What does Dave think?

One of our clients gave “real-time” feedback as he read his assessment results and went through the success discovery process exercises. Follow his experience. It doesn’t get any more real than this. By the way, Dave is a person in England, which accounts for a few language differences.

Reflections from a client using the self-directed program:
I have immediately taken the time to read through the [assessment] reports that you sent me and I must say that I am at once fascinated and very impressed. From the level of questions asked and the ease of the questionnaire I am quite honestly amazed at the accuracy of the results. There are many things in the report that I have only identified in deep chats with my partner, Sarah, and we have known each other for eight years! Some of the things I think I have only seen in a nebulous fashion before, maybe even only to myself and now feel they are crystallised. There are also some items that I had not considered before and might even find challenging to contemplate. I really cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to complete this exercise. I haven’t used the SDP for change as yet - I wanted to record my immediate impressions, but I’ll go and have a go now…

OK, it’s now some 75 minutes later and I’ve gone through the SDP process. Blimey, I wasn’t expecting such an intense experience, I feel as if I have been through the wringer… The memories exercise is very useful and a good, more gentle introduction. At first I didn’t see the use of repeating the same exercise twice, but having completed the two exercises I saw at once that the similarities between the (otherwise very different) experiences pointed towards some useful insights. I really like the way in which it makes you think of the impact of other people in this exercise, I saw things that happened years ago in a new light for the first time. It certainly helped to reinforce the concepts of the categories and the fact that you will get on better with people who are more like you.

Also very interesting for me to examine what made me feel positive. I cam out lowest on tradition - and I discovered that one of the things I felt best about in one of my situations was actually smashing a traditional concept - literally proving a textbook wrong. I feel so negatively about rules and constraints that I actively gain motivation from attacking them. As a brief aside one of the best ways to get me to do something is to tell me I can’t do it or that it isn’t possible… I derived great motivation in my university years from the memories of old schoolteachers who said I would never make it. Even though they would never learn of my achievements it made me feel good to know I had ‘shown them’.

The three wishes exercise is great - it actually forced me to put down some of my most personal and secretly wished for dreams. Those things that I dared not hope for are now out in the open - at least for me - and it’s a very cathartic experience.

When I got to exercise four describing the changes I noticed something very interesting - my three wishes were variations on the options given for changing things when the people surrounding you are at odds with your own attitudes (on page 8 of the results). My three wishes were to change the situation, change myself to change my perception / cope with the situation or to leave the situation. Unfortunately for the situation seems to be life in general and the global situation I am at odds with the prevailing western culture - lots to change or get away from!

The fifth exercise is something that I personally do find difficult and it will form part of an ongoing exercise for me to identify who might aid me with my goal* The newspaper exercise I found challenging. I think that one difficulty is identifying success with myself - I can’t write about how successful I have been because that’s boasting and unseemly, even distasteful. I realise that there is a strong cultural influence here, but for now I have left that exercise to be returned to later. I am still mulling it over in my mind, perhaps I can accept it after some familiarisation time.

The final part of the exercise is the most challenging, because it forces me to think that my wildest dreams might be achievable or possible. That is very scary, but I realise that the step must be taken. I am going to complete my self-discovery exercise by the beginning of December and spend the holiday season setting goals for 2004, so I would say that I am beginning to make the changes now, but realistically nothing radical will happen next year.

The page at the end on the six attitudes is VERY useful. This will really form the basis of my future career choices.

In summary I feel that the two exercises have enabled me to get some real insight into myself (other exercises feel like playing in comparison). This is the single thing that has had the most influence and utility in achieving my goal of discovering what I want to be.

Dave

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