The words ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there’ are generally attributed to the Cheshire Cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland but are actually lyrics from the song ‘Any Road’ by George Harrison. The exchange between Alice and the cat goes like this:
‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
‘I don’t much care where—’ said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
‘—so long as I get somewhere,’ Alice added as an explanation.
‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.’
Many of us are jay-walk through life without a clear idea of where we are heading.
It’s a bit like jumping into a car and driving around without a destination in mind and without a map either. We do end up somewhere, that’s for sure, but it might not be where we need to be and we’ve used up a lot of precious time and fuel to get there.
So it makes sense to at least have a plan, even though, to continue the Beatles theme, as John Lennon wrote ‘Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans’ in his song ‘Beautiful Boy,’ and actually a quote from a 1957 Reader’s Digest article by Allen Saunders.
Some believe our lives are pre-ordained. They share a fatalistic philosophy that destiny holds the key to their future. A more scientific view is that we have powerful brain filters, such as the reticular activating system (RAS) which come into play when we set our intention, focus on what we want and why we want it.
Truth is, when we create a detailed image of a future we want, and tag it with emotion, the brain registers it as significant, allowing through information it may previously have filtered out. A series of seemingly serendipitous events then gently pull us in the direction of our goals.
But you have to get the detail right and, for most people, the open question
is too global. It will either elicit the response ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I just want to win the lottery’. At this point, I generally ask
and take out a copy of the Fusion wheel of life exercise to break the answer down into its component parts.
It’s true, the right question posed at the right time and asked in the right way, will invite the recipient to go on an internal search and paint pictures in their imagination and, the more explicit those pictures are, the better, because RAS loves detail.
In all my years of therapeutic coaching and 30,000 plus hours of client experience, the 21 questions outlined here are some of the most powerful I’ve come across and will create a super-highway to the chosen destination.
But first, we need to be clear about the starting point. If there are problems or worries, they will need to be addressed. The following questions are designed to cut to the core issues.
Many of us suffer from cognitive overload. The clutter in our heads prevents us thinking clearly. When we get emotional, our brains become disabled and we are denied access to the rational brain hemisphere which actually loves to solve problems.
So if the screaming in your head is drowning out the logical way forward, ask yourself ‘what does this all boil down to? If I had to give a simple explanation of the problem ‘in a nutshell’ what would it be about?’
In true Sherlock Holmes style, having clarity about the answer to the first question will lead to the answer to the second:
Once the problems of the present and the worries about the past are on the road to resolution, it’s time to plan for a problem free the future.
The following questions are taken from the Fusion Therapeutic Coaching Diploma programme. They are structured to set brain filters for future goals and to get results fast.
So, put your running shoes on, prepare for action, and do what author of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ author Steve Covey suggested, ‘Start with the end in mind!!’
Good luck and let me know how you get on…
Mindfulness Based Mind Management (advanced MBSR), Post natal depression, solution focus, guided visualisation, addiction, epigenetics, mapping the connectome, polyvagal theory, the reticular activating system (RAS), secondary gain, trauma resolution, coaching for kids, treating depression, worrying well, working SMART, therapeutic stories, insight, psycho education, suicide prevention, affirmations, positive mental rehearsal, imagery, dissociation, goal setting, new paradigms, reframes, fast track learning, perception shifting, self actualisation, positive psychology, reframing, metaphor, personal empowerment, motivational thinking, lifting depression, the happiness principle, resilience and resourcefulness, human flourishing, anchoring, rewiring your brain, the STOP System, the SAFE SPACE happiness recipe,
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