The question that is the gateway to spiritual enlightenment

Having been a coach for many years, in addition to having been involved in the training of at least 1400 coaches worldwide, I have come to the conclusion that one of the greatest skills that we, as coaches, possess and need to perfect is the ‘art of the question’. In fact, one could say that another definition of a coach is Master Questioner.

It is important to remember that the quality of our life is determined by the quality of questions we ask ourselves. Some people ask themselves very mediocre questions indeed. For example, “What time shall we go to down the pub?” Others look at someone who has achieved great things and ask themselves “Why not me?”. It is similar to the difference between “I can’t afford it” and “How can I afford it?”

As coaches we have two responsibilities towards our client. The first is to provide them with a first-class coaching experience through the effective use of questioning skills. The second is to educate them in the techniques and benefits of self-questioning, helping them to realise the importance of regularly asking key questions.

Of course when it comes to asking questions we can get very sophisticated and clever indeed. We can use questions with suppositions and presuppositions. We can use open and closed questions, we can get involved in nested loops, we can use hidden questions and open questions and in fact we can make ourselves feel and look very clever indeed.

However I learned a long time ago the importance of simplicity and it is my opinion that the greatest coaching question of all is “Who am I?”

This question is very often ignored. Why? Because it is easy to ignore; it can take us on an uncomfortable journey and one we might prefer to avoid. And yet it is essential if we wish to understand our core, the real person, the immutable, incorruptible and authentic ‘me’. The “me” we are really meant to be.

This question is the one that helps people come to a deep and satisfying realization of who they really are. So this is one of the key questions that we must teach our clients to ask of themselves on a regular basis. ‘Who am I?’ Again and again.

True happiness and fulfilment in life is only achieved when our actions and goals are congruent with our core values. Yet the sad truth is most of us do not really know what our core values are. Unfortunately we take on board the values of others, the values that are impressed upon us by the media that constantly bombards us, and the values of the people we work with and the companies we work for. It is rare that the values that we attach to ourselves are our true values. The inner conflict that this creates is one of the underlying causes for the level of unhappiness and depression in today’s society.

You see our values are in fact the mirror of who we really are yet few of us look deep enough into the mirror to see the truth. Many thousand years ago there was a word written above a doorway in ancient Greece. The word was “ Knosti” and it was written above the doorway of the Delphic oracle. It is as true today as it ever was those thousands of years ago. It simply means “ know thyself”

There is an old adage that says that if you don't know where you're coming from then you don't know where you're going. The same is true here, if you don't know who you really are how can you possibly know what you really want out of life, what is truly important and how do you know where you are headed. I learned a long time ago that most people don't really know what they want in life, but are prepared to go through hell to get it !!!

Being able to answer the question “Who am I?” with clarity and honesty will start the process that will make a profound change in the direction your life takes. This in turn will affect those close to you; your family, your friends, and your work. The way to make a real change in the world today is simply to do it one person, one mind at a time. Start with the person who is closest to you - yourself of course!


Author's Bio: 

Gerard is the CEO of Noble Manhattan Coaching. Contact Gerard at Gerard shares his rich coaching expetise freely with you through his blog at Download free coaching books for your development at