A highly personal motivational manual focuses on life coaches.
“What do I want to do?” Kelly asks early on in this debut work of nonfiction. “What would I like to do? What would I like to do that gives life meaning?” The author knows that these and other key fundamental questions beset her readers, and she offers a wide range of thoughts on the kinds of coaches people might consult in order to help them navigate the complicated field of possible answers. “Working with a coach is admitting that the coach has knowledge you don't have,” she writes. While this isn’t exactly true (coaches in everything from sports to executive management are typically used for their clarity and motivation, not for secret knowledge), Kelly’s book seeks to be a guide to discovering the right kind of coach for whatever a person feels is lacking in life. In a fast-paced overview of the assorted sources where people over the centuries have gone in search of direction, the author quickly checks in with such widely varied topics and figures as the Myers-Briggs personality test, Mary Baker Eddy, Dr. Spock, the collective wisdom, war brides, the GI Bill, and Weight Watchers, among many others. In clearly written short chapters, she helps readers assess not only the nature of their problems (Money troubles? Lack of discipline? Introvert living among extrovert expectations?), but also the best ways to test the virtues and shortcomings of the great range of potential coaches available in just a single internet search. Whether it’s one-day seminars, weeklong retreats, or online webinars, she advocates a “trust, but verify” initial wariness. Some of the book’s breakdowns of how to gauge problems are usefully straightforward, but the wide range of subjects works against any feeling of narrative focus. And the author’s penchant for truisms—success is always in your hands; life takes many twists and turns; even “Know Thyself”—likewise blunts the manual’s more original content.
An engaging, if sometimes muddled, guide to finding the right life coach.