Play the Tiles You Get

“Play the tiles you get.”

—Grandma Nelly

Image of a Scrabble tile holder

Image from Flickr by Joe King

In her book, 365 Days of Wonder, R.J. Palacio shares a charming story of her grandparents. Both avid Scrabble players, they played every day for more than 50 years.

Her grandfather, known as being the “intellectual,” almost always lost to his wife, who was primarily a homemaker, not the lawyer who graduated from Columbia.

Grandma Nelly was quite smart in her own right. She loved crossword puzzles. She had a miraculous ability to make the most of the tiles she was given rather than waiting to use the highest value tiles on double or triple word spaces. That was grandpa’s strategy.


In what areas of life are you waiting to get better tiles? What would be the value and benefit of learning to play the ones you currently have, and those you receive each day?

When You Run Away

“It’s when you run away that you’re most liable to stumble.”

—Casey Robinson, Screenwriter/Producer

Image from findapsychologist

I’m not completely sure if today’s quote is always true, but watching action films and TV shows, I see the main characters often fall when they run away from their pursuers. Perhaps in film and TV land this is to create more suspense. Invariably, though, they stop, turn around, and summons the courage to take on the bad guys and win the day.


Where are you currently in retreat mode? What is causing you to stumble? What attitude shift or other resources are required to turn things around so you can move forward professionally or personally?


Remove a Mountain

“The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

-Chinese Proverb

Image of a boy carrying stones

Image from Flickr

Where are you today in regard to some of your most ambitious personal or professional goals for the new year? Are you in full stride, ahead of schedule?

Perhaps you are stalled, have lowered your sights considerably, or have stopped completely.

Today’s quote points to the small, consistent efforts we can all make on a daily basis to begin again, make progress, and eventually move mountains.


What are the “small stones” you will move today, to make progress toward your most desired personal or professional objectives?

The Best of My Life

“I choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life.”

-Louise Hay, American Motivational Author

Image from

Image from


Louise Hay is an American Motivational Author and the founder of Hay House. Through her healing techniques and positive philosophy, millions have learned to create more of what they want in their lives.

Hay House has published about 300 books and 350 audio programs by authors who align with Louise’s positive self-help perspective, and are supportive of healing our planet.


What actions will you choose to take today, and in the future, to make the rest of your life the best of your life?

How can you support and inspire others in your personal and professional communities to do the same?

As a small gesture, please consider forwarding this post to at least one person who would most appreciate its message.

Move On

“Everything will change when your desire to move on exceeds your desire to hold on.”

—Alan Cohen, Author of Daily Dose of Sanity

Image from

Image from

The ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes once said that if he were given a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, he could move the world.

Consider, today, your most deeply held commitments for a better future as your long lever, and your most important and foundational values as the fulcrum on which to place them.

One of my other favorite quotes is, your commitment supersedes your comfort.


How and in what ways can you experience the world-moving changes you desire by living each day more consistently with your most cherished commitments and values?


Create What you Want

“Sometimes you gotta create what you want to be part of.”

-Geri Weitzman, PhD, California Psychologist

BDC Facebook Banner 2015

Doing work I love is one of the greatest joys I know. Who wouldn’t want to wake up each day – especially Mondays – to a vocation or career that utilizes their strengths and unique abilities? Who wouldn’t want a career that makes a meaningful difference in the lives of others and the world around them?

I was inspired by the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games to start my career as a coach. In that ten-day span, 5,000 athletes worked with about 2,000 coaches, producing gold medal performances. I thought I’d bring this idea to the business world to help people pursue even greater levels of performance in their professional and personal lives.

The challenge was that business coaching wasn’t considered a “profession” at that time. Still, the idea seemed to be such a great fit for me, and I had gained a great deal from studying the few people who were beginning to be known as coaches. I resigned from my 12-year career as a pharmaceutical industry sales and marketing professional, and created a coaching career for myself. That was 24 years ago – and the best career decision I ever made!


Where in either your personal or professional worlds do you need to create something for yourself so that you can be a part of it?

“Life is a lot like jazz…”

“Life is a lot like Jazz… it’s best when you improvise.”

-George Gershwin, American composer and pianist

Photo from Flickr by Renzo Ferrante

Photo from Flickr by Renzo Ferrante

As I drive to and from work each day, I listen to contemporary jazz on Sirius/XM radio. Over the years I have also attended numerous concerts by many of my favorite performers.

Quite often the songs and tunes with which I am familiar sound a bit different from those I hear on the radio. Perhaps the reason for the variations is the fact that “real jazz” played in “real life” must be an act of improvisation. Many famous performers utilize local musical talent, who need to adapt to the other’s style with little rehearsal, unlike the weeks and months it can take in the studio to record and get it right.


Where would your professional or personal life benefit most by being more flexible, and improvising with those around you to play beautiful music together?

“The life you have led doesn’t…”

“The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.”

—Anna Quindlen, American author and journalist

QC #788photo from

One of my favorite movies is Ground Hog Day with Bill Murray. I always laugh as he lives February 2nd over and over again.

Through countless chances, he tends to make many of the same mistakes over and over, which leaves him in the same place as the previous day.

Eventually, he learns that his future can be altered for the better.  By choosing actions that are consistent with his commitment, he takes new and better actions that lead him to a different future, where in the end, of course, he “gets the girl.”


Take the time today to examine the life you have lived and determine what you wish to continue and what you wish to change. Select a close friend, family member, mentor, or coach to examine what you discover. Consider developing a plan over at least 90 days, to make the coming years more fulfilling and remarkable.

“You can be the ripest…”

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Flickr by SkySeeker

Image from Flickr by SkySeeker

We live in a world of astounding abundance and variety. Consider the number of choices we have these days in the following areas:

  • Food choices in your local market
  • Television stations offered by your cable or satellite provider
  • Beverage choices at the coffee shop
  • Menu options at your favorite restaurant
  • Mobile apps and social media sites
  • The vehicles we choose to drive


How can you spend more of your professional and personal life with the “peach lovers” instead of driving yourself crazy trying to please everyone?

Everything you Think

“Don’t believe everything you think.”

—Allan Lokos, founder of the Community Meditation Center in New York City

Photo from Flickr by Karen Neoh

Photo from Flickr by Karen Neoh

I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t believe everything you hear.” Over the years, most of us have learned to take much of what we hear or read with the proverbial grain of salt.

At some point however, we decide what we are going to internalize and cement within us as truth. This choosing, whether intentional or perhaps mostly unconscious, can be useful and at the same time, limiting. Usually, these thoughts help us navigate our world efficiently and effectively, supporting a form of life momentum.

Alternatively, sometimes our thinking simply doesn’t work or serve us in certain situations.


Take out a piece of paper or Post-it Note, and write the following questions:

  • How does my current thinking help or hurt this situation?
  • What alternative thoughts would generate even more work-ability?

If you have been reading The Quotable Coach series for some time, you may know that Edward DeBono’s The Six Thinking Hats is a resource I refer to frequently.