How to Understand the Other Person

Are you a good listener?

When you walk out your door in the morning and you’re headed for the office, can you hear the birdsong or the crickets chirping? Perhaps these days you’re working from home and have set up shop in the spare bedroom. What are you listening to?

Active listening is a skill we can practice with every moment. We can hone this skill with our environment, nature, other people, and spiritual selves. Listening fully requires a high level of self-awareness; you will have to be able to step outside of yourself in order to recognize the obstacles and distractions prohibiting you from forming a connection.

Active listening helps you earn someone’s trust by showing him/her you empathize with their situation or struggles. How often do we listen just to offer a friend space to be heard and perhaps solve their own problems? How many times have we been trapped by our own thoughts?

My Aunt Susyn is a fantastic empathic listen, not only personally but professionally as well. Working with her as my Career Coach, she always asked great clarifying questions and paraphrased my responses back to me to avoid any miscommunication. She continues to be one of my great role models for exemplifying great listening skills.

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” – Ralph Nichols

Benefits of Active Listening

Why practice active listening?

To become a better leader! You will gain influence with people because they will know you care about what they have to say. Good listening skills can lead to increased satisfaction in professional and personal relationships, greater productivity with higher accuracy, and increased collaboration.

You will develop conflict resolution skills. Diffuse tense situations by giving people the opportunity to be truly heard.

Want to improve your self-esteem and confidence? Active listening skills can help you connect with more friends and social networks.

How to Practice Active Listening

Practicing any skill first requires a level of self-awareness; you must understand your own personal style, and communication is no different. Understanding your current habits of how you communicate will go a long way toward helping you create meaningful relationships in your life. I highly recommend taking 7 minutes to complete a DISC personality assessment to understand your style!

1. Hold the Mirror

What does a mirror do? It reflects our image. People want to be listened to, not just heard! Active listeners reflect back what has been spoken to the speaker with paraphrasing statements such as, “What I’m hearing is…” or “Sounds like you are saying…”

2. Clarify

Make sure you really understand the meaning behind what the other person is saying. Asking follow-up questions demonstrates you are listening and that you truly want to understand their perspective.

3. Listen with an Open Mind

You may hear thoughts or ideas you don’t agree with. Be prepared to hear and consider all sides of an issue before deciding that you are right. Are you seeking the truth or just more concerned about being right?

4. Be Present

Avoid the common pitfalls by being fully engaged and in the Present moment with the person. Show respect and give them your undivided attention. Close your email, put your phone down, square your shoulders to the speaker and make eye contact.

5. Check Your Attitude

Create trust with your speaker by listening objectively. This non-judgmental attitude will open up the lines for honest communication and deepen your trust factor.

The next time you have a conversation, pay attention to your listening skills. Be Present, and practice self-awareness by asking:

  • How many times are you interrupting the speaker?
  • Are you making eye contact?
  • Looking at your phone?
  • Are you looking at the TV or perhaps out the window?
  • Are you only pretending to pay attention?
  • What did the speaker really mean?

Share with us below!

Who do you know that exemplifies Active Listening? What do you admire most about that person?

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Book Review: “Atomic Habits”

An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear

From John Maxwell’s summer reading list, James Clear provides a practical guide to improving your every day life. Much in-line with John Maxwell’s philosophy that our success depends on what’s on our daily agenda, Clear breaks habits down to the “atomic” level; the smallest, non-divisible elements of building and maintaining effective habits. For a C-driven person on the DISC scale, the writing (and resources) click on a deep level! Do you appreciate systems and tools to help you advance? This book is packed with them!

*DISCLOSURE: This page includes affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All linked items are products that I believe in, use myself, and fit my lifestyle.

Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Title: Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones

Author: James Clear

Date Published: 2018

Pages: 306

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

You should read this if:

  • You appreciate systems and tools
  • Are looking to improve the quality of your life
  • Have trouble accomplishing your goals
  • Want to understand how to change your behavior
  • Have “good” habits you want to start
  • Have “bad” habits you want to break


Atomic Habits rests on the foundation that our lives can be transformed by one small change. Making those changes repeatedly will lead to exponential growth. As a scientist and health & fitness enthusiast, I immediately appreciated how Clear identified at the start that defining and creating systems is what will ultimately produce lasting results. Reaching goals is valuable only for a moment, but what happens after you have crossed that off?

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.

James Clear, Atomic habits

Clear then dives in to how habits shape our identity and the real reason our habits matter: they are creating the type of person you want to become. So, in order to change our habits, and in the process develop intrinsic motivation to persist when obstacles present themselves, we must have clarity on who we want to become.

Once you understand the science behind our habits (Cue > Craving > Response > Reward), Clear breaks down the four steps to create “good” habits and break “bad” ones. Law #1 Make It Obvious (Cue), Law #2 Make It Attractive (Craving), Law #3 Make It Easy (Response), and Law #4 Make It Satisfying (Reward). Breaking your bad habits is just the inverse of each law, make it invisible, unattractive, difficult, and unsatisfying.

After each section he offers a template for you to start taking action on the step you’ve just learned, with a scorecard for you to take an inventory of your current habits, as well as his templates for habit stacking, journaling, habit tracking, a habit contract (between you and your accountability partner(s), and a personality test.


James Clear writes…well, clearly! He pulls in seemingly random examples from human history, from the early days of how agriculture spread across continents to Vietnam War studies, and identifies how our behaviors and habits are connected. The book is well organized and designed for the reader to start taking action. Clear provides numerous resources including:

  • Habit Cheatsheet (lists the 4 Law of Behavior Change and the corresponding laws to create good habits and break bad ones)
  • Habit Scorecard: create a inventory of your current habits
  • Habit Stacking Formula: creating a plan to overhaul your habits
  • Habit Journal: develop a habit using his 2-minute rule (when you start a new habit, it should take less than 2 minutes to do)
  • Habit Tracker: measure your progress
  • Habit Contract: between you and your accountability partner(s)
  • Personality Test: understanding your personality and how it influences your habits
  • Atomic Habits Newsletter
  • Atomic Habits for Business
  • Atomic Habits for Parenting


Only mildly self-promoting, which is forgivable with the wealth of practical information and action steps given.

Boredom is the greatest villain on the quest for self-improvement.

James Clear, Atomic Habits
Go further

If you’re ready to start habit tracking, James Clear developed his Clear Journal, which allows you to begin a journalling habit using his 2-minute rule, track your habits throughout the year, ample space for taking notes, as well as a productivity tool-kit in the back. I’ve been using this journal for the past 2 months; its design and functionality work well for me. Most importantly, it has me taking action and identifying my (many) weaknesses and strengths! Combined with the knowledge in the book, they are a great 1-2 punch.

How to Get 1% Better Every Day

Be the first to hear about the next review!

Have you read Atomic Habits? What were your thoughts? What good habits are you building? Which bad habits are you breaking?

16 Inspiring Quotes from Brené Brown

I take so much inspiration from (nearly) every book I have read, and Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection is no different (see my review here). Here are my 16 most inspiring quotes from Brené Brown, which also serve as great journaling prompts!

  1. “The universe is not short on wake-up calls. We’re just quick to hit the snooze button.”
  1. “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.”
  1. “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
  1. “…Courage has a ripple effect. Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver.”
  1. “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”
  1. “Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
  1. “Until we can receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with an open heart.”
  1. “When we can let go of what other people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness.”

  • “When we can let go of what other people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness.”
  • – Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection)

    1. “If we really want to live a joyful, connected, and meaningful life, we must talk about things that get in the way.”
    1. “When we lose our tolerance for discomfort, we lose our joy.”
    1. “Other times we’re so afraid of the dark that we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light.”
    1. “The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.”
    1. “We need both faith and reason to make meaning in an uncertain world.”
    1. “If developing and sharing our gifts is how we honor spirit and connect with God, self-doubt is letting our fear undermine our faith.”
    1. “When we value being cool and in control over granting ourselves the freedom to unleash the passionate, goofy, heartfelt, and soulful expressions of who we are, we betray ourselves. When we consistently betray ourselves, we can expect to do the same to the people we love.”
    1. In this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance.”

    Which quote(s) do you find most inspiring or thought-provoking? Share your own inspiring quote below!

    Are you striving to improve every day, too? Then stay in the loop!

    Book Review: “The Gifts of Imperfection”

    Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown

    This book was never on my radar but the Amazon algorithm was spot-on! I have heard of Brené Brown and her TED talk; her others books have been mentioned in some of my social circles, however, this was my first taste of her writing and communication style. She certainly did not disappoint!

    *DISCLOSURE: This page includes affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All linked items are products that I believe in, use myself, and fit my lifestyle.

    The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown

    Title: The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are (Your Guide to a Wholehearted Life).

    Author: Brené Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W.

    My Rating:

    Rating: 5 out of 5.

    You should read this if:

    • You’re a suffering or recovering perfectionist
    • You may feel you’re working through a midlife “crisis”
    • You struggle with worthiness
    • You want to learn more about the fears holding you back from greatness
    • You want to learn how to build shame resilience


    Wholehearted living is about engaging our lives from a place of worthiness. Brown has a frank and honest philosophy: we will never change unless we are willing to openly discuss the obstacles preventing us from practicing wholehearted living. Brown describes the three gifts of imperfection (courage, compassion, and connection) and how she discovered them during her research on shame. In fact, shame is at the root of our fears! As a recovering perfectionist myself, Brown helped me to re-evaluate my own need for perfection as it relates to shame.

    When we can let go of what other people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness.

    Brené Brown, The gifts of imperfection

    Throughout the book, Brown shows us how to develop and build shame resilience with 10 Guideposts: Authenticity, Self-Compassion, Resilient Spirit, Gratitude and Joy, Intuition and Trusting Faith, Play and Rest, Calm and Stillness, finding Meaningful Work, and Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance. After reading this book, you will have a framework for living your life from a place of worthiness.


    Brown’s strength lies in her communication style; she immediately establishes a connection with the reader by sharing her own vulnerabilities and struggles she endured during her research. After each guidepost, she provides readers a practical way to begin their own change by offering “DIG deep” exercises. Be:

    D: Deliberate in thoughts and behaviors

    I: Inspired to make new and different choices

    G: Get Going! Take action.


    Too short! I wanted more; some guideposts I felt weren’t as explored as others.

    In this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance.

    Brené Brown, The gifts of imperfection
    Go further

    I work through a lot of questions and struggles via workbooks and journaling. If you’re ready to dive deeper, grab your own notebook from the dollar store, start a “Growth Journal” and answer each question or exercise from the book. Need more structure? Check out this unofficial workbook.

    Be the first to hear about the next review!

    Three Feet From Gold

    *DISCLOSURE: This page includes affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All linked items are products that I believe in, use myself, and fit my lifestyle.

    Have you given up on your dream?

    In Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich, Hill recounts the story of Darby, a gold prospector who stopped digging for gold because he wasn’t finding anything. Instead, he sold his equipment and left town. The person who bought his digging equipment? He hired an expert, adjusted the plan, and FOUND GOLD three feet away!

    What is YOUR plan?

    Have you given up on your plan because it is too difficult? Maybe it’s not working out the way you envisioned. So, what are you going to do about it?

    Strengthen your persistence muscles!

    How can you develop the PERSISTENCE required to push through and dig just a little deeper? Start with these four steps.


    It’s no wonder Napoleon Hill begins Think and Grow Rich with helping you identify what you truly desire.

    It’s that age-old question: if you could do or have anything, and failure/money is not an obstacle, what would you want?

    If you are having trouble with this, make a list of the activities that bring you JOY. What would you do for free?


    What is your reason for wanting this thing? What is your WHY?

    Not your superficial reason; not what your parents wanted or what will make your kids happy; not that you think other people are expecting.

    YOUR why should fill you with emotion!

    A helpful tool for discovering your true why is the 7 Layers Deep exercise. I first heard this from Dean Graziosi and it certainly gave me something to think about!

    Why is this a crucial step in your success?

    You are going to face obstacles and haters. Crab people who do not want you to succeed because it reminds them of what they have given up on.

    You will face rejection and disappointments.

    Your plan is not going to work the first time. Or the second. Or maybe even the third time.

    Your WHY is the motivation for you to push through; to keep showing up and be great!

    Create an Action Plan

    We all have goals. You have goals. I have goals.

    We are all trying to find our own gold.

    Do you have a plan to find yours?

    Creating an action plan helps you identify BIG ideas, BIG goals and then break each down into bite-sized pieces.

    Your Action Plan is like GoogleMaps; pointing you in the direction but flexible enough to account for detours. GoogleMaps requires you to have a destination in mind. In order for your Action Plan to work you will have to determine your definite DESIRE!

    Build Your Master Mind

    What was the last thing you struggled with? Who did you turn to?

    Who do you keep in your inner circle?

    These are the people who will positively challenge you, engage in meaningful discussions to help you accomplish your ultimate DESIRE, and are a resource to learn from and network with.

    Your Master Mind group is there to help hold you accountable to what you want.

    They help you develop PERSISTENCE when you are three feet from gold. These people will be there to offer perspective and encouragement.

    Surround yourself with good people!

    Have you ever stopped three feet from gold before? What did you learn from that experience?

    Don’t miss another chance to improve today!

    Monthly Reflection

    *DISCLOSURE: This page includes affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All linked items are products that I believe in, use myself, and fit my lifestyle.

    July 2021

    The importance of reflection should not be underestimated, and yet how often do we take pen to paper and analyze our habits? Reflecting on why we’re doing something is equally as important as why we’re not accomplishing what we say we want.

    After reading Atomic Habits I was challenged to identify my current habits and equipped with simple ways to improve them. Although my Clear Habit Journal didn’t arrive until mid-July, I fought my perfectionist mindset and worked to complete it, even though I started on July 13th.

    My goal this month was simply to observe what I’m actually accomplishing, without judgment or criticism. In short, the first month is about establishing a baseline.

    The Scorecard

    If you’re keeping a scorecard you will need to come up with your own criteria for “passing.” Personally, I like the Pareto Principle, so if I can complete 80% of my daily habits for 80% of the month, I consider this a success. As you can see from my Habit Tracker, I’ve got some work to do!

    habit tracker
    July 2021 Habit Tracker

    Once you have the raw data, you can begin to analyze what you did well and what needs more attention. Some questions you can start to ask yourself:

    1. Of the habits/days that were successful, why was it successful? How can you replicate the structure of that habit?
    2. Of those you struggled with, why were they unsuccessful? What are your obstacles and/or self-limiting fears holding you back? Do you identify with that habit (see it as the person you want to become) or have you just included it because you think that’s something you should do?
    3. What trends or patterns can you discern?

    Reading / Personal Development (89%)

    Reading and personal growth are high-value items for me so it isn’t surprising this was my highest-ranking habit. This month our summer reading group was in full swing. The three books I finished had an immediate impact on how I am thinking and taking action. In fact the first book is the reason I’m writing this now. Atomic Habits by James Clear provided simple insights into habits but also extremely practical applications for creating and improving habits. He also developed the Clear Habit Journal, of which you’ll see my tracker below.

    If you’re not ready for the book but still interested in his process, check out his 30 Days to Better Habits!

    The second book helped to really shine a light on the insecurities and buried fears that I (and others) struggle with on a daily basis. As a recovering perfectionist, Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection is helping me to let go of the self-judgment I continually serve myself. When I see the imperfection of my Habit Tracker, my first instinct is negative self-talk (“I’m a failure,” “What’s the point?” “I’ll never accomplish___”).

    If I can look for (and find) the positive for others, why the hell haven’t I done that for myself?

    Finally, Jeff Henderson’s Know What You’re FOR opened my eyes to how I approach my life (and habits), my family, and my business simply by asking two questions: 1) What are you FOR? and 2) What are you known FOR? Reviewing my habit list, I’m now asking myself if these habits are what I want to be known FOR? Is this who I want to become?

    Review Rules (78%)

    The greats have no off-season. As a basketball official, summer is the time to work on reviewing rules and mechanics. This has not been a strength of mine in the past, but each year I have gotten better and better. Sticking with James Clear’s guideline of a 2-minute habit enabled this high score. Upon reflection, the days I skipped were a weekend but I finished the month strong.

    Do I want to be known FOR having a strong knowledge of rules and mechanics? Yes! So, this habit will stick going forward.

    Morning Plans (73%)

    Having a clear picture of a successful day starts the night before. The Clear Habit Journal comes with a short productivity toolkit in the back and I have adopted the Ivy Lee Method of organizing my days. Not surprisingly, the weekends were my weakends; Saturdays and Sundays are usually structured around my family and son. It will be up to me to stay disciplined during the weekends if I want to improve this score.

    Write (68%)

    This has taken me awhile to get clarity on, so this habit was sporadic. Writing has always been an outlet for me yet my perfectionism hamstrings me; I will stop myself from starting because I don’t have everything figured out yet. Going forward I must adopt the 2-minute habit-forming rule to get me moving and set a specific time aside for writing.

    Journal (68%)

    The Clear Habit Journal also helps with starting the daily habit of journaling by asking you to write just 1 line for a given prompt (you decide). This follows a similar pattern with falling off on the weekends. I’m an early morning riser so going forward I will need to set aside 2 minutes in the morning to complete this before my workouts.

    Bed By 10:30pm (63%)

    Tracking this habit made me aware of how I wasn’t actually getting to bed at a reasonable hour. I am an early-morning riser (4:30 – 5am) so sleep is critical if I’m going to function effectively. I can accept not making it on some nights, especially if I have a deadline I am working with; however, sticking with the routine forces me to be more efficient with my time.

    Exercise/Stretch (57%)

    I have to be honest, out of all the habits I tracked this month this result surprised me the most. I love working out and getting my sweat on; it is one reason I became a Beachbody Coach and why I continue officiating. I would have expected this percentage to be at the top, especially since I have been following 4 Weeks of the Prep.

    The biggest challenge I have now are my working hours; instead of working out during lunch I have to work out at 5am to get my workouts in. This requires me to get to bed on-time (see above) and I know if I’m not getting my sleep, I’m hitting the snooze button.

    Track Nutrition (47%)

    As much as I love working out, tracking macros and containers is not one of my strengths. Yes, there are apps for that. The easiest way I know how to consistently track nutrition is to create a weekly meal plan (or use one of the millions on Beachbody) and follow it every day. This requires meal prepping!

    Desire Statement, AM (47%); PM (31%)

    Taken from my study on Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, I have written my Desire Statement; all that is required of me is to take 30 seconds of my time and read it aloud two times a day. Clearly the mornings are stronger, yet more intention needs to be given for focusing on the person I want to become. I have printed out my statement and will include it in my journal!

    Night Reflection (42%)

    Like weekends, nights are a weak point either because I am falling asleep with my son or completing a meeting and heading straight to bed to make my 10:30pm goal. If we eliminate my son and family as a viable excuse, scheduling my reflections earlier in the evening may prove more successful.

    Practice Speaking (36%)

    Public speaking ranks high as I work to strengthen my communication skills. Usually the nights where I have completed this habit involved me giving a presentation or leading a round-table discussion. There are numerous ways for me to develop this habit; I will focus on incorporating Clear’s 2-minute rule and going Live on social more often.

    Drink 60oz of Water (31%)

    Tied into my health and fitness goals is water consumption. Setting aside my weakends because we already addressed that issue, a weekly reflection enabled me to find a mental trick to accomplish my goal. Breaking down the habit into smaller chunks (30 oz) and setting a time limit on it (7 hours) finally enabled me to hit the mark. What did I experience? Less fatigue, decreased appetite (less snacking), and less need for coffee.

    Networking (26%)

    I try hard not to let fears dictate my behavior, yet this one is blatantly obvious to me. Peopling is not a natural skill for me; I over-analyze every situation and every conversation and if you throw in my perfectionist self-criticism it’s a recipe for failure. This is where all the personal development kicks in; working on self-compassion with Brené Brown, focusing more on who I’m FOR (as opposed to myself and my fears), and using the atomic habit-building techniques of James Clear.

    August Goals

    Every month, and ideally every day, is a new baseline… a chance to make small, corrective steps towards the person you want to become and the goals you want to accomplish. I have two general focuses:

    1. I have seven habits falling below 50% completion; I would like to see nothing below that.
    2. Strengthen my weekends!

    Specifically, networking needs the most intentionality. I have gone through training and read the basics; however, I’m still curious what networking habits do you have that help you?

    What are your August goals? What habits are you working to build?

    The Million Dollar Mandate

    As I was formulating the vision for Triple Threat Transformation I was at the same time working my way through Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” classic. While working through the practical steps (which you can do in my upcoming mastermind here), Hill immediately asks of us what we intend to give in return for our riches and success.

    I knew I was going to provide coaching, training, and speaking services; give money for my own personal development and certifications, and of course, time to accomplish these things. But something was missing. I began to ask myself how can we (you and I) contribute to a larger cause together?

    After reflection and journaling the “Million Dollar Mandate” idea was born: donating 5% of sales to an organization in an effort to raise $1,000,000.00 USD towards their cause. The next question was, who will receive this money?

    Although it’s not something I often talk about, I had always wanted to serve the military but let my self-limiting fears keep me from achieving that dream (a story for another time). I even went so far as to write a poem about this desire in my high school AP English class, but I digress.

    If I cannot serve in uniform, how can I (we) serve the people who serve us? Enter Operation Gratitude. I’m pulled by their mission: “To forge strong bonds between Americans and their Military and First Responder Heroes through volunteer service projects, acts of gratitude, and meaningful engagements in communities nationwide.” I identify with their value of gratitude and I certainly feel a sense of meaningful contribution to our countrymen and women. As an organization, it also receives extremely high ratings, with 93% of all donations are devoted to Program Services*.

    When you invest in your personal growth, you’re also investing in our service members. This is Triple Threat Transformation‘s commitment to you.

    The Million Dollar Mandate

    5% every sale is donated to Operation Gratitude to reach $1,000,000.00 USD.

    *Read Operation Gratitude’s yearly financials here.

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    What’s In a Name?

    Welcome to the Team!

    What an exciting (and nerve-wracking) time as I officially launch Triple Threat Transformation! Would you believe that this dream has been within me for over four years now… just stewing. Sometimes it’s good to stew, but eventually people want to eat!

    Triple Threat has a deep personal history and is filled with symbolism as I look and plan towards our future. As a former basketball player and now official, “triple threat” always referred to “a player that has the options of shooting, dribbling, or passing the ball.”*

    I am committed to helping people who are passionate about learning and growing to be prepared for excellence; to be in a ready position (triple threat) to take action and excel physically, mentally, and spiritually. And if you’re ready to take action, I’m here to provide you with the coaching, training, and speaking services you need to advance your skillset and networks with other incredible people. I’m a big believer in the power of three!

    Which brings us to Transformation, “a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance”. Coaching is at the heart of any meaningful transformation because coaching helps the individual discover the answers and strength within, raising your awareness to discover your infinite potential. Imagine how dramatically your life could change if you learned how to blow past your fears and breathe life into your dream?!

    Finally, our tagline: Strive to Improve serves as a reminder that we should be working to improve ourselves – by as little as 1% – every day. It’s a focus on growth, but also emphasizing progress over perfection.

    *Note: This term can also apply to football (excelling at running, passing, and kicking) and the arts (excelling at acting, singing, and dancing); however, I am married to basketball!

    If you’re interested in improving by just 1% each day, subscribe today for posts and updates!

    I would love to hear your thoughts! What are you most interested in learning about? Did you play basketball or do you work as an official?

    5 Ways to Cultivate Happiness

    Ditch your fears. Enjoy your life!

    How would you define “happiness”? That’s pretty different and personal for each of us. A quick google search prompted these definitions:

    • feeling or showing pleasure or contentment
    • having a sense of confidence in or satisfaction with (a person, arrangement, or situation)
    • fortunate and convenient

    So… are you happy with your life?

    If not, do you know what’s holding you back?

    I’m a big believer in cultivating awareness; the only way for us to improve in any area of our lives is to first, understand what’s holding us back and then second, develop a plan or strategy to improve the current results.

    If you’re genuinely unsure of what’s holding you back, I’ve developed a 14-day Happiness Challenge to raise our awareness and then take action to improve our happiness. Here are five areas from our challenge that you may want to consider exploring.

    Face Your Fears

    Fear can undoubtedly get in the way of happiness. Fear of the unknown, of failure, or what people think about us are common barriers to happiness. In fact, fear can be downright crippling!

    Fear of change, in particular, can cause people to stay in a soul-sucking career or stick with an unhappy relationship. The unknown is scary, but what if happiness is on the other side of your fear?

    Develop Positive Self-Esteem

    Self-esteem isn’t constant. It comes and goes like the ebb and flow of the tide. It’s normal to internalize negative feelings, but it’s important to catch them before they lead you down the path of feeling unworthy.

    The antidote to poor self-esteem? Self-compassion.

    Control Your Thoughts

    Our thoughts form our emotions, not the other way around.

    It’s a common misconception that we can’t control our thoughts, but this is simply untrue. Negative thoughts seem automatic because they’ve become ingrained in our thought process, and that voice in our mind can be very harsh. You probably say things to yourself that you wouldn’t say to others or even allow someone else to say to a loved one.

    So why do you accept these thoughts as truth?

    Ditch the Highlight Reels

    Beware the Comparison Trap!

    Whether we realize it or not, we’re constantly faced with situations where we may be tempted to compare ourselves to others. This can never turn out well. When scrolling through social media, for example, we’re viewing an edited reality. We’re not seeing a clear picture of someone’s life, more like the highlight reel.

    If you feel the need to make a comparison, compare your today-self to your yesterday self. Is there anything you can do to improve your current self?

    Practice Gratitude

    Research has shown that being thankful has many positive effects such as improved health, better immune systems, feelings of connection, and higher levels of collaboration.

    Incorporating gratitude into your daily routine is a great way to ensure happiness. Focusing on our shortcomings, rather than our blessings means losing sight of the fact that most things in our lives are pretty good. This is my favorite 365-day gratitude journal ($6.99).

    Ready for more? Register for our free 14-day Happiness Challenge within the Strive to Improve community.