I think at some point in our lives we’ve all had times when we have felt a little lost. That was how I would have described myself before coming into contact with Lighthouse International through Adam.
It was the summer of 2012 and I had just recently been married in a beautiful ceremony in Spain to my wife Annemarie. I also had a new job lined up in a new school where I would be working from September. I had lots of opportunities but something was missing when I started this new life and I couldn’t put my finger on it. This feeling didn’t leave me for months. I had guessed it was just the comedown from the wedding.
Everything had been so exciting and then that phase came to an end. However this feeling didn’t go anywhere. In fact it intensified. I became paranoid at work and defensive. I was disengaged at home and wasn’t my usual self. Life felt flat and I was finding it difficult to find happiness. I got into a deeper emotional rut because I knew how lucky and blessed I had been up to this point. So many other people would have given their right arm to be in the position I was in with a comfortable career and a loving family. What was wrong with me? My wife picked up on it and we talked about what it could be. I told her that it was probably just moving home and settling in somewhere new and there was a bit of truth in that, but deep down I knew there was something bigger eating at me.
I had become disillusioned with my career as I felt that I could be performing better, and contributing more. I felt stuck between my responsibility as a parent, teacher and a husband and was finding no time to do things for me that I enjoyed. I knew there must be a more resourceful and joyful way to live because this couldn’t carry on. I was in truth a miserable git, but where was I supposed to start finding the answers? It became clear to me that I needed some extra support.
They say when the student is ready the teacher will appear and it proved to be absolutely true. In search of extra help and guidance, I turned to Stephen Covey. I had read his awesome book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People when I had been in university, and had re-read it again when I had first started teaching. One evening after work, I put Stephen Covey’s name into Google and found his community website. I signed myself up and had a browse through. There was some great stuff on there that I was planning to have a look through.
A week later I received a message from Adam who had seen my profile and wanted to get in touch. He talked about the possibility of joining a study group focused on the book. This seemed like a great first step.
After a while, I plucked up the courage to describe my angst to Adam and ask what he thought I could do. We discussed the possibility of him becoming my mentor. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was excited to give it a go and we set up our first meeting.
Within minutes I realised what the problem had been in my career and discovered something about myself that has changed my life immensely. It was the most challenging and invigorating talk I had been a part of in years and it electrified me. I realised I was not happy because I was not challenging myself to develop, and I was not challenging myself to grow because I was acting like a victim who had no control over life.
The lessons I have learnt from Adam have had an all-encompassing effect. I realised that everything is connected. If I had all the career success in the world but my family were unhappy, I would not be satisfied. All the connected areas to that such as health, personal development, spiritual growth, and resourcefulness became more important to me and gave me back my power. With his ideas and guidance, as well as listening to many audiobooks and reading many other books on personal development, a new vision for my life has emerged.
I now live a life that has a purpose and intent to it. I want to reach my fullest potential in order to inspire others to reach theirs. My mentorship sessions have assisted me in looking within and asking the challenging questions of myself. I am making steps towards a life that is on my own terms and will benefit my family and the wider community. I now know how to organise my time so that I have time to look after responsibilities, but also make time to spend quality time with friends and family as well as making time for myself – (The 5 a.m. Club).
I appreciate my life and myself so much more now, and I work daily on trying to expand my positive energy so it touches everyone I come into contact with. I want that for myself, my family and the whole world. I will be eternally grateful to Lighthouse International, and Adam especially for helping me to see the importance of shining my light for all to see so that they shine as brightly as possible in response.
The main lessons I have learnt so far are:
- The thoughts you have about yourself and the world play a vital role in how you see, feel and act.
- We all have a responsibility to grow and develop. It is what gives us true satisfaction in life.
- Whatever dream you have in life that you want to aim for, it is possible with the right support, help and strategies.
- You get back what you put in. Change yourself first, and then the things around you that you want to effect will change too.
- We are all on a journey and all need help and support. There is strength in having a team with you.
I’ve had all these insights and I am only now starting the process of completing my Wants and Needs Gap Assessment and Analysis! I’m really excited about the future opportunities that I can create with the help of such a wonderful organisation. Thank you – Shaun Browne.
Defining Shaun’s Breakthrough Lessons
By Adam Wallis – Associate Partner, Mentor & Coach, Lighthouse International
Reading this experience from Shaun has been quite touching particularly as I’ve had the privilege of helping Shaun along his journey. It’s amazing to look back and see how far we have come (and the lessons for me too that always come from helping others learn). There are so many things we can learn from others’ experiences and indeed it’s so important that we do. So here is a summary of the core lessons through Shaun’s experience that you can take away and explore in your own life…
- Really Examine What is Going on Inside – Shaun shared how he knew something was eating away at him. It got to such an extent that it was eating away at him, in a big way. At the time Shaun was aware enough to feel that and to address it rather than ignore it and cover it over. Equally the more practiced we become at really examining ourselves, our own weaknesses, flaws and imperfections, the more we can address these things sooner before they get to a place where we feel hopeless and lost.
- Reaching Out for Guidance – Shaun got to a place where he knew he couldn’t do it alone, he knew that he needed guidance and support to bring his life back on track. Too often in today’s world we’re afraid to ask for help or to even seek it at all.
- A Victim of Circumstance – Shaun realised he was being a victim, acting as if he had no control over his life. Now yes, I do know that circumstances do influence and that some things just simply aren’t in your control…. BUT…. I wish to categorically emphasise that we do have choice over how we respond. But that choice comes when we first have an intimate awareness and understanding of what drives us internally and what makes us tick. Shaun realised he wasn’t dedicated to improving himself, learning about himself and becoming a better person. But look what happened when he did!
- All Encompassing Happiness & Success – Finally, the fourth major lesson we can learn from Shaun’s experience is that our success and happiness is all encompassing. We may have a fantastic career, but if we’re not also pursuing our passions, or fostering loving relationships, or taking good care of ourselves… or… or… or… then we are limiting ourselves. We must be nurturing ourselves in all areas of our lives. In fact we recently wrote another article on the vital importance of nurturing all aspects of our lives – check it out here.
So what have you taken from what Shaun has shared here and these concluding Defining Lessons? How do they relate to where you are in your own life? How can you apply them yourself? If you’d like to speak with Shaun about his experience, or if you’d like to explore mentorship for yourself, then do let us know by contacting us here…