• Who is your boss?

    Anyone who knows me realizes that, well, “I talk to everyone”. The hardest place for me to stand is an elevator. Convention says you don’t talk to people in an elevator, goodness, I find that challenging. But to my shock, and glee, the other day someone said "hello" on the elevator. I felt like I had won the lottery!! I returned the greeting, and then I asked "how are you doing?" Well, this young man said "Honestly, I hate Covid. I am so ready ready to get back to normal!"

    Now I wanted to get into the weeds with him about it, but he got off on his floor. It would have been odd to follow him (not to mention rather creepy). So sitting in an outdoor park near my residence, I decided to do a completely unscientific poll. Respondents were asked to identify their mindset towards the next step in what I have come to call the COVID Chapter. The poll found that people fall into four distinct categories:

    45% Vaccinated and ready for a return to normal

    25% Vaccinated but not ready for a return to normal

    25% Unvaccinated and ready for a return to normal

    5% Unvaccinated but not ready for a return to normal

    Now I guess a major element of this question is: What exactly is ‘normal’? For the purpose of our brief discussion today, let’s just say it means ‘returning to past practice”. That past practice might be returning to the office, the classroom, the boardroom, or just going about a routine of life that seems ‘normative’.

    I am sure the above figures are different region by region and sector by sector, but if we all give it a good think – it’s probably pretty spot on. So what is stopping people? Well that was also part of my question (remember I talk to everyone).

    As we got to the heart of it… well it seems to be one simple thing…. “Fear”. Fear of the unknown. Fear of when this will be over? Fear of what ‘normal’ will look like? Fear of whether we will be shut down again and repeat this ‘chapter’ as a new endless loop?

    Now those of you who are in One to One Coaching with me, or who are part of our Group Coaching Mastermind Community, know that a big element of what I teach is that there is a big difference between a ‘feeling’ and a ‘choice’. I can feel like not getting out of bed in the morning because I don’t see the sunshine, but I have to make the choice to get out of bed or I will miss out on my day (not to mention my job).

    So here is a phrase to repeat a lot “Fear is a feeling. Afraid is a choice”

    Fear is outside your control, but staying Afraid is a choice you do control.

    Sometimes we latch on to fear because of something we sense or experience that we did not originate (e.g. being told that we can’t go into the office anymore). So we find ourselves filled with uncertainty, having to adjust, and even isolation associated with not seeing colleagues and friends. We didn’t make the decision, and now all of those emotions culminate into fear. A lot of that is out of our control. But now is where the ‘control part’ begins.

    You can choose to stay ‘afraid’ (meaning to give into the feeling) or you can choose to be ‘our own boss”. A boss sets the tone… so make the choice to set the tone of what you want to do with the feeling (which has come from the circumstance) you are faced with. Circumstances aren’t your boss. Feelings aren’t your boss. The past isn’t your boss. As I often teach, Circumstances are neither negative nor positive. The feeling can be, but the choice we make definitely is. Process the fear (over time), don’t let it be your boss.

    So how do we process the fear?

    Well here is one step in the process - Name it, so you can Claim it. Claim it, so you can Tame it.

    Now, admittly this sounds easier than it sometimes can be, but its important. Name the fears. Write them down. Be honest in your journal (yes you should have one guys). Just like you write down the balance on your bank accounts, or figure out the costs on your new hobby, and write it down somewhere, well do that with what fear is trying to be 'your boss'. This simple process is 'claiming' the fear. Now, its time to "Tame it" and that is a day to day process of looking for it. Becoming aware of when you sense the fear, or feel the fear, or are exposed to the fear in someway. When you do, then Choose, not to give into it, not to allow it, to become your boss!

    I would love to tell you more about how to do that. Why not consider a short connect call, or make the choice and join either One to One Coaching with me, or becoming part of our Group Coaching Mastermind Community. Isn’t it time for you to be ‘Your Own Boss”?

    Remember, it is possible to start living in a way today that will help you thrive tomorrow - so let's #makeitso!

  • What's Next?

    So… what’s next ? And then there's usually a pause. "...especially during a global pandemic?"

    The reason I get this question is because so many people seem to be contemplating a change. Maybe in their lifestyle, living arrangements, daily routine and even in their own career. And the daunting problem with change is that it often travels with its cousin - risk. You can't make changes in life without there being some sort of risk.

    Trust me. I know all about it.

    I've made my share of changes, some after necessity (like better habits following a heart attack in 2014) and others that could be described as risky - none bigger perhaps than when I left the security of a successful job in the non profit sector to launch a private practice.

    I remember all the Blank stares.

    The reality is you can't eliminate risk but you can manage it. And you manage risk by shrinking it. Think of it this way: A career or life change doesn't have to be a leap over the Grand Canyon. It can be managed to be more like a leap over a mud puddle. Sure, you might not make it and you'll get wet and muddy in the process, but you won't plunge thousands of feet below.

    There was a strong possibility that private practice wouldn't work. So, I decided to shrink the gap of the risk. And I want to help those of you considering a change to do the same.

    It's why I've created a free assessment called the Risk Calculator - drop me an email. This assessment will give you a red light, yellow light or green light in terms of where you are, as well as giving you practical next steps on how to manage the risk of each stage.

    Most of all, it will help you avoid being stuck in a place where your season has come to an end. Because, sometimes, the riskiest decision isn't to change.

    Sometimes the riskiest decision is to not change.

    Why not consider jumping on a call with me and we can discuss what's next together - Let’s #Makeitso

  • “Duh moment”

    I entered the restaurant’s rest room and found that the automated lights weren’t working. So, I used the flashlight on my phone to use the facilities. After washing my hands with the phone leaning against the wall, I picked it up to find the door handle and in so doing, found the manual light switch on the wall near the door.  Ever had one of those moments?

    It is a “Duh moment”, but also (come on now be honest), one of those moments you quickly look around to make sure no one saw you! (It’s true and you know it).

    So often a “Duh moment” just makes us chuckle, but they really should make us pause. What presumption did we make in them? What requirement did we demand from it? What lesson can we learn from it? I would like to make the suggestion that a “Duh Moment” can lead us to three persuasive questions that actually give us a lot of insight, and maybe even a chance for an opportunity.

    First, “what was I thinking?”  Now, I mean that question in the best way possible. It’s about asking: “what was on my mind at the moment?” and not “what a door knob I am!” See going in and presuming an automatic light, was a ‘ritual move’, which usually transpires when we have other things on our minds. It is like walking down the stairs, we rarely ‘think’ one foot in front of the other, we just do it (ritual) as we are checking our phones, talking with a person, or tackling a problem. So when a “Duh moment” happens ask yourself “what was I thinking?”  It will give you insight into what you presume, or take for granted in life. It will help you materialize what you “ritualize” and may even lead to some appreciation (or at the very least humility).

    Second, when a “Duh moment” happens, ask “how did I react?” My reaction at the lights was to laugh at myself, rather audibly to be honest. In fact, I chuckled about it all the way back to my seat, and even told the waitress, who probably thought: “well this strange guy won’t be leaving me much of a tip.” How we react gives us an insight into our self-perception on what matters, and can even be a barometer on our stress level or temperment.

    Third, make sure to ask, “so is it an opportunity?” Sometimes the “Duh moment” can be a chance to offer a suggestion, create an innovation, or even start a trend. I watched as a few guys followed and exited the bathroom (that sounded creepy - but you know what I mean). I wasn’t the only one who experienced the ‘surprize’ of no automated lights. Some were laughing, others not so much, and the vast majority – well I guess they are not as “Duh moment” prone as me. But it got me thinking about ways to prevent the surprize, or even remedy it.

    So, next time you have a “Duh moment”, for sure laugh about it, but also, maybe consider asking three insightful questions:

    “What was I thinking?” 

    “How did I react?”

    “So is it an opportunity?”

    Often the lessons you learn are determined by how you look at “ Duh”

    By the way, life in general gives us lots of opportunities to ask insightful questions that can lead not only to deeper self understanding but also greater success. Why not consider jumping on a call with me and Let’s #Makeitso

  • Choosing

    Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte and entire fall menu is back today, which means the season of crunchy leaves and cozy sweaters is almost here!

    While it’s true we don’t have as much control over our lives as we think we do, we can often overlook the control we do have.

    As a result, we can get stuck and stay in a situation for far too long — forgetting we have more choices than fear and insecurity say we do.

    This week, I have found myself asking many of my clients one, overarching question: “What am I choosing?”

    I ask them to question:

    Am I choosing fear over peace?

    Am I choosing security over growth?

    Am I choosing what’s familiar over what might be my new future?

    Am I choosing to be mistreated or am I choosing boundaries?

    Am I choosing my excuses or am I pushing through the barriers?

    Am I allowing what others “might think” dictate what I do?

    Am I willing to be misunderstood in order to stand for what’s right?

    There are times when we have to bravely say, “Enough is enough. I can choose a better path, a better way.”

    Sure, even in that choice, there are a multitude of outcomes which are simply out of our control.

    But even in that, the pathway is one of our choosing.

    And to be clear, fresh pathways have taller grass because it’s the road less traveled.

    But wouldn’t you want to walk a path of your own choosing?

    You see, the reality is that we all walk the path of our own choosing. It’s why, more often than we think, we need to pause, be honest with ourselves and ask:

    “What am I choosing?”

    If I can help you with finding the most life giving answer - why not email me.

  • Procrastination vs Productivity

    This past week via our website, I recieved a question from a Blog reader - How do you effectively deal with procrastination?

    Well, I was tempeted to put off writing an answer (get the joke )  :) but decided to reply right away to their email and write this post.

    As you know, it’s way too easy to fall into an infinite pool like scrolling through twitter, browsing instagram, viewing Netflix and the like. Often we find ourselves doing it without really thinking, and then before we know it, an hour’s gone and we’re feeling terrible about ourselves.

    But there’s something we can do about this - when we notice ourselves doing something like scrolling through Twitter or Instagram, we can ask ourselves “What do I actually want to be doing right now?”

    In some cases, the answer might well be “I want to be aimlessly scrolling through Twitter”, in which case continue my good friend. You’re winning because you’re being intentional about how you spend your time.

    But in most other cases, I suspect the answer might be “I probably don’t want to be scrolling through Twitter right now. Instead I want to be writing my daily journal or tackling my laundry basket or finishing that task I am putting off”. And then, having had that thought, we’d be 10x more likely to stop scrolling Twitter and instead do the thing we actually want to do.

    I really like this tactic because it reminds us that what we do with our time is entirely within our own control.

    “I just can’t stop myself from going on Twitter” is a myth. It’s not a drug. We can simply choose to not waste time on it, if that’s what we want. Sometimes we just need a little nudge, to remind ourselves that we’re in control.

    Sorta comes down to Productivity Choice that I teach and enjoy - the Pilot, the Plane and the Engineer.

    The Pilot’s job is to set our course, our goals, our direction. He (or she) decides what we’re doing on a given day based on our internal desires and external realities. We should probably spend around 10% of our time being the pilot. I like to be the pilot at the start of each day, during my morning coffee when I take a birds-eye view of my day and figure out what to do for the rest of it.

    For the rest of the day, we are The Plane. We’re executing on the orders of the pilot. That involves (a) taking off safely, (b) not deviating from our course, and (c) landing safely. When it comes to getting stuff done, most of us struggle with the taking off part of this, and even more of us struggle to stay on-course and not get distracted while we’re doing the work. We should probably spend around 85% of our time being The Plane.

    For the final 5% of the time, we’re The Engineer. The engineer’s job is to create and maintain systems that keep the pilot organised, and plane fuel-efficient. Things like maintaining a to-do list, calendar and sensible file storage system. But also things like improving our typing speed, which for almost all work done on a computer, speeds us up significantly.

    The pilot makes sure our output is useful, the plane how much outputting we’re doing, and the engineer helps make the process more time-efficient.

    Tackling procrasination comes down to choosing the hat you wish in that moment and being intentional about it. I would love to share more - including tools to help you choose the correct hat - why not drop me an email and lets get on a coaching call.