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What is the single largest amount of money and time I have spent in my life?

A Crore, and a bit more than that, is what I have spent in terms of money alone in acquiring personal guidance from mentors, coaches and trainers who know me and who are experts in the areas I want to grow in. And I intend to spend five times more in the next three years.

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What is the single largest investment of my organization?

Personal consultants who guide and coach us (Harini and me) in the areas of business growth form the largest portion of the organization’s investment.

What do I get in return?

1. Live my life to my FULL potential;
2. Achieve what I want faster;
3. Explore what I don’t know that I don’t know.

Three Reasons Why I Spend So Much on Personal Guides?

1. ‘Effort Time’ vs ‘Age Time’

People ask me: “Couldn’t you have learned or discovered this yourself”? And I answer: “Yes, I could have but now I have done it faster and easier, so that I can go beyond”. What most people don’t realize is that there are two types of’ time. The first type, I like to call it the ‘effort time’. That is, if you are not good at something, it takes longer to get some things done. I don’t mind trading effort time with my leisure time. But then there is the second kind of time which I like to call the ‘age time’. That is, every passing day does not come back. And this is the time that is most valuable to me. Why would I wait till 50 to achieve what I can achieve at 30? Why take a year for what you can learn in a month? This is exactly where personal guides comes in.

2. Vicious Cycle to Personal Excellence

Sometimes, the solutions to the things people (including me) get stuck with are right in front of them. In computer programming, for instance, I have seen people struggling to fix a bug for several days, and suddenly an expert walks in and it only takes him few minutes to diagnose exactly where the problem is. I am borrowing a metaphor from the military — during a battle the most important secret is the ‘location’ of the troops, equipment and so on. Most times, that is the deciding factor between victory and defeat, and it is more valuable than advanced and powerful weapons. In problem solving, diagnosing the exact problem is equivalent to the secret location during a battle. It isn’t always easy. I knew this from programming, when I used to debug programs that programmers got stuck with, I would be surprised that they weren’t even solving the right problem. And with business and human relationships, it is much much more complex. This is where a personal guide comes in. A guide may help you to see the things that you could have missed, ensures that the effort you put in gets in maximum result and, best of all, guides know exactly what you need to do to get to the next level. This helps you overcome hidden stumbling blocks to personal excellence. Sometimes, life can be a vicious loop. You come out of one phase to enter another and if there is a cycle of struggle, you may not even know you are entering a rat race into a trap of a terrible vicious cycle, until it is too late. The timeliness of a personal guide in helping you get out of a vicious cycle can be invaluable.

3. Meaningful Encounters

I am ever so grateful to the Almighty, for I have been blessed to be guided by some very extraordinary people. From my young age, be it chess, yoga, programming, computers, hacking, change work, sales, business, music or NLP, whatever I have done, I have found exceptionally good people guiding me in doing excellent work. The one I treasure the most has been my mentor Dr. John Grinder.

I think life has a fixed ‘age time’ and there is no point in reinventing the wheel. A wise person learns from mistakes of other people, so that he or she can evolve excellence and get the game ahead of what was done before. I jump at the first opportunity to engage good guidance. Simply because truly good personal guides are rare to find. And I have learned to treasure it. When the opportunity appears, one has to knock. And really knock. If 1 Crore can add ONE healthy year to my life… I would gladly trade a Crore for age time, and as I look back I recognize that I have gained much much more age time and other benefits from my decision to prioritize personal guidance in my life and business.

Personal Guides around Us

Actually, if you open your eyes, you may notice that there are personal guides who can change your life everywhere. Sometimes, it’s your parents, sometimes it’s your spouse, or your children, sometimes it’s your colleague, and sometimes it’s that person you don’t really like. However, the challenge becomes one of discretion. You don’t want a frog to teach you to sing. My simple guideline for choosing my personal guides has been the key phrase from the bible: “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” And I am fortunate to have parents who have played a significant role of parenting in my life.

The Role of NLP

It is fascinating to me how NLP plays an important role in being a personal guide. Specifically the Meta Model, which helps a practitioner train themselves in the art of process and content distinction that allows one to be a personal guide even in the areas they themselves are not qualified in. I remember helping a businessman double his business in six months even though I knew nothing about his business. But I knew enough of him and what he was missing. I knew enough of him quickly. And that is the true purpose of the Meta Model. Unfortunately, the meta model is currently used by practitioners as a trigger-response set of questions. Actually, the meta model, as originally developed, was merely a reference to what was going on in the therapeutic world and a guideline for the practitioner to train himself or herself. It has to be considered as the alphabets, a b c …, what is interesting is what happens when the skills chunk up. Unfortunately, this has not been documented adequately. And I had to learn it from personal experience and traveling around the world for many years.

As I have continued to master it further, I have come to learn that there are two kinds of personal guides: one that comes from ‘content expertise’, and the other that comes from ‘patterning expertise’. The first kind ‘content expertise’ is where a musician grooms a musician. A businessman grooms another businessman of the same industry. Then there is the other kind – the ‘patterning’ personal guides. These are the people who can help you with anything in your life, literally anything. Because they understand the conscious and unconscious patterning in the things you do. And these are the kind of people who can help you in specifically the areas where you need help. I believe that one of the key applications of Neuro-Linguistic Programming is in evolving yourself as a personal guide for yourself and others if you choose so.

Questions to Ponder

1. Have you invested in the right person for your personal guidance, at the right time?
2. If you haven’t, which area of your life can benefit the maximum from change?
3. If you have a personal guide,what are you doing to grow and deepen your engagement with this person?

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