Thursday, May 7, 2009

Learn the Three Questions That Will Change Your Life - Every Day (Part 2)

Although, I believe that mine is the only Coaching model built around these three questions asked on a daily basis, the truth is the origin is not even within the coaching world. You see, in my past life I was a pilot in the US Navy. And I believe I have brought to the coaching industry, the most powerful learning tool that Naval Aviation uses - the Brief / Debrief process. And I've developed them into a tool that any one can use to make a real difference in their life, their job or their business.

Over the course of the past nearly 100 years, Naval Aviators have had to learn skills faster than most are use to and have had to learn their skills where even the smallest inattention to detail can cost lives.

Standardization, systems and consistency aren't just buzz words, but mantras that define flight operations around an aircraft carrier.

So as I began looking at how to best help individuals and small business grow and achieve their vision, I turned to my roots - my roots as a pilot, and brought forward the concepts that I lived every day for 20 years.

The "Three Daily Questions" are in fact built on the questions that Naval Aviators face daily. And applying these three questions every day to your life can have a dramatic effect on how you live your life every day, and help you achieve your dreams in ways you never thought possible.

Yesterday, in Part One of this three part article, I focused on the first question, "What three things worked for you today?", but today the focus is on the second question.

What three things didn't work for you today?

Before going too far, let me remind you that I define "working" as those actions or thoughts that helped you achieve or get closer to your goals or desired outcomes.

Truth is, as beneficial as it is, most people don't want to face the things that happened during their day that "didn't work" for them. First, they want to just put the things they perceive as "bad" out of their head and move on. And second, because we all tend to personalize the issue, we really don't want to feel like a failure at the end of the day.

We would all rather just go to bed and forget the day than have to face it.

Putting them out of your head doesn't make them go away.

Just because you don't want to face the things that didn't go well for you that day or that you "feel" bad about, they don't go away. In fact what it does is almost guarantee that you will face those same struggles again . . . some day in the future.

So the essence of question two is to help you face what happened and figure out exactly what you can learn from those struggles.

You have to forgive yourself before you can learn from your past

Unfortunately though, as much as you may want to, there is nothing you can do to change the past - I'm sorry. It's over and done with. So before you can learn from our past, you must work on forgiving yourself - letting go of regret and anger / frustration with the current outcome.

If you don't forgive yourself, you will not only have the burden of your mistake, but you will find a way to punish yourself this time, but also many times over in the future - causing 100x more damage than the original misgiving created.

You can wish your past was different, but it ain't gonna happen.

Everyday, we look at our past, see things we could have or should have done differently and we dwell on it. We blame ourselves for those errors and live in pain and regret in the present because of it. But, to be honest, you might as well live in pain and regret today over the holocaust or slavery as well, because, there is as much you can do to undo the tragedies as you can your own mistakes.

Get over it RIGHT NOW, so that we can move on. The good news is that "all growth actually takes place in the future, the only realm of living you actually have control over.

Learn from the past, live the present and define the future.

So instead of punishing yourself for your past - accept it as it was and figure out what you can learn from it. How can I change my circumstance today, so that you never see that situation again. How can you influence the way I think so that when the same events unfold in the future (and they most likely will), you won't make the mistake again - you will instead see the handwriting on the wall and do something (whatever you decide) differently.

This isn't easy to do, but that's where our process kicks in, looking at each day, each week, each "any time frame / event" and deciding facing what worked first, what didn't work, and then what you can do better next time. It gives you a systematic way to look at everything in your life a little bit differently - giving you tools to make today better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today.

Join us tomorrow when we go further into the final question of the Three Questions That Will Change Your Life - Every Day. The third question is build on the premise that incremental daily growth is the only truly successful way to make permanent dramatic change in any environment.

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