It’s graduation season and I’m sharing a blog I wrote last year when my own son was graduating high school. One year later, I asked him what 3 pieces of advice he would give his past self - his answers are at the bottom.
My son is graduating from high school. I’ve raised him the best I knew up to this point, but on the threshold of manhood, I felt that he needed some male advice, in addition to whatever wisdom I’ve shared thus far.
So I did what I always do when I need advice, help and support. I go to my clients. My clients are so amazing, that if I had to pay them (instead of the fortunate reverse), there wouldn’t be enough dollars in the world to match the value of their wisdom and heart.
I asked my male clients this question, “If you could travel back in time but knew what you know now, what is the number one piece of advice you would give to your 19 year old self?” ...
What do highly educated Millennials and many high achieving, hard driving fifty-ish women have in common?
On the surface, seemingly not much. However, because both are groups of people that I coach, one similarity connects them with surprising consistency. Often, both groups are striving to gain clarity about their next professional steps, and have deeply and abidingly bought into what Cal Newport, in his seminal book, “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”, calls, “The Passion Trap”.
Newport’s robust research, and my own professional and personal experience, shows that the more emphasis we place on finding work we love, the more unhappy we become when we don’t love every minute of the work we have. So many of us raised our children to believe (and in the process, converted our own thinking) that if we choose a field and career that we are passionate about, somehow we will sidestep the difficulties,...
Perfect is a moving target, that’s if it’s even a thing. We are so quick and nonchalant in peppering our everyday conversations with the word “perfect”. That was a perfect meal. My son is a perfect student. I want the perfect relationship. Most of us were raised to be perfectionists, and were educated in schools that publicly rewarded the students who achieved the highest grades.
All this would be fine if we also taught our kids the dictionary meaning of perfection, and then let them decide if they want to pursue that path for the rest of their lives. Look it up for yourself, and you’ll be amazed by how extreme and results focused the definitions are. Some definitions that stood out for me are, as good as it is possible to be, faultless, flawless, and without equal. Thankfully, some wise person also added, “too good to be true”, but that one is easily lost amongst all the other shiny words like:...
My son is graduating from high school. I’ve raised him the best I knew up to this point, but on the threshold of manhood, I felt that he needed some male advice, in addition to whatever wisdom I’ve shared with him so far.
So I did what I always do when I need advice, help and support. I go to my clients. My clients are so amazing that if I had to pay them (instead of the fortunate reverse) there wouldn’t be enough dollars in the world to match the value of their wisdom and heart.
I asked my male clients this question, “If you could travel back in time but knew what you know now, what is the number one piece of advice you would give to your 19 year old self?” Every response was deep, touching and human. Volumes could be written about each. But today I want to share the one that resonates so much for me and I wish someone had laid it on me when I was 19 and trying to figure out who I wanted to be as an adult.
“I’m enjoying the privilege of being still,” said my client effortlessly, as though this is a common belief and these words are part of our collective lexicon.
Well, you could have knocked me over my coaching perch with a feather!
With due respect and understanding for the challenges of this moment, I’d like to share some of the learnings my clients are gaining and sharing with me during our coaching conversations. The quotes are directly from them and and as always, I hope these insights will serve and inspire you to live life with just a little more joy and ease.
I’m starting to question whether so many work meetings were necessary or even productive. I’ll be looking at that part of our work with fresh eyes when things go back to normal.
Why did I have such a problem with working (at least) one day a week from home? I’m now doing it 5-6 days a week and am no less productive, and much more creative....
Today is my birthday, although most everyone thinks it was yesterday.
I did this intentionally, so I could be present for everyone’s well wishes yesterday and spend this day in reflection and gratitude. I also want my actual birthday to be a day of giving something back to my community of clients, supporters, social media followers, friends and family.
I aim to do this by writing a blog that brings value and hopefully inspires; as well as serves as a note of gratitude to the universe for having brought me to this blessed day - a kind of Hallelujah, Shehekhiyanu, and Alhamdollilah wrapped into one.
The topic that keeps coming up in most of my sessions is that of perfectionism and how it gets in the way of us taking productive action. In my experience with clients, it’s the number one reason we feel stuck in any area of our lives. I wrote about it in my last blog, ...
“You make Mommy so happy!”
Those of us who are parents have uttered this statement at some point in our parenting. If you have not, you are in the minority and you should be proud of yourself.
I became a parent long before I began my education to become a Professional Life Coach, and certainly before I began the work of coaching clients. As such, the fundamental concept that we are responsible for creating our own feelings, was completely foreign to me.
After all, isn’t our life partner supposed to make us happy? Aren’t our children supposed to make us proud? The short answer is no.
The model I use to coach my clients is entirely based on ownership of our thoughts, feelings and actions. If a client is not willing to consider and eventually adopt this principle, our work of moving him out of his confused thoughts and into clear and sustainable action, may not be impossible, but it will be difficult.
What I teach is nothing...
Ever notice how you can be one person in one area of your life and a different person in another?
In my years as a Professional Life Coach, I can argue that I am (more often than not) a better professional than I have been a parent. This is not an easy statement to make, but here’s why I think it’s true.
One of the foundational principles of my coaching work is shifting my clients’ mindset from what Carol Dweck (Stanford Professor and author of Mindset) calls a “Fixed Mindset” to a “Growth Mindset”. The difference between the two can be explained as follows; the belief that people are born with a finite amount of intelligence that can’t be changed (fixed mindset), vs. the belief that intelligence is malleable and can be grown and nurtured through practice (growth mindset).
Never once, have I judged any of my client’s intelligence, and with infinite patience and unconditional love, I hold the space for them to achieve...
If you’re not yet familiar with the concept of Quarter Life Crisis, you’re not alone. It’s also likely that you are not a Millennial.
As a Professional Transition Coach, a number of my clients are emerging adults. Generally between the ages of 18 and 25, they are facing some very real challenges as they transition from school and living at home to living independently and building careers.
I also work with the same demographic, probono, through Grad Life Choices, a non-profit with the mission to help unemployed graduates take the next step forward.
It irks me when I hear the “older” generation (mine) assigning adjectives like lazy, entitled or confused to describe this group of what I know to be generally ambitious, conscientious, and hard working young adults.
To be sure, they are different than us, but no more than we are different than our parents’ generation. One significant and life altering difference is that they are not...