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Live Your Life and Do It Your Way!

 

Live your life and do it your way * Peter Koijen

Live your life and to it your way! This is the slogan for our company in2motivation, and it has been since the very beginning. And what is the meaning of the slogan? Here I will explain what it means to me personally.

The first meaning is the meaning of freedom. When I started my own company, freedom was very important to me. The meaning of freedom for me was to be whoever I wanted to be and do whatever I wanted to do. Soon I also discovered that having your own company comes with certain responsibilities that make it difficult to say no to certain things. But these things were always my choice. Working at weekends or in the evenings, finishing work to meet the demands of clients. I have always done it with love and dedication and as long as I feel the inner motivation I will keep doing it. 
But freedom has a broader meaning. Because in my over 20 years' experience in individual coaching, generally coaching clients when chunking up for their most abstract purpose, three desires and wishes have always emerged: 1. happiness; 2. freedom; and 3. being oneself. Freedom has always come back in one form or another, whether it is the freedom to choose jobs, the freedom to express feelings and thoughts, freedom of speech, or freedom from fear or pain. Freedom might be something natural in some cultures. In other cultures, certain freedom is not as common, like freedom to do whatever you want to say, do or be. That is why when having freedom of any kind, I always believe you should cherish it, appreciate it, and fight for it when necessary.

The second big meaning for the slogan “live your life and do it your way” comes from a vision that is important in our general practice, which is to do change work with as few impositions on content or process as possible. What does that mean? A content imposition is imposing or forcing an idea, belief, recommendation, norm, value or way of living or thinking on someone. Too many times we see coaches, mentors and advisors telling others what to do or what to believe in. And probably by writing this article, I am guilty of this myself. But to be free from content impositions is an art. For me it means you really check what someone wants with their life, check what they really want to change, and then help them break patterns and move toward the direction of the life they want. This is not giving advice, or telling them what to do or what to believe in. This is real facilitation of someone without being a judge, a friend or an advisor. It is simply bringing someone from their own A to their own B through questions, tasks and interventions. The same is applicable for a process imposition. This means that any intervention process is free from content, sequence or ideas imposed by the coach. Live your life and do it your way means that people find their own way in their life and that they do so in their own unique way.

Thirdly, for me the meaning of "live your life and do it your way" is a journey to being who you want to be, and also accepting that that can change at any given moment. You are not the person who you were a year ago, 10 years' ago or 20 years' ago. Everyone changes and new identities cannot be supported by old beliefs. You can change as a person, and you can make new choices every day. Some people from the past don’t want you to change, or even cannot see a different person. Screw them! You are who you are, and you are unique in your own way.

Finally, some people ask me how far they should take the meaning of our slogan, especially in terms of freedom. Well, for me, you can take the meaning as far as you want, and this includes freedom. Having said that, there is an important guideline in our coaching practice, which is the principle of ecology. This means that every change and intervention should be good for the people themselves and also for their environment. An example of a situation where this emerges is where a father or mother suddenly wants to leave their family to start a new life on the other side of the world. Is this good for them or their family? No, probably not. Who decides on this principle? Well, as a coach you have a responsibility to be aware of this and to help people make choices that are good for themselves and their family. Here, the big challenge is balancing between working free from content impositions and facilitating ecological change.

Live your life, because you only have one. And do it your way, because it is only you that is responsible for your own choices!

 

Peter Koijen

Live your life and do it your way!