When you make your goal to “not be where you are”, you tend to circle your orbit around where you are

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If you prefer reading, here is the transcribed interview

Ziv: Hey, I’m Ziv and this is on the journey. Every week on the Journey explores the intersection of wellness which require mental health, personal growth and purpose for living through the eyes of the people we interview this and today we’ll interview Adam Quiney.

Hey, Adam, welcome.

Adam: Hey Ziv, how’s it going, man?

Ziv: It’s good.

Adam: Ok, so I’m actually going to start by saying it is a little contrived because typically we would just jump into connecting with each other, but I’m kind of going to shift us. I’ll be a little more intentional so that we can dive right into something.

So if we were to if there was something in your life you wanted to move forward, wanted to create a shift around, something you’d like to, let’s say, supercharge, create some kind of momentum, what would it be? What would we be looking at today?

Ziv: I think when I think about my life, I think that the biggest challenge is the balance between personal growth, self-improvement and how I interact with the people that I care.

I feel that the time that I spend I find very difficult to find a balance between what I do to make me better or happier to live the life that I believe in and in the time that I need to spend to make the people that care about happier or to give them a piece of me instead of giving pieces of me to me.

Adam: OK, let me make sure I’m hearing you right, but it sounds like you struggle with the balance between your own growth and development and then sort of these weren’t necessarily the words you used to like your relationships. On some level, there’s something that feels missing there. Is that more or less we’re talking about?

Ziv: Yeah, it’s very accurate.

Adam: Ok, got it. So help me understand that. How does that what gets traded off, when you put attention into personal growth, what are you doing there that then makes your relationship seem to be less out of less in balance?

Ziv: I put a lot of time into me, a meditation, running reflection. It takes hours every day. In theory, that time could be put into cleaning the house, spending more time with the kids, doing more things that are family things, maybe two or three hours a day. I could put into four hours sometimes I could put into family, friends and relationships.

And they just don’t have even though I wake up at 4:00 AM every morning, I don’t have the time to, like, go out and drink beer because–

Adam: Too bad.

Ziv: Yeah exactly. If I would feel complete, it’s OK and everything would be good. But I feel that I miss an important part, so that’s it.

Adam: Well, that makes sense.

What time do you go to bed out of curiosity?

Ziv: I try to sleep at least seven hours, so I’m going at 9:00 p.m. max, usually I try to.

Adam: Yeah, I get up at five thirty and that’s early for a lot of people. And then four a.m.. Holy cow, you are really driven. And so I acknowledge you for that. That’s really quite something.

It sounds like personal growth for you is like the internal journey in a lot of ways, it’s meditation, its reflection. It’s sort of sitting with what’s showing up in your life and perhaps contemplating it and then running, which at least for me, is a form of meditation in its own right. You’re out in nature or whatever.

How would things look if you could create this balance that you’re after, like what would be noticed would be different tangibly in your life?

Ziv: I think on two levels, on the internal level, I would feel more whole in a way that I live, that this is how they should be. Now I feel that something is not right and it’s not there. And in the external, I think the people around me would be happier.

Adam: Interesting

Ziv: I would be able to contribute more to to my community, to my family, to my friends, have more time.

Adam: Got it. Well, that’s interesting because you said the result of more of this balance would be that people around you would be happier.

Ziv: Yes, and internally, we feel like now we feel that something is missing, that’s my life is not balanced, I can put my finger on where or what I can change, but I don’t feel that everything is balanced. I think that there is something.

Adam: What is that? What is the feeling? If it’s not feeling whole, feeling balanced, what is your daily experience of life like when you’re going through life, doing all the stuff, getting up at 4:00 in the morning? What’s kind of the experience you’re in moment by moment, for the most part?

Ziv: It’s like a contradiction in one way. On one hand, many times I feel very strong and good. On the other hand, I feel that I disappoint people around. That they need more of my time and maybe my priorities are not set correctly.

Adam: I can relate to a lot of that, certainly for me, a lot of my life has been either a fear of disappointing other people or an experience that I might or managing my life such that I don’t leave people disappointed. Or the flip side to that would be kind of figuring out how to be OK. Like almost like a form of empowered resignation, like fine, people going, be disappointed. I’m just going to not be upset about that.

And then I can do my work, which made me a good attorney but didn’t make life quite any richer, just meant I didn’t have to be with the lack of richness in my life enough to feel it. So I’m curious, what do you currently to try to deal with this disappointment that you don’t want to feel that sometimes is there? How do you manage that?

Ziv: Talk to you.

Adam: Right. Great.

Ziv: I’m not going to, because I wish I could use all the time to get into session and help me. But we started with a stimulation to get a taste of what to do.

I would love to hear from your starting question because, there could be questions, maybe pauses. I would love to hear what comes behind it. And how would it continue if you would continue this session? What’s the logic behind it?

Adam: Sure. And let me check, how much time are we scheduled for? I’ve got plenty of time. I want to make sure I’m speaking and using our time.

Ziv: We have around seven minutes more.

Adam: Wow. OK, that’s tight. Great. So the first thing I would say, just as a general philosophy for coaching as a modality, is that there’s three components that are necessary to really coach. So the first one is where’s the client currently? What is life look like for them? Where are they? This is the part where you’re looking at the map and it says you are here.

Without that, people can show up and be like, I want to get a Ferrari and they can tell you all about the Ferrari, but if we don’t know where they are, it might be like, oh, you’ve got a billion dollars in the bank. You just need to walk to the Ferrari dealership. Or it might be you’re eating beans cold out of a can because you don’t even own a microwave because you have no money. And so where they are is really important. So we first need Where are you?

Second, we need where do you want to be? So it’s great if someone is looking at the map and they’re like, I’m here, I hate being here, I wish I wasn’t here, but we need to know where they actually want to go to, because what most of us are doing in our life is how do I not be where I am?

And when you make your goal to not be where you are, you tend to circle you orbit around where you are. Click To Tweet

It’s kind of like if I’m really worried about driving into this ditch, the only way to make certain I do that is to keep my eye on that ditch and make sure I don’t drive into it, which then has me go parallel to the ditch. I’m like not in the ditch, but I’m also not creating what I want. Does it makes sense so far.

Ziv: Yeah, it does. Although I would like to ask you something. One of the old the chapters from Sesame Street, I don’t know if you saw this specific property. That’s me as a kid that you always wanted to be there. I don’t remember the character, but he said, I want to be there. And when you go there, I’m there. I know you’re here and there, but we do it and it’s like a huge metaphor. In a way, it makes sense.

It’s where I am, where I want to go. But I always want to be there. So I will never be satisfied from where I am now.

Adam: Well, this is the paradox. And sometimes people will say where I want to be is a Ferrari, but where they actually want to be is I want to feel like I’m where I want to be in life. I want to feel fulfilled. And they’re hoping that the Ferrari is the thing. And so in that situation, we first need to get where are they?

Then we need to really zoom in on where they want to be. And even though at first they’ll be like, I need the Ferrari because then I’ll know I’ve got money and I’ve succeeded at life. Oh, there’s actually a deeper there for us to explore and support them with. So that’s the superficial or the surface there. The thing that we want to create, which is why I was asking these questions, like ostensibly what you brought was balance.

I want to create balance in my life, but I’m really curious. What does balance mean for Ziv? What does it look like? What is he hoping will happen if he gets balance? And so as we explore that, I was starting to hear, there’s this experience that kind of underlies life for Ziv a bit. Not all the time, but if like feeling like the ditch you might drive into might be a little of leaving people disappointed.

Maybe if I can make people around me, you know, et cetera. And of course we’re going on three minutes, so don’t take anything I say is too much of an assessment. Right. But as we were exploring, we were getting a little more close on there.

That you really wanted to create in your life, and then finally, once you have those two components, the last thing you need to figure out is what’s the gap between where you are and where you want to be, what’s in the way of getting from here to there?

Only once we have those three elements, when we start to coach to to close that gap so you can move yourself from where you currently are to where you’d really like to be.

Ziv: So just for me to understand. So in a way, I’m in a place. There is an excuse to an external place like the Ferrari or balance that I think I want to be, but the gap is with my internal expectation or my internal issues or my internal and maybe unconscious of what I really want.

Adam: The gap can be anything. The gap could literally be I have a thousand dollars in my bank account. I want to buy a nine hundred dollar coat. And I’m afraid that if I spend that thousand dollars, I’ll never make it again.

That’s our gap. That’s what’s in the way. Or it could be I’m here living a pretty good life, doing a lot of stuff. I’m motivated to get up at 4:00 in the morning. I kind of want balance, but I actually want us to have this experience of maybe being free from disappointment, just knowing I’m on the right path and feeling happy, whatever.

I’m just making it up. How do I move from here to there? What seems to be in the way? So the gap, it doesn’t have to be sort of like this, some deep rooted psychological thing. It’s more we just want to get clear what seems to be in the way currently so that we can then move you through that to get towards where you want to go. Does that answer your question or is that just make it more murky?

Ziv: No, It doesn’t. And so what would you expect? We have a minute or two. What would you expect that would happen after a few sessions?

Adam: So at least when people come to work with me, they’re working to I mean, this would be a longer conversation. I’m more than happy to give you more of my time if you want to schedule, a follow up where we talk for an hour or more so you can just get a more fuller explanation.

But most people are coming to a coach to change the surface level of their life, not because they're shallow, it's just because we can't see the iceberg below the water. Click To Tweet

We just see the iceberg that since the top, we’re like “ahhhh the iceberg” that needs to be different.

And then we take very earnest, well thought out, reasonable actions and approaches to address that iceberg, but alas, it’s all under the water, so people would come to me. Not all coaches, but they’d come to me because they want to change the whole iceberg, the entirety of it.

And really, that’s about creating an entirely different way to live their life. We’re really forming a new way of living life, so it’s first we have to learn, oh, wow, there’s a human condition, a way of living life that is fundamentally kind of it gets a bunch of results. And it leaves me also feeling perpetually like I’m missing out on something in life.

For me, disappointment, definitely part of it. I was reliably making money as a lawyer, doing very good. And yet at some level I felt a lack of intimacy everywhere in my life. So in a couple of weeks, not a lot’s going to happen, which typically going to happen is people are going to start to point to people’s blind spot. People are going to argue with me.

No, it’s not it’s not like that.

That’s not what I’m doing. No, Adam, it’s different this time. And I’m going to go, OK, no problem. And we’re going to come back next week and they’re going to keep trying to do something and they’re going to bump into their blind spot again. And so I’ll give you a quick timeline over the course of maybe a year, what would happen.

The first three months are often getting people to supporting them to learn how to be a client, because it’s a weird thing. It’s not really a relationship we’re used to. The first six months are really being able to see our own truth, which involves like learning to to catch ourselves when we’re lying to ourselves or when our ego is fooling us and starting to see like that.

Like when you’re at the bar dancing and they turn the lights on and you’re like, I just want to leave. This is a monster I’m dancing with. And I don’t like how I look in the mirror having people sit and be like, wow, this is what I’ve been doing. Some of this is cool and some of it’s garbage and I don’t like it.

And then once people can actually sit and be OK with that without trying to fix or change it, it’s typically what happens when we’re in the bar, we look in the mirror, we’re like, oh my God, I got to put on makeup. I got to do my hair. I got to fix all of this. If we can get them to stop and sit and really be with that, then some change can start to happen.

So it’s a much longer term process, but it creates a longer term exponential return as opposed to just a linear you’re on the same graph.

You can move up and down it, but it’s still a Y equals M X plus B.

Ziv: Thank you so much. I will take a lot of things that you said, but last thing, to stop and be with that which is so powerful. It’s so difficult.

Adam: Yes, it is.

Ziv: Thank you so much for your time for the simulation, for making me personally think. Now I’m going to do a poor reflection about this.

Thanks a lot for the interview.

Adam: Cool, Ziv. Let me know if there’s any more conversation you’d like to have. I’m happy to do so.

Ziv: I surely will.

Who are you?

Adam is an executive leadership coach specializing in working with the Smartest People in the Room.

A former software developer and attorney, Adam’s learned the hard way about the costs that come from keeping your heart safe and chasing after external rewards to feel whole and complete.

From love, Adam is connection, passion, presence, wit and brilliance. From fear, he is awkward, robotic, apathetic, irrelevant and arrogant.

He’s learned to embrace all these parts of himself, and works with others to do the same in their own lives.

Living with his beautiful wife and their two dogs (one of which is a cat) in Victoria, B.C., He is a man on a mission to bring the world to a more inspired and fully-expressed place.


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