Don’t Monkey Around When Choosing a Life Coach

Learning to live by watching our elders is in the DNA of all life. All animals play life coach to their offspring.

How to Choose a Life Coach Chimpanzees teach their young to use rocks to break open nuts. Unlike the Chimps, we can choose our life coach. That requires caution.

Ancient man passed on fire starting skills, and today long lines of interns compete for a perch at Apple to show off their code writing skills and get close to the place where the goddess of mega success strikes with lightning bolts of genius. Each of us needs direction, but today finding the best life coach to get everything you want can be a challenge before you light a fire that only burns through tons of your cash.

First, let’s take a snapshot of the playing field. The term, mentor, in our books has been written about since the early 1800s and has steadily grown ever since. We all want someone to show us the way. Take the more contemporary buzz word, life coach. Experts coined that in 1960’s self help publications. Today, the use of the life coach term is off the charts. Early craftsmen that swung hammers and sloshed paint learned the ropes during long days as an apprentice. Today interns nervously hang on to whatever the elders say from board rooms to boiler rooms. It’s a good system. The system is so good everyone wants to jump on the band wagon. There are five million six hundred thousand Youtube videos based on the query, life coach. Search Amazon on the topic of life coach and over 30 thousand books pop up. As we visit meeting rooms in hotels worldwide, we experts on every topic rallying the cry to become the next best mentor with the promise to be your life coach. Could be there’s a lot of coaching and very little living happening as a result.

There are factors you can use to find the right life coach to help you get everything you want. Earl Nightingale was more than a best selling author since his works have been used as a means of personal coaching. Denis Waitley, the first major author published by Nightingale Conant, has contributed a lot to raise the bar on the skills needed to be a real life coach. Denis spoke freely of our currently dominant thoughts, which paraphrases Earl’s teaching, “We become what we think about.”

Denis shared a study by two researchers named Emily Werner and Ruth Smith. Here’s an excerpt from Denis, “This study, which followed more than 450 people from childhood through their adult lives, was an attempt to learn why some people are motivated to overcome severe disadvantages, while others from the same background seem to have been overwhelmed by their problems. This research continued for an incredible length of time: 40 years, to be exact.  According to the research, one of the most interesting qualities of these motivated individuals is their ability to recognize potential sources of support in other people, to look beyond the walls of their homes to find relatives, friends, teachers, or other role models who can provide help. This very important finding illustrates the benefits of forming mentor relationships to encourage achievement.”

Highly motivated people use a coach or mentor. However, Earl cautioned for care to be taken when choosing a life coach. It is critical to choose the various life coaches over your life wisely. The process begins with your life’s goals. Find people doing what you want to do and learn from them.

Make sure that the mentors you choose have a genuine history of success and your life coach must show the ability to achieve goals.

Research your needs for a life coach.

Life coaches base their practices on a particular subject area such as business, relationships, grief, mid-life issues, etc. Decide what you need life coaching for. The hourly fee for a life coach can run from $50 to $400 or more per 1 hour session. A life coach can help you if you feel stuck and keep you motivated.

Research your life coach.

Once you have identified a life coach explore them online. Compare the information you gather from the life coach’s online presence with other sources.

Sometimes you may find the perfect life coach is someone you will never meet. Many people find mentors in the form of self study. Authors, educators, or artists can be role models. If you discover someone with whom you feel a special affinity, make an effort to obtain everything that person has written or said. Really become a student of the person’s work and life. Earl Nightingale did this and his life’s work factually changed the world. He was a young man when he read Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich. Napoleon Hill built his career around the hundreds of interviews he conducted with the richest people of his day such as Andrew Carnegie. They became his mentors. Napoleon Hill went one step further to imagine a host of special mentors from historical people from the past he never met in his mastermind alliance. We’ll write more about that in another article, but for now think of any person you admire, living or dead, whether you met them or not.  Now consider the following quote that had an impact on Hill:

“Show me the man you honor, and I will know what kind of a man you are, for it shows me what your ideal of manhood is, and what kind of a man you long to be.” – Thomas Carlyle

That first experience of reading Hill ignited a hunger for information for Earl Nightingale. Earl was forever changed and continued his lifelong learning. Some of the most prolific writers were his personal life coaches. In many cases he discovered that some of the best advice has to do with being our own life coach. Check out these quotes he collected on the topic of role models:

“Enjoy your own life without comparing it to another,” – Condorcet

“Insist on yourself; never imitate.”  – Emerson

“Everyone undertakes what he sees another successful in, whether he has aptitude for it or not.”  – Goethe

It sounds like Earl cautioned to be careful who you choose to follow as you set the course for your own individual life. In other words, study others, but be your own life coach. Ultimately, nobody else is responsible for your life but you. Nobody else is accountable for your actions but you. Therefore, nobody’s expectations for you and opinions about you are as important as your own. So make sure your opinions take precedence in your mind over all others, and when you do need to consult with someone else, think very carefully before you choose exactly who.