04/08/2010

By Paul Hunting, entrepreneur, author, leadership coach, horse whisperer

‘To receive you must be active. You will receive in direct proportion to your strength of purpose, clarity of vision, steadiness of faith and depth of gratitude.’ - John-Roger

I’ve been hunting all my life. For thirty years I’ve been pursuing my dreams disguised as a business person - but secretly practising alchemy. My role model?

Merlin.

While I find coaching people challenging at times, it’s also very simple. All I really do is share what works for me and support clients in aligning themselves and their organisations with the four ‘magic’ keys in John-Roger’s quote above. The keys I also use to open myself to life’s treasures.

Merlin was a master at transforming nothing into something that matters. When I say ‘nothing’ I mean an idea. Of course it was God who started this process. In Genesis it says when he created ‘heaven and earth’ it was without form and void. In the very beginning it was just an idea. Then he set in motion a process that created mankind and the universe. Pretty good wizardry for a beginner, eh?

I don’t have such grandiose aspirations, but it seems the principle of creation is what we all have inside us as part of his ‘image’.

Let us play:

Merlin’s four magic keys.

1. Strength of purpose.

2. Clarity of vision

3. Steadiness of faith

4. Depth of gratitude

Strength of purpose.

It’s critical not to confuse ‘purpose’ with ‘vision and goals’. Although our understanding and expression of our purpose may shift, deepen and even elude us, it is unchanging. In a world where the only true constant is change, this is the exception.

It is an abstract statement of who we really are and what we deeply value. Only when ‘on purpose’ can we truly experience the joy of being alive and the satisfaction of achieving goals. Once we fathom this, we are free to express it in myriad ways. As long as we are in alignment we’re (relatively) stress free and moving forward effectively. When we’re not on purpose, life has a way of giving us feedback designed, not to punish us, but wake us up. Stress, fear, depression, illness, addiction, etc - all these conditions are telling us we’re off course with our life’s natural pathway.

We ignore strengthening our sense of purpose at our peril. While I remind myself of mine when I stray, it’s very personal and I don’t tend to share it with anyone I don’t completely trust.

Clarity of vision.

While purpose is the answer to the questions ‘who am I and what do I care about?’, vision is the answer to ‘what do I really want?’.

Again, this is not to be confused with goals. It’s still more abstract and general. Goals are symbols of what we really want. They are important but intrinsically they cannot satisfy. Suppose I say ‘I want an old E-Type’? (I do, there’s a guy in our village who zooms around in a red V12 Roadster. I am green with envy!). But what I really want is the experience it will give me. Apart from looking well cool and making others green, it’s about exhilaration, freedom, and well-being. These are vision-level qualities I can get in any number of ways right now.

The essence of the vision qualities I want in my business are around outrageous, creative expression and making a massive difference. These are still not goals because while I am achieving this now on one level, there is unlimited expansion built in. It’s an aspiration. I won’t achieve world peace, but I can hold the vision as an inspiration - and do my bit.

Steadiness of faith.

This not the same as ‘religious faith’. This is about taking risks. The real competition we face is inside us. It is our false self that continually undermines us by saying ‘I can’t do xxx, because it’s impossible…therefore I can’t.’

Each time we hear and feel that voice blocking us we have a choice - contract or expand - take the easy option or take a risk.

If we are in touch with our purpose and vision, it supports us in taking that risk. Only those who are willing to risk defying the negative imagery that plagues us can possibly truly succeed on all the levels.

Steadiness of faith is what characterises the Merlins and the Bransons of this world. ‘Can’t’ is simply not in their dictionary.

Depth of gratitude.

Shit happens. We’re going to be tested. When we’re up to our neck in it and there’s no way out, we still have choices. The magic choice is the attitude of gratitude. Gratitude transforms manure into fertiliser. ‘At least it’s only up to my neck’ may seem like a Pollyanna attitude. But it’s not only the truth, it also leaves us open to possibilities. If I complain, I am pretending I had a better choice that I did not make or there’s a risk available I’m not brave enough to take.

Scientifically conducted psychological studies show unequivocally that people who keep a ‘gratitude’ journal are significantly more successful and less stressed.

If you would like some help putting these principles into practise, I do just happen to have a magic wand.

You can contact me via my website: www.horsejoy.com or email me at paul@horsejoy.com


Watch a video of the Academy for Chief Executives Speaker Showcase at The Grand Connaught Rooms in 2009, where speakers talked about new ideas.

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Paul Hunting is Managing Director of The Natural Leadership Centre Ltd and author of ‘Why talk to a guru? When you can whisper to a horse’.For the past 25 years Paul’s focus has been to awaken clients to the true self within and to their higher purpose and potential. He is an author, speaker, facilitator, executive coach and originator of Horse Assisted Leadership. His work is always at the cutting edge - challenging our self-limiting paradigms. www.horsejoy.com

As part of the Academy Community, professional speakers such as Paul provide excellent, practical and, in many cases, hard-hitting topics for Managing Directors and CEOs. They know that by inspiring the leader of a business to change his or her thinking and to help them motivate themselves and their people for the future, they will develop and grow their companies. For more information visit www.chiefexecutive.com
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