Friday, August 28, 2009

You Can Achieve Your Dreams - Ask Kathleen Hassan!

I recently had tea with my oldest friend, Kathleen Hassan, a respected motivational speaker, author and confidence coach. Growing up in South Weymouth, MA, Kathleen and I were neighbors at age five and remained friends through elementary school. While we travelled in separate groups through high school and college, we reconnected when our then boyfriends (themselves long-time friends) were roommates. Our life parallels from that point on quickly add up: we became engaged to those “boyfriends” then married (in the same church), purchased our first homes (in the same town) and each had two sons in quick succession. Twenty eight years later we remain fast friends, catching up whenever we can in person, by email, or on Facebook. I happily consider Kathleen one of my most loyal friends in the world.

I wanted to ask Kathleen about her enthusiastic quest to refine and reach her goals and her willingness to share her personal story to help people, especially teen girls, be their best.

E: Kathleen, you are my oldest and funniest friend. How am I doing so far?

K: Besides using the adjective “oldest” to describe me – you’re doing great!

E: At what point in your life did you realize you have a gift for helping people see their inner light? And please explain the term “inner light”.

K: When I was four years old, I knew I had a gift to be on stage and entertain. I used to star in garage shows and perform up on my dad’s workbench. I have an old, yellowed newspaper clipping from the time I donated my proceeds from a garage show to the South Shore Hospital. I was a philanthropist long before I could ever spell it! It wasn’t until many years later after embarking on a healing journey towards my own self-discovery that I understood that my purpose in life was to be a light for others. To me the term “inner light” refers to our highest and best self, that source of unlimited potential that is within everyone just waiting to be unearthed.

E: Can you name a couple of ways in which your own adolescence shaped the direction of your career as a motivator and confidence coach?

K: My dad died when I was ten years old and then my mother died when I was sixteen. I grew up hard and fast and made so many mistakes along the way just trying to fit in and looking for love in all the wrong places. But those challenges were the very things that set me on my quest for discovering the purpose for my life. I was on a mission to find out if there was more to life than pain and suffering. Once I discovered that within each of us lies the power to create a life we love, I was on fire to share these universal laws of success. I learned that it is not what happens, but how we respond that determines the quality of our life. I also learned that not everyone was aware of these success strategies and I modeled my career after some of the greatest motivational speakers and thinkers on the planet – the ones who had taught me how to unleash my own potential and shine my inner light. There are others, but uppermost in my mind now are Og Mandino, Jack Canfield and Zig Ziglar.

E: I know you speak in front of corporate groups and other adult-oriented programs, but you have a special focus on programs for teen girls. Why do you feel that group needs special attention?

K: As hard as I had it, growing up without parents, I believe that young women today have so many additional societal pressures on them to be “all that.” They are bombarded constantly in the media with unrealistic images and illusions of perfection. Reality TV has glamorized sex and drugs and over the top consumerism to the point that girls don’t have a clue who they are inside and they get their sense of self externally by having all the right “stuff”. These pressures can lead to drug and alcohol abuse, cutting, eating disorders and sexual promiscuity. The good news is that with a change of attitude and good coaching/therapy, (healing can happen when you stop blaming) these same girls can learn to shine their own inner light!
It’s a beautiful transformation and I feel so blessed to be able to help just one person.

E: Kathleen, I know that family is always uppermost in your mind and I’m happy to note here that you have two sons, each living his dream, working at a job he loves. Undoubtedly your philosophy of positivity and the power of choice helped guide Dan’s career in graphic design and Alex’s being drafted into the Red Sox farm system. Obviously, excellent coaching by their calm and collected Dad, Dave, had a positive effect on your young men as well. My question here is: do you continue the discussions with your sons about how they can consistently use positivity and the law of attraction to realize their goals?

K: Oh my God yeah… to the point where they roll their eyes and say “Mom, I get it!” And the fact that they get it is by far the greatest accomplishment I could ever achieve in my entire lifetime. The lessons that I had to learn the hard way are the things that have helped my sons stand head and shoulders above the crowd. They are both extraordinary young men and I am so incredibly proud to be their mother.

For more about Kathleen or to contact her,
please click: Kathleen Hassan is Your Confidence Coach

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An American in Germany

This blog has been written by guest writer, Joe Spitz, VP of Sales and Marketing for Liberty Packaging - yes, he is my husband. Here, Joe talks of his recent trip to Germany:

“You must order the white asparagus soup,” insisted my hosts, Frank and Peggy Krökel. This was the start of my infatuation with this delightful vegetable. The selected restaurant for my first night in Germany, located in Eisenach, served the soup and the white asparagus dish in a butter or hollandaise sauce. I chose the butter and it was quite delicious. May in Germany is a perfect season to indulge in this unique dish.

The white asparagus discovery was certainly a pleasure, but back to business. My Germany visit allowed me to participate in an Intercept Technology™ team building event for representatives and distributors from all around the globe. Organized by Frank and Peggy’s company CompTrade (European Intercept Technology Dealer), the event included a spirited off-road team competition in which teams of participants drove rugged vehicles through obstacle courses (see pictures) and also a day of sharing Intercept sales situations and packaging solutions from all attending parties.

Applications stories varied, but what was quite evident is that automobile manufacturers all around the world are accepting and appreciating the corrosion protection that Intercept packaging offers. Many wide-ranging tiered parts for the major manufacturers are being transported from diverse locations to assembly sites safely in Intercept, including engine blocks, drive shafts, manifolds; there are very few limitations. The groups’ creative packaging ideas utilizing Intercept were proficient such as bulk packing to save costs, and eliminating protective oil application and removal. Implementation of these ideas saved their customers money on packaging materials and labor, but the big savings came in costs associated with reducing reworks and returns.

It was a joy for me to visit beautiful Germany with its rolling hills, quaint villages, castles, fine cuisine, and friendly people. I am so appreciative of my CompTrade hosts for this experience. It was also illuminating for me to meet people from different parts of the world and who speak different languages that are as passionate about the revolutionary Intercept Technology™ packaging as I am. Intercept is truly worldwide. For more about Intercept Technology packaging, please visit Liberty Packaging Co., Inc.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What Do You Do When the Internet Is Down?

We just spent an entire five-hour span without internet service. No email - no anything. What did we do before the Internet? Did we talk on the phone? Read? I cannot imagine - it seems like eons ago and I must have been busy baking bread and doing laundry with my washboard and ringer.

I think we acquired our first home computer about 15 years ago and I recall being a little afraid of it, like it was a dog that might turn on me unexpectedly. I felt so very sophisticated when I learned to use whatever word processing software it had (it was not Microsoft Word) and it all seemed so complicated and uncomfortable. I never dreamt I'd fall in love with email, and Facebook and Twitter and Google. Nothing else for it; I'm smitten with the Internet.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Utility Work Ahead

Utility Work Ahead. That is the sign that's been a beacon amidst the dust and roadwork outside my door for the last couple of days. Sweaty workers wearing safety orange vests and hardhats, driving heavy machinery and making noise. A great deal of noise. In fact, they were setting up at seven a.m. and are still working now, at 5:30 p.m. These men (they are all men, as far as I can tell) know they have to finish the job in a timely fashion and, accepting that, just keep working. When it comes to the basics: water, gas, electricity, people won't tolerate outages for long and the utility companies know this.

We should all think this way, whether it is laundry or homework, customer service or learning lines from Shakespeare. If we've chosen this job, whatever it is, we're obligated to get it done the best way we know how and on time. It's better still if we can enjoy the process. Even if the job is to find a new job. Utility work ahead.