Barbro Teir
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Getting richer

Last year I had the privilege to dream.

When I left the job as CEO for a mediabusiness I gave myself some time to think about one question: If there is at least 15 years more left for me to work, which I hope, how can my contribution serve growth the best? By growth I don’t think about money, but all those other aspects of life that make people richer.

First, my thoughts could only focus on the things I do not want. The existential psychoanalyst Otto Rank calls aversion the first step to strengthen a person’s will – protesting, critizising, being negative towards others and what they represent. This ”no-will” is one way of starting to rule out your options. For me it was also a way of getting to grips with what kind of things I didn’t want in my life anymore.

But that is only a starting point. Soon enough my dreams led me forward, and within a few weeks they started to take more concrete shapes. I studied sociology when I was young, and after 35 years of working for companies in media and publishing, what I really desire is to learn more about how people can live their lives in meaningful ways.

The existential psychologist Rolly May believes that important decisions are born from desire (sic!) and will. He sees desire as the fantasy playing with the possibility of an action or a condition. According to him, people often get stuck there, they can’t move from desire to the will that results in action.

Well, I was lucky. I felt in my whole body that I need to dig deeper in the human mind and how it’s bound to society, and soon I came across information about existential coaching on Facebook. And found myself studying in Stockholm, Sweden. In a couple of weeks I will get my diploma as an existential coach. It’s a first step, allowing me to work with clients in tutorial.

"Could I live my dream of becoming an entrepreneur?"

The next question was how to earn a living on my earlier and new knowledge. Could I live my dream of becoming an entrepreneur? The philisopher John MacQuarrie has pointed out that decisions not only are born out of feelings of fulfillment, they also require the courage to give up ­ ­– when choosing one solution you refrain from others. I struggled a lot with my fear of losing the rather secured income that being employed by somebody else would bring. I still do.

But my own business is now up and running. I hope to work with both companies and private clients.

In consulting, different perspectives help workplaces tackle changes, development and crises – all of which I have experienced during more than 20 years of operational leadership and working on boards in media and publishing.

In coaching, the existential talks start from your issues, which can concern both private and professional dilemmas. We explore the existence with inspiration from existential philosophy and psyhcology, going from insight and will to choice and action.

There are moments of anxiety, when I think of what price I might have to pay for these choices.  And moments of pure joy, when I just know that this is the right path for me.

In this blog I will explore existential themes, share insights of philosophers, psychologists, writers and many others that struggle with the questions we have in common: What is it to be a human being in this world? How can I live a meaningful life, both professionally and private?