Is the Secret to your success one question away?

secret to your success

What if the Secret to your Success is one question away? Could your special brand – what is uniquely you – lie with someone else? What if another’s opinion of you is greater than yours? Is that a possibility? We hear a lot about taking back our power and the famous quote of Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” has a profound and meaningful place in our world. What if we have already done that on our own – allowed all that self-doubt? And so, to reach out and see yourself as others see you could be a possible key to Recreating You at Any Age.

In the 4-week career program I offered some years ago we had a special exercise at the 3-week mark after everyone had got to know a bit about each other. Everyone was given a piece of paper; it had the name of everyone in the group (sometimes as many as 25). Each person was directed to write beside every name a positive adjective or phrase they had observed about that person. Invariably there were amazing moments of surprise and delight at what others had written, especially only knowing each other for such a short time. It reminded me of how clarity comes so often when we keep it simple. These people only knew each other for a brief moment in a whole lifetime; yet they often saw strength and potential that the person themselves had lost sight of or never believed to be true. Herein could be a key for one’s secret to success!

Another similar and potentially opposite exercise was to get in pairs and help each other with that difficult to answer question in an interview: “What is your greatest weakness?” Again, as in the interview, the goal was to give an answer that could actually be deemed to be a strength. I paired up with my administrative assistant who was also a special friend and whom I had known for years and in other careers. Without hesitating, she said, “you care too much.” I tried to be open and take this to a positive place in my mind; with her blunt honesty I learned a little bit about balance in my life and the value of empowering others to take care of themselves. Slowly, I let go of the “care taking” that would limit their ability to spread their wings to greater levels of confidence and independence.

As you well know there are people everywhere who would love to give you their opinion so when you try out this exercise remember to choose super friendly and supportive people who are not judging you; they are affirming positive things about you that might never have occurred to you. They need not know you well but they need to understand the exercise; just a simple word or phrase that highlights what comes to mind when they think of you.

You will need to guide the question. When you ask – “what do you see as my strongest characteristic,” they will reply – “well, you are this and this and so on…” Then you should say – “if there was one quality about me that you believe is my greatest strength what would it be?” Take the best and leave the rest! Do not spend ANY time on the answers that feel “judgmental.”

This is about finding out things about you that you don’t see or had forgotten in yourself; it is a reminder that others’ perspectives can sometimes open your eyes to how unique you are – because we all are. Let me share another’s perspective about me that created new possibilities.

Many years ago, I was hired by a famous national journalist and writer to promote his book, which had become an all-day training program for executives. Given his education and experience, he obviously had a way with words and a knack for capturing things with brevity and metaphors. I don’t think he had ever met anyone like me before and when he autographed a book for me he wrote: “to the iron butterfly”.  Many people who knew me well over the years loved it and the phrase stuck.

One day sometime later, during a difficult and sad time for me, I opened a card that said: “Find a little happiness in every day.” On the envelope it read “MOM!” And a sticker under that read “Live, Love, Laugh and Be Happy” with hearts sprinkled in among the words. Inside on the card there was a message to me on one side and an amazing story on the other side. Here is the story.secret to your success one question away

Lessons of the Heart www. American

There once was the most beautiful butterfly that flew all around and spread magic, joy and fun everywhere she traveled. This bright, gentle, delicate beauty held a mystery. You see as folklore told, this light, small, fine butterfly has survived many dark, rough storms. The legend says that’s how she has iron in her wings which has allowed her to survive these tremendous storms she must fly through. Hence this tiny, delicate, beautiful butterfly has been nicknamed the “iron butterfly”. They wonder if each storm has ripped the iron threads from her wings, but what they don’t realize is that their “iron butterfly” has actually gained power and strength in wisdom from each storm. It is from this wisdom she flies with strength and holds her power and shelters herself from the storms she has to endure.

The iron butterfly flies high and graceful to this day.

Perhaps there is a beautiful treasure that someone said about you once and it could hold a secret to your success. We need to be paying attention and open to digging deep into our minds, our hearts and our belongings to find it. We cannot possibly remember all the things in our lives that are meaningful but there is indeed a gift in every day;  to be sure I had long forgotten about this card and the story. I discovered it the night I decided it was time to share all the treasures I have kept over the years with whoever may be in need of reading them. It felt like the Universe had found a way to encourage me to just “do it”; it enabled me to embrace the wonderful quote below of Albert Einstein. I didn’t know where I would take my journey of sharing all my positivity treasures but I now believed I would be guided every step of the way and I was open to what could be possible without needing to know the how.

Ask questions and be open to others’ answers; a secret to your success could be at the end of a question. Someone may see something in you that has been lying dormant just waiting to be expressed by another who may not even know you well. It may be tucked away in a card or letter somewhere. You may be great at discovering others’ strengths and talents but typically we hold back when it comes to unraveling our own. Be open, believe and bring new things within you to the realm of possibility. A secret to your success is out there; go find it.

Can you think of a metaphor for you? Ask someone to help you. Make it wonderful and even outrageous: Gentle Giant, Powerful Hummingbird, Angelic Cougar!

Share a forgotten treasure or a gift in your day for it is in sharing we can empower each other.

Albert Einstein

Recreating YOU with Transforming New Year’s Gratefuls & 12 Days of Christmas

Recreating YOU with Transforming New Year’s Gratefuls
over 12 Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas I was grateful for PEACE; the kind that comes when you know you have done your best and somehow it wasn’t good enough. The results aren’t there. What if this time they won’t ever be there? You don’t know if you have it in you to try again tomorrow but then you remember the part in the beautiful poem your dear friend sent: “Help me to know the restoring power of sleep.” Sleep comes; peace comes, tomorrow comes. It’s a new day and you are able to repeat the process until finally one day the results do come and with it a new kind of peace you own.

On the second day of Christmas I was grateful for COURAGE; the kind you need when you know it’s time to go back to the doctor. You believe in your deepest self the results will be scary; but you have been down this road before. Things can be fixed, reversed, overcome, with great medicine. You can go and find out what needs to be done and you can get yourself back to a healthy state. You do have the courage to go again and deal with what needs to be done.

On the third day of Christmas I was grateful for LAUGHTER – with SISTERS who have always been a catalyst to set you off in crazy verbal jargon that caused you both to laugh again like ten year olds in the midst of serious adult crises: at funerals, sharing the most bizarre of life’s turn of events and finding a way to laugh in hour long phone calls thousands of miles apart or in person.

On the fourth day of Christmas I was grateful for BROTHERS, who by contrast to you, in just a few words or a small gesture, can leave memories on your heart and you are never ever the same because of the beauty and the power in their depth and simplicity.

On the fifth day of Christmas I was grateful for FRIENDS. Friends that you never knew yesterday and those you have known forever and those who have left you here in the world without them, far too soon and sometimes with no warning that the lunch you had just a few weeks ago was going to be your last lunch. Oh my, these friends are such gifts! Their genuine, steadfast, authentic caring and support has sometimes been the difference on a day that presented a mountain you had no way of climbing and then you reach the top together.

On the sixth of Christmas I was grateful for DOCTORS who find a way to say what needs to be said, to be honest in the gentlest possible way and who realize you have a right to know what they know about you – it’s your life. They tell you only one in 4 survive, that people can die from this, that you will need radical surgery on your face – and then they take the action, however overwhelmingly drastic as may be required; they apply their skills and knowledge and they empower you to find a way to trust them and believe that together you will find a way back to good health and you will be that one in 4, this is not your time.

On the seventh day of Christmas I was grateful for the UNKNOWN – scary, uncertain sometimes, generating feelings of hopelessness – when all you can see and feel are the failures and losses, when it seems void of all possibilities of any retrieval of success and financial stability. But deep within you know that the unknown equals the very faith that brought you this far; the unknown holds the unimaginable of all the hope and possibilities that the best is yet to come. You’ve lived the unknown before, you know it to be true, and it is all there waiting for you in the unknown.

On the eighth day of Christmas I was grateful for SECOND CHANCES. When you are absorbed with one “if only” thought after another; you are consumed with regret, you blame yourself, you remember how you could have acted sooner, said it differently, made that phone call on their birthday, told them you were sorry sooner, forgiven them when they didn’t even know they needed to be forgiven, and here it is – the moment to make yesterday right and tomorrow beautiful. You get a second chance and this time you recognize it in the moment – you act quickly.

On the ninth day of Christmas I was grateful for CHILDREN – the young ones that help you continue to see the magic in the world through their innocent eyes; but most of all for MY OWN CHILDREN. They keep you humble and grow your wisdom and insight through their honesty, integrity, joys and sorrows; when you want to be like the fairy godmother who can wave a magic wand and make their world abundant and free of the anguish of life’s sometimes cruel realities. Your children remind you all you can do is love them and let them go and trust in the goodness of the Universe.

On the tenth day of Christmas I was grateful for INSTINCT – the kind that finds a way to reach you at the strangest times, to let you know “something is wrong” and you need to take action, or something could happen if you just make that phone call, go to that meeting, buy that book and read it, take that course. It is when you find yourself saying, “I don’t know why, something just told me I should”; you found a way to trust your instinct. It takes quiet, still meditative moments in the stillness and solitude of your thoughts so you can be listening and your instincts can be heard.

On the eleventh day of Christmas I was grateful for TIME – lost time, found time, stolen time and learning to value time as your best way to package your dreams. Name the designated exact time and day you will strive to make something happen. Take the time to write it down in a calendar, a journal, on a napkin; give your vision a time and a place. The value of time holds the secret to your success, your vision, and your dreams, – it is in the time.

On the twelfth day of Christmas I was grateful for SIMPLICITY. Over a hundred ornaments taking up space, books on shelves that will never be read, clothes from decades ago that will never be worn again, hundreds of cards, calendars and pictures, too many to ever look at and appreciate, decorations for every occasion of the year and no space to even display them, pictures and not enough walls to hang them, furniture intended for three to four times the square footage you now live in, papers you have filed for literally years, way beyond the government 7 year guidelines for businesses that could all be shredded and never missed! How do we get to that simple life and create the space to enjoy life and become all we were intended to be, without the clutter and confusion and overwhelm of all this stuff? One day it comes to us, we have the power, the time is now and these things need a new home. You find the courage and the time and the support from family and friends; you begin the journey back to a simplicity that creates the space you need to make the rest of your life the best of your life and that to be sure is an Olympic goal of massive proportions! Go for the Gold! It is not too late; you are still breathing, make it this New Years!

You can recreate the most magical you at any age, at any moment. It is a choice – YOU choose. Jumpstart 2017 with your own gratefuls!

Send me your successes for it is in sharing that we empower each other!

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