The Secret IngredientThis weekend, my sister Tracy and I were surprised at lunch with a delicious Thai coconut soup. The soup was pure bliss in a bowl and it looked superbly simple. Wanting to replicate the deliciousness in my own kitchen, I asked the manager what the ingredients were. He replied, “coconut milk, coconut creme, mushrooms, green onions…” He paused and smiled with a glimmer in his eye and continued on, “and a special hot-sauce.” Hoping he would throw me a bone, I asked: “Is it Sriracha and something else?” He didn’t bite and smiled again saying “it is a special hot sauce,” placing particular inflection on the word “special”. He was not giving in. Without that “special sauce,” the soup would just be mushrooms and green onions floating in a bland bowl of coconut milk. He is keeping his secret ingredient classified, and rightfully so. Anyone who wants to experience the joy of the most delectable soup this side of the Pacific must come to his restaurant- Excellent business move on his part!

Some ideas are best kept a secret, while others beg to be shouted from the rooftop. There is another “secret ingredient” that could change how you experience your world a bit more drastically than coconut soup. While it may be prudent in business to keep trade secrets, the “secret ingredient” that can change your life deserves to be brought to the forefront and shared with everyone. If you are in the United States there is a good chance you are celebrating a holiday in honor of the “secret ingredient”: Gratefulness, also known as thankfulness. Practicing gratitude freely and regularly can drastically transform you in a very beneficial way.

Gratitude is a deep emotion. It can be present irrespective of your mood or circumstances. That means the sensation of gratefulness you feel within yourself (you many call it thankfulness, gratitude, appreciation, etc.) is a game changer. No matter your situation or your state of mind, there is always an opportunity to be grateful. More so, the act of expressing, feeling, and/or being thankful creates a shift within you (chemical, physical, emotional) and opens you up to being and feeling your best. Even more remarkable, when your thankfulness is cast upon someone else it can boost their spirit as well.

Here are just a few examples of the benefits of gratitude:

  • Gratitude has been proven by leading researchers to increase well-being and decrease depression. This Harvard Medical School Article gets into the nitty gritty of the how and why thankfulness can make you happier.
  • Gratitude helps you sleep better and longer- participants who spent 15 minutes writing in a gratitude journal daily slept longer and more sound than those that didn’t.
  • Gratitude improves relationships, specifically romantic relationships- This study showed that both the person expressing gratitude and the person receiving the gratitude benefited. Another study showed how being thankful for the little things your partner does can be a huge boost for the relationship.
  • Several studies have shown that in the best of times and in the toughest times gratitude fosters wellbeing and resilience. People experiencing physical and mental trauma who remain thankful for what they have fare much better than those that don’t.

Here are five simple ways you can implement gratitude in your life:

  • Create a gratitude journal—I aim to simply list three entities I am grateful for each day and then concentrate on feeling gratefulness for each one. You may also choose to journal about what and why you are thankful. How you journal is your choice. Try starting with recording one thing you are grateful for each day and then grow from there in a way that feels natural and helpful to you.
  • Appreciate people. Make a point to verbally thank people in a thoughtful and sincere way: Everyone from your closest loved ones to the cashier at the grocery store and the stranger that holds the door open.The Secret Ingredient: Thank You Note
  • Write Thank You notes—be it handwritten or email, write a note. Even better, send the note to the person you appreciate.
  • Think about something or someone you are thankful for and then focus for a moment on feeling the emotion of gratitude.
  • Create a gratitude inventory—list 100 things you are thankful for. This article will prompt you to finish the list with ease.

When and how do you experience gratitude? What are some specific experiences you have had that were brought about by being thankful?

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.

– Cicero (… paraphrased)

Enjoy the benefits of the “secret ingredient” by practicing gratitude each day. Thankfulness is the gift you can freely give yourself and others- the more you give, the more you get. Be gracious and thank generously, it could change how you experience your world.

Until the next revolution….

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10 conditions essential for achieving your goals

Coaching is a thought provoking, creative process that inspires you to learn, increase awareness, and maximize potential (personally and professionally). As your coach, I support and encourage you to surpass what you previously thought possible—you are the one with the power and responsibility to create the future you desire.

My greatest wish is that you will realize your potential by experiencing amazing change and growth. This is a process and you are in complete control—the responsibility of experiencing results, living in happiness, and creating your amazing future lies within you. To set you up for success, here are 10 essential elements that will empower you to get the most out of your coaching. My suggestion- review theses essentials regularly and continue to strive to integrate each one into your coaching experience. Below is a detailed description of each element and then a quick reference guide. Consider printing and placing the quick reference guide somewhere you will notice and glance at it often.


  1. Clarity—Every coaching session should include an agenda identified by you. Before your session get clear on what you would like to work on: a specific goal for your session. Ask yourself: “What would be the best outcome from my session today?” If you are not sure what you want from a session, tell your coach. Then you both can create clarity together before diving in.  Each session must have a focus and it is your responsibility to be clear about exactly what you want.
  2. Complete Your Coaching Prep Sheet. Your coaching prep sheet helps create focus and allows your coach to understand exactly where you are and where you want to go before beginning your session. Another added benefit is this allows you and your coach to be on the same page and direct even more of your session time towards powerful coaching conversations.
  3. Commit to yourself: Be prepared, relaxed, and ready to begin on time. Before calling your coach at your scheduled time, take a moment to clear your mind, gather your thoughts, and hone in on your desired best possible outcome from your session.
  4. Create a sacred time and space—free from distraction. Be in a clean, comfy, location that will inspire deep thought- this may be your office, your couch, a place outside, or anywhere that provides a space for deep thought. Some of my clients find their parked vehicle is a nice place to remove all distractions. Once in your sacred space, silence or turn off your devices (phones, computer, etc) and commit to focusing on yourself and creating your amazing future.
  5. Concentrate and take notes. Resist the desire to multi-task. Coaching works best when you are focused and absolutely free from distractions. While being attentive, take notes to help you remember key points, ah-ha moments, and action steps.
  6. Be open to seeing things differently. By investing in coaching, you acknowledged you are ready to move your life forward with absolute commitment and confidence. You will get more out of coaching if you are willing to step back from an observer’s point of view—then examine your assumptions, ways of thinking, expectations, beliefs, and reactions. Coaching will have positive impacts on many areas of your life, not just your specific focus areas.
  7. Be ready and willing to transform and grow—to evolve who you are being. Coaching is as much a developmental process as a goal oriented one. Not only will you learn to accomplish more with less effort, you will have the opportunity to: enhance your thinking; create a new personal vision for yourself; strengthen your beliefs and assumptions; and expand your thoughts of yourself and your way of being in the world.
  8. Design and create your optimal environment. Enhance the value of your coaching by being coached and living in your optimal environment. If needed, use your coaching to design your ideal environment. When your surroundings are organized, efficient, healthy, and inspiring this directly boosts your success. Simplify, organize, beautify.
  9. Recap what you have learned. After your session, take 15 minutes or so to review and add to your notes.  Then solidify the actions steps you will take going forward. Share your intentions with your coach and your personal accountability crew.
  10. Clarify! Be crystal clear on your learning, insights, and planned actions. Use a great resource, the Post Coaching Form, to organize your thoughts and email this to your coach. At a minimum send an email to your coach listing your key takeaways and commitments. Coaching is just conversation unless it leads to transformation and action.

Taking action is your responsibility. Use your resources to set yourself up for success!


This is the quick reference guide, download and print your copy HERE. It is formatted to print on 4 x 6 photo paper.



…until the next revolution



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