He sat down and blurted out, “Wanted to let you know, I’m leaving.”
Always one with a smart response, I said, “Oh. Where are you going?”
“Not quite sure,” he said with a smile, “But I’m going on a … Quest!” (And I’m pretty sure he said it with much more emphasis then comes through over these pixels.)
That began a high-adventure trip that took him around the World.
What is a Quest?
That coach did something many of us only dream of doing. He left the hum-drum of his daily coaching and went off looking for adventure.
Well … actually, he did something else.
He went searching for meaning. To find a purpose. To discover his value to his World.
It’s a theme that has made Hollywood and book publishers billions upon billions of dollars (ahem, StarWars, Harry Potter, Don Quixote, etc).
It is something that many people are told to do … “Go West young man!”, but very few actually do it.
And, as a coach, I think you should seriously consider going on a Quest. And the sooner the better.
Why A Quest Should Be In Your Coaching Future
There are 9 benefits a coach like you can get from Questing:
- Being on a Quest can give MEANING to what you do
- Being on a Quest can give PURPOSE to what you do
- Being on a Quest can give VALUE to what you do
- Being on a Quest can help when the LOWS get very low
- Being on a Quest can help when the HIGHS get too wicked high
- Being on a Quest can help you say NO when it is time to say NO
- Being on a Quest can help you become more INTERESTING to others (can you say “recruiting!”)
- Being on a Quest can make it easier for *outsiders* to UNDERSTAND what you do
- Being on a Quest can help you put the lessons you LEARN in life (and coaching) into perspective.
A lot of really good things can come from undertaking a Quest. The nice thing is that you don’t need to resign, pack up, and hit the trail to Shangri-La to Quest.
Nope, you can Quest right where you are.
That’s what I’m doing. (Yes, I’m on a Quest — more about that in a minute.)
Chris Guillebeau, in his book The Happiness Of Pursuit, details many Quests people have undertaken while right at home. For instance, one women’s Quest is to knit 10,000 hats. Another is to cook a meal for her family from every country in the World.
A Quest Is Different And Better Than A Goal
A Quest, a Goal. What’s the difference?
For instance, notice the difference:
- Goal: “I want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro!”
- Quest: “I’ll climb Mt. Kilimanjaro walking on my hands, and to prepare I’ll train with the circus for six months.
Here’s another example — a young man and friends set a GOAL to save the galaxy from an evil empire.
Yet, the QUEST that youngster and friends take, over years and through multiple trials and tribulations to save the galaxy from evil beings is exciting, engaging, and as Marvel Comics found out this summer, a Quest people will buy a lot of tickets to see (Guardians of the Galaxy).
A Quest is romantic.
A Quest can be sexy.
A Quest sparks interest.
A goal falls flat in trying to match those.
So you don’t think I’m total full of hot air, let me give you my example.
I’m currently on a Quest to help 1000 coaches learn to thrive in the world of coaching.
That means helping 1000 coaches learn that …
- when the chips are down
- when the dung hits the fans
- when they feel like someone has reached in, grabbed their stomach, and pulled it out
… they can call on their inner strengths and superpowers to find a positive way forward.
It makes me nervous each time I say/write that out loud because:
- It’s a bumpy journey, and I stumble quite often along the way
- When people know you are on a Quest, they hold you accountable (did you save the Galaxy yet?)
- People can be very quick to scoff and discount your Quest (“Who are you to think you can help other coaches!”)
What Might Your Quest Look Like?
First, I should tell you (if you don’t know already) that coaches as a lot are very goal oriented. Undertaking a Quest is not in opposition to achieving goals. It can help.
Next, according to Guillebeau, there are three main criteria to a Quest:
- Quest = Feasible + Believable + Satisfying
Finally, Quests tend to have a long-term component to them. They can stretch over years, or even longer.
So, winning your Conference championship, would not necessarily be a Quest. However,
- Designing and building a highly functioning team
- Made up of athletes who desire to be highly competitive
- That consistently compete at the highest level of your competition
would be a Quest.
I’m hoping that all these thoughts about Quests have sparked your interest. If so, here’s a worksheet that can help.
To Wrap Up
A point I’d like to make clear, a Coaching Quest is not for everyone.
However, a true-quest can result in you being a better person/coach than you were before you started. And for that alone, it is something you should give serious consideration to undertake.