Saturday, July 13, 2019

Living Our Passion

My favourite courses in university were my psych courses.  Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated by human behaviour.  I have this deep hunger to understand what makes us tick, why we do the things we do?
Why are some people more successful, happy, ambitious...etc then others.  Why do we hate?
Why do we love?  Why is there random violence and why do we hurt ourselves and others?
To me, it seems that uncovering the mysteries of our own psyche is what will allow us to rid the planet of pain and suffering or at least to lessen its effect.  Ok, I know that we are complicated and that this might be an impossible task.  Who knows, maybe humanity will become extinct before we find answers to all the questions related to our darker side.  I don't care...I want to learn as much as I can about us while I am around.
I realized this subject was a passion of mine somewhere in my twenties.  And from that point on, I became addicted to books on philosophy, psychology, self-help, growth and development and spirituality.  From that addiction developed a conviction that each and everyone of us, has a potential that is often left untapped.  I think that more often then not we accept our status quo, not realizing that we could have a lot more joy, peace and love in our lives.
In my 30 year quest for knowledge and understanding of our human nature and capacity, I've discovered of few ideas that resonate with me.  I try to live my life in alignment with these, sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don't.  Here are two of them.

As long as I am living and breathing, there is room to learn, to grow and to move forward and to succeed I have to learn to do that without judging myself.

       I consider myself a life coach.  Not because I do life better then everybody else...far from it.  I have screwed up big time and my guess is that I will again.  But, I think I've learned to try to look at myself honestly and consider my weaknesses without judging myself.  That allows me to improve on what is not working so well.  As I write this, I think of the many shortcomings that I have yet to overcome, maybe out of fear, maybe because there are things I still need to learn.  But giving up is not an option.  When I uncover one layer, something else shows up and that's ok.
As a coach, I want to give my clients the non-judgmental space to do exactly that.  As a school leader, I learned that a problem can not be solved until it is clearly identified and defined.  Well, we cannot improve or overcome our own challenges and problems without being able to honestly look at ourselves.  When we judge ourselves we make it often impossible to do just that.

There is no innate meaning to life.
We are the creators of that meaning for ourselves.

     This I learned from Mr. Victor Frankl.  I think one of my mentors suggested his book "Man's Search for Meaning" and I read it quite of few times, once for an assignment when I was completing my Masters.  When we give ourselves the sole responsibility of creating meaning in our experiences it gives us immeasurable power.  If Mr. Frankl could do this in the concentration camps of Auschwitz, I think I can do it in my own life.  I believe that when we look for meaning in all our experiences good or bad, we give ourselves the opportunity to learn and grow through that experience.  If I see the end of a relationship as an opportunity to learn about myself or to learn how to be more independent,  I will still feel the pain but I will not feel victimized by the experience.  The meaning is highly individual and can differ from one person to another.  It will depend on where the person is on his or her journey.  This is another role I play as a coach.  I help clients create meaning in any and all experiences.  This creates a growth mindset rather then a fixed mindset.  For anyone interested in learning more about growth mindset, I highly recommend Carol Dweck's book Mindset, The New Psychology of Success.

Basically, these blogs are about those lessons that I have learned in my 30+ year quest of attempting to understand myself and others a little bit better.  Hence, the title Damselfly Lessons Along the Way.
Ant the quest continues....

Create an awesome day!


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