Archives for April 2008

Because Spring Is the Time of Love

In my last post I wrote about celebration. Now I’d like to celebrate a success story of one of the people I coach. About a year ago, Bill shared with me an idea for an online relationship-enhancing tool. Bill is one of those folks, like so many of us, that just need someone firmly in his corner to take, and stay in, action. The next few weeks we tossed some ideas back and forth, and then Bill committed to take steps to have the system developed. Bill continued to set targets, making some, missing others, and processing whatever needed to be processed to remain in action.

If you are currently in a romantic relationship, I invite you to try LovePong. It’s fun, it’s free, and it really works!

If you have an idea for a business that you’d like to discuss with me, drop me a line. I’d love to support you in any way I can.

A Client’s Perspective – How I Use My Coach
By Bill Weil

When Tom and I first began working together, he shared his perspective that a coach is simply a tool to add the greatest possible value to the client’s life and business. So how do I use my coach?

  • As a nurturing, safe and affirming sounding board
  • As an accountability partner, so that I honor my own promises
  • As a nudge to get me off the dime and into action
  • As a fellow brainstormer, with an unbiased, third-party view
  • Finally, as a “negative energy clearer,” so that I can release all the raging emotions and conflicting thoughts in my head, find my clarity, and be productive.

I have benefited tremendously from Tom’s coaching and support. I would (and do!) highly recommend Tom to really anyone who is serious about taking their business, or their life, to the next level.

Five Good Reasons to Celebrate More Often

Celebration may be the most underutilized tool in your box. Some view celebration as soft or slacking off – like we aren’t really doing anything. Nothing could be further from the truth. Celebration is a pivotal stage in the productivity process because it allows us to commemorate all the good that we do.

Unlike indigenous cultures, in the western world, we have forgotten many of our traditions, ceremonies and celebrations especially around the work that we do. In the name of progress, our culture has lessened rejoicing over everyday occurrences like sunrises and important seasonal events like harvest time. We need to remember that when the crops are safely in, it’s time to dance and make merry.

In an earlier post, Work Life Happiness – Stake Your Claim Now, I illustrated the Authentic Cycle of Probability.

Cycle of Authentic Probability

Look where celebration falls – right after gratitude and just before completion. That’s an extremely powerful stage of the cycle that should not be overlooked.

Gratitude is the causative energy of appreciation that blesses us with ease and greater flow. Celebration is self-acknowledgment and recognition for successfully completing every small step. Completion is the triumphant achievement of our objective and our signal to proceed forward to the freshness of discovery. Here are five good reasons to celebrate more often.

  1. Celebration helps us stay in the present where our power is. By celebrating the completion of every small step, we leverage the powerful energies of gratitude and momentum. Thomas Edison taught us that even each mistake along the way is cause for celebration. Life is all about the journey, and that means that every step, as well as reaching our destination, is part of our journey. Celebrating at every juncture is recognition of a life well lived and well worked.
  2. Celebration builds self-respect. Others treat us according to how we treat ourselves. It’s important to hold yourself in high regard. Perhaps, like me, your early caregivers did not celebrate your presence and special glow. Celebration overwrites this limited conditioning and tips the balance of your internal programming so that it’s more natural to think well of yourself.
  3. Celebration feeds our basic human need for self-love and self-acceptance. Celebration is emotional nourishment. Yet sometimes we simply don’t feel like celebrating because we’ve fallen into the habit of harshly judging ourselves. When this happens, there is a negative feeling remaining in our bodies from a challenging event in our past. A very powerful tool to remove the feeling so you feel like celebrating once more is Emotional Freedom Technique. There are many practitioners with instructional videos available online. I like this one on self-acceptance:
  4. Celebration is positive magnification. What we focus on expands. When we downplay or skip celebration, we are telling ourselves that we haven’t done enough to be proud of ourselves – so our self-doubt is what expands. The proliferation of productivity blogs on the web tells me that lots of folks don’t follow-through frequently enough to feel good about it. Want to complete more projects with less procrastination and guilt? Then do not skip this powerful stage of the process. Celebrate more often and stay on it longer. Honor your completions, both big and small, in celebration so that you expand more of what you want in your life.
  5. Shameless self-promotion and marketing is easier with celebration. We’ve got to toot our own horns in this crowded world so the right folks will hear us and gather round. “If you’re embarrassed about what you do well, you won’t be very attractive.” – Thomas J. Leonard In 1998, way before The Secret, Leonard in his groundbreaking book, The Portable Coach, shared his 28 Laws of Attraction. In number 7, Market Your Talents Shamelessly; he shares a brilliant distinction: Confidence vs. Arrogance. “Confidence is knowing exactly what you do well and don’t do well; arrogance is a way to cover up what you don’t do well.”Confidently celebrate and flaunt your bad ass self and marketing gets easier because more people will seek you out. Fear not, the phone will ring. The world needs your edge to be complete. The same people who told you not to toot your own horn also told you to be seen and not heard. They were dead wrong, both times.

Sometimes we lament our lack of progress and go on fruitless searches for the answer. But often what’s missing is as simple as a little jig of recognition or bursting out in spontaneous song.
Your very being is enough reason to celebrate. Select a project or any progress that makes you feel good and join Kool and the Gang in Celebration of your achievement!

What do you think? Are you celebrating enough? What have you accomplished recently that is reason to celebrate? What have you passed over without giving it its due recognition?

If you truly want something to celebrate right now then schedule a complimentary session with me and we will expand your greatest business asset.

Massive Inspired Action – a Recipe for Success

As we seize our work life freedom, it’s often necessary to achieve measurable progress so that our confidence catches up to our intentions. The most effective tool to jump start momentum and insure success is massive inspired action – because it increases the probability of success.

Massive Inspired Action is a process I developed where you engage a variety of fierce and creative actions to increase the probability of reaching an objective. Bull

We make success more likely by increasing the sheer volume and variety of inspired actions over a short period of time. The success comes not necessarily as a direct result of those actions, but more likely as a result of the confidence one emits around the whole campaign. Five years ago, I was sitting in a weekend retreat facilitated by author Egbert Sukop when he said something like, “Results don’t necessarily come directly from the actions we take, but parallel to those actions.” (Image by pbr-angel on Flickr, via Creative Commons license)

He went on to explain this observation. Cause and effect is not a sure thing. Many of our actions produce desired results, but often we can’t foretell which ones will work and which ones will not. Sometimes a method will work four times in a row and then quit working at all.

This got me thinking. Career coaching is a wonderful living laboratory because I get to experiment with so many different clients who hold multiple and varied beliefs on what does and does not work well. Over the years, after working with hundreds of clients, I developed this process to help more clients win the game they want to win.

The process of massive inspired action works so well in a quest for true calling or right livelihood because it counters all the negative energy that cautions us to play it safe and remain miserably where we are. The masses are always going to be against risk. The masses are always going to want you to stay with them so you can wallow together in the prison of employment. Freedom requires bold action; if you’re going to risk it all, why not increase the probability of your success?

Massive inspired action is a fierce excuse eliminator. It’s about the most responsible thing you can do for yourself when you’re ready to make your move. If you are going to seize your freedom, you’ve got to give it your all. It’s imperative that you go beyond what’s required. Just going through the motions and doing the minimum is an employment strategy, not a self-employment one.

You might recall from an earlier post that this is the fourth stage in my Authentic Cycle of Probability. So, first make sure you’ve run your dream or project through the first three stages, discovery, decision and focus. Then you’ll be properly aligned for action.

Why does massive inspired action work so well? Let’s break the recipe down and look at the ingredients.

The benefit of action at first appears obvious. Without it nothing happens. Yet we can’t foretell which actions will produce desired outcomes and which will not. There are too many unseen factors – like subconscious beliefs at play. That’s one reason why it’s more likely that results come alongside actions and not necessarily as a direct result of them.

The benefit of massive is twofold. Massive creates a wave of confident energy, and confidence is a natural attractor. Massive also gives us the space to be creative and to put a variety of methods, approaches and actions in play. Like the prospector who pans for gold, has a sluice running and a mine, by leveraging the sheer number and variety of actions, we increase the probability of striking it rich. Staking multiple claims increases our options when adjustments are needed – and gives us an overall feeling of command.

Inspiration gives an authentic blessing to our massive actions. Inspiration is robust and alive. It provides a level of vigor and courage that’s seldom seen in a lesser campaign. That’s why finding your work life happiness and freedom is such an individual pursuit. Not all things work for all people, and not all methods work all the time. The more genuine your approach, the greater your probability of success. Massive inspired action allows your purest flow of exceptionality to come forth – and that attracts others who want to support your drive for success.

Massive inspired action is not an everyday process. We can only do massive for short periods of time. It’s particularly powerful at the start of a project, when momentum is so critical to success. Save it for the big game that really matters to you. It’s fun to give something all you’ve got. It’s a blast to make your move in a very big way and to follow through all the way to completion.

If you read this blog, chances are you’ve been holding back for some time. Holding back is for wimps. No matter how evolved we are, we all hold back on something. Holding back squashes delight. Are you ready to fly? Might this be your time to give it all you have? Are you ready to step forth and seize your freedom? If you are, then use massive inspired action. It works!

Why Responsibility is the Key to Work Life Freedom

Why do so many who say they want the freedom of being their own boss remain employed?

According to a recent Intuit survey, 72% of Americans say they would rather work for themselves and 67% say they regularly or constantly think about quitting their jobs.

So why haven’t more actually made the move that they say they want to? In a recent post we looked at the fear of not having enough money. But we know it’s never really the money.

By digging deeper, what would we see lurking beneath the fear that’s stopping all these people from acting on what they say they want? I think it might be two things.

  1. Not having a real appreciation for the value in being your own boss.
  2. Not taking enough responsibility for one’s own happiness and well-being.

The Value of Freedom

If all you’ve ever known is slavery, might there be a comfortable, however twisted, safety in remaining a slave?

Could those of you who have yet to choose their freedom somehow have undervalued it because you simply don’t know how wonderful it feels to be free?

Work life freedom is complete autonomy. It’s the right of self-determination in every aspect of the work that you do. Perhaps it would be easier to value this freedom if those who have chosen to subjugate themselves to the will of an employer could get very clear on exactly what they are choosing to give up.

Within work life freedom are these freedoms:

  1. The freedom of choice, which is the freedom to decide what you will work on and with whom.
  2. The freedom of flexibility, which is enjoying the option of working when you want to and for how long.
  3. The freedom of self-expression, which is the ability to speak up for what you believe in and to freely speak your mind without fear of negative consequences.

The Responsibility of Freedom

How would you answer the question: What’s my greatest responsibility to myself?

How about this? My greatest responsibility for myself is my health, happiness and well-being.

So might it really be a question of responsibility? Has this great a number of unfulfilled employees abdicated their responsibility along with their freedom?

By abdicating responsibility, you get to complain and act as though your happiness is the responsibility of something or someone outside of your own control. When we abdicate our autonomy to an external authority, who is really authoring our lives? Haven’t we then given up our destiny to the random whims of bosses who, they themselves, typically don’t even enjoy their own work?

Renowned psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden stated in his book Taking Responsibility, “The first act of self-responsibility, and the basis for all others, is the act of taking responsibility for being conscious – that is, of bringing an appropriate awareness to our activities.”

I’m saying that the unhappily employed are actually not bringing enough awareness to their choices and activities. If you were, then you would see the futility in subjecting your life to outside authorities.

This blog refers to the same Intuit survey and highlights that 81 percent of Americans think that owning a business is more empowering than a “regular” job.

Might the fear of actually exercising that empowerment really be what’s stopping so many? I think so.
Claiming your work life freedom is primarily an inside job that begins with acting responsibly.

So assuming you are willing to, how can you take more responsibility to claim your own work life freedom?
You can:

  1. Know and act on the basis that you are at choice in the matter.
  2. Consciously direct your attention and focus on what you want.
  3. Consciously cease complaining about what you don’t want.
  4. Imagine what might happen if you took just 10% more responsibility for your work life happiness.
  5. Act on what came up for you when you imagined that greater responsibility.

Who among you in the 72% are willing and ready to do the above?

Those of you who have already claimed your freedom, what would you have these dream seekers do?

Hard Truths, Whole Truths and Nothing But the Truth? Bull!

What a wonderful adventure self-employment is. I’m laughing at myself today and I want to share that laugh with you. What’s cracking me up? Just that I had a truth to tell, and hemmed and hawed about telling that truth – which is soooo not who I am. Temporarily, I forgot an essential truth of life.

It’s all bull. We make it all up. (Image by mrchriscornwell on Flickr, via Creative Commons license) Bull

In personal matters, everything we perceive as truth is really a fabrication that we put together to explain our actions and decisions. Through the lenses of our own perception, every story that we tell ourselves about ourselves, if limiting in any way, is pure bull. Our stories are full of reasons, justifications, excuses and lies that we create so that we don’t have to be as authentically daring as we really know we ought to be.

“There are no whole truths: all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.” – Alfred North Whitehead

Here’s what’s so funny. Like most folks, I don’t really enjoy confrontation. But like most coaches, I rigorously self-examine. So when I know something’s not kosher, I really can’t remain silent.

I suspect that my darker side may even bring things to a boil so that bold action is necessary. For a long time, I was one of those guys who avoided conflict and procrastinated until I forced my own hand. Then I buckled down and pulled things out at the last minute. I repeated that pattern until it didn’t work for me in one colossal failure. But something within me still craves the remnants of last minute heroics, because I continue to create situations that require it.

For example, I’d rather be brutally honest, even at the risk of rubbing someone the wrong way, than remain silent and tolerant. Isn’t that what we mean when we say we are done suffering fools? But who’s really the fool? Who created the situation in the first place?

The reason I’m laughing so hard at myself is that I’ve realized that I continue to create the very tyranny that I do battle with. It’s no wonder that Braveheart is my favorite movie.

For me, the greatest benefit of self-employment is the freedom of self-determination. But this freedom to call one’s own shots comes with the responsibility of exercising our independence in the face of the pressure to conform. We can’t truly live our freedom without reclaiming it on a regular basis, even if that reclamation is accomplished by smashing the boundaries of our own fabrications.

Sometimes the only thing holding me back is a limiting belief about myself. I suspect if you look within you’ll find the same thing to be true for you.

I am powerless is the lie beneath all other lies.   Steve Chandler

Want to try a powerful, yet very quick and easy exercise? Write down something you say you really want at the top of a pad of paper. Since you don’t already have it, you must have some beliefs that support you not having it. Right? Go ahead and write them all down. Just really make the case for why you can’t have what you want. No go back over your list and see if you really are powerless to make your move. Or is it just a story you’ve been telling yourself?