Some time ago the woman who cuts my hair tried an up-sell on me. “Around your age,” she said, “I have a lot of customers who have me start waxing their nose hair and eyebrows. And … you’re a candidate.”
When I got done laughing about her skillful — even political — use of words to inform me that my nostrils and uni-brow were less-than-sophisticated, I relented and allowed her to place piping hot firebrands covered in molten wax up my nose. I even agreed to pay extra for this. And you know, the pain isn’t really that bad. But the hair keeps growing. It seems I’m a ‘candidate’ for life.
Today Megan and I had a gut-level conversation with Jonathan. Jonathan’s not a coach, per se, but we’ve been meeting with him and (because coaching is my milieu) I’ve been thinking about him in that capacity. Since we all value honesty, I admitted to him that I was a little dissatisfied when seeing him through that lens. So we talked about what it is exactly that he does, how it differs from coaching, and Megan and I decided upon the term “oracle”. (Which made him delightfully uncomfortable. I mean, it gave him the creepy-crawlies. He has this little freaked-out boogie dance he did. It’s going to become a classic story, larger than life. Already is.)
In the course of this conversation he reminded me of something I’ve known all along: I’m really nice about it, but I’m bull-headed and though my marriage is good, I still need someone who has permission to call me on my bull and help me stay on track even when it isn’t my top priority for growth! In other words, even though I’m pretty happy with a lot of things right now, I’m a candidate for the oracle. In fact, I’m a candidate for life.
If you want a life of growth but know that those nose hairs have to be cleared away like brush in dry season before a fire breaks out, if, in short, you’re a candidate, then get a coach. Or an prophetic oracle. Or a pastor who’s not a puppet for what the congregation wants — someone to whom you are willing to abdicate your considerable power of independence. You may or may not pay this person for their role in your life, but you can never terminate your friendship with them. Maybe it’s a mentor who expects you to exceed their own success, and who will challenge you when they see you getting slacker-y or bull-headed, who pushes you even on the stuff you’re really good at. Find someone you trust, and let them wax whenever you wane.