• Keys to Success: Ask Them What They Did

    Last week, our Humble Health Guru, Sean Lewis, explained the importance of learning from the success and failure of others in order to succeed. Another key to success is to have a mentor and ask them what they did. Read further to find out what are the two types of personality that prevent you from learning from your mentor!


    Over the many years of working in the field of getting people fit, clearly the ones that listen the most are the ones that get the best results. I’ve identified two of the most problematic personality types when it comes to coaching. There are the “chronic negotiators” and those that suffer from “yea, but” syndrome.

    One of the keys to success is to find a mentor in our ongoing efforts to get fit and healthy. Our environment is full of these great role models. Finding them isn’t necessarily the problem, it’s listening to them that poses the challenge for most of us. Our real challenge starts with the question “what did you do to get to where you are now”? I’ve personally had the blissful occasion where the person that asked me this question proceeded to follow my advice to the letter. With a few speed bumps and adjustments along the way, these individuals enjoy steady progress and feel the excitement of goal attainment.

    Unlike this character type we meet the chronic negotiator from time to time. This individual perpetually hangs on to the habits that are responsible for their undesirable state. They don’t want to let go and the negotiations are about not letting go of the habits that give them security and comfort. It’s very difficult to say what can be done with this person as the habits that give them comfort are the very source of their stagnation. The best that I can recommend is to make sure that the change you propose is as enticing as those practices which you are having them leave behind. If “the negotiator” isn’t enough of a challenge, we have the “yea, but” syndrome to cope with. You know this type, “yea, but it looked delicious”, “yea, but I was upset”, “yea, but it was only a small piece”, “yea but I’ve been trying so hard.” The problem with this particular character type is that the individual is trying to justify their slip up. We need to remind this person that staying on track with their goals is not about making excuses for their lack of adherence to their plan. I always say “yea” is an affirmative and “but” is used to introduce something contrasting with what has already been mentioned. Guess what? They cancel each other out and you’re left with nothing! “Yea, but” propels us on the path toward no change.

    When our mentor is guiding us and correcting our actions or simply giving advice, please don’t negotiate or nod your head in agreement and then utter “yea, but.” Instead trust the person who you stopped one day and asked, “what did you do to get where you are?”

    Sean Lewis


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