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Your Purpose


What do you live for? Why are you here? Would you be happy if what you're doing right now you were doing in another two, 5, 10, 20, 50 years down the track?

I take you through an exercise I take all of my clients through, to view life from a different perspective and to learn how to consider how you make decisions, through a different lens.

Life is happening right now. And without having the forethought about the impact you want to have, or the contribution you want to make, time will continue. Take the time to listen, and simply consider what it is you want from this one precious life.

You'll Learn

  • How to begin thinking about your life from a helicopter view

  • Ways to detach from the emotional intensity of right now

  • Questions to ask and begin discovering what meaning your life has

  • The most important questions to ask yourself


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Episode Transcript


EP #35

“Do I need a life coach?” You’re listening to Episode 35, with Rhiannon Bush

Welcome to the Do I need a life coach? Podcast. We’re here to discuss the ins- and outs- of the life coaching industry and give you tools to use, to see for yourself. I’m your host, Rhiannon Bush. Mother, management consultant and a passionate, certified life coach.

I was recently talking to a business owner of a really cool business that recycles hospital waste. And after spending a lot of time in emergency with my son recently, he's ok and on the mend, and also being in hospital myself through my pregnancies, the amount of hospital waste was fairly shocking to me.

So to learn about this business and what they're trying to do, was truly inspiring and what was more incredible was the fact that there aren't other companies like it, or people already doing it. It's so important to minimise waste, whether that's financial waste if you're spending money on a whole lot of stuff you don’t need, or waste in a home with rubbish and recycling, or wasting food or water, just all around reducing waste I believe is important. We live in such a consumer-driven society where everything is disposable and if you break it, oh whoops – just go and buy a new one instead of fixing something. It's very much our culture to throw out and start again, buy new, instead of fixing something.

My grandfather was a hop farmer, and the family joke by saying he wouldn't even waste an old nail. He was incredibly frugal and that was to do with the food he ate, the clothes he bought, the house he had, everything. He was extremely waste conscious.

So I was talking to this business owner about where they're at and what they're doing, and the conversation rolled around to them getting back on their feet post-COVID. One of the things he talked about was re-engaging with us to collaborate and help them to develop their strategy and their plan of attack moving forward to really expand and make moves within the next 12 months.

I let him talk for a while because I was curious about trying to gauge what I believed was truly important to him. And what I could tell, was that he was pretty stable in the job that he has, so finances weren't the driver for him wanting to take quick action and grow quickly, but what was really important to him was his purpose and the vision, him and his business partner and have – to make a difference and instigate lasting change to keep hospital waste out of landfill.

After hearing him speak for a while I explained a little bit about my background and eventually, I took him through an exercise I do with all my clients. Yes… all.

As you head into big life decisions, I can't express the importance of asking yourself what it is you may regret. That is a filter question I ask myself whenever I'm about to make a decision or take action on something I may be uncertain about or that may not quite feel right. That may be because it's a big challenge, or it may be a bit scary, it may have a really big impact on my life or my family, or I may be really uncertain as to whether that's the right thing to do for me. And.. sometimes, to be honest, maybe I take it too far by becoming concerned that time moves so quickly and I make the wrong choice, I won't be able to undo the choice that I've made. Which I know is not a “real” thought but I’ll go through that in another episode.

By asking ourselves whether we will or won't regret something, we see the idea or problem we're facing through a different lens. We see it from a different perspective. And that perspective can often give us information that we can’t access by facing that same idea or problem through today's eyes, and through the eyes of who we are right now. I remember speaking to a really beautiful family friend of mine about regrets, and she said “yes, but you only regret the decision you made after-the-fact, and after you can no longer change the outcome.”

And while fundamentally I agree with her, because we can't undo things that are done, I've always found by asking myself if this is something I will regret, it allows me to see my future self looking back after I've done the thing, and gives me more insight than what I have right now to make the most informed, sensible, intuitive decision for my higher self, today. And therefore I find a very useful.

So what big decisions are you facing right now? What in life are you grappling with? That by asking yourself “well if I took this path, where will I end up and will I regret that?” Or “if I do this instead, what will I regret?” It's also good to put a timeline in there. So many of the clients who have come to me for career coaching, I have asked them “if this was still a problem in five years’ time how would you feel about it then?” and that's often what causes my clients to really take action, because to fathom staying where they are causes distress and from that future perspective, ‘wasted time’.

I think wasted time is something that we fear when we think about our future self and talk about it in years, and yet day-to-day if we were to add up the time we waste, it would be fairly extreme over the course of a week, then months, then years. The compound would be substantial. I'm sure I've mentioned it before, that I had to do timesheets in my first corporate role. And it was a very challenging experience, but it held me accountable and it was great, because I realised by doing that just how much time I wasted because I could see where my time actually went hour-by-hour. And now I'm incredibly diligent and productive with my time, because I can't stand the thought of wasting it.

Let me just highlight the difference between wasting time, which I would put in the same camp as being lazy, versus resting. A lot of us talk about self-love, and that seems to be put in the same camp as resting, rejuvinating, relaxing. All of that I agree with. But the best definition I have come across of lazy, is when you haven't done something that you know you need to do, and you consciously choose to fall in a Netflix hole, or you clean unnecessarily, or you go out with friends, or you do anything except for that thing you know you should be doing, instead. That is procrastination, and if you're resting, relaxing, rejuvenating while you've still got things on your To Do List, which means you are still thinking about all of those things on your To Do List, while trying to rest, rejuvinate, relax, that is not restful or rejuvinating or relaxing. Instead, you get everything done that you need to do, that is urgent and important, and once you've done those things, then you have full permission to fall into a Netflix hole, clean, visit friends, etc. And then, when you do, your energy is 100% focused on Netflix or cleaning or visiting friends and is therefore… relaxing, restful and rejuvenating because you don't have a split focus of “oh I know I should have been doing this, but I'd rather do that” which actually drains you.

So during the conversation with this business owner I gave him a little brief background of what I do, my purpose, what I'm passionate about which is coaching and helping people achieve what they want to achieve, And I suggested that maybe what he's doing actually feeds into something much bigger than himself. I was reading an article recently that said don't have passion, have purpose. Because passion comes and goes. Passion comes in waves and troughs and can be present and then disappear. Whereas having a purpose, something greater than yourself, keeps you aligned, and staying true to you. It's much more likely to last, and therefore you're much more likely to last as well. What this business owner is actually doing, is about legacy. Leaving a positive impact behind after he's gone. Making a lasting change.

I then took him through one of the key exercises I take my clients through, and also as a management consultant I talk business owners through is aligned with purpose, but in a way that is truly meaningful to them. And a very abridged version looks like this.

When you’re sitting on a deck chair at 92 years old, wrapped in a blanket, the sun is on your back, you can see whatever it is you can see, and in quiet stillness, you’re reflecting on your life. All that’s been, all that was, all you were and did.

What are the things you look back on and remember?

What are the defining moments that changed not only the path you took, but the person you were?

What do you regret?

What are you most proud of?

What do you wish you could do differently?

When you think about your overarching life and all the seasons, and yes there's many more than Four Seasons in the completeness and wholeness that is your life, this exact phase you're in right now is a blip on the radar. So what's the rush? When we think about doing something over the course of our entire life, something that makes a difference, that's bigger than ourselves, that leaves a lasting and positive impact, 12 months is a microcosm of our life that yes, matters, but is minuscule. People overestimate what they can do in 12 months, and grossly underestimate what they can do in 10 years. So instead of looking at 12 months, or three years for your personal, or business strategy, extended over a longer period of time. If it really matters to you, and it's going to be good for you good for those around you and good for the greater good, extended over a whole season or seasons of your life.

There’s been many social studies done on people’s regrets at the end of life, and the results are surprisingly consistent. People regret working too much, not spending enough time with loved ones, not being true to who they really are, and what they wanted to say - the things they left unsaid.

So, when it comes to making decisions in the moment, today, we make little, and big decisions every day. Some are massive, and truly life altering, and some are tiny. Only last week I got out of the shower and was getting ready for work, and I get up early in the morning to do that before the kids are up, and normally I walk straight out of the bedroom to go and get coffee started and instead, I walked over to Damien's bedside and gave him a nice morning smooch before leaving the room and getting on with making coffee. Something tiny, that seems so insignificant but actually, really isn't. Most things we decide each day are now on auto-pilot. We've done them so often, and repeated them time and time again, that we just go through the motions because our brain likes it that way. It's efficient, it's embedded in our subconscious, and that's OK.

But if you are feeling feelings on a daily basis that you don't want to feel, and you want to do something differently, we need to bring out behaviours into our conscious awareness and create the thoughts to change our feelings that drive our behaviour. If, while listening to this you've considered that how you're living your life right now can't be all there is, and that you are capable of so much more, and you're bursting, ready to get started leaving the life you are meant to live, contact me. Jump on my website, and send me a message because life is happening right now and if you're not living it, you're in what Doctor Seuss calls The Waiting Place. Just waiting. Waiting for things to happen, the bus to come, the water to boil, the phone to ring… The Waiting Place. Oliver Burkeman has a book called 4000 Weeks. It's a book that's on my list, I haven’t read it yet, but that's all we get. The average person gets 4000 Weeks to live.

What impact are you going to have with your 4000 weeks? Really think about that. Ask yourself. If you were doing what you’re doing now, in another 5, 10, 20 years would that be enough? If it’s not it needs to change. Contact me.

And I’ll see you next week!

Hey! Before you go, I always find reviews really helpful when looking for new information or insights…

I you’ve found this podcast valuable, please take a minute to write a quick review about what you’ve found most beneficial for you, so other people can benefit from your insights, and listen in too. I would LOVE that!

Also, if there are any topics you’d like me to cover specifically about life coaching or the life coaching industry, visit to contact me. Thanks for joining and I’ll see you in the next episode of Do I Need A Life Coach?!

Please note, this transcription may not be exact.

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