Algorithms have taken a center stage in today’s digital era and each one of us can witness this in our lives in some or other form, be it car dashboard displaying the average mileage, your bedroom AC switching on and off at pre-set condition or display ad of your interest when you land on YouTube.
What are these algorithms? Simply put, they are a set of rules for solving any problem. A computer program to calculate the square root of a number or google map showing the distance between two locations or a driverless car, each one of this is developed by humans to solve some problem.
But is it something new? humans have been solving their problems since the stone age. More than 10,000 years back, hunters and gatherers designed barbed spears to catch fish and traps to catch eels and lobsters. In fact, animals and birds have been solving some of the complex problems, we may have not noticed them enough.
Imagine a pelican diving into the water at a certain speed with constant gaze and coming out of water within 2-3 seconds with prey in its mouth. What kind of complex mathematical formula is needed to calculate the distance between pelican and fish inside the water considering the relative velocity of pelican and fish both and the angle at which pelican is coming towards the water surface? Pelican uses an in-built algorithm to make this strike successful at the first go. We may choose to call it a survival instinct.
Coming back to humans, ever since our birth, we have been experiencing many situations around us. Either we have been told to react in certain ways or we have explored the options and leaned it ourselves. Regardless of the learning method, these situations and responses are getting saved as algorithms, continuously, layer by layer in our mind. When we encounter a similar situation, our mind works sub-consciously to trigger those default algorithms and we have pretty much similar reactions displayed. Next time observe it carefully if you have responded to your child, boss, colleague, and wife the same way despite the fact you wanted to do it differently.
What’s going on? You are operating from your subconscious mind. If you are self-aware and take a deep breath, have a long pause, and understand the consequences of your reactions, you might behave differently. That means you need to rewrite your own algorithm each time you expect a different response. It’s like a Java program (and for that any object-oriented computer language) where you need to override a function to expect a different result.
Rewriting your own algorithm is not simple. That requires self-awareness and ever-present consciousness. Self-awareness provides you visibility of your own blind-spots, prejudices, biases, etc. and your consciousness keeps reminding you of doing the right thing.
A coach helps to awaken your inner-self and ignites your unconscious and subconscious mind. Coach nudges you to think harder on the alternatives you may choose to respond to a similar situation each time based on what works for you at that moment. In a way, Coach becomes a medium or a catalyst for us to rewrite our own algorithm. A coach helps us to discover our true-self so that we can find the core purpose of our life and lead a happy and meaningful life.