To turn a vision of oneself into a ‘masterpiece’ requires commitment, skills, and the right tools for the job.
When my daughter was about 8 years old she started to ask ‘grown-up’ questions. Questions that I did not have the kind of quality answers that I believed in, let alone give them to her. It was like the feeling you get when asking an authority figure you ‘believe’ is supposed to have the ‘correct answer to a question and when they reply, you immediately know it’s a fake ‘bogus’ answer. Maybe you don’t show your disbelief to them, but you feel it. And I felt that if I gave my daughter ‘bogus’ answers to her questions, I was now the ‘fake’ authority figure. That bothered me. And, what if she believed my answers making them a part of her internal ‘truth reference’? What if this went on for years? Fast forward a decade or two (I imagined) and what has she become (in no small part from my contribution)? A walking, talking contradiction of beliefs and ‘pop sayings’ as unauthentic, and unoriginal as the junk food television and media that surround us.
What I was really coming face to face with was how little my life was actually built on a solid ‘life curriculum’ even though we are brought up with the ‘appearance’ we have been trained according to a structured life skills curriculum. By this I mean the modern day educational infrastructure (both public and private) designed in great part after the training of the European aristocracy covering a wide range of ‘classical’ subjects namely the arts, sciences and humanities. These educational institutions of our day have become; for all intents and purposes, the centerpiece of the life skills training curriculum with a great many families willingly going along for the ride playing a supporting role rather than directing the film. I will not offer an analysis of why this is as it is (or isn’t), nor critique the situation as either good or bad. Rather I will simply state this is how I view it ‘on the big screen’, and dare say a great many reading this blog post (as coaching professionals and clients) will have had a similar view.
The result of this ‘face to face’ encounter with myself, left me to construct a ‘life skills’ curriculum – a framework that went beyond the standard ‘product’ available to our family from traditional institutional educational content providers (both public and private), and reposition them as sub-category specialists in our larger life skills curriculum. Not the centerpiece.
Like a school curriculum, Making a Masterpiece of Your Life (aka LIFECRAFT) is a life performance management system; an organizing structure to guide anyone to approach the subject of life – the physical, mental, and spiritual experiences that constitute a Human Being’s existence; particularly the interval of time between birth and death on earth – as an integrated practice. Our framework is a structure upon which a well rounded life skills education can be built by selecting specific topics of interest – from grooming and personal hygiene, to managing one’s emotions and setting goals for life, which I categorized into The Five Elements (groupings) for easier reference.
As a whole, ‘life skills’ is a wide ranging body of knowledge. It contains many topics under the umbrella of The Five Elements – as we refer to them; or whatever organizational scheme suits you, it is still a big body of knowledge. As such, I believe no one institution contains all the necessary expertise (teachers) in-house to be able to satisfy the market demand. Thus, the rise of the life coaching profession and all its many subject specialists is to me, a natural market response to the fact that many, many families and individuals alike have arrived at a similar place and need as I described in the opening of this article.
Individuals; it has been shown, are capable of self diagnosing areas of their lives for improvement, healing and exploration. And, many connect with one or more teachers and sources of knowledge from whom they acquire all or part of what they are seeking, and apply it to their lives with varying degrees of success. However, without a ‘master curriculum’ to provide the context within which each new learning, healing or discovery takes up its useful place alongside the other elements detailed in the ‘blueprint’, it can result in an ‘ad hoc’ – patchwork structure that is architecturally ‘unsound’ and subject to constant leaking, creaking, wind drafts, and potential collapse. Making a Masterpiece of Your Life (aka LIFECRAFT) was developed specifically to provide the structure for the master curriculum allowing anyone; like an architect, to envision the finished project from the start as a ‘blueprint’, years in advance of realizing the standing structure. This ‘working towards a defined designed’, with room for improvisation, pulls one forward through life toward the completion of a finished work. A masterpiece. This is life by design vs. life by accident.
Phase Four: Mentorship
I believe that coaching professionals are well positioned to advance this idea and assist their clients to ‘blueprint’ their lives in advance of the finished work, and to teach their specialized subjects within the context of the ‘master curriculum’. Further, I believe coaching professionals are uniquely suited to work alongside their clients as guides (mentors) to identify and select other teachers with specialized subject matter expertise, for learning the breadth of skills their clients will require to complete the work necessary to Make a Masterpiece of Their Lives.
Note from Tracy Morrow: A huge thank you to Charles P. Collins for this addition to the humble Inspir3 blog! I’ve been reading the Making a Masterpiece of Your Life – The Craftsman’s Way of the Art & Science of Skillful Living and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to create a solid foundation in their lives – and also for Coaches hoping to help their clients become the crafters of their lives.
Make no mistake, this is not some warm and fuzzy feel great and forget about it type of book. It has work gloves and elbow grease is required, but what iconic art was ever created without effort?
Here are some links to check out Mr. Collins and this illustrious roadmap to reclaim authentic craftsmanship in your life:
- Learn more about Charles P. Collins
- Get the Book on Kindle
- Like it on Facebook
- Check out more on Griffon House Website
 The Four Phases of Living, Making a Masterpiece of Your Life – The Craftsman’s Way of the Art & Science of Skillful Living by Charles P. Collins – Griffon House Publishing copyright 2012