Are You Drowning?
I was catching up on some reading yesterday and I read something that helped me realize why some people are coachable, and some people are not.
The story went like this..a young boy was walking along a road when he came across Socrates. He quickened his step to catch up and as he approached, he said: “Socrates, I want wisdom, how do I get it?”
Socrates put his hand on the boy’s shoulder and said, walk with me. He led the boy to a river and Socrates then put his hand on the boys head and held him under the water. He held him there until the boy was struggling and gasping for air. When he released his grip and the boy looked up, he asked Socrates why he had done that. Socrates then asked the boy, “What did you want when you were under water?” “Air,” the boy replied. Socrates said to the boy, “When you want wisdom as badly as you wanted that air, you will find it.”
The short story resonated with me because I realized quickly that there is so much truth to it. So many people out there are miserable. They assume the identity of their misery. Their professional life falls into chaos, they believe they are victims, they respond to situations out of habit and not out of thought, and they let fear rule them. Yet, they tell me they want things to be different.
Those people, unfortunately, want change to “happen to them” they are not prepared to do the self-work necessary to change their thought processes or change their patterns of behavior. They are in fact, drowning in their own habitual behaviors. Until they become ready to take control, they cannot be coached, nor can they change their circumstances.
Change takes work – a lot of work. It takes rewriting the script we have used to play out or lives. A change means we take control of our thoughts and of our actions. It means we decide who we want to be, and we want it as badly as the boy wanted air, and we make it happen. That is the point in which a person becomes coachable. That is when they are ready. It is then that they take the first step.
Are you ready?