Episode #6 – Alan Cahn – May All Hearts Be Full, May All Beings Be Enlightened

“There are many roles that we get to play. But those are only roles. The question is, who is the person playing those roles? And we get to answer that; no-one gets to tell us. And then either live consistent with it, or not.”
– 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 and random 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 disruptive, context-shifting interactions which help him deliver on his commitments to optimize performance for leaders and teams and the professional fulfillment and success 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

  • [01:15] Introducing Alan Cahn
  • [04:00] Alan and Patrick’s kick into gear!
  • [04:29] Alan’s explains his elevator pitch: SQD & EA
  • [06:10] Alan’s background and aspirations from M.I.T. in the sixties
  • [07:30] Alan on his realizations and trials toward impacting the quality of life for others – teaching, vegetarianism and Zen Buddhism
  • [09:00] Landing on Landmark and its evolution
  • [11:45] Changing the world at 19 – Alan explains how he came to that and the family dynamic of being in full contribution
  • [13:50] The profound effect of Alan’s work with Landmark Forum. What moved him and brought him to his knees
  • [16:50] The turning point of moving forward from Landmark and what’s next?
  • [17:40] Advice from a friend, and the theme of Alan’s third act!
  • [20:15] Alan’s success at age 67: Re-firing, not retiring!
  • [22:25] What is it about Alan’s work that attracts already high performing individuals to seek his coaching?
  • [24:55] Patrick digs deeper with Alan on “calling” and “purpose”
  • [25:55] Alan tells a story about the distinct difference between goals and life purpose and the challenge of identifying purpose
  • [28:30] Patrick delves into Alan’s experience with clients who achieve financial status but still feel unfulfilled and without purpose
  • [30:30] Creating your purpose or discovering your purpose – what really matters
  • [35:10] How Alan works with, and the preamble he executes to clarify the most common block for people to get to what their calling and purpose really is. Hint: consider “intention” and what you bring to the party
  • [37:20] Alan and Patrick share their calling
  • [38:20] Great! You’ve identified your calling. Now for the real substance and significance of continually operating within it.
  • [40:30] Patrick reflects on how he works with his calling as a Leader
  • [42:15] Alan explores our Operating System (OS), where it comes from, how we use it in the conscious choices we make (and when we work in auto-pilot), and an exercise in aligning our OS and our calling with consistency.
  • [49:10] Alan dissects the definition of what success means and discerning our definition from someone else’s
  • [51:05] Alan’s personal definition of success
  • [52:00] Finding value in the journey whether it’s labelled as “success” or “failure”
  • [53:30] Post-game reflection: repeat or reduce?
  • [53:47] Alan talks about one of his biggest failures, turned into a blessing and an act of grace
  • [56:50] Alan and Patrick examine goal achievement, life-changing moments that sever our identity, and what’s on “the other side of the medal”
  • [59:26] Alan reveals answer #1 to the age-old question: Who Am I?
  • [61:05] Patrick introduces the fear many people get stuck on in their life which is: “Who am I, if I’m not this” and Alan circles back with answer #2 about who we are and staying engaged with it
  • [63:40] Alan reflects on the many moments where he experienced a fork in the road and the gifts it brought
  • [66:15] Patrick and Alan riff on the importance of primary relationships, having a significant other, cultural relationships and how it relates to success and fulfillment in a person’s life.
  • [70:46] Alan talks about how he and his wife re-committed to their marriage when they came to a crossroads
  • [73:52] Alan talks further about commitment, getting very clear and honouring that clarity.
  • [75:10] Alan gives his 20-year-old self three pieces of advice and gratitude for his 87-year-old self
  • [77:05] Laughter!
  • [80:00] Rapid fire questions for Alan: swear words; alternate profession; room, desk or car; and what Alan believes that almost nobody else agrees with.

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