Sean's Blog

Sean C. Higgins has been on a journey to become a Transformation Specialist. As he progresses on that journey, he has faced many questions that has caused him to contemplate his path and direction. He shares his contemplations in his blog.

Urgent or Important?

How many of you are sitting at your computers right now waiting for that next email? I know that I am guilty of that. I will sometimes sit there and just stare at my inbox waiting for that next email to arrive so that I can act on it right away with urgency. When did email become so urgent? Or, why have you and I made it so urgent? Is email really that urgent? It is funny, because I tell people that I will get to my email within 24 hours, but as soon as it arrives, I am jumping all over it and if it is not urgent, it can sit in my inbox for weeks until I do something with it. Crazy! How many of you stress over the number of emails in your inbox? How many of you look at your emails as soon as you get out of bed in the morning, or even hear the dings of emails all night? Email is just one example. How many things do we let slide because it wasn’t “urgent” and we only begin to act when it is really urgent? I can hear many of you saying, “But I have too many urgencies?” Do you really? Sit and think about it for a moment. Is everything really “urgent”? I have been working with a customer recently and the team was under performing and we could not figure out why. When I started looking at what they were doing, there were way too many people asking for things and telling the people each item was urgent and needed...

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all those fathers in the world! Yes, I am a father as well. I have had the pleasure to be not only a biological father, but also a step-father. As a step-father, I never tried to replace my step-children’s father. I just tried to be me and have a relationship with them. I am still working on me, but have a wonderful relationship with my step-children. My step-son played hockey and lacrosse on travelling teams and we spent many hours in the car together going to and from games. I would let him play his music as we rode together as long as there were no explicit words in the songs. So, what did he do? Well, he would turn down the volume on the songs when the explicit words came on. I get a laugh out of that everytime that I think about that. I did have the pleasure of coaching my step-son in lacrosse. I was blessed that my step-son was a good lacrosse player and normally a very positive and supportive player on the bench. One time, he was having a bad game, and I suggested that he sit a shift or two, and after a few exchanges back and forth, and I threw him off the bench and told him to go to the locker room. After the game, he appologized and admitted that he was having a bad game. I am grateful that he was able to see he was having a bad game and we moved on. For all my years of coaching, he is still the only player...

Do you care about what people think about your work?

This week, I had to put together a report for a customer and because it was the first report of its kind that our company produced, it was very hard for me to write. I struggled with it and then when I was talking to a friend about the report, she said, what if you didn’t care about the result? After she asked that question, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I was worried about who was going to read the report, what they would think of the report, and thus, what would they think of me. That final thought was what was holding me back from writing the report. It was funny, once I stopped “caring” about the report, the information that should be in the report started flowing and I had a hard time continuing the conversation with my friend. It was amazing. The hard part was that I actually had three reports to write and information for all three reports began to flow into my thoughts at the same time.  Now, I am not talking about not caring about the quality of the work that you produce or do, I am talking about caring what others will think you because of the work you produced. No mater what you produce, it is not you, it is what you produced. I believe we should always try and produce the best we can with the information and skills that we have. Once I finished what I thought should be in the report, I sent the report off to several people for review and one person did not...

Happy Birthday Mom

Today would have been my mother’s 75th birthday. It is hard to believe that just about 5 years ago, we lost my mother. I think about her often. Somedays more than others and today is one of those days.  For her 70th birthday, we planned a surprise birthday party for my mother when my parents visited by brother that summer. We had a lovely surprise party for her with many family and friends in the area. She enjoyed the party, but what I really think that she really enjoyed was having all her grandkids in one location and they were all thrilled to see her. It is sad to think that she is no longer her, but it is memories like her 70th birthday party that I like to remember and hold onto. She made people feel special and you felt special just being around her. She used to coach softball and basketball and more often than not, she would have winning teams. Funny, if you watched her plan her line up, you would not think she was trying to win, because her line up usually consisted of thinking about who had not started yet. I do not know of a winning coach who plans their line up that way. Today, I get to help coach my daughter’s high school softball team. I am looking forward to and I am appreciating that I get to do it on my mother’s birthday. Mom, I will be thinking about you today, especially when I am on that field. If you have lost a love one, I know how sad it can...

Are You Watching Your Thoughts?

Have you ever taken a moment and thought about your thoughts? Yes, I know that we have thousands of them every day and I have a hard time remembering even a few of them, but your thoughts have an impact on your interactions with others. If you do not believe me, sit back and review what you thought about this week and some of the events that happened for you. This happened to me this week. I was thinking about something bad about my wife, and while working in my home office, she came by, asked me a question, and then started to get mad at me. It was very strange, but as I sat back after she left, I realized that I was thinking about something she did to tick me off, and to top it off, it was something silly, like her not picking something up, and our next conversation turned ugly. It took me a while to tune into the information that I attracted the anger from my wife in that moment, but once I did, it hit me like a ton of bricks. How could I expect my wife to treat me nice, if I am not holding nice thoughts about her in my mind. Does that mean that I cannot get angry with my wife? No, but it means that I need to deal with those thoughts in that moment and then get through them. In my example, instead of getting mad at my wife for not picking something up, I should stop, breath, release, and send her love, and then either pick up...

What Do You Want?

Have you ever sat down and thought about what you wanted? I know I have several times and I believe I have probably written about it at least once. I know that life is really what you make of it and what you want. I have had a hard time defining what I want from life. I know that I want to speak to groups, help people improve their lives, write,  and travel the world. What I have a problem with is defining the details of what those items look like. For example, as I start looking at speaking, I get stuck in looking at how speaking will manifest itself in my life. Do I have to promote myself as a speaker and go about getting speaking engagements? Maybe. How does my job and speaking co-exist? Do I have to give up my job and become a full time speaker? And for me, that is where my fear is. It is not in speaking, I love to speak and I wish that I had more opportunities to speak. The fear is looking at the specifics of how speaking will look. But, what if I just held the idea that I want to be a speaker? What if I let got of the specifics of how speaking will materialize in my life? Maybe my job allows me to be a speaker? Would that be ok? YES! I think that I have struggled with thinking that what I want has to be defined in a certain way and shape, but I can open up to the possibility that it does not have...

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday! Happy Birthday to me! I am 52 years old and, most days, I do not feel old. One thing that I have realized over the years is that time goes by very quickly. When I was young, I could not wait to grow up and now that I am past the “grown up” age, I wonder where the time has gone. Sometimes thinking about where the time has gone makes me sad, because I wonder if I have used my time wisely. How do you know? How do you measure a lifetime? Those are some big questions to reflect upon on a big day. How do you know if you have used your time wisely? Well, what do you remember about the time that you have had? Do you remember good things, bad times, or missed opportunities? For me, it depends upon the mood that I am in. Today, I am in a reflective mood and I remember a little bit of everything. For example, I remember a job opportunity that I past up that I probably should have given more consideration to and it makes me a bit sad, but when I look at what happened to me because I bypassed it, I am glad at where I am in my life. Yes, there have been some sad times, but even in those times, I have grown a bit more through the experience. Would I like some of them back, maybe, but they are important to who I am and I am not certain that I would want to change who I am. How...

How Often Do You Judge People?

After writing last week about being responsible and Hoʻoponopono, I really started to notice my judgements. During my long commute to, and from, the office, when somebody cuts me off, my judgements start to flow and calling them a “jerk”, and jerk is the PG rated thing that I would call them, but after calling them a jerk, I noticed that this was my judgement of them and I start to think about other reasons why they might have cut me off. Yes, the other reasons are judgements as well, but them being a jerk makes me mad versus me thinking they are in a rush to some emergency – a more compassionate judgement. Thinking of the other reasons gets me to shift from being angry to a state where I can start to simply send them love, which is the start of Ho’oponopono and then I continue with the rest of Ho’oponopono. Does that mean that I have stopped calling people who cut me off jerks. Not totally, but I am starting to send them love when they cut me off and skipping calling them a jerk. Yes, just starting. I did have a good laugh towards the end of the week when a car cut off the car behind me and I could tell the guy who got cut off was pissed off. He laid on the horn, used some hand gestures, and then I could see the guy in front of him drive slowly, which pissed off the guy behind him even more. Yes, I sent both of them love and hoped their day went well....

Are You Responsible?

Are you responsible? That is a pretty broad question. One of the first questions that comes to mind is, “responsible for what?” And I think that is the question. I have been pondering the question of responsibility a fair bit this week. So, let’s start simply. Are you responsible for your actions? If somebody yells at you for no perceived reason, and you yell back at them, are you responsible for your yelling at them? Ok, I know that I said that I would start simply and I know that many of you, me included, would have a hard time not yelling back at the person that yelled at me and I might have a hard time taking responsibility for yelling back at them. I mean, what if they called me something bad. Don’t I have the right to yell back at them? They started it, didn’t they? I am just meeting them where they are. They are yelling. So, I am justified in yelling back at them. Let’s step back for a moment, because I do not know about you, but as I am writing and justifying my yelling at the other person, I can feel the rage building in me and I am surprised that I am not yelling at everybody next to me right now. For me, I am going to close my eyes for a moment and take a breath and really just feel the breath come in and as it goes out, I am feeling the release of the anger about somebody yelling at me. Yes, it is hard not to yell back at...

What Do You Feel About Money?

What is money to you? Is it something good? Is it the root of all evil? Is it something that just flows for you? For me, I have always seemed to have enough money to get by. Yes, there have been times where I have lived paycheque to paycheque and really wondered where the money would come from, but money has always showed up for me. I wish I could say that I had an abundance of money, but I think that I have some deep rooted connections with money that prevent me from having an abundance of money. I guess, the first think that I need to understand is what is an abundance of money? An abundance of money would be enough money to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to do it. If I really look at that, I do have that. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want to. I am currently more limited by what I really want. That is a very interesting thought. Let’s apply that to things for a moment. I recently just bought a new car. I have a BMW 5 series and it is just getting old. I thought that I wanted to get a BMW X5 and I let the money get in the way of me really thinking about getting that car. Granted, the BMW X5 is not a cheap vehicle and the operation of that vehicle is not cheap either, but as I look at my definition of abundance, did I really want the BMW X5, or did I really let the flow, or lack...

Who are you at work?

When you show up to work, do you let your role define you or do you define your role? If you are just an individual contributor in the organization, do you let your role define you? Do you only think in terms of individual contributor, or do you think greater than that role? As an individual contributor, you have certain things that you are responsible for in your daily role. Is that all that you do? Do you just show up and do your daily things and leave at the end of the day? Are you ok with that, or are you giving away your power to play smaller at your job? Maybe you have a bigger role to play outside of work and that is why you play small at work and I am going to challenge you and ask if that is really in tune with who you are. Maybe you should consider playing bigger at work. I am not suggesting that you sacrifice what you are outside of work for what you do at work, but what would it be like if you played big in all areas of your life? I think that an important differentiation here is that playing big at work does not mean taking on a bigger role at work. It might, but it does not have to. For example, you might be an individual contributor, because it gives you the flexibility to do things outside of work that are more important to you. Playing big as an individual contributor may mean you are looked to to train new employees, you are...

What were your experiences in 2014?

2014 is about to end and I was sitting here thinking about what happened for me in 2014. The first thing that comes to my mind is all the travel that I did for work. I travelled a lot. I might have been away from home more than I was at home. If not, it sure felt like it. I spent a great bit of time in Las Vegas this year, but I also got to experience Bethlehem (Pennsylvania), Singapore, Macao, and Hong Kong. When I think about the travel, I think about all the time I was away from home for work and that makes me sad. Once I get through the sadness, I realize that I had some amazing experiences this year. I met some new friends and had some really good times. It all started with a security incident in February. Once I got the call, I put together a team and we were off to Pennsylvania. From Pennsylvania, I ended up in Las Vegas, but I still made sure that I had time for things that were important to me. The Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament was in Buffalo this year and I had tickets. To make work and the tournament work, I took the red eye back from Las Vegas on Wednesday night. I walked in the door at home at 8am, said good morning and good bye to my daughter as she walked out the door for school. I then showered, and was out the door at 8:30am to go to the grocery store. I picked up some food for the trip, and then off...

What do I want?

How many of you have sat down and really asked yourself, “What do I want?” And not just to ask what I want to eat for lunch. I am  talking about the BIG want. What do I want from this lifetime? I am sure there are more than a few of you out there that will sit there and say, “I want ten million dollars.” Or some amount of money, because I know you are thinking that if you have that amount of money, then you can do what you want. Ok, if that is really the case, then ask yourself, “If I had ten million dollars, what would I do?” Think about it for a moment. When I think about what I want to do, I want to help people. I want to help people move forward in their lives and I do some of that in my job today. Is it exactly like I imagine? No, but I am on the road to helping people. Part of that journey involved me writing my first book and I know that it will take me to speaking about my book and eventually writing another book, or three. Now, contrast that with me starting with “ten million dollars” and it feels very different. Yes, I  still want to help people, but I feel that I will be less effective in helping people, because part of why I will be able to help people is because I have been there. I had to help myself first before I could help others. Not to say that I  cannot help people now, but...

What Are You Thankful For?

Today is Thanksgiving in Canada. It is a lot earlier than the US Thanksgiving, but still a great time to reflect and give thanks. First off, I am grateful for my wife and daughter. They have had to put up with my crazy travel schedule this year and always been glad to see me when I got home. I love the two of you and have been glad that we have had a few trips of our own together this year; Myrtle Beach, Mont Tremblant, Las Vegas, and Blair’s wedding. I am grateful for the new friends I have made on my travels. It has been a pleasure to meet you and you helped me enjoy the travels. Thank you Anita, Rodney, Alex, and Tony, to name just a few. A special shout out to the Starbucks in Macao, you always had my drink ready for me when I came in, even if I had to wait for the rest of the team to get their drinks. I am grateful for the team of coworkers that have travelled with me. You have done great work and put up with being away from your families for several weeks, and more, at a time. I appreciate your hard work and we had some good laughs along the way. Your high quality work and willingness to work hard made it easy for me to lead you and I appreciate it very much! Thank you Veejay, Tim, Mike, Mike, Albert, Daniel, Matt, Andre, and Greg. Juliana and Joyce, your support along the way helped us stay on course. I am grateful for my...

Living Your Purposeful Life

“Living Your Purposeful Life” is a phrase that came to me, when I was looking at what I wanted to bring forward from my coaching practice. I created a Facebook page and launched a pilot course called “Purposeful Living First Steps” to several of my friends. They each gave me helpful information for me to build a new course called “Living Your Purposeful Life,” but in preparing to launch that course, I got very sick, and I hardly get sick. I even delayed the launch of that course to recover and relaunched the course later only to get sick again. After getting sick the second time, I realized that was my body’s way of telling me that I was not ready to launch the course. So, I put the course on the shelf and did a bunch of soul searching and working on myself. In the process, I was drawn to start writing. It took me a while to realize that I was going to be writing a book, and once I did, I knew the book would be entitled Living Your Purposeful Life. What you will find in the book is a series of questions and my thoughts around the questions. A lot of the time, I am writing about situations that I faced and how I worked through the situation. I posted several of those thoughts here on my blog and I thank everyone that commented to those writings. You helped me to continue to move forward. The writing part was relatively easy, but once I finished writing, I needed to figure out the formatting, the editing,...

What are you dark little secrets?

This is an excerpt from the book I am writing called, “Living Your Purposeful Life”. When you present yourself to the world, are you hiding who you really are? Do you have some things that you do not want to tell the world about yourself? Yes, there may be some things the world does not need to know about you, like the color of your bedroom, or who your favorite my little pony pony is. Think about those things around you that people care about and what you are telling them. If you were to enter into a religious or political discussion, are you going to tell the people what you believe, or are you going to tow the party line? Yes, discussing religious or political topics can be very explosive as people can be very passionate, but if you engage in those discussions, are you being truthful? Are there areas of your life where you are not being truthful about your life, because you are embarrassed? Do you have a prison record, or a brother that has gone to prison? Did you drop out of university? Are you embarrassed by something a sibling has done, or is doing? I am not saying that you need to go around broadcasting to the world any of these things, but you should not be afraid to talk about them. Let’s take a look at dropping out of university. Does anybody know that you dropped out of university? If not, why not? If you are embarrassed, that is ok. Why did you do it? At the time, it must have been a...

What do you want to be when you grow up?

This is an excerpt from the book I am writing called, “Living Your Purposeful Life”. My daughter is in high school and she is constantly being asked what she wants to be when she grows up. I can see that it a very difficult question for her to answer. When I was in high school, I am sure that I had the same issue, I did not know what I wanted to do. There were some things that I thought were interesting, but to be when I grew up? When do you grow up? What makes you a grown up? A spouse? Children? Responsibilities? A mortgage? What if you choose to never grow up? What does that mean? Does that mean you are irresponsible? Does your age mean that you have grown up? Does what you are able to do, or not do, mean you have grown up? Do we have to grow up? Deciding what you want to be when you grow up sounds like a destination and once you get there, what do you do? I think there are very few destinations in life that you can get to and say you are done, and I mean done with life. I think we always have to be changing and moving in life. Throughout high school, my father told me that I should be an engineer. I had no idea what an engineer was at the time, but as I started to look at universities, I started to see what an engineering program was and even then, there were many kinds of engineering to choose from; chemical, mechanical,...

Who are you?

This is an excerpt from the book I am writing called, “Living Your Purposeful Life”. Have you ever taken a moment and thought about who you are? If you do, what do you start with? I know that I start by explaining the roles that I play; father, husband, employee, friend. That is a good place to start, but you need to go deeper. What does it mean to you to be a father? Does it mean that you have to be home every night to tuck your kids into bed? If it does, does that limit what you can be in your employee role? How could you travel or work late? Maybe you do not want to travel or work late, so being home every night is where you want to be. Maybe you want to be home every night and you travel a lot. Does something need to give? Does your definition of being a father need to change? What if instead of tucking your kids in every night, you shifted that definition to telling your kids how much you love them every night before they go to bed. Ok, now you can travel or work late and still keep that commitment. Looking at how we define ourselves can help us understand how we are limiting ourselves. Take some time and look at how you define yourself and go deeper. Ask yourself what does that mean a few times. Back to the example of being a father. What does it mean to be a father? It means I will tell my kids how much I love them...