This past weekend, we were staying at a hotel, which is clearly a labour of love for the people who own it. It is an Italian family, and they started with a run-down building, and have turned it into a beautiful hotel. And they’re clearly proud of it, and it shows when you arrive, there’s a letter waiting for you in every room and personally addressed.
And in the letter it says ‘These bedrooms and facilities have emerged from what at times has been long and wishful thinking. It has taken over fourteen years to transform what was once decrepit building into the lavish surroundings that you can see here today. It was often difficult to see the floor for the number of carpenters, cabinet makers, electricians and decorators. We have had many obstacles, and it has been an education beyond comprehension.’ And I just thought this was wonderful, truly a labour of love.
And I come back and there’s an email from Jan Elfline, my colleague with whom I created the coaching programme, those many years ago. And Jan is going to be doing a four day Master Class, and she has spent days and days, if not weeks creating a brand new kind of manual for it. Which is a very visual manual, because the Master Class is on Visual Coaching, so you know, she was sending me the proofs and is just totally delighted with it. And it struck me again, here is a labour of love and somebody just investing their time because they care.
And then, yesterday, I was having a conversation with Robert Dilts, because he and I are very close now to being ready to launch our programme that will be on the internet, which is the Fellowship Programme. And it struck me again, talking about a labour of love, we’ve been doing this for, I think it is just about three years, a mindboggling amount of time, and we’ve had a great time doing it, but again we’ve really invested a disproportionate amount of time and energy into something that, well it matters to us, so therefore we do it.
And all three of these instances, seem to me to be examples of how if you do what you really love, if you do what you really care about, if you put the time and effort in, it may seem initially quite mad, and certainly to other people it can seem like, well ‘just what is going to be the return on this?’ But frankly the return is the satisfaction of the moment, the satisfaction of seeing what you wanted to come into being. And that then, very frequently, engages others because somehow or another, what matters to you is conveyed, and it begins to matter to others.
So I think it is a big mistake to question whether or not to follow your dreams, it’s actually more to the point to be able to realise them. That may be in the form of a building, such as this beautiful hotel rescued from a pile of rubble. Or it may be in creating something new which really interests you. And that’s absolutely been the case with Jan. She has been so taken with the notion of the visual being a component which really hasn’t had that much of a look in, in coaching, and yet, of course she comes from a visual background, having lectured in the visual arts, but it’s also that if you look at the tools that are most wide spread, and have come out of coaching, the Balance Wheel has to be one of them, and again, what is that? That’s a visual tool. And then with Robert and myself, what we’re really focusing on is, well, how can that fuller life, which is one that drives what we do anyway, namely a sense of being in service to something bigger than oneself, and honouring that, by delivering practical ‘how tos’ so that first ourselves can learn and then those who choose to engage with us, can learn the tools and techniques for bring a more, I think, spiritual dimension to life lived with purpose. You know, that matters a lot. Well, it matters a lot to us anyway. And so, I’m left with the question, you know, what would it be like if everybody was engaging with their own dreams, and grounding them so that something tangible issued forth, which then everybody can benefit from and engage with. So, that’s the question that I’m left with, and I’ll leave it with you.
‘Till the next time.