Does that sound sacrilegious? Possibly. However it is also the title of a best selling book by author Sheldon Kopp. Published in the 1970’s, Kopp’s book went on to top the book selling charts in many categories including business, self development, leadership and management and spirituality.
So what does it mean? For me, there are 2 take away messages.
So having a guide or mentor or coach is a great idea, but they should be encouraging you to find your own answers, not providing answers for you. Have you ever tried to ask a colleague or friend for advice and they say something like “Right, this is what you need to do!” As well meaning as their advice may be, it may not be the right advice for you. Further more, they have just denied you an opportunity to think things through for yourself and to find answers that work for you, not them!
Often, in my one to one coaching sessions, I am presented with the following scenario upon meeting a coachee for the first time.
Me: “How can I help you?”
Coachee: “I don’t know”
Me: “What do you want?”
Coachee: “I don’t want to be stressed/frustrated/angry/demotivated etc.”
And herein lies the starting point to “enlightenment” (as Buddha would say). Don’t focus on what you don’t want. Focus on what you do want. Our sub conscious mind struggles to process negatives and inevitably turns that into a positive. So when you say, “I don’t want to be frustrated” your sub conscious mind hears “I want to be frustrated” and guess where that takes you?
So start by stating your goals positively and put a date against them. For example:
“In the next 12 months I will gain experience in ‘X’ so that I can gain promotion to ‘Y’”
“In the next 6 months, I will get better at time management in order to have a better work life balance”
Once we have positively stated goals, we can start to work out how we are going to achieve them. In simple terms, once we know where we are going, we can work out how to get there. Trying to work toward negatively stated goals is an exercise in futility. It’s a bit like me, sitting in my office in Liverpool, saying “I don’t want to go to London today”. There are literally dozens of ways I could not go to London!
When considering our goals, it is also important to engage all of our senses in creating a compelling vision of that goal. Our 5 basic senses can be very powerful tools in helping propel us toward our goals.
Create a compelling image of achieving your goal, engaging all of your senses (or as many as possible) and keep revisiting that image with all of it’s associated sounds, feelings, tastes and smells.
So you may never be luck enough to meet Buddha, but you don’t need to. You may already be lucky enough to be working with a coach/mentor/guru and they should be guiding you to make the decisions that are right for you. If they’re not, then maybe you should be looking inwards for guidance, rather than outwards.
Start by creating a positive statement of what you do want and when you want it by. Then engage all of your senses in creating a completely compelling image of success and go for it!