I work with a lot of individuals who are working on their personal effectiveness: trying to achieve more, develop as Leaders or Managers, just trying to get more from life. One of the things I hear, when they are talking about adversity they face in their job or their life is “What’s the point?”  They will normally be telling me a big story about how their manager/client/partner/child is causing them problems, and no matter what they do, they cannot get round it. Where they end up is with their head down, asking themselves, “What’s the point?”

It struck me a few months ago, working with a group that had a particularly high incidence of, what I now call, “WTP Syndrome”, that I needed to help them find a new way of looking at their situation: a way round the problem that results in action, rather than despondency.

Anyone who knows me will know that I believe language has great power. What occurred to me is that generally it isn’t the situation we are in that is causing the problem, it is how we relate to the situation. I now get people to repeat the sentence, merely putting a different emphasis on what they are saying: I get them to ask themselves, “What is the point?”

This might seem like a play on words that will make little difference. However, it is the difference between telling yourself there is no point, and refocusing on what it is you are trying to achieve. “What is the point?” is about trying to get back to the purpose of the relationship, or interaction you are having difficulty with. This has the ability to motivate and enthuse you, and once you have this, you can follow the simple, but effective, WDF action process. Ask yourself:

  • What do I Want?
  • What are all the things I need to Do?
  • What am I going to do First?

…then simply take action.

Life can be difficult; situations and people will make things hard on you. However, when you notice the feeling that things are getting in the way, it can be used to remind yourself what they are getting in the way of. Once you have that, you can put yourself back on track to get where you want to be.