Mary Marcdante | Speaker & Author | Less Stress, More Life

Inspired Action: Two Questions to Help People Lead with Enthusiasm


Sometimes the best way to open the door to a healthier and happier life and workplace is to lead with enthusiasm by asking people to do something unexpected for you, which ends up helping everyone feel more encouraging energy for whatever challenging situation you’re in.

In this video clip I am speaking to an audience of 175 healthcare professionals, sharing a story about the way my doctor responded to me when I was being taken into surgery many years ago. I still remember his unexpected response – actually shocking for his reserved personality according to his team — simply because he chose to remember and act on a request that I’d made weeks before to keep things positive in the operating room after he recommended surgery for early-stage cancer.

If you or the people around you are not feeling excited about your life circumstances, do something positive that takes you out of your comfort zone because it allows people around you to think, “Holy Cow, maybe I could look at the world a little differently too.”

If we’re feeling the potential action might not be professional or not who we are, we put on Beginner’s Mind and say “If I didn’t know this person was like this, what might I ask? If I didn’t know I was like this, what might I do differently? How can I be different in the world so that I could feel more alive in my body? What does that look like? How does it feel?

There are incredible feelings of freedom and joy available when you risk releasing and expressing to others the genuine enthusiasm that lives inside you and is waiting to be let out.

If you or someone you know are looking for a speaker for your next event or coaching for yourself or team members in the areas of stress resilience, better communication, or strengthening relationships, call or email for more information. http://marymarcdante.com



Thanks for sharing!

Diana Nyad, Facebook, and XTreme Dreams

Diana Nyad Swims 103 miles from Cuba to Key West, FL, Sep 1, 2013

103 miles. Cuba to Florida. 52 hours. 5th try. 64 years old. Diana Nyad, long distance swimmer, what do you want the world to know now? “Three messages: We should never, ever give up. You’re never too old to chase your dreams. It looks like a solitary sport but it’s a team effort.”

Powerful message and accomplishment! Congratulations, Diana!

I first saw the news mentioned on Facebook when post after post expressed awe and congratulations this afternoon. I felt happy, nodding my head in agreement with all the positive mentions, and kept scrolling through the posts about her and many others’ status updates about their lives. After about the fifth post on Diana Nyad, I started to wonder more about her as a person, not just an icon of success to celebrate. I went to YouTube and found a video with her first remarks at the finish.

Have you seen this video clip yet? I wonder if you’ll have a similar reaction to me?

Watching her come out of the water and fall into her first hug made me tear up. Her first words were incredibly inspiring and equally painful to watch. Her effort to talk through salt-swollen lips and throat and muscle fatigue really got into the deepest parts of my heart.

When I have these kinds of reactions now – a welling up of tears, a strong emotional response or physical sensation while reading about other people’s accomplishments on Facebook – I pause, get present, and go a little deeper into the connection.

This time, I dove in to CNN’s video archive and after watching several news video clips of her previous attempts and her commitment to keep trying, I was even more inspired by her dedication and the triumph for her, women’s history and future, and the strength of the human spirit and body under duress. Her record-breaking swim, sans shark cage, and at her age defies what we think is possible. What new records and dreams will this inspire in others? In me?

I also had this awareness that when I’m on Facebook, it is almost too easy to feel a burst of inspiration, appreciation and enthusiasm for someone else’s achievement, and then move on to the next Facebook post about another person’s status update of joy, inspiration, advice, art, or personal update, without checking in with myself and asking, “Why did this touch me so deeply? What does this mean for my life?  What must I never, ever give up on? What is my Xtreme Dream?  ”What can I do right now that will bring me one step closer to who and what I love?

What about you? On this Labor Day of reflection and celebration, what Xtreme Dream is calling to you? What next step will you take?

Thanks for sharing!

No Smiling Allowed? Passport Photos and Facial Recognition


I recently got my passport renewed and was reminded of this wonderful short film, “Validation.” There’s a twist in film you won’t expect. Get ready to smile. Just don’t smile when you get your own passport photo taken.

It actually says in the directions for a passport:

             If you are applying for a U.S. Passport, you must provide one (1) photo. Your passport photo must be:

    • With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open

Having written Living with Enthusiasm: How the 21-Day Smile Diet Can Change Your Life, this really got to me. Not smile? What is that all about? Don’t we have enough problems in the world without telling people not to use the most universal positive gesture on the planet?

I discovered from someone who worked in a copy shop that did passport photos that people were told not to smile because if that person was arrested, the arrest photo should match the passport. Since most people wouldn’t smile in jail, they don’t want you smiling in your passport. Really?

Turns out, it’s actually about facial recognition technology for fighting against fraud and international terrorism. When your mouth is open it can make it difficult for facial recognition technology to work effectively.

I can appreciate this and it begs a deeper question, “How do we create more positive connection in a world with so many different cultures and regulations when we’re traveling internationally and in our own neighborhoods?”

Be generous with your smiles.

Thanks for sharing!