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Posts Tagged ‘coaching’

I was watching a documentary the other day about the demise of the dinosaurs. What was fascinating was that before the 6 mile wide asteroid hit what is now the Gulf of Mexico all those millions of years ago, dinosaurs dominated the earth. Dinosaur fossils have been found in vast numbers on every continent and their sheer size meant wherever they went, they were in charge!

dinosaur asteriod

But after the asteroid the only creatures that survived and then thrived were the tiny mammals and reptiles.

Why was that?

Its simple. Charles Darwin put it best:

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.

These tiny creatures were able to survive because of their adaptability, their ability to move quickly and change according to circumstances, their ability to store energy and most importantly of all, their agility.

Looking at businesses today we can see that the corporate world is dominated by vast global enterprises but these enterprises have much in common with their ancient ancestors! When faced with challenges they don’t have the agility to adapt in a rapidly changing world. And the more energy they put into trying to change the world to suit them, the less they have for their true purpose. And the less sustainable they become.

The question is, is your business a dinosaur… or a mouse?

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Momentum is always a good thing so here’s another idea to get you moving when you’re feeling stuck.

When you are really stuck momentum is far more important than direction. Imagine trying to push a car. Would you try to push it round a corner from a standing stop? Or would you always get it moving first and then push it in the direction you want it to go.

Its the same with us, its much easier to move in the right direction once you’re actually moving. So when you are really stuck you need to find something that will raise your energy enough that you can regain some momentum. So here’s a suggestion:

When you’re feeling full of energy and optimism make yourself a big long list of at least 101 things you want to do, be, have or give in your lifetime. You can make it longer if you like and keep adding to this list all the time as you get new ideas. In fact I believe you should never stop adding to this list because the moment you do your life will start running out of energy! George Bernard Shaw said

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

And having goals is a huge part of playing!

Your list will contain some goals, some big and some small, and it will contain long term plans and every day to-do tasks, big things, small things, easy things, things you have no earthly idea how to do now and things you can do in the next 30 seconds, fun things and challenging things. The more you can put on this list the more useful to you it will be.

Now next time you are feeling stuck and you don’t know what to do next have a look at this list and pick one thing that jumps out at you and do it. It might have nothing to do with your goals or what you are supposed to be doing – you might decide to go and get a manicure when you “should” be finishing your book! But the simple act of taking action will create more momentum that sitting looking at the screen feeling guilty will ever do!

Give it a try next time you’re stuck and let me know how it goes.

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Creating momentum towards a goal is one of the most powerful things we can do to make sure we achieve the goal but sometimes its really challenging to maintain that momentum, especially if its a huge goal that is going to take a lot of time to achieve.

I found this great post by Mike Michalowicz, author of The Pumpkin Plan which has some really good ideas about how to motivate yourself when the momentum seems to be running out. Lets face it, even the most motivated of us runs short of energy once in a while. But if we have strategies in place that can get us up and running again quickly we don’t need to take up residence in that stuck place!

Let me know what you think and please share the strategies you use when you get stuck.

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The truth is, it really doesn’t matter!

What’s important is who is responsible for making things better and the answer to that is always the same. I am.

We spend far too much time appointing blame  when things don’t turn out the way we want them to. There is a school of thought that absolutely everything that ever happens to you is your fault, that you somehow asked for things to happen to you. Personally I think that’s a bit harsh and honestly not at all helpful. Even if, on a metaphysical level, we do create our universe, assigning ourselves blame and guilt is not going to put us in a state of mind conducive to moving forward. The answer to the question “Who’s fault?” lies in the past and there is nothing we can do to change the past. So even if we can arrive at a meaningful answer there’s not much useful we can do with it.

But it is always our responsibility to learn. If we take a difficult situation and choose to assign blame we will always be stuck in the past, wishing we can change it, which we can’t. If we choose instead to take the lessons and try to put them into action we can come out of any situation better, wiser and stronger that we started.

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It doesn’t matter how much of a positive person you are, the reality is that the world out there can be pretty negative at times! That’s why its really important that the first thing you do every day is raise your personal energy and your mindset so that you have the resilience to deal with whatever the world throws at you!

Its so easy to get up and dive straight into your day without ever actually taking the time to ready yourself for the challenges that lie ahead. But the truth is, if you start the day half empty you’re not going to get beyond lunchtime before your resources are depleted and you just don’t have anything left to give. At best you only achieve half of what you intended. At worst, you have to resort to some energy vampire techniques just to get you through the rest of the day!

So how do you start the day up?

There are three areas you want to focus on energising. Mind, Body, Focus. Success expert Jack Canfield says we should devote just ten minutes a day to energising each of these areas and that can make a phenomenal difference to how we experience our lives and our results.

Research has shown time and time again that meditation benefits us in all areas of our lives. It can help us deal with stress, it can make us more focused, and it can even help us deal with physical illness. It can make us calmer, more creative, it can improve our relationships and it can help us learn. In fact its difficult to find any reason why we should not make meditation a regular part of our day. How you choose to meditate is entirely up to you, there are so many different ways so play around until you find one that works for you and that you WILL do every day. Here’s a great one to start you off! Get into the habit of doing just 10 minutes every morning as soon as you wake up and watch your energy levels soar!

Starting your day off with some physical exercise is a great way to remind your body that its alive! Movement is life! And yet we spend so much of our modern lives stuck in front of a computer, in a car, or on a comfy sofa in front of the TV. The fact is we are made to move, and movement is one of the ways our body integrates learning so any movement you do is actually making you more intelligent! Again, what you choose to do is up to you. What’s more important is THAT you do it! Yoga is a great way of starting off your day and it doesn’t need to take long. Here’s a really great sequence to lift your mood.

If you don’t fancy yoga, then even a quick walk round the block will get your blood flowing, and if you have a dog to walk, even better because they will not let you have a day off!

And once you’ve woken up your mind and your body its time to focus on what you want to achieve today. So often we float through a day responding and reacting to other people’s demands of us and the reason for this is we have never taken to time to focus on what WE want from the day. Take just 10 minutes to think about it and make a list of what you intend to do with your day, even if its just relax and have fun. That way you get to live your day on your terms and according to your goals not someone else’s! Staying focused on what you want to achieve means you will use your time wisely and on purpose. Just taking that 10 minutes to plan your day can make all the difference between having an unproductive frustrating day and a wonderful, purposeful and productive one. And even if your day goes completely pear shaped (yes we all have days like that!) having an action plan means that least you will end the day with more energy and focus than you would have done otherwise! But more importantly you will know exactly how far off track you are so you can get back on course easily and quickly.

So tonight go to bed early and set your alarm clock 30 minutes early and start your day UP!

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In this world where positive thinking rules, its a bit depressing how all the positive thinking in the world does not always solve the very real problems we face. It might make us feel better, and that’s a great start, but it doesn’t make the bad stuff go away!

I know, it sounds a bit counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? But time and again I come across people who are getting ever more frustrated because they are not getting the results they want, even though they are apparently doing all the right things.

So if its not working for you, does make any sense to do more of what’s not working? Or is it time to try a new strategy?

So here’s an idea: when you’re facing a big problem, or even a small one, first of all lets not dress it up and call it a “challenge” because that doesn’t really make it any easier! In fact often it just makes you feel more stupid because you haven’t been able to overcome it! Lets call it what it is and be honest about it. Now look at this problem square on and make a list of all the reasons you can think of why this problem is unsolvable, the more reasons you can find the better! You don’t want to think about all the reasons why you “should” be able to solve the problem at this stage. That’s just going to stress you out even more and we know that stress makes us stupid! Once you have a comprehensive list, take a good long look at it and see if you can find one reason that you think you might be able to find a solution to, even if its a crazy unlikely one. If you’ve written down enough reasons you can probably find at least one that is solvable. Now make an action plan to resolve that reason. Then go onto the next one. And the next and the next until the problem is solved. Only tackle the easiest reasons first, as you gain in confidence you can tackle the more difficult ones, or you might find that you don’t even need to!

There are very few problems that don’t have a solution but sometimes its easier for our brain to think of reasons why it can’t be done than reasons why it can. Try it and let me know how you get on.

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Yes, OK, I know it’s not sexy but slow and steady really is what it takes to get the job done.

In this era of “Secrets” and American Idols where overnight success with seemingly very little effort is promoted as the norm, and even success coaches are constantly telling you to get out of your comfort zone and subtly implying that if you don’t you’re a wimp, its easy to feel inadequate if you’re not making things happen in a big way and fast.

But the truth is, if you look behind the stories of these “quick change artists” you’ll find a very different story. Almost without exception they have all worked long and hard and been totally focused for years and years and years on achieving their dreams. They’ve tried and failed and got back up again and tried again, and again, and again. And they’ve kept getting back up until they’ve achieved their goal. They’ve decided that failure is not an option and that the only failure is not getting back up.

Success is hard work and it rarely happens in a straight line. But if you can learn to enjoy the journey and treat each failure as a lesson you needed to learn to get to where you want to be, you will not only achieve your dreams but you will have a whole load of great stories to tell along the way. Lets face it, overnight successes are pretty boring people!

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Today we have a guest post from my friend Ram Gangliani from Right Selection in Dubai. Their philosophy of using love in their business has made them one of the most successful organisers of inspirational learning events in the the region.

LOVE AS A BUSINESS TOOL: 

Ram and Gautam Ganglani have transformed Right Selection into a premier training and motivational enterprise by following the philosophy that you will be happy and successful  in your life in direct proportion to the degree to which you will be helpful to the world.

How has Right Selection evolved over the last decade while serving the needs of the  business community?

When Right Selection was launched in 1993, the distribution of business management books, video training programmes and motivational audios was our core business. Over the years, as we evolved, we started providing our clients with cost-effective solutions to their training needs. Client demand led us to link up with top-class international speakers, trainers and consultants like Ron Kaufman, Steve Lundin, Tony Buzan, Bob Urichuck, Omar Khan and Keith Usher specialising in leadership and management skills. Our team of experts is sourced worldwide and we have a few trainers stationed in the UAE. Although we began as a father and son operation, we are now expanding with alliances and partnerships locally and in the G.C.C. as well as adding new members to our team.”

Do you have any mentors from whom you draw inspiration to run your affairs?

We have drawn a lot of inspiration from a few premier thinkers on leadership in business and in life.  Stephen Covey, Tom Peters, Ron Kaufman, Anthony Robbins and Robin Sharma are amongst those whose guidance has helped us create the personal lives we have always wanted whilst at the same becoming stars in the sector of training and education that we have chosen.

What would you say is the secret of your business strategy for success?

It is no longer a secret, but we have found ourselves using love as a business strategy. This could perhaps be the most unique factor contributing to our success. We have found that we can get everything we want out of life when we focus on helping those around us get everything they want out of life. Massive success in business really is all about human connections. Business success comes from having thoughtful conversations with our teammates, customers and prospects. If we stop engaging in these conversations, we lose the business.

What exactly are human connections? 

As Robin Sharma says, “They’re the bonds that link us, person to person. Human connections occur when we genuinely try to serve other people and make a difference in their lives – when we learn how to communicate from the heart, speak our truth, and sincerely become empathetic listeners, getting behind the eyeballs of those we’re listening to in an effort to understand them. Communication is so essential to showing leadership in your career.” In short we need to make a special effort to show people that we cherish and understand them

How do your clients react to your unusual set of business standards?

Our clients have continued to support us year after year and remained embedded in our list of loyal clients. The fact that we more than doubled our business last year speaks for itself. What makes us happier is seeing the success of our clients who are benefiting tremendously from our variety of effective training programs and powerful learning tools.  Our ongoing initiatives have been instrumental in the development of the educating and learning culture amongst our clients. The result is – further enhancement in the relationship between bosses and employees..

As you look ahead, what do you see as your goals and vision for Right Selection?

We have realized that success is all about making a difference in the world.  And, for us to manifest abundance in our lives and success in our business, it is crucial that we become value builders. At the end of the day, that is what the voyage of life is all about…. To seek ways to enrich others, to improve the lot of those with whom we have the privilege of serving and doing business with. Our higher purpose is to help create great results for our customers and make a difference in their bottom lines.”

You can follow Ram’s blog at http://ramganglani.blogspot.com/

Right Selection are bringing Brian Tracy to Dubai in October – this is an unmissable event if you want to move your life forward rapidly! Check out the Right Selection website for more info and booking!

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One of the most helpful things you can learn when you are pushing forward with powerful goals is how to recognise where you are in that area between learning and consolidating that we call the comfort zone.

If we can learn to surf that wave, we maximise the speed of our progress and we minimise the levels of stress. So its a good thing to learn if you want results fast!

Firstly lets look at how it feels when we’re in flow. Flow is when your level of expertise perfectly matches the challenge of the task. Its when you do things almost automatically, you don’t have to think too hard about it, your whole system just knows what to do and gets on with it. If you’re an experienced driver you will be in flow much of the time. You don’t have to think about turning the wheel, you just think about where you want to be. When we are in flow time seems to slow down so your reactions become effortless, there’s no rush or panic, just a sense of calm focus.

Now, try to remember when you first started learning to drive. Remember how unfamiliar everything felt. There were so many things to think about. So many lights and levers and buttons and you wondered how you were ever going to master it. Things seemed to happen very quickly and you had to make so many decisions all at once and everything seemed disjointed and clumsy. You had to consciously think where your hands and feet were and what they were doing and panic was never far away! This is the learning zone.

Now imagine that your driving instructor took you out on Sheikh Zayed Road at rush hour. Now you have all the other drivers to think about as well, people are coming at you from all directions, beeping their horns, narrowly missing you, making rude gestures, and on top of that your instructor is shouting at you as well. Suddenly your mind goes blank, your hands start sweating, your heart is beating out of your chest, you have no idea what to do next and you freeze completely. This is the burn out zone.

Image

Now imagine the next lesson. The instructor takes you round the back roads of a half empty industrial estate on a Friday (weekend) morning. He makes you go round and round and round, practising turning, reversing, stopping, starting, speeding up, slowing down and there’s no other traffic on the road and everything is calm. Suddenly all of those complicated actions start to make sense and the more often you do them the less you have to actually think about them. This is the consolidation zone where you practice what you’ve learned until it becomes a part of you.

Now imagine the instructor tells you to do this day after day and tells you never to go on the busy roads and only to drive when there’s no one else out. You’ve practiced everything a million times and you never seem to be getting anywhere. Suddenly you start to make silly mistakes. You lose concentration. You are bored to tears and you can’t remember why you ever wanted to learn to drive in the first place. You can never go anywhere because you might come across other traffic. All of your learning is now useless and pretty soon you give up. But if anyone suggests you try something a bit more challenging, fear comes up and you remember the burn out zone and stay exactly where you are. This is the rust out zone.

Both the rust out zone and the burn out zone are places you really don’t want to spend much time. If you are pushing ahead fast and really stretching yourself you may want to foray out into the burn out zone, but don’t stay too long and try to go with someone who has been there before so you can hang on to them!  Likewise, if you are tired and stressed you may want to rest for a little while in the rust out zone. But don’t get comfortable there or you’ll be stuck forever!

Learn to recognise the signs that you’re in these zones and you can avoid their perils and achieve incredible things in less time and with less stress than you ever thought possible!

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One of the most over used phrases in coaching today is “get out of your comfort zone”. The thing is, I believe almost no one knows exactly what a comfort zone is and that the idea of getting out of it is actually very dangerous for most people. It’s what kills countless wonderful goals dead in their tracks.

The concept of the comfort zone was first described by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the 1980s in his work on Flow. Flow is the state when your ability to do a task exactly matches the challenge of the task. His definition of the comfort zone is the area around flow where you are either expanding your abilities by stretching just beyond flow, or consolidating your learning by repeating what you have just learned until it becomes natural to you.

Outside the comfort zone are two danger areas – one, where you have gone too far beyond what you know and you are in danger of burning out or of stressing yourself to the point of breaking, either physically or mentally or both. This is called the Burn Out Zone. You can go here, but you can’t stay very long before the stress becomes too much and all learning stops. This is where people have heart attacks or strokes or nervous breakdowns! Why would anyone suggest you want to set your goals out here?

The other zone, which is arguably even more dangerous, is the Rust Out Zone. This is where you don’t take any risks, you don’t stretch beyond what you are absolutely certain of and all you do is repeat the same “safe” behaviour until you die of boredom! This is the zone of drop outs, alcoholics and drug addicts and depression and its often the place where people go after they’ve been hurt in the burn out zone!

So I think what people are really saying when they say get out of your comfort zone is “get out of the rust out zone”! The trouble is that’s not what people hear. So they set themselves tasks that are way out in the burn out zone and then beat themselves up when they don’t achieve them. Do this too often and they fall into the rust out zone where they feel safe but depressed. They feel like failures.

So your ideal state is actually right in the comfort zone! Its where your ability to learn is not compromised by stress or boredom. Surfing the wave between learning and consolidation you are at your most brilliant and most extraordinary!

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