The first time I heard the expression “life coach” I assumed it was a play on words. However this was twenty years ago or so, and since then I have heard of “breastfeeding” and “marriage proposal” coaches. Evidently, if there is a life stage to be navigated, there is a complementing coach. People of every age and walk of life can hang out a “life coach” shingle in the same way we can all (legally) call ourselves “therapists.” For the record, I would suggest there is far less room for tragic endings with the untrained calling oneself a life coach than a therapist.
In the grand, or even not so grand scheme of things, who really cares what people do with their money. If there’s an extra couple of hundred dollars hanging around, why not spend it on someone who will tell you what to do next? I do however find it more than just a bit bizarre that universities (of renown) now offer life coach certification. Maybe I just need to catch up. There was a time before “stylists” too. (You hear that design schools? There’s a certificate program just waiting to be created.)
I enjoy picturing the expressions on the faces of our 1960s ancestors, if we tried to explain these professions. “Life coach?” the real life manifestation of Betty Draper would repeat while exhaling a plume of unfiltered cigarette smoke. She would drop her chin an inch or two, raise her eyebrows and lower her voice; “Really? Is that a thing?” As we tried to explain, she would drop a saccharin into her dainty cup of coffee, shake her head ever so forlornly and declare; “That is so sad, to not have friends.”
In the spirit of universal friendship might I offer the following (gratis) coaching:
- Relationships: Does she or he cause you unhappiness?
- If yes, reconsider your commitment
- If no, proceed to: Am I the best possible version of myself in this relationship?
- If yes, stay, if no, go
- Work: Am I happy on Sunday night thinking of the week ahead?
- If yes, don’t change a thing
- If no, proceed to: If I won the lottery today, how would I spend my days?
- Relocation: Should I stay or should I go?
- If you are considering moving for the sake of moving, keep in mind that wherever you go, there you are. Geography is not destiny and will not change who you are.
- Behaviors: Whether it’s smoking, fitness or carbs, once you do anything for six (long hard) weeks, it becomes a learned behavior. Begin now.
I’m afraid our time is up. Thank you, now go out there and live!