Transform Stress: tell your own story of growth and resilience

Kelly Mcgonugal, PHD., invites us to transform stress by telling our own stories and sharing our own testimonials of growth and resilience.

Here are some notes I jot down from my reading of her book that I ‘m eager to share with you.

One of the best ways to notice, value, and express your own growth is to reflect on a difficult time in your life as if You were a journalist writing a restorative story narrative. 

How would a storyteller describe the challenges you have faced? 

What Would a good observer see as a turning point in your story- a moment when you were able to reengage or find meaning?

 If a journalist were to follow you for a week, what evidence would the journalist see of your strength and resilience?

 What do you do that demonstrates your growth or expresses your values? 

What would your friends, family, co-workers or others who have witnessed your journey say to describe how you have changed or grown?

 What objects in your home or your office would a photojournalist want to photograph as evidence of your growth or resilience?

Consider taking some time to write your own story about an experience that you view as stressful and a source of growth and meaning. Or use any medium that appeals to you, such as photo collage, drawings, or video.

 This exercise can be very personal or private, and you never need to share it with any one. But, it can also be a wonderful exercise to share with others.

What brings meaning to your life?

Take a few moment to list your most meaningful roles, relationships, activities, or goals.

 In what parts of your life are you most likely to experience joy, love, laughter, learning, or a sense of purpose? 

When you have listed a few, ask yourself this: would you also describe any of them as sometimes or frequently stressful?

We often imagine how ideal it would be to get rid of the stress we experience at home, at work in pursuit of our goals. But, that isn’t a realistic possibility. 

We don’t get to choose between a stress-full or a stress-free life.

 If there is something in your life that is both meaningful and causing a great deal of stress, take a few moments to write abut this role, relationship, activity, or goal.

If it is so important to you,  you might also consider writing about what life be like if you suddenly lost this source of meaning. 

How would you feel about the loss? 

Would you want it back in your life?

Here is your examen. An examined life is worth living.

Be well,


Finding meaning in suffering and stress: a reading from Kelly Mcgonugal, PHD.

Everyone can define stress as they want to. But, Kelly Mcgonugal, PHD., in this book The upside of Stress: Why stress is good for you, and how to get good at it, says “we’re stressed when feel anxious, busy, frustrated, threatened, or under pressure.”

The best way to manage stress insn’t to reduce or avoid it, but rather to rethink and even embrace it.

The goal is not to get rid of our stress, but to make sure we’re better at stress and make it our friend instead of our enemy.

This is an opportunity to better understand ourselves and those we care about.

We need to understand the science of stress and our mind: mind sets.

Embracing stress can make you feel more empowered in the face of challenges.

 It can enable you to better use the energy of stress without burning out. 

It can help you turn stressful experiences into a source of social connection rather than isolation. This new way of thinking can lead you to new ways of finding meaning in suffering.

The biggest source of stress in our life right now could be work, parenting, dealing with a health crisis, getting out of debt, or going through a divorce.

Stress is what arises when something you care is at stake.

You need to discover your own strength, courage, and compassion.

Mind sets are beliefs that shape your reality.

The alternative to stress and anxiety is to find an upside in adversity. 

Choose an ongoing situation in your life or a recent stressful experience, question yourself and ponder on the following:

What, if any benefits, have you experienced from this stress? 

In what way your life is better because of it?

 Have you changed In any positive ways as a result of trying to cope with this experience?

We become better by the questions we ask ourselves not by the answers we may find at the moment. 

Why not take a moment and continue the questioning of yourself about how to respond and embrace positively your stressful moments?

Have a great day!



Stress is good for you, and you can get good at it, says Kelly Mcgonugal, PHD.

I read this book in a trait. Here is the main question being answered by the author: Why stress is good for you, and how to get good at it?

This new view of stress is the result of the work of Stanford psychologist and award winning teacher Kelly Mcgonugal, PHD.

They say all the time: stress is bad. It causes diseases. What if you change your mind and picture stress as being able to make you happier, healthier, and better able to reach your goals.

Kelly Mcgonugal  invites us to embrace stress as part of our wellbeing, and capitalize on the benefits of stress which is not always harmful, and in many cases makes us stronger, smarter, and happier.

In his book, Mcgonugal combines science, and the art of storytelling to lead us not to get stressed about stress.

“If you have butterflies in your stomach, invite them into your heart,” she says.

Stress is helpful and should be accepted, utilized, and embraced.

Stress is not the enemy. It is the combination of stress and the belief that stress is harmful that kill people.

How you think about stress matters. Your attitude towards stress influences its impact.

Changing your mind about stress can make you healthier and happier. How you change about stress affects everything from your cardiovascular health to your ability to find meaning in life.

The best way to manage stress insn’t to reduce or avoid it, but rather to rethink and even embrace it.

The goal is not to get rid of our stress, but to make sure we’re better at stress and make it our friend instead of our enemy.

This is an opportunity to better understand ourselves and those around us.

How do you cope with stress? How do you deal with stress? 

Feel free to share.


Getting through hard times together

I attended a funeral yesterday in Fort-Lauderdale. It was a very simple ceremony with very simple people who were mourning their loved mother, sister, and friend in a very simple way.

It was joyful, besides the sorrow, the grief, and the sadness of the moment.

I just met Jenny through business connections two months ago. I visited her mother, the deceased, at the hospital last week. And yesterday, I had an opportunity to be with her whole family sharing their tears and – at moments- laughs.

Since the passing of my father last year, I have been reflecting more and more on the inevitability of illness and mortality as sources of suffering in our lives. I have been paying attention on how those in such dire situations react and respond.

In this perspective, I have learned a lot from Jenny. She is a petite, young woman. But the size of her resilience, commitment, empathy, and compassion is immeasurable.

Despite these adversities, Jenny remain firm and maintain her composure.

I have also learned the art of friendship . It is marveled by those around you who help make your burden lighter. I had discovered Neidji, and Taneisha, Jenny’s friends, who have been there for her, and her family, caring, cooking, hugging, smiling….

Hard times knit us more closely together. This funeral is perhaps the most obvious example of this weaving of our relationships and community together.

The tears, the pain, the sadness, and the grief are signs that we need each other more than we think.

We are all vulnerable. We need help. We need comfort and kindness. We just need others more than we think.

I am sad to share my sincere condoleances to you Jenny, your family and friends at this moment understanding that after the pain, the joy and the fulfillment of life will be back.

Be well.


Doral, from a swampland to a striving city hub,the legacy of Doris and Alfred Kaskel.

I discovered what Doral stands for last Thursday. I was on my way to the restroom when I saw this marble sculpture in the lobby of the City Hall building while attending a business event with the Doral Chamber of Commerce. 

The story below is a copy and paste from the Chamber website The beautiful pictures are mine.

Doral, incorporated on June 24, 2003, in one of thirty-four municipalities in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Conveniently located just one mile from Miami International Airport and twelve miles from Downtown Miami, this City is home to approximately 29,685 residents and regularly hosts in excess of 100,000 people who work within the City. 

The City of Doral occupies a land area of 15 square miles bordered on the west by the Ronald Reagan Turnpike, to the north by the Town of Medley, to the east by the Palmetto Expressway and to the South by the City of Sweetwater.The City of Doral has operated under the Mayor-Council-Manager form of government since incorporation. Policymaking and legislative authority are vested in a governing council consisting of the mayor and four other council members. The Council, which is elected at large, is responsible among other things, for passing ordinances and resolutions, adopting the annual budget, appointing the City Manager, City Clerk and City Attorney. The City Manager is responsible for carrying out the policies and ordinances of the Council, for overseeing the daily operations of the government, and for appointing the heads of various departments.

The City of Doral offers a wide range of services through its departments including the Office of the City Manager, Office of the City Clerk, Finance From Everglades to Industrial Center to Hometown – The City of Doral. (Based on information provided by Ciudad Doral article written by Cindy Rodriguez-Pereira)

The City of Doral has come a very long way in a very short time and is attracting positive attention from Fortune 100 corporations, mom-and-pop businesses, young families and retirees. More and more people are choosing Doral every day – For all the right reasons!

The Doral Chamber of commerce kicked off its new Year networking event with Doral’s Mayor J. C. Bermudez

I attended this business meeting in Doral, Florida, this Thursday morning.

Mayor Bermudez and his team kicked off this new year  Business Start  Up Series on “How to grow a Successful Business in Doral.”

The gathering was held in partnership with the Doral Chamber of Commerce, led by businessman Manny Sarmiento.

Sarmiento, President/CEO of the Chamber of Doral, introduced Mayor Bermudez, who told the audience “business is a key component of Doral’s community.”

Mayor Bermudez told me, in a short conversation after his presentation, “Doral is in competition with South East Broward (Miramar) and South West Dade (Coral) Gables to attract business.”

He mentioned traffic as a key issue with highways 826 and 836 as a “blessing and a curse.”

But Doral ‘s competitive advantage resides in its diversed descent Hispanic cultural background with a lot of hungry for opportunity newcomers from Venezuela, and Cuban descents, and other nationals.

Questions were raised about Homeowners Association’s participation in the new landscape of the city.

“HA’s should get more involved to raise their concerns and participate in their vision and fabric of the community,” the mayor said.

I had the opportunity to network with some entrepreneurs and business managers. 

Economic Development’s team of the City presented processes to do business in Doral, permits, zoning, planning… do’s and dont’s … accumulated wisdoms to become successful in their business venture. 

“Doral is booming,” Manny Sarmiento and his colleague Carmen Lopez at the Chamber said. 

“We have real people ready to meet you, and to make it easier for you to succeed. Your individual success will grow Doral as a great success,” they said mentioning the Chamber was founded in 2008 to provide education’s tool for business.

The Chamber holds regular training session on social media, email marketing, negotiation.

Manny told me the Chamber will initiate some soft-skills, personal, and professional development series. 

And as a speaker and leadership coach myself, I am excited to have shared some contents and areas of cooperation with several other entrepreneurs and the Chamber’s leaders to help Doral’s business community and members to live the life they’ve always wanted.

For more info:

Things to give up and habits to develop for a better new you in 2017!

Winston Churchill said “never, never give up!” But, to really live the life you’ve always wanted, you will have to give up some old, destructive behaviors and develop new habits.

It is said “bad habits are easy to form but hard to live with. Good habits are hard to form, but easy to live with.”

Blogger Zdravko Cvijetic, educator, posted on his platform 13 things you need to give up to become a top-performer in life by mastering your habits and productivity and use it to build a personal brand.

You can give up on some of them today, while it might take a bit longer to give up on others.

1. Give up on the unhealthy lifestyle

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”  — Jim Rohn

Healthy Diet. Physical Activity. Rest. 

2. Give up the short-term mindset

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” Mae West

3. Give up on playing small

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

— Marianne Williamson

4. Give up your excuses

“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.” ―Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

5. Give up the fixed mindset

“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ―Robert Greene, Mastery

6. Give up believing in the “magic bullet”

“Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.”  — Émile Coué

7. Give up perfectionism

Nothing will ever be perfect, no matter how much we try.

8. Give up multi-tasking

Being fully present and committed to one task, is indispensable.

9. Give up your need to control everything

“Some things are up to us, and some things are not up to us.”  — Epictetus, Stoic philosopher

10. Give up on saying YES to things that don’t support your goals

“He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.”  — James Allen

11. Give up the toxic people

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ―Jim Rohn

12. Give up your need to be liked

“The only way to avoid pissing people off is to do nothing important.”  — Oliver Emberton

13. Give up your dependency on social media and television

“The trouble is, you think you have time.”  — Jack Kornfield

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 God bless,