Before all the bookings, before all the planning and the emails and scheduling, Prashanti and I had a few hard questions to answer. A trip of this magnitude is no small undertaking. Thirteen cities over two and a half months in a country we weren’t familiar with. We had to know exactly what we were getting into, and more importantly, we had to know exactly what we wanted from it.
Figuring out what we were getting into was the easy part. Almost everyone we contacted was extremely nice and so helpful, that figuring out accommodation and logistics was a lot easier than we expected. It took some time, but all things considered, we were pretty happy with how things turned out.
Answering what we wanted was a lot harder. It made us aware of the enormity of the undertaking at hand, and helped bring home the commitment that the task would demand. We knew that figuring this out would give us the conviction that we needed to stand by this decision.
The answer was simple. Kind of.
In the words of renowned strength coach Dan John, “A system.. is a set of parts.. that come together.. to form a whole.” Almost everything that we take for granted, every formal learning process, every organisation, every unit, every family is a system. To coach people, you need a system. And honestly, this is one of the most exciting things about being a teacher. Figuring out your own method. Through learning, researching and experience, you develop your own personal system that is an effective way for you to teach.
I believe that a good system has to be built on strong principles and values. In absence of principles and values, goals and methods mean nothing. They achieve nothing real.
For Prashanti and me, these core values were our starting point. I don’t think either of us are crystal clear about them as yet, but they stem from the same place. Honesty. Personal relationships. Hard work. But we hadn’t the slightest clue how to build around it. And this is what we needed to learn. To see. To feel. We needed to experience other successful systems that were making a change in people’s lives and doing more than just getting people fit. Systems that were truly making a difference.
So hopefully, that’s what we find.