A client suggested that his Christian training is to “give his life away.” This was inside of a conversation in which he was frustrated that his support for a certain family kept him from keeping other commitments in his life.
But here's the thing – and I am not Christian so I might be completely off here – G-d didn't say that you've got to give your life to any particular thing. In this case, my client is also a coach.
He gives his life to helping other people express their best and highest selves, to get them out of their own ways so that they can live the lives they say they want. And he gets paid for this.
One of my on-line muses just shared a part of his new daughter experience and asked for some directionon his blog. Here's what I had to say:
We all have knowledge that we can't possibly share. And sometimes, when we can share it, we can share it with the world, and sometimes we can just share it with one, who might not even understand. And sometimes the only way we can learn is to make our own mistakes.
I don't think you are asking the right question though. It doesn't matter what we want. This is your life and it matters what you want.
I had all this rage in me before, and now it's not. It's been sucked in to become another glaze of malaise.
So what's bothering me. I was up until close to 4:30 working on a house that I don't really want to have anything to do with. Then I get on the phone with Amy, a coach. In discussing the house, I tell Amy my Princess Bride story, that as Sharleen and I sat there in the architect's office, I have this feeling of having a year of my life sucked out of me, and I finally understood the ridiculous machine in that movie.
So Amy asks:
“Do you share this with Sharleen?”
“Of course not. Why would I do that?”
“Does Sharleen knows how you feel about being here?”
“So why are you here?”
“Well, when I met Sharleen twenty years ago, I didn't have any clear vision for my future. She did, and I married her knowing that. So I don't really have any right to supersede that now. It wasn't part of the plan. That, and I think it's good for the kids here.”
In other words, I completely absolve myself of all responsibility for how things are in my life. Instead, I get to be a victim of my circumstances and the choices of a younger me, like I have no say in the matter any more.
I just love my friend Sara Lou Cooper. She sends out a cue a week to keep me engaged in my life. This week, the cue was themed “What they think.”
Here is my response and my invite to her, and you::
My friend's think I am… really smart.
My family think I am… not using my talents, of which there are many.
My kids think I am… a great dad.
My partner thinks I am… frustrated and unhappy, but smart, and able to do anything.
I think I am…
when I let myself wallow, stuck in the wrong place, behind the eight ball, a person who never misses a chance to miss a chance, a victim of a long history of uninspired choices, afraid of my own shadow, and pretty much a waste of space.
when I'm not in a bad place, under-appreciated, under-utilized, unable to communicate my value such that I can engage others, and just unable to make a difference.
when I am in a good place, making a difference in other people's lives, and adding value that is appreciated and changing the course of the world, but still worried that I am on the wrong path.
most of the time, a great dad; this is the one thing I know I've got right, except when it comes to setting an example of leading a life of fulfillment, satisfaction, inspiration, excitement, and fearlessness. There, I still have work to do.
thoughtful, kind, smart, wise, different, creative, attentive, knowledgeable, compassionate, direct, faithful, loving, and, when I'm not getting in my own way, capable, persistent, and unrelenting, especially when it comes to others
But for all that, here's the thing about what I think or what I think other people think. All that goes out the window when I am in action. When I am engaged, and particularly when I am in a state of flow, the thoughts fall into the background, and I actually get to make the impact that I otherwise might think about.
So now I want you to do something, for me as well as for you. I am not coaching enough, and I want to be action. If you are here, this is probably true for you too. So do us both a favor. Carve out an hour and schedule a consultation with me. Use coupon code GreatValue to get your consultation for $50 instead of $500. If we choose to work together, it's a call a week (anywhere from 15 minutes to as long as it takes), taking one week off a month, with e-mail and phone availability as needed outside of our regular call.
As my answers above suggest, I am an expert as self-sabotage and making my life harder than it needs to be. This gives me a keen eye for other's tendencies to do the same. I am also clear that the path out of this is action that honors the commitments in our lives.
What you get is a powerful coach to push you into the zone of adventure and out-sized results, in all the domains in your life. What I get is another set of actions I can put in my calendar to make the world the kind of place I think it ought to be.
I am looking forward to working with you. To schedule, just click here.
A while back, a child of one of my neighbors was exchanging punches with another one around the four square court in front of my house. I intervened to stop this. The other child stopped, and started to walk away. This one didn't and starting following to complete what had been started. As he was about to engage again, I picked him up and carried him to his house with the intention of engaging in a conversation there. Instead, I got an earful from an angry mother about how I shouldn't be interfering in the affairs of children, and that I should let them work it out. So I've stayed clear.
Some time later, this family was visiting a nearby community. While there, their two year old wandered off and fell in a pool. That child was found unconscious some time later, and has been in the hospital since.