Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Zen Benefiel (USA)
Many coaching clients want to find ways to actualise their vision of a brighter future by developing goals and objectives, yet have challenges in defining practical and prudent paths toward the implementation of their action plans. They tend to think big and get bogged down in the development of simple step-by-step activities. Large goals or visions are an ideal place to start, igniting the perfect brain storm. Breaking them down into simple steps allows their management and the ability to track success. Celebrating the success, however small, is important to create the emotional satisfaction.
The old adage of ‘start with the goal in mind’ creates the initial path. Breaking the goal down into manageable daily, weekly or monthly tasks is the key. As an example, a recent client wanted to build his practice and found that the daily routines often distracted their ability to work ‘on’ the business because the efforts to work ‘in’ the business took precedence. Sound familiar? What we found was that there were moments where priorities were askew. Crisis management tends to distract one from peak performance.
We took a look at the daily needs and restructured the priorities, defining immediate needs and whether they were truly immediate or whether they could be delayed in order to focus on higher priorities. Some things had to be addressed immediately. Some were able to be delegated and others could be addressed later as the impact on the flow of business was negligible. Life is also like a business; we tend to get caught up in the moment and are unable to differentiate priorities. Being able to pause, take a breath and do a quick analysis of the priority allows better focus.
Time management was the key. Breaking down the goals for the business into manageable tasks was a first step. These tasks could be performed in the ‘downtime’ between events and allowed progress to be done with less stress. It created a process that fit both short-term and long-term objectives. Everything in life is a process, it happens over time. Goals and objectives are reached through developing a procedure, an action plan, which gives us the ability to reflect on the moment and move forward with more tenacity because we have a process.
Any goal needs a timeline, even if it is arbitrary. Timelines can always be adjusted as work proceeds. We like to think we can get more done in less time. In an ideal world where one only focuses on one goal, that might be so. In reality, we are engaged in many activities and, from business studies on time management, the rule of thumb is that it will take three times as long as our initial time frame. This is not because of any fault at all, so don’t get discouraged. Just be aware.
Life coaches with some tenure in business are more likely to understand that individual priorities may not fit with the priorities of others in getting a job done or accomplishing a goal. Action plans are not only based on goals and objectives; they have resources involved – people, places and things. Facilitating those people, places and things to meet your deadlines is an art as well as a science. Communicating needs and wants clearly is critical. Understanding the needs and wants of your resources is imperative. There is always a reciprocation of actions, offers or resources that affect successful transactions.
We tend to be single-minded and somewhat selfish in our attempts to get things done. Frustrations and tempers flare when we don’t get what we want. That is a result of poor planning and strategic thinking. It is often a challenge to be able to step back from our microcosm and look at the larger picture, how we fit in it and what we can do to grease the wheels of action. A life coach serves as an observer; listening intently beyond the words, asking questions and offering perspectives that create a change toward better choices and objectives to meet goals.
Some years ago in a Master of Arts in Organizational Management program, a study group project revealed an interesting discovery. Challenge and change are only three different letters. I immediately saw the ‘lle’ as being liabilities, limitations and excuses. Whether personal or professional, these were opportunities to explore and grow as individuals, teams and even organisations. It’s almost like a personal Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis that businesses use often in the process of aligning Mission and Vision with Goals and Objectives.
The idea that we can look at liabilities, limitations and excuses gives us power to change them. Observing our behaviours and inclinations are key elements in the process of change. Suspending self-criticisms are important as well. We tend to beat ourselves up when we find something we don’t like about ourselves. It is okay, everyone has things they want to change. The important thing is to realize they can, and with effort they do over time.
I started my practice over 30 years ago with the notion that best practices of spiritual and business processes could and would align when given the opportunity. Dreams and visions are only as good as the plans and strategies to implement them, an action plan with step-by-step processes that allows management as well as measurement. Metrics are not always tangible, though. Primary to the process is an increase in awareness and general well-being.
Designing a plan starts with a basic understanding of how we tend to create our reality. This involves basic constructs of goal-setting and a conversation that acknowledges salient points in the awareness of the individual and support of the coach in reaching further inside to become aware of the subtle activities in the body, impressions and sensations of the process. It is imperative to engage the body, the transceiver of vibrations that are relevant to the perception of the client’s growth and understanding.
For the more science-based clients we discuss recent advances in consciousness and quantum physics discoveries. A new model, called the Triadic Dimensional-Distinction Vortical Paradigm (TDVP), posits that consciousness, time and space are tethered across nine dimensions. There is an experiential side of that model than can be explored. For the spiritually-based clients, we explore the notion of oneness and the conscious connection available to people, places and things that can be ‘magnetised’ or drawn to the experience in the process of achieving the objectives that emerge from setting their goals.
I have learned that an experience system, the collection of sensory perceptions gathered over an array of intentional and occasionally unintentional events, develops through feeling things out. Everything is vibration, right? That includes everything in nature, which means it is, by default, a part of consciousness. It’s not separate. We have the innate ability to perceive and interact with nature, our larger consciousness and the constructs of reality.
So we feel first, obviously, our bodies are the receptors of the signals (actually transceivers) and illustrate that nature, according to the indigenous ways, as the gut feeling is our first connection with our environment or outer reality. We send from there, too. It’s downright reciprocal, but we usually aren’t conscious enough to realise it, let alone observe and learn the process in order to develop and mature as a co-creator.
I agree also with our innate ability, often unrecognised, of naturally reaching out to perceive ‘what is.’ Structurally, it is a synergy of chakras, meridians and ‘clair-alls’ (clairsentience, et al – send/receive circuits) that is at work always. Again, we are not aware enough to deepen and/or expand our moments of coherence it seems. Sometimes we are. A transformational life coach is often the facilitator, showing where to look and creating a conversation around what is perceived or seen.
It has occurred to me, and I wonder if, the way in which we create reality is the interaction between the positive thought, neutral object and the electromagnetism attracting loose and/or shared electrons of people, places and things that resonate. It’s the spook and spooky action at a distance thing applied locally; the spirit and body engaging reality in ways that promote the growth, understanding and success of the individual who seeks to transform their life. Perhaps just reading this article has brought new insights or connected previously suspended dots.
Face-to-face sessions are best. The state of technology now allows that to happen virtually, all over the world.
Bruce ‘Zen’ Benefiel is an author, educator, facilitator, transformational business and life coach; a veritable “possibilities coagulator.” After a Near-Death Experience as a teenager his quest for understanding our form, fit and function in the world from a holistic perspective has driven his experience, questions, research and study of the evolution of mind, body and spirit and our ability to co-create a better world. The ancillary benefits have been opportunities to learn about systems thinking. His professional background includes leading change in aerospace manufacturing management, educational delivery systems, project management team building in building, road & bridge and waterway construction as well as small business development workshops. His avocations are golf and playing drums, with a 12-handicap and penchant for improvisational conversations. He resides in Arizona with his wife, Luba, from St. Petersburg, Russia and a conservatory-trained concert pianist, music theory and piano instructor. His digital vitae is at www.ZenBenefiel.com
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