Some clients say that they need to make massive changes in their lives. “I need to completely retool. I need to go back to school. I need to get trained in [whatever].”

Some people do need to take massive action. However, I caution to take time to analyze whether massive change is actually necessary. Maybe, clients need a small incremental improvement to certain aspects of the position instead of massive change.

In Designing Your Life, the authors describe great exercises to record a person’s various activities during the week. A client can determine whether one feels energized, engaged, or in the flow while doing these activities. Sometimes, a client only needs incremental changes to certain tasks or responsibilities to yield better results.

For example, I learned how to swim with one small incremental improvement. When I was a kid, I was held back in advanced beginner swimming class at camp for years. At my level, I was not allowed to swim past the beginners’ rope with my campmates. I was stuck with the kiddies. I was humiliated.

One day, a different camp counselor taught the swim class. He suggested that I blow bubbles. I cried that I was not a baby. He said that by blowing bubbles I would create a rhythm to take a breath. When I ran out of air to blow bubbles, I could turn my head to take a breath of air. I could then put face back in the water and blow bubbles.

After that class, I advanced beyond the beginners’ rope. In fact, in a couple of years, I earned
my advanced lifesaving certificate.

It was that one incremental improvement to learn to blow bubbles to breathe properly that launched my swimming career.

Sometimes an incremental change will create massive results.

What incremental improvement can launch the next stage of your career?

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