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Stephen L. (Reviewer)
INTRODUCTION: When you’re stuck in a rut and not sure where to go next, it’s a good idea to take a look at your situation from a different perspective. You can talk to friends or family, but sometimes they’re so close to you and your life that they can’t give you any insights into where you’re bogging down. That’s when you can turn to an outside source who has the knowledge to help you work through the things that are holding you back – someone like coach and author Victor Schueller.
7SR: You mention that you left a full-time day job to start pursuing your dreams. What were you doing before, and what was the catalyst that led to this change in direction?
I am a chiropractor by education and degree, so I was working as a health care practitioner in private practice prior to my current endeavors. The catalyst, as it were, that led to a change was seeing how people were treating each other, and how harmful our actions and words can be. I wanted to be part of a solution, so here I am. I can safely say that even when I was on my mission to help others I was still part of the problem, as it were. I’ve done a lot of work on myself and how I treat and talk to others. I’m better than I was, but if I am completely honest with myself there is still work to be done. But, I share what I am learning, with the hope that it will help others as well.
7SR: You’ve written two books, one that is designed to help people learn to deal with negative thoughts and input, and another that shows people how to unlock their potential. Who are some of the authors that have inspired you in the past?
It’s interesting as I think of an answer to this question to notice how what I read evolves along with my own personal development. I have enjoyed the works of authors such as Rick Hanson, David Logan, Richard Davidson, Brian Tracy, Maxwell Malz, Abraham Hicks, Murdo McDonald-Bayne, Antonio Damasio, Bruce Lipton, Marshall Rosenberg, Yogi Kanna, Deepak Chopra, Vipin Mehta, and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, just to name of the few. This doesn’t include some of the wonderful teachers of the past who may not have written books, but their teachings are widely available, such as Lao Tzu, Gautama Buddha, Alan Watts, Jiddu Krishnamurti, and other thought leaders who are no longer with us.
7SR: As well as offering personal coaching services and writing for your blog, you also do broadcast and podcast interviews with influential people. Can you give us a preview of people you’ll be interviewing soon, so that our readers will know to look for those broadcasts?
Yes, thank you for mentioning that. I have been doing a podcast through Blog Talk Radio since 2011. Actually, as part of my intentional spiritual and personal growth and development plan, I took some time away from doing the show, as well as blogging for the most part, this past summer. So, the show has not been in operation since the spring. I have Dianne Collins, author of the fantastic book Do You Quantum Think? coming up in October. I have plans to invite back some great guests that I interviewed very recently, such as Jill Mattson to talk about sound healing, as well as “The Energy Reader,” John Sherry. As we head into autumn, I’ll begin filling out my schedule, which will feature an interview about every other week. There are, however, over 100 interviews on my show page right now, and you can take a listen by clicking on my “Radio Show” link on my website.
7SR: One of your recent blog posts focuses on how wanting things may prevent us from fully appreciating what is already all around us. When you’re coaching people, do you find that you often need to help them discover the things they already have?
That’s a great insight that you picked up on. Most of my coaching is focused on how people communicate, whether it’s with themselves or with other people, and yes, people often talk about how they want something out of their life, as if it were something that resided outside of themselves. To go into the depths of what is going on could turn into an hour-long discussion itself. But, let’s just say that socially we have been conditioned, and we continue to condition ourselves, to strive for things in just that manner — that the things we want come from external sources, or that we need to have “something” to experience positive emotions.
One example that comes up for me regularly that I can think of off the top of my head is with my younger daughter. Every time we go to the store, or even simply talk about going to the store, she tells me that she wants a stuffed animal. She believes that getting the stuffed animal will lead to positive emotions. I’m trying to break this type of thinking. With a six-year-old it’s not an easy process. While I understand that it’s fun to get something new, at the same time, happiness does not come from that stuffed animal.
Adults are the same. We believe that if we “get” that “thing,” or if someone “does” something “for” us that life will be “better.” Therefore, it is the external that leads to the internal change. It is a challenge to help people determine that while gratification and positive emotions can come from the external, they are often short lived and they are then grasping for something else, just like my daughter forgets about the stuffed animal she got the last time, and wants another one to add to her collection. It doesn’t last.
Lasting personal gratification, peace, and contentment come from reflecting on the inside. It is a realization that the source of any emotion comes from within, and the potential to experience any emotion resides within, that often leads to a personal breakthrough. The hard part, honestly, is getting people to realize that other people or external factors are not the reason why they feel the way they do. It’s hard for some to accept that responsibility.
I know it’s a long answer to your question, but the answer is yes, people often do need help to let go of their pre-existing conditioning and see the true power that comes from self empowerment that resides in them at every moment of every day.
7SR: What are five good books that you’d recommend to people who are looking for ways to define, develop, and change their lives for the better?
I am a “science guy,” so I love reading about how science explains behavior, or how science is trying to quantify and qualify behavior, so two books that I love are Richard Davidson’s The Emotional Life of Your Brain and Antonio Damasio’s Descartes’ Error. Sort of bridging the gap between the science and spirituality would be Rick Hanson’s Hardwiring Happiness. I would be remiss if I didn’t include two of my absolute favorite reads, which include Bruce Lipton’s Biology of Belief, which discusses how our perceptions really change the way our bodies work, and, finally, Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication. The science books are a challenging read unless you really like science, but they do a great job of explaining why we do what we do and how and why we behave the way we do. They also detail what we can do, or what we have no control over, in regard to our behavior based on neurological influences. Hanson’s book is great for finding that “happy place” within. Rosenberg’s book is one that I love simply because it takes a look at how socially-accepted and endorsed violence influences the way we talk to each other, and then presents a method for breaking this influence and turning it around. It’s a brilliant book. Well, actually I would opine that they all are!
Thank you so much for the opportunity to have this discussion. I really appreciate it!
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