What is Self-Awareness?
PerfectCoaches is, among other things, a method for self-discovery. A human being can spend a lifetime inside his or her skin without truly knowing the person who is wearing it. PerfectCoaches can help you see clearly the person you are, perhaps for the first time. This self-awareness is valuable. Additionally, PerfectCoaches builds upon self-awareness to help you be more mindful of your behavior. These are two important words.
The first word, mindful, has various meanings in psychology as well as Zen, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other philosophical systems. PerfectCoaches uses a simple definition that is consistent with its use in most contexts: Mindfulness is a clear, purposefulness awareness of the events taking place right now, in the present moment.
The second word, behavior, is defined in psychology as the actions by which an organism adjusts to its environment. PerfectCoaches uses behavior as an all-encompassing term for everything you do including skills, habits, activities, and inner experiences. Skills, which are behaviors learned and practiced in professional life, are especially important in PerfectCoaches.
PerfectCoaches uses the Socratic method. Socrates, one of the greatest philosophers in history, had a method of continuously asking question after question without providing answers himself. The other person would discover contradictions in what he said and see what nonsensical conclusions were reached as Socrates pressed false assumptions to their logical conclusion. Socrates knew the questions he asked would eventually uncover the truth of the matter.
PerfectCoaches personifies fundamental inquiries about life as Coaches asking the questions. The questions themselves are based on “the question words” found in Rudyard Kipling's The Elephant's Child:
I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
and How and Where and Who.
The Socratic method’s reliance on questions to discover truth is the cornerstone of PerfectCoaches. What, when, why, how, where, and who are the fundamental fact-finding questions that journalists, detectives, scientists and others use to quickly understand the facts in a situation. A seventh question is added to the list: what if? What if goes beyond facts to explore possibilities. PerfectCoaches builds self-awareness using the following questions:
1. Who am I?
2. What do I do?
3. Why do I do it?
4. When do I do it best?
5. Where do I want to go?
6. How do I change?
7. What if I could change the world?
These questions are the PerfectCoaches. The Coaches are the questions and the questions are The Coaches. In the PerfectCoaches method, the term The Coaches is capitalized and treated as a proper noun, a “one-of-a-kind thing.” They are not just any coaches. They are perfect Coaches. In the dictionary sense, they are entirely without flaws, defects, or shortcomings. The Coaches you imagine possess all the characteristics you would seek in a person helping you develop as a professional and, just as important, as a person. The Coaches are:
- Perfectly patient
- Perfectly focused on the future
- Perfectly committed to simplicity
- Perfectly disciplined
- Perfectly at ease with the human condition.
Because PerfectCoaches is a thought experiment limited only by your imagination, you can take advantage of each of these characteristics and the part they play.