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SEBASTIAN SCHICK


ABOUT

If you could change one aspect of your life, what would that be? As a coach, trainer and author with over 10 years of hands-on leadership experience, working with the millennial and z generation and through the application of my own leadership background which includes the arts, army as well as my years as a trained carpenter, I bring a varied and unique perspective to my clients. Professionally, intercultural and bilingual trained, I now design and deliver coaching and training for individuals and teams in English and German to support them in maximising their personal and professional potential.



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FADING DARKNESS

Fading Darkness, my first book, is a story about fear and loss, hope and courage. About daring to be different, so that we can make a difference. But most of all, this is a story about love. And this unique book comes with chapter insights that help you expand your perceptions, challenge the mundane and listen to your heart.



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Mark Hemstedt, PCC - Founding Partner at The Works Partnership

"Sebastian beautifully shares Encora with us and in so doing we not only get to know him better but also ourselves."


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Tini Fadzillah, PCC - Founding Partner at The Works Partnership and Program Manager at Newfield Asia

"This book is a beautiful combination of the ideal future and childhood fantasy. Both ingredients, when mixed, makes for nostalgia, inspiration and hope that every reader can design a future that is compelling."


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Marcus Marsden, PCC - Founding Partner at The Works Partnership and Sarius Performance

"Sebastian has clearly a gift for beautiful storytelling. His ability to share complex thoughts in simple words make him a great communicator. A thought provoking book that will put you in a space of wonder."


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Cheryl Chen - Editor for Fading Darkness and Founder of One Zeitgeist

"Fading Darkness is one of those rare books that magically combines heart, soul and mind in one beautiful, fantastic piece of storytelling."


COACHING & TRAINING for Individuals and Teams

Have you ever noticed an inner-voice that is holding you back from achieving what matters most to you?


Would you like to get rid off that paralysing story that drains your energy emotionally as well as physically?


Do you think your life would be different if that voice would tell a different story?


We live in constant conversations, with others and with ourselves. As an individual performer, leader or in a team, the stories we tell ourselves matter far more than we imagine. Those stories show up not only in our emotional context but also in the physical body we choose. Achieving your goals or giving up half way - it all comes down to your inner-voice.


The question is: do you have conversations that will help you to achieve your goals?


You are in the right place. Interested? Contact me.



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Croft Edwards, MCC - Author, Leadership Coach, LeadershipFlow Expert, Keynote Speaker and President, CROFT + Company

"I have had the pleasure of working with Sebastian on several occasions and what I have really been impressed with is his desire to learn and his openness to undertake the growth activities to be a better leader. He is constantly challenging himself to grow and to lead by example. He is easy to work with and I highly recommend him as a team player and as a coach."


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Monique Fanselow, PCC - Multicultural Leadership Coach, Communicator and Blogger

"Sebastian is a committed and passionate coach. He is an excellent listener and communicator and wants the best for his clients. With his energy and enthusiasm he can truly help his clients get more awareness, enabling them to deal with challenging situations and move forward in their lives."


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Tom Haupt - Founder and CEO at Haupt International Leadership Training

"I had the unique pleasure to work closely with Sebastian at a leadership conference I was facilitating in Singapore last week. I was very impressed by his professionalism and willingness to take a stand for people. If given the opportunity to work with Sebastian in the future, take advantage of being in the presence of an extraordinary man that will inspire you to greatness!"


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Marcel Nguyen - artistic gymnast, silver medal in the Olympics 2012 and 4th place as Team in the Olympics 2008

"The training with Sebastian was a lot of fun! And at the end I was perfectly prepared for my challenge. Since I'm a competitive sportsman myself, I know exactly which qualities are essential for a coach. He's patient, competent and if there's a problem he always finds a solution. It's been a great time!"


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Titus Lindl - CEO and founder of WEGVISOR and Founding Partner in the John Maxwell Team

"To work as a trainer most of all you need to be gifted in observation. In addition you need the freedom not to assess or to judge the observed. Finally you need love and patience, thus may help the trainee to discover it themselves. All three capabilities I can find in Sebastian Schick."


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Johannes Engels - Head of the Department for Culture in Würzburg -retired, University for Music Würzburg

"Sebastian Schick is one of those personalities who – despite their young age – get our attention and wake our interest. He excels as coach, speaker and trainer because of his receptivity, sensitivity and judgment, through which he quickly wins other people’s trust and offers a safe space to open up. In his exchange with different generations he remains highly teachable and is able to pass on gained experiences to younger people. His interaction with people of different social sectors and age groups stands out through immense human knowledge and empathy. He always knows how to motivate and inspire his partners and to encourage them to perform extraordinarily."


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Gene Dunaway, president of Sustain Strategies Inc.

“Sebastian stands out as a ‘bright star’ among the people I have worked with. He is creative, generative, follows through, positive, energetic, persevering, grounded, confident without a hint of arrogance and works well with others. He is truly an amazing person and I give him my highest recommendation.”


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Chris Böhm - 2 times winner of German BMX Flatland Championship, CEO and founder of newscoolflatland Events

"I first worked with Sebastian at the Juzo Event in Berlin. He was hosting my new show “BMtriX” (BMX and Tricking). I found it great how he integrated himself into the encore after the show. He not only hosts professionally but has cool breakdance moves, too. Thumbs up!"


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Anna Vita - ballet director at the Mainfranken Theater

"When it comes to teamwork, motivation, organisation, flexibility, spontaneity and being a leader of a group, Sebastian Schick is an exceptional talent. The collaboration for "Schneewitchen - Breaking Out" at the Mainfranken Theater in Würzburg has also been artistically inspiring. He demonstrated excellent empathetic skills when capturing the important aspects of the dramaturgy, and knew how to implement these for himself and his breakdancers in a humorous, brisk and theatrically plausible way. With tremendous endurance and discipline he finishes his work and never loses his cheerfulness and his quick-thinking. In his teaching and conveying of the art of breakdance, he gained a lot of respect from the dancers within the ballet company. With these excellent qualities in tow, I can recommend Sebastian Schick in good conscience as an employee, choreographer, teacher and coach in many areas."


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Linda Grauschopf - certified social education worker, Head of the youth centre Bechtolsheimer Hof (Würzburg)

"We at the youth centre ‘B-Hof’ appreciate Sebastian Schick’s work at numerous events a lot. He always impresses with a big sovereignty and spontaneity. Most of all his ability to motivate the attendees and to integrate the audience of the event, as well as his particular rhetorical skills characterise him. Easily he inspires the audience with his entertaining and charming type and by that he’s to be recommended for kids and youth events, without any limitations."


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Andreas Blum - certified teacher, business coach at Talentify and CEO of PersoNova

"I appreciate Sebastian a lot because he has got an understanding of the work with children and youths like hardly another. He is capable of detecting the kid’s talents in an inspiring, enthralling and professional way and to arouse their motivation and zest for life. Sebastian is as a trainer, coach and moderator a precious encourager and a true benefit to every big and small youth event."


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Levent Kotil - dancer and illustrator

"When I first attended my private dance class I got to know Sebastian not only as a dancer but as coach as well. Time after time I realised that he didn't only help me to improve my moves. But he also taught me how to get forward in life. For example, to believe in myself, to be confident in my own skin, to make the best of what I have, to listen to myself, to do things that I want to do and, especially, to love myself. I think to really love is the key to be of great service to people. And Sebastian has that."


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Kelly Chua Kai Ling - Consultant at Hays, Specialising in Marketing and Communications Recruitment

"Sebastian stands out as a highly responsible and driven individual who goes the extra mile to achieve his dreams and that of his team. For an intelligent person like Sebastian who is highly driven to learn and improve, I have no doubt that he will be successful in his life and for his employer's."


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Anissa Nasser - Assistant Manager, Sprachzentrum Süd in Holzkirchen

"Sebastian Schick worked as a camp leader in our German language camp located in Munich Castle for international students (14 to 17 years old) which we organized in cooperation with GLS Berlin. The camp leader is responsible for up to 55 students per week and has to coordinate the staff, the students and the German teachers. He is also responsible of the welfare of the students, organizing activities and excursion programs together with the staff  and has to fulfill administrative tasks such as the coordination of transfers. Sebastian showed great professionalism and leadership as a camp leader and was able to establish an excellent rapport with the students and the staff. The teenagers who come from all over the world were enthusiastic about the dancing classes he offered. We would love to work with him again!"


CONTACT


Germany +49 176 24801808
Singapore +65 9899 2671


+65 9899 2671


sebastian-schick


info [at] sebastianschick [dot] com


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Fading Darkness

Have you ever had a dream, bigger than yourself? Have you ever wanted to be a superhero? Change the world?


I know I have.


I wanted to fight evil, ease suffering and make the world a better place. I wanted to fill hearts with joy. I wanted to make a difference. But I never really did anything about one particular dream I had, until now. For a long time I didn't understand what John C. Maxwell said:


"Dreams don't work unless you do."


This dream I had, was writing a book. A book that turns ordinary people like you and me into superheroes.


Let me explain.


Over the years, I’ve come to realise that one of the biggest evils that I and many people face is the lack of self-love. One of our greatest sufferings is low self-worth.


And we all need a personal superhero. Someone who believes in us unconditionally, even when we are too broken to believe in ourselves. Someone who sees the beauty in us so clearly that we see it too. Someone who celebrates our uniqueness. Someone who remains the steadfast rock by our side even when we’re overcome by waves of doubt. We all need a superhero who encourages and inspires us to keep going, to do great works and to create amazing lives for ourselves and others. To change the world.

That is why I’ve written Fading Darkness – Turn On the Light Within You. It is a story about superheroes, about evil powers, about a dystopian universe populated by fear and hope (and one really cute girl). It’s about raging battles and death and glory. It’s about sacrifice and love. And most importantly, it’s about you.


That’s right.


If you don’t believe me, read it.


You see, I have a vision. I want to inspire love in everyone I meet; be it self-love or love for others, and to show by example that everything is possible – the impossible just takes a little longer. I believe that everyone can be a superhero. I believe we CAN change the world, if we choose to love ourselves and each other. My dream is to make that world happen. And my request is for you to be my superhero, as I will be yours.

Our time on earth is brief, and it’s not too late to be there for someone, to love, support and inspire him or her. That is why I’m a personal development coach, and that is why this book exists.

Through this book, I will remind you of the value, power and magnificence within you. I will heighten your awareness of your own uniqueness and potential. And, of course, I will tell you a great story that will rock your socks off!


We may be best friends or strangers, you may believe me or you may not, but through this book, I will show you that this world is a wonderful one, because of you.

Always remember that the world is essentially a beautiful place, once we allow ourselves to love, and to look for the beauty and goodness in people.


We can all be superheroes. We can all change the world.


With love and gratitude,

Sebastian

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Coaching and its Return On Investment (ROI)

Coaching and its Return On Investment (ROI)

Very often people ask the question if coaching does help anything and my answer is always the same: “Yes it does!” Usually I would use personal examples to show how greatly coaching has helped me to change and to become more effective in whatever it was I wanted to do. But now I will use another perspective and show what different studies have found out:

 

A study of the ICF, executed be the PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Association Resource Centre Inc, has shown that companies who have used coaching to develop their leaders have had an average ROI which was 7 times higher then their investment. 


SOURCE: ICF Global Coaching Client Study, 2009, available here.



Merrill C. Anderson, a Professor at Drake University, deduced a ROI of 7,8 for the Nortel Networks company after they have been investing in a coaching program.


SOURCE: Case Study on the Return on Investment of Executive Coaching, Merrill C. Anderson, PhD, 2001, available here.



A study shows an average ROI of 5,7 for executive coaching in fortune 1000 companies in the USA. 


SOURCE: Maximizing the Impact of Executive Coaching, The Manchester Review, Volume 6, Number 1, Joy McGovern, et.al., 2001, available here.

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A Culture Of International Growth

A Culture Of Intentional Growth


"Leadership starts within yourself."


This statement is probably the biggest lesson I've learnt about growth in the last few years. John Wooden, the Coach of the UCLA Bruins basketball team, said: 


"Winning takes talent, to repeat it takes character."


Character is the single most valuable asset I have. And on my own journey of personal growth, I came to the conclusion that: A leader is nothing more than a person who constantly takes responsibility for his/her own results and the results of others. Leadership expert John C. Maxwell puts it this way: 


"Leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less.”


That means the more influence I have on my life – the events I experience, the results I create and the people I meet – the more personal leadership I have created. It all comes down to growing as the person I am. But how? 


I would like to propose that we see our results as the greatest reflection of what we believe about ourselves and the world around us. We will always act upon our own belief system, and produce results accordingly. Therefore, if I don’t create the results I want, I’m not leading my life; my habits are leading me. 


After studying the All Blacks – one of the most successful sports team in the world - James Kerr wrote: 


"A culture of asking and re-asking fundamental questions cuts away unhelpful beliefs in order to achieve clarity of execution. Being honest allows us to ask the simple question: Why?"


So in order to grow and to produce different results – results that I want – I need to ask honest questions about the person I am. Questions like:


  • How do I see myself, which has led to my choice in actions that created this result?
  • When I look at my results, what can I learn about 'how I see the world'?
  • What is more important to me than keeping my word?



This habit of being honest with ourselves, about the results we have created in our life, is not easy to cultivate. And if you are like me, you’ll find that the first thing you do is to come up with a lot of reasons and excuses in order to explain the results, especially if the results weren’t what you intended to create. When I look at modern society, I must admit that we have built a strong habit of allowing ourselves to create results we don't want and then finding ways to excuse those results. And because so many people are doing that, we live in a world of excuses. I believe that is why culture was a significant starting point for James Kerr when he said: “A culture of asking and re-asking fundamental questions…".


I for sure was stuck in the vicious cycle of undesirable results and the accompanying excuses. When I finally sat down and did some honest reflection, what I discovered was a strong belief that 'I'm not enough'. So according to the belief I had, I subconsciously produced results that reflected that belief. And all the disappointment that came with those results got channeled towards excuses, so that I didn’t have to face the pain or confront my belief. This went on until I realized I was allowing the habit to take control of me. I was no longer practicing personal leadership. I wasn’t growing, I produced results that I didn’t like, I was frustrated, and my loved ones had to bear the consequences of all these things. And so, I had to put my foot down and get honest with myself.


Today, I know my results are based on my beliefs and habits, and with lots of honesty and practice, I can form healthier beliefs and create more productive habits. That means I can change. That means I can create the life of my dreams, and so can you. 


So from my experiences, I say if you want to grow and play a bigger game in life, don’t stay stuck with a belief that is not working for you. Get together with people, get into great relationships and create a culture of honesty and intentional growth.


That, I promise you, will work.

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Learning To Fall

LEARNING TO FALL


After a great coaching session with my Coach, I took some time to reflect on my learning. Let me share:


I'm reminded about the fact that I'm able to stand tall and keep going because I've developed the ability to cope with falling, again and again. Not only that; I’ve learnt to pick myself up after each fall and run even faster, jump even higher. In essence, I’m practicing resilience. Intentional resilience. This means I don’t just deal with my circumstances; I create new ones that work for me. 


But where does resilience come from?


"It's hard to beat a person who never gives up." – Babe Ruth


I’m a few weeks back in Germany and looking back at the last two years of my life, I have learnt that being intentional does not mean that I will never have one of those days where I feel knocked down. In fact, living an intentional life ironically brings me even more breakdowns than if I had chosen to sit comfortably on my couch day after day, playing Angry Birds, Candy Crush or spending endless hours on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. 


But every breakdown is the dawn of a breakthrough. 


Whenever I feel discouraged, left out or even forgotten, I know today that I am never alone. Many people have experienced those same emotions and thoughts; you are probably one of them. Which means you can empathise with me. Thank you for that.


The truth is, the more I make intentionality my way of being, the more I encounter failure and disappointment. In the past, I realized that my relationship with the word "failure" wasn't helpful in getting me back up on my feet, for several reasons. Somehow, my definition of failure had evolved from the healthy "objective feedback on my actions" to the depressing "something that determines my value".  In my head, every failure or setback became a sign of my inadequacy or worthlessness. That caused a huge problem and a downward spiral for me, because calling something a failure did not help me in changing the circumstances, but instead emphasized my belief that things will never change. I was trapped in a vicious cycle.


This evidently wouldn't work in the long term. 


So one day, while I was wallowing in my pit of despair, my coach asked me a simple question: “Given that you can’t change the event, what is a different assessment you could make about the same event?” It took a while to process that question, but eventually I chose to come up with a new assessment, a different phrase to characterize such circumstances instead. And the phrase I chose was: 


“Great, this is a character-building moment.”


That was a defining moment for me. By consciously changing the words I used, I created a different scenario for myself and my circumstances, and that led to a change in emotions and gradually a change in my attitude. It is still the same situation, but I've learnt to look at it from a different viewpoint – I became a different observer. Today, I don't see failures; I see learning opportunities. In that way, I'm able to honestly and objectively look at the real feedback in front of me and start consciously navigating situations to create a different and new result. Just like how I learnt to walk as a child, progressing from crawling when I was a baby, to taking little steps and falling a lot, till I was walking, running and jumping as a boy (and adult!). 


That's the theory, at least.


To be honest, even after knowing all that today and growing back into my “child’s way of looking at falling down”, there are moments when I still cry like a baby because sometimes all the theory disappears in the face of a heart-breaking moment. But maybe crying like a baby is also part of having that attitude of intentionality.


And that is where relationships come into play.


None of us can accomplish a worthwhile goal all by ourselves. All of us need help sometimes. None of us learnt how to walk without the support of our parents, who cheered for us every step of the way. At least, I didn't.


"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow." – Mary Anne Radmacher


Sometimes I need someone to help me to get my focus back. A shoulder to cry on. A friend to rely on. Or, my fiance telling me that I’m still a man, even while I’m crying like a baby.


If you know what I’m talking about and you are in a situation like that right now, you know that friends and loved ones can be our biggest cheerleaders and motivating force. 


"If you are feeling low or trampled, unappreciated or forgotten and you are reading this, realize it is an illusion. The hope is real, you are valued, and what lies ahead is brilliance." – Tom Althouse


One phrase I often hear is: “We are coaching from our wounds.” And I think what it means is: The breakdowns we endure and the hardships we experience can be the source of wisdom and encouragement for other people, and can even create a safe space for them to navigate through their own “great character building moments”. 


Now let me ask you the same question my coach once asked me: “Given that you can’t change the event, what is a different assessment you could make about the same event?”


While exploring your learning opportunities and dealing with whatever issues you may be facing right now, never forget to take care of yourself emotionally and cry some healthy tears once in a while.


Have fun and enjoy your learning.


#spacetofail #leadershipdance

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Are You Wearing Tinted Glasses?

Are you wearing tinted glasses?


I stumbled upon a LinkedIn post in which someone wrote about our resistance towards change, and he referenced the "New Coke" disaster. I actually didn't know what the "New Coke" thing was about, so being born in 1987, I did what every good Millennial would do - I Googled it. :)



32 years ago, Coca-Cola advertised a new product launch. A new drink called - "New Coke". People were absolutely optimistic about the new product and the Coca-Cola Company assumed that with the product launch of "New Coke" they will hit the bulls eye. It turned out to be a disaster. Only 13% of the consumers liked it and eventually the original Coca-Cola came back. (source)


I shared the article with my fiancée and while reading it to her, I started crying. She responded with "Oh you are so cute", while hugging me. I, on the other hand, was baffled by my own tears. I always knew that I wept easily, but about Coca-Cola? Please, that I felt was too much, even for me.


As a student of the #OntologicalCoaching approach I have learnt that how I emotionally react to events has to do with "the observer I am", and through watching #InsideOut too many times I've learnt that sadness stems from the narrative of loss. The amount of sadness I experience is equivalent to how much I value what I have lost. Like losing my first $3 during a Chinese New Year gambling session (yeah, first CNY for me) compared to losing someone I love. I know, the example is extreme, but I think you get the point. :)


Ok, enough theory.

I knew something in that story of Coca-Cola and the New Coke disaster triggered sadness in me.


So, I started asking myself a simple question: "What did I lose?" Sadness is a beautiful emotion when I allow it to do its work and to reconnect me with what I value.

I realized very quickly that it had to do with my transition from Germany to Singapore and back. About a year ago, I was given an opportunity to work in Singapore and start a life on this beautiful tropical island with the most amazing person I have ever met. 

Of course, being the adventurer that I am, I took that job and moved to Singapore. But for most of the duration that I was there, I never emotionally left Germany. I viewed the world through my "tinted glasses" and fought everything that did not fit "how I saw the world".

It showed up very distinctly in the language I was using. Both my external and internal conversations were dominated by "should"s and "shouldn't"s - especially the conversations in my head. 'Good' and 'bad' or 'right' and 'wrong' were the most used assessments by which I was navigating through life. Linguistically, there was no exploration, and that in turn drastically limited how I saw the world and its possibilities. And one thing that did not happen was real learning.


As you can imagine, I was carrying a mood that matched the observer I was, and vice versa. Basically, I lived in the mood of resistance. So much time was spent on trying to prove that I was right, instead of exploring, learning, creating and building. Eventually, I lost my big opportunity to create a new life in Singapore. I tell you, this was quite painful, especially for the people close to me.

Through great coaching and the support of my wonderful fiancée, I allowed myself to move from resistance into acceptance, where I let myself experience sadness fully. (Remember, sadness is the emotion that comes hand in hand with loss.) It was both a cathartic and enlightening experience that allowed me to find release, open up my heart and mind, and reconnect with my inner self and the things I value.

When I read the article about the New Coke disaster, I was amazed by the Coca-Cola consumers. Their emotional connection to the original Coke was so strong that they did not allow themselves to let go of it, and they eventually got the original Coke back. Donald Keough, longtime president of Coca-Cola, said in a press conference that they did not see the "depth and abiding emotional attachment to the original Coca-Cola". Well in this case I am quite happy because I quite like the original Coke, but can you imagine how many opportunities are lost in all the scenarios of our lives because we are unwilling to change?


So, why did I cry and what can you learn from this "New Coke" disaster? 


I realized that I had lost the opportunity to create something new and valuable in and for Singapore, the beloved home of the love of my life and the next place that I was going to be setting up a home in. I had lost the opportunity to grow in a different way and direction, in a different culture. I had lost the opportunity to embrace change.

If we look honestly at our world and the speed at which it changes, it is inevitable that all of us will experience change on a personal level. The question is not if "my point of view" will get in the way, but when. I have learnt it the hard way. I was absolutely unaware of it, but that is how we human beings are designed (90% subconscious and only 10% conscious). Our subconscious thoughts, beliefs and behaviors oftentimes serve as survival mechanisms, but these mechanisms can frequently also become our greatest saboteur.


Knowing now that this is the case, I can prepare for it, for my second time moving to Singapore. Believe me, I am excited I can take responsibility for my life to come, by recognizing when "my point of view" is getting in the way and consciously removing such saboteurs in my life. To be honest, challenging my point of view - "the observer I am" - has always been my biggest source of personal growth.

So the remaining question is: Do you know "how you see the world", and what future would be possible for you if you allowed yourself to take off your own tinted glasses?


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Responsibility!?

Responsibility!?


A few years back I realised for the first time that myself and many people I knew were champions in making excuses. Let me give you a real life example of what I mean by that: 


The other day I was delivering a personal development / leadership training for a group of A level students. In the end of the training I asked them to rate their level of participation in the training. They rated themselves a three out of ten. They could have participated as a ten but well, they didn’t. Looking at that result something interesting happened for me. I realised some great stories crawling up on my. These inner-voice that said: “Yeah it’s understandable. It’s way to warm outside in order to participate as a ten.” - “It’s a difficult group.” - “Well, a three is better than a two.” or the best one “It’s because we are in the school environment and no one likes school.”.


I realised that I played this very famous game called “being a victim” and it was exactly how I felt. I must say it is so super sticky! The reason for that is that all those stories had some truth to them. A three is better then a two and in fact it was quite warm that day. But I knew if I play this game, I will not be responsible. 


“You either have your stories or you have the results you want but you can’t have both.” 


And even more, I will not grow. I had to stop coming up with stories, excuses and reasons for why they couldn't have been a ten. (I will talk about the reason for why we do that in another article, but not this one.) I had to stop because if not I would actually say that the circumstances I’m in a leading me. John Maxwell has a saying that goes like this: 


“Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.”


If that is how I choose to look at leadership then the result was a very important information for me and my ability to lead. I basically had to face the fact that my level of influence was at a three. It doesn't mean I’m a bad person or not good enough. It simply says that the way I tried to connect with the group in front of me resulted in a three out of ten. It is just information! But in order for this to do I cant play “being a victim”. I have to take responsibility. So what does responsibility actually look like? And why is it that without it I will never feel like I am living my life but my circumstances lives me? To quote Morpheus: 


“I can’t explain it with words. You have to experience it for yourself.” (1999, The Matrix)


But what I can do is giving you a third perspective. I can tell you something about a person who displayed, in a very literal way, a shift that has to happen for every one of us at some point in our lives if we want to start living a fulfilled life. (Now it would help if you know the Matrix movie but if this is not the case, read first and then go and watch it.)


When Mr Thomas Anderson was facing the blue and the red pill in front of him, it was probably the first time in his life that he took responsibility. And also probably the first time he thought that the feeling he had, that his existence could mean more than warming an office chair in some software company, could be true.

What followed was tough for him, but realising that the world he made up (or was made up) for himself, has been far from the truth, was the best thing that ever happened to him. All the stories and reasons why life is the way it is, most of the time, it’s just made up. You see being responsible hasn’t anything to do with taking the blame for a situation. Which in Mr Anderson’s case would have been nonsense anyways. Instead he started to see himself as a part of something bigger, the human race, and acknowledged his position. And stood for a cause to contribute to a better whole.

Yes, it’s a drastic picture as he stood for the survival of the human race over the machines, but it applies to us just as much.

Have you ever listened to that second inner-voice that keeps telling you that there is more? That there is a cause your heart beats for?


There is a huge potential lingering in all of us that just waits to be awakened – to be believed in.


In Mr Anderson’s training towards Neo (his true identity) he learned to believe in himself. Or at least saw that people around him believed in him. Sometimes that’s just what it needs for us to light the spark in us. 


You can see those two different versions of himself as his “being a victim” version (Mr. Anderson) and the responsible version of himself (Neo). I for sure have those two versions inside of me. In the end of the day it’s about which muscle you practice more. And sure while I practice I sometimes come short.


Yes, even Neo fell. He fell deep. Down from a high building even. The first few steps are never easy. “No one makes the first jump.” A crew member says while Neo goes through the simulation. And it’s true: taking responsibility and stepping forward always comes with the risk of falling. And we fall. And if we are lucky, there are people or a team around us who catch us or help us up again. And if not, not having people around me could be a great story to keep playing a “the victim game”. But you sure have the once so small inner-voice that once we start listening to it, now gives us motivation to keep on trying and exploring this world of possibilities. We trust ourselves. The responsible version.


The difficulties we face become more and the battles we fight become harder. But that’s the training we need to grow new muscles and to get to the point where we can say, “My name… is Neo”.

There is power in knowing who you are. In taking responsibility and ownership of who you are and creating the life you want to live. There is power in knowing that you are of worth to the people around you and in trusting yourself.

As the responsible version of yourself getting a three out of ten or whatever you feel shitty about, take it as information to grow from it. I certainly do.


I can’t explain to you what responsibility looks like. But if you dare to take it, you will know. Your life will change and so do your results.


Happy growing.

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