Having Problems with Goal Setting ? Try using Mental Contrasting Technique.

Daily Quote and Challenge:

” Mental contrasting when used by those with high expectations of success leads to increased goal commitment and energization.” Gabriele Oettingen,

In using mental contrasting or visualization technique to reach a personal change goal it is important to identify and picture how you will FEEL once you have attained your goal. To execute mental contrasting answer these two critical questions:

  1. What does success look like ?

 

2. How will you know when you have reached your goal?

 

Reaction to Failures–Develop more Self-Compassion and Resilience.

Daily Quote: ” When we tackle obstacles, we find hidden reserves of courage and resilience we did not know we had. And it is only when we are faced with failure do we realize that these resources were always there within us. We only need to find them and move on with our lives”. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Reflection: Self-critical people don’t allow themselves the indulgence of believing in luck. They take responsibility for everything. They think winners make their own luck. They don’t see luck as a genuine feature of human existence. We are robbing ourselves of genuine and fair consolation by believing that we are entirely in control – and therefore entirely to blame when we fall on our face. We are not losers in a game that was fair. We are unfortunates in an often highly random inconvenient and at times an unlucky event.

When you experience disappoint or failure it is difficult to accept and sometimes heartbreaking. A tough defeat or loss can leave you down in the dumps and exhausted. You can’t see how you can move forward and sometimes feel “stuck” or loss. This approach to failure or loss is not the only way to react. These feelings and reactions are not the whole truth; they are merely how it feels when disappointment and self-criticism has distorted reality and other perceptions. The loss or failure has served –up a big hit to your belief in yourself and an erosion of confidence. You need time to recover and release the pressure of bent-up feelings. You need to clear the brain of negative thoughts through meditation, sleep and rest. Learn to hug and nurture yourself. We have grown too good at accepting criticism and blaming ourselves for mistakes and failures. Learn to shut out the voice of negativity and stop beating yourself-up by being more forgiving and self-compassionate.

Self-compassion is different from saying you are not responsible or totally innocent. It’s being more gentle and understanding about why you failed. You’ve been disappointed, but you deserve to exist with respect,dignity and to be understood and forgiven. In essence self-compassion is necessary function that allows us to accept ourselves and move forward from failure and loss in a more healthy way so to build that part of our character called resilience.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Over the next 24 hours think of a recent disappointment and loss that has knocked you down. Then, reflect on what you said to yourself and how you could have responded with more self-compassion.

Want to be Happier in life? Identify and create more “FLOW” experiences

Daily Quote: 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.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

” Life at its source is about discovery and creating meaning and constructive living…” MW Hardwick 

Reflection:Your strengths and gifts are the creative core of life.  What are your natural gifts?  Are you expressing your gifts fully at home and work? If not, how can you?  The peak of energy and vitality is the experience of it in everyday life. Flow, is often found where gifts and passions meet.  We use our gifts on things we deeply care about until we are fully absorbed, mentally, emotionally and physically, which is one component of living a meaningful life.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Choose one activity in which you have felt flow – complete absorption that allowed you to lose yourself in the experience. Time went put and you didn’t notice. Write down three words that describe the flow experience and what you got from it.

Daily Quote: Learning from failures and the Past New Rule of 8

Powerful rule for living a more constructive and fulfilling life:

” Using focus through full attention and seeing eye to eye with others opens pathways for empathy and rapport. Learn from but don’t live-in the past keep challenging yourself to do better and be open to change and growth through continuous improvement in your quality of life. And by all means stop taking yourself so dam seriously”  Coach Mark

Daily Quote, Reflection and Self-Coaching Challenge: Doing something to increase the “ripple of hope” effect

Daily Quote : “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
― Robert F. Kennedy

Reflection: Learning something new keeps you growing. Exploring and looking at things differently opens up new paths for learning. Deliberately seeking out the unfamiliar and people who are different from you keeps hope alive. Developing more experiences increases self-efficacy and confidence in one’s ability to handle a new challenge. These qualities—are characteristic of an agile and growth oriented learner and add to the “ripple” of hope that Robert Kennedy’s quote references. And with the world becoming increasingly complex with each passing day, Learning to be flexible and embracing small acts of kindness can make a crucial difference in making the world a better place.

Self-coaching Challenge: Commit to do something in the next 24 hours to increase the “ripple” of hope in the world.

Self-Coaching Challenge: You are what you think

Daily Quote

“Our minds influence the key activity of the brain, which then influences everything; perception, cognition, thoughts and feelings, personal relationships; they’re all a projection of you”. Deepak Chopra, Philosopher 

Self-coaching is a skill that can be learned. It is the basic skill that underlies what we mean when we speak of having emotional and social intelligence. When you develop the skill of SC, you actually change the physical structure of the brain, your thinking and action. Dr. Dan Siegel in the book Mindset says: “This observation and revelation is based on one of the most exciting scientific discoveries of the last twenty years: How we focus our attention shapes the structure of the brain which impacts thinking and then behavior. Neuroscience has also definitively shown that we can grow and create new connections in the brain throughout our lives, not just in childhood. ” This finding provides a positivity not known in years before these new brain discoveries.

Self-Coaching Challenge:  Seek first the goal of personal development and reaching your full potential then everything else will take care of itself. What do you want to develop over the next 30 days. Make and plan the execute it.  For support read about Dr. Rock, a noted neuro-leadership scientist,  who has put together a practical model called SCARF for enhancing how to use the new research on the brain to improve leadership and workplace climate.

Daily Quote: Sterotypical Thinking limits Our Potential for Self-Understanding

Daily quote:  Another Country…” We accept white people’s stereotypical view of who blacks are…goodtime people…and all that Jazz…being black was a terrible thing to be…I did not know who I was as a black person. Never to be looked at…invisible…must learn how to live together or perish…country has done this to themselves…must teach people to think…must teach them to think about everything… in order to know your name must learn mine”… James Baldwin 

 

For more information consult the following:

1. James Baldwin, author of  Go Tell It on the Mountain and Another Country  

2. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/nov/25/jimmy-baldwin-stirring-waters/

 

 

 

Want to Improve Mental Toughness? Learn these 3 critical behaviors

Daily Quote:  “Create what you really want. It stops you from chasing butterflies and windmills and motivates you to keep on track for fulfilling your dreams”. Dr. William Glasser, Author of Reality Therapy.  

1. Learn to become more assertive and open to feedback.

You stand-up for your rights and confidently assert your viewpoint and perspectives. You know that the key to self-awareness is being aware of your strengths, weaknesses and blindspots so you encourage other people’s viewpoints and observations about your behavior through feedback, whether they’re observations are negative or positive. You welcome other people’s point of views, so you can learn to develop and improve interpersonal relationships.

2. Learn to make practice perfect and become more persistent in following through on your personal goals and objectives for living a more fulfilling and constructive daily life.

You have a strong will power which doesn’t let you give up on things you really want. You keep persisting in small smart-steps until you master the things that are important to you. You keep trying and you don’t stop until you’ve achieved that target. Part of your trying to change is to apply the rules of deliberative practicw to your life. Giving up just isn’t your thing, but looking for alternatives and creating more effective habits is.

3. Practice being more gentle and forgiving of yourself.

Many people are so hard on themselves they don’t have difficulty trusting and accepting their true self. The lack of self-compassion makes it hard to be positive and move on. If you don’t let go, and forgive yourself it is difficult to learn lessons from making mistakes or failing to accomplishing your goals for personal growth and development. The answer is to learn to forgive yourself when you make a mistake and leave the past in the past and focus on the next event. Learning to forgive yourself increases your ability to restore energy and increase positivity in life.

Daily Quote, Reflection and Self-Coaching Challenge: Begin With the End In Mind…

Daily Quote: You must begin to think of yourself as the person you want to be. Dr. David Viscott

Reflection: Once I heard someone say the most powerful thing about accomplishing goals. This wise person who I became friends with when training for the Dallas Marathon said ” When it comes to finishing the race I mean the last 5 miles of the 26,2 mile challenge–Whether you think you can or think you can’t … Your Right”. I must say he was right. I found the last 10 miles one of the biggest achievements in my athletic life. There were so many times I wanted to stop  that I stopped counting. Both physically and mentally I keep running into barriers, like the 16th mile hill that seem like a mountain. As I walked up the hill I told a friend that I was going to finish this race if it was the last “fucking” thing I did. She laughed and that laugh remained a joyful motivator for the rest of the race. The one lesson I learned in fulfilling this running goal was to trust myself. I realized that my body (a knee I could barely stand on for the last 2 miles)and mind would let me know if I needed to quit. I now use this past success when facing difficult challenges and use what I learned about perseverance, practice and mental toughness to help achieve any new challenges or targets in my life. I learned the 5 C’s of trust. Commitment to a goal, Consistency and need for Practice, Camaraderie, Competitiveness with self and Caring.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Identify what you want to achieve in the area of your personal fitness? Be specific about what and how you will go about achieving your goal. Identify the end result you want to achieve. Focus on what past win can you use to motivate you to get going and stick with your plan even during times that are difficult. Good Luck and Keep Us posted on your goal and achievements. If you need help let me know. Coach Mark

Note ” Begin with the end in mind” from-Steven Covey’s book Seven Habits of Highly Successful People

Daily Quotes and Reflection: The Art of Effective Communication

Quotes: On Art of Communication

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Barnard Shaw “

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” Dr. Peter Drucker

“Any problem, big or small …always seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn’t listening. Emma Thompson

Continue reading “Daily Quotes and Reflection: The Art of Effective Communication”

Daily Quote and Reflection: Discovering your own Vision and Awake to Joy

Daily Quote: “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”  Carl Jung

Reflection: How much time do you spend reflecting on your experiences? If you are like most people , you may resist and be reluctant to plan or reflect on your life. Many think this type of approach to living lacks the spontaneity and natural feeling of just letting life happen. Planning or reflecting seem to be too structured, controlled or artificial. Yet, I believe that assessing what worked or didn’t and what you would do differently in the future provides invaluable learning you can use to handle future events and situations. Reflecting on past experiences can help identify areas for improvement, overcome fears of change,  deal with bad habits and inadequacies.

Self- Coaching Challenge: Few people receive the  education in the conscious applications of clear thinking for solving problems and creating a more positive outlook in life. Most of our learning in this type of reflective thought is by “trial and error”.  My challenge to you is to discover and realize the power of  your own thinking in determining  your behavior. So over the weekend I want you to choose enthusiasm for living rather than just loafing around. I want you to try this experiment, so as to increase your understanding and establishing more effective ways to identify your own ability to use optimism and positive thinking that may lay dormant within you. Start Saturday and Sunday right — Most of the research on developing more energy and enthusiasm says that in the first 15 minutes of thought and activity can determine whether you have a good or bad. Use Smart-steps to get going on the right path

1. Take a deep breath and think of all the good things you have in your life.

2. Then awake to see all the good people, good things and opportunities for fun.

3. Go out and get breakfast or donuts for everyone

4. Then do activity that others want to do.

5. Let the joy of the day flow to you.

6. Capture in your journal 5 joys of the day.

Daily Quote and Reflection: Personal Development Through Interjective Coaching

Daily Quote:”Oh, what a great gift we would have if we could only see ourselves as others see us .” – Robert Burns

Reflection: I believe that finding your own path to development is critical to any progress you want to make in changing your behavior. I have found that special friends and therapist can help. But like any selection of professional services you must be comfortable with the helper and their philosophy. I have found and develop one process that may fit your needs and style for receiving help and support. This process is called Interjective Coaching which entails a partnership with a trusted friend or coach/therapist. The key elements are open communication, observation constructive feedback, active listening and collaborative problem solving not advice giving.

Action Plan: 

Interjective coaching represents the reframing of mental maps to understand that improving performance requires the ability to assess current performance and be open to feedback that can improve future performance levels. 

The process focuses on providing support (focusing on strengths), and providing observational feedback in real time (focusing on areas for improvement–gestures, appearance, and obstacles/fears interfering with optimal performance), and taking action that aligns clear thinking with behavior. 
 
Interjective coaching is a process that promotes trust and open communication through caring confrontation. Interjective coaching is empathic understanding delivered through non-judgmental support. 

The skill-building process involves the following seven components of Interjective Coaching:

  1. Observe me and provide feedback on my present behavior
  2. Provide behavioral interventions on how to do things differently (Give me the “know why” as well as the “know how”)
  3. Show me how to do it (Model the complete skill for me)
  4. Let me try it (One part at a time)
  5. Give me feedback (interjective coaching)
  6. Help me develop a customized action plan and identify specific behavioral tools to try out and practice.
  7. Develop a “continuous improvement plan and feedback loop” through deliberative practice, feedback and adjustment until I have identified the cognitive and behavioral changes that work for me.

Daily Quote and Reflection: Personal Development Through Interjective Coaching

Daily Quote:”Oh, what a great gift we would have if we could only see ourselves as others see us .” – Robert Burns

Reflection: I believe that finding your own path to development is critical to any progress you want to make in changing your behavior. I have found that special friends and therapist can help. But like any selection of professional services you must be comfortable with the helper and their philosophy. I have found and develop one process that may fit your needs and style for receiving help and support. This process is called Interjective Coaching which entails a partnership with a trusted friend or coach/therapist. The key elements are open communication, observation constructive feedback, active listening and collaborative problem solving not advice giving.

Action Plan: 

Interjective coaching represents the reframing of mental maps to understand that improving performance requires the ability to assess current performance and be open to feedback that can improve future performance levels. 

The process focuses on providing support (focusing on strengths), and providing observational feedback in real time (focusing on areas for improvement–gestures, appearance, and obstacles/fears interfering with optimal performance), and taking action that aligns clear thinking with behavior. 
 
Interjective coaching is a process that promotes trust and open communication through caring confrontation. Interjective coaching is empathic understanding delivered through non-judgmental support. 

The skill-building process involves the following seven components of Interjective Coaching:

  1. Observe me and provide feedback on my present behavior
  2. Provide behavioral interventions on how to do things differently (Give me the “know why” as well as the “know how”)
  3. Show me how to do it (Model the complete skill for me)
  4. Let me try it (One part at a time)
  5. Give me feedback (interjective coaching)
  6. Help me develop a customized action plan and identify specific behavioral tools to try out and practice.
  7. Develop a “continuous improvement plan and feedback loop” through deliberative practice, feedback and adjustment until I have identified the cognitive and behavioral changes that work for me.

Daily Quote and Reflection–Why do Presenters fail to connect?


Daily Quote: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

Reflection:

  1. Presenter assumes communication or message is interesting or understood by audience

2. Presenter doesn’t spend time building rapport or trying to connect with audience, so confidence and credibility are questioned

3. Material is not useful or relevant to audience needs and expectations

4. They’ve heard it all before—you don’t stimulate their curiosity

5 . No roadmap or agenda, is provided so participants—are lost, bored or  confused

6.  Presenter doesn’t take learning styles into consideration and presents too much information or just lectures without any involvement of audience members eg, too detailed and too many PPT slides.

7.  It’s too long  and attention span of participants wanes or  you go over the allotted time

8.  Close is just not compelling or powerful enough to inspire participants to action

Daily Quote and Reflection: Being open to Others Stories true message of Empathy

Quote: “ Every story we hear can teach us something about our lives. The connection is not in the details but in the overall meaning. You will seean event in one way, I in an altogrther different way. What we learn from that experience will be just as different and enriching.” Tom Chappell, Past Ceo of Tom’s of Maine. From the book, The Soul of a Business–Managing for Profit and the Common Good.

Reflection:  In this masterful book Tom Chappel shares his experiences on how to grow a business through a strong mission statement and alignment of values. When Tom talks about stor telling he is providing us with a lesson for listening, sharing and caring about other people’s point of view.  What is relly exciting about Tom’s growing a successful business is his emphasis on people first and then profits will follow. This quote on story telling encourageous us all to be more open to other people’s experience. This is the true essence of empathy.

Daily Quote and Reflection–Nature and Optimism

Some time ago a friend sent this note —

Daily Quote: An Apache blessing 

“may the sun–bring you new energy by day,

may the moon…softly restore you by night,

may the rain…wash away your worries,

may the breeze…blow new strength into your being,

may you walk…gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.”

Reflection: The native American author of this blessing was reinforcing the healing power of our natural surroundings. 

This started me thinking about the restorative power of nature.  The Blessing helps me to relax and let go of all the anxious things happening in the world right now.  I need to understand in more profound way that it is possible to change your present feelings by focusing on beauty and the gifts we receive from nature..  In fact, the Native American poets are masters at helping us all to appreciate that changing the context of what has happened or going on in our lives can be controlled and understood in new and different ways, if we stop and take the time to look around at the beauty and renewing power of nature. So I am going to commit to take more time to enjoy nature through reading and taking more walks around the lake. What does this quote say to you?