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Top 10 Tools for a Strong Personal Foundation
Coaching is about living great lives. Its
about living lives based on our values, our priorities and our choices. And, as in
building a great building, it takes a very strong foundation. In fact, the more
spectacular the visible parts of the building are going to be, the more time and precision
has to go into preparing the supporting structures and systems underneath. But one
of the most difficult things in life is spending the necessary time on the foundations.
Most of us are eager to build, to start living the
life of our dreams, and the temptation is always to neglect the details of a strong
personal foundation. Here are my Top 10 Tools for creating the foundation that will
support whatever else you want in your life:
- Get plenty of sleep. I know,
that wasnt on the list when I was younger either, but as Vince Lombardi noted,
"Fatigue makes cowards of us all." Tired people are cranky, they miss
opportunities and make careless decisions. And, getting plenty of sleep suggests a
fairly regular pattern to your day, some structure and orderliness, and thats a good
- Eat well. Yeah, I know, another
boring one. But the body needs good stuff to keep it sharp and ready to serve you.
Some people go a long way on this, carefully nurturing their bodies with organic
fruits and vegetables. I dont have that discipline, but replacing potato chips
with carrot sticks, sure does seem to help. Cut down on fat, drink more water and
fruit juice, and see what happens!
- Exercise. Even a walk around
the block does wonders to clear the head! At least 30 minutes, 3 or 4 times a week,
and more if you enjoy it. Work up a sweat, huff and puff a bit. They say
youll live longer. I know it gets me out of the office, away from the phone
and computer for a few minutes, and my dog loves the chance to run! Enjoy it.
- Read a lot. Read magazines and
history, read biographies and cheap novels, but read. Follow politics and the
economy, keep up with current films and take a moment to follow sports and those funny
short stories in Readers Digest. It gives you perspective, broadens your point
of view, and, like exercise, it gets you away from the phone and computer for a few
minutes. It may even make you wiser!
- Meditate. Keep a journal, or
pray. Develop your own style and preferences for making peace with your world, and
do it every day. Find the time and place that works best for you, sit quietly,
settle into your routine, and take time to notice. Stuff will come up.
Youll have ideas, youll fall asleep, youll remember whats
really important. Whatever happens, be at peace with it.
- Eliminate tolerations. Keep
your nest clean! Theres no excuse to be tripping over the same clutter every
day. It slows you down, and it wears you out. Some people are
"neater" than others, and this isnt about having a clean desk, unless
thats important to you. This is about eliminating those annoying frustrations
that come up every week. Get a housekeeper, a bookkeeper, a gardener, and at least
have your car washed! If it annoys you, deal with it.
- Keep relationships clean.
Its not possible to be best friends with everyone, and some relationships do end,
but thats not as expensive as having a strained relationship that drains you every
day. If you have "friendships" that need to end, take care of it.
If you have an intimate partner with whom you need to spend more time, schedule it
tonight. Stay on good terms with those you can, and end those relationships that are
never going to support you. Just do it.
- Do work you love. Doing a job
you dislike is exhausting. I often talk with folks who are eager to change careers
"as soon as
." They usually finish the sentence with something that
will happen in a few years. Why wait? Life is
too short! I suspect the
time lost is a greater risk than making the change right now! Do what you love!
- Laugh a lot! Humor and warm
friendships, love and laughter go further to maintain "balance" than all the
programs Ive ever tried. Life is either a wonderful, strange and funny
or its too scary to think about. Either way, laugh all the way
- Develop your "Daily 10".
Have a regular pattern of 10 wonderful things you do every day for your own vibrant
personal foundation. Find your own little rituals
that just make you feel good! Every day, do 10 simple things that remind
you how special, powerful, alive and wonderful you are! Delight in them!
Here's to you, and to building a strong, deep and
lasting foundation that will support you for many years to come!
Phil, Mary, and the Staff at
Resources for Success!™
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© Copyright 2003 by Philip E. Humbert. All Rights Reserved.
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