• Valentin Danielescu


Updated: Mar 17, 2020

About 3 weeks ago, during a preparation of a workshop, I had a conversation with some of my peers about what we choose to do in specific circumstances. The rather long conversation got to a point where I simply said: "Oh boy, life was simpler when I could put the blame on someone else!".

Although not planned, everyone in that round felt the need to pause the conversation for good tens of seconds, perhaps to create space for a quick reflection. I found my thoughts around this quite interesting hence this sharing.

The first thing was the message itself - life was, indeed, simpler when I used to say "it is someone else's fault" or "it is in God's power to change it". It was simpler to say that whatever happened was out of my control, out of my reach therefore someone else needed to act upon it. I could not and cannot do anything about that. Nothing at all. I simply accept whatever comes down upon me. As a consequence, I did not challenge my brain to think about any single shred of evidence that I can influence the situation for the better if not change it completely.

The second, and perhaps most interesting part, was that, according to that, I choose not to focus my time and energy on blaming anyone/something else. Instead, after understanding that the situation is as is today, I am seeking ways to place myself into the position of attempting to do something about it, despite it not being always simple, easy or with a guaranteed results. With other words, rather concentrating on finding an external blame and fixating into the past, I choose to focus my energy towards doing everything in my power to change it/adjust it.

Cliché? A hollow message? It might as well be. What I did observe, however is that during the last 4 months I did manage to influence some decisions and actions that in November seemed to be literally impossible by focusing on what I can do; encouraging folks to do the same; presenting my aspirations in a different shape and form depending on the audience; and not accepting a status quo/pre-defined answer.

I will not be disclosing the actual content of the above situation since the information is confidential. I will however give some 3rd person examples that I either thought of or seen put in practice with interesting results.

Rain is something out of our control. We cannot decide when it rains and when it should stop. But we can choose to seek shelter or to get an umbrella - sure, chances are that our feet will still get wet, however the upper part not. Better than nothing, right? One might argue that with the current technology in place we can even check the weather before leaving home and be ready for any type of weather.

N.B. I am sure that it was not necessarily easy for the umbrella inventor, however the outcome improved humanity comfort when raining.

Another example: you have an interview that you are well prepared for. You are leaving home to get to the location well ahead of time but you are stuck into a traffic jam generated by a car accident. It becomes obvious that you will not make it in time so it is at that exact moment when you choose between not showing up or calling the recruiter ASAP and sharing your situation. While not showing up will for sure not maintain your opportunity, giving the right heads-up to the recruiter might lead to a reschedule.

At times, I feel that this approach is a generator of time and energy and moves one into action-mode. But this is just me; you can check this out for yourself and I will be here to accompany you on this journey.

Come to think about it, the title might as well be reformulated into "What Coaching Did For Me".

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