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Ordinary People Taking Action
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“I’ve lost sight of who I am.” It’s the only way Karen can explain what led her to schedule this coaching session. The warning signs have been piling up. She hasn’t exercised in over a year. Her doctor tells her she's neglecting her physical health. Exhaustion, weight gain, and something about her adrenal glands. Why are adrenal glands important? Her mind is too preoccupied to remember.
Her kids are being raised by their nanny. She hasn’t had a real conversation with her husband in months. She feels she is failing at everything in her life, but the promotion is coming, soon. After the promotion, she can focus on the other pieces of her life.
“What are your priorities?” The coach, whose name is Stewart, looks slightly younger than her, Karen thinks, maybe mid-thirties.
This is something she has thought about a lot. “Family, for sure. Then my health. The success of my career.”
Stewart pauses for a moment, then asks her to describe a typical day.
“Gosh, each day just runs together. I wake up at 4 AM and I am at the office by 6 AM. That's after a 45-minute, no traffic, commute.” Her shoulders tense just talking about it. “I’m in meetings all day long, so I always struggle to find the time to do my work. I leave the office at 6 PM and if I am lucky, I'm home in time to see my kids for a bit.” Karen blinks away tears and takes a deep breath before continuing. “My kids are typically in bed by 8:30, so I log back onto my laptop and work most evenings until almost midnight. It’s a good night when I get four hours of sleep.”
Stewart nods. “Is this your schedule because of a big deadline or project you’re working on?”
She looks down. “No, this has been my schedule for the better part of 18 months. Ever since my manager told me if I give everything I have to the job, I will get that promotion. The promotion comes with a decent salary increase, but more importantly, a lot of stock options.”
Stewart smiles. Karen notices he has kind eyes. “How does this promotion align to the priorities you stated a few minutes ago: family, health, then career?”
Karen goes quiet, so Stewart continues. “Sometimes we think we want something so badly that we lose sight of what is truly important.”
Silence fills the room.