When I took the metro for the first time, 25 years ago, I was giddy with excitement. Everything was romantic. This very special Parisian metro smell, the way the trains came rattling into the station, and then the names of the stations! My phantasy went spinning: Louvre, Tuileries, Champs-Elysées, Bastille….
Since then my enthusiasm for the métro has somewhat lessened. When you live in Paris, taking the métro does not count as one of life’s most exhilarating experiences. The métro company seems to be aware of it and invents all kind of weird and wonderful actions to vamp up their image. An endearing but somewhat pathetic attempt is to put up little snippets of poetry here and there.
Tout poète se souvient de l’avenir
Last week, squeezed in between too many people, I came across this phrase by Jean Cocteau: Tout poète se souvient le l’avenir (every poet remembers the future).
Déformation professionnelle oblige, I immediately thought about how this is exactly what my clients do when they come up with solutions they had no idea about 10 minutes earlier!
How does it work?
During a coaching session we start to carefully explore what it is they want and how it would look like. Their future, as they would have it. Then they begin to describe in detail, the more the better, how this future would look like. I ask question after question and doggedly insist on details and even more details. We go into descriptions like the color of their future stationary or the patterns on their future china, the kind of wood their future desk will be made of, and what they will have for a starter at a future dinner.
And guess what: they perfectly remember all these details from their future!
This capacity which Jean Cocteau ascribes to poets, we all have it in ourselves. And during a coaching session, when there is no escape :), when you start to not only skim the surface (“I’d like to have a different job/more money/less trouble at work/a more attentive husband/20 pounds less”), but go into every detail of what your life would then look like, it starts to bloom.
Now, you might think that this is all very well and a nice thing for poets to cultivate, but what would a mere mortal do with this talent, and what good is it for in a coaching session?
Well, the answer is simple: the more, the better, the clearer you remember your future, as you desire it, the more, the better, the clearer you can recognise where in your present life this future has already started! And once you’ll know that, you’ll also know how to create (some would say manifest) more and more of it!