Archive for June, 2012

Thank You Letter To Natalie

Heather seemed to tune into and then ask the question “what roll does Natalie’s death play in my life now?” I made a few jokes, effectively denied that there was any, accepted that there was some and should be and finally said that I wasn’t sure other than being sure that life was going to end some day. She continued to ask questions, tough questions that I didn’t want to answer and questions that made me feel like she didn’t want anything to do with me. But I trust her and tried to stay with the topic. It was hard because what I say about Natalie’s death is scripted, well rehearsed and automatic. Yet she continued and as I shrank, as I have made so many of my clients shrink, something began to occur.

When I realized that no matter what happened between Heather and me, I needed to clear the space in my past of these stories. She encouraged me to write a letter to Natalie and one to my father explaining the things I was grateful for having learned because of them. Below is the letter to Natalie.

Dear Natalie,

I am writing you this letter to let you know how grateful I am to have been in your life and for all of the experiences that our life together brought.

You were my first real girl friend so much of what I know about passionate love came from our time together. You gave so purely to me and you always talked about our relationship and our future in a way that made me feel amazing; the things is, I didn’t realize just how amazing that was at the time. There were times when I took you and your heart for granted because I believed love was easy and finding someone who was capable of giving it so freely wouldn’t be difficult. It has taken me a very long time to reach the same level of connection with anyone else. Now that I’m older and can see things more clearly I want to say thank you for sharing your love with me in a way that let me know that I was worth it.

I need to say thank you for being loyal, supportive and standing beside me when I needed to make the tough decisions. When I didn’t get to be a TA during my first year at Brock, you never made me feel bad about it, in fact, you explained why I didn’t get the job perfectly and I still use this description when coaching others about their view of a failure to get an opportunity. When I made the decision to overload my schedule and take on more classes, you stood beside me, proud that I was being fearless in my pursuit of academic success. You never made me choose between going out and having fun or doing my school work and you celebrated my good marks with me. Thank you for believing in my dream of getting a masters degree, a PhD and becoming a professor.

Okay, the things you may not know anything about.

I need to say thank you for the experiences that your death brought into my life. Some of these were really hard to live through and I made some potential limiting choices as a result of the thoughts and stories I told myself about them, but now that we’re almost 2 decades on, I’m able to see how they were neither right or wrong and were simply a part of my journey. I’m growing more confident that the stories I told myself were exactly the opposite of how the world is or was, so here you go.

I’m grateful for the sense of loss that I experienced because of you dying. There was a big hole left, while mostly a narrative, it came to represent what can happen when someone is gone. Leigh once told me that I felt as bad as I did because I loved you as much as I did, and I get that. People are important and I will always remember this because you left my life and the world so completely. Knowing this allowed me to connect with people in a way that has added so much value to my experience here and I think it has been useful to others. I learned to listen better because you never know when you are having your last conversation with someone. And everyone will always have their last conversation with us.

I’m grateful for the sense of meaninglessness in life that your death showed me because it allowed me to create a reason for being any time to suit the situation. There have been moments in the last 18 years that I was moved and performed fearless and great actions simply because I knew that there is no meaning to any of it. Through your death I learned to be of service to others who had been effected by death or were dying. I’ve never regarded them as victims, just fellow human being who have been rocked by the challenges of life. At worst they got a friendly ear to actual hear their words and at best they got a temporary partner to share and live their pain. Others were not alone because you taught me what is was like to exist in a state of grief, the one common emotion that all of us will eventually experience.

I am grateful for the escapist decisions I made to help manage life. There were moments that I regarded much of the last 18 years as a big waste of time, but presently I look at them as some of the greatest lessons that a human being is capable of acquiring. I didn’t die during any of those moments, I didn’t really suffer. There were times when I thought that I had lost my mind, but it always came back. I had fun running, I really did, but it got boring and I started to need more out of life. In fact, some of the escapist behaviors will go down as the most dangerous things that I will ever do; not strategic or calculated, just silly and dangerous. But I lived through all of them and now that I stand on my own two feet, clean and in control, I am forgiving myself for those things because I see how they have created the possibility for me to help others avoid some of them. I have a wisdom that many have but don’t ever share because they remain lost in the behavior.

I am grateful for the challenges of having to come to terms with your death and for how this impacted the analytical nature of my brain. This is what will make me most of what I will become because I needed to dig deep to manufacture an understanding that was compatible with someone as young and health dying one night without warning or purpose. It was tough, but my brain is good, my mind creative and my desire for answer strong enough to figure things out. The accuracy of what is created doesn’t matter because they are all stories, but the fact that there is something is what means the most. I’m rarely stuck for words or an explanation and what does come out of my mouth is a well processed and richly synthesized reason for whatever.

In life, you taught me how to love, you taught me that I am worth loving and you taught me that the right people will support and stand behind me. Thank you for those lessons!

In death, you taught me how to grieve, how to be of service to others and how to live a life based on the knowledge that everything will end eventually. I miss you and while I don’t know if we would still be in communication I believe that your life should not have been cut short. But it was, and the impact of your death changed and shaped me. I’m proud of who I have become, how I have grown and I am grateful for the lessons and the impact you have had on my life from the moment we meet.

Thank you Natalie! You will always remain a dear friend!

What Your Doctor Won’t Be Doing About Your Possible Heart Disease

We are not doctors. Doctors have gone to school for many years and are well educated about many of the pathologies that can impact human beings. Most are very good at their job and although overworked sometimes they are well intentioned with their actions. The problem with doctors is that they are part of a reactive model when it comes to addressing disease; they’ll encourage you to do certain things, but by in large they are more useful when you become sick. Dealing with sick people is their scope of practice.

We, as coaches, take a preventative approach when it comes to disease. We look for visual and behavioral markers that trend towards disease or ill health and set out to engage and enroll others in the possibility of eliminating these behaviors to ensure a higher quality of life. We do not prescribe anything other than exercise and good quality nutrition plan.

Our approach to disease prevention in terms of heart disease is superior to that of a traditional methods because we address no fewer than 10 of the top 20 markers for heart disease:

  1. Endothelial dysfunction (hardening of blood vessels)
  2. Increased oxidative stress and/or lack of oxidative defenses
  3. Dyslipidemia (increase in lipid levels of the blood)
  4. Increased HS-CRP and inflammation
  5. Elevated homocysteine
  6. Hypertension
  7. Age
  8. Genetics
  9. Calcification seen on heart scans
  10. Hormonal deficiencies in men and women
  11. Diabetes mellitus, hyperglycemia and increased insulin levels
  12. Hypothyroidism
  13. Heavy-metal toxicity
  14. Lack of exercise
  15. Lack of sleep
  16. Low levels of vitamins K and D
  17. Left ventricular hypertrophy
  18. Microalbuminuria and/or kidney disease
  19. Obesity
  20. Smoking

Let’s compare the potential actions of your doctor to what we will do to help you avoid heart disease.

Doctors will give you advice, medication or a referral to a specialist. In general, they’ll tell you to stop smoking, eat better quality foods, exercise more and lower you stress. If you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or hormonal imbalances, they’ll likely give you medication for these. If you have become sick, they’ll get you to see a specialist who will look after the specifics and likely have a tough conversation with you about death and how your actions are going to end with you in an early grave. Most of what occurs is good and it can be helpful, but very little time will be spend on the uncovering the reasons why you choose actions that aren’t working for you and how you are going to tread into the unfamiliar and start new behaviors.

What we as coaches will give you is advice, coaching, and will refer you to a specialist if that is what is needed. We’ll help you to stop smoking, make better food choices, exercise more to help lower your stress. We won’t give you any medication to lower your cholesterol, high blood pressure or correct hormonal imbalances. And we will have the tough conversation with you about your behavior and how the whole journey ends. All of this is good because you can do everything we recommend without having to involve a doctor, pharmacist and a slew of chemical engineers and researchers. We offer one thing that the doctors don’t, ongoing external accountability and you will see us 2-5 times a week and may have 100’s of interactions with us in a few months.

Something special happens when you enroll other people in your transformation journey, the chances of it being effective increase dramatically because you will actually perform the needed actions over and over and over again. Somehow appropriate eating of healthy food and the participation in planned and spontaneous exercise becomes normalized and when something becomes normal it becomes your habit.

What does this have to do with heart disease and what the doctor may not be telling you?

Well, exercise improves the quality of the blood vessels, it improves insulin sensitivity which can lower lipid levels in the blood. It can help to lower cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure, lower stress, improve sleep and it can make the continuation of smoking challenging.

Improving your nutritional habit will reduce oxidative stress and improve your ability to recover from all types of stress, it will stabilize insulin levels, decrease fatty acid levels in the blood (lower cholesterol), improve vitamin K and D levels, reduce the risk of kidney disease and promote thyroid functioning.

The doctor my tell you to eat better and exercise more, and take some pills. They won’t be there to help you ramp-up the exercise and manage the changes in eating because they have sick patients to see. And the pills they are prescribing treat the symptom of disease and not the underlying issue. In almost all cases, heart disease is a lifestyle disease so it is prevented by good quality food and appropriate exercise. The food and exercise do something the pills cannot, they change the internal environment profoundly such that disease creation becomes almost impossible.

Keep in mind that we are not doctors, we are nutrition and exercise coaches who are dedicated to helping our clients enjoy the full experience of a long life. Our solutions are hard work, fundamental shifts in eating behaviors and ongoing accountability to someone outside of yourself. If you are sick, go and see a doctor, if you want to avoid getting sick, come and see us.

“Your Body Is Your Vessel” - Reading Your Mind

Drinking, ironically, when Tony said “your body is your vessel.”

In many ways, the contents of your body represent the sum total of your choices and your path through life.

Those before and after anti-meth ads are effective because they quickly show the impact of certain decisions. Ruined faces fill-in information about how someone got to where they are.

Being lean or muscular or having a nice body implies a certain level of something that most people do not have or do.

A slow grinding walk, with fallen shoulders and dropped head says a lot about the mood of the mind and the body, and even more about the decisions being made on their behalf.

A constant vacant smile and a lack of presence or connection with other people reveals a chaotic thought stream, which may be functional, is also a flood of open loops and unreconciled issues.

The scars, the bruises, the plastic surgery, the dental work, your words, your intentions, the spontaneous thoughts, feelings and actions, the planned, the controlled, the free movement about the planet tells a story about how you got to be where you are today, the contents of your mind, the actions of your caregivers, friends, and self.

Your body is your vessel, and it is so much more. It reveals your most intimate details and leaves you open to be read like book with big letters and few polysyllabic words - it is all there, written about the faces, bodies and movements of others, it’s all there for EVERYONE to read. You are obvious, and it’s fine, we all are.

“How to Be a Loser”

How to be a loser by Darren Hardy is an ironic post that offers up some success tips by letting you know what you need to do in order to not be a failure.

  • Take it day by day. Don’t bother with setting goals, making plans and preparing. Just wake up each morning and figure out what you want to do then.
  • Seek comfort. Growth and progress requires work, stress and struggle. Forget it. Stay comfy instead.
  • Don’t believe in anything. It’s easier to be cynical. If you believe in something you’ll have to do something. It’s easier to point out what’s wrong with something. Then you’re off the hook.
  • Be heard. You have a voice—use it often. Be sure to tell your story, no matter who is talking and what the topic is.
  • Avoid failure. The best way to avoid pain, rejection and failure is to not try at all.
  • Sleep in. Hey, you don’t want to accomplish much anyway, you might as well sleep in. Let the early morning strivers clear out before waking.
  • Don’t let others mess you up. Just take care of No. 1. Family, friends and other relationship require effort, sacrifice, being inconvenienced and doing things and listening to things you don’t want to. Who needs that?
  • Be blameless. If you never step forward and take responsibility, then you can never be blamed.
  • Defend yourself. Your view and opinion should be protected in every instance. Don’t let something you disagree with go undefended. Prove yourself always.
  • Protect yourself. Keep your guard up. Trust no one. Love no one. Those you let in might hurt you. Keep a wall around your heart. It’s safer that way.
  • Expect to lose. If you expect it, you can’t be disappointed right? Don’t put yourself at risk by having high expectations. Expecting to win and for good things to happen puts pressure on you and makes you face self-doubt, angst and tension. Just surrender early. Then the pressure is off.

It’s a great list and it comes down to two things for most people, don’t put in hard work and continue to do the familiar.

The Opportunity Cost Of Not Trying To Be Healthy

Opportunity cost is defined as the cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to pursue a certain action. For example, the opportunity cost of spending all of your money on a nice car having no money for food, a house, entertainment, gas for the car, etc…. It’s a fairly straight forward concept and can be used in many areas to describe the costs of making a particular decision.

Ill-health is usually measured in relation to disease such that the opportunity cost of getting sick is measured as lost years of life. We cannot disagree with this measurement as something like a terminal diagnosis of cancer does shorten ones life expectancy but it doesn’t capture the full opportunity cost of ill-health which is that of lost quality of life.

When considering the opportunity cost of obesity, we need to consider a multitude of factors. Obese people tend to spend more money on food, fuel, and clothing, so there is a financial cost. They also tend to have fewer options when it comes to clothing and fashion, so there is a style and creative expression cost. Many obese people report a sense of alienation, ostracization and general anxiety when in public, so there is a psychological cost.

The psychological cost can have a wide scope - some people report a loss of confidence that causes them to limit their risk exposure so they don’t take the chances that may lead them towards a more complete experience of life. They may limit their dating options, job opportunities, vacation experiences and their general sense of being in control of their own life. Compounding these are the obese behaviors that one may display such as emotional eating, eating disorders and escapist actions such as substance abuse, abusive relationships and compulsiveness in other areas.

One does not have to be obese to experience the negative opportunity cost. Many people experience a boost in confidence when they lower their body fat, increase their level of lean muscle mass or increase their strength. This confidence can be leveraged in many ways to expose the individual to a variety of new stimuli or situations that improve the quality of life - participation in sports, seeking out different companionship partners, visiting new places, etc…

When viewed in this light, the opportunity cost of not being as healthy and fit as possible is very expensive. At best it comes down to living a life that isn’t of as high a quality as it could be and at worst it comes down to living a life of isolation and fear. When positioned against the amount of nutrition and exercise effort needed to improve ones health to a confidence inspiring level it doesn’t make much sense to avoid the putting in the work.

When making the decision about enrolling yourself in a life transformation program, consider both the cost of NOT doing it and benefit OF doing it.

Learning To Play Your Brain

Just wanted to follow-up on my comment last night about not doing the home work.

Regard the LandMark skills as learning to play a musical instrument. It’s going to take 10000 hours of practice before you are an expert.

You’ll get good after a 1000.

You can become proficient after 200 or 300.

You can show some improvement after 75.

In the company of others, you will show some signs of progress after 20.

There is a reason why we’re always invited to the open house nights, the advanced nights, the such and such nights and that is because they offer us practice. They provide us hours that move us towards the 10000. The reason why we’re encouraged to enroll others is because they can help us work towards the 10000.

My stern comment about wasting your life if you aren’t doing the homework is just my compassionate way of saying speed things up people. I want the same boost in productivity in your life that I have had in mine so the world gets better. If you need me to tell you to do your home work and to say you’re wasting your potential by not doing it, it’s because no one else is being as forceful because they don’t care as much. They’ll let you be average because your being average makes their average seem better.

In a few months our ride together is going to end. You’ll read about me, some of you may even pay to see me talk, buy one or more of my books and tell people that one Monday night, a number of years ago, you heard me sounding off about wasting your life and it actually pissed you off enough to get you moving.

Or I could just be some as$hole from your past.

You have 10000 hours to work towards and you aren’t going to get there by doing one a week.

It’s your future, you can learn to play your brain like the perfectly developed instrument it is or you can let it play your body for a fool. It’s up to you.

What are you going to choose?

Context, Language and Re-framing Our Past

“Oh yeah?!?!? Well here I am batting a 1000 at failed relationships.” It was a throw-away comment which was supposed to be equal parts humorous and something else that I can’t remember anymore.

“Can I give you some coaching?” was her reply, to which I quickly said “sure”. Things had been going, blendery - as if the evening was being mixed on high and going all directions a once. The truth was, I knew that whatever was about to come-out of her mouth was going to change the course of my life. This was her first formal request to alter the path of history, the rest had been uninvited and simply just part of what two people do during a first date.

“Consider that you have had a series of successful relationships that taught you a lot and moved you towards now.”

My initial thought was to recoil and laugh, and point out the way me and various whats-her-names don’t see eye to eye anymore, but a few moments abated this into a dumb look on my face that got her to continue. “It’s about language Patrick, some of your language is powerful, it lifts and moves people, it’s exciting to hear because it shapes the future. Those words about failed relationships don’t belong with the rest of the things you say. Your words create feelings and those words are a dead stop in terms of possibilities.”

I wish I could have seen my face and body language at that moment because the entire evening had been a marvelous dialectic joust; to which I added nothing by replying “okay?”

“You can’t change your past, history has been written, but you can change the context very simply by selecting the words that empower and alter the narrative tone.”

Heather took the LandMark forum a month before I did, so we were already connected - this is one of the worlds new truths, there are those who took the forum and there is everyone else; there’s a third group containing those accepting enough of life to see it for the stories we tell but without a proper framework to place our history upon, it’s really difficult to bridge the gap between knowing your past is a story to believing it happened EXACTLY as we tell ourselves it did.

“Okay” was my next attempt to say something intelligible, then “so I’ll rephrase. I have had a series of amazing relationships with wonderful girls all of which taught me something that I needed to move me forward in my life.”

“Wow, that sounds enlightened, how does it make you feel?”

“Peaceful and calm, and strangely lighter.” This was true. It was a little over a month from completing the LandMark forum and while I was still riding the perspective bliss, reconnecting with my ex’s hadn’t re-framed the relationships completely. I wasn’t angry or anything, I had still been regarding them as experiences I should have ended sooner. But at this moment in time I was feeling settled. It didn’t matter which girl I looked back on, they had been amazing, our time had been well spend and I had learned a great deal from them and our time together.

What does this all mean?

Language is important, the stories we tell are impactful, what happened isn’t very important because it is subject to change. Yet for a very long time I had remained fixated on my memory of the events and believed that the stories I told about them were fairly accurate. Maybe they were I suppose, but the words I was using to tell the stories didn’t really do much to add a positive context to them. Sure, I became a compassionate person because I felt that being nice was the only way to make sure I fit in - my story of ridicule during my first day of class in Canada demonstrates this very well. But the context has changed. Becoming compassionate was a trait I developed to overcome the feeling that I didn’t belong, when I was 9 years old!

Now that I’m much older I get it. I’m able to use language to re-frame the past - to transport new resources back to that day - to give the younger me exactly what he needed to manage the situation more effectively. When Heather coached me to alter the story I was telling about sex, love and romance, she created a cascading tidal wave in my consciousness which flooded my unconscious mind.

EVERYTHING works out. Those things that occur that didn’t yield the result I was anticipating taught me something, those people who graced my life were my teachers / mentors for some lesson/s, life moves us forward and experiences shapes us, creating the opportunity for NOW. When we choose to use the language of empowerment, we are choosing to frame or re-frame these experiences in terms of us being the protagonist in our life. And that is a valuable lesson!

Why Are You Sitting In Front Of Us - Your Purpose

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING will get you to the life you want faster than knowing your purpose. Goals are important, but not nearly as important as having a clear understanding of who you are and what your core values are. Once you know these things, and create a purpose that is aligned with them, it will open-up a way of being that allows you to live them in a meaningful way.

For example, effective trainers and performance coaches tend to be empathy driven - that is, they would sooner help people achieve potential than make a bunch of money. They value money as a means to an end - to buy food, shelter, clothing, and save for retirement - but what gives them the biggest boost in life satisfaction is making a positive impact in someones life or helping to facilitate meaningful change in the life of someone else. Money driven trainers tend not to last in the industry because to get to a level where the money is meaningful can take a very long time. It is possible, but there are not that many of them. For them to bridge the gap between the “not enough pay” period and the “enough pay” period there will need to be something tangible and very often being a partner in someones life transformation is not sufficient to make this happen.
What does this mean to you? It’s very simple, if you align your actions with your purpose, you will be more inclined to put in the hard work needed to achieve them. You may be open enough to free your mind of the thoughts that hold you back, that slow your progress and may instead embrace the unfamiliar way, the road traveled only by the successful and the road that lead you to everything you have ever wanted.

At a moment to think about it. Goals are not easy to achieve. They require you to do unfamiliar actions, step outside of the box and become something you are not already doing. This is both unnatural and counter to our genetic code which runs a program that is aimed at having us continue to do the same things we done before because they require the least amount of energy and have proven to be effective at keeping us alive. The life we know is less risky than the life we haven’t lived so there is a lot of inertia holding us in place. Having and knowing your purpose will go a long way in getting life moving forward. And it will keep the fire going when you are presented with challenges, breakdowns or when your progress seems to be blocked by circumstances.

Of most importance from a success point of view is that purpose-aligned goals will make you righteous and unstoppable. Take dieting for example. If there isn’t aspect of your purpose that has you living a life of modeling integrity and sustainable behaviors, a diet is something that you will only be on for a short period of time. At best, it’ll be a means to an end and it will be an inconvenient endeavor. You will only NOT be eating certain foods because you want to lose weight. The changes of anything getting in your way is fairly high - the pizza at work, the company birthday cake, the drinks with friends, etc…. But if your purpose does include being integrity and an element of role-modeling, a diet isn’t something you will ever be on because you will just eat right and look the way a human being should. You’ll have cake occasionally, celebrate with the occasional treat meal and maybe have a drink every now and then, but these behaviors will not be the norm because they are not the norm for those whose purpose is established being a fully functioning and model human being.

If you do not know your purpose on the planet, consider taking some time to uncover it. It could be the missing link in creating a sustainable lifestyle of effective behaviors that move your towards ALL of your goals. The fact remains though, if you are sitting across from a performance or strength coach, something isn’t playing out spontaneously. Something is misaligned and it is preventing your from achieving your goals and success.

NLP As It Applies To Love Songs

What is NLP? I don’t really know yet, but I’m starting to get a much clearer feeling.For the past few weeks I have been listening to Matt Nathanson’s Come On Get Higher, a lot.

His choice of language is fantastic! It creates a good visual, verbal/auditory, gustatory and kinesthetic experience which combine inside ones perception to create a feeling of something very special. For me, the combination is the feeling of being in love, being overtaken by desire and lust, being consumed by the essence of another in a way that renders everything that isn’t them less that invisible, just simply out of existence.The synesthesia is outlandish and captivating - “violent” “perfect words” is a mixing of auditory and kinesthetic, “sparks on your tongue” is a mixing of gustatory and kinesthetic.

He’s violating conventional language use by getting the listener to feel something that normally requires logical interpretation to transform into feelings; thereby bypassing a level of consciousness that interferes with ones understanding / meaning of the words. He controls the listener by forcing them to set aside their experiences and feel what he wants you to see, here and taste.

The lyrics are below. This is a natural anchoring song. It’s a song to match with that special person in your life and allow your unconsciousness/subconscious brain to process and create the beautiful experiences that falling in love moves us to.

I miss the sound of your voice
And I miss the rush of your skin
And I miss the still of the silence
As you breathe out and I breathe in

If I could walk on water
If I could tell you what’s next
I’d make you believe
I’d make you forget

[Chorus]
So come on, get higher, loosen my lips
Faith and desire and the swing of your hips
Just pull me down hard
And drown me in love
So come on, get higher, loosen my lips
Faith and desire and the swing of your hips
Just pull me down hard
And drown me in love

I miss the sound of your voice
Loudest thing in my head
And I ache to remember
All the violent, sweet
Perfect words that you said

If I could walk on water
If I could tell you what’s next
I’d make you believe
I’d make you forget

[Chorus]

I miss the pull of your heart
I taste the sparks on your tongue
I see angels and devils
And God, when you come on
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on

Sing sha la la la
Sing sha la la la la

Ooh Ooh Ooh

[Chorus]

It’s all wrong, it’s all wrong
It’s all wrong, it’s so right
So come on, get higher
So come on and get higher
‘Cause everything works, love
Everything works in your arms

Are You Coachable?

Successful people behave in successful ways. The role of any great coach is to help their clients modify their behavior. When we build upon the assumption that people are born perfect, removing the patterns or behaviors that don’t work is the fastest way to restore a clients life to a state of full potential. For this reason, clients MUST be coachable. Below it a list of 5 characteristics that make someone coachable.

Willingness to accept that they need guidance. People need the help from other people and those who are humble are open to the idea that they can’t do everything on their on. They are clear to the fact that their limitations ARE the reason why they have sat down with a coach. This isn’t the thought “I’m going to hear what they can do for me” it’s the belief “I’m going to find out what isn’t working for me and change it.”

Being open and willing to doing something, and lots of it. Those looking for big changes KNOW that they need to do things. What needs to be done isn’t going to be the same for everyone, but doing new things, and doing them a lot, IS a criteria for change. Those who are committed to unfamiliar or unreasonable actions are coachable because coaches ask people to do things that their clients are not doing. They have to because their clients either don’t know what to do or don’t do what they need to.

Having clear goals in mind. Today is the starting point, call it point “A”. Your goals are the end point, point “B”. The area between A and B represent the work and behaviors that need to occur. Without knowing too much about someone, a coach has a clear understanding of point A. But point B is personal to the client and it is impossible to achieve unless they create it. It is the top of the mountain, the finish line, the destination, and it must be clearly defined by the client to the coach in-order for the coaching partnership to be effective and transformative.

A willingness to let someone else control their behavior. Giving-up control can be scary, but when you are looking to achieve that which is impossible for you to achieve on your own, you NEED to let someone else drive your body / mind. There is a leap of faith involved with this, but if you could have done it yourself you would have done it already. Engage and hire the best people you can afford and do what they tell you to do.

Confidence in yourself that you can start and maintain the behaviors needed to move you towards your goals. If knowledge or wisdom was all that was needed, everyone would have the life they wanted, but these things are just pieces of the puzzle. What is most important is an understanding that your life will only change if you know that it is possible to change. Any belief that things can only be as they are will render the coaching relationship ineffective as it helps keep someone stuck in their current way of being. Knowing that things can and will change when the effort is put in will empower the client and coach and create the transformation in behaviors that are needed to create success.

Good and great coaches are only as good as their clients; it all comes down to the client and their ability to be coachable.