14/09/2012 12:57 BST | Updated 12/11/2012 05:12 GMT

Talent Isn't Always Enough...

For many years I've been helping, guiding, and in some cases, persuading clients and friends to imbue the power of positive psychology. Moreover, my bottom line required outcome continues to be that people whom I coach take positive actions. I'm referring to taking actions that will enhance their lives. These include improved health, more upbeat thinking and developing a higher level of E.Q (Emotional Intelligence). As a result of adopting these qualities they are able to flourish greater. For the most part, I have been successful in achieving success with the majority of my clients. Of course, I've had some disappointing outcomes, however, as the HR Director of a prominent international bank said to me, "Malcolm, some people are un-coachable." Hearing those words was of great comfort to me, I felt as though I was not entirely to blame for any coaching outcomes that were less than satisfactory.

A number of the individuals I work with are very talented, however, in my considered opinion, talent is often not enough. To be able to use your talent most effectively, you also need a strategy. Or, to put it a different way, have a plan of action. Like some of the great sports personalities who are hugely talented, without an action plan, be that via a trainer, coach or business partner, it's likely that their talent will not be enough to garner the accolades that come with great success. For those who are not interested in pursuing the kind of success that comes from exemplary achievement, this blog may not resonate with you. Nevertheless, irrespective of your aspirations, my hope is that this post helps you to make better and more effective decisions, be that in business, or in your personal life.

First, one needs to consciously decide to take control of their life. To direct your life is both a pleasure and a pain. The pleasure is a symptom of going through the pain. And by just making that decision, we begin our journey to being the person we've always wanted to be. The best way to take control is to first know your purpose: what are you here to do? This is the key to knowing yourself better. And it enables others to know you better too. You might start with, 'I'm here to teach people how to...', or, 'My purpose is to help individuals to experience more...' If you tap into your intuition, you'll be giving a kick-start to the process of self discovery. Please remember, it's only when we know ourselves well enough that we can begin to make changes, changes that affect our lives, and the lives of others, positively.

Lord Chesterton once said, "Whoever is in a hurry shows that the thing he is about is too big for him" So the one thing you're going to need loads of is patience. In addition, discipline is a vital key because it helps us to focus, even when we'd rather not. I don't recall who said this, 'Successful people always do the thing they want to least, first.' Whenever I try to put something off, that saying always comes to mind, and then I get on with tackling my least favourite challenge first. Of course, the word 'successful' can mean many different things. Here, my definition is to do with being the best version of you that you can be.

Some tips for you to begin your journey:

Ask yourself what you do very well

Ask yourself what you'd like to do better, or would like to further enhance

Ask yourself what you are passionate about

If life throws you a curve-ball, duck and be agile enough to catch it, in spite of any emotional disturbances

Never give up. Instead, use the 3 P's: Persistence, Passion and Perseverance

Read avidly the kinds of books you know you can learn from