AgiliZen™ is about releasing stuckness – letting go of agonizing over the things you want to change, but can’t – and mastering the skills, habits and mindset that enable you to change what you can. It’s about starting where you are today, and focusing your energy, creativity and determination to design innovative strategies to address the challenges keeping you from feeling capable, confident and in charge of your life.
AgiliZen is about starting today to use even the smallest details of your daily life as opportunities to cultivate
- Productivity and performance
- Optimal Functioning in the 8 Dances of Life
- Overall Wellbeing and Quality of Life
Life is a constant dance of deciding how to manage your resources, and figuring out what to give your time and attention to – even while needs and resources are constantly fluctuating. Your home, things, work, relationships, time, money and information (information includes paper, digital information, email, memorabilia, etc.) are all resources that need your attention. But if you aren’t nurturing your relationship with yourself, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by them – like they are controlling you rather than you being in charge of them.
AgiliZen is about bringing out the best in yourself — organically — without forcing yourself to change, and without feeling like you aren’t good enough as you are today. Self-control may be highly valued in our society, but self-control is NOT the only way to get yourself to change habits and make the changes you want in your life.
Success in today’s highly complex, interconnected, and rapidly changing world requires extraordinary personal agility — the ability to agilize - to quickly adapt, improvise, and evolve the 8 Dances of life with you as you grow.
Agilizen is about expanding your inner resource toolkit. It’s about recognizing situations where self-control isn’t working and using self-leadership strategies instead. When control isn’t an option, you can lead yourself to design and orchestrate the 8 Dances of Life™ to fit the way your brain works naturally, and facilitate the changes needed to clarify and evolve into your true potential.
To agilize means to get unstuck, to think differently about your situation and start taking steps in the direction you want to be going. To agilize is to cultivate readiness to act, to make smart, responsive changes using a minimum of your precious resources to make a difference.
Cultivating agility in each of the 8 Dances of Life is a vital prerequisite for mental, emotional and physical health and well-being.
Everyone can benefit from cultivating agilizing skills, but if you answer yes to any of the following, the impact on your life will be profound. Do you often feel:
- You are on a roller coaster between too much and not enough?
- You can’t have, be, or do enough no matter how hard you try?
- Deeply misunderstood by the people around you?
- Exhausted from the stress of trying to keep up with the demands of life, work, home and relationships?
- Your high potential and capabilities are overshadowed by your challenges with making decisions, letting go of things, and / or getting things done?
- Stuck in painful patterns of overworking, fits of frustration, impatience, anxiety, depression, addictive behavior, compulsive apologizing and explaining, or “OCD” (overwhelm, clutter and disorganization)?
- You could be doing so much more with your life if only you could:
- manage your time better?
- have better people skills?
- be more patient?
- go to bed or get up earlier?
- eat better? exercise more?
- pick one thing and focus on it till it’s done?
You are not alone. There are millions of people suffering from feeling stuck in a perpetual cycle of debilitating stress,dissatisfaction, overwhelm, frustration, and/or chronic disorganization.
Chronic stress deeply affects our energy, relationships, families, health, time management, career growth, and the amount of clutter in our lives.
When 2, 3 or more of the 8 Dances of Life have become a source of extreme stress and overwhelm, our capacity for self-respect, self-confidence, health, and quality of life becomes significantly impaired.
If conventional approaches to reducing stress, organizing yourself and managing your time, money, paper and information have not worked for you, or have left you feeling incompetent or bad about yourself,
it’s time to rethink everything you think you know about what’s causing your problems and what is needed to make peace with yourself and your life.
Personal agility makes it possible for you to agilize effectively and make your life better. Mastering the ability to agilize increases your self-confidence and reduces fear, stress and overwhelm. Trusting in your ability to agilize makes you confident that you can
- Orchestrate your most valuable resources (like time, energy, attention, and focus) to enhance your overall life satisfaction and well-being
- Reduce clutter in mind, heart, body and home
- Design simple, flexible, organizing systems to serve your optimal functioning
- Master the 8 Habits of Personal and Emotional Agility
- Establish new habits and modify existing habits
Living in a world that is NOT designed to fit you hurts.
If you think differently, or are highly intelligent, or ultra-sensitive or empathic, or have a high level of emotional, cognitive, or sensory intensity, your brain is literally wired differently from the average brain. Chances are your daily life is far more challenging and painful than it is for others.
But that does NOT mean you are defective. To me it means you have a need to be understood, accepted, and respected. And a need for your strengths to be recognized, appreciated, cultivated and used to minimize the impact of whatever your weak areas may be.
Fix, Improve or Cultivate?
In my world, people are not broken machines that need fixing. People bloom best when they are cultivated. When you accept people as they are, and help them experience how some of their weaknesses may actually be unharnessed strengths, they begin to respect themselves again. With a firm foundation of self-respect, organic positive change is inevitable.
When unique people who born to agilize (but don’t know it) spend their lives trying to fit in, win the approval of others, or make themselves perform on demand according to a schedule — they find themselves feeling stressed, exhausted and overwhelmed. Depression, anxiety, and self-defeating behaviors like profound procrastination, perfectionism and chonic disorganization are the silent screams of souls desperately trying to be noticed, understood, appreciated, and cultivated – people want to be led, not controlled. We don’t want to be controlled by others and we don’t wanted to be “controlled” by ourselves either.
If you are suffering daily from overwhelm and frustration, and / or your functioning is impaired, you are NOT broken, and you are NOT defective. You don’t need fixing. Most likely you are being called to listen to those silent screams of your soul and:
- Question assumptions you are making about yourself and your life
- Rethink your relationship with yourself and the 8 Dances of Life.
- Design, redesign, adapt or modify your context in some way
- Design new solutions instead of trying to fit yourself to existing solutions, systems or processes that aren’t right for you.
- Learn a new skill
- Set some boundaries
Mental and emotional agility is what enables you to break through stuckness, see yourself in new ways, and use your current challenges as springboards to personal growth and fulfillment.
Trying to fix yourself to fit your life or to fit your vision of how you “should” be, or how you “should” do things, doesn’t work in the long term. What really works is learning how to flexibly design your life to fit you as you are. I call this Agile Life Design.
Agile Life Design™ is about seeing your life as a learning laboratory – a kind of design studio where you get to experience life as an adventure in learning about yourself and how you organically learn, evolve, and grow. It’s a journey in discovering that you can learn to like things that are “good for you” even if you currently dislike or resist doing them. It’s a power tool we all have, but most of don’t have an instructional manual for how to master it.
Together, Agile Life Design™ and Agilizen provide that manual. A major part of Agilizen is learning how you organically learn to “acquire a taste for ” doing what’s good for you. When you do things YOUR way, in a way that fits you – it feels good to do it.
You can learn to LOVE the power of setting limits. You can learn to LOVE saying NO to commitments that you don’t really have the time or energy to follow through on. Yes, you can even eventually learn to LOVE letting go of clutter.
Agile living and organic learning is about implementing one small experiment at a time as you design and teach yourself new habits. In the process, you teach yourself new ways of seeing yourself and your relationships with your home, things, money, work, and time. You learn to expect the unexpected and become ready to adapt your plans as needed.
Agile is about learning to iterate wisely in the short term so you can evolve more quickly in the long term. AgiliZen is about becoming a new kind of opportunist – ready to improvise and make the most of whatever comes your way in life. In the cultivation of personal agility, we discover the kind of satisfaction which can only come from restoring faith in ourselves to rise the occasion as needed.
Nothing can replace the kind of inner security and confidence that comes from learning how to masterfully orchestrate the 8 Dances of Life™ to serve our higher purpose and optimal functioning.
We emerge victorious when we feel entitled to:
- embrace our strengths
- own our imperfections
- release shame
- feel we already are good enough even as we continue to seek to grow.
We win the bigger game of life when we are able to
- see ourselves in our wholeness
- fill the holes in our souls with self-compassion
- cultivate our strengths as we create a new story about who we are.
Although our potential is not actually limitless, when we make room for new possibilities to emerge, we realize that our potential is not fixed – it evolves and changes as often as we do. Mastering the 8 Dances of Life using Agile Life Design skills along with the AgiliZen mindset, you can become more confident, more comfortable in your own skin, less overwhelmed, less cluttered and more organized.
You can evolve in ways you can’t even imagine right now. You can heal addictions, change unwanted habits, and cultivate and shape new habits. Personal growth requires becoming willing to let go of things, activities, systems and sometimes even relationships and/or jobs we’ve outgrown. Once we are willing to let go, that opens up the possibility of redesigning and / or evolving the systems, relationships, job or whatever aspects of our lives need to evolve with us.
AgiliZen is about adding new skills and resources to your success toolkit. It’s for people who don’t fit easily into molds. Being different REQUIRES agilizing your own unique path to success: designing a life that fits and brings out the best of your strengths.
Becoming successful at anything is an evolution. In the gaming world it’s called uplevelling. Success in life is a lot like uplevelling your mastery of a game. It takes being willing to make lots of mistakes as you master each level. It takes lots of feedback and becoming ready for the next level. Skipping levels isn’t an option in most games. Yet in daily life we try to do that all the time by thinking we can just order ourselves to perform. Success can’t be ordered or controlled into existence. It’s messy. And it requires believing in your ability to take smart risks, make mistakes, encourage yourself, and keep adjusting your strategies.
I don’t believe we fear success — what we fear is whether or not we’ll be capable of coping with the disruption success brings into our lives. How we manage the 8 Dances of Life changes when we experience an uplevelling. The funny thing about success is that it requires that you stop doing some of the things you did to become successful and soemtimes doing the exact opposite — Because the specific behaviors and habits that create success often are not the same habits that sustain success.
For example, becoming successful usually involves the habit of saying yes to opportunities. Sustaining success however, requires cultivating the habit of becoming very selective about what you say yes to – It means being able to say no to opportunities you never dreamed you could or would say no to. Becoming equally comfortable with both YES and NO as optional responses in any situation is the ultimate in personal agility. It changes everything in your life. Feeling confident in your ability to say either Yes or No to people, things, commitments and opportunities is a keystone ingredient of success. You can’t become an effective Agilizer and master the 8 Dances of Life without this core skill.
Agilizers are self-leaders. They think for themselves. They advocate for their needs and interests. They don’t conform easily. Becoming a master agilizer involves
- learning skills that balance your brain’s natural extreme strengths
- exercising your ability to shift perspective and try on different ways of seeing and thinking about old problems.
If you are an unusually good problem solver, crisis manager, or initiator of projects, or are highly creative, empathic, sensitive, or intelligent, or if you have a high need for novelty (aka change), precision, quality, or for making things better, then chances are good you have a high aptitude for agilizing.
AgiliZen is an eclectic toolkit that draws from the best research in many disciplines distilled into a framework that accelerates the learning curve toward becoming a Master Agilizer. The Agile Movement is already underway in the world of business. I aim to
- package the concepts of agile philosophy in a way that makes them easier to learn and apply to our personal lives.
- bring greater understanding, acceptance and respect for our brain-based personality, learning styles, and cognitive processing differences
- challenge the stigma of biased labels that portray attention management challenges as defects, deficits and illnesses rather than as biological differences that may also have valuable applications in some contexts even though they create challenges in daily life routines.
- provides resources for people to better understand the ways we are different from each other and teach the skills needed to negotiate and design solutions that meet the needs or people whose brains are different — whose needs and values are different, and whose thinking, learning, information processing, decision-making and organizing styles are not easily controlled.
When self-control is not a feasible option, the advanced life skills taught in AgiliZen (such as self-leadership, self-cultivation, emotional resilience, and designing for your brain) enable people to thrive.
Just like a plant that stops growing – procrastination, stuckness, overwhelm, and exhaustion are all signs that you need a “course-correction.”
Agile Life Design™ and AgiliZen™ provide a unique set of tools for people who don’t fit the mold – who weren’t born to be “followers” of other people’s systems – people who were born to Agilize.
Ready to to learn more?
Before you do anything else, if you resonate with the agile philosophy, I suggest getting my free AgiliZen and Agile Life Design™ ToolKit. You’ll receive a couple of my most popular e-booklets:
Simplifying Your Life: Agile Life Design Strategies for Doing What Matters Most 8 page Printable PDF
Myths, Facts and Agile Life Design Strategies for Thriving with Adult ADHD A 6 page Printable PDF
Resources for Exploring AgiliZen™ and Agile Life Design™
Blogging for me is like a “lab” where I learn, create, experiment, try out new ideas and share my learning in real time. The ideas here are often not 100% polished, but since I’m always learning and growing and tweaking, they are never “done” anyway. : ) I do my best to communicate clearly, but if you find something confusing or encounter a typo, let me know and I’ll correct it when I can. To help me focus and manage my own perfectionist tendencies, I purposefully apply the 80/20 rule before publishing. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have a website or blog online at all. Thanks for understanding!
Below are some of my most popular articles…
- Agilizing Your Mind: Unlearning Clutter Producing Thinking Habits
- 5 Steps to Cultivating the Power of Habit and Agile Thinking Habits
- Chronic Procrastination and Resistance: How we Learn to Procrastinate.
- What Causes Chronic Disorganization – How to Heal the Trauma
- Is it Adult ADHD or Creative Personality Type?
- Are you an adult with ADHD or ADDish traits?
Ever thought you might be “gifted” or Neurodiverse?
- See the whole list featuring the Best of My Articles
Agile Living Reading List Book suggestions which I feel offer empowerment rather than prescribing how you “should be” or “should do” things. There is always more than one way to fulfill a need. When you are “different” you are highly likely to be frustrated by conventional wisdom and advice. Embracing your own custom-designed, unconventional, and even counter-intuitive strategies for getting things done is a priceless key to satisfying productivity.
Philosophical Foundations of my Approach to Coaching
I support the advancement of respect-based contextual psychology, acceptance, and education as a humane and compassionate approach to healing the emotional suffering and traumas that are associated with cognitive and neurological diversities.
In 2012, I became a member of the Association for Contextual Behavior Science which promotes the compassionate and respect-based application of contextual cognitive and behavioral science to alleviate human suffering and promote human well being. This includes
- ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) – Shares similar foundation to my approach to compassion, acceptance and respect-based coaching and organic learning.
- RFT (Relationship Frame Theory) (Simply put: We learn our sense of self and learn to define our likes, dislikes, boundaries, limits and more in relationship to our contexts / environments, the language we speak, the stories we tell, the metaphors we acquire for life, time, risk-taking, trust, organizing, motivation, and more. Because so much of ourselves is learned through unintentional shaping, becoming aware of how this works and mastering the ability to design experience that shape us consciously is our best hope for humanely changing ourselves and our habits.
- The philosophy of Functional Contextualism
(Our identities, emotions and behaviors are driven by our philosophical assumptions and metaphors about our contexts. Because people and behaviors change when their context or environment changes, people usually thrive and heal best when their environment fits their unique needs.)