“The most important thing about a man is not what he does, but what he becomes.”
- Dallas Willard
There is a great story told almost 2,000 years ago, it goes something like this…
“A farmer planted seed. As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road, and birds ate it. Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots, so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled by the weeds. Some fell on good earth, and produced a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.”
Now, most of the folks I run with are doing many of the right things. They are attending religious services, going to small group studies, doing daily intentional things. In their work, they are reading the latest and greatest books, attending conferences, sitting around tables with other leaders, and probably inhaling podcasts.
The story above seems to illustrate something really important, however. The information (or seed in this example) could be great stuff, capable of growing into glorious things. But the potency of the seed doesn’t seem to be the crucial ingredient here. The key element that is present or missing is receptivity.
We have learned that change is not possible if a person is not in pain, very motivated to do something about that pain, AND coachable. There are a lot of folks running around carrying a lot of pain. A subset of those people are in so much pain or are so tired of living with that pain, that they have become motivated to change their situation.
But an even smaller subset of those folks are actually coachable.
This rang so deeply true that I agreed with it from the very first hearing. And it has proven to be true in nearly every situation I have encountered since. We have had to tell people “no” who wanted to work with us as a result. If real change is not possible, the investment and engagement will be frustrating and disappointing for both us.
Said another way, if there is not good earth to receive the seed, nothing will grow. And if I am honest with myself, most of my life has involved pain with varying degrees of motivation to do something about that pain. I was in a barren place where the seed would find no purchase.
But that is changing. Having cultivated a little good receptive soil, being open to intentional and direct coaching, and seeing real changes happen in my life, things are very different. There is a tremendous amount of fear and relinquishing of control in this journey, but glory awaits on the other side. Victory and freedom have an uncommon momentum to them.
I can humbly say that the soil is richer than it has ever been.
I think that is why I am so passionate about coaching and the work we do. I want many more to experience that same freedom and momentum. I want all that stuff they are working so hard to internalize to address all that pain, to take root.
Do you know someone who is barren? Someone working really hard to change their life or business and not seeing change? Are they really sick of the way things are? Are they coachable?
I’d like to talk to them.
Do you know someone in pain?
Are they really motivated to change things?
Are they good soil (coachable)?