TCC: The Life Coaching Course That Changed My Life Path
Three years ago, I did the life coaching course known as TCC for the first time. And it changed the entire trajectory of my life. I used to be an engineer. I had studied engineering in college and I pursued a career in engineering for over 10 years. I was good at my job. I worked hard and I got results. Over time, I was promoted, I changed jobs for higher salaries and for better positions. In 2016, I landed my dream job in a sought after pharmaceutical company. I had never dreamed of earning so much money as an engineer, I was living in a beautiful condo, I had just started a new relationship; everything seemed to be going well for me. Or so it seemed from the outside.
Inside though, I felt empty. There was nothing wrong with my life, I thought, but nothing particularly exciting about it either. I had felt this way for years, and I believed that working hard and getting more money and recognition and a relationship would eventually make me happy. But now that I ‘had’ all these things, why did I feel so numb and dissatisfied? I would reminisce about my childhood and teenage years, when I was so full of life! I wanted to do big things! I wanted to write, I wanted to create works of art, I wanted to do something meaningful and important and live an amazing life! Being a Senior Automation Engineer in a pharmaceutical company was certainly NOT the ‘dream life’ I had in mind at that age. Why was reality so disappointing in contrast?
I had often talked about leaving all of this behind, quitting my job, traveling the world, learning how to swim, writing a fiction novel featuring the places I had visited; but I ‘knew’ (at that time) that all of this was merely wishful thinking. I would often complain about it to my then partner (who had done TCC and spoke highly of it) that while I had a good job, I wasn’t doing anything amazing that could inspire her or the people around me. One day she got fed up with my usual whinging and asked me a simple question –
“Do you inspire yourself?”
I was taken aback.
It was as if she had shot an arrow in the dark and it had found my heart. I had never thought about my life in that way. Did I inspire myself?
The answer was a painful no.
At that realization, I felt like I had reached a new low. I had everything that society deemed necessary for a ‘good life’. A ‘good life’ that utterly failed to inspire even myself. Having often avoided the subject, I asked my partner about the course she had done and that she spoke highly of – TCC. I signed up for it 10 minutes later, not really knowing what I had signed up for.
A month later, I showed up for the (then) 3 day intensive course of TCC. I knew that if I wanted to change my life, I had to jump fully into the course. And boy did I jump hard. I did all the homework that was asked of me (and more). I volunteered myself for the various exercises, every chance I got. I trusted the process and my coaches. And more importantly, I trusted myself.
After 3 days, my entire life had unravelled right in front of me. All my victories, all my failures, all my joy and all my sorrow; I had been responsible for them all along. And I realized, very deeply, that only I had the power to live the life that I wanted;
A life that didn’t need to inspire anyone else, as long as it inspired me.
A life I was proud of.
Back then, TCC was followed by a 4 week intensive project, during which we could apply everything we had learnt throughout the course. During TCC, I had reunited with the artistic and creative side of me from my childhood, a side that I thought had died a slow death during my engineering career. When it came time to choose my project, I knew what I wanted to do. Something that I had always wanted. Something that was meaningful, and at the same time, immensely challenging given the time frame of 4 weeks. I wanted to write a book.
4 weeks later, I finished writing and editing my first novel- Aoirei.
As I’ve shared before on this blog, calling those 4 weeks tough would be an understatement. I had to handle the work of 2 people at my day job, because my colleague was on leave and we were preparing for our first ever Engineering Run for a new drug product (anyone who’s worked in the pharma industry would know how intense that is).
I had signed up for swimming lessons to overcome my crippling fear of water that stemmed from several traumatic experiences between the age of 8 and 9, something that had come up more than once during TCC. I practiced by myself every day, even when it rained (which is almost all the time in Singapore).
During the writing of Aoirei, I reconnected with my family who live in India and with whom my relationships had strained over the years. My sister and her friends even helped me to edit the rough drafts of Aoirei.
And in between all of that, every single day, I wrote a minimum of 1000 words for my novel (20,000 words during the weekend). Without fail. Even if it meant eating just an apple for lunch to use the rest of my lunch break to write. Even if it meant writing my novel on my phone as I rode the bus to work and back (it was a 90 minute journey). Even if it meant sleeping an hour less every night to spend that time writing. That was the commitment I had made to myself and to my dream.
And the funny thing is this- the more I wrote, the more alive I felt. Sure, I was physically exhausted, but mentally, spiritually and emotionally, I was flying!
Of course, the journey didn’t end after 4 weeks.
2 months after TCC, I swam the breast stroke for a 100 meters without stopping. After 22 years of living in fear of swimming pools, I had learnt how to swim.
1 year after TCC, I published Aoirei on Amazon as an ebook!
2.5 years after TCC, I quit my job and began traveling the world, just like I had always dreamed of doing. Last year, I visited 13 countries, lived for several months in the Balkans, started learning how to code in Python, made new friends in Croatia with whom I’m doing Python projects right now (and getting paid for it!), tried my hand at farming, learnt the ways of the Shaman, started blogging about my journey, and several other things in between. There’s still more to explore, in the world and also within myself. And this beautiful journey began for me because of TCC, because I decided to jump in.
3 years after TCC, and just a few weeks ago, I achieved yet another dream. The book I had written just after TCC – Aoirei, is now available as a paperback novel! It contains a lot of my learnings from TCC, the best moments from my travels in real life, even some Shamanic stuff that I may have ‘accidentally’ tapped into while writing it- all woven into a story about spirits, trauma, serial killers, mystical forests and the never ending search for truth. You can buy Aoirei here.
With the recent outbreak of coronavirus, I don’t know when I’ll resume my travels. But I know that this is not the end of my journey. It’s just another chapter. TCC gave me the pen, and it is up to me to write what comes next. What kind of life story would you write, if you had that pen too?
The Book Of My Life (Feat. Anoushka Shankar)
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Chapter 2 of my book, Aoirei, is called Chikyumisaki. It’s inspired by my travels to a lighthouse in Japan, that’s slightly off the beaten path .
My debut novel, Aoirei, is now available both as an ebook and as a paperback on Amazon!
At the beginning of 2019, I quit my high paying job as an automation engineer in the pharmaceuticals industry, sold or donated over 90% of my belongings and set off to travel the world with just a backpack and a hand-drum. This is the story of why I quit my engineering job to travel the world.
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