Quote of the Week

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Henry David Thoreau


by Phyllis Sisenwine

Many people become motivational speakers because they have overcome a major challenge in their lives. The stories of survival these people share are astounding. Speakers at a conference I attended had such stories.

The opening speaker was Jim Stovall whose topic was “Yes You Can, Expanding Your Vision”. His amazing story made us laugh and made us cry. While he is blind, he decided several years ago that he had choices and became a very successful businessperson. At the conference, he gave us each a postcard that read, “I change my life when I change my mind.” A brilliant inspirational speaker, he got us all to think about our big dream. He said if we share our dream with others and they are negative, to ignore them and to keep the dream because it would not be inside of us if we didn’t have the capacity to do it.

The next night we were entertained by America’s first hearing impaired comedian, Kathy Buckley. Now an extremely successful star of comedy, she inspired us with the message that we have choices and we can create a great life.

I thought about the companies I work with and the leaders I coach and how challenging life can be. There are always obstacles in life, so what is it that gives some people the strength and willingness to move beyond the struggle? What is it that you want for yourself or your business?

What’s your dream? If people with hearing and sight challenges can move beyond their fears and become so successful, it makes me wonder what stops those of us without physical challenges from climbing the mountain to where we want to be. Perhaps it’s the way we look at life.

There’s a short story in the book “Art of Possibility” by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander that reads “A shoe factory sends two marketing scouts to a region of Africa to study the prospects for expanding business.

One sends back a telegram saying,”SITUATION HOPELESS STOP NO ONE WEARS SHOES.” The other writes back triumphantly,”GLORIOUS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY STOP THEY HAVE NO SHOES”.”

How do two people see the same situation from two totally different perspectives? Which telegram would you have sent? Think about any situations in your business where you can create a great opportunity like the optimistic marketing scout.

Life is filled with possibilities. Take some time to make a list of every possible option you might have to grow your business. Dream. Like the speaker I heard who couldn’t physically see his dream, choose to make your dream a reality.

What is it that you really want to see happen in your life? Block out an hour in the next week to spend some time on your life plan. Take the thoughts out of your head and put them on paper. If there were no stumbling blocks what would you do?

We spend more time planning a one-week vacation then we do on planning our lives. In the perfect world what would you be doing? Don’t wait for a tragedy or illness to give you a jolt. How can you create your ideal work environment? Do you need to look at where you’re going professionally?

I have a client who owned a retail store and came to me totally stuck in his life. He wasn’t having any fun and didn’t feel entitled to take time for himself. He sat in his store waiting for customers and didn’t take time to consider his dream. Within a few months he had a personal turn-around. He has closed his store and is doing interior design work. He hadn’t played tennis in years and felt he couldn’t physically get back to it nor could he spare the time. I suggested that playing tennis would enhance his creativity and help him with his dream of creating a very successful business. I saw a creative genius who was stuck in a situation that seemed hopeless. He is playing tennis and his business is flourishing. His energy has increased tremendously.

He had a dream, but his inner critic squashed it.Take some time to create a supportive environment for yourself.

What is it that you really want? Choose to make your dream a reality.

Copyright 2009, All Rights Reserved. Phyllis Sisenwine, Master Certified Coach, can be reached at

Coaching Call to Action

What in your life do you really enjoy doing and feelyou have no time to do? Could you take 1 hour this week and get back to it in some way, shape or form? It’s your life. Create it the way you want it.