Have it Your Way

Easy Breezey Free Flow and Quick instead of Slow Complex Strenuous and Frustrating.

Want to know the difference?

I’ll show you in just a minute.

This blog post was born last week with a trip to the Sunshine State. In fact, many posts will eventually come from that mind-blowing weekend among the wisdom of our teachers and the engagement of the working students of the Steve Chandler Coaching Prosperity School.

Now, on to the examples…

I used to pack LOTS of clothes for any trip I took. TONS. I always enjoyed having an array of options of clothing for different circumstances, activities or weather, when away from home. On camping trips or roadtrips or flying trips, I always wanted to bring lots to be comfortable with whatever came up.

So, when flying this means that I had been bringing a very full suitcase, a stuffed backpack and a laptop case too.

Not this time. I remembered the feeling of dragging all that stuff through the airport and decided to fit all my clothes for the weekend into a carry-on. I left the laptop at home.

So as I walked past the long line of people waiting to check bags, and quickly passed through security, I was laughing at the simplicity of my airport experience. In fact, I kept waiting for someone to mention that my carry-on was too big or I couldn’t have my backpack too, or whatever.

It just went from a really complex frustrating and difficult situation, to simple and easy and quick.

The same day, as I landed in L.A.X. and picked up the rental car, I made it to the hotel and had some lunch and got a quick rest in before heading down the coast for an afternoon of sightseeing and later dinner with family.

This example is about driving on the PCH 1 Highway through L.A.

I’ve done this before. I blogged about it last week.

Here is something else worth mentioning: To make a plan to look at the ocean as you drive south through the connecting city-plexes and beach systems along the coast, it can be a challenge.

In many cases, the PCH 1 highway doesn’t follow very closely to the ocean’s edge. To get those views of the Blue, I was popping down alternate roads, neighborhood cul-de-sacs and generally bumping into lots of complexity.

See that’s the way the edge of the coast is. Complex. There are little peninsulas and harbors and beaches. They all have little roads that scatter across and down and back, but not really one continuous road right on the water’s edge. Waaaay up north in California, this same road, does exactly that. Not in So Cal.

So I spent the afternoon, quite happily, bumping along and attempting to see cool coastline and ocean views. I saw some. I saw lots of other stuff too. Like stoplights and shopping centers, houses and houses and houses. Some beach areas, which surprisingly are hard to enjoy while zipping thru traffic and trying not to crash my rental car.

Eventually, I had driven long enough that my right foot was cramped up, and I began to use my left. I just kept on though. Over 5 hours I spent driving and then had a fun and tasty dinner with Bob and Caroline, Stacy, Don and Jeff. It was a pleasure to see them!

My trip back to the hotel?? I jumped on the 5 to the 405 to the 90, the freeway, and blasted home in relative ease. I think it took an hour and half at most.

It was a highly simplified way to travel. It wasn’t a shortcut, just a much more efficient way to get from A to B.

So, one more of these examples was my trip to Venice Beach. Wow. What a MOVING and interesting place to be!

My first day in L.A. I had arrived at Venice by leaving the hotel parking lot, driving next to the water, and keeping on going and turning, following through little apartment complexes and over bridges, until I saw some indication of the Beach. I got there in 15 min or so. Not too shabby for a Kansas kid! I didnt’ use a map or anything, and I found my way to a cute little lunch spot, and a walk out on the pier.

A couple days later, I was up early, from the transformative and thought shocking exercises of the Coaching School. I decided to go for a walk. I had seen the marina out front the day before, so I walked out the back doors of the hotel and into an alley. I made my way down and around the alley, only to find the very same street I had been on before, when I ate lunch at Venice Beach!

In fact, I was only a few blocks away from the pier and beach and everything! I walked down to the water’s edge, waaaay faster than I could have driven there, from my previous knowledge of ‘the way to the beach’ experience.

Really?!? Yes.

I was in fact already closer than I ever realized and the back-door walking route was easy cheezey breezey and my hour long walk along the powerful ever relentless crashes and undulations of the waves proved quite monumental.

So, what is the connecting theme between all of these instances? Why have I spent your valuable time and attention on this??

It’s all about Choices. The Choice is what creates the shortcut. The quicker, easier, more direct route. The more specific the Choice, the more efficient the path can be found.

See, when I packed a bunch of clothes to cover every possible weather condition, dressing style (which is a joke!) and activity, I really hadn’t made true choices. I had just made a lot of options avaible to choose later. And I paid for that in time wasted and energy expended.

Same goes for driving down the coast. I thought ‘well, I’ll just stick close to the water, and see what sights show up. Then I’ll have the option to pull off wherever I want.” Yeah, but… that plan requires a much greater depth of knowledge of the areas than I possess. Or that I was willing to acquire on my phone’s gps while flying along in traffic. I went down so many dead ends and turnarounds, and missed turns that my trip involved lots of wasted time and energy (again).

Sure, I appreciated the sights. Had I CHOSEN specific places to visit first, then I could have planned a much more efficient route and actually stopped to soak in those places, because of all the extra time and energy.

AND, my trip to the beach, out the back-door?? Well that’s just silly. Had I made a Choice to learn from someone or something with directions, instead of just trying to figure it out on my own? I would have spent both of my valuable mornings walking the sands and feeling God’s power in the surf. So it turns out, I was blessed with dumb luck. 🙂

Every action we take in our lives is truly Our Choice. We do have this wonderful option right at our fingertips. We make choices constantly, whether we realize it or not. The key is that if we focus on making those choices as specific and intentional and heart-inspired as possible, then we can get the right directions.

If we’re stuck, or frustrated, feeling like things are slow and complicated, taking too long and less enjoyable than we just know they could be, there is one thing to check on: Have we made a real solid specific Choice?

In my experience, using this awesome power we have, isn’t a shortcut or cheating. It does feel like it though. It becomes almost effortless and we get to the good stuff so much faster. So why not choose??

Life will keep on passing by, no matter how frustrated we are with it. That’s when you know it’s the perfect time to Rise Up and Choose!


Aaron Nichols



So Cal So Much So What?

Driving mile after mile along the Pacific Coast Highway today, I relived my 2010 roadtrip that included this same route through L.A. and south along the beachfronts.

At the time, I considered it a life-altering turning point.

Today however, as I saw the same landmarks, enjoyed the same ocean and realized that the free-wheeling sense of adventure I’d sparked on that trip, has not only continued to burn, but it burned away the old, and new has regrown.

See, one thing that stuck out in my mind from the first time I raced through L.A. traffic, was the cars, the homes, the sense of indulgence that bathes the boulevard, like the sunshine itself.

Back then, this indulgent display irked me. I saw it all as a farce.

It was the vast amounts of money running down the road on four-wheels, (in my mind) with fat payment books dragging behind them. The spanish villas piled up on top of each other bothered me too, each one scraping and clawing at the other for a peek of ocean.

The contrast of worlds, vs  my home, my car, my way of life, was shocking my system.

I felt offended somehow that all this ‘stuff’ existed, that it seemed to be worshipped and idolized and I let it get to me.


Let’s go back shall we?

Remember, the summer of 2010 was a time that  I had recently accomplished my journey to debt-freedom. I was deeply deeply entrenched against any and all things that were ‘bought’ with borrowed money. I felt such a huge release and empowerment from paying off every penny of debt in my life, that I could envision this for everyone else too, and I wanted it bad.

Bad enough to quit my job. Bad enough to pour myself into learning an entirely new trade. And resting my happiness on whether or not, people started to feel and see, the same things that I felt and saw…………

oh, shit.

bad plan.

Here’s the thing that was Crystalized today with my run down the One, with the same surf and sun and flashy cars and amazingly beautiful homes…

All that angst and bitterness had nothing to do with the kompressors and the villas. It was inside of me.

See, even though I had reached my personal goals of debt freedom. Even though I had made these bold moves and launched myself into an exciting adventure, the person I did that with, was still the old me.

I have learned so much since then. And the results have created a change and a new understanding. But all through the failures of my first intentions.

What I recognize now, is that I was stuffed full of Victim Behavior for as long as I can remember. This Victim Behavior is a system that was perfect for producing the results in my life that I had. For a long time they had good and bad results.

And since we’re talking about financial stuff, I’ll just stick with that concept here 🙂

So anyway, in my Victim-ness I had made decisions that racked up silly loans, credit card debt, and all that jazz. Probably, because I thought things like: “life is short, I better play hard,” and other excuses for taking the easy road to ‘stuff.’

So in that very same Victim mode, I saw what I had done to myself, my finances, then became bitter and upset with that. So I railed against my former behaviors, changed them up, and moved out of the red hole of debt and into the black.

Even with this accomplishment, it was a black place to be mentally.

As long as I looked at these outside objects, or past decisions as my problems in life, I was going to remain hostage to them. A self-induced imprisionment.

So visiting California for the first time?? I saw a bunch of ‘stuff’ that went against my proudly donned armor of frugality and budget conciousness… Or did it??

Truthfully, I have NO IDEA who has a payment on the cars on these roads. I have no idea about the cost or the expenditures or the reserve accounts of anyone out here…

And it doesn’t matter.


Today, as I drove along, I enjoyed the beautiful german driving machines. I was in awe of  the detail and asthetics of the beachfront estates, mansions and even the bungalows.

I have new eyes to see with. They are the eyes of an Owner.

This Victim vs. Owner concept comes from a man that I respect and admire: Steve Chandler. I’ll be hanging out with him tomorrow.

An Owner doesn’t spend his time worrying or thinking about what other people are doing with their money, or their car or their whatever.

An Owner doesn’t much care at all, unless there is a request from someone to help, and caring may serve that person.

An Owner is going to be in his space, thinking about his own life and how specatacular it is. Because every single part of it, is something he Chose to create. He accepts all the past choices. He’s focused on the Now. His Actions implement new systems to produce new results, and, as a byproduct is a much, much happier individual.

These are things Dave Ramsey didn’t teach me…


Actually, if it weren’t for Dave, I wouldn’t met Steve. But if it weren’t for Wayne, I wouldn’t have been open to Casey who told me about Dave… and blah, blah, blah…

Through the last few weeks of working with coaching clients, real people, just like you and me, I’ve introduced them to this concept of Victim vs. Owner.

Through my drive today, I can feel that this concept has taken real root in me.

I didn’t see things to be offended by today. I saw beauty and possiblity, and ideas for my future. The people enjoying this stuff right now? I tip my hat to them, I wish them the best.

I wish to see them again soon.

And maybe I’ll be the one with a flashy car next time.

Not because it makes me better than I am right now. Just because we get to choose our own lives. We get to create what we want. When we become Owners of our own lives, we can get to work building that creation.

I’m clocking in at 9:00 a..m. Pacific tomorrow, for another weekend full of learning this craft of Coaching with real life, heavy hitters, who’ve proven that truly serving and truly helping others, creates amazing success for everyone involved.

See ya soon, back home, with Love.


Aaron Nichols

The Real Thing Baby

So I get on this blog and pop the keys about life and experiences, God, Jesus and my adventures in coaching.

And when it comes to coaching, a lot of time, my studies and education come in the form of soaking up new ideas and material. Using audio programs, books and peer coaching, I am a full time student, with fantastic teachers. 🙂

But not this week.

This week it was all about the real thing baby!

Four individuals took time to block out a space of their schedule to really look at what’s going on and where they’re at.

Nothing wrong with where we’re at.

Unless we’d like to choose something different, or better, or truer. Or less frustrating.

So we looked at how that could happen, what was missing.

And when we did…

Magic showed up!

These people. Good Ole Regular People like you and me, became Alive with possibility and genius and potential. They instantly created useful tools to lever themselves out of a jam, or into a new world. One they’re now creating, and owning, instead of living the same ole default story.

I personally spent over 7 1/2 hours this week, in one-on-one powerful conversations, in real life, and true shifts happened.

In these moments it’s so clear, that People Are Amazing Beings!

I love this coaching stuff so much. The revelations, gooselumps, the tears and the goodbye hugs were indicators of something real happening. In the real world.

The one we live in.

So, I’m not bringing another clever and newfangled metaphor to your handy IPad, SmartyPhone or Dinosaur-Desktop Screen in this post.

Don’t need ’em tonight. The real life version is much better.

Does this mean that my blogging days are over?


BUT, I will say that opportunities are opening up, and movement is happening. And it all was sparked by making a Choice. A Choice to make a bold request of myself, and of others. And seeds previously planted are not only sprouting for me, but Blooming for the folks who are taking a step forward for themselves.

Next week, I’ll update with a grin, as I am once again Out West. On the Cali coastline.

I’ll have a fairly full day of a direct flight to L.A. then a rent-a-car as far up or down the coast as I wish. Excited; is not word enough!

After a play day, it’ll be onto higher education in the personal presence of coaching masters like Steve Chandler, Michael Neil and Ron Wilder, and many others.

My conversations this week? A couple were wide-open, discovery sessions that led to hidden treasures.

Not all were searching though…

One in particular, was quite serious and action oriented. The eyes tell it all. They have made the choice to Find, Focus, and Create their world, the way they’ve decided it will be.

B-R-A-V-O! and Watchout World! We’re not taking life lying down anymore!


Aaron Nichols

TGIF!! And Other things I don’t believe in anymore…

First off, it’s 2 O’Clock a.m.

When you’re whole life has become one long and adventurous weekend, it’s okay to sit around and wait for ideas to brew till 2 a.m., if you’re committed to writing your blog.

Don’t worry about me, I’ll just sleep in 🙂

Then garden,

Then be a fry cook,

Then choose to spend the late afternoon and evening however feels right.

Is this a good place to be today? I think so.

To find out where I was in my past in early June; tonight, I reviewed my 2010 Journal.

An excerpt from June 9th, 2010

“… Thank you God for bringing together all that I ask for and sliding Dave Ramsey’s book into my path. I hope I’ve proven that shown an open door, I will jump through it with a leap of faith and love and joy 🙂 This position is electric and I appreciate this moment so much. God please lead people to me who need help and I will work with them, through you to bring hope and happiness to your people… Thanks Again 🙂 Praise God!!”

I resigned from my job the next day.

Funny, idn’t it?

I just happened to flashback tonight in my journal, not something I usually do.

It’s been two years almost to the day, and “appreciating the moment”, is something I still choose to do very often in my everyday world.

Not every single moment, but enough.

I’ve learned so much since that journal entry was written. So much has happened.

So much hasn’t happened.

So much help is yet to be done, if it’s God’s will, that I am to provide it.

Just this week, more doors are being opened and I am still jumping through them.

This life change decision of mine from 2 years ago, has been anything but easy.

I could list tons of awesome and plenty of terrible consequences of it.

The key is though, that I Chose It. I Asked for it. I wanted to be in that position.

And this position is electric, still.

And please; don’t confuse my weekend lifestyle with notions like; “we’re all just workin’ for the weekend.” Or that “we need a weekend getaway.” Or “Thank God it’s Friday because I hate my job, and my weekdays so much that I need to escape into the weekend.”

Those days are behind me.

And yes I still do work now too.

However, now, when I’m a fry cook, or a graphics guy, I’m being present and bringing my best in that moment, and it feels better than a getaway.

It’s appreciation and creativity and production all in one Now moment. Real Good Work.

The most fun though, is my time with another person in Coaching. “Electric” doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling of working one-on-one and participating in Coaching. It’s something I absolutely do not want to “finish up”, or “get through”, or “clock out of”.

I want as much of it as I can get. It’s a life enhancing drug, and I’m addicted.

Yes, just like my work with Westminster Presbyterian Church, and our Men’s Group, and my Garden, and my nephews, and my blisteringly refreshing sobriety, and planning roadtrips, and motorcycle rides, and even the future paths of our lives, with the love of my life, my shining star and heavenly blessing, Lindsay 🙂

I’m addicted to all that good stuff, and I experience it all the time.

And That, is a big difference from a couple years ago.

This life and this moment is something I absolutely do not want: Escape From.

Praise God.


Aaron Nichols


Puppy Love

People offer us Puppies.

Hey Aaron and Lindsay, You like dogs! We’re going to have puppies soon, and the Mom is a great blah-blah-blah with no papers, and we’re pretty sure the Dad is a such-and-such and we think they’re going to be real cute!

So You’d take one wouldn’t ya?!?! 


I do like Dogs.

I even think puppies are cute.

But when we recently discussed this around our house, the thing that kept coming to me was: “I like our life right now, why would I want a puppy to ruin it?!” 

Honestly, I look at the responsibility of a puppy as a huge commitment. Lots of energy, lots of work, and a possible 15 year relationship, is a big deal to me!


I can remember back when my good friend Roxy was just a new pup around here. It did all start out so cute and cuddly!

I know I enjoyed some of those super-fun feelings of playing with her, and thinking everything she did was so funny and adorable.

But not quite everything.

As she got a just a little bigger, a little bolder, she became a real hellion!

It was in her nature, there was nothing I could do.

A small list of things I remember dealing with, for her first 2 or 3 years of life

  • Being able to escape from any enclosure, The Houdini Dog
  • On the loose, she ran all over town
  • Scattering trash all over the lawn was normal
  • She once bounded across the road in front of a car and under the wheels.
  • And more than once, she brought home full size couch cushions, from somewhere, and tore them to shreds. The layer of fluffy white stuff all over my front yard, got her in Big Big Trouble!

So, we battled through those years. I know there had to be some good times in there. But there was a lot of just dealing with her problems constantly.

Now. Fast forward a few more years, and honestly, I have to admit, she’s a grade-A good mutt, that I’m so appreciative to have around.

She’s 5 now, and has mostly matured nicely.

Our road-trip a couple years ago, cemented our friendship. I guarantee, I’d take her any where, any time. People usually warm up to her and she does well with other dogs. Overall, I have to say she’s added way more positive value to my life, than the mishaps and frustrations she caused, while being all puppy.

So; where’m I goin’ with this??

Well, I’ve talked a lot here about learning to be a coach, and my personal journey, and the last couple years of my struggles and opportunities to grow and transform.

Really, this whole coaching adventure, has been puppy-hood.

Of course, just like getting a new puppy, it was all cute and fun at first. I was in love with everything about it!

I just had to go all the way from the very first. I wasn’t happy with the idea of just playing with coaching on the nights and weekends. I wanted to do it full time. I knew it wouldn’t be perfect, but I was up for the potty breaks and poop-scooping, because I was enamored!

Then, the puppy and my solo-dependence on this idea of building a coaching practice turned into the rowdy and destructive phase. Oh yes, I’m very willing to share with you, all the things that this adventure has chewed up, and scattered all over my lawn.

I would prefer to do it in person, and in an intimate conversation. Some of it is quite painful.

So, through all my efforts to wrangle and contain this wild and unruly idea of mine, I’m realizing now, that it may have just been doing what comes naturally.

I could’ve been more prepared.

My puppy Roxy, and my baby business, shouldn’t have been expected to show up instantly as a well-behaved mature and trick-trained animal.

In both cases however, I haven’t given up.

Even when I’m almost out of patience, and I’m not sure if I can keep this wild animal, something tells me, that with effort and energy and practice, it will mature.

I am luckily in contact with many people who show me that it is possible. They work with me and demonstrate that it is worth the effort in the end. They spend their time serving real people, helping them move forward on real issues, and dramatically change and improve their lives. In fact, these coaches that I learn from, do teach old dogs, new tricks.


So, what is up today, with my coaching practice? Well, I have made a slight shift in my perception and self-talk.

I am a student of the career of Coaching. I’m in school. I’m training. I’m choosing to pursue this Today!

As part of my work, I’m offering opportunities to experience life altering coaching conversations to you. If interested, email me here.

As I grow, and continue my work, and choose to master this calling on my heart, I’ll see the results. Just like my clients will.

And I have a feeling, that even when I think that I’ve got things under control, and my career has finally matured, there will always be a little of that puppy left in it, and in me.

At least I hope so 🙂


Aaron Nichols