When I started my high school teaching career, I certainly didn’t see what was coming. I didn’t plan on owning a tutoring business in the inner west, become a speaker in schools, author and be a life coach. In fact, all I wanted when I started was to make a difference to a few students lives in each class I taught.
When a few students in each of my classes asked if I could teach them the following year, my answer was the stock standard, “sorry I don’t get to choose my classes”. After hearing this several times, I took it as a sign to start my own tutoring business so that any student who wanted to be taught by me, had that option.
In 2010, my life changed forever. I felt a complete shift in awareness and I have felt a stillness inside me, inner peace, ever since. To put this into perspective, at the age of 24, 10 years earlier, I was diagnosed with clinical depression and had all but given up on life.
From a place of peace, I saw every excuse a child had ever given me for not doing well at school. Some of which included, “I’m not motivated”, “I’m too distracted”, “I’m not organised with school and assignments”, “I don’t know how to study and memorise” and “I freeze in exams”.
If I didn’t already have a solution or response, I researched to find a solution to each of the problems. I then started teaching what I had learned to unmotivated classes whilst in my role as a casual high school teacher. I also began to teach it as an introduction for new students at InFlow Education. It has since become our system to success, summarised in a poster all our students receive with their tuition.
At the end of each “presentation”, I would often get, “Have you thought about becoming a speaker?”. I heard that several times before I took it as a sign to do formal presentations and have conducted seminars in high schools and for InFlow Education. During this period, I was also getting asked by students if I considered writing a book, putting in what I was teaching in my seminars. That’s how Teenage Zen – a simple path to academic success and inner peace, was born.
My transformation to a calm person living on purpose with joy for what I was doing, was not lost on people who had known me most of my life. They wanted to know how I did it.
At first, I thought it was the last book I read. However, I stopped and asked myself, “When do I not feel at peace?” All my answers fell into 5 categories. These 5 Keys became the structure for my life coaching program, I have been conducting with teenagers and adults for the past 7 years. It also led to the book, The 5 Keys to Inner Peace.
My point is this. Being on purpose is not like having a dream to do something. I think it’s great when people say it’s their dream to do something but it wasn’t a life-long dream to run a tutoring business, be a speaker, author and life coach. To me, a dream is more like an idea we chase. Purpose is when an idea chases you, gives you many signs and just feels right.
There are many people, teenagers included who are trying to find purpose or the career that will make them light up. In my experience, the prerequisite to purpose is peace. Once you are at peace, purpose will find you which will drive high performance and mastery in a field.
Peace, purpose, performance. The 3 pillars to being In Flow.