NEW RELEASE: Living a Five-Star Life
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Stressed out? Use it to your advantage…

Dear Jody,

Feeling overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time?

All of us have been in that spot. For some, it\'s a constant. While stress can be detrimental if we let it, we can also use stress to our advantage…to grow to our full potential.

Sometimes, it\'s all a matter of perspective.

"A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water."

Author Betty Mahalik uses this quote to introduce a chapter on stress in her book, Living a Five Star Life.


Betty is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and founded her firm, Dynamic Solutions Coaching and Training in 1987. As a life and business coach, corporate trainer and facilitator, she has been teaching people how to communicate effectively, set goals, manage stress and deal with change for over two decades.

One thing is for sure. Stress isn\'t going anywhere and no one is immune from it. So, take a deep breath and take a moment to read Betty\'s chapter on Stress, Butterflies, and Flowers.

I promise it\'ll make you think about stress differently.

An excerpt from Living a Five Star Life
by Betty Mahalik

A friend of mine, who has a far greener thumb than I, recently took me on a tour of her backyard in the desert Southwest. She pointed out all the varieties of trees, shrubs and grasses she has planted, but one plant in particular caught my attention. She pointed to a shrub with small dark red blossoms on it, and told me that if you give the plant too much water it doesn\'t bloom. It thrives and blossoms under just the right amount of environmental stress.

It reminded me of another story of a butterfly, perched on a windowsill, struggling to escape its cocoon. A helpful observer, watching its struggle, decided to gently cut the creature\'s cocoon open and free it. When the wet butterfly finally emerged, it was unable to fly because what was intended to be helpful had actually prevented the butterfly from strengthening its wings to prepare it for flight.

Perhaps the stress we experience can be the predictor of beautiful flowers or elegant flight in our own lives. Perhaps if we are patient and stop to be grateful for our experiences, we too, like the plant or the butterfly, will blossom or fly in unexpected ways as a result of the stress, rather than being defeated by it.

I\'m not saying that stress is always a good thing. I am saying, from first-hand experience, that\'s it\'s not always a bad thing either. We need the right amount of tension to keep us "blossoming." And while we humans are more complex than a plant, we can learn valuable lessons by observing nature.

If you\'re in a period when stress seems to be your constant companion, take a lesson from nature.

Instead of asking, "Why am I having to deal with all of this?" ask yourself what you most need to learn from your experiences. View the situation much like the butterfly must see its cocoon…as a barrier you must break through to become the extraordinary creature you were designed to be.

It\'s not always easy to maintain such a perspective. We often make our experiences harder than they have to be by our resistance to change, growth or stress. Stay focused and use stress to take you a step closer to the flower or butterfly you want to become.

"It is a basic principle of spiritual life that we learn the deepest things in unknown territory. Often it\'s when we feel most confused inwardly and are in the midst of our greatest difficulties that something new will open. We awaken most easily to the mystery of life through our weakest side. The areas of our greatest strength, where we are the most competent and clearest, tend to keep us away from the mystery."

-Jack Kornfield

Click here for more information on Living a Five Star Life.

Live with Passion,
Mac Anderson
Founder, Simple Truths

The article above was excerpted from the book Living a Five Star Life by Betty Mahalik. It is reprinted here with permission. You may share this story as long as you do not edit the content; leave the links and this resource box intact.

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\"Mac Mac Anderson is the founder of Simple Truths and Successories, Inc., the leader in designing and marketing products for motivation and recognition. These companies, however, are not the first success stories for Mac. He was also the founder and CEO of McCord Travel, the largest travel company in the Midwest, and part owner/VP of sales and marketing for Orval Kent Food Company, the country\'s largest manufacturer of prepared salads.

His accomplishments in these three unrelated industries provide some insight into his passion and leadership skills. He also brings the same passion to his speaking where he speaks to many corporate audiences on a variety of topics, including leadership, motivation and team building.

Mac has authored or co-authored nine books: 212°…The Extra Degree, Change is Good…You Go First, You Can\'t Send a Duck to Eagle School, The Power of Attitude, The Essence of Leadership, The Nature of Success, The Dash, Charging the Human Battery (coming soon), and Finding Joy.



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