Home » Blog » The Core of Coaching/Life with Gaurav Arora
“Unless you bring the unconscious to the conscious, it will continue to drive your life and you would call it fate.” – Carl Jung
The smallest way for a human being to exist is to be caught up in his own creation. Do you agree? But humans exist in this dichotomy always trying to look for answers. Not just you and me but everyone else. They want to know what happened, how it happened, and why it happened. We do get answers to these questions. But often we fail.
One such question is that of our existence. There are several theories, one holds that the evolutionary descent from primates occurred in many different places, and another is that of the big bang model which believes in the emergence of the universe from a state of extremely high temperature and density.
Even though there are so many theories, we are not quite sure which one is true. So, ultimately we have made peace. Some with one and some with another one.
But the common point of all beings is the same. The question about the true essence of our life. And for coaches the true essence of coaching. Last week on Coaching Matters, Gaurav Arora tried to answer this question. Here’s what he had to share.
This is a transcripted version.
Table of Contents
I personally feel the word, coaching, and life, go hand in hand. I don’t think that they would be coaching without life, and I don’t think there would be life without coaching.
What is coaching? Coaching is where others get better as a result of your presence and making sure that stays in your essence as well. Isn’t that what coaching is all about when others get better as a result of your presence, you know when you are present in their life, they are getting better.
When I’m talking about presence, there are several aspects of presence. There are several flavors to presence and making sure that even when you’re not there in their life still, they continue to get better. That’s what coaching is all about.
Now, if this is what coaching is all about, what is life? Life is all about that as well. You know that because of your presence, somebody is getting better. It could be your family members. It could be your colleagues. It could be your team members. It could be your neighbors. It could be somebody that you just met on the roadside.
When you have a conversation with that person, it could be somebody who’s serving you, an office boy. It could be anyone that you’ve come across. When you can make that kind of difference in somebody’s life, I think life is taken care of.
I remember I was going through the book- Seven habits of highly effective people. And, I got an opportunity to learn directly from Stephen Covey as well, a long time back in 2005-06 and up there’s one chapter where it talks about how life is all about living.
Life is all about learning. Life is all about loving and life is all about leaving a legacy. Live, learn, love, and leave a legacy. Isn’t this beautiful that it’s all about being here and it’s all about learning? Life is a school. It’s all about what we make out of that.
It’s all about serving others and that’s what love is all about leaving a legacy. You know, if you look at all these words, living, learn, love and legacy. It’s so beautiful. Only if I can live in this present moment. The ironic part is there’s a tendency in all of us that we live in the past moments without realizing neither that moment is here nor I am here because the one who attended to that moment has already died, and does not live here right now in this moment, the second one is learn.
Two days back, I wrote something on LinkedIn that life will continue to give us lessons in similar situations unless we learn something out of that. The only thing that would change would be different characters in those situations. If you are getting stuck in a particular situation, if you have the same reaction to a particular situation, you will realize how after three years as well, the characters would be different, but you will be stuck then.
The third one is love. Can you love unconditionally? And that’s the most difficult question that I’ve been asking myself.
If you read books, books that people have written in the late eighties if you talk to people who are in their eighties and they will tell you how it’s so important to love, love, and love without expecting anything in return and love here I’m not talking about the romantic love.
I’m talking about love from a space of sheer presence, a space of which is as pious as mothers love. Where she only knows how to give now, how would that be in the case, I can love you without any expectation, you can allow somebody on the screen without any expectation, which is love.
Love means just to give, give, and give and give more so that neither you have any expectations, nor the person has got any burden of returning it for you. That would be beautiful. And the last one is legacy. What kind of legacy would you want to leave in this world? That’s the essence of life, that’s what I could capture from that book.
Do I relate with each one of them, to some extent, yes. And to a large extent no, because I struggle. I struggle to live in this present moment. I struggle to learn on a day-to-day basis. There are situations I tend to get stuck with, which I find extremely difficult to get out of that love. I have so many expectations from this world.
The last one is legacy. As I said if there’s one word that I would want to be written on my epitaph. I think that should be shukrana. Just shukrana that’s it.
There are three desires of the human soul and why aren’t even talking about the human soul, because unless we understand the human soul, unless you understand what’s the true essence of the human soul, we will not be able to tap into the true essence of coaching and will not be able to tap into the true essence of life.
So let’s try and understand that. What do you mean by, the three desires of the human soul?
The three desires of the human soul are expression, connection, and contribution. And why do I say expression, connection, and contribution? Because irrespective of caste, gender, religion, or nationality, all of us would want to be heard. All of us. We all want to be seen, everywhere you go, you want people to look at you, to acknowledge who you are. That’s what we call expression.
I remember I was walking on the streets of Bali and they have a small village there where they bring all the artisans from the close by villages and they actually demonstrate the beauty that they have be it art, be it furniture, be it ornaments, be it craft and sculptures.
There was this one guy who was sitting, his name is Katik. So I looked at him, he was drawing some really beautiful mesmerizing, spectacular painting. I was so stuck with a painting. I’ve been a painter, I’ve been an artist. I’ve been a calligraphist for the longest period of time and get some kind of connection that I have with painting, crafts and sculptures.
So I was really fascinated with this art and I said, “Excuse me.” He was just looking at that and drawing, looking at the sheet and drawing the head down. I was looking at him I said, “Excuse me, what’s your name?” He didn’t even look at me. Again, I said, “Excuse me, what’s your name?” He didn’t look at me. Probably he didn’t hear me.
I tapped his shoulder. I said, “Excuse me, what’s your name”? He looked up. He didn’t see anything. I taught, probably does not understand the English language. So I spoke to my translator. I said, could you please ask him, what his name is? He spoke to him, him in Balinese. And Katik showed me a block that says, okay.
And below that, it says to express, I was fascinated. I said, why didn’t he reply to me? I asked the translator to speak to him again. And to which he realized that Katik is mute.
For me, that moment is, was a jaw-dropping moment, a pause moment as well for me. And I started to reflect. He’s such a good painter and he’s not been able to speak.
The conversation continued. He showed me another blog. And in that blog, it was written, that not everyone is blessed. Not everyone is blessed to have given the duke to have given the faculty of speech. Some of us are more fortunate that we get to express ourselves through our paint brushes and colors of bodies of colors.
When I was talking to him, of course, when he was expressing, I realized how expression is such an important thing. It took me back to when I was in the third standard. I used to speak, but I could not speak properly. I used to stutter every time I would speak. I would say mom told me that I told that I would not be able to do that.
So I had, some manufacturing challenges with my speech. I was best with the teacher called Sudha Maam. And Sudha maam, I was painting and she told me the Gaurav you are such a beautiful artist, it will be so beautiful to have you express yourself in your speech as well. So she supported me. She helped me every day.
She would call me to school at 6 – 6:30 AM in the morning, and she would walk with me so that I can speak properly. I think that’s what the connection is all about. You know, Katik said that not everyone is blessed to have the faculty of volume and speech. Some of us are more fortunate to express ourselves through paint brushes and the waters of colors and below that it was written.
And that’s how we connect. In case I’m not been able to express myself I’ll not be able to connect with you because the expression is when I’m operating from the two gifts when I’ve been operating from that space of two talents that I have the gifts and the superpowers that have invested with all of us are blessed with some superpowers in our life. All of us are blessed with certain gifts that we have, and that’s how we connect with people.
Once we’ve been able to connect only, then we’ll be able to make a contribution. Somebody asked ta beautiful question, how about, gratitude in action. I think that’s service. Services is equal to gratitude in action. When you’re able to explain, you’re able to put action in your Shukrana. That’s how you serve people.
Expression, connection, and contribution. These are the three desires of a human. So all of us, whether you read Maslow’s hierarchy, whether you read Richard Barrett’s model or you read David Hawkin’s work or any other one, the spiral dynamics. You realize how, at the end of the day, we genuinely want to contribute to the lives of others. If not for that, what else do we live for? So these are the three basic human desires of all the human beings that you would come across.
I believe that the true essence of coaching is all about building awareness in somebody’s life with acceptance and appreciation. When we started the conversation, I use this, unless you make unconscious conscious, it will continue to drive your life and you would call it. That’s what I think awareness comes in.
Acceptance does not mean that you will stop going acceptance, just being accepting.
What is rather than aiming for what it should be? Because every time when you’re aiming for what it should be, you lose this present moment.
And the third one is appreciation. You know, I tell people in case you cannot appreciate life. Life will continue to give you reasons that you should not be appreciated.
And if you find a way to appreciate life, life will give you enough. And more reasons to genuinely be thankful. It’s not that. There’s nothing bad happening in your life. Of course, life is happening. You will have challenges. You will have challenges at your workplace.
You would have challenges with your kids. You would have some kind of misunderstanding with the operator and somebody would be unwell in your family, mom, dad, you know, a business might not be in touch with the ceiling all the time. You might have some arguments and fights with your friends, but that should not stop you from expressing what you have for as long as you have this breadth to experience.
You’re fortunate for as long as you’ve got two times a need it forgets about two times one time. I mean, you are blessed, for us for as long as you are healthy, you are blessed, right? Just look at what happened in the last few years time. So many of us have lost so many people and if you’re still stuck with your own biases, how the other person should be, how he or she should not behave, this is what should be dissolved.
I’m really sorry. You’re in a very sad state. Wake up before life would start to scream, scream in your appeal. You know life is talking to us. Life is whispering actually, too. If you don’t listen to the whisper, life is going to scream in our ears. It did in the last few years. It did. And even now, if you’re not woken up, it’s time to wake up.
Gaurav has a decade of rich experience in the professional services industry as a Facilitator, Coach, and Speaker, with a strong track record of building high-performing leadership teams. As a facilitator, he has been recognized for creating stimulating and interactive learning environments and encouraging participation and individual creativity. As an Executive Coach, he works to dismantle barriers that come up in the workplace for leaders and help them in fulfilling their intent. A storyteller by heart, he leverages various methodologies and techniques to put his point across and create the breakthrough.
He founded Inspire Coaching Systems in 2009, now known as xMonks, and started a social development initiative “iOwn” in 2016, which is a platform to connect coaches with Social Development Sector to create possibilities and transformation for the change-makers and bring coaching to the grass-root level.
Gaurav is an Engineer and a Management Graduate in Marketing. He is a recipient of the “Young HR Professional of the Year 2009-10” by Employer Branding Institute and has been awarded as the 100 top Leadership Coach in 2017. Recently, Gaurav has been honored with the 2019 ICF Young Leader Award. Gaurav is a voracious reader and loves adventure sports. In his free time, he does calligraphy, painting, and reads books.
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