Agile coaching interviews on SELF-LEADERSHIP.
Today we talk about Eudaimonia: guidelines and nudges for the good realization of your Spirit.
Three questions to Alessandro Pannitti, PCC, co-founder of the INCOACHING® school and co-creator of the Evolutive Coaching® model
We met in a rather unique way.
I was coming from Freiburg (Germany) for a yoga retreat at the Monte Giove monastery in Fano (Italy).
A couple of friends accompanied me from the station in Pesaro to the foot of the monastery. On the way they told me about a monk with coaching qualifications who had written the book “Christian Spirituality and Coaching.” A fascinating combination, I thought.
I was sure I would have a conversation with this monk (Natale Brescianini). And so it was.
Given my interest, he invited me to lunch and eventually gave me a copy of the book. There, I found out that you were a co-author.
I took a few months to read and savor it. And finally I decided to write to you and have a chat with you.
That contact with you was the beginning of my coaching journey with the school you co-founded (INCOACHING®) and marked a pivotal step toward my eudaimonia.
Eudaimonia! What is it?
ALESSANDRO, I LEARNED FROM YOU THE CONCEPT OF “EUDAIMONIA,” THE GOOD (EU) REALIZATION OF OUR SPIRIT (DAIMON). WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EUDAIMONIA AND COACHING?
The concept of eudaimonia, which comes from Greek philosophy, contains within it the principle that happiness is the natural purpose in every person’s life. This purpose is pursuable through a constant journey of self-knowledge and awareness, self-generating and concretely impactful.
It is precisely on this last implication that Coaching is proposed as a modern tool available to every individual. Undertaking Coaching means trusting that much of the ameliorative changes are achievable through one’s own agentivity (Albert Bandura’s human agency: the human faculty to exercise causal power, to act actively and transformatively in one’s context).
The coach provides the person-client with his or her own unique skills by accompanying him or her in a maieutic process of awareness, enhancement of one’s potential and responsible use of the key-resources necessary to trigger the desired change.
Within the creative laboratory of INCOACHING (a company I founded together with Franco Rossi) we developed the Evolutive Coaching® model. The theory of Human Meta-potential, part of this model, states that Awareness, Self-determination, Responsibility and Eudaimonia are the 4 human Meta-potentialities that if properly trained direct existence toward one’s happiness.
Putting together some of the elements you tell me, I observe how eudaimonia is pursuable through a constant path of self-knowledge. That is, the good realization of one´s spirit comes through knowing oneself and through the growth of one´s awareness.
And that is the first of the two steps.
The second step is one of the lessons I learned from our coaching course – and which I still carry with me – and it is this: a newly acquired awareness must necessarily be followed by an acted awareness.
For example, if you find that it is important for you to live in these weeks in a more relaxed and easygoing way, necessarily (for your own well-being) you have to take actions and undertake changes toward your new awareness, such as slowing down your pace, listening to music, drawing, …
LET`S GO FURTHER. ALESSANDRO, HOW HAS EUDAIMONIA AFFECTED YOUR LIFE?
I am not ashamed to admit that it took me almost 40 years before I understood how searching for one’s own aretè is a necessary step in directing one’s life in a virtuous way.
Aretè is another concept beloved to Greek philosophy; it refers to the ability to perform well the task that life has assigned to us.
With a broader horizon than the religious one, we could compare it to the vocational call, which is reserved for all.
Approaching Coaching, studying it and practicing it has co-incided with putting myself in listening to my daimon and this has positively influenced many of the decisions that have brought evident changes in my relational and professional existence.
The vocational call to all reserved. How beautiful!
ALESSANDRO, IMAGINE YOU ARE TRAVELING ON A TRAIN. YOU ARE SITTING NEXT TO A 20-YEAR-OLD BOY. YOU START A DIALOGUE. HE IS A VERY OPEN AND CURIOUS PERSON. YOUR DIALOGUE DEEPENS AND YOU MENTION THE CONCEPT OF EUDAIMONIA. THE BOY IS NOT FAMILIAR WITH THIS TERM BUT IS FASCINATED BY IT. YOUR JOURNEY TOGETHER HAS ALMOST COME TO AN END AND THE BOY ASKS YOU:
CAN YOU TELL ME 3 PEARLS ABOUT EUDAIMONIA TO PUT IN MY BACKPACK SO I CAN TAKE THEM WITH ME FOR THE REST OF MY TRIP?
First, I would point out that to this kind of challenging question today’s answer is not the one I would have given 10 years ago and I hope it is not the same one I would give 10 years from now either. As mentioned above, true happiness can be experienced in a constant journey of self-knowledge and awareness that lasts our entire existence and inevitably changes us; hoping that such change is evolutionary.
By professional bias, rather than 3 suggestions I would leave the youngster with 3 nudges that are at the same time food for thought and pragmatic recommendations; consistent with one of the principles of Coaching that always invites to combine reflection and action, awareness and responsibility:
1. Go towards who you are
Each of us is a unique and unrepeatable person by virtue of our own values, character traits, aptitudes, passions, etc., which are integrated with our lived experiences, events and choices. The search for and discovery of new parts of oneself must go hand in hand with their expression and use in all areas of one’s life, not just professional life.
2. Flee from your ego
Human beings fully experience their “humanity” in relationship with others. Self-knowledge should not be understood as a self-referential path, but a social one. Not surprisingly, positive psychology reminds us that: “The eudaimonic perspective privileges the analysis of factors that favor the development and realization of individual potential and authentic human nature…Eudaimonia includes not only individual satisfaction, but also a developmental path toward integration with the surrounding world.” (A. Delle Fave). Christianity proposes love as the one true vocation, innate and essential to the full development of the human being, which is then individually declined in the uniqueness and unrepeatability of each person.
3. Choose freely
(and in your choices consider the first two points)
We are born to be free. As Vito Mancuso states, “freedom is the constitutional charter of the human being.” But full freedom is not only freedom OF (self-determination). It is also freedom FROM (not being reduced to slavery to something), freedom FOR (planning, direction and meaning) and freedom WITH (relationality). Authentically free choices are those that contribute to becoming who one is by relativizing one’s ego.
How much richness, Alessandro!
Go toward who you are, flee from your limiting ego, choose freely!
Luckily there´s coaching!!! 😊
What inspiration do you want to take for the rest of your trip from this coaching-interview?
WHO I AM
Born in Naples in 1967, I live in Senigallia and have a degree in psychological sciences and techniques. Trainer and Professional Certified Coach (PCC) for the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and among the founders of the Italian Association of Professional Coaches (AICP).
WHAT I DO
In 2009 I founded with Franco Rossi INCOACHING®, a school and service company related to Coaching; together we created the Evolutive Coaching® model and the internationally registered C.A.R.E.® Meta-potential theory.
WHAT INSPIRES ME
The human being, in all its extraordinary complexity.
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