Are you meeting people where they’re at? What kind of legacy will you leave? Adam Nugent has an intense and provocative conversation with Crawford Cragun. He is a gifted teacher, executive coach, and leader in business. You can bring so much good into the world, and you don’t need anybody outside of you to tell you that you’re there. Every experience is an opportunity to choose whether to survive or thrive. Learn more about changing your mindset, being curious, and achieving your goals right now!
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Crawford Cragun has had an extremely diverse career, including working in financial services and now life coaching. In this podcast excerpt, he talks about creating the life he wanted for himself and explains the difference between surviving and thriving.
AN: You have had tremendous success with life coaching and an incredible list of clients that you work with. You made a choice to move into that. What drove that choice?
CC: I got helped along the way by having this moment where it was time for me to leave the company I’d been at. And so, being the analytical that I am, I listed all these things that I could do. And I had this epiphany that I could actually create the life for myself that I wanted and that I didn’t have to live into the definition of success that other people had given me. And I said, “Well, I’d like to try that.” I always had wanted to help people get from where they are to where they want to be—to help people discover the unique ability inside of them that they can use to bring joy to others. And what little I’d learned is that when we bring joy to others, there’s plenty of joy leftover for me.
AN: One of the big impacts that you’ve had that I’d love to talk about, a key component of coaching, is thriving versus surviving. What’s the difference between thriving and surviving? I think the majority of people struggle finding balance in that.
CC: Well, so we’re all in it. That is, the messy middle of life. Are we surviving or thriving? What we don’t know is what’s underneath it. Here’s another thing. Nobody ever walks in to a spouse or a boss or a partner or whatever, and says, “You know what? I’m in fear today.” Have you ever walked in to somebody and said, “Hey, I’m in fear today.” We don’t say that. We also don’t walk in and say, “Hey, I’m in faith today.”
We don’t say those things, but here’s what we do say, “I feel threatened.” That moment, where we feel threatened, as opposed to seeing every experience is an opportunity, is the moment that we begin to choose to survive or thrive. Because when we choose to survive, it’s about needing to use what I know, responding the way I’ve been trained, even sometimes muscle memory. And I need to just react to this threat. And if we’re over on the other side and say, “Wow, this is an opportunity,” then something different happens. There’s something to learn. We get curious. And so, as we go through that, then we have a whole different set of responses and behaviors.
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