A Coach’s Questions to Close Out the Year
As we close another annual cycle, it is almost impossible not to reflect on what was done or not done. We can delight again in the year’s successes and frustrate again on the things that we did not get to do. So many things to do and as usual so little time.
And it is also the time to ask again what are the things that are really important in our life. If you are a coach or you have done some personal and spiritual growth work, you might come up with your powerful questions for reflection. Mine are “What can I offer?” “Who can I help?” and “How I am going to do it?”
I think what I can offer can be answered with a good analysis of our life and experiences. I have heard that some people have suffered with “impostor syndrome”, I guess I have suffered it myself sometimes. But to me “impostor syndrome” is nothing other than ignoring our own uniqueness. Or perhaps pretending that you are not unique in some way. We all are unique and different because not two people alive have exactly the same collection of experiences and knowledge, and even if they do, I can guarantee that their brains have organized that information and utilized it in a different way. To answer the first question I posed, review all your life failures and difficulties. Those have given you the best lessons, strengths and have made you who you are. Those experiences gave you unique gifts that you are now able to share, helping others
Who can I help? This is a question that in my culture was easily answered: family and friends. In many cultures the obvious answer is those close to me that I love and that loved me. While that is great perspective on its own, it’s not cultivating your pure altruism, it’s not helping you practice pure love to those that are not in your circle or loving you back. If you only live in your bubble, you are not aware of the millions of people that are not living a life like yours. Not having where to sleep, not having what to eat, not having clothes to wear and most important not having someone that loves you is a reality for many people in this world. And even those enjoying
similar abundances to ours have not found happiness because of life problems, career problems or physical problems just to name a few. There is no shortage of people to help.
How am I going to do it? When I reflected in the previous question, I get a mix of feelings rushing to my brain and heart. Gratitude because of the privileged position that I have had in this life, compassion because of so many lives suffering sad realities and frustration because no amount of time or money could help everyone. So, my answer is focus on a few things I am passionate about and offer my gifts to those that I can. In my case the recipients of my work like coaches, future coaches, executives, and leaders in organizations that can learn ways to get better and improve their lives. And those in the social causes I want to support: incarcerated people working to rebuild their lives and refugees suffering through the pain of leaving their homes and starting again. And the most important part of the how is to allocate resources, What time? What money? When? Defining these things is crucial because they put me into action and set me up to successfully deliver the gifts I have.
I hope you find your questions; I hope you find your answers and I hope that in the new year you can avoid suffering and its causes, find happiness and its causes, and most important, help others with the gits of your uniqueness to find happiness.