Am I the Best for You?

Have you ever had a discussion about which martial art is the best?  You know, the one where someone says that Karate beats Tae Kwon Do because it’s more “grounded?”  Or, that Aikido is most dangerous because it uses the opponent’s attack against them?  Or, that Jeet Kune Do is best because Bruce Lee developed it?

Martial artists love this kind of talk.  It’s fun to contemplate what style is better by analyzing and comparing techniques.  After having done martial arts for almost 25 years, though, I have come to a different conclusion.  Sure, there are technical differences that might make one art nominally better than another depending on the situation or the practitioner’s body type, but when it comes to self-defense, which style we know isn’t as important as whether we are going to be able to use it when we need it.

Though there are many factors that influence this, one of the most important is who taught us.  Is the teacher proficient?  Can s/he communicate what s/he knows?  Is s/he patient?  These and other factors influence how well a teacher can instill the tenets of his/her art into students.  Likewise, a teacher who can do this for the most people is considered the “best” teacher – and most of us want to be with the best when we learn something, right?

Here’s the thing, though: your teacher doesn't need to be the “best,” s/he only needs to be the best for you.  There are plenty of great teachers out there but even the best teachers don't connect with all students.  Mrs. Robertson was the best math teacher in my Jr. high but I know that not all students connected with her style of teaching.  Interestingly, those who didn't connect with her seemed to do well with another math teacher – different strokes for different folks.

So, when someone asks me which martial art is best, I tell them to do the one with a teacher they connect with.

The same is true with self-improvement.  In the last 30-40 years, many effective techniques have been developed, and, just as with martial artists, people in the field like to argue which techniques are most effective for self-development.  Again, as with martial arts, I think that most techniques have merit and can help people improve their lives.  It is the person we work with that makes the key difference.

The main technique I use is NLP and every once in awhile someone tells me that s/he thinks NLP doesn't work.  I’m always surprised when I hear this because I disagree.  Considering all the great results I’ve had with clients I can’t understand how anyone could pooh-pooh a system that works so well. 

You can imagine that I’ve concluded the reason for their opinion is because they must not have had a good connection with their guide.  This saddens me because I have seen people make remarkable improvements in their lives using self-development techniques.  Of course, I think the improvements came not so much from the techniques as much as from that magical connection between guide and client.

So, if you have tried self-development but haven’t seen improvement or didn't think it worked, ask yourself if you liked/trusted/connected with your guide.  In most cases, lack of success comes from a lack of connection between client and guide causing the client to give up before seeing results. 

When you embark on the path to an improved life, make sure you feel good about your guide.  If you do, the results will be impressive.  If not, you’ll walk away disappointed and a guide will lose an opportunity to make the world a better place.

Which brings me back to the title of this post: though I’m good at what I do, unless you and I have that connection, I won’t be the best for you and your desire to improve your life.  Remember that when you choose your guide and you’ll be able to achieve exciting results.

Tune in next time to find out why you are a lot like a supertanker.

How I Do It

Just like you, when I meet people, they ask me what I do.  After I explain that I do motivation training and talk about the great results my clients get, they often ask how I do it.  In reply, I ask them if they have ever tried Sumo (or Roller Derby or Curling).  They look at me rather befuddled and say: “No, Why do you ask?” 

I then say: “My work is kind of like Sumo.  It is something that, even if you have heard of it, you probably haven’t tried it.  And, like Sumo, no matter how much I explain it to you, you won’t get it.”  I’m sure this isn’t terribly satisfying, but it’s the best I can do, and, though I do explain my techniques, they still don't “get it.” 

Let me explain.

In my previous post, I described that I work with clients to achieve their goals.  I also presented the idea that my work draws what they need from within themselves – thus making it natural and easy to integrate into their lives.

How I do it is less clear because my work is a lot like a sport.  Knowing the organization, rules and some techniques help, but no matter how much study we might do, we won’t get it until we try.

Consultants, coaches and talk therapists have it easier because we innately understand how they work.  We understand that they give advice or ideas to help clients achieve their goals.  If you read my last post, however, you may recall that I avoid giving clients advice.  This doesn't mean that I’m against advice, it’s just that advice can be helpful only if the receiver is ready to accept it.

What I do, on the other hand, does not rely on giving advice so I have the unusual challenge of having to explain a unique kind of success training.

So, how do I work?  Clients do exercises – kind of like sports.  They stand up and move around the session space.  They physically take the position of the many aspects of themselves and others as a way to get different perspectives on what they are looking to improve.  They give themselves advice that they can accept.  They envision their dream, make plans for it, find out why it may fail and come up with solutions to those concerns. 

Clients take the perspective of their own clients and customers to understand what those relationships need.  They rework negative thinking and come up with new ideas that empower and embolden them to take the next steps on their path to success.

That’s how I work: I get clients to literally take new perspectives and thought processes.  I do this so they can give themselves the advice they need – which may include what consultants, coaches or talk therapists may have already told them – but, because they give it to themselves, they are able to accept and integrate it into their lives. 

My techniques get past their filters that stop them from listening to advice others may give them so they can internalize helpful thinking, beliefs and habits.  Clients naturally find themselves doing the things they need to do and they are doing it so naturally that they forget why they couldn't do it before.  This is what I call “motivation.”  Doing something you want to do – not forcing yourself to do something you have to do. 

If you could somehow find naturally yourself taking the chances you needed to start that career or business you’ve always wanted, do you think you might be able to succeed?  Or, if you could effortlessly follow your fitness plans, do you think you might be able to build a body you can be happy about?  What if you lost interest in foods that are fattening?  Do you think you might start losing weight?  What about money: if you really, truly thought that you could make lots of money easily, do you think you might find that you have more money?

I suspect you would and, because of the results I’ve had with many clients over the years, I can confidently say you would, too.

So, as in Sumo, even though you haven’t tried it, you can study my techniques and get an intellectual understanding of what you could achieve but eventually you will have to try it in order to really “get” it to become the yokozuna (Sumo grand champion) of your life.

Tune in next time and find out why I may not, however, be the best for you.