When we think about why people seek out life coaching, it might be easy to assume that they do so because they are looking to become successful. Perhaps they want to switch careers, make more money, or gain more recognition. Yet, author, life coach, and Zen Cowboy™ Alaric Hutchinson goes a step beyond that approach to coaching with one simple question: “What comes after success?”
Realizing just how few people are genuinely happy in their lives—no matter how much they have achieved professionally—was a huge breakthrough for Alaric in terms of understanding the individuals who seek out his services. “Money and success (once achieved) do not actually bring about lasting happiness or a sense of peace,” says Alaric. “Many of my clients are high performers and earners trying to figure out why they are still not satisfied in their life. The niche of people I work with all desire inner peace.”
With his sights set on combining Life Coaching and the elements of Zen philosophy, Alaric published his first book, Living Peace, in 2014. Since then, it has become the primary tool he uses in his practice. Alaric explains that the book, which contains nine teachings and practices of self-discovery and self-mastery, uses Zen teachings to provide instruction in “the philosophy of inner peace” and Life Coaching principles to help “clarify, set, and achieve personal goals in whatever area of life you would like to improve.”
Many of his clients read the chapters of his book alongside their coaching sessions, providing a grounded and insightful method of learning and experience. One tool found in the “Mastery of Impulse” chapter is PPR: pause, process, and respond. Committing this acronym to memory allows it to be used anytime a client feels reactive. Alaric explains that “PPR establishes a foundation of mindfulness and choice, rather than unconsciously repeating old patterns of thought, speech, or behavior.”
Alaric has seen firsthand how this tool—as well as the others covered in Living Peace—can create life-changing results for clients. When one of his former client’s ex-fiancé came to Alaric for coaching, Alaric was able to use the technology he has developed to guide him toward a new perspective on their broken engagement. The man realized that he had allowed his ego to get in the way of an otherwise amazing relationship, and within the year, the two decided to get married after all—with Alaric officiating the wedding!
And it isn’t just his clients’ relationships that are benefiting from these tools! Alaric describes how he and his own fiancé have handled their core wounds and their egos’ attempts to take over during the budding stages of their romance. “Normally what happens when people, especially new couples, are triggered is that they react and project negative emotion—forming unhealthy communication patterns from the start,” he explains. “Because my fiancé was so open, we both applied the Living Peace tools and teachings without resistance. Thus, we were able to allow every difficult experience to strengthen our bond, rather than weaken it. Today, we both go to bed at peace every night and wake up feeling happy every morning. Already a year of living this way proves that this work is priceless and invaluable.”
Alaric relishes in seeing his clients become the most honest and most alive versions of themselves. “I love sharing in vulnerability with people,” Alaric confides. “Many of my clients tell me things they have never spoken to another soul before, and in those moments of trust, the deepest healing is born.” Speaking of the power of moving beyond fears, Alaric says, “Most of us are not alive each day because we avoid half of our reality, meaning we avoid everything we don’t like or that causes us pain. To embrace our depth is to embrace all that life has to offer, even the pain and discomfort.” Being able to do so is the key to finding true satisfaction. As Alaric beautifully explains, “To me, this is the greatest and most important success a human can achieve.”