A New Model for Peak Performance Life Coaches – Critical Thinking
Guiding people to be more effective, efficient, precise, productive, and self-ware
Q. What is the essence of your peak performance and life coaching philosophy?
A. My philosophy addresses a wide range of subjects related to the application of creativity*, innovation* intuition*, critical thinking*, and synergy* how to solve problems, and how to make efficient, effective, precise, productive, and self-aware decisions. The majority of the problems and decisions concerned with in this practical philosophy are related to personal growth, human potential, and how we may experience happiness in an increasingly complex, and often chaotic world.
One thing that all humans seem to share is the desire for greater happiness (or the ability to avoid discomfort), the need to transcend obstacles and solve problems. These goals, they usually achieve through a combination of creative, intuitive, and critical thinking.
As was mentioned earlier, through this practical philosophy you will have access to the tools, tips, techniques, and strategies you will need to be more efficient, effective, precise, productive, and self-aware in the realization and application of your creative, intuitive, and critical thinking capabilities. With these skills, you will experience greater love, kindness, compassion, empathy, wisdom, and happiness.
This philosophy cover a broad spectrum of topics in the areas of creativity, psychology, human potential, spirituality, social consciousness, community, Eastern philosophy, health and wellness, game-based thinking, personal development and self-improvement, the exploration and experience of beauty, social consciousness, prosperity, and abundance. Here, there is much attention given to showing people the path to a meaningful life. A meaningful life is a construct having to do with purpose, significance, fulfillment, and satisfaction. In practical terms, meaning can be defined in two of ways;
- as the connection linking two presumably independent entities together;
- as a way of linking the biological reality of life to a symbolic interpretation or meaning.
Those possessing a sense of meaning are generally found to be happier, to have lower levels of negative emotions, and to have a lower risk of mental illness. While specific theories vary, there are two common aspects assigned to the meaningful life:
- a global schema to understand one’s life;
- the belief that life itself is meaningful.
Much of Our Work concerning meaning is influenced by the writings of Victor Frankl and Logotherapy. Created by Frankl, an influential psychiatrist who survived his detainment in a Nazi concentration camp. Logotherapy emphasizes finding values and purpose in an individual’s life and building relationships with others to reach fulfillment and attain meaningfulness. For Frankl, “Value” can be further subcategorized into three main areas:
- creative: values reached through acts of creating or producing something.
- experiential: Values actualized when a person experiences something through sight, touch, smell, or hearing.
- attitudinal: These are reserved for individuals who cannot, for one reason or another, have new experiences or create new things. Thus they find meaning through adopting a new attitude that allows “suffering from dignity.”
For all of these classes of values, it is because of one’s sense of responsibility that one pursues these values and consequently experiences a meaningful life. It is through the realization that one is the sole being responsible for rendering life meaningful that values are actualized and life becomes meaningful.
For certain students, especially those engaged in our Transmodern Shaman Academy*, Victor Frankl’s Model may not be satisfying. Many of these students will build on Logotherapy with ideas drawn from Terror management theory and Hope theory.
Terror management theory studies meaningfulness and its relationship to culture. A human’s consciousness makes them aware of their own mortality.
In order to deal with their inevitable death, humans attempt to leave their mark in some symbolic act of immortality within the structured society. The structure created through society and culture provides humans with a sense of order. Through the structured society, we are able to create symbolic immortality which can take various forms, e.g., monuments, theatrical productions, children, etc. Culture’s order reduces death anxiety as it allows the individual to live up to the societal standards and in living up to such ideals; one is given self-esteem which counterbalances the mortal anxiety. Of course for the ordinary thinker, this process can present one with a serious challenge, that structured society is often spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically dysfunctional, and even toxic. A buffer* for this obstacle is to have hope.
Hope theory operationalizes meaningfulness as having more to do with self-control that leads to higher self-esteem, rather than trying to adjust to the structures of society. As one learns, through conservation and balance*, to live by societal standards, one exercises self-control, and it is through this self-control that higher self-esteem is achieved. Meaning is found when one realizes that one is capable and able to effectively achieve their goals through successful management.
In Our Work, we often inject the Taoist concept called Wu-Wei* – the action that has no action, into hope theory. Here, there is a balance between control, and surrender. By control, we mean a way of thinking whereby people strive to comprehend the contingencies in their lives so as to attain desired outcomes and avoid undesirable ones”. From this feeling of control, meaningfulness is achieved when one feels able to effectively live his/her life and achieve goals.
By surrender, we mean having an understanding of what can and cannot be controlled and adjusting one’s thoughts, words, and deeds to uncontrollable obstacles*. Surrender should never be confused with resignation – giving up when presented with an obstacle that can be transcended or controlled.
Throughout Our Work (Harrison’s Applied Game Theory) , we use story-telling as a tool for personal development. We have found that as people, under the guidance of a skilled storyteller, construct life stories they soon come to understand life events and impose meaning on them. Through this process, they are able to connect, via explanation, the individual to the event. Meaningfulness is a subjective evaluation of how well these stories connect to the person. Furthermore, meaningfulness is actualized through; positive functioning, satisfaction with life, the enjoyment of work, happiness, positive affect, and hope.
Meaningfulness can also be translated into physical health and generalized well-being. At its highest level, meaningfulness is divided into seven needs:
- sense of purpose,
- precision with intention,
- a sense of positive self-worth,
- community (social inclusion),
Speaking about the last need, being part of a community of common interests (social inclusion) is essential for meaningfulness for several reasons. Most importantly, the lack of it (social exclusion) results in a perceived loss of meaningfulness in life. Furthermore, the four needs for meaning (sense of purpose, efficacy, value, and sense of positive self-worth) were found to be mediators in the perception of meaningfulness of life. When an individual thinks themselves to be socially excluded, their sense of purpose, productivity, value, and self-worth are all indirectly diminished.
Ultimately, a happy life and a meaningful life are strongly connected. Still, as we will explore throughout my Teachings, happiness, and a meaningful life are not the same. Happiness, for the ordinary person* may be distinguished as relating more to biological needs and desires, such as the absence of pain or unpleasant experiences, while meaning is more cultural and abstract, relating to overall life satisfaction. This distinction will become quite important as a person develops in their Wisdom Practice.
While there are benefits to making meaning out of life, there is still not one definitive way in which one can establish such a meaning. Those who were successful in creating a meaningful life enjoyed benefits such as higher levels of positive affect, life satisfaction, etc. When faced with obstacles, problems, or any stressful life situation, finding meaning is shown to help adjustment. Meaningfulness in life is intrinsically related to our goal to expand the good life for the normal non-disordered person. It is with a meaningful life that one is able to find connections to people, places, things, and leave a mark on society; it renders a good life a meaningful one.
Of course all of this is not about coming to conclusions but rather, asking the important questions.
In our coaching school and program it is thinking in terms of collaboration and synergy that is of greatest importance to the creative process for it opens the mind to new ways of thinking. Learn more about coaching with Lewis Harrison at http://realuguru.com/mentoring/wealth-success-mentoring/
You can also learn about tools for success, peak performance and increased self-awareness in my book “Harrison’s Applied Game Theory: How to Solve Any Problem Effortlessly”.
For a more in depth exploration of these ideas and to financially support my not-for profit work through “Ask Lewis” at the International Association of Healing Professionals just click on the donate button at the top of the page.
Lewis Harrison is an independent scholar on personal growth and human potential. He Coaches private clients in peak performance, transformation, and success coach.
He also teaches workshops and seminars on Eastern Wisdom, Zen and Taoist Thought, Applied Game Theory, and Personal Growth and is the senior guide at Lewis Harrison’s Transmodern Shaman Academy
To learn about how to sponsor a seminar or work with Lewis email him at LewisCoaches@gmail.com
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