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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

The power to succeed lies within

Ellen Goldhar

Once in a while, all of us need to take a time-out from our work/life routines for reflection, rejuvenation and development. A friend once told me, "we don't learn from our experiences, but rather from our reflections about our experiences."

Choosing to take time from our busy daily schedules for a little work/life contemplation increases our ability to achieve our goals, navigate more gracefully through change and live more fully.

Which is why 31-year-old Karen Cole of Toronto accompanied her friends from Leamington, Ont. along with seven thousand other people to The Power Within conference at The National Trade Centre in Toronto this past Oct. 4. It was a day full of North America's top motivational speakers -- each with their own advice on how to get the most out of life.

"I needed to get re-energized and back in- tune with the beliefs that are important to me," says Cole, a human resources generalist at Gay Lea Foods. "I recently read a quote that said 'the journey inward is the most important journey you'll take', but there are no courses in school that teach us how to get connected to our authentic self."

Here are some of the wise words from the day's impressive lineup of speakers to help you find your power within:

Mark Victor Hansen, author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, said, "the number one reason people don't achieve their goals is because of a lack of focus. When life throws you a setback, never lose sight of where you are going -- stay focused."

Thirty-three publishers turned down the Chicken Soup book before one finally agreed to publish it. When each one turned the book down, rather than giving up, Hansen remained focused and just proclaimed, "Next!"

Michael Narjarian, host of the nationally syndicated Mars & Venus radio talk show, spoke about relationships. The basic premise of his message was that all good relationships center on respect and appreciation. If you want to get the most out of people, whether at work or at home, show them appreciation.

Robin Sharma, author of the best seller The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, had us thinking about how we wanted to be remembered when we leave this life behind. Will the way in which you live your life currently foster the kind of remembrance you want? To help create a positive legacy, he proposed a challenge: Be the kindest person you know for the next 30 days.

Kathy Cleveland Bull affirmed "change is certain, but growth is optional."

Bestselling author Debbie Ford encouraged us to embrace the good, the bad and most importantly, the ugly parts of ourselves, because anything we don't embrace about ourselves uses us and works against us. She encouraged giving ourselves more praise and attention.

"Laugh more and stress less," came out of the mouth of the "The Jolly Lama" herself, also known as Loretta Laroche.

"Seventy-five per cent of daily conversation is negative. We are a society that adores 'global whining,'" Laroche said. She advises to stop putting off being happy and having fun today. "There are no dress rehearsals in life and today is all we've got -- so be grateful for it!"

The grand finale was Dr. Phil. The 6-foot-4 daytime T.V. talk-show host and best selling author spoke about living life by design and being your authentic self. In other words, do what you want to do rather than what you are expected to do. Start by asking yourself, "Is this how I want to spend my time? Why am I doing what I am doing?"

He also said to be successful, we need to:
  • Have a plan,
  • Have a vision,
  • Be action oriented,
  • Tap into our passion

    So, to sum it all up, the most important relationship you have is with yourself. Therefore, invest in yourself, take care of yourself, be kind to yourself and you'll have more to give and more you can create.

    For more information on up and coming Power Within conferences in Canada, go to

    (Ellen Goldhar is manager, people development at Sun Media Corporation, Canada's second largest newspaper publishing company. Send questions and comments to

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