Category Archives: Career Mastery

Don’t Wait For Perfection – Do It Now

Don’t Wait For Perfection – Do It Now.

Have you ever found yourself sitting around restlessly, feeling that you were somehow wasting your time and potential? Wishing that you could do all kinds of different things, but feeling that you just “didn’t have it in you” or that you just weren’t “good enough”?

The fear of not being perfect cripples more people from action and fulfillment in life than possibly anything else. For many of us there seems to be a certain inbuilt assumption that if we aren’t “gifted” at a thing, then we just can’t do it – or that if we tried we’d be doomed for failure in the worst kind of way and would have everyone laughing in our faces.

The reality though is that “perfection” is an ideal, a beacon to guide ourselves according to. It’s something which might be impossible to achieve in reality – and it’s definitely not something that you should expect to attain before even making an honest and spirited attempt at the task in question.

In truth, many of the greatest successes we know of today weren’t “gifted” at all, were definitely not “perfect”, and often had heaps of criticism thrown at them – until one day their hard work paid off and the critics were forced to bite their tongues or else be drowned out by opposing voices.

Consider these famous examples for a moment:

  • Thomas Edison is said to have failed 1,000 times while attempting to create the light bulb.
  • Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie, was rejected dozens of times by publishers. Out of frustration he threw the manuscript in the bin. His wife convinced him to rescue it and keep trying.
  • Henry Ford’s early businesses failed, and left him broke on 5 separate occasions before he had success with his Ford Motor Company.
  • Walt Disney was fired as a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
  • Jack London is said to have received 600 rejection slips for his first story before it was finally accepted.
  • In their early days as a band, The Beatles were rejected by a recording company who commented “we don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”

It should be clear to everyone that some of the most profound success stories and inspirational figures of recent history began as people who were constantly being rejected, who were constantly failing, who were never seen as “gifted” by anyone, but who kept pushing forward and who didn’t ever wait for “perfection” before throwing themselves at a task. Then, in a strange twist of irony, their fans and admirers would later think to themselves “he / she must be so gifted. A pity I’m not that way…”

Begin today. Make a list of the goals that you’d like to pursue – of the things that you wish you were good at – and start doing them. Before you know it you may be doing better than you ever imagined you could. Every new endeavor brings with it a whole new range of possibilities and opportunities.

Take heart from the words of Theodore Roosevelt, and do it now:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

James Finlayson is Fitness Manager at DesirableBody. His favourite way to keep fit is strength training and he also enjoy cycling in and around London.

Learning Compassion for Self

In yoga, the Sage was telling us to focus on compassion for self.

Are you compassionate with yourself? So many of us have places in life where we demonstrate and live incredible compassion for an external cause, or a person, or class of people. Yet we are not always compassionate to ourselves.

Where are you the most difficult on yourself? Where do you not give yourself a break? Where does the mind chatter say you cannot do that (whatever that is) in your life?
You’re not alone.

Jared, a client of mine, said I could share his story. His parents loved him but were so frustrated by how stopped he was in life. When I met initially with Jared to discuss working together, it was apparent here was a great young man who would not give himself a break. In his language and in his behaviors, the anger and self-destructive behaviors were so self-defeating.

Jared and I did walking sessions. We would walk and talk. What emerged was a deep lack of compassion based upon three incidents in his younger life. As a result, Jared’s mind had taken the incidents, created a dis-empowering story which Jared was living as though they were real in his world.

Still, Jared was so powerful: he had surrounded himself with people and situations to reinforce the story in his world. Yes, the mind is THAT powerful. His lack of self-compassion resulted in a downward spiral. As the awareness grew, he began to develop some awareness and then compassion for the thoughts he was creating.

As his awareness grew, his compassion grew, and shift occurred.  Within a few months, Jared was not recognizable. He would smile and laugh. His destructive behavior went down, and was almost eliminated. He began to take a more active role in the family business. A deep shift occurred.

This week, look at your life story. Ask yourself the following questions:

Where are you less than compassionate with yourself?

What story do you tell yourself?

What story have you told others about yourself?

Where does this story stop you in life?

Does this story take away your compassion?

How does this story impact your self-compassion?

Journal about each question. See what arises in the inquiry. Journaling is a powerful tool I use to deepen my work with people. And as you deepen the compassion toward yourself, take the renewed you powerfully out in the world and make a difference.

If you have questions, please drop me an email at

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

-Anaďs Nin

Contributed by Executive, Life and Spirituality Coach, Jim Pehkonen

Being Self Serving in Life – In a Sacred Way

While out having dinner with a good friend, the conversation turned to his passion – which is getting music and arts back into the schools.

When he speaks of this, he literally lights up. We talked about the upcoming year and the potential from taking this from a local event with about 20,000 people (which occurred last year), to making it a global event within the next 18 months.

The conversation turned to not seeming self-serving and I laughed. Actually, it is time this project become self-serving.

“It is your passion,” I said. “Feed that passion such that you become the space to have your passion become real in the world.”

So I told him to begin telling everyone he was being self-serving with his project.

Initially, my friend just looked at me with a blank look on his face.

“I can’t say that.”  he said.

“Why not? This is your passion,” I replied.

I went on to tell him that he is doing this to serve himself. He believes the importance of bringing music and arts into schools as a part of a young person’s development. What if he told everyone he is being self-serving so as to take this program to the next level and being honest about his motive of having music and arts in every school in the world?

He gets to be self-serving, telling musicians, current and former clients, donors, sponsors, parents, and school administrators that he is committed to getting this program funded to a level so it is in every school, impacting every young person on the planet.

For a moment, let’s look at the impact of this program. It will create funding to bring music and arts back into public schools. A lot of schools with funding problems cut the art and the music programs. The children suffer.

My friend has always been very big in music. It is his passion – and the talent he has managed, the amount of financial reach he has in his phone address book is very deep. And he is humble. It is time to be the space for his dream to become real in the world. It’s a big deal. It likely will be his life’s work and legacy.

Are you feeling intimidated or inspired? Let’s bring this back to you. What is your passion? What would you do to have your passion become real in the world? Are you willing to admit it is self-serving? And by feeding this passion inside you, chances are the world will benefit. You see, by being truly self-serving, chances are you will serve the world.

If you know you have a message or project that could transform some part of the world, but you are hesitating to start because it feels a bit self-serving, please set aside that feeling and those thoughts.

This week, identify that passion. Write it down. Get it out of your head and into a space of action. Tell someone. Send an email. Be in action with your idea. Do it for you. Your inspiration may just shift the universe.

Contributed by Executive, Life and Spirituality Coach, Jim Pehkonen

Lindsay Lohan and her Life Coach

As you may or may not have seen in the news (er, tabloids) recently, Lindsay Lohan’s docu-series on Oprah’s OWN network has been airing to mixed reviews.

(In my personal opinion, Lohan has a lot of deep issues that will never be dealt with so long as she is surrounded by enablers.)

However, the point of of this post is not Lohan, but her life coach, A.J. Johnson.

In the latest episode, after an emotional disagreement with Lohan, Johnson quit.

In an on-camera interview Johnson said:

“Sometimes it’s best to leave before it gets ugly… it’s not personal, it’s just not really the time to dig in and do the help…”

This is an important lesson all life coaches should consider. Whether you’ve been faced with this decision in your career or not, chances are you will at some point. Obviously, you want to get through to even the toughest clients, but at what point do you draw the line?

When you recognize your client is not being responsive to your coaching, or worse- reacting negatively- do you stay the course or go your separate ways? Do you know when it’s time to quit?

The right time to quit is going to be different for every person and every circumstance. Some coaches may feel quitting is a sign you’ve failed your client, but on the other hand, perhaps severing ties is a sign that you truly see your client and what they can do in the moment.

Maybe it’s time to rethink your thoughts on what it means “to quit.”

The decision to part ways from a client is both a personal and professional choice. Where do you draw that line?


Enjoy Your Day…If You Choose

As I was getting up from my desk to leave for the day, my fellow co-worker in the office across the hall from me miserably said, “Well, since you’re leaving, enjoy the day for me.”

I looked out of the window to see that the sun had begun shining on a lovely snowy day. I can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, I thought. Looking back at my co-worker, I could tell that she was feeling drained– stuck behind her desk for four more hours of work. In an attempt to uplift her spirit, I simply replied, “I can do that. I will enjoy it FOR you.”

This little exchange of words gave me a new perspective when I exited the building. I left the confines of my work station feeling like I was entering the big wide world. I was free. I could find so many enjoyable things to do. It was my choice.

While I appreciated that my co-worker helped me redirect my thoughts to the idea that I was free to enjoy the rest of my day, as I walked away I realized that I couldn’t do what I had promised her. I couldn’t enjoy the day FOR her. I could only enjoy the day for me. She could enjoy her day – even if she was stuck in her office. It was her choice.

After we’ve been in a certain position at a certain company for a while, it can be easy to forget that we actually chose to be there. It can be easy to fall into a rut and take on the idea that you are chained to your desk for a certain number of hours a day with nothing really enjoyable happening in your life.

The truth is, the only really enjoyable things are things that we choose to see as enjoyable. The next phone call you receive can be the most unwanted interruption or it could be the most delightful conversation you’ll have all week. The next task on your to-do list could be soul-sucking or it could be the thing that opens the door to more opportunities. Your desk can be your own little oasis or it can be a box-like prison.

It’s not actually the activity, the location, the job, or the work that is enjoyable or not. It’s how you choose to look at it. So whatever is on your agenda today, choose to enjoy the day for yourself. No one else can do it for you.

Amy McGrath is a certified Frame of Mind Coach who helps sensitive professionals in a career depression experience the good stuff in life. She’s a strong believer that when you develop the ability to focus, you CAN have your cake and eat it too. You can reach Amy at

Stress Techniques and Coaching

So have you realized that you are buried under a pile of stress and need help digging out? There are a variety of stress management techniques available to help you.

Stress management and stress reduction techniques can include seeing different types of life coaches.

Fitness/Health Coaches:

Stress relief depends on mental health, but many people find that using exercise can be a great reliever of pent up anxiety and energy.

Career/ Business Coaches

If you have dreams of succeeding in business and in your personal life, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep your mind clear and ready for action! Working with a coach focused on clearing your mind in order to succeed in your career can do wonders for your stress levels.

Spirituality Coach:

Some people suffering from stress and panic attacks turn to spirituality coaches for guidance with zen meditation, transcendental meditation, and other deep thinking or relaxation techniques.

A 5-year study is currently evaluating whether stress management can ease mental health distress and physical symptoms in breast cancer patients. Researchers are testing whether tai chi training and spiritual-growth groups reduce stress and enhance coping strategies.

Tai chi is described as meditation in motion that focuses on slow, graceful movements to increase strength and flexibility and to improve balance and circulation. Spiritual coaches allow people to express emotions and discuss pain and stress in a supportive environment. Both approaches should normalize levels of stress-related hormones like cortisol and endorphins by allowing expression of feeling and emotion and the focus and inner balance afforded by tai chi.

If you are in a stressful period of your life, try to keep yourself from turning inward. Find a coach that can listen and help you reconnect with your body.

Share your dream and seek kindred spirits

Build Your Dream Team.

No, not for a pickup game of basketball. For your path of success in life.

Identify at least two essential people in your life to share your dream with. Now, call, write or email them today. Don’t hesitate! When you share your dreams with others you create more incentive to achieve them simply because you feel more accountable for your success.

Seek kindred spirits.

Find fellow big dreamers, people who share your values and optimistic outlook. Work together, play together, and develop strategic partnerships and alliances where everyone wins. You can find many of us in online communities and other places. Dreamers unite!

Share Your Dream.

Most of us don’t tell other people about our dreams because it makes us accountable to them. It’s a lot of responsibility having to make all your dreams true! Plus, our instincts are to avoid the unfamiliar. Take a chance and reach out to someone. When you have this healthy pressure to succeed you are more likely to work diligently to achieve your dreams.

Confide in Someone You Trust.

Discuss your thoughts and feelings with an empathetic friend or life coach. Consider what answers you may want from them, versus those you may need to hear. Be open and objective to their feedback and reflection. Imagine and appreciate their point of view.

When we are able to take criticism with grace and accept assistance without pride we often find that our dreams become a reality.

Achilles heel

Recognize your Achilles Heel.

Our weaknesses have power over us when we are unaware of them. Confront what has been difficult and see what you can do differently. Develop a personal, yet simple practice for strengthening that muscle.

If you want to experience a breakthrough, move toward something that you would typically avoid. Recognizing your weakness is just as important as recognizing your strengths. Learning how to overcome these weaknesses makes you stronger.

Identify What’s in Your Way.

Take a self inventory and see if there’s something that’s keeping you from feeling free and abundant. Are irrational beliefs holding you back? Unspoken words, unfinished projects, conversations, or skeletons in our closets can draw us away from what’s important.

Overcome Obstacles.

Wherever there is an obstacle, simply design a strategy to maneuver around it. We often make roadblocks larger than they are which can lead to the demise of our dreams. Identify what’s obstructing you. Ask for help. Then be vigilant in following through.

Do something you love and dont compromise

Do Something You Love.

What haven’t you done for a long time that brings you joy or a sense of achievement?

Life is full of all the things we need to do and have to do, which is what responsibility dictates. Dreams dry up when we are overly “adult” or when there is little joy.

Participating in activities that you enjoy but haven’t found the time to partake in for years can help to rejuvenate you and put you on the path to success. It can lift your spirits which will in turn make you feel as though you can do anything you set your mind to achieve.

Don’t compromise your dream. Are you giving up on a dream or settling for less, before you’ve even explored the possibilities? When you do this, you are self consciously sabotaging your own dreams.

Our internal doubter mouths sentiments that are often worse than what anyone else could possibly tell us. Show you believe in your dreams by sharing them with another person. Get it out of your head and begin to make your dream a reality.

Plan a “Soul Day”

Following up from yesterday’s post, it seems like a good time to talk about “soul days”.

Plan a “soul day” during which you explore the deeper aspects of yourself that tend to get ignored. It doesn’t have to be an entire day off, but rather plan a portion of a particular day (or string of days) to do the following things:

Be Soul Full.

You are not made from the clothes you wear, the car you drive, or the house you live in. Really look deeper into your internal makeup and determine who you are on the inside. Truly knowing yourself is critical to achieving your dreams.

Cultivate and Create!

One way to learn about yourself is to participate in activities that require you to channel your creative side. Use art supplies, music, dance, anything that will help you reconnect to a deeper part of you.

Go on a Passion Quest.

For a period of time, use passion as a barometer for deciding what you will and won’t do (when choice is an option). Over the course of the next few days, whether work-related or during personal time, notice what excites you versus what drains you. Reignite your passion by simply doing more of what you love.

Clear Your Mind.

Notice any tension you’re facing right now. Imagine it drifting farther away as you slow your breathing, relax your body, and quiet your mind. Carve out this quiet time to listen to a part of you that rarely gets heard.

Beneath the daily turmoil, hear the wisdom in your whispers. By taking a break each day to relax and listen to yourself you will find that you reach a heightened sense of awareness that allows you to visualize your future more clearly.