Life coaches and gurus speak about systems and methods to achieve a prosperous life. Don’t feel bad when they don’t work for you, most likely they don’t work at all. These people make a living by pretending to be your friend and selling you advice. If a trained psychologist or psychiatrist can’t heal you, how can this self-appointed life coach?
Hiring someone specialized in your field or need may be helpful or entertaining, but it is important to evaluate their qualifications. Many may claim to have insight or abilities that are simply untrue, these are charlatans selling snake oil. They have no genuine interest in helping you, their primary motivation is to take your money. Others may believe they have the capacity to transform your life, but most will do more harm than good. The final sliver of coaches represents a number who are qualified, capable and interested in helping you live a better life.
Surround yourself with the feather you want to be
Life coaches and gurus often say you should surround yourself with wealthy and successful people. They teach their clients to ride tailcoats and manufacture friendships. They want you to believe they are successful so you continue to pay them to be your friend and sell you advice.
Hanging out with wealthy people will not make you wealthy, unless of course they give you their money. Instead of paying people to be your friend, riding tailcoats and using others, just try to get to know people and make friends. Look for people with common interests and share ideas. Fake people suck and everyone knows it, the more artificial your are the more awful you become.
Surround yourself with the feather you want to be. This means spend time with good-willed, loving people with peace in their heart. The right people are the ones who encourage us to achieve our dreams and to live with purpose. They are passionate, confident and want to leave the world better than they found it.
An MLM isn’t the answer
There comes a time when we decide to take charge and become our own captain. We build a ship and set sail to explore the sea and discover treasure. We are ready and willing to invest ourselves fully, sacrificing freedom for fortune.
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs are blown off course and get caught in the web of an MLM. These organizations leech the life from everyone caught in their pyramid shaped web. They are a caste system of wealth, serving as the literal representation of ‘the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.’
MLMs manifest in a multitude of ways, but all share a few commonalities; most of the money is made by the first members, the organizational structure is shaped like a pyramid, and they all sell an overpriced product.
They sneak into the lives of good-willed, loving people pursuing their dreams of entrepreneurship. After infesting them, they slowly eat them alive like a flesh-eating maggot. They achieve this by using underhanded manipulative tactics that trick even those with a strong will.
The sensational sparkle of success
Lurking in the tormenting tide outside of the MLM is the hunting ground of the life coach. These unregulated experts offer advice and friendship in exchange for money. What connection do they have with MLMs? Earlier I mentioned how life coaches and gurus advise their clients to surround themselves with wealthy and successful people. They use the MLM as a tool to show off their wealthy, connected and powerful friends. Your life coach may suggest you to join their elite organization, claiming you’ll have all the components needed to rise to success. Of course, when you fail, the reason will be simple, you didn’t want it enough.
The Golden Sliver of Good
If there is a sliver of qualified, capable and compatible life coaches, how do I identify them?
What is their background? In what way is their past relevant to your life? If you have cancer and are seeking guidance through these troubling times, could you trust the advice of someone who has never walked this terrible path? As an aspiring entrepreneur could you trust advice from someone who has never started their own business?
What is their education? In today’s world a degree isn’t what it once was. The job of your choice may require a degree, but the specifics of the certificate is rarely important. When it comes to coaching, their education must be relevant to the guidance given. This education doesn’t have to be a formal one, but it should be extensive and insightful.
Ask your potential life coach what their training is and demand examples of their competency. Avoid anecdotal evidence of success, word of mouth and written testimonials are easily manipulated and distorted.
A degree in counseling or psychology doesn’t guarantee quality. However, it does improve the likelihood they are in a regulated industry and have liability insurance. A coach may still serve a valuable role in your life even if they do not have a mental health related degree.
How capable are they? How will their advice benefit you? Do they posses the intelligence, empathy and charisma to be an effective guide? Is their insight original or could you buy all their wisdom in a book?
What challenges have they overcome? Its easy to hear and read the hardships of others, it is far more difficult to live them. Overcoming the odds and coming out on top is an even greater challenge. In what ways have they faced the impossible? Have they been burnt asunder and risen from their ashes like the phoenix? If your coach wants to guide you, make sure they have experienced the spectrum of terrible to terrific.
How have they overcome the odds? It’s a bold move to claim unfounded hardship, but it happens. How do we know if our coach is telling us the truth? One of the best ways is to listen to them tell their story. Listen to the subtleties of how they learned to survive and thrive. Ask for all the details of this, that and everything in-between. Speak to the people who were there when the coach crawled through the muck and the mud. Research everything in your coach’s story, investigate their past and trust your gut.
When I advise people recently diagnosed with cancer I suggest they use an oncologist specialized in their disease. A generalist may have a great understanding of cancer in general, but they don’t understand the specifics of your special needs.
Life coaching is similar in that you shouldn’t waste your money on someone who isn’t a perfect fit.
What is their primary motivation? What maters most to them? Are they the golden sliver of good or a wolf in sheep's clothing? How do you ascertain if they want to help us? By asking questions, investigating who they are and trusting your gut.
Forgiveness soothes the angry bees in our belly and it makes it easier to be. To let go and forgive we must tend to the issues fueling our pain. Sometimes solving this problem can be as complicated as a Cenobite’s puzzle box. In many ways our life is a series of games. Hopefully they become easier along the way as we learn from each.
A big part of forgiveness is accepting everyone makes mistakes. Once we realize and accept this it should become easier to forgive, but it typically isn’t. We are so quick to damn others we fail to see how horrible we are making the world and how vile we are acting. Before getting angry about what someone else did, pause and take a breath then try to empathize with them. Empathy is a key component to solving the Forgiveness puzzle.
If we want forgiveness we must be willing to forgive. The world can be a terrible place, why make it any worse? The more we demand others to suffer, the more we are camouflaging vengeance as justice.
One reason Forgiveness is challenging is because we hurt. Most have not figured out how to give purpose to the pain and so we live a life of suffering. The more we hurt the more suffering we can dispense.
A lot of people refuse to forgive because they confuse it with forgetting. It is important to remember forgiveness is not forgetfulness. When we forgive it is a personal journey of letting go. As we release all those bad feels our suffering begins to diminish and the pleasant glow of peace manifests on the horizon. By forgiving others we protect ourselves and slow our downward spiral into bitterness.
Should the sum of our existence be calculated by a small window of time or a few mistakes? Do you believe every good deed ought to be dismissed because of a few decisions?
We all make mistakes and decisions that lead to disaster. No one was given an instruction manual or granted a good guide. Each and everyone of us are bumbling through life for the first time.
If we want fairness we must be fair to others. We achieve this by forming a relationship with Forgiveness, Wisdom and Hope. Forgiveness helps us ease the ferocity of vengeance; Wisdom, especially empathy mutes the sharp edge of judgement; and Hope reminds us we can learn from our mistakes.
Pain can blind us
The world is an insane place and there seems to be no end in sight. It spins us round and round, twisting our gut till we are about to throw up. With the challenge of life, you’d think we’d be more understanding, but people hurt so much they are blinded by their pain.
We get kicked over and over even after being knocked to our knees. When the assault stops we are granted a reprieve, but we must raise our fists for the next beating. With so much strife it becomes hard to fight. Its difficult to give a pass when we feel like shattered glass.
I know how much it hurts to feel broken, but we cannot close our eyes. If we do, we lose more than magnificent beauty and infinite wonder. We lose our empathy and ability to see. We must hold onto our wisdom and continue to use empathy. The more empathetic and understanding we are, the more forgiving the world will be.
Forgiveness is not Forgetfulness
Forgiveness is a spiritual experience and a relationship with our inside zones. It’s a philosophy of responsibly letting go. A decision to walk away from suffering to come closer to peace. It’s a path of personal protection and a barrier against bitterness.
Its important to know Forgiveness is not forgetfulness. If someone violates, hurts or wrongs us, we should protect ourselves. Do what needs to be done, but don’t desire their destruction. Stop the cycle of bad by treating them better than they treated us. Let our abusers see how they hurt us and give them a chance grow from it.
Vengeance is easy, but imagine what kind of life we would be living if someone enacted vengeance on us for every wrong or crime we committed?
My message here is to be fair to others. Do to them as we want done to us. Be understanding while protecting ourselves. If we must protect ourselves, our goal should be to end the threat and receive fair compensation.
I know what it feels like to feel pain, it can be terrible, but making someone else hurt isn’t going to take away ours. When we strip vengeance from justice we can give Forgiveness and live with peace.
We can learn from our mistakes
At the end of the day I believe everyone can learn from their mistakes. Every day I take a misstep, sometimes I stumble, and if I fall I hope someone is rooting for me to get back up. We all make mistakes and decisions that lead to disaster, everyone has hurt someone else, and no one is perfect. Have faith that others can become the better version of themselves.
Our lives are saturated with so many sensations; being in and out of love, feeling unstoppable and stuck, fearless and fearful. Sometimes we are in the throes of pleasure or pain, lost or losing ourselves in the moment.
When dreary discomfort overcomes us, we can look lovingly at life. Open our beaten and blackened eyes to see the light, a sight that lightens our load and lifts us to a state of delight.
However sometimes our eyes are not easily opened. The world will punch and kick and beat us to a pulp. It will pound us when we fall and it will stomp us on the ground. Our eyes are hard to open when bruised and swollen. They are hard to open when dreary discomfort overcomes us, in these moments its hard to look lovingly at life.
It’s ok, its alright to lay with your eyes closed. Your eyes don’t always need to see this grand light. You don’t need to be positive and joyous every moment of every day. The brilliance of the sun comes and goes, when the dark of night finds us it’s time to slow, to sleep and rest.
To be positive when it’s time to embrace the negative, is like suffering a migraine in the midst of bright light.
Do what is right for you right now. Tend to the darkness when it is time. Love the feels even as they hurt. Embrace the experience of the experience.
Give yourself permission to feel,
what you feel.