A Coaching Power Tool Created by Rahul Bhatnagar
(Executive Coach, INDIA)
Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth. Bradley Whitford
‘Wishing vs Acting’ as a Power Tool:
As with all ICA Power-tools, ‘Wishing and acting can coexist in a positive way as well as in a negative way, and they can even complement each other. Wishing and acting are two aspects in our life and they are equally crucial from coaching perspective. Let us understand the distinction and let us discover how we can be aware and exercise these contrasting aspects in our coaching practice.
Let us start with understanding the meaning –
Definitions (Oxford & Webster)
An act of thinking about something that you want and hoping that you will get it or that it will happen in some magical way – Having or expressing a desire or hope for something to happen – The belief that something that you want to happen is happening or will happen, although this is actually not true or very unlikely
A process or condition of acting or moving, as opposed to rest; the doing of something – The accomplishment of a thing usually over a period of time, in stages, or with the possibility of repetition – The fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim
To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe – Anatole France
Let us see, what happens when ‘Wishing’ remains as wishful thinking –
And let us see how the shift happens when wish is followed by an action plan, how it moves disempowerment to empowerment, disenchantment to fruition –
Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan has emphasized the importance of action in terms of execution in their book –
Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done.
They say – Meaningful change comes only with execution and success follows when we translate the big thoughts into concrete steps.
Wish and thought may remain only a ‘wish’ until it is followed by a step-by-step action plan and execution of the plan.
If we consider ‘wish’ as an intention and not as a wishful thinking, it is a powerful starting point and to convert ‘wishing’ into ‘acting’ we need to act and execute. Acting is taking that next action. Every one of us want more success. We want to have less stress and more possessions. We want to be happier, and the list of desires and wishes keep growing. How do transform these desires into reality?
The very first step is to take action and then remain committed all the time, have perseverance and keep acting. In our life in general and in coaching in particular, ‘Wishing’ is not enough and ‘Acting’ further on those wishes is required to move forward!
Without focus on actions and an eye on our goals, we drift into habitual patterns and time keeps passing by. We continue to be in the same routine. Days keep on disappearing, and so the weeks, months and years, and we are no further ahead in realizing our goals and we wonder where all the time went. To achieve our goals we need to start taking actions and continue moving forward with ‘next actions’.
Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all. – Norman Vincent Peale
Wishing and Acting are part of our life. We always have tendencies to take actions on our plans and move forward to fulfil our wishes. In Coaching, it is imperative that the coach understands client’s perspective & position. It starts with the awareness of Coach himself and listening to the client with full attention & intention. Coach supports the client in developing his awareness about his wishes and support converting them into action. Without this awareness, there is always a possibility of slipping back to a state of inaction.
Coach can ask questions to increase the self-awareness about wishes & aspirations, about values & vision and how the client utilizes this increased awareness to create a structure. How to be conscious about the action steps and remain focused.
Coach need to work with the client in identifying the ‘wish’, ‘wishful thinking’ and ‘actions’ and Coach becomes the part of client’s journey from ‘wishing’ to ‘acting’.
- What action you will take to remain aware about your wishes and actions?
- How will you bring the awareness for converting wishes to action?
- What structure you will create to convert wishes to concrete actions?
- What can you do remain focused on your goals and on your actions?
- What will change in your life with the focus on your actions?
- How can your actions remain aligned with your wishes and goals?
Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action. – Benjamin Disraeli