Interviewee Name: Karen Parsons, Human Excellence Coach
Company Name: Successful Solutions
Avil Beckford: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Karen Parsons: I am a life and business excellence coach, speaker and author. I help empower successful professionals and organizations to further excel, using my depth of understanding about human potential and how to leverage it. The beginning of any change must start with awareness. You cannot change what you cannot see. So I assist my clients bring to the surface; limiting beliefs, perceptions and behaviours that are the hidden barriers to achieving their highest potential. I then provide them with transformational tools, processes and techniques for implementing lasting and positive change!
Avil Beckford: How do you integrate your personal and professional life?
Karen Parsons: I learned the hard way through my back injury what can happen when you continually push yourself and don’t listen to your body. The culture within most corporations is that the more you do, the more you can get accomplished. The faster you move, the busier you are, the more you are getting done. This is not true and I have a lot of proof to back this up. This is one of the things I teach corporations. Stay vigilant to balance. It will make you more successful, it will make your company more successful. Most achievers are about doing, doing and doing more. So they find it difficult to shut off the computer, lock the office door and do something for themselves but it must be done. Schedule personal time into your schedule.
Avil Beckford: What are five life lessons that you have learned so far?
- Life is short so figure out how to enjoy it.
- Work shouldn’t be work. It should be gratifying, meaningful, interesting and fun. Don’t settle for just a pay check.
- You are responsible for your own happiness don’t expect others to behave in ways that make you happy. Happiness comes from learning self mastery, meaning that you control your inner experience instead of trying to control your outer experience, which is impossible.
- Live a life of gratitude.
- Leave a legacy
Avil Beckford: When you have some down time, how do you spend it?
Karen Parsons: Walking the dogs, kite surfing, mountain bike riding, spending time with my family, playing the drums, snowboarding and I meditate or do yoga every day. I also help a school in the Caribbean, developing their sponsorship program. It is very gratifying.
Avil Beckford: What process do you use to generate great ideas?
Karen Parsons: Meditations, long walks, deep breathing. Dreams. All of these things help me connect to my most creative self and inspire ideas for me. If I am feeling overwhelmed, stressed or any negative emotions, I don’t’ try to generate ideas in those moments. It is futile and a waste of time.
Avil Beckford: What’s your favourite quotation and why?
Karen Parsons: “Only he who can see the invisible can do the impossible” by Frank Gaines. Most of us go through life very unconscious, just going through the motions without full awareness. The more you increase your awareness, become more present and conscious, the more you make the invisible visible, you see more possibilities, more choices, and this is how you create your greatest life.
Avil Beckford: How do you define success? And in your opinion what’s the formula for success?
Karen Parsons: Success to me is when you can wake up with a smile on your face and go to bed with a smile on your face and in between you made a positive difference doing what you are passionate about. The formula for success, is don’t settle for anything less than the greatest you and when you are the greatest you, you create great success. Don’t buy in to the dogma that life has to be a struggle, yes of course there are difficult times and many challenges but it doesn’t mean you have to give in to them and let them control who you are. Grow from them, become stronger and figure out what you need to change to make you happy and then do it. This to me is real success.
Avil Beckford: What are the steps you took to succeed in your field?
- Making sure and always asking the question, “Is this what I want to do, is this making me happy?”
- Creating a vision and then making goals and objectives of how to get there.
- Staying connected to my most creative self that constantly gives me guidance on where to go and what to do next.
- Discipline, working hard but also realizing that hard work is not the most important part of the formula for success. Are you self sabotaging your success through negative self talk, are you creating a lot of inner conflict? Staying true to practices that keep me aware of what my real thoughts and intentions are because this is what really can make or break success.
Avil Beckford: What advice do you have for someone just starting out in your field?
Karen Parsons: Stay true to your vision, and get in touch with your authentic you. This will give you the vision and strength to create the life and work that will be most gratifying to you. Find a mentor, or many mentors. Of course I really believe in coaching. It can save so much time and energy and create meaningful success faster. Read self-help books and find balance.
Avil Beckford: If trusted friends could introduce you to five people that you’ve always wanted to meet, who would you choose? And what would you say to them?
Karen Parsons: Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and Wayne Dyer. I would be interested to be in their presence and see what that feels like. I wouldn’t say much to them, I would be more interested in listening to what they have to say.
Avil Beckford: Which one book had a profound impact on your life? What was it about this book that impacted you so deeply?
Karen Parsons: There have been so many books that have impacted me at different times in my life. But if I had to choose one, I think it would have to be the The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart tolle. It really helped take me to the next level in my development and was a powerful influence.
Avil Beckford: You are one of the 10 finalists on the reality show, So, How Would You Spend Your Time? Each finalist is placed on separate deserted islands for two years. You have a basic hut on the island and all the tools for survival; you just have to be imaginative and inventive when using them. You are allowed to take five books, one movie and one music CD, and whatever else you take has to fit in one suitcase and a travel on case. What would you take with you and how would you spend the time? T he prize is worth your while and at this stage in the game there really aren’t any losers among the 10 finalists, since each are guaranteed at least $2 million?
Karen Parsons: I would bring my make-up, hair dryer…just kidding. The necessities of life not withstanding, I would bring:
- Hat, pen and paper or a laptop to write about my experience.
- Educational books that would help keep my mind sharp.
- Joke book and inspirational book to help get me through the difficult times.
- Picture of my loved ones and perhaps some home movies.
I would spend my time meditating, exercising, doing yoga, exploring, writing, reading, eating. I would learn how to survive on my own. I think that would be a challenge, that is, make a fire from sticks, make a shelter and so on. I would observe nature a lot and really figure out the ecosystem and how it all interconnects and I would write about it.
Avil Beckford: What excites you about life?
Karen Parsons: Life excites me. I love life and I love people.
Avil Beckford: How do you nurture your soul?
Karen Parsons: My relationships, charity, my work nurtures my soul and that is why I do it, mediation, yoga, the feeling of freedom I get from the many sports I do and reading and writing.
Avil Beckford: If you had a personal genie and she gave you one wish, what would you wish for?
Karen Parsons: I would wish that people would come to understand that they have the power to be happy. I have found the formula to happiness and success and I am living it. It is possible. We all just need some guidance and support to get there.
Avil Beckford: Complete the following, I am happy when…..
Karen Parsons: I am happy NOW!
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