Tag Archive for: Coaching



It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold. The hedgehogs, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and protected themselves, but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.

After a while, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth. Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.

The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities.

The moral of the story is: Just learn to live with the pricks in your life!

THE EFFORT EFFECT | From Arno Illgner's Warrior' Way Site)

THE EFFORT EFFECT | From Arno Illgner’s Warrior’ Way Site)

From an article about Carol Dweck (THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE LINK HERE—Summary reprinted from Arno Illgner’s Warrior’ Way Site)

Researcher Carol Dweck’s study asked the following question:
“What makes a really capable child give up in the face of failure, where other children may be motivated by the failure?”
She studied results of a British soccer team to see why the most talented players at the start of the season tended to show the least improvement.

  • The difference seemed to be in the mindset of the person: fixed-mindset and growth-mindset.
  • Fixed-mindset people who attributed their failures to lack of ability would become discouraged even in areas where they were capable. Growth-mindset people thought they simply hadn’t tried hard enough and would be fueled by setbacks. Students referred to their errors as insufficient effort. Those children learned to persist in the face of failure—and to succeed. The fixed-mindset showed no improvement at all, continuing to fall apart quickly and to recover slowly.
  • Common sense suggests that ability inspires self-confidence. And it does for a while—so long as the going is easy. But setbacks change everything. the difference lay in the kids’ goals. “The mastery-oriented children are really hell-bent on learning something,” and “learning goals” inspire a different chain of thoughts and behaviours than “performance goals.”
  • For performance-oriented students (fixed-mindset): want to look smart even if it means not learning a thing in the process. For them, each task is a challenge to their self-image, and each setback becomes a personal threat.
  • Students with learning goals (growth-mindset), on the other hand, take necessary risks and don’t worry about failure because each mistake becomes a chance to learn.
  • How we label things: if some students want to show off their ability, while others want to increase their ability, “ability” means different things to the two groups. “If you want to demonstrate something over and over, it feels like something static that lives inside of you—whereas if you want to increase your ability, it feels dynamic and malleable.
  • People with performance goals, think intelligence is fixed from birth. People with learning goals have a growth mindset about intelligence, believing it can be developed.

You pick which attitude you think is best 🙂 !



“When running up a mountain you can give up a thousand times. Just make sure your feet keep moving.”
– Japanese Master

Someone asked me not long ago about how to stay motivated after making a big, prolonged effort. The person had just lost a lot of weight and wanted advice on how to continue making progress.

There are a number of keys to maintaining motivation. 

1) Recognize your achievements.

We have a tendency to very quickly take our accomplishments for granted. After working hard and reaching an important milestone, it’s essential to take a minute to appreciate what you’ve done. Drink a glass of wine, stare out the window, and remember all the dreaming and effort that went into getting where you are.
Now’s the time to thank yourself for all the hard work you’ve done.

2) Be kind to yourself.

Sometimes, when we’ve given a whole lot of effort on something, we get a bit fatigued from changing our lives. Recently, I competed (and lost) in the French national kick-boxing championships. I worked so hard to get there, that for two weeks after the event I had trouble getting out of bed. After training twice a day and watching what I ate like a hawk, I ended up not being able to motivate myself for a jog and sitting eating chips and cookies in front of the television.

“What?” I said to myself. “How do you go from turning your body into a performance machine to behaving like a couch-potato?”

The answer is that it takes giant willpower and concentration to change your patterns or go after what you want. If you start to feel tired from the effort, it might be time to let up a bit and consolidate.
Don’t backslide, but tell yourself it’s ok if progress slows for a bit.
Even warriors have to rest.

3) Re-focus.

Rather than getting really worked up about the loss of motivation, take a bit of time to re-focus. What are your goals now that you’ve attained a certain point? Define your new objectives precisely. If you could have your life just the way you want it, what would that look like?

Write down what you want. The first step to attaining your goals and staying motivated is objectives so well-developed you can TASTE them. You have to really SEE what it is you’re working for. Motivation, in this case, comes by itself.

You might also want to check out Chris Pinckley’s book “Reality Creation 101”. This American personal trainer has great advice on how to create the future you want through visualization and manifestation.

Re-energized and re-focused, these three steps should put you back in the zone of pursuing your objectives.

Psychological Fears Revisited

Psychological Fears Revisited

We discussed types of fears in previous lessons. Let us revisit them now to see how they diminish our power and what we can do to minimize them. There are two types of fears: psychological and physiological. We will revisit psychological fears in this lesson.

Psychological fears originate from our egos. We may experience fear of failure or success. Our egos feel diminished when we fail and don’t perform to others expectations. We fear to succeed because we feel others will expect us to continue to perform at that new level.

Recall that warriors define “power” as the ability to keep attention at the moment. Fearing failure or success focuses our attention on the end result, which we cannot control. If we fail, we fear how others will judge us; if we succeed, we fear we won’t be able to continue to succeed at that level. Our attention is distracted onto how that end result will impact us.

We need to notice when this occurs and redirect attention to climbing. Climbing is very simple: we need to go from the bottom to the top of a cliff or mountain, taking the reasonable risk along the way. We will stop at stances to think through the next section then we will commit to climbing through that section. Then, repeat. If we notice our attention shift to thoughts of failure or success, simply redirect attention to this process. With our attention focused on this process, psychological fears diminish, and we retain our power to act.
Check out Arno’s blog at www.warriorsway.com



As you transition from preparation to action, you move from one skill set to another. In action, you use the doing skill set; you focus attention on acting out your plan. If you drag thinking into doing, you mix skill sets and attention will be diffused between the two, limiting the effectiveness of either process. Remember, climbing includes stopping and moving. Thinking occurs when you stop, at mini and micro decision points. Then you move between them.

Remember to stop and think, OR move and do. Students in the Espresso Clinic learn the mantra, “When you rest, rest; when you climb, climb.” This helps them separate the skill sets of thinking and doing. Heighten your state of arousal by doing a few deliberate exhales. Breathing shifts attention out of your head and into your body and helps you break free.

For making decisions we discussed how to break free of thinking. Heighten your state of arousal by doing a few deliberate exhales. Breathing shifts attention out of your head and into your body and helps you break free.





“May I be happy, and have all the causes of happiness,
May I be free from suffering and all the causes of suffering,
May I live in equanimity, with neither attachment nor aversion.
May I live in loving-kindness toward all.”

This is the Buddhist equanimity prayer.
Another version goes “May I live in the big equanimity, free of passion, aggression, and prejudice.”

Equanimity means accepting whatever comes, without choosing. In other words, it means accepting rain and sunshine without anger or elation, but rather with an “Oh, ok, rain is good for the flowers”. Facing life with equanimity is what gives those who cultivate it suppleness. It counters the type of cognitive rigidity that might allow a small hiccup to ruin your day.

Equanimity is one of the basic principles of Buddhist philosophy. Buddhists hold that dividing experiences, people and life in general into categories such as good and bad introduces judgement and distances us from ourselves and from the world. The process goes like this. We become preoccupied with our judgements, perceptions, past experiences and preferences and, as a result, in our reactions to what we meet on our paths, we focus on these old feelings rather than on allowing each new facet of life to impress us in the present.

Says Buddhist thinker, Gil Fronsdal on the subject:

“Equanimity is one of the most sublime emotions of Buddhist practice. It is the ground for wisdom and freedom and the protector of compassion and love. While some may think of equanimity as dry neutrality or cool aloofness, mature equanimity produces a radiance and warmth of being.”

But what, really, is the point of equanimity?
Well, to cultivate a mindset that can free us from being hopelessly and wildly attached to a particular outcome or set of circumstances. Afterall, in the immortal words of the Rolling Stones, “You can’t always get what you want”. Equanimity helps lead life regardless.

Says Fronsdal:
“Equanimity is a protection from the “eight worldly winds”: praise and blame, success and failure, pleasure and pain, fame and disrepute. Becoming attached to or excessively elated with success, praise, fame or pleasure can be a set-up for suffering when the winds of life change direction. For example, success can be wonderful, but if it leads to arrogance, we have more to lose in future challenges. Becoming personally invested in praise can tend toward conceit. Identifying with failure, we may feel incompetent or inadequate. Reacting to pain, we may become discouraged. If we understand or feel that our sense of inner well-being is independent of the eight winds, we are more likely to remain on an even keel in their midst.”

There you go!
Now put a little equanimity in your breakfast cereal every morning. It’s good for your cholesterol!!