the point of deep change
Daily musings #582 - Friday, 26 August 2022
I am trying to find a coach who will coach me to be a better coach. As part of that process, I recently met someone who asked me a great question - “How many existential crises have you gone through?”. This kind of question is extremely deep and thought-provoking. And I guess this is exactly why I need a coach.
And yes, I have been through several in my life. The COVID pandemic was not certainly one of them. I did go through a bypass surgery last year, but I personally don’t think it was existential. Crisis yes. Because I have grown to accept things more easily without impacting me. It might have impacted my family members more.
I am guessing then, whether something is existential is based on your response. If you have to fight it in a life-changing way by going to the roots of who you are, then perhaps it is possibly an existential crisis. Else not.
The last time I had such a crisis was in 2013. Clearly, a job loss triggered an introspection that told me that my problems were all “me”. Or who I was. So instead of jumping in and trying to replace it with another job, I ended up in a weight loss, diet, and exercise program that helped me reduce over 50 pounds over an 18-month period. And that was my focus. During that time, I also responded by reengineering my profile to becoming a coach, a complete shift from the program and project management that I was doing before that.
There have been several other existential crises before including in 2005, 2002, 1996-98 each with its own patterned fight responses. I can see that my responses are few probably mellowed by age and also by the build-up of options that smoothen such situations.
This also reinforces to me some of my key learnings over time. People (including organizations that I help coach) change if and only if there is a crisis. Very few change proactively. Even in crisis, very few have an outlier proactive response and can restructure/reengineer themselves by going back to the drawing board.
I wonder, can I create my next set of existential crises without a real crisis? Can I proactively go back to the drawing board and restart who I am and reengineer the outcomes that I can envisage and help design them into reality? And make meaning that is accretive to me?