What's the end game?
How do you get there?
What's stopping you?
Growth takes an investment, & is stopped by uncertainty.
Traction means making contact, & is stopped by fear.
Direction needs clarification, & is stopped by knowledge.
Stability needs consistency, & is stopped by lack of energy.
The uncertainty & fear that you don't have the necessary knowledge zaps your energy…and slowly…failure becomes your new reality.
You can't wait to have "everything you need to start".
You can't be afraid that it won't grow even if you water it.
You can't walk away just because the journey is long.
You can't expect a miracle from a seed still in your hand.
I'm not sure where you are at today.
I'm hopeful this is at least for one of my friends.
And even if it's not...
It's for me.
And maybe that's enough.
Because on this day...
I've planted again.
I'll care for it.
I will passionately pursue the harvest that will come from it.
Fear can't win. Doubt can't win. Here's why...
We can't ignore the opportunity just because it's scary.
The harvest is bigger than our fear.
You’ve been given a gift.
A moment in time.
It may not seem like it when your alarm goes off at 5am. When it seems like you are the only one lacing up your shoes to go train. When it’s the middle of the night, you are up studying, and you glance over to see your roommate peacefully sleeping.
You arrive at a place where you get to do what you love, and somehow wish you weren’t there. You wish for the simple. To sleep in. Eat whatever, whenever. Yet…if you were granted that wish, you’d be miserable. Because the passion in your heart to compete is more powerful than the pleasure of temporary satisfaction.
So how do you deal with the mental ping-pong of those thoughts?
Embrace your platform.
You’ve been given athletic talents. You have an opportunity to use them to help others. You are living out your calling, & inspiring countless others to do the same in the process.
Progress doesn’t come without struggle. Success doesn’t happen without sacrifice.
So the next time you feel like giving in, give more. When it feels like you’ve reached a breaking point, think back to where you started, and use it as the motivation you need to make this an all-in launching point.
You were made for this.
For such a time as this.
The air smells different the higher you climb. Not everyone is made to thrive in that climate. But you are. You are hard-wired for it. You thrive on it.
That is your gift.
You know the difference between thriving and surviving. The stark contrast between creating and caving. The clarity as to what it takes to achieve greatness, and the easy path to laziness.
You’ve got this…even when it hurts. You’ve got this…even when others don’t understand. You’ve got this…even when doubt tries to push you down.
And lest you think the only result that matters is…
The lowest time.
The best score.
The gold medal.
The top platform.
Those will never determine the end result. That is for you, and you alone to say.
Don't get me wrong...I'm a competitor through and through. I don't like to lose.
I'm not minimizing the effort that goes into winning, or the pain you experience as a result of losing. I've been on both sides of that coin, many times.
What I feel like you need to hear...deserve to hear...is that as time passes, the lesson of competing as a student-athlete has roots that run far deeper than one moment in time.
You'll begin to ask yourself these questions. And if you can say yes, you'll have gained far more than momentary recognition.
Did you give your all? Did you honor every person on the journey? Did you show humility? Did you act gracious to your competitors? Did you sacrifice your personal preference for the betterment of the team? Did you come a little early, and stay a little late?
Would you do it all over again?
If for no other reason than the relationships you made along the way.
Just to spend those long hours training with them. Just to ride the bus with them again. Just to laugh together, cry together…experience all of it together…again.
Because at the end of the day…
That is the truest definition of winning that I know.
Make the decision to be intentional about building relationships, so that you create a team of influence.
When that is seared into your soul,
you can do far more than win a sporting contest.
You will be ready to change the world.
So please don't throw in the towel when it gets hard. We need you to learn every lesson you can along the way. For the calling that is on your life will be accomplished because of what you learned from them. Without them, life on the other side of sports gets harder. With them you are equipped to take on every challenge thrown your way, in a way that only you can.
Because of that...
You ARE ready to change the world.
No time like the present. Lord knows our world so desperately needs it. And you?
We...those you know, and so many you may never meet...
WE. BELIEVE. IN. YOU.
For it's in the lessons of competition you will begin to understand your calling's destination. And when that happens, run in that direction with every ounce of passion your heart can muster.
You’ve been given a gift.
A moment in time.
Now, and in the future.
You, student-athlete, were made...
FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS.
It's Saturday night.
I'm on my porch writing this blog post.
We've just finished day one of a two day tournament in the Buffalo, NY area. The weather was perfect, the competition stiff, and the company fantastic. For a "soccer head" like myself, it was the perfect way to spend a Saturday in the summer. And the fact that two of my three kids were playing in it was a fun bonus.
I've been either watching, playing or coaching soccer since I was about 10 years old. That means I am over the 30 year mark of experiencing the world's most popular game. And every time I slow down, sit down, and pause...I realize more and more about what this beautiful game brings to life.
See...it's not just about the sport itself.
I've been on the winning side, the losing side, and the draws in between them. I've smiled, cried, laughed, and been puzzled more times than I can count.
The game is fun.
The game is beautiful.
The game is expressive, creative, and artistic.
But the best part isn't the ball in the back of the net, it's the people in and around it.
Here's my take on what soccer does to you, in you, and through you. And anyone who's experienced it, can completely attest to it.
Now, for all of you who "can't stand soccer", think it's boring, and think ties are crazy-train...stay with me. You might just change your mind when you hear why we love it so much.
5 things soccer has taught me about life...
1. How to leverage anticipation: When you can see what's coming before it happens, you respond differently before it arrives. It's the same with life. When you know how you will respond in a conversation, situation, or circumstance before it happens...you bring more value to the moment when it arrives. You'll do that in every relationship you have the honor of being a part of. Whether it's family, friends, or even a complete stranger. The empathy, sympathy, and honor you lead with, becomes an example to live by. Anticipation is the breeding ground for progress. On the field, and off. In a game, and in life.
2. Confidence isn't something you have, it's who you are: I shared this thought with my team in the practices leading up to this tournament. It came to me while I was high on a ladder with a paintbrush earlier in the week, as I was thinking about the soccer tournament ahead of us. I knew my kids needed to hear it. See, here's the thing. We have success because we are confident...not the other way around. And it's not a confidence in our ability to always be right...it's in knowing exactly who we are. And if at any moment...again...on the field or off...that isn't enough to win the game, get the promotion, seal the deal? It doesn't mean we lacked confidence. What it does mean, is that it's ok to see it as a learning experience. It doesn't change the fact that we are created with confidence. It reminds us it's our job to take hold of it, own it, express it, and live a life thankful for it.
3. A loss might shake us, but it doesn't need to break us: For this weekend, so far so good. No losses on the first day. But, again...I've been in many situations where that is how the season or tournament ended. It stings momentarily, but shouldn't reside on the inside of us permanently. I like to think of it this way...failure isn't failing, it's failing to learn from it. We are going to fall down in life. But it doesn't mean we need to fall apart. Getting back up, getting after it, and trying again has a reward, too. It's found in the relational equity built when you are raising up those you care the most about during a time of loss. Shaken, yes. Broken, no. Stronger for having gone through it together...absolutely.
4. Accountability helps us reach maturity: Soccer has the most continual moving parts of any sport I know. If you've got one to rival it, I'm all ears. But I think soccer holds the record. 11 players moving continuously, towards a common goal...amidst distraction, intense pressure, and exhaustion. All of this happens while maintaining a clear focus on the tactical plan laid out ahead of time. (yes, that's a thing. no, we don't just chase a ball around a big field) Patience, diligence, commitment, awareness, and communication all happens simultaneously...IN HOPES...that we will arrive at the planned destination (a win) intentionally. And when all of that happens it's because we've all held one another accountable. Not yelling at, but pouring encouragement into. Being honest when the effort isn't our best, but doing it with a pat on the back, not finger in a face. It's not calling out, it's moving forward. To where we are going, based on who we are. Life is like that. The companies, organizations, ministries, families, schools, etc...that get that? Those are the ones with the silly grins on their face, because they know the best part of their life is found in the safety of accountability. Challenging one another to be their best, and filling in the gaps by having each other's backs along the way. Maturity is something that is full. It's realized. It's joy. We get there when we start here...holding one another accountable.
5. Any place. Any day. Any amount of time: We have this motto on our team. It's that any player will play any position on the field, on any given day, for any amount of time. It's setting aside personal preference to buy into our vision as a team. We can't win a game played with 11 players, one player at a time. It's 11 on the pitch, and 7 supporting on the bench...working together, over time. Ahead of time in practice. When it's time on game day. An office, school, church, family...you name it. It works the same way. Think about anyone on your team adopting our motto. No more "it's not in my job description". There are no descriptions applicable to an individual that preclude them from sacrificing their wants for the team's needs.
As I go to sleep tonight, I have no idea how tomorrow will turn out.
I know how I...we...want it to.
We want to win.
We want a championship.
But this is what I do know tonight, about tomorrow...
If we manage to win the tournament championship, it will be because of the value we've placed on relationships.
As a team.
As a family.
Those are my thoughts tonight.
Those are reflections from a soccer coach.
My hope is that in some small way, it's been an encouragement to you. And yes...that you might see soccer as more than a ball, a field, and a bunch of people wandering aimlessly.
It's the exact opposite.
It's the outward expression of relational intentionality.
In how we leverage anticipation.
In how we see confidence.
In how we process loss.
In how we are accountable to one another.
In how we'll do it all...
Any amount of time.
Those are roots worth putting down, and growing from.
And maybe...just maybe...it's a repeatable process that's way bigger than a win, loss, or draw. Maybe it's the model our world needs too.
To anticipate how to love one another, freely. (#LoveWins)
To walk confidently with one another, sincerely.
To grieve with one another, genuinely.
To hold one another together, unconditionally.
To live as one.
Any amount of time.
That's a reflection worth more than a quick look.
That's a reflection worth living.
Live the former, serving the latter.
Because...that's always a win.
Any amount of time.
One relationship at a time.
THEY DID IT!
Meet the 2016 GU15
Clarence Classic CHAMPIONS!!!
You have a HUGE job, and a tremendous OPPORTUNITY.
In the lives of your student-athletes.
My name is Brett W. Gould.
I am a motivational speaker and life coach.
I failed out of college as a young student-athlete, and now spend my professional life speaking into the lives of the next generation so they don't repeat the same mistakes.
Why am I contacting you?
Their transition to college IS NOT going well.
I've been there as a student-athlete, and I know how to help others that are.
Here's my student-athlete story.
I failed out of college at 18.
I was in the top 20% of my HS class.
Athlete. Musician. Generally, hilarious and engaging in every circle I travelled in.
And then college hit, and hit hard.
I started skipping classes.
I drifted to anything that didn't hold me accountable.
I was living a nightmare, and no one really knew it.
I was scared.
I didn't like my classes.
I didn't know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
At the end of semester #1 I had a 1.85 GPA.
No one really addressed it.
Just a couple of months into semester #2, and it was over.
4 F's and an incomplete.
And a letter saying I had failed out.
I had just received a 0.0, and felt hopeless.
Luckily…I had a mentor that put his arms around my world and wouldn't let me quit.
I walked onto another campus, and they took me in…on the word of my mentor.
I had to fight.
I had limitations and expectations, for academic success, to stay there.
I couldn't play soccer, because I was ineligible.
I watched from the stands, knowing I was as good as any of the guys.
I pulled my grades up.
I walked-on the following fall…AND MADE THE TEAM.
I worked HARD.
The following year…I EARNED AN ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP.
I posted a 4.0 during an in-season semester.
I began coaching soccer in a city school my senior year in college.
And I graduated CUM LAUDE.
That's a snap-shot of WHO I was as a college student. That was over 20 years ago. Since then I have had the honor of working with tons of high school and college students. I've coached everywhere from the U6 level to College and in between. I've built curriculum that helps athletics programs, coaches, and student-athletes discover WHO they are so they will know WHAT to do. It works. I've spoken in High School classrooms, an auditorium, and all over different settings on College campuses.
What am I asking of you?
To have a conversation with me, about being a resource for you.
How would we work together?
I would be a Mental Coaching resource for your administration, coaches and student-athletes. Not as a one hit talk, but as a long-term relationship. I have a specific process I follow, that is a huge win for administrators, coaches, and student-athletes.
(You'll see a testimonial in a minute)
Can we be brutally honest?
You don’t have to.
Most of you, in fact, won’t.
And that's ok.
I want to work with a handful of people that get it, and I am hoping that might be you.
The great leaders take chances others see as distractions.
There are two approaches for Athletics Programs.
Play catch up. (Because other programs saw the value in this, first)
Play "catch us if you can". (Because you took the lead by doing this, first)
If you aren’t sure which side of that fence you are on, look around.
Are the people you lead looking tired or inspired?
Are their mental gas tanks on E, or are they coming in ramped up and ready?
At this point you have the perfect excuse to delete this email.
“Finances”. Except, it isn’t true.
There are always resources that can be found, for progress that needs to be made.
And…you are already spending the money.
Here's proof…does this sound familiar?
• Student-Athlete retention is an issue. (That means lost $ to your College)
• You, and other administrators, coaches, professors, etc…are having to meet with student-athletes who are having academic, athletic, or behavioral issues. (time = money)
• You are having to meet with coaches to go over unmet expectations about the academic and behavioral requirements of their team not being met.
When you start to look at lost tuition, and multiply out the hours x the salary of those who've had to meet over these issues…you can see that it adds up quickly.
That is why I am saying that your University is already spending the money.
The thing is, no one is tracking it.
It's happening…and you could be getting out in front of it.
Still reading? I’m looking forward to getting to know you and your teams better. You are the exact people I am looking forward to connecting with. You are the game-changers. The leaders.
Any speaker can show up once, say something clever, and “Drop The Mic” as they walk out the door. And once they do, it’ll rev up your engines for a few days…maybe even a week!
It takes a whole other kind of person, commitment, and vision…to develop a relationship with their audience. That happens over time, so that the impact is measured in sustainable life-change over years.
That’s the difference between hiring any speaker, and working with me.
I don’t speak at you, I work with you.
Not short bursts of energy that fade.
Long-term momentum and sustainable progress.
Here's a testimonial you'll love from one of your colleagues in collegiate athletics:
"Brett was excellent! We are in the process of rebuilding our program and his help has been priceless. He is an ALL-IN type of person and that's what we needed."
Head Men's Soccer Coach
St. Bonaventure University
Most of you are about a month out from your pre-season for 2016-2017.
If you would like to talk, I'd love to have the conversation.
No strings attached.
One phone call.
If there is a fit from there, we can talk specifics about how this will work with your University. If not, we've made a new friend. That's cool, too.
You made it.
And since you did, we should talk.
All The Best,
Brett W. Gould
Let's face it, we've all been there as coaches.
The game seems to be going along fine, and then something I like to call #FieldTilt, happens out of nowhere. Except, if we are being honest, it doesn't really come out of nowhere. It's a pretty common occurrence in sports. The challenge then becomes how do we respond when this moment arrives?
I sat down and penned my take on it.
Read through this short story scenario.
You'll relate to it.
I know I do.
And you'll also have a fresh perspective about why #MentalCoaching is so important in the development of our student-athletes.
What causes it? Momentum shifts and a team begins to play on their heels. But it starts before it becomes a physical problem. It even starts before players get quiet, and it’s a communication problem. It starts when doubt creeps in. It starts when moments of frustration become unwanted momentum.
It starts in the mind.
And once it happens, things get quieter. Touches get less clinical. And the field tilts. It’s as if the actual field is up in the air. The team "holding on" is playing at the bottom of the hill.
When feet get tired, minds must be clear.
Who you are.
Why you exist.
What you believe.
How you do what you do.
All of it working in concert.
Clarity lifts the eyes.
Clears the mind.
Raises the shoulders.
From heels to toes.
From frustration to anticipation.
From holding on to leaning forward.
The field starts to tilt the other way.
Your vision becomes your leverage.
The fulcrum slides, and the match shifts back.
In your favor.
As you honor.
Who you are.
And what you do.
Because at the end of the day…when you know WHO you are, you will know WHAT to do.
So how do we, as coaches, respond?
I've built a model that is changing the game, literally and figuratively, for myself and many others.
The MVP Model.
Mental. Verbal. Physical.
When you are mentally aware of your entire surroundings, and verbally articulate about who you are, and what you are trying to accomplish...only then will you be physically able to live it out.
And the bonus?
When you see and hear how to apply this, you'll be ecstatic!
Don't have a process in place to combat #FieldTilt?
Not sure how to build one?
Wish it was already done, so you can move forward?
Are you looking for a competitive advantage, when your team steps over the white line to take the field?
Done, done, done and done.
Email/call to talk about how to bring the MVP Model to your team.
Tilt the field in the direction you want it to go, instead of looking up later, and realizing you could have.
A physical advantage on the field, starts with a perspective advantage found in the mind.
Ready to learn the MVP Model?
5 Center Street
Fredonia NY 14063
When is the last time you really slowed down?
When is the last time you valued investing in yourself over pouring into others?
That last statement might have caught you off guard. You might have re-read it a couple of times. Maybe you disagree(d) with it, or at the very least, aren't sure how you feel about it.
That all makes sense.
But here is why I said it.
If you aren't taking care of yourself, how can you have anything of substance to give to others?
This applies to all of us, but especially to leaders that are responsible for the care of their followers.
CEO's, Coaches, Parents, Teachers, Pastors, and the list goes on, and on.
Let's use a common, everyday example to prove our point.
We, myself included, boast about our posts. You know, the ones where we Facebook, Tweet, or Instagram pictures of #LateNightsAndLattes.
Now, don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with being a night owl, or enjoying a tasty Latte. Some of us do our best work at hours of the day that others are checking their eyelids for light leaks. (That was a saying my grandfather used. Still love it!)
Isolation can't replace the progress found in accountability.
I was journaling the other day, and I wrote something that is a great reminder for leaders everywhere.
Let's call it an epiphany.
According to Wikipedia (which aren't most things, really?), an epiphany "is an experience of sudden and striking realization."
Let's take it one step further, and create an acronym you won't soon forget.
The Epiphany of ART.
Leaders are often rather artistic in nature. How they express themselves in their thoughts, words, and actions.
That's where the aforementioned Epiphany of ART comes into play.
So what does this have to do with #InvestInRest?
You can't recover effectively without the "ART" of this epiphany.
You have a calling.
You need someone that will help you...
Be accountable to it.
Be responsible for it.
Be transparent through it.
That's where a Life Coach comes in.
Not to solve your problems, challenges, and obstacles for you...rather, someone that will walk with you.
Great coaches ask great questions.
Great coaches help you leverage momentum.
Great coaches call you out on stuck points.
At the end of the day, as leaders, we need to stop bragging about our exhaustion levels, and spend that time doing one thing intentionally...
Part of resting, is intentional investing.
Where are you at on the epiphany scale?
Are you starting to have a sudden realization that this sounds like a need in your life?
If you are ready to talk about what that looks like, I'd love to share the vision for how I work with my life coaching clients.
Send an email: Contact@WHOBIX.com
Call me: 716-672-9661
Reaching out is the first step to being more equipped to pour into your team.
I look forward to hearing from you!
I was working in my office today, and needed to erase the whiteboard you see in the picture above. I busted out the windex and paper towels to take care of what I thought would be a 2 minute project. Except it took longer. Much, much longer. I needed a scrubby-pad-thingy-what's it, too. And elbow grease. The quantity of which may have just given me tendonitis. Great, there goes my professional tennis career.
Mid-cleaning it hit me.
I had written the notes that were on the board a while ago. It was an important section of a book I am currently writing. I left it up, because I knew I would be referring to it a lot. And when my elbow began to feel like it was going to explode I realized something.
Consistent messages are hard to ignore.
That made me think of high school and college students. Specifically, our responsibility to speak life into them on a regular, consistent basis.
The words we use impact how they see themselves.
The actions they take based on those words multiply those results. Either for good, or...well, not so good.
We need to be intentional about the words we are pouring into the next generation.
The ones they think about themselves. The ones they use to describe themselves. The ones that act as a mental GPS to the actions they take.
And that's on us.
Just like the words on my whiteboard were not easily erased, neither are the ones we speak into the next generation. My whiteboard had encouraging words. But think about the many, many times that the emotional whiteboard of a young adult is getting filled with negative words. And then our first reaction is to blame them for acting on the only teaching they've ever known...negativity.
Millennials are listening.
And every time we lob the softball of "they are just an entitled generation", we highlight our unwillingness to be part of the solution. Actually, we also do a fantastic job of contributing to the problem.
Stop complaining, and start solving.
Stop putting down, and start pouring into.
Stop, stopping, and start, starting.
Be willing to spend the time scrubbing the emotional whiteboard of a Millennial clean, so that you can fill it back up with encouragement.
Unleash their potential, by bringing words of wisdom that are intentional.
Teach them the power of words.
Teach them how to leverage the momentum that comes from understanding WHO they are, and WHY they exist. Teach them to rely on values, so that WHAT they believe comes alive in HOW they act.
Every mind is like a whiteboard.
Fill it with great content.
Words are hard to remove, so make sure they are worth the time you are taking to say them.
Every word matters.
And one last thing...
The consistency of your delivery will either be part of the solution, or part of the problem.
We also have to be intentional about our commitment over time. Just because we said it once, doesn't mean our job is done.
There will always be a competing message for limited space in the minds that we are teaching.
Keep writing words of encouragement, life, challenge, love, hope, etc...on the hearts of the next generation.
That way when someone tries to fill it with the opposite, they will see the value in not listening to it.
Well, I have to run.
I have a whiteboard to fill with more notes.
Positive, life-giving, inspiring notes.
For the next generation.
I hope you will join me in doing the same.
If you Google the word, here is what you will find.
"A soft area of land that gives way underfoot."
"An awkward, complex, or hazardous situation."
And for many college freshman, that is exactly what it feels like to walk on to campus for the second time.
I'm not talking about the first time. You know...the one when you tour the campus, seeing the best of everything. When you get what J-Lo calls "the goosies". When you seal the deal that this will be your University with the rite of passage that has happened for decades. You buy the sweatshirt from the bookstore, and wear it all over your hometown.
Everything is full of hope and excitement on the first visit. But when it comes time to wave to your parents from the curb as they become smaller, disappearing into the distance that is your former existence...something shifts.
Don't get me wrong. You are still excited. Come on, man. You've just reached the pinnacle of freedom.
Where do you start?
So much freedom, so much time.
Until there isn't.
Yeah...it happens the moment the first syllabus drops in front of you, with the weight of an anvil. It's multiplied a few times over...from class, to class, to class.
All of a sudden free time looks like one of those freezer bags that gets any quantifiable amount of air left sucked out of it by a vacuum-looking device.
Welcome to college.
If you arrive at this point still unsure of "WHAT" you want to be when you grow up, "WHAT" your major should be, "WHAT" classes you should take...it can be a lot like knowing you are hungry, but afraid to take a bite. Why? Because you know you are allergic to some of it...you just don't know what part of it.
Silly analogy? Maybe.
Wouldn't it be nice to know what you were allergic to, before you consumed it?
I think there are 2 Quagmire-like times in a college freshman's life.
First steps and next steps.
Arriving and deciding.
How do you recapture the "sweatshirt-from-the-bookstore" feeling, when you are staring at the "what-the-heck-do-I-do-now" reality?
Take a step back.
Think about WHO you are and WHY you exist. Think about the very thing that drives you. Think about what you love to day-dream about.
Start to think about what you believe in. The non-negotiable values that steer you. The ones, that at the end of the day, will keep you on track, on time, and on point...amidst the attractive distractions (and they will come) that flood the world of every college freshman.
Think about it this way...
When you know WHO you are, you will know WHAT to do. You exist to do something of significance, based on who YOU are.
This may sound fancy and idealistic. Maybe it is. But from my personal experience, having lived it...and failed out...and hearing from current day college students...this matters.
And at the risk of losing you altogether, I have some homework for you.
Write down the problem that bothers you the most in the world today. Now write down next to it, what you are uniquely equipped to bring to it. (Not what degree you think you need, or major you think you need to declare) Be specific.
Write down the problem.
Write down where you would LOVE to participate in building the solution.
Once you get to the place where you begin to see the end, you will know where to start.
Once you start to see how you are built, you will know what you can bring to the table.
Once you know WHO you are, you will know WHAT to do.
That'll turn your Quagmires into Questions. Questions are a good thing. They lead to solutions.
No more loose footing and awkward unknowns.
Your first steps become confident next steps.
Your arrival is no longer about just survival.
It's time to thrive.
If someone asked you "Who are you?", could you answer it in one sentence? If they asked you "What do you do?" could you do the same?
That first question made you pause and think. The second rolled off your tongue with ease.
Interesting, isn't it?
Those two questions are not the same thing, yet we treat them that way. We identify WHO people are by WHAT they do.
Not sure you agree? Fair enough. Let's look at a common scenario we find ourselves in from time to time.
We enter the room at a gathering. A party. An event. A BBQ. Wherever we are, the next thing that happens is commonplace.
We introduce ourselves.
By name, occupation, and location.
"Hi, my name is Brett. I'm a life coach. Our family lives in Fredonia, NY."
Someone else responds with their name, job, and domicile residency.
And the dance begins...
Do I ask them more about their job? Should I ask if they have kids? I could just go to the standard weather chat. Is that pulled pork over there? Wait...what did he say his name was again? Ughh...
I'm going to introduce myself again.
"Hi, my name is Brett. I help people discover WHO they are, so they will know WHAT to do."
I'd bet you are more interested about who I am now, than before. Why is that? Because in my first introduction I told you WHAT I was called (a life coach). In my second one, I shared WHO I was...AKA, my calling (to help people).
One is a task.
The other is inspirational.
That's precisely the point that I believe we are missing the mark on when it comes to raising up our kids, the next generation, a team, or our employees. We are teaching them that WHAT they do defines them as individuals.
What they do, is simply ONE expression of who they are. But it's not actually WHO they are.
Don't believe me?
Ask Millennials if they think they will have the same job for the next 30 years. They will either spit their drink through their nose laughing, or look at you like you've lost your mind.
Because the model of WHAT is broken. And I, for one, couldn't be more excited about it.
Because at the heart of real change is a foundational shift. From asking someone what they want to do when they grow up, to helping them discover who they are now.
Help someone discover a clear vision for their lives, based on a core set of values they truly believe in, and everything changes. Multiply that by a large group of people who share those beliefs?
Look out. You've just found a healthy culture of game-changers.
By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be made up of Millennials. I have a strong sense they will be considerably more concerned about making a difference based on WHO they are and WHY they exist, than anything else.
Oh, they will work. They will have jobs. They will lead. They will do amazing things. But again...I sense it will have way more to do with purpose than profit.
Because at the end of the day...
When you know WHO you are, you will know WHAT to do.
So...can you answer it without hesitation?
Who are you?
When you know WHO you are, you will know WHAT to do. You'll spend your time, energy, and resources walking out an outward expression of your inward vision.
We'll talk more about that, soon.
Thanks for stopping by today.
From time to time people will ask what I do. It's a fair question. My wife tells me I need to talk more about it. I will post on Twitter, or Facebook about where my travels take me...but never too much about the specifics of it. Until now. So, here we go...
I do three things.
I'm a motivational speaker & a life coach.
My best friend just made a Matt Foley reference in his head when he read that. You might have, too. That's fine. That bit is hysterical! But what I do is as real as the high fives, laughter, occasional tears, and life change stories that come from students after speaking into the lives of the next generation.
My work is wrapped in helping high school and college students transition well. From HS to college. From college to the workplace. From wherever they are, to where they feel called to. And if they are struggling to find their calling, we work through that, too.
I've made some bold steps recently, and more are in the works. Why? Trust me, it's not to see my name in lights. It's to double-down on my commitment to not waste my pain. To do, as a mentor once encouraged me to...teach from it. Yeah, pain infers there is a story. It's rich. You'll laugh. You'll cry. Heck...I fight tears trying to get through parts of it. But I have to tell it, because I've heard life-change stories from students as a result of sharing from it.
In today's blog I want to give you an inside snap-shot of what this looks like. After having spent an entire day speaking on a college campus, I asked a college professor to share his thoughts on my time with his students.
I wasn't fully prepared for the impact of his response. It has created a renewed sense of urgency on my part. More on that, after you read this...
Here is his response:
(Bold and italics, mine)
"In the fall of 2015, I invited Brett Gould to campus at Roberts Wesleyan College to give a series of talks in my writing courses. Brett spoke in every class back-to-back-to-back-to-back and the day culminated with his campus-wide lecture as part of the Cultural Enrichment Series. Brett's presence on campus truly created a transforming experience for many students.
I know this because
1) I read student exercises from a journal we worked through for class professing such and
2) I had students continue to ask me about him the next semester. Many of the students spoke glowingly about both Brett's speaking style and ability to instantly connect with them on a deep level. He made them feel seen and that they mattered.
A few years ago I noticed that around halfway through an academic term many students needed real encouragement. The rigor of a 15 week semester left many weary and feeling overwhelmed. That's why I contacted Brett. I believed that his message about finding out who one is in order to discover how to live would be received well. I was not surprised to see that this single class session was enough to speak volumes to many students; I had witnessed as much when Brett changed my worldview as a soccer coach when I was in high school. What he does so effectively is show people that he cares about them and the work they will do. As Brett and I told stories and shared from our own walks with God, I saw many students put their guards down. It was a rare day. It was a pivotal day. In fact, many actually did some of their best writing as they processed the changes that were occurring in their lives because of how Brett provided a clearer picture of peaks and valleys of life.
Every college professor or coach looking to establish a real rapport with his or her students should consider inviting Brett Gould to campus to talk about the art of "becoming" or rediscovering who we are. His work helped me to reach out in a really significant way to my students; he helped me to create a memorable class that many students will remember far beyond the content I discussed in class."
So this is the part where I need your help. Actually, not me...the students I could be speaking with.
Let's peel back the onion a little. Getting to the point where you get this bold (to "make the ask" like this) is a huge "I wanna puke on my shoes" moment. That's a natural reaction to potential rejection. But when you feel as strongly as I do, it's not an option. It's my responsibility.
The reality of rejection is real. We've all felt it at some point. But the reality of the response after I've spoken to high school and college students is even more real.
So I continue. So I ask. So I reach out. Because there is a young person sitting in a high school, or walking across a college campus that needs to hear this message.
Thanks for stopping by today.
Oh yeah...those bold moves?
Tour Dates will be announced soon.
Wait, what? A tour.
It's called "DIALED IN"...and you are not going to want to miss it. $10 a seat. An hour that will challenge and encourage you to be who you are called to be, and do what you only you are uniquely equipped to do.
Do you know a student that needs to hear that message?
We are even accepting submissions for where I go on tour. Want me to come to a city near you? Let us know! I will trek here, there and everywhere. (End of post has how to get in contact with our team)
I have also just agreed to come speak to college students at a major NorthEast festival. That announcement will be coming soon, as well.
Grab a snack and buckle up.
2016 is about to get real...real fast.
Thanks, in advance, for "making the ask" to have me come speak, on the behalf of students who need the encouragement.
Drop a note in the comments, or hit me up to talk more details, here:
@BrettWGould on Twitter
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.