When I think about summer, I have so many wonderful images that come to mind.  I can feel the warmth of a hot summer day and the energy that comes from having light in the sky late into the evening.  I can smell the barbecue and the fresh cut grass, the coconut smell of sunscreen and a brand new golf glove just out it's packaging.   I hear the sounds of children laughing and playing, lawnmowers cutting, music playing and water.  Water seems to play an important part of my summer memories.  Whether I was fishing in it, swimming in it, sitting beside it, hitting golf balls into it, boating on it or drinking it, all of my holidays included it.  They also included the tastes of summer.  Summer meant different foods but whether it was a slice of watermelon, burgers, corn on the cob or something that wasn't a summer meal at all, it seemed to taste better when it was eaten outside. 

In the summer we got to see places that we didn't know much about until we got to go there, and wherever it was you tended to see them at their best.  There are so many sights and sounds and smells and tastes of summer, but for me what I really remember are the feelings.  Do you remember the feeling of leaving school on the day that signified the start of your summer vacation?  I experienced a similar feeling on the last day of work before a one week or two week vacation, but it wasn't the same.  I remember the feeling of peace and freedom that came with the vacation.  As a dad I remember feeling that I was actually getting to know my kids.  I remember the feeling of being totally relaxed.  When I was working fifty weeks a year and vacationing for two I remember the feeling of being rewarded for all of my hard work.  I remember how much better I was after being refreshed and recreated.  I remember thinking that I should be able to put more of these feelings into the other fifty weeks.

For many people a few weeks off in the summer months is their version of having balance in their lives. 

As a coach, I work with people to help them to define and reach their goals quicker, but always with an eye on doing so within a balanced life.  I once had a client who was a leader in his industry, had accumulated a great deal of wealth and had an ex wife who could tell you that his blood pressure was high and he hadn't had much fun in years.  When he started being brilliant in all aspects of his life and not just a few, he was truly successful.
To start the coaching relationship my clients have the opportunity to depict graphically their level of satisfaction with various areas of their lives.  By choosing a number from 0 (center of the wheel) to 10 (perimeter of the wheel) that represents their level of satisfaction for each section of the wheel and drawing a line parallel to the outside of the wheel at the appropriate number, they create a visual picture of the balance in their life.  The goal is to get the wheel as balanced as possible, with the numbers in each section as high as possible.  Like a tire on a car if the wheel is not in balance things don't run as smoothly as they could.

Club Managers and all of the people who work with them have an incredible opportunity to help their members to have a more balanced life.  There are so many chances to create experiences to give them more fun and recreation, better health, a wonderful environment, education and wonderful memories of times with their friends, family or significant other.

But, what about the Club Managers and their people?

For many, the summertime could be the least balanced time of the year, because that is when all of the members are there, or that is when the long hours are worked, or that is when they have the least time to take care of themselves or their families and that is just the way it is.

As a coach I challenge my clients to question the beliefs they have decided to believe.  They may choose to believe that to the extent they take care of themselves they will be more brilliant at taking care of others.  Have you ever been on a flight and hear the flight attendant say "If you are flying with a young child and the cabin loses pressure you should put the oxygen mask on yourself first".  This idea flies in the face of the "I have to take care of everyone else before I take care of myself concept".  The reality is that when we or our people have energy, good health and are free from the resentment and guilt of not taking care of ourselves or significant others, we can be so much better at delivering those extraordinary experiences to our members.

Are you able to create incredible summer memories for your members?
Do you and the people you work with have time to create your own outstanding summer memories?
Can you find time to do nothing?
Can you create an hour of down time on a busy day of work?
Are you getting your needs met to enable you to help others get theirs met?
Is there more or less time for the family in the summer?
Will you make time this summer to just "be"?
Will you have time to think, plan and dream?
Is your life in balance?

Balance is important, and there are many ways to achieve it.  In February of this year I was invited to travel to Thailand with Jon Fisher and over 30 people from Willow Park Golf and Country Club in Calgary.  Jon created some incredible "summer memories" for his members in February.  He created a community of people that didn't know each other well before the trip and have many new friends to create Calgary summer memories with.
All of our senses were treated to tropical memories as the temperature in Calgary was 70 degrees celcius cooler.

Be creative and have an amazing summer!

SummerTime, and the Living is Easy

by Kevin MacDonald
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