Stop the press How One Man's Finally Fullfilling A Lifelong Dream: Max's Story

According to research, more than seventy per cent of our workforce are not in love with their job! In fact, quite a proportion hate what they do—many sighting boredom and burnout as two of the main culprits.

They wake up each day at the same time, commute the same route, work from the same office building alongside the same work colleagues each and every day. Many of them even enjoy the same coffee order each morning. Unfortunately, this repetition of the wash, spin, dry, and repeat often result in the same outcome across many older workforce members: boredom and burnout.

It’s no surprise that doing the same thing each day naturally results in a state of exhaustion. When Max came to me, this was precisely how he was feeling. Then, one day, he woke up and realized that he didn’t really know who he was, what he enjoyed, or what his future looked like.

Follow his dreams

Max turned 54 in June. As a young professional, he promised himself that he would follow his dreams and pursue greatness, just like his father – an explorer and avid adventurer.

Unfortunately, like many of us have experienced, life crept upon him. Suddenly, twenty hears had flown by and he was looking into the bathroom mirror, wondering who was staring back at him. He knew something had to change.

During his morning commute that day, Max overheard two people talking about coaching. One of the women mentioned how much being coached had helped her clarify the direction she wanted for her life. Little does she know; she sparked something in Max that led him to investigate coaching for himself that day.

man on a train station

Eventually, Max came to see me, and after our initial conversation about how coaching works and managing expectations, we explored the topics that fired him up. What was he passionate about, and what made him feel alive? I asked him whether he had a superhero, role model, or someone he admired. Max sat up in his chair, a tell tale sign that I had hit a nerve.

As a coach, it’s my job to ask the questions that evoke emotion and help my clients tap into their most significant feelings and memories.

Max’s eyes welled up with tears, and we sat in silence for a few moments as he pondered what to say next. He then shared with me that his father was his biggest inspiration, and I observed how animated he was as he recalled all the wonderful stories of his father’s adventures – a real-life Indiana Jones. I left Max with some homework that day: to write a story, looking back on his life, about what he wanted to be remembered for and what he wanted to achieve – following on the legacy of all the wonderful stories his father had left him with.

The bigger picture

Coaching is all about taking action. It’s about looking forward to the bigger picture and imagining the “what if?”

The best way to move forward is to keep the end in mind; taking the client to the future opens their mind to what is possible. By asking clients – like Max – to paint a picture in their mind and put it into words, we’re able to work backwards together through time, eventually landing on the present.

Once we’ve done this, we can create an outline of steps and milestones that eventually lead us to the success we dream of.

At our next session, Max returned eager to share his homework with me. He told me that the exercise I’d assigned him was eye-opening and helped him truly consider what’s important to him. He told me, “I think I’ve found myself.” These words are like magic to my ears. 

Ultimately, coaching is a conversation between two people. My job, as a coach, is not to advise, direct, or tell a client what to do. Instead, by asking open-ended questions and raising their awareness about what is possible, I can equip my clients with the resources and insights they need to reinvent themselves and achieve their ideal outcomes.

Max’s story about looking back on his life was full of adventure and excitement. I was so excited for him. Our sessions took on a renewed energy and passion; I must admit, my job was almost done.

Finally, after all our hard work together. All that was left for Max to do was to put his goal in action, the what, where, and when he was going to achieve it – so, Max decided to leave behind his 7:15 commute into Euston and instead, opted for an 11:15 out of Heathrow where he left to fulfil his dream of adventuring to Peru.

The final text message I received from Max read: “What, where and when goal completed. Thank you for all your help, Gary.” I even have the postcards to prove it!

If you have been inspired by Max story…

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Like what you read and want to learn more. We should talk. It costs nothing to chat with me, and I’m always happy to answer your questions about coaching. 

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