If You’re Stuck, It’s Time to GROW

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If you just feel stuck, how do you get unstuck? What I do with my coaching clients, and what I do to coach myself, is GROW.

GROW stands for:

Goals
Reality
Options
Way Forward (or Will)

When I coach, I see my clients as having the best answers to their questions. My job is to help them become more self-aware, fully develop their goals and options, and help them choose the best ones.

When you take responsibility for creating your life, you become much more invested in the work and the outcomes. You also become more successful.

Begin with the end in mind. What do you want? If you aren’t clear on that, it’s going to be much more difficult to get there.

Goals: Which part of your life do you need to change? Your career, relationships, physical fitness, spiritual development, what?

Some of the great questions I use to figure out my goals come from the book, Coaching For Performance, by John Whitmore. If you’re looking to improve your career you might ask yourself questions like:

  • Imagine 1 year in the future – what would your ideal work situation be?
  • What would a typical day be like? Describe it in detail.
  • What part or parts of that ideal work situation do you desire most?
  • How important, on a scale of 1 to 10, is each one to you?
  • Now, what is your work goal?
  • If that seems to big a goal, what are some smaller, more attainable goals that will get you on your way to your ultimate goal?
  • When would you want this goal achieved?
  • How would you know you achieved it?

There are times that just getting clear on your goal will get you unstuck. Most of the time, however, you’re going to want to go further to ensure success.

The next step is being brutally honest about your reality.

Reality: Objectively look at your current situation. A key here is owning the responsibility for where you are and what it will take to get where you want to be. Self-awareness is crucial to getting unstuck.

Staying with a change in career as the example, start with some questions like these: 

  • What is your current reality at work?
  • What is your reality on what it would take to change that?
  • What and who don’t you like in your current work situation?
  • What and who do you like in your current work situation?
  • How much of this do you see as under your control?
  • How could you make it something you could control?
  • What makes your work meaningful?
  • What do you see as your purpose in your work?

Now that your clear on what you want and where you are, you need to come up with options.

Options – What options do you have for changing things? (Let’s use the example of having a goal for a new job.)

  • What might you gain by changing jobs or starting your own business?
  • What might you lose?
  • How do you make sure the same things you don’t like about your current job don’t crop up again in your new job?
  • How would you find it the new job?
  • How else?
  • Where would you find it?
  • Where else?
  • What would you have to change to get that job?
  • What could you do to change that?
  • What’s been holding you back from these options?
  • What else could you do?
  • If you knew the answer, what would it be?
  • What advice would you give a friend in this situation?
  • Of all the options you’ve come up with, which 3 do you like the most?
  • Which would make the biggest difference in your life?

You’ve come a long way, but if you stop here you really haven’t done anything meaningful. You must take action. It’s time to plan the Way Forward.

Way Forward (or Will): What specific actions will you take to achieve your goal?

  • Which options are you going to take action on?
  • What actions have you taken on this so far?
  • How did those actions work out?
  • When will you start?
  • How will you know when you achieve your goal?
  • What’s your deadline for achieving your goal?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10 how strongly do you feel you can achieve your goal on time?
  • If it’s not at least an 8, what can you do to make it an 8?
  • Do you need to take smaller actions you believe you can achieve in order to ramp up to bigger ones?
  • What can you do to stay motivated when you hit obstacles?
  • Why do you want this goal? How can that keep you motivated?
  • How often should we review your progress to keep you on track?

This is just a small look at how the GROW process can help you get unstuck.

You may need to improve your education, skills, and talents to get where you need to go. But, your goals, options, and solutions for what you want – and why you want it- are inside you. It’s time to start pulling them out.

Let’s GO!

I have personal coaching available now. Click here to learn more.

“Better Safe than Sorry” Is a Lie

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After my last blog post about planning your escape from your current job, I received an email: “Greg, it sounds great to go after the life you want, but haven’t you ever heard the phrase, better safe than sorry?”

Yes, I’ve heard that expression. (In fact I just read something about it in Bob Proctor’s book, It’s Not About the Money. I don’t believe in coincidences, so let’s talk about it. )

My emailer continued, “I’m, nervous about trying something new and leaving my safe, stable job where I know I have a steady income.”

I totally understand where that guy is coming from. We were taught from an early age that the “safe” thing to do is to get a “good” job at a “good” company with a good salary, health care plan, and sick leave and vacation policy. When you get that, hold on tight and don’t let go.

I get it, and I always tell people that to decrease your risk you should keep your day job while you begin working on your Passionate Purpose. Then, slowly transition to your new thing.

With that in mind, here are the problems I have with the idea of “Better Safe Than Sorry:”

1) It implies that if you play it safe you will never be sorry.

Is that true? I’ve gone the “safe” route a few times where I still regret it to this day. I’m sorry I played it safe. I missed out on some great stuff.

No one on his deathbed ever said, “I didn’t really enjoy my work. I never went after what I really wanted. Maybe I could have lived the extraordinary life of my dreams. But, better safe than sorry!”

Don’t you want more than a job you barely tolerate because you think you won’t get fired?

2) Is any job really “safe” anymore?

During the 2008 recession, the United States lost 8.7 million jobs. How many of the people who were let go thought their jobs were safe? I thought mine was. Boy, was I wrong. How about you?

But, Greg, the recession is over. “Good” jobs are safe again. Really? Hmm…here’s a report from CNBC:

“In the first four months of the year, employers said they would hand out 250,061 pink slips. That is the highest total for the January-to-April period since 2009.”

I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer. I’m a glass is half full kinda guy. But, I’m also realistic. You could lose your job today. There is no safe job anymore (unless you work for the government – then you’re more likely to die than be fired). So does it make sense to stay in a job you don’t like, or even hate, because – better safe than sorry?

I think it’s safer to follow your passionate purpose. You will enjoy your work and life more right away. Because you love what you do, you’ll keep getting better at it and improve your chances to generate more income regardless of what’s happening with our economy.

And you’ll have fewer regrets.

Questions:

  • Are you fulfilling your Passionate Purpose with your current job?
  • Are you excited to get out of bed every morning?
  • Do you know that your life counts and that you matter?
  • Are you a success because you’re doing well financially, even if you don’t like your job?
  • Or, does your success come from using the gifts you were born with to make the most out of the purpose you were created for?
  • Is it time to start working on your Passionate Purpose today and create a plan to transition away from your current “safe” job?

Let’s GO!

(I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program for various budgets. Click here for more details.)

Do You Have the Success Mindset?

success

“My will shall shape the future.  Whether I fail or succeed shall be no one’s doing but my own.  I am the force. I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice. My responsibility.  Win or lose; only I hold the key to my destiny.” – Elaine Maxwell

In almost every presentation I give, I tell people that everyone can pursue their Passionate Purpose and live the extraordinary life of their dreams.

But last week I had someone come up to me and say, Greg, you don’t really believe that everyone can be super successful do you? (He obviously didn’t know me well, yet.)

I told him, “Yes, I am positive this can happen for everyone. I’ve seen so many people do it I know it’s true. It’s also very exciting for me to think of so many people tapping into and using their gifts to live a life that matters and makes a difference. What saddens me is I know how few ever will.”

The problem isn’t that everyone can’t, it’s that everyone won’t. And the biggest thing that holds people back is their mindset. Do you have the success mindset?

Successful people believe:

  • I am where I am in life because of my decisions, thoughts, and actions
  • My future is determined by the decisions, thoughts, and actions I begin to take right now, it’s not based on my past
  • Blaming circumstances or people does not help me become successful
  • What I focus on I get more of, so I will focus on what I want – not what I’m afraid of
  • My knowledge and abilities are not set in stone
  • I can learn anything I need to become more successful
  • The more I learn and grow, the more successful I become
  • If I serve enough people, I’ll be rewarded with everything I want
  • If I super-serve people, money comes easily, is good, and I will use it to do great things
  • Money isn’t the goal; it’s one of the outcomes of a great goal

For many people, those ideas don’t make sense. Society has beaten into their conscious and subconscious minds a negative, depressing philosophy about life. They don’t believe they can ever live the life of their dreams. They spend more time being worried and fearful than working on what they want and whom they can serve.

What are you focusing on? Whatever it is, you’ll get more of it. What you feed your conscious mind is what your subconscious mind continually focuses on. It doesn’t care if your focus is negative or positive. It will focus on either one. We can program our subconscious to focus on what we want by filling it with positive thoughts.

So why don’t we?

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
–Phil 4:8 NIV

I’m sure you’ve heard you reap what you sow. That’s true in more ways than just in actions like planting and harvesting, or hard work and rewards. It’s also in what you sow in your mind and what you sow in your heart.

If you never sow big dreams in your mind, how will you reap them? If you never sow wealth and success in your mind how will you reap it? If you never sow deep love in your mind how will you reap a great marriage and family?

There’s an old saying that seeing is believing. I agree with that, but there is more than one way to see. If you can see it in your mind so clearly that you believe it, then it’s just as real as seeing it in the physical world.

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
– Napoleon Hill

That’s an imperative for the success mindset. You need to train your brain to make what you want so real in your imagination that you believe it as much as if you saw it with your eyes. When you do that, you’re on your way.

Remember, it is impossible for something to come from nothing. Everything that has ever been created was first a thought.

Spend some time thinking about the success mindset and work on challenging some of your core beliefs that are holding you back.

My next post will include the action steps to creating your success mindset.

Let’s GO!

Would you like a life coach, but you’re just not ready to commit the money it costs to get one to one coaching? Check out my 40-day Ecoaching course

The Paradox of Serving Your Way to Success

serve

When you first hear it, serving your way to success sounds crazy, doesn’t it? The idea of being someone’s servant even sounds a little bit demeaning. And don’t I have to focus on me to get ahead? No one else cares about me as much as me.

“I love me some me!” — Terrell Owens, former NFL receiver

That can lead to a downhill spiral – fast. You end up feeling greedy, selfish, and desperate. And, it usually leads to financial and relational struggles.

But, when you truly understand it, serving your way to success makes perfect sense. You can track every bit of success in your life to your service of others.

  • You got promoted and made more income by serving your customers, coworkers, and boss
  • Your marriage is great because you put your spouse’s needs above yours
  • Your business is thriving because of the way you serve your clients
  • You have lots of friends because you’ve shown that you’ll help them any way you can

Sometimes I forget this. Whenever I find myself pressing in my business, or feel like I’m working too hard trying to sell, I always notice that I’ve gotten away from the focus of serving others. As soon as I start looking for ways to help and serve, things start working out again.

I start to feel happier. I begin to create better relationships and friendships. I have more fun in my work. I help more people.

As a bonus, I get more speaking engagements, coaching clients, and book and online course sales. But that isn’t my focus.

Sports demonstrate this as well. You’ve heard people say about a great player, “he’s so good, he makes everyone around him better.” That doesn’t just happen by accident. The great ones serve their teammates by helping them become better. They give them tips on how to play their position, how to study film, how to be mentally tough, and more. They lead by example and by their hard work. They never ask someone to do something they aren’t willing to do themselves.

It’s true in more than just sports. The really great parents, friends, and business people make everyone around them better. And they do it by serving.

It’s amazing how the process of helping others makes you a better person, and leads you to greater personal success than you’ve ever known. Quite often it even leads to more income. That’s not why you do it, but it sure doesn’t stink.

Let’s GO!

Questions for comments:

  • How do you switch your focus to serve others?
  • What do you do to serve others?
  • How does that change how you feel and what you achieve?

(I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program for various budgets. Click here for more details.)

Once I Become Successful, Then I’ll Worry About Fulfilling My Purpose

frankl

Greg, that idea about finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose sounds great, but haven’t you heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? You have to take care of the basics befor you go after self actualization. Once I’m a success, then I’ll worry about my purpose.

I’m a big believer in Maslow’s theory. If you don’t have anything to eat or a place to live, you’re probably not as concerned about going to a museum to look at a piece of art. I get it.

But, I think finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose helps you get everything else you need to live – not just to live better.

Most people have heard of Viktor Frankl’s classic, Man’s Search for Meaning. (If you’ve never read it, start reading it today.) He gives his account of what it was like to be in a Nazi concentration camp during WWII, and then he turns to the importance of purpose.

Frankl found that if a prisoner had no purpose left in life – if he saw no hope – he was doomed. If, however, a prisoner saw a purpose in life he could cling to, his chances of survival dramatically improved.

Research in some of the poorest places in the world has supported the idea that a strong sense of purpose keeps people going in the direst of conditions. In many cases, it helps people live happy, healthy lives where we would think there would be no hope.

People living in third world countries have said their Passionate Purpose is to:

  • Help my family survive.
  • Educate the children in my village so they will have more opportunities.
  • Spread happiness to everyone I meet.
  • Get my village clean drinking water.
  • Be able to move my family to a better place where we will all be safe.

These purposes keep them motivated and inspired to live a life with meaning -to live a life that makes a difference.

In fact, finding and pursuing a Passionate Purpose may be more important before you become successful. It’s what gets you up when you really want to stay in bed. It’s what gives you optimism when your circumstances can’t justify it. It’s what gives you courage to face the tough situations. And, it’s what let’s you enjoy this life, when others would wallow in depression.

My belief is that finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose is at every level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs scale. Regardless of where we live, or how much money we make, to live our best lives we need it in everything we do.

Let’s GO!

I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program for various budgets.Click here for more details.

Can Following Your Passion Backfire and Make Your Life Worse?

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Greg, this “Passionate Purpose” stuff sounds a little new-agey, touchy-feely to me. I’ve read some articles and books that are saying the idea of following your passion doesn’t work. I’ve even read stuff that says setting goals means you just end up failing and feeling bad about yourself. Is that true?

No, and yes, or yes and no. I’m not trying to avoid answering the question, but that’s really the answer. (Those are the answers?) Another great quote from Henry Ford explains it: “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Yes, figuring out why you’re here, discovering your Passionate Purpose, setting goals and not reaching them can be frustrating, and sometimes depressing. But, you know what can be even more depressing? Never figuring out your purpose, never setting any goals, and never achieving any goals.

You know what’s a lot better than not setting goals so you won’t feel bad if you don’t succeed? Setting goals and actually achieving them. You are not going for a passionless existence. You are living an impassioned life!

When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.
–Seneca, Roman philosopher

It’s all about your mindset, how you set your goals, the plan you create to achieve them, and the execution of your plan.

But ask yourself this: What gives you a better chance of living out your dreams, figuring out what they are and pursuing them or just floating through life whichever way the wind blows?

But, Greg, doesn’t success at your job create passion? That works for some people, for a while. But how many people earning a good income do you know who hate their jobs?

Doctors, dentists, and lawyers all make it into the top 20 of highest suicide rates by profession and those are some of our higher-paying jobs. It’s not all about the cheddar, is it? Golden handcuffs still chafe and hurt just as much as the cheap ones do.

You have to decide these answers for yourself. For me, I want to live out the “why” of my existence. I want to pursue what I’m passionate about and use that to make me rich in every sense of the word.

You might be surprised to find that you will eventually make more money following your passion than you do right now trying to slog through the day. Then again, you might not. But at a certain point, money isn’t the number one priority, is it?

My goals definitely include creating a good income for my family and me, but a goal like earning $1 million per year is not my primary motivator. It’s not my top “why” for my Passionate Purpose.

My “whys” include inspiring people, creating more freedom for myself, helping people live their dreams, a flexible schedule, doing what I love, and taking more vacations with my family. If you took all those away and simply paid me more for doing a soul-sucking job 50 hours a week, I’d say no thanks.
What about you?

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

How to Actually Use What You’ve Learned

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I gave a presentation today and at the end of it I got a great question from a new friend in the audience: How do you maintain your motivation and actually use the new information you learned to create your best life?

We had a good conversation about that, and as I drove home I started listening to an audiobook that addressed the exact same question. I don’t believe in coincidences, so my ears really perked up.

Here’s what I got out of my drive home:

Have you ever read a great personal development book, or listened to an audiobook, or attended a seminar, gotten fired up about changing your life and reaching new goals, only to have the feeling fizzle?

Then, you’re off to read the next book and the cycle repeats itself? This happens to me sometimes, how about you?

When we get great information, why don’t we use it to change our behavior and our lives?

I think it’s because that can be a hard thing to do. It’s easier for us to read a book, or listen to a podcast, or attend some training, than it is to implement what we’ve learned.

I love what Ken Blanchard and Paul Meyer say in their book, Know Can Do! Put Your Know-How Into Action. Once you’ve got some good knowledge, you need to integrate it into your behavior and life before you move on to the next thing. Otherwise, you end up in information overload territory.

Imagine getting a golf lesson and the pro explains how to fix ten problems with your swing. How do you think your next round of golf is going to go? There is no way you are going to be able to remember and implement all the suggestions. You are probably going to end up getting frustrated, playing worse, and then giving up changing your swing at all.

Instead, how about learning less, but really learning it. The idea is to take a couple pieces of great information, or ONE book, learn it through spaced repetition and use it in your life. Once you’ve integrated it into your daily routine, then you’re ready to learn something new.

Learn less, more.

To continue with the golf analogy: Work on one or two fixes to your swing. Get those down really well, and then move on to the next fix.

Or, say you just picked up a new book and the information in it resonated with you. Here’s how you really learn it over spaced repetition: Read the book through once. Read it through a second time, underlining the compelling points. Read it a third time and take notes on the “aha moments” that leap out at you. Read it a fourth time with an accountability partner who keeps you on track to actually implement the ideas from the book into your life. Finally, teach the ideas to someone else.

If you do all that, you really know the material, in theory and in practice. That makes a lot more sense to me than getting a superficial knowledge and then moving on to the next shiny thing.

What do you think?

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

You Need This Drug

drug

Pssst. Come here. I know of a drug that can:

 

  • Add years to your life
  • Reduce risk of heart disease – by 27 percent or more
  • Reduce risk of high blood pressure
  • Reduce risk of stroke – by 22 percent or more
  • Reduce risk of dementia
  • Reduce risk of Alzheimer’s – by more than half
  • Make you happier
  • Decrease your stress
  • Double your chances of staying substance free after treatment
  • Increase your good cholesterol
  • Repair your damaged DNA
  • Help you sleep better
  • Make you happier

You want it?

Oh, and by the way, it also gives you better sex…

It has no side effects…

It doesn’t cost any money…

What is it? It’s called, Purpose – a strong sense of purpose in your life, to be precise.

I’m not making this up. It’s proven in some great research outlined in Victor Stretcher’s book, Life on Purpose. Here are some of the specifics.

On average, people with a strong sense of purpose live longer than those without one. In fact, with just a little stronger sense of purpose, there was a 12 percent reduction in the risk of dying during a 14-year study.

Much of the research uses self-reports on a scale of 1 to 6 to determine the amount of purpose one has in life.

Another two-year study of adults with heart disease found that for every one point increase on the purpose scale there was a 27 percent lower risk in having a heart attack. A four-year study showed every one-point increase in purpose reduced stroke risk by 22 percent.

A seven-year study found that seniors with a low sense of purpose in life were 2.4 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than seniors with a strong sense of purpose.

Other analyses found that a lack of purpose is at least as responsible for disease and early death as tobacco, poor diet, inactivity, and stress.

This is clearly the best drug out there, and even though it won’t cost you any money, it does come at a price. You pay for this drug by taking the time and making the effort to find and pursue your Passionate Purpose.

If you find what matters most to you, what you were created to do, what will lead you to a life of meaning and significance, what will lead you to serving others – then you will have earned the best drug ever made.

Are you willing to pay that price?

Let’s GO!

Find One Good Thing

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Greg, I know I should be grateful for all the wonderful things in my life. I know that gratitude is good for my mental and physical health. I know that it helps me be a better person. But sometimes, I don’t want to be grateful. Sometimes I don’t feel like I have anything to be grateful for.

I hear you. I think we all feel like that sometimes. You have one of those days where nothing goes right. You oversleep, your hair won’t behave, you spill coffee on your freshly dry cleaned shirt, (or “top” for the ladies. BTW, why is it “top” for a ladies shirt and just shirt for us dudes. Things that make me say, hmmm…) you hit traffic on the way to work and it just goes downhill from there.

I’m not grateful right then. I’m ticked off.

Here’s an important question for those times: Does staying in that angry/depressed/miserable state help us or hurt us?

I’m not saying it’s easy to step back and think about that when you’re angry, but it’s critical that we do. If we can shift our focus from what’s going wrong to all the things that are going right, we can turn our day around. Do that often enough and you can turn your life around.

I thought of this today while I was watching the news. A woman from Louisiana who lost everything in the flooding was explaining how she may be down, but she is not out.

The floodwaters had gone three feet deep in her home. It destroyed everything she had. But, right in the middle of the living room, she found her glass angel – with no damage to it at all.

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“Try and find one good thing everyday,” she said. “No matter what happens, if you see one good thing, that’s enough to get you through.”

If a woman who has lost her home, and everything in it, can find something to be grateful for, why can’t we?

Don’t blow this off. Take a second and really think about 3 things that give you the warm fuzzies inside. It made a difference, didn’t it?

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

The Danger of Overreacting

elite-daily-titanic

Those who fail to respond to a changing marketplace – fail. In fact, things happen so fast now, that you need to predict the changes in the market place and act before the changes actually occur or it might be too late.

I think that’s true, to a point. We can also overreact with unintended consequences. We can change so quickly and so often that we lose our core audience, customers, clients, or purpose.

You’ve heard of the Titanic, but have you heard of the Eastland? Their connection is a tragic story of overreaction and unintended consequences.

After the Titanic sank, taking 829 passengers and 694 crew members with her, our government sprang into action. Congress passed new laws to make sure the Titanic disaster would never happen again.

The Eastland was mandated to add more lifeboats, rafts (and cranes to lower them into the water) then the boatmakers had planned.

The additional weight made the boat top heavy. As the passengers began embarking for the journey across Lake Michigan, the boat began listing to one side. The sailors compensated by adding water to the ballast tanks on the other side. Once the boat was packed with passengers it began to list to the other side. The sailors couldn’t fix the problem fast enough. The Eastland capsized while still tied up to the dock in the Chicago river.

Overreaction helped cause the death of 841 passengers and 3 crew members. Wow. More passengers died from the overreaction to the Titanic than actually died on the Titanic.

Yes, it was a good reaction to make sure every ship had enough lifeboats for everyone. But, it was an overreaction to force lifeboats that were too heavy on to the Eastland.

Keeping your eyes on trends and changes in your field is very important. But, be careful of the danger of overreaction as well. That can be just as, or more, dangerous than not changing at all.

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!