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Insights: Grand Designs
January 14, 2009

Grand Designs

“Don't be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.”

- Author unknown

What is your Grand Design for 2009 or beyond?

As you might expect, my wife and I have quite different tastes in TV. Fortunately, though, there are a number of programmes that we both enjoy very much and it is a real bonus if two or more of these get to show on any one evening when we choose to watch together.

Last night we were fortunate to see one of our favourites –
Grand Designs. For those who haven’t seen this BBC production it features regular individuals or couples who set out to design and build their dream home.

To me, the value of the programme derives from two main areas.

Firstly, there is quite superb presentation by Kevin McLeod whose passion for design and building and clever ‘investigative documentary’ approach really bring the show to life.

Secondly, the unfolding story of how people realize their dreams, with all the twists, turns and surprises along the way, makes for compelling viewing.

Jenni and I have been watching Grand Designs for some years now and we’re still captivated by the programme as each episode showcases different people, different dreams and different approaches to achieving these.

There are three key lessons that I have learnt from watching Grand Designs:

Achieving is Fulfilling

Without fail - and notwithstanding the difficulties and challenges faced along the way - the people involved always express great happiness, fulfillment and a feeling of improved self-belief when their dream is finally realized.

Preparation brings results

Those who spend more time upfront visualizing and planning their dream in intricate detail invariably experience plainer sailing on the journey and greater satisfaction at the outcome than those who make it up as they go along.

Problems are Disguised Opportunities

When people come up against obstacles, distractions and diversions on the journey (as they all do) those who stay calm and look for the disguised opportunity always end up with an even better outcome than they expected.

These learnings are, to my mind, entirely relevant in the field of life coaching where we help people to understand their life purpose, set relevant goals that they dream of achieving – and then embark on the process of realizing those dreams.

So, let me translate my Grand Designs ‘a-has’ into some general advice that I would offer to anyone wanting a richer and more fulfilling life experience:

  • You know you too have a ‘grand design’. Don’t ignore it, gloss over it, minimize it or avoid confronting it. See it as part of your life’s work, part of your role as a creator of things.

  • Take the invisible ‘wrappers’ off your grand design, bring it to the front of your head, visualize the experience of achieving it and do that frequently so that your visualizations become stronger, more intricate, more positive, colourful and real. By doing this you are programming your subconscious mind to find ways to turn your dreams into reality.

  • Every person is unique. Our grand designs are different. Don’t let other people’s criticism of your grand design put you off achieving it. It is yours, not theirs. It is you who will make it happen, not them. They cannot see inside your head or experience the joy and pleasure of your visualizations. Allow them the freedom to pursue their grand designs and expect them to allow you the same.

  • Take inspired action to begin manifesting your grand design, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem at first. By taking action you are signalling to your subconscious mind that you are open and willing to pursue the avenues for progress that it is working to open up for you.

  • Build on the warm feeling that you get from taking the first action by taking more actions. See your actions, however small, as mini-achievements or the ‘building blocks’ for your grand design. Visualise yourself laying block after block with increasing rapidity until your grand design materializes.

  • Open your mind to opportunities that will move you forward towards the realization of your grand design. When you experience what may at first seem like setbacks or obstacles on your journey, stay focused and work out what the opportunity is that you are being presented with, albeit perhaps in heavy disguise.

  • Enjoy the journey. Remain gracious and grateful yet resolute. You will achieve what you set out to and your life will take on a new dimension and a new meaning.

Why not make 2009 the year in which you achieve – or at least start work on achieving your grand design?

Perhaps your grand design involves embarking on a new career - one in which you experience personal freedom, enjoy amazing self-confidence and know you are on a path of growth; one in which you caringly impart the secrets of a happy and prosperous life to others?

If so, I would invite you to consider training, with New Insights Africa, in your own time and at your own pace, to become a respected Life Coach. If you have the passion and enthusiasm, we have the knowledge, skills and insights!

Warm regards


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