I WORK to inspire courage, confidence, and freedom so we can live our best life.
What does my work mean to me? I believe my work contributes to nation building because it addresses wellbeing and productivity. I believe that when we have access to the best version of ourselves, we can utilise more of our potential, and actualise our dreams.
I believe that the more we live from our strengths and talents, the more discovery, fulfillment, and joy we will experience.
Research proves that what we believe about ourselves makes a real difference to how we perform. That makes self-trust, self-respect, self-awareness and self-worth crucial to the development of personal excellence. Sadly, developing values and identity is not taught in our schools.
Imagine if our children were taught these skills from an early age. Imagine if everyone would participate and practice so that we would create powerful family bonds and a higher quality of life for all. What a gift it would be to the nation!
How many of us go through life not knowing what our talents are and what we should focus on to develop our careers?
“In general, are you good at the things you like? Or do you like the things you’re good at? Which comes first: Being good at something or the enjoyment of something?” asks sports coach Tim Goodenough.
People are different! The answer depends on several factors including how supportive the environment is towards what you like, and how much it means to you to be doing what you’re involved with. Say, your child is naturally gifted when it comes to sports. Does that mean he or she would love sports and easily excel at it? Perhaps. What if the parents insisted the child focused on languages and math instead?
A person who needs extra money to pay his elderly parent’s medical bills would be motivated to perform for a more practical reason.
Are we born with talent? Then again research proves that talent development is highly dependent on the mindset of the protege. Progress is largely determined by how much the person believes in their capability, whether they take a long-term view of themselves in that capacity i.e. “I’m a sportsman,” instead of, “I’m playing the next match against (Kedah).”
I’m saying talent development involves more than skills and drills. It involves commitment, dedication, persistence, resilience, courage, and strength, plus a supportive external environment to support and nurture growth and progress.
Think Google, Starbucks, Apple. What about AirAsia, Limkokwing University, Sime Darby and Genting & Resorts World? What do you think has contributed to their stellar growth and attraction?
In 1996 Hillary Clinton published her book, It Takes A Village. Here the former First Lady focuses on the impact individuals and groups outside the family have on a child’s wellbeing. Clinton advocates a society with a holistic approach, one that meets all of a child’s needs.
Clinton’s critics counter-proposed that the family was the most important element in a child’s upbringing. I concur that talent development begins with us as adults because the more we work on ourselves, the less damage control our children will need later.
“Clever boy! Mummy loves you.” “Pretty girl. Good girl!” Have you heard parents with their children like that?
Well, studies show that children who are praised for looks or intelligence aren’t as high-performing as those who are praised for actual effort.
“Well done Tim! What you did took real courage. You must’ve worked hard on that.”
Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck says the type of praise matters. Parents and teachers have to pay attention to what children do and praise accordingly.
“Good effort there, John!” drives a child much better than, “Clever boy.” What we give feedback on gets reinforced and becomes more important for them.
Living our dream isn’t hard once you practise Neuro-Semantics, a cutting-edge technology in personal development. Neuro-Semantic coaches work to:
1. Identify talent as early as possible.
2. Develop a growth mindset, characterised by the belief that ability can be groomed and fine-tuned.
3. Create deliberate practice, where we stretch ability purposefully and consistently.
4. Strengthen the identity of the performer. “I am ____. I can______.”
5. Keep building significance of the outcomes. “My contribution is important because_______.”
High performers tend to be self-assured, are unruffled by stressful conditions, and make good decisions under pressure. Are you living your dream?
Try a different method
I AM frustrated when I don’t get response to my calls, letters and emails. I follow up, but nothing happens. This happens more frequently with senior leaders in organisations. Why don’t they just say “No” instead of keeping quiet?
In the first place, look at yourself. Frustration — is that what you choose to feel? Again and again? Check where that’s coming from — is it from expectation, assumption, principle or need? What are you expecting or assuming?
Now ask yourself if it’s realistic to expect that? Is the outcome within your power to control? From that, see if there’s anything you need.
What principles are you operating from? What is your highest meaning that’s driving your thoughts and emotion? “Why don’t they just say so?” “Why do they keep quiet?”
So what do you make of them? What do you make that mean about yourself?
Stop and think. The meanings you’ve come up with — are they fact or interpretation? How do you know for sure?
I’m assuming you want more than just a response. You want a positive response.
Here’s the thing. People make their own meanings about things. Not responding may mean, “No, not ever”, “Not now” or “Ask again in a different way.” It may mean, “Not if you’re the one asking.” The point is, we don’t know what it means, do we?
So then what? Move on! How many other ways can you get to what you want? If not from those guys, who? Will you allow anything to stop you from having what you want? Who must you be, what must you do, so that you will find a way forward?
Step back and think
I’M confused and overwhelmed. I want to quit my job because I can’t focus. I feel empty. I’m considering going to an ashram or taking a trip to find myself again. But what I worry about most is not finding a suitable job.
When you find yourself, what will you find? How differently would you “turn up” when you’re finally able to say, “I found myself! This is ME.” Imagine how you’ll feel. What will you be feeling? What will you be thinking? How will the people around you and those who know you, respond?
Write down all the ways the newfound you would be. What will happen to the confusion, overwhelm, lack of focus and the worry? Notice what has caused the shift, if anything at all. I’m assuming you’d be feeling bright and shiny, upbeat and hopeful by now.
So... looking at the process, it involves
1. Awareness that “now” is not working.
2. Going away to find yourself.
3. Discovering what the new you looks and feels like.
Step back and think... what are you “going away” from? What do you want to go toward? You worry about a “suitable” job. What is that exactly? Suitable how? List all the conditions of satisfaction that would describe what suitable means to you. Now think.
1. What do I need to do to have that?
2. Who do I need to be?
Realising that you’ll be answering that from “newfound you.”
Step back a little more and you might even see that your “trip” can be made right where you are!
Tessie Lim New Straits Times Online Sunday Life Times 30 June 2013