The 5 Keys to Personal Excellence

coaching excellence goals nlp Feb 19, 2016

 Personal Excellence is one of those terms that gets tossed around alot in the personal development community.  It's something coaches and clients strive for but often times it feels like an illusive dream.  It's an idealized outcome that people search for and yet don't have practical steps to acheiving it.  

Today I want to share with you an exerpt from my and Sarah's book, "The BEAT Coaching System".  In this section you will discover the 5 Keys to Personal Excellence.  When all 5 of these keys are in place, Personal Excellence happens automatically.  You can use these keys on your own journey and help your clients acheive their dreams.  

Keys To Excellence
There are several keys to achieving excellence in your life.

 These are:

1.    Knowing what you want

2.    Taking action toward what you want

3.    Knowing if those actions are moving you in the right direction, toward your goal

4.    Having the flexibility to change course if necessary

5.    Having the resiliency to keep going when things get tough

If you have all five of these qualities, you are sure to eventually achieve your goals! And using the BEAT System will make your dreams come true much sooner than otherwise!

However, if you lack any one of these qualities, you might never achieve your goals. You might spend your life chasing things you don't really want, or not taking the actions you need to take in order to achieve your dreams, or doing things that are counterproductive and that move you even further away from the things you do want, or perhaps doing the same old things even though they are not working, or simply giving up when things get tough. So although the BEAT System is an awesome tool, if you don't know the direction in which you are moving or what your goals are, it is useless to you.

Because this is a book about the BEAT System, not about goal setting, we are not going to go into too much depth on goals and how to achieve your dreams. But because knowing where you are going is so important, we have included this chapter to provide an overview of how to set your goals, how to take action, how to measure your results, and how to build flexibility and resiliency.

Knowing What You Want

Do you know what you want? How do you know that you want it? What would it look like if you had it? Do you really care? What might you have to give up in order to achieve it, and if you do have to give something up, is it really worthwhile?

The sad fact is that most people can’t answer these questions. They don't really know what they want, or they can’t describe what it would look like if they had it. Or perhaps they know what they want, but it’s not important enough to them to sacrifice what they have to sacrifice in order to get it.

Some people have no goals at all. They spend their lives stuck in dead-end jobs, thinking to themselves, "Is this all there is?” They don’t have what they want in life because they don’t know what it is they want.

Other people have goals that have nothing to do with who they are or what's really important to them. Perhaps they want to become movie stars but have no interest in learning the craft of acting. They just want to be famous for the sake of being famous. When asked why they want to be famous, they talk about wealth and status and being recognized in the street.

Don't misunderstand this—there is nothing wrong with wanting to be famous for the sake of being famous as long as you recognize that that's what you really want! Knowing what you really want gives you options for achieving it. In these days of YouTube, plenty of people are famous for nothing more than putting up interesting or amusing videos on the Internet. It is certainly not easy to get a YouTube channel with a million subscribers, but it is certainly a lot easier than becoming a famous movie star.

Still other people have goals that they are genuinely attracted to, but they don't actually undertake the boring and mundane tasks required to achieve those goals. For example, someone might want to be a musician, and they might genuinely love playing music. But they might not be prepared to put in the time to practice the technical skills they need in order to become a great musician. There is a disconnect in their mind between these boring tasks and their dreams.

Some people know exactly what they want and are prepared to take action toward it, but they are either oblivious to the fact that those actions are not working or too inflexible to change what they are doing. I was recently consulting for a company where one of the employees wanted a pay raise. He approached his boss but was turned down. Rather than asking what he would have to do to get the raise, he instead complained bitterly to anyone and everyone in the company about his boss and how badly he had been treated. It took no time at all for his behavior to be reported back to his boss, and not only did he not get his pay raise, but he very nearly got fired in the bargain. He was either too oblivious to realize the effects of his behavior or too inflexible to do anything else.

Big Dreams and Little Goals

It’s great to dream big. If you want to change the world, you’d better have a big dream! The bigger the dream, the more energy it gives you to move forward. Supercoach Tony Robbins often asked his clients, “If you could wake up in the morning knowing that anything is possible, what would you do?” Take a moment to answer this question for yourself before you read on.

Once you have your dream, you need to give it energy. To give a dream the energy it needs to propel you forward, you need to put it on the big movie screen of your mind.


Read all the instructions before you begin.

Imagine you have already achieved your dream. Where are you? What are you seeing? What are you hearing that lets you know you've achieved your dream? Perhaps you're on the stage at Carnegie Hall having just finished your piano solo…

Whatever your dream is, imagine sitting in a movie theater watching yourself on the screen. You’ve just achieved your big dream! Congratulations! What do you see?

If you want, you can edit the movie to make it even better. After all, you are the director of your own life.

Now step (or float) into that movie. Step into that specific time and place when you’ve achieved your dream. Feel what that’s like from the inside!

Now step out of the movie and back into the movie theater. Now open your eyes and come back to the here and now.

Now, let me ask you a question: how do you feel about your achievement? If you feel awesome and amazing, that’s all well and good. But if you feel a little deflated, perhaps your dream is the wrong one for you. Let’s take an example that we all see regularly played out in the tabloid press: you dream of being a movie star! Now imagine walking down the streets of New York with your gorgeous spouse… surrounded by the flash of cameras from the pursuing paparazzi. Many stars who thought they wanted fame found out that it’s not always such a good thing!

So when you put yourself inside your dream, think about all the things you may lose as well as everything you'll gain!

You have your dream—now you have to turn it into a series of actions. These actions should be specific mini-goals that are entirely under your control. We will talk more about how to do this in the section “Taking Action.”

Stating It in the Positive

If you've been doing the exercises, the following comments are going to seem pretty obvious to you.

You should state your goal in the positive. This means you should say what you want, not what you don't want. Why is this? It's simple—it's impossible for your unconscious mind to make a picture of that kind of goal without first making a picture of what you don't want! Let's say you're playing golf, and you say to yourself, “Don't slice the ball into the trees.” The only way your unconscious mind can make sense of this instruction is to—you guessed it—first make a picture of you slicing the ball into the trees and then putting a line through this picture or something else that indicates it’s what you don't want.

The better approach is to state your goal in the positive by saying what you do want: “I want to drive the ball to the middle of the fairway just where that light patch of grass is.” Your unconscious mind is then able to make a movie of the outcome that you do actually want.

Being Specific

In the same way, and for the same reason, your goals should be as specific as possible. If you simply said to yourself, “I want to drive the ball to the middle of the fairway,” you may find yourself misstriking the ball and sending it only ten yards, but right in the middle of the fairway. You got exactly what you asked for.

The simplest way to make your goals specific, especially short-term mini-goals, is to visualize exactly what you want to see. This is why you should visualize your specific outcome under the “T” of the BEAT System.

Flexibility and Resiliency

Flexibility means the ability to change what you are doing when you realize that what you are doing is not working.

Resiliency is the ability to overcome setbacks, as Chumbawamba said in their 1997 hit song “Tubthumping”: “I get knocked down but I get up again.”

The Key to Flexibility

The key to flexibility is to stay in the moment. It is wonderful to make plans about what you intend to do, but those plans will not survive their first contact with reality. Something will be different from how you thought it would be.

By staying in the moment, you allow your mind to continually update your plans—to reconfigure to what is happening now. This requires that you constantly ask yourself the questions, "What just happened, and what should I do now as a result of that?”

Of course, this requires you to be able to answer this question. Being able to choose an action as a result of what just happened requires one key resource: experience. If you have sufficient experience, you will always be able to do something appropriate within the situation. No matter what happens, you will have a response.

There is a popular meme that says you need ten thousand hours of experience to master a skill. It doesn't mean that you will necessarily master a skill after ten thousand hours of experience, but rather that you will not be a true master until you have at least those ten thousand hours of experience. To give you a guide, ten thousand hours represent around five years of full-time work.

We can't give you experience within your chosen field (unless you want to sign up for all of our courses). But we can give you an invaluable hint, which is this: when you think about the specific context in which you are going to use the BEAT System, imagine being in that context, and imagine all the things that could happen and what your response would be.

It's like the movie Groundhog Day. Bill Murray is a TV weatherman who gets to live the same day over and over again until he gets it perfectly right. He can test his behaviors in the real world, knowing that he can always try again tomorrow.

By running these experiences within your imagination, you get to experience anything and everything the world might throw at you, and you get to practice how you might respond to each of these.


Resiliency is a prerequisite for flexibility. Resiliency means being able to pick yourself up off the ground whenever life knocks you down, stand up again, and try something new.

The story that best illustrates the concept of resiliency for us is from Thomas Edison. After his thousandth attempt to make a functioning light bulb, Edison was asked how it felt to have failed a thousand times. Edison replied that he had not failed a thousand times, he had not even failed once, and in fact he had discovered a thousand ways to not make a light bulb.

This may sound like just a clever way to get out of an embarrassing question. In fact, Thomas Edison was quite serious in his answer. Edison learned from each of the experimental light bulbs he had made. By noticing the precise way in which each of the filaments burned out in these experiments, Edison identified an electromagnetic phenomenon that he called the Edison Effect. The Edison Effect was what allowed Edison to create electronic tubes that ultimately led to the invention of radio and television. That is quite some failure!

When you are able to view each interaction you have with the world around you as an experiment that gets you one step closer to your goal, irrespective of the result, there will truly be no failure—there will only be feedback. When you view everything that happens as feedback in your mindset and behavior, you will have mastered the art of resiliency.

Taking Action

The only way you will achieve your goals and reach your dreams is if you take action toward them. Here are a few techniques to help you take the actions necessary to move toward your goals.


With these keys in place your and your clients are well on the way to experiencing something that most people only dream about!  

For more information about the BEAT Pattern please click the link below.

The BEAT Coaching System




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