Peter Johnson & PiM

Insights Discovery & Deeper Discovery Licensed Practitioners

Critical coaching conversations

It is interesting how something catches one’s eye when it seems out of place. In the case of what I am referring to it was quite subtle, then it wasn’t subtle at all, as the memory from a past time invaded my mind, and created a huge smile.

I was walking down Piccadilly, in London, and passing the well know store – Fortnum & Mason. Something I have done countless times before. The clock bell chimed so I looked across the road. It is always a pleasure to look at the store, the people who dress the windows do an excellent job in keeping interesting and attractive displays. Today, as I looked at the whole of the outside of the store, the windows on many levels had been made up like an advent calendar, with numbers indicating the run down to Christmas. This was a little early as the start of the calendar is still a few weeks away – yet still a pleasure to see and a reminder that the year will soon draw to a close.

As my eye drifted down the building my attention was caught by a wonderful sculpture. The sculpture had become patinated and blended well with the colours of the painted woodwork.

So why did this seem out of place, when the sculpture looks so comfortable situated where it was?

The answer to this question is I had written about this sculpture before; indeed, it is in Volume 4 of my book series The Mentor Within. However, when I first saw this sculpture, and the words that it had stimulated me to write, it was resting in the grounds of a private estate in rural Gloucestershire. The pair were then looking across a vast valley which was lush and green. The view stretching to a far horizon. Not overlooking a busy central London road.

A different place, a different perspective, a different conversation…perhaps.

In the words I wrote I raised the comment about a coaching conversation that the two may have shared. The fact that no matter how we try and halt the passing of time, the passing of the years, a fact of life is that no matter what we do, the time will pass. It is our choice what we do with those passing minutes, hours days, months, years that are the very substance of our lives. Time will pass – what are you doing with the time that passes in your life?

I used the four-year cycle of many events, often a great timeframe to consider when one is embarking on a major educational or developmental goal. It is often a great timeframe for other larger plans such as laying out a garden and seeing the initial work starting to mature.

All too often people say: ‘I will do that when I have more time’ but we have and always have had all the time there is.

Is this sculpture merely having a visit to London, or are they now permanent residents having decided to change from country to city life? Strange when during the covid pandemic many chose to retreat from city life to the country. Some ruing their mistake and sell up and return. Some valuing the change to the more rural lifestyle and embracing it. Some indeed having moved from the country into the city life. Change! Yes, we can all create change if we wish, or are you content letting life carry on the way it has?

Importantly, don’t look back on life with regrets, and ‘if only’. Make changes – sometimes we are restless and know a change is needed, sometimes we are ‘comfortable’ or perhaps too comfortable. I frequently say true development only comes beyond the comfort zone. So, are you comfortable and look back with happiness with your status quo? Have you stepped out of your comfort zone lately? And if you have, did you just feel uncomfortable wanting to retreat, or did you feel alive again wanting to advance?

All too often when I discuss this with clients, they know that comfortable is just not enough. They don’t wish to look back with regret at opportunities not taken, opportunities not created, opportunities missed.
So, like the sculpture do you wish for a change of view?
And returning to one of the thoughts when I first saw this sculpture - what will you achieve over the next four years you will share with the other ‘person’, who may be your own coach?
If you feel I can help do get in touch.
My best wishes,