YOU DESERVE THIS!
This short video is all about purpose and authenticity and deserves your own title and your own words and no direction from me.
I will just share with you a few details I have spotted (with great difficulty because the video is so moving, captivating and intense).
An adorable one: the empathy and care shown by the starting comment made by the 1st judge.
A significant one: the 5-seconds long moments of meaningful silence.
An insignificant one: I love his red shoes! Which title and words do you choose?
And which details do you notice?
ARE YOU A GENIUS?
Last week a friend of mine asked me this question: “Are you a genius?”
I answered: “Yes, sometimes”. What is your answer?
Subsequently he informed me that in 1968, Dr. George Land was contracted by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to develop a test to find the most creative scientists among its employees in order for NASA to allocate them to critical missions. The test was designed to find creative geniuses who were able to come up with creative solutions to any problem they might face. He had found that the percentage of such people among adults is 2%.
One could understand the power of these creative geniuses on humanity’s evolution.
Einstein once wrote: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” The question that comes to mind is why these lucky 2 people among every 100 of us? Is it genetic or is it learned? Nature or nurture? Do you think these 2% creative geniuses were born that way or worked hard to become that?
To answer this question, Dr. Land administered the test to 1,600 children between the ages of 4 to 5. What he found was shocking! The percentage of children who tested at the genius level of creativity was 98%!
Dr. Land decided to follow these children every five years, again the results were shocking. By the age of 10 the percentage dropped by 68 points to 30%. By the age of 15 it was 12%, and for the million people tested with an average age of 31 it was 2%.
So, what about the other 98%? Well, the potential and the choice are always there!
HAVE YOU EVER ASKED YOURSELF “WHY ME?” WHEN YOU LIFTED A TROPHY?
When facing “half-full half-empty glass” situations we have various optional positive approaches: we can, for example, fill in the empty half, we can be satisfied with the full one, we can transfer to a smaller glass. But what can we do when the glass is empty? It might seem we have no options and it is almost impossible.
This short story will show you a way, with surprising simplicity, clarity and vision. A leadership manual one sentence long. The kind of leaders the world needs today.
ARTHUR ASHE LETTER: A BEAUTIFUL MESSAGE
Arthur Ashe, The Legendary Wimbledon Player was dying of AIDS which he got due to Infected Blood he received during a Heart Surgery in 1983! He received letters from his fans-
“Why did God have to select you for such a bad disease??”
To this Arthur Ashe replied:
50 Million children started playing Tennis
5 Million learnt to play Tennis
500 000 learnt Professional Tennis
50 Thousand came to Circuit
5 Thousand reached Grandslam
50 reached Wimbledon
4 reached the Semifinals
2 reached the Finals and when I was holding the cup in my hand
I never asked God “Why Me?”
So now that I’m in pain how can I ask God “Why Me?”
Happiness keeps you Sweet!! Trials keeps you Strong!! Sorrows keeps you Human!! Failure keeps you Humble!! Success keeps you Glowing!! But only, Faith keeps you Going. Sometimes you are unsatisfied with your life, while many people in this world are dreaming of living your life.
That’s life!! Enjoy yours! If wealth is the secret to happiness, then the rich should be dancing on the streets. But only poor kids do that. If power ensures security, then VIPs should walk unguarded. But those who live simply, sleep soundly. If beauty and fame bring ideal relationships, then celebrities should have the best marriages.
LIVE SIMPLY, WALK HUMBLY AND LOVE GENUINELY!
Please feel free to share Arthur Ashe Letter with all of your friends and family.
Although we may attract attention, look nice, surprise people, fit in impossible scenarios when we shape ourselves accordingly by assembling our different pieces, it is only when we are our authentic selves that we are colorful, magnificent and our tree grows: log, branches, leaves and juicy fruits!
A CUP OF ENGLISH TEA WITH SALT? DELICIOUS!
When I was a kid I put salt in my poor brother’s tea and when questioned by my mum I was so stubborn to firstly reply it wasn’t me, then to say “Delicious!” after tasting it and finally to drink it all pretending I’d enjoyed it.
The current Brexit situation has revived this memory in me: from far away, simply reading the news, it seems to me UK political leaders are enjoying a nice cup of tea with salt, whilst being questioned by the EU. Pursuing one and only direction, continue focusing on implementation details and loosing the broader perspective, leading without believing, being blind in front of a change in the public opinion, ignoring a review of the current voting rules and qualified majorities, overweighting smaller protesters groups, strictly interpreting the referendum vote.
As it is often the case in such situations, everyone played its part in creating this deadlock and it is so contagious that noone knows when the embarrassment will end.
However, I notice a courageous change in the public opinion: no more tea with salt please. Let’s see if it will convince others to lay down their cups.
Leaders, especially, should be capable of admitting their mistakes and change direction. And listening.
If this is all a setup, let’s give it a round of applause and close the curtain now.
I am sorry my lovely brother, I put salt in your tea and it’s disgusting!
AS IF YOU WERE STEPPING IN SOMEBODY ELSE’S SHOES
Coaching uses “as if” scenarios to stimulate powerful imagination. Whenever possible, I like to make them real, so they can also be experienced and be more impactful. In one of my recent talks for a YPO chapter, I was referring to empathy as the ability to step in somebody else’s shoes.
To experience it, I have asked the audience to form couples, swap shoes, walk around and express the feelings. It was an iceberg breaker!!!
Here are some of the comments I managed to capture (the most part were in the local language and, probably, not even mentionable…): What? It hurts. I’ll walk without. This is crazy! Comfy! I can’t. Let’s swap partners. Not funny. Nice shoes! They don’t fit me.
Insightful, isn’t it?
WHAT DO TICKLING AND CLIMATE CHANGE HAVE IN COMMON?
Are you ticklish? Have you ever asked yourself why if you tickle yourself you have no reaction instead?
Because there is no discomfort, so no instinctive overprotection.
Discomfort. In Tickling, one of the smallest unconscious reactions we have as humans. According to the recent YPO Global Leadership Survey the biggest issue we are facing as leaders is Climate Change.
And what is the reason behind no or very little (rational) action on that? Discomfort, according to Sir Attenborough as shown in this video from the recent WEF in Davos. Thought-provoking isn’t it? I wonder what is behind other well-established and recognized world trends such as a decreasing empathy and care and an increasing anxiety…
HOW ARE YOU?
How many times do we ask this question everyday?
And how many times do we care about the answer? It’s the era of “Superman” addiction.
We love, want, look for, show and focus on the positive in ourselves. The negative isolates and is isolated. We strengthen the positive and we, as coaches, even help people doing that. Fine. Let’s remember we are humans and our fragility is our beauty. How we handle this beauty we are gifted is intimate and personal. One thing is sure: love your vulnerability and share it as much as you can!
Especially with your loved ones and they will do the same, authenticity is contagious. Firstly, share it with yourself: ask yourself “how are you…?” loud, listen to and care about your answer
WHAT WE DO IN LIFE ECHOES IN ETERNITY
We all have received this stunning and powerful present. To unwrap it we just need to step beyond ourselves moving the focus from ME to anything and anyone else we choose.
When we become aware of this, we change behaviors at work and in our families, become changemakers and adopt a new perspective.
Suddenly, life seems like an infinite game. We have more empathy. We don’t try to beat the competition but focus on improving ourselves instead. And our journey to excellence, authenticity and purpose begins.
LET’S PRESS PAUSE!
Is this what we want? Or do we want more certainty, empathy and less need for control, anger, anxiety? Perhaps we should research alternative teachings. Educate about and train new skills like spirituality, mindfulness, letting go, mastering fear.
Dig into ancient books of wisdom. Simply press pause, taking a moment to become more conscious, more aware and reflect about a misplaced word, an unnecessary argument, a different tone, your and our purpose. And look for simplicity as much as we look for innovation.
In 1926 Reinhold Niebuhr wrote this prayer:
“Higher Power, grant me: the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.
Maybe this is what we want instead.
Here a nice reading about the human side of global risk.
HOW TO TRANSFORM WISHES INTO GOALS
Have you set any 2019 resolution? Did you let your mind know? How?
Remember, we have a mind, we are not our mind.
You need to TAKE CARE of it if you want to drive it towards those goals. How? 3 ways to inspire and help you.
1) INFORM: get them out of your inner voice, your consciousness of thoughts, and communicate them in a convincing way to your mind using your most effective channels: visual (write them), audio (read them aloud), kinesthetic (share them in person with close people).
2) SUPPORT your mind by avoiding confusion, setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, realistic and timed goals.
3) ANSWER these 2 questions your mind has for you: “How will you know you have reached that goal?” and “How will you make sure we’ll do your chosen action plan to reach that goal?”
THE STRONGEST SKILL OF A LEADER IS SELF-AWARENESS
Purpose stands to business as values stand to a person: it is the WHY of actions. And it gets complicated when we are asked to consider external values. Company, industry, employees, cultural… Partner, kids, family, friends…
Where is the starting point? Self-awareness.
How can we consider external values if we do not know ours? Are you aware of your three most important personal values?
From there we can move up and down: up to identity (WHO) and purpose, down to capabilities (HOW) and actions (WHAT).
That’s the essence of coaching: self-awareness leading to authenticity.
Self-awareness is even more important than alignment and makes it less relevant, so less reasons to force or look for alignment. Because being conscious gives us and anyone else around us the chance to consider when adapting. Your partner or your company, for example.
Self-awareness also stimulates empathy and resilience. As much as its presence triggers positive effects, its absence has many negative consequences, mainly because we have no direction and our actions have no guide nor sense. Random. We react instead of act.
Whilst we wait patiently for the educational system to change and start focusing on creating self-awareness, we would be better making a virtue of necessity. Wouldn’t we?
Ps. And if we know our most important values, are they driving our behaviors and decisions?
Here an interesting article “How Values Factor Into Leadership and Learning”
CAN FISH CLIMB A TREE?
Often we are first victims then, consequently, actors of an educational malpractice. We get taught to climb trees and are being judged for that from teachers and parents. And then, when we grow-up, we often do the same with ourselves, our families and colleagues. Or similar to climbing: doing long runs or swimming by wagging the head.
Whilst waiting for policy-makers to change the system, we can stop this insane legacy. Everybody is a genius in his/her gifts. Spirit. Authenticity. If we actively search for it, through coaching for example, we will even find out that what looks as our biggest weakness is, in fact, a strangely-wrapped gift, our greatest strength.
WOULD YOU DARE TO QUESTION WHO YOU REALLY ARE?
I’m proud. I’m really patriotic. Conflicts. Hate. We are the best. I’m more important than you. Extremism. Pure race. Nationalism. Wars. Versus. Walls. (Br)exits.
What would happen if our politicians took this test?
You have more in common with the world than you think. An open world begins with an open mind. Empathy. Science can help you with that: coaching, DNA testing, etc.. And it can make your heart beat, your eyes cry, your mouth laugh, your soul expand
YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR PAST (AND YOUR FUTURE)
We are born with a suitcase which, as time goes by, gets filled with micro and macro traumas.
They accompany us everywhere and, together with our overprotective mind, fill us up with insane defence mechanisms, all variations and derivatives of the word selfish, seriously damaging our personal and professional life.
Until we decide to open our suitcase and look at the content, instead of hiding it, throwing away the key, telling the key does not work or changing the lock. Re-visit. Re-interpret. Re-write. Studies say our cognitive framing, interpretation, storytelling we choose can change what has happened and our consequent physical response. We are empowered. I design, therefore I become.
Read more about Jason Silva
SPIRITUALITY BRINGS MEANING TO LIFE
She calls it transcendence, I call it spirituality.
Rare moments when you are lifted above the hustle and bustle of daily life, your spirit is uplifted, your sense of self fades away and you feel connected to a higher reality. The trigger is personal: a movie, a song, arts, writing, church, etc.. It changes you: less self-centered, more empathy, a more generous behaviour.
You get so in the zone that you lose all sense of time and place. It gives you meaning in life and that’s because you are stepping beyond yourself. As you do when you have sense of belonging, purpose and/or storytelling in your life.
NOT A LEADER WITHOUT EMPATHY
What would happen if leaders could not fire employees?
Like their kids, for example. Leaders are not responsible for the job or the numbers, but for the people who are responsible for the job. They need empathy: being concerned about the human being, not only the outcome. By the way, that’s what we all want, no? And to say: “I feel I can be myself”.
Feeling, as one of my friends says, Safe, Seen and Supported. We all have the capacity to be a leader and to have empathy. It is just a skill we have to practice and there are ways to do that. It will change our decisions, the way we see the world and our perspective.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE INSTEAD OF THE NEGATIVE
I recently put a “like” to a post of a friend attaching this video.
I went back to the video and realized why I did it: the similarities of coaching with joy and with some of its features.
We are often so obsessed with the pursue of getting rid of the negative, that we overlook all of the positive we have in ourselves. The positive is light so it is easier to maximize than it is to minimize the negative and it’s always there, in front of our eyes.
The effects of coaching and maximizing the positive are statistically and scientifically proven. If we bring more of it in our lives, we change, feel light and we have a better chance of the negative becoming lighter.
FROM MENTAL DISORDER TO A STRANGELY-WRAPPED GIFT
In our today’s fast-moving, demanding and stressfull culture, we have lived in a contradictory situation of no – or very little – care and attention to the mind, our engine. Nowadays, we are experiencing a long-overdue shift of attention from physical fitness to mental health in many ways: introduction of mental health education in schools, flourishing of mindfulness and meditation courses and apps, no. 1 trend in luxury travel and wellness industry, coaching is booming, to name a few. Mental wellness is considered to be more long-lasting. However, mental disorders are still a taboo, very little spoken and accepted, often hidden. Is there a strength or endurance disorder? No. So, it’s mental fitness as it is physical fitness. It is OCD, for example, as it is diabetes. It is psychotherapist as it is personal trainer.
We have met Gerardo Segat* to talk about his remarkable personal experience and its impact on his professional life.
Hi Gerardo, can you tell us a little bit about your personal story?
When I was a child, I progressively began to lose my dear ones and my belongings. In order of disappearance: my dad, my wealth, my house, my school, my friends, my mum, my sister, my wishes, my dreams, my childhood. I was left with my brother. When I left him to begin a life with my wife, I began to feel abandoned, scared and empty. To protect myself, my mind decided it was the right time to send me daily compulsive messages to check each and every belonging to make sure they were safe and in order: car, house windows and doors, rucksack, purse, mobile, PC, clothes, body, etc. Progressively, this compulsive checking consumed up to five hours a day.
The day I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), I sat alone, in my room and cried. With the fall of my tears came the rise of my soul. I said: basta! (with a “b”, not a “p”) – enough! Enough with this monster. And I started to build the life I wanted.
What challenges did you face because of your disorder?
The first hurdle was time pressure: my OCD practices reduced my day by 5 hours, hundreds of thousands of minutes and seconds! This affected every aspect of my life: partner, kids, work, friends, fitness, holidays, hobbies, sleep. You name it.
Then came anxiety, stress, shame, low self-esteem, fear, poor concentration and scattered attention. In addition, I was insecure, felt lost and lonely, and was full of self-pity. More specific to work, I exhibited poor presence and availability, excessive delegation, superficial decision-making, people pleasing and blaming, wrong expectations and judgmental attitude.
Overall, the biggest challenge in living with OCD was the resulting isolation and self-involvement.
What were your key learnings?
Experiencing an anxiety mental disorder has become a journey of hard work and invaluable and considerable learning, a gift, a blessing. It is my legacy to my future generations and one way to inspire others.
In broad terms, turning my biggest weakness into my greatest strength has taught me empathy. I see more and better now and that is of tremendous value also to my current job as a coach. More specifically, the most invaluable lessons were about the functioning of the mind and the approach to a personal monster.
We have a mind and we are not our mind. It is like a puppy you need to educate to do what you want it to do. The mind is fragile, often mean with bad thoughts and overprotective. By comfortably resisting mind compulsions, I learned how to educate and change the mind and how to divert the attention from our inner voice – the consciousness of thoughts and feelings – our seventh sense.
What about the approach to a personal monster?
With common personal monsters such as disorders, fears, obsessions, addictions and traumas, we tend to immediately jump into trying to resolve or delete. Instead, we need to take time to look at them, acknowledge and accept our consequent feelings and then store them and decide appropriate action.
We have to learn to love our monsters. By being compassionate, accepting peacefully and understanding the reasons. They have helped us be who we are, where we are and they deserve our gratitude. We should get them out, share them as soon as possible and then, face them with determination and resilience. They will go away, as will the side effects. Acting gently and smoothly, with no hard pushing. Finally, finding a way to turn our weakness into our strength and make it, what I call, a strangely-wrapped gift.
So, what is inside your strangely-wrapped gift?
Inspiration and coaching. YPO is the premier leadership organization worlwide: 25.000 members in 130 countries. By being a selected member of its Change Makers Club, I am invited to talk to chapters worldwide or at international events and inspire entrepreneurs and top executives by sharing my story. It’s called influencing the influencers. I changed to professional coaching because I wanted more human element and more alignment with my personal core values, identity and mission and my contribution to the successfull negotiations for the sale of AC Milan football club in 2015 further convinced me. A beautiful poem, “My Soul Has a Hat”, by Mario De Andrade, one of the founders of Brazilian modernism, explains it all and I like to share an extract* as my little gift to you and your readers.
What is the impact of this remarkable personal experience on your coaching activity
OCD has made me learn about the mind on the field: today, as a coach, it is like being a football manager having been an excellent player before. Lots of precious insights for me and my clients. Furthermore, OCD has made my coaching offering more complete and peculiar through Soul Training services. It has also affected my style: care and sensitivity can move mountains. And a strong focus on the negative/weaknesses (OCD) in the past, has pushed me towards a strong focus on the positive/strengths (coaching) in the present and future. Finally, thanks to OCD, I have maximised the skill of an unusual attention to detail that makes the difference in shadow coaching. To summarize, my OCD experience has built my competitive advantage as a coach today.
What is Shadow Coaching?
Noticing details/symptoms, in relation to specific agreed objectives, during a temporary and silent accompaniment over the course of one or more client’s work days, meetings (ie board, negotiation, etc.) or performances, in the field, followed by feedback one-to-one coaching sessions. We all know that the difference between failure and success, good and excellent is often details. Shadow coaching is a tailored mix between consultancy and coaching that stimulates continuous improvement and it is how I capitalise on my past entrepreneurial experience.
What are your plans for the near future?
Professional coaching brings self-awareness, authenticity and success, inspires change, maximizes potential and makes people feel good. The term “coaching” is professionally overused, often inappropriately, and this creates confusion and skepticism. I want proper professional coaching to have more visibility and public exposure so I am currently working on bringing coaching into public debates moderation and on a media format suitable for licensing at an international level. I also want to divulge it in the luxury hospitality industry, a perfect and ideal scenario for coaching, and within the celebrities community. They set an example for others and are amongst the ones who can benefit the most from coaching, considering their kind of life full of ups and downs, sensitivity and public exposure.
*I counted my years and realized that I have less time to live by than I have lived so far.
I feel like a child who won a pack of treats: at first, he ate them with pleasure but, when he realized that there was little left, he began to taste them intensively.
My time is too short: I want the essence, my spirit is in a hurry. I do not have much treats in the package anymore.
I want to live next to humans, very realistic people who know how to laugh at their mistakes, who are not inflated by their own triumphs and who take responsibility for their actions. In this way, human dignity is defended and we live in truth and honesty.
It is the essentials that make life useful. I want to surround myself with people who know how to touch the hearts of those whom hard strokes of life have learned to grow with sweet touches of the soul.
Yes, I’m in a hurry. I’m in a hurry to live with the intensity that only maturity can give. I do not intend to waste any of the remaining treats.
I am sure they will be exquisite, much more than those eaten so far. My goal is to reach the end satisfied and at peace with my loved ones and my conscience.
We have two lives and the second begins when you realize you only have one.
Read here the interview
HACK YOUR BRAIN! SO YOU CAN REACH PEAK SUCCESS
Coach position requires active listening. What is not said. Body language. This is empathy: the ability to be in the other people’s shoes.
ATUL GAWANDE: WANT TO GET GREAT?
How do you get better at what you do? Shadow coaching!
Watch Atul inspiring speech @TED:
EVERYBODY DIES, BUT NOT EVERYBODY LIVES
A small clue for a great reflection. So, what will you do today as a first step?
YOUR STORY WILL CHANGE THE WORLD!
AMAZING: experience, group of people, the purpose, the learning, the inspiration, the feelings, the authenticity.
I am so happy and proud to be one of them!
Read the full story here
DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM IN YOUR LIFE? WHY WORRY?