Research Paper By Hala Fayed
(Family and Life Coach, KUWAIT)
Introduction: The Story Behind the Name, Lighthouse (1):
On October 10, 1995, the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations released this transcript of a radio conversation between a U.S. Navy ship and a Canadian source off the coast of Newfoundland.
Navy: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the north to avoid a collison.
Civilian: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.
Navy: This is the Captain of a U.S. Navy ship. I say again, divert your course.
Civilian: No. I say again, you divert your course.
Navy: This is the Aircraft Carrier Enterprise. We are a large warship of the U.S. Navy. Divert your course now!
Civilian: This is a lighthouse. Your call.
This is a fiction story. Some websites refer to it as a legend and some refer to it as a joke!
The moral of the story can be summarized in Glenn van Eckeren’s quotation:
when you know what your values are, making decisions becomes easier.
The lighthouse resembles a person who knows his values clearly and is not affected by the surroundings no matter how dangerous they might sound.
When I first heard it, a flow of questions came up to my mind: What is a value? What are “my” values? Am I living a value-based life, or, am I listening to the navy ship and constantly trying to change myself based on circumstances? What do I want in my life? And since my life passion is helping others, I simultaneously thought of how I can help others find answers to the same questions. That’s when I started the journey to explore how I can help myself and others to raise our self awareness in order to find balance and start enjoying our lives. When I learnt this, I decided to set a self-coaching plan to do so. That was the birth of Lighthouse Program.
Self Exploration Journey
This self exploration journey consists of a starting point then two exploration stations: Self, and the world around me.
The Starting Point:
Through coaching, I learnt and decided to teach others how to go on a self exploration journey in order to enjoy a self-fulfilling life: To start a successful journey, there are three conditions: first, willingness to change; second setting a clear intention on why change? Third, commitment to stay on track till the end. Also, we have to continuously test our beliefs to see if they serve us in this journey or they are our own obstacles towards living a self fulfilling life.
To answer the question ‘Why Change?’, Joseph Folkman said: “The problem is not that people can’t change. The problem is that they do not want to change badly enough” (2)
The First Station: Thoughts (what am I thinking?)
In my, T.E.A coaching Model (Figure 1), I stated that the status of our life is based on our thoughts, emotions, and actions (T.E.A), and I elaborated the link between the three aspects. Through my first 70+ sessions coaching others using the basics of this model, I came up with a conclusion that T.E.A. is not just a model, it’s is a comprehensive program that can transform lives into a better and more joyous ones.
Exploring one’s thoughts includes knowing who they are, their life values, passion and vision. Then exploring their goals, achievements, and potentials (G.A.P lists). Also, thoughts include ground knowledge about the human basic needs and awareness about perception and beliefs.
The first few coaching sessions were exploring self. “Who am I?” Am I aware of all my traits, strengths, weaknesses, etc.? I do that in a Self Awareness exercise where I told the clients to write down at least 50 of their personal qualities and traits (both negative and positive). I helped them with a sample list to choose from. If they have qualities that are opposite to the ones in the list I gave, they can write those opposites down. The purpose of that exercise was to let them know as much as they can about themselves, before we dig deeper. Next, they cross out 30% of those traits and qualities. Explaining that in a journey, you need to have as much light luggage as possible. Logically, the client would tend to cross the negative ones first. The next step was to cross 30 more per cent (of the original number), then cross out the last 30%. This will leave the client with only 10% of who they think they are.
Then, The client answers a lot of self-exploration questions such as:
- Consider the qualities you got rid of FIRST. What percent of your time do you spend on these
- What about the qualities you’re left with? What percent of time do you spend on these?
At the end of every exercise/session, I always ask my client my golden question: “What do you want to do with what you have learnt right now?”, and tell them to write their intentions/plans down.
Next, is exploring life values and balance, where I ask the clients to identify their values, then rate their satisfaction on each value. To help them, I ask: What makes your life valuable? What makes you happy in your life? What are the things that you cannot live your life without?
I ask them to choose the most important 8 values, to put it down on the Wheel of Life Exercise to identify life values and pinpoint where the imbalance is coming from.
The next step of the same exercise is to identify the client’s perception on each value. Are they positive or negative? For example: if my top value is family, and my perception of family is negative such as: I am divorced or am still single, or I don’t have a husband or don’t have children. Then this perception does not serve me. On the other hand, if my top value is family and my perception of family is positive, i.e. I am blessed to have a family, whether with kids or without, whether I am single or not. I would enjoy my relationships with my parents and siblings and their children. The reader can imagine the impact of perception on their life.
Life Passion is a very important milestone in this journey, because it is a tool that helps us enjoy life, be experts in what we do, and helps us in making decisions. Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop said: “to succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.” (3)
From experience, questions are one of the basic tools to know your life passion. For example:
- Visit your childhood: What did you love to do? What were you praised for?
- At present: What do you love to do? i.e. something that when you do, you will not feel how time passes, What are you good at doing? (you can ask people for feedback)
- List the people who are/were where you want to be?
- List all your roles in life:which role do you enjoy the most?
More questions are given to the client in the coaching session.