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Reflecting on the book ‘Radical Changes’

I didn’t get to finish the whole book but found something that I can relate to sometimes, which is the occasional feelings of inadequacy and the immediate thought to at least do something to keep me busy.

It was a good strategy at times of crisis, which I have prided myself for being able to remain focus to solve problems or being level-headed enough to be useful and productive at those times.

However, at other times this is a great reminder that it would be a tragedy if I have the freedom to possibilities and yet am trapped in same old pattern. And delaying gratification or the withdrawal from present moment by shifting focus such as embarking on series of self-improvement courses will not help resolve the problem.

I can relate to the feelings mentioned in the book such as feeling unworthy, cage myself with self judgment, anxiety, relentlessness and dissatisfaction and the struggle of acknowledging my heart’s desire.

The author said desire became a problem only when it took over our sense of who we are. If this is true, then my desire is going to make me more of who I am.

The author continued to say that pursuit of substitutes distract our attention for a time of feeling unloved or unworthy. These are still substitutes even if these activities are meaningful and spiritually gratifying.

One of the exercises featured in the book was really good. When you have craving for food, sit down, think and acknowledge all the thoughts, words and feelings that come to you to know what you really want, as the craving of food is the substitute of what is missing in our life. Think about what cause the cravings of food. And next time feel them and say it is not my fault. For example, craving for food and wanting success are not my fault, offer myself a forgiving and kind presence. And realize the desire in our heart and the desire will energize and guide us and motivate us.

I found out that I desire love, security, communion, harmony, beauty and freedom.


Reflecting on the book ‘Happier’

I am glad to have read this book recommended in one of the classes. Self-sacrifice has been one of the schemas I have been struggling with for many years. People around me described me as being highly responsible, sacrificial, serving, etc. And in too many occasions I thought I was being sacrificial to the point of unbelievable, trusting the mighty God will take care of everything even if I let people step all over me and didn’t defend myself and giving up what’s rightfully mine because others wanted it. I was still happy in a way, as honestly I didn’t require a lot to be happy and life is generally good for me and I thought I have been doing the right things. And most importantly I was told my reward is in heaven.

All was good until eventually when my health was going downhill and started to affect all aspects of my life, my career, my higher income, my time with others especially those in the church ministry, the trust and love from others to the point of we were having conflicts and I was asked to move out of my existing group as the leader thought I was unfit to remain in the group. I was hard hit and it really dawned on me what I was doing in the past was not right as once I stopped doing it there was repercussion. I had resentment towards people, feeling unjustified and regretted that my time and effort was considered all wasted.

It was refreshing to learn that self-love and loving others can be and should be aligned.

It is not selfish if we decide to serve in ways that make us happy or feel good. Why did we feel guilty when we feel good while serving is because we thought that morally it is wrong to enjoy while serving, and sacrificial is not happiness.

There is also the feeling of undeserving, which got a bit way out of balance. While it is good not be entitled and think that I have to be best, richest, happiest, prettiest, luckiest, for example, it isn’t wrong for me to be good, rich, happy, pretty, lucky too.

I should not feel bad as if there are a finite number of opportunities or happiness which I will rob off others if I obtain them. I should open up to accept goodness from friends or what life gives me.

I need to think that I can help and inspire others to join me in seeking happiness.

Class 20: Ethics & Legalities

Besides the obvious ones, we must also consider setting expectation, know when to continue/stop, knowing our limits, understand our roles well and not walking into something unethical unintentionally.
The industry is still young, unregulated and we are not protected like other professionals.

Class 19: Trust vs Doubt 2

What are some tell-tale signs doubt is in place:

  • Language
  • Words
  • Not forthcoming
  • Delay in action

How to shift from Doubt to Trust?

  • Increase self-awareness of client
  • Increase self-awareness of good choices they have made and this will help them continue to make good choices.
  • Acknowledgement creates greater awareness and trust.
  • Model the trust, model positivity:  Do we trust our client?
  • Coach needs to make shift in order for the client to make shift.  How about play out the doubt?  What is the worst possible thing that might happen/experiencing?  How can we encourage them?  How do you know/feel it’s true?  Who would you be without that thought?

Ernest Holmes “Beyond the duality of doubt and trust, there is no knowing…Know.  Without shadow of a doubt.”

Class 18: Developing Tools 2

Level 3 is the list of power tools.  Obj is to describe perspective, what is life like in that perspective, therefore to give concrete suggestion to help client shift from disempowering to empowering position.

To identify set of 2 opposing perspective which client is holding, that are not inside ICA model.

  • Present vs absent relating to emotion (suggested by student)
  • Helpful vs helpless (suggested by student) –These words may not be self-evident, so we will have to define it first, what does it mean. Choose a language/word that is easy as it can be semantic, so people don’t get bogged down and lose the effectiveness of the tools/mentally pushing back.
  • Abundance vs excessive
  • Accepting vs rejecting
  • Admitting vs denying
  • Beautiful vs glamorous
  • Brilliant vs clever
  • Confident vs arrogant
  • Contending vs competing
  • Detached vs remove
  • Energetic vs agitated
  • encouraging vs promoting
  • Leading vs coercing
  • Optimistic vs pessimistic
  • Patriotic vs nationalistic
  • Fertile vs luxuriant
  • Generous vs petty
  • Nobel vs pompous
  • Spontaneous vs impulsive
  • Valuing vs exploiting
  • Courageous vs reckless
  • Happy vs right (confusing, and happy is an emotion, it’s only an indicator of perspective)

Check out book “Power vs Force”.

Class 17: No Single Model 1

What’s the values of having these models?

  • Structure
  • Consistency
  • Standard

What are the considerations?

  • Beliefs
  • Point of views about the model/process

ICA Model:  Beliefs and values/Self awareness/Action=change

What questions do we ask ourselves to ensure we have the right model for clients:

  • Does this model move the client forward?
  • Are we getting closer or stuck or making circle?
  • Does it motivate and engage the client?
  • Does it create awareness for them?
  • Does it get us to what we need to know?

** Don’t be afraid to trust own intuition.


  • Difference between coaching model and coaching tools?
  • Difference between coaching model and coaching process?
  • Come up with your model.

Class 16: Responsibilities vs Blame 1

A situation I felt like a victim, and why I felt so.

  • Regret, angry, disappointed, taken advantage of.

What if I am 100% accountable for this?

  • Stupid (why must I believe, so obedient, and white lies wouldn’t hurt), too kind, too sacrificial, too nice, to understanding,  doesn’t get you anywhere, should have done something differently, really balance out my care for other people with more self care for myself.

How much I wish to be responsible for the situation?

  • 100% to take control of the situation, looking back I am the person who cares about my well-being the most.

What are the benefits of taking responsibilities?

  • Taking control, feel in control and able to take action.  Our behaviors also condone others behavior.  Get rid of negative emotions that get you stuck.