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Did you know that your skills are directly related to your values and beliefs?

It’s true – the skills that you learn during your life, and your success at those skills, will depend entirely on you holding a value for learning the skill, and a belief that you CAN learn the skill.

Let me illustrate – think about something that you can’t do very well.  When you think about that, what beliefs do you hold about it?


For example, I know I’m not very good at keeping my desk tidy.

That sentence “I know I’m not very good at keeping my desk tidy” is actually a statement of my belief about it. And guess what – my behaviour lives up to my belief. I constantly try to tidy my desk, but deep inside I know I’m not good at it.

If you try to learn the skills that change the belief, then you’re starting at the wrong end. You need to change the belief first. And changing a belief is easiest if you have a strong motivating value that drives you to change the belief. I guest in my heart of hearts I don’t really value a tidy desk. In fact, one of my favourite quotes is “If a tidy desk is a sign of a tidy mind, then what is an empty desk a sign of?”

Sometimes, we discover a new motivator. For example, people who have repeatedly tried and failed to give up smoking often find that a health scare gives them the motivator that they need to try again and to succeed this time.

I was given a lovely reminder of this recently when I was watching my favourite comedian,  Lee Mack, being interviewed. He mentioned that he had hired a juggling coach to teach him to juggle. This got me curious – why on earth would juggling be so important that you would pay someone to teach you to do it? What kind of motivation could possible be strong enough for that?

I have often thought that it would be interesting to learn to juggle. I have tried, and failed, many times. I felt rather frustrated – how hard can it be to juggle?