Life and Spiritual Coaching

August 13, 2008


Filed under: Life Balance — by Donna Ritter @ 10:23 am
Tags: ,

Today I want to talk about forgiveness. Life is fleeting and it is too short to let conversation or incident go by that you regret if you could not ask for forgiveness. Love and friendship reign over any silly thing that may have cause anger to flare. Never let the sun set without making sure you have told anyone you may have hurt that you are sorry and you love them. Jesus came here to teach us forgiveness. If he could forgive humankind, who are we to be angry at someone? Remember life is short. You never know if you will see that person again. Fix it now.


ttfn, Donna

August 12, 2008

Listening and Understand other People

Filed under: Communications — by Donna Ritter @ 1:34 pm
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Do you remember that saying “Before I can walk in another’s shoes, I must first remove my own?” Communication is the deepest need of the human heart and soul. Everyone wants to be respected and valued for who they are. If you want someone to open up to you, they need to feel safe and understood.  

The number one thing you need to do is to listen. Most people have poor listening skills though. When people are talking we seldom listen because we are busy thinking about how we will respond. These are the most common poor listening styles:

·         Spacing out: the typical adult human’s attention span is about 20 minutes, but if they aren’t hooked, spacing out can be a problem. You need to actively listen to people to keep your mind on what they are saying.

·         Pretend listening: Some people make comments like “yeah” or “sounds great” when all along they still aren’t listening.

·         Selective listening: This is when you pay attention only to the part that interests you. This won’t win you any lasting relationships!

·         Self-centered listening: This happens when we see everything from our own point of view instead of trying to understand how the person feels.

·         Judging: Sometimes, as we listen to others, we make judgments about them and what they are saying. If you are busy judging, you are not really listening are you?

·         Advising: This is when we give advice drawn from our own experience – they typical “When I was your age…” speech you get from your elders.

Genuine listening:

First listen with your eyes, heart and ears. Listening with your ears alone isn’t good enough, because you typically only pick up 7% of what is being said. The rest comes from body language (53%) and the tone or feeling reflected in our voice (40%).

To hear what people are really saying, you need to listen to what they are not saying. No matter how hard people appear on the surface, everyone is tender inside and has a desperate need to be understood.

Second, stand in their shoes. To become a genuine listener, you need to put yourself in the other persons place.

Third, practice mirroring. This is very effective. Repeat back in your own words what you here the other person saying. Mirroring phrases are “As I get it, you felt that…” or “So, what you’re saying is…”

After you have mastered actively listening to a person, you are half the way to a great communicator. Next, seek to be understood. Giving feedback requires that you first understand the person and then you can get your message across to them in a way they will understand.

Working with Passion

Filed under: Life Coaching — by Donna Ritter @ 12:51 pm
Tags: , ,

Everyone needs passion. If I am not passionate about what I am doing, I am not eager to get out of bed in the morning. At first I thought my career and my children were my passion. After 30 years working at the same career, I realized I didn’t have that fire left in my gut. So, I looked around at my kids, and they were getting ready to leave the nest. I thought about it quite awhile and then realized that although that saddened me, I would have been much more upset if they didn’t get to the point of wanting the leave the nest!

After that notion sunk in, I realized I had to find something that I was passionate about to do during the day. So I went through a process of figuring out what that would be by listing the things about prior jobs that I liked (and that I didn’t), looked over the myriad of assessment tests I  had taken in the corporate world, and realized that I really liked helping people do things they never thought they could do. I liked mentoring people to help them progress in their careers. I wanted to give something back to the universe.

In hindsight, I probably would have been a good teacher, but I wasn’t about to go back to school to get an education degree. I already had a BA in psychology, but ended up in the computer industry since it was my minor. I never left.

I started studying coaching with Franklin Covey and I found that I felt jazzed again!

Give yourself a chance to slow down if you feel you are running out of steam and take a hard look at what you do each day. Does it help anyone? Do you feel good about it? If not, do yourself a favor and get a coach to help you figure it out and live your best life again!


August 10, 2008

Staying Motivated

Filed under: Life Coaching — by Donna Ritter @ 11:40 am

By Jennie Gandhi 

Staying motivated is an integral part of life. Else it can roll you to the foot of the hill and you will not even realize it. Going with the flow is an equation people draw up in life. And stick to their formula till the water has dried up in the pond.

Then suddenly they realize that their life has passed by and they have not been able to make something out of it. Another reason why people take up the equation is because of failure. They tried to do something in life but it failed. So they do not want to take that step again. A teacher once in school said, that failure is a stepping-stone to success. Walt Disney is a classic example. He went bankrupt before he could initiate Disneyland. Henry Ford too got broke 5 times before he actually started his business venture.

The first thing to feel motivated it to be with peace with yourself. Don’t draw up the inadequacies in you. Instead look at the advantages. Then look into the mirror everyday and say, “I can do it.” No task is impossible if you believe in yourself.

There are times when family members or close friends look down on your idea and tell you switch it off. But if you believe in yourself, there is no harm trying. Instead of plunging in completely begin completing a smaller task. So if you want to open a business in fabrics. Get yourself the know-how of fabrics – Indian & international, the spend, the manpower required, the logistics and all the details. If you are not in the industry, then take up a job so that you get hands on approach. Partner with someone of your calibre and begin a few transactions. The satisfaction your work will earn you is far more leveraged than sitting and idealizing.

Here are a few pointers to push you off the couch.
• Value what you are thinking and are about to do. Do not look at it as just another thought. If you believe in yourself then value your idea.
• See yourself doing what you want to. So if it is flying a plane then visualize yourself in the cockpit, taking the plane up and soaring the skies.
• Find some motivation and inspiration through quotes or senior people who look up to you.
• Reward yourself every time you have achieved a small target. This way you will be happy with small things that you accomplish.
• Partner with friends or associates who you think will be best to begin the venture. If they are on the same wavelength as yours then the goal will not seem too far.
• Forgiving and forgetting – this is very important if you have not been able to achieve your dream. Agreed, you have burnt your fingers but take it as a learning step. So forgive yourself and others. Forget the episode. Begin on a fresh page.

In today’s stressful life apart from hard work one also needs inspiration to succeed in the task thus good. inspirational quotations and inspirational speeches can help to achieve success in life. As for the stress one has to go through there are many stress management courses conducted that can could help you ease out.


August 8, 2008

Take Care of Yourself

Filed under: Life Balance — by Donna Ritter @ 5:01 pm

To take care of yourself, you should deposit into your “personal bank account”.

·        Be honest

·        Keep promises to yourself

·        Do small acts of kindness

·        Be gentle with yourself

·        Renew yourself (exercise, relax, read, do whatever makes you calm)

·        Tap into your talents (those hidden ones you know you have)


Being honest includes keeping your integrity, keeping your morals, being real and true. Honesty can come in the form of self-honesty, meaning don’t fake it. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Honesty is also in our actions. Walk the talk. It may take courage to be honest all the time, but then courage is a great trait to have.


Along the lines of being honest and having integrity is keeping promises. We should treat commitments seriously to both others and ourselves. For instance, if you decide to save 10% of your earnings – do it. Don’t stop! When others see that you keep promises to yourself as well as to them, they will admire you.


Doing small acts of kindness actually cheers you up! Seeing the light in the other person’s eyes when they are treated with dignity and even politeness is amazing. Other things like sending cards or flowers on appropriate occasions can bring a smile to a weary face. When God said it is better to give than to receive he was right on target!


Being gentle to you means so many things like not expecting perfection all the time and laughing at mistakes. I read a poem one time that I can’t recite, but the gist of it is “A child thinks his parents are perfect, a teenager thinks his parents are stupid, a young adult forgives his parents for making mistakes, but a wise person forgives his own mistakes.”


Make sure you have a way to relax and meditate; taking yourself to the quiet place where you can hear God and you can feel wonderful. God didn’t make you to be stressed or wound up. He made you to be like Him.



Tap into your talents. It is amazing when you quiet yourself; you realize you can write or read or be a leader. There are so many talents lying in your core; you just need to realize them.


God Bless, Donna



August 6, 2008

Coaching in a Broad Sense

Filed under: Life Coaching — by Donna Ritter @ 9:16 pm

A coaching session is for you – to help you become more than you are, to learn your roles and goals, to define your mission and to come out of it better centered and more passionate about your life. It is your life! A Coach’s job is to listen, help you to define how you will accomplish your goal and point out areas that may be holding you back. The Coach also serves to hold you accountable which are important; especially with us Women who tend to nurture others at the expense of our own wellbeing.

There are 7 habits defined by Steven Covey as being important in our lives:

·         Habit 1 – Be Proactive. Think “I am the force”.

·         Habit 2 – Begin with the end in mind. Thing “Control your destiny or someone else will”

·         Habit 3 – Put First things first. “Think Will and Won’t Power”

·         Habit 4 – Think Win-Win. “Think Lie is an all you can eat buffet”

·         Habit 5 – Seek first to understand, then to be understood. “You have two ears and one mouth … hello”

·         Habit 6 – Synergize – “ The High Way”

·         Habit 7 – Sharpen the Saw – “It’s me time” (my favorite) “think of putting yourself first in exercise, health, fun and relaxation”

August 2, 2008

Very Sad News – The Last Lecture Randy Pausch Died

Filed under: Life,Sadnesss — by Donna Ritter @ 4:04 pm
Tags: ,

We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
–Randy Pausch


This remarkable man who wrote this book died. I for one, am very sad, but I know he is in a better place.

A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave–“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”–wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.

Questions for Randy Pausch

We were shy about barging in on Randy Pausch’s valuable time to ask him a few questions about his expansion of his famous Last Lecture into the book by the same name, but he was gracious enough to take a moment to answer. (See Randy to the right with his kids, Dylan, Logan, and Chloe.) As anyone who has watched the lecture or read the book will understand, the really crucial question is the last one, and we weren’t surprised to learn that the “secret” to winning giant stuffed animals on the midway, like most anything else, is sheer persistence. I apologize for asking a question you must get far more often than you’d like, but how are you feeling?

Pausch: The tumors are not yet large enough to affect my health, so all the problems are related to the chemotherapy. I have neuropathy (numbness in fingers and toes), and varying degrees of GI discomfort, mild nausea, and fatigue. Occasionally I have an unusually bad reaction to a chemo infusion (last week, I spiked a 103 fever), but all of this is a small price to pay for walkin’ around. Your lecture at Carnegie Mellon has reached millions of people, but even with the short time you apparently have, you wanted to write a book. What did you want to say in a book that you weren’t able to say in the lecture?

Pausch: Well, the lecture was written quickly–in under a week. And it was time-limited. I had a great six-hour lecture I could give, but I suspect it would have been less popular at that length ;-).

A book allows me to cover many, many more stories from my life and the attendant lessons I hope my kids can take from them. Also, much of my lecture at Carnegie Mellon focused on the professional side of my life–my students, colleagues and career. The book is a far more personal look at my childhood dreams and all the lessons I’ve learned. Putting words on paper, I’ve found, was a better way for me to share all the yearnings I have regarding my wife, children and other loved ones. I knew I couldn’t have gone into those subjects on stage without getting emotional. You talk about the importance–and the possibility!–of following your childhood dreams, and of keeping that childlike sense of wonder. But are there things you didn’t learn until you were a grownup that helped you do that?

Pausch: That’s a great question. I think the most important thing I learned as I grew older was that you can’t get anywhere without help. That means people have to want to help you, and that begs the question: What kind of person do other people seem to want to help? That strikes me as a pretty good operational answer to the existential question: “What kind of person should you try to be?” One of the things that struck me most about your talk was how many other people you talked about. You made me want to meet them and work with them–and believe me, I wouldn’t make much of a computer scientist. Do you think the people you’ve brought together will be your legacy as well?

Pausch: Like any teacher, my students are my biggest professional legacy. I’d like to think that the people I’ve crossed paths with have learned something from me, and I know I learned a great deal from them, for which I am very grateful. Certainly, I’ve dedicated a lot of my teaching to helping young folks realize how they need to be able to work with other people–especially other people who are very different from themselves.

See his Last Lecture on YouTube

Finding a Job in this Economy

Filed under: career — by Donna Ritter @ 3:34 pm

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, you may feel as if finding a new job seems hopeless. The company you worked for may no longer exist. Your whole community may have been swept away. You are separated from your friends, family, and co-workers. You’ve relocated to a new city and don’t know anyone there. How do you start looking for a new job from this place?

It may feel like you’ll never recover from this disaster and find employment, but there is hope, and there is a way. Career experts agree that using your network of personal and professional relationships is the fastest and most effective way to locate a new job. It’s true that you may be able to find openings through Internet job postings and newspaper want ads, or by working with agencies or recruiters. But you’ll be competing with lots of other job seekers applying for the same positions.

Statistics show that more people ultimately get hired as the result of a referral or lead from a friend, relative, or professional colleague than by any other method. This is where your network comes in. Your network is a community from which you can find out about open positions, companies that need your expertise, and well-connected people who can assist your job search. People like to help other people. And, in your current situation, there are so many people who are ready to help.

How can you build a network like this from scratch when you’ve never done it before, or you’ve lost touch with everyone you knew? Here are some suggestions for creating a community of people who can assist you in this great time of need.


Ask for help. Many people want to do something to help hurricane evacuees. Give them the chance to make a contribution. Identify yourself as a Katrina survivor in your conversations with new people, and ask if they will help you find work.

Stretch outside your comfort zone. Speaking with new people and asking for help may be uncomfortable for you. This is a time to stretch yourself. You can learn new skills now that will serve you for the rest of your career.

Be open to new ideas and possibilities. Instead of hearing an idea and saying “that won’t work for me,” ask instead, “How can I make this work?” Almost every new idea has some element that can help you.


Join an affinity group in your new location. People like to help others who share their interests. Find a community group, church, sports team, or hobby club where you can make new friends quickly because you have something in common. Meet the parents of your children’s new friends at school. Your kids may have an easier time than you of making new friends quickly. Ask them to introduce you to the families they get to know.

Attend the local school’s theatrical, music, and sporting events. You’ll meet the active parent community and make connections with local business owners.

Volunteer for a relief organization. So much help is needed and you will make many local connections with both the organizers and other workers.

Work for a temp agency. Don’t worry if the available jobs are below your level of qualifications. Working for local businesses will connect you with the community.

Visit the local Chamber of Commerce. Ask for their welcome package and to speak with one of their welcoming committee members or Ambassadors. These are often community leaders who know a lot about local businesses.

Attend meetings of service clubs. Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions Club, and other local groups have community service as their charter. Many members are business owners or well connected in the area.

Join a job search club. These are sponsored by the Unemployment or Workforce Development office, Chamber of Commerce, Experience Unlimited chapter, community center, or local college. Meet other job seekers and gain a support system and more connections.

Ask a librarian. They can help you find many local resources, including those not found on the Internet. While you are there, check out the upcoming events at the local library.


Ask your professional association for help. Many associations are offering extra support for Katrina survivors. Members of your association want to help those affected and don’t know how to reach them. Let them know where you are.

Write to the presidents or executives of companies you would like to work for. Tell them your story and ask if they would meet with you to share contacts or ideas. Business leaders want to help, too.

Ask your college or training school’s alumni association to send you a contact list of graduates in your new city. You have an immediate connection with anyone who went to your school.

Sign up for a local class in your specialty. You’ll have an instant community of others in your profession.

Join online discussion groups supporting job seekers and/or your profession. You can network with hundreds of people at once.


Look for old friends online. If you have lost your address book, look for friends and family outside the disaster area using the online white pages via Yahoo! or Google. To find those who have had to re-locate, try one of the many web sites which are re-connecting Katrina evacuees. Type “Katrina survivor metasearch” into Google or Yahoo to find sites where you can search many databases at once.

Trust the postal service to forward mail even if the address no longer exists. The U.S. Postal Service is working hard to forward all mail from the disaster area. Be sure to file a change of address for your own residence so friends and family can find you, too.

Ask friends and family not affected by the storm to contact their networks and ask for help reconnecting you in your new city. People you already know may have contacts in your new location who can help.


Every time you meet a new person or re-connect with an old friend, be specific about exactly how they can best help you find work. Telling people, “Keep me in mind if you hear of any openings,” is a start. But a better approach is to say, “I’m looking for a job as a … bookkeeper in the Houston area… waitress in the Midtown neighborhood… project manager in the construction industry.” Then ask, “Do you know anyone in that area or line of work I could talk to?” That way you will continue to expand your network.

Copyright © 2005, Frank Traditi & C.J. Hayden

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August 1, 2008

Dreaming on a Sunny Afternoon

Filed under: Life Balance — by Donna Ritter @ 1:56 pm

I live in Spring, Texas which is north of Houston. It is reaching the 100 degree mark today and it is hard to get motivated in this intense heat. Its days like this that I like to follow the Dream Coach model. This is the time when I want to ignite my passions, put my dreams into action and enjoy the day! I want to meditate and picture myself at the top of the mountain entertaining the most compelling dreams that my heart longs for. I connect my dreams with my life purpose and get in alignment with my authentic self. I am writing my ideas down and believing in myself and my ability to act on my dreams. Some of the things I ponder are “what will make me feel passionate and fulfilled”, If time and money were no object – what would I change?


This meditation leads to self discovery on what my purposeful life looks like. I find my unique talents and potential to grow exponentially. I use my passion as a barometer to assess my life. I can do anything in my dream world!


In our culture of urgency we seem to always be in a reactive mode. Today I give myself permission to write, design projects that inspire me and relax without feeling guilty. I call this way of being “My Dreamer”. Today I will not allow any blockers to stop me from enjoying the life I was meant to live.


Last night, I spilled water on my laptop and had to rush it to the laptop technician, but that won’t even bother me. The worst thing that can happen is I take my hard disc out and put it in an enclosure to access from my other laptop. Last night you would have thought I was crazy thinking the world was ending, but today “My Dreamer” is allowing me to let go of all worries. I hope you all have a wonderful, dream filled day!


ttfn, Donna


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