Have you listened to our Podcast?


Interview Suzanne Yvette Seg 3 | Overcoming Mediocrity

Welcome Back to the last segment.  I am joined with Suzanne Yvette author, speaker and philanthropist.  Suzanne’s new book is coming out next February.  She is the co-author of Overcoming Mediocrity stories from courageous women.  The title of her chapter is called Accidental Courage.  Welcome back.

S:  Thank you Penny.

P:  Tell us about this book and the chapter that you have written.

Overcoming MediocrityS:  It’s a group of women that have written two books.  The first was about stories of women who have created lives of significance.  I met the publisher of this book and I actually know one of the authors in it.  I couldn’t wait to get my story out.  I had to get into the next book.  With some help I wrote my story.  I talk about the different aspects that I mentioned earlier.  Joining the military.  There are a couple things I talked about.  One was about being adopted.  Nobody loves you or I was given up.  I found out that I really was loved.  When I started to write my story, the theme I found was that I was accidentally courageous.  It was an eye opening expression.  I think all of us have accidental courage in us.  What do we actually write down?  What do we acknowledge? 

P:  That courage coming from our passion.  That passion might just to be to live.  Passion in all areas.  Its great when its accidental and even better when its conscious.  Creating that courage where and when we need to.  So, tell us where can listeners find out more about you and your current projects, how to get a copy of your book, where do they need to go?

S:  Suzanneyvette.com and that will give you an area in there to shop.  You will find my books there.  You can also contact me at Suzannegirlonfireworldwide.com and I would be happy to talk with you about any issues you might have.  How we can work together to support women’s empowerment. 

P:  This program you have is an amazing support for women. The challenges that women face.  I love again, the three areas:  the heart of a fighter, soul of a woman and body of a survivor.  It brings the woman to her challenges and she fights through them from survivor to thriver.  So, thank you so much for being on this show.  It was a great discussion to make people aware of the components of championship psychology and how it can really support us through the most challenging times.  I am so moved by your mission and how many people will be inspired to support or be supported as a result.  I just wish you all of the best and uh, I think also one last note is that I talk about the rubber band effect and these women you are helping have gone through some incredible and monumental challenges.  I believe in the rubber band effect, the greater the challenge, the greater the spring board to growth and fulfillment.  When you have the right resources to support you, you get that rubber band effect you can grow with leaps and bounds.  I know you have that in your heart and will help those women in a tremendous way.  Thank you so much for being here.

S:  It was a pleasure and I always enjoy speaking with you.  I would be happy to do it again.

P:  Thank you.  If you like what you heard today send us a message www.facebook.com/pennyzperscpective  on Twitter www.twitter.com/pennyzenker.  Any questions just post them to one of these sights.  Join us next week as we continue to provide you with amazing experts to help create Quantum Productivity.  This is Penny Zenker reminding you to take charge of your time and energy.  It is a choice you can feel good about.

Interview Suzanne Yvette Seg 2 | Focus

Welcome Back.  I am Coach Penny Zenker and we are speaking with Suzanne Yvette about the x factor in achieving greater productivity. The next question I am going to ask you is one I ask every guest because I love the variety of answers.  How do you define productivity and why?

S:  By focus plus energy equals productivity.  Focus is the first element.  I have a method where at night I make my busy lists.  I do ten things before ten.  Once that ten is done, checking email, following up with the bank, writing a check, calling the dog groomer to come out.  I get that done in a certain time frame.  So then I can grow on what makes me grow.  Focus on something that is purposely driven.  If I give that all my focus, then the energy comes.  That energy keeps me staying present to accomplish the task.  Focus plus energy equals productivity. 

P:  Energy is uh, what I say is how we really create that productivity.  Not just what we do with our time.  It’s also how we show up.  That energy factor and how we feel about what we accomplish.  I love, love love what you said.  Focus is again, it’s one of those areas of championship psychology which make up that energy factor.  We are in alignment, but I am not surprised.  Are focus and energy the main factors for you in productivity?  Any other ones?

S:  I have to tell myself that I have to remind my clients that doing busy work is inevitable.  You will never get away from it.  Embrace the busy and get it out of your way.  Then focus on what is going to support your bottom line.  Where are you going to get the most credibility out of your day?  I guess, embrace the busy. 

P:  I like that.  I like your ten before ten and the concept of getting those busy things out of the way.  Give it a time frame so you can really focus the rest of your day on the things that are most important to drive you forward.  Great tip.  Do you think there is an x factor?  Is there one thing that what would make that shift that makes all of the difference, what is that thing?

S:  My biggest shift since starting my company is procrastination.  I had to define what that was to me.  It was lack of focus.  I could get distracted by anything.  I could go out and walk in the yard and be distracted.  Focus to me was the x factor.  What I had to do to get over that procrastination. 

P:  What do you think is underlying that?  Is there something else?  You got focus and what do you get focused on?

Camera lens and focusS:  I got focused because the energy follows.  If you are so focused and ready for the outcome, you have visualized it, focus is the easiest thing to do.  If you are not seeing where you are supposed to be, you are not going to follow, you will procrastinate.  But when you are visualizing where you are at, you do everything you can that whole day or evening, to get to that place.  It becomes unstoppable.  It flows like a well-greased machine. 

P:  My interpretation is that underneath that, in order to focus you need to have clarity.  When you have clarity of that purpose, it enables you to get focused.

S:  Yes.

P:  Also, when you get that clarity, it opens up the ability to get a plan.  When you have clarity and then you can create a plan to break things down.  Procrastination to me, is a lack of focus.  That could come from a lack of clarity and also a little bit of fear.  When you have clarity of purpose, do you have fear?

S:  Some people have fear of success. 

P:  More people more than you think.  They actually have fear of success or fear of success at the next level.  Not where they are right now, but they have a norm. 

S:  Focus helps me get over that fear.  I see that cliff all of the time.  Just that little push past the cliff gives me the energy to continue on.

P:  When we tap into our passion, it taps into our courage.  Just linking that point to this.

S:  It also give my breast cancer survivors and thrivers seeing themselves healthy.  The vision of where we are going to be.  Getting them to not focus on the sickness but to look to the healthy.

P:  I help people to break through obstacles like fear, limiting beliefs, etc.  When we break through these obstacles we make great shifts in productivity.  Sometimes it’s not about adding, but taking away, resistance.  A great mentor of mine, he told me and made me appreciate that his job wasn’t to motivate me, it was to remove the obstacles so I can tap into my natural motivation that I had and I can flourish.  Do you agree with that philosophy?  Maybe you can share your concept.

S:  One of the things that I have found that I run 3 businesses right now.  I have to focus on my tasks.  What my clients can do to get themselves up to speed.  I set specific times with them to work on their focus.  What are their obstacles?  We have to get out of own way.  It’s ok to ask for help.  One of the things I do specifically is work with them on how they can be strong and supportive to their family and yet still be vulnerable and ask for help.  The same for the veterans.  They have been strong for so long, it’s ok to say, I can do this differently and or better.  I think it’s critical in anyone’s life. 

P:  She comes home from a day of chemo and is exhausted and has to make dinner or take care of the household.  It’s a part of what she does to support her family and part of who she is, right?  It made me think of an experience I had with my son last night.  He is deciding that he doesn’t want to play the saxophone anymore.  I was surprised when I said would you like to quit?  I shouldn’t have used that word.  I should have said stop.  He started to break out into tears.  I said what is the matter?  If it’s not right for you, then you can try another instrument.  I would rather you focus your energy and efforts on something you enjoy.  His answer was in karate, we have one of the mottos, winners never quit, and quitters never win.  He said that to me.  I said, oh my, uh, and I helped him to appreciate that in this context, it wasn’t quitting because he gave it a half a year to work with it, it was prioritizing on what was most important and most needed in his life.  The reason I am bringing up that example is because that was a limiting belief that he had, right?  That he needed to see it from a different perspective to let it go.  It’s a similar type of thing of having limiting beliefs about what we need to do in certain situations.  In those circumstances, they need to remove those obstacle that are holding them back. 

S:  Not only the obstacles and being vulnerable, but giving ourselves permission.  As women we multitask and have all of these responsibilities because we are women.  I really work with these girls with being ok with saying, I give you permission to be sick today because you just had chemo.  Save that energy.  Store that up and let’s tackle it tomorrow. 

P:  Well said.  We try to manage something that is out of our control.  It creates stress and frustration.  We need to be more focused on what we can control and that is going to help us make all of the difference in how we manage our energy.  Earlier I talked about the energy aspect in championship psychology and energy management.  Those two are the same thing.  I would like to introduce those four areas and get your opinion.  Is that ok?  Each of these areas represent a way to increase the positive energy that drives us.  It’s also the difference that makes a difference between what you talked about in surviving and really thriving.  Purpose- we already talked about that in that it is a driving force of our energy.  It’s that raw fuel.  From there we can direct it in a lot of different directions.  Do you have anything further to say? 

S:  I think that one of the things most important for me when I get up is to remember my purpose.  To say my purpose:  I am a leader.  I am strong.  And refocus that right back into my heart and soul.  My purpose has to be every morning and every evening.  It flows in between. 

P:  A daily practice of connecting to your purpose.  Secondly, is focus.  You heavily appreciate the value of focus and shifting focus.  Culturally, we were once focused on innovation and what we want to more procrastinators and what we don’t want.  How do you use shifting focus as a tool for yourself and with the women you are working with?

S:  Our country has gone into that procrastination state, I agree with you.  I would say it took me a month to 60 days to brush off the dust and toxins of corporate America because it was so predictable.  Then I had to deal with the unpredictable.  That was me and getting out of the way.  I had to focus on getting the job done.  I look back on that and it taught me a lot about who I am.  The more I learned about my abilities as an entrepreneur and a philanthropist, it fueled more for me to continue on that.

P:  Focus is paramount.  When we focus on what we want, we will get more of that.  When we focus on what we don’t want, we will get more of that.  It’s that simple.   

S:  One of the things they teach you in the military is to focus on the mission.  It teaches you strategic planning. 

P:  Let’s talk about language.  The power of language.  Because it is the words that we use consciously and unconsciously that form the questions that we ask ourselves and others.  It comes out in our language.  We hear ourselves say something and it’s a realization of what’s going on inside.  It’s very powerful.  How do you use language as a critical success factor with the women you work with?

S:  When the women go through breast cancer there are body and mental images.  It’s all a process.  Sometimes we can get ourselves wrapped around our internal thoughts.  I am not pretty.  I can’t go anywhere without my wig.  I don’t have eyelashes.  What I do is turn around the thinking in saying yeah, you can go anywhere bald because you are beautiful.  We give ourselves permission to be healthy and productive.  Using the right language gives us the strength to move forward.  Walking into the chemo room, walking onto the battlefield for the vets, we use our internal language to say we can get through this.  Focusing on the positive will give you the courage to move forward.

P:  It shows you how these 4 areas are intertwined.  There is that dreaded self-talk that brings us to negative focus.  Or it’s the positive self-talk that gives us strength to move forward.  The reason I break them into specifics because the more we can break it down, it’s like planning, right?   If we have this big goal, it may seem too big to address or approach it.  If we don’t know the individual elements, we can’t create it for ourselves or break it down to find out what we need to work on.  Let’s talk about labels.  They are a dangerous part of our language and the emotions we create attached to these labels that either we give ourselves or others give us.  Can you add to that?

S:  I learned in the military that the label of being a woman was just not acceptable.  I had to fight through that stereotype.  I could be a jet mechanic no matter if I was a man or a woman.  It was a good four years before I started being accepted.  Then the next label was being a widow.  I wore that one well.  I was told by the military that I would be taken care of as a military widow for the rest of my life, which is true.  I started using that as my identity.  I was still a very vibrant woman at 26.  But I wore the widow thing too well.  I should have been more gregarious about my life.  My daughter can’t believe I never got remarried.  Then being a breast cancer survivor.  I wore that well.  I had to get past survivor and I didn’t know how.  It’s been 11 years now and it’s been a journey to stop using the label of survivor.  I think we can get the word thriver as a much more positive word.  My thoughts are to look back on the past and think to the future, labels can be beneficial for a time period.  Once they are no longer beneficial, and you have gotten through that emotion, it’s time to move forward and create a new label or word.  Create a new future.

P:  It’s amazing again, the intertwining of the self-talk and focus around labels.  How we own them and whether they are positive or negative.  When we take it into our identity it is then intertwined into our purpose.  It’s either driving that windmill in a positive direction creating more potential for ourselves or going the opposite way.  The labels no longer serve us or apply and we are not able to let it go.  That is so key.  I never thought even the label of a woman, that simple label of woman, or man, a never thought of that.  The limitations that it may hold.  Also, the labels we use around us.  Especially for our children.  What are we using around them?  Food for thought for our listeners.  The fourth area is physiology.  We know that to be mentally fit, we need to take care of our mind and body.  Dr. Dunkin and I talk about this as the number one factor that affects a threshold for our triggers.  We have a program and a method around trigger management.  Being able to really manage our emotional triggers.  When we don’t get enough sleep, we are less patient.  We have less mental stamina to deal with challenging triggers that may come up.  With the women you work with, there must be a number of emotional triggers that they have around them.  How do you see physiology supporting them in their process to thrive?

S:  The diet is the first thing we talk about.  Where are you in your own passion for recovery?   The doctors tell you to have certain medicines.  What are you doing to fuel your body with so that you can make that next transition?  You have 7 days or 2 weeks until the next one.  What do you do to give yourself that strength?  We focus on the mind, body and food.  I rode horses for a while.  After my first mastectomy I was really scared that I couldn’t lift my saddle onto my horse.  I had to start lifting light weights.  I had to recondition my body to overcome the medically issues that I had.  The girls in the ranch always offered to throw my saddle and I would say no.  It sure was a win once I was able to do that for myself.  We talk about how we feel about our bodies.  Does he still love me?  It’s not about anyone else, it’s about you.  Do you love yourself?  What is your passion?  Your success after this?  Do you want to help other people?  Become a supporter?  For the women vets, who are we going to help next?  It’s always about contribution.

P:  What a great summary there.  To sum up what championship psychology is.  Those four areas again are purpose, focus, language, and physiology.  It’s time for our last break.  Stay tuned.

Interview Suzanne Yvette Seg 1 | Purpose

Hi it’s Penny Zenker.  Your host of Take Charge of your Productivity.  On this show we explore your greatest potential. This week we are going to focus on Championship Psychology.  It is one of the three blades of the productivity windmill.  The other two are winning strategies and sustainable results.  No matter what we are doing in our personal and professional lives, the keys to success is focusing on psychology first.  A championship psychology forms the foundation for success.  Without it, you might get results in the short term, but ultimately it’s like swimming upstream.  To really get your productivity windmill turning and creating energy you need to point your force and your fuel in the right direction.  That means creating and maintaining a championship psychology for yourself and for your organization.  Now the real key to maintaining a championship psychology is being able to do this when it isn’t easy.  Right?  Such as when you lose your job or you declare bankruptcy, or got in an accident, or a divorce.  Maybe your company is showing record losses or your best customer just left.  It could be any of these challenging situations.

In order to best maintain a championship psychology and quickly manage your energy, you need to know the components and how you use them to your advantage.  You also need to have condition and new rituals, not habits.  Rituals that support you and your automatic positive response.

Today, I am joined by Suzanne Yvette who works closely with women veterans and breast cancer survivors.  Both groups of women face monumental challenges and she uses her message to help them not just overcome their challenges but to come out on the other side, even stronger.  Suzanne will share with us how she uses the critical elements of championship psychology and take people from surviving to thriving.  She is an author, speaker, coach and philanthropist.  She is not a stranger to those challenges herself.  Her story is about finding courage and strength from within even when the environment within you is falling apart.  While in the Us Navy, being widowed at age 26, while being 5 months pregnant she survived breast cancer.  Even in the toughest of times, you can overcome anything.  Why just survive when you can thrive?  On our program today you will learn four key components that make up championship psychology and understand the power of purpose and the energy that propels us.  You will understand the difference between surviving and thriving.  Suzanne you and I studied together.  I am so excited, and we immediately connected.  I am glad you are here to share your story and talk to our listeners.

S:  Thank you Penny it’s great to be here, what an opportunity. 

P:  I know you have been through a number of challenges in your life.  You could you share some of that?

Military woman with a purposeS:  When I first joined the navy at 18 in the 70’s, it was for a reason.  I look back on that and I think all I wanted to do was work on airplanes.  I grew up in an aviation family.  My father took me flying at a young age.  I became instantly fixed on how to get in the air and fly.  I wanted to do something exciting and see the world.  I knew there had to be more to the world than just California.  My father was in the Navy for a short while.  I decided that I would join the military and become involved with naval aviation.  Not many women were doing that.  I had to have this strong inner courage to face whatever came my way.  The guys didn’t want me in the squadron.  There were no schools for women at that time.  As the challenges came at me, I kept remembering that the bottom line is I wanted to fly.  I overcame the challenges as a young age and didn’t even think about it.  So, moving forward in the military career it was difficult but it was obtainable.  I got married in 1985 and my husband and I were both in the same squadron.  We were married in February and pregnant in August.  He passed away in December in a car accident.  I was 5 and half months pregnant and widowed.  I knew I had to raise my daughter.  I decided to get out of the Navy and stay and become a full time mother.  I had to make money.  I was introduced to sales at a very interesting seminar.  I met a gentlemen who wanted me to work for him.  I had no experience in sales but he saw something I didn’t see.  My reasons for getting into something again for being so off of the wall was to make money to raise my daughter.  That was great.  It was 20 years of great experience and I made money.  Then I was faced with stage 3 breast cancer.  I didn’t do very well in the beginning.  The fright and the possibility of death.  My daughter even came to me one day and said, Mom, are you going to die.  I said yeah, but not today.  And about that time, with those words, my language made me realize that I am not going to die, not today.  It gave me much more reason to fight.  Overcoming those obstacles always gave me something to look forward to.  I had something in my mind.  I had vision of where I wanted to be.  This was just a hiccup in that road. 

P:  As you are telling your story, each segments says how powerful purpose really is.  You did what it took.  It’s not always easy to follow our purpose and passion.  With all of the challenges of getting to fly, then the next phase was about making money to raise your daughter.  You had a strong purpose.   And then the fight for cancer, the same passion and purpose came through.  How powerful purpose is in our life!  Especially when we know it and can utilize it.  Do you agree?

S:  Yes, it got me through the toughest spots. 

P:  Today we are going to talk about the 4 areas and purpose is number one.  NO surprise, right?  I know a big part of what you are doing now is working with women who are transitioning out of the military and other things as well.  Can you tell us more about your experience in your transition from you were in the military to civilian life?

S:  It was interesting for me because when I went into the navy I went through boot camp.  Nine weeks of stripping me down from being a civilian to a sailor.  Nine weeks of intense training.  I was locked away and immersed in military rules and regulations.  You are doing your physical training, running obstacle courses, and marching.  After that, I got my final pay check and then they said see you later.  No intense reentry.  We did a four hour group meeting that somebody put on that said, ok here is how you will get your benefits.  Here is what you are entitled to and then you are gone.  I remember I got sick right out about a month after I got out.  I had a kidney stone.  I didn’t know where to go.  I didn’t have a doctor or anything.  I was young and healthy.  Somebody said to go to the VA.  I didn’t even know what that was.  This is where we need to work with our vets and to make sure they know what benefits are available and how to use them.  How do you walk into a VA hospital and be seen by a doctor.  We need to be more aware of helping our veterans and also transitioning them into financial stability and resume writing.  How to take the experiences you had as a combat veteran or a veteran of intelligence and how to take those words and change them into something a civilian equivalence.

P:  The military language isn’t going to be understood in a cooperate environment.  The language of productivity is getting specific and knowing what is important and how people understand things in that other context.  I could see that to be huge for people to take all of the military experience, which is so valuable, so someone who is a leader can make a leader in an organization.  To sell themselves and how to do that is so important and valuable. 

S:  We give ourselves a leg up once we join the military.  The corporate world is starting to see our veterans as leaders.  It’s important to speak the same language when we get out of the military.  We are also doing affordable housing projects and we are starting one here in Orlando to help women veterans.  I like to think that sometimes we women have different needs then men so we treat them accordingly.  I want to start a multifamily housing unit here in Orlando that accepts women and children so we can give these women a head start in to the future.  In that facility, we will do resume writing with HR people.  We will have guest speakers.  A lot of planned activities that will help transition from military to civilian. 

P:  You talked about women having different needs and there weren’t many women in the military in 1976.  What made you join the military?  Was it just flying?

S:  Growing up I was very lucky to live in an area near Pepperdine.  Outside of Malibu.  The scholarships that were awarded to me were to Pepperdine and that was too close to my house.  There was no way I was going to this school and my parents were going to have me live at home.  I applied to Syracuse in New York but my background didn’t fit with what they needed.  So I decided that I wanted to leave California.  It was a combination of a drive or desire to fly but to see the world and just get out of that little area that I grew up in.  I knew there was more.  I wasn’t afraid.  On my 18th birthday I went and signed up.  I came home and said mom and dad, you need to sit down.  I told them what I had done.  My dad said, oh Suzanne, I am so proud of you and my mom said, OH NO! 

P:  What I am really interested in is there were not many women in the military that time.  You must have had incredible courage.  How did you do that?

S:  When I first went in, I asked if I could fly flight crew.  They said no, we don’t let women fly flight crew.  I knew I wanted to fly so I put it a request and then finally approved all the way up the line.  But they put in the side bar, on your own time.  My regular job was in the day and when I would be on these airplanes with these guys they carried guns in the cockpit.  There were no facilities for women where we went.  I had to share a room with the guys.  All of that was just learning.  A learning curve to show me my courage.  I didn’t really think about it.  It was one of those things that I had such a strong desire to get to that end result.  The courage showed up alongside of it.

P:  By tapping into your purpose, you are tapping into your courage.  Purpose is one of those key components in championship psychology.  To tap into that and get clarity, it opens up a whole new world.  Its amazing how tapping into your purpose takes away fear and opens up that courage. 

S:  I realize that this was my pattern and my pattern is what brought me to this place today.  It brought me through being widowed and breast cancer.  I truly believe that the sooner you learn to tap into that purpose, the greater your life will be.

P:  Fantastic.  I know that you are providing coaching for women who are diagnosed with cancer.  To use your experience you can help others.  Tell us about that side.

S:  I started seeing that there was a sterile doctor, medical, big words, terminology and I really didn’t have an emotional contact or group.  I did the chemo every Friday.  What that did for me was it gave me a Friday afternoon of girls in the chemo room.  Those girls became my emotional partners.  My support.  Other than that, all of my friends were in different spots because they weren’t….I wasn’t present for them.  I realized that I needed to give support back.  With my coaching it is three phases.  If you are just going through breast cancer, if you just were diagnosed with breast cancer, or if you are survivor and you would like to live as a thriver.  We work on all three parts of the process.  So, when you are first diagnosed you have to have a heart of a fighter.  You have to be able to say I am going to fight like I have never fought before.  Having someone alongside of you, you don’t have to fight alone.  The other part is I work with the soul of a woman.  Now that you have lost your hair and are going through the chemo, who do you talk to?  Who do you ask, will I really go bald?  Who do you ask questions to that has your emotional side covered?  I work with women who are currently in remission or have been given the all clear that they are done with cancer.  How do you become a thriver?  How do you change your focus on just surviving?  Through my coaching I take women through, what is your passion?  What is your purpose?  What are we going to do to stay healthy?  What language do we use?  Do we consider ourselves survivors?  Those are the types of coaching that I do. 

P:  We will get more into detail later in the show around that.  Those areas that you mentioned are the areas of championship psychology.  There are so many synergies in what you are offering in your heart of a fighter method.  You can help those women tap into that championship psychology.  Those three areas are heart of a fighter, soul of a women, and body of a survivor.  I absolutely love that!  We are ready to take a break.  Stay tuned.

Drive by Daniel Pink

Daniel Pink tells us that most of what we think about motivation is wrong.

Researchers show that the carrot and stick method so often used in the corporate setting is not motivating your staff like you think it is. Maybe that’s what is reflected in the Gallup study with 70% of the workforce disengaged. We are trying to engage them in the wrong way.


Drive by Daniel Pink

Courtesy: Nathalie Magniez/Flickr


There are instances he points out where the carrot and stick method of extrinsic motivators, such as money, works effectively. These situations are when the tasks are mundane and it is just the execution of a simple step by step process. These situations require little creativity and therefore see success with external motivators.

In his book, Daniel Pink points out that financial rewards can create bad behavior: reaching the goal at all costs, causing shortcuts and unethical short-term thinking and behavior. Other challenges are that the financial reward becomes expected and addictive.

When you want to access the creativity, conceptual thinking and problem solving of people and activate their level of engagement, the best motivators are the internal motivators.

Daniel Pink challenges the goal setting process of an organization that provides fixed goals for people. He says they are not always in alignment with our deep-seated desire to direct our own lives, to extend and expand our abilities, and to live a life of purpose. Daniel Pink points these three areas as the drivers of human motivation:

Autonomy—the desire to direct our own lives

Mastery—to advance our skills and knowledge in something that matters to us

Purpose—The need to serve others

Here are some interesting statements around each area:


‘If-then’ rewards require people to forfeit some of their autonomy. Goals set by others diminish autonomy and intrinsic motivation. The less say people have, the less autonomy they feel. It can often create a sense of apathy around the goals themselves.


Rewards, by their very nature, narrow our focus. Rewards take away the desire to master the topic, do their best or rise to the occasion. Rewards create competition and put limitations on people’s effort and motivation to succeed.


Interestingly enough, in a study done around blood donors, when financial incentives were provided people were less interested to serve others as it wasn’t genuine. Instead of increasing the number of blood donors, offering to pay people decreased the number by nearly half.

This goes against what most people think but studies have proven this to be true. Extrinsic motivators are not the best way to engage people and bring out their best.

The premise of the book is to take employees from compliance to engagement. It’s important to understand what intrinsically motivated people and how to connect them to these intrinsic motivators.

When leaders try to use control, it may create some compliance but removes the engagement, accountability, and creativity that comes from employees owning their work. People need to be seen as partners not resources.

In the traditional workforce motivation model, companies use reward and punishment. These external factors also usually come at the end of the process. Accountability and ownership need to be fostered at the beginning of the process.

Read the book and stop using financial rewards and start sparking intrinsic motivators. Share some ways you engage your staff to spark the three intrinsic motivators.

Image Source: Flickr

Interview Sky Blossoms Seg 3 | Relationships and Intuition

Welcome back to the last segment of this week’s take charge of your productivity.  I am with Sky Blossoms, author of The Best Thing Ever. Glad you are here. Today we are going to talk about 3 tips to improve relationships.  Also, we will talk about intuitive signals.  We talked in the last segment that our choices are either towards love and courage or towards fear.  You mentioned that there is a discomfort.  That is a way that our bodies are talking to us as well as our minds.  Tell us about how we can better understand and recognize those signals so we can use them toward our benefit. 

S:  People confuse all kinds of things for intuition.  I have clients who thought their stomach pains were their intuitions and were not.  It can be confusing.  It’s a great thing to talk about.  Intuition is never unpleasant.  It always comes in the form of inspiration.  Often people miss that just because its such a gentle and light signal.  Because they miss it, that is when they go down the wrong road.  Their GPS are screaming at them and then they feel resistance.  Intuition comes to us in a very gentle way.  Its more like an invitation.  When you don’t go with it, you start to get those tightening feelings in the stomach and the feeling of resistance.  That is when you missed your first intuitive signal. 

P:  When it manifests itself, because it can as stomach pains or something physical, to me that is almost like when have completely avoided the incongruence that we are feeling, it then comes into a physical form.  It is causing us stress.

Relationships and intuitionS:  Already at that point, when the pain occurs, it is not intuition, it’s your body screaming that you are going down the wrong road.  That is the key difference.  Intuition is always like a inspiration.  It is very light and in order for people to learn and understand their intuitive signals, there will be hidden messages.  Let’s say you are about to leave the house.  You are by the door and you remembered that you forgot to get something important.  You go and grab it, acknowledge that your intuition reminded you that you forgot something important.  Acknowledge will help you be more in tune for next time.  Second, while you are at it, take a second to the moment of remembering and remember how it felt in your body.  Create an anchor, touch your ear, for example.  Or put together your pinky and your thumb on one hand, create a signal for yourself for understanding your intuition.  You anchor your intuition into your physiology and next time when you need to make an important decision, and you are torn and don’t know which way to go, you can make this signal and your body will know that this means you need to tune into your intuition.  It will help you recognize the right answer.  Once you do this over and over again by going back and thinking it, and noticing how it felt in your body, then next time, it will be much easier to recognize. 

P:  For those of you who don’t know what an anchor is, would you describe what that is?

S:  Back in the day a very famous Russian physiologists studied a dog’s salivation.  He was feeding food to dogs with a bell’s signal.  Every time the dog received food, there was a ringing of the bell.  After while he started to ring the bell and the dogs were starting to salivation.  Even without the food.  The signal was not even related to food.  It was a bell.  By connecting your fingers and have our intuition be the bell, you would get the same response. 

P:  It’s a way to call onto your intuition when you need it.  Because you have programmed yourself to do that.  It’s an interesting way to use an anchor.  You call your intuition.  I like it.  That will help people be more conscious of their intuition.  In my program I always talk about the idea of productivity.  All of these things indirectly affect our productivity.  Intuitively knowing what you need to do next.  Obviously it doesn’t mean you can just go on to intuition.  You have to do some planning.  It does help give you direction and focus when you don’t have that clarity.  A lot of people are focused around time.  Time is a constant when we try to manage something that is out of our control.  It creates stress and frustration.  We know that today’s world, stress is the number one killer of our productivity.  Do you agree?  Some of the tips we talked about earlier are going to help you improve those relationships by releasing negative emotions or energy that are creating resistance.  Also, you said you would share a few tips to help their relationships in a dramatic way.  Now would be a great time to share those.

S:  Three tips on how you can improve your relationships dramatically.  They can fall into your championship psychology principles.  The first is purpose.  When we talk about relationships, whenever I hear people talk about the purpose of their relationships, it’s at the core of your success.  It goes for your personal relationships and work relationships.  All kinds.  Before you engage in a relationship with someone, you should be very clear in what you what as the result.  At different times in your life, there are different purposes for relationships.  You have to be clear definition.  Once you know the purpose of your relationship, it goes above the relationship itself.  It pulls you through any challenges that may arise down the road.  For example, if you have a business partner and you disagree with him or her at the moment, then the moment you remind yourself why you have this business partner, what the purpose is, it will help you find solutions together.  You are not focused on being right or your partner being wrong, you are focused on what is it that the two of you want together.  It brings you into that flow.  The same goes for intimate relationships.  When you have an argument or disagreement, your purpose will pull you through. 

P:  Is your tip to define it?

S:  To be clear. 

P:  To actually sit down and write it.  Be clear especially for your relationships that are important to you.  Give it the time and energy.  Sit down together and then separately to really write it down and be clear on that purpose.

S:  Even before you have that relationship, write the description of your partner.  Start with why you want to be in the relationship.  What do you want out of this relationship?  What kind of relationship do you want to have?  Then you go into what kind of mate you need to be with in order to fulfill that purpose of relationship.  And what kind of person do you need to be?  The second tip is presence.  That has to do with focus.  We touched on that a little bit.  That lack of presence is the biggest challenge that I see in relationships these days.  I saw somebody posting on Facebook a picture of two children where one boy is comforting a girl while watching a show on his tablet.  A mother of a girl saying oh, how cute, he’s such a modern day man, he is comforting Gracie.  At the same time was watching a show on a tablet.  I thought, Oh my God, that is exactly the problem we are faced with.  People do this all of the time.  They sit down to dinner together and they text somebody, or talk to their spouse at the same time, stare at the tv or something else.  That presence and focus on your partner, will mean the quality of your communication.  On a business meeting, when you talk to your employees or colleagues, it’s like being completely and fully present for that moment in time with them, for them and for the common purpose that you are achieving.  It’s going to take the quality of communication to a completely different level.  The third tip is authenticity.  As we talked before we train ourselves to be liked by others and to be approved.  It takes us so far sometimes from who we really are.  We walk on eggshells or smiling when we don’t feel like smiling and say things we don’t mean to say.  We don’t speak our truth when we are called to do that for fear of being disapproved.  This is essentially lying.  We don’t call it that but it is lying.  The biggest damage its doing is that it betrays your own integrity.  When you start disrespecting yourself, you cannot grow and earn respect of others.  When you start losing a sense of who you are, your identity, it inevitably leads to depression and other unfavorable consequences.  Including poor quality relationships.  Having that courage to step up and make the choice towards love and towards truth in your heart because we always know what is wrong or right for us and what needs to be done.  Just acting on that, regardless of the possible circumstances, will always effect the level of happiness that you experience. 

P:  Those are three great tips that I hope everybody has written down.  Keep those at the top of your mind.  Before we wrap up, I want to hear about your new book that is coming out.  Tell me about it.

S:  My book is called The Best Thing Ever.  I wrote it for high achievers who are not willing to settle for mediocracy in their personal relationships.  It’s a step by step guide on how to create truly blissful love life.  How do recognize love from infatuation.  The difference between commitment and devotion.  How to create that magic on a daily basis with your mate. 

P:  Where can people find more information about it?

S:  The best way is to go to my website BestThingEver.Com  The book will be released on February 4th and I will have some amazing gifts to celebrate the date of release.  I will be giving away for one day only sets of amazing meditations that I have created.  Ten days of Magic and those are my journeys focused ten days in a row on appreciation.  It opens your heart to real love.  Gratitude makes wonders in your life.  I have experienced that personally.  I absolutely think that focusing on appreciation can create miracles.  The second set is design to clearing connections with ex-lovers and finding your core and getting in tune with your intuition.  Those are more of exercises designed to achieve a particular purpose. 

P:  Fantastic.  Sky it was so great having you here.  Time flew by and I know the listeners got some really great tips that they can take away.  Thank you so much for being here. It’s important to understand the items that bring us balance.  And that there are levers in our emotional energy.  Although many people get good at compartmentalizing, relationships are and always will be a lever in our energy management and productivity.  Understanding the principles of championship psychology will help you to better understand how we process information and feel all of those emotions because we are human and we need to feel the ups and downs.  The key is to how to learn about the experiences and release the negative emotions and move forward and stay on path and purpose.  My quantum productivity system provides an online way to get access to the basic principles of creating and maintaining a championship psychology.  And for those of you that want it at a deeper level, together with Dr. Duncan md.  He and I offer a two day boot camp where we go into more depth and immerse you into those ten principles.  We live a legacy every day in how we show up.  As I said in the beginning, every day is game day.  The question is how will you show up?  If you like what you heard here, send us a message on Facebook or Twitter.  www.facebook.comPennyZperspective www.twitter.com/pennyzenker.  Join us next week as we continue to provide you with information that will dramatically increase your productivity and create what I call Quantum Productivity.  This is Penny Zenker reminding you to take charge of your time and energy.  It is a choice you can feel good about.

Interview Sky Blossoms Seg 2 | Productivity and Relationships

Welcome Back.  Welcome back Sky.

S:  Thank you.

P:  I ask this question to everyone.  How do you define productivity and why?

S:  Productivity is synonymous with inspiration.  Being able to accomplish the most of your purpose in the shortest and the most efficient amount of time.  It also implies being in the zone and inspired and in the state when you flow.  When all aligns for you.  Whatever you set out to achieve, it just flows.

P:  Great.  To get to this place of inspiration or flow, what are the factors or elements that have the greatest impact?

S:  It is your overall state.  I love your four elements of championship psychology because they are crucial.  I agree on that.  First and foremost, it is your physiology.  You have to feel vibrant and enthusiastic.  The energy needs to flow so you can breathe and be at your best.  Then it’s your state of mind and knowing the purpose.  What do you want to achieve?  Just focus on tasks at hand.  On what needs to be done.  I think all of these stem from our purpose.  Purpose is at the core of those things.

P:  I can see that most people when they really tap into their purpose, then that is a sense of inspiration.  I was talking last week with Suzanne Oliver and she was talking about that when you tap into that purpose, and have that passion that it actually eliminates any fear.  I see that being a basis for inspiration too, right?  The internal ability to go after it and make it happen.

S:  I agree.  I was in the boardroom with a bunch of brilliant entrepreneurs last month and we talked about breaking through beliefs.  If you are getting stopped by the obstacles then your purpose is not strong enough. 

Obstacles in Productivity and RelationshipsP:  I have my mentor, Steve Lindor, he uses the example of crossing a busy highway?  Most people would say no, right?  Then he said what if your child was on the other side of that highway.  It changes that purpose.  You find a way across that highway.  Speaking of breaking through obstacles, productivity and profits are a natural byproduct of removing the obstacles and resistance that will naturally create a greater level of productivity.  You will be able to focus more energy and clarity into moving forward.  It’s a natural byproduct.  What kind of obstacles do you help people overcome to create relationships?

S:  Many of us adapt limiting beliefs and perspective.  Then our behavior is affected by those perceptions.  That is the core of what I help my clients with resolving.  I believe every step of our journey in life pretty much every moment of every day, we are presented with a choice.  You can choose or another.  It’s a fork in the road.  You can either make a choice that is empowering and becomes a statement of who you are.  You are declaring who you are.  Your true essence comes through in your deeds, decisions and the product you are making.  In your words that you are speaking.  Or you make this empowering choice driven by fear.  This fork in the road leads you towards love or fear.  Your decision is based on either or.  Every time you make a choice towards love you end up growing and achieving.  If driven by fear, you end up suffering and life keeps presenting you the same choice.  When we are children often our parents would reprimand us or we would get criticized.  We start molding our behavior to be liked.  That is the motive that is driven by fear.  As long as we continue making the choice driven by fear, we are going to end up suffering.  I help my clients try to trace back in certain belief systems, their inner presence, when in their life they first made the choice that led them down the road of fear verses the road of courage and loss.  I help them change the choice to a more empowering one.  I show them how to consistently make the same empowering choice in similar circumstances. 

P:  People might say, I am not making a choice from fear.  Its love or somewhere in between.  How do you help people to better understand whether it’s a choice of fear or love or something in between?

S:  Great question.  I believe there is no choice in between.  It’s either or.  How you decide is to make a choice towards love or courage, makes you feel empowered and good about yourself.  You always feel certain degrees of confidence.  Making a choice driven by fear, you always feel a little diminished or less.  It’s uncomfortable.  It always creates resistance.  Choice towards fear always makes resistance. People confuse love with fear all of the time.  It’s one of our biggest confusions.  Worrying about your child for example.  It seems to be natural but is it a choice of fear or love?  Its fear.  Worried about your loved ones or your lover cheating on you.  It is all choices of fear which never leave you down happy life experiences.  The choice of love will require courage and will require trust.  Not worrying about your child you will believe that your child has wisdom within him or herself.  They can be in tuned with their own intuition and make the right choices.  You teach them to the best of their ability.  The universe of God or whatever your belief system is, will take care of them.  It will happen.  Worry is never helpful. 

P:  Because you are focused on that fear.  We are creatures of habit.  When we are in a habit of feeling fear and being in that discomfort or resistance, it’s our norm.  A lot of people live in that place of norm and they may not recognize it to be an uncomfortable feeling.  Is that possible?  How do you bring people to really come more into their heart or shift them from the fear side to the other side of love and courage?

S:  Great questions.  Most people live in the state of chronic fear or chronic pain.  I learned in medical school, unfortunately, chronic diseases are incurable.  Until their pain is taken into an acute form, I can’t help them. 

P:  Until it’s gotten so bad that there is an urgency to fix it? 

S:  Yes.  For example.  Take a smoker.  They say they don’t really want to.  They quit for a day or two.  Then they start again.  They want to quit but they never do.  One day they are diagnosed with lung cancer and then they quit all of a sudden.  In the instant.  Because there is a different leverage.  The situation became acute.  The same thing happens when people make the consistent choice of fear and there life experiences will present new challenges of a similar quality.  You may notice many people experience the same problem over and over again.  Different places, faces, etc.  Like Groundhogs day.  Financial struggles, partner will always cheat on them, or other challenges that people suffer from.  At one point they will be feeling like I am done with this.  I don’t want to experience this pain a second longer.  I refuse to live like that.  I deserve better.  I want better.  I am done with this.  At the moment they feel this, that is when I can help them.  That is when the shift can occur.  When the breakthroughs happen.  That is when rapid growth is possible.  Until that moment, unfortunately, as long as they are comfortable in their pain, nothing is going to change.  Our culture is supportive of soothing that edge of pain.  Through ice cream, tv, distractions, work, other things.  They are led away from feeling their own discomforts or pain. 

P:  I know you have ways to help people release negative emotions.  Let’s give them some tips.  What are one or two things that you could suggest for people to help relieve negative emotions say they can have better relationships and improve their productivity?

S:  One suggestion is to release negative emotions as soon as they arise.  Driving is a stressful situation.  Somebody cuts you off and you get upset and our mind chatter goes into blame of those people.  How could they drive this way?  At this very moment, when this distractive mind chatter starts, take a deep breath, inhale, exhale, and ask yourself a productive question:  What is it I want right now?  What happened happened, it sucks but what do I want.  Usually some more pleasant ideas will come into your mind.  The next question you ask yourself, what can I do right here and right now from where I am at to what I want in order to feel better?  Your mind will supply productive answers. 

P:  Asking ourselves questions, one of the things I say, is the quality of our life is related to the quality of questions we ask ourselves and others.  It’s so easy.  When we have that negative self-talk or blame, especially with relationships, we need to be conscious of when we start to blame instead of taking responsibility.  We are not saying what is my role?  It’s not to say someone didn’t cut you off and you were in the right.  It’s important to recognize when any blame or anger feelings come up.  There are a couple questions that I usually use and my mentor created them.  He got me to really think about what does this mean?  Then to ask it again, and again,.  What does this mean and what else could this mean?  The same person who cuts you off, you might want to think, is that person really doing it to me?  No.  It could also mean that that person had a bad day and they just got fired.  Maybe someone in their life has passed away.  The next question is one of the most important ones is what can I learn from that?  Is there something you can learn? It is my belief and experiences with my clients and people I work with is when we get the learning, we let go of the negative emotions.  Those patterns that repeat themselves, repeat themselves is because we haven’t learned the lesson.  So those are just a few additional questions people can ask.  When you learn something, how great is it that you can share with someone else and help them to avoid discomfort or to give them the benefit of what you have been able to learn. 

S:  Questions can benefit your relationships when you are faced with blame or criticism.  You do exactly the same thing.  It’s much harder.  When we are blamed or criticized we take it so seriously.  When you are blamed or criticized, first question the validity of that.  Ask the person coming at you, is that true?  They will say yeah and continue on with their rumble.  If you ask the question enough times, and the person really cares for you, sooner or later, they will say, no it’s not always true, but…..  Once you have shaken their confidence then you can start getting to constructive points.  The next question is, I understand and what is it you want? 

P:  When they are global in everything you do, it makes me angry or whatever it is, you can’t get past it.  You need to get more specific.  Something else that came to mind that you can ask yourself is what needs are not being met of your partner?  You can better understand from their model of the world what is creating this emotion.  What has triggered that?

S:  When you switch that focus from you onto them and focus on how you can improve their life, your whole conversation changes.

P:  Thank you for those tips.  We are going to take a short break then we will be back again.  When we come back we will be talking with Sky Blossoms.  More tips with energy and how energy affects our relationships.