The Hidden Power of a ‘Thank you’ Environment

George* is 14 and highly intelligent. However, he actively dislikes to do chores around the home and prefers endless debates with his parents and his younger sister about it. Beside this one challenge, they really and genuinely like each other. So let’s have a closer look:
This situation is a wonderful example for a wide-spread phenomenon I call “complaining on a high level”: Circumstances are in great flow and work really well, but everyone involved might be too busy to take a closer look and takes the situation for granted. Over time the focus shifts to little conflicts and blows those way out of proportion: Chores become this unsolvable problem that causes stress and guilt for everyone involved.

How would the same situation in a ‘thank you’ culture look like?

George* would feel genuinely grateful for the little things he contributes on a regular basis to make the life of his family team easier. His sister would feel the same about her area of responsibilities and both might ask their parents what else they could do to contribute. The parents would thank each one of them independently and in their own words for every step they do and make these actions stronger. Sounds fairly easy and common sense.

So why is this environment so rare? Do many parents repeat subconsciously their own upbringing with strict rules that could never be questioned without consequences?

Let’s transfer the same culture into your company team. Can you see the similarities?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here might be the BIG confusion: there is vulnerability in ‘thank you’ but not weakness. Genuine vulnerability is a powerful feeling to build trust; therefore it helps a lot to bring out the best in children as well as in adults.

Modeling gratitude as a family or team culture might be the greatest gift you can give anyone in your life!

Otto Siegel

Speaker, Author, Genius Coach

* Not his real name

Does Action REALLY Speak Louder than Words?

My fitness trainer and owner of Enerjoy Fitness Ilana Lea coined this phrase a few weeks ago. She calls her work ‘body sculpting’ and creates new exercises and variations each single week.

I love the deep wisdom behind her catchy quote for two reasons: First of all to be aware of every slight change in physical, mental or emotional situations and not ignoring or tolerating it. It allows me to be pro-active instead of waiting and hoping for the best. A few months ago I noticed a little blurry spot in the peripheral vision of my left eye. Thoughts and worries like ‘glaucoma’, ‘aging’ and ‘macular degeneration’ flooded my brain at first. Until I saw a retina specialist who gave me specific eye exercises and recommended a high dose of vitamin E. After 3 weeks the symptom completely disappeared.

The second reason why her quote resonates with me is the emphasis on immediate action without analyzing the circumstances too much. Our intuitive intelligence has a quick and instant response for most challenges we face. Only mental analysis-paralysis slows us down, if we allow it. Is it time to listen to our bodies more than ever instead of telling ‘it’ what to do?

 

 

 

 

Intuitive Intelligence is very physical and strongly connected with our body’s innate desire to live long and healthy. Latest research suggests that intuitive intelligence might be even stronger than mental intelligence: It captures and processes information about every cell and organ 24/7 and communicates it to the brain. Now THIS kind of cellular action does not only speak louder than words, it actually CAUSES action in your outside world.

Otto Siegel

Speaker, Author, Genius Coach

Who Suffers from Emotional Language Disorder?

“How do you feel today?”
“I think, I am doing great”
“NO, how do you FEEL today?”
“What do you mean by ‘FEEL’?”
” ———– ” (Fill in the blanks)

Have you noticed that many children, young adults and adults who feel very deeply on a regular basis find it difficult to put these feelings into language? This frequent observation has been called “Emotional Language Disorder” (ELD) and deserves a closer look.

Here is a very important distinction: ELD is NOT an emotional disturbance or emotional disability that would significantly affect the individual’s behavior!

So what is ELD? Every human communication consists of facts and feelings. The ultra-rapid flow of information and ‘news’ through our media frequently causes an overload of facts, anxiety around forgetting facts and a starvation on the feeling level. Our Ultra Short Term Memory (USTM) processes information at 124 – 300 mph, but also erases it within 20 seconds with the next wave of ‘important’ information. Yes, forgetting can be a blessing…!

Feelings take a few moments longer. Feelings might start with unclear body sensations in your gut or heart and come back to the brain as a delayed response. Quiet people take that time to reflect for a moment: They don’t have an immediate answer, might draw a blank and come back later with a profound answer. Do we give ourselves or others that time?

Do you see the wisdom behind ELD? It might take practice to give your feelings a clear voice, but it deepens all your relationships, builds trust and respect.

After all – your ‘slow learning’ daughter might not be slow at all, she might simply be deep and therefore appreciate your encouragement to slow down and feel. Her brain works at 124 mph as well…

Otto Siegel

Author, Speaker, Genius Coach

Transformational Skiing last Monday

For several decades I have been a passionate skier and ski instructor, exploring amazing slopes in Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Switzerland, Bolivia and Colorado. But it was last Monday in Flagstaff when I discovered a new dimension of my favorite hobby: The perfect combination of bright sun and fresh powder snow served as a framework for a deeper experience of beauty. A layer of solid clouds below made me feel privileged to enjoy the sun and blue sky and all the colors that come with it. There were hours of intense skiing and pauses in silent awe, adoring the beauty of a snowed-covered tree or the sun hiding behind a fuzzy cloud for a few minutes.

While taking the pictures below, I let the entire environment impact my senses and felt a deep gratitude for being alive and open to the beauty around me that helped me relax and recover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you experience beauty in your life as catalyst for your relaxation and creativity?

What was a moment in your life when you felt deeply touched by beauty and brilliance?

Otto Siegel

Author, Speaker, Genius Coach

Vertical Farming Might Be the Future

“This is the most tender and delicious kale salad I had in years” was my comment when Mark gave me a tour through the most unusual farm I have ever seen. The efficiency of 3 acres of land in one container that is sophisticated enough to produce fresh salad and kale 24/7/365 without any soil involved! All this happens with 5% of the water conventional farming would use, completely free of pesticides or GMO and independent of climate or seasons. Red and blue LED lights stimulate optimal plant growth without producing any heat; the entire system can be controlled from Mark’s cell phone.

Sounds like genius? It is! You see, Mark used to be a passionate personal trainer for 24 years and realized more and more that fitness goals can only last if his clients have access to high quality food. Mark followed his passion and intuition when he found a company in Boston that turned used large industry containers into vertical hydroponic farms. Now he delivers salad and kale to 20 customers on a weekly basis. Can you imagine what a 100 or a 1000 of these farms could do for healthy nutrition of a city?

You see, genius is always creative and finds exciting solutions in areas where the majority of people just keeps complaining about deterioration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the area you feel strongly about that needs significant improvements? Let Mark inspire you this week and feel free to contact him in his farm in Cave Creek, AZ, if you like.

Otto Siegel

Speaker, Author, Genius Coach

Powerful Impact on Your Child’s Brilliance

About six years into her career as a nurse, Sarah* got married and gave birth to her first child Sam*.  She educated him with all her heart and passion; Sam grew up as a very happy and active child, taught himself to read at age 3 and started to play piano the following year. However, around age 12 he showed signs of sadness, anxiety and boredom. Sarah* became really concerned and was afraid to lose connection with him. She consulted her pediatrician, counselors and therapists, but never felt satisfied with their answers.

So Sarah*, Sam* and I joined forces as a team to find new answers. I was convinced that – subconsciously – they had the solution already and Sam’s “symptoms” were a cry for help. After a few genius coaching sessions the mystery revealed itself: Sarah* never felt happy in her profession and always wanted to be an accountant or CPA. She started to take accounting classes at the community college and loved every moment of it. Within a few short weeks Sam* found his sense of humor again, continued to play piano and got into competitive swimming.

You see, Sarah* finally decided to follow her deep desire for brilliance in an area she felt drawn to. This action encouraged and liberated Sam* to do the same in his area of brilliance: This kind of behavior modeling is far more powerful than words to guide your child.

Here are the biological roots for this phenomenon: Parents and children are deeply connected from day 1 – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. For the first years your child learns almost EVERYTHING from you by watching, listening and imitating. If you continue to develop and grow as a human being, your child most likely will feel deeply inspired to do the same and respect you for your guidance. Challenges at school and in life will turn into learning opportunities and you might be their trusted adviser for life.

Otto Siegel

Author, Speaker, Genius Coach

* Not her/his real name

How Do You Feel about Your Heart?

“How many times a day does your heat beat?” was my question to Liz* last week. Her immediate “I don’t know” didn’t surprise me but also reflected the fact that this thought had never crossed her mind. I asked her to find the pulse on the right side of her throat and count for half a minute. “25” she said. Curious to explore this further, she jumped up and started her calculations on the whiteboard: 50 beats per minute = 3000 per hour.

How much is that per year? She hesitated and simply could not believe or trust her own results: “Is it really 72,000 per day and more that 26 million heart beats per year?” she asked in disbelief.” Yes, and if you consider that your heart beats faster when you run, jump or swim you might easily reach 100,000 heartbeats per day; that would add up to 35.6 million beats per year.

If you multiply this amount with the number of years you have been on this planet and add approximately 49 million beats for the time before your birth, you will get a realistic picture of the biological miracle in your chest. Genius intelligence in action?

So I asked Liz*: “How do you feel about all this?” But this time I had to wait for a minute before she could say “WOW – I never thought about this and feel kind of ignorant. I should feel thankful every minute of my life, just for my heartbeat.”

Do you see how this kind of biological gratitude could cause a profound attitude upgrade into a radical higher value of human life on a very realistic biological foundation? And the heart is only ONE organ in this biological genius symphony…

Upcoming Events:

CCEU for Professional Coaches

Otto Siegel
Author, Speaker, Genius Coach
* Not her real name

Low Energy =

“I can’t get myself to change my eating habits” said Chris* after a severe stroke that almost took his life a few months ago. “I don’t have the energy to have a fresh start, do more research or be interested to learn from other people in similar situations.”

How do you know if your life energy is low?  Almost everyone I know has a clear sense for that but frequently calls it something different: Feeling exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed, distracted, confused, sick or depressed. The common denominator: Low energy!

Now, when you think about bringing up your energy to a higher level, what comes to mind first?

A great conversation with a friend, a nice gift, a hug from someone you love….? All these impacts from the outside might be very helpful; however, there is an even more powerful source available to you 24/7 – from the inside.

Where does the energy come from that keeps your body temperature around 100 degrees F, that keeps your muscles moving and your thoughts going? You see, energy is ultimately biological, generated in your small intestines by breaking down your food into tiny particles to pass on into your bloodstream to reach all your cells.

Yes, the quality of daily nutrition has a big impact on your energy level, but also the the way you feel about your own body. This new area of energy coaching impacts individuals, teams and entire organizations: If the energy is low, productivity and employee engagement are low, no matter what the goals are. If the energy is low in a family, nobody wants to engage in chores or plans for the weekend. Could it be that energy levels are more important than goals?

Contact us to find out how you, your family or work team could benefit from energy coaching.

Otto Siegel

Speaker, Author, Genius Coach

* not his real name

Much More than Social Skills

For more than a decade Allen* believed he had “Asperger’s Syndrome” – highly intelligent with excellent grades throughout High School. But during the last 2 of these years he has been complaining more and more about the lack of friends: “Nobody understands who I really am.” So he isolated himself more and more and his family was deeply concerned about him sliding into depression and passivity.

He tried to understand and rationalize his situation, read books and researched websites. Afterwards he felt even more confused. When I met him for the first time I asked him a simple question: “On a scale from 1-10, how sensitive are you, Allen*?” A blank ‘deer-in-the-headlight stare’ was all I could get. But then he became nervous, stood up and walked around, feverishly searching for an answer.

We agreed that there was more than ‘lack of social skills’ in place: Human connection is a biological need from day one: A zygote (fertilized egg cell) needs to be connected to the uterus wall to develop and grow into an embryo and a fully developed human being. Touch and skin time are essential for healthy emotional development for every baby and child. Sensitivity and trust have deep developmental roots in these early stages of our life.

Over time Allen* learned that sensitivity is at least as important as intelligence and slowly embraced our innovative tools and games to strengthen his sensitivity.

“I came to my senses” he told me later, “and now I have friends and don’t take everything so serious anymore.” He felt ‘plugged in’ and came to a very important conclusion: ” I always thought I was lonely, but in reality I was disconnected from myself and couldn’t even describe who I really was. How could I ever connect to any human being from that point?”

This kind of separation will always cause anxiety and confusion because it simply tries to ignore the ongoing biological need for human connection on every level. Ending this fundamental separation will lead to rapid personal growth and deep fulfillment.

Otto Siegel

Speaker, Author, Genius Coach

* not his real name

We Hiked the Grand Canyon With a Different Mindset

“Are you going to hike rim to rim?” was the most frequent immediate question I heard when I opened up to my friends over the last few weeks that I planned to hike the Grand Canyon with a group of friends on January 11 and 12. Hiking from the North Rim to the South Rim means 23 miles with a total altitude difference of 9600 feet and being on the move for at least 12 hours.

It is NOT on my bucket list; I don’t even have a bucket. After doing this hike last January with Susanna in a winter wonderland environment we had seven of our best friends joining us this year for a very different adventure: No snow, just a little icy trail in the beginning, but a full immersion in the forever changing nature of the Grand Canyon. We took many breaks to watch animals, to enjoy the dramatic change in sporadic sunlight or to get ready for another rain shower.

Most of all – we shared our impressions and feelings while entering a different world without cellphone connection. Phantom Ranch with simplicity and bunk beds invited us to get out of our comfort zone – what a blessing! My senses opened wide for simplicity – clean food, deer without any fear of humans, trees with autumn leaves and the double rainbow that welcomed us. I also felt deeply thankful for the park rangers and the mules that bring in food and daily necessities and take the trash back out.

There is a profound mental, emotional and physical blessing in simplicity – my favorite definition of ‘genius’ is “simplicity beyond complexity”. I LOVED every moment of this adventure and today my calves are no longer sore.

Otto Siegel

Speaker, Author, Genius Coach