In my Creative Writing class the other day we had an exercise where we were to write something about If I lived in a garden.
It occurred to me that the daffodils are just coming out in my garden and they always herald the coming of Spring, a time of new beginnings. This is what I wrote –
If I lived in a garden …
I would be a daffodil bringing sunshine, happiness and good cheer to everyone after a long dull and cloudy winter. Daffodils herald the Spring.
Recently I attended a school reunion in Sydney and, on reflection, many of those women were not unlike the long, dull and cloudy winter – seemingly without lots of energy and coming to the end of their used by date.
How refreshing it was to meet up again with some of the other daffodils. One lady is planning an adventure trip to Alaska where she wants to climb Mt McKinlay – the highest mountain in North America. I don’t think she is planning on going to the summit, however she will be walking on the mountain before launching into some other adventure.
Spring is called that for a reason – it’s a time when everything is meant to spring into life, a time of new beginnings.
It really came home to me that many of my peers are retiring or coming up to that time in life: a time to play, a time to flourish, a time to really live, like my friend going to Alaska.
All this is possible for all the flowers and vegetables in the garden provided they do the adequate preparation for that time when they can really bloom.
The new life that comes with Spring is filled with possibilities and excitement and fun and, above all else, the time to really savour the special moments, the time to really enjoy the experiences, the time to really live.
As we take the journey of life there are ups and downs, good and bad for everyone, we all go through rough times when we wonder what might happen. If there wasn’t this challenge, how would we know we were experiencing a good time or a bad time. Life is made up of opposites for a reason.
The most exciting and empowering thing is we all have a choice – a choice to decide what we will focus on. After all we get what we focus on and so why not focus on what we want.
Yes, if I lived in the garden, I would be a daffodil – full of sunshine, happiness and good cheer.
Remember – every champion deserves a great coach – why not you?
What is this and why is it important?
Recently my uncle celebrated 60 years of marriage – to the same woman. Is this what commitment means? My uncle has been legally blind for a number of years – he is almost 90 years old and I can only imagine his longevity is partially due to his and his wife’s commitment to their relationship.
My friend Marie had a baby when she was over 40. The baby was born with the cord wrapped around his neck with the result the baby was disabled. I remember his father saying “the most important this is that he can have a beer and go to the toilet”.
From the moment that little boy landed his father massaged his little body for many hours every day. Josh is now an adult, an IT guru and, at one stage, he was swimming at State level in disabled competitions – do you really think any of that would have happened without the commitment and love Josh’s dad had for that little boy?
Mother Teresa committed her life to helping those less fortunate in the streets of Calcutta. She was considered a saint and yet she was committed to her cause – to help those less fortunate.
One of my heroes is Richard Branson. He has been committed to his cause for a very long time. When I lived in London Richard Branson was just getting started and look at him today – someone we would all call a success.
Then there are research scientists who spend their whole lives committed to finding a solution to a chronic disease or, in some other way, to serve humanity.
Each of these people has something greater than themselves in mind, an ideal, a promise, a dream.
I have clients come to me who are totally committed to achieving their goal and I also have clients who have chosen to wait for life to happen to them. Those clients are also committed – some are committed to making a difference and some are committed to staying the same.
So what is Commitment anyway? The Reader’s Digest Dictionary says it’s a dedication to a cause or a policy, a pledge or undertaking.
One question coaches often pose to prospective clients is – just how committed are you to succeed, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being not committed and 10 being totally committed, just how committed are you?
It is assumed from the question that unless the prospect is at least 80% committed to achieving his outcome the coach will suggest he come back when his commitment level is closer to 100%. After all the coach is not there to help the prospect find yet another way to fail.
How does someone become committed?
From my observations and experience, a commitment is a promise to yourself (and whomever else) to really see something through to the end, through thick and thin, to go the whole 9 yards.
I’ve often thought of some of the early explorers – Burke and Wills for instance – they were committed to finding the inland sea. They were responsible for some of the early inland mapping and never fund that inland sea. Imagine riding your horse across the interior day after day with the heat and the flies and the uncertainty, just wondering what was over the horizon and, all the while, their water and food supplies were dwindling.
What does it take to be committed to your outcome? Are you the person who is committed to your outcome? Are you the person who is prepared to do anything to get what you want?
For me it is about passion – being purely passionate about my purpose. It’s about being dedicated to excellence and giving value, it’s about making a difference, it’s about serving my fellow man and giving my best, doing my best to bring value to people in my world and this, in turn, has brought me great reward and joy.
It’s about knowing what you want and going after it, bit by bit, step by step, a little each day, every day, it’s about sticking to it and doing what you love because when you love what you do, it’s never work, it’s a joy.
Coaching and practice go together – the more you practise, the greater the reward. Life is a journey with no destination.
And to leave you with a bonus – a quote from Nathaniel Branden –
I am convinced that one of the most helpful things we can do for people is to refuse to buy into their inappropriately restricted views of their limitations.
Remember – every champion deserves a great coach – why not you?
During the week I had a conversation with someone about this subject and was reminded how important it is to respect the other person’s world.
What’s the big deal, why is this important, you might well ask – given that with modern technology we are often left feeling there are no secrets anymore?
My mum used to say she was a very private person – what did that mean? More importantly, what did it mean to her and did the meaning she gave that really serve her?
When people are seeking help, whether it’s professional or they are just wanting to share a problem – after all a problem shared is a problem halved, right? In these situations people really want to know that the sharing stops with you.
It doesn’t matter what we might think about the issue, to the other person (the person with the problem), their stuff is private and to share that is a breach of the trust they have placed in you.
Sharing a problem allows the listener to possibly shed some light on the issue, to show the problem owner another way of looking at their problem and, possibly, that other way of looking at the problem (which we call a reframe), could help the problem disappear. After all, it’s what we make an event mean that gives it the weight which can lead to the issue being a problem.
When I was on my way to boarding school for the first time I was 12. I remember my mum telling me I was on y own now and if I got into trouble, that was my problem because she wasn’t going to be there to sort it out for me.
OK, so to be fair to my mum, what was she saying – be strong, stand up for yourself, take responsibility for your own stuff and get on with it.
What did I make that mean – I need to do it all by myself, I have to make my own decisions, I can’t ask for help, I need to keep my cards close to my chest and when I do get into trouble I need to find my own solutions.
So what happened – I didn’t share. I felt alone and many times I didn’t really know how to cope and you can be sure I never asked for help and I certainly never asked my mum for help. My interpretation of that event did not enhance our relationship I can assure you.
Creating an environment of trust allows the other person to feel safe wen sharing their inner secrets. They want to feel secure and are more likely to be open and, therefore, open to possible solutions, when they feel they can trust you.
What is trust and privacy and what makes it important? What does all that mean to you? In my coaching world, it’s about being up front with the clients and letting them know when you might need to share their information. This could be in a situation where I, the coach, felt they were about to harm themselves or someone else, in which case I have a professional obligation to report this. It could also be that I am recording the session so my coaching can be evaluated or so I can go over what the client has said with the intention of helping them further.
Trust is a value which is very sacred and when the client is sharing their darkest secrets, they want to feel good about that sharing and it gives them the safety net they need to disclose those inner secrets and feelings with the goal of moving forward.
How do we do this – how do we keep a secret?
The key for me is respecting the other person’s world. When they feel you are supporting them, the client will feel safer and that you are helping them. You are honouring the client. In respecting their world and honouring the client, I am also honouring my own values. This is absolutely paramount because when your values have been violated, you are not in a happy place and this can be really stressful.
You have probably all heard – you get what you focus on. So when you’re totally focussed on someone’s “secret”- it is constantly in the forefront of your mind and you feel compelled to do something about it because it is driving you mad – all you can do is think about that secret. It’s driving you crazy, you just have to tell someone – and that is exactly what many people do. They tell someone else the sacred secret. By doing all this, they have relieved their immediate problem – and created untold more problems. They have violated the trust with the problem owner, they have violated their own value and as a result they could have lost a friend or a client (depending on the relationship between the problem owner and the listener), they have stooped to the level of gossip by sharing someone’s secret, they have demonstrated the total lack of respect for that person’s world and, in short, they are in deep trouble. They feel awful.
How do I keep the secrets? I let them go – that is, out of my mind – until I see the person again. I focus on other things and stay in the moment with what I’m doing, this could be another client or something completely different. As we can only think of one thing at the time, it then puts the secret out of my mind. In short, I file it away where it belongs and is safe until I need it again.
So what if next time someone shares a secret with you, just ask yourself – do I need to be told this is a secret or can I work that much out for myself?
What will I gain if I tell someone else?
What will I lose if I tell someone else?
Is it worth it?
Whose needs are being met – are you wanting to meet a need of your own or are you honouring your friend’s trust that has been placed in you?
Remember – every champion deserves a great coach – why not you?
Deciding – to make the Decision or Not!
Why is it important? Why is making the decision such a big deal?
Do you think your target would be more defined once you made a decision?
There’s a big difference between deciding you want to get married and deciding you want to marry Freddie!
What’s the big deal? Let me ask you – what is the decision you have made?
If it were to get married, you might decide to marry anyone – after all that way your goal will have been achieved.
Whereas if you decided specifically to marry Freddie, there’s a fair chance the emotions propelling you forward to make that decision are totally different. You love Freddie, you can see yourself making a life with Freddie and fulfilling your dreams. You are committed to the relationship with Freddie.
The motivation behind your decision to get married could be very different if your goal were to get married. Perhaps you wanted to be able to live in another country, it was a way of running away from home, you were in love with the dress in the shop window, you were in love with the idea – there could be many reasons behind that decision.
And just how do you decide – how do you make that decision, whatever it may be?
Are you the person who makes a list of the pros and cons and somehow evaluates your final decision?
Do you need more information? How much information do you need before you make a decision?
Is certainty a big factor – you are looking for a guarantee? What sort of guarantee would give you the certainty to make the decision? If you were getting married, for example, what guarantee do you have then – are you looking for a money-back guarantee? Do you think you could be responsible for the outcome you achieve or are you the person who believes it all rests with the other person?
Are you looking for something outside of yourself to reassure you that you are making the right decision or do you rely on your instincts – you have a good feeling about it?
Do you think about your values and align those values with the other person involved.
Does your decision making strategy work for you every time?
Perhaps you think about what making the decision will do for you. Who do you need to be to make the decision that will work for you?
Perhaps you are wondering how the outcome will affect you. What will it give you, what will you get, where you could go once you have made that decision and why is all that important?
Presumably you might give more consideration to a decision to marry someone than you do to buying your green groceries and, yet, the way you go about making that decision could be very much the same.
The real question is – are your decision making strategies working for you?
Are you an impulse buyer who suffers buyer’s remorse after the event or do you give careful consideration to your buying? Do you see it, weight up the pros and cons, does it fit your criteria and then buy or not buy?
What is your criteria? Have you given thought to that – what do you really want? When you have what you want, will that give you what you are really looking for?
Are you a one time convincer or do you need to be convinced several times that this is the right decision for you? Or perhaps you are the person who will never make a decision and if you are that person what do you do then? Do you just not make a decision and leave it to someone else and then feel resentment because you did not get what you wanted.
What would happen if you made that decision and then committed to it so you could have what you wanted – do you think that is something that would work for you?
When you make the decision for all the right reasons, the right reasons for you, you will be empowered and you will feel more confident and committed to your outcome and, above all, you will feel really great about yourself and then, who knows what – your next decision will be made with more confidence, certainty and commitment.
Whether you make the decision to be the person who makes his own decisions to move forward in his life, to do the things that you need to do so you can have what you want or whether you decide to stick with the status quo, live with regret and later in life tell yourself … if only…. that decision is entirely up to you.
Every champion deserves a great coach – why not you?
I welcome your call when you have made the decision
Do you procrastinate? Have you ever thought about what is behind your procrastination – is this something that works for you, something that serves you or are you the person who is constantly putting it off for another day and then another bright and shiny object pops up and you are once again chasing rainbows?
Where has your procrastination led you? (more…)
Today I would like to talk about Language – the way we speak our world, we create our world.
What do you think of when you hear the word – language? What immediately pops into your head?
The Sounds of Silence
Have you ever noticed when you’re walking through the forest it isn’t always easy to spot wildlife? And when you stop walking, become still in your gait and still your mind – the silence descends.
At first this is a little foreign to many of us and soon the silence gives way to the sounds of nature and the various animals and birds begin to move. This is when you can really appreciate nature and the silence that brings nature to life.
Would this be something you could use? (more…)
Hello – listen – what can you hear?
Why do we listen? For what purpose do you listen? To whom do you listen? For what are you listening? Are there times when you listen more completely than others? When you do listen, do you really hear what the other person is saying?
Are you listening to gain information or knowledge? Are you listening to learn something in a specific environment? For example, is the degree of your listening different when you hear the flight attendant giving you the safety instructions before take-off to what it would be if, half-way to your destination there was an announcement the engines were on fire and the plane was going down?
Being totally present in a conversation is one of the least expensive and most treasured gifts you can give anyone. What you listen for determines what you get out of the conversation.
I thought I’d talk a little more about Gratitude – and the need to have an attitude of gratitude.
Thank you – just two little words that can make a world of difference to both the giver and the receiver.
When we take the time to really appreciate things, whether it’s the smell of a rose or a kind gesture, a peaceful moment or a good book, we feel good about ourselves. Just take a moment to be truly grateful for those little things in life that make such a difference.
How are you going with that New Year’s Resolution? Still committed? Still hanging in there?
Most people who make a New Year’s Resolution have forgotten about them by now and if you are one of the few committed people sticking to your guns, you are already a star.
If you are not committed to the success of your New Year’s Resolution, how does that make you feel? Is this starting something and not finishing it a familiar pattern for you? Is this what you do in all areas of your life or do you specialise in one or two areas of your life?