"To be honest I was slightly disappointed at first.
A part of me wanted a bit of snake oil and showmanship. I wanted the theatre of analysis and the authority of someone with degrees and doctorates. But there were no fancy consulting rooms, no dramatic claims. There was no prescriptive party line telling me this is how it would be, this is what I should do.
There was just Adrian quietly asking me what I wanted to do with today’s session, or what did I want to do with that thought? ‘I don’t know, you tell me,’ I kept thinking’. ‘I’m new to this game, you’re the bloody expert, what do you think I should do?’
It was an irritating, difficult, but incredibly powerful question based on the assumption that I have all the answers inside me and my problem is that I just can't get at them. It forced me to think things through and take responsibility for my conclusions.
But sometimes thought isn’t enough.
When faced with difficult choices I can end up paralysed with indecision. So Adrian taught me a simple technique to cut though all the internal intellectual wrangling.
He constantly suggested I follow my energy. If an idea energises you, you feel it physically, in my case in the stomach. No need to wonder whether a decision is right or whether you really want it. If your stomach rises, do it. If your stomach falls, don’t.
Armed with these techniques I was able to address the mess of thoughts in my head.
It was a bit like going in with a plate of spaghetti. All Adrian did was help me straighten the strands. Again I found the exercise irritatingly basic but incredibly useful and powerful. It allowed me to take accurate stock of my situation and plan where I wanted to go.
The first few sessions were low key, they were difficult and energising. But I had still had no clear idea of where I was going. But after about our fourth session, something strange started happening. Following Adrian’s advice to ‘follow your gut’ I started writing for an environmental web site. All of a sudden my energy and purpose came flooding back. It became crystal clear to me for the first time that I really want to remain a journalist but that I would have to work very differently.
Now our sessions are over, the recession is still on, newspapers and magazines are still in sharp decline.
The difference is that I am now a man with a plan.
I have a destination and a route map to get there. I may have done most of the work myself but I couldn't have done it, wouldn’t have done it without Adrian."
Alex Benady - Journalist