You Really ARE God's Gift to the World

"You think you're God's gift to the world!" was a phrase we'd use growing up.  The intent was to put someone in their place if we thought they were being arrogant or prideful. 

But hold on for a minute...

If you think about it, God made each one of us, selected a point in time and a location for us to be born, and gave us an incredibly unique set of skills, talents, tastes, and abilities. 

And His intent was for us to use those abilities to make our world a better place.  We'll do that in different ways, but most of us are trying our best.

The question isn't how much of an impact are you making.  Instead, are you making the kind of impact you were designed to make? 

The world - your world - needs you to keep showing up and trying in your own way to make it a better place.  

God knew we needed you in our world.  You're His gift to us.  But if you keep hiding in false humility we'll never get the benefit.

So rise up and be all you were meant to be.  Because you really are God's gift to the world.

Have a great Summer!

Get a Soul Recharge

Image by  Erich Westendarp  from  Pixabay

It might not seem all that important, but the Linden trees are in bloom every year at this time. They give off one of my favorite scents.

What IS important is taking time to go enjoy the small things in life that bring you pleasure.

Summer is upon us and will soon be gone. Make sure you intentionally feed your soul to keep it healthy.

Enjoy!

Align With Your Design

Image by  Gerd Altmann  from  Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Q: Coach Pete, you talk about being true to myself, but I’ve been so programmed by other people’s expectations that I no longer know who I really am.  How can I recover the real me?  

A: That’s a great question, and you’re not alone.  I’ve been going through this journey to “re-humanize” myself as well.  Here are five helpful sources that I’ve discovered along the way.

1) Ask those who know you

Ask close family members, coworkers, and friends to honestly tell you what your strengths and weaknesses are. They can point out your good and bad blind spots, and be a great “mirror” for you. Note: pay special attention if more than one person points out the same thing.

2) Ask your history

Take some time to reflect on the accomplishments in your life and note the times you felt successful, fully alive, or in your “zone.”  It helps a lot if you write these down. For each scenario, ask yourself:

  • What was the setting?

  • What skills and talents did you use?

  • What roles did you serve?

Do you see patterns of traits that show up multiple times?  Those are aspects of your core design shining through. When you align with your design, you get the best results.

3) Ask science

We live in a time where the science of personality development is exploding. It’s worth your time and expense to take an assessment or two to better understand how you’re wired.

I’ve seen huge results as I’ve coached clients through the WeAlign Strengths Alignment Package. I also like gifttest.org, and DISC, and I know people who prefer MBTI, the Enneagram, Colors, and many others. The key is to know what the assessment is attempting to measure as well as its limitations.

4) Ask a professional

A qualified coach is trained to help you get clarity on your life purpose and calling.  As an objective sounding board, your coach can often accelerate the process and get you results much faster than going it on your own.

5) Ask your Creator

Last, but certainly not least, if you want to know your design it makes sense to consult The Designer. 

You may have heard it said that your talents are God’s gift to you, but what you do with them is your gift to God.  So it’s logical that God is biased toward helping you understand your design in order to make a difference in the world. Ask for guidance and understanding in your prayers, and try some spiritual journaling. Ephesians 2:10

Summary

Each of these factors contribute a part of the whole - the bigger picture of your unique design. Be intentional in your discovery, but remember it’s a process that never completely ends, so be patient with yourself.

Do you need help sorting things out? Let’s have a no-obligation discovery call and see if we can move you forward.

Are you smoking "Hopium?"

Image by  Albert Dezetter  from  Pixabay

Image by Albert Dezetter from Pixabay

Been here before. Now I’m breaking the cycle. How about you?

Hopium

1. An addiction to false hopes.

2. The state of wallowing in self-pity combined with the delusion of potential fame/greatness. One in this state will hope for others to pity or save them, yet paradoxically romanticize their own struggle, pitying themselves and never moving on to achieve their dreams.

Watch the video below to learn more…

Do you know anyone who’s stuck in this pattern? What do you wish you could tell them?

Stop Drifting and Start Deciding!

Image by  Free-Photos  from  Pixabay

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

As I was building on the theme of Losing Your Soul at Work, I uncovered one important dynamic that runs through it all - not being intentional.

When I look back at the times in my life where I felt the most unfulfilled, resentful, or taken advantage of, the common thread was that I abdicated my own free will and just went along with what other people thought was best for me. Not good.

Fortunately, that isn’t a constant in my life. But one indicator that I’m starting to drift in that direction is when I neglect setting clear goals. A close cousin is when I don’t update my goals and make adjustments based on changing circumstances.

I invite you to watch the short video below as I dig deeper and get honest with myself.

Do you feel like you’re drifting sometimes? What do you think is the real underlying motive? I’d love to get your feedback in the comments below. Or, contact me to discuss updating your own goals.

What Happens When You Stop Learning?

Image by  Gerd Altmann  from  Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I’ve found that I can put up with a lot of negative things on my job (salary cuts, bad bosses, failed projects, etc.) as long as one thing is in place… that I’m learning something new.  If I’m gaining knowledge, new skills, wisdom, etc., I tell myself I’m making an investment that will pay off in the future, and that positivity helps carries me along.

But if the learning stops I start dying inside.  Boredom sets in, I start complaining more, and it makes it much harder to tolerate the negative things in life.  It also causes me to wonder what I’m missing out on if I went to work someplace else.

In the following video, I share some thoughts about what happens when you stop learning, and what questions you can ask yourself to get back on track.  (Bonus: Look for the appearance by El Cid at the end)

"Selling" Your Soul in Professional Sales

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(Note: I'm not referring to the state of your soul in eternity, but rather the integrity and health of your conscience and personhood).

When I did some reflection on how I may have compromised my own values (see the last blog entry), one area stood out - selling something professionally that I didn't really believe in.

This short video gives a couple of insights, and how I'm trying to turn that around. 

Maybe you don’t sell products or services, but most of us have to sell ideas or points of view at some time in our lives.

Can you relate? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

How To Lose Your Soul at Work (and get it back again)

Important note: in this article the word “soul” refers to one’s personhood, conscience, and sense of self.  However, I’d also be happy to talk with you about your “eternal soul” if you contact me.

Image by  Gerd Altmann  from  Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

There’s an 80’s song, Once in a Lifetime, by Talking Heads, that speaks about mid-life disillusionment.  Having gone through this myself, I can relate with the questions the singer asks himself, “Well, how did I get here?” “Am I right?  Am I wrong?”  “What have I done?”

That feeling of “lostness” can be a scary place.  And while the feeling might be triggered by a specific event, the underlying causes can operate unnoticed for years. Seemingly small choices chip away at your soul little by little over time until one day you don’t know who you are anymore.

Take a look and see if you’ve fallen into any of these areas of neglect, and if so take action. It’s never too late to get back on track.

1. You Compromise your values 

Kathy is competitive and likes to pursue excellence, but the lackluster culture at her current company feels like a ball and chain keeping her from personal success.  In the short term she thought she could “power through it,” and help to improve her environment.  But over time her frustrations grew, her performance suffered, and she lost her edge and self-respect.  Why? Her work wasn’t in line with her core values.

Very simply, values are guiding principles that are important to you.  These include moral/ethical boundaries (truthfulness, honesty, respect, fairness, etc.), as well as what you personally think makes for a fulfilling life (physical fitness, constant learning, financial independence, justice, etc.).  The list varies greatly from person to person, but the important thing is that you know what your values are and that you honor them.

If the temptation to compromise your values happened in a huge, obvious way it would be much easier to see and avoid.  But it usually happens in a more insidious way through a series of small micro-choices and neglect.   These accumulate over time resulting in an incongruent life, deep sense of frustration, and lack of self-respect.  In short, you lose who you really are. 

Solution:   Do a values inventory.  Then get together with a trusted friend or a coach to identify places where your life is out of sync with your values.  If you can make changes in your work environment to support your values, that’s great.  If not, you might need to make a career transition.  You deserve better. 

“Peace of mind comes when your life is in harmony with true principles and values and in no other way.” Stephen Covey

2. You Don’t update your goals

Jim loved his small but growing company.  He was a valued team member who was making a direct impact to bottom line growth.  But fifteen years and four acquisitions later, he’s working in a hidden division of a huge tech company doing menial work that doesn’t challenge or excite him.  He thought he’d “play it safe” and just go with the flow, but now he’s bored and dreads going to work each day.

Have you found yourself in a place you never wanted to be?  That happens when you’re not intentional with your plans.  Circumstances change over time and if you don’t revisit your goals and make adjustments, you’ll just drift into other people’s expectations for you.

Solution: Schedule appointments with yourself to look at your personal treasure map and your road map, make updates as needed, and then take action.  If you haven’t done this in years, just get started.  You’ll get better the more you do it.  A good coach can act as a sounding board and help keep you accountable to a realistic plan.

“If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up someplace else.”  Yogi Berra

3. You’ve Stopped learning

Shivkumar was a talented, rock star employee.   His projects leveraged the latest technology to save his company millions, and he was rewarded with rapid advancement.  Now he’s in upper management, and he’s fallen out of touch with technology trends.  No one can keep up with all of them, but he’s adopted certain mindsets that have built a defensive “cocoon of denial,” around himself.  Namely: 

  • Entitlement - “I paid my dues - I should be rewarded for my past accomplishments”

  • Pride - “I’ll look stupid if I admit I don’t know this subject matter”

  • Fear - “what if I don’t have what it takes to learn this new skill?” and

  • Laziness - “it’s just too much work to keep up with these changes”

Solution: Shiv is stuck in what’s known as a “fixed mindset.”  If this sounds like you, then develop a “growth mindset” to reignite your learning. My clients consistently rank the book, Mindset, as the #1 resource to get them back on track.  And sometimes you just need wake-up call.  A good coach will have the courage to tell you what others are afraid to say and will hold you accountable to your action plan.

“A man who asks is a fool for five minutes. A man who never asks is a fool for life.”  Chinese Proverb

In what ways are you feeling lost?  Are there other factors operating in your life that aren’t listed here?  Please add your comments below and be part of the discussion. In the meantime, enjoy some retro video.

What most job hunters get wrong

Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay

Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay

When I meet a prospective client who’s considering a career transition, it’s pretty typical for them to ask me to review their resume and help them understand why they didn’t get the last job they interviewed for.

Like most people, they’ve been focusing all their efforts on the execution portion of their job hunt - what I call “the visible part of the iceberg.” Unfortunately, that system isn’t very effective at helping people find a great fit.

The most important part of a job hunt is hidden beneath the surface. And when people put in the effort to first get clarity on who they are and what they want, the chances of them finding a job they’ll love go way up.

I’ve lived this out in my own life, and now I help other people get the clarity they’re looking for as well.

I hope you enjoy this short video. Please share it with some of your friends who dislike their current job or are actively looking for a new one.

My Motivation to Coach

This is my #2 talent in the list of all 34 CliftonStrengths. I love to help people discover their calling, and to help leaders get their people “in the right seat on the bus.”

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What are your top CliftonStrengths? How do they impact what you enjoy doing? How can you focus and maximize that enjoyment?

Find out more at www.wealigncoaching.com