Guest post by Simon Tyler – The Simplicity Coach
Goal setting and goal getting is trendy and the stuff of champions and superheroes, isn’t it?
Setting goals can elicit much needed clarity and focus, and be an amazing driver of decision and action, but there is an inherent risk in goal setting that can be self defeating and actual goal-achievement limiting, of which most people are unaware.
There is a subtle suite of thoughts and potentially easy steps you can take to avoid the health risk and actually achieve your desired results, faster. Whether you are a rapacious goal-setter, an occasional goal-dabbler or even an out and out goal-avoider.
Goals, by their nature, are set as some kind of future state. An improvement, a change, a shift, an acquisition, a disposal. In the instant your goal is established the energy and body chemicals released in your brain and body are often linked to disappointment with your current situation (in comparison to the goal), impatience (with the fact that the goal state is not here yet) and imbalance in your present focus (mentally in the future and away from ‘now’).
Any combination of these attitudes will slow you down, cause dis-ease and make the journey to the goal grim and full of grunt and grudge. The more seductive your goal is, the more you detach from the present moment. Why on earth would you design a development journey with all that in it?
The Simple Way
Having set your goal, your desired state, whatever it is, just pause. Begin again by thinking through (and writing down) the following:
What is true right now that will also be true when the goal state has been reached?
What evidence (however small) exists now that I have the resources to reach the goal?
How will I feel when the goal is achieved? Could I feel that now in a tiny way?
This approach feels better (all the time), works faster, is more fulfilling, often even more rewarding (you will notice new results that may not otherwise have been spotted).
Two principles that have served me well throughout my life as a coach are “you get what you think about, whether you want it or not” and “you only get more of what you’ve got already”. They play out fully in this Simple Note.
Keep it simple and start from here, everything you need is much closer than you think!
Guest Post by Simon Tyler – Simplicity Coach
The volume, proliferation and inundation of information today may cause you discomfort, your way of handling it is the focus of this Simple Note.
Social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc) are challenging what and how you connect and share anything.
How you handle the digital world and its flow of information, your sources and your networks may define your success (in using them to your advantage), easing stress levels, increasing personal efficiency, growth and igniting positive personal change.
Thomas Power, the founder and Chairman of Ecademy coined two acronyms that capture the journey each of us are challenged to make in this information and networking transition journey. He spoke brilliantly on this topic a few years ago at a TEDxNewStreet conference (an independently organised TED event).
Corporations, and the laggardness in many of us, he describes as being CSC:
Closed – to new ideas, methods, ways, channels, people
Selective – about the people and places we connect with, work with, source from
Controlling – of the people in our circle, in their activity, methods and ways of working
Being CSC is not wrong, or bad. It quite probably has been a valuable, often principled protective way to be in the information proliferation world of the past. However staying closed, selective and controlling is now requiring more effort and your decisions and standards are challenged daily. It may even feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. The more you entrench, the more difficult it has, or will, become.
Today demands we question our operating methods and ways of connection to the flow of information. My children have a completely different way of living in the digital world and sitting in the flow and as I observe their behaviour more of Thomas Power’s assertions are found to be present.
My children are, to use Power’s second acronym, ORS:
Open – to all channels, willing to experiment and explore, prepared to do things wrong first
Random – resisting the need to force structure and order, resisting judging anything (at least initially)
Supportive – of anyone in their new networks, prepared to be part of the process of change and experimentation
Your transition from CSC to ORS will take time and not necessarily be easy, but it is a journey that will bring rewards, in new information, less anxiety and a preparedness for whatever happens next in the information flowing world.
Obviously this could be a coaching supported journey (get one), and certainly a path that is easier travelled with colleagues than alone.
The same transition will apply to your team and your company. The sooner it is made, the faster the benefits will be noticed.
Good luck and keep it simple.
Guest post from Simon Tyler – Executive Coach
Unless you work on your own, for yourself or in isolation, your weekly schedule will be peppered with meetings. Meetings about your projects, team members’ projects, corporate information sharing, programme updates and on and on.
The culture in your organisation has possibly led to the habit of multiple invitations and equally habitual acceptance and attendance. What was once a conversation, then a meeting has become a forum or even a committee.
The time left to be creative, space to think, opportunities to build relationships, has reduced down to a few chances a day, often in the margins at the beginning or end of the day or even packed into part of your travel time.
If you truly desire positive change, to create something new for you, your team or your company, then the time must surely have come for you to check your meeting habits now.
I have often found inspiration in the thinking and working practices of the late Steve Jobs and this Simple Note about meetings is dedicated to him.
He instilled within Apple the principle of meetings populated by the fewest participants possible. Unless someone is critical to the decision or has something crucial to add, they were asked to leave the meeting.
Start with small groups of smart people, every time the number increases, unnecessary complexity increases with it.
To access the best of simplicity, not least speed, I provocatively suggest that the more critical a project the fewer smart ones you co-opt in the better. This is the opposite to most corporate behaviour.
And a bonus meeting culture changer: never allow a meeting to go beyond 30 minutes.
Go on, challenge your meeting behaviour, and keep it simple.
PS – The Simple Way is due in bookshops and online stores on Thursday 21st June – pre-order now.
Guest post from Simon Tyler – Simplicity Coach
Knowledge is brief, it has a limited life span; you are simply the custodian, not the owner.
Whatever you know, share it, make it available. Give it away to those that need it, post it where others can find it.
1) A blog – write about what you know or have found (everything I have written in these newsletters is available to view – http://simontyler.com/blog/archives/)
2) Contribute – send your knowledge to forum after forum, add knowledgeable comment to posts (search first and just contribute)
3) Become the hub – link with others that know similar things, connect and share, become known for being a hub
You are the value, not what you currently know. In sharing your knowledge you will find ways, people and situations where you can add your value and expand, expand, expand.
If this resonates with you, take an action, go on, take an easy action today and create momentum.
Keep it simple
Guest post from The Simplicity Coach Simon Tyler
Whatever your life, career or business situation, input from a valued, experienced, knowledgeable consultant will always be welcomed.
But who is that consultant, where do they reside, how can you contact them, and would they be willing to consult on your situation?
The answers to these questions lie closer than you would think.
The potential perfect consultant to you and your circumstance is… you!
Inspiration comes from within. Insight, from within. Investigation, introspection, inklings, invention, influence, incentive, and most pertinently, intuition, all from within.
Warning — a consultant who is negative, asks poor questions, or simply spouts opinions is soon ignored and their advice given little or no consideration. If this is your current version of personal consulting then it is no wonder you find yourself unfulfilled, searching the world for better, more accurate and reliable advice.
The Perfect Consultant (you) may well require some skill evolution. Here’s one upgrade idea that will have incredible impact on the consultant’s performance:
Upgrade the consultant’s question
Many of our self-posed questions begin with “Why…”. This provokes a “…because…” response, and rarely leads to new or creative input. Stop whying!
Actively begin your self-posed questions with “What…” or “How could…”. These questions create space for your brain to source its own answers (i.e. inspirationally, intuitively — from within).
For example, after any encounter, event or situation that went well or badly, ask:
“What could this teach me?”
“What do I want to do with this outcome?”
“How could I use this event to help me?”
Ask the questions and allow the ‘in-consultant’ to respond. For best effect, make notes of his or her suggestions and review later.
Good luck and keep it simple.
Guest post from Simon Tyler – The Simplicity Coach.
Whatever hypothesis or assumption you are holding tends to be how you set yourself up to experience the day, what you see, hear, feel and notice.
Often times we are not even aware what our active hypotheses are, they have formed over years without us realising as a product of:
What we read and watch
Who we spend most of our time with
Our hypothesis is at work and in place in all areas of our life and dictates the ease, the success and the joy we derive from:
Work, our job role and the success we achieve
Health and wellbeing
At some level of consciousness we are thinking and embedding our hypothesis, the rest of our brain is at work proving it to be true. Our sensory tool kit is off finding evidence to confirm the hypothesis. Where we find exceptions, that we may welcome or detest, we relate to them like rare and incorrectly aligned happenings, rejecting them in effect.
An example; a long time client of mine was continuing to experience career success, but always coupled with work overload, physical demands and time pressures that affected her entire life. In dialogue we discovered that deep in the background was the assumption that she would always struggle in senior roles and with greater responsibility came greater struggle. Whilst not deluding ourselves that senior roles do not bring new and stretching challenges, the extent to which it was affecting her did not necessarily have to be true. Unknowingly she was proving to herself that the hypothesis was true.
So we experimented with new hypotheses, that her mind might just be able to accept may be true. In senior roles opportunities frequently presented themselves to change ways of working, a peaceful existence may be possible! And slowly this new hypothesis began to get proved too. Resistance and doubt surfaced (thank goodness for subsequent coaching conversations eh?) but the hypothesis at work was changed.
My challenge to you this week is to consider what assumptions you are holding in the four areas (relationship, health, finance, work success). Just look at your current and recurring results. Could you upgrade one of them? There are many techniques to begin to embed a new hypothesis, I know some and my associate coaches know many more, talk to me.
Your brilliant brain can go about proving whatever you task it to do, choose something nice!
Keep it simple
Guest post from Simon Tyler – Executive Coach.
Many of the teams with whom I have been involved, as a member or as the coach and facilitator find themselves just existing, delivering the stream of actions that are required and occasionally a few more.
Inside all of us and all teams is the nagging sense that more is possible. I am sure you have often heard the 1+1=3 synergy story, the sum of the parts etc. And indeed significant greater potential lies just in reach for every team.
Consider this simple stepped line of enquiry for your team, and allow the answers to guide your way ahead:
What do I personally want or get from being part of a team?
Responses from the group will be different bringing them to the surfaces helps each realise that we all can achieve our own desires, together.
Who are our customers?
Stakeholders, contributors, everyone that your team impacts.
What do they say about us?
You could even ask them. Although they have or are already communicating in verbal and no verbal ways.
What do we want them to say about us?
Be as adventurous and as outrageous as you can, stretch beyond what even seems possible from where you are.
Design the Change
What stops you (clear out the barriers).
If you follow this path, please let me know I’d be delighted to support in any way I can.
Good luck and keep it simple.
Guest post from the Simplicity Coach – Simon Tyler.
Unknowingly we set ourselves up for stress and disappointment by hunting down better, or replacements for what we have right now. In calling off the incessant search and recognising again what is already here for us, new and better appears effortlessly in front of us.
In your everyday experience there is a constant delivery of new things, people, opportunities, challenges, chances. Sometimes you notice and grasp them, sometimes you don’t.
So new is there, better is possible, all the time, naturally. My point today is that the unhealthy searching, clawing, desperate craving for new and better is ruining it for you. Even when new or better arrives, it doesn’t feel so good, it doesn’t match the unconscious artificial nirvana you have created in your mind. All the time you are on the seeking journey you add stress, doubt, anger and a range of emotions relating to how much you hate current situation and how much you desperately need new.
Please, get off this incessant and painful treadmill now.
Oprah Winfrey brilliantly spoke to this point “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
I repeat again new and better is arriving all the time, on its own, nothing to do with you, stop seeking.
Here’s how to get off the craving path and begin to attract and notice incredible new and better options effortlessly and automatically.
Connect again to what you have right now.
I mean everything, list it, realise it blatantly again, right now, on paper.
Your experience, your physical capabilities, your intellectual capacity, your possessions, your connections, the relationships you currently have (irrespective of what you have been telling yourself about them).
Stop pining for new, step back into what you have, hug it, cherish it, love it, be it and do it a bit more today. It feels like you’re closing out to new or better, but this is absolutely not the case, just begin to notice what starts to show up.
A foundational part of the Simple Life Code:
“Realise and relish what you are and what you have right now, everything”
In connecting with what you have and noticing it all, especially the bits you have forgotten, it is likely you will immediately feel better. From here things will become easier and simpler and the door to new and better is open.
Keep it simple
Another thought-provokingly simple post from Simon Tyler this morning.
Allow me to assert a simple concept…
The 5 people with whom you spend most time have the greatest impact on:
Your thinking and view of the world
Your range of default decisions
Your vision of the future
Consciously or unconsciously this select group of people are there shaping your thinking, sharing their ideas and views and providing the space for you to share yours.
If there is something about your mood or attitude or current circumstance that isn’t quite right, or is in some way off track then look again at your high influence five. Are they actually serving you, your goals, your desires?
Often this group are in place as a result of recent history or your geographical location. Until this group is by your conscious design, your ability to shift mood, attitude, results will be difficult.
With whom, on your current panel do you need to reduce your exposure? Who could join, who will support you and gear you up for greater things?
Keep it simple,
Guest blog from Simon Tyler.
A quick view of your calendar for next week will undoubtedly reveal days full of meetings, back to back on some days with no breathing space between.
The culture of many companies in which I have been involved seems to dictate the meeting thing. They are invaluable, most of the time in achieving an objective or two, but I have observed the meeting habit consuming teams, divisions and even entire companies. But one particular type of meeting, potentially the most valuable to you and your journey, gets forgotten.
My challenge for you this week is to schedule the most important meeting. It is simply a meeting with you. The You-on-You meeting can be strategic or tactical, and have similar intent to the plethora of meetings you attend everyday.
We convince ourselves that we do have meetings with self, but until they are formally included in your schedule they almost always are sub optimal! They occur as you walk between other meetings, to the car park or train, the journey itself, fitting in the gaps, no agenda, no focus, random thoughts, open to every possible distraction, in utterly inappropriate environments. Would you seriously allow your team or project meetings happen like that? If you did what result would you expect from them?
If you want to shift your thinking, your performance, your results, then you need a “you-on-you” communication plan. Your meeting need not necessarily be in a conference room with PowerPoint slides, just set it up in a way that you will be at your meeting best. A quiet place, for as long as you can handle being with the participant. And don’t complicate it, just have one or two agenda items/thoughts to focus on (one is my favourite).
10 minutes a day? An hour a week? You could even invite expert guests (your coach, mentor or development buddy). Create some frequency, perhaps even make notes (Einstein did). Just stop putting off this incredibly valuable investment of your time.