Inevitable Success – the reason I coach.

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“What is success?” the man leading the seminar asked brightly, wanting some audience participation. I put up my hand, and along with several other participants, gave my answer. “The inevitable result of being human.”  I knew it wouldn’t be regarded as a normal answer, but I want success now, a lot  –  and I want to use today’s successes as a springboard to more rewarding ones – and not just my own successes. My definition guarantees me success every day, and makes me aware of how natural success is for us all.

Success is inevitable.

You cannot help but achieve your deepest goals. Without knowing it, you succeed. Look close enough and you’ll find you’re a success.  Every day. Pretty much all the time!  

Here are some of my successes (though not in chronological order!)  Waking up.  Talking to my family. Cuddling my children and grandchildren. Breathing. Doing my emails. Writing this blog. Cooking breakfast. Laughing at a TV programme. Doing some reading. Having a bath. Walking. In fact I’ve succeeded so many times today it is so normal to succeed that I’m completely unaware of how much of a success I am.

However, your deepest goals may not be so obvious. You might be missing them. Even embarrassed by them.

Less obvious success…

Here are some successes that people have that they may not want to own up to:  

  • Backing off. Being successful at making sure they don’t need courage.
  • Avoiding potential pain by staying within safe, risk-free limits.
  • Never experiencing rejection (by not putting themselves in a relationship where that could happen, or by making sure they themselves do the rejecting first.) 
  • Staying an emotional child. (There are plenty of people out there looking to mother the emotionally needy.)

Perhaps you’ve successfully taken whatever decisions you need to make absolutely sure you never stand out in the crowd. Solution: keep your head down and your mouth shut.

It is easy to make sure you never fail an exam. Simply never take one. Success!  

You need never fear mockery.  Never ever come up with anything original.

You need never fear being made redundant or getting the sack. Simple: resign at the earliest opportunity, or don’t take the job in the first place! 

But of course, such dubious success is linked to other dubious successes – successfully avoiding responsibility for your life and future for example.  And that means other people will begin to take over what you could contribute, and you will become poorer, more isolated, more vulnerable and more depleted. Some successes can produce unwelcome results.

What do you WANT to want?

Time to dig deeper. (As you know, I don’t do shallow.)  

Do you REALLY want what you’re getting out of life at the moment? What do you WANT to want? What WELCOME outcomes?

What are you prepared to go for, to sacrifice for (everything in life has a price), in order to get an outcome you’ll be PROUD OF?  

What is the next step for you?

From the day I stepped out from behind my mummy’s skirts to do something on my own, fear and courage have fought for supremacy. As I stepped out, eventually courage won.

My job is to make sure all these years later that courage continues to win, not just for me, but for you too.  

YOU are the reason I choose to coach.    Here are some others. 

 

 

 

Courage and a Course.

You know, there are people who think its not the ‘done thing’ to be passionate about what you know is good. It’s regarded as pushy, or arrogant. But think about that.  When you know that a person will never be the same again, will have their lives redefined, and their hearts and hopes brought alive again, well, in my view that’s priceless. And to withhold that knowledge because of fear of what people might think? It isn’t very loving is it?  Whether or not you join us on this PCS (see below), perhaps this blog will encourage you to be a little more courageous in speaking out. Sometimes you need to, don’t you?  So here goes…

For months people have been pestering me (in the nicest possible way, of course!) with questions like:  “When are you going to run another Coach Training course?” or “I’m looking for some more CPD – you do coaching skills training, don’t you?” and “I so need to upgrade my Powerchange skills!”

Well, ITS HERE – the Powerchange Coaching Skills course!  And yes, I AM delighted with it.  It looks to be a fantastic ten days (five monthly weekends) – starts 16thMarch – full of state-of-the-art information on how people change, powerful skills for you to practice, lots of insights and at the heart of it all, our regular compassion to make the world a (much) better place to live in, not least by improving ourselves.  I don’t always live up to my motto to ‘be part of the answer not part of the problem’, but this course is definitely part of the answer, and YOU are invited on board. In fact we would love to have you join us.

Join us.  You'll never be the same again.
Join us. You’ll never be the same again.

Yes, please apply – and if you can’t make it, click all the necessary Twitter and Facebook boxes on this page to ensure your friends know about it – or come with them, because unless we get the message out and get ourselves skilled, we cannot proactively make the difference we all want. (There is absolutely no need to be hampered by ignorance or apathy these days.) My guarantee is that no one will wish they hadn’t come. And anyone you invite will thank you for recommending it to them. And it is so affordable.

At the risk of getting myself in trouble for putting my phone number on a blog page, call me personally for more. leave a message/text on 07771631945, or email me: andrew(at)powerchange.com, and I’ll get back to you asap. I’m so looking forward to us meeting up on the course. I wonder what will happen for you on those weekends.

Maybe you’ll learn, among all the other things, how you can coach yourself and others towards greater courage?!

See you there   😉

Inevitable Success

Here at Powerchange Central we’ve been studying some more and noticing that success is inevitable for human beings.

Success is not the attainment of some challenging goal. Success is an UNAVOIDABLE consequence of being human. Yes, unavoidable. And it is not something you achieve either. It is something you have right here and NOW. Your life is filling up every day with success. Every day along the journey you have taken – successfully – step after step.  When you have stumbled or even fallen headlong, you have chosen to get up and walk on. That is success. The fact of you reading this is another indication of your success.

Failing is success being born (not ‘trying to be born’ as some would quote.) Failing IS SUCCESS BEING BORN. Each time you fail you move your life another step along the road, not ‘to’ success but ‘of’ success. Think of success as the name we give to the journey not merely the feelings we have when we get a result we want.

If you are a living human being, you are experiencing success now. Don’t be fooled by those who would market success as a rare commodity to which only they have the key. Success is getting up in the morning when things are tough.  We suffer , not from a lack of success, but from a blindness to how success haunts our every action. Your success is inevitable.

From the day you began you are programmed to succeed. And you do. My little grandson struggled with feeding in the first few days of his life. When he managed to get himself sorted out and started to put on weight people said ‘Well done!’ to him. He wasn’t knowingly growing – he couldn’t help it. Instinctively he was designed to succeed and he did. Now he is setting out to walk around the world and has started practising, pushing his little legs out strongly when you hold him up. He is also learning to roll over.  He hasn’t done it yet, but in a week or two he will. He is programmed to succeed and cannot NOT do so.

Like the Chinese who count your birthday as from conception not birth, success begins at the conception of your life, your project or your intention and is a constant companion on your journey. Simply moving towards the final outcome is in itself very rewarding (it will make you feel great as you realise you’re moving towards completion) but it isn’t the final ‘final outcome’ is it.  There is always somewhere further, somewhere deeper, somewhere higher to go, and it is an inevitable part of human nature to take another step.

You started kicking away in the womb exercising your legs ready for walking as a toddler. Those early kicks are the beginning of walking. The little child pressing those piano keys and hearing a note IS playing the piano. It’s not the end of his piano career, it is the beginning.

You haven’t stopped walking since you made those early kicks, have you! And although you may be giving your piano-playing skills a holiday for the time being, you never know when you’ll want to continue the process and improve them.

Success, when seen in this light, provokes a different response to the normal congratulatory praise we bask in when we come to the end of a chosen pathway of (not ‘to’) success and achieve a goal. It provokes a response of gratitude and humility, for success isn’t about perfection or arrival but about the way you are made. You are very cleverly designed to succeed, and you do. If it was up to you to take the credit, I’d say ‘Well done’, but none of us can avoid our success. It is as natural (and often as unnoticeable) as breathing.

Still breathing? Brilliant. Enjoy your success.

Psychological ‘Junk Food’ – or a Healthy Diet?

As you probably know, Powerchange focuses not merely on external behavioural change, as the standard life-coaching and CBT models tend to, but on the underlying Auto-Response systems of a client’s life. Whilst much of the ‘Success’ industry feeds its ever more desperate junkies with addictive ‘success fast-food’ and turns its back as they become psychologically obese, we’ve been taking a different tack, digging ever deeper to uncover more of ‘how human beings are designed to work’, as we put it. We spend time explaining to our clients HOW thinking works, HOW it is that they have been unsuccessful in the past, and HOW it is that they were unable to follow through despite being so committed, determined and motivated. Consuming psychological junk food will make you fatter and hungrier, but not happier.

Pricey.

Just like the ‘burger meals’ on the street, psychological junk food is very expensive, with people forking out huge sums for what they believe to be ‘the answer’, only for their success to be sabotaged by another part of their psychological system – and the unnerving suspicion that they’ve been taken for a ride.

We’re not alone.

We recently were introduced to the work of Dr Robert Kegan and Dr Lisa Lahey at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, and found that many of the principles they and we have been working to over the last decade are highly complementary. Whilst having a conversation over lunch with Mary Orr, Professor in Southampton University’s School of Humanities, we were again aware of the importance of working collaboratively with those deeper inner drives that make us human beings what we are. Mentally healthy people honour the essential ingredients, the staples of psychological long-term health, the fresh vegetables of human well-being. Among other key qualities of character, we deem these to be the pursuit of truth and integrity. Without these essential vitamins, individuals – and the societies they make up – become diseased, corrupt, poor and sick. The subjection of that natural desire to live with the freedom self-sustaining truth and integrity brings eventually means that the essence of our communities dies of a kind of ‘values starvation’. People stop believing and trusting one another.  When seeking truth goes, trust goes too – and society with it. Noticed?

I guess none of us would pretend that we know it all, but we do know that confidence and self-trust are wrapped up in knowing deep down that we are trustworthy, that YOU can trust YOU, a key foundation stone for a truly successful future. People who have high integrity levels experience massive inner strength, and they can use that to power their own change.

Do I always live with integrity? No.

Although seeking truth and living with integrity are pursuits, in order to meet my own current standards of integrity I must answer ‘no’ to that question. No, not always. Am I always truthful?  I’d like to say yes, but no, not that either. Am I pursuing those as desires for my life. I can say an honest YES to that one, and am pleased to say that I’m getting more honest at a deeper level, not least with myself. Do they work as foundation stones that help me to feel secure and safe – a trustworthy launchpad for what I do and teach? Absolutely. Unlike my physical body that is naturally weaker than when I was twenty one, the core of my psychological life is probably stronger than it has ever been.

What about you?

My clients live more fulfilling and successful lives because of my invitation to discover the truth about themselves through Powerchange coaching. For many it is a very rewarding positive ‘shock’ to find out just how valuable they are! The coaching we provide will take you into a much better place personally, regardless of whether you end up with the touted millions deemed to be evidence of success by other coaches using other methods. The people we are now working with suddenly realise that they can live a healthy psychological life free of the ‘junk food’ that has become embedded into the mental eating habits of their life and work. They may have consumed much of it over the years and are fed up with it. They are redefining success. And yes, we DO discover those well-intentioned assumptions, attitudes and behaviours that are pulling them away from where they sincerely want to go.  Together we sort those out too, so that those inner values become an unstoppable vibrant engine of personal power and freedom.  If that’s what you want really, you know what to do!

Success Part 2: Higher.

Hannelie Smit is a great friend of mine. She is a property developer based in the South of England. Hannelie is amazing.  She has already built the six key Foundation Stones of Success we considered in Part 1 of this blog into her life. (By the way, you need to read that blog first!)

Hannelie has definitely gone deeper; she has Significance, Acceptance, a Living, Achievement, Direction and Discipline undergirding everything she does. (We love her!)

So how is it she is getting together with Roy and me here in Powerchange for regular coaching sessions? How is it that Hannelie needs us (and we need her)?

Hannelie Smit
Hannelie Smit

Hannelie knows that when it comes to driving a business forward it pays to have a strong team of aggressively pro-active, highly motivated people around you, to fire you up, ask questions that bounce you out of complacency, stretch your thinking, and upset your status quo. Coaching keeps you on the alert, sharpens your senses to opportunities and helps you monitor potential dangers.  Hannelie knows that our team here at Powerchange love to press forward with our friends and clients, refusing to settle for anything normal, average or ‘accepted’.

And we know that Hannelie does us good too. We profoundly trust each other, knowing that people with the same foundational strengths as ourselves will only inspire us and spur us on. Such coaching sessions are priceless. The worth (in real money!) of their commitment cannot be underestimated. It is potentially millions.

The greatest risks in business concern plateauing. Plateauing is the flattening out of the growth curve. It is usually the result of yielding to the temptation to think this is as far as I can go, that I can rest on my laurels, pat myself on the back and cruise to the finish line.  Businesses are living things. I think businesses must have ears – they hear what you THINK and start to put it into practice before you’ve even noticed.  And the reverse is true too: they know when you mean business.

So what is our motive for meeting up? It  is to keep that word on the agenda in big black bold letters: HIGHER.

AND HIGHER STILL.

AND HIGHER STILL.

So what is ‘higher’?

The truth is, once you’ve gone really deep – with regular checks to make sure you’re deep enough – you know you’re building on solid rock. You can then build very high indeed without needing to be too concerned about future calamity. So ‘higher’ means a decision to build a 5-, 10- or 20-level building when you started off thinking of a three-level one. It means you stop asking ‘Can I?” and instead ask “How can I?” It means you stop merely copying what your business peers are doing or what Mr or Ms Average suggests, and start thinking about what they could be doing if they had more insight.  Then actively apply that same thinking to yourself.  (As Robert Kiy0saki says, never be average.)

Ask: what could I be doing?  Then make the choice.

That’s what Hannelie does. You’ll have to go a long way to find a person with greater integrity and honesty than Hannelie. You’ll also have to hunt around to find someone who works harder or thinks harder or works more passionately towards her goals, or is more determined to live beyond the level she is at now.  Her only thought is “Higher.”

And when it comes to plateauing, here’s a little warning: don’t mention the word to Hannelie.  She is allergic to it.

Success Part 1. Deeper.

To tell you the truth, I’m sick of all this talk of Success.  Most of it is just talk! The word “success’ is what’s called in the trade a nominalisation. It means a name, a label, stuck onto a collection of behaviours or actions.

Most of us have some idea of what  a person means by ‘success’, but to be honest, I’m not fussed about the words in which we wrap the true meaning of success.  I want the contents. I’m not a two year old who likes playing with the paper that pretties up their Christmas presents. I want to get to what’s inside those wrappings.

So what will we have in our hands when the silver bows and Sellotape have been stripped away and the contents revealed?  Smart little trinkets that last an hour or two? Another pair of socks I didn’t choose and don’t like? Forget it.

There is something deeper and higher and better than the apparent trinkets of success.

Deeper, higher, better – in that order please.

People who build higher without going deeper end up with a pile of rubble in their lives when crises strike, so I’ve outlined my Top Six ‘presents’ that you might like to imagine stuffed into your next giant Christmas Stocking. They are the equivalent of huge rocks added to the foundations of your future life and for me they support a quality of daily life that has substance.  They are massive and will not move once they are in place. You can test them and rely on them.  They will serve you very very well. No trinkets in this list, and the first letter of each gives us the mnemonic SALADD:IMG_0442

1. A deep sense of powerful Significance. You and I know just how valuable that is.  I want to wake up every morning glad first of all, not that my yacht is in the bay or my posh car is on the drive, but that Andrew Sercombe is alive in the world today and is making an active contribution to its well-being.

2. A fundamental awareness of your Acceptance. This has to be the number one human need, and I’ll keep it short. Acceptance is to hear a fellow human being honestly say “I love you”, to have that priceless sense of being truly welcome, wanted, ‘just as I am’, with or without the glitz of the yacht, or the prestige motorcar – and in case you imagine I think material wealth is somehow second rate or immoral, just let me say the yacht in the bay and the posh car on the drive will be just fine – but they are no substitute for being truly loved, welcomed and wanted.

3. To be able to earn a Living. Yes, able to earn it. I’m glad to be able to earn my living, and want to serve the world well until the day I die. I want to get wiser, smarter, be a better businessman, learn vastly more, and learn how to make the most of the resources I’ve got now. I want to create multiple-win business that means there are no losers.  No place here for me sponging off others and being lazy. There is no joy in being the recipient of charity and benefits – believe me, I’ve been there and I felt so degraded. Earning your own living and planning for your own  future is highly satisfying. These are also essentials to emotionally healthy lives.

4. The joy of Achievement. How we need to achieve! It is as if it is built into our DNA. The little child stretches for the light switch, and one day the light comes on! The student works towards graduation – and they make it! From the single mum battling to keep the family solvent to the Olympic sprinter obsessed with that all important ‘personal best’, joy comes through doing, stretching, going beyond what we managed last year, last weekend, yesterday.  And remember, sometimes it is much easier to take a leap than take small incremental steps.

Two more:

5. An inspiring Direction. A sense of Purpose – what a present! It lasts a lifetime.  Knowing, not so much what life is about, but what your life is about, what you’ve chosen to be the answer to the question”What am I doing here?” There is nothing like being clear about the purpose of your daily actions, knowing for yourself what the deeper meaning of what you are doing is for you. (In Powerchange we run a coaching programme called The Powerchange Experience. It will sort this out for you.)

6. The relief of Discipline. This is the deep satisfaction of deciding on and living within boundaries that give my life form, shape, character and productivity. It’s deciding what I will and won’t value, where and how I want to spend my life, and staying willingly and happily within those healthy constraints.  It means I will be leaving good things out so that there is room for even better things. Spread yourself too thinly, water your life down and the result is tastelessness, you become insipid, ineffectual, compromised, weak, unattractive; a colourless, grey life.

So these are my Top Six Foundation Stones: Significance. Acceptance. A Living. Achievement. Direction. Discipline… SALADD!  And when the remains of superficial success are carted off to the recycling facility, to be remade into tat for next year’s get-rich-quick shoppers, the lasting success of those who have built their achievements on the indestructible solid-rock foundation stones of a life well lived will remain.

As Marie Antoinette could have more profitably said if she’d only thought, “Let them eat SALADD.” You won’t find anything more undergirding for your future success.