我不停地研究，一年的时间读了很多的书，也开始进行自我改善，参加比如托尼·罗宾斯（Tony Robbins）的《释放内心的力量》（Unleash The Power Within）之类的课程。之前我把自己封闭了起来，不愿意跟人说我的感受。所以参加这样的课程目的就是要打开自己的内心。
Ben在采访中给出了很多有见地的观点，逻辑性强，很好地回答了某些问题。大家可以点击他的网站主页。了解更多信息。Ben Ivey，他是一个很棒的人， 一个对生活很有思考和想法的人。
I've been aware of the concept of “life coaching” for some time, but until very recently I had no idea what actually meant. So when the opportunity to interview a real life-life coach came by, I jumped on it.
Ben Ivey, my spotlight guest for this week, presented me with firm, unrelenting, and even unorthodox opinions, but he supported them with reasoned arguments and logic. Be ready to have some of your views challenged, and to understand why, in his words, “depression is a choice.”
I'm Ben Ivey, 23 years old, from the UK, and I am a life coach. I came to Shanghai a few months ago to pursue my passion of using my knowledge of personal psychology to help people find genuine happiness.
Life coach? Tell me more.
A life coach is a person who counsels and encourages clients on matters having to do with careers or personal challenges. I run seminars here in China (as well as throughout the UK and America) that endeavor to uncover and rectify individuals' issues.
What kind of seminars?
So I have two seminars. Let me explain one. Discovering the Art of Fulfillment. This seminar takes a deep dive into why successful people—with all their money and status—are still unhappy. It involves finding out what the cause of people’s anguish is, and helping them to change the root problems rather than the superficial on-the-surface issues.
A lot of what I'm dealing with stems from an individual's childhood, which can always be tough to change, but there's only one prerequisite for change, and that's the want to change. With this want, breaking down the barriers, and isolating the actual issue is quite simple.
That's interesting. What motivated you to get into life coaching?
I was studying business and Mandarin at university when I started running my own business relating to the memory and recognition of Chinese characters. As I was expanding that I had a moment where my life changed. My Dad committed suicide. He was my best friend and that was a really weird time for me, I saw him the day before it happened, and then it was like the hero of my life had disappeared.
I didn't understand and I couldn't understand why something like this had happened.
So I dropped everything, passed off my business and embarked on figuring out why people are unhappy even when they give every indication that they are happy—to figure out why, when someone has everything that indicates success and happiness, they would commit suicide.
Sorry to hear, that is devastating.
How did you go about this mission of understanding?
I developed an insatiable desire to understand. I read dozens of books in the following year and started attending self improvement, personal development courses like Tony Robbins's Unleash The Power Within. I had closed myself off emotionally, and I didn't want to share my feelings with anyone. So the purpose behind going to these kind of courses was to open myself up and make myself vulnerable.
Then I started to develop a framework to help people understand how they can apply different principles to their own lives. The overarching theme is to step away from the plethora of 'seven step' quick fixes you find on the internet, that actually never work and just leave you feeling more vulnerable. My aim is to create tangible value in peoples lives.
Much of your client base is significantly older than you, with quite prominent status—are people skeptical to be learning such deep life skills from someone considerably younger?
This is what I call a limiting belief [a belief that we can't do something, for X or Y reason]. I had a limiting belief before I started doing this, believing I was too young to help people with their life issues. Now I believe it is just a mindset, and in comparison to the other options on the market I am much more qualified to give this kind of advice. My research is extensive and in depth, and I've educated myself to the point of any expert.
What kind of methods do you use to help people change?
One in particular that I'll share with you today.
If a client comes to me and says “Oh, I'm depressed,” I come back at them with a raised voice and an out-there sentence—“THAT'S UTTER BOLLOCKS,” for example. This makes them sit up and take notice, because it is not what they were expecting.
Most people, when talking to a depressed friend, will comfort them and be their ear, careful not to upset or make them feel worse, but counter-intuitively this only reinforces their 'depressed' behavior. The subject then begins to seek and crave other peoples attention, and being depressed is a great way for them to get that attention with very little effort.
I, for this reason, believe depression is a choice.
So this is what I try to avoid, and using pattern interruption is a very effective method to break them out of negative states.
Do these things stick? Are they long term changes? A one-day intervention doesn't seem like very long.
The whole point is strategic intervention. A metaphor I use is that of an apple tree and a pear tree.
You are an apple tree, I am a pear tree. Now say you want to become a pear tree. If I take a pear from my tree and put it on your tree, what going to happen? Its going to fall off. And this will continue to happen, no matter how many pears I put on your tree.
Its not until you change the roots of the tree that it will begin to grow pears. This is what I do, I change people's core beliefs, the roots of their thinking—and allow fundamental changes to occur.
Because of this, the results stick.
Last one, what is your morning routine?
I do quite a few things in my morning routine:
Now I'm ready to go about my day.
Ben touched on some amazing points in our chat and was able to support his controversial answers with very coherent logic. If you want to find out more, check out his website. A really good guy with an even better outlook on life.