Robin Sacks' 1 Minute Mindset

March 30, 2010

1 Concept That Will Change Your Life

Filed under: Motivation,Stress Management,Take Control — Robin Sacks...Confidence Coach, Motivational Speaker, Author @ 4:16 pm

Why is it that we rarely give ourselves an opportunity to succeed? Think about it for a moment…if you would get out of your own way, what could you accomplish? If you eliminated the word “cannot” from your vocabulary, what COULD you do? If you never uttered another “but” from your lips, where would you be?

There are two questions most people never get around to asking themselves that can change their lives. The first is…What is it that I really want to do? The second…Why am I not doing it?

The first question addresses true passion. Ask yourself this…if money was not an issue…if time was not an issue…if demands on you from others were not an issue…what would you be doing right now? Take yourself through a day in that life. Oddly enough, most people I ask this question of respond with, “I’m not sure. I’ve never thought about it.” Take a minute and think about it! If you truly allow yourself to figure out what is really important to you, it will create a motivation within yourself that no outsider could match!

The second question has to do with getting out of your own way. We are our own worst enemies. When I was younger, I worked with some improv theater and comedy groups. The very nature of improv is that there are really no rules…you go where it takes you. However, to make it work, there is one non-negotiable of improv. You must “yes…and.” What that means is if someone on stage with you says, “there’s an elephant coming down the hall,” you cannot look down the hallway and say, “no there isn’t!” Why? Because the scene stops immediately (unless, of course, you are doing a take-off on the wonderful Monty Python “argument clinic” skits!). As a good improver, your job is to say, “that is an elephant…AND he is smoking a tiparillo!” (or perhaps something much more witty that that).

The point is, we do not go through our lives with a “yes…and” attitude. We actually tend to go through life with a “yes…BUT” attitude. The difference? With the first, you are giving yourself permission to move forward. With the latter, you have a great idea and then you immediately jump up and tell yourself why it will never work. You get in your own way. It really is a fascinating exercise to consciously count how many times a day you do this to yourself. If a friend asks you to a party after work, you might say something like, “I’d love to…BUT, I have so much to do at home.” Your child might ask you to read a book and you might say,”I will, honey…BUT, first I need to throw some laundry in and load the dishwasher.” You might want to join a group of co-workers who walk at lunchtime everyday…BUT, you should eat at your desk and try to get some more work done. Get out of your own way! NO ONE is creating these barriers except yourself.

The moral of the story is this…if you are ever looking for answers outside of yourself, you are not going to find many answers. Start “yes…and”-ing your life. You will never look back!

Professionally, Robin Sacks is an award-winning journalist, award-winning playwright, motivational trainer, speaker, and coach. Personally, Robin is a mom, wife, and friend. You can contact Robin through her website,

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Get Off My Bus!

Filed under: Look in the Mirror,Making Decisions,Motivation,Stress Management,Take Control,Your Bus — Robin Sacks...Confidence Coach, Motivational Speaker, Author @ 4:09 pm

It does not get more simple than this. Your internal willpower and motivation are very much determined by the people with whom you associate. Individuals are impacted and influenced by the people who are around them on a daily basis.

OK, here is the analogy:
You are a bus driver in life and you have an empty bus. When you are born, certain people take a seat on your bus immediately when you pop out (mom, dad, family, etc.). Throughout life, you pick people up on your bus and you drop people off along the way. People are constantly getting on and off of your bus. Some are invited, while others are just along for the ride by virtue of your decisions about life and work. You also have people on your bus who are always on your bus, but move from the front to the back occasionally and from the back to the front occasionally. Some of those passengers are healthy and some of them are unhealthy.

So…turn around and look at your passengers. You can pretty much guarantee that most of them look just like you! If you are a miserable, stressed-out, unhappy person who is always finding the downside to things, rest assured most of your passengers look like that, too. If you are a happy, relatively “successful” (whatever that means) person who chooses to see the positive side of life, rest assured most of your passengers look just like that.

Want to know how to de-stress your life and be a happier and more motivated person? Realize that YOU are the driver of your bus, take an inventory of your passengers, and ask yourself 3 questions:

1. Who needs to get OFF my bus? Start with 1 person. What is the first name that comes to mind when I say ‘stress’ or ‘annoying’ or ‘frustrating?’ One just did…didn’t it? You need to realize that you are in control of stopping, opening the door, and saying, “get off my bus!” We hold on to things so much longer than we should sometimes. It is hard to let go whenever you feel you have made an investment in something, whether it be an education or a relationship or an industry. That makes it really hard to just walk away, even when that is the right answer. Never create stress in your life when you do not have to. Personally or professionally, if you need to make a change, you need to make a change. Just do it!

2. Who needs to get ON my bus? When you get clarity on WHAT it is you want to do or WHY you want to do it, the team players become quite evident. Go pick them up! You need to realize that you are also in control of stopping, opening the door, and saying, “come along for the ride!”

3. Who’s bus do I need to get off of? (I apologize for the grammatical incorrectness!) Stop saying yes to things when you really want to say no! What do you dread seeing every time it pops up in your calendar? What group did you get involved with 5 years ago that made sense at the time but no longer fits in your life? Who is the “needy” person who drags you through their minutia just because you are the one who does not hang up on them (trust me, they will find someone else to burden).

It is important to understand that everyone who takes a ride on your bus is there for a reason. It might be to inspire you. It might be to hurt you. It may be to motivate you. It may be to hold a mirror up to you. Good and bad, painful and exhilarating, they all serve a purpose. Do not ever lose sight of that. Choose your passengers wisely.

Get clarity…Get moving…Get happy!

Professionally, Robin Sacks is an award-winning journalist, award-winning playwright, speaker, writer, and motivational trainer. Personally, Robin is a mom, wife, and friend. You can contact Robin through her website,

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