True Calling Project | Finding Purpose and Meaning In Life and Career

John Harrison is a professional psychotherapist and coach. He brings his insight and experience from his former career as a military officer, 9-5 office worker, and his current career as a therapist and coach, in interviews with professionals, psychology experts, and those living their higher potential. Each week you’ll get discussion, stories, and insights on finding your “why”, how to optimize your life and business, and the mental and emotional challenges that can keep you stuck. He and his guests explore the practical and spiritual aspects of engaging in a satisfying career and a meaningful life.
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True Calling Project | Finding Purpose and Meaning In Life and Career



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Now displaying: January, 2017
Jan 30, 2017

Traci Ruble, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, is the co-creator of Sidewalk Talk.

Sidewalk Talk fights stigma around therapy and mental health by bringing listening to the streets.

The idea is simple:

  • A volunteer sets two chairs out on the sidewalk.
  • They listen to anyone who wants to talk.

“I’m not in my therapist role when I’m out there listening. I show up as a human and I try to not think about all the different theoretical orientations and I don’t meet people with the idea that there’s something that needs to be fixed in them.“

The movement started in 2014. Traci was bewildered by the level of gun violence and she wanted to know: how can we be active in our community and actually listen to what’s going on, rather than interpreting and predicting it? How can we be part of the community?

The first Sidewalk Talk event took place in San Francisco in 2015 – now there is a Sidewalk Talk going on, somewhere in the world, every week.

An important aspect of the Sidewalk Talk dynamic is that the volunteers are not showing up as therapists – they’re not even showing up as helpers. They only show up in the role of a curious listener.

“I don’t think it’s a different experience than a therapy office. I think I experience it differently because I’m not in a therapy office. The context changes how I receive it.”

The one thing that Traci has to train the non-therapist volunteers to do is regulation, both inside of themselves and the person they’re listening to. Over sympathizing can burn out the volunteer and unbalance the person talking.

Sidewalk Talk is changing the world because it’s a disruptive social technology.

  • When you see people listening in the street, whether or not you participate, your mindset changes.
  • When someone listens to you, it encourages you to do the same.
  • When you engage with your community, it’s stimulating and you want to do more.

Listening projects can also disrupt the intense political dichotomy in the U.S. The 2016 election shows that many people don’t feel they are being listened to, so Traci’s next step is Sidewalk Talk On The Road 2017.

“Human connection is always the solution. Solutions are not the solution.”


Volunteer to listen in your community at





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Production & Development for True Calling Project by Podcast Masters

Jan 23, 2017

Today, we’re exploring The Suffer Lab with Lt. Col. Phil Forbes.

“You’re going to suffer to grow. Things aren’t always comfortable.”

In episode 2, I talked to Phil about leadership. Phil has been affiliated with Special Operations for the majority of his career and has supported numerous contingencies worldwide. He has commanded at the detachment, squadron, and group level in garrison and in combat and has been awarded the Bronze Star on two occasions. He presently works in the Pentagon for a three-star General as an Executive Officer.

We’re used to thinking that stress and suffering are bad, but they’re instructive. Experiencing stressful situations, physically or mentally, teaches you about how your body responds to stress.

You have a choice about how you respond to suffering. If you make a conscious decision to frame the experience in a way that serves you, then you will develop better skills for adapting to greater suffering, in the future.

The Suffer Lab is self-imposed suffering, with defined limits. In the Lab, you know the experience is finite so you can more easily practice making conscious choices.

Phil suggests putting yourself through The Suffer Lab in any area of your life where you find weakness, or a deficit. It’s difficult – you have to be really honest with yourself – but that’s where the real growth is.

“Suffering ceases to be suffering the moment it finds meaning.” –Victor Frankl

If you want to learn more about the benefits of suffering and discover more of Phil’s amazing stories, then you’re in luck! Phil is publishing blogs on Medium and you can follow him here.




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Production & Development for True Calling Project by Podcast Masters

Jan 16, 2017

Mercedes Samudio, LCSW runs a practice and brand called The Parenting Skill.

Over time, Mercedes realized she wanted to coach and empower her parents – she didn’t necessarily want to do therapy with them.

Parents really need to learn how to connect with their child and still be a full human, while making sure that their children are safe, growing and developing. She helps parents learn their own unique skills.

An important tool for Mercedes is empathy. She understands that each person is different and each parent will parent differently. “You don’t have to wait until you’re an expert, because each and every single one of us is technically an expert in understanding our perspective and our philosophies.”

Another important tool that Mercedes has embraced is live video. Live videos allow her to show off her passion and show up as her genuine self. Being genuine helps others do the same, and it brings the clinician and the client to the same human level.

Many of the problems that parents experience can be traced back to the expectations and shame associated with certain roles. Those norms create barriers to our own growth and the shame obscures our genuine self. Mercedes’s coaching can empower someone to overcome shame and limiting beliefs.

Mercedes is working on a book titled Shame-Proof Parenting. It explores how to identify shame in your life, in your family and in your parenting, and what you can do to shame-proof your life.

You can learn more about Mercedes at or by following her on social media (links in the resources below).




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Production & Development for True Calling Project by Podcast Masters

Jan 9, 2017

Either we’re asleep or we’re awake. Either we’re consciously aware of something or we’re not.

But we don’t become awake from reading books or having conversations. We wake up when we experience things, and we experience things differently based on our mindset.


Mindset Shift #1 – Don’t Get Wrapped Up in the Things You Can’t Control.

  • I don’t necessarily think politics is the problem, I just don’t think it’s the solution.
  • Other individuals will not solve your problems or improve your life.


Mindset Shift #2 – Loving & Accepting Every Experience

  • Accepting the fullness of an experience will allow you to see the good in the bad, and it will help you learn to love every present moment.
  • When you’re doing things you don’t particularly like, you can learn to love them because you know those things serve your greater purpose.
  • When we experience hard times, we tend to quickly judge those as bad experiences. When we make that snap judgement, we miss the bigger picture of what we’re experiencing.


Mindset Shift #3 – Being a Victim Vs. Being Victimized

  • We’ve all been victimized. We’ll be victimized intermittently throughout the rest of our lives.
  • The difference between being victimized and being a victim is that being a victim is a role we assume, and it is a role that sheds responsibility for the circumstances we have been given that have been out of our control.
  • What is in our control is our ability to react and be proactive


Mindset Shift #4 – Don’t Waste Energy on Can’t

  • If you want to find an excuse to not do something, you will always find an excuse.
  • Excuses can be real – that doesn’t mean you have to focus your energy and attention on them.
  • It’s a choice to find reasons why you can’t or reasons why you can. In almost every situation, there are reasons for both.


Mindset Shift #5 – You Don’t Have to Have All the Answers to Start

  • As a therapist, we often feel that we need to have all of the answers before we can help solve someone’s problems. But the reality is we can’t. We’re never going to have all the answers.
  • You don’t need to be the ultimate subject expert to start anything, because that’s all subjective.
  • The answers that you need to apply aren’t necessarily coming from other people’s information. Your answers come from your experiences.


Mindset Shift #6 – Don’t Be Afraid to Show Up

  • When you try to meet other people’s expectations, you can’t fully show up.
  • You can’t be the thing you think other people want. Not everyone will like what you do, but there’s plenty of people who will embrace who and what you are.
  • You have to understand and recognize what you show up as. If you show up, you have to understand that there’s value in that.
  • We want to see people and things that are true and aren’t hidden by an agenda. People love authenticity, whether we realize it consciously or not.


Mindset Shift #7 – Embrace Stoic Philosophy

  • “The single most important practice in stoic philosophy is differentiating between what we can change and what we can’t.” –The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
  • Stoicism helps you look at the neutral nature of the universe. It responds to what you put out there.

I truly believe the world will start to change when we all start recognizing what we have internally as valuable, and when we recognize that the things we put out into the world are valuable.

Act. Do. Try. Don’t be afraid of failing.




Interested in learning more about how I can help you through coaching?  Find out more at


Production & Development for True Calling Project by Podcast Masters

Jan 2, 2017

Ernesto Segismundo, M.S., is a marriage and family therapist who mastered marketing skills to help him grow his private practice. He trains other therapists to do the same by promoting their practice through social media and video marketing at

Ernesto emphasizes how our origins and perception affect how we define what is possible and what is a success. When we achieve what we believe to be possible based on our origin, then we run into an upper limit problem.

This upper limit problem can look and feel a lot like burnout, but it’s likely rooted in fear. Reaching your perceived upper limit can lead to losing focus and subconscious self-sabotage.

You’re not failing – you just don’t know how to handle your success… yet.

“You are successful, but you don’t know how to handle that type of success.”

When we re-think burnout, we can stop blaming external factors and start taking personal responsibility. When you take personal responsibility, you can start actually addressing the problem.

Sometimes the upper limit problem is necessary. If we never struggle then we lose motivation.

When Ernesto started addressing his upper limit problem, he started improving his mindset.

  • He fostered more creativity
  • He was more generous with himself
  • He became intentional about what he put out onto social media
  • He gave himself the permission to be happy, open and honest

What’s beyond your upper limit?

According to Ernesto and Gay Hendricks, author of The Big Leap, genius is beyond your upper limit. That’s where you can be the most creative, most generous and get over your imposter syndrome.

The upper limit problem is out there – it’s a psychological, emotional and relational toxicity. If you do not address it, then you will never reach the peak of your business, relationship or personal development.

You can address it by reaching out to business coaches, mental health professionals and life coaches that specialize in this area. You don’t have to solve it, you just have to be aware of it.




Interested in learning more about how I can help you through coaching?  Find out more at


Production & Development for True Calling Project by Podcast Masters