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The Journey of Life

Without a distant view of the horizon, it is impossible to keep moving your life forward in the right direction & have the patience & perseverance to reach that destination

Without a distant view of the horizon, it is impossible to keep moving your life forward in the right direction & have the patience & perseverance to reach your destination

Life is a long journey, we hope. Yet, is there a destination?  Do you ever “get there”?  Where is “there” for you?  Is it that house, retirement, that special person, a car, a certain salary or a spot on the career ladder?  Is it peace of mind?  Whatever it is, it is a larger purpose that drives you and informs many of your choices in life until you reach those distant goals.  You will deny your self of other things so that you can achieve your goals.  As a life coach, I am drawn to ask clients these questions, for it is at the root of these that fulfilment is lived on a day to day basis. It is these fundamental questions that drive you along the long journey of life.

I was reading a National Geographic article when it struck me that we share these driving urges and qualities with the animal kingdom. This article was discussing long distance migrations and the qualities animals show to achieve those long term goals. The main one we share is the ability to defer short term gratification for long term gain. Without that distant view of the horizon, it is impossible to keep moving forward in the right direction and have the patience and perseverance to reach that destination- all essential qualities to achieve any long term goals.

Making goals a values- based choice

The context you create sets the tone of your journey- will it be one of slogging your guts out or will it be joyful? Will it be work centred?   Will it be friends and family centred? For each step along the way to be fulfilling, you require a clear context around the qualities that are most important to you- in coaching speak, these are called values.

A house holds no importance in and of itself. It is the value- systems you place upon it that gives it significance. Is it an investment? It is a retirement fund? Is it a home, a place to rest or a place to share with family and friends? Therefore, whatever you decide, it is based upon the things that are important to you and it is in serving those important things that makes the house significant. And so it is with the long journey of life. Whatever those distant goals and final destination, it is how you have honoured what is important to you that makes life fulfilling.

Why goals are important

It is important to have destinations, goals that give you a focus and direction. Without them you would go nowhere, achieve nothing and life would be boring and dull. And yet, in all the goals you have set for your self, when did the path to that destination go smoothly? When did it ever run as you expected it to? The answer is probably rarely, if ever. That is certainly true for me.

Migrating animals will overcome huge geographical and physical challenges to reach their chosen destination. So too will you, especially when you set your goals so far in the future you cannot truly imagine or conceive of what it really looks and feels like to be there. Setting that destination in the context of your values makes the journey bearable, enjoyable even valuable and will give you the patience and determination to carry on when you may want to give in or become diverted by less important things.

The journey not the destination

The logo for Potentiality Coaching implies this concept. It comes from the Japanese art of Kyudo, The Way of Archery. You are given the target, not to hit it, but to have a reason to fire the arrow. The flight of the arrow is determined by your inner demeanour. How calm are you? What is your state of mind? Are you agitated or are you serene? Do you fire the arrow in anger, in fear, for duty, for love or personal expression? Whatever the reason and motivation, it will come out in the flight of the arrow. How you are being in the world says more about your journey than about your destination. The goals are important, just as the target to the archer is. They set your path. What is most important is how you are when you release the arrow, for that determines how your arrow flies.

The power of congruent living

So on the long journey of life, what is it that you strive for and how are you going about achieving it? Are you working from values that make your life feel fulfilling on a daily basis or does it feel empty? Do you feel listless, frustrated or despondent? Are you joyful, content and deeply fulfilled? In short, the answer to those questions depends on how congruent you are living to your values. If you feel that you are not living more in- line with your values and you are ready to take action so that you can live your life in a more fulfilling way, why not contact me for a free consultation about identifying what is truly important to you and how you can manifest that more in your life?

Over to you

What makes you fulfilled? What is important to you? How do you make sure you keep living with those important things in the centre of your life? What do you do if those values change and you have to re- orient your self? How does changing your goals change your life path? I’d love to hear from you and learn more about what makes life fulfilling.

Pass it on

If you think someone would like the content of this blog and others on the Potentiality Coaching website, why not send them the link or share it on social media?  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.

How to make the dream happen?

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Sometimes I wonder how I’m going to achieve what I have dreamed.  How am I going to realise the vision?  I worry about finding the money, creating the opportunities to bring my vision into reality. How am I going to generate the networks? How can I build the audience that loves my message and wants to benefit from what I have to share? Do you find your self posing these questions about your own journey? If so, please read on as this may be useful to you.

Know your “Why?”

Simon Sinek talks about the three circles of how leaders inspire action: ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’. As passionate creators who want to make a difference, people with a message get what Ben Tristem calls ‘mad how’s disease’. We obsess about how we are going to achieve our goals.  Without deeply considering the ‘why’ and the ‘what’.  These are the source of our drive and the manner in which we share it with the world. I have spent years working out my ‘why’ and my ‘what’. I want to know ‘HOW!’

For those of you interested, my ‘why’ is simply to bring people to their fullest potential.  The on- going process of growth and development that keeps driving people to ask ‘Is there more to life and my self than this?’ Through embodiment, mental and physical awareness (both rational and intuitive) as well as a connection to your soul I believe you travel on an unending spiral of maturity and understanding that brings you closer to your answer to this question. This has driven me on my journey to connect with the mysteries of life.  It has led me to encourage others through one- on- one sessions, workshops and weekend retreats.

When the way forward isn’t clear

Recently, in a state of frustration over how we are ever going to achieve our master plans, I committed Emma (my partner) and I to a Sunday afternoon brainstorming session. Bravely we stuck at it for a while.  We got progressively more despondent and bogged down in facts and details without any flashes of inspiration.  Nor did we have the lightness that so often comes with sessions such as these.  In the end it was Emma who said ‘Perhaps we just have to hold the vision in our minds.  May be that is enough for now until things become clearer?’ Instantly, the weight lifted and the joy of our lives’ works returned.

In her flash of insight she made me realise that the ‘how’ comes in stages and often in unexpected ways. The journey is convoluted, making it exciting, frustrating, educational, inspiring, insightful and so much more at different times. To know the whole plan is an illusion or the insistent delusion of a control freak. To hold the plan gently and consistently in the mind keeps the intuition awake for any possibilities.  The mind can work with these to create action and results in the knowledge that one is in fact far less in control than one imagines.

Creating Vision Boards

One of the spin offs of Emma’s insight was to create a vision board. It is a work in progress.  Every time I look at what is already on the board I am reminded of my commitments, desires and dreams. I notice that I think about the vision more.  I make the connections to that vision when events and opportunities present themselves. The ‘how’ becomes clearer daily as I grow and develop along my ever moving path.

So this blog is a thank you to Emma and her insight which greatly helped me and us both. I hope you are reminded of her wisdom the next time the frustration gets the better of you when you insist on answers more concrete than the present allows. Stay focussed on your dreams, most importantly know your ‘why’, be clear about your ‘what’ and the ‘how’?…… Well, let that unfold.

Why not………..

If you found this article useful and interesting please pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word.  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.


 

A Healthy Way to Success

Build new habits into your life gently

Build new habits into your life gently

You’re serious about your health

Every time you attempt to lose weight you manage it for a while, and then the weight returns as you return to old habits and patterns.

You want to get fit. Each time you set time aside you find something more important or pressing to do and the work outs rarely if ever happen.

You’re aware that you eat too much sugar and fats and not enough fruit and vegetables. Perhaps you know you drink too much alcohol for a healthy, balanced life style.

It can be a challenge to find the mind set that makes the change in behaviour stick and consistently move you towards a healthier and fitter life style.

The All or Nothing Mind Set

Very often we diet and exercise in a compulsive way. We deny our self certain foods like chocolate, biscuits and cake and over load on others like fruit and vegetables and wholemeal this and that. We set our self a punishing exercise regime thinking ‘no pain no gain’. This works for a time and often not for long. The reason I believe is because we are still acting within the confines of the ‘binge culture’.

Just as we binge eat and drink, we can binge exercise and work, binge TV and computer/ on- line gaming, going over- board without a sense of continuity and longevity. We run the risk to burn out, living to excess. With this mind set there is no hope of sustainability. We may get fast results, without a hope of keeping it up.

Slow and gently does it

What has worked for me is a slow and steady mind set. Change your diet step by step, gently reducing the intake, the sugars, the fats and slowly increasing the fibre, the fruit and vegetables and more healthy meats and fish. Alter your exercise habits piece meal- increase the duration, regularity and intensity slowly over time. I am a martial arts instructor and I do this myself- if there is something I cannot do I build up to it until I can. It may take years. Often it doesn’t. I am not gifted, I am not special. This attitude works for all my students. It will work for you.

When we are looking to break habits, we are looking for sustainable change. We want quick results so we blast it. It shocks the body so we are forced to push through, focussed and committed until something distracts us and we take our eye off the ball.

Slow and steady is more gentle. We may get distracted- that’s to be expected. New habits become engrained and we can more easily reintroduce them when we are side tracked.

Over to you

Try it. I’d love to hear about your results. It will work with anything. You will want a healthy dose of patience and a commitment to change. Be gentle- it is the way nature works and the key to uncovering your potential is all aspects of your life.

Would you like to join and expand the community?

If you found this article useful and interesting please pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word.  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.

Do you lose your Focus & Confidence?

Confidence & focus can ebb & flow in life- how can you get it back?

Confidence & focus can ebb & flow in life- how can you get it back?

Have you noticed that some days you are flying high? As a consequence,  everything you do is ‘on purpose’, feels directed and meaningful?

Then other days you are not quite on it? You get side- tracked by other things and your day runs away with you? Therefore, you feel less directed towards what is meaningful and ‘on purpose’ for you.

 

And sometimes your heart just isn’t in the game.  On those days your mind won’t focus on what is really important to do at that time.

On days like these it feels like you have taken two steps forward only to find you are right back where you started? Isn’t that right?

First of all, let me tell you this is not the case. If you have made strides forwards towards your goals those steps can never be lost or taken back. How you are feeling in this moment may be very different to yesterday or even this morning, but that does not mean you have taken a back step. You feel different is all!  There is learning and growing in managing that shift with skill and compassion.

These shifts in our feelings as a human creature can be seen most clearly in sport. I am a fan of tennis and I marvel how the tide of a match can be so firmly with one player. They cannot put a foot wrong……. and then something switches. Suddenly the ball starts going long or wide, it erodes the player’s confidence and then the other player is in control and dictating the match. You see it in both individual sports and team sports.

Focus and Confidence

So here are some tips for those days or moments when you are ‘off your stroke’ or just not ‘feeling’ it:

1. Remember what to focus on and focus on it. It is easy to get caught up in what is NOT working rather than focusing on your life purpose or your specific goal or target.  Consequently, issues must be addressed and can be in the context of your bigger plan.

2. Stick to the basics. You know what works. Go with what you know to be effective. Very often the simple stuff gets forgotten in the larger plan. If you are new to an arena then learn the basics and keep doing them.

3. It’s not about perfection. It’s about excellence. Be as excellent as you can be today and may be recruit assistance if you feel you need it. Feeling a little low or under par is normal for all of us at times. Consistently striving for excellence means your base line performance rises over time. Perhaps building a team of people around you can off- set these inevitable times.

4. You’re having a bad day? May be look at that? Take a look at why you are feeling what you’re feeling?  You may find learning in that.  As a result, that may be the inspiration for your next step forward.

5. Breath deep and take stock. Reflect and review and see if you have missed something. Did you prepare well enough? Is there something going on at home that you cannot shake? Is there an health issue? Be honest with your self and address with compassion whatever comes up.

6. Always keep learning. One of the sayings from a great martial arts teacher was ‘You are always training for the fight you cannot win yet.’ There is always a situation that is too challenging for you to deal with in an excellent manner. Great! There is more to learn and experience to gather. It will continually make you better at what you are dedicated to.

7. You have come so far. Look back at where you were 6 months ago, a year. If you keep a diary or journal, look back at the hard times of the past or simply reflect on where you were and understand you have grown so much. There is always further to go, more to learn, more potential to uncover and realise.

Over to you

What do you do if you are having a difficult day? How do you shake it off and rally your self? Do you let your self run with the funk or do you carry on regardless? I’d love to hear from you and build a resource of on- line wisdom that allows people to tap in to their true potential.

Why not………..

If you found this article useful and interesting please pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word.  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ .  When you do, you’ll get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.

When Inspiration Strikes

 "Passive Thinking" not only taps into the creative mind, but also allows for deeper subconscious thoughts and feelings to surface

“Passive Thinking” not only taps into the creative mind, but also allows for deeper subconscious thoughts and feelings to surface

I don’t know about you, but I find sometimes that I am so busy doing stuff- the next appointment, the next trip, the list of chores- that I give myself no time to sit back and look at my life and ask the question: where am I going and how am I getting there?

We live in a society of rushing and frenetic activity.  More often than not you may feel guilty for stepping out of the race.  This may include taking time to enjoy the view, to contemplate and reflect. You may feel you are not doing enough unless you are active in mind and body.

In spite of all this activity, it can still feel like you are not moving towards that fulfilling life.  If indeed you know what that fulfilling life may look like.

A little less action and more reflection

Action is important. Without it, nothing gets done. And yet, if not done in reference to a bigger picture, a greater context, a larger goal, you may do much and achieve a lot and still feel like you are treading water rather than moving forward along the river of life.  Quiet contemplation can give you the space to think in this larger context. Sure, meditation can be a great way to have time and space to allow new ideas and inspiration to bubble to the surface. There are other means of allowing that:

  • journaling is wonderful for jotting down ideas and reflections;
  • movies, documentaries, music, art and literature can offer ideas that spring board you into new creative directions;
  • walk in nature gives space for more open thinking;
  • good conversation with someone to bounce ideas off can be inspirational;
  • a spa day;
  • a retreat;
  • a holiday;
  • a day trip.

Noticing Inspiration

So you have a three stage process: the inspiration, the planning and the action- here I am talking about creating the opportunities for noticing that inspiration. I believe that inspiration is bubbling away beneath the surface of the mind- you just need the time and space to notice it and hear it. There is the “active thinking” of planning and working out the plan.  There is the opportunity for “passive thinking” which also has great value.  For as well as tapping into the creative side of the mind, it allows for deeper subconscious thoughts and feelings to come to the surface.  These are often the forces that bring us most joy yet we work in conflict with them because we do not give ourselves the opportunity to reflect on them and allow them time and space to grow and develop.

Coaching using the co- active model can offer that opportunity.  In coaching there is the chance to find that inspiration.  You can work out how to use it to drive your life in a fulfilling and meaningful way.  Towards greater personal and professional potential.

Over to you

What place does inspiration have in your life? How does it drive your goals and habits? How do you set time aside for creating space and allowing inspiration? What methods of contemplation and reflection work for you and what hasn’t worked? I’d love to hear from you. Please share your experiences and offer support and inspiration to other people in our community.

Why not………..

If you found this article useful and interesting please pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word.  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.

The Impact of Choices

You make choices every moment of every day.  Even by not choosing you are deciding NOT to take action.  All is choice. So, the life you lead right now is a product of your choices.  The question is, are your choices taking you closer or further away from the things that are really important to you?

Being clear about what is of value to you gives you clarity.

Being clear about what is of value to you gives you clarity.

It does not have to be the huge things that this affects.  Although the answer to this question will influence the quality of your life.  As well as the path you take upon that journey.  Each step along that journey also has a flavour, an ambience and a resonance.  That either aligns with the things that you value in life, or it does not.

When my wife and I got married, we made a purposeful commitment to have a wedding celebration that honoured the things that we felt were important to us: family, children, close friends, fun, good food, elegance, homeliness, beautiful surroundings in nature….. the list goes on.  The day was beautiful.  Along the way to organising the day, we were faced with decisions that were full of often overwhelming choices.  It was challenging.  On the whole we did not allow ourselves to become distracted from what we felt was most important.  At times we made choices that others did not like.  These moments were dealt with in a compassionate way and for the most part people were very understanding.

Clarity makes Choices easier

Being clear about what is of value to you gives you clarity.  Taking a little time out to reflect on what is important may be invaluable to you to make sure you are moving in the right direction.  This can be particularly important when faced with the fast pace of modern business and personal lives.  Living aligned to your values helps to keep you focussed and energised.  It may even give you the confidence and belief that you are heading in the “right” direction.  Even when you are not necessarily totally sure of where you are headed.  The beauty and wonder of life unfolds in its own time.

You build your future here and now.  So make sure you are building a future that is full of the things that are really important to you.  As these things change, you will change your future accordingly.  Being aware of the process keeps you in touch with the shifting sands of your life and its passions, drives and motivations.

Determining your Values

So how do you know what your values are?  One such way is to connect to a “peak” experience.  A moment when things felt perfect and you were in the flow.  I had one such moment at my wedding:  looking out over the small crowd of loved ones who had come to celebrate our special day with us, the venue, the setting, the games, the music and feelings of connection that came with it.  When I make choices in my life I do so in reference to these values.  They inform my choices, creating my present and my future and building a past that I am becoming increasingly proud of.

Your turn…..

I’d love to hear your stories of how value- based choices have enhanced your life.  How have they built great memories and helped to create wonderful futures for you and your loved ones?  It is the unfolding of your potential in its many forms that helps to create a life of meaning and fulfilment.  Live it well.

Why not………..

If you found this article useful and informative please pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word.  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.