3 Common Mistakes Men Make That Keep Them Feeling Frustrated and Angry!

October 26th, 2011

Here are 3 incredibly common mistakes you may be making that will prevent you from feeling happy, relaxed and healthy and instead keep you feeling frustrated and angry!

Mistake number 3: Distractions! You are sabotaging your own health and improvement!

Simply put distractions are the things you choose to do instead of dealing with the frustration and anger you are feeling even if you are not purposely distracting yourself with them. Typically when men feel frustrated or angry we will take action by working more, playing sports or lifting weights. However, even s honoring a value, like playing sports and becoming more physically healthy does not go to the source of the issue. Unfortunately it’s considered very normal by society to go out to try to keep yourself busy. It’s also the easiest thing to do or at least it seems like it is! Not only does it seem like are you ridding yourself of some of these feelings but you are also getting something done, 2 in 1, killing 2 birds with one stone. This is something our society and culture excepts from men in particular because it is an action and men are supposed to be action orientated. The result is we are busy “doing” and become unaware of what is happening to our feelings  until they finally explode out of us through bursts of anger, stress melt downs or loss of control that hurts both those around us and ourselves.

In other words, we keep it inside until it can no longer be masked or hidden. Obviously we want to avoid getting to that place, but the fact is that “negative” feelings will keep persisting and will keep building up and will come out one way or another eventually if they are not dealt with. So the question is would you rather deal with them before or after that point? Would you rather be proactive and preventative or reactionary?

The only way to make progress is start by ascertaining why these feelings are there in the first place and then dealing with them, and to do that one must take the time to explore ones life. In one way or another it always eventually comes back to unhealthy experiences (current and/or past), false and limiting beliefs, negative perspective and fears.  Given the depth, power and importance of those issues and topics in a mans  life, it should not surprise us that our feelings will be effected as a result, hence why we feel what we do. The great thing is, there are solution to all of those things!

 

Mistake # 2: Using Random Solutions! Great solutions can be totally wrong!

Dealing with frustration and anger by trying acclaimed solutions you’ve heard about or read about with out first examining the problem is like falling down, feeling a pain in your leg then closing your eyes and applying a band-aid; you don’t know where, what or how serious the injury is! Was it scrape or a cut? How deep is the cut and is there something stuck in your leg?  Is it a pulled or detached muscle? Is it a sprain or a break? How severe is the sprain? Are their multiple breaks or is it just a fracture? Is their one type of injury or multiple types of injuries? With out knowing these things how can you even begin to treat the problem properly? Of course you can’t!

Possible solutions like “just be thankful and have an attitude of gratitude” seem like a great place to start. Unfortunately, this is a great principal that may be totally useless depending on the problem. Worse still, it can be potentially very damaging because it can be completely inappropriate. Unfortunately many men try a one size approach fits all hoping it will work because it it’s all they know and it seems better than nothing.

When you use the wrong solution, your feelings of frustration and anger will inevitable come back because they never really went away and the source was never dealt with. In other words, the wrong answers don’t give results because they are not the specific answers for specific problems in a man’s life.

The good thing is, there are specific answers for specific challenges and they are available from the right places!

 

Mistake #1: Thinking That “Bad” Feelings Are Bad! Feeling bad is actually good!

While the feelings of frustration and anger are “negative” and obviously unwanted, they are not actually “bad” in the sense that it is unhealthy to have those feelings. Quite to the contrary, it is very healthy to have feelings of frustration and anger when something unhealthy or bad is happening in your life. In fact it would be somewhat abnormal and alarming if you didn’t feel those things to at least some degree. Unwanted feelings are a great way of knowing something else is wrong. In that sense your goal should never be to get rid of the feelings for the sake of changing your feelings alone or else you run into the dangers mention before. It should always be to get to the root issue and to be as healthy as you can so that your feelings will reflect that change and health in your life! It may sound the same as simply trying to get rid of the frustration and anger, but when the emphasis is on changing what causes the feelings, such as unmet needs or desires, you increase your chances of success dramatically!

The truth is, that our feelings don’t lie, in fact they are remarkably accurate gauges for us to use to tell us when something is going on. In that sense your feelings are a great indicator you can check in on and should check in on regularly! However our feelings are only one part of the picture, then it is up to our brains to come in, dig, process and reflect on and gain insights into our feelings so we can interpret them and learn from them. Using both the heart and the head in combination, 2 instead of 1, is the ideal scenario and the only way to be truly healthy, though far too often most men use only their head. This is especially the case in western culture where such an emphasis is placed on logic. But how logical is it to ignore our feelings? Not very! Of course examining your feelings and searching for long term results takes more effort, courage and will power but the results are worth it!

Life coaching for men offers an extremely effective way of dealing with frustration and anger and a variety of other feelings men have. It does so in a manner that is comfortable and easy, flexible to who you are and what is happening in your life, it adapts to fit your schedule and it is affordable  for your financial situation.

Life coaching is not therapy or counselling. Rather than dealing specifically with a past trauma, life coaching is about moving forward from where you are to where you want to be and who you want to be.  In that sense life coaching has a “present to future” orientation compared with the “past to present” orientation of therapy and counselling. No man needs life coaching, but everyone man can benefit from it!

 

-If you want to know how this applies to you as a unique individual in your unique situation!

-If you want to take action to overcome the barriers and obstacles in your life while using your strengths!

-If you want to stay on track once you’re on track!

Start by booking a free 45 minute life coaching sample session using the form in the top right corner or email me at Shane@LifeOPC.com or call 250-889-0988 today!



 

3 Secrets Men Need To Know To Have Greater Fulfillment & Happiness In Their Lives!

September 20th, 2011

Three Secrets You Need To Know In Order To Have Greater Fulfillment & Happiness In Your Life!

 

3) Fulfillment is in large part the result of ones mind set, perspective and interpretation of reality and the truth!

For example, the glass is half full vs the glass is half empty perspective. In this scenario, the truth is there is a glass with an amount of liquid in it reaching the half way mark, yet there are 2 distinctly different ways (and in fact many more ways) to view that fact! One way of looking at it, is that it is half empty and the other way of viewing it, is that it is half full. Notice the key distinction between the reality or facts and the view or perspective on them. In other words, this does not mean that anything you believe is true, no matter how you view that scenario,  there is a glass with an amount of liquid in it reaching the half way mark. Yet the results and consequences of your view are dramatic and of great importance! The same goes for the meaning you give to the events and situations around you as well as the things that happen to you. For example, 2 people can both get fired from jobs they did not like, however the first could have the view that this is a great opportunity to now do what I really want to do, what i am great at! However the other might look at this as a horrible catastrophe, having no idea what he/she will do for a career, and believing that if he/she couldn’t keep that job he/she must not be intelligent or hardworking enough. Those are two distinctly different views and outlooks on the same event. As you have no doubt noticed, there are of course many other things an individual could think and take from those events.

The truth is, as human beings we are always in a perspective on something at any given time. Not only do we have certain views on everything in life, but we are also constantly in a perspective in the present. The great thing is, we get to choose our perspective! That’s right, we are not stuck in one perspective or view and we are not stuck with one meaning either, we all have the power to decide what perspective, view or meaning we want! I want to reiterate a point that this does not mean that anything you believe is true, there is a distinction between the truth and reality and your perspective on it, but there is also a relationship between the two. The way you do this is by first acknowledging that you have the power to choose a perspective. The second part is to start exploring those alternative views and perspectives. The third part is dwelling on what is true about them! That’s what makes this more than just positive thinking! You see beyond the fact that there are “positive” ways to look at a situation, there is truth in those views and perspective!

 

2) Another way to gain more fulfillment is to challenge yourself!

More specifically, not to jump off or out of tough times when they arise, when it is most tempting to quit! This brings us to your feelings and emotions, two words men hate to say and cringe when they hear. There is of course also certain feelings that accompany fulfillment. A peace, a contentment, a satisfaction and something that just feels right. However, despite the fact that people often say they feel very happy when they are fulfilled,  happiness need not be present to have fulfillment. In other words , the feelings you have do not determine whether or not you are fulfilled even though you may indeed be happy at the same time as you are fulfilled. Take for instance a challenge, an ordeal or a struggle of some kind. Many people find it very rewarding to push themselves, to challenge themselves. Similarly people often say that going through struggles and hard time is and can be very fulfilling both while they are going through it and afterwards once it is done.

 

1) The final way to gain more fulfillment in your life is to honor your values and stay on the journey!

In other words, it is critical to value the process not just the outcome. All to often people will say I am not fulfilled because I do not have this job. Or when i get this relationship then i will be fulfilled. There are several problems with this line of reasoning and the way around it involves the truth and your perspective on it.

First of, fulfillment comes from how the various values in the different areas of our life are met, not just from one value or one area of our life. Our fulfillment is the cumulative effect of our values being met at any given time. Therefore, to make the assertion than ones entire fulfillment comes from one thing cannot be true. Furthermore, fulfillment is not all or nothing, but rather it can be had and is realized in varying amounts and to varying degrees. This is again because our different values can be met in varying degrees at various times. Rarely is any single value being completely honored or fully opposed, usually it lies somewhere in between changing moment to moment day by day and that of course is only one value! We all have many values! You see, everyone in our culture and country, except for a very few minority of people, are constantly having multiple values of theirs met whether they realize it or not. However, often we do not realize this or we choose not to focus on those values that are being met and instead we focus on what we perceive to be values of ours that are not being met, or at least not being met as much as we would like.

This again comes back to perspective and meaning. In particular, the criteria we choose to set, for example our definition of success and what it means to have a value honored. If we define having a value honored in only one way and only as the ideal best case scenario we are missing out on the many ways a value can be honored and the different degrees to which it is honored. The same goes with success. Success can and should look different for different people because success should reflect each individuals own unique values and desires, not other peoples values and desires. Hence this is why one definition of success, a definition created by society or culture does not work for the different and unique people that comprise it.

So is fulfillment completely in our minds, a decision we make? No, not entirely but that does play a huge part and most of the time the largest part. You see even in those extreme circumstances where it is possible to have very little to no fulfillment, there is still hope for change and progress. In the process of achieving our goals and having our values fully met, our values can still be met in varying ways and to varying degrees; once again it is not all or nothing. Although it is paradoxical, we can be content with what we have and where we are at, yet still want more and work our way towards more.  Notice how we often move onto something new once we have it, that is we step into another process. Both the process and the achievement bring us fulfillment. Perhaps it is best said this way, achieving something or having something does not bring us fulfillment,  but they are not the means to fulfillment but the expression of it.

 

-If you want to know how this applies to you as a unique individual in your unique situation!

-If you want to take action to overcome the barriers and obstacles in your life while using your strengths!

-If you want to stay on track once you’re on track!

Start by booking a free 45 minute life coaching sample session using the form in the top right corner or email me at Shane@LifeOPC.com or call 250-889-0988 today!



 

 

3 Critical Techniques For Men To Gain More Success & Confidence In Their Lives!

July 15th, 2011

3) Knowing Your Strengths!

Knowing your strengths and your potential strengths is a critical factor and the first step in determining how much success and happiness you will have in your life!

The reason for this is simple and straightforward you first have to know your strengths and your potential strengths before you can do anything else with them! More on that later, specifically points 2 and 1!

Discovering and confirming your strengths and potential strengths is the logical and critical first step, you see, even if you believe you know your strengths, the truth is no one has a perfect knowledge of their abilities, so being accurate is very crucial so the next steps you take are not wasteful.  Even in the event that the results you end up with are the same as you believed they would be, there is always the benefit of confirmation and reassurance that you are indeed heading in the right direction.

So how do you know what you are good at and what you have the potential to be good at? For some of us this may seem easy, but for many of us it is not! Especially when we try to separate the strength from the action we are using it in. Ideally you want to end up with a specific definable strength that can be plugged into the different options we have in front of us in life so it is as useful as possible. One way to reach this goal is to think about, dwell on and reflect on the past and create a list of things we think we are good at. Another way is to ask those around us and see what the people who know us best think. Both of these option are alright, but the first relies on our own assessment which is often clouded by our emotions and altered by what we want to see in ourselves and what we want to be.  As for asking others, this can be a more objective source of information, however, certain people only see certain sides of us in certain situations, not the whole picture, not the details. On top of that, these people are certainly not experts when it comes to strength finding. Fortunately there are experts. There name is the Gallup Organization. You have probably heard of Gallup before, they do the polls you see every so often on the news and in magazines. They do polls because this is an integral part of their research, research aimed at finding answers and solutions to our challenges and goals. In this case, Gallup has come up with a book and test that uncovers and confirms your strengths! It’s called Strengthsfinder 2.0.

First things first, the great thing about strengthsfinder 2.0 is that Gallup took the time to get it right. In fact, there is 98.9% chance that the first time you take the test the results are accurate. This goes down to a 89.9% accuracy rate if you take the test again because as human being we tend to answer the questions differently. The questions in Strengthsfinder 2.0 are aimed at getting our first and most natural response to the question because this tends to be the most correct answer. This, as opposed to when we have too much time to think about it, over analyse or answer it how we want to see ourselves rather than what we really are.

Next there is the uniqueness factor of your strengths; the probability of having the same top 5 strengths as someone else is 1 in 278,000! By no means do people often have the same set of strengths, far from it. But that`s not all. The probability of having the same strengths as someone else and in the same order is 1 in 33.5 million! You see, the order of your strengths is also important. The order refers to the maximum potential ability of each of your strengths, not the present ability of those strengths. While there current depends on whether or not you’ve been using them and how much, the results are telling you that if you did put time into all of your strengths, your number one ranked strength would will give you the highest return on your investment.

Now at this point it might be helpful to make a clarification as to what exactly I mean by what you are best at and what your strengths are. There are many different strengths, depending on what your level of criteria is, there are hundreds, however in this article I will primarily be focusing on those strengths as identified and described by the Gallup Organization and their book and test Strengthsfinder 2.0. While they also realized there are hundreds of strengths they cut them down and conglomerated them into a total of 34 for the sake of practicality and usability. They have also made a a distinction between the general and the specific as well as between the skill itself and the application of the skill. For example, you may have the strength of command, but command is only one part of leadership (communication would be another part). Furthermore, you can lead in many different ways, one such application may be a basketball team. However, you need to know something about basketball itself to coach a basketball team.  Being a good basketball coach will require more than just good leadership, leadership would be one skill required among others and command would be only one strength needed for good leadership.

 

2) Using Your Strengths!

Do you have the chance to do what you do best every day?

Chances are you do not!

The Gallup Organizations research shows that only 20% of the population are doing  what they do best everyday! That is a real problem, especially if you are in the 80% group! A sure tell way to figure out if you are in the 80% is whether or not you are excited to go to work and enjoy what you do. If you feel bored, uninterested, stressed, angry or unhappy at work, chances are you are not using your strengths! After 30 years of research, in over 60 different countries, with more than 100 top companies, using over 2 million interviews across many diverse cultures including all range of age and sex Gallup found some very pertinent and interesting information.

Those who do get to do what they are best at, those that use their strengths, are 6 times more likely to be happy and emotionally engaged in their work! Additionally, Gallup found those that work in a company for a manager that focuses on his or hers employees strengths, cuts the chances of his or hers employees being actively disengaged down to about 1 percent! Since the average person spends the majority of their waking day at work, this is very imperitive. On top of this, those that are emotionally engaged and happy in their work are 3 times more likely to have an excellent quality of life overall! In other words being happy at work effect the rest of the day and time you are not at work! Add to this that we make about 3000 to 4000 decisions every day, either using or strengths or are weaknesses, and one can see just how essential it is to be operating from and in ones strengths. Everything we do every day is either from a strength or a weakness of ours, we are constantly making choices and carrying out actions.

If you know your strengths you are able to intentionally and deliberately use them. If you are using your strengths this gives you the best chance of succeeding at what you are doing.  Finally, it is not surprising that people who spend time doing what they do well tend to feel better about themselves and their abilities while gaining happiness from their resulting accomplishments and success.

People who know, use and improve their strengths have increased personal engagement, excitement going to work, more positive interactions with others, improved confidence, greater daily achievement, refined sense of direction and more creativity and freedom. Yet too many people go from the cradle to the cubicle, then to the casket without ever uncovering their greatest abilities. This is sad to think about and to realize.

So once again, do you have the chance to do what you do best everyday?

If you said no, usually it’s because you do not have the option to, or more accurately, that you believe you do not have the option to. Now you may be thinking it would be great if  this was an option for you, but because of your circumstances it is not, hence you must continue to use your weaknesses. At this time we need look at the bigger picture; it’s called CHOICE and you always have it! The truth is you never have to do anything and you are never stuck anywhere, unless you choose to be. The following example should make this abundantly clear. Unfortunately, some people in this world are “forced” to deny their spiritual beliefs at gun point, yet even then, many choose not to and are killed for it. Hopefully that reminder puts our own situations into proper perspective; if they had a choice, we most certainly do as well. Lastly, remember, even doing nothing about your situation is a choice to do nothing.  A key powerful question to ask yourself is this: “Why am I adapting to what’s around me? Why am I not matching what I am doing to who I am, more specifically, to my strengths?”. We often give our lives to our jobs. It’s time to take them back!

 

3) Improving Your Strengths!

This is the part that may seem counter intuitive: taking the time to improve your strengths! This is more than just using your strengths, it is intentionally improving what you are best at and correspondingly, not trying to improve what you are bad at.

It’s ok if you disagree with this statement, in fact I would be surprised if you didn’t and that’s exactly why you need to make sure you read the remainder of the article! Get ready to have your view on strengths radically changed!

The idea of focusing your effort and energy on your strengths is most likely a far departure from what you are used to doing, from how you are used to thinking and what others say you should do. This is understandable, from an early age it is often our weaknesses that seem to garner to most attention, that stand out and get noticed, in other words our areas of short coming. In school it is always the lowest grades and the classes you got them in that get the most attention and correspondingly effort and work. Having a society and culture that constantly impresses this thinking upon you only serves to make this feel normal and seem correct. However, there is a fundamental flaw in this thinking, the same error most learning programs we take part in are guilty of; trying to help us become something we are not!

To help illustrate this I am going to use an example, the real life story of Rudy Ruettiger and the movie that portrays his story called Rudy.

If you have heard this story or have seen this movie, you know its about a 23 year old undersized grounds keeper with the dream of making and playing on the Notre Dame college football team. Rudy, who is about 5’6 and 165 lbs clearly does not have the physical tools to play college football, but he does possess a lot of heart. Rudy does everything he needs to in order to gain acceptance into Notre Dame and after being rejected 3 times he is finally admitted. After making the teams practice squad, he begins showing his dedication by always showing up first and leaving practice last, constantly encouraging, pushing and cheering on his team mates, cleaning up after them by washing jerseys and equipment all while taking a daily beating in practice despite never once being allowed on the sidelines with his team mates in an actual game. After 2 straight years of this, in the final game of his final season, he is at last allowed to suit up. With a huge lead late in the game, his team mates are able to convince the coach to let him in for the final play. In his one and only chance, Rudy sacks the opposing teams quarter back instantly becoming a hero and is carried off the field to many cheers.

This is an inspirational story, but there is a significant problem here! Rudy spent all of this hard work, years of effort and thousands of hours of practice for one play and no future in professional football!

You’ve heard it said many times before; “You can be anything you want to be if you just try hard enough”. We all want to believe we can be anything we want to be and we have often been told this by either our parents, teachers or friends at some point in our lives. Chances are we’ve told this to someone else at some time or another as well. Who wouldn’t want to believe it? Who wouldn’t want to believe they can be a professional sports player, an astronaut, a celebrity lawyer, a noble prize winning scientist or a political leader? This belief seems to give us confidence and lets us dream with freedom.  The problem is it simply isn’t true, in fact, it’s damaging and detrimental to follow this principal because  it can cause us to waste years of our lives and countless amounts of energy and effort pursuing the wrong goals, goals we cannot reach.  The truth is we should be confident about our strengths, we should dream about what we actually have the ability to do and we should only weigh the options that can lead to success.

Just like with the real life story of Rudy Ruettiger it is clear that there are simply some tasks that require mental and physical abilities that we lack and can never gain. Rudy certainly tried as hard as he could to reach his goal, but no matter how hard he tried it was not enough. While physically speaking, we clearly cannot add any height or length to our bodies, we can add things like strength, quickness and endurance… to a degree, however, there is a limit to this and the same is true for our mental abilities as well. We are all are working within a range that has a maximum upper boundary, its just that some of us have higher upper  limits in some areas than others. While Rudy’s short comings were physical in nature the same hold true for all abilities including mental abilities. The truth is there are maximum upper boundaries for every ability and for each one of us those ceilings look different. This comes down to the age old nature vs nurture argument. Were your strengths and weaknesses determined at your birth through your genetics or were they determined based on how you grew up and were shaped during those impactful early years? Most experts agree that is a combination of both, though it is unclear exactly to what degree. Regardless, your areas of strength and weaknesses can first start to be seen in around the age of 10 and for all intents and purposes are set by late teens and early twenties.

Studies have shown that in almost all cases a weakness remains a weakness, rarely can it be turned into an ability that is considered above average and at best it never reaches the level of a strength let a lone a strength that has been improved. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a weakness is like a dormant strength, in that it just needs to be activated in the right way! The overall return on your investment of energy and time put into your weaknesses is very, very low: it takes an incredible amount of time and effort to improve areas of weakness. You may be thinking, “wait,  the diminishing returns principal does not apply to a weakness, it only applies to those things that people already have in abundance”. The more accurate statement is that the principal of diminishing returns applies to those things that are near their maximum level, hence this principal applies very well to a weakness because a weakness or already near its maximum potential. The bang for the buck is simply not there, it is not a wise investment or a sound “business” decision by any practical or rational criteria. Time is valuable, not a commodity to be wasted and since you only have so much time in a given day, it does not make sense to spend that time on what will not give you a good return on your investment.

Next let’s look at some of the motivations behind the desire to rid ourselves of our weaknesses. One such motivation is not being comfortable with having weaknesses. If this is the case you should actually feel quite the opposite because the truth is, having weaknesses entails that you have strengths since it is simply a relative comparison. In other words, if you believe you have strengths then by consequence you must have weaknesses. On the other hand if you do not believe you have any weaknesses then you are living in denial for the same reason. Unless the strength of all of your abilities are in a perfect balance this means some of your abilities are stronger than others, hence why some are strengths and in comparison others are weaknesses. Weakness is a relative term, an ability is weak compared to another ability that is strong. In that sense it is important to realize that this does not mean that we are necessarily horrible at what we are weak at, we are just not as good at it compared to our strengths. If it helps, try re-framing the word “weakness” into “average ability” or “non strength” and see if this helps you accept it. The bottom line is that in the end you only have so much time in life so it simply makes sense to spend that time on what will yield you the greatest rewards.

Moving on let’s look at what is often the most common argument presented in favour of improving your weaknesses; the belief that a weakness is like a weak link in a chain and hence needs to be improved and managed. First of all, managing a weakness is actually a great idea! More on that later, however for now it is important to make a distinction between managing a weakness and improving it. Managing a weakness does not entail spending lots of time trying to make it better! Furthermore, since improving a weaknesses doesn’t work effectively anyways, it is a moot point to try and improve one in the first place regardless if you feel it is a weak link. So how do you prevent a weakness from getting in the way of your strengths and what you love doing?

You cannot be anything you want to be, but you can be a lot more of what you already are!

This assertion stands in stark contrast to the belief that you can be anything you want to be if you just try hard enough, but more importantly, it is the only way to go from good to great. Not only is it my hope that you will replace that old misguided maxim with this new understanding but moreover that you’ll realize this great news can impact your life in an incredible way! So much so, that following through with it is one of the best things you can ever do for yourself!

When looking at the assertion that you cannot be anything you want to be but you can be a lot more of what you already are, there may understandably be a part of you that does not want to believe this, perhaps because it feels negative or limiting. However, this is a perspective that needs to be challenged. It is important to note that being more of what you already are still lets you dream and dream large, it just focuses your dreaming within the areas of your skills and strengths! It also still leaves you with plenty of options, but instead of having to weigh and sort through bad ones you’ll be choosing between only the best ones! This is great unless of course you like wasting your time dwelling on unrealizable dreams and sorting through worthless inferior possibilities. It’s fun to fantasize and ignorance can be bliss for a time, but when reality sinks in the disappointment is real and strong. In that sense, you should see this new maxim as the uplifting and empowering perspective full of possibility and potential that it is and we haven’t even got to the best part! So far we have only looked at one half of the picture, avoiding what is negative, however, lets go one step further and get to perhaps the most important implication of being a lot more of what you already are. The sooner you focus on what you are good at, the sooner you will go from good to great! In fact, it is the only way you can go from good to great!

The whole point of being a lot more of what you already are is the potential you have and the greatness you can achieve. If you look into the lives of great achievers such as Michael Jordan or Anthony Robbins you will find out very quickly that they don’t try to do everything. Michael Jordan never had a great 3 point shot, but other players such as John Paxon did. Anthony Robbins was loosing a lot of money in the middle of his career even as he seemed successful selling places out, why? Because he isn’t good at managing the business side of his career. What they did do was focus on what they were good at and turn it into greatness. Michael Jordan is perhaps the most competitive man on the planet, he maximized that let it fuel him to produce amazing results on the basketball court. Anthony Robbins was a good communicator and he has leveraged that and put it to great use on stage to help other.

We’ve already looked briefly at managing your weaknesses and now we are going to look at that a little closer. Managing your weaknesses does not mean ignoring them, pretending they don’t exist or focusing on them to the extent of trying to make progress in those areas. It does mean taking the weakness into account and planning around it. Depending on the type, variety and complexity of the task you are engaged in, this will take different forms. Look for alternative ways of accomplishing a goal. Any time you can get the same task done using your strengths instead of your weaknesses take the opportunity to do that. Be creative and find a way to take that part out of your activity. If this is not possible, find someone else who does have that strength to carry out the task instead. Team up with others! Be deliberate, a little time spent on figuring out how to do this now will save immense time later. That is effective management of your situation, that is taking control, that is maximizing both your abilities and the abilities of those around you! It is both a wise and intelligent course of action!

However, there is still one obstacle; what you are strong at will always stay merely as potential if you don’t put the effort into actually improve it to turn it into greatness. In other words this does not happen all on its own. A good way to view this is looking at the multiplier effect. The multiplier effect is what happens when you combine effort and ability. Effort multiplies the effect of the strength. Essentially it is a simple formula that looks like this: Effort x Strength = Results.

Now you may be thinking that sounds wonderful, but what about the principal of diminishing returns: the more you try to improve something you are already good at, the more effort and time that is required to get the same return, which means less return on your investment. That is, if working on your weaknesses does not yield a high return, how can working on your strengths be any different? The answer is that a strength is not a strength compared to its overall future maximum potential. It’s much like a gold mine waiting to be discovered and once it is, it then needs  to be mined, the gold taken out and turned into something beautiful and even more valuable! Our strengths are laden with potential since most of us have not even tried to intentionally improve our strengths. Most of us have gotten to the level we have just from using our strengths in a far from purposeful way, content with mediocrity, knowing we could to worse. Thinking you can get more out of a weakness means you first have to assume that it has the potential of a strength. Once you realize that a weakness is already closer to its upper limit of potential than a strength is the sooner you will understand why with a strength the principal of diminishing returns has less of an effect. This is the same as saying the initial returns on a strength start much, much higher than a weakness.

To better illustrate this let us look at two real life individuals, both of which played football. The first example is Rudy Ruettiger, if we plugged Rudy into the Effort x Strength equation he would look like a 5 x 2. On a scale of 1 to 5 his effort was a 5 but his ability was more like a 2 because it was actually a weakness. Using this formula he peaked out at a level of 10. There would have been other players on his team that also would have been at his same level but for different reasons, in fact opposite reasons. Those players would have been a 2×5, no effort despite lots of skill. Then there are the great football players. Lets look at another Notre Dame football player, however this one was 6 4 and 190lbs, perhaps you’ve heard of him before, he was a quarterback on that college team in the late 1970s and early 1980s and his name is Joe Montana. Joe Montana is a near perfect example of someone focusing there time and energy on improving their strengths and becoming a lot more of what they already are. Although he was not rated as one of the best college quarterbacks coming into the NFL he eventually became arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history and certainly one of the best all time. Joe Montana would have looked something like a 5×5 in terms of effort and strength, hence the results he obtained.

The question you need to ask yourself is would you rather become more like Rudy Ruettiger or Joe Montana when it comes to the results you get from your effort? Do you want to set yourself up for failure or put yourself in the best position possible to achieve your goals and dreams? The question isn’t can you but will you? You have the power to, all you need to do is use the God given right everyone has, free will, and decide to go from good to great today and gain the success, happiness and confidence you want!

 

-If you want to know how this applies to you as a unique individual in your unique situation!

-If you want to take action to overcome the barriers and obstacles in your life!

-If you want to stay on track once you’re on track!

Start by booking a free 45 minute life coaching sample session using the form in the top right corner or email me at Shane@LifeOPC.com or call 250-889-0988 today!


1 Gigantic, Important & Easy Way Men Can Increase The Happiness & Fulfillment In Their Lives!

April 18th, 2011

1) Knowing Who You Are!

 

Who are you?

It seems like a simple question…at first, but how would you answer it?

What is the first thing that comes to mind after reading that question? What kind of thoughts and answers pop up in your head?

Perhaps for some of you this question seems easy, you believe you know who you are quite well, if that’s you, I encourage you to keep reading, as you might be surprised by what you find. For others, you may not know where to begin; the questions seems so big and open that you feel almost lost in it. However you feel, stop for a moment and really try and answer the question “who are you” and see what comes up. Once you do, continue reading.

Now that you’ve taken a moment to think over this, what were some of the thoughts that passed through your mind? Did you think about your career and job title? Or about the great times you had on a trip, at a party or playing sports? Maybe your thoughts centered on a particular accomplishment or achievement in your life. Then again, perhaps you thought about the people you know, close family members, your many friends or an important well known connection. It’s possible your thoughts turned to your house or condo as well as the area and the city you live in. Or maybe some images of your sports car, favorite music and top movies came to mind.

Notice what all of these things have in common. Notice that all of these thoughts are either things, objects, people or events. They are things you do and things you have. Things outside of yourself, but they are not you! The main point is that there is a difference between who you are and what you do and have. However we have trouble putting this into practice because we live in a society that has conditioned us to associate those things with who we are and ultimately define ourselves by them. We are in a culture that tries to keep ourselves busy with what we have and do, which prevents us from looking within. It’s not always natural or easy to think of ourselves in a different way, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t; there are great benefits to doing so!

When I asked an individual the question “who are you” during a presentation, he responded by saying “I’m a realtor, I enjoy selling real estate, growing my business, travelling the world and being a philanthropist”. A realtor is a title, a position and selling real estate is also an action, a job description of something he does. Growing a business is an accomplishment, an end result. Travelling the world is another action and being a philanthropist is another title.

Career, great times, possessions, achievements, family and friends are not who you are but they are very useful in telling us about who we are. That is, they do not completely miss the target, they are just off the mark. Part of the reason they are off the mark is because they are just words, labels and categories that can only tell us so much without delving deeper into them. For example, let’s take a look at someone who is a doctor. What does that person like about being a doctor? Why did they become a doctor? How is being a doctor meaningful to that person? If you asked 2 different doctors those same sets of question you could come up with 2 very different answers. One doctor may answer the first question by saying “I like helping people” or “I enjoy intense challenges”, the other doctor may do it for “financial flexibility and peace of mind” or for the aspect of “research and learning”. So while 2 people can hold the same job title they can clearly enjoy different aspects of the job and do the job for different reasons. That’s important because of what those answers say about those people, about who they are and in this case the values of that person. What we are really talking about here are values!

So what? So different people have different values; some people like challenges, some people enjoy  helping others, some like flexibility and still others appreciate learning. Why is this important?

 

PART 2

 

The truth is, getting the most out of life, living the life you want and being who you are meant to be is critically dependent on  knowing who you are and aligning your life with who you are. In other words, the choices and actions you take every day should  be based on fully knowing yourself, a big part of that, perhaps the largest part is your values. This will greatly increase your fulfillment and happiness in life. You may be wondering why that is. Is it actually important to know your values? Does it really matter that you know more about who you are?

It isn’t important at all if you’re not going to act on your values. Just like any piece of information or knowledge, it is useless unless it is actually used in some shape or form. However, your values are extremely important if you are willing to act on them, use them in your life and ultimately align your life with them. As I’ve stated before, getting the most out of life, living the life you want and being who you are meant to be are all critically dependent on  fully knowing who you are. In other words, the choices and actions you take every day should  be based on fully knowing yourself, and a big part of who you are is your values!

Before going any further, let’s take a step back and be clear on what a value is first of all. So, what do you think a value is? Any ideas?  What comes to mind for you?

It is important to note though, the difference between liking something and it being a value. A person can like playing a sport, say basketball for example, but the value is not basketball it’s self, it is what basketball is and involves, it is what basketball consists of on a more fundamental level. Challenge, competition, accomplishment, teamwork and physical activity are involved in basketball, these are all potential values of someone who likes playing basketball. Similarly there is a difference between valuing something and that thing being a value. It is the samedistinction that was just made between liking something and that thing being a value. Someone can value basketball, just as when some likes basketball, but that does not mean basketball it’s self is a value.

A value is something of worth and of importance. That is, you can test whether something is a value of yours by asking yourself if it is important to you and if it has worth to you. In that sense feelings are also attached to values. If there is no emotion evoked by a value, there is a good chance it is not a value at all.

A value can also be ethical in nature like a moral such as love or respect. Values are often tied to these things but values encompass more than just ethics and morals. Some values have no morality attached to them at all, in that sense they are not right or wrong they are just a preference or desire. For example, the desire for competition or challenge is not right or wrong. Of course how those values look in action can very much be an issue of morality, but that is a separate point.

In the previous article some examples of values that came up were things such as challenge, helping others, flexibility and learning. What do you notice about these values? For starters they can look like many different things and take shape in many different forms. A value is also something that can extend to and span over multiple aspects of your life, it is not something that is limited specifically to one area of your life. For example, a doctor who enjoys challenges is not limited to the challenges  he or she encounters during his or her day at work. A doctor and anyone who values challenges can enjoy being challenged in many different areas of their life from recreational activities, to physical activity to personal growth. Likewise, it shouldn’t be hard to imagine a doctor who genuinely cares about other people  enjoying helping people outside of his or her time at work. Put another way, values extend outside of the thing, place or action you notice them in.

This brings us to the next point, values are in many ways intangible. That is, they are not specifically measurable or easily quantifiable, however, while they are intangible, values are not invisible! You can clearly see them in action through peoples choices. What they spend their time doing and how they do what they do will often show you what they value. The value is lies behind the action and is the reason for it.

Now I want you to try something. I want you to think about the last really good day and the last really bad day you had. Think carefully and when you’ve come up with one memory of each continue reading…

Now that you have a specific good day and bad day in mind I’d like you to think about what happened on those days. What kind of choices and actions did you make?  How were you treated by others? What events took place and things happened to you?  Next, think carefully about how those things relate to your values. What do you notice?

You should notice that what took place on the good day matched and reflected your values very well.  You should also notice that on the bad day your values were not met, rather what happened crossed and clashed with them greatly. Let’s use a few examples to illustrate this. If you valued independence, variety and decision making but your boss decided not to ask for your input and made an important decision for you that also brought mundane routine and less freedom into your job, chances are you’d feel very disappointed as well as resentful. Similarly, if you valued efficiency, productivity and accuracy but you decided to take the day off and subsequently many mistakes were made by your employees and a perfect opportunity to complete a  project due that day was lost, you might very well feel regret and some anger. On the other hand, if your boss had given control of a new cutting edge project over to you with complete freedom to carry it out the way you wanted, you would most likely be excited and thankful. Likewise, if you chose to work extra hours to complete a project ahead of schedule, a project made up of new systems and operations that would help yourself and others accomplish future tasks in shorter amounts of time and with less error you would probably be full of energy for days!

The truth is, all other things being equal, you can almost always link how good or how bad a day was back to your values. The more important a value is, the more values that are touched on, the more often those values are touched and the degree of intensity they are touched with all determine how much happiness and fulfillment or disappointment and resentment we feel. This leads to an obvious question; How can you help ensure you will have as many good days as opposed to bad days. How do you maximize your happiness and fulfillment through your values? How do you gain more happiness and fulfillment through the choices you make? How can you help maximize the amount of “good days” you have and minimize the amount of “bad days” you have?

 

PART 3

 

The previous article left us with the following statement; the more important a value is, the more values that are touched on, the more often those values are touched and the degree of intensity they are touched with all determine how much happiness and fulfillment or disappointment and resentment we feel. So let’s dig a little deeper into that text so you can have a clearer sense of how this works and what you can do. However, before going any further, 2 important questions must be asked. Do you really want more good days and less bad days than you have right now? Do you really want more happiness and fulfillment than you currently have? The key word in those questions is more. You may already be having a lot of great days and quite a bit of happiness, that’s great if you do, but the question is do you want more? If so, keep reading!  If not, don’t waste your time here!

If we were to look at the spectrum of choice when it comes to honouring your values, on one end of the spectrum there would be the simple choices, the ones we seemingly have complete control over. For example, if some of your key values are challenge and growth, then when playing your favourite sport what would be the logical choice of action to honour those 2 values? If you said it would make sense compete against someone else who is very good and at least as good as you in order to be challenged and to grow in your ability, you’d be right. This may seem obvious and it is, but nonetheless many of us don’t carry out this most simple of behaviours. So why don’t we do this? There are many reasons for this (a topic I will cover towards the end of this series), but I want to mention one in particular now. Sometimes it is because of other values, competing values! That’s right, sometimes values can compete with one another. For example, if another one of your values is winning, victory and competition then to honour those values and the values of challenge and growth, there exists a dilemma. The more you are challenged and pushed the greater likelihood that you will loose. The more chance you have of winning and being victorious, the less chance you have of being pushed and being challenged. This is where it gets a bit tricky but by knowing your core values, the ones that are the most important to you, the ones that when you honor them will give you the most fulfillment. Ideally you want to make decisions that will honour your core values first and foremost and when possible, also honour other values at the same time. I will spend more time on this in the next article when I write more on uncovering your values through value mining exercises.

Now let’s look to the other end of the spectrum; situations, events and other people. When I say that you have a large influence over your day being good or bad, many of you will probably be thinking that you can’t really determine whether or not you’re going to have a good day or a bad day because it’s out of your control since it depends on other peoples actions and the situation you find yourself in. Well that’s only partly true. Is it true that you can’t completely control what some will do? Yes. Is it true that that they will do things both positive and negative that you didn’t have any say in or over? Yes. Is it true that situations and circumstances will arise that are beyond you’re control. Absolutely, there is no denying that. However, you have a lot more control than you think you do. What you choose to be a part of in the first place, from your career and work place to your friends and romantic relationships, plays a huge determining factor in what kind of situations and circumstances you find yourself in and as a result whether or not your values are being met. In other words, that first initial choice of what and who you get involved with is extremely important when it comes to aligning your life with your values. So are the choices you make afterwards. What you do in response to those events and that actions you choose to take after individuals have behaved a certain way, is also your choice, a choice that should be in line with your values. Even doing nothing is a choice! Of course if “taking action” is a value of yours, that choice will clearly not reflect that value.

The truth is we always have a choice. That’s right, always. Each day when we get up to go to work in the morning we are choosing to go to work. You may hear people say things like, “I have to”, or perhaps they elaborate a little more and say “I have to or else…”.  Notice that they are bringing consequences into the picture, what they are really saying is they don’t want the consequences so they are deciding on a particular course of action that will most likely not result in that consequence. In other words they want one thing more than another. The same person could easily have said, I don’t want to get fired, so I will go to work. Or I really want that new car, so I will work extra hard to gain a promotion. Ideally, the choice you make should be aligned with what you value most in that situation or circumstance. Let’s test this further and take it to the most extreme example, when someone has a gun to someone else’s head and demands they do a certain deed. The truth is, even in this situation that person still has a choice. In fact, many people have died choosing not to comply with such demands and have been killed for it. While this is an extreme example it proves the point, that you always have a choice.

Now take a moment to think about a typical day of yours and some of the things you do during such a day. Next try to think about all of the things you might do but choose not to, it’s a lot of stuff isn’t it?  For each of the things you do there is a choice to do it, which means you make a lot of choices each day! In fact, the average person makes 2000 to 3000 choices each day. The truth is every moment of every day you are making choices, choices to do what you are doing, stop what you are doing or to do something else and thereby either honouring your values or ignoring them. Quite empowering isn’t it? In that light it’s quite easy to see how much choice and therefore how much power we truly have when it comes to honouring our values and increasing our happiness and fulfillment! So the next you catch yourself saying  “I have to”, stop and think about your situation a little closer and remember that you have a choice. Then think; what is that you want and don’t want and remember that the action you take is a choice you make that will can either honour your values or cross them.

 

PART 4

 

What if you could honour your values in as many areas of your life as possible? Would the increased happiness and fulfillment you recieved be worthwhile?

What if you could honour more of your values by knowing more of your values? Would the happiness and fulfillment you felt as a result impact your life?

The answer of course is yes! And the good news is you can!

Honouring your values in as many areas of your life as possible – The Wheel of Life

If you could honour your values more often how much more happiness and fulfillment would that give you? Well, how much would depend on how often you are currently honouring your values already. If you are not intentionally doing so, chances are you would see a large return! And if you are, the following information if implemented, is guaranteed to bring you even more joy and satisfaction.

So how do you go about doing this? As I’ve mentioned before, a value is not limited to one aspect of your life, such as just your career, so on a macro level, the easiest way is to honour a value in as many aspects of your life as possible. Let’s say that a value of yours is effort and hard work and currently you are honouring that value at your job. That’s  great, it’s a good start, but how many aspects of life does work encompass? Obviously the answer is one aspect of your life, albeit most likely a large one.

What if you honoured the value of effort and hard work in another area of your life such as your physical health, fitness and strength? How much more happiness and fulfillment would you gain? You’ve just doubled the amount of areas of your life that you are honouring that value in, so chances are the results would be significant and noticeable! But why stop there? Let’s take it a step further, what if you honoured that value in four aspects of your life instead of just two? Better yet, what if you honour that value in every aspect of your life!

If you go to the link http://lifeonpurposecoaching.net/applications-of-life-coaching.html and view the interactive Wheel of Life you’ll see that it breaks life as a whole into different aspects. Take some time to explore the Wheel of Life and get familiar with it by clicking on the different sections. Once again, the more aspects in the wheel that you honour a given value in, the more fulfillment and hapiness you’ll have in your life!

Next comes perhaps the most basic, most necessary and most critically fundamental component of all, which if missing none of this would work or even matter: Knowing your values!

I’ve touched on this briefly in previous articles but I will delve into this in much greater detail here. Let’s start with the obvious; if honouring your values brings you more happiness and fulfillment it would only make sense that honouring as many of your values as possible would bring you even more happiness and fulfillment. Of course though, first you need to know what your values are before you can honour them. There is a name for finding and discovery your values, it’s called value mining.

The Peak Experience Exercise is a great tool for value mining. After reading the previous articles and having a better understanding of what values are and how they are related to how you feel you’ll easily see why. Peak experiences are those moments in time when you felt amazing, on top of the world and wanted it to go on for ever. Essentially, a peak experience is one of your best days ever, except it doesn’t have to be an entire day. However it does have to be definable moment in time and it has to be memorable. This is because exploring this experience and reflecting on it is how we uncover values.

Something like this is best done with a life coach but it can be done with another individual who is able to focus you, ask the right questions and read into your answers and take values fromt them. The key here is you want to take out as many descriptions and attributes as you can from your memory, really breaking it down. Once you have this down you can start diciphering, identifying and putting together the values from that.

Here’s a very breif example; let’s say that one of a persons peak experiences was climbing a tall mountain over looking the ocean at sunrise with their best friend in the summer. During that climb they encountered surprisingly difficult terrain where in the he or she had to help his or her best friend through the difficulty. On the way up they also met some other hikers, who they passed on their way up the mountain. Finally once at the summit of the mountain they spent the next few moments quietly looking around them before then chatting for an hour with the same hikers they passed earlier.

What values do you see in this brief example? Some obvious ones would be the value of beauty, outdoors/nature, physical activity, friendship/companionship, accomplishment, competition, adventure, helping others and making new friends.

Less obvious values might be freedom and independence as well as spirituality and reflection and even teaching.

Now of course not everything that happens during a peak experience translates into a value, that’s where your own judgment will have to come into play.

Another technique similar to the Peak Experience Exercise is exploring and breaking down the things you like doing  in order to uncover values from them, just as the first and second article in this series showed. The opposite also holds true, you can use those really bad experiences and those things you hate doing, dig deeper into them and see what it is that you really dislike and despise about them. Chances are the opposite of those things are values of yours.

So now you have the means to create a list of your values. Assuming you then create a list of values, what next? What should you do with that list?

Any piece of information is useless if you don’t do anything with it!

 

PART 5: The Final Part

 

Now assuming that you have created a list of your possible values, what’s next? Well if you really want to gain the most happiness and fulfillment you can from knowing and honoring your values keep reading!

The first thing to do is weed out those things that come up for you during the value mining exercises that are clearly not your values or are questionable.

Part of this involves making sure you are using the right words for the values you have identified.  Different words mean different things for different people, that is, 2 people can have the same value but use different words to describe that value. For example, the words joy, happiness and delight are all closely related values, however some people may use those words interchangeably while others see them as distinctly different. The last thing you want is to be thrown off by the wrong word. In order to prevent this, generate alternative words and then pick the best words for you.

Next, narrow your list down and pick your top 10 or 15 values from that list. There a 2 reasons for limiting the number of values you have on your value list. The first is to ensure the significance and importance of these values in your life, which helps ensure that these really are your values. We want values that are really important to you, not just kind of important. Secondly, it helps you to focus. With a list of 20 values, you can get lost or overwhelmed, but if you cut it down it’s much more practical and you’ll be more likely to keep track of those values and ultimately use them.

Once you’ve narrowed your list down to 10 or 15 values, feel free to order your values or rank your values. This may even mean putting a top 3 or top 5 into your list of values and thus creating a core value list. The reason for creating a core value list within your list has to do with competing values. Competing values are those times when it seems you cannot honor 2 particular values at the same time because the values clash. Now this does not mean every time more than one value is honored at a time that another value is being crossed, far from it. Perhaps this example will illustrate the point; if 2 of your values include being challenged and having victory over your competition there is a natural dilemma when it comes to deciding who or what team you want to play against in sports whether it be a single game or league and level of competition to join. Obviously the harder the competition the more you will be challenged, pushed and grow, however, the harder the competition the more likely you are too lose and vice versa when the competition is of lower ability. Having a core value list will help you to chose which of your values to honor first and foremost, it will also help you to be able to strike a balance between the 2.  After all, the more important a value is to you the more happiness and fulfillment you will gain from honoring that value.

After this it’s a great idea to create descriptions for all of your values that are at least a couple sentences long each. This is different than choosing which word to use for a value. Rather you will describing this value, what it looks like and what it is in detail! The reason for this is for to be clear on exactly what that value means for you. These are your values, not someone else’s and not the culture or society that you live in.  For example, just because your friend or your culture may tell you that strength is physical doesn’t mean that strength can’t  be strength of character or authenticity or kindness for you. On top of this, the more time you spend exploring your values and becoming familiar with them the more they will be at the forefront of your mind at all times and hence more likely to effect your decision making.

Lastly, there is what to do with your value list physically, specifically, where to place it. It is critical not to just throw this list in a drawer somewhere where it will be lost or forgotten. Rather it is best to put it somewhere you are going to see often, like beside your bed, on your desk or computer or the fridge. The more you see this list the more you will be reminded of your values and the more you will have them in your mind through out the day as you make your decisions and choices.

Also be aware that your value list does not have to remain stagnant. If you feel that replacing, subtracting or adding a value will more accurately reflect who you are, then go ahead and do it. A value list is not written in stone, it’s purpose is to serve you best so that you can have more happiness and fulfillment in your life. Having the most up to date and accurate list possible is key part of that.

At this point I want to leave you with what has been at the heart of these articles and what will at the heart of the next several series of articles as well. Getting the most out of life, living the life you want and being who you are meant to be are all critically dependent on fully knowing who you are. This is so that the choices and actions you take every day can match who you are, in particular your values.

So what gets in the way of this? Lots of things! That’s where a life coach and the process of life coaching comes into the picture!

 

-If you want to know how this applies to you as a unique individual in your unique situation!

-If you want to take action to overcome the barriers and obstacles in your life while using your strengths!

-If you want to stay on track once you’re on track!

Start by booking a free 45 minute life coaching sample session using the form in the top right corner or email me at Shane@LifeOPC.com or call 250-889-0988 today!