Get a Life Q&A Apr13 2014

I feel tired all the time. Is it my food? I shouldn’t think so, because I eat healthily. Could I be depressed? Somebody told me that depression causes loss of energy because there’s nothing that makes me happy. It’s true I feel sad a lot.

Imagine a container. When it’s full, you feel good – like safe, balanced, and enthusiastic… like, “Yeah, life is all right!” When the container is empty you feel like something’s missing… something’s “off.” Energy in our body is a bit like that. The question then becomes, what’s missing? What do you need in your life, that you’re not getting; that if you had it, would simply bring back the equilibrium?

Start at the beginning. One possible solution is to look at the food you eat. You might consult a nutritionist for advice around this. Depression is another thing to consider and to confirm that, please see a psychiatrist. How long have you been feeling low? What triggers your bouts of sadness? What activities cheer you up?

As a coach, my simple view is this: When we don’t get what we need over extended periods of time, our mind – body – emotion system gets affected. By “what we need,” let me use the metaphor of the wheel of life. The wheel is constructed with several aspects: [1] physical [2] emotional [3] mental [4] spiritual [5] biological.

At the very least, we need water, food, and shelter. Then we need to feel safe. We need to feel connected to people and to something greater than we; we need to know people care, and we need to be able to show care to others. In other words, we need to express love – our gifts to others. Only when we can do this, can we relax and really allow our true essence to come forward.

People report that they’re happiest when they feel free to be who they really are – and for some that is cooking, or gardening, or studying, or playing sport. What do you need, that if you had that, would bring the spring back to your step?

My colleague talks fast and speaks loudly. He’s a big fellow with a big laugh, looks a bit like a bear – doesn’t hold anything back, which is what I like about him. At the same time, this open, upfront behavior doesn’t go down well with our bosses. I’ve been elected to “tame” him. How do I do it?

I don’t envy you the task! But hey, here’s a tip. Everyone likes positive feedback so start by telling him what you like and what works in the office first, before getting into what must be adjusted. Actually focusing on the good traits and then visualizing how that would work to take the company goals forward, would encourage him and also build rapport with him. Once that’s done, you have the perfect platform to advise him about his other behavior.

Remember this: All change happens at the level of meaning. Your colleague’s style of talking means something to him. If you find out what that meaning is, and work so he is willing to try on other meanings, you will see change.

For example: A person who talks fast and loudly may think that if he spoke slowly and softly, people might not have the patience to listen to him. In his experience, life is fast – paced, so to get his message across, he talks loud and fast. Get the picture?

So if you could get this person to understand life differently, i.e. there’s no need to rush – people will listen when you have something meaningful to say, then he probably would speak more slowly and more deliberately.

I’m guessing your friend doesn’t have a lot of confidence and if you worked on his confidence, then there’d be less to prove and all the more to enjoy! Good luck.


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