Published in the April 27 – May 10, 2016 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Diana Wood

Diana Wood

The crisp, biting air greeted me as I stepped onto the two-mile loop at Harvey Bear Ranch County Park. That perfect Saturday morning, the rain had just visited and was such a polite guest bringing the gift of the much needed showers our California ground has been so thirsty to drink.

There was an urgency to get my walk started because I needed to think. Whether you’re a mom, dad, business owner, or corporate executive, staying in a future-focused mindset is essential to success.

I have heard many times during coaching calls how clients get stuck as historians or reporters of their lives. Very little, if any, of their focus is on their future.

It’s easy to slip into these roles even as a professional coach: the role of historian — focusing on events from the past, or the role of a reporter — repeatedly verbalizing events going on in your today.

I found taking a run or a refreshing walk helps in the re-calibration of my focus on the future because that’s where I want to go to the future. I don’t want to get stuck in the past or get stuck reliving my today over and over.

As I began my walk on the trail, it was as if the inviting path was rolled out just for me. The chickadees that inhabit Harvey Bear had much to say in their bird songs as I walked through their auditorium. Their melody was the perfect accompaniment for the thoughts racing through my mind.

I had just received news that Cornelia, a thinking partner I work with, had been diagnosed with colon cancer and I needed to processes this news.

Funny, right? Cornelia found out that she has colon cancer and “I” needed to process the news. Cornelia is the vibrant single mom of a beautiful 9-year-old little girl and an accomplished professional who has the dream to transition out of her corporate position into business for herself.
The disrupting news of colon cancer is an uninvited guest in both her today and her tomorrow.

How does one not sit in the proverbial historian rocking chair swaying back and forth to the soothing cadence of the past or sharpen their pencil and dwell in cancer statistic sources as a proper reporter? Cornelia and I talked through her today and how she is positioned to take on her tomorrows.

Much like the very walk I was taking, Cornelia is confidently walking on her new path. She’s taking in the sight of the surrounding lush grass drunk from the recent rain dancing to the chickadee song currently playing in her life.

She’s choosing to be future-focused and embracing every single moment of every day that is gifted to her.

Cornelia is not letting her environment sink her in the past or settling into the reporting zone. She has bravely written her goals in stone and her plans in the sand.


Cornelia will absolutely have moments of temporarily visiting the past which will under-gird her appreciation of all the things she has in her life today, her future yesterday

She will also, have select moments where she will report on facts. Yet where Cornelia chooses to live her life is in her future, focusing on the beautiful path she looks to have in her gifted tomorrows.

She chooses to continue to believe and take steps toward her goals and understands that the value of writing her plan in the sand allows her to keep her focused on the future. Write your goals in stone and your plans in the sand.

Morgan Hill resident Diana Wood is the president and CEO of Wood Motivation, a certified independent John Maxwell Team coach, speaker and trainer. She can be reached at