Tag Archives: coaches

now what – who are you really?

"now what" by by laura berman fortgangonce in a while, the good people from FSB associates send me a book for review. usually, i read the book from front to cover and then write about it.

this time, i’ve decided to do it differently and put the book to a test. the chapters test.

you know when you go to chapters (or whatever your big book store is, barnes & noble, or indigo, or if you’re in my home town, munich in germany, hugendubel) and you go for a troll? cruisin’ for a few books? you’re exposed to 50 gazillion books, quite a few of them actually good, and you don’t want to spend more than, say, $100?

will this book withstand the test?

the title is now what? – 90 days to a new life direction, by laura berman fortgang, author of living your best life and take yourself to the top.

first the book has to catch my attention. “now what?” – the title sounds good; i want to know more.

do i like the looks of it? yes, i’m very superficial. did i tell you the first ever university research project i did was entitled: “i do judge a book by its cover”? it turned out the best predictor for whether i had fully read or perhaps even re-read a book in my over-stocked personal library was how visually pleasing the cover was.

the cover of this book doesn’t bowl me over but it’s nice. lots of white space, and then mostly red and black – i’ll almost always go for those colours.

aaah! the topic! does the topic interest me? to be honest, not me personally.  it’s my stock-in-trade and for now i think i’ve read all i want on the subject – but i’m always on the lookout for something to recommend to my clients.

three classics come to mind on the matter of life direction or life changes: barbara sher’s wishcraft, which i’ve discussed here before), richard bolles the three boxes of life, and teri e. belf’s simply live it up. that’s the competition, in my mind. only they’re old. barbara sher’s updated wishcraft from 2003 is the most recent of the three. i might want to have something more recent to recommend – but it still has to be high quality.

next step in the test – open at a random page. that’s the first page of chapter six, “your purpose needs a vehicle”. that speaks to me – the purpose in a vehicle, i can see that in my mind’s eye. it’s followed by a quote by mary wollstonecraft, an early british feminist, for whom i have a soft spot. the paragraph starts with “it’s time.” i like that. a light beginning, and a call for action. the layout also speaks to me – the page is not too crammed with words.

now i leaf through the book and find more things i like – more of the nice layout, and really well written chapter and paragraph headings: “cement it”, about fortifying positive beliefs with relevant actions; or “but i’m not qualified”, which focuses on working on skills rather than theoretical knowledge.

since i’ve gotten this far (and often i don’t, so this is a good sign), i’ll look at the table of content. each chapter corresponds to a week – so she carries the “90 days” theme through. follow-through is something that scores high in my books (it pleases me when things harmonize).

one last leafing-through – although i’m sure by now that i would recommend the book to my clients. oh, look at that! there’s a test in the beginning of the book. yes, i’m one of those people who loves writing in books and finds tests irrisistible. “use this list to help you find where the program will help you most.” okay . turns out i have little to no problems in all areas except for the last one:

following your life blueprint

implementation and execution are just as important as innovation. putting one foot in front of the other and monitoring all your opportunities are keys to moving on.

aaah, yes, i can see that. let’s see what that chapter has to offer. one sentence there is

if you leave this process with only one thing, i want you to leave it understanding that who you are is more important than what you do. getting to be truly yourself will make you happier than any dream job, dream mate or dream house that requires you being someone other than your true self … it is the key to your future self.

interestingly, the chapter section previous to that was “one thing a day”.

what would it be like for 90 days to journal every evening on “what did i do today that showed who i really want to be?”

walking the talk, with balance

there was a bit of a flurry of emails today over a project dio diogenes is working on. some of these emails weren’t exceedingly friendly – but one stood out in its civility and straightfordwardness. so of course i had to immediately go and check that person out.

it turned out to be lisa gates, who describes herself as “the crazy glue on the soles of your sneakers that keeps you committed to your book, your project, your big idea”. her blog, design your writing life, looks like she’s more than up to that promise of tenacity.

as someone in a similar business – she’s a coach, i’m more of a counsellor, we’re both writers – of course i was curious to see what she’s up to and i have to say, she has some of the best ideas i’ve seen on a blog in quite a while.

one of the ingenious things she does is to very persuasively invite people to submit comments not on her blog but on their own web sites.

so here i am, with a reply to some interesting questions on her post 10 signs of work-life balance blow-out and 10 inquiries for getting it back.

great “signs” and great questions, lisa!

a little while ago i realized that one of my bigger motivators is to walk the talk. if i have a hunch that it would be a great idea for a client to do something, i want to be prepared to do the same thing, or whatever the equivalent is in my life.

balance-type questions, are, of course, something that i often discuss with my clients. so let’s see what happens when we reverse roles and i walk the talk by answering such questions. let’s take these two:

what two or three actions could you take right now that would create the most impact on your wellbeing?

  • go outside for a walk or a bit of gardening (it’s absolutely gorgeous right now, and i can make the time to do it)
  • do the workout that i missed this morning
  • think of one way i could get more magic in my life, and at least do the first step in making it happen

what three things do you do in your daily life that have absolutely no relevance to work or life fulfillment?

i’m happy to say that i can’t think of a single thing that would clearly match this description. however, here are a few things that i do too much of or am inefficient about:

  • check my email
  • surf the internet
  • work past the ability to concentrate

thanks, lisa, for inviting this dialogue with your graciousness and creativity, and thanks, dio, for introducing me to lisa.

off to the great outdoors now!

(this article was included in the 23rd total mind and body fitness carnival)