My client was visiting for his first life coaching session..he began with a deep sigh "Everything I do for my family seems to fall short...what more can I do" he wondered..
Taking a deep breath he stated "My children have the best education money can afford, my wife has the best of everything money can buy - premium club memberships, best cars, posh homes and so on. Despite this, they are wanting more international holidays annually, best brands to wear, most expensive restaurants to dine in...even with all the luxuries, they seem discontented..am clueless where this will end...so much money spent"
As he paused, I asked him " so let us imagine each of you and your family members are boarding a train to a destination of choice..what is your preference?" After thinking a while, he said "Well, I want to travel on the train that takes me back to my hometown, where I lived as a kid"
"What about your family members?". He laughed, saying "Each one will want to board a train to some exotic destination".
"So what happens when you board one of those trains with your family members?" Reflecting on the enquiry, he said softly "I guess I am on the wrong train!"
I enquired further "As you imagine yourself travelling in that train..how about the stations you arrived at?" Smiling , he said, "Wrong train...wrong stations...futile to travel in that direction". Pausing briefly, he stated his epiphany excitedly " So my train of thoughts have been on the wrong track.."
"Are you comfortable exploring your statement a little more?" As he nodded, I asked "So you were saying...your train of thoughts have been on the wrong track..when you say wrong track, what does that mean to you?"
"Well, wrong track...its not a path I will follow". "Can we reframe this now to see how this serves you?"
"Well, it does not serve me at all actually...I can see that now". "Based on this learning, what will serve you?"He smiled and looking relieved, he said "Being on my train...my path..."
"How do you feel about your family members when you are in your train?" He reflected and said "Hmm..its been them first and their needs...I did not exist for myself..in many ways I have deferred my life..which is wrong"
"What will your family say about your journey?" "Hmmm...not sure...very good question...have not seen this from their perspective ever..which again is wrong...actually, we are all right by being on our trains.."
As we ended the session, I enquired " So lets revisit your initial statement about discontentment any learning from our session today?"
He smiled happily saying " Discontentment is when I board the wrong train..my assumption about my family are mine only..so its not them..its me who is discontented". "Any action step you are comfortable taking now?" "Yes.." he said excitedly "Spend more time with family, understand their perspective..their train of thoughts and meet at the right station where all trains meet"
We signed off with me asking "So when you board the wrong train..." he said "Make a choice that works for you..think differently...consider others' perspective"