I’ve heard this story in several versions from different places around the world….and found myself telling it to a group of talented coaches who, it seems to me, give out their hearts and souls when working with their clients. It goes something like this…
Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there was a wise man, a guru, who traveled from place to place. He lived a simple life of meditation and prayer, wanted for nothing and willing gave advice and counsel to those who seeked it. Once day, after walking some distance he decided to rest for the night under the shade of a beautiful tree. He put down his bag, lay out his pack and, sitting in the lotus position, began a deep meditation. After some time he became aware that he was not along. A poor man from the local village had sneaked upon him and took a quick look in his bag.
‘Sir, give me some bread, if you have’ said the poor man.
The guru smiled and said, ‘of course, young man’. He took the bread out of his bag and handed it over. The man wolfed it down and did not walk away.
The poor villager said ‘give me all you have’. The guru reached inside his bag and pulled out a large and amazingly beautiful gem. ‘It’s this you want, so here, take it’.
With that the guru returned to his meditation and the villager ran off.
The following morning, the guru awoke to the presence of the young villager.
‘What is it you want now?’ he asked, ‘I have nothing else’.
The villager sighed and said, ‘I have not been able to sleep all night’.
And he continued, ‘What I want is that which enabled you to, so easily and gracefully, give me the gem’.
To those coaches (you know who you are!), never underestimate the gift that you give!