I’ve always loved fall. It is colorful, fresh, unpredictable, and usually brings about all sorts of new promising beginnings. foliage

This September came as a mixed bag, though. It has delivered new work projects and soulful celebrations with friends. It has also brought a cosmic reboot (read: “a series of small, but epic failures”).

My phone contact list was wiped-out, along with two of its recent backups (which Apple engineers dubbed “a nearly-impossible system glitch that happens once in a blue moon”).

I lost a close friend who I thought would be in my life forever.

Each of my family members had a complete schedule revamp, and we’re still adjusting to the shift.

A vigorous family travel schedule for the fall looks exciting, but heavy…

Most of these things are natural, and not out of the ordinary. And yet, in combination, they have been overwhelming.

Of course, I decided to write a blog post about finding new balance after life changes, and quickly realized I’ve been churning out posts about change rather frequently: what to do when things change,  how to feel good about change when you don’t have much control over the situation, what happens when you’ve changed , and about the fact that I’ve changed

I re-read them, and it was a necessary refresher. If you’re having trouble finding your balance after your life unexpectedly changes, just as you thought you have everything figured out, please, read those posts, too. You’ll find them comforting and useful.

I’d like to add three more relevant ideas for dealing with change, which I found during my latest round of research on change.

  1. On failure, from Marina Abramovic, as featured in the film “InnSaei”. Don’t only do what you already like and what you’re already good at. Try what you don’t like, and do what you don’t know yet how to do. You may fail, but you may also end up in a magical place you haven’t suspected exists. “I think failure is a very important part of success. If you don’t fail, it means you’re not risking anything, or you’re repeating yourself. And that means you’ll lose the curiosity and the life force inside of you.”
  2. On flexibility in learning, from Kevin Kelly, a futurist, a pioneer of internet culture, and founder of Wired magazine, featured in Freakonomics podcast. When discussing his book, “The Future (Probably) Isn’t as Scary as You Think”, he suggested that people who are unwilling to re-educate themselves in order to adjust to the rapidly changing world around them will lose out. This insight is relevant to any life change: re-educate yourself. What do you need to know, and how do you need to grow in order to deal with the newly changed situation?
  3. On adjusting to change, from Dr. Elke Weber, featured in a TEDxEast talk. Our fear of losing what we have is twice as strong as our desire to gain something. So, naturally, it is difficult to let go and free up our hands for embracing something new. Dr. Weber’s advice to counteract the resistance is to first consider the positive possible outcomes when making a change, as there’s a “first query advantage” in generating arguments. The first query will have a greater influence on you in your decision-making. (For example, first ask “What would be great about changing jobs?”, and only then, “What am I losing by changing jobs?”) And if there’s only one advice you could take from this TED talk, it’s this: Accept change.

Accept change.

Re-educate yourself, given the new circumstances.

Expect and welcome failure.

You are Here. Reset. Start again.

As you’re reading this, I’m exploring Paris with our oldest son (unless new unexpected changes put us elsewhere), hoping to make a transition during this trip from the whirlwind of September into the calm confidence of October. Let’s stay in touch through all the life’s changes! If you’ve given me your phone number in the past 3 years, I would be super thankful if you could, please, reply, and share your phone number with me again!

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NEW programs: Executive Development +Intuitive Insight Learn more here.


What do you answer when someone asks you “What do you do?”?  I’m guessing you can easily reach for one or two explanations about what you get paid to do, or what you spend most of your time doing.Brazil loses to Germany

If you’ve been practicing something deeply and mindfully for years, it is likely that you’re very good at what you do. Your colleagues and clients defer to your expertise; your family and friends look up to you, and seek your advice in the area of your expertise.

And then … you make a really bad call.

It’s almost unimaginable: you failing in something you’re great at. And yet, it’s happening.


… you lost focus for a minute, even though it is unlike you.

… your call was too risky or too conservative, atypically for you.

… you didn’t make time to keep up with the latest developments, and trusted your experience to “swing it”.

… the result was entirely outside of your control, even though you’ve accounted for most things that could go wrong. And yet, the responsibility is still on you.

What do you do when your expertise fails you? What do you do when you feel like a failure in your own eyes, and possibly in the eyes of those you care about?

And when I say “you”, I really mean … “I”. I worry about it frequently.

Among other things, I’m a professional intuitive (not a psychic, no, but I do use all of my senses to perceive information that is not always available solely through data spreadsheets). I know that there will be a day when I walk into a situation which I should have avoided. The question I dread most, from myself and from others in a situation like this is: “If you’re so intuitive, how could you get this so wrong?!”

Questions like these can make you question your own value.

“What kind of a marriage therapist are you if your own marriage is falling apart?!”

“Why are you teaching classes for raising happy children if your own children are not talking to you?!”

“What kind of an innovator are you, if you fail launch after launch?!”

“If you’re such a good parent, why is your kid such a bad student?!”

“If you’re such a good doctor, why do I feel worse after your treatment?!”

“If you’re such an experienced lawyer, how could you lose this case?!”

“If you’re such a good writer, why aren’t you on the New York Best Seller list?!”

“If you’re taking such great care of yourself, how could you possibly get that diagnosis?!”

Here’s the deal: no matter how excellent you are, failure will happen to you. Failure is something that happens, it’s not what you are. *You* are not a failure. Failure has happened to every person you admire; it’s just that some of the people are more transparent about it than others.

You may be an excellent driver, but if you’re on the road all the time, you probably will get in an accident at one point or another (hopefully, nothing more than a fender bender), because you encounter a lot of different kinds of drivers drivers. If you make many important decisions, some of your decisions probably will be worse than others.

When you fail in your area of expertise, here are two things you need to do in order to make the shift from feeling defeated to feeling like your usual competent self:

1. Analyze the situation in order to see what you could learn from the failure. There may be transferable lessons you can take from this situation into your next tough call, but you’ll see that this won’t always be the case. Sometimes, even when you do your very best, when no one is better prepared than you to make a decision, failure could still happen.

2. Get up and try again. After all, you’re an expert, you’re a pro, you know your stuff, and you are one of the best people for the job. If you begin avoiding critical situations similar to the situation in which you failed, this by itself will make you feel defeated. If you’re truly an expert at what you do, and if you keep working on a project, you will inevitably figure out how to create a better outcome. Try again, as it is the only way for you to feel on top of the game again.

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NEW WORKSHOP: Developing Reliable Intuition. Sun., 9/18, 4-6 p.m., in Northern NJ, small group. See Details


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