A teacher and a doctor got chatting in Paris to discover that they both loved painting. The doctor said “you should come to stay at my home in Africa because the landscapes are magical”. The teacher quickly replied “What a lovely idea, I have a week of conferences and need a break; I’ll take you up on your offer”.
The doctor flew home and a week later the teacher also flew out to Africa. From a main airport the teacher then boarded a much smaller plane and he and the pilot headed off to a location within the broad proximity of the doctor’s house. He was to meet the doctor for an onward journey by road. They were flying for hours and eventually, almost nightfall, the pilot had reached an isolated landing strip. Once outside the plane the doctor was nowhere to be seen, but there was a Land Rover parked nearby with a note attached to the windscreen. The note read “Been called away on an emergency, there is a map in the car so drive ahead and meet me at my place”.
Light was beginning to fade and the pilot asked the teacher if he wanted him to stay. “No, it’s not necessary” said the teacher, “I’ll use the map and make my own way there. You can head back now”. So the pilot took off as the teacher began to open and study the map. He was enthralled by the beautiful mountain ranges and the doctor’s house idyllically located at the edge of some expansive lakes. But there was something missing that troubled the teacher – where on earth was the location of the airstrip as the marker for his present position? Scratching his head in the darkness the doctor looked up as he heard a faint roaring sound in the distance. Now, just how useful was that map?
You have so much going for you
When we set goals we get excited about the goal and miss just how many skills and resources we already have in place. When we become fixated on the end goal, we also focus on what we do not have.
You may well be familiar with the most quoted line from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland as delivered by the Cheshire Cat: “If you don’t know where you are going then it doesn’t matter which direction you go”. Well, what if you do know where you are going? Then your direction has focus, but you still need to know that all important first step.
Focus on the here and now to bring rewards
In the scenario above, it’s no good knowing where the doctor’s house is if you don’t know your first step. Your first step may be tiny, something as simple as putting a stamp on an envelope, ordering a book or writing down a list. Just do what you can do to begin the process and then build a gradual momentum.
Taking the time to focus on what you have and can do now, builds confidence for the journey ahead and your talent starts to shine through.
The easy way to find your starting talent
Once you have a clear goal in mind, leave it for 48 hours. Then set aside 48 minutes to do the following exercise:
- Make a list of all the resources and skills you would need to achieve that goal
- Next go though the list and tick all the resources and skills that are already in place
What did you discover? With this simple technique you will realise just how much you already have that will easily move you towards your goal.
Consider this: “I want to start a new online business, I know nothing about it. What do I do?”
When starting a new project like this it’s easy to think that you would not have the skills or knowledge if you are not a techie. Take a moment and start to think about what you may need to learn. Some initial research may throw up some new and possibly daunting terminology and tasks that are typically associated with building a website, i.e. HTML, auto-responders, online advertising, and what is the difference between a JPEG and a GIF file, and why does it matter?
Now let’s explore what fundamental resources you already have in place that would allow you to tackle those challenges. You may then realise that you already have a range of personal skills and attributes such as basic information technology (IT) skills that span the Microsoft office suite (i.e. Outlook/email, Word, Excel, Powerpoint), the ability to write and type, a proficient planner, a fast learner and a passion to succeed. The list will no doubt go on, but you get the point.
I already know what skills and resources I have; do I need to write it down?
As part of the goal setting process, you are likely to have heard of studies that stress the importance of writing your goals down. But what is the purpose of this? Well, the moment you start to commit your goals to paper they start to take on a life of their own. It’s similarly important to keep this in mind when you consider your range of skills. Let’s reflect on Richard’s story:
Richard, a somewhat outrageous character, had been talking about setting up his own business to teach golf. He had talked about this ever since I had known him, and yet he has taken no action to make it happen.
He asked for my help and I asked him “what skills and resources do you already have?” He replied “nothing.” I set him the very exercise we described above and within a week he had created a one-page website, business cards and even had a flyer printed. Within two weeks he had his first client.
He said that he found this simple exercise had helped him to understand what he could do, rather than focusing on what he could not do or did not know. This had enabled him to take the first step as he found it easier to do something. Today, he has a waiting list of people wanting to work with him.
You will discover that you already possess a range of skills and resources that you take for granted. Your situation may not be as life-threatening as spending the night with the lions in Africa, but taking stock of where you are now may save you years of re-inventing the wheel and help you to become roaring success.
Take a goal and make a list of the resources you already have in place.
As part of your list of resources, keep in mind that you can attend our NLP Training by clicking here ….
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Article written by John Cassidy-Rice