Waking Up vs Growing Up with Steve Chandler

In this Facebook LIVE clip, Ankush speaks with renowned coach Steve Chandler who is the author of dozens of books including the bestsellers Crazy Good and Time Warrior. They speak about Ken Wilbur’s distinction of waking up vs growing up and how it aligns with George Pransky’s distinction between Living vs The Game of Life. You can find more resources like this here: https://ankushjain.co.uk/coaches/ 

Waking Up vs Growing Up Full Transcript


[00:00:01.06] Ankush: Hello Facebook, I’m live, and I’m joined by Steve Chandler behind me over here, hi Steve.


[00:00:12.12] Steve: Hello Ankush.


[00:00:14.20] Ankush: How’re you doing?


[00:00:15.10] Steve: I’m doing great.


[00:00:18.15] Ankush: As you can see this is not ideal for us, but we’re managing to get this going as best as we can, Facebook has changed a load of settings, but we’re streaming, I think this is plan D, but hey we’ve got each other here, and we’re going to do our best to get going with this. I’m really looking forward to it, this is titled, ‘Waking Up vs Growing Up.’ I can see a bunch of people joining us, so Hi Laurie, hi Lynn, hi Will! This is a little bit of a camera shake, but hopefully, this should be okay, so I’m excited about this Steve. I think this was a conversation that we had last week where we were talking, I think we were originally talking about the game of life, versus living, which is an audio by George Pransky, that I know you’ve recommended, I know you and I’ve recommended to many people. But you also talked about a different distinction, which is the one we’re talking about today, and maybe that’s a good place for us to start, because I know we spoke a little bit, but I’d love to hear about Ken Wilber’s distinction about waking up versus growing up.


[00:01:58.20] Steve: Well you know Ken Wilber is just an amazingly brilliant genius in the field of spirituality, psychology and philosophy, and I could never really do him justice, so I want to put that disclaimer out there, that people need to go read Ken Wilber to really understand, and then I’m doing sort of the children’s book version of a fragment of his ideas and that is, there’s such a thing as waking up, which is similar to George Fransky’s contrast between living life which is how it feels to be alive, your grounding if you’re in 3P is living life, understanding the three principles, knowing the role of thought, and then the game of life, and that’s the game we play out in the world, and for so many of us that are conscious, that’s our game, and we go play the game of life.

Now, Wilbur has the idea, which I think is kind of parallel and really interesting way he puts it, there’s such a thing as waking up, and that is waking up to the nature of infinite divine mind, and consciousness and waking up to that which a lot of people don’t, but that’s the spiritual journey, is waking up and then out in life there’s a thing called growing up. And that’s a path that a lot of coaches are reluctant to take, because it includes being strong about charging fees, being very professional and grown up about how I run my coaching practice, and it’s a factor of actually growing up and the upside of being adult and grown up out in the world and allowing your clients to see that you have a business that you’re running and that the time you offer is your product and it is precious and it is worth money, and so those are two factors and when a coach only focuses on waking up, only focuses on the spiritual, and doesn’t create a simple system for running his or her business, they run into trouble, and they get all frustrated, and they think waking up is enough to run a prosperous business, but it’s not, but there’s good news there, because it isn’t at harm to put together a simple system for how to charge people for your time and how to grow a practical, prosperous coaching practise. And when a coach doesn’t know quite how to do that, this profession is a very apprentice-based profession, they learn from other coaches. And a lot of times people think there’s something wrong with that, like, oh coaches charge other coaches, that shouldn’t be going on, but that’s sort of a cynical ignorant view of how this profession works, because as you know, people who learn to be doctors they learn that from other doctors, people who learn to be lawyers learn from other lawyers, so there’s  really nothing unusual or weird about hiring a coach. Every coach I know who’s prosperous, learned that growing up part from another coach. And that’s a very sensible way and very practical way to grow a coaching practise.


[00:06:22.26] Ankush: I was going to say, Steve, I know that we’re talking to coaches because you and I are doing this event in London for coaches, but actually this isn’t just related to coaches. I remember a few years ago speaking to a lady who had really got into spirituality, which we’re not saying is bad at all, that’s the waking up side. It’s seeing past the illusion of life, people might say different things, but we’re not saying that’s bad, but this woman had kind of gone down that road, and realised that, (she had) stepped away from materialism and other things, but she had started paying less attention to her business, I can’t remember if it was her electricity or her water had got cut off. She told me that the next stage was that her kids were going to be taken away from her, but she was telling me, “but I’m happier, I realise that I can handle everything.” And I think what we’re pointing to is about the growing upside, so, and I think this is what you and I spoke about last week, which is we’re not saying it’s one or the other, but both and as coaches, we can help our clients see both sides.

It’s about waking up, which is seeing past our beliefs, our understandings, our stories that we make up that run our world really, that create a lot of illusions for us, and keep us having the results we have in the world. So that’s the kind of waking up part and seeing past it, but then there’s this other side, this game of life as George calls it, or the growing up side, which is, what some people would call the real world right? Like the world of form, how we live day-to-day, what’s happening over there, and certainly I’ve seen both in the coaching spheres that coaches often will do more of the waking up side, but struggle with the growing up part of things, but I’ve also seen this in various spiritual communities before I became a coach, where people would almost think, or certainly I did, let me just talk for myself, I used to think there’s something bad with making money, there’s something bad about being prosperous or being wealthy and it was kind of strange for me and I know that you were one of the first people that I came across who really helped me see both, it seemed that people were either one end or the other, they seemed to be either… it’s all about making money and it was very materialistic, and it’s good and they put a lot of stuff on it, or, it seemed to be the spiritual side of things which, rightly so, talks against materialism, and stuff can’t make you happy, we all know that, but you seem to but the two things really together for me, by seeing both sides of the equation and actually when it’s seen clearly, the more that you wake up, it can help you grow up, right? It can help you move in both sides of things, is that what you’d agree with as well?    


[00:09:38.23] Steve: Absolutely right yeah, and I think you nailed it because you don’t want to neglect one in favour of the other because like you said, we have a lot of clients and friends, who have no awareness of anything spiritual or anything like the 3 principles, so they think happiness comes from the outside world, and from other people’s appreciation and from succeeding and achievement and they keep going down that path, and they never find it. They never find fulfillment, because they’re only playing the game of life, and they’re not really… they have no spiritual aspect to themselves, and we see it in the world of entertainment, all these entertainers who are on their fifth husband or their fifth wife and addicted to drugs and suicides and things like that, because there’s no fulfilment when you only go on one line, the horizontal line is the game of life, and the same is true like you pointed out, is, if I’ve made a mistake and thought, ‘the world of form is wrong.’ The world of form is equally a part of life and it’s fun to play the game of life. You look at George Pransky and Michael Neil and all the really successful people who teach living life, but they also play the game of life in a way that gives them great prosperity and joy and the fun of playing out in the world and having a successful business or practise or career, so the trick is to allow yourself to do both with enthusiasm and joy and don’t neglect one for the other.


[00:11:49.05] Ankush: I’m really excited right now, I’m kind of getting this really excited feeling inside because I feel like what we’re talking about is, you can have your cake and eat it, right? It’s not one or the other which is really what I spent so much of my life thinking life was like or that it was tradeoffs, and what we’re really… what I’m so looking forward to doing with you is, and I know we’re specifically doing this for coaches, but I know we both do this with other clients too, but this summer, in June, what I’m really looking forward to is really helping coaches see this, because if coaches see this for themselves that it doesn’t have to be one or the other, that they can rise up, like you say, on the vertical scale of consciousness and I talk about the Three Principles; you’ve had some training in that, you’ve done a lot with Byron Katie and all sorts of things over the years, so if we can help coaches on that scale, and then also simultaneously, because they’re very connected when we really start seeing it, on the horizontal scale, actually grow up, realise what is holding you back from having a business, and it doesn’t have to be a coaching business, but we are speaking specifically to coaches, charging for that, delivering a service to people.

I mean I’m just thinking about it right now, many years ago I might have been afraid to do this, we tried three different things to get us live on Facebook, and here we are, I’ve got my computer screen here, my desk is not completely setup, my head’s kind of cut off at the top, but, I guess because of the waking up part, I realise that none of that really matters, but the growing up side is, we’ve committed to doing this today at 2.30pm, so we’re doing it. And I think if coaches really saw this, I’m just so excited because it’s so transformative, it’s really, it’s not just about them themselves, getting into a nice feeling or taking their clients to, let’s all sit around, let’s talk about our feelings, because that’s what I think sometimes people think that I do, like you just sit around talking about your feelings, get into a nice feeling, everything’s okay, you’re just feeling or thinking, but really what we’re talking about with coaching is, no, it’s the game of life, it’s about having results, it’s about having transformation. And again that’s something that you’ve really helped me see is how can I have real transformation for myself, and how can I have real transformation for the people that I work with.


[00:14:30.21] Steve: Yeah, I agree, and the growing up part or the game of life is not as mystifying and mysterious and confusing and challenging as people make it, people really dramatize the path of mastering their profession and they personalize it and they keep it separate from their good work in the spiritual field and they don’t integrate the two, so they don’t allow themselves to fully self-express in the world of business and have enthusiasm and joy and amazing creativity and connection with other people, they see that as the materialistic world, the capitalist world, there’s something wrong with that, it’s greed-based and they make it wrong, and then they try to do it, and you can see why that doesn’t work for people, they create a story around it that this is hard, this is difficult, I was never given the tools by my parents, how to live out in the so-called real world, and succeed, and they think maybe I’ll just retreat into contemplation and spirituality, and hide out from the fun you can have in the game of life, so that’s why I recommend George Transky’s audio on this, ‘Living life and the Game of life,’ because it’s such a beautiful expression of enjoying both paths simultaneously.


[00:16:21.03] Ankush: I love his word, ‘game,’ because this really can be so much fun, and it doesn’t have to be kind of hard and difficult and I remember many years ago you were talking about the thing that people can find most difficult in their business or it could be the most difficult thing in life, can really be the most fun thing in life, and I remember thinking like, “how’s that work?” “that’s a bit of a stretch!”, but it’s really true.


[00:16:50.03] Steve: Yeah and the only block against that is my own thinking.


[00:16:58.11] Ankush: Right, which kind of connects the two things again, it’s about the living part, it’s about waking up. I was talking to someone today about how all of our stories, all of our beliefs, all of the thoughts that we’ve got, in terms of how we view the world, really are kind of the lens through which we are living life, and that can have a really big part in terms of the results we’re getting in life, and so the two things like I said are absolutely connected. But it’s really insidious, the way I see it is that I can see through certain thoughts, or certain beliefs that are not true, but then there are other ones that look really true, and I know for me for example, even, I started coaching many years ago, it was kind of like, well I can earn a certain amount of money, but then above that is just greed. Right? It’s okay, this kind of works up until a certain point, and then after that, not that’s just too much, and I know you and I working together has actually really helped me to kind of get over that, and Neils has just commented, ‘everything can be fun, but for your thinking.’ Absolutely. And I’m really starting to believe that…


[00:18:21.18] Steve: I was just saying, you’re right, the human system, was actually designed to be creative and to have fun, and then the only thing that slows that down and gets in the way over time, are thoughts and beliefs we accumulate from the culture, society or other people, and pretty soon the word called ‘greed’ creeps in there, and we get scared, and we get upset, and these other words and stories, which have nothing to do with joyfully serving the world and they’re just an impediment, and if they can be seen for what they are, if thought can be seen for what it is, then it can be seen as a beautiful creative function, but it is not reflective of the truth about life, the truth about life exists prior to thought and that’s the beauty I think of what you teach people in the three principles, and you teach it so well and so many people do, that releases their grip on all these stories they’ve picked up along the way that then scare them, because what happens in the game of life and in professions is that people get scared and they think they need to make all these courageous super-human leaps outside their comfort zone in order to build a simple, practical, coaching practice or small business, and it’s all this superstition and made up ministry, and I don’t know why I’m not getting clients, so I don’t know why this isn’t working, and then you get one of these rumors floating in that the majority of coaches make less than $20k a year, and then they get all scared again. And they don’t really see the truth.


[00:20:38.01] Ankush: And the truth, you’re referring to a comment on one of my groups and someone talked about this and you said that ‘the truth is that any coach that really works full time, is making money.’


[00:20:51.16] Steve: That’s right. And so any lawyer working full time, any house painter working full time, it’s just the natural flow of how a society and a community works. If you’re serving fulltime in your profession, you’ll make money. But a lot of coaches I talk to, they’re swept up in the mystery of why they’re not making money, and then I look at their calendar for the last week and they weren’t in the conversation with anybody, they weren’t in communication with other people. And they’re not showing up for work in other words. They just don’t show up for work, whereas the person at the motor vehicles department across the street, she gets a regular paycheck, because she shows up to work. And so a lot of times that kind of revelation hits at the coach, I don’t put in an 8-hour day when I communicate with other people, and that’s the reason I’m not making money, it’s simpler than it looks.


[00:22:00.29] Ankush: Yeah I love that because I think there are probably a lot of coaches who think that they’re working hard, but you’re right, you and I had this conversation many years ago, well what does your calendar look like? And trying to become a YouTube celebrity is not coaching, trying to have thousands of followers on your podcast is not being a coach and I’ve run podcasts and I’m saying that as someone who runs a podcast, that’s not coaching per se, that’s something I do on the side, but it’s not coaching, and I think one of the things that’s really helped me is, as my family will tell you, I love to talk right? So I love being in conversation with people every single day, I love talking to people all day long, and that’s what coaching is really about and I’ve seen it for myself, in the years gone by, when I’ve got caught up, as you know Steve, when I’ve got caught up in trying to make myself social media famous, which is what a lot of… I don’t think I was the only one, I think a lot of people think that’s what you have to do, it’s when my business suffered. And I’ve not only seen that with me, I’ve seen it with other people too.

And so I think ultimately, again connecting back to this whole topic of waking up versus growing up, I think a lot of people when they connect to this, what’s really true for them, they already know that doing all of this social media, not that social media is bad, it’s really great, I use it all the time, but thinking that is what they need to do and push themselves out of their comfort zone and take these big leaps, that’s what’s really going to help them, quite often when I talk to them, I say, ‘do you enjoy that?’ And they say, ‘no,’ I’m like, ‘so why are you doing it?’ And it’s like they already know, I think coaches already know the way that’s going to create clients, and the way that doesn’t, and again I think it’s this whole misunderstanding that people have that keeps them going down the wrong road, as opposed to just calling someone up or just connecting with someone or just really following what their heart would say, and the event we’ve done like in the last 2 years, it’s got the word ‘heart-centered’ in there, creating a heart-centered coaching practice, and I really have those words in there on purpose because this really is about, right you’ve got this spiritual side and the growing up has been really ruthless and commercial, and cutthroat, it’s not it’s all connected.


[00:24:39.13] Steve: It is and social media is just one of many ways to start a conversation, but it’s not the conversation itself, and if you can cut to the chase and have a conversation with somebody, you can forget social media, it’s just a conversation starter, but it’s not a way to get clients, a lot of people think, ‘oh that’s why I’m not getting clients, I don’t have a book out there, I don’t have a radio show like Michael Neill, I don’t have this…’ But the answer is, no, it’s because you’re not in conversation, and then they say, ‘well who wants to talk to me?’ And then they personalise it, and they make it be about themselves, and they focus, ‘who wants to talk to me, my credentials?’ But the answer to that question is, everybody if you’ll listen. Everybody wants to talk to you if you’ll listen and anyone can listen. But we get that reversed, and I recommend Mark Howard on the subject of listening, because that’s really the answer, to be fearless about having a conversation with everybody, because everybody wants to be listened to, and if all you can do is listen intelligently, listen with an absolute blank slate, open mind, listen from the unknowing, not from the knowing, the diving unknowing, then you can talk to people all day long, and that’s where clients come from.


[00:26:20.23] Ankush: We’ve got one question, which I’m going to just briefly touch on, Loretta saying, ‘how to get out of one career box into another: change the perception of my network?’ What I’ll just say, I can’t answer that fully, because obviously, it’s a brief description to really answer that, but I’ll just say, if someone wants to get out of one career into coaching, it’s really similar to getting into any other profession. Like if I wanted to become a lawyer right now, I’d have to go to law school, if I wanted to become a doctor, I’d have to go to medical school, so I’d need to get the training up front, and once somebody becomes a lawyer or doctor or trains in that, they then need to go and take some practical steps. So if you’re a doctor you need to go and get a training contract, so you work in a hospital, but you’re under the supervision of a more senior doctor, who kind of teaches you the ropes, and it’s the same if you’re a lawyer and it’s the same if you’re an accountant, you learn about the technical stuff as an accountant, you take some exams, and then after that, you go and start working with clients, under the supervision of a more senior accountant and then you’ve got to learn the ropes, and I think if someone is asking about that in coaching, it’s not just changing people’s perception, it’s about, I would say, concentrate on yourself, go and get the training you need first, go and get that certain level, and then we don’t have many big coaching firms like we do law firms and hospitals, but you can go and find yourself a mentor or a more senior coach who can go and show you the ropes, and you’ve got to then show up and take the action, so I don’t know if you’ve got anything to add to that Steve?


[00:28:06.14] Steve: Yeah it’s simpler than it looks. It’s not terrifying unless my own thought based superstitions create a vision of terrifying and it’s just one communication after another, and it doesn’t have to be expensive, if you can’t afford a coach to train you directly at the present time, and you didn’t do one of the coaching forums online or two/three/four or five of them, there are so many different webinars and Youtube’s you can teach yourself with, you can watch people coaching people. I know people who couldn’t afford Byron Katie’s school and so they just watched her on Youtube and read her books and they got the same thing. So it’s not like all coaches have to invest all this money, there are hundreds of ways to do it, and it’s all out there, it’s all open for everybody and people who have cynicism around it, that’s their defense around their fear of failure and all of that is made up in their own head, it doesn’t exist in the world.


[00:29:27.05] Ankush: So I’m going to wrap it up there because I know we wanted to keep this short, but just what I finally want to say is, really looking forward to seeing, coming to London on the 9th/10th of June, we’re going to be doing some online stuff around that; 6 webinars, which are all aimed at coaches. It’s all about being heart centred, so if anyone’s interested in that, just reach out to me on Facebook, and also I’ll just say that too, if anyone just wants to reach out, I’ll post the link to George’s audio where you can buy that and also if anyone just wants to reach out in terms of, how does this apply when you’re not a coach, I can point you in the right direction as well, I’m happy to do that, I want people to get some value out of this, and thank you so much Steve for spending some time to talk to us today.


[00:30:16.21] Steve: Thank you.


You can find out more about Steve on his website: http://www.stevechandler.com/