Embracing The Power of Uncertainty

imageI was just listening to an interview of Iyanla Vanzant by Jerry Clark while dropping our son at basketball practice, and had the impulse to write a post on the Power of Uncertainty.

Iyanla and Jerry were talking about how we’re all control freaks – we like to know how everything’s going to turn out before we do anything — and I realized that if we hold to this desire for control too tightly, we’ll never allow ourselves to create or experience anything new.

How’s this apply to business and life?

Imagine I had demanded that I knew how things would turn out with Rachelle before I dated her – we never would have been here today with 7 kids and 23 years of marriage, challenges, and rewarding adventures!

Or in business – if I had demanded that I knew whether a customer or potential business partner was going to say “yes” before I spoke with them – I never would have allowed the amazing relationships, discoveries, skill development, and business results that have unfolded in our lives.

And we’re still discovering and experiencing new things – in fact, that’s what makes life interesting.

Now I realize that a total feeling of not being in control could be frightening – so here are three things I’ve found particularly helpful in allowing and even embracing this power of uncertainty in my business and life that I believe will assist you, too:

1. Courage to embrace – regardless of your belief in a Higher Power or the Universe being for you, having the courage to embrace the uncertainty and adventure of life makes things a lot more interesting.  Iyanla spoke with Jerry about the difference between “choice” and “decision” – decision weighs facts and figures and is based on what you can see and know. Choice opens the door to possibility, even though you may not know what all those possibilities are or don’t know how everything’s going to turn out.  Choosing to embrace the uncertainty, challenges, and possibilities of life is one of those choices, and is a powerful strategy for allowing more into your life.

2. Trust – for those of us who do believe in God, a Higher Power, or even simply that the Universe is working for our good – trusting this power and process even though we can’t always see how things will work out ourselves is a key process that can open us to the uncertainty – and the possibilities – of life that we otherwise may shy away from, and allows us to go forward without fear.

3. Others’ stories – the third factor I’ve found richly empowering that essentially makes it easier to practice #1 and #2 above is to listen to, read, and continually enjoy the stories of others who’ve experienced the richness and worthwhileness of embracing uncertainty and stepping into possibility in their own lives.  In essence, you can build up an “internal library” of these stories that becomes a well from which to draw as you navigate your own moments of challenge, uncertainty, and new doors of possibility opening before you.

Now think back on your own life for a moment. What’s one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had? I bet at some point along the way, there was a door of possibility you were willing to walk through, without fully knowing or being “in control” of what was on the other side.

Have one of these examples you’re willing to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

May we all continue to have the courage and trust to embrace the uncertainties — and the possibilities — before us in the years ahead.

Here’s to creating a life you love!


P.S.  Want daily tips to energize and equip you in business and in life?  Catch live “Quantum Moments” with me on my Facebook page Mon – Saturday mornings at 9am Eastern time.  See you there!

3 Keys To Be More Effective Working With People

Recently I had the privilege of reconnecting with a friend whom I first met in grade school. She’s had quite a journey since we were last in touch, and now coaches high-level executives, CEOs, and other prominent figures in business, healthcare, politics, and the arts.

As we caught up on our lives and what each other has been doing, I had the chance to interview her a bit more about her work, and I was deeply impacted by both what she said, and what I felt as she said it.

Here are 3 of the lessons I learned from her that can assist us all in advancing our business and our lives as we interact with others:

Go For It

Get the “ask”

1) Life is short — so go for it. Get the “ask”. Whether it’s inviting someone to share a project or vision, to coach you or be coached by you, to partner with you, or simply to try something, my friend said she’s learned that “if I don’t ask, nothing is going to happen. I might as well swing for the fences; at worst I may eventually have to pick up the bat.”

Be intentional

2) I noticed that she is very intentional. In her case, prayerfully so. She prays before contacting someone, and when she notices someone who’s work or contribution she appreciates, she’s very intentional about reaching out to them, letting them know how much she appreciates their work, and then taking that additional step to say “I would love to coach you.”

Sound a bit forward?

What was intriguing was her genuine appreciation for people and her genuine confidence that she could add value.

And rather than worrying what they’d think, or being caught up in conflicting feelings about wanting something from someone or trying to get someone to do something, she was completely focused on her appreciation for them and her desire — and competence — to serve and contribute value to them and their work.

How could this be applied even if you’re not a coach?

Perhaps you have something that could teach people how to do something better, or a product you market that could improve their lives.

Yet you, like most of us at one point or another, may still feel a little awkward because if they chose your program or your solution, you would be receiving something in return.

What if you could become so comfortable, so confident, and so appreciative like my friend that you had no problem letting people know you had something that could serve them, and that you would love to connect them, open a possibility for them, or serve them with what you had to offer?

Now before you say, “I’m just not like that” — my friend wasn’t that way initially, either.

She learned.

She grew.

She cultivated her mindset and her skills, and I’m glad she shared
them so openly with me the other day.

My clients can tell I love them

3) Here’s the final point — it builds on the other two. My friend said, “My clients can tell I love them.”

She has a genuine desire to see these high-profile people — people that many of us might feel intimidated by — have the support they need to function and serve at their best, and her genuine love for people comes across, especially since it’s not “muddled” by her worrying about what they might think.

So there you have it.

Three powerful insights I both learned and felt in talking with my friend about her work.

Chew on these a bit, and ask yourself, how can you apply them to your own life and work with people?

Can people feel your confidence, your appreciation for them, and your genuine desire to serve them?

Let me know any questions or insights this triggers in you — I’d love to hear your comments and feedback below!

Here’s to creating a life you love!


How to Handle Questions in 2 Easy Steps

Here’s a quick 2-step process for “handling” a question or objection — particularly for those of you in business, marketing, or sales, although as mentioned in the one minute clip below, this could be used for virtually any kind of question, even when sharing an idea or belief. Enjoy!

Creating An Energized Start to Your Day

Just shared this quick video message with my business partners &
thought you’d benefit from these perspectives as well — Enjoy!

How do you create your own energized start to your day? Feel
free to share your own experience in the comments below.

3 Daily Keys to Moving Forward in Your Business & Your Life

Here are 3 quick yet powerful keys that have a made a big difference
for me in creating the business and life we now enjoy:

I look forward to hearing your own experience, and any keys you’d
like to share, in the comments below!

Dr. Ben

How Twitter Has Enhanced My Business…& Enriched My Life.

I remember reading about Twitter a few years ago in an alumni magazine from MIT…and
the speculation as to whether people would really use it…and find it useful…

I now talk regularly with people who have hundreds of thousands of followers,
as well as sometimes with people who wonder what Twitter is all about…and again,
whether it’s truly useful.

While many enjoy Twitter for personal use — a source of connecting with people and
exchanging ideas and interests — I also know many who seek to use it as a business tool.

As I sit here listening to a Mozart piano concerto on my i-pod while typing (a great way
to “tune out” a noisy environment and focus :)), I’ve found Twitter to be an amazing tool
for connecting, for creating new relationships – often with people I never would have “met”
otherwise – and for sharing resources and ideas. In addition, Twitter has been a direct tool
for expanding my business — though still through the process of connecting and the
exchange of ideas and resources rather than “advertising” or “marketing” through twitter.

So to begin, I’ve used Twitter as a tool to “meet” new people, and to begin
new relationships.

When I find someone with similar passions or interests, or who’s shared something
on twitter of particular interest or impact to me, I often see if I can at first
engage them by an exhange of “tweets”.

Next, periodically I reach out to a person and see if I can “meet” them briefly
by phone. This allows another level of connection beyond what can be established
in 140 character tweets, and adds another dimension to the exchange of tweets
in the future.

Here’s a few examples of where this practice has led…

Through Twitter I’ve had the privilege of “meeting” and then getting to know
Dr. Mollie Marti, periodically exchanging ideas and resources that impact both
our personal and professional lives, and in particular, I’ve had the chance to
get to know her mentor through her eyes via her wonderful book Walking With Justice,
which now has a special place in our family library, and from which I read
to my family periodically.

Next, when our daughter Emmanuelle recorded her song “Night of Our Lives”,
I found that sharing it with people I’d built a specific connection with on Twitter
led to its being shared well beyond my own circles (and many shared on Facebook
as well, which is a whole other arena for building connections).

Lastly, here’s two examples for how Twitter has directly helped me expand my business:

First, in the process of building relationships with people, I’ve been able to connect
some of them with solutions my business could offer that were of personal interest to

Second, I’ve had the privilege of meeting Dr. Fern Kazlow (aka “Dr. K”). Our “paths”
crossed on Twitter, and after reading her story on the website she had at the time,
I decided she was someone I wanted to meet. So I picked up the phone and called
her directly.

Over the next few months we engaged in an ongoing business dialog which has since
developed into a major partnership, opening up a whole new world of people,
business connections, and experiences that have blessed us both…and many others
through us.

So there you have it — how Twitter has enhanced my business, and enriched my life.

I hope these brief examples may trigger some steps you can take, whether it’s with
Twitter, or some other mode of expanding your connections with people.  And a special
“thank you” to all the wonderful people who’ve crossed my path, and with whom I’ve
had a chance to personally connect both through & beyond Twitter.

I guess the bottom line is that behind every tool and piece of technology, remember
there’s a person…and it’s ultimately connecting with people…and building relationships
that lead to enriching each others’ lives…including our businesses if
we have one…that’s the greatest reward.


Dr. Ben

P.S. If you’ve been using Twitter, feel free to share how you’ve used it and what
the biggest benefits you’ve found to be in the comments below – I look forward to
hearing from you!

How to Magnify Your Good (no matter how your day is going…)

While taking an evening bike ride a little while ago, I was
reminded of a practice that has propelled me forward & created
significant anchors for me in the past year, regardless of how
my day was going.

I recorded a video tip on this back in January, and here’s
some further thoughts to ponder:

Every day, take note when you’re feeling especially good…

when you’re particularly enjoying something…

and celebrate that moment as a “highlight” of your day.

That way no matter what happens the rest of the day…no matter
what disappointments or frustrations…or how well you’re doing
in school or in your business or with your work goals…

…or with your family and relationships…

you can celebrate at least a moment of something “good” in your

something you enjoyed…

something you appreciate.

Someone once said a happy life is a series of happy moments
strung together…

But there’s something about the way we’re wired that if we
actually take note of them when they occur, we anchor them
further and can even “appreciate” or “magnify” them in a way
that brings them more and more into our experience.

About a week ago I enjoyed a conversation with a wonderful
businessman from Hawaii who has “re-invented” himself and
expanded into new arenas multiple times in his life, and he
shared with the few of us who were listening how key it is
to “appreciate” rather than “depreciate” each step of good
that comes to us in a new venture, regardless of how small
it may seem to us compared to something we’ve already
accomplished in the past.

He emphasized when creating something new, let go of “remember when…”
and focus on appreciating each step of progress now. 

This practice allows more to come to you and truly “appreciates”…

or magnifies and multiplies…

the good that you’re enjoying.

This practice of appreciating reminds me of the advice from
Louise Hay about tomato plants – when you plant some seeds,
and the first sprouts appear, you don’t stomp on them and say,
“but I wanted a tomato plant!”

Rather, you celebrate that your seeds are starting to sprout…

and you continue to nurture and cultivate them until they grow
into a full-grown plant that bears fruit.

Food for thought…

How about practicing finding, creating, and celebrating “highlights”
of your day each day this week, and appreciating…

rather than depreciating…

each sign of progress and each “sprout” of good that comes your way.

Would love to hear some of your own experiences and insights
in the comments below!

To a blessed and wonderful week!

Dr. Ben

What Drives Behavior…

Last night I watched a 20 minute “talk” on TED.com shared with
me by a business associate that succinctly and articulately
identifies fundamental keys to what drives behavior…and
“how great leaders inspire action.”

The talk was by former student of anthropology Simon Sinek,
and I’ve posted it below, with a few intriguing quotes from
Simon here:

     People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.

     And what you do proves what you believe.

     The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what
     you have; the goal is to do business with people who believe
     what you believe.

     When we communicate from the inside out, we’re talking directly
     to the part of the brain that controls behavior, and then we
     allow people to rationalize it with tangible things we say and

     If you talk about what you believe, you will attract people who
     believe what you believe.

Take a few moments to watch the video here, and then here’s a key:

Note for yourself how Simon’s perspective can impact your own
thinking and actions in something that matters to you.

Would love to here your comments below…Enjoy!

Dr. Ben

What Experience Are You Creating…?

Just recorded this in town this morning while out with my son…some key thoughts on creating an experience–after seeing thought leader & brand consultant Matthew Sapaula last night–applicable to both business and personal relationships. A bit dim because I’m next to a fireplace, but you’ll get the gist…Enjoy! And let me know your own stories in life and business of “creating an experience” in the comments below!