Hitting the pillow in exhaustion, have you ever wondered what happened? What did I accomplish? Where did the day go?
It seems the busier life is
the easier it is to be distracted from living.
Are you having enough fun? Are you building relationships with the people that matter to you? Are you taking care of your mind, body, and spirit? Do I hear you saying, “I don’t have time to do those things?”
Marshall Goldsmith, one of the world’s premier executive coaches, has a coach that calls him every day. I refer to him in the post, Personal Accountability. Marshall’s coach asks him a series of predetermined questions. How many sit ups did you do? How much time did you spend writing, etc.?
One of the world’s great coaches has a coach. Tiger Woods has a coach. Maybe you and I need one too.
Today I’m having lunch with a person that is ready to be my coach.
Yesterday I asked my wife to explain an issue she thinks is falling through the cracks in my life. She said fun. She said, “You work right up till bed time.” I was surprised because I think I’m a fun guy. But she has a point.
I’m crafting questions for my coach to ask me. The topic areas include:
One of the questions is, “Did you intentionally do something just for fun today?” Another is, “Did you have a personal conversation with your wife?”
This process is already helping me overcome distraction and live intentionally.
I’ve listed six topic areas that form a basis for accountability questions. What topic areas would you add?
What questions would you like a coach to ask you?
How great is this article and so real these days in our lives.
Balance between :Physical health/Mental health/Spiritual health/Marital health/Relational health/Career health is a key= and is the exam of life to be truly happy.
Of course FUN ! is very very important – laugh, make fun of the situations and also when is time to be serious than be serious.
What questions would you like a coach to ask you?
– I would like to ask me if I did something different today than yesterday? this is a question which explore our mind and also our actions-in my opinion.
Kind regards to you and your family ,
Thanks for your getting the comments started today.
Love your question… “Did I do something different today…”
Best to you,
When I worked at Best Buy I was told I need to have more fun.
I protested, I do have fun, I enjoy what I do.
“No, have more OTHER fun.”
I really didn’t understand – still don’t in many ways.
I get the importance of nurturing relationships and investing in others with your time, but that’s just as much fun to me as when I help a Job Seeker ‘get it’ and they transform from frustrated to delighted.
Fun is fun. Fun is where you find it, fun is found where you are, as long as you are fully there in that moment.
I tried to explain this in my blog http://bit.ly/9ExXdT It’s not about balance, it’s about integration.
Thanks for your comment. I know exactly what you mean. I’m having fun. I do most of my blogging early in the morning and at night. It’s fun. My wife thinks I need to turn off technology and do something “other.” I’m giving it a try.
I recently read “Juggle” a book about integration rather than work life balance. Good read.
Thanks for leaving a link to add value to the conversation.
Best to you,
I’m thankful Alan frequently shares his thoughts and insights. Read his bio at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/alan
here’s the link to the book ‘Juggle” if anyone is interested… I know I am 🙂
Oh and I forgot that I have a review of it …
I wonder how easy it is for me to separate out the elements of my life. Perhaps a Venn diagram showing the relationships between each element would be insightful, how is the energy I invest in one area impacting on the others?
Sometimes that relationship is positive, investing in work relationships has a postive impact on my career and on the quality of friendships, but does that have a negative impact on my marital relationship?
I am lucky I have a job where there is plenty of fun to be had, measured by (genuine and cathartic) laughter, but there is something for me about, whether there is enough time for me to think and reflect, generate and capture ideas, build my own knowledge and share with others.
I hear you on the idea that life is all mixed up rather than compartmentalized. Great point.
This means the good or bad in one area obviously impacts other areas.
I’m interested to see how compartmental questions work out. We’re planning to use November as a test month.
Thanks for your comment.
Best to you,
Hi Dan….it’s great that you are so candid and inspiring, too.
I like questions such as, “What do you really want things to be like in your life?” “What will that look like?” “How badly do you want that?” “What good things will happen for you if you reach that goal?” “What worries you most about reaching that goal?” “What may get in the way of you making the changes needed?”
Hoping that is helpful and wishing you well.
Thanks so much for adding to the discussion. Great questions.
I’m hopeful to take the answers to the big questions and distill them down into a few very simple questions that express them… I wonder how it will work out.
I’m pretty much counting on Goldsmith’s model but you know things can change.
The problem is I have fun working hard. It does not feel like work, so I think I am OK. My wife and kids on the other have an experience whereby I am disengaged to them. Even if I think I am at home, doing something in the study and accessible, in their minds I am not there. So we definitely need to dedicate “fun time” that is shared with our loved ones, not just our own version of it.
I have also never understood why people do not see the value in having a coach, when the ultimate sports stars have one and as you mention someone of Marshall Goldsmith’s caliber.
Oddly enough, when you set aside time to do nothing, it does wonders for your creative juices. John Cleese gave an interesting presentation on it http://fit4thabo.blogspot.com/2010/10/you-think-idea.html
We need to just chill though, seriously.
Thanks for a great comment. I think you nailed an important component of fun. I appreciate fun in the context of family.
Thanks for leaving a link that adds value.
It’s the difference between surviving, living and thriving. To thrive, there must be balance in all “quadrants” of life (though we know there are more than four).
To my mind, though it might seem nebulous to some, I’d add emotional health. It seems we often deal with the area of emotions by ignoring them or we tend to view them as weaknesses. Or we may even view our emotional states as being in someone else’s control. However we tend to view it, when emotional health is out of whack, it affects everything else. Enjoyment of life, something essential to thriving, is partially grounded by the emotional state. Though there may be a chicken/egg argument here, I do believe that we can have everything else nailed down in life and miss out on this.
“Fun” can fall into the emotional health category for some, but I don’t think it’s necessarily stuck there. To me, our emotional health is more like software that constantly runs in the background, whether we’re focused on it or not. When something goes awry with it, then suddenly many other areas are affected as well.
In reflection, I also tend to evaluate my days at the end by what was accomplished or not. And there is a trap to avoid and a balance needed, that thankfully friends of mine helped me see in college. If my day didn’t meet up to my expectations, I tended not to see the good of what was accomplished and only see what wasn’t. In spite of the fact that in the eyes of others, I’d achieved quite a lot. Untempered constant critical analysis can lead to unintended results. And in pushing myself to the higher goal of balance in all corners, I was sacrificing flow and spontaneity (and therefore balance itself).
As a mother, this need for flexibility becomes more pronounced and I try to ask myself, what spontaneous thing did I allow for today? It’s something that I think if more important than we give credit for and does feed our emotional health. The human soul needs both structure for foundation and freedom of choice to flourish.
You’ve out done yourself. I can tell from reading your comment that you are better at knowing yourself than I am.
Love the question… “What spontaneous thing did I allow for today?” You open the door to the unpredictability that life always brings us. Love it.
Thanks for jumping in.
Best to you,
I’m thankful Julia frequently jumps into LF conversations. Read her bio at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/julia
Interesting point! right now I am going through 48 days to a better career, and this morning this is exactly what was discussed. Being balanced in all areas of your life…maybe someone trying to tell me something…Thanks,
Pattern recognition 🙂
I’m with you, when things start repeating I start paying attention.
Best to you,
I would add Financial Health to the list.
Here are a few questions to consider (they may already be said in some for or another):
What did I accomplish?
What insights, choices, decisions did I have since the last session?
What didn’t I get done that I intended to do?
What challenges am I facing?
What new opportunities are opening to me?
I’m so excited you are entering the world of coaching! It’s an amazing process that reaps tremendous results over time.
Father Health is another one…
And, if you have more than one child, you have more than one rating because we don’t treat each child the same. For example, I rate my health as Anna’s Father as well as Sam’s Father.
Thanks for adding another important dimension. A question might be, Did you give something away? Or if one has trouble over spending, did you exercise impulse control with your money?
Thanks for your encouragement and best to you with your personal coaching.
Direction overcomes distraction. And self directed person gets time for everything. They do not say ” I do not have time for others”. But they do say ” I do not have time for unrelated and mundane work that can shift my direction and distract my attention. I believe that a busy man gets time for everything. Lazy and directionless person always pretends and complains about time availability. Even 48 hours in a day will be less for them.
All the areas listed i.e. physical, mental, spiritual, career,marital and relationship health are important for overall development. However, I would like to add some areas that I believe are inseperable from a good human beings. They are family, moral and emotional health. Family health includes each member of family including better- half. Moral health shows your attitude, intention and decision taken and to be taken in life. Emotional health shows your feelings and thoughts towards others.
I do things intentionally to have fun everyday provided it does not hurt someone’s sentiments. I make conversation with my wife everyday and fun too.
I would like my coach to ask me about my contribution to my family, friends, sociey and the organisation. What differece have I created to these areas. How many times have I compromised with my values. How many times have I lied to achieve something. How many times have I balmed my collegues to get ahead. How many times have I misused my position. Who are the people with whom I usually do not interact. Whom do I believe to respect; person or position. How many times have I helped needy people physically,monetarily and morally blob..blob..
I think these questions indicate cleary what and who you are.
Ka POW! You sure gave us all something to chew on.
Thanks for adding categories for other questions.
I just love the clarity in your powerful statement, “Direction overcomes distraction.” I’m taking that one to the bank.
Best to you,
I’m thankful Ajay frequently shares his insights and perspective with the LF community. His bio http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/ajay-gupta
Bravo, Dan! If you’re not having fun, you can’t sustain work.
One caution: all the areas of health you list are important, but they sound pretty serious! An attitude like “I’m serious about having fun” may be counterproductive.
How can the LeadershipFreak community help you?
And most important, thanks for reminding us that work without fun is just work.
I hear you on the danger of being too serious. I’m hopeful that simple questions will prevent this activity from becoming oppressive and counter productive.
Again, I’m going to follow Goldsmith’s example. The questions he designed are very simple but touch on import aspects of life.
The LF community is helping me by simply sharing their insights. I’ll report back sometime in the near future. I bet I’ll learn something then too.
Feel free to offer counsel any time.
Best to you,
I’m thankful for Mark’s insights and perspective. Read his bio at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/mark-friedman
Dan, I think this has been a banner week for thought-provoking questions. Thanks (I think!). The six topic areas that you listed really seem to be comprehensive. I can’t think of an area that I would ADD, but there are two factors I would consider about HOW the questions are asked. First, in addition to the daily check-in (or whatever frequency you choose), is your coach having you look at the long term components of these things? For example, if a physical health goal is reduced cholesterol, the daily question would be “did you make good nutrition choices yesterday” but the long term (i.e., every six months) question would be “what is your cholesterol level”? Also (and this is kind of a dream that may be difficult to realize) but some “360” type of input from people who know you well and who can provide honest feedback. If your relational health goal is something like “listening more effectively,” is that the perception of those around you? If not, perhaps you are missing your mark.
I hate it when people are so clear I can’t squirm out and embrace the safety of ambiguity!! Man you are nailing it.
Love the two level of short term cp long term. Also, the possibility that success includes the perception of others in an entirely new dimension..
If my posts have been thought provoking…your comment is “uncomfy” 🙂
thanks for adding value.
Best to you,
Paula regularly shares her insights and perspective with the LF community. Read her bio at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/paula-kiger
Ah my Dear Dan, what a probing analysis when we live and die by the multi-tasking we each struggle with daily. All of the spheres mentioned by you and others are critically important and all should contribute in some way to one’s purpose and one’s labor. Prioritizing to me is the bigger challenge and the variables change from moment to moment and day to day. Happiness for me would be the outcome needed to make all things worthwhile. Finding balance I believe is everyone’s desire but your personal needs both at home and at work should help with the distribution of one’s most precious commodity: TIME. That being said since there is never enough time, then the quality and not the quantity of it needs to take precedence. I make it a point to dedicate “some” time every day to the different elements you mention but just how much will depend on MY “happiness scale.” Different things bring joy to different folks and the older I get the more I tend to tip the scale in the direction of “my happiness” which shapes my attitude and reflects on everyone and everything I touch. “Don’t worry and be Happy!’ old song but resonating loud and clear with me. Thanks, Al
My Dear Al,
First, I love the sense of connection that builds over time as we interact. Thank you for adding to this conversation.
Priorities!! Oh yeah…without them we are pushed around by insignificant activities that sap our strength and distract us from nobler endeavors.
One real challenge I have is my priorities may not always align with others. As a general rule, at work, the boss’/board’s or CEO’s priorities should be the priorities of those in the organization. If not it may be time to move on… But hey, I’m off topic a bit.
Bes to you,
Dr. Diaz regularly contributes to the LF community. You can read his bio at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/al-diaz
Thanks for sharing your insight and thoughts on being a better person and a better leader. I love Marshall Goldsmith’s work and have also tried to incorporate it into my life. It has produced great fruit. Here’s my list of 20 Questions.
Best wishes for personal success!
Thanks for your comment and endorsement of a wonderful writer. I read your post and attached questions. Food for thought.
20 is too much for me. to begin, I’m down to a maximum of 6 questions.
Thanks Dan for sharing with us some of your insights into this subject. I remember reading a post of Steve Pavlinas’ blog about living congruently a little while ago. I think when we compartmentalize the areas of our lives we’re actually setting ourselves up to loose a greater deal of focus. Learning to align all the areas of our lives parallel to the values & goals we have will give us a better sense of whats truly important, this will also give us a better picture of how each area affects the other. When we focus on our health we may forget about family, when we focus on family we may forget about personal time, we focus on personal time we may forget about religious obligations and so on. All these areas of our life are fighting for our time and attention. By aligning these areas to work congruently we now only need to juggle one bin and it becomes much easier. But that article can be found here http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/02/living-congruently/.
But like alwasy, great mind provoking post Dan. Thanks
PS: Some questions I would consider:
Did you learn something yesterday that can you can apply today?
Did you thank those who have helped you along the way?
Are your eyes open and heart willing to receive new opportunities?
Are you giving yourself its personal time for reflection?
Thanks for leaving what looks to be your first comment for the LF community. It’s a good one.
Today at lunch while talking with my coach he noticed that the 6 questions I crafted were inter-related. I think thats a good thing. Your point is well taken.
Thanks for adding insightful questions.
Best to you,
Thanks Dan for noticing and I’m excited to be part of such a thriving and beneficial community. Look forward to many more comments lol.
The community has done a great job in pulling together a list, might add ‘intellectual health’. Crossword puzzles…in ink.
Fun–back to re-creating your bad self Dan!
In general, do things that some might say make you look foolish, that might be fun. The court jester was often able to poke fun at the king just by acting foolish.
Do things that make you feel child-like. One of the most exquisite sounds is the laughter of kids playing. Find that laugh. Roll down a hill, toss a frisbee, play catch.
Make some paper airplanes…no fair looking on the net for the most aerodynamic, origamic design…just ‘wing’ it. Have a water balloon or squirt gun fight and lose.
Probably can also go back to fun involving some degree of safe/healthy risk. That is is what keeps us going.
Sign up to do something you can’t imagine yourself doing…again, with wisdom and skill…risk.
You’ve outdone yourself! Your comment really pushes my thinking and makes me a tad uncomfortable. “Make myself look foolish??” Hmmm… Well I do that without trying so why not?
BTW, I’d actually thought about the airplane thing. Great minds and all that…
Thanks for a fun but “disturbing” comment. 🙂
Doc frequently adds his insights and perspective to the LF conversation. Read his bio at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/doc
I am very inspired that you met with someone today who is ready to be your coach: Just a few weeks ago, you wrote, “I’ve been thinking about personal accountability — Something in me says this is a very good thing — I’m interested in developing personal accountability.”
And now you’ve put that into action. Thanks for reminding me how powerful it is when someone walks the talk and follows through on something that was only mentioned, not announced.
thanks for your encouraging words.
I met with my coach as planned. We plan to use November as a test month. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Best to you,
Thanks for posting this. I like the idea’s you present, but I have a different take on “getting things done.” When I wake up in the morning I try to decide what my priorities are for the day. Sometimes I write them down, sometimes they’re in my head. Either way I keep them in the front of my mind as I work through my day and try to find ways to make them happen. If they don’t happen that day I move them to the next day. But whatever I make a priority I always get done.
just my two cents!
Thanks for your comment. It’s clear, concise, and simple.
Best regards to you,
Makes me think of something elaborated upon in the ” Tao of Pooh” :
Piglet asks Pooh what he says to himself when he wakes up in the morning. Pooh replies: “What’s for breakfast?” Pooh asks Piglet what he says in the morning. Piglet says: “I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” Pooh nods thoughtfully and then says: “It’s the same thing.”
In line with Tao and Winnie, my question for the day would be; didn’t I try too hard today.
Great topic – it’s so great when people are willing to take a few moments for real self-reflection.
One question that can be valuable for a busy person: “What valuable thing(s) did you accomplish, that you didn’t plan to accomplish at the beginning of the day?”
My wife struggles with this – she’ll work as hard as she can all day at work, and when she finally comes home she’ll tell me “I hardly got anything done,” because she had to put out several fires during the day.
I always encourage her to consider this – you probably DID get a lot done, it just wasn’t what you anticipated when the day began. This isn’t meant to be an excuse for low productivity, but it can help create some perspective.
Anything can be a boon or bane subject to mindset/circumstances. All said and done what matters the most in case of aforementioned health(s) is the extent of indulgence/involvement.
I remember that during my adolescent days, I used to read comics say tintin, phantom, archie’s etc. only once and they used to remain in the memory for a long time whereas, the syllabus (academic) which i revised again and again in order to memorise, but never attained 100%. That was because the extent of involvement that varied.
The same stands true for me even today, and whenever I have failed its only because my involvement was not 100%.
The types of health say:
Physical health, Mental health, Spiritual health, Marital health, Relational health, Career health, I personally feel that mental health or say for that matter the mindset of the person plays a pivotal role in any act and decides the way one perceives. The positive perception leads to involvement, resulting in satisfaction and success by way of recreational health.
I would like my coach to inquire me about my recreational health as far as my job is concerned.