero, the bus came on time, and I have a terrific job.

 Some may call me Pollyanna, but what’s wrong with that. She would play this kind of Glad Game with herself and all of the people with whom she would interact. With her Glad Game, my encouragizer glasses, and whatever you do to shift you perspective toward the positive, flipside, and appreciative, we can all make our world a teeny bit better.

 Sounds like a good start for Monday or any day.

Join the Tokens Project

To paraphrase the psychologist and philosopher, William James – People wanted to feel appreciated more than anything else.

Encouragizers reveal their greatness becuase at the core of their actions is appreciation. Each of us can improve others lives by expressing appreciation.

So we have created the Tokens Project. The goal is for us (collectively) to share one billion tokens (acts) of appreciation with those who have added value to our lives.

Please join us. Express appreciation to people in your life, let us know what you are doing, and change your world.

For more information – send me a direct message at

With deep appreciation,