Maximum vs Optimum

Much of what drives us points towards the maximum. We’re looking for more, and acting to get the most.

But sometimes we notice that maximising isn’t always in our best interest. 

As it happens, a lot of the coaching work I do is to help people untangle knots that have arisen from prioritising maximum over optimum.

Often, we chase the maximum based on external (unhelpful) influences, largely unconsciously. This also can work in tandem with primal motivation, driven by fear or greed (again, unconsciously).

When we assess our options from a wiser perspective, we almost always reset the pointer towards the optimum.

It’s worth spending more time finding that wiser perspective.

Optimising for what?

The good news: we’ve never been more capable, never had more resources available to us, never before had so many platforms to go do great work.

The bad news: we’re tripping over ourselves with opportunity.

We can do this, or that, or this other very cool thing. Or we can do all of that and this new latest shiny thing over there.

When it comes to activities and aspirations, we have become experts in addition (it’s fun, makes us feel good, less mortal) but we tend to avoid subtraction (it’s painful, requires tough choices, reminds us of our vulnerability).

This tendency manifests in what is known as ‘priority creep’, where our list of priorities grows over time, thus negating the value of the concept of a priority.

Faced with this bountiful overwhelm, a question I often ask in coaching is “For what are you optimising?” Put another way, what one value stands above all others?

We’ve learned from science that it’s near impossible to optimise for multiple variables i.e. you can change the formula to optimise either x or y, but not both. Sometimes you can improve both (sometimes a rising tide *does* lift all boats) but you can only optimise for one.

So, that’s the hard question for us: what do we optimise for?

Is it health? Is it wealth? Is it security? Is it status? Is it impact? Is it power?

There may well be no one ‘right’ answer for you here, but there is an answer if you’re willing to be brave enough to ask.

Every decision and action you take is positively or negatively impacting every one of the above variables. Only when we’re clear on what we’re optimising for can those decisions and actions align most effectively.

What are you optimising for?

Spring Offsite Series now available

This Easter season we have two Smarter Egg Offsite Days available

  1. Friday, April 12th (at Cork International Hotel)now full, waitlist in operation
  2. Saturday, April 27th (at Garryvoe Hotel)

Our specific theme for these offsites will be habit development/adjustment. We’ll be using James Clear’s excellent “Atomic Habits” as the source for some of our work. All participants will get the book as well as three months of challenge and support.

Many of our aspirations perish on the slippery rocks of habit change. But the encouraging news is that some straightforward adjustments can have a massive impact. Knowing where to start is half the battle.

These offsites work off a proven process and are an excellent return on investment given the affordable fee level of just €295+VAT for such a high quality, high calibre experience.

Get in touch ASAP to grab one of the remaining places – invest in yourself!

 

Why courage trumps pride

In the multiple domains of our complicated professional lives, it’s perfectly normal that some aspects are working better than others.

That’s a very polite way of saying we tend to have areas where we’re struggling.

But in a world where the expected answer to “How are you?” is a version of Great!/Good/Grand, is it any surprise that our pride blinds us from admitting where those struggles lie?

So much of our unnecessary suffering in life comes from our denial of struggle, our refusal to accept or acknowledge that which is unpleasant to us.

That can change.

Just a tiny bit of courage can allow us to take the first step, to allow ourselves to open to the discomfort, and to express that in our own way with someone we trust.

You already know it’s never as bad as you fear, don’t you?

 

Red Chair: Pat Divilly


Pat Divilly is one of Ireland’s most in-demand personal development & wellness speakers as well as being a best-selling author and provider of online courses and content.

This interview with Smarter Egg founder Aodan Enright reveals a lot about Pat’s motivation for doing the work that he does. He talks about his journey from aspirations of being a cage fighter to ups and downs in the fitness world, before finding a breakthrough in the online space.

Pat’s story is fascinating, but equally enthralling are the many lessons he has learned about himself along the way, many of which are useful for us all.

Pat Divilly in the Red Chair at The White Horse (Photo: Donagh Glavin)

 

At the same event, Martin Brennan spoke on the topic of fear, which is referred to several times in Pat’s interview.

This conversation was recorded at a Smarter Egg event at Upstairs at the White Horse, Ballincollig, Ireland in April 2018. The video footage was filmed and edited by AV3 Productions.

If you would like to get on our exclusive events list, getting first notice of forthcoming events along with more behind-the-scenes goodies, just sign up here.

 

Martin Brennan – Our relationship with fear

Martin Brennan is one of Ireland’s top executive coaches and corporate trainers. His experience from over a quarter of a century working at an elite level has generated a lot of wisdom and resources that help him help others.

This fascinating and important talk tackles our potentially dysfunctional relationship with fear. By raising our awareness of how our internal self-talk can significantly impact our actions, Martin sets the stage before guiding us through a range of useful resources.

This was Martin’s second appearance on the Smarter Egg White Horse stage having previously spoken on insights he picked up from his first 25 years in coaching.

Check out a lot more about Martin at Proactive Management.

Martin Brennan, speaking at a Smarter Egg event at The White Horse in April 2018. Photo: Donagh Glavin.

This conversation was recorded at a Smarter Egg event at Upstairs at the White Horse, Ballincollig, Ireland in April 2018. The video footage was filmed and edited by AV3 Productions.

If you would like to get on our exclusive events list, getting first notice of forthcoming events along with more behind-the-scenes goodies, just sign up here.

Red Chair: Dr Ed Coughlan, Skill Acquisition Expert

Dr Ed Coughlan is a globally renowned expert in the area of skill acquisition, working with elite athletes and teams at home and abroad. He also lectures in CIT and UCD.

Ed joined Aodan Enright in the Smarter Egg Red Chair for a live audience interview exploring his perspectives on coaching, education and development.

The conversation explores Ed’s own personal history, how his experiences have shaped his coaching philosophy, and his many conclusions on observing practices in both elite sport and institutional education, including:
* coaches tending to coach the way they were coached
* why a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works
* importance of encouraging students to challenge the message
* creating an environment of “I want to” rather then “I have to”
* the value of constraint-based coaching
* applying his PEAQ model (praise-explore-affirm-question)

Dr Ed Coughlan in the Red Chair, interviewed by Smarter Egg founder, Aodan Enright. Photo: Donagh Glavin.

This conversation was recorded at a Smarter Egg event at Upstairs at the White Horse, Ballincollig, Ireland in February 2018. The video footage was filmed and edited by AV3 Productions.

If you would like to get on our exclusive events list, getting first notice of forthcoming events along with more behind-the-scenes goodies, just sign up here.

Workshop: The significance of timing

Smarter Egg Network at The White Horse

There was a time when we spent most of our effort on questions of What and How.

In recent years, asking Why has become popular, and with very good reason.

It turns out though that we’ve been underestimating the power of asking When, as the timing of our efforts in a range of different fields can have a significant impact on outcomes.

Our next Smarter Egg Network workshop will raise your awareness of the significance of timing and give you a bunch of useful practices to apply to your work the following day.

In great company, in a comfortable setting, with delightful food, you’ll be excited by the conversations you’ll have and find your perspectives shifting from the challenges posed.

We’ll be mining the gold from the best ideas in Daniel Pink’s “When” (our Smarter Egg Network book of the quarter) as well as tapping into the wisdom in the room from an experienced and accomplished gathering of professionals.

As a special reboot, we’re hosting this event at The White Horse. We start with a delicious BBQ in the White Horse beer garden before heading to the Upstairs venue for some workshopping.

Big bonus: Online booking also includes a free copy of When.

WARNING! Attending this event will ensure:

  • You’ll have a memorable evening in great company
  • You’ll be more productive in the days and weeks afterwards
  • You’ll make some new contacts, some of which will be long-term supportive relationships
  • Your colleagues will notice that you’re a person full of sharp new ideas!

Registration is now open.

Red Chair: Gerry Hussey, The Awakening

Gerry Hussey is one of Ireland’s most prominent performance psychologists, working across the domains of sport and business. Best known for his work with successful Olympic teams, Gerry is co-founder of The Awakening, providing coaching and programmes for professionals and organisations.

In this Red Chair conversation with Smarter Egg founder, Aodan Enright, Gerry goes deep on the beliefs that drive him in his life and work. Gerry’s observations are rich in insight, with plenty of takeaways for anyone looking to improve their own performance or help others with theirs.

Gerry Hussey Red Chair

Gerry Hussey in the Red Chair, interviewed by Smarter Egg founder, Aodan Enright. Photo: Donagh Glavin.

This conversation was recorded at a Smarter Egg event at Upstairs at the White Horse, Ballincollig, Ireland in February 2018. The video footage was filmed and edited by AV3 Productions.

If you would like to get on our exclusive events list, getting first notice of forthcoming events along with more behind-the-scenes goodies, just sign up here.

Pat Divilly & Martin Brennan at The White Horse

The Smarter Eggs are back at The White Horse on the evening of Tuesday, April 24th.

Appearing in a special double-bill are renowned executive coach Martin Brennan and author/speaker/adventurer Pat Divilly.

Martin Brennan is one of Ireland’s leading coaches and corporate trainers, having inspired the development of thousands of professionals over three decades.

His Egg Talk remains the most-viewed talk from our White Horse events. Martin’s compassionate and pragmatic approach tends to bring the best out of those with whom he works.

Pat Divilly is an author, speaker and coach who has built a huge audience in recent years with his inspiring message on health and wellness.

He runs workshops and programmes, both in person and online, and has published books on nutrition and performance. Here’s Pat on the Late Late Show.

 

Guests will also enjoy delicious food from The White Horse kitchen before heading upstairs for some inspiration and entertainment.

A night out for the mind, and the soul.

Smarter Eggs at The White Horse is a different kind of business event. In an intimate music venue, you connect with inspirational people and get to hear their stories up close and personal. Add in some delicious food, and sparkling conversation, and you have an evening that will inspire and delight.

To ensure you don’t miss out on future events, you can join hundreds of very smart eggs on our mailing list here