If You’re Stuck, It’s Time to GROW


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:

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.

How to Keep Going When You Feel Like Quitting

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You have a Passionate Purpose and you’re going for it, but your motivation is failing. You’re just not sure all the effort is worth it.

Or, you have a goal that you’ve started working on several times, but you just can’t seem to achieve it.

I feel ya.

Recently, I put on a “little weight” (and we all know what that means). I know it’s not good for me, I don’t feel very good when I overeat, and I don’t like how I look. I saw a picture of myself on my phone and thought, who’s the chubby dude?

It’s me. Doh!

So I set a goal target weight, figured out how many pounds I could lose per week, and decided when I would meet my goal. Then I planned how many calories a day I would consume.

For the first few days I was doing great! Then, the weekend came and I had a cheat day. That turned into a cheat weekend. Then, I was hit or miss on my diet. This went on for a few months.

I was so frustrated with myself. Why couldn’t I do this? I figured out that I hadn’t tied my goal to a strong enough why. When you want to eat your favorite foods, or you want to overeat, or you want to have a couple of drinks (high in empty calories) what are you going to tell yourself to stay motivated?

I have now created some strong short and long term “whys” for my weight loss goal. My daughter is graduating high school in 8 weeks. So I’m tying my goal and deadline to that.

Short term why:
To look my best for her party and all the family photos.

Long term whys:
To live healthier and longer for my wife and daughters
To have more energy
To feel better after I eat (not stuffed and bloated)
To look better for my wife and myself
To be a good example for my daughters

Now every time I start to think about slipping back to my old ways of eating, I read my “whys.” That helps me focus on the short-term and long-term pleasure I will get instead of the short-term pain I’m feeling.

I still have a cheat day once a week, but I don’t turn it into an all-I-can-eat day like I used to.

You can use this with any goal or purpose you’re struggling with. Tie it to a strong why. Focus on it. Say it out loud to yourself if you need to. Meditate on it until you feel your motivation kick in again.

You can do it.

Let’s GO!

(I’m now offering a 40 day online coaching course to kick start finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose.)

Have You Ever Fallen Into The Impressive Trap?



Why we do something is vital to the level of motivation and persistence we give to it. It also figures prominently in determining how much enjoyment we get out of it. Sometimes we put out a lot of time and effort before we realize we’ve anchored it all to a “why” that doesn’t serve us very well.

I was reminded of this when my daughter was practicing the piano and working on a fairly difficult jazz piece. After a while she plopped down on the couch beside me, looking frustrated.

I asked her what was wrong and she said, “I want to impress people by playing this song, but it’s hard.”

Before I could stop myself, I laughed out loud. I reminded her that if it was easy, everyone would do it. But then we got to the more important point. Doing something to impress others will never truly satisfy. The feeling you get from it is hollow and won’t last. It also means you’re allowing others to determine your worth. Why would you want to do that?

We all know this, yet somehow the “impressive” trap can sneak up on us. My wife, Anne, admits how it got to her in the story of her two careers.

Her first degree is in finance. Anne had big plans to become a senior executive in the banking industry. In just her first few years out of school, she was well on her way as an assistant vice president in private banking.

But, then she started volunteering as a tutor for at risk students at an inner city elementary school. She loved helping the little girl who was assigned to her. After a while, Anne realized she enjoyed tutoring much more than she enjoyed banking. If she was going to be honest, she didn’t like her job at all.

Anne had thought about becoming a teacher earlier in her life, but she worried about what other people might say. “Anne, you’re a straight A student, why would you use that just to teach elementary school?”

She knew that people say they value teachers, but many think if you’re a teacher it’s because you can’t do anything else. Or, you just want your summers off. Anne knew that wasn’t true, but she was letting other people’s opinions decide her fate.

She finally admitted to herself that the main reason she chose to be a finance major and go into banking was to impress others. Anne wanted people to know she was smart. She wanted the prestigious job title. She didn’t want anyone patting her on the head telling her what a cute, little teacher she was.

Once she figured that out, it didn’t take long for her to rework her “why.” She wanted to help inspire and teach our children to make our future brighter. Anne went back to school and got her Masters in Education.

She has helped change the lives of countless children and just won the award for teacher of the year at her school. She gets great joy out of teaching! She found the “why” that motivates her.

The “whys” that truly motivate us for the long term, and for the best results, are intrinsic. It’s not about impressing someone, or making our parents/significant other/society happy.

It’s about creating the extraordinary life of our dreams. It’s about growing, learning, being challenged, and achieving. It’s about enjoying what we do, not just the results of what we do. It’s about being the masters of our fate and embracing that.

Most of all, it’s about transcending ourselves, making a difference, and living a life that matters.

“Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.”
–Daniel Pink

What is motivating you right now?

(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?


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 Help Each Other Succeed


Motivation is a tricky thing. It waxes and wanes like the moon. Some people claim motivation doesn’t work because it wears off.

Hold on, I eat three (or five) times a day. I guess I should just stop eating. It wears off.
I work out three times a week. I guess I should just stop exercising. It wears off.
I shower every day. I guess I should just stop showering. It wears off.

Sounds kind of ridiculous, doesn’t it? EVERYTHING wears off.

The question is, how do you stay motivated to pursue your Passionate Purpose? A big helper in that is finding an accountability partner. The word “partner,” is important here. This is going to be a mutually beneficial relationship. You are going to motivate each other.

So, find someone you like and trust who is also looking for an accountability partner. It should be someone who shares your desire for an extraordinary life, someone who will support you in your efforts and kick you in the butt when you need it.

I find the best accountability partners are people who want you to hold them accountable for goals they’re working on in their life as well. When you encourage each other AND hold each other accountable, great things happen. Once you find one:

  • Tell each other exactly what you want and why you want it
  • Set a date for when will complete “x”
  • Determine how will you know you’ve done it
  • Schedule a weekly phone call to review the past week’s activities towards your goals
  • If necessary, exchange an accountability email half way through the week
  • Encourage and challenge each other to keep going

To be clear, the content of the call and the email is simple:

1) What did you say you would do this week?

2) What work have you done on that?

3) What went right?

4) What didn’t go so well?

5) What’s holding you back?

6) What adjustments do you need to make to improve your progress?

7) What can you do to help your partner?


As you work on your Passionate Purpose, you will hit plateaus. Expect it and be ready to do the work necessary to break through them.

Fear and doubt will creep in from time to time.

Some of your friends and family may feed your fear and doubt by telling you your wasting your time, or that living an extraordinary life is for the lucky few, not you.

Some will do this because they think they’re protecting you from disappointment. Sadly, some will do this because they’re jealous of your aspirations and achievements.

You will overcome that by leaning on why you want this new life, on your passionate purpose, on your skills, abilities and experience.

You can do it. And there are plenty of people who WANT you to succeed. Lean on them, too.

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!

Day 1 of Your New Life

If you are at the point where you want to change your life, I’m excited for you. This is Day 1 of Your New Life.

To get started, I’ve got some questions: Why do you want to change your life?

Because I’m not happy, Greg. Jeez!

I get that things aren’t where you want them to be. I’m not trying to get down on you, I’m just trying to help you get clear on why you must change. That will keep you going when the journey gets tough.

During my coaching session this morning I asked my client, “Why do you want to change your life?”

He said that was a good question and he’d have to think about it for a minute. He already knew down deep, but I don’t think he’d ever taken the time to articulate it and bring it to his conscious mind.

After a few moments he said, “Greg, I’m tired of just going through the motions. I’m not sure if I know my purpose. I think if I can figure that out, it will help me make the changes to make my life better.”

That was a start. I then followed up with, “What do you mean by ‘better’?”

He replied that he wanted to earn an income to provide for his family so they could live in a better neighborhood with better schools and they would have everything they need.

“Beyond that, Greg, I feel stuck. I don’t know where I’m going next. I don’t feel needed where I work, and my self-confidence is low. I want to find purpose in my life and work so I can love what I do and take care of my family.”

Now, we were getting somewhere.

Why must you change?

Take some time to figure it out and write it down. Make it as real and emotional as you can.

Do you want to be more excited about your career, your spouse, your relationships, your family, and your spiritual development?

Do you want freedom to control your own time, career, vacation, and life? Freedom to travel the world with the people you love?

Do you want to generate abundant amounts of income so you can do everything you’ve ever dreamed of, take care of your family, and give to help others?

Why must you change your life?

Once you’ve figured that out, you can move on to what you want and how to start doing it. We’ll do that next.

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!

Do You Know Someone Who Needs This?


The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. — Mark Twain

Do you know someone who hasn’t figured out their why? Someone who doesn’t even know what they really want? Someone who is struggling to find a purpose in this world?

I want to help. My Passionate Purpose is to help as many people as I can find their Passionate Purpose so they can live out the extraordinary lives of their dreams.

If you know someone who needs this information and encouragement, please pass on the link to my homepage and the link to my recent appearance on KC Live

If they are interested my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, please pass on the link to it on Amazon.

I would love to give them my free, companion eBook— 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. They can download it from that link.

If you are receiving this as an email, just forward it to anyone you think might benefit from it.

All the best.

Greg Knapp

We Can Actually Learn Something From American Idol

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I don’t watch much reality TV, but my daughters and I all play and sing so we watch AI. As I was watching last night I realized the show has a great lesson for everyone.

OK, Greg’s finally lost it. The only thing I can learn from American Idol is how to waste an hour of my life.

Not so fast, Usain Bolt. Hear me out. All the people who audition – even the ones who are terrible — have something in common that we should imitate. (And no, I’m not talking about putting on a crazy costume and yodeling.)

Instead of just dreaming about what they want in their life, they took action and tried to make it happen.

The talented ones did even more. They put in the hard work to get themselves in a position to create their “lucky” break. They’ve been working on their singing and musical skills for years. Most of them put in countless hours of practice and performances before they went in front of the judges.

I love hearing their stories. Where did they come from? How did they decide to do this? Why do they want it? What have they been willing to do to prepare themselves for this moment?

Even if they aren’t very good, I salute them for not just wishing they could live the life of their dreams, but taking action to see if they can create it. Sure, some of them just want an easy ride to the top. Yes, they need to work on their plan and put in the hard work required to reach their goal. But at least they took a shot. Hey, if they keep taking action who knows what they might accomplish.

What do you want? Why? What are some ways you could start on the path to pursuing it?

Yes, it’s time to act like a contestant on American Idol and take action on what you really want.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go put on my cheetah outfit and get my yodel practice in. Thank you, I’ll be here all week. Good night.

Who Are You Listening to and Why?


Are you listening to the world or yourself? The world will demand you meet its needs if you let it. It will give you all kinds of reasons to do what it tells you. It will result in a never-ending game of When-Then.

When you get that job, promotion, bonus, or new house Then you will be happy, respected, and successful.

When you create a real light saber, Then you will become the coolest dad in the universe. (Wait, don’t write that, Greg. Use your inside voice on that one.)

When-Then always leaves us wanting more and much less happy than we thought we’d be.

The world will whisper that you’re not good enough, smart enough, or talented enough. Your job isn’t prestigious or important enough. You don’t do anything significant. You don’t really count and you never will.

Man, the world is kind of a jerk.

Yup. So why do we listen to it?

Listen to yourself and follow your Passionate Purpose to be happier, more successful, more significant and a better person for all you love. You get to decide what’s important to you and your family. Don’t give that power to anyone else.

Why are you doing what you’re doing right now? Are you happy with that answer?

When passion and desire meet you have tremendous power. When you put everything into it – you have more enjoyment and success. Don’t murder your dreams by telling yourself you can’t do what you feel you were born to do.

Living an extraordinary life isn’t just for the special or elite. Everyone can do it, but not everyone will do it.

Decide what you want, why you want it, and start today with some baby steps to get there. It doesn’t have to be a huge leap, but you do have to begin.

Questions for comments: What baby steps can you take today to get started?

Finding Your Passionate Purpose is Good for Your Life and Your Career

Why do you get up in the morning? What gets you going? What are you passionate about?

It isn’t just about your job or your career. Too often, we separate our lives into work, leisure, and retirement. I’m talking about finding your calling, your passionate purpose that you pursue in every part of your life.

I love Dan Buettner’s research on longevity. In his research in Okinawa, he found they don’t even have a word for retirement. Instead, they simply have Ikigai (Eek-y-guy).

Basically, it means the reason you wake up in the morning.

I love that. What is your Ikigai?

Don’t just read that and move on. Take some time today or this weekend and figure it out.

Knowing and pursuing your Passionate Purpose (your Ikigai) is good for you, your life, and your career.

Numerous research studies show it helps you life a healthier life. It decreases depression, stress and the risk of stroke or heart attack. It increases your overall sense of well being and leads to more joy and happiness.

It helps you with all your personal relationships.

It helps you be more productive and successful at work.

It helps you become a better leader.

It helps you create an extraordinary life of joy, meaning, and significance.

I would love to hear your Ikaigai. Let me know in the comments.

My next few posts will discuss techniques you can use if you’re having trouble figuring it out.