Guest Blogger: Brad Glass
I’m in the process of creating a welcome video for my website, and doing so has led me to explore more deeply who I am and what I do. Embracing this primal energy fueling my life is a continuing source of both clarity and freedom for me – clarity, from a sense of knowing far deeper than any “everyday knowing,” and freedom, from having a powerful reference point for my life. Along with this perspective, however, comes a discovery.
Although as a discipline, coaching is about the client’s agenda and not the coach’s, I have to admit a bias here. My 65 years of life on this planet have afforded a lot of opportunity for me to notice things, and my observations indicate that, as a society, we’ve lost an essential part of what it means to be human … the courage and/or ability to think for ourselves, and the consequent right to live life on our own terms. Early American colonists started a revolution over this threat to their self-determination, and the theme of self-reliance has run through most of our history – Jefferson, Emerson, Thoreau, Muir, etc.
So in a way, I find that I’m an “American Dream” coach. I want to stamp out the American Nightmare that promises happiness in exchange for going along with other people’s thinking. I want to restore the original dream, the one that promised freedom of spirit.
Some coaches may have issues with my “taking a stand,” but to me, helping my clients reach a level of clarity and perspective – about themselves, others, their life, their work, and the world – is at the core of what it means to live a meaningful and sustainable life. If it means that I “push” them to reclaim the right to think for themselves, so be it. This I believe. (Note that I am not interested in telling them what to think, just making sure they do … think.)
I know. I was lost in the world of other people’s thinking for much of my adult life. I was taught that’s just “the way it is.” What I now know, however, was perhaps best expressed by Mark Twain: “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you in trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” And a lot of what I “knew for sure” … just ain’t so.
Somewhere along life’s path, I came to realize that if I were to be good at what I do, then my life had to be my brochure. And I love my life. I’m proud of the legacy I might offer my children, my friends, and my clients. And I’m grateful for those who have guided me along the way. Native American wisdom honored “paying the gift forward,” offering to others what you’d been offered yourself. This, too, I believe. Our lives are filled with potential.
Bradford Glass, PCC
The Road Not Taken
Brad is a board member of ICFNE