I recently gave a talk at Google’s NYC office on Intuition and Creativity. Developing intuition is a practice, much like mastering a musical instrument, so I was a bit surprised by the following question that several participants brought up: is there a tool that I could demonstrate and teach in under 10 minutes that would instantly make them mega intuitive?

This question is easy to blow off:
– A coach can’t explain to you in under 10 minutes how to run at Olympic speed, so that you could instantly do it
– A music teacher can’t give you a tool in under 10 minutes that will make you play Chopin with feeling, without you investing hours of practice
– A language instructor can’t teach you under 10 minutes how to get perfect French pronunciation, unless you immerge yourself in the language, listen and practice.

Yet, there’s something to be said for getting a sharp, useful tool in your hands that can give you capacity to make an instant shift. So, today, I’ll give you a tool called “3 things” that you can master under 10 minutes, use any time, and it is guaranteed to shift your mood to a more positive state. It is a universal tool that can be used by anyone regardless of age (tried and tested on our then-2-year-old, and our 70+ year old friend), regardless of the starting mood, and independent on any other factors in your life.

“3 things” tool goes like this: whenever you want to shift the way you feel into a more positive mode, list 3 things you’re thankful for in your current situation. ANYTHING goes. Be honest and genuine with yourself, though. That’s it. “3 things” may seem like a useless and even artificial thing to do, especially when things are not going well at all, and when these problems seem serious. What the tool does for you, though, is shifts your attention. Attention is the key to what happens in our lives, because whatever you place your attention on tends to expand. If you want more good things, focus on the good things. If you want to feel more competent, focus on what you Know. If you want to feel loved, focus on people and places where you already feel loved, not where you feel left out. If you want to feel secure, place your attention on situations in which you already feel secure. And give thanks.

Please, try it now (yes, right now as you’re reading). Off the top of your head, name three things in your life you’re thankful for. Anything. Don’t worry about “big” things, you can start with small ones. Don’t worry about relevance. Just start. For example:

– Hot water
– Indoor plumbing
– A call from a friend
– A clean shirt
– A good meal
– An umbrella when it rained
– A seat on the train
– Good timing of a particular situation
– An interesting article

Anything goes. Try it.

Do you notice an internal shift?

As you place your attention on things that are working in your life, you are giving your mind a sense of direction: to find and create more things that are working. Use the “3 things” tool whenever you catch yourself feeling upset, unhappy, or even simply grumpy, and watch your mood shift.

Another idea for experimenting with this tool is use it at the dinner table. If you have dinner with your family this evening, suggest a quick blitz: “Let’s go around the table, and everyone says 3 things you’re thankful for. Anything goes. No suggesting ideas to each other, no editing, no commenting, no making fun of each other.” Since you know how it goes, start first, and feel free to mix meaningful things (like “I’m thankful that we’re actually eating and talking together”) with seemingly every-day things (“I’m thankful that my train was on time today”).

We started this in our house when our youngest was just 2 years old. At first, we gave him a turn for “saying thankles” (as he called it) just to amuse him, but we quickly found out how much he had on his mind. He would surprise us by saying without prompting things like “I’m thankful for babushka”, “I’m thankful for yogurt”, “I’m thankful that mama sings me songs”… We would often be surprised by each other as we said “thankless” for what happened at school or at work, things about which we would otherwise would not have find out.

“3 things” is a mood-shifter. “I’m not in the mood” is precisely the mood in which you need “3 things” most.

I’m thankful for the stunning beauty of the autumn that I see out of the window.

I’m thankful for being given the opportunity to teach a workshop at the NY Open Center that I dreamed about teaching for years.

I’m thankful that you’re reading this.

Have a peaceful, relaxing Thanksgiving!


Are you struggling with completing a Performance Evaluation at work? I know now is the time to hand these forms in. If you’re struggling, if you find it difficult to find the right words, if you don’t know what to write, even though you’ve done a lot, or not sure how to phrase all the amazing things that you’ve done, I would love to help you out. Please, email me if you would like to:

– dramatically cut the time that you’re spending on filling out your Performance Evaluation form

– have an end result that reflects your great work and you’re proud to show to your manager

– have your manager be impressed and relieved, seeing how well your work is described in writing making his/her job of reviewing your performance much easier.

Would you like my help with this? I worked in corporate HR for years. This work is my forte, and I love it, so together, we can turn a painful Performance Evaluation experience into a fun, seamless exercise that delivers an outstanding result. Send a quick email to me at with “Performance Evaluation Miracle”, and we’ll make it happen. We’ll set aside 30-60 minutes via phone or Skype, and by the end of our session, your form will be completed.


Map Out Your Year NASAstarforming

(Special limited-time invitation to create a clear, inspiring vision and a follow-through plan for 2016)

Let’s set aside 2 hours, and work together to:

  • Chart your physical, intellectual, and spiritual vision for 2016
  • Map out meaningful signs, milestones, resources and contingency plans
  • Discuss how to energetically align yourself with your vision (not in a woo-woo way, but in terms of what you say and do, and how these things fit with your destination, much like choosing the right outfit to match the dress code of your destination).

You will get a copy of session notes and a road map, to keep reminding you throughout 2016 where you are going, how to get there, and why you care about this journey so much, so that you could stay motivated.

It is my goal to help 50 people to create this unique, practical-yet-magical map before February 1, 2016. Would you like to save your spot? Please, email me at with “Map Out Your Year Question”, and I’ll help. If you’re ready to start, or if you want to get this 2-hour session as a gift, please, purchase it below:

Is this a gift for yourself, or for someone else?
Email of the gift recipient:
Recipient’s Skype or phone #:

Investment: 449 dollars


Are you interested in experimenting with intuition? Would you like to experience what an intuitive reading feels like? I have a few 15-minute “pay what it is worth” sessions open, and would love to share the intuition experience with you! Get a session for yourself, or as a gift (or both!) .


How do you distinguish between what you know, and what you believe? What is the difference between a fact and an opinion?Belief

While knowledge is a compilation of facts, information, and one’s experience, belief is an acceptance of something as true or false. So, technically, one can know something, but not believe in it or not accept it as true, and one can also believe in something that he doesn’t know (i.e. doesn’t have facts, information, and experience to back up the beliefs).

It is easier to live as if we know rather than believe in the way the world around us works. Everything we do is based on our beliefs rather than on facts. For example, we

  • Get on the airplane, as  we believe it will get us from point A and point B safely and quickly, even though we haven’t reviewed a safety report for the specific aircraft that will carry us
  • Hire a particular candidate, because we believe he will be a great manager in the firm, even though data such as resume cannot conclusively guarantee success
  • Purchase a house, because we believe it will be a comfortable home for the family, or a sound investment, often without a full understanding of the housing market
  • Marry, because we believe marriage will bring us joy, stability, or affirmation of love, even though the divorce rate is 50%
  • Donate to certain charities, because we believe that these organizations “do the right thing”, in the way they promised to do it, even though many accountability reports cannot be trusted.

     These are all probabilities rather than guarantees, even if data seems to support our beliefs.

Still, we often tell ourselves that we know something rather than merely believe in it. Why?

From the evolutionary standpoint, it makes sense that people are predisposed to “the feeling of knowing”: “the feeling of knowing” helps us persevere when the going gets tough. It makes us feel like we are on the right track.

  • Psychologists tell us that we are wired to see data that supports what we already believe, rather than see data objectively (as a matter of fact, objectivity is a questionable of a concept as certainty)
  • We experience a “feeling of being certain”, which has nothing to do with our command of the facts, and everything to do with experiencing a particular neurophysiological sensation. The “feeling of being certain” is evolution’s way to reward us for curiously exploring the world and make us believe that we are on the right track, so that we keep moving. The feeling of being certain doesn’t have anything to do with actually being on the right track.
  • We are naturally wired to seek certainty, because uncertainty takes a lot more of our mental energy. It is much less resource-consuming to settle on one possibility than to keep entertaining a variety of outcomes
  • Our beliefs are significantly influenced by our biology and life experiences, and are much less of a free will than we care to admit. For example, optimism and pessimism are stable pre-determined personality traits that color the lenses through which we look at a set of data, therefore making us believe one outcome or the other.

While we associate having knowledge with knowing (or “getting it”), it’s not always so simple. Knowledge doesn’t always produce “the feeling of knowing” (think of people with OCD, who know that they have turned off the faucet, but they don’t feel like they know it). Belief, on the other hand, sometimes does produce that “feeling of knowing” (think of the placebo effect, where patients are convinced that they are getting the real intervention, even when they are told that their pill is a placebo).

Beliefs are not founded in facts, which is why it is so difficult to change one’s beliefs by supplying additional data. It is entirely possible to have two people develop completely different beliefs after looking at the same set of data. Data doesn’t tell anyone what to believe, or how to make sense of the received information. We need belief as much as we need knowledge in order to make sense of the world, even if it is sometimes difficult to draw the line where one ends, and the other one begins. Honor your beliefs.

Certainty is not biologically possible. We must learn (and teach our children) to tolerate the unpleasantness of uncertainty. Science has given us the language and tools of probabilities. We have methods for analyzing and ranking opinions according to their likelihood of correctness. That is enough. We do not need and cannot afford the catastrophes born out of a belief in certainty.” – Robert A. Burton, On Being Certain

By all means, gather the knowledge: do the math, check the facts, get good data, analyze it well, and read up on science. Then, choose what you believe.

Chose to believe whatever makes you feel better, happier, stronger, smarter, and more interesting.

Choose to change the beliefs that make you feel lonely, miserable, or defeated.

Yes, your choices will be narrowed down by your data set, your analytical abilities, by your biology, and life experiences. Still, when you can choose, choose to believe in ideas that bring out the best in you.

UPCOMING WORKSHOP: Teaching Applied Intuition workshop at the New York Open Center

Somewhere between hard science and [what seems like] magic, there’s this workshop that I’ll be teaching at the New York Open Center this October!!! Tuesdays, Oct. 27-Nov. 24th, 5:45-7:45 p.m. in Manhattan, through Nov. 24th. Please,register, and share information with your NYC friends!
If you are interested in a 2-hour program, please contact me at about the program The Myths and Science of Intuition, which  I can deliver for your organization.


Waterfalls: 20 Years Ago and Now

September 7, 2015 Decision-making

Do you remember yourself in 1995? Who were you then? What interested you, what troubled you? Who did you hope you would become in 20 years? If you could say anything to yourself-20-years-ago, what would you say? 20 years ago, TLC’s song Waterfalls became the number one hit on Billboard Hot 100. Do you remember […]

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Change of Pace is Essential

August 4, 2015 Career Change

Traditionally, summer is considered break time, especially for kids. If you think about it, though, many kids are not getting a break in a traditional sense: their lives are still incredibly full with sports, classes, and all sorts of activities. What kids are getting is not a break, but a change of pace. One of […]

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How to Choose

May 13, 2015 Career Change

How do you make the best choice in a situation in which your decision has serious consequences? We’re not talking about ice cream flavors here, so let’s get serious and honest. There are times when you need to decide whether to continue keeping a loved one on life support, or which job offer to accept […]

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How to Stop Feeling Like a Failure: 3 Practical Strategies

March 27, 2015 Am I Good Enough?

* * * * *     The latest from Mind Terrain Coaching:  Making a major life transformation on your own is ridiculously hard. If you’re ready to work, though, and ready for help, let’s do this together. Join me for a very personal, deep 3-month executive coaching collaboration project, “The Journey” VIP Program (see more at the end of […]

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Odd but Effective Brain Connections for Boosting Productivity

March 6, 2015 Career Change

    Do you by chance see days of the week in color? What about seeing numbers or letters in color? How about getting a distinct smell associated with a specific note? This cross-wiring of perceptions is a harmless neurological condition known as synesthesia (by the way, synesthesia has a genetic component, so if you have it, there’s […]

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Love in the Time of Neuroscience

February 13, 2015 Am I Good Enough?

    One of our sons asked me recently how we can know for sure whether our love for someone is real. I thought about it for a while. I heard a great quote about love in a movie the name of which I don’t recall: “Love is not what you feel inside. Love is the […]

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Best Strategy for Improving Your Personal “State of the Union”

January 22, 2015 Decision-making

Listening to President Obama’s State of the Union Address made me think of this: what are our rituals for evaluating our successes on regular basis, and setting inspiring agendas for the year? Think of yourself as the commander-in-chief of your life. Instead of the dreaded New Year resolution, write your own annual State of the Union Address, to reflect […]

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My Best Resources from 2014

December 31, 2014 Happiness

I’d like to share with you some of my favorite resources from 2014, as well as my work that you said made a difference for you. Let’s keep sharing our best resources! Thank you, and have a peaceful, insightful, and healthy 2015! (Image: my best 2014 accomplishment in the kitchen is this Napoleon, made from scratch). My […]

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