I was rereading Zig Ziglar’s Selling 101 on a beautiful but cold Sunday afternoon. If you are in sales or marketing it should be required reading. If you are in any roll where you must influence others (teaching, healthcare, hospitality, parenting), you really should read it as well.
It in first two pages good ole Zig gives a great story. He tells of how Aristotle theorized that two objects of the same material but different sizes would fall at different speeds. Centuries later at the University of Pisa, Galileo proved this theory wrong by dropping two different sized objects off the Leaning Tower of Pisa and they hit the ground at the same time. Even with this obvious proof, the University of Pisa still taught Aristotle ‘s incorrect theory. Why? Because Galileo convinced the University but didn’t persuade them.
What’s the difference? Convincing someone consists of telling or showing them something. Persuading someone consists of asking them questions and letting them figure it out for themselves.
How could have Galileo persuaded the University years ago? He could have asked the students to come up with ways to test the theory themselves.
Why did I talking about a “sales” book on a blog about coaching and personal/ professional growth? Asking a question!!! Because coaching is largely asking my clients questions and then holding up a mirror so they can see their answers. You don’t necessarily need a coach to do that for you. Ask yourself hard questions about who you are and who you want to be.
The Wheel of Life is a tool a lot of coaches use to gauge where a new client is and where they need some help. It is a pretty simple and straight forward tool. Basically, for each category of your life you rate it on a one to ten scale. When you plot those ratings on a radial graph, it looks like a wheel. A well balanced life would look like a nice large wheel. Maybe not completely circular but nearly so. If your ratings are vastly different, say one of your categories is at a 3 and the rest are at an 8, that wheel won’t roll very easily.
I’ve seen dozens of versions of the Wheel of Life. Generally speaking, the wheel uses categories like Health, Wealth, Growth, Career, etc. All slightly different versions of the similar theme. This morning I came across www.mindtools.com. I don’t have personal experience with them but they have an interesting twist to the Wheel of Life tool. In addition to the more generic categories above, they add categories that many people feel are definitional, for example, father, husband, manager, etc. I have to admit, I like it. By including these definitional categories, it really cuts to what matters to many people and that is the point of the Wheel of Life.
What Mind Tools did not do, unfortunately, is take it to the next level. That is, once you have rated all of your categories, then go back and ask yourself what you can do to improve each rating by two points. The answer to that question can determine what your short term goals should be. I like to break that down a step further and add a concept of time to the questions. For example, what can I do in the next year to improve my ratings by two points and what can I do today to start to improve my ratings.
How I work with my clients has evolved over the last couple of years. Originally, I only offered weekly hour long sessions with a mix of live and virtual interactions. However, we covered too much in an hour so that many of my clients felt overwhelmed with the homework they had to do.
I started offering a biweekly hour long call, only via phone. That gave my clients more time to do their homework. Unfortunately, that also meant a loss of accountability. To help with that, I added text and email support between calls. Some clients go for the weekly offering, especially in the beginning but most prefer biweekly.
Now, by client request, I’m adding another option. I’m offering a weekly 30 minute call supported by text and emails in between. The thirty minute format will require that we really stay on task and will help prevent my clients from taking on too much in between sessions. The text/email also adds accountability. I’m really excited about this new option.
Reach out if you are stuck and need someone to help push and drive you out of your slump.
Please share this post. You never know who in your life is floundering and needs a hand or a boot on their behind.
Some times it takes the world slapping us in the back of the head (hopefully figuratively speaking) to realize what we are doing isn’t working anymore. Who we’ve become isn’t who we want to be. Losing a job, having spouse leave or just watching something amazing you’ve worked for fall apart can be scary. It can also be an amazing period of self-realization.
So what do you do when you, the real you down deep in your psyche and not the “you” everyone else in your life sees, has become the square peg being shoved into the round hole of your life? Realize it is less about reinventing yourself and more about reinventing your life.
1.) Do no harm – The first thing you need to do is to stop the damage, if there is any. Sometimes we’ve been shoved so far into that round hole, damage is being done. This could be over spending or pushing away loved ones or even just copious amounts of self-medication. If you are doing anything that could cause lasting harm to yourself, your life or anyone else, work on that first.
2.) Make a little space – Life and habit conspire to keep us doing the same thing we’ve always done. Change takes effort and effort takes time. Odds are pretty good that your life is full. Now it may not be full of what we want it to be full of but nature abhors a vacuum. Decouple yourself from something. Say no to a commitment and walk away. Carve out a little time where you can work on you.
3.) Understand what you want/what you value – It is very difficult to find or create your own square hole if you don’t know what it looks like. This can be a major step. Talk to different people. Read different books. Keep a journal of things that excited you today. Do the 20 in 20 exercise. Make a list of things that you value and keep it handy when you are making decisions.
4.) Take action – Start small but start making changes today. You don’t necessarily need to change cities or quit your job to start having a new life that fits you. Remember, it is as important to stop doing things that aren’t right for you as it is to start doing things that bring meaning to your life. Progress not perfection.
What is your story about reinventing yourself?
Had an initial meeting with potential client this week. My first meeting with a new client is really a session. I don’t waste time and like to get right to work. I mentioned, perhaps a bit too frequently, that I help but the client has to do the hard work. He finally called me on it, what is the hard work, he asked.
To break it down, if you are trying to make a change, the hard work comes down to four areas:
1.) Brutal self honesty – most of us don’t like to be too brutally honest with ourselves all the time. Actually, most of us don’t like to be too brutally honest with ourselves most of the time and really why should we? We get to be less than our 100% best some of the time, a little vacation from our own personal perfection, and we don’t have to analyze all of our little lapses. That’s ok but when you are trying to make a change, you have to be brutally honest to understand what needs to change.
2.) Making a change – our environment and our psyche are typically designed to maintain the status quo. It is easier to just keep doing what we’ve always done than it is to make change. Making a change and sticking to it is hard work.
3.) Taking responsibility – it is so easy to blame outside forces or other people for where we are in our lives. It is much harder to own that where we are in our lives depends more on our efforts and reactions.
4.) Forgiving – to forgive ourselves and others can be very difficult. Sure, we say “I forgive you” and might even mean it, but months or years later we still hold onto the pain. To truly forgive someone (including yourself), you need to move on from the pain.
I mean it. If you are feeling stuck. If you are unhappy with where you are and it seems like you can never get ahead, ask yourself, “what is the least I could do right now to improve things?” What is the easiest thing you could do right now to move just a couple of inches in the right direction? There are tons of things you can do. Don’t worry about all of them. Don’t worry about which of them are more important. Don’t worry about which one of them you SHOULD do. Just focus on which thing you could do right now that would require the least amount of energy and you will put up the least amount of resistance.
Improving your life, especially if you are feeling stuck, isn’t about doing one or two grand things. It is about doing a lot of little things everyday. It is about doing what you can do right now instead of focusing on what you are not doing.
I’m trying out an Amazon promotion feature on my first book, Greater Than. For the next couple of days, it will be $0.99 and then up to $1.99 before going to full price.
Greater Than is part of the Little Book Series For Big Success. Each book is a quick read intended to give you tools and insights to help you achieve greater level of sustainable success in your life. No get rich quick type of schemes. Just practical advice and motivation that you can work into your daily life, starting today. Make each day a little better than the day before and you will quickly see big changes accumulate in your life. Make success part of your daily habits.
Check it out here: