Why is the name of my coaching practice Design the Future?
Partly because designing the future is what coaching is about and partly to remind myself and others how important it is to plan actively for our futures and not just let someone else send us in whatever direction best fits their agenda.
I look back and think what a tragically amenable child I was (and that’s me putting a good spin on it!), always taking it that adults and teachers knew best. Just one example: I wanted to spend some of my 6th-form “free” periods learning to type. The Senior Mistress looked witheringly at me and said, “You don’t need to type – you’re going to university.”
Well, quite apart from the fact that, at university, I had to produce my dissertation in German and typed which was difficult and expensive, as we all now know the world is centred around the keyboard.
And what business of hers was it to direct my life based on her academic snobbery rather than what interested me?
We owe it to ourselves to pursue our own happiness: however well-meaning other peoples’ advice might be, they aren’t the ones who are going to have to live the consequences of it on a daily basis.
You don’t have to do it with a coach – although, of course, I think coaching gives you advantages it’s hard to find in any one other place.
If you’re going to make the best choices, you need someone who will really listen to you, someone to give you objective feedback on your ideas and someone who can lead you to insights you might otherwise have missed while focussing on you as a talented and capable individual.
With coaching or without, plan for your success and take action to achieve it.