Think of your life as a journey down a road. You don’t know where you are heading, but the scenery is pleasant. After a while, you begin to see that it is being recycled. Wait a while, and the same thing comes around again. Then you come to a branch in the road. Actually, there have been branches all along the road, but you haven’t noticed them. Or if you have, you were comfortable on that road, so you ignored them. Now, however, you have a coach to alert you. You change direction, ever so slightly. You take another road, one that diverges just a little from your original.
The first temptation is to think, ‘huh! Hardly worth doing.’ It may be true that the change is only a small one in the short term. But the longer you maintain that change, the further away from your original road you will travel. After a year, you will be in an entirely different country. This will be so even if you never make another change.
The larger the change in direction, the shorter the time it will take to come to new scenery. However, even the slightest change will take you on a different journey if you persist. You just need to keep on that new track, even though the old one may call you back with seductive promises of familiar comforts. ’The devil, you know,’ it whispers, ‘is better than the devil you don’t know.’ But is there a devil on the new road?
What is the role of a coach in this process? A coach does three things:
- Shows you the track you are on.
- Points out the choices and helps you take a new road.
- Helps you persist in the change.
In general, life is a series of small decisions. A big change is often many little changes saved up for the right moment. Each decision we make either keeps us on the same comfortable track or takes us towards what we truly want. Coaching helps us decide.
Extracts courtesy of Joseph O’Connor and Andrea Lages