A professional and personal crisis made life coach Harry Alexander realise some of the mistakes he was committing, which in turn, inspired him to pen his experiences in the book, The One Technique. In the book, Alexander explains how vipassana, a Buddhist meditation technique, helped him realise the importance of mindfulness.
Alexander is a licensed master practitioner of NLP, an ICF certified and CCA accredited life coach, who offers leadership, business coaching and public speaking training to corporates. Excerpts from the interview...
What motivated you to write the book?
I have loved to write since my early school days and in college; you can say, I have been inspired to write. The One Technique was the first step to bring out the inspiration in a published way. A strong motivation for me to get evolved as a published author is my wife. She kept telling me, ‘You must write Harry, because there is a message in you that might be wanting to get out’.
Can you tell us how vipassana helped you live in the ‘now moment’? What are the key changes you have witnessed in yourself?
This is a good question. My quest for the elusive present moment took me up a hill in Penang, Malaysia. The quest started when I read Eckhart Tolles book, The Power of Now. However, I could not experience the inner body experience mentioned in it. As life would have it, I was directed to my very first vipassana. At the meditation centre, the third day was an ‘aha’ moment. I realised, ‘I don’t have to think to be alive’. It was actually a moment of unparalleled joy and happiness like a child finding a lost toy or something. I did not have to think ‘I am alive anyway’.
That moment of realisation was like there is no other moment, but the present moment which is to live here and now. Thenceforth, I witnessed a few key changes in myself. I was less angry than I used to be; I was less stressed about the past or about tomorrow; I was being calm and non reactive most times. I was ready for a 180 degree change in life. I quit smoking and drinking for good.
How does one strike a balance between achieving professional dreams and living a happy personal life?
There is a misnomer that professional dreams and a happy life are contradictory to each other. Having said that, a “balanced life” is one of the most alluring cravings that we fall for. In the incessant race to create balance we keep looking out for something happening in the future. This very thought creates imbalance.
One way to go about it is to know and feel that irrespective of your profession, your personal happiness is a choice you need to make. Your life is already balanced as it is now. When you drop the expectation and the striving to create balance, happiness is present.
You have coached around 200 people. What are some of their common issues or the goals they want to achieve?
As part of my life coaching practice, I have seen a common pattern of being unhappy with the job. Often, there is a desire to start a business but limiting beliefs hold them back. There is confusion over the path to choose, whether it comes to a career or a relation.
A large number of people are doing very good at their present level. However, they feel that they have much more potential than they are using and want to live more fully. As a part of business and sales coaching, I have clients who want to improve their sales, small businessmen who want to begin a start-up and succeed as well as individuals who want to improve their leadership skills along with impactful speech.