Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Do You Have Your Own Big Fish?

 One day the Lord told Jonah, the son of Amittai,  to go to the great city of Nineveh and say to the people, “The Lord has seen your terrible sins. You are doomed!”Instead, Jonah ran from the Lord. He went to the seaport of Joppa and bought a ticket on a ship that was going to Spain. Then he got on the ship and sailed away to escape. Jonah 1:1-3

I gotta tell you that every time I read that passage I mutter, I'd have done the same thing!
Lets put Nineveh in perspective. It was the ancients worlds version of Las Vegas. Imagine you've just finished prophets school, got your diploma framed and you are ready to take your place along side all of the great ones - Jeremiah, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah...........
You open the envelope and your first assignment is Nineveh. 
Imagine standing on the Vegas strip and shouting  “The Lord has seen your terrible sins. You are doomed!”
Hell of a first assignment. 
Jonah booked passage to sunny Spain to sip some Sangria, pop a few olives and contemplate his next move. 
He never got that far. 
A storm came up, the other passengers took a vote and Jonah went overboard. He swam and struggled and finally a huge fish swallowed him and deposited him on a sandy shore which, wasn't Spain, thank-you-very-much. 
When Jonah looked up he saw he was right back where he'd began, at the gates of Nineveh. 
I imagine he heard this voice saying Okay lets take it from the top:“The Lord has seen your terrible sins. You are doomed!”
So Jonah walked through the city for three days shouting the message and to make a long story short, the people started acting the way God asked them to act to begin with. Jonah ends up sitting in the boiling sun on hill overlooking Nineveh and wondering if God knew all along that these people were going to change, why did he have to send Jonah? He could have sent anyone.

I read this story once each week. It reminds me that no matter how much I think I know what I am supposed to be doing and where I am supposed to be going, there is a definite plan for me and my life.

Just like there is for you.

No matter what your higher power is - God, the Universe or the poplar tree in your backyard - there is a definite reason why you are who you and where you are RIGHT NOW.

Sometimes what we are called to do and be isn't the most palatable or desirable thing that's going on but YOU are the only one in all of creation that can handle it the way you handle it and that's why our own big fish swims around making sure we are where we need to be.

I think thats sorta cool

Even if I'd rather be in Spain sipping Sangria and popping olives

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Whispering of the Wind

After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. 
And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:12

It's easy to get sucked in. Okay, I'll qualify that statement. 

It's easy for me to get sucked in. 

I am always evaluating myself - Looking to the left and right at what everyone else is doing, comparing myself, having a dozen anxiety attacks because I am not keeping up.

What was that television program called The Next Big Thing?

We have become a culture of people who are led to a conclusion rather than seeking, searching or simply waiting for the direction to take shape. Instead we allow someone or a group of someones to dictate what is best. 

It's been going on since the beginning of time. 

The prophet Elijah went looking for God. He was told to stand on the mountain and God would pass by........ Or words to that effect. 

First came a wind so strong it broke up a sizable amount of boulders. Elijah's face must have light up. Wind that breaks up boulders is....... well that's one hell of a show. The same thing happened with an earthquake and a fire. Despite the sizable pyrotechnics and no matter how hard Elijah looked, he could not see God. 

It had to be disappointing. 

Have you ever made a sizable investment in something that would catapult you to the proverbial next level and no matter how hard you tried it just didn't have the impact you expected it to have?

I don't know about you but that's usually the time I begin looking to the left and right, staring at the floor and wondering what I did wrong? I mean it was working for everyone else. 

Usually there is lottsa head smacking.

That must be how Elijah felt. Every tradition he had followed suggested that God showed himself in a huge and undeniable way. See Moses and the Red Sea, burning bush, etc. Maybe God walked by and found Elijah wanting and just kept on moving. 

It's called self doubt. 

I imagine he stood there for a bit not really sure what to do or where to go. 

Then he felt a breeze move over his face. The Bible calls it a "gentle whisper."

Elijah turned towards it and from a cave came the voice of God with instructions. That gentle whisper that moves inside of each of us is the energy and the power that helps shape lives, restore faith and at times move mountains. 

We may not be called to be thunder, fire and earthquakes. Most of us will never smash boulders. We'll just move along at our own pace, like Elijah, and make our impact felt though those gentle whispers. 

That's quite and honor


Monday, March 14, 2016

In the End........... It's All Life Coaching

Everyone has a metaphor to describe how they feel, think and act.

Mine is the artichoke.

It's that spiny little creature we look at and mutter silently What am I supposed to do with this!  It doesn't appear to have any value until you peel away its rigid leaves to find a succulent, sweet and tender heart. It's the "peeling process" that enhances its value. 

When I begin working with a new client I ask them to evaluate themselves, on a scale of 1 to 10, in 6 areas of their lives - relationships, financial,spiritual, professional growth, personal growth and health. I talk to them about balance and how without it, most of our goals aren't attainable. 

The pro's call if homeostasis. 

What does this have to do with my career? 

This stuff is sort of personal John

What do you mean by relationships? 

This isn't business coaching! This is, OMG, this is LIFE COACHING. 

That last line is usually delivered with a look of shock or possibly a grimace. Maybe both. 

It's all life coaching. 

We take great pain to dress it up and call it all sorts of things but our lives, our career and our relationships are enter twined. There is no lasting success until we find balance in all these areas. 

That can be tough. 

We'd much rather explore and examine the superficial issues. They aren't painful. 

The successful people I've coached have had the light bulb experience somewhere during the process. 

Ya know John, I was thinking about our last conversation and it dawned on me that one of the things that's always held me back is my (((( fill in the blank )))).  

Like all good coaches I follow up, usually sixty days after our last coaching session. I am always pleasantly surprised to hear that the people who are working on every aspect of their lives are the ones who are making progress towards their career goals. 

It's almost as if; it were magic!!

In over 15 years of coaching I've found that those self imposed barriers, the ones we choose not to examine, are the ones that hold us back from finding balance and fulfillment in all areas of our lives. 

An effective coach is one who asks us to explore  our lives and create balance in each important area. 

It's never easy and it's on-going. It will last from when ever you choose to begin until you breathe your last breath, so take this with you:

I'm pullin' for you. We're all in this together

#lifecoaching #careercoaching #newcareercreations 

Monday, March 7, 2016

It's Your Sandbox....

"I know what I want to be is somewhere deep inside of me. I just can't seem to find it"

In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her friends went  on a long journey to discover what they were seeking had been inside of them all along.

We're no different.

The quote above came from a client of mine when I asked her what she hoped to gain from working with me.

She was successful but not fulfilled.

Does that make sense?

I could show you her measurable's and you'd be amazed. She consistently out performs other people in her field but something pulls and tugs at her - Like a pebble in her shoe.

She wasn't comfortable with herself and when she realized her discomfort was a significant limitation it's when she began looking to match her desires with her accomplishments.

What I can tell you is the moment of discovery, that "ah-ha moment" we all crave came to her one day and the focus appeared. It is only a beginning but, oh,what a sweet beginning.

She looked in the mirror and for the first time in a long time she smiled and saw herself staring back.

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs;
ask yourself what makes you come alive.
And then go and do that.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
Harold Whitman