Habits of Excellence

22 06 2016

stencil.twitter-postWe would all like to believe that we are in CHARGE of or CONTROL our lives. Fundamentally we do make choices with our behaviors and thoughts day to day. However, the shocking truth is that we are all CREATURES OF HABIT. It is these habits, or repetitive behaviors, that end up determining the quality of our lives.

Over the years I have become more aware of the connection between the quality of my life and my habits. In other words I have been struck by how much I get what I have earned. For example, in relationships I have had a habit of talking more than I am listening. This came to my awareness as I was talking with my son one day. I went into the conversation with a desire to learn about his level of interest in his upcoming college experience and realized as I was driving to my next appointment that I had actually learned nothing. This was not because he was unwilling to share, it was because I didn’t listen. I have work projects that I have authentic excitement about that were spawned 6 months ago. Yet some of these have not yet even gotten off the ground. These are just a few examples of how habits can lie under the surface of awareness but do their destructive work regardless of my intention.

I think it is imperative that we step back and give some thought to our lives with the intention to gain clarity about where we are relinquishing power to automatic and repetitive behaviors that road block our deepest desires and ambitions. We need to ask ourselves, “What habits do I need to re-invent and what skills do I need to upgrade to significantly upgrade the quality of my life?” Doing this allows our focus and awareness to uncover the unconscious automatic actions and attitudes that are most likely silently destroying things we care about.

From this reflection we need to then build HABITS OF EXCELLENCE. These are habits that lead to the elevated capacity to build relationships filled with understanding, love, experiential impact, work production that is heightened, stress that is lowered, health that is enhanced, and an overall life quality that is elevated all because some habits of excellence were implemented, reinforced and strengthened through consistency.

I believe many of us are blindly and unconsciously going through our lives without the awareness that a much better quality of life is simply a few habits of excellence away. Take some time today and do a thorough walk through of your life and identify at least one habit that is having an undesirable impact on your life. Once you have done that invent a new habit that can lead you to experience a better quality of life.

If you find this a challenge, sign up for a free coaching session and let me help you do this in a powerful way!

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Here’s to habits of excellence.





Starting is Half Done

14 06 2016

We all have aspirations to do GREAT things!!startingishalfdone

I can detail at least five different GREATNESS SEEKING visions I have been chasing. In fact, the still small voice within often torments me concerning the minimal, if any, progress I have made with regard to these worthy pursuits.

I believe there are countless NOBLE and GAME CHANGING VISIONS that have died on the seat of PROCRASTINATION. Have you ever wondered to yourself where your life would be if just one of these visions actually became reality? Have you ever taken the time to assess the OPPORTUNITIES and QUALITY of life LOSS that is simply the by product of the inability to muster the willpower, motivation or discipline to see these through to reality?

This is a very personal writing for me. I have battled with procrastination most of my life. One day as I was talking with a colleague about a project, he was courageous enough to give me the feedback that his level of trust in my ability to see this project through was small. When I asked him to expand on this idea he said, “Shaun you are creative, ambitious, and very good at what you do. However, very few of your ideas actually go from seed to tree.” Rather than this being a painful and personalized comment, I reflected and realized he was correct. Since that time I have learned three very powerful lessons and I’ll share them with you.

First, I am taking more time to test ideas within myself before I share them with others. In other words I want to make sure what I share is what I am committed to following through on. Often times I have haphazardly shared an impulsive idea believing at the moment that it was GREAT. I realized after testing the idea that it was more of a single cloud in the sky rather than the beginning of a thunderstorm of synergy.

Second, I have learned to share ideas with trusted advisors before taking the time to pour copious amounts of time and energy into them. These advisors are good at asking questions that reveal things that I may never think about. This forces me to flesh out the ideas in greater detail. This usually adds energy and motivation or completely strips it. Both are important.

Third, I have applied the STARTING IS HALF DONE principle. Most of the projects that draw me out and ask the most of me and demand me to grow, learn, and challenge myself. All of these dynamics erect walls of doubt, excuses and time management disasters. I now know that the greatest challenge is STARTING. When I was challenged to create a calendar of content to write about for 52 weeks I simply committed to coming up with ten. One hour later I had written 52. On days when energy seems scarce I start with putting on my workout clothes and STARTING. When writing scripts for on-line programs I write on one concept at a time. In each of these cases I am trying to stay present in what I know I can accomplish without getting in my own way before I even START. I hope this highlights the importance of SIMPLY STARTING.

Taking initial action sparks a wonderful cascade of creativity, energy and vision as well as, momentum towards an idealized vision. I have found that this also propels me forward with less effort.

If you have a number of visions, intentions, dreams, or aspirations that are on the proverbial shelf take some time and ask yourself these questions, “What if the GAME CHANGING IDEA, VISION, or INTENTION that is a GAME CHANGER is already present and right in front of me? What might happen if I simply STARTED and saw where it went from there.” You might be SHOCKED as to what vision becomes reality.

As for me, I am committed to becoming increasingly trustworthy with the inspired, creative and potentially game changing ideas and visions that are forming within. Join me in this worthy and powerful cause.

To take the first step in learning to “get started” in your daily life by reserving time with me to discover your High Performance Strategies!  Click here to schedule now!

Now is your time!

Shaun





Generating Purpose that Motivates

8 06 2016

purpose blogDiscovering purpose can be very challenging. This might be because we have a predetermined idea of what it means to have a purpose by generating an image of a hero like Martin Luther King, Gandhi or someone we have come to admire because of the mark they have made on the world and our lives. These people certainly lived with a purpose that drove them to commit their lives to their message.

For the sake of this article I would like to suggest that we can create many multiple applications of purpose. It doesn’t have to be an all-encompassing, immersive, commitment-rich passion we invest our entire lives in (although it could). What I am referring to is living each day and moment with an intention to BE PURPOSEFUL.

In other words, FULL OF PURPOSE.

This can be anything from meeting the challenges of our day believing that we will grow strength, resilience and a deep sense of confidence by doing so, or intentionally engaging in our routine tasks and responsibilities with a purpose we generate in the moment.

My point is that the power of purpose is not reserved only for the world’s leaders.

Living with daily intention and purpose is for ALL OF US regardless of what we are doing.

I LEARNED THIS POWERFULLY while I was in college. My freshman year my first day of class I met KEITH. Keith was the building maintenance manager (we referred to him as the janitor in my day). He made my day that first morning while cleaning a bathroom. He smiled at me and said, “God has big things in store for you. This is the first day of you uncovering what that looks like. Have a great day, Shaun”. He got to know hundreds of students by name. This encounter with a purpose-filled man has not been lost on me for over 30 years. In fact, I went to hours and hours of classes and cannot remember anything that rivals that strong of a memory.

Unfortunately, I believe that many live daily with little to no purpose because they are waiting for purpose to come upon them rather than committing to LIVE PURPOSELY and create it in the moment. The PURPOSE THAT MOTIVATES is the purpose that means something to you! That day 30 years ago Keith lived with purpose by deciding to make a difference in the life of a scared, unsure and overwhelmed freshman. Not only did he live this way that day but every time I witnessed him working I saw him do the same thing with other students all four years I was there. I came to realize later he had lived that way for 25 years.

Take the time each day to live in a manner that matters to you!

This is the secret to the purpose that motivates.

Take it from me I will forever be grateful for KEITH and his purposeful living.

To take the first step in learning to generate this type of purpose in your daily life, you can begin by  reserving time with Shaun to discover your High Performance Strategies!  Click here to start!

Now is your time!

Shaun





What is Greatness?

1 06 2016

greatnessHave you ever asked yourself what it means to be GREAT?

Maybe you haven’t asked yourself this exact question but you have most likely desired and maybe even taken steps towards some form of GREATNESS in your life.

This has increased in importance to me because I believe the understanding of “GREATNESS” has changed from a vigilant pursuit of the uncommon to something used more as a habitual punch line for vague, unwarranted and often average performance and living.

Pursuing GREATNESS should be a daily aim.

Because of my passion for this I want to INSPIRE a MOVEMENT of GREATNESS SEEKERS!!

Today, I define GREATNESS as intentionally pursuing my “HIGHEST SELF” while serving others to do the same. I believe pursuing greatness requires (3) things:

First, TRUE GREATNESS requires INTENT and personal initiative. To reach any form of excellence in our lives it is vital that we leverage our WILL. GREATNESS is never an accident. If I am to BECOME a GREAT husband, friend, athlete, or professional it starts with INTENT which is GENERATING THE WANT TO PURSUE.

Second, once INTENT has been established then CLARITY is required. INTENTION matched with CLARITY allows the energy of INTENT to be FOCUSED and invested into specific actions. It is these actions that generate the OUTCOMES that determine whether or not I AM A GREAT at what I am pursuing.

Lastly, I believe GREATNESS is consistently fueled by PASSION. Passion is the fuel utilized to persist through the barriers, challenges and roadblocks that will for sure seek to distract and discourage ones pursuit of GREATNESS.

In all honesty, I have not been the GREATNESS SEEKER that I hope to be and you might resonate with this as well. I know there is a cause, calling and a message that lives in me that I want to learn to FULLY EXPRESS. I believe this message would SERVE and INSPIRE many. However, if I do not start each day with INTENTION and EXPRESS my INTENTION through CLEARLY DEFINED ACTIONS sustained by the PASSION to see others live a life of GREATNESS I have to settle for the regret and disappointment of a life lived beneath its opportunity.

Let’s join together and SEEK GREATNESS!

Tell me about your pursuit of greatness in the comments below!

Shaun





Overcoming Fear

3 05 2016

Have you ever backed down from an opportunity because you were afraid?

Overcoming-Fears.jpg

Have you ever felt your heart race while doing something that evoked incredible fear?

Have you ever wished you could have more COURAGE?

Maybe you have organized your entire life in a manner that guards you from facing your fears?

If you can relate to any of these statements I have some GREAT NEWS FOR YOU!

YOU CAN OVERCOME the debilitating nature of FEAR.

I am not saying you should overcome ALL FEAR. Some fear is based on the awareness of danger. Feeling afraid in the face of real danger is normal, natural and helpful. In this case learning to calm oneself is valuable.

For the remainder of this blog I want to focus on HOW TO OVERCOME DEBILITATING FEAR. This is the type of fear that inhibits us from LIVING all out in FULL EXPRESSION of our best self. There are three basic fears that I believe we all need to wage war against on a regular basis.

First, is the fear of what others will think. Second, is the fear of rejection, and third, is the fear of failure.

At the start it might appear we need a whole bunch of tools to overcome each of these fears.

The main assault weapon against FEAR is CLARITY!!

When we do the internal, personal and reflective work to gain CLARITY about WHO WE ARE, WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE and WHAT RELATIONSHIPS MATTER many of our normal everyday fears begin to lose their power. Fear lurks and does its work within chaos, confusion and conflict and is weakened in the face of CLARITY.

Much of my fear has centered around doubts, uncertainty and fear of failure. Let me illustrate: as an athlete I competed as a hockey goalie, my fear would begin to mount in the week of practice leading up to a game. I would literally obsess about whether I was playing well enough in practice to be qualified to play in the game. My mind was overcome with uncertainty, anxiety and the fear of rejection. My problem was that I had zero clarity about what I needed to do to improve or earn the right to play. I lacked any sort of clarity.

To this day I have no idea what mattered in making that decision. This was repeated weekly for the entire season. Is there any wonder why I lacked confidence, was inconsistent and riddled with anxiety? My fear flourished because of the incredible lack of CLARITY. My mind would run in so many directions that I could not keep up with the thoughts.

Today THIS is how it would be different. I would invest my energy in focusing on what MY BEST would look like (clarity). I would generate CLARITY around playing my position with excellence and mastery. This might include breaking down the position and understanding the four critical skills of mastery and focusing on my daily thoughts and actions in that direction. I would then invest my thoughts and energy in controlling what I COULD.

This has lead me to believe this:

CLARITY leads to CONSCIOUSLY DIRECTED ACTIONS aimed at MASTERY, resulting in INCREASED COURAGE and CONFIDENCE.

FEAR debilitates because it lives in the land of confusion and chaos. EVERYONE of us can do the work of CLARITY. When you commit to living from a point of CLARITY fear diminishes because its fuel source of confusion and uncertainty is diminished.

Ask yourself these critically important questions:

WHO DO I WANT TO BE?

WHO DO I WANT TO ASSOCIATE WITH?

WHAT MATTERS TO ME?

In fact if you will spend time reflecting and writing about these three questions you will find a deep sense of peace, courage and focus that most lack because they have not done this work.

Does this resonate with you? Want to dig deeper into this skill with me?

I have a world-class process that leads people through (12) experiences that many have found game changing in their quest for a GREAT LIFE. If you would like to a sample ONE of these 12 EXPERIENCES for yourself, then click here to schedule your own HIGH PERFORMANCE COACHING STRATEGY SESSION with me.

This is your time to overcome your fears!

Shaun





Moving from PRACTICING to TRAINING

1 07 2014

Training

The time of year is upon us when many athletes prepare to take the next steps in their personal and physical development. For many this  time of year is when skills, strength, speed, and mental focus can significantly advance.  For this reason I am compelled to provide a  framework to exponentially charge the progress in each of these areas. That is, to differentiate between just “showing up” to practice and  engaging in training.

At the surface these two concepts almost appear redundant. However, they really aren’t and it is important to know the difference.

The concept of training centers on an athlete’s vision for a goal they want to accomplish and doing the work to generate crystal clarity about what needs to be accomplished in order to see the vision become reality.  This vision or goal may include making a team, increasing ones contribution or playing time on a current team, running a marathon, preparing for a challenge, or deepening ones physical and mental tools. The focus on training is on growing discipline, focus, consistency and overall personal development  because this is how exponential gains are earned rather than the incremental progress that is the mindset associated with practice.

The focus for practice is a single ‘moment in time’, a scheduled block of time that provides the opportunity to work on a skill or set of skills often done in repetitive fashion seeking to incrementally move an athlete or individual closer to their vision of achievement. Here is the problem…it is possible for one to practice but not train. I have worked with athletes too often that continually show up to a practice session lacking clear goals, leading to a lack of focus, as well as, disconnected from a overall plan, investing significant time, energy and resources only to find themselves at the end no closer to any goal than when they started.

So how does practicing turn into training?

This happens when five elements converge:

1. A clear and challenging  goal or achievement is set. (requiring significant progression)
2. The skills needed to qualify for the achievement are clearly identified.
3. A holistic plan is created that puts forth a series of practices that build momentum towards the achievement sought after. (including mental skills)
4. The athlete engages, commits and focuses on these skills intentionally in each practice with the desire to push beyond current limitations. (living more comfortable with discomfort)
5. Quality coaching brings feedback and correction immediately to enhance learning. (expertise, and relevant immediate feedback and correction)

The individual blocks of work often disconnected from any clear goal are practices. The long haul daily grind connected to a goal or clear point of accomplishment is training. Very rarely does any ONE practice or block of time get one to their goal or achievement, it is the ongoing focused energy and commitment to deliberate and daily practice (I am calling training) that qualifies one to gain not only the physical tools needed but also the character and mental toughness and focus required to achieve and succeed to the extent required to reach the long term goal.

My challenge is to TRAIN your way to your vision and goals, use practice as your on ramp to accomplish what it is going to take for you to get to your end result. The character, mental toughness, and discipline required to do this not only helps you in your sport, but also deepens your character along the way.





Triggers for Growth

2 06 2014

StruggleParticipation in sports provides a great opportunity to test the waters of competition, overcome challenges and manage change. Growing through these dynamics is a must if one is to maximize the opportunity in front of them. Often, athletes train to improve skills, work hard to improve strength and speed, however, they neglect the training that is required to grow through the resistance, discomfort and disappointment that competition brings.

Success in a competitive environment not only requires the evolution and mastery of skills, but also, the capacity to work together with others, receive feedback and coaching, manage and experience discouragement, struggle, and disappointment. Because competition creates environments where equally skilled and talented athletes seek to test their skills against each other, challenge becomes a  consistent theme in the life of an athlete accompanied by change. Change happens because situations may dictate that athletes be asked to fulfill different roles and these roles may be different than what has been experienced prior. All this is to say that the landscape of sports INCLUDES the opportunity to COMPETE, as well as, manage and grow through CHALLENGE and CHANGE. Unfortunately, growth does not just happen. Athletes need to be equipped with strategies in order to grow through these 3 C’s.

To that end I offer these (3) triggers for growth:

The first trigger is to work to develop a more effective PERSPECTIVE. Our perspective can become lazy, unfocused and under developed. Much like a physical skill without continued focus and work it can begin to lag behind as others are moving forward and gaining greater mastery. Your perspective should always be a focus of improvement. Here are (3) questions you can ask yourself in order to improve and strengthen the quality of your perspective:

  1. How can I use the circumstances I am currently dealing with to get better?
  2. What is my picture of success and what do I have to do to create the picture?
  3. Say to yourself: I know I can take any situation and turn it into a stepping stone of success.

When athletes pay attention to their PERSPECTIVE and actively seek to improve and strengthen it they are better able to GROW through competition, challenge and change.

The second trigger is to be INTENTIONAL.  Too many athletes live in fear and therefore, hold back because of the fear of failing. Nobody, exhibits power in their life without first understanding the importance of being intentional or on purpose. What this means is to begin each day with an internal picture and design about how you want the day to go. Facing competition, challenge and change insists that you move boldly towards it seeking to have an intentional stamp that you leave on the situation you are in.

Train yourself to think in this manner:

  • Next time I face that situation I am going to_______.
  • When I face that challenge in the future this is how I am going to approach and it________.

These types of statements put you in a place of power to affect the situation you are in and give you an incredible advantage.

The third trigger is to embrace the power of STRUGGLE. Put bluntly, struggle is where strength is created. Have you ever seen an athlete go into the gym and lift air? Why? Air provides no resistance and would keep us weak and underdeveloped. Growth truly requires us to embrace struggle so that we can be strengthened through it. To do this will require you to change your mind about struggle so that you are not interpreting struggle as a symptom of failure but a platform for future growth and success.

These triggers will add great value and benefit to you as you seek to grow through competitive moments, the challenges that come from competition, as well as, the change that often results from being involved in sports.

Let’s begin to actively and intentionally train ourselves to not simply be stronger physically but to match the mental skills needed to grow through any circumstance or situation.

This is when we truly become GREAT!