Imagine if we started each day or each meeting with something like the following…
Father God, and the Great Spirits, I pray that just for today I choose to uplift others by reinforcing their strengths and maximizing my strengths. And just for today I pray that we choose faith over fear in every decision. Amen
Yes, I am serious. Listen to this audio.
Consider how many people you know who have ignored their health, or made poor choices about their partner, or refused to relocate, or let a character trait such as stubbornness prevent them from some desire.
Now consider how many people you know who have chosen to define their values, develop daily habits to reinforce those passions, or chosen to serve thousands of others.
Passionate Actions define us. Just as you choose to take care of your aging parents, or call that friend, or exceed your client’s expectations, or regularly exercise, your passions define your individual actions.
Passionate Actions also define us as a species.
Consider what happens when we build a business, commit to a relationship, care for others, develop long term friendships, congratulate a colleague, show kindness, speak positively about others…. Ultimately, we are choosing constructive acts for our species.
There is plenty of fear in the world. And we can choose to polarize and divide (e.g. select any blog RE: political, ethnic, cultural, social, economic debates…) We can choose fear. Or we can choose passions.
You can make anabolic, constructive choices to live serving others.
What are you choosing to do?
I have been thinking about our conversation all day and have some initial thoughts,
1. Change starts with the overwhelming BELIEF that you DESERVE a better life/ desired change.
2. That idea may sound cyclical, or odd, but it is overwhelming to me at times. And I see it in the most difficult coaching clients too. It requires you to adopt some beliefs. And frankly, that is the hardest step.
3. IMHO, many people were raised to believe many limiting beliefs about money, wealth, deserving a rewarding career, health, you name it. My family of origin caused me to change many beliefs. I have struggled. My coaching clients struggle. You may not struggle, I understand.
4. As a gift, I have just ordered you a book that has helped me a lot. And I enjoy giving it to many clients. It is called “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”, by Harv Eker. He claims that he can predict anyone’s financial or career future after 2-3 minutes of conversation. His experience is that we all have financial blueprints about wealth and opportunity and success.
5. In graduate school I learned how these can be re-programmed. Thankfully. The brain is elastic. It cannot separate “I am stating that I deserve a new career” from “I deserve a new career.”
6. So, a coaching question to explore may be, “What would it take for me to BELIEVE that I DESERVE a better life?”
7. Coaches help people change. There are three well-proven steps that help all of us move from 1) awareness to 2) constructive action, to 3) individual and team accountability. Our beliefs are a choice. I have changed. You can change too.
Here are some options for your consideration. I am willing to:
1. Talk daily for 30 minutes as you define your passions and next career
2. Meet weekly directly, or over Skype, or on the phone, to do the same
3. Provide best of class articles on career search, etc,
4. Provide assessments to help you assess your strengths and consider next steps
5. Steer you toward digital resources, essential networks
6. Share the above with your wife
7. Be a coach at times
8. Be a friend at times
9. Be uninvolved at times
10. Something else/ any combination of the above.
So, what would you like to do next?
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are commonly used metrics for a business. You may use quarterly returns, cash flow, % new sales, #of clients retained in your daily life. Accountants and MBAs are taught to master these. As if they were gospel.
But they are not gospel. They are a choice.
What if we these KPIs were only metric among several?
1. Posted on the door of my home office are two examples of alternate KPIs. One is a list of financial metrics by month (e.g. revenue, expenses, investments, monthly gross, bank balance, and % of 12 month goal.) That visual keeps me focused on business. And it teaches our high-school aged daughters something about business. The second list is called “Passionate Actions.” These are the reasons why I work. Listed monthly are the family trips, personal trips, adventures, life decisions in the past and in the future. I update both lists quarterly, or so. Together, these KPIs keep me focused on 1) the top line, 2) bottom line, and 3) key lines.
2. According to recent articles in Fast Company and the TED community online, there is a new KPI being adopted in several countries in Northern Europe. They measure Happiness. As a social construct. And as a material currency. Details are at http://blog.ted.com/2006/09/26/happiness_exper/ Can you imagine using a Happiness Quotient, HQ, as a measure of your personal success? Makes me wonder if we are missing this KPI in America. The health and social benefits of happiness as a choice are well documented. The alternatives are even better documented (e.g. depression, violence, poor health and diet…)
3. Alienation. Anomie. Social Isolation. These are not commonly discussed points at your local breakfast Rotary Club, or while watching your kids play soccer. But these are social facts in America. Especially for men, who are being replaced by women throughout every business segment in America. These people may be too sad to talk. They do not easily build relationships. So, perhaps we need to adopt radical new KPIs such as “The number of direct conversations with people per day. The quality of conversation per day. The number of hours helping others per day.” Relationships define business success, and psychological health. We know that those who live longest have a strong social network. Hmmm… solopreneurs are not the only ones who need to guarantee social contacts. Look at any coffeeshop or bookstore or library for examples of lonely people. Watch how many fathers are at school bus stops, or PTA meetings. Scan any online dating company. Did you know that you can now “Rent-a-Grandma” to watch your children? Makes me wonder what would happen if we were to create KPIs around constructive social relationships.
Like many readers, I have shelves of books on Success. I regularly send subscriptions of Success magazine to my most engaged coaching clients. Creating “success” is a work in progress, and the metrics define the outcome.
What if we were to adopt a new view of KPIs?
Once again, 2010 was a wonderful year for our family. I don’t know why. Perhaps one reason is because “Hope” is my favorite advent candle. As we emerge from the longest night, the winter solstice, and the holidays, it seems timely to think about how we choose to say, or do, or react to stimulus.
Consider these facts:
– There is currently more global peace, per capita, than at any time in the recorded history of mankind.
– More people have more physical needs, for food and shelter and clean water, than at any time in recorded history. Preventable illnesses like polio are nearly eradicated.
– More information is available to more people than at any time. Over 3 billion of our 6.5 billion people have access to the internet. Literacy rates per capita have never been higher.
– The ancient need for free expression of ideas has enabled more oppressed people than ever to voice their needs using technology. That trend has led to changes in microeconomics, democracy, social and racial equality, global distribution of products and services, social marketing, interpersonal connections… and will lead to more changes.
– We know the ingredients for a successful life include a healthy diet, regular exercise, connection with others, purposeful work, autonomy, free choice.
So, how do I/you choose to be a hopeful American? Here are some of my recent favorites:
– www.TED.com for almost any uplifting subject and global commentary
– www.NetFlix.com for PBS documentaries such as Dr. Andrew Weil’s “Healthy Aging”
– www.SuccessFinder.com for a focus on your top strengths and how to implement them at work and in life
– Any financial literacy website, or authors such as Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman
– Drive, by Daniel Pink, explores how business is catching up with science to drive self-directed thinking and motivation and suggest future work patterns
– The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, reminds me how our Personal Legend can lead to vast wealth
– Mojo, by Marshall Goldsmith, provides a framework for changes in inertia
Perhaps, if there is a common thread among these favorites, it may be that I choose to be Hopeful. And keep my head down, while persisting on a long, slow run
What is my wish for you? That 2011 may be all that you desire!
Doug Gray, PCC