The deeper question is where is “here?” It can be a location or a state of mind. Sometimes “here” is both a location and a state of mind. Are you where you want to be in your life? Have you lost your way to the place you wanted to be at this point in your life? Are you in Schenectady? When we look at our location based on visual or mental cues, we can get confused.
I was on my way to church Sunday and along side of the road, there was the most magnificent display of fall color trees! I quickly got out my camera and snapped a picture then uploaded it and sent it to my kids. No one knew where I took the picture. They asked me if I was on a road trip. Each of my children has grown up and lived quite a while in this town, yet they didn’t recognize the area where I took the picture. How does that work in the life journey? Where is “here?”
If you look around and see your friends and your equipment and your office and feel happy, then “here” is not a bad place to be. What if you fear for your job? What if you are working in a career that has nothing to do with your field of study? What if you dread going to your office, and you watch the clock thinking, “If only I hadn’t given up on my dream to be a…” You are definitely off track. Does that mean you are broken? Do you need to be fixed?
What is real change?
People fear change and often stay in the “here” even if they hate it. What would happen if people saw the word “change” and it meant strengthening some attribute you already have in abundance? What attitude would people adopt if they knew they had the creativity, the resourcefulness, and the adventure within them to go as far as high and as fast as they wanted? If you are in a position where you are looking to find a mentor or a coach, and you have the presupposition that whomever you choose is going to throw out the old you and rebuild you in their image, no Wonder you don’t want to start! What you want is a coach.
What is the difference? A mentor shows you how he/she did what they did. The assumption there is that you have come to this “here” by the same path they did, had the same education, the same experiences, the same failures and successes. This is most unlikely. You have come to where you are by YOUR education. Even if you took the same classes and read the same books, you have not had the same education your mentor has had. Two people can read a book and get completely different lessons. Even if you had the same teacher, if you had this class years apart from your mentor, the teacher has changed with age, the material has changed, and you may have been at a different place in your personal development than your mentor.
It is not possible for anyone to have the same experiences in their lives. You don’t have the same parents, the same schools, the same activities as anyone else. Your failures and successes will be dependent on how much risk you took on, how you responded to the situations, and how, based on your experiences and education, you proceeded through these trials to ultimately fail or succeed. Working with a mentor is very helpful as long as you can recognize the short-comings.
A coach’s first task is to help you find out where your “here” is. What do you like? What do you need? Why do you like and need these things? How can you get to your goal? Is it a physical place, mental place, or spiritual place? Is it a relationship? What kind of strengths do you already have? How can those help you? Eventually you find out where you are! Then you need to figure out where you want to be. This is within you, not to be gleaned from anyone around you.
Figuring out your “There”
It is to be implicit that once you know where “here” is, then “there” can be fixed in your head. What do you want to be in the next few years? You choose a goal not to set an end point, but because of what it will make of you to achieve it. You must be worthy of the goal, and the goal must be worthy of you. In the process of your coaching experience, “here” will progress along a set of action steps you take to get you closer to your goal. It will not be a straight line, but the journey will be amazing. Your coach will act as your radar. Are you on task? Are you heading the right direction? Have you come across a situation you didn’t anticipate? Your coach will help you by asking questions so that you can determine what your next step is. If you determine it, wouldn’t you be more likely to go after it? Of course!
The answer, then, to “Where do you go from here?” is obviously…”There!” Take the first step in your journey!