December 31, 2007

Prepare Yourself for a Bigger, Better 2008! - Part 4

In our final chapter on how to make this new year better than ever, we need to consider knowledge.  In other words, what do you need to learn in order achieve your 2008 goals?  If you don't know what could help you achieve your goals, you could consult with a mentor or coach to help you sort it out.  Try to choose a few things that you will learn to improve your circumstances, and make sure to write them down.  

Finally, you are going to put all these pieces together in a way that helps remind you of your goals.  Create a vision or dream board from all the pieces that we've discussed and place it somewhere that you will see every day.  Here are a few ideas that will keep this exercise undaunting:
  • Use a 5x7 or 8x10 picture frame and make a collage with images or words that represent what you will do
  • Use Paint or another graphic program to create a digital collage that you can use to make your desktop wallpaper (This is especially effective in the office.)
As a recap, here are the pieces we've discussed:
  1. Successes/Issues with 2007
  2. Primary Goals
  3. Success Team
  4. Knowledge/Visioning
Congratulations!!  You are on your way to a bigger, better new year.  And with that, we at Supernova Coaching would like to wish everyone a safe, festive New Year's.  We hope that all your resolutions come to fruition.    

December 30, 2007

Prepare Yourself for a Bigger, Better 2008! - Part 3

Today we're going to consider the notion of getting the right support team in place to help you achieve your  2008 goals.  Every successful person knows that they wouldn't be where they are without a team of helpful, supportive people.  Now, when I say team, I don't mean that you have to roll with an entourage 100 people deep.  I'm just saying that you should partner with people who can help  get you where you want to be.
Here are some things to consider when developing your support team:
  • Think about other people that have the same goals as you.  How can you share experiences to grow faster.  For example, if you wanted to learn to invest in the stock market, you could start an investment group.  
  • Consider someone who is already in a position where you'd like to be.  Could that person be your mentor?
  • Determine if you have an unbiased person in your life who can give you honest feedback.  Sometimes friends and family tell us what we want to hear instead of what we need to hear.  In situations like this, it is important to consider adding someone to your life who can be fair and balanced like a professional coach.
Make sure to write down the actions you will take to create the right support team for yourself in this new year.  And, of course, check back tomorrow for the next tip to get you ready for a spectacular 2008!

December 29, 2007

Prepare Yourself for a Bigger, Better 2008! - Part 2

Take today to consider your primary goals for 2008.  After working with coaching clients, I discovered that most people did not have distinct goals in mind.  Yet, the companies that employed these individuals always had concrete revenue goals which drove the employee's purpose at work.  So using the same philosophy, we need to consider how much we want to earn or what we want to accomplish each new year.

Let's start by setting a realistic salary goal.  Why a salary goal, you ask?  Because it is the most concrete way of seeing change and knowing that our actions are making a difference:
  • Consider what you are really worth to companies.  Include your knowledge, degrees, additional languages, and any other assets that you think could be valuable.  Most people actually undervalue themselves in terms of salary.  
  • Pick a number that is feasible, but is a bit of a stretch for you.  In other words, if you currently make $35K, it may not be reasonable to expect $1 million dollars in 2008.  However, you might shoot for $45-50K.
  • Determine any steps that you can take in 2008 to achieve your salary goal.  
Next, you need to consider any other goals you have for this upcoming year.  If you don't know where to begin with this, then take a look at one of my postings from earlier this year where I discuss "What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up."  

Make sure to write down your goals and the action steps that you've decided to take.  Then, check back tomorrow for the next way to set yourself up for a stellar 2008!

December 28, 2007

Prepare Yourself for a Bigger, Better 2008! - Part 1

Now that the year is coming to an end, it is a good time to do a self assessment and see how you did in achieving your 2007 goals:
  • What "wins" or successes did you have this year?
  • What things held you back from achieving your goals?
  • What goals did you not accomplish?
  • Were you financially healthy this year?
  • How was your overall physical and mental health?
  • Are you at a point in your career where you expected to be?
This is the first step in setting up a positive, productive 2008.  When you consider what has helped and hindered you this year, you can create a better plan for next year.  So spend today considering these questions, and we'll be back tomorrow with the next step in creating a fantastic 2008 for yourself.

Benazir Bhutto Remembered

"As long as the sun and moon are alive, so is the name of Bhutto."

That is what mourners chanted at the funeral of the Muslim world's first female prime minister, Benazir Bhutto.  She was killed yesterday by a suicide attacker/bomber. 
She took the position of prime minister of Pakistan in 1988 at age 35 and served two terms amid much controversy.  Yet, the impoverished and dispossessed of Pakistan adored her.  She was also well respected among Western nations for her progressive views and her commitment to toppling Islamic extremism. 

This morning a local Pakistani newspaper read, "What is clear is that Pakistan's political landscape will never be the same, having lost one of its finest daughters."  And so, the Power & Success Diva dedicates this blog in memory of another diva, Benazir Bhutto, who had the strength and courage to stand up for what she believed in and try to make the world a better place.

May you rest in peace.

December 27, 2007

2007: The Year in Review

Here is a link to Time Magazine's 50 Top 10 Lists for 2007.  It's a yearbook of all the top events about which you've been talking, from News to Science, Arts & Entertainment to Businesses & Technology, Sports to Pop Culture. You name it -- it's here.

So take a look and see what sort of legacy we're leaving for 2007.  Read it now

December 21, 2007

Thankful for Life's Special Moments

Yesterday was my birthday, and usually because it is so close to the holidays, it gets lost in all the hustle and bustle of the season. However, this was an extraordinary year, because it turned out to be a dream come true. I had been wishing for several years now to go to see Wicked. I've actually tried to go see it four times, but for whatever reason the stars were not aligned correctly during those times. That's why yesterday was so incredible.

First, I had a spectacular dinner at Katsuya Hollywood, which served some mouth watering sushi. I absolutely fell in love with the Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna. My mouth is watering just reminiscing about it.

Then, I was tricked into believing that it was just a night out for some cocktails and fun. However, as we started walking, I noticed the blazing lights of the historic Pantages Theater, and my eye caught the green of the Wicked Witch of the West. As the lights loomed closer and closer, I knew we were going to see Wicked. And my heart did a little dance of joy!

The show was phenomenal!! The sets were gorgeous and the casting was superb. I can't say enough great things about the show. Now had my evening ended there, I would have walked away sincerely thankful and overjoyed. But no, there was more...

My friends managed to get passes to meet the cast and get a backstage tour of the show. It is an amazing production with lots of moving parts. The costumes are magnificent upon closer inspection and incredibly heavy. One of the costumes we were able to pick-up weighed approximately 40lbs...and they have to dance in that! The highlight was meeting the cast, including Kristoffer Cusick (Fiyero) and Eden Espinosa (Wicked Witch).

I just can't say enough about how amazing this experience was, and how appreciative I am to have friends and family that were so thoughtful for my birthday.

And so, with Christmas almost upon us, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who's helped make this year special for me and Supernova Coaching. I also want to wish you all a safe, recuperative holiday!! And I hope that all of your dreams come true.

Warmest wishes,
Rosemary & the Supernova Coaching Team

December 19, 2007

What's on Your iPod?: 100 Best Songs of 2007

Many of you know my background in music, so every once in a while I like to add in some fun music stuff. Well, it's time to start thinking about this New Year's DJ mix, and Rolling Stone has issued their take on this year's best songs.

Do you agree?

December 18, 2007

Get Answers to Your Money Management Dilemmas

Just as you're getting ready to decide on your final New Year's Resolution, I want to offer some resources on any money issues you may be pondering. The attached article has excellent guidance on the following issues:

        1. Should you pay off your credit card or fund your 401(k)?

        2. Should you save in a Roth 401(k) or a regular 401(k)? For that matter, what is a Roth 401(k)?

        3. Should you lease or buy your next car?

        4. Should your prepay your mortgage or invest your money?

        5. Should you buy or rent your home?

        6. Should you take Social Security early or late?

        Now some of you out there may feel that it's way too early to think about some of these topics, but the fact of the matter is that it's never to early to plan your future. Remember, knowledge is power. The more you know today, the more success you can attain tomorrow.

        For the rest of us, this is a great time to assess your financial options and health. Regardless of your position, here's to your unending power and success.

        Read Six Money Dilemmas

        11 Tips for Nuking Laziness Without Becoming a Workaholic

        Does anyone feel like a "lazy day" is way overdue. Well, in an ironic turn, taking one may actually help increase your productivity. Trying to work straight without recovering your energies leads to wandering attention, procrastination and poor health. But when does “recovering your energies” just become an excuse to waste time? How do you draw the line between constructive rest and laziness? Here are some tips to help you rejuvenate during the holiday break.

        read more digg story

        December 14, 2007

        On Sale at eBay Now! Man's Soul Going for $1 Million

        Just when you thought you'd heard it all, an American man is selling his soul on the internet for $1 million dollars to raise money for Christmas. He says the winning eBay bidder will receive his spirit in a glass jar, as well as a contract "relinquishing ownership." He told buyers: "I've got no money for the Christmas holidays, and all I've got left to sell is my soul."

        Folks, I don't think I need to say this twice, but I would call this a "power and success limiting move." I would call this other things as well, but I like to keep my conversations classy. I'm curious to hear back on what the rest of you think of this. I'm looking forward to the responses.

        read more digg story

        Ducluttering My Mind...And Office

        Yep. It's that time of year when you're thinking about purchasing holiday presents, meeting with friends and family, going to holiday parties, planning menus for holiday dinners, getting work done, paying bills, breathing, trying to stay fit while eating 2 pounds of cookies a day, sleeping...did I say breathing? Yes, it is that time when your brain feels so cluttered that you have a hard time remembering simple things like which key opens the front door. Or maybe that's just me?

        Yesterday, I was feeling so mentally cluttered that for a moment I was driving and had NO IDEA where I was going. That's when I decided it was time to declutter my mind. And I found this great article that I wanted to share with you on doing just that.

        Read 15 Can't Miss Ways to Declutter Your Mind

        I've decided to declutter by redecorating my office and meditating more (since it helps me breathe). I've already looked at wall colors, furniture, and organization solutions for all my papers, and already I feel a little less consumed.

        So what one thing will you do to help you declutter? Check out the article now to create your plan of attack , and bring some peace of mind for the holidays.

        December 13, 2007

        Go Green for the Holidays!

        It's hard to argue the effects of global warming when you've been privy to extraordinary record-breaking hot summers, live in one of the most smog polluted cities in America, and have seen the kind of devastation that could potentially happen through raging fires that have destroyed thousands of homes. In the end, power and success will mean nothing without our family, the earth and the rest of humankind. So this holiday season, I am giving the gift of green.

        On this topic, I applaud Greenpeace in their efforts to encourage green gift-giving as well. Check out and enjoy this very "cheeky," and hilarious commercial. And share it with your friends if you'd like to encourage a behavior change to green.

        "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..." for many, many years to come. Let's help make that a reality.

        December 12, 2007

        Travel Stress-free for the Holidays

        My brother just came into town yesterday, after 14 hours of airport hell. Those of you in the Midwest are well aware of the snowstorms that have beleaguered traveler's throughout the country. Well, my brother was "lucky" enough to fly during this time.

        When he finally arrived at LAX, he regaled us with tales of poor airport etiquette and behavior. I know I've said this before, but I'll say it again, "You catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar." Despite the many cancellations that my brother experienced, he kept his cool, put on his assertive attitude and used my power and success techniques to get what he wanted from the airlines. In the end even though his origin airport had cancelled all flights, he was able to negotiate with the airlines to pay for shuttle service to a neighboring airport and get a flight to LAX while other passengers had to wait until the next day.

        Since many of you out there will be traveling during the next few weeks, I am republishing the original series called Power & Success Meets the Friendly Skies. It provides some great tips and tricks on how to get what you want from air travel. I hope it helps you find some peace of mind during your upcoming holiday vacations.

        December 11, 2007

        Laser-Like Focus in 6 Easy Steps

        For many of you, it's time to for finals. For the rest of you, it's that time of year when we have a million things to do and so little time. Who couldn't use a little more focus right now. So, here's how you can achieve laser-like focus using the strength of your mind.Good luck on finals or whatever project(s) you have going on right now!

        read more | digg story

        December 10, 2007

        Job Market is Looking Good for 2007-2008 Grads

        While everyone else is busy shopping for holiday presents, there are some of you out there who are busy "shopping" for jobs. While the data compiled in this article are related to upcoming college graduates, post-graduates (old and young) who are ready to move on from their current employment scenario should also take note.

        A recent study projected 60 percent of US businesses plan to employ the same number of graduates this year as last year. That is an increase of fifty-five percent from last year, according to the CERI (Collegiate Employment Research Institute) at MSU.

        According to recent studies, US Corporations and businesses will employ more graduates with a bachelor's degree in business, biological and physical sciences. Those with construction management, engineering degrees, health care and accounting will also experience an increase in hiring. Other fields will have a slight decline.

        A lot of companies are coming out of a slump and are now hiring their interns and looking for more. A lot of companies are posting jobs and coming into different campuses. Most experts advise that during the holidays, whether you're looking for permanent employment or internship, it is time to step up your search.

        Take advantage of the holiday events you're going to, discuss what you're looking for and share your goals. As we'll all heard before, one of the most powerful ways to find a job is through networking, and well let's face it, the holidays are a perfect time to network.

        So here are some of the highlights for this year's job market:
        • Companies will hire more students earning bachelor's degree in business and management, physical and biological sciences. Engineering, health care and accounting degrees will also experience an increase. Other degrees will experience a decrease in hiring.
        • Businesses expect to employ about the same volume of MBAs this year as last year. Businesses have found employees with bachelor's degrees being able to do some work being done by MBAs.
        • It will be harder for graduates with computer science degrees to find work.
        • Companies are more likely to employ students who have undergone internships. The work experience, they say, makes a lot of difference. Federal agencies will employ more graduates but not nearly enough to offset the decrease in hiring by the state and local government agencies.
        • On average, starting salaries will increase by 1 to 2 percent.

        October 9, 2007

        Reduce Stress Through Sleep

        I am a HUGE advocate of getting enough sleep. However, I'll be the first to admit that this is not always an easy task. The following video provides some quick tips on how to get the right amount of zzz's each night.

        October 7, 2007

        Understanding Stress: The "Epidemic of the Eighties?"

        According to the American Institute of Stress, Time magazine did a feature article on stress in 1983. The article stated that stress was considered the leading health problem of the time and dubbed it the "Epidemic of the Eighties."

        Gee, have we come a long way, baby...and not in a good way. In 1983, 55% of people reported feeling stressed at least one time per week. By 1996 this number had increased to 75%. Researchers currently estimate this percentage to be around 90%. So what is causing all this stress in our lives?

        Job stress is the number factor behind adult stress. As a career coach, I can certainly regale you with stories of job distress, so this one comes as no surprise. However, the largest increases in stress have come from children, teens and college students. It is surmised that these increases are coming from increased crime, violence, peer pressure, isolation, lonliness and a breakdown in values, family or social support.

        Well, now that we all feel more stressed about stress, how can we possibly help overcome the "epidemic." Through my coaching work I have found that one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal is laughter. I did a blog entry a few months ago on laughter yoga with John Cleese where we first introduced the concept. However, since then, CNN has reported on the phenomenon. Try laughing at least 2-3 times a day to see how your stress levels can go down, too! LOL!!

        October 4, 2007

        October is Stress Management Month

        I was on a recent shopping excursion at my local Costco when I realized that holiday music was playing in the background and holiday gift wrap was already available in bulk. Geez! I was just beginning to enjoy the cooler weather, leaves changing beautiful colors and schedules getting more and more busy. Now, I've got to add holiday preparation to the list? It's enough to stress anyone out.

        That's why we're devoting this month to Stress Management. Let's face it, as the holidays get closer, our stress level goes up. So, we're going to provide plenty of tips and trips to keep your blood pressure in check. Enjoy!!

        If you're feeling really stressed out at work, school or home, consider a free coaching session. We can help you find some much needed balance, piece of mind and a few laughs in the process.

        September 27, 2007

        A Different Approach to Overcoming Procrastination - Tapping

        Okay. Those of you that know me personally know that I'm open to anything new at least once. Therefore, let me give you my little disclaimer and say that I'm not necessarily a full-blown believer in this, but I am trying to give you options. I stumbled upon this video featuring a newer treatment for overcoming emotional limitations. It's called Tapping.

        Some of the principles behind Tapping are also found in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Essentially, you use a tapping motion to isolate key acupressure points throughout the body. The video below has been specifically created to help you overcome procrastination. To get the most obvious change, apply it to something you really don't want to do. You might not instantly feel like you are eager to do it, but you should at least find it a little easier. If you are new to Tapping, the process might seem a bit strange, so you might want to watch the introductory video for Tapping.

        Check it out the video below and let us know what you think of Tapping.

        Overcoming Procrastination: Avoiding Technological Temptations

        With all the gadgets and doo-dads we have these days to keep us "up-to-date," "tuned-in" and "ahead of the game," it is no wonder that these very same gadgets can create an environment ripe for procrastination. Who hasn't been in the midst of some major analysis or report only to flip over to your instant messenger or cell phone for a "quick break?" Yeah, yeah, hour later you're still sending text messages to every friend in your contact list. Been there. Done that.

        So here are some quick tips that will streamline your technology and keep you on the right track.

        1.) Organize your e-mail inbox using the 4-D plan. You'll want to create a folder or some other type of indicator for the first three categories. The last category should be pretty self-explanatory:

        • Do it now

        • Do it later

        • Delegate it

        • Dump it

        2.) Reduce e-mail distractions. Turn off that annoying little pop-up box or sound alert that lets you know every time you have a new e-mail. This is especially important when you are trying to focus on an important project. It's hard to have laser focus when you have a ding ringing in your ears every few minutes.

        3.) Turn off your instant messenger program. Yep, I know you're thinking, "I'll just go dark and make myself invisible to everyone." However, you still get little distractions every time someone logs on or off. And heaven forbid should someone IM you while you're "offline." Do yourself a favor and just turn it off completely. Believe me, that stack of books or papers on your desk will thank you.

        4.) Turn off your cell phone. I'm going to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and assume that you understand that it is incredibly impolite to have your cell phone on during important meetings, classes, business lunches, training sessions, etc. So, I'm just going to skip right over that. Instead, I'm referring to the period when you are working on important "have-to-get-it-done" type work. Even keeping your phone on vibrate can be distracting, so just do yourself a favor and turn it completely off.

        5.) Let people know that you are still alive in an analog world. When you go "completely dark" and turn off all of your electronic gadgets, you are bound to get those messages asking if you are still alive. To preclude this reaction, you can send an e-mail to all pertinent parties telling them that you will be "out-of-pocket" during specific hours or for a certain duration. You could also set up an auto-responder e-mail that would automatically be mailed to anyone that e-mails you. In either case, you would want to provide a way of reaching you in case of an emergency.

        September 26, 2007

        On the Road Again: An Apology

        Okay, I'll admit it is a little ironic that it is "Overcoming Procrastination" month and there have been very few posts from me. It has been a little hectic at Supernova Central, and well, I have not had as much time to devote to regular posts. But enough excuses...

        I'm back in town from what was a really fantastic convention in Coralville, Iowa. Therefore, I commit to giving you some meaty content between now and the end of the month to help overcome your own procrastination demons. That's a promise.

        Thank you for your continued support, and I hope you enjoy what's to come.

        September 6, 2007

        The Angels Are Singing With Luciano Pavarotti

        As many of you know, I spent the early part of my career as an opera singer, and I studied and admired many of the greatest opera singers around. But I think most people would agree that the greatest modern opera singer in the world was Luciano Pavarotti.

        It is with great sadness that we honor his passing on September 6, 2007 in Modena, Italy. He died quietly in his bed of pancreatic cancer.


        Many people knew him as one-third of the troupe The Three Tenors. However, he became the people's tenor when in 1990 he opened the World's Cup with his signature song, Nessun Dorma from the opera Turandot.

        Listen to a recording of Pavarotti singing Nessun Dorma.
        (Recording courtesy of

        Visit artist's website.

        Heaven has one more amazing singer for its choir of angels. Rest in peace, Luciano. You will be greatly missed!

        September 4, 2007

        Procrastination: A Day in the Life

        I would be a big, fat liar if I said I've never procrastinated. Who hasn't? In fact, I saw this little video and thought, "Wow! How did they catch me?"

        Hollar back if this has ever been a day in your life, too. And don't fret, because tomorrow we're lauching the first strategy to overcoming procrastination!

        September 1, 2007

        September is Overcoming Procrastination Month

        Schools are officially back from summer vacations, and offices are in full swing as they prepare for the upcoming holiday season. This time of year is hard to really get moving, because your brain is still on vacation...but your professors/bosses want results. This is when the procrastination bug really hits me hard. How about you?

        We all know that time is one of the most valuable resources, and that we should not waste this precious commodity. (I'm preachin' to the choir, right?) You probably also know that unlike money, gold and other material things, the time we spend can never be recovered. Yet, one of the biggest time wasters in people’s lives continues to be procrastination.

        Well, some people believe that procrastination may be a hard habit to break, because it is a behavior that is learned early in life, and is hard wired into our subconscious mind. So we're going to help you overcome the procrastination demon this month, because we think it is something that can be reversed with a tiny bit of practice.

        Stay tuned as we bring you all sorts of tips, tricks and new podcasts to help you overcome procrastination. And remember...

        August 31, 2007

        Spreading the JOY!!

        A friend of mine, Shelly Marie, recently learned the devastating news that her mother has been diagnosed with mucinous adenocarcinoma or cancer of the stomach fluids and GI tract. As a result, Shelly decided to take action and start a support group called Spread the JOY! (Joy being her mother's name).

        "Spread the Joy!" is a not-for-profit forum hosted by Facebook. This forum is being used for publishing uplifting stories of cancer and hope. These stories/quotes will be utilized to keep Joy's spirits up and her will to fight this cancer high. The goal of this group is to have 1000 members by September 6th, which is Joy's birthday.

        Here's how you can help Spread the JOY!:

        • If you already have a Facebook account, just join the "Spread the JOY!" group.
        • If you do not have a Facebook account, sign-up for a free account. Then, look up and join the "Spread the JOY!" group.
        • Leave a comment on this blog post with a message you'd like to share. We will make sure that Joy and Shelly receive your well wishes.
        • Wear anything periwinkle (the color of stomach cancer awareness) and take a picture of yourself wearing it. Send us the picture. We'll send the picture of your support to Shelly and Joy.
        • Keep Joy and her family in your prayers.

        Joy (Mom), Shelly and Russell (Dad)

        It is always amazing to see how something so negative can turn into a moment of inspiration and triumph. From all us at Supernova Coaching, we are praying for Joy that she may recover quickly to continue leading her supernova life!

        Haven't You Ever Wondered What Your Name Would Be in Elvish?

        Well, it is the last day of Youthfulness Through Lifelong Learning month, and it has been a lot of fun. We hope you have learned something new that makes you feel wiser, but not one day older.

        We have one little last surprise for you. As you may or may not know, I am a big fan of J.R.R. Tolkien. Some of my family members might even call me obsessed, because I know a ridiculous amount of trivia about the make-believe world of Middle Earth. (Don't get crazy on me. I don't own any latex, pointy ears. Okay.)

        And so, I thought it would be a fitting end to this month to offer you the opportunity to discover your Elvish and Hobbit names.

        Nai tiruvantel ar varyuvantel i Valar tielyanna nu vilya!
        (May the Valar protect you on your path under the sky!)

        Yours Truly,

        Valaina Inglorian (a.k.a. Rosemary Laack)
        P.S. Can you say, "Geek?"

        August 30, 2007

        Using Creativity to Keep You Young With Janell Wicht

        Who doesn't want to stay young as long as possible? Well, creativity is one way to help retain a childlike view of life that will make you appear youthful far into the future. For example, have you ever met a senior citizen with a joie de vivre that rivaled that of a 5-year-old? Maybe you guessed that this person was 65 when in fact they were 80. Hey, I'd be happy if someone guessed I was 15 years younger than my real age.

        You see, creativity is like an antioxidant for the mind and soul. And that's what we're talking about in this interview with Janell Wicht. Janell has a distinctive and varied background in the creative arts. She's been a painter, poet, professor, and professional coach. She shares some of her secrets with us on how to incorporate more creativity into our lives for a richer, more youthful life experience.

        Listen to this podcast.

        Contact Janell Wicht.

        We hope you enjoy this podcast! Stay tuned for upcoming shows from Supernova Coaching Radio.

        August 29, 2007

        Great Minds Think Alike: On Lifelong Learning

        Some words from great minds to inspire youthfulness through lifelong learning.

        "Life is my college. May I graduate well, and earn some honors!" --Louisa May Alcott

        "That's what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we've changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning." --Richard Bach

        "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." --Confucious

        "Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs." --Albert Einstein

        "Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young." --Henry Ford

        "The illiterate of the future are not those who can't read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and re-learn." --Alvin Toffler

        August 28, 2007

        So What Does a Bull Do in a China Shop?

        I'm sure you were waiting with bated breath for the answer to that amazing question. As The Power & Success Diva, part of my mission is to make you a worthy adversary in a Trivial Pursuit game. Afterall, It is lifelong learning month. And so, here is the answer this much awaited, and yet oh-so-insignificant, question.

        May you beat all your trivia foes!

        August 27, 2007

        Monty Python's Holy Grail: A Barrel Full of Laughs?

        I love a good laugh. Who doesn't? And I happen to like Monty Python and many of their movies. But what happens when you mix one of The Python's allstars, John Cleese, with a documentary on laughter? Laughter Yoga. Yes, that's right. I said Laughter Yoga.

        I happened to be perusing The Chillout Guru's blog, and stumbled across an excellent entry on how laughter can reduce your stress. Apparently there's a whole movement in India that uses laughter therapy for this very purpose.

        And so, I'm sharing a big belly laugh with you right now...that it may keep us young and vibrant for many years to come!

        August 24, 2007

        What a Wonderful World!

        Okay, so here's one of those random thoughts I warned you about in the header. As you know, it's Youthfulness Through Lifelong Learning month here, and we've been talking about making dreams come true, connecting with our youth, tips and strategies for lifelong learning, and food! But here's something that we should remind ourselves of more often.

        With our daily trials and tribulations, sometimes it's hard to remember what a wonderful world we live in. So sit back and enjoy a little reminder of how great it is to be enjoying this life. And Happy Friday to all!!!

        August 22, 2007

        Learn to Impress Friends & Family With a Signature Dish

        I'll be the first to admit that it is rare day when I have the time and/or motivation to make a full home-cooked meal. There are just so many other options these days when it comes to fast, convenient, healthy food. However, I do have a signature dish that I make when I have time.

        What is a "signature dish," you ask? Well, it is any epicurean delight that you learn to perfect in your own unique way. It is a dish that people associate with you. And best of all, it doesn't have to be difficult. My best friend has one signature dish: Eggs Any Style. Now you might not think that this is very impressive, but you should see the speed with which he prepares his eggs in any style you want. It is truly a wonder to behold. My signature dish is Black Beans & Rice (pictured), but it takes almost a full day to make, so don't expect to see it any time soon.

        Right about now, you're probably thinking, "who cares about a signature dish." Well, what if I told you that this dish could increase your self-confidence, impress your loved ones and bolster your creativity. You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not. Here's why.

        Let's say that you don't know the first thing about cooking. Having a signature dish can help your understanding of and confidence in all things culinary. But what if you already cook? Challenging yourself to learn a more difficult "signature" dish will not only give you a sense of accomplishment, it will most likely make you the envy of any pot luck! This leads me to my next to impress your loved ones. Just imagine the satisfaction you'll feel when you serve your special dish to your family, significant other or friends and you hear them "ooh" and "awe" at your culinary skills. In the back of their mind, they'll be thinking, "when did he/she learn how to do this?" Ah, the sweet sound of success! Finally, there is no easier way to test your creativity than to look in the refrigerator or pantry and see what you can make with what is inside of it. You'd be surpised what Flaming Hot Fritos, strawberry jam, hot dogs and rice can make. (I bet you wish I were kidding about that.)

        So if you don't have a signature dish yet, here is my gift to you. This is a lovely, easy recipe for Curry Coconut Chicken Stir Fry. The cook does an excellent job of explaining the preparation of this dish. And remember to tell everyone that you just "threw this together one day." It'll be our little secret. Bon appetit!!

        August 21, 2007

        10 More Ways to Add Youthfulness & Learning to Your Life

        Okay, so I got a little carried away with the brainstorm. Here are ten more ways to find your inner child while stimulating your brain cells.

        1. Take a class on any subject of your choice.

        2. Help others in need by becoming a volunteer for a local charity.
        3. Invite family and/or friends over and have a good old-fashioned game night. To help stimulate your brain power, try games like Scrabble, Pictionary, Taboo, Trivial Pursuit or Scene It.

        4. Write poetry. Challenge yourself to learn about and use the using the different available poetry forms like haiku, sonnet, etc. Poetry not your thing? Try writing short stories instead. Challenge yourself to write every day for one month.

        5. Pretend you are a news correspondent for a major newpaper or magazine and interview someone that you admire or has greatly influenced your life. Your interview can be based on fantasy or reality. Record your interview and take notes (for reference later, of course). You can transcribe the full interview, add some pictures and present it as gift. Or you can take a portrait of the individual, add your favorite quotes from the interview and it in a nice frame.

        6. Decide to overcome a fear by planning an activity that challenges that fear. For example, if you are afraid of heights, try a little rock climbing, bungee jumping or sky diving. To keep your courage high, bring a friend along who can give you support and encouragement.
        7. Create a dream board.

        8. Take an architectural tour of your local city or town.

        9. Try a new sport or activity like horseback riding, surfing, bowling, cross country skiing, kite flying, etc.

        10. Compose a song or learn to play an instrument.

        Do you have any other ideas on how to stay young at heart through lifelong learning? Feel free to share them with us by posting a comment. Happy learning!!

        10 Ways to Add Youthfulness and Learning to Your LIfe

        In the spirit of lifelong learning month, we thought we'd give you some ideas on how to incorporate this idea into your life. Here's a list of ten items to get your juices flowin'!

        1. Read a book that you haven't read since you were a kid. Or better yet, read a book that you thought was dreadful in high school or junior high. You might be surprised how good it is now.

        2. Hop in your car and drive in a direction you have never been to before. Stop at any interesting locations along the way. For best results, do this on the spur of the moment and with no particular destination in mind.
        3. Visit a museum of your choice.

        4. Try a new cuisine or a new recipe. For the really adventurous, take a month to go through the alphabet, and eat at a restaurant that begins with each letter.

        5. Learn a new language. Sign language counts.

        6. Take a hike on a beautiful trail. Bring along a book on trees, flowers or birds and try to identify items as you hike.

        7. Learn how to quiet your mind through meditation.

        8. Start a journal and record your thoughts, favorite quotes and/or lessons that you learn every day.

        9. Rent a classic movie and watch it with a friend. For extra credit discuss if it really merits being considered a "classic."

        10. Try your hand at painting. For a little added nostalgia and a lot of laughs, rent a Bob Ross video (The "Happy Trees" Guy). For the more serious-minded, take an art class.

        August 20, 2007

        Something Old, Something New - How Old Hobbies Can Teach Us New Lessons

        I remember when I was a little girl my grandfather would take our family to see baseball games all the time--he was a big Chicago White Sox fan. That's me as a baby with my grandfather. I have very fond memories of popcorn, peanuts, cracker jack and baseball with the family. When he died in 1980, our family stopped attending games. After all, he was the avid fan. Since then, I can count on one hand the number of baseball games I've attended.

        My brother, who is a news reporter and web producer for FOX News in Milwaukee, was in town this past weekend. And wouldn't you know it, he wanted to go see a Dodgers game. It almost felt like my first time at a ball park again. It was so neat to see how much fun families were having in the stands, and it took me back to the days with my Grandpa. I had a great time, and to add to the fun, I was able to see the Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies! However, the best part of it was being able to spend quality time with my family.

        So when was the last time you reconnected with an activity from your youth? Did you used to go fishing with Dad, or shopping with Mom? Maybe your family had a special activities or game night? Whatever "hobby" you used to have as a kid, it's never too late to resurrect it and share it once again with family--even if your only family is a great group of friends. After all, money and fame come and go, but family is forever. And thanks to a baseball game, I now remember this important lesson.

        To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. --Clara Ortega

        August 19, 2007

        Have You Heard About Helicopter Parenting?

        In the spirit of lifelong learning, I thought I would share information about a phenomenon that first started in elementary school, but is quickly trickling into college and adulthood. I recently did a radio segment about Helicopter Parenting.

        So why should you know about Helicopter Parenting? Have a listen and find out!

        Listen to interview.

        August 16, 2007

        How Learning Can Make Your Dreams Come True

        I have been obsessed with interior design and home improvement shows lately. I've been learning how to make homemade paper borders, rearrange my room for better flow, add a splash of color to a room to give it new life and, my personal favorite, the messes and successes of flipping houses. Now let me state that Southern California home prices are such that only 3% of its population can actually afford to by a nice house at this time. And you've guessed it, I'm not in that 3% at this time.

        So why watch all the shows on home improvement? Well, one answer is that I am learning a new hobby in home decor and design. However, the real reason is that it makes me think about owning a nice house. I am throwing my thoughts and dreams out into the universe every time I see these shows and start imagining how I would decorate my house or fix up a room. And as we all know by now, the law of attraction says that whatever you think about, you bring about. In other words, you attract your dominant thoughts.

        So I was recently at a little soiree in Pasadena and happened to meet Steve Watson, host of Don't Sweat It on HGTV. That's me with Steve and the President of Jewelry Messages, Tiffany Westrich. This is a great show, by the way, that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to do just about anything. The great thing is that they archive the how-to's on their website, so you can reference them later.

        Anyway, back to the point. Is it a coincidence that I've been filling my mind with thoughts of houses and then I meet Steve? You may say maybe, but I think it's not. So stay tuned, because some day soon I'll be showing you the house that I've willed into reality...just by learning a little about home improvement.

        If you are interested in a wall color consultation or how to make your dreams come true, sign up for a free coaching session. Okay, so maybe I'm kidding about the color consultation.

        August 14, 2007

        Lifelong Learning and the Fear of Change

        Thank goodness we don't have to undergo the sort of metamorphosis that Neo goes through in The Matrix every time we learn something new. Yet, lifelong learning can involve serious change to our minds and bodies. Most people resist change. That's just the way it is; it is much easier to stay the same.

        However, when you can overcome the fear of change, you will open up doors to worlds you never thought possible. I talk about this at length in my blog series, Overcoming Fear: The Way to Personal Power. So which do you choose, the red pill or the blue pill? Here's a little inspiration from Neo and company. You never know what you might learn, even from a Hollywood movie.