the bird’s eye

Coaching, when effective, ensures an individual draws out their very best; that they learn to harness the power of imagination and see what their former selves missed.

To come to live the vital lives of their dreams, to follow the paths of their most inspired selves, to flourish and to come to awaken, they must see with the eyes of inner vision a version of themselves that has gone beyond the uncomfortable lairs of self-deception, mediocrity and fear. Then, they naturally hit their target; achieve their goals and live true to their inner potential.

Coaches need not be an expert in the clients’ field of work. They do however need to have that nuanced quality of attention to help others focus on what is essential.

The coach sees what has already flowered in the barren desert. He is like the farmer that has the vision of a thriving blooming field where others may see a wasteland. He knows that, often, the rational mind must be usurped for the new potency to flower.

There is a story from India, from the Bhagavad Gita, which demonstrates an individual who realizes his inner power and who unleashes what the coach helps him pull out of himself – he celebrates his awakened potential:

Drona was a great archery teachers and he is charged with teaching the five Pandava brothers how to shoot their arrows at any given target and hit it.

He takes the five brothers out into the field to focus on realizing their potential – on connecting their arrows with the bird’s eye. On five different mornings, each with a different brother accompanying him, he asks:

Do you see the field?

Do you see the tree?

Do you see the branch that veers to the right?

Do you see the bird in that branch?

Do you see the bird’s eye?

The first four brothers answer “Yes” to every question.

Then Drona instructs them to fire.

They all miss.

The same questions are asked of Arjuna on the fifth morning.

He says no to every question, save the last.

Fire” says Drona.

The bird falls to the ground.

He hits his target.

This story exemplifies that when you have a dream or goal one must be focused on what is key, on what matters – on real vision.

It is very much aligned with the wisdom herein:

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!

Live the life you’ve imagined.

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”

Henry David Thoreau