This scene is magical.
The dejected Bo Cruz, sitting, stewing in whatever negative thought loop he is currently stuck in. Suddenly, Stanley Sugerman bursts into the gym and asks Bo:
"Do you love this game?"
And at that moment, while watching this exchange, I couldn't help but feel Stanley Sugerman standing next to me and asking me a similar question.
"Do you love what you do?"
And I, too, felt a little like Bo Cruz. A bit quiet. Unclear as to what precisely the answer is. But knowing, inside, there exists a sleeping lion. And all it's waiting for is the chance to roam the savanna again.
I had to find my own Stanley Sugerman.
Kevin Coale (Performance Coach Extraordinaire)
I didn't have to look at all.
My first meeting with Kevin was entirely random. We both found each other on a new web3 social platform called Farcaster. Pure serendipity.
Here was our initial exchange
And just like that. Our journey began.
Things you should know about Kevin.
When I hopped on our first call, I could immediately tell something was very different about Kevin. Very different.
His aura was palpable.
Kevin has this Matthew McConaughey-like swagger and confidence in himself. He embodies this feeling you might get after being with family, eating dinner, and chilling on the patio with some iced tea watching the stars. Whatever that feeling is, I felt that. I felt right at home. It's a warmth I had never really felt before—the warmth of genuinely being listened to.
Meeting Kevin was a bit of a spiritual experience.
As anyone who works with him can attest. This guy is with you. He is so present it almost comes as a shock.
When he speaks, he looks right at his webcam, making eye contact with you, and his attention never leaves you. I never knew how much I appreciated eye contact till I got to speak with him.
Soft-spoken, incredibly receptive, and deeply kind. Those 3 things sat with me after our first call.
I knew I had to work with him.
Being vulnerable & transparent
When I had my first coaching call with Kevin, I didn't know what to expect. But I promised myself to be completely open and honest.
Being vulnerable & transparent is never easy, but I was open to trying.
Kevin felt like a person that I could genuinely trust. And I was right. He is.
Coaching is not for everyone.
Coaching is not therapy. It's future-focused. And that was something I was okay with. But what I didn't know was that going through this process with Kevin was deeply cathartic. Almost therapeutic even though it is not therapy.
My primary intuition about the process was that you got to be coachable. Suppose you have opinions about how things should be. Don't get a coach. You won't listen to them anyway, so don't waste their and your own time. You need to be humble, leave your worldview at the door, and fully engage with your coach.
The coach isn't exactly there to tell you what to do. Some might. It depends on what type of coach you find. Instead, the coach holds space for you to reflect, practice, and improve.
They are simply helping facilitate an internal process that is hard to manage by yourself.
When you go to a session, expect to be asked, "How best do you think we can utilize the time we have together today?"
Me, I personally have struggled with general clarity around my work, life, and personal abilities. And so I would typically answer, "I have a hard time communicating with others." or "I am not sure what to do with my time."
And what always happens after – is nothing short of a miracle.
When I speak with Kevin, I give him honest answers from a place with no filters. I can do this because I do trust the guy.
I noticed throughout our sessions that he was intensely listening to what I was saying and simply clarifying what I meant by reflecting it back to me.
This simple process of reflection allowed us to embark on a journey—a journey through my own subconscious mind.
He was able to pick up on threads that I had not noticed. As I was continuously talking and answering my own and his questions, it was almost like he had a detective hat on and was looking for the pattern in all the noise.
You can't see every detail when you look at yourself in the mirror, but when you work with Kevin, he becomes the mirror. A brilliant, receptive and understanding mirror at that.
As I spoke, he would connect ideas and processes together that I couldn't see on my own. He brought things to the surface that I never thought to examine, but something he has been trained to look out for.
This is what I call the "insight clarification process." Humans naturally have a tough time communicating their needs, so going through these questions, reflecting, and answering them is very effective. We usually find common ground this way. And we naturally learn many things we didn't know about ourselves at the end.
There have been calls where I have become so emotional I might shed a tear. Where I felt so heard that I felt like I could do anything! Be anything!
Each call changed me as a person. Changed the software in my brain. I think differently now. I see differently. I am different now.
Coaching is effective
Suppose you come with the right attitude—the attitude of humility and hope. You can expect to leave those sessions with a deep sense of rest & nourishment. In part, because for once in your life, someone wants to listen to you.
The most meaningful outcome for me was feeling heard. I, as I suspect many other young men, have gone through life without ever getting the chance to express myself. To be heard.
There were tactical things I took away. Things that I could do right now to help improve my day-to-day. But the most significant outcome was being able to speak from the heart without censoring anything and be received in an open, honest, and respectful manner.
It touched me so much that I now make a conscious effort to make the people I interact with feel heard. I am still learning how to do that, but it can change someone's life, like how it changed mine.
Give it a try
Coaching may or may not be for you, but I hope you at least give a session or two a try. I got lucky because I serendipitously met Kevin and didn't have to search. You might have to search, but I think it's worth it.
Remember that sleeping lion I spoke about earlier?
It's waking up and stretching its mighty limbs. Hungry for its next meal. Yearning to roam the savanna once again.
And what woke it up?
The energy created by my sessions with Kevin. I know it.
Kevin Coale Performance Coaching
If you feel called to, you can find Kevin's site here.
By the way, I am not paid, nor have I signed anything to do this. I genuinely want to share my experience. And I think Kevin is cool af.