The correlation between success and authenticity.

“It dawned on me that we can really class individuals by a level of authenticity, and that perhaps success and fulfillment correlates with where individuals fall on this spectrum of truth:

Two types of people

Read the full post here.

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Where do you find love?

Post by Vancouver Life Coach, Terry Sidhu.

Love

I recently came back from a trip that made me realise the unspoken struggles we face alone, beneath the surface of the identities we present. Having reconnected with loved ones after many years and establishing brand new connections, I came back from this trip more aware of the emotional experiences we’re all striving for in life. Experiences that many of us will fail to achieve, if we continue to overrule what we’re truly feeling with rationalisation. The experiences I’m talking about, have to do with Love.

Love is an emotion that has baffled great minds for millennia, and I’m learning that the only way to understand what love is and the purpose it serves, is to first accept and embrace it. To realize that it exists and that it sits at the very core of all human emotion.

Sometimes I feel my work simply involves reconnecting individuals with love. Albeit helping individuals accept and embrace who they are and develop a love of themselves, through to helping individuals uncover a path that feels genuine and purposeful. Then there’s the relationship aspect of my work, where I help people reconnect with the feeling of love, rather than merely presenting the idea of it.

Although I began my career with a subjective understanding of love, my work has helped me develop objectivity on the matter. I’m understanding that love is an authentic connection to an honest energy, where one feels completely accepted by and accepting of said energy. Love is the most liberating of all emotions, which is why I feel we should navigate our lives by it. Learning about the impact of love and how it can influence even the most stubborn of minds, I finally feel I can write from the heart and of the heart, about this alluring topic.

I feel human consciousness or the gateway to human consciousness, has a lot to do with the awakening of our emotions. I think to when a baby is born, the very first thing a child experiences in life is raw and uninterrupted emotion. I feel my understanding of emotion is that they’re our awareness of existence. I feel our emotions are the true senses of our consciousness, and it’s trusting and relying on these senses that will guide us to the best conscious experience possible. Perhaps then our traditional, physical senses, are the gatekeepers that help us manage and construct our conscious experience.

I imagine human consciousness as a vast garden where seeds of emotion are planted. I think these seeds sprout at birth and from then on, the way we live our lives shape the way this garden grows. For example, a lot of negative life experiences will probably result in an unappealing garden full of negative emotions. Weeds that overshadow or restrict the potential of an appealing garden from blossoming; a garden full of flowers of positive emotion. If we can imagine our emotions in this way, like plants that need to be nurtured, then we can appreciate the value in nurturing positive emotion. Understand the effort it takes to maintain positivity and how easy it is to neglect and let negativity take rule over time. Therefore, to nurture and grow positive emotion, we must make the effort in our everyday lives for positive life experiences.

I use this analogy in order to help my clients understand the work it may take to revive their identities, and manage their lives into the fulfilment they seek. It’s a matter of managing and maintaining our “gardens” so to speak. It also helps us understand that all our emotions exist and are present within us, and just like the plants that grow in our gardens, we need to nurture the right ones. We must work to grow a garden worth presenting; to live a life worth living, and where relationships are concerned, we must develop a garden worth visiting; a life we’re confident sharing.

I’ve always noticed, or rather envied how children seem to have an innate ability to embrace love so easily. It makes me think that love is the emotion that grows in the centre of our conscious gardens. A tree that branches into emotions like passion, hope, enjoyment, confidence, excitement, happiness, liberation and so on. I think naturally we’re supposed to, and are allowed to, live our lives this way and I suppose that’s why it’s said that happiness is a choice.

I think our negative experiences in life and the mass, repetitive messages we’re surrounded by impact our emotions so much so, that we lose sight of our positive emotions. Our positive emotions become defined for us and reinforced by messages that tell us how we have to look and behave. Our gatekeepers, our traditional senses, are so overwhelmed by these messages that we’re convinced that love and happiness is something we must strive to earn, even though they already exist within.

As an example, think about the last time you’ve really wanted to settle a curiosity, or wanted to be spontaneous in life and just live, but you’ve stopped yourself because of a fear of what others may think?

If we continue to limit these potentially positive experiences in life, we nurture and grow negative emotions like insecurity, isolation, hopelessness, sadness, fear and so on, until they take over that tree and transform it into hate. If we can realise that we are in control of our lives, that we are the caretakers of our own gardens, we can actively take charge of how we feel. We can consciously choose to grow love.

Emotions have always been key to our survival and well-being and as the world has evolved, I fear we’ve learned to rationalize or turn a blind eye to what we’re truly feeling. Think about it, how many times have you had to convince yourself that “everything’s fine”, because from the outlook you should have nothing to worry about? You may have built a life that looks good, but how many of you reading this can honestly say you’re living a life that feels good?

It’s really simple actually, because we can easily distinguish what feels good from what feels bad and more importantly, we can distinguish what leaves us feeling good and what leaves us feeling bad. We just need to start listening to our emotions in order to guide our lives in a positive direction. We must learn to neglect and move away from all things bad, and educate and strengthen our gatekeepers to focus on all things good.

My apologies if this post sounds more spiritual than usual, but the happiest people I’ve come across lead their lives with love. I see that they’re surrounded by an abundance of love because they’ve let this emotion take reign over their lives. They love what they do, they love who they are, they love others easily and most importantly, they’re easily loved. How many of us can say we feel this way everyday?

Today we can to stop contributing our own misery, by facing the truth that is rooted in our emotions.

Vancouver Life Coach

How to Measure Happiness

post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

happy

Happiness isn’t exactly the easiest emotion to grasp; I used to believe that people were either happy or not, I used to think that happiness was as clear as night and day. However, I’m learning that happiness is a development just like every other emotion that we experience, we have to contribute to our own happiness and it lies within the choices we make.

I’ve found those that contribute more to their own well-being and work on developing a purpose, tend to be happier than those who work to accumulate things to define their value. When we start to free ourselves from conformity, we begin working with our own emotions rather than against them and as a result, we live life more truthfully and with less compromises.

When I gave up trying to conform and began following my own desires, I also realised that it was easier to communicate and understand others. I also began connecting with like-minded people who actually appreciated my identity and my own pursuits, and vice-versa. I had inadvertently created a positive environment for myself that stimulated the courage and confidence to pursue a life worth living.

When I think about the happiest moments in my life, I’m reminded of liberation and feelings of complete detachment, I feel like I can take on the world and there’s not much that can keep me from blissfully embracing the present moment. Contemplating these memories and feeling untethered to my everyday responsibilities, I began exploring ways to measure happiness in a world where responsibilities command our lives, impact our emotions and often cause us to overlook our own well-being.

Psychology and Spirituality teach us the importance of maintaining balance… Even the cosmos need to maintain a certain balance to ensure we continue to exist on this planet. Most of the problems we face in our lives can be a rooted back to some sort of imbalance: when we’re overworked, overindulged, lacking empathy, emotionally numb/sensitive, over thinking and even struggling to sleep, these problems and many others stem from an imbalance within our own psyches.

Measuring happiness is to assess our lives in terms of imbalance, to assess how much of our lives are being spent satisfying our responsibilities (super-ego) versus, how much of our lives are spent indulging our inner desires (id). Too much of one or the other will lead to and fuel misery, therefore sustaining happiness is to ensure both parts of our psyches are equally valued (ego), if not, then we must work to restore balance in order to feel happy.

Delving into this Freudian theory has made me realize why so many of us struggle with the lives we’re living, and why many often feel overworked and underappreciated. In a society where we schedule our lives around work and responsibilities, I started measuring happiness by asking my clients the following question?

“If you could make a decision for yourself, consequence free, what decision would you make?”

If answered honestly, I found this question allows us to gain insight into our own imbalances. It allows us to essentially measure and restore happiness by understanding how much of our inner desires are being fulfilled, or rather how much we restrict this significant part of who we are. It also helps us understand the difference between setting goals and mindful goal setting. If our inner desires aren’t expressed nor fulfilled, the less happier we’re likely to be.

For example, if you have a deep desire to travel someday, but your current responsibilities restrict this desire, then you’ll probably find that you’re not that happy with your current life, because your life lacks direction and purpose and a significant part of who you are is being suppressed. However, if you allow this desire to filter into your life, you’ll begin to navigate your life to fulfill this desire. Your responsibilities will have purpose as you’ll set your goals accordingly. Furthermore, you’ll also find that you’ll gravitate towards connections that echo these desires, from obtaining the appropriate skills to meeting like-minded people. You’ll ultimately live a lot happier knowing that your life isn’t being lived in vain, and that you’re staying true to your identity and what you want from life.

Just imagine living life with a little angel (super-ego) and devil (id) on your shoulders, if you predominantly listen to the angel you’ll run the risk of losing sight-of-self. If you let the little devil have rule over your life, then you run the risk of losing touch with the life you’re trying to build.

Measuring happiness is understanding which one of these characters you’ve allowed to govern the majority of your decision-making. Let them both share equal amounts of control and you’ll live a much more balanced life, and a much happier one.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Why Personal Advice from Friends and Family Is Often Biased

post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

Advice

As a Relationship and Life Coach, guiding others is a job I find incredibly fulfilling and I’m always eager to support my clients. I coach passionately and as a result, what I do has sewn itself into my identity and has become a part of who I am. As this becomes more evident, I’ve noticed more people within my personal network are coming to me for advice, albeit their intention or not.

It’s difficult for me to ‘switch off’ from what I call “Coaching Mode”. I’m often like a child who has discovered something new about themselves and I’m eager to share it with everyone I run into. Therefore it can get difficult leaving “The Coach” behind, when connecting/reconnecting with people within my personal network.

Think about the number of times friends and family have come to you seeking your advice or opinion. Now, for instance, think about the number of times you’ve had to lie or bend the truth in order to protect their feelings.

Before stumbling onto this path, I never had an issue with saying and doing the appropriate thing in order to protect the people I care for from getting hurt. However, what I’ve learnt about myself and other people through my work and professional experiences, the appropriate thing to say and do, isn’t necessarily the right thing to say and do. It’s a fine line that I’ve become weary of in recent years, as I continue to connect with people in my personal network both past and present.

As a coach, I’m hired to give my honest and professional opinion. I’ve been hired for a specific reason and to achieve results, complete, and sometimes brutal honesty is required at all times. As a neutral party, my only concern is the well-being of my client and his/her actual responsibilities. However, in my personal network, whereby I’m emotionally tethered, maintaining neutrality is very difficult. In some circumstances where I’m asked for advice, support, guidance or even just an opinion, I find myself facing the following dilemmas:

Do I, a. Compromise my work and what I know and do well, just to keep those nearby happy and content? Or, b. Advise with complete integrity and run the risk of stirring up conflict within my personal network?

I’ve learnt that the answer to either question often depends on how I’m regarded among those close to me. For instance, to my parents, as their youngest child, I’m still very much the “baby” in their eyes. Fortunately my clients don’t see me that way, otherwise I’d make a terrible coach, however this entire adjustment has made me aware of two prominent biases that arise when advising friends and family. Biases we should all be aware of when seeking or giving advice.

Bias #1: Personal Gain.

Most of us probably won’t admit it, but we run the risk of advising friends and family based on personal gain. Or, to avoid the perception of personal gain and potential blame and conflict, we also run the risk of sharing biased advice.

It’s often difficult to offer an unbiased perspective when we’re personally involved. For example, think about the people in your life today and how convenient it would be for you, if they changed certain aspects of their lives? Changes although convenient for you, could result it disastrous consequences for them.

Personal gain is something to be very aware of with advice you offer or receive, as there are a number of ‘sub-biases’ that can lead to erroneous advice. Biases such as: personal insecurity, strength of relationship, trust and access to multiple connections within the same personal network, are to name a few.

Bias #2: Nondisclosure.

Full disclosure is important when seeking or offering advice. It’s important for the advisor to develop a complete awareness of the problem or dilemma and it’s the responsibility of those being advised, to make the advisor fully aware. Therefore, complete honesty and openness is required in order to understand and to be fully understood.

If you feel restricted or reluctant in any way, then already you’re adding layers of bias to advice. For example, think about asking your parents about relationship advice, but leaving out all the intimate details of your desires, because it feels too inappropriate or awkward to discuss. Again many of the ‘sub-biases’ that arise with personal gain are also relevant here too, especially when sharing advice among an established peer group.

In conclusion, to avoid, or at least limit bias when exchanging advice with friends and family, both parties must learn how to emotionally detach in order to establish mutual understanding. However, keep in mind that you also run the risk of jeopardising the personal connection too, because once something is shared, it cannot be taken back, and you have to rely on and preserve trust in order to maintain the relationship.

Therefore in summary, establish authentic trust before seeking or giving advice and be aware of these prominent biases.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

The Importance of Maintaining Intention

Tofino

I’d recently took a trip away to Tofino, British Columbia, to complete some work and escape the distractions of everyday life. When I arrived I was ready to churn out pure productivity, I could already feel my ego withering away as my inner-desires activated, engaged by thoughts of freedom, fun and accomplishment.

It was late, dark and very quiet. I immediately felt a slight anxiety as I entered this small town as lone outsider/tourist. I pulled up and greeted my AirBnB host with very quick hello and was given a 2 minute tour of the property…not even 10 minutes had passed by and beers were already being poured. I could already tell that this town had adopted a ‘live-in-the-moment’ mentality and any thoughts of anxiety were soon forgotten.

My host was an energetic character originally from Alberta, Canada. He’d given up his lucrative career, working on an oil rig, to pursue his passions. He became an artist and had moved to Tofino to seek liberation and to freely create. I had told him about my initial anxiety and how quickly it was dispelled, I mentioned my work and my writing and my reason for visiting. He talked about how many of the people living in Tofino weren’t really from there, many of the people he had met and many of the people I had interacted with, seemed to have similar reasons for being there.

My first day though was pretty amazing, normally when I wake up my first thoughts are to check my Blackberry for any new emails from potential clients and to check my blog-stats. The internet connectivity was awful so right way I was forced into mindfulness. I got up early, caught the sun rise, meditated, went for a run and had my first Vegan breakfast (it was delicious) all before 7am.

After I had showered and changed, I took my laptop down to a waterfront restaurant and within minutes I was tranced into a flow state. Usually I would check all sorts of social media platforms and spend the first hour catching up with the rest of the world. This time was very different.

Later that day, I explored the neighbourhood and struck up conversations with random people. It became apparent that many people who come along to Tofino, although initially motivated by escape, were really there to just be themselves. To engage the capabilities of their identities in order to discover bliss. Nobody seemed too focused on status, money, popularity or anything else that bound people to lives that lacked fulfillment.

Nobody really cared about anything else other than making the most of every moment and that didn’t really mean partying and having fun in the traditional sense. It meant making the most of one’s passions, perfecting skills and becoming the best individual one can be. Investing every spare moment engaging an inner spirit and tapping into a self-confidence that came with true independence. Many people had visited from bigger towns and cities, only to remain there after experiencing some sort of detachment. Towards the end of my trip, even I was contemplating the thought of calling it home.

I couldn’t help feeling empathy for those that sought freedom and liberation there. Many people seemed to have detached from their old lives, only to attach themselves to Tofino. I wondered how many will learn to carry this experience with them as they re-enter the lives they’d left behind.

My mum had incidentally given me a book called “why —– mind matters.” It explored Buddhist philosophies concerning the mind. It was an easy book and within the first ten minutes I came across this quote:

“Man is essentially the manifestation of his thought forces.”

I thought I went to Tofino to work, to finish some writing as I embark on yet another goal. I thought I had to be there to bring back the inspiration and motivation I sought, to complete my book. Truth is, Tofino just allowed me to calm my mind and had given me time to think. It reminded me of the importance of focusing internally.

Prior to this trip, my mind seemed to be in several different places at once, I couldn’t focus on writing and output seemed to lack passion. I had all the same ideas, but at home I couldn’t bring them alive because I kept trying to focus with an external intention.

In other words, I was focusing on an outcome of a task rather than the purpose of carrying the task out. So when I would attempt to write at home, I was driven more by thoughts of getting my book published and the possibility of new opportunities and travelling more. When writing in Tofino, I reconnected with the internal intention; I wrote because I enjoyed it and because I’m passionate about what I want to share.

Now that I’m back on the ferry heading back home to familiarity, I’m returning with my intentions intact. I feel I understand what it means to put my mind to something now.

We can be anywhere in the world physically, but what truly matters as we embark on ambitious goals, is where we allow our minds to travel.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

An Undernourished Mind Leads To an Unnourished Life

Mindset

Our minds are the centre of our consciousness, after all the mind controls everything we do. Our thoughts and our emotions have the ability to control the outcome of anything we try to accomplish.

If you can master your mind, you can master life.

Look back at all your failures in life and at all the times you’ve perhaps given up. A weak mindset was probably the biggest contributing factor for the lack of accomplishment.

I’m surprised at how little emphasis is put on mindset in the world today. Especially as people set out on their own goals, overlooking the nurturing of this critical component that can pretty much guarantee success. Anything I do with my life and any opportunity I embark on, my first objective is placed on developing and ensuring I have the correct mindset.

Preparing my mind for the challenges ahead and to weigh up the struggles I’ll face. To understand what’s required from me to succeed and what traumas may arise.

An obvious example is in fitness. From first getting up and getting ready to exercise, through to lifting that weight and pushing past your limits. Motivation, persistence, confidence and fearlessness are just some mindset basics required if you want to build the body you desire. Mindset is one component that will guarantee you that body.

Connect the Dots

I’m intrigued by psychology. It was the first time I ever learned cause and effect in relation to behavior. It’s truly amazing how much we affect the outcome of most situations in life. Escalating arguments that lead to damaging relationships. Allowing tiny stresses to disrupt your day and affect the outcome of your work. Also how your past traumas cause problems in your present and future lives.

Ever wondered what the term soul actually refers to? I have a theory, I believe that the “soul” is not this divine spirit that leaves your body to ascend into the heavens when you die. Rather, the soul is that energy you emit dependant on your state of mind. I reckon it’s the thing that bonds your mind and body.

For instance when people are corrupt, society deems them to have “corrupt souls.” The term soul, tends to hang off objectives based on peoples’ actions.

It led me to understand the power your mind has over you and the reason why you should significantly invest in developing it.

By investment, I don’t mean spending thousands of dollars on a weekend mastery course. Nor attending some camp led by some divine guru. Developing your mind starts with the now, by becoming fully self-aware. Allow your mind to understand your actions objectively, and understand your actions by delving into your mind. Discover meaning and reasoning, appreciate your emotions by continually assessing them.

Whenever you feel judged, or get overcome with doubt, don’t be afraid to ask yourself why? It could save you from so much aggravation and failure. Process your feelings rather than living with them. Most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to discover the root of a problem which, if you’re honest enough, sits within your mind. Such as experiences from your past and/or your uncertainties about your future.

Read, learn, explore, be curious, ask questions and always, always engage in your passions. Your mind is hungry for stimulation, keep it active and balanced, and your life will thank you.

Not only will you be able to self-analyse, you’ll be able to control emotion and outcome.

You’ll only succeed as far as your will will take you. Increase your chances by nourishing the power behind that will; nurture your mind.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How to Deal With the Emotions You Ignore

Image

Recently my emotions ran amuck and every day, rather than take time out of my already overwhelmed schedule to express them, I stored them somewhere in my mind to process later on in order to power through and accomplish tasks. When we’re on this roller-coaster toward success we knowingly put our feelings to one side which, if left unresolved, come back later and negatively impact our state of mind.

You know how in cognitive psychology the mind is likened to a computer, well imagine you’re working hard on your computer and during your work you’re met with a pop up, like an error message or warning. It’s the computer alerting you to something, instead of paying attention we tend to have a habit of clicking the little ‘x’ at the corner of the window or passively clicking ‘OK’ or ‘Close’ to get rid of it. We then continue to repeat this process as this pop up returns until something goes horribly wrong and we’re forced to deal with it. That’s how it gets when we’re so focused on reaching goals. We sometimes ignore how we feel until we’re inundated with emotions which lead us to stress and frustration.

Shutdown: Let’s say I recently clicked the ‘x’ too many times and my computer shutdown. I had ignored so many emotions to get through my tasks that I became frustrated, angry and a little lost. I had no idea what to do next and I couldn’t confront anyone because I wasn’t sure of where to begin. I was going to start writing, but then the message in this post would have been very different to the one you read now because emotions affect output. So I took my car keys and went for a drive, driving keeps me focused on a task yet allows me to think. I know people who take naps to cool off, exercise is also a favorite of mine. Also note, whatever you try to do to clear your mind and pay attention to your inner self, you must proceed alone without any influence.

The “the cooling off period” is crucial to the healing process. Its helps you work through emotions and allow you to come up with sensible and sustaining solutions. I always thought music would help, but music is a motivator for me I know that driving allows me work through anything that I have to deal with. I took note of that, I can only begin to get motivated if I have cooled off. I haven’t met a person yet that can go from a very stressful emotional state to a motivated state that quickly, I find those who can, often just suppress what they feel causing further problems for themselves in the long run.

Reboot: When I went for my drive I switched the phone off to avoid dealing with any “enablers” or “triggers” people swaying me one way or another giving me guidance based on information I would pass onto them. Seeking advice on your own feelings is sometimes a bad idea as the advice given would just be biased, especially making it unfair to others affected by your own frustration. After about an hour on my own processing my thoughts, I had come up with solutions that would work best for me and others around me I was able to reboot and pick up my tasks from the point I had left them. I came home, and I was back up and running, furthermore I could start motivating myself again and get that natural oomph back into my life and my work.

Upgrade: The last stage was to set up a solution. Just like your computer getting a virus: you install software to fix it and periodically you update that software to ensure it adapts to new threats and changing formats. So if we’re not dealing with our emotions and end up overwhelmed and frustrated, then we must put something in place to ensure we do not continually repeat this pattern. For now, I go on more drives; it’s how I best deal with my crap. If I’m working on my next big project and I feel my emotional baggage is just getting a bit too heavy, I go on a drive and deal with it, I won’t push it aside and I avoid so much aggravation.

Develop a system that works for you, deal with the warning signs; you of all people know when you’re beginning to feel things that affect your mood, so pay attention, run those “upgrades” you recently installed to process the emotion. Check for updates, be on the lookout for new ways to better deal with your emotions (you won’t figure it out overnight) but whenever you feel overwhelmed, find that one thing that will help you cool off, but ensure you do not use the thing that motivates you as you’ll need that for when you’re ready to pick yourself back up.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach