The greatest thing photography taught me about my life & career (and how you can learn it too!)

The greatest thing photography taught me about my life & career (and how you can learn it too!)

I believe in the power of perspective. It is the filter through which we see ourselves, other people, and the world around us. Our perspectives say a lot about us; how we respond to change, how we solve problems, and the role we play in our careers and in our lives as a whole.

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Notes on Being Courageous

Notes on Being Courageous

The other day a client asked me during session, ‘what does courageous mean to you?’ Hearing the question gave me pause because to be quite honest, when do we ever get asked that question and the opportunity to give a real answer.

I want to share with you how I responded in hopes that it will inspire you to answer that question for yourself.

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Showing Up: Part II

Happy New Years everyone.


A new year to start fresh, open a new chapter while closing older chapters, an time to let go, embrace, reevaluate, recondition, and reset. Don’t just make 2014 better, make it different.

Today’s post is the second of a two-part post that highlights the two ways we Show Up for life and in our work. If you missed the first part, you can check it out here. The second one up is:

#2. Default Autopilot

The alternative to prepared spontaneity is showing up on Default Autopilot.  Most of us easily fall into this way of operating and it works for us because we show up conditioned like well-oiled machines.  Mornings at the office look and feel the same; we know what to expect. Our output and productivity at work is the same because you’ve built up a high competence in your work such that you can do it with your eyes closed. Conversations at home and with your friends sound the same because you know what to expect.  Through a default autopilot mindset, you’ve built up a tolerance and a level of comfort to the work and life around you such that it becomes automatic.

Image Credit

Default Autopilot is a mindset.

In DA, routine habits take precedence over creativity and purposeful action. It gives rise to constricting patterns as you become used to showing up as you always have despite repeated unwanted results. We have virtually no awareness of our thought pattern and how they control our behavior. Default Autopilot makes us feel like we have no choice because we’re locked into a certain perspective and pattern of thinking. It limits our potential, is a high trigger for stress, and narrows our thinking.

A quick personal story of how the default autopilot story usually plays out. After college graduation with my business degree in tow, I assumed the usual 9-5 job. It was a great position for a new grad working for a great company, Stony Brook University Hospital. My work was straight forward, day started at 8am everyday, lunch break at noon, chit chat with fun co-workers, paycheck the 1st & the 15th, 45 minute traffic-filled commute to and from work, dinner at home, and then off to bed to do it again the next day. This pattern showed up in many other jobs since then. Pretty simple right? I knew what to expect, I created a routine; it worked. Except it didn’t.

Showing up on autopilot is easy and that’s why so many of us do it. We play the role, go through the motions, we become content and then we forget. Forget that we do have a choice. We forget that we can choose to see and do things differently. 

Choosing ignites Change. Change ignites breaking the pattern.

We can choose the course of our workday by breaking up the pattern in small bites.  During Monday morning’s status meeting, maybe you might break the autopilot pattern by injecting 3 different ideas to spur productivity for the department. Or maybe for lunch you may take a mind-clearing walk around the block. And maybe instead of the knee jerk worry you have of making the wrong a decision, you can choose to see a different perspective and a more positive outcome.

Default Autopilot is a mindset. The choice is yours.

Keep me posted on how it goes




Showing Up: Part I

This is the first of a two-part post that highlights the two ways we Show Up for life and in our work. Are you listening? Good. The first one up is:

#1. Prepared Spontaneity

What does Prepared Spontaneity mean? To take responsibility for the things you can control and let go of the result. It is a yin-yang interplay between being in control & detaching from the result. Hang on to that last part, we’re going to come back to it in a second.

Preparation is something we can control. We can prepare for an interview, prepare for a session with a client, a presentation, or a meeting with a business contact. We can prepare dinner. We can prepare for a speech or an important conversation with a colleague. We can even prepare or set an intention for how we show up for work every day. We can all agree that when you show up prepared to any situation, you are more confident, clear, less stressed and more in control. The likelihood of success is far greater when you prepare.

Image Credit

The second part is equally, if not more important: let go of the result. This is hard for us to do because we crave predictability and certainty, which contributes to our desire to control everything. Through spontaneity, we learn to let go of the result, the outcome, and even our expectations. Spontaneity allows us to unblock from linear 1+1=2 calculations, presumptions of what-happened-in-the-past-must-happen-in-the-future-thinking. We allow chance to take it’s course and let the chips fall where they are intended to. We give up our control of the outcome and learn to trust that whatever happens is for the best.

What we can control:

  • Our reaction to a particular outcome
  • Our actions or behavior
  • Our thoughts or attitudes
  • Our emotions
  • Our beliefs
  • Our decisions
  • Our approach to work & life
  • Preparation time i.e. a few hours, a lifetime

What we can’t control:

  • The outcome of a situation
  • What other people think and do

The paradox of control is the more we let go, is the more control we have. In short, Prepared Spontaneity is to go with the flow in an active way. We give 100% of ourselves to planning and preparing and then we let go.

Keep me posted on how it goes…

Stay tuned for Part II, where I discuss the other side of how we show up for life and work.

Glass Half Full

Are we talking about how much optimism one has?

Are we talking about being realistic?

Or could we be talking pure and simply about mindset and the willingness to choose?


The answer: all of the above.

Glass Half Full. The age-old common expression used to indicate someone’s point of view of a situation.  If we looked a little deeper behind this seemingly simple expression, we find that it not only represents one’s perspective, but their beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions. The way you normally see your situation can dictate the outcome for you. It can also quite honestly be a reality check for how often things normally work out for you, or don’t.

It can be said that your past experiences, beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions determine how you would react to situations. Perhaps your experiences have shown you that life is tough and you have to deal with the hand you’ve been dealt. This belief creates the mindset you have today. But let’s imagine for a moment that we could choose the reaction we want to have to the scenario and thus have the option to turn our ‘glass half empty’ mentality around.

What if this glass below represents a situation you’re in right now.

Photo Credit: Glass Half Full

Scenario 1: You’ve spent the last month in a series of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round interviews with an employer that you’d very much like to work for. You later find out that you didn’t receive an offer. Is your glass half empty or half full?

Scenario 2: You’re a new business owner and over the past two months you planned and prepared for a unique program that you’d like to offer to your clients. You only mange to sell 30% of your targeted goal. Is your glass half empty or half full?

There is no right or wrong answer to the scenarios above. Just an interpretation of the events that could either empower you or deplete you. Coming from an ‘half empty’ mindset generates feelings of lack and low energy; it can be draining and create stress. The ‘half full’ mindset represents growth, support, empowerment; endless possibilities is the name of the game.

It all boils down to choice and mindset. Whether you see the situation as dire and dismal or exciting and full of potential is completely up to you and will dictate the results you get.  What if having no job offer meant that the right job is opening up for you? What if no sign up’s to your business offer meant more clarity to improving your services and could yield higher sales next time?

What is the ‘glass half empty mentality’ costing you? What could change by shifting into a more empowering reality? What have you got to lose?

Keep me posted on how it goes…



My coaching practice is getting a fresh coat of paint and is transitioning from In Spirit to the new,! As of January 2014, we'll be launching a full service coaching program for career conscious professionals with new tools, assessments, and strategies to help you align with your career goals.

Curious? Let's meet for an intro private 30-minute session over coffee with me, either in person or over the phone, scheduled at your convenience, to get clarity on the next step in your career.




Do You Want To Be The Same or Do You Want To Be Different?


Those words echoed and reverberated through my core the first time I heard them months ago. I was in a coaching session with my mentor and founder of the organization I work with, MBA Coach. Through that conversation, I realized just how much my inherited perceptions at the time were based on should’s and external messages that were picked up along the way and unconsciously showed up 100% of the time in everything I did.  Talk about a-ha moment. These internal messages can determine whether or not you embrace challenges, share your own ideas, and even how you manage money.

If we keep doing what we’ve always done, we will always end up getting what we always get. This holds true in your career, in your personal life, and even in your romantic relationships. By adopting the attitudes of others without seeing how it serves you, we open the door for disappointment, struggle, and quite honestly mediocre living.  You often hear stories of successful people from humble beginnings that had the same experience as their neighbor, but were somehow able to carve out a different path for their lives. A wonderful example that comes to mind is Jay-Z. One, of if not the most successful rapper around who grew up having nothing yet transformed his existence into being a pioneer in the entertainment industry. Oprah.  She experienced a traumatic childhood enduring physical and emotional abuse but rose to be one of the most syndicated daytime talk show host ever.

Jay-Z & Oprah; two media moguls that took the world by storm and created success that exists beyond our wildest dreams. How did Jay-Z and Oprah do that?  They are people just like you and I. What made them able to be different then others who had gone through similar plights?

They decided to be different.


Oftentimes when deciding to make a positive change for ourselves it is preceded by pain or exhaustion from feeling locked or stuck in repetitive action. It’s as if something finally clicks and sparks a shift in mindset. We no longer want to be in pain any more. The status quo is not good enough any more and we begin to repair what is broken.  We no longer want to be defined and ruled by hardship, but rather by our rise to meet and overcome it.

We all have ways in which we’d like to be different. Some of us wish to have a different job description. A different salary. A different response to the way we handle stress and fear. What beliefs do you have about being different?

  • Others will criticize me.
  • I don’t have enough expertise in that area.
  • There are no jobs out there.
  • I won’t make enough money as an artist, teacher, >> fill in the blank with your dream job<<.  

We all have enough damaging beliefs to fill an ocean that keep us feeling stuck and locked in.

If you were bold, confident, wise, strong, assertive, calm, empathetic, giving, determined in your decisions, what could happen? You would be different. You would have broken the status quo.

And so I ask you: Do You Want To Be The Same or Do You Want To Be Different?


Keep me posted on how it goes