I was casually chatting with my friend at a coffee shop the other day, when he huffed, “I’m so disappointed with my life. I just wish someone would wave a magic wand and give me the life I want.” For a second I was stunned and then from my subconscious the message came, “Life is what you make of it.”
I know from personal experience that if I’m willing to put in the effort and hard work to reach my goals and outcomes, chances are I will be able to achieve them and reach faster. So many times I’ve seen others and myself look for short-cuts. But, they provide only short-term results and are not sustainable.
All around me when I look at those who have been able to build resilient businesses, they have put in the required time and effort. If they have been able to consistently deliver results, it is because they are willing to learn, adapt, unlearn, and change. As we absorb this success principle, we continue to get better and make things work for us as we move forward towards our long-term vision.
So I shared with my friend a very personal powerful story.
“Years ago, when we were mischievous schoolboys together, I came across a contest in the newspaper. It carried the image of a famous transformational speaker inspiring a host of people. The contest read: ‘Send us a caption describing this image in 30 words and you could win $100.’
It seemed like a fortune to my excited eyes and I dashed to my father. Dad’s an English professor. When he writes this for me I am almost guaranteed to win. Or so I thought. “Son, I’ll correct what you write, but I won’t write it for you.”
I flung the paper in anger and left. The submission deadline passed and then the next week’s contest began. And although every week a new contest would be printed, I childishly refused to enter.
Years passed and I rolled into my teen years. Economics was an intimidating subject to me at the time. With trepidation, I approached my father, and he said, “Do it, son. I will guide you.” I wanted someone to give me the answer; I didn’t want to take responsibility.
So I stalked up to my neighbour and asked for his help. But when I finally looked at the paper he had written, it was appalling. I had no choice but to write it for myself from scratch.
This continued to happen. I’d approach my dad looking for a ready-made answer, and I would get: “You do it. I’ll guide you.” “I’ll be there for you, but I won’t do it for you.””
Looking back now I can see the wisdom of his approach. My NLP training would tell me — ‘Behind every behaviour is a positive intention.’ His intention was to stay away from spoon-feeding me because that would not truly help me. He was training me to be confident in my own abilities to create the solutions I wanted.
When I started to work with him on this, I realised the gift that he was giving me. I started to gain confidence to find my own way. I began to tap into my own resources that I never knew I had. The way I tackled challenges and resolved them changed dramatically. I was accelerating my life forward.
I remember when this experience clicked for me, Years ago. Few year back, I enrolled in a workshop that trained Coaches with NLP. The facilitator stood up and spoke his first words into the microphone, “You do it. I will guide you. This is the foundation of a powerful coach.” I was so emotional that whole day. My father’s principle was so aligned to Transformational coaching.
This principle has continued to serve me in myriad ways. It is now my first response to any situation. I take a good look at myself, take stock of all the resources available within me, and then take the challenge head-on. Although I didn’t realise it earlier, I can now proudly say that my dad was my first Super Coach, and continues to be one.
It is now one of the most important skills I teach in my Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) programs. NLP Coaching is a powerful framework. It draws the attention of the coachee to the wealth of skills, abilities, know-how and expertise s/he carries within them. It is in fact, a strong pillar of NLP Coaching: ‘Every person has all the resources they need to find the solutions to their problems.’ As a coach and trainer, we simple help guide the coachee.
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