Recently, I was walking on the beach with my husband.  We saw these little white birds.  I watched them run back and forth.  As the waves washed out they would run to sand uncovered by the receding wave, and peck looking for food.  Then the waves would start to come back in and they would run back up the beach away from the water.  Then, they wait and as the wave went back out they would look for more food.  Back and forth and back and forth they continued.

It seemed to me that they were exerting more effort than they were getting back in the form of food.  As I watched them, I thought there has to be a “moral to this story.”  To me it seemed that what they were doing wasn’t getting them anywhere, but maybe I was wrong.  They continued to go after what they needed and continued to work at it.  Maybe we feel that we work too hard to get want we want.  Do we give up because it is too hard or because we feel overwhelmed?  How bad to you want to reach that goal? What are you willing to do to get there?  What is in your way? We can learn from these birds and keep pecking away at our dreams! 
A friend of mine recently called me and told me of a great opportunity that he had to buy a business.  My first thought, as his friend, was to give him advice and tell him what to do.  Instead, I thought this would be a good time to use my listening skills as a life coach.  I listened to him describe the pros and cons and asked him to talk through what he really wanted and what was important.  I asked a lot of “what” questions to try and understand “what” he was really thinking.  After about 10 minutes, it was clear to me what he wanted and said, “It sounds to me like you have already made up your mind.”  We as friends, family and peers really don’t want people to give us advice. We really want people to listen so we can hear ourselves, so we can make our own decisions.  I have found that listening to people brings us closer.  The other person feels that they were truly heard and I have a new appreciation of the wonderfulness of the other person.  I challenge you that the next time a friend calls you with an issue - ask questions and listen to clarify the issue and sees what happens.