A Responsible Freedom

By Liz Bapasola, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach

The other day I held an introductory coaching call with a client who works in a fast-paced sales position in Philadelphia, PA. Always on the go and needing to be constantly connected with his buyers and potential buyers, my client asked me to take a look at the options he has before him and help him find the right next step in his career. Despite being grateful for his booming business, it became very clear to me within 5 minutes into the call that he was seeking more than just guidance on his next career move.

As I began to probe deeper into our conversation, my client soon revealed what he really, really, really wanted. The 3 Reallys Method, explained in an earlier Coach's Corner article, allows me the opportunity to have my clients reflect deeply on their most heartfelt desires to help them reach their full potential. 

My client was no different in that the first thing he said that he wanted was Time, but the thing he really, really, really wanted was Freedom. I instantly told him that generating more Freedom in his life was the goal to help him live his best self. I then told him that as he approaches career opportunities, he should make the decision on what option makes him the most free. That resonated with the client, so much that he took a pen and wrote it down.

This goal of Freedom I am sure is shared by many of us. Freedom to do what you really, really, really want to do, when you really, really, really want to do is part of what living your best life could look like. Financial Freedom is a goal that many of us have, meaning that you have the blessing of not having to worry about money and can afford what you want and need.

In the United States, our Constitution deliberately protects certain freedoms, such as freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press. 

Given my client and I were just on a 30 minute introductory executive coaching call, there was a lot that we didn't have a chance to talk about. While in future paid coaching calls we'll spend a lot of time discussing The Equation and how he can apply that to live his best life, I also will help him think about the idea of a Responsible Freedom. The responsibilities that come with the blessing of Freedom allows all of us the opportunity to give back and turn our job into our vocation.

Fredrick Buechner, an American writer and theologian, defined vocation as where your deep gladness meets the world's deep need. I love this definition of "your deep gladness," or what gives you the most joy and is the most fun, meeting "the world's deep need."

For me, I've come to realize that executive and life coaching, something I do for free for all my students and colleagues who ask for it at my work, The College of New Jersey, is my vocation. My client's vocation might be sales, or it might be something else. Whatever he discovers his vocation to be, I will be sure to ask him to recognize the responsibilities that come with the blessing of Freedom, and daily living life as a Responsible Freedom will get him closer every day to living your best life.

If you're interested to learn more about Liz Bapasola's ideas on vocation and a Responsible Freedom, watch her TEDx Talk found here.