Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Magical Power of Organization

While I was organizing my workspace today, I noticed that I had slipped into a distinctly blissful space. At one point I became aware of a stray cabinet knob in my hand. As I looked for a place to store it, I noticed a closet without a knob. When those elements fell together, the whole room changed in under a minute. Then, as I perused the clutter, I came across an IKEA shelf with only three of those tiny metal pegs. Moments later I opened a random drawer, only to discover a forth matching spare peg, accidently placed there a couple of years ago.
Okay, the Earth didn’t move. There was no voice from the heavens. But as I hung a shelf here and discovered useful hidden treasures in packing boxes, I began to experience a great sense of well-being.
Synchronicities are meaningful coincidences that let you know you are on track. The more beneficial “accidents” you notice, the lighter you feel and the easier you move money.
My coaching practice has always been unusually successful. I had my first million dollar year in 1995, despite the remote location in the Texas hill country. The results flowed directly from our unique assisting process.
Assisting is a form of volunteering. A few curious people get together before every event and organize the space. Tasks are presented in the context of a game, with the aim to achieve the joy of team spirit. No task ranks higher than another. Every player is equal. By the time people arrive for the workshop, our assisting team has set up a powerful magnetic field that invites people to participate in a peak experience.
My coaching business created a conference center on a ranch in Texas. We moved around a $100,000 per month through the doors for six exciting years. More importantly, hours spent sweeping floors and clearing trails brought me some of the best days of my life. That system crumbled when a few of our affiliates began to misuse the assisting process to dominate participants and to get their houses cleaned.
The joy of assisting is that the tasks can’t bring profit or advantage to anyone. The shared joy arises from the fact that trainers, coaches, clients, students, professionals and volunteers all roll up their sleeves and pitch in. If anyone is special, their arrogance distorts the process.
The test for assisting is simple: Does the game light people up? If people are not glowing with vitality by bringing order out of chaos, then the spirit of assisting is missing.
This year my son, McLaren, spent eight months with me in Europe. He arrived unhappy and full with fears and worries. He departed happy with new confidence. Assisting made the difference. Through simple tasks and feedback he could let go of the guilt and pain he had acquired from punishment based systems.
GCN offers the finest training for coaches at the lowest prices. But assisting is free. You only have to be willing to leave your worry and pain outside the door and to let yourself be moved into higher states of awareness through simple tasks that release the breath and sooth the savage mind.
Service remains the only reliable path to true happiness. As the service economy displaces the industrial economy, we invite you to join in the fun by devoting some time to the assisting process. You can e-mail Mia Sage for details.

--Martin Sage

Friday, September 18, 2009

Attitude Adjustment Time

Money does strange things to people. As the economy expanded over the past couple of decades, people seemed to lose touch with one another. Merchants acted like they were doing their customers a big favor to serve them. Workers turned up their nose at manual tasks. Bankers considered themselves above the rules. Coaches and trainers demanded extreme prices. And I was as guilty as the next guy.

After a life threatening illness, a big dose of poverty, and the loss of everyone I loved, I “got religion”. Like the song says, “One day I was flying like a bird, and the next, I was standing on my knees.”

I always seem to be a pioneer for what is coming next in society. Shortly after my collapse, the entire global economy crashed. Suddenly the shoe was on the other foot. When the balloon economy burst, we all had to start thinking about real value. The financial fiasco brought people back to earth and prices back to normal. As the dollar deflated, so did our egos.

Erik Lomax spent several years in a Japanese prison camp during World War II. The men survived that hellhole by developing deep compassion for one another and by making terrible sacrifices to help each other. When he returned home after the war, he found a culture of bitterness and resentment within families and society. He described his marriage as another kind of prison camp. The easy life brought out petty and vindictive feelings that blotted out basic respect and affection.

No one denies the value of money. No one wants to see poverty and misery. What we need is the skill of giving deep appreciation, even when times are good. Along with reading, writing and arithmetic, our schools need to instill an attitude of gratitude in our young people.

The heart matters more than the mind. Daniel Goleman, in his groundbreaking book Emotional Intelligence, points out that there are excellent, proven ways to develop compassion and kindness in our schools and universities. But so far his recommendations have fallen on deaf ears.

But you can’t fool Mother Nature. What goes up must come down. Arrogant people always fall. Exploitive systems always fail. Whether it is global agricultural companies killing farmers in South America, corporations selling worthless stock, or you and I delivering shabby products for inflated fees, people get wise to the lies of an economy that relies on deception.

So these changes are good. There is a place for recessions and depressions. We humans need a little humbling now and again. For it is through these setbacks that we rediscover our humanity. These “bad” times offer the best chance we have to find our hearts and open our eyes to the power of compassion and cooperation.

You will achieve a better life when you make life better for other people. Sage University Online furthers the cause of kindness in business. Our students grow businesses that put people first. They learn with their hearts as well as their heads. We invite you to tune in and to catch a reflection of the higher values in yourself that make this life worth living.

You can begin with Coach TV. The broadcasts are free, but what you will learn is priceless.

Martin Sage

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Gift

You possess a unique talent. You could even say that you are gifted. Expressing your innate gift can earn as much money as you will ever need and bring happiness on a scale you never imagined. Discovering your gift and transforming it into a career is without a doubt the most difficult challenge you will ever face.

I found mine in my first seminar. A dozen wonderful people showed up to my first Self-Actualization course at the Brown Mansion in Orange, Texas in 1980. No one knew what to expect--least of all me. But I was burning to express something that I couldn’t yet put into words.

All I could see was that people rarely, if ever, say what is really going on. We use words to create a virtual reality, so we argue, fuss and fight over conceptual nonsense that has little or nothing to do with actual events. Nobody notices the discrepancy between the conceptual picture at the world and the actual events that are unfolding. That is why religionists debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. That disconnect from actual happenings pitches us in a battle of opinions that extinguishes the fire we need to earn a good living and to enjoy friendship and intimacy.

From earliest childhood I was baffled by the social grease and outright delusions that people take as reality. At the time I didn’t see my confusion as a gift. In fact, I thought the problem was with me. But I was determined to spend a few days in that workshop speaking out the self-evident events that anybody can see when they get their attention off themselves and attend to what is going on.

Shifting from pretense to intense creates powerful transformations. As we spoke out simple, obvious truths, the resulting clarity shattered our minds and opened our senses. We made a game of describing events and saying what we saw instead of what we thought. Oh my god! People came alive. They dropped years from their faces. People bonded like adventurers on a dangerous mission. Every person in that class went out and made strong, sensible changes in their careers and lifestyles.

I found my gift that day. It was always there. I just never trusted it. My gift didn’t seem special, or even useful, to me. I could distinguish fantasy from reality—so what. But when I unleashed that odd little feature of my personality, it was like someone lit the fuse on a stack of dynamite. From that moment people seemed to divide into two groups—those that wanted to hang me, and those who wanted to hang out with me. Every thing I did or said created a big stir.

So I’m not Mozart or Einstein. But my talent has opened many doors. The Sage Method of coaching that came out of me has created thousands of new coaches and entrepreneurs, whose work has impacted hundreds of thousands of people. Along with helping a lot of people, that strange little gift of clarity also earned me a few million dollars along the way.

Your gift might not seem very amazing or very practical to you, but you can believe me when I say that your vision, or your style of communication, or the way you organize your life can become a gateway to an unusual ability. Your gift can change the world, and it can change your world.

One of my daughters has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. She was playing around with anime—Japanese cartoons—on her computer. Lo and behold, her exploration came to the attention of a major television network in Japan. They proceeded to send an entire production crew to spend a week with her in her room filming her activities on the web. She also sings as beautifully as Susan Boyle, in a voice that is perfectly free of inhibition. Yet, she is not comfortable with seeing her gifts as special.

Andrea Bocelli was a blind lawyer in Italy who sang part-time in piano bars. His friends encouraged him to use his talent. He finally accepted his gift, and then proceeded to give the world the gift of some of the most beautiful music ever performed, selling over 60 million albums in the process. Despite scathing reviews by the critics, he became the most popular classical singer in history. Bocelli will not end his life in regret. Nor will he die with his music still in him.

Your gift floats around in your psyche every day and plays to an audience of one. Are you a storyteller? Could your appreciation of beauty hint of an artistic talent? Do you hear things in music that other people cannot? Lurking behind all the noise in your mind lays a quiet, persistent awareness that is unique to you. Your gift whispers to you, while the voices of your parents, your teachers, your friends, and your critics shout for attention. But you can extract the quiet voice from all the noise in your head. And when you realize the value of your gift, your real life will begin.

If you can’t yet discern your flair, you should get some help. GCN trains coaches in the art of awakening hidden talents. So there are a few coaches who specialize in quest for higher intelligence. If you are on that path you can contact the coaching center at for a brief conversation. You won’t get “the answer”, but you might pick up a few clues to begin the journey to self-discovery. The game begins when you push through your doubt and hesitation. So go on, make the call.

Martin Sage

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Coaching Equation

Most folks are content to live ordinary lives. But some of us are curious to see what we can make of life. We want to explore and to discover what we can become. That need to grow and to achieve is the force behind the burgeoning coaching profession.

There are many different kinds of coaching available today. You can easily find a coach for virtually any game you want to play. In fact, high performance players often employ several coaches and trainers to enhance every arena of their lives.

I started my career as a therapist at a mental health center. Then my curiosity got the best of me. Instead of specializing in one approach, such us psycho-analysis or behaviorism, I chose to master several methods. I figured that more tools made for a better toolbox. So I explored gestalt, rational emotive therapy, family systems, hypnotherapy, non-directive therapy, and learning theory, to name a few. In each case, I searched for a highly accomplished mentor so that I could learn from the best.

Every therapeutic system offered a new lens for my mental camera. But finally I realized that all those theories were focused on what was wrong with people. Every theorist employed a problem-solving approach. So each method was forced to pigeon-hole people into categories based on their perceived dysfunctions. I became an expert in diagnosis, able to label people based on anything from a questionnaire to a drawing they made. That whole reality was a real downer for me.

Then I met a vivid man--a psychiatrist--who woke me up from that trance-like view of people. He genuinely liked people. He saw each individual as unique and gifted. As my perspective changed, I started up a class in positive psychology to reflect what is bright and wonderful in people. My work caught on like a wild fire. After a couple of years one of my students came to me after class. "You aren’t a psychologist anymore,” he informed me. “You are more like a life coach.”

That was 1980 and the only coaches that people knew about then were sports coaches and performance coaches for people with extreme talent. But the idea of coaching for everyone caught on. As I travelled through the US and Europe, I spoke about this new profession. In those times I was probably the only life coach in Texas. When I started working in Germany a few years later, people had never heard of coaching outside of football. I was the only one in Europe, so I had to spend a lot of time explaining it to people. Less than thirty years later, there are more than 60.000.000 listings for professional coaches on the Internet.

The field is new, so it still lacks a clear theoretical foundation. Most coaches aren’t very well trained. So Mia Sage and I created Coach TV to provide free training in theory, practice, methodology, style, ethics, and practice building. The only shows on Internet TV more popular than ours are bootleg football and pornography.

Mia and I role-play coaching situations and share the procedures that proved useful over the years in building an amazingly successful international practice. Mia created the Global Coaching Network as a management company for Sage University and to provide organization for thousands of coaches worldwide. Her eclectic approach provides training in a variety of coaching methods, as well as business training in leadership, relationship, salesmanship and entrepreneurship. Coaches and leaders who watch regularly are improving in leaps and bounds.

This wonderful new coaching profession offers people a chance to step off the battlefield and onto the playing field. There are plenty of diagnostic professions to handle what is wrong with you; and certainly enough lawyers to exacerbate your fights. But the coaching is the first field that is based on what is glorious and beautiful about being human. This discipline has carried me through everything that life threw at me, and never failed to restore my radiance and return me to the pleasure of living life to the fullest.

You might want to explore the coaching field. You can start out as a client, and like me, you may want to always be a player. But then I recommend that you begin to learn the fundamentals of coaching. You may want to use those skills in your personal life to create deeper connections with other people. Or you may want to move on the point where people pay you to assist to help them reach their goals. If you are taking steps into that direction I would love to hear from you.

Martin Sage