If you asked me to pick a phrase to describe my 2018, that would be “the year I was repeatedly wondering, day in day out, whether I should stop and get some rest, or give it another try”. Up until the end of the year, I always chose the latter. Between important projects, trivial tasks, critical presentations and much more I ended up being completely burned out. Even though, I had always been a fan of work life balance, 2018 was the year of no balance at all.
So, my major 2019 resolution was that I will establish such daily routines, that will bring me back to clarity, joyful achievement and balance. And I started off by establishing three specific daily habits:
1.SETTING MY INTENTIONS FIRST THING IN THE MORNING
Either before the rest of my family wakes up, or after driving the kids to school, I sit in my home office, and over a cup of coffee, I try to visualise how the rest of the day will unfold. I take no notes, I don’t look at my agenda, I stay away from my inbox and social media. I have concluded that what comes to my mind during that time are the most important tasks, my most brilliant ideas, the things that inspire me and make me want to seize the day. These few minutes that I spend in the morning, simply letting my mind wonder, seem like a semi-meditation process that clear my mind, and create a path that, more often than not, I end up following during the day.
2.EVALUATING AND PLANNING
Half an hour before leaving work, I stop working and I start doing the following:
The third habit, is my favourite one. The habit of appreciating. The habit that I have repeatedly seen doing wonders on my happiness levels, and those of my clients as well. Without forcing anything, I let my mind wonder to the things that made me smile and filled me with gratitude during the day. From the most insignificant things, like the beautiful song you heard for the first time on the radio today, to those that fill you with such strong feelings, like when one of your teammates, tells you how much your words have helped him get through a very difficult period in his life.
These three habits, are helping me personally deal with the demanding days of this period of my life. They have brought a wonderful sense of clarity in my days, and I feel that they help me manage effectively the balance I strive to achieve between my work, my family and all the other things I enjoy doing. They have taken “giving it another try” to a whole new level filled with excitement and fulfilment.
Feel free to give them a try! I would love to hear your experience with using these habits.
This past weekend I met an old colleague of mine, who have recently retired from the highest positions in the company we used to work together. I used to look up to him for his exceptional leadership skills and the fact that he could always find a solution to every situation that would make everyone happy (a superpower in my opinion).
After catching up on our news, i felt the need to tell him how much i admired him, and that I was always certain about the successful path his career would take.
His reply surprised me: "I spent 30 years of my life completely absorbed and committed to a job I thought i loved, trying to climb up the business ladder, drunk by the recognition of my circle, of the society. Not once did i wonder whether all these made me really happy. I was so busy chaising the man ahead of me. And at the finish line, when i retired, there was nothing there to complete me". The conversation didn't end there but it made me think this:
STOP COMPAIRING YOURSELF TO OTHERS!
While trying to compete with others you will lose yourself. You will lose the chance to explore your inner needs and wants. You will lose the chance to reach your very own highest potential.
Are you willing to make this sacrifice? Are you willing to lose the opportunity to achieve your own dreams, because you had no time left from trying to achieve other people's dreams?
THINK AGAIN! Time flies and you will be retiring soon, wondering about what you could have become, what you could have accomplished, how you could have lived...
Photo by A. L. on Unsplash
The positive results of being optimistic in our daily endeavours and challenges are undeniable. It is however a fact that no one can remain positive at all times, especially in today’s world where everything is changing very fast, where our daily life has become so complicated with so many factors to consider before making the simplest of decisions.
Positive people are very often accused of not being realistic, of facing specific circumstances without evaluating all related factors, of deciding intuitively without analysing the situation to the maximum possible degree.
Positive people are often confronted from their inner circle about not taking situations as seriously as they should be, about not giving the appropriate attention to circumstances/issues/problems, about being naïve, thinking that everything will work in their favour. And more often than not, positive people are challenged and they themselves challenge their positive perspective in life.
Are there any positive people that are never affected from the never ending pessimism that the media and our social circles carry and spread? I believe that even the most positive people do get affected to some degree. Even the experts on positive thinking and optimism have times when they question the certainty of positive outcomes.
But the question is not whether you fall in negative thinking or not. The question is how fast you get out of it. Because the more you think of these negative thoughts, they expand, they create roots and they can transform the biggest of all optimists, to the biggest of pessimists.
So, how do we remain optimistic at all times?
SEE THE BIG PICTURE
In our daily lives we all face minor or even major setbacks while trying to achieve our goals, while trying to create our ideal life. It is inevitable. What happens within a day however, does not ruin our whole life. And what happened today is not permanent, since it can be reversed by the way we decide to react to it. The optimist understands that he/she gains nothing from complaining about whatever it is that is already a fact, but he/she can gain everything by reacting in the best possible way to it, in order to define the outcome of the whole situation. The optimist believes in the power of his actions and decisions, while the pessimist fears his/her “bad fortune”.
A SINGLE MISTAKE DOES NOT MAKE YOU A FAILURE, A MINOR SETBACK IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD
We all make mistakes, we are only human. However, the optimist sees them as lessons or as minor unfortunate incidents, while the pessimist sees them as proof of his/her inability/bad fortune or whatever he regularly blames for what happens to him/her. These mistakes or setbacks are usually the reason why a pessimist stops trying or working towards his goals. On the other hand, the optimist understand that these mistakes bring him closer to achieving whatever it is he/she wants to achieve.
REALISE THAT NOT ALL INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE TO YOU
The fact that there are times that we do not see a solution to our problems is a major reason to be drowned in pessimism. We ought to realise however that we do not have all the facts available to us at all times. We might have all the facts that are based on past events, on our current situation, but we never know exactly what the future holds. And the future could be brighter than we can think!
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH OPTIMISM
What surrounds us is usually another defining factor on how optimistic we are, or how fast we get out of a pessimistic phase. If out social cycle is filled with people that think that everything is black, it will be very difficult for us to be anything different. If there is currently something in our daily life that inevitably creates negativity, and we choose to stick around it we will never get away from it. However, if we choose to distance ourselves from people and situations that do not add up to our optimism and positivity, if we choose to look “outside the window” and see the opportunities ahead of us, a “few feet away” from our current situation, we can have a better chance at remaining optimistic.
In the end, we are the masters of ourselves, our moods, our reactions, our feelings, our situations. And this alone should make us optimistic. It is in our hands, to do anything, either big or small, either now or as soon as possible, either alone or with some help from anyone available to help us, either a good friend, or a life coaching professional.
In our daily lives, we are called to face different situations, different moods, different obstacles, different difficulties, different reactions. There are days that our daily routine seems exceptional and we adore it, and there are days that this same routine suffocates us and we are desperate to get rid of it.
There are days that we feel like flying among blissful white clouds, feeling fearless, powerful and super able to achieve anything, and there are days that we wake up feeling that we cannot even get out of bed, let alone start coping with all the things that make up our daily life.
There are days that our environment and social interactions are a splendid supporter in our effort to cope with life’s daily requirements and in the pursuit of accomplishing our wildest dreams, and there are days that these same people seem like our worst enemy, in full gear to do anything to get us out of our way.
On any given day, whatever your mood, whatever the circumstances, there is only one factor that defines how this day is going to end up. YOU!
At any given time, your self has two parts.
On one hand, you have the part whose job is to realise any difficulties or obstacles that you are called to face, which are usually, if not always, very real. If you are about to get the flu, it is normal to feel weak and have difficulty getting out of bed. If your colleague from the next cubicle has a bad day and came to work filled with negativity and a very very bad mood, it is normal that he has a negative effect on your day. If your parents that regularly help you with the kids, while you are out there building your career, give you a last minute announcement that something suddenly came up and they can’ t help you today, it is normal to get angry since your perfectly planned day is ruined.
On the other hand, you have the part of your self which is expected to react to the perception that the first part has noted/felt. It is the part which will decide if you will get out of bed or not when having the flu symptoms. It is the part that will decide how to cope with the grumpy (hopefully for the day) colleague; whether you will fall in the negativity hole created at your work space or masterfully avoid it. It is the part that will decide how to cope with the unexpected last minute change of plans.
How any different person perceives certain situations, and how he or she reacts to them, has a lot to do, with each and every one’s innate character, but is also correlated to each and every one’s life experiences. It is also correlated to the character of those that have the biggest effect on that individual. It is at the same time something that one can choose to cultivate and is possible to change it.
REALISE YOUR POWER
To begin with, you owe it to your self to realise your inner power, your true potential. You alone can define how a certain situation will unfold, by differentiating your attitude towards it. The situation is what it is. Its result is a function of the situation and your reaction to it.
Your grumpy colleague can affect your mood with his negativity only if you adopt a passive attitude and you allow it. Or you can choose to affect him with your positive attitude. In the worst case, if you don’ t manage to pull him up, you will at least not fall in his negativity hole.
YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE
Each step we make in life, whether this is a major life choice, or an immaterial daily decision of an ordinary day, is ours to decide. We regularly choose, one way or the other, if we will move backwards, if we will stay static, or if we will move forward. Getting out of bed on a difficult morning is YOUR choice. You can choose to stay in bed, relax, regain powers and wake up the next day refreshed. Or, you can make the hard decision to get up, gather whatever powers you have left, draw power from your dreams and go out there to pursue them no matter what. Both cases win. At any case, make sure that your choice is conscious and is the one you really want. CHOOSE YOUR CHOICE!
SEE THINGS FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
Many times we have in our head, a certain path which we follow and which we consider as the one that leads to our goals, our dreams. Most of the times though, the path is not unique. Multiple paths can lead to the same goals, the same dreams. There is not a single, an optimum, the best path to our goals and dreams. There are many. Whichever we decide to take, we will reach our dreams, we will accomplish our goals. As long as we keep moving forward. What if your parents can’t help you today? You will get the chance to spend some extra quality time with your kids, rather that your grumpy colleague.
No matter what happens, with discipline, determination and positive thinking, stay focused to your goals, to your dreams, to the attitude towards life that you chose to adopt, the one that you decided you want to characterize all the days in your life.
From the CLIMB YOUR MOUNTAINS Team©
Finding happiness is certainly the goal of many people. I believe that it is a goal instilled in every healthy human being. I also believe that it is a goal reachable by everyone. The complexity that our daily lives have reached however, has made it very difficult for people to feel happy, to find happiness and hold on to it.
Having to work all day, at unfullfilling jobs for many people, at jobs that drain you, that do not cultivate you as an individual, that do not add up anything to your personal development, returning at home very late at night and simply sitting in front of the TV watching junk food, anxiously waiting for the weekend simply to reach Sunday night and realise that you did not do anything worthy, is the norm for the majority of people nowadays.
There are many people that do not realise that they passively live their lives at the way and the pace that certain circumstances have imposed on them. And there are those people, that are restless and are unwilling to sacrifice their life so cheaply, and are continuously searching for ways that will improve the quality of their life and make them happier.
Here are five scientifically proven, yet easy to implement ways, to stay positively happy:
1. Believe in yourself
Don't let that voice inside you become your biggest critic. Make it be your best fan. The one that will always cheer for you no matter the circumstances. The one that will always remind you of your life's successes, of your strengths, even when it is the hardest to remember them.
2. Connect regularly with friends and family
Aside from being your own best fan, you must surround yourself with people that love you, that support you, that motivate you to move forward, with people that you feel comfortable and you have fun with. Feeling that you belong, that you have a team of "social allies" will significantly promote positive feelings withing you.
3. Stay inspired
Inspiration is vital in the road towards abundant happiness. Finding reasons, ideas, ways, things that keep you inspired at all times, inspired to work hard, to enjoy life, to continuously develop yourself is a great way and a effective one in the quest of finding happiness and keeping it.
4. Face your fears
Avoiding your fears, hiding them under carpets, is a great to way to move far away from happiness. By realising that your fears are as powerful as youallow them to be, by ensuring that youface them on a daily basis, not allowing them to interfere with your wants, your goals, your dreams will certainly bring you closer to a happier life.
5. Help others
Robert Ingersoll said that "We rise by lifting others". Latest research has shown that the amounts of fulfillment in a person rise relatively higher when he/she is involved in acts that help other people, rather than in acts that have a direct positive effect on themselves. Therefore, we should all strive to help other people, in any aspect of our lives we choose to do so, either at work or during our private lives.
Happiness is perceived very differently from any two people. However, the above factors are scientifically proven to improve one's happiness.
Please feel free to leave your comments below and share with me what are your ways of improving your happiness.
Procrastination is the most common obstacle in achieving your dreams. It is the reason that life is sucked out of your years. I am certain that many of you have one certain task that you have been postponing for ages. I am certain that some of you have many such tasks. I know I used to have a lot, back in the days that I was not aware that i was letting life slip by my hands, simply by leaving so many things to be done at a later date when I could easily be doing them at the present time.
I am certainly not judging anyone. I know how easily years can go by without having any achievement to show, neither big nor small... However, we must all evaluate our daily habits. Are we getting the most out of our days, or are we sacrificing our days to procrastination?
Here are a few tips in fighting procrastination, and start working towards living the life of your dreams:
1. Stop waiting for the perfect time
There is no better time to start anything than NOW. Stop waiting for the right conditions, the right opportunitites, the right person. YOU and THIS MOMENT are all you need to take action. Always remember "YOUR NEXT STEP FORWARD IS ALWAYS THE ANSWER".
2. Take small steps, towards your big dreams
Never underestimate the power of small steps. Small steps and minor actions summed up are what make up big results.
3. Manage your time effectively
Your time is used in whatever you consider a priority in your life. Always ensure that your priorities are set up according to your lifelong dreams and that your efforts and the time you spend on them serves these dreams.
4. Stop listening to every dog that barks
Your critics will always be there to pull you down. Make sure that you do not give them that power. Make sure that you are wholeheartedly focused on your goals that you have no time to waste on narrowminded people's opinion. Instead surround yourself by people that will support you, motivate you, lift you higher than your current state.
5. Continuously cultivate the power of knowledge
Lifelong learning nowadays is a must for everyone who want to be ahead of the masses. Being an expert in your field of work, always being updated with the latest trends, the latest breakthroughs will be the base on which you can solidly build your success.
Life's possibilities are endless. We most certainly cannot explore these possibilities, simply by postponing... Let's ACT people!!!
- Finish that long due assignment NOW!
- Mow the lawn NOW!
- Register at the gym NOW!
- Call your parents NOW!
- Ask for a raise NOW!
- Spend quality time with your kids NOW!
- Plan your dream vacations NOW!
- Submit your CV for a better job NOW!
- Finish that book on your bed table NOW!
The feeling of achievement you will get when you finish, will be the greatest reward. Try it NOW!
Back in early 2000's, when i was a 20 something guy who enjoyed having fun, maybe a little more than necessary (but that's another story), I was a regular at a popular night club in town.
I always remember a woman in her 40s coming in alone, a few hours before the club closed. She was so different from the rest... I vividly remember her wearing trainers, always holding nothing but two packs of cigarettes and dancing her soul out. She was so different from the rest of us, as if she came from a different era. In spite of the weird looks she was constantly getting, she was there, every Friday and Saturday night, doing what she seemed to love so much, dancing as if noone was watching.
Almost 20 years later, i feel like she was a sign sent to me, and to everyone else who was in that club, from the Universe, from God, telling me:
"Wholeheartedly pursuit what makes your soul
feel completely alive, what boosts your energy to
And this is great advice to follow both in our professional and personal lives.
Paraphrasing the well known quote, life is the sum of its parts and a little bit more. What you do in your personal and professional life and what you allow to feel intensely to your very core, what you allow to come in your life and what you passionately embrace.
I urge each and every one of you, of us, to LIVE LIFE TO THE MAX, at any time, at any place, no matter the weird looks. It is our life, and ours alone, and we owe it to ourselves to cherish it.
THE SUCCESS LADDER
According to Eric Parsloe (1999) “Coaching is a process that enables learning and development to occur and thus performance to improve. To be successful a Coach requires a knowledge and understanding of process as well as the variety of styles, skills and techniques that are appropriate to the context in which the coaching takes place”.
“The Success Ladder”, my coaching model works as a framework for me as a professional coach to help my clients in recognizing and overcoming any challenges they have to face. It can be used successfully at any field of coaching, Life, Career, Health, Sports, by any professional coach. “The Success Ladder” suggests a strategy for me, or any coach, in approaching the task of helping my clients develop in the area he/she sets as priority at the time that the coach/coachee relationship is established.
STEP 1: EARNING TRUST
Trust is vital in the coach – coachee relationship. In order for the coachee to open up and share with me his innermost thoughts and feelings, especially those that he/she considers are the reasons for not accomplishing his goals, trust must be built. According to the ICF, one of the Core Competencies of a Coach is “Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client”. ICF suggests that a coach, “Shows genuine concern for the client's welfare and future, continuously demonstrates personal integrity, honesty and sincerity, establishes clear agreements and keeps promises, demonstrates respect for client's perceptions, learning style, personal being, provides ongoing support for and champions new behaviors and actions, including those involving risk taking and fear of failure and asks permission to coach client in sensitive, new areas”.
During this stage I commit in being there for the client throughout the journey of coaching, while at the same time building hope and optimism for the process of coaching and the results it can bring.
STEP 2: GOALS AND FEARS
At this stage the exploration begins, both for me and the client. I will ask the client questions about his current state, how content the client is with it, and whether there are any aspects in his/her life that he/she would like to change or improve. While getting the answers, I will identify in what areas the client has major concerns and help the client elaborate in these areas to identify their effect on the overall picture of the client.
It must be my intent not only to familiarize myself to the client but also to make the client more aware of his situation, his wants and needs, his current actions, and how these actions create opportunities or obstacles for him in achieving his life’s goals. I must encourage, explore and reinforce the client’s expression of feelings, perceptions, concerns and beliefs, through which both can understand what will be the object of their cooperation.
Through powerful questions, the client’s goals and fears can be listed, and they can be the starting point of each coaching contract. Some suggested powerful questions that can be used at this stage are:
It must be noted that, what is considered a powerful question will vary according to what each client wants to come out from the Coaching relationship and must be adjusted accordingly.
STEP 3: OPTIONS
At this stage I will set, always in cooperation with the client, the options that will efficiently and effectively help the client reach the agreed upon goals set in Step 2. I can help the client identify his Options through:
The end product of this stage will be a list of the major areas in which the client wants to achieve major change.
STEP 4: THE WAY FORWARD
Stage 4 is the setting up of a detailed action plan that will incorporate step by step approaches that will help the client achieve all his major goals, simply by achieving the smaller steps that will be initially agreed. More specifically, at this stage, I will:
The accomplishment of every single step must be recognized by me and the client, and celebrated accordingly. In the same respect, when the client does not fulfill the agreed upon actions, I must positively confront the client, recognize the reasons why this happened, and adjusting the Coaching Plan, if necessary, accordingly.
STEP 5: THE DESTINATION/VISUALISATION
Step 5 is an amalgamation of the final destination and a “technique” that will be used by me throughout all other stages of the Success Ladder.
Creative visualization is a mental technique that uses the imagination to make dreams and goals come true. Used in the right way, creative visualization can improve one’s life and attract success, prosperity and anything that a person sets his mind on. It is a power that can alter ones circumstances towards desired results.
I must introduce the term to the client very early in our relationship. On one hand, visualization will provide an image in the client’s mind, as if he/she has already achieved everything he/she has set out to achieve, which will initially help in the setting of his/her goals and it will later on facilitate the effort of working towards these goals. On the other hand, by visualizing “Our Thoughts become Things” according to Mike Dooley. And by introducing this concept to my clients, ensuring him that the whole Universe will be working on his side to make all his wants happen, the whole process will be facilitated.
THE SUCCESS LADDER IN SPORTS COACHING
In sports, a coach is usually considered an individual that provides supervision and training to the sports team or individual players. Sports coaches are involved in administration, athletic training, competition coaching, and representation of the team and the players.
However, many major athletes, in various sports have their own life coach that helps them achieve their biggest goals both professionally and in their personal life. A major example is Serena Williams, 21-Time Grand Slam Tennis Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, who says about Tony Robbins “Tony Robbins’ coaching has made a remarkable difference in my life both on and off the court. With Tony's help, I've set new standards for myself, and I've taken my tennis game—and my life—to a whole new level”!
As mentioned above, the Success Ladder Coaching Model can be used in any field of Coaching, and Sports can be one of them. It can help an athlete, set goals for his practice to achieve greater results in his field, overcome times that for various reasons his performance has diminished, cope with extensive competition in his field and deal with any challenge that the demanding field of sports sets on athletes.
I have already coached several athletes, having as my framework my coaching model, the Success Ladder. Step 1 is a very important phase in the coach-coachee relationship, since athletes are used to the idea of sports coaches, and are very skeptical to the idea of a life coach and how one can help them achieve greater results in their field. Earning their trust was fundamental in setting a good foundation for the coaching work that follows.
Setting goals is routine for athletes. However, many of them, face a difficulty in turning their spoken goals into actions that will lead them to the desired results. Steps 2 to 4 has helped me guide athletes in setting smaller goals that has helped them reach higher levels of performance bit by bit, while staying focused at the end goal at all times.
Furthermore, through visualization, the athletes I coach manage to see clearly in their mind their success at the end of the road. And this mental image, helps them face any fear of competition, any fear of failure, and cope with the intense practice that is running parallel to our coaching sessions. Every obstacle and every excuse that was once in their minds is vanished through the Success Ladder Process.
It is vital to state that a life coach for athletes might need to cooperate with the sports coach, in order to help set a Coaching Plan that will be in line with the Coaching Plan set by the sports coach, and both coaches must work together with the athlete, in order to achieve the desired results.
Empowering individuals in getting the life of their dreams, can be on one hand the object of a specific coaching contract, but most importantly, it is a competency that every individual must master throughout his/her life, in order to cope with any challenge that comes in their way.
I believe that the Success Ladder Coaching Model is a successful tool in supporting me in my quest to help people see the infinite power that lies within them.
I have the privilege of coaching a wonderful human being, let's call him Eddie. I have been coaching Eddie for the last four months and the results he has achieved ever since are amazing.
He approached me last September and asked me to coach him after he heard me speaking at an event in Nicosia. For a long time he had been feeling stagnant in his life. He had so many dreams, some of which were already planned in his head with every little detail, however a single thought was holding him back. He was feeling that any attempt he was making to improve his life was a selfish act, when at the same time there were so many problems in the world that remained unsolved. Eddie felt that he was responsible for solving all of humanity's problems. I was certainly dazzled by his way of thinking, by the unique quality of his character, his thoughts, his life's values.
I must admit that he caught me by surprise. Shouldn't we all feel responsible for the world's problems? Shouldn't we all try and help in any way we could in the quest of making this a better world for our children? We certainly should. But can we really manage to do it when our actions, or inactions, work at the expense of our own personal development and wellbeing. By becoming better, by achieving more and more results in our lives, by making more and more of our dreams a reality, we fill our inner fountain of "resources" and we can give back to society in so many ways. We become strong on so many levels, and through us, we can make the world a stronger and better place!
Four months later, Eddie has managed to put into motion the dream that was already realised in his head for so long. During this time, he has made the decision that his obligation to help humanity will be fulfilled with small acts of service at a more local level, and he is constantly searching for ways to make a bigger impact in his quest of making the world a better place, always while simultaneously working on making himself and his life better as well.
He called me a few hours back, to share with me a new win he had, on which we have been working during the last few weeks. He told me that he read these words of George Bernard Shaw, that he feels that express him completely:
"This is the true joy of life - that being used for a purpose recognised by yourself as a mighty one. That being a force of nature, instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It's a sort of splendid torch which I've got to hold up for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations".
Thank you Eddie for giving me the opportunity to work with you. It has been a privilege working with such a wonderful person.
Thank you for allowing me to share your story.
Let's all work on ourselves, and at the same let's all give a little, or a lot, back to the world. It is our Individual Social Responsibility.
Stelios specializes in coaching you through your personal and professional lives. After many years of experience in many fields, as an employee, as a manager, as an entrepreneur, and involvement in many sports including athletics, basketball, volleyball and muai thai, he became a professional coach in his quest to find a way to help people. He considers his love for life and people to be his niche. His vision is to make the world a better place through helping people achieve their full potential and achieve extraordinary results"