Archive for January, 2010

Coaching and Mussar

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

mountain_climbing-photoI am currently working with a good friend of mine who is a wonderful teacher in Israel.  We are going over the Mussar, which is a thousand-year-old Jewish tradition that offers an insightful perspective on life.  It is also a discipline for personal change.  As exciting as this learning is, Mussar is much more than something to learn.  It is mainly something to do.  This tradition bears a  remarkable resemblance to coaching.  Once you study Mussar and receives the insights, you must act on them.  Coaching is also based on action; we need to design our steps and start acting on them in order to move forward.

The author of one of the major work of this thousand-year-old tradition, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato, writes on the introduction of his book Path of the Just, the following: ” I have written this work not to teach people what they do not know, but rather to remind them of what they already know and clearly understand.  For within most of my words you will find general rules that most people know with certainty.  However, to the degree that these rules are well-known and their truth self-evident, they are routinely overlooked, or people forget about them altogether.”

Just like coaching, this tradition believes that we have clarity inside ourselves.  We know what our mission is and what our call is.  We know what we are supposed to be doing during this lifetime.  The main point is to get in touch with our true nature and be reminded of who we are and why we are on this earth at this time.

I am now working on the trait of Humility, which is the one that opens the gates for all the other traits that follow.  Humility teaches us to occupy our own space in the world – not more, not less.  It is about being who you are and doing what you are supposed to be doing in this world.   

As a path of spiritual self-development, Mussar involves working on yourself.  But, it is important to stress that this is not for the sake of yourself.  Just like coaching, there is a bigger picture involved in this process.  By refining and elevating your inner life, you clarify your inner light and thus become a lamp shedding light into the world.  Just like coaching, Mussar also understands that developing oneself also implies developing his/her family, community and ultimately, the world.  The main purpose of both disciplines, Coaching and Mussar, is not so that you will gratify all your desires, but so that you will become  the master of your desires, in order that you can fulfill your potential, which is spiritual above all else.

With energy,



Human Beings vs. Human Becomings

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

joy1Rabbi David Aaron, a person I deeply respect, coined the term ‘human becomings’.  He explains that because we are constantly moving forward, always changing and hopefully, always growing, we are not really human beings; we are actually human becomings.  It is a learning process to become a human.  The process is much more important than the destination. 

As I meditated on it, I realized that there is a part in all of us who loves to grow, loves a challenge, an adventure and loves the journey.  There is also a part of us that is afraid of risks, that avoid challenges and resists growth.  The magic happens when we acknowledge that life is a challenge – and that the challenge itself is what makes it fun!  Only then life becomes a dynamic process of growth; an exciting adventure!

During the dynamic process of our lives, everything is always changing.  That’s the whole bit about being ‘human becomings’ and not ‘human beings’.  That’s our role in the world and the reason we were created.  If we accept that, we will understand ourselves better. 

The moment when we actually reach our goal flies swiftly; it is fleeting in its essence.  The goal of life is to be one with it; to live inside its rhythm and to bask in the human experience with gusto.  To experience and to enjoy the unique challenges and opportunities that each situation has to offer.  So life is also a becoming. 

Choose to become and to enjoy the process!

With energy,


Happy 2010!

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

fogosdeartifc3adcioToday I am sharing a nice ten step list from Zig Ziglar.  It’s fitting for this time when there is so much hope in the air!  Make 2010 an spetacular one!

Ten Steps to Goal-Getting by Zig Ziglar

1. Make the commitment to reach your goal. “One person with a commitment is worth a hundred who only have an interest.” -Mary Crowley.

2. Commit yourself to detailed accountability. Record your progress toward your goals every night, and list the six most important things you need to do the next day. Daily discipline is the key to reaching your goals.

3. Build your life on a solid foundation of honesty, character, integrity, trust, love and loyalty. This foundation will give you an honest shot at reaching any goal you have set properly.

4. Break your intermediate and long-range goals into increments.

5. Be prepared to change. You can’t control the weather, inflation, interest rates, Wall Street, etc. Change your decision to move toward a goal carefully-but be willing to change your direction to get there as conditions and circumstances demand.

6. Share your “give-up” goals (e.g., give up smoking, being rude, procrastinating, being late, eating too much, etc.) with many people. Chances are excellent they’re going to encourage you.

7. Become a team player. Remember: You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.

8. See the reaching. In your imagination see yourself receiving that diploma, getting that job or promotion, making that speech, moving into the home of your dreams, achieving that weight-loss goal, etc.

9. Each time you reach a goal your confidence will grow so that you can do bigger and better things. After accomplishing any goal, record it in your journal, weekly planner or portable digital device.

10. Remember, what you get by reaching your destination isn’t nearly as important as what you become by reaching your goals-what you will become is the winner you were born to be.

Enjoy the journey!

With energy,