“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

—Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States

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As part of my customized Personal Excellence Training — which sets the stage for the majority of coaching engagements — I introduce a self-coaching tool called “The Pivot Point.”

This technique uses the concept of “creative tension” described by Robert Fritz in his book, The Path of Least Resistance.

Essentially, the pivot point involves asking yourself — or perhaps a group — these three questions:

  1. What is the current reality?
  2. What is the vision or goal?
  3. What actions can and will I/we take to move forward?

The leverage of our vision provides the impetus to move forward, and creates the opportunity to better our situation.

EXERCISE:

Select at least one personal or professional front-burner issue or project to try out the Pivot Point technique. Please consider replying to this post to let me know how things go.

“Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality.”

“Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality.”

—Ralph Marston, 20th Century professional football player

Image from Unsplash by Bruce Mars

How happy, healthy, and successful are you? If for some reason your answer falls a bit short of where you hoped you would be at this point in your life, today’s quote provides two nuggets of coaching.

To what degree are your personal and professional goals truly ambitious and inspiring? How passionate and motivated are you when you discuss them with others or even daydream? How much of this inner talk converts into committed action?

Personal doubts and other forms of limiting beliefs act like vampires that suck the life out of most of us from time to time. Consider your own awareness of these vision-draining thoughts. To what degree are they currently limiting your vitality and success?

EXERCISE:

What goal-expanding and doubt-limiting efforts can and will you take to move your current reality to far more extraordinary levels?

Consider partnering with a family member, friend, mentor, or a coach to assist you and guarantee your success.

“I will accept your influence, guidance, and direction if (and only if) I believe that you and I share similar goals.”

“I will accept your influence, guidance, and direction if (and only if) I believe that you and I share similar goals.”

—David Maister, former Harvard Business School professor

Image from Unsplash by Nik MacMillan

How coachable are you? How open and receptive are you to the guidance, direction and influences of others in your professional or personal life?

I begin working with all new clients with an all-day, one-on-one workshop in my office to clarify and fully align on the specific goals and objectives we intend to produce. With this up-front investment to align our objectives we can optimize the full benefit and value of our relationship.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you enhance the receptivity and coach-ability of yourself and those around you by doing the up-front work of assuring shared goals for your efforts?

“People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals…”

“People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals. That is, goals that do not inspire them.”

—Tony Robbins, American self-help Author and speaker

Image of a white coffee cup inscribed "begin"

Image from Unsplash by Danielle MacInnes

Who are the lazy people you know personally or professionally? Where and on what occasions do you, too, have a lazy streak in which you prefer to disengage?

To what degree do you, and they, perk up and find energy to become fully engaged by other interests and abilities?

What are your most exciting and inspiring vocational and avocational interests—the ones where you find yourself “all in” and where time flies?

EXERCISE:

What changes can and will you make to super-charge the potency of goals for yourself and others?

Feel free to reply to this post with the inspired actions you take and the results that occur.

The great secret about goals and visions

“The great secret about goals and visions is not the future they describe, but the change in the present they engender.”

—David Allen, American Productivity Consultant

Image of a circle of people looking down at the camera

Image from Unslpash by RawPixel

I hope you had a very happy holiday season, and that your new year is off to an outstanding start. Perhaps you are like most of us in that you set about to revisit your visions for the new year, and establish “stretch” goals for where you see yourself professionally and personally.

What progress, skills, habits, and achievements will put a big smile on your face? Perhaps most importantly, what daily changes will be required to realize what you deeply desire?

David Allen suggests, in today’s quote, that our visions and goals provide the leverage of our commitment to changing our present actions that will have us realize the futures we desire.

EXERCISE:

Consider displaying the following quote by Tuli Kupferberg in your personal or professional environment as a daily reminder to tap into one of the secrets to a better future:

“When patterns are broken, new worlds will emerge.”

Also consider writing it with the second part first:

“New worlds will emerge when patterns are broken.”

Never mistake a clear view for a short distance

“Never mistake a clear view for a short distance.”

—Mark Spain, top Real Estate Broker

illustration of the distance between earth and Mars

Image from SpaceNews

Have you ever looked up at the night sky and seen Mars without a telescope?

If you have, you were viewing the red planet – which won’t appear red – at a distance of about 34 million miles, when at its closest to Earth.

Although the math is complicated, and there is no way to travel to Mars in a straight line – which, if you could, would take 39 days – here is a list of a few missions and the time it took for the journey:

  • Mariner 9, the first spacecraft to orbit Mars (1971): 168 days
  • Viking 1, the first U.S. craft to land on Mars (1995): 304 days
  • Mars Science Laboratory (2011): 254 days

EXERCISE:

To what degree are you fully prepared to go the distance on one or more personal or professional goals, that you can clearly see ahead?

Anybody who is not pulling his weight

“Anybody who is not pulling his weight is probably pushing his luck.”

—Adi Da Samraj, 20th Century American spiritual teacher

Image of a man tugging a thick rope

Image from Unsplash by Stijn Swinnen

Consider the following three aspects of your life, and determine your level of effort, success, and satisfaction:

  • Career
  • Relationships
  • Health

Examine how often you put in the time, focus, and heavy lifting to achieve your goals in each area.

Consider those around you with sluggish careers, failing relationships, and poor or diminished health. What do you observe regarding their efforts?

EXERCISE:

Where would pulling more of your weight bring you greater luck and good fortune in these are other important aspects of your life?

What actions will you take today to put on some more muscle, to tone up your life?

Well Arranged Time

“Well arranged time is the surest mark of a well arranged mind.”

—Sir Isaac Pitman, developer of the Pitman method of Shorthand

Image of a silver pocket watch

Image from Unsplash by Isabella Christina

Time management is almost always one of the top goals of my coaching clients.

They describe their desires with wording such as:

  • Life Balance
  • Stress Reduction
  • Personal Freedom
  • Independence and Autonomy
  • Peace of Mind
  • Spending time and energy on what’s most important
  • Work less and make more

All too frequently the tyranny of the urgent, or the pervasiveness of digital distractions, leaves us stressed and exhausted, with less than stellar results and satisfaction.

EXERCISE:

How can you more fully plan your days and work your plans to realize the life you sincerely desire?

Consider downloading a copy of my Time Management Strategies and Tactics Workbook, to help rearrange your mind and time. Please use the password BarryDemp if prompted to do so.

Don’t Wait Until You are Lost

“Don’t wait until you are lost to evaluate where you are going.”

—Brendon Burchard, American Motivational Author

Image of a hand holding a compass

Image by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Are you a goal setter?

At this time of year, many of us take time to reflect over the past months to determine what we have achieved relative to our plans from last December.

If you are like many, you may have found yourself taking numerous detours or getting completely lost at some point along the way.

What are some of your own thoughts on ways to not wait until you are lost to evaluate where you are going?

EXERCISE:

Imagine you somehow could install your own goal-focused GPS system. How can you establish far more frequent check-ins and touch points to reach your most sincerely desired destinations in the year ahead?

Are you following a path or blazing one

“Are you following a path, or blazing one?”

-Michael Bungay Stanier, Sr. Partner of Box of Crayons

Image of a path in the forest

Image from Flickr by Vinoth Chandar

We are all creatures of habit. Just take a look at a typical day to explore all of the routines and rituals that engage your time.

The good news is that habits are often extremely helpful in that they usually provide us the necessary momentum to pursue and achieve many of our goals.

On the other hand, new goals that we passionately desire rarely come to fruition because we continue to follow our current path, using familiar strategies and tactics.

EXERCISE:

Where and on what personal or professional goals is blazing a path the thing to do to achieve what you most desire? What new and different behaviors and attitudes will be required to do so?