What distinguishes me as a life coach is my experience and all that I have learned in life. I lost my father when I was three years old, and when I was nine my mother married a man and left me and my siblings and went to a city far away. We grew up with grandparents and uncles in the same house. As soon as graduated from high school I joined my brothers and uncles in the United States. In the US, I decided to continue my education in law, but others, senior to me, advised me that study of law in the US is very difficult and most likely I will fail to finish the program. Instead, they advised me to choose engineering or medicine, but I was not interested in those fields.
After more than two years I finally decided to choose art as my major in college. I decided on art because, since childhood I had always been interested in painting. But while studying art I began to think that I would probably end up being a starving artist. So, I enrolled in computer classes, and finally, after eight years, I completed my studies with two degrees, computer and art. Throughout these eight years, off and on, I worked various odd jobs, mostly as waiter at various restaurants in Chicago. I must add that since grammar school I have always been an average student and I always passed classes with the lowest acceptable score.
Upon graduation from university a reputable company hired me as a computer programmer, it was a strike of luck at a time when jobs were scarce. The job was challenging with a high level of responsibility, but I did not have much interest in this type of highly technical work. These years were not the best years of my life, as computer programming, although challenging and innovative, was not the profession of my choice. I thought I should do something that I am really interested in and I should be more satisfied with my career. But, I did not know how to go about making the change.
I married an artist. She had been a professional ballerina for many years and she was now involved in all aspects of art, painting, sculpture, photography, video, film, and performance art.
With my wife’s encouragement, coupled with my passion, I applied and was admitted to law school. I worked during the day and went to school at night. After a few years, I received my doctoral degree in law and I was admitted to practice law in California. I then resigned from the computer job and worked for one of the big consulting firms. After a short time, the company invited me to be a partner of the firm. As a partner I had broad responsibility and oversaw an area of practice across North America. For a while, I was a consultant to the California governor's office, as well as a special advisor to the California Attorney General’s Office.
In my professional career as an attorney and consultant I helped to negotiate and mediate complex business disputes involving hundreds of millions of dollars. When I felt that my work was too much of business and not related to human life, I volunteered as a mediator in my community. I spend my free time to help people to resolve their disputes instead of going to court. As a volunteer mediator I did not charge for my time, but I felt immense satisfaction that made me very happy.
Over the years, I challenged myself to do things that were difficult for me to do. As I was a shy person since childhood, I always thought that two of the things I would never be able to do were acting in a theatre and public speaking. But, I broke those fears. I studied theater with two prominent directors and I acted in several plays. I learned pubic speaking techniques and delivered lectures to hundreds of people across the United States on complex legal and technical issues.
I retired at age 57. With the help of my wife, now a prominent international artist, I relearned the art of painting. Now I spend my days painting, reading and cooking, and I tell people that I am an artist.
I have come to know that knowledge plays an important role in our personal life, but what we do with that knowledge plays even a more important role.
For me, peace and happiness have always been very important. For a long time, I wondered whether it would even be possible to live in peace and be always happy. I have found the answer to those questions, yes, it is possible. With what I have learned and what I have practiced, I now have been in peace and happiness for many years. This has been the biggest achievement of my life.
My findings for happiness and peace are the sources that guide me toward a desire to share that with others on a new professional commitment as a life coach.