December, a Time for Reflection

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Personal, Personal Value, Relationships, Self Reflection, Time Management

Life happens in cycles.  Look at the seasons, or the economy, and even yourself.  If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re a motivated high-achiever.  This is a good thing, but the constant motion has a dark side and a high price tag, too.  Over the last few posts, we’ve talked about the pure magic that happens when we take time to pause.  Energy returns, vision grows, and your ideas just seem more creative and more doable.  It really does seem like magic.  However, we must beware of the tendency to see rest and reflection as just another productivity tool in our achievement toolbox.   While increased energy, clarity and even achievement are natural by-products of rest and reflection, they are not the only reasons we rest.  In fact, they are not even the best reasons we rest.

We’re entering the thick of the holiday season, just beyond Thanksgiving with Christmas just ahead.  It’s an inherently busy phase of life.  What if you pulled back this month and enjoyed the holidays and family and friends and didn’t try quite so hard to achieve?  What if you look at December as a time to celebrate all you have accomplished this year, big or small?  What if you slept in and rested more than usual?  What if you were quiet and still more than usual?  Does this sound like a waste of time?  It’s not.

Consider this.  Every move you make need not be to leverage some future move or goal.  Yes, a period of rest now will likely yield increased energy and clarity in the next stage of life, but I want to ask you to forget about that for now.  We achievers suffer from a sickness.  We struggle with focusing on what’s next at the expense of what’s here now.  Take a minute or two and think back over the past year. What have you accomplished this year that you should be grateful for? What should you celebrate? Who do you need to slow down with and just enjoy their company?  Perhaps your family?  Your friends?  Your church?

Consider the cyclical nature of life and embrace a time of rest. Not for what it’s going to yield to you in the next phase, but so you can enjoy and reflect on this time, right now.  You’re not a machine and your family and friends don’t need you to be one either.  Just be present during this holiday season and enjoy the other people in your life.

Rest

Relax

Laugh

Sleep

Celebrate

The next stage of your life will be here soon enough.  Not only will you be ready to maximize it, but if you slow down intentionally now, you just may learn to enjoy the fact that all the phases of life are to be enjoyed and celebrated.

Consistency in Reflection

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Personal Identity, Personal Value, Self Reflection, Time Management

Life happens in the margins.  You’ve probably heard it.  It means, simply, that the most fulfilling and most significant pieces of our lives will occur outside of the pressure packed grind we will find ourselves in, if we’re not strategic about planning our lives.  Therein lies the problem.  If we just live life, life will suck the life out of us.  However, if we take time to reflect and plan, life will have margin – the space between the want to do and have to – and we will begin living a totally different and much more purposeful life. If you have not yet read the article detailing the power of the pause, please take a few minutes and read it now.  The pause carries incredible power in our lives.  Today, let’s talk about creating consistency around that idea of pausing to reflect.  We’ll explore two powerful truths.

Truth #1:  Consistent margin creates a continual source of energy in your life.  You’ve been there.  Hours turn to days.  Days turn to weeks.  Weeks turn to months.  Months turn to years.  All the things you thought you would get around to aren’t even close to completion.  You feel like you’ve accomplished very little and you’re exhausted too.  Why?  Simple.  No margin in your life.  If you allow it, life will . . . well, it will suck the life out of you.  The cure is margin.  And margin is a whole lot more than a 2-week vacation once a year.  You know that 2 weeks’ rest won’t fuel you for the whole next year.  What will fuel you for the next year is consistent time to stop, reflect, and plan.  Andy Stanly has famously coined the phrase, “Don’t just work in it, but also work on it.”  He’s talking about an organizational principle that says leaders are wise to back up from the day-to-day grind, get some space and perspective, and work on the plan before the dive back into executing the plan. What if you did this in your personal life, especially as it pertains to living out your God-given dreams?  What if you took a full day and got away – maybe even to a different space – and dreamed and planned for your future?  What if that one day spawned regular, pre-scheduled times in your calendar where you got away to rest, think, and assess how you’re progressing toward those dreams?  If you did this, you would be creating margin and that margin would begin feeding your soul.  The time stepping back would create energy for you in two ways.  One is that you simply have time to unplug your brain from the day-to-day grind.  This creates a natural return of energy.  Second, progress creates energy.  If you can see yourself making progress toward your dreams the energy infusion will be tangible.

Truth #2:  Consistent margin leads to exponential results for you.  If you keep your head down grinding out the work, you may gain some ground, but will you know where you’re going?  The “work on it, not just in it” theme applies here too.  Hustle is a current buzzword in the business and leadership world, but if you have a dream you’re working to fulfill it won’t happen with just pure hustle.  You must know where you’re going to achieve the results you desire.  You’re the captain of your ship.  Imagine how the ship would go off course if the captain was always below deck rowing.  When you’re consistently living in the margins, as we talked about above, you have your eyes clearly and consistently on the goal.  Work on it, not just in it.

One of the best ways to get yourself living with consistent margin in your life is to work with a skilled coach who can help you maximize your time and effort as you work to achieve your dream.  When you’re ready, our coaches are here to help you live with margin and get on track with your God-given dreams.  Just click here to get started.

 

The Power of the Pause

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Leadership, Personal Value, Self Reflection, Time Management

Are you a motivated individual? Are you always moving forward? Are you always working on the next goal? Do you get pleasure from the hustle of creating your future?  There are some of you who are reading this right now and nodding your head yes.  These are generally good qualities to possess. You’re well on your way to achieving your dreams.

However, let me ask you another set of questions. Which day of the week do you generally take off to rest?  How often do you find quiet places to reflect? What do your personal retreats look like? How much do you value rest and reflection? If you’re staring blankly at your screen wondering why anyone would ask such silly questions, then let’s discuss the power of the pause.

But, what’s the purpose of the pause? Why would you need to stop, rest and reflect?  You don’t get any work done that way. You’re either taking ground or losing ground, right? If you’re under the impression that you can just push, push, push, and continue to take ground, you’ve bought into a lie. Have you heard of the Law of Diminishing Returns? The Law of Diminishing Returns simply states that every individual will hit a point in time when productivity will drop off significantly and will not return. This means no matter how many hours you work or how hard you try to push through, you will feel as if you’ve hit the wall of productivity. Typically, you’ll hit this wall daily around the eight to ten hour point. On a weekly basis, after 5-6 days. Beyond that, you’ll need to experiment and figure you’re monthly and yearly rhythms. Think of your life like a road trip. Driving hard may get you to your destination, but every road-trip is filled with pauses to cool down and re-fuel.

If you’re a hard driver and have thought of rest and reflection as wasted time, let me share two truths that may help in learning to take and enjoy pauses.

Truth #1: Magic happens when you create space to dream and reflect.

A great mentor of mine told me years ago, “Life happens in the margins.” He was right. What are the margins? They are the buffer times in your schedule and your life. If you have every minute scheduled, all the time, you have no margin and that’s no kind of life.  When you create these margins in your life, you’re creating space to dream and reflect.  Imagine how much more you could accomplish if you had a regular flood of new and creative thoughts come to you. That’s the magic that happens when you create space to dream and reflect. Have you ever taken a walk down streets you normally drive? If you do, you’ll notice all kinds of things you’ve never seen before. That mom and pop business that doesn’t have a flashy sign. The beautiful fountain that’s slightly obscured by a strip mall. A single home in the middle of a retail district. You can gain a greater perspective when you slow down. You see things that were previously hidden from sight. Your best ideas will remain hidden from you if you continue to drive hard all the time.

Slow down.

Create space in your life to dream and reflect.

Truth #2.  Energy naturally returns and increases through these times of rest and reflection.

Are you tired? When you don’t pause and rest, you are more tired. This puts you in the camp with so many others who desperately want more energy. However, a good-night’s sleep or a few hours unplugged from your work will give you 10x’s more energy than a four pack of your favorite energy drink. This is how God created you.  You’re an amazingly complex machine, but you were born with the design that requires rest. Just like any other machine with a design, if you use it like it was intended to be used, it performs. If you use it in a way contrary to its design, it breaks down. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done nothing for nearly an entire day, feeling like I had no energy, only to magically feel my physical and mental energy hit 100% sometime in the late afternoon. The only thing I did to replenish that energy was nothing. You are made to rest.

It seems counter-intuitive, but if you want maximum energy and creativity, you must step back, rest, and reflect.

It’s the power of the pause.

It’s wise to not ignore it.

 

Daily Learning

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Business, Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Leadership, Personal, Personal Value, Self Reflection, Time Management

Lately, we’ve been working on the question, “How do I best manage my time?”  Since your time is your most valuable resource, it’s certainly the right question to answer.   Managing time is all about understanding and capitalizing on rhythms.  Last time, we explored the 6th Day Project and how to devote time to work on your dream on a weekly basis.  You can read all about the 6th Day Project here.  I hope you’ll read it and take it to heart.

Today, we continue exploring how to manage your time. But now, we’re talking about what you do daily.  If you’re not growing, you’re dying.  There is no plateau.  There is no holding pattern. Even if you believe you’re holding steady in a season of your life where you’re not growing, those closest to you will tell you that you’re regressing.  If this is true – and it is – it poses the next question we’ll explore.  How do you learn and grow daily?

Focus.  This is the first step.  The subjects you could learn about and the material available are virtually unlimited.  There is more to be learned than any of us could even begin to digest in a lifetime.  So, this requires some focus on your part.  If you’re on the path to accomplishing a given dream, your daily learning must center around that dream.  Say you want to change careers and you want to become a CPA.  You can devour books on chemistry, learn a ton, and still be no closer to your CPA dream.  When we’re talking about daily learning, focus matters.  Unless your goal is to be a Jeopardy champion, general knowledge is of little use.  So, what do you need to learn? At this point, it makes sense to put this down on paper (or your phone or computer or whatever floats your boat).  The point is, you’ll learn what you decide to learn.  So, take the time to make it clear. Let your goals and dreams guide you.  Take a fresh look at your goals and write down what you need to learn to make those a reality.

Who.  This is the next level question.  Who do you need to learn from? This is a question of personality and media.  You can learn from many different people via many different medias.  The step that you may be tempted to skip is research, but please don’t skip this step.  Spend some time researching the voices out there.  You can find a multitude of voices on any subject wrapped up in many different types of learning.  Do yourself a favor and do the research and figure out what voices you want to learn from and via what media.  These are decisions that will be driven by your goals, your preference, and the cost.  You can learn a lot from free podcasts and from a PHD program at a university. Neither is right or wrong, but they are different delivery methods and carry vastly different costs.  Here are some types of learning you can explore:

  • Books. The most tried and true method is the good old fashioned book. Imagine how different you would be if you set aside 30 minutes per day and devoted that time to a well-researched reading list.
  • Podcasts. If you’re not leveraging this goldmine, I can’t imagine why not.  We’re talking about thousands of experts delivering free content to you.  If you subscribe, you don’t even have to go get it.  It comes to you automatically.  What if you redeemed that drive time to and from work each day listening to your chosen experts in your chosen field of learning?  Wow.
  • Mentors. You probably know people who are where you want to be.  Have you considered asking them for a little of their time?  My experience says that they almost always say yes.
  • Coaches. Everyone who has a dream or goal needs a coach.  Generally, you’re going to invest some money into coaching and it’s worth every penny.  Why?  Because your coach will ask you the hard questions that you don’t even know to ask.  Then, he or she will hold you accountable to what you say you want to do.  Of course, one of our coaches could be a huge help in getting where you want to be.  Just click here to get started.
  • Classes. This is the most expensive option, but depending on your goal, a degree may be needed.  If so, this is a great learning option too.  Do your research.  Not all degrees are created equally and not all degrees carry the same price tag.

So, the final question.  How much time will this all take?  I’ll answer your question with a couple of my own.  How much do you want to learn?  How quickly do you want to make your dream a reality?  If your current learning plan is non-existent, then any time spent is an improvement. However, if you’re serious about becoming a student and eventually an expert in your chosen field, 60 minutes per day is a great place to begin.  Imagine if you spent an average of one hour per day learning and growing in the specific areas you need to make your dream a reality?  This time next year could look very different for you, indeed.  We’re here for you.  Just let us know how we can help.

 

The 6th Day Project

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Personal, Self Reflection, Time Management

It was nine years ago.  I sat with my coach in a coffee shop on a Friday.  He eagerly asked me how my work in developing as a coach was coming.  He had helped me identify my desire, discover my gifting and develop a plan to begin coaching others.  I had to be brutally honest with him.  “I’m off from my full-time job every Friday and Saturday.  I say I want to develop my coaching skills and clientele.  But my behavior is that I spend most of those off days binge watching television.  If that’s the reality of my behavior . . .”  He finished my sentence for me, “Then how badly do you really want to develop as a coach?”

He was asking me the right question.  Eventually, that question and many others like it, got me to a place where Fridays were no longer mindless T.V. marathons, but rather calculated, well-planned days to develop my dream.  I made my dream a 6th day project and so can you.  Here’s the question to ask yourself today.  How can I work on my dream on a weekly basis?  The answer.  Block your time and make your dream a regular “6th day” project”.

Let’s start with the philosophy.  Tony Robbins has famously said, “We over-estimate what we can accomplish in a day and under-estimate what we can accomplish in a decade.”  It’s true.  You will never achieve your dream during a single day locked away in your office or even some secluded wooded cabin.  On the flip side, neither will you achieve your dream by devoting some attention to it when you have some extra time.  The recipe is simple.  Planned and repeated work, over time, yields incredible results.  Enter the 6th day project.  The 6th day project simply says that you must block out time, on a weekly basis, to work on your dream.  A year from now, you’ll either be light years closer to that dream or you’ll be in the exact same place you are now.  The main difference will be if you decided to set aside the time and execute the plan within those specific times.

Next let’s deal with reality.  Not everyone has the exact same schedule.  Not everyone can block out Friday, or even Saturday for that matter.  You have a demanding job.  You have family commitments.  You have friends and hobbies.  I’m not saying any of these needs to go away. Balancing all the pieces in our life is a myth.  Rather, the goal is to manage the tension between all the pieces in your life.  I believe every person’s life has rhythms, and no matter what your life looks like, you can identify the rhythms in your life and find regular time to focus strictly on your dream. Like most, you probably waste way more time than you realize. I talked about this just last month, but you can read about managing your time here.

The 6th day does not have to be the true sixth day of the week.  The concept is that you must find significant weekly time to block out to work on your dream?  How much time?  Well, how badly do you want to develop your dream?  How many other responsibilities must you manage?  These are the kinds of questions that lead you to answer how much time.  With that said, however, the time you invest each week must be significant. Can you look at a normal week now and find the time?  If you can, why not block that time and begin working on developing your dream methodically, week-by-week?  If you can’t maybe you need to look at putting something else aside.  All things are not equally important.  Just like I had to come to grips with the reality that I was making a weekly television marathon more important that my dream, you may have a similar reality to face.

One warning to give.  If you think you’ll get a return on skipping rest and replenishment time, think again.  When you look at your weekly rhythm, do not give in to the temptation to cut needed rest time to work on your future dream.  The biblical concept of Sabbath is something none of us can circumvent.  Just like you need a weekly rhythm of blocked time to work on your dream, you need a weekly rhythm of rest and replenishment.  Don’t trade in one for another.  Look elsewhere for that 6th day project time.

Well, now it’s time for you to develop and execute your plan. You can start in six months.  You can start next year.  But why?  Why would you sit for one more week and wish you were closer to your dream when you could use that week to get much closer to your dream?  If you’re ready to get started now, one of our coaches could help you begin building your 6th day project plan.  Just click here to get started.  When you’re ready, we’ll be ready to help you get there.

 

Time Management Fundamentals

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Goals, Growth, Leadership, Personal, Personal Identity, Personal Value, Self Reflection, Time Management

Years ago, I had a young guy working on one of my teams who just was not cutting it.  His excuse for all his missed deadlines?  “I didn’t have time.”  I remember telling him, “Everyone in this world, from the President of the United States to a homeless guy on the street, has the exact same amount of time in the day and decides how to use that time.”  He didn’t get it.  And he didn’t make it on my team.

It’s one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves, “I didn’t have time.” This is a fundamental problem that has worked its way into our culture and we have the responsibility to keep it from taking hold of us.  The problem: we feel busier than we ever have while accomplishing less and feeling less satisfied by all we’re doing.  So, what’s the solution? How can we change our way of thinking?  Here are three questions you can answer to help you manage your time better.

  1. When am I most energized? All hours of the day are not created equal.  Have you noticed sometimes you get incredible work accomplished and sometimes it’s like you’re pushing against a brick wall?  What’s the difference?  Well, it may have to do with the type of work you’re doing, but it probably has much more to do with when you’re doing it.  Are you taking advantage of your natural rhythms or fighting against them?  Are you a morning person?  Are you an evening person?  Does the afternoon feel like a burst of energy or a crash?  It helps to figure out these types of questions, and know how you best function during the day.  If you know you have a time of day that is going to be ultra-productive, try to schedule your most important tasks during that time.   If you know what time of day is going to be sluggish, why not do the mindless or menial tasks then?  Don’t just plug tasks into any ole time of the day.  Know your personal rhythms during your day and plan accordingly.
  2. What am I doing with my downtime? You have way more natural downtime than you think. What do you do during the two hours before work?  Is sleep the answer?  What about the four hours after work?  Is that your “veg-out” time?  That’s great if your goal is to be a vegetable.  But, if your goal is to live up to your potential and accomplish your dreams, you must look at your downtime as opportunity time.  We’re talking about hours each day that you’re just giving up because you’ve told yourself you need all that downtime.  The truth is you need some, but probably not as much as you’re taking.  Examine your patterns and make some changes.  Plug in productive work into some of that excess downtime.  There are many people who have started profitable businesses in their downtime.  It’s not a myth.  It’s about intentional discipline.
  3. How might I be wasting time every week? How much television do you watch?  How much time do you spend on social media?  How many YouTube videos do you watch each week?  These questions could go on and on and the answers, for most of us, are embarrassing.  The point is, you are wasting a tremendous amount of time during any given week.  What if you were intentional with 30% of that wasted time?  Identify it and schedule it.  The results may surprise you!

You manage your money carefully.  Your time is a way more valuable commodity.  Why not manage it too?  If you’re ready to get started now, one of our coaches will help you build your time management plan.  Just click here to get started.  When you’re ready, we’ll be ready to help you get there.

 

The Process of Sharing YOUR Value

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Goals, Growth, Leadership, Personal, Personal Identity, Personal Value, Self Reflection

Over the last couple months, we’ve explored how you know what you can offer the rest of the world and why you would want to share it.  If you don’t think you have much to offer or you don’t know what those things are, go back and read this article. But this month, let’s explore the next level to this question.  How do you share your value with others?

Just because you have a gift, talent, or message that could benefit others, and even when recognize the value of sharing it, you still must figure out how to release that for the benefit of others.  So, while identifying is good, you must go a step further and release what you’ve found.  This will require building and executing a plan.  For some, this is an exhilarating prospect, for others it’s paralyzing.  Whether you’re in the camp of the former or the latter, or somewhere in between, let me offer you three simple steps to share your value with others.

Step 1: Write down a plan of action.

If you think it and never write it down, it’s not a plan.  It’s wishful thinking and not much will come of it. For you to truly share your value with others, you’ll need a written plan to follow.  Your plan should include answers to questions like, “What will I offer?,” “Who will I offer it to?,” “How will I deliver it?,” and “When will I deliver it?”  I have a good friend who discovered she had a message she wanted to share with other women. She decided to get serious about her message and came up with a plan.  She knew of a women’s conference that was taking applications for breakout speakers.  She had never done any public speaking, but she knew she had a message to share. So, she applied to be one of those speakers.  Speaking at that conference was her plan to share the value she had to offer.

Step 2:  Put in the work it takes to deliver real value.

Just because you have a message or a God-given gift to share, does not mean you’re ready to share it.  To be ready to share what you’ve got with anyone in a meaningful way, you’ll need to put in some serious work.  Back to my friend.  She applied to speak at the conference and she was accepted.  That was the first part of her plan. The second part was putting in a lot of hard work and dedication into her message so she would be ready when the time came for her to speak. Since she had not done any public speaking, she found someone to coach her through the process of building her message and preparing to deliver it.  This was a process that took place over a couple of months with dozens of hours of preparation.  It was not easy work. But she had to consider her audience and the impact she was hoping to have on them.  Imagine if she would have shown up unprepared.  What a wasted opportunity that would have been.  As you build your plan, don’t skip the hard work needed to truly ready to give your best.

Step 3:  Follow through, despite your fears.

This is all about accountability.  I can assure you that if you build a plan and get yourself prepared, when it comes down to sharing what you have with others, you’ll feel incredible fear.   That’s why you must build accountability into your plan.  One last check-in with my friend.  She had a good plan and she prepared well.  That did not exempt her from fear.  Part of the preparation she put together with her coach was to rehearse her message out loud in front of others.  The day before, she gave her speech to a friend. The night before her speaking engagement, she delivered her message to her husband. Her friend and husband both gave honest and constructive feedback.  One of the pieces that helped her follow through with her plan was she had set up accountability.  She told her coach she would share it live before the big day.  Plus, her name was already printed on the schedule for the conference. There was no turning back, she was committed. It’s easy to make plans when emotions are high and you’re fired up.  It’s also easy to abandon your plans when you’re accountable to only yourself. How many of us have turned back in the face of fear, simply because we could?  Don’t make this mistake.  Build accountability into your plan so you will follow through, despite the fear that certainly will come.

Just like my friend, you too have incredible value to share with others.  She saw dozens of women impacted by the message she shared.  Several even asked her to mentor them, as a result.  What kind of value could you bring to people?  You’ll never know until you build and execute a plan to share it.

If you’re ready to get started now, one of our coaches could help you begin building that plan by utilizing some of the highly effective coaching tools we have at our disposal.  Just click here to get started on your journey to living out your dreams and bringing great value to others.  When you’re ready, we’re here to help you get there.

 

 

 

Creating Value for Others

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Leadership, Personal, Relationships, Self Reflection

Ok, let’s get back to a question we started to answer last month. How do you determine your personal value and share it? Previously, we explored how you might know what you can offer the rest of the world. We explored 4 questions you can answer to determine what you do have to offer. If you don’t think you have much to offer or you don’t know what those things are, go back and read last month’s article. This month, let’s explore a new question. How do you create value for others?

Let’s answer an even more fundamental question first. This is a question that gets to the heart of your vision for your life. Why would you want to create value for others? Well, the short answer is because you were made to do just that. If you’re not careful, our culture will fool you into thinking your goal ought to be creating maximum channels of inflow for yourself. Make more money, have better relationships that make you feel good, move up the corporate ladder, drive a better car, live in a bigger house . . . you know the drill. Nothing wrong with any of those goals or desires, provided they’re not all you have going on in your life. In this scenario, everything is flowing one way – toward you. You might think you want that, but you don’t.

Think of the air conditioning system in your home. You turn it on and it blows out cold air and your house cools down, right? Not exactly. If all it did was just blow cold air, it would be very ineffective. While I’m sure you’ve noticed the vents in the ceiling or floor that blow the cold air, take a closer look at the complete system. You’ll find some larger vents in the ceiling or walls that don’t blow any air out at all. These vents are called return air vents. They take the stuffy, warm air and pull it out of your rooms and into the air conditioning system to cool it down. So, your cold air vents blowing cold air toward you work in tandem with your return air vents that pull the warm air away from you. It’s an outflow and inflow system that only works – only creates satisfactory results – when the inflow and outflow are working together.

Your life is the same way. Sure, you’re working hard to attain your goals and provide for yourself and your family. Those are inflows. But, you’ve been given gifts and talents that are specifically for the benefit of other people (see last month’s article). Using those are the outflow. The health and fulfillment in your life comes when the inflow and outflow are working in tandem.

If you need an even more life and death example, think of your own physical body. The normal and healthy state of things is that you inhale air and you exhale air in a one-to-one ratio. Take a deep breath. Now take another deep breath. Don’t exhale. Now take another deep breath. You see what happens. Continuing the inhale begins to choke your lungs. It can’t be sustained. Although it happens more slowly, and is harder to perceive, the same effect happens in you (emotionally, relationally, and spiritually) when you have all inflow and no outflow.

If you’re not yet at the stage of writing down a plan of action, that’s okay. But, I hope this helps you begin to think about building your vision for your life. A vision for you to create avenues so you can share your unique abilities, gifts, and talents with those in your current circles and even beyond. Next month, we’ll get more specific about how you can build a strategy and a plan to create that value in others.

You may not want to wait until next month to build your strategy and plan of action . If you’re ready to get started now, one of our coaches will help you begin building your plan by utilizing several highly effective coaching tools we have at our disposal. Just click here to get started on your journey to living out your dreams. When you’re ready, we’ll be ready to help you get there.

 

What Do I Have to Offer?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Business, Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Personal Identity, Self Reflection

Over the last few months, we’ve talked about getting clear about what you want and getting the right people around you to make that happen.  Now let’s shift from looking at who you have around you to simply looking at yourself.  The big question you can work on answering next is, how do you determine your personal value and share it?  While that’s a great question to answer, it’s a mouthful, so for now, let’s simplify and simply ask and begin to answer, “What do I have to offer?”

So, what do you have to offer?  If you’re like most of us, you shy away from questions like this.  We all tend to underestimate what we have to offer.  That may be because we’re overly-modest, we lack confidence, or we simply haven’t done the work to identify it.  Whatever the reason, there are two very big problems with you failing to identify what you have to offer this world.  One is that if you don’t identify and operate in whatever “it” is for you, you’ll never be fulfilled.  There will always be an empty feeling inside you that feels like something is missing.  Second, if you don’t identify your “it”, other people (who need “it” very badly) will miss out.  So, you failing to identify what you have to offer is a lose, lose.  But, when you do identify what you have to offer, it’s a win, win.  Let’s talk about how you can shift to the win, win scenario.

4 questions to help you answer, “What do I have to offer?”

  1. What do you enjoy? What energizes you?  What gives you that feeling that says, “I was made to do this”?  You may or may not know the answer to this question right off the bat.  If you do, that’s a great start.  If not, you may have some work to do to identify some of the things you enjoy and energize you.  It’s worth all the work it requires.
  2. What do you believe you’re good at? Again, this is something you may shy away from, but if you allow yourself to be honest, you can probably identify some things you know you’re good at.  They may be current or they may have laid dormant for quite some time.  Take some time today to think and even write down some of those things you believe you’re truly good at.
  3. What do other people tell you you’re good at? This is a good test.  We can fool ourselves, but it’s difficult to fool those closest to us.  If someone tells you you’re good, you probably are.  Once again, take some time and jot down some of those things others have affirmed in you.  You may have even dismissed them, but it’s important to gather those back to the top of your mind.
  4. If money were no object, what would you do with most of your time? This isn’t a question about leisure time or early retirement.  It’s about what brings you energy and life.  If you had trouble answering #1 above, this may be tough, too.  But to spin the question in these kinds of limitless terms might be just the help you need.  If you don’t know the answer now, can you at least write down a few possibilities?

While these questions are a great start, you may only get so far on your own.  One of our coaches could help you dig deeper into these questions by utilizing several highly effective coaching tools we have at our disposal.  Just click here to get started on your journey to living out your dreams.  When you’re ready, we’ll be ready to help you get there.

 

 

Current Relationships

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Leadership, Relationships

Where you focus most of your energy is where you’ll see most of your return. 

You must learn to sow where you want to go. 

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. 

All true statements.  I doubt you’ll push back against those much.  But, I would wager that you may push back against the implications those statements carry for you.  Easier said than done, right?

Let’s re-focus.  We’re talking about you.  You’re a leader.  You’re a dreamer.  You’ve got a picture, in your mind’s eye, of a preferred future.  So, that leaves you with a big decision to make.  Who are the people you will invite into your life and who are the people you may need to give limited access to?  More than any other single factor, the people you choose to spend most of your time with will affect your current and future success or lack thereof.

The rubber now meets the road.  What does this mean for you?  Well, it means just what you may suspect, or even fear, it means.  You must get strategic about the relationships in your life.  Let me suggest three great questions you can use a filter to be that strategic leader you so badly want to be.

  1. Who are the current people in my life who are helping move my dream forward? Your life consists of many relationships, but they are not all created equally.  If you’re moving toward that dream or desire in your life, you must become discerning about which relationships are moving you in the right direction and which ones are not.  The good news is that you probably already have some people in your life who are helping move your dream forward. Take a mental inventory of your relationships.  Who is excited about your dreams?  Who believes in you?  Who is a step or two ahead of you on a similar path?  These are the questions you can ask to figure out who may already be in your life that you may want to lean into more, as time goes on.
  2. Are there relationships I have that need to be pulled back or stopped? Doesn’t this hurt, just thinking about it?  I would think there are pretty good odds that a person or two just popped into your mind the instant you read this question.  Just like you need to identify and lean into those who believe in you and are going the direction you want to go; you also must identify and pull away from those who are moving in the opposite direction.  Some of these might be easy to pull away from, but the closer these relationships are, the more delicate and potentially awkward these moves will be.  I would encourage you to get some perspective from someone you trust on this before you pull away or shut down any long-standing or close relationships.  It’s ok to move slowly and carefully, but you must move deliberately.
  3. Are there relationships that need to be cultivated? In #1 above I mentioned identifying and leaning into key relationships. Cultivating is a step above.  More than just leaning into the right relationships, you must identify new ones and learn to add value.  The more you get into relationships with people who are going places, the more discerning those people will be about who they spend their time with.  It’s not enough for you to just ask to spend time with people a step ahead of you.  As you get that time with them, you must add value to the relationship.  Any relationship is a two-way street and if all the energy is coming your way, it won’t be long until your new friend identifies YOU and someone in the #2 category above.  Cultivation is all about adding value.

So, if you are really the average of the five people you spend the most time with (and you are), then you moving toward your dream demands honest answers to the questions above.  It also demands that you face the implications of those answers and begin to make relational moves accordingly.  These kinds of moves may be just the type that a good coach could help you navigate.  Click HERE to get started, and one of our excellent coaches can help you today!