Oak Communications
March 2014
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It seems ironic that the morning I set aside to write about motivation and drive, I can't seem to get myself to sit down and write. Or is that really the issue? 

A couple of months ago I read Drive by Daniel H. Pink.  At the time, I thought the book expressed helpful ideas and would make for a thoughtful e-newsletter topic.  


So, this morning I reviewed Drive, opened a blank Word document, sat at my desk for a few minutes and then got up and walked around the house while thinking. I refrained from lingering in the kitchen and making myself a snack. What is going on?

I went to my closet, laced up my walking shoes and headed out for a walk. And guess what happened? After about 10 minutes I was composing the story in my head. This technique works most of the time for me.


What tools do you use to get yourself unstuck? For me it is also taking a long shower and sitting in meditation. I get ideas for the stories themselves from exposing myself to new things/people/events and reading.  


Before I took my walk, I felt frustrated and low in energy. By the time I returned I was excited and looked forward to sitting down to write at my computer. How often at work are you given the opportunity or do you take the time to reset your motivation or creativity button? What stops you? Do you notice when you are stuck?


Pink writes that "the science shows that the secret to high performance... is our deep-seated desire to direct our own lives (autonomy), extend and expand our abilities (mastery), and to live a life of purpose (the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves)."  


How can you nurture these elements for yourself and with the people you live and work? One idea is to identify when you feel in the "flow," or your optimal body and mind moments. Where were you, what time of day was it, what were you working on, who were you with? What patterns do you notice? How might you increase these optimal moments when the activity is neither too hard nor too easy, but just right?


Teachers and supervisors can promote these elements for their students/employees by asking the following questions before making an assignment:


  • Am I offering any autonomy over how and when to do this work?
  • Does this assignment promote mastery by offering a new, engaging task?
  • Have I shared the purpose of this assignment?


Thinking through and perhaps adapting the assignment can mean the difference between an indifferent and compliant student/employee and an engaged and motivated one. In this way we are promoting intrinsic motivation.


To learn about the research behind these ideas you can watch RSA Animate - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

You'll find me walking around the neighborhood,



Lagniappe (a little something extra)  


Maya Penn, a young woman who has motivation and drive in spades, demonstrates autonomy, mastery and purpose in her TED talk and in her life. 

The Key to the Castle Book News
Key to the Castle: Zen and Travel Stories of Trust




I am excited to present my book in the San Francisco Bay Area in April. Please join me!

Oakland, CA - Book Reading and Signing
Sunday, April 6, 2 - 3 pm
Mountain Yoga in Montclair
2071 Antioch Court, Suite 100

San Francisco, CA - Book Reading and Signing

Tuesday, April 8

7 - 8:30 pm

Sunset District in San Francisco, CA
Contact me for address (510.316.3319 or or sue@oak-communcations.com)



I am trying to guestimate how many books to mail to CA, so if you think you might like to purchase a book at the reading ($14) it would be great if you would let me know in advance.  


Please "Like" The Key to the Castle Facebook page to learn about future events.

Have you read the book? If so, please consider writing a review on Amazon or Smashwords. Books may also be purchased on these websites in either print or digital versions.

To read reviews of the book, please visit The Key to Castle web page.

Thank you!




This workshop is offered through the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Continuing Education Program.

Executive Coaching: Is It For Me?
Thursday, March 27, 4 - 5:30 pm

To learn more and register, click the title of the course above.

Coaching Services  

Photo of Sue Schleifer
Photo by Robin May


Have you been thinking about working with a life/career coach? Want to connect? 


Give me a call to schedule a complimentary coaching consultation.   


Check out what a few of my clients have said about the coaching experience. 


"Sue truly cares about her clients' goals and brings that passion to her work as a life coach. With her fresh perspective and eye for possibility, she helps me find creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems.
Plenty of professional and creative people would benefit from working with Sue, and I particularly recommend her to anyone who needs to get 'unstuck'."
Medical Editor and Fabric Artist


"A year ago I met Sue for our first session. Through her probing and listening we pinpointed areas that, with specific attention to my thinking and choices, help me:


  • be personally more effective
  • move towards a more balanced life

My spouse and employees have noticed a positive change, as have I."

Sales Manager-Fortune 500 Company


"Since I first hired a coach I have been a happier person and a more successful businessman. My company has become much more successful, our employees have had the opportunity to grow to the fullest of their capabilities and everyone seems to enjoy each day of life much more than in the past."



I would love to be a resource for you too!

Let's talk. 


Sue Schleifer, M.A.


510.316.3319 - cell
Oak Communications

Lafayette, LA and throughout the country

510.316.3319 - cell

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