In a series of theme evenings at De Associatie voor Coaching, the theme on 25 April 2013 was:

Self-management as an ideal

The notion that the life you have been given (whether or not by a higher power, but in any case by your parents) must also be led, confronts everyone with the question of how to shape that life (yourself) within the given circumstances? A pressing question that becomes all the more pressing in the realisation that the standard course of life framed by traditions and institutions, as it was once known, has increasingly become an individual biography of choice with multiple, overlapping and redeeming lifelines. The rigid boundary between youth and adulthood has become a stretched, less visible trajectory. Being young, becoming an adult and being old are less self-evident.

And with that, life as a gift seems to have become a task. A task that you can tackle with tight, controlled life planning at one end of the spectrum or with a carpe-diem mentality at the other end of the spectrum. Or is a middle way possible? How can I achieve my ideals within the given circumstances? In this theme evening, we explore the concept of self-determination and the conditions under which it is possible. In the metaphor of a sailor, which control technique do I need to take away from the uncontrollability of the elements in order to chart my own course?

Perhaps we will come to the conclusion that self-management is that middle ground between “set in stone” and “let it blow” and this will provide tools for the coach and coachee. But know that even the best sailor must at times take down the sail and let go of the helm. At times, but not before.

Based on Schipperen met het eigen leven (Shuffling with one’s own life), Frits de Lange, essay 2003.