The Purpose Of Life...Helping Others

posted 26 Jul 2011, 18:26 by Neal Lynch   [ updated 26 Jul 2011, 18:37 ]

"Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can." 

— Dalai Lama XIV

Why Wait? Act Now!

posted 6 Jul 2011, 18:19 by Neal Lynch   [ updated 6 Jul 2011, 18:24 ]

A quick blog today…

Jim and Sean in days gone by...

Yesterday we said goodbye to a friend who lost his battle with cancer.  It’s at times like this we reflect on our own lives and having learnt more about Sean yesterday than I knew I realised that he’d packed a hell of a lot into 47 short years. From playing sport at a high level in both hemispheres, to having a handicap of 4 in golf, to being a great uncle, a traveller, a risk-taker and a helper of others.

Often at times of loss we reflect and take stock of who we are, what we’ve achieved and what we want to do in the time left allotted to us.

My questions to you today are

  • What is your plan for the future?
  • Are you happy with your achievements so far or are there many places for you yet to go to?
  • How are you going to get there?
  • Are your plans realistic? 

Can you utilize the GROW model to help you with your future:



This is where you want to be. The goal has to be defined in such a way that it is very clear when you have achieved it.



How far are you away from your goal? If you look at all the steps needed to achieve the goal then how many steps have been completed so far.



Options are the client’s ways of dealing with obstacles if they are to make progress.


Way Forward

Options need to be converted into action steps, which will take the client to their goal. These are the Way Forward.

What’s stopping you? Get cracking!

So What Is Stopping You From Achieving Something Big?

posted 20 Jun 2011, 19:43 by Neal Lynch

kids selling lemonade

A week ago my big sister Diane organised a Cancer Charity Event for 350 people, with luminaries present such as Ron Barassi, Jim Stynes and Jimeoin (Australian Icons) and raised over $50,000. She'd never done it before, she'd never dreamt of it before but 2 months ago, after having learnt of a good friend's battle she decided that nothing would get in her way and BINGO! Im very proud of her efforts.

Some questions you may have asked yourself…

  • What is holding me back?
  • What is interfering with my progress?
  • What habits do I have that are limiting my progress in this life?
  • What things am I saying to myself that are critical or negative?
  • I wonder why I repeat the same mistakes, fail even though I am hard working, gifted and driven?
  • I wish for more in your life?

Sometimes it is the little things that hold us back but history’s great teachers have kept things simple. Buddha told us that "A jug fills drop by drop." And Lao Tzu wrote “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. I like “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time” but that’s because I love Dad jokes.

Life usually seems complicated because we make it so. Most problems have solutions, even if it sometimes only requires us to think about the problem laterally until it no longer is perceived to be one anymore. Richard Branson faced with a cancelled flight and no way of getting out of an airport re-formed the "problem" into an opportunity. He chartered a plane, filled it with the disappointed passengers and then he flew for free.


So What Is Stopping You From Achieving Something Big?

Try this exercise by answering honestly the following questions:

1. What do you want to achieve?

2. In an ideal world have you the time, skills, money and desire to do it?

3. Why haven’t you achieved it yet, what has held you back?

4. How can you nullify / eliminate the negative influences?

5. What or who can support you going forward?

6. What now is your plan of attack?

Now share your answers with a mentor, friend or coach and get their feedback. Ask them to test your assumptions, desire and motivation.

Now get cracking and good luck!

Unfulfilled Potential...Could Be A Big Waste

posted 13 Jun 2011, 19:41 by Neal Lynch   [ updated 13 Jun 2011, 20:07 ]

How Much Investment Are You Putting Into Releasing Your Potential?

Three weeks ago a friend of mine invited me to his Zen and Integrated Buddhist Studies Program. I learned through the evening that being a Buddhist is not simply a matter of accepting a belief system or memorizing doctrines. To be a Buddhist is to practice Buddhism. The practice is very simple but it can take a lifetime of practice to achieve enlightenment. Walking meditation, sitting meditation, bowing and clasping one’s hands together. There’s not a lot more to it than that but the simple act of practicing over a period of time apparently can have quite profound effects. However, at my first ever Football Coaching Course I was told “Practice Makes Permanent But Perfect Practice Makes Perfect” so the way we practice is very important too!

We all know that practice is important. We achieve sporting prowess, academic success or professional competence through practice. We all have achieved through a combination of talent, practice and perseverance. However, have you noticed that if you stop practicing for a small amount of time things start falling away at a rapid pace? Build up a great body in the gym over two years, get distracted for a couple of months and how quickly that fitness and tone disappears.

The message I’ve learnt in life is that continual practice in whatever is essential or important to us is a given. The same is true about you and your holistic wellbeing. Think about your body or your work…. you may be going to the gym. You may be challenging yourself to a new role or accepting more responsibility. However there is a lot more to life than work and exercise. Are you practicing in other areas of your life, such as Spiritually, Ethically, in your Relationships? 

Here’s an exercise for you to practice in areas that we, at Paragon Coaching, believe are essential aspects of your life. A minimum of 10 minutes daily can literally enhance everything and will make your life happier, more fun, relationships healthier and simple better. 

1) Body – Exercise, stretch, walk, swim
2) Mind – Read, study, write a journal. 
3) Spirit – Meditate, talk to a spiritual person like a priest, monk or yogi.
4) Shadow – Spend 30mins working on the biggest issue of the week.
5) Ethics – Name the ethics that you believe in and explain to a trusted friend how you live up (or not) to them. 
6) Relationships – Write down your close relationships and assess them.
7) Work – Am I where I want to be? Am I enjoying my work? What are my skills and abilities?
8) Emotions – What level of Emotional Intelligence do I possess? Am I aware of / do I understand my emotions?

Practising these aspects of your life with a goal in mind will truly help bring happiness and joy to your life. Give it a go...think how you can practice to improve your life.

Trapped: Are You A Bird In Your Own Cage?

posted 24 May 2011, 22:01 by Neal Lynch   [ updated 24 May 2011, 23:25 ]

Last week I visited Mum and Dad in the lovely Victorian country town of Romsey. In an attempt to get Mary (mum) to walk for a while to ease the pain in her ankle which had been operated on a few times I suggested we walk around the town and then home after our beautiful lunch. Dad, who has bad feet which he inherited from his mother drove off happy to be left on his own for a while.

We wandered around towns browsing shops when we passed by a garden and saw a beautiful Rosella, a medium-sized colourful Australian parrot, in a cage. I expressed dismay at the fact that there was a stunning bird locked away in a restricted space when it should be flying majestically and loudly in a flock in the bush. Mum, who happens to be a little older and wiser than me said that it reminded her of me about 4 years ago.

Often, when someone you love and trust, points out an insight into your life it can be confronting so I asked what she meant by that and she replied as follows: "You had been constricting your attitude and behaviours and denying the things in life that truly make you happy. Finally, over the past 4 years ago you have taken control, chosen activities and a career that truly make you happy, challenged and dare I say it have allowed you to fly!" Having thought about that for a week I can see her point.

Take control and learn to fly the way you want to.

It didn't take over night for me to trust myself to learn to fly. It took effort, luck, application and with the support of a couple of key friends, family and colleagues. But it started with the seed of an idea, with faith in my own abilities and the realisation that blaming others wasn't making me happy or getting me anywhere.  

Having created Paragon Coaching with Argy Mariolis and now being in a position to help people transform their lives for the better I am finally feeling great about my chosen profession. I know that even when I am tired, overworked and missing my family that I am still doing what I believe in and what allows me to sit down at the end of the day, wine glass in hand, and feel great about each day that has passed.

I am flying each day, free to soar and happy to be performing the work I do. What will it take for you to do the same?

At Paragon Coaching we premise our approach on three assumptions:

  1. Everyone is unique – despite our similarities, our experiences and conditioning are unique. We each have shaped our own personal story and that influences what we want next and how we go about getting there. Your story will reveal the strengths, values and motivations for moving you forward. 
  2. One size does not fit all – because you are unique, we practise a flexible multi-modal approach across an integral landscape. Your concerns and desired outcomes are explored across individual / collective and interior / exterior lenses and aligned to empirically validated methods congruent with your learning style. We are committed to evidence based coaching that is informed through well founded academic research. Through research, supervision and continuing professional development we remain abreast of learning and development in this youthful field of coaching. 
  3. You want to be coached – the most important investment you can make is in yourself. We do not wish to waste your time, money or effort, or for that matter ours. In the first two meetings an assessment is made on both sides. We assess your commitment, willingness to change, be open and take action. You assess our style, approach, qualifications and experience. Coaching is a wonderful learning and growth experience, however it is challenging and at times confronting, requiring persistence, determination and focus. The most important and valuable component of coaching is the time between sessions and how you use it.

Live your own life for you will die your own death - Latin Proverb

The ROI of Coaching

posted 9 May 2011, 20:51 by Neal Lynch   [ updated 11 May 2011, 20:28 ]

Firstly, for those fortunate enough to not know what ROI stands for let me tell you. ROI means Return on Investment and in our case, as coaches, it is something we are asked to demonstrate to potential clients before they will invest in a program. After coaching for a number of years all experienced coaches have numerous examples they can cite that demonstrates the remarkable benefits of great coaching in a one-on-one situation. Coaches such as Margie Warrell, Marshall Goldsmith and the powerful and charismatic Tony Robins all have demonstrated remarkable abilities in helping people reach their potential in a meaningful way. 

The stories coaches tell are powerful and compelling and are the reason why coaching has become an important method of developing individuals’ excellence in leadership, communication, emotional management, interpersonal relationships and personal well-being. 

However, when dealing with organisations our responses to the question "If we participate in a coaching program with Paragon what will be the Return on Investment be?" have to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. They also generally have to be associated with a bottom-line dollar amount. It's at those times that it pays to be fully conversant with much of the research around coaching in the corporate environment that has been performed over the last 10 years.

The research we have dissected has been performed by 
  • AIG Retirement Services, 
  • Flinders University School, 
  • Harvard Business Review, 
  • Merril C. Anderson
  • Australian Human Resources Institute,
  • Frank Bresser Consulting.
The good news about the research is that all tells a similar tale; when performed well, with clear objectives and measures for success there are returns on investment that completely dwarf the level of cost of coaching. Areas of significant improvement included 
  • company loyalty and increased retention levels (even through times of pay cuts and stress), 
  • much higher engagement levels, 
  • increasing trust at all levels, 
  • belief in the investment in the human capital, 
  • addressing derailing behaviours, and
  • simply giving the client a place to express themselves confidentially and without judgement.
AIG calculated that their coaching program had a conservative return on investment of 17:1 whilst other organisations have mentioned figures of 7-500:1.

With these figures it is understandable that corporates are increasingly becoming more aware of the benefits of internal coaching programs.

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