Coaching New Dreams: Quotes & Questions
Impossible as it may seem when mired in the mucky middle of transition, renewal is indeed underway. The largely invisible work of recovery and rediscovery nourishes deep roots of resilience. It is from this rooted and renewed inner self that the tender shoots of new dreams break through the crusty, winter-hardened soil.
The art and skill of dreaming often diminishes with age; our failures and even our successes can censor our sense of what's possible. The Hudson Institute of Coaching training manual makes a compelling case for the immediate and long-term impact of having and holding our own dreams, in a world that works hard to talk us out of them:
"Healthy people create and choose their own goals and dreams; they do not limit themselves to living the scripts and expectations of society and external forces. A new dream is the driving force for the life structure, a source of passion and values. A dream is a compelling, poetic picture of a desirable future, rather than a literal statement. A dream is a promise that is self-evident and convincing, an idea whose time has come. A dream inspires and motivates. A dream is energy; whenever you think of it, you get a burst of personal power."
Coaches can re-awaken the coachee's desire and ability to imagine a different possibility for themselves. Thought-provoking questions provide the sunlight, and listening well waters the potent seedling of a new dream.
Below you'll find five dreamy quotes and the questions they invite:
Your calling is where your deep gladness meets the hunger of the world.
Who or what makes you unusually curious, even envious in a good way, meaning that you experience a "holy discontent" - a desire to create or pursue that essential thing in your own life, in your own unique way?
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
Putting the 'Yes, buts...' on the back burner for today, what do you imagine would happen if you said 'Yes, and...' to your dream?
You have your brush, you have your colors, you paint paradise, then in you go.
If we think of your dream as a painting, are there sizable portions of the canvas that have been gessoed over by the advice, judgment, or agendas of others?
To bring anything into your life, imagine that it is already there.
Let's time travel into your future life, a year after you've implemented your dream, your "next," your preferred future. Describe not what you are doing, but how you are being. How would people describe their experience of you? As you meet the new challenges and "high quality" problems of living your dream, what do you notice about the renewed self you are bringing to this new life chapter?
If you don't risk anything, you risk even more.
What is the dream you don't share because it scares you? Are you more afraid of what it will take, or where it will take you?
Permit me a little riff on the third chapter of Ecclesiastes: there is a time to stay underground and establish roots, and a time to spring forth with buds a'bloomin. Both times are sacred, productive, and purposeful. A coaching approach brings light, depth, and heart to every season of dreaming.