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August 29, 2003

"We can be knowledgeable with other men's knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other men's wisdom."
-- Montaigne
One of my favorite questions to ask clients early on in our coaching relationship, after they have clearly established their "wow" goals (i.e. the things which, when achieved, would make them go "wow!"), is this:

"If you carry on as you are, will you reach your goals in the time you've given yourself?" 

In thirteen years of working with clients professionally, I have never known anyone not to be able to answer that question.  And more often than not, the answer is "no."  (Isn't it interesting that most of us know we're not on track to live the life of our dreams but are willing to carry on blindly down the road to failure until confronted with that fact?) 

I then ask the following question: 

"What do you need to change in order to get where you want to go?"

The most common answer I get to this question is "I don't know." Being an NLP trainer (and by some accounts, a really annoying guy), I then ask "If you did know, what would the answer be?"  Sometimes, this is enough to allow someone to bypass their reluctance and fear and dip a toe into the cauldron of their inner wisdom.  When it's not, I resort to my not so secret weapon.  I ask them to guess! 

While I've yet to meet anybody with an accurate crystal ball, there's something pretty close inside each of us -- our own inner knowing. Deep down, we know whether we're on track.  We know how we want to be treated.  We know which disagreements are minor and which are showstoppers.  We know what challenges to write off and which ones to take on. 

For many of us, "guessing" is just a less frightening way of accessing our inner wisdom -- after all, where do you think your "best guess" is coming from? 

Saying "I don't know" most often means either "I haven't gone inside and really asked" or "I'm scared to say what I think."  Although that fear was usually conditioned into us when we were young, we have the choice in any moment to simply "guess" our way past it and gain access to the wisdom within.  And the more we are willing to ask ourselves questions and take the time to listen to our answers, the more we will find ourselves learning, growing, and succeeding in the months and years to come! 

By Michael Neill at www.successmadefun.com
(c) 2003 Michael Neill  All rights reserved.
1.    Write down your "best guess" at the actions, practices,
       or changes you can make that would have the biggest
       positive impact on your success in each of the following

                   Your career
                   Your love life
                   Your family and friends (community)
                   Your health
                   Your spiritual life

2.    Review your list, putting a check next to those which look
       good, feel right, or have the ring of truth.

3.    Here's all you need to do -- 

"In whatever area you most want to succeed, begin actioning, practicing, or changing at least one of them today."

Find out how you can be more successful in our 45 minute free coaching session.

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