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.

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...

What do you want?

This is an excerpt from the book I am writing called, “Living Your Purposeful Life”. Do you really know what you want? I have to admit that I am still searching for what I want, but I am getting closer with each day. For me, I have gotten into a rut of the daily routine, or all the things that I had to do, which were masquerading as what I wanted. I am not saying that there is nothing good in my life, there is a lot of what I want in my life, but I had never taken the time to sit back and ask myself what I wanted. Take my job for example. I enjoy my job and it offers me a lot of challenges and opportunities for growth, but I never really sat back and asked myself what role I wanted to play in the company. I had just let the company decide what role the company needed me to play. It wasn't until I started to ask what I wanted that I realized that I was not doing what I wanted in the company. As I focused on what I wanted to do in the company, my role started to change to what I wanted my role to be. Now, I am in a role that both the company wants me to be as well as I want to be and it is time to start looking at how do I want the role to change, because getting to where I am is only a step along the journey. I am currently looking at how...

What are Your Excuses?

This is an excerpt from the book I am writing called, “Living Your Purposeful Life”. Have you ever taken a moment and sat back and thought about your excuses? Start by looking at something you really want and then ask yourself, why don’t I have that today? For example, I would like to lose 20 lbs. and the first excuse that comes to mind is that I do not have enough time to spend hours in the gym to get in shape, because I spend too much time commuting to and from work. How many of you have a similar excuse? Excuses are the reasons that justify why we are where we are today. They give us a reason to stay where we are because we make the reasons outside of us, beyond our control, and it is so much easier not to do something because we can not control the things holding us back. Take my weight loss. Yes, exercising more would make it easier for me to lose weight, but there are other things that I can do to lose the weight. I could eat better and less. Eating better and less have nothing to do with finding time to exercise or my commute to and from work. Even as I think about eating better and less, I can hear the excuses in my mind, like how can I eat better if I go out to lunch every day? Well, bring a lunch. But, I like getting out of the office, it gives me a break from what is going on. Boy, the excuses can keep coming...

Do you define your day?

This is an excerpt from the book I am writing called, “Living Your Purposeful Life”. Do you define your day, or does your day define you? This is an interesting question to look at. When I was starting to ponder this question, my first thought was that my day defined me. I have a job and there are certain things that I have to do during the day. Since I had stuff I had to do, I began to think that the day defined me and I think there are many people out there where you would agree with me, but I think we all need to step back and sit with this for a moment. Yes, you may “have” to get certain things done on a given day, but you have the choice in how you are going to do them. First, are you going to enjoy doing them? I can hear some of you thinking, “No, because this is work and I have to do it.” Well, you always have a choice! You can choose to enjoy what you are doing and I am sure you can find a way to make it fun. What about whistling while you work? I know I have a hard time being sad when I am whistling. If you interact with customers, even irate customers, you can greet them warmly with a smile. Did you know that if you smile, even when on the phone, the person on the other end will notice. I am sure you can think of a few ways to make what you are doing fun and...

How Generous Are You?

This is an excerpt from the book I am writing called, “Living Your Purposeful Life”. Recently, I went to the movies with my wife and her sister. In preparation for the movies, I went online and purchased the tickets for all three of us. When we got to the movies, my sister-in-law gave me money for her ticket. I was not asking for it, nor did I expect it. So, I just took her money and with that, I got into an argument with my wife. She said, she was more generous than I was because I accepted the money from her sister. I told her generosity had nothing to do with me taking the money. Me taking the money was more about receiving than being generous. Being generous was paying for the tickets with no expectation of getting anything in return. Me being generous is all the money that I donate to charities. All the lunches and coffees that I buy for my friends. The driving that I offer to take or pick up my father-in-law. In all of these cases, I am not expecting the charities to give back to me. I am not expecting my friends to buy me lunch or coffee and you know what, I usually get something back in return. I get lunches and free coffees. May be not from the people I gave to, but does that really matter? Am I keeping track of the number of lunches I have purchased and for whom? No! I am giving them without expectation. Can you be too generous? Yes. If you are uncertain, ask...

Why Do It?

This is an excerpt from the book I am writing called, “Living Your Purposeful Life”. Nike has a slogan, “Just Do It”. Which is simple and motivating to get you going, but after you have been doing it for a while, you tend to ask yourself, why am I doing it? And the answer to your “why” is what keeps you going and the stronger the “why”, the more reason you have to do it. I also believe the more positive your “why” the more happier you are in just doing it. For example, why do you go to work? If your only answer is, “because I need the money to pay my bills”. That does not sound or feel too motivating! But what if you answer was, “I go to work, so I can afford my cottage and spend long weekends by the lake.” How does that feel? I am sure it would feel much better if your reason is, “I love the work that I do,” but I know that not everybody “loves” their job, and your “why” may not require that you “love” your job. Your job could just provide some groundwork for you to do something greater in this life. What if you are a parent, and you took a job that was only during school hours, so that you could spend time with your children and take interest in their activities. Do you really need to “love” that job, you could “love” it, but if your real “love” is spending time with your kids, is it worth it doing your current job? It really...

What is your relationship with fear?

This is an excerpt from the book I am writing called, “Living Your Purposeful Life”. What is your relationship with fear? I am not talking about the fear for your life because you hear a strange noise in the house. I am talking about the fear of taking action in your daily life. For example, are you afraid to raise your hand in class or in a meeting, because you “might” have the wrong answer, or you are afraid of what people “might” think of your suggestion? Think about fear for a moment and ask yourself, “Is fear holding me back?” Is it? It fear preventing you from raising your hand, or speaking out, because of what “might” happen to you? I do not believe the fear is something that we have to eliminate from our lives, because fear does cause us to pause and think before we take action, which can be very helpful as long as we do not let fear rule our lives and prevent us from experiencing what life has to offer us. I know there are times where I have had fear rule parts of my life. When I was wrestling in my senior year of high school, the fear of losing caused me to perform terribly and though I did not lose, I did not win either. In work, the fear of how I might be judged has held me back in taking a leadership role I should have taken years ago. I know the fear of failure has prevented me from taking some chances in my life that might have lead to...

What Are You Trying to Create in Your Life?

This is an excerpt from the book I am writing called, “Living Your Purposeful Life”. It is getting close to the end of 2013 and as everybody starts looking at the new year, many of you start working on your resolutions for next year. I have long stopped creating resolutions for the new year, because I wonder why not just create your resolutions as you need to? Why not ask yourself throughout the year, “what are you trying to create in your life?” and when you get an answer, then start working towards what you are trying to create. Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine and we started getting into a discussion about what we are trying to create and it was very interesting that I was trying to create a perfect life. She then asked what was a perfect life and I said it was a life without problems. She paused and thought about that for a while and then said, “But you thrive on problems.” She said that I do my best work when I have a problem to work on and living my perfect life, I would be bored. I took a step back and had to think about what she had said and then realized that, yes, I do do my best work when I am working on a problem, and I have to admit, that I do feel stress when a problem comes up, because in my perfect world, there would be no problems, and problems are a sign that I have failed to create a perfect world. What a conundrum,...

Where is Your Energy Going?

This is an excerpt from the book I am writing called, “Living Your Purposeful Life”. “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.” ― Albert Einstein With that in mind, what are you doing with your energy? Are you giving it away? Are you holding it back? Are you giving yourself time to recharge your energy? Especially during the holiday season, are you being careful with how you take care of your energy? For me, I know that I usually let my energy flow from me without caring where it is going and that can be good to help others, but at the end of the day, it can leave me feeling drained. I know that if I get drained too much, then I will get sick and that is the ultimate warning for me that I need to rest. I know that I do need to spend more time managing my energy and managing does not mean holding onto my energy, but I need to be careful on how I use my energy and how I recharge my energy. For example, I have been dealing with legal issues this past week at work and after every meeting, I have felt exhausted. In the meeting, I am going strong, fully on task, but when I am done, I feel like I am done for the day! Which is not good when the meeting is the first thing in the morning! I know that I can do a better job of managing my energy and being aware of what I am doing...

Do you have toxic friends?

This is an excerpt from the book I am writing called, “Living Your Purposeful Life”. Do you have toxic friends? What are toxic friends? I would say a toxic friend is somebody who is keeping you stuck where you are today, or makes you feel worse. From the day we were born, we were meant to grow and learn. Anthony Robbins said, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” Which are you doing? How can you tell if you have a toxic friend? Take a look at how they react when you either have a problem or a victory. When you have a problem, are they helping you through the problem or are they keeping you in the problem. For example, if you have some problems with a co-worker,  and instead of helping you through the problem and finding solutions for the co-worker, they one up you. They tell you about a more difficult co-worker that they have to deal with from the point of view that your situation is not as bad as their situation. Instead of finding solutions, they may also help you have a pity party over the problems that you are having with the co-worker, which does not help you get through the problem, but make you feel worse about the problem. When your friend has a problem and you try to help them, are they looking to take your help, or are they looking to drag you down into their problem? When you offer a solution, do they say, “that will never work in my situation, because…” and they have never tried your solution or...

Where is your power?

This is an excerpt from the book I am writing called, “Living Your Purposeful Life”. I was recently on a business trip that took me to the West coast of Canada for several parties and meetings. I left on a Tuesday and returned on Friday. During that entire time, it seemed like I was going from one event to another. I got to Vancouver in time to go to the hotel, get changed and head to the customer appreciation Christmas dinner. It was a last night and I had to be up early for some meetings out East with my team. After those meetings, I hopped on a plane and headed to Calgary. Arrived there, had lunch with the Calgary office and then went to the hotel to get ready for another customer appreciation Christmas party. Another late night and I had to be up early for some meetings out East with my team. Then, there was an executive lunch with more customers and that evening was a dinner with my team in Calgary. To top things off, there was a fire alarm in my hotel at 2am before I hopped on a plane to come home on Friday. I was tired when I got home on Friday and I thought that all I needed was a good night of sleep and I would be better. When I got up on Saturday, I was feeling better, but as the day went on, I felt drained. Initially, I thought it was the week of running that I had and it was catching up with me. All week, all I did...