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On Winning and Playing The Game

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This morning I received this email and thought it a paradox worth pondering on . . .

I am trying to assist my son in understanding a couple of distinctions, which seem to be a bit paradoxical.

I would like him to not focus so much on “outcomes” of games, situations, etc. and enjoy the ‘game’ itself..

On the other hand, trying to teach him to turn ‘not so fun’ tasks or situations (cleaning room, chores, etc.) into games to make them fun, but then these turn into ‘outcome’ games (winning, finishing first, etc..)

Is there a ‘simple’ way to demonstrate the two distinctions without this paradox?

Here’s my reply:

Your paradox got me thinking . . . and I realised that this is exactly the same thing that I am experimenting with, albeit in a different form.

Why can’t your son/you/we focus on the outcome of the game – winning, as well, if that’s important – AND enjoy the process? It’s not an either/or but a both/and.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with winning itself. It only becomes a problem if that’s the only thing you’re focussed on or you NEED to win in order to feel good about the game/yourself.

How about talking to your son about this paradox and asking him to help YOU learn about it. He may well “get” it faster than you as his ideas are likely to be less entrenched than yours. Set up games together where you play and explore and there are no right or wrong answers. Have a competition to see who can clean up their rooms first and then talk about what it felt like, what still puzzles you. How you could do it differently next time.

It always frustrated me how my son’s infant school had this non-competitive sports day thing. It just doesn’t reflect real life. I was always banging on about letting them compete and have the experience of winning or losing and then help them with the feelings that result. That would be so much more useful than trying to wipe out the idea of competition in the adult world they will find themselves in. Not even adult, as soon as he got to age 7 and he went to junior school, winning was back on the agenda again anyway.

So, what am I trying to say here . . .

It’s not the outcome itself that’s the important thing but how we feel about the outcome. And our thoughts dictate how we feel.
And, as George says enjoying the process is what it’s really all about. But it’s not an either/or.

What a wonderful opportunity to introduce your son to the idea of both/and and for you to learn this stuff together.

Oh yeah . . . and if winning matters it’s better to fess up and play with that than to pretend it doesn’t. It’s the difference between storming out of the room pretending you’re frustrated with the stupid game and winning £3 in a bet you really lost. I know. I was that winner.

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There Are No Unimportant People

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Recently, I’ve been reading The Joy Of Selling by Steve Chandler. It’s not at all what I imagined it would be and to my great surprise I am thoroughly enjoying it. If it wasn’t written by Steve I wouldn’t have even picked it up but that, and the fact that it was a gift, led me to read it. What I’m finding though is a whole new way to look at the process of selling. And, true to form with all Steve’s stuff, success is more about me than about tricks and techniques – even when it comes to selling.

I suspect I will be sharing more than one little gem from its pages but here’s the first one I paticularly liked:

“Make Some Friends In Low Places” – Courses on ‘how to sell’ often emphasise the need to get to the decision-makers at the top of the companies you are targeting – to go for the people in “high” places. But Steve turns this on its head and demonstrates the power of talking to people who, on first look, don’t seem to have much power.

He tells the story of his conversations with Marie, a woman that worked on the front desk of an organisation he wanted to sell to. And how, through his relationship with her, he was able to get insider information that led to his having an informed conversation with the big boss at a time when the boss was most receptive and in the language that the boss was most receptive to hearing. The boss trusted him because of the obvious “research” he had done on her company. But as Steve points out his only research was Marie. The consequence of the meeting was lots of work for Steve.

When I read this I breathed a huge sigh of relief because, if I apply this to building a coaching practice, this allows me to just talk to people and trust that conversations will lead to clients. I don’t have to try and sell to the people I think I want to coach. I just have to turn up, be present and be my usual curious self about all the people I meet.

This is pretty much how I built my original coaching practice, through conversations with people I met in all sorts of unlikely places such as the library or at a neighbour’s barbecue, or through referrals. No selling. Just being with people.


“There are no unimportant people. Everyone is a piece of the puzzle of life. Everyone plays a very important part. Everyone has power.”

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Deciding For Myself

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Just returned to my hotel room after Day 1 of Steve Chandlers coaching school. It did not disappoint. Steve is insightful and funny and a pleasure to be around and my fellow attendees are an interesting group of people whom I’m excited to be working with for the next 6 months.

The main take away for me was noticing, again, my tendency to want someone else to tell me what to do or even that I can do it. Whatever “it” is. I’ve been aware of this tendency for years but have still been looking to others for guidance/permission. But what’s the use of someone telling me I can do something if I don’t believe it myself? That’s not going to change anything so, I hereby declare that from now on I am committed to consciously deciding for myself – to choosing what I want for myself and taking action to make it happen.

Tomorrow we have to tell the group what we’d like to achieve in the next six months and receive feedback on that so I’m going to take my notebook and my coloured pens and play around with some ideas.

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My Story Marketing – For Real

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I’ve been watching some videos by Jimmy Davis who was talking about “my story marketing” as a specific marketing technique.  Funny really, as this is what I want to do, but for real. (For examples of where this is used simply for marketing purposes see sites like and, and and What I mean by that is I want to build a business around what’s currently happening in my life. And, at the moment that’s about finding a new direction.

I did something similar about 10 years ago when I started a newsletter and website documenting my recovery from depression. The result was an ebook called ‘7 Steps to A Depression Free Life‘ which, even though I haven’t worked on the site for a number of years, still sells today. I didn’t set out to sell anything but I got so many questions about my personal experience with depression I decided to write the book. In fact, I wasn’t in a position to write it when I first started the newsletter because, at that point, I was still in the process of recovery and was trying to work out a strategy that worked for me.

And that gives me hope that maybe I can create a business from where I am now in my life, from what I’ve learned along the way and from where I go from here. I’m quite keen to create some sort of vision for where I want to end up, so I’ll know how I’m progressing but, at the same time, I want it to be flexible enough to allow me to adapt as things change.

Telling a personal story is a very powerful marketing technique, even when the story is made-up, so when the story is real it ought to be even more powerful, right? Well, I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

So why am I doing this? Why not just write a blog and be done with it. Well, as I said in a previous post I just don’t seem to be able to walk away from the attraction of internet marketing. But, at the same time, I’ve incredibly bored with what I’ve been doing and I’ve not even been covering my expenses. So this is an experiment. Can I move my life on and create a profitable business whilst keeping it fun and motivating? Money has never been a sufficient motivation for me but “beating the system”, i.e. being a bit of a rebel, is. I’ll explain what I mean by that in a future post but right now I need to take a break from the computer.

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Back to Making Money On The Internet

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Received an email from Howie Schwartz this morning and found myself watching one of his promotion videos which led to his latest internet marketing offer. However, as I read the sales page I noticed my energy drop. It felt like a waste of time and just another thing that wouldn’t work. Not because there’s anything wrong with Howie’s stuff but because I’ve tried so many approaches over the years and not been able to make them work.

Even so, I was struck by the fact that however much I try to move away from making money on the internet I always seem to be drawn back in.

As I was reading the sales page I was applying what I was seeing to my latest internet business attempt – – which left me feeling totally uninspired. But then I thought – “what if I applied this stuff to this website” – and suddenly I was excited about it again.

However, not wishing to spend yet more money on an internet marketing product that I might not use, I made an agreement with myself to not buy unless I actuallty got some content on the site first.

It’s taken me all day, a long walk, a procrastinating nose around the shops and finally a trip to the local cafe, armed with paper and pens, but I finally did it. Now I can buy my treat. I’m hoping that it will have a step-by-step plan included that I can follow because I have so much information already I don’t know where to start.

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Gillian Pearce – Life Moves


About Life Moves

Life Moves is an unfolding story of my journey to discover and create what I truly want from life. I hope you will find my writings helpful, inspirational, encouraging, amusing or, at the very least, usually worth reading. Please feel free to comment on any posts about which you have an opinion. Or make one up. I do it all the time and it can be very dull, alone in cyberspace.

Bon Voyage!