Zen coaching combines two focuses. On one hand, the discipline of “coaching” is orientated towards making connections, instructing, and training others to achieve their goals. This is a Western idea.
On the other hand, zen is a thousand-year-old philosophical system hoping primarily to wake up the conscience. After this awakening, one can better understand the fruits of his or her individual and subjective evolution, and recognize his or her primary purpose of achieving peace and harmony.
Thus, Zen coaching is about cultivating the potential of mental and spiritual development by achieving goals that bring us happiness. From here, we’ll zoom in on 8 essential aspects to embarking on this path on growth.
1. Challenge your own prejudices
We’re all full of unfounded beliefs. Even the brightest and most rational amongst us are guilty of this. Unfortunately, many of our prejudices end up forming major road blocks in our lives.
Overcoming our prejudices is far from easy. In order to face them, we first have to recognize them. Explore the “truths” you’re always assumed are obvious and inarguable. Then, have the courage to reevaluate their validity, look at them from a new vantage point, and leave them behind if there aren’t good enough reasons to uphold them.
3. Sort your objectives intro three categories
Zen coaching suggests organizing your objectives into three dimensions: to be, to do, and to have. The “to be” realm is about values, abilities, and personal evolution that we wish to achieve. The “to do” realm has to do with the actions we want to go through with, as well as concrete achievements we want to check off. Lastly, the “to have” realm refers to the material world, and what we want to possess.
It’s important that all of these goals are precisely solidified and not left general. You should also determine a deadline to achieve them. One month, one year, five years, etc. The definition and the deadline are fundamental.
3. Recognize what you cannot possibly change
Life has its own limitations. The first of them is death, which none of us have any power against. Then, there are other insurmountable barriers that we should learn to recognize and accept.
Zen caching advises that if we cannot identify impossible desires and renounce them, we might never truly be happy. We’ll spend too much energy focusing on the impossible. This distances us from the goals we should be striving towards.
4. Center yourself in the present
Living in the present doesn’t mean losing perspective. We all have pasts that have molded us and made us who we are. But we should behave in a way that points towards projects and goals in the future.
Zen coaching teaches us that the plane of action should keep us focused on the present. The past is in our minds, as is the future. Action, on the other hand, is in the here and now. The present is life as it currently is, so it’s necessary to live in it now.
5. Assume the responsibility
Whenever we take responsibility for our actions and our life, we win. When we stop victimizing ourselves or clinging to external pretexts to justify what we haven’t accomplished.
Assuming the responsibility means being capable of accepting the fact that whatever life we’re living is the fruit of our successes and our mistakes. We can’t blame anything on anyone else — just ourselves. Even though we can’t control everything that happens to us, we can control how we respond to everything.
6. Take back your time
Time is the most valuable thing we have as human beings. In some ways, it’s the only thing we really possess during our lifetimes. Frequently we’re not aware of this, and therefore waste it thoughtlessly.
Taking advantage of our time is the only way we can earn that time. Cut out any irrelevant activity that you don’t get anything out of. Make room for the important things.
7. Make a commitment to the next step
Once we understand that achieving big goals requires taking things one step at a time, we’ve begun the journey. Zen coaching invites us to be conscious, patient, and disciplined in the journey towards what we desire.
Every great achievement can be broken down into small steps. Each step is a stone in a long path of actions that brought us to where we are today. Trust the old adage: slow and steady wins the race.
8. Make decisions and act on them
Uncertainty is a permanent reality. We’ll never know for sure if a particular road is better than another. However, if we spend too much time trying to decide, we’ll be paralyzed. Zen coaching insists that the important thing to do is just decide. Reflection is important, but you need to quickly move onto the action phase. Many times only action can dispel those doubts.
All of these points lead us to the conclusion that it’s not so difficult to live better. Zen coaching teaches us, first and foremost, that we just need to accept reality for what it is and try to live as constructively as possible. Everything else will follow.