Life Coaching Model – The Wheel Of Life [Useful Tool]

This metaphorical wheel that is often used as a tool in life coaching sessions represents the phases of change that our lives must endure. Although it can be difficult to imagine that one will experience loss and suffering, it is crucial to understand that change is the only constant in life. Life is merely a balance between creation and destruction; birth and death; health and sickness; good times and bad times. We are living in the circle of life.


In life coaching we learn that to understand the wheel we must look at what each figure represents. At the top is a king/queen/person of stature. At this point life is good, happiness is present and we have a steady sense of routine in our lives. Life in general makes you happy and you step with a light foot.
In western culture we try only to acknowledge the associations of happiness, but fail to see that happiness is but a fleeting moment and only one part of the cycle of life. It is not to say that good times must not be enjoyed. On the contrary, for when we can acknowledge and accept that our moments of happiness will some time be a thing of the past, we can truly embrace the good times Because it is just a fleeting moment.

The wheel turns in a clockwise fashion when a change occurs in our lives…


In the next position, the same person is now upside down with little clothing on. Change has occurred. Normality and routine have disappeared. It is now a very difficult time in life where the realisation of what has just happened starts playing out. At this moment in time we are gripped with negative feelings and emotions. We want to turn the wheel back to happiness.


Even the Buddha said, “Life Is Suffering”. Suffering is at the bottom of the wheel, with the man laying down. Suffering can be painful to endure, but the word comes from Latin and is described as “To Experience Or Allow”.
To be able to return to happiness, we must endure the experience of our loss so that we can work our way back to happiness. It cannot be escaped. We can run from it, but it will always be with us until we endure it.

There is a story that tells of a researcher who was watching a butterfly struggling to get out of its cocoon. Kindly, he thought he would assist the butterfly, so he made a small cut in the cocoon to aid the butterfly’s release. Upon further inspection he found that once out of the cocoon, one of the butterfly’s wing would not open and seemed to be weak. The unfortunate butterfly could not recover from its grave handicap and later died. The story tells us that with struggle and suffering, comes our strength to endure. This can be seen during the birth of a baby as well. Great struggle must occur for the baby to be released from its mom. When we look at nature we are able to witness natural events that cause suffering. Volcanoes, earth quakes, droughts, fires, floods and death. The world cannot exist without these events and the hidden values that they bring with them.


Nothing lasts forever. It works hand-in-hand with change. At this point on the wheel the man is upright and starting to return to the top. During the moments of suffering we find that life must continue. Bills must be paid and the house must get cleaned. It is at this point that we start to re-adjust our life and a get a small sense of normality again. This is the moment of hope. We have hit bottom with nowhere to go, but up. Our moment of suffering has become etched in our life story and now it is time to find our way out of the darkness. We are forever changed by our experience and will now work to create a new sense of normal and routine.

Life Is Life

With little sense or meaning, life can only be explained as Life Is Life. Life can knock you down and beat you up. It can be beautiful, fun and exciting! It is a mystery. It is the craziest roller coaster that can only be exited by death. It is a fantastic story where the words make no sense, but yet can be read beautifully. My mom says : “The Wheel Always Turns”. It is a statement that can take your breathe away when you understand how integral, vital and crucial the events of the Wheel Of Life are to all existence. Our lives can be seen as a sailor on the seas. Sometimes the weather is great and we are smooth sailing. Sometimes we hit storms and Must endure their pounding until we are able to sail through.

In Closing

As a life coach, I take my hat off to those who have lost dearly and who have lost very much. You are brave beyond words. May your wheel soon return to happiness. May you gain strength and resolve from your experience. May your life’s path be that much smoother. It was said in a great movie called The Peaceful Warrior, that in life, there are No Ordinary Moments. Every moment that you are alive is beyond ordinary. Every leaf, insect and snow flake is beyond ordinary. We must embrace all that this life has to offer us. We must love dearly and we must cry when our pain hurts too much. We must respect each other because who knows what the other person is going through. We must sing and we must dance. We must embrace the winds of change.
To all who read this, may you have a great life ahead of you filled with adventure and love…

Thanks for reading,
Donovan – Life Coach

Lessons for living – The wheel of life
Lessons for living – The wheel of life: Two
Lessons for living – Journeys on the wheel

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