What if Odell Beckham Never Heard of Football?


What if Odell Beckham Never Heard of Football?

My son LOVES video games. He loves them so much that he talks about them when he wakes up, he begs me to let him play Minecraft after school and he grumbles when I have to tell him homework first.

He also loves football. He knows names of just about every player, trades football cards with his friends and is constantly talking about who is getting traded to what team.

So you guessed it – he’s pretty typical of today’s 10-year old boy.

At school, they were asked to do an independent research project where they each chose an open ended question to research and write a thoughtful answer. After much thought, my son decided on his question. 

“What if Odell Beckham had never heard of football”?

Of course my first thought was – “Who is Odell Beckham?” But thanks, to Google, I didn’t have to admit my ignorance.

Odell Beckham is a wide receiver for the New York Giants and is also my son’s latest favorite player. Apparently this guy is really good.

I love this question because it really gets you thinking about possibility. What if Bill Gates wasn’t alive during the technology boom?  Or what if Martin Luther King wasn’t around for the civil rights movement?

So I asked my son the question I’ve been pondering since our first Playstation, “What if YOU never heard of VIDEO GAMES?”

To my surprise, his response came instantly.

“I wouldn’t have been born. I just would have waited in your belly until they were invented.”

Lucky for me – and my belly – video games were invented. But his response really got me thinking. If Life Purpose is the thing you LOVE TO DO combined with WHAT YOU’RE GREAT AT and SOMETHING THE WORLD NEEDS, then what is your Life Purpose?

And if you were born at this time and this place for a higher reason, what would that be?

What will you do today for that purpose? If you don’t know it – will you take the time to discover it? And if you do, what ONE thing can you do to start living the life that you want?

If you not you, who? If not now, when? 

Contact me today to discover your Life's Purpose.



Stay Awesome

My 9-year old son came home from school recently with a bit of unintended advice and wisdom. 

At school he was asked to write down one goal for the week. His response was “STAY AWESOME.”  Well, actually he originally wrote "Be Awesome," erased it and boldly scribed "Stay Awesome."

When I first read this, I laughed. Really? Stay Awesome. That’s his goal. Hmmm. Not sure that was what the teacher was going for, but the more I thought about it, I got excited about how life would shift by taking on staying awesome.

The core of every human being is amazing. Every one of us has an essence or quality about us that is unique and special. And as an Ontological Coach, this is what I work with clients on getting back to. Yours may be joy, play, love, peace or brilliance. But when conflict arises and you get scared, you may get angry, jealous, or have guilt.  

But the good news is, you have a choice.  

To “Stay Awesome,” consider making it a practice to “Notice the Awesome,” especially in yourself, your spouse, your child or even your boss or co-worker.

We can be the harshest critics to ourselves and to the people who are closest to us. Sometimes we even have a blind spot to all the good and fixate on the bad. If you notice yourself doing this, it may be time for acknowledgment.

Start by journaling the awesomeness in your life. What are the accomplishments made today by you, your family or at work? Tell those important people in your life what they mean to you. If you become a better support system to your partner, you’ll get a better support system in return.   

Also, don’t forget to reach out. Just like the song in the Lego Movie “Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team.”  Teamwork is awesome, right? But even when we have a team or a village, many of us choose to be separate and alone. We create stories. They’re too busy to help. No one cares. 

But what is it like for you when someone vulnerably comes to you for help? For most, it’s a win-win. Empowering to be asked and for the one who did the asking, you may get some help out of it.

When overwhelm kicks in, take a moment to step back, break it up into more manageable pieces and take action. When I feel over committed, I started making it a practice to not talk about it or dwell on how much I have to do – I just do it.

Finally, don’t over-commit. It’s okay to say “no,” and sometimes people actually respect you more for it. It is better for your health, your spirit and the energy you give to the task if you take on the fewer things that you love, rather than many obligations. 

Ready to stay awesome? Exercise that awesome muscle and reach out today for support.




Turning Holiday Madness into Holiday Joy!

1 Comment

Turning Holiday Madness into Holiday Joy!

I used to LOVE the holidays as a kid. Tons of candy on Halloween, yummy food at Thanksgiving, and Christmas – PRESENTS, so many presents that my head would explode!


But as I became an adult and the responsibilities kicked in, it was like POOF – the holiday magic disappeared. I worried that my son was eating too much candy at Halloween. Thanksgiving and Christmas stress started way before with the planning. Did I buy a present for everyone on my list?


You really can get sucked into the holiday madness.


But I’ve got some good news. You get to choose. My choice? SLOW DOWN, take a breath and remember what all this is really about.


Practice meaningful gift giving. Let’s get real on presents. Do people really need more stuff? It seems we’ve lost track of why we give presents. I like to say we are buying presents for present’s sake, not for people’s sake.


Is it for someone who would like to see you more? Give her the gift of your time – lunch, dinner, movie, a play, a nature hike. Memories are meaningful. I make Shutterfly picture books for our parents and when our moms open it, bring out the tissues! They love photos of the kids and grandchildren.


Powerful questioning and distinguished sharing. As a Life Coach, one of the things I stress to my clients is distinguished sharing. Replace facts and gossip with true meaning. Dinner conversation at Thanksgiving  and Christmas can be very formal or in some families political arguments.  It is amazing how little we know about our family members. Get to know each other! Find out what everyone is thankful for. Play a game that involves powerful questioning such as:

What do I absolutely love in life?

If my life had no limits, what would I choose to do?

Put a bowl in the center of table with powerful questions. If the conversation gets dull – pick from the bowl and get connected.


Acknowledge your loved ones. People are funny about acknowledgement. Sometimes it can be stiff and awkward. Think of every one in the room as a superhero and acknowledge them for all they do in life. Even your crazy uncle has superpowers, acknowledge him for it!


Put YOU first. Yes, I said YOU, not your family or friends. Healthy priorities involve putting yourself first like the oxygen mask on the airlines – take care of you first and then help your child. Think of it this way – which YOU are you bringing to the party or dinner? Stressed out you or loving you. It’s your choice. Ask for help if you need it.


Let it go! Yes, the Disney song is going through my head. But seriously, what would it give you if you let things go? Nutrition is really high on my list of priorities, but even I have learned to look the other way on Halloween.


Enjoy all that life has to offer this holiday season. You deserve it!

Allyson Jannotta is a Life Coach on a mission to change the world one person at a time. Enjoy a complimentary Life Coaching session and find out how a good life can be great! 847-345-7142 or allyson@jannotta.net. She is the founder of An Aha Life www.AnAhaLife.com and teammate in Chicago’s Accomplishment Coaching


1 Comment

Unwrapping Life's Gifts


Unwrapping Life's Gifts

I thought of a new t-shirt design. On the front there is a little stick figure out on a beautiful sunny day and another stick figure out on a beautiful wintry day. The caption underneath reads “Life is Good, But it Would Be Much Better if I Was THAT Guy.”

While my design is a bit snarky, there is truth to it. Rather than enjoying where we are, many of us get caught in the cycle of comparing and wanting more.  

It is as if “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones becomes a mantra of life. Grass is Greener. But is it, really?

I can’t help but think of the time I spent shopping for a house with my husband. It was our first home. We had a modest budget. After looking through a house, he would stand outside to survey the neighborhood, point at the much larger house across the street and say, “I want that one.”

While it is great to have ambition and want more, you can still enjoy where you are now. Many of us look back at the salad days as fond memories, when life was simpler. Have you ever visited that first home and reminisced about all the memories that were created there?

I remember a great piece of advice someone gave me when I was pregnant with my son. He said to enjoy every age and every stage of his life. Some ages (like the terrible twos) may be more challenging, but there are also gifts at each milestone. Look for those gifts and savor them, they don’t last forever.

This bit of wisdom can also be applied to where you are at work or where you are financially. Most of us don’t start a career at the top. There is a stepladder of success where we spend years building up our knowledge and our salaries. Think of the gifts that we have at the beginning of our career – the excitement and newness, the thirst for knowledge for more.

Looking for the gifts of each moment and savoring them is a practice that can be applied to all areas of life. Just remember to take a moment to unwrap these gifts, you may be surprised at what you will find.


Where's My Joy?

1 Comment

Where's My Joy?

I woke up in a panic this morning. I can’t find it. I looked everywhere - under the bed, behind the couch, the junk drawer. Oh – maybe it was shoved in some box in the basement. Maybe it is just waiting for that moment when I need it. I’ll go check.

I run down to the basement. “Please, God. Please let be there,” I thought.

I start grabbing boxes, opening them up. Throwing out all the other misplaced items in my life. “Oh – there’s that hat, I knew I didn’t throw it away.” I throw it back in the box, hoping I remember it’s there so I can wear it next winter.

I give up on that box and go to the next one.

I found it!

This “it” wasn’t the thing I was down there for, but it was a golden nugget. It was my box full of memories. My first haircut, my first school play, my first love, my first kiss. I was engrossed. I just enjoyed the moment. Reminisced.

And in that moment, my old friend was back. But when I was done reminiscing, once I shut that box – POOF – it’s gone again. Where did it go? Why does it keep leaving me?  

Hours pass. All morning I’m down there looking. I was surrounded by piles -- a pile for Goodwill, a pile of clothes to try on, half open boxes, pictures sorted out.

I felt defeated.  

“What was missing?” you ask.

The Joy in my life. It’s. Just. Gone.

The crazy thing is, I can’t remember when it left. Sometimes it does visit me. But it’s like an old friend that lives far away. It visits me once in awhile, shows me a great time, but doesn’t stay.

I remember Joy as a child. Having that carefree feeling, experiencing all my firsts. I remember Joy when I first met my husband. How over the moon I was, my heart pounding out of my chest – in a good way.

Some of us feel that if we just had more, our Joy would stay. If I just had a bigger house, a higher paying job, more money. It’s like making it more attractive for the Joy to stick around, not leave us. But do we really feel more joyful with things?

And when everything seems great on the outside – you have a good paying job, great family, nice house. It may not be the same for you inside – the stress, the fear, the overwhelm, the responsibility, the need to be perfect – or at least appear that way.

While you may find Joy in the bigger things that you pursue, the truth is, abundance does not make us happy. Have you ever known a person who has lots of stuff, yet seems unhappy, almost Joyless?

Instead of looking for Joy in the big things – a bigger house, a higher paying job, you may want to make it a practice to start noticing it in the smaller things in life. Notice it all around you. You may discover that you haven’t lost it. It’s there. You’ve just been looking past it.

Every day we have Joyful moments that invite us in, yet we turn down the invitation. Not enough time. I got more important things to do.

Your soul is starving. Feed it. Take a moment to notice the beauty in the flowers, the warmth of the sunshine, smell the air, listen for laughter, hug a loved one, connect with people, call a friend, run, sing on your drive home, play cards. Most importantly when you’re doing this, SLOW DOWN, SAVOR IT.

Remember that incredible feeling of Joy when experiencing life’s firsts? While you can’t get that back, you can enjoy new firsts. Play truth or dare with your spouse, have a poker night with your kids, run in the field with your dog  - why should he have all the fun?

And just as we do during a concert or a presentation, turn down or off your mobile device, your distractions. Your texts, your email, your facebook update, can wait. In this new context, you don’t have time for them. You’re too busy living.

Think of your deathbed confession. What will you talk about during those last moments of your life? Make a list. You might be surprised about what’s on there. But whatever it is, those are the things you should be doing. Make time for JOY!

1 Comment