Personal statement

As a coach I enjoy digging into new things, reading about the ideas, strategies and philosophies of those who have written their ideas down before me.

What’s new? Is of interest. And, I know that the time I spend clarifying these things for myself and my teams is the most impactful work that I will do.

The slowing down and thinking and writing, the parts that are not always as fun are what works. For me.

At the start of the new year we look for new things: challenges, philosophies, topics to attack. What about those things that we had on our list in other Januarys? Did all of the boxes get checked? Are those things no longer inspiring, didn’t work or just became tarnished with the passing of winter into spring?

Maybe all of these things, or maybe I’m just really good at starting things…

“What does that look like?” is the question that has moved me forward as a coach more than any bigger questions of meaning, other people’s frameworks or philosophies.

The second most important question is what “what doesn’t that look like?”, or what’s not it? Once again, providing myself with examples, customizing the bigger thoughts, is what makes things move forward.

Education is free. When I take the time to learn and study what matters, globally and then make it fit for me…a stitch here, a tuck here, a little bit of expansion there… everything is customizable. I’m going to go build something. For me.

When All You Have is a Hammer, Everything is a Nail

Multi-tools are cool. Stuffed into a stocking, offered as a gift, kept in the glove box, just in case.

Oh, the things you can do with a screwdriver, wrench, corkscrew and nail clipper all-in-one! Whatever the problem, it’s got the tool for you…as long as you have a “standard” problem. And even better if it’s a small problem.

If your need is metric, or bigger than a nose hair scissor, or requires a hammer, the tool in the pocket of your backpack likely won’t do it.

For your problem you might need a 5/16-in socket, or a sledgehammer, those things are not in the glove box. Keep that multi-tool handy, there are lots of things that can help you with. Just don’t think that you can toss it in your pocket and be all set.

For what you need you should consult your customized toolbox.

If you’ve lived in one room, or remember your first apartment, you know what it’s like to try to open a can without a proper can opener. It’s doable with a knife and a hammer, but not safe, nor especially effective, and you might get shards of metal in your tuna, or glass in your beer.

So, for you Coach, start building a set of tools that will work for you in any circumstance. Perhaps you know you won’t need a sledgehammer, that your style will require a full set of sockets, or that Allen wrenches and needle nose pliers are going to be more important to you. Think about it, and for sure you should develop your skills for when you don’t have the exact to what you need, but you can do better than a one size fits all gadget.

And for sure have vise grips.

Baby Steps

Adults trying new things are a lot like babies learning to walk…stand up, fall down, reach for something to lean on, fall down again…sometimes your legs just wave in the air because you can’t even roll over to try again.

But, you do. They do. Roll over, stand up, fall down…

Some can essentially do a push up before they stand up. How cool is that?

Eventually, most babies get moving, on their feet.

What’s your method?

Best Practices

So, there is probably a really good way to do the thing that you need to do. Others have done it before, I’m sure, and you can get a lot from their experience.

You can research the best way to do this thing, you can rely on your own experience or you can ask a friend.

In my experience, I find that relying on my own best practices, for that thing or other similar things I’ve done before, is the best way to get a satisfactory result.

If I think about the way I like to do things, the way the best things have worked out for me, I find that there aren’t really an unlimited way to do things…

So, do something, see how it feels when it’s done, redo it, and go from there.

The best way to practice, is to practice.

What’s the How on Who?

It’s about the people. The ones you’ve learned from, those who have learned from you and the ones you haven’t met.

Do you know who you want in your life in the future? Who is the most impactful person you have yet to meet?

What’s with the crazy questions, I hear you ask!?

The Laws of Attraction say that you can bring what you want into your world with strong use of intention. Who do you want to be in your world?

Even if you don’t believe in what some have said is psuedo-science…what if it’s true that your thoughts can impact your future?

I’m in for believing.

What Time is it There?

I live in the Northeastern part of the US and operate in the Eastern Time Zone, usually. This year I’ve spent a lot of time outside of that zone.

The travel is great fun for the most part and meeting people from diverse backgrounds and with really different life experiences from mine is a great opportunity to learn and be learned from.

As I travel, and when I’m home and talking to someone far away, almost always the first question asked or answered is, “what time is it there?” We have a need to know what the other person is experiencing.

Or, is it something else?

If we look to get an idea of where our friend is in the world, physically, then why does it seem so challenging to get people to see another’s perspective emotionally, or see things through their eyes?

“What time is it there?” is not the same as “How are you?”. But, is it more like: “I want to be sure I have all of the facts before I say anything stupid,” or “I care about you and want to know what your day is like?”

It’s probably both. Think about it the next time you ask.

Unnatural

It’s not in most of us to first think of others.

Should we actually put others before ourselves?

What if we simply thought of others’ interests in the same way we think of our own…if we valued interests, opinions and perspectives that didn’t mirror ours exactly?

Sounds simple.

This being outside ourselves takes practice. And, a good practice requires willingness to fail, to test limits and clean up edges.

Instead of starting with, “I/we need to be more empathetic,” how about, I’m going to take a deep breath and see if I can consider another’s perspective one time today.