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October 2007
by Dorene Lehavi, Ph.D.: Motivational Article

Business Articles by Business Coach Dorene Lehavi

    I am gazing at the ocean, but I cannot see it. California is on fire.

The horizon is heavy with grey ash and with air we have been advised to avoid breathing. One can't help but feel the deepest compassion for those who have lost their homes and all that was in them. I think about the fact that their lives will have to start over. Depending on the way one looks at it that is a terrible thing or an opportunity of monumental proportions.

The closest I can come to understanding it was my direct hit in the Northridge earthquake of 1994. Awakened at 4AM by the sound of a locomotive going through my bedroom crashing everything around me in the pitch black. My reaction as I stumbled my way down the stairs over broken glass, sloshing water and flying TV's, still half asleep I remember saying, perhaps out loud "My life is over, my life is over". The only part of this story that is relevant here is that clearly my life wasn't over.

Fast forward to now these thoughts have made me think about the people I coach, the brave ones who created their own fires and earthquakes in order to start over. They all concluded that they are on the wrong track, unfulfilled and purposeless and don't want to continue to live that way. It is scary to voluntarily give up the known for the unknown...When it is forced from you in a fire or even a job loss because the company merged you don't have the option. You must make the choice. Do you go back to your previous familiar resume or do you take the opportunity to find out more about your potential in other possibly more satisfying areas?

We are born with many gifts, most of which we may never discover because we get into a rut, a comfort zone which even though it comes with lack of fulfillment and even burnout, we are afraid to step away. It is frightening to honestly look at what we truly may want and to explore possibilities that could take us to new places. I salute my clients and all of those who bravely admit they had enough and so begin their journey of self discovery. As their coach I get excited for them, because I recognize many of their gifts before they do. They are on a roller coaster going from fear to anticipation to excitement. The lawyer became a teacher; the minister a businessman; the corporate exec, a housewife and mother, the CEO moved to another company; the secretary a musician.

I often quote Tobey Macguire who said "Acting is what I do. It's not who I am." It is an open and self confident human being who refuses to be identified by what they do or even by what they own. So even when one loses everything outside of their physical life, the spirit, the true being inside can never be lost. Life is full of magnificent adventures and personal meaning. My personal meaning and purpose is to help others discover theirs.

Enjoy the journey!


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These articles are the property of Dr. Dorene Lehavi. They may be freely reproduced electronically or in print, provided that they are published as written and include the following contact information.

About the author: Dorene Lehavi, Ph.D. is principal of Next Level Business and Professional Coaching. She coaches Professionals and Business Partners and teaches teleclasses on techniques to break through barriers to the next level. Dr. Lehavi offers a complimentary coaching session so you can experience how coaching can work for you. Contact Dr. Lehavi at, or on the web at

Copyright © Dr. Dorene Lehavi, PhD. All Rights Reserved.

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Dorene Lehavi
Dr. Dorene Lehavi has more than 25 years experience as a professional assisting clients to reach their "Next Level." She holds a Master's degree from Hunter College and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.
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