John Robbins - The New Good Life

“Many of us know, at some level, that we have become caught up in something deeply out of balance, that we are going way too fast, that we are speeding past too many of the things and moments that could really matter. Many of us sense that life is too precious and too precarious to live the way we are living based on our habits which no longer serve us.”

What are you a product of?

Even though he had passed on about 8 years ago, his lessons continue to inspire us.

His message till today, is still highly relevant. With the current global situation we are living in - volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA), he conveyed a useful wisdom for us.  

In his words, “I’m a typical product of today’s society… From young, I’ve always been under the influence and impression that to be happy is to be successful. And to be successful is to be wealthy. So I led my life according to this motto.”

There is nothing wrong being wealthy. Wealth is a resource if purposefully channelled. Nonetheless, we seem to lose our way, as he described.

You can watch his talk below.

In a well-known talk given to a group of medical students, he highlighted a vicious cycle – our desires for externalities.

This puts us in a “hedonic rat race”; people trying to stay ahead in an increasingly crowded and competitive socio-economic market while some are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living. To continue to stay in this game, we seek out for the next possession, pleasures, enjoyments, branded merchandise, trendy holiday destination and so on to justify our means of survival in the name of “having a good life.”

Before long, we compounded a cycle of dissatisfaction; trying to numb and distract ourselves from our unhappiness as we push ourselves further despite the increasing stress and fatigue.

Having coached multiple professionals, executives, managers & leaders over the years, we discovered some deep coaching lessons: what are we a product of?

Especially in a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA), transforming our motives, purpose and inner programmings would yield us far greater results than constantly fighting the externalities of our reality and environment.

Deep coaching lesson 1: Examining our attitude & worldview

Imagine three candidates with similar background, qualification, experience and capability applying for the same job position.

However, each of them holds a different attitude & worldview around it.

One treats it as a JOB.

The second one takes it as a CAREER.

The last one sees it as a CALLING.

Which one do you think will thrive?


Even though all three of them are doing the same thing, the impact, implications and results from each of them is different.

It is their inner attitude and worldviews to how they defined as their profession that separates one from the other.

The one who sees his work as a JOB would only do the minimum within his job scope just to survive, nothing more.

The one who sees his work as a CAREER will perform better than the first one. He would probably go the extra mile to succeed. But he probably will have a tough fight differentiating himself because there would be hundreds to thousands of competitors playing at similar level.

The one who sees it as a CALLING will live, walk, sleep and breathe life to his work despite all odds.

He would become so extraordinary that he would go and make a bigger impact out there as a visionary, a pioneer, a thought leader in this field that he would be highly recognized worldwide and sought after for his expertise. He might even disrupt the industry!

Although all of them are doing the same thing, the paradigm they hold within themselves determines how far, deep and wide they go!

Deep coaching lesson 2: Putting meaning back into our lives

Victor Frankl, Frederick Neitzche, Abraham Maslow and many other great leaders of human development, tell us, that we are the only species whose survival is based upon our definition of meaning in our lives.

In particular, Viktor Frankl, in his seminal book, Man’s Search for Meaning, discovered from his experience in a Nazi concentration camp that all aspects of life can be given a meaning, including suffering. He learned that what motivates us the most, what drives our lives is not pleasure (Sigmund Freud), nor power (Alfred Adler), but meaning.

Therefore, it is vital for us to know what is truly important in our lives. For some, it may be their families, for others, their spiritual faith. Ultimately, it differs from person to person. You are the only one who can define the meaning of your life. And it begins by gaining awareness of your own thoughts, feelings and actions.

4 Steps to Mastering Profound Change to Thrive in a VUCA World

To support you in developing profound change in your life, we have put together a self-coaching workbook for you. Go ahead and download it for your use. No opt-in required.

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