I have gotten many requests to post more about what I do when I help people as a coach and mental trainer.
The toolbox is large and contains a vast array of methods to help others depending on what they want to achieve. But above all, I hold the attitude that the other person’s interest, desires and goals are more important than any tool or method. I practice winging it more than anything else.
But there is one tool that I often use to help a person get back on his feet. It is a method I have found very effective when dealing with everything from a person coping or struggling to those who consider taking their own lives. This has nothing to do with introspection or therapy – I leave that to others. It has everything to do with getting shit done.
Here’s the simple way you can help another (or yourself):
- Tell the person to write a list of everything he hasn’t completed. Everything that nags him, that he thinks he should have done or should do. Every bad conscience. Everything. If it takes a stack of papers, it takes a stack of papers. If the list is short, so be it. But ensure you have exhausted his bad conscience. You are not interested in why the actions wasn’t done or any explanation for them. Forget prioritizations or categorizations at this point. The list can be all messy or upside-down. Doesn’t matter. Just get everything down on paper.
- Tell the person to remove everything he no longer has the opportunity or ability to do. This could be items like “Be a firefighter before I become 25 years old” (he is now 35) or “Be the next great goal keeper on Barcelona Football Club” (he is 35 and has a bad left knee). Strike out anything that he can no longer do. Make sure he also removes it from his mind.
- Tell the person to remove everything he no longer wants to do. No matter what the reason is, anything that he really doesn’t want to do is removed from the list. Make sure he also removes it from his mind. He now has a list of actions that he can, will and should complete.
- Prioritize. In the order of what is really bothering him. The worst shit goes on the top, and all the way down to the more insignificant itches.
- Make him do the one thing that bothers him the most. Help him. Complete the action together with him, or sit there while he completes it. Then make him do the second biggest source of worry. Then the third, the fourth and so on. Until you are confident he can do more actions on the list as home work. Follow it through until the person himself is confident he can do anything on such a list all by himself.
You do this, and you will have a friend for life. And your friend will have a different life. This happens to be the tool I use that has the most profound effect on a person who is struggling in life.
Try it. Let me know how it goes.