*The following story and some of the details have been edited to mask the identity of the youth.

“I really want to get a tattoo on my arm. A dragon. I have been thinking of that for very long.”

“I want to get my life straight because I want to be independent and be an adult now.”

Such were the desires and thoughts of David who is only in his early 20s. He has been through a real rough patch where he was faced with different sentencing, trouble with the law, difficult family situations, dropped out of school and more. I met with David one evening to see if I could do anything to help and whether some life coaching could help him out.

When I finally got to meet David for the first time, I was greeted by a warm and friendly big guy. He was straightforward, wearing a simple tee and jeans and he had a long day after his work. As I sat down, I warmed up to him, ordered my food and started chatting and getting to know him more as a person.

Beneath that rough and tough outlook of David, one who has been on the streets and tried all sorts of things in his teens, he shared something that brought out a very different side of him. He shared about his family, about how he made it through his teenage years where he had to battle with real family issues. At one point, I could see tears welling up in his eyes. Imagine a big tough guy, with watery eyes, admitting that he really wants to get his life straight. Right now he feels like he has made many wrong decisions, thus is very hard but he is still grateful for different people in his life who still believed in him.

So as I continued to interview him, I began to map out his ecosystem, identifying the different systems and people in his life both past and present and future that have and will make an impact in his life. And as I drew out for him the ecosystem that he is living in right now, I highlighted the fact that he can make a choice to decide what he wants to do about his present and his future. But one thing he needs to decide is how much he wants to let the past decide and influence his present and future. So I pointed out to him some of his behaviors and thought patterns that still clouded his current perspectives.

“Bro, you need to make a decision in the way you talk, think and behave based on who you want to be.”

“Is your dragon tattoo really going to make a difference for your future and where you want to be? Are there more important things that you want to achieve right now than this tattoo?”


Yes, I challenged him about his tattoo because he shared that he has 3 important goals right now in his life that he is after.

  • He wants to be independent and live like an adult.
  • He wants to be a chef because he worked in a few restaurants and cafes before and he enjoys it.
  • He wants to be a pastor and help others like himself.

Now a coach, it doesn’t matter where he has come from but I’m really excited about where he wants to go and whether he has a clear picture and idea of where he is wanting to go. I’m more interested in helping him to ignite that passion and dream of his and be consumed by it all day long.

Towards the end of the session, I shared 1 bible verse with him.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

            I emphasized with him the “new creation” can only happen when he start focusing on building towards the new him. So we ended with some of the activities that he can do on a regular basis to start building the new him:

  • Jogging regularly
  • Practice Muay Thai training


And I offered him the option of working with me over a few months to get his plans and direction clear, with clear strategies and fine-tune the plans as we go along.

Maybe you are also somewhat like David. You feel that there is a lot going against you and you feel that you need to get things right in life but you aren’t sure how. Be assured that we don’t need to do life alone. We weren’t supposed to do it alone. None of us can do it alone. Today you can have someone in your corner!