Coaching Greatness Part 1:
Making Impossible Dreams Possible with Coaching

By Dr. Peter Chee

Continuous support, encouragement and accountability are so valuable in coaching that these have the power to change lives.
- Jack Canfield and Peter Chee

Coaching and growing people is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding work of a lifetime. When you become an effective coach, you are able to make a profound difference in the lives of the people you coach, and in the process of coaching people to realize their goals and dreams, you will also grow tremendously and your life will be deeply enriched.

Have you ever shared your dream with others and had people laugh at it, or say that it was impossible? We have, but because we believed strongly in our dream and we had great coaches that worked with us and believed in us, we have been able to achieve much more than we ever could have on our own.

People have dreams that they want to accomplish in their lives, but for many, their dreams remain just dreams for the rest of their lives. For some people, their dreams seem like an illusion because they keep going around in circles, not knowing clearly enough what they really want and what they need to do to fulfill their dreams. Some people lack the belief and drive to achieve their dreams, and they keep facing roadblocks that make them doubt that they will ever realize their dreams.

This is where you as a coach can make a huge difference in people’s lives. Their dreams don’t have to remain just dreams when they have a great coach to work with them. Coaching works best by focusing on positive emotional attractors such as goals and dreams rather than on negative emotional attractors such as correcting what is wrong in people.

In the process of focusing on goals and dreams as the main theme in coaching, people are more willing to deal with the roadblocks and problems that stand in the way of them achieving their passionate goals. People will change when they are ready and willing, and when they have a strong enough motivation to do so. Remember that effective coaching takes place in the domain of achievement, not in the domain of therapy, so the people that you coach do not need to be fixed or coerced to change.

A CEO of a multinational corporation once asked us to coach one of his managers to “deal with her mistakes and shortcomings.” When she discovered this, she became extremely resistant to coaching, but when we shifted the focus of the coaching to the goals and dreams that she wanted to achieve, she opened up and became excited about coaching. By focusing on her strengths and her dreams rather than her mistakes and her shortcomings, she began to flourish and her problems began to clear up. In fact, after only 18 months of coaching she was able to realize her dream of becoming the Vice President of Marketing in the same corporation.

Through our many years of experience in coaching, we have seen countless lives change for the better. People who were once unhappy become joyful, poor leaders turn into great leaders, destructive habits are replaced with empowering habits, a life of emptiness transforms into a life of fulfillment, and much, much more.

We have also witnessed whole organizations turn around by creating a culture of coaching and leadership excellence. Effective coaching leaders are able to fulfill their three key responsibilities, which are to establish good relationships, ensure performance, and grow their people to enable sustainable growth. In addition to transforming people and organizations, we believe that with coaching we can also impact our community at large and make the world a much better place.

We want to share with you an inspiring story of how coaching made the biggest difference to Jessica and how the coaching relationship also evoked a strong sense of lasting fulfillment for Jessica and her coach.


At the age of 28, I was depressed and devastated. It had been a bed of roses when I was in school in Hong Kong. I won a national interschool speech contest, wrote award winning poems, was very popular and scored straight A’s. I was in a great school with supportive teachers, counselors and schoolmates. I felt loved and appreciated by the people around me when I was able to shine. Then I took a job as branch operations executive in a bank after completing my Master of Banking and Finance degree in Sydney. Twenty four months into this dreadful job, I was totally disillusioned about life. I secretly called my boss a sadist since he gained pleasure from making people suffer just because he had gone through a lot of pain. He would trample on me in front of others at the slightest mistake, and like a slave driver he never seemed to leave the office and his staff was not supposed to leave before him. My coworkers were all selfishly materialistic and would victimize me when I did not succumb to their manipulative wishes. My parents had high expectations of me and I felt no love from them when I could not achieve the success they wanted from me. My boyfriend decided to leave me with a note saying that he could not live with a loser. I spent nights crying myself to sleep in my lonely apartment in Chinatown. I had many sleepless nights and would scream and scratch myself in the middle of the night thinking that my life was ending.

A friend invited me to a life changing seminar by Anthony Robbins in Singapore. During the seminar I raised my hand to say that I needed help and expressed the seriousness of my problems. Before the end of the seminar, I was approached by a coach who said he was willing to work with me with no expectations or monetary reward so I decided to give it a try. Since my coach was a very busy person from Malaysia, we did two-hour sessions every two weeks using Skype. My coach knew that the pain in my life was unbearable; he did not talk much so I did most of the talking. By the third session, I broke down in tears. After I had poured out all my suffering, I suddenly felt empty but much lighter. He then started to ask me about what I loved to do most and what I did well in school. Then he gave me a template to write down each week over a period of twelve weeks what I did well and enjoyed doing at work. It was difficult at first but eventually I came to a self realization that what I did well and loved to do at school and at work boiled down to similar things. I loved to express myself in front of many people, socialize with like-minded people and develop and create new things that others could enjoy. My coach asked me how I could embrace my true strengths and passion and that became my revelation. Before that I had totally forgotten about my giftedness. Now I began to engage with it.

With encouragement from my coach, I had the courage to visualize what my life would be like if I used my God-given gifts to the fullest. He even asked if I wanted to create my own affirmation and what I did sounded like “I am gratefully and masterfully presenting, creating and relating with people.” I recorded this with my special tune on my smart phone and programmed a reminder to play this six times a day. My turning point came when my coach asked me how I could change the circumstances that I was faced with. I thought about it for a whole week, and the answer came when I met the Head of Training in the bank during a training session. I literally spilled out my affirmation to him and asked if I could work with him. I was astounded when he called my boss, called my coach and then called to tell me yes. From then on, my coach worked with me to hone my passion and strengths to the point that I got a standing ovation from people that attended the training that I created and delivered. I later spoke on national TV about my turnaround story and continued working with my coach for eight months until the point that I felt it was time I helped others. One of the final questions from my coach was “Why do you think God gave you special talents and what do you think you have been put into this world for?” After several months of soul searching, I believe I found my life purpose which is summarized as “Enriching lives with love and humility through transformational programs.”

This is part of a much longer letter that I wrote to my coach. “When there was a dark storm on my horizon, and I didn’t think I could get through it, you had unceasing faith in me. You saw the goodness in me and gave me the courage to be what I was really born to be. You gave me hope and inspiration to stay alive when I felt my life was worthless. I will always remember your words, ‘The future is in your hands, it’s time to come alive, your moment has arrived.’ And true enough you helped me find the answers that lie deep within me, that I alone could not reach. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I made it through the ‘hurricane’ of my life. The world is a much better place because of a great coach like you. You have inspired me to pass on this gift to others through my life purpose.”

To maintain old habits requires little effort but to inculcate new habits requires support structures and persistency that is enabled through coaching.
- Jack Canfield and Peter Chee

Coaching is the ultimate self-development and growth experience. It’s about helping people to grow and develop as human beings and to experience greater fulfillment. It’s about expanding people’s capacity to produce extraordinary results and to make their impossible dreams possible. We wish you much joy, love and abundance in your exciting journey to becoming the best coach you can possibly be.

To dream the impossible dream and to make the impossible dream possible is to experience the greatest fulfillment of coaching.
- Jack Canfield and Peter Chee

Coaching Greatness Part 2:
Believe in Human Potential for Greatness

By Dr. Peter Chee

Man was designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.
- Zig Ziglar

At the heart of a great coach is a firm belief that each person is a uniquely valuable individual with distinct giftedness and potential for greatness. A coach knows how to appreciate what is special in others and believes that every person is created to be magnificent in their own way.

Leadership Guru John C. Maxwell asserts that talent is never enough. “Belief lifts your talent. Your talent will not be lifted to the highest level unless you also have belief.” There are four main perspectives of how believing in human potential for greatness can be a talent lifter.

  • 1. Lift your talent to coach by believing in people’s potential for greatness.
  • 2. Lift the talent of the people you coach by believing in their potential for greatness.
  • 3. Lift your talent by believing in your own potential as a great coach.
  • 4. Lift the talent of the people you coach when they believe in your potential as a great coach.

The positive effect of believing in human potential for greatness is multiplied when it permeates the relationship between the coach and the person being coached. Coaching is an unconditionally supportive relationship, and as you coach you want to offer full acceptance and an unbiased belief in the person you are coaching regardless of their present performance.

It has been said that belief is more than a thought that a person possesses, it is a thought that possesses the person. A belief in the unlimited human potential for greatness is a habit of the mind in which confidence becomes a virtue that is embraced. In order to be a highly effective coach, you need to put believing in people, yourself and your mission as one of your top priorities. If you want good results, you have to perform good actions. If you want to perform good actions, you must have good expectations. To have good expectations you must first believe your goals are achievable.

The globally acclaimed author of Fully Human Fully Alive John Powell, estimates that an average person taps only ten percent of his potential, sees only ten percent of the beauty that is all around him, hears only ten percent of its music and poetry, smells only ten percent of its fragrance, and tastes only ten percent of the deliciousness of being alive. Since most people neither see nor seize the untapped opportunity that constantly surrounds them, therein lies the potential waiting to be unleashed.

You know that people are always capable of much better results than what they are currently getting. This might include better physical fitness, higher job performance, more loving relationships, and so on. As a coach, you will encounter situations where people do not succeed or don’t measure up to expectations in the face of huge commitments. During such times, your belief in their potential for greatness is even more important and needs to remain steadfast.

Even at a time when someone is going through great difficulties in work and life, as a coach, you are still able to see the goodness in them and bring it to surface. This is easier said than done, but believing in people has to be a conscious choice, a decision made and a habit to inculcate with constant practice even when it’s difficult. If a coach covertly believes that the person being coached is not able to succeed in achieving their goals, feeling that they are not capable enough, this could very well undermine the entire coaching process.

If you are coaching someone to become an effective presenter and as a coach you have seen the person performing very poorly and have formed a belief that this person is unlikely to become an effective speaker, then your ability to coach the person will be flawed. When you hold negative expectations of the outcome, this is likely to get in the way during your conversations. Your negative expectations could affect their confidence and lessen the likelihood of accomplishment. This does not mean that if someone sets an unrealistic goal that the coach should not seek to find out if the person wants to make changes to the goal or work on a different goal.

Sun Tzu wrote in The Art of War that when troops prepare for battle, if they lose the battle within their own mind, their chances of winning is diminished by up to fifty percent even before the battle begins. He emphasizes the profound effect that belief has on the ability to win. The awareness of great potential that lies within people, coupled with a strong belief in people, releases the power that drives a successful coaching practice.


David was a General Manager of a multinational shipping company based in Long Beach, California and formerly a Captain in the armed forces. His father fought in World War Two and had followed a strict military regime in raising his kids. David was well known in his company as a very tough no nonsense boss. His employees feared him greatly as he was good at finding people’s faults and fixing them. His command and control style meant that employees were not expected to act proactively and creatively in the face of escalating environmental changes. Employee morale was depressing and business declining rapidly. David had to face it all on his own without the support of his employees. The prolonged high stress had affected David to the extent that he had to undergo a heart surgery.

One of our professional coaches worked with David to support him. It was very difficult initially and his staff mostly believed that he could not and would not change. The coach stood in David’s greatness and believed that he was capable of notable achievements. David spoke his heart out when he knew that the coach was fully present for him and would champion his cause without being judgmental. When David fully articulated the tremendous pain in his life and his coach listened empathically and caring for him, it was as if a ton of bricks was lifted of his shoulders. It was then that he became aware of how his leadership approach was not bearing fruit. The awareness and acceptance of how his approach was limiting his achievements became the eureka moment that fueled his transformation and gave David the motivation to invent his own new approach to leading which he decided to call “Participative-Appreciative Leadership.”

Since, old habits take time and discipline to change, so his coach encouraged him to create a way to remind himself to stay with his new approach until the new habit became locked in. One of the many self-created support structures that proved effective for David was instructing all his employees that every time he reverted to his old habit, they were to say to him, “Yes, Captain!” and he was to laugh out loud at himself to interrupt his old military pattern. As he constantly replaced his old pattern with the new one, he began to reap the rewards of what his coach believed he was capable of achieving. His belief in himself began to soar, and so did his performance.

Nine months into the coaching relationship, David had created a new work culture that increased staff satisfaction and performance. The change was so profound that he received the “Outstanding Leader of The Year” award from his head office. His wife expressed deep gratitude when she mentioned to the coach that David was now a changed man. In his acceptance speech David said, “I am eternally grateful to my coach for believing in me when no one no else did. You are the wind beneath my wings. You lifted me up and that changed my life.” When he paused to wipe his tears, you could have heard a pin drop. When they played the song “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler, David’s coach and David’s staff were all moved to tears.

The mindset of a coach includes the belief that people are inherently good, they want to contribute and they want to improve. The coach believes people make mistakes, but that most do not make mistakes intentionally. Remember to stand in people’s greatness and always come from a belief that people want to succeed with their goals and commitments. Know that everyone has talents and strengths, and the role of a coach is to bring these out and to help people to use their core genius purposefully. When they do, they will shine magnificently beyond description.

The more you believe in people’s potential, the more reason they will give you to believe in them. Eventually you will wake up one morning realizing that you have also been transformed, and the way you look at people and life will never be the same again.

Imagine when you are searching for that rainbow and when mountains stand before you, there is a coach that truly supports you, wholeheartedly believes in you, and knows that you are capable of conquering the challenges that you face. You will be inspired to grow and become the best person you can be. Such an experience is tremendously uplifting and enriching. That is when you will encounter the true spirit of a coach that firmly believes in human potential for greatness.

You must understand that seeing is believing, but also know that believing is seeing.
- Denis Waitley

Coaching Greatness Part 3:
Use the Power of Simplicity

By Dr. Peter Chee

Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.
- C. W. Ceran

What is simplicity? The dictionary meaning of “simple” is easy to understand or plain without anything extra or unnecessary. The word simplicity itself makes it sound as if it’s easy to attain. But the concept of simplicity should not be confused with little effort or with being “simple-minded,” which to some people means ignorant, gullible, naïve, or even foolish. No wonder some people fear being simple and do not see simplicity as a plus. They would rather create complexity in their lives, focus on the details of the problem instead of the main thing, and what’s more important, miss seeing the simple solution staring at them in the face.

When do we simplify? We see the signals when we are in a state of anxiety, chaos or confusion. We experience forgetfulness, overload or fatigue. There is lack of time, concentration and focus. We live an imbalanced life, not clear about what we want, where we are going, and how we are going to get there. A lot of us suffer from the paranoia of omission – not wanting to miss out on anything and striving for perfection. We’re afraid something will go wrong if we miss out on something but end up feeling overwhelmed, getting lost, and forgetting our priorities.

Why do we need to simplify? A simplified life consists mostly of what matters most, instead of having more and more to the extent that there is a constant overload of information and ‘stuff’ everywhere, leading to a cluttered and chaotic workplace, home and even mind as well. When we simplify, we get the most important things done on time. We have time to do what we want to do, not just what we have to do. We can relax for a while and enjoy life without feeling guilty that we should be doing something else. We experience clarity of thought and happy stress-free living.

As Edward de Bono, author, inventor, and consultant, said, “Dealing with complexity is an inefficient and unnecessary waste of time, attention and mental energy. There is never any justification for things being complex when they could be simple.” How true! A lot of people still do not understand and appreciate, let alone use, the power of simplicity. Perhaps they think that complex things are more impressive as they are more difficult. Perhaps they got lost in the details and do not know how to think simple. Perhaps they want to avoid seeing the reality and live in denial or out of fear. Whatever the reason, simplicity clears the unnecessary and helps people see things from a clearer perspective, and to focus on more important things.


So how do we simplify and gain from the power of simplicity in coaching? One of the very important roles of a coach is to help people to see through the fog that they are so deeply engrossed in that they fail to see things objectively and miss out on solutions and recourses that are at their disposal. They could tell the coach about many things and give long explanations, but in the end, forget to give an answer to the coach’s question. They could start telling their stories, but as they talk, they forget where they are coming from, add irrelevant details to the story, or keep repeating themselves.

In his article, “How Can You Move the Client from Complexity to Simplicity in Coaching,” Hakan Arabacioglu, a life coach based in Istanbul, Turkey, gave this analogy. Imagine that the client is lost and trying to find his orientation in life. He is trying to find the answers to the questions "Where am I now? Where do I want to go from here?" He is looking at the Google maps and his zoom level is 18 where he sees himself stuck between the buildings and the streets. He does not even know which city he is in.

The coach's first duty here is to lead the client to “zoom out” and help him discover where he is. When the client zooms out, if he is familiar with the environment, then he can locate himself. He can identify which city he is in. If he is not familiar, then keep zooming out till he sees the planet as a dot. He is now focused on the big picture. At this time, the client's hour-long story is cut to a single sentence. Also, since he knows where he is now, he is at a point to choose where to go from here.

In accounting, the bottom line is the final figure. You can have spectacular income figures but if costs are not well-managed, there would not be a good bottom-line after all the hard work. So bottom line has very much to do with what really matters. In coaching, it’s about getting to the core of the issue or the problem, the gist of a discussion that is most important, the critical actions to be done, and the end result of achievement that the client is looking for. These points have to be clear, simple and powerful.

As coaches, let’s ask clear and simple questions and offer clear and simple feedback and suggestions, when needed. Let’s avoid complex language as this will cloud our client’s mind. Let’s ask them what’s the gist of this, the essence, the core. Let’s listen for critical inputs and help the client simplify and identify the critical issues, main problems, and key solutions. Let’s discover what matters most to them and what would make the greatest difference for them. Let’s provide an opportunity for them to leverage on their strengths and prioritize their most important goals related to different aspects of their life.

Take the case of Mei Ying, an HR Manager of a leading shoe manufacturing firm in Shanghai. When asked about the toughest challenge she is encountering at work, she started to give a laundry list of all the things that require her attention. She joined the organization six months ago, but there is still so much information she has to learn and so many options she has to consider. She shared about the perceived lack of support she has from management and the perceived lack of cooperation she experienced from the other line managers. One of her team members is going on maternity leave and another just submitted his resignation letter. She doesn’t know what to do and where to start. She is caught up in the “complexity” of things and cannot see the possible solutions and resources that are within her reach.

Mei Ying’s coach asked her to first relax and breathe deeply. The coach sees the signals that she is in a state of anxiety, chaos and confusion. She feels overwhelmed, stressed, even hopeless. The coach needs to “zoom” her out of the story where she is stuck so she can be free from all the prejudice coming from the event or the people in her story. He did this by asking Mei Ying to zero in and focus on the essential – what is the core of the issue or the problem. By working with her coach, she identified that she hasn’t asked for nor received any feedback from her boss, peers, and staff since she joined the organization and this is causing the stressful anxiety, undue pressure, and lack of confidence in getting the job done. A simple solution of getting feedback from important people in her work place allowed Mei Ying to learn many valuable things, and led her to taking action on what was most important to produce better results. Simple and effective solutions generated from coaching, eventually enabled Mei Ying to excel in her new job.

A coaching session during which simplicity is encouraged becomes time efficient. It consumes less mental energy and brings clarity for both parties. When we choose to talk simply, without anything extra or unnecessary, we cleanse our mind. Without the chaos and clutter of complexity, we can more easily find what we are looking for – the solution that is readily visible. This helps the coach to create more breakthroughs and "Aha!" moments for the client when they are able to use the power of simplicity.

The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.
- Warren Buffet

Setting Powerful Goals

By Dr. Peter Chee & Jack Canfield

A goal properly set is half way reached.
- Abraham Lincoln

Create an “I want” list
During the initial process of goal-setting it is fine to have many different possible goals so that you will be able to choose from a range of options the goals that you most want to pursue. You can start by making an “I want” list. One of the easiest ways to begin clarifying what you truly want is to make a list of 30 things you want to do, 30 things you want to have, and 30 things you want to be before you die. This is a great way to get the ball rolling.

Repeating questions for a purpose
Similarly, a powerful technique to unearth your client’s wants is to encourage them to make their own “I Want” list. Ask your client without making any suggestions, “What do you want?” As soon as they answer, write their answer down and again ask “What do you want?” Repeat this for five to 10 minutes, and continue to jot down their answers. People do find this repetitive questioning technique to be rather humorous. You’ll find the first wants aren’t all that profound. In fact, most people usually hear themselves saying, “I want a Mercedes. I want a big house by the ocean,” and so on. However, by the end of the exercise, the deeper, more authentic person begins to speak: “I want people to love me. I want to express myself. I want to make a difference. I want to feel powerful.” – revealing wants that are true expressions of their core values.

After articulating their wants and choosing the goals that they most want to work on, then it’s time to take the goal-setting process further by making sure that their goals are effectively set. A powerful way of more effectively setting goals is to use the SMARTEST mnemonic criteria. When the goals meet the criteria of being Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound, Engaging, Satisfying and Team-based, we consider them to be powerful goals that strongly drive people towards attaining them.

Use the following examples to guide you in asking questions that make the goal-setting process more effective:


  • 1. In what way might you define more clearly what you want to accomplish?
  • 2. How can you put it all together and state your goal in one simple and specific sentence?
  • 3. What exactly do you want to accomplish?
  • 4. Be more specific: what is the final outcome you want?

  • 1. How would you and others know when you have reached this goal?
  • 2. How can you quantify and measure the outcome?
  • 3. How can you evaluate the progress you are making towards the goal from time to time?
  • 4. Can you state this objective in a way that your progress can be measured?

  • 1. To what extent do you have control over the attainment of this goal?
  • 2. Who else might you need to depend on to meet this goal?
  • 3. How certain are you that they will deliver?
  • 4. What other options and backup plans could you have so that you can still achieve the goal if they don’t deliver?
  • 5. Is there anything that could prevent you from reaching this goal?
  • 6. Can you do something about it? What can you do about it?
  • 7. In what way might you want to revise your goals so that they would depend more on you and less on others to achieve it?
  • 8. Is this goal within your reach? Is it really possible?

  • 1. Why is this goal important to you? How is it relevant to you?
  • 2. How is this goal related to the attainment of your other goals?
  • 3. How is this goal relevant to your vision and your life?
  • 4. In what way is this goal aligned with your life purpose?

  • 1. What is the date and time that you will commit to reaching this goal?
  • 2. When will you get started with this project?
  • 3. By when will you finish it?
  • 4. How long will you continue to do this? How frequently?

  • 1. Do you feel like you really own this goal, like it’s your own “baby”?
  • 2. On a scale of 1 – 10, how motivated are you by this goal?
  • 3. Is this truly your heart’s desire?
  • 4. Does your dream compel you to follow it?

  • 1. In what way would attaining this goal bring you satisfaction and joy?
  • 2. How would achieving this goal fulfill your heart’s longing?
  • 3. What lasting benefit and satisfaction would you derive from attaining your objective?
  • 4. How will your life be different after attaining this goal?

  • 5. Who are the people that could work with you on this dream?
  • 6. How are other people supporting your dream?
  • 7. To what extent is your team capable of helping you to achieve your goal?

Create a breakthrough goal
In addition to turning every aspect of your vision into a measurable goal, and all the quarterly, weekly and daily goals that you routinely set, we also encourage you to set what we call a breakthrough goal that would represent a quantum leap for you and your career. Most goals represent incremental improvements in our lives. They are like plays that gain you four yards in the game of football. But what if you could come out on the first play of the game and throw a 50-yard pass? That would be a quantum leap in your progress. Just as there are plays in football that move you far up the field in one move, there are plays in life that will do the same thing.

They include things such as losing 60 pounds, writing a book, publishing an article in Fortune magazine, getting on Oprah, winning a gold medal at the Olympics, successfully setting up your company in another country, getting your Masters or Doctoral degree, getting certified as a professional coach, opening your own spa, getting elected president of your union or professional association, or hosting your own radio show. The achievement of that one goal would change everything.

Wouldn’t that be a goal worth pursuing with passion? Wouldn’t that be something to focus on a little each day until you achieved it?

If you were an independent sales professional and knew you could get a better territory, a substantial bonus commission, and maybe even a promotion once you landed a certain number of customers, wouldn’t you work day and night to achieve that goal?

If you were a stay-at-home mom whose entire lifestyle and finances would change if you earned an extra $1,000 a month through participating in a network marketing company, wouldn’t you pursue every possible opportunity until you achieved that goal?

That’s what we mean by a breakthrough goal – something that changes your life, brings you new opportunities, gets you in front of the right people, and takes every activity, relationship or group you’re involved in to a higher level.

In our coaching programs we also frequently refer to a breakthrough goal as a goal that would stretch you to the extent that, in the process of achieving it, you would become a person worth becoming. In other words, you grow tremendously in the process of pursuing a very ambitious goal that greatly challenges you. You can make the biggest difference for the people you coach when you work with them on creating and realizing their breakthrough goals.

You want to set a goal that’s big enough that in the process of achieving it, you become someone worth becoming.
- Jim Rohn

Take 100% Responsibility

By Dr. Peter Chee & Jack Canfield

Ninety nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.
- George Washington Carver

If you observe the behaviors and thought patterns of people who achieve very little in life, you will notice one thing they have in common: they do not take full responsibility for the results that they produce. They are frequently engaged in blaming others and outside factors for their lack of progress, complaining about others and many other things. They are fond of giving excuses on why things cannot be done and are good at justifying why they are not responsible for their own failures. Does this sound familiar? Unfortunately there are there many such people around. No wonder, most people are not high performers.

When we deliver high impact programs on The Success Principles around the world, the very first principle we coach people on is “Take 100% responsibility for your life and your results”. If you want to be successful, you have to take 100% responsibility for what you experience in your life. This includes the level of your achievements, the results you produce, the quality of your relationships, the state of your health and physical fitness, your income, your debts, your feelings – everything! This is not easy, and that’s why coaching is so needed in our world.

If you want to create the life of your dreams, then you are going to have to take 100% responsibility for your life as well. That means giving up all your excuses, all your victim stories, all the reasons why you can’t and why you haven’t up until now, and all your blaming of outside circumstances. If something doesn’t turn out as planned, you will ask yourself, “How did I create that? What was I thinking? What were my beliefs? What did I say or not say? What did I do or not do to create that result? How did I get the other person to act that way? What do I need to do differently next time to get the result I want?”

Dr. Robert Resnick, a psychotherapist in Los Angeles, California, talked about a very simple but very important formula that made this idea of 100% responsibility even clearer to us. The formula is:

E + R = O:
(Event + Response = Outcome)

The basic idea is that every outcome people experience in life (whether it is success or failure, wealth or poverty, health or illness, intimacy or estrangement, joy or frustration) is the result of how they have responded to an earlier event or events in their life. If people don’t like the outcomes they are currently getting, there are two basic choices they can make.

1. They can blame the event (E) for their lack of results (O).
In other words, they can blame the economy, the weather, the lack of money, their lack of education, racism, gender bias, the current administration in Beijing, their wife or husband, their boss’s attitude, the lack of support, the political climate, the system or lack of systems, and so on. If they’re a golfer, they’ve probably even blamed their clubs and the course they played on. No doubt all these factors do exist, but if they were the deciding factor, nobody would ever succeed.

Jackie Chan would never have become a world famous movie star, Bill Gates would never have founded Microsoft, Steve Jobs would never have started Apple Computers and Nelson Mandela would never have been conferred the Nobel Peace Prize. For every reason why it’s not possible, there are other people who have faced the same circumstances and succeeded.

People stop themselves! People think limiting thoughts and engage in self-defeating behaviors. They ignore useful feedback, fail to continuously educate themselves and learn new skills, waste time on the trivial aspects of their lives, engage in idle gossip, eat unhealthy food, fail to exercise, spend more money than they make, fail to invest in their future, fail to tell the truth, don’t ask for what they want - and then wonder why their lives don’t work. But this, by the way, is what most people do. They place the blame for everything that isn’t the way they want it on outside events and circumstances. They have an excuse for everything.

2. They can instead simply change their responses (R) to the events (E) – the way things are – until they get the outcomes (O) they want.
People can change their thinking, change their communication, change the pictures they hold in their head (their images of themselves and the world) – and they can change their behavior (the things they do). That is all people really have any control over anyway. Unfortunately, most people are so run by their habits that they never change their behavior. They get stuck in their conditioned responses – to their spouses and their children, to their colleagues at work, to their customers and their clients, to their students, and to the world at large. They are a bundle of conditioned reflexes that operate outside of their control. They have to regain control of their thoughts, their images, their dreams and their behavior. The things that they think, say and do need to become intentional and aligned with their goals, their vision and their purpose.

If people don’t like their outcomes, they need to change their responses People have control over three main things in their life – the thoughts they think, the images they visualize, and the actions they take (their behavior). How they use these three things determines the outcomes they will experience. If they don’t like what they are producing and experiencing, they have to change their response. Change their negative thoughts to positive ones. Change what they daydream about. Change their habits. Change what they read. Change their friends. Change how they talk and so on.

So how do we get people to change? If we tell them that they have to change or we coerce them to change, then they are going to be resistant. Instead we use the coaching process to empower people to want to change, and then we support them to make the change happen. We start by listening, observing, using our intuition and asking powerful questions using a simple and yet powerful reframing technique according to the E + R = O formula. Here are two scenarios that demonstrate what happens when people reframe and change to a different response to create a different outcome that they want with the help of a coach.

E + R = O Reframing Technique


Oliver and his colleague worked very hard to get a promotion. After 12 months, his colleague got promoted but he did not get a promotion.
Oliver felt unfairly treated and jealous of his colleague. He blamed others, felt demoralized and wanted to quit his job.
His relationship with his boss and colleague deteriorated and his performance on the job dropped drastically.

Same Event:
Oliver and his colleague worked very hard to get a promotion. After 12 months, his colleague got promoted but he did not receive a promotion.
Different Response:
Oliver talked to his coach about what he could do best to take responsibility for the results that he wanted. He talked to his colleague to find out what his colleague did to get the promotion. He sought advice from his boss about where he stood and what he needed to do to get his promotion.
Different Outcome:
Oliver obtained useful and positive input from his boss and his colleague about what actions to take. With support from his coach, Oliver continued to improve until he received his promotion six months later.


Dastan’s wife was not happy that he had not been spending time with his family and his attention always seemed to be elsewhere. She expressed her frustration and feelings to Dastan.
Dastan felt hurt and thought that he was not being appreciated for having worked hard for his family’s wellbeing. He got angry and shouted at his wife and blamed his boss for his overworking.
Dastan and his wife got into a heated argument and shouted at each other. Their relationship suffered and their kids were also negatively impacted.

Same Event:
Dastan’s wife was not happy that he had not been spending time with his family, and his attention had always seemed to be elsewhere. She expressed her frustration and feelings to Dastan.
Different Response:
Dastan brainstormed with his coach for solutions on how to create more free time, which was the outcome he wanted. He listened to his wife and assured her that he loved her and the family and that he was working very hard to provide for them. He comforted her with love and scheduled some time with his family.
Different Outcome:
His wife and kids felt more secure and appreciated him more. Dastan began to enjoy a more balanced life, and his relationship with his wife improved tremendously.

As you have just seen from the cases of Oliver and Dastan, this technique is very useful in enabling people to take responsibility for changing their thoughts, imagery and behavior to produce the outcome that they really want. Initially with the help of a coach, people could be reactive in terms of changing their response only when faced with an undesired outcome that was obtained as a result of undesired responses to an undesired event. Over time, once they are used to the habit of reframing, their life would be so changed that they can proactively and consistently reframe to focus on getting the right solutions and continue to creatively respond to any event until they produce the outcome that they are happy with.

Reframing helps people to change their mindset and enables them to redirect their energies to focus on the positive things and opportunities that are available by replacing their limiting reactions with empowering reactions to achieve their desired state. Use the Reframing Technique at the appropriate time when you pick up red flags such as limiting and self-defeating thoughts and interpretations, poor attitude and assumptions that are creating problems and preventing people from achieving their goals. It will help people move from being stuck to becoming resourceful, from being preoccupied with doom stories to focusing on creating success stories.

Unleashing Your Genius for Success & Happiness

By Jack Canfield & Dr. Peter Chee

There are things that you do incredibly well. There are things that you love to do so much you hardly feel like your working when you do them. It is your purpose, your core genius, and if you got paid to do it you would make it you life’s work. You have been developing our core genius and defining your purpose and formulating steps to take to achieve success with it. It is time to evaluate how much time you actually spend doing what you love to do.

Successful people believe in their core genius. They believe it holds tremendous value and they put their purpose first. They find as much time to focus on it because they know it is what they are meant to be doing in the world. In order to find more time, they learn to delegate!

Are you one of those who does everything yourself? You’ve got a household to keep in order, groceries to get, food to make, phone calls to make, bills to pay, perhaps you’ve got kids to take to school and all of their extra-curricular activities, a yard to take care of, laundry to wash, in your non-working life alone you have got a full time job with daily chores! You might have a job to go to or a business to run, accounting to keep in order, mailings that need to go out, phone calls that need to be made, files that need to be organized, reports that need to be read, and people you need to meet with. There is so much of your day that you spend doing the things that need to be done, but they don’t have anything to do with your core genius. Time spent doing tasks that you don’t really want or like to do is time taken away from doing what you love. Free up your time so you can be focusing on your purpose!

Delegating is not easy sometimes. You might be afraid to delegate because it means giving up control. But why waste you time with these tasks that you don’t even like doing when you could double the amount of time you spend developing and practicing your genius? There are people who love to do what you hate to do, and they do it much better than you because they love it!

When you know your core genius, you’ve got to find a way to devote yourself to perfecting it. You have got to spend as much time with it as possible. So learn to delegate and delegate completely! When you have found someone to accomplish the tasks that take up your time, let them know exactly what you want and then give them the freedom to accomplish it. There is no sense in micromanaging! Find someone you trust to do the job and do it well then leave them alone unless you are not happy with the results.

What are some things that you don’t particularly care doing? How much time do you spend every week doing those things? Imagine spending that time doing what you love to do while someone else is enjoying doing what you used to be doing. It’s a win/win situation!

Practice the ABC Method and Create Large Chunks of Time

By Brian Tracy & Dr. Peter Chee

"The first law of success is concentration - to bend all the energies to one point, and to go directly to that point, looking neither to the right or to the left." --William Mathews

The more thought you invest in planning and setting priorities before you begin, the more important things you will do and the faster you will get them done once you get started.

The more important and valuable the task is to you, the more you will be motivated to overcome procrastination and launch yourself into the job.

A Simple and Powerful Technique
The ABC Method is a powerful priority setting technique that you can use every single day. This technique is so simple and effective that it can, all by itself, make you one of the most efficient and effective people in your field.

The power of this technique lies in its simplicity. Here's how it works: You start with a list of everything you have to do for the coming day. Think on paper. You then place an A, B, or C before each item on your list before you begin the first task.

Determine Your Top Priorities
An "A" item is defined as something that is very important. This is something that you must do. This is a task for which there can be serious consequences if you do it or fail to do it, like visiting a key customer or finishing a report for your boss that she needs for an upcoming board meeting. These are the frogs of your life.

If you have more than one "A" task, you prioritize these tasks by writing A-1, A-2, A-3, and so on in front of each item. Your A-1 task is your biggest, ugliest frog of all.

Decide on Your Secondary Tasks
A "B" item is defined as a task that you should do. But it only has mild consequences. These are the tadpoles of your work life. This means that someone may be unhappy or inconvenienced if you don't do it, but it is nowhere as important as an "A" task. Returning an unimportant telephone message or reviewing your email would be a "B" task. The rule is that you should never do a "B" task when there is an "A" task left undone. You should never be distracted by a tadpole when there is a big frog sitting there waiting to be eaten.

Analyze the Consequences of Doing It
A "C" task is defined as something that would be nice to do, but for which there are no consequences at all, whether you do it or not. "C" tasks include phoning a friend, having coffee or lunch with a coworker or completing some personal business during work hours. This sort of activity has no affect at all on your work life.

After you have applied the ABC Method to your list, you will now be completely organized and ready to get more important things done faster.

Start on Your A-1 Task
The key to making this ABC Method work is for you to now discipline yourself to start immediately on your "A-1" task and then stay at it until it is complete. Use your willpower to get going and stay going on this one job, the most important single task you could possibly be doing. Eat the whole frog and don't stop until its finished completely.

Your ability to think through, analyze your work list and determine your "A-1" task is the springboard to higher levels of accomplishment, and greater self-esteem, self-respect and personal pride.

When you develop the habit of concentrating on your "A-1," most important activity, you will start getting more done than any two or three people around you.

Create Large Chunks of Time
This strategy requires a commitment from you to work at scheduled times on large tasks. Most of the really important work you do requires large chunks of unbroken time to complete. Your ability to create and carve out these blocks of high value, highly productive time, is central to your ability to make a significant contribution to your work and to your life.

Thoughtfulness may be defined as a careful concern for the secondary consequences of each decision and each action. This is the essence of strategic thinking.

Start Immediately on Number One
Successful salespeople set aside a specific time period each day to phone prospects. Rather than procrastinating or delaying on a task that they don't particularly like, they resolve that they will phone for one solid hour between 10 and 11 AM and they then discipline themselves to follow through on their resolutions.

Many business executives set aside a specific time each day to call customers directly to get feedback.

Create Specific Amounts of Time
Some people allocate specific 30-60 minute time periods each day for exercise. Many people read in the great books 15 minutes each night before retiring. In this way, over time, they eventually read dozens of the best books ever written.

The key to the success of this method of working in specific time segments is for you to plan your day in advance and specifically schedule a fixed time period for a particular activity or task.

You make work appointments with yourself and then discipline yourself to keep them. You set aside thirty, sixty and ninety minute time segments that you use to work on and complete important tasks.

Create Preplanned Periods
Many highly productive people schedule specific activities in preplanned time slots all day long. These people build their work lives around accomplishing key tasks one at a time. As a result, they become more and more productive and eventually produce two times, three times and five times as much as the average person.

Action Exercises
1. Review you work list right now and put an A, B, or C next to each task or activity. Select your A-1 job or project and begin on it immediately. Discipline yourself to do nothing else until this one job is complete.

2. Practice this ABC Method every day and on every work or project list, before you begin work, for the next month. By that time, you will have developed the habit of setting and working on your highest priority tasks and your future will be assured!

3. Here are another two things you can do immediately to put into action what you have just learned:

First, organize each day to create large chunks of time you can use for key task completion.

Second, make a written appointment with yourself to work on a key task at a specific time.

18 Great Ways to Achieving Higher Performance

By Brian Tracy & Peter Chee

The key to happiness, satisfaction, great success, and a wonderful feeling of personal power and effectiveness is for you to develop the habit of eating your frog first thing every day when you start work.

Fortunately, this is a learnable skill that you can acquire through repetition. And when you develop the habit of completing on your most important task before anything else, your success is assured.

Here is a summary of eighteen great ways to stop procrastinating and get more things done faster. Review these rules and principles regularly until they become firmly ingrained in your thinking and actions, and your future will be guaranteed.

  • 1. Set the table: Decide exactly what you want. Clarity is essential. Write out your goals and objectives before you begin.

  • 2. Plan every day in advance: Think on paper. Every minute you spend on effective planning can save you five to ten minutes in execution.

  • 3. Apply the 80/20 Rule to everything: Twenty percent of your activity will account for 80 percent of your results. Always concentrate your efforts on that top 20 percent first.

  • 4. Consider the consequences: Your most important tasks and priorities are those that can have the most serious consequences, positive or negative, on your life or work. Focus on these above all else.

  • 5. Practice creative procrastination: Since you can’t do everything, you must learn to deliberately put off those tasks that are of low value so that you have enough time to do the few things that really count.

  • 6. Use the ABCDE Method continually: Before you begin work on a list of tasks, take a few moments to organize them by value and priority so you can be sure of working on your most important activities. (A: must do, B: should do, C: nice to do, D: delegate, E: eliminate)

  • 7. The Law of Three: Identify the three things you do in your work that account for 90 percent of your contribution, and focus on getting them done before anything else. You will then have more time for your family and personal life.

  • 8. Prepare thoroughly before you begin: Have everything you need at hand before you start. Assemble all the papers, information, tools, work materials, and numbers you might require so that you can get started and keep going.

  • 9. Take it one oil barrel at a time: You can accomplish the biggest and most complicated job if you just complete it one step at a time continuously.

  • 10. Upgrade your key skills: The more knowledgeable and skilled you become at your key tasks, the faster you start them and the sooner you get them done.

  • 11. Leverage your special talents: Determine exactly what it is that you are very good at doing, or could be very good at, and throw your whole heart into doing those specific things very, very well.

  • 12. Identify your key constraints: Determine the bottlenecks or choke points, internal or external that set the speed at which you achieve your most important goals, and focus on alleviating them.

  • 13. Develop a sense of urgency: Make a habit of moving fast on your key tasks. Become known as a person who does things quickly and well. Imagine that you have to leave town for a month, and work as if you had to get all your major tasks completed before you left.

  • 14. Maximize your personal power: Identify your periods of highest mental and physical energy each day, and structure your most important and demanding tasks around these times. Get lots of rest so you can perform at your best.

  • 15. Motivate yourself into action: Be your own cheer-leader. Look for the good in every situation. Focus on the solution rather than the problem. Always be optimistic and constructive.

  • 16. Get out of the technological time sinks: Use technology to improve the quality of your communications, but do not allow yourself to become a slave to it. Learn to occasionally turn things off and leave them off.

  • 17. Create large chunks of time: Organize your days around large blocks of time where you can concentrate for extended periods on your most important tasks.

  • 18. Single handle every task: Set clear priorities, start immediately on your most important task, and then work on it continuously until the job is 100 percent complete. The power of focus is your real key to high performance and maximum personal productivity.

Make a decision to practice these principles every day until they become second nature to you. With these habits of personal management as a permanent part of your personality, your future success will be unlimited.

Just do it! Eat that frog!

Manage Your Priorities for Maximum Performance

By Brian Tracy & Dr. Peter Chee

Determine Your Long- Term Goals
Success begins with clarity. You take the time to sit down with a piece of paper and think through exactly what it is you want to accomplish in each area of your life. You decide upon your ultimate, long-term goals of career and financial success, family success, or personal health and fitness. Once you are clear about the targets you are aiming at, you then come back to the present and plan every minute and hour of every day so that you accomplish the very most that you possibly can with the time allocated to you.

Begin with a List
The fundamental tool of time management is a list, organized by priority and used as a constant tool for personal management. The fact is that you can’t manage time; you can only manage yourself. That is why time management requires self-discipline, self-control, and self- mastery. Time management requires that you make the best choices and decisions necessary to enhance the quality of your life and work. Then you follow through on your decisions.

You should plan your life with lists of long-term, medium- term, and short term goals and projects. You should plan every month, in advance, with a list of the things you want to accomplish during that month. You should make a list of every step in each multitask job that you want to complete, and then organize that list by priority and sequence.

Use Advance Planning
Begin today to plan every week in advance, preferably the Sunday before the workweek begins. Plan every day in advance, preferably the night before.

When you make a list of everything you have to do the following day, your subconscious mind works on that list all night long. When you wake up in the morning, you will often have ideas and insights to help you accomplish the items on your list. By writing out your plans, you will activate the Law of Attraction. You will begin attracting into your life the people, opportunities, and resources that you need to achieve your goals and complete your tasks the very best way possible.

Consider the Consequences
The most important word in determining the value of a particular task or activity is “consequences”. A task that is valuable and important is a task that has serious consequences for completion or noncompletion. The greater the possible consequences of a task or activity, the more important it is.

A task for which there are few if any consequences is, by definition, not particularly important. Your aim in personal management, therefore, is to spend more time doing more of those tasks that can have the greatest possible consequences on your life and work.

Apply the 80/20 Rule
Once you have prepared a list a tasks for the coming day, review your list and apply an 80/20 Rule before you begin.

This 80/20 Rule says that 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of the value of all your activities. If you have a list of ten items to complete, two of those items will be more valuable than the other eight items combined. Two of ten tasks will have greater potential consequences than the other 80 percent.

Sometimes it will even be the 90/10 Rule that applies. Often one task on a list of ten items you have to do during the day will contain more value than everything else put together. This task, unfortunately, is usually the task that you will procrastinate on most readily.

Practice Creative Procrastination
Once you have identified your top 20 percent of tasks, you can then practice “creative procrastination” on the others. Since you cannot do everything, you will have to procrastinate on something. The only question is, which of your tasks are you going to procrastinate on?

The answer is simple. Procrastinate on the 80 percent of tasks that contribute very little to your desired goals and results. Focus on your time and attention on completing those one or two jobs that can make the most difference.

The Pertinent Question
The key question, and perhaps the best question in all of priority management, is this: “What is the most valuable use of my time right now?’’ All questions and methods of goal setting, personal planning , and time management are aimed at helping you to accurately answers this question, every minute of every day.

When you discipline yourself to ask and answer this question repeatedly, and you are sure that whatever you are doing is the answer to this question, you will start to accomplish two and three times as much as the people around you. You will become more and more productive. You will plow through more work of higher value and accomplish greater results than anyone around you. Discipline yourself to keep working on the most valuable use of your time, whatever it may be at the moment, and you will be much more successful.

In the final analysis, the key to high productivity and performance in this: Dedicate yourself to getting better and better in a few tasks that you do that account for most of your results. Simultaneously, learn to delegate, outsource, and eliminate all those tasks and activities that contribute very little to your results and rewards. As Goethe said, “The Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things matter least.”

Action Exercises
1. Make a list of everything you would like to be, do, or have in the months and years ahead. Analyze your list and select those items that can have the greatest possible consequences on your life.

2. The evening before, make a list of everything you have to do the next day. Let your subconscious mind work on your list while you sleep.

3. Organize your list by priority using the 80/20 Rule outlined in this article. Separate the urgent from the nonurgent and the important from the nonimportant before you begin

4. Select the most important task, the one with the greatest possible consequences for completion or noncompletion, and circle it, making it your A-1 job.

5. Begin working immediately on your most important task, and then discipline yourself to concentrate single-mindedly on this one task until it is 100 percent complete.