Who can benefit from a Personal Coach?
From the Greek word "teleos" meaning goal, task, completion, or perfection, philosophers refer to the "teleological" process in all of life as the innate capacity of everything to realize its full potential. This idea resonates with modern thinkers like Carl Jung who called it the path of "individuation" and Abraham Maslow who brilliantly described "self-actualization." Every great spiritual and wisdom tradition honors this process of becoming who you are supposed to be. To the Sioux it was "walking the Good Red Road"; the Navajo rejoice in "following the pollen path." Many other cultures quietly speak of "destiny."
Dorothy - my beloved yellow Labrador and Assistant Coach - and I used to walk for a mile and a half almost every day. Our route took us past a sparkling river embanked by hundreds of oak trees. In the fall, I picked up acorns along the way and was always reminded that within each one lies everything required to become one of those majestic oaks. As I held the smooth acorns in my palm, I saw them as metaphors for the importance and beauty of living out our part in the grand scheme of things - by becoming who we were supposed to be from the beginning.
In our modern world, many things get in the way of this natural process. We become bogged down in false values, lose sight of priorities, give in to fears and insecurities. We procrastinate, stick with bad habits, and make excuses about why we aren't living the life we yearn for. Sometimes we simply forget that it is our human right to live authentically and with passion and meaning. We find ourselves asking deep questions like: "Who am I?" "What is my purpose here?" Often these feelings are posed more specifically: "I hate Mondays. I can't wait until I retire." "Why can't I ever get ahead?" "I know there are things I can do to improve my health and happiness, but I just can't seem to do anything differently." "Will I ever get better organized?" "Will I ever learn to delegate effectively and actually manage my staff?" "I've always wanted to express myself - write, paint, make music, dance, or bring creative energy to everyday tasks - but I never do." Many people feel captured by 'golden handcuffs' - "I have too many responsibilities, too many bills. I don't have time to do what I really love to do." And so the minutes, days, and years of our lives tick by.
The presence of these unsettled thoughts and feelings are good indicators that an individual is NOT living the life he or she dreams of living. The most tragic outcome for any one of us would be to lie on our deathbed filled with regrets about what has been unlived; our greatest desires relegated to 'woulda, coulda, shoulda-beens.'
Noted philanthropist Brooke Astor was in her late eighties when she wrote her first novel. She says she was motivated to do so even at her advanced age because of the advice that her mother gave her when she was very young. "Don't die guessing," her mother had cautioned. I was so moved by this story that I printed these words as large as my computer would allow and hung them on my office wall where I see them every day.
Personal coaching is for those who don't want to die guessing.