Life coaches

Life coach mirror

“Hello. I’m Pru and I’m a life coach.”

The moment you hear these words and don’t feel the urgent need to throw a hard fruit (a quince or a Packham pear) into Pru’s outer gullet is the moment that you need to reevaluate your entire life.

I’ve done a little irony thing there for the sake of mirth-making, but seriously, if this moment ever arrives, DO NOT employ Pru to help you become the healthy fruit-launching (Haught-reading) cynic you once were.

A life coach? What in buggery does that even mean? She doesn’t coach volleyball or singing or better study methods. Pru presumably coaches all of these things, plus more. ‘More’, logically, being everything else in the entire world (because what if you came to Pru and said ‘My life is entymology, but I’ve lost the passion – please help me’ and Pru said ‘Sorry, I know sweet fuck all about insects’? What sort of a life coach service would that be?).

So, in other words, Pru and her kind are all-knowing all-seeing deities? Well, that’s wonderful, but surely they have better things they could be doing with their omniscience than devising personal brand empowerment schemas for people with slightly low self esteem.

Hey, Pru, here’s what I’d tell you if I were your life coach (which I wouldn’t be because it’s just fucking ridiculous and you wouldn’t be able to answer anyway because your larynx would be functioning poorly as a result of my perfectly aimed, under-ripe hass avacado): instead of spending your time advising people to get up in the morning and shout glib affirmations in the mirror, go and work on a perpetual motion engine or eradicate malaria or something!

Also, can you make push ups easier?



An edited version of this article first appeared in the MyCareer section of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

You can read the column – Benign to Five – in those papers every Saturday, and if you miss it, you can look it up online in the BusinessDay section of The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Canberra Times, WAToday and Brisbane Times. (I now wankishly call myself a “syndicated columnist” on my CV.)

Read more Haught newspaper columns

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  1. Hi Haught, Im not a life coach, and dont frankly believe in them either. I must ask, what got you all fired up about life coaches? Is there a story behind the post? Just curious.

    • Hi Erika,

      The more-than-faint whiff of snake oil that lingers around them.

      To be fair, there are probably some people calling themselves “life coaches” who are genuinely doing something decent and meaningful. The vast majority, though, are part of the capital-M Motivation industry, a vast chamber of vacuity, pseudoscience and buzzwordery.

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