Choices and Decisions

(Please don’t miss the “Be the First to Know” update at the end of the article!)

I ran into my ex-ex-ex-boyfriend and his beautiful wife in Manhattan. We chit-chatted a bit, and once my ex-ex-ex stepped away, his wife asked:

“I was wondering: how did you ever let this guy go? Look at him! Tall, handsome, not a hint of arrogance, funny, super smart, super educated, really nice… What were you thinking?!”

Her question was filled with genuine curiosity. I wholeheartedly agreed with her description of her husband, a wonderful guy who was completely unaware that women were constantly turning their heads in his direction any time we walked down the street. So, whatwas I thinking, letting him go?!

Although I am often a model for a classic case of “staircase wit”, this time the answer came spontaneously and effortlessly, without a hint of regret: “Have you ever found a perfect pair of shoes– the right color, great quality, and just the style you were looking for - only to find out that the shoes don’t fit you well? Holding on to them wouldn’t do you any good, would it?”

The words surprised me, as if they came from somewhere outside of me.

Then, I woke up. I smiled with at the realization that even though my meeting with this ex-ex-ex and his wife wasn’t real, the message was 100% on target: when you let go of something that doesn’t fit you, no matter how good it is, you’re not missing out on anything.

Easy, right? Here’s the hard parthow do you know for sure, without a shadow of a doubt, whether something really fits you?

One way is to look at it is by using a tough decision as an opportunity to define yourself, to declare what you stand for (must see: a brilliant TED talk of Dr. Ruth Chang on decision-making). Another way is to honestly get to know yourself, using your own lens, as well as the lenses of people who see The Best You, despite all of your struggles.

     This year, I decided to focus on helping my clients make difficult decisions. We will explore:
- ways in which one can reliably use gut feeling + analysis in critical decision-making
- how one’s personal stories affect his decision-making
- how to redefine available choices for improved decision-making
- what “good decision” and “bad decision” really mean, and
- how to make decisions without regrets.
Want to talk about it? Email me atAlina@MindTerrainCoaching.com .

* * * BE THE FIRST TO KNOW: * * *

If you feel that you need to recharge, regroup, learn something new about yourself, explore practical what-feels-like-magic in a safe group of brilliantly intelligent, analytical leaders, discover how to reliably use your gut feeling for improved decision-making… would you join me on a weekend retreat, “Intuition for Left-Brainers: Intuitive Skills for Brilliant Decision-Making”?

It will take place in early May 2015 on the East coast, at a restorative, nature-based-yet-modern center with wholesome meals, be affordable, and open to the idea of you coming solo,  bringing friends or making it a joint growth experience with your partner. We expect the limited number of spaces to fill up quickly once registration opens. Would you like to stay posted about this retreat, and have advance notice before registration is open to the general public? If YES, please send me a quick email at Alina@MindTerrainCoaching.com with the subject line: “Keep me posted!”, and include your contact info.

Like Are You Missing Out? Here's How to Tell  (Mind Terrain eNews, Sept. '14) on Facebook

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Storytelling around the campfire“Tell me a story!” I asked. It was my favorite line when I was a child. (What was your favorite line as a child?) “What do you want the story to be about? Give me a topic,” my grandma used to reply.

“About anything”, which usually meant: “Tell me a story about your life. Tell me about your life when you were growing up. Tell me about meeting grandpa, or about my mom when she was little. Tell me about your friends. Tell me about your work. Tell me about your family during World War II.”

Through telling stories, we connect: we create trust, rapport, build a common vision, and “sniff each other out”.

A person’s request for a story is a request for connection.

And here’s the thing: your ability to tell a good story and to listen are the two skills that can make or break your career and your life. These two skills will affect your personal and professional growth more than any other skills that you have. (If you doubt this, think of your most recent leadership meeting, or think as far back as your summer camp days: everyone wants to be aligned with the person who can tell an engaging, convincing story that creates a great vision, right?)

Story-telling doesn’t just affect interpersonal relationships; the stories that you tell yourself about your life define the perceived quality of your life experiences, and define the way you view yourself.

So, how do we tell engaging stories that build trust, put others at ease, create a vision, and make everyone listen up?  Many marketing & coaching companies build their business around helping individuals and corporations tell their stories. Today, I’ll a share one winning story-telling strategy that will always work, provided that you tell the story honestly and genuinely. (Disclaimer: I learned it from my 3-year old, and still, it works reliably.)

My youngest son asked me recently to tell him a story. “What do you want the story to be about?” I replied. “Tell me a story about how good I am, like how I am your sweetheart, I’m your darling… You know.” That was a bit unexpected, but I started:

“You are my sweetheart.
You are my darling.
You are my love.
You give the best hugs and kisses.
You wash your hands so well every time!
You eat so well all the new things that we offer you at dinner.
You help me make the best coffee.
You listen so well to all the books that I read to you.
You ask such great questions!
You share with your brothers all the time.
You let your friend ride your bike.
You always say thank you.
You are such a good boy…”

As I was telling this story, our 3-year old completely relaxed. He fell asleep smiling, with his arm wrapped around my neck.

It occurred to me that everyone should have an opportunity to fall asleep with a story about how good they are. I tried it on the rest of my family, and it worked like a charm: they all smiled, and relaxed into my beautiful, genuine vision of them. Everyone needs and wants to be seen through a lens of goodness.

So, what is the best story you’ll ever tell? Tell a story about how good someone is. Remember, though, that it only works if you are truthful and genuine.

Tell stories about the greatest teachers, luckiest fishermen, kindest strangers, about the small good things that you notice other people do. Notice the good around you, and tell stories about it. Moreover, if no one tells you a story about how good you are, please tell yourself every day: “I love you. You are good. You did the best you could today.”

Like Best Story You'll Ever Tell (Mind Terrain eNews, July '14) on Facebook

Recent article: How World Cup Can Improve Work Engagement
Previous article: “Expectations: to Have or Not to Have.”

ALL HANDS ON DECK: Energy + Strategy

I  recently started offering 1.5 hour sessions that consist of a 30-minute intuitive reading, followed by a 1 hour intensive coaching session, and one week of full email support. Are you ready? Schedule a session here.  Please share this information with a friend who is brilliant, but feels stuck.

WHERE DOES YOUR COMPANY FIND ENGAGING, HIGH-IMPACT PRESENTERS for your corporate workshops? 

It’s not an easy task. If you could make a connection between the person in your company who contracts innovative workshop designers/presenters, and me, we both would be thankful. My e-mail address is Alina@MindTerrainCoaching.com .

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