The Big Idea
Live a fully charged life.
Questions I Answer
- How can I be more optimistic?
- Will optimism help me be more productive?
- How can I figure out my purpose?
Key Topics in the Show
Meaghan B Murphy’s Fully Charged Life
Finding and maintaining happiness
Why gratitude is the key to success
Tips for achieving an attitude of gratitude
How to look at things from multiple perspectives
Resources and Links
- Connect with Meaghan:
This is the Intentional Advantage podcast with your host, Tanya Dalton,
entrepreneur, bestselling author, nationally recognized productivity expert and mom
of two. In this season, Tanya is continuing to open up more conscious conversations
to help you awaken to who you are and become the best version of yourself.
Welcome to Season 17: Awakening. Are you ready? Here’s your host, Tanya Dalton.
Hello, hello, everyone. Welcome to The Intentional Advantage. I’m your host, Tanya
Dalton. This is Episode 214. I have an incredible guest for you today. You might
remember way back in episode 159 when I had Megan Murphy on the show, she
shared her incredible story of how she is so incredibly optimistic. And at the time she
mentioned that she was going to have a book coming out.
Well, the good news is her book is now out and I knew I had to have Megan back on
the show because I knew her book was going to be amazing and full of so many
incredible tips. And the good news is, it’s just as good as I thought it would be. And
as you know, we have been talking about awakening this season; we’ve been talking
about things like scarcity and abundance.
And if there’s one thing besides money that I want an abundance of it’s optimism
and joy, and that is why we have Megan on the show today, she is going to be
sharing her tips and tricks and her ideas on how we can turn life around to really see
it as the positive. Now, if you’re not familiar with Megan,
let me give you a quick little background on her. She is known for her high energy,
her upbeat personality and what she calls her Yay! lifestyle. Megan B Murphy is the
author of Your Fully Charged Life: A radically simple approach to having endless
energy and filling every day with yay. Her book just came out last week. Megan is
also the content director of Women’s Day magazine.
She is the co-host of the Off The Gram podcast. She is a lifestyle expert and she’s
often seen on live with Kelly and Ryan and the today show. She’s a mom of three and
she has an incredible amount of energy. I cannot wait for you to meet Meaghan.
Meaghan, I am so excited to have you on the show today.
The last time you were here, we had so much fun. I knew I had to bring you back
with this brand new book. So thank you so much for coming back on the show.
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[Meaghan B Murphy:] Yay. I am so excited to be here.
[Tanya:] Yes. And so your book, Your Fully Charged Life, is an incredible read. And
what you do is you really pull these readers in to explore ways that they can infuse
more energy, more zest into their lives, and learn how to fill up every day with what
you call ‘Yay!’, right? Let’s talk about that. What does that mean to you? What is the
fully charged life?
[Meaghan B Murphy:] So, you know, I’m a person who’s inherently negative. My
negativity bias is strong and I was able to transform my life and my mindset over the
course of 20 years, essentially. And I really got deep into Positive psychology and
neuroscience, and was really fascinated by how to do happy versus to simply be
happy, which seemed impossible. And it is because you can’t be happy unless you
learn how to do happy.
And what I really found as a magazine editor over the course of all of these years is
that the science is great, but if you don’t make it digestible for people, it’s not news
they can use. And so the real mission of your fully charged life was to take some of
that, those action steps and those tips and those tricks and those strategies that I’ve
learned researching and writing about and editing about, and to be able to present
it to people in an action oriented way.
And I did that through telling a lot of my own stories, but really, really trying to give
real life advice because, like, I love science, but it’s not always helpful.
[Tanya:] That’s so true or super complex and complicated, or kind of snooze worthy.
And you did such a great job in this book of infusing a lot of those science-backed
truths in with these stories. And there’s so many actionable tips and strategies. That’s
what I love is literally, there’s like, here’s a couple of ways you can implement this
right away. And I think that is incredibly powerful.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] I think the cool thing, too, is that I never want all of the advice
to feel daunting. So it really is a sort of ‘choose your own adventure’. You’re going to
find what tips and tricks work for you, and you can roll your eyes at the ones that
don’t work, right? or that have no application for your life.
And I sort of broke up these things into what I call the different charges. So it’s the
positive charge; the love charge; the work charge; the recharge; the extra charge.
You sort of look at your life and you can dive in where you need the help. Like if work
stinks for you right now, and that’s where you want to feel recharged and energized,
head right to the work charge chapter.
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If your heart hurts and you’re lonely and the love charge is where you need that jolt,
then you head right to the love charge. You know, you can kind of dive in wherever
you need to. And the best part is once you get strong in one area, it gives you the
tools and tricks to get strong in all areas, because they really do all hold hands, but
you start where you need to.
[Tanya:] I love that. You did a nice job of really breaking it up because you can go
straight to that chapter that you want, but really it creates this whole encompassing
picture of your whole life being fully charged, not just this one area. And you’re very
authentic in the book. You talk about, you know, there are tips and ideas that you
should try, but maybe you don’t want to try. And you literally say, ‘blow off the things
that don’t feel right to you; I give you full permission.’
[Meaghan B Murphy:] This is your fully charged life.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] I’m showing you my fully charged life, but it’s not your
prescriptive approach, right? There are so many things in this book that work and
here’s the key: I lived all of it first and then backtracked and said, Why and how did
this work? And [then I] made the science fit the life I was living because I was
changing myself, and I was making strides and I was doing these things. But then I
needed to understand from a scientific and a research perspective why it worked.
And so the science didn’t necessarily come first.
[Tanya:] I like that.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] Using myself as a guinea pig came first.
[Tanya:] I like that. And really, too, you talk about like, there are things you talk about
in the book that even you don’t implement. Like you talk about how meditation is so
amazing for boosting mindfulness, but [you] don’t do it. I think that’s great because
people need to know, Yes, this is good; this is out there, but it doesn’t mean that you
have to do it. That whole concept of it’s your fully charged life is great.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] I will say there are definitely certain principles; that, like,
gratitude is chiefly important to happiness.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] I am one of the most grateful people you’ll ever meet. And I
have an attitude of gratitude. I cannot keep a gratitude diary or a gratitude journal; it
just doesn’t work for me; I don’t get it, and it feels like homework and I’m not into it.
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But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the act of journaling and the act of keeping
a gratitude diary.
I create a Yay! list. I ask myself, What made me say Yay! today? And that’s my version
of a gratitude journal. I’m going to show you the science behind gratitude. And
you’re going to be able to pick and choose how you find and make that attitude of
gratitude adjustment, right? I’m going to give you many, many tools and it’s up to
you to decide what works.
It’s funny though. I’m not a person who meditates and I’m not a person who uses a
lot of those kind of what I would call perhaps woo-woo tricks. But I recently have
been battling COVID. And in those early days of COVID where I was really, really
scared; I’m asthmatic; I have pneumonia; my three kids were sick; my 70-year-old
mom was sick; I was terrified.
And so I found myself lying in bed, doing a meditation. And I was like, Hey, listen, I
know this works. I’m going to try it right now because I met at my lowest of lows.
And I’m lying in bed for an hour with a guided meditation on YouTube, imagining
lightning bolts attacking the COVID in my lungs, and guess what? I found peace. I
found calm. It helped ease some of my earliest anxiety. So here’s the thing. If it
doesn’t work for you today, it might work for you in two weeks.
It’s again, it’s, knowledge is power.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] So it’s understanding that these things are there for you and
you might need them in your toolkit, even though you don’t think you do now. I
mean, I never would have imagined that I would be laying in bed for an hour with a
guided YouTube meditation, imagining lightning bolts attacking COVID in my lungs.
But at least I know that works, and I called upon it when I hit rock bottom.
[Tanya:] Right. And I think that’s the thing is that’s part of maybe part of your
optimism is this fact that you are you’re open. You’re open to it. You’re not closing
any doors you’re saying, huh? This doesn’t really work for me right now. It doesn’t
mean it’s not ever going to work for me.
Like, let’s try it. There’s nothing wrong with trying new things. And you’re going
through a rough patch right now. I mean, COVID. I mean, you just said your three
kids have it, your 70-year-old-mother and you have it.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] And my husband.
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[Tanya:] I mean. Oh, your husband has it too? Okay. Well, let’s just keep knocking
down those dominoes.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] It’s been fun. It’s been fun.
[Tanya:] But I mean, this is a perfect example of who you are. This is a situation that
could just knock you down cold, quite frankly, just wear you out. And it’s easy to be
grumpy. It’s easy to default to, Why me? this is terrible. The universe is against me.
And yet, you’re still able to find these pockets of happiness, even in the depths of this
with COVID. How are you doing that right now?
[Meaghan B Murphy:] Well, I mean, I have a very intense, fully charged toolkit, and I
think one of my fundamental life practices is prioritizing positivity. So it’s allowing
myself to have good thoughts. And a researcher I love is Barbara Fredrickson, who
talks about the broaden and build theory.
And the second you begin to broaden your thinking, having the good thought
versus the bad thought, then you’re able to build the resources to heal, to get strong,
to do the next thing. So for me, it’s saying instead of why me, why not me? I will
always say, Why not me? And I understand in that moment that, Okay, this sucks,
but I have a purpose now.
And a purpose-driven life is always a happier life. So my purpose begins to be A) I
need to get well, and, B) I need to help others. Because when you’re diagnosed with
something like COVID, it’s very scary. There are not immediate answers. I couldn’t
get a call back from my doctor. I didn’t know what to do.
I had had an amazing ER doctor named Dr. Daria on my podcast talking about
COVID. I DMed her; she called me, I got my toolkit. I knew the baby aspirin; the zinc;
vitamin C; I got my toolkit. And guess what I did when I was strong enough? I shared
that toolkit with others. And so you understand that adversity is a gift once you’re
willing to unwrap it. And understanding I have a purpose in this pain, and my
purpose is to make a master message. And what can I do now? I can help others.
And that is very motivating and healing for me.
[Tanya:] It really is. I think when you can understand that the universe is not against
you and the world is not against you. It’s actually, for us, we’ve talked on the show
before about the universal law. That, and that’s a big part underlying, you know, a lot
of those truths is that when we see that there is messages within these messes;
when we understand that there is things that we can share out of it, that makes
these moments easier to bear.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] Exactly.
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[Tanya:] We were talking before we went live and started recording; we were talking
about, you know, in the future, fast forwarding, you know, quite a ways in the future,
you’re going to be able to look back at this. There are so many lessons, even well past
this, that you’re going to be able to share with other people and just impart on them
about how not every day is amazing, but you’re going to be able to make it through.
Even during this high of a book coming out, there’s a low and that’s kind of how life
[Meaghan B Murphy:] And I think it’s nice to be able to remind yourself that you’re a
person who does hard things, because anytime you get through a hard thing, you’re
a person who does hard things. And, you know, I reminded myself through this
process. I’ve been through a lot of crap before and I’ve come out stronger and wiser
and more grounded and clear.
And once again. I mean, I feel stronger, clearer, wiser, more grounded, more
connected to my family than I did before battling COVID.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] I also have to say like, there’s a degree of good and bad. I’m
also no longer terrified of getting it because I believe–
[Tanya:] There’s a fear; we can just cross that off.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] Cross it off the list. Scared of getting COVID? Nope, already
[Tanya:] I like that. Well, I mean, this is a thing too; in the book, you talk about, you
know, during the lockdown you had days, and you say this in the book that you felt
like hiding in the car, curling in the fetal position, in the backseat. We all have those
days, but having this toolkit where we can pull from really does make a difference.
And seeing that beyond this, just imagining who you’re going to become because of
this hardship, like that person that you become is going to be so much better
because of this adversity, right?
[Meaghan B Murphy:] Yes. And also, the thing is, positive thought has the power to
defuse or negate negative thoughts. And that’s something we; the negativity can be
so loud because of our negativity bias. Positivity is powerful. Giving your permission,
challenging yourself to have a good thought can have physical and mental benefits.
It can actually begin to defuse the negativity. And I have seen that at work in my
own way, time and time again.
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And especially now, you know, we’re on day 13 of our recovery, which just felt like
such a win, but during some of the darkest days, realizing that when I kind of relied
on my fully charged toolkit, things got infinitely easier and better.
[Tanya:] Yes. It’s so important to have that toolkit around you. And one of the things
that you talk about, and this ties back into that whole concept of you put out good
into the world, good comes back to you; that whole universal law that we’ve talked
about here this season. I mean, you talk about this idea of the positive energy
boomerang. Can you talk about that? What is the positive energy boomerang?
Because I read this section of the book and I was like, Hey, amen.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] It’s so fun to watch it in practice. We live with gratitude and
kindness and grace and love. And when that boomerangs back, it is so incredible.
We were down and out. We’ve been quarantined. One of my girlfriends face-timed
me from Trader Joe’s and did a flower haul because she knows that one of my
secrets in life is stilling my house with fresh flowers because there’s so much great
research about how fresh cut flowers can actually erase anxiety and improve your
My other girlfriend drove to my kids’ school, picked up, you know, 900 pounds of
their books, and brought them to my door. My neighbor, my sweet neighbor,
brought us like left a loaf of bread and blueberries and tomatoes on the porch. Like,
that doesn’t just happen. That happens because the good you put out comes back
to you. If I were an a-hole, those things would be happening back to me. And it is so
fun and so magical to see that good energies boomerang in practice.
[Tanya:] Yes. Well, I mean, you’re right. You put the good out there, which means
you’ve developed these relationships with people, these deeper relationships being
fully present with these people, and that allows them to then want to do things back
for you. You put out positivity, positivity comes back. It doesn’t always come back
from the exact same people that you’ve given it to; sometimes it comes in other
But this is the thing it’s really about really being authentically you and truly infusing
positivity and joy into the world because it feels good and it resonates with you.
Faking it, doesn’t work. You talk about that in the book; you can’t just fake positivity,
[Meaghan B Murphy:] Exactly. One of the things that I like to explain is like, Yes, it’s
great to look on the bright side. But that’s actually just, like, a BS Instagram bumper
sticker. Like, that, that’s not real. Like you have to look at all the sides, right? And you
have to acknowledge what stinks and you have to also be aware of what’s bad in
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some ways to help appreciate the good. It’s not about toxic positivity and rainbows
and unicorns and, Everything is always okay. Absolutely not.
Like, you know what? In fact, sometimes things are really hard, and sometimes
things really, really stink. And it’s not a weakness to acknowledge that; it’s a
weakness to live there and to only acknowledge that, and to ignore the positive and
the good, because you’re so focused on that negative. But it exists and you
acknowledge it. You look on not just the bright side, but all the sides. And then you
take an action step forward because the only way out is through. And that requires
[Tanya:] Yes. This is the thing is we can’t just think, Oh, I want positive things to come
my way. We have to actually, you have to do the work and it doesn’t have to be hard
work, but it means getting out and interacting with your neighbors who then, later
on, leave the loaf of bread. It means interacting with your friends and being there
and being fully present with these people. When you’re in those moments, you
know, consciously choosing to direct your attention to what’s going around you and
really thinking about who you’re with and what you’re doing together.
In the book you shared, there was a, I think you called it a repetition exercise that you
did in an acting class. And that brought your attention to being aware. Can you
share that with my listeners?
[Meaghan B Murphy:] So I went, I studied acting at Mason Gross School of the Arts.
And in acting there’s an exercise called repetitions. So you’re sort of standing
face-to-face with someone and you’re repeating those same words back. And what
you’re doing is you’re changing your tone in your inflection. You’re using the same
words, but based on that person’s body language, that person’s tone the way that
person speaks that word back out at you, that kind of forces you to listen, to engage,
to interpret and have your words come back to mirror to sort of meet that same
And it’s just a study of like being present with someone like, How did they say that?
What did their eyes tell you? What did their shoulders tell you? What was their body
language? Like, you know, What did you hear in their voice? Just really kind of
actively engaging with someone. I love cashiers. I love baristas. I love train
conductors. I really kind of look at those small interactions as opportunities for really
And the thing I will say is if you’re an extrovert, these things still matter. It doesn’t
mean you have to have this big outsized, oversized personality to get jolts from
interactions. We all need strong relationships with family members, loved ones,
neighbors, cashiers, to achieve happiness and to be fulfilled.
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[Tanya:] Yes. And I think a lot of times, like you said, there it’s the little interactions.
One of the things that I try to do is when I’m checking out the grocery store, I’m at
the bank or one of those places, someone has a name tag. I thank them by name,
right? I mean, it’s such a small, tiny thing, but when people hear their own name, it
lights them up because they feel like here I am putting things through the scanner
at the grocery store, nobody sees me. And then suddenly someone sees you, Hey,
Marsha. That was great. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. You have a fabulous day.
It makes their day, which is amazing. It’s such a little, such a little moment.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] I think of name tags as a gift. Like I, I love a name tag and I
also, I talk about sort of wearing a conversation starter. And that can be, I mean, me, I
dress in lightening bolts and I’m really loud and proud and I have a big outsized
personality; but for somebody who’s a little bit more low key or introverted, that
could be as simple as like wearing a baseball cap with your college on it. And then
that enables you to connect with somebody who maybe also went to that college or,
you know, wearing a sweatshirt with your kids’ school and then connecting with
somebody else who maybe went to that school.
You know, it’s about wearing your favorite color and connecting with someone else
who loves that color. I mean, having this is all about connection and when you’re an
introvert or an extrovert, we all need connection. We need to feel like we’re part of a
community. That we’re part of something that our life matters. And one of the best
ways to do that is by feeling kind of hugged and loved, understood by someone else.
And that’s very hard right now, right? Cause it’s on these zoom calls and without
being able to like high five and hug and really be with people, we kind of have to
make a bigger effort than ever to find connection.
[Tanya:] It’s so true. And our brains are wired for connection. We crave it. This is our
brains are designed so that we live in communities. We were designed to build
tribes centuries and millennia ago so that we could live together; our brains crave it.
And so this idea of what you’re talking about with, you know, infusing positivity and
optimism and reaching out to people how that builds community. It’s so soothing to
You know, even you tell a story in the book about how you see this woman on the
street and she’s wearing orange from head to toe and you’re like, Chase her down,
Meaghan. I love that you have no shame. Meaghan’s like, ‘I chased her down the
street, like a crazy woman, and I’m like, I love your outfit.’ But here’s the thing,
Meaghan, like, this is what I love about the story is we’re hearing this story from your
point of view.
And what I would love is to get that orange woman, her point of view, right? Cause I
can guarantee you her day was so incredibly made. She probably told that story for
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weeks. This woman chased me down the street; told me how amazing I looked; the
whole rest of my day was incredible. That’s the power we have.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] It was, like, in the train station. And I just saw like, this oasis of
orange, which is my favorite color. And I was, I hustled up to her. I took a picture and
she was an older woman. She was probably like in her sixties. And she was just so
cool. And she like giggled with ex–this is obviously pre COVID; but she giggled with
excitement about her outfit. We completely bonded over our love of orange and it
absolutely changed the tone of my morning.
And I know it changed the tone of hers. And you’re right, I wish I would’ve gotten
like, you know, someone to stealthily interview her to be like, So how did you feel at
that moment? You know, when this interesting woman chased you down?
[Tanya:] ‘Interesting woman.’ I like that phrasing for you. But I can tell you right now
what she would say. She still remembers that interaction. I remember when I was
like eight months pregnant in Dallas, Texas; it’s a hundred degrees getting out of the
car with, you know, a three-year-old and I feel gross and sweaty. I vividly remember
exactly where I was with this woman came by and goes, Wow, you look amazing!
And at eight months pregnant, I wanted to kiss the woman. I wanted to cry. It just
felt so good. And that was obviously like 14 years ago. And yet it still has that power.
We all have that power.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] This makes me so happy. I love to tell people like, so
compliments also like basically stick to us. So that anytime she puts on that orange
hat or you go back to that moment, you also get those feel-good effects. So like
someone compliments me on my sweatshirt. Every time I put the sweatshirt on, I
now get little lightning bolts of feel-good energy because that’s how powerful
And obviously they have to be authentic. If you hate someone’s haircut, don’t say
blanket. But when you’re able to recognize something in someone that you
appreciate, or it’s a form of gratitude, right? You’re appreciating something about
someone and it’s more powerful than you realize.
[Tanya:] Yeah. We undervalue the passing kind word, that just, I mean, cause it costs
us nothing. So we don’t think anything of it. We admire the woman next to us, but
we don’t open our mouth to say, you look amazing. We don’t open our mouth to
make her day and it costs us nothing. And in return, we’re going to get that
gratitude. She’s going to have that gratitude. It’s a beautiful thing.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] The cool thing, too, is kindness is such a great diffuser. I was
recently, pre- COVID, in a spot and this woman was so crappy and so rude. And I was
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like, I couldn’t let that ruin my day. I don’t know why; she like pushed ahead of me
through the door and, I mean, she was just in a mood and I prickled, right? But at
that same moment, I decided to crush her with compliments because she had a
really cool mask on.
It was one of those like, you know, a lipstick smile. And I was like, Oh my goodness,
your mask is so fun. And then she was like, isn’t it? My daughter gave it to me. And
then when we had a kinder exchange, which really did soften the blow of her initial
a-hole-ness and made the interaction subsequently pleasant for the both of us.
Because you know, when someone’s a jerk and then you just take that energy?
[Tanya:] We do. You absorb it and walk away with it.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] Exactly. So I’m like I have to defuse this at least for my own
sake because it felt gross. And it was very, very effective.
[Tanya:] I like that. It really is. When we put good into the world, it’s building our
community. We feel like we have to do so much on our own. And you talk about this
in the book, but we have a whole village around us. We just have to be willing to
open our eyes and see, and then bring our villagers around us. Asking for help,
asking for support, giving kindness in return. Really, it is about building community.
And that’s what I love about what you talk about. Really.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] Yeah. And I think that also asking for help is very empowering.
You know, when I’ve been vulnerable enough to ask for help, it always feels good
because you get that sort of like that person gets what I call a helper’s high. They’ve
been able to help you, which feels good. And I’m not somebody who often needs
help. So when I am vulnerable enough to ask for help and someone’s able to be
there for me, I know that feels good for them as well. So it’s like asking for help was
important. I think, especially for busy moms in these times.
[Tanya:] Yes. I absolutely agree. And your book is such a great help. So if you feel like
this is something you are struggling with or you’re like, Ah, I don’t know how to be
more positive. Meaghan’s book is so of so many ideas and strategies and tips and
just some really, truly actionable things that you can start doing right away. It really
is a gift. So Meaghan, could you remind everybody the name of your book and the
one best place to really find you?
[Meaghan B Murphy:] Yeah. I guess the best place to go–I’m very active on
Instagram at Meaghan; M-E-A-G-H-A-N, B, Murphy. So that’s probably a good place
to hear what I’m up to.
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[Tanya:] Yes. I love it. Meaghan’s book is out and you’re going to want to grab a copy,
honestly. Meaghan, thank you so much for coming on the show once again. I loved
having you on again, this was fabulous.
[Meaghan B Murphy:] I know, you’re the best. I adore you.
[Tanya:] Yay! Yes. Thank you.
I’ll have all the links to connect with Meaghan and to get her book on my show
notes. So be sure to check those out and speaking of infusing a little more happiness
and joy, I want to remind you that this episode today is brought to you by The
Intentional CEO Mentorship program, my revolutionary 12-month coaching program
that helps female entrepreneurs scale and grow their businesses while having an
incredibly thriving, personal life as well.
I will be opening up the doors to The Intentional CEO program. They only open a
couple of times a year but those doors are going to be opening very soon. So if you
want information on how you can join me and work alongside of me directly with
me through the intentional CEO mentorship program, go to
Tanyadalton.com/coaching. I’d love to see you be a part of my mentorship program.
And I would love to work with you.
Here’s what I want you to take away from today’s show; today’s episode really was
about mindset and how you look at your life and choosing optimism. I think when
we surround ourselves with women like Meaghan, who remind us that, yes, we’re
going to have hard days and yes, we’re going to have bad days and yes, maybe
you’re not naturally wired for abundance or naturally wired for, for being optimistic
or a positive person, kind of like Megan, you can choose this lifestyle for yourself.
You can choose to change the direction your life is going. It is ultimately your
decision to make. And that I think is an amazing thing because it means that we are
the authors of our own stories. We are the captains of our ship and that means you
hold the power. And when we understand and accept and recognize that we hold
the power in our own lives, that is when we have the intentional advantage.