Interview with top US editorial consultant Marcela Landres

Jorge Raziel Ortiz & Dr. Alexander Avila interview top US editorial consultant Marcela Landres. She shares with us the secrets to success as Latinos, how to be successful in your relationships and what it takes to make it big.

Find out more about Marcela Landres at


The Science Behind Achieving Your New Year’s Resolutions

“This New Year will be different and better, Right?” It certainly makes sense that as the year is ending and with a break from school and/or work, we reflect back on this past year and look forward to a new and better year. Who would ever look forward to a worse year?

But if we look around, we can realize that year after year… things do not change much for most people. Why is that?  If I can tell you, one of the main reasons is because most people will not sit down and clearly define and write down what they want out of life.  But I know that if you are reading this, you are likely in the minority that will.

Here is how to start: Set some time for yourself and answer these three questions; it’s best if you write down your responses.

1.       What lessons did I learn this past year?
2.       What do I want to accomplish this New Year?
3.       In order to reach my goals, who do I have to be?
Have you set your New Year’s Resolutions yet? Great!  Here are 10 of the more typical resolutions around the country.
1. Spend more time with family and/or friends
2. Get fit or lose weight
3. Quit smoking/drinking or any other type of addiction
4. Enjoy more of what life has to offer
5. Get out of debt
6. Improve my relationships
7. Learn something new
8. Change jobs or get a promotion
9. Help others or volunteer more
10. Become better organized

Unfortunately, studies have shown that over 90% of New Year’s resolutions never come to pass.  Here are 7 essential steps to make sure yours do.

The 7 Stages to Successful Resolutions

1.       Set a resolution!

Wanting, wishing or hoping for something different or better IS NOT a resolution.  For your desire to become a resolution, you must write down the specific results you are after and commit to doing whatever it takes to achieving them. Psychologist John Norcross studied two groups of people, both of whom wanted to change. Six months after, only 4 % of the group that wanted to change but hadn’t made specific resolutions had managed to stay on track to reach their goals; 46% of those who made specific resolutions were still on track. It appears that you are 10 times more likely to be successful if you make a resolution. I think I will make those resolutions!

2.       Take your resolution seriously.

What do you do when you mean business?  Would you just wing-it and hope for the results you want or would you do your homework and prepare yourself to give yourself the best chance?  I would certainly do my homework as well.  I say, if you are going to do something, do it!  When setting resolutions, remember to be authentic, align them with your values and cultivate a burning desire to achieve them.

3.       Set SMARTY resolutions.

In creating your resolutions, make sure they have the following:

S-Specific: Who? What? When? Where?
M-Measureable: How will I know when it is accomplished?
A-Achievable: Can you accomplish the goal? Do not set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic goals.
R-Relevant: Does the outcome of achieving the goal seem worthwhile?
T-Timely: By when will you have accomplished the goal?
Y-What is your why? Anything that you look forward to accomplishing has a reason, right?  Find those reasons, become clear about them; a burning desire can only be developed through clarity, commitment and willingness.  The why will drive you and it will keep you going no matter the difficulties.

4.       Get the best strategies, tools and coaching to produce maximum results.

You know, in order to be more or have more you will have to most likely know more and do more.  Therefore you must commit to discovering what you might be missing.   Someone out there has already accomplished what you want; figure out what they did differently and do it.  A coach might come in very handy for this portion; if you are serious about accomplishing your goals by utilizing the fast-track; feel free to reach out by sending me an email

5.        Take massive action, consistently and with enthusiasm.

No extent of education, preparation, will or desire alone will ever take you to achieve your goals.  There is a very important component to achievement, the hard work that goes with it.  Make up your mind that you will work at it, that you will do what is necessary to reach your goals.  You will no longer go another year with just hopes and dreams without seeing any results.

6.        Realize there will be set-backs.

Just like any path to success, there will be difficulties.  There will be times when you mess-up or when you seem to be getting off track… when that happens: jump back on the wagon!  Any path to the top of the mountain always has peaks and valleys.  Determination and persistence are crucial to the process.

7.        Be aware of your associations.

Be careful of who you decide to share your goals with.  Find the people in your life that will encourage you, that will believe in you.  Stay clear of those that will find a way to discourage you or bring you down. At the end of the day who you spend your time with will largely determine if you are successful.

In Conclusion

If you follow the 7 stages that lead to successful resolutions you will set yourself up for success.  I look forward to hearing about your successes in the months to come.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you and your loved ones a New Year of health, happiness and opportunities.  I hope that you will give yourself the gifts of love, forgiveness and faith. I encourage you to pursue your resolutions this New Year with the expectancy that it will be the best year of your life.

26 Lessons I Learned by Age 26

Here is a list of 26 lessons I’ve learned thus far; I share it with you in the hopes that it reminds you of the lessons you’ve learned so far.  Pausing and looking back at past experiences to extract the lessons learned might surprise you.  It did me.  What do you think? Disagree? Let me know!

1. Bad things do happen to good people.  It is not what happens to us that matters most but what we do with what happens.

2. Crying, laughing, anger and joy are all part of being human. Embrace them.

3. Do not be quick to judge someone; it will quickly damage the relationship.

4. Failure is temporary, and so is success.  No big successes come before experiencing some failures.

5. Fear is the biggest obstacle to joy and fulfillment.  Act in spite of fear.

6. Finding your life partner is more about developing yourself than finding the perfect person.

7. Greed will quickly make you feel empty.

8. How you see things now are likely to change, be open to new perspectives.

9. Intelligence doesn’t get you very far, hard work and determination do.

10. Lack of clarity simply means lack of information.

11. Lasting motivation is only intrinsic; it is the culmination of a strong desire driven by passion.

12. Look for ways to add value through the passions you were given, it will bring you fulfillment.

13. Most times it is best to pave your own path in life. Being authentic is the most important part in that process.

14. Nothing and nobody lasts forever so make the best of all you have.

15. Our calendars must reflect what is important to us.

16. Realize that what you do and who you are today will ultimately create what you will have and who you will be tomorrow.

17. Stepping out of your comfort zone is the only way to grow, so keep stepping out.

18. Take pictures, write in a journal… someday you will be glad you did.

19. Taking full responsibility for everything in our lives is the first step to freedom.

20. The only constant in life is change; those that thrive seek to create the change.

21. The quality of your life equals the quality of your health, not the quality of your bank account.

22. Value your friendships but know when to get new friends.

23. When an opportunity arises, it is best to seize it quickly.

24. Wounds are healed through time, even if it doesn’t seem like it right now.

25. You don’t know what you don’t know, so keep learning.

26. You never get too old to be a kid.

As time passes by, the lessons learned increase almost exponentially IF we stop and analyze.

Goodbye to the Destroyer: Mr. Stress!

In life we are bombarded with deadlines, demands, frustrations, and circumstances or simply put, STRESSORS that create tension in our lives.  For so many people stress has become a lifestyle; they feel stress and are unconscious as to what is causing it or are unaware as to how to remove it from their lives.

Not all stress is bad, stress is force exerted onto oneself, therefore we can use stress to propel us to take action and get something done.  For stress to be good it has to come in a small dosage.  Ideally the stressor, the situation causing you stress, will influence your actions making you more efficient and effective without affecting you emotionally or physiologically.  A great example would be where you have a deadline and the stress creates the incentive to get it done and meet it where you normally would have put it off.

According to if stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can have negative effects. Stress has been linked to headaches, an upset stomachback pain, and trouble sleeping. Stress can weaken your immune system, making it harder to fight off disease. If you already have a health problem, stress may make it worse.  Charles W. Mayo, M.D says “worry and stress affects the circulation, the heart, the glands, the whole nervous system, and profoundly affects heart action”.

Stress can also make you moody, tense, or depressed.  Most importantly to note is that your relationships may suffer which would carry over and affect your work, school or any other activity that you might be involved with.  Who wants to be in a relationship where the other person is constantly moody or in a state of depression anyway?

So, how do we deal with stress?  What do we do with it?

American psychologist William James said that “our greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”  What that means is that we have to make conscious efforts to focus our thoughts in the positive direction.  It could also be that when we feel stress it is not that we are specifically thinking about the stressor at that moment, but that unconsciously it is still affecting us.

Actress and best-selling author Marilu Henner stated that “…having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management…”  Writing down everything that is on your mind and keeping a “stressor journal” is crucial to being able to put things into perspective and move forward with realistic expectations.  Once you have all stressors on paper it is much easier to quantify their magnitude, prioritize them and then execute the plan without overwhelming pressure.

Hypnotherapist  Maureen Killoran says “stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose”.  Every situation can be interpreted to mean what we decide it to mean; the key to not producing unnecessary stress is to be very clear on the difference between fact and fiction.  Ask yourself; what are my interpretations, assumptions and beliefs around the issue?  What else could it mean? Then move towards a solution by asking yourself, what is the best thing I can do now?

Just please don’t fall under the percentage of people that revert to unhealthy activities to cope with stress.  Research has shown that a large percentage of Americans turn to drinking or smoking to cope through stressful periods in their lives and that can lead to addictions, loss of money, poor relationships and further health complications.

The bottom line is that stress occurs when we dwell for too long on a situation or circumstance (the stressor) that we feel consciously or unconsciously is beyond our control and when our focus and perspective has skewed from reality.  We all have the ability to manage the stressors and most importantly manage our thoughts.  To begin eliminating stress from your life today:

  1. Recognize what is causing the stress. Keep a journal.  Start noticing patters, situations, people or events that trigger the stress.  Take time to empty your mind on paper, it will allow you to see the big picture.
  2. Define what reality is and what fiction is in every stress producing situation. What is truly happening and what are we making it to mean?
  3. Create a plan of action with necessary support.  Decide what is important and where your focus should be.  Find the help you need.  Realize that your best is all you can do and all you can do is enough.
  4. Continue to move forward becoming consistently more aware of your thoughts and focus.
  5. Find your stress relieving activities and do them often; like, keeping a calendar, exercising, eating healthy, getting plenty of rest or meditating.  The important thing is finding something that works for you.

You have the ability to work on improving anything that is not where you want it to be in your life.  If stress is something you are dealing with and you are seeing it affect any area of your life, it is time to do something about it.  How much is eliminating stress from your life worth to you?

Am I Communicating or Intending to Communicate?

It makes all the difference in the world!

How many times do we hurt someone unintentionally by something we said?  In our relationships with others, it is important to realize that we all come with different expectations and different beliefs as to what is appropriate.  Sometimes common sense for us is not very common to another.  It takes humility, a gentle heart and a genuine interest in the other person’s feelings to be able to sincerely apologize when you hurt someone unintentionally.  An apology is not an admittance of fault, it is not about blaming anyways, it is a simple reminder to both parties that no harm was intended and hopefully it creates the space for the communication to continue and understanding and forgiveness to take place.

Communication is the foundation of any relationship but we must realize that there are many communication styles and different expressions of those styles.  Many times hurting someone occurs simply by accident; in a relationship it is crucially important that we do not immediately make assumptions and interpretations about the act or the person’s intentions.

If we feel hurt by something said, it is important to quickly realize that the other person may not be aware of what caused that feeling.  We must briefly put that emotion to the side and clearly communicate to the other person the emotion and what caused it so that it can be addressed.  Just be careful of not communicating confrontationally or aggressively because the other person might become defensive and the ability to communicate will be lost.  I know I have made this mistake one to many times.

Also, allow space for other possible interpretations.  Try not to speak from negative emotions; just speak truthfully and honestly.  Be clear as to the intent of your communication.  The conversation is not part of a relationship, in many ways it is the relationship.  When we are triggered it is important to recognize it and fight off the tendency to attack back.  Once one person is in defense mode, the conversation has shifted and is no longer fully engaged with a good purpose.

In conversations never use the following: blame, name calling, sarcasm, threatening, exaggerating, pointing the other person’s wrong.  All of these will change the person’s willingness to open up and will get you nowhere in the conversation, it will even create more hurt feelings.

It serves us as a reminder that our communication is not what we intended to say it is what the other person understood.   There is no doubt in my mind that if you are in a relationship, whether being a friendship or an intimate relationship, it is because you deeply care for them and the last thing you would want to do is hurt the other person intentionally.

In conversations, be sure to have no hidden agenda.  Speak genuinely from your thoughts and emotions.  Be quick to recognize fault and apologize.  See your conversations through to completion.  Look for non-verbal cues.  Saving the relationship is much more important than being right all the time.

Say Goodbye to the Emotion of Failure

What is failure?  Can we say goodbye to it in our lives?

According to failure is the act of failing.  To fail is to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, or desired.  If failure is an act and an act is an event with a beginning and an end it simply means that failure is temporary in nature.  Once failure has occurred, it is already behind you.  We can consciously decide to say goodbye to the negative emotions that come from failure in our lives by simply re-defining how we see failure in our lives.  How? Read on!

Have you ever failed?  This question is simply asking you if you have ever attempted something where you did not obtain the results you expected or desired and I think it is fair to say that if you are older than 1, you have failed in numerous occasions.

So why are so many people afraid of failure?  So afraid that many times it stops them from taking action in the direction of their dreams; other times they stay somewhere where they are unfulfilled because they believe they could not succeed or in other words they would fail if they attempted to go elsewhere.  Further problems arise when people dwell on failure or they associate the event of failure with who they are.

The reality is that failure IS NOT a part of who we are IT IS an event and a perfectly normal part of our journey in life.

It is said that the bigger the goals, the bigger the hurdles we will have to overcome and the bigger the failures we will have to endure.  Winston Churchill once said that “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”  In everything I have read and everyone I have met that has reached a high level of success and fulfillment I see one underlying principle: The successful and fulfilled are very acquainted with failure; individuals unacquainted with failure are probably unacquainted with success.

What can we learn from this?  Simply this, do not let fear of failure stop you from moving forward confidently in the direction of your dreams.  The human spirit is never broken when is temporarily defeated by failure … it is when it surrenders to it.  Our feeling of failure never lies in a circumstance not going our way; it lies in us believing it is permanent or a reflection of who we are.

Become well acquainted with failure; make it your new friend.  Take advantage of every failure, learn from it and use it as a stepping stone in your stair case to success.

Accepting these ideas as truth will empower you to no longer be brought down by the circumstances life will bring but instead choosing to accept them for what they are and carrying on because your goals and dreams are much more important…!

A Secret to Success and Happiness

Have you ever wondered what makes the biggest difference between someone who constantly continues to have success and someone that year after year seems to stay the same?

The answer is continuous GROWTH; the process of learning and implementing that which you learn consistently.  One of the concepts that changed my life years ago is CANI.   What is CANI?

CANI is Constant and Never Ending Improvement; created by one of my mentors Tony Robbins.  From the moment I made CANI one of my core values, my life has transformed for the better.

After finishing my engineering degree and getting my state certification as an engineer I thought that I had most of the knowledge that I needed to be successful.  I quickly realized that my formal education was just a preview of what was waiting for me.  Weeks into the profession I quickly realized that I knew a small fraction of what I needed to know to succeed.

But thanks to applying CANI in my life, I quickly found out that engineering was not what I wanted to do in my life.  It is because of CANI that I was able to walk away from a job that was not exciting and focus all my energy on what I am passionate about.  It is thanks to CANI that I enjoy loving relationships and good health.  Imagine what it could do for you:

Better health, more loving relationships, a more exciting job atmosphere and healthier finances… the potential benefits are immeasurable.

The “one-percent rule” says that if you learn one-percent more every day in an area of your life which is important to you, the positive change that it will have in your life in just a few short years will surpass 100%.  That means you will create enormous positive transformations in your life; that is a key to success!

Remember this, formal education will make you a living but continuous self-education and implementation of what you learn will make you a fortune.

Faith in Action Leads to Success!

How many of us associate faith with religion?  During the time I was growing up I would always hear “faith” referred to someone’s religious beliefs, so consequently I grew up associating the two.  That changed really quick when I began to study those that have achieved success and I immersed myself in the psychology of achievement.

Hebrews 11:1 states that faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen, and it says that faith gives us assurance about things we cannot see.  The dictionary defines faith as belief that is not based on proof.  Now think about those definitions for a minute.  What beliefs do you act on that you have no proof for?  You might come to the realization that there many situations or circumstances where that is so.

The truth is, we all exercise faith everyday consciously but most of us do so unconsciously.  When we step into a building we believe that the roof will not collapse on us, we have faith in the engineers and contractor.  When we are driving on the road we have the faith that those drivers around us will not crush into us.

Many have confused faith to be religious but anything you believe or hope for that cannot be seen or proven at this moment is the manifestation of faith.  Faith is an essential part of our lives.  Faith provides us the certainty that what we are doing will bear its fruits.  Faith gives us hope and peace through our individual journey of life.  Faith strengthens our perseverance.

Faith is a powerful value that when adopted in our lives it does not only provide the fuel necessary to keep going no matter what obstacle may present themselves but it also has the power to vanish fear.

Where faith exists, fear cannot!

Go out and live with conscious faith.  Have certainty that your dreams will become a reality if you keep at it… because they will.