In Reflection (2017-2019): Life Coaching

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It has now been over two years and more than 3,000 conversations with people from all over the world.  My pursuit of life coaching was all sparked from one question.  How can I create a more meaningful influence through others?  From that question, unimaginable personal growth has followed in its wake.  Before I get into the actual reflection, let me define a few “terms.”  I say “terms” with skepticism for obvious reasons in this day and time.  This is my life, meaning I live and breathe this to the best of my ability.  I practice what I preach with great intention, crazy concept these days, I know (insert winky face emoji for those who understand.)      

That term life coaching for me is just another way of teaching horsemanship to individuals, only without the horse.  The new opportunity challenges me to relate my own experience with horses to others in a way, they not only understand but see things from a different perspective in order to improve their daily life.  Life coaching continues to challenge me to more positively help influence individuals; regardless of their discipline, circumstances, or environment.  In return, leading me to unforeseen growth I couldn’t attain without this new practice. 

The phrase I use to break down the title of life coach to non-horse people is that I am merely a guide to the path of self-mastery.  That is what any worthy discipline is at the end of the day, isn’t it?   Our ability to grow from within ourselves, in order to more positively influence those around us.  That’s how I think of the phrase self-mastery and therefore my definition for what I consider to be the real pursuit of horsemanship. 

What is horsemanship?  It is the endless pursuit of self-mastery through the discipline of horsemanship!  The only way that can be achieved is through intentional work every day; studying, applying, and reflecting upon our day to day experiences and those of the past.  This allows us to continually adjust our future visions and therefore adapt as we continually progress over time.     

This new avenue of personal learning has really been the most humbling experience.  The exposure to so many individuals’ trials and tribulations continue to lead me to an even deeper appreciation for every facet of my own life.  Therefore, leading me to an even greater sense of compassion for each and every individual’s journey through life.    

Through all the learning and growth I have experienced in the past 2 years, the one overwhelming feeling that persists within me is gratitude.  Gratitude for the opportunity to speak to so many individuals on a real meaningful level, trying to deduce some sense out of this life, without any outside agendas or distractions.  I know how hard It is to trust and believe in other individuals to really open up to, in order to speak honestly to what we have experienced through our own perspectives.  For an individual to tell me their truth is a small miracle within my daily life.  I will never take any one of these conversations for granted, I think it is the most meaningful thing in the world!  

This is where my motivation comes from.  The absolute necessity for me to get better on a personal level so I can better serve others.  It is not even a question, I have to!  If I can’t prove results through the actions of my own life, why should anyone reach out to me in the first place, let alone continue to converse with me?  If I don’t continue to get better, how am I supposed to continue to help others?  I can’t expect others to come to me on any level if I don’t continue to get better myself. 

I couldn’t have grown personally without those individuals who continue to openly converse with me.  The individuals who continue to prove their intention through small positive actions in their daily life.  A final thank you to those who continue to believe in me.  Thinking back to the beginning of this journey, it really brings me to tears that people were willing to let me in their life with complete confidence and trust.  

You are my inspiration, showing me the difficult paths each of you continues to endure through to make things just a bit better.  That first step to positive change is no joke, the literal hardest, so to watch you all continue to break through each barrier with such determination, feeds my soul.  I often wonder who gets more from these conversations and when I do think about it, I sure feel like I should be paying others to chat with me.  Thank you for giving me hope, thank you for feeding my soul, and thank you for continuing to force me to get better alongside you!  

Please, continue to reach out to me and those around you.  I challenge you to really listen in order to ask more meaningful questions to find out others’ real truth.  If you do, you will find yourself in them and them in you.  Then, all that’s left is growth together!  Without a doubt, we need each other for that to happen.

Good Writing Is Tough, But Important!

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As I sit here once again, bug eyed at my computer trying to gather my thoughts, I found this to be an appropriate starting point.  The reason being, I have been trying to create some document worthy of posting for far too many months now.  The deeper I go, the more lost and overwhelmed I begin to feel.  That feeling of complete ineptitude, i know all to well, starts to fester from the depths of my soul yet again.  I begin to ask myself the infinite questions stemming around the who, what, why, how, and where?  The harder I try to create a finished product the more my mind begins to whirl downwards into an abyss of nothing productive.  I finally subdue myself to my ignorance and admit defeat……for the time being.  

I find myself drawn back to the keypad or paper to once again have a go at immortal victory over this craft called writing.  I get through one of the seemingly endless rough drafts from days, months, years past thinking maybe, just maybe, I wrote something better then what I thought.  Never the less, i am once again defeated.  I take the boo boo trash of yesterday and immediately send it into oblivion, for no eyes should be doomed to its nothingness.  

There I sit, clean slate and topic on the ready.  I take one deep breath with my eyes closed, imagining how great these thoughts in my head are and just how amazing they may be on paper.  If only the task was that easy and my thoughts matched up with the words in their physical form.  Undeterred, I begin to write about the same matter at the forefront of my consciousness, hoping there will be something presentable before my time on this earth is up.  Depressing, right?

Wrong!  This is what the whole writing process is about.  The struggle to refine ones thoughts into a presentable physical form that not only relates to the individual, but can potentially become timeless to all who cross it’s path.  Maybe, even immortal.  The ability to take from ones own experience, simplify it to the absolute minimal, and present it to the masses in a matter in which all could benefit from it, is a true art.  As with any discipline of self mastery it takes time, deep thought, and tons of effort on a daily basis.  

You are not a prolific writer immediately, just as one is no horseman in 5—10 years.  The more intentional work done towards writing, the better it will become.  I have created countless drafts covering anything and everything most intriguing and confusing to me in hopes to find some new understanding of them.  Ninety nine percent of those help me personally grow within, but at the end of the day i have no product to present to the public to prove my efforts.  That took me a long time to be ok with. 

With every word typed and reread, I become a little bit better.  Little by little, each one of those seemingly clear thoughts in my head start to match up more with the letters splattered out on paper.  When these moments happen, my thoughts are stress tested.  Each test bringing me closer to what my thoughts are actually trying to convey through new platforms.  One correct word, leads to one correct sentence, eventually leading to one clear paragraph even.  Eventually something is edited to the best form I am capable of at that time, exposing me to real growth or sending me back to the beginning to further develop the thought.

The best edited form of the original mental thought transformed into written form, creates clarity of spoken word.  I must be capable of taking a thought from my mind, speak and write about it in such a manner that others can understand my point and perhaps, even relate with their own similar story.  This is proof of understanding and a indicator that I just may be on the correct path. 

As with anything worth pursuing, in order to become better, I must turn it into a discipline to be intentionally practiced daily.  If done so correctly, I may be able to better serve others.   Serve others in unimaginable ways, opening doors to unimaginable paths, to be taken into the future.  No matter what the discipline is, the recipe is always the same.  Time, effort, help, and deep thought.  Sorry no quick “fixes” or “shortcuts” here!   

In parting words, I challenge you to think deeply through writing.  Try to match up your mental thoughts with the physical and oratory counter parts.  Take your thought, expand it, then simplify it to the purest form that still encapsulates the original thought, then repeat.  In the simplest form you can create, see if you can have that version remain true to you, the person across from you, and finally to the masses.  If that happens you have reached the end of the deep thought process, at least for the time being, until your next growth experience.  Then you get to go back and challenge that simplification to see if it still remains true.  In the meantime, move on to your next challenging thought.   

That is the marker of a truly refined thought.  Simple in written or spoken form, infinite in relatable detail; both personal and to the masses.

Beyond The Specific!

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I was recently encouraged to express my feelings on the book entitled Control by Glenn Beck, so here is my attempt.  In short, I believe he summarizes the book perfectly with two quotes on the final page of the text.  One, in his own words, says, “It (a solution) can only be found in the rooms of our homes and the streets of our neighborhoods.  The other quote is from Obama, who says, “When a child opens fire on another child, there’s a hole in that child’s heart that government can’t fill.  Only community and parents and teachers and clergy can fill that hole.”  I couldn’t agree more with those two views, but I believe it goes even one step further than that.  The real solution should be focused on the real culprits, Me and You.

I believe we are responsible on an individual level for each and every negative and positive thing that takes place in the world.  Each and every negative action done by one or more persons was simply a failure of those closest to them.  This could be a lack of positive influence, a lack of action, or just ignoring someone clearly in need. If we live lives of unaware selfishness, we continually add to the deepest issues in the world today.

We all believe that something so tragic could never be done by those closest to us in our lives, and especially not ourselves.  Why couldn’t that be you or me?  A better question yet, why couldn’t we be the ones who went down the same path as those “crazy” negative humans who finally got to a point of taking extreme action?  Take all the positive moments in your life and replace them with all negatives and isolation; before long who knows what each of us could do?

If you can’t imagine any version of reality that could lead you to the darkest of dark places, well, quite frankly, I believe you are currently living in a delusional world of self-righteousness, blaming all the issues in your life or in the world on someone else or something else.  If that is the case, then we are avoiding the truth at the core of the issue: a lack of personal responsibility for all actions in some way, shape, or form.

We all get so caught up in the meaninglessness of our day-to-day schedules that we become self-centered, unaware monsters, oblivious to the people around us.  We ignore those in our lives who need help, guidance, leadership.  We ignore the small moments in which we could make a positive difference.  If this is the case, then we continue to add to the corruption instead of changing it for the better.  We each need to take personal responsibility for influencing all those around us, especially those nearest to us.  It could be as simple as a smile to a passerby or as deep as a heart-to-heart with a loved one about some negative behaviors.

An example from the horse world would be a “problem” horse.  These horses are simply misguided horses.  We could all say that the horse was simply born that way or is beyond help, ignoring that they can all be redirected over time.  The reality of all “problem” horses is that they were created by someone just like you or me. This horse could have been created by one catastrophic event or, more likely, by tiny negative reinforcements eventually getting the horse to respond with extreme negative force. The horse may become dangerous to the point of taking a human life.

Either way, these horses can always be brought back to the realm of a purposeful life full of positive relationships and interactions.  All anyone can do is start from where the horse is currently and build them up from the foundation.  Start with the basics, the very beginning, and work with them from where they are coming from, not where you want or expect them to be.  All they need is guidance from their perspective and a leader to show them the foundation, acknowledging success with small consistent rewards, redirecting them in times of error, and letting them become their own teacher so that they can find the path toward a great life.

Please just try your best to be the positive force in others’ lives. Acknowledge those in need and help where you can.  Don’t leave it to others to make life better; take it upon yourself every day.  The best way to that is a two-fold plan done every day for the rest of your days.

1.)  Become your best self.

2.)  Help others to do the same.

In order to become our best, we need to study, apply, and reflect on how to do this in line with our own interests.  There is no magic, one-route way to become our best self. It is merely a refinement of your daily process.  If you don’t know where to start, either follow your current interests or find a mentor.  We also need to help others by trying to understand their point of view and why they think the way they do.  This is perfect because it allows us to practice what we are personally working on ourselves. The process allows us to further our understanding that everyone we meet is actually our teacher, not our student.

It’s hard to imagine this type of world, but it’s possible.  Don’t get caught up in the small things. Acknowledge them, then move on to the bigger picture.  The positive influence you can have every day on yourself and those nearest you is important.  Accept responsibility, become aware of those around you, and take action to help one person at a time. Start with yourself!