Too many ‘Characters’, not enough character!

My favourite book affirms that, “from the abundance of the heart,  our mouth will speak.”

You need only take a look around you today to realize that the conversations we hear today are nothing like the conversations our granparents or our great grandparents used to have.

So much has changed in terms of our values and the character with which we live our lives!

I walk into schools on a regular basis and the rate at which the values have gone from held with esteem and high regard to completely absent is shocking! I was training in a school in Michell’s Plein this last week and it broke my heart to see surveillance cameras in the classroom. Oh how far we as a society have fallen to have to resort to those measures. Okay granted it was a government school in the drug and gang-ridden area of Cape Town know as the Cape Flats but I hear that the scenario in the more well to do areas of South Africa aren’t very much different.

A society that cuts itself off from its youth severs its lifeline; it is condemned to bleed to death,” said Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General, in an address to the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth.

I have read so many Facebook posts, articles and news reports recently about individuals who have spoken out for what once was held to be morally right, only to be lambasted and ridiculed for being intolerant of others. However as soon as that particular minority group speaks out criticising our age-old character values we hold to be right and true… then it’s not called intolerance then it is esteemed to be freedom of speech and a stand for human rights???

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Case in point,  I read an article about a group of atheists who were suing the government of New York for allowing the steel girder cross (pictured above,) which fellow christians used as a symbol for how they banded together in prayer for all those at ground zero during 911, to be included in the 911 museum because it offended them. The article goes on to speak about how these atheists were outraged at the courts decision to throw out their law suit.

I ask you,  when did things like crack dolls in Toys R Us, or shows like ‘Black Sails’ or ‘Game of Thrones’ become acceptable entertainment or viewing for our youngsters but having faith frowned upon or even spurned? How did the gesture of opening the door for a lady or paying for the bill become considered a slap in the face of a modern-day woman, but bedding 3 women in one night the mark of a real man? Finally, how did the average age for underage sex and experimentation with drugs drop so drastically from around 17/18 to 14/15 in the last 10 years?

Because behaviours ignored are habits taught!

I have come to realize that the state of a nations youth is a good thermometer gauge for how well the nation itself is doing and where it is heading.

I strongly believe that it is time for us (the parents, teachers, leaders and elders of our nations,) to raise the bar regarding what we believe to be right and true,  to reaffirm the much needed values and character that we once held in our heart to be true, before the age of convenience and what’s-in-it-for-me for me became the norm.

It’s about time our nations once again became Nations of Character… not merely nations full of characters!

Your bud and fellow hero’s in the youth…

Wez and Estela 😉

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Posted in Coaching

Moving Forwards by learning to Stop!

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The most powerful thing I have learned over the last 10 years of studying and teaching high performance development is the habit of learning to stop!

There are 2 areas where rather than doing, learning to stop is more effective and in most cases, increases your results exponentially!

1) Rather than focussing on a ‘to do’ list, very often just developing a ‘stop doing’ list is what is needed. The difference between being efficient (that is ‘doing things right’,) and becoming effective (that is ‘doing the right thing’,) is MASSIVE! By us identifying those activities that are not effective and those habits that sabotage our results we can take our performance to the next level!

Often, the easiest way to render a person ineffective is just to keep them busy!

Learn to say no to the trifles & the bad habits and you will live a more fulfilling,  prosperous life!

2) In order to practice the ‘Habit of saying No’ (discussed in number 1 above), we have to make a habit of weekly setting time aside to STOP, take a breath and reassess our efforts, our energy & our resources.

Our efforts speaks of what pursuits we have on the go; that could be projects, papers or deals still on the table.

Our energy speaks of what steps or actions we have taken and what results we have gotten in return for them. Today’s business reality is that we need to do things better, faster for less. If we cannot do that, we cannot compete.

Our resources speaks of any assets we currently have on hand which we can deploy in order to speed up or improve our results.

When we develop the habit of setting time aside weekly and take time to STOP and look at all of these, we find ourselves in a better space both mentally as well as physically to make better decisions!

Develop the habit of pausing and reflecting & you will amaze yourself by the synergy created therefrom!

Of course there is no better way to consistently practice this than employing the services of a performance coach!

Just a thought 😉

Your friends and hero’s at heart…
Wez& Estela

Posted in Coaching, Goal setting, Leadership, Life, Management, Sales, Service, Subconscious, Westley Sorgente | Tagged

The power of the Dale Carnegie Course in today’s world!

These are actual video testimonies (from both young & old graduates) regarding the amazing impact & growth a person experiences when doing the Dale Carnegie Course!

For those of you who have not heard, I am busy certifying to become an internationally accredited Dale Carnegie Trainer & I can say hands down that there is no better course (for it’s price) than the Skills for Success – Dale Carnegie Course in order to:

– Build Greater Self Confidence!
– Strengthen Your People Skills!
– Enhance Your Communication Skills!
– Develop Your Leadership Skills!
– & Reduce Your Stress & Improve Your Attitude!

Enjoy!

Video | Posted on by

Majoring in the MINORS!

ImageSo I was coaching a friend the other day & she was relaying to me all the issues and challenges she was having in life currently and how the progress just seems to be almost 2 steps forward and 3 steps back! She did this with so much emotion that she could have won an Oscar for her performance.

Then in the next breath, without hardly any emotion and almost as an aside, she responded to my question of, “So let me be clear, absolutely nothing is going well at all then?” with, “Well, not everything, I did land a major event which should see me through for the month.”

How come we always seem to MAJOR on the Minor things, the things that get us stressed & down, & yet so often fail to own, or even at times just neglect all the victories, memories & monuments which have the God-given power to sustain us when the going gets tough!

I think it is time we learn to MAJOR in the so-called Minor victories… instead of Majoring in those issues that seem to be major, but in the greater scheme of things matters very little in life!

“To all the other dreamers out there, don’t ever stop or let the world’s negativity disenchant you or your spirit. If you surround yourself with love and the right people, anything is possible.”

– Adam Green –

The minute we understand that our brain is wired in such a way that whatever we give priority to will get attention and the much-needed neurological resources to bring it to front-of-mind, we will choose to focus differently. Tony Robbins puts it best. He says, “wherever your focus goes, your energy flows!”

When we constantly get worked up with worry, concern and focus on the negative, temporary situations and stresses of life, we deplete our brain of precious, needed resources which, truth be told, we need in order to perform at our best.

One of the reasons that 97% of every living human being will repeat 2013 in this next year coming, is because only 3% will choose to celebrate the little successes and ignore the failures and so-called general stresses of life which they cannot do anything about! This immediately moves a person’s brain from a state of reacting and putting out fires to one of strategizing in order to proactively ignore the scenarios which nothing can be done about, and focus on doing something to improve the scenarios that they can change!

The choice is yours. Next year can in fact be far different, but only if you choose to give yourself credit where credit is due, celebrate the little victories and refuse to Major in the Minors!

Just a thought ;)

Your fellow hero and friends…

Wez & Estela

Posted in Brain Plasticity, Coaching, Goal setting, Leadership, Life, Westley Sorgente | Tagged , , , , , ,

To THINK or not to THINK… “what was the QUESTION again???”

QuestionsSo… Spring has Sprung here in the beautiful city of Cape Town; South Africa and what an incredibly sunny and refreshing week it has turned out to be!

Last week saw the onslaught of one of the most torrential down-pours of rain and cold to date. The irony of it all being that if you look out any window today, instead of water and mud and grey storm clouds you see green grass, weaver birds in the trees and after a deep breath… a fresh, clean breeze blowing in the air.

Even though Spring happens to fall after the onslaught of Winter on our calendar, we as people seem to welcome this change in the season as a symbol of the ushering in of a fresher, warmer and brighter season. This is the time of year when mom’s clean house, when individuals take stock and determine to build better; both mentally and figuratively.

So the question I am asking today is how do we build better?

There are a number of suggestions I as a coach could make to you; ranging from ‘Taking 100% responsibility for your life’, to having a ‘Clear, vivid, powerful call to Purpose or Dream’, or even rather than concentrating on a ‘To Do’ list, rather start working on a ‘to Stop Doing’ list.

But by far the BIGGEST lesson I am still learning, (yes, I said ‘I’ am still learning… believe it or not, I too struggle! I find it humorous, to think that people find it so hard to be believe that even though I am a coach; I too am challenged and even struggle with these life-principles myself! In fact, that is the very reason why I have a number of mentors and coaches myself!)

…anyway; as I was saying, the BIGGEST lesson I am learning (as this is, and always WILL be an on-going process till the day I die,) is that of making sure that I actively participate in my daily decision making processes!

‘The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.’ – Marcus Aurelius –

I am well known by all my clients and friends for pointing out that 75% of a person’s day is lived at a sub-conscious level! That is that 75% of our average everyday decisions that we take, we don’t even consciously think about!

When was the last time, after doing something, saying something (or even more importantly,) thinking something… did you ask any of the following three questions:

  • Why did I choose to do/say/think that?
  • Why did I choose to do/say/think (it) that way?
  • Is there a better way to do/say/think (about) that?

I have heard it said that the ‘quality of one’s life is determined by the quality of questions one asks him/herself!’

Imagine how much differently our lives would turn out if we actually started taking a pause to think, reflect and review before we impulsively did, spoke or thought?

In his book, ‘The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth’, John speaks about the ‘Law of Reflection’ and the fact that taking time to pause, allows growth to catch up with you. Don’t you think it’s about time to stop and take time to; as Joyce Meyers says in her book, ‘Battlefield of the Mind’… ‘Start Thinking about what you are Thinking about!’

Just a thought ;)

Your fellow hero and friends…

Wez & Estela

Posted in Brain Plasticity, Change management, Coaching, Mind, NLP, Subconscious, Westley Sorgente, Youth | Tagged , , ,

‘EEZY PEEZY… Yeah RIGHT!’

StormSo, I am sitting in a training a while ago, and the speaker turns to us and says something we all will be quick to say we already know, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that I have personally never articulated and master-minded it properly…

“Life is NOT meant to be EASY!”

Have you ever thought of life as ‘EASY’?

We would be lying if any of us had to answer no! How many times I have fought because I have felt my so-called rights were transgressed and complained about the fact that ‘things were not supposed to turn out this way.’ If I had a dollar for every time I have uttered the words, “But I have worked so hard… I don’t deserve this… IT’S NOT FAIR!”

At some point in time… everybody has been there and lost it, because ‘Life has treated them unfairly!’ (Or so we have thought?)

The speaker went on to complete his thought…

” Life is not meant to be easy and life is not going to get any better either!”

Think about it, in all the time you as an individual have been alive… has life gotten any easier? If you were truthful, you would have to agree with this statement and admit that nope… if anything, it has gotten harder.

As a kid we worried about falling down when we ran, we worried about not passing the year or what clothes we should wear etc. In Varsity and college, the work just continues to get harder, the competition gets tougher and life just keeps on demanding more of you!

If you have entered the job market, you realize that hours get longer, the luxury of free time gets less and less, and that little bit we do have, we find ourselves lumming on the sofa or asleep in bed just trying to catch up on the much-needed rest and sleep we so desperately need. On top of that, we are still expected to fulfill our responsibilities at the end of the month… rent, bills, credit cards etc.

Add a wife/husband and a couple of kids to that mix and Oh Boy!!!

Life certainly DOES NOT get any EASIER!

So then why, do we as individuals, seem to act as though it should?

When it comes to coaching, I have always noticed that there is always one vital determining factor of whether a prospective client will sign on with me, or whether they move on…

…whether or not that they can accept that ‘EXCUSES do not HELP and that in order to move forward… they need to take 100% responsibility for their life!’

Anybody who knows me, will be able to tell you that I am not one to coddle you or sugar coat the truth. My personality and coaching style is very much ‘in-your-face… but on-your-side’!

As champions, we need to accept that life is not designed to get better any more than an eagle is designed to pick for scraps on the floor with chickens! We have been designed as champions to overcome, to grow stronger and to adapt to the ever-increasing demands life makes on us!

Life does not get better… WE GET BETTER at doing life!

And the only way that can happen is if we make peace with that fact, accept 100% responsibility for our response to whatever happens (responsibility = our ability to respond correctly to external factors and circumstances,) and when life hands you lemons… set up shop and heck; start a lemonade franchise! [Hee-Hee.] 

Just a thought ;)

Your fellow hero and friends…

Wez & Estela

Posted in Adolescent, Change management, Coaching, Dreams, Failure, Goal setting, Leadership, Life, Subconscious, Westley Sorgente | Tagged , ,

‘Where have all the DREAMERS gone?’

dream“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” – Edgar Allan Poe –

Do you remember a time in your life where a towel out of the wash basket and a clothes peg was all that was needed to transform you from an ordinary Joe Soap into Superman or even Batman [insert your choice of favorite hero here?] Or if as a woman reading this, your mom’s high heels, old handbag and a hand-me-down tube of lipstick and hay-presto… a beautiful fairy-tale princess!

The memories of youth are often filled with daring feats of greatness and the desire to matter, to contribute to do something phenomenal… and then enter the adult phase of life!

I am not sure quite what happens, but it seems a shame to me; whether it be those in positions of authority, which we respect urging us to grow up, to be responsible and realistic. Or the fact that by the time one has turned 21 as a person we have heard the words, “Don’t do that!” or “You can’t!” like a gazzillion times!

Whatever the reason the bottom-line seems to be that unless we as individuals intentionally choose to ignore or even at times when needed, blatantly reject any feedback from the outside that would urge us to give up dreaming and pursuing the things in life that seem to be impossible… we will slowly yet gradually join the treadmill of the majority of people just existing, doing day-to-day life.

The statistics are out: Over 70% of employees in the United States are dissatisfied with their jobs according to Forbes. That means that only a staggering 30% of the total population are happy. That isn’t even mentioning the shocking percentage of people who had the courage to pursue their dreams! I believe that number is somewhere around the 1-3% of everybody alive!

I think the quote from the movie, ‘Tuck Everlasting’ summarizes my thoughts of the dangers of living a dreamless life! The character Tuck turns to Winnie and he says;

“Do not fear death, but rather the unlived life. You don’t have to live forever. You just have to live.”

Whatever the excuse; psychology has proved a definite link between those people who have achieved much and shaped the world as we know it… and their ability to tap into their subconscious, creative brain and DREAM BIG!

In order to dare the impossible, you first have to be able to SEE the impossible subconsciously because, as my favorite book mentions, “faith is the substance of things hoped for… the evidence of things not yet seen!”

Just a thought ;)

Your fellow hero and friends…

Wez & Estela

Posted in Adolescent, Coaching, Dreams, Goal setting, Life, Mind, Purpose, Subconscious, Westley Sorgente, Youth | Tagged , , , , ,