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Month: January 2017

When did you realize what you want to become?

In one of my consultancy projects, I was approached by one of the youngest employees on the team and asked a simple question: when did you realize what you wanted to become?

SIMPLE QUESTION? Yet, I was not able to give a quick response, rather it took me a while to digest the question and realized that I had never thought about that question, thus the answer was not readily available to me. And so I said, give me a second coz I never really thought about that… finally I said, “I really didn’t/don’t know what I wanted to become, however, at certain points in my life I discerned what I wanted to achieve and the next actions would lead me to what I was/am in order to achieve what I had set out to “conquer”.

As I think about it more, it was never one singular goal that lead me to where I am now, and yet these goals are somehow inter-connected that lead me to my “ikigai”. “Ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced [ikiɡai]) is a Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being”. Everyone, according to the Japanese, has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self.” So I searched and this is what I uncovered:

  • in my college days, I had one objective to finish my course within 4 years, get out of school and find a job, so that I am no longer a burden to my mom and hopefully be of some help to the family
  • when my 2 sons were born, my goal was to have a good job that would allow me to provide for their education and give them some of the better things/experiences in life
  • after my sons graduated from college and I was then a senior manager in a multi-national company, I asked myself, what now? Do I still need this high-paying and high-stress job? So, I decided to leave the corporate world and said to myself, if I will do something it should follow 2 criteria: I like what I will do and I like the people I will work with. And so, I got invited to and am now a part of a team of coaches, where my purpose is “to give back or pay it forward”, plus I am again involved with our family business with the primary intent of “giving back” for all of my mom’s love and sacrifices which helped us get to where we are now.

So, when did I know what I wanted to become? I am still unsure, but one thing I’ve learned is that the search for one’s purpose, ikigai, is a journey and my path is to be a blessing to others as I have been blessed by so many others in the past, by sharing what I have learned and what I have.

What Having a Life Coach Means

August 31, 2018 — It was the first time that I met Coach Lea. It was supposed to be an orientation of what a Life Coach is, what to expect, the terms, and other things to take note on the coaching arrangement. I was excited. I knew that I needed it. I sought for it. That day, I had my first session and I signed the agreement right away.

How did I end up seeking for a life coach?

I like reading books about personal development, watching motivational videos, listening to podcasts, and learning methods that could improve my life. That interest led me to the curiosity of having a life coach. Most of the time, successful people would say that having a mentor is important. I didn’t know the difference between a mentor and a coach by then. I was at a burnt-out time in my life back then and I just felt like I need someone more experienced that could give me advice.

Coaching is about asking thought-provoking questions as Coach Lea said. It’s not telling you what to do. I was the one expert in my life since I was the one living it.

I like to do a lot of things. I like to work on projects at the same time. I was stupid for thinking that it could be done all at the same time. I was wrong and I knew it. I was tired though nothing is getting finished. I also try to learn as much as I can especially in my field of work which is worth it. My time for running, hiking and going out, in general, was affected. I noticed that I no longer enjoy doing projects that I care. I was out of balance.

My Experience with Coach Lea of Haraya Coaching

I was mind blown by the first meeting. It was a getting-to-know phase. I told Coach Lea about my situation and she had me thinking why I do what I do. She shared me a story like this:

Construction Site

Okay, so there were these three men that worked at a construction site. Well, one day they sat down and opened their lunch.

The African guy opened up his lunch and got grits. He said that if he got rice again tomorrow that he was going to jump off the building.

The Mexican opened up his lunch and got a burrito. He said that if he gets a burrito again tomorrow that he was going to jump off the building also.

The blonde opened up his lunch and he got chicken. He said that if he got chicken tomorrow that he was going to jump off the building too.

Well, the next day the African guy opened up his lunch and he got grits again so he jumped. The Mexican opened up his and he got a burrito again so he jumped. The Blonde opened up his and he got chicken again so he jumped.

At their funeral, the African’s wife said: “If I would have known he didn’t want grits I would have packed something different”. The Mexican’s wife said, “If I would have known he didn’t want a burrito I would have packed him something different”.

The Blonde’s wife looked up and said: “Don’t look at me, he packs his own lunch.”

source: http://www.jokes4us.com/peoplejokes/constructionjokes.html

I got chills after hearing this. I was shocked later when I searched for this online and found out that it was tagged to be a joke.

The lesson for me in this was that if we are packing our own lunch (doing things in our control), why do we choose to do it even if it makes us feel negative. I was also asked the reason why I’m doing these things. I know my purpose for all these. I was told by Coach Lea that maybe I should revisit why I do what I do or change what I do.

I was always asked what makes me happy. Then I remember about hiking mountains and running. I lost being active. That is one of the things that I should give myself back.

I have learned a lot just by reading books but having a life coach is different. It was a different perspective crafted for my current situation. After 6 sessions, I was used to being asked how my life is going and evaluating myself as a person who wants to achieve his goals.

I was not given methods on how to make things better. I got that from books. What Coach Lea gave me is open different perspectives. Asking the right questions to make me think things through.

I want to be a coach too. I want to help people be better at what they do.

This is one of the experiences that would have a great impact on my life.

Written by John Eris Villanueva (https://blog.usejournal.com/what-having-a-life-coach-means-2467e59374e9)

My Top Ten Lessons from my Neuroscience Class

I love learning new things. As a rule of thumb, I try to learn something new every quarter. The topic itself is less important than the actual learning itself, although I consider myself to be a practical learner. When I learn something new, aside from the topic having to be interesting, I enjoy it more when I see how I can actually apply it to my life or my work.

One particular class that excited me was one I took on “The Neuroscience of Leadership” by Dr. Tara Swart and Deborah Ancona at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

While I may not remember all the scientific and technical terms used to explain the topics, I feel there are so many ways I can apply these concepts in both life and work. So here are my Top Ten Lessons from my Neuroscience class:

  1. There is a very strong connection between your brain and your body. We all know about how physical health is a direct result of the food you eat and your fitness or exercise routine, but my realization is that if the mind is not taken care of, so much of our physical wellness is directly affected too. When your mind is stressed or overworked or not given the rest and attention it needs, this will manifest very quickly in your physical health.
  2. To give our brain the love and care it deserves, we need to start by giving it the right amount of rest, which is 7 to 9 hours of sleep. With this amount of sleep, the brain has sufficient time to release any toxins built up and tap into its creative functions. That’s why a good night’s rest often results in us waking up with solutions to our problems, answers to our difficult questions, new ideas for our business, etc. In addition, about 15 minutes of meditation or mindfulness practice also helps to create space in the mind for bigger thinking.
  3. “I’m not creative” is not a true statement. We are all gifted with complete brains with all the capacities, which include creativity. It’s just a matter of tapping into the right functions of the brain and knowing how creativity manifests for you. It may not be in the arts, which many believe is the only manifestation of creativity. Others will be more creative at problem solving or finding new ways to do things.
  4. Emotions are always triggered first. It is the most basic function of our brain. So having feelings is a natural reaction to anything that one encounters. It’s having the awareness of these emotions and their triggers that will make us more effective at showing empathy or dealing with our fears.
  5. Listening to your gut is not as random as we think and probably should be given more attention. When we “feel something in our gut,” it is most likely a repressed emotion or memory that our brain is trying to re-surface.
  6. The brain will continue to grow and develop until 65. We’re not as hardwired as we may think. If we put in enough effort to learn and improve ourselves, our brains have the capacity to do so.
  7. Establishing routines and habits help the brain become more efficient and saves its energy for the more challenging stuff. Every decision you take in a day uses up brain capacity. So even when you take decisions like what to wear or which road to take, these add up to take some of our brain’s energy. So if you want to save it for a big decision or challenging problem, minimize the use of your brain power by lessening the trivial decisions you take daily.
  8. It’s easier to develop strengths than to correct weaknesses. It takes more neurons and brain power. So focus on what you’re good at and work on enhancing it further. Or instead of correcting a behavior, learn a new one instead.
  9. Laughter, especially with others, helps to develop the brain.
  10. Some of the best brain foods include: salmon, avocado, eggs, nuts and seeds, olives/olive oil or coconut oil, water.

So treat your brain well, so it takes care of your body, which will then nurture your brain even more.