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The Importance of Story
Dealing with Aniexty
Utilizing Your Power
Wrestling with the Truth
Independence Day
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The Importance of Story


"I really don't like Joe.  I mean, he's a nice guy and all but not much substance behind him other than the position he holds.  If only we had a better boss leading the team we would be killing it right now."  Stories like this, if we're honest, are the kind we fill our heads with sometimes.  The stories we tell ourselves may even to some extend be true, but the truth is not a powerful as our response.  Let me say that again, the truth is not as powerful as our response.

Joe in fact may not be a good leader, but if we hold to that story what do you think our response will be?  Will the team excel with the type of story?  Doubt it.  Rather, if we edit the story to let's say, "You know Joe is not the best leader, but I am going look for his best strength, offer my talents and work with others on the team so we excel."  These edits can dramatically change our response and chances are better results will occur.

I am not suggesting that we put our heads in the sand and disregard the facts in a given situation.  What I am suggesting is that our mindset, our influence, our response has a definite impact on the outcome.  How many sporting events have you witnessed were a team or athlete was down by the facts of the situation, only to respond with such effort that they win at the last moment.  Check out this video: https://youtu.be/xjejTQdK5OI

We tell stories in all aspects of our lives - Marriage, Relationships, Career, Health,  Spirituality, etc.    How are your stories affecting you in these areas.  If they are not working for you I suggest you do some serious editing.  Never mind the facts, what will be your response?

Surge through my friend, surge through.









Dealing with Aniexty

I've seen more people lately stating that the reason why they seek out coaching is the help they need in dealing with anxiety.  So what is anxiety?  Websters defines Anxiety as (1) A state of uneasiness; worry.  (2) Abnormal fear that lacks a specific cause.

So what does that tell us?  First, that anxiety is a  mental state - just like happiness, sadness and confidence.  The point here is that anxiety is a state that can be reproduced by you or me at will.  You and I have a structure or pattern for the feeling we call anxiety.   So, if I were to do "anxiety" I would probably feel confused, have pent up energy, have limited mental focus and little direction on what to do.   So, let me try that on...yup don't like that feeling too much.  Your experience may be somewhat different but the point is that mental states have structure and that structure is unique to you.  Even better news is that if it has structure you can learn to change your states. 

One of the easiest ways to change your state is to move your body.  Go for a walk or hike, ride a bike, exercise.  These physical actions send various good chemicals throughout your body to actually make you feel(mental state) better.   Another way is to change your mental focus by going to see an inspiring movie, an uplifting concert or play, watch a comedy.  Again, these actions send good chemicals throughout your body changing your state.

To learn how to change and control a state at will you must first discover your structure.  If my structure for "anxiety" is feeling confused, having pent up energy, have limited mental focus and little direction on what to do, and if I were to change any of them the structure for "anxiety" would fall apart.  So, if I were in this scenario were to find a direction on what to do (maybe through coaching) that action would break apart the structure i have for anxiety. 

Here's to happy states. 

Surge through my friend, surge through.











Utilizing Your Power

You are energy!  And because you are you can exert your power.  Think about it, have you ever engaged someone in an heated debate, picked up a bag full of groceries or mowed the grass?  If you have (which I am certain you have) you've demonstrated power.   So if you have power, the million dollar question is this...do you use your power wisely?  Are you getting what you want, influencing who you should and achieving what you desire?
 
If you not there are two reasons why this could be:  1) You are not clear on what you want, and 2) You have not established boundaries.
 
Let's start with wants.  We often define a want as a goal, and a goal is simply something you want to achieve.  Some may tell you that you should break a goal down using the S.M.A.R.T. formula (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time Bound).  But I say no!  Think about a time when you really wanted something.  Maybe it was a piece of jewelry, your first car, dating someone, etc.  You knew what you wanted and were very specific about it.  And because you were you consciously and subconsciously worked toward it.  You were what we call "fully engaged."    If you were not fully engaged, the want was destined to be a fantasy, a delusion, or a wish.  For instance, how many of us have lost weight for a high school reunion?  We did so because we wanted to and were fully engaged in either exercise, healthy eating, or both.  So let's be clear, if you want something you have to be clear on what you want to be fully engaged.  If not, it's a fantasy.  
 
Having boundaries is a different story.  Boundaries are what you accept or not accept consciously and unconsciously when it comes to your purpose.  However, if you're not careful you can fall prey to the whims of what other people want, what feels good at the moment or what the social norms may be.  For instance, let's say you wanted to stay single and not marry until you reached a certain level of professional success or income level.   There could be enormous pressure from family, friends and the overall perceptions about societal norms that being married is "normal" and "expected" at a certain age.  If our boundaries are not strong, we may succumb and marry, even though it's not what we truly want at the time.
 
So here is the rub.  To have strong boundaries you must have a want (goal) and be actively doing it!  Yep, no 7 steps or 12 steps or magic formula.  You must decide what you want and be so specific about it that you'll do anything and everything to achieve it.  Your boundaries will naturally support it.  Now, that's power!
 
Surge through my friend.  Surge through.
 
 
 

Wrestling with the Truth

I love the scene in the movie "A Few Good Men" where Jack Nicholson plays a staunchly old U.S. Marine Colonel, and while being pressed in a Military Court by a pesky young Navy Lawyer (played by Tom Cruise), Nicholson utters the famous phrase..."you want the truth, you can't handle the truth!"  
 
Such a powerful phrase.  But why?  Maybe because we all wrestle with our own various truths so-to-speak.  Truth in our relationships, truth in our vocation, truth in our spirituality, truth in our politics, truth in our self esteem, etc.  Deep stuff, huh?  You bet, but that's why I believe the phrase "you can't handle the truth" is so powerful, because most of us can't handle these truths nor are open to investigate what the truth is (a self cross examination). 
 
So we compensate with various behaviors to escape the truth.  For example, we may be in a bad relationship so we compensate by drinking or we seek outside "activities" or "friendships".  We may hate our jobs and compensate by just doing enough, never stretching to grow professionally - we just want to make it to Friday.  We may take drugs or get involved in risky behaviors to compensate for a pain or hurt from the past.  We may spend too much money or be obsessed with how we look to compensate for low self esteem. 
 
The problem with compensating behaviors is they don't work, never have and never will.  They will only serve as a temporary stop-gap measure that will lead you down a rabbit hole you should not go - adding even more potential pain, suffering and complexity to your life.
 
So why don't we face the truth?  Two primal fears our brain is wired to protect us from:  Fear and Pain.  
 
We don't want to face the fear of financial loss, the fear of being alone, the fear of the future, the fear of hurting others, etc.  
 
We don't want to feel the pain, have others feel pain, the pain of starting over, the pain of insecurity, etc.
 
So we compensate realizing that the drink, drug, fling, food or thing will only medicate us temporarily until the truth again emerges - like the rising sun - strong and resilient.
 
So how to we "know and handle the truth?"  Ask these questions:
 
1. What's the truth in this matter (do not rationalize, justify or reason)?  Be blunt and as concise as you can.  Narrow it down to a 10 word or less statement.  Such as:  "I am miserable at my job and hate my work."
 
2.  How do you know (again be precise).  Such as: "I know because the work that I do doesn't interest me."
 
3.  What should you do instead?  (notice I didn't ask what you want to do - the word "should" activates different thinking processes than the word "want".)  Such as: "I should look for a new job in another field that interests me."
 
4.  How will you do it? (you should seek help from those who have been through the same process and have been successful and/or seek out professional advice/counseling from a coach, therapist, attorney, etc.)
 
So, here's a leading question:  Will you keep on compensating and expending your energy in things that don't work and keep you from dealing with the truth?  Or will you finally examine the evidence, address the facts and face the truth?
 
That's is...if you can handle the truth.
 
 

Independence Day

Yesterday was Independence Day in America.  There was countless cook outs and barbecues with hot dogs, hamburgers, chips...all the fixins'.  And of course the fire works to celebrate the freedom we have as Americans.    It's a grand time and one of my favorite celebrations.   But was does independence really mean?  Of course  it's the victory over the tyranny and oppression from British  rule some two hundred  plus years ago.
 
But the independence I am referring to is personal.  It's the independence from another type of tyranny and oppression.  It could be the tyranny and oppression from the extra weight you've been carry around, or maybe it's burden of debt, or the sorrow over the loss of a loved one, or the pain of a broken relationship.  Maybe is the tyranny  and oppression of low self esteem or lack of confidence.  Whatever it may be in our lives holding us back...if we could declare independence from it can we truly be free.
 
So how do we do that?  Just as the leaders of  our country back in 1776 we must take a stand, firmly rooted, that we've had enough and will do whatever it takes to be free (Our Founding Leaders - some lost their lives, many lost their families and property - essentially lost everything).  It's a commitment that you are resolute in doing what it takes to rid yourself of the issue that's holding you hostage.
 
For example,  let's say you're struggling with extra weight (fat) on your body.  The first step is to decide that you will do everything needed to be free from it (within healthy means of  course).  One you've made that decision take action.  Taking action has power so do it justice.  The best way is to model others who've been in your situation.  What did they do?  What did the think?  What did they feel?  What were the key factors?  Find that person(s) and ask them.  Once you've done this you have a model, a pathway to success.   Then begin your journey, adapt as necessary and  do not stop until you've achieved your freedom.  Remember, most of the issues holding us back are the same issues many others have experienced.  Find those who have overcome not only for inspiration, but for the actions steps required.
 
Remember, we must live out that which we want to be.
 
Happy Independence Day America!  And those seeking personal independence...I wish for you the strength  and courage as you seek the freedom on your independence day..
 
Surge through my friend, surge through.
 
 
 
 

Where's Your Spring?

Spring as sprung.  Here in North Carolina for the last several days its reached over 80 degrees already.  Yes, Spring is here and I love this time of year - the air is fresh, the trees and flowers are beginning to bloom and there seems to be a different energy in the air - people seem to have, well, a spring in their step.
 
And this time of the year also got me thinking about my personal Spring -  Am I providing a fresh perspective in my life?  Are my goals and objectives beginning to grow and bloom?  Is the energy I'm bringing forth sufficient? Am I headed in the right direction by evidence of a spring in my step?
 
You see, this isn't just a great time for weather and Mother Nature's time of revival, but it is also a revival time for us to look at our life with fresh perspective.
 
I know for me I've taken this Springtime to reflect on my personal and professional life with a fresh perspective, checking on my growth in these areas and my overall energy expenditure toward them.
 
So what about you?  Wherever you may be on the globe, what changes are you making?  If you're doing the same thing you're most likely getting the same results.  So if you want to change and spring to a new result ask yourself the following questions to get you started:
 
1. What do you want? (not what you don't want)
2. What would be the first 3 steps to get your started?
3. Who can help you?  (or who has done it before and what did they do?)
4. Begin and modify as needed.
5. Have resilience (the energy needed to succeed is rewarded by commitment).
6. Enjoy the results.
7. Begin the process again.
 
Until then.  Surge through my friend.  Surge through.
 
 
 

Got Rhythm?

Do you remember back in High School at the Prom or Dance and how easy it was to see who had rhythm and who, well didn't.  I'm thankful to John Travolta and the Bee Gees where I was able to pick up a few moves - "night fever, night fever, ah".  Wow, those were the days.  Sorry, I digress.
 
But we all have a rhythm so-to-speak.  It's how we get things done whether it's a busy schedule at work, running a house hold, managing a team or playing a sport, it's all about rhythm.  We know when we're in rhythm because things just happen, everything seems to fall into place and we get things accomplished.   We tend to be in "flow" and our energy levels are high and we tend to experience little to no stress.  We may even get a litte high from the experience - the endorphin rush of accomplishment.  Having rhythm in our life is fantastic.
 
It's when we are out of rhythm that things turn sour.  We can tend to be all over the place - miss managing deadlines, forgetting appointments, running late, experience a feeling of never being settled, we may feel frustrated and our energy levels may dwindle - we may even fall into a mild depression.  Ever been there?
 
To get back into rhythm here's a few things to try:
- Chunk up or look at the bigger picture.
- Decide whether what your doing has run it's course.
- Ask...Is there a better way?
- Ask...Who can help me?
- Take a break - read a book, go to a movie, get a away for some time.
- Exercise.
- Pray, meditate or get a massage.
- Attend a spiritual service.
 
All of these are just ways to get you to think differently, and when you do those new thoughts can change you from the inside out guiding you back into rhythm or even finding you a different rhythm altogether. 
 
If all else fails do what I do.  Put on some Bee Gees and dance like John Travolta.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1.

The View

How's your view on things lately?  I just had a good conversation with my daughter who made some pretty dramatic statements such as: "I can't do anything right.  My soccer coach - all she does is yell.  I'm stupid and I have no friends.  My life stinks."
 
Now, part of me wanted say....suck it up sweetie, that's life.  But being that I'm trying to be a good Dad (not Father of the year mind you) I decided to coach her and help her try to change her state and her current grip on the negative thought train she was on.
 
What she was caught up in, as we all do at times, is a negative view.  We may see a news report and go negative, we may receive a certain comment from a co-worker or our boss and go negative, we may disagree with a love one and go negative.  This is simply what we tend to do as humans.  The problem occurs when our view becomes negative from a single incident or two, to many or every event surrounding our life currently. 
 
I wear glasses to read.  Since I'm constantly putting them on and off they get smudges, dust and other things on the lens that cause them to get dirty and my view is not so good.  And just like a dirty lens (negativity) we must clean them frequently so we can brightly see what is in our view.  It's a constant process of cleaning and seeing, cleaning and seeing, and cleaning and seeing.
 
That's what I did with my daughter.  I helped her clean her lens from a negative view to one that is a bit clearer and bright.
 
So the next time you find yourself (or someone you care about) with a negative view, try cleaning the lens by focusing on what is possible, what is good, or what knowledge can be gained to move you (or the other person) forward to a brighter view.  Cleaning and seeing, cleaning and seeing, and cleaning and seeing.

Dealing with Loss

On December 3, 2012 - just a few days ago my Father of almost 82 years passed away.  It was a tough go for him the last few months as he battled cancer and the finality of the end of his physical life - the regrets, the sorrows and the goodbyes.  
 
Fortunately, he was able to say goodbye to his wife, his children, grandchildren and the entire extended family.  Yesterday he was buried and thus the death process complete.
 
But is it?  For those who are still alive the question is...now what?  What to we do with the death of someone so important, so critical to our life?
 
I am no expert on grief or the process of loss.  But for me, as I ponder the loss of my Father is that I have a choice.  And that choice is simple for me - either I grieve the fact that he is dead and that represents an end - an end to things never said, an end to saying "I"m sorry", an end to the personal conversations, an end to saying "I love you."
 
Or, though he is gone in the physical realm, his is still alive with me in spirit through my personal memories.  These are my memories, no one else has them and I take them and will use them to keep his spirit alive in me.  And since these are my memories I choose the ones that empower me and serve me as I know my Father would want for me.  I can think of no better way to honor my Father - to keep his spirit alive so I may still have him to say "I'm sorry, "I love you", listen to his silly jokes, ponder what his advice would be as I need it and his love for me. 
 
Thus keeping him with me as my Father until my end. 
 
 
 
 
 

Potential

                                                                                   
Has anyone ever told you that you have potential?  Maybe it was when you were a kid learning to play the piano, trying out for soccer or auditioning for a play.  More recently your boss or your friends may have said that you have potential.  How did you feel when you heard the word potential?
 
In reality we all have potential, but what does potential actually mean? 
 
According to Webster’s II it means: 1) Capable of being but not yet in existence.  2) Capable of being developed.  3) The capacity for growth and development.
 
Hmmm…interesting.  If we accept Webster’s definition then the onus for transforming our potential is on us.  Meaning, to realize our potential we must do something – we must act in some way. 
 
This brings us to what I call the four levels of potential:
 
Level 1 – Potential discovered
 
This is when we discover that we have the capacity or capability for something.  Usually, it comes from our natural ability and the enjoyment of an activity; there’s some satisfaction from doing it.  But if we don’t move through the next levels our potential can begin to fade. Have you ever tried playing a piano or a sport after not doing it for some time, maybe years?  Not the easiest thing to do and we usually perform awfully.  That’s what happens when potential lays dormant.
 
Level 2 – Potential investigated
 
In this stage we understand our potential in a given area and so we begin to investigate ways to cultivate and exercise our capabilities.  For example, let’s say we have a natural gift for speaking; we may explore Toastmasters International as a way to grow as a speaker.  We may also investigate other avenues for speech training and seek out a Rotary or Optimist Club to possibly engage others to utilize our speaking skills.
 
Level 3 – Potential acted upon
 
This level is where rubber meets the road so-to-speak.  It’s where we actually take action to cultivate and grow our capabilities – we join the clubs, attend the trainings and practice.  Unfortunately, this is where most of us falter because it encompasses two four letter words:  WORK and do some extend PAIN.  And to get good at something, to push past potential takes effort and (yes) failure until we reach a level of excellence (or mastery).  And let’s be frank, we don’t like WORK and PAIN most of the time.  Rather, we would like our potential to just assimilate into excellence or mastery through osmosis and/or with little effort.
 
Level 4 – Potential realized
 
However, if we’ve done the work and most likely failed (dozens or hundreds of times) we begin to develop a level of expertise or mastery.  This process may take days, months or years depending upon the activity or thing to be achieved.  Critical at this point is that we cannot think we’ve arrived or we may will stop practicing, stop growing, stop doing what it takes to maintain our excellence or mastery and will surely shrink back to level 3, 2 or 1.
 
So, what will you do or what have you done with your potential?
 
For more information on how to develop your potential fill out the Contact Us Tab and mention “I want to develop my potential.”
 
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