I believe the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in that religion or this religion, we are all seeking something better in life. So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness…― Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World
Each person has an individual notion of what happiness means to him. Oftentimes we encounter clients who have a vague idea that something is missing or that they could be happier, but don’t exactly know which way to go.
This model is intended to for working with those clients who do not come with a specific agenda. The overall purpose of the model is to build maximum awareness of a client’s values and priorities in order to establish clear goals and a plan utilizing the client’s strengths to get there. Ultimately, the better our clients understand themselves and their priorities, and the more in line they are able to live with those values, the happier they will be.
The Vowel Model
- In these initial stages, the coach must get the client to gain awareness into his/her true values and priorities.
Sample questions can include:
- What are you most grateful for in your life?
- What could you not live without?
- What do you feel is your life’s purpose?
- It is also the time to explore passions in order to motivate and inspire your client
Possible questions include:
- If you found a magic lamp with a genie inside who offered to grant you 3 wishes, what would they be?
- Tell me about the last time you felt really happy?
- If you had 2 bonus hours each day, how would you spend the time?
- Examining the client’s current situation at this stage can be very illuminating, particularly on the heels of examining priorities/passions; the client then has an opportunity to compare his ideal situation with his reality.
- Sometimes, it is very helpful to use scaling to chart where the client is in a particular area. For instance, on a scale of 1-10 on a particular topic, where is the client now?
- Now that the client has an opportunity to discover his/her priorities and passions, as well as to examine the current situation, it is time to set the goals.
- It is important to get as specific as possible with the client in visualizing and clarifying goals.
- The same scale can be used as in the prior section, but this time the client should set a clear goal of where he/she would like to end up. For example, on a scale of 1-10, where would the client like to be and what does that number look like?
- Now that your client has established a vision and goal, the two of you must co-create a roadmap to getting there.
- How soon does the client want to achieve his/her goal? What needs to happen for this to work? What are the first steps?
- At this time, it might be helpful to break it up into mini-goals and brainstorm ways to keep up motivation and a possible reward system.
Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values. Ayn Rand