Deri's Blogs

A Habit of Mindfulness and Happiness

On this Thanksgiving weekend, I am filled with gratitude for the amazing people who took time out of their busy lives to attend the launch of my new book, ‘Wake Up to Your Habits’ at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

I had the privilege to be at Kevin O’Leary’s launch of?’Cold Hard Truth’ just two days before mine.? Mr. O’Leary informed us that Steve Jobs had passed away just minutes before he entered the room.? The next day, I heard a sound clip of Steve Jobs’ commencement address to Stanford’s graduating class in 2005, just after his cancer diagnosis.?? In his address, he said ‘There is an old saying…live every day as though it was your last, and some day you will be right.

Mr. Jobs knew he was going to die, and he reminded everyone there, so are they.? He said, ‘Don’t spend your life living someone else’s life’.? He might also have said, ‘Don’t spend your life living someone else’s story.’

I think a?lot of us are living other people’s stories – about us, about what we can achieve, about what work means – or can mean, about family, about how to be happy.? Who knows where the stories originate – and I don’t think it really matters – the idea is, the story might not be one you would?CHOOSE for yourself.

Wake Up to Your Habits is about being mindful of the stories you are telling yourself – what you are believing to be true about yourself, about others, about your circumstances – and it’s about ‘waking up’ to the opportunity to create a new story.

About 12 years ago, I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Robert Brooks speak on Raising Resilient Children.? During that session, he asked the audience of about 300 educators and parents, ‘If I asked your children to describe you, what do you think they would say?’? There was a collective gasp in the room and a whole lot of horrified-looking faces.? Mine included.

I knew that my children would describe me – not in the way I wanted to be described – but in the way I was.? I realized there was a bit of a disconnect there – I knew how I wanted to be, yet wasn’t sure I was ‘being’ it.?

That question from Dr. Brooks got me thinking about something that I had experienced often since becoming a parent.? I had some thinking and behavior patterns that seemed to be automatic, ingrained, and ‘programmed’ in.? I found myself saying over and over…’I can’t believe I did that again!?’, and ‘OMG, I sound just like my mother!!’

I’d noticed that same phenomenon happening for other people, in the workplaces I visited as a speaker and trainer.? Lots of people who seemed to be stuck in a rut, wanting something different for themselves yet not knowing how to make the change.

I was reminded of?the NLP training I had taken 8 years before that day in Dr. Brooks’ seminar, in which I learned that we all, indeed, had personal programs and neuro-pathways that become our mental maps of the world.? One expression that resonated with me was ‘the map is not the territory’.? The map you have of the world is simply that – your map.? It is not the world.? And, the hopeful part is, the programs and pathways can be changed.

We all have ruts – personal programs and pathways that aren’t working for us any more (if they ever did) and we can turn those ruts into healthier, more productive grooves.

Steve Jobs said in his speech at Stanford, ‘Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.’? He said, ‘…when you know you are going to die (which is true for all of us) it’s the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose…you are already naked…there is no reason not to follow your heart.’

Waking up to your habits helps you to undress, or unpackage, your thinking, feeling and behavior patterns, and start living the story you want.

Kevin O’leary said that he seeks financial wealth because money leads to freedom.? I see it the other way around.? Freedom, from personal and emotional roadblocks – whether self-imposed or a ‘gift’ from someone else – leads to a far greater and more important ‘wealth’.

Goldie Hawn, who appears to be the epitome?of joy and health,?is?on a crusade to help children become more mindful and to cultivate more happiness.? Watch this clip and notice the opportunity to prevent destructive ruts from forming?by practicing mindfulness early in?life.



?No matter who you are or what your story has been, you can create a habit of mindfulness and happiness.?

Deri Latimer, B. Mgt., CSP, is an expert in possibilities for people! She is one of fewer than 10% of speakers globally who hold the designation of Certified Speaking Professional, the speaking profession?s measure of excellence in professional platform skill. Deri combines a Business degree in Human Resources with experience from business sectors including health care, manufacturing, education, agriculture, government, mining, transportation, tourism, and professional services. Deri helps individuals and organizations optimize their performance by managing their energy; applying the latest research and practice in positive psychology, appreciative inquiry, emotional intelligence, and employee engagement.?


What Clients Say...

“Deri, you are the best! Not a dull moment and the time went too fast!”
Linda Borbridge, Manager, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
“I’m often asked to recommend a professional speaker who will captivate and motivate, and without hesitation Deri Latimer comes to mind. Deri has a reputation for a no-nonsense, energetic, synergistic approach. Her cutting-edge sessions are the perfect combination of science and inspiration and will have you moving into a new groove.”
Dr. Lewena Bayer, CEO, Civility Experts Inc.
“Deri is the personification of quality, style, and enthusiasm in her message. She delivered a message with our group that heightened their awareness and ability to share success. My hope is that you too will seek her out as a keynote, connector, and catalyst for change.”
Joseph Bork, Program Director, St. Mary’s University
“I am usually the type to sit in the crowd, quietly take it all in, and take notes, notes that end up in a binder, often never to be seen once I return to work. Deri was engaging, fun and as real as they get. I was so moved by her session that I shocked myself by approaching her after the session to chat. During the session I didn’t need to take notes because her concepts hit home and stuck with me. I have already taken her advice and acted on her tips and tools to be more positive. Her positivity is contagious and her message is one that everyone should take time to listen to.”
Amy Normal, VP, Corporate Services, Said Business School, University of Oxford
“I had the privilege of hearing Deri keynote at our conference. She captivates, motivates, and positively engages an audience with her unique combination of wisdom about neuroscience and positive behaviors that can be life changing when put into action. I would recommend her without any reservation for those seeking a speaker who can move an audience – from associates on a manufacturing floor to members of an executive leadership team – into action. Her takeaways are designed for positive impact. Prepare to laugh, to be curious, to be hungry for more time to listen to Deri.”
Vickie Maris, Host, Agile Digital Business
“Deri, your seminar truly resonated with our team. You took the time to learn about our roles, our challenges and opportunities and created an inspiring and motivating seminar just for us and made an impact with every person there. Having your book to use as a tool in our day-to-day has also been very valuable and has enhanced the results we got out of the time with you. We all hope that we will see you again at the next conference!”
Chantelle Arsenault, GBA, Great West Life Assurance Company of Canada
“It was an absolute pleasure to have Deri speak at our AGM. Deri brought an amazing level of passion and energy as she engaged our members with her talk on growth mindset. If you are looking for a speaker to connect with your audience, I would highly recommend that you reach out to Deri. Thank you, Deri – we were lucky to have you!”
Rob Chester, Director Information Security, Wawanesa Insurance
“A wonderfully authentic speaker with an infectious positive energy, Deri takes the crowd back to the roots of inspiration by sparking something within the humanity of the people in the room. Her fantastic sense of humor and knowledgeable way of integrating experiential learning opportunities into an inspirational message makes her a speaker not to miss!”
Ashley Collette, Social Work Officer, Canadian Armed Forces
“I forgot to take notes because I was taking it all in and feeling change take hold…”
Derek Rumboldt-Delouche, Director, Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada
“That was fantastic! That was the most energized I have ever felt leaving a conference!!”
Barb Spurway, Principal Consultant, Protegra
“I cannot exaggerate how positively our Forum delegates reacted to your presentation. You set the perfect tone for the entire conference and left a lasting impression on our delegates and CPA staff alike.”
Sarah Marshall, President, Canadian Physiotherapy Association
“You changed people.”
Michelle Kletke, Human Resources Manager, TNG, Jim Pattison Group