Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. – Mark Twain
Where are you in the following reasons vs results equation?
No matter where we are in our lives or careers, we either have the results we want, or we have reasons as to why we have not yet achieved what we want.
The fact is that most people will give you reasons for not yet having achieved what they want. Whether it is a bad economy, being laid off, illness or whatever is going on in their life. There are reasons that they are not satisfied in that area of their being and reasons for things not being the way they want them to be.
Now imagine if you knew the day you were going to move on from this life. Imagine lying down 5 minutes before it was time to pass on and you think to yourself, “I would have,” “I could have” or “I should have.” How many people do you know have uttered those words or something along those lines? “I could have been a contender, but that thing happened to me and it ruined everything.” These are reasons and for not having had it all. Now very importantly, I want to be very clear at this point and say that this does not mean the person is to blame or at fault. Please bear this in mind as you read the rest of this article. The idea of finding the reasons is not to say the client is at fault or to blame. It is not to beat the client up with.
Reasons now will not be rewarding later.
Now as we imagine that moment before passing on and think about the things we had not achieved and the reasons for not doing so, I am sure you can agree that would not be very satisfying. It would not be liberating to think and certainly not empowering. In fact, you could almost imagine feeling cheated.
I appreciate that there is no evidence that you are always totally responsible for what happens to you all of the time. I do however suggest that in many cases, having a very good plan and implementing the plan by taking the right actions, that results can be achieved.
Learning empowers us for change.
Furthermore, any feedback and learning we get from not achieving the intended goal, serves to empower us and help us to hone the action plan into one that may lead us to success. Thomas Edison famously replied that he did not fail 10,000 times. He found 10,000 ways not to do it, when he was asked about all the previous failures in creating the light bulb.
In many cases people will actually blame everything and everybody around them as to why they have not succeeded. Many people are professional victims and love to blame the victim or blame game.
Having these reasons for not having achieved the goal is not all bad though. It is merely a matter of perception. The opposite of having all the reasons as to why the client has not achieved their goal can also be very encouraging and beneficial. Once we understand what the reasons are, we can change our focus and create a proper action plan to achieve the results we desire. This can be achieved by coaching and helping the client to overcome or navigate the stumbling blocks on the path to success.
We will look at the results part of the equation in the next blog post and how coaching can assist you in achieving those results.