Coaching the Confused Generation

Jun 21, 2018

The millennial generation and ones that follow are gifted. They are idealistic, passionate and unbelieving in limitations imposed by society on them. These generations can truly change the world we live in.

My experience is that the more gifted and successful they are, more likely they are of becoming discontent with what they achieve and themselves. Success and material benefits do not bring them the happiness they thought they would. Unlike previous generations they don’t accept this state of affairs. They rebel. They stop doing what they do when their spirits are no longer energized.

The trouble is that while they know what does not bring them happiness, they do not fully know what would bring them happiness. They are confused. Choices do not make options.

It is not only the millennials who are confused. Most of us are.

My personal discovery with several thousand clients was that we choose to imprison ourselves in a time space boundary that is defined by borrowed values.

How can the coach help confused generation clients in breaking out of this prison to realize their purpose to fulfill?

A mindless way of coaching that truly reflects the Eastern philosophical approach of Zen, Yoga and Tantra, in marked contrast to what is promoted as mindfulness.

The video below is of a talk Ram gave in June 2018 at WBECS. Please scroll down for Q&A as well as slides. You can download session notes here.

Key Learning Takeaways

1. Why the discontent and confusion with success?

2. What can the coach do to help journey to purpose?

3. What is this mindless approach?

Video of “Coaching the Confused Generation”

Slides from “Coaching the Confused Generation”


Q&A from “Coaching the Confused Generation”

Question: What is the cause of this shift to discontent?

Answer: Ram finds most people these days are seeking wealth and power at age 20 – 30. Gail Sheehy is talking about people who haven’t made it, and hit midlife crisis stage and at that point in time their only option is to either be frustrated or accept where they are. For Ram, there are people like him and many others who achieved the success they set out for, but it wasn’t enough. Then at some point for people there is a shift – for Ram, life didn’t have a meaning anymore. Wealth and power are intransient. To get over this – this feeling of meaningless and discontent that you have in spite of achieving your goals, is more difficult than accepting you haven’t been a success and going through the standard mid life crisis. This is what lead him to the monastic path, he studied books, he taught as a spiritual healer, but then found the guru he was following wasn’t quite what he wanted so everything broke again. He went back searching again. With coaching, he found purpose and then passion, he found it was a passion he hadn’t recognised before.

Question: What is the difference between purpose and passion?

Answer: Ram asks people to find the pattern between things that bring people happiness through life. People are happy when they achieve something difficult maybe, or helping people, or being in a good relationship. Find the thread, the pattern of what makes you happy and fulfilled, and it will be a hint to the purpose that you might like to have in life. There are powerful processes you can follow to figure this out. In a sense, purpose and passion are mirror images. Look at what has made you joyful and happy in life so far – the purpose of our life is to be joyful, to be happy, to be fulfilled. That’s why we came into the world. This is what the Dalai Lama says – even to look at him makes you happy!

Question: What is the best strategy to find purpose with people who are high powered with a quick ROI

Answer: If this is your purpose you will be in the confusion duration for a long time. Money and power is never the higher purpose (I know from experience). Far greater than that is Maslow’s hierarchy – into self actualisation – it’s about helping others in addition to yourself. What can you do to help others. If you can get into that space you might find your higher purpose there.

Question: How does environment play a role in all these things we are discussing – passion and purpose?

Answer: I notice today people, the millennials are far more idealistic, they have far more ideals and are dedicated to doing good things for the environment etc. I find in America far more interest in this subject than in India which is meant to be more spiritual. It is possible that tradition can bind people in India, but this is not a collective method – every person’s DNA has their purpose individually, so you need to work case by case with individuals.

Question: Does life purpose need to be achieved through labour or can this be a separated aspects of a person’s life? Answer: Not certain what the question means. In Eastern philosophy there is a concept that we are born with a clear purpose. There are processes we can use to uncover what this purpose is even if it is not clear to us. There are ways and means to extricate this purpose out of the garbage in our minds.

Question: I have personally taken the journey of knowing my purpose in life. People often ask is it possible to have a personal and a professional purpose?

Answer: I don’t think so. Not the way I define purpose here. If you start having a purpose in both separately you become schizophrenic. What has happened to a large part of our society is we cut ourselves in two halves and never the twain shall meet. It’s not about balance, it’s about integration. Integration can only happen if you have one purpose. Very often if this one purpose, correctly understood, can make you very successful both in your life and in your work and that’s what I’ve found and I’ve found it with many many other people I have worked for.

Ram Ramanathan, MCC
Ram Ramanathan, MCC


Ram is the Founder and a Principal at Coacharya. As the resident Master and mentor coach, Ram oversees and conducts all aspects of coaching and training services offered under the Coacharya banner.

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