Jul 142010
 

June 23, 2010
Coaching lessons from my children

Today is exactly ten days since I returned from the Foundations/TAPOC Conference #2 in Singapore. During the Conference #2 weekend, as a dad, I was amazed at how much I was missing my wife and children. The part that intrigues me is that I travel a lot as my job takes me away from home much of the time, and normally it takes me four to five days before I start missing my family. However, now, it takes about four or five hours only to trigger emotions (of being with them) and what my kids have already taught me – being in the present, loving unconditionally and best of all they are my flexibility ‘wibble-wabble gurus’.

I remember clearly how my daughter, Sanjnah (she is turning four in July 2010) used to invite me to dance and I used to resist her invitation. Now, I am an ever willing partner in flexibility. My son, Keshava, who turned two in January 2010, is all play. He has taught me how learning can be playful, and how play can be learning. I relate these experiences in the context of the Newfield journey.

“There are infinite lessons that I am learning from my kids every day. There is no right time or place for showing love, care and just having fun. All the lessons I learn from my children just spring to mind when I am off-center. As Julio says, “It only gets better”.

I remember watching Sanjnah and Keshava just running around in circles in the garden chasing each other. In the past, I used just sit watch them in awe and wonder. But now I join in the excitement of just playing, dancing, hopping, skipping and running with them without any purpose or meaning. Just to play for the sake of playing! My children coach me on being present and being flexible. I am a child again!

At night, just before going to bed, Sanjnah now requests that she lays on my laps and that I sing or read to her. I am enjoying every moment of granting her request. I experience joy and a rewarding feeling daily. I tell my wife, how grateful I am as both my children enrich me.

In the past I used to judge my performance as a dad against “being the perfect dad” and that I will never match up to becoming one. Then it hit me, that my assessments of perfection were rooted in my emotions and moods when I was a little boy, having a difficult childhood with my dad.

For me, on a daily basis, I observe my kids play as a valuable lesson and unforgettable “coaching moment with my children”. When I see the Observer that I am now, freedom is just within my reach. Choices are there for me to choose from. My kids, like all children, are 100% in the present, in the NOW, constantly exploding in their experiences. I celebrated father’s day this time around just being in reflection on how the bond between my father and I have created a gift of me as a father. This is the gift that I now bring with me in my coaching work.

I say from experience that my children are my coaches. They create my results. I find meaning in this coaching journey that I am going through now. My children bring tremendous learning for me as I carry that experience to my work environment. My kids are a mirror of me and a reflection of how I am learning and growing in their space.

For me as a trainee coach, the gift of fatherhood means a seamless supply of stories, abundance of excitement, awe and wonder that I can bring into coaching. Children are able to find wonder in the simplest of things — an earthworm in the garden, an unusual bug on the sidewalk, an airplane in the sky and throwing pebbles into a puddle. As I reflect on the many ways of how fathers and kids learn from each other and grow in each others space, I leave you with a question to ponder: How have your children enriched your coaching? …. I am off to play with my children 🙂

Jan 272010
 

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit … and you’re keeping all of these in the air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for Balance in your life.

How?

Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.

Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.

Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us to each together.

Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be pave.

Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find time. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings!

Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you are going.

Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.

Don’t be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.

Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savoured each step of the way…

–Brian G. Dyson

President and CEO, Coca-Cola Enterprises during his speech at the Georgia Tech 172nd Commencement Address Sept. 6, 1996