I completely understand the allure of the quick fix; I completely understand the desire for instant gratification, instant healing, instant weight loss, instant love.
I am fascinated and secretly attracted to the grand claims made by gurus, hypnotists and healers. There is something upbeat and hopeful about their promises. I wish I had the kind of innocent transforming faith that could put its trust in such claims, but I just don’t believe them. To me, they are dangerous for the simple reason that they aim to bypass the glorious and mundane resourcefulness of being fully human.
In the world of coaching and mentoring, there have been many methodologies or techniques that have been offered and practiced – some of them by me. There is a seductive siren call to some of these approaches – if you just do this, if you just master that, then you will be successful/happy/thin or whatever other Tantalus is being dangled. Some of these approaches have helped people; others have seemed little more than smoke and mirrors – trailing disappointment in their wake and a relentless search for the next big thing.
One year we all got trained in NLP, the next it was systems thinking, this year it’s mindfulness. I don’t wish to suggest that any of these approaches are invalid. I use them. They are all worthwhile, helpful tools – or to use a more fitting metaphor – useful frames for the human landscape. But that landscape is vast and wide, its terrain is complex and diverse and to think that it can be contained by any one approach is pure folly. And quick fixes usually end up being not so quick after all. People need time and space to connect to their passion, to understand what makes them tick and to take the appropriate action.
Sometimes in a coaching and mentoring relationship there is a glorious moment of realisation, of self acceptance or forgiveness. Sometimes there can be a stark and sudden knowing of what you want and how you are going to make sure you have more of what you want in your life. These moments are a gift and a miracle – one that is only really brought about through relationship.
Being able to offer a space like that to connect; to think things through; to plan a way forward; even, dare I say it, to love and accept yourself a little more, is the fundamental reason for coaching and mentoring. It’s the kind of coaching and mentoring that I advocate – sustained, relational and transformation.
But probably not a quick fix (although I really could make you thin…).
Find out more about the coaching and mentoring we offer, with Head, Heart and Soul.