Are you one of those people who are always preparing for a journey that they never take?
That was the question which touched the core of someone I know, a highly talented person whose head is often filled with ideas and plans that never get implemented. There is always some obstacle, something else that has to be done first, some pre-condition to be satisfied, some preparation to be completed before the plan can go ahead.
With all that preparation, the journey is never taken.
Someone once said that the greatest collection of talent and potential lies in the graveyard – an unrivalled assembly of dreams, plans and innovations that never got off the drawing board. Contrast that with Thomas Edison, the man credited with over 10,000 attempts to invent the electric light bulb. He said, “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
He also said, “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”
I was reminded of all this when I received an invitation to attend a sales training extravaganza. I looked at the list of speakers and considered what they would be saying. Nothing new. So why would I go? Why will most of the delegates go?
I run training programmes myself, not only in salesmanship but in all the other important areas of verbal communication. What I teach can and should be implemented in day-to-day business connections. But I can remember the first time I trained a group for the second time, after a gap of more than a year.
They had mostly reverted to what they had always done before.
The first lot of training had therefore been a waste of time and money. I suspect that would be true of many training programmes. What are the expectations of the people attending the sales extravaganza, I wonder. People go to such events to learn something new, and may be inspired (briefly) to change, but gradually revert to old habits.
That realisation prompted me to change my approach to training. First I aim to change how people think about the subject, because if you THINK differently you will DO differently. Then I help them acquire certain specific skills that they can implement right away, in line with the new thinking.
Training that gives you ideas and even some inspiration is not enough. It has to set you on the path to that journey you should be taking, whether it happens to be some new enterprise or just a new approach. That said, it is still up to you.
Take the journey.