I’ve heard the coaching relationship described as an alchemical process: the act of turning something ordinary into something extraordinary or special. It seems to me a truly magical working of the highest order.
It is special because at some level both alchemist and element have to decide to fully commit to the process, knowing that at the end of each stage, something will be left behind. The rest will be refined, clarified and integrated into something completely new. If all goes well
Lead is dull, inactive and passive. Gold is vibrant, moving and active in so many ways. At what point does the process begin? The moment when sincere desire and commitment meets focus and creativity. That is the bridge between the ordinary and excellent, the bringing out of true value.
The beauty of this metaphor is that we all know it is impossible to turn lead into gold…right? That would be like magic.
If you’ve ever seen Michael Jordan play basketball, it’s like he’s flying in the air.
Or Seen Philip Seymour Hoffman act, it’s like he totally morphs and becomes the character.
Or heard Paco de Lucía play… there is no separation between maestro and guitar, just sound appearing.
At the highest level of any field, it looks like magic.
At the moment of honest decision and commitment, there is a total union between elements not bound by normal processes. In that moment, regardless of circumstances and projected outcomes, the lead IS Gold. Dedication is not a restriction of freedom; it is the clarification of purpose in order to bring something new into the world.
This kind of value is not created, it is revealed and you are either ready for it or you are not.
“To end the greatest work designed,
A thousand hands need but one mind.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part Two