“You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day.
You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime” Chinese proverb
This is a statement which has resonated with me for many years. When I first heard it I was surprised at how profound a few words could be – but I had never really considered it in my own life. Probably because it was a given (so many things are a “given”!) and while in a corporate environment I always sought for an expert. It’s how the world works and we can’t know it all.
But what if one isn’t designed to fish?
I have immersed myself in the world of coaching over the last 15 years. A field of work which is designed to help people to become more effective and more “empowered” through question and enquiry. A space which was reserved primarily for leaders in organisations to have a clearer vision, outcomes, action plans and the ability to let go. Well – this was the case with me when I first began coaching. When I realised the power in this space I began to get curious about what would happen if this was taken to the masses? What would change in our society if people became more empowered and followed their own path? Would we get real change? Would it be revolutionary? What would people create? A new thought? A new idea?
I never see it as a coincidence when people become disillusioned with their work. Something more deeply fulfilling may be calling to them. Change? Perhaps – not always. It happened with me and this is what I experience with my clients and many of those who have come through the Coaching training.
We live in a constantly evolving world. Coaching in itself has its own development life cycle and as far as I’m concerned, will always be evolving as we are human. There are many teachers who teach incredible work, hold beautiful spaces and impart knowledge which I still to this day cannot cognitively explain, while something significant changed within. And that for me is the truest essence of coaching. A quietly connected mind.
A friend recently spoke to a group of people at a conference about her inspirational story regarding her firstborn who was born with cerebral palsy. The feedback she received was that she came across more authentic when she deferred from her notes and went off-piste. Isn’t that telling? Sometimes we get so caught up in the wanting to be good, we forget that we already are.
The pressure we impose on ourselves to be better and more knowledgable than who we are now – by learning new techniques, new forms, new things which have been created by others and become the defacto standard for being “good” and fitting into society. More tools in the toolbox, more to be and yet the most incredible coaches I have worked with don’t use tools. They simply hold a space of pure presence and say whatever comes to them in the moment. It comes from wisdom and I see it as new thought or creation in the moment. The questions, the insights, the presence. Having no expectations and no outcome, and from there a shift happens. Sometimes a niggle, sometimes profound.
Don’t get me wrong, learning is a great thing – I facilitate workshops! But i’m not talking about learning about something outside of you. If it’s out there, it may be out of date? The question is “what is next?”, “what is new?”, “What is coming up now – for you – from within?”. I’m talking about another level of infinite intelligence which lies deep within each and every one of us. One that is always guiding us.
The answers lie within us. All great thinkers and creators – no matter what era they are from – had their own individual guidance systems which helped them to create whatever they created in the world.
How do you access this guidance system? How do you become your own coach? How do you walk the path less travelled? How do you see your own limitations? How do you move beyond you? How do support others in doing this in their lives?
All of these questions are answered in this years coaching programme which begins in April, 2019 – and yes this programme evolves too. A six month programme which takes you back to you. Which supports you in reconnecting with your own authentic guidance system. Your Wisdom. What will life be like from here? What will you create? Who will you become?
So back to the quote above, this feels more relevant now :
“Give humans a tool and they will stay busy in their lives learning it, using it and sharing it, until another tool comes along.
Teach humans about their wisdom and point them back to them, and you give them access to infinite intelligence which will give them the ability to create for a lifetime – and that may well include fishing! :0) ” Mahnaz