Essentially, a struggling mom (Jackie), who is in the middle of a nasty divorce comes across a transient musician (Ryan) in her home town. She is a former professional musician, and they connect and eventually become friends/lovers.
In one of the scenes, they are talking and Jackie says, “Don’t you ever ask yourself, ‘How did I get here?’ ”
Ryan pauses and then says, “Not really. I just ask, “Where am I going and how do I get there?”
That scene stuck with me.
Jackie’s question focuses on the past. Not just the how, but the why. I think it’s an important question to ponder, but not to dwell on.
Too many of us, though, operate like we are still living in the past.
We create meaning and beliefs from things that we heard and read about, as well as things that we experienced. Those beliefs become the lens through which we see and experience our future. In the coaching world we call them Limiting Beliefs.
Instead of carrying around our past on our back, we carry it around in front of us and it often gets in the way.
Ryan’s question, “Where am I going, and how do I get there?” looks at life a little differently. He is focused on the present and the future. In order to get anywhere, you need to know where you are starting from. It doesn't necessarily matter how you got there.
Ryan brings learning from the past into his future, but he isn’t letting the past hold him back, or hold him down. His past isn’t limiting him, it’s driving him.
This is often how I differentiate coaching from counseling or therapy.
Therapy, in my experience, takes the Jackie approach. Let’s talk about your past to figure out why things are the way they are.
Coaching, on the other hand, is focused on what’s happening now, and how you want it to be different tomorrow and in the future. Coaching is about shifting those limiting beliefs, creating new beliefs, and acting upon them.
So, are you a Jackie or a Ryan?
Are you stuck in the past wondering how you got to where you are?
Or are you looking at where you are now, and planning ahead for where you want to be and how you will get there?
Your past doesn't have to determine your future as well.