So what have you learned in the last 30 years?

I gave a speech in Buenos Aires last week and was asked to share with folks my ‘bottom line’ on what I have learned coaching people over the past 30 years. Here was the list off the top of my head. On re-reading it, I think this is pretty much the whole story for me. What is your list? Please send it along as a comment.

  • Life is choices. At the end, your life story is just a record of the choices we made.
  • Choices are commitments—not decisions. Gravity doesn’t care why you jumped.
  • Moods are excuses for being less than we are. They blind us to reality and keep us coping with circumstances and whatever else we think is causing our moods.
  • We create our own reality. Life is pretty much what we say it is.
  • Intentions and vision are the same. They are where we come from, the context for whatever it is we are doing.
  • If you want to know what you intend, look at your results. The alternative is to deny our power and responsibility.
  • Possibilities aren’t real—they are created. If they were real, they would be examples.
  • We always get what we resist. Both proponents and opponents of change are frequently pushing in the same direction.
  • Control always produces what we don’t want. It’s the opposite of surrender and generally is grounded in the belief that we are choosing (when in fact, we are just resisting).
  • Clever self-serving people always lose in the end. This is more a matter of faith than actual learning. There are still a lot of slimy scumbags who look like they are ahead for the moment.
  • The best strategy for success is having a sense of humor, acceptance, gratitude and praying for humility.
  • The essence of leadership (and coaching) is love. It’s all about giving people space to be the way they are, as well as space to change.
  • Love is a choice. Therefore, love is a commitment (maybe ‘the’ commitment).

And finally, the list would not be complete without adding that I have learned that no matter how much I have learned, I am still a beginner and there is at least this much

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