Context - the Missing Ingredient!

Always Remember the Context

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The man's voice on the phone was friendly, "Can we have more time? it's not done yet" he asked. It was the Channel Islands bank. His phone call was unexpected, although I had been waiting a long time for their reply.

"You've written to us about being overcharged, and I've now been asked to investigate the matter," he said. "We are looking into it, but today is your deadline, and it's not done yet."

"It's Friday lunchtime," he continued. "I was hoping to leave work on time this afternoon for the weekend. But doing a thorough job will take several hours, I would actually need to stay late. May I do it next week instead?"

The bank had seriously overcharged me, so I'd written asking why several months ago. They'd ignored it. They'd also ignored my second letter. So my third said that if I didn't hear from them, I'd write to their Chairman in the hope that a motivated deadline would get this important matter resolved.

I was angry, even incensed. First at being over-charged. Then at the Bank ignoring my two previous letters. And lastly they'd ignored my generous deadline, even though they'd had over a month to deal with it. So I said no!

The manager then had to stay late that afternoon to investigate the matter. I spoilt his day by being inflexible and not acceding to his very reasonable request.

Early the next week, I received his report. It found that the bank had not overcharged me, their charges were perfectly reasonable!

Looking back at this incident, I'm amazed at how blind I had been. I totally ignored where he was coming from and the impact of saying no - which seriously upset his plans for the weekend.

Ignoring where he was coming from when he wrote the report dramatically affected the outcome. I was insistent on being right. But if I'd been more conscious of his needs, I'm sure that he would have approached the investigation far more sympathetically.

This decision cost me perhaps a thousand dollars. But was it his or the bank's fault? Not really, although my mind did initially give me this thought. Actually, it was my mistake in ignoring his context which cost me the money!

The Importance of Context

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Robert Kiyosaki is world famous, his first book Rich Dad, Poor Dad has been on the best-seller lists for years. It's about becoming wealthy! He's a prolific writer and gifted teacher on how to create wealth.

Yet his fifth book, Retire Young, Retire Rich, says very little about what you should do. It's mostly about the importance of context:

"it is not so much what you do that makes you rich or poor. It is more the context surrounding what you do that makes you rich or poor.
That is why when people ask me what I do... I reply;
'Please don't ask me what I do. Ask me what I think about what I do.

"The difference .. is the context surrounding the actions or content."

As Kiyosaki explains, what you do is content. Content is your knowledge, what you know how to do, your know-how. Whereas your context is where you come from when you do what you do - which is a rather good way to understand wisdom.

A Very Different Focus

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At Reduce Stress Now, we deeply understand the amazing truth in the powerful realization -

"It doesn't matter what you do, it won't get you
where you really want to be.

If this fundamental truth doesn't make much sense to you yet, reflect on it deeply. "To be" is not the verb "to do." A change in where you "be" needs a change in your being, not your doing! This is not a play on words - or just semantics - this fundamentally affects your results.

As Kiyosaki says, your context determines the success or failure of what you do. Changing what you do is not a change who you are. The change from where you are now to where you want to be involves changing your "be"ing - your context!

Have you noticed how situations can repeat themselves, often involving different people? We all laugh at the irony when someone lands in the same situation by marrying a clone of their mother or their father. Without changing context, situations reoccur so that you can learn the lesson.

Reducing stress involves reducing self-sabotage by changing your context, your being. Discover the different perspectives which will resolve rather than just help you endure a situation. Without changing within, how can your feelings about anything change?

There's a dilemma here, although only an apparent one! Your life is not about what you do, and yet life is all about moving on from where you are - which always involves doing!

Discover more Aha moments

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Changing context rather than just your knowledge is vital. So our goal is to educate rather than teach. Education comes from the Latin educare - 'to draw forth from within.'

With each discussion of context, we aim to bring you an aha moment. To get you to see things differently, so that you can say:

"Yes, I know this, I might not have put it that way, but
it does make so much sense.

Then that new perspective - that change of context - becomes your truth, rather than just our truth. You want the certainty of knowing, but the problem is that you've been taught that believing is just as good. It isn't!

When you have a glass of juice in your hand, you don't say I believe I have a glass of juice, you say I know - because you're certain. You may say I believe it's apple-juice, which indicates you are not entirely certain that it's apple-juice. You say you believe when you don't know!

Believing takes your power away. You were mislead by your education, religion, society, the government, your parents, friends, elders, people you look up to... You may already have realized the profound lack of power in belief, why is why we prefer the certainty of knowledge instead.

So how many unquestioned beliefs do you have? Many people have spent their lives believing they cannot be happy without things. Money, power, a 'good job' or your own business, love, the approval of others, friends, control over (fill in the blank), whatever… What is your individual combination?

Life often doesn't give you what you're convinced you cannot be happy without. And then you're doomed to a life of frustration, anxiety and insecurity. You worry about tomorrow in an ever-changing world that refuses to submit quietly to your control. There is a better way...

The Misleading Question, "What Should You Do?"

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The misleadingly obvious start of 'Where do you want to get to?' is often one of the first questions in coaching. This then leads to "What do you need to do to get there?" Yet having described her goals in detail for her coach, an associate Anna then described her subsequent experience with coaching as 'professional butt-kicking.'

Doesn't it make sense to first explore what are you all about? How can you be really fulfilled? What's stopping you being that? These questions instead ask about your context - your being rather than your content. They have little to do with what you do.

So this exploration implies that a different number one priority would be more effective, NOT that setting goals doesn't produce genuine results.

Aren't you better off deciding where to get to once you know who you really are - in contrast to who you think you are? If your answer to this important question is yes then you need to improve your context - your understanding of who and where you are - your being.

Our Unique Approach - Context

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Coaching originated in the twentieth century and mostly focuses on the present, on what to do today. The numerous coaching schools frequently emphasize the Socratic method - asking questions and eliciting answers to determine your truth.

One of the problems here is that questions and answers generally focus on what to do, either now or in the short-term, to achieve specific goals. Although doing what you need to do to achieve your goals is indeed very important.

Writing for other coaches in 'Decisions, Decisions...', Stephen Fairley says:

"As a coach, I come in as a partner to you ... It's about asking all the right questions.

He defines coaching as a

"one-to-one interactive relationship that helps people identify
and accomplish their personal and professional goals."

Which all looks deceptively good. But what about that wonderful French proverb, "Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose"? The more things change, the more they stay the same!

Although the faces and individual circumstances do continually vary, your challenge tends to remain more or less the same. If you have been focussing on the present, on what to do, you probably already know how true this is for you.

This breakthrough methodology concentrating on your future originated from in the dying years of the twentieth century. Its cutting-edge, experiential technology explains the need to focus on your context - the key to effectiveness in creating your future.

Changing Context - not a substitute for psychotherapy

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Psychotherapy originated in the nineteenth century. Much of it seems to focus on the past, on how to fix an individual's past so they can move on. Whilst successful for many troubled individuals, it can often take quite a long while. And as every moment passes you create more of the past!

Yet no matter how much some practitioners would like therapy to be all things to all men, the enormous growth in other disciplines suggests otherwise. Thus some psychologists and psychotherapists are also being trained in coaching and other more modern disciplines. The need for assistance with creating the future seems little addressed by therapy.

To make real change to your stress levels you need to increase your inner strength. This means changes, often cognitive, to your context. Only change can improve your ability, your personal power, to become whatever you choose to be. Whatever that is.

Changing context can be very challenging, so this is only for healthy people. If you are not well, or have any psychological issues, please go to a medical professional! The less open-minded you are to new perspectives, the more stressful you will find changing your context to be.

If you totally accepted reality as it is right now, then wouldn't you also be happy? How much stress would you then have about your circumstances? One view of stress is that it measures the gap between reality, what is so, and what you think should be happening.

Wanna Reduce your Stress?

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Choose your next step right now:

Food for Thought

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"In order to do what really matters to you, you have to,
first of all, know what really matters to you.

Dr. Edward Hallowell, MD, child psychiatrist, Harvard College graduate

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