Archive for the ‘Power of Action’ Category

Time For Your “Mind Gym” – How Do You Use Your Imagination?



Are you aware of how you use your imagination? Have you unwrapped, yet, your gift of visualization? This is just a reminder of a powerful tool many misuse or forget to use. Most negative states are partly maintained through mentally replaying horrible scenes. Most fears are retained through imagining scary predictions of the unforeseen.

But what if we alter the contents of those pictures or movie displayed on our internal mental screen? How would it feel like if we were to imagine better outcomes and unleash the power of our inner creativity machine? All limitations, obstacles, and unmet needs were always the inspiration for creative ways to survive, to thrive, and to fulfill certain dreams.

Most Olympic athletes relied on visualization to create successful moves before performance so that winning is granted faster. Arnold Schwarzenegger imagined, since childhood, his becoming Mr. Universe and eventually becoming an actor. Walt Disney, similarly, used what he called “imagineering” to create his entertainment empire gradually after.

And if we really think about it, how do you explain our eventually enjoying the TV, the radio, or phone calls to a remote location? Someone somewhere used their imagination till they actualized its manifestation. The end result was the luring initial temptation.

Ideas of all major inventions did not remain in one’s brain hiding as a seed. They were nourished with active attempts to fulfill specific needs. Trial and error initiatives to make things happen are part of the process till one succeeds. One tool mostly used from inception till the end is creating images of how any restriction one ought to transcend.

To start with, give it some thought as to how you can be happier. “There’s a lot of power in simply imagining a better life filled with bliss. Many often miss to visualize exactly just “how” to effect this.” ~3Ds

Your mind cannot differentiate between what’s imagined and what’s real. It is no secret that visualization automatically changes how you feel…

You can reinvent your future, relax your body, energize it, or imagine succeeding on any interesting goal.

Use your creative imagination as your positive outcome visual control…

With or without Your Personal Coach


PS. You can watch me demonstrating “Guided Visualization” as a stress-busting tool live on LBC here:


Time For Your “Mind Gym” – What’s Your Story?


So what’s your story?
No, I’m not asking you to narrate how you lived since birth till now.
No, I’m not referring to those recent challenges you faced, or how.
Noooo, I’m not requesting you open the floodgates of thoughts you normally disallow….
Oh my! You’re talkative today; you know? 🙂

The story intriguing me, today, is about an area in your life that you always wanted to change, or improve, but never really started.

I’d like you to gather your thoughts around why you didn’t initiate the change till now. Notice the justifications you provide just to keep it all too guarded.

You think these are valid reasons that lead to the delay. Think again: are these truly reasons, or mere excuses? Both are what your mind introduces to hinder that start.

And the story commences each time you recount to yourself, & sometimes to others, what you want to do then directly justify why you cannot. As if your mind commits an act of treason to your heart with every reason offered to keep the “action taking” phase behind locked bars.

“The story you tell yourself for why you never start life changes, with time, magnifies. Break it into smaller steps & incremental changes will eventually actualize.” ~ 3Ds

You do need to transform that narration, though, before you embark. Let your heart speak what the change will bring you & how happiness will ultimately spa. On that instant beginning, allow it to have its call mark.

Let it say: “Enough delay!! i deserve a better life & I’ll find a way. No more reasons, excuses, hesitation, or dismay. I’ll do something differently day by day!!”

Absolutely stunning “change” starts with just a “move”; and that is just a thought away. Think it…. Again, with your heart….

Who’d have thought that the turtle would beat the rabbit in the long run, ha?

I have a brilliant idea: Let’s start messing with the circumstances & twitch things slowly today, ok?

Apres vous…

Your Personal Coach

Time For Your “Mind Gym” – What Makes You Move?


Ever wondered what makes you move? What makes you take action or have a reaction? What drives the direction of your thinking or reflection? You may reply: “it’s other people, events, or situations” that move you….

Or you may reply that, in the end, it is only YOU who moves YOU best & you’re right! More specifically it’s your varied emotions that could numb you, or fuel you; even propel you to greater distances.

Such feelings as: joy, passion, content, guilt, anger, sadness disgust, shame, or pain… incite your moves, or leave you to slumber, sway, & saunter as if you’re walking in grooves with no shoes….

The direction you’re heading in would highly be guided by your thoughts and brain as if given free reign. These can lead you to recoil in a dark abyss, or soar high in the blue sky….

All wouldn’t be stopped; only substituted. “You can’t stop thinking & you can’t stop feeling. You can only replace one thought by another. Only then will you discover which feelings will hover” ~3Ds

All are interconnected, really…. Your emotions influence your thinking & vice versa; with the more powerful trigger being how you feel. Depending on the ordeal, you’ll be full of zeal (or not) to steer the wheel in any direction….

Succeed in changing one, & it will change the other…. & then you move, but it is you who would’ve set the direction, no? Not other people, not the events, nor the situations…. (Well, perhaps you’d want to experiment on how it feels if you surrender to these, every now & then…)

So who is it that you’ll allow to be in the driver’s seat in, what seems to be like, your endless “formula one” car race, Champ? They all compete to take turns & make their stamp, you know…

I just want to remind you of how many love you in case you don’t recall…. (attempting to stir up good feelings here J ) I see stickers of their names all over your “car”…. J

oh, & they’re cheerleading from afar….

So is your Personal Coach….


Go Ahead, Blame it on “No Time”

How often do you hear people saying “I don’t have the time to do this or that…”. If we scrutinize the idea of lacking the time, more often than not, it’s just tossing around an excuse to escape doing something. In reality, we are not MOTIVATED enough to make the time for it. We inadvertently scan the significance of our actions as we decide if something is worth attending to, or not.  What’s the alternative? How important is it? Is it a priority? Is it my sole responsibility? What’s the yield for me? Can someone else do this instead? We are in a race against time and it’s enough that much of it gets devoured by external forces. We are taunted and goaded into action by duties and obligations, so we’d rather be very selective in  spending whatever time is left for us (rightly so); thus, relegate many things to the periphery of “no time to deal with it.”

The main concern arises when we succumb to habitual patterns of not doing, and blame it on lacking the time. Take for instance the infamous argument of not having the time to exercise (hear it all the time, right?). How come those who have a serious ailment, and were advised that the best way out is to incorporate exercise in their routines, would miraculously fit it into their crowded schedules? They’d get up earlier in the morning, expend the extra effort after working hours, or even interrupt their day for a jog here or there. Look at how productive those working mothers are when compared to home-stay moms. They effectively manage their time and efficiently deploy their energies to make all ends meet. Aren’t you amazed by those who multi-task and are constantly fired up to self-improve? They jump from one thing to another, planning ahead, setting goals, and are in a relentless battle against inertia.

What makes those people different is their ability to CREATE the time even if it meant doing nothing more than recharging their batteries. They are more focused on what they want, make conscious choices, and are experts at time management. In the end, what we carry out expresses either our obligation or motivation. We can blame in-action on lacking the time, but the truth is we have ample time. Twenty four hours at our disposal; the week is abundant with another 168 hours; we can stretch it out further to count the hours per month, months, and even years. Go ahead, fool all others; sugar-coat the truth and beat around the bush, but at least let’s be frank with ourselves: Doing is an active choice. “It’s not about not having the time to do this or that; it’s about not being motivated enough to make the time to do this or that…” ~ 3Ds.


Do You Want FOCUS? Try The “Mini Hulk” Exercise!

It has been said that around 65,000 thoughts cross our minds daily. It is no wonder, then, that we find many ideas wondering about in our psyche each calling for attention. Some of these seep into conscious awareness and succeed in being recognized; others just creep up to the surface and then retreat unnoticed. Normally you wouldn’t mind it, but if you’re pressed with time to have a specific mental task done, you find that the more you toss away irrelevant thoughts, the more they forcefully fly back. What needs to take an hour, is now consuming two. You can’t concentrate and that gets you more inundated. You may have too many things on your plate and there’s no running away from multi-tasking. You keep thinking of the next things you need to be doing, but you still haven’t finished what you’re working on. Whether you’re down the wire, or not, it is total absorption in an endeavor that differentiates those who are efficient from those who are not. They have insurmountable “focus”; always at the heart of what they do. So how can you stop this mental chatter?

 Here is an exercise I offer my students to help them through the drudgery of studying for multiple exams. You can use it for any other time consuming project that necessitates you to be both fast yet efficient in your mental capacities. The exercise takes you about 8 to 10 minutes, but it could save you hours of inefficiency. I use the analogy of the well proclaimed “Incredible Hulk” hero. You might have read about him in the comic magazines, or seen the movie. It’s about this scientist who upon trying to experiment accidentally becomes subject to radiation. Eventually, whenever his body is highly aroused, he gradually transforms into a green hulk with omnipotent physical powers. You need to have such mental invincible powers that render you all-too focused. No distractions; only full mastery and time efficiency. Why not make time to play a bit before the hard work? Let’s start:

 Sit in your work area and start visualizing that you are about to deploy and attract the entire world’s energy through the top of your head. That’s right…take it easy…. Focus… It’s all coming to you from different directions….pouring…. filling you up with green energy….That’s it…. You’re filling up from your toes, going up your legs, knees, thighs, up to your abdomen, chest, and spreading to your arms, hands, shoulders, neck, and up to your face. Your color has changed into green radiating energy and now you start transforming slowly…Each part of your body is growing and specifically your mind has doubled in size. It became immune to any noise’ and hears only the sound of your firm voice speaking affirmatively. Things like:

–          I will start now on this task and will stop only when I consciously decide to.

–          I have total focus on this and will be wading my way through with utmost energy.

–          I have put away all distractions (my mobile, my computer, turned off the landline phone, etc…). So, my internal force is the guiding hub for action now.

–          I will be doing a great job in having this done perfectly, in no time, and will have full mastery over this.

 Tailor your self-talk to the specific task you’re handling and keep talking. Imagine further that you have shut the doors to any extraneous thoughts that do not serve what you’re working on. Are these doors locked? Look at you…..Now you are the “Mini Hulk” and you can have that full focus you need. You have gong-ho pace and kick-ass energy. Start working on what you set your mind on doing.

 Take your time to do this mental exercise and then assess your focus. You’ll see the difference. You can also condition yourself to be in that state without taking those 8 – 10 minutes later on. In neuro-linguistic programming, it’s called “anchoring” yourself. That means, as you repeat the exercise a number of times, give yourself a pat on the shoulder at the end of each ritual (alternatively you can choose to say any word or statement you like; for instance I am a “Mini Hulk”). Simply associating that pat on the shoulder or that statement repeatedly at the end of the exercise would make a link in your mind. When you will it, and in no time at all, just give yourself that pat; and alone it would render you in that invincible state of focus without having to go through the process. It just needs some practice. Many of my students have implemented this exercise and reaped the benefits. Call it an investment. I call it a gift for all of you; would you turn it away?


“The Future Belongs to Those Who Ask!” ~ 3DS

I was invited by a colleague of mine to attend a negotiation seminar a few days ago. It was very inspiring, indeed, and validated many of the concepts I know and apply. The presentation touched on asking for discounts as we attempt to close some business deals. “If you don’t ask, the answer is always: NO!” the presenter announced. I agreed with that, but disagreed with asking for service discount. To me, that meant risking accepting less of what usually is offered (not too many people are conscientious, or are aware of the ramifications it has on their profession). With respect to displayed merchandise, the risks of getting less when you ask for a discount may be minimal, so go ahead ask for it. Demand it if you can (of course while paying attention to your tone). Take it at full price without asking, and you’ll always wonder if you could have done better. Those arguments made me reflect on the power of “asking” as determining much of our future life path.

Malcom X once said: “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today”. In a similar vein, Eleanor Roosevelt proposed: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” In a congruent fashion, I believe that “the future belongs to those who ask!”  I asked to join the psychotherapy training program, and was lucky to get in despite being way past the deadline. I was surfing the net for ICF accredited “Coaching” schools and encountered the International Coach Academy. They called me and provided me with all the information I needed. I enrolled; and my career path changed in both instances. The positive consequence of “asking” for things applies to many other life areas I take initiative in. I just ask, and the universe responds in amazing ways. Sometimes I “ask”, but I’m denied only to find out later that something better was arranged for me.

 Hesitation to ask for something may have bases in the “fear of failure” (rejection can be a killer sometimes). “How can I courageously imply to that cute girl/guy that I like him/her? What if s/he said no?” That’s a dilemma many face. “How can I ask for that raise? Surely Management is working within a tight budget!” Truth is, don’t ask for it, and you stagnate. Would you want to wait (maybe forever) until your number is called out? Your chances are inevitably 50-50 to get it or not; despite your apparent strong belief (100%) you won’t get it. You don’t have all the “givens”. You have to be clairvoyant to forcefully say you know it all, don’t you? Alternatively, hesitation may have bases in the “fear of success”. You’d reason: “Me, with that cute guy/girl!” (Good God! a relationship would be too overwhelming), or “Me, with a better salary, or finally granted that promotion!” (I could be envied, or it could be too much to handle). This is when some self-sabotage to remain in their habitual comfort zone. Success seemingly carries with it an extra toll. Many would worry about change; it’s too much of an effort!

It probably is a known fact, by now, that any type of fear can be overcome only if faced. And if you still have doubt about what could happen IF so and so took place, ask yourself: so what? What could it mean? We tend to take things too seriously, so lighten up a bit. Talk about your concerns loud enough by taking the worst extreme scenario. Is it the end of the world? Can I try something different if this or that didn’t work out? Surely, choices are plenty if only we look hard enough. Again, and quoting my inspirational presenter “If you don’t ask, the answer is always: NO!” You ask, and it’s either a Yes, or a No. A “Yes” grants you what you want. A “No” needs to prompt you to ask again for something different. This is how you brighten up your future; this is how you leave your options wide open; this is why I believe: “The future belongs to those who ask!

The Multifold Power of Giving

How many times do you bend backwards attempting to do someone else a favor only it does not get reciprocated when you are the one in need? Does it happen often enough to discourage you from being a giving person? You wonder: This is not in line with the “norm of reciprocity” (i.e. the social expectation that people respond to each other in kind)? Consider this: the expectation that you receive back from the same person may be the norm, but never the rule. You will receive back in return; albeit, from multiple other sources. Don’t be reluctant to keep giving as you are bestowed at least ten fold. How is that possible, you ask? 

1. Giving feels good. You have been a positive impact. You took part in someone else’s life. In return, you reap a positive psychological reward (i.e. I am useful). Caution: buffer your disappointment by not expecting a repayment in kind. Do it for the sake of getting that “helper’s high”. 

2. Giving enhances your physical health. When you feel good psychologically, it feeds into your physiology. It is a known fact that psychological and physical states are interrelated.

 3. Giving others can offset being totally self-absorbed. That is very applicable in times of distress or even success. It is a distracter from over-indulgence in one’s own misery on one hand; and a source of redirecting the overflow of positive emotions to others in need on the other hand. Why hoard the pleasure of accomplishment to ones’ self? Share it.

 4. Giving fosters a sense of abundance. You are wealthy if you are able to provide and give. Have the conviction that your reservoir will not dry. Hey! “There’s more where that came from”. 

5. Giving shapes your life with meaning. Yes, you are here for a reason. You have a purpose. Giving is life enriching.

 6. Giving satisfies the need for social connections. We all have this need to connect with others; and sometimes those interactions are not so satisfactory. How about turning things round when that’s the case? Make your relationships and interactions beneficial one way or another?

 7. Giving makes you nicely remembered. We are not going to live forever (and that’s another fact). Ask yourself: How would I like to be remembered? Wouldn’t it be nice to leave positive prints behind?

 8. Giving can trigger a multitude of positive thoughts about yourself. Again, as long as you’re not expecting anything in return, your thoughts will rotate around those positive attributes you possess. You are charming in so many other ways.

 9. Giving entails superiority. You have the upper hand. It is your wish and will to do the things you do. Think of it as your choice; no one coerced you into doing anything.

 10. Giving characterizes those who are self-actualized (i.e. those who have reached their utmost psychological development like Mother Theresa, Ghandi, and Albert Einstein). Self-actualized people are only motivated by personal responsibilities and ethics; and not by what they receive in return.

 So, you see, giving spirals up into a great deal of life and self-satisfaction. I can think of many other alluring reasons for giving, but the above suffice to endorse it as a life philosophy. I am in awe when I hear of those who stretch their giving to that of self-transcendence. They give others because it makes them more fulfilled; they transcend the egocentric focus. They are so lucky to be there. Others give so much, but that has its bases in their “inability to say NO”. Giving becomes distressing, so one has to really consider if negative emotions surface. For me, I keep few things in mind as I adopt a giving attitude: it’s about being a positive influence. It is about the value it adds to my own personal growth and progress. I am able, then, to give back at least double what I receive…..

Dealing with the “Culture of Time Neglect”

wait-wallpaperThe other day, my daughter accused me of being the most impatient person she had ever known. I laughed, but later on contemplated her remark. There’s a kernel of truth in what she said. On several occasions, we’d be out together to get things done. We’d take appointments for different services, and when we end up having to wait, what seemed endlessly, I get up and excuse ourselves to leave. She would be so surprised and embarrassed, but to me, the idea of an appointment needs to serve both parties well. And yes, maybe I am impatient to wait too long past my allotted schedule, but patience is relative to my agenda. At times, I could be very tolerant (e.g. my personal goals), but I don’t appreciate others stealing my time. I would rather offer it willingly rather than be coerced into the “culture of time neglect”.

 Yes, we are living in a culture where only a few are time efficient, wise, or are respectful of others’ time. I find myself organizing my life in a structured and systemic way to meet my daily targets. Being time lax has been woven into the fabric of my society. The trend observed is that of “Les homes chic sont toujours en retarde” (excuse my French). Arriving in late to social gathering became deliberate to reflect an image of being in high demand. I am not denying that sometimes we can truly be held back by emerging circumstances, but to adopt it as a life-style irritates me. Sadly, lateness is stretching to various professions and services to reflect some prestige. From repairmen, to bank clerks, to doctors, I feel constantly bombarded with messages that providing the service can wait; they are very busy people; I will have to wait. The truth is: I am as busy (if not more) and time is a precious scarce resource. My conception of time resonates so much with the words of Harvey Mc Kay Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back”.

 I can’t help but feel incongruent with those who take my time so lightly. But what can I do? Such mentality is all over the place. I take a firm standing when I can; yet, it’s beyond my capacity to change the whole world. Whenever the situation permits, at least I make a point and reproach that my time is not being respected. Until things change (and they will), I find myself trying to fit in or accommodate to the culture of time neglect. I can’t always retaliate, so I tolerate by being mentally and physically prepared for the “expected wait”. I became always equipped with a contingency plan for labile scheduling. My purse always includes a planner with ample free pages to scribble on; and a small sized interesting book to read in when there’s no way out but to comply and hang in there. I can say mantra, or engage in my deep breathing exercise. I reassume control by choosing to soothe myself that even that time waiting is still mine. I can spend it by being frustrated, or decide to use it as wisely and productively as I can 🙂

 All that really belongs to us is time; even he who has nothing else has that” (Baltasar Gracian).

Make Me Feel Important!

“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ”Make me feel important.” Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life” (Mary Kay Ash).  What a life philosophy to adopt! Indeed, as a customer, you would like to feel important, so would you as a family member, a student, a hard working employee, and even as someone providing an ordinary service. It feels so good to be noticed and valued. Wouldn’t it hurt YOU if you felt ignored or neglected? Wouldn’t YOU feel blessed to be noticed and appreciated? You can be the most confident human on earth; you can be the most self-sufficient and independent person in the world; but, still, there’s always room for external appreciation that needs to be occasionally filled.

 It would be a mistake to assume that others are OK without your acknowledgement. In many instances, people resort to psychotherapy or coaching just to create the space to feel important. Let’s not wait for this to happen. Go out there and make others feel important no matter what their social status is. You’ll make their day a better day; and consequently yours. You will feel important because you made a difference. It comes back ten fold. It really is so rewarding. Go ahead, try for yourself and notice how it will make you feel.


Choosing to Moving Forward (3) – Accepting Versus Resisting

Is in it so uplifting when you set your mind to moving forward on specific personal areas and actually succeed? You pick up the habit of exercising; you find your soul mate; or move into that more spacious apartment you’ve always dreamed of. What a joy it is to effect some positive change! Sometimes, however, change or the move forward may apparently seem impossible or impractical. You try different ways to make things change, but nothing seems to work. You find yourself in a difficult life situation and become even more frustrated by locked doors as you seek your way out. It must be real hard on you to persist despite unsuccessful attempts. Do you keep trying, or do you surrender disappointed into a depressed state?

Neither of these two options is a healthy coping mechanism. Both entail resistance though both vary in the “how”. Even depression is anger turned inward. You might still be resisting the idea and shaming yourself for your inability to deal with a pressing need. When things seem so bleak, accepting the difficult to change becomes the wiser mental attitude. It has been said: “What can’t be cured must be endured.” Resistance entails spending a lot of energy at what you’d like changed (even if you just whined, or became depressed about it). That energy is better off being channeled in other directions leading you forward. So, in the end, we still have a choice in responding.

 For instance, you have major disagreements around specific ideologies with your parents, siblings or spouse. You might be tempted to change their attitudes. You argue, you shout, you give them the silent treatment, or you try to force your own stance. All these attempts may deplete your energy reservoir until you feel drained. Accept their attitudes as just being different; then let go. You can still share fundamental other beliefs that bind you together.

 In a similar vein, you might have conflicting characters with close others you deal with; do you try to change theirs at no avail? Do you keep trying? Maybe it’s just wiser if you worked on changing yourself, or the way you look at things. I am not saying that you mimic others to fit in; just spend that energy educating yourself with what you need to know to handle these differences better. Again, accepting others for who they are, as opposed to resisting the differences, can save you a great toll. The more you refuse to give in, the more you get frustrated, so choose your battles by examining the costs they entail. Move in a different direction.

 I can relate the idea to instances of fighting too hard when you experience injustice in some life situations. You get bluffed (ridiculous, but could happen at any point in ones’ life 🙂 ); do you attempt revenge? Do you take others to court? STOP! Would you consider forgiving? Yeah! Go for it! Save yourself the inner turmoil and the external hassle. So much has been said about forgiveness. Learn your lesson and re-direct your energy to areas that can make you feel good. Don’t stay stuck in trying to save face at that mishap. Get your chin high somewhere else. ‘Whatever you focus on expands” so it’s been said. Why not focus on moving forward in other directions. It just might be the better way out!

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