How to Grow the Brain and Learn to Love Learning–10 Life Principles

“Hold on to your own convictions, despite what society and other people want you to believe.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

  1. Be more open and curious by embracing the goal of life-long “learning”. Learn something new everyday.
  2. Find Courage and Mental Toughness by embracing Vulnerability and Failure. Learn the lesson form screwing-up  and then show resilience by snapping back into action.
  3. Accept imperfection by building more competence and confidence through increased Self-Efficacy
  4. Feel Compassion: For Yourself and Others
  5. Except Uncertainty and change with more ease
  6. Express and show more gratitude and kindness toward others
  7. Physically Present yourself in a more assertive and positive manner
  8. Be more mindful and present in the “here and now”
  9. Play and Learn More: Take on learning challenges, try new things, be “gritty” and have fun!
  10. Give Trust away…






Having Problems with Goal Setting ? Try using Mental Contrasting Technique.

Daily Quote and Challenge:

” Mental contrasting when used by those with high expectations of success leads to increased goal commitment and energization.” Gabriele Oettingen,

In using mental contrasting or visualization technique to reach a personal change goal it is important to identify and picture how you will FEEL once you have attained your goal. To execute mental contrasting answer these two critical questions:

  1. What does success look like ?


2. How will you know when you have reached your goal?


Daily Quote: Are You Stuck and Unmotivated?

Daily Quotes to Get Going-

” We do no great things, only small things with great love.”—Mother Teresa

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble.”—Helen Keller

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”—Anne Frank

“Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.”—Churchill

“To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”—Henry David Thoreau


  1. Find inspiration. Inspiration, for me, comes from poetry, quotes and using others approaches who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I read other blogs, books, magazines, exercise and observe other people. I Google keywords like motivation, happiness and success stories.
  2. Develop a “trigger” This a mantra, quote or method for jump starting your motivation juices. Here is the simple method I use when feeling “stuck”:  I focus on my goals for the day, accept my feelings (positive and negative) and then just start doing what I need to do.

Self-Coaching Challenge: 

Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again, like the tide. But realize that while it may go away, it doesn’t do so permanently. It will come back. Just stick it out and find a way to keep moving forward. Your coaching assignment for this week is to focus on developing a goal and method plan for increasing your motivation for growth and sustained personal development.

Here are some tips to help you get started with getting “unstuck”

Start small Smart Steps for change and reward yourself for successes . If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to walk or run an hour a day. This is not supported by research that says 10-15 minutes a day is good enough. Starting with small steps makes the goal becomes realistic and doable. Make your goal so easy you can’t fail. For example commit to 5 minutes of exercise a day for this week. Do it at the same time, every day. Just some sit-ups, or 2 stomach crunches or leg lifts and some jogging in place. Once you have done 5 minutes a day for a week, increase it to 10, and stick with it for a week. In a month, you’ll be doing 20-25. Finally, yourself at the end of the week with a treat or something special this will reinforce your new self. Good Luck and let us know how it is going.

My personal change goal is _______________________________________________________.

My method for triggering more motivation is _________________________________________

My reward for completing my goal is _________________________________________________.

Want more Success and Impact on Others? Research says: Fake It until you make it

Daily Quote: “Live as if you liked yourself, and it may happen.” Marge Piercy, Poet

Reflection: What Piercy is telling us to do is when you’re not sure of what to be just “Fake it until you make it.” In words create your own personal self-fulfilling philosophy. Dr. James Loher a colleague makes this powerful insight about “faking it” “pretending that you’re happy–requires you to smile, be engaged by mimicking positive energy and enthusiasm–not only can this approach earn you some of the benefits of happiness (returned smiles, connecting with others successes as a public speaker or at work and school but can actually make you happier.”  Why does this “fake it till you make it work? How can acting like you are happy make you happy?

Researcher’s On this subject focus primarily on two reasons for this phenomena one internal and one external.

1. Internally, our brains interpret the positive thoughts and physical manifestations of happiness by releasing adrenalin, testosterone  and dopamine ( pleasure drug) levels into the blood stream while decrease cortisol (stress hormone) so that  we actually experience the emotion to a greater extent. and shows through our external appearance to others and says not in words I am confident and happy to be with you.
2. Externally, our manifestations of happiness are typically mirrored by others, creating a cycle of positive emotions of confident appearance and tone of voice, twinkling eyes, smile and relaxed posture other body language signals of the emotions itself.

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success. Don’t miss this TED video by Dr. Cuddy where she presents very insightful research and findings on how “faking it” can influence power and dominance in relationships.



Want Continuous Growth and Development in Your Life? Learn the Self-Efficacy Approach

Daily Quote:  “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself…we do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience…self  is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.” John Dewey 


Reflection: According to Albert Bandura, self-efficacy is “the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute a course of action required to manage prospective situations.” In other words, self-efficacy is a person’s belief in his or her ability to succeed in a particular situation. Bandura described these beliefs as determinants of how people think, behave, and feel (1994).

Self-Efficacy is one of the strong theoretical underpinnings of the Self-Coaching Plus 1 Model. From this self-belief PLUS 1 recognizes the power of self-discovery, self-direction, SELF-DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGES in fostering the opportunity to learn and become a fully functioning person. It also recognizes the need for an approach that provides “structure and a process” for sustaining awareness and encouraging choices based on what is best for the individual at this moment of time.

Self-Coaching Challenge : Self-Coaching is all about caring for and growing your worth and best version of self. Seek opportunities that excite you and inspire you to wake up in the morning. Build a purposeful growth plan by experimenting with opportunities you actually care about. Take the self-evaluation questionnaire–Best Version of Self to help identify your strengths and talents.

The Discovery your Strengths exercise is a simple, structured process that helps you identify, and make the most of your strengths. It is a tool to support your goal for becoming more self-aware of your personal strengths. During the Self-Coaching “structure with process”  framework we are concerned about you focusing on strengths rather than weakness because research shows higher success rates for increasing self-development and performance are greatly enhanced by playing to your strengths rather than weaknesses.

Step 1: Reflect and list your top 10 strengths.

Step 2. Survey Others About Your Strengths

Identify ten or so individuals who are in a position to give you accurate feedback about your strengths. This group should include current colleagues, but also,  former colleagues, friends and family members. Then, ask them to think about what your strengths are, and to give an example to back up every strength they identify. The strengths can be from both work and non-work settings. In this step, your feedback group needs to understand why you’re asking for feedback on your strengths and that you’re not just fishing for compliments (which would be embarrassing for all concerned).If you’re to worried to do this, identify 10 people who like you and know you well. Ask yourself what these people would say your strengths are. Remember, though, that your answers won’t be as good if you don’t ask other people.

Step 2: Identify Themes

Once you have all of the responses in from your survey group, start to group the responses together into themes. Some of the themes may reflect strengths you were aware of, but they may also identify things that you hadn’t realized were strengths because they come so naturally to you.

Step 3: Write Your Strengths Profile

Next, draw together the key strengths that have emerged from your analysis, and tie them together in a few paragraphs that summarize in ten characteristics what you’re really good at. When you’re writing this, bear in mind that you’ll use this in the future in two ways: first, to guide future actions and choices, and second to shore up your confidence when times get tough.

Step 4: Identify How You Can Play to Your Strengths

With a clear idea of your strengths, take a long, hard look at your current position and role at work or with the family.  Are you playing to your strengths? If not, can you adapt the focus and nature of your work and interactions to use more of your strengths?

For example, are you really a “people person” who’s spending half a day a week building project reports? Is there someone in your team who would be better suited to this kind of work, and be grateful for the extra responsibility, while you spend the extra time coaching team members?

Step 5: Set a timeline for evaluating your progress in using your strengths to become a more constructive person.

Part II: Overcoming your Demons through 10 Self-Coaching Challenges

Do you see the “Glass half-full ?  Do you focus on the past and bad decisions or broken dreams? These are just two reasons that your demons and primitive brain are winning.  How do you overcome them?

Self- Coaching Challenge:

Think Straight, ACT STRAIGHT.

1. Eat Smart, Exercise and never give up HOPE for a better LIFE–Feel ALIVE.

2. Embrace Stress-It is the Spice of Life

3. Practice Mindfulness by mediating everyday

4. Be grateful for what you have

5. Don’t focus on past mistakes

6. Build a support team and eliminate bad practices and relationships

7. Don’t complain. Either change situation, learn to cope, or react differently.

8. See mistakes as opportunities to learn.

9. Find a passion. Make your hobby your life work–own it: art, tennis poetry etc.

10. Don’t bother comparing yourself to others—this only leads to frustration.

Want to read more on overcoming demons see Part I-  

Part III: Self Coaching and Career Development: Awareness and Commitment to Personal Change

Daily Quote:  “The degree to which I can create relationships, which facilitate the growth of others as separate persons, is a measure of the growth I have achieved in myself.”  Dr. Carl R. Rogers
Reflection: Developing effective interpersonal communication is self-awareness at its finest. It is all about developing a sense self-efficacy (belief) and awareness which entails knowing who you are, what you can do, and where you are now and where you want to go.  In addition to the above, you must have the ability to access and master self-awareness and reflective thinking by choosing to accept relevant feedback and your feelings or emotions surrounding decisions and taking personal action to change. Your success in self-coaching relies on using a “process and structure” that allows you to discover and choose what fits your needs, time and personal change goals and objectives.Self Coaching equates to the “soft skills” used in counseling such as  observation, questioning, listening, reflection, problem solving and choices. Most of these skills are encompassed in the popular Emotional Intelligence category of Self Management. But most importantly self-coaching can impact all important values and priorities of your life, including health, education, career, relationships and spiritual arenas.To get started with  Self Coaching you must make a commitment to personal change and then assess your readiness for coaching. This process takes a time commitment and a decision to risk exploring who you are and what you want to do in life plus examining life priorities and  values.The first question for getting started with self-coaching is why do you want to begin this journey of self exploration and development. The second question is to consider is what behavior or thinking patterns your want to improve upon. In answering these questions you will need to explore where you are now and what is important to you to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life. By doing this type of assessment you can start living a more self-directed life of choice.

Self-Coaching Challenge: To see if self-coaching is for you it is important to consider something you are trying to achieve right now such as getting healthy, increasing your social contacts or developing a relationship.

Start with translating your self-coaching challenge into concrete actions by answering the following questions:

  • Why is it important for you to achieve this personal change goal?
  • What is it you want to achieve?
  • What actions do you need to take to achieve this goal?
  • What barriers or distractions may keep you from achieving your goal?
  • Who could give you feedback on how you are doing in achieving your goal?
  • How will you know or measure your success in meeting your goal?

By asking these self coaching questions you pave the way for reaching your goal and if need be making adjustments required in your thinking and behavior to achieve your desired outcome.

My 30 day goal for personal change is to  _________________________________________________________________________________________

Daily Quote, Reflection and Self-Coaching Challenge: 6 Steps for Continuous Personal Change

Daily Quote and Reflection:

First Law of Self-Directed Coaching: ” To achieve personal growth and full potential first requires “self-awareness and acceptance”. Carl Rogers, Father of Client-Center Therapy 

Reflection: I agree with Dr.Rogers statement because if you do not know your self and are reluctant to examine and learn both your strengths and areas needing improvement life is just one activity after another. In addition, acceptance is not a state of passivity or inaction. I am not saying you can’t change the world, right wrongs, or replace evil with good but I like to focus on things I can control, thus making my life more exciting and fun.  Acceptance is, in fact, the first step to successful action. If you don’t fully accept the reality of a situation precisely the way it is, you will have difficulty getting going to change it . Moreover, if you don’t fully accept the situation, you will never really know if the situation needs changing. In the Self-Coaching Challenge I am going to provide a model for you to get going on personal changes.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Creating Your Future in next 30 days: 6 Steps for Continuous Personal Change 


1. Ask yourself WHY you want to make this personal change

2. ASSESS?  Where your are NOW ( Point A)

3. WHAT? Describe in realistic and specific detail your end goal ( Point B )?

4. HOW? Creating the future (Development Plan)


6. CONTINUOUS LEARNING AND FEEDBACK LOOP: Use a metric to assess your changes. Ask others how you are doing in regard to a specific change goal, like listening. Do they see the changes? Are they experiencing you in new way? What suggestions do they have for you to change even more?  Thank the for the feedback.   

Introducing the Self-Coaching Plus One Model for Self-Development

Plus 1 Self-Coaching for Self-Development

“Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to life for.” Viktor Frankl

Those individuals who are truly growing and happy in their lives are on a quest to discover their purpose for living.  Our self-coaching, person-centered development model, supports the journey for finding and creating a more fulfilling purpose in life. Fulfilling our purpose for being is a natural condition of living and is critical for living a more satisfying life by finding our strengths and gifts to make a positive contribution and difference in this complex and vexing world.

The Plus-One “process with structure” approach is unique in the world of coaching. We have investigated and researched the “best-in-class” ways to create a positive learning approach for personal change. At the core of our philosophy are proven methods to motivate and inspire our client’s to discover  and change their thinking and behavior through perseverance, patience and practice. We encourage clients to uncover and focus on their responsibility to make their own choices in life. The self-coaching activities are designed to emphasize the individual’s inherent right to choose and support their own development focused on their purpose, worth and dignity. 

Unlike traditional one-one coaching the plus-one process  is based on self-direction using the process of discovery and client choice. The individual is his own coach and counselor. The “process with structure” framework support the individual through guided exercises on self-awareness, strengths identification, goal setting and self-development challenges. It encourages individuals to choose what changes they want to make in order to fulfill their needs and reach their full potential. The “process with structure” activities are designed to uncover information and support reflective thinking to establish Smart-Steps and Plus 1 practices to bring about the personal changes and new behavior desired.

Once you understand the Smart-Step Process you are on the road to significant personal change and getting unstuck.  Specific change goals replace other people’s expectations and help you focus on what is really your purpose and important priorities in your life. Being and living in the moment is critical to developing confidence. It means learning to trust and believe in your ability to accept the challenge. Developing this change posture means that you must accept more vulnerability and take more risk. Trust is directly related to your ability to be open and for you to be experienced as authentic by others. Specific approaches are designed in the “process with structure” approach to challenge your present mental maps and behaviors so as to lead you to do what you set out to do to live a more purposeful and fulfilling life.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


Daily Quote and Reflection: The Secret to turning your life around is to ask the Miracle Question

Daily Quote and Reflection:  “We must become the change we want to see”. Mahatma Gandhi

Reflection: If you want to master change Ghandi is imploring you not to just talk about change, but to begin take action to create your dreams.  When I read Ghandi’s quote at the end of some of my seminars and coaching sessions and ask how many agree with Ghandi’s statement?  I have never had  anyone say that his idea is “pie in the sky’ thinking, hogwash, naive unrealistic.  In stead, I have been asked: if someone believes in this quote, how do they get started in making the changes they need and want to make in their lives.

Today, I was reflecting on that question of: how to get started? Most of the time I probably have given an insufficient answer to those curious students. So in my research about self-directed learning and coaching I came across a process that is more concrete and discovery based then simply saying find your purpose, define your mission, develop a plan and take action. Although these are good things to do I want to introduce a more profound way of getting started on the “change you want to see”

Try the Self-Coaching Miracle Question Process Exercise:  Here is how it unfolds:

1. Go to bed tonight and before falling a sleep encourage your unconscious mind to answer this straight forward Miracle Question, “If while you slept a miracle occurred tonight that solved all of your problems, how would you know when you woke up in the morning that a miracle occurred? What would be different?” Read more at

2. Now let us just say that when you awake from dreaming everything really went well and by some miracle all your problems were solved and everything you ever desired, everything good you could ever imagine for yourself, had actually happened – your life had turned out exactly the way you wanted it.

3. Capture in writing your answers to the following inquiry questions by digging deeper into the context and substance of the miracle:

  • What happened in the dream? Write down the story, characters involved and any other specifics you think are critical for making the personal changes you want in your life.
  • What specifics can you recall from your dream?
  • What do you notice around you that let you know that the miracle had happened?
  • What does your daily life look like?
  • As you go through your daily life–What will you see? What will you hear? What will you feel inside yourself?
  • How are different from the days before the dream?

4. After answering these self inquiry questions spend time reflection and thinking through –where you are now?  where do you want to go or be in the future. Use your Daily Reflection and Leadership Journal to write down your answers to these critical questions. Then set specific and concrete goals and steps to create that future. Writing these reflections down increases the clarity of what you need to do now and the next steps needed to push you forward to make you miracle a reality.

The key to success in reaching your goals and changing your life is a solution focused prescription that encourages you to imagine and visualize change and to start to create the future you want. The solution focused “Miracle Question” is a self-coaching “structure with process” that provides instant clarity and focus  through positive self-inquiry. The Miracle Question focuses your thinking on exactly how to achieve what you desire in life. Focusing on your future goals is the essence of self-coaching process. This solution focused exercise ignores what is past, what has happened, the history of the problem. The focus of the process  gets you to thinking on what you want to become, how they will get there and once there how you continue to grow and develop so as to reach your full potential. This self-coaching process stops you from obsessing about and feeling that past failures determine your future. It makes you focus only on what you want to be and do to live a better “quality of life”. It takes people out of the problem situation and into the more positive space of creating  and seeing opportunities and possible solutions for living a more productive and meaningful life.

The Miracle Question sets in motion a discovery process that inspires you to focus on their own solution, and come up with exactly what they want, not what others think is best for them. It reinforces independence, self-direction and choices.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Tonight or over the weekend try the Miracle Questioning Exercise and let us know how it worked for you.


Keeping Commitments: Glue to Living a more Open and Meaningful Life.

 Daily Quote: “I have never let lack of “time” interfere with my accomplishing important commitments”. Don Miguel Ruiz 

Reflection: Don Miguel Ruiz, is a Mexican author and spiritualist.

His most famous and influential work, The Four Agreements, was published in 1997 and has sold over 4 million copies. He advocates a point of view that breaking commitments and agreements  e have made us less connected with others and has the power to derail relationships. Commitments  and keeping promises is one of the biggest barriers for creating unhappiness and limiting our ability to reach our full potential in life. Ultimately, it is about finding one’s own integrity, self-love, and peace by way of absolving oneself from responsibility for the issues and problems  of others. The Four Agreements are:

  1. Be Impeccable With Your Word. See DWYSYWD.
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally.
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions.
  4. Always Do Your Best

The Four Agreements are:

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering and unhappiness.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions to express what you really want to know about others. Communicate with others as concisely and clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life and begin to fulfill your promise to live on purpose.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any situation or circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, regret and guilt.

Action Challenge: Over this next week choose which agreement you want to incorporate into your daily living. Pick one of the agreements to start on and and keep track of your progress toward how in daily activities you can start practicing this agreement. At the end of the week look back and identify what worked? What did not work? How can you keep your commitment to honor this agreement going?   

Daily Quote and Reflection: Difficult Process of Self-Coaching and Being “stuck”

Daily Quote: “People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy.” Oliver Goldsmith

Reflection: Most research shows that we are not very accurate in identifying how we are perceived by others. For example, most leaders of organizations see themselves as more honest, open and caring etc. than how direct reports and other employees in the organization see them. Our positive picture of ourselves is usually inaccurate because the higher we go in an organization the more isolated we become from feedback and honest communication from others and we suffer from what psychologist call confirmation bias. “Confirmation bias refers to a type of selective thinking whereby one tends to notice and to look for what confirms one’s beliefs, and to ignore, not look for, or undervalue the relevance of what contradicts one’s beliefs.”

Action Response: Try to establish close relationship with a mentor who can guide and share their wisdom with you. If you can’t find a mentor try to create more room for learning by stopping and examining behaviors, approaches and old ways that are not working for you. Seek out resources including audio tapes, books and colleagues who are good listeners. You may feel alone in your struggle but be assured others have confronted and worked through situations and problems that you think are unique to you. Remember good intentions without thoughtful action  will just keep you stuck. Keep trying to develop a change plan that can work for you.  And as Steve Jobs once said: “Never, never give-up”.

Power of Small Dose Learning and Change–Smart-Steps Method.

Smart-Steps for Personal change and new rituals

Turning a desire into a positive ritual requires— focus, willpower and constructive action. Use the Smart-Steps Method to create new routines and rituals optimize your routine:

  • Start with small-steps and realistic plan: If you want to exercise in the morning try going to bed thirty minutes earlier than usual. Do this for a few days then add an activity such as–meditation, walking or a few stretching exercises.
  • Choose one new goal at a time to introduce: If you want to walk, mediate  and write in a journal, choose one of these and make it a habit before adding another. This can take from thirty to ninety days to become a new routine.
  • Monitor your energy: Building a new habit takes effort, so take care of yourself while making these changes. Fuel your body by eating healthy.
  • Chart your progress: Start with a baseline. New rituals can take months not weeks to establish. Keep track of how you’re doing for at least sixty days this will keep you focused and motivated.
  • Feel free to use rewards to lock-in changes. Eventually new behaviors will produce their own motivation, but until then, external motivations like promising yourself a new bike or swim suit or dinner out can keep you on track. Choose things you enjoy: this should be a “Lent” project of giving fun things-up but a fun time to add inspiration and new ways of spending your time and feeling better about yourself.

Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement will provide a good feeling and you to renew outdated patterns which no longer are necessary or actuality hinder your growth and development Remember the only thing we can count on in life is constant change. Sometimes we have to consciously plan for self-renewal. Your goal is to take stock of what is working or not and replace any rituals that no longer serve you well with new ones that make you feel energized positive about creating a more meaningful and constructive life.

This type of pro-active venture of personal change and renewal—is not an intellectual exercise. The effort must be fired with determination, discipline and fun so you feel good because it is like a new chance to do things right. It is your chance to show that you have the power to shape your life from the inside out. Whenever I’m tempted to say I can’t or don’t want to continue this change project or new ritual, I remind myself that I choose to make this change and succeeding will require continuous and bold action not a luke warm commitment. So when barriers pop-up or you feel ready to cave-in to the old “status quo” or pressure to take the easy road amp-up your efforts. Rather than retreat, reach deep down inside yourself for the strength to carry-on. Keep the faith, give it time to work its magic and never, never give-up.

Challenge Assignment: So how would you like to change your life? What routines or habits do you want to change?  Answering these two important questions requires some careful reflection and once you decide you need to make an investment of the heart and soul because that’s where commitment draws its energy and power. Once you decide, Smart-steps change can help you accomplish great things. Good Luck and keep us posted on your progress.

Part 2: How to get a handle on our Negativity Bias?

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Victor Frankl

The process of change begins with a moral grounding and solid reflection on who we are and what we are trying to do in making a difference in life. The ability to look in the mirror and see what we want to see must change to seeing the things in the mirror that are less obvious, like an undesired wrinkle or skin blemish.

It is this craving for meaning that I hear so loud and clear in many people . Despite all your doubts and fears be true to yourself. The searching you are doing is painful but necessary. It is a step on your path of self-discovery and a sign of growth.  It is also a great investment of positive energy. The seeker must learn to accept and live a life of authenticity. Remember–Victor Frankl’s words– “The only lost cause is the one we give up on before we enter the struggle.”

Reflection: When will the time come when we do more than just speak these words but actually implement them in action? Maybe we all need to just start with ourselves. I mean in all situations try to think first about others, be kind , respectful, tolerant, non-judgmental  and accepting of differences. These small interpersonal changes might get the ball rolling to “ the civil state” most of us want and need to live healthy and productive lives.

Daily quote and reflection: Power of Self-Efficacy and Suspension of Disbelief


Daily Quote: “It is very important to understand that change is not the triumph of heart over head — it is the unique intersection of both.”  David Caruso

Reflection: One constant in life is change. How we learn to live with change depends on our experience and mental-set. An unpleasant or painful experience may program your mental-set  to either avoid or see new experiences as an opportunity and a challenge. It all depends on how we perceive the original event and process it into our long-term memory. Some of my clients are bored or “stuck” in their marriage or career, or their lives in general. By remaining in their habits and status quo ways, they are denying themselves opportunities to see the possibilities in their life and fall short of their full potential. Self-mastery is knowing when to learn new skills or take on new responsibilities, when to hold on to beliefs that serve you, and when to let go of beliefs, thinking and behaviors that do not fulfill your potential and serve you.

Self-efficacy is the context-specific assessment of belief in our personal capabilities to organize and execute what is required so as to achieve the intended goal. It is concerned not with the skills we have, but rather with our control over our own level of functioning. People with high self-efficacy choose more demanding tasks. They set higher goals, put in more effort, and persist longer than those who are low in self-efficacy.

Self-efficacy grows through personal and vicarious experience, discipline, and valid feedback. Although usually considered in a single context, there may also be a generalized effect reflecting a person’s abilities across a broad array of difficult or novel situations. For instance, if someone is loved by a supportive family on the home front, then that person will display a greater confidence on the job. This will be reflected by peer and management feedback, which will, in turn, show up on the home front, perpetuating the cycle.

How can you better address change in your life? Here are some tips:

  • Envision. Look at the big picture—what the end result will be. That way you won’t become so overwhelmed with the small details.
  • See change as an opportunity to try something new or to do things in a different way.
  • Do your homework. Find out all you can about what is changing so that it will make you feel more confident as it happens.
  • Believe that no matter what happens, you can deal with it, and that in some way you will learn from it.

What are you turning away from personally or professionally that needs to be addressed? In the end, if you don’t make the changes in your life, life will make them for you.