The benefits of working towards success do not have to be at the expense of our peace of mind or complete exhaustion. The good news is that achieving just three things in life can be enough to attain a clear and purposeful direction. Glen Cossar, a business planner and life coach, shares real-life stories combined with practical tools that encourage happiness seekers to simplify choices and follow specific steps that allow attainment of goals and joy. While demonstrating how to become strategic instead of fearful, Glenn motivates others to focus decisions and actions, create a clear plan of action, and apply a values-based review of the plan to ensure its effectiveness. Included is valuable insight on the magic of three things, why speed bumps slow us down, whether emotions are useful or important, how to set boundaries, and why now is a great time for everything. In this intuitive guidebook, a business planner and life coach offers stories and tools that inspire a transformation in thinking that ultimately allows attainment of a life filled with unimaginational successes and joys.
|Publisher:||Balboa Press Australia|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.12(d)|
Read an Excerpt
YES, I CAN HANDLE THREE THINGS FOR NOW
Throughout the book, I provide examples of how real people and events have successfully used my approach of "Three things for now" and my coaching techniques. What I have included are insights into what I see people experience in their everyday lives through my career and consulting business over the past few years.
I present some personal stories to make my approach more relatable. Whilst each story is completely fictional, the scenarios these characters find themselves in are based on real-life occurrences I have had the privilege of witnessing and being part of. I have changed names, blended situations, changed business names, and combined some aspects of different clients so that what is presented are "composite" characterisations of the real people I have shared many life experiences with. I value the trust afforded to me by others, and I have not shared any information provided to me personally as I respect the privacy and confidentiality entrusted to me. For this reason, the composite character of "Tom" gets a big serve, as do a few others. Try not to judge them too harshly, or even at all.
Some clients don't always see things to fruition because they move on at their own pace or stall for long periods, which is natural and normal. Whilst many achieve success, continuity is not always the final outcome. With other clients, we pick up and start part way through a process. I have combined these for a complete example, specific event, or story here for the book. So these real situations are not written exactly as they were experienced. I have also added or taken away some aspects of the shared experiences whilst working on a client's business or life plan, so the intended outcome is my client's alone. If you do recognise yourself, ssshhhhh, don't tell anyone. It is purely coincidental and not intended, or I have yet to have the pleasure of meeting you.
* How to Use This Book for Your Own Success
Summaries and Tools
You will note that each chapter has a summary. This is a place where readers can jump ahead, progress their individual plans and actions, and then return to the broader text to explore each chapter in greater detail. This detail adds to the summary and, hopefully, strikes a chord of resonance with you, enabling you to put your plans into action. Chapter 4 details several specific, practical tools I advocate for all readers. Feel welcome to jump forward and backward across each chapter as you are interested in what I offer. You may simply explore my characters and their adventures in goal setting and success achievement. I hope readers treat this book as a resource to access regularly as they experience changes in their lives and when specific matters present themselves.
A Whole and Happy Life Is not Segmented nor Compartmentalised
My approach applies equally to business planning and life coaching, so please consider each example as fitting perfectly with your personal focus at relevant times in your life. I do this purposely because I feel every individual is complex and whole, and cannot be separated from work and play. Contrary to some popular beliefs that such separation is necessary to better manage our busy lives, I believe in embracing the whole person, living with integrity, and seeking balance as the way to success.
You may be curious regarding chapter 6, "Love and Relationships," and how it possibly relates to business planning. But believe me, relationships are complex, and no more so than when running a business. The skills of communication and empathy relate strongly to both personal and business situations, particularly when many fumble and fail. So I offer suggestions that recognise our wholeness and remove the need to block out the workday/ workweek from our lives in order to relax. With a different perspective on how to live life to the full and make a good living income at the same time. I contend that we need not make these mythical separations, nor should we try to segment ourselves. We are more capable, resilient, and creative when we access all our experiences and skills together and live as a complete and whole person. And so, with these thoughts, this book asked to be written, and who am I to contradict a book, right?
A Narrative for Success
I offer these narratives as examples to be read as if they might relate to your own circumstances. Please take time to consider the examples offered and the positive steps embedded in each story. If any of the tools and methods are relevant to your current situation, I am happy you can make use of them. Each chapter has something to offer and relates to issues that affect us all, either in our business dealings, in our personal lives, or both.
The tools referred to earlier are being used by the real characters portrayed as fiction by me in these pages and they are improving and enhancing their lives. Whilst not always spelled out, you may spot them being used in my stories, and this may give you ideas of how to make the best use of them. Adaptations are always a great way to use tools and guides and to move forward with your own style, so please feel welcome to adapt anything I suggest here.
If you do read from cover to cover, I hope you recognise a path that took me from a feeling of helplessness in my own life to one of contentment. Much of what I write is a reflection of myself as much as an insight given to me by others. We all have many lessons to benefit from during our lives. These lessons often appear unexpectedly, but I believe purposefully. Our teachers may not be obvious either, because they are disguised as friends, combatants, acquaintances, work colleagues, and the like. These life teachers look like the local greengrocer or DVD store owner, or maybe our neighbour or that mum who helps out at the BBQ fundraiser every spring. Sometimes they look just like us. If we are awake and aware of these teachers, the lesson may be more of a delightful realisation than a harsh wake-up call. Embrace it, and you will be delighted that someone has given you a wonderful and lasting gift.
I hope my stories and words offer some engagement and insight into another perspective worth considering.
Hold on, Tom, Just Hold On
People often just hold on to their current positions in life, can't see a way forward, and they are in fear of falling backwards. I feel there is always an option to explore that brings us back to progress. A few examples may show better what I mean.
My first example is Tom and his unique business needs. But this could be you in your business and/or life adventure. You simply need to change the field of business or topic to suit yourself. Tom grapples with this new task of planning for the future as a way to finally start doing the things he always wanted to do but could not decide what to do first. Until he discovered some timely advice about three things!
Tom ran a great lawn-mowing business and was very proud of his achievements to date. However, he was not happy about how much work he was doing and how lost he felt. Tom did a lot of self-talk and knew positive thinking was a real thing. But no matter how much he told himself, "Hold on, Tom, just hold on," it did not make him feel any better. Nor was his business improving as a result.
Tom reached out for some acknowledgement of what he was feeling and had trouble finding someone with whom he could talk about it. He was looking for someone he could sit with and discuss what he was experiencing. This was something he desperately needed. He knew several friends who were always there for him, but they also had lots of unwanted advice. Right now, the last thing he wanted was to feel like he had failed because he did not follow their "good advice." He also did not want to confirm what he felt and feared most ... that he could do nothing right. Tom felt trapped and was very unhappy.
Past advice from close friends had always been given with love and support in mind, but its impact on Tom was always devastating. He wondered, "How can I be so dumb when all my friends can cope so well? How did I turn out so bad, so stupid?"
Tom, of course, was making things worse by worrying about his difficulties, and this was not helping him to cope. He knew that because a previous counsellor had told him so. But this was what he did when he overwhelmed with the everyday and often complex tasks of just living in our modern world.
But if Tom could bring himself to make a start with a few simple steps, I felt he could not only make his life a lot easier, he could also bring his business to the level of success he really wanted. Tom was soon to learn that three things for now were enough, not only for his business, but also for his life. Tom also did not need to compromise on either the quality or the pace of his progress.
Too many things all at once, can be overwhelming when you are not prepared, or in recovery from a previous trauma. Life was not supposed to be this hard, was it? Surely not.
Three things for Tom to Think About
Tom and I got up and went for a walk, the day was bright and sunny and Tom made a comment along the lines that, "Today was far too chipper and cheerful for the way he was feeling and this was just not fair." That day we discussed his situation over a coffee and we talked about what he felt was impacting on him right now, and what he felt was preventing him from moving forward. Tom had struggled with too many things for far too long and was very tired.
As well as needing a weekend of rest and recreation, what he needed most was a new way of doing things.
Tom was not sure what I could do for him, because as he put it; "Glenn, mate it's not rocket surgery you know." To which I must have looked a little puzzled and he then added; "You know, a bit like combining rocket science and brain surgery, they are complicated things Glenn. Cutting grass is not complex, but it has provided me with a living, and I do enjoy the outdoors and working for myself. If I apply myself it can be with hard work and I take the responsibility very seriously for my customers." I chuckled at the joke and made a note to use this one again sometime, then I asked Tom the following Three things:
1. What would the best of Tom look like in 5 to 10 years into the future, achieving what, doing what, and how?
2. What, right now, is getting in the way of this?
3. How much are you prepared to work on this, to get what you want?
Yes, you may have heard these, or similar, questions before, but I have a different way of dealing with them. See later in the book for both the questions again and the answers, no I won't tell you what page, you need to find it yourself. Hint: it's about 40 pages away, with some interesting stuff in between.
Tom and I talked a bit more about how he feels about himself and his situation and if he had ever thought about adopting a mentor or a personal coach. "No, I have always searched my own thoughts and felt that I did not need anyone telling me what to do ... Ah thanks." Was Tom's initial answer. Said with a smile.
I suggested to Tom that this is very common thinking, and that whilst help is often available, a large number of people never seek help or they only ask for help indirectly whilst raising general topics with friends and acquaintances. This meant people were not facing their issues directly with someone who could assist them in a time of need.
Sadly, some never ask for help at all, even at a time of crisis and when things can only get worse, without intervention!
I discussed, with Tom, that some popular ideas about coaching were not about telling people what to do and more about supporting people to determine their own actions and plans. The familiar image of a hard talking football coach or even a personal trainer yelling in the hapless exerciser's ear, whilst jogging along the treadmill, are some that come to mind.
Not all personal trainers are as heavy handed of course and they do achieve great results in a much more dignified way by offering "Directive Support" or by being a "Coach" and not someone you must take orders from in a boot camp.
But I still have that image of the poor, out-of-condition jogger and his screaming coach by his side counting every calorie and every footstep. Yiiikes, that would certainly piss me off and prompt me to say, as Tom did at my first try of offering help; "Ah ... no thanks mate, I got this."
Asking for Help, can be More Difficult Than Offering it. Life-Coaching may Help
Directive Support is my preferred way to go. This is how I describe my approach to Life-Coaching as well.
In a true team-focused approach, it is possible for people to enlist a coach to work on a range of issues applicable to a business as small as a sole trader and for them to have a very effective Business-Plan, that is every bit as detailed as one for a larger corporation. Similarly, a very personal Life-Plan for a single person still allows them have all the control, along with all the responsibility for their own success.
And yes, they take responsibility for all their failures as well as their success.
Tom was very quick to dismiss the need for always seeking help by saying; "I am my own person, I don't appreciate being told, how to live my life, and I know what is best for me, what would you know about me anyway?" and "How are you able to know what I need most? Do you think you can read my mind?" Tom was not being rude at all, he was just letting me know how he felt. I listened carefully to his concerns.
This was something I had seen and heard many times before, but just as every person is different, so too are all coaching opportunities different and each person is entitled to be respected not only for them as a person, but also for their story and how their situation has evolved for them.
"You will notice, I only ever do things once!" said Charles
I shall come back to Tom a little later, but for now it is a good place to explore a point of view held by many but one that is not sustainable for real success.
Consistency as a guide for perfection, was a view held emphatically by Charles for his business dealings and was based on his own personal values. But it demonstrates how, by even holding good values, it is possible to make big mistakes.
"Don't change horses when crossing a river" so said a wise general in the heat of battle, (based on an ancient proverb, where the source and author is apparently, lost in time)
Accepting help is not always an easy thing to do, especially when we have a history of strength and achievement. For most people we expect that a successful life continues for as long as we do, with one success following others, because ... well ... "It worked so well before, why not again!" Charles would announce this often so that everyone could benefit from his lessons. Somehow there are people who do not believe him. Charles that is.
Charles had been a successful surgeon for over 25 years at a major private hospital and had fallen into a particular view of life based on his own perspective. This single minded view was that only one style of work or approach can suit every situation he met in life. He felt and believed strongly, that when applied with hard work and dedication his style based on "fear and consistency" will always succeed.
I refer to this observation as a "pattern of success". Unfortunately, not all situations respond well to a single methodology, no matter how successful it has been in the past and to blindly replicate a proven pattern without assessment of what is different, can have disastrous results, no matter how comfortable it feels.
Fear, and the Path to Disaster
Charles, refused to see reason when disciplining his junior surgeons and subsequently, had to answer to his Hospital Board for a grievance of harassment against him.
What worked well for Charles in the past was to bully staff and stakeholders by using intimidating language and raised voices to coerce others to his point of view and for them to accept his decisions without question. He would often refer to his prior success. His favorite quote was "I value proven results. If you want to end a patient's life by practicing new unproven techniques then this line of work is not for you!" At times he felt he needed to be very firm and would raise his voice and almost scream "Look if I have to tell you this one more time, it's time for you to think about washing bed pans for a career, because without the self-discipline I am teaching you, you have no hope of becoming a surgeon. If you don't like what you are hearing, I suggest you finish up now! No. I mean it, get out of my sight. This is not a place for slackers I have lives to save."
Excerpted from "Yes. I Can Handle Three Things, for Now"
Copyright © 2017 Glenn Cossar.
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Yes, I Can Handle Three Things for Now, 1,
Chapter 2: Setting up a Plan – "Why do I need to do this again?", 131,
Chapter 3: Why Don't People Understand me? Why Don't I Understand Them?, 181,
Chapter 4: Some Great Tools, I Always Knew About but Don't use, as Often as I Should or Could, 283,
Chapter 5: Confidence, Courage and Bravery, 371,
Chapter 6: Love and Relationships, 403,
Chapter 7: Bullies, Because They are Everywhere, 435,
Chapter 8: It's Never too Late Now is a Great Time for Everything, 477,
Chapter 9: My Amazing Life, So Far, 507,
Post Script - My Final Three Values – for Me to Live By, 519,
About the Author, 525,