• SIX MONTHS INTO 2021

    It is only been six months into 2021, and I think we can all agree, even just six months in, “what a year it has been!”

    From pandemic to puttering in pyjamas while, day after day, working from home. From closures, and stay at home orders, to Zoom meetings and mask regulations. From vaccines to virtual everything! The pandemic of 2020 (which has lingered into now) was devastating for some, and bad for all.

    Human beings the world over have spent a year and a half longing to “get back” to the lives they once lived. But backward is never the right direction to move in life. Some parts of our old lives are well worth recovering and rediscovering, but others should be replaced and re–invented.

    So let me during this blog, not spend time reviewing what has been, or even yearning for what was, but rather challenging a little (or as I say to my clients – a gentle nudge) to simply “lean in to what can be.” To paraphrase Jack Canfield (of Chicken Soup fame) when life does not go well “there’s a four letter word you must use……..next!”

    So what’s next?  Well that is up to you. Sure the timing of vaccine rollouts, opening procedures and even statutory regulations is going to influence and impact a lot, but what is next for you? Let me say that I think, given my 24 years’ experience in coaching, mentoring and counselling, that I think it comes down to Two (I bet you thought I was going to say 3), no, only Two Pivotal Choices.

    1. Backwards or Forwards

    “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.“ (Aristotle)

    With the right habits, anyone can dramatically increase results in almost any field of endeavour. If I choose the habit of no snacks after supper, and healthier choice of meals, and a hefty walk every day, I am destined to lose some weight. But the habit can either be focussed on forward movement or a backward trajectory.

    Maybe we wish things were ‘normal again’, that is a judgement based on backward viewing. I might choose the habits mentioned above to lose weight, but the question is, do I tell myself I want the weight I had “before”, or do I have an objective that is better based on the reality of what is now, and what I want moving forward?

    I have always loved the quote: “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” (Jim Rohn) Where are your Habits taking you? Are you into backward glances (just want it the way it once was) or are you forward looking (seeking a new horizon for what can be in the new reality given the ever renewing person you are today).

    Ask yourself – are you doing what you are doing today, different then before? Are to tackling what you are tackling today with the goal of just “getting back to where you were?” or are “going to where you would like to be?” They are very different goals, very different landing spots, and very different habits.

     2. Achievable or Alignment

    When my nephew was 7 years of age he was tackling the task of tying his shoes. He practiced, and practiced and practiced. He had (and even has today) great habits. One day, after an absence of a bit over a month from interaction with him, I asked him how tying his shoe was going. He gave me a frustrated annoyed look, like only a 7 year old can, and said “I know how to do that, now I am learning to ride a bike.” He had mastered one, and now had moved on to another.

    Brendon Burchard says, “what’s achievable is not always what’s important.” Often we set a goal because we know we can. What I admired about my nephew then (and now) is that he is constantly in a “what’s next” mode (I’d like to think he gets that from his uncle). When I asked him about his shoe tying abilities, he didn’t pause and show off that he could, he instead, stated the reality that this was done, and now a new horizon was ahead. He had aligned himself with a new objective, a new talent, a new set of habits and principles that were going to get him toward where he wanted to be, even if he didn’t know fully where that was. To be in alignment does not mean that we fully know what is ahead, we just know what the motion is that will get us there. It’s a constant self-improvement, expansion of tools and enhancement of abilities that align, or set us up, for the success and opportunities going forward.

    The six month mark of 2021, gives us an opportunity to set the achievable, or to sail with what is in alignment. We can just accept what can be returned to, or we can take the time to look at the next challenge and align ourselves with that reality.

    Yes we want things to open up, firm up and steady up, those are achievable, so let’s do them out of habit like a 7 year old would a shoe needing to be tied. Let’s align ourselves with embarking toward what is ahead… with a new goal, new threshold, (new bike), new world that you want to conquer, explore (ride) and make your own? Not just where we have been (we have proved that is achievable), but a new reality which we can make alignable to who we want to become.

    One of the reasons I formed Phoenix Life Coaching Canada was to help clients get “unstuck so they can lead lives they have never imagined.” This is possible by surrendering what is “back there”, which often gets us stuck, and accepting a Model of Thought committed not to the circumstances but the results, and developing a series of practices rooted in leaning in one direction – forward  - and with one objective - #tomakeitso.

    To be honest, I am very excited for the next six months. Not just because I can go back to patio dining, in store shopping, walking without a mask, watching a movie in a theatre, and maybe even being in a boardroom with others. That is all achievable. I am energized about the next six months because of what is forward and what I am aligning myself to - make it so!

    For details on how we can help contact us 


  • Five Benefits to a Mastermind Group

    The concept of Mastermind Groups was first discussed by Napoleon Hill in his famous book, "Think And Grow Rich." In his research of the most successful people of his time, Hill found that a key difference that made people successful was being involved in Mastermind Groups.

    Masterminding involves bringing people together, often with a Coach, with different experiences and ideas to collaborate, brainstorm, and provide support to help the participants achieve their goals. It connects you with others in their success, makes you accountable for achieving your goals, and provides you with your own personal experienced “life board of directors”.

    Here Five Benefits to a Mastermind Group:

    1. Experience breakthroughs in your personal and professional life

    An excellent mastermind group has the capacity to improve and grow the lives of each member. And as one member experiences breakthroughs in their life, other members may also benefit directly or indirectly. The adage “a rising tide lifts all boats” is very much apt in this situation.

    2. See problems much clearer

    This is two-fold. First by verbalizing and sharing your problems with others, the problem automatically seems a lot more lighter than before. And with the help of others who are, unlike you, unburdened by bias and baggage, the solution is much easier to find.

    Second, the explainer effect comes into play. As you explain problems to someone else, you oftentimes see the solution present itself in front of you. Mainly because as you discuss the problem, you also dissect the details within. And as you do so, you unavoidably make new analysis and come up with a better appreciation of the problem.

    3.  Be more accountable for your own success

    In a mastermind, you share your dreams and goals to the other participants. Through the use of proper discourse, and with inputs from other members, and the expert guidance of a coach leading it, your commitment to your success is further cemented. Also the more people are aware of your plans, the higher your commitment becomes. These people become your accountability partners, assigned to guide and remind you to keep on the path of your dreams. But ultimately though, your success is in your own hands.

    4.  Increase your mental and physical well-being

    It has been observed that successful mastermind groups tend to have members with a healthier mental state. By achieving goals together as a group and spending time with people you are comfortable with brings positivity to your overall mood, or as some call it, "a success mindset". Being part of an awesome group can also give additional energy to members and improve their physical state.

    5.  Develop more positive habits

    Perhaps the most important benefit you can get from a mastermind is replacing old, self-limiting habits with new, success-driven habits. This is where having a good coach leading the Mastermind is crucial and a key. This is not an easy process, nor is it quick. But through repetition and practice, and with the help of other members in the group, it is very much doable. And its effects, long-term.

     

    Often called "the godfather of self growth"; Jim Rohn said it best, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. This is no doubt the very foundation of what a mastermind group is.

     By joining you not only help others become better, you can also be rewarded yourself handsomely for it by your own growth - contact us for details

    Make it So


  • Stuck in Busy?

    I’m guessing you probably feel busier than ever. Almost everyone I speak to says they do. We were dealing never-ending list of responsibilities in our personal and professional lives before Covid Chapter of 2020-2021, and now it’s even more complicated and intense.

    So, here’s the question: why do you feel so busy?

    I would like to say there are three big reasons

    You Don’t Turn Off Anymore

    The uncertainty of tomorrow has forced all of us into a state of constant mental chaos, asking questions for which there are no clear answers and having to change plans regularly. The mental load you carry as a result means it’s hard to turn off your brain or get away from the many questions and the changing landscape. Even if you’re not working as many hours as you were a year ago, your mind is always working. And when your mind is always working, you’re working.

    The Office Has No Walls

    When some of us where starting off in our careers we dreamed of a corner office with large windows and of course walls. No more cubicles or desks out in the open. But no matter our rank, in reality right now, none of us have an office with walls.

    The working from home shift has significantly disrupted the boundaries between work and life in a profound way. Kitchen and Dining room tables have become “the office” and the first and last thing you glance at every morning and night. But long before the pandemic, your pocket was probably increasingly becoming your office anyway. You used to go to the office, but technology made it possible for the office to come to you. Between your laptop, tablet, and phone, work follows you everywhere. It’s a constant feeling of “your work is never really done”. People are constantly saying they are “feeling like they’re never really on and never really off.” Sadly, in fact, tragically, they are correct.

    Multi-tasking has become a “Gospel”

    A few days ago a colleague was sharing how many “platforms” he was on for his business. It seemed his day was constantly checking email, reviewing twitter trends, ensuring his Instagram was up to date, friending on Facebook, listing on LinkedIn, toggling projects on Slack and pausing to answer texts and take phone calls. He then said “I actually don’t seem to get any work done.”

    I think all of us have had days when we have put in eight or ten hours and feel like we have not accomplished anything. Or days when we look up at the clock and want to yell “Liar” when it tells us that the day is almost over, and our in box seems more like a colony of multiplying rabbits.

    The sad thing about this, besides the fact that all of us know its happening, is that we have accepted it. Multi-tasking has become a way of life. But “the vaccine” for this is to create deep periods of uninterrupted focus in your day. “The Power of Full Engagement” was a game changer for me when I read it. Our brains need to focus to produce quality work. I know it’s taken me some time, but it has meant time-blocked space in my calendar where my notifications are off and I accept no or very few interruptions. I make an appointment with "me" and I keep it.

    What Should You Do?

    So now comes the point in this article where many of are saying “Amen”, or “I hear you”, or “Been there, doing that, living the nightmare”. Obviously, we don’t want to, but we get drawn into it again and again.

    There are some strategies I’ve found that have helped me greatly and helped many others. No they are not “gimmicks”, or “magic beans”, they are actually things I use, and others do, to help ease the reality we are engaging, and yet enjoy the life we can be living.

    If you’re looking for a solution to chronic busyness and stress, let me invite you to sign up for my email list today.

    I am also going to be offering opportunities on how to become more productive and a chance to join a live coaching call with me and my “Phoenix Family”. It will be about joining others who will all be focusing on getting more productive all week, dealing with stress, anxiety and balance. Its time to get “unstuck” and know the “success” of a healthy work life, and having a real life too.

    Here’s’ the link to connect for some one to one coaching.

    Make It So!


  • Why I do what I do?

    “Stress is something you need to address. If you don’t make this a priority, you could be back in here with a final heart problem.”

    This is what my doctor said after a heart attack scare landed me in the ER and ICU for a few days back in 2014.

    Why did I end up in the ER? Let me back up in my story . . .

    I was working in a highly stressful role with a major institution. I had overseen two major building projects, was overseeing significant growth in services, helped implement an expanding staff base, and guided the office through one of the toughest economies our country has ever faced.

    I was stressed. I constantly felt like I was shortchanging one priority to serve another.

    Even though I had climbed high on the ladder of success, I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I had a clear vision for my life, and living with this overwhelm and stress wasn’t part of it.

    Sound familiar?

    .........Are you someone who’s overwhelmed, stressed, and struggling under the weight of your growing demands?

    .........Are you making little to no progress on your life goals?

    .........And do you feel like you’re dropping important life priorities—like your health, faith, family, and friends—because “work stuff” is too much?

    I want you to know: I’ve been there too. But fortunately, I’m not there today.

    After the heart attack scare, I knew I had to make changes in my life. I couldn’t keep drifting through life, responding to the stress of my leadership. I decided to take my life and leadership into my own hands.

    I used my educational background in Psychology and Spirituality, the skills as a administrator and people leader, and my 20 plus years of experience counselling, mentoring and coaching others and began the search.

    What I learned in the areas of leadership and professional development during those years became the crux of what is now Phoenix Life Coaching Canada. We serve overwhelmed, successful and “stuck” individuals and leaders because I once was one.

    Let me ask you to pause here and to imagine your ideal future. If you’re like most of my readers and clients, your ideal future probably revolved around values of greater margin, better health, deep relationships, and lasting success.

    When I paused, and I asked myself that question I too had those same hopes. I tried all sorts of approaches, listened to every podcast and read lots of books, talked to all kinds of “gurus” who promised me a “magic bean” and became frustated. It wasn't until one day I spoke with someone at the Institute of Coaching through Harvard University, that I first heard about, and then went on to learn, become certified in, and implement in my life the idea, of a Model of Thought, that was a game changer for me. This idea changed the trajectory of my leadership. Up until then, I was overwhelmed, stressed, and caving under the pressures. I felt stuck! 

    This was until I discovered . . . The Model of Thought.

    It’s a simple idea, but it’s incredibly counter-cultural to what’s taught today. In today’s culture, many preach a message that I, and others call, The Hustle Fallacy. It’s the idea that if you just work harder, you’ll accomplish more. But if you keep following this fallacy, your limited time and energy will cause you to shortchange other, more important, areas of life like your family and your health.

    In the above you are being led by your circumstances, and from that you are assigning thoughts, feelings and actions to make your circumstances right or wrong. But, what happens too, is that after a while, these choices make you lose sight of your results, or at the very least, alter them often towards an unhealthy conclusion. So this is where the Model of Thought comes in.

    By being aware of what is guiding us - results or circumstances - and then choosing to change your thoughts, feelings and actions accordingly, you change your entire outlook, and as many of my clients will tell you, your happiness factor too.

    But let me state it bluntly, its more than just a "mindset thing", it is about a process of re-wiring what is important (values), how you live it (goals), and how you 'make it so' (plans) type of thing. Its not overnight, but it is a set of tools... and once you start mastering them.. you see the impact right away!

    I want to help you experience The Model of Thought. 

    ......If you are feeling stuck at work, in life, at home ?

    ......If you are feeling like success is something you once knew but not now?

    ......If a relationship seems strained and not what it was before?

    ......If the next step in your career, in your life, or in your passion is a mystery?

    ......If the current Covid-19 chapter has turned things upside down for you?

    ...................Then let me show you the tools, and how to apply them to your life, through one to one coaching. Those who have done so in the past, they want family life comfortable, they want work successful, they want life enjoyable, they want their days less stressful

    One of the reasons I formed Phoenix Life Coaching Canada was to help clients get “unstuck so they can lead lives they have never imagined.” This is possible by surrendering what is “back there” which often gets us stuck, and accepting a Model of Thought committed not to the circumstances but the results, and developing a series of practices rooted in leaning in one direction – forward  - and with one objective - #tomakeitso.

    I am dedicated to showing you the simple, practical, hands on steps to getting unstuck and how you can use The Model of Thought, and apply it to your life in a step by step, measurable, practical, outcome based format. Why? Well because it has worked for me!

    So, - let’s Make it So! - Drop me an email


  • Our Story

    I was chatting with a friend about our experiences of the COVID pandemic. My friend wisely noted that he had been telling himself a particular story of what this year had been like.

    The story he tells himself and others, emphasizes the pain and the struggle of his COVID experience (which is real), while often forgetting the good work he had been able to accomplish in the midst of these challenges. He recognized the need to adjust his personal narrative to better capture the full experience, the hardships AND the successes.

    Our conversation got me thinking about the stories that shape and define each of us: culturally, communally, as families and as individuals. These narratives have power. They inform what we remember, how we envision ourselves, our communities, and how we interact with the world.

    Like my friend, I think we also need to critically examine the stories we tell. Often this story impacts how we meet our goals and whether or not we are impacted by circumstances, or guided by results.

    This is where the Model of Thought that we teach has a real impact. Its more than mindset - its a tool which tackles thoughts, actions, feelings and results and insulates them against circumstances (such as our story) which attempt to ‘get us stuck’ in the muddle of life. One client calls the Model of Thought - “the auger” 

    “The auger” drills into the issue that might be causing us to be “stuck” and gives us access to what we need to experience “success” : it ensures our thoughts, feelings, actions can create an intentional result to affect change which concludes in success.

    This week, let us consider how we are both listeners and participants in the story we tell…. and lets ponder how to use “The Auger” to “Make it so”

    Want to learn more -drop me a message 

    Let's Make it So