Pressing forward toward the goal

As I write this I’m sitting in the office at church trying to recover from participating as the swim leg of a Half Triathlon Relay Team in Kerrville, Texas over the weekend with two of my best friends and fraternity brothers from Texas Tech (git yer guns up!). While the accomplishment pales in comparison to others who completed the full Half Tri on their own, we felt proud to have completed it since this was our first attempt. And the reality is that these events are not about competing with others, but with oneself. The real contest I faced was with my own body, mind and emotions. Deciding to enter was the first struggle, and I almost said no because I was so intimidated. Once I’d committed, I still watched the “final drop date with full refund” to decide whether to follow through. At first I didn’t want to let my friends down, and then I didn’t want to let myself down. By the end of my training season I actively wanted to get up early and go work out (which is really weird and unfamiliar territory for me).

This process has prompted a wide range of reflection and insight. The first thing to note is that I didn’t want to make this journey. At best I “wanted to want to do it.” I did it not for myself but for my friends – because I believe in them and their dreams and they had a dream that we would do this together. They believed in me and in us even if I couldn’t. I didn’t know if I could succeed, and was pretty sure I didn’t want to work that hard to find out. But I went for it out of love for them.

And it was really hard. Training required sacrifice of sleep, other recreation, and even some family time. I was scared to swim a long distance in open water. (“What lurks in the murky darkness?” and “What if I cramp up, run out of breath, or God forbid have a heart attack out in open water?”) But I realize that going toward some things that scare us is really healthy and good. If I didn’t succeed, I would still be better and stronger for having made the journey. Failing to finish would not have let my friends down – failing to try would have let them and me down.

When race day arrived, I had butterflies. Was I ready? Could I do it? I mostly resisted the temptation to compare myself to the other athletes, most of whom looked like they had not been in the same room with carbohydrates in years – me, not so much. I realized that I had trained hard, and eaten well, and prepared mentally, and that I was ready.

Upon entering the water, I felt strong and confident. Within 300 yards that evaporated, and I began to panic. I couldn’t find my rhythm or pace. My swimming form was all off but I could not figure out how to correct it. I could not manage to swim straight, instead zigzagging across the course. I doubted I could finish or even make it half the distance. I was going to let everyone down. But not yet. I would swim as hard and far as I could, even if it didn’t look pretty like all the experienced competitors around me. As Dory says in Finding Nemo “Just keep swimming…” So I did.dory-just-keep-swimming

Another 300 yards along I began to regain my
confidence, to find my stride. I actually finished the race with reserve energy knowing I could have kept going. Throughout this six month process I have discovered that actively choosing to do something difficult, for the sake of others, has transformed me in body, mind and spirit. I’ve become someone who looks forward to working out and feels acute loss when I don’t get to do it. I’m physically healthier than I’ve been since I was in high school. And I find myself asking, “OK, what’s the next challenge? Where do we go from here?”

swimfinishThis same process unfolds for us as individuals and communities and churches when we choose discipline and challenge over the easy path, when we choose to sacrifice now for benefits later, when we choose the needs of the community over our own fear and doubt. As we look toward the future, let us embrace the struggle to become our better selves and cast off the shell of false self that holds us captive. So much of what holds us back from excellence and flourishing is unnecessary limitation imposed from within as a coping mechanism we developed to face life’s difficulties. The time has come to stop coping and start thriving.

Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life, and have it in abundance!”

Veterans can find meaning and purpose as they design a new life using existing skills

What if Veterans were helped to not only translate their skills to civilian careers, but to dig deeper into their hopes, dreams and passions? What if they were helped to articulate and pursue a sense of calling and vocation? A holistic life and career coaching process would allow them to flourish by integrating every aspect of their self – body and spirit, relationships and emotions, work and intellect. If we want veterans to find wholeness, we need to relate to them as whole persons, not fragmented and compartmentalized segments.

VeteransDay2014The various branches of the US Military do an excellent job of teaching and developing women and men in particular ways beyond making them warriors: physical fitness, discipline, teamwork, and leadership along with specific job related skills. Active duty and veterans are also able to acquire course of study certifications or undergraduate and graduate degrees. These competencies help equip them to make the transition to civilian life, if they are able to clear several other hurdles.

Upon discharge and return to civilian life many veterans suffer from a sense of hopelessness that is complex in its origins and scope. At its worst this despair leads to suicide, as David Wood reminds us in his 2014 Veterans Day post. Some of these background issues are categorized as medical or psychological (including but not limited to PTSD), and the VA is working to improve its ability to address those. There is a growing recognition that something else is at work which has recently been labeled “Moral Injury“. The Soul Repair Center under the direction of Rita Nakashima Brock at Brite Divinity School, TCU is one of the organizations leading the effort to address Moral Injury. They are developing creative and collaborative ways to build capacity within communities that will support veterans and their families.

While the label “moral injury” may be new, the concept is not. When I served for a year as a resident chaplain at the Dallas VA Medical Center I was privileged to work in a program for homeless vets. One of our primary tasks was to provide room for them to reflect on their experience from a spiritual perspective so that they could identify the spiritual and religious resources that may be at their disposal for addressing the struggles they face. These studies clearly indicated that a spiritual component was present in the difficulties veterans faced, as well as in their resolution.

I want to suggest that this may carry over into their transition to the civilian workforce. The spiritual nature of human labor as meaningful and productive and creative may go back to prehistoric times where religious rituals were connected to various trades and crafts as well as hunting and agriculture. People often associate identity with work, whether their tasks are creative, destructive, or neutral. One of the difficulties people have with their work is that it may not provide them any sense of meaning or purpose, and yet it occupies the bulk of their waking hours.

Public Launch of my Ministry Formation Courses

Atlanta Divinity Center 1Bob  Harris (Atlanta United Divinity Center) is getting everything set up in the exhibit hall at the 2013 General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. Second column from the left lists “Faculty” – my name is the 5th from the top! Course outlines are finished and have been sent to Bill Anderton at TransformingTheChurch.org. My pages should go live sometime soon so you can begin registering. In the meantime, please contact me with any questions or to reserve your spot. Registration is limited to sign up soon.

WBECS Coaching Summit

I’m writing this because I know you value life-long learning and sharpening your own leadership and coaching skills.

The World Business and Executive Coach Summit (WBECS) begins on June 12th.  There are very few companies in the world that give away as much complimentary content as WBECS does, they do so because they have a commitment to the development and success of the coaches across the world. You can probably feel their passion.

Now is the time to make a decision on whether you are committed to:
a) Your development as a coach.
b) The development of your clients.

If the answer is yes, then please purchase your early bird ticket here: https://modernmethods.infusionsoft.com/go/2013ticket/kckc
Highest quality of training for all levels
WBECS offers high standards of training for coaches of all levels, with specialist focus on growing your client-base, increasing referrals, improving your coaching skills and transforming your business by delivering significantly better results for your clients.

Specifically, the Summit is designed for coaches that fall into any of these groups:

*The Start-Up Coach: You’ve just begun your coaching journey and are looking to develop your coaching curriculum, method of delivery, and marketing system.  At the Summit, you’ll learn how to reach critical mass fast.

•The Break-Even Coach: You’re at a point in your coaching career where losing a couple of clients means trouble, while gaining a couple of clients means comfort. You’re looking at growing from being a good coach to a great coach. At the summit, you’ll learn how to stop the ‘feast or famine’ cycle by learning how to deliver higher quality coaching, helping you acquire and retain clients more effectively.

* The Next-Level Coach: You’ve already built a successful coaching business, and now you want to leverage your experience and content. You are looking for advanced coaching skills that take your clients to the next level and in the process take your 6 and multi 6 figure income to a high 6 and 7 figure income.

When you register for a Full Event Ticket you gain access to the entire two-week Live Online Event PLUS recordings of every session to watch offline or download and watch offline. You also get all materials for each session that applies: including transcripts, audio, slides and you also will be able to network virtually inside the member portal.

Check out the full lineup and agenda here: https://modernmethods.infusionsoft.com/go/agenda/kckc

This is your last chance as the Early Bird Pricing Expires May 31st Register Now for Priority Access and Save $400

EXTENDED EARLY BIRD RATE BEFORE May 31st $297
REGULAR RATE AFTER May 31st $697

Who is presenting at WBECS?

The online coaching event of the year will be bring together the world’s best coaching specialists and thought leaders to help drive the coaching industry forward, raise ethics and standards and improve the success rates of coaches both in your country and across the world.

Experts include:

Jay Abraham,                Dr. Marshall Goldsmith
John C. Maxwell          Frances Hesselbein
Daniel H. Pink               Pam McLean
Brendon Burchard      Verne Harnish
Katherine Tulpa           Karen Kimsey-House
Mary Beth O’Neill        Damian Goldvarg
Ago Cluytens               Susan Meyer
Aileen Gibb                  Hendre D. Coetzee
Andrea Lages              Howard Morgan
Andrew Neitlich          John Leary Joyce
Ann Betz                      Joseph O’Connor
Barry Posner               Krishna Kumar
Brian Underhill            Marvin Oka
Darren Robson           Myles Downey
Drayton Boyleston      Michael Bungay Stanier
Donna Steinhorn        Natalie Tucker Miller
Gary Henson               Patrick Williams
Grant Soosalu             Renee Freedman
Taki Moore

*CCE units for International Coaching Federation members

56.5 Hours CCE Units  =  30.5 Core Competencies and 26 Resource Development.

Available for pre-summit and Full Summit sessions. CCEUs can be earned through recordings although Any Core Competency session watched as a recording earns a Resource Development unit. Watched live it earns a core competency unit.

Complimentary Pre-Summit Final Week of May 2013

There is still a final last week of sessions from May 27- 30, which are all complimentary. These free sessions are perfect for you to get a taste of the high level of thought leadership from our industry.  There are five free sessions to attend this last week of May. Attend them here https://modernmethods.infusionsoft.com/go/presummit/kckc

We have a commitment to your development as a coach. Be sure to have a commitment to yourself too and join us for the Full Summit in June

Purchase your early bird ticket here: https://modernmethods.infusionsoft.com/go/2013ticket/kckc

If you have any questions at all WBECS team is on standby for you. Email ben@wbecs.com, sherrie@wbecs.com or nina@wbecs.com with any queries you have.

The team at WBECS has an absolute commitment to having a profound impact on the success of Business and Executive Coaches the world over. Please give them the opportunity to have a profound impact on your coaching success through their summit, if they don’t you can ask for your money back.

Kind regards,

Ken Crawford
214-288-1663
http://www.SynchronousLife.com
LinkedIn: kengcrawford
Twitter: @KenGCrawford
Facebook: KenGCrawfordCoaching