What Prices the Brain


The brain is probably the least talked about subject or organ.  Maybe it conjures up complexities that most people want to avoid due to lack of knowledge, understanding and interest are probably the contributing reasons.  (After all for many it is not an exciting topic.)  Who could blame them?  It was not until fairly recent, as far as science is concerned, that astounding research findings are available about how the brain works.  Even then, there leaves much to be discovered. Continue reading

What Powers Motivation


Motivation has been a key in many self-development theories as old as time but with recent development in other aspects, this age-old phenomenon seems to have lost its lustre.

Either the theory is over used or the low success rate has  led to disappointments.  If one were to use the carrot-and-stick method to motivate without other considerations, it would not be surprising that it failed after some time.  The simple reason is that such method could only have short-term gains, unless you have a mind of a dog…those canines never get tired of responding to stimuli where food is involved.  That in itself is telling.  If the right motivation is applied in a consistent manner, the theory could still work.  May be it is time to update the theory to include other related issues.  Perhaps understanding how the brain works would help. Continue reading

Coaching Conversations in the School Room


In spite of the increasing awareness of Emotional Intelligence and talks of introducing it into schools to develop interpersonal and intrapersonal skills in children, the actual implementation is slow in actualizing.  It is a mammoth task as a stream of people are involved in making it happen; especially the teachers who must recognise  their need to change first before such adoption in schools can be made possible.  Perhaps learning to use coaching conversations is a good start.

So what is coaching conversations and their connection to Emotional Intelligence? Continue reading

Is the Mid-Life Crisis Syndrome Hitting You?


As years creep into forties and fifties, and for some late thirties, people start to look for signs of aging when they look into the mirror.  With each new wrinkle found, they get a little more depressed.  They are aging.  This phenomenon does not apply only to women as most people believe although it is the women who make the most fuss out of it.  For men, it is felt but not discussed least they are seen to be vain.  Nonetheless, whether people own up to their fears of aging or not, it is there lurking in the background.

The worse impact is in the psychological state for the beliefs in the mind control our physiological well-being.  Of course it is not just the aging that prompted the mid-life crisis syndrome.  It is during this time when things start to slow down a little, when you have time to ponder over what you have achieved or not, when you have less energy for things you once loved to do, when every change appears bigger than at any time in your life, that you feel the aging most.  Because time is running out to do all those things you want to have done but haven’t; you are struggling to find the time and opportunity to do them but find none.  If you are feeling this, you are in an unhealthy state of mind and you need to do something about it. Continue reading

Pushing the Envelope


If you limit your choices to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise. ~Robert Fritz

When I read this quote by Robert Fritz, I could not help asking myself if this is what I have been doing – compromising myself.  Have you?  I am not surprised if you do because most of us take the easy way out.  Why push yourself so hard?  Life is to be enjoyed.  But do you get what you want and hope to become?

Is it possible for me to be a good teacher?  Yes, it is but you must acquire the knowledge.  Is it possible for me to be rich?  Yes, you can but you need to learn how to make your money grow.  And so forth…

When you are not pushing against the envelope you are not growing.  Becoming stagnant is worse than death because, whether you realize it or not, life becomes less meaningful, listless and boring without a purpose. Continue reading

From Suffering to Greatness


Almost every great man I read about had at one time or another suffer some personal losses before they become great.  That puts me to wonder what really transpire during the time of suffering that make these people great.  For their greatness is sustainable for many decades and often the rest of their lives.  People like Lee Kuan Yew and Gandhi Mahatma.

Perhaps it is during the time of lost and suffering that people find there is nothing to lose by going deep within themselves to reflect and search for the thing they are made of.  It is perhaps during this time that the greatest insights and passions are revealed because there is no other noise of fear that camouflage and prevent its revelation. Continue reading

Reflecting on Teen Parenting


For the past few months, for some reason or other, I was drawn in the direction of Teen Parenting.  Aside from the programme run by my partner, Dolly Yeo, on parenting in particular on teens, I seem to attract all things relating to teen parenting.

Last week, I was with some friends celebrating a birthday.  The conversation somehow drifted to managing teens and the difficulties that went along with it.

One said, “Teens nowadays would not listen to you.  You tell them one thing and they will do another.  They would listen to friends and others but me.”.  Quite a few agreed.

On the same weekend, I met another ex-colleague and again the conversation was unconsciously steered toward parenting.  You quickly picked up on the self-justification on how different the world is today, parenting is becoming more difficult and there is nothing much you can do about it.  Such is the defeatist attitude. Continue reading

Generation Gap in Parenting?


I was listening to my partner’s – Dolly Yeo – “Stop Parenting, Start Coaching” radio programme last night in which one caller asked about the differences  between parenting in generations before and now.  It is a very valid and interesting question given that we believe it is time to call for a different parenting style.

One of the parenting styles Dolly mentioned is the authoritative style widely practised by older generations.  Some over-compensate by being too permissive.  Playing good-cop-bad-cop gives off  mixed signals that can be very confusing and damaging to a child’s development.

So why does the old parenting style – mainly authoritative – work then but not now?   I agree with Dolly’s views of the different lifestyle people are leading today.   These may just be the symptoms and not the root cause.  Let’s look at some of  these differences. Continue reading

What is your Wealth Profile?


Everybody wants to become wealthy and by default means rich but most do not know how to get there.  Know your wealth profile and half your battle is won; without it, you might be groping in the dark for the right break.  That may sound simplistic and if you hear Gary Goy talks about how you may gain from knowing your wealth profile, you may want to go and do the test immediately.

When I first met Gary Goy, he was introduced to me as a Wealth Coach.  Now that is a more remote coaching type than all the other aspects of coaching I have come across.  But then it could just be me.  Gary is a man of few words and I was not quite able to grasp the essence of what wealth coaching is all about until… I was invited to listen to him talk – The Secrets Formula to Create Massive Wealth – and that changed everything.  With that little insight, it has given me lots to think about and I am ready to jump in with two feet to take the test. Continue reading

The Second Life


Aging is such a frightening thing for many people.  Rightly so if you do not prepare for it.  This is the period when everything is breaking down, some more quickly than others.  But it is usually the lost of health and loneliness that are the worst to bear.  Save yourself with a new second life.

Worrying and being afraid will not take aging away.  It is a natural process we have to go through.  The best defense is in managing it to the best of our ability by preparing for it.

At the heights of our lives, there are more things that consume our time and energy aptly summed up by this typical “Wheel of Life” chart on the top left.  (Click on the image to enlarge.)

This is very often used by life coaches to help coachees determine the areas of satisfaction and importance to set goals. Continue reading

Measure Coaching Success


In the past few months coaching seems to have gained some prominence in Singapore especially since the government started talking about upgrading skills with more focus on soft skills.  This is indeed good news for coaches although the focus appears to be more on executive coaching.  However, in gaining on soft skills, life coaching would seem more appropriate.

In spite of the reports in the Straits Times on 20 March 2010 acknowledging the successes of coaching there remains the question of its effectiveness in creating awareness. Continue reading

When is your turning point?


When someone undergoes a 360 degree change it is when some major mis-happening has occurred in their lives.  The turning point is that crucial moment of realization when your whole world is turned upside down.  You are then forced to think about what is important in your life, what is your purpose, and so forth.

No one reflects much about their lives when the going is smooth; you have a good job, a fantastic marriage, a loving family, kids and all.  What else would you ask for?  Then the unthinkable happens.  It could be losing your job, a failed marriage, a love one died or you suddenly have a heart attack.  The big question comes up: what is my life all about?  The soul-searching journey begins but it is hard for you have never done anything like this before.  You become nervous and lost.  Then come the depression you do not know how to get rid of.  Desperation could cause you to take the next available boat not caring the destination it is heading.  You take a chance and that could lead you into more unhappiness. Continue reading

Everything Starts with You


No matter the outcome is good or bad, everything starts with you.  If you think it is good, it is good and if you think it is bad, it would not turn out good.  I am sure you have heard this: what you think is what you are.  That is precisely why coaching always starts working on you first and primarily the way you think.

Coaching works on the inner self: self-awareness, self-reflection, self-management and self-direction.  The focal point in coaching is on creations – of visions, ideas, solutions, plans, actions – all towards uplifting and inspiring thoughts.  Remember, negativity saps your energy while positivity energizes you.  The focus on new inspiring goals propels you forward.

I have the opportunity to spend an entire day with my cousin’s children.  Something I must say I have never done before for some strange reason.  It turned out to be very insightful and interesting day.  They are lovely kids although when they started on their tricks you wonder why you have ever thought them wonderful.  At ages 5 and 8, they could tire you out easily with endless questions and amazing observational power. Continue reading

Cultural Differences in Parenting


Cultural differences have been a talking point as far back as I can remember and why should it be any different in parenting?  Personally I believe the differences are more apparent than the similarities seemly because we, human beings, rather like to differentiate for the sake of an argument.  Without the differences, what is there to talk about?

In reality, regardless of race, religion and nationality we all share the same feelings, wants and needs of being loved and respected.  Any other differences are shaped by societal expectations, behaviours and conditioning.

I was having coffee with a couple of friends a few days ago: Dolly Yeo, my partner at Global Coach Connect and Nadine Auzanneau, French by birth but is more of an international citizen having lived outside of France in several countries for 20 years . Continue reading

Watch Out! Others could sniff you out


Many people hide behind social masks – sometimes several – as a means to protect themselves from harm.  Truth is these masks are causing more damage than they are shields.  They prevent you from knowing your true self.  The self-denial is so strong that it reduces your ability to handle problems.  This happens when we lack the self-confidence in being our authentic selves.

Being genuine and sincere seem so basic in human connections but there will always be excuses in not exercising them.  In almost all sales training, we are taught to be genuine and sincere.  However, most choose not to be out of fear that the potential customer would reject their services or products. Continue reading

“Don’t live someone else’s dreams”


This sounds perfectly reasonable but yet we often live someone else’s dreams without realizing it because we never question ourselves deeply enough.  How often is it that even the most intelligent of persons would say they did this or that because their parents wanted them to.  Or that, everyone thinks that he/she is good at doing this so that is what he/she landed up doing.  It is sad but true.

If we are not living the lives of others, we are imposing others to live the lives we would have like to live.  When I hear parents say, “I didn’t have the opportunity to learn to play the piano when I was a child.  Now that I have the means, I am sending my son to piano lessons.” , I feel sorry for the child.   No consideration is given to whether her son is interested in playing the piano.  So now the son is stressed out having to go for the lessons weekly and need to be reminded frequently to practise the pieces.  It is no wonder children today is feeling the pressure.  The parents’ defense is always “I’m doing that for their own good.”. Continue reading

When Nice is not so Nice


We are taught from young to be nice but it is not always appropriate to be nice.  For instance, your parents do not always appear to be nice when they want you to do something that is perceived to be for your own good or, when your teacher lectures you for not doing your homework and, the list goes on.  They are practicing nice by being not so nice.

However, when we start making friends, we very often refrain from saying things that may upset them for fear of losing their friendship.  We are always trying to be nice. Well, if we are genuine friends we would have to learn to confront difficult situations without resorting to be being nice and burying the less than welcome truth. Continue reading

Are you a Great Trainer?


I never really thought about what makes a good trainer until I attended the T. Harv Eker’s “Train the Trainer” 5-day training at the Singapore Expo from 27-31 January 2010 organized by Success Resources.

That was an awesome experience! The energy that vibrated the entire conference room filled with nearly 300 people was so amazing.  Blair Singer, the master coach at the training, was extremely inspiring.  He was able to hold the attention of the participants throughout those five days from nine in the morning right into the night ending close to midnight.  That is not something you and I could easily do without some intensive training.  He gave some very interesting tips and allowed everyone the opportunity to practise what were taught.

You could actually see and feel the transformation in the participants; on the first day everyone was sober, serious and purposeful but all left, at the end of five days appearing more joyful, confident, inspired, liberated and energized. Not only is Blair Singer a fantastic presence on stage during the training, he also comes across as being very authentic, filled with a passion for teaching and sharing. Continue reading

Instant Gratification ==>Irresponsibility?


Over the past two days I have been talking to several people about coaching.  One of the more commonly asked question was “Can you guarantee results?”.  Now, that is when the thought came “Instant Gratification = Irresponsibility”.  Why do I say that?

Look around you, everybody seems to go for instant gratification.  Patience – waiting and working for results – is no longer seen as values.  Instead, if you cannot delivery within the time expected (which is normally super short), you are out of the game.  Everything is about speed.  I, too, am one of those and I am resolving to change this mindset.

While some things are best done by others, there are also things that could never be done by others.  You could not for example get others to remember for you, learn for you, practise for you and, aha, decide for you.  The last is something we unfortunately do – consciously or unconsciously – because it is easier. Continue reading

Taking Action!


Procrastination is probably one of the worst enemies in personal transformation and coaching helps to jump over this obstacle.

In the words of Norman Vincent Peale, one of my first motivators:

Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear.

So when you procrastinate, you are inactive and the root cause may be something we are afraid to ask ourselves.  Maybe that is the self-preservation at work – we do not like to see what we perceive as the ugliness in us.  See not the ugliness but the opportunity to become better.

Successful leaders and coaches will tell you to take full responsibility of your own actions be they successes or failures.  Only when we are honest with ourselves are we able to determine the areas we need to change for the better. Continue reading