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Mar 25

March 25, 2020 – JOLT – COVID-19 Customized Adversity Training Special

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“Face adversity head on in your training and you will conquer it smoothly in your fight.”
-Conor McGregor

The industry of adversity training…

has developed greatly over the last 80 or more years.

Of course, the earliest adversity training was probably when cavemen trained their sons to bring home the eats without being eaten…followed soon thereafter by various militaries instructing new recruits on how to endure the un-endurable.

But once the muscles of adversity weren’t absolutely required, there grew a market for learning to face adversity by choice. And, people paid for it.

For example, Outward Bound began in 1941, and now has over 33 schools with 250,000 paying participants each year.

And, though every personal development program doesn’t involve a ropes course (though many do), it’s estimated that the self-improvement industry will bring in $13.2B in 2022.

So, needless to say, a lot of people pay BIG BUCKS to get themselves trained in the face of external or internal adversity.

And, guess what?? You just won the Price is Right Showcase!!!

Yes, you and a friend or loved one (or more) will enjoy a 60-90 days (or more) custom-designed and highly-sought-after, maker-of-champions adversity training…delivered straight to your door!! Regular retail value: PRICELESS!

OK, maybe I’m doing a bit extra there…and yet, as I mentioned in last week’s JOLT Note, you will either have what’s going on be to you or for you.

I invite you to find all the innovative ways possible — just as if you had paid darn good money to be put out into the wilderness to survive a few weeks with nothing in hand — to figure things out and make life work anyway.

Sure, we can all throw up our hands and lament. Or we can put our minds to work and ascent.

What new opportunities will you devise that will be your equivalent of finding grubs under rotting wood today? What innovative ideas will you come up with to catch the “rain” in your own life?

Please enjoy this adversity training…and come out stronger. It’s already bought and paid for. You’d might as well grow.

We’re not experts on everything, but we may know a thing or two about a thing or two that could help you.

(PSST: If you want to also join our other Back Forty community for a more finding-the-blessings-in-this meeting afterwards, register here: 

Darrell W. Gurney, PCC, RScP
• Professionally Certified Coach (PCC) by the International Coaching Federation (ICF)
• 30-year career and business coach, seminar leader, author, speaker, and licensed spiritual counselor
• Founder of, and
• Author of “Headhunters Revealed! Career Secrets for Choosing and Using Professional Recruiters”, winner of the Clarion Award for Best Book; the Amazon Bestseller “Never Apply for a Job Again: Break the Rules, Cut the Line, Beat the Rest;” and the upcoming game-changer “The Back Forty: The Ride of Your Life. 7 Essential Embraces for Life’s Radical Second Half”
• Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC), Certified Job & Career Transition Coach (JCTC), Certified Career Management Coach (CCMC), Licensed Spiritual Counselor (RScP)
More about him at

Alexandra I. Levin, PCC, MBA, SPHR
• Professionally Certified Coach (PCC) by the International Coaching Federation (ICF)
• 30-year professional Human Resources executive (SPHR Certified), organizational and leadership facilitator, training and development expert, and executive/business coach
• MBA and founder of ConsciousOrg
• Author of The Back Forty IMBUE Journal
• Co-Founder of The Back Forty INFUSE Program
More about her at

Need some personal support in facing the adversity in career, business or personal life? Schedule a session here for support in turning this into the biggest training of your life.

Got adversity training?

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now, and live the rest of your life as a champion.'”
-Muhammad Ali
Mar 18

March 18, 2020 – JOLT – Twisting the Mind to Find the Blessing In This

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“This is an age in which the mood decides the fortunes of people rather than the fortunes decide the mood.”
-Sir Winston Churchill

There’s where we’ve been…

and where we’re going. The past can inform us, and yet full information plus attitude is what will take us where we want to be.

One of the luminaries I follow reminded me this morning that nothing happens to us. It happens for us.

That may be a tough, spiritual take on something such as a pandemic. Yet, if your mind, mood and attitude are at the source of your experience in life, then tell me what better good will entertaining the idea that you’re a victim do for you??

Sure, there’s not a one of us — no matter how high-minded we want to be — who doesn’t, at times, buy into the fears, the uncertainties, and the illusions of empty toilet-paper hangers.

Yet, the key in that last sentence is how high-minded we want to be.

Even if we fall off the horse at times (and get maybe double what we really need at the grocery store), the real opportunity in all of this is coming back to the awareness that we have a choice: and it’s what’s going on in our mind.

Times like these remind me of the power of Victor Frankl’s inspiring book “Man’s Search for Meaning” in which he shares how the strong survivors of concentration camps were able to endure the most horrific of life circumstances through the power of their minds and imagination. Maybe time to get another copy if you’ve lost yours?

Games. Those inside of the camps played mind games, like “Let’s see if I’ll be served one of the peas at the bottom of the soup vat!” and other (perhaps seeming silly to us now) little twists of thinking that got them through each day before going on to live full, post-war lives.

This is war, for sure. And, like every other war mankind has experienced, this too shall pass.

As you navigate a new normalcy, the question is this: Who will you be after the war is over? A bigger, more expanded, bolder, greater loving, more generous and thankful human being? Or, not that.

Your mission — should you choose to accept it — is to find ways to twist your thinking so that, at the end of each day, you can answer this question with at least one authentic answer: “How is what’s going on for me? What’s the real opportunity here?”

And, for the heck of it, without having it “all worked out, i’s dotted and t’s crossed” (which is what a PlayGame™ approach to life is all about), I’ll begin hosting a LIVE zoom video conference a few times a week to support us all to find the blessings in all of this.

But, I won’t be a talking head! If you come, come with the willingness to play this game of life being for us…even in the most challenging of times. And bring your stories and evidence to prove your points!

Note: I don’t have it all worked out yet, so stay tuned for updates…while you practice finding the blessings in all that is going on around you.

That’s your key to sanity, centeredness, and the kind of human being you’ll be when looking back on this…when telling your great grandkids how this time transformed not only you, but the world.

Need some support in gamifying a twist-of-mind new normal around career, business or personal life? Schedule a session here for support in using current situations as an opportunity to uplevel or totally re-game your game.

Got twist-of-mind choice?

“You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
-Marcus Aurelius

Mar 11

March 11, 2020 – JOLT – Amped awareness helps win the game

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“Awareness is the greatest agent for change.” – Eckhart Tolle

Unexpected change is simply not cool…

and, yet, it is the way life happens.

We shoot for having control and orderliness in our lives because it feels, well, controlled and orderly.

And that’s a fun game to play…as long as we realize that we are, in fact, playing a game while dealing with an inherently entropic Universe that has it’s own rules.

For example, your plans have likely been shifted in these past days or weeks by something coming out of the blue which you had no control over: an unexpected business challenge, an unforeseen family issue, an insistent need to wash your hands more than usual, etc.

The fact is that change happens and problems are. Whether we like it or not, change will continue and problems will arise.

Now, I won’t go so far as to propose that you actually, then, start to like them (unless you want to play at an elite level).

But, I will propose that you at least begin to play a game with change and problems…because they’re definitely playing a game with you.

So, to meet them on the playing field, look to see how can you approach them in a way that has you not be defeated and bruised but, rather, evolved as a better player.

One way to win every time is: “How can I grow in greater awareness because of this?

If you’re now having to wash your hands more than usual or to consider how much you touch your face and eyes because you’re “aware” of a need to be conscious, for health reasons, perhaps you can translate that into a similar conscious awareness of…
–how many times I spoke or thought negatively of myself today
–how often did I bite my nails, drive aggressively, or in any other way continue a habit I want to break
–how much time am I putting into my non-business-related self-care each day
…and so many other things it would pay to grow in awareness around.

If the Universe throws you only pitches that can improve your game, how might that awareness change the way you look at seeming curve balls?

Got what seems like a curve ball happening around career, business or personal life? Schedule a session here for support in using it as an opportunity to up your awareness and amp your game.

Got amped awareness?

“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.” – Abraham Maslow

Mar 04

March 4, 2020 – JOLT – March Fourth…with mind over matter

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“Your strongest muscle and worst enemy is your mind. Train it well.” – Anonymous

The pull, as we go through life,…

is to break it down into duality: fact or fiction, real or imagined, matter or mind.

For sure, the ingrained way to go is with the former.

A lot of folks poo poo the idea of impacting circumstances, conditions, what you attract, present-day “reality” and even the past with the mind. For them, what is, is. If I see it, I’ll believe it.

However, more and more pragmatic scientists and engineers, much less those in the healing or spiritual professions, are proving that there’s something outside of the hard-and-fast “facts” going on. They’re demonstrating that, if I believe it, I’ll see it.

And, over the years, there have been a lot of spokes developed under different names and processes which all lead to the hub of that wheel called co-created reality.

Without espousing any particular spoke, I do encourage the dabbling in and with these various paths to the same end: having a guided, joint, or collaborative say in the way life is going to go.

When the fear of a sudden career shift, an unexpected business challenge, or an unwelcome virus shows up on your doorstep…sure, deal with the “real,” but also take some time to create in the realm of the mind/imagination.

Where would you like things to go? What would it feel like when things go that way? Just how long can you allow yourself to feel that way right now?

Setting yourself up with a consciously designed inner game can only help your outer game. What better to march forth with?

Got a career change, business or personal game to design internally before externally? Schedule a session here for not only the practical steps but the “inside job” support.

Got mind over matter?

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary

Feb 26

February 26, 2020 – JOLT – The persistence paradox worth pondering

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“Persistence guarantees that results are inevitable.” – Paramahansa Yogananda

The truth is…

that we just don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

The stories are plentiful: of Oscar winners who had to borrow money to rent a tux for the gala; world famous authors who were rejected by publisher after publisher; and even luminaries who went through 1000 light bulb attempts before shining their light.

Seriously. The number of stories will amaze you…and with folks you never knew faced such challenges. Simply Google “stories of persistence paying off” and you won’t leave your screen uninspired.

The problem is, we often don’t connect the dots of those stories with our own story.

It’s just too darn compelling to throw in the towel, accept the loss, figure it wasn’t meant to be, or in any other way rationalize taking your foot off the gas.

Sure, there are no hard and fast rules in life, and you can bet there are times when you’d be better served to stop beating a seemingly dead horse.

But, given that the pull of that path is so comparatively strong and compelling, where do you draw your personal line of fight, fight, and fight before flight?

It’s a good inquiry to have with yourself, because we all have changes we want to make, dreams we want to see fulfilled, and ambitions we want to satisfy.

Remember though: it’s an inquiry to have with yourself…because the peanut gallery of everyone NOT involved in your changes, dreams and ambitions aren’t always the best opinions to seek.

Unless they are.

Some paradoxes are worth pondering.

Got a change, dream or ambition requiring persistence? Want some non-peanut-gallery input? Schedule a session here. Perhaps there’s only one more step into your blind spot needed for success.

Got persistence paradox?

“Only infinite patience produces immediate results.” – A Course in Miracles

Feb 19

February 19, 2020 – JOLT – You can’t fly if you don’t crack the hangar

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. – Arthur Ashe

For the perfectionists among us…

it can be grueling to move something out of our private skunk works of development onto the tarmac to see if it will fly.

There’s a lot to be said about attempting to do things “right.”

There’s also a lot to be said against it.

Most well-meaning attempts to get it looking good and working perfectly result in delays that could have been cut in half or more if we were simply willing to let our ego sit out for a period.

Sure, if you’re a supposed “expert” and have a thousand of the same things out there like the one you’re about to introduce, maybe you have a reputation to watch.

For most of us, however, we have a long way to go before any substantial tarnishing of our image will result in more than a blip.

However, to at least get to an image, if you want one, you have to play.

The PlayGame™ Method of achieving goals allows players to experiment with a sense of freedom…because anything worth achieving is worth building a game around.

Remember when you were a kid in the mud? You didn’t worry about the mud. You just wanted to play.

You can argue with me that your reputation or image or income may drastically suffer if you took on a similar mindset today…but I’ll challenge you.

What ISN’T moving forward because you’re unwilling to play dirty? And, if that eventually flew, how would that look for your reputation, image or income?

It can’t fly if you don’t bring it out onto the tarmac…and start your own Kitty Hawk.

Just for today, how can you playfully open the door to the hangar of your own private plans to at least begin to at least get rolling, running, or flying?

See what you learned from playing.

Would you like to explore how your own ideas could take flight with a lot more play? Schedule a session here. Just for today, try a more playful approach, and see what happens.

Got cracks in the hangar?

“You don’t have to be great to start. But you have to start to be great.” – Zig Ziglar

Feb 05

February 5, 2020 – JOLT – Play gaming, just for today

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“Just for today, I will let go of anger. Just for today, I will let go of worry. Today, I will count my many blessings. Today, I will do my work honestly. Today, I will be kind to every living creature.” – Mikao Usui

The tough thing we don’t think about…

is that we don’t know when and where our game is complete. Not to get dour, but quite the opposite.

In just hearing from a friend that he and his girlfriend were slammed by a hit-and-run driver on a busy LA freeway, and went into a spin out, I was awakened again to the fact that today is golden… regardless of the challenges, hurdles or leaps involved in the games we’re facing.

Heck, are those challenges real, and boy, oh boy, are those hurdles tall and leaps long. And how great is it that we get to have them!

What we don’t often consider — in the midst of our growth curves — is, as Carly Simon reminds us, that these are the good old days.

These are the good old days… just for today.


Like some support in relishing your challenges, hurdles and leaps? For help enjoying your career or business stretches, schedule a session here. Just for today, have an expert by your side.

Got today just for today?

“Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. I will do at least two things I don’t want to do.” – William James

Jan 29

January 29, 2020 – JOLT – Is it how you play the downside that sustains your upside?

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“Fall seven times, stand up eight. – Japanese Proverb

In a couple more days…

many folks won’t be referencing their New Years resolutions or how this year will be different…because the towel has already been thrown in.

None of us want to be reminded of our seeming inadequacies or failures, so we’ll just change the subject or find a way to laugh it off.

But, what if actually failing — time after time after time after time — is actually your only access to the changes you want?

So, maybe developing a new relationship with crawling back up is where to develop our skills this year, vs trying so hard to not trip or teeter to avoid falling down.

What if it’s the number of times you get up — and the cultivated grace, finesse and confidence with which you do so — that will be the barometer of your growth in 2020?

See you on the downside!

Need some support in standing up powerfully? For an erector-set viewpoint of your career or business goals, schedule a session here. You’ll move forward faster with a demolition and rebuild expert at your side.

Got skilled downsiding?

“What defines us is how well we rise after falling.” – Lionel, Maid in Manhattan

Jan 22

January 22, 2020 – JOLT – Check your bottle at the door?

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“New weapons require new tactics. Never put old wine into new bottles.” – Heinz Guderian

For another few weeks, probably,

we will all continue to hear references to starting the New Year in a new way.

I’ll likely wind down my own references to it soon, and then, as mentioned in a JOLT two weeks ago, we’re back to the fact that we’re ALWAYS in the midst of change and improvement ALL the time…not just at the flip of a calendar page.

As that change is taking place continually, the scriptural reference to putting new wine in old bottles could not be more relevant and worthy of consideration.

Did you put your New Year goals and intentions inside of an old you, with the same beliefs and ways of operating as you had last year?

If so, consider this a wake up call…before all that luscious new wine of hopes and dreams ends up all over the floor.

An old you can’t hold or ferment a new result.

So, as those new goals start pressing against the walls of the old you bottle, know that the goals are not the challenge…but the re-bottling of you may be.

For this year, rather than cast aside your intentions when they seem to be going nowhere, look instead to where and how you can design a new bottle in which to let them brew.

And, even if old the bottles must break at times, an ongoing commitment to re-bottling will mean that at least some new wine will be created in this New Year of New You.

Want to do a bottle check at the door of 2020? For a new vintage review of your career or business goals, schedule a session here. You’ll move forward faster with a committed listener (and master bottler) involved.

Got re-bottling efforts?

“It is an age of stir and change, a season of new wine and old bottles. Yet, assuredly, in spite of breakages and waste, a wine worth the drinking is all the time being made.” – John Galsworthy

Jan 15

January 15, 2020 – JOLT – Really want to achieve those goals? Buy this insurance!

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Self trust is a golden quality to cultivate…

and not enough can be said about developing a sense of inner guidance and self-championship.

However, there’s also something to be said for recognizing one’s own human-ness when it comes to the daily engagement with the ego.

Not to bash the ego, because ambition and drives are part of what moves people and life forward. However, the ego often has a very tricky way of keeping our “self” safe and comfortable…and sometimes inside our “own private Idaho.”

The ego generally drives us for more and better, but can often sabotage our efforts by attachment to old ways of seeing the world, worn out and familiar challenges, or limiting beliefs in our capabilities.

If you or I want to accomplish something we’ve never done before, we simply must act differently and think differently than we have before…and those changes don’t happen inside our comfy, fixed-beliefs bubble.

The answer? Masterminding and accountability.

No matter how smart and effective you already are (or aren’t), there’s only one direction that earnest, vulnerable, and open-kimono engagement with others in a mastermind setting can take you: progress.

Opening the kimono and being willing to reveal your rawness, because it goes against the ego’s desire to “look good,” is a hurdle…but a blessing.

Getting input outside of your own, internal committee of “best thinking” can be challenging…but liberating.

And, committing to another person certain actions you’ll take to move yourself forward — with a “by when” — is a secret key to real growth.

So, given that you are now 1/24th complete with 2020, ask yourself, “Am I serious about these 2020 goals? How will I get the new information I need to support their achievement? And, who will hold me accountable for making the baby steps to get there?”

Find a group. Join a group. Start a group. Masterminding accountability: it does a goal good.

Miss the New Year/New You starting gun? Already have a New Year/New Decade busily in full swing…with seemingly no time to get freshly goaled up? No worries, there’s still time.

For a year-end/year-start review of your career or business goals, schedule a session here. You’ll move forward faster with a committed listener (and questioner) involved.

And for a virtual team of players to hold your goals and commitments moving forward, find out about the upcoming PlayGame Mastermind Accountability Alliance here.

Got goal insurance?

“None of us is as smart as all of us.” – Ken Blanchard