Have You Ever Used A Life Coach?

I'm reading the book Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer. What's so interesting is how different the book is from the movie (go Hollywood). Harrer, a German explorer and member of the military, is caught up in WWII as he and a group of climbers attempt alpine expeditions in and around India, a British colony. They are imprisoned as POWs and quickly escape to Tibet, a neutral country. After much toil, they are, somewhat, granted asylum. Harrer is adopted by the people of Tibet and becomes enchanted with their culture. His attention to detail (training as an alpinist) is stunning... He describes the food, religion, social structures, legal processes (stealing = cutting off of hands, believe it or not) and his Holiness the Dalai Lama. I'm not finished with the books, so I'll add more later. However, I do enjoy one aspect of the story that's emerging: Harrer's growth as a person through the guidance of mentors and teachers.

In the book, Harrer describes how he learns from leaders and towns people. He is guided, some might say, to the proper Tibetan way of living. When I think of this, I am struck how, in the West, we don't have these guides. Perhaps, the closest concept of a guide we have as adults is a boss. A good boss (and those are really hard to find) helps you navigate the work culture and your career path. They are kind and direct. A boss-guide is great for work, but not for living the good life. In Tibet, and other cultures that have spirituality as a cultural principle, guides seem to be all over the place. In the form or priests, monks or just the social norms, one's life is organized to meet values, not push too hard against it for absurd reasons. We can argue if the value of this cultural structure is worthy, as a Westerner, I might say that kind of culture-blockade is too limiting to one's self-expression. My point is that people stay in line, and are happier (maybe) because that's just how it is, how it should be and if you don't like it, we will cut your hands off.

Are these guides or cultural phenomena some sort of a life coach? I think so... One is organized around the environment, and so each "life move" is orchestrated. Your parents place you in to a marriage (again, Westerner's may hate this idea, but arranged marriages last longer - look it up), society helps you when you are struggling because "they've all been there" and religious leaders are abundant to assist your development, for free - life coaching. I'm not saying all these systems actually work, but they are there to assist the community. In America, we are divorced of these systems and the "I" is more important (which might explain the loneliness epidemic we are facing). Could it be that life coaches are the key to unlocking our potential and more? Are they the new high priests? I've never used one, but for the first time in my life, I'm considering it...

What do you think?