Archive for the 'Personal Growth' Category

Choose Three Words

Here we go… the world did not end on 12/21/2012, and a new birth of possibilities is in front of us all. The human story is one of resilience. If I had to choose one word to characterize the human spirit, it would be resilience.

I am in the business of learning and co-creating the future. Every year, at the end of December I challenge myself to tell the story of the year in three words. For 2012 my three words are: surprise, rethinking, overcoming.

Surprise forced me to rethink how I can help and create significant value. Rethinking led to overcoming setbacks and challenges, and it opened the door to opportunities that I did not see.

Upon reflection, I’ve seen this theme all around me this year: surprise, rethinking and overcoming.

I then ask if I can intuit a theme for the coming year. For 2013 the three words that presented themselves are: listening, elevation, creativity.

I see cross currents and conflicting short- and long-term trends ahead that require deep listening, which opens renewal and growth pathways to new elevations. At a higher elevation we are able to see what we were incapable of seeing before. And at a higher elevation we find new capabilities, creativity and the potential to unlock previously unimagined possibilities.

Now try this yourself by playing a game with friends over the holiday. Ask them to describe the essence of 2012 in three words. See if a pattern emerges. Then ask them to intuit the coming year in three words. See if the answers provide insight into how to set yourself up for success in 2013.

I am interested in hearing about your three words for 2012 and your three words for 2013. Please share your insights.

Kind regards,


Separate Three Kinds of Anxiety

You need to separate the three kinds of anxiety that exist in people and that you encounter when you meet with them:

Situational anxiety occurs when you face a challenge you are not sure how to handle.

Chronic anxiety occurs as a result of an ongoing condition that you cannot resolve or reverse and which can bring unpredictable consequences out of your control.

Existential anxiety occurs as the world shape-shifts around you and the paradigms (software) you were used to using no longer work.

With situational anxiety take action to change the situation.

With chronic anxiety you need to bring external help to boost your strength and to create leverage to shift the equilibrium and create a new dynamic.

Existential anxiety is a sign we must grow and evolve to find ourselves anew. You need to download a new upgrade and activate a new and updated you to unleash new opportunities.

© Aviv Shahar

Casting Your Net

Our upcoming KEY, titled Cast Your Net explores the three speeds of the mind and invites you to use October, November and December to reflect on learning and focus on opportunities. Here are a series of questions I use in my cast-up process which you can adopt and customize to your needs. I encourage you to copy these to a working document or print them out and journal about them:

  1. What have I observed and learned this last year?
  2. What have I enjoyed and found satisfying?
  3. What helped me gain new perspective? What surprised me? How did I surprise myself?
  4. Looking at all the situations and the roles I participate in, where do I draw energy? What challenges me into new growth? Where and how do I make a difference?
  5. What calls for balancing? What needs are not well served?
  6. Reflecting on my space and the environments I create, what do I no longer need? What can I clear out of the way to make space for something new?
  7. Reflecting on all my circles: Who are the important people in my life that help me be the person I am? What do they need from me? How can I be there for them?
  8. Looking at all that I do, what am I doing that I no longer need to do? What am I ready to stop doing?
  9. What do I want to learn? What new skills and capabilities do I want to develop?
  10. Forgiveness is the greatest act of self-love. What am I prepared to forgive?
  11. What new growth opportunities will excite and energize me? What will absolutely exhilarate me?
  12. If I knew I could not fail, what would I start doing today?
  13. What risks am I ready to take? Where am I ready to step into new unknown territories?
  14. What support system will I create? What new habits will I build to support my endeavors?
  15. What will make me very proud next year?

Cast your net for the year coming to build readiness and engage opportunities.

© Aviv Shahar

Seeing The Invisible Layers

Do you see the invisible work created around you? Are you fully aware of the invisible layers of your own work?

This podcast draws your awareness to the invisible work of your endeavors. That’s where the transformative power lies; this is where the quality and essence of something is fashioned and preserved.

You enjoy a red apple you picked up at the produce section but you do not see the tree and all the hands that touched the apple to get it to the store for you. “But I have my own apple tree that grows in my garden” you say. And there, too, you don’t see the roots underground holding the tree in place.

The invisible work is the essence of change and transformation. All great endeavors and all great success stories had great invisible work behind them. Discover the point of leverage and engage in the invisible work you are here to create!

©  Aviv Shahar

The Discipline Secret – Best Practices

Here are the elements of discipline we explored in our teleconference the Discipline Secret:
  1. Discipline of knowledge – The building blocks and protocols that allow you to use and apply a certain field of knowledge. What fields of knowledge do you use? What new fields do you want to acquire?
  2. Professional discipline – The discipline of your profession. How do you get results in your field of expertise? In what ways do you want to refine and improve your professional discipline?
  3. Discipline of learning – The virtuous spiral of learning. What learning will you take from this class through the four steps of learning to teach to someone and make it your own?
  4. Discipline of performance – Getting into your peak performance zone. What helps you create results? What do you need to do to get into your optimal performance zone?
  5. Discipline of purpose – clarity of context. What are you about? What is the purpose you are working on at this time? How does it guide your actions?
  6. Discipline of the next step – The discipline of initiative. Moving forward beyond setbacks. Taking the next step to break the pattern, to find a solution, to initiate change, to open a new door. What is your next step?
  7. Discipline to build and create – Focus, consistency and relentless tenacity. What are you building?
  8. Discipline to not destroy – Being able to contain your success and renew your purpose to create a legacy.


©  Aviv Shahar

What Are You Here For?

Participants in our seminars tell us that these are the most memorable and empowering experiences they have ever had because of the clear sense of purpose they find during the event. Each manager peels their own onion to find purpose and to discover the words that hold its meaning and essence.

The journey to discover purpose includes a series of steps and explorations. Reflecting on the question of what we are here for is the key. Here are 10 themes to start your exploration into – what are you here for?

1.    To listen, observe and learn.
2.    To serve the needs you meet.
3.    To do what’s most difficult for you to do.
4.    To do what is easiest and most natural for you to do.
5.    To enjoy and create joy.
6.    To first, do no harm and to wait patiently.
7.    To make the higher choices.
8.    To expand your range and develop versatility.
9.    To connect and to make meaning.
10.    To transform and to lead.

The tree knows what it is here for. It’s here to grow. The tiger knows what it is here for. It’s here to get its next meal and to raise its young. The tree and the tiger are locked into their purpose. You have the benefit of choice and of range. What are you here for?

© Aviv Shahar

Small Business Trends Radio Interview With Aviv Shahar

Anita Campbell and Small Business Trends Radio interviewed Aviv about The Peak Productivity Zone – The Most Important 120 Minutes of Your Day.  Aviv shares critical strategies to help you create your Peak Productivity Zone and realize your business and entrepreneurial potential.

Click here to listen to Aviv’s full interview on Small Business Trends Radio (Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the red and yellow player.)


The Next Frontier For Leadership Development – The Vitruvian Insight

Most of the currently available training methods in businesses are accented on brain learning. This is evident in the rampant usage of four-quadrant frameworks. There are dozens of strategies based on the four quadrants, the ‘important/urgent’ being one of the most popularized. Many of these are useful but are limited because they miss the insight communicated by The Vitruvian Man drawn by Leonaro da Vinci. Namely, that the human soul is five-fold as expressed by five fingers, five senses, five extensions of the body and so on. The Vitruvian insight points to the five-fold information processing and learning of the human.

By analogy, the human is a radio-set designed to process and interpret five dimensions of intelligence which is codified by the colors: Green, Yellow, Blue, Red and White. Soul learning is five-fold.  It goes beyond brain learning (four-fold) and creates faster, deeper and more sustainable results. So many of the intractable problems witnessed in organizations today and in the world at large are a symptom of brain fixation on outdated systems.  The next frontier of learning and development design is in reintegrating the five dimensions of intelligence. Together with our network of colleagues, we have been for three decades on the forefront of developing advanced coaching modalities to help professionals meet 21st century challenges and thrive. The Ten Faces of Leadership is one aspect of this body of work, which has helped create breakthrough results in Fortune 100 companies around the world.  This body of work also includes:
* The five color intelligences
* The leader coach and the five steps of coaching
* The five colors of learning and process inclinations
* The five emotions (higher and lower)
* Overcoming the five resistances
* The five elements of resilience
And more.
© Aviv Shahar

True Success

True success is not simply getting to the top. You do not need to win a gold medal. Not at all. True success is doing what you love to do and doing it fully well to create results that last beyond you. Success is to find your sweet spot and express your passion and capabilities in ways that make a difference and create significance.

To succeed is to do what you have chosen to do and to be free to do it fully.

© Aviv Shahar

Capacity For Reverence

Reflections for Rosh Hashanah:

Have you lost your capacity for reverence?

Remember the feeling you experienced when your child stood on her/his own for the first time and then took their first steps?

Better still, remember how you stood up for the first time? Remember the first time you noticed a butterfly, the tree outside, the rain? Remember how special your secret place was? How meaningful everything around you was? Can you remember the sense of vitality and how each and every day was unique and full of texture? Do you remember how meaningful your first time away from home was for you? The first kiss, the first love, the first time driving on your own, your first solo flight…

Reverence was your daily bread. The world was filled with questions, wonder and great mystery. We now live through times of great uncertainties and a great many questions. My question to you is – have you lost your capacity for reverence? Is the uncertain and the unknown a burden and a stress or can you rediscover the spirit of curiosity, of reverence? Can you embrace living with new excitement in the face of the unknown?

Reverence is the medicinal remedy for a sense of shortfall.

If you tell me you failed, my question will be can you access your capacity for reverence?

If you tell me you are frustrated or you are afraid, my question will be can you get in touch with your capacity for reverence?

What else can survive cruelty, defuse hatred, alleviate pain and redeem stupidity? It’s your capacity for reverence.

© Aviv Shahar

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