Tag Archives: Life

“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes” – Oscar Wilde

Imagine if every time you made a mistake in your life, you had paused, reflected on the situations, learned from the experience and grew personally and professionally.

Don’t you agree it would have been the wisest thing for you past self to do?  No blaming.  No internalizing limiting thoughts.  Simply learning and growing.

If your past self would have been wiser to turn all of your mistakes into experience, wouldn’t it be wiser for you to start doing it now?  We all make mistakes.  Only a few of us turn those mistakes into growth.  Be one of the few.  It is a decision you can make today.

Awareness

I’m reading How to Change Minds by Rob Jolles.  He spends a significant amount of the book with the Decision Cycle, basically the process that we each go through whenever we make a decision of any significance.  This process is powerfully useful for me in coaching my clients, I am always looking for new perspectives and techniques to help my clients.

The second step of the Decision Cycle is Awareness.  This is the person is aware that they need a change but the pain of not changing is not yet significant enough to drive the person to change.  Frequently, the person uses coping mechanisms.  He uses the example of the first home he and his wife bought.  It was a wonderful little home but was located as close as legally possible to the Beltway in D.C.  The noise from the Beltway was constant and loud.  They coped by keeping their storm windows on all year and running noisy air cleaners to drown out the noise from the freeway.  These coping strategies were enough to let them live in this home for years, until the pain of staying in that home was more than choosing to move to a quieter home.  This happened when they had a party and several of their guests independently wondered about all the noise.

A more sever example is a person who is overweight, doesn’t exercise and eats lots of unhealthy foods.  He knows that his health is at risk.  He knows what must be done to improve the situation but the pain of being overweight isn’t enough to cause him to change his habits . . . . . until his first heart attack.  Suddenly, he finds motivation to lose weight, exercise and learn to love broccoli.  I’ve heard it said that having the first heart attack has saved more lives than every doctor preaching about taking better care of yourself put together.

Rob has been training large groups of people for years and with each group he surveys them on where they are in the Decision Cycle.  He has found nearly 80 percent of them are in the Awareness stage.  That is, they know they aren’t satisfied with where they are but they haven’t yet had the heart attack moment.  The heart attack moment isn’t just about health.  It could be losing a job, failing in a business, getting a divorce, etc.

This is where coaching can come in.  By working with a coach, we can help you make a commitment to change BEFORE you have the heart attack moment.  Coaches can help you realize the need for change at a much more visceral level and help you create that change in your life.

Let me help you.  Reach out before the heart attack moment.  Let’s build a better you together.

The best worst 20 minutes of your year

While planning for 2016, there is a powerful 20 minute exercise you can do right now that will turbo charge your next year.  Unfortunately, many people find it to be a bit painful.  It is only 20 minutes.  Suck it up, do the exercise and start charging up your 2016 right now.

Grab a piece of paper.  Across the top of the paper, write yourself a question related to your 2016 goal.  Make it an action oriented question.  For example, if your goal is to get new customers for your business then your question may be, “How do I get more customers in 2016?”  Note that the question asks you to do something you can control.  Great questions for health/weight goals are, “How can I add more movement into my day?” or “How can I cut down on unhealthy foods?”  To improve your relationship, you may ask, “What can I do to make this relationship more loving?”

Then set a timer.  For 20 minutes, do nothing else but answer that question.  Aim to write down 20 answers in 20 minutes.  More if you can.  Don’t answer the phone.  Don’t check your email.  Don’t check social media.  Just write.  Don’t judge your answers.  Don’t get into heavy detail.  To hit 20 answers in 20 minutes, you won’t have time for that.

Once you write your answers, put the paper down.  Don’t look at it and walk away.  For the next several days, read those answers twice a day; once before you take a shower and once before you go to bed.  Don’t evaluate your answers yet.  Simply read every word you wrote down.  The two most create times for most people is in the shower or while sleeping.  Other great creative times are going for a walk, working out or having a great time with friends.  During these times, you mind works differently.  It freely associates different concepts and it isn’t as limited as your more rational mind.

On the fourth day, sit down with your answers again.  Read each of them critically.  With each of them don’t ask, “would this work?”  Instead ask, “How can I make this work?”  Make notes about how you can accomplish each of these.  After you have gone over all of your answers, pick those that you are going to start implementing or moving towards.  Those are your action items for 2016.  Fire yourself up and take charge.

New Year’s Resolutions Begins in 22 Days

There are only 21 days left in 2015.  Then we launch into the new year.  It is a year full of promise and of change, just like every year before it.  Our lives will change over those 366 days (2016 is a leap year).  In some ways, those changes will be for the good.  In some ways, those changes will hurt or frustrate us.  Many of us can look forward to new careers, new partners, new cities and new homes.  The only thing we know for certain is that we will face change.

The questions that each of us must answer for ourselves is who is going to determine what changes will happen in our lives and who is going to determine how those changes affect us.  Will you let others decide which changes are going to happen to you?  Or, instead, are you going to take charge of your own live and make those changes you want to happen?  A powerful way to take charge of your life in 2016 is to start strong with positive and healthy New Year Resolutions.  Even better would be to start your resolutions today!

According to a University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology study, only 8% of people are successful in their resolutions.  In fact, 25% of people drop their resolution within the first week of the year. A third of people don’t make it to the end of January.  The most common resolutions involve self-improvement/education (47%), weight related (38%), money related (34%) and then relationship related (31%).

With so few people actually keeping their resolutions, why do I suggest that people start the year with good/strong resolutions?  Because you can make resolutions that work and because even if you don’t completely fulfill your resolution, you can make forward progress toward your goal.  Something powerful to keep in mind in creating resolutions is to focus on small, incremental and continuous positive changes.  Your changes should be small enough that they are accomplishable for you but built in a way that they will accumulate to significant changes over time.

Here are a few tips on how to keep resolutions:

1.) Write it down – be specific.  What is it that you want to accomplish and when?

2.) Make a plan – Determine whats actions you plan to take to get the results.  For example, while your resolution may be to lose 50 pounds, create a plan to count/cut back on calories, make healthier food choices and exercise.  The most specific you are with your action steps, the more likely you will be able to keep them.

3.) Have you actions build over time – while you may have a resolution to go to the gym for 90 minutes five days a week, it isn’t likely that you are going to do right away.  Build that into your plan.  Perhaps start with 30 minutes three times a week with a plan to build to 45 minutes four times a week in February.  For many people, this start small but building action plan will get them started and keep them going.  The risk is that you may never build up to your original resolution but even settling for 45 minutes for days a week is much better than zero minutes seven days a week!

What are your resolutions?  What change are you committed to making in your life?

As of December 31st, two free sessions will no longer be offered

Due to high demand of new clients, Wolski Success Partners will stop offering two free sessions as December 31st.  We will honor requests for these free sessions for all new clients that have already requested information and for new information requests received by December 31st.

As of January 1st, 2016, Wolski Success Partners will no longer offer free sessions.  Instead, we will offer one open ended no obligation consultation to create an action plan to create explosive growth in your career, your health, your business or your life.

Reach out today.  Let us help you!

Why do you ask?

I don’t care how smart you are.  Everyone on the planet knows something that you don’t.  Everyone’s particular life experiences are different, giving every single person a special set of hidden knowledge that is unique to them.  Most people are very willing to share this experience with you.  All you have to do is ask.

When I was a product manager at Swarovski, I frequently took samples of new products to our security guard.  The guard knew nothing about product development.  He knew nothing about what it took to create a piece of crystal.  He did know about collecting.  He was a Swarovski collector.  He showed me pictures of his collection on time and it was amazing.  He definitely made the most use of his employee discount.  He knew what collector’s liked.  He knew how they would display a new piece.  That was the information I needed.  That was what he knew better than I.  We would talk for twenty minutes about which of the new pieces he liked better, which changes he would like to see and how he would display it in his home.  Conversations with him were frequently more valuable in developing new products than any conversation I had with my fellow product developers.

My conversations were so valuable because I asked with a sincere interest in learning what he knew better than I.  I was looking for the best way.  Unfortunately, when many people ask questions, they aren’t looking for the best way, they are looking to support how they are already doing it is the best way.

I have an example.  I am fast at Excel.  It started in college when my profession told me that he thought I might be bright but he could be sure.  My handwriting was so bad, he could read any of my homework.  From now on, he said, I would have to do my work on the computer and print it out.  That is when I found spreadsheets.  I learned that if I solved one question, all I needed to do was copy it and change the inputs.  Homework that used to take me 2 hours now took about 20 minutes.  One of my mantra’s is, “there is always a better way.”  For the rest of college and in my early work experience, I always looked for better and faster ways to get the work done.  I became fast.  When we moved to the North East, I worked temp jobs before starting at Samsonite.  One assignment was to cover for someone at Fleet bank while he was out on leave.  One Friday morning before my boss when on vacation, he emailed me a project and asked we go over it before lunch.  I assumed he wanted to review the final work before his vacation, so I dropped everything and got to work.  It was simple excel work and the directions were clear.  By lunch, I had done the work, printed it out and put it in nice color coded folders for him to review.  My assumption was wrong.  He didn’t want to review the task.  This was the project that he thought would keep me busy the entire next week.  The person I was covering would have taken a week to do it.  Now granted that person was milking the project but what would have taken 30 plus hours for him to do, I completed in less than three.

Since then, it is typically obvious how quick I am at excel and many fellow professionals have asked me how to speed up.  I have one guiding principal that will double the speed of move people who have to work with a lot of data.  Ready?  Don’t use the mouse.  That’s it.  There are cursor control keys and short cuts that allow you to select, move and manipulate data on the keyboard that is so much quicker than using the mouse.  It doesn’t come immediately but with a few days (and I’m really just talking days) practice, most people can significantly increase their speed.  When I tell people this, what is the most common reaction?  Keep in mind, they came to me because I am noticeably faster than they were and they wanted to become faster……or so they claimed.  The most common reaction I get is to be told (either to my face or to co-workers behind my back) that I’m crazy.  That wouldn’t speed them up.  In fact, they have a few tricks and skills that make them really fast.

They weren’t looking for the best way.  They were looking to justify that their way was best.  The fact that I was noticeably faster was dismissed and they became even more set in their ways.

When you seek advice from someone who has experience you don’t, someone who has skills you don’t, first determine why are you asking.  I suggest asking with an open mind to understand things from another experience.  That is when true learning and development will happen.

What skills do you seek to learn?  Who around you has those skills?  How can you ask him or her to teach you?  And most importantly, are you seeking a better way or just seeking to justify how you are already doing it?

Happiness is not reaching your goal

Happiness isn’t reaching your goal.  The excitement of being on stage and receiving the reward is short lived.  The thrill of accomplishment is fleeting.  So what is happiness?

Happiness is continual progress toward a goal.  It is the growth and advancement of taking the necessary steps to move forward.  When you accomplish a goal, take the trophy and then immediately start moving toward the next goal.

Keep moving.  Keep striving.  Keep growing.  Everyday.