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What If Everyone Was a Coach?

Who provided you with the best coaching ever? It could have been an athletic coach, a choir director, a business coach, a therapist, maybe even a partner -- someone who listened with your own best interests in mind and then provided you with a skillful combination of support and challenge. Support because stretching yourself can be tough, too tough to do all by yourself,  and challenging because we tend to relax into being relaxed, assuming a kind of stasis that leads nowhere. Whoever that person was, imagine how much tougher it would have been for you without them. And, if you don't have someone like that you remember, imagine how wonderful that is -- because it is indeed wonderful. It doesn't always feel wonderful at the time, but the results are splendid indeed. In that sense a coach is a bit like a meditation partner. A bit like your inner voice who keeps you alert when you tend to relax too much, and a calming support when you tend to get too frantic. Coaches help us stay

Communication Flexibility

Have you considered flexibility in communication? I thought about this yesterday when my first impulse as a response to something that someone said to me was to share my own experience, my own advice, my own perspective. But I didn't do that. It would have been easy, but it would have been wrong from an emotional standpoint. The other person hadn't asked for my advice.  If she did, I was ready. The advice, the point of view, was all ready to go. But she didn't so I simply listened. Quiet can communicate so much. Staying flexible in the moment, knowing the options and then selecting the most compassionate, caring, useful response greatly improves communication. Conversations can be dances where we don't step on each other's feet. Conversations can be fluid, flexible, light, and still substantive. Flexible. Even when I am absolutely sure that I know the answer... There is always more than one answer. -- doug smith

Curiosity Sparks Questions

Do you like to argue? Whether or not YOU do, you probably can think of someone who seams to enjoy disagreeing. Arguments are contagious. I've gotten pulled into many arguments that eventually went nowhere and didn't contribute any progress to anything at all. So why argue? We argue to prove a point. We argue to convince. We argue to change behavior. But, how effective is that? Not very. Whenever I catch myself arguing now, I pause long enough to breathe deeply and think of a question. And then another question. And then another question.  It's harder to argue with a question. And with a question, we both might learn something. -- doug smith What have you learned today?

Dealing with Lies

What do you do when someone lies to you? It's probably happened to you several times today. People lie for so many reasons -- to spare your feelings, to fool you, to avoid work, to navigate blame, to gain an advantage...even out of laziness. The trouble with lies is that they are always inevitably discovered. What has become a disturbing trend is that even when someone is caught in a lie, they often simply just lie again. They lie about the lie. They lie about the truth. They lie about whether you should even care if the tell the truth. Geez. We've all told lies, but there comes a time to stop. There comes a time when the lies pile up so high that we can't even try to see our way to the truth. There comes a time when the lies cut relationships to shreds and turn communication into dread. There comes a time when no matter how dramatic or risky it may seem we should tell the truth. Exclusively. No lies at all. That time is now. Now is the best time to deal with lies. First (a


Stay relentlessly positive today -- and then again tomorrow.     -- doug smith  

Step by Step

  Sometimes I get ahead of myself. Sometimes I fall behind. How about you? Taking one step at a time helps you survive every fall. There will be plenty of falls. No need to fall so far you can't get up. Step by step. Let's try it that way. -- doug smith

Mind Your Mind

What do you think about you? Are you fabulous, fantastic, fun? Do you like who you see in the mirror?  Are you serving people in ways that enrich yourself as well? It's easy to harbor negative thoughts. It's tempting to judge ourselves harshly. The key is to always do our best, even when (especially when) that is hard. Push and drive and learn and build and go to bed tired.; Whatever you think of, it's yours to keep, so why not manage what you think of? It's not that positive thoughts will do everything for you, but they'll do far more for you than negative ones about yourself. You rock. You roll. You get stuff done. Do you mind what your mind says about you? Do you mind what your mind says about you that isn't true? You know how to fix that, don't you? -- doug smith

Every Day

Long range goals should get closer everyday. Design your plan and then work on it relentlessly. -- doug smith  

Set a Reward for Yourself

Proposition: Goals are rewarding enough that we shouldn't need rewards for achieving them. Rebuttal: you'll feel better after the reward AND it will often spur you on when the going is rough. (PS: the going is usually rough.) How will you reward yourself when you achieve your biggest goal? Figure that out, and the goal gets easier. You deserve it. -- doug smith


  Are you easily distracted? I've noticed that some of my more persistent distractions stop feeling like distractions when I do them too much. What becomes a habit is all too easily accepted.  And not all distractions are bad. Some powerfully creative ideas came from unexpected distractions -- drifts of thinking leading to novel approaches that worked. But living in distraction is dangerous.  Every distraction pulls us away from a noble goal.  When I feel that pull, I try to re-center myself and get back to the goal (or at least a goal.) The goal is where the gold is. -- doug smith