Fairy Tales

Hope is the expectation that something outside of ourselves, something or someone external, is going to come to our rescue and we will live happily ever after.
- Dr. Robert Anthony

Once upon a time there was a princess, who married a prince, was granted 3 wishes from a genie, discovered her fairy godmother, came across some magic beans, won the lottery, and lived happily ever after…well, not really! Let me tell you the rest of the story…

You see, the ‘prince,’ turned out to be a real toad. The three wishes granted by the genie, were a disaster. The fairy godmother? Please…she was clueless when it came to real world transportation and fashion. After all, mice don’t make designer clothes, and pumpkins get terrible gas mileage on the interstate.

The magic beans the princess planted, sprouted kudzu which quickly spread through her courtyard, consuming the Bermuda grass, ornamental trees, and shrubs. And who knew that when you win the lottery, your winnings are eaten up by taxes, and the payroll for the body guards, you have to hire to keep the big bad wolves away from the meager amount of winnings which remain? 

We grow up on fairy tales and it just seems life would be easier if we married the prince, were given three wishes, had a fairy godmother, planted magic beans, or won the lottery. The reality is that there is no ‘magic pill’ and no knight in shining armor to ride in on a white horse to rescue us. We can stand in the tower and watch the horizon…but nobody is coming.

Talented coaches know that our clients have to ‘work’ through the challenges which face them.  Helen Keller once said,

Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.

Coaches help their clients move from placing their hopes and dreams in Prince Charming and fairy tales, to identifying their life purpose and crafting the goals and actions steps to carry out their life purpose. Once a client can articulate their ‘purpose,’ life has new meaning. Coaches encourage their clients not to lose sight of the fact that even in tough times, if they focus on the ‘big picture’ while adjusting their ‘To Do’ list to meet the needs of the present, they don’t have to sacrifice the life path they want to journey along. Coaches know that a purposeful life is the only one worth living.

[Coaching Questions]

  • What are some of the fairy tales you learned as a child?
  • Did these fairy tales give you false expectations about life in the real world?
  • If you could do anything and knew you would not fail, what would you want to do with your life?
  • If money were no object, what would a typical day in your life look like?
  • Complete this statement, “During my life I must….”
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