Strategies to Grow your Mind and Develop your Abilities


I was happy to interview Merge-Gupta Sunderji on Your Life, Unlimited Radio on CJOB! her speciality is turning managers into leaders and she has a bright mind and clever ideas to share.  Enjoy our interview below and this excerpt from her book: Why Does The Lobster Cast Off Its Shell? Six strategies to grow your mind and develop your abilities. 

Several times in its life a lobster casts off its shell.  This is an instinctive process.
It occurs each time the lobster realizes it has reached a point of crisis. Its predicament is this: the hard shell that has nurtured and protected it so far is now inhibiting its growth.  In order to continue to grow and develop, it needs to discard its old shell and grow a new one.  It’s a process that takes about two days.

Two days may not seem like a very long time, but it is if you’re a lobster. That’s two days when it is left naked and vulnerable in the dog-eat-dog (or should I say shark-eat-shark) world of the ocean. In two days, the lobster could become another ocean-creature’s lunch. In two days, the relentless action of the waves could slam it against rocks and injure it. Yet, the lobster knows it has no alternative. To continue to mature and advance, it knows it must step outside its existing boundaries and take that risk. To do otherwise would mean stagnation. So the lobster casts off its shell.

It’s the same with humans. In order for you to continue to grow and develop your mind and your abilities, you need to step outside your comfort zone and take risks. You need to consciously choose to discard your shell and venture out into the great unknown.

In the book are listed 171 ways to be a lobster.  Here are 17 of them.  Remember that you will have the greatest success with these if you select and choose to do the ones that don’t immediately appeal to you!  Being a lobster means that you must step outside your comfort zone!

  1. Take an introductory course in a new language at your community college.
  2. Take a different route home from work.
  3. Research why something has “always been done that way.”
  4. Sleep on the other side of the bed
  5. Go horseback riding
  6. Do the crossword puzzle in the weekend paper
  7. Skip down the hallway at work or school (and don’t care if anyone is watching)
  8. Run for a position (local or national) on the Board of your professional association
  9. Go to your favourite restaurant and order something from their menu that you have never ordered before
  10. The next time you take a commercial airline flight, strike up a conversation with the stranger seated next to you
  11. Speak up at a meeting (ask that question you want to ask but are normally too embarrassed or afraid to)
  12. Finger-paint with a child (or what the heck, do it by yourself)
  13. Spend a morning at a local art gallery
  14. Say “yes” to something you normally say “no” to
  15. Wear a blindfold for an hour at work, and find out what it would feel like to be blind
  16. Have an eye-to-eye conversation with a homeless person
  17. At the next conference you attend, sit at a table at lunch where you don’t know anybody


Stephanie Staples, CSP* is the author of When Enlightening Strikes – Creating a Mindset for Uncommon Success, an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker, and the recipient of the 2014 Manitoba Woman Entrepreneur Award for Contributions to Community. Stephanie empowers audiences & clients across North America to bring their ‘A’ game to work and to life. Stephanie has a special interest in working with and empowering nurses and healthcare providers. She happily calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home. You can get loads of complimentary resources to help with issues such as work/life balance, wellness, stress management and happiness in general, as well as find out more information about her coaching and speaking services at

* Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), conferred by the National Speakers Association is the speaking profession’s international measure of professional platform proficiency. Less than 10 percent of speakers have earned this credential and are recognized as some of the best in their fields. Stephanie was one of only five professional speakers in Canada (and the only woman) to attain this designation in 2013.



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