“David lost his job last year when his firm had to cut back, but it all turned out for the best because he now works for a very large Danish company. This means that he no longer has the daily trek into London (one and a half hours each way), he can work from home and also has an office about ten minutes away. His team is in Denmark and he makes frequent visits.”
I knew David when he was a child and I was a teenager: out parents played bridge. Our mothers still correspond.
Why do we stay in situations that not ideal?
I’m thinking of jobs, relationships (non-romantic ones), neighbourhoods and others. We change our motor cars when they no longer serve us, but we hang onto other parts of our lives way beyond their “sell-by date”.
When life gives us a shove we discover how much better things are on the other side of the change. As with David losing his job.
The thing that most often holds us back is fear: fear of loss, fear of change. We don’t want to disappoint our family, risk our friendships, have others suffer because of our decision.
Will Smith recently explained fear (click here). In his case he joined a group of friends to go tandem sky diving. He concludes that once he was out of the plane the experience was pure bliss. His message is that all good things lie on the other side of fear.
That’s nice! But fear is real and most of us struggle to appreciate the good things that may (or may not) lie on the other side of our fear.
We can’t turn to our family or friends to help us out: they are too intimately involved in the consequences of our decisions. Where do we turn?
Realistically, we all have the inner resourcefulness to overcome the “situations” of life. We may not know it, but think back on the last time life dealt you a curved ball; what did you do to get out of that situation. Yes, you have the resources.
But trying to convince yourself is like thinking in circles – and I recently wrote about how effective that can be.
A coaching environment is there to assist you in finding those resources within yourself, affirming that you can see your way through your decisions. It is also there to help you as you take the steps through your decision. So where to find such a coaching environment? Life coaches charge a high price. What if there was a group of fellow travellers on this path of life that were available in a coaching environment to help you as you help them?
A Coaching Culture Club offers this: a group of people who are learning the coaching skills, imparting their life-wisdom, rooting for each other to become the best person each one is capable of being. As this culture (and skill) of coaching grows around the world, no one need feel disempowered to make the right decision when life is no longer ideal. Everyone can strive to improve their life circumstances on an ongoing basis to live a fulfilled and significant life.
“Come to the edge," he said.
Nothing of significance can be born without major discomfort and disruption.
Read it again!
I recently asked a group of people what they thought their life purpose is and the majority wanted to be significant in one way or another; leave their mark on the world.
I found a life vision for myself through the Personal Growth Journal of Coaching Culture Clubs and the group coaching of Bryanston No 1 Coaching Culture Club. A vision is just that, a picture. To become the significant person I envisage myself to be I have to expect ‘major discomfort and disruption’.
I find it rather ironic that I read this quote the day after telling everyone at Bryanston No 1 Coaching Culture Club that in order to achieve my vision I expect a lot of discomfort, but that I allow my saboteur to rule my life because I’m comfortable as I am right now.
How about you?
Have you answered the question for yourself: what is my life mission?
If you are not already living your life mission,
do you have a picture – a vision – of what your life mission will look like?
If you have this vision, what is stopping you living this vision?
Are you like me, fearful of the ‘discomfort and disruption’ that will overtake your life as you start to become and achieve what is significant for you?
Don’t berate yourself! Most people are fearful of ‘discomfort and disruption’, but know that when you look at the “heroes” you hold up for yourself, they achieved what they achieved to make them your “hero” by working with and working through the ‘discomfort and disruption’ that descended on their life when they started out on their journey.
But also be certain that there are people who look up to you as a “hero” because in your life you have already weather ‘discomfort and disruption’ to achieve something others looks up to your for. So, know that you (and I) have the resilience to weather the ‘discomfort and disruption’ to achieve our vision of fulfilling our life mission.
You are a “hero” to people already because you have withstood ‘discomfort and disruption’. You can again!
Now it is up to us to take the next step ...
I think we all wish we were in control of our circumstances. The truth is that the only thing we are really in control of is our reaction to our circumstances (attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, Brian Tracy, Jennie Finch, Tony Dungy and M J Ashton). Tony Robins said that if we try something and it doesn’t work, then try something else. It that doesn’t work, then try something else. Keep trying until something works. Our circumstances may be outside of our immediate control but we can keep trying something new in reaction to our circumstances until something works. It is our actions that we are in control of.
It does mean that we must be flexible to change according to circumstances and according to what is working for us and what is not working. The very thought of “change” bring about a rush of fear for many people. Change and uncertainty bring about a condition of fear, while focusing on action (activity) and monitoring the outcome brings about a sense of control and certainty.
How then can we act when our natural reaction is fear? The first action is not to be alone. Having an ‘accountability partner’ for your activity, someone you trust and someone who will help you find the courage in yourself to take each next step, is a solid first step to taking control of your reactions (actions) to your circumstances. It is not a surprise that Wikipedia defines an ‘accountability partner’ as “a person who coaches another person”.
Coaching Culture Clubs fills this vacuum in the lives of ordinary people: the need for an ‘accountability partner’ who will coach you into action to take control of the circumstances that arise in your life.
Someone I served with during conscription into the South African National Defense Force in the 1980’s, with whom I maintained a friendship for a while after our “army days” and with whom I reconnected on Facebook recently, wrote on his Facebook timeline:
‘I was asked today "What would your advice be to someone who is inclined to become depressed by the worries of daily life?"
I would agree with William Pulles’ response. I can also see why William would give this response. Since our “army days” William has become an international expert on mine water and has run his own consulting company since 1993. He has consulted to international companies such as Golder Associates. For the past 3 years William lives on and runs a gooseberry farm in Montague in the Western Cape.
"My answer - have a dream. Have a realistic but worthwhile dream that is within your capabilities to achieve."
Not everyone, however, has a dream.
One of the members of the Coaching Culture Club I joined in May 2016 (I’ll call him Stuart - not his real name) is a “realist”. Stuart has a good job that provides for him and his family but he doesn’t particularly like his job. He does some acting in amateur theatre productions to relieve the boredom of his life. When Stuart started on his personal development journey in Coaching Culture Clubs he was quite blunt: he had no dreams. When pressed, it turned out he did not think he was worth it.
This is not uncommon. Many people do not have enough self-worth to have a dream.
Many people do not have enough self-worth to have a dream.
We live in a very competitive society where, to be remembered, you must be number 1. Most people know who Michael Phelps is (most decorated Olympian of all time), but very few people, except Michael, will remember who came second – mostly by a split second – in all the swimming races where Michael won Gold. Even when you are competent, people around you will praise the one who achieves best; your self-worth will take a knock.
The world remembers the winner, not the second placed.
Competition starts in school. No only on the sport field, but in the class room. Did your report card at school say: “can do better!” The achievers are called out and presented with awards. You realise that your best is not good enough; you are not valued like the achievers; your self-worth takes a knock.
To have a dream, often begins with building one’s own self-worth.
To have a dream, often begins with building one’s own self-worth.
I’m happy to report that Stuart – the fellow member in the Coaching Culture Club of which I am a member – (not his real name) eventually created a Vision Board that contained some dreams. But more importantly, Stuart recently reported that he has joined up with a few other people to make music again – to live one of his dreams. And Stuart has written a one-act play that is ready for performance by the theatre group with which he acts. We have seen Stuart’s self-worth grow in a coaching culture environment and with it, his dreams.
So to William Pulles I say: “Show someone how to develop their self-worth and they will find their dream to hold onto.”