There is a joke that I just love.
A flood was coming.
One man of faith was offered a ride out of town, but declined saying ‘God will grant me a miracle.’
As the waters rose, he had to move to the 2nd floor of his house. People came by in a boat and encouraged him to leave with them. He said ‘No, God will grant me a miracle.’
Finally he is forced to the roof of his home with flood waters all around him, and a helicopter comes by and throws him a rope. He doesn’t take it, yelling ‘God will grant me a miracle.’
The man drowns, and shows up at the pearly gates really upset. St. Peter says ‘I don’t know what you’re complaining about. We sent you a car, a boat, and a helicopter!’
I see this all the time in coaching and motivational work, because they demand that we step up. They demand that we do things that are outside our current experience, and possibly outside our comfort zone. We have to take action even if the path doesn’t look like we thought it would.
I believe that there are many good training and coaching programs out there. Some are better than others, certainly, and some will resonate more with you than others will. However, the number one reason that programs ‘don’t work’ – that they don’t create the miracle – is because people don’t implement what they are told to do.
So here’s a quick test to see if you’re taking action to create your miracle:
- Am I clear on the steps or tasks that I’m supposed to do?
Clarity is partly the responsibility of the teacher, trainer, or coach. However, if you’re in an interactive program, YOU have the responsibility to ask if something isn’t clear. Most trainers and coaches are grateful for feedback.
- Have I taken those steps, or done those tasks?
This is the tough one. It’s time to look, without excuses, at what you’re implementing. Look at whether you’re running through a list of ten possible actions, not liking any of them, not DOING any of them, and then wondering why you don’t have results.
- What were my results?
Measurement is SO important. If you tried something, what happened? How many times did you try it, and in what different ways? Specifically, what happened?
- What feedback do those results give me, and how can I use that to succeed?
Most of us know when we try something and don’t get the results we’re looking for, why it happened. It might be that you didn’t give it enough energy, you had conflicting beliefs that sabotaged you, you were missing a critical element (like addressing the wrong market or speaking with the wrong language). This is the important point: If you know why it didn’t work, and can do it better, it wasn’t a failure. It was a learning experience.
- What steps or tasks did I NOT do, because they were uncomfortable?
Sometimes just leaving out one critical piece can keep you from your results. Perhaps you need to do the last 5% of the work to have something complete to offer. Or it might be that you aren’t willing to try half of the options available to you, because they aren’t comfortable.
This work isn’t for sissies. It’s the work that it takes to succeed. Looking at yourself, being honest, being willing to learn, and being willing to do what looks like failure. When you get used to doing this, though, your results will be breathtaking. They might even look like a miracle.