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“Life is like a combination lock; your job is to find the right numbers, in the right order, so you can have anything you want.” – Brian Tracy

This morning I’m back in New York City again, the city that never sleeps but also the city with a touch of fresh air. Fresh air you say!? Well, today is actually Earth Day and I guess you could argue that the New York city air is far from “fresh”…may be, but although not clean, it certainly feels refreshing and inspirational to be around people with “fresh” ideas, sitting at the classical Caffe Reggio (the home of the “original cappuccino brought to America by Domenico Parisi, the original owner of Caffe Reggio, in 1927) surrounded by students, artists and writers with a feel of being at a street cafe in Montmartre, Paris 🙂

Especially in New York City, and any other big cities (like Paris for example), people are constantly searching…searching for what is right for them. Work, relationship, life…Yes, NYC is a jungle and it’s easy to get lost, easy to lose control and easy to get off track. But it’s also a place of opportunities, opportunities to find your way back onto the road you have chosen to travel on – Your Road Map to Success!

Like Brian Tracy said – the combinations are many, your job is to find the right numbers, the ones that work for you. Help, guidance and support is there to be found – you just need to make an effort looking for it and wanting it.

Enjoy Earth Day today and wherever you may be at this moment remember that we are all part of the Circle of Life. So do the best you can today, and every day, to unlock the combination of your lock finding out what’s important to you , in the right order so that you can have anything you want.

For more information how a Life Coach can help, support and guide you on your Road Map To Success, visit

In todays WSJ we learn how to communicate when angry – avoid mimicing the bad behavior of shouting and firing back at someone who is doing just that to you.

Instead express yourself in Five Steps;
1. Calm down; take a walk, get some sleep and “cool down’. Ask the other person to talk – say “When is a convenient time?”
2. Acknowledge the difficulty of having this conversation – defuse the other person’s anger and their possibly defensive reaction.
3. Say “I”, not “you”. Don’t say “you did …. wrong”. Say “I felt hurt when you did ….”
4. Find out why. Ask for the other person’s point of view. Really listen to the answer.
5. Say everything. Put it all on the table and talk about how you can change the situation in the future

Good Luck!

The last couple of posts have dealt with choices – a choice how to live your life, with whom, the feelings you choose to have and the thoughts you decide to have about yourself and others. Always keep in mind though that the choices you make affect others, in a positive OR negative way dependent on the attitudes and values of the people around you – spouse, family, friends, co-workers etc. The best possible way of making sure your choices DO NOT send out negative signals is to Let go of the Past…Letting go is the choice to live life in the present – in a positive way – regardless of anything negative that may have occurred in the past.

*Ask yourself to what extent you believe your life now, is affected in any negative way, from things that happened to you in the past? Almost never, Occasionally, or Frequently – and why?

*Ask yourself if you make a determined effort to move forward, and let past negatives go? And what do you do about any negatives that could still be holding you back?

*Ask yourself if you ever see past problems or failures (by the way, you can not fail as long as you decide not to quit trying…) as adequate reasons why you should not succeed now?

*Ask yourself what one negative from your past, if any, you would most like to get past, and move beyond it?

Then find three creative, positive ways to reward yourself – for making the choice to live in the present, and build an incredible future for yourself AND the people around you who may have been innnocent bystanders and targets of your inability of letting go of the past.

Everyone has a future – choose to plan yours.

Set your goals taking into account your values, attitudes and habits, working with your strenghts to raise the likelihood of you achieving what you set out to achieve. Work with an Emotional Intelligence goal-setting model, engaging your emotional brain as well as your thinking brain.

* Values: understand what is really important about the goal, what will be great about achieving it in the grand scheme of things.
* Attitudes: check that your positive attitudes and beliefs will support and be supported by your values.
* Awareness: be aware of your intentions with the goal you set. Your intention is strongly linked to your values – by knowing what’s important about your goal, why you are working towards it, you can use your strenghts, personal power and flexibility to keep on track.
* Do: consider what behaviour helps you achieve the goal. Positive behaviours will strenghten your positive attitudes and fulfil your personal values.
* Done: give your goal a deadline! It improves the chances of success to know when you’ll be in the new situation.

Goals are vehicles for living your values…Sounds complicated? Maybe so, but when you think about it – isn’t the best day, “Your ideal day”, filled with activities that results in an experience of positive emotions and highs? Yes, of course you say – that’s obvious…but I don’t know what my values are…That’s why we, together, will work on what’s important to you and by doing so we will start finding out what your values are – the Values Staircase asks the question WIATY (What’s Important About…To You) starting with What is important about success to you?

Find out more- visit my site for a free consultation!

Here’s a guest blog by Eric Stevenson, a health and safety advocate who resides in the Southeastern US.

Mentally processing and coping with chronic illnesses, like cancer can be more complicated than some may assume. The emotional highs and lows, coupled with the physical trauma of enduring treatment side effects and chronic and sever pain, make for mentally distant, depressed, anxious, and stressed individuals.  The Different stages of coping with cancer, from pre-diagnostic symptoms to diagnosis, treatment, and remission, all bring about varying concerns that ought to be understood and managed in equally varying ways. However, despite the dynamic nature of the affliction, it is important for there to be one constant: maintaining a positive attitude.

Even before cancer is diagnosed, those suffering from it must cope with the fear and anxiety of the unknown. If the patients are experiencing symptoms that are unexplained, they may show serious concern. This is normal and can be combated simply by remaining positive and requesting a cancer screening. The results of this screening will determine whether further steps must be taken. By staying positive, stress levels are reduced and one’s general quality of life is improved.

Diagnosis is a mentally difficult process. This stage presents a critical moment in the patient’s life. It is imperative to maintain a positive attitude throughout this process. The initial diagnosis presents the patient with a wave of new and shocking information.   Starting with denial, the patient experiences a wide range of emotional distress.  Coping with the emotional anxiety, depression, and fear often means that newly diagnosed patients miss important medical information during appointments with their doctor’s.  New patients should take time to digest the news before attempting to understand exactly what treatment options are recommended.  Allowing time for mental recuperation, and possibly scheduling an additional appointment, means that the patient has time to sort through their emotions, thus allowing them clarity of mind later, during the discussion of treatment options. Perhaps the most effective strategy for staying positive and coping with fearful emotions is through communication with loved ones. Sharing emotions and venting pent up thoughts can provide a cathartic release that is sometimes needed for patient’s to begin their recovery.

Cancer treatment is also a mentally taxing experience.   The level of aggression of treatment may depend on the patient’s type and stage of cancer. For example, mesothelioma patients often endure extremely aggressive treatment.  Because of the latency of mesothelioma symptoms, patients’ cancer tends to have already metastasized. Mesothelioma life expectancy rates are low, and patients diagnosed with terminal cancer naturally experience a more drastic range of mental and emotional distress symptoms. Also, besides coping with physicality and side effects of treatment, organizing other necessities, like transportation and treatment dates, can allow patients mental clarity and relief. It may also be beneficial for patients and families of patients to seek professional guidance, either from therapists, support groups, or a combination of the two.

Though it may seem as though cancer survivors should be relieved and elated when they’re declared cancer-free, news of remission can result in devastating mental and emotional effects.  Those who no longer have to battle cancer often live in fear and anxiety, dreading the return of the malignant cells. According to the National Cancer Institute, post-treatment survivors should be honest about the complexity of their emotions, coming to terms with the fact that there is nothing wrong about feeling fearful rather than happy.  Expressing these feelings to supporters and family members can also aid in avoiding confusing family situations and miscommunications.

Thank you Eric 🙂

I’ve been away for a while…distracted from MY goals, my values compromised and rather than action, inactivity…That’s what happens when you steer away from your goals, your values.

If our values represent our highest priorities, doesn’t it make absolute sense that our goals and dreams are rooted in our values? Yet how often do we pursue things, jobs, careers, relationships, even possessions, and when we achieve what we think we desired, we feel let down, somehow dissatisfied and disappointed?
Our values are our internal blueprint for sucesss. They make us who we are and they are intrinsically linked with our attitudes and selfregard. 22 percent of people who join a gym in January have thrown in the towel after 24 weeks. A further 20 percent will disappear before December. Why? Because we are either doing it for the wrong reason, or we don’t know why we’re doing it.

If your goals don’t reflect your values, it will be hard work to stick to them. So make sure you know you HAVE values (because all of us do) and make sure you know WHAT they are! Then set your goals based on your values and action will follow. You will stay focused and motivated, reaching your goals because you ACT – we always do when your goals are aligned with your values:). Need help identifying your values? Visit my web site for more about my 5-step values based coaching process.

Values are like a compass for your life which helps you recognize who you really are. That’s what having and knowing your values is like. Values are your personal motivators, they’re what make you tick and the greatest tragedy is that most people go through life not even knowing they’ve got values, let alone what they are!

They are your own internal compass and when you pay attention to them, they give you direction in life. Values are not attitudes or beliefs, though they do live in the same brain (the emotional brain/limbic system).

Attitudes are things that are linked to our emotions and behaviors. It’s the way a person views something or tends to behave towards it, often in an evaluative way. It’s the glasses we wear and through which we choose to see the world and people around us.

Beliefs on the other hand is an idea, a principle accepted as true, especially without proof. If your attitudes are the glasses you wear and through which you choose to view the world and people around you, your beliefs are your truth or your story of the world and people around you. For example do you believe the world is flat or round, do you believe in Santa Claus? The key with beliefs is that they are not necessarily correct. Think about what your beliefs are doing for you? Are they supporting you to achieve your goals or holding you back..?

An attitude is something more than a belief, as it is an emotional expression.

Beliefs can form attitudes and attitudes can form beliefs.

Ultimately, attitudes and beliefs can help or hinder us and affect how we behave and how much of our potential we use. All attitudes can be rewired to form new, healthier attitudes if we choose to do this. The key is to get underneath the ones that undermine us (by first raising conscious awareness of them), weed them out and replace them with healthy supportive beliefs and attitudes 🙂

So, values, attitudes and beliefs have a powerful connection with our thoughts, feelings and behaviors and how we perform.

Consider a tree with values representing the roots of who we are, the beliefs being the trunk, attitudes being the main branches with the leaves being our behaviors and actions.

Values are an intrinsic part of who we are, and our core values are far less changeable than our beliefs and attitudes.

Make sure you know your internal compass (values) on your road to success in life! By identifying your core values, the glasses you wear and choose to look at the world through (attitudes) and the truth you see (beliefs) you are able to work on your behaviors and actions! Get your free consultation today! Find out more about yourself and your strengths, using your internal compass on your Road Map to Success. But don’t take my word for it – check out what others have to say!

It’s me who is the enemy
Me who beats me up
Me who makes the monsters
Me who strips my confidence.
Paula Cole, “Me,” This Fire

So, get to know yourself. Because he who knows others is learned but he who knows himself is wise. For free life coaching consultation contact me

To understand Emotional Intelligence (EI) we first need to understand how our brains work. Our brain can be split into three different parts – reptile brain regulates basic life functions, emotional brain which is our emotional centre, housing our values, beliefs, and attitudes and generating the emotions that they trigger, thinking brain which is responsible for thought.
Our unconscious, emotional brain is much more active than our logical, thinking brain and much more “powerful”. The emotional brain is the lion – the thinking brain is the tamer. If the two brains are fighting against each other, the emotional brain will win every time. That’s why your attempts to stop smoking, lose weight or exercise more often fail. Your logical thinking brain knows that not smoking, eating healthy food and exercise are good for you. However your emotional brain governs a set of attitudes, emotions and habits that are not in harmony with this logic.
But since the tamer can train and manipulate the lion in certain ways, distracting it from harmful actions and focusing its attention on more positive ones, the tamer can win! The more you listen to the lion and understand it, the more likely you are to create a succesful tamer and lion relationship 🙂

It’s therefore more accurate to replace the popular philosophical statement of “I think, therefore I am” with “I feel, therefore I am.” Like I mentioned earlier, our emotional brain houses our values, beliefs and attitudes.

What are attitudes? They are things in our unconscious emotional brain that are linked to our emotions and behaviours – the way a person views something or tends to behave towards it. First we make our attitudes. Then our attitudes make us.

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Lars – Transition & Retirement Coach

Certified Retirement Coach


April 2011
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