Hi, I am trying something new.
I will have office hours Wednesday, 8/13, 5-7pm.

If you’d like to:

  • Have a free, brief coaching session about a specific topic.
  • Investigate what a month-long coaching with me might be like
  • Learn about the latest research-based tools for increasing happiness, productivity, and success

PHONE NUMBER: 1-877-SENIA-01 (1-877-736-4201).

This means that I will be open to discussing any issues you have on your mind.
Call in anytime 5-7pm New York-time, and leave a message if I am on the phone with another office-hours session. More on coaching.

My best,

What’s the one most important thing to know or do when negotiating:
* with your colleagues about the direction of the business?
* with your boss about getting a promotion?
* with your friends about going to the restaurant you want to go to?

See my answer here at Coachology – I’m the featured question today. Would love to read your thoughts and your comments – let’s start a discussion over there. Best,


Hi folks,

It turns out that when health news rains, it pours. Recently, these studies and news sources have come out:

  • Eating while watching TV makes you fat – “Studying childhood obesity, University of Toronto nutritionist Harvey Anderson found that kids who watched TV while eating lunch took in 228 extra calories than those who ate without the television on,” says today’s Reuters report.
  • Eat less, live 5 years longer – While the studies are not yet conclusive and while more studies have been done in animals than in humans, directions point to this suggestion: “Eat 15 percent less starting at age 25 and you might add 4.5 years to your life, says Eric Ravussin, who studies human health and performance at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana,” reports MSNBC today.
  • Keep a food diary and lose twice as much weight – “It’s not fun to write down what you eat; it just works,” said study co-author Dr. Victor J. Stevens at Kaiser Permanente Center in Portland, Oregon. The study followed almost 1,700 men and women who were either overweight or obese. The average weight was 212 pounds. In 20 weeks, the group who did not keep a food diary lost 9 pounds on average. The group who did keep food diaries? 18 pounds on average! And how should you keep a food diary? It doesn’t matter, says Dr. Stevens – a notebook, PostIts, on your computer – any method works as long as you write things down shortly after your eat. This report from the today’s Washington Post.

What does all this tell us? Eat less, and be aware when you’re eating (not in front of the TV, and write things down if you want to lose more). Good things to know.

Also safe things to know as we head into summer and ripe low-calorie fruit here in North America. Between watermelons, blueberries, peaches, and nectarines, lower calories are certainly possible in the summertime. Choosing fresh vegetables and fruit over processed pizza is quite inviting in July and August.

Bon appetit!

This is one of my three favorite holidays.
It is a love story in Japan.


1) Get a piece of paper and write down a wish
2) Tie it to a plant or an outside tree by 7pm tonight (that’s my addition – 7pm on 7/7)
3) Your wish will come true if it does not rain today where you are

Here’s the story as I wrote about it two years ago. It is a colorful, wildly fun holiday in Japan!
(Images from here).

Tanabata means “Festival of the stars.” This is a story about the two stars Altair (the boy) and Vega (the girl) which are the main stars in two constellations, Aquila the eagle and Lyra the musical lyre:


Altair and Vega are also two of the three stars of the Summer Triangle, and appear closest to each other in the summertime. (Images from here and here).

There was a girl named Orihime – she was the daughter of the Sky God and she wove beautiful weavings. One day, she looked out of her window and saw the oxen-boy, Hikoboshi, and they fell in love. They spent so much time together that she didn’t have any time to weave, and so the Sky God separated the two, and allowed them to only meet each other on the seventh of the seventh.

Why is the Milky Way involved? “In the Chinese Calender, there is almost always a half moon on July 7th and they believe ORIHIME and [HIKOBOSHI] use that half moon as a boat to meet each other over the great river in the sky, AMANOGAWA [the Milky Way],” reports this site.


As long as the Milky Way does not overflow, everyone’s wish will come true on this day. So you can put on your bright summer cotton kimono, called the “yukata,” and you can go dancing in the parks, and you can write your wishes on brightly colored paper (as Dave describes here!) and tie them to a plant (in Japan, it would be a bamboo tree). And finally, you make that wish wholly and deliberately, and then you let go….

This is the first official announcement on my site about my father’s book.
You can get it on Amazon for $7.95. It’s by far one of the best books I’ve ever read.

My dad – Zak Maymin – wrote a book called “Publicani.” Publicani is a term for a government official and tax-collector in biblical times. It is set in the near future, when one family fights against the government after the government tries to take something from one of the family members. It’s a major action-adventure book. And it’s really – more than anything – a page-turner. You want to keep reading to see how it turns out.

Get the book HERE on Amazon.


The book has received great reviews:

  • A Riveting, Entertaining Read
  • Thriller, science fiction, satire, plea for human dignity and liberty, mysticism, novel about families: you can answer All Of The Above, but you can’t stop turning the pages.
  • A fascinating twist on eminent domain, a futuristic political thriller from start to finish
  • Politically, we are already in the world of the publicani
  • Gripping, Thought-Provoking

I look forward to hearing what you think about the book! Please enjoy it!


If I told you I could teach you two sets of skills – one anticipating and the other defensive – which would you choose first? Which would you be more excited about learning?

I’ll give you concrete examples. I was teaching some great MBA students this past week, and my colleague and I were teaching them both types of skills.

* How to have a good-communications relationship so that misunderstandings are less likely to happen, and good interactions are more likely to occur?
* How to increase the strength of your immune system by being more aware of the good things going on around you?
* How to use your strengths more to bring you more productivity and enjoyment?

* When something bad happens – like your boss calls you into his office with no warning, and says, “I have a concern,” how do you react and how do you handle yourself?
* When someone seems to lose trust in you, what do you do?
* When everything seems to go wrong, how do you pick yourself back up and put yourself together and keep going?

Which of these sets of questions attract you more?
I’d be very interested!


So the answer to yesterday’s question: “Mike did things – you tell me, how did Mike do things?”

Mike did things … as an example to his kids.

I cannot believe how powerful this concept is.
I cannot believe it.

Doing something as an example to yourself and to others.

Now, I know what you might say, “Hey, Senia, how about internal motivation? How about being internally propelled to completing the activity rather than looking for external validation?” I say, “Yes, you’re right.” But I would also say, “How can you make your habit committed, or public, or accountable?”

How can you make your habit into a commitment? In yesterday’s story, Joe had to think about it each time he considered going to the gym: “Should I go? Should I not?” That entire thought-process takes ten minutes, not to mention that that’s ten minutes you’re not actually doing anything at the gym, or that you’re scratching away at your self-discipline, and making it harder for yourself to resist the next temptation.

How about not thinking about it? One way to not think about a habit is to just KNOW that you do it no matter what. And if you do a habit no matter what, you are in a sense making an example of yourself – if only to yourself!

When I started career coaching, and started realizing that people don’t DO everything they want to do, I got very involved with the research behind habits and creating great habits. That literature still motivates me, and almost always motivates my clients when they learn about it. I’ve suggested aspects of self-discipline and habit-creation to my clients to these successes:
* One mini-triathlete was created
* Three people became nearly-addicted to weight-training
* Several people have a morning plank-and-crunches routine
* One person has a back stretching nearly-daily routine
* Two people have a work-healthy-eating routine
* Three people now stand up for their beliefs more at work
* Two people created a morning efficient-working-at-the-office routine
* About twenty people now breathe more and stretch their neck, arms, backs more at work

But you can’t be a coach and describe this research and these results without doing it! The best thing I did in 2007 was my exercise regimen. I am bringing it back now, this year, and it’s a slower bring-back. At the same time, I know it is returning – just like the Return of King Kong! :)

I am the biggest advocate ever of doing certain simple things and doing them well:
* Sleep
* Exercise
* Drinking Water
* Eating Vegetables
* Focusing on a Work Goal
And all those in that order.

These habits work.

There is one lesson that stands out far and away ahead of every other that I have learned as a coach. I’ll show you how my good friend Mike and my good friend Joe live through this lesson.

Mike used to get up every morning at 5:45am to make it to the 6am rebounding (small trampolines) or spinning (stationary bicycling) class. He used to go to bed by 10pm in order to be able to get there then next day. And one day, he told me what a particular day looked like: It was 5:40am and the middle of winter on the east coast of America – i.e., cold, dark, and quiet outside. And his alarm had gone off. He was so tempted, so tempted, he said, to just doe off a little longer. But he felt that he couldn’t. It was just before his 6am class and he had to be there. If for nothing else, to set an example for his two teenage kids about getting out the door and to your goal, he said.

Joe has gotten up early when at jobs that required him to get up early. Joe really believed in the individuality of people and in the self-awareness of knowing when and how you want things done. Joe also believed in people thinking for themselves, and he really believed in the rogue thought, i.e. in the idea that contradicts other ideas.
Continue reading

Hello great people,

Last year was … finishing things.
This year is … cohesion.

Last year, 2007, my goal was finishing things, and in the spirit of David Seah’s GHD resolutions tracking, here’s a countdown of whether I did or did not finish things in three domains – editing, teaching, and coaching:

1) Editing.
Positive Psychology News Daily
Finishing things – I wanted to get pos psych news out to the world, and luckily – so did about twenty other writers – thus, I launched the website and ran it throughout the year. There is a lot more to build out, but the things we have so far are:

  • 203 articles published last year
  • over 30 amazing authors
  • over 10,000 unique visitors per month
  • incredible articles – I mean incredible! Here’s the Table of Contents.

Also, PPND owes a great deal of thanks to Dave Seah, Kathryn Britton, and Timothy So – brainstorming, site design, great discussions. Mucho thanks.

UPenn2) Teaching.
Finishing things – I taught for the first time at an Ivy League institution. I wanted to do this, and I put together a good course outline, and gave it my all over the semester. Being an Instructor at UPenn was fabulous – I prepared heavily for each conference call, and so did the students. Over the nine conference calls and many papers, it was just thrilling to have ideas turn into chatting companions. I enjoyed grading papers! The ideas were interesting enough.

Senia.com Positive Psychology Coaching3) Coaching.
Finishing things – There is a system of skills that I have been presenting to my coaching clients. I work primarily with entrepreneurs and people changing jobs. My main system is targeting-assessment-practice. My more detailed system, and the one that I have been increasingly presenting to clients, is personal fitting of tools to their situations. I am making this increasingly process-rich, as opposed to job-shop, and am really excited when these Senia positive psychology coaching tools work best for my clients. Furthermore, my clients are an incredible group of people, and I have been thrilled to be working with them in 2007 and 08.

Coaching achievements by clients in 2008:

  • Businesses started by my clients: two.
  • Jobs attained by my clients: eight.
  • Promotions gained: two.
  • Higher salaries attained by practiced negotiation: three.
  • Clients who increased their exercise regimen significantly: twenty.
  • Clients who aimed to lose weight – and did: two.

p.s. Since I’m writing this – oh! let’s say “a few” – a few days after the New Year, I think it’s only appropriate that I’m emailing you from near Sydney, where among the earliest of the New Year celebrations occurred: New Year 2008 starts in Sydney (just watch the first 20 seconds – notice the fireworks off the bridge – I am going to walk UP the arch of that bridge next week!).

Remember when we talked about how you do anything is how you do everything? Today’s quote is:

“Put your heart, mind, intellect, and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”
~ Swami Sivananda Saraswati

Swami Sivananda left a medical practice to become a monk. He had many disciples including Krishnamurti. Also on his quote bio, “…He wrote more than 300 books on Yoga and spirituality. He died in 1963.”

That’s cool! “More than 300 books!”