Thought for the day

Life is so ironic, it takes sadness to know happiness, noise to appreciate silence and absence to value presence. Everything has a lesson for us to learn. So stay open and say #yes to it all and then let go!

-Make your mark


Quote of the day

It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.

-Bruce Lee

A smile

A Smile

Author Unknown

A smile costs nothing, but gives much-
It takes but a moment, but the memory of it usually lasts forever.
None are so rich that can get along without it-
And none are so poor but that can be made rich by it.

It enriches those who receive, without making poor those who give-
It creates sunshine in the home,
Fosters good will in business,
And is the best antidote for trouble-
And yet it cannot be begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is of no value
Unless it is given away.

Some people are too busy to give you a smile-
Give them one of yours-
For the good Lord knows that no one needs a smile so badly
As he or she who has no more smiles left to give.

Emotional cycle of change

Kelley and Conner’s Emotional
Cycle of Change

Keeping Going When You Make a Voluntary Change

You’re likely to experience a cycle of emotions when you make a change.

Think back to the last time you made a change in your life. Perhaps you started a new job or enrolled in a night school program. Chances are, you went through some ups and downs as you went through this process.

Researchers have noted that this is common, and that many of us go through a predictable cycle of emotions when we choose to make a change.

When you know what emotions to expect in these situations, it’s much easier to cope with them.

About the Tool

Don Kelley and Daryl Conner developed their Emotional Cycle of Change model in the mid-1970s, and they outlined it in the “1979 Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators.”

The cycle has five stages,

Stage 1: Uninformed optimism.
Stage 2: Informed pessimism.
Stage 3: Hopeful realism.
Stage 4: Informed optimism.
Stage 5: Completion.
The extent to which you react emotionally to something, based on how much it will affect you personally – is likely to alter as you go through a change.

It rises as you move through a stage of pessimism, and falls as you become more confident with your project.

You may be familiar with other change models, such as the Change Curve , which explains the emotional impact of involuntary change.

that the most obvious difference is that the Change Curve shows a first reaction of shock, because the change was unexpected. In contrast, Kelley and Conner’s cycle shows that when you make a planned change, you’ll initially feel optimistic.


We focus on the emotional impacts of planned change on individuals in this article. Read our articles on change managementto find out about how you can manage the impact of change on teams and on other people.

How to Apply the Model

You can use the five stages outlined in this model to understand and anticipate your emotional responses after you make a change. Below, we look at each stage in detail, and we outline tools that you can use to cope with your changing emotional responses.

Stage 1: Uninformed Optimism

In stage 1, you may be excited to get started, but your emotional response levels will be low, as you’ll be focused on doing, rather than thinking.

However, you may not be aware of the difficulties that you could face along the way.

Capitalize on your excitement: make a treasure map , and draw up a list of the benefits that you hope to achieve. These will motivate you later on.

Stage 2: Informed Pessimism

As your new situation progresses, you may start to feel some negative emotions about the project, especially if you hit problems.

For example, you may become frustrated by challenges, or anxious about your ability to meet your goal. You may even want to quit altogether. This is the point at which many projects fail.

It’s also the point at which many people “check out” of a project. Kelley and Conner noted that this can happen in two ways.
If you check out publicly, you may voice criticism, or point out objections.
If you check out privately, you lose interest, become ambivalent about the situation, and reduce your involvement. It’s harder to spot this kind of checking out, because it may be subconscious.

If you find that you’re procrastinating or feeling negative at this point, you may be checking out. Revisit your goals to make sure that they’re still achievable, or adjust them to match your new understanding of your situation.

You may also want to look for a mentor or support network to help you deal with challenges and self-sabotaging thoughts . Alternatively, try to keep a journal. The more you verbalize your doubts and fears, the easier they are to address.

Stage 3: Hopeful Realism

Once you’ve pushed past doubt, your pessimism should start to decline. You may still feel anxious, but you’re more likely to be able to solve problems, because you’re now more familiar with your situation.

Use action plans or project management tools to keep on top of tasks, and look for ways to build habits that support the change that you’ve made. For example, if you’ve signed up to a new class, set aside regular times for study, and ask friends or colleagues to check in with you to see how you’re doing.

Stage 4: Informed Optimism

In this phase, you’ll start to feel confident that you’ve made the right choice. You’ll look at the change with more experienced eyes, and you’ll feel less anxious about problems. Use affirmations to make sure that you stay positive.

You may now be in a position to support others who are at an earlier stage of the change process. For example, you could offer to be a “study buddy” or mentor to someone starting out in a new class, or offer to share your new knowledge with colleagues.

This is an effective way to cement new information, and you may even inspire someone to embark on a similar change.

Stage 5: Completion

You’ll probably feel very satisfied when you reach your goal. Your emotional response levels will have lowered, now that you’ve worked through the problems and brought about a change.

Celebrate your success, and thank people who supported you during the change process.

Finally, before you move on, reflect on what went well, and what you learned. This kind of project review will boost your self-confidence , and it can help you with similar projects in the future.

Key Points

Don Kelley and Daryl Conner developed the Emotional Cycle of Change, and published it in the “1979 Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators.” The model outlines the five emotional stages that most people go through during voluntary change:

Stage 1: Uninformed optimism.
Stage 2: Informed pessimism.
Stage 3: Hopeful realism.
Stage 4: Informed optimism.
Stage 5: Completion.

When you understand these five stages, you can prepare yourself for the practical and the emotional impacts of the changes that you decide to make.
– See more at:

Saturday motivational “bold goals”

I think my man Greg Kolodziejzyk makes a great point in his article.

Take is away Greg

Ironman triathlon, drowning rats and BOLD goals.

I learned a valuable lesson at the Ironman world championships in Kona, Hawaii. That bit of wisdom is best summed up by a quote from Thomas Carlyle: “A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder.”

Aside from simply finishing the race, I didn’t really have a goal. My challenge for the past four years has been to make it to Kona – to finish in the top 5 in my division at any Ironman qualifying race in North America and earn a slot to complete with the very best triathletes in the world. After seven Ironman races in four years, I had finally achieved that goal, and finished fourth at Ironman Arizona in April of 2006 with a time of 10 hours, 15 minutes. I was ecstatic – I had finally done it. I figured it out. I had qualified to compete head to head with the best athletes in the world at the Infamous Ironman world championships in Kona, Hawaii. Participating in the historic, exalted event in Hawaii was to be my reward.

But as Ralph Waldo Emerson said “The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.” My reward was received way back in April when I succeeded in accomplishing my goal – the race in Hawaii itself was no reward. It was just a really long, brutally hot and painful 12 hour slog through 140.6 miles of desolate lava fields.

Why? Because I had no goal in Hawaii aside from simply finishing. And from the moment the cannon went off to signal the swim start at 7:00 am on Saturday morning in Kailua-Kona Bay, all I could think about was the finish line. That’s no way to do an Ironman.

Dr. Richter of Johns Hopkins Medical School carried out an experiment that attempted to measure the motivational effect of having a goal. The experiments involved placing rats into cylinders of water that were thirty inches deep by eight inches wide. After a short time, half of the rats were momentarily rescued by being lifted out of the cylinder for a few seconds, then put right back into the water. The other half were not. The group that was given hope swam for more than three days. The other rats drowned almost immediately.

The rats that knew there was a chance of being rescued again had a goal – to stay alive until the next rescue. The other group had no goal, so they just gave up. I think that’s kind of what happened to me in Kona on Saturday – I didn’t really have a goal, so I sort of just checked out. That’s a very painful way to race an Ironman. It makes for one VERY long, VERY difficult day!

I learned about the necessity of a worthy goal. We are motivated by bold challenges that are only slightly out of reach. Winning Ironman Hawaii wasn’t even in the realm of possible outcomes, and placing somewhere in the middle of the pack was the best I could hope for. After all, I was racing with the best Ironman triathletes in the world. I figured that just making it to the finish line would provide me with enough incentive to enjoy the epic event, but evidently, I need more than that.

It was an important lesson learned and a day that I will never forget.