You Don’t Have To Be Sick To Get Better

I’ve just returned from a 30 day high-altitude mountaineering expedition to a very remote part of Nepal on the Tibetan border, in the shadow of the mighty Makalu which, at 8481m (27,825ft), is the 5th highest mountain in the world. You can see some photographs here.

As always on these extended expeditions and largely due to the prevailing weather conditions, one always has plenty of ‘tent time’.

There is nothing quite like spending 36 hours in a tent trying to stay anchored to the ground, to focus your mind on what’s important!

For me this time often provides a marvellous opportunity to think about and reflect on goals, priorities, values, work and family matters and life in general.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared
to what lies within us”.
 Ralph Waldo Emerson

This time I got to thinking about my 27 year career, teaching, coaching and mentoring in self-development, and wondered how many people engaged in some type of personal or business related development programme, based on a defined need, rather than a genuine desire for personal growth. In other words the development activity was seen as part of the solution to a problem that had been identified either by the person themselves or their employer.

Now I don’t know the statistical answer to my own question and doubt if one is even available. However I did reflect on my own experiences of working with more than 21,400 individuals since 1985 and concluded that for many of the ultra successful people with whom I have worked from the fields of sport and business, they had adopted the simple approach that you don’t have to be sick to get better! Why do so many people announce a big change in lifestyle ONLY after they’ve had some health related issue to deal with? Why wait until you’re overweight to start eating more sensibly? It doesn’t make sense but most of us do it to some degree or other!

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself”. George Bernard Shaw

This got me thinking of the many ways you and I can use the concept contained within the expression ‘You Don’t Have To Be Sick To Get Better’. For example, here are a few of the questions I asked myself and jotted down whilst taking my ‘tent time’:

* How much better can I be at sharing ideas with others?

* How much better can I be at providing remarkable service to my customers?

* How much better can I be at maintaining a positive attitude?

* How much better can I be as a performance coach?

* How much better can I be at communicating with my clients?

* How much better can I be as a mountain leader?

* How much better can I be at listening to my clients?

* How much better can I be at public speaking?

* How much better can I be at managing my time?

* How much better can I be at writing this blog?

* How much better can I be at telling my family how much they mean to me?

* How much better can I be at listening to my children?

* How much better can I be at being a father and a husband?

* How much better can I be at – well almost anything?

Now the key point here is that none of these questions imply an underlying problem, in fact many of the points would be seen as personal strengths by my clients, family and friends. However it’s true isn’t it – that most of what we do – we do pretty well otherwise we’d probably stop doing it out of frustration or lack of results. Or someone else would make the decision for us!

The concept has certainly got me thinking – I hope that’s true for you too. Why not start your own list of questions today. Remember you don’t have to be sick to get better!

“Do, or do not. There is no try”. Yoda

Please feel free to share this post with friends, family and colleagues who you think may also be interested in the content.

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3 thoughts on “You Don’t Have To Be Sick To Get Better

  1. Pingback: If It Is To Be It Is Up To Me | HODSON ASSOCIATES

  2. I enjoyed this very much, Tony. I’ve thought about these questions in a slightly different way because I’ve always tried to be better (parental encouragement – I was fortunate) For me, at this point, having put in a lot of pleasurable “effort” to constantly improve, it’s more about how much better I feel because I am able to do these things for others. There are no words to describe the feelings of great satisfaction when one is able to achieve any of these things even to better the lives of just a few people. However, I’ve had the opportunity to touch the lives of literally 1’000s of college students and still receive expressions of their appreciation. A priceless gift I will cherish forever..

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