“There is more to life than tasks accomplished”
“There is more to life than tasks accomplished”, states one of the most inspiring books I have ever read in the field of coaching, and I would like to share a bit of its concept with you.
What is it, this “more to life”?
The book Co-Active Coaching by Laura Whitworth et al. suggests that coaches should help their clients towards three core principles: fulfilment, balance and process.
For your inspiration, here is a brief summary of the three principles. It offers a perspective, or a frame that you can use when you want to reflect on your life and what you might be seeking.
Fulfillment, balance and process
These are the three core principles recognized by co-active coaching
Fulfilment is about being fully alive. It is an experience of being complete. Fulfilment is the state of fully expressing who we are and what is right for us. It´s a sense of wholeness, satisfaction, rightness and harmony.
Fulfilment is in making choices that are in accordance with what matters to us. Such choices are not necessarily the easiest, most comfortable or least risky ones. That is why being fulfilled is not the same as feeling good. The paradox of fulfilment is that it is possible both to have a sense of inner peace and to experience a struggle at the same time.
In coaching, we help clients learn what makes them tick and what doesn’t, what matters to them and what doesn´t – to clarify their values. This is to help them make and stand fulfilling choices.
Balance is about a life that is in action and flowing.
It is not about going faster or slower, but about making it smoother. Balance is not about evening out everything, all the pieces of life, such as career, family, friendship and hobbies, because you might want to have them in different amounts and also to change their proportion over time.
Balance is the ability to juggle the priorities of your life, so that the mix and the movement are satisfying to you.
Coaching helps clients explore the perspective from which they see their life now, as well as alternative perspectives. Clients make choices, plans and commitments. In this way, coaching moves clients into action and helps them sustain change over time.
Process is about enjoying the journey, savouring and appreciating each moment of your life as much as you can.
This can be achieved through going deeply into the internal experience, into what is happening at the moment, here and now.
The aim of coaching is to enhance the ability of clients to be aware of the moment and to name it. Coaching helps clients develop the capacity to deal with conditions they have previously been avoiding or denying – which is essential in order to be able to appreciate every part of the life’s journey.
If you imagine your life as a ride, then fulfilment is in choosing options on the way that feel right to you. Balance is about making the ride as continual and smooth as possible, as opposed to being stuck. And the process, that´s appreciating each part of the journey, including the phases when the ride is hard.
None of them, whether fulfilment, balance, or engagement in the process, is tied to having something or reaching a milestone or the destination. Any day of your life, irrespective of highs and lows, can be lived through in a fulfilling, balanced way, appreciating the process.
Just because some things in your life have not been accomplished (yet), it does not mean you must postpone experiencing “the more to life”. You can live your life that way, starting at any moment you choose.
*The descriptions of the 3 core principles include free quotations from:
Laura Whitworth et al (2009): Co-active Coaching. New skills for coaching people towards success in work and life. UK: Nicolas Brealey Publishing.