“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast” – Alice’s adventures in Wonderland

Lately, I embarked on a journey to explore my personal & professional aspirations. This quest led me to enrol in the “The Art and Science of Coaching” program at xmonks. I was curious to learn about coaching & how it would enhance my journey. As I learn deeper about the subject, I find myself asking the pertinent question about ‘What coaching really means to me?’ and ‘What possibilities could it enable?’. While pondering over these & many other questions, I was reminded of the book Alice’s adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

I was first introduced to the book when I was in school as it was a popular children’s book and a classic at that. I happen to read it once again while pursing my Bachelors in English, this time with a deeper understanding of the underlying metaphors of transformation, exploring possibilities and being curious. Recently, I started reading it to my child and to no surprise she had so many questions that emerged out of her curiosity. I realised that while the story remained unchanged, my perspective shifted each time I reviewed it from different vantage point.

Throughout the book, it is Alice’s curiosity that drives her to explore the unknown. From the moment she falls into the rabbit’s hole, she faces uncertainties & thinks of everything around her as impossible and yet it becomes possible. In the process she constantly transforms in both body & mind, always following her inner voice. . … “That’s very curious!” Alice thought. But everything’s curious today.”

We all experience uncertainties & challenges when we go through our personal & professional journeys. At each point, we access what happened in the past, where we are in the present and where do we want to go in the future. We are constantly in the Feed-back mode. However, as Alice said, “it’s no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then”. And that is the essence of coaching for me. Coaching is exploring the future possibilities and focusing on Feed-forward . It is about accepting self & embracing Change. In the words of Sir John Whitmore, coaching involves “unlocking people’s potential to maximise their own performance.” It is about imagining your impossible things and making them possible.

“Coaching focuses on future possibilities, not past mistakes”.

Throughout her adventures, Alice’s curiosity leads her to question herself & the characters she meets. She doesn’t settle for the status quo & explores what is possible. When Alice meets the Cheshire Cat she says, “Where should I go?” to which the Cheshire Cat replies, “That depends on where you want to end up.” The journey is yours to undertake. A coach is like the Cheshire Cat, present but invisible, who creates a space which allows you to deep dive into your own being & explore your capabilities. The resources reside within each individual and in the words of Paulo Coelho,

“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”

In conclusion, a coach enables focus to broaden your perspectives which in turn creates awareness, possibilities, learning & a growth mindset.

So, continue dreaming, continue exploring, continue to be curious …

“For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.”


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