I did not intend to write this post on this topic when I sat down at my desk this morning. I was going to re-purpose an older “Christmas post.” The main reason I was going to do that is that I am swamped with other work.
Today we finish our Fast Track Lab for New Coaches 5-day mini-course and we open up the cart for you to really dive deep into an 8-week program about “Your Coaching Journey.” Needless to say, I’m a bit busy. I also considered writing a bit about that for today's post, so you understand what it is and might choose to join us. (More on that at the end)
But as I sat down at my desk this morning with these two ideas for what I would write today, I pulled out my day planner and started planning and writing out the goals/activities for the day. This is a very important part of my day, for it gets me focused on what my day will be like.
As I was writing, I looked over at the front left corner of my desk, and I saw a package that I received yesterday. In the package were gifts that I am going to be giving to family members on Christmas. (If any of my/Lisa’s family happens to be reading this post before Christmas, you need to stop reading right now!)
The gift is not anything earth-shattering or something that they all “just have to have.” It is more of a stocking-stuffer. It's possible that some of them will receive theirs and say, “Oh, that’s nice,” and then never give it another thought, as it gets put into their pile of gifts and then either stuffed in a drawer, garbage can, or future re-gift pile when they get home.
But I am excited about it. I am interested to see who takes it and runs with it and has it actually spark something in them.
“What is it?” you ask.
It is a small deck of cards from a company called My Intent (myintent.org). There are 36 cards in the deck. 33 of the cards have a question on them. Of the other three cards, the first one is a bit of an instruction card offering ways to use the 33 cards. The second one says, “Take three deep breaths” on one side and then explains the mission of myintent.org on the other side. The third one says the following: “My word is _________________ because _________” with multiple blank lines for you to write your "because." The back of that card has an offer to purchase a necklace, bracelet, or keychain with your word on it.
Yes, I understand there is a marketing aspect to the concept of this deck of cards. But I also think there is gold to be found in this deck of cards, and I started mining it this morning.
You see, each card asks a question for you to consider. The questions deal with things like gratitude, letting go, being yourself, dreaming, and more. The “Instruction Card” offers three ways to use the question cards: journal your answer, ask it to loved one(s) and discuss it, or give it to guests and have them ask it to someone they don’t know. On the other side of that card, the instructions are “Invite,” “Listen,” and “Support” with a short explanation of each.
One of the purposes of the cards is to find your “word.” What is the one word that defines, describes, and shapes you? If you had to boil down the true essence of who you are into one word, what would it be?
As I sat there planning out my day in my journal/planner, I glanced at the deck of cards and then at the blank page on the right side of my planner. It is a place for jotting down notes, but it also makes a great place to journal my thoughts. I decided to put the two events that were happening to me together. So, I opened up the box of cards, looked through them a bit, and began writing.
At the top of the page, I wrote, “What is my word?” My first answer was, “I am not sure.” I wrote that I imagine a lot of people feel this way, too. Then I started writing down words that might be my words. I listed quite a few words. My thought was that by writing them down, I might come up with one from the list that was “my word.” I also thought that I might come up with my word as I look at the list as a whole, an entire entity, something that the entire list might get me to think, “Based on all the words on my list, my word is _______________.”
I like my list a lot, and I found one word in particular that I think might be my word. But I have not settled on it just yet. I left space below the list to go back and add more words if I choose to do so. I will journal about it again tomorrow morning and maybe for a few more mornings after that. Maybe something will appear that I think better encapsulates me.
When I first saw this deck of cards advertised on the myintent.org website, I scrolled the webpage and saw that the deck of cards is not the company’s main product. Their main product(s) are the necklaces, bracelets, and keychains I mentioned earlier. Each of them has a small washer (at least that’s what it looks like) with a word engraved on it. Of course, the word on it is “your word” that you ordered to be put on the necklace, bracelet, or key chain. They send it to you, you wear it, and it is a constant reminder of your one word.
I like the idea a lot. It reminds me of the concept of creating your Core Covenants or Values for your teams. You come up with the values that you want to live by as a team, put them to paper, post them, and then work on them throughout the season. However, the key is not that they are on paper. The key is that they are in your actions. If you have them on paper, but they are not in your actions, then they are not really who you are.
But the point of having the values written down on the paper is to be able to go back to them, to re-focus our attention on the words we chose, and to help bring us back to who we want to be. It is a constant reminder of what we said we want our identity to be and what we need to do to live that way. So I like the idea of the necklace, bracelet, or keychain for individuals and the “Values Document” for teams as a reminder of what their word(s) is/are.
But the problem with some of these types of things is that for too many people and teams, the only place we see the word(s) is on those objects. They are just words engraved or printed on something.
If we truly want the words to embody us, they must be embedded in us. We must LIVE them. For the words to truly matter, when people meet us or deal with us in some fashion, our word(s) should be how they would then describe us.
Ultimately, you shouldn’t need to wear your word on a necklace, bracelet, or keychain, and you shouldn’t need to write them on paper and post them on a wall. Your words should be stamped all over you through your behaviors and actions. They should be easy to read because they should be oozing out of you. If I have to look at your jewelry or a piece of paper to find out who you are and what you stand for, you are not what you say you are, and you do not stand for it. You must live your words for them to actually be who you are.
I am looking forward to diving into the questions on the cards in future morning journaling sessions. I also look forward to discussing some of the questions with others. But more than anything, I look forward to seeing where the questions take me. I look forward to finding out if they lead me down a path to more clarity on what my word really is. Maybe they will, and maybe they won’t. But ultimately, it is the journey down that path that will be most rewarding.
You may be wondering, “What is your word, Scott?” Well, you’ll have to wait for another post to find out, as I will be exploring it more in the future. Then, again, maybe I won’t write about it. Maybe you will have to meet me to see it action.
** Up above I mentioned a new 8-week program and course that I am launching today. I am so excited to be offering this to you. As I have told the people who have been in the mini-course for the last few days, I am offering an extremely low Founding Members Rate, along with some special bonuses for this first iteration of the program, to get things rolling. My main goal is to get a lot of people started in the program, so we can build momentum and energy for it. Also, I will be counting on the people who join it to determine where we go with it.
But that Founding Members rate will not be the price of it in the future. The price will go up as we keep adding to it and growing it. If you are interested in jumpstarting your learning curve on your coaching journey, and you want to create a path to success while creating a positive impact in kids’ lives, this is the program for you.