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Steve Mitten's Life And Business Coaching Notes - March 2009
A spring sunrise over a foggy Vancouver.
1) Why remain optimistic?
2) What is on your marketing dashboard?
3) Feedback wanted - Where do you want more support?
1) Why remain optimistic?
In the trough of a deep recession, optimism can be a scarce commodity. As wave after wave of negative economic news washes around the globe, anyone who struggles to find silver linings can feel like an endangered species.
However as someone who does believe in humanity's ability to adjust and adapt to new circumstances, I was bouyed to read Dr. Sonja Lyubormirsky's THE HOW OF HAPPINESS, and find more hard evidence on the benefits of remaining optimistic.
To be clear, when I talk about optimism I am not advocating ignoring the real challenges of life. As you look around the world these days, you can see ample evidence of humanity's seemingly limitless capacity for self-interest, greed and general stupidity.
Nevertheless, if you look for it, you can also see countless situations where the best in humanity comes forth in beautiful displays of compassion, creativity and selflessness. Both these truths exist, and the point is it matters which perspective you choose to focus on or put in the forefront of your experience of life.
There is overwhelming evidence that people who choose to cultivate the habits of optimism, that believe in silver linings and that things will work out in the end, enjoy; greater health, greater longevity, lower stress, more energy and higher achievement. As an optimist you will not only enjoy far more happiness, but are also far more likely to persevere, stick to your goals and respond better to challenging situations.
Cultivating optimism is not only worthwhile, it's achievable, even for those of us raised in fearful or skeptical environments. Research attests to benefits of optimism fostering strategies ranging from; expressing gratitude, regular exercise, practicing kindness, developing greater mindfulness, cultivating social relationships, and learning how to savor more of life's simple joys. (Sonja's book is a very good summary of these strategies and includes practical advice on implementation.)
Not only can the habit of optimism make you feel better, it can also influence what you manifest or make happen in your life. In this regard, psychologists have long distinguished between primary and secondary control. An example of primary control is your ability to directly influence existing realities - the rain, the economy, your boss, etc. Secondary control refers to your ability to adapt to reality. (I cannot change the rain, maybe I can learn how to have more fun on rainy days?)
While most of the social science research focuses on helping us cultivate greater secondary control and thus better respond to life, the spiritual traditions (and Keynesian economics) teach that what you think, believe, and act on, absolutely influences your primary reality. If you think it is a dog-eat-dog world out there, you are going to be fearful and that will influence your behavior and what and whom you attract into your life. (Pessimists tend to attract more pessimists. Optimists attract people of a similar energy.) If you think the economy is going to get worse, you will hold back on your spending, and your spending is someone else's salary. They pull back on their spending and that can affect your income. In short, you create the very future you fear.
How you see the world can definitely influence, what you think, how you feel and what you act on. As such, your view of the world can directly shape the future you are creating.
So, cultivating more optimism not only makes you happier, healthier and a heck of a lot more fun to be around, it will also have a positive impact on creating a better future for everyone.
Every roller coaster ride has its share of heart stopping plunges. Choose to have faith your little cart is firmly fixed on the track it is meant to ride. On the roller coaster of life you might occasionally lose your favorite hat and possibly your breakfast, but that is all part of the journey.
Lighten up. It's not personal. Take some time today to enjoy the spectacular view and count your blessings. It will all work out in the end.
2) What is on your Marketing Dashboard?
There is an adage that you cannot manage what you don't measure. Small business folks (especially coaches) often remain oblivious to the key measurements that can tell them how well they are doing in their practices and which of their marketing efforts are really working. As such, far too many coaches stick with ineffective marketing approaches struggling to attract sufficient numbers of clients.
If you stop to think about it, this is one of those things that defies logic. I am pretty sure every time you get in your car you have some sense of where you want to end up, your rate of speed, and how much gas you have in your tank. However as relates to your business it is a rare coach who has a feel for how well their marketing efforts are really working and whether their current efforts are going to get them where they want to go.
I recently polled a number of established coaches to see what were the basic variables they track in their practices. Here are a few basics items that I suggest you want to keep track of if you desire to get much better results:
There are many other items you could track if you were so inclined. (And some coaches are.) However if you are like most of us and prefer to spend as much of your working time as possible coaching clients, this should at least give you a place to start.
It Felt Love
3) Feedback Wanted - Where would you like more support?
These are unusual times. While much of the world carries on with life, far too many people struggle to keep their lives and businesses afloat. So, I was wondering how I might be of greater use to you.
Here are a few ideas and possible initiatives I could provide, that might be of help or interest to coaches.
If you think any of these areas would be of interest to you, please let me know at email@example.com. If there is enough interest, I will put something together.
"The optimist sees opportunity in every danger;
- Winston Churchill
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Life Coach and Business Development Specialist Steve Mitten B.ApSc, CPCC, MCC helps individuals, professionals and leaders find their niche, be their best and make an impact.
Visit Steve at www.acoach4u.com
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