Evening Cafe with Coach Robert: MAKING SUCCESS OUT OF A MESS

My family loves to make fun of my repair skills especially when it comes to electronics. I’ve been known to tear into VCR’s, radios, cell phones and various other electronics with all the confidence in the world that I could fix whatever was wrong. Without much defense my loving family is right! More times than not I end up with a table full of wires, screws and “things” I could never identify in a million years laid out across the table along with a look of bewilderment on my face. No matter how careful I am to disassemble each piece there is always that one spring or tiny part that fly’s out across the room faster than the eye can see. The next hour is spent trying to find the part then another hour determining where it might have flown from! Needless to say the electronic contraption winds up in the trash and we end up down at the local electronics store in search of something new.

Often times there are events in our lives that are similar to my approach to repairing electronics. We go into a job or a relationship with great intensions of being successful; as we journey forward we are paying careful attention to every step to ensure the job is done right or the relationship is one that last. Yet there are times when no matter what we do there is something that fly’s out unexpectedly from our control and messes up our world. It happens to all of us. Sometimes it is our own doing; other times it is an outside force, a boss, co-worker, spouse or friend. When it occurs we feel out of control; it’s like a table of domino’s falling. All we can do is watch things fall apart with a feeling of total helplessness. Like I do with my projects, we want to just throw the job or the relationship in the trash and start looking for something new.

If you have found yourself in a mess and life needs a change, I want to give you some encouragement today. You can move out and MAKE SUCCESS OUT OF THE MESS! It doesn’t matter if it was your fault or if you were done wrong by someone else; you can get out and get back to where you want to be.

What happens when we are in the depths of despair is we start to believe lies about ourselves. Even when we know that the situation was an outside force that caused our situation, something inside our mind tells us that somehow we were at fault. When these thoughts enter they can affect us emotionally which in turn changes our behaviors. These thoughts and behaviors are negative and destructive placing our downward spiral into overdrive.

So how do we change all of this? If you have accepted failure in your career aspirations or relationships, how do you take hold of life’s steering wheel to make a U-turn? How can you go about believing in yourself again?


 Take a moment to think. What is something you have always wanted to do, but didn’t have the nerves to actually do? Have you always wanted to parachute or hang-glide? Maybe you thought taking a short trip to New York, Chicago or LA would be neat so you jump on a plane and do a quick trip. Some people I know have gone to the local race-track and taken a spin around the track in a NASCAR racecar. Whatever you come up with do it within 48 hours of determining what it is. Don’t procrastinate! You’ll be surprise how much energy you will create for yourself; it could possibly be the beginning of some of the greatest changes you’ve ever experienced!


The door is stuck open to welcome depression along with the feelings of defeat when we begin to ponder on our situation. “The Problem” becomes our focus and without warning it intertwines into every aspect of life. The best way to stop the cancer from spreading and turn it into submission is to take the focus off of self by placing our attention to others.

Some great ideas could be to visit a retirement home or hospital. I have gone out to retirement homes to visit and have found those experiences some of the most rewarding of anything I’ve ever done. Perhaps volunteering at your church or a special event at work might be your opportunity.

Whatever you find to do make sure it is focused on doing something for someone else. When get out and observe other people’s lives we find out that there are those who are more hurting, lonely and more in need than whatever our situation might yield. Our problems become extremely petty in comparison. Becoming active in helping others we will see our attitude and mood begin to shift to more appreciative in nature vice feeling like a victim.


Did you break into a sweat just reading the word, “Exercise”? Ha-Ha! Don’t stop reading; it’s not as bad as you think! The theme of what I am sharing, if you haven’t caught on, is that how we feel affects how we think. How we think is fleshed out in how we live. It has been proven that even moderate exercise helps fight depression and stress.

You don’t have to sign up for your local body-building course to implement some form of exercise in your life! Simply place in your schedule daily walks, treadmill or elliptical times. 30 minutes a day of some sort of physical activity will make a huge difference. In fact I would go as far as to say that if you commit to 30 minutes a day you’ll find yourself so energized that you will take the next step and add more time to your regiment.


One of the tendencies for us when we are going through a tough time is to become reclusive. At work we don’t talk to people. We come home at night only to plop down on the couch, turn on the TV, veg-out until it’s time to go to bed and wake up the next day only to do it all over again. Our weekends are spent sleeping late, lounging in pj’s and doing as least we can until Monday so we can go back to our miserable routine.

STOP THE MADNESS! Break the routine by getting out! Do something! Anything! Go to the mall and walk around; cut the grass, take a walk, go see a movie, find a not-for-profit group to volunteer for. Anything you can do to break just sitting around, do it! Laziness can set in like arthritis and even the simplest of errands become monumental when we allow ourselves to just sit. Start to unravel the mess by taking action and getting out!


As a leader one of the things I found that will help a person believe in him or her own abilities is to provide them with the opportunity to succeed. In other words give them a project or task that you know they can do well. When the person comes through then make a big deal of their success! Tell the world!

We can take the same approach for our own life when we are trying to turn the corner on restoring our own beliefs about ourselves or self confidence. Find something that you love and that you are good at. Design a project that centers on your passions and talents, then execute to the fullest! Perhaps you are good at leading teams so you volunteer to oversee a project in your community or church. Are you creative and artsy? Sign up for an art class to complete a new project to display in your home. Whatever talent and gift you might have put it to work so that you can see the rewards in a tangible way.


“Diet” does not mean you need to lose weight. Diet is simply what you eat each day. What we put in our body is what comes out. If we put junk in, then guess what? Our body and minds will become junk.

Focus on eating healthy. The right foods can change your mood and energize your body. Sugars and fats bring you down physically and affect your emotions. Candy bars, soft drinks and junk food not only cause depressing obesity they steal motivation and desire. We have all had the wonderful experience of the “Sugar Crash.” What many do is keep the sugar levels high by continually eating sugar and fat all day to avoid crashing. They think they are energized, but in reality anyone running on sugar is running down.


While routine is a friend (especially for my ADD clients) it can also be an enemy. When our routine is filled with counterproductive activities the negative messages we send ourselves become acceptable and intertwined in our lives. To make the changes we need often calls for drastic actions to SHOCK our brain to wake us up to the reality of our state of mind. Here are a few ideas you might start with:

  • HAIR

Get a new hairstyle. Go to your local stylist and do something daring. Get a cut that would shock your momma! Get a new color…if you really want to be bold and edgy beauticians now have temporary colors they can put in your hair. Get a streak of red or pink. Remember, you are trying to change old behaviors so let your imagination run wild and do something people would never expect from you.


Guys, you’re not exempt! Why do you still comb your hair parted to the left? Been doing it since you were five? Assuming you have even a little hair you can comb it differently; maybe get it buzzed or even go bald! Point is to do something different.



When was the last time you bought a new outfit that made you feel good about yourself? The way you dress can not only change how you feel, it can change the way others view you as well. If you don’t believe it try this experiment:

  • Put your everyday lounging around clothes on. You don’t have to even go grungy; just put on a t-shirt, jeans and tennis shoes. Go about your daily routines throughout the day paying attention to how people look at you, how they speak and over all how you are treated.
  • On a different day get your best clothes out. Put on a suit or coat & tie guys. Ladies, put on something that is a knockout; something that has color and looks professional. Now go out and do the same activities you did in your jeans. Again, make note of how people treat you.
  • I promise that you will find you are treated differently. When you are dressed well you are treated with more respect and can make things happen more than when you’re not. If you do this experiment at work or traveling you’ll really be able to notice a difference.


  • ACCESSORIZE: Most people don’t think about the accessories they wear such as watches, jewelry or glasses. These items can be insignificant in cost, but have a huge impact on how a person feels about themselves. Having the right trimmings can send a strong message of confidence and help change a person’s outlook and confidence.


Essentially what you are doing by the above changes is reinventing who you are. Think about successful artist in Hollywood and the music industry. People like Madonna who plateau or something happens that harms their image; these people have to reinvent who they are in order to maintain or regain their popularity.

The same is true for you and I. When we want to turn our MESS into SUCCESS we have to reinvent who we are. That entails changing what we think of ourselves but also how others perceive us. By taking an outside view of ourselves we can easily find places and behaviors we can change that will have positive effects on turning our life back around.

What I have shared are simply ideas. The things that will get you to shift life into gear could be something much different. Take some time today to think how you can reinvent what you believe about you; how can you change how others perceive who you are?

I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Please share below so we all can grow!

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