Archive for October, 2008

Who Knew?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

DSCF0531Good or kind deeds. If we give it some thought we might think of the Boy Scout offering to help the elderly lady across the street. That qualifies!

Do you know what these deeds accomplish? So much more than you may immediately realize. When a good deed is done the serotonin levels rise, this is the ‘happy’ chemical in the brain and the immune system is strengthened. Who does this happen to? Who reaps these amazing benefits? The recipient as we may well expect, but also the person who is offering the kindness.

Wait! It gets better!!! Not only do the recipient and receiver realize these valuable boosts but every single person who observes the kindness also gets this amazing boost.

Now this may well be the Boy Scout and the elderly lady, but it can be any kindness or good deed. Helping the small child to tie his shoes, offering a hug to someone that is down, picking up someone’s keys when they’ve dropped them, or of course paying college tuition for a total stranger would also qualify.

So, in this hurried world, take time to offer kindnesses, small deeds. We all reap the benefits.

Wishing you a fabulous day, noticing and appreciating kindness and good deeds.

Warmly,
Sandy

A Positive Change of Viewpoint

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

She needed to do a business plan for her new business. It was required for her to move forward and she was only too well aware of that detail. She had never done a business plan; always felt they were far too restrictive, indeed she feared that it would box her in more than offer her a roadmap to the future.

She decided that if she had to get this done, she would do it correctly. So she searched the library for books on business plan. They were strewn all over her kitchen table, opened to various pages. She also searched the internet, bookmarking site after site for reference. Still when she sat down to work on this plan she felt frustrated and made little progress.

Finally one day she was lamenting her lack of progress to someone who knew her very well. He told her not to worry about it. Instead of writing this plan according to someone else’s rules, simply write it according to her own rules and to suit her personality and business. Truly an ah-ha moment for her. That simple suggestion which seems so obvious in hindsight was all that she needed. She collected all of the books from her table and set them aside. Closed up all of the internet sites and got to work. In no time she had her outline and from there it was easy. Several hours of steady work later she realized that she had indeed written the business plan that was ideal for her and her business.

The point of this little story is simple really, and I have no doubt that you already know just what that point is. Hopefully the life coach inside of your head will nudge you to try to look at any situation or problem from more than one vantage point. The business plan felt insurmountable to her when she looked at it from a traditional point of view, but as soon as she shifted, she felt optimistic and enthusiastic. From there she was able to soar.

When she shared her frustration with someone who knew her and her business it was quite a release for her. The solution was very clear to her friend and when he shared his suggestion with her she was finally able to see everything in a whole new light. Perhaps next time she is frustrated and becoming stressed she will seek out this friend and have a simple chat with him. Lesson learned from her own personal life coach. What a great friend to have!

I hope that you have someone to share frustrations with and that they are able to help you to shift your point of view from frustration to fabulous enthusiasm.

Warmly,
Sandy

Positive Motivation

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

We all need motivation. What does it for you? As a life coach some people firmly believe that I always feel positive, motivated and ‘up’. While that’s true to a large extent because I am simply blessed with an optimistic nature, a lot of it comes from learning to find the positive in situations. We can all do the same.

Here’s an example. It’s Saturday morning, there’s no reason in the world why I can’t sleep in, I have nothing pressing to do and the house is clean. What’s more when I opened my eyes and peeked out the window it was clear that it had been raining and I think the weather is forecast for gloomy and sprinkles all day. On the other hand, while the temptation to lie in bed is rather strong I do have a lot of things I’d like to do today, and the truth is that I like getting up early rather than late.

What to do. I got up again, looked out the window and noticed how incredibly beautiful the leaves look; they are in full glory as it is mid-October. I reminded myself how much I thoroughly enjoy rainy days and that autumn is one of my favorite seasons, I so enjoy the color, the brisk air and watching the squirrels scamper around the yard as they search for food to stash for the upcoming winter. After getting up and getting dressed to go to the gym I took a short walk outside. The sun was peeking through those glorious leaves and the birds were singing, just for me I know. Guess whose feeling completely and totally motivated now.

The point here is that everyone is motivated by something different and that something may change from day to day or situation to situation. I mentioned that I’m not a fan of going to the gym. Never quite got the thrill of lifting heavy things and sweating if it wasn’t doing something that I enjoy like gardening or playing an outdoors game with my dog. But the fact is that my body needs more exercise than my day to day activities were providing. I joined Curves, a gym for women. I love going there! The music is lively and fun, but best of all the women are all friendly, welcoming and supportive. Works for me, knowing that I get to go somewhere see people that I really like and that I’m doing something good for my health in just a short timeframe is motivation enough for me to go and sweat. A good friend of mine is motivated to exercise at home for exactly the opposite reasons. She very much enjoys the quiet and solitude of working out in her basement. It lets her gather her thoughts and she feels terrific and ready to face the day when she is done. I would be bored and more than a bit crabby with her option, and she would absolutely despise mine, but each of us is motivated by the choices we have made.

So many things you can do to motivate yourself or those around you. Take the time to discover what makes you feel great; what shifts your attitude from ho-hum to gung-ho. It might be music, a conversation with certain people, a walk outside. Truly it could be anything. I would suggest that you pay attention to that part of you that says this is fun, exciting or simply makes me want to do more of what I am doing. When you get that message, you are being motivated. Your attitude is shifting to feel more positive and that’s always a very good thing. Take note, you’ll want to recreate that feeling again, there’s no doubt about it.

Wishing you a day filled with positive motivation. Doesn’t it feel fabulous?

Warmly,
Sandy

Politics Are Heating Up

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Here in Wisconsin, folks are taking this presidential election very seriously, but not always respectfully.

Yesterday I was outside when my neighbor called me over to the fence. He was grinning and shaking his head from side to side. Laughing he told me that ‘Some stole my ‘candidate’ yard sign!’ He continued to chuckle as he explained that the culprit had just wasted his time; he was going to go and get another one right away. Then he got a bit more serious. He began to tell me how he feels that people need to understand and respect one another’s points of view in our country. He and his lovely wife are from another country; they came to the United States as a young couple and worked hard to become citizens. He served many years in the Air Force and she is a teacher. They raised two great kids who are now adults. This gentleman went on to say what a privilege it is that we get to choose, how he feels we need to have constructive discussions about what our options are and to support one another. He told me that one of his children will vote for one candidate and the other child for the opposition. He is so proud of both of them for taking the opportunity to learn what the candidates stand for and then voting their conscience. In short, while he supports his candidate adamantly, he supports positive respect for each candidate most of all. Needless to say, he doesn’t need any lesson from this life coach.

Ironically last night I got a visit from a woman I’ve known almost all of my life. She brought up the election as well; I think she had noticed the ‘candidate’ sign in my yard. While we were chatting, she asked my why I had made my selection and if I was steadfast in that decision. It turns out that she is truly undecided at this point. This is a very smart woman, however she does not read very well. Because she wants to make a wise decision about the election she has been watching interviews on television, taking note of the advertisements and trying to ask other people what their viewpoint is and why. Unfortunately, for the most part she has received a pretty poor response. She told me that some people have actually shouted at her for even considering the candidate they are not supporting. Still, she persists in trying to learn as much as she can. Of course I saw this as a great opportunity to share what information I have about each candidate, and explained once again that my viewpoint is undoubtedly biased as I have made my decision. We talked about options for quite some time and I’m so happy to say she feels justified in trying to have civil conversations about politics with people that she respects, and she will continue to do so. Congrats to her for trying to educate herself while she makes a decision. She is taking positive action and I love that I was able to be a small part of that action.

Both of these wonderful people have offered a valuable lesson. They each feel powerful responsibility to make good choices. Each knows and believes that they will share and learn the most, if they are respectful and positive. They continue to share the belief with everyone else they speak to.

I’m very proud to know both of these wonderful people.

My wish for you is that you are surrounded and uplifted by respectful, positive, fabulous people.

With warmth,
Sandy

This Life Coach Needs People!

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

I’m a pretty social person, my husband…not so much. Now he’s a great guy and he enjoys being with family and

My five favorite guys, good reasons for me to keep in contact.

friends, but frankly he gets pretty much all of his social needs met by spending time with our grown kids, the occasional outing with friends and spending those 24 hour shifts with ‘the guys’ at the firehouse.

As for me, I need people! I need to work, see, talk to, play with and generally interact with many more people. Much of my daily life is handled on the telephone, and while I appreciate and enjoy this very much, I also have an absolute need to spend time being in the actual physical proximity of other people.

So, I do a couple of things. I attend business networking groups, I’ve joined a book club (I love to read!), I take my dog for lots of walks or to the dog park where I am sure to meet people with similar interests. I go to Curves, a gym for women, it’s chatty and friendly, and I get to fit in the dreaded work-out while I’m having a great time getting to know the other women. Having lunch or seeing a movie with a dear friend is always fun. It’s not unusual at all for me to call a friend or one of my boys to invite them to just come over and hang out; we might have a meal together or simply enjoy a glass of wine outside by the fire.

Years ago, this was a bit more difficult for me. My husband works as a firefighter and that often meant that he was gone. Most of the time I appreciate and enjoy my alone time, but sometimes I need that social contact. For me that meant getting involved in…oh, so many things. When my boys were younger, I not only took them to Scouts, I got very involved. It was a great way to get to know the other boys and their families that my boys were interacting with. And it was fun being a leader for so many years. The same with school, I participated in many activities. As my sons got older my social activities revolved around them less and less. Yahoo! It was time for me to be a grown up again. It’s been terrific finding my own interests and participating in things that I truly enjoy.

Now, keep in mind I mentioned earlier that my husband would rather spend most of his time with me. That’s fine! When he’s around I spend a great deal of time with him, he compromises by doing a few social activities with me and I compromise by doing most of my socializing during his work days. Of course I do spend some time doing my own thing when he’s home, but with each of us doing just a bit of bending it works very well.

So, the life coach in me wants to turn this into a lesson. You didn’t think I was just rambling on did you? Early on I discovered that I had much more need for social outlets than my sweet husband. We talked about it and decided that the most positive and satisfying way to work this out was just the solution I have already described. That was the action part, in case you missed it. There’s no way that my husband can fulfill all of my social needs and for me to drag him everywhere would make both of us miserable. So, our solution is a positive for both of us.

Wishing you the fabulous joys of as much or as little social activity as is right for you.

Warmly,
Sandy