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Archive for April, 2014

No wonder I haven’t had clarity on how to best make the decision — I’ve been asking the wrong question!

Have you done this? You ask a question, or pray to whatever higher power you appeal to, looking for guidance and direction. When the idea or answer pops into your head –“Boom! There is its!” — you look toward the heavens and say, “Really? Are you sure?!”

Questioning the very response to that which you have been seeking! It’s really kind of comical when you think about it; at least it is to me.

So, I’ve become aware of some training that will allow me to add some additional tools to my coaching tool box, which will help me better serve my clients in achieving greater levels of self-awareness, resulting in higher levels of performance, and achieving whatever it is they endeavor to do. So, I asked the question: Should I or shouldn’t I enroll in this training?

Should I or Shouldn’t I?

The answer to that is obvious isn’t it? It’s either yes, you should, or no, you shouldn’t. Either response can be equally argued for, I’m certain. There are pro’s and con’s to either response, up sides and down sides to every option.

It would be similar to asking “is this the right thing or the wrong thing to do or say?” There will be pro’s and con’s to whatever answer you come up with for that question, as well.

Is this the right thing or the wrong thing to do?

The question I should have asked myself is this: Will taking this action move me closer to my goal? If the answer is “yes,” I should enroll in the course. If the answer is “No,” I should not enroll in the course. It’s truly that simple.

Will taking this action move me closer to my goal?

 

You see, I can talk myself into it and out of it within the same conversation. I can argue with myself about whether it’s a responsible use of my resources, or if I should save them for something else. I can view it from a perspective of scarcity — I have only so much time, energy, and money to invest in growing myself — or from a perspective of abundance — I will grow immeasurably from this experience, serve my clients more fully, therefore growing my financial resources over time as a result of this additional benefit I can offer.

Asking it that way, the answer is obvious. I should enroll in the course, continue to grow, and serve my clients. The only question now is, which location to register for? That one will require a little homework on travel costs!

I hope you now have a new perspective on how to evaluate the many options that appear in your life, especially when you’ve asked for guidance and direction. Rather than questioning the source of the answer you get, consider how doing or not doing whatever it is will serve you in your purpose.

If you don’t know your purpose, you have a different starting point entirely. From personal experience, I highly recommend working with a skilled coach or mentor.

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I read this story a while back about a young woman whose bike was stolen while she was at work. She worked full-time to put herself through school, attending only part time, and the bike was her only source of transportation. Out of frustration, she posted an angry note to the thief on a nearby lamp post, knowing the thief would likely never see it; she said it felt good to “vent.”

Someone did see the note, tweeted a photo of it, and the story ended up on the news where it attracted the attention of someone who had had a similar experience when he was in college. He replaced her bike, with a catch: She would have to buy a bike for someone in need by her 59th birthday (within 40 years)!

I firmly believe in paying it forward and do so whenever I am able…sometimes even when I feel like it’s a stretch for me financially. It feels good. And it pays off. In recent months, at a local toll bridge I cross a couple of times a month, I’ve benefitted from the person in the car in front of me paying my toll (this is a habit I practice every time I cross the bridge), so I have paid the toll for the car behind me anyway. Usually, what I see in my side mirror as I drive away is the person in the car behind me pull their hand — with their money — back into the car and drive thru. Most recently, however, the truck in front paid for me, I already had a dollar ready (the toll is 50 cents per car), so I gave it to the toll taker anyway, and pulled away, watching the car behind me. The woman behind me also handed over a dollar…I’ve been wondering how many cars went thru that day — before and after me — before someone broke the chain.

I hadn’t thought about the concept of paying it forward with a catch, until I read this story, but I like it. On the one hand, we would hope someone would do this because they genuinely had a desire to give of themselves and help someone else. The truth is, I think, that most people are so busy being busy, they simply don’t think about these kinds of opportunities. And we often discover that people who are given what they need don’t value it as much as if they have to work for it or personally invest in it themselves…So, perhaps, by paying it forward with a catch — setting the expectation that the recipient also participate in paying it forward in some way — might jar enough people out of their habit of running on auto-pilot, and start them thinking about how they can make a difference in the life of someone else.

It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Perhaps buying a bike for someone else is not in your budget. That’s ok. But what about a toll on the road? Or a cup of coffee? Perhaps you could spring for someone else’s lunch?

What are your thoughts on this? What stories along these lines are you reading and how have they impacted your behavior?

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