For as long as humans have existed on this Earth our species has been studying the stars, planets, galaxies, and other astrological bodies, as well as their (and our) home - the universe. It is so immense that no one actually knows where it begins or ends. In fact...there isn't a person alive who can be certain that it has a beginning or an end, or...if there aren't other universes. Perhaps we live in a cosmos of multiverses.
Yet, there is one thing that I am sure of - you, my blog reading friend, are most certainly the center of your universe. Okay, you may not be the center of MY universe, but...I can tell you this - without you, your universe wouldn't exist.
You see, everything is relative. No one knows what another person's view of reality is. Nor can we be able to fully understand what goes on in another human's (or for that matter, any other living thing's) mind. So, without you, your universe wouldn't exist. It would cease to be. Or, as Monty Python might (also) say..."It is no more."
Just as the age old question asks, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" the same holds true for everything else, including our "universal concepts." In other words...the universe exists for you only because you are in it, can observe or detect it, use your senses to identify it, and call on your (and others') knowledge to "verify" that it is an actual entity.
However, what happens when you're gone? Once YOU'VE ceased to be...does the universe, as you now know it, continue to be "real." A philosophical conundrum? Indeed! But - one that will never be fully answered because of who must answer it.
As we go through life, we are constantly swimming through a sea of concepts and constructs. Many of which are believed by most, some of them believed by many, and a few of them believed by a small number - perhaps just one. So...before you make absolute statements, think about the dilemma each of us faces on a continuous basis, and even then - you may only be right for yourself.
Have fun dissecting things my friends...it certainly is an invigorating exercise - at least it is for one person I know...me!
Life coaching has become a catch-all phrase used by all sorts of people and organizations to promote a better, happier, more productive, and successful life. Some people opt for schools (a relatively new phenomenon) that certify folks to be a coach. Of course...who certifies the schools and, more importantly...who certifies and monitors the certifying agency and the certifiers? It's a question, I, and many others have asked. And, just like any other schools and those who attended them, your teacher could have graduated at the top of his or her class or the bottom - yet no one ever asks. In fact - when was the last time you asked your doctor his or her rank in their graduating class? My guess is...never. That notwithstanding, I tip my hat to the thousands of qualified coaches who help millions of people everyday!
I've been coaching people for many, many, years. So long in fact, that I actually had hair on my head when I started and my beard was all dark! I love helping people and thoroughly enjoy it when I, and they, see real progress in their lives. Getting people to understand who they are and why and how they do things, opens up doors for them that they may never have realized. Finding new success in their lives, whether from a business perspective, materialistically, emotionally, or spiritually, never ceases to make me feel wonderful.
One of the greatest things a life coach can experience is when his or her client moves away from fear, insecurity, low self-esteem, jealousy, anger, hate, and self-sabotaging and self-defeating behaviors, and begins to find the person they were hoping to be their entire life.
I began formally coaching in 1972 when I worked with my employees to help them grow and live a happier, more successful life. Now...I coach and train groups, both large (amphitheaters, huge hotel meeting rooms, and banquet halls), and small (corporate conference rooms, classrooms, and individuals' homes and offices). We're, both my clients and myself, always learning. That's why I see my capacity as a university professor as an extension of my coaching and training. I also love the fact that I continue to, through the magic of computers and teleconferencing, coach people all over this amazing planet.
If you are a life coach or have, or will, use the services of a life coach...I salute you. If you're stuck, feel "down," are looking to reach the potential you've always thought you could, want to be more content, happier, more enlightened, have better relationships, or just want to experience that "balance" so many people seem to have lost...perhaps the guidance of a coach can help. But - ultimately, it's up to you to make sure your journey is fruitful.
We live in a world filled with sensory delights, and yet...we keep insisting on desensitizing ourselves. We have become plugged into things that unplug us from the reality around us. In this video I discuss our situation and what we can do about it. Hopefully - you'll watch it and not just look at it, listen to it and not just hear it, and perhaps...you'll pick up a few intriguing thoughts as well.
I teach, I write, I coach, train, lecture, and...I'm a businessman who finds himself in the negotiation arena on a periodic basis. Of course...I also have a personal life that incorporates many of the same aspects that this post addresses.
In both my personal and business life (just like in yours), communication is what helps us control things, it stimulates our thoughts, makes and sustains relationships, and can create hardships or a "smooth ride." The phrase, "my word is my bond," is one of those lines that has taught us about trust. The concept was in use long before contracts were enacted. In fact...even before there was paper to write them on. "If you don't mean it...don't say it," is another way of expressing the same idea. Now, don't get me wrong - there are things that are said in the heat of the moment that people really DON'T mean, they are words out of anger, hurt, or confusion. That's not what I'm addressing here.
When a person has time to think, the rational mind makes conclusions. It is then that you should be prepared to voice your thoughts - literally, or on paper. knowing that you've thought things through, researched and dissected, understood your strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities, taken mitigating situations into account, and recognized that what you've told (or will tell) people...is what they will often take as "your word" and repeat (if it's necessary - as in negotiations) to others. If you don't really mean what you say, are just saying it to placate someone, our worse...to deceive them - ultimately the "sticky situations" that will result may, in fact, derail your credibility and make you someone that others will refuse to deal with.
Trust is build on "saying what you mean" and "standing behind your word." There are certain behavioral types who will say things just to be liked. They'll volunteer, take on tasks, and say they'll help out...so that you'll like them. However, these same individuals (although they mean well) will often leave another person "hanging" because, in their desire to be liked, they've taken on so much that nothing can possible get done - at least on time and with the results necessary for success.
So my friends...be careful as to how, what, and when, you communicate. Make sure that you word is indeed "your bond." It is always better to say that you can't do something, don't know how to accomplish a task, that you don't have the proper information, or just don't know - than it is to attempt to bluff your way through. Ultimately...it will catch up to you! And...ruin your relationships, your credibility, and your reputation. Stay honest - it's always (as the saying goes) "the best policy." It will lead you down a much clearer, and cleaner, path.
Yes, I know you're wondering what the heck I mean by "The Ultimate Question." No...it's not the meaning of life. We're all aware that life is a cereal, was a great magazine, and has something to do with our existence. Okay, maybe it has a more substantial meaning, but I've addressed that in priors post - see various posts below (both video and written) - and will delve into it further (on a consistent basis) in forthcoming posts.
What I'm taking about is the question that helps you get the answers to so many of your personal situations. Like...when it comes to interacting - speaking with your children, your spouse or partner, your friends, your parents, and anyone else (including yourself) who wants you to come up with a decision or needs guidance - and that includes when you're involved in the buying and selling process as well.
Here's a scenario: you're speaking with a salesperson who is pressing you to buy their new widget. She gives you all the features and benefits; you both establish the price and cost (yes, they're two different things), and go over the warranty. Yet, something's still missing. Perhaps the cost doesn't satisfy you, the color is not "right," or the model isn't exactly what you want. However, you know that the salesperson may be holding something back. The question to ask is: Hold it...I'm not gonna tell you until I give you this other illustration.
You're in a problematic situation with someone you love. He or she has done something that calls for some sort of response or action on your part. But - you aren't sure what to do. Okay...here's the magic question for your loved one AND the salesperson! Ready..."If you were me - what would you do?"
Yep, that's it. And guess what...it works! Ask them what they'd do if they were you and in the situation you're in (which is the same one they're in, except on the opposite side). Ninety-nine out of a hundred times they'll actually tell you what you should do. Even if it means that they'd be advising you to take an action counter to what they'd prefer.
On the rare occasion that they give you an answer like, "I'd do nothing," or "I'd buy it," you can always say..."Hmm, but that's not an option. If you take that off the table, then what would you do?" Eventually they'll come up with an appropriate answer that you can use. And THEY will have "sealed the decision." I know it may sound a bit harsh, but it's really not. In essence, they've just told you how they'd react if they were put in your position.
So my friends - that's the "Ultimate Question!" And the beauty of it is...it will almost always get you the "Ultimate Answer!" Now..."If you were me, would you say you're finished writing?" Yeah...I thought so - see you all later!
We all recognize the fact that life can be very hectic. Many of us are faced with a myriad of problems, questions, chores, duties, obligations, deadlines, mechanical and technical breakdowns, and all the other "regular" (and not so regular) stuff that our everyday existence throws our way.
However...there are some things that we can do to make our lives calmer. Here are 5 things that, hopefully, will help you be more relaxed and calm throughout your day (and night).
1. Understand and implement the "Power of No."
"No" is an amazing word. It can prevent you from doing things that you don't want to do, don't have the time to do, or shouldn't be doing. The problem is that too many people have a hard time saying that little two letter word. Especially when you feel obligated to say "yes." It take a lot of strength to understand that there are certain times when you have to say "no," both for your benefit and for those asking you. Often a "no" will empower you to teach someone that it's their responsibility to do something. Or...perhaps if you say "yes" something else may not get done. Or...maybe, you have to assert yourself and stop being made to always be the "go to person." Say "no" enough and people will stop asking! Of course - you have to understand the "Power of No" and when to us it...just like you have to with any power! But...rest assured; learn how and when to say "No" and you will feel less pressured and much calmer.
2. Understand and implement the "Power of Know."
Yep...that's right - know know! As the saying goes, "Knowledge is King." So...the more you know, the more you'll be in a position to realize how to be calm, how not to be frantic, how to revel in life. Knowledge teaches us what we need to do to fulfill our objectives. If your goal is to be calmer, spend some time reading, learning (not where there are tests involved or tasks you MUST do to get a passing grade), stimulating your brain, and using it to understand what calmness really means. Look at the stars, the trees, the flowers and learn about them so that your trips through your garden and nights glaring at the heavens will give you a feeling of the contentment, happiness, and calmness that knowledge (and wonder) can bring. And...afford you the luxury of feeling closer to the things you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. You will soon understand that there really is a sense of calm in "knowing."
3. Understand and implement the "Knowledge of Power."
We are all powerful beings, yet many of us use power to drive ourselves and others into a frenzy. Power does not have to mean what we've come to think it means...controlling others, achieving a position of influence and being self-consumed. Ultimate power is knowing that you don't have to do any of those things to be truly powerful. Power lies within you. You have the power to understand yourself and others, the power to turn away the "noise" that surrounds you, the power to separate yourself from the daily mania of life and remove yourself to a powerful place where your "self" resides. Others will know you're there (if you want them to know). If they don't recognize where you've gone...you may want to tell them, "I'll be back. Right now I have to take care of something very important - me."
4. Understand and implement the "Power of Silence."
"Silence is Golden" as my 8th grade art teacher used to say. And...guess what? He was right. Silence is very powerful. You all know that it is often more powerful than speech. A silent expression can convey as much as a thousand word monologue. Silence can also be the vehicle that brings a person to a place of peace and calmness. The stillness of the mind and body can do wonders for your being. Shut the door, turn off your TV, smart phone, computer, and all your other "devices," and lose yourself in your silence. Look around without a word being uttered and you'll notice things you've probably never seen. Even though you've been with them for years. Quiet your mind and bring your world and yourself closer. It's a wonderful place to be. The world is filled with a cacophony of sounds...take some time away from them and you will be better off, and calmer, for it.
5. Understand and implement the "Power of Art."
Soothing music, paintings, photography, museums, sculpture, pottery, poetry, books, illustrations, and all our other forms of art are the workings of our creative minds. Yes...there are varieties of all of these mediums that are far from calming, so...it's up to you to choose to be in the company of those that make you feel a sense of calm. Our environment is teeming with so many variations of art. Sitting by a stream and taking its picture is art. Writing or reading a poem or prose is art. Sketching is art. Listening to the rhythm of soothing music is art. It doesn't take much to be involved in art, whether as the creator of it or the viewer or listener of it. Whichever way you decide to avail yourself of its power, you will understand its ability to create calm in your life. You may even become so into it that it becomes that relaxing retreat that you can't wait to visit.
Good relationships (whether personal or business) are built on certain aspects that "cement" two people together. Working at these connections is something we should constantly do. Here are 9 elements that seem to keep relationships on track.
1. Be authentic: It's easy to spot a phony person. We've all experienced them. Cockiness, overly self-assured (read insecure), and just "not down to earth," are traits that hinder interpersonal relationships. We also know that it doesn't take long to unmask a person who likes to wear one.
2. Show respect: Everyone wants to be respected. It doesn't take much to be respectful of others. Listening goes a long way towards displaying respect, as does caring what the other person is relating to you. A "thank you," "how are you?" (and meaning it), and genuine concern for what's going on in the other person's life works wonders. In business...customer care and respect means return clients. In personal relationship, it means much smoother days.
3. Communicate: Talk about things. Find out how someone's day is going (or went). And...If something's bothering you and you don't tell the other person, it can wind up eating away at you until it (all too often) explodes. Ask questions, have dialogue, clear up (what may be) misconceptions. And...do it in a calm manner. Otherwise, you're not really communicating...it will seem like you're dictating.
4. Don't be a control freak: No one wants to be suffocated. We each have our own lives, even though we may be in a personal relationship or business partnership. I'd venture to say that a major percentage of relationships break up because one person is trying to control the other person (or people). Imagine living under those conditions. It has to be extremely excruciating. If you really care about a person - their happiness should come before your need to control them.
5. Be accepting: No two of us have the same likes and dislikes. And...we're only human. We make mistakes, like different foods, movies, music, beverages, people, clothes, and everything else. Plus, we live in a transient world. People come and go into our lives from different cultures and backgrounds. There's a beauty in that and a learning experience to be enjoyed. And...new and different relationships to be built. It's great (and expands your knowledge base) to have all different types of friends and/or clients.
6. Avoid selfishness: Sure we all need and want our own "stuff." That's to be expected. But, there's also something wonderful about sharing - not only our possessions, but our ideas and emotions as well. I'm sure the memory of someone sharing their lunch with you (when you were in school), or some other material thing, brought a smile to your face and made you feel good. Well...spread that feeling to others. It really does help in the building and maintaining of relationships.
7. Be trustworthy: Trust is the basic foundation upon which any and all relationships are built. If you can't trust someone, then how can you possibly have a relationship with them. Do what you say you'll do, or...tell the other person or persons why you can't. Going "behind someone's back," lying, or not being responsible, are the easiest ways to lose a relationship (regardless if it's business or personal).
8. Laugh: Always keep your sense of humor. Very few things are so serious that you can't laugh about them. Even situations that you take seriously today...there's a good chance that you'll be laughing about them tomorrow. Laughter is a glue that helps to hold friendships, business, and romantic relationships together. A good laugh is cleansing.
8. Be loving: Love is what life is all about. We search for it endlessly. Not having it creates all kinds of potentially deleterious behaviors in humans. Spread love. Telling someone you love them (whether it's your children, spouse, partner, or friends) is priceless...a true gift.