Archive for October, 2007


Do you ever find yourself dragging to make change?  Perhaps you care about improving the environment, or local politics, or the attitude in your office.  You want to get others behind you, supporting the same cause.

I used to think that we needed a majority of people to get behind an issue to make it change.  Now, through an inspirational One Minute Shift, from the Institute for Noetic Sciences, which advances the science of consciousness and human experience to serve individual and collective transformation, I’m thrilled to learn that I’ve been WRONG!

Listen as author and speaker Marianne Williamson speaks about how change only needs 11% of a group to get the momentum going.  What changes could you affect if you could get just 11% of the people around you to change? 

Here’s to 11%!

Susan Bernstein
Life, Career & Money Coach
Work From Within, LLC

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Category : Becoming more aware | Building connections & community | Changing your mind | Navigating changes | Blog

Last night, I had a mouth-delighting Vietnamese dinner with my friend, George Kao, a powerhouse of ideas and enthusiasm.  He shared with me a quote that really captures the essence of one of the most important themes for those of us who want to do meaningful work in the world…

Don’t ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.

Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Yes!  It’s time to stop martyring yourself trying to figure out how to fit into the world of meaning, whether that’s the green business world, the world of sustainability, a spiritual job, a job with a non-profit….

It’s no longer time to look for work that you can fit into.  It’s time to find what makes you come alive…what increases your life energy…and pursue that.  We ALL feel energized when we’re around people who have done that…whether they pick your recycling or a triathalon-loving nun

What do you love to do?  DO it!

And enjoy it!

Susan Bernstein, MBA MA
Coach, Speaker & Author
Work from Within,
Create the life you want, from the inside

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Category : Changing your mind | Expressing yourself | Meaningful work | Sharing my personal journey | Blog

My family loves to send inspiring emails.  Today, I received this one from my brother that’s really worth sharing:


A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: ‘If you noticed, all the nice looking
expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups…

And then you began eyeing each other’s cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee provided us.’
* * * *

Brew the coffee, not the cups. Enjoy your coffee!

Heck, I don’t even drink coffee, but this all makes sense.  If it helps, change the "coffee" to tea, milk, juice…you get the idea. 

What are YOU brewing in your life?  I’d love to hear from you.  So grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage, and start sharing. 

With aromatic zest,

Susan Bernstein, MBA MA
Coach, Speaker & Author
Work from Within,
Create the life you want, from the inside

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Category : Becoming more aware | Changing your mind | Meaningful work | Sharing my personal journey | Blog

Recently, I’ve had a bunch of people ask me a question that starts with…

"Am I too old to….?"

You fill in the blank…

"go back to school"

"start a business"

"get married"

"change careers"…

Sure, there are some things that we probably can’t do when we’re too old, like being a gymnast or having a baby.  But, heck, you can do yoga and make yourself a pretzel at any age, and you can adopt a child or become a foster parent…I think we can always look for possibilities.

But, how do you sum up that inspiration to do what you want, no matter your age?  I want to thank my friend,  Natalia Rae Kraft of BeginWithin for this inspiring quote:

“Do not fear death. More importantly, do not fear life. Look over your life.
What do you remember most vividly? Wonderful meals? Television shows? Endless
conversations about neurotic relationships? No. All these are forgotten. We
remember when we have taken risks – no matter what the outcome. You will not
find a Spiritual Master that suggests you play it safe… or a Spiritual text
that advises you to avoid pain at all costs. It is never too late to fulfill
your destiny. At age 44, Gandhi was a humble lawyer. At age 36, Mother Theresa
was simply an unknown nun. Taking risks defines who we are. Risk brings life
into our existence.”
~ unknown wise one

At age 36, I changed careers.  I finally knew I didn’t want to be a 70 year-old woman when I studied psychology.  I worked part-time and went back for a PhD in Somatic Psychology at Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, and LOVED learning and growing with a community.  And, if I hadn’t loved it?  I figured I could drop out and find my next love. 

At age 33, my brother left the wild and crazy concert industry.  He’d already been drafting contracts for rock bands, and finally saw that the real money was in actually being an attorney.  So he went to law school to become an attorney, when the average age at his law school was 25.  Well, that meant he already had a few grey hairs as well as a healthy dose of wisdom, meaning he could manage the stress better than average.  He’s now practicing law in the construction industry, and kicks butt in the courtroom.

We make changes…ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, yah…oh, la, la, la, life goes on..

What do you WANT to do but worry that you’re too old?  What does your fear keep you from doing, due to your age? 

What have YOU done when you were older than you thought you "should" be to make a change? 

I’d love to hear from you! 
Ob la Susan Na Na

Susan Bernstein
Life, Career & Money Coach
Work From Within, LLC

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Category : Becoming more aware | Building connections & community | Changing your mind | Expressing yourself | Mind/body/spirit | Sharing my personal journey | Blog

What’s more fun than connecting people to the work they love?

Getting to do it with people who care about something important…like green and sustainable causes.

This weekend, I attended the Washington DC Green Festival.
It was incredible!  Over 300 exhibitors who introduced me to green products, helped me understand green causes, and allowed me to hear amazing speakers, like Medea Benjamin and Francis Moore Lappe,
Riane Eisler, Hunter Lovins, and even Ralph Nader!  Wow!

I was so impressed with the degree of green-friendliness of this mega event.  I bet there were at least 15,000 people who attended, and whether you sampled food or had any waste to dispose, volunteers were stationed everywhere to help you sort your trash so that you could compost or recycle or sigh, send it to a landfill.  I discovered that chewing gum is not compostable.  Sigh.

As a Life, Career & Money Coach, I recognize that people come to me when they want jobs that are filled with meaning.  And, one of the areas of great meaning today is the whole notion of "green" and "sustainable."  So, one of the groups of people I really love to help are those who are considering green careers.  By helping people who are interested in our environment, including the air, water, and land, I am doing my part to preserve the planet.  And, hey, when I help people to find their work from within, I am jazzed to be able to guide them from feeling down, dejected, and bored to feeling joyful.  That feels good!

Anyway…I was thrilled to present to an audience of about 60 on Interviewing Authentically, the title of a 114-page workbook I offer on my website that has 24 activities to help job seekers really prepare for interviews.  What a turned on group, all eager to learn how to connect with their passion and share that with an interviewer.  We talked about the whole idea of beginning with the end in mind, and I shared some activities to help people get clearer about what to say in interviews, without having to "sell" themselves.  In fact, afterwards, a man came up to me and told me that he was so happy to know he could find his authentic truth and share it with an interviewer!  Yes, yes, inspiration makes it circle, and we share it, in our own unique way, authentically.  Love it!

For those of you who could not make it, three key messages of Interviewing Authentically include:

(1) Begin with the end in mind — start seeing yourself already in the job, and use that as inspiration to connect your past work experience to your future at the organization.

(2) Know how you can add value to an organization — share stories using vivid details that help you really make a point about how your past experience allows you to make a meaningful contribution to your (hopefully) future employer. 

(3) Make the interview a conversation, not an interrogation.  In other words, remember that you have power in the interview.  Don’t let it become a ping pong match…make it about assessing fit, and be sure to ask questions to help you ensure you’re getting into a workplace that works for you!

More on the GreenFestival later this week…in the meantime, a question for you…

What keeps you from being authentic in an interview?

Authentically yours,

Susan Bernstein
Life, Career & Money Coach
Work From Within, LLC

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Category : Becoming more aware | Building connections & community | Changing your mind | Cultivating creativity | Expressing yourself | Meaningful work | Navigating changes | Sharing my personal journey | Blog