I have another opportunity to be a "graduate assistant" at a Dale Carnegie course, which started today. Along with coaching a class of (mostly) eager students, I get the opportunity to go through the class again and revisit my personal vision for where I want to go in life. With a new baby in my life, my personal vision and goals have changed. In addition, I get to hear the material again and filter it through today's mind.
One of the items discussed in the first session is the components of personal change / growth. Carnegie talks about needing Attitude, Knowledge, Practice, and Skills. Attitude is almost obvious, but I have to want to change and it works best when I am open to new ways of thinking and doing things. Knowledge is helpful, but it isn't power in itself. How many smokers or alcoholics are there who know they are doing the wrong thing? Practice is critical, whether it is my bicycling or interpersonal activities. But without the right skills, the practice might just keep leading me down the wrong path.
And where do I find those right skills? From my coaches, mentors, friends and colleagues, who are only too happy to help me when I ask. Personal power comes from my willingness to try new things, seek them out, keep at them, and ask for help when I am stuck. Personal power comes in knowing who I am and where I want to be.