Current Events

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Information, then Follow Through

I have recently been at a psychology convention with an abundant program. For 4 whole days I have been satisfying my brain with lecture after lecture. I got inspired, and I had many an idea for my on business, for my own clients. I could barely wait to get back home to my office and start incorporating the newly learned things and developing the newly concocted ideas. Two weeks later, the pile of info material still has not made its way into my filing cabinet, and I myself was busy catching up from having been gone. I remembered that studies show that we only incorporate 20 % of what we learn new, into our lives. But with coaching, this rate goes up to 80 %.

Studies show that this is a very normal scenario for any kind of education. Naturally and by ourselves, we end up incorporating only up to 20 per cent of what we have learned at a conference, an education, even a highly priced training program. 20 per cent that is, if we are extremely motivated. Whereas 20 per cent are still change in the right direction, I could see people being unhappy about the news, especially after spending thousands of Dollars for education for a new career path or the like.

So, how can we change this low incorporation rate and make it a big and noticeable, beneficial change? It has been shown in studies that the most efficient way to guarantee a high incorporation rate is to hire a coach. Within the coaching relationship there is time and space for the phase of "Follow Through". The new goals can be laid out and broken down into smaller steps. The incorporation can happen naturally and powerfully and in full alignment with the person´s own life and goals.

Well, such a clear outcome of a study is quite convincing. But I tend to want to find out for myself. For the last two years I have had a coach for myself. Half a year ago I hired a second one for an isolated, very specific area in my life. I am very impressed with the experience of this "Follow Through" potential during coaching. In general, I am an idea person. I never lack the most unusual or also most elaborate and thought through ideas. During these two years with my coach I was able to finally witness, how some of my life long dreams finally took shape. I went to selected educations for inspiration (much like I always used to do), except now I finally did something with it afterwards. It is the most amazing process to be part of. It creates an overall feeling of being in charge of an responsible for my own life and actively creating the life I always dreamed of leading.

So now, the info material piles are gone and ready to serve as a reference, whenever I need it. I got a system in place for that, one that actually works for me. This is also a result of my work with my coach. Next time you go to get education for something that is important to you, ask yourself if you want to go back home and barely use a fifth of it or if you want to make a high impact with it on your life. It is certainly doable. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

One Simple Ingredient to Balance

Everyone has its own source for wisdom. For me it often is Yoga. While balancing on one leg, arms stretched towards the sky (the tree pose), the teacher reminded us of what it takes to master balancing poses in Yoga. I was thankful for the reminder and was also stunned how much it applies to life itself...

"In order to master balancing poses, we need to be completely present." It takes our complete attention, if we want to be able to stand calmly and successfully on one leg or the like. This is so true for life itself as well. How do we long to achieve balance and how tricky does it seem to be in the modern world.

Being present is what it takes to maintain balance. It may seem like a natural conclusion, yet is it not something that is applied often. When we find ourselves busy and overwhelmed and running behind, we rarely stop to think and regain our presence, so we can make the choices it takes in order to get balance back into our lives. Most of us speed up and try to catch up and thus invite poor judgement and many an unnecessary detour, thus wasting time and energy.

Balance seems to get out of reach, until it is only an old fashioned commodity. Yet, the longing stays. So does the preconception that balance is something for other people with other life circumstance than what we´ve got.

What does it take to simply be present? It takes a lot and not much at the same time, depending on where you are at. The "not much" part is that taking a conscious moment no matter what is enough to get the priorities back and thus have all unnecessary choices easily and naturally fall away. The "a lot" part is that it we need to take responsibility for our life if we want to be present. That means, letting go of any resentments we might harbor, no more being the victim and getting away with not suiting up and showing up. There is also no use to complain about much anything, once we accept responsibility for our own life. Indulging in sitting on the pity-pot is does also not exist. That might seem a lot, especially if we have been making common use of any of these practices. They seem seductive, but in the long run they just keep us from unfolding our true potential. I would see them like candy. It does taste good while going down, but if we have too much of it on a regular basis, it becomes who we are, it makes us sick, it takes a huge toll. Now, I am not for having any "fun" and am all for the occasional cookie or pity-pot ride. But know to end it in time and you will enjoy a life of freedom AND a blissfully and seemingly ease-soaked balanced life.

You get to choose. It´s simple, didn´t I promise that?!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back to School

Hearing the term "back to school" brings back memories of years past, when I was a kid, mixed with bright and bold announcements for special back to school sales blaring everywhere in the present. But in between these extremes, there is really more to it. "Back to School" affects us all. Here are some reasons why and tips how to get the best start of the school year ever...

Ahhhh, summer. No worries, sleeping in, no tight schedule, simply being. Vacations, adventures, sun kissed faces, hanging with family, remembering dreams and likes, away from long lists of chores, tense and energy draining environments and long hours of work. Still today, although I find myself every summer to be busier than ever, I feel the very distinct "back to school" feeling come over me, right about the same time, the first ads for the yearly "back to school" sale start to arrive in the mail. It is a feeling of hope. I feel I have been given a clean slate, a new chance. This time I will do everything different. This time I will be all organized and clear about my priorities. I will not procrastinate and thus always enjoy doing what I am doing, because the pressure does not spoil my interest in learning and creating.

Back to school is also a time for reconnecting with friends, exchanging stories about what has happened while everyone was traveling and/or taking it easy at home. New trends become clear quickly. A slight feeling of having missed something is immanent. What if the one interesting thing happened while I was gone? What if something has truly changed just then?

The time right before school starts again is the ideal time to set the tone for the coming season. The mind is still rested and uplifted from the long days, more time outdoors and from relaxation. The desires of the soul - that could be heard again during those endless seeming lazy summer afternoons and mild evenings outside - are still fresh, are still known. A sense of oncoming seriousness is already in the air. This is the perfect time to plan. It is well worth it spending some time thinking about the few priorities and discussing them within the family.

Once the schedules have started again and the days are filled with countless mundane things that need to be done, a feeling of overwhelm starts to pile up slowly but surely, all the way to exhaustion. Being in the middle, it is often impossible to even find the time to think about priorities, let alone being able to name them. This overwhelm and sense of being in a hamster wheel or even complete chaos, barely making it from day to day, can be easily prevented by making use of this gap that opens up in the few days before and around the start of the school year.

Make it a priority and take some time. Whether it is you alone, with a partner, with kids as well. Agree on a time to meet and make sure there will be no distractions and the environment is pleasant, somewhat in order, and serene. Supply water and make sure no one goes into it hungry or with a high sugar or caffeine intake immediately prior. You want to be able to listen to the others. Start with the question "What is our main goal as a family" and come up with up to 3 priorities. Come up with up to 3 individual goals for every participant. Listen everyone out and listen with compassion, while looking for the magnificence in whose turn it is to speak. If an individual goal does not seem to go along with the family´s priorities, bring it up and find a solution.