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Enjoy Achieving Goals by Releasing Attachment

Enjoy Achieving Goals by Releasing Attachment. When I first came across this idea I was in a bit of disbelief. In my mind, you set a goal and then you pull out all the stops to achieve it. It may cause pain, it may even cost you relationships – but if you are worth your salt you achieve your goals.

I would talk to my one time mentor about this pain I had in my chest. I felt run down, sad and depressed. I was achieving plenty in my life and, at the same time feeling empty. The analogy he gave me was that a bow needs to be unstrung periodically or it will loose it’s potency. It will have nothing left to give.

What I came to see is that I held goals as things “I had to achieve”. I had become so attached to them that they defined me, my happiness and sense of self.  It was not a choice, but a must. I needed them, had to have them, should be achieving them or – I FAILED.

What I want you to get, you can have a goal and pursue it with all the same zest but without the possessiveness. Set your goals and let them go. Follow your intuition and do those things that you feel in the moment will move you the most in the direction of your goals (but without the stick that says I am so attached to achieving this goal I will need to flog myself if I don’t achieve it).

Allow their to be flow, the natural up and down movement forward of the waves in the ocean. If you find yourself stopped in the movement of your goal it might be time to move on to things that do inspire you.

Does this concept make sense to you? Have you held goals in a similar or different way? What is your story?

Good Leaders Not = Control

Some mistake “Control” for “Leadership”.

True leadership is allowing a team or subordinates to be their best without concern of impressing the leader.

Ever Expanding Opportunities

Ever have that thought, “they’re getting ahead of me”, “they did what I was thinking about doing”, “they are better at it than me”, “I’ll never be as good as them”…the list goes on. You may not say these things, but do you have some parallel thoughts of your own?

So someone is already doing what you thought about doing, great! They are doing it better than you judge you could do it, great! They are way ahead of where you are at – GREAT!

What I experience in my life is continually expanding opportunities. There are so many facets to parenting, to running a business, to growing roses, to making love – the list is endless. Some of those ideas might be an  idea that changes how the world works, others may not or may not in a big bang way.

My point is – don’t spend a lot of time comparing. Do a little homework and then follow your intuition. The world is always expanding into new frontiers, from the pony express (days, weeks, months, years?)  to electron mail that is in (milliseconds, seconds, minutes).

Move forward. Take the risk. Copy if you have to – but get out there and then really listen to your intuition so you can make course corrections if beneficial to you and the world.

What Next People?

So, what exciting things are you intending for 2012? What really sounds good to you versus what you “should” or “have to” do? I know, you may have things you don’t want to stop doing because of the impact on your life style. But what about the incremental steps you can start taking today to move you in the direction of what you really want to do and experience in your life? Dig down and dream, feel the excitement that comes with putting your ass on the line. Dream big and then take it step by step.

Go for it!

Creating What I Want Exercise

When we continue to hold onto the thought "I don't want", we are investing energy in what we don't want. In affect, we are increasing the likelihood that we will create what we don't want (by focusing our energy there versus focusing our energy on what we do want).

We have a choice to either focus on what we do want or what we don't want, knowing that our focus will move us in the direction of our thinking. If you continue to focus on what you don't want you are choosing to want what you say you don't want.

Below is an exercise to help you become more aware of what you are creating that you say you don't want.

1)  Start by listing ten (10) things that you think you don't want (i.e., don't want to do, don't want to experience or don't want to happen). For example, I don't want to miss the date for getting my newsletter article written.

2)  Now rewrite your don't wants statements replacing "don't want" with "want". For example, I want to miss the date for getting my newsletter article written. In this way you are taking ownership for the existence of these "don't wants" which are creating more of what you don't want in your life.

3)  As you rewrite each statement bring your awareness to what you are feeling in your body. Typically when I fully take ownership of these don't wants in this way I feel them in my chest, a heaviness or sense of self criticalness. After I fully own what I am creating and feel the impact of the associated feelings the need to hold onto my "don't want" thinking and feelings subside.

As I go through these steps, taking ownership for keeping these don't wants in my life, I have found I am much less likely to notice myself thinking in terms of what I don't want. And when I do I can stop and take ownership of how I am creating what I don't want. At that point I can shift to focusing on what I do want – creating more of what I want in my life!

You just listed 10 of your don't wants. I found that I had many beyond 10. I would suggest you go through these three steps again listing as many of your don't wants that you become aware of.


Failure or Feedback

We make a plan based on our vision, our high level approach, milestones and time estimates. And then we begin to execute against our plan. Some of us will move ahead taking action and some of us will avoid taking action. Why might some avoid taking action?

When we take action (or don't) we get results. For some, those results can be perceived as failure by using mistakes, missed dates, unwanted outcomes, rejection, lack of support, cost over-runs, etc. as evidence (of our failure).

Perceiving results in this way can be painful, diminish our energy, lower our confidence and even be used as an indicator of our value as an individuals. What is the outcome? We avoid taking some or all of the actions we can to realize our vision.

How might we view the results of our actions and our plans that will allow us to move forward unencumbered by the fear of failure?

By viewing our results as information. Information that does not define success or failure, but information that we can use to determine how we move forward. I can be disappointed or excited, but it is not a reflection on me as an individual. I get information, I decide how I want to move forward.

Moving Through Conflict

Some suggest that conflict is inevitable. I personally cannot agree or deny that idea.

What I have seen in others and experienced personally, is that speaking our truth – wants, needs, likes, dislikes and feelings about ourselves (versus others) goes a long way toward naturally dissolving what might have otherwise appeared as a irresolvable conflict.

Trying to maintain control might look like: You are always working or spending time with your friends. (The focus is on the other person.)

Letting go of control might look like: I like to spend time with you. I want to watch a moving with you this weekend. (The focus is on the speaker.)

If speaking our truth can be so effective in resolving conflict why don't we speak it? Because it means we must let go of our perceived control of the situation or outcome of the situation. Although it may be exactly what really needs to happen we are reluctant to let go of the known and step into the unknown. And yet, there is a powerful aliveness in letting go of the known.

Do you want richer, more satisfying and loving relationships? Let go of what you perceive to be control and safety and step into speaking the truth about you.

Show Up in Your Life!

You are in a business meeting or connecting with friends. Everyone is there and everything needed to make it a successful gathering is done – and it is lifeless.The attendees are there but the energy is low and most people are likely wishing they were somewhere else.

I was on a conference call the other day with another coach and colleague of mine Nancy Stubbs. It was a great call. The energy of the meeting was strong, creative and constructive. Not only did we accomplish a lot of good stuff, the call was also energetic and enjoyable!

Coming back to Nancy. What I noticed about Nancy on the call was her presence. It was strong, clear and present. It was not dominating or controlling. She showed up with her energy. She spoke when she had energy about a topic or idea and that added to the energy and enthusiasm of the call.

When you are in a meeting or social gather and you notice a lack of energy ask yourself if you are showing up. You want to move a relationship or career forward – show up!

Speaking Truth – A Tribute to Diana Chapman

Over the last few days I have found myself appreciating you Diana, who you are and what you do. It occurred to me how much I have gained from something you have given me time and again since I have known you – your profound insights and your unabashed willingness to speak the truth as you see it.

As I continue to expand my work with others and grow on a personal level myself, I cherish feedback that is uninhibited and uncensored, which is at the core versus at the surface or focused on symptoms. Not everyone is willing to move from cheerleading, making surface comments or asking indirect questions, to a place of delivering honest in the moment reactions. Yes celebration, encouragement and questions can all be great forms of support and I get that from you, but not at the expense of the truth.

I appreciate when I get the whole truth from your perspective, your intentional unedited reactions that are meant to add to my life. The truth that is deeper. The truth that speaks to aspects of myself that I may not judge as socially pretty, that I may not want to see but deep down know that I need to see. The truth that can cut to the quick with clarity and life changing impact. The truth that delivers a level of love that is beyond what may be comprehended by the individual receiving it and may even be viewed as hurtful, aggressive or devastating.

The beauty of your approach is your ability to deliver your truth without judgment, ulterior motive or for self gratification. It is clean and creates an an opportunity for life changing growth. I judge that your ability to speak the deeper truth has been fostered by your willingness to see the truth about yourself, without bias, judgment or self condemnation.

I don’t always like the truth or want to see it or accept it, but in my experience, the deeper truth like you are willing to speak, has had the most impact on my ability to rise to the occasion and do what I want and need to do in my life.

I appreciate you. I see you as a leader among leaders Diana Chapman, and in my judgment, a great coach ( 

Ted Mersino

Anger & a Pitfall of Denial

It can be anger, it can be jealousy, resentment, shame, etc.

When we deny the existence of any of our emotions – we block their release. When I feel anger toward someone else and I deny that anger exist I block the release of it.

In the software development world some application development approaches refer to the software development process as having a full lifecycle. There is a beginning, development steps or iterations and an end, which is the final release of the software. If there was not a release in the process you would not have the internet browser you are using right now.

We may not be conscious of our emotions at this level, but there is a natural process to our emotions, a beginning, processing and a release. When we deny an emotion, in this case anger, the life cycle of the emotion is stopped somewhere in the middle.

The most profound changes I have made in my life and that I have seen in the lives of others begins with acceptance.