How It All Started – Part Deux! (of 3)

I was ready to become a Coach. Just finish the course, get the accredited Diploma, and off you go setting up your own practice. Simple.

Two months later.

I will never be good enough to do this. I will probably not even get the Diploma. Why am I doing this?

Also.

I am critical of everything I have done with my life. I question my beliefs and my thinking patterns. I am restless and unsure about the future.

This was no longer just a course or a career path, this was my first real foray into personal development. And there were so many layers from past experiences clouding me, that I could not hear or find the answers to the 100’s of questions I asked myself.

I was afraid, anxious, worried, and felt down. All the while still working in a full-time job as a retail manager of a store that was open 364 days a year.

I handed in my notice to fully concentrate on becoming a Coach. I promised them to stay until after Christmas.

A new anxiety rose its loud, obnoxious head. I will have no income from January. The course was finishing end of May. What will I do?

The Irish Lifecoach Institute (ILI) is a top-of-the-range training provider. They knew this was not just happening to me. Lots of students in our course and the years previous had gone through this. They also know, as every properly trained coach does, that we all have the answers to any of our questions, fears, and anxieties within us. With that in mind, they provide platforms within the course to create a space for exploring this.

We were introduced to PCGs (Peer Coaching Groups), where as students we met in groups outside the course, as well as in the course facilitated by a tutor. Then we started coaching each other to get used to the techniques and also to assist the development of one another.

We journaled. We read books from a list on the curriculum that allowed us to learn and explore at the same time. We grew together. I felt privileged to be part of the ILI.

Some of the anxieties and fears dissipated. Some remained. Yet I felt I was discovering a new lifestyle. One that would not lead me to burnout and severe stress attacks like my previous jobs had.

Filled with renewed hope and energy, I relaunched myself into the course, trying to make the best of it one day at a time.

(To Be Continued)

How it all started – Part 1!

Standing behind the counter of the retail unit I managed, I had just served another happy customer.

I particularly liked interacting with the customers and the staff and was pretty good at sales too. I loved the products, and the location was central to the city I lived in.

What I didn’t like was the obsessive focus on all kinds of KPIs and the lack of people management from HQ. Every time we beat a target, the next target would be higher. And the odd time we didn’t reach the target, the Spanish Inquisition would start to find the reason. Well, I say the reason, I meant the culprit(s). Blame had to be apportioned.

Suddenly, I got blurred vision. Black dots in front of my eyes. I also got stabbed in the chest. Repeatedly. At least, that’s what it felt like. I felt dizzy.

I excused myself to the staff member on duty and walked out. I don’t know why, but I did and started walking. I ended up walking the short 7 minutes it takes to get to my GP’s office. The room was cleared and I was taken in immediately.

30 minutes later I was diagnosed with a severe stress attack and was ordered to stay at home for a week. To ensure I complied I was asked for the phone number of HQ. They were informed of the GP’s decision.

The day after I got the call from the head of training of the company. He was checking in with me. I told him what happened and opened up about the likes and dislikes I had in my job as a Store Manager.

He listened and asked several excellent questions that made me feel understood and listened to. As I had worked in Corporate Management before, I asked where he learned those skills. He said he got them from having studied Coaching. I had no idea what he meant. This was early 2006 and I had only heard of coaching in a sports context. He said he would send me a book if that was OK with me.

At the end of my enforced week off, I had finished it. ‘The Seven Habits OF Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey.

Some things in it made sense to me, some of them I dismissed mockingly, and some I felt curious about. So I Googled Coaching. I did some research and started asking questions of my ex-colleagues in the corporate world. I was directed to the Irish Lifecoach Institute.

I applied to do their full Diploma course in Personal & Business Coaching. I got interviewed and accepted. 1 Full Academic Year. It promised to be busy with weekend classes, book assignments, dissertations, journaling, peer-to-peer coaching, Peer Coaching Groups, pro bono clients, assessments, etc…

The course started in October 2006 on a wet Saturday in the beautiful 4* Castletroy Park Hotel just outside Limerick City. By 5 pm that day. I knew. This was so for me. I felt it everywhere. I cried when I got home. I was ready to become a Coach.

(To be Continued)

To find out more about my coaching programs email patrick@theintentionalacademy.ie or WhatsApp 083-3008963

Steps to powerful intentions that work!

Setting clear intentions is one of the most powerful things you can do. Even more so when what you do on daily basis is designed to move you in the direction of those intentions.

I intend to cut the grass today.

I intend to spend more time off-screen this week.

I intend to eat more fruit this month.

We have all done it. Written or spoken intentions like those above. And then we ‘forget’ to cut the grass. And we were sent a brilliant podcast and were recommended a new series on Netflix. And fruit just got so expensive.

So what are powerful intentions then, I hear you ask?

Powerful intentions are set while in a state of awareness; based on your likes, values, strengths, and passions.

Powerful intentions are detached from strict outcomes, lack, or needs.

Powerful intentions are short and clear.

Let me share one of mine from my ‘Lifestyle’ category:

‘I travel joyfully, eat good food, enjoy the finer things in life, and spend time outdoors daily.’

This is clear, detached from strict outcomes, and easy to implement daily. It is also based on my love for travel, my love for food, and the fact I’m an outdoors person.

I did write ‘Lifestyle’ category. It is 1 of 8 categories I set intentions for. They are Business, Finance, Lifestyle, Social & Hobbies, Personal Development, Family & Relationships, Spirituality, and Fitness.

These categories are not rigid. Some clients have changed Fitness to Health. Or Business to Career.

Setting clear intentions is one of the most powerful things you can do. What are yours?

To find out more about setting intentions for yourself WhatsApp Patrick on 083-3008963 or email patrick@theintentionalacademy.ie

The power of intentions in work and business.

After the last blog post about the 1 sentence that drove me to play more, I got some great questions from readers. Apart from questioning my sanity, and wondering if I lived in the real world, I was asked how you could implement this in life, work, and business.

So let’s start with the same question I asked last time.

What if life is something to play at? Not to be taken seriously, just to be played at. And that this play, in itself, is all there needs to be.

What if life is not reaching towards some goal, instead life itself is the goal?

Which would mean that life is without real purpose other than us expressing that life. And it is meant to be without purpose. It is not evolving towards some ultimate destination or raison d’être; in this very moment, here and now, life is always ultimate.

As Alan Watts proclaimed: ‘The point of the dance is not to arrive at one particular spot on the floor. The point of the dance is the dance itself’. ‘The point of the composition is not the final note. The point of the composition is the composition itself’.

The person who masters the playful nature of this lack of purpose can make valid plans knowing these plans are entirely fluid and transient. They understand the importance of emotionally detaching themselves from any desires, targets, goals, or outcomes.

That they have within all there needs to be for them to play at life, work, and business. Presently.

By understanding the fluid nature of everything, they become resilient, adaptable, imaginative, sustainable, and efficient.

In the here, and now, they make plans that are resilient, adaptable, imaginative, sustainable, and efficient!

They become masters at setting really clear intentions for themselves, unattached to the way to get there or where it will get them.

Intentions like ‘I am spending each moment I work in my business on making the world a better, more intentional place for others to experience’.

Or ‘I respect my love for learning enough to make learning a daily habit’.

I have several of these really clear intentions. These intentions then get translated into ‘real’ things like marketing plans, client meetings, networking, etc…

All the while knowing these things are fluid and I am resilient, adaptable, imaginative, sustainable, and efficient. And that means I can have a life while making a living.

While playing at it.

Patrick

25/05/22

To find out more about how to R.A.I.S.E. your profile, WhatsApp me on 083-3008963 or email patrick@theintentionalacademy.ie

1 short sentence and then…

I just sat there. I could not move. My mind had just been blanked out. I had just read 1 sentence that had struck me so deep it perplexed me into non-movement and non-thought.

It happened sometime last year.

The sentence?

‘You are Life realising itself’.

I just had to sit with that. It resonated. What made it so valid for me? What made this one simple sentence ruffle my feathers that much? I was stunned into deep reflection.

Questions. All kinds of questions popped into my being!

Eventually, I came around to isolating one. It just appeared to me as I sat in silence.

What if life is just something to play at? Not to be taken seriously, just to be played at. And that this play is all there needs to be.

What if life is not reaching towards some goal, instead life itself is the goal. And so, life is without real purpose other than to play at it. And it is meant to be without purpose. It is not evolving towards some ultimate destination or raison d’être; in this very moment, here and now, life is always ultimate.  

And only the person who masters the playful nature of this lack of purpose can make valid plans for the future knowing these plans are entirely fluid and adaptable.

As I sat there contemplating all this, I saw a sign appear. No, not a spiritual one this time. The sign appeared from memory. The one I saw a few years ago on a trip to LA in the Universal Studio theme park.

‘We don’t stop playing because we get old. We get old because we stop playing.’

I decided to try and start playing at most things. Instead of goals, I created clear intentions of how I wanted to play at life, work, business, relationships, family, and exercise. Everything.

And I discovered that you could ‘Have A Life While Making A Living’ this way. That you can remove a lot of worries, stresses, and anxieties by simply not taking life so seriously but instead having fun doing what you intend to.

Looks like life, work, business, and relationships; like music and dance and sport; are best done in a flowing movement of fun and passion. Who knew?

Do you feel like playing more often? Do you want more fun and intention in your life? Do you want to ‘Have A Life While Making A Living’?

#JustAsk on WhatsApp 083-3008963 or email patrick@theintentionalacademy.ie and we’ll set up a chat to get you playing!

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring.

Patrick xxx

What do the acorn, the jay, and the squirrel have in common with your business/career!

When an acorn falls from an oak tree, it will most likely end up as a food source for one of the many animals that partly rely on it for their diet.

Wildlife that consumes acorns include birds, such as jays, pigeons, ducks, and woodpeckers. Small mammals that feed on acorns include mice, squirrels, and multiple other rodents.

Acorn

You see, acorns are too heavy to be moved along and dispersed by wind. And they cannot grow near the mother tree. They need at least 20 to 30 meters distance to get enough water, sunlight, and soil nutrients to be able to blossom into a beautiful, strong oak tree.

So they need transport. That’s where squirrels and jays come in to play their part in this story. Both jays and squirrels hoard caches of acorns for future use.

Even though both these animals have remarkable mental maps of the locations and return to consume them, the odd acorn may be lost, or a jay or squirrel may die before consuming all of its goodies. A small number of acorns manage to germinate and survive, producing the next generation of oaks.

This has been happening for centuries. Almost perfectly. Each component plays its part. The tree knows when to produce its fruit. The fruit knows when to fall. The animals know when to eat it. The squirrels and jays know where to hide them. The forgotten acorn knows how to germinate.

There is no way of knowing which acorn from which tree will be hidden by which squirrel in which location. And yet oak trees keep growing.

Nice story Patrick but how does that relate to my business/career. Allow me to ask you some questions? Give yourself a few minutes to find the answers.

What role(s) in life can you play effortlessly?

How much trust do you have in your ability to know what to do and when?

What transport (support) do you require to continue your growth process?

How open are you to not knowing which actions will lead to the biggest yield and yet keep going anyway?

A big part of running a business or managing a career is based on being resilient, adaptable, imaginative, sustainable, and effective.

Knowing the answers to questions like the ones in this post will help guide you to vastly enhance your chances of becoming the next strong, beautiful, fruitful oak tree!

Oak Tree

For more information on how to R.A.I.S.E. your profile towards Having A Life While Making A Living, contact patrick@theintentionalacademy.ie or WhatsApp 083-3008963

Business revamp for The Intentional Academy.

R.A.I.S.E. your profile!

On the 13th of May 2022, it will be exactly 15 years since I graduated from a FETAC Level 6 Diploma course in Personal & Business Coaching with the industry-leading Irish LifeCoach Institute.

Diploma Personal & Business Coaching

To celebrate this 15th Anniversary of being a Professional Coach running my own practice and business, I decided on a complete revamp instead of drinking bubbly champagne and blowing up differently coloured balloons. (I might do that at a later date and when I do the invite will be posted on this Blog!)

I had been looking for a signature program to add to my 1-to-1 coaching, webinars, corporate workshops, event hosting, and MC’ing.

A couple of years ago the Having A Life While Making A Living concept was born yet it wasn’t until recently that this was made real in a HALWMAL program. This program of 8 Coaching Sessions around 4 pillars and 8 areas is for professionals, managers, C-Suite, business owners, solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, practitioners, and anybody else willing to step away from the everyday rat race. It will guide you to a Life where work, life, finance, relationships and more will all fit in together as part of 1 complete package.

More about this Program in one of my next Blogs.

I was still missing a piece. I had my program, my coaching, workshops, seminars, hosting etc… What was binding it all together???

Enter Denise Fay, from Achieve Marketing. I have been a member of Denise’s Achievers Club, a marketing mastermind group, since day 1. So recently, we found ourselves having some time on Zoom to chat when I said I wanted to tease out an idea to bind all these under 1 banner. 20 minutes of brainstorming led to R.A.I.S.E. Everything I do is about the other person, group or unit to R.A.I.S.E. themselves.

Resilient

Adaptable

Imaginative

Sustainable

Efficient

I love working with people who get me. Thanks, Denise!

So that’s it for today.

Time to share my passion, excitement, drive, and desire with anyone willing to listen.

This weekly blog will be filled with stories, events, people, and fun!

Let’s all R.A.I.S.E. each other to Have A Life While Making A Living!!

For more info email patrick@theintentionalacademy.ie or WhatsApp 083-3008963!!