April 2004


1) PERSONAL GROWTH - The 7 Beautiful Virtues. 

2) MARKETING TIP - The marketing lessons from my first 10K.

3) COACHING TIP - The Dalai Lama and coaching.


Over the Easter Holiday, my local newspaper ran an article on the "7 Deadly Sins".  This term attributed to Charles Dickens refers to the biblical sins of Pride, Envy, Anger, Sloth, Greed, Gluttony and Lust which are thought to be "deadly" to the spiritual life. The point of the article was to show how many of these "sins" have become mainstream in our culture. 


I will let others rant about the degradation of modern civilization. What the "Sins" article brought up in me was a question around what are the most important virtues.  Specifically, I wanted to know what 7 virtues we (all of us in this modern world) would most benefit from embracing and living each and every day.  After a little soul searching, basic research, and tuning into the ether of universal wisdom, here are my candidates for THE 7 BEAUTIFUL VIRTUES, those virtues that would have the greatest positive impact on life on earth.


Faith - The ability to believe in the better. 


Compassion - The ability to choose to let go of fear and to choose to love others and all living things.


Forgiveness - The generosity of spirit to begin anew.


Service - The desire to live for the benefit of others.


Courage - The strength to do what is right, even though you are scared.


Wisdom - The ability to see the bigger picture and access the deeper truth.


Commitment - The resolve to do what needs to be done.


Many answers are possible here. We could list virtues until the cows come home. I do not want to try to settle any debate once and for all. Rather my goal is to simply suggest that if we all focused a little more effort in bringing these virtues into our lives, the world would be a much better place.


What virtue, if you focused on it today, would add the largest value to your life?


2) The Marketing Lessons From My First 10K.

I ran my first 10K last weekend. I got roped into it under the premise that a group of local coaches was going to run as a team. When it came down to the start of the race, it was a 1-man team. (I am assuming everyone else had the sense to stay in their warm beds.)  

Anyway, although I have to admit to feeling like The Tinman after a summer rain storm, there is also a warm sense of satisfaction that I mustered the willpower to show up and run. And along the 10K of the race, amidst a throng of 50 thousand other souls, there were some good lessons re-learned about life and marketing of a professional practice. Specifically:

  • The importance of having a clear goal. (Mine was to finish the race in under an hour.)

  • The importance of frequently reminding yourself of your goal. (I had to remind myself of my goal a hundred times during the race - every time the thought of quitting came up.)

  • The motivating effect of seeing other people overcoming the same challenges you are facing. (There is something about seeing someone 30 years younger, 20 years older, or 100 pounds heavier, running up a hill in front of you, that keeps you running - even though my Gremlin was shouting "take a break no one will care".)

  • The importance of being prepared for challenges.  (If I ever do this again, I will most definitely train. It would have been soooo much easier.)

  • The importance of encouragement along the way. (All along the side of the race there were people clapping and shouting out encouragement. This boosted my spirits, even though I'm a fairly internally motivated soul.)

  • The importance of living in the moment, and taking one challenge at a time. (I found it served me to take the kilometers one at a time. If I had focused on how far I had to go before I finished, it would have been discouraging.)

  • The importance of having a support team. (Even though I ran alone, I had a good friend encouraging me before the race, and waiting for me at the finish.)

Each of these lesson from my first (and possibly last) 10K, are directly transferable to the marketing of your business. If you learn from my experience, perhaps you can save yourself a few financial blisters.

3) COACHING TIP - The Dalai Lama and Coaching.  

The Dalai Lama was in town recently. The beaming, tireless Lama travels the world with a powerful message of peace. 

Listening to several interviews with the 68 year old master, I was struck by how much of his teaching can be reduced to a single imperative.......cultivate a kind heart. 

I believe it's the same in coaching. I have long felt that the single biggest gift you can bring to your clients is an open and caring heart. 

I've had this confirmed over the past few weeks by polling a number of coaching discussion groups to see what virtues other coaches felt were most important to their practice. The clear winner was the virtue of having compassion (or love) for your clients.  In other words, having a kind heart. 

Often times as coaches we fall under the spell of our "doing" society, and habitually ask, "What do I need to do next?" or "What does my client need to do?"

If the Dalai Lama has something to teach coaches, it is the habit of asking, "Who do I need to "be" today, to cultivate a kind heart?"  And "Who does my client need to be" to get the results they want?

Happy coaching.

Visit Steve at Life and Business Coach

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