“But I Should Have . . .”

“I should have a better career,” a coaching client recently told me.

Instead of responding, I was quiet and let him continue. As this man talked for the next 50 minute, he came to a completely different conclusion. “Anita,” he concluded, “given what I have done and not done in my career – I guess I’m exactly where I should be.”

This individual went from complaining about his “fate” to realizing that if he wanted a better career, he would need to change from within and perform differently.

So what “should” you have and what can you begin doing today to make it a reality?



Where Change is Possible

The present is the place where change is possible. But it’s tempting to peek to the future or look over your shoulder to review the past. Yet to do so, could likely make you less effective overall and dissatisfied with whatever you are doing right now no matter how terrific it is.

So practice staying in the present for at least 5 minutes each day. The potential rewards are enormous, so stay here long enough to receive them.

Have a great weekend,

An Unbeatable Combination

Are you an analytical type? Can you crunch the numbers with the best of them?

That’s a terrific skill, but it’s only part of the equation.

Since you will never have perfect and complete data, jumping off and acting without incomplete information is an essential skill.

So today, do your homework and act. It’s an unbeatable combination.

Have a great day,

Imagine Success

What is planning?

For the strategy consultant, conducting studies to support whatever is undertaken must come first. To the financial analyst, “running the numbers” to ensure that the net present value of the project is greater than zero is a given. And for the product manager, analyzing the target audience for economic viability is of primary concern.

Yet without imagination, the excitement of possibilities that drive innovation and true success will die and planning will have no purpose.

The great news is that each of us has the capacity and opportunity to dream. So spend 15 minutes today as a “the chief visionary officer.”

Have a successful day,

Mind Wide Open

Ever form a plan to achieve a goal, with every step laid out, and then stick to the plan exactly as written?

While sometimes this can be a great thing, flexibility usually works better.

So as you proceed with your goals, keep your mind wide open. As you take the next steps, pay attention to new information that you discover along the way. It could help you refine your approach and advance more joyfully and successfully.

Have a great day,

The 50% Experiment

Are you so busy talking that you sometimes miss some of the really good stuff? As an experiment, talk 50% less than you normally do. Then notice what happens. You might just pick up some valuable knowledge, insights, and opportunities. There’s a side benefit. When you say less, others may listen more when you do speak up.

Have a wonderful day,

Are Your Opinions Open?

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd. Bertrand Russell

Ever have such a strong opinion that no one, absolutely no one, was going to change your mind? So did the people who believed the world was flat, it was impossible to fly, and the earth was the center of the universe. In fact, throughout history, people have gone to war to prove that their opinions were correct, regardless of what the truth was.

So next time you decide that you are right in no uncertain terms, STOP! There are likely other valid opinions. So open up your ears, mind, and heart and really listen to what the other person has to say. In doing so, you might learn something and give the other person the opening to listen to you, too.

Have a great day,

An Unlikely Success Strategy

I was maid of honor in my sister’s wedding – and two days before the big event, I still didn’t have a dress to wear. When I got off the plane in Philadelphia, my parents, Aunt Syl, and myself dashed 60 miles to Atlantic City to purchase the perfect dress my mother had found.

We hit a torrential rainstorm complete with thunder and bright flashes of lightening. About 40 miles into the trip we came across a completely flooded out viaduct. All the cars, buses, and trucks were turning around, but not my Dad. All of the sudden, he made a sharp left hand turn onto a dirt road into a cornfield.

“Hey!” yelled my Mother, Aunt Syl, and me in whiny unison. “Where do you think you’re going?!?”

“Hold on,” yelled back Dad.

In about two minutes, we were around the cornfield and back on the road on the other side of the flooded area.

Well, the dress was perfect; my father won $1500 at the casino that night; and I learned an important lesson: No matter how things may look, there’s usually a “cornfield” around the corner and on the other side is exactly where you want to be.

So the next time you feel blocked by floods, other people, undesirable events, or yourself, look for your cornfield. When you find it, go for it. Then think of my Dad and say “Hooray for Harry!”

Have a great day,

Getting Out of Stagnant Land

Whenever I worry about my day, the week, and even farther into the future, I realize that I am living a bit in “stagnant land”. At those times, I have more than a little fear that diminishes my ability to think differently, be open, and come up with new options.

So lately, based on a wise friend’s advice, I have been looking at my days as mini-experiments where I can stretch and expand my capacity with very limited risk. When I approach life this way, I have more joy, make greater progress, and move ahead – far away from stagnant land.

Make today a fun experiment,

Are You Worth the “Risk”?

I was chatting with someone this week and she was questioning why others don’t seem to want to help her. The more we chatted, the clearer it became to both of us that her approach made her appear risky. It wasn’t something massive or even super obvious, it was little things – from not responding in a timely manner to asking for too much too soon. Also, there were a few missing “thank yous” here and there.

So the next time you ask someone to help you, ask yourself: “Am I making myself ‘risky’ to the other person?” If you think you are, you likely are. Adjust your approach accordingly and move ahead.

Have a great day,