Everyone Should Have A Coach And Be A Coach

Michael Lewis, the prolific and highly successful writer, is now also a great podcaster. It’s not really fair, dude has too much talent. His second season of Against the Rules is about the proliferation of coaches in North American life. Lewis tells really interesting stories exceptionally well.* And the focus is not just on athletic coaches. Give him a listen.

His stories have sparked my thinking about coaching, my idiosyncracies, and the nature of schooling.

One of my idosyncracies is that I am coach-resistant, meaning I have gone through life mostly figuring things out myself. Or not figuring them out as it may be. As just one of myriad examples, when The Good Wife wanted to go to marriage counseling, I resisted. For awhile.

Part of it is I’m too frugal for my own good, but there’s a lot more to it than that. I wonder if my reticence is rooted in my parent’s Depression era, Eastern Montana upbringing which resulted in both of them being fiercely independent. My three siblings strike me as similarly coaching adverse. I suspect it’s in my blood.

Which is too bad because I could definitely benefit from some coaching. My golf swing is close. I am the Seattle Mariners of home maintenance. I find tax and estate planning awfully complex. My cooking repertoire is limited. My online teaching skills are nascent. I could go on. And on.

On the plus side of the ledger, I have coaching-like things to offer others interested in catching mice under their house or improving their fitness, finances, relationships**, or writing.

I doubt I’m unique. Couldn’t you benefit from some intentional coaching you currently aren’t receiving and couldn’t you coach others in meaningful aspects of life too?

If all of us would benefit from receiving and providing more coaching, why do we organize schooling as a super short 13 year-long period dominated by groupings that are too large for meaningful coaching to take place?

We could do more than talk about “life-long learning” if we had better ways of finding coaches. Some type of coaching online forum, where you could both find coaches and also connect with others looking for coaching. Moneyless coaching exchanges could even be arranged. You coach me on how to cook and I coach you on how to write your family’s story.

This type of “coaching-based life-long learning” would result in a deepening of community. More simply, less loneliness.

I would make this grass roots coaching “start up” happen, if only I had a start up coach.

* Particularly excellent—the May 12, 2020 episode, “Don’t Be Good—Be Great”.

**since I’ve been to counseling

 

What Podcasts Should I Listen To?

In a shameless effort to appear a wee bit younger and hipper, I’ve finally started listening to podcasts. Sometimes during the commute, but primarily when I run and cycle with me, myself, and I.

Here are ones I’m enjoying:

Against The Rules by Michael Lewis. About the decline of “referees in American life”. Maybe things really are at least semi-rigged.

The Happiness Lab by Laurie Santos. Yale prof who created a Positive Psychology class that went viral both on campus and later on-line. Since reading this, I’m a positive psychology skeptic, but so far my bullshit alarm has not sounded. Episode 2, “The Unhappy Millionaire” is particularly interesting.

Bundyville by Leah Sottile. Everything you wanted to know about Cliven Bundy and his anti-Government hangers on, but were afraid to ask. Thorough and thought provoking.

The Retirement Answer Man by Roger Whitney. Granted, this one won’t help me appear any younger/hipper, but great case studies of ordinary people trying to save and invest enough to stop working.

Bogleheads on Investing Podcast by Rick Ferri. Interviews with smart financial analysts who adhere to Jack Bogle’s philosophy of investing. Bogle is the recently deceased founder of The Vanguard Group, an investment management group.

Conversation with Tyler by Tyler Cowen. One intellectual talking to others about everything under the sun. Recent guests included Samantha Power and Masha Gessen. Next up, Salmon Rushdie.

The Nation, Start Making Sense. Insightful lefty analysis of current events. My conservative friends will say “insightful lefty” is an oxymoron, but I will not take their bait. :)

What else dear reader should I be listening to on my now pitch black, drizzly morning runs? Think politics, social sciences, personal finance, sports, comedy.