Saturday, May 31, 2003

We are redefining the way we work and relate to one another

I encourage people to ask questions about what's not working for them and what is really standing in their way of performing and leading.

Awareness is the first step to succeeding in a world that is changing, day by day. The basic question "What do you want?" might sound simple at first, however it is very often the most difficult question for clients to answer. It's usually far easier for them to list what they don't want rather than what they do.

Once this is clarified the most effective way to make your dreams happen, is to put yourself there. It's already happened....the Coach's work backwards and determine what it is you did to get there. Take yourself out of the equation for a moment. We're our worst enemies when it comes to sabotage. If you take yourself out of it, accept yourself as being as worthy as the next person to achieve whatever it is that's important to you, it'll happen.

Visualize it until you can reach out and touch it. See it in your mind's eye with all the wonderful changes in life it'll bring you. And if you want it badly enough, nothing will stand in your way.

It's not determining the time to "try" it....for NOW is as good as any, though better than most.

Friday, May 30, 2003

This morning I was talking to a client about it alleviates stress, and in some ways becomes a safe haven for dealing with challenging situations. A very special couple published a book their son, David Saltzman wrote on just that subject, soon after being diagnosed with cancer. Even in spite of the challenges he was facing he wrote and illustrated this magnificent book called "The Jester has Lost His Jingle." And in it, (I won’t tell you the whole story because I feel everyone would benefit from owning it) you’re reminded to keep your sense of humour no matter what’s going on in your life.

Through one of my son’s many surgeries in his short lifetime, I remember one of his surgeons telling me that he wasn’t allowed to laugh for at least a month, preferably 6 weeks until the fragile nerve grafts they constructed would have a chance to heal. I knew that would be impossible. Michael would find something funny about everything around him, even more so if he was told he wasn’t allowed to laugh. So instead, we found a way for him to laugh noiselessly and not shake his body. It came in handy when he turned to me, a few days after a marathon 30 hour surgery, 10 minutes after the doctor’s instructions, body braced from head to toe, and, while looking at the play structure in the back of Ronald McDonald House said "Could I take a run down the slide?"

We both burst out laughing...him silently and still. That’s what got us through each and every operation and what came afterwards. Laughter. There’s nothing healthier....or more healing than finding something to laugh about, even if it’s ourselves. I learn something new from my son each and every day...most of all courage, and the reminder that there’s always something to smile or laugh about.

Donna Karlin

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Whys Not vs Why Not?

Human nature....every reason in the book why we can’t do things. How many times have you heard yourself saying "This is why not"...... "I can’t do that"......"I’m MUCH too busy" or "I’ll try it one day" but never do. Preacting. Lists upon lists of the whys not. We don’t have any problem with making those lists. They come SO easily. But what if? What if we DID try what we’ve dreamed about for so long. And if others can achieve their lifelong goals, why not you? They’re not better or more deserving than you. Rather they have the attitude, why not try.... succeed.....and stretch farther and succeed at that too, at least in the doing if nothing else.

What if you never attempted something you’ve had in the back of your mind and have been dying to do for years? It sits there, somewhere in the recesses of your mind, festering. That feeling, those thoughts that you’ve never really accomplished much of anything isn’t true, but, because you haven’t attempted that which is close to your heart, those feelings persist. But why not try? What’s the worst that can happen? At least you’ll know, and will be all the smarter for trying. It might not be as incredible as you made it up to be, or, it might be the start of something extraordinary.

So why not give it a try. Here’s to your success in doing, in taking that first step.

Donna Karlin

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

In creating new material for my clients, I decided to go back to an old concept, the one of the wheel. The spokes of a wheel are what keep it centered, allow it to turn, and carry its load. We need balanced strength in order to benefit from the advantage of movement the wheel gives us. If the different aspects of our lives aren't in balance, then the wheel won't be balanced and won't turn. We won't move forward in life, we'll stay stagnant, perhaps even move in a backwards direction into the nearest rut.

That is why we don't re-invent the wheel only redesign the exteriors, keeping the essential structure as it is. It gets us where we want to go in the smoothest possible way, provided that we keep all parts of its structure in balance....and when one goes out of sync, we do something to fix it or we end up driving on a "flat tire".

How many of you would drive on the highway with a flat tire? You'd have it fixed immediately. And why would our every day lives be any less important for us to think we can "drive" through day after day, fixing that tire later? Something eventually breaks down.

We tend to work on areas of our lives which come easiest to us, thus ignoring the areas that give us the most challenge. The key is being aware of what’s working in our lives and what isn’t and to use our time and energy in fixing what most needs to be fixed, resulting in having a "centered" life.

Enjoy your day..

Donna Karlin

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

The Trust Building

I have had so many requests for this article that I wrote a while back, that I thought I'd post it here as well.

The Trust Building

How long did it take you to build, and what did it take to build it?

Picture it as a structure, a building of sorts. What purpose does that structure serve? Can you consult others to help you build that structure exactly the way you want it? What materials will you use to build it? Wouldn't you make sure they were the best materials available? They would have to be very strong to survive any assault, and you would listen and learn as you built it, perhaps making some changes along the way. Because once it's built you want to make sure it will stand the test of life's experiences. I'm sure there are things you hadn't thought of that you'd want to add as you were in the process of building. And wouldn't you have safeguards in place in case that building was "under attack" even from the day to day challenges that threaten its structure? There's maintenance and repairs. You will want it to stand strong for a very long time. Others will envy you for this building and want one for themselves, so they'll watch you closely as you preserve it to the best of your ability.

However, have you every thought of how long it takes to destroy a building made of trust? It takes a brief moment in time. A destructive act, moment of chaos, dishonesty. No matter how long it took to create, it takes a second to demolish. It doesn't matter how carefully you erected it, a trust building isn't broken, it's shattered....and then it's gone. There are no pieces to pick up. First you have to completely clear away the rubble before you can rebuild otherwise the foundation won't be strong enough to support a new structure. Can you rebuild it? Sure you can!

Will others try to stop you or give you a hard time about it? Perhaps. Will they help you rebuild? Some will. Others, who might have gotten hurt when the building came down might be hesitant or even reluctant to pitch in. And you will have learned a lot in the process, allowing you to build something stronger and longer lasting. Can you rebuild overnight? No. It might take a long time, but it will happen. And once the structure turns out the way you want it, you'll protect it even more than the first one. People who watch you will be even more amazed than the first time and appreciate all the hard work you put into it. Many will remember the building that shattered, but you will know how strong the new one is. You will protect it with everything you have so it will last a long long time.

Food for thought to begin your day. Have a great one!

Monday, May 26, 2003

It's Monday.....always a crazy day as people come off their weekend and can't wait to share insights, experiences, challenges and ideas. And as I just wrote to a very special person , my life is coming together to be far more amazing than I had ever dreamed. I'm blessed with terrific people in my life, a home I love and with watching my son come into his own as he's grown into a young man, pursuing his dreams for a future filled with all sorts of wonderful possibilities. And as a colleague would say, if you can't look around and say "I love you" to everything in your life, people and things, then it's time to let go of them.

I can honestly say I'm there. And it feels incredible!

Enjoy your day...

Saturday, May 24, 2003

One of my favourite topics of conversation is "happiness". Whenever a client says to me "I'll be happy when..." that's an invitation for me to push a button. My answer is always the same "Why should your happiness be conditional on anything or anyone else? Happiness is a choice". And thus the debate begins....

When we think and believe our happiness hinges on a new job, car, house or relationship, we set ourselves up for failure. What inevitably happens is when we acquire these things, we're happy for a while until the car is no longer new and shiny, the relationship wears thin and we need new external influences to keep our mind off what's truly important. However when we choose to be happy regardless of circumstance everything that comes our way is a bonus.

I've always maintained it's who I have in my life that makes it extraordinary....not what. And in that I am truly blessed.


Thursday, May 22, 2003

One of my dreams is that all health care providers Coach their patients as well as treat them. Some how, some way I am determined to make that start in my own city and community....and later hopefully, to join with other Coaches around the world to help them make it happen in their neck of the woods. For years I've been Coaching patients individually. For my dream to become a reality, however, it's not enough to Coach one person at a time. What will make my dream a reality will be teaching others to Coach. Enabling patients to be responsible for their care and well-being is so empowering....and, in many cases, easier to do than most think. One patient who was diagnosed with treatable cancer, was in the mind-set that he wouldn't live through it. I bought him a planner....asked him to record all his appointments, work schedule, social commitments and keep track of his own agenda. A week or so later, I called and asked what was on the agenda for the weekend. He listed all the things he had in his planner.

My only comment to him was "So I guess you are going to wake up tomorrow". And what I got back was "Touche. I get it now" with a smile in his voice. It's all in perspectives. His had changed. Now he intended to wake up every morning if he had any choice in the matter.

How many of us make a negative intention come true for no reason whatsoever? And how would it be if we always looked at the glass as half full?

I intend to enjoy my you?

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Marketing for Coaches seems to be a challenge for many. I've found that speaking to as many people as I can about the work I do, has proven to be the best marketing tool of all. Speaking isn't necessarily in person or by can be through emails and responding to magazine articles. I've written to people I read about in Fast Company Magazine and have maintained a connection with many of them. Through those connections, I've been interviewed for online publications, have been asked to do a TV interview and have a radio interview in the works.

It's all about getting the word out and definiing your uniqueness.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

I've had many insights since the Future of Coaching Conference in San Francisco. A huge one for me is about our children. Instead of always telling our kids what to do, it's better to instill values in them which will make them independent and live their lives with integrity. However they were not meant to be our clones. I learn something new from my son every day. He is headed on a different path than me and, if encouraged to be the best he can be will fly at whatever he chooses to do in life. He and other kids are our future. They learn new things, process them differently than we do and, if we sit back and watch we can learn so much from them....a collaboration of sorts....our wisdom and experience combined with their knowledge and enthusiasm.

Mind boggling!