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What Can a Coach do for Me?

On June 19, 2013, in Coaching, News, by Blake Alexander Hammerton

I get this question a lot. What exactly do you do? What can you do for me?

There is also an underlying question: What’s the difference between coaching and therapy?

Check out my quick video and leave a comment below. What other questions have you got for me? What would you like a coach to do for you?

Stay brillant,

Blake

30-30 Challenge: An Update That Matters

On February 27, 2012, in Events, News, by Blake Alexander Hammerton

Nourish What Matters Web Store Screenshot

It’s been quite a crazy week! I’ve been sending out newsletters a few times a week since this started, and last week I threw out a challenge that came back to me like a wrecking ball. I invited all of you to revisit an old idea you had – maybe one you threw on the “back burner” quite some time ago. I didn’t challenge you to bring it to fruition that day, but I opened the door Monday, and challenged you to take some steps to see if it could hold water on Friday.

I received a lot of responses, filling my inbox throughout the day, and I cannot express how amazing it is to hear some of your ideas! Some of them felt so strong – like they have been burning the midnight oil inside you for years, and the passion and excitement of bringing it out was incredible to witness!

Monday I thought about the charity/foundation I wanted to start “eventually” – eventually is code for a magical time called “someday.” I opened my intention up for suggestion, and asked for a hint – what some of us call quantum flirts or signs. Well, I got it. There was so much going on in my world that day, that I almost felt like we had missed the reasons why we were living. Then a Trevor Project commercial came on. I immediately heard the voice in my head screaming at me.

We need to Nourish What Matters most in life.

That was it. I knew this was what had been burning inside me. So I did what any other completely neurotic nerd with a good idea does: I got on the computer, registered a domain name, built a quick website, created logos, a mini mission statement, and designed merchandise to get started.

Nourish What Matters

Many of you received the newsletter this morning regarding it, but I’m going to throw in some details here as well. Nourish What Matters is an ideal, a foundation – nay, a movement in the making. It’s about recognizing the value and preciousness of life, and the community and connectedness of humans. We’re all different, but we’re all here for the same thing: to experience whatever greatness we can while we can.

Nourish What Matters is about acknowledging that ideal in everyone, and giving them a place to call home. We will raise monies for various events and charities until we have our own charity to tout. We want to support the Trevor Project, Sing for Hope, and organizations that promote the human spirit and innovation.

You can join the movement, and get the donations started by clicking the image above, or this link, and purchasing a t-shirt or hoodie. You know you want to. They’re wicked-awesome, and so are you… isn’t that a perfect match? I vote yes.

Follow @NourishTheLove on twitter, and stay tuned for more updates and developments on the Nourish What Matters website.

Please purchase a piece of merch, and spread the word!

Together we can do this!

Peace, Love, and a million successes to you all!

Blake

P.S. What charities do you want us to donate to?  What causes speak most to you?  Let us know in the comments below!

30-30 Challenge: Thirty Days to Thirty Years on Earth

On February 17, 2012, in Coaching, Events, Everyday Life, by Blake Alexander Hammerton

30 days until 30 - Challenge Accepted!

 

Holy Mother of God, it’s actually happening. I’m turning 30 in a little over 30 days. I haven’t burned the city down, and I haven’t been elected Presidente del Mundo. So, what have I done? Is it enough? Have I struck out more than I’ve home-runned? What am I missing?!?!

The past few weeks I’ve been toying with the idea of actually turning 30 – like it wasn’t actually happening to me. Suddenly, I felt the impact of this transition during my morning protein shake:

I am a month from closing my twenties… FOREVER. 

When faced with suck a pickle, it can feel overwhelming, and it challenges people to reflect and assess the life they’ve been living up to this point. I am taking it a step further and announcing the 30 Day Challenge. Can you say, “Bucket List Beta Test?” It’s essentially a kick-ass-scavenger-hunt-of-awesome, completed in 30 days. It’ll be a scramble to the very end, and I’m inviting–nay, I’m challenging you to do it with me!

Here are some of the things people want to do before they turn 30:

  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Backpacking across Europe
  • Climb a mountain
  • Run a marathon
  • Get married
  • Get divorced (maybe?)
  • Skydive
  • Bungee Jump
  • Food fight
  • Take a road-trip
  • Start a business
  • Sell that business
  • Fall wildly in love
  • Heal from a broken heart
  • Sing karaoke
  • Flowers for no reason (give and receive)
  • Buy a car
  • Buy a home
  • Fly a plane

Look, this list can go on forever. In fact, if you google it, these lists actually do go on forever. I’ve done a LOT of really cool things, and I’m now in the last month of my twenties. It’s time to man the harpoons, because I’m grabbing life by the horns and going for a whale of a good time. How’s that for mixing analogies?

I don’t have the time or money to drop everything and backpack through Europe tomorrow, so that’s out. What I can do is the scary things I’ve thought about, but put off. Well no more!

This challenge is more than just doing things. It’s about experiencing things. Experiencing emotions, thrills, spills, chills, perhaps even ills. It’s all in the name of progress, right? So, readers, I challenge you to follow along. I will send an email reminder every morning to let you know what I’m planning, and invite you to look at how you can do that too. I’ll share my story as I try to knock out all I can in the next 30 days.

There’s a fact of life many of us miss: We’re all going to end up in the record books whether we like it or not. By default, we are recorded as a statistic. If we choose to chase our dreams, stand for what we believe, and push to live deliberately, we can all change how we’re recorded. At the end of your life, are you going to leave a statistic or an impact?

That, my friends, is a damn good question. I am choosing to leave an impression on the world, and right now I’m choosing opportunities that leave a lasting impression on me. Sometimes you have to learn before you teach, right?

What are you choosing?

Leave your comments below!

 

Heart vs Head: Who Has The Upper Hand?

On February 8, 2012, in Coaching, Everyday Life, by Blake Alexander Hammerton

Sometimes the heart makes the brain look stupid

 

The other day a friend of mine posted this picture on her Facebook wall, with the followup comment of “story of my life.” It immediately got me thinking:

How many people feel this way?

More importantly, I instantly felt curious about how many people took it a step further and decided to no longer let the heart make decisions – after a breakup, mistake, fallout etc. Many of us experience something that alters our outlook on life to such a degree, that it can sometimes take another life-altering experience to switch it back.

I’ll be turning 30 next month, and I have been that guy – the one that lead head-first into everything, and refused to let his heart make any decisions. You see, I got my heart broken in high school (as most of us did), and in true teen-angst fashion, questioned whether love was even worth it anymore. I went to college and fell madly, stupidly, wildly in love again. Then that fell apart. Well, that was it for me. My brain told my heart he was no longer allowed to make decisions.

My heart was cutoff.

No more decisions from that guy.

Of course I then fell in love again – just as deeply, madly, and wildly as before, but there was something new happening. I was assessing and calculating like a team of high functioning autistic accountants. At the first hint of displeasure or struggle, my team of “statistical engineers” ran the numbers and determined if my relationship was worth any further effort. I started actually hearing the math being crunched in my brain when things weren’t going well.

Needless to say, my relationships were not going to last very long. And they didn’t. The greatest (read: sarcasm) and most tragic fact around all of this was that I truly believed it wasn’t my problem – the women in my life just weren’t perfect enough to pass my committee. What an awesome guy I was, right? (Again, sarcasm in heaping spoonfuls here).

Then one day my coach changed my life by putting my brain and my heart in opposite corners, and let them fight it out in court. My brain explained exactly what it was doing, and why it was the best way to go. My heart sang its song, and why it wanted out from under the thumb of the committee upstairs. For the first time in years I witnessed the struggle. I heard the cold calculations. I felt the ache in my heart from years of being ignored. I learned something more important than anything else:

My. Brain. Was. Wrong.

You see, my brain shamed me for feeling– not thinking– and causing me (brain and heart included) to experience something that turned unpleasant. My brain shamed me into following its logic. For years I was the reason my relationships were falling apart. I was the reason emotional mediocrity was  the name of the game. My brain, with all its calculations, made-up probabilities, and erroneous statistics, had carved a path for me that turned out to be something so far from what I wanted whenI was younger. My brain made me look like an idiot. And suddenly I felt like one.

You know what the funny part was: My heart forgave me. How cliche is that?

Look, when your heart leads you into a situation that turns sour, it can make you look like a fool. When your brain leads you into situations that prevent you from feeling anything at all, well, that can be so much more devastating. It’s much better to look like a fool and feel something, than to actually BE a fool and miss out.

For the record, I totally know this image is humorous and easily relatable. I get it, and I giggled when I saw it too. There is, however, some pretty powerful truths to this, and I wasn’t about to let it slide. My heart had something to say about it, and my brain knew how to make words appear on screen – go teamwork!

Remember that you’re more than just logical. You’re an emotional being. You’re significant, incredible, amazing, intricate, irreplaceable, and you are always at choice. Choose to feel. Choose to experience. Even if your brains tells you the opposite, let your heart sing.

When has your brain told your heart NO? Leave your comments below!

 

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Musicians: Get Out of Your Own Way

On January 13, 2012, in Coaching, Events, by Blake Alexander Hammerton

Get Your Voice Heard in 2012

 

ONLY A FEW SEATS REMAIN

TIRED OF JAMMING IN THE GARAGE? GET INTO THE REAL MUSIC SCENE.

The Continuing Education department at Harper College in Palatine has a music program designed to give you all the tools, resources, and know-how to take your talent to the next level, and I’m honored to be a part of it. The first in a four-class curriculum is a coaching course I lead – one that’s totally focused on getting you clear on what you want, and what it’s gonna take to make it happen. Let’s not waste anymore time and get down to the details, shall we?

We designed this program for those that want to create something with their music. Do you have a passion for the music industry, but not sure how to get your music heard? Do you get discouraged and/or quit trying before you even get started? Are you tired of the balancing act it is to create music, promote it, get exposure and recognition, and still find time to sleep at night? I know what that’s like.

STOP SPINNING YOUR WHEELS. 

This program is designed to answer the hard questions, and get you on the right track to creating success with your talent. As your coach, I’m going to challenge your belief pattern like it’s my job – because it is my job. The course is titled Get Out of Your Own Way, and that’s exactly what I’m going to teach you how to do. You’ll be empowered, challenged, pushed, pulled, and set into motion. It’s been said that we’re out biggest critic, and I’m going to teach you how to change those reviews.

Look, the music business can be tough and frustrating to navigate, which makes it crucial for you to clearly define what you want to achieve and set goals to help you get there. Even more critical is understanding the why behind what you want. This class is designed to help you create your Musician Mission (how your music will impact the world), identify potential obstacles, release negative self-judgment, and create action plans for your success. You will learn how to get out of your own way so opportunities can come to you.

We’ll have a lot of fun exploring your vision, and you’ll get answers to burning questions like:

• What does Justin Beiber have that I don’t? I mean, honestly… (it’s not his hair, by the way)
• I don’t want to be the next Lady Gaga, is there still place for me in the industry?
• I’ll be a success when I get a record deal, right?
• How much does recording a studio album really cost?
• How do I get thousands of people to hear my music and promote FOR me?

We had an amazing introductory panel night on Wednesday, and enrollments are coming into the program, but time is running out! I know this course, and the Marketing & Money, Social Media & Promotions, and Recording courses that follow mine in the program are incredibly valuable. What you’re going to get in the 6 weeks with me is worth over $400 in coaching. If you wanted this opportunity with me privately, that’s exactly what it would cost you. Register for the Harper course, and save yourself $250 instantly.

What do you have to lose? Evening classes begin Thursday the 19th.

Let’s make this the year you make it happen.

Register Today!

 

Stop and Hear the Music

On January 6, 2012, in Coaching, Everyday Life, by Blake Alexander Hammerton

Washington DC Metro Subway

“In Washington DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, a man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After about four minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About four minutes later, the violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At six minutes, a young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At ten minutes, a three-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception – forced their children to move on quickly.

At forty-five minutes: The musician played continuously. Only six people stopped and listened for a short while. About twenty gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After one hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made…

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?”

Whoa. These are some hard questions to answer. We just came out of the holiday season, and for many of us it was a stressful time. It was hours, days, weeks, maybe even months of running around, fighting traffics, crowds, and weather delays – not really a lot of appreciating, was there? How often do you get caught up in the minutiae and noise of life, and forget to notice and celebrate the beauty?

Take a moment every day and notice.

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Complimentary New Year Coaching!

On December 28, 2011, in Coaching, Everyday Life, by Blake Alexander Hammerton

 Welcome 2012 Year - Your Best Ever

 

In a year from now, you’ll wish you started today.

This is one of my most favorite quotes because it keeps me focused on what I’m committing to when I procrastinate. Every time I say no to getting up and getting out there, I’m saying yes to missed opportunities; yes to broken promises to myself; yes to feeling overwhelmed later when I feel like I haven’t gotten anything done; yes to excuses – the list goes on.  When I say yes to those things, I’m also saying no to success; no to opportunity; no to connections; and no to myself.

In a year from now, you bet your ass I will wish I had started today. That’s why I’m starting…. today.

My coaching and hypnosis clients have been breaking down their walls, and giving themselves permission to be active participants in their own lives. They’re waking up, getting clear, and consciously creating like I’ve never seen. It’s A-MAY-ZING. Several of them have mentioned things like, “If people only gave themselves the chance to speak to you for a few minutes, they’d realize how powerful this is.” I’m taking that to heart, and I’m offering a beautiful, wonderful, absolutely free opportunity to do just that – get hardcore, goal-oriented, no-fluff coaching to start 2012 off right.

I’m offering year end completion sessions absolutely free for the next two weeks. This offer is only good until the 11th of January. I know what it’s like to make resolutions for the new year and watch them fall apart by March. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re doing the same thing – same victories, same mistakes – year after year. These completion sessions give you a chance to notice the cycle, break it, and create a new pattern for the year.

It’s too good not to give away.

Look, in a year from now, you’ll wish you started today. And it’s free. And you’ve nothing to lose, right? So, what’s stopping you?

Check out the list of the 15 habits for your best year ever, and  contact me to schedule your free call with me.

You’ve always wanted this to be the year you finally make it happen, right?

It can be. Let’s make it happen.

847-886-9042

Hard Truth: You Have to Be The One to Let it Go

On November 29, 2011, in Coaching, Everyday Life, by Blake Alexander Hammerton

Over the past few days, I’ve had some pretty powerful conversations about what it means to let things go – what it means to “unplug” from the story, other person, situation, outcome etc. It’s not easy to do. That goes without saying, really. More importantly, however, is the fact that the entire situation is in your hands. There’s a hard truth here, and it’s a good one to take in.

Resentment is a poison you take, hoping the other person will die. ~ Malachy McCort

We, as humans, all play parts in this big play called life. We sometimes play the hero, sometimes the villain, and sometimes the victim. When we find ourselves in a place we don’t like, and all our effort to change it (with force or otherwise) is met with another’s opposition, we jump into victim. We blame, criticize, lash out, and shut down.

Have you ever been in a relationship that was so toxic you starting wishing he or she would take a long walk off a short pier? You know, the one where it feels like no matter what you do this person just knows how to push those buttons and make your head explode? Yeah, you’re pretty plugged into it, aren’t you?

People may have told you that the reason he/she has such an effect on you is because you “plug in” and feed energy to their cause. When you react, it gives that person something to continue to manipulate and enflame.

Feels like beating a dead horse, right?

Wrong.

Nobody beats a dead horse. They beat that which is still kicking and screaming. When you react and start kicking and screaming, they receive immediate assurance that this issue is still going, and they continue with the button-pushing-bonanza.

Let’s switch gears, shall we? The dead horse analogy feels a little dark.

What about working toward something that just doesn’t seem to happen – sound familiar? Take a look at your life and see if there are any parts that feel like no matter what you do, it’s just not moving forward. If so, check in and see if you’re working with or against the tide of your life. Are you holding onto an outcome so tightly that you’re blind to all other possibilities?

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our assumptions (read: stories) about what’s going to happen, that we miss what is actually happening! Some of us spend our whole lives in the “shoulds” that we never make it to the clearing to find our way home.

So here’s the Hard Truth:

You – not anyone else – have to let it go. 

The moment you unplug from that which manipulates your energy negatively, you are free to breathe life into that which fulfills you. So often we have this idea of what we should and should not be able to have, do, and/or be, and when someone challenges that (read: pushes our buttons negatively), we plug in and start reacting defensively. Should that person continue to “not let it go” we can find ourselves fighting with two entities: our doubt (maybe he/she is right) and the other person, himself.

There are two things you can do right now to help get yourself moving forward, and away from this painful cycle. The first is forgiveness. This is one of the most powerful tools on the planet for creating greatness in your life. When this person or situation is pulling you away from your fulfillment, causing you to react and plug into their cause, take a deep breath and realize this is never going to change. You don’t have to convince the world or another person of the validity of your opinion or life – and they do not have to convince you of their own. Forgive them for any pain they’ve caused you, and let them be. Take a deep breath and unplug from it.

The second thing to do is give yourself permission to perform without approval.

Wait, what did he just say?!?!?

Exactly. You may not consciously know it, but often the reason you argue your point so voraciously with the same person or people is that you feel it isn’t good enough – you’re not good enough – until they are convinced and give you their approval. Stop that. When you put your success in the hands of those that influence your energy negatively, you bury yourself in their land – their negative perspective, their projection, their weight is now pushing, squeezing, smothering the action and ideas you want to embrace.

So, for the next week, let your assumptions go. Let your resentment go. Let your need for approval go.

Give yourself permission to let it all go. Hold onto that which fulfills you and makes you feel alive and connected!

It’s hard, no question. Start now anyway. In a year from now, you’ll wish you started today.

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The Truth About The Best Day of Your Life

On November 2, 2011, in Coaching, Everyday Life, by Blake Alexander Hammerton

The Best Day of Your Life is When You Decide it's YOUR Life

Today’s post is a bit of a smack in the face. Well, it might come off as such, so why argue with it, right? I’ve spent the last few weeks watching my clients make incredible leaps of faith – pushing aside the person they’ve spent their lives creating to make room for the one they are becoming. They’re waking up to life, and they’re consciously creating. They are responsible. They are powerful. They are human.

I’ve also spent the last few weeks being inundated with the trials and tribulations of what it is to be the victim. There is a sense of entitlement in the world, and it’s not doing anyone any good. “Oh poor me” isn’t getting you anywhere, and frankly, it’s bullshit.

I hear people talk about how they can’t get what they want because they don’t have A or B or C. They don’t have what it takes because someone took away their X or Y or Z a long time ago. Or worse, they can’t make the changes they want because the economy is bad.

You mean to tell me you can’t change your attitude, create goals and actions plans, or get your ass in gear toward the life you want because the economy is bad?

Bullshit.

I asked a friend of mine to describe what the best day of his life looked like. He told me the best day was the one in which he wouldn’t have to work a job he didn’t like. He described a day filled with people being nice to him, and everything he wanted being delivered to him on a silver platter. It sounds nice, right?

The detail often missed in stories like these is in the narrative. Is the subject describing a day in which he goes and gets what he wants, makes executive decisions, takes control, or do great things happen to him?

Here’s the hard truth:

The best day of your life is when you wake up to it and claim it as your own. It’s the day when you take responsibility and choose to stop apologizing, blaming, or being the victim any longer. It’s not good things happening to you – it’s you deciding it’s your life, and God-damn-it you’re going to make good things happen.

Everyone, every moment of every day, is at choice. They (yeah, you included) can either decide to be a leaf in the wind, or the wind itself. Benjamin Disraeli wrote:

“Man is not the creature of circumstance. Circumstance is the creature of man. We are all free agents, and man is more powerful than matter.”

You have a decision to make. Stop the bullshit story and start the story of your life…or don’t.

The greatest day of your life? That’s easy. It’s the day you decide to start living.

 

Got something to add? Put it in the comments below!

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Interview: Get Courageous in 2012

On October 10, 2011, in Coaching, News, by Blake Alexander Hammerton

Interview with Kate “Courageous” Swoboda from Blake Hammerton on Vimeo.

What a treat it was to speak with Kate Swoboda in a Skype interview last week!  Kate is the founder and lead coach at Your Courageous Life coaching, and the mastermind behind the Coaching Blueprint – a tool and class to help coaches get their businesses running by helping them get back in touch with what makes them love coaching so much.

If you’ve read anything on her site, you know Kate is a no-nonsense kind of person. She doesn’t sugar coat the issues we are all dealing with – as coaches and as people. She calls out the gremlins we all wrestle with from time to time, and loves playing in that space of uncertainty – that space that many people call fear.

In this interview we talk about what we want for 2012 and beyond, what keeps her inspired to keep inspiring others, and what we, as coaches and human beings, can gain from embracing our fears and discovering what’s within them.  It’s a brilliant 20 minutes, if I do say so myself.

I do have to apologize, however. The audio on my microphone just wasn’t playing nicely the day we did this interview, so I have some echo going on. She sounds like she’s in a room (like a regular person). I sound like I’m in a barrel (like someone about to roll over Niagara Falls for publicity). I give you all my word that I will make quite sure to sound better next time.

What do you want to learn from embracing your fear?

What do you want, as we enter the ending months of 2011, for 2012?

Leave your comments for us!

 

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