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Get a Life Coach

Have you ever played a sport whether individual or team sports where your top performance was required for any measure of success? If you have, you may have had the benefit of at least one coach guiding you to point out better form, better strategies, alternative approaches, keeping you accountable, identifying our strengths and weaknesses, and overall telling you to listen to your body and focus on your goals. If you haven't then would you like to have someone on your side, not judging you then generally cheering you on while you attempt to achieve whatever your goals are? For the past year I've been working with a life coach and I can say it's worked so well for me that I cannot help but recommend everyone consider investing in life coaching.

I used to swim back when I was a student in university as part of the varsity team. I had a number of coaches then who taught me not just the technical aspects of swimming, but also the mental fortitude required to train effectively, the discipline required to maintain form, and the mindset required for competition. Our head coach would tailor our training programmes depending on our levels and capacity, our preferred stroke, how we respond to challenges, and kept us accountable for completing the training. Our success was mostly dependent on ourselves -- we determined how hard we push during training, how motivated we are in improving, and whether we're going to show up every training day with a particular attitude. Our coach was the enabler and the guidance we needed to be better at what we do.

It took me a while to realise that a mentor is really important to have -- someone you can look up to, give you advice about what to think about, someone to listen and understand what you're going through and potentially guide you to a specific set of actions and decision points. I'm very blessed and grateful for the mentors I've had throughout the years and those I have now. But a mentor isn't necessarily a coach.

It also took me a while to realise that therapy is really important too. Having a licensed professional who can help you introspect, identify your thought patterns, and help you process your emotions is a service that's definitely worth the investment. Having someone you trust to confide in and let into your thoughts and insecurities with the goal of healing and emotional growth is worth more than most material things you can spend your money on. But a therapist is not a coach.

I found that my coach has helped me in the following areas in an accelerated manner:


  • Planning. I'm a notoriously bad planner but I am good at analysing options and making decisions. My coach has helped me turn my analysis and decision making skills into components of a planning strategy which works for me. Now I have a better handle of what I want/need to accomplish and how to put forth a plan to execute.
  • Focus. I used to have trouble focusing on one project/endeavour for a prolonged period which I never understood why -- until my coach helped me realise that I value uncertainty (the feeling of "anything can happen") and do actually crave that feeling of encountering something new. Just knowing this has helped me in identifying when I'm distracted or bored to have strategies for satisfying these cravings -- while staying productive and focused at a macro level. I take more frequent deliberate breaks now and as a result am able to focus on a larger project over time without procrastinating as much.
  • Higher Level Execution. One of my strengths that I've identified for a while now is my capacity and willingness to execute. This usually came at the expense of efficiency or effectiveness -- because I can execute so much, I usually just dove in and figured things out later. Now I'm combining my strength in execution with effective planning and focus to deliver more effective solutions. It's not so much executing on more things, but instead executing on the right things well.
  • Accountability. Just having someone who can keep track of the goals I've set myself and how far I've gotten to achieving those goals, then celebrating the successes and analysing the failures -- and helping me talk myself out of a rut by exploring the thought patterns that might be artificially limiting me -- has made the whole journey more enjoyable. While I do have friends that could help me with this, having someone that was a bit detached and can look objectively and provide feedback and prompts to think about is part of the value.

My coach has helped me become a better version of me by being more organised, deliberate, and more self-aware. I've found the coaching sessions help me in thinking clearly about what's happened, what I need to execute on, and identifying the good parts of my plans. Having my coach in my corner helping with the tactical, strategic, and mental aspects of how I execute on "life" in general has been so worth the investment, I would happily keep doing it as long as I can afford to do so!

If you're interested in life coaching too, I can refer you to my coach who can help you connect with one -- just send me a message through https://keybase.io/deanberris or (encrypted) email to dean.berris@deanberris.com (PGP Key 0463 F512 E8EF 2E5B).

In the meantime, here's a picture of a nice sunset at St. Kilda, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria.


Updated 2/1/2019, 12:33AM: Added hyperlinks to email and keybase.io profile page.

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