THE THINKING PATH - PAGE NINE
THE THINKING PATH PLAN
Let’s now examine how the Thinking Path Plan actually did support the executive. Figure 4 provides one of the Thinking Path Plans developed by the executive and his coach. This particular plan focuses on the executive’s health and lifestyle. When the executive and his coach began the action planning process, they completed a first level of planning focused on establishing a set of goals (results) to achieve the desired state and a set of actions to achieve these goals. These goals and actions are located on the left-hand side of the plan. The executive and his coach then selected the thought habit “I believe that health is the key to a good life and it needs to be cultivated” and developed a set of learning practices designed to fully encode and sustain this thought habit in order to more powerfully support the fulfillment of the actions and the achievement of the goals. These are located on the right-hand side of the plan. The full plan took two coaching sessions to complete.
Figure 4: Thinking Path Plan
a .pdf of Figure 4 for your convenience
And although it only took two sessions to complete the plan, it took several years for this executive to fully live a healthy lifestyle. The change was not immediate, and there were many relapses. Although neuroplasticity informs us that as long as we can learn, we can acquire new thought habits and even change or eliminate old thought habits, it does not inform us on the time it takes to do so. Changing our thinking can and, in most cases, will take time.
The good news is that the executive ultimately did change, and when he did, he was not just acting out a new healthy lifestyle; he was being a new healthy lifestyle. He believed in living a healthy lifestyle, and this new way of thinking led to significant changes in his life and had an impact not just on him, but also on his team at work and ultimately on his personal life at home. He continues this lifestyle to this day, making continuous improvements and enjoying the benefits he receives.