Episode #77 – Shenan Charania – An Incredible Apprenticeship for Significant Contribution

“That’s another part of the healing journey. For me it looks like – you can’t change your past, what’s the next best thing you can do? You can change somebody else’s future.” – Shenan Charania

Shenan Charania works as a Transformative Leadership and Performance coach. His work is about pointing his clients to explore their fundamental potential, then helping them live what they discover out in the world in the most creative, effective and sustainable way possible.

Shenan has reinvented himself throughout his life always searching for a deeper and more meaningful connection to his soul. 

After moving with his family to Vancouver Canada at the age of 11 and facing a deep culture shock amongst other unseen challenges in this new country, Shenan found himself reacting to his environment with aggression which led to him making poor choices early in life. Before he could fully grasp the results of these choices, he found himself in a destructive, gang-related lifestyle.  

He led himself back out of what seemed like an impossible journey from a life filled with confusion and pain to achieve his dream of owning his own business. 

At age 29, he was the owner of a restaurant that was doing incredibly well but he found himself not fulfilled with his surroundings. He felt stuck and confused. It was then that he discovered his true passion and it was in the service of others. 

Shenan now works with men, women and families who are willing to explore themselves and live from their highest capacity in the most ordinary and inevitable way, helping them design their lives with less restrictions, deeper connections, and meaningful experiences that is completely unique to them. He also volunteers his time to work with youth at risk inside of schools, and in external programs alongside teachers, police officers and community leaders helping to bring awareness, solutions and creating opportunities for a more inclusive, transparent and functional society.



    • Show Notes
    • [02:08] Patrick introduces his next TEDM Guest: Shenan Charania
    • [03:46] Shenan and Patrick get things rolling with Shenan expanding on the podcast introduction to explain what he does and how he describes Transformative Coaching.
    • [07:04] Patrick and Shenan dive into a discussion on why and how someone would seek out a transformative coach but as Shenan also points out – “when” is also an important consideration. Getting from good to great.
    • [11:21] Shenan’s approach with his coaching has changed some in the last few years. He sets a baseline with his clients to help get them grounded and clear on who they are and how they’re creating their reality. That significantly broadens the creative space from where they can explore and expand the new reality they seek to create.
    • [13:37] Shenan shares his perspective on how his style of coaching is of benefit and value to anyone who is looking for extraordinary results. He shares the #1 thing people need most in any scenario whether relationships, health, leadership, finances, self-care or business.
    • [17:05] The distinction between the brain and the mind. The brain is the hard drive, the mind powers the brain. Shenan works with people to direct them to hang on less and less to thoughts they “think” are important so that they may create space for a calm and clear mind.
    • [20:33] Stress and worry will contract our mind and limit our ability to problem solve effectively. Shenan suggests we look at ourselves as the laboratory. Let thoughts run their natural course and dissipate instead of cluttering our minds.
    • [22:19] Parking this part of this conversation with a final note: indecision is really the decision to not make a decision. It is still a decision and it may be more appropriate and powerful to press pause.
    • [23:20] Shenan goes back to share more about his background: where he was born, at what point he and his family immigrated to Canada, a deeper dive into why his parents chose Canada and what they did when they arrived.
    • [27:06] At the age of eleven Shenan’s experience of life at school began with bullying. He explains how this started to shape and change his self-image.
    • [28:50] A conversation about bullying, how that shows up in different ways when kids reach out to their parents and acknowledgment that it’s challenging to navigate the best approach.
    • [30:57] Shenan furthers his story about the fall out when he could no longer tolerate the bullying and started to fight against it at the age of 13. The bullied became the bully.
    • [32:55] Looking for a sense of belonging Shenan started to mirror the behaviours of those who he felt accepted by which started him down a lengthy path of violence, drugs and crime.
    • [34:47] Where and how did Shenan’s parents show up during this turmoil? Shenan explains the many levels of disconnect they bumped up against as a family.
    • [37:49] Shenan talks about his experiences beginning from age 13 with petty crimes, doing and selling drugs, dropping out and living the party life. This shifted again at the age of 18 when his best friend was killed; not for the better.
    • [41:12] Shenan explains how his friend was killed and the primary driver that kept pushing him further into the lifestyle of gangs, drugs and crime.
    • [43:16] Identity and significance: two very powerful needs within us that ultimately need to be fulfilled. How we seek and quench that need isn’t always the healthiest path but nonetheless fills the void.
    • [44:08] Upon reflection Shenan realizes that what he thought he was gaining with the lifestyle he led was acceptance, likability and respect, when really it amounted to greed and fear.
    • [45:29] With his insatiable need to succeed, Shenan continued to escalate his criminal pursuits in the name of more money, right now. Money, for him, meant success.
    • [46:58] Going back to his early years, Shenan first shares the #1 thing he feels was missing in his life. The one thing that could have changed his trajectory to flourish in a different way. Secondly, could he have even identified that one thing back then?
    • [50:06] Shenan shares how he is working with parents whose kids are engaging in high risk lifestyles and two important things he encourages parents to develop to support them in connecting with their kids.
    • [54:02] Shenan discusses the similarity within all human beings regardless of culture, then looks at the second level where the differences may show up. The environmental and economic issues they may have faced, the cultural belief systems they grew up with. This second level is where most people operate from – their story.
    • [58:02] Patrick reflects on one of Shenan’s earlier observations – ultimately, at every level, who we’re being and how we’re being is a choice; how we arrive at that choice is the training and awareness we need to gain.
    • [60:23] Shenan takes us back to a significant fork in the road that was saturated with guilt and shame; that shook him up and eventually out of, his world.
    • [64:40] Shenan talks a little about his healing journey and how he is using his experiences to be of service to another person’s future. Patrick contextualizes it in this powerful way: Shenan’s past was his apprenticeship for now being in amazing contribution to support others in a different path.
    • [69:33] Shenan chooses one message he would share with everyone regardless of who or where they are in their life, that could make a meaningful difference.
    • [71:26] That familiar phrase “as we start to wind things down” can only mean one thing: Rapid Fire time! Favourite book Shenan is reading right now favourite one he likes to gift. Favourite swear word; messages at the pearly gates; what he’s not very good at; room-desk-car; favourite music and nope, not a movie or streaming series in this guy’s present life.
    • [74:44] Shenan’s breadth of gratitude.

Connect with Shenan Charania:






Selected Links and People Mentioned from this episode:

The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

Realizing Mental Health by Dr. Roger Mills

Crazy Good: A Book of Choices by Steve Chandler

Scarface movie

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