One of the most satisfying feelings in the world is when you know you’ve helped another human being. Whether it’s offering a physical hand, emotional encouragement, a bit of wisdom you’ve picked up along the way or just lending an ear to listen to someone’s troubles, that effort can have a significant impact on another human being. In a way, we’re all called to be a coach for someone else at one point or another. Everyone has that person in their life who they look up to and remember as that person who helped them ease the trouble in this journey that we call Life. During my career, and especially as I neared retirement, I was very fortunate to have a few people thank me for advice I had given them, and I was surprised to hear that they thought of me as a mentor or coach for their own personal and professional experiences.
It's incredibly satisfying to be thanked for something you didn’t even know you were doing. But, sometimes, when you are in trouble or about to panic, that person who is there to lend a hand can take on a stature that they’re not even aware of. Being able to offer a perspective to someone who feels overwhelmed that helps them out can mean all the difference in that person’s life. For many athletes, the feelings they have for a special coach or counselor can make these physically strong individuals choke up with emotion when they describe the person who had such an impact on their lives.
When we give of ourselves it can be one of the most satisfying experiences of our life and there are many retirees who volunteer their time for worthy causes. The youth of today (or any other era) can benefit from your experiences and your advice whether it’s providing financial direction or other types of counseling. And, while no one should provide counseling unless they’re qualified, being a coach for someone can be as simple as listening to them and help them decide what is best for them. I happen to believe that, in most situations, the best course of action is clear, but we all need encouragement to do it sometimes.
Almost all of us have been a coach for someone else during our life whether we know it or not. As we reach retirement age, there is a sense that we have journeyed through life and survived and that, by itself, makes each of a little bit of an expert. It is no small accomplishment to reach this stage in life and there is nothing wrong with sharing what we have learned. Some even turn it into a business. But, for most of us, it results in sharing our perspective and what we’ve learned with those around us who are interested enough to ask.
So, keep in mind, we’re all potentially somebody’s coach and what each of us has learned along the way can, indeed, help someone through a tough situation. Also keep in mind that the most meaningful advice is given in a non-threatening way. Forcing your opinion on someone is never effective and can definitely do more harm than good. The best coach is always someone who leads by example and some of the most effective ones never even know they’re doing it. A sincere compliment here and there can be much more meaningful than almost any lecture or criticism. Consider the possibility that each day offers a situation where we can coach someone else and, in a small way, make this world a better place to be. It’s a great way to Enjoy Retired Life.