Thursday, October 31, 2019


Motivation is internal. Manipulating someone into ‘becoming motivated’ is
·        bogus,
·        empty,
·        temporary and
·        fleeting.

Many, many parents report that their teen is ‘completely unmotivated’ and they just want to do nothing or play video games, etc.  FACT, however is that years of research tells us we are all inherently motivated.  That teen may be backing away out of SELF-DOUBT, SELF-PITY, FEAR, ETC. And it may even show itself as ANGER TOWARD YOU OR THE WORLD, ETC

So the question becomes: how to begin to build that motivation? Let’s begin by recognizing that a teenager’s usual natural reaction to anything from a parent is to laugh at it, walk away, reject even considering it – because they already know it all – and Mom/Dad don’t know squat!   Don’t react or overreact. Keep an easy, unemotional demeanor and proceed on.  With tactful gentleness and subtlety it’s not that difficult to overcome such issues.

In our experience every teenager with whom we’ve worked has significantly increased their own motivation when we (1) first help them to IDENTIFY their very personal and meaningful dream goals and (2) then SET and (3) then MOVE AHEAD PROGRESSIVELY, DAILY with small, micro-steps toward those dream goals. Once they’ve set and are working toward them, surprisingly enough (!) their SELF-motivation increases significantly!!

So the process is
(1) Brainstorm dream goals,
(2) Whittle them down to one or two to work toward,
(3) Guide them in daily MICRO-steps – the smaller the better - actions toward their dreams.

BUT WAIT – there’s more:   you CANNOT simply ask them what their dreams and goals are. They will laugh or run from the room or ask “Why? What’s it to you?” or similar.  As a parent of a teen, your greatest tool is subtlety.

So – approach it ‘sneakily’ – to evoke or build a dream list [dreams, NOT goals] รจ  
·        “I heard _[your teen’s friend]_ was writing down their lofty, wild ’n crazy dream goals – just as an exercise.  Do you have any?”
·        “I’m just curious – what do you want to be doing and where do you want to be living – when you’re 35 years old?”
·        “If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?”
·        “Humor me – make me laugh – list me the top 10 dreams you have in your life”
·        “If you had all the money you needed, what would you do as a job, and where would you live, and with whom?”
·        Do you remember that movie that had a Bucket List? If you developed your own Bucket List, what would you put on it?
·        [insert your own here] _______________________________
·        [add another one here] _______________________________

And the number one excellent FOLLOW-UP question to every one of these is

·        “Why?...”

·        – Because the answer to that question will reveal A LOT more than the starter question!!!

WHAT IF IT DOESN’T GO WELL?  - Tune in next for Episode Three

If you’d like clarification or more information or tools or guidance, please message us at – and we’ll be back to you quickly!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Most all of us have an achievement hurdle. And be assured, your teenager, [probably!] as well.  Could be a learning or reading disability, avoidance, denial, negativity, introversion, depression, anger, lost motivation, fighting self-discipline, emotional or psychological impediments, procrastination or avoiding challenges, ADHD or something no one is even aware of.

For many, there is probably no cure or fix.  However, experience has shown - one of the most powerful strengthening tools in disarming or diminishing those issues – even drugs, alcohol and even suicide - is MOTIVATION.

I instantly hear disagreement – I understand - - but I didn’t say ‘cure.’  For the hurdles I listed, there are virtually no ‘cures’ – only helping strategies.  This is one of the best.

How frequently do we see stories of stars, champions, leaders in so many fields:  entertainment, sports, business, government leadership and politics – how often they’ve overcome impediments from the list above – with only one tool: MOTIVATION!!

Let’s not be deluded – motivation won’t cure those issues – but it will strengthen and ignite your teen’s inner drive to overpower those limitations and achieve far more of their true capacity!!

One valuable lesson learned from Carol Dweck’s book MINDSET is the concept of “NOT YET.”  If we accept the old paradigm of ‘HE JUST CAN’T…’ that’s the Closed mindset – now research-documented to be ONLY A MINDSET, NOT A FACT!!!!!  If, after a failure, we replace ‘failure’ with – NOT YET the whole equation changes.

Just FYI - most ADHD teens with whom I’ve worked became aware that they will have to develop and build coping mechanisms to succeed at life and THEY ARE DOING SO!

So the question becomes where does that motivation come from?

We’ll discuss that in our next posting – planned for tomorrow.  STAY TUNED…

In the meantime, if you have other issues or questions or challenges with your teen, please message me –and we‘ll discuss!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019


NO ONE I know LIKES DISCIPLINE – and yet, it’s acknowledged as one of the most crucial, core elements of ALL success – whether it’s basketball, gymnastics [love that Simone Biles? Imagine the hours she’s spent in the gym practicing over and over and over.!] – or business and professional.

In business and in sales – the best performers and achievers spend many hours thinking, prepping and practicing/ rehearsing. I had a surgery a few years ago – I asked the dr. how many times he’d done this kind… he replied “about 800” That gave me even greater confidence and trust!

We all look up to champions – admire them – but when it comes to putting in the time and the repetitions in our chosen field, 92% of people drop out.

One of the most powerful traits you can build into your teen is the habit of self-discipline!! But then, you – and they – will soon and quickly hit the BOREDOM problem. Doing a million sit-ups just gets boring!! It’s been said that it takes 10,000 repetitions to master anything. NOT TRUE – although it’s probably close. The source who came up with this concept explains that it came from a less scientific and precise measurement. So 10,000 reps is not gospel – but you get the idea!

Want to know how to overcome the boredom factor and make discipline and repetition MORE ENJOYABLE and ENTERTAINING?


1. Visualize 2 things: (1) the end result benefit fulfilled; (2) performing the repetitions WITH A SMILE!

2. Remind yourself of the benefit gained through this discipline [also gets boring after the 15th time]

3. Refrigerator chart, tracking daily performance [even/ also good for parents!!]

4. A supportive partner [NOT a critical one]

5. Identify and focus on “Finer, finer levels of detail” - drawn from the work of FLOW, the Psychology of Optimal Experience
• getting a little bit better – measurably(!) each time
• – each set or each day or each week, etc.
• – gives the user something to target and go after,
• Engages his/her mindset more actively

And if they fall short, such as (o) only 8 of 10 reps or (o) 20 of 30 minutes homework or studying or similar, give them positive credit – don’t criticize. THEY KNOW when they fell short – you should emphasize the positive!
And if you’d like to know more about our teen success coaching programs to build improved discipline and other success traits, applicable for ALL teens, regardless of current level of achieving – or not – contact us at