A Coaching Power Tool created by Merci Miglino
(Executive Coach, UNITED STATES)
One of Our students Power Tool. One of the fun and creative requirements of our Certified Coach Program. The story has been told of John Paul Jones – a Scottish sailor and the United States‘ first well-known naval fighter in the American Revolutionary War.
John Paul Jones screamed,
Surrender? Hell no! We haven’t even begun to fight yet!
when his ship was shot out from under him and sinking and his men were all wounded, half of them killed, and he was wounded, he still refused to surrender! Instead he captured the enemy’s boat and kept on fighting until he won!
That’s the kinds of soldiers that win the victories, the ones who refuse to quit fighting!
Two sides of the coin! When persevering gives you a new perspective!
When we make a decision to stick out longer instead of giving up, wonderful things can happen! I suppose, John didn’t know about the outcome, and most of us usually don’t, but we have a choice to persevere, to keep fighting or to just give up! John Paul knew that there is no honor in giving up, besides his ship was sinking and outcome was clear unless some action be taken! By focusing on the fight instead of giving up, he gained victory! I think he also demonstrated great creativity in this situation.
My ship is sinking, what else can I do in this situation, yes… let’s take over the enemy’s ship! Splendid idea!
I don’t know how he did it, but as the saying goes.
Where there is a will, there is a way!
And so, Jones found the way! That’s what brings a shift in perspective: when we decide to Persevere our mind focuses on solutions instead of defeat! Our minds are like a computer that is looking for the next command to execute! The question is what command are we going to give? The one that says ‘search and find’ or the one that is full of despair and hopelessness!?
Another shift of perspective can be found in the old saying that goes like this
even the darkest hour is only 60 min long!
That means it can be measured, analyzed and solved!
I like this perspective because it’s easy to be overwhelmed sometimes by the challenging situations that you find yourself in! Especially youth, whose emotions are not as stable us adults, it’s easy to blow things out of proportions! Therefore it would be beneficial to bring the situation into some kind of measurable form, where it can be measured and divided into doable steps. What is measurable is doable! Once there is a plan then focus gets shifted from emotion of feeling overwhelmed and giving up to emotion of
I see the goal, I will persevere and I will be victorious!
The Other side of the Coin! When ‘giving up’ gives you new perspective!
As funny as it sounds, there might be times when actually giving up works for your good! There might be situations when things in life must be re-evaluated. To re-evaluate, we need to give up something we have been so closely and stubbornly holding unto and make a space for the new!
Those might be the times when we have given up on things and even felt guilty for doing so! To gain the value of this side of the coin we must move on. Even if giving up did not turn out all that well initially, we should not go to the deep end of guilt, but learn from the situation and gain freedom! In reality that loss could be a new beginning to something great!
Unless you are prepared to give up something valuable you will never be able to truly change at all, because you’ll be forever in the control of things you can’t give up.
Andy Law, Creative Company
And so, if you have given up on something, realize that you have a new learning opportunity, you are creating a space for new! What you will choose? What you will discover? What would you like to discover?
When you fall down, you might as well pick up something
When persevering is tough and it seems your darkest hour has come and you are not sure if you’ll make it through, here is a great tool! This could be applied to anyone and especially to youth who are more prone to giving up when facing life’s challenges or any seemingly daunting tasks!
STEP 1: Putting frame on that “impossible” beast-like thought!
Your worst hour has only 60 minutes! If it can be measured, it can be divided, or if you don’t know what kind of beast it is that makes you run the other direction or give up, it can be put in a cage and observed more closely! – By simply breaking down the long, unending, impossible tasks into small doable steps!
- What will happen if you persevere, if you don’t quit?
- What will happen if you quit?
- How does the “impossible” look for you?
- What are your greatest fears?
- Who is your enemy?
- How committed you are to win?
- Commit to finding the solutions!
- Describe what your challenge is, write down on paper!
- Write down on one side of paper all your worries and fears and on the other side your strength, talents, solutions!
- Realize that it’s measurable and doable!
STEP 2: What are your options!
Seeking the resources, counsel and advice from others is part of successful outcome!
- What resources are available?
- What are the 5 solutions to solve this challenge?
- How much time you give yourself to solve this challenge?
- Are you using all help available?
- Brainstorm your recourses!
- Write down 5 or more creative ways to solve your challenge!
- Decide on one thing you will do today, this week, this month and next 3 month!
- Have a buddy to help you & hold you accountable!
Your focus determines how you feel! Great way to start feeling good is to do something for others!
Here is the story:
One day a new patient was placed in a room with the other older gentlemen whose bed was in a little better place, by the window! New arrival was not able to move much except just to look at the ceiling! There was not much to do during the day and to kill the time, the gentleman by the window, was describing the things he saw outside. He would describe the parade and beautifully dressed ladies waiving to soldiers marching by, kids playing with ball in the yard, the trees and flowers, beautiful cloud formation!
Few months later the gentlemen by the window died and new arrangements were made for the other patient who has improved much and now was moved to a better place, by the window. When he was able to look outside, to his surprise all he could see was just a gray wall of another building! Overcome by curiosity he inquired of the nurse if the construction was done recently because the other patient has described these beautiful scenarios that helped him to live one more day and not give up on life! The nurse replied that the building was there ever since and that the gentleman that was previously by the window was blind!
What you can do make someone happy?
- Do something nice for someone today!
- Acknowledge yourself for who you are!
- Celebrate small victories as you defeat the impossible.