Have you ever consider the roots of coaching and where its principles come from?
It may surprise you to know that many of the core principles and methods of modern coaching have roots in ancient philosophical thought of Hellenistic era. Hellenistic period lasted from 323 B.C.E to 31 B.C.E. The three centuries of Greek history between the death of the Macedonian king Alexander and the rise of Augustus in Rome.
Stoicism, Epicureanism and Cynicism
The philosophical systems of Stoicism, Epicureanism and Cynicism have had a significant impact on the development of the different coaching methods as we know it today.
◓ Stoicism, which was founded in Athens in the 4th century BCE, taught that the key to happiness and fulfillment lies in the practice of self-discipline, reason, and mindfulness. Also, emphasized the importance of accepting things that are outside of our control and focusing on our reactions to events rather than the events themeselves.
This idea of focusing on what is within our control has become a fundamental principle in coaching, particylary in the realm of personal and professional development.
◑ Epicureanism, was founded in Greece in the 4th century BCE and took a different approach to happiness and well-being. Epicureans believed that the ultimate goal of life was to achieve pleasure and happiness, and they taught that this could be accomplished through the avoidance of pain and the pursuit of simple pleasures. This philosophy highlights the value of pursuing our own pleasure and happiness, rather than external factors such as wealth or status.
In coaching, this translates to helping individuals identify their goals, and align their actions with those priorities.
◩ Cynism is a philosophical school of thought that emerged in ancient Greece during the Hellenistic period. Cynics believed in living a simple, self-sufficient, and natural life, free from the constraints of social conventions and expectations. Were known for their blunt and confrontational style, and their willingness to criticize and challenge those in positions of power and authority. They believed in living a life of honesty and integrity.
Rejecting worries about the past and future is also relevant to contemporary coaching practices that emphasize mindfulness and the importance of being present in the moment.