Friday, July 30, 2004


Fear Junkies

If you have read Fearless Living: Live without Excuses, Love without Regret by Rhonda Britten, you already know what a fear junky is. I mentioned my plan of moving to a couple of people last week. Two of those are people who have let fear dictate their life in a big way. Sadly, both have stayed in pretty bad marriages where there was infidelity and verbal violence because the thought of making it on their own was too scary and they did not want to "lose their nice house". Both still carry the scars of their years on the battlefield - very disconnected from what they feel and want and chronic depression. Both tried to convince me that I "should" not leave after all the work I put in, that I "should" stay to enjoy all that painting I am doing. That I could lose money. Not once did they stop to hear what I was saying about not being happy.
We are all Fear Junkies at some point in our life. We often do it with our children because we are so scared something will happen to them - that they could fail or be unhappy. We end up being dream stealers.

Do you have Fear Junkies in your life? Are you a Fear Junky to someone else? Fear Junkies essentially pass on their own fear to others. If they "need" financial security, they will scare you with the possibility of losing money. (That's a big one). If they have never ventured beyond their own backyard, they will discourage you from travelling on your own. If they have always had a safe job, they will show you all that can go wrong if you decide to work for yourself. It's fairly easy to spot a Fear Junky. Once you know them, you usually don't envy them. You may envy some of the stuff they have, but you don't want to pay the price they have paid. This is different from someone who wakes you up if you are about to be reckless. But then, you usually know when you are about to be reckless.

Want to know where you stand? Being conscious of what you say, do and feel will show you when you are a Fear Junky. You will also recognize the Fear Junkies in your own life.

Marguerite Tennier
The coach who wants to change the world,
One Man at a Time

Wednesday, July 28, 2004


Unhappy and Uninspired?

Do you have it all? Is your plate full? Why then do you feel overworked, unhappy and definitely uninspired? Do you have your choices or do you find yourself with a lot of what you don't want, like or enjoy? A little bit like being served pizza when what you crave and love is chinese food. Except when this happens in your life in regard to your career, it often feels like there is no solution but to keep going because "you've invested so much". Well, investing in a life you dont' want is like investing in a stock that has become worthless. If you recognize yourself, don't give your resignation tomorrow. There may be other options besides leaving. First, figure out what you really enjoy doing. Are there parts of your job you truly love? Spend some time figuring whether you can re-write your job description to do more of what you truly enjoy. If you have a boss, speak to her/him. If you are self-emplyoyed, do some brainstorming. Get some colleagues to help you come up with ideas. If you truly want to go for what you truly love, I encourage you. (I have done it myself a couple of times). Draw a plan, see how your financial reserve can support you. If you don't have a reserve, are you willing to use the equity in your house? (I did). I feel life is too short to "tough it out" while sitting on a pile of money! Examine the fears that are keeping you from making a move (as a Fearless Living coach, I can attest to the fact that most if not all of our actions, choices, problems are the result of the fear that at some level we are not good enough - depending on what your main fear is, you may turn your back on love or you may stay in a unfulfilling job - in both cases, you don't believe in your magnificence. Yes, I said magnificence. Yes, you.
What are you willing to do to risk trusting I am telling the truth? Are you willing to start by daring to dream and then writing it down?

Marguerite Tennier, M.A.
The Coach who wants to change the world,
One Man at a Time

Monday, July 26, 2004


All work and no play?

A few months ago, I got a call from a corporate professional who was devastated. His wife wanted to leave him. She was tired of being a widow. He admitted he worked long hours and brought work home and often worked on weekends and felt that was his job in life to make sure he was successful. He could not see any other way of living and although he said he very much loved his family, he just could not commit to being coachable (willing to do things differently). I heard last week that his wife did leave and I was really sad I had not been able to help.

It is easy when we are in business for ourselves or have big corporate jobs to let work take all the space. Over and above the actual long hours, we often spend a lot of time thinking about work when we are with family or in down time.

Do you work over fifty hours a week? Over sixty hours a week? More? If you add commute time and lunch time, your personal life most likely suffers now or will soon. If you are single, you may find you don't have energy left to develop and nurture friendships - maybe your friends have stopped asking you to join them for activities. If you are in a live-in relationship and/or have children, there is a good chance you don't participate in their life much. I once had a client who told me she and her husband rarely saw and/or spoke during the week. His work took over seventy hours a week! They may also be in divorce court now. Workaholism is also often used as an escape from dealing with a less-than functioning relationship or less than interesting life.

One of the best methods to divorce proof your marriage is to give your relationship the same priority you give your work. And the best way to have a life is also to give it the same priority you give your career.

Need help figuring it out? Email me ( to receive the Coachability Index to see if coaching is right for you now and then we can schedule a free consultation. This subject is one of my top passions and I love to support you to design a life based on what you want.

Marguerite Tennier, M.A.
The coach who wants to change the world,
One Man at a Time

Sunday, July 25, 2004


I know why I am happy - Are you happy?

I was going to start the post by defining happiness and then I realized it could take me a long time to find the words that would accurately describe the feeling of peace and contentment, sometimes mixed with pure joy that I often feel.   I am a happy person and I think I have always had the capacity for that "inner grin" for no reason at all (guess that could be my definition of happiness) .  I read today that Oxford University has just published a book titled Character Strengths and Virtues (2004) which lists 24 qualities and virtues that are essential for happiness.   The article mentioned ten of those qualities and virtues and I realize that I possess all at least to a degree (I score lowest on humility and modesty).
The ten mentioned are: love of learning, creativity, humility/modesty, humour, persistence, gratitude, forgiveness, appreciation of beauty/excellence, spirituality and finally, vitality.   You don't need to be born with those traits.  They can be developed.  I can attest to that.  Although I think I was born with some, I am definitely still developing a few (spirituality, gratitude, persistence (a lifelong task)  and of course humility/modesty).

Which of the ten traits do you possess?  Which could be developed further?   Can you see how developing some trait further can help you have a greater life?   Which one are you willing to target and work on? 

Marguerite Tennier
The coach who wants to change the world,
One Man at a Time  

Friday, July 23, 2004


It's Friday -Let's Dance

"Good for the body is the work of the body.  Good for the soul is the work of the soul.  Good for either the work of the other."  David H.  Thoreau
Coach's tip: Try dancing.   Put on some good music and let go.     It will help you wash away the stress of the week and will energize your body and you will have a lot of fun.  If you are a man, you will also become extremely popular and in high demand.  Start with salsa then go on to ballroom.   
A well kept secret: If you live in the Ottawa area, try the Aylmer Marina.  Every Friday during the summer, you can dance to a live latin band.

Marguerite Tennier,
The Coach who wants to change the world,
One Man at a Time

Monday, July 19, 2004



Breathing is essential to life.  While we all breathe, we very often have a very shallow breath.  Breathing right helps lower the feelings of stress, it brings much needed oxygen to your lungs and all your organs and if you are in the process of wanting to stop smoking, breathing deeply when you crave a cigarette will help you move beyond the craving.  For a great breathing demo, go to, then click on Resources and then Breathing demo.
Marguerite Tennier
The coach who wants to change the world,
One Man at a time

Friday, July 16, 2004


Quote of the month

"To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing, that is enough for one man's life." (and I would add for one woman's also).
T.S. Eliot 1888-1965
Coach's tip:  Every day for the remaining days of the month, commit to doing one useful thing, to saying one courageous thing and to take time to contemplate beauty.
Your coach
Marguerite Tennier
The Coach who wants to change the world,
One Man at a Time

Thursday, July 15, 2004


Clear communication

I just had a quick, clear, to the point communication, by phone, with Ken, my PC man. I shared the problem I had with my PC, he quickly diagnosed the problem and offered a solution. Then I learned he had answered his cell phone from somewhere in Nova Scotia. How wonderful if all our communications were this clear without any mis-interpretation or other mis-something.
How is your communication? If you are a leader, the quality of what you say and how you say it, as well as how you hear what is being said to you will greatly affect your leadership. The same principle applies in your personal relationships. The stakes while different, are as high in both situations.
Here are some causes for mis-communication:
1. Not being fully present because you are either not interested, or simply because you have other concerns on your mind.
2. Letting experiences of the past color what you hear. This often happens in personal relationships when your partner speaks and you assume he/she means something else because of past people and events in your life. The same can happen at work when someone offers a suggestion and you hear a criticism.
3. Lack of training. Leaders are often hired for their technical skills. Yet, to be an effective leader, you need to have those so-called soft skills.

Solution: If you recognize that communication has been a problem, commit to observing yourself for the next two weeks and take notes after each conversation. Practice asking questions instead of assuming you understand what the other person is saying (especially important in personal relationships, because "we see things as we are, not as they are".
Marguerite Tennier, M.A.
The coach who wants to change the world,
One Man at a Time

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


To read

A great book recommended by a super coach, Cheryl Richardson: Slowing down to the speed of life, by Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey.
Your coach

Wednesday, July 07, 2004


Too tired to enjoy your holidays

Are you desperately waiting for your three or four weeks vacation, yet feel all you will want to do with holiday time is nothing. You feel stressed and burned out with little energy for fun. If you have some weeks left before the big H(oliday), follow the following tips to rest now so you can play later.
1. Check your schedule until your holidays and see what you can eliminate to save time every week. Even "good for you" sport and social activities can leave you depleted and tired if you are left without time to just relax.
2. Review your nutrition and add more vegetables and fruits daily.
3. Go to bed earlier and specifically go to bed early one night a week. Wednesday is a good time for early to bed. You will have more energy to finish your projects before the weekend.
4. If you feel that some of your holiday time will be used to finish projects around the house, see if you can find a student who will either do it all or help you to get a head start so you can enjoy your holidays.
5. If you are the "couch and tv type", add some physical activity to your days. Walking, swimming, cycling. If on the other hand you are very physically active, learn to wind down with a good book.
6. Finally, to make sure you do include these changes in your schedule, commit to it in writing in your day planner.
Marguerite Tennier


Creating space

Welcome to my new weblog. The subject today is creating space or for some of us, pack rats, letting go. I am in the process of cleaning the basement in preparation for a move later in the summer or in the fall, whenever I get ready to put my house on the market and find a buyer. Although I feel I am blessed with many qualities, order and organization are not my strong points. I have always excused my challenges as part of my artistic bend. While cleaning the basement this morning, I realize being a packrat has a lot more to do with other stuff. I am sentimental, so anything that reminds me of someone I love or have loved is a keeper. I am a perfectionist, so I still believe I will try at least some of the 300,000 recipes I have collected over the years. My insecurity begs me to keep the stuff "I may need someday" and my upbringing of not wasting has me with towels and bed linen that belonged to my mom, who died fourteen years ago (well, sentimentality is also responsible for that). What's new for me this time I that I am determined not to move anything I don't absolutely love or use on a regular basis. This new determination helps me to put in the garbage or give away bag stuff I have hauled for many years. Unused stuff is clutter. It takes space, it gathers dust, it takes energy. Clearing clutter is not the only way to have more energy and change your life. Yet, if like me you are domestically challenged and you want to change, choose one spot to declutter, whether it's your office, your kitchen or your bathroom, and commit twenty minutes three times a week (just like your exercise) to the task of creating more space in your life.
Marguerite Tennier

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