Hello! I'm Inger Kenobi. Nice to meet you!
After dropping out of college, I spent my twenties living at a Tibetan Buddhist center in California. This was followed by working at the Norwegian Embassy in London. Then I wrote a book and began training as a life coach at the Martha Beck Institute
I don't fit into any neat and tidy boxes, and my hunch is neither do you.
After working as a coach for the past six years, this is what I've learned.
FIRST: When you ignore your intuition and desires, everything becomes insanely hard and stressful.
SECOND: If you don't have a strategy in place for acting on your intuitive hits and desires, it's like having a Rolls-Royce in the driveway with flat tires and an empty gas tank.
ALSO: I noticed that most of my clients have fallen prey to the 'result happiness' mode. Working all the time and feeling slacker-ish if they have any kind of fun along the way. Luckily, there is another way.
You can be head-over-heels in love with your workday and produce amazing results.
In fact, it's the only approach I know that doesn't lead to burnout, stress,
stagnation, and resentment.
Here are some other nuggets I've picked up along the way.
LESSON NUMBER ONE
I was born with club feet and told I would never be able to walk. Fourteen surgeries later, I'm now the proud owner of tiny feet that can run, walk, dance, and skip. This story illustrates my first lesson in personal success: Don't let other people's limiting beliefs about you hold you back. Trust yourself.
DROPPING OUT OF COLLEGE
At age nineteen I dropped out of college and hopped on a plane to visit a friend who lived at a Tibetan Buddhist center in California. The plan was to stay for two months. I stayed for ten years. This taught me the benefit of being open and flexible. I had originally planned to become an archaeologist, but that turned out to be only one small part of my journey, not the destination. I now know our lives are so much bigger than our initial potential and original plans. This is true for everyone. Let the world surprise you. Out-rank yourself and run in the direction of what makes you happy.
THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
During my time at the Buddhist center, I got to study with some of the greatest meditation masters of our times. People came and went. Minds changed. Lives were transformed. Observing all these comings and goings, you didn't have to be enlightened to see that happiness had nothing to do with outer achievements. True happiness, like everything else, comes down to attitude and mindset.
Fast forward to 2008 and you find me in London working as the Private Secretary to the Ambassador of Norway. This shift was inspired by the need to try something new, and I promised myself to only apply for jobs that filled me with excitement--even if I didn't feel ready for them. Especially if I didn't feel ready. I was nervous as hell, but my plan paid off. Within the diplomatic walls of the Embassy, I had the great honor of working with Scotland Yard, Buckingham Palace, the Norwegian Royal Household, war veterans, artists, diplomats, and the Norwegian Olympic Committee. This entire experience reminded me of the saying, 'You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.' Oprah said that.
FOLLOW THE LOVE
Upon leaving California my teacher gave me a beautiful book with the inscription: Follow the Love. That saying eventually led me to this work. I love watching smart, talented, fun, amazing people wake up to the miracle of their own achievements. You don't have to justify your calling, but you do have to pay attention to it and act on it. Don't worry so much about what other people think. Recognize what you have to offer.
OBSTACLES AND CHALLENGES
But listen, this work is not about quick fixes and fleeting success.
I've been heartbroken, broke, lost, and confused. We all have.
I've been stalked by a bear, I nearly drowned, and I've watched loved ones die. You've had your fair share of challenges, too.
PLAY THE HELL OUT OF THE CARDS YOU'RE HOLDING
My point is this. We can't control what happens to us, but we have a say in how we deal with it. Feel your feelings. Be kind to yourself. Don't let your past predict the future. There is no need to put restrictions on what's possible. And like Cheryl Strayed said, 'You don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding.'