The Coach's Corner

Archive for May, 2018

What is the Key to a Happier Life?

May 21st, 2018 // Tom Doescher //
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Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

Rhonda Byrne, in her book The Magic, claims the answer is gratitude. This reminded me of a conversation I had last spring with Dr. William Malarkey, who espoused the importance of gratitude in a healthy life. Byrne, a television and film producer, quotes many diverse sources to support her position, including Einstein, Isaac Newton, John F. Kennedy, the Holy Bible, the Quran, and Buddha.

It’s impossible to prove with absolute certainty that she’s right, but her advice is very practical, so I thought I would summarize her key points — and, of course, add a few editorial comments:

  1. Give to others, rather than taking (Byrne believes merely taking is a sign of ungratefulness).
  2. Say “thank you” often.
  3. Make lists of the things for which you’re grateful.
  4. At the end of each day, journal the best thing that happened to you. (Editorial comment: I’m going to incorporate this one into my daily routine.)
  5. For every complaint you have about another person, whether in thought or word, there have to be 10 blessings for the relationship to flourish. (Editorial comment: John Gottman says it’s five to one, but whether it is five or 10, I think you get the point about negativity.)
  6. When you’re grateful for your job, you will automatically give more to your work.
  7. The way to receive your dream job is by first being grateful for the job you have.
  8. Lucky breaks don’t happen by accident. (Editorial comment: Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.)
  9. Taking things for granted is a major cause of negativity.
  10. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
  11. There’s no room for harmful, negative thoughts when your mind is focused on looking for things to be grateful for.
  12. Everyone has received help, support, or guidance from others when we needed it most. (Editorial comment: Make your list and make sure you have thanked people for their help.)
  13. Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you’re the one who gets burned.
  14. There’s gold in every relationship, even the difficult ones. To bring riches to all your relationships, you have to find the gold.

Again, these are Byrne’s opinions, but I found the list to be very practical and applicable to my life.

I hope you find at least one suggestion that will enrich your life and relationships.

If You Liked “Lean In,” This is a Must-Read

May 7th, 2018 // Tom Doescher //
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Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you know I have recommended Lean In — and I still do. I thought the author, Sheryl Sandberg, was very transparent about being a woman executive, and she offered some great tips.

That being said, I would also highly recommend reading The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know, by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. It reminded me of a Daniel Pink book, filled with references to substantial research from many sources. If I were to attempt to summarize the main topic, it would be that there’s a difference in perceived confidence between men and women. If you’re a business leader, man or woman, this is a must-read.

As I’ve already mentioned, the book is rich in objective research. In addition, the authors have interviewed successful women executives and they weave their own stories into the book, too. To whet your appetite, I’ll offer some of my favorite takeaways/quotes:

  1. We see it everywhere: Bright women with ideas to contribute who don’t raise their hands in meetings.
  2. Yes, there is evidence that confidence is more important than ability when it comes to getting ahead.
  3. In studies with business school students, men initiate salary negotiations four times as often as women.
  4. Confidence is the stuff that turns thoughts into action.
  5. Confidence is life’s enabler — professionally, intellectually, athletically, socially, and even amorously.
  6. So is confidence encoded in our genes? Yes — at least in part.
  7. It’s the effect of nurture on nature that really matters and makes us who we are.
  8. There’s a direct link between playing sports in high school and earning a higher salary later in life.
  9. When a man walks into a room, he’s assumed to be competent until he proves otherwise. For women, it’s the other way around.
  10. Women are judged more harshly at work and in life on their physical appearance than men.
  11. An unhelpful habit most women have is overthinking.
  12. Of all the warped things women do to themselves to undermine their confidence, the pursuit of perfection is the most crippling.
  13. Confidence comes from stepping out of your comfort zone and working toward goals that come from your own values and needs — goals that aren’t determined by society.
  14. Nothing builds confidence like taking action, especially when the action involves risk and failure.

This book is based on extensive research, and I believe it offers some very practical advice.

p.s. Here’s a closing idea for those of you who are dads with daughters. I have a friend who read the book with his 20-something daughter and had a discussion after each chapter. What a special gift — for both of them!

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Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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