Coaching Tools 101: How to Create More Joy in Life with the What Makes My Heart Sing? Exercise

"What Makes My Heart Sing?" is one of my absolute favourite coaching exercises. I have used it with individual clients and in innumerable workshops. It is an incredible tool for awakening and happiness. And it's incredibly simple - and powerful.

Its power lies in the realisation that what makes us happy is usually free - and easy to do. So why aren't we doing these things more often? Why are we so busy chasing material goals?

But I get ahead of myself.

So, how to use this Powerful Coaching Exercise?

1) Using "What Makes My Heart Sing?" One-on-One with a Client or Prospect:

  • Simply ask your client to make a list of everything that "makes their heart sing!".
  • I recommend you frame this up first: It's when you feel happy and at peace with yourself and the world - you feel light and free.
  • Writing this list can be done IN session or given as homework.
  • Then once, the list is complete I review it with them. I ask what they notice about their list.
  • Eventually, if they don't mention it, I'll point out that most (if not all!) of the things are FREE and EASY to do.
  • I let that sink in for a moment. I'll ask what they're thinking right now? What do they feel?
  • I'll ask why they think they don't do more of these things in their life?
  • Then we'll identify up to 3 actions to bring more of the 'heart sing' items into their life.

2) Using "What Makes My Heart Sing?" in a Workshop or Teleseminar:

I love, love, LOVE running this exercise in a Group session. The ideas and wisdom that come out of a collective review and discussion of this question are incredibly powerful - and can be life-changing for some people.

  • Get your attendees into groups of ideally 3-4 people, and get them to discuss the answer to the question, "What Makes My Heart Sing?". I usually give them around 5 minutes to do this.
  • Then when the time is up, ask someone from each group to share with the rest of the attendees 'what makes their heart sing'. I like to write these up on a whiteboard or flipchart so everyone can see what is on there.
    Example items could be running barefoot in the grass, watching a sunset, climbing a mountain, a night with friends, watching dogs or children play, relaxing in the bath etc.
  • Once everyone has shared, I simply ask the question, "So, what do you notice about this list?" It's interesting because each group is different. And I love getting the attendees to really think. I've had all kind of answers to this question, and about 50% of the time someone spots that most of the things listed by people are 'free' or 'easy' to do. If not, then after a few moments I share this with them.
  • And this is the big learning here: If we look at the list of things they've identified, most of them are:
    1) FREE (or inexpensive) and
    2) Really EASY to do.
  • I let that sink in for a moment. I'll ask what they're thinking right now.
  • And of course the big question is, if these things that "make your heart sing" are free and easy to do, why aren't we doing more of them? So, if you have time you could ask: "So, why is it do you think, that we have the opportunity for happiness right on our doorstep and we don't do these things more?" Really powerful learnings and insights will come from a group review of this question.
  • Finally, I ask them each to come up with a minimum of 1 action (up to a maximum of 3 actions), that they can 100% commit to, to bring more of what "makes their heart sing" into their lives.
  • And to wrap up this portion of the workshop, I find it's powerful to ask each person to share one of their actions with the group. It's great to reinforce both individual commit to the actions and to reinforce and expand each person's learning from this exercise.

What Makes My Heart Sing Coaching ExerciseDifferences if you're hosting a teleseminar:

  • Everyone will need to create their initial list individually.
  • For the sharing portion, each individual will share with the group. You'll need to write the responses down as you go and summarise/group together what people said at the end. If you have screen-sharing software for your seminar you could type people's answers as they say them out loud instead.

In Summary: I recommend either using our ready-made "What Makes My Heart Sing?" Coaching Tool, or creating your own worksheet with fun graphics and specifically - a space for 1) their list and 2) to write down their actions - because we all know that when we write things down, we see them more clearly.

This is a powerful exercise to help your clients find more happiness - where they are. It's a HUGE learning for many people that what most satisfies us can be both easy to do and free. This exercise may even be the start point for questioning many other things in their lives previously taken for granted or things they had not looked at any other way than how they have been told...

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