Episode #23 – Alan Cahn – Creating an Intentional Life

“My drive, always, with [helping people] finding a purpose or a calling has to do with the impact you want to make in the world; the impact you want to make in the lives of those around you.” – Alan Cahn

Over the past 40 years Alan Cahn has gained international experience as a manager, entrepreneur, trainer, executive coach and much more. Alan’s track record for being a catalyst in driving success for his clients is extensive and the level of support and coaching he provides is as diverse as his list of clients.

It’s said that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask, along with your willingness to hear answers you may not like. With uncanny precision Alan has a gift for asking questions that get to the heart of the answers for his clients. Whether personally or professionally, individually or in a team environment, Alan is known for driving breakthrough results for the people and teams he works with who are committed to elevating their game.

Alan has a unique talent for facilitating context-shifting interactions, helping him deliver on his commitment to optimize performance for leaders, teams and the professional fulfillment they seek. Along with all of that he brings a great deal of laughter and joy to the process!

Selected Links and People Mentioned from this episode:

Show Notes

  • [02:20] A brief introduction to Alan Cahn – take two!
  • [04:00] Alan Cahn revisits The Everyday Millionaire. Our first returning guest, by popular demand.
  • [04:30] Alan shares with us what he does.
  • [06:03] Calling and purpose: start from the beginning; what is the impact you want to make in the lives of the people around you?
  • [08:32] Patrick further explores the alignment between successful people and being in contribution. He shares his own expression: S.I.M.P.L.E. Significantly Impacting Many People’s Lives Everyday.
  • [10:50] Service-first approach and making a difference in the world.
  • [12:27] Alan discusses Zappos and their exceptional customer service interactions.
  • [14:06] A conversation about defining and discovering who we are, what lights us up and our connection to humanity.
  • [16:34] Understanding happiness and satisfaction can’t be found externally, and perpetuating gratitude through action.
  • [19:12] Alan and Patrick discuss self-care first to be able to fulfill your calling and purpose. Be the expression of your calling.
  • [21:58] Purpose and calling: does Alan define these differently?
  • [23:15] As these concepts are integrating into companies and for individuals, what result is Alan seeing?
  • [25:46] Mindfulness. Seems to be the buzz word of late but what the heck is it?
  • [28:45] Developing a practice of relating mindfulness and intentionality to purpose. Getting incredibly connected to the outcome you want to achieve.
  • [31:55] Intention and when it can show up as mind-less-ness.
  • [32:42] Alan explains the five stories he used to hold around money and the power of pausing to mindfully reframe the narrative around the “money game”.
  • [38:07] Alan delves into his concept of our operating system, our patterns, our concerns and the practice and commitment of awareness. “No one is stuck being, who they wound up being.” – Werner Erhard
  • [45:24] An important reminder that our practice and commitment to ourselves is not static. It’s a direction. Our true north.
  • [45:58] Our lives are a reflection of who we’re being, and that work is ongoing if we stay committed to elevating our experience.
  • [47:34] The dance of being and doing. Our lives are a reflection of who we’re being and also what we’re doing. Are we choosing these in alignment with the expression of our calling?
  • [48:56] Taking action: for most people action kicks in when we experience failure or undesirable outcomes. The mastery comes in intentional creation of the next level, rather than waiting for the crash then doing more of the same.
  • [49:43] Alan talks about the themes he creates for his year to keep himself in the game and setting the bar for his life.
  • [50:54] Patrick and Alan spend a few minutes clarifying why they are having this conversation, the important part this work plays in the fundamentals of this podcast. Ordinary people achieving extraordinary results.
  • [54:28] Alan offers some strategies for identifying our blind spots.
  • [58:12] Alan and Patrick talk about the vulnerability of embracing the opportunity to both give and receive feedback on blind spots in the spirit of self-development.
  • [59:08] Alan shares his view of ego {persona} and his Monopoly analogy.
  • [62:18] Patrick shares his view of ego.
  • [63:43] Alan describes coming to terms with our own design – our ego – so we can hack into it and not be limited by it.
  • [64:49] Patrick assigns some reading for Alan in 2018 – Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday – their 2018 project!
  • [65:53] What is Alan’s morning routine and practice around self-care? Self-awareness, the zone, peace of mind folder.
  • [73:32] Another practice Alan engages in to offload “mistakes” but more importantly to stay consistent and committed to his calling “all hearts are full; all beings are enlightened”.
  • [75:53] How did Alan set himself up to lose the weight he committed to losing?
  • [78:54] Alan’s rapid fire – redux! Favourite swear word, what would Alan’s alternate career be? Message at the pearly gates, weirdness scale (it’s lowered ever so slightly from last time…), what he’s not very good at, favourite music and favourite movie.
  • [81:19] Alan’s bountiful gratitude.

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