“You really can’t go back after all we’ve learned and experienced, can you?” These were the words spoken to me just this week after the graduation as a group of stellar Master Life Coaching Institute class of coaches.
I just nodded and smiled lovingly.
As he smiled and walked away, he looked over his shoulder and inquired: “I know the name of this program is Life Coaching Institute, but when people ask what happened here, what short phrase could I give them to summarize all that we’ve learned, the power of transformational processes and lifelong friendships formed?
I hear that often after graduation, so I suggested: “I suppose you could say: ‘I have stepped up on the Road Less Traveled, and I would love to help you get there too!’”
It inspired me to write this week about that Road Less Traveled.
I love, and I’m very passionate about the process of training and certifying Life Coaches, Master Coaches, and Executive Coaches.
I believe in the world of political unrest, racial challenges, pandemics, marriages failing at an all time high and suicide rate soaring… There is still a road to great influence and rich fulfillment.
It is a Road Less Traveled.
The Road Less Traveled is frequented by people who have a certain sense of passion and core value about becoming their best and influencing others to do the same.
I would love you to join us on the Road Less Traveled. Hopefully sharing these core beliefs and competencies will help you in considering the Road Less Traveled. If you don’t see these in yourself, do not under any circumstances disqualify yourself!
Simply begin to develop these in your life!
1. CHASING AFTER GROWTH AND EXCELLENCE.
One of the many things that I love about the Road Less Traveled is walking with (and sometimes running with or sitting a while with) people chasing after growth and excellence.
Why do they do this? They do it because they are aware that to move beyond surviving, or barely getting by… One of the key components to getting there and staying on the Road Less Traveled is personal growth.
On this road, we share what we’ve read that inspired growth. We share experiences that created growth. We celebrate one another while we reignite one another’s passion for growth.
We also strive for excellence. The definition of “excellence“ according to the dictionary is:
Eminently good, or first class.
On the Road Less Traveled, it is referred to as: “A passion to become the very best version of ourselves, and all we were created to be while helping others do the same.“
Don’t misunderstand this as a group of people, or a journey, where there are no bad moments, no mistakes or without failures. We all have those. Regularly.
However passion for personal growth and excellence inspires us to get up, to dust ourselves off, and get back on track.
I think one of the things that inspires me the most on this road is watching people help one another get up and back on track!
And doing so without using shame. Watching it occur is watching great acts care and compassion extended from a place of unconditional love. It touches me every time I see it! And I love to be a part of that process!
If you’re on the road you know exactly what I’m talking about! And if you’re not there yet, I hope you will get there soon, because we need you!
2. HAVING AN OWNER’S MANUAL THAT LINES UP WITH AND PROPELS THEM TOWARD THEIR PURPOSE
If you are unfamiliar with the concept of the Owner’s Manual, let me give you a brief description. We know from incredible research in the field of neuropsychology, that the way we think, our choices, our beliefs, our values are formed by the influence of parents and other significant care givers. It is securely installed on the hard drive (in our brains) by the time we are 7 or 8 years old.
It impacts the way we think, the way we feel, the choices we make, the way we behave, every moment of every day. (If you’ve missed my recent four weeks series, you can access the information by clicking this link).
One of the major activities and learning curves in training Coaches of every level is having them access what is installed in their brains (their Owner’s Manual). Followed by evaluating the contents, and doing any editing, deleting and additions necessary to align our brains with our purpose.
Perhaps an oversimplification, but it’s the process of aligning your head and your heart. And for those who have a Christian worldview, aligning those with the intent of honoring God.
Most of us have messages, thoughts and beliefs that prevent us from knowing and/or fulfilling our purpose.
For example, in this Coach Training, we have watched the process of someone align their heart and purpose. She feels very passionate about coaching others to greatness.
However, her Owner’s Manual had entries like:
- You are obnoxious
- You talk too much
- You are too sensitive
How difficult do you think it would be to Coach people to greatness when you thought you were annoying them by being obnoxious, talking too much, or being too sensitive?
We worked with her to align her brain and her heart by changing those entries in her Owner’s Manual. It was powerful and moving to watch the transformation.
But like most people on the Road Less Traveled, she rolled up her sleeves with great determination and did the work!
If you have entries in your Owner’s Manual and need to retrain your brain, I recently wrote a blog about the five steps to doing that. (Click here if you missed it).
Align your heart (your purpose) with your brain (your Owner’s Manual) and like this amazing young woman, you will soar! And when you soar, it’s easy to step onto the Road Less Traveled!
3. LIVING WITH THE POWERFUL UNDERSTANDING THAT TOGETHER, WE ARE UNSHAKABLE, UNSTOPPABLE AND UNDEFEATABLE
I think one of my greatest and richest joys on the Road Less Traveled is the camaraderie. It’s different than marriage, family, or close friends! (Even though some of them may also be on the Road Less Traveled… And if they aren’t, I sure hope you will bring them along with you!)
When I think of this core belief amongst people on the Road Less Traveled, I think of it like game we used to play when I was young called “red rover.”
In the game, one line of people would hold hands or lock wrists and look across and say something like this to someone in the line of people across the field: “Red rover red rover let Susie come over!“
When Susie ran across the gap between the two lines her goal was to gain speed and momentum so that she could break through the line. If she did, she got to take someone captive back with her to her line. If she failed to break through, she joined that line.
In much the same way, we join hands on the Road Less Traveled. Why? Because it’s harder to fall and a quicker to get back up when someone is on either side of you, attempting to hold you up, or pull you up.
There is a popular phrase right now that is a powerful statement about the core belief of being unstoppable, unshakable and undefeatable: “Better Together!”
Although we know we will face challenges, hardships, broken hearts just like everyone else, we refuse to let it stop us, shake us, or defeat us!
And when we have a rough moment, we know that all we must do is reach out and someone will take our hand!
We saw this demonstrated in a powerful moment in my recent Coach Training. It was several weekends ago, and one of the students shared about being in a difficult moment in her life.
Although most people in the room had only known one another for several weeks, in a powerful life altering moment of her sharing the story (and her deep desire to step out of that place, into something better) … One by one, a room full of people said things to her like:
- I’ve got your back
- I will be there for you
- Can I take you to lunch?
- I believe in you
- I’m here to help
It was a powerful moment, and definitely life altering for her. But it’s a common event on the Road Less Traveled.
I don’t know about you but being surrounded by such stellar people is one of my greatest privileges on earth. I am honored. I am moved. I am deeply humbled.
I would love for you to have that experience too. If you are already on the road you know how priceless it is. If you are not… Just look up and reach for a hand!
You will receive a great welcome to the Road Less Traveled.
4. A PASSION FOR HELPING OTHERS LIVE FULFILLED LIVES, AND JOINING US ON THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
The Road Less Traveled is not an exclusive club. There are no membership dues. And it is open to all who desire to help others.
Yes! That’s the only criteria for admission. You don’t have to be a Master Life Coach, an Executive Coach or licensed in any helping profession. You don’t need a degree. You don’t need anything other than a passion to help others.
Maybe you will be a Coach. Maybe you are a therapist or a psychologist. But that has NOTHING to do with whether or not you choose the Road Less Traveled.
If you have a passion for helping others … you are welcome.
Perhaps you will help them by living an exemplary life.
Perhaps you will help them through small acts of kindness.
Perhaps you will help them through coaching.
Perhaps you will help them with scholarships.
Perhaps you will help them with encouragement through rough moments.
Perhaps you will help them through prayer.
Perhaps you will help them through spending time with them, or lending a helping hand.
Is everyone capable? ABSOLUTELY!
Is everyone willing? I hope so!
Will all step up? Probably not.
But YOU CAN! YOU WILL! YOU MUST!
There is nothing more wonderful, nothing more fulfilling … than laying your head on your pillow at night, knowing you’ve helped someone. Whether it’s helping someone load their groceries in their car while it’s raining, or coaching someone through trauma … you sleep will be sweet and your rest will be restoring!
I wouldn’t trade this road for all the money in the world. Because as you who are on this road know, it is TRULY PRICELESS!
5. A DEEP SEATED COMMITMENT TO LIVING AN EXEMPLARY LIFE BY ALWAYS BECOMING MORE OF WHO THEY WERE CREATED TO BE
One of the things I admire and deeply respect about the people on the Road Less Traveled is that they are very committed to who they are and the examples they set, because they are always concerned about how they might affect others on their journeys. Each time I see it and experience, I am moved.
But not only are they committed to living that way in public, but they are equally as committed to it in private. Because they know that is what integrity is all about!
In my recent Coach Training class, one of the students made a comment about how their family appeared one way in church, but were totally different at home. Later, she was pondering on why she had such little respect for her father. Hmmmmm … perhaps his demonstration of incongruence in his public and private ways of living?
A common understanding on the Road Less Traveled is that we were all created for MORE. To become more, to do more, to contribute more.
No one rests on their laurels for long. We share and celebrate improvements and victories. But then, we know there a new heights to climb to. Always.
We never “arrive.”
Don’t misunderstand. It’s not a “chore.” It’s not a sense of: “Okay, what you just accomplished (example: eliminating negativity from your life) is done. Now you have to do something else hard. So just choose constant misery and move on?” It’s not that at all!
The client who asked rhetorically had just spend three months learning to communicate in a manner that was not destructive to his marriage. We celebrated together. Then when we began to address some of the dynamics that made the home environment feels “unsafe” … that the moment that inspired the rhetorical question.
But I didn’t aIlow the opportunity to slip away as “rhetorical.” I asked him to list again the benefits he had reaped from the communications work. He said: “Well …”
- We laugh together again
- She will actually talk to me
- We cook together again
I asked him to explain to me where he was finding “misery” in that. He actually laughed at himself.
I had a sense there was something in his Owner’s Manual that was interfering. After exploring, he found the entry. Here’s what he learned from his parents (a belief he was operating from unconsciously):
“If you have to ‘work’ at something, it’s probably not meant to be.”
No wonder he had become a master at refusing to “work on” or “work at” anything!
We scrambled and replaced that entry with:
“I was created for more. It does not come without dedicated efforts, but the reward are definitely worth it!!”
YOU were created for more. ALL of us were!
One of the great differences between those on the Road Less Traveled and those not there yet is that they either don’t have the willingness to work at, or do not have the understanding of the concept, of being created for more.
Recently, as I awarded 17 diplomas, I welcomed a stellar group of people to the Road Less Traveled. I charged them with chasing after growth and excellence; editing their Owner’s Manual on an ongoing basis; joining hands to become unshakable, unstoppable and undefeatable; helping others; always striving to become all they were created to be! Then I welcomed them to the Road Less Traveled.
I would love to welcome you too! You were created for MORE!