Seven inspirational stories was my catch of the PCM World Conference. International top coaches, trainers and psychologists shared their knowledge and experiences helping clients to boost their productivity and happiness. And I met the fastest Brazilian of all times in Estoril (Portugal) and it wasn’t Ayrton Senna. Read 3 of the fascinating stories below:

Make your dream come true

Who would have ever thought that Marcos Pontes would become an Astronaut. Marcos grew up in a poor family in Brazil. He dreamed about becoming a pilot. Other kids laughed at him “that is impossible, you will never become a pilot, you are poor”. Only his mum believed in him, she told him “ if you want to become a pilot you have to work hard, always exceed what is expected from you. Then maybe, see what happens”. And so he did, but still he couldn’t afford the pilot training. He found the trick. He applied for the Brazilian Military Air force as a technician. To make a long story short the air force opened his door to become a pilot and to NASA. After years of waiting he was requested to go into space with the Russian. Remote from his family for over a year Marcos was exercising his training schedule 70% technical skills, 15% mental skills, 10% mental/fitness to deal with the environmental challenges in space and 5% pure fitness till the day before take-off. A Russian officer came to him “go to room x, you have 30 minutes to say good bye to your wife and children”. He realised this was the first time in over a year and maybe the last time to see them. It was the most challenging moment in his life. The next day he was sitting on the bomb of fuel that send him into space. In little time he left the atmosphere and saw the blue glow of earth matching the colour of his mums eyes. It brought back the memories of that one day.

A brilliant display of how determination, dedication and a balanced professional, mental and physical training can make your dreams come true.

How high pressure can lead to serious incidents

What had happened in this Australian hospital that it was exposed to public fury on national television? One of its female staff members had filed complaints of sexual harassment in the operating room by their top surgeon.  PCM Master trainer Werner Naef was hired after the top surgeon had to resign. Long shifts, extreme working pressure and expectation of perfection led to  staff members displaying serious distress behaviour. The behaviour went from bad to worse and in this occasion finally resulted in the sexual incident. High expectations and pressure are inevitable in a hospital environment. Staff is exposed to frequent emergencies and life and death fights.  Werner therefor trained the hospital staff in managing their stress by PCM and the results were stunning both on personal and professional level. They learned how to take care of their psychological needs and those of their colleagues, this is critical in order to manage your stress. The critical hospital staff scored the PCM training a 9 out of 10 on both the professional as personal significance. Even when pressure is inevitable, PCM helps you to  manage your distress.

The sacrifices of power and control

We play games every day. We all do. We hate and love them. Sometimes we are aware of them, sometimes we are not. What is your favourite game? The game of power, control, provocation, supremacy, isolation, martyrdom or smothering?

Unfortunately, playing games comes with a price. It make you sacrifice your authentic character strengths, causes distress and in the end costs your reputation, time and money.

If you use your power to push your beliefs or more friendly to make an executive call, you might feel loosing on your integrity. You will certainly sacrifice the respect from your environment. Sometimes this continues till all the respect is gone and there is no constructive relation left.

Another example is when you tighten control into over-controlling. You will pay the price of ineffectiveness and loose the morale of your team or relatives. Anyhow, karma is a bitch. Pushing too far  for your positive intention will lead to negative intend and you will pay the price in the end.

Do you want to know more on these or the other inspiring stories, let me know. I am more than happy to share.

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