How One Stressed Out Corporate Executive Overhauled Her Life

Guest Blogger: Diane Scheurell, PhD.

I totally understand your frustration about the path you are on.  I’d love to help with some thoughts on how to change your direction.  Many people have asked me, “How did you do it?  How did you retire early and move to Hawai’i?”  And even before I retired they’d ask, “How is it that you are so happy with life?”  I had one colleague that accused me of not only seeing the glass as half full, but always overflowing.  What’s wrong with that?

I even gave a lunch seminar to my people at work, just before I retired.  I called it Tools to Obtaining Your Dreams I had a number of people ask me for my magic formula.  But it’s not magic.  It’s a set of tools I use.

The key to my successful transition from being stressed out and unfulfilled executive to achieving my life’s goals was the work I did with Rita, starting in 2004.  She was the gal that my boss sent me to see after he gave me a ‘needs development’ performance review.  I was devastated.  Happily for me, he figured I needed some support after that.

Rita was wonderful.  Officially she was my executive coach, but in actuality, she was my life coach.  Our conversations were all about me, my needs, my aspirations.  I love her!  I’m a Rita Groupie!  I wound up sending a bunch of my people to her as well.  She had a profound effect on my whole department; we called it “Rita Run-off.”  To this day I’m still in touch with her, and she continues to give me encouragement to live life to the fullest.

You don’t actually have to work with a coach to do this, but I’d recommend her in a heartbeat.  Here’s a condensed version of the work we did, or rather, the work I did while seeing her.  For me it ended with knowing what I wanted out of life, and then developing a plan to get there.  But let’s start with the beginning and some background work – a way of thinking.

First, you have to stop thinking about what you don’t want, because the Law of Attraction shows that you get what you think about.  So turn those negative thoughts into positive statements.  Think about what you DO want.  Instead of “I hate my boss,” think “this boss is giving me the push I need to do something different.”

Speaking of the boss, here’s another tool: QTIP: Quit Taking It Personally.  Your boss or whoever is driving you crazy, is really in their own head – what they says to you is not about you.  So you can afford to smile when they shows up in your office, take a deep breath, and listen compassionately.   And be sure to give yourself a mental “Atta girl/boy” when they walk out.

My favorite tool to combat negative thoughts was one Rita called “What’s the worst that can happen?”  An exercise for the lows of life’s roller coaster, she had me carry out this argument to its logical or emotional conclusion.  Basically, you take one of your worries and keep asking the question “if it came true, what’s the worst that can happen?”  Ask yourself that same question to your answer, and so on.  You might find, as I did, that eventually your answers take you to a place you know can’t be true, or take you to a place where what could happen, is much easier to bear than the constant worry.  Either way, the conclusion always seemed to reveal a result that was not as threatening as the initial worry.  Try it.

Second, you have to trust that what you DO want, CAN happen to you.  Open your mind to the possibility of something great happening.  Stop being skeptical.  If you do catch yourself saying something negative, say CANCEL.  The Universe will give you more of what you are thinking about, so be positive and trust it can come true.  This is true for anything you want to manifest.  Practice on the little stuff before you tackle what you want out of life.

Then, beyond believing it can happen, you have to ask for it.  Ask the Universe or God or your Higher Power for what you want.  The key here is to think about What, not How.  Don’t worry about how it could possibly happen.  That’s God’s problem.  Just focus on what you want, and not just through thinking.  Draw a picture or write it down describing as many aspects as you can.  Be specific.  Embrace the bliss of the anticipation.

When you receive it, be grateful.  In fact, start being grateful every day for what you already have, for all of your current blessings.  Dig deep and go with small blessings if you can’t think of any big ones, but be as specific as possible in your gratitude.  I recommend you write them down in a journal.  The act of writing makes those blessings more concrete to you.  I’ll bet you are in a better mood after you write down all the good things in your life.  That’s part of the point of doing it.

Some of you may be scoffing.  All I can say is that this process is a big part of what enabled me to retire and move to Hawai’i.  I still use this.  I’ll give you a small example.  I knew I would be getting company for the holidays and I needed a sofa bed to accommodate them.  So I wrote out all my requirements and even told a friend – further commitment to my goal.

The following weekend I went to Kona, and we stopped off at my favorite furniture store.  There it was, at the back of the store, on sale.  I went down my list – the couch had everything.  I talked them into knocking an additional $200 off, and it was delivered on the following Wednesday.  My friend came over to see it.  “It’s perfect!  It’s exactly what you said you wanted – you manifested this sofa!”  Yes, these tools work.

This is just a small sample of the tools I learned from Rita and continue to use.  Ask her some time about writing the movie of your next five years or responding to the following statement: “Six months from now when I am wildly successful, I will…”  She will have you digging deep, compelling you to answer questions you never considered, and taking leaps that challenge even the courageous among you.

Remember: Trust – Ask – Accept with Gratitude.  Then expect good things to happen.  Much Aloha, Diane

Diane Scheurell, Ph.D., has been writing all her life, but always in the context of her corporate positions.  In 2011 she retired from corporate life and moved her family from Wisconsin to the Big Island of Hawai’i.  She now has an editing business (see and blogs about using her manifestation tools, adapting to life in rural Hawai’i, developing community roots, and dealing with free-running neighborhood chickens.  (See 

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