The most important thing in life….

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“The most important thing in life is to remember the most important thing” Zen saying I recently spoke to a client who has been extremely successful professionally. “Bob” owns equity in over a dozen companies and will retire soon while being in his early 40s. He didn’t reach out to me to get advice on his investment portfolio, but because he was lacking something: peace of mind and enjoyment. Like several of my clients, Bob has developed an operating system … Read More

The costs of holding on….

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Since I became a father, there is one thing I learned: I need to let go of how things were before. It’s remarkable how much of my personality still would like the same amount of me-time, work time, doing multiple sports and the same amount of time to learn and take courses. And of course, the same amount of sleep as before! Any parent out there knows what I am talking about… One thing I realized: The more I hold … Read More

Will this contribute to my happiness?

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Will this contribute to my happiness?

Whenever I am choosing what movie to watch, what activity to do or what kind of conversation I am about to have with someone, I try to ask myself this question: If I go ahead with this, will this contribute to my happiness? It’s a very simple question, but if asked candidly to yourself, it can reveal a lot of insight. We can see our mind as a big garden with all kinds of seeds. Seeds of fear, insecurity, stress, … Read More

How much knowledge do we need (to coach well)?

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How much knowledge do we need (to coach well)?

This photo made me smile. Sometimes I meet people with a wall full of certificates. It makes me wonder: How many certificates, knowledge and validation do we need to do something well and feel good about what we are doing? And do certificates actually matter to others? Earlier this year, I joined parts of the World Business Executive Coaching Summit (WBECS). It’s a great online event for Executive Coaches with some of the best executive coaches sharing their insight, tips … Read More

Our fear of contentment

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Our fear of contentment, TeamUp Blog

“Are you happy?” Recently, I asked my client this question on day 1 of our executive coaching retreat. He said: “yeah, I think I am quite happy.” I responded: “I am not interested how happy you think you are, but really how happy do you feel?” “Well, I feel pretty successful. I think I am contributing great things in this world and….” “No”, I interrupt him. I didn’t ask what you think you contributed. I asked: “Do you feel a … Read More

To thrive we need a strong back and soft front

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To thrive we need a strong back and soft front, TeamUp Blog

Yesterday I saw this strong back of my wife and the soft front of my son. It reminded me again how important both of these qualities are in both coaching and life. “Strong back, soft front”. These words kept sticking in my mind since I attended the Wisdom 2.0 conference in Singapore. At the time, I attended a guided meditation by Roshi Joan Halifax, who runs the Upaya meditation centre. Strong back, soft front, she explains, “is about the relationship … Read More

Give up the self-esteem game

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Give up the self-esteem game, TeamUp Blog

Last week I had a tough day at work. Meetings didn’t flow. I wasn’t sharp with that coaching client and a submitted proposal wasn’t accepted by a company. On my way back home, my mind started its occasional game of providing arguments why I am maybe not that good of a coach, leader or even person. Then I will catch myself and provide some arguments back why I am a good coach, leader or person. Some are really clever and … Read More

In pain? Don’t make it bigger than it is

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In pain? Don’t make it bigger than it is, TeamUp Blog

I am about to step into this freezing alpine lake in the mountains of East-Kyrgyzstan. A group of Russians are watching. I have no other choice then to do a few strokes in this glacier pond. In my head I am thinking: Why did I commit to jumping into this lake! I hate cold water! I don’t want to feel this. I contract my muscles and my jaw tightens. This is going to be horrible! Then I remember: Gaston, it’s … Read More

Uselessness: My New Year Aspiration

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Uselessness: My New Year Aspiration, TeamUp Blog

I often make as assessment at the end of my day. How productive was today? Did I add value enough? How did I contribute? One of my strongest personality patterns is an incessant need to be productive. It dominates most of my thoughts and actions. This tendency has brought me a lot of progress and the ability to make an impact in the world that I feel content with. However, it also so often draws me away from the direct … Read More

The delight of non-judgment

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The delight of non-judgment, TeamUp Blog

I sit in Zurich airport. It’s 10pm. My plane is delayed, my smartphone’s battery is dead, I finished my book and need to wait another 2 hours for my plane. I watch the people around me and my mind falls back in one of its favorite activities: judging others… If there is one thing that I have observed my mind doing systematically, it’s judging. Either positive or negative, but it’s still judging.