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December 2010

Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

It's about that time of the year again.  It's that time between Christmas and New Year's and some of you may be thinking about the fresh start you'll make in 2011.  It's a new year full of new hopes, new dreams, and new horizons.  Many of you may have been thinking about your new year's resolutions.  Some of you, myself included, may have become pessimistic or discouraged at the thought that they never last, so why even make them. You have good intentions for a couple of weeks but then life gets in the way and away go the resolutions.  I want you to try something different this year.  I have a newfound understanding of how your brain is wired and how to use it more effectively.  In this post I will explain how your mind processes goals and information and how to turbo charge it for success. 

First I want to talk about the conscious and subconscious mind.  My life coach used the analogy of a game of tug of war.  She said that our subconscious mind is so strong that it's like having 9 people pulling for it on one side versus the conscious mind which has 1 person on it.  Which side is likely to win that one?  Our subconscious mind is composed of our habits and things we do without putting conscious thought or effort to.  It's things like driving, eating, breathing, and talking.  They are patterns that our body has memorized and have become so ingrained in us that it becomes an automatic response that we don't consciously need to think about.  When eating a bowl of soup, we don't, for example, tell our hand to move towards our spoon, move our fingers around to grip the shaft of the spoon, dip spoon into the soup bowl, pull it out, blow on it, insert in mouth, etc.  You get my point.  Gosh, even I didn't notice how many steps there were in having soup until I wrote this.  Our bodies do most things automatically.  Once we learn something, our body just goes.  This is one of the reasons why it's so important to establish good habits because most of the time we don't even realize what we're doing. 

How does this relate to keeping resolutions?  When we set new resolutions or goals, we're essentially asking our brains and bodies to shift from a reactionary mode of dealing with life, to a proactive and focused one.  We're asking ourselves to make a change, and change can be challenging.  Most people will rely on willpower or that 10% of their conscious mind to achieve their goals.  The problem with willpower is that it is easily exhausted and overloaded.  At first when we set a resolution, we're focused on it and it may work for a little while.  But then when the part of your brain in charge of decision-making, your conscious mind, becomes stressed by life events, it's likely to give in to an emotional desire for instant gratification overrun by your subconscious mind. 

So how can we use the 10% conscious strength we have to make friends with the 90% subconscious strength, and also to leverage its brute power? 

1.  Make a plan. 

Don't just set a goal but have a plan or road map for making it happen. What should be in your plan? Okay, I'm assuming you already have written goals.  Let me backtrack and talk about how to set SMART goals.  S is for specific, M is for measurable, A is for attainable, R is for realistic, T is for time sensitive.  Make sure you have a smart goal.  For example, if you're in insurance sales and you want to win the trip to Hawaii at the end of the year, define your target.  Let's say you need to have sold 192 auto policies by the end of the year.  Break it down.  That's 16 policies a month or 4 policies a week. That's almost 1 policy a day.  Now you have a standard of measuring and tracking your goal and you have a specific goal.  Is it attainable?  How do you feel about the goal?  Is it high enough that it's a stretch and has you motivated but not too high that you won't even try.  Is it too low that you're not motivated and you need to adjust up?  Gauge yourself and make adjustments to your goals as necessary.   Is it realistic?  Do you believe you can do it?  Do you have the skills and resources you need to hit your goals?  If not, what steps are you going to take to get the skills and resources you'll need?  And time, yes we put a timeline on our goal.  Now, create a strategy for how you will hit your target.  What's important about this and how it engages your subconscious mind is that it makes the goal manageable and easy.  When you break big goals down into small bite sized pieces, you're less likely to get overwhelmed and more likely to be able to continue with one foot in front of the other to follow the path you have already carved out for yourself. 

2.  Focus on the emotional rewards. 

So with the research I've done on brain science, I've discovered that our emotions are processed in our limbic system or reptilian brain.  This part of our brain is where positive and negative emotions are generated.  It is where memory begins and is the seat of our emotions.  This is the part of your brain that is concerned with self-preservation associated with physical pleasure.  I say it's associated with physical pleasure because every time this area of our brain expects to get its way, dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is the brain's reward system, increases.  It alternatively decreases when a reward is withheld.  Dopamine makes us feel good.  In fact when we eat chocolate, dopamine is released in our brain.  This is how our unconscious mind works that we run on 90% of the time. It moves us towards pleasure and away from pain.  To unleash its power, we must piggyback off its juice.  Since it's fueled by emotions, we need to find ways to link our goals with our emotions.  So, let's take one of my goals for example. I want 5 new coaching clients with whom I have a great connection with by the end of January 2011.  What's the positive emotion I would feel if I reached my goal?  First of all if I had 5 new clients with whom I felt a good connection to, I would feel elated!  I love creating a safe space for my clients to explore their deepest desires and harness the power of who they can be.  I love drawing out of my clients what's going on for them, pulling apart different pieces of their life, and exploring each piece, buffing it up until it shines with brilliance, and putting the pieces back together again.  I love being witness to the unleashing of the greatness within my clients unfolding before me.  When I have a client willing to explore the depths of their persona with me, it's pure joy!  How I value connecting with others on a deeper and more meaningful level to improve the quality of their life!  I am ALL about that!  Just talking about it makes me want to ask strangers if they're willing to explore the depths of their soul with me to find out what makes them tick and what will make them better.  What are the emotional reasons both positive and negative that you can link with your goal to fuel it?

3.  Look at your goals daily. 

Your limbic system/unconscious mind responds to visual cues.  The act of just looking at your goals every day programs your brain to look for solutions for your to realize your goals.  From a biological standpoint, every time you look at your written goals or of a picture of your goals, a brain cell or neuron fires a signal to another neuron creating a path of memory in your brain.  With each visual of your goal you expose yourself to, this path is strengthened.  To get a visual for this, imagine each thought you have as a piece of thread weaved into your mind.  Each time you think of that thought or review a goal, a second, third, and so on string is created on that path.  After 30 days of the same thought, a path made up of 30 strings has been formed for that goal. It's become a very strong thought or memory;  Not one easily erased.  You have now programmed a thought or goal into your subconscious mind which means that your mind will be on automatic pilot looking for ways to make it happen without you even trying.  What's important about this is that you won't have to rely solely on your willpower to achieve your goals.  You are now using your brain more efficiently to get what you want. 

4. Identify potential obstacles and how to overcome them.

Identify all the potential obstacles to your goal and decide ahead of time how you're going to overcome them.  What strengths do you bring to the table that will help you overcome?  Let me give you an example in my life. Last week one of my to-dos was to update my coaching log.  My coaching log is where I log in my coaching hours to keep up my certifications.  Sometimes I don't log hours in right away so I had to pull client files to get the dates and times of coaching to log in.  This task seemed so tedious that it had been going to the bottom of my list for 2 weeks straight.  When I confronted myself to find out what the issue was, I admitted that it seemed mindless and boring.  All of sudden a video game popped into my mind. I think my subconscious mind reminded me of the game Tron.  I suddenly imagined myself to be at level 6 on one of my favorite all-time arcade games, Street Fighter.  I liked playing the character of Chun-li who had this incredible lightning kick. Anyway, I viewed this coaching log as another contender in the game and I had just advanced to the next level. I had to discover my opponent's  weaknesses so that I could win at this round.  Well, being competitive in nature, I wasn't going to let this challenger overpower me.  I was smarter, quicker, and more agile.  When I saw my coaching log as my contender, I whipped that puppy out and it got done in no time.  What obstacles are going to get in your way and how are you going to overcome them?  Do you know what motivates you through those challenging times?  If not, find a way to find out or hire a coach to support you in figuring those things out. 

5.  What's your big "WHY?" 

What is important about achieving this goal?  Let me give you another personal example.  Why do I want to build up my coaching business?  It uses my natural God-given talents and gifts.  It's my life purpose.  I love it, enjoy it, and it comes naturally and easily to me. I'm a very curious person and I love exploring and discovering.  Coaching allows me to be myself.  It's easy and fun.  At the same token, I'm supporting someone in improving the quality of their life.  I love making meaningful contributions to other people's lives.  I love encouraging progress and seeing improvement.  It feels great!  This point also ties nicely with the emotional reward section.  Make sure that this a goal that you truly want and not one you think you should have. There's a saying that many people reach the top of the ladder only to find that it's leaning against the wrong wall.  Make sure you're climbing up wall that you desire to climb.

Keeping your new year's resolutions requires pre-mediated thinking.  It requires having a plan with emotionally charged rewards along the way.  It's not a sprint but rather a marathon.  You're in this for the long haul.  What would it mean to you if you hit your goals year after year?  You've got to pace yourself.  Running a marathon takes a plan.  You can't decide to run one tomorrow if you haven't prepared.  Get yourself the support you need to make 2011 the best year of your life.

Do you even know what you want?  What will you do to get ahead?  What's your next move? 

Life Lessons from Tron

Last night I watched the movie "Tron" and was blown away by how it expanded my mind.  Being a life coach, "my grid" allows me to see life lessons everywhere.

Theme 1:  Kevin Flynn, a computer programmer, discovers another world inside his computer and creates "The Grid" which is the basis of his computer games.  While designing the grid and computer programs, he designs a character called Clu, another version of him, with the command of creating the "perfect system."  In Clu's pursuit of creating the perfect system while working on the grid, he discovers a new life form known as isomorphic algorithms with the potential to unlock huge mysteries in every field of science.  Clu, seeing the ISOs as imperfect beings, turns against Kevin, his creator, and seizes control of The Grid and kills almost all the ISOs. 

Lesson 1:  Many of us are in pursuit of creating perfect order in our world but in doing so, we squash creativity and possibilities, the ISOs. The main theme that I got was that the pot of gold is not in the getting it right.  The pursuit of trying to get "it" right is so limiting. Rather, the joy of life is in the not knowing what's next and getting caught up in being curious, exploring, and discovering. It's about the excitement during the journey rather than the end of the destination.  Which program are you running your life on?  The one that constricts you or the one that opens your life to possibilities?

Theme 2:  The Grid represented Kevin's mind.  He created different "programs" on the grid which equates to different belief systems we have.  In the end, Kevin was battling against his alter ego, Clu.  Kevin's greatest battle was against the beliefs he created within himself.  His different "programs" were colliding. One of his programs wanted to explore, build, and create while the other program wanted everything to be perfect.  In one of the final scenes when Clu was trying to escape through the portal and enter the real world, Kevin put his hands down on the grid (reconnecting or integrating to the whole), and cultivated the energy force within the grid to merge with Clu and destroy him. 

Lesson 2:  The answers were always within himself.  The answers don't come from outside.  They come from within ourselves.  What challenges are you encountering right now that can be resolved from digging deep within yourself?

Lesson 3:  The grid was his mind.  Kevin said sometimes the best thing to do is nothing.  I think what he meant by this is that many times we're so impatient for a solution that we take actions that don't serve us.  By doing nothing or not taking action, Kevin was able to clear and calm his mind, waiting for a more favorable opportunity to present itself and allowing his imagination to come up with solutions.  No wonder Einstein always said that imagination was more important than knowledge.  What problem or challenge do you have in your life right now that you can trust your imagination to solve?

Theme 3:  There is a scene when Quorra, the ISO, gives herself up to the bad guys, creating a distraction so that Kevin and his son Sam could find a way out.  Sam asked Kevin what she was doing.  She's removing herself from the equation, he said. 

Lesson 4:  From what areas of your life must you remove yourself from the equation  to get a favorable result? Sometimes removing ourselves means taking our ego out of it.  In what way can you benefit from getting out of your own way? 

Lesson 5:  The simplest answers are usually the best.  What are the distractions you need to remove from the equation to get to the core answers?

Leveraging opportunities

Last week I attended the Georgia Coaches Association's monthly meeting and the Augusta Horsey Nash award, a prestigious award that recognizes outstanding service to the GCA and coaching community, was given to one of the women I most admire.  Cathy Perry is an incredibly unique and distinguished woman.  She's one of those people whose presence is just made known not because she seeks attention but rather because she seeks to be attentive.  She is so fully present in conversations and attuned when listening to you it's like nothing matters at that moment.  Like the statue of Liberty on Ellis Island, she's a symbol, an icon of greatness and inspiration.  She is constantly putting a stake in the ground for what she stands for.  She continually transforms ordinary circumstances and turns them into aspirational ones.  It's as if she had the Midas touch of turning everything she touches into gold.  I admire that she's always making the most of what she as she continues to inspire the greatness in others.  It's not even something she does, it's just who she is.  Upon receiving the award last week, she gave a speech that inspired hope, pride, and humility at the same time to myself and fellow coaches about our community.  It's amazing to me that she used her platform, her spotlight, to shine the light for others.  She's like a lighthouse, a beacon of hope. 

What's so amazing to me is that she takes something that could be so ordinary like an acceptance speech in which she could have thanked everyone for receiving the award and she made it extraordinary.  That's it...she's constantly taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary.  She takes every opportunity she's presented with and uses it to inspire greatness in others.  So my question to you is, what are the ordinary opportunities around you through which would you could transform into something extraordinary?  What are the hidden gems laying all around you?  Are you willing to pick them up, polish them, and display them? 

Below is Cathy Perry's acceptance speech:

What a profession -- Where our clients inspire and transform US.  Serving as a professional coach is a way to be in relationship that’s powerful, collaborative and fun -- And is genuinely new in the world.

Phil Sandahl says Coaching is a ‘new technology’.  I agree that it offers new tools and methodologies, new ways to find answers, and new processes to effect sustainable change for individuals, for relationships, and for entire systems.

I see Coaching as a means to an end, which is a rather humble way of looking at what we do.

One of the reasons I embrace this new technology is that it works. 

Another is that we hold certain beliefs to be true – that clients are creative, resourceful and whole.  And that we as Coaches are creative, resourceful and whole, too.

This belief, rather than letting us off the hook, does just the opposite:  It sets a high, high bar when we see each other in such a magnificent way.

Many days I say prayers of thanks that I have a job where I think: I can’t believe I get paid to do this!  And at the same time, it's tough to make a living in this business.  Some of you may have turned a healthy profit very quickly, but I found it took years to do so.  So there’s patience and resilience required. 

Looking ahead, I aspire to mastery, so I’m continually learning and practicing my craft, which requires me to be in a professional community of lifelong learners.

So for this reason and many more, I decided in 2002 to become actively engaged in my local coach association.

I chose my role models and learned from them.  I clarified my niche and fine-tuned my business model.  I gained business building tips from our monthly programs, and client referrals came from people in this room.

So as much as I gave to this community, know that I reaped enormous benefits, too.  Thank you for this gift of recognition. 

Perspective on discontentment

A few days ago I wrote a really great long blog that I set to post the next day that disappeared.  I was so disappointed.  I poured my heart and soul into my message and I couldn't recreate it as it came to me in the moment.  For those out there who are writers, you know what I mean when I say I can only write when I'm inspired.  I can't force it to come out or the writing will sound like meaningless words on a piece of paper. I want the words to dance with your soul. When I write I want the story to come to life and let emotions be felt.  I want to connect with you. 

Lately I've been disappointed by quite a few things.  For being a generally positive person, I've been really let down by others.  I didn't know it was such a unique of quality of mine that if I say I'm going to do something that I actually do it.  I didn't realize there were so many people who just say things and have good intentions about it but not commitment to their word. I've been really hurt and angered by this but realize now that it's an opportunity to grow my compassion realize that everyone is doing the best that they can and to take a look at myself and see why I let these disappointments hurt and anger me so much. What I realized is that I'm playing too small.  Sad but true.  I remembered a NOOMA video, that told the story of Jesus getting angry too.   John 2:13-16 says:

When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.  So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle;  he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.  To those who sold doves he said, "Get out of here!  How dare you turn my Father's house into a market." 

The difference here is that Jesus is playing a bigger game. He's not angry for selfish reasons like me.  In fact he rarely gets angry, but when he does it's for a worthy cause.  He was angry here because he wanted people to focus on God and not making money.  The money changers were making it difficult for the common people to worship God.  He knew the value of worshiping God and how impactful that would be for people.  He didn't get angry for selfish desire, he got angry at injustice. He knew the impact of a God centered life to the people and these money changers were getting in the way of that. 

This morning I read an email that radically changed my perspective.  It's from my wedding photographer.  I'll let you read it here.  The point is, pay attention to what you're getting angry about.  With anger is passion.  Are you getting angry at the little things, or is your life more evolved that you see the grander picture?  See, if I were more evolved, if I were playing the bigger game with my life, these things that don't go my way in my daily life would mean would nothing compared to the greater plans I had with my life.  I simply would have no time to focus on them because I would be more concerned with that passionate soul driven goal I envisioned for the world.  I'm playing way too small here.  Next time you're angry about something, ask yourself, Is it worth being angry about?  I want a REAL reason to be angry.  The following is a REAL reason. 


Please forgive me for the length, but it is worth it… trust me.
My husband, Chad attended the Catalyst conference a few weeks ago. (A three day gathering of men and women desiring to be influential in our culture for Jesus) He came home on the second day of the conference extremely impacted on an issue that had formerly been "someone else's problem" for us. We never actually said those words but our lives said enough. Doing the American thing, trying to make a good life for ourselves and our children. Which is a good thing, of course we want a great life for ourselves and our children. But if we are too successful at obtaining the "good life", we begin to see the world through our bubble. We ignore the injustices around us because they make us uncomfortable. We pretend they don't exists, turning off the news when the headline sounds disconcerting. Shaking our heads, even holding up our hands in protest if someone begins to tell us a sad story.
When Chad came home from this conference he told me a few of the statistics of human trafficking. Appalling statistics. My usual response to this type of conversation threatened to emerge. I shook my head and wanted to tune him out. "Stop talking!" I wanted to say. But something in me listened. And something in us was ignited that day. Since then the statistics flash through my mind unbidden as I go about my day working, caring for my family...  27 million women and children were trapped in sex slavery... the number growing more everyday... every 47 seconds a child or a woman is forced to perform unspeakable acts in this industry... the average age being 14 years old ... Children as young as four... forced to service as many as 40 men a day. Men paying $1000 for the opportunity to rape a virgin. These children are often re-stiched without anesthesia and sold again to increase profits. The problem is not just in Europe... studies suggesting that approximately 250 women and children are trafficked every month in Atlanta... and it goes on and on.  
Even now I can't control the silent tears. I want to shut it off. I want to close the computer. Hit "delete" from those numbers. Erase the images of these victims from my mind. I want to go back to not knowing and somehow believing my perfect world where my children run and play for hours outside making forts and digging for worms while chocolate chip cookies bake in the oven is all there really is. I am tempted mostly because the looming question seems unanswered... "What can I do?! What good does it do for me to know all of this when I am here in Canton, Georgia, unable to lift my hand to do anything about it?!" So I have been asking that question lately. I am considering my "circle of influence". And while I don't foresee myself invading the streets of Greece attempting to physically rescue these women and children anytime soon, I can raise your awareness of the injustices. And I know from experience that AWARENESS DRIVES DISCONTENTMENT. You see that everyday in your own life. Content with the Iphone 3Gs until the Iphone 4 emerged. Perfectly fine wearing Gap jeans until you discover the world of Sevens or Joes... Content with your shoe collection until the newest backordered Ugg boots were found in just your size. Awareness drives discontentment. So I am praying that you will be challenged to become aware of the suffering around you. Be it children without homes, sex slavery, world hunger or the family down the street who just lost their income. Don't stay in your bubble. Make it your hobby or even your vocation to find a need and do something about it. Make up your mind to stop believing all you've been given was intended for you alone. "Don't merely look to your own interests but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:4. And to "...loose the chains of the injustice...untie the cords of the joke... to set the oppressed free and break every yoke.. share your food with the hungry...provide the poor wanderer with shelter... when you see the naked, clothe him..." knowing that "if you spend yourself on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always, he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail..." Isaiah 58.
Raising mine and your awareness is not merely all we hope to do. I hope you will join with us by:
Educating yourself on the particular injustice of human trafficking - namely for the sex trade industry. (Be willing to be uncomfortable).   
A few organizations that can aid in educating you:
•       <>
•      <>
•      <>
A few books to read- (note- I haven't read these but pulled the titles off A21's page, however I plan to read them)
•               Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade--and How We Can Fight It - by David Batstone.
•               The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade - by Victor Malarek
•               Terrify No More: Young Girls Held Captive and the Daring Undercover Operation to Win Their Freedom - by Gary A. Haugen and Gregg Hunter
•               The Road of Lost Innocence - by Somaly Mam
•               Ending Slavery - by Kevin Bales
A video to watch: <>
And specifically- if you were considering purchasing any additional prints of your sessions or weddings by Brandelyn Lee Photography, do so this month. We will be the mediator for our clients, donating to the organizations devoted to rescuing these victims in the name of Christ.
How? We are reactivating all of our online galleries from 2010 and releasing a discount code for 25% off of all gift prints. The code is RESCUE2010 and will expire at midnight on December 31. If you use this code at check out it will deduct 25% off your gift print purchase and we will give 50% of your total to these organizations, aiding in the only way we know how, to rescue these women and children.
Please note: Our usual turnaround times will apply and may even be delayed due to demand. However, we will make every effort to deliver all orders placed by the end of this week (December 10th, 2010) by Christmas.
Your Gallery link is:

Your Passcode is:
Please forward this to anyone who may be interested in your photos or learning more about these organizations.
Thank you,
All of us at Brandelyn Lee Photography


Paying attention

So this morning, I went to my water aerobics class (that's 3 mornings in row now, yay!) and hit a crossroads when deciding which shower to use afterwards.  Do I use the same one I have been using for the past 2 days or dare I enter another shower stall?  I noticed some resistance there.  We are after all creatures of habit.  Do you notice once you find something you like whether it be a seat in a classroom or a type of food you like, you stick to it. Most people don't like to venture out.  It's a comfort thing. Wanting to push the envelope I chose a different shower stall.  My thoughts went like this:

This is so uncomfortable.  I was liking the other one better. I'm entering this one from another direction and have to do things differently on this side than the other shower stall.  Why did I do this?  Because I want to stretch and grow myself.  I want to get out of my comfort zone.  I remember a coach telling me once that we create on multiple levels.  When you change one thing in your life, you automatically start to change other things in your life.  The more you change, the easier it to continue to change.  This small change would give me the courage to venture out and take greater risks. 

After class I was starving!  I'm always starving after water aerobics.   Maybe I should bring something to snack on.  Someone mentioned Chick-Fil-A in class so I was craving a Chick-Fil-A sandwich.  Now, instead of going to the Chick-Fil-A I normally go to, I decided to travel down another road until I hit one.  15 minutes later, a Chick Fil A appeared.  It was delicious!  On my drive back home, I started thinking about how I can be more intentional in my life.  Where am I on automatic pilot?  Right now in the car as I listen to the radio.  I hardly EVER pay attention to the words and the meanings of songs on the radio.  I wonder what this person was singing about.  I listened.  I could hardly make out the words.

This is what I heard:

In the night I hear 'em talk, the coldest story ever told.  Somewhere far along this road he lost his soul, to a woman so HARLESS.  How could you be so HARLESS?  I mean what is this guy talking about?  I had to look up the lyrics when I got home.  It's Kris Allen singing "Heartless."  Listen for yourself:

It didn't sound like Heartless to me!  Of course I'm probably the only who couldn't understand what he was singing but I just didn't.  Anyway, my point is, how many things pass me by in life without me questioning or paying attention to it's meaning?  I may be in conversation with someone and not fully understand what they're talking about and I may not stop to ask because I'm trying to be polite.  Since we create on multiple levels I have to ask the question, where else does this not paying attention show up for me?

This was a wake up call to pay attention.  My unconscious habits, words... words in a song, the meaning behind the words, everything.  And maybe what I've learned from this song is that I can get so focused on thing like figuring out the sound of the word "heartless" that I didn't pay attention to the context clues of the entirety of the song.  It's like that saying of being so focused on the trees that you can't see the forest.  I can be so focused on the details that I can't see the big picture.  That's a conversation for another time. 

I can go into so many directions with this one.  Pick a question to answer.

What's right in front of you that you've never paid attention to?

What one thing will you do today to make yourself uncomfortable?




300 Sextillion Stars in the Universe

New research suggests that there are 3 times more stars in the universe than previously thought.  That's a 3 followed by 23 zeros.  My hunch is that they'll never be able to quantify the amount of stars in the universe.  It seems that new stars are born every day and at what rate?  We are limited by the instruments and constructs we use to measure the stars. 

I wonder how many ways we limit ourselves based on the unconscious constructs we put around our lives.  What am I talking about?  I'm talking about our limiting patterns of thoughts and actions through which we live our lives.  I'm talking about things we do day in and day out that we think are normal until we bump into someone who challenges our thoughts and actions who thinks differently about something.  Our potential for growth is infinite. 

You've heard that quote by Albert Einstein that says, "The more I learn, the more I realize that I don't know."  That's where I'm at right now.  This reminds me of the Helen Keller quote, "I am only one, but still I am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something;  and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do."  I'd like to modify this quote for myself to say, "I cannot learn everything but still I can learn something;  and because I cannot know everything, I will not refuse to learn what I can."  Haha, I crack myself up.

Anyway, I'm a learner. I love coming up against the unknown because it gives me an opportunity to learn.  I've heard it said that success is the forward progression towards a worthwhile goal.  So one of my goals is to be a masterful coach.  I've been studying life coaching for 4 years now and just when I think I'm getting good, another scientist or rather wiser coach just told me about another supernova explosion of knowledge and expanded my world. 

This week I have been assessing how I coach and what has been working and what hasn't.  I just want to be so good at what I do that people can't afford not to hire me.  To aid me in progression, I decided to call on some mentor coaches who are really at the top of their game.  I got voicemails from the first 4 calls that I made but on the 5th, I got a live person!  Joy! (Persistence pays off.)  Remember how I said yesterday that once you're committed to a worthy goal, the universe opens up to supply you with resources and people to support you in your endeavour?  Well, that happened to me.  I made a commitment to improve my coaching so I made some phone calls and I hit a diamond mine yesterday. 

Ed Grosso, one of my teachers at Coach U, has been coaching for so long that he's about to retire next year. He generously gave me 1 hour and 15 minutes of his time to share his coaching wisdom because he believes in the profession of coaching and getting more coaches into our community.  Anyway, I was furiously- I mean furiously- taking copious notes as he spoke.  He was giving gems left and right.  I will share just a few of those things with you as I know it will help you personally. 

One piece of advice is to know the value your client is getting.  I want you to apply this to your own situation right now, not just coaching.  Ask your client, if I gave you everything you wanted, what would that mean to you?  Quantify it.  Get granular.  What would it mean spiritually, monetarily, and physically?  Let's say I'm coaching a salesperson and they want to hit a certain target in sales in the next year so that they can win the trip for their company.  What would that mean financially?  How much more would they be making if I coached them to hitting their targets?  What would it mean to them emotionally if they got it?  How would they feel about themselves?  How would their life change?  What would others think or say about them?  Would the value from the coaching be worth the investment in coaching?

Another question is, what are you willing to give up for what you want?  What are the risks for going down this path?  He said to plan for resistance.  Many times when we set a big goal for ourselves, we experience resistance both internally with our emotions and externally with the people and environment around us. Go ahead and identify what could slow or block progression.  He talked about asking provocative questions like, what are you pretending not to know?  This question looks deeper for something hidden.  Tell me something missing that's extremely important is another good one.  The next one takes the cake...what one thing can you tell me that will change the whole thing?  (Game changer)

Anyway, my point is that there are so many ways to expand our personal universe.  What area of your life do you want to grow in exponentially?  After you figure that out, ask yourself what's important that?  What's your dominant motivating factor?  Who is already at the place you want to be at?  What do you need to do next to get their support? 

What will you do today to expand your world and see new wonders?

Thank you Ed Grosso!