So I was surprised to read in clinical psychologist Lori Gottlieb’s latest book that the opposite of depression is not happiness. It’s vitality.
Curiously, about 90% of coaching clients will list ‘happiness’, not ‘vitality’ as one of their Top 10 values. Happiness is also what the majority of parents I know profess to want for their children.
And yet, vitality resonates more for me. Defined as ‘the power giving continuance of life, present in all living things’.
Who doesn’t want to be plugged into that kind of power?
It’s what we as Coaches, are helping our clients rediscover. Often, a pivotal moment in coaching happens when our clients reconnect to this power. Their power. Something literally moves in our clients and we see them light up from the inside. We see it in their eyes, their smile and it’s as if whatever has had them stuck is abruptly dislodged. A whole new world of possibility opens up for them. It’s as if they are supercharged with a burst of energy they had long forgotten.
The frustration for many is that there is no formula to its rediscovery. It’s trial and error. And it’s very personal. And like Lori Gottlieb (minus the NY Times bestseller) it can take a few false starts before we get a permanent power connection.
One of my favourite quotes is by Howard Thurman, an American author, educator and civil rights activist, said: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”