Archive for the ‘life coaching’ Tag

20 Tips For A Positive New Year In 2014!   Leave a comment



1. Stay Positive. You can listen to the cynics and doubters and believe that success is impossible or you can trust that with faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible.

2. Take a morning walk of gratitude. I call it a “Thank You Walk.” It will create a fertile mind ready for success.

3. Make your first meal the biggest and your last meal the smallest. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid.

4. Zoom Focus. Each day when you wake up in the morning ask: “What are the three most important things I need to do today that will help me create the success I desire?” Then tune out all the distractions and focus on these actions.

5. Talk to yourself instead of listen to yourself. Instead of listening to your complaints, fears and doubts, talk to yourself and feed your mind with the words and encouragement you need to keep moving forward.

6. Remember that adversity is not a dead-end but a detour to a better outcome.

7. Don’t chase dollars or success. Decide to make a difference and build meaningful relationships and success will find you.

8. Get more sleep. You can’t replace sleep with a double latte.

9. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in your purpose, people and the positive present moment.

10. Mentor someone and be mentored by someone.

11. Live with the 3 E’s. Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy.

12. Remember there’s no such thing as an overnight success. There’s no substitute for hard work.

13. Believe that everything happens for a reason and expect good things to come out of challenging experiences.

14. Implement the No Complaining Rule. Remember that if you are complaining, you’re not leading.

15. Read more books than you did in 2013.

16. Don’t seek happiness. Instead decide to live with passion and purpose and happiness will find you.

17. Focus on “Get to” vs “Have to.” Each day focus on what you get to do, not what you have to do. Life is a gift not an obligation.

18. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:

I am thankful for __________.
Today I accomplished____________.

19. Smile and laugh more. They are natural anti-depressants.

20. Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy it.

– See more at:


Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:
1. Give up your need to always be right. There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?
2. Give up your need for control. Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu
3. Give up on blame. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.
4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk. Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.
“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle
5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!
“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle
6. Give up complaining. Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, many things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy; no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.
7. Give up the luxury of criticism. Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.
8. Give up your need to impress others. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take of all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.
9. Give up your resistance to change. Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it. “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell
10. Give up labels. Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer
11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place. “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
12. Give up your excuses. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.
13. Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.
14. Give up attachment. This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another, attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self-less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.
15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

4 Essentials For Reaching Out To Strangers On LinkedIn   Leave a comment

4 Essentials For Reaching Out To Strangers On LinkedIn


Last week, I received an info interview request from a total stranger as a direct message on LinkedIn. And despite my very busy schedule, I decided to take his call. Over the weekend, I asked myself, “Why did I agree?”

Let’s take his e-mail apart and put it into four essential elements so you can use them in your own LinkedIn networking communications.

First, here’s the e-mail I got over LinkedIn from J.:

Hi Joshua,


I noticed we are both connected to M. F. – how do you know M.? I first met her at J.P., and she actually photographed my wedding. Small world


I wanted to touch base with you because I saw an open position at J.R. I thought would be a great fit for me. I’m located in Portland now, and do social media strategy for a digital marketing agency here in town.


It’s a fun role, but you know how agencies are – fingers in a lot of different businesses, but no ability to truly own a marketing program. It looks like I would be able to do that with the Marketing Communications Manager role that is posted.


Would you mind if I called you sometime this week to hear about your experience at J.R. and your perspective on the marketing organization there? I’d really appreciate it.

1. Lead with Something In Common

My interviewee, J., began his e-mail by pointing out our mutual friend M.F., and although I know M.F. from my sister’s college days, what really got my attention was M.F. was the photographer at her wedding.

Now, with LinkedIn, there is a danger the first degree connection isn’t really a close friend. I went through an Open Networking phase and about 100 people in my LinkedIn network are complete strangers to me.

So don’t assume just because they’re connected, they know each other.

J. took a calculated risk. However, he mitigates that risk by further sharing a personal tid-bit…he’s married. And as another recently married guy, I can very much relate to his situation. (i.e. He has my sympathy.)


2. Get to the Point – Fast

J. wastes no time for BS or apologies. He’s writing to me because he saw an open position at a company I have a relationship with and thinks he’d be a fit.

Notice he says, “I saw an open position.” He doesn’t assume I know anything about this position. In fact, it was news to me. And so I can infer he’s not assuming I’m any kind of decision maker. I know this is going to be a purely informational interview.

Furthermore, he concludes the e-mail by re-affirming that he’s just looking to hear about my experience with J.R., the company and my perspective on their marketing organization.

My guard goes down because I know he’s not going to put me on the spot or ask me for more than just my opinion.

3. What Makes Him Qualified?

Without bragging, J. makes it clear that he’s a serious candidate, not one of those job fisherman.

He tells me he already works at an agency. And that even though he enjoys the agency, he’s looking for more. He wants to “truly own a marketing program.”

It might occur to me, after all, that if he already has a job, why is he looking to make a change? That concern is assuaged.

4. What Do You Want From Me?

He concludes his e-mail with, “Would you mind if I called you sometime this week…” meaning, I won’t have to do anything except wait for a phone call and talk to him. Sounds easy.

I would have even mentioned the exact amount of time such a conversation would have taken, “Would you mind if I called you this week for just 10 or 15 minutes?”

Other Observations

You may have also noticed…

  • The e-mail was VERY short. It took me less than 30 seconds to read it.
  • He named the position he was after by name, he did his research and I know he won’t waste my time
  • He is sensitive to and grateful for my time, “I would really appreciate it…”

The next time you are reaching out to someone new over LinkedIn; consider bringing in one or more of these elements to your message. I’m sure it will make a big difference in your response rate.


I Choose To Be Happy! Do You?   Leave a comment

Choose Happiness – Then Act To Make It Real!    

Choose Happiness

“I have decided to be happy,” wrote the French writer Voltaire,”because it is good for my health.”
Is this true? Can choosing to be happy make you healthier?
Apparently so. Especially if you back up that choice with action such as paying attention to what you’re grateful for.
Gratitude Makes You Healthier

In his book “59 Seconds,” psychologist Richard Wiesman describes an experiment in which some people wrote for 15 minutes a week about things they were grateful for, while others wrote about what annoyed them and still others wrote about neutral topics. 

The results of the study showed that the gratitude group was much happier than the other groups. They were very optimistic about the future. And they were physically healthier!
Other studies of people who keep “gratitude journals” show the same kinds of results. And writing seems to increase the effect over simply thinking grateful thoughts. 
I do both. I keep a daily gratitude notebook and, at the end of each day, write down a half-dozen things for which I’m grateful that day. They’re not often big things. More often they’re small things that have a big effect such as “sunshine,” “birdsong,” “a delicious meal,” “a letter from a friend,” “a good book.”
I also go for “like walks” during the day. Going for a 10 minute walk about every 90 minutes can prevent stress hormones from accumulating. It can energize you. And, if you focus on things you like as you walk, it can tilt your positivity ratio in toward the healthy range where you feel happy, confident and optimistic.

Healthy Self-Talk Makes You Happier

“The happiness of your life,” said the Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius, depends on the quality of your thoughts.”
 We’re always chattering away to ourselves in our minds, but are often unaware what we’re saying to ourselves.  Another way to choose happiness is to pay attention to your own self-talk — to the thoughts, beliefs and stories you tell yourself.
If your self-talk includes many negative thoughts such as “this will never work,” “I always screw up,” “nothing will come of this effort” you will feel negative, pessimistic. 
But, if you catch those negative “trigger words” and soften them and make them more realistic — “this might not work first time,” “I succeed as much as I fail and learn from my mistakes,” or “there’s a chance that nothing will come from this, but at least I’ll know and can try something else — you’ll feel much better.
As well, much unhappiness stems from “shoulding” on yourself, others or the world. Shoulding turns normal desires into hard-to-live-up-to demands. Instead of “I’d like to do well,” we say “I should do well.” If we don’t do well, we judge ourself negatively. And feel down. 
But, if you can catch your “shoulds” and turn them into desires — preferences — it makes a huge difference. 
If you prefer to do well and don’t do so, you can say, “okay, that didn’t go the way I wanted it to go. So how can I fix it? What can I do next?” 
Again, you’ll feel better, more energized to act, and happier with yourself.


We Are Happier Creating Desired Results Than When Solving Problems

Many of the “problems” we focus on and take action to “solve” are not really problems and are not solvable by conventional problem-solving strategies. 
They are, rather, challenges to rise to and opportunities to create what matters. They are life’s normal limits and inevitabilities. They’re not problems to overcome but rather realities to accept and work with.
“By accepting life’s limits and inevitabilities,” said Greek philosopher and teacher Epictetus, “and working with them rather than fighting them, we become free.”
Problem solving focuses primarily on what we don’t like and don’t want and on action to get rid of it or get relief from it. 
Creating, on the other hand, focuses on what we like or love and action to bring it into being. 
Whereas most problem-solving at best promises only relief, creating promises real and lasting results — and the good feelings that accompany the creation of such results.

Choose To Be Happy

So, yes, you can choose to be happy and it’ll work — if you take the right kind of action to back up your choice on a daily basis.
Expressing gratitude, monitoring and changing negative self-talk to more positive self-talk and shifting from a problem focused life stance to the stance of the creator will all help you become energized, feel freer and happier.
There are many other ways to make choosing happiness work for you, but these three are a good place to start.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, Nothing can bring you happiness but yourself.”

The Importance Of Making Mistakes –   Leave a comment

The Importance Of Making Mistakes — And Learning From Them!    

If you are like me, you were brought up and schooled to get things right — and not to make mistakes.
Whenever, for example, I’d try to build something out of wood, and wasn’t getting it right, my father would grab his tools away from me and do it himself.
Then he’d give me a lecture on, “If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all!”
Gradually, in spite of what were no doubt good intentions, he taught me not to do things I couldn’t do — at least in the area of working with tools and materials.
For years, I was afraid to even touch tools. I was afraid to even try to fix things — unless I could do it with duct tape.
In the words of positive psychologists, my father was instilling in me a sense of “learned helplessness.”
One Right Answer? Or Many Perspectives? When I grew up and became a teacher, I found “the system” of schooling to be as stifling to me as it had been as a student. I was taught to teach “the discovery method” in which students were provided with a question, a wide range of resources and expected to come up with their own answers.
Although it was a fun, exciting and effective way to teach, and although I learned a great deal practicing the discovery method in my own life, it was hard to practice in the public high schools in which I tried it.
Other teachers didn’t like it. They found it threatening to their right-answer-driven, notes-on-the-blackboard, memorize and regurgitate, exam-focused teaching styles.
Administrators didn’t like it because instead straight rows of quiet students, my classroom was an organic mess of small groups talking, arguing and raising their voices about topics they felt passionate about.
Even parents didn’t like it. I got called into the office once because a bright student of mine had written three essays instead of one on the topic of “economic systems” – one on a capitalist system, one on a communist system and one on a social-democratic system. The parents were horrified and I was accused of trying to convert their son to “Communism.”
Actually, I was trying to teach the kids to see things from different perspectives. That there was more than one right answer to most questions. Ironically, the student went on to become Minister of Finance in a conservative government. So much for converting kids.

If You Can’t Do It Right, Do It Again — Until You Get It Right
I quit teaching high school and immersed myself in experiential education. I found my niche in hands-on education in which mistakes were a critical part of learning, and failure was merely feedback. 
I taught skiing at night during my last year teaching. I developed wilderness-based environmental education programs for teens. I helped develop a climbing and mountain leadership school, and taught basic rock and ice climbing. I developed and ran experiential team-building retreats for organizational executives. 
Later, I focused on teaching and coaching people from all walks of life how to create what they truly want in their lives, work and relationship. 
The process I use has clients learn to create small, concrete results, learn the generic process of creating, and then scale up by applying that process to larger, more complex and more meaningful results.
A key to this creating approach is the process we call “create and adjust, create and adjust…”. Try something, note the result (get feedback), make adjustment to your action and try again. Repeat until your creation is completed.
Mastery: Channeling A Torrent 
Along the way, I learned about mastery. 
“Mastery,” wrote George Leonard, “is the mysterious process during which what is at first difficult becomes progressively easier and more pleasurable through practice.”
Practice, I learned, involved the opposite process to that which my father had taught me with his, “If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all,” lectures. It was the opposite of the “regurgitate the right answer on the test, then forget it” approach that remains the mainstay of much public schooling.
But don’t blame teachers for not changing. It’s a tough job.  “It takes a lot of energy,” Leonard, who became a fifth-degree, black belt Akido master in his fifties, wrote in Education and Ecstasy,” to turn a torrent into a trickle.” 
As I took on new challenges and learned new skills, I learned that I could channel that torrent of interest and passion — in learners and in myself. I also learned about the importance of making mistakes.
I learned that mistakes were a natural part of learning. I learned that mistakes and failure were opportunities to learn, change and grow. Create and adjust…!
I learned that practice, especially deliberate practice, is more an “If you can’t do it right, keep doing it until you do get it right.” 
Indeed, research in positive psychology shows that practice multiplies natural talent and skill. 
Generic Competence and Confidence
Mastery in anything increases confidence; authentic, capacity-based confidence. Not only in the things you master, but in your ability to master things. It increases your generic competence—your “can-do” capacity—which makes it easier to create new things.
Together, practice and mastery equip you to handle life’s challenges and adversity. They empower  you to create what truly matters to you. To envision desired results and bring them into being.
And when your skills and your challenge are almost in balance, you often enter that focused state of optimal experience and effectiveness that psychologists call “flow.”
“Ah, mastery,” wrote Gail Sheey, “what a profoundly satisfying feeling when one finally gets on top of a new set of skills… and then sees the light under the new door those skills can open, even as another door is closing.”