My free daily newsletter starts today. If you’ld like to see what I’m learning, doing and presenting, just sign up by sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org and receive the link to at least one new thought each day.
Today’s idea will be about starting and keeping new goals.
Today, I’m starting to prepare for next year. It’ll be the most ambitious year of my life. I have a lot to do just to prepare for 2011! I’ll let you know more soon.
Steve Martin has a great comedy routine where you can get out of any difficult situation by just saying “I forgot”. If you rob a bank, just say “I forgot it was illegal”.
I have found that when you make a lot of positive changes in your life they start to take over and when you look back you realize that you’ve forgotten to do some of the negative things in your life. You forgot to be dependent on that thing that used to drive you, you forgot to tell yourself you couldn’t do that thing you feared before. Sometimes it really is OK to say “I forgot” and be glad about it.
According to George Carlin, Thomas Raynesford Lounsbury said: “It never ceases to surprise me at the infinite capacity of the human mind to resist the introduction of useful knowlege.” My idea is that people do have an extrememly low retention rate for new and useful information.
Here are some examples of groups trying to get around this obstacle:
- The University of Connecticut are changing their approach to teaching students: http://advance.uconn.edu/1997/970912/09129710.htm
- The “Head First” computer books by the O’reilly publishers use images, puzzles, conversational language and emotion to get the reader to have a greater connection with the material in order to increase retention.
- Anthony Robbins gets his audience to move and to act on his advice during the presentation in order to make the activities practiced instead of just heard. He claims the sitting/bored state does not enable retention.
- A mathematition that spoke for TED uses real-life examples instead of just thoery to get his students thinking and discussing instead of following instructions.
- Another TED speaker compared the classroom environment to the industrial age where people were told what to do and were not expected to think.
- Active learning has been around since the time of Socrates: http://www.vcu.edu/cte/resources/tlc/2_2_active_learning.htm
If you’re alive, you’re still learning and it’s important for you to use techniques to increase your retention and habits of putting the information to use. Using techniques like these and others, a Life Coach can speed up your ability to move from information to retention to use to habit getting you measureable results.
|We are what we consistently do;
|excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.
Another reason people who need a life coach might be resistant is the idea of control. A person might believe that they would be told what to do or have to follow the coach’s suggestions and thus would lose some control over their life. Nothing could be further from the truth. A coach suggests and enables, but never forces or drives the client in a particular direction. When I’m helping someone, they’ve got ownership of both the responsibility for their actions and the decisions for what they should do. I’ve got to give you the tools and the ideas and to work with you for what you can discover by talking through your problems, but your life is always your own.
When we’ve been consistent and we’ve been pushing and exceeding our limits, there comes a time for rest and renewal. If we can recognize this time, we can make the most of it and come back to our tasks refreshed and ready for more. If we keep pushing and ignore the opportunity, we can burn out and be in a bad position when work becomes necessary.
Try to notice when your opportunities come up and take advantage of them. Our lives have enough struggle without adding to it with unnecessary concerns.
Just occasionally, try an experiment and try to listen to someone who is talking to you and really understand them. Not just the meaning of the words, but why they have come to say what they are saying. Try to avoid immediately following the instinct of providing a solution or problem with their assertions. You may find that instead of judging or contradicting them that you’ll see the situation in a new light – the way that they do. Every person has something valuable in the way they look at things and if we immediately discard their ideas because they differ with ours we may miss the opportunity to understand the greater reasons behind what they say.
I believe the number one reason a person considering a life coach wouldn’t hire one is because of a fear of personal change. Ironically, a person that wants to make their life change does not want to change themselves. This is exactly opposite to the way life actually works. A large number of philosophers and succesful people attribute their success to their ability to change themselves usually with the help of a third party. A person imagining a bad outcome to this behavior thinks that they will become an unrecognizable person that they wouldn’t like to be. In fact, the difference that people experience through almost any change is a better, stronger person and people change through the process of a normal life on almost a daily basis. Having a hand in your own changes and pointing yourself in a direction you desire will give you the best chance to reach your goals and become the person you would like to be.
Being aware of this concern, I will not push my ideas for change on you. I will suggest ways of thinking about issues that may cause you to come up with your own ideas, but you are always in charge.
Each of the posts in this series have a common theme. They are bad reasons not to hire a life coach and the root cause of the decision is driven by fear. Everyone does not need a life coach, but if you do please do not allow fear to drive your decision.
If you started a new job and you were given an unfamiliar task and were unable to determine on your own a good course of action, what would you do? Wouldn’t you reach out to fellow employees and seek knowledge from them? I understand that some would have specialized knowledge and some would be in a better position to help, but wouldn’t they be the ones to consult? On the other hand as an employee if you had knowledge to impart and perspective to give wouldn’t you volunteer to help a struggling coworker?
At some level in life, we’ve all had our challenges, we all have knowledge and perspective to provide to others and can help each other even if it is only to hear someones troubles, let them release some pain, and share some understanding. We all need someone sometimes and life coaching can be a wonderful way to provide that presence.
I have repeatedly asked the question “How great can we be?”. When we start our journey of reaching higher goals or creating lasting change in our lives, we start with a vision of where we could go and what we could become. How high can we aim for? What is the limit of human potential? Many would say unlimited, but that is avoiding the question to an extent. Some would say we can never reach perfection and that Jesus meant just to try to be great and to improve when he said “Be perfect, as I am perfect”, but what if we truly could? What if we had the ability not only to discern what we should be to be perfect, but had the ability to get there as well? Shouldn’t we try? Wouldn’t it be worth it to put all our facilities and resources toward this lofty goal especially if on the way we became better and more enabling to those around us?