Change – It’s Natures Way

Hold a pencil above eye level. Let go of your grip and you can predict with 100% certainty that it will fall. Although the principle of gravity remains unseen you know that it exists and therefore you plan accordingly.

This principle holds true for all of nature’s ways. Dig a hole in your back yard and leave it alone. In a short period of time it will fill in. Nature abhors a vacuum. This principle exerts its effect regardless of our understanding or belief.

There is an arrow of time with our perception. Although time works equally well both forward and backwards in physics equations, we can only perceive times arrow moving forward. A broken egg never gets unbroken. Times arrow is another principle of nature.

So it is with change. The good news is that there is a direction of change towards ongoing learning. It seems that the answers to all of our problems from clean energy to world peace are all ready present, it’s just our discovering what they are.  This discovery or learning happens over time and the direction of time is towards constant learning.

All of a sudden in what seems like a blink of eye, the world can change forever. A few inventions have had such a powerful effect that they changed the way people think and act. The printing press, steam power, the telegraph and the computer were gigantic forces for change.

In about 1450, a German goldsmith, Johann Gutenberg, invented the first printing press. This press used movable type. Prior to this books were created by hand. This took years to copy and of course was very expensive.

The press made it possible for everyone to own books. Newspapers also became commonplace. The printing press changed every part of civilization. Discoveries in the sciences changed the way people saw the universe. The period between the 1500s and the 1700s is called the scientific revolution.

Experts believe the scientific revolution started when Nicolaus Copernicus tried to convince people that the earth and planets moved around the sun. The commonly held belief was that it was a certainty that the earth was the central figure and everything revolved around it. Copernicus was highly criticized for his contrary belief.

Other advances include the microscope. Prior to this discovery Dr. Lister warned physicians to wash their hands because of unseen germs. He also was met with skepticism.

Galileo improved the telescope and this allowed him to see images of the moon and other planets. Isaac Newton’s discovery of the laws of motion and gravity further changed beliefs.

In the late 1700s and early 1800s technology changed history once again. The prevailing thinking was that the only way to increase human strength or speed was to work with a stronger animal such as a horse. The invention of steam engines gave people a new source of power.

In 1800 it would have taken six days to travel from New York City to Washington D.C., by horseback. By the 1830’s, steam powered trains transported people on this journey in less than a day and at an affordable price.

Steamboats and steam locomotives gave people the ability to move themselves and goods all over the country, even in remote areas. People could visit family and friends and news spread quickly all over the country.

The first telegraph line was completed in 1844 making instant communication possible for the first time in history. By 1866 a telegraph cable was run on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. People could now instantly communicate with other countries as well.

Steam engines and the telegraph changed the way people thought about time and space. The world appeared to be smaller and interconnected. What’s most interesting however are the countless beliefs that were previously held as being true that were now cast aside. New possibilities continued to be revealed.

With the invention of computers everything changed again. The first electronic computer, the ENIAC or Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator, was build in 1946. By 1995 the Internet was up and running. Today computer driven robots are performing surgeries. Computers can respond to thoughts from people who are paralyzed. Computers are running the Mars Curiosity rover.

So what does this mean to you for this year? It means that you can benefit by using a planning strategy and suspending fear and doubt. I’ve always maintained that when I coach someone I’m not adding anything new. What I do is teach you how to have access to the talent and abilities that you already have.

All of the great advances that I’ve previously mentioned were already here. It just took our civilizations growth and maturity to learn how to tap into what was already available.

So what will you create for this year? What do you want? What do you need to do to have what you want? What do you need to do this week? What do you commit to do this week? Next add accountability and create a behavioral contract where you will be held accountable to take the actions to execute your weekly plan with a negative consequence if you don’t.

One thing you can count on is that there is a direction of the universe and that is constant growth and improvement. Are you growing and improving? Constant learning is the best medicine for you to have continued mental clarity and yes, health. So, what are you committed to learn and create this year? Challenge your limiting beliefs. Embrace this statement;

“You have far more capacity to create the circumstances and events in your life then you are aware of.”

Decide what you will create for yourself and your family right now. Make your plan and execute your plan. Expand what you think is possible. Live with passion and energy. Create your life!

Feel Overwhelmed? Don’t Buy it! It’s All About Mindset!

That’s right! Famous biologist Benjamin Libet said, “Reality is in the mind of the observer”. Your feeling of being overwhelmed is self imposed.

I am a private pilot. This reminds me of a time I was receiving instruction in the simulator and the instructor said he’s putting a 100 mph tailwind so I could arrive at the approach point for the Santa Barbara Airport from John Wayne.

I noticed that one of my instruments was jumping all over the place. I asked him if he also put a cross wind and he told me, “No, you’re doing that with your feet on the rudder pedals”, wow, self imposed turbulence!

And that’s how it is with feeling overwhelmed, self imposed turbulence!

Let’s examine this more closely.

I had a coaching client tell me that he’s putting in 12 hour days, his kids take up all of his time on the weekends with their sports activities and he has absolutely no time for himself or for his wife. He was overwhelmed.

I did not let him stay in victim land and blame his circumstances. I brought him right back to one of our core principles, “Accountability-I am the source of all that I experience, versus going victim and blaming”.

I use what I call coaching commandments. When a person is not feeling that they are performing at their best then the first place to look at is what coaching commandments are being violated. We start at our very first commandment, “No judgment. It’s not good or bad, it just is.”

Another coaching commandment is “My lifestyle is an asset, not a liability”. Now the commandments kept rolling out as being violated. They included;

I put myself first-be selfish.
What you do speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you say.
Tell the truth faster.
What assumptions are you making?

Then this conversation led to the addition of seven additional commandments. I’ll get to those shortly.

As the conversation continued I asked my client to make a list of the assumptions that he was making. There was one overriding assumption for his business and that was that he has to get things done today. That’s just the way that it is.

We looked at the reality of his personal life and we could clearly see that he was putting his kids first, other volunteer obligations next, his wife third and himself not at all.

He also explained how he was a volunteer as the treasurer for his son’s baseball team and how that took him 3 hours of time on Friday and another 3 hours on Saturday this past week. I think I caught him off guard when I commented that he was being a fraud.

His response was, ok, you’ve got my attention. I explained that if you want to know what someone is committed to look at what they have. If a person is in a miserable relationship then they are committed to being in a miserable relationship. If someone is morbidly overweight then likewise that is what they are committed to. There are no mistakes. We are result machines.

He was fraudulently saying that he wanted to spend time with his wife yet he was involved with all of these other activities. So what is the truth?

So we added these coaching commandments;

  1. I put myself first-be selfish. Most people live a life of putting their kids first, their spouse second and themselves last. This results in fatigue, a feeling of being overwhelmed and resentment.


I am an advocate of putting yourself first, then your spouse and then your kids. What good can you be for others if you are not feeling good, energized and focused? It’s just like the airlines, put your mask on first and then grab your favorite kid and put their mask on. Continuing…

  1. Where am I in resignation-believing that I’m doing the best that I can?
  2. Where in my life am I settling?

Two and three are related to this question; “Do dogs love bones?” The answer is NO, they love meat, they settle for bones. My client was settling for being overwhelmed, making assumptions that this was the best that he could do and then complaining about it.

A big violation of accountability-I am the source of all that I experience! So we added another few commandments;

  1. What do I need to say no to?
  2. Because to Be/cause and opportunity is nowhere to opportunity is now/here.
  3. Where am I being a fraud?
  4. Be uncomfortable every day.
  5. If you want to see what someone is committed to look at what they currently have.

Now this is strong stuff. Back to the 12 hour workdays. There is something structurally wrong if you can’t get what you need to get done in normal business hours. It could be this principle, water takes the shape of the container that holds it. In other words, if he gives himself 12 hours to complete his tasks it will take 12 hours.

I’m reminded of being guilty of this as a college football coach. Our staff would come into the office for a 7:00 am staff meeting, then we’d prepare for the day’s practice, have practice, go to dinner, then back into the office until 2:00 am and start all over the next day.

On the other hand, when Terry Donahue was the coach at UCLA his staff would go home after practice, around 6:00 pm. He said that if you weren’t a good enough coach to get your work done before practice then go home to your family and come back rested the next day then maybe you shouldn’t be on his staff!  Now that’s cold!

So another coaching commandment comes to the surface, “don’t complain about the dark-light a candle.”  Instead of whining about how overwhelmed your are get MAD. Make A Decision.

  1. What do you need to say no to?

You may need to embrace coaching commandment #7. Be uncomfortable every day because you may need to say no to someone who will try to make you feel guilty for saying no. Will you stand in the face of losing their approval and stick with you no? Or will you avoid to the more comfortable position of continuing to take on the overwhelming tasks and then complaining about how little time you have? It’s a choice!

Be the cause of your life. Don’t respond to others requests and not be able to spend time with your wife because of this and that circumstance. Instead, be the cause of your circumstances. Maybe you need to hire someone else in your business. Maybe someone is incompetent and not doing their job and that is coming back to you in the form of a 12 hour day. Maybe you need to delegate or stop being a perfectionist.

Whatever it is, make a decision and stop worrying about being approved of by other people. Claim your peaceful and healthy state of mind. It really is up to you!

Most of all, tell the truth faster. Maybe you are avoiding spending time with you kids because they aggravate you. Tell the truth and stop complaining!

Now you know!

Coach Bob