I had an interesting conversation with a client the other day. As it turns out, he had a GREAT day. Despite all the issues that life threw at him - as it always does - he was able to handle them all and still meet his loaded agenda of daily goals.
Being the ever mindful coach, my question to him was, "Well, what did you learn?"
His answer reaffirmed a very important lesson to me (which I then dutifully brought full circle back to my client) . . .
It's Not What You Are Taught, But Instead What You LEARN
So many of us go from book to book, class to class, and degree to degree seeking out the knowledge that will give us the edge - the advantage over our competitors.
I've got some bad new for you.
Life isn't about what you are taught - no matter who the teacher is. All that matters is what you learn - and often times you can learn as much from your own experiences as you can from the greatest teachers in history.
The Premise of My Coaching Practice
I don't care where you learn what you learn - the source is irrelevant. I don't care where you go for your teachings, so long as you apply them to your daily life and make a difference with them. And in the context of coaching, what matters most to me is that you learn what works for you and your business and you apply the ideas for repeat successes time and time again.
According to The Free Dictionary, learning is "the act, process, or experience of gaining knowledge or skill."
That's right you have to gain the knowledge for it actually make a difference. So you can be shown, read or listen to anything you want, until it becomes knowledge to YOU, it is worthless.
So, when you find what does work for YOU - even if it's your own invention . . . KEEP DOING IT. It doesn't matter if it works for anyone else, so long as it works for you and helps you achieve YOUR goals and the goals of your organization, then you better LEARN what it is that you just did. Because rather than just doing it randomly or haphazardly, you need to start doing it intentionally.
Do it by choice rather than by chance.
Furthermore, when you find something that isn't working in your life or your business . . . that's when you turn to the experts. That's when you pull out Seth Godin for Marketing support, Zig Ziglar for motivational Sales support, or even turn to a coach for a little bit of everything.
That's when you turn to your teacher to help you find something you don't already know. That's when learn something new.
Sounds Simple - But Life Often Is
I know it sounds simple, but that's all there is to improving your business and your life - two steps. First, look at what's working and do it by choice. Two, figure out what isn't working and find out how to make it just a little bit better. You don't have to go crazy with change - just take small steps. If those small steps work, well, back to Step One, if not repeat as necessary.
Believe it or not, you will be amazed at how quickly you can make your dreams come true.