One of the concepts learned in the business world is that companies and individual workers possess different maturity levels, meaning that their ability to effectively complete activities differ. A non-business example could be: suppose you wanted somebody to prepare dinner for you. Would you expect the same results from your nine year old son as you would from your mother? Would you give them both the same level of instruction? With this in mind, improvement efforts must be tailored to the maturity level of the individuals who will be participating in the efforts. Therefore, successful improvement efforts in the business arena focus on the improvements as well as on developing the ability of their staff to make the improvements.
The Project-Transform system was designed so that you can easily adapt each activity to your current level. The activities get progressively more detailed as your ability to make improvements increases. If you are happy with your level of improvements before you reach the end of the method simply stop reading and continue repeating the activities that are working for you.
A system for improving your life should develop naturally out of activities that actually improve your life. As your life improves, so should your ability to make further improvements. My research of improvement systems led me to the realization that the authors of the improvement systems had probably spent years getting to the point where they were able to envision and utilize their systems. Yet their books did not normally include ramp up steps to allow me to get up to speed. It was sink or swim. I did not want a system. I wanted relief and I wanted it now.
Are you seeing changes in your life now? If not, maybe you need to change your efforts to match your ability to implement improvements. Sometimes it can be very difficult to find the balance between “biting off more than you can chew” and not pushing yourself hard enough to see significant changes. Try to find a mentor or coach who can help you decide what is needed to start seeing improvements right away. Based on my experience, you can experience the life you want now!
The Project-Transform system evolved from my own experiences of an overwhelmed personal life coupled with a career path as a business analyst/ project manager that left me feeling unfulfilled. My usual response to being overwhelmed was to search for a spiritual solution. Although my spiritual pursuits occasionally gave me moments of temporary peace, I realized that I had not addressed any of the causes of my lack of control. It was only a matter of time before I would become overwhelmed again and lose the ability to sustain my spiritual insight on a daily basis. Sometimes I became simply too tired to do anything but get through the day. I didn’t have any energy left over after taking care of my daily obligations to devote to spiritual activities. Then one day I had one of those “aha” moments that I had kept reading about but never seemed to experience. My business skills, process improvement and project management techniques, could be used to improve my life and enhance my spiritual growth!
I began by thinking of my life as a business—complete with processes and projects. I realized that making changes in my life was no different than a business implementing a formal project. If I could design and implement successful projects at work, surely I could implement projects that were meaningful to me in my own life. Using my business analyst skills, I researched current strategies for personal development and self improvement. And from that research, I defined processes and activities that could be used to improve different areas of my life. Using my project manager skills I then created a personal plan for transforming my life. Through trial and error and consultation with others, I refined my plan into the Project-Transform system so that others could benefit from what I have learned. Although it hasn’t always been an easy road, I am thankful that my life experiences led me towards this method of ongoing transformation and I am excited about the possibilities for my life. I hope the Project-Transform system will help you feel the same way about your life.
Silence as a Self-Coaching Tool
I grew up as the oldest child in a large family. Our home was filled with activity and noise, and if you wanted to be heard you had to talk fast and you had to be loud. I’ve noticed I’ve carried those habits of communication into my adulthood. Through my own spiritual practice and experiences as a life coach, I’ve discovered silence as a valuable improvement tool. As a life coach I have to frequently remind myself and my clients of the value of silence. It is easy to become so focused on goals, actions plans, to do lists, and activities that we forget to pause and make space for silence. However, as we practice creating more silence in our lives, we may be surprised by the wisdom, calm, and insight that often arises spontaneously out of silence. Listed below are several situations where silence can be particularly useful.
1.When you are listening.
Are you truly present to the other person when you have a conversation? Or are you already planning what you are going to say next? Or worse, are you thinking of something unrelated? Next time you are in a conversation with someone, try practicing being present with silence. In addition to paying attention to their words and gestures, just notice what it is like to simply be with them without needing to respond with words. Allow yourself to focus on the essence of the other person with exquisite attention and awareness. Perhaps you will notice something beautiful about this person that you have never noticed before.
2. When you are speaking.
We often fill up space with unnecessary words. If we take time to slow down when we speak we will likely express ourselves with more clarity and thoughtfulness. Most of us have probably experienced times where we spoke without thinking things through. In a recent news conference President Obama was being pressed by a reporter about why he waited several days to publically express his anger about a company who received money from the government bailout giving large bonuses to executives. Obama’s calm response was, “It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.” Regardless of your politics, the practice of waiting to speak until we know what we are talking about seems like a wise one.
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