are intrigued with the notion of personal evolution (as the next
generation of personal development), then you will enjoy this session.
The two basic sources of Personal Evolution are 1) Design environments
which stimulate you in surprising ways and 2) Experiment
continuously. The former mimics nature/weather, and the latter mimics
genetic mutation. This is an advanced class; be prepared to evolve your
own thinking about people, success and personal development. Personal
evolution is a very different ball game.
Single session/one hour.
What does the term Personal Evolution mean?
1. We are saying that people can evolve not just develop themselves.
Meaning that one's way of thinking, behavior, capacities, skill sets and
paradigms aren't just limited to developing (linearly) over time but can
in fact, actually evolve over time, meaning that they alter, become more
complex, take on a different life; far beyond what the person may have
designed or planned for. There is a wild adventure beyond just
development. (Development means more/better of the same; evolution
means something new added to the mix that fundamentally changes it
2. We are saying that personal evolution is similar to biological
Just as mutations/genes are favored in the plants and animals in nature
by the influence of changing environments (think of the mutation that
made some hares white in colder climates; they had a distinct advantage
over brown hares in the winter in those colder area and thus are all
that survived. But it all started with a chance mutation that was then
favored due to changing weather/environmental conditions.
1. Ask: What do you think of when you think of personal evolution?
2. Ask: If humans hadn't been personally evolving over the past 2000
years, where would we be thinking from?
3. Ask: What other similarities do you see between personal and
What makes personal evolution
so vital, different and valuable?
1. The shift is from 'developing/relying upon yourself' to designing
stimulating environments that will do all of that for you. So, it's
like delegating your future development to environments. This provides
a sense of relief, and as long as the environments you've
chosen/designed are radical/perfect/stimulating enough they will evolve
automatically themselves, thus keeping you evolving as well.
2. Folks are getting tired of relying upon themselves. After all
companies rely on systems for success. Why shouldn't people be able to
do this as well? Evolution/environments are a great system to outsource
your success to.
3. Personal development theory, programs and principles are are linear
in nature and are not developing/expanding fast enough to keep up with
exploding amount of the unique and special needs that individuals have.
The Personal Evolution approach provides a mass customization solution
to the heretofore linear personal development path. Personal
development programs tend to be cookie cutter or top-down theory.
Personal evolution is an architecture. Big difference.
1. Ask: How would personal evolution so vital/useful today in YOUR
life? How would you benefit significantly?
2. Ask: What would concern you about shifting your focus from yourself
to your environments?
3. Ask: How would you integrate your personal evolution with your
How does one evolve themselves?
Become a constant experimenter.
When you experiment a lot, you are 'mutating' just like cells do, which
can be good. Experimenting leads to discovery, which leads to awareness
which leads to evolution.
Design environments which stimulate you in surprising ways.
Key is to become facile with designing multiple types of environments.
Here's a graphic that describes several environments.
1. Ask: How much of a constant experimenter are you? Why do you
experiment at that level? What would it take to double or triple that
level of experimenting?
2. Ask: What or who is your most evolving environment currently?
3. Ask: What's the next/first environment that you see to begin
improving or perfecting?
What are the types of virtual
and non virtual environments that one would design?
1. Ask: Which of these environments is a surprise to you?
2. Ask: Which of these environments are evolving you well already?
3. Request: Pick one environment above and describe how you would
perfect it so that it would stimulate you in surprising ways.
Personal Evolution Strategies
Copyright 1999 by Thomas J.
Leonard. Duplication permitted when intact and with attribution for
licensees. Questions? Email
Last updated: March 29, 1999
To evolve more quickly
1. Surround yourself with new
ideas instead of recycling your beliefs.
Beliefs can limit your
ability to experience life as it unfolds.
2. Make chaos your friend.
The unexpected is a good thing as long as you're open to it.
3. Let your environments do most of your evolutionary work for you.
Evolution occurs as you adapt to such environments.
4. Use tolerations to your advantage.
Every single thing you are putting up with is an opportunity
waiting to be leveraged.
5. Constantly experiment.
Synchronicity is the reward.
6. Spend more time in nature.
Nature nourishes and recalibrates our natural systems.
7. Become the host of a thriving network.
Let your network evolve you as you serve them.
8. Continuously integrate all aspects of your life.
Integration evolves you from being needlessly complicated to being
9. Invest in your virtual environments, not just your physical
Life is becoming more virtual.
10. Design your sources of energy.
You can then operate at a higher frequency.
11. Become superconductive.
Reduce the energy you consume by 90% by reducing your resistance to
12. Master the evolving set of Cyber Skills.
Extend your intelligence by connecting with everyone.
13. Surround yourself with people who are eagerly evolving.
They spark you. You spark them. Evolution occurs effortlessly.
14. Stop resisting.
Assimilate events the first time they occur.
15. Choose a goal that is bigger than you are.
Be pulled forward by it, instead of pushing yourself.
16. Get over yourself in every possible way.
Arrogance holds you back.
17. Learn how you naturally operate.
Come to honor your personal dynamic.
18. Know your gifts.
And design your life to fully express them.
19. Emotionally heal.
Healing maximizes your emotional IQ.
20. Cause something and surprise yourself.
Initiative is a muscle.
21. Make what you don't know more interesting than what you do know.
Enjoy learning more than teaching.
1. Ask: Which one of these is most appealing to you right now?
2. Ask: Which is one that you'll likely never do in your life?
3. Ask: Are there any other strategies you can think of to add to this
Personal Evolution approach work and what are the primary benefits of
the this approach?
1. Rather than just setting goals and pushing oneself to reach those
goals, you instead design multiple environments (home, car, office, what
you read, friends, colleagues, networks, nature, tools, feelings,
thinking, etc.) and let the environments work on you.
2. By surrendering to extremely well designed environments (tangible and
intangible), you can afford to take your eye off the future to a large
extent, thus freeing you up to overrespond (a good thing; read more
about 'overresponding to every event' in the Attraction Program; it's
one of the 28 Attraction Principles) to your environment and the
events/stimulation that occurs in those environments.
3. The client can chill out, relax and stop trying to figure everything
out or push themselves so hard. With well designed environments, the
next step becomes apparent. No need for constant decision making,
motivation. The environments carry you forward.
1. Ask: How has personal evolution worked for you in the past, and how
do you feel it will begin working for you now, given that you now
understand more if its dynamic?
2. Ask: Do you have any goals that you would resist trusting to the
environmental approach? What risks do you see to this approach?
3. Ask: Do you feel that you would still be successful in life, if you
used the environmental approach? If so, why? If not, why not?
To whom does the notion of
Personal Evolution appeal?
1. To the individual who has done significant work on themselves and is
reaching the point of diminishing returns.
2. To the individual who has reached their goals in life and can afford
to become someone other than who they have been.
3. To the truly leading edge type person who has a love affair with the
unknown vs trying to make sense of the known.
4. To the person who can afford to have their status quo turned upside
5. To the person who would rather delegate their future/success than
relying upon just themselves to succeed/grow.
1. Ask: Why is the notion of personal evolution appealing to you?
2. Ask: How, specifically, do you feel that personal evolution will
appeal to your clients?
3. Ask: Who do you feel isn't right for personal evolution?
What are the key
shifts to make in thinking and behavior?
From self-centric to environment-centric.
From analyzing/figuring stuff out to frequent experiments to see what
From role-based to collaboration-based.
From reaction-based to proactive/initiative-based.
From having to know to wanting to discover through action.
1. Ask: What's the shift you have already make during this call?
2. Ask: What is a shift that you'll probably need to make in order to
get the most out of the personal evolution concept?
3. Ask: What's a shift that you are resisting?
What mistakes do people
make with the idea of Personal Evolution?
There are several mistakes or misapplications of this idea that we've
1. They surrender to environments before they have crafted them
2. They see personal evolution as an 'answer to their problems' when in
fact, they may need to address real problems/integrity issues head on
before they advanced to the personal evolution approach.
3. They want to and do use Personal Evolution as a way to achieve a
specific result, which isn't how evolution is built to work; personal
evolution is a byproduct of stimulating environments and constant
experimentation. If you need a specific result, you can still benefit
from personal evolution, but you've missed the point.
4. They only think about the obvious environments to tweak; look at the
chart above; there are 7 categories and many types of environments.
Work on all of them until they are designed to your satisfaction.
1. Ask: What mistakes have you made with personal evolution thus far in
2. Ask: What mistakes have you avoided?
3. Ask: What mistakes will you likely continue to make with personal
What is the measure of
learning; how your students will know if they are getting it about
Here are some positive indicators...
1. The person shifts from being identity-centric to being
environment-centric. They start caring less about themselves and their
goals and come to enjoy the process of over-responding to events
triggered by their environments.
2. The person becomes less self-referencing and has less of a need to
prove their knowledge or position in the world. This, due the humbling
effects of being environment-centric. You realize that it's all about
environments really; not so much about you anymore.
3. The person takes FAR GREATER care in their environments; they come to
be used by their environments (in a good way) vs just using environments
as tools to get something done faster. There is a greater respect for
environments as the catalyst of a person's growth and/or the
opportunities that environment bring a person.
4. The person comes to have a highly collaborative/intimate relationship
with environments in all forms (tangible, intangible, virtual,
non-virtual). There is a partnership there; not just a utilitarian
relationship. The environments take on an almost magical quality.
5. The person finds themselves experimenting much more often; especially
about little things vs taking 'big risks.' Experimentation is a muscle
that they come to enjoy flexing. Experimentation becomes a source of
enjoyment and pleasure, not a sign of desperation because they waited
too long to make a change.
6. The person has less of a need to make 'big decisions.' This, because
they are make incremental choices more often, often via experimenting
1. Ask: What was your first indication that you were 'getting it'
regarding personal evolution?
How would you use Personal
Evolution with 1 to 1 clients?
You can weave in some of the
theories/principles in with your current coaching of clients. Just
broach the topic by asking something like:
"Have you ever heard of the notion of Personal Evolution?"
"I'm wondering if one of the principles of personal evolution might fit
with your situation?"
"You know, I bet that you might benefit if we took a little time to
perfect the design of your personal and business environments. Would
that be of interest to you?"
1. Ask: How do you, or could you, weave in some of the principles of
personal evolution with your clients?
2. Ask: In what situations do you feel sharing a principle of personal
evolution would be helpful to your client?
3. Ask: How would you explain/share the notion of personal evolution, in
a single sentence?
What resources are
available at the Personal Evolution site?
There are many! Below a partial list.
Top 10 Trends Evolving Us the Most
This will help you make sense of how we are evolving, as well.
The 21 Personal Evolution
Why Awareness Matters In
This Top 10 Lists describes how important heightened awareness is in the
evolutionary process. Viewable here.
Top 10 Things of Which to Be Fully Aware
Awareness accelerate evolution.
Top 10 Steps To Becoming More Aware.
You Know You're Evolving When....
A list of 500+ indicators of personal evolution as shared by students
who've graduated from the Personal Evolution course.
programs related to Personal Evolution?
Yes. There are several. Personal Evolution is an advanced program.
Typically a person would first take these program in order to 'afford'
the significant changes that Personal Evolution would call for. That
said, however, not everyone needs to go through the 'hoops' listed
below. Some folk can start right at the top and work their way down.
Clean Sweep Program
100 elements of your life to clean up/perfect. When your 'integrity' is
restored in these 100 specific areas, one has more natural energy and
can move forward much more quickly in life.
Personal Foundation Program
10 pillars to strengthen the foundation of your life. When your
foundation is strong, one has far, far fewer problems in life.
Steps to move beyond mere sufficiency. With reserves come the ability
to respond to opportunity vs being stuck in survival.
There are 28 principles of attraction and the basic idea is by
implementing these principles that success, happiness and opportunities
find YOU, vs you looking for/chasing them.
Absence Of Program
Often, it's the absence of things that let one move forward in life more
easily, without the resistance that is typically encountered. Think
absence of regrets, problems, delay, processing, resistance, confusion,
thinking etc. Think superconductivity.
What should the
coach do/know in order to be able to teach personal evolution?
1. Make 10 changes in your environments.
2. Listen to the RealAudio, or take the live version of the Personal
Evolution TeleClass ($49 upgrade free for GSC for the live TeleClass
version, $99 for CV members). You'll learn the content you need to know
as well as hear questions that your students will likely pose to you.
3. Be in the place in your life where you're willing to let go of
strategies/methods you've used to date in order to grow, develop,
success and have a desire to become a full time experimenter who can't
wait to design environments that stimulate in surprising ways and then
surrender to those environments.
1. Ask: What do you feel that you need to do or learn before you would
be comfortable conducting a class on personal evolution?
Are there logos available?
Yes, here they are:
How can this program be packaged/structured?
1. In all the typical ways: TeleClass, workshop, training, as part of 1
to 1 coaching. (Note, only GSC members and license
holders may offer this program in groups. All others may use
it 1 to 1.) Currently, you cannot create/release an ecourse
version given we are working on one ourselves which will be the official
2. We suggest that you begin by educating clients on the various types
of virtual and non virtual environments. That gets them into the design
mode and they'll naturally become continual experimenters when you give
them something exciting (multiple environments) to play with.
3. You could create a simple game that folks would
make 10 large or small changes to their environments that would cause
them to be stimulated in surprising ways. That's the beginning of the
Personal Evolution Process.
1. Ask: Are there any other ways to package/deliver the personal
do you convert a TeleClass participant to be a client?
One way to attract clients to your coaching practice is to offer free or
fee TeleClasses where the public can get to know you via a TeleClass
that you are offering. To that end, there are several strategies that
work to upsell a TeleClass participant to becoming a 1 to 1 coaching
client. (Again, please note, the option to offer this program to
groups, ie in TeleClasses, is only available to GSC members and license
holders. If you are not one of those, the below suggestions are
for your interest only. )
1. Weave in examples of how your 1 to 1 clients have used the personal
evolution approach to become more successful/happy in their lives. This
builds credibility both for you as a coach and for the power of the
personal evolution idea, but don't exaggerate, obviously. Rather, be
casual about it; mention it, but don't push it.
2. When a participant shares a challenge or an 'ah ha,' you can build on
that with something like:
"Yes, that's a perfect example of a change to make in order to make the
most of your evolution. I've found that it takes a couple of
weeks/months to work through that." They'll get the message that you're
3. When you have designed a series of impressive environments, they can
do the selling for you. When you share the natures of these and what
you've done with them, the participant will get that it's all craftable/designable
and will hire you as their environmental design consultant, so to speak.
4. Finally, a person who has adopted the environmental/personal
evolution approaches comes across in a distinct way. After all, the
participants in the TeleClass are an environment for the coach; and the
folks on the call will sense that and bond with you in a collaborative
way. And that feeling of openness/collaboration is highly attractive to
Debriefing Questions at End of Call
1. What did you learn that surprised you?
2. What did you learn that affirmed something you are already doing
along this line?
2. At what point during the call did you realize that this TeleClass was
an evolving environment?
3. What will you do now, with what you learned?
Important Notes: We welcome you to share the above
one on one with your clients. For
authorization to lead this course to
groups in person, via the web, via email and via TeleClass,
consider joining the
Graduate School of Coaching, which includes a group training license for
this and 13 other client programs. Full details
For a list of the upcoming
training guides such as the one above,
click here. These training guides are also included in the GSC
Or, if you prefer to
consider the license for the Personal Evolution alone, full details are
available by clicking here.
copyright 2002 by
graduateschoolofcoaching.com. no duplication.