Over the last few years, I’ve gone through quite a big learning curve. It all started about five years ago when I decided to dedicate myself to helping others and build a sustainable way of living.
Let’s face it, who am I to help others? That was my first thought when a friend of mine suggested this to me. Okay, over the years I was lucky enough to get some great businesses off the ground, and while they were running well, I enjoyed life and what is presented to me.
But somewhere deep inside I felt something was missing. I couldn’t quite point to it, but I knew that this feeling wouldn’t leave me alone.
When my friend tried to convince me that I would be great helping others, I just replied: “I can’t even help myself. How should I be able to help others?” His answer was: “Go and find out!”
That got me. He knows me too well. There is one thing that always drove me to the next level, and that is my natural curiosity. I always wanted to know how and why things work. I mean in every aspect of life.
Curiosity is the key to knowledge
The first task on my list was to find out how teaching and coaching work. So I went onto the market and started to search for coaches out there. You don’t need to look too hard to find some. I guess there are millions out there. It’s incredible how many people work as coaches in every area of life.
After talking to a few of them, I realised that not everybody has the same idea about what coaching is. Besides that, I found over 30 organisations in my first week of research that offers certifications for coaches. Again, in almost all areas of life. My first impression was that there must be a massive demand for coaching to support so many coaches.
During my first month of research, I realised that many organisations use the word coach or coaching to sell their products and services: mainly training and lifestyle programs. It didn’t take me long to figure out that most just changed the words Trainer, Teacher, Counsellor or Support for the word coach.
It seems fashionable and more pleasing to the ear and feels more upmarket, probably justifying a higher price point. On the other side, it’s much harder for the client to know what to expect. Most don’t know what a coach is or what he does. This allows the so-called “coach” to be what he or she wants to be – and sell what they want to sell.
The one line they all seem to follow is that the result is life-changing. You don’t go to a coach to learn to speak another language; you go there to change your life by learning another language. You don’t go to a coach to lose some weight; you go to a coach to change your life by losing some weight. Do you see my point? The question isn’t about a specific subject anymore; it’s about everything, your whole life. Sounds amazing right?
Never stop questioning
If I can believe the promotions and ads of many coaches, there seem to be lots of people who found a coach it changed their life. On the other hand, there is a lottery winner every single day somewhere in the world. And I would call this also a life-changing event.
I am sure that many coaches take their work very seriously and are driven by the will to help others, but I can’t stop feeling that for most the main reason is to help themselves. If you’re a coach and you’re one of the serious ones, I hope you’re not offended by my findings, but these are my findings.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I am still researching the field, but during the last five years, I’ve arrived at the following conclusions:
Less is more! I don’t believe that it’s necessary for anyone to pay a tremendous amount of money to someone to change his or her life. I’ve written many blogs about the challenges we face today and how things have changed over the past 50 years. Concentrating on one small piece at the time is the best way to create a sustainable impact in anyone’s life.
Purpose is everything! There is a lot said about happiness and “living the life” and I believe most of it is misunderstood. I found the search and definition of purpose the most powerful driver. Knowing why you’re here and committing to being the best at it might not always make you happy, but it gives you this inner strength and calm that makes life worth living.
Your life needs others! We are social animals, and we need others to become complete. The best way to achieve this is by helping others to be complete. It’s in our nature, but in our modern fast-changing society, we seem to struggle to keep up and to build strong connections with others. This makes us feel alone, and that is not what we’re supposed to be.
It only needs a small step to make a big change!
I will stay curious, and I will report back here with my findings regularly. Stay tuned. Feel free to leave your comments below.
And just how curious are you?