The link below will take you to the interview with me in this month’s Washingtonian magazine in which I and another coach / therapist answer a number of questions relating to how we work and the philosophy behind our approaches.
A number of the questions were provocative, particularly the last one: “What have you learned about life?” Numerous thoughts went through my head, ranging from “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” to “It’s not what’s happening out there that matters nearly as much as the meaning that you give it”, but I decided to answer by articulating the three ingredients I believe are central to the pursuit and achievement of fulfillment. First, a positive attitude (which is something you may be lucky enough to have been born with, but which you most probably need to cultivate by employing a range of techniques). Second, “showing up” – doing the legwork that’s necessary to move you towards your goals (or to help you define your goals if you are unclear about them). Third, the consistent creation and nurturing of relationships.
After the interview ended, I realized that in my answer to that question I had not touched on the three elements that Daniel Pink, in his outstanding book Drive, lists as the essential ingredients to career fulfillment: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. For those unfamiliar with this book, “autonomy” is essentially defined as the ability to have some control over what one does in one’s work and when; “mastery” is the achievement of improved performance over time, and “purpose” is self-explanatory. While I wholeheartedly endorse Pink’s list of ingredients, I tend to be a pretty concrete “what do I have to do to get there?” kind of person, and my answers reflect that orientation, whereas Pink’s tend to be more philosophical.