Rock and roll (30 January 2015)

Free at Last is a 1972 album by Free, my favourite rock group when I was at school. By some mysterious process, I found myself putting the CD on play today. During one song, I had a madeleine moment a la Proust....... back to 1974, when I first bought the album on vinyl (i.e., that time before CDs and Spotify). So I first heard this music 41 years ago! Impossible to comprehend; but undeniably true. 41 years..... the average life expectancy, even now, in some African countries. 41 years?

The experience brought to mind The Rocking Chair Test, which I use with some clients. Owing maybe just a touch too much to cliched images of the Ol' West of the USA, it places you, the client, on a hard-earned rockin' chair, gazing at the sunset, and reflecting on achievements during your lifetime. What, looking back to the present, were the achievements; the regrets; the things to be proud of? Then, what must be started NOW to attain those achievements and avoid those regrets?

But now I had a chance to do an actual real-life Rocking Chair review; though without the rocking chair (so far, at least). Achievements? 400m record holder at school, first person in family to University, MA, worked for Amnesty International, lived and worked in Asia and Africa, CEO of One World Action, visiting the Killing Fields in Cambodia. What makes me proud? Living with the Abichuela family as a VSO in Manila's slums, marrying Yoshiko and having the twins, travelling across the Sahara, the Trans-Siberian trip and my time alone in China, working with the trade unions in the Philippines and Cambodia, One World Action's political reputation and its feminist philosophy, the friends and colleagues I have known in the UK and overseas. And regrets? I've had a few, mostly about the ending of friendships and relationships, including not knowing my parents better.... but, hey, I'm a coach, and we are most definitely not allowed to harbour regrets!

So have a look at the Rocking Chair Test, and get on now with the things you need to do to make that future moment really satisfying. And, in case you're wondering; my own rocking chair is far ahead, I hope, and there are things I need to do yet in my life to add some achievements to that list - starting with getting the twins to bed tonight!

all the best

Graham - email: - tel: + (44) (0) 7890 360 806 - skype: tigercoaching1