Set the stage, teach a lesson

The other day I had lunch with a friend of mine that I haven’t seen for a while. She always tells me about her plans and ideas, but this time she had a something in mind that really wanted, but time was a issue.
It was clear that she was afraid of this project. And that’s a good signal, but she needed to commit to it. But the thing was how to show her the real problem and make an impact on her.
Being honest, I think giving advice is complicated.. You don’t know the circumstances and you might be wrong. Also when you want to make an impact on someone telling that person what to do is not the best way. So the challenge is how do you teach something in a way that resonates with her.
What I did with my friend was simple. I started to ask her questions about how she spends her days and showing her how she wastes her time. Showing her, not telling. All while she started to realize the impact that her procrastination has over time, and the real reason behind it (her inner critic).
At the end, I told her… you know, they say that if you don’t do the time, the time will do you.
Immediately I saw how she changed her face and how that simple sentence made an impact on her. I’m glad I helped her to realize that she was afraid of doing the work. If she wants it bad enough she’d do the time. And she will.
The lesson here is that sometimes we feel the urge of telling people what to do. We care so much about them that we can’t just not tell them, however. If you set the stage, showing the real problem and its impact, then you can inspire and influence them in a way that change their lives.
In the end, teaching is not about telling people what to do, but to make them come to the conclusion by themselves.