Life coaching has become a catch-all phrase used by all sorts of people and organizations to promote a better, happier, more productive, and successful life. Some people opt for schools (a relatively new phenomenon)  that certify folks to be a coach. Of course...who certifies the schools and, more importantly...who certifies and monitors the certifying agency and the certifiers? It's a question, I, and many others have asked. And, just like any other schools and those who attended them, your teacher could have graduated at the top of his or her class or the bottom - yet no one ever asks. In fact - when was the last time you asked your doctor his or her rank in their graduating class? My guess is...never. That notwithstanding, I tip my hat to the thousands of qualified coaches who help millions of people everyday!

I've been coaching people for many, many, years. So long in fact, that I actually had hair on my head when I started and my beard was all dark! I love helping people and thoroughly enjoy it when I, and they, see real progress in their lives. Getting people to understand who they are and why and how they do things, opens up doors for them that they may never have realized. Finding new success in their lives, whether from a business perspective, materialistically, emotionally, or spiritually, never ceases to make me feel wonderful.

One of the greatest things a life coach can experience is when his or her client moves away from fear, insecurity, low self-esteem, jealousy, anger, hate, and self-sabotaging and self-defeating behaviors, and begins to find the person they were hoping to be their entire life. 

I began formally coaching in 1972 when I worked with my employees to help them grow and live a happier, more successful life. Now...I coach and train groups, both large (amphitheaters, huge hotel meeting rooms, and  banquet halls), and small (corporate conference rooms, classrooms, and individuals' homes and offices). We're, both my clients and myself, always learning. That's why I see my capacity as a university professor as an extension of my coaching and training. I also love the fact that I continue to, through the magic of computers and teleconferencing, coach people all over this amazing planet.

If you are a life coach or have, or will, use the services of a life coach...I salute you. If you're stuck, feel "down," are looking to reach the potential you've always thought you could, want to be more content, happier, more enlightened, have better relationships, or just want to experience that "balance" so many people seem to have lost...perhaps the guidance of a coach can help. But - ultimately, it's up to you to make sure your journey is fruitful.

Life is an interesting journey. It starts in the depth of our biological mothers and ends in the depth of our earthly one. Yet, in between, it is filled with so many variable ingredients that it's almost impossible to calculate them.

We laugh, we cry, we love, we cringe, we succeed, we fail, we smile, we frown and we encounter everything in between. Along the way we may feel that life is hard, for some - too hard. Other times there's so much joy, we can hardly "contain ourselves." There are periods during our trip when we look in the distance and see innumerable peaks to climb. The challenge is daunting - often emoting feelings of fear, fatigue and uncertainty. Then...we have those moments when the valleys stretch out for as far as our eyes can see. It appears as if there's a smooth road ahead forever. However, we all know that that's never the case.

How do we deal with the ups and downs of life in such a way as to make it a smooth ride? least as smooth as possible. The first way is to recognize that, even though we can expect the road to be filled with potholes, detours, and once is a while...landslides, we must never lose sight of the fact that the sojourn actually moves along a straight line. There is a beginning and an end. The line stretches for miles. That distance may be determined by biology or "fate." But, once you realize that the time you have is finite, you will start to understand that to waste it worrying, being exasperated, frustrated, or overcome with the fear, is to lose the essence of your ability to enjoy the spectacular show that is this thing we call life.

Peaks get climbed, valleys get traversed, and quite often...exhilaration follows each. A close friend of mine once asked me how I did it. "Did what?" I questioned. "Kept going through all the 'mountains you had to climb' in your life, the tragedies you've endured, the successes you've enjoyed, and still keep a balanced and positive outlook." My answer was that I've known all along that after I'd climber the proverbial mountain, there would be another one across the horizon waiting to be scaled. The meadow may look inviting, but so do the mountains. One may take a bit more effort to conquer, but...if I keep moving ahead and do not get overcome with negative thoughts, I can achieve each particular goal. Or...I could choose a different route, enjoy different scenery and still continue moving forward. However, no matter what road I take, the trip is all about perspective. And - I know where it ends.

So, I live with that in mind. I suggest you think about how you are letting your life unfold as well. Do you look at each day as a challenge to be enjoyed, a gift to be savored, or as drudgery filled with unceasing drama. It's up to you which perspective you take and how you view the peaks and valleys of life. Because, write your own script in the story of your life.