Marta Monahan Marta Monahan

I can show you how to move beyond excellence
to develop a life of brilliance!

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MultimediaExecutive Inc.Investor's Business DailyLa Jolla Village NewsLA TimesVIV Mag

Battling Mediocrity

Complacency, says writer, keeps many people from realizing true happiness.

Marta Monahan earned the-title of Master Mopper at the boarding school she attended as a teenager in New Orleans. One of her duties was to shine the corridor floors, and she did it better than any predecessor. The experience became the core of her recent book, "Strength of Character and Grace: Develop the Courage to Be Brilliant!".

"My brilliance was revealed to me in that most humble duty," Monahan said in a recent interview. "It is in trying to do that something more [than the minimum expected] that creates the excitement of living."

Monahan will discuss her book Wednesday at Barnes & Noble in Thousand Oaks.

Born in El Salvador, Monahan lived in New York City as the child of a diplomat and later moved to California to attend art school. But her life didn't make her happy, she said.

"I started on my path because I had reached a place of mediocrity in my life," she said. "Everything was well done, but it wasn't improving or growing—it was stagnant. What I had was a mediocre life in every aspect."

Her goal now is to get people to take a look at their own mediocrity so they will grow into full lives. Most people don't bloom, she said—they do just enough to get by in their relationships and in their careers. And since they don't understand that, they change partners or careers and do the same things over and over, she said.

Monahan has been lecturing and teaching about character refinement since 1975, leading "Strength of Character and Grace" seminars for Fortune 500 corporations and private groups.

She identifies character as having two components—mental and moral. In order to have the intellectual clarity to make strong moral decisions, both sides need to be developed. She said that most people don't make decisions—not because they are indecisive or weak, but because they don't have clarity.

"People are always asking why we are here," Monahan said. "We are here to evolve. The planet is an evolving planet and we are here to evolve with technology, and we are here to evolve as human beings. Both are equally important."

She also has strong convictions about anger and victimization. People are angry because they think they are victims, she said, and when one becomes a victim, it is a resignation to victimhood. That leaves them open to becoming the victimizer—and the victimizer is always angry, she said.

She is excited about her next book, "Your Bouquet of Beautiful Things," which will be published this spring. She said it's about the seeds—in the Bible they are called the fruits of the spirit—of the good things in all of us, and we can either cultivate them or cultivate the negative things that are also in us. "I think most of us are a bouquet of buds, rather than a bouquet of flowers," she said.

Loa Angeles Time
Jan. 13, 2001
Page Turner
By Ann Shields
Special to the Times

I have known Marta personally for 2 years, and have known of her since 1995.

She is well regarded as a trainer and coach, and is credited by her students for elevating their capacity for personal and professional growth.

Earlier this spring, as past-president of SMPS, I invited Marta to speak to a group of 80 senior marketing and business development executives at the Society's annual Senior Retreat.

Her program was extremely well received, and she got excellent reviews.

In preparation for her talk, we met, and as a result I engaged her for personal coaching.

We have been working together on a bi-weekly basis since March, and I am very pleased with the experience.

She has helped me to raise my understanding of the finer points of communication, protocol, and inter-personal relationships.

As a result, I have seen a great improvement in my personal ability to lead within my firm, interact with my executive peers, internally and externally, and in my own self-confidence for the future.

This fall I am going to have Marta lead a workshop with my marketing staff to help them improve communication, and help them understand the potential for personal growth within the firm.

I am sure HGA will benefit from the experience Marta will bring to both individuals and the firm.

Sincerely,
Craig Park,
FSMPS, Assoc. AIA
Chief Marketing Officer

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