As one year comes to an end and a new year is about to begin many of us find ourselves thinking about resolutions and potentially making major changes to our lives. Unfortunately, long term change requires more than just writing a goal down on paper and hoping you have the strength of will to make it a reality. For people who are serious about making major changes to their lives working with a lifestyle coach is the next logical step.
Eli Wilhide knows this better than most as he has been a part of this process many times over, both in his own life and witnesses this in the lives of the people he works with every day. His life has been one of extremes, including his time working (and sharing the stage) with Tony Robbins. After being involved with 2500 seminars with the Tony Robbins organization he is now sharing his knowledge and experience with people from all walks of life. TodaysFitnessTrainer.com is honored to have Eli share his thoughts on personal development and provide insight as to how an individual can focus their efforts to start the new year off on the right foot!
What got you into lifestyle coaching and helping people with their personal development?
EW: The short answer is … proximity. Ever since I was young, I would meet people who were extremely successful in certain areas of their lives. It wasn’t necessarily the size of their bank account, the possessions they had, or their body, it was the way they carried themselves. I was drawn to them and wanted to spend time with (and around) them to really see how their minds worked. I was always the kid asking a million questions, from the time I was 5 years old, and not much has changed since then. Now, I ask better questions, receive more valuable answers, and have been able to surround myself with some amazing mentors and friends.
I guess you could say I’m an “eternal student” and learning has become an addiction for me … because I like the results that come from it. But with learning, comes my ability to share with others and take them along the same journey. Over the years, I have taken what I’ve learned and helped a lot of people along the way. After representing Tony Robbins in over 2500 seminars, I’ve learned a lot and have been asked a lot of tough questions. My curiosity, and the support of my peer group, led me to the answers. At this point in my life, I have to say I’ve gotten pretty good at helping people … and I love it.
Name three (3) of the most influential people in your career that you look to for guidance in your life.
EW: The three people who have had the greatest impact and influence on my career would be: Tony Robbins, Roberto Monaco and my mother.
Tony Robbins – I was introduced to Tony Robbins as a student of Self-Development. After attending one of his seminars I put Tony’s “Ultimate Success Formula” to the test. I decided I wanted to not only work for him, but with him. I reached out to Tony’s company over 300 times before getting an interview and, I worked my way up the ladder pretty quick. During my time traveling as a speaker, I lived with Tony’s son as well as his brother in law for two years and was able to absorb a lot of Tony’s great insight and advice. It was really a turning point for me at that stage in my life. I got to see, first hand, what it takes to make it in life, to get “out” of ourselves, how to communicate effectively to serve, and (in the end) being able to produce tangible results.
Roberto Monaco – I’ve known Roberto since 2005. Tony Robbins had hired him to coach all of his coaches. Since I’ve know him, he has been the best man in nine different weddings … and rightly so! This man is pure love and he is one of the best humans you will ever meet. Also, he specializes in the “art of influence”, as a speaker and presenter, which has been a great skill set for me to truly impact the lives of my clients. Roberto is not only a mentor, he is also my best friend.
My Mother – I’ve always been an intense person and my mother has been there through it all … reminding me to be patient when working with other people. She reminds me to slow down, not to push too hard at times (or be overly aggressive), and has been a huge support system for me.
What are the most common “areas” people are seeking to develop and improve?
EW: After personally speaking with over 100,000 people, face-to-face, the areas most people are immediately struggling with are health and finances. But, what it really boils down to is a combination of emotion, meaning, and action.
People essentially want to change a behavior, or what something “means”. For example, if someone wants more money, they will have to initiate in new actions, change the meaning of their actions, and the emotions associated with it. These things need to happen in order to make the “shift” towards the result we are looking to achieve. As human beings, we all want to grow and improve in some area of our lives. Regardless of what area that may be, having an effective strategy and acting from a resourceful state of mind and emotion are key.
You often talk about how we, as human beings, have basic needs. What are they and provide examples of common actions we follow to fulfill these needs.
EW: The only reason we do anything (our actions) in life is to essentially fulfill six specific needs:
- Certainty – a sense of safety, stability, assurance, and security
- Uncertainty – a sense of excitement and/or adventure
- Connection and Love – feeling truly connected with another human, or even with ourselves
- Significance – a sense of importance; feeling special
- Growth – to feel like we are improving in some area of our lives (which makes us feel “alive”). We are either growing … or dying
- Contribution – to feel like our lives “matter” by giving back; that we make a difference in the world
If something meets several of our needs at a high level, this can lead to addictive behaviors (positive or negative).
An example of an addiction with negative consequences is the problem many people face with food.
- When someone feels lonely they tend to overeat.
- This makes them feel a sense of connection with themselves (“Poor me.”).
- They then feel like their loneliness is a big problem, sometimes giving it a label that makes the feel significant (“My problem is bigger than most.”).
- They feel a sense of adventure through eating a wide variety of foods.
- A sense of security and safety then comes with a full belly.
- Because they have all of this food, they can provide food for others (contribution to the group) and eat with them (fostering a connection).
- They can get better at understanding, and learning, about foods by experiencing them (growth).
On the flip side, an example of an addiction with positive results involves exercising and working out.
- When someone works out they experience a feeling of strength in their body. There is a sense of certainty in their abilities and they feel secure.
- As they continue to workout there is an uncertainty as to how their body will change and how soon they will start to experience the results they are looking for.
- They connect and workout with friends who are also interested in fitness and exercise.
- They see significant improvements in strength and performance over time and are at their best.
- As a personal trainer, coach, or mentor you can teach others skills.
What is the number one challenge/obstacle that holds someone back from having the “ideal” life they envision for themselves? Please explain.
EW: Success in life typically comes down to the amount of uncertainty a person can comfortably deal with, “stepping up” in the face of the unknown, and acting in spite of fear. So many variables contribute to one’s failure to achieve their ideal life (i.e., lack of a clear plan, no compelling reasons, failure to follow through, self-sabotage, low self esteem, etc.) but fear is the number one reason. Fear comes in a million different forms (i.e., failure, success, judgment, risk, rejection, etc.) and we often need to be reminded that fear only exist one place in the entire universe … your own head. It doesn’t actually exist in reality.
You have described instances where a person’s values are misaligned with their goals. Please provide an example of this.
EW: A prime example would be looking at one’s values and goals regarding money and finances. I often see someone who has a goal of making a lot of money but end up sacrificing their health. This is the example of the wealthy professional who suffers a heart attack who spends it all trying to get his quality of life back. On the opposite side of the spectrum you have the “gym rat” who is always in great shape but is constantly broke. This is also the personal trainer who doesn’t manage their business effectively and stresses out so much over money that they suffer from poor overall health. We need to make sure that all of our values (i.e., health, happiness) are in alignment with our goals (i.e., more money, successful career).
As a coach, you provide people with the “Ultimate Success Formula”. Please explain.
EW: The “Ultimate Success Formula” is simple:
- Get absolutely clear about what it is you want.
- Take action based on proven systems.
- Change your approach constantly until you hit the target.
Life happens, and there will undoubtably be bumps in the road and times we get off track. The course of action will always be changing in order to get the final destination. For example, when a plane takes off from New York to Los Angeles it gets off track 97% of the time due to the wind and air currents. The pilot is constantly adjusting and correcting the plane’s course in order to arrive safely to the final destination. For us, we arrive at our best life … the one we are destined for.
Building a successful life is like building a skyscraper. There are many tools to draw from in order to build it correctly, and it is unique to each individual person. What coaching tools do you find most useful when working with a client?
EW: Coaching tools always fall into one of three categories:
- Performance-based tools
- Lifestyle tools
- Accountability tools
In our everyday life, business, or sports these exercises help us get more clear, more focused, and more resourceful to get them most out of ourselves and help us achieve peak performance. New actions = New results.
It is inevitable that we will lose our sense of passion and focus in life. We go through life feeling as if we are simply going through the motions. We lose sight of the big picture and the “why” behind what we do.
On the other hand, we reach a goal and need a new direction. You wonder, “Is this all there is?” or “Why am I doing all of this?”. This is when we need a new action, or a new meaning, to move us forward again. We need to find a meaning that empowers us and compels us to take action with passion. We need to find a way to truly enjoy the process … to change one’s perspective.
Often I have clients say, “I know what iI need to do, and I know I should be doing it. I’m just not doing it.” Accountability is essential for success and provides a system of daily review and an interactive feedback loop with someone you know. Accountability tools help you to produce results in a an area of life you want to improve and is often the biggest part of coaching.
As a successful lifestyle coach, some would say, “Those who can’t do, teach. ~ Woody Allen” What is your response to that?
EW: This is one of my favorite quotes … and I believe it to be absolutely true. In today’s world, anyone with a few bucks and two weekends of spare time can get certified as a life coach. I personally don’t have one of these certifications. What I do have is 8 years of experience and mentorship by a man who has coached four U.S. Presidents, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and the most recognized names in Hollywood. During that time, I picked up a thing or two and I started producing measurable results in my own life. This then led to helping others achieve results in their lives. From the beginning I’ve enjoyed the process and liked helping others.
I had no intention of becoming a coach. I was asked to coach about a dozen people while working as a speaker (they were all life coaches). To this day, most of my clients are coaches. One day I thought, “If I’m coaching these coaches … maybe I should coach.” So far, so good!
Although it was something that fell into my lap, I thoroughly enjoy life coaching. I’ve always loved people and am interested in what makes them tick.We all do things for a particular reason (those basic needs). And there is always a reason why people don’t get the results they want. Whether we are playing the game or coaching the game … it all comes down to “results”. They say we are “only as good as our last performance”. Coaching ensures we are always performing at our best. Even I have a coach!
For more information on Eli Wilhide, visit his website at www.eliwilhide.com.