As I traverse between being present to a sort of third person on-looker of myself, I catch myself repeating certain stories over and over– choice stories (most likely quirky or humorous, and/or maybe embarrassing) that I always tell people. Sometimes those stories that I tell over and over are of other people– because they mean that much and have affected me.
For our design and research project titled, “What Ifs, Ahas and Now Whats: Designing for the Creative Process of Behavior Change”, Marnie Meylor, Matthew Gardner and I observed and interviewed people who desire and are actively making change in their lives. They came from all walks of life with many different reasons to self-selectively enroll in a twelve week Wellness Coaching Program.
One woman wanted to “spice up her life.” She knew something wasn’t completely right with her life. She wanted to try new things, be more social. She had an idea of what she wanted to do, but didn’t know how or where. “ I wanted to come out of my shell and be happy with myself… I just felt stuck and in a rut.”
A young physician who came to Mayo Clinic as a fellow unexpectedly had a stroke. This not only affected her professional life, but her home life and overall well being. She had to learn how to read again. She admitted to saying that her husband and kids was the “right answer” when being asked about what made her feel satisfied and happy. However, she didn’t feel it. She knew it, but felt nothing.
Some people went to Coaching as a preemptive measure. One client came to wellness coaching to prepare for her husband’s hip surgery. She anticipated their family life being challenged during her husband’s recovery. A few clients were preparing for the holiday season or the summer season, as their lifestyles would temporarily change during those times. Other clients were planning for different phases in their lives such as the arrival of a new baby or retirement.
We had the to privilege to witness these acts of courage and humility. For me, these individuals are the people who inspire and encourage me to make change.