Those That Show Up

How do you treat those that show up to work at the businesses you visit? If you are frustrated with the lack of service from industries and employees that are asked to do more with less, don’t take your frustration out on those that are making an attempt to do their jobs. Your impatience is a reflection of you, not of the person trying to help. –


finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Puzzles Instead Of Problems

We struggle with how we see ourselves when trying to fix a problem. Try looking at dilemmas as puzzles to solve instead of problems to fix.

Ever find yourself feeling guilty or embarrassed for having to ask for help in solving a problem? Ever looked down at someone who is in the same situation?

As a culture, we have a tough time separating our identity from the situation we are in. This means we believe we are weak if we have a problem. It also means there is something wrong with us if we can’t solve a particular problem or have to ask for help. This internal perception actually adds to the problem instead of helping.

My request is to try a perception shift. Instead of looking at a conflict, miscommunication, error, mistake, or failed attempt as a problem to solve, try choosing to the see the dilemma as a puzzle to put back together.

What does this do for you and the person on the other side of the conflict? For starters it takes one or both of you out of the seat of blame, shame, guilt or embarrassment of having a problem. It also allows room for collaboration in finding a solution instead of competition. Your perception of the problem itself may change. It may turn out that you actually LIKE puzzles and there is some fun and excitement in solving a tough one.

Where in your life do you only see problems to solve? What is your attitude toward those problems? Is your identity, and belief about who you are, attached to the solution of that problem? Try approaching the problem as a puzzle and see what happens! –

puzzles instead of problems

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Your Personal Boardroom

We have an idea why corporate boards are created. Have you ever considered that having a personal boardroom of advisors could be a valuable motivator and development tool?

Amanda Scott and Zella King developed the idea of a Personal Boardroom after coaching clients who struggled with the idea of networking. A corporate board is created intentionally. Experts, advisors, and motivators are recruited to guide a business towards its vision and goals. Using this idea, a personal board would work in the same way for an individual.

Who do you turn to for advice? Where are your closest advisors who understand what you are trying to achieve? What do you use as a motivator to keep you moving forward and prevent from losing focus?

It turns out we probably have some version of a personal boardroom, whether we are intentional about it or not. By focusing on the idea as a development tool, however, you have the ability to assess gaps in your board. Where are you missing essential roles? Do you currently have someone sitting on your board who is not helpful? Maybe even destructive? Is it time for a review of your board?

If you develop your own personal boardroom, who will you invite to sit on it? What roles do you need to invite? How will this team motivate and hold you accountable? If fortune 500 businesses benefit from this idea, why can’t you? –

Personal Boardroom - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Numbing Out the Good

We fall into a trap in the habit of numbing ourselves from the uncomfortable things in life. By closing ourselves off, we inadvertently hurt ourselves by numbing out the good.

Have you ever thought of it that way? We form these habits to shield ourselves from the painful things in life. Anything that we use to disconnect (i.e., drugs, alcohol, food, sex, social media, TV, movies, exercise, video games – starting to get the idea it could be just about anything?), also insulates us from feeling the good things as well.

Sometimes we go so far in our internal world to block out the negative comments that people make, that we are unable to accept (or even recognize) when good comments come along.

How do you know if you are numbing to the point of blocking out the good? If something that used to bring you joy or restore you has become mechanical and a habit, it is likely preventing good things from entering.

You will have to make a decision. Will you choose to keep the bad (and good) things out? Or choose to let all of your emotions be felt in order to feel your positive experiences? The advantage is that you get to choose. Before you keep numbing, though, consider what positive things may be lost by numbing out the good in life. –

numbing out the good - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Feeling Overwhelmed

Being overwhelmed is having too many emotions at one time. We reach a point where we can’t process so much at once. The trick is to break the flooded sensation down into each piece of emotion and process one at a time.

Have you felt overwhelmed recently? You aren’t alone if you have! There is a lot going on and it is easy to feel overloaded.

We talk about being overwhelmed as an emotion. It is actually a bunch of different emotions all being felt at the same time. As humans we can only handle feeling a few emotions at once. Once we add in more than a few emotions we begin being overwhelmed.

The trick to processing this overload is to observe what mix of many emotions are present and start teasing them apart and process one emotion at a time. If I am feeling angry, sad, scared, and lonely all at once, which is the emotion that needs processed first?

So where are you feeling overwhelmed? What emotions are mixed together? Slow down and look at what emotions are present. Then find a way to work on one emotion at a time before moving on to the next emotion. It will take some practice, but the overwhelmed will go away. –

Overwhelmed - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Feeling Jaded

Would you know if you were feeling jaded? You would be limiting your choices and options if you were!

In a coaching conversation this week a person shared they were feeling jaded. In that one word I knew exactly what they meant! While the word itself is defined as losing enthusiasm for something, the image creates a much more rich explanation.

Unlike losing enthusiasm or apathy, jadedness conjures up images of being turned to stone. A hardness to things. Not just apathy, but a bitterness and distain for something that was previously a valuable connection.

I bet you feel jaded more that you think. Given all of the things are we have experienced individually and collectively in the last few years, there have been lots of opportunities to put up the shields and close off connections.

The dilemma with feeling jaded is not only do we lose connections with things we wanted to be connected to before, we also limit our future choices. By being hardened, we have less flexibility and options before us.

The antidote? Observe your jadedness. Ask, for a different perspective. Soften the edges. Choose a path that has more options and greater compassion for yourself and others. –

feeling jaded - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886. Do you know the story? In it Dr. Jekyll is lifted up as a model person by everyone he comes in contact with. Mr. Hyde is a brutal criminal. He is described almost like an animal, with no morals or scruples.

As the story unfolds, it is revealed that Mr. Hyde IS Dr. Jekyll. Jekyll creates a serum to transform himself into Hyde in order to disguise himself when he feels the need to do something unsavory. Stevenson was describing the reality of being human. We are both good and bad. We each have light and we each have a shadow.

While there are many themes in the story, my request is to focus on what happens to Jekyll when he denies that his shadow exists. By disavowing his shadow, the negative parts of who he is become stronger and eventually take over. Jekyll locks himself away to prevent Hyde from escaping.

The lesson is we all have shadow parts to who we are. It is unhealthy to deny and isolate with them. By safely acknowledging our shadows, we can shine a light on them to understand them and prevent them from fermenting and becoming dangerous. Take Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as a warning. Don’t deny your shadow!

My request is the take a look at your shadows and figure out why they are there and what they need in order to be accepted as part of being a whole human being. What shadow part of yourself do you deny to the point of it hurting you? –

dr jekyll and mr hyde - rhoads life coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Test Driving A Change

Change happens at the boundary of growth and uncertainty. Sometimes committing to a specific transformation is too big of an obstacle in one step or in a short period of time. One tool for crossing that boundary is test driving a change.

We all want growth at some level. Life would be pretty boring if nothing ever changed. But we also struggle to balance that growth with the risks involved in changing. What will we have to give up? What if it doesn’t work? Maybe I will fail?

When you go to buy a car, it is a common experience to take it for a test drive. To see how it feels and if there is anything obviously wrong with it. A car is a big purchase, so dealerships are willing to let you test drive before making a decision.

Why not apply this same mechanism to growth? Set a small “practice round” for your change. Maybe even one week or two. Then set a time to evaluate how successful the test drive was. This reduces the risk of having to commit fully to an absolute change. If the test drive doesn’t work, you make adjustments and try again.

Where in your life are you uncertain about changing something? Why not try test driving a modification to see if you want to keep it? –

test driving - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding purpose and meaning in daily life

Describing Reality

How often do you slow down long enough to contemplate describing reality? Ever wonder why we have such a hard time agreeing on what is real? Turns out there are different layers to what we believe is real. Here are three descriptions that will help!

Objective Reality – At some level this has to be measured. The temperature water boils at sea level. How much grey hair will be in my beard this year. The time the sun will rise and set on a given day.

Subjective Reality – A personal opinion or belief about something. Whether a specific sports team is the best (in a day, season, or all time). Whether the clothes I’m wearing match or clash. If the pizza in one city is better than another.

Inter-Subjective Reality – An opinion or belief that is held across groups of people. The value of a piece of paper inscribed with 20 euro, yen, or dollars. The age at which children become legal adults. Red means stop and green means go. That there should be a penalty for not stopping on red.

Are you beginning to see the complexity with which we interact not only with each other across multiple layers of reality, but also internally with ourselves as well? Defining which layer of reality we are processing on a specific topic and at a particular moment makes a BIG difference!

What is in it for you to pay attention to these layers? Where are there conflicts and misunderstandings due to talking across layers? What pitfalls do we fall into by not calibrating each layer for ourselves? What would help you in developing your understanding of which layer you are in? There are significant opportunities to relate to each other in healthier ways by paying attention to how we are describing reality! –

describing reality - rhoads life coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life