Have you ever gone to a coach and one of the first questions asked is: “What are you passionate about?”
When I first explored coaching in the 80’s I experienced a number of different approaches, styles and applications to the craft. My feeling was; Great! Variety is the spice of life and all of that. What I did find however, in almost all of the coaches I met, was the need to ask the question; “What are you passionate about?” When what I found was that most clients wanted to hear; ” After listening to me, please tell me what I’m most passionate about.”
Here’s the irony of that.
In most cases, and I’m generalizing, the reason you’re seeing a coach in the first place is because you’re probably stuck or unclear as to how you should navigate your life and in what direction – so the question of; “What are you passionate about?” always sounded rather odd to me.
On the flip side, you may think it would be great for someone else to tell you what you’d be great at. In fact, you may have already played it out in your mind where someone would say to you;
“YOU, (finger pointing and all) You are going to be a successful [fill in the blanks]” You’d then smile; “Great!!” and go on your merry little way skipping and singing la la la la la. And yes, it would always be prefaced by, “a successful [fill in the blanks].”
Of course, I’m kidding.
Need I remind you that it was not so long ago that someone did say (as career choices appeared limited way back when) that you’d be a Doctor, Nurse, Lawyer, Engineer, Labourer, Farmer, Blacksmith etc. And if you thought a little more about this, aren’t your parents kinda telling you what you should be doing (or they did)? For that matter, what NOT to be doing when you announced; “I’m going to be a musician or an artist.” And without missing a beat; “Over my dead body. Don’t be ridiculous, you can’t make a living from that.”
Another realization is that you’re constantly evolving through various stages of your life; you’re gathering, exploring, honing, trying, sucking at stuff, loving some stuff, hating some stuff. It’s on-going. And then it gets even messier as your thoughts are constantly nattering at you, shouting “Warning, Warning, Warning, this is not a drill.” So, then you need to tell yourself; “I am not my thoughts,” as your mind wants to protect you. Venturing out into the unknown is terrifying for most. Your mind is fighting with you constantly.
Furthermore, what can derail or confuse you is that you can easily be swayed by the hype. Lots of hype.
The hype of a new book that tells you that you just HAVE to read it because it’s going to be LIFE CHANGING. Guaranteed. Or you just HAVE to attend this course because it’s going to be LIFE CHANGING. Guaranteed. And yet, they don’t know that. You don’t know that.
Once the fairy dust has settled, and it does; after reading that great book, or taking that great course, you’re left with, well, you. You’re left to your own devices – and that’s not always a good thing, because after the hype has disappeared it may leave you saying; “Now what?” Unless of course you made the decision that in reading that book or taking that course, you’ll now put a plan into action. You’ll take all the things that resonated with you from that book or course and absolutely create a process. You’ll absolutely continue on the trajectory of taking the next incremental steps, and so on. You have a plan. Unless …
“Ah um, I’ll start tomorrow ….”
Classic is when for example you tell yourself that you’re tired. You have no energy. You’re spent. You can’t find enough motivation to muster up the energy to do something. Here’s the kicker; If you’re waiting to motivate yourself into doing something when you’re really not motivated in the first place, you’ll be waiting a very long time.
You all of a sudden hear an inspiring song, wherever it came from; your phone, car system, in a store, it doesn’t matter … low and behold you have a spark of ENERGY. You’re tapping your toe, you’re moving your body, your eyes are wider. “Whoa, where did that come from?” It came from the same energy source that we ALL have. Our reserve tank. If you think you don’t have any more energy, you most likely have about 40% in reserve.
So what gives?
Unless you’re ready to make something happen, no amount of coaching, reading, classes, courses or incredibly inspiring people will move you forward.
A great example of this; I recently attended an online talk series. A line-up of inspiring and motivational speakers at the ready. They were giving it their all. Funny, motivating, with “just do it” attitudes. They were shining examples of those who were taking action in their lives.
As I skimmed over the faces in the gallery mode, I saw less than a quarter of the attendees smiling and engaged. Others were slouched on their couches, some had their cameras turned off (benefit of the doubt – no access), some didn’t crack a smile the entire time. They were not SHOWING UP for themselves or for others (for that matter).
It just reenforced the idea that no one is going to show up for you, and if they do they aren’t going to embody your heart, soul and energy that is required for you to make something happen. Your life is yours to live.
That’s worth repeating; Your Life is Yours To Live.
If you find yourself bouncing from one coach to another, reading self-help after self-help books, going to every seminar, course, workshop, series on; “How to …..” I ask you to pause. Pause because this is a form of an excuse. Not making the decision to move from gathering and learning to action. So I ask you to consider taking a reality check and ask yourself.
1. “Why do I want something?” AND
2. “What am I willing and ready to actually do?”
If you can answer those two questions, then take mini-steps to move yourself into some kind of action.
Without action, there is no movement.