Season’s Greetings!

This is the most wonderful time of the year! We have had our third snowstorm, and I predict it will be a white Christmas. If you are like me, you enjoy listening to holiday music on the radio and love spreading the joy of Christmas. For this holiday season, I want to wish Season’s Greetings to my clients, neighbors, friends, relatives, and family.  May you and your family have a warm, wonderful, and joyful holiday!

The day after Thanksgiving, we — Laura, my best and dearest friend, John, John Robert, and I – trimmed our tree. As of the 15th, I purchased and wrapped all my presents. Thank Goodness for Gift bags! I buy for close to 40 people. I guess you could say I anticipate and look forward to the season. Everyone that attends our Christmas Eve gathering, this year 44 guests, goes home with a gift. It is a Christmas tradition. Our dinner features the seven pasta related dishes instead of the seven fishes. I’m allergic to seafood, and John doesn’t like fish, so 27 years ago we created our own tradition. We serve lasagna, eggplant, stuffed shells, chicken broccoli ziti, pasta salad, meatballs, and a spiral ham. The food is always delicious and plentiful. I do love this holiday and our family traditions. 

Stop for a moment and think about the holiday traditions that you do every year. What makes your holiday special?

Our holiday photo was taken when John Robert was featured in the article, A Greater Purpose, in The Readings magazine (Winter 2019). “The Sassos’ miracle son commands the spotlight in a role that motivates and inspires.” It is a seven-page spread with pictures of John Robert biking, dancing, canoeing, eating ice cream with a friend, acting in the play Shrek Jr., rock climbing, and smiling in the family photo (below). He engages in many activities, and this article covers everything.

This is the official Holiday Photo. You can see that John Robert is almost my height. How did that happen? Although I still have a few inches on him, I know this is short lived. He is 95% height and 75% weight for his age. He has grown like a weed approximately 2.5 inches each year for the last four years. He is a great eater and a really great kid. He is 12.5 years old and he has matured a great deal in middle school. He is making good progress at Learning Prep School, and he just made the honor roll. John and I couldn’t be more proud of him. School doesn’t come easy for him but he gives it his best.

Theater Update

  • This Weekend John Robert plays Snoopy in Charlie Brown Christmas.
  • Then in the beginning of January for the Cabaret, he is singing a solo song, “The Kite” and a duet with his theater friend, Nora.
  • On January 12, John Robert will also be auditioning for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I am sure that he will get a decent part. He was born to act; it is his calling, and he is very good at it.

What is your calling? What do you love to do? Reflect on the past year and then plan to play to your strengths in the coming year. January 1, 2020, marks not only the start of a new year but of a new decade.

If you need help or assistance, I am standing by and would be happy to help you. Even if you only want to inquire about my coaching services, you can. Click here to set up time with Lisa.

Event Update

My annual Goal Setting for Success event is coming up on Wednesday, January 29 from 6:30 PM to 8:30pm. I hope that you will be able to join us. It is free to attend, but donations are welcome and go to Boston Children’s Hospital. Each year over the past four years, the event has attracted more people than the previous year. I would like to make this year, the 5th year of this annual event, the biggest and best year yet. Please RSVP on Eventbrite using this registration link.

Again, I want to wish you the happiest and healthiest holiday season ever.
With gratitude and best wishes,
Lisa Sasso, Executive Coach & Motivational Speaker    (781) 872-1045

As your trusted adviser, Lisa empowers you to use passion to live your best life and achieve your goals with confidence, accountability, gratitude and balance.

Have an Attitude for Gratitude!

I’ve had a remarkable life. I seem to be in such good places at the right time. You know, if you were to ask me to sum my life up in one word, gratitude.” – Carole King

This month, I suggest that you cultivate an attitude for gratitude. The fact that November is the month for Thanksgiving celebrations makes it easier to focus on gratitude. However, given our consumer culture, it is easy to want more and better – more friends, more money, a better house, or a better job. But are you truly grateful for what you currently have? Take a deep breath and focus on being thankful for every person, event, and thing in your life right now. I remind myself of the many people, events, and things I am thankful for by keeping a Gratitude journal and interacting with family and friends as often as possible. I am grateful to have all of you in my life. You are so important to me.

This past weekend highlighted the rewards of being with friends. Three of my best friends – Kathy, Laura, and Elizabeth — and I went to Lee, MA in the Berkshires to celebrate our 50th birthdays. I have known Kathy since birth, Laura since elementary school, and Elizabeth since high school. We have been best friends for over 40 years. Amazing!

Since we are four busy ladies, it took us months to plan a three-day weekend when we could all get together. However, we had a blast. We enjoyed wonderful meals at various restaurants, shopped at the Lee Premium Outlets Center, and learned about the architecture and families at the Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum. We even participated in a game of pool and bravely performed two karaoke songs – Piano Man by Billy Joel and The Gambler by Kenny Rogers. A fun time was had by all.

I don’t know many people that can say that their best friends have been with them for over 40 years. I am so grateful for their friendship. I also have a set of friends from college with whom I’ve been friends for over 30 years. I love and value them all. I do believe in developing lifelong friendships and have been fortunate that it happened.

It feels so good to be around people that “get” you. They accept you as you are. They do, however, offer constructive criticism (most of the time) in addition to genuine love. If you haven’t taken a ladies or men’s weekend away lately, I suggest doing so. You come back grounded and ready to face the world again. It is surprising how many problems can be resolved when you talk them through with real friends.

I hope this message encourages you to process thoughts about gratitude in your lives. One way you can show your gratitude is to send thank you cards or emails to friends to let them know they are special. Although not everyone celebrates Christmas, almost everyone celebrates Thanksgiving.

Another way to show your gratitude is to enjoy your Thanksgiving celebration in the presence of others. Offer to do, make, or bring something to the person hosting the Thanksgiving dinner. If you are hosting, be thankful for all the people sitting around your table.

Thank you to all of my clients, past and present. I appreciate you more than you will ever know.

And I wish a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Drama Update

John Robert was Prince Charming for his New England School Performing Arts (NESPA) Drama Group last weekend, and, this week, he plays Iago in the musical, Aladdin. Two performances going at the same time are challenging, but he is up for it. This is what he loves to do, and it doesn’t seem like work or effort to him. Remember you knew him whenbefore he makes it big.

Upcoming Event

  • Forum: 2020 Goal Setting for Success with Accountability, Balance, and Success.
  • Date and Time: Wednesday, January 29 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
  • Place: Constant Contact Headquarters, Reservoir Place, 1601 Trapelo Road, Waltham, MA 02451.

I would love you to attend. The Eventbrite link is Although the event is free, donations are greatly appreciated and go to Boston Children’s Hospital.

With gratitude and best wishes,
Lisa Sasso, Executive Coach & Motivational Speaker    (781) 872-1045

As your trusted adviser, Lisa empowers you to use passion to live your best life and achieve your goals with confidence, accountability, gratitude and balance.

Fall is the Season to Focus on Happiness!

“Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama XIV

We’re well into autumn, which in New England is a time of significant change in our surroundings and family rhythms. The days are shorter; the weather is cooler; deciduous trees dress themselves in brilliant golds, oranges, and reds before shedding their finery. The season increases energy and feelings of new beginnings and delight. It’s a time conducive to focusing on happiness – our happiness and that of our children and friends.

Our children have returned to school and are settling into the new school year. It is a little unnerving that their experiences and available teaching tools are so very different from what most of us experienced when we were in school.

I went to a parents’ curriculum night for my son, John Robert, last Thursday. Times have changed. I was very struck with the different attitudes and approaches to learning the teachers talked about. They care more about the reasoning and methods for solving problems than the fact of reaching the correct answer. The physical tools are amazing – smart boards, laptops, iPads, video, and so forth. And the available intellectual tools are awesome – word processing, calculators, tables, charts, and more. I do, however, feel that I learn much from John Robert and the new teaching attitudes and tools.

I remember having only a pencil and an eraser in my arsenal of tools. Blackboards and chalk are primarily tools of the past. I am sure that you can relate to the way it was when we went to school.

And then there is the Sasso main story that generates so much gratitude, joy, and sharing for us. The Eagle Tribune, Reading Magazine is developing an article about the Sassos’ unique story in an upcoming issue. Last week a professional photographer came to the house to take photos of John Robert, my husband John, and me. John Robert was over the top excited about the photo shoot and about being interviewed. His excitement is contagious.

The heart of the story is that John and I worked in cardiology for years and grew a cardiology company from $0 to $28M in five years. We left the company to have a baby and, ironically, our son was born with severe cardiac defects. Of course, no parent is really prepared for such an event. But John and I were grateful to be familiar with the world of cardiology. And fortunately, we could immediately launch the needed rescue effort by doing some research and connecting with the appropriate doctors and clinicians. 

When John Robert was born, we knew that he would not be able to participate in any contact sports. So early on, we enrolled him in singing, swimming, dancing, and drama classes, and in Boy Scouts and altar services. As a very active 12-year-old, he consistently does his homework and does it very well; he was recently recognized as Student of the Week. But in addition, he participates in one of his many activities everyday of the week, including weekends. We are so proud of him. We feel so privileged to share the happiness of his remarkable successes. And I know that most parents share in the happiness of and are in awe of their child’s performance, whether it be studies, sports, or extra-curricular activities 

So what is happiness? Positive psychologists say that positive emotions involve contentment with the past, joy and focus in the present, and hope for the future. Other factors include sharing activities and emotions, gratitude, love, being engaged in meaningful activities, and performing random and intended acts of kindness. Of course, the specific activities and relationships are different for each of us.

I loved my childhood, participated in dance and drama classes, and played softball. I still love to dance when the occasion arises but no longer play softball. Playing softball would undoubtedly help my fitness regime, but where is the time? Fortunately, I remain in close contact with several childhood and college friends. I now experience great joy in helping professionals develop their skills and abilities to their highest level and love seeing them thrive. I love watching and helping my son John Robert develop his many skills. It’s so much fun to share. And I have developed many new friendships and working relationships. I’m so grateful for all the good events and people in my life, and I’ve promised myself to keep them front and center this month. This is my current picture of happiness.

I hope you will also take time to focus on the components of your happiness. What do you remember doing as a child? What activities or things did you do that your parents shared with you? Are any of the activities you enjoyed as a child with you today? Do you still have friends from your school years, college years? What are the new activities you enjoy and new social relationships you treasure?

Are you ready to find a coach to help you focus on the activities and skills that can bring you happiness, a sense of well-being, and success? Contact me and we can talk.

With gratitude and best wishes,
Lisa Sasso, Executive Coach & Motivational Speaker    (781) 872-1045

As your trusted adviser, Lisa empowers you to use passion to live your best life and achieve your goals with confidence, accountability, gratitude and balance.

Find & Follow Your Passion

Lucille Ball is an example of a woman who found and followed her passion to become one of the most successful people in the entertainment business -– in television, films, stage, and radio — during a career, which spanned six decades. She was brave, glamorous, and attractive and excelled as an actress, comedienne, singer, and dancer. Even more importantly, she succeeded as a director and producer and became the first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu Productions, which produced several popular television series -–I Love LucyMission Impossible, and Star Trek.

Although she became enthralled with acting when she was 12 years old, she didn’t achieve real stardom until she was in her 40s. So I think one lesson to be learned from her is that it’s never too early or too late to find and work at your passion.

She recognized that she loved audiences, “I am a real ham. I love an audience. I work better with an audience. I am dead, in fact, without one.” And she knew that her passion made her happy, “It’s a helluva a start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.”

Another example of a person who is finding and recognizing his passion is my 12-year-old son, John Robert.

At the end of August, he was cast as Donkey, played by Eddie Murphy in the movie, in the play Shrek Jr. The number of lines he memorized was second only to the number memorized by Shrek. John Robert’s role required that he sing and dance, as well as act.

I’ve heard him sing in chorus recitals, seen him dance in dance recitals, and seen and heard him act in dramas. But I had never seen him do all three in one performance. He was amazing – his best performance bar none to date. I had tears of pride and joy for my son.

The brief plot: Once upon a time in a far away swamp lived a grumpy ogre, Shrek, who enjoyed his solitude, until it was shattered by an invasion of annoying fairytale creatures – Pinocchio, the Three Little Bears, the Ugly Duckling, the Gingerbread man and many more. An evil, scheming, semi-dwarf, Lord Farquaad, is responsible for this invasion. Shrek cuts a deal with Farquaad, whereby he, Shrek, will rescue Princess Fiona, who is to be Farquaad’s Bride.

On this serious mission to rescue the Princess, Shrek travels with the Donkey, who plays the comic relief. The quest results in Shrek falling in love with the Princess, primarily because of the wiles and antics of Donkey. Everything that Donkey said was hysterical.

John Robert is musical, creative, and works hard. He took private singing lessons to prepare for Donkey’s two solo songs. At one point when Shrek and Donkey were telling the Princess about Lord Farquaad, John Robert got on his knees to imitate Farquaad, the dwarf. This was completely adlibbed. He just felt the need to be on his knees and he did it.

He is passionate about acting and has been since he started drama classes at five. He loves it and is a natural on the stage. He has come a long way from his start in the Wide Mouth Frog in 2013. He definitely has the bug.

What about you? What is your passion? What can you do better than most people can? What activities do you easily get lost in that give you a natural high? Take time to get in touch with your passion. See if and how you can pursue it.

So long story, short: No matter what your age, recognize your passion and pursue it.You might be surprised to see where it leads. What musical, event, match, or adventure is inside of you and just waiting to be unleashed?

And if you want some assistance in identifying your passion, working out a plan to achieve your goals, and devising a plan to counter obstacles, you might want to look for the perfect coach for you. 

With gratitude and best wishes,
Lisa Sasso, Executive Coach & Motivational Speaker    (781) 872-1045

As your trusted adviser, Lisa empowers you to use passion to live your best life and achieve your goals with confidence, accountability, gratitude and balance.