Life coach

Lately I have noticed a lot of people proclaiming to be “life coaches”; frankly I cannot help being a little puzzled by their claims.

On television and in magazines, life coaches always appear to be young and handsome and I couldn’t help wondering where these whippersnappers got their experience and wisdom. In high school, the Playboy mansion?

But maybe a life coach doesn’t need to be experienced. Perhaps he doesn’t even need to be trained. Life coaching could be a calling, something like the priesthood.
Some morning you wake up, and you can feel very clearly that you should be a Life Coach.
Just like Moses.

Moses never trained to be a life coach. One morning he woke up and feeling a little cranky, he decided to climb the mountain nearby for a little exercise and relaxation.
Upon returning he simply told his people: follow me, I’ll be your life coach. Nobody asked for his credentials. But by then he was pretty old and people assumed that he was experienced.

Personally, if I were to look for a mentor, I would probably also settle for an older person.
In Greek mythology, Mentor was a friend of Odysseus king of Ithaca. When Odysseus left for the Trojan War, he put Mentor in charge of his palace and his son Telemachus.
I can understand that, because by then Mentor was an old man and he had seen a lot of action in his younger days.

So the first thing to remember is that a Mentor should be a relatively older person. Somebody no younger than sixty.
And no, chiseled abs or a large bosom do not compensate for a lack of experience.

The second nagging question I asked myself is: why would anybody need a life coach?
If you are handicapped, feebleminded or totally incapable of making a single decision (congressmen come to mind) I can understand, but why would a normal human being put his fate in the hands of some unknown dude?
Is this potential guru widely travelled? Has he/she spent some time in an Indian ashram? Did God reveal to him/her stuff that common mortals like us are not privy to?

Excuse me for being so crass, but like Saint Thomas I have a lot of doubts and need to be reassured before putting my fate in somebody’s hands.

I’ll tell you what…
I am over sixty, I have been around, I know a thing or two about pétanque… I am offering to share my infinite wisdom with you.
For a modest fee, I will change your life, and mine.

When I am through with you, you’ll be a different person and I will finally be able to live in style somewhere in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia.
Is it a deal?

No rush. Think about it.
I am always available for a free consultation.




Bill Clinton, Franz Kafka, George McClellan, Leonardo Da Vinci, Truman Capote, Hamlet, Abraham Lincoln…
What did all these people have in common?
They were goddamned PROCRASTINATORS, that’s what they were!
Those horrible people who are putting off until tomorrow what should have been done yesterday!
To be or not to be?
What kind of wishy-washy prince is this? Off with his head!

One of my (many) failings is the fact that I am impatient.
I won’t deny it; like Athena I was born fully-grown, armed and in a hurry.
My kind doesn’t fancy waiting and despises lollygaggers.
Unfortunately it seems that I am surrounded by those #@*&%!

Like bedbugs, procrastinators appear to be everywhere, even in our little club.

It has come to my attention that some people (in spite of repeated warnings) were late in renewing their annual club’s subscription.
As prescribed by our bylaws, they were fined a $5.00 late fee for this infraction; most paid up but some objected.
Well fellow “boulophiles”, I don’t have the slightest sympathy for those individuals.
The IRS gave you a deadline for paying your taxes and they don’t care about your measly excuses.
Pay up or shut up, they politely say.
And so should our club say!

None of the great feats of human daring could have taken place with some indecisive dawdler at the helm!
Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Joan of Arc, Horatio Nelson, Theodore Roosevelt, George Patton… those people were not in the habit of postponing anything!

imagesI don’t think that Napoleon would have tolerated any procrastinator in his staff.
One his cavalry generals, Antoine-Charles-Louis de Lasalle famously said:

« Tout hussard qui n’est pas mort à trente ans est un jean-foutre. »

Any hussar who is not dead by the age of thirty is a jackass, or a “tosser” as our friends across the pond would say.

To avoid being called a procrastinator general Lasalle managed to get killed at the battle of Wagram in 1809. He was 34.

To sum it up ladies and gentlemen of the jury, do not be a procrastinator and don’t wait to be bitten in the “derriere” to fulfill your obligations.
I rest my case.



I am innocent

I just watched a movie called “Conviction”. It relates the story of a woman who spent 16 years of her life fighting for the release of a brother accused of murder.
But how can anybody be so steadfastly sure that a loved one is innocent?

It is understandable that parents would want to protect their children, but sons, husbands, wives, lovers are all capable of murder and shouldn’t be automatically thought to be innocent because of emotional ties.
Victims are often pushed aside while many people eagerly rush to embrace the cause of the accused.

Judicial errors are of course possible, but not every case is a Dreyfus affair.

Florence Cassez, a French National, was just released from a Mexican jail after spending 7 years in prison for involvement in “a crime she didn’t commit”.
She was the lover of Israel Vallarta, the alleged leader of a kidnapping gang and was originally arrested for complicity with that gang.
She always claimed her innocence.

Ms. Cassez was welcomed back in France as a national hero and greeted by President Francois Hollande at the Elysée Palace.

The exact circumstances of her case are fairly murky but her predicament was kept on the front burner by no less than two French presidents, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande.

Relations between France and Mexico have been severely strained because of this affair and many people in Mexico believe that her release had nothing to do with legal proceedings.
Polls revealed that Mexicans were overwhelmingly opposed to her release and believe that courts protect criminals, not victims.

French public opinion was of course swayed in her favor by the media, her mother and her lawyer. She was railroaded by corrupt officials and had nothing to do with kidnappings they said.

Difficult to know for sure where the truth lies, but I wouldn’t rush to defend somebody simply because she or he happened to be a French or American national.

I am not so cynical to believe that every arrested person is guilty as charged, but I am also wary of too many claims of innocence.
There seem to be a dearth of guilty people throughout the world and many crimes still beg to be resolved.

I just hope that Florence Cassez enjoys her release but refrains the overwhelming temptation to write about (and profit) from her slightly fishy story.