My 2005 Message to America about Life Coaching

On Friday, 1/21/05, I spent (an intense and grueling) 10 hours being interviewed <click to read the questions/answers> and filmed coaching two clients (one by phone and one in person). 
  <Click here for some pics from the filming.>  The filming was for a segment on life coaching which begins airing in May on Penn & Teller's Showtime series, "Bullshit!"

The show has been nominated for a few Emmy's, apparently has a large and intelligent following, and is going into its third season.  Pretty much, they do their comedic bit and their conclusion, as far as I can tell, for whichever topic they cover, is that, "It's Bullshit."   That is, after all, the whole premise for the show.  So, in short, I'll be appearing on a show where the conclusion will most likely be that, "Life Coaching is Bullshit," and on which I'll probably be the butt of their jokes.  Odds are that the program is going to try to refute that coaching provides real, tangible results that one couldn't achieve on their own...and/or that life coaches are charlatans in an illegitimate profession....

I do respect and admire the way they attempt to get people thinking about many things we take for granted, questioning our assumptions and the truthfulness of the (mis)information that our society/media bombards us with daily.  Still, I initially felt "set up to fail," that I'd be used to disparage my colleagues and profession, and told the producer that I wouldn't do it.  After considerable deliberation and some coaching, however, I saw the opportunity in this and decided to appear on the show.  Not for me, nor even for my coaching colleagues, but for a higher purpose....

In short, I'm willing to be publicly humiliated, for the opportunity to get a message out to thousands (perhaps millions), for the sake of all of us and the planet.  I trust that, regardless of what's said on the show, how I or coaching is portrayed, that some portion of my message will make it through to the intelligence of people...and that the Truth of what's possible and how we're evolving how we live on this planet will prevail.  (Copernicus wasn't exactly welcomed with open arms, either!  But, almost all significant societal/evolutionary change seems to happen first "on the fringes," and resisted by the mainstream...until, of course, it becomes mainstream.)

My January, 2005 Message to America:
"Living next to a school, I often awaken to the sounds of the children playing at recess.  I hear such an uninhibited outpouring of joy and laughter and singing from them...and never-ending creativity and imagination in coming up with new ways to play and enjoy themselves.   Life is magical....

In a workshop I attended last week, I heard this statistic about adults: 'Only 1 out of 8 Americans love their jobs and are truly happy with their lives.'

So, nearly 90% of us have lost the joy, imagination and magic of life we were born into.  Millions of amazingly gifted and uniquely special grown up children living discontentedly small and from fear....

What does this mean?  I think it means that too many Americans are dragging themselves out of bed in the morning...perhaps going to a job they dread, possibly feeling mistreated by a corporation, maybe even believing that they have no choice but to do things that they don't believe in, that aren't fun for them, and/or hold little genuine purpose/meaning for them or humanity.  It may also mean too many of us are not utilizing and being appreciated for our unique, special gifts, nor being empowered to fully realize our unlimited potential...and, as a result, the world not receiving those gifts and that unlimited potential.  I wonder how many Americans feel like they're being treated like a number in a spreadsheet (or worse), are being told when they can or can't take a break or vacation or even sick time, and subsequently return home feeling stressed, angry, drained, inadequate, dejected, or empty/unfulfilled, and with little more than a paycheck for their efforts?  I've seen folks lose their hair prematurely (including women), depression, multiple tumors that require surgery, or falling sick repeatedly from the stress, aggravation, pressure...which they tell me is from being overworked and living out of balance [all real examples of clients or close friends of mine]...too often their children being nurtured/raised by strangers...too often their dreams/visions orphaned and raised by no one.

Trying to use a meager two weeks of vacation and endless addictions as band aids for this deep soul wound, while having this depressing struggle be the majority of their life experience...with precious little time to truly LIVE or ENJOY the magical gift of life...that promise always being somewhere off in a future that never seems to arrive...but could be here today...

...THAT is Bullshit!  ...and THAT is why there's Life Coaching.  Nobody has to live like that.  I don't.  (Although most of those things once were my life, not one of them are true for me anymore...and I take months of vacation a year, work just four days a week, am doing deeply meaningful work that I truly love...and have never missed a mortgage payment on my home in Palo Alto, California.  And, there's nothing in me that's taken me to this place that's not in everyone--except, perhaps, that knowing.)

Still, most people, living in a prison of limiting and fear-based beliefs, don't believe having the life they really want is possible for them.  Or, if they do realize they have a choice, they don't know how to make it happen.  THAT is why I do what I do, instead of still designing microprocessors for six figures.

In college, I interned at Texas Instruments, where they were developing the technology for the Apache attack helicopter.  While I didn't condone this use of technology and vowed never to contribute my talents to anything like that again, I learned something remarkable:  All the technology to invent the basic helicopter existed 30 years before someone came up with the idea!  I surmised that there must be countless helicopter-like innovations living within each person on the planet.

Yet, I see most people living uncreative, uninspiring, 9-5, cookie-cutter lives, while struggling to 'just get by'.  Each of these souls is a 1 in a Billion Winner (imagine One of all the grains of sand on the beach).  The strongest/fastest/smartest One out of the Billion 'also swams'.  The Winner of the first race of their lives--to the egg in their mother's womb--earning each of them the right to be born.  Completely victorious and completely unique in fingerprint and DNA.  Meant for and capable of so, SO much never before seen magnificence.  Now living small, suppressed lives.  THAT is Bullshit!

This crisis of leadership in the world.  Where are the heroes, the prophets, the truly inspirational and visionary leaders of our time?  Millions of dormant Georgia O'Keefe's and Martin Luther King's and Gandhi's...many that you or I know personally...with their own incredible, untapped potential and their own uniquely creative dreams and evolved visions for a better world....  Perhaps even sitting right in your chair!

Why are these potential world leaders dormant?  Why are they not showing up and fully owning the magnificence you and I both know they possess?  Why are they not leading and inspiring and shining the light for the rest of us?

Meanwhile, we're too often being led by folks with a fraction of the intelligence, vision, dignity, integrity, evolution and heartfelt love for all the precious and beautiful beings on this planet...that we see in people in our very own lives.  The born leaders we all know who just don't know how, or just don't have the tools/support to manifest their grandeur in today's world.  THAT is Bullshit!  ...and THAT is why I spent over two years helping refine a new leadership/coaching/social change model called, "The Bigger Game," and why I agreed to write the first draft of "The Bigger Game" book for Laura Whitworth (

Far too many people not at peace with themselves and/or their lives...who continue to negatively impact themselves, others and the planet out of their own personal unrest...or, perhaps, out of their own fear, ignorance and delusion (they don't believe there's another way, or don't know how to find it if they do, or are afraid to try, etc).  While I hope this doesn't describe you, that it describes ANYone is Bullshit!"

I won't be able to say all this on camera, of course.  But, if it takes me getting trashed on national tv to get any portion of this message out...and maybe reach someone and let them know that the coaching profession is a real and effective way to break out of this cycle...and that means that even one person ends up truly living the blissful life of their dreams, passions and purpose as a result, then I'm willing to pay that price....

In service and gratitude,

Thought for Today:  "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter."   - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I work with people who want to ensure they remain "awake," "alive," and living their lives in alignment with what really matters....


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Rich Raffals ~ Awaken the Magic Coaching
Committed to Your Success
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