What if you were a coach and didn’t promise anything?
No peace of mind.
Not the end of suffering.
No new romantic relationship.
No new confidence.
None of that.
On your modest website it would simply say ‘Well, we’ll have a couple of conversations and some of them will likely be pretty amazing, most of them will possibly be fun, and some of them will be, well, just not so amazing or fun, maybe even unsatisfying or frustrating. Sorry.’
It would be the most honest thing in the world.
It would be a totally radical but very truthful statement, because we know that promises are actually mostly vague statements, wishful thinking that just looks solid.
But it would probably also leave you without any clients, and people most definitely wouldn’t pay a shitload of money for your chats.
The thing is: we say we love honesty, but we love promises way more.
We love the dream quality they come with, the exciting sense of possibility, the chance of ultimate change and future wellbeing.
We love the feeling of expectation.
And we don’t really care if it’s realistic or not.
We love promises because life is full of them, all the time, and we’ve learned to believe them, to crave them, to fall in love with them, and to hang on to them.
Most books (especially non-fiction) carry promises.
All videos on YouTube promise you something.
Advertising is completely built on promises.
Addictions fully rely on promises.
Politics evolves around promises (which are hardly ever kept, so we just look for the next person with new, even better ones).
The education system is filled with promises of a bright future.
Every movie poster promises an amazing experience.
Holidays are filled with the promise of relaxation, or elation, or at least an overwhelming amount of satisfaction, just the way we like it.
Every start of every romantic relationship comes with promises -many of them on a subconscious level.
And of course we promise each other the world when we get married.
Promises are mostly unexplored claims that sound like guarantees.
They fill us with hope, and the warm energy of positive options.
They make us taste the future, the best and brightest future, the future we want and feel we deserve, before it’s even there.
Promises may be the best placebos in the world.
And that’s one of the reasons I like them so much.
Because like most things in life, they can be used for both good and bad, and there’s a lot of possible goodness.
Promises are amazing proof of how we can powerfully use our imagination.
They can be the magnets that keep us on course.
They are the sexier, shinier relatives of hope, and they can keep us energized and even grounded.
Promises can be bold, confident statements that turn into reality, simply because we like to believe them so much.
And as long as we perceive ourselves to be thinking machines on two legs, we need all the help we can get.
That’s why I am here, online.
I’ll keep on writing.
I’ll stay busy reflecting and sharing.
I’ll try and try and try again to use words to describe the indescribable, the unfathomable, the elusive richness of life.
I’ll do my best to move you, to lift you up and help you soar, or just keep your silly, restless mind occupied for a couple of minutes.
I’ll be here to soothe and hold you with my stories.
I’ll be the truest, me-est me I can be.
That’s what I can and will do.
It’s my promise to you.
(Photo by @jjjordan, for Unsplash)