Focusing on what you want instead of what you don’t want...

Updated: May 16, 2019


Based on my experiences with coaching Executives, I realised that clients who have difficulty following through their commitments to action, and lack of drive and determination are those whose eyes are on what they don’t want and what will possibly go wrong in the future.



When we are thinking about the money we don’t have, the job we lost, the experience we don’t have, and the sacrifices we have to make, we are focused on what we don’t want. The repeated focus on these perspective, can generate certain negativity and moods that gives rise to certain possible actions while other actions are not possible.


With fear, worry, self-doubt, anger, frustration and anxiety, a person usually take the path of avoidance, procrastination, and isolations. These emotions often have a habit of spreading to other situations in your life too. This will lead you to avoiding things like crowded places, friends, and potential business contacts.


I am not against preparing for the worst but it is another thing when we spend too much time focusing what may go wrong. It is good to work on a contingency plan on “what if” scenario but that’s it. Once we have the plan, we focus on our goals and dreams, and we keep moving forward.


In my experience, most of us are not aware of what we want. We haven’t even thought about it or we are too busy reacting to challenges in life and not focused on what we want. And particularly in challenging times, we are focused on what may go wrong – which is what we don’t want - and we don’t even know it.


"It is important to spend time to find out what you really want and once you have a clear vision of your target and how it serves your values and passion, have it somewhere where you can be reminded of it daily."

This will support you when the “storms” and obstacles appear along the journey of getting to your goals. Recently, I had a very senior client from overseas, who wanted to be working in Singapore. He has this career goal to establish his career in Singapore and moved his family here. As a headhunter, I saw that he had several challenges on his journey of locating a job in Singapore. In the initial phase of our coaching, he had a Singapore Flag hanged on the wall of his room. Every morning when he gets up, he will be reminded of this goal. For the next few sessions, we get clear what he really wants out of his career, what is the main motivation behind it, explore various career search options and devise a plan. And the next 2-3 months, he was on his own making weekly plans to engage Executive Search consultants, networking with senior level people, etc. The last we corresponded, he has a potential offer from a regional company based in Singapore.



Guest Contributor:


Samuel Yeo has coached and placed more than 500 mid to senior-level positions during his 20 years as an executive head hunter, 7 years as an Executive Coach with top credentials, and two decades running his own companies. Samuel believes in making a difference and in awakening possibilities in people’s lives.


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