The Buddha, whose name means “the enlightened one” or “the awakened”, is widely known as a spiritual leader and teacher today.
Siddhartha Gautama, (his true name), lived in Nepal during the 6th to 4th century B.C. While scholars agree that he did in fact live, the events of his life are still debated. He was a part of a large clan called the Shakyas in Lumbini (modern Nepal) in the 6th century B.C. His father was a king who ruled the tribe.
The defining tragedy
The Buddha’s mother died seven days after giving birth to him, but legend says that a holy man prophesied great things for the young Siddhartha; he was destined to be a great leader of some sort.
After Buddha’s mother’s death, his father wanted to keep his son from witnessing the other miseries and suffering of the world. And so he was raised like a rockstar in the opulence of a palace built just for the boy. He was also sheltered from knowledge of religion and human hardship.
According to custom, he was said to be married at the age of 16, but his life of total seclusion continued for another 13 years.
Then, once the prince reached his late 20s, he started a journey that led him to be the teacher he is known to be today.
The epic adventure
With little experience of the world outside the walls of his opulent palace, he decided to venture out one day, beyond the palace walls.
In that short galavant, Buddha was quickly confronted with the realities of life – including old age, disease and the human fear of death and suffering.
So at 29, he left all that he knew to find answers.
Gautama spent a fateful night in deep meditation under a Bodhi tree.
It was in this defining moment that he finally found all the answers he had been seeking, achieving full awareness… and becoming “the enlightened one.”
The teacher emerges
Eventually, Buddha was called to teach, and when he preached Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Dharma, he explained the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, which became the pillars of Buddhism.
His first ascetics became his first disciples and formed the foundation of what is known as the Sangha, (community of monks).
At that time, women were admitted to the Sangha, and all barriers of class, race, sex, caste and previous background were ignored.
His desire as a coach: to have all reach enlightenment through eliminating suffering and spiritual emptiness. He didn’t do so in a school setting, but rather just teaching what he knew inside…as a coach.
The world’s first life coach is born
For his next 80 years of life, Buddha traveled and led others to the path of enlightenment.
The Buddha may be considered one of the most influential figures in history, and his teachings have profoundly affected a variety of other faiths, literature, philosophy, both within India and to the farthest reaches of the West.
Today, millions of people continue to trace the Buddha’s path to enlightenment.
So…how does someone step into the role of a life coach like Buddha did?
Truth is, you don’t have to sit under a Bodhi tree to do it. Anyone can be a life coach.
We all have something special we share with the world. It could be a talent or business strategy or even just a personality trait that always helps others get through situations.
Most people do not ever think about becoming a life coach, because it isn’t the typical career choice. Buddha sure did not think of it right away. But a study done by Darcy Luoma, MCC, BCC, MSOD, ORSCC, CPCC at Pepperdine University, The George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management, results showed that those who received coaching increased their life satisfaction and improved their personal growth. Those in the control group, who did not receive any coaching, did not improve their life satisfaction or their personal growth initiative over that time.
Basically, life coaching makes a significant difference in one’s overall life satisfaction.