Hello, my friend. How are you doing today? I hope that you have lots of health and happiness this week. I've got to tell you, I've been put through the ringer this past week and a half and I want to share a little bit about what I've learned this week and part of that is addressing why we wait, why we wait for this crisis to happen in our life before we make change.

Why do we wait to get hit over the head with a bat before we decide that it's time to make change? And I've gone through several crises in my life. So I feel like I'm really qualified to talk about this and I have missed signs in my life that I was going through a crisis and I was struck over the head with a bat in order to see that. So my goal today, my dear friend, is to help you see where you are in your life right now so that you don't need a crisis to come and hit you over the head. I mean, that's really part of why I do this podcast is because I want to be able to serve in a way that I, I didn't receive early on in my legal career. I didn't feel connected with anyone or anything really except the work.

I felt like I was grinding myself into the ground and I didn't have a support system. I didn't have a person or a, you know, even a podcast who really listened to in order to kind of have some thoughts triggered in my head and who knows, maybe that wouldn't have worked. But at the same time, I do recognize that you can hear something a certain way from a certain person and you will be spurred to act. So that is what we're going to talk about today. We're going to talk about avoiding the crises altogether. No, not so much, right? We can't really do that. But what we can do is prepare ourselves in a way that makes even the toughest crisis, the toughest crisis, easier on ourselves and easier on those around us. And I can see a vast difference between how I would have reacted say 10 years ago to being hit over the head with a bat and having a crisis even in this past week and a half.

So I'm going to give you a little bit of my story and how this relates to having to take care of not only yourself but those around you. And I'm sure if you are listening to this, you are familiar with caring for other people. You might have children, you might have aging family members, you may have, you know, I even have a pet who has health problems. So, I mean you can be struck at different sides by competing crises. So I want you to know that you can't avoid them all, but you can put yourself into a position where you can handle them with much more grace if you prepare your life and you start acting now to prepare your life rather than waiting for the crisis. And that's really what is so difficult for me to watch in other people now because I've gone through it myself.

So I have experienced this myself. I've waited for the crisis to hit me before I changed. You know, I, it's not as if I'm above this, but now that I have some perspective on it, I'm hoping that something that I say might have you act me, hit you in a certain way, that will take you to the step to do what you want to do most. Whether it is taking a big leap in your business or it is, you know, deciding now is the time that you want to lose weight or this is the time I want to learn how to dance. Or this is why I want to, you know, start getting up and committing to playing the guitar or whatever it is that's been on the back of your mind that you keep putting off over and over and over again. Because if you continue to wait one day, you will be in a position where you cannot do it anymore.

You will either be totally debilitated or you will be dead. I mean, just to be honest, that's what happens to all of us. I mean, I don't want to shock you or anything, but that's the end game. I mean, it's a spoiler alert. I know, but that's something that we don't talk about. We don't talk about the fact that we are going to die and we will not have the ability in this lifetime to experience what we are thinking about experiencing. Right. The desires that we have to experience. And one of the big regrets of the dying is not taking those risks is not going towards the fear. Instead, we play small. Instead we climb into our shell. Oftentimes it's under the blanket on the couch, binge watching Netflix or eating potato chips, right? I've been there. If you've been listening to this podcast, you know like I have been through that and it is to avoid the fear, avoid the fear of failure, failure of judgment of going into the world and something just not working.

And then we just look stupid. But I'm going to tell you this right now, I have over the years I've care less and less what other people think. And the only way that I have been able to do that is by going out and doing things that are going to make me look maybe to other people as silly or maybe they don't understand what I'm doing. And really it doesn't matter if they understand or not because this is a desire that I have, right? If you're listening to this and you have a desire and you're scared of what other people think or you're not sure whether or not you should share your big dreams with the people closest to you, well that's okay. You don't have to share those dreams with those people. You can hold on to them. Instead, you can find someone that you can connect with to share those dreams, to help you act on those dreams.

And today I actually want to share with you something that I've shared with you before, but will help you bring awareness to what's going on in your brain and why you're not taking action. And I'm going to tell you right now, without even having to go through the exercise, it's some sort of fear of not being good enough of not deserving or the fear of somebody judging you and that that judgment is true. Okay? Those are what the fears come down to. And we've talked about this here in the podcast. And so why am I talking about this now? Why is this a subject that is coming up for me and I want to bring to you? So my mom has been for years talking about her health, right? She's wants to eat better, she wants to exercise, she wants to be really healthy and fit.

And, and this has been a conversation that she's had over the years that we've talked about it and she has never really taken massive action on it. She's done all the little dieting, right? Like everybody does a diet like the new year's thing and she has never gotten a coach or anything like that. And she has put off doing things like not smoking cigarettes, right? So she has all these plans, all these things she wanted to do, wants to do, but she never really took the action that she needed to take the consistent action towards a goal, the uncomfortable action towards a goal and put it off and put it off and put it off. And about as you're listening to this, it's going to be about two weeks. Two weeks ago she was taken to the emergency room. I took her there and she ended up having emergency surgery.

Several days later she had diverticulitis. Okay. She knew she had some digestive issues. She wasn't really sure what was going on. But she actually had her colon removed and now she has a colostomy bag. Okay. It's not reversible. And now she is being forced to change her diet. She's being forced to change the fact that she smoked. She's being forced to change how active she is in a very short period of time and it's not of her choosing. I had a similar health crises about 10 years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the middle of my trial, a period when I was working as a trial attorney and that was something that was a a hit over the head, right? Like I created change but it wasn't really change of my choosing I it was. But at the same time I had zero awareness that I was not making the right choices in my life and I had to be hit over the head.

And then from that point on I made different choices and I have seen the shifts in how I handle the crisis crises that come up for me since then, whether it's a health scare that I've had a misdiagnosis of cancer since then or my dad passing or me taking care of my mom these past two weeks, I have seen a huge shift by using the tool that I'm going to talk to you about today and it is a tool that will bring awareness to anything that is going on in your life and if you use this tool consistently, if you continue to bring awareness to your thoughts and you continue to watch yourself and how you are being in the world, how you have created an identity for yourself in this world, you will recognize how you can shift and you can shift now. You don't need a crisis, okay?

We're always waiting and waiting for something to push us into action when we need to be responsible for taking that action ourselves. We need to be the ones who are spurring ourselves into action. Seeing our dreams can be reality and having the faith and going towards them, even if they seem impossible. Okay. Even if what we're thinking about what we want to do seems unimaginable. We have to be willing to go for it. And even if we don't make it, we are still in a position to create such growth in ourselves to become the person who can do that thing that we want to do most, to create the business that we want most, whatever it is. We have to have faith in that and we have to keep taking massive action towards that. And a lot of us think that taking action is just thinking about it.

It's thinking about, Oh that would be really nice. Or Oh I can do that. But you know, I just don't have the time right now. And so you just kind of get lost in all these thoughts. But when you start to organize your thoughts and most time you need help to do this, like that's why coaching is so fabulous. That's why I do it is because we need to organize our thoughts. If we are just living in a mass of thoughts and we're not taking the time to organize them or recognize the ones that are serving us and the ones aren't serving us, then we are just going to end up with whatever's handed to us and we're going to be settling for the rest of our life. Whether it's in a relationship or it's in a business we hate, it's in a practice that we hate.

Whether it's being surrounded by people, we really don't want to be around. I mean, these are choices that we can consciously make. You don't have to feel unhappy if you are stressed out and overwhelmed. You don't have to feel that way. You have a choice. And so many of the people that I talk to feel like they don't have a choice. I understand that because I felt like I was on autopilot for so long. I thought that I was at the whim of how much work I had to do. I thought I was at the whim of, you know, the things that came through my life as if everything was an emergency, as if I was just reacting to everything around me. And that's exactly what it was. I was reacting to everything around me rather than responding with an intent, not being intentional with how I wanted to respond to what was going on in my life.

When you don't take the time to do the things that we talk about in this podcast, right? Like we talk about organizing your time and how you use a calendar and what you can do to feel certain ways to create yourself to, to live into the identity of the person who creates what you want to create. If you don't take the time to do any of that, then you're just reacting as things come at you left and right. And so that's one of the things I want to talk to you today about with the thought cycle. So one of my mentors calls it the model, right? So basically there's five things in the world. There's circumstances in the world, right? Things happen. There's the way we think about it, our interpretations of those facts in the world, the feelings that we have as a, as a response to those thoughts and the actions that we take in the world.

Then we have lastly the results that we get from our actions. And that's it. Those are the five things. I like to think of it as a thought cycle because it's all reinforcing one another. So something happens in the world. For instance, my mom going into the hospital, I take her to the emergency room, let's say, I can have a thought about that. It could be different thoughts, right? We could all have multiple thoughts about the same thing in the world too, right? So I could think, wow, I can't believe I'm taking my mom to the emergency room. She could be dying or I could think, okay, I'm so glad that I'm taking my mom to the emergency room. We're finally going to get to the bottom of this. I mean, there's different interpretations you can make of the exact same circumstance in the world and from that can come feelings, right?

So if I'm going into it with a negative thought, I'm going to have a negative feeling, right? I go into it thinking worst, then my feeling is going to be maybe depression or anger or something like that. That is a chemical response in my body to a thought that I'm having in my brain. Hey, on the other hand, if I'm having a thought, well thank goodness we're going to the emergency room, thank goodness we have insurance so that she can get the care that she needs and then I'm going to have a more positive thought. It's going to be a thought like, okay, we're going to take care of this and then the feeling is that's going to come back is maybe hopeful or okay, we can do this. It's going to be more certain. It's going to be more confident that we are going to be able to get something done here.

Right? Like that. That could be a thought right there. We're going to get something done tonight. Okay, so whenever we have a feeling, like I said, a feeling is a chemical response that happens after we have a thought. Those chemicals run through our body and the feelings that we can get are going to determine how we act in the world. Okay? So if we feel depressed, we're going to have a much different response when we act in the world. Then if we have a more hopeful feeling, right? So if we feel more depressed, then we're more likely to pull back. Maybe we kind of separate ourselves from the people around us. Maybe we don't communicate as well with the doctors. Maybe we don't see things the way that we could see them so that we could ask those questions like, we're not paying attention.

We're kind of in our own world. You know, maybe we're not communicating with friends or family. That's one, you know, those are like some various actions that could happen from that more negative feeling. If you have a more positive feeling, maybe you take more actions that are going to get the help that she needs because you know that she's there, you're more hopeful. You're thinking, okay, I'm just going to keep asking questions. I'm going to make sure I understand what's going on. I am going to take care of her, we'll just take the step by step. Like I'll even have more thoughts as a response to that same feeling in that action line. So when we take action in the world, then we get some results, right? And those results are always going to reinforce the thought that we have. So if I'm thinking something negative, let's say I'm, I'm, let's say my thought is I can't believe we're here.

This is just so horrible. We shouldn't be here and my feeling is depressed and my actions are to withdraw and not talk and not communicate with family or friends. And then the results I get are okay, I'm not going to be communicating with people so I don't have that communication with anyone. And I start to kind of just beat myself up and I'm basically reinforcing everything that is in that initial thought, which is we shouldn't be here. Right? Everything is so negative. My, my thoughts are negative and that's going to lead to negative feelings. I'm not going to take the best actions for myself or the people around me. And then the results that I get are not going to be the best results for myself. Okay? Now, if I think positive thoughts, and it doesn't even have to be positive, it could be neutral.

You're going to get a different result. So let's say I'm, I'm thinking, thank goodness we're here. We can get this taken care of and I'm feeling more confident that this is going to be a situation that we can handle and the actions that I take are, I can ask questions, I'm communicating with people. I feel like I'm a part of the process. Then the results I'm going to get are, okay, look, people are talking to me, they're communicating with me. I'm able to understand the process better. And then it just reinforces the thought that I am in a situation where things are, things are going to get better or we're taking care of this, right? Like we're doing all the things and we're taking care of this. So that's why I like to call it the thought cycle is because those thoughts that we have create the feelings, the feelings create the actions in our life.

The actions in our life then create the results and they reinforce our thought and that's why it makes this perfect little loop. Now the circumstances are very factual. Okay? So we might have a thought. It's horrible that I'm taking my mom to the emergency room, but that's a thought. The circumstances, I took my mom to the emergency room. There's nothing else about that, okay? That is just a plain fact. Like 12 people on a jury could understand that I took my mom to the emergency room. It's the thoughts, the interpretations that we make about that particular action that is going to impact the rest of that thought psych thought cycle. So why am I bringing this up? It's because this is how we start to bring awareness into what we're doing and if we are consistently writing out what we are thinking about, whatever it is we want, let's say it's you want to lose weight.

Let's say you want a better marriage. Let's say you want better relationships with your friends. You want a more fun practice rather than a stressful practice. It's time to start writing that stuff down. And getting at the heart of your thoughts. You can do self coaching on this. Like I'm a big proponent of coaching. I mean, no joke, but this is something that you can do on your own. I mean, you have so many resources available to you on the internet, right? Like you've got this podcast, you've got this thought cycle, and then all you need to do is begin parsing out fact from thought because every thought that we have is just an interpretation. I'm not saying you have to be was it Pollyanna? You don't have to be, you know, super positive all the time. But I got to tell you, when you become aware of your thoughts and when you start recognizing when your thoughts are becoming more negative, that's when you can call yourself on your BS and you can say, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa.

Let's look at the facts here. Let's back up and just look out what is the fact. Can somebody make an interpretation that's different? Now I'm going to tell you there were multiple times over this past week and a half when I thought my mom might die. It was not an easy last what, nine days. But what I'm gonna tell you is that it was much easier than it could have been if I hadn't done this work. If I had not consistently over the last five years been giving myself this gift, laying the foundation for this ability to see things for what they are. And it's not even compartmentalizing, although I'm sure I did some of that. But it was really recognizing, okay, let's look at the facts and let's look at my thoughts because I can be overwhelmed, right? That would be super easy to do. I could be overwhelmed.

I could not know what to do. I could tell myself I didn't know what to do cause that's a thought. Or I could make a choice. I can make a choice and say I am certain of what I can do right now. I am doing everything I can right now. I can choose to think things like I can leave and go and sleep tonight because my mom is in good hands. These nurses know what they're doing. I don't have to be here all night. Someone else will help her. So I just want you to know that it's a choice. You can make choices with your thoughts. And I, I know based on my conversations with people with my coaching clients, with other lawyers, with, you know, people generally is that we believe our thoughts are true. We believe that everything we think is true, but I got news for ya.

Everything we think is ally. Everything that we think is a choice. You know, you can see things from different perspectives. Everybody has a different interpretation of different facts in the world. It's like the example that I give with a pen. So I could have a pen in my hand and I know it's a pen, right? I have all these thoughts about how UPenn is used. I know it writes things. I have all of these thoughts, right? So I use it as a pen. I throw that very same pen across the room and my dog chases after it because his thought is it's a toy. It's all a matter of interpretation. I want you to take this to heart because when you start believing all of your thoughts, that's when the stress really kicks up. That's when you aren't able to live intentionally. That's when you're living in reaction mode and that's when you are not living into the person you want to be most.

It's when you allow yourself to be scared and not take action anyway because that's where the result is, right? Like if we want a different result in our life, we have to take different actions. If we want to take different actions, we have to create those feelings in order to create those actions. And if we want to create those different feelings to create the actions, we want to create those different results, we have to start thinking different thoughts. I mean that's what it comes down to. We must begin thinking differently. That's why I love listening to podcasts and learning from people who are, you know, maybe one or two or 10 steps ahead of me because they have different thoughts. Their thoughts are not the same ones that I had you know today and the thoughts that I'm having today aren't the same ones I had five years ago or 10 years ago.

I am continually progressing. I am continually working on my thoughts and because of that I am able to be more intentional with the people around me. I'm able to serve my mom in ways that I would not have been able to do five years ago. I am able to have more patience. I'm able to have more kindness towards myself, more compassion towards myself when I can't do something, I'm able to give myself self care, like going to yoga or going out to coffee with a friend or calling a friend and venting to them and just letting them know all the things about how she can be just an awful patient sometimes. But I want to tell you that's how it's done. You've got to start getting really conscious about what's going on and you can't wait for a crisis to happen. You've got to take action now.

So if you take nothing else from this podcast, I want you to see that you have the ability to make a choice right now. That choice can come down to you, settling for where you are right now or you deciding that you want to think different thoughts, that you want to feel something different in your life, that you want to create something different in your life and that you are going to take that action. So what's it going to be? Are you going to wait for someone to hit you over the head with a cancer diagnosis or a parent dying or a parent being ill in the hospital? Or are you going to just take action now? You're just going to make a decision that it's got to be done, that you're not going to have regrets when you die, that you are going to be the person who creates what you want in your life, whether or not your parents did it or your friends think you can or your parents think you can.

You're going to do it anyway. You're going to be scared. You're going to be uncomfortable and you are going to take action anyway. So I hope that this has spurred you to take some action in your life. I would love to hear from you. Come visit me at Dina dot. Cataldo on Instagram, DM me. I'd love to hear what your story is. Come see me at Dina. Dot. Cataldo. Thank you so much for listening to this. Thank you so much for being here each week. I will be here again next week for you. Have a wonderful day and give a big hug to your family and friends. Bye.