Vote For Your Favorite Story On Commitment

Today I would love your help in deciding who I should give $400’s worth of free Life Coaching to.

As I said in my last post ‘Let’s See Some Commitment‘ I had 28 requests for one place (I’ve since added a runners up prize) and I was having a really hard job narrowing the field.

I eventually, and rather reluctantly, narrowed it down to six people. I contacted all six and gave them the opportunity to re-submit their story on commitment in 350 words or less. Below are the replies.

When you have read them all, please leave a comment telling me which one you think is best using just the title.

Please do not give an explanation of why you think it’s great. If you do I’ll edit it out.

A couple of the people have shown real guts in entering this and their desire for privacy has meant they have held information back. Go with your gut feel and read between the lines would be my advice.

If you have applied, feel free to vote for yourself,  but please do not identify yourself as a contestant or ask people to vote for you in the comments. If you do I’ll probably tut-tut very loudly and accidentally lose some of your votes.

EDIT: A couple of people asked me how they vote without people knowing their name. LIE! If you are logged into WordPress, log out, put a fake name in and leave the URL blank. Only I see the e-mail address. If you don’t have WordPress account, enter whatever you want in the fields as long as the e-mail address is valid.

What you do away from this blog is up to you, but if I’m being honest I’d prefer to work with the person that wrote the story that people really like. Rather than the one written by the person that knows the most people on Twitter or Facebook. But I wont go all anal over that.

If you are reading this via my e-mail feed, and you can’t be arsed to click through and vote, simply hit return and e-mail me back your answer and I will add it to the totals.

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Battling Through

I joined Big Corporate from university – interesting and fun.  Then a car accident, followed by neurosurgery to my neck.  I didn’t recover quickly from that.  I was still enjoying work … until I had another car accident.

As before, I braked, but the car behind me didn’t.  Lots more surgery, but I was left with extreme pain, weakness and fatigue.

I was in survival mode for many years, on substantial medication and struggling to manage.

Working 60%, chores ‘costing’ two hours in bed.  Life was restricted and lonely – work, resting, and hospitals, and I SO missed all the physical and social things I used to do – sport, rock-climbing, ballroom dancing.

I had a hard time over 20+ years of injury and illness, including 65+ inpatient admissions.  My consultant kept advising me to retire on ill-health grounds.  Then the National Health Service said there they could do nothing more for me

Panic and distress set in – but I couldn’t just quit!  So I took back control in June 2005, supported by a fantastic neuro-physio-hydrotherapy lady.

After a year of weekly sessions, there was a little improvement, so I kept going, and added weekly remedial massage and Tai Chi, alongside daily home exercise, still holding down my job.

I wept many, many times with the sheer frustration, pain and fatigue.  But I kept on, regardless.  That’s nearly 2000 days of tough, painful, emotionally demanding treatment.  I have been UBER-committed to my recovery, because I saw and see it as key to getting my life back.

And, at last, I am reclaiming my body and my life.  In August 2010, I walked to the top of a hill – so symbolic!!  I called my mum and we were both in tears for sheer joy.  (Tim’s note: There was a photo included in the post, but I wanted to keep submissions to text only)

Now I’ve left my blue chip employer to work for myself.  I want to make a real difference.  To make organizations into places with clear vision where people can give their best.  And I especially want to work with hospitals and healthcare organizations.

I would love to have Tim’s help to do that

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C.O.M.M.I.T.M.E.N.T.

Coaching me would be fun.You want Tim to have fun?

Or you at least want him to have a challenge?

Myriad of reasons to try & convince you all to pick me, commitment is my middle name! I’m just too much of a privacy freak to detail here but please understand coaching would benefit me so much that I’d send you loving thoughts in return (What do you mean? LOA not in fashion on blogs anymore? You could miss out on some serious love here people! )

My life needs coaching, coached myself as far possible, (If we’re talking development material devoured, I should be a superhero by now or have a medal for trying).  Good on commitment, not so good on consistency, strangely not the same thing. Coach could sort that. Bingo! Digested self dev. material made concrete! I’d grow wings!

I have been stuck in a loop.

“I feel stuck yet I’m trying to move.. need to earn some cash.. need to sort my life out, If I had the cash I’d hire a life coach”
“ ’Till then I’ll sort my life out then I’ll have cash and then I can hire a life coach!”
“that sorting life out thing’s not really working as well as it could.. if only I had a life coach! Then I could hire a life coach!”

To me commitment is not always good when commitment becomes a habit without a cause. Re-evaluate commitment? Paradox? Sensible?

Many people may think this entry is childish but it’s a way of being able to still enter this competition without becoming too personal, going against something I value, privacy. I’m not comfortable posting publically but COMMITTED TO THIS! I could have given up when the goal posts moved but I HAD to find a way.

Energy focusing is commitment. I have energy! Tim’d help me focus it. I’d be known as ‘Commitment Commitment!’

No is a positive word, enhancing the ‘Yes’ you have committed to by chiseling away what is not part of that ‘yes’.

Time to comment! Sending you all lots of love!

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The Client Does The Hard Work

Tim’s life coaching report states, “The client does the really hard work in life coaching.” [16]  I believe this is a key to living a healthy life.  I began thriving on dialysis when I realized that no matter how many people are on my team, I am the one that takes the hits.  You can bet your butt I am committed to getting the work done!

Background: I was given six months to live when diagnosed with kidney disease in 1981.  I am still here.

When preparing for a successful second kidney transplant I was given The News that I had a lot of anti-bodies, a rarer blood type, blah, blah!  I stopped listening.

After a couple of weeks of being angry and “why me, poor me…” I realized, “I am healthy!  My right match exists!  I need to be ready!”.  From my 1990 transplant attempt I knew a kidney transplant ain’t no mosquito bite and it takes considerably longer to heal.

Despite breaking a hip 1993 (repaired 1994, 1997), I safely learned to jog as a survival tactic for frustrations of many years of dialysis.  I ate to feel good and not have to work as hard to jog.

Fortifying my support system meant growing, culling and nurturing relationships.  Supporting my recovery meant saving enough money for nearly a year of unemployment.  While visualizing a healthy new life my focus was, “I am healthy!  My right match exists!  Be ready!”.

The call came September 11, 2004 (approximately two months after The News!  Fuck The News!!!  Fuck The News Two Times!!!).

Wow.  The Love.  Emotional deposits I had been making all along came back in floods!

Friends drove me to the hospital nearly 300 km away, friends harvested my community garden, friends prepared food, my home (huge Welcome Home sign included) and a visitation schedule for my post-surgery recovery!

It has now been over six years and most days are WAY better than the visualizations!

Thank you.

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Valentines Day

About two and a half years ago and four months into my new relationship, I found out I was pregnant.  Four weeks later I was diagnosed with breast cancer and advised that to receive the treatment I required I would have to terminate my pregnancy.

On top of that, the recommended chemotherapy gave me a sixty percent chance of infertility or early menopause.  How could I terminate and maybe never have a child.?

I am someone who bought pregnancy books at age eighteen because it fascinated me.  I worked in childcare for ten years and then became a teacher.  I LOVE CHILDREN!  A panel was created to go over my unique situation.  Sadly, I miscarried ten days after my diagnosis.

A week later had a lumpectomy, followed by five months of chemo and thirty five days straight of radiation.  I completed my treatment January 5th 2009 ironically on what was to have been my “due date”.

Doctors told me it could take up to two years before we would find out the state of my fertility.  Well, five weeks after my last radiation appointment, and to everyone’s total surprise, I had become pregnant.  Cheers to giving it up on Valentine’s Day!

I now have a happy, healthy and beautiful daughter named Zoey who will turn one November 7th.

A couple of months after Zoey was born I found out that I tested positive for the BRCA1 “cancer gene”, and there is a 50% chance I may have genetically passed it on to Zoey.  Within the next year or two I will be having a double mastectomy and hysterectomy as precautionary measures.

I have chosen to stay at home to raise my family and with Tim’s coaching I will somehow add “Rich” to my “Happy Life”.

I will show everyone that life really can be lived on your own terms and you can overcome anything.  I will inspire and be a strong, positive example to survivors of cancer, moms, dads, women, men, and most importantly to Zoey.

That is why I am more committed than ever before.

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Reward Is About Effort

Well this is a doozy.  I can’t think of a single reason I “deserve” to be coached for free.

For me reward is about effort and the more effort you put in, generally, the greater your reward.  Ok so I wrote the original pitch but it was to you, a life coach, who has heard lots of bs and managed to weed through it and create some positive outcome.  Convincing someone who doesn’t necessarily have that insight I find harder.

All I know is that I am desperately in need of change and have no idea where to start.  I can find lots of good reasons why I’m continuing to do what I’m doing, despite the damage I know it’s causing.  It feels like I’m running to stand still.

I’ve spent lots of time this year trying to sort out physical and emotional issues.  In a fit of desperation I spent some savings on a trip to Australia in order to “escape” hoping that being as far as I could physically be from work and people I know would help alter my perspective and I would see things differently on my return (not been yet).

Then the “free life coaching offer” appeared I thought it would be silly not to apply as thinking alone (lets face it I’ve done lots of that over the years) may not help as it would be unfocused and the fact that it was being thunk (?*) on the escape would give  a false sense of everything being alright and I know I still have to come back and face reality.

I have felt when reading your posts that you’ve been where I’m at and your honesty is brutal – also your sense of humor is even dryer than mine.  I also got the sense that you would be able to kick my ass and get me to some “big grin” goals that I haven’t even thought of yet.

No more looking back – time to go forward!!

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The Gravity of Commitment

Commitment. It’s a big, weighty word often accompanied by negative connotations. Responsibility. Duty. Being Tied Down. Having to.

Think about gravity. It provides structure. Boundaries. Predicability. We put our furniture in place and it stays there, providing security. That structure allows us to run our lives with a certain level of expectation. We’re not going to float away. Our things will be there when we get home.

It’s an underlying force of nature that allows us to live our lives in comfort and peace.

Commitment is very much like gravity. It provides stability, routine and a certain level of expectation from all parties involved. We can choose to think of commitment as a burden. Something we have to do.

Or we can look at it a little differently.

If we think about the weight of commitment as providing substance; of being the heart of a promise; when it’s thought of as the action required to actually make things happen, that’s when commitment becomes freeing. It becomes the vehicle we take toward our dreams.

We have confidence that we can do what we say we’re going to do. We trust ourselves. And when we trust ourselves, we tend to listen to ourselves. We pay attention to what we want to commit to, and what we don’t. And we stand strong with the weight of our decision—our commitment—feeling light and free and able to move forward.

Like gravity, it becomes woven into how we live our lives. We choose what we commit to. From flossing our teeth every night, to showing up to coaching sessions every week. Our choice is just that—ours.

So today I choose to commit to Tim and his coaching, to myself, and to the future. In the past year I’ve undergone significant transformation (marriage, home, career, business). Next month I embark on a year-long road trip as I build my dream business. I’m excited and terrified, yet know that when I am strong, I can inspire and empower others to live their own dreams. And I’m committed to moving forward and making that happen.

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I told you it was tough, right? So what do you think?

Let me know in the comments and you have until approximately 7.00pm on Monday evening. I say approximately as I will turn off comments manually so no whining if it’s an hour or so earlier or later because I want to go to the gym or sit and have a beer with our friends on the last night of their vacation.

I’ll announce the winner and runner up in my newsletter before the end of next week.

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Once a year my wife borrows a horse and goes on an all day sponsored horse ride for  horse ride for the Greater Orlando Children’s Miracle Network. I know that you are inundated with requests for donations and I’m always hesitant to ask for money, especially when some people are having such a tough time. However,. if you are able to help with a donation of any amount I’d love you to bits for it!