Welcome to Kala’s Quick Five, where I chat with fascinating authors, artists, teachers and researchers and ask them five questions about their work. My guest today is Win Harper, a retired US Marine and The Omega Institute’s Life Coach. Win holds a BA in Economics and MS in Systems Management. He lives a purposeful life through such pursuits as walking the Appalachian Trail, and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. The topic of our discussion today is Win’s new E-Book, WIN (What’s Important Now).
Kala: Your life path began as a Marine, which later evolved into life coaching and working at the Omega Institute. What did your life experience as a Marine teach you and how did it evolve later in life with your time at Omega?
Win: I loved being a Marine. By the time I retired in 1992, I had spent all of my adult life in the military. In the Marine Corps I learned the importance of values: Honor, Courage, Commitment. I learned that I could do whatever I wanted to do, and whatever I wanted to accomplish was my responsibility. Sometimes I had to work hard, but I knew I was supported. I played High School football, and thought I knew a lot about teamwork, but in the Marine Corps I learned all success is based on teamwork. And, teamwork requires trust. I was my best as a leader when I trusted and was trusted by those I was working with. I learned that people grow beyond their own expectations if you provide them the opportunity to succeed. At Omega, this was reinforced. The young women and men I worked with there were seekers. They wanted to grow personally and professionally. They wanted someone to listen to them, and support them. I had done that in the Marine Corps, and the transition was very easy for me.
Kala: You work as a life coach. As a life coach, what can you do for your clients and what can’t you do?
Win: My coaching catch phrase was inspired by an old Home Depot ad: “You can do it! I can help.” My job, as a Life and Leadership coach, is to ask powerful and challenging questions: I am a good listener, I am intuitive, and I am curious. I give feedback on where the client is and where they want to go. The client’s job is to make the decision that they want to live more consciously, and to take responsibility for where they are and where they are going. I always ask three questions:
- What are you willing to do?
- When will you do it?
- How will I know?
The last question establishes accountability, and that is one of biggest benefits to coaching. Most of us will do what we tell another person we will do. Regardless of whether a client does or doesn’t do what they committed to the questions provide them the opportunity to learn more about themselves. For instance, if a client doesn’t do what they said they would to do, then my next question is: “What got in the way?” Or, “What did you choose to do instead?”
While we discuss specific situations and issues, I am more interested in helping the individual become who they want to be.
In effect, I am 100% successful with every client because I do not work with individuals who are not ready to be coached. My clients have to want to be coached, and to be willing to work.
Kala: Your book is titled “What’s Important Now – Reclaim Your Personal Power.” What was your intention and vision in writing this book?
Win: I believe in the power of coaching. The process seems simple, and at the same time the results are profound for the individual. I wrote this book to provide coaching to anyone who wants it. It represents how I coach one-on-one. The book contains the stories, exercises, and questions I use with my clients. “What’s Important Now” can be used as a workbook. Individuals can read it and if they do the exercises they will live more consciously. I also encourage individuals to form groups to work together and hold each other accountable. While both of these approaches are effective, a personal Life Coach will accelerate the process.
Kala: You often teach with your wife Elizabeth Harper, on topics including: Insight and InTuition: Living a Purposeful Life. How does your work compliment and balance with hers?
Win: Elizabeth and I are an example of how the Yin and Yang, left-brain – right brain can work together. We balance each other in our relationship, and we love to model and teach that to others. We basically teach who we are. Very early in our relationship we recognized that we were both helping others, but had different approaches. As we talked about our desire to contribute to the world with our gifts, we realized the power of combining our two approaches. We first taught together at Omega and got great feedback. We refined our teaching and now offer our classes at many venues. The best example of our working together is our “Future Gifts for the Present Moment” one-on-one sessions. I lead the client through a guided imagery meditation to visit their future selves 20 years from today. I then coach them on the experience. During the meditation Elizabeth draws an energy portrait and afterwards discusses with the client what she “saw.” She then creates a personal design bracelet based on colors from the Future Self journey. This acts as a talisman and anchors in the wisdom and guidance received from the future self. This is a very popular and well-received session.
Kala: Beyond what we’ve discussed here, how else do you explore your spirit? And can you share a quick tip on how to “WIN” with our readers?
Win: I really like myself! I am now satisfied with who I am, and if I discover some behavior I am not happy with I know that I can change it. I do have my own life coach who was trained in
Non-Violent Communications. She has helped me to understand the connection between my feelings and needs better and to be more conscious of what I am saying and doing. Today, I am living more consciously. I am the participant and observer in my own life. I am responsible for who I am and what I do. I help others do the same in their lives.
The following three things will make a big difference in your life, and I discuss them with every client:
- Asking for what you want. How good are you at asking for what you want?
- Saying “no” to things you don’t want to do. Do you say no to things you don’t want to do.
- Knowing and living your “Life Purpose” and values. Do you know your Life Purpose? Your values?
My book, “What’s Important Now,” will help everyone with the above. I can also help them.
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More about Kala Ambrose: Kala Ambrose is an award winning author, wisdom teacher, inspirational speaker and host of the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show. Her thought-provoking interviews entice listeners to tune in around the globe! Described by her guests and listeners as discerning, empowering and inspiring, she speaks with world renowned authors, artists, teachers and researchers delving into empowering and lifestyle enhancing topics. More info at ExploreYourSpirit.com