362. Being There for Those He Loves Most
He had built the largest Christian psychotherapy practice in Tampa Bay, Florida, but when he arrived at home one day and found his wife and kids—“the five people he loved most”— snuggled together and sleeping in the living room, all he could feel was how much of their lives he was missing. He knew he had to make a change.
Chris McCluskey is frequently cited as the “father of Christian coaching.” A visionary thought leader, he transitioned out of ownership of the largest Christian psychotherapy practice in Tampa Bay in 1998 and founded what is now the largest distinctly Christian coach training school in the world, Professional Christian Coaching Institute. A popular keynote speaker, best-selling author, and top-rated podcast host, he lives with his family of nine on their ranch near St Louis, Missouri.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
In his late teens and into his 20s, Chris began to recognize an entrepreneurial side of himself, even though there were no strong influences in that direction from his parents. He also knew he wanted to be in the “people-helping business.” He gravitated toward psychotherapy after first being fascinated by sociology and a macro perspective of why people do what they do. “Psychotherapy looked like a way that I could work on the micro-level to help people get clearer about vision, purpose, mission.” As he opened his private practice, he saw that he actually could create and run a group psychotherapy practice as a business. In his late 20s he created the largest practice of its kind in Tampa Bay, Florida.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
Chris recalls coming home from his psychotherapy practice one day to find his wife, Rachel, who was pregnant again, and all four of their kids sleeping on and around Rachel. He thought, “The five people I care about the most in life are right here and I am missing a lot of it by being away at work.” I wasn’t there as much as I wanted to be. Being a father and a husband are the two most important roles in my life. Seeing my wife and kids that day was the catalyst moment for Rachel and me to step up the conversations we had been having about whether there might be a way I could do the work I love, but do it at home.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“One of my favorites scriptures from my faith background is from the Biblical wisdom literature, Proverbs 20:5: ‘The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters; one who has understanding draws them out.’ That has become one of the key mantra verses for the whole Christian coaching movement. We’re seeking to help our clients reach into the purposes of their own hearts and call those things forth. It’s not a step-by-step plan but a challenging and emboldening statement. It’s a way of saying don’t move until and unless you are ready to dare to reach into the deep waters within you.”
Steps to Success from Chris McCluskey
1.Find a coach, counselor or advisor who shares your values, and work together to clarify your vision and plans.
2. Include your partner and loved ones in your life planning.
3. Pray. Whether you believe prayer is just putting the word out to the Universe and that the Universe responds, or that you are specifically praying to a personal God, begin by ‘committing the desires of your heart’ through concerted prayer.
4. Be really sure about the passion, desire, and burning vision that you have for your life.
5. Count the costs as you venture forward, so you are prepared for setbacks, delays, apparent obstacles and sacrifices.
On His Bookshelf
Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want, by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy
Top Tools on His Browser
This is Your Life podcast, with Michael Hyatt
Connecting With Chris McCluskey
Facebook: Professional Christian Coaching Institute
LinkedIn: Christopher McCluskey, PCC
4-page self-inventory called “Align Your Life,” and a free report, “50 Hottest Niches in Coaching” at ProfessionalChristianCoachingToday.com
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