“I am struggling in my job. I don’t know if I should quit my job or continue. And if I continue, whether I should focus on this or that or the other thing. Is this type of work even for me? I feel exhausted. Not much positive feedback, and I don’t really know if what I’m doing is valuable for the company, for any customers or for other employees. I feel kinda lost. What should I do?”
He looked at me across the table. Across his cup of coffee, and mine. I started out slowly:
“You know, there’s stacks of books written about this, countless methodologies and coaching practices addressing these kinds of issues.”
He looked eagerly at me, waiting for some book or methodology that would match his complex problem. Some kind of intricate way of resolving his issues. But then I went on:
“But really, it boils down to just one simple concept. Just one.”
He looked sorta disappointed. Like I was about to invalidate his complex problem or insult his intelligence.
“You only need to impress.”
“Yes, impress your customer, your boss, your colleague, your wife, your kids, yourself. But impress by delivering something of value. Impress your customers in every meeting. Impress your colleagues every workday. Impress your kids by really playing with them when they bring out the Lego. Impress your wife in bed. Impress by delivering. Unconditionally and as much as you can. If you do this, you’ll be doing good. And this is all you need to do.”
I am continually simplifying and refining how I coach people.
Here’s a HyperList that sums up my current approach:
0. Be direct in the coaching. Speak your mind. Always
1. Ensure the person realizes that he is creating all his thoughts and emotions
This will enable him to take full responsibility for what goes on in his mind
It will help him to not blame others for what he himself is responsible for
2. Ensure the person is able to be fully mentally present
Get the person to read “Mental training – The core”
Train the person to be “here & now”
3. Establish the person’s “Two lengths of the pool” (2LP)
Assess his strengths and weaknesses in accomplishing his 2LP
4. Do what it takes to help the person accomplish his 2LP
There are several tools that can help, such as:
Unburdening stress and exercize liking everything
Failing and learning more
Or the short form:
Realizing he is creating all his thoughts and emotions
Exercize mental presence
Establish his 2LP
Accomplish the 2LP
Our second OnePageBook™ cuts straight to the core of mental training:
The art of being present.
Dropping the long explanations and anecdotes. Cutting through the bull. You get the method straight – in a just a few minutes.
This book covers the mental training that helped Tiril Eckhoff become the World Champion in Biathlon last month. Take a close look at Tiril when she hits all five targets in her last shooting – her presence and focus is remarkable. This is the run where she took home the gold medal:
The training described in this book will benefit anyone. It is a simpler and more agile way of training to be mentally present than you will find anywhere else. This will help you focus. This will relieve stress. It will help you get down to the very basic: You… here and now.
Available on Amazon
Go to a random shopping mall, café or public place. Approach a random person and ask if you can buy him a cup of coffee and if he has an hour to spare. Tell the person you will invest the next hour trying to help him – in any way you can – with no strings attached. You will not need to know the person’s name or contact information. You ask nothing in return. Nothing at all.
If the person agrees, commence with helping the person during that one hour. Figure out something you can help him with and do whatever that will be of benefit. When the hour is up, you’re done.
If you have done a really good job, the person will ask if you can help him more. Then you say, “Yes I ca,n help you another hour – but only if you help 5 other people just like I have now helped you. Five people, one hour each. When you have done that, you can get back to me. Here’s my contact information.“.
If the person returns after helping five random people, give the person another hour of honest help. You will often find that the person will benefit more from helping others than you will be able to help him.
If you do this with at least a dozen people, I would very much like to hear how you did.
I have gotten many requests to post more about what I do when I help people as a coach and mental trainer.
The toolbox is large and contains a vast array of methods to help others depending on what they want to achieve. But above all, I hold the attitude that the other person’s interest, desires and goals are more important than any tool or method. I practice winging it more than anything else.
But there is one tool that I often use to help a person get back on his feet. It is a method I have found very effective when dealing with everything from a person coping or struggling to those who consider taking their own lives. This has nothing to do with introspection or therapy – I leave that to others. It has everything to do with getting shit done.
Here’s the simple way you can help another (or yourself):
- Tell the person to write a list of everything he hasn’t completed. Everything that nags him, that he thinks he should have done or should do. Every bad conscience. Everything. If it takes a stack of papers, it takes a stack of papers. If the list is short, so be it. But ensure you have exhausted his bad conscience. You are not interested in why the actions wasn’t done or any explanation for them. Forget prioritizations or categorizations at this point. The list can be all messy or upside-down. Doesn’t matter. Just get everything down on paper.
- Tell the person to remove everything he no longer has the opportunity or ability to do. This could be items like “Be a firefighter before I become 25 years old” (he is now 35) or “Be the next great goal keeper on Barcelona Football Club” (he is 35 and has a bad left knee). Strike out anything that he can no longer do. Make sure he also removes it from his mind.
- Tell the person to remove everything he no longer wants to do. No matter what the reason is, anything that he really doesn’t want to do is removed from the list. Make sure he also removes it from his mind. He now has a list of actions that he can, will and should complete.
- Prioritize. In the order of what is really bothering him. The worst shit goes on the top, and all the way down to the more insignificant itches.
- Make him do the one thing that bothers him the most. Help him. Complete the action together with him, or sit there while he completes it. Then make him do the second biggest source of worry. Then the third, the fourth and so on. Until you are confident he can do more actions on the list as home work. Follow it through until the person himself is confident he can do anything on such a list all by himself.
You do this, and you will have a friend for life. And your friend will have a different life. This happens to be the tool I use that has the most profound effect on a person who is struggling in life.
Try it. Let me know how it goes.