As a consultant and coach my job is to help people achieve what they want. Quite often people aren’t sure or aren’t clear about what they want. Or they express it as a negative e.g. ‘I don’t want to feel stressed’.
Getting clarity on what you want to achieve for you or your organisation is a significant step in moving forwards.
Thus my first task is often to help someone to get that clarity and enable that person to focus on a clear goal or ambition.
I do that by asking some open questions about their ideal solutions.
- What do you want to achieve?
- What difference will this make?
- How will it make you feel if you achieve this?
Asking people to describe their ideal situation helps them unlock their imagination. They may be reluctant to describe their ideal outcome.
‘It’s just not possible’.
‘It’s too difficult.’
‘I won’t be able to do that’.
But all our futures are waiting to be made and can still be shaped by our hopes and desires. We can’t change the past but we can change the future.
Encouraging people to think about what they really want helps their brains to focus on something appealing. It creates positive energy and enthusiasm. It also harnesses a feature of our brains; selective attention.
Our brains are amazing but they cannot take in everything that is happening around us e.g. we don’t notice every blade of grass on our lawn, every hair on the head of the person next to us on the train. Instead the brain filters out most of what is going on around us and we each experience a partial version of reality.
What determines things that are filtered out or in? Well the brain helps us, by consciously noticing things that are at the top of our mind. Therefore if we are deliberate about what we have as top of our mind, our goals, and ambitions, then our brain will help us to spot opportunities and avoid time wasting.
This works on a daily basis not just big life changing decisions. By setting your intentions and asking yourself ‘What really matters to me? What’s my real aim?’ You’ll find that you will sharpen the reality you experience and you’ll make progress more easily.
So if you’re really trying to make a change, start with the end you want, and keep it in your mind.
P.S. You may be wondering about the photo; it’s Jӧkulsarlon, a glacier lagoon in Iceland. This is the end of a glacier’s life but of course it’s also a beginning too, as the water joins the oceans and returns to the water cycle.