Cheryl Richardson: Life Coach Seen on 'Oprah'
RICHARDSON: Our thinking does have a direct affect on what shows up in our lives that’s why it’s so important to monitor what goes into our ears and eyes. What we watch on the news, what we read on the Internet, what we listen to in your car, has a direct effect, not just on our physiology, but on our emotional state as well. You may think that it’s is informing you but it’s informing you in a way that’s not necessarily benefiting you. How do you feel when you look at your portfolio? And can you do anything to change it? Now, you might say, I can’t stomach this, I need to sell my stock. Okay, great. But if you’re not going to do anything to change it, then you need to ask yourself, how do I feel when I look at my portfolio? If you don’t feel good looking at it, then you need to stop doing it because it’s affecting you. It’s not just affecting your body and emotional health, it’s setting your mind up to think in such a way to think more of the same.
YM: What’s the key, then, to finding the right kind of balance in our lives?
RICHARDSON: I always tell my clients, work smart not hard. The people I admire are people who do so little with their time and so my goal is to give you more time to ponder. To just be. To just imagine. To allow yourself to be filled with wonderment about your life and the world. We’ve confused intellect and knowledge with wisdom and insight. Business people get their best ideas in the shower, or driving in the car or while on vacation. Why? Because their analytical mind is engaged in something else. Or they’ve finally given themselves a break to just ponder a different picture of life. That’s what I want. Not to be more efficient and organized, but to be present in the moment. And for most people to be present in the moment requires them to be doing less, not more. People say to me all the time, can you teach me to be more organized, more efficient with my time? Probably not, because you can’t make sanity out of an insane situation. Most people live insane lives when it comes to how they’re using their time. What I can do is help you take 30 percent off your plate. That’s how I want to start. Let’s look at what you have on your plate. Most people can’t even see the meal, they have so much crammed on it. See what the heck is going on.
YM: Is it in our New England character, which is driven so much by a robust Puritan work ethic and a constant quest for perfection, capable of the changes you’re talking about?
RICHARDSON: Of course. Yes, we have a tendency to be conservative, maybe more reserved in our belief in what could be but what’s great about being a Yankee is we have the adventure mentality. That, I can do whatever it takes to make happen. There’s tenacity, a commitment that we have to staying with it, that can work to our advantage. A discipline. A great life begins with an open mind and that’s something we could take from our West coast buddies. If we just let that mind and ask, Who am I? What do I want with my life? What am I happy with in my life? Things will improve vastly. I’m a Yankee and it worked. If it worked me, it can work for any human being on the planet. There’s nothing special about me.
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