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  • Writer's pictureRola Hamade

HOW MANY LIVES DO WE HAVE?

Updated: May 13, 2022


As a human who facilitates other people’s thinking within & beyond the coaching conversation, and being passionate about using the power of mind, body, and soul to guide and illuminate the path to the wonder of our world, the following quoted line by Colombian novelist and Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez "Everyone has three lives: a public life, a private life, and a secret life" made me reflect on the 3 versions of anyone’s life & the coaching intervention.


Let’s start by understanding each of the 3 lives:

1- Public Life: that which any ordinary person can see of other’s life; how people are generally seen in their daily life outside home.

2. Private Life: that which people share with family and close friends. Only a person’s inner circle gets to see this “version.”

3. Secret Life: that which is kept to oneself - and sometimes even from oneself! It includes one’s private thoughts and secret actions. People may be aware of their secret life, but that is not always the case, as all of us have blind spots that stand in the way of true self-actualization.


Márquez’s quote is insightful and engaging. It seems common for people to compartmentalize their lives; yet, the sharper the divide between the compartments, the greater chance of what is called a “deep cognitive dissonance” - feelings of discomfort that result when one’s principles & beliefs run counter to one’s behaviors leading to inconsistency & misalignment, thus, wondering whether growth & fulfilment can be achieved then.


With trust, emotion, and bonding with close & loved ones, we tend to allow people to enter our “Private Life”: it happens when we want to feel special, share things, know what others think about us, etc. However, going through times of chronic stress, emotional & mental fatigue, and above all a disconnection with our inner self - that we may know about or discover at a later stage - have a spill over effect on our inner struggle; then, we are compelled to open the door to our third life.


We allow entry to someone through the door to our “Secret Life” to delve into our concealed feelings, thoughts and actions. We feel a lot better by sharing, storming, and resolving our issues with a party who is trustworthy, empowering, judgment-free, with whom we can have a naked conversation to explore the “Known to self / Not known to others” space, and if we are lucky and able to go further in our journey, discover the “Not known to self / Not known to others” space, a discovery journey between now & when we leave this world, where creativity is born & dreams are made real.

That someone who enters the realm of our secret life is the coach and what allows us to turn our life around and set up an environment of healing and inspiration is dubbed the “coaching journey” which is a never ending one; it happens during the sessions, in between sessions, and beyond the coaching sessions.


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