Tag Archives: imagine

Steve’s Favorites: The Fog of Battle

They call it the fog of battle, where all you see and hear is gunfire. When you are in a battle it is hard to maintain clear perspective.

My phone was ringing. I looked down at it and read the caller ID and thought “Wow, one of my favorite coaching clients.” I gave a cheerful hello only to hear a faint voice on the other end. You see, my friend was sitting in his car in a parking garage unable to get out. He was trapped in his car by his own fear and fatigue! This once confident and self-assured president of a company was now child-like and meek.

He related to me over the phone how a series of downward disappointments had beat him up. He couldn’t gather himself to “pull it together” and get out of the car to face another day of “battle.”

I turned from coach to counselor. Trying my very best to encourage him to open the door and head back into it. I promised to meet with him soon for a day of VISIONEERING. Slowly my friend’s voice picked up volume and realization as he stated “Steve, I’ve lost vision. All I see is the battle.”

Vision is a picture of the future which creates passion in the present

I did follow through and I drove to meet him at his location. We spent three hours together rebuilding, rediscovering and renewing his vision.

Vision Question: How is your Vision? Not your sight, your Vision.

What do you see in your future?

Here is a simple but powerful place to start: Ask yourself, “What is it that I really want to accomplish?”

You may want to choose two or three areas to focus and map out on a single sheet of paper. Do not get frozen or fearful. Imagine the possibilities in your career! Your health! Maybe you want to turn that blog into a book. Maybe you want to turn those daily bike rides into a successful bike race. There are so many possibilities that you can accomplish in your life with the right type of Vision!

I once wrote a post about about Michelangelo’s creation process of David. Michelangelo stripped away everything that wasn’t David. But first, he Imagined his Vision of David in his mind.

Ask yourself: What type of person do I want to be?

That question is a great place to begin developing your Vision. Perhaps you want to be more spiritual, more healthy, more fit, more optimistic, or to have remarkable energy that is just irresistible! Here is one activity that can really help build and maintain the power of your Vision:


Lin is an award-winning interior designer. So admittedly, she is a natural at creation. Naturally, when I took Lin through the process of building her vision board, it turned out spectacular! It was aesthetically pleasing and organized. But not all boards have to be beautiful, they just have to display your vision in a way that you understand and that inspires you. On Lin’s board, she placed a picture of her husband and her boating in the San Juan Islands. She had a picture of her working in her garden at home. She had inspiring phrases and quotes.

You get the idea! It was a colorful reminder of her vision of her future life. The idea of the Vision Board is to be a reminder of what we are striving to reach even when we are stuck in the fog of battle. It is a visual vacation that can pull us toward our future selves. Once you regain and maintain your personal and professional vision, energy and oxygen course into your soul and it will fuel your days!

This is a discussion, so help me out here

  • What is that inspiring vision you have for the next two or three years?
  • What do you really want to accomplish?
  • What type of person would you be proud to be?
  • If you were able to get out of the battle for three hours, what would your Vision Board look like?

I am pleased to report that my friend from the beginning of the post is better than ever. In fact, he recently sent me a wonderful spiritual read with a note that inspired me. “Steve, stay encouraged and stay spiritually whole. We need you.” Wow, he just gave me some Vision!

Imagine Your Vision Today!

Please comment below any questions, comments, suggestions, or thoughts. Your thoughts count!

IMAGINE Fresh Start: I dropped the Wedding Cake


“Steve, do us a big favor. We need you to run to the bakery and pick up the wedding cake. Be back in thirty minutes!”

I love challenging assignments. And I’ve always been a team player. This wedding was definitely a team effort. The couple being wed were my dear friends and I was commissioned to go to the local bakery and pick up the cake. I needed to be back ASAP. I drove off humming “going to the chapel and their going to get married.” I was in a great mood and excited to see these two people begin their lives together.

Then, upon receiving the cake I headed back to my car. The weirdest thing happened… I tripped. I didn’t stumble, I full out tripped on the curb. It felt like a slow motion belly flop into the road, the big box holding the cake flew out of my hands into the air… it turned one and a half giant turns and landed. Flat. Up. Side. Down… “OH —-!”

My mind started racing. It was one of those moments where you wonder if what is happening is actually happening, and pray that it isn’t. I peeled back the lid of the box… all the icing was stuck to the top. The two wedding bells looked up at me like demonic faces. I was dazed. I was confused. Now what?! I was in one big wedding cake mess!

As I sheepishly carried the mushed box into the reception area, preparing my last remarks, a woman greeted me saying “Wonderful, the cake! I bet it’s lovely!”

I looked down at the box, down at my feet, up at the ceiling, at her “Actually, I dropped the sucker.”

You won’t believe what happened next. This may be even more amazing than the slow motion cake-ker-plop. The woman at the reception was a premiere cake designer, a frosting expert, a cake CPR extraordinaire. She said, “how about we give this a little make over!” I nodded thinking it was probably going to be more like a reconstruction. Within minutes she began to recreate, redecorate, and restore the cake’s beauty. Low and behold it looked good as new! Better than new! An amazing new beginning! The cake got a fresh start!

What does a Fresh Start look like for you?

So many of my clients and friends need a fresh start. It is like they have taken a tumble and don’t know how to start getting up.

I would like to offer Seven things you can do today to IMAGINE your Fresh Start

  1. Come up with a “One day plan”
    When I get stuck, overwhelmed, stressed or broken, I go back to the basics and “live one day at a time. Just map out today. Don’t bite off too much.


  2. Get Physical
    The stress hormone, Cortisol, can wreck havoc in your mind and emotions and narrow your perspective really quickly! Even you can’t get to the gym, create your own 30 minute home workout. Put on some rocking music and get physical! It will generate positive hormones, natural highs, and boost your self-concept.
  3. Focus on Accomplishments
    Activities are flooding most people’s busy days. To alleviate a higher impact fresh start, focus on the 20% that gives you the 80% high value return in your work/live balance.
  4. Don’t Isolate- Initiate!
    Isolation is suffocating people. This world can become small and lonely. Get out there! Meet with that trusted friend or associate that provokes goodness, ideas, and health. Cultivate a rhythm of meeting with the best and the bright. You become who you associate with. Associate with winners!
  5. Eat to Win
    You don’t have to be a health nut. But pick good food choices that fuel your days. Try things like cut veggies, raw almonds, cranberries, or whole wheat crackers. Double your water intake. And try some new natural supplements. Build your immune system daily and you moods will level out as well. And you will rarely be sick!
    NOTE: If you’re a parent, check out… @unhealthytruth for a roadmap to nutritional health!
  6. Unplug One Day a Week
    I know, I know, impossible right? Wrong. The primary downfall I see with technology and social media is people have no start and no ending. No healthy breaks. It is a constant techno beat. The world goes from vivid color to black and white. Talk about a technology burn out, baby! Give your mind, your soul, and your spirit a break. Your family will like you a whole lot more too! I unplug every Sunday, and I love it!
  7. Practice Guilt Free Rest
    when your body and mind say “I need a break,” don’t push through every time. Treat your body like a temple, like a precious gift. Allow for your human limitations. Allow yourself to let go and relax and recover. Grant yourself permission for a Fresh Start!

NOTE- A message from Steve Gutzler and Leadership Quest:
Starting February 2012, PLAY BIG INNER CIRCLE

“I am excited about the inner circle! I believe it will be a new way to connect and grow as a community. We will begin to build better leaders through conversation, thoughts, and training!” -Steve Gutzler

Includes a Weekly Coaching Video Series and Monthly “Call In” with questions and answers.
What’s the cost? Only $27.00 per month. This elite coaching program will include spectacular content to help each of us experience our best year!

Registration begins in January 2012! I hope you will join us!

IMAGINE: Success and Significance

There’s a woman I know who blogs from the Toronto Area. She has three spectacular boys and a wonderful husband. And somehow, someway, she still manages to make time to write about victims of sex trafficking. Why does she make time for this?”

One of my clients had just signed the largest contract in Seattle sports history! We were sitting in his brand new Mercedes Sedan when he said something shocking, “Steve, I know all about success but I am clueless about significance.”

He is not alone. You see, I think our culture, your culture, my culture, is fixated on success. The symbols of it, the toys that surround it, the seductive lifestyle we all secretly, and sometimes overtly, covet. But wait before you jump on the soap-box with me. I’d like to suggest success isn’t all bad. In fact, I have a conviction you may or may not agree with:

I believe success is in most cases a necessary platform to significance.

You need some success. Admittedly, success is “me and my family.” It might be a little bit selfish, but I enjoy a certain measure of success. Being somewhat professionally successful has been a blessing to my family. It has allowed us to live in a nice home (albeit not a luxury home) and allowed us to afford to put the kids through college without accumulating a huge debt.

Success has also allowed Julie and I, at a crucial defining moment in our lives, to leverage our resources to start a non-profit, compassion2one. Through our non-profit we help rescue victims of sex trafficking “saving one child at a time.”


Significance is a totally different animal from success. It is when you come to a place and realize…

  • I can only eat one meal at a time
  • I can only drive one car at a time
  • I can only live in one house at a time
  • I can only love one person passionately at a time

Significance is about others, making a difference in the lives of others. Even when most of those others can never pay you back.

Lora Rossi @thehugginghome

I met Lora through Twitter. Her charm captured my attention. Soon, I looked more closely and found her heartfelt (and a little sassy) blog. She found out about our cause at compassion2one and offered to post a blog to bring awareness to another group of followers. That was a significant moment. Her post drew significant attention. We asked if we could put it on our website. After a short period of time, Lora became our new Editorial Contributor as well as Canadian Awareness Director. That is pretty significant!

Let’s talk about the other side of Lora too. She is a hockey mom, a freelance writer, a home décor expert and a fabulous wife and mother. Bottom line: she’s busy! Like CRAZY busy. But still, she has decided that she is not too busy to be both successful and significant.

When I take a moment to think about the work she is putting in, along with so many other “difference-makers,” I get misty eyed. Carving out time for the significance now, not waiting until some other day. Finding and making time for others.

Lora has been very successful in the corporate marketplace and is taking this time now to stride forward in her career as a freelance writer. She is gaining well deserved success and attention. But I love the fact that she recognizes that she can be both successful and significant. And that it is important to be both. She can strive for both, and both are good to strive for.

Lora, keep it up! You inspire me and others and you are making a difference in the lives of others!

Let’s refocus for a moment.

How are you successful? How are you Significant? Imagine how you could be both successful and significant!

  • Work hard and leverage your success for the purpose of significance
  • Decide today to make a difference in the lives of others
  • Make a difference with others who want to make a difference, Team up!
  • Choose something, a cause, a purpose, something that touches your soul and changes lives
  • Make this year your year to give some of your time, talents or treasures

Side note: my Seattle sports client, as a result of our discussion, decided to give 15% of his income to charities. He is now retired and has his own foundation. He is living, what I think he would be proud to call, a successful and significant life.

Lora Rossi does her chores, drives her young hockey stars to the rink multiple times a week, writes, cooks, works out, and loves her boys and her husband. She has built a successful life around her and created her imagined life through adding another form of significance. She makes time to help victims of sex trafficking by using her talents and resources as a successful writer and blogger.

I hope that you too can Play Big and find time to turn your success into significance! 

Follow Lora at @thehugginghome on Twitter and on her blog The Hugging Home.