. . . for my kids. . . and good friends
 

strange encounter with a perpetual motivator

 
 "Hey, that really, really suits you! You look like a sailor, a macho sailor!"

I'd never seen the guy before.  And the location of this high-end clothes outlet, overlooking Amsterdam's old Wood Harbour might well, I thought, explain the comment. But he was with his girl-friend, who was nodding in agreement. And I was, pretty obviously, with mine.

He didn't leave it at that. He wasn't going to be happy until I'd bought the jacket.
 
I did; but I was going to anyway. By that time we were heading off home together. They lived nearby and we'd never been in their apartment building; and vice versa. So a cup of tea in one and then a coffee in the other and lots more open, intrusive conversation.

It's Frits's style. You engage with it or recoil. There's not a lot of choice. The benefits, if you choose to get involved are like interacting with a super-charged, multi-dimensional human search-engine. On reflection, it's more than style; it's who he is.

He has a mission -- to help people liberate themselves. He has a problem -- ADHD (attention deficit disorder). And he has a history and track-record in exploring what motivates us. He's sharp and intuitive. Mix all this together and you get the whirlwind we encountered a few weeks ago.

Our meeting last month, it turns out. was less random than it seemed. My partner and I are both journalists and not afraid to discuss and comment on what's around us. Frits had seen and heard this and decided that we may well be the missing piece of his jigsaw.

What he does is a totally engrossing, semi-magical process of understanding and relating to people (quite scientific as well) but at some point it needs to be explained and translated and put on paper. And he can't do it.

So tentatively, we've started working together. My task is to provide an accessible and interesting account of what's going on. Frits is using me as a guinea pig. There's lots of tension and questions. Who's the counsellor and who's in need of counselling? But it's going rather well.

Part of the reason is that as a well-qualified Brit, I have not found the Amsterdam job-market as easy as I expected. There've been bits of voice-over work, some sporadic university lecturing, an ill-fated foray into communication mentoring and consultancy, but nothing substantial. Frits has promised to transform all this.

Underpinning his approach is a surprisingly effective technique for uncovering individual drive and motivation. This is not just about skills or talents or experience or aspirations. It's about what you really enjoy doing.

Maybe it's easy for me, as my knee-jerk response whenever asked for informal career advice is first to focus on what they really like to do, hour-by-hour, day-by-day and week-by-week and to make sure that they have some of that along their chosen path.

As I say, Frits does the same but with unnerving rigour and results. And it begins with a very simple question. When, as a child (between about five and twelve years old) you could do anything at all, what did you choose to do? what engrossed you?

Sounds simple. Try it. If you can remember anything definitive or in detail you're doing a lot better than I did. I even asked my very old mother and received answers shaped by her hopes and rosy memories.

I can't go much further at the moment. The process is well and truly underway and has been quite enlightening. I'm travelling for a couple of weeks now and have time to reflect. And I'm missing our sessions together. So much so, that I've given in to Frits's request to start writing something about what he does, even though he's achieved almost nothing for me so far!  

And yet, he has enabled me, already, to have a bit more sense of what I want to do in Amsterdam, how to do it and the mechanisms that will more or less guarantee success. He keeps telling me he knows how to create 'experts'.

I'm also trying to persuade him that a stripped-down version of his in depth surveys should be available on the internet. And we should work out a way to provide people with a rough first draft of the conclusions and what they might do with them. 

For many that will be enough; they'll know more about themselves and shift their emphasis a bit. For a few it will open doors and opportunities. My argument is that it works best for people who have no sense of direction or who have lost their sense of direction. I think Frits has grander expectations.

It's not a process for the faint-hearted. If you're looking for comfortable reassurance, be warned, even if you get it, it won't be comfortable. You will be challenged and questioned and prodded, physically as well as psychologically. But if you're ready for it or need it, then letting Frits help you reconnect with your childhood joys and obsessions may help you find a more satisfying sense of direction and purpose now.

  frits:   enabling you to reconnnect with your talents, drives and abilities!

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 November 2012 19:55  

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