Monthly Archives: January 2009

Where do you stand?

Where do you stand?   What do you feel?   What do you sense?  What do you hear?  What do you want?


Reflect, relax, review, remember, remind.


A Dream Pang
  I had withdrawn in forest, and my song
Was swallowed up in leaves that blew alway;
And to the forest edge you came one day
(This was my dream) and looked and pondered long,
But did not enter, though the wish was strong:
You shook your pensive head as who should say,
‘I dare not—too far in his footsteps stray—
He must seek me would he undo the wrong.

Not far, but near, I stood and saw it all
Behind low boughs the trees let down outside;
And the sweet pang it cost me not to call
And tell you that I saw does still abide.
But ’tis not true that thus I dwelt aloof,
For the wood wakes, and you are here for proof.

Robert Frost

to seek change – is to seek happiness

What is the point of living if you are not willing to change?   Any ideas?   There are people who resist change, run from change, pretend not to change all in the effort to remain the same.   It is the sameness of everyday life that is reductionary, that sucks life from us and drains joy from us.   Sameness … what is your sameness?   What patterns are regularly repeated day in and day out that should be changed?   There are patterns that bear repeating day after day … so not those, but those patterns that trap us in sameness, what are those?

Part of change is to improve or bring upon oneself greater happiness.   Not the kind of happiness associated with laugther but the kind of happiness that feels good for long periods of time without any form of corruption.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi writes, “What I ‘discovered’ was that happiness is not something that happens.  It is not the result of good fortune or random chance.  It is not something money can buy or power command.  It does not depend on outside events, but, rather, on how we interpret them.  Happiness, in fact, is a condition that one must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person.  People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy.”

Learning to control the inner experience … leads to happiness.

Wouldn’t that require a change?

finding the blindspot

Drivers of motor vehicles know that when they look in their side mirrors that there is a place where they can’t determine if there is a vehicle there or not.  That area is the blind spot.  If the mirrors are properly adjusted the blind spot can be minimized or even become non-existent.  Now if the rear view mirror is blocked and the side view mirrors are adjusted to eliminate the blind spot to the sides you’ll miss what is happening behind you.

Coaching is about helping people discover and eliminate their personal blind spots.  Now, some would say they have no blind spots and in that case coaching wouldn’t be needed.   Coaching is for those who want to make a step forward, and then another step and another until they have found all of their blind spots.

Is coaching about taking a risk?   Some people would be afraid or unsure that coaching is something they could benefit from.  Those people who engage in coaching are opportunity-focused.  That is they see the benefits of coaching to be far greater than any perceived risks.

Could it be that we are blind to the opportunities of transformational change?  In our own examined life we don’t see that there are benefits from seeking something greater than what we know now.  For some the curiosity of opportunity is great, far greater than the work and effort it takes to change transformationally to something better than they are today.

Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.  William James

I would imagine that many people are reluctant to challenge themselves for it is in those great challenges that growth is possible and in the growth is change and change creates fear which causes people to back down from the challenge.  A coach helps manage the fear and assists in finding the path that leads to true growth.

the problems we create

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Einstein

How often do we start out to change our lives by using the same tools, same resources, same ideas, and same patterns as we did before we set out on the big change initiative?

In the world of coaching one of the goals is to provide tools to the client so that they can view their desires from a whole new approach.   Finding a radically new question or thought that hadn’t been examined before can generate insight.   The insight might generate some new goals for change, and perhaps new values (at least values that were present before).   “Ah, yes!”, might be the words that run through the mind when a new approach to an old problem is revealed.

Wouldn’t it be great to greet an old problem with a new potential solution?  Wouldn’t it be great if new patterns of behavior emerged that provided a new path to success, significance and joy?

For many, many people seeking meaning, seeking purpose and not just seeking but finding purpose, joy and meaning is core to life.  Without joy, without meaning, and without purpose life has more moments of gray than white or black.  Life is missing the intensity of both reward and understanding if we sit in a pool of gray.  

It goes back to this idea, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”


Stepping beyond the present fear

Fear is beginning to permeate the air.  Companies big and small are dismissing employees as the economy continues its freefall downward.   The economy is experiencing greater stress as each day passes.

What can be done to restore the hope that is needed to get the economy to being its upward movement?



Success is as dangerous as failure.
Hope is as hollow as fear.

What does it mean that success is a dangerous as failure?
Whether you go up the ladder or down it,
you position is shaky.
When you stand with your two feet on the ground,
you will always keep your balance.

What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear?
Hope and fear are both phantoms
that arise from thinking of the self.
When we don’t see the self as self,
what do we have to fear?

See the world as your self.
Have faith in the way things are.

Love the world as your self;
then you can care for all things.

Written by Lao-tzu
From a translation by S. Mitchell

you can, you can, you can


change today

Need a change … change of heart … change of attitude … Smile


Take a look today!  Smile!

my words


Image by

habit breaking – habit forming

Breaking habits – changing habits

This is from the book “Mind Power” by Dan Custer


The topic is breaking habits and the steps that are needed to make new habits.

One point that is made about beginning new habits is that you need to find a way to reward yourself for the progress you’ll make.  Positive rewards reinforce the desired behavior that you are seeking.

So, what do you do?

1.       Start with conviction.  You need a powerful reason to being the change.

2.      Start, just start the process – don’t delay do it today.

3.      Prepare – make sure you have the resources at hand.  Prepare mentally and understand what it is you want to do.

4.      Initiate the process … do what you are going to do.

5.      Persist – be consistent, practice, practice and practice until it becomes a regular routine. 

6.      Acknowledgment – give credit to yourself for the progress made.  Continue with positive reinforcement for your efforts. 

Dan Custer writes that there are statements that you can use to help reinforce the changes you’d like to make.  For example repeating something like this,

“I am free. I know the truth about myself.  I am free to act.  The faculties of Life are mine to use.  My body is mine to direct.  My emotional power is mine to use.  Whatsoever the Father hath is mine.  I have power to consciously choose how I will use the power of Life for my own good.  I can direct my path to happiness, prosperity and health.  When I start a new plan of action, I persist until it becomes a habit.”


Free to act.  Free to respond.  Free to change.  Free to enjoy.  Free to be.

These things become real with positive change.

meaning is happiness

The Dalai Lama spoke these words, “I believe the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness.  That is clear.  Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, we are all still seeking something better in this life.  So I think the very motion of our lives is towards happiness.”

Is happiness what you seek?


In other set of wise words Jacob Needleman wrote, “We are born for meaning, not pleasure, unless it is pleasure that is steeped in meaning.”

Two approaches to life, happiness and meaning.  Can you find happiness in meaning?  I think many, many people are seeking both happiness and meaning.   Finding meaning may result in happiness, what do you think?

If you are seeking happiness and found it elusive what were you seeking?