End of the World or Second Chance?

According to some ‘popular’ interpretations of ancient Mayan prophecy, the world should have ended today. Alternatively this day has ushered in a new age of enlightenment. Many people are probably so sick of hearing about the end of the world that they wished it was, just so the ‘end-of-timers’ would just shut the ‘hell’ up.

In less than two weeks we may have set new year’s resolutions and already broken them. It seems we like to make grand gestures on significant dates. So, let’s work on the hypothesis that we are entering a new age of enlightenment, only we don’t have t wait for it to come to us. I’ve already been pondering what I can do differently in the coming year and the things I do well that I can do more of.

Use this ‘un-momentous’ occasion to review your strengths, values and goals including things you have been putting off, things that you have’always wanted to do’, but never seem to make the time. Part of my job as a programme co-ordinator on a psychology course meant that I had to interview prospective candidates. The question I found most useful was ‘What are you going to give up (sacrifice) to attend this course?’ It took most people by surprise as they had perhaps figured that they would squeeze it in amongst other commitments. The problem with that approach is that you ‘spread yourself too thinly’. Giving up stuff can be a positive thing. Many of the prospective candidates would be busy, mature-aged students. The one thing they had all given up was the attitude that they were not ‘student-material’. They had let go of something negative and entertained the possibility that they just might ‘do good’ second time around.

Working with these students proved inspirational and a turning point in my career. I recognized that I would need a few extra confidence building skills and that’s how I began coaching (life coaching). I went off and did some coaching training. I brought these skills back to the class room and ran extra-curricular personal development courses that formed the basis of my book, Don’t Wait For Your Ship To Come In. . . Swim Out To Meet It. In order to attend these courses, the students sacrificed a few weekends but hopefully gained a lot more. To complete essays they probably had to sacrifice a few evening’s television, but the sense of achievement they gained was far greater.

So what can you give up in your life to make way for something you’ve always wanted to do? Have you longed to return to learning, or learn a new language or just get out more and reconnect with people? It’s often said that when staring death in the face we don’t regret the things we have done but the things we haven’t done.

So today, as we have all collectively faced up to the end of the world, what would have been your deepest regrets? More importantly, what are you going to start doing about it today? Start by sacrificing the attitude that you can’t do it or you haven’t got the time. Make way for new attitudes. Reaffirm your values in life, that which you stand for in life, and take action.

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What Does “Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to meet it.” Mean?

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“What does “don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to meet it” mean?” has been appearing in the list of searched terms on my blog quite a lot, recently. It’s the title of my goal-setting book on psychological skills for elite performance. So, I thought I’d take the opportunity to explain the phrase more fully, without you having to buy my book to find out.

You may have uttered the phrases ‘someday my numbers will come up’ or ‘someday my ship will come in’. These words are based on the idea that a stroke of luck will change our fortunes. Now wishful thinking is fine but it should be just the start. What often eludes us is knowing exactly where to start to turn things around in our lives. It might be that you feel overwhelmed. It might be procrastination. Whatever it is, you need an action plan. It’s the ‘swimming out to meet your ship’ that alludes to the all-important action. You can trust your life to the fickle hand of fate or rise to the challenge of taking matters into your own hands. The phrase ‘don’t wait for your ship to come in. . . swim out to meet it’ means ‘don’t wait around for fate, identify your goals and take action to achieve them’. This is the essence of life-coaching. After wishful thinking there needs to be planned, purposeful, decisive action.

Book cover: Don't Wait For Your Ship To Come In. . .

Read a sample on Amazon UK or Amazon USA

In the book  I break the phrase down into three stages of goal-achievement:

  1. Don’t Wait. . . represents INSIGHT. . . and the recognition that something needs to change.
  2. Your Ship. . . which acknowledges OWNER-SHIP. . . It’s your ship, your dream, so it’s up to you to do something about it.
  3. Swim Out To Meet It. . . represents ACTION.

The book recognizes that it’s not easy and offers a series of tools and techniques for positive lasting change, based on the underlying principle “It’s your life so take it personally”. So the formula for change is:

Positive Lasting Change = Insight + Ownership + Action

I use this basic principle in my coaching practice where I work with clients through this process, using a strengths-based, solution-focused approach. Recognizing that action takes courage, I’ll begin with the green shoots and nurture them in line with your goals. That’s how we build motivation and confidence.

So that’s it. ‘Don’t Wait For Your Ship To Come In. . . Swim Out To Meet It‘ is basically a challenge, a call to action. You can still believe in destiny, fate or the cosmic order, but there’s nothing to say that you can’t give fate a helping hand. In fact, it’s a must.

If you want to find out more about coaching with me, get in touch for your free telephone/Skype consultation.

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Solution Focused Life Coaching with Chartered Psychologist and Author Dr Gary Wood

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