A reader writes, "I love the articles you've written. They give me a very
interesting perspective, but I have a problem getting the ideas installed
into my life. There's an interesting sentence that goes like this: Knowing
something but not doing it is like not knowing it. So, my question is, how
do you implement the ideas into your life? Do you have a plan to keep track
of your progress? I noticed that some people use life, sports, or career
coaches. Do you know an effective way of self coaching?"
Answer: Thank you for your questions. I'll start by telling you what works
for me and end by answering your question on self- coaching.
Yes, I have a plan. Plans are road maps that show us how to reach our
destination. Without a map, we're not sure where we're heading and bound to
get confused. There are many different maps or paths to success, and many
books have been written about them.
I'll tell you what works for me and then you can follow or revise my plan to
suit your personal aspirations. Or, once you understand how plans are
formed, you may decide to start from scratch and devise your own.
I call my plan, "Eight Steps to Reaching One's Dreams." Before I share the
eight steps, let me say that I love to ask questions. After all, questions
are the keys to unlocking solutions to problems, answers to dilemmas, and
resolutions to difficulties. Think about this for a moment. You see, answers
don't appear until we ask questions. This being so, it shouldn't be
surprising that my eight steps are built on eight questions. Here they are:
*1. What is it that I don't like, am troubled about, or am unsatisfied about
Does that sound like negative thinking? Well, it is not the question, but
the INTENT of the question that determines whether it is negative or
positive. Here's what I mean. If the intent of my question was to find
something to complain about, then it's negative. But if my intent is to find
areas in my life that I can improve, that's positive. Because some of our
forefathers were dissatisfied with the amount of time it took to travel over
long distances, they invented cars, trains, steam ships, planes, and space
craft. So, you see, we can use whatever we're unhappy about in a positive
*2. What do I plan to do about it?*
Now that I know what I am unhappy about, I ask myself what I plan to do
about it. That forces me to look for solutions, find opportunities, and
become a better person. Don't you want to be better today than you were
yesterday and better tomorrow than you are today? Before continuing, let's
look at an example. Tom is unhappy with his lowly position in the company,
but instead of complaining he asks himself what he plans to do about it.
Once he asks this question, many possibilities flood his mind, including
these three ideas: I can go to night school and study marketing; I can
explain to my boss that I want to build my career in the company and ask him
to suggest ways I can contribute more to the company, and I can join
Toastmasters International to increase my confidence and public speaking
*3. How can I improve my plan?*
Now that I have a plan, how do I improve it? How can I make it grander? How
can I make it worthy of my unlimited potential? How can I change an ordinary
aspiration into a magnificent dream?
Why do I take this step? Well, if my dream is ordinary or mediocre, it's
hard to get excited, isn't it? But if it is a real challenge, a magnificent
dream, then I can become enthusiastic and passionate. And these are the
emotions that will propel me (or anyone else) forward.
*4. Am I willing to pay the price?*
Anything worthwhile requires the expenditure of energy, work, or effort to
accomplish. If I'm not willing to pay the price, I'm barking up the wrong
tree. I would be better off giving up on that dream and moving on to
another. On the other hand, if I'm committed, if I'm willing to do whatever
it takes to succeed, you can be sure I will be victorious. For once we are
committed, we can overcome any obstacle.
*5. What is stopping me from getting what I want?*
No matter how committed you are to your dream, you will probably find
obstacles standing in your way. What are they? Write them down. Once you
have, study your list. Now understand that none of the items on your list
were holding you back. It was only your BELIEF that they were blocking your
way that stopped you. Use Question No. 5 as a wakeup call to remind yourself
to give up childish, self-limiting beliefs. Rather, like Barack Obama, get
into the habit of saying, "Yes, we can! Yes, we can!" And even if you seem
to be facing an impenetrable brick wall, understand that wall is not there
to block your way, but to prevent others from reaching your dream. It's only
purpose is to give you the opportunity to prove how badly you want to
succeed. Don't fail the test!
*6. When will I begin?*
Do you know what the most difficult part of your plan is? It is STARTING.
Daydreaming about your magnificent dream is fun and easy, but shifting from
dreaming to ACTION requires determination or firmness of purpose. So, now
that you have a plan, when will you begin? There can be only one answer, and
that is NOW. After all, now is the only time we have the power to act.
*7. Why do I want it?*
One secret to achieving our dreams is to focus on what we want, not on what
we don't want. We need to run TO our goal, not AWAY FROM what we don't want.
What do alcoholics and drug or TV addicts have in common? They are all
running away from what they don't want to do. What do champions, winners,
and the highly successful share in common? Yes, they are all running to what
they want. That's why Question No. 7 is important; it helps us to remain
focussed on what we want, which are the benefits of our dream.
*8. Can I see it in my mind's eye?*
Our conscious mind and subconscious have different languages. The language
of our conscious mind consists of WORDS while that of our subconscious
consists of IMAGES and FEELINGS (EMOTIONS). So, whenever you are
daydreaming, you are 'speaking' the language of the subconscious, making it
much more likely that the message will get through to your subconscious.
This is important to understand because our subconscious will accept any
message it receives as the truth and will then cause us to act upon this
'truth.' So, if you are daydreaming that you will make a poor presentation
at the next office meeting, you are actually programming yourself for
On the other hand, when you use the power of your imagination to daydream
about your magnificent dream, you are programming yourself for success. What
is a good way to start daydreaming yourself to success? Well, a great way to
start is by asking yourself two questions: "What would it be like if...?"
and "Wouldn't it be nice if...?" Let's say Larry's dream is to become a V.P.
in his company. So, while daydreaming, he asks himself "What would it be
like if I were V.P.? Wouldn't it be nice if I become V.P.?" These questions
keep him focussed on the benefits and build powerful positive images and
feelings, which will take him to his dreams. So, don't merely plan your
goals, but take the time to see your success in your mind's eye.
Whether your dreams are big or small, I hope these eight steps will help you
on your way.
Now, to answer our reader's question about effective ways of self-coaching,
click on the link at the end of this article for the titles of many
excellent books on the subject. But before you do so, here are some hints:
1. To narrow your selection, only investigate books that have a rating of 4
or 5 stars.
2. Double-click on any title that interests you to learn more about that
3. Be sure to read the Reader's Reviews. That's where you will learn the
4. When you have settled on one or two books, borrow them from a library or
buy them from a local bookstore or Amazon.com.
5. After you have the book(s) of your choice, study ten pages a day.
6. By "study," I mean, as you read the material, ask yourself, "What steps
do I have to take?" And write down your answers.
7. Apply what you learn by carrying out the tasks in your "Steps I Have to
8. Keep a Success Journal. Use it monitor your results by asking the
following questions, "What did I do right today? What did I do wrong? How
can I improve my performance? What can I learn from my mistakes? How did I
benefit from the positive steps I took?
Click here for self-coaching books:
*(c) Chuck Gallozzi
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"I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my
nightmares because of my dreams." ~ Dr. Jonas Salk (1914 ~ 1995)
Mr. Perom Uch
"It's simply a matter of doing what you do best and not worrying about what
the other fellow is going to do."
~ John R. Amos