Clarity through purpose
It has been a spectacular autumn – color everywhere, bright blue skies and gorgeous clouds, the shadows that are more visible in the day because of the lower sun. A real celebration of summer’s ending and the earth readying itself to move into winter.
Then, last week, fog rolled in. It felt like a damp bubble, mysterious in its shrouding of objects’ completeness, and yet it was still beautiful. On the way through Dulwich Park one morning, I noticed one of a set of sculptures by the artist Conrad Shawcross titled Three Perpetual Chords. I saw the sculpture as depicting what happens in our minds when we are confused, stressed, and anxious – thoughts, feelings, ideas, beliefs all getting woven into a big twist. On this day, I was also struck by the fog’s concealing the goal posts in the field behind, and saw the similarities to the idea of goals and targets that are unclear as a lot more difficult to achieve. Combine this lack of clarity with our busy and messy minds, and the result is a lot of spinning wheels, mental effort and energy for an unclear outcome, and possible demotivation at the thought of not achieving what we’re meant to, or even knowing what that is or looks like.
It made me think of the brilliance of coaching, in empowering people to untangle their dreams, and desires, and to pursue goals that are meaningful and purposeful and contribute to someone living their life purpose, with intention. With less stress, less confusion. Even with joy.
Later that day, as I walked back through the park, the fog had lifted. The sun had come out, and the football goals were easy to spot in the fields. The leaves on the trees were brighter and more vibrant. It reminded me of the way I’d felt after meeting earlier that day with my own coach – more clear, more alive, and more present and connected with my purpose. This image definitely struck a chord for me…that as we go after short-term and long-term goals, the chance to untangle the complex stories and ideas in our minds is the gift of clarity. That’s the power of coaching.